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Querying the noosphere
September 11, 2008 9:18 AM   Subscribe

According to a recent international survey, there remains no global consensus regarding who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. "On average, 46 percent of those surveyed said al Qaeda was responsible, 15 percent said the U.S. government, 7 percent said Israel and 7 percent said some other perpetrator... The U.S. government was to blame, according to 23 percent of Germans and 15 percent of Italians." The poll was collected by World Public Opinion, a neat website filled with various polls about interesting topics.
posted by Baby_Balrog (131 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ah, but aren't we all to blame, really?
posted by Artw at 9:20 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Didja notice who wasn't mentioned at all?

Hints: It starts with an 'I'
Ends with a 'Q'
Has 'RA' in the middle

posted by Dr-Baa at 9:23 AM on September 11, 2008 [8 favorites]


According to a recent international survey, idiocy and anti-Semitism persist at astonishing levels throughout the world.
posted by Dasein at 9:27 AM on September 11, 2008 [21 favorites]


I saw a video last week where it can all be traced back to Iran.
posted by birdherder at 9:29 AM on September 11, 2008


The US government did a study and a book got published.

What more do ya need to know?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:31 AM on September 11, 2008


I saw a video last week where it can all be traced back to Iran.

I saw a video last week where a co-ed blew a goat. Videos are pretty cool.
posted by trondant at 9:40 AM on September 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility. In lieu of anybody else stepping up to take the blame, I'm willing to go with that.
posted by ardgedee at 9:43 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility.

Would that actually qualify in a court of law or just be hearsay?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:50 AM on September 11, 2008


Ah, but who is responsible for Osama bin Laden?
posted by Artw at 9:50 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh good - let's also run an opinion poll on what colour pants I'm wearing. Because people's opinions have SO MUCH RELEVANCE TO ACTUAL HARD FACTS.
posted by GuyZero at 9:59 AM on September 11, 2008 [5 favorites]


Because people's opinions have SO MUCH RELEVANCE TO ACTUAL HARD FACTS.

Well, markets have the power to predict the future, don't they? Why shouldn't the opinions of big groups of people converge on a single point of absolute truth for the same reasons?

/snark
posted by saulgoodman at 10:01 AM on September 11, 2008


Is that a fact in your pants, or are you just glad to see me??
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:02 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, markets have the power to predict the future, don't they?

Broken clocks, right twice a day, etc.

Also, making a perfect prediction via a market implies that that market is infinitely/perfectly efficient. And I see no efficient markets in my pants.
posted by GuyZero at 10:04 AM on September 11, 2008


And I see no efficient markets in my pants.

I had a pretty efficient market in my pants once. Then I took some antibiotics and it cleared right up.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:06 AM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Peter Hessler in China reported on this about a month after the attacks, in 2001:

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 10:06 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't think GuyZero's even wearing pants, they're just CGI.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:07 AM on September 11, 2008


Oh good - let's also run an opinion poll on what colour pants I'm wearing. Because people's opinions have SO MUCH RELEVANCE TO ACTUAL HARD FACTS.

At the end of the day, perception is more powerful than reality.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:08 AM on September 11, 2008


perception is more powerful than reality.

Until the bills come due. Believe me, they always do.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:10 AM on September 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


POKEY! IT WAS THE ITALIANS!!!!
posted by adipocere at 10:12 AM on September 11, 2008 [5 favorites]


perception is more powerful than reality.

Yes, like when your amputated leg won't stop itching. Which is to say that when perception is more powerful than reality, that itself is a sign of a deeper underlying malady.
posted by GuyZero at 10:14 AM on September 11, 2008


Virtual state
posted by hortense at 10:15 AM on September 11, 2008


the bills for the amputated leg in the coloured pants? I'm confused
posted by mannequito at 10:24 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


okay, so you're this guy, walking toward what appears to be a beautiful ocean at sunset. how could you resist diving in? that's perception. only, it turns out, it's not a beautiful ocean at sunset. you're hallucinating. it's a cliff. that's reality.

now which one is really more powerful? the one that tricks you into killing yourself, or the one that actually does the killing?
posted by saulgoodman at 10:29 AM on September 11, 2008


Diana did it.
posted by popcassady at 10:33 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


ardgedee writes "Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility. In lieu of anybody else stepping up to take the blame, I'm willing to go with that."

Indeed, he claimed it was because he wanted US troops out of Saudi Arabia. Bush was giving the famous "Mission Accomplished" speech the same day he was complying with Bin Laden's demand.
posted by mullingitover at 10:33 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


now which one is really more powerful?

Whatever the hell the source of those hallucinations is. Go easy with the peyote when you're near cliffs.
posted by GuyZero at 10:37 AM on September 11, 2008


saulgoodman: "And I see no efficient markets in my pants.

I had a pretty efficient market in my pants once. Then I took some antibiotics and it cleared right up.
"

I've been wondering how to fix that. Thanks for the tip!
posted by symbioid at 10:37 AM on September 11, 2008


Bin Laden also denied responsibility.

Basically, there are many Bin Laden videos, starring many different bin Ladens, exhibiting contradictory traits and expressing conflicting views. Because of this, they have to be disregarded, in toto, I think, in favor of actual evidence.

The FBI, for one, still holds the position that there's no evidence linking bin Laden to the attack, though they do hold him responsible for the Cole bombing. The FBI's refusal to connect bin Laden to 9/11 is the source of much aggravation in the ongoing CIA-vs-FBI struggle. Similarly, many of the 'suicide' attackers named by the US turned up later, alive and well, in other parts of the world, and this has never been corrected or explained. This stuff matters, and it's annoying to many people that such loose ends are ignored. Closure is nice, but only if it's reality-based.

(Not a tinfoil-hat wearer, but not going along with the war drum media narrative without evidence, either. Maybe 50 yrs from now we'll know what happened, but to claim it's all old news now is naive, sorry. Refusing to consider facts that fly in the face of the official story is worse than being a crazy 'truther', I believe.)
posted by rokusan at 10:40 AM on September 11, 2008 [8 favorites]


Whatever the hell the source of those hallucinations is.

I'm afraid the blame lies squarely with those efficient markets in my pants.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:40 AM on September 11, 2008


The article doesn't provide the question asked in the survey, so it's hard to tell if those blaming the US govt are talking about decades of US foreign policy leading up to Bin Laden and blowback, or to bizarre WTC demolition conspiracy theories. Likewise, I'm hoping 7% blaming Israel are thinking of the instability in the middle east swirling around Israel, rather than some Jewish conspiracy to perpetrate the attacks.

I prefer to hope that people aren't THAT stupid. But then, after eight demonstrably ruinous years of GOP rule, that McCain and Obama could even be close in the polls, let alone tied, sort of suggests I'm full of it. :-(
posted by -harlequin- at 10:43 AM on September 11, 2008


If you want the opinions of stupid people, just read YouTube comments. Either way, The Machine Stops lurches one more step towards reality.
posted by tommasz at 10:44 AM on September 11, 2008


Would that actually qualify in a court of law or just be hearsay?

In the US, voluntary confessions are admissible as evidence. The question of whether or not this particular video constitutes a voluntary confession made by Osama bin Laden would have to be hashed out in court (and, IMHO, it's a tough sell), but if it were found to be one, it would probably be admissible.
posted by vorfeed at 10:45 AM on September 11, 2008


I just watched my office's 9/11 pizza party devolve into polite chaos when a few conspiracy theorists needed to make their idiocy heard.

No I do not know why we had a pizza party on 9/11. It's the like the only impromptu gesture of goodwill our president knows how to make to employees. Best not to question pizza.
posted by cowbellemoo at 10:45 AM on September 11, 2008 [8 favorites]


It would be interesting to see the translations of the questions asked, simply because, 'Who do you think was behind the September 11th terrorist attack?' is a very different question to, 'Who do you think was responsible for the September 11th terrorist attack?'
posted by MrMustard at 10:48 AM on September 11, 2008


and 10 to 15% of Americans think Ombama is a Muslim.......
posted by caddis at 10:50 AM on September 11, 2008


Ah, but who is responsible for Osama bin Laden?

