Kurt Sonnenfeld: un témoin gênant du 11/9

 La première victime de toute guerre est la vérité. Les raisons données pour attaquer l'Irak étaient sciemment frauduleuses. Les documents des renseignements présentés comme preuve avaient été fabriqués de toute pièce. Il n'y avait aucune arme de destruction massive et il n'y avait aucun lien avec al-Qaida. Nous savons tous que les autorités américaines ont essayé de nous dissimuler l'existence de prisons clandestines dans le monde et la torture systémique des prisonniers. Le gouvernement des Etats-Unis a menti. Le droit international a été violé.

Encore une fois les médias ont été manipulés, et certains ont volontairement joué le rôle de complice. Certaines équipes  d'information ont signé des contrats avec l'armée qui limitaient ce qu'ils étaient autorisés à rapporter, et certains journalistes étaient même payés par le gouvernement pour écrire des histoires favorables à l'administration. Comme l'a dit Josef Goebbels, "Celui qui contrôle le moyen de communication contrôle le message." Et l'agression a donc continué.

Mon livre ne traite pas des théories du complot, mais je présente ma théorie. Ma théorie est qu'il y eu une conspiration et j'aborde le sujet de mon point de vue et à la lumière de mon expérience. Mais surtout, mon livre raconte les évènements bizarres qui me sont arrivés (et qui m'arrivent toujours) après avoir réalisé mon devoir à Ground Zero.

J'étais au world Trade Center. Je prenais part à l'enquête officielle. Précédemment j'avais été vidéographe officiel du gouvernement américain pour des situations de crise ou de catastrophe. J'ai réalisé des travaux à caractère confidentiel dans de nombreux endroits classés secrets et nécessitant une protection maximale, liés à l'entreposage, au développement et au transport d'armes (et de leurs composants) nucléaires, bactériologiques et chimiques. J'ai participé à des simulations et des entrainements pour faire face à des catastrophes, des accidents graves et des évènements terroristes pour plusieurs différentes agences.

Immédiatement après les attentats du WTC, le quartier Sud de Manhattan a été bouclé et son accès a été interdit au public et aux médias d'information. Les caméras et appareils photos à l'intérieur du périmètre sécurisé étaient interdits sous peine de confiscation immédiate. On m'avait donné un accès total et illimité, pourtant, et j'étais chargé de documenter l'enquête et de fournir quelques vidéos édulcorées du lieu à tous les réseaux d'information dans le monde. Mais je n'ai jamais remis mes bandes aux autorités.

Depuis, durant les sept dernières années passées, j'ai été faussement accusé [du meurtre de sa première femme Nancy, NdT], emprisonné à deux reprises dans deux pays différents, torturé, placé en confinement solitaire, suivi sur deux continents et calomnié avec acharnement dans une campagne destinée à me déshumaniser de façon à ce que personne ne puisse protester, et à me discréditer de sorte que, lorsque je parle, personne ne m'écoute. Il y a quatre ans, l'ambassade étasunienne a envoyé une note aux officiels argentins pour qu'ils confisquent toutes mes affaires et documents et qu'ils m'extradent aux Etats-Unis. Jusqu'à maintenant, ma femme, mes filles jumelles et moi vivons en vase clos, cernés par les menaces et le harcèlement.

J'ai écrit ce livre pour sauver ma famille.

Scarlett, Paula, Kurt et Natasha Sonnenfeld

J'aimerais vous lire les dernières pages :

[...Lecture d'un extrait du livre Le persécuté p383-386. La transcription de ces pages est disponible en anglais sur l'article original...]

I would like to read the last few pages to you:

It’s been a few years since President Bush stood up on a cannon mount atop the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and exultantly shouted “mission accomplished” to the cheering troops who stood below him.

Since then, Saddam Hussein’s regime has been “decapitated”. Saddam himself was nearly decapitated, too. When he was hanged in front of a mocking crowd, his vertebrae shattered and ripped a large wound through the side of his neck. Two weeks later, when they hanged Saddam’s half brother, Barzan Ibrahimal-Tikriti, his head was completely torn away from his body, and both parts dropped to the ground beneath the gallows, convulsing and gushing torrents of blood.

But still the fighting continues. The region is more destabilized and resentments are strong. And hundreds of thousands of people have died in a war justified by lies and by fraud. More deaths and more lies are sure to follow.

Recently I saw photos, posted on-line by a German magazine, of an Iraqi boy only about three or four years old. He had been burned so badly by a phosphorous bomb that his skin had melted away. You could see the white bones of his ribs, and he had no fingers, no lips, no eyelids. But he was not “al qaeda”. Almost none, if any, of the casualties were. They were not “axis of evil”. They were not “haters of freedom”. They were babies, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, sisters and brothers, too. People who care and people who cry. Their deaths cannot be summarily dismissed as “collateral damage”.

