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U.S. Government Planned Terrorist Attack on Americans

By theboz in MLP
Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 05:24:06 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)

While the more conspiracy loving people have been saying that the September 11th attacks were a government plot, I have been skeptical. I still am, but after finding this article on ABC News about how the U.S. government had planned terrorist attacks on the U.S. to provoke a war with Cuba, I don't know what to believe. I am still skeptical about the whole thing, but I find it scary that U.S. politicians and military officials would make plans for such an attack.

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Some quotes from the article that were of particular interest follow:

Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.

The Joint Chiefs even proposed using the potential death of astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba.

Another was to pay someone in the Castro government to attack U.S. forces at the Guantanamo naval base -- an act, which Bamford notes, would have amounted to treason.

The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy's defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962.


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U.S. Government Planned Terrorist Attack on Americans | 53 comments (41 topical, 12 editorial, 1 hidden)
Another era (4.40 / 10) (#1)
by jasonab on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 07:04:12 PM EST

but I find it scary that U.S. politicians and military officials would make plans for such an attack.
I agree this is very scary if it's true, but I'm not sure why something that happened almost forty years ago should enhance your distrust of the current government.

This plan was never taken seriously outside of certain officials, was never approved, and nothing like it ever happened. I'm sure there are plenty of wacked-out, crazy ideas floated all the time. I'm certainly glad that these particular individuals are no longer around to influence events, but I have reason to cast such aspersions on anyone currently around.

Correction (4.00 / 1) (#11)
by jasonab on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 12:54:43 AM EST

I'm certainly glad that these particular individuals are no longer around to influence events, but I have reason to cast such aspersions on anyone currently around.
That should read, I have no reason to cast such aspersions on anyone currently around.

[ Parent ]
I didn't trust them to begin with (4.87 / 8) (#27)
by Secret Coward on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 07:24:26 AM EST

I agree this is very scary if it's true, but I'm not sure why something that happened almost forty years ago should enhance your distrust of the current government.

Every few years, the government releases yet another report of some long-past atrocity*. Testing biological agents on the general populous, sabotaging the efforts of civil rights organizations, spying on the establishment's political adversaries. When these reports come out, people think, "Gee. I'm glad we don't live in those days any more."

It is naive to believe that our government is not abusing its powers. It always has abused its powers, and it always will abuse its powers. Forty years from now, your children may very well see reports describing atrocities that the Bush administration performed.

* Actually, one of the first things the Bush administration did, was cancel the release of declassified documents which many of his cabinet members had a role in, during a previous administration.

[ Parent ]

Political culture (4.00 / 2) (#34)
by jasonab on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 12:16:58 PM EST

It is naive to believe that our government is not abusing its powers. It always has abused its powers, and it always will abuse its powers. Forty years from now, your children may very well see reports describing atrocities that the Bush administration performed.
But there's a difference between believing the government is capable of abuse, and assuming it must be abusing its powers. I don't think the FBI operates in the same way it did under Hoover. That's not to say the FBI is perfect, or never abuses its power, but I don't believe its culture (or the culture of those who oversee it) would allow that abuse today.

[ Parent ]
FBI culture (2.00 / 3) (#37)
by alprazolam on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 01:38:27 PM EST

and what do you know of the FBI culture. There was supposedly a big shift recently in it, and considering the out of control nature it's had recently, there's really no telling what's going on there.

[ Parent ]
Fascinating Captain... (3.90 / 10) (#3)
by Phage on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 07:08:29 PM EST

Both this and the previous story in the queue are really postulating the question, "How much can the US citizen trust what they see and hear ?"

Without getting into arguments about Libertarianism or "I think therefore I am" cynicism, this may be an important question to be discussed. Do you trust your government and media ? I don't think that I am qualified to offer an opinion as I am not in the US.
Good question for you though.
If the answer is no, what does that imply for your country ?

I don't find Heathens to be sexy, as a general rule.

Old News (4.71 / 7) (#4)
by wiredog on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 08:00:36 PM EST

It first showed up here last April, after "Body of Secrets" by Bamford came out. Read the review by Bruce Schneier (author of ""Applied Cryptography" and "Secrets and Lies") at Salon. To quote from the review:

Among the more shocking things Bamford learned is that in 1962, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff approved something called Operation Northwoods. Fortunately never implemented, it involved committing random acts of terror on Americans in the United States and then blaming them on Cuba.