Osama Bin Laden Found Inside Each Of Us
posted by homunculus at 10:51 AM on September 11, 2008


According to the Whitehouse, it wasn't Osama bin Laden
Q But Osama bin Laden is the one that — you keep talking about his lieutenants, and, yes, they are very important, but Osama bin Laden was the mastermind of 9/11 –

PERINO: No, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the mastermind of 9/11, and he’s sitting in jail right now.
posted by birdherder at 10:54 AM on September 11, 2008


Now let's take a poll on god. Is he American, buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, or non-existent. If he or she is not what I believe, then you are wrong and I will destroy or convert you.
posted by Postroad at 10:57 AM on September 11, 2008


He's a DJ.
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on September 11, 2008


Vorfeed - thanks for that note.

And Birdherder - you forgot the old saw about not being listed as wanted, just a suspect.

http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/topten/fugitives/laden.htm

"USAMA BIN LADEN IS WANTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE AUGUST 7, 1998, BOMBINGS OF THE UNITED STATES EMBASSIES IN DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA, AND NAIROBI, KENYA. THESE ATTACKS KILLED OVER 200 PEOPLE. IN ADDITION, BIN LADEN IS A SUSPECT IN OTHER TERRORIST ATTACKS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD."
posted by rough ashlar at 11:07 AM on September 11, 2008


An honest, open, and appropriately-funded investigation would do a lot to clear up 90% of the conspiracy theories. I'd sure feel a lot better with some evidence to consider, rather than feeling like I'm just believing what I'm told to believe. That makes me nervous.

It's probably the secretive nature of this Administration, rather than the events themselves, that have fanned them so effectively. Their motives for that are hard to fathom.

I mean, they've lied about everything else, right? That worries me.
posted by rokusan at 11:07 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Happy 9/11 Day, everyone! ALWAYS REMEMBER, NEVAR FORGET, JEWSDIDWTCLOL, etc...

Hurricane Katrina killed order-of-magnitude same number of people, more recently, and with worse damage to the victim city, but somehow there is a lot less NEVAR FORGETTING media bullshit about that when the anniversary comes around.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:08 AM on September 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


I mean, they've lied about everything else

"We" do not "know" what has been lied about. And unless a blanket pardon exists, who's gonna talk?
posted by rough ashlar at 11:13 AM on September 11, 2008


Hurricane Katrina killed order-of-magnitude same number of people... but somehow there is a lot less NEVAR FORGETTING media bullshit about that.

Amen.
posted by rokusan at 11:17 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


There was this missionary in Papua New Guinea. A native friend of his asked him where he had gotten his nice shirt.

The missionary told him he had gotten it in a men's shop in Singapore.

The native friend insisted that he had gotten it from a magical hole in the ground and went on to ask him where that hole was so that he could get a similar shirt of his own.

No, the missionary said, it's not like that . . .

The native friend got a hurt look on his face and said: Look, we've been friends for years now. Why can't you tell me? I promise I won't tell anyone else.

Shall we conclude that there was no consensus about where the missionary obtained his shirt?
posted by jason's_planet at 11:20 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


TheOnlyCoolTim writes "Hurricane Katrina killed order-of-magnitude same number of people, more recently, and with worse damage to the victim city, but somehow there is a lot less NEVAR FORGETTING media bullshit about that when the anniversary comes around."

Let them eat cake.
posted by mullingitover at 11:23 AM on September 11, 2008


There is no truth out there. It's all just coincidences. Hugs for all.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:28 AM on September 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


Global polls always show pretty much what I expect: that most of the world is populated by idiots.
posted by tadellin at 11:31 AM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Is that a fact in your pants, or are you just glad to see me??

I don't have a fact in my pants, but I do have a raging clue.
posted by clearly at 11:32 AM on September 11, 2008


Evidence that cognitive dissoance affects more than republicans.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:36 AM on September 11, 2008


(heh. "dissoance." good one.)
posted by saulgoodman at 11:43 AM on September 11, 2008


Bin Laden also denied responsibility.

No shit. He knows everything he says will be analyzed and did this to create conspiracy theorists like you. Its a simple and ancient strategy.

Hes actually taken responsibility.

Similarly, many of the 'suicide' attackers named by the US turned up later, alive and well, in other parts of the world

Where is the proof for this? More hearsay?

Bin laden mentions the hijacker's on tape.

Im so sick of this concern trolling truther bullshit. Is moon landing denying out of style now?

Oh and your FBI denial is bullshit too. Read this
However, as the events of September 11 demonstrated with horrible clarity, the United States also confronts serious challenges from international terrorists. The transnational Al-Qaeda terrorist network headed by Usama Bin Laden has clearly emerged as the most urgent threat to U.S. interests. The evidence linking Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden to the attacks of September 11 is clear and irrefutable
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:47 AM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also its worth noting that the denial was 2001 but the acceptance in 2004. At that point he knew no one was buying his bullshit, well, except you.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:50 AM on September 11, 2008


Bin Laden again admits planning it and claims motivation from Israeli-Lebanon war of 82. Mentions Mohammed Atta by name.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:54 AM on September 11, 2008


Im so sick of this concern trolling truther bullshit. Is moon landing denying out of style now?

I am neither a troll nor a 'truther'. Shouting down everyone who doesn't agree with any official gov't story isn't helpful. I agree that the 'truth movement' is a gigantic clusterfuck that has attracted a lot of crazy people. How could it not? But that doesn't mean that every person who smells fish is a lunatic. I don't claim that I know who is behind what, or have some master unification theory. I just see a lot of messy unanswered questions, and when I add the less than honest reputation of this Admin to that, it makes me uneasy. Is that so bad?

I had not read Watson's testimony before, so thanks for that, but it underlines the problem. He mentions evidence that the public has not been allowed to see, and simply claims it's "clear and irrefutable" and we're supposed to nod and agree.

I'd sincerely like to see that evidence. Everyone should. The idea secret evidence is abhorrent to a free society.

Your personal attacks are annoying. Please stop them. You don't know me, or what I believe, or how I think, and throwing me into some lunatic 'truther' category is off-base.
posted by rokusan at 11:56 AM on September 11, 2008 [5 favorites]


Oh, and Bin Laden stars in planning video.
It includes scenes of men handling weapons and box cutters, and training to overpower others physically.

In one scene, bin Laden addresses the camera, calling on followers to support the hijackers.

"I ask you to pray for them and to ask God to make them successful, aim their shots well, set their feet strong and strengthen their hearts," bin Laden said.

While the images aren't new, it's the first time bin Laden has been seen with two men identified as being among the 19 who carried out the attacks.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:56 AM on September 11, 2008


The idea of secret evidence... of course.
posted by rokusan at 11:57 AM on September 11, 2008


Bin Laden was for 9/11 before he was against it.

Anyway, the Bush administration must agree with his retraction of guilt because they aren't going after him.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:57 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


rokusan , youre a nut. Get off it already. Youre as convincing as any other "concern troll" which is to say you have zero credibility and youre overly-skeptical attitude is far from convincing.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:57 AM on September 11, 2008


And if it makes you happier, or even just adjusts your box-placing skills, I'd most certainly bet on bin Laden as a major player, if not the major player, in 9/11.

It's the White House's fuckery with investigations that is bothersome. I don't believe they are hiding (for example) some 'real' plot involving Israel and space aliens. But it's hard to miss that they are hiding something, and that's interesting to me.

Do you really think we know everything we need to know about events before, during and after 9/11? Really?
posted by rokusan at 12:00 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh and hijacker in video with ObL is found to have done test flights around the Pentagon and WTC. But according to you these men "have been seen alive." Where is your proof again?
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:00 PM on September 11, 2008


>Do you really think we know everything...

You cant know everything in life. Get off it. Stop being a nut on the internet. ObL did this. There's more proof for that than anything else. Dont be Mr Skeptic and come up with bullshit claims like 'the hijackers are still alive.'
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:02 PM on September 11, 2008


rokusan , youre a nut. Get off it already. Youre as convincing as any other "concern troll" which is to say you have zero credibility and youre overly-skeptical attitude is far from convincing.

