My Long Forgotten Encounter with Terry McDermott, author of "PERFECT SOLDIERS – The Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It"

The James Bamford interview and response reminded me of a dialogue/interview/argument I had with Terry McDermott at the Los Angeles Times Book Fair at UCLA on 4/27/08. Terry McDermott is a journalist and author, who in most MSM circles, is considered to have written the best description of the alleged 9/11 hijackers. He's sort of like a lightweight Vincent Bugliosi of the 9/11 covert op. In that case, maybe he's like more like Gerald Posner- I don't know. At the Book Festival, McDermott had moderated a panel titled "New World Disorder" that also included Mr. Bob Drogin, Ms. Nina Hachigan, Mr. Kevin Phillips and Dr. Michael Shermer. During the Q+A, I had asked a question having something to do with the neo-cons, the Clash of Civilizations, desired chaos and 9/11. After having my question roundly ignored and ridiculed, I decided to follow up a bit more intimately at the book signing with whoever I could from the panel. McDermott was fairly hostile, not quite as hostile as the over-zealous security guard who hovered over the entire interaction, but hostile nonetheless to the fact that I was calling into question the back story to the cover-story he had told so well.

This is McDermott's bio from his website- -

"I've been a reporter at eight newspapers for 30 years, the last ten at the Los Angeles Times where I am a national reporter based in L.A. In various newspaper jobs I've covered county zoning boards, state legislatures, and the culture of the Los Angeles Police Department. I've specialized in long-term projects, often immersing myself in an assignment for months or occasionally years. I've written on an enormous range of subjects: radical Islam; the financing, design and construction of skyscrapers; the search for a rare blood molecule; the California Dream; and growing coffee in Indonesia among them. I try to write stories that are heavily reported, textured, place-based and complex, written in a strong, distinctive voice. I've won numerous journalism awards from a variety of organizations, including those that honor writing about economics, science and foreign affairs.

I'm a native of Iowa. In addition to journalism, I have worked as a carpenter, a political campaign manager and an interpreter of satellite reconnaissance imagery in the U.S. Air Force. I have a graduate degree in urban studies. While a metro columnist at the Seattle Times, I published a serial mystery novel about the disappearance of Bill Gates.

PERFECT SOLDIERS – The Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It, my first book, was published by HarperCollins in 2005. The trade paperback edition was released in August, 2006."
I never knew that he had a background that included interpretation of "satellite reconnaissance imagery in the U.S. Air Force" or I would have hammered on the National Reconnaisance Office's "plane into their building" drill on the morning of 9/11.

In terms of his utter contempt for any theory of 9/11 other than Muslim hijackers and how he pushes the "No Jews died at the WTC" disinfo front and center, you can glean a bit before reading through the conversation, from his website- -
"I have been distressed to discover the degree to which casually malevolent ideas are ambient in much of the contemporary Arab world, at how much the view from there has been shaped by mythic beliefs. I say mythic in the same sense that Karen Armstrong uses it to describe the nature of belief among fundamentalists in all religions, that the nature of their beliefs are pre-rational and unshakable by the existence of contrary fact. I must have been told a hundred times during my research that 9/11 could not have happened without the connivance, indeed, the active execution, of either or both the American CIA and Israeli Mossad. Those who espouse these theories hold a view that the United States is omnipotent and, therefore, nothing of this scale could happen unbeknownst to us. All evidence to the contrary — which is depressing in its own way — matters not a bit. I was repeatedly told no Jews died in the World Trade Center. One of my own interpreters, an upper middle class Cairene whose career goal was to come to the United States and open a chain of LASIK eye surgery clinics, in other words, a Westernized Arab, a scientist, would ask me every two or three days why the Jews stayed home that day."
Here is the conversation:
(Security is the overzealous security guard, T is Terry McDermott, J is me, Jeremy Rothe-Kushel, Nina is Nina Hachigan and friend is a friend)

April 27th, 2008- UCLA Campus in LA, CA.

T: And I don’t think that there’s any question that there was a conspiracy, but it was a conspiracy of Al-Qaeda.

Security: Wait a minute, do you have permission to record?

J: I put it on the table.

T: What’s the point?

J: I’m going to record it.

T: For what?

J: I’m a reporter, a citizen journalist, because the other journalists…

T: The other journalists let you down. (sarcastically)

J: Yeah, for real. I know you know a lot about the cover story of 9-11, but are you familiar with these war games?

T: You know what’s funny about all this? I spent the year and a half after 9-11 in the Middle East reporting it ok? And -within- you know for most of that first year, I heard this conspiracy theory, over and over and over again, that this couldn’t have happened without the CIA and/or the Mossad. Right, and this is from Arabs.

J: From Arabs, yeah.

T: Ok? And I think, you know, this society is drenched in myth. I mean they just can’t get beyond that. And I was, and I came back here after a year and a half…

J: But why is that absurd to think that?

T: I didn’t say it was absurd.

J: “It’s myth.”

T: It is mythic.

