Examining the London Bombings
An inquiry into motive, opportunity, and evidence
By Tony Brasunas
We at Garlic & Grass extend our deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones in the horrific terrorist massacre in London last week. We cannot find words with sufficient gravity.
To honor their deaths, we must work harder. We must never let this happen again.
In our view, to do so, to prevent further crimes like this one, it is essential to determine who exactly the terrorists are. So although it is psychologically difficult to, please hold your nose and widen your eyes for a moment, and join us in examining this mystery.
Predictably, the mainstream media and political groups are erecting a matrix through which it is difficult to see. They are encouraging us all to jump to the unproven conclusion that a group with an unproven link to another virtually unknown group is responsible. It is important at a time like this to pay attention to what, specifically, has been proven. It's time to attempt to peer at the facts behind the matrix.
The question: Who are the terrorists?
They may in fact be evil, dark-skinned Middle Easterners - the ones we're supposed to fear. They may be. Perhaps this was an isolated terrorist event, or perhaps it is the precursor to a much bigger event.
Or, perhaps, it was a different group who had more to gain. For the sake of this article, we won't rule anyone out. We'll include the possibility of an inside job carried out by an isolated part of one of the large global organizations called governments. As we've seen in researching the 9-11 question, fake terrorism has a long history on this planet. Let's use the eyes we've trained in inspecting 9-11 to discern the truth - or at least to make some educated guesses - about the perpetrators of the London bombings. Honoring the dead, let's look bravely and unflinchingly. And honoring our legal traditions, let's investigate this crime first by considering motive, opportunity, and evidence.
The United States and many European countries, particularly after 9-11-01 and the Madrid bombings on 3-11-04, have been spending billions of dollars to watch, track, and prevent terrorist activity. It is strange that the 'Secret Organization of Al Qaeda in Europe,' the group that is allegedly responsible, would have escaped notice (to say nothing of their odd, 'double secret probation' type of name). But whoever these terrorists are, we can assume that a group that can pull off such a precise attack as the London bombings while eluding the notice of all law enforcement agencies, would be aware of the immediate effects of their actions. Thus we can analyze motive. Everyone had seen both 9-11 and 3-11, so the effects of such terrorist attacks are by now a relatively known commodity. So what are the immediate effects of 7-7?
Immediate Effects. Judging by official reactions, the London bombings will bring the "War on Terror" back to the forefront of the news and to the agenda of lawmakers. There will be renewed billions for the "War on Terror" and renewed 'resolve' in the Iraq War. The Patriot Act will be renewed. Most other stories and scandals will be wiped off the front pages: in the United States, the scandals over the Downing Street Memos and Karl Rove's leaking of a CIA agent's name, for instance, will fade for at least a short while. In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair's plummeting popularity and the scandals surrounding his lies leading to the Iraq War will perhaps similarly vanish.
The populations in both countries, out of fear and aided by the media, will likely psychologically rally to their leaders and reject criticism of them. Articles like this one, though exercising the rights we are supposedly defending with our wars, will be called insensitive and unpatriotic. And certainly this terrorist crime will be used to justify the continuation of the Iraq War, despite the widening suspicions about the way the war began. Indeed, Brits, whose support was never very broad or deep, will perhaps for the first time be galvanized to support the occupation of Iraq.
Long Term Effects. While we are already seeing increased 'resolve' and military funding for the Iraq War in both countries to sustain that invasion and occupation, it is possible that a backlash will occur in Britain. After the Madrid bombings, the population reacted against the media and the political parties and instead of showing 'resolve' and forging ahead into Iraq, they called for immediate withdrawal of their troops. Thus the effect of the crime in London could be to shorten the war. This is possible, though unlikely, in Britain. And this will almost certainly not be the case in the United States.
The longer-term effects of the London bombings in the United States will include sustaining the menace of terror, which had perhaps been fading. This attack makes it more politically viable to continue indefinitely the "War on Terror." Further, this will possibly justify not only continued occupation of Iraq, but invasion of Iran as well. It is interesting to note that the London bombings will sustain the menace of terror in the United States without actually occurring in the United States - thus President George Bush will retain the aura of fighting a deepening battle against a merciless foe without the indignity of explaining another failure of his domestic counter-terrorism measures.
