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A Time for Courage
Carol Brouillet's Speech
Grand Lake Theater
February 23, 2006

The official 9-11 story is a lie, a hoax, used mercilessly to launch wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, with Syria and Iran looming on the horizon. The attacks on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, dissent and democracy throughout the world were designed to terrify people into silence, submission, to go along with “the authorities.” The most horrendous lie was that individually we are helpless, there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop this war, that war, any war, all war, the increasing power of corporations and governments seeking to control all the world’s resources and all of us.

Throughout history, tyrants arise and fall. People have had to struggle for liberation, justice, and the right to live.

Cheney, like Napoleon, believes that “Truth does not have to be suppressed, simply delayed until it doesn’t matter anymore.” Bush has said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you need to concentrate on.”

Without the smoke and mirrors of the mainstream corporate press, the lies cannot be maintained, and they are wearing thin. Euphemisms for lying are increasingly transparent. It looks like the “jig is almost up.” The threat of repression, another terrorist attack, another war continually ramp up whenever the credibility, popularity, control of the White House erodes.

Fear is the weapon of choice of the Bush Administration, and their Achilles Heel, when people find the courage to stand up to them and challenge them on any and all of the lies.

Allen Michaan, our wonderful patron who has given this space and his marquee to the cause of truth, Janette MacKinlay who organized this event have both shown true leadership, by standing up, and speaking out. Gypsy, too, has been and is organizing the 9-11 Film Festival, every Wednesday, at 7 00 pm 9-11 films are showing at the Humanist Hall; and she also, showed great courage by blowing the whistle on the 9-11 Commissioners when they were in San Francisco.

It has taken years of effort, and innumerable individual and collective acts of courage, to shred one by one the lies, the deceptions, the pattern. Each person who has come forward, each person who has held a sign, each person who has refused to be silenced, each drop in the ocean of humanity has helped to turn the tide. We are not alone, we are not isolated, we are connected, deeply, more closely than ever before, when there are so many of us seeking truth, peace, justice, and just a very few people trying desperately to cling to power and control, dependent on lies and fear.

If you are like me, there is nothing scarier than speaking in front of a huge audience (except maybe singing to them) and baring your soul publicly, but at times, we have to overcome our fears to realize our hopes, and our dreams. I have dreamed of redirecting humanity’s resources away from the military and towards healing and nurturing life and relationships. In order to do so, one has to do a few other things, such as changing most people’s belief systems, the monetary system, the global economy… It isn’t a one week, one month project, and probably requires a few lifetimes of effort.

The truth about 9-11, however, does challenge people’s belief systems, threatens the global economy, which currently is a war economy, and the monetary system, since the dollar has been dependent on cheap oil and U.S. control over it. My dreams are now needed solutions to real problems.

Our world has been in crisis/turmoil since 9-11, desperate for genuine leadership. Bush and Cheney have shown us the sort of leadership that mobsters use when they break a few windows and shakedown the storekeeper to hire them to protect themselves against vandals. We need to show the kind of leadership that exposes the “fake protection racket” and frees all of us from “extortion, fear and the threat of more violence.”

David Griffin has given us a wonderful gift in his patient, rational, expose of the “signatures of a special operation”- “the failure of standard operating procedures,” in the case of 9-11- the military’s failure to scramble planes, the destruction of evidence, the cover stories, the multiple timelines.

There are five very simple leadership rules that all of us should, take to heart, become part of our daily lives, to help in the positive transformation of this world. The first is to-

“Challenge the system.” Expose the lie, the hypocrisy, the truth, the true nature of the beast.


“Inspire a Vision.” Imagine a world without war, without terrorism, without tyrants. Imagine all the great and wonderful things we could do through cooperation, with other people, with nature.


“Model the Way.” We need to be the change that we would like to see, emulate all the qualities that we would like to see more in the world, and in one another. Do the jobs that need to be done, even when they seems scary.


“Enable Others to Act” Many people want to do something, but they might be missing a tool, a bit of information, some resources, support, suggestions, an opportunity to help or to speak. Sometimes just bringing people together to meet one another allows all sorts of synergies and projects to be born.


“Encourage the Heart” (1) Lives have been saved by timely words, encouragement, kindness. We each have more power than we consciously acknowledge; showing appreciation, recognition, joy, delight can energize, and strengthen people’s spirits and have a powerful ripple effect on others, too.

We do not need one great leader; we need a leaderful movement, a courageous multitude of voices that will not shut up, back down, cower in fear, that will demand truth, accountability and dismantle the current violent illegitimate regime while we build the most powerful, cooperative, life nurturing, respectful, fun, imaginative, synergistic system to replace it.

(1)- The Five Leadership Principles come from an excellent book- The Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, the textbook I had when I took a yearlong course from Leadership Mid-Peninsula.

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