Read the review, and the book.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.

Define "terrorism", please.... (4.41 / 12) (#7)
by anansi on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 10:44:35 PM EST

The US government injected plutionium into the bodies of US Army Soldiers during early testing of the atom bomb. In the 60'sThe US government used the New York subways system as a testing ground for germ warfare, using a mild flu virus as the infectious agent.

Were these unethical acts? Certainly. Were they designed to inspire fear and terror in the hearts of many americans? Probably not.

If you want to see the US government hard at work terrorizing civilians, it's much more fruitful to look overseas, where there aren't as many video cameras, and less potential for messy lawsuits.

(Even that defense is beginning to crumble, as families of the dissapeared in Chile are beginning to file suit against the american instigators of those murders.)

Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"

That sounds Interesting (4.00 / 3) (#8)
by Phage on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 10:57:30 PM EST

What's this about the "Disappeared" being blamed on the US ? I hadn't heard of that before.
But then the US does seem to be blamed for a great deal, sins of both omission and comission. Is this just because people believe that the US is so large and powerful it must have been involved ?

How would such a law suit be succesful ?

Lastly, I violently disagree with the idea that video cameras protect the public. They are a tool of the government/corporates not the people. (unless you want to start bugging the cities yourself...)

I don't find Heathens to be sexy, as a general rule.
[ Parent ]

I hate doing this... (4.66 / 3) (#12)
by anansi on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 12:57:27 AM EST

The only evidence I have to back up my claim is an NPR broadcast a couple of weeks ago.

(1/3 of the way down the page, Christopher Hitchens, "The Trial of Henry Kissenger")

He may have a web page, he may have a book you can check out, but I haven't bothered to double check all his facts, any more than I've investigated every claim made by CNN.

As for the US being blamed for a great deal of the world's wrongs, I hardly know how to respond to this one. I could say, browse some of the summeries on that web site, and see if they all strike you as paranoid ramblings. I could say, for the rest of the planet to live in the manner that americans have been accustomed to since WW2, the current population would need four earths to support such a habit. It ain't gonna happen, but the US keeps promising everyone that it will, if they just play the game.

I could say, go watch Wag the Dog, and then Brazil

As for video cameras protecting the public, it's not an easy issue. I'm reading David Brin's Transparent Society right now, it's creepy, but timely. The Rodney King Video tape didn't directly improve public safety right away, but it certainly put a lot more scrutiny on the LAPD, and I think it paved the way for the investigations of the Rampart scandals.

I've long imagined roving squads of videocamera-wielding watchdogs on bicycles and on foot, popping in and out at random moments to try and catch rednecks, KKK members, overzealous cops, and any other threats to the peace. I call the idea "The camcorder militia". David Brin beat me to it in his book Earth. And appearantly, Peter Gabriel is donating digital camcorders to various human rights watchers around the world, following up on his earlier interest in South Africa.

(this from The Transparent Society)

Maybe we're all too media saturated in the US for it to make any difference, and maybe the image of jets crashing into bulings will always trump images of cops beating up civilians. I don't know.

Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"
[ Parent ]

Beer ! No time (3.00 / 1) (#17)
by Phage on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 02:18:25 AM EST

(it is Friday afternoon after all.)To reply

Just quickly...
The idea of your camera militia scares the crap outta me.
4 Earths ! where did you pull that number from ? How much could we achieve with 50% of the world's military budget and resources...
Lastly you appear to have taken hollywood as an insight into your country, whilst simultaneously not trusting your media....Hell, I'm confused.

Got to go, have a good one...

I don't find Heathens to be sexy, as a general rule.
[ Parent ]

Finite capacity (none / 0) (#48)
by paulT on Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 03:13:29 PM EST

4 Earths ! where did you pull that number from ? How much could we achieve with 50% of the world's military budget and resources...

I can't speak to the 4 earths claim but freeing up the military budget wouldn't help purchase resources that don't exist. The basic claim is that there are a finite amount of resources, a finite capacity for food production, and a finite capacity for dealing with waste products. If the whole world consumed at the rate of the western world, the theory goes, we would have exceeded all those finite capacities by many times.

"Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
[ Parent ]
"The Government" (3.33 / 6) (#10)
by Neuromancer on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 11:30:18 PM EST

Lets define "the government."

1) Do you really think that Congress passed a resolution sponsoring terrorism ON the US to provoke ITSELF to enter a war? Probably not, they could declare war if they wanted to.

That leaves bureaucracy. It just happens that I'm pretty familiar with the bureaucracy. Someone within an bureau MIGHT be able to pull this off, but it wouldn't be the WHOLE BUREAU, it would be someone from inside it. This person would be exploiting parts where the system is broken (and what system isn't?)

Aside from that, every measure has been taken to assure that people CAN'T do that sort of thing. Most people don't have the power uniformly or even know who to contact to arrage such a thing. This is by design. On top of that, most people with clearances don't have access to a large concert of information, just enough to do a small part of a job. There isn't really anybody "at the top" who knows everything.

In short, there are very few people in the world who would have both the ability and the motivation to do this. Maybe one or the other, but almost nobody has both.

Branches of Government (4.00 / 3) (#14)
by Blarney on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 01:34:16 AM EST

Why do you divide the government into the mutually exclusive "Congress" and "Bureaucracy"? You sound like Ronald Reagan or something, muttering about those Goddam Bureaucrats and spendthrift Congress. Of course, Reagan didn't mention the non-Congress non-bureaucrat government which he was trying to keep in the background. Actually our government has 3 or 4 branches! Congress is one, the court system is another. The executive branch is a third.

The CIA/FBI/generic covert operations stuff is usually considered executive branch and subject to the President, but I consider it a fourth branch of government because it obtains money for its work, not from direct Congressional appropriations, but from the "black budget". This is money shaved in various places. All those Reagan era stories about $100 crescent wrenches and $600 toilet seats hidden in the budget weren't actually examples of government waste and corruption - they were places where money was actually being siphoned off for covert operations whose secrecy would be compromised if Congress and the people they represent found out about them. Some of the more obvious checks-and-balances from Congress are removed this way.

Congress wouldn't go around bombing the cities where their own people lived, nor would the good administrators or bureaucrats from HUD, EPA, FDA, IRS, SSA, USDA, all those nice TLAs. But the covert folks could, and nobody would ever have to find out if they did it correctly.

[ Parent ]

Covert Folks (3.40 / 5) (#15)
by Neuromancer on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 01:54:30 AM EST

I file them under bureaucracy.

Few of them have anything to gain financially or politically if they are really on the side of the government. The system is set up to weed out people spying for other countries or trying to set us up.

Few of them have the power or data to arrange such an attack. Those who do have nothing to gain from it.

Most "spooks" are fine upstanding citizens. We're not talking about left wing militia's here. We're talking about conservative 3-letter agencies where your boss likes good morals and sobriety. This isn't exactly a bunch of hippies bombing a police station. It's HARD to break these agencies, and if somebody DID plot this, it would be that individual's fault. The CIA didn't all get together last month and say "duh hehe, lets start us a war."

[ Parent ]
How do you know? (4.25 / 4) (#16)
by Blarney on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 02:01:28 AM EST

Most "spooks" are fine upstanding citizens.

How do you know that? If you know what they're like, then they aren't really being spooky and covert enough. You are arguing that I have to believe that our covert operatives are good, although the whole definition of "covert" implies that I do not in fact know what the operatives are doing or thinking.

This is getting too close to theology here for me. Your argument sounds much like the ones used to justify the existence of God - only you would rather justify a benevolent secret police force.

[ Parent ]

Uhmm (2.80 / 5) (#18)
by Neuromancer on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 02:44:54 AM EST

We're not talking about a secret society here. We're talking about an agency of the US. I promise that they're not against us. Come on. Have you ever noticed that you can apply to be a covert operative on the CIA website? We're not talking about people bred in machines to destroy their home country. Such fears fail to recognize that these agencies are here to serve their people.

[ Parent ]
I don't see an argument from Neuromancer (3.66 / 3) (#19)
by hjw on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 04:46:53 AM EST

Just reassurances. And I'm wondering just who Neuromancer is trying to reassure.

