General Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Was 9/11 an inside job?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (9358points) July 28th, 2007 from iPhone

the 9/11 commission was made up of bushies and project for a new american century talks about everything that has happened since 9/11

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26 Answers

Perchik's avatar

Honestly, I'm not sure what you expect from this question. We can all through out theories left and right, but unless one of the terrorists is on fluther, there will not be an answer to this question.

bob's avatar

This is an easy one to answer: No. The attack on 9/11 was not an "inside job." Our federal government in general, and the Bush administration in particular, is defined by ineptitude and failure. It is impossible to imagine them keeping something this big a secret. Not to mention that I don't think there are actually too many people in our country or government who would go along with such a plot.

There are thousands of journalists in our country who would love to break a story like 9/11 wide open. If proof exists--if reasonable suspicion exists--it will find its way into the mainstream. Until then, I just don't find the conspiracy theorists trustworthy. I don't trust their facts or their interpretations of those facts.

For more perspective, see this comic:

glennQNYC's avatar

I agree with most of what Bob posted.
Our last President couldn't even keep his personal affairs secret, what would make you think something so huge as what you imply could be kept secret for six years...

bpeoples's avatar

I think a lot of the appearance of the New American Century carrying out its plans is because they took advantage of a situation, not that they created the situation to be taken advantage of.

Ditto bob & xkcd.

segdeha's avatar

I don't claim to know one way or the other, but I think the biggest obstacle to people being open to this being the case is that most Americans don't know what their government has actually done.

The CIA especially is responsible for all kinds of truly horrific stuff since its inception, so to think that they aren't capable of something like this is, I think, a little naive. Do leaders that allows torture (until they get caught red-handed, after which they just render people to gulags in other countries), leaders that start an "optional" (in the words of Bill O'Reilly) war that results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, leaders that play air guitar while New Orleans sinks, etc., etc. value human life? I don't think so. So, why would they necessarily value American lives?

I could go on, but of course I'd be labeled a conspiratorial loony. I would urge anyone who really wants some perspective on this question to look into the history of the CIA and NSA. You might be surprised at what you find. Honestly, it's more comfortable to stay ignorant of this stuff, but I would personally rather live my life with my eyes open than feign ignorance of atrocities committed in my name.

hossman's avatar

If we apply Occam's razor and accept that the simplest answer is also most likely to be the correct answer, than it is not likely 9/11 was a conspiracy (other than the terrorist conspiracy that is the "official" account). The conspiracy would simply be too complex, and the more complex a conspiracy, the more likely someone would screw it up or squeal.

I find it far more likely something like the Kennedy assassination was a conspiracy, as in that case, a conspiracy is a simpler explanation of the known facts than a "magic bullet." Not to say that the "official account" isn't the truth, it's just that a conspiracy fits the events more completely and logically. Keep in mind, the truth is frequently not logical or believable.

Perchik's avatar

My personal opinion aligns very much with what seq was saying. They're actually uncovering proof now that pearl harbour might have been allowed to happen. From diaries of officials in that era, it shows that they knew about the attacks, they may have even provoked them, but let them happen so that we could finally get into the war.

My opinion on 9/11 is very similar. I think our government did know about the attacks, might have provoked them, and needed an excuse to invade iraq again.

segdeha's avatar

@hossman, I agree with you about Occam's razor. I also try to look at things based on the adage, "Don't attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity." But, as you say, sometimes the truth is not logical or believable.

When we talk about 9/11, is it the simplest explanation to say that in the span of a few hours three modern skyscrapers were felled by fire when no other skyscraper had ever been felled by fire, including one that took only minimal damage and had just two, pretty well contained, fires going on ("building 7")? (For perspective, similarly constructed buildings had burned for days before without collapsing.)

I agree that conspiracies are complex and rare. That doesn't mean they don't happen. I also think it wouldn't take nearly as many people to be involved in the conspiracy as most people think to have pulled off something like this. Either by our nature or by conditioning, we tend to trust the media and our leaders, especially in times of duress.

The official explanations for this came pretty quickly and people who disagreed were shouted down in the name of lining up behind the commander-in-chief as our patriotic duty. In that kind of environment, dissent is seen as somehow jeopardizing national security.

