Online Journal
Front Page 
 Special Reports
 News Media
 Elections & Voting
 Social Security
 Editors' Blog
 Reclaiming America
 The Splendid Failure of Occupation
 The Lighter Side
 The Mailbag
 Online Journal Stores
 Official Merchandise
 Progressive Press
 Barnes and Noble
 Join Mailing List

Analysis Last Updated: Apr 25th, 2007 - 02:04:23

Massacre as medium and message
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor

Apr 23, 2007, 02:16

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

I happen to be one of those old fashioned guys who think that the framers of the Constitution actually knew what they were doing when they wrote that the �right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.� In fact, I�m sure if the colonists didn�t have guns, there wouldn�t be a Constitution or an America today. It�s obvious that what we really need is a public dialogue about what�s going on in our society that drives some to violence.

Yet if I wanted to �sell� the gun control/band-aid in the US, the Virginia massacre and its crazed shooter would be the perfect medium to spin a message of fear and paranoia. See, Virginia is a �right to carry� state. And, when the college administration banned guns on the campus, it allowed Cho Seung-Hui to have a field day. But this man had already been declared mentally ill by physicians. Yet nobody managed to treat him, remove him from the society at large, or make it sufficiently known to gun sellers that his psychiatric profile banned him from using weapons.

In fact, given Cho Seung-Hui�s deadly proficiency with his Glock 9 millimeter and Walther 22 automatic, he seems much less a random than hand-picked nut, programmed to kill and self-destruct. So who would benefit from striking more gun-terror in the heart of Americans than the biggest gun-toting, terror-provoking administration in the world? And at a point when said administration is bargaining for more money for a war in which more people die in a day than in the last three biggest US campus slayings. Consider the following . . .

The CIA was recruiting at Virginia Tech

This little bombshell appeared in an article from Campus Watch in The online Roanoke Times on November 15, 2005. It reads �For the second time this year, the Central Intelligence Agency will be coming to Virginia Tech to recruit students. And for the second time this year, they will be met with protests from students who view the CIA as an immoral organization that engages in torture and murder.� Wouldn�t that interest a personality like Cho?

The article continues,�Nicholas Kiersey organized a protest last spring when the CIA came to campus. He released the following statement Monday about the CIA�s trip to Torgeson 3100 Thursday at 7 p.m.: �Blacksburg, VA, November 13, 2005 - A coalition of concerned graduate students and campus organizations at Virginia Tech are this Thursday staging a �teach in� to protest CIA recruitment on campus. Planned events also include the protest of a �career information� session to be held by the CIA later that evening . . .�

Now, if the agency were recruiting for a �Manchurian Candidate,� someone angry enough, alienated enough, vulnerable enough to mind-control and manipulate, someone with a record of mental illness and anti-depressant usage, Cho would be their man. We know all these things to be true about Cho Seung-Hui. The right handlers could have a field day with him.

The RT article adds . . .�On November 2nd, 2005 the Washington Post published an article entitled �CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons.� That article reported that the CIA has set up a covert network of secret prisons and interrogation centers, known as �black sites,� in several countries around the world, including several democracies in Eastern Europe and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba . . .�

The grad students clearly pointed out that the CIA had the will to kill and/or maim in the name of national security, however that is defined. In fact, it was the CIA that brought you Project MKULTRA as early as the 1950s, which pioneered the science of robotic mind-control for purposes of assassination or, in this case, conceivably mass murder.

Returning to the students� article, �The letter will request that Virginia Tech place a moratorium on all CIA activities on Virginia Tech�s campus until such time as a thorough and independent investigation certifies that the organization has been thoroughly reformed and no longer engages in practices that contravene international law and basic standards of human rights.� Yet, despite complaints, the agency showed up from nearby Langley, Virginia, and recruited. So much for the grad students� good intentions. Also, make note of this . . .

Some Cho family ties

From comes a story called: Virginia Tech Shooting: I�ve seen enough Already. Read and scroll down to Cho�s older sister, Sun-Kyung. �Sun-Kyung, graduated from Princeton University in 2004. A source, who asked to be identified as a senior Administration official, said she works for McNeil Technologies, a firm contracted by the State Department to manage reconstruction efforts in Iraq.� Ouch!

