David Rovics

doesn't sing "Reichstag Fire" any more

leftists ignore Peak Oil and 9/11 best evidence

Reichstag Fire, a song by David Rovics (from the album Return, 2003)


Note: Rovics has politically distanced himself from the message of the song -- he has been on public tours with Norman Solomon, who famously defended the official "surprise attack" paradigm in the months after 9/11 and attacked journalists who dared to connect the dots pointing toward complicity. Rovics simultaneously claimed that Mike Ruppert did not deserve media attention while also admitting that he (Rovics) did not take time to read much to inform his political views. It is similar to other protestations by left gatekeepers making similar attacks on the best evidence on 9/11 -- except that Rovics wrote the following song, one of the best about 9/11 complicity. We live in bizarre times.

Rovics did admit to this writer that 9/11 Press For Truth was a good documentary (in contrast to Loose Change, which he said was awful). But that understanding - there are good and bad claims for complicity - was not reflected in his article (below) ratifying support for the official "surprise attack" paradigm.

There's good claims on 9/11 and bullshit claims, but this is rarely mentioned by either the "truthers" or the "debunkers."

Ironically, "Reichstag Fire" was a good summary of some of the better claims.


The same "false evidence" strategies were used to sabotage the citizen investigations into the coup against President Kennedy, another scandal that the mainstream "left" and even most of the more radical factions have ignored.

Sadly, some of the 9/11 "truth" movement is not particularly interested in fact checking. Of course, hardly anyone in our post-rational society is interested in fact checking. Perhaps it is a logical consequence of decades of television watching.

It is true that Democracy Now and the other foundation funded leftist alternative media is not interested in discussing the war games on 9/11 that simulated 9/11. They don't even like to mention the facts about Peak Oil and how that is the real motivation for the War on Iraq. As far as I know, Democracy Now has only ONCE had a program segment about Peak Oil and that was to have a yes/no debate about whether it even exists. Are they waiting for gasoline rationing to touch the topic? Most of what is on Democracy Now is excellent, but they avoid the most important pieces of the puzzle. It would be nice to hear an explanation from Democracy Now why Peak Oil is not part of their paradigm for understanding the War on Iraq.

As for "Popular Mechanics," they deliberately focused on the false claims and avoided the numerous warnings from US allies about what, when, where, the FBI agents who tried to stop the attacks, the "plane into building" exercise during the attacks, and the countless lies afterwards. For an added humorous twist, Popular Mechanics even used photos from www.questionsquestions.net (one of the earliest 9/11 "truth" websites) to debunk one of the stupider bogus claims about 9/11 complicity, showing that they know that the straw man they were debunking was complete nonsense.
www.oilempire.us/popular-mechanics.html shows how they did this.

On September 11, 2006, Democracy Now! had a fake debate between Popular Mechanics and the guys from "Loose Change" (a film encapsulating lots of false claims about 9/11 complicity). Each side promoted a mix of truth and lies. The Popular Mechanics people debunked some of the stupid false claims, but then said that debunking these strawmen showed there was not a conspiracy to allow (and enable) the attacks. The Loose Change people said some things that were true and some things that were absurd. A month later, the Hearst Corporation, which is the parent company of Popular Mechanics, suddenly started carrying a newspaper column by Democracy Now's Amy Goodman (via its King Features subsidiary). A nice payoff for ensuring that there is a false dichotomy.

Some of those in the "left" who have most loudly attacked the idea of complicity (The Nation magazine, Chip Berlet, Noam Chomsky, etc) have also supported previous frauds such as the Warren Commission. Others are merely following the herd (ie. Alternative Radio) and don't want to seem without credibility.

Plus, the presence of completely lunatic ideas mixed in with real evidence is like offering someone dog turds on your pizza -- most people are repulsed and won't eat.

It would be interesting to know why Democracy Now has refused to touch the issue of Peak Oil given the fact that the Peak Oil Wars are now here.

It's easy to attack the lunatics and cointelpro agents in the "truth" movement (who seem to be the loudest), but it's not easy to dismiss the Peak Oil motivation for allowing 9/11 to happen -- which is why the liberal left ignores it.

Amy Goodman's United States of America passport protected her in Timor in 1991, but it couldn't protect her in NYC in 2001. It is likely that she knows that 9/11 was allowed to happen -- others on her staff have privately admitted this -- but it's too scary to admit in public. It is similar to stories from the Warsaw Ghetto and other communities under Nazi occupation - most of the prisoners didn't want to listen to the stories about Treblinka and shooting pits and other atrocities.

90% of DN is great, but the 10% they ignore is the most important part.

It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that the liberal left totally ignored Peak Oil before we reached the Peak of world petroleum production (which now seems to have been 2005 for "conventional" oil).

It is revealing that Richard Heinberg, one of the very best experts in how to have compassionate understanding to Peak Oil, is also effectively banned from Democracy Now, the Progressive, The Nation and other pillars of the liberal establishment. It must be a coincidence that this perspective is not welcome among the leftists.

These same propaganda techniques are used on numerous other issues, but understanding how they work requires moving beyond "binary thinking."


