Is the Bush Administration Too Incompetent to Have Carried Out 9/11?

And on Reddit.

Newly re-written...

When faced with evidence that elements of our own government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, millions of Americans smugly respond that the Bush administration was too incompetent to have done it. A common statement is "They're too incompetent to even win a war against a bunch of poorly-armed people; how could they have pulled off 9/11?"

Bush certainly acts like a bumbler and a good old boy. Cheney accidentally shot his hunting buddy. And Rumsfeld -- Secretary of Defense when 9/11 occurred -- apparently mangled the planning of the war in Iraq. Right?

Big Fish or Little Fish?

Before we get to whether or not Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld were incompetent on 9/11, we need to distinguish between big fish and little fish. The way government actually works is that many government positions are filled by career civil servants, who stay through multiple administrations, both Democratic and Republican. In other words, there are some very powerful people within government who have been there for years, even if their face is never on television.

Therefore, even if Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld knew nothing about 9/11, a rogue network of government employees could have carried out the attacks.

In fact, I have consistently argued that rogue elements of the government were involved in 9/11, not the whole government (there are many, many good people in government). Those people could have been highly competent, even if, for example, Mr. Bush himself is incompetent.

Indeed, very few people would argue that America's military leaders -- our generals, admirals and other top commanders -- are incompetent. We like to think that these military men are patriots. But the treason of even one of those leaders on 9/11 -- for example, the head of NORAD -- could have permitted the 9/11 attacks to succeed.

Are Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld Themselves Incompetent?

In addition, it is clear that Cheney has unprecedented power within the White House, and Bush would not even have had to have been on it for Cheney to have been able to pull it off. If you doubt that, take a look at this list to see how Cheney has coordinated illegal activities through his own office.

Moreover, as noted social historian and author Michael Parenti writes:

"Generally, US foreign policy is remarkably consistent and cohesive, a deadly success, given the interests it represents. Those who see it as repeatedly befuddled are themselves revealing their own befuddlement.

Sometimes the policymakers themselves seize upon incompetence as a cover. [For example, when the Iran-Contra affair was discovered, President Reagan plead incompetence.] His admission of incompetence was eagerly embraced by various analysts and pundits who prefer to see their leaders as suffering from innocent ignorance rather than deliberate deception. Subsequent testimony by his subordinates, however, revealed that Reagan was not as dumb as he was pretending to be, and that he had played an active and deciding role in the entire Iran-contra affair.


No less a political personage than Henry Kissinger repeatedly pretended to innocent ignorance and incompetence when confronted with the dirty role he and his cohorts played . . . ."

This strategy of "playing dumb" and acting incompetent has, in fact, long been employed by leaders on both the left and the right. Many liberals and old fashioned conservatives have been suckered by this dumb and dumber act.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Let's take a look at the actual history of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld for insight into whether they are incompetent leaders.

After Bush lost his bid for congress because he was perceived as an over-educated, "spoiled rich kid from back East", he cultivated a bumbling, "good old boy" image, and then started winning his political elections. That's right: Bush actually cultivated a bumbling, misspeaking mannerism.

Moreover, President Bush proposed painting a U.S. surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire from Iraqi military, as a way to justify war against Iraq. Is this the kind of proposal that someone who is incompetent would make, or is it the kind of thing a conscious deceiver would suggest?

Rumsfeld and Cheney are also long-time experts at using deception to justify their military and political goals. They were, in fact, the folks who intentionally hyped the Soviet threat during the Cold War so that the defense contractors would make a killing and the U.S. would have a suitably scary "bad guy" to rally against (see this article). These guys, like other neocons, are students of Machiavelli.

Remember how the TV character Detective Columbo pretended he was bumbling and dumb, so that people would underestimate him? Or remember the TV show Matlock, where Andy Griffith pretended to be a slow-witted country lawyer in order to put people off their guard?

I would argue that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have also used this same trick: playing dumb.

Prominent liberal figures and 0ld-fashioned conservatives have tried to warn others of the ploy. For example, liberal guru George Lakoff wrote an article in 2006 called "Bush Is Not Incompetent" which demonstrates that the Bush administration has been incredibly successful in implementing its agenda (the article is well worth reading for its evidence that Bush is not incompetent; however, I believe Lakoff confuses neoconservatism with true conservatism).

Similarly, in an article entitled "Bush Didn’t Bungle Iraq, You Fools", veteran investigative reporter Greg Palast says that the administration got exactly what it wanted from the Iraqi war. And popular liberal writer William Pitt says "the 'incompetence' thing is nonsense . . . Can anyone still think this was all by accident?". Pitt recognizes that the White House, rather than being incompetent, has gotten exactly what they wanted all along -- to invade Iraq, get a foothold in the Middle East and to get control of the oil.

Indeed, the neocons have openly advocated civil war and instability in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries as a long-range strategic plan.

Palast, Pitt and the neocons are speaking about Iraq and the Middle East. But their reasoning applies equally well to 9/11. See this article also.

I'm Smarter Than You

The problem is that those who are out of power -- Democrats and "paleo-conservatives" -- when faced with destructive policy decisions by the Neocons, grasp for an easy explanation. And incompetence fits the bill perfectly.

