Fact or Fiction?
November 2, 2001 3:35 PM   Subscribe

Fact or Fiction? You decide. But before you discount it as ranting conspiracy theory, read it all and really think about it. Then consider the new executive order issued today by the White House.
posted by bas67 (49 comments total)
Fiction. And not even good fiction. The pieces don't even tie together. It's just a pile of stuff. The vast a majority of it having no connection to the theory. We gave 43 million to in humanitarian aid - Therefor the US government had a hand in the WTC attack?

Totally lame. Take your meds, have a nap.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:46 PM on November 2, 2001

But what about:

2.UPI Terrorism Correspondent Richard Sale – while covering a trial of bin Laden’s Al Q’aeda followers - reports that the National Security Agency has broken bin Laden’s encrypted communications. Even if this indicates that bin Laden changed systems in February it does not mesh with the fact that the government insists that the attacks had been planned for years.

7. Pakistani ISI Chief General Mahmud (see above) orders an aide to wire transfer $100,000 to Mohammed Atta

9. An Iranian man phones U.S. law enforcement to warn of an imminent attack on the World Trade Center in the week of September 9th

18. 4,516 put options are purchased on American Airlines as compared to 748 call options

24. China is admitted to the World Trade Organization quickly, after 15 years of unsuccessful attempts

This is a lot of information that is more than just hearsay (if the sources can be believed).

I'm not saying that there was necessarily prior warning that this was going to happen (though I think we had warning...just of the non-specific type).

But because of the amount of corporate toadying that this administration is doing, I think that admitting China to the WTO and moving to control the pipeline that goes across Afghanistan is BLATANT opportunism!
posted by taumeson at 4:00 PM on November 2, 2001

Don't buy it. Not for a second. Besides, even if someone DID believe it -- what's the point? President Bush & Co. WANTED 4,000+ Americans to die? Sorry, but even the most anti-Republican/anti-capitalist fanatics couldn't dream this up as merely money-hungry WASPS trying to fatten their wallets. If there was even a shred of truth to a "conspiracy" of this nature or size, legitimate journalists/reporters/organizations would have picked it up way before this loon's article.
posted by davidmsc at 4:03 PM on November 2, 2001

I discount it as ranting conspiracy theory. And major intellingence/security failure not heeding or noticing warnings, such as (alleged) "An Iranian man phones U.S. law enforcement to warn of an imminent attack on the World Trade Center in the week of September 9th".
posted by msacheson at 4:10 PM on November 2, 2001

It's hard to know anymore. Even level headed people are starting to sound like raving conspiracy theorists because actual events have become so extreme that any theory sounds implausible. This link certainly presents an ordered list of coincidences that may or may not be related. I still doubt that there is any chance that the House of Bush isn't neck deep in the events that caused Sept. 11 if only because of their business ties to Saudi Arabia. For that matter, Ol' Dick was CEO of Halliburton, an oil company, that likely is stained as well. Does this justify anything? Of course, not. All of these things require skepticism to interpret, just like a Presidential press conference.
posted by shagoth at 4:15 PM on November 2, 2001

Le Figaro is the conservative French broadsheet. The article (in French).
posted by liam at 4:21 PM on November 2, 2001

Forget the conspiracy bit. The suppression of official papers is a continuation of what Bush Jr. attempted in Texas, not yet clear what is going to happen there.

The piece in Le Figaro is incredible. The paper is conservative and has been publishing since 1826 (beats the NYT!).

Like so many other articles in the US, it refers to unnamed sources, etc. No different from what NYT, WashPost, CNN, etc. publish. Needs to be given the same critical analysis. I hope some follow up will be forthcoming from Le Figaro.
posted by mmarcos at 4:26 PM on November 2, 2001

Pee-wee: Exhibit C, Jimmy, what is this??
Jimmy: Um..
Pee-wee: Too late! Chip!
Chip: Uhh..It looks like a pen.
Pee-wee: Exactly, I bought this pen one hour before my bike was stolen, why? What's the signifigance? I DON'T KNOW!
(3 hours go by)
Pee-wee: EXHIBIT Q! A scale model of the entire mall! X marks the scene of the crime, these arrows here show the exact position of the sun in the hours of the crime. Jupiter was aligned with Pluto! The moon was in the se...
Chuck: PEE-WEE!
Pee-wee: Please save your questions 'til when I'm through, Chuck!
Chuck: But when will that be?? We've been here for over 3 hours now, and I'm not sure if any of us know what all this is supposed to mean.
Pee-wee: Supposed to mean...supposed to mean!?!?
posted by hellinskira at 4:27 PM on November 2, 2001

"Who do you believe? In coming stories FTW will prove to you that this war, which according to Dick Cheney, may not end in out lifetimes, has been in the works for at least four years."

