Continuing Commentary on the WTC Attacks
September 16, 2001
"Nothing just happens in politics. If something happens you can be sure it was planned that way."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
It seems as though more people have been watching the Discovery Channel than the planners of the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon may have accounted for. A good number of people are questioning exactly why the collapse of the towers looked so much like controlled implosions. Anyone who has seen a documentary clip of a building being professionally demolished using explosive charges couldn't help but be struck by the remarkable similarity.
One demolition and explosives expert from New Mexico has already gone public with his suspicions that the buildings were deliberately imploded. Architects and engineers who designed the buildings were at a loss to explain how they could react in such a manner. One expert, prompted by his interviewer to comment on if more steel in the structures could have prevented the tragedy, could only say that it was hard to imagine how any more steel could have been incorporated into any structure.
And it was, as we all know, not just one tower that literally crumbled before our very eyes, but both of them – in an identical fashion. As I myself was pondering that rather curious fact, I stumbled upon yet another article giving a first-person report on the tragedy. This particular account concerned an architecture student who viewed the unfolding drama from across the bay. Some of his first thoughts – after the buildings had been struck, but before they disappeared – were that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to fight a fire at that height, and that it would without question be impossible to repair the damaged buildings. He found himself pondering what would become of the imposing towers, being no longer fit to be occupied. And then, of course, they just sort of vanished.
Suddenly a possible plan began to come into focus. The initial crashes and explosions, which were essential for the shock value of being so utterly audacious, would by necessity destroy the buildings. It would have therefore been necessary, at some time in the future, to implode the buildings. Why not then include it as part of the show?
To stir up as much outrage as possible, it was of course necessary to get footage of the implosions, as well as the crashes themselves, although it seems a little odd that the first crash was recorded so graphically – as if someone was waiting for it, camera in hand (at least two people, actually, according to a British correspondent who claims to have seen footage on the BBC taken from a different angle). That footage, of course, has incalculable propaganda value.
Propaganda is certainly something that we have seen a lot of in the last week. The sheer volume of, and the monotony of, the media coverage has been astounding. Every station across the television dial playing the same footage and providing the same unquestioning commentary, continuously, around the clock, from the moment the first plane hit the tower. The media barrage is unavoidable. Absurdly large headlines scream out from every newspaper and magazine, and every radio station seems to sound the same. There is no escape. And there is likely a reason for that. Somewhere in the halls of power, there just may be an awareness that the official story of the 'terrorist' attacks isn't very convincing.
It isn't by chance that there is nothing else to be found on the television dial beyond images of planes crashing into buildings. It was reported on Saturday that the networks had been demonstrating what was said to be an unusually high level of cooperation during this crisis. They've actually been talking amongst themselves to decide how long the bombardment of the national consciousness should go on.
It has likely been deemed necessary to browbeat the country into accepting the unlikely scenario that is being passed off as fact. It is the media's job at this point to prevent the people, as much as possible, from actually thinking for themselves. And with such extensive coverage, haven't our news commentators already thought everything out for us anyway? Apparently not, as people seem to be scurrying about the Internet like cockroaches, trying desperately to snatch up any little morsel of information that the media are holding back on – trying to make sense of a story that makes no inherent sense.
Some additional details have been added that appear to be an attempt to bolster some of the more flimsy aspects of the official story. After reports began to air that home-made knives were the weapon of choice, it was quickly added that bomb threats were made on at least some of the flights. But does that really add to the credibility of the story? If a guy waving a "knife-like" object claims to have a bomb in a box, would he be believed? Would it seem credible that someone who couldn't get anything more threatening than a razor blade onto the plane had somehow smuggled aboard an unseen bomb? And if pulling off such a bluff was so easy to do, shouldn't we have seen some other hijackings in the last decade?
Some reports have claimed that cellular telephone calls coming from the doomed flights, allegedly caught on tape, confirm the official story. If true, this raises a number of interesting questions. The first of these is: if these tapes in fact exist, then why haven't we heard them (or, for that matter, the tapes contained within the 'black boxes')? Why, with wall-to-wall coverage of this great American tragedy, have these harrowing tapes not been burned indelibly into the American psyche? Such tapes would obviously have considerable propaganda value in further inflaming the passions of the masses and promoting the genocidal agenda being pursued. Strange then that we haven't been treated to the poignant final words of some of the victims of this mass murder.
The media certainly weren't shy about airing such gut-wrenching footage as the images of hapless victims leaping to their certain deaths. Why then haven't we heard the farewell messages of the passengers aboard the suicide flights? Strange also that some of those alleged calls just happened to be placed to one of the most notorious members of the current administration, Solicitor General Theodore Olson (see "A Supreme Injustice," Parts I and II).
