Filmmakers Notebook




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Filmmakers’ notebook # 120
We first learned of Morgan Reynolds when we* filmed his May 6, 2006 talk in Madison, Wisconsin. Just under a month later, we were able to put some questions to him in Chicago at the 9/11 conference.

Independent filmmakers had to scramble for space for interviews at the airport hotel in Chicago. Inside and outside you could hear planes screaming during take-off from O’Hare. Between flights – about every three minutes – we shouted our questions. Reynolds waited until the plane was a little distance before answering.

As a libertarian economist (Texas A & M), Professor Reynolds joined Elaine Chou’s labor department in 2001 as chief economist. Chou, wife of GOP porkster Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, is a trustee of the Heritage Foundation. Reynolds spent a year and a half as a backbencher on Capitol Hill before quitting, disgusted at the Bush administration's lies and deception, particularly the lies told to get the U.S. into Iraq.

Our questions for Reynolds concerned themselves largely with the cognitive dissonance in DC, on Capitol Hill, among the porksters and their staffs, Dems and Republicans. How was it that they go along with the big lies and the rush to fascism?

Earlier, prompted by an interview with Four Arrows (aka Prof Don Trent Jacobs), we discovered Frank Luntz, and then David Brancaccio’s revealing 2004 interview with him. ( ) Luntz is regarded as a “compliance professional,” in the mold of Joseph Goebbels, Edward Bernays and Tony Schwartz. In the brief Brancaccio interview, Luntz plays tribute to his mentor, Schwartz, author of The Responsive Cord.

Hailing his guest as a “master of the rhetoric of political seduction,” Brancaccio adds to Luntz mystique by adding that he is “a magician with a gift for the politics of words and what words best connect with the hearts and minds of the public, a magician with a gift for the politics of words and what words connect with the hearts and minds of the public.”

A cheerful hypnotist, Luntz happily serves up shit to customers who think they’re eating chocolate ice cream. Properly labeled, Luntz’s brand of ice cream could be called Fascist Swirl. In this video, prompted by Morgan Reynolds’ insights, we observe Luntz’s tricks and attempt to deconstruct his techniques of trance induction which play on ignorance, fear, racial prejudice and the willingness of his subjects to be hypnotized.

* Josh Harvey, co-founder of snowshoefilms

Snowshoefilms: Why did you join the Bush administration?

Morgan Reynolds: Well, I was hoping it would be a free market oriented and make some changes in the labor market that I favor. I’m a libertarian free-market oriented economist and what I quickly found out was, there’s not going to be any changes along that line.

The whole focus was to re-elect George W. Bush and I found to my disappointment there was no discussion, really, of what was the best policy on any issue and how to sell it, but rather what would be prudent from a short-term political point of view and it…. the contradictions and policy errors piled up and I only stayed on for 16 months before I resigned.

Snowshoefilms: When did you become aware that 9/11 was an inside job?

Morgan Reynolds: I did not suspect involvement by the Bush-Cheney administration until 2003. One of the decisive events the invasion of Iraq – which I knew was based on big lies. Most people in Washington DC, truthfully, did suspect that, or know it.

INSERT: CHENEY (Oct. 10, 2003) “Our mission to Iraq is a great undertaking and part of a larger mission that the United States accepted – now more than two years ago – September 11th, 2001, changed everything for this country.”

Morgan Reynolds: (cont) And I asked myself the question, if they’d lie about this to get into a war half way around the world, what else would they lie about? And that’s when I went off to do some research on 9/11. And by the end of 2003, I was convinced that, yes it was an inside job. And then, next March, 2004, I wrote an essay-review about David Ray Griffin’s brilliant book, The New Pearl Harbor. That put it all together.

So I came late to the truth, you might say, but certainly by one year later when David Ray Griffin’s book the New Pearl Harbor appeared, I knew. Because he put together so much of the evidence in a very nice and patient and scientific package.

Snowshoefilms: Were you surprised, looking back, that such a crime could be pulled off, and covered-up

Morgan Reynolds: The audacity of 9/11 still resonates with me every day. How ‘over the top’ it is. How audacious, it’s just…. the enormity of this crime. And it’s not just, by any means, the number of lives lost -- innocent lives taken – nearly three thousand; it could have been far greater.
(INSERT: photo collage, concluding with the photo used on the cover of the Don Paul/Jim Hoffman book, Waking Up From Our Nightmare.)

