11-9 and the Terrorist Who Loved Bonsai Trees

Most of us who continue to do research on 9/11 focus primarily on the question of what really happened that day. There will eventually be a definitive answer to that question that can be summarized in a few pages. But what is the meaning of 9/11, what are its implications? Philip Kraske’s superb thriller, 11/9 and the Terrorist Who Loved Bonsai Trees, as the title implies, holds up a mirror to 9/11, providing a way of understanding this horrendous event. The hilarious book-ending riff of Trudy’s comedian boyfriend sums up both the stupidity and the irony of it all.

— David Ray Griffin, Author of 9/11 Unmasked


Most of what passes for truth in politics is fiction, so why not use fiction to expose truths with 9/11 as the context? This is a great read by a guy who can create captivating scenes mixing personalities and individuality, intelligence and stupidity, the CIA and politics with sexuality and absurdity. I enjoyed it!

— Dr. James Fetzer, Scholars for 9/11 Truth


11/9 is an ingenious work, highly entertaining and serious simultaneously.  It’s so enjoyable while being serious that I  felt guilty (again) for enjoying it, a sign of really good writing.  A mirror to 9’11 indeed.

— Edward Curtin


A riveting thriller that explores how the media can report on events built on fantasy. The setting is impeccably written and elements related to it greet readers from the very first page as the author takes readers through the feel of the streets, the sight of buildings, and the general atmosphere in which the narrative evolves. The writing is atmospheric and it merges exciting images with a strong emotional pulse to keep readers fully engaged. You won’t want to put it down.

— Citation for Five-Star Award from Readers’ Favorite


Very entertaining!

— John Kiriakou


9/11? Seen-it-all, heard-it-all, not interested? How about a parallax view with mysteries, romance, action, plot twists — AND the right villain — for pure entertainment instead? That would be Phil Kraske’s fifth novel, «11/9 and the Terrorist Who Loved Bonsai Trees.» Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

— L. Reichard White


As a literary accomplishment, 11/9 is witty without being snide, knowledgeable in its technological expertise, poetic in its use of language, lively in its conversations and narration, consistently creative, rich in the variety of its characters and their speech, and gripping in its plot.

— Jim Hogue, Pooh’s Corner


Kraske allows readers to see beyond their Orwellian delusions with a degree of laughability and credibility that just might be transformative. And transformation in these times is what we need to break the cycle of deception and impunity that escalated with the denial of truth about 9/11.

— Don Four Arrows Jacobs, contributor to The Hidden History of 9/11 and co-author of American Assassination and Point of Departure.



Trudy Schelling arrives at her company in Jersey City, New Jersey, to start her first day of work at Hallerbee Net Research. The date is November 9. Barely through the door, she is grabbed by a man in military garb – one of several in the brownstone townhouse – but fends him off and manages to escape. Twenty minutes later, six terrorists, fleeing their botched job of planting a miniature atomic bomb in the Empire State Building, screech to a halt in front of the same townhouse, three police cars on their tail. The terrorists run inside, and a hostage standoff ensues, the dozen hostages ostensibly being Hallerbee employees.

Pursued through the streets of Manhattan, Trudy knows that the attack is a false-flag operation. In a matter of hours, she is portrayed in the media as the seventh terrorist of the group, and the entire country is baying for her blood. Her only hope is Paul Klippen, a State Department official whose lonely task is to expose the lies about her and stop war between the United States and Iran.


11/9 is available on all major book sites. On Amazon, print or Kindle, you can find it here.


From Chapter Two:


The hostage standoff had begun.

And from there, as everyone remembers: threats, bullhorns, telephoned demands, panicked evacuations of surrounding houses; policemen crouching, reporters purring, tiptoes hurting, photographers squinting. “Seemingly,” “reportedly,” “apparently,” “allegedly” – all the wet nurses of modern journalism rose to the task of covering a live crisis. SWAT teams unpacked lockers, Special Teams stretched muscles, local police chiefs sipped bad coffee, the White House expressed concern. Chin-stroking specialists from every fief in specialdom gathered at each end of the 100 block of Charlesdrew Street, where a little carnival of professionalism crackled and hummed, all at the service of the Public Good and the extinction of Public Danger.

And as the minutes ticked past, speculation spread its great white wings, soared, banked, wheeled, swooped and glided on every network TV show in the land. “Best bets” were postulated, “scary versions” articulated, and “worst case scenarios” despaired over. Newscasters echoed them, reporters tweeted them, and coffee-mug-gripping experts formed panels to flesh them out:

They’ll ask for a deal with the Israelis, said an ex-CIA officer.

We do not negotiate with terrorists, said an ex-Marine commander.

The material objective is to make them see the hopelessness of their situation, said a hostage expert.