There is also the question of how such tapes would even exist. There are two possibilities here, and both of them have rather disturbing implications. The first is that all cellular communications are routinely recorded, which would speak volumes about the state of 'democracy' in this country. The other possibility is that calls coming from the hijacked aircraft were specifically monitored. That of course raises the obvious question of why, if the flights were being so closely monitored, they were nevertheless allowed to proceed unimpeded to their intended targets.
It has been reliably reported that it was known fairly early on that the flights had been hijacked. It was also known (even though the transponders were disabled, by someone with a high degree of technical knowledge) that the planes had changed their flight paths. It is inconceivable then that the wayward flights were not being tracked and monitored.
According to the official timelines that have appeared in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, by 8:15-8:20 AM, air traffic controllers had received clear indications that flight 11 out of Boston, in flight for just twenty minutes, had been hijacked – the aircraft's transponder had been shut off and the pilot was not responding to radio calls. By 8:28 AM, the aircraft had radically changed course and there was no question that the flight had been hijacked, a fact acknowledged by the FAA. By this time, flight 175 out of Boston and flight 77 out of Dulles were also in the air. Just two minutes later, flight 175 deviated from its flight path as well, indicating that it had also been hijacked.
It was still nearly thirty minutes before the first plane would plow into the WTC and there were already very clear indications that this wasn't a normal day for air traffic in America; two civilian passenger planes had been hijacked simultaneously, an unprecedented occurrence, and yet no action was immediately taken to avert the tragedy that was to come.
At 8:38 AM, the Air Defense Command was allegedly first notified of the hijacking of flight 11, twenty minutes after air traffic controllers first became aware of that fact. Reports give no indication that notification was given at that time that the second flight had changed course as well. Five more minutes passed before the military was informed by the FAA of the second hijacking. At 8:45 AM, flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the WTC. Ten minutes later, flight 77 abruptly turned around and turned off its transponder. Three flights were then known to have been hijacked, with two still in the air and one having already spectacularly crashed into a heavily occupied building. The most technologically advanced and militarily prepared nation on earth proceeded to sit on its hands.
After ten more minutes had passed, flight 175 crashed even more spectacularly into the south WTC tower. There was absolutely no question at that point that this was a serious national emergency. Flight 93 out of Newark had by then radically changed course as well, clearly indicating that yet a fourth aircraft had been hijacked and was a potential guided missile. It was allegedly then, and only then, that George W. Bush – the Commander in Chief of U.S. Armed Forces, the man entrusted with the defense of the nation – was notified that there might be a problem. According to the Associated Press, "Bush was reading to children in a classroom at 9:05 a.m. when his chief of staff, Andrew Card, whispered in his ear. The president briefly turned somber before he resumed reading."
With New York's most visible landmark in flames and two hijacked flights in the air, America's formidable national security apparatus sat idle while its purported commander, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, "listened to 18 Booker Elementary School second-graders read a story about a girl's pet goat." Are the American people really so blinded by propaganda that they can't see the absurdity of this situation?
First of all, it is absolutely inconceivable that Bush would not have been appraised of the situation prior to 9:05. The first aircraft had been hijacked forty-five minutes prior to that. That very first action constituted the most serious 'terrorist' act to occur on these shores for a number of years. Yet we are to believe that Bush was not notified of the first hijacking, nor of the second hijacking, nor of the first crash into the World Trade Center tower, nor of the third hijacking, nor even of the fourth hijacking.
In the real world, or at least the one that we think we are living in, the President would have been notified immediately of the first hijacking and would have canceled his morning plans, particularly if they were of no more importance that providing a photo-op with a second-grade class to feign interest in an issue - education - that won't be receiving any attention in Washington for a long, long time. But we don't live in the world that we think we live in. We live in a world where, even after the President is informed of the magnitude of the problem, he chooses – in the most bizarre scenario imaginable – to continue listening to seven-year-olds read about a pet goat. And while Nero fiddled ....
According to the Associated Press report, "He addressed the tragedy about a half-hour later." Meanwhile, by 9:10 AM, the Pentagon's radar had reportedly picked up flight 77, which was still a half-hour away from plowing into what is frequently described as the military's nerve center. At 9:25 AM, the FAA purportedly notified Air Defense that flight 77 was heading for Washington, though radar had determined that fact fifteen minutes earlier and it had been known for a full half-hour that the plane had turned around and was headed back east.
At 9:35, two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled, at least an hour and twenty minutes after the first flight had been hijacked and nearly an hour after it had crashed. The jets were dispatched, strangely enough, from Langley Air Force Base rather then the much closer Andrews Air Force Base. The Pentagon was struck just minutes later, some fifteen minutes before the F-16s arrived on the scene, but nearly an hour-and-a-half after the rash of hijackings began.