But it’s just the Independence Day show of it. The greatest terrorist event in world history. To traumatize America and stimulate the blood-lust to go off halfway around the world and engage in clash-of-civilization killing Arabs. It’s just…. the scale of this thing is just mind-boggling in the cold-bloodedness of it all.

Snowshoefilms: As the labor department’s chief economist, did you have any contact with Paul O’Neill (Secretary of the Treasury)? (INSERT: O’Neill)

Morgan Reynolds: I was in a room with him a few times in a medium-sized meeting because of the Social Security trustees role that Secretary of Labor Elaine Chow filled, and I was a backbencher. Secretary O’Neill impressed me as a very honest man. That’s what got him in trouble in the Bush administration. He is a policy-wonk who really did, at these Social Security trustee meetings, discuss what was the best policy, what was the best approach. Annually you had to make these actuarial estimates of the fiscal soundness or unsoundness of the Social Security System. And he just…. what you see publicly is what you get privately, to the little extent I saw him in action. So, he was an honest man and…. his book with Ron Suskind called The Price of Loyalty, puts out these revelations that are highly credible; the most important one of which was at the first National Security Council meeting it was ‘all about how to invade Iraq. Help me do this. Help me do this.’ And that’s Paul O’Neill. And he’s a very trustworthy man, in my opinion.

Snowshoefilms: How did your colleagues respond to your 9/11 views?

Morgan Reynolds: I do know that some of my former colleagues at the labor department, when they found out what I had to say about 9/11, said ‘Morgan, what are you talking about?’ They thought I’d gone off the deep end. So, I think there’s a lot of people who are ignorant of this possibility in the administration. But of course, there’s plenty of people who are knowledgeable or suspicious or participants in 9/11 or accessories-after-the-fact in the cover-up.

Snowshoefilms: How many were knowingly involved in 9/11?

Morgan Reynolds: On the day of 9/11, of course, it would have taken hundreds in preparation. Now, my number is, it’s certainly not over 2000 active participants. For example, most of these people doing these military exercises that were concurrent with 9/11 aren’t aware of what’s gonna go down. They are not witting participants. And some of the participants might have been witting that something in the form of domestic terrorism was going down, but not on the scale. It was so over-the-top, so many lives lost – that they were participating in a set of murders that was far great than they expected. So there’s varying degrees of knowledge of the hundreds of people who were involved.

Snowshoefilms: Given the abundance of evidence, those involved in the political scene in Washington, unless they are complicit, must exhibit a high degree of cognitive dissonance….

Morgan Reynolds: There’s quite a bit of cognitive dissonance, this on-the-horns-of-a-dilemma. There’s this ambivalence…. because on Capitol Hill, I can tell you that the political antennae are just so acute. Every day, it’s politics politics politics and although there’s no public discussion of 9/11, or virtually none - [former Congresswoman ] Cynthia McKinney’s raised the issue – there is immense knowledge up there. There’s a lot of people who know this was a Bush-Cheney inside job but they’re scared, and they’re living with their conscience on this and they’re…. I predict somebody will go public in an important way.

Snowshoefilms: What’s the best evidence for an inside job?

Morgan Reynolds: The number one piece of evidence is WTC 7 which is so transparently a controlled demolition from the free-fall symmetrical collapse to the neat rubble stack, just folding in on itself at the bottom.

[INSERT Bldg 7: collapse]

Here we have multiple cameras on it in broad daylight at 5:20 p.m. and clearly something went wrong for them to blow it in this odd, obvious condition. Probably they wanted to blow it from a remote location beneath the pyroclastic cloud from WTC 1, the second tower that fell. That would have made a lot more sense. There wouldn’t have been film of it and smoking-gun-evidence of its controlled demolition.

Snowshoefilms: Have you experienced any Bush administration effort to silence you?

Morgan Reynolds: I’m glad to report that nobody in the administration -- it would be entirely inappropriate – has contacted me in any way to try to intimidate me. The only put-down was by my university president and the university itself tried to put out a distancing statement. It was low-key, but all the attacks have really come from various e-mailers, callers in to radio shows who think I’m a traitor or believe to that effect, or a liar. And then, of course, within the 9/11 skeptics movement itself, there are some people who believe I’m a Bush agent or trying to discredit 9/11. We have a lot of friction in the 9/11 research and activist community as many know.