The McNeil Technologies Services page lists the following categories of corporate expertise: �Language Services, Information Management Services, Program Support Services, Security Services, and Intelligence Services.� In other words, McNeill�s your standard black-bag operation and conveniently located in Springfield, Virginia. No doubt, it is also capable of funneling a Cho Seung-Hui into the proper learning channels.

In July 2004, Veritas Capital acquired McNeil Technologies and its subsidiaries. It is a private equity investment firm headquartered in New York. Founded in 1992, its primary objective is to partner with experienced entrepreneurial management teams to develop leading companies in respective markets. As a long-term investor in the defense, aerospace, and government services sectors, Veritas established the Defense & Aerospace Advisory Council consisting primarily of former high-ranking government and military officials. The council provides Veritas with insight into industry trends from both business and policy perspectives. Veritas� principals bring over six decades collective investing experience through a variety of economic conditions.

With over $1 billion in investments, Veritas is able to offer unprecedented resources to its portfolio companies to help them satisfy their clients� requirements. Additionally, Cho�s uncle is a contractor to the State Department. Ironically, he provides personnel. Cho�s parents own a dry cleaning store, so they seem to be clean. Or are they?

Motivational profile

Revealing information comes from a New York Times piece, Gunman Showed Signs of Anger, which tells of a play Cho wrote called �Richard McBeef.� �Mr. Cho wrote of a teenage boy who accuses his stepfather of murdering the boy�s father and of trying to molest the boy himself. �I hate him,� the boy says of the stepfather in a copy of the play on the Web site. �Must kill Dick. Must kill Dick. Dick must die.�� Family abuse is duly noted here and the ensuing rage seems to echo in Cho�s real-life, run-amok rage.

One of his writing teachers, noted poet Nicky Giovanni, characterized him as genuinely �mean.� The mere mention of his coming to her class of 70 students drove 63 away. This was a person with a rep for scary impenetrable anger, not just to his peers but his teachers as well. The violations of pedophilia can be a potent force for generating murderous feelings. Ergo Cho may have been a victim in this case as well.


One of the participants (no. 23) on the blog, Virginia Tech Shooting I�ve seen enough, aptly sums it up: �I was in the army at 18 and have been a prosecutor and into self defense etc. all my life. No amateur pulls off what this guy did -- he was a professionally trained assassin somewhere . . . unless you fire an automatic hand gun often at the target range and are very familiar with firing it the tendency is for a jam to happen when multiple rounds are shot by an amateur (check it out for yourself -- one of the reason revolvers are generally better for self defense for people who do not go to the range on a regular basis with their firearm is they will get at least those rounds off without a jam while an automatic will often jam after the second round when it has not been broken in by firing many rounds etc).

�This whole thing timing wise etc. is very, very suspicious - - we are being controlled by a small group of psychopaths at the top, The Order etc. and we know that the �intelligence� agencies, following the Nazis with MKULTRA, have been working on this type of manchurian candidate programming for years. The fact that the school was �warned� [three times re a possible bomb threat] etc. is a great cover . . . Truly a great tragedy for these families as with the poor families being murdered in Iraq and across the world by conspiring psychopaths . . .�

The scenario

Any intelligent person looking at the facts must stop and wonder. Particularly that two people are shot dead at 7:15 AM Monday morning, April 16, at the West Ambler Johnson Hall Freshman Dormitory. Nearly two hours later the school issues an email that it is investigating the �shooting,� even though the campus was crawling with cops even before the event happened. In fact, CNN quotes a student in Paul Joseph Watson and Steve Watson�s article Virginia School Shooting: Another Government Black-Op? . . .

