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The Encyclopedia of 9/11.
September 6, 2011 2:43 PM   Subscribe

New York Magazine's Encyclopedia of 9/11.
posted by Sticherbeast (195 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dang. I thought it was about Chile.
posted by williampratt at 3:03 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thank you for the reminder that I should avoid all news outlets and most television and much of the internet for the next two weeks, starting now.

I mean that sincerely.
posted by tzikeh at 3:22 PM on September 6, 2011 [50 favorites]


No entry for "Blowback".
posted by Trurl at 3:32 PM on September 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Thank you for the reminder that I should avoid all news outlets and most television and much of the internet for the next two weeks, starting now.

The NYT was 9/11-obsession-free this past weekend. It's the first time in a long time I've been impressed with the NYT. (Of course, they managed to write a couple of boneheaded obvious articles as well.) Don't know if they'll keep it up, though.
posted by hoyland at 3:33 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does every fucking 9/11 retrospective have to give a nod to the conspiracy theorists?
posted by weinbot at 3:34 PM on September 6, 2011


Since 9/10/11 is such a cool date (almost as fun as the upcoming 11/11/11), can't we just have two of those instead?
posted by JaredSeth at 3:36 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


THE DAY THAT CHANGED AMERICA FOREVAR
posted by nathancaswell at 3:52 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well I for one appreciate all the reminders because I keep forgetting even though I said I wouldn't.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:53 PM on September 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


I only see bold text asking me to save 85% off the newsstand price.

Should I pay these people or buy my 9/11 from someone else?
posted by swift at 3:53 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who's Evar? I have a few words I'd like to say to him.
posted by loquacious at 3:53 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, every retrospective SHOULD give a nod to the "conspiracy theorists". The official account simply doesn't stand up to the facts and "retrospectives" like this one never actually print any of the dissenting evidence that proves the official conspiracy theory false. The molten steel and Thermate found have yet to be explained, you all deserve to know what happened that day, and you aren't being told. Go forth and educate yourself, quickly!
posted by jutepanama at 3:55 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I used to use a Thermate while hiking, but it wasn't the best.
posted by dhartung at 3:59 PM on September 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


Are you serious? You signed up for that, jutepanama?

Thanks for the comic relief anyway!
posted by Justinian at 4:01 PM on September 6, 2011 [15 favorites]


The Lonegunmen were right, the Clone Wars are derived from current events.
posted by clavdivs at 4:02 PM on September 6, 2011


Heh. I'm reading the print edition right now, in a bagel shop in Tribeca.

Yeah, the total immersion method of 9/11 memorialization is annoying, but give this particular article a second look. The entries on 9/11 jokes (by Jim Holt, under H for Humor), on Mark Green, who had been the front runner in the mayoral campaign until that morning ("I think I’ll win, unless there’s some big unexpected event that changes everything.” —Mark Green, to his wife, Deni, September 24, 1999), and on the experience of kindergarteners evacuated from a nearby school (under K for Kids) are all particularly interesting.

Imagine being this particular (then) five-year-old:
[My mom] brought me about a block and a half away from the Towers and put me in a fire truck—she worked with the FDNY. She went off to run messages because the Handie-Talkies weren’t working ’cause they were so overloaded. While I was in the truck, firemen were telling me messages to give to their children and their wives and everything, like, “Tell my kid I love him,” “Tell my wife I love her.” One fireman said to me, “Grow up and be a good man.”
posted by ocherdraco at 4:04 PM on September 6, 2011 [18 favorites]


If they are going to keep doing this, at least make it a national holiday.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:06 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I've had to turn WNYC off a few times in the last week. They're doing this like 9/11 music thing, which I guess is a good thing, but their most requested piece was Barber's Adagio for Strings. This made me cry like a baby.

Funny, after the 08 elections 9/11 seemed like something wherein the nation had been to the dark side and we'd learned to be reasonable because of it. Now, 9/11 feels like the beginning of the end
posted by angrycat at 4:07 PM on September 6, 2011


Thanks for making my point about education, you should learn the difference between therMATE and therMITE. Thermate is an advanced form of thermite and has been found in dust samples tested from 911, by a bunch of people, whom all came the same conclusion independently. What exactly is the official explanation for Thermate in the dust samples? Oh wait that's right, that hasn't been explained.
posted by jutepanama at 4:08 PM on September 6, 2011


It is a national holiday. It is

PATRIOTS day

with a side of blargh
posted by angrycat at 4:09 PM on September 6, 2011


If they are going to keep doing this, at least make it a national holiday.

Might as well replace Labor Day as the Holiday in Spetember. It doesn't mean shit anymore.

The Lonegunmen were right, the Clone Wars are derived from current events.

Actually, the WTC attack was stolen from the pilot episode of the X-Files spin-off show "The Lone Gunmen". Enough conspiracy for you?
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:10 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well ya got me to google thermate. I'm done lernin for one day, If I wanted to learn I woulda went to school.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:12 PM on September 6, 2011


Actually, the WTC attack was stolen from the pilot episode of the X-Files spin-off show "The Lone Gunmen". Enough conspiracy for you?

How about Tom Clancy's Executive Orders?
posted by hoyland at 4:13 PM on September 6, 2011


jutepanama: The molten steel and Thermate found have yet to be explained

dhartung: I used to use a Thermate while hiking, but it wasn't the best.

jutepanama: Thanks for making my point about education

No, no, thank you for making a whole other point about education.
posted by tzikeh at 4:17 PM on September 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Go forth and educate yourself, quickly!

Please, educate me! What I want is for you to make specific claims. Then, when the experts of MeFi are unable to debunk the claims, we will all be educated!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:21 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hoyland, I think you mean Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor. Speaking of which...

I'm never going to get around to finishing the post I've been tinkering with, so I might as well stick the links in here. I got stuck trying to figure out how to present the article objectively, while still pointing out how much I disagree with the author's argument that "myths" 2,3, and 5 are false (in case that isn't clear, I think in some sense the terrorists did win, because we did overreact and U.S. civil liberties were decimated).

Five Opinions about 9/11
Amidst the deluge of 9/11 anniversary coverage, the Washington Post has published an article entitled "Five myths about 9/11."

The author of the piece is Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Advisor to the President of the Rand Corporation and Director of the Mineta Transportation Institute's Transportation Security Center.

According to Brian Michael Jenkins the Five Myths about 9/11 are:

1. September 11 was unimaginable
Since the article doesn't provide them, here are a few links to counterexamples mentioned by the author:
1972 Southern Airways hijacking, where the hijackers threatened to crash into Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
1994 Air France hijackers threaten to crash into the Eiffel Tower.
The planners of Operation Bojinka contemplated crashing into CIA headquarters in 1995.
The author doesn't mention them, but I always think of the B-25 that crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945 and Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor, published in 1994, which ends with a Japanese airliner deliberately flying into the U.S. Capitol.

2. The attacks were a strategic success for al-Qaeda.
Jenkins argues that 9/11 was a tactical success but a strategic failure, as the U.S. responded with overwhelming force. Others would argue that the terrorists succeeded because they caused the United States to overreact and abandon its democratic principles.

3. Washington overreacted
4. A nuclear terrorist attack is a near inevitability
5. U.S. civil liberties were decimated after the attacks

The article is part of the Washington Post's Five Myths series.
posted by postel's law at 4:24 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


It always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside when people make comments like that, it tells me that you are incapable of actually making an intelligent argument when presented with facts and have to resort to playground name calling. You can take all the shots you want at me, it really doesn't bother me, but you lack credibility unless you can actually refute what I am saying.
posted by jutepanama at 4:25 PM on September 6, 2011


What are you saying?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:27 PM on September 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


That we're all stupid, apparently.
posted by elizardbits at 4:29 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh god go away.
posted by lalex at 4:29 PM on September 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


If they are going to keep doing this, at least make it a national holiday.

FOR SERIOUS, THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE LAST FUCKING THING I WANT.

My niece and nephew are 3 and "just barely two months" right now. I realized recently that I'm actually looking FORWARD to the day some years in the future when one of them calls me for a chat because "I have this history project? Where we have to, like, talk to someone we know who lived through some big history event? And dad said that you lived in New York on 9-11, and so I was hoping that maybe I could, like, interview you about it for my project?"

And the reason I am looking forward to that is because that will be the day that finally, FINALLY, this event fades into the other events that have happened to people rather than being The One Thing That Touched Us All. I'll be there in with the neighbor who was in New Orleans during Katrina, or the big sister who was in Iraq, or the grandfather who was in Vietnam, or the grandma who was at Woodstock, or the uncle or big brother who saw Obama give his acceptance speech in Chicago the night he was elected, and 9/11 will be just one of a lot of different things that have happened. I'll still have it weigh heavily on me, because it's part of my personal history, but the rest of the world will finally leave me alone to deal with it my own way, because everyone else has got their own stuff to deal with.

I honestly cannot wait for that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:32 PM on September 6, 2011 [33 favorites]


I'll refute it to the exact level of proof that you have offered, jutepanama:
Thermate wasn't found anywhere near the WTC site by anyone.

There. We done?
posted by Etrigan at 4:32 PM on September 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hoyland, I think you mean Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor.