Not saying anything I am. But this just came out (somebody forwarded me the email link):

Something about Gore winning Florida by 45,000 votes.

Again, not presuming anything. Just interesting how these two links simultaneously dovetailed as I got home from work. I haven't even read the 45,000 vote margin article yet.
posted by crasspastor at 4:32 PM on November 2, 2001

What's the signifigance? I DON'T KNOW!

really truly seriously, SHLOLBQ.

[sitting here laughing out loud, but quietly.]
posted by th3ph17 at 4:33 PM on November 2, 2001

It sounds true to me! Look at what it does for Bush--he now has the makings of a huge deficit, a huge unemployment problem, businesses going undere daily, airlines failing even with bailouts, insurance industry a mess, national guard and reserves out of their jobs and homes to serve etc and why? because he heedds Nixon when Dick said they could cut off NY and let it leave the country. Good plan.
posted by Postroad at 4:35 PM on November 2, 2001

taumeson -

#2 - a) Al Queada agents are reported to prefer face to face meetings. b) It seems fanciful to think that NSA could break all encrypted communications, especially if they used something as powerful and ubiquitous as PGP, which would have a different private key and passphrase for each user. Maybe they got to one agent, but not to all. c) So far I've seen no reports that the agents in the WTC attack used encryption.

In short - Broken encryption is not tied to the WTC attack. All evidence points to them not using encryption at all in this operation.

#7 - This is odd how? Weren't Pakistan and the Taliban buddies? What's the tie to the US government here? That US diplomats have talked to Pakistani diplomats? Doesn't this happen with every country? Isn't that what diplomats do?

#9 How is this different than the 500 hundred other calls they probably got? You count this as evidence? Sheesh.

#18 - How does this connect the US to the attack? The activity was noted by Wallstreet analysts before the attack. How could they have know it was any different than, for instance, insider trading? "Oh! Someone thinks airline stock is going to go down! It must mean a terrorist attack!"

#24 - I always assumed we did this to get their help with our "war". We give them this - they don't badmouth us while we bomb Afghanistan. I'm missing your point here.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:50 PM on November 2, 2001

liam, thanks for the link to the original Le Figaro site.

I heard about this yesterday in Gary North's (conservative commentator) email newsletter.
He grabbed Yahoo New's version of the story about Bin Laden's hospital visit before it was gone.... within an hour of posting.

There are a LOT of facts out there that seem to point that this war (and it's greatest precipitating cause) was manufactured with some complicity by folks in our own government. Reminds me of FDR's foreknowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack...

Visit www.orlingrabbe.com for more tasty bits regarding the Bush/Bin Laden cabal and all manner of conspiracies.
posted by razorwriter at 4:52 PM on November 2, 2001

Good Lord, the whole Art Bell contingent showed up for this one. There is nothing so idiotic that a large number of people will not believe it, so long as it confirms their prejudices.
posted by marknau at 4:55 PM on November 2, 2001

marknau, you mean this Art Bell?
posted by mmarcos at 5:15 PM on November 2, 2001

Ouch. 180-degree brain spin. Must. sit. down.
posted by marknau at 5:27 PM on November 2, 2001

mark and all others who discount this: why are you always so quick to think that only foreign governments are corrupt? I don't think that our government committed this act of terrorism, but, I do think that they intended to use military force in Afghanistan this year. I think they made that fact known to bin Laden (or people who would surely get him that information). I think that the Bush administration knew that they had no mandate from the people of the USA to start a war over oil. I think they knew that some kind of attack would happen and did nothing to stop it. What were the benefits? Lets see....total commitment and blind trust by a majority of the American people to do anything he wants. The congress stopped fighting and joined hands in unity (initially). Huge defense contracts being awarded to companies that would in turn benefit Kellogg Brown and Root (a Halliburton company) and the Carlye Group in which his father is a consultant (so any money gained would be inherited by him). The economy was bottoming out and (right or wrong Bush would be blamed) now they get to blame terrorist attacks. The oil pipeline is a real poke in the eye to Saadam (and very profitable as well).