Snowshoefilms: Do you want to elaborate?

Morgan Reynolds: I don’t want to name names or organizations. To me, it’s not terribly because it’s of no consequence to my activities or what I say. I don’t care who I offend…. to me it’s all about justice, ultimately; but in the meantime, truth is our weapon and we are going to have, because we don’t understand all aspects of the crime, there are competing hypotheses. There’s going to be some elbowing. I’m used to that as an academic and a ‘policy warrior.’ It doesn’t bother me and in fact, that’s one of the attractive things about this is that parts of it are unknown; you’ve got to have these research issues there to keep bright researchers involved. We can’t just be pure educators or teachers or activists. So, to me it’s all good, both the education and research components of this. We have scientific questions, we have criminal questions, we have world political balance-of-power questions, we have the Invisible Government. There are so many aspects of this that are intriguing, strictly from a purely intellectual exercise point of view.

Snowshoefilms: What’s to be done?

Morgan Reynolds: Well, the number one thing we’re driving for is a criminal prosecution where we, ‘Hey, come out of the White House with your hands up’ and we’re going to arrest and charge, indict and put on trial…. that’s the best way to do it in a court room criminal prosecution. Now it’s true, we’re a long way from that but it’s also good to test our evidence in this. Are we courtroom-tough on this. Do we have enough? Certainly, I argue, we do. What we have to show is there is no other way to explain these facts but that the accused did it, the inside perpetrators. And it’s also morale-boosting to get real names. Who should be indicted and I offer this list.

Now there are many other mechanisms. For example – and I think that they’re all worth pursuing. The international tribunal mechanism. Candidates should be about 9/11. We’re running some candidates. There are all these…. We should have a PAC [Political Action Committee], a campaign fund to contribute at the margin to candidates. We should have activism and beating the drums. The Zogby Poll [of Aug. 30, 2004] was another great plateau-shifting event. There’s all these good things, this Army of David is engaged in.

Snowshoefilms: Many people have undoubtedly have left the Bush administration and just kept silent. How do you account for your singularity?

Morgan Reynolds: I would say it’s my oh-so-pre-9/11 thirst for the truth. I went in to academe because I said, ‘Wow, you can make a good living being in the ivory tower, being really a permanent student, pursuing the truth, teaching, doing research and there’s nothing but satisfaction at my career choice; and the fact that I think that truth ought to matter in the political arena….

When I went into government, I know I remember being in the interview with the Secretary of Labor [Elaine Chou] and her chief aide [Deputy Secretary] Steven Law and I said, ‘Do you know who I am?’ In other words, I’m not going to compromise the truth for short-term political gain and that’s where I am now. I guess my singularity is that I wasn’t enough of a Bush family loyalist. Loyalty to the truth trumps loyalty to any politician.

Of course 9/11 gave them the sanction they wanted to run amuck in the world as a rogue superpower. And recall when President Bush said, ‘Hey, international law, that doesn’t matter.’ And of course now it’s become obvious that domestic law, ‘Hey, that doesn’t matter. Trust us.’ So much of these evil policies have only surfaced since the event of 9/11. None of this could have happened without that. Little did we know…. Remember the debates back in 2000 where President Bush promised a ‘more humble’ foreign policy and he scoffed at ‘nation-building.’ Well, look at where we are today. Just a complete 180 degree from what he promised in the year 2000.

Snowshoefilms: Would you comment on the significance of insider Frank Luntz.

Morgan Reynolds: Well, Frank Luntz is a very important Republican pollster. I know some people well who know him well and I’ve been in a session of two with Frank Luntz where – when I was on Capitol Hill, actually, rather than in the Bush administration…

(INSERT LUNTZ April 2002 to Energy trade association members: “…They are No, and you are Yes.”

Morgan Reynolds: Luntz is an expert at packaging policies using wedge issues to get people elected.

(INSERT LUNTZ interview with David Brancaccio, NOW/PBS, July 2, 2004)
Luntz: The way that I look at it, it’s not to convince a voter what to think, it’s to convince a voter that what they think is correct. (& repeat)
Some of this is not a matter of re-educating them. (repeat)
That their gut instincts are correct. (repeat)
They should not be fooled by either what they or what they hear. (repeat)
That what they feel is what is correct. (repeat)
I’m listening to the American people and this is how they feel. And not just here in New York…The American people, they don’t know up or down when it comes to this but they do know that these are bad people, they know that they’ve killed Americans, they know that they are a threat to our national security, and they want them gone. What’s wrong with that?