Argh, it is. Or the actual crashing is, I guess. I've never actually read Debt of Honor. Or finished Executive Orders for that matter. Why I find this slightly embarrassing I don't know. I should probably be more embarrassed that I know as much about Tom Clancy's novels as I do.

I seem to recall there being some reason why Ryan isn't at the capitol (or he's not in the House chamber). For we all know from the West Wing that you leave the Secretary of Agriculture behind just in case someone blows up Congress or something.
posted by hoyland at 4:33 PM on September 6, 2011


http://www.ae911truth.org/
posted by jutepanama at 4:37 PM on September 6, 2011


Jute, I have a serious question:

Will getting your account accepted as the "status quo" explanation for what happened make any of the people who died that day any less dead?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:38 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


It does if it involves all of them being in a FEMA internment camp for 10 years
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:41 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Finally, our generation has a conspiracy theory as idiotic and distracting as the moon-landing "hoax", or JFK assassination.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:44 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hoyland, it's okay. I'm embarrassed that I know enough to correct you :)

When I was in high school in the early nineties I ate that stuff up. Up until I got to Debt of Honor, which I finished and then thought to myself, "that's ridiculous!" Not the plane part, but that Jack Ryan could become President somehow. I've reread Patriot Games and some of his other books a couple of times since then, but nowadays I can't stand Clancy.
posted by postel's law at 4:46 PM on September 6, 2011


Also, sorry for the Clancy derail, but in my own defense I think it's going better than the 9/11 truther derail.
posted by postel's law at 4:47 PM on September 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


♪ ♫ I'm picking out a Thermite for you. Not an ordinary Thermite for you. But the extra best Thermite that you can buy, with vinyl and stripes and a cup built right in. ♪ ♫
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:49 PM on September 6, 2011 [14 favorites]


Also, sorry for the Clancy derail, but in my own defense I think it's going better than the 9/11 truther derail.

Just wait until I prove that the Earl of Oxford is the true author of the Jack Ryan novels.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:52 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


jutepanama: Thanks! It seems the site's evidence for the presence of thermate consists of finding iron, aluminum, sulfur, manganese and fluorine among the many elements in the debris of 9/11. It would appear to me that is not evidence of thermate, but evidence of iron, aluminum, sulfur, manganese and fluorine, all of which would have been present in an office building in varying amounts. I don't find this very persuasive! A more immediately probably reason for the collapse of the towers is that airplanes were flown into them.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:56 PM on September 6, 2011 [45 favorites]


Also, sorry for the Clancy derail,

IIRC Ryan was in the underground tunnel between the Capitol and the White House, just after having been appointed Vice President by acclamation. It was the last thing by Clancy I ever read, and I think I threw the book across the room at that point.

It's worth paying attention to Clancy, however. We had eight years of people who thought he was writing non-fiction running the country.
posted by zomg at 4:58 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Knock, Knock...

Who's there?

9/11

9/11, who?

You said you'd never forget!
posted by Frank Grimes at 5:01 PM on September 6, 2011 [52 favorites]


@Frank Grimes: I have half a mind to make that my fb status on the big day.
posted by Renoroc at 5:06 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


jutepanama: Thanks again! The site also talks about your other piece of evidence, "molten steel". The fires of the collision were indeed insufficiently hot to melt steel, so as the website notes, the claims of rescue workers that they observed "molten steel" are indeed curious. However, much as I admire the bravery of the rescue workers at 9/11, they are not living spectrometers, able to precisely identify molten metals with their bare eyes. Perhaps they were looking at molten aluminum, a metal with a much lower melting point, from the body of the plane. Referring to the fluid as "molten steel" seems like a reasonable mistake to make when you have just been at the scene of a mass murder.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:11 PM on September 6, 2011 [13 favorites]


No entry for 'Springsteen, Bruce'? On the first anniversary of 9/11 I remember buying a copy of 'The Rising' because I couldn't think of anything else to do. I later ended up buying some shirts from Ground Zero. Consumerism seemed to make sense.

I wish I still had the play I wrote after the towers fell. It was overwrought, obviously. My small liberal arts college was filled with people trying to literally blame America. I just kept screaming 'THEY BLEW UP NEW YORK! THEY BLEW UP NEW YORK'. I'd been to the Towers a few months ago, and my love of NYC combined with fear overrode all my 'best' instincts. I didn't really care how I sounded.

It was strange, too, since I was 16 and away from home. My family could see the smoke...

I realize I'm personalizing this and being self-centered, but I'm not a very objective person.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:14 PM on September 6, 2011


I'd really like it if we could all just forget about this.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:16 PM on September 6, 2011


SO ANYWAY

I thought it was interesting that Richard Clarke was briefly running America
posted by saturday_morning at 5:17 PM on September 6, 2011


*KNOCK KNOCK*

Who's there?

9/11!

9/11 who?

YOU SAID YOU'D NEVER FORGET!
posted by dunkadunc at 5:19 PM on September 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sometimes I wonder at the motives that lead people to suspect the already-quite-evil Bush administration of collusion in the attacks. Is it simply an easy way to demonize someone you love to hate? Is it a desire to turn the attacks into something with simple motives, complicated in the implementation perhaps, but ultimately easy to fit into one's view of the world? Surely there must be a lot of compelling reasons, for it to be such a popular pastime.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:21 PM on September 6, 2011


Two things:

1. I have a bunch of photos of the burning/collapsing towers on my flickr that I took that day from Chambers St. and it has been odd to suddenly get a bunch of requests to use them from high school newspapers and people making posters for their special 9/11 book carts in the public library.

2. I kinda wondered what the 9/11 equivalents of the Challenger jokes were, and now I know one.
posted by snofoam at 5:21 PM on September 6, 2011


No, I'm pretty sure he's just evil.
posted by hal9k at 5:22 PM on September 6, 2011


did we have to have that knock knock joke twice?....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:22 PM on September 6, 2011


This is just so I don't post it again on 9/11

I was asleep, I was up all night working, my phone was ringing like crazy so after while I got up and checked it. I thought everyone was fucking with me till I turned on the tv. I woke up my girlfriend and we walked across the part to her moms house. There was a giant plume pretty much blotting out the sky over lower manhattan. When we got to the east side a guy was carrying is golf clubs out of his building to a waiting car. He said to the doorman as he passed "no work tomorrow right?".

Here is another joke in much worse taste, I am truly sorry, you might want to skip it.

What is the FDNY favorite song?

It's raining men.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:24 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apologies. Things move fast.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:24 PM on September 6, 2011


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94:

That reminds me of an anecdote I have about truthers.

As a structural engineer, I think I get more upset about conspiracy theorists than most other people (excluding those directly affected by the attacks). I work by the World Trade Center, and whenever the conspiracy theorists make their annual pilgrimage, I like to go down and, in the words of Mick Jagger, "get my fair share of abuse."

A couple years ago, I singled out a guy who was off to the side having a cigarette. (As little good it does to argue with a conspiracy theorist, it's somehow even more useless to argue with many at once.) We chatted for a while and then I got down to asking some questions. After hearing him recount the moment that he began to question the "official account," I asked him if he was absolutely certain that "9/11 was an Inside Job." He said yes.

I then asked him, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much he knew about the World Trade Center, its design, and its collapse. He said 7.

I then asked him what steel was.

He kind of looked at me for a second and then asked me if it was some kind of trick question. I said, "No, I'm just asking you if you can tell me what steel is." He said, "I dunno, steel is just steel. It's just like another element. I mean I know they have to pull it out of the ground and heat it up and everything but it's just steel. It's not made of anything else."

I know it was a gotcha question, but for some reason I didn't feel cheap asking it.
posted by weinbot at 5:29 PM on September 6, 2011 [84 favorites]


Thanks for telling me that I am nothing in the one big thing that touched us all. I am not a big patriot by any means, but yeah, thanks a fucking lot for demeaning me and my feelings just because you happen to live in NYC. More power to you.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:29 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


....Marie, what exactly are you referring to?...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:33 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am anything but a truther. I believe that the attacks were orchestrated and executed by a small group of very resourceful and very lucky radical Islamic terrorists, and this request is not meant to be disrespectful: could someone please link me to a sensible, layman-friendly explanation by someone with a background in physical material science that describes what combination of forces caused WTC7 to collapse in the manner that it did. I hope this request doesn't offend; it's still a head-scratcher to me and I'm sure there's lots of good debunking info out there, I just haven't seen it yet.
posted by chaff at 5:35 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


(Sorry-- if it wasn't clear, marie, that was a serious question; I'm not sure whose comment is making you feel that way. If it was mine, I do apologize, and just let me know which one it was; I do get a little touchy around this time of year, and may not always know how I come across.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:35 PM on September 6, 2011


chaff: here and here are summaries of the NIST report.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:41 PM on September 6, 2011


MeFi was a big part of my experience of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. I want to skip the concerned, oh-so-caring, oh-so-sincere newscasters, who are pumping fatuous bilge on overtime. This is a good link.

Can we keep the Sept. 11 "10 years after" posts corralled? Many people need them to exist, but MSM is on hyper-saturation with it, and I don't more of that.
posted by theora55 at 5:41 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


chaff:

I dunno how much you want to read, but this might help: http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa_082108.cfm

If you don't feel like reading, take a look at some computer models:
http://wtcdata.nist.gov/gallery2/v/NIST+Materials+and+Data/Computer+Simulations/WTC7_Structural+Response/Global+Response_No+Fire+-+No+Debris+Impact+Damage+-+Sudden+Failure+Col+79/
posted by weinbot at 5:42 PM on September 6, 2011


chaff, I think the Wikipedia article is pretty clear and has references to some of the technical work.