Indeed, I would argue that most Democrats -- when faced with the inconceivable harm which the neocons and their allies are doing to America and the world -- react with the comforting thought "at least I'm alot smarter than those bozos". Its human nature: putting the other guy down makes us feel better.

But this very human reaction causes us to ignore the actual situation: these folks are very dangerous, and they will do anything to consolidate and protect their power. Take a look at this list for example.


Given these facts, will you suspend -- long enough to actually look at the evidence -- the incorrect assumption that the current leaders are too incompetent to have facilitated the 9/11 attacks?

One place to start is by looking at the statements of highly-credible people who have said that the attacks could not have been the result of mere incompetence, such as:

See also this essay on "intelligence failures", this BBC film on intentionally exaggerating the threat of terrorists to manipulate people, and this essay on the use of false flag attacks by countries worldwide throughout history.

I wouldn't narrow the field

to individuals such as Bush and Cheney, and then propose they are "acting dumb." It's possible this is true, but I think this argument invokes too much ambiguity to be effective. (The inevitable response: No, they really are that stupid.)

Maybe following Parenti's lead is a better strategy. Just look at the consistency of US foreign policy and economic and military domination. It is consistent and effective, whoever is responsible. There is a deep political mechanism at work here, and the people in the foreground are not necessarily the most important actors.

I know this will invite the charge of being too abstract and potentially paranoid, but my basic response to Chomsky and Friends, who are structuralists, is that the structure is remarkably competent and consistent, whoever is at the wheel. Empire doesn't happen by accident, even if accidents do happen.

Yes, the "Bush is too incompetent" meme needs to end! See

my related comments here:

Consider mass emailing truth messages. More info here:


......Bush did'nt plan it, but he knew. Just look at his eye's at the school when he was told they did it.
His first thought?.......... Holy shit ! They did it !

It doesn't take too much

It doesn't take too much skill to nod one's head.

or to step out of the room

or to step out of the room and look the other way

As this 'middle management' team

is the last year of their tenure.... I wonder if they are sufficiently determined to continue their agenda to 'do' Iran. I imagine if they see that whoever is poised to win ... will carry on the 'agenda', they will exit. If not, my bet is they will plunge 'ahead'...... into catastrophe.
"There are none so hoplessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free." (Goethe)

Submitted by rebel patriot. Hope you don't mind a reposting

Submitted by rebel patriot. Hope you don't mind a reposting

Incompetent? Don't make me laugh:

What Bush and The competent Neocons have accomplished...

Iraq War
Taken Iraqi oil off the market
Kept Iraq from opening non-US dollar bourse
Stacked Supreme Court with Neocons with a cake-walk confirmation
Escaping justice for numerous domestic and International War crimes
Escaping impeachment
Enriched war machine & Military Industrial Complex
Installed 2 Attorney Generals who would block investigations and supeaonas
Gutted Habeas Corpus
Rationalized torture
Conveniently misplaced trillions (Sept 10th, 2001) and later billions of dollars
Reestablished record breaking opium production in Afghanistan
Implemented extraordinary rendition and secret torture camps
Manipulated - Stole 2000 and 2004 elections
Lied about Iraqi WMD's
Lied about Jessica Lynch-Pat Tillman
Working on reigniting Russian-American Cold War (Russian bomber flights, etc)
Gutted independent officer corps
Christianization of the military
Massive expenditures for Chem-Bio, Space Weapons, Internet cybercorps
Intimidation (or cooperation) of Media & Business
Permanent military bases in Iraq
Passed Patriot Act after convenient Anthrax and Manchurian-style Sniper attacks
Passed Military Commissions Act
Massive debt to break government (and public)
Electronic surveillance and massive databases
Illegal warrantless wiretaps
First-rate mercenary force enriched and empowered
Broke Posse Comitatus precedent with Blackwater and US military domestic deployment
Blinding of America to Iranian nuclear program
Decimated New Orleans post-Katrina (dry-run for martial law)
Coopted Justice Department
Turned over regulatory agencies to the foxes of industry (ex. Mining, Forestry)
Freed Scooter Libby with no political cost
Bankruptcy "reform"
No Child Left Behind and other Orwellian named govt initiatives
Garnered cooperation of fellow CFR and Trilateral Democrats to enable agenda
Unending blank checks from Congress
Convenient benefiting from a "New Pearl Harbor"
Pulled a sham Investigation on 9-11 over on the public for a paltry $15 million

Conning the American public that they are incompetent.

What more do you want to qualify them as a success? Most people think they are incompetent because they are operating according to a different game-plan, or paradigm, than the normal person. Normal people wouldn't operate at this level of corruption and genuine evil. These people are expert Machiavellian psychopaths (with a strong dose of Straussian Noble Lie telling) and to attempt to associate normal behaviors to them is an exercise in futility. You absolutely CANNOT continue to believe that the administration is incompetent - they are completely competetent and shocking us into accepting a fascist version of America

Machiavelli - who greatly influenced Strauss - laid out how the elites would/coopt any form of government they wanted:

He who desires or attempts to reform the government of a state, and wishes to have it accepted and capable of maintaining itself to the satisfaction of everybody, must at least retain the semblance of the old forms; so that it may seem to the people that there has been no change in the institutions, even though in fact they are entirely different from the old ones.

Machiavelli. Discourses on Livy
Submitted by rebel patriot on Sat, 03/08/2008