My fear is that, no matter who perpetrated the crimes of 9/11, the terrorists have won because Americans have so willingly given up so many of their civil liberties. The Constitution is in real danger from a president and vice president intent on consolidating power and neutering the other branches of government to the extreme. It seems like people are starting to awaken to this fact, but I'm afraid it may be too little, too late.

hossman's avatar

Keep in mind, segdeha, that a number of the terrorists and their leadership are engineers. Talented engineers, many of whom graduated at the top of their classes in this country. The bin Laden family are the premier engineers in Saudi Arabia. And there is one huge contradiction in the conspiracy theories: If the whole purpose was to provoke entry into a war, why intentionally bring the buildings straight down? To look suspicious? To limit the number of casualties? That would run counter to the hypothetical purpose of the proposed government conspiracy. However, if we are talking about a terrorist conspiracy, the manner of destruction is an unintended byproduct of a well-engineered approach to bringing the buildings down as efficiently as possible, using the least resources, human and explosive.
You also can't have it both ways. You can't accuse the Bush administration of incompetence for 7 years and brilliant conspiracy cover-up as well. It seems to me most conspiracy theorists are a product of either their hatred for the accused conspirators, or a mindset that insists on seeing conspiracy in everything. Thus we get completely illogical loads of feces like "The DaVinci Code"

Perchik's avatar

@hossman, The bush administration is not incompetent. BUSH is. he's a puppet. And the administration can appear incompetent when not answering our question. But aside from the president I think the whole lot of em know exactly what they are doing all the time. Secondly, conspiracies DO happen. The daVinci code was NOT illogical, it was fiction. Had such a plot existed in the real world, everything he said were logical statements.

I think people are afraid to admit our government might have had a hand in 9/11. I'm still not going to say we paid the terrorists, but I believe STRONGLY that we knew about 9/11 and failed to do anything about it, because we needed an excuse to get into Iraq. People are afraid to agree with that, because that would mean the bush admin. is not afraid of sacrificing Americans to get what they want.

50 years from now it will come out that 9/11 was controlled by the bush admin, but whoops, thats in the past so it doesnt matter.

segdeha's avatar

@hossman, I don't believe I said anything about the Bush administration being incompetent. I think they're ruthless and cunning and interested solely in consolidation of wealth and power.

When I said, "Don't attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity," I meant that, for a long time, I tried my best to attribute everything Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, Rumsfeld, et al. have done to stupidity, but that that explanation isn't sufficient. I agree with Perchik in thinking that this evil cabal know exactly what they're doing.

I might also say that you can't have it both ways. If bin Laden and company were such brilliant engineers, do you really think they'd risk using airplanes flying into buildings if their goal was to bring down modern skyscrapers? Not likely considering this kind of damage had never brought down this kind of building before.

It's equally unlikely that a bunch of terrorists would be able to infiltrate Building 7 to plant explosives to bring the building down (as you suggest) considering that building housed offices of the U.S. Secret Service, CIA and the DoD (not to mention the IRS, SEC, and other high profile institutions). I'm guessing they had some pretty heavy duty security and the only way demolition explosives could be placed was by an inside job.

Again, I don't claim to know one way or the other. All I know is that the empirical evidence I've seen (e.g., video comparing how building 7 came down to controlled demolitions of similar buildings) make me wonder if there isn't something sinister going on here.

What I do know is that the American government (especially the CIA) has, in the past, done some pretty unbelievable things. The founding fathers said price of liberty is vigilance precisely because they knew what human beings are capable of.

bob's avatar

@segdeha: Here's an article which attempts to debunk some 9/11 theories:

I'm linking you to page 5 because they talk about Building 7. I have no way of judging their arguments. I am not an engineer. But I do think that there's a consensus among engineers and journalists who have looked at 9/11; that consensus is that airplanes flew into buildings and caused the damage. Do some people disagree? Some people do. Some people think that global warming is incorrect. Some people think that evolution is incorrect. We all have to make up our own minds, but I think the consensus on 9/11 is strong.

It is surprising to me that the conspiracy theory is: the gov't flew planes into WTC 1 and 2, and then also planted explosives in Building 7. I mean, if there was no intention to cause explainable damage to #7, why plant explosives? A more plausible explanation is that #7 sustained damage from falling debris and seismic activity (from the fall of #1 and #2). Again, I can't judge the engineering argument, but the conspiracy's plans would have to be pretty dumb to involve imploding a building that sustained no direct damage.

