Who killed John O'Neill?
January 9, 2002 3:16 PM   Subscribe

Who killed John O'Neill? If the lads on the Right have their Vince Foster "mystery" death, the folks on the Left now have their John O'Neill "story."
posted by Postroad (18 comments total)
This charge is based upon one story in a 'zine-like publication (or is it a dress-up weblog)? Vince Foster was a favorite of, among others, The Wall Street Journal editorial page. Quite a difference there.
posted by raysmj at 3:20 PM on January 9, 2002

actually there was a piece about this man in the new york observer a couple of weeks back that went into detail about his frustration with the bureau, but i can't seem to find it on the site ...
posted by maura at 3:26 PM on January 9, 2002

But the NY Observer article wasn't posted here. An article from the highly obscure Daily Brew was.
posted by raysmj at 3:30 PM on January 9, 2002

There's a long piece about him - not online yet - in the current issue of the New Yorker, too.
posted by liam at 3:47 PM on January 9, 2002

There's a good article about him in the New York Metro.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:57 PM on January 9, 2002

Sorry, that's a reprint from New York Magazine.

..always read the footnotes...
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:58 PM on January 9, 2002

I had posted the story because though it did, as noted, appear in a rather obsucre place, it is now showing up on many left-leaning (is there any other kind) political blogs as Wow! and the Oil connection in the soon-to-be released French book which claims Bush and gang were negotiating with Taliban for an oil pipeline to circumvent using Russia for a source and for piplines...and this, so the claim goes, shortly before the 9/11 attack. Drudge carried the piece and got it from (I believe) CNN. Thus, some liberals see a connection between the Walsh death and oil and the Taliban. Ah, what a tale we weave....
posted by Postroad at 4:27 PM on January 9, 2002

I haven't read the other links, but the Daily Brew's story is totally ridiculous. There isn't even a rumor behind it. There's just the fact of Mr. O'Neill's former job, his stated opinions, and his subsequent death. We're supposed to connect the dots.

And what points to a conspiracy? Well, for starters, "we have only the government's version" of O'Neill's death. "How convenient," the story says, that he should die before he can "tell his story."

And how plausible is it, really, that the head of WTC security would be in the tower trying to help people when it collapsed? Are we really expected to believe that, two weeks after he'd left his job investigating terrorism, an ex-Deputy Director of the FBI would call his old office during a massive terrorist attack occurring directly over his head?

It's a lot more likely that he was ... what? Assassinated by a hit team dispatched to the area to get him in the moments following the attack? Yep: the American media's definitely missing the boat by not investigating whether he was "silenced".

O'Neill's an interesting story, and conspiracy theories are fun, but implying that somebody other than al Qaeda killed him is really grotesque. Even if the author doesn't like Republicans.
posted by coelecanth at 4:39 PM on January 9, 2002

Didn't mean to troll, by the way. I'm just grouchy today.
posted by coelecanth at 4:51 PM on January 9, 2002

Maybe it started yesterday when CNN was called "the mainstream media"...today it's the Daily Brew, tomorrow: Investigative journalists, working undercover for Mad Magazine revealed today that Janet Reno underwent successful prostate surgery in Bill Clintons kitchen, blah blah blah.
posted by Mack Twain at 5:09 PM on January 9, 2002

I bet Bill Gaines did it. He faked his own death, and he's behind the whole conspiracy. I never trusted that guy.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 5:30 PM on January 9, 2002

I believe the only possible link between John O'Neil and the terrorist attacks are --he was there when the building fell and he died. I posted the "CNN as mainstream media" link that is refered to above. I linked the John O'Neil article in the comments to show that a "leading terrorisum expert" had spoken to the authors of the book that is mentioned in the front page link. According to the New York magazine story, he left the FBI due to some frustration in doing his job with the Feds. Whether the frustration was due to higher-ups scaling back his investigations or personal frustration from something else, I don't know.

I love a good conspiracy, but this isn't one.
posted by bas67 at 7:56 PM on January 9, 2002

I wouldn't even begin to think that it was more than coincidence that he died in the attack, but he was saying

"The main obstacles to investigate Islamic terrorism were US oil corporate interests, and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it,"

and that is pretty damning. However I don't really expect anything will come of it. Just like in Iran/Contra the issues are a little more complex than sex, and so not easy for the general public to get angry about or the media to report on, but way more evil.
posted by chrismc at 8:26 PM on January 9, 2002

chrismc, there is certainly a new recognition that the post-Fahd era (which, since his stroke, has already begun) has been marked by increasing support for both overtly nasty stuff (like terrorism) and more arguably problematic stuff (like spreading Wahabbism), and this is shared by Establishment types. It is not the leftie oil-conspiracy theory that drives it, however. It is a recognition that Saudi is following a path which will at some point bring it into direct conflict with our national interest.

The fringe lefties just don't like oil, so they need conspiracy theories to oppose it. Note how the argument turns on its head when one discusses, for example, the ethical conflicts of humanitarian NGOs in war zones. They pay protection money to warlords; they hire gunmen; they hire corrupt local administrators; they bribe everyone in sight. Yes, there is a noble goal at stake, but the net result is ... monetary and moral support for bad guys. This gets no criticism in left circles, alas.

Let me state again that this whole story (as linked above) boils down to some dubiously sourced charges that are simply being repeated in different locations. That does not have the effect of making them any more true. Some real reporting would; these are not difficult people to find. There are some obvious questions to ask, if one is not biased. But I don't see any reporting, just calls for outrage from people who have their minds made up.
posted by dhartung at 12:18 AM on January 10, 2002

"Vince Foster was a favorite of, among others, The Wall Street Journal editorial page. Quite a difference there."

Agreed. This is the publication that advised us to buy dotcom stocks and told us how great Enron was. [sarcasm]Very credible staff wouldn't you say?[/sarcasm]
posted by nofundy at 5:10 AM on January 10, 2002

the only difference between the wall street journal's editorial page and, say, freerepublic.com is the fact that the wsj has the ability to hide behind its institutional 'prestige.'
posted by maura at 6:14 AM on January 10, 2002

John O'Neill laid it out in this speech he gave at the National Strategy Forum on June 11, 1997. (from Buzzflash) He saw what was coming:

The only thing that knocked O.J. Simpson off of television, his trial, was the Oklahoma City bombing case. The larger the attack, the more newsworthy they can make it... We are concerned about the lethality of the attacks. We're very, very concerned that we seem to have a rash of both problems in the international side and the domestic side at the same time. And we are also concerned now that we have had obviously a lot of conventional types of attacks, but now, we're starting to see unconventional types of attacks like the (inaudible) attack that took place in Tokyo with an unconventional type of weapon.

...I think interesting times lie ahead. Certainly, we as citizens will be challenged. I know the FBI will continue to be challenged in the years to come. Unfortunately, I cannot predict that no Americans will be injured or killed as a result of a terrorist attack. And in fact, it will happen as long as violence is seen as the way to move along political or social agendas.

posted by ferris at 7:52 AM on January 10, 2002

The article in this week's New Yorker (previously mentioned) talks about his last minutes -- he made it out of the building and was walking around outside, chatting on his cell phone. Last seen going into the tunnel toward WTC 2. Not exactly a perfect "assassination" -- though that depends on how you look at it, I guess.
posted by drinkcoffee at 1:12 PM on January 10, 2002

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