Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Location...Location...Location...Oh, and Timing....
July 10, 2005 3:07 AM   Subscribe

London Underground Bombing 'Exercises' Took Place at Same Time as Real Attack
According to a BBC Radio 5 interview (aired on the evening of July 7th) with Peter Power, Managing Director of a consultancy agency with government and police connections, Mr. Power said his firm was actively running an exercise for an unnamed company that revolved around the London Underground being bombed at the same times and locations as happened in real life on the morning of July 7th.
Power told the host that at the exact same time that the London bombings were taking place, his company was running a 1,000 person strong exercise which drilled the London Underground being bombed at the exact same locations, at the exact same times, as it unfolded on that morning.
Power is a former Scotland Yard official and at one time was attached to the Anti Terrorist Branch.
More inside....
posted by Dunvegan (78 comments total)

 
From the BBC Radio 5 interview aired on the evening of July 7th:

POWER: At half past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now.

HOST: To get this quite straight, you were running an exercise to see how you would cope with this and it happened while you were running the exercise?

POWER: Precisely, and it was about half past nine this morning, we planned this for a company and for obvious reasons I don't want to reveal their name but they're listening and they'll know it. And we had a room full of crisis managers for the first time they'd met and so within five minutes we made a pretty rapid decision that this is the real one and so we went through the correct drills of activating crisis management procedures to jump from slow time to quick time thinking and so on.
posted by Dunvegan at 3:09 AM on July 10, 2005


consultancy agency - fixed link.
posted by Navek Rednam at 3:19 AM on July 10, 2005


Ooowee, look at all the delicious conspiracy theories on their front page.
posted by grouse at 3:20 AM on July 10, 2005


"... at precisely the same statins"

The explosions didn't happen *at* stations. Given that this is clearly not "precise" or "exact" why doesn't he give fuller details so people can work out for themselves how close the attacks were to this exercise?

Why didn't the interviewer ask him more? Probably some of the stations they were using were some of those near the explosions, and that this coincidence is close enough to put the willies up him and start throwing words like "exact" around when this is far from the case.

Without further details this is a complete waste of time.
posted by nthdegx at 3:24 AM on July 10, 2005


Yes, grouse...the source of the speculation is a "bit tilted" in their reportage...but, the BBC interview is the main focus of the FPP...and I'm still looking for first sources for that transcript.

nthdegx, agreed that event specificity is wanting in this report. I also think that it is less that due diligence and precise reportage for a security expert to call out the exercise as being performed "at the stations where explosions happened" when in fact explosions occured on trains between stations.

However, I'm a partner in a security firm HQ'd in the Beltway, and have spoken in DC on Homeland Security. It does strike me that if my firm were running an exercise of this nature covering disaster planning and business resumption regarding the WTC on the morning of 911 a little more than the hair on the back of my head would have been on end by end-of-day. I'd probably have more questions and specifics regarding the data extracted from this extraordinary exercise-in-real-time than PR talk on such a day.

And, if Power is indeed on the up-and-up, this implies that at least this company (one with executives with old ties to Scotland Yard) had no indication prior to the event that a bombing was in the works...some folks have been speculating that there were whispers and possible pre-event knowledge of the attack in some intellegence circles.
posted by Dunvegan at 3:52 AM on July 10, 2005


Well, Peter Power's been quoted by BBC before. And he does appear to be a fairly credible figure. Still haven't seen any evidence this transcript is legit, though.
posted by effugas at 4:34 AM on July 10, 2005


The voice other than Powers is Peter Allen, one of the usual presenters of the "drivetime" slot on BBC Radio 5. The timing fits, the interviewing style fits and I think it would be remarkable and callous for him to be taking part in any sort of hoax recording.

The idea that secret exercises coincided with actual bombings suggests something of a swap has been made - an inside job?
posted by NinjaPirate at 5:05 AM on July 10, 2005


FWIW I remember hearing this interview on R5 and can confirm that the transcript sounds fairly accurate, at least as memory permits (living in East London there was a fair bit of media consumed on Thursday)

Having said that, I have been involved in Disaster Recovery planning in the the past and given the number of high profile firms based in London, and the significance of the stations involved, I would not be suprised if there are many days when there isn't a similar exercise somewhere or the other in London, though maybe not on this scale.
posted by barnsoir at 5:16 AM on July 10, 2005


Though I find this source highly dubious, I find more ridiculous this article's immediate jump to a conspiracy theory. It seems more likely that information on the drills was leaked in advance, found its way into the hands of the wrong people, and proved to be an opportune time for a terrorist organization to carry out the attacks.
posted by think.how.simple at 5:42 AM on July 10, 2005


This was one of the first rumours circulating after the attacks. If it turns out to be true, it could perhaps be a lead on the suspects.
posted by ruelle at 5:59 AM on July 10, 2005


I'm not questioning the legitimacy of the interview; but the accuracy of the comments within it.
posted by nthdegx at 6:05 AM on July 10, 2005


I agree with simple, If anything, this could be considered one of those "let's help the terrorists do their jobs" scenarios, where conjecture about how the attacks could be most effective gets leaked out into the wrong hands. What confuses me is, why would the attackers follow this pattern if they knew that a crisis management scenario was being run at the same time? The only way it makes sense is that they had no idea where their "optimum effect" scenario came from.
posted by boymilo at 6:06 AM on July 10, 2005


Even if the transcript were correct, it doesn't support any conspiracy theory. There weren't 1000 people involved in the exercise, it was just the crisis managers from a company that employs 1000 people.

The real attacks weren't at the same time as the simulated attacks, they were 40 minutes earlier. A terrorist doesn't have to be a genius to time attacks during the morning rush hour, when they'll cause the most disruption. So the timing is not remarkable.

The attacks weren't at the same places. The simulated attacks were at stations. The real attacks were on trains and timed to explode simultaneously, so there would have been no way to guarantee that particular stations would be targeted as it's almost impossible to guarantee that a train would have been in a station at a particular time.

This is a co-incidence and not a very remarkable one. Companies run crisis simulations regularly and given the number of large companies headquartered in London, on any day there will be several crisis simulations running.

This is just more tin-foil-hattery.
posted by BoundlessJoy at 6:48 AM on July 10, 2005


Website that carried al-Qaida claim has connections to Bush family
too ridiculous for words. charles manson has connections to the bush family. he resides on the same continent.
ooooooeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaoooooooo...
posted by quonsar at 6:49 AM on July 10, 2005


The London bombings have the same signature as the Madrild bombings of 3/11. Both of these bombings are almost indistinguishable from the Bolognia bombing in 1980 that killed over 80 people. . . [which] was part of a CIA operation code named Gladio, where the US government would pay right-wing terrorists to carry out bombings to be blamed on leftists in Europe.

say what?
posted by nervousfritz at 7:40 AM on July 10, 2005


Gladio was indeed tied up in dubious right-wing terrorists in Italy during the late 70s/early 80s, not to mention being connected to the P2 scandal and the murder of Roberto Calvi, but the methodology of the London bombings and the Madrid ones on 11/3 (let's get the date format right for Europe!) differ considerably from the Bologna bombing, not to mention taking place 25 years later. (Bologna: one honking great time bomb in a left-luggage locker at one station. Madrid and London: multiple small bombs in backpacks controlled by modified mobile phone alarms and synchronized to go off simultaneously at different stations.)