I think most of us are convinced that 'covert guys' are capable of things that they need to hide from the US public. Just have a look at documents as they become declassified. Look at the recent lawsuit against Henry Kissinger, implicating him in an assasination of one of Pinochete's rivals in Chile. Look at the history of the Indo-China war to see how the US was prepared to fight just as 'dirty' as the other side while trying to keep their activities secret from the US public.

The motives and reasons are what's under debate.

Maybe Kissinger was right, maybe things would be much worse if the US hadn't acted the way they did. He is a very smart guy after all. Why shouldn't we believe him and the other prominent politicians of that time.

Well, perhaps we should question them, and it's a shame that questioning goevernment actions is considered part of that grey area between leftism and communism [ read: unamericanism ].

When a public stop questioning their government, thats when things get dangerious. Democracy requires citizen participiation for it to be healthy. It requires public debate. Blind unquestioning loyalty are traits commonly attributed to Nazi Germany and Maoist China.

So please, do all of us ( including yourself, and your country ) a big favour and be objective about this. Drop the faith nonsense.

[ Parent ]

Uhmm (3.50 / 2) (#39)
by Neuromancer on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 02:21:01 PM EST

This isn't just reasurance. This is a logical evaluation.

1) The only person in the US with anything to gain is Dubya.
2) Very few people have both the resources and something to gain. If anybody in that family does, it's Dubya's dad.

Ok, so, that would imply that George Bush the first created an artificial crisis for Dubya to increase his approval ratings... hrmm, that does sound possible since the Gulf Conflict was major propaganda for him.

Ok, well, I've just spawned a very realistic conspiracy theory.

Lets look at what constitutes a conspiracy theory though. It's PURE CONJECTURE. Nothing in a conspiracy theory would stand the trial by fire that good science does. Does this mean that they're impossible situations... no, but it does mean that you really don't have a LICK of proof to support a wildly complex system, whereas you have a lot of proof to support a VERY simple system that is for all practical purposes PROBABLY true, especially considering as how Dubya could have just created a conflict with these people WITHOUT killing any more people in the US. Do you know why? It's because bin Laden is a total bitch who's been screwing with us for years. It doesn't take much effort to start a war with somebody who claims to have attacked one of your naval vessels. Therefore NOBODY has anything to gain from killing American citizens and blaming it on bin Laden except bin Laden.

Does that all make sense now?

-Neuromancer "I hate conspiracy theories"

[ Parent ]
No. (none / 0) (#53)
by hjw on Wed Oct 24, 2001 at 06:51:40 AM EST

It makes sense for the US to seek justice and punishment of Bin Laden.

It isn't right for the US to kill innocents in this quests

. So yes, I agree that we must not let our imaginations run away with ideas of wild conspiracy.

However, equally I believe that we must question our governments' actions. Even if the questions that must be asked are embarrasing or crude.

Examples: Who stands to gain what from this adventure?
Can they be considered successful at the loss of so much innocent life?
What substance is there to the claims that US foreign policy has contributed to this mess?
To what degree have they contributed?
Is the media fullilling it's constituionally protected duties?

And if you think I'm a conspiracy nut for wanthing these ( among many other questions ) answered, then so be it.

But I still want answers.
However I don't expect them any time soon.

[ Parent ]

"National Interest" (4.00 / 4) (#21)
by greenrd on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 05:13:06 AM EST

We're not talking about people bred in machines to destroy their home country.

We need to distinguish two meanings of "national interest". One is the common good. The other is the interests of the rich and powerful. Politicians often predominantly serve the latter while trying to claim they're serving the former. It may have been in the interests of the rich and powerful to overthrow Castro, even if that involved horrific civilian casualties in America. That was the Joint Chiefs of Staff's thinking, if you'd actually bothered to read the article.

The Joint Chiefs at the time were headed by Eisenhower appointee Army Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, who, with the signed plans in hand made a pitch to McNamara on March 13, 1962, recommending Operation Northwoods be run by the military.

"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]
Thatcherism .. (2.50 / 2) (#23)
by hjw on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 05:17:23 AM EST

If the rich get richer, then the poor get a little richer too, granted the rich get the better of the deal, but at least the poor get a little richer too.