I don't have anything to convince anyone of; I don't have an agenda. You seem to have a black/white, official-story/nutcase view of a very complex piece of history, and that's closed-minded and asinine.

I might be a nut, but not in the way you say.
posted by rokusan at 12:02 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dont be Mr Skeptic and come up with bullshit claims like 'the hijackers are still alive.'

Fine, how about "the US identified and named the terrorists with alarming speed and precision for a bunch of guys whose main explanation of how it happened is their own incompetence?"

I am not the troll you think I am. Go pick on someone else. :)
posted by rokusan at 12:03 PM on September 11, 2008


>I had not read Watson's testimony before

Im not surprised. Tell your truther friends. KTHXBYE!
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:03 PM on September 11, 2008


And yeah, mullingitover nailed the irony for me. Bin Laden certainly got exactly what he wanted from 9/11, in how the administration reacted. I don't think anyone would say that the US actions have weakened its enemies since 2001. Quite the contrary, I'd think.

(PS: the moon landings were real, and I have a piece of rock-hard cheese under glass as evidence. It cost me a fortune on eBay, but it's worth it.)
posted by rokusan at 12:06 PM on September 11, 2008


I had not read Watson's testimony before
Im not surprised. Tell your truther friends. KTHXBYE!


I wish I could believe in that last word.

(Also, can I FedEx you an apostrophe key?)
posted by rokusan at 12:06 PM on September 11, 2008


Hurricane Katrina killed order-of-magnitude same number of people... but somehow there is a lot less NEVAR FORGETTING media bullshit about that.

And the 2004 Tsunami killed 225,000 people.

I think people do react differently to natural disasters and crimes. Katrina is primarily notorious because of the human element - the feeling as if those deaths could have been prevented, just as 9/11 can clearly be blamed on some human agency. Whereas the far greater human tragedy of the tsunami feels as if nothing could have been done. We react differently to acts of god(s), mistakes and crimes.
posted by jb at 12:09 PM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Back on topic (if possible), it is annoying that the original article isn't sharper on the questions. I'm a New Yorker most of the time, but on the actual morning of 9/11 I was overseas with a couple of hundred people from various parts of the world, and the immediate reaction of most was "Well, you (the US) have sure been asking for it for decades."

So yeah, I wonder how much of that infected the survey answers.
posted by rokusan at 12:11 PM on September 11, 2008


rokusan, damn dirty ape has apparently invested a significant amount of emotional capital in the honesty of his government, especially its administration, and your curiosity is an affront to his patriotism. Certainly, we should unquestioningly believe what the government tells us. To do otherwise is simply a waste of resources and, after all, what good could possibly come from making public all the government's "secret evidence?"
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:12 PM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thank you, Baby Balrog. Exactly.
posted by rokusan at 12:14 PM on September 11, 2008


Also, rokusan, you can see the original questions at the Global Survey website linked to above. (It bothered me, too).
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:14 PM on September 11, 2008


until rokusan links to something reputable he stays in the granola category (fruits, nuts, and flakes).
posted by Daddy-O at 12:23 PM on September 11, 2008


Rokusan: You say

You seem to have a black/white, official-story/nutcase view of a very complex piece of history [...]

to damn dirty ape, but you also say

Shouting down everyone who doesn't agree with any official gov't story isn't helpful.

and

Do you really think we know everything we need to know about events before, during and after 9/11? Really?

Now, I don't know if you subscribe to any "truther"-brand nonsense, but you should know that you're using one of their strawmen: that anyone who disagrees with you believes every detail of the "official" government Bushco neocon story. It might be called a "black/white, truth/official lies view" etc, etc. Please don't do this, it's disingenuous and designed to deter people from the open debate you claim you want.

On preview: Balrog, you're doing it too!
posted by WPW at 12:24 PM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I thought Juan Cole's essay today related to this subject was particularly lucid.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:25 PM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


until rokusan links to something reputable he stays in the granola category (fruits, nuts, and flakes).

Quick! post a link to the White House spokeswoman saying /bin/laden was not the mastermind of the events of 9/11.

(and I look forward to the posting of the progress on finding the 2+ trillion the Pentagon could not account for in 364 days)
posted by rough ashlar at 12:30 PM on September 11, 2008


Daddy-O, you can probably summarize my views as "Reflexively, I don't trust anything this administration says."

I realize that probably means I don't believe many things that are true (collateral damage), but these guys are so far past the crying-wolf threshold, in my book, that I have trouble taking much at face value.

I don't particularly like any of the 'truther' theories I've read either, for what that's worth, as they've all seemed even less likely than the official story. At my most extreme, I am twigged by who has seemed to benefit from the whole mess, and yeah that means the crazy PNACky neocons. Maybe they were just lucky, of course, to have such a prize land in their laps.

I don't have a sexy collection of conspiracy bookmarks with 'answers' to anything, since I've never seen any credible alternate explanations either. I tried watching that "Loose Change" video once and threw a shoe at the TV halfway through (it's loony.) I just don't trust the official lines, and I'm defensive here because I don't see why that's a bad thing.

That said, I do enjoy some of the craziest theories involving secret lizard aliens controlling the world from some kind of huge subterranean complex (and damn I'm jealous of their architecture) because some of them are just jaw-droppingly amazing in their breadth and imagination (I love the Timecube!) but that doesn't mean I think they're real.

Yeah, probably not helping my case there. I'm a complicated soul. Crucify me.
posted by rokusan at 12:38 PM on September 11, 2008


(But really, if you just think I'm a crazy person, ignore me. I don't mind, since the odds are high that you're not in my pleasant personal interaction demographic, anyway, and vice versa.)
posted by rokusan at 12:40 PM on September 11, 2008


You forgot the links.
posted by Daddy-O at 12:57 PM on September 11, 2008


Sigh. Never mind. Blinders re-installed, "Go Sarah!" button re-attached. Good citizen mode activated. Move along.
posted by rokusan at 1:11 PM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Clearly then the missing key in the Gnomes business plan is:

1. Collect underpants (& market)
2. Distort truth about 9/11
3. Profit

Also, I suspect KokuRyu was referencing Machiavelli in that perception management in shaping public opinion to conform to a premeditated political agenda is more important than the actual facts within a society.

Or KokuRyu could have been referencing Confucious who said that the correct manipulation of language leads to the correct behavior of the populace.

Or KokuRyu could have been referencing Orwell and doublethink which can lead one to believe 2+2=5, quite contrary to the mathematical reality.

Or KokyRyu’s thoughts could have been strictly contemporary and the basis could have been the litany of lies and distortions and falsehoods Bushco has told - all to distort perception - which has quite radically altered the reality of lives of a great many people.
Is one not in reality dead because one is killed over lie?
Indeed, how many wars have been started over brute facts?

Perception - the manipulation of perception - is indeed, within the political realm - far more powerful than reality.

Off the cuff - in Kabul, Mohammad Abdullah supposedly blew himself up attacking a Canadian ISAF convoy in late o3 or 04. He apparently was alive in Pakistan.

The trib had a story back in Oct of 04 that Saeed Alghamdi was alive. He was supposedly one of the hijackers. Apparently he was in Tunis at the time.

There are others. The information isn’t invisible - suffice it to say there’s some evidence, albiet inconclusive.
But in terms of ‘who ya gonna believe?’...

Put it this way - remember back around that time there were a bunch of terrorist attacks in Russia - one on a Moscow-Volgograd flight (a Tupolev-134) (and a Tu-154 at abotu the same time - and a bombing in Rizhskaya, etc) and the FSB apparently found Amanat Nagayeva’s passport at the crash site of the Tu-134 (sound familiar?) and the Chechnyian ministry said a bit later that Nagayeva was actually a saleswoman in Rostov and alive and therefore her passport must have been forged?

So you read that and you have to think the Russians are lying.