Occam's razor says let's not multiply hypotheses needlessly; drawing lines between the Madrid and London bombings, which appear to be characteristic Al Qaida second-generation operations, and a weird right-wing Italian conspiracy from the 1970s is a bit extreme ...
posted by cstross at 8:06 AM on July 10, 2005


Though I find this source highly dubious, I find more ridiculous this article's immediate jump to a conspiracy theory. It seems more likely that information on the drills was leaked in advance, found its way into the hands of the wrong people, and proved to be an opportune time for a terrorist organization to carry out the attacks.

Don't any of you watch "24"?? Any simple dime-store terrorist can plant a bomb. It is much more sinister if they acutaly use our own intel and procedures to commit the acts. Everything is conspiracy.

Wake up sheeple.
posted by HyperBlue at 8:19 AM on July 10, 2005


...it's almost impossible to guarantee that a train would have been in a station at a particular time.

From what I've heard about the tube, it's pretty much a guarantee that a train will not be in a station on time!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:27 AM on July 10, 2005


This is what my AskMe last night was about.

Is this why Rudy was in town? (he's everywhere you don't want to be, disasterwise)
posted by amberglow at 8:34 AM on July 10, 2005


I think the operators of that site need to adjust their tin-foil sombreros.
posted by SteveTheRed at 8:37 AM on July 10, 2005


Wake up sheeple.
Do people laugh at you because you're different, but you laugh at them because they're all the same? Just wondering.
posted by darukaru at 8:40 AM on July 10, 2005


amberglow writes "Is this why Rudy was in town? (he's everywhere you don't want to be, disasterwise)"

No kidding. If you're on vacation somewhere and run into Rudy Giuliani, leave as fast as you can. That guy is to peace and quiet what an SI cover is to a sports career.
posted by clevershark at 8:59 AM on July 10, 2005


So, did these exercises involve suspicious packages being placed around the tube? Were they switched? Why?

Have these exercises been done before on the tube and what exactly did they entail?

Was it the London police running the exercises or who?
posted by amberglow at 9:24 AM on July 10, 2005


cstross, I agree that there is little information to go on to link the three events. But I think you dismiss Gladio a little too lightly. The link you cite clearly says it was more than "...a right-wing Italian conspiracy from the 1970s..." It seemed to be a full-blown CIA wet-dream on the order of the disturbances in Iran generated by Kermit Roosevelt and Norman Schwarzkopf I. I think the judicious stance here is that we don't know what happened, and that, given the US and British intelligence's history, a conspiracy is not implausible (unless of course you believe that all conspiracies are in the past and we are living in a golden present).
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:55 AM on July 10, 2005


BoundlessJoy: This is a co-incidence and not a very remarkable one. Companies run crisis simulations regularly and given the number of large companies headquartered in London, on any day there will be several crisis simulations running.

Bingo. And an attack on public transportation services in a city center is a common terrorist MO. From the interview, we also don't have any clue as to how much "fitting" is being done after the fact, and probably wont due to confidentiality issues.

NinjaPirate: The idea that secret exercises coincided with actual bombings suggests something of a swap has been made - an inside job?

amberglow: So, did these exercises involve suspicious packages being placed around the tube? Were they switched? Why?

Why assume that this involved putting suspicious packages on the tube (which would be irresponsible and probably not good PR for a company of over 1,000) rather than a drill to see how well the company deals with a morning rush-hour shutdown of public transporation and wireless communication?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:04 AM on July 10, 2005


Ex-government security members have historically commonly participated in acts of terrorism against civilian populations.

That sentence, above, is a summary of much of the political history of Latin American in the latter part of the 20th Century.

Trying to prove such connections - between governments and terrorism - can be rather difficult, though, and such inquiries seem to skew the odds of suicide and random deadly accidents in an unfavorable direction.

Also - FYI - such talk, about suspected conspiracies, can now get people banned from certain liberal politically oriented websites (not this one).

In the end - whatever the facts be - the idea that governments are rotten enough to do such things as this post suggests may be too much of a cognitive stretch for most, and such beliefs may be simply maladaptive regardless of whether or not they are true :

To believe that one could simply be sacrificed by one's government to further some complex agenda of the rich and powerful is a very threatening concept, and such beliefs provoke unhealthy levels of stress.

But I guess the paragraph above describes the situation of most conscripts throughout most of known history, in most recorded wars......

Still, I have no strong opinion about the origin of the London tube bombings. Government ? Terrorist ?

Who knows. I certainly never will. Governments have their rotten elements and - guess what - NGO groups, terrorist organizations for example - are rotten too.

Many groups would have had motive for the London tube bombings. But in the end, much of the speculation into suspected conspiracies amounts to a ritualized observance of mystery cult worship before the opaque machinations of power.

We know there's an inside story, but we'll probably never know exactly what that is and - further - our beliefs are irrelevant, even as the near certainty that the Bush Administration lied about Iraqi possesion of WMD's to justify the invasion of Iraq is currently irrelevant.

Democrats don't have the political clout to force an investigation into that issue, and conspiracy theorists - even granting that many conspiracies are quite real - are almost completely disempowered.

Like tiny insects screeching with tiny insect voices., they can be safely ignored for the most part.

In the end, conspiracy theorists can probably best call attention to their chosen concerns by marketing them in the court of popular opinion, via PR and marketing techniques. The Christian right, for example, has done a bang-up job of marketing Christian nationalist conspiracy theories which hold that there is a widespread, pervasive conspiracy among scientists to promote lies about Global Warming and Evolution.
posted by troutfishing at 10:33 AM on July 10, 2005


I wish there was a transcript of this interview on the BBC site or something instead of just this horrible conspiracy site.
posted by abcde at 10:45 AM on July 10, 2005


Oh, and just by looking at the transit map, it does not take a psychic to predict that if terrorists want to cripple dowtown London for a day, transit explosions at or near stations that serve as key transfer points would maximize damage:

Liverpool: 3 routes
Edgware: 3 routes
Kings Cross: 4 routes

If my firm had major offices in the center of those stations, I'd certainly be considering them as candidates for a worst-case scenario.

(Note I'm just going by the Beeb maps and assuming that since the lines meet up at one station, that station will serve as a transfer point.)

Then a bomb on the bus later to shutdown another major form of public transportation.

troutfishing: To believe that one could simply be sacrificed by one's government to further some complex agenda of the rich and powerful is a very threatening concept, and such beliefs provoke unhealthy levels of stress.

