Conspiracy Theories
November 7, 2003 5:43 AM   Subscribe

CBC's long-running series The Fifth Estate recently ran a very unsettling episode (in Canada) entitled 'Conspiracy Theories'. The show dealt with all manner of claims surrouding 9-11 including a possible US/Saudi/Bin Laden connection, major intelligence breakdowns, etc. Their website provides further reading for those who like to believe the worst.
posted by denbot (13 comments total)
Why does every book/website/movie dealing with conspiracies have to use the same "space-age" font?
posted by anathema at 6:02 AM on November 7, 2003

This Bush-Bin Laden relationship is going to be explored in Michael Moore's next movie, Farenheit 911 (the temperature at which freedom burns).
posted by freakystyley at 7:28 AM on November 7, 2003

Why "unsettling"? As the site says: "The fifth estate found NO credible evidence in the public domain to prove the U.S. government had any specific advance knowledge of exactly what would happen on September 11, 2001. And many conspiracy theories seem like a waste of time. They depend on questionable characters like Mike Vreeland or involve wild allegations like those of Thierry Meyssan." All that's left are some "legitimate question" Gee, is that the best they could come up with?
posted by twsf at 7:29 AM on November 7, 2003

Here's a legitimate question: why bother with this crap?
Answer: bitterness and unemployment.
posted by reality at 7:38 AM on November 7, 2003

reality: We're not that bitter or unemployed up here in Canada. We're just worried about our friend with the nukes doing something that will affect us all.
posted by tiamat at 7:43 AM on November 7, 2003

I wish my over-the-air reception of CBC was better - this might have been worth a watch.

If only some major US news outlets had examined these Saudi/Qaeda/Bush ties. But instead a large portion of the U.S. has formed their recent world view based upon our media's tireless regurgitation of Bush I and II propaganda (along with a few lame Leno "France" jokes).
posted by NorthernLite at 7:46 AM on November 7, 2003

Why bother? Here's a better question:
Why does the average American not know that Dubya was bankrolled by Osama's brother nor that Daddy Bush was in business with Osama's daddy?
What? it's just whacky and beyond belief because it's a conspiracy?
posted by ahimsakid at 7:50 AM on November 7, 2003

I watched this program, and thought it was very well done. Most of the conspiracy theories were handled with a grain of skepticism, as they should be, but the hard facts about the long standing Bush/Bin Laden family relationship were quite eye-opening.
posted by jess at 8:46 AM on November 7, 2003

jess: It was about the most 'sensationalized' CBC program I've ever seen. You're right, though -- It did take the approach of presenting the information rather than stating it as fact.
posted by denbot at 8:53 AM on November 7, 2003

From the website, it doesn't look like this tidbit made it in but I would love to know why the NSA was monitoring conversations between Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the attacks and Mohammed Atta, the chef hijacker before September 11th and what those conversations where about.
posted by euphorb at 11:58 AM on November 7, 2003

This Bush-Bin Laden relationship is going to be explored in Michael Moore's next movie, Farenheit 911

Wow, that's a relief. FINALLY someone who's above fabricating facts for the sake of sensationalizing a story is going to cover this. [/sarcasm]
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:58 PM on November 7, 2003

euphorb, Der Spiegel's recent analysis of the 9/11 planning shows that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was known to have been involved in both the 1993 WTC bombing and the "Bojinka" plan that, when combined, provided the model for 9/11. Atta, however, was not on any watch list and was not being specifically monitored; when the planners spoke they generally used code; besides, Atta was (in retrospect) only doing groundwork for Binalshibh. It wasn't until after 9/11, though, that those who knew the reputation of "KSM" put him together with the 9/11 plotters. The article you linked, of course, indicates why operational problems prevented many messages from being translated in advance of the attacks or passed to other authorities.
posted by dhartung at 11:30 PM on November 7, 2003

Atta, however, was not on any watch list and was not being specifically monitored...

On the contrary, he was being specifically monitored. That's my point.

That Der Speigel piece does a nice job of telling the tale from the terrorists perspective. But it doesn't address the questions raised by the article I linked. Atta was in the US at the time so the NSA would have required a court order to monitor his conversations.

I think that statement is worth repeating. Either the NSA had obtained a court order to listen in on his conversations with one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists or they were tapping his phones in violation of US law. Take your pick. I suppose the only other alternative is that the article is bogus. The 9/11 widows seem to think the hijackers were already under surveillance as well.
posted by euphorb at 12:32 PM on November 8, 2003

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