For the little-known terrorist groups, these immediate and long term effects do not seem to be particularly advantageous. The continuing menace of terror could perhaps be seen as a success for them - if we knew what their goals were. But as it is, the timing of the attacks ensures that there will be more, not less, 'anti-terrorist' activity worldwide, and more, not less, war, occupation, and destruction in the Middle East.
Timing. The timing seems nearly perfect for both Bush and Blair, while questionable for forces aligned against them. Both Bush and Blair were on the defensive in serious scandals and were experiencing swiftly dwindling public support. As the L.A. Times observed over the weekend, Bush's numbers only go up after terrorism [source]. Indeed, a graph of Bush's popularity rating looks like a long steady decline in between sharp jumps right after major terrorist events. Even if Bush and Blair were not behind this particular attack, this scary fact surely cannot be lost on Karl Rove and his fellow strategy masters. The only thing Americans continue to regularly support Bush on is his "handling of the 'War on Terror.'" So, perversely, it would seem the only thing that could have reversed the negative trend for Bush, as he was losing support for the war and losing the battle against the scandals surrounding his decisions and those of Karl Rove, was a terrorist attack.
Actually, the attack came at a shockingly perfect time for both Bush and Blair. First, it occurred in London while the G8 Summit was going on in nearby Gleneagles, Scotland. There, during conferences on world economic decision-making, the topic of terrorism was beginning to seem tired amid broadening demands for debt cancellation for impoverished countries (something that arguably would do more to combat terrorism than Orwellian espionage, neo-military anti-immigration, and aggressive wars). Bush's priority - the 'War on Terror' - was moving out of the limelight. Afterwards, with London smoking and bleeding, Bush and Blair were able to stand up tall and look strong as they declared that the 'War on Terror' would be won, that 'we will prevail and they will not,' that, in short, 'we alone are fighting' to defend 'the values of western civilization.' Terror returned front and center and further debt cancellation was forgotten.
The timing also placed Bush there in Britain, and thus his speeches were broadcast back to the United States with him at-the-scene, on-the-frontlines, as if the terrorists were targeting him and he was boldly out there fighting with his own two hands. Perhaps this seems like a stretch as a motive, but in the subtle psychologies that mass media uses to shape public perception, the backdrop of speeches is often as large a part of the message as the words.
The timing was still more perfect for Blair because London had just the day before, July 6, been awarded the right to host the Olympic Games in 2012. Had the attack happened a few days earlier, the city might not have won, and had the attack happened a few days later, Bush and the G8 Summit would have been gone. Thus Blair got the Games - and the prestige and glow thereby accruing to his image - one day, and was the steely leader facing down dastardly enemies the next.
An unusual final testament to the odd perfection of the timing was that the update to this very issue of Garlic & Grass was in preparation just as the bombings occurred. It seems to be a cruel coincidence that we here were seeing the fraying of the matrix, the emergence of truth about the Iraq War, and the opening of topics hitherto taboo, only days before everything changed.
The Edge. So who had more of a motive? The menace of terror visits Britain and is renewed in the United States - who gains most? As chilling as it is to observe, the crimes clearly benefited the Bush Administration, and probably the government of Tony Blair as well. Thus the motives that existed for an 'inside job' appear significant. As for the unknown organizations these governments are blaming, it is difficult to know whether they are getting what they want, since everything we know about them is told to us by Bush, Blair, and the media. We have to wait to be told by their adversaries what these organizations want. One has to wonder how it is that an organization capable of placing, coordinating, and detonating four precision bombs within moments of each other deep in the heart of a major international capital city - if not flying airliners into skyscrapers in another major international city - why this organization cannot communicate with us directly their demands. Bush and Blair are of course only too happy to tell us the aims of these unknown organizations. Repeatedly they tell us about a war of values - that the terrorists are 'attacking our freedoms' and even seeking 'to subject us' 'to a reign of fundamentalism.' Or, at times, we hear that the terrorists are blood-thirsty and angry and just want to see Americans and Brits die. Other times they simply want an end to the occupations of Iraq and Palestine. We never seem to get the full, conclusive story.
The ultimate question, then, is why would an organization so bent on opposing the United States and Britain have chosen to attack at a time that would help the governments of these nations? Perhaps the terrorist organization responsible wrongly believed that an attack at this time would further weaken the positions of these governments? Perhaps.