I guess I see it as counterproductive because stretching for highly improbable conspiracies makes it difficult to ignore the highly probable conspiracies. For example, there is some pretty hard evidence that Negroponte, Abrams, and Poindexeter knew about and assisted (through funding, apologies and a blind eye by intelligence), the activities of death squads and terrorists in Central America. But instead, we have arguments over off-the-cuff phrases like "pull it."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:54 AM on July 10, 2005


Whoops, that should be, "makes it easy to ignore the highly probable conspiracies." If these conspiracy theorists spent half their energy on what Negroponte and Abrams were doing 20 years ago, as chasing down magic bullets and phantom planes, a fair number of the Bush admisinstration could be in jail right now.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:59 AM on July 10, 2005


The NORAD and SAC military exercises Vigilant Guardian and Global Guardian were underway when the 9/11 attacks occurred.
posted by euphorb at 11:30 AM on July 10, 2005


KirkJobSluder: Hell yes.
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:37 AM on July 10, 2005


that's why this is suspicious, euphorb. Why is it that there are things going on at the exact same time as attacks?

And are private companies allowed to do exercises on tube platforms and in stations on their own, or would they need explicit permission?
posted by amberglow at 11:46 AM on July 10, 2005


If the stations in the simulation were Russell Square, Edgware Road (Met line) and Aldgate East then yes, wow, that's some co-incidence.

If they were Kings Cross, Liverpool Street and Paddington then .. not so much. Add Waterloo and they're probably the first ones anyone would think of. Edgware Road is a tricky one, a poor choice for any kind of exercise since there are actually two of them, quite different and not connected.

Don't worry if you don't know the London Tube system that well, the bombers probably didn't either. Why else waste the impact of fairly small bombs on the (comparatively) spacious cut-and-cover Circle Line?
posted by grahamwell at 11:53 AM on July 10, 2005


Alex Jones is a bit more than your standard drooling conspiracy nut. He's a serious & principled libertarian, a pretty entertaining radio / tv host (see Richard Linklater's "A Waking Life" for a great Jones segment), and a local legend in Austin. He's also the guy who snuck inside Bohemian Grove and brought back the freaky footage of our world leaders worshipping a giant owl (nothing wrong with that, mind you!) and made a much stronger documentary than Michael Moore about 9/11 ... long before Moore got in on the game, too.

I defend Jones here because I avoided him for years and years, thinking he was some far-right crank waving the Protocols of Zion or something. And as the comments here show (as well as those on Democratic Underground and unnamed liberal sites that have "purged" those who bring up the wrong subjects) that what little most people know about Jones isn't quite right. The Wikipedia entry is, as they say, Fair & Balanced and worth a read. What he does is use real news coverage to put together a puzzle. He also follows the old cui bono system that not enough journalists bother with today. Something happens. Who benefits? If things keep happening that don't benefit those blamed, might there be another side of the story? Lord knows the Bush Admin. (and many other administrations of "both" parties) benefits from chaos, fear and war, both politically and financially.

Of course, a simpler explanation is that this federal government is better than most at exploiting every horrible thing that happens -- that they are simply cruelly efficient and utterly amoral opportunists. But it takes just one more piece of a puzzle to change them from opportunists to instigators. Criminal conspiracy occurs every day in sports, stock trading and, eventually, in the history books about our own fair nation and our most hallowed leaders ... why would an administration already guilty of numerous deadly crimes (Iraq comes to mind) be immune to the disease of terrorizing its citizens?
posted by kenlayne at 11:56 AM on July 10, 2005


Who benefits? is the right question. This doesn't help anyone in power at all. If there was a government-sponsored attack on its own citizens, the danger is enormous. If found to be true, Blair would literally hang in the Tower. The attack made Bush and Blair seem like fools for going after Saddam while the problem of radical islamist terror went unaddressed. These two are indeed stupid, but not that stupid.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:07 PM on July 10, 2005


amberglow: Why is it that there are things going on at the exact same time as attacks?

It seems there are things going on all the time.

And are private companies allowed to do exercises on tube platforms and in stations on their own, or would they need explicit permission?

Again, how do we go from "At half past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now." to "exercises on tube platforms and in stations."?

Especially given:

"And we had a room full of crisis managers for the first time they'd met..."

I'm not seeing the evidence to support that their involvement in the tube stations was anything other than creating a fictional role-play scenario.

grahamwell: I'm just going by the descriptions of the train routes and explosions on the BBC website on the issue. The Edgware train was evidently bound for Paddington. Also, I have a strong suspicion that this particular business might be located near the middle of all this, also constraining the choice of stations for a role-play scenario.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:12 PM on July 10, 2005


I wasn't thinking "conspiracy" when I posted this report, so much as I was mulling the mind-bend of a scenario where you are involved in an emergency exercise that suddenly morphs into a large-scale tragedy in reality.

Hadn't tripped over the source site (PrisonPlanet.com) before yesterday, actually.

However, thank you kenlayne for all the information on Alex Jones...interesting.

I do remember Rudy being interveiwed on the BBC the day of the London attack...that was a bit of a Whisky Tango Foxtrot flashback moment.
posted by Dunvegan at 12:30 PM on July 10, 2005


Ironmouth writes "If found to be true, Blair would literally hang in the Tower."

True, but you severely "misunderestimate" the public's desire to see no such connection, and the scorn that is rather liberally heaped on anyone who would even suggest that there is a connection.

In the case of 9/11, PNAC documents written five years before hand recommended the invasion of Iraq, but decried the fact that there would be little political will for it unless an event occurred which would be something on the order of Pearl Harbor -- a savage attack which would take America completely by surprise. Shortly after an Administration was formed which included (directly and indirectly) many of the central names behind the PNAC declaration, that very sort of thing happened, and some time after that the horrible event was used to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Could it really be, as most people say, a complete coincidence?
posted by clevershark at 12:33 PM on July 10, 2005


If I remember correctly, Russell Square station has only one narrow set of stairs and two elevators, which makes it one of the worst stations on the tube system if one needs to implement a rescue plan there.
posted by clevershark at 12:36 PM on July 10, 2005


Pretty stupid of Peter Power to blow the whole operation, like that. How long do we expect him to live?

Could it really be, as most people say, a complete coincidence?

I bet the "blowback" guys and the "PNAC" guys get into bar fights.
posted by dhartung at 12:36 PM on July 10, 2005


I think that grahamwell has a really good observation. Because some of the blasts happened between stations, you have your choice of fitting the event to the prediction.

clevershark: Could it really be, as most people say, a complete coincidence?

Well, yes. Given a history of escalating terrorist attacks on American and European interests, I think that the predictions made by the PNAC were pretty sound. I do think that the Bush Administration positioned its self to take political advantage of any attack that happened. But I also think that 9/11 was not as clearly advantageous for the Bush Administration as is claimed. The scale of the damage and the economic fallout were too big, and the case for war in Iraq could have been made (and was made) with much smaller events.

Also, dozens, if not hundreds of such policy papers are produced in any given year. Why is the predictions of this one that came true, more pertinent than the dozens of other policy analysis papers that came out of similar think tanks?

