Daniele Ganser: All of the theories about 9/11 are conspiracy theories

All of the theories about 9/11 are conspiracy theories
11.9- The truth movement is often laughed at for criticizing the Bush government's answer to what happened on 11th September 2001. Now however, the recognized historian, Daniele Ganser gives legitimacy to the sceptics.

(Originally published in Norway's Stavanger Aftenblad)

by Kristin Aalen - April 21, 2008.

CONSPIRACY: Ganser has caused debate following the presentation of his view in an interview with the Swiss TV-channel, U1. There he repeated his arguments from an article he wrote in the Swiss newspaper, Tages-Anzeiger in Zürich in September 2006.

Ganser's premise is that conspiracies are nothing unusual or new in the field of historical research. At least since the assassination of Julius Caesar in classical Rome more than 2000 years ago, conspiracies have been an element of the political fight for influence and power.

He defines a conspiracy as, «a secret agreement between two or more persons to engage in a criminal act.»

He continues: «As 9/11 was a criminal act which was definitively not planned and carried out by one single person alone but by at least two or more persons who agreed on the plan before it was implemented, 9/11 must be classified as a conspiracy.»

MOST CORRECT? «It is important to stress that all theories about 9/11 are conspiracy theories. Once we realize that none of the theories can be dismissed on the grounds that it is a «conspiracy theory», the real question becomes: Which conspiracy theory correctly describes the 9/11 conspiracy?» asks Ganser.

The historian thereby is in disagreement with the many who laugh at the critics of the official explanation of 11/9 as it is expressed in three reports (see fact box).

THREE THEORIES: Ganser presents three main theories about the conspiracy of 11/9. He does not himself address the issue of which theory most correctly describes what actually happened:

1. The so-called surprise theory: Offered by the Bush administration and the 9/11 Commission report (2004), it claims that Osama bin Laden conspired with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Mohamed Atta, and other men to attack the US on 9/11. The surprise theory argues that 9/11 was a Muslim conspiracy. It concedes that there were rumours about a looming attack, but insists that the US intelligence community, including the NSA, CIA, FBI, DIA, and other intelligence services, along with Pentagon, were unable to prevent the conspiracy. (NSA: National Security Agency, DIA: Defence Intelligence Agency, red. anm.)

2. Let It Happen On Purpose: (LIHOP theory). Like the surprise theory, it assumes that Osama bin Laden conspired with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Mohamed Atta and other men to attack the US on 9/11. In stark contrast to the surprise theory, however, the LIHOP theory claims that persons inside the US government deliberately allowed the attacks to be carried out in order to be able to start a number of wars that had been planned in advance. The LIHOP theory thus argues that 9/11 was a combined Muslim and Jewish-Christian conspiracy, in which the latter outwitted the former.

3. Make It Happen On Purpose: (MIHOP theory). It argues that criminal persons within the US government, Pentagon and the intelligence community, carried out the attacks themselves in order to be able to start a number of wars that had been planned in advance. The MIHOP theory thus argues that 9/11 was primarily a Christian or Jewish-Christian conspiracy, in which Muslims, if involved at all, were involved only in minor ways.

Ganser is in agreement with theologians who point out that no true Christians, Jewish, or Muslim values - including love and respect for other human beings - can be found in the crimes of 9/11, and that it is therefore fundamentally wrong to link any of the three largest monotheistic religions of the world to the crime. If religion played a role in the fanatic crime at all, then it was misguided religion.

TWO COUNTER-ARGUMENTS: Ganser discusses the two most important arguments against theories 2 and 3, which are:

Argument 1 against the Lihop- and Mihop-theory: Civilized, western governments in general, and the US government in particular, would never do anything as evil as to allow the 11/9-attacks, yet alone plan them.

Argument 2 against the Lihop- og Mihop-theory: If the 11/7-attacks were carried out by forces within the US own government, it would not have been possible to keep it a secret for so long.

RAISES DOUBT: As stated, Ganser does not address which of the three theories is correct. However, he has conducted so much research on secret warfare executed by western governments that he would not altogether dismiss the more moderate Lihop or the more alarming Mihop theory.

In order to understand why the Swiss historian doesn't think arguments 1 and 2 against the Lihop- and Mihop-theories in themselves are viable, we need to look at his own research:

Ganser is an expert on the use of the Strategy of Tension by western governments, for example during the Cold War. This involved implementing a terror attack on public places and then placing the blame on a political opponent.

In his book on Nato's secret army, Operation Gladio, he describes state-supported terror attacks during the 60's and 70's in Europe. These took place chiefly in Italy, but also in Beligium, Turkey and Greece. Secret forces were trained and equipped by the American CIA and the British counterpart, MI6.

FALSE FLAG?: But would American authorities really have sacrificed their own citizens?

Ganser refers to «Operation Northwoods», a plan devised by the Pentago in the 60's. This involved performing a series of strategy-of tension operations, designed to shock the US public and discredit Castro. Among other actions, the US officers suggested developing a fake "Communist Cuban campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington", faking a Cuban air force attack on a civilian jetliner, "sink(ing) a boatload of Cuban refugees", and blowing up a US ship in Cuban waters and then blaming the incident on Cuban sabotage. This is recorded listed among the ideas defended by General Lyman Lemnitzer.

But Operasjon Northwoods was never implemented. At the time, President John F. Kennedy and his secretary of defense, Robert McNamara, opposed such operations, which included killing US citizens and involved a large-scale manipulation of the American population.

However, Ganzer makes a point of stressing that the strategy of tension was prominently advocated by the highest ranking officer in the Pentagon – General Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – as a pretext to convince the US public of the need to invade Cuba and overthrow Castro.