People have been shouted down for claiming that 9/11 was a conspiracy, but that doesn't mean that there haven't been investigations, official and unofficial.

I think the argument that President Bush knew about the attacks but did nothing to stop them is slightly more likely than the conspiracy argument, but still ultimately unpersuasive. It would be nice to think that President Bush and his administration were evil rather than incompetent. But it seems clear to me that our failure in Iraq is due to incompettence. It seems clear that Katrina was incompetence. I'm not saying that their intentions are good, but I don't think you can argue that the administration is competent. As much as I disagree with his policies, I do think that President Bush often believes he's doing what's best for the country in the War on Terror.

There's no way to prove the absence of a conspiracy. It's interesting to think about how to try to convince someone. Perchik is right -- real conspiracies do exist. I choose to trust the consensus. There is a high burden of proof to convince me that our gov't orchestrated 9/11. But I gladly support increased transparency of our government, particularly the executive branch. Trust, but verify.

segdeha's avatar

@bob, thanks for your thoughtful and reasoned response. Once again, I don't claim to know one way or the other, but my own eyes make me suspicious. The Popular Mechanics article to which you link describes the damage to building 7 (quoting a NIST investigator) as: "On about a third of the face to the center and to the bottom--approximately 10 stories--about 25 percent of the depth of the building was scooped out."

Well, here's a picture of the Federal Building after the Oklahoma City bombings. That, to me, looks like considerably more damage than what they describe, yet that building is sturdy enough that officials are allowing a crowd of people to stand just a few feet away.

It also makes me suspicious how uniformly the building collapsed. Other buildings that sustained damage from the Twin Towers collapsing sustained the chaotic, asymmetric damage you would expect: large parts of the building torn away, etc. ... and yet, they did not collapse. This one didn't fall over, didn't list to one side, it fell suddenly and directly into its footprint.

I don't know. Call me a skeptic, I guess. It would have to be a very complex conspiracy for our government (or any other, for that matter) to have pulled this off. That makes it less likely that it was a conspiracy. But my point throughout this thread is that I wouldn't want to overlook the possibility that it was an inside job just because I don't want to believe my government is capable of doing something so evil and "competent."

bob's avatar

Rather than opining about stuff on the level of specificity of Rosie O’Donnell, Fisk should actually investigate this stuff. It’s like he wishes there were a journalist around who would do the actual work, without realizing that he himself is supposed to be a journalist. Fisk just parrots the claims of the conspiracy theorists, rather than actually investigating those claims!

If there is a cover-up about 9/11, journalists like Fisk—and the hundreds of journalists that Fisk knows—should investigate and publish their findings in major newspapers. There are ways to confirm the “scientific issues” Fisk mentions.

Investigating would be great. In the meantime, making a list of conspiracy theorists’ claims isn’t actually an argument.

owen's avatar

I’ve read all of your posts…here’s the deal…they were brought down by the Government, Why? Pretext for war. Why did they fly planes into the twin towers, while at the same time lace building 7 with demolition explosives? Because they needed it to look like a few well trained pilots who hated america did it. No one would believe for a second that terrorists could have spent months wiring those three buildings for demolition, unseen. Listen, remember Hitler, The Reichstag? Pretext for war…how long does it take to wire a building, cut through supports in order to set it up for demolition? it takes months of planning and execution. Anyone who still believes the official story is afraid…so you can now just admit it, you’re afraid of what it means for your government to have done something so terrible…why dosn’t some reporter just blow the whole story wide open? they are trying to, and they have in small media outlets, but the major mainstream media machine is owned by 4 companies, and they don’t want to break that story, because they’re linked to it…most of you know what I’m talking about, so I’m not talking to you anymore…no sense in preaching to the choir…I’m talking to the few who still think it was the brown people…you guys have your eyes closed, because opening means you’ll have to change how you see the world, it means you’ll have to do something, it means you’ll have to stand up against your Government. And you had better do it. Because you have blood on your hands, we’re going on two million dead since 911. None of you actaully trust everything your government tells you anyway, you’re all closer to the truth than you are to the lie, but you need to let go of that fear and take some responsability. You might not care about this war, because you don’t look at the pictures of dead children, six year old girls with bloodied faces crying, and starving. You don’t think as a people you need to KNOW what it is to make war on these people. You treat it like they do on CNN or Fox, you need to wake up. And you need to step out from that comfortable fear. This is not a game, and you voted for people who are just evil enough to think it is. You keep imagining that your World Management thinks the same way you do, that they would never dare suspend the ethical. But they do, and they fund it off of your sweat, and your tax dollars. What does it cost you to research this with an open mind…? Measure that against the cost of your ignorance.

