by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
September 11, 2001 began as a perfect day in New York City. The first taste of autumn was in the air. It felt like a wonderful time to be alive.
Then, everything changed.
In those endless hours after the first plane hit, we waited to find out if those we loved had survived. People around the world were praying for us and for America.
From home in California I prayed for my daughter, Morgan, who was to have been in the Twin Towers that morning. Later, I learned the trip planned for her to replace her fiance's bank card had not happened because they quarreled. After their squabble John Fund went off in a huff to his office in the Wall Street Journal. He returned late in the day, covered with white dust, accompanied by two security guards who had walked with him across the bridge to Jersey City.
My relief when Morgan answered her phone brought me to tears.
In the first shock and grief following 9/11 millions around the world opened their hearts to America. It seemed as if the long ached for peace, bringing humanity together, was within our grasp.
The next week, touched by the memory of fear and hope I wrote this poem.
No. 20 - Crimson Blossoms Sheer and Rend
Crimson Roses rent the sky; bringing down the autumn sun.
Fracturing the pillared towers;
Sudden death writ red as flowers.
My mind arrested; could not accept, the changes sudden that deformed
The world I knew was shattered there,
inside an autumn newly born.
The scenes surreal, the tears, the shock; the frantic search for those we love.
Trembled tones and dust choked eyes.
The fall of towers from the sky.
Deforming shock of memories, rescinding trends of history.
From grief surrendered; steel bent scope.
Was reborn an edge for hope.
Our courage spent as offered gift; lives to save mean more than risk.
A shroud of dust had cloaked the sky
A cloak of courage, death denied.
A thousand little moments bled, in mind made journey, our griefs unsaid.
As human actions moved our minds.
Ears heard echoes of the divine.
Erupting roses burned our eyes, remaking worlds we will not see.
Recasting all our best beliefs;
replacing them with soul seared grief.
Transforming death; unbending love; our undeflected will to hope.
These the gifts that roses brought
revealing need for truer scope.
We all felt the potential for coming together, I think. But time taught us how differently a small group of people viewed 9/11.
That outpouring of compassion from across the globe was transformed into the wet dream of NeoCon greed. Afghanistan was invaded. Harsh voices urged more violence based on what we now know were lies. The bipartisan trust according the White House was used with calloused disregard of the truth. Further events were manufactured to keep us in fear.
And the political operatives, masquerading as media, were accorded heady powers as the rush for death and profits began.
John Fund, whose speed dial's first two numbers are Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, was doubtless briefed on the exciting opportunity 9/11 presented for carrying out the war against Iraq. Invading Iraq was in the plan when George W. Bush lied his way into the White House in 2000.
For Fund, 9/11 and its aftermath included the opportunity to evade charges of domestic violence. For Karl Rove and company, everything is political.
The next year and a half were surreal. It was as if the shock of falling towers continued as a psychic barrage. It was a time which changed me and my personal world, forever.
Why Saddam Hussein Had to Die
In November, 2002 I was asked, “Is Qusay something like E-Bay?” The query came from my daughter, Morgan. She and I are now estranged.
That November, Morgan was in hiding with a sympathetic family in Georgia, following an attempt on her life by John Fund, her former lover.
Although Fund was employed at the Wall Street Journal as a journalist, serving on their Editorial Board from 1995 - 2001, his real job was as a political operative. By the late 90s he was working for what would become the Bush Administration. His long career in the field of disinformation began with the Koch brothers in 1979. At the time he was claiming to be a Libertarian. He also claimed he had run for office. Both of these were lies according to Justin Raimondo in his article, John Fund vs. the Truth, published in Antiwar. Com April 27, 2006.
Lying to the public, manufacturing evidence, and destroying lives, was standard practice for the NeoCons in control of the Bush White House. Viewing themselves as possessing the right to rule they were following the political philosophy of Leo Strauss.
John came into his association with them already trained. As an operative, John Fund inserted fabricated information into public consciousness. I can say this with authority because he kept in touch with me, feeding me lies which included both Democrats and their political enemies within the Republican Party.