But why is their story less plausible (other than the fact the FSB sed that was all bullshit and the Chechnyians said the passport serial number had not yet been issued)?
Simply because they’re Russia and they’re full of B.S. all the time?

Intrinsic reality and concrete evidence vs. perception is exactly what we’re talking about here.
And it’s an established fact that there were no WMDs in Iraq and therefore the basis for the war was invalid.
(And let’s not pretend they’re separate issues, there’s no way we would have gone into Iraq without those planes hitting the towers.)

Therefore we know perception was managed in a major scale in at least one instance by the Bush administration. Why then is it a stretch to believe it had been managed in another?
(And spare me the ‘because it wasn’t a missile strike or a UFO’ b.s. because we all know that’s just chaff - I’m arguing the lack of and withholding of evidence - as well as impeding investigations into the events - as a matter of proper and transparent governance, I’m not making an assumption the administration had a hand in it (although that would be one logical conclusion - another would be gross negligence) - as to their motive for managing. Merely that there sure as hell is a lot of evidence they did manipulate public perception in a big way. That alone is condemnable.)
posted by Smedleyman at 1:14 PM on September 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


all i know is that w's daddy was the head of the same spook outfit that once seriously floated a proposal to stage terrorist attacks in US cities to trigger a war with cuba and that he spent many, many years as a special envoy to china (and by all accounts, he got along famously with the authoritarian leadership there), and that w's family and his administration has a long ongoing history of business dealings and other personal/professional contacts with the bin laden family, and in the past, the CIA even did business with Osama bin laden himself, and that w's grandaddy was one of the chief financial backers of hitler and the nazi party and part of a domestic plot to overthrow FDR's government and install a fascist dictatorship.

who the hell needs to formulate an elaborate conspiracy theory when you've got isolated facts like that just sitting there looking ugly enough on their own?
posted by saulgoodman at 1:18 PM on September 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think what makes the debate between two usually normal folks like rokusan and dirty ape so ferocious is that, at the end of the day, the attacks that killed nearly three thousand people, started two wars and basically ended the 20th century and introduced a new era were:

- committed by a *small* group of fanatics/weirdos from Egypt and Saudi
- committed using extremely "low" technology
- committed extremely cheaply (the whole operation must have cost around $200K at the most, to provide lodging etc for the group in the States, and to pay for flight school)
- committed without any kind of coherent ideology

It was a meaningless event committed by nobodies that got lucky. It's the geopolitical equivalent of a car crash. And that's just so hard to understand.

Sure, Bush2 has been a disaster, and sure, they're withholding evidence to save their asses, but at the end of the day it does not change the fact that 9/11 was orchestrated by a bunch of homicidal shitheads who got lucky. It took no more than 50 people to change the course of history, and it is just so hard to accept.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:23 PM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Huh, a survey shows a certain percentage of various populations are morons. How is this surprising?
posted by aramaic at 1:32 PM on September 11, 2008


Can I derail this thread yet or do I have wait a little while longer?
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 1:32 PM on September 11, 2008


It took no more than 50 people to change the course of history, and it is just so hard to accept.

I can't speak for the straw man truther incarnate, but I don't find the above hard to accept at all. I suspect that most locuses of history involve a very small number of actors, and no shortage of coincidence or luck.

I lost people I cared about in 9/11... and in a few other disasters and acts of war in various places at various times. They all suck, equally.

For me, alone, the specialness here is the after-the-fact coverup, obstruction, ass-protection and most of all the subsequent use of the events to justify pretty much anything that drives me up the wall... to this day. And letting the current Admin off scot-free on that, especially now that their pattern of profit-motive deception on so much else is so well-established... well that infuriating to me.

But what do I know. I'm a crazy granola-eating loon etc.
posted by rokusan at 1:33 PM on September 11, 2008


Can I derail this thread yet or do I have wait a little while longer? -- PostIronyIsNotaMyth

Eponysterical. Would you mind railing it, actually? That'd be swell.
posted by rokusan at 1:34 PM on September 11, 2008


That Kissinger was the first pick to look into the whole thing certainly implies something to me.
posted by well_balanced at 1:37 PM on September 11, 2008


the attacks ....basically ended the 20th century and introduced a new era... change the course of history...

Careful, you're in slight danger of mildly overstating its impact, there.
From where I sit (the cheap seats) 911 accelerated the US's shift to the hard right and was seriously bad news for a few million in Afghanistan and Iraq (so far). But "changed the course of history"? Nah. The world is basically the same as it was 10 years ago plus some geopolitical realignments and faster computers. A 'new era' it is not.
posted by signal at 1:41 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Forgot to mention: the whole "this changes everathin'" trope is a big part of the koolaid USians have been happily slurping down since 911.
posted by signal at 1:43 PM on September 11, 2008


Noosphere? huh. Learned a new word, thanks Baby_Balrog.

It's not surprising to read this international lack of consensus about what happened on 9/11. I still feel somewhat perplexed and uncomfortable about the details of the events. Having attended a course on asbestos inspection, then on the actual day of 9/11, when the government said the air was good enough at the World Trade Center site, allowing tens of thousands of people to go up close and breathe the air, I knew something really fishy was up. Lost a lot of confidence right there and in the months after that for the same reason.

When Fahrenheit 9/11 came out it was easy to understand that the Bush government was not to be trusted. When the hanging chad bs elections were rigged and stolen by the Bush regime, I think the international community lost a lot of respect for the USA and it's been declining ever since. If this war mongering Republican, McCain, comes into office I cannot imagine it will be a good thing in the eyes of the world.

Found these decent photos that are 9/11 related. Thought I'd add them to this thread and those unfortunate pre 9/11 ads.
posted by nickyskye at 1:47 PM on September 11, 2008


Lots of people think the Bush administration is corrupt, lying, incompetent, and manipulative. I sure do. But if you make sensational out of the mainstream claims about 9/11, you had better back them up with more than just your own beliefs or people around here are going to ask for some evidence. Is that so unreasonable?
posted by Daddy-O at 1:49 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


the attacks ....basically ended the 20th century and introduced a new era...

That's American exceptionalism speaking.

According to my boring old emotionless calendar, the 20th Century was doing a fine job winding itself down at the end of 2001, without needing any special fireworks to send it off.

That is, I'm pretty sure it would have ended a couple months later anyway, attacks or not.
posted by rokusan at 1:49 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm a Canadian who has lived for a significant part of my life in Japan (they use a different calendar), so I don't see my remark as being "American exceptionalism" (and if it is, then I suppose I have the right to call Americans "colonizers" for influencing my thinking so :) ).

Anyway, you could argue the 20th Century started in 1914 with the start of WWI. Look at all the things 1914 kicked off. And using the same sort of thinking, the 20th Century ended on 9/11. Look at all the nifty things that kicked off.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:58 PM on September 11, 2008


In 1993 Mir Aimal Kasi killed two people outside CIA headquarters in McLean, Virginia, and fled to the same border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan where bin Laden is hiding. The Clinton administration tracked him down and arrested him in 1997.

The time since the 9/11 attacks is twice as long as US involvement in World War II, and bin Laden&'s still on the loose. As The Daily Show pointed out in 2004, bin Laden is "a really good hider."
posted by kirkaracha at 1:59 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fine, how about "the US identified and named the terrorists with alarming speed and precision for a bunch of guys whose main explanation of how it happened is their own incompetence?"

Intelligence systems are many orders of magnitude better at forensics than prediction, mainly because it's easier to look backwards than forwards in time. Once you have an event as a starting point, the rest is easy.
posted by scalefree at 2:05 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


But if you make sensational out of the mainstream claims about 9/11, you had better back them up with more than just your own beliefs

If that was aimed at me, I didn't mean to "make sensational." I threw away two points that I didn't think were controversial or especially loaded, and if I need to be woodshedded on them, fine... I await civil and polite disciplining!

The battles between CIA and FBI have been widely reported, including in Woodward's books and pretty much every other book about 9/11 since 2001. They just plain don't trust, like, or agree with each other on much: that's not exactly earth-shaking news. Both agencies have also likely pretty jittery for awhile now, since they both "enjoyed" terrorist attacks on their own buildings in 1995 and 2001. I don't think this is a sensational or ridiculous thing to say.