But that has old news that does not really apply well to evaluating the theory that a consultant in a "room of crisis managers" was involved in planting decoy evidence for the government to bomb its own people.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:03 PM on July 10, 2005


"We don't know if the driver forgot to switch them on or if there was a technical problem but there are no images."

Well, the hunt for the actual terrorists is going to be a bit more difficult what with the CCTV cameras on the bus that blew up not working....for some reason. But hunting for the actual bombers is similar to hunting for the guy(s) who actually pulled the trigger on JFK (given, solely for the sake of illustration, that there was a conspiracy there)

If these conspiracy theorists spent half their energy on what Negroponte and Abrams were doing 20 years ago, as chasing down magic bullets and phantom planes...


That's the thing, KirkJobSluder. The wacky conspiracy theories are in fact part of the conspiracy.
Troutfishing alluded to provocateuring, but it's more than simple physical attacks. One needs a cover story. That cover story can include bizarre improbable theories which one can apply to potential investigators.
Old news.

But let's say these were simply successful Guy Fawkes' attacks as pretty much the U.S. & British governments have portrayed them.

Cui Bono?

Well, the terrorists attacked during G8. What was going on then? Africa, Iraq, Trade, the global economy & oil, etc.

Everyone from Joschka Fischer to Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani condemed the blasts (albeit with different emphasis - and gee, we heard all about the famous Iranian cleric Kashani saying: "Islam is the religion of kindness, justice and humanity and it totally disapproves of massacring innocent women, children, youngsters and elderly folks." on the news, didn't we?)

So who would want to disrupt what was going on? (As Tony said - Ironic that they'd bomb during the G8 which was fixin' on helping people - to paraphrase)

Well...One of the things was to urge Israel to immediately ratify the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and abide by other conventions on the weapons of mass destruction. Plus $9 billion for Palastinian reform, which is no small potatoes for the Palastinians.

Now wuz I sponsoring terrorism, obviously I'd decry it and try to cast blame on someone else, which if you read the link to Kashani, he does. But he also says:
"The United States nurtures state-sponsored terrorism for sure, but if that country meanwhile wishes success in its campaign against terrorism it should first abandon its terrorist moves in occupied Palestine."

Well, gee, I guess he totally doesn't understand how terrorists hate freedom so much that they would bomb London during a conference wherein folks are promising to give the Palastinians (long an object of contention if you've been in a cave) $9 bn.
But of course Al Quedia has different motivations. They all do. ("They" = Ay-rabs)
So it doesn't follow that they'd want to help Palestine. But they all seem to dislike Jews in general and Israel in particular. So they must hate freedom so much they forgot that $9 bn tidbit of info. That and the G8 seeking 'favorable' investment terms in Opec countries. Oh and withdrawal from Gaza, the Ramallah thing, etc.

Of course I understand that attempting to enquire into the motives of one's enemy (or even attempting to understand who one's enemy is) is too liberal and hurts our troops.

But indulge my line of thinking as to why the Israel - Palastine thing is one of the more valuable lines of thought and let's look at who was there.
It was James Wolfensohn who was the Special Envoy for Disengagement for economic regeneration and Palastinian governance reform.
He's the guy who right now has the greatest power to affect the Israeli-Palestinian thing.

Didn't Bush appoint some comb sucker to the world bank recently?
Didn't Joe Stiglitz say something like: "The World Bank will once again become a hate figure. This could bring street protests and violence across the developing world." And describe Bush's determination to appoint the comb licker as "either an act of provocation or an act so insensitive as to look like provocation"?

Pretty prophetic that Stiglitz. Maybe he's behind it, hmmm?

Does this Guy Fawkes thing have deeper roots than just Israel and Palastine? Like the US Africa Growth and Opportunity Act? Or the US forcing financial provisions on bilateral trade partners that bans the use of capital controls used to regulate currency flows?

It can't be that trade negotiations and the distribution of official development assistance by rich industrialised countries are tools of foreign policy used to further national self-interest and that it what has some people pissed off is it?
I mean Wolfowitz is a sweetheart, isn't he?
Just because the U.S. seems to benefit from this the most doesn't mean Kashani is right. Just because Stiglitz saw this coming 2 years ago doesn't mean anything.

Nah, that's all crazy paranoid fantasy tinfoil hat stuff, they just hate freedom.

Still. Lotsa coincidences. What is it they say? Once is noise, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action?

But yeah, best not to think about it too much. Don't let anyone know you've slipped the leash and voila' you'll become 'successful' by...um...let's say osmosis. Yeah.


To believe that one could simply be sacrificed by one's government to further some complex agenda of the rich and powerful is a very threatening concept, and such beliefs provoke unhealthy levels of stress.

*chuckling*
posted by Smedleyman at 1:04 PM on July 10, 2005


KirkJobSluder writes "Also, dozens, if not hundreds of such policy papers are produced in any given year. Why is the predictions of this one that came true, more pertinent than the dozens of other policy analysis papers that came out of similar think tanks?"

Because it was signed by what would turn out (in 2001) to be the three most powerful people at the Pentagon (Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz), plus the #2 man at the State Department (Armitage).

the case for war in Iraq could have been made (and was made) with much smaller events.

If you think Iraq could have happened without 9/11, you're seriously fooling yourself.
posted by clevershark at 1:14 PM on July 10, 2005


There are some very insightful comments in here. My faith in Metafilter is renewed. Seriously, no sarcasm intended.

Today's conspiracies are tomorrow's history lessons. I hate it when people just say "oooh, tinfoil hat" without even stopping to consider as many sides of something as they can. And "who benefits?" is indeed a good question to be asking, particularly in times like these...
posted by First Post at 1:18 PM on July 10, 2005


Oh, and I should point out that the PNAC letter to Pres. Clinton was actually written in 1998 and not (as I incorrectly wrote earlier) in 1996.
posted by clevershark at 1:23 PM on July 10, 2005


Smedleyman: Oh, I'm not rejecting the possibility that the London bombings may have been an inside job. However, I think it's a huge stretch to say that Peter Power was paid to plant fake evidence, based on two statements in an interview.

I also don't disbelieve that there is a worldwide conspiracy on the part of key people to maintain a post-imperialist status quo. However these people have already won the battle for the hearts and minds of the electorate in much of the U.S. and Europe. There is no revolution at work under the scenes. So to pose the question back to you, Qui bono? Who benefits from an action that threatens to disrupt a status quo that is already firmly in the pockets of Bush and Blair? Both of them have a 3-year lock on power, and a mandate to persue their political agendas.

Well, while I agree that Al Queda's motives are quite a bit more complex than "they hate freedom," I think they stand to benefit by showing that they are still a player in the game.

clevershark: Because it was signed by what would turn out (in 2001) to be the three most powerful people at the Pentagon (Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz), plus the #2 man at the State Department (Armitage).

But again, all this document does is become one of many that state the obvious at the time. Connecting the dots to paying 20 people to fly planes into buildings is another thing altogether.