Protecting Fund was important to the NeoCon White House. Protecting their constructed scenario for the War in Iraq being sold to the public, was essential.
In the years leading up to the opening of the War in Iraq ordinary Americans still believed those in control of their government understood their obligation to act only on the facts and act justly. We were wrong.
This narrative uses one story, a minor one, involving one woman without a conscience, Morgan Pillsbury Gell, to illustrate the ruthlessness and lack of human values at the core of the Bush Administration. These policies continued with Obama without change.
The Personal is also Political - Demanding Proof
Morgan was a manipulator and a liar, and my entire family knew this from the time she was still in her teens. But we did not know about psychopathy – then.
Morgan came by the condition, which can be inherited, through my first husband, Richard Lee Barteaux, a psychopath who was supported by his wealthy parents all of his life. Richard died of severe cirrhosis of the liver in 1983.
I left him after six months and never saw him again for good and sufficient reasons.
I began to demand Morgan provide evidence for events too incredible to believe in 1999. She and I were no longer speaking when she called me from her apartment in Jersey City to tell me she was broke and starving. She said she had been in a relationship with John Fund for nearly a year.
Having asked John Fund, who I had known politically since 1979, about the relationship the previous March, I told her she was lying. John claimed to know her only casually, having fed her cat for her once.
At that moment, John called her. Putting me on hold, Morgan took his call, recording it. Calling me back she said, “Just listen.” What I heard was a stunning indictment of any claim by John Fund to honesty. At the very time he an I were talking Morgan was in Los Angeles aborting his child.
This would become known as the Weasel Search Tape for the website which originally hosted both tape and article, published in 2001.
Although I told Morgan, in the strongest possible terms, she should walk away from the relationship and return to college, she refused the offer. Instead she asked me to help her find a job in New York. I agreed to assist her.
During the year I paid for an apartment in New York Morgan spent far more time with Fund than looking for a job. She later told me he was living at the apartment with her about half the time.
At the beginning of 2001 it was clear Morgan had no interest in working for a living and I ended my assistance to her. With the plane ticket I provided she returned to New York from California. Occasionally, I heard from her but her focus continued to be her relationship with Fund.
On May 2, 2001, Morgan called to tell me she had just heard from John, who had phoned her, dead drunk. The reason for celebration was the end of the Blumenthal - Drudge suit for libeling Blumenthal as a wife abuser.
This event seemed to mark a change in their relationship. Soon, he asked her to move in with him.
Sex, Lies, and the Tape
But there were complications. Morgan had provided interviews about her relationship with Fund to John Connolly of Vanity Fair. She had also provided Connolly with the 1999 recording, now known as the Weasel Search Tape.
If you read through the characteristics of psychopathy, according to Dr. Robert Hare, Morgan's actions, and those of the NeoCons make chilling sense.
The beatings started after Connolly's article, “Sex, Lies, and the Tape,” was published, September 4, 2001.
Morgan, born July 5, 1967, was then 34 years old. Later I learned, psychopaths court disaster because they enjoy living on the edge. This behavior was in evidence all of her life.
While the trauma of 9/11 was playing out, with its grief, anguish, and shock, most Americans, being emotionally normal, still trusted their government. The NeoCons in the White House used this opportunity for carrying out plans already made for war. Instead of using the tragic events to enact peace, they invaded Afghanistan, and continued their plan to invade Iraq.
In parallel with these events, Morgan and John were spiraling down to violence. John would batter Morgan multiple times. I heard this happening on the phone, as did Eric Buchanan, the husband of the couple who later hid her in Georgia.
Although what Eric and I heard was offered as evidence many times, we were ignored.
Domestic Violence is a Crime
Listening to what was transpiring through the phone that day nauseated and sickened me. That first time I still did not believe Morgan, who had told me about the beatings a few days earlier. That changed after this first incident.
It started with Morgan's voice dropping and growing unsteady as the sound of the door opening came through the phone. She left the phone on, probably putting it down. Then John began talking. He accused her of breaking 'the rules,' talking to other people and repeating a bewildering list of requirements she was to follow to retain his trust.