What is the cost of a war? Who pays and who gains? War is expensive, but the money has to go somewhere. War is very profitable for the very few. And somehow their sons always end up in Washington DC, making the decisions and writing the budgets, while the sons of the poor and the poorly connected always end up on the enemy lines, taking their orders and fighting their battles. Many people have the hope that this will all end with the current administration. But it won’t. It’s been going on for a long time, in one way or another, and it won’t stop. The legacies live on.

If I’m lucky, and if God is willing, I will never go back to America. It’s the best I can hope for. But that’s okay. I have Paula. I have Scarlett and Natasha, too. And that’s all I need. And as unlikely as it once seemed to me, I have hopes, too. That’s more than I could ask for.

But its strange how memories keep sneaking up behind me, tapping on my consciousness and re-introducing themselves like some old forgotten friend. Sometimes when I walk past a fountain or a pond, I recall my father taking me to the lake when I was a child, throwing me high up into the air so I could splash down into the water. And after I grew up, going fishing with him at the same lake. And when the sky of the late afternoon is particularly golden, I recall my mother and I driving in the mountains, just the two of us, stopping to pick up garbage along the highway. When the wind blows, I think of riding fast on motorcycles with my brother. And when I listen to music, sometimes I remember all the long talks I used to have with my sister while she played her favorite records. And I always think about Mark, patiently teaching me the small details of television production or the big generalities of philosophy and religion. How I miss the people I might never see again. Sometimes I ache for them! And how I miss the mountains! The smell of lavender in the summer, the smell of snow in the winter, the smell of pine logs burning in fireplaces all year long.

I remember once shooting a segment on “cartoneros” for Graña’s program, “Informe Central”. The producer, Miguel, wanted a documentary portrayal of what life was like for them as they searched the streets at night for discarded recyclables to sell. It was almost midnight when we climbed into the back of their big communal truck to ride along with them to their homes in the villa, and everyone was in a good mood. As we bounced along through the city, balanced haphazardly atop the mountain of cartons they had collected, we interviewed a precocious teenage boy. More accurately, we just let him talk and recorded it all on tape. But then he began to ask about me. What was I doing there? Why was an American working as a cameraman for an Argentinean television show? How did that happen? They were good questions, and I tried to answer them. But the camera was rolling, my Vari-Lite was burning, and our story was about his life and not mine. And so to keep it brief, Miguel told the boy that I had once stepped into a time machine and traveled back in time. While I was in the past, I touched something that I shouldn’t have. And when I returned to the present, everything was different. I thought that was a better explanation than I could have ever offered.

Recently, we were in a café near the Plaza de Mayo. Paula was talking on the cell phone. Scarlett was busily occupied with sugar packets and napkins and Natasha was immersed in drawing pictures with her finger in a little pool of water on the table. The café was insulated from the noise on the street, and it was quiet inside, too. I just sat there, thinking, my arms folded across my chest, and watched through the window at the busy hustle on the street and the people as they walked by. I looked at their eyes and tried to imagine what was their experience of life. Here is a businessman hurrying by. And there a doctor. And there, perhaps a lawyer. A delivery boy, an engineer, a secretary, a waiter. On the corner was a shoe shiner. On the curb a drunk. Some are blessed. Some are cursed. By God, by nature, by man, or by circumstance. What triumphs had catapulted them to their heights? What tragedies had knocked them to their depths? And what surprises lay in wait to change their direction completely?

No one knows if they won’t die of some terrible disease, be badly injured in an accident, be killed by an airplane crashing into a building, be kidnapped, be falsely accused, be chased across continents, lose everything. We can’t know. We can never have that solace. Fundamentally, we are all terrified. We all decay and die, despite the illusions we create for ourselves.

I too was once hurrying by café windows on my way to work, full of plans and hopes, getting things done. And then an extraordinary series of events occurred, and all of that was gone, replaced by threats and dangers from all sides. When I first arrived here, I didn’t have much hope that I would last another month. But then, as if by a miracle, Paula came into my life, and I squeezed out a few more drops of grace from this world that was at once beautiful and horrible. Now I rather like it here. I want to stay for awhile.

What do we think about when we think of paradise? That everything is beautiful and that there are no threats to us. What is it that we imagine when we imagine happiness? It’s that we no longer have to defend ourselves.(“El Perseguido”, pages 383 - 386)

I sincerely thank you for honoring us here today with your presence. Thank you everyone! And thank you Argentina, the land of my wife Paula, the country we have chosen for our daughters, and also my country.

Thank you.


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