The best the 9/11 conspiracy theorests can show is that the Bush administration was eager to use terrorism for its own political or military advantage.

If you think Iraq could have happened without 9/11, you're seriously fooling yourself.

I don't think so. Bush I and Clinton were both engaged in continuing hostilities with Iraq. I think that Bush could have taken advantage of just about any situation to justify Iraq, not just something on the scale of 9/11. In addition, even with 9/11, it took the Bush Administration months to gain majority approval for the invasion.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:35 PM on July 10, 2005


Oh, and just by looking at the transit map, it does not take a psychic to predict that if terrorists want to cripple dowtown London for a day, transit explosions at or near stations that serve as key transfer points would maximize damage:

Liverpool: 3 routes
Edgware: 3 routes
Kings Cross: 4 routes


Actually, Edgware Road is an unusual case. If I were to be asked to bet on any single station on the H&C line at which a train would be sat, becalmed, waiting for a bomb to go off, it would be Edgware Road. The reason is that it is the station at which drivers invariably swap shifts or routes. The absolute universal MO seems to be for the replacement driver to be taking a dump when your train arrives at the station, and your original driver departs, leaving an entire rush hour train full of commuters weeping tears of impotent rage for 15 minutes while they wait for him to finish reading The Sun, wipe his arse, and waddle in no particular hurry to the front of the train to actually do his bloody job. It is a station, and indeed line, to avoid at all costs.
posted by bifter at 1:45 PM on July 10, 2005


First Post: Today's conspiracies are tomorrow's history lessons. I hate it when people just say "oooh, tinfoil hat" without even stopping to consider as many sides of something as they can. And "who benefits?" is indeed a good question to be asking, particularly in times like these...

Well, on the other hand, I hate it when people claim they are being "open minded" when they are really being empty headed, gullible idiots. The problem with this particular conspiracy theory is that we really don't have that many sides. We have a couple of sentences from a person who claims a coincidence, based on the fact that he was sitting in a room with a bunch of novice crisis managers roleplaying a terrorist attack as one happened.

Perhaps there is a there there, but you can't go from a crisis management consultant doing his job at 9:30 on a week day, to a crisis management consultant planting decoy evidence on tube platforms without some huge leaps of unsupported logic.

Likewise, I'm trying to follow the chain of "Quo bono" logic back to the U.K. and U.S. governments at a time when they have a pretty hard lock on power, and I just can't make the leap of faith over those gaps.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:48 PM on July 10, 2005


... However these people have already won the battle for the hearts and minds of the electorate in much of the U.S. and Europe. ...

not in Europe they haven't won the hearts and minds, and here at home, there hasn't been a majority approval for Iraq for quite a while. And what was it? 80%+ against Iraq in England? And vast majorities in Italy and the other countries that sent troops?

And Blair can be replaced by Brown at any time at all, i believe. He has no lock on power, but after this, is quite a bit safer, no?
posted by amberglow at 1:50 PM on July 10, 2005


And it's not being "empty headed" or "gullible" to question things. Should we blindly accept all the official lies we've heard already? How many lies from those in power make it not empty-headed?
posted by amberglow at 1:53 PM on July 10, 2005


Without meaning to throw gasoline on a fire, my SO found this send to her from a friend tracking a sudden drop in the pound. The text in the link is his as he was tracking the pound values (he does trading) and noticed the corresponding drop and the date. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we end up seeing something like this after 9/11, too? Perhaps people should start keeping stockbrokers in small cages, and when they start to sell quickly, then we can be prepared. (You know, like canaries in coal mines). He sent this in response to the latest addition to the front page of www.mnftiu.cc I emailed him, as he found the two pieces of information to be oddly related.
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:56 PM on July 10, 2005


Richard Perle - one of the three most powerful people at the Pentagon in 2001? A nasty piece of work for sure, but at the time hopping from job to job, in and out of TV studios. If that's power at least it's fairly in-your-face.

On the original post, the timing coincidence - surely "the peak of the rush hour" - either 8.45 am or 5.20 pm.

How was it done? Four bombs, four people. Tempting to think that they met at Kings Cross at about 8:30. One each goes east and west on the Circle Line (strange choice - a Londoner would have hit the Vic and Northern), one takes to the streets with a later timed bomb looking for crowds. That leaves one. What happened there? Do you risk getting on a crowded train, dropping the bag and getting straight off again? Probably not, too obvious, you'd ride with it for one stop - wouldn't you? In which case the fourth bomber may well be in pieces under Russell Square.
posted by grahamwell at 2:08 PM on July 10, 2005


KirkJobSluder writes "Connecting the dots to paying 20 people to fly planes into buildings is another thing altogether."

No need to do that, just to let it happen. Sleep on the NSC memos. Hell, at least two of the terrorists involved in 9/11 were already on terrorist watchlists, yet they apparently had no problems whatsoever entering the US *even under their own names*, or renting apartments, or indeed doing any of a number of things which require some type of checking or another. Either the people guarding the henhouse are so massively incompetent that they might as well just not be there, or there's something more creative at play.

Frankly I don't see how dismissing it as some sort of a massive clusterf*ck is reassuring in any way, especially when we know that the same people that should have done their jobs then -- assuming the lack of conspiracy of course -- are the same people in the same posts now, only their business cards now say "DHS" instead of "INS".
posted by clevershark at 2:17 PM on July 10, 2005


Zack-Replica: Perhaps people should start keeping stockbrokers in small cages, and when they start to sell quickly, then we can be prepared

The Pentagon tried it: DARPA's FutureMAP Project. It was shut down before making much progress in the face of widespread outrage.
posted by Ubiq at 2:22 PM on July 10, 2005


Zack, I'm no economist but currency traders were expecting a cut in British interest rates on the day of the bombing (the first cut in this cycle). As it happened, they didn't get it, but that expectation is probably what you're seeing.

However, many people made a killing exploiting a weakness of computerised trading systems (which overreacted). Cui bono ?
posted by grahamwell at 2:29 PM on July 10, 2005


amberglow: not in Europe they haven't won the hearts and minds, and here at home, there hasn't been a majority approval for Iraq for quite a while. And what was it? 80%+ against Iraq in England? And vast majorities in Italy and the other countries that sent troops?

There wasn't a majority approval until Powell's speech actually. Neither Bush nor Blair have been fully able to sell the claim that the expedition in Iraq is critical to our safety, and I think it's an even tougher sell now.

Bush may not have majority approval for the expedition in Iraq, but he doesn't need it. He's not going anywhere, and I don't our disapproving public will muster the political will to make him move. Blair can tag off to Brown, but I don't think that is going to result in huge changes either.

And Blair can be replaced by Brown at any time at all, i believe. He has no lock on power, but after this, is quite a bit safer, no?

I don't think so. I think at this point more terrorist actions are going to result in increased skepticism and a loss of confidance. I don't think Blair wins by this. Iraq and Afghanistan failed to protect the UK, and Blair as the figurehead because the fall guy.