Who gets the edge? At this point, difficult to say. The edge: even.
Which organization had, or would have had, the easiest time committing this crime? While perhaps it isn't extraordinarily difficult for anyone, once they've obtained a bomb, to leave it anyplace they like, still the answer to this one is obvious. It would clearly be easier for someone with complete security clearance to handle the intricacies of a plot such as this one. A dark element in the British government or in a major international intelligence operation that would have clearance from the British government would have the easiest time executing a massive crime such as this one. For others, evading the British intelligence agencies, MI5 and MI6 among others, might create complications during preparation and execution.
War Games. As with 9-11, it was only quietly mentioned in the media but there were secret exercises going on on the very morning of 7-7 simulating the very attack that occurred. From the CBC:
When there is an emergency like the London bombings, the public
instinctively turns to professionals for help. We speak to two experts who
are in Toronto today for the World Conference on Disaster Management. Adrian
Gordon is the Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Emergency
Preparedness, and Peter Power is Managing Director of a London-based
consulting firm that specializes in crisis management, Visor Consultants -
which on the morning of July 7 was co-incidentally running a security
exercise for a private firm, simulating multiple bomb explosions in the
London Underground, at the same stations that were subsequently attacked in
real life. [source].
This is obviously a huge, crucial bit of information, for it can explain, in both the cases of 7-7 and 9-11, why it was that the normal authorities didn't respond in a timely fashion to incoming alerts. The honest ones in the agencies thought it was all a drill. The opportunity such drills present are of course likely to be known to government and intelligence agencies, but hidden from the public and, thus, from civilian terrorists.
Of course, if the organization that committed these crimes was a civilian terrorist organization, such as this previously unknown 'Secret Organization of Al Qaeda in Europe,' perhaps they were able to infiltrate British intelligence and plan their attack to coincide with the secret anti-terrorism exercises. Still, they wouldn't have the luxury of planning exactly where the exercises took place.
Al Qaeda may not exist. When we consider the opportunity that various organizations had to commit these crimes, and when we note that one suspect - the British government - is pointing to an organization called Al Qaeda, we have to explore the very real possibility that Al Qaeda does not even exist. As discussed in this issue of G&G, the L.A. Times recently asked, Is Al Qaeda Fake?, and came to a surprising conclusion. The BBC itself has explored this question, and a major movie production that they aired, The Power of Nightmares, concluded that in all likelihood Al Qaeda, as described in the popular media as a powerful global terrorist organization, does not exist.
The Edge. As far as opportunity goes, a slight edge has to be given to the possibility of an inside job. An inside job would easily be able to: pick a day, pick parts of London, schedule 'war games' exercises, gain clearance to all necessary locations, obtain and plant advanced explosives, and coordinate the deed with secrecy and precision. For any other organization, a false move during any one of these steps, each of which would be difficult, would result in failure. The edge: inside job.
Unfortunately this section, which should be the longest, is barely any longer than the 'opportunity' section above. Why? We don't get to see the evidence. Just as Bush did after 9-11, Blair has said we can't investigate how this happened now because doing so would distract us from catching the evil Muslims who did it [source]. It is as if all legal traditions have to be tossed out the window. Is it left to us alone here in the online noncorporate media to consider the things that are traditionally examined in criminal investigations - motive, opportunity, and evidence? Forget your instincts about 'due process,' 'presumption of innocence,' and 'trial by jury.' We are to accept that the investigator, judge, jury, and executioner (and spokesman!) of this crime are rolled into one single authority: the Bush executive branch (with Blair nodding from stage left). This flies in the face of legal tradition in both countries, traditions that separate the judicial system, which determines guilt, from the executive system, which apprehends suspects. Rolling them together has been a recipe for disaster in military regimes around the world, from Chile to Cambodia.
The Investigation. Remember? There isn't one. Blair maintains an investigation and bothering with trivialities such as "proof" would "distract from the task of catching the perpetrators."
Netanyahu. Someone Knew. One piece of evidence that we do have is that Benjamin Netanyahu, former Israeli Prime Minister, was tipped off an hour before the attacks [source]. He was about to go down to one of the streets where one of the bombs went off, but was told not to. Whoever knew in advance about these attacks clearly had more interest in protecting an Israeli former head of state than in heading off the terrorist attack itself. It is interesting to note that in both the "War on Terror" and the Iraq War, Israel is America's closest ally after Britain. This piece of evidence suggests that whoever committed the crime wasn't interested in harming Israeli interests. This in turn would seem to suggest that the crime was committed by someone on the British-American-Israeli side.