Reichstag Fire
(David Rovics)

The planes hit New York City
And thousands now are dead
"It was Arab terrorists"
This is what you said
Well if that is the truth
Then what have you got to hide
And what were you doing
On the day all those people died
Where the fuck were the fighter jets
Ordered by the FAA
And what is your explanation
For what you were heard to say
When you told the Air Force to stand down
Not to intercept
Did you plan to let it happen
Or are you just inept

I am left to wonder
As the flames are reaching higher
Was this our latest Lusitannia
Or another Reichstag Fire

There's some distressing information, sir
Which I think should be explained
Just which things have been lost
And just what has been gained
Like the thousands of put options
Bought days before the crash
If the money were collected
It would make quite a pretty stash
And the only stocks they bought
Were American and United
Deutsche Bank knows the answer
But the names have not been sighted
And is it just coincidence
That this firm in the private sector
Was once run by "Buzzy" Krongard
Ex-CIA Director


There's something fishy in Virginia
And I want an explanation
Why did they get the contract
What is Britannia Aviation
A one-man operation
Corporation with no history
He said he worked in Florida
But there he was a mystery
So is there a connection
I think it bears investigation
When the FAA found boxcutters
Does this cause you consternation
Hidden behind the seats
In these Delta planes
That had been fixed in Lynchburg
With Brittania at the reigns


You said Bin Laden was your friend
But he isn't anymore
Now that he's not fighting Russia
In your proxy war
Who called the FBI
Off the Bin Laden family trail
When so many times you had the chance
To re-write this sordid tale
Sudan in '96
The Taleban in 2001
Offered to turn him over
And right then you coulda won
But perhaps it is the case
That you're avoiding victory
That to justify your exploits
You must have an enemy


If you were not hiding from the truth
Then you'd have a truth commission
And not some masquerade
Kangaroo investigation
Hiring Henry Kissinger
The ancient master of deceit
To make sure all stones are left unturned
And the ruse is kept complete
And now you carry out your plans
Which you have had for decades
Conquering the world
With your troops and bombing raids
I see an evil regime
Led by an evil man
On Pennsylvania Avenue
Where this evil war began


Created January, 2003
Copyright David Rovics 2003, all rights reserved

About this song
Given history, those of us who weren’t born yesterday must ask the obvious question: Who knew what and who did what and why is the government so terrified of asking these questions? 

Rovics confuses opposition to conspiracy liars with support for the official story

April 7, 2008 by Rabble News The Truth About the 9/11 ‘Truth Movement’
by David Rovics

I found myself once again singing at an anti-war rally two weeks ago, and once again being confronted by a red-faced white man with an ominous hand-written sign reading, “9/11 was a lie.”

Most of the crowd was filing off for the post-rally march, aside from a few of my loyal fans who were sticking around for the rest of my set. Among them was the red-faced man, apparently not a fan, who walked towards the small stage with the wild-eyed certainty of a zealot.

“Wake up, David Rovics! David Rovics, wake up to the truth of 9/11!” He was screaming at the top of his lungs, standing about two feet from me. (I continued with the song.) In case I didn’t get the message the first time, the red-faced man repeated his mantra. “Wake up! Wake up to the truth of 9/11!”

People like him, whoever he was, have become a fixture of antiwar and other protests since sometime soon after September 11, 2001. They regularly call in to radio talk shows, maintain many websites, produce innumerable documentaries, publish plenty of books, hold regular conferences, and show up with alarming predictability to heckle and denounce prominent progressive authors and activists at their speaking engagements.

If you bother slogging through the volumes of books and stacks of documentaries that “9/11 Truth” people will foist on you if you let them, you will find that most of them are propaganda pieces and most of the “experts” are not experts in relevant fields.

When you do look beyond this mass of misinformation for real experts, you will easily find pilots who can discount the claims of the Truthers that maneuvering the planes into the towers was a particularly challenging thing for people with only a little flight training to pull off. You will easily find mechanical engineers familiar with the structural flaws in the design of the WTC that allowed it to collapse in the first place, and physicists who can explain why such large buildings would appear to be imploding as if in a controlled demolition, or why people on the scene would have thought they were hearing explosions, etc.

My purpose here is not to disprove all the hypotheses presented by the Truthers and their propaganda pieces - if you want to look into “debunking the debunkers” yourself, there is plenty of information out there, and Popular Mechanics’ issue on the subject is a good place to start.

The fact is, the scientific community, while certainly not immune to political pressure, is generally able to function with a grounding in actual science, and is not capable of participating, as a community, in some kind of mass conspiracy of silence or cover-up. There is no way to bribe that many scientists. Too many of them believe in the importance of science for science’s sake, in honesty.

This can be amply demonstrated by the fact that with all the political pressure and money of the U.S. government and ExxonMobil combined, there is still essentially unanimity among climate scientists worldwide that climate change is real, is caused by humans, and is dangerous for our species and others. Even after all the billions upon billions of dollars spent by the tobacco industry to obfuscate reality and bribe policymakers, the scientific community was able to study the issue and determine incontrovertibly the link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer.