And it's not being "empty headed" or "gullible" to question things. Should we blindly accept all the official lies we've heard already? How many lies from those in power make it not empty-headed?

Ahh, a nice false dichotomy here. If I don't blindly accept the claim that Peter Power planted pretence on platforms (and then bragged about it to the beeb), I must blindly accept all the official lies.

I'm not making any conclusions beyond my feeling that the Peter Power hypothesis peters pathetically due to a paucity of proof.

I also think that in the current political environment, Islamic nationalists have more to gain from this than either Bush or Blair. Of course Smedlyman mentions a bunch of actions by the G8 conference, but I don't think that nationalism has ever been swayed by kinder and gentler forms of economic or political imperialism. Al-Queda needs to show the world that it's still a player. And I think it needs to be show that it won't be bought off.

clevershark: Frankly I don't see how dismissing it as some sort of a massive clusterf*ck is reassuring in any way, especially when we know that the same people that should have done their jobs then -- assuming the lack of conspiracy of course -- are the same people in the same posts now, only their business cards now say "DHS" instead of "INS".

Well, by experiences in group behavior are that extereme incompetence is more common that we would like to think.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:38 PM on July 10, 2005



Ahh, a nice false dichotomy here. If I don't blindly accept the claim that Peter Power planted pretence on platforms (and then bragged about it to the beeb), I must blindly accept all the official lies.

I'm not making any conclusions beyond my feeling that the Peter Power hypothesis peters pathetically due to a paucity of proof.

Bullshit. You're calling people who question "empty-headed" and "gullible". You're the one making the false dichotomy, and trying to shut off conversation and questions--whether intentionally or not. Why insult people who ask questions and put forth ideas?

People are raising possibilities--do they make you too uncomfortable or something? why rush to knock them all down?
posted by amberglow at 2:44 PM on July 10, 2005


Ubiq - I can partially see why it was shut down, as the whole "dead pool" aspect is not really any way to engender positive inter-cultural/national bridges. Keeping a watch on different aspects of general society (such as the stock market), and what they're doing at any given time is, I think, a viable way to keep tabs on potential future events.
I think keeping tabs on individuals is invasive, and while it may be occasionally necessary (ow, I don't like writing that), trends can be seen with greater ease when one watches what the whole herd's doing. If it's interesting, then one can begin to narrow their view. In short: thanks for that link. :) Very interesting.
(oh, and loved the graphic in the article. quite... apt in regards to the whole process.)
posted by Zack_Replica at 2:45 PM on July 10, 2005


grahamwell: I will freely admit my near total and complete ignorance in regards to the comings and goings of the stock market, and had hoped that there was another reason as to what that nasty drop was. I'd found the quote from Brit Hume and the stock chart to be uncomfortably close - thanks for the additional light on that.
posted by Zack_Replica at 2:53 PM on July 10, 2005


Terror warnings received before blasts (AP, 7/7)

Why is the British Govt. now saying there weren't warnings? Who's telling the truth and who isn't? Doesn't it remind you of Condi lying under oath before Congress?
posted by amberglow at 2:54 PM on July 10, 2005


amberglow: Bullshit. You're calling people who question "empty-headed" and "gullible". You're the one making the false dichotomy, and trying to shut off conversation and questions--whether intentionally or not. Why insult people who ask questions and put forth ideas?

Well yes, I think that the Peter Power planted pretence on platforms hypothesis based on this interview is so pathetically weak that building a conspiracy around it is empty-headed and gullible.

And I've found that it's not the case that many of the believers in conspiracy theories are actually "people who question." When you question their conspiracy theories what you find is that they are claiming open-mindedness because they jumped from faith in one authority to faith in another.

People are raising possibilities--do they make you too uncomfortable or something? why rush to knock them all down?

Why the objection to the critical thinking here? The article linked in the FPP, you, and NinjaPirate have worked on the assumption that this "exercise" involved activity on the tube, when the brief work on the interview implies otherwise. What evidence do you have to justify this as a working assumption?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:54 PM on July 10, 2005


amberglow: Why is the British Govt. now saying there weren't warnings? Who's telling the truth and who isn't? Doesn't it remind you of Condi lying under oath before Congress?

My working assumption is that no one is telling the full truth here.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:57 PM on July 10, 2005


So, given that working assumption, why not question? What exactly was Power doing and where? Why wasn't Netanyahu at the Conference where he was supposed to be but instead he stayed in his hotel room? What specific actions did Britain take after Spain warned them a few months ago?

At this point, i think there's either something to all of this--even if it's passively allowing things to happen, or we should dismantle all our dangerously lousy intelligence in the UK and here, and buy it from the Israelis.
posted by amberglow at 3:19 PM on July 10, 2005


The attack made Bush and Blair seem like fools for going after Saddam while the problem of radical islamist terror went unaddressed. These two are indeed stupid, but not that stupid.

Meanwhile all the media here and there is that stupid or thinks all of us are--none of them are saying that at all, are they? Have you read or heard anyone?
posted by amberglow at 3:22 PM on July 10, 2005


amberglow: So, given that working assumption, why not question?

Which questions are worth persuing? I find Power's statement that the "exercise" was conducted in a meeting room to be entirely plausible, because if he was leading groups running around the tube station at the time, for nefarious purposes, why volunteer it?

What is up with the Israel Embassy. But there are a whole mess of questions I'd like to raise with that article. Who was the anonymous "Senior Official?" What exactly was said? When was it said? Did the security officer log the call? Who was the reporter on this piece? Were there possible miscommunications between the "Senior Official" and the reporter, or the "Senior Official" and the security officer?

Where does the information on Netanyahu's location come from?

I must admit, that I find anonymous news pieces citing anonymous officials to be highly suspect.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:49 PM on July 10, 2005


Intelligence got it wrong : ...But in order to make improvements and thwart terrorist attacks in the future, we need above all the facts. Not things as we would like them to be. Certainly not a series of tragic events appropriated by politicians for their own ends. Nor a validation of the defeatist theory of inevitability - just the facts. My bet is that when the details and gestation of this ghastly plot are laid bare, we will see that at various stages it would have been deterrable or discoverable. This was certainly the case with 9/11 and also Madrid, where the plotters on a number of occasions excited the suspicion of the authorities, but the leads were tragically not exploited. I doubt if London will be different. ...
posted by amberglow at 4:01 PM on July 10, 2005


Ultimately, the image of Power proctoring professionals practicing prudence is preferably probable to Power's privateers planting pretence on platforms of pedestrians.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:04 PM on July 10, 2005


huge stretch to say that Peter Power was paid to plant fake evidence
KirkJobSluder, I wasn't aiming at rebutting you. Pretty much I'm just asking questions and sharing information. And really who cares who held the bags?
It's perfectly possible that Al Queida had lots to do with it.