As for living hijackers, there were a ton of reports about hijackers still alive after 9/11, and I'm sure everyone reading this has seen at least one or two of them. I know that at least one report (from the BBC, I think?) was later revised, but regardless of that, I've seen very little evidence linking any of the hijackers to anything since, either, and isn't the onus of evidence supposed to be on proving the connection, not disproving it? The US media reported on all 19 identities very very quickly, if I recall, which seemed odd to me at the time, and there's been little noise made about that since, at least here in US-TV-newsland. If all others have all been debunked, and there's now reasonable evidence linking those 19 guys to the right places and times and such, great. I haven't seen it, though I'm not exactly following this stuff closely anymore, like most of us. I'm not some guy in a basement with maps of grassy knolls on the wall, I'm just a normal guy watching CNN and being dubious when puzzle pieces all fit so tidy, like so much yellowcake and aluminum tubing.

I was not convinced, myself, by the evidence presented in the 9/11 Commission Report, which I did read in the hope of settling things in my own head. That is still the only real official explanation we've been given. Combine that with my belief that I don't think it's ridiculous to question this government's motives or honesty, and you've got the extent of my skepticism or curiosity or whatever.

I can't believe that is enough to qualify me as a loon, but if that's the climate, fine. I'm a loon.
posted by rokusan at 2:08 PM on September 11, 2008


the whole "this changes everathin'" trope is a big part of the koolaid a certain subset of USians have been happily slurping down since 911.

Fixed that for you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:08 PM on September 11, 2008


“It was a meaningless event committed by nobodies that got lucky.”

I have to somewhat disagree. I could have destroyed Mike Tyson (or anyone you care to name) at their peak if their trainers suddenly started feeding them McDonalds’ for months, forced them to be sedentary, broke their rhythm, dehydrated them, and then gave them laxatives and fractured their forearms before the fight.

Now, as a trained fighter, I’m generally dangerous. There’s a lot of people who can’t knock someone out no matter what. In the matter at hand - Joe Guy off the street with no ring experiance is a nobody. You have to meet some basic level of skill and I think Al-Qaeda terrorists do. So they weren’t ‘nobodies’ per se (although the ‘homicidal shitheads’ thing I’ll agree).

But I’m not so badass that I can knockout a heavyweight champion in his specialized area of expertise no matter how lucky I get. I don’t even belong in that ring. In the street - maybe I’d get lucky. Maybe. In the ring? Not a chance in hell. Not on my best day and on their worst. Just doesn’t happen.

The simple fact is Bushco did so much damage and forced so much change on the system just before the event, plus astonishing facts such as there were wargames going on that day that exactly paralleled the circumstances of the attack that - even if it were not deliberate - it was nothing less than sabotage.

Beyond that we’re merely arguing whether it was by design or astonishing incompetance on the level of a trainer screwing up his fighter so badly that fair amateur boxer k.o.’s a heavyweight champ in the first round.

Thinking of it - even that is being generous. If I didn’t *know* Tyson was dehydrated and crapping himself and such I’d probably fight pretty defensively at first, so he’d probably be ok for a bit until I caught on he wasn’t mocking me or playing possum or something.

I mean - either the hijackers knew the wargame was going to be that day and they planned accordingly which means there was an operational security leak somewhere (which leads to other implications) - or they didn’t know, and so they were amazingly mega lottery winning level lucky. I can’t accept the latter as a reality.
Therefore by definition they had help from within the U.S. government. On some level. Unwitting or no.

So it comes down to (as has been said above) yeah, how did they ask the question in this poll here?
posted by Smedleyman at 2:14 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think what makes the debate between two usually normal folks like rokusan and dirty ape so ferocious is that...

KokuRyu, I strongly object to that characterization. If you call me "normal" one more time, I'll defrost my stash of radioactive elves and set them loose. You'll never know what hit you.
posted by rokusan at 2:26 PM on September 11, 2008


I see zero evidence for the repeated bullshit claims made in this thread by the truthers, namely:

1. The hijackers are alive and have been seen in other countries. Where? What evidence? Is it credible?

2. The FBI refuses to link 9/11 to ObL. I have disputed this with a link to a senate committee script. What is your evidence?

3. That a mastermind conspiracy is at hand? By whom? What motive? What proof?

Its so pathetic that 9/11 deniers are my generations moon landing hoaxers. We laugh when we hear the right go on about "The tri-lateral commission" and "one world government" yet here we are serioisly dismissing several pieces of credible intelligence because some of you are so vain and full of your own BS that you cant accept the obvious. In a generation you will be a laughingstock just like the trilateral people and the moon landing people. Hopefully we will still have this thread as a historical record of complete and utter credulity and idiocy.
posted by damn dirty ape at 3:54 PM on September 11, 2008


Okay, fuck this. Now I'm voting for Ron Paul.
posted by rokusan at 4:21 PM on September 11, 2008


2. The FBI refuses to link 9/11 to ObL. I have disputed this with a link to a senate committee script. What is your evidence?

I don't have a view on this aspect of 9/11 plotting, either way, given how many larger inconsistencies and half-truths are reported as fact, but it seems odd for the FBI to leave out the attacks from their Top Ten Fugitive OBL poster.

A crime of that scale — presumably the worst of the crimes Bin Laden is accused of — doesn't make it on his FBI poster? It's like a fugitive poster for a bank robber emphasizing his long and numerous history of speeding tickets.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:42 PM on September 11, 2008


Intelligence systems are many orders of magnitude better at forensics than prediction

That is a good point, scalefree. What forensic evidence do we have though? Maybe I've missed it, but the whole country seems to have jumped from the headline news announcement of guilt on 9/13 (or whenever that was) to the general belief, which now may not be questioned... without the intermediate steps, logic, or evidence ever being shown. Again, the whole 9/11 Report reads like a theory without evidence. Evidence is alluded to often, but damn why isn't it ever actually reported?

(PS: Is there any way to talk about this without being ambushed, insulted or labeled a troll? Serious question.)
posted by rokusan at 4:43 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


3. That a mastermind conspiracy is at hand? By whom? What motive? What proof?

This is ridiculous, and proves to me that you're just fucking around now. Nobody posited that without tongue inserted in cheek. You might as well add:

(4) Damn Dirty Ape is compensating for his tiny penis with rude posturing? What evidence?


Okay now I'm not being helpful. I admit it. And it's a joke, for crying out loud.
posted by rokusan at 4:45 PM on September 11, 2008


Its so pathetic that 9/11 deniers are my generations moon landing hoaxers.

What the hell is a "9/11 denier?" Is that someone who thinks 9/11 didn't happen? Some kind of deal with special effect airplanes, fake smoke, and glue-on beards? Who are you responding to when you use that label? Are you getting this thread mixed up with Lost?

The only crazy conspiracy theories I see in this thread are the straw ones you keep inserting. The rest is just How-Dare-You-Question-The-Government shouting down.

Is there any hope of getting back on topic here? I'll try again: The survey is hard to draw conclusions from, even with the question as supplied, because it's unclear what people were really answering. I thought that the reasons people worldwide are suspicious of the US government explanation were not hard to guess, given all the confusion, mis(?)-reporting and general invitations to blowback brought on by US foreign policy for the last thirty years, and that's what I stupidly waded into by mentioning a couple of the occluded issues that nag at reasonable people, including me(. I would actually appreciate them being cleared up, especially if it could be done without layers of smarm, insult and posturing.

(* If I may be so bold as to consider myself reasonable. Which I see now is debatable, obviously.)
posted by rokusan at 4:54 PM on September 11, 2008


Israel was behind the attacks, said 43 percent of people in Egypt, 31 percent in Jordan and 19 percent in the Palestinian Territories. The U.S. government was blamed by 36 percent of Turks and 27 percent of Palestinians.

This little nugget at the end of the linked article was the most interesting to me. I guess its some sort of conspiracy theory rationale to blame Israel. It makes me feel sort of better that its not just Americans that are so ill informed.