You're right, I'm sure it's all an amazing coincidence. But anyway you look at it, it looks bad: If we didn't know it was going to happen we look stupid, if we did we look evil.
posted by bas67 at 6:22 PM on November 2, 2001

but what if it's TRUE?!?!?
posted by jcterminal at 6:28 PM on November 2, 2001

After giving this line of reasoning all due consideration, it's now time to expand our horizons to even more insightful points of view.
posted by marknau at 6:33 PM on November 2, 2001

Here's the link to the story about the US ambassador's visit with the Pakistani oil minister.
posted by bas67 at 6:45 PM on November 2, 2001

I think they knew that some kind of attack would happen and did nothing to stop it.

Good lord, as depraved as I figured some conspiracists could be, I never truly thought that they would believe THAT. To imagine that a President would *knowingly* allow hundreds/thousands of innocent Americans to be slaughtered...call me naive, but I simply can not accept that.
posted by davidmsc at 6:45 PM on November 2, 2001

I heard about this yesterday in Gary North's (conservative commentator) email newsletter.

You mean Gary North, the panic-seeding Internet celebrity doomsayer who predicted Y2K would end civilization? Hoped for it?

Gary North, the guy who believes AIDS is a plague from God and predicted we would run out of hospital beds?

Gary North, the man who among other things dislikes religious liberty, would deny citizenship to non-Christians, and believes Native Americans got what they deserved?

Gary North, the guy who turned his Y2K doom n' gloom site into a resource for spamming?

Yeah. The guy's a real expert.
posted by scottandrew at 6:47 PM on November 2, 2001

okay david "you're naive."
posted by bas67 at 6:47 PM on November 2, 2001

Its no secret the CIA and others stir up trouble to keep themselves in business. They find a weak spot and poke it around a bit and see what comes up. Doubtfull however this is a conspiracy. Its just like any other agency in the Govt... follow the money.. CIA is getting huge inflows. Its how Washington works. The truth is somewhere between conspiracy and innocence.
posted by stbalbach at 6:49 PM on November 2, 2001

Devil's advocate:

1) In the early 1960's US top military leaders drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in US cities to create public support for a war against Cuba. Link here.

2) Dick Cheney is a big player in Halliburton, the oil R&D company that has its sights set on the oil fields in Turkmenistan - all they need is to be able to build a pipeline through Afghanistan, and the US has oil for the next 30 years (and Dick and company are set for several lifetimes). Then there is Carlyle, the weapons firm, with partners and consultants that include James Baker II and Bush pere. Carlyle makes lots of money - lots of money - off of conflicts large and small.

Now, I ain't saying that this article is kosher. But I for one do not put a lot past these people.
posted by mapalm at 6:56 PM on November 2, 2001

I'm no conspiracy theorist, but just because some of the hastily collected facts are wrong or irrelevant does not imply that there is some kind of good point being made here.
Perhaps the U.S. did receive warning of this attack. But, suppose the U.S. has been receiving warnings of all sorts of attacks over the years and it had no reason to think this was any different - in retrospect it is like the UN fax from Rwanda - an act or event or item that only takes great significance in hindsight.
Also, is anyone else suspicious of how we suddenly are "monitoring" terrorist conversations to learn of impending attacks such as the recent one on the bridges? How did we go from zero intelligence to an abundance of it? It seems that the likely explanation is that it was there all along.
posted by vacapinta at 7:18 PM on November 2, 2001

heh, you crack me up sometimes, mapalm. which devil exactly are you advocating for? certainly not in opposition to the conspiracy theorists.

i'm with ya buddy. u$$$a makes the world go 'round. but sometimes, man, i just wonder how deep the fantasy runs your world.

what i wanna kno is when the cia is gonna start spraying lsd over entire populations again. leave the corporate bullying to the corporate goons themselves. thats my freakin tax dollar they're spending.
posted by danOstuporStar at 7:37 PM on November 2, 2001

"why are you always so quick to think that only foreign governments are corrupt?"

I never said anything like that. I assume our government is corrupt. I also realize that we've done lots of stupid convert crap for decades.

What I said was that this theory was silly and poorly constructed. And the more you try to defend it, and the more I think about it, the more silly it sounds.

"I think they knew that some kind of attack would happen and did nothing to stop it."

And I now need to add that you are looney. Yes! I said it and I'm not ashamed! You are looney.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:46 PM on November 2, 2001

Y6: Before you start engaging in childish name calling go to this link and then here for lots and lots more and look at the stories linked there. They are from many different sources. Read them. Then let me know what you think. You can call me names if you like. I won't take part in that behavior.
posted by bas67 at 8:22 PM on November 2, 2001

I love it that this link has "free articles", and for the folks willing to PAY for the righteous drawings,better, more secret stuff! Sorta reminds me of this place:'We start where the media stops'.They are both Sofa King lame.
posted by Mack Twain at 8:29 PM on November 2, 2001

Thanks for the background on Gary North. I would never have know he had so many... unique.... views. I actually just checked out garynorth.com b4 posting here, but I didn't think it was the same guy. I mean, he's a spam expert, too?!