As I understand it, some Chicago cops carry needles. When making an arrest they would speak in low placating tones and calmy, gently, begin to frisk & pat down a subject in full view of the public. At a tender spot - these very few asshole cops - would dig the needle in, often causing the subject to attack them.
The situation with Al Queida may be analogus in some ways. Or not.
What's clear is the West isn't going to be changing any policies any time soon. The reasons around that are debatable. The odds of dying in a terrorist attack are much less than dying in a car crash, so I could care less.


Who benefits from an action that threatens to disrupt a status quo that is already firmly in the pockets of Bush and Blair?


The objective of power is power. There is no such thing as "firmly" in politics in the same way there is no such thing as having achieved perfect health. Such things must be maintained.

But I certainly see the opposite side of that coin. Al Queda could well have been aiming at being noticed to maintain their own influence.
I'd ask you to define "Al Queda," but since the definition is purposefully vague it would be unfair.
(Al-Qa’ida serves as an umbrella organization which includes many Sunni Islamic extremist groups, some members of Gama’a al-Islamiyya, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and the Harakat ul-Mujahidin. (I got a Dudley Knox library card...so?) As opposed to say, Shining Path which is a bit more straightforward organization.)

Philosophy aside - as a straightforward issue the 'war on some terror' is flagging. Mostly because of Iraq. The bombings set up an excellent forum for Bushco front man G. Bush to say: "the war on terrorism goes on."
(In fact he asserts "staying on offense" whatever the hell that means)
So they get to squeeze and exert more power much as Efraim Halevi demands (see below) and still get away with portraying themselves as 'defending freedom.'
Well...mission accomplished if it's what is actually going on. That's what they have to gain, KirkJobSluder.

(The statement: "British authorities have said the attacks bear the hallmarks of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, the Islamic militant group behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington" coming two days after the attacks is idiotic in the extreme. Downright misleading even, given the (previously unknown) Al Kayda group already claimed responsibility.



So ok... remember the last G8 summit?
We - that is the "Group of Eight (G8) industrial nations" - said we're going to help create a global peacekeeping are going to put 50,000 peacekeepers around the world, but beginning in Africa, over the next five or six years.
This would be the "Broader Middle East and North Africa."

You know it, if you've been following the Iraq war, as U.S. Centcom (from the Horn of Africa to Central Asia).

I don't want to go Orwell here, but remember the chunks of real estate Oceania, Eastasia and Eurasia were fighting over?

U.S. Centcom.
(Looks like Oceania is winning)

Pulling back from the big picture I'd say Israel seems to benefit from it too. Lots of hard liners arguing for an all out war - "complete destruction" - of Islam.
(How Efraim Halevi got to head up Mossad if he seriously thinks the world situation is new and unprecedented... Hello? History? Hashisium? Templars? Hello?)
Speaking of which, a shiny red apple for anyone who remembers Rida Maghribi in London in 1994.
(Yitzhak Rabin, King Hussein from Jordan, making peace, anyone? Bueller? ... say whatever happen to ol' Yitzhak anyway? Odd paralell comes to mind, the Palestinian Resistance Jaffa Group was previously unknown then too, just like this branch of Al Queida...whatta coincidence)



Getting called an anti-semite in 3...2...1...
(It's just theory I'm postulating. Pure analysis based on my personal knowlege & second hand information. I wasn't there, I'm not investigating, already conceded Al Queida could be all over it. )


I'd oppose the idea that the politicians (Bush, Blair, etc)& some of the countries involved (Israel - who, much like 9/11 denys recieving prior warning of the attacks...or do they? I don't know really) are little more than front men for the money interests involved - if there were some conspiracy to bomb.
But for example OMB worked for the company (CIA). He's technically "opposed" to the objectives of the U.S.
It's so odd how his attacks seem to solidify their position, isn't it?
And how is it this previously unknown Al-Qaida group claims responsibility? And waht ever happened to the G8 discussion on climate change?

And we're supposed to be helping Africa, et. al. right?
Well, according to ActionAid two-thirds of the donor money is not available for poverty reduction in developing countries as it goes back to the donor countries. About $18 billion dollars of aid was given as fee to consultants. It gets worse. I won't go into it.

So the aid actually fosters the dependance of African governments on the G8 and levers usurious 'fair' trade deals and loose "extra" aid gets funneled through the World Bank...who's the head of that again? The guy that Bush pushed into there after Wolfensohn who whas trying to settle stuff in the middle east which would sort of queer things if you want to keep wars going? Ah, yes, Mr.Comblicker, Paul Wolfowitz.

And finally, whatever happened to our discussions on the Downing Street memo? Or the Karl Rove stuff with Valerie...
*BOOOM!!!*

Pardon all my hyperbole and assumption of certain knowlege on the part of the reader. I'm kind of lazy, but I've got a lot in my head on this. Everyone becomes a counter-terrorism expert after stuff like this, especially politicians, which is irritating, so maybe I'm link happy. But I don't want to miss any background info for lack of trying.

My only solid opinion echoes British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook's comments:
"So long as the struggle against terrorism is conceived as a war that can be won by military means, it is doomed to fail. The more the west emphasises confrontation, the more it silences moderate voices in the Muslim world who want to speak up for cooperation. Success will only come from isolating the terrorists and denying them support, funds and recruits, which means focusing more on our common ground with the Muslim world than on what divides us."

The real question then is not who benefits from this particular bombing, but who benefits from dividing us?
posted by Smedleyman at 4:28 PM on July 10, 2005


huge stretch to say that Peter Power was paid to plant fake evidence
KirkJobSluder, I wasn't aiming at rebutting you. Pretty much I'm just asking questions and sharing information. And really who cares who held the bags?
It's perfectly possible that Al Queida had lots to do with it.

As I understand it, some Chicago cops carry needles. When making an arrest they would speak in low placating tones and calmy, gently, begin to frisk & pat down a subject in full view of the public. At a tender spot - these very few asshole cops - would dig the needle in, often causing the subject to attack them.
The situation with Al Queida may be analogus in some ways. Or not.
What's clear is the West isn't going to be changing any policies any time soon. The reasons around that are debatable. The odds of dying in a terrorist attack are much less than dying in a car crash, so I could care less.


Who benefits from an action that threatens to disrupt a status quo that is already firmly in the pockets of Bush and Blair?


The objective of power is power. There is no such thing as "firmly" in politics in the same way there is no such thing as having achieved perfect health. Such things must be maintained.

But I certainly see the opposite side of that coin. Al Queda could well have been aiming at being noticed to maintain their own influence.
I'd ask you to define "Al Queda," but since the definition is purposefully vague it would be unfair.
(Al-Qa’ida serves as an umbrella organization which includes many Sunni Islamic extremist groups, some members of Gama’a al-Islamiyya, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and the Harakat ul-Mujahidin. (I got a Dudley Knox library card...so?) As opposed to say, Shining Path which is a bit more straightforward organization.)