A steady stream of talking heads have taken to the airwaves to claim that no contingency plans were in place for such an attack. Despite decades of military planning for every possible type of attack on these shores, and despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent on civil defense measures, no one – we are to believe – ever envisioned such an assault. We are not talking here, it should be noted, about some type of technologically advanced 'terrorist' tactic that should have caught the supposed guardians of our national security off-guard. The use of aircraft as guided missiles has been a technique of warfare that has existed since airplanes became a part of the world's military arsenal.
To no one's surprise, the first name mentioned as a suspect, before the first shards of glass hit the pavement from the impact of the first plane, was everyone's favorite bogeyman, Osama bin Laden. He is, as our media have been telling us for years, responsible for every act of barbarism committed in the last decade, so why wouldn't he be behind this as well?
Though a mind-boggling amount of media coverage has been devoted to demonizing our all-purpose prime suspect, there seems to be a number of things about bin Laden that the media insist on ignoring – such as that he is almost entirely a creature of our own making. As any number of more honest journalists (as well as MSNBC) have pointed out, it was our very own CIA that armed, trained and funded his organization during our escapades in Afghanistan. In fact, there is certainly a possibility that we are still doing so today. After all, he makes such a great villain, and having a readily available villain is absolutely essential for scaring the American people into line and justifying obscenely high military and intelligence budgets. It's not like we have the 'Evil Empire' anymore. And Fidel is getting a little long in the tooth to make much of a credible villain.
As some reports have noted, bin Laden has very close ties to the Saudi royal family. What none of these reports note though is that the Saudi regime was installed decades ago in a coup sponsored by lifetime U.S. intelligence asset Allen Dulles, working in tandem with British intelligence asset Jack Philby. The country, which is essentially a family-run oil cartel, and which was actively complicit with the fascist European powers during World War II, has largely been an American puppet-state ever since then. So if bin Laden is still functioning as a covert U.S. intelligence asset, he likely has a lot of company in his social circles, both in Afghanistan and in Saudi Arabia.
Speaking of oil cartels, Dick Cheney made his first appearance before the American people today. I hadn't seen him all week and I was beginning to wonder if he hadn't taken the opportunity to have another one of those minor little surgical heart procedures done. Then I realized that he was just laying low to give Bush a much-needed chance to try to look 'presidential,' as the press is fond of saying. Dick was on the airwaves claiming that the White House had received what he said was a "credible threat" that Air Force 1 was one of the potential targets that the 'terrorists' were aiming for. This has to be the most ridiculous claim that has yet been made.
How could any such threat, even if it were actually made, ever be considered credible? We are talking here, after all, about an unarmed, civilian passenger plane. Was there really ever any danger of it eluding Air Force 1's military escorts (state-of-the-art fighter aircraft) and plowing broadside into the presidential plane? First of all, the 'terrorists' would have had to know precisely where it was. Unlike the World Trade Center towers, Air Force 1 isn't a stationary target. And it's a really big sky out there. The last time I checked, it wasn't standard procedure to post the coordinates and the flight path of AF 1 on the Internet. And even if it was, a civilian airliner doesn't exactly have the capability to track and hone in on those coordinates.
So this little fable of Cheney's was a rather obvious fabrication whose intent was clearly to create the illusion that an assassination attempt had been made on our president, thereby creating some kind of 'rally around the flag' effect – all part of the plan to herd the American people behind our fearless leader as he is given unprecedented authority to wage war anywhere in the world that suits the interests of corporate America.
The U.S. military response won't be long in coming and will arrive with a vengeance. It's always best to strike, as they say, while the iron is hot. There's no sense in whipping up all this blood-lust among the American people if you don't use that emotion that has been generated. What we will likely see is a massive, multi-pronged military venture. Who it is aimed at doesn't really seem to matter. The headline above a column in the L.A. Daily News on Sunday read: "It's Time to Strike, Not Compare: We Know Well Enough Who the Perpetrators Are."
Well, I guess if we know well enough, then by all means let the bombing begin.
The funny thing is, this country's military response will look for all the world as though it has been carefully planned and mapped-out over many years. But we will all know that that isn't the case, because no one knew these attacks were coming until a few days ago. The other funny thing is, even as we are showcasing for the world exactly what a wholesale assault on human life years of bloated military/intelligence budgets can buy, commentators will continue to talk of how we left ourselves vulnerable to this attack by neglecting the military and intelligence sectors for years.
And the people will stare at their TVs and nod in agreement.