A surgical strike, recommended an Air Force pilot with AfPak experience, though he admitted that “collateral” might be “an issue” for owners of nearby houses.

A floor plan of the brownstone was miraculously discovered, swiftly brought forward and delicately analyzed. Now I would imagine, Karen, that the hostages are being detained here, in the kitchen at the back.

But what if these men are hopeless – desperate – to start with? theanchorwoman objected. I mean, what is the state of mind running through these guys’ heads? And the scary thing is this could happen on any American street. That is all of us in that house.

Any American street. Around the country, this melodic, wondrously dehiscent phrase burst and flung its seeds across the land. Any American street: yours, mine, the newscaster’s, your best friend’s. Terrorists rife as termites could come running up to your house firing a gun and breaking down your door.

Max Venable:

“That’s right, Mr. Deputy Assistant Under Secretary of State for Political Whatnots: you are to beg off on your round of smart Georgetown cocktail parties and have a pissy great Friday down the pub with me,” I commanded, then dangled the carrot: “I might even pay for a round!”

So on a soggy Washington evening in August when rain is far more welcome than the muggy sun, and twenty minutes late for my own invitation, yours humbly, Max Venable, lumbered into the bar, still reading a student’s paper folded back in one hand. I sniffed the air – a mix of popcorn cloy and bar fug – realized that I was actually now in the place and looked over my reading specs till I spotted Paul, took a bearing and set my feet going, reading more as I felt my way along, muttering quaint excuses through the military and lobbying classes clustered around the U-shaped bar talking to each other and looking at their mobile phones. God, how I hate those little buggers.

“Who the bloody hell is General Shek?” I demanded of Paul, reaching his booth. I waved the paper. “Not a bad essay for an undergrad, but damned if I can place a General Bloody Shek.”

“Chiang Kai-shek?” Paul ventured.

I grabbed my beard. “Oh, bloody Christ. Oh, what a bloody great fool I am. Where’s my bloody –” I patted pockets madly till Paul slipped a pen from an interior pocket.

“Allow me, Professor.”

Sitting down opposite Paul, I snatched it and dashed a comment, then stuck Paul’s pen probably halfway into my mouth, thinking. “Makes more sense, actually – now that I know who General Bloody Shek is. I’m a sucker for proper style and grammar, you know. And none of that canned stuff off Internet. Analysis of America’s reaction to the Chinese Revolution: kind of a general theme – thought I’d give the kids one to stretch out and run with. Poor lass can’t help it if nobody told her that the Chinese put the family name first. Give her a B+. No, bloody Christ, with her poor parents paying 50 cracks a year. Bloody scandal what they charge for a scribble of education in this country.” I wrote A- at the top of the page and stuffed the paper into the wilds of my leather satchel.

Senator Dorothy Crick:

“We’re the few key people who can keep this country from plunging over the cliffs. And someone has got to do it, by God. In the next few years, the food shortages will begin, the water shortages. My god, what we’re doing to the aquifers! Rising temperatures, rising seas. By 2030 the situation will be critical. By then, we have got to have control of this planet. We have got to be the ones who, all alone, cut the pie, and cut it in our favor: ours, the Europeans’, and to some extent the Latin Americans’, who aren’t all that rational, but they have good fertile lands and water that’s still drinkable. The Australians and New Zealanders will always get along, they don’t concern me. And nobody gives a damn about Africa – including Africans. But the Asians and Russians – those people must be brought to heel. I suppose you don’t agree with this?” she asked suddenly.

“‘Agree’ – that isn’t quite the word here, Senator,” Paul said. “I think that it would be more accurate to say that I don’t normally think in such broad terms.” He paused, feeling her burning eyes on him. “But clearly it’s time that I did. And you make a good point: the deadline is coming, and the time to do something is now, not then. And the people to do it are us, not them.”

“Good,” said Crick. She stepped back and gave him a mannish swat on the arm. “Good for you. That’s exactly the right take. You know, when I was twelve years old, I went to protest marches with my flower-power parents?”

“Senator, you are full of surprises.”

“Yes: the hair, the love beads, the pot. And then the Vietnam War ended, and in six months, it all vanished. My parents were disgusted beyond belief. They were in it for a proper use of the earth’s resources, against all this materialistic hedonism. They said, ‘from now on, to hell with collective answers.’ My father cut his hair, went into real estate, made twenty million dollars in five years and two hundred million in the next fifteen. Spent it? Certainly he spent it. He bought half the state of Connecticut and began planting trees: oaks and maples and the like, trees that take a hundred years to grow ten feet high. Do you understand why I’m telling you all this?”

“So that I’ll understand how you’ve come to your point of view.”

“Excellent, Mr. Under Secretary. I’ve been in the forefront of every environmental fight in the Senate since Al Gore was in diapers.»

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