It really wasn't hard to find.
posted by lumpenprole at 5:42 PM on September 6, 2011


This is the computer animation with debris impact damage and fire damage.
posted by weinbot at 5:44 PM on September 6, 2011


I believe that the attacks were orchestrated and executed by a small group of very resourceful and very lucky radical Islamic terrorists, and this request is not meant to be disrespectful: could someone please link me to a sensible, layman-friendly explanation by someone with a background in physical material science that describes what combination of forces caused WTC7 to collapse in the manner that it did.

Feh. It was a sucker punch by not all that bright guys who were working in an open society. If you're willing to get killed yourself, there's not much you can't accomplish.

What I would find interesting is how the surviving family members of the hijackers feel about all this. Apparently Atta senior approved of the London bombings, but of the others, one wonders how/if they sleep at night. Are they mortified, pleased, indifferent, hoping for more of the same? Inquiring minds want to know.

Manitoba beat me to it, but this might help as well. (Weinbot, I got a big FORBIDDEN notice with that link, and expect Homeland Security Agents any minute. I will be citing you.)
posted by IndigoJones at 5:46 PM on September 6, 2011


chaff:

The current theory is buckling of Column 79 lead to the collapse of the tower as a whole. This however would requite the east penthouse of the building to collapse first.... which it did.
posted by weinbot at 5:51 PM on September 6, 2011


Not to encourage the truther derail too much, but just so's those who care know...

The existence of molten steel in the wreckage is completely unsurprising. It's not the energy of the fires that did the melting, it was the energy of the collapse which was on the order of a kiloton. That kind of compression will do all kinds of weird things to materials, including making the fine metallic and chemical powders mistaken for thermite/mate.

The windows popping out in advance of the collapse are also totally unsurprising, since the WTC contained a shitload of air which was compressed by the oncoming collapse. The air trapped by the collapsing structure would also have a lot to do with some of those weird chemical residues found.
posted by localroger at 5:56 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, it was your comments, EmpressCallipyos. I don't know who did it and I am not necessarily swayed either way. I feel like you're asking me to lump it into a hurricane or a tornado, which was not intentional. Like sweeping Holocaust under the rug. If only my granddaughter wasn't alive during 9/11 (which she wasn't), then it didn't exist. It did happen and it was horrible and I think we should remember it.

I'm not sure where the cynicism comes from. It was pretty horrific and I do remember it. I am not wanting to forget as in I am not beguiled by government, but it was pretty bad stuff. Just like WWII was bad stuff and Vietnam was bad stuff. I've watched The Fog of War and I think everyone should watch it.

I won't be buying flags and remembrance items but I will be remembering. That's all.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:56 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


the Five Myths about 9/11

6. It was unprovoked
posted by Trurl at 6:00 PM on September 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


And unless you think the Commission report is the whole story, candidly told: Guess what? You're a "truther' too.
posted by Trurl at 6:02 PM on September 6, 2011


So, have you ever built a house of cards?

If you want to build a stable card-house, you have to build a whole bunch of individually weak triangles on the bottom, and space them out evenly, so that the upper levels distribute their weight more-or-less evenly.

If one of those triangles is just a little further from its neighbors than it's supposed to be, maybe it'll still hold, but it will take a lot more weight than the others. So if your card-house has one support like that--just one--then you won't be able to build as high, because that one support will fall down sooner than you expect it to.

Column 79 was further than usual from its neighbors, and also had to support the building getting wider at that point, resulting in more stress than usual for a relatively short building.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:03 PM on September 6, 2011


Also if you like Sojourner Truth
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:03 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Again, my apologies, Marie -- I your "I won't be buying flags but I will be remembering" is exactly where I am too, for what it's worth.

I just sometimes feel like everyone is being told they are an irresponsible American or something for not just "failing to remember," but for "failing to remember in this specific, proscribed way." That's more what I'm rankled by.

When I was speaking about how I really wanted 9/11 to be "just one of many events", that wasn't in an attempt to lessen its tragic nature. I was reacting more to a perception I have that we're expected to think that 9/11 was MORE horrible, MORE tragic, MORE sad than Katrina or the Columbine shooting or other tragedies that have happened. And -- I doubt that the people of New Orleans feel that 9/11 was the worse tragedy, or that the survivors of Columbine feel like they should take a back seat to my own pain or something. Especially since that is a responsibility that I not only didn't ask for, but don't feel comfortable with.

And those other things were horrible too, and they should be remembered too. That's why my niece and nephew are going to learn about ALL of those things in history class, rather than just 9/11 and that's it. That's all I meant by what I said.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:06 PM on September 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Fuck. This thread makes me sick to my stomach. I hate you all right now.
posted by perilous at 6:06 PM on September 6, 2011


Some very curious reactions occurring in this thread. Where's this all coming from?
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 6:08 PM on September 6, 2011


I hate you all right now.

Pretty much the legacy of 9/11 in a nutshell.
posted by absalom at 6:09 PM on September 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Fly a fucking jet aircraft into a steel building with centrally located elevator shafts, spill jet fuel down those elevator shafts, cause an explosion and a massive fire, and you will get molten steel. Christ, is it that hard to figure out?
posted by KokuRyu at 6:09 PM on September 6, 2011


Hmm, so on topic I think New York magazine did a pretty good job here. They have approached the topic in what for me is a fresh way. The story about Dr. Philip was fascinating in such an unsatisfying way (obviously for her family, but also for me as the reader). So was the story about Pasquale Buzzelli.
posted by postel's law at 6:11 PM on September 6, 2011


fyi, I meta'ed my request to keep the 9-11 posts corralled.
posted by theora55 at 6:11 PM on September 6, 2011


That evening, Jeff Greenfield said that tomorrow we'd wake up in a different country.

At the time, it seemed like hyperbole.
posted by Trurl at 6:13 PM on September 6, 2011


I remember people saying they remember where they were when Kennedy was shot. No one dissed them or said it was horrible or it made them sick to their stomach for remembering it. It's like people think remembering 9/11 is a faux pas. It's just not cool to remember it. What is wrong with remembering a tragedy? Is it not hip enough for you all? Jesus.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:21 PM on September 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Go forth and educate yourself, quickly!

You have got to be fucking kidding me.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:23 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's something that was interesting to me from the actual story that was posted, from the Dead, Accounting of the entry: ...including Jerry J. Borg, who developed pulmonary sarcoidosis after inhaling toxins in the dust cloud that day. He died last December and was officially added to the list in June, bringing the tally to 2,753. For now.

I didn't know they were still adding people to the total as they died. A lot of people die of wounds and complications from wars years after the war ends and don't get counted in the total.

And it's not entirely clear who the "they" are that add people to the list. The article mentions the NYPD Missing Persons Squad, but I can't find anything online that points to an official keeper of the 9/11 death toll.
posted by marxchivist at 6:25 PM on September 6, 2011


Marie Mod Dieu, I think it's the inevitable overkill, overcoverage and the jingoistic undertones therein. If it were really about somber rememberance, I think we'd all be there. Instead, people can already sense the attempt to profit off of the tragedy financially, spiritually, morally, politically, and in basically every manner possible. It's the difference between sitting quietly and praying somewhere, and seeing people screaming and shouting their way through a professional wrestling version of a sunday morning service in a megachurch that has a 85-foot cross out front.
posted by cashman at 6:27 PM on September 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Marie Mon Dieu - sorry about the typo.
posted by cashman at 6:28 PM on September 6, 2011


9/11 Memorial Museum Shop
posted by Trurl at 6:28 PM on September 6, 2011


Third-party presidential slacktivists and 9/11 Truthers. What in the world is in the MeFi water this week?
posted by joe lisboa at 6:28 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It better not be fluoride. Don't you know what that stuff does to you?
posted by Bromius at 6:30 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Look, Marie, no one is saying you're not ALLOWED to remember it.

And there's a difference between people asking each other "do you remember where you were when you heard Kennedy was shot" today, and asking THE KENNEDYS THEMSELVES if they remembered where they were when they heard he was shot, and asking them back in 1972.

And there's also a difference between asking EVERYONE IN THE WORLD EVERY FIVE MINUTES.

What is wrong with remembering a tragedy? Is it not hip enough for you all?

By the same token, what's wrong with leaving alone the people who don't WANT to remember it? Is my grief not public enough for you?


You know what, I rescind my apology.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:30 PM on September 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


It better not be fluoride. Don't you know what that stuff does to you?

Speaking of precious bodily fluids, sorry for the HaterAde. Conflating my frustration at some folks here across multiple topics/threads. Not cool.

Whatever my temporary frustration, the water here is usually highly potable. So thank you guys.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:33 PM on September 6, 2011


That said, I figured out what brought down WTC 7.