His voice began rising. It sounded like he was beginning to snarl, like he was an animal preparing to attack. Even more frightening, Morgan sounded like a little girl, her voice growing shaky and rising in pitch.
I heard something crash, like it was knocked over. This was followed by the sound of a hand hitting flesh. Morgan cried out but I could not understand her words. John, however started laughing, a deep, maniacal sound that made me shudder. I could not stop listening, but my hands were shaking and I had to use both of them to hold on to the phone.
It went on for a long time. Blow following blow, each accompanied by her little girl voice, begging him to stop. Finally, I heard him ask what she had made for dinner. From Morgan, there was no sound.
I hung up and called the Jersey City Police. It was not long before I had the number memorized. I began to learn how events are manufactured and altered beyond recognition. John knew a lot of people in politics.
The police and the authorities in New York and New Jersey knew these incidents had been heard both by myself and by Eric Buchanan. Neither of us were ever called or mentioned in their reports. We offered statements. Neither of us was allowed to give one in the months, and years, which followed.
Criminal Minds – Political Lies
I vacillated between rage at how Morgan was being treated and wondering if she deserved it, as everyone else in the family believed. My third daughter, Ayn, told me, “We should let John solve the problem for us.” She meant Morgan. But even though Morgan was a liar she was still, then, my child. I could not turn my back on her.
Those screams and the sound of John's maniacal voice still haunt me today, even knowing she has no conscience or empathy for others.
I had felt as if the blows were landing on my own body.
In late January Morgan finally listened to my pleas and agreed to move to an apartment in New York, for which I paid.
A few days later she called and told me John had found her and moved it. It felt as if my stomach had dropped out. I was dizzy and nauseated. To say it was surreal understates the case. I could not believe she had permitted it.
But she began sending me scans of John's mail, which he would leave there on the floor, for instance, the letter to him from Fidelity Investments, dated January 25, 2002. John is also a habitual liar, then claiming Morgan was out of his life.
In March I flew in to see some plays with a friend, calling Morgan from the taxicab a few blocks away. When Morgan answered the phone I could hear John talking in the background. When I arrived Morgan was bloody and he was gone.
I insisted she file a police report, as any normal person would do. I hoped the police in Manhattan would be different. Initially, they were. But what I did not know, because she did not tell me, was that John had been promised help by Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. He had apparently found her so he could extort the proof in the form of the notarized statement. She did this because John offered to pay her. I was stunned to learn she would lie for money without blinking.
I had never imagined domestic violence would be viewed as a political issue and handled accordingly. I was wrong.
An attempt on Morgan's life took place in late April, 2002. Someone with a key turned the first lock. Morgan, who was talking to me on the phone as she stood in the tiny kitchen next to the entry door, threw the deadbolt. I immediately told her to call security. The camera showed a man's back leaving the building. The Manhattan police refused to investigate.
The search began for someplace where she would be safe. Morgan left New York as if she was headed to spend a weekend in the Hamptons, her other possessions shipped, one box at a time, ahead of her.
Desperately Seeking Help
During the time we were desperately looking for help Sidney Blumenthal had ignored our pleas for assistance. The police and DA's office were refusing to follow the law in the case of domestic violence filed by Morgan against John Fund on February 19, 2002.
It was Fund who had come up with the idea for Matt Drudge to libel Blumenthal as a wife beater. Instead of helping, Blumenthal tried to persuade Morgan to supply material for his book, “Clinton's War.“ The request was made via this email, dated June 22, 2002. Morgan refused and was very angry with his dismissal of a real case of domestic violence and the attempt on her life.
She was even angrier a short time later. Blumenthal, she discovered, had stolen the information he had requested from her computer, using a keylogger. She had found the Keylogger and traced its origin.
Morgan returned the favor. Soon, she was reading the never ending revisions of Sidney's book and his emails.
When Morgan left New York I stopped having nightmares about flying in to view her body. During this time, the ramp up to the invasion of Iraq was mounting.