The bombs. We do have the information that the bombs themselves were precision instruments: small, portable, high tech devices of destruction. Perhaps this proves nothing. Who would have an easier time obtaining and programming such devices? The answer mirrors the information considered in the "Opportunity" section above.
Two interesting facts concerning this bit of evidence are that the bombs were supposedly detonated remotely by electronic devices, and that the story has changed about when the explosions occurred. They were first reported to have occurred many minutes after one another, but the story has since been changed to say that the explosions occurred simultaneously. The method of detonation was identical to that of the 3-11 Madrid bombings, and it is difficult to imagine why, after the first bomb exploded, if there indeed was the ensuing 26-minute interval between the first and third explosions, all cellular transmission was not immediately turned off in the corridors of the Underground. This was one of the lessons security teams drew from the Madrid bombings. Turn off transmission of the channels through which the terrorists operate. Yet, in this case, cellular transmissions were allowed to continue uninterrupted, and the other bombs were subsequently detonated. Perhaps the explosions really did occur simultaneously, or perhaps cellular transmission proceeded between the bombings because the officials monitoring the situation thought it was all a drill? We unfortunately don't have access to all the evidence.
The Similarities. While so different in appearance, the underlying circumstances of this case actually mirror 9-11 to a startling degree. A shockingly precise attack during war games that are simulating the exact attack that occurs. The absence of proof as to who did it is immediately glossed over with the rush to get the ones whom we are told did it. The conflation of a 'crime,' which needs a legal solution, with an 'attack,' which begs a military solution.
The Edge. We can't see the evidence, so how can we analyze it? Because the organization in charge of overseeing the evidence is one of the suspects we are considering, and because they are preventing us from viewing that evidence, the edge of suspicion moves into their court. The edge: inside job.
So, do we know? Who are the terrorists? The truth is we don't have enough information to know conclusively at this point who the terrorists are. But clearly, right on its surface, there is much about this abominable massacre that does not make sense. To begin, if we are to blame an unknown band of swarthy Arabs without proof for committing such a precision attack, if we are to assume that they are capable of this, we have to discern why it is they don't communicate directly with us what it is they so murderously want.
What we do know is that, judging by motive, opportunity, and evidence, it appears that one of the likely suspects must be a 'black ops' unit of the U.S. or British government doing an 'inside job.'
This is a very difficult accusation to make, and a more difficult one to sustain. Even seeing the possibility of their guilt requires overcoming a significant mental obstacle. The fact is, simply, we don't want to believe that it could be so. Psychologically, it is difficult if not impossibly painful even to conceive that a government would attack its own people.
But it wouldn't be the first time.
Consider the origin of the term 'terrorism.' The word was first used during the Reign of Terror (1793-94) after the French Revolution, when the new revolutionary French government, led by Maximilien Robespierre and supported by foreign aristocracies, sought to centralize power and roll back some of the revolution's freedoms. In short, he was attempting to force the French people, still drunk on dreams of 'liberté, égalité, fraternité,' to accept a new, less progressive government. Robespierre and his brutal associates on the "Committee for Public Safety" proceeded to use 'terrorism' - random violence, imprisonment, and executions by guillotine to create a reign of terror. "La terreur n'est autre chose que la justice prompte, s�v�re, inflexible (Terror is nothing other than prompt, severe, inflexible justice)," was Robespierre's famous retort to his critics. After months of terror, the French people, scared and scarred, finally gave in and accepted the new repressive government.
Terrorism thus began as a tactic used by a government, which, to further its own aims, wished to scare its own populace. It is a tactic that has since been used by governments all over the world - from Myanmar to Germany - to pummel a people into learned helplessness, into deep fear, and finally into moral exhaustion so that they will accept a new form of government.
It is a possibility that we cannot ignore today: Our modern 'terrorism' may be little different from that of revolutionary France. Does our government, as Hitler's government did at the time of the Reichstag Fire, which we now know Hitler's government did itself, desire to change our form of government?