Morgan Reynolds: It’s all about selling and then getting in the administration and doing whatever policies you want.

Luntz: 9/11 changed everything. And I think that not only do politicians have a right to talk about 9/11, they have a responsibility to talk about 9/11.

Morgan Reynolds: He is quite a attractive, charming soothsayer, sales rep…

Luntz: I find that frustrating, if not outrageous that you can’t talk about the root cause, that you can’t talk about the fact that there are people out there who hate America so much…

Morgan Reynolds: He’s one of the influential artists of deception.

David Brancaccio (PBS/NOW co-host to Luntz): You know that there is a memo circulating attributed to you that talks about the need, among other things, for politicians to always mention the terrible events of September 11.

INSERT voice over leaked memo title (“Communicating the Principles of Prevention & Protection in the War on Terror” : Number One: No speech about homeland security or Iraq should begin without a reference to 9/11.)
Luntz: And what’s wrong with that?
Brancaccio: Nothing at all, but before mentioning Iraq…
Luntz: What is wrong with mentioning why these things took place. What is wrong with mentioning the fact that there are enemies to America? What is wrong with talking about the fact that it is better to fight this war in Afghanistan than fighting it in Washington and New York?

Morgan Reynolds: So he’s one of the important shakers and movers in selling…

Luntz: 9/11 – we’ve never experienced anything like this. This wasn’t Pearl Harbor, this is worse because this was on American territory. This was on – right in the center -- these were the biggest buildings. These were the icons of American success, of the American economy, the American free-market, and they don’t exist. Not just two buildings, but seven buildings. That was the day that nobody’s going to forget and that is a day that we should always, always remember.
[INSERT cover photo of George Estabrooks’ book, Using Hypnotism]
Luntz (v/o): There are people in Iraq that hate us and would like to do anything they could against us, and the people who caused 9/11 hate us and would like to do anything against us. It doesn’t matter whether they are related. It doesn’t matter whether they are best friends, it doesn’t matter whether the hung out at a Starbucks and drank coffee together and planned against us… [v/o graphic/words] The American people, they don’t know up or down when it comes to this. But they do know that these are bad people. They know that they’ve killed Americans. They know that they are a threat to our national security. And they want them gone.
[INSERT pic of Nazi-uniformed Joseph Goebbels, with super of Luntz’s last words] What’s wrong with that?

Snowshoefilms: What was your experience with that other public psyops operative, Karl Rove?

Morgan Reynolds: Well, Karl Rove is a trickster of the first order where he gets people to take the bait and then self-destruct. That’s his game. Dirty tricks of every kind. If Rove were to be indicted or removed from the administration, that would certainly be a loss. Because he is, as they say, Bush’s brain. [INSERT cover of the Moore/Slater book, Bush’s Brain] and we don’t need any more brain loss by Mr. Bush who’s not, of course, the real brains of the administration. He’s the front man, the frat boy drunk as it were…. Rove is the kind of man who succeeds fabulously in the short run but is self destructive in the long run. That’s what we’re getting now because…. For example, the Iraq war is going so badly; it’s an important part of Bush not wearing well and his popularity is unprecedented. I mean it’s Jimmy Carter-type low or Nixon-low at 30 percent, so it’s not a long-run enduring type of strategy.

Snowshoefilms: Exposure of 9/11 could trigger yet another false flag terror attack….

Morgan Reynolds: The further we get to breaking it wide open, the more dangerous it becomes because will they react as cornered rats and act in a desperate way, do another 9/11, bigger, better? And that is a huge risk. They will do it if they think they need it. Now, that’s a huge risk but it’s a risk we’ve got to take.

The fact that we did not root out this rogue network in the 1960s when JFK was assassinated led to this series of escalating domestic events, terrorist outrages and we’ve got to stop it. That straight line leads to worse than a Constitutional crisis, so we’ve got to stop them.

[CREDITS roll over sound of jet engines]

FNB #120 by Roy Harvey/ interview transcribed by snowshoefilms

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updated June 2006