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hossman's avatar

Whew. Ya caught me at a bad moment, and I blew a gasket. I would have posted this sooner but I lost the thread and couldn’t find my way back to it. I have asked the site to remove my two prior posts. While I do find owen’s comment to be unsupported paranoia, and probably beneath even being credited a labelling as a “conspiracy theory,” my response was excessively personal and vehement, and I apologize for it. My suggestion regarding owen’s mental status and the comment regarding his cerebellum were in response to his suggestion we have “blood on our hands,” which I believe to be offensive, but may have been merely overblown and poorly drafted rhetoric. I would suggest, owen, you may wish to pursue the murderers who piloted the planes used in 9/11 rather than attacking the response of the American people. You might also wish to avoid labeling others as “ignorant” when your own response is merely hyperbole unsupported with any fact. I further suggest you avoid telling the other readers here that “you’ll have to stand up against your Government. . .you had better do it.” The nature of your own post makes you a questionable authority to suggest what others had “better do.” For a direct response to the claims you have made in your post, I direct you to the discussion we had on a thread you may not have come across, specifically the last posts therein, at:

hossman's avatar

In a more specific response to this thread, I find the physics and engineering required by the 9/11 conspiracy theorists to strain credulity. Whether or not you think Bush is that evil, I’d have to disagree. My own personal assessment of the man (as opposed to the administration or government as a whole) is that he is not that evil, duplicitous, nor willing to sacrifice innocent, civilian American lives. Whether someone else in this or any other administration, or even in the bureaucracy and not acting as part of any administration, could have done this, is always possible, but again the physics and engineering questions seem to be insurmountable to the professionals I have read. Further, there are a number of professional opinions that suggest the terrorists had access to the design and plans of the Towers and knew precisely what they were doing, down to the fuel loads of the planes and floors targeted.

I find it far more likely that Pearl Harbor could have been the type of conspiracy you suggest, as it does not carry with it many of the practical difficulties of the 9/11 theories.

hossman's avatar

May I also suggest, owen, your own mind is anything but open. And perhaps you should have spent some time looking at the faces of the children left without parents by the terrorist attack. Or some time spent looking at the people jumping out of the Towers to avoid burning to death. Oh, that’s right, you can’t look at that, because the media won’t release those images. How does that jive with your conspiracy theory? If we were trying to provoke a war, wouldn’t the video (which does exist) of bodies hitting the concrete have been played over and over to fire up the American people? Your position is paranoid, but far worse, completely illogical and unsupported. I find it sad you live your life in such fear, and that such fear is targeted at the wrong people. I suggest you are far safer in this country than much of the Muslim world.

andrew's avatar

I think this pretty much sums it up.

hossman's avatar

Thanks, andrew. The cartoon says it much more concisely than I apparently can. Not to say I don’t love a good conspiracy theory as the basis for a thriller. I really don’t know why somebody hasn’t written the 9/11 “rogue CIA agent on secret Presidential instructions” thriller movie or novel yet. Although I must admit I can no longer get through the “Catholic Church is harboring an ancient secret that Jesus was secretly a woman, gay, Communist, Knight Templar or redhead” type stuff. I’m still a sucker for “secret Soviet spy network just won’t go away” or “computer/biological/chemical experiment got a wee bit out of hand in the military labs” stuff. In fact, if anyone is looking for a good read, John Twelve Hawks has a “Traveller” trilogy that is an interesting take on meditation, mysticism, religion, high techonology and totalitarian government. A rousing good read incorporating a lot of the technology being pushed on us right now (just try to get across London or D.C. without being in somebody’s database).

The moon conspiracy? I don’t think the FX were good enough then. . . but now. . . are we sure that’s Mars? :)

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