The levels of people in the US and UK below the povery line is a testimony to the success of this philosophy

[ Parent ]

The Myths of Thatcherism (2.00 / 6) (#24)
by greenrd on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 05:43:04 AM EST

No it isn't. 1/3 of children in the UK live in poverty. Real wages for many Americans have stagnated or even declined. There is a higher degree of inequality than ever. Inequality is associated with greater health problems for all in society - especially the poor, but even, surprisingly, the well-off as well! http://www.inequality.org/

"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

yes, of course (none / 0) (#52)
by hjw on Wed Oct 24, 2001 at 06:31:22 AM EST

I should have qualified my statement. I was referring to the success of this paradigm for the rich. Those who make the laws are reaping the benifits. It will take politicians who are willing to sacrifice the short term gain of industry and commerce for the long term gain of the poor before things change.

[ Parent ]
See my reply to HJW below (n/t) (none / 0) (#40)
by Neuromancer on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 02:22:59 PM EST

[ Parent ]
You leftist scum (1.66 / 12) (#13)
by slaytanic killer on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 01:15:10 AM EST

Why do you leftists always quote disreputable sources? Show respect to General US Grant's memoir, the Civil War hero who became president:
In taking military possession of Texas after annexation, the army of occupation, under General Taylor, was directed to occupy the disputed territory. The army did not stop at the Nueces and offer to negotiate for a settlement of the boundary question, but went beyond, apparently in order to force Mexico to initiate war. ...The Southern rebellion [American Civil War] was largely an outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguiny and expensive war of modern times.
The US has a history of luring its enemies into attack. And letting the crows come back home to roost.

But we never learn from history. Not those pompous "conservative" individuals, nor most others who take pride in American culture but know nothing about it.

Uh... didn't quite get that (4.00 / 2) (#22)
by greenrd on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 05:16:25 AM EST

That's not very good use of sarcasm. Are Joint Chiefs of Staff documents not credible sources?

"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

I know... (4.00 / 3) (#28)
by slaytanic killer on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 08:55:27 AM EST

Now we see how I post when I've been up for a very long time.

[ Parent ]
Interesting stuff... (3.00 / 1) (#32)
by dbc001 on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 10:16:53 AM EST

This is pretty interesting stuff. I just wish some of these people could at least try to point to the sources for some of the outrageous "facts" that are being mentioned here. Otherwise I feel like I'm reading supermarket tabloids or Nostradamus interpretations.


James Bamford (4.80 / 5) (#33)
by fridgebuzz on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 11:08:37 AM EST

It may be worth mentioning that the main source for this article is a book by James Bamford. Bamford won the Pulitzer prize for "The Puzzle Palace" - a history of the NSA (pre-1980). Given his track record on this subject, I would expect that the sources for his latest book are more reliable than the tabloids.
"This is a mournful discovery.
  1. Those who agree with you are insane.
  2. Those who do not agree with you are in power."
- Philip K
[ Parent ]
Sifting the wheat from the chaff... (4.77 / 9) (#36)
by jd on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 01:37:27 PM EST

There are a LOT of claims, counter-claims, arguments and counter-arguments, concerning this and previous administrations in the United States. Sifting the wheat from the chaff is, and always will be, a daunting task. Especially as much information is only disclosed 50-100 years after the event. Assuming it isn't "lost" in the meantime. This makes verification of any claim almost impossible.

However, let us examine the record as has been established by declassified information that has been released to the public over time. This cannot "prove" a case, either way, for the current Government, but it may provide indicators on what the system (as it stands) is letting through, with inadequate safeguards.

Let's start with the "positive" evidence of holes in the system. Well, we have to start somewhere, and this is as good a point as any.