Misguided attacks on alternative media

The “9/11 Truth Movement” undoubtedly is made up largely of earnest, decent people. Since thousands of their fellow countrymen and women died on 9/11 and since this event, many people in many communities have become justifiably agitated and outraged by world-scale injustices, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and so on.

The particularly warped thing about this, though, is that the very media outlets, authors and activists who are doing their best to expose the very real conspiracies that are going on - people like Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!, David Barsamian’s Alternative Radio, Z Magazine, Norman Solomon and the Institute for Public Accuracy, Noam Chomsky, etc. - seem to have become the primary targets of harassment by the Truthers.

Goodman, Chomsky, Solomon and others are now regularly heckled at speaking events, and denounced on websites as “gatekeepers.” They are seen, it seems, as being even worse than the corporate media, because while reasonable people know not to trust Fox or CNN, they have faith in the integrity of people like Amy Goodman.

You don’t have to know Amy Goodman or her producers personally to see what nonsense this “gatekeeper” stuff is. You needn’t ever have met Amy to know that she has risked her life, and very nearly lost her life, in her decades-long efforts to report the truth. You needn’t know her producers personally to recognize that these are all earnest young progressives working long hours to create a daily news program they deeply believe in. The notion that all of her producers are somehow maintaining a code of silence in exchange for the privilege of having their names mentioned at the end of the broadcast, or in exchange for their nominally middle-class salaries, is preposterous.

As is so often the case, there are little grains of truth in here that can fester in the minds of people who are not looking at the information critically. For the cops among the Truthers (of course it’s a matter of the public record that the FBI and other such agencies regularly write “newspaper articles” - propaganda or disinformation of whatever sort they deem useful), undermining the legitimacy of the progressive media is exactly their goal, because they don’t want the population to know the truth or to trust those who are reporting it.

For the more earnest elements among the Truthers, undermining the progressive media is also their goal, because they don’t see it as being distinct from the corporate media anyway - so whether earnest or insidious, the effect is the same.

It seems evident to me that shows like Democracy Now! are quite willing - and indeed, are doing their best - to make waves as much as possible. If they don’t report a story it’s because they don’t think it’s a story, or it’s not an important enough one to bother with. In the case of “theories” like the notion that controlled demolition brought down the World Trade Center or there were no members of Al-Qaeda on board the airplanes, this narrative has received little coverage in the progressive media because, upon investigation, most decide it’s patently ridiculous.

The real gatekeepers

Sometime in 2002 I wrote a song called “Reichstag Fire,” in which I asked many of the questions the Truthers were asking. The point of the song was primarily to say that 9/11 has been used as an excuse for the U.S. to carry out a genocidal crusade on much of the Muslim world, and to further the U.S. government’s bipartisan agenda of world domination and control of valuable resources in other countries, such as oil. (This is something Truthers and most other people in the world can generally agree on.) In the song I also posed questions which I now feel have been adequately explained.

Were there really Arab terrorists on board the planes? Yes. Did the CIA know an attack was imminent? Yes. I don’t regret writing the song, or becoming a very minor celebrity within the 9/11 Truth Movement, because I think these questions needed to be asked, and answered.

But while some questions can only remain unanswered until certain people within the U.S. government become whistleblowers, other questions have been answered, and my answers (and those of most people who have looked into these things) and those of what now constitutes the Truth Movement differ wildly. Particularly because I have been seen by some as part of this movement, I felt compelled to write this essay.

The truth is, in fact, out there. Much of it is certainly still there to be discovered, but many fundamental, essential truths are already known.

The truth - that, for example, the CIA funded and armed Al-Qaeda and the Taleban, that a tiny minority of very wealthy people control much of the U.S. government and the “mainstream” (corporate/”public”) media, that the U.S. military systematically goes around the world overthrowing democracies, propping up dictatorships, and killing millions of people with bombs - is what the progressive media is reporting on hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. These are the truths that people in the U.S. most need to “wake up” to. These are the truths that are systematically unreported or severely under-reported by the corporate press, which, even in the age of the Internet, is still where the vast majority of people in the U.S. get their news, and thus, their understanding of the world.

These corporate media entities and the genocidal, ecocidal plutocracy they serve are the “gatekeepers” that need to be exposed. The truths they are trying to hide from us are the truths that need to be understood, and acted upon. The progressive media that is trying to do just that needs to be supported, not undermined with essentially baseless accusations (legitimate criticisms and suggestions notwithstanding).

The people who are trying, with some degree of success, to undermine these basic endeavors of the progressive movement and the progressive media need to be exposed for what they are - whether they fall into the category of well-meaning but misguided fanatics or undercover government agents quite purposefully and systematically working to spread disinformation and sow confusion and distrust. And, beyond any reasonable doubt, the “Truth Movement” contains both of these elements.

To both of these groups I beseech you - wake up! Wake up to the real, easily verifiable conspiracies - which are extremely big ones - and quit trying to distract us with all the nonsense about gatekeepers and controlled demolitions!

David Rovics is a singer-songwriter who tours regularly throughout North America, Europe, and occasionally elsewhere. This article was edited for length.

Copyright © 2001-2008 David Rovics

reprinted for "fair use" only