Physics.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:33 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


OR THE EXPLOSIVE BOLTS GAVE WAY!
posted by clavdivs at 6:36 PM on September 6, 2011


No, it was gravity.
posted by snofoam at 6:37 PM on September 6, 2011


'Cause gravity always wins.
posted by jokeefe at 6:41 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


On the night of 9/11/01, in my NYU dorm room with two friends, I started my long decade of fighting with people about 9/11 on the internet. It started when people who lived in places like Florida IMed us with chain messages about a moment of silence, and we were all "we're breathing toxic fumes and we're scared to death and we can't leave Manhattan, and now you're telling us to shut up?" And then there were warmongers and resolve-havers and brand new patriots who wanted to cheer a military like a sports team. And it went from there.

Oh god has it been a terrible decade.

So, I'm quitting right now. I read the NY Magazine piece and I read every comment in this post and I almost replied with so many things, but you know what? I'm not even going to start. Ten years afer 9/11/01, I am done fighting with people about 9/11 on the internet. This new life is awesome.
posted by millipede at 6:41 PM on September 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


9/11 was a terrible and horrific tragedy.

However...

Fuck the cult of 9/11
Fuck the 9/11 grief vultures that had no real connection to any of it but the part of it that tweaked their nationalist victim mentality.
Fuck the 9/11 JingoTroopers that truly believe hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis is a fair and proportional response to less than 3000 dead Americans.
Fuck every dimwit megachurch like the one my sister attends that start services with images of fighter jets and calls to fraudulent prepackaged post 9/11 militarist Christianity.
Fuck every asshole selling mugs and coins and energy drinks with images of the WTC on them making a buck off a tragedy.
Fuck every flyover yokel that hates literally everything NYC is while pretending it's their own personalcapital city of 9/11 TobykeithistanAmericafuckyeahsylvania.
And fuck all the truthers that have turned a major tragedy into the "Was Dark Side of the Moon designed to sync up with Wizard of Oz, mannnnn" of the 21st century.


(deep breath)
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:44 PM on September 6, 2011 [37 favorites]


I remember people saying they remember where they were when Kennedy was shot. No one dissed them or said it was horrible or it made them sick to their stomach for remembering it.... What is wrong with remembering a tragedy? Is it not hip enough for you all? Jesus.

Those are two different kinds of remembering, though. My mother remembers Kennedy being shot (including the day of the week) as she remembers writing something about it in an exercise in school (thus enabling her to deduce the day of the week). She was in England at the time. Her partner, who was in the US, remembers too, but I don't remember him having such a specific memory.

But that's not memorialising, which is what people (at least me) are uncomfortable with. Why am I uncomfortable? Memorials (in the tradition sense and these endless 9/11 retrospectives that are being written) are coercive by their very nature. But our interaction with memorials is also about contesting narrative. I'm not sure I ought to be doing any memorialising here, nor whether I want to, nor what sort of memorialising I want. But I'm being told I ought to feel a certain way and that this is the narrative we're all subscribing to, whatever it is.

I mean, I remember what we were doing in school at the relevant time on the 11th of September 2001. Reading Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God in US History. Why do I remember this? We had 'notebook quizzes' where the teacher would ask what we did on a certain date, so the handout was dated and was the first thing in my binder, so I saw it every day for the rest of the school year. But, other than the irony that people of a certain religious persuasion might find in that, it's totally meaningless. Equally, I remember where I was when Columbia disintegrated on re-entry--playing a chess tournament. I wrote my UC application that day, too. I just remember these things because they're slightly random things to take place in some high school cafeteria. I applied to the University of Chicago at a different chess tournament. And so on. The difference is that no one is likely to ever ask me where I wrote my college applications, whereas I expect I'll tell the Jonathan Edwards story a few more times in my life, just like my mother occasionally relates the school assignment about Kennedy.

A lot of people die of wounds and complications from wars years after the war ends and don't get counted in the total.

Names are still added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I think it's usually a battle for families, but people do get added.
posted by hoyland at 6:45 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


> OR THE EXPLOSIVE BOLTS GAVE WAY!

Hey, now. When they pulled up the Liberty Bell 7 capsule in 1999 a credible case was made that something was knocked loose in the cabin during launch which could've activated the bolts. Grissom's hand didn't have the telltale bruise that inevitably resulted after blowing the hatch, so it's entirely possible that he didn't in fact screw the pooch and he was telling the truth about it just blowing.

As for 9/11, that was my fault, sorry.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 6:46 PM on September 6, 2011


Yeah, I think a big difference is that the Kennedy assassination wasn't personally witnessed by a couple million people. Also, it didn't kill 2,977 innocent people.

At any rate, I'm a "rememberer", in ways. In my outsider's role, I listen to the FDNY tapes every year, to remember the thousands of people, including a friend and former firefighting academy instructor of mine. It's a private thing I do by myself, but I've been pretty public about the fact that I do it at times. Some people aren't into the active, or are very viscerally opposed to it even. I can totally understand that. People cope with tragedy in different ways, and as tragedies go this was a biggun...

In my insider's role, I was in lower Manhattan, well within the cordon and a couple blocks from the footprint, on 9/13. I was on a disaster relief operation, and I remember being excited to go because I wanted to do something. That was the closest I personally came to the effects of 9/11, and while I freely acknowledge that I was there and will talk about the general feelings I had about it, it's not something I have ever talked about specifically, which to me is objectively weird because I remember almost every single little detail. The sights, the smells, the sounds, all of it. But it's not something I can talk about, even 10 years later, and I don't know if it ever will be. It's like I worry about the burden I'd be passing to someone else were I to even describe it. Needless to say, outside of the minimal helping role I was able to play, I'm no longer excited that I was able to go and I don't want to be forced to remember it on anyone's terms but mine, because it's just too hard.

I hate to play "You weren't THERE, man", but I will say that it's been my consistent experience that 9/11 is very different depending on your proximity to the actual danger and destruction. I think everyone needs to remember that over the next week or so as we all pick at each other's wounds, whether we mean to or not.
posted by rollbiz at 6:48 PM on September 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


If people are going to embrace a conspiracy theory, at least pick a more reasonable one.

My personal theory, which I believe when very drunk or in a dark mood about this country, is that Cheney encouraged Bush to downplay any reports of AQ activity in the hopes that an attack would happen. He and his friends were already agitating for a war against Iraq and knew such a war could not be sold to the American people without something big happening. As the theory goes, he was probably hoping the attack would be relatively small: an airliner blown up real good or militants shooting up a shopping mall. He was probably as surprised as the rest of us at the sheer scale of the attack.

This theory has the benefit of being plausible from what we know of Cheney's character, the desires of the neocons, and Cheney's influence and power over Bush in the first few years of Bush's presidency. This theory also benefits from not mangling the laws of physics. The downfall of the theory is that it's fucking depressing.
posted by honestcoyote at 6:49 PM on September 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


Marie, the media is maudlin, in a way that feels smarmy to me. Remembering? I read those short profiles the NYTimes did of people who died. They were incredibly touching. And the guy whose blog stayed up, and people kept posting memories to it. Each loss was an individual. The attack's aftermath damaged the US all over again in many ways. It's different for New Yorkers, different for people in other countries, different for all sorts of people, but we all feel something real and valid. I guess my point is that the media exploits that genuine emotion. ick.
posted by theora55 at 6:52 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


If they are going to keep doing this, at least make it a national holiday.

The Onion: Cheney Waits Until Last Minute Again To Buy Sept. 11 Gifts
posted by gimonca at 6:54 PM on September 6, 2011


Fuck every asshole selling mugs and coins and energy drinks with images of the WTC on them making a buck off a tragedy.

I dunno... I thought the people profiting from it, at the least the ones actually selling things at Ground Zero when I visited it, were a sign that nothing could dent the city's vitality and capitalism. But I may have New York mixed with Ankh-Morpork.

I'm a big believer in Things - tokens, remembrances, icons.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:57 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the WTC7 links y'all, much appreciated.
posted by chaff at 6:59 PM on September 6, 2011


Also, it didn't kill 2,977 innocent [American] people.

Let's be frank, shall we?
posted by Trurl at 7:00 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The windows popping out in advance of the collapse are also totally unsurprising, since the WTC contained a shitload of air which was compressed by the oncoming collapse.

I have always been baffled by this particular point, which I have seen in a dozen truther video presentations: little arrows pointing out puffs of debris being expelled at the 32nd floor or whatever of a collapsing tower heralded as proof of explosive charges detonating. Have these people never set foot in a woodshop? Never seen what happens when a plank falls over onto a sawdust-covered floor? The sawdust flees the footprint of the falling plank in a manner that should look very familiar.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:02 PM on September 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Separate from my own whining and actually germane to the post, there are some really great sections of this encyclopedia. The FDNY entry is not for those lacking intestinal fortitude, but it's well put-together and has some interesting stats.

Almost 16,000 firefighters enrolled with mental health services after 9/11. As you'll begin to understand from the quotes, some of these guys are the "living dead".
posted by rollbiz at 7:04 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, it didn't kill 2,977 innocent people.

Let's be frank, shall we?


I'm sorry, did those actually people die on the morning of September 11th 2001 during a very specific act, or did your axe just need grinding again?

Please don't insinuate what I do or do not acknowledge.
posted by rollbiz at 7:06 PM on September 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Probably one of my favourite pieces of writing on 9/11 is by Peter Hessler in the New Yorker: How the attacks are playing in the provinces:

One of the World Trade Center videos featured a series of blurbs in the center of a big orange star:

- Several planes attack America!
- The World Trade Center totally destroyed.
- The Pentagon and Capitol Hill attacked by planes.
- White House Capitol Hill continuous Explosions.
- Who is the murderer? It’s still unknown.