  • LSD and other mind-altering substances have been tested on prisoners and members of the military. It is arguable that the military had the ability to say no, but it is much less clear that the prisoners did.
  • Same as above, but using exposure to various levels of radiation. Again, it's not clear what consent was possible, or what information was given for any consent given to be meaningful.
  • Radiation exposure to ground troops, during early ground tests. These have resulted in damages being awarded, IIRC. From what I understand, no consent was asked for, or given. The information given, from what I hear, fell far short of what was known at the time.
  • The authorisation, and use, of "Agent Orange" resulted not just in heavy defoliage, but also serious injuries to both sides. Again, I believe Americans have successfully sued for damages.
  • Despite claims that Aspartamene's clinical tests were faked, and evidence that it does have some serious side-effects in some people, the FDA has made no serious attempt to ensure adequate labelling, limit its use, or even investigate how a fake test could have got passed them in the first place.
  • Both American and British Commanders insisted that there were no significant civilian casualties in the carpet-bombing and fire-storm campaigns on major German cities, during WW2. Later evidence showed at least 6,600 children died in one such attack. That's more than the highest estimate of all the September 11th attacks combined, and doesn't even include any of the adults. (You can find the details in a story I posted a while back, detailing lesser-known events of that war.)
  • The Libyan campaign, against Gadafy, for his alleged involvement in the bombing of a pub in Germany, led to massive failures in the pilots locating targets, and failures in the missiles staying on target. Its major "claim to fame" was the killing of Gadafy's daughter. I honestly don't care how you define "legitamate target" (language that became familiar in Britain, but from the IRA), five year old kids DON'T QUALIFY!
  • When the Korean Airliner 007 was shot down by Russian pilots, the airliner was found to be massively off-course. The Reagan administration "edited" recordings of the Russian pilots, to prove that the attack was without warning, to the UN assembly. When complete recordings were released, the Reagan administration was forced to apologise, but did not explain its actions. There are some (unsubstantiated) claims that the pilot was paid by the Reagan administration to fly off-course, to trigger the Russian EWS, so that it could be adequately mapped. If this ever proves to be true, then the US needs to explain why such a plan was ever authorised, especially using civilians as "live bait".
  • On a less drastic note, subtle disinformation can still have a massive psychological impact. The (relatively) recent admission by the US Government that the object that crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, was NOT a weather balloon (but rather a component of "Project Mogul" - a very powerful array of sensors for detecting underground nuclear tests) has an important element that is often ignored. The locals, who have objected that the object that crashed was not the object shown by the Government to newspapers, who were discredited and ridiculed for so long, may well have "made money" off the story, and may well have done financially well from the "alien watchers" who invade, periodically. But what's the psychological impact on a town, when it is compelled to either reject the reality of what they saw, or be scorned by the world? Double-binds are often what produce the criminally insane. I'm amazed there's a town left.

Ok, that's a laundry list of things that the Government has had involvement in, over the last few decades, that were morally and legally questionable, at best. So, what's the evidence in favour of the Government?

  • First off, this one might surprise you. The Nixon Watergate scandal. Sure, then-President Nixon did some very unethical things, but he was caught! And that's why this is in this column, and not the last one. Enough people were willing to question malpractice, that the entire scandal was not buried, or talked out-of, but was openly challanged. This was a moment America could genuinely be proud of itself, ironically, as it showed that corruption is not inevitable, but can be defeated, no matter how high up the ladder it is.
  • The second one, for exactly the same reasons, was the Iran Contra affair. The whole truth of that might never be known, but it was, again, challanged and stopped. Unethical practices were denied a place in the military. However "tragic" some may see it, the underlying quality of what it means to be American can only come out in times of adversity. Anyone can sail in fair-weather. It's how you handle the storms, that your true spirit is revealed.

... who didn't exist (none / 0) (#51)
by Ken Arromdee on Tue Oct 16, 2001 at 02:36:28 PM EST

Its major "claim to fame" was the killing of Gadafy's daughter. I honestly don't care how you define "legitamate target" (language that became familiar in Britain, but from the IRA), five year old kids DON'T QUALIFY!

Don't tell me people are still falling for this one. Was there any reference to this supposed adopted daughter before Libya was attacked?