KEPT SECRET: Further, is it possible to keep such cynical plans a secret?

Yes, believes Ganser. Operation Northwoods was a marked secret by the Pentagon. Only 40 years later, in April 2001, was is made public.The distinguished US researcher James Bamford engrossed himself in the material and produced in 2002 the book, «Body of Secrets: An Anatomy of the Ultra Secret National Security Agency». In this he wondered whether Operation Northwoods was the most corrupt plan ever created by the US government. He concluded:

«(I)n light of the Operation Northwoods documents it is clear that deceiving the public and trumping up wars for Americans to fight and die in was standard, approved policy at the highest levels of the Pentagon.»

It is on the basis of this type of research that Daniele Ganser fears that arguments 1 and 2 against the Lihop- and Mihop-theories are insubstantial.

Ganser and GLADIO

Ganser is the author of NATO's Secret Armies:Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe.

The CIA and the British secret service MI6, in collaboration with the military alliance NATO and European military secret services set up a network of clandestine anticommunist armies in Western Europe after World War II. The secret soldiers were trained on remote islands in the Mediterranean and in unorthodox warfare centers in England and in the United States by the Green Berets and SAS Special Forces. The network was armed with explosives, machine guns and high-tech communication equipment hidden in underground bunkers and secret arms caches in forests and mountain meadows. In some countries, the secret army linked up with right-wing terrorists who in a secret war engaged in political manipulation, harassment of left wing parties, massacres, coup d'etats and torture.

Codenamed "Gladio" ('the sword'), the Italian secret army was exposed in 1990 by Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti to the Italian Senate, whereupon the press spoke of the "the best kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II" (Observer, 18. November 1990) and observed that "The story seems straight from the pages of a political thriller." (The Times, November 19, 1990). Ever since, so-called 'stay-behind' armies of NATO have also been discovered in France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Greece and Turkey. They were internationally coordinated by the Pentagon and NATO and had their last known meeting in the NATO-linked Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) in Brussels in October 1990.

(Note that Andreotti is the true GLADIO whistleblower, NOT Cossiga. Cossiga just tagged along when the cover was blown.)

In Germany, the CIA deployed "former" Nazis to flesh out the stay-behind operations in that country;

Between 1949 and 1955, the Central Intelligence Agency organized stay-behind networks of German agents in southwestern Germany and Berlin. The programs, known as Pastime (Berlin) and Kibitz (Southwestern Germany) were designed to provide a source of intelligence from behind enemy lines in the event of a Soviet invasion of West Germany...

...The Kibitz operation involved at least two former members of the SS--Staff Sergeant Heinrich Hoffman, Lt. Colonel Walkter Kopp, whom the CIA referred to as an "unreconstructed Nazi". - Naftali, Timothy. New Information on Cold War CIA Stay-Behind Operations in Germany and on the Adolf Eichmann Case, University of Virginia, pp. 1-2. http://www.fas.org/sgp/eprint/naftali.pdf

And of course, former OSS and CIA folks reactivated General Reinhard Gehlen's Nazi spy network in the Soviet Union, no questions asked;

Duplicity is the name of the game.

GLADIO on video, a surprisingly good BBC piece;

Operation GLADIO Part 1:

Operation GLADIO Part 2:

Operation GLADIO Part 3:

reject the term


You are using a loaded, prejudiced term when you use "conspiracy theory" or "conspiracy theorist." It is akin to the sorts of terms that disparage minority groups. (It has not been scientificlly shown that people who suspect and inspect a conspiracy are somehow less intelligent than the rest of the population, but this term gets used as such to keep the population from thinking.)

If people want to use propaganda (or racism or sexism or homophobia), then I recommend they keep using that term. If they want to think things through and develop a more intelligent society, then they should avoid that term, demanding the same of other and that people drop the attitude of superiority. (Acting like jerks often has the effect of making people who have knowledge to tune out.)

It's difficult to reject

I think a better strategy is simply to point out that history is full of smaller and larger conspiracies (giving some examples, if necessary) and showing how naive and simplistic it is to ridicule anyone as a conspiracy theorist in that light.

I support rehabilitation of the term. :-)

Two miscellaneous comments

First, a quote from Ganser:

"But Operasjon [sic] Northwoods was never implemented. At the time, President John F. Kennedy and his secretary of defense, Robert McNamara, opposed such operations, which included killing US citizens and involved a large-scale manipulation of the American population."

One more thing on the list of accumulated grievances that led to the CIA "taking out" JFK once and for all.

Second, though I completely agree that it's possible to keep secret a 9/11 false flag operation, Operation Northwoods is a poor example. That's because it was never executed, so 9/11 truth-deniers can simply counter that Northwoods never got past the discussion level.

I don't want to even start explaining how 9/11 could've been kept secret: others have written at great length on the subject. But the aspect of it that springs immediately to mind is that those in the know are subject to terrible retaliation, not only to themselves but to their loved ones. And for what? The Mockingbird media would only ignore them, no commission or prosecutor is advertising for witnesses or offering witness protection, so what's the point of putting oneself at risk?

Think of Willie Rodriguez. Though without execution knowledge and thus not particularly susceptible to ruthless retaliation, he had an extraordinary vantage of what happened at the WTC on 9/11. Yet the 9/11 Commission Report, which took his testimony, doesn't even mention his name. He's been blacked out by the Mockingbird media. Needless to say, no criminal investigators or prosecutors seek him for information or as a witness. Why would any sane insider witness willingly subject himself to such humiliation, only for himself and his loved ones to be tortured and murdered, all for an act of futility?

Ganser lecture in Basel