I don't know, but I don't consider it wise to shut our eyes to the possibility. With the London bombings, when names and photos of perpetrators are produced, ask how and if their guilt will be proven in any court. It is honestly difficult to imagine why an organization bent on opposing the United States and Britain would have chosen a time during which the governments of these two countries were experiencing extreme difficulty to provide them with an opportunity to regain their footing. Still, we are awaiting proof, and perhaps they erred murderously and did exactly that.
Our job, what we owe to those who have died, is to have open minds and to consider all the possible suspects. Only then will we be able to be sure we are bringing the true terrorists to justice. And only then will we be able to prevent the deaths of more innocent victims.
Tony Brasunas is publisher of Garlic & Grass.
- The sources for this article are linked throughout. The story on Netanyahu being warned before the bombings, though verified and carried in many places, has since become controversial and has been retracted or removed by some publications.
- Likewise, the story on whether the bombs exploded simultaneously has changed. It was widely reported throughout the two days immediately following the explosions that the bomb at Liverpool Street station exploded at 8:51 a.m., the second blast at 8:56 a.m., and the third at 9:17 a.m.. The bus explosion at Tavistock Square, south of the Euston Road, reportedly took place at 9:51 a.m. But then over the weekend, the story was revised to say that all bombs occurred 'nearly simultaneously.'
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4 Comments on this Article
Anonymous of Santa Rosa, CA writes:
Definitely food for thought. Too bad the popular media is ignoring this story. But that is no surprise given their refusal to dig into the 9-11 event.
Posted Jul 17, 2005
Mark Leinauer, Attorney of St Louis, MO writes:
Please, lets leave the irresponsible conspiracy theories to the right wing cooks. The mere fact that one can deduce a motive for a person or a group does not mean that they perpetrated the act...and it hardly suffices as proof of anything. These are the sorts of arguments put forth by the ant-UN crowd and those that obsess over the 'Zionist conspiracy.' Hell, these arguments go back to the dawn of time. The logic is no different than that used to establish the old Knight's Templars/Stone Masons conspiracy theories.
The problem with all these theories is that they're unrealistic and completely ignore human nature. They assume a near perfect operation. Complete secrecy. Complete loyalty. And amongst an incredibly huge 'matrix' of people. What makes you think that the U.S. government (or any government for that matter) could pull this off? Have you ever worked for the government? They're just as incompetent and unreliable as the rest of us (perhaps more so). The idea that dark sinister groups in smoke filled rooms could manipulate such a plot with no leaks or foul ups beggars belief.
Perhaps the simplest answer is the correct one. That reality is as it appears and certain groups of disenchanted people are actively trying to blow up innocent civilians. Its hardly a far out concept, it has, in fact, been present in human history almost from the beginning.
Accepting that as true does not mean you have to accept the war on terror or Bush's policies (which I, of course, do not). But I am not going to demean myself by relying on a forced, strained perception of reality just to further buttress my political views.
Posted Jul 18, 2005
Tony Brasunas responds:
Thanks very much for reading, and, more, for writing. Many people I speak with share your view of terrorism, and, indeed, I shared your view until recently. By writing to me, I believe you've indicated you have the time and inkling to learn a little more about this. I hope you'll bear with me for a few more minutes to hear my two cents.
First, you may be right. The official conspiracy theory about the bombings in London -- that incensed or insane Arabs conspired to bomb trains and kill innocent people -- may indeed be correct. I don't know. I haven't done more research into these bombings than that which compelled me to write this piece, 'Inquiry Into Motive, Opportunity, and Evidence.' I feel strongly that there is a prima facie
case for further investigation, but I don't know with certainty any more than that.
What I have done a great deal of research on -- years now -- are the crimes of 9-11. For many months I remained skeptical about conspiracy theories other than the official one, but I began to feel a responsibility to learn more about 9-11. What I discovered disturbed me. There was far, far more to the story than the media or politicians were talking about. Still, for many more months, as I continued to do research, I remained in a sort of 50-50 camp, unconvinced yet highly concerned. Then, finally, while confronting the scary reality head-on, for many more months, I held out hope that someone somewhere would soon address the dozens of holes in the official conspiracy theory with logic instead of emotion. I waited, but no one would address the evidence. Everyone said merely, 'They would never do that.' Or 'They're not that bad.' Or 'They couldn't get away with it.' But I was beyond theories about woulds and coulds. I was focused on the evidence.
