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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Intersecting Facts and Theories on 9/11

Joseph P. Firmage has written an excellent introduction and overview of the multitude of facts and theories that challenge the official narrative of 9/11. The paper is called, appropriately, "Intersecting Facts and Theories on 9/11" and is freely downloadable at the Journal of 9/11 Studies. Here is a sample of the available analysis;

...A common refrain heard from the left – less often from the right – in response to suspicions about the official 9/11 story goes something like: “The Bush administration has demonstrated such incompetence on so many fronts that it strains the imagination to think they could of have pulled off something so elaborate, and kept it a secret.” This argument ignores three key facts.

First, while George W. Bush may be intellectually challenged across the board, and while neoconservatives may have a gravely naïve, overreaching geopolitical agenda, Bush officials in key national security positions have superlative experience in managing clandestine operations, and have repeatedly demonstrated ruthless, systematic, detailed-oriented control over sensitive programs and information. The historical preoccupation of key officials across the Bush administration with clandestine operations – both legal and illegal – is well known to historians of the field.

Second, vastly larger programs have remained secret for decades. A few examples: the National Security Agency has a larger budget and more employees than the CIA. It was organized in 1949. This entire agency of the federal government remained completely hidden from the public until the 1980s, over three decades later. One of the programs run by NSA, believed to have started in the 1940s, was Project Shamrock, through which all major transatlantic telegraph cables were tapped with the cooperation of AT&T and other communications carriers. This vast program – involving people building, installing and running equipment all over the world, and yet numerous others watching and translating conversations – was kept entirely secret until the 1990s. Most American citizens have never heard of this program to this day. Serious students of the U.S. national security apparatus know how effective its systems can be in controlling information and people, and compartmenting information and tasks into a startlingly small number of hands.

Third, the official 9/11 story asks us to believe that only a couple of dozen poorly trained Islamic radicals deftly maneuvered through the world’s most powerful intelligence gathering and military machine. How much easier might it have been for a similar number of people to do so, employing many unknowing others for secondary, compartmented tasks, if those handful with full knowledge of the plan also knew every aspect of the U.S. intelligence and military machine, and were in key positions governing its activities and responses?

The historical association between Bush officials, government and private intelligence networks and clandestine operations argues against the notion that incompetence allowed 9/11 to occur, and therefore this fact must raise suspicion...