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nivek
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I'm on dialup, so I didn't watch the above video. I did watch V for Vendetta though, and see how 9/11 could have inspired it.

 

To clarify my position, the August 6, 2001 PDB and other details convinced me that our administration had plenty of advance warning and purposely did nothing to prevent it, at the very least. Motive? It gave them an excuse to go after Hussein, which is what Dubya swore to do during the 2000 campaign. At worst, I wouldn't rule out this administration's direct involvement, although I haven't seen enough evidence at this time to confirm it.

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I don't believe the government was somehow intimately involved in the 9/11 attacks, let alone in the actual perpetration thereof, simply because history tells us a cover-up on such a grand scale wouldn't last a month. There's also the "never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity" factor.

 

That the government may have known an attack (minus the details of where, how, and exactly when) was imminent and chose to allow it to happen, however, seems to me entirely within the realm of possibility--especially considering there exists a historical precedent for it in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

 

So I don't believe the Bush Administration was working in cahoots with Bin Laden, but I do believe they took the opportunity to seize the moment once the attacks had been carried out--which, IMO, and considering all they've done with that power-grab since then, makes them equally as culpable as if they'd planned and perpetrated the attacks themselves.

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There's also the "never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity" factor.

Good point. I still lean toward "willful carelessness," though.

That the government may have known an attack (minus the details of where, how, and exactly when) was imminent and chose to allow it to happen, however, seems to me entirely within the realm of possibility--especially considering there exists a historical precedent for it in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

They may or may not have known the actual targets for 9/11. They knew what method of attack was being planned, and they at least had an idea of where some of the targets were. The August briefing said (1) bin Laden "wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft" and (2) "FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York."

 

The most obvious precaution to take in light of that information, in my opinion, is to tighten airport security immediately upon receipt of such information, rather than waiting until after the attacks had already occurred. This is why I think they at least willfully allowed it to happen. The fact that they kept changing their excuses for attacking and later occupying Iraq only reinforces that conclusion, much the same way in which DNA evidence would reinforce the video evidence of someone committing a murder.

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There's also the "never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity" factor.

Good point. I still lean toward "willful carelessness," though.

That the government may have known an attack (minus the details of where, how, and exactly when) was imminent and chose to allow it to happen, however, seems to me entirely within the realm of possibility--especially considering there exists a historical precedent for it in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

They may or may not have known the actual targets for 9/11. They knew what method of attack was being planned, and they at least had an idea of where some of the targets were. The August briefing said (1) bin Laden "wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft" and (2) "FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York."

 

The most obvious precaution to take in light of that information, in my opinion, is to tighten airport security immediately upon receipt of such information, rather than waiting until after the attacks had already occurred. This is why I think they at least willfully allowed it to happen. The fact that they kept changing their excuses for attacking and later occupying Iraq only reinforces that conclusion, much the same way in which DNA evidence would reinforce the video evidence of someone committing a murder.

 

I wasn't aware they had that much knowledge to go on. It certainly casts even greater suspicion on their motives in failing to act.

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Ah... I remember V for Vendetta redefining comics for me...

 

I just watched the movie. Wow.

 

The comic was a lot darker... and, looking at it with a lot older eyes, very misogynistic in parts...

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I wasn't aware they had that much knowledge to go on. It certainly casts even greater suspicion on their motives in failing to act.

Indeed. Looking at the PDB combined with their flip-flopping excuses for the war, it makes it difficult to avoid jumping on the "they're behind it all" bandwagon. But to say they allowed it to happen is the simpler explanation, considering how intricate the conspiracy would have had to have been in order for the administration to actually be behind the whole thing.

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They may or may not have known the actual targets for 9/11. They knew what method of attack was being planned, and they at least had an idea of where some of the targets were. The August briefing said (1) bin Laden "wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft" and (2) "FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York."

 

The most obvious precaution to take in light of that information, in my opinion, is to tighten airport security immediately upon receipt of such information, rather than waiting until after the attacks had already occurred. This is why I think they at least willfully allowed it to happen. The fact that they kept changing their excuses for attacking and later occupying Iraq only reinforces that conclusion, much the same way in which DNA evidence would reinforce the video evidence of someone committing a murder.

 

As an airline pilot, I'd like to point out that before 9-11 a "hijacking" was assumed to be what "hijacking" meant for the previous 30 years - violently taking control of an aircraft and it's passengers in order to have demands met. Only a few smart and suspicious FBI agents might have figured out the possibility of using aircraft as weapons, but the boneheads who make the decisions wouldn't make the same connections or risk the status quo.

 

Secondly, what good would it have done to increase security? The weapons carried by the 9-11 hijackers were perfectly allowable under pre 9-11 rules. Besides, at that time half of the security screeners barely spoke English. Even now, the TSA checkpoints have a horrible record of catching simulated guns and bombs (less than 50% IIRC).

 

Finally, the World Trade Centers were not federal buildings. "Federal Buildings" are mentioned as part of some other type of attack separate from a hijacking. So how could any connection be made to the WTC?

 

I've read the PDB and I see no reason to assume it was predicting anything like 9-11. The trick is to put your mindset into a pre 9-11 train of thought.

 

Just my 2 cents!

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...hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

Before 9/11, I had the same view of hijackings as most people... They hijack a plane, make a few demands, maybe kill a few people if demands aren't met, and there are usually survivors in the end. It's hard, though, to look at the wording in that sentence without automatically thinking "kamikaze attacks," but I suppose it's possible that it could just be from reading it in retrospect. I'll try reading it again with a pre-9/11 mindset and see if I can figure out how they might not have thought about that, but they knew who they were dealing with... Hadn't they ever heard of suicide bombers and kamikaze attacks before, and put it together as that sentence seems (to me, anyway) to infer? Certainly they had more information than the PDB to go on, as well.

 

Regardless of whether our intelligence had the typical hijacking in mind or a kamikaze-style attack, they were absolutely forewarned about the hijackings themselves. You make a good point that the weapons they used were allowed at the time, but do you think it was wise to allow any kind of knives in light of the hijacking threat? Also, if intelligence knew about the hijacking plans, then how did they know, unless they had an indication of which airport(s) they might go through? I'm pretty sure they did not contact the FAA. Shouldn't they have warned them? Again, they knew who they were dealing with. They knew that he likes to plan things far in advance, so he's not sloppy. They had him on the CIA's payroll when he fought against Afghanistan's Russian invaders, so how could they possibly not have known who they were dealing with? They should have been checking for plastic explosives and warned airport employees to pay extra attention for suspicious activity at the very least, but who's going to warn them to stay on the lookout if the FAA wasn't even warned about the threat to begin with?

 

I appreciate your input, Jack, and although you may or may not know the history between ObL and our government, I look forward to an airline pilot's perspective on the questions regarding FAA notification and airport/airplane security in response to an imminent hijacking threat.

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Even when there was intel of a supposed hijacking, the security was never tightened on people getting onto planes, simply to avoid panic or pissing people off by crying wolf...

 

And I do know OBL's history with Maryland. As I pointed out to my wife at the time, one of their best students had come home to show what he could do...

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"never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"

 

Who says? I've never seen that argument successfully used in a court of law. Not for anyone on a fixed income.

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they were absolutely forewarned about the hijackings themselves.

 

I think the word "absolutely" is a very big overstatement. I'm telling you right now that ObL is planning to hijack or bomb another airliner. So.... what do you recommend we do with this information to protect people but not inconvenience the traveling public?

The warning is vague and the threat is pretty much constant and has been for a while. There's really not much that any reasonable person in charge would be willing or able to do without a LOT more and specific information.

Even now we know that a certain type of person wants to kill us and we can't focus on that type of person. Airlines are fined $400,000 per incident if they "randomly" check more than 2 people of the same ethnic group. I stress that this fine is in effect even AFTER 9-11!

 

You make a good point that the weapons they used were allowed at the time, but do you think it was wise to allow any kind of knives in light of the hijacking threat?

 

IIRC, they only used boxcutters. These were seen as tools then, not weapons.

As for the wisdom of it, I'd go in the exact opposite direction. I'd absolutely LOVE to allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm onboard. The only time I feel remotely safe while flying is when there are law enforcement officers onboard. Criminals and hijackers have a much harder time doing their thing when their victims are armed.

 

They should have been checking for plastic explosives and warned airport employees to pay extra attention for suspicious activity at the very least

 

What good would it have done? I'm not aware of any suspicious activity by the 9-11 hijackers at the security checkpoints.

As far a explosives, you can see their response to that threat by our inability to even bring in a bottle of water or soda.

On the bright side watch this!

http://consumerist.com/consumer/video/snl-....php?mail2=true

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Oh yeah, I forgot to add this. It's brilliant!

 

There's also the "never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity" factor.

 

These people already want to find our loopholes, which are many, in order to kill us. You don't need to add in another conspiracy theory to explain it.

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Even now we know that a certain type of person wants to kill us and we can't focus on that type of person. Airlines are fined $400,000 per incident if they "randomly" check more than 2 people of the same ethnic group. I stress that this fine is in effect even AFTER 9-11!

 

As it damn well should be.

 

"First they came for the jews..." :Hmm:

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they were absolutely forewarned about the hijackings themselves.

 

I think the word "absolutely" is a very big overstatement.

 

How is "absolutely" an overstatement? The PDB plainly stated that bin Laden wanted to hijack American planes.

 

So.... what do you recommend we do with this information to protect people but not inconvenience the traveling public?

 

They should have been checking for plastic explosives and warned airport employees to pay extra attention for suspicious activity at the very least...

 

Add to my previous suggestion, oh, I don't know... putting known al Qaeda agents on a watch list?

 

10:24 The FBI reports to Richard Clarke of the CTC that they have checked the passenger manifests and discovered the names of several known al Qaeda agents on board the hijacked planes. By now, half a dozen people in the federal government (at the very least) know for a virtual certainty that al Qaeda is responsible for the attack. It will take a lot longer to let everyone else in on this detail.

 

source

 

So let's see... They knew bin Laden, who was already "known" to be connected with al Qaeda, wanted to hijack American airplanes and launch some type of attack against us. They also knew the names of al Qaeda agents. But for some reason, nobody bothered to make use of this knowledge in light of the warnings.

 

The warning is vague and the threat is pretty much constant and has been for a while.

 

How can the very specific warning of a hijacking plot be called vague? In order to hijack an airplane, one pretty much has to go through an airport and enter a plane as though they're a regular passenger. Therefore, doesn't it stand to reason that one method of prevention would entail matching up names of ticket buyers with a watch list of names in a database, and warn airport employees when someone who shares a name with a suspected terrorist is planning to take their flight? If they also have a picture of the suspect, then a search wouldn't even be necessary unless the person holding the ticket looks like the guy in the picture. If there is no picture available, then they can search the guy on the grounds that his name is the same as a suspected terrorist. He wouldn't have to be told this fact, and it can be made to look like a random search. Since it's not actually a random search, it can be exempt from fines, which also means they probably would want to document the name of the guy they searched, which flight he took, how the search was conducted, etc, to cover their own asses.

 

I agree that racial profiling should not be tolerated, but I wouldn't consider this proposal to be racial profiling, since we'd be searching people with specific names that match the names on a terrorist watch list, and only if there is no photo of the suspect available to determine on sight if it's the same person or not.

 

As far as the ongoing threat goes, we have plenty of technology at our disposal to have a program to simply throw up a red flag whenever a name is matched in a database, and pull up a picture of the person if they are flagged. In other words, it's not like someone would have to constantly monitor the watch list and check it against ticket buyers, since it could all be automated.

 

There's really not much that any reasonable person in charge would be willing or able to do without a LOT more and specific information.

 

I think any reasonable person with knowledge of the system could easily develop some halfway decent preventable measures. Unfortunately, it seems that the people in charge of handling threats in our country are neither reasonable nor competent.

 

I refer everyone to my above timeline link again, for anyone who doesn't know the incompetence of the people in charge of dealing with the attacks on the morning they happened.

 

IIRC, they only used boxcutters. These were seen as tools then, not weapons.

 

So? After 9/11, I heard of people having knitting needles and tiny scissors taken away from them, so it's not like they couldn't have disallowed it before 9/11. While I can see someone wanting to knit during a long flight and needing something to cut the thread with (although fingernail clippers would work just as well for this), what use would anyone have for a box cutter on a flight?

 

I'd absolutely LOVE to allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm onboard. The only time I feel remotely safe while flying is when there are law enforcement officers onboard. Criminals and hijackers have a much harder time doing their thing when their victims are armed.

 

On the ground I would have to agree, and in the case of Virginia Tech it would have been great if the teachers and other students were allowed to carry guns. But I wouldn't feel too safe at the prospect of someone shooting at an airplane hijacker and hitting a window, only to have the plane crash as a result. I'd feel better if authorities carried billy clubs and tazers, and left the guns off the plane.

 

I didn't watch the video because of my dialup. If you can provide a transcript or something else that doesn't take 2 hours to load, I'll be more than happy to take a look.

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(Euthy, I envy your ability to quote previous posts. Multiple and separate quotes might be beyond my abilities, but I'm gonna try to do the same. Please forgive me if I botch it up. Is there some shortcut button I'm missing or is it just hard work?)

 

How is "absolutely" an overstatement? The PDB plainly stated that bin Laden wanted to hijack American planes.

 

I'm plainly telling you now that he still wants to hijack planes. Can you tell me when, where, and by whom?

 

What I'm trying to say is that the PDB contained no specifics. There were no details to act upon. Also, the "D" in PDB stands for daily. Threats are probably mentioned weekly if not daily. How many can you expect the guy running the country to personally oversee when there are absolutely zero details to go on?

 

Add to my previous suggestion, oh, I don't know... putting known al Qaeda agents on a watch list?

 

To the best of my knowledge, it took the deaths of 3000 people to get those lists created in the first place and to get them to where they might be of some use. But even now, thousands of innocent people find it VERY difficult to get an airline ticket because they have a name similar to a suspected terrorist. People like congressmen and my friend with a very normal, but common name.

 

I guess you support this list now, but would you have supported the exact same list before 9-11? Wouldn't you have been concerned over the privacy and rights of all these innocent people? I know I would have, at least until the scope of the threat became evident.

 

10:24 The FBI reports to Richard Clarke of the CTC that they have checked the passenger manifests and discovered the names of several known al Qaeda agents on board the hijacked planes. By now, half a dozen people in the federal government (at the very least) know for a virtual certainty that al Qaeda is responsible for the attack. It will take a lot longer to let everyone else in on this detail.

 

source

 

Interesting link, but the point I got from this quote is that the government is reactive, not EVER proactive.

 

How can the very specific warning of a hijacking plot be called vague?

 

See my first rebuttal here. Okay, they use the word "hijack". That's it. No more details. I consider that to be vague.

 

Therefore, doesn't it stand to reason that one method of prevention would entail matching up names of ticket buyers with a watch list of names in a database, and warn airport employees when someone who shares a name with a suspected terrorist is planning to take their flight?

 

Wasn't possible at the time. A specific wall had been established between intelligence sources and law enforcement. It took 9-11 to get that intelligence info the hands that need it.

 

 

I think any reasonable person with knowledge of the system could easily develop some halfway decent preventable measures. Unfortunately, it seems that the people in charge of handling threats in our country are neither reasonable nor competent.

 

Kind of my entire point. Why blame the president for 9-11 when we know that 9-11 is exactly the kind of thing that certain muslims want to do?

 

So? After 9/11, I heard of people having knitting needles and tiny scissors taken away from them, so it's not like they couldn't have disallowed it before 9/11. While I can see someone wanting to knit during a long flight and needing something to cut the thread with (although fingernail clippers would work just as well for this), what use would anyone have for a box cutter on a flight?

 

It was considered a tool to be used by the person when he got to his destination to do his job. Or, for the same reason people carry pocket knives. They're just handy sometimes.

 

On the ground I would have to agree, and in the case of Virginia Tech it would have been great if the teachers and other students were allowed to carry guns. But I wouldn't feel too safe at the prospect of someone shooting at an airplane hijacker and hitting a window, only to have the plane crash as a result. I'd feel better if authorities carried billy clubs and tazers, and left the guns off the plane.

 

Hollywood myth. You should check out "Mytbusters" on the Discovery Channel sometime. They showed that planes wouldn't crash because of a little hole (or even several little holes). Airliners have a very nice system for regulating pressure inside the cabin. The functional part of this system is a great big hole in the fuselage!

 

I didn't watch the video because of my dialup. If you can provide a transcript or something else that doesn't take 2 hours to load, I'll be more than happy to take a look.

 

No need to, really. It was a joke video. SNL parodies the DHS as they try to teach screeners about the new 3 oz. liquid rule. It's only 9 megs and worth the download!

 

Anyway, my point is that I doubt 9-11 was any kind of government conspiracy, because people are rarely proactive. Sure, a general threat was assumed beforehand, but it usually takes a tragedy to implement the kinds of protections you want to have been in place before 9-11. Unfortunately, it took the deaths of 3000 people to get a good idea into place.

 

In fact, that's why flying is so safe now. Almost every safety measure we have now was put into place after the cause of a crash was discovered. It's never mattered that the same precautions were logical, and known, beforehand.

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Wasn't possible at the time. A specific wall had been established between intelligence sources and law enforcement. It took 9-11 to get that intelligence info the hands that need it.

 

This line makes me a bit nervous.

 

I know it's naive to assume no such attacks would ever happen if the government changed its foreign policy, but I think the real solution to 9/11 would have been to close up shop in any country we're not wanted in and adopt the type of neutral, introverted foreign policy the founders intended; not entering into military treaties, "avoiding foreign entanglements"--essentially limiting said policy to foreign trade with willing and respectable nations for the benefit of the domestic U.S. economy.

 

Of course, what instead happened was the demolition of that wall you mentioned between intelligence and law enforcement--a wall erected just as deliberately as that standing (shakily, anymore) between religion and government. Sure, the process is more streamlined, and it may be easier to identify and neutralize anti-national threats, and all it cost us was 2/5 of the First and the Fourth and Sixth amendments.

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Of course, what instead happened was the demolition of that wall you mentioned between intelligence and law enforcement--a wall erected just as deliberately as that standing (shakily, anymore) between religion and government. Sure, the process is more streamlined, and it may be easier to identify and neutralize anti-national threats, and all it cost us was 2/5 of the First and the Fourth and Sixth amendments.

 

I think you're thinking of the Patriot Act. That's an entirely different thing than the wall I mentioned.

 

The wall to separate intelligence and law enforcement was established in 1995. It never existed before then and it was established for dubious reasons. There's no reason to hold it in such high regard. The reason for it was questionable but the effect of it was this: if foreign intelligence sources were aware of a threat, they were not allowed to share that information to those who might be able to stop it.

 

(lets see if I can embed links!)

 

See this article and the memo itself

 

(I think it worked!)

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Sorry for all the quotes, Jack. It's just easier to keep everything in context that way.

 

To the best of my knowledge, it took the deaths of 3000 people to get those lists created in the first place and to get them to where they might be of some use.

 

If you're referring to the 3000 killed in the Twin Towers on 9/11, they matched the names of those al Qaeda agents to the passenger manifests two minutes before the 2nd tower collapsed (see above from timeline). Am I misunderstanding your point?

 

It looks like neither of us is going to change the other's mind concerning the solidity or vagueness of the intel, so I will just refer everyone to my previous posts and leave it at that, at least for now.

 

I guess you support this list now, but would you have supported the exact same list before 9-11? Wouldn't you have been concerned over the privacy and rights of all these innocent people? I know I would have, at least until the scope of the threat became evident.

 

They've had a terrorist watch list for decades. They just don't have it linked up with airline ticket sales.

 

As far as "privacy and rights" go, our government has done a lot more to take our privacy and other rights away than just "randomly" searching someone who has the same name as a terror suspect. Have you even read the Patriot Act? Do you know nothing about the warrantless wiretaps? When you combine the two, anyone who "gathers information" or speaks out against the government can have their phone wiretapped without a warrant, and can even be locked away in a "detention center" to be tortured and held indefinitely, without due process. That means no phone call, no visitation, no lawyer, no trial... and they don't even have to tell you what you're being held for or what country you're in.

 

Before anyone calls me insane for saying these things, I would've thought it pretty loony myself a few years ago. But for the former xians here who once thought it was crazy to not believe in their God, just remember how information and reason have helped you see things differently. Governments control minds just as churches do: with fear, intimidation, and empty promises made to gain our trust.

 

Interesting link, but the point I got from this quote is that the government is reactive, not EVER proactive.

 

They're proactive, all right. They sanction Iraq for 10 years or so, killing civilians with starvation, bombs, and white phosphoros all the while. They kill thousands (or maybe tens of thousands) of innocent people in the Sudan. They support people like Hussein and the Iraqi government while they massacre their own people and their neighbors and then take Hussein out when he stops playing along. Sure, they're very proactive at creating enemies.

 

But they weren't exactly proactive or reactive about 9/11. The proactive arguments have pretty much run their course here, so I'll stick with the reactive here. Even though the first inclination of a hijacking came at 8:24 when Mohammad Atta accidentally radioed air traffic control, neither Bush nor Cheney knew anything was going on until they saw the 2nd plane crash on TV. To be fair, this was the fault of the FAA for not contacting the military like they were supposed to.

 

After seeing the 2nd hijacking on TV and suddenly realizing we were under attack, Cheney, without getting any more detail than what was showing on his TV, sat in front of that TV while writing up orders "which would not actually reach anyone capable of carrying them out." Why? Did he not have the proper fax number handy? Bush, in the meantime, spends the next 5 minutes (after watching the 2nd crash) telling kindergarteners what good readers they are. And this is just the first 40 minutes after the first solid knowledge of a hijack.

 

Before you think I'm pissed off at you because of these last few paragraphs, It's not you I'm pissed off at at all, but our government for doing the shit that it does and then wrapping it up as something it ain't and selling it to the masses, most of whom won't go any further than their own corporate-controlled media to get their "facts." If the majority doesn't wake up soon, we'll all be screwed. What's left of our government at that point will be blaming it on "those people who hate our freedoms" (as they claim) and some survivors may buy it; any fundies who remain will be blaming it all on demons, or atheists, or homosexuals, or who knows what else; a few may admit they're just clueless; and some of us will be shaking our heads, wishing we could have gotten through to more people before it was too late.

 

Kind of my entire point. Why blame the president for 9-11 when we know that 9-11 is exactly the kind of thing that certain muslims want to do?

 

Oh, I'm sure our government has killed and persecuted enough people by now that it's not just Muslims who are seeking retribution.

 

Re: knives and box cutters on planes

 

Yeah, they're handy at their destination. So what's wrong with checking it instead of carrying it on?

 

Re: Gunshots de-pressurizing cabins, a Hollywood myth

 

If what you say is true, then I say let authorities, pilots, and flight attendants all carry guns onto the plane, as long as they are licensed to carry and have proper training, including security training. I still wouldn't want someone to go berzerk and start firing all over the place, lol.

 

Re: Joke Video

 

LOL! SNL has some good parodies! Too bad I missed that one, especially since 9 megs would probably take 2 hours for me to download, and everything else I try to do online slows down to a crawl when I try to download anything.

 

After realizing how long it took for WTC7 to catch fire, I'm pretty convinced that the Twin Towers and Pentagon were not an inside job. After all, why wait 7 hours to destroy WTC7 instead of timing it with the towers? WTC7 looks more like a, "Holy shit! Who would've expected the towers would actually collapse?? Maybe we should've actually tried to stop them! We better hide the intel we had about this, or we're fucked for sure!" or whatever might've gone through their heads at the time. ;)

 

In fact, that's why flying is so safe now. Almost every safety measure we have now was put into place after the cause of a crash was discovered. It's never mattered that the same precautions were logical, and known, beforehand.

 

I think they're just too lazy and cheap to fix stuff until the public realizes there's a problem. After that, they have no other choice but to fix it.

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