Also, Smedleyman, what's this about wargames paralleling the attack? I hadn't heard that, although I admit I never read the 9/11 Commission report or dug real deep in source documents.
posted by sfts2 at 5:00 PM on September 11, 2008


“The hijackers are alive and have been seen in other countries. Where? What evidence? Is it credible?”

Well, the Chicago Tribune...Oct. ‘04 story. Saeed Alghami alive. Seen in Tunis. Credible enough for the Chicago Tribune to publish it. Yeah. I did mention that.

“because some of you are so vain and full of your own BS that you cant accept the obvious. In a generation you will be a laughingstock just like the trilateral people and the moon landing people. Hopefully we will still have this thread as a historical record of complete and utter credulity and idiocy.”

Why don’t you fuck right off? You’re manufacturing this straw man and trying to attach it to anyone who has questions or even wants to discuss the issue - which is why/what people think about 9/11 - so there’s room for speculation anyway.

Anyway, I’ve got conclusive proof sitting right here that Britany Spears was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. I just can’t show it to you because of national security. But y’know, take my word for it.

“what's this about wargames paralleling the attack? I hadn't heard that,”

On Sept. 11, NORAD and the NRO were conducting field exercises under the DoD. Several of which concerned hijacked aircraft and the NRO’s was specifically a plane crashing into one of their HQ’s (although I don’t know the scenario there offhand and indeed, much of that is classified).
(And again, not presented as cover up for anything, just lousy opsec at the very least). But anyway there was at *least* one life fly drill - that is - at least one real, flying, commercial aircraft as part of the FTX. So not only all kinds of false blips but at least one (and probably a bunch more) actual aircraft.

There was a POTUS directive (’95-ish) that made federal agencies conduct counter-terroism and post-terror event training.
(in fact exercise ‘poised response’ in ‘98 was specifically tailored to OBL because we’d stuck a cruise missle up his rear end a bit before and we were expecting maybe he’d strike in NY or D.C. - and there were subsequent exercises in e.g. Ft. fumble, et.al. )
In fact, the city of NY had a mass casualty drill scheduled for Sept. 12 and a crew of tech consultants were visiting the 97th floor of the south tower (Fiduciary Trust).
Pretty busy chunk of time really.
(Plus the “oh my gosh, who could have imagined this” was pretty damn thin for me. There’d been exercises exactly like 9/11 - with OBL as the main bad guy for years before.)

In addition - the ‘dehydrated’ metaphor - DoD protocols (CJCSI 3610.10A) on air defense response were rewritten in June of ‘01.
This after years of training under hijacking scramble protocol (CJCSI 3610.10) already in place.
Dig? - See you run drill after drill after drill with a set SOP for years and then, suddenly and for no discernable reason - change them.

I say no discernable reason because there’s no real tactical difference between the two procedures - except in the T.O. of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the SecDef (then Rumsfeld - who, actually, ordered that change).

So, they go weird, fighters automatically scramble to recon and report. No formal authorization necessary.

Rummy changed it (in short) so you needed authorization.
So, the number of interceptor scrambles dropped from a routine of 7 to 8 per month just 3 months before 9/11 to - zero.

So now, if I’m a hijacker, I know that my window for getting shot down is a bit wider. I mean, I’m not going to take the wide scenic routes and the time if I know I’m going to be intercepted right away. It’s one of the reasons why you didn’t see many planes hijacked like they were in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

So... how’d they know the protocols changed?

(Did I mention they were changed back, right after 9/11?)

Plus, Rummy was absent from the C&C in the Pentagon for two hours while the FAA was trying to get authorization.
That right there - alone - is dereliction of duty.
(and yeah, he knew something was up, he was IN the pentagon when it was hit)

We know where Bush was - so who was in the (POTUS) emergency ops center? Cheney. He was running the exercise.

And Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta said Cheney had some sort of standing orders that ultimately resulted in the pentagon plane not being shot down.
What happened there isn’t clear.
(The 9/11 commission sed the plane headed for D.C. (77) was only discovered by Dulles air traffic at 9:32 am; the FAA and NORAD claim they notified the military about it at 9:24 am, FBI said it was even earlier than that*)

What is clear is that Cheney, et.al. testified - not under oath - and in a closed session to the 9/11 comission with no transcript, no witnesses, and no public accountability.

Anyway, a bit after the second tower was hit one of the pilots in the exercise called central and asked if the exercise was still going. Someone else said if what they were seeing on their screens was exercise input it was really good.

So - the question of whether the confusion was by design aside - clearly Cheney didn’t do squat in actually clearing up the confusion. Since a plane did hit what is easily the most fortified and defended military (albeit administrative) position in the world.
If he was working for me, I wouldn’t have just fired him, I’d’ve brought him up on charges. General Eberhart too (heading up NORAD).

But Cheney was the acting CiC. It was his watch. Redundancy in Command and Control at that level means he and the Secret Service were seeing the same action the FAA was. They could communicate with fighter pilots - hell, pretty much everyone - directly.
It’s a crucial point that Cheney was running the exercises AND in charge of actual events.

We can argue about the stupidity of having a single point of failure vs. redundancy in tactical operations (see Rumsfeld above) but if the single point of failure is online and operating you don’t expect it to, y’know, fail.

There is simply no excuse for Cheney not to have been able to coordinate the situation given the massive support available to him. Once he knew a real plane had hit a real building (it was on CNN for Christ sakes - he saw it while meeting with his speechwriter John McConnell) he should have purged the system.
He didn’t. Demonstrably.

To think otherwise is to assume the failure of every other human being in the chain of command except him.* (see the 9/11 commission - NORAD/FAA/FBI discrepancy)

Now, motive?
That’s a whole other question.

But responsibility? Yeah, I’d say they were responsible.

The government’s most basic duty is to protect it’s citizenry. They recieve, therefore power commensurate with the task. They are therefore responsible for the proper exercise of it.

And yet, here they are skating away. Like some sailor who gets off on charges of being drunk on duty because he’s got a rich, well connected pappy.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:15 PM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


In the aforementioned sea of confusing nonsense, I found this five-years-later Vanity Fair article (of all things) to be amazing. The included audio of the NORAD communications, and the confusion about what was real and what was an exercise... well, it's pretty gripping.
posted by rokusan at 7:38 PM on September 11, 2008


If you want to look further into the drills/training exercises on 9/11 you can search against keywords such as Vigilant Guardian, Global Guardian, Northern Vigilance. The above link is pretty well sourced. The Amalgam Virgo exercises of June 2001 are also worth reading up on.
posted by well_balanced at 8:16 PM on September 11, 2008


3. That a mastermind conspiracy is at hand? By whom? What motive? What proof?

I don't want to give the impression I'm arguing there's proof of a "mastermind conspiracy," so I won't speak to that point. But if there were such a conspiracy, it's not hard to imagine who would be behind it, and what their motives might be. In the broadest sense, their motives would probably resemble those of other previous government's whose ruling party's staged false-flag terrorist attacks against their own nations: to provide a justification for aggressively pursuing a set of radical policy goals.

Goals, for example, like those established by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which included removing Saddam Hussein from power, establishing a robust long-term military presence in the middle east, reasserting American military dominance worldwide, etc.

Signatories to the final report produced by the PNAC, which was adopted as a policy recommendation well before 9/11, included administration officials like Cheney, Rumsfield, Wolfowitz and others. That final report was entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses" and argued strongly for a radical transformation in the role of America's military worldwide, including the following passage (emphasis is mine):
The United States cannot simply declare a “strategic pause” while experimenting with new technologies and operational concepts. Nor can it choose to pursue a transformation strategy that would decouple American and allied interests. A transformation strategy that solely pursued capabilities for projecting force from the United States, for example, and sacrificed forward basing and presence, would be at odds with larger American policy goals and would trouble American
allies.

Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.
There are lots of reasons to be skeptical of the many different conspiracy theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks, but lack of motive is definitely not one of them.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:27 PM on September 11, 2008


actually, a correction: cheney was not a signatory to that report. but rumsfeld, wolfowitz and lots of other familiar names (including Jeb Bush, weirdly enough) were.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:32 PM on September 11, 2008


As much as I love that link I found a resource that answers some, but certainly not all of Jeff's questions.
posted by hortense at 8:35 PM on September 11, 2008


Wouldn't Occam's Razor suggest that the likeliest reason for someone with one of the names given on the passenger manifests as one of the hijackers being seen alive elsewhere was that someone else was using that person's passport?

Because we're not talking about the world's most law-abiding citizens here. I'm willing to believe that some of the people who hijacked those planes were traveling under assumed identities a lot sooner than I'm willing to believe that the whole thing was a US government conspiracy or whatever.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:45 PM on September 11, 2008


"Wouldn't Occam's Razor suggest that the likeliest reason for someone with one of the names given on the passenger manifests as one of the hijackers being seen alive elsewhere was that someone else was using that person's passport?"

Well - yeah.
...think about that for a sec. Ok?



I mean, someone is going to use a passport of a known terrorist?
And it's going to be recovered, at the crash site, and used as evidence by the government of the involvement of a given terrorist group?

I don't particularly believe any of those particular hijackers are alive. Because that above concept works both ways (how would having a fake passport - of a known terrorist- help you get on board).

But the third thing is - why's he carrying his real passport then?
(Now it surviving is a bit odd, not way out of line. But finding it that fast is pretty chancy - still, I'm going to use my real name? So you're right - why isn't he 'Bill Jones' or something?)

Now, contrast (as has been done above) this absolute morass of information and disinformation with the fairly straightforward, well crafted and crisp job done on the 1993 world trade center bombing. (Uh, the investigation that is, the screwed up the prevention).

No real discrepancies or bizarre long shot coincidences (well, not that bizarre - some of the screwy moves by the FBI can be explained by the fact they had a guy inside, and you need to sometimes pretend you don't know things and/or not act on some stuff).

In fact Yousef did use a fake passport to get into the country. All fairly logical and transparent. We even caught and jailed the guys who did it. No torture. No weird denials. No mysterious disappearances by the upper echelons. We didn't invade anything. The military had only notational involvement. No one was negligently exposed or deprived of their rights (in fact a court found the Port Authority mostly responsible in a lawsuit)

Why's this so vastly different?
posted by Smedleyman at 9:24 PM on September 11, 2008


I mean, someone is going to use a passport of a known terrorist?

Somebody who knew how hopelessly badly the US no-fly lists worked at the time? Who knew how sketchily the US transliterated Arabic names at the time, and how there was no cross-checking?

Yes. El Sayid Nosair (one of the 1993 WTC bombers) was naturalized despite being on FBI and CIA terrorism watch lists.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:25 PM on September 11, 2008


Palin Links Iraq to Sept. 11 In Talk to Troops in Alaska
posted by homunculus at 11:22 PM on September 11, 2008


That shit about training exercises blows my mind. I have to say the the biggest obstacle to buying any sort of conspiracy theory is my unswerving belief that the government (or really any large organization) cannot even do simple things effectively and confidentially. Maybe I'm just a cynic.

As far as Palin goes, anyone in public life playing that Iraq = 9/11 card or or any person believing it should be summarily drummed out of the US for being too stupid to live here - which is mind boggling in itself.
posted by sfts2 at 7:38 AM on September 12, 2008


“Somebody who knew how hopelessly badly the US no-fly lists worked at the time?”

Well there again - your focus - and this is not a pejorative comment, many people have trouble thinking about security from the other side - predicated on there not being a conspiracy or ‘fault’ or whatever on the U.S. side.
I mean, I’d ask then why take the risk anyway?

And how is it they know how badly the no fly lists worked and that there was no cross checking and so forth?

But more substantially - how is it that the gate on that kind of thing was ostensibly closed after the first WTC bombing but then suddenly open again?

I’m not arguing conspiracy. I’m pointing out major security failures in a system that had been real time tested several times already. So - wtf went wrong?

If some guy robs a bank - say - evades the laser beams I have criss-crossing the floor by climbing on the ceiling - and so I install pressure sensors and so forth and beef up the system - how is it then another guy gets in essentially by the same route?

You see - after the WTC bombing, and after the strike on OBL - we were training for exactly what happened on 9/11.

So either I (as Joe Terrorist) knew - as you say - some inside info as to how things were working and I could just blow off simple and basic covert tactics, or our system failed so badly despite all the training that it didn’t matter that he was stupid enough to use his own papers.

Point being - the bottom line is such that it doesn’t really matter whether it’s gross incompetance or deliberate sabotage.

Some guy in a car runs over and kills my kid, do you think I really care whether he was drunk or did it deliberately?
Either way he’s responsible.

The only dickering is over his motives. And that’s more or less speculative, absent evidence. Bottom line, people died on their watch when they’d been warned, told, and drilled to prevent it.

“my unswerving belief that the government (or really any large organization) cannot even do simple things effectively and confidentially”

I’m with you. But the thing is, they can. I’ve been part of very well coordinated and intricate operations demanding a high level of execution by disparate parties. Most of it went like clockwork. Especially when actual lives were in peril.

The key seemed to be redundancy and the allowance for those close to the action to make their own decisions.

What you see here is an absolute removal of decision making from those closest to what was going on.
Rummy and Cheney - et.al. wanted all the decision making power and they couldn’t handle it when they got the ball.

Whether they wanted all the power because they were up to something and had this big conspiracy going on, or because they’re just megalomaniacs doesn’t make much difference in the final analysis.

Is the war in Iraq more ‘right’ that they didn’t pull off a Reischstag fire sort of thing to get it going?

But yeah. This ‘Big Government’ thing is exactly about concentrated power and the natural ill effects - like all the time it takes to make a decision on something.

You’d have thought we’d know better from watching the Soviets go down in flames.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:23 AM on September 12, 2008


I see zero evidence for the repeated bullshit claims made in this thread by the truthers, namely:
2. The FBI refuses to link 9/11 to ObL.


No, that is your bullshit claim.

The claim, as shown by fact, is the FBI top 10 most wanted page does not explicitly show Sept 11th 2001 on the Usama Bin Laden page.


You have not shown that the /usr/bin/laden page on the top 10 FBI list explicitly mentions the events on Sept 11th, 2001. But go ahead, show the URL on the FBI top 10 most wanted for Usama Bin Laden where Sept 11, 2001 is mentioned. You feel you are right - now show how right you are. (Telling that you call the page ObL and not UbL.)

Lets see - who shall act as 'a truther making a claim' - The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden's Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11."

And, why the lack of 'debunking' on the White House spokes-kritter saying someone else was the 'mastermind' of the events of Sept 11th, 2001?


And just to turn the /bin/laden issue into 'he said/he said' I present:
"I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:59 AM on September 12, 2008


And just to turn the /bin/laden issue into 'he said/he said' I present:

well, personally, I think raising questions about ubl's involvement doesn't get us anywhere. it seems pretty probable he did play a major role in the attacks, and no one really stands to gain from falsely implicating him if he didn't (particularly in light of the embarrassing personal ties between the bushes and the bin ladens), even if there's legitimate room to doubt other aspects of the official story. it may be nothing more than a cover-up of rank incompetence; or it may be a cover-up of an extremely cynical form of opportunism. an outright intentional conspiracy carried out by some small faction of well-placed actors seems much less likely, but from an historical perspective, isn't impossible. either way, serious failures were made beyond what even the 9/11 report details, and it would be nice if we could reach a better understanding of those failures and not all go into apoplectic fits of one kind or another whenever the subject comes up.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:51 AM on September 12, 2008



“I think raising questions about ubl's involvement doesn't get us anywhere.”

Yeah, I’d agree. And moreso in terms of straight discussion of the event.
This is somewhat off on a tangent tho’ - that is, worldwide impressions of that event.
I think there are enough folks, Muslims perhaps, in the world who take OBL’s denial at face value.
Oh, I also think his denial is tripe.