The Ramp Up to War
In September of 2002, along with the rest of Americans, I listened as the claims for Weapons of Mass Destruction began, were debunked, and then began again, reaching the level of hysteria. In October, the National Intelligence Estimate became available. It was all remote, horrible, but without immediate impact on us. I thought.
Morgan had never kept up on unfolding events for anything but what immediately interested her. However, what interested her had changed somewhat, beginning in early summer, 2002 due to events in her own life. By November she had been monitoring traffic to and from the computer owned by Sidney Blumenthal for six months.
Later, I realized what must have been happening in the background, out of sight.
Saddam Considers His Options
Having considered his options, Saddam Hussein, whose career had started as an operative for the CIA, offered to leave Iraq, if he was paid. He could have had no illusions about what happen if Iraq was invaded. But he probably believed the powers set against him would be happy to lower their transaction costs for getting access of Iraqi oil. He was wrong, too.
The Bush agenda had assigned a role for Saddam. He was to be the villein in the drama, now launched. Therefore, his continued presence was essential. Bush wanted him dead, and dead he was going to be, the facts not withstanding. How much this would cost in money, lives and suffering, was not an issue.
But someone had to keep Saddam in place and this could not be anyone associated with the Bush Administration. So, in late 2002 Bill and Hillary Clinton, aided by Sidney Blumenthal, undertook the job via emails which flowed through the Blumenthal computer.
Reassured, Saddam Hussein stayed in Iraq.
Morgan was still reading Sidney's emails in between baking cookies in the middle of the night and trips with Mrs. Buchanan to Walmart.
When Morgan sent me the first email involving Saddam Hussein I had a friend, expert in computers, ascertain where the email sent to Blumenthal originated. The answer came back, the Emirates, likely Baghdad.
I knew perfectly well it was illegal for the Clintons, now private citizens, to manipulate policy. I still could not imagine a presidency which routinely manipulated events for their own profit as anything but treason. I also could not imagine this kind of cooperation between Bush and Clinton, given what the NeoCons had done to Bill during the Monica Lewinsky Debacle.
I knew it was my duty to inform authorities, which I did.
In the mean time, Morgan and Eric had managed to get a keylogger on Qusay's computer by using a subject line which read, “Women without Veils.”
Morgan was watching on March 20, 2003 at about 02:30 UTC, or about 90 minutes after the lapse of the U.S. 48-hour deadline for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his sons to leave Iraq ended. According to The Pentagon, 36 Tomahawk missiles and two F-117 launched GBU-27 bombs were used in this assault.
The targets were high-level Iraqi governmental officials, including Saddam Hussein himself, and were based on intelligence which led the U.S. government to believe it knew his movements. Civilian buildings were also hit.
On May 29, 2003, it was claimed the Bunker never existed, but the computer was definitely hit. Morgan told me about watching as the ping moved to CIA headquarters in Virginia, calling me immediately afterward.
I had told Morgan the Clintons and Blumenthal would be charged with treason. When this did not happen I realized I had failed to understand the NeoCons running the Bush Administration.
We would now become targets ourselves. This began April 1, 2003. See the John Fund site /Time Line & Evidence. Scroll down to April Fool's Day, 2003.
We knew too much. Our credibility needed to be destroyed. With Morgan, this was not hard to do. Even I, her mother, did not believe her without hard proof. With me this was somewhat more difficult.
I had been active in politics and organizations for years.
Overtly, they ignored me. The DA's office refused to take a statement from me regarding John Fund's battery of Morgan.
Knowing most people are ignorant of the law they secured what they needed to put paid to Morgan's credibility.
In the spring of 2003 John Fund received from Green Hills Software, Inc., the corporation for which my former husband was Senior Vice President, an uncertified deposition Morgan had given in early 2001. This went up on a website he and his girl friend, Gail Herriot put up on June 21st . The site came down soon after May 17th 2014, shortly after I published an article pointing out the deposition was illegally obtained and used.