[ Parent ]

A thought on the Sep 11 events (4.00 / 5) (#38)
by jd on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 02:14:52 PM EST

It's intriguing to note the following points:

  • WHO, and a whole bunch of agencies, had been stressing the risk of the use of Anthrax (especially) as a biological weapon, even though tests by the British and American armed forces during World War 2 showed that it is actually a pretty useless device. It sits pretty much where you put it - such a weapon would need to be airborne. You also need a hell of a lot of it, for it to be of any significance. (Only one, out of three contaminated in Florida, actually died. And probably a lot more were exposed. Something like Ebola kills 9 out of 10.)
  • Anthrax requires an incubation period of something in the order of 50-60 days. And that assumes an active sample. Bacteria can go inert, when the conditions are too hostile for them, and revive themselves later.
  • Somehow, the combination of delivery time of the letter, the time the letter spent unopened, reactivation time and incubation period, very nearly coincided with the attacks themselves. This would require someone with some detailed knowledge of all the different steps along the way.
  • The Anthrax has been traced to a US laboratory.

We can assume that the event is related, simply because people don't get Anthrax in their mail, as a general rule, AND the various health organizations had stipulated that specific form as the "most likely" threat, but not outside of that 50-60 day period.

The most probable scenario: Someone with a vested interest in beefing up defences against a biological threat obtained the Anthrax samples, knowing in advance that it would offer a good media scare, but (because Anthrax has very poor mobility) would not generate an -actual- threat. It would create a lot of fuss, a lot of excitement and a lot of waves, but very few fatalities.

How is this related to the announcements? Well, the only people likely to have a vested interest are people involved in producing pharmacuticals or other health-related stuff, on a VERY large scale, or who would likely win a contract to produce such. Any organization on this scale is going to have more than a few people in WHO who are listening.

How does this relate to the terror attacks? The WHO announcements also mentioned terrorism. This is not something that was on everyone's mind, up until the attacks happened. Whatever got WHO (which has ignored this particular threat, for a LONG time) to make that specific link must have been something more than a bored, idle remark.

In short, the two events might not be -directly- related, but they are almost certainly indirectly related. The way in which we've been psyched up to EXPECT such an attack is just too coincidental. We're WANTING the Florida case to be terrorism, almost.

Does this mean the US Government is involved? Well, at the very least, by reason of inaction. Biological material is very carefully handled (for obvious reasons!) and whatever the various health organizations knew, the US Government knew. If there was a specific threat, which WHO was responding to, then the Government would have been obliged to take specific action.

In the worst-case scenario, it is possible to imagine that the whole thing was set up by the US Government. A set of remarkably self-contained tragedies occur, over a small time-frame, preceded by dire warnings by world organizations of terror, disease and death. And just around the time the US economy crashes beyond hope of quick recovery, and at a time the US President has successfully pissed off every major power & super-power on the Globe, requiring something spectacular to avoid apologising to anyone.

Here is the key factor, implicating some very skilled planning and execution - these events are ALL remarkably self-contained. If the jets had hit at a different angle, one of the engines might have ripped off, and gone through another building. It's possible that, given the leverage those aircraft had, by hitting so high, that they could have caused both buildings to tip, as they crumbled, causing far greater casualties.

Yet BOTH aircraft managed to collide at trajectories that caused very self-contained damage. Damage outside of the two buildings was very self-contained. Contrast that to the Lockerbie disaster, where bits of aircraft essentially destroyed an entire town, in a series of catastrophic disasters.

As "terrorism" goes, this is remarkably clean. So clean, it squeeks. This is NOT enough to convict any specific organization, or even be grounds for suspicion against anyone specific. Though it might be grounds for someone to get some WD-40. However, it might persuade skeptics that, at the very least, it would be worth somebody's effort (and preferably somebody neutral) to pursue an investigation of the more unsettling aspects of these events.

(I'm not saying an investigation of the US Govt, or anyone else, specifically. Were such an investigation to take place, it would be essential that it be neutral, and operate on the grounds that you base theories on the facts, not your facts on your favourite theory.)

Conspiracy (2.50 / 2) (#41)
by J'raxis on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 06:28:18 PM EST

Hmmm... Conspiracy theories. Something else to think about, re motivations:
The US government initiated the war in pursuit of far-reaching international interests of the American ruling elite. What is the main purpose of the war? The collapse of the Soviet Union a decade ago created a political vacuum in Central Asia, which is home to the second largest deposit of proven reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the world.