I knew his opinions of Y2K=doom (bad news sells newspapers), but what exactly made him a celebrity? I still haven't heard of him outside his newsletter.

It's just... I like to absorb views that aren't a repetition of every "mainstream" news outlet. That's part of the reason I enjoy MeFi.

And for the record, I've never once heard Art Bell's show. But the waters we all drink must be tasted for truth.
posted by razorwriter at 8:32 PM on November 2, 2001

"the US was planning military action against Osama Bin Laden and the Taleban even before last week's attacks."

Yes. You find this surprising? The Cole? Embassy bombings? Any of this ringing a bell? Hello? And it was Clinton that started that. Are we to believe he put out that big bounty and fired on Al Queada bases to pave the way for Bush to get his pipeline?

So..... Bush and Chaney are encouraging Bin Laden to blow up the WTC so that they can get rich on oil profits?

You already know what I think, and I'll be happy to keep reading your links in search of some evidence you aren't bonkers. Conspiracy theories are fun and all, but at some point you have to stop and say, "Only an idiot would actually believe that."

Dude..... Do you even listen to yourself?
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:42 PM on November 2, 2001

Well Y6, you decide for yourself. All I can say it that the box you think inside of is very small.

By the way I'm not a "Dude" I'm a woman who looks for info from all different avenues, not just mainstream media.

The only downside to "freedom of the press" is that it gives us the illusion that what we hear on TV and read in the newspapers is always true.
posted by bas67 at 9:08 PM on November 2, 2001

heh, you crack me up sometimes, mapalm. which devil exactly are you advocating for? certainly not in opposition to the conspiracy theorists.

Seems to me he's playing as much of the devil's advocate as anyone here. Why do you have to be so patronizing?

The allegations are so serious, so terrifyingly titillating, that even the farthest left or right of us aren't so impractical that we cannot see where belief in such a sinister plot leads. Mapalm added to the discussion and you rudely distracted from it.

Apparently you're under the assumption that we'd rather hear some newbie's off-topic arrogant blather than actually let every member's contribution speak for itself.
posted by crasspastor at 9:48 PM on November 2, 2001

crasspastor, i have no idea what you're on about. Seemed more humorous banter followed by tentative agreement that things aren't always what they seem to me.

And there's a difference between "belief" and "speculation". There's very little in this world that I am very sure about, anyway.

Ah, whatever, a-albionic still rocks it the hardest!
posted by cps at 10:15 PM on November 2, 2001

What is 'lame', 'idiotic' and 'loony' (yeah I'm talking to you, y6y6y6) is viewing all issues as dichotomies. Truth, where it exists, where people are involved, is almost never an either/or situation.

There is a lot of middle ground between 'random, unrelated events' and 'global conspiracy'. Somewhere in that middle ground, in a chaotic jumble of ineptitute, random chance, missed opportunities, and yes, maybe even evil secret plans enacted by elected and unelected officials, is probably where the actual story lies.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:44 PM on November 2, 2001

bas67: All I can say it that the box you think inside of is very small.

All I can say is that the box you think inside of is very porous, soggy, and haphazardly constructed. Hell, it doesn't even have six sides! One can barely call it a "box"....more like "a shabbily constructed cardboard pile teetering on the verge of collapse!"
posted by monkey-mind at 12:06 AM on November 3, 2001

A lot of people here appear to be using the term "conspiracy theorist" as a euphemism for "crazy". It seems these days that anyone who questions the official story of any event in ANY way is immediately labeled a "conspiracy theorist" (meaning crazy). So then how does one go about demonstrating that the official story for something might be wrong?

Oh wait, I get it! The official story is never wrong!

Some people might do well to ask themselves how and when they became trained to think in these terms.
posted by Potsy at 1:37 AM on November 3, 2001

Going right back to the start of the story - read the first paragraph. There's the implicit assumption that the US can treat somewhere the other side of the world as if it's part of its own country.