�What happened today this was ridiculous. And I don�t know what happened or what was going through this guy�s mind,� student Jason Piatt told CNN. �But I�m pretty outraged and I�ll say on the record I�m pretty outraged that someone died in a shooting in a dorm at 7 o�clock in the morning and the first e-mail about it -- no mention of locking down campus, no mention of canceling classes -- they just mention that they�re investigating a shooting two hours later at 9:22.�

He added: �That�s pretty ridiculous and meanwhile, while they�re sending out that e-mail, 22 more people got killed.�

Another glaring anomaly comes from The New York Times� Two-Hour Delay Is Linked to Bad Lead; that the deceased Emily Hilscher�s roommate told the police that Karl D. Thornhill, an ex-boyfriend of Hilscher, and a student at nearby Radford University, had guns at his town house: �But as they were questioning Mr. Thornhill, reports of widespread shooting at Norris Hall came in, making it clear that they had not contained the threat on campus. Mr. Thornhill was not arrested, although he continues to be an important witness in the case, the police said.�

Yet, �At the time of the dormitory shootings, Col. W. Steven Flaherty, the superintendent of the Virginia State Police, said, �There was certainly no evidence or no reason to think that there was anyone else at that particular point in time.�� Why not? Think of Columbine.

�State officials continued to defend the actions of the campus authorities. John W. Marshall, the Virginia secretary of public safety, said Charles W. Steger, the president of Virginia Tech, and Chief Wendell Flinchum of the campus police �made the right decisions based on the best information that they had available at the time.�� So right that . . .

�At an afternoon news briefing, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said Dr. Steger had asked him to appoint a committee to examine the university�s response and try to answer some of the remaining questions about the gunman�s actions.� How about the police�s actions?

�After the shootings, the state police executed another search warrant, this time for Mr. Cho�s dormitory room. The warrant said a bomb threat against the engineering school buildings was found near Mr. Cho�s body. The warrant mentioned two other bomb threat notes against the campus received over the past three weeks.� That one bomb threat was certainly a convenient find in the havoc.

In between all this, Cho was busy sending off his press kit to NBC from the local post office. It contained scary pictures of himself, a long rant of anger and disillusionment with wealthy spoiled kids. And he adds his solidarity with the Columbine duo (who were wealthy spoiled kids).

But whether or not Cho shot Emily and adviser Ryan Clark, he was very present for the major devastation and self-destructs on cue as the police, who have reappeared, close in. In a questionable post mortem, police claim all the victims were shot with the same gun. Would that be the 9 mm Glock or the 22 Walther? Or did they mean �guns?� It�s a big difference.

PS: We haven�t heard about Thornhill again. Cho remains the accused for both sets of murders, �the lone gunman.�

Net net

The Virginia massacre pushes Iraq War losses to back pages, along with the Supreme Court upholding the ban on dilation and extraction abortion (erroneously called �partial birth abortion�), and pushes back date of Gonzales� reckoning. And there will be much talk on gun control. Mostly, America is filled with more angst and terror talk: sylvan campus of Virginia Tech hit by crazed lone gunman.

Questions to ask now: how many of you are oiling your guns and how many of you don�t know a Glock or Walther from a hole in the wall and have no desire to learn? Do you feel more or less frightened than before? How many hours of �Virginia Massacre� coverage have you watched? How secure do you feel with the highest-budgeted intelligence and defense communities in the world seemingly unable to control catastrophes? And what would you give to fire them all?

Last, what does it mean that the Oklahoma bombing occurred on April 19 (1995); Columbine April 12, (1999)� and Virginia Tech on April 16 (2007). Is it as TS Eliot said in his poem The Wasteland . . .

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain . . .

Or is it that massacre is not just the medium but the message in America?

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York. Reach him at

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
Knee-deep blood in the land of make-believe
Housing bubble boondoggle: Is it too late to get out?
The dramatic suffering of Leszek Balcerowicz
Gonzales's long record of lawlessness
Massacre as medium and message
Good-bye Wolfowitz -- a retrospective
Trouble in Squanderville
A paradigm shift: America as proxy
From oil shocks to gas shocks
Doomsday for the greenback
Is UK-Iran marine incident part of larger war provocation plan?
An American Union under Bush
The greenhouse gas emission trading scam
Valerie Plame and the incredible shrinking cover story
Are labor unions terrorists?
The trillion-dollar defense budget is already here
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed�s Gitmo song: �Confession� or Bush administration propaganda?
Divide and . . . divide: Is this colonialism in its final throes?
Cooking the books: Pundits and executive chefs in the kitchen
Decadence, waste, corruption in the new American Empire [Part II]