The Caspian Sea region, to which Afghanistan provides strategic access, harbors approximately 270 billion barrels of oil, some 20 percent of the world's proven reserves. It also contains 665 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, approximately one-eighth of the planet's gas reserves.

These critical resources are located in the world's most politically unstable region. By attacking Afghanistan, setting up a client regime and moving vast military forces into the region, the US aims to establish a new political framework within which it will exert hegemonic control.

These are the real considerations that motivate the present war. The official version, that the entire American military has been mobilized because of one individual, Osama bin Laden, is ludicrous.

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Networks (2.00 / 1) (#47)
by paulT on Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 03:05:19 PM EST

Funny, I thought the US military had been mobilized because of a network of thousands of individuals of whom Osama bin Laden is the most visible member.

"Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
[ Parent ]
More U.S. Propaganda (4.00 / 1) (#50)
by J'raxis on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 12:46:21 AM EST

Bin Laden does not have the capabilities for an operation of this magnitude. When I hear Bush talking about al-Qaida as if it was Nazi Germany or the communist party of the Soviet Union, I laugh because I know what is there. Bin Laden has been under surveillance for years: every telephone call was monitored and al-Qaida has been penetrated by American intelligence, Pakistani intelligence, Saudi intelligence, Egyptian intelligence. They could not have kept secret an operation that required such a degree of organisation and sophistication.
Mohamed Heikal, Guardian Unlimited

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Self contained? (4.00 / 2) (#42)
by flikx on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 11:30:25 PM EST

Tell that to the guy who had a large aircraft tire land in his office a few blocks away.

Just because two planes didn't level all of New York, that doesn't mean that the attacks were self contained. This only makes it more likely that the attacks were well planned, and involved engineers. (Remember that our friend Osama is/was a civil engineer.)

One future, two choices. Oppose them or let them destroy us.
[ Parent ]
Lockerbie (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by keesh on Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 10:12:02 AM EST

Lockerbie is nowhere near the size of New York. It's a small town by UK standards, and destroying it completely didn't take that much of an explosion. Taking that into account, the damage done was pretty similar.

[ Parent ]
Time (5.00 / 1) (#44)
by kaatunut on Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 10:28:01 AM EST

I suppose I've just been inattentive, but what's the "official" theory on why the 9/11 planes hit so relatively early, resulting in fewer casualties?

there's hole up in the sky from where the angels fall to sire children that grow up too tall, there's hole down in the ground where all the dead men go down purgatory's highways that gun their souls
[ Parent ]

I've been trying to keep up on what's being said (2.00 / 1) (#46)
by jd on Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 02:31:24 PM EST

Because not all news sources are going to be reliable, I've been using a selection of three news organizations (CNN, the BBC, and The Guardian newspaper), to try to get a more rounded picture of what's been said.

To the best of my knowledge, the "official" explanation is that the early flights were less populated, and therefore easier to take control of. As explanations go, this sounds like a "we don't know, but we'll be damned if we'll admit that!"

The reason I say that is that much more popular International flights have been skyjacked before, with unusable weapons and the mere -threat- of there being a bomb. Knives, if used skillfully, are far more deadly, in close-quarters, anyway. Further, the psychological skills used - convincing the passangers that they'd all be OK - was by far the most important factor.

But these aren't any less of a deciding factor for an empty plane, or a fully-laden one. Mass psychology works on groups of any size. It follows that this explanation is, in itself, highly inadequate. There are far too many questions left unanswered, and far too many plausable scenarios involving a later time, with many more casualties.

Indeed, if the first plane had struck at about the same height as the second, all those extra floors that were successfully evacuated would not have been. And if both planes had struck much lower, nobody would have escaped at all. Much higher, and at a sharper angle, at higher speed, much the same, but with a good chance of toppling at least one tower.

(It's all about distance from the pivot. Think of a crowbar.)

Flying in low & flat gave more of an impression of "parking" the aircraft in the offices, not of attempting to achieve maximum results. For all that 5,000 or so are missing, dead (or both), I'm glad that, REGARDLESS OF WHY, the skyjackers did not try for deadlier results. Let's be grateful for small mercies, however desperately small they are.

[ Parent ]

U.S. Government Planned Terrorist Attack on Americans | 53 comments (41 topical, 12 editorial, 1 hidden)
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