Philosophy aside - as a straightforward issue the 'war on some terror' is flagging. Mostly because of Iraq. The bombings set up an excellent forum for Bushco front man G. Bush to say: "the war on terrorism goes on."
(In fact he asserts "staying on offense" whatever the hell that means)
So they get to squeeze and exert more power much as Efraim Halevi demands (see below) and still get away with portraying themselves as 'defending freedom.'
Well...mission accomplished if it's what is actually going on. That's what they have to gain, KirkJobSluder.

(The statement: "British authorities have said the attacks bear the hallmarks of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, the Islamic militant group behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington" coming two days after the attacks is idiotic in the extreme. Downright misleading even, given the (previously unknown) Al Kayda group already claimed responsibility.



So ok... remember the last G8 summit?
We - that is the "Group of Eight (G8) industrial nations" - said we're going to help create a global peacekeeping are going to put 50,000 peacekeepers around the world, but beginning in Africa, over the next five or six years.
This would be the "Broader Middle East and North Africa."

You know it, if you've been following the Iraq war, as U.S. Centcom (from the Horn of Africa to Central Asia).

I don't want to go Orwell here, but remember the chunks of real estate Oceania, Eastasia and Eurasia were fighting over?

U.S. Centcom.
(Looks like Oceania is winning)

Pulling back from the big picture I'd say Israel seems to benefit from it too. Lots of hard liners arguing for an all out war - "complete destruction" - of Islam.
(How Efraim Halevi got to head up Mossad if he seriously thinks the world situation is new and unprecedented... Hello? History? Hashisium? Templars? Hello?)
Speaking of which, a shiny red apple for anyone who remembers Rida Maghribi in London in 1994.
(Yitzhak Rabin, King Hussein from Jordan, making peace, anyone? Bueller? ... say whatever happen to ol' Yitzhak anyway? Odd paralell comes to mind, the Palestinian Resistance Jaffa Group was previously unknown then too, just like this branch of Al Queida...whatta coincidence)



Getting called an anti-semite in 3...2...1...
(It's just theory I'm postulating. Pure analysis based on my personal knowlege & second hand information. I wasn't there, I'm not investigating, already conceded Al Queida could be all over it. )


I'd oppose the idea that the politicians (Bush, Blair, etc)& some of the countries involved (Israel - who, much like 9/11 denys recieving prior warning of the attacks...or do they? I don't know really) are little more than front men for the money interests involved - if there were some conspiracy to bomb.
But for example OMB worked for the company (CIA). He's technically "opposed" to the objectives of the U.S.
It's so odd how his attacks seem to solidify their position, isn't it?
And how is it this previously unknown Al-Qaida group claims responsibility? And waht ever happened to the G8 discussion on climate change?

And we're supposed to be helping Africa, et. al. right?
Well, according to ActionAid two-thirds of the donor money is not available for poverty reduction in developing countries as it goes back to the donor countries. About $18 billion dollars of aid was given as fee to consultants. It gets worse. I won't go into it.

So the aid actually fosters the dependance of African governments on the G8 and levers usurious 'fair' trade deals and loose "extra" aid gets funneled through the World Bank...who's the head of that again? The guy that Bush pushed into there after Wolfensohn who whas trying to settle stuff in the middle east which would sort of queer things if you want to keep wars going? Ah, yes, Mr.Comblicker, Paul Wolfowitz.

And finally, whatever happened to our discussions on the Downing Street memo? Or the Karl Rove stuff with Valerie...
*BOOOM!!!*

Pardon all my hyperbole and assumption of certain knowlege on the part of the reader. I'm kind of lazy, but I've got a lot in my head on this. Everyone becomes a counter-terrorism expert after stuff like this, especially politicians, which is irritating, so maybe I'm link happy. But I don't want to miss any background info for lack of trying.

My only solid opinion echoes British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook's comments:
"So long as the struggle against terrorism is conceived as a war that can be won by military means, it is doomed to fail. The more the west emphasises confrontation, the more it silences moderate voices in the Muslim world who want to speak up for cooperation. Success will only come from isolating the terrorists and denying them support, funds and recruits, which means focusing more on our common ground with the Muslim world than on what divides us."

The real question then is not who benefits from this particular bombing, but who benefits from dividing us?
posted by Smedleyman at 4:29 PM on July 10, 2005


I just have to say this is the best reading I've had in awhile. Taken together, the facts do all seem rather fishy.
posted by Rothko at 4:32 PM on July 10, 2005


Did I post that twice? Man I am such an asshole today.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:38 PM on July 10, 2005


Not that today is different from any other day....
posted by Smedleyman at 4:58 PM on July 10, 2005


Boy, this is like deja vu all over again:
Blair rejects calls for probe into bombings--
Tony Blair will on Monday reject Conservative demands for a government inquiry into last week's London bomb attacks, insisting such a move would distract from the task of catching the perpetrators. ...

posted by amberglow at 8:43 PM on July 10, 2005


And now this:
Police and intelligence agents are investigating the theory that a gang of white "mercenary terrorists" was hired by al-Qa'ida to carry out last week's devastating attacks on London. ... Among new revelations about the highly sophisticated nature of Thursday's attacks, intelligence officials disclosed that they were examining the prospect that so-called "clean skins" - who could have been Muslims from the Balkans with no previous links to terror groups - were recruited to evade heightened security in the capital.


I guess the people on the videotapes weren't brown?
posted by amberglow at 9:10 PM on July 10, 2005


I just want to add to this discussion the data point that Bush's approval ratings are in the tank of late. The only real approval that Bush ever got from the US electorate resulted from 9/11, in spite of all manner of domestic and foreign initiatives. The question of cui bono must therefore always turn a sceptical eye in their direction whenever a major terrorist attack takes place, not out of malice, but due to the simple fact that he benefits.
posted by dyaseen at 9:14 PM on July 10, 2005


Actually, there is no reason to believe that the timing of the attacks is linked to actions by Western states. Where Al Qaida has, in the past, attached significance to the timing of attacks, it is related to their organizational history. If, as will likely prove the case, this is an action by a "franchise" of Al Qaida, the timing was mostly operational.

There is some evidence that the timing of terrorist incidents is essentially random when they are considered all together. Some groups (particularly ones with ideologies related to Protestant Christianity) do attach great significance to the dates of their attacks, but this significance is tied to events in their own history as often as not.

This is a very interesting article about the supposed stochastic invariance across different scales of terrorist attacks. I believe it makes a minor error in assuming that the stochastic process is a stationary one (I think it is a moving process), but it is absolutely fascinating nevertheless. If their analysis is correct, at the current time we can expect attacks of this scale to occur on the order of 1-3 per year, at random intervals.

I am indebted to Scott Atran for the reference.
posted by warbaby at 9:21 PM on July 10, 2005


People have said that there's that Al Masri trial going on right now in London too.
posted by amberglow at 9:42 PM on July 10, 2005


I'm still waiting to see a shred of any evidence which proves it was Al Quaida. Other than an anonymous phone call taking credit for the attack.
posted by GrooveJedi at 10:47 AM on July 11, 2005


« Older "If MSG is so bad for you, why doesn't everyone in...  |  Great Leap Forward... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments