The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Consequences of 9/11

iraqi_girlOn September 11, 2001, I was at work. As the reports came in, the company set up a TV in a large room and work ground to a halt as people watched.

I turned to a friend and said, “I hope America doesn’t attack the wrong country in retaliation.”

He scoffed.

Assuming that Osama bin Laden was behind 9/11, it was a master stroke. Osama was the first great man of the 21st century, the man who changed the course of history in precisely the way he planned. (Remember, “great” and “good” are not synonyms. Plenty of great men and women have been monsters.)

Osama was a smart man and had spent a lot of time considering the Muslim world’s situation.

He believed that the regimes he wanted to overthrow, like Egypt, survived due to the support of an enemy much further away: the US. His thesis was that US support propped up enemy societies.

The usual rule in Islam is to fight the local tyrant, but OBL argued that the US must be fought first: Only once it was defeated, or at least severely weakened, could Islam win the more local battles. He also wanted to prove that US soldiers could be defeated.

What he wanted to do was to draw US soldiers into a killing field. He figured it would be Afghanistan, and America did oblige and attack, but Afghanistan wasn’t much of a quagmire in those first years.

Then, the US decided to attack Iraq, one of OBL’s enemies, as Iraq was run by a secular regime. And Iraq turned out to be a complete mess.

The US walked all over the conventional army of Iraq, then was fought to a bloody loss by irregulars (and it was a loss–US troops had to pay bribes in order to leave the country without being fired upon).

And Islamic groups and revolution spread, and if the US wasn’t defeated, well, all the money, men, and attention spent on Iraq did contribute to the great financial crisis, and Muslims learned that they could beat the US if they were willing to take enough pain doing it.

Osama won. He got much of what he wanted. He must have praised Allah mightily for making his enemies attack Iraq.

As for the US, the “state of emergency” declared after 9/11 is still in effect. The Patriot Act is still in effect. The Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) is still in effect. These are the Enabling Acts of Bush’s republic–and of Obama’s.

US citizens did, in fact, lose many of their freedoms and a great deal of their prosperity as a result of 9/11.

9/11 was a milder form of the Reichstag Fire. No, Bush wasn’t Hitler, but he did change the nature of the US significantly–enough so that it is a recognizably different country than it was before.

Americans ratified those changes by re-electing Bush in 2004, knowing fully that he was torturing and so on.  Then came Obama.

Obama is Bush’s heir. Anything one party does can be undone by the next, but Obama chose to roll back very little of Bush’s republic, and in fact, he extended many of Bush’s policies. He is worse on whistleblowers than Bush (far, far worse). He has performed far more drone assassinations. He has deported far more immigrants.  And he has kept all the enabling acts in place.

I make no claim that the US before 9/11 was “good,” but it was better than the US after 9/11, to the great harm of very many people all around the world–including Americans themselves.

But 9/11? 9/11 was a success. It got the man who planned it about three-quarters of what he wanted.

A very great success. Too bad the US handed that success to Osama. He couldn’t have made you do anything, he had to to take a gamble on you.

Osama understood the US well enough to get the US to do what he wanted. The US did not understand Osama well enough to avoid walking straight into his trap…or they had so much hubris they figured they could walk through it unharmed.

So many dead. So many maimed. So many refugees. So many economically destroyed. So many better roads not taken.

But Osama, Osama at least was happy with 9/11.

That was Bush, and the US’s greatest gift to Osama, which outweighs his death a 1000/1. Men like Osama are not scared of death.

So much stupid, so much evil. But Osama was just evil, not stupid.

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Terrible Human Political Judgment


That Great Census News


  1. Guest

    Osama got us to smack the tar baby of Afghanistan, but we were going into Iraq one way or the other. I remember reading many times during the 2000 election that bush and Cheney were looking for any excuse for an invasion. Don’t ask me what blogs I saw it on, or what newspaper columns mentioned the rumors. It might not have been general knowledge, but it was out there, and it didn’t seem to bother folks who talked about it that much. And I’m not particularly that well informed.
    Besides that, I still believe bush stole 2004 in Ohio at the very least. They had the motive they had the opportunity, they had no scruples, so that’s just how they roll. Call me a conspiracy nut, but given what I’ve seen of them, they are guilty until proven innocent. Not that that absolves the publics complacency about stolen elections, trashing of the constitution, or the large number of people who supported the fascists.
    Same goes for 9/11. Those hearings proved nothing but a white house cover up. I don’t claim to know if they were actively involved( I doubt it) or just complicit (possibly, very possibly) or just criminally negligent, but they knew more than they let on and they absolutely have blood on their hands.

  2. nihil obstet

    I guess it’s fair to say Americans handed Osama bin Laden success, but with Guest above, I’d argue that it was the success of an American cabal as well. The Project for a New American Century wanted the war with Iraq. Lots of them and their cronies have gotten rich off the ongoing wars, and virtually no one of note has suffered from the wars. America is poorer? Dick Cheney isn’t. The Bushes aren’t. Obama is looking to be very, very rich when he leaves the White House. Do any of these people care about the average American citizen whose lives have gotten poorer and more precarious? Uh, no. Do they care about America’s security? Nah, you can out a CIA agent for political advantage (thanks, Scooter Libby), continue and enlarge wars that experts agree make America less safe. and generally trash the country’s soft power abroad, as long as you benefit from it.

    America assented at the ballot box? Close enough, although the 2000 election was clearly a coup, and there appears to have been fraud in the 2004 election, especially in Ohio. Secrecy, manipulation, and propaganda have been increasingly important in American elections since 1980, and the election before then weren’t exactly open and rational. The strength of the right-wingers abroad in pauperizing Greece, coup attempt after coup attempt in Venezuela, a trumped-up legal coup in Brazil, and the truly extraordinary shenanigans against Corbyn in Britain make a useful comment on the ability of electorates to do very much about the oligarchs’ power in our modern so-called democracies.

  3. BobbyK

    One of osama’s greatest accomplishments was to get America to normalize such atrocities as drone strikes and the patriot act. On a website like dailykos you won’t see ANYBODY mention the atrocities that Obama has committed.

  4. Carla

    Re: Ian’s remarks about no change from the Bush to Obama administrations. Wonder if anyone else has read “National Security and Double Government” by Michael J Glennon. Only 218 pages. Just happened across it at my local public library. It kinda explains the situation.

  5. V. Arnold

    Simple really; 9/11 was the coup de grace’ of the U.S..
    The first shots were fired November 22, 1963, in Dalles, Texas…

  6. Ché Pasa

    @V. Arnold

    Pretty much my view as well. It was an obvious thing…

    I was in Seattle at a hotel next to what was then the construction site for the new public library. I was awakened at 6am by the sound of sirens and the clang of construction equipment, something that seemed out of time and out of place so early in the morning. Turned on the TeeVee to see the uncomprehending news reports of what was going on in Manhattan — only one building had been struck at that time — and then minutes later saw the second plane hit. Nonsense. This was crazy.

    And then it hit me. No, this was reality. The world would never be the same again — just as the shift that took place on November 22, 1963 changed things forever, and not in a good way.

    I called a supervisor down the street where I was supposed to be conducting a training class to begin at 7:30a. Should I still come in? Would the class be held? Yes, she said. Come in. There’s no point not to. ‘There’s nothing we can do.’

    Indeed, the training class was held almost on schedule — I think we started at 8:00 rather than 7:30 and got a pep talk via conference phone from our HQ in DC sometime in the middle of it.

    All of us knew that everything had changed, and some of us sensed where that change would lead: Authoritarianism would be resurgent; surveillance, war, economic upheaval and reversion… the whole thing was already laid out… The plans were made well in advance. And so it has been.

    There’s no going back.

    A colleague and I drove back to California in rental car; no way to fly for the time being — unless you were Saudi. When I got home, the shock of it all hit me. We’d been warned about this. Some of us were even laying bets on how soon after the installation of Bush-Cheney the US would be embroiled in a hot war. I said 6 months. I was off by three.
    If there is no going back, though, what is the realistic path forward? So far, the opposition to the course we’ve been on has been incoherent and ineffective. Something better is possible, we just haven’t figured out what it is.

  7. Shh

    Spot on old man.

    I guess the silver lining of impending biosphere collapse is, it will end this paradigm that Eisenhower foresaw pretty roughly, if not quickly. Origins go back farther than the storming of the Bastille…in a country long ago and faraway.

    Play on players and think not that you can edit the play.

  8. Duder

    I don’t keep up on these things. Has someone physically explained yet how the towers collapsed at free fall speed? Or why tower seven collapsed at all? I am not trolling. I would like an authoritative answer.

  9. Joe Beese

    When bin Laden killed thousands of innocent people to achieve his geopolitical objectives, he was Evil incarnate.

    When we kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people to achieve our geopolitical objectives…

  10. tsisageya

    Osama Bin Laden. Osama Bin Laden. You, an intelligent person, would dare to even bring up that name in reference to 911? The official story?

    You have finally shown yourself to be, either an idiot, or an accessory. That’s fucking great. See ya, wouldn’t wanna beeya.

  11. tsisageya

    Well, it’s not the first time that my comments have been banned.

    It wasn’t unexpected.

    (Your comment wasn’t deleted. Since you’ve decided you won’t be commenting here any more, I wish you the best in your future – Ian)

  12. tsisageya

    Yeah, well. Thanks.

  13. Hugh

    Some of us argued this the other way round. If Osama bin Laden and 9/11 had not come along, Bush and Cheney would have had to invent him. For those with long memories, here is the preface to my old Bush scandals list:

    “George Bush, the Connecticut cowboy, the good old boy from Yale was a man of mediocre intelligence, no imagination, great stubbornness, and more than a little vindictiveness. He considered himself the Decider but he was easily manipulated by his handlers. The key was a short, simple sell. Those who had access to him, like Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice, knew that once he had consulted his gut or his higher father his decision was forever. This was not a matter of conviction. He hated being challenged. He saw changing his mind as a sign of weakness, and above all he was too intellectually lazy to bother. His was a decision making process where logic, reason, and facts had little or no role. The great power of his office insulated him from any sense of responsibility for his actions and formed the Bubble in which he lived.

    Bush’s Presidency began in the shadow of a contested and likely stolen election and promised to be unsuccessful in a largely forgettable and unremarkable way. 9/11 changed all that and transformed a plodding, essentially AWOL one termer into an accidental hero. Bush never had any idea what a President actually did. He had run for the office, not the job. He liked to campaign, not govern. In those around him, he prized loyalty over competence and honesty. A believer in the doctrine of “to the victor go the spoils,” he was the perfect mark for every conniver, bumbler, bungler, hack, hanger on, and would be crony that Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and their friends could find. In the course of a normal Presidency, this would have spelled failure. Post-9/11, it was catastrophic.

    At that critical juncture in our nation’s history we needed an adult but got an adolescent. Instead of responsibility, we got a truant. In place of flexibility we got obduracy. In the face of great and complex challenges, we got strawmen, a black and white universe, my way or the highway, regurgitated stump speeches, and a steadfast refusal to compromise not just with opponents but with reality.

    What this all came down to was that George Bush should never have been President. He wasn’t just a bad President but the worst one we could have had, the worst our country has yet seen. This was a judgment that most Americans came to well before his second term ended but which our political establishment and media, even after 8 years, never acknowledged or accepted. This collusion was the great tragedy and crime of our times.”

    Osama bin Laden was something of a goof, but also a product of his times. He grew up in a very rich family with modest beginnings and amidst the glaring contradictions of a corrupt Saudi monarchy/dictatorship and radical Wahabism. The 1979 armed seizure of the Great Mosque in Mecca by radicals was a watershed event in Saudi history. Osama would have been 22 at the time. Priority One of the Saudi monarchy has always been the survival of the Saudi monarchy. So while the occupiers were mostly captured and executed, the monarchy did a deal with the imams behind the attack. They turned over the Saudi educational system to them. This has led to a couple generations now of anti-Western xenophobes. They also backed and/or turned a blind eye to jihad and private funding by Saudis of radical madrassas (and terrorism) as long as these activities took place outside the kingdom and did not come back to challenge the monarchy. Now even as this deal was being hammered out, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan began and with it the mujahideen resistance which Osama joined.

    During the first Gulf War, Osama rejected American involvement. He did not want an infidel army in the same country as the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. He favored instead a popular resistance, much as had been mounted in Afghanistan. The Saudi monarchy, on the other hand, had no problem in fighting Saddam Hussein or really anyone else to the last dead American, and besides the holy sites were hundreds of miles away. This led Osama to break with the Saudi government. His challenge to it and not 9/11 was his great sin in its eyes. And the American presence in the kingdom probably led to his desire to attack the US in the US. Now Osama was not the only one with these ideas. He existed in a milieu of such thoughts, and actions. The first Gulf War took place in August 1990 to February 1991. In 1993, the first bombing of the World Trade Center, that of the blind sheik, took place. And in 1996, the bombing of the military barracks in the Khobar Towers (with the likely backing of members of the Saudi royal family, hence the Saudi stonewalling of the investigation into it) occurred. This led to lowering the profile of US forces in the country (shipping them out to the desert) and their eventual removal (2003). Besides oil, the other great neocon objective of the second Gulf War/Invasion of Iraq was the securing of permanent basing rights in a “stabler” country with a “secular” government, as opposed to the KSA.

    I can’t find a date for it, but despite all the warning signs and the effects of the Great Mosque deal, under Saudi pressure and the desire for American schools and businesses to turn a buck, visa requirements for Saudis travelling to the US were eased. In part, this was why 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi. They were the ones who could get in, but they were also those who had been most radicalized at home. And too they were most likely to cause a split between the US and the KSA, and start the worldwide religious war between Islam and the West Osama wanted and which he thought, much like Afghanistan and his proposal for resistance to Saddam Hussein, he thought he could win. I should point out that while he was officially on the outs with the Saudi government, this did not keep him from getting both financial and unofficial support from both Saudis and other citizens and regimes in the Gulf. He was afterall out of the country, and as long as he stayed out, the Saudis didn’t much care what he did or against whom, as long as it was not against them. So officially they were against him. Privately, not so much. And they too were not the only ones. That Osama could live quietly in Pakistan for ten years after 9/11 in the shadow of the Pakistani military only happened because of the tacit support of parts of Pakistan’s military and intelligence apparatus. You see we have this idea that Osama was World Enemy Number One after 9/11, but this was never really the case, and it certainly wasn’t the case for our supposed two greatest and closest “allies” in the GWOT, the KSA and Pakistan.

    It is important to note that Osama’s great jihad never really happened. The Greater Middle East and parts of Central Asia were further destabilized (by US actions and blunders), but they were hardly pillars of stability in the first place, as the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), the Arab Spring of 2010-2011, or the Egyptian coup of 2013 demonstrate. Osama was both blessed and cursed in his enemies. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Feith were all hardcore ideologues who never let reality get in their way, but they were also profoundly, and proudly so, ignorant people. They didn’t attack Islam. They attacked Iraq and a secular regime. It wasn’t about religion. It was about neo-colonialism, oil and basing rights. It was a botch because these guys couldn’t organize a two car parade, and crucially didn’t feel they needed to, that markets would solve everything and that the country would simply go on like no invasion had happened even though they had destroyed its only national institutions: the Baath party, the army, and the civil government. What they got was a fractured country with a corrupt, sect-driven government of Shia extremists. No oil and no basing rights. What a bummer. Even so, they were not responsible for the rise of ISIS. That honor goes to the corrupt Nouri al-Maliki whose corruption hollowed out what there was of the post-invasion Iraqi armed forces and whose purges and persecutions of Sunnis practically drove them into ISIS’s arms.

    I wrote my scandals lists long ago because I thought it was important that we remember, that we have a record of how events happened, and not how they are rewritten and reimagined. As I said, Osama was something of a goof but one firmly rooted in his times as were the Bush-Cheney cabal who used him and as much as opposed him.

  14. tsisageya

    …and I never said such. I could, though. I could easily say so.

    Thanks for not deleting but if you do, go ahead. I’ll be okay.

  15. tsisageya

    Oh I forgot. I did say, “Seeya, wouldn’t wanna beeya”. True. Other than that, I don’t know what you’re talking about. As usual.

  16. Peter*


    Good question, D many people just want their fears and fantasies reinforced about this issue so if you’re truly interested there are authoritative sources for the explanations of how these buildings collapsed that doesn’t involve sappers and thermite.

    The professionals who actually assemble these buildings, Structural Engineers, have a site that debunks most of the nonsense that was projected by some Architects who don’t build anything. I don’t use links but you can find information by searching structural engineers 9/11.

  17. EmilianoZ


    that was another epic post, a great read!

    I also noticed that the US has never really fought Islamism, not even the extremist kind. My impression is rather that the US will promote religious nuts wherever it can find them, including at home. The motto seems to be: any religion is better than reason.

    In the Middle East, the enemy for the US were always the secular nationalists, those more likely to nationalize oil and try to improve the lot of their countrymen, people like Mossadegh. The story between the US and Khomeini is rather murky. I suspect he was another of the numerous religious monsters the US created or helped create (like the US helped OBL against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan).

  18. Lisa

    Duder: Simple physics. We are talking about massive amounts of energy. Converting potential energy (mass and height) into movement (kinetic energy).

    The potential energy is held by the steel being compressed and eletrostatic repulsion resisting that. Obviously the 2nd top floor has the least weight pushing down on it, this increases floor by floor as you go down. Until the bottom parts are under massive compression affects as they resist the entire weight of the building.

    Once the upper part dropped to the next level below it had already picked up a lot of speed (gravity accelerating at 9.8ms/s/s) . There were two affects then when it hit, first the impulse of the impact traveled through the rest of the lower steel structural members, then the (primary affect) the kinetic energy of the first floors hitting translated into a very quick impact, all that energy transferred at once..
    Kinetic energy is 1/2 M V^2.

    The lower members simply didn’t have the strength to stop that impact, where all the energy was compressed into a short time span.

    Think of it this way. Take a house, lift the roof 30 feet and drop it, what happens to the house… crushed of course. Now do the same and the lower it very gently back and everything is ok.

    It is the energy from the velocity built up and the quick impact, imposing massive forces very quickly, which exceed the wall’s strength.

    Well in the Towers multiply those affects many, many times.

    Building 7 was destroyed by a continuous fire. Even reinforced concrete will eventually lose its strength if heated for long enough to a high enough temperature., The classic example was there was a bridge in the US not long after 9/11 brought down by a tanker going on fire underneath it.

    In fact fire will bring down any building if it it hot enough and goes on for long enough.

    The Towers were uniquely vulnerable given their all steel construction as concrete will last far longer that steel before strength is lost (it acts an an insulator to the reinforcement) . This was noted when the plans were presented and there was a lot of opposition to it because of that. In fact it was that opposition that got the asbestos added, while in construction, without which the Towers would have come down far sooner.

    The damage to the structure by the impact of the aircraft only hastened their collapse, a decent fire going in a few floors would have done the same. A few guys with petrol cans could have done the same thing, just taken a bit longer.

    Steel loses a lot of its strength long before melting point (I have BBQ fire pole that is perfect proof of that). Given that the building had used up a lot of its strength safety margin over the years ( change to open plan offices, adding computer equipment, etc) you only needed to reduce that strength by a certain percentage (varying by height of course) before collapse at the point of thermally caused weakness.

    Naturally the one with the biggest strain (the most number of floors above the plane impact floor and hence weight) came down first.

  19. V. Arnold

    Ché Pasa
    September 12, 2016

    On that fateful morning, the first words out of my mouth was, “blowback”. A fellow I knew was standing next to me and turned angrily to me and said, “Be very careful who you say that to.”
    I told him I’ll damn well speak as I like; nobody is going to shut me up.
    And, here we are, sliding down that angle of repose ever since. I think I see the bottom slowly, steadily working its way up…

  20. V. Arnold

    September 13, 2016

    Well and correctly said.
    I’ll leave it there; I’d hate to see this place turn into a Truther rant forum.

  21. Tinky

    No steel framed skyscraper has ever collapsed due to fire either before or since 9/11. Those that suffered partial collapses invariably did so asymmetrically, as would be expected.

    There are many hundreds of professional architects and engineers who have gone on record as stating that fires and debris damage alone could not have brought down WTC7 in the manner in which it collapsed. In fact, very recently, Dr. Leroy Hulsey, Chair of UAF’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, updated an ongoing, two year study of the issue, and concluded that fire could not explain the collapse. When asked at a public forum on a scale of 0-100 what the possibility is that WTC7 collapsed due to fire, his answer was “ZERO”.

    He is a serious scientist who is interested in the truth, underscored by the fact that he would not speculate on the possibility of controlled demolition. He intends to continue to methodically test various possible causes of the collapse, as he has with fire. Here is a link to his transparent, crowdfunded, ongoing study:

  22. V. Arnold

    Ugh; what did I tell you; the truther’s have arrived.
    Ian, please stop this from devolving into insanity…

  23. Someone at The American Conservative, I think it was, posed the question of what this country was like before 9/11, which posed for me a similar thought that has been in my mind more than once recently as to how the American spirit differed between now and at the height of the Cold War.

    Sure, we had municipal fallout shelters, and we practiced getting under desks at schools, all of that. But growing up as a kid in that, serving in the military and before the fall of the USSR, there was a different feel to it.

    For all of his fear mongering by McCarthy, his schtick lasted only three years or so and he wound up being censured by the Senate, while the anti-Muslim fear mongering has already gone on longer and is growing.

    For fifteen years we have had two presidents saying that “my first responsibility is to keep you safe,” while a leader then would have said “my first responsibility is to defend your freedom and personal liberty.” No politician would dare say the latter today because if he did no one would vote for him. That is the nation we have become after 9/11.

  24. Synoia


    To collapse to the side there has to be a force from the opposite side. The only force acting on the buildins was gravity, which is straight down.

    You are underestimating the effect of he Aviation Fuel (kerosene) delivered to the tower. On take off a 767 has approximately 150 tons of aviation fuel on board. Maybe 30 tons was consumed to get to the towers, but at least 100 tons of fuel was delivered to the impact site, per plane. That set of conditions was never tested before, so any speculation on the result is just not valid.

    The whole area of the set of floor was burning. There was also the chimney effect of the tall building which was driving the fire and making it hotter.

    The floors collapsed because of impact from the load on top. Under those conditions steel is not malleable, it is brittle.

    As to speed of collapse, that is no surprise. Impact would cause the steel and concrete to crack, and the cracks propagates at approximately the speed of sound.

    The Civil Engineer prof was wrong.

    As for Controlled Demolition, that is just not possible. CD takes months to engineer and more moths to install. It includes installing miles and miles of wire to fire the explosives. There were NO reports of such construction the the site.

    I’ll repeat the comment: the Civil Engineering Prof was wrong. He may be skilled in building structures, but in no way was he skilled at disasters, because no one is so skilled.

    Finally to WTC 7. The NYFD stated to the press they pulled the building. I remember reading the reporting of the statement.

  25. Tinky

    V. Arnold –

    ad hominem attacks reflect only on you, and poorly.

    Synoia –

    I was referring only to WTC7, as was the Professor. There was little if any aviation fuel involved.

    Again, aside from those claimed to have on 9/11, not a single steel frame skyscraper has ever collapsed fully from fire, let alone in the manner of WTC7. And partial collapses are invariably asymmetrical.

    There are plenty of examples of buildings which sustained much greater fire damage than WTC7, yet did not collapse.

    Nothing that you have said in any way contradicts the Professor’s findings, nor the studied opinions of many hundreds of architects, engineers, and demolition experts.

  26. Peter*

    It’s probably a waste of energy to try to educate some people about the material and structural realties involved in the destruction of the Twin Towers because this is a resistance to reality due to a psychological/emotional shock similar to PTSD. Some people will never be able to digest the reality of the fact that a small number of Muslim men with box cutters were able to bypass our so called security and humble the most powerful hegemon in world history in front of a world audience.

    Most people know little if anything about building or metallurgy so they will believe most anything they are told that reinforces their rejection of the fact that we were vulnerable and ripe for this type of attack. We may hate the government but we still depend on it for our feeling of security which this attack shattered.

    Many of the questions raised by the early Truthers were reasonable and required answers but when logical fact based answers were produced they were dismissed or a new theory thread was immediately pursued to keep the hysteria and emotions driving the movement.

    Whenever this topic resurfaces someone will display this seething denial of reality and I doubt that they can ever move beyond their final redoubt in Building 7.

  27. Tinky

    Peter –

    I have more respect for those who launch crude ad hominem attacks. Your pseudo-intellectual, substance-free drivel is pathetic.

  28. different clue

    Osama bin Laden’s theory of what keeps a counter-Islamist nationalist military-junta government in power in Egypt has been proven wrong by subsequent events. al-Sisi has engineered a military / establishment return to power in Egypt without American support and in the face of tepid American distaste and disapproval. al Sisi is working to get Islamism suppressed in Egypt for several decades to come.

    Of course Osama bin Laden’s theory has been proven right elsewhere. America’s made-to-order response has spread Islamism far and wide. But the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other supporters and members of the cannibal liver-eater-supporting Global Axis of Jihad would spread the jihad around with or without American assistance. And America’s made-to-order response will continue to be the gift that keeps on giving if America elects the pro Global Axis of Jihad liver-eater-backing islamorebel-supporting Assad-opposing Hillary Clinton this upcoming election.

    About theories of “who diddit” and “who planndit” . . . Canadian journalist Jeff Wells wrote many interesting posts about various high level Intelligence and Petroleum Bussiness and Saudi Family connections between the Bushes and the bin Ladens and the Establishment Permagov in this country. A whole bunch of those blog posts are kept under the subject title 9/11 on his Rigorous Intuition blog. Here is a link to one of those articles, called
    A Coincidence Theorist’s Guide to 9/11.

  29. Lisa

    Interesting article:

    “How building design changed after 9/11”

  30. Peter*


    If you are going to drag tired ‘who planndit’ coincidences up again you have to include Bill Clinton who was top dog when this attack was planned and is the person who has received millions of Saudi dollars since that fatal day.

  31. markfromireland

    Oh ffs:

    ‘Contrariwise,’ continued Tweedledee, ‘if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.’

  32. realitychecker

    Both the neocons and bin Laden put their strategies in writing long before 9/11.

    Osama’s strategy, rallying recruits by getting American forces on their territory, played out pretty much just as he envisioned it. That fact is now widely recognized by thinking people.

    What most seem to have missed is that the neocon strategy worked out well for them in two important respects.

    Firstly, and most obviously, but never mentioned by ANYBODY, they knew that shooting in the ME was always a guarantee that oil prices would soar, as they indeed did. What seems to have gone unremarked was that as the world oil price soared, the neocon cronies were still pulling oil out of their domestic facilities for the same old pennies per gallon cost. Result: A huge windfall bonanza for their buddies, guaranteed in advance regardless of how the war actually worked out.

    Second, the right wing always craved a police state regime here, and they successfully used 9/11 to bring that transformation about in no time flat.

    (Of course, now both left and right wings love them some police state shit to keep all the non-Establishment club members in their fucking place.)

    Like Meat Loaf said, “Two out of three ain’t bad.” 🙁


  33. Tinky


    Also interesting to note that the article was focussed only on the Twin Towers, and the importance of high temperatures as a result of “burning airplane fuel”.

    No mention of WTC7, of course, as that variable was not in play.

    No direct damage from airplane strikes. No significant aviation fuel present (if any). Some asymmetric falling debris damage. And it collapses on its own footprint at near free-fall speed?

    Please. Nothing remotely similar has ever happened to another steel-framed skyscraper.

  34. BlizzardOfOz

    You have to consider that some of that is an escape valve for instincts that are suppressed by the mass media. People have certain spiritual needs for community, greatness, etc, that are disallowed by the zeitgeist as “racist” or whatever. So they end up being expressed as some allowable infantalization like “safety”. It’s sort of like how you can’t express nationalistic enthusiasm, so you end up being a great cheerleader for Israel.

  35. Lisa

    Fairly good summary of WTC 7 here:

    “The final report describes how debris from the collapse of WTC 1 ignited fires on at least 10 floors of WTC 7 at the western half of the south face. Fires on Floors 7 through 9 and 11 through 13 burned out of control, because the water supply to the automatic sprinkler system had failed. The primary and backup water supply to the sprinkler systems for the lower floors relied on the city’s water supply. Those water lines were damaged by the collapse of WTC 1 and 2. These uncontrolled fires in WTC 7 eventually spread to the northeast part of the building, where the collapse began”

  36. Tom W Harris

    Not to worry, BOO Radley. I’ll do the cheerleading for Israel, so you won’t need to.

    And as for nationalism, try civic nationalism. It’s much more American than any other kind.

  37. V. Arnold

    September 13, 2016
    Fairly good summary of WTC 7 here:

    Thanks for that. The twin towers were pretty straight forward common sense and physics, but building 7 was perplexing; it appeared to go down from the bottom up as in controlled demo (which I never believed).
    Your link very well explains why and how it went down.

  38. Tinky

    @Lisa, et al

    The excerpts below are taken from a recently released article entitled 15 Years Later: On the Physics of High-Rise Building Collapses

    I have linked to the full article below. Bold emphases are mine.

    The total collapse of WTC 7 at 5:20 PM on 9/11, shown in Fig. 2, is remarkable because it exemplified all the sig- nature features of an implosion: The building dropped in absolute free fall for the first 2.25 seconds of its de- scent over a distance of 32 meters or eight stories [3]. Its transition from stasis to free fall was sudden, occurring in approximately one-half second. It fell symmetrically straight down. Its steel frame was almost entirely dis- membered and deposited mostly inside the building’s footprint, while most of its concrete was pulverized into tiny particles. Finally, the collapse was rapid, occurring in less than seven seconds.

    NIST, the organization whose report the Popular Mechanics article cites, postponed the release of its WTC 7 report from mid-2005 to November 2008. As late as March 2006, NIST’s lead investigator, Dr. Shyam Sunder, was quoted as saying, “Truthfully, I don’t really know. We’ve had trouble getting a handle on building No. 7.”

    NIST was steadfast in ignoring evidence that conflicted with its predetermined conclusion. The most notable example was its attempt to deny that WTC7 underwent free fall. When pressed about that matter during a technical briefing, Dr. Sunder dismissed it by saying, “[A] free-fall time would be an object that has no structural components below it.” But in the case of WTC7, he claimed,“there was structural resistance that was provided.”

    Only after being challenged by high school physics teacher David Chandler and by physics professor Steven Jones (one of the authors of this article), who had measured the fall on video, did NIST acknowledge a 2.25-second period of free fall in its final report. Yet NIST’s computer model shows no such period of free fall, nor did NIST attempt to explain how WTC 7 could have had “no structural components below it” for eight stories.

    Instead, NIST’s final report provides an elaborate scenario involving an unprecedented failure mechanism: the thermal expansion of floor beams pushing an adjoining girder off its seat. The alleged walk-off of this girder then supposedly caused an eight-floor cascade of floor failures, which, combined with the failure of two other girder connections—also due to thermal expansion—left a key column unsupported over nine stories, causing it to buckle. This single column failure allegedly precipitated the collapse of the entire interior structure, leaving the exterior unsupported as a hollow shell. The exterior columns then allegedly buckled over a two-second period and the entire exterior fell simultaneously as a unit.