I watched all three of the World Trade Center videos. The DVD had been hastily produced by the government run Xinhua publishing house, in Beijing; its front cover displayed photographs of Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush, and the burning of the Twin Towers. Like many Chinese bootlegs, the back cover had tried for an air of authenticity with a false credit line composed of random Hollywood names and studios: Tom Hanks, Columbia Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ving Rhames, Touchstone Pictures. A small box noted that the film was rated R, for violence and language. The video combined footage taken from ABC News with Chinese commentary and American movie soundtracks that had been dubbed in at key moments. Gunfire and explosions rang out when the second plane hit the World Trade Center. The theme from “Jaws” accompanied the collapse of the north tower, which was shown in slow motion

posted by KokuRyu at 7:13 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is why we need to continue to discuss the attacks and make sure the sick "truther" version of history does not take over. I, for one, do not want to someday hear my sons blaming "the Mossad and the Jews" for the WTC attacks.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:14 PM on September 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


My 9/11 story:
I was visiting NY and I was planning to visit MOMA. I thought of getting up early to miss rush hour but decided to take a bath instead. I got a phone call while I was bathing but I thought "Bugger this, I'm not going to get up, drip water everywhere, and find that the phone stops ringing." But then it rang again, so I answered it. It was the hotel clerk and he said that my mother rang and she was crying, I had to call right away. "Damn," I thought, "My father's dead."

I rang home and my father answered the phone. "Damn," I thought, "My uncle's dead." The first thing he asked was, was I safe.

I was sitting on the edge of the bed, clad only in a towel. I looked around the room carefully. "Yes, I think so. What's wrong?" "You mean you don't know?"

I still kinda resent that. Of course I didn't know. Physical proximity doesn't magically equate to knowledge. He toild me what had happened, I turned the TV on and saw the news with the second plane flying into the WTC and so forth. And then it took nearly a week to get back to Australia, part of which I spent bolt-upright because there was a HUGE guy behind me threatening me with unspecified danger if I reclined my seat. Anyway, I later got back in touch with the woman I was dating and we got married and had kids, and a few years later we flew back to visit her family in New Orleans, arriving late August 2005.

Get me to plan your travel, folks.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:18 PM on September 6, 2011 [26 favorites]


On Thursday I'm flying out to Eugene, OR for a wedding. The house I'm staying in has no TV and on Sunday I'm actually going to be running/hiking around Crater Lake. All this was planned before I realized what anniversary it was. So, it was accidental, but I'm going to be in a practical news blackout for the next week and it's going to be fucking bliss.
posted by sideshow at 7:19 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry, that was snippy almost immediately after I was just saying we should think before we snip. Let me try again.

Trurl: I understand what you're getting at, I was against the wars before the wars were a thing, and I continued to be against the wars when it meant that I was "unamerican" and so on. I didn't appreciate your correction because I'm not ignorant of the additional death toll, I was speaking specifically about the consequences of that particular morning, especially in relating my personal experiences. I've never been 2 blocks from a drone attack in Afghanistan, so it's not something I'm going to share personal anecdotes about.

It's perhaps not great to assume that people don't acknowledge the terrible human cost of the last decade just because it's not mentioned in every single thing they post about the subject.
posted by rollbiz at 7:19 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


They Where There: The 9/11 Photographers
posted by lilkeith07 at 7:20 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, it didn't kill 2,977 innocent [American] people.

Not just Americans. According to Wikipedia, approximately 2,669 Americans and 372 foreign nationals died in the attacks.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:21 PM on September 6, 2011


Not just Americans. According to Wikipedia, approximately 2,669 Americans and 372 foreign nationals died in the attacks.

I suspect it is, but in case it's not totally clear: This is why I really, really hate when someone quotes me and then adds to my quote, without specific notation that they did so. The original quote (the one without those brackets) was mine, and it didn't mention nationality at all.
posted by rollbiz at 7:27 PM on September 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


This story about students and others volunteering to watch over the human remains is worth reading.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:36 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Quick question: do the folks sneering at ridiculous conspiracy theories (and I understand, honest) also include in their sneering the idea that there might have been a handful of people in the US government who were aware that a major attack was imminent but who decided for amoral, greedy political reasons to not raise the alarm?

Is the idea that there are power-hungry people in the world who might look at an upcoming terrorist attack and think only of what they might stand to gain from it - and that one or more of that kind of person might actually have been in a position in the US (or Israel or Great Britain or whatever) to stop the attacks but decided for amoral, power-hungry reasons not to - is that idea in itself such a laughable one that anyone who entertains it as a possibility is automatically a write-off as a lunatic?

Just curious.
posted by mediareport at 7:49 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


‘Ground Zero’ is a term that no longer applies, according to NYC mayor
posted by homunculus at 7:50 PM on September 6, 2011


Oh god no. Im with ya on that one.
Its all the David Copperfield "they wired the buildings with charges!omgz" fools I cant hang with.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:51 PM on September 6, 2011


Might as well replace Labor Day as the Holiday in Spetember. It doesn't mean shit anymore.

Labor Day is going to be changed to "Capital Day."
posted by homunculus at 7:52 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Quick question: do the folks sneering at ridiculous conspiracy theories (and I understand, honest) also include in their sneering the idea that there might have been a handful of people in the US government who were aware that a major attack was imminent but who decided for amoral, greedy political reasons to not raise the alarm?

I do not believe there was a handful of people in the US government who were aware a major attack was imminent but who decided for amoral, greedy political reasons to not raise the alarm.

Who would these people be? How would they get this intel? What kind of organization would have been involved to provide this intel to them? How many people would that have involved? To fucking complicated.

There may have been institutional of the potentiality of an attack, but no one decided to act because of lack of coordination, or some faulty process of risk assessment and risk management. But ultimately, that is human error, rather than a lack of action driven by "amoral, greedy political reasons."
posted by KokuRyu at 8:05 PM on September 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Quick question: do the folks sneering at ridiculous conspiracy theories (and I understand, honest) also include in their sneering the idea that there might have been a handful of people in the US government who were aware that a major attack was imminent but who decided for amoral, greedy political reasons to not raise the alarm?

Hi, I'm a reformed WTC7 truther!

I couldn't rule this out, but I still haven't seen stronger evidence for a conspiracy than the evidence that plainly exists for plain ole incompetence. I suppose it's possible that thought process is just a part of the conspiracy, I guess that's just something I'll have to live with.
posted by rollbiz at 8:08 PM on September 6, 2011


Is the idea that there are power-hungry people in the world who might look at an upcoming terrorist attack and think only of what they might stand to gain from it - and that one or more of that kind of person might actually have been in a position in the US (or Israel or Great Britain or whatever) to stop the attacks but decided for amoral, power-hungry reasons not to - is that idea in itself such a laughable one that anyone who entertains it as a possibility is automatically a write-off as a lunatic?

Remember Bush strumming his guitar while corpses floated in the streets of New Orleans.

Any honest examination of possible government complicity in 9/11 - either before or after the fact - has to begin with the acknowledgment that mass American casualties would have posed the regime no moral difficulty at all.

You can tell me the Commission version makes sense to you. You can tell me that Cheney couldn't have kept a conspiracy under wraps. But don't tell me that I'm crazy for asking if he had means, motive, and opportunity.
posted by Trurl at 8:10 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Remember Bush strumming his guitar while corpses floated in the streets of New Orleans.

That's not at all how conspiracies are scripted, that's straight up stupidity. You know that, right?
posted by rollbiz at 8:34 PM on September 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Quick question: do the folks sneering at ridiculous conspiracy theories (and I understand, honest) also include in their sneering the idea that there might have been a handful of people in the US government who were aware that a major attack was imminent but who decided for amoral, greedy political reasons to not raise the alarm?

I think a more likely amoral, greedy stance would be to visualize the press finding out that you had specific information about the attack and yet did nothing, and therefore to develop an overwhelming desire to cover your ass by doing everything possible to prevent the attack.

From everything we have seen, it appears the attacks were successful due to errors by institutions and individuals. I don't find this scenario unlikely. I see it every day.
The situation you describe is not impossible, but it requires a balance of evidence before we consider it probable. We don't have that evidence.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:39 PM on September 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


That's not at all how conspiracies are scripted, that's straight up stupidity. You know that, right?

The guitar episode isn't introduced as evidence of a conspiracy. It is introduced as evidence of indifference towards American lives on the part of the Bush administration. [Although the Iraq War should be sufficient evidence of that.]

I have no evidence of a conspiracy. I agree that the events can be explained without recourse to one.

But with PNAC hoping for "a new Pearl Harbor" and "the first known instance of a tall building collapsing primarily as a result of uncontrolled fires" in the lengthy history of tall buildings, the smell factor does begin to climb.
posted by Trurl at 8:53 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Al Jazeera Reporter Barred From Texas HS Football Game: School administrators deny American journalist's request to interview spectators about 9/11.
posted by homunculus at 8:57 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ad hominem [Tasteless FDNY joke]

The first firefighter killed that day was Daniel Suhr who died when struck by a person who had jumped.