Unfortunately I am still waiting. I am still waiting for someone to respond to the hard facts and evidence of government complicity in 9-11 with hard facts and evidence. Still I only hear emotional responses ('How could you suggest this?') or obvious lies, such as those that comprise the 9-11 Commission's report, which was authored by friends of the Bush Administration. As you can imagine, I have become only less interested in opinions as to what someone believes someone else is capable of, and more interested in the evidence and what anyone knows about what actually happened. When you hear about a murder, you don't think, 'Well, that guy would never do something that bad.' You look at the evidence, as well as motive, means, and opportunity.
You say, 'The mere fact that one can deduce a motive for a person or a group does not mean that they perpetrated the act ... and it hardly suffices as proof of anything.'
You're absolutely right. Motive in itself proves nothing. Motive is simply a tool for finding suspects to investigate. But it is often a powerful tool. Normally, in the traditions of investigation, he who benefits most from a crime, be it murder, arson, racketeering, or theft, becomes one of the crime's primary suspects. Upon investigating the facts of this particular case, it quickly becomes clear who benefitted most. This in itself proves nothing, but because that group that benefits most is also in control of the investigation, one should, I believe, have open eyes to all possibilities. Imagine if a murderer were in a position to be his own investigator, judge, and jury.
You say, 'The problem with all these theories is that they're unrealistic and completely ignore human nature.'
Here I disagree with you. I don't think that suspecting a government of mass murder ignores human nature or is unrealistic. Mass murder is a method of terrorism and a tactic that has been around forever. Many times it has been used by governments on its own people, to, as I wrote, scare them into accepting new government policies. Just in the last century, this happened in Germany, Chile, Argentina, among other places. I cited the example of revolutionary 1790s France. Terrorism was used in Rome around the time of Christ to switch it from a Republic to an Empire. Sometimes terrorism is overt and sometimes it is fake. Generally, the use of government terrorism has presaged a war or a movement to a more repressive, military government. We would prefer to believe that it wouldn't happen here
, but our preferences are sadly of little importance in this case. In fact it is documented in 'Operation Northwoods,' declassified recently, that in the 50s and early 60s the US Government, at its highest levels, was considering shooting down American airliners over Cuba and blaming it on Cuba, or blowing up boats, or even killing astronaut John Glenn and blaming it on Cuba -- all to make a war with Cuba that the government wanted. Just to make this war acceptable to the American people. When you have a minute, google 'Operation Northwoods' and read the document yourself or click here
So domestic terrorism, fake terrorism, and mass murder all have ample historical precedents, and thus cannot be described as 'unrealistic.'
As for ignoring human nature, I believe that humans are generally good at heart and do not want to kill others. Most deeply, we long for love, happiness, truth, and a feeling of connection to one another. But murders happen all the time. Rape. War. Genocide. Why? Why do these things happen? Because people are scared and they lash out, or because people are greedy and want more than they have. War, for instance, I believe, essentially happens because one country wants -- and believes it has the power to take -- something another country has, be it people, resources, land, or location. Terrorism happens, I believe, when someone or some group evaluates their options and decides that the gain of a particular option outweighs likely potential loss. Genuine civilian terrorism -- such as that in Palestine or the Basque country or Northern Ireland -- happens when one of these groups is desperate and the gain outweighs likely potential loss. Similarly, the fake terrorism that happens, I believe, takes place when a group decides the potential gain outweighs likely potential loss. Now, of course, not everyone is rational, and not everyone is right. Sometimes terrorists make mistakes when they weigh potential gain vs. loss. This fact should inform investigation of motive as well.
You say, 'They assume a near perfect operation. Complete secrecy. Complete loyalty.'
Yes. These are necessary for any conspiracy to succeed. But conspiracies happen all the time -- some successful, some not. People get together, talk about, agree upon, undertake, and then hide if need be, actions that will benefit them as a group -- on a daily basis when businessmen come together, when high school boys come together, when housewives come together, when diplomats or government officials come together. Conspiracy is as much a part of normal human life as hobbies, arguments, or vacations -- things that most of us do at point or another. As for loyalty and secrecy, I don't know. Theories about this will be cleared up immediately the minute we have a real investigation into these crimes. It cannot be emphasized enough that this is the largest crime in American history that has never been investigated, let alone proven in any court of law. Perhaps it was a small crew of people who were black-mailed or paid large sums of money. Or perhaps they were indocrinated to believe that what they were doing was right. I don't know; I'm more interested in the evidence about what we do know.