J: Why is not 19 guys with the boxcutters standing down NORAD with the computers in the cave? That sounds like a myth. Look, Zelikow’s a professional mythmaker…

(recording got cutoff here)

Part II

J: Did you know about the event of October 10 of 2001 where 2 Israeli agents were caught at the Mexican Parliament with…

T: I didn’t know about it.

J: … with glock 9mm, grenades, and 2 Pakistani passports. A little suspicious huh?

T: I know nothing about it. I couldn’t tell you if it was suspicious or not.

J: Well, that was covered in the Mexican newspapers and on CNN once. And this is surprising, you know, right after…a month after 9-11, while the anthrax is flying, shutting down the Congress for the 1st time since the British burned it back in 1814. It’s a little weird that we didn’t hear about 2 covert operatives from our closest ally, imitating Pakistanis…

T: What’s weird about that? I mean, I don’t recall ever reading anything about the internal workings of, uh, what goes on on the floor of the Mexican Parliament.

J: No, but if…

T: If some event like that… why would you expect American press to cover that?

J: Well, this is like the day after the anthrax, the high grade anthrax was postmarked.

T: That’s why it wasn’t covered. What do you think everybody was doing that day?

J: No, it was postmarked. It didn’t get into the Senate until a week later. But here’s the thing- it was covered on CNN. The War on Terror just entered its new phase after 9-11 and we have two operatives of our closest ally in our geographically-closest ally’s parliament with Glock 9mm’s, grenades, explosives, with Pakistani passports- a little strange.

T: I don’t know anything about it. And I couldn’t tell you if any…

J: Well, you should know about it. If you’re interested in terrorism, then you should know about our allies doing terrorism, don’t you think? No?

T: I know nothing about the incident. Um, and you know, I think it’s sad that…

J: What’s sad?

T: That you’re unwilling to accept…

Friend: The myth?

T: The facts. It’s not a myth.

J: I believed it for 4 years, until I looked at the whole actuality of the facts.

Friend: FBI doesn’t even have him on their Most Wanted List because of not having hard evidence.

Nina: I’ll just make a general comment which is that if you have ever been in the government, you realize that the government is full of individuals who can make mistakes and that to achieve that kind of coordination to actually pull off a conspiracy like that, just, you know, is really just not believable.

Friend: Condi Rice is in the government and she made a very big blunder when she said ‘we would never have assumed or even thought of planes hitting buildings.’

J: Right, that was a lie.

Friend: That was a lie. There were 16 experiments going on that morning, 3 of them having to do with planes hitting buildings.

J: It was our Reichstag fire. And you see the philosophical lineage back to those guys.

T: Why, why even bother, I mean, to go there?

J: Because I love my country enough to call out treason.

T: No, can I finish?

J: Yes, sorry.

T: Why, when there’s a set of facts on the ground that are able to explain the event…

Friend: Where are they?

T: Read my book, “Perfect Soldiers.” Seriously, there is. Why do you have to create this whole universe?

Friend: Because it’s a lie. Because the hijackers are a lie.

J: Because it’s called facts. It’s called all the facts. That’s all.

Friend: You haven’t looked into it. You can write a book on it, but that doesn’t mean you’ve looked into it.

T: Look, mam, I spent, you know, 2 years in the Middle East researching this. Don’t tell me I didn’t look into it.

J: And I appreciate the research that you did…

T: Ok.

J: But what I’m saying is that what you covered was the cover story.

T: The cover story?!

J: The Oswald cover story.

T: Go tell Ziad Jarrah’s wife it’s a cover story.

J: Well, it is a cover story.

Friend: Building 7.

T: You go tell her. You go tell her!

J: Bin Laden and 19 hijackers can’t stand down…

T: I’m talking.

J: Ok.

T: You go tell his mom it’s a cover story. Ok?

J: Go tell Atta’s dad it’s a cover story, because he knows it’s a cover story.

T: I’ve talked to Atta’s dad! Atta’s dad is a lunatic!

J: Ok, so then any family member that disagrees with you is a lunatic?


The "Hijackers": Why They Did What?

There is no solid proof of the accused hijackers piloting the 9/11 planes.

If the "case" against the hijackers were prosecuted, it would be thrown out by a judge in my opinion.

No eyewitnesses, no footage, no fingerprints, no confessions.

Mythology based on speculation and assumptions.

Covert use of aircraft autopilot and enhanced GPS systems would also have made the 9/11 attacks very possible without pilot control.

Has the FBI explored this possibility?


This post repeatedly refers to "No Jews killed at the WTC."

It never provides any source or clarification to show what is true.

Were there Jewish victims killed at the WTC? I know of one, who apparently turned up randomly, not a worker.

If there were Jewish victims inside the towers, what are their names, and what is the source?

Writing dismissively is not proof of anything. It's a poor debunker tactic that is rightly attacked (by us).


It's a tough sell claiming that Al Qaeda is innocent for 9/11. For starters, you don't know that, it's merely a belief. Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.

The conversation could have gone much more productively by following the intelligence connections back to protected entities like Saudi intelligence and Pakistani intelligence. Protecting these parties is technically treason.

70 Disturbing Facts About 9/11

John Doraemi publishes Crimes of the State Blog

johndoraemi --at--