But look at, say, the Lance Armstrong thing. Some folks are never going to be convinced, no matter how many tests he takes, that he’s not on the juice.

Some folks leave the matter hanging for the evidence, others think there’s no way he ever was on the juice and point to the lack of evidence (that is, he didn’t fail those drug tests).

Same kind of deal. It is kind of weird the FBI doesn’t list 9/11 as one of the things they’re looking for him for.
So, if I’m some guy in Pakistan, say, or Indonesia, I’m going to say “See! Even the FBI says they don’t have evidence!”

On top of that - boy we’ve pissed a lot of people off. I’m not at all surprised that, even if folks worldwide don’t think there wasn’t a conspiracy per se, they think we had it coming.

And I agree that we’d be much better off understanding the failures. Covering up always makes things worse.
I mean, clearly, look at the opinions.

I’d much rather be thought of as someone who maybe failed to do their job properly, poorly organized a response in favor of some asshat ideology, and so forth (’hey, I meant well’) than someone who deliberately orchestrated the murder of a mass of my own people for financial and political gain.
But there you go. Hide it and people always assume the worst.
I mean - why isn’t 9/11 on his FBI most wanted - etc.?
“Uh, we can’t tell you.”

(In fact I think some guy named Rex Tomb (FBI guys always have weirdly commonplace object out of context names) said there was no material evidence linking OBL to 9/11 - and folks jumped all over that. Which, I mean, ok - you don’t have any material evidence that some guy coming out of a bank at 3 a.m. actually robbed it until you grab him and see if he’s got the money on him. You’re still going to grab him. - But it does show the state of mind people are in viz the government because of all the security theater. Which didn’t exist as much with the WTC bombing because of transparency. - Although this is probably all preaching to the choir here - just wanted to differentiate between the substantive facts of 9/11 vs. the public perception)
posted by Smedleyman at 11:26 AM on September 12, 2008


Well, the Chicago Tribune...Oct. ‘04 story. Saeed Alghami alive. Seen in Tunis. Credible enough for the Chicago Tribune to publish it. Yeah. I did mention that.

So your only "proof" is a documented case of mistaken identity of a man who shares the name of another man by CNN? That's it? How pathetically unconvincing.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:06 PM on September 12, 2008


"How pathetically unconvincing."

Didn't I tell you to go shove it up your ass?

Oh, I see I didn't. I merely said fuck off. I should have been more clear.

So are you of the position things went perfectly well on 9/11? The government performed its function well, but those terrorists were so amazingly savvy (with their box cutters) that they confounded a multi-billion operation?

Seriously, what the fuck is your problem with earnest inquiry? Even if it is speculative - so? It's just a web log. People are trying to talk and hash out why the world might think what they do and you're throwing all this bullshit like we're going to the press on this or something.

Nice job fucking up the thread. Really.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:04 PM on September 13, 2008


"Wouldn't Occam's Razor suggest....

I suggest that from this point forward anyone using that hackneyed phrase be summarily executed. (not that I disagree with Sidhedevil, my beef is only with this overused piece of garbage).
posted by caddis at 10:29 PM on September 13, 2008


Didn't I tell you to go shove it up your ass?

Stay classy!


Nice job fucking up the thread. Really.


This is hilarious coming from the guy who wrote "Oh, I see I didn't. I merely said fuck off. I should have been more clear."

Grow up.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:26 PM on September 13, 2008


I can't say it better than brother Jesse: "I don't know what to suspect. But I do suspect that the story may not be the truth"
posted by Smedleyman at 11:27 PM on September 13, 2008


damn dirty ape - the thread is over. I'm obviously referencing your earlier comments.
Shove classy up your ass too fuckhead. Like I give a shit what you think about dick on this.

There have been misidentificaition of suicide bombers - not in this particular instance perhaps, but I've seen and heard it. Not to mention other blunders in terms of credibility (e.g. CNN's "Bin Laden either alive or dead") but your focus in a rebuttal would likely be on my misspelling of "misidentification."

You demonstrably won't answer a straight question, you won't allow for any degree of speculation and you attack anyone who offers a contrary opinion even when your own assertions aren't brought into question with some bullshit strawman argument that no one's positing but merely referencing.
And if you'd pay any attention to the topic of the thread you'd notice the topic concerns what people THINK about 9/11 - not about 9/11 itself.

So someone is a "truther"? So the fuck what? Hell, that only helps illustrate the topic at hand. We should be asking them "why do you think that?" Not simply lambasting them as idiots and criticizing them.
If they're wrong about it as a matter of fact - swell. They're wrong. But that doesn't tell me what they think.
I'd like to know why people think what they think.

Yeah, I use profanity in calling you out. You're damn right I do. It's a hell of a lot more honest than what you're trying to do here.

And I'll give you ever last wet dream you might have in this argument -
As Ventura said - ok - the ENTIRE story the government gave us is completely true in all respects.

Why was no one fired? It was a catastrophic day where 3,000 people died, our air defense failed miserably, and yet no one lost their job or was even demoted.

That's ok by you?
posted by Smedleyman at 11:39 PM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Furthermore damn dirty ape:
Ventura questions the collapse of the towers and tower 7.
As it happens I also have an expertise in the use of explosives.

But, in the investigation of what happened on 9/11 I've dug in and noticed that the physical integrity of building 7 was in fact pretty compromised by the collapse of the two towers. I've seen pictures of it that show it was hit by a substantial amount of debris,
and I'm no engineer, but I'm pretty well convinced that is why the building fell.

So explain to me why it is the investigation recently concluded that the building fell because of fire?

You see, no skyscraper in history has fallen just because of a fire.
Now, that conclusion rests on the fact that almost everywhere else there's been a major fire there's been a sprinkler system (and the
water supply hadn't been utterly destroyed) and firefighers could fight the blaze (and many of them were not killed in those situations)
and so forth.

But - and there's two points here - the 9/11 truthers question that. And rightfully so. I mean - if you don't have in hand the knowledge of all
the other things, the details, then yes, it starts to look pretty damned fishy. Especially since it is true that no other skyscraper has collapsed
because of carpet and other debris burning it.

But Ventura also makes the point that "Why do I have to do your job?" to the press.

I would put the same thing to the government - why is it my job to come up with a plausible explanation in why - in this example - tower 7 fell?

So they have NOT done even a marginally adequate job in explaining anything. The "it was a fire" bullshit is just that. Bullshit.
Certainly it was a fire. It was also 1100 tons of concrete and steel hitting it at an angle such that it was so weakened it would get blown over by a stiff wind
much less a fire when the tanks inside caught.
But without taking that hit, those tanks could have burned all day and night and the thing wouldn't have dropped.
Even then - I don't know I'm right. It sure looks to me like the building should have fallen because of structural damage because one of the twin towers fell on it, but I don't really know. Not really.
And even at that - I'm being told, no, that's wrong, it was a fire.
And that's clearly just silly. I know how to destroy things (oh, not symmetrically like a building destruction engineer - but if I could drop a structure using well placed fires, it'd made my job a hell of a lot easier) and when they say "it was just fire" I KNOW they're lying.

The difference between you and me is that I'm bitching at the government for not explaining all this to people, holding their hand, and DOING THEIR JOBS - while
you are bitching at people for asking the questions their government should have answered for them in detail in an open, transparent, non-biased, investigation.


Now, the second point - why would they put it that way? Is it some grand conspiracy involving UFOs? No. The truth is, I have no idea why they wouldn't do it.

But I will tell you that I know a lot of those people who owned those buildings were in bed with a lot of politicians and I would suspect that if the government
thought it was something other than a fire that dropped the tower - maybe the insurance company would pay out differently, or wouldn't pay out, or something.

Honestly - I don't know.

But I see no reason why anyone should so militantly defend the government in their right to keep anyone in ignorance.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:37 AM on September 14, 2008


Implosion World ! wtc study pdf
posted by hortense at 10:30 PM on September 14, 2008


WTC Q&A
posted by hortense at 10:34 PM on September 14, 2008


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