I have family on that job and knew guys who died that day. You are a bad person and should feel horrible about yourself.
posted by mlis at 9:04 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Trurl:

Unprecedented things happen all the time. We had never been to the moon before we went to the moon.
posted by weinbot at 9:06 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Top Secret America: A two-year examination into the massive, unwieldy, top-secret world the government has created in response to 9/11.
posted by homunculus at 9:12 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


We had never been to the moon before we went to the moon.

Before they SAY we went to the moon!

But seriously, since the moon landing involved coordinated action on the part of the government, it's not the comparison that best serves your argument.
posted by Trurl at 9:21 PM on September 6, 2011


Aww hell no, Trurl, you're really not gonna go there, are you? The moon landings? Seriously?
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 9:28 PM on September 6, 2011


Seriously?

"But seriously" is the indicator that the preceding was not seriously.
posted by Trurl at 9:31 PM on September 6, 2011


Color me relieved. So how are you relating the coordinated actions of the government in the moon landings to 9/11?
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 9:33 PM on September 6, 2011


So how are you relating the coordinated actions of the government in the moon landings to 9/11?

weinbot cited the moon landing as an example of how unprecedented things can happen.

But the moon landing only happened because the government worked very hard to make it happen.

So if you're arguing - as I assume he is - that you don't need government involvement for the unprecedented WTC 7 collapse to happen, it's the worst possible example to cite.
posted by Trurl at 9:44 PM on September 6, 2011


What Trurl is trying to say is that if it is possible for government to coordinate something as massively complicated as the lunar landings, it's also possible for the government to coverup Adolf Hitler's Venusian alien assassination attempt of Sammy Davis Jr. by detonating the WTC Towers.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:44 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


"But seriously" is the indicator that the preceding was not seriously.

Yeah, except for the part after the "But seriously" wherein you basically go there.

Ugh.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:57 PM on September 6, 2011


Trurl wrote: You can tell me that Cheney couldn't have kept a conspiracy under wraps. But don't tell me that I'm crazy for asking if he had means, motive, and opportunity.

I don't think you're crazy for asking it. I do think it's crazy to come up with any answer other than "no."
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:40 PM on September 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


[metatalk is a terrific option for people not wanting to talk about the subject of the post and/or what is wrong with MetaFilter. Please do not turn this into a conspiracy thread. We can do better. Thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 11:30 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


But the moon landing only happened because the government worked very hard to make it happen.

They took photos too!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:11 AM on September 7, 2011


Is anyone doing a encyclopedia of what was done with the trillions spent since then? or simply a index of what good came out of the event and the bankrupting of a nation?

The neo-cons vision of a drained swamp seems to be well under way, some question about what will replace it though.
posted by specialk420 at 12:19 AM on September 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was thirteen in 2001, so I went through eighth grade and high school with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan always somewhere in the periphery. But I wasn't interested in politics or current events until a couple years ago.

So going through the encyclopedia links has been strange for me because all I've had over the last ten years are things I read or saw on TV in the days after Sept. 11 when I was thirteen. There are Important Names, of course, that I heard over and over again, yet I confused Guantanamo Bay with Abu Ghraib. But I just now learned that all those pictures of people selflessly donating blood? Over 200,000 units were thrown out because there just wasn't need for them. And the anthrax. I knew it didn't have anything to do with terrorists, but I couldn't have told you why.

Anyway, my point is that reading these has done the opposite of sentimentalizing Sept. 11 for me. Instead, I've been getting rid of these vague mythologies that I've grown up with. Maybe these are things everyone knows, but being young and self-absorbed and on the West Coast I haven't caught up until now. I don't want to say that I'm glad for the chance, more that----those who were there, who were affected, who remember: you can shift the burden of remembering to me. If just for one day.
posted by book 'em dano at 12:49 AM on September 7, 2011 [11 favorites]


That day holds outsized impact in my life, even ten years on.
Government coverup/ holographic missles/ thermate-mite a planting ju-ju/ PNAC/ Cheney knew and all the rest of it... Over the first few years after the event I cycled through all these ideas for at least a couple minutes each. None of them matter, none offered any kind of what I needed.

This grotesque, horrific thing happened, was perpetrated by other people. It does not matter who those people were or why they did it. None of those entirely intellectual constructs will help to reconcile what I saw and experienced that day and over the next couple months. The smell that coughed out of my air-conditioner the next late spring. You can't explain that shit away.

I only read the humor section, thought I'd start somewhere easy. I thought it stank. They could have at least linked to Gottfried's act. He barely gets a sentence, then a couple shitty jokes.

You know, another thing: About a year ago I started watching "Rescue Me" the Dennis Leary show about firefighters in NYC. And they are almost all dealing with (and this was eight years or so on) the impact of that day. I watched a bunch of episodes but it was kind of all too close. One of the fire-fighters gets sick, a tumor, and he basically has to lie cheat and steal to keep his job and thus his health plan so he can get treatment.

Trumps any other processing of that day.

TL/DR: Your favorite conspiracy theory is likely just an inefficient way to cope with the emotional impact of a day that, though you might have 'only' experienced it through TV, you just can't shake.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:10 AM on September 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


You know, another thing: About a year ago I started watching "Rescue Me" the Dennis Leary show about firefighters in NYC.

Yeah, Rescue Me is essentially all about 9/11; that's how it was conceived. The series finale is tonight. I'm sure it is not an accident that this week is the 10th anniversary. I haven't watched this season yet (it is all DVR'd) but it wouldn't surprise me if the episode is also dealing with the 10th anniversary.
posted by Justinian at 3:03 AM on September 7, 2011


I remember people saying they remember where they were when Kennedy was shot. No one dissed them or said it was horrible or it made them sick to their stomach for remembering it. It's like people think remembering 9/11 is a faux pas. It's just not cool to remember it. What is wrong with remembering a tragedy? Is it not hip enough for you all? Jesus.

I resent the fuck out being told *how* to remember. I was in California when it happened, having moved from DC earlier that year. I spent the day glued to the TV, crying and frightened for my friends in DC and NYC. But it wasn't an event that touched me in the way that it did the people who were actually there.

I won't even be able to watch a goddamn baseball game on Sunday, because they'll all the soaked in maudlin and vampiric "Remember the fallen heroes" bullshit. It's baseball, for god's sake. I wouldn't be surprised if Never Forget!!1! somehow gets worked into Housewives of [wherever]. And isn't that just so respectful.
posted by rtha at 7:19 AM on September 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


My only problem with 9/11 Nevarforgetathons is that it's always entirely focused on the WTC, with barely a mention of the other two planes (in that Photography link, I counted one photo from the Pentagon), except maybe a nod to The Legend of Todd Beamer.

At risk of sounding unnecessarily flip, it makes that month or so I had to drive past the brightly lit, smoldering Pentagon (and the armed police/Humvee blockade that went along with it) feel like trying to talk about Go-Bots while everyone's wearing Optimus Prime shirts.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:29 AM on September 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Little noted or known, they bear scars of that day
"At the ticket counter, baggage ramp, tarmac, and beyond, Logan workers were left to come to terms on their own, or to try, after the hijacked flights roared into history."
posted by zarq at 7:43 AM on September 7, 2011


Carpooling: "Among the myriad stories that coalesced on September 11, 2001, perhaps none was as fantastic as that of the escape from the city by the pop-culture trifecta of Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marlon Brando"
posted by soft and hardcore taters at 7:53 AM on September 7, 2011


> perhaps none was as fantastic as that of the escape from the city by the pop-culture trifecta

That smells like horseshit, although with those people truth could be stranger than fiction.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:00 AM on September 7, 2011


It is horseshit, but hilarious horseshit - the article ends with "“Bullshit,” says Brando’s longtime lawyer when reached recently at his office. “That story’s all bullshit.” The truth: Like everyone else, the three indeed found themselves temporarily stranded in Manhattan. Taylor evidently decided to stay on, busying herself with charity work, while Brando and Jackson flew later, separately, on private jets to Los Angeles."
posted by soft and hardcore taters at 8:03 AM on September 7, 2011


Senor Cardgage:

". . . dimwit megachurch like the one my sister attends that start services with images of fighter jets and calls to fraudulent prepackaged post 9/11 militarist Christianity."

That is a really disturbing image S. C. Do you know the denomination offhand?

Random 9/11 Encyclopedia observations:

It would be a great idea to corral all metafilter september 11 10th anniversary posts into one location (perhaps side bar the sucker?)

On the Thursday the 13th of September 2001 I had an appointment with a therapist. I did not mention the attacks and he did not either. On Thursday the 20th of September I did make the mistake of mentioning the attacks and from that second for the rest of the 50 minutes it was the sole conversation topic. I learned quick that was not a topic I really wanted to ever bring up again.

One thing he told me that I remember was that watching the second plane crash on video over and over and over and over was likely to infect television watchers with at least a mild case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have never owned a television but have since seen that footage at least fifty times just walking past randomly turned on sets or embedded in youtube videos I was watching for other reasons.

On the 11th of September I wore my New York Yankees baseball cap to work in the morning as I habitually did every day. On Saturday the 15th of September I went to the mall and bought a Saint Louis Cardinals hat. I haven't worn a Yankees hat since in spite of the fact that I love the way that particular hat looks.