You say, 'And amongst an incredibly huge 'matrix' of people.'
Actually, a little-known but hugely important fact is that 'War Games' tests were scheduled for the exact time, place, and type of attack that actually occurred (on both 9-11 and 7-7). Thus the honest people (which I believe is well above 90% of the people) in positions of responsibility on 9-11, such as military commanders and air traffic controllers, likely took only simulated responses rather than the real world responses that would have averted the tragedies. Today, some of those honest people say to themselves, 'Wow, what rotten luck!' Others likely harbor grave concerns but keep quiet for fear of losing their jobs (I've read accounts of this). As long as you can get the media to swallow the story, people will psychologically resist investigating something they do not want to believe could be true. This is the biggest piece of this whole ball of wax, I've come to believe: our learned aversion to considering uncomfortable possibilities. We don't want to think this might be possible. Because those that do question the story can still, often, be dismissed as 'unpatriotic,' 'irresponsible, or, 'crazy,' there's yet another reason not to look to hard at the evidence about 9-11.
As for hard numbers, many people who have taken a long look at this question believe even something as huge as 9-11 could take place with as few as 30-50 of the right people knowing in advance, given the 'War Games.'
You say, 'What makes you think that the U.S. government (or any government for that matter) could pull this off? Have you ever worked for the government? They're just as incompetent and unreliable as the rest of us (perhaps more so). The idea that dark sinister groups in smoke filled rooms could manipulate such a plot with no leaks or foul ups beggars belief.'
This is another important point. In all countries, but particularly in ours, the word 'Government' labels an enormous agglomeration of disparate groups, associations, agencies, armies, and offices. It is an entire world of diverse interests. That some groups would find certain things beneficial which other groups would not is a matter of course. Funding varies broadly. Competence also varies broadly across this term 'Government.' Would your underfunded, slandered, bureaucratized City Hall be able to accomplish even mopping the floor in secret? Perhaps not. But is it possible that in our Trillion-dollar military there exists some type of 20-man elite force trained in secret operations? Maybe? Maybe there are several or more of these units, each tasked slightly differently? I don't know. I don't want to believe there are murderers living in the city I live in, let alone believe there are killers working in the government I support with my tax dollars. But nor do I want to be naive.
I believe this is a crucial and challenging time for our nation and our planet, and that no truth should be too scary to face.
Also, of course, if you believe it is categorically impossible for our government -- the world's most powerful -- to accomplish this, what organization are you prepared to believe could?
You described my writing as 'irresponsible.' Upon reflection, I find nothing is further from the truth. Before traveling to Peru, I knew there was only a 1% chance I would contract Yellow Fever, but I got the vaccine nevertheless. Terrorism has been a documented tactic of governments throughout history. We know our government wanted to initiate new wars and wanted to change federal policy on a range of issues. Even if you believe there's only a 1% chance that the government is engaging in state terrorism, don't you think it is worthwhile for the American people to investigate and protect themselves against the possibility? Not doing so, I believe, would be irresponsible.
In conclusion, thanks again for writing and I hope you'll continue to view all of this patiently and logically rather than emotionally. We all face a certain psychological resistance to even considering the possibility of something like this. I still run against it. I strive to keep both a disciplined mind and an open mind. I believe we humans are at our best when we are learning everyday.
Posted Jul 29, 2005
Barrie Zwicker of Toronto, Canada writes:
I was immensely favourably impressed with your analysis -- and so hot on the heels of the events -- of 7/7.
Posted Aug 18, 2005
Brian O'Brien writes:
There's nothing new in any of this stuff. The British government engaged in terrorist activities for over 30 years in respect of its illegal and unwanted occupation of Northern Ireland. They carried out many of the atrocities that were subsequently blamed on the IRA including the maiming and killing of many British citizens. This is still going on today. Why was Tony Blair not indicted for war crimes for the role he and his British cabinet colleagues played in the phony war of terror against Iraq?
Posted Oct 9, 2008
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