    NIST was able to arrive at this scenario only by omitting or misrepresenting critical structural features in its computer modelling. Correcting just one of these errors renders NIST’s collapse initiation indisputably impossible. Yet even with errors that were favorable to its predetermined conclusion, NIST’s computer model (see Fig. 3) fails to replicate the observed collapse, instead showing large deformations to the exterior that are not observed in the videos and showing no period of free fall. Also, the model terminates, without explanation, less than two seconds into the seven-second collapse. Unfortunately, NIST’s computer modelling cannot be independently verified because NIST has refused to release a large portion of its modelling data on the basis that doing so “might jeopardize public safety.”

  39. tsisageya

    Blah, blah, blah. I can’t even read this nonsense.

  40. tsisageya

    Here’s my new anthem (Who cares? I do.):


    My world my God
    If you’re going make it
    Then it’s time I speak my mind

    You can’t take that away – away

    So are you going to use me now?
    Well you’re a mother fucker
    Take this take that I can take it
    But I might just lose my mind
    Or my shirt anyway

    And if it all came crashing down
    Just know that it won’t bring me down -well

    Put me on the front lines
    As you’re sitting on the sidelines
    Don’t think you can play with my mind
    ’cause that’s all mine
    While you’re slippin’ sideways
    I’ve been making my own way
    Don’t think I’ll waste no more time
    ’cause that’s all mine

    ’cause you’re a push off
    Go on push off

    Take this fake that if you want to make it
    Now it’s time that I speak my mind
    You can’t take that away

    And if it all came crashing down
    Just know that it comes back around – well

    Put me on the front lines
    As you’re sitting on the sidelines
    Don’t think you can play with my mind
    ’cause that’s all mine
    While you’re slippin’ sideways
    I’ve been making my own way
    Don’t think I’ll waste no more time
    ’cause that’s all mine

    ’cause you’re a push off
    A little push off
    Go on push off

    Put me on the front lines
    As you’re sitting on the sidelines
    Don’t think you can play with my mind
    ’cause that’s all mine
    While you’ve been slippin’ sideways
    I’ve been making my way
    Don’t think I’ll waste no more time
    ’cause that’s all mine
    Play with my mind

  41. tsisageya

    I never said what you said I said. You’re wrong. Sorry.

  42. tsisagiya


  43. Tom W Harris

    Kewl song.

  44. Tom W Harris

    One of the better 9-11 sites is Daniel Hopsicker’s MadCowNews. It’s not a conspiracy site, it’s an investigative reporting site, based on the author’s personal findings of Saudi involvement in 9-11 as manifested by their activities in Florida. Hardly anyone knows anything about it, but it’s well worth a read .

  45. Lisa

    Tinky: Occam is spinning is his grave….. That’s the trouble with all these ‘theories’ they end up being so complex, with ever more multiplication of hypotheses.

    Plus the most basic issue of all…how has it been kept secret? In this day and age real conspiracies last about 6 months tops, before they are blown sky high. This is so like the ‘fake moon landings’ nonsense.

    Yet the real conspiracies right out in the open are ignored. The Israel agents following some of the hijackers, the Israelis videoing the impacts…

    Then the most obvious of all how did such poorly designed and vulnerable buildings get approved over the objections of people like the NY fire dept…. How much money crossed palms to let that one through.

    One of the most glaring faults of the design was the central core. Steel beams surrounded by some concrete sheeting. An explosion, a serious fire or similar and it meant those above that point could not get out…how did that get through… a most fundamental safety element ignored. It came down to money for the developers, more room for renting therefore a bigger return. Sod the safety of the people.

    If it had been a conventional design the buildings would have survived, at least long enough for all those above the impact point to get out.

  46. Tom W Harris

    One of the first sites to break the 9-11 story was The Emperor’s New Clothes article series Guilty for 9-11:


    **Table of Contents**

    (1) Evidence of high-level government complicity on 9-11.

    (2) Interviews related to 9-11 & Afghanistan.

    (3) Evidence Osama Bin Laden never severed ties with the CIA. Documentation of his involvement in NATO attacks on Afghanistan in the 1980s and the Balkans during the last decade.

    (4) US/West European links to Islamic Fundamentalism.

    (5) Evidence that “Strategic Racism” is the method of the US/Euro Empire.

    (6) What is the US/Euro Strategy in Central Asia? Is it geared to immediate corporate profits or other interests? Is it “all about oil”? Or is this strategy based on an attempt to create a neocolonial New World Order in which a) powerful nations that could potentially resist the US/European Empire are broken up; b) the opposition to the New World Order is led by neo-fascists who foment and appeal to racism and c) fascistic junior partners rule various regions, with some of these fascists even posing as opponents of the empire?


    Well worth reading.

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