Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Memorial Project founder: "They decided that, 'we're just not going to address the issue' [of Islamic symbolism]"
Flight 93 is the symbol of our woken vigilance. We are supposed to be alert now, to jihadist enemies that hide amongst us, pretending to be trustworthy friends.
Those charged with the memorialization of Flight 93 have instead embraced an anti-spirit of Flight 93, regarding vigilance as somehow beyond the pale even of contemplation.
Listen to the words of Clay Mankamyer, one of the founders of the Flight 93 Memorial Project, describing the Project's reaction to warnings of Islamic symbolism in the Crescent of Embrace design. They asked the accused architect Paul Murdoch about it. They agreed with him that it was "too big a stretch" to think that he had conspired to intentionally include Islamic symbolism, and so they decided that: "we're just not going to address the issue." They made an up-front decision NOT to look at the facts.
Here is the audio (50 seconds) followed by a transcript:
Mankamyer is not ideologically disposed to be politically correct. He is a conservative Christian patriot, speaking in this instance to a Christian Coalition meeting (recorded by Bill Steiner, with the knowledge and permission of those in attendance, 9-18-2007, Greensburg PA). What seems to be operating here is a generous spirit of goodwill, unwilling to believe anything bad about this architect they had all worked with and put their trust in.
The controversy then arose. When I first heard it, it was a street preacher who had drawn attention to the similarities to the red crescent, and when you heard what he had to say about it, and looked at the design, there were without a doubt some striking similarities. He went to, I went to, Paul Murdoch and expressed some concern and wondered what they were going to do about it. Their decision was that, well, certainly everybody is going to see that any similarity is going to be just coincidental and it's too big a stretch to think that anybody conspired to create anything but a memorial to the heroes who WON the battle that fateful morning, and so they decided that, 'we’re just not going to address the issue.'
Goodwill only towards the man accused of an enemy plot
The problem is that Mankamyer et al. failed to similarly give the benefit of the doubt to those who were issuing warnings about the design. If they had treated the critics as credible people too, they would have let the facts decide, and Murdoch's dishonesty would have been quickly exposed.
When the controversy over the crescent name and shape first erupted, Murdoch denied that his giant crescent had the same shape as an Islamic crescent:
Theirs is a lunar crescent. Ours isn't based on that.Oh yeah? Zombie posted a "throbbing crescent" animation (no longer active) that showed otherwise, and Michelle Malkin broadcast it to the online masses. Here is a three panel re-creation:
"Throb on" shows the Tunisian crescent, matching the geometry of the Crescent of Embrace almost exactly: about 2/3rds of a circle of arc, with a circular inner arc. (Most definitely NOT a lunar crescent, which covers half a circle of arc and has an elliptical inner arc.) "Throb off" shows bare crescent site plan. (Click pic for larger image.)
All that people like Mankamyer had to do was actually look at what people were telling them and they would have known immediately that Murdoch was deceiving them. Instead, they explicitly decided that they were NOT going to look at the facts. They extended good will only to the man who was accused of perpetrating an enemy plot, while extending nothing but ill will towards his accusers.
"A shrine to Micky Mouse"
Mankamyer's presentation includes some wrenching examples of just how willfully blind he and others have become as they continued down their chosen fact-free path. Listen to the crazy excuse he comes up with for not being concerned about the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent (ten seconds):
This is clever? A Mecca-oriented crescent or arch shape is the central feature around which every mosque is built. A line across two windows does not orient anything, and the scumbags who hijacked Flight 93 did not pray to Micky Mouse five times a day.
You see what we are up against though. I could come in here and say... I could draw a point from this window to that window, and it goes right to Orlando Florida and this is a shrine to Micky Mouse. [laughter]
Of course Mankamyer was intentionally offering the stupidest example he could concoct as a way of suggesting that it is just as stupid to be concerned about planting a giant Mecca-oriented crescent on the Flight 93 crash site. If he had said that directly everyone in the room would have been disgusted, so instead he made the most disingenuous comparison he could come up with.
This is what their spirit of goodwill has degenerated into: pure malignant bias.
They all know about the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent
Notice that Mankamyer does not deny the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent. This squares with what Flight 93 Advisory Commission member Tim Baird told me in July 2007: that everyone involved in the Memorial Project is fully aware that the giant crescent does in fact point within two degrees of Mecca. They all just have excuses for why they are not concerned about it.
"I won't be concerned unless you can prove intent," Baird said, "and it is impossible to prove intent." i.e. Baird does not care what the facts are. There is absolutely nothing that could ever wake him up from his anti-vigilant slumber.
They all know that the public would never accept a giant Mecca oriented crescent on the crash site, regardless of whether it was intentional or not, so they lie about it. One project spokesman after another keeps declaring that factual claims like the Mecca orientation of the crescent are false and "preposterous."
How long before one of these fine upstanding citizens recognizes that it is wrong to keep lying to the public about explosive information that they all know to be true?
Mankamyer says that he would like to see a Congressional investigation
The scenes are quite astounding. Clay Mankamyer, a conservative Christian, manages to get a Christian Coalition meeting laughing about the Mecca orientation of the Flight 93 crescent. How do you ever live that down?
You start by trying. In the question and answer part of the meeting, Bill Steiner asked for an independent investigation, and Mankmyer said he would join Bill in that (10 seconds):
If Mr. Mankamyer would insist publicly on a Congressional investigation, it would go a long ways. So would admitting to the public that he and others in the Project are aware of the factual accuracy of the Mecca-orientation claim.
Bill Steiner: "The only concerns we have is that this design be fully vetted by a Congressional investigation before it goes any further."
Bill talks over Mankamyer's reply, but Mankamyer repeats himself enough to be heard: "And I would like ... I would join you in that."
Tom Burnett Sr. is asking everyone to help him get state and Congressional investigations started. It would certainly help if at least a few people from inside the Memorial Project would start telling the truth.
"I came into this world to be a witness for truth"
The heroes of Flight 93 did not obfuscate. They faced the harsh truth of their situation and acted as love required. Mankamyer understands that. He is a genuine patriot, who dedicated himself to the memorialization of Flight 93.
Somehow--apparently at the urging of architect Paul Murdoch--he let himself be guided by presumption, finding excuses to avoid unpleasant truths. (It was in talking to Murdoch that Mankamyer and others decided it was "too big a stretch to think anyone conspired" and they should therefore "not ... address the issue.")
Facing threat of death, Jesus told Pilate that he "came into the world to be a witness for truth" (Jn 18:37). This is his most fundamental instruction to his followers: trust in truth. Never EVER put presumption ahead of witness. For those who make this mistake, it is never to late to undo it.