On April 9th Dan O'Dowd incorporated the Fallen Heroes Last Wish Foundation with a goal of providing $5,000 each for college to 100 orphans of servicemembers who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The site was announced on the April 10.
In return for their assistance Green Hills Software, Inc., began getting defense contracts, eventually becoming a major supplier of software for drones through Green Hills and, eventually, its wholly owned subsidiary, INTEGRITY Global Security. Green Hills President O'Dowd also made sure I did not get the stock due me from my divorce.
This was another “Throw Mama from the Train” deal like the one Dan O'Dowd had made with my former husband, his Senior Vice President, Craig Franklin in late 1997.
Craig had made sure Dan's partner, Glenn Hightower, could not exercise his buy out option by orchestrating a walk out of critical personnel during due diligence. In return, O'Dowd had a new stock option agreement written by an attorney in Los Angeles, Anne Fisher.
The campaign to destroy our credibility and my financial resources picked up steam as Operation Iraqi Freedom continued.
John persuaded Eric Alterman and other ambitious journalists to write hit pieces. Alterman's piece appeared in The Nation on May 15, titled, "Who Framed John Fund?," published in The
Nation. Herriot wrote an email letter to Gene Gaudette, an editor of the site where the Connolly article is still hosted.
Nation. Herriot wrote an email letter to Gene Gaudette, an editor of the site where the Connolly article is still hosted.
On July 22, 2003 Wendy MacElroy, a struggling writer who called her self a feminist while supplying articles to men's groups explaining why women are as violent as men, traded a hit piece for a continuing gig at Fox News. The article, False Rape Charges Hurt Real Victims.
MacElroy did not bother to call either myself of Morgan. I had known MacElroy personally since the 70s.
Cheney arranged to have me hit with IRS liens. With the public relations extravaganza on the war then building I knew all too well it was unlikely anyone would pay attention or believe me.
For the next eleven I was left caring for a disabled son, 24/7 with no money and no resources. When I say we nearly starved several times I am not exaggerating. I know how ruthless these people are from very personal experience.
But over the next years the learning curves of millions has continued. Our world had changed and so have we. What has not changed is the lack of conscience in those who today hold power.
Today, we have endured the trauma of endless wars, destroying nations, murdering millions of innocent people. All of this was carried out to profit a small elite who also have further plans for us.
The individuals who orchestrated this reign of terror, controlled by both major political parties, are following the same marching orders now as they did then. For them, there are no rules.
For those of us who empathize, trust, and love, seeing is believing. Those without conscience have no limits.
Today, the reality of psychopathy, those without conscience, is finally sinking in. Theories on the meltdown of the economy now acknowledge the impact of the disordered. Agencies such as the FBI take it into account.
I learned in ways which were immediate and personal. Questions from an entire lifetime were answered when I realized Morgan is a psychopath, too. Understanding how the lack of a conscience alters behavior forced me to see the world through their eyes. It was a frightening moment.
Pieces of an enormous puzzle suddenly fit for me personally, politically, and spiritually.
In their hands 9/11 became not a beacon for peace but a much desired justification for endless war and profits. They have no beliefs. When you hear them use the words and images which touch our hearts and evoke our trust they are feeling only the satisfaction of having fooled us.
Republican, Democrat, there is no difference. We must lose our illusions and move past the barriers constructed to keep us divided.
Saddam was marked for death because he knew too much. Having been part of a previous scam he had to have realized he had finally been scammed himself. The power he thought he held was illusion. The illusion killed him.
He had become more useful as a symbol for evil than as a hired player in their game. The fact he had nothing to do with 9/11 was irrelevant.
Learn to see through the eyes of a psychopath. Understand them, act locally, where we can better observe those around us. At the same time, be aware of what is happening around the world.
Real security is only possible when facts are transparent globally and locally. When this is so we are no longer vulnerable to manufactured illusions. We need this because only then will peace, justice, and a clean and healthy Earth be possible for our children.
Notes: And John Fund is still employed, though now at National Review. Here is the site I put up which seemed to make him rethink keeping his own site active.