If the peace in N Ireland fails I hope the UK starts "precision bombing" Noraid supporters in New York...
posted by andrew cooke at 2:21 AM on November 3, 2001


henry kissinger was named in a lawsuit (filed sept. 10) by a chilean family claiming officials in the nixon administration orchestrated a series of covert activities that led to the assassination of chilean military commander rene schneider in part of a larger scheme to bring pinochet to power. the case is based on declassified CIA documents, which i think makes it interesting if it can unravel the string of plausible deniability. but it seems like in the wake of the attacks not much will come of it. i think schneider's son said it best, "I want the truth to be established." well, there it is.

al-kaida is behind it all.
posted by kliuless at 4:02 AM on November 3, 2001

There's the implicit assumption that the US can treat somewhere the other side of the world as if it's part of its own country.

andrew, did you completely sleep thru the Iran-Contra hearings?
posted by bas67 at 4:30 AM on November 3, 2001

"If the peace in N Ireland fails I hope the UK starts "precision bombing" Noraid supporters in New York..." hmmmm, come to NY mr.cooke. they would.... That was not nice. mr. cooke. i have my eye on you;)
posted by clavdivs at 6:33 AM on November 3, 2001

Ever heard of coincidences?
24. September 13, 2001 – China is admitted to the World Trade Organization quickly, after 15 years of unsuccessful attempts. Anyone who knows anything about China's negotiations with the WTO knows that it was not a matter of "unsuccessful attempts." Once the Chinese government had decided it wanted to apply, it was a process of negotiating bilateral agreements with all of the other members. So they're all in on it?
18. 4,516 put options are purchased on American Airlines as compared to 748 call options So what? investors do that all the time. Do you expect options to even out every single day?
And the Figaro article claims that the local CIA representative, whom many people in Dubai knew, was seen using the main elevator of the hospital where bin laden was being treated, and supposedly went to b.l.'s room, and that a few days later, he bragged about it in front of a few friends. If the CIA's spycraft is this incompetent, do we really need b.l.?
posted by phartizan at 6:54 AM on November 3, 2001

Someone appropriately named "Potsy" concluded: Oh wait, I get it! The official story is never wrong!

Some people might do well to ask themselves how and when they became trained to think in these terms.

Some other people might do well to ask themselves how and when they became trained to think. Period. Because it seems like they haven't been....

It's not that I (or other rational people) think "the official story is never wrong"; rather a rational person wouldn't think the story in question is right, because it doesn't adhere to any standards of critical thinking or responsible journalism.

Many participants in this thread would do well to spend several days studying this site.
posted by monkey-mind at 7:40 AM on November 3, 2001

I wonder if there's any chance we can get that critical thinking site included in the posting and commenting guidelines...
posted by mmarcos at 8:07 AM on November 3, 2001

I have no problem believing our government has some element of corruption to it -- we elect human beings, not angels -- but I'm having serious trouble getting my head around the concept that a whole bunch of people could stand by and let the WTC and Pentagon attacks happen. Anybody want to persuade me otherwise?
posted by alumshubby at 8:23 AM on November 3, 2001

Now even Pravda wants answers
posted by Voyageman at 10:35 AM on November 3, 2001

monkey-mind: by your standards, you should be criticizing the theory, and not the people who believe it. Your posts are more or less ad hominem attacks. That's fine, but get off the high horse if you're going to do that.

I don't really think the evidence shows that the CIA had foreknowledge of the attacks. (Worth noting that he is not claiming Bush had foreknowledge, but that the CIA did.) Even so, there are a lot of interesting things going on. For example, you have major sources saying a) the war against Afghanistan was planned before the attacks and b) the CIA had a chance to grab bin Laden in July and did not. Most intriguingly, the source for the second point, Le Figaro, is owned by the Carlyle Group, which connects the Bushes to the bin Laden family. And, if the Figaro article is to be believed, bin Laden was being visited by family members, meaning he's not the "black sheep" they claim him to be.

The link in question seems a little hasty, but there are much better researched pieces on the site – I especially liked this one about herion in Afghanistan. He tears into Debka in this one.

The writer in question is Michael C. Ruppert, ex-LAPD. His special interest is CIA involvement in narcotics. I really recommend reading his testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence before you dismiss him as a crackpot.
posted by D at 9:05 PM on November 3, 2001

monkey-mind: There were people posting within minutes of the front page link being posted, saying they dismissed the story. I'm certain they didn't have time to read the whole thing or even a significant fraction of it. They had already made up their minds after seeing the words "consipracy theory" in the description. They've been very well trained to instantly disbelieve anything within proximity of those words. That is hardly rational.
posted by Potsy at 10:47 AM on November 4, 2001

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