The most amazing thing to me was that within ten days every car on the road flew one of those twelve inch tall plastic American flags attached to it. Made in China. Shipped across the Pacific ocean by airplane I presume. A staggering example of what a meme injected into a billion or so people is capable of producing, almost by spontaneous combustion and perpetual motion. Think for a moment about the real constructive good which we could accomplish if we could devise the means to put that potential energy to virtuous utility!

I followed the events on the internet. The CNN server went down before the second tower collapsed but slashdot stayed up all day. In the hacker news thread just the other day about CmdrTaco resigning hemos posted about this. He said they served static pages around ninety percent of the time to withstand the load.

I know one very intelligent (programmer guy) person, from Egypt, who to this day believes that Mossad engineered the attacks. This is not an important data point about politics or terrorism, but to me it is an essential data point regarding the perplexity of human nature.

My opinion on the Kennedy assassination is more nebulous. I go back and forth but usually lean .51 probablility it was not Oswald alone.
posted by bukvich at 8:17 AM on September 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


And the anthrax. I knew it didn't have anything to do with terrorists

I find it interesting how history has moved from what I remember to the current narrative, because despite all the claims by the Bush administration later that there was never another attack on American soil, they almost immediately tried blaming it on terrorist actions by Al Qaeda and Iran, and only tried distancing themselves from this concept when it became increasingly clear that it was a home-grown incident.

So as far as I can tell, it was a terrorist attack, just a domestic terrorism, not foreign. And apparently that doesn't count the same way.
posted by quin at 8:45 AM on September 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


If they are going to keep doing this, at least make it a national holiday.

It's called Patriot Day, recognized under U.S. federal law. I only know because I have a calendar with this on it, which spurred me to look it up.
posted by exogenous at 10:32 AM on September 7, 2011


http://www.ae911truth.org/
posted by jutepanama at 12:37 AM on September 7


Oh Christ, we have a truther. How quaint.

I hear they found Marmite in the ruins. 9/11 was done by MI6 WAKE UP SHEEPLE.
posted by Decani at 10:47 AM on September 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Seriously, people, I am just reminding everyone that there IS still two sides to this story and that we should always be open to alternative explanations.
The thermite is a fact, there is a published paper that confirms this, and the tests have been repeated and verified independently by other scientists. It is interesting that they didn’t just find traces of thermite, but actual chips of thermite that hadn’t burned. So there was no mistake in reading the results or putting too much into scant evidence, they found thermite. (Specifically, thermate)

http://www.benthamscience.com/open/tocpj/articles/V002/7TOCPJ.htm?TOCPJ/2009/00000002/00000001/7TOCPJ.SGM

Office fires and jet fuel cannot melt steel; this is also just a fact of the physical universe. Many people try and make the claim that the molten metal is aluminum, which looks like mercury in its liquid state and doesn’t glow red. Molten steel at ground zero is also a fact, not just from eye witness reports, but also from the chunks of melted steel fused to pieces of concrete that we pulled out of the ruble.

I used to be just like a lot of you here on this thread with udder contempt for the crazy conspiracy theory people, until I did the research so that I could trample them with science and logic, turns out I was wrong and the evidence for controlled demolition is very strong and has yet to be explained away.

That's all from me, I know I can't change minds, I just hope that at least a few of you go out and do the research for yourselves, so that you will see that there are some serious questions that need answering.
posted by jutepanama at 10:48 AM on September 7, 2011


> I hear they found Marmite in the ruins.

No, no. It was Vegemite. Those Aussies hate us for our freedom (from nasty yeast paste).
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:49 AM on September 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can we be done with the Truther derail?
posted by futz at 11:13 AM on September 7, 2011


Can we also stop calling them "Truthers?" It implies they are on to something, when all their points have been refuted ad nauseum.
posted by agregoli at 11:22 AM on September 7, 2011


I debated typing that word but that is what they are being called in thread. I hate it too.
posted by futz at 11:32 AM on September 7, 2011


For those who ain't clicked, jutepanama paid 5$ to join yesterday to post his schtick in this thread. It has been awhile since I have seen that one. Speaking of lexicography, what is the word for that? It's kind of like a spam but just not *quite*. (By the way I believe that "truther" is a gesture at Hoffer True Believer.)
posted by bukvich at 11:34 AM on September 7, 2011


Seriously, people, I am just reminding everyone that there IS still two sides to this story and that we should always be open to alternative explanations.

Actually, sometimes there are not two sides to a story.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:39 AM on September 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Q: How many 9/11s does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: I don't know...all I know is that after 9/11, everything changed
posted by narcotizingdysfunction at 12:11 PM on September 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


How an Algorithm Helped Arrange the Names on the 9/11 Memorial: Underlying the memorial's seemingly random layout of nearly 3,000 names is a complex and deeply human order
posted by homunculus at 12:16 PM on September 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can we be done with the Truther derail?

I just discovered -- using the "derail" flag actually gives you a very faint sexual thrill.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:24 PM on September 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Lord knows they're annoying, but I kind of like the mind that chooses "Squads of suicide-ninja demolitionists swarmed all over the buildings after the impacts placing enough explosives and thermite to take down a structure that hadn't been pre-weakened (apart from the impacts) at just the exact level with the impact sites, doing what would be weeks or months worth of work in an hour, and nobody noticed them" instead of "When you smack an airliner into a skyscraper real fuckin' hard, some surprising shit happens."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:27 PM on September 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: "I just discovered -- using the "derail" flag actually gives you a very faint sexual thrill."

That's what it needs! A "fap" sound effect. ;)
posted by zarq at 12:31 PM on September 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lord knows they're annoying, but I kind of like the mind that chooses...

I've had a number of really close friends that were conspiracy buffs over the years, and one thing that almost always holds true is how clear a parallel you can draw between conspiracy advocation and literal biblical beliefs; in order to make the "facts" fit, they have to throw out a lot of common knowledge, empirical evidence, and contradicting information from within their own books, and grab hold of a few exceptionally small, edge case pieces of evidence and make those the overriding focus, above all else, of their case.

It stops being about useful facts and becomes completely a matter of belief. One that will burn away proof and evidence that doesn't support whatever internal narrative they have going on.

It's fun to watch from a distance, but up close, it can get exhausting really quickly.
posted by quin at 1:02 PM on September 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the twin towers fell down because they were hit by airplanes, not because of any demolition from the inside. I do however find it hard to believe that there wasn't some kind of intentional inaction at very high levels when no military jets intercepted any of the *four* highjacked aircraft in U.S. airspace.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:31 PM on September 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


The present security apparatus was not in place to rapidly intercept domestic flights. We are all much safer now.
posted by exogenous at 2:26 PM on September 7, 2011


I cannot imagine the Byzantine routes an American air force pilot would have had to work through to get authorization to shoot down an American passenger jet above the United States on September 11, 2001. I estimate the probablilty of success of some Air Force guy deciding to go for it with permission to be around one in a million.

Are there some truthers with Air Force experience who claim credibly that there were derelictions of duty in not shooting those suckers down?
posted by bukvich at 2:37 PM on September 7, 2011


I do however find it hard to believe that there wasn't some kind of intentional inaction at very high levels when no military jets intercepted any of the *four* highjacked aircraft in U.S. airspace

Prior to 2001, the whole world economy was geared towards fluid interdependence and just-in-time everything. Hijacking passenger airliners into buildings was something entirely new. Besides, it was chaotic and crazy that day. And more besides, at that time it was not possible to *immediately* account for every aircraft in the air.

Suggesting that the inaction at "very high levels" (once again, think about the number of people who would have to remain quiet) was intentional is kind of like saying that the US intentionally allowed almost the entire Pacific fleet to be sunk at Pearl Harbor, or the French "intentionally" allowed German forces to break through at Sedan. Ultimately, human error is a more compelling explanation than a conspiracy.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:42 PM on September 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can we treat "Truthers" with common courtesy? I don't find their assertions credible, and I find it impossible to engage them in reasonable discussion, but disdain isn't helping.

I despise GWBush and I think Cheney is Pure Evil, but I don't believe they colluded. Bush is genuinely lacking in competence and Cheney was too busy subverting government to corporate needs.

Anybody have a good cite for evidence that they knew, or could/should have known, about the attacks?
posted by theora55 at 2:56 PM on September 7, 2011


Can we treat "Truthers" with common courtesy? I don't find their assertions credible, and I find it impossible to engage them in reasonable discussion, but disdain isn't helping.

Sorry, but no. They will garner no courtesy from me. Nor will the birthers or tea party folks. As you said, it is impossible to engage them in any rational discussion so what is the point? Courtesy only encourages these people. The "truther" tentacles go much deeper than "9/11 was an inside job". Rational logical discussion has become anathema to them. I will not play their game.
posted by futz at 3:09 PM on September 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I used to be a "truther", but I think it's largely because I love Don Henley.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 3:17 PM on September 7, 2011


My personal theory, which I believe when very drunk or in a dark mood about this country, is that Cheney encouraged Bush to downplay any reports of AQ activity in the hopes that an attack would happen. He and his friends were already agitating for a war against Iraq and knew such a war could not be sold to the American people without something big happening. As the theory goes, he was probably hoping the attack would be relatively small: an airliner blown up real good or militants shooting up a shopping mall. He was probably as surprised as the rest of us at the sheer scale of the attack.

Yes, exactly. I found myself believing it thoroughly a few months after the attacks after reading everything I could get my hands on and have found no information to make me change my mind.

Anybody have a good cite for evidence that they knew, or could/should have known, about the attacks?

Wait, seriously? I know we're all scorning the demolition stuff, but I'm stunned there are actually people out there who don't know about the repeated warnings the US government was given by Israeli, German and other agents that a major attack was imminent.
posted by mediareport at 3:48 PM on September 7, 2011


9/11: The Week Before
posted by homunculus at 4:16 PM on September 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know a few Truthers (I try to get rid of them) and they seem to go from 'the US government is bad' to 'man, you can't really know the whole truth, can you?' to this sort of stuff.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:25 PM on September 7, 2011


mediareport, I've heard lots of discussion, and would like to see something concrete.
posted by theora55 at 4:38 PM on September 7, 2011


I had a look at what Wikipedia has to say about the lack of air defense on 9-11 and, as mentioned above, the argument is largely based on how difficult and time-consuming it is to police ones airspace, and/or respond to emergent threats.

This may be so. I'm no expert, as I freely admit. Maybe it is 'just' incompetence. Still, it seems to me we'd be talking about levels of incompetence so heinous, one might reasonably ask if there's underlying cause? Intentional underfunding or the like. No smoking gun, no chain of people who have to keep a big secret; just money pushed in other directions, attentions focused elsewhere.
posted by stinkycheese at 4:39 PM on September 7, 2011


It's not just the warnings in the summer of '01 which the Bush administration dismissed.

Another key bit of evidence for my lightweight conspiracy theory is from how the transition was handled. Clinton and his administration was very serious about tracking and stopping AQ. However, he didn't want to repeat the actions of Bush the First who, as a lame duck, saddled Clinton's incoming administration with the intervention in Somalia. Therefore Clinton did not immediately retaliate for the January attack on the USS Cole but rather put together detailed intelligence for the new administration so Bush and his team could decide on the right course of action.

And the Bush / Cheney response to this intel and to the Cole attack was... disinterest and dismissal.

I would think under any other circumstances Cheney and the neocons would have been thrilled to strike back. Considering how war hungry they all were, it is surprising to me that they let the Cole attack go unpunished and they did nothing of note to pursue al-Qaeda, even though it was obvious this was a growing threat.

If you're feeling conspiratorial, you can come to only one conclusion: Cheney and his boys passed up on the obvious immediate retaliation in the hopes of reaping the rewards of a bigger attack against America in the future. An attack big enough to ensure the war against Iraq could proceed, since Iraq was obviously the real enemy here.

In my version of the conspiracy theory, Cheney had no idea of the exact form of the attack. He just hoped one would happen. Cheney wasn't stupid and therefore didn't actively interfere with any ongoing FBI / CIA investigations, since that would provide later evidence towards his motives. He just didn't provide any support from the administration towards these long standing efforts and new warnings, thus leaving people like Richard Clarke swinging in the wind.

It's really the perfect conspiracy. No one had to hold a shadowy meeting. There were no secret messages embedded in ancient paintings. All it took was Cheney saying "Our attention is best spent elsewhere" with a pointed wink and nod to the neocons in the administration. If the American people angrily wondered how their government could let an attack happen, there would be a spokesperson ready to say "Mistakes were made. But we're now fighting back, bombing the bastards back to the stone age. Any further questions on the matter would be unpatriotic. Have you given any thought to what we should do about Iraq's involvement?"

The worst that would happen is that the administration would look merely incompetent and not outright treasonous.

(disclaimer: I don't actually completely believe my own conspiracy theory. But, considering the rampant corruption and dishonesty of the Cheney / Bush years, it's really down to them being incompetent, or traitors, or both.)
posted by honestcoyote at 6:42 PM on September 7, 2011


Um, theora55, Wikipedia's good for this kind of thing. Be sure to follow the cited footnotes:

Intelligence warnings

The 9/11 Commission Report states that "the 9/11 attacks were a shock, but they should not have come as a surprise. Islamic extremists had given plenty of warnings that they meant to kill Americans indiscriminately and in large numbers." The Report continued: "During the spring and summer of 2001, U.S. intelligence agencies received a stream of warnings about an attack al Qaeda planned, as one report puts it "something very, very, very big." Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet told us "the system was blinking red.""

The US administration, CIA and FBI received multiple prior warnings from foreign governments and intelligence services, including France, Germany, the UK, Israel, Jordan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Morocco and Russia. The warnings varied in their level of detail, but all stated that they believed an Al Qaeda attack inside the United States was imminent. British Member of Parliament Michael Meacher cites these warnings, suggesting that some of them must have been deliberately ignored. Some of these warnings include the following:

* March 2001 - Italian intelligence warns of an al Qaeda plot in the United States involving a massive strike involving aircraft, based on their wiretap of al Qaeda cell in Milan.
* July 2001 - Jordanian intelligence told US officials that al-Qaeda was planning an attack on American soil, and Egyptian intelligence warned the CIA that 20 al Qaeda Jihadists were in the United States, and that four of them were receiving flight training.
* August 2001 - The Israeli Mossad gives the CIA a list of 19 terrorists living in the US and say that they appear to be planning to carry out an attack in the near future.
* August 2001 - The United Kingdom is warned three times of an imminent al Qaeda attack in the United States, the third specifying multiple airplane hijackings. According to the Sunday Herald, the report is passed on to President Bush a short time later.
* September 2001 - Egyptian intelligence warns American officials that al Qaeda is in the advanced stages of executing a significant operation against an American target, probably within the US.

In her testimony to the 9/11 Commission, Condoleezza Rice stated that "the threat reporting that we received in the spring and summer of 2001 was not specific as to time nor place nor manner of attack. Almost all the reports focused on al Qaeda activities outside the United States." However, on August 6, 2001, the President's Daily Briefing, entitled Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US warned that bin Laden was planning to exploit his operatives' access to the U.S. to mount a terrorist strike:

FBI information... indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country, consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attack. Rice responded, when being asked about the PDB at the Commission hearings, that "it wasn't something that we felt we needed to do anything about".


theodora55, I say this gently but there may be a larger lesson here about your lack of knowledge of some basics about 9/11 that might have relevance to larger issues; there were tons of these reports soon after the attack.
posted by mediareport at 7:00 PM on September 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mediareport, I read the wikipedia article, and it shows significant warnings about an attack of some kind, at some point, probably pretty soon. Yes, they paid no heed to real warnings, but I haven't seen any evidence of collusion, or ignoring threat(s) of the specific attacks. Googling for advance warning 9-11 brings up a vast number of conspiracy rants. It may have been gross negligence, but that's not the same as collusion.

my comment: Anybody have a good cite for evidence that they knew, or could/should have known, about the attacks? (emphasis added)

And, honestly, if I have a lack of knowledge about an area of information, and I ask for a cite, why not provide the cite without the condescension?
posted by theora55 at 7:11 PM on September 7, 2011


an attack of some kind, at some point, probably pretty soon

They were given names and told to look at flight schools. I'm not sure how much more specific you'd like your intelligence to get before acting. Again, the "collusion" (in the conspiracy theory I hold) is simply that Cheney/Rumsfeld et al deliberately chose to downplay or ignore the clear warnings they were getting because they knew that an attack on US soil would give them increased power, if not carte blanche, to do what they wanted: start a war and clamp down on internal dissent about it.

The condescension came from my perception that you were sneering at folks who wanted to discuss this on the blue while simultaneously not in full command of some basic facts. I apologize; it was unnecessary.
posted by mediareport at 8:16 PM on September 7, 2011


Patriot Act search warrants overwhelmingly used for drugs
posted by homunculus at 10:13 PM on September 7, 2011


Folks might be interested in learning more about John O'Neil, the subject of a recently re-aired Frontline episode (which I'm sure is excellent as usual, though I am a bit oversaturated myself and didn't watch).

He was FBI's chief of counter-terrorism, worked on the 1993 WTC bombing, and repeatedly on record as warning of the danger of al Qaeda. He later was head of security at the WTC and killed in the attacks.
posted by exogenous at 4:58 AM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


mediareport, thanks. No sneer intended. It's quite rare to get such a gracious comment, and I appreciate it.
posted by theora55 at 12:26 PM on September 8, 2011


The encyclopedia should have an entry for IEDs.

$265 Bomb, $300 Billion War: The Economics of the 9/11 Era’s Signature Weapon
posted by homunculus at 3:23 PM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ten Years Later: Surveillance in the "Homeland"
posted by homunculus at 6:29 PM on September 8, 2011


The sacralized myth of 9/11
posted by homunculus at 10:15 PM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


considering the rampant corruption and dishonesty of the Cheney / Bush years, it's really down to them being incompetent, or traitors, or both.

I'm inclined to think it's more that Bush was incompetent, and Cheney was seriously paranoid.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:11 AM on September 9, 2011


The Dead, the Dollars, the Drones: 9/11 Era by the Numbers
posted by homunculus at 5:44 PM on September 9, 2011


9/11: A Conspiracy Theory
posted by stinkycheese at 8:57 AM on September 13, 2011


Al-Qaida calls on Ahmadinejad to end 9/11 conspiracy theories
posted by homunculus at 12:06 PM on September 28, 2011


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