Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
9/11 domestic conspiracy theory
The 9/11 domestic conspiracy theory asserts that either George W. Bush, or members of George W. Bush's cabinet, or United States intelligence agencies had detailed advance knowledge about the September 11, 2001 attacks, and allowed it to happen or even caused it, providing an excuse to launch their War on Terrorism (see Project for the New American Century). This theory claims knowing involvement and should not to be confused with beliefs that parts of the U.S. government may have had some prior warning of the attacks but did not act due to error, incompetence or incomplete information.
Theories and claims
Some advocates of this theory claim that the US government knew the attacks were going to take place.
In the months preceding September 11, the governments of at least four countries—Germany, Egypt, Russia and Israel— are said to have given specific "urgent" warnings to the US of an impending terrorist attack, indicating that hijacked commercial aircraft might well be used to attack targets in the USA. , full list of July-August 2001 intelligence warnings here. The Egyptian and French warnings to the USA are claimed to have originated from Mossad and German intelligence. .
On the day of the terrorist attacks, key government officials were warned not to fly on aircraft heading through New York and Washington airspace, and some important government officials were warned not to go on any planes about a day or two before the attack began. Attorney General John Ashcroft was earlier in 2001 warned off commercial flight "for the rest of his term" by the FBI ; Willie Brown, then mayor of San Francisco, was warned the day before against flying ; and several "top Pentagon officials" canceled 9/11 travel plans the day before.
Stand-down order and War Games
Some critics say that the Bush administration did not follow its own protocols for dealing with hijacked planes (see links below). North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) were the ones responsible for America's air defense on 9/11. NORAD has also been the target of many conspiracy theories involving 9/11. Many of them say that NORAD was issued a stand-down order to send fighter planes to intercept the hijacked airliners from Vice President Dick Cheney himself. This has never been substantiated.
An interesting twist is that from two years to two months before 9/11 NORAD was doing exercises to prevent the exact type of attacks that happened on September 11. One of the NORAD exercises involved a mock situation where hijackers took control of a passenger commercial airliner and used it as a missile to crash into the World Trade Center. During the September 11, 2001 attacks the US was holding multiple annual war games. At least one, in which a small corporate jet would crash into one of the four towers at the NRO headquarters building, strongly resembed the actual attacks  . Some sources think this added to the confusion of that day.
George W. Bush was asked at a press conference if he knew terrorists like Al Qaeda would be thinking of using planes; his response was "We knew they hated us, but there was uh [pause] nobody in our government at least, and I don't think the prior government that could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale."
The plane that crashed into the Pentagon hit a largely empty section of the building that had been cleared for renovation well in advance of the September 11, 2001. The vast majority of the offices in the section of the Pentagon damaged by the plane crash were empty on the day of the attack and had been empty for some time before the attack. Prior to the attack the personnel that occupied those offices were safely reassigned to offices in locations that were not damaged in the crash.
The Pentagon is the largest office building in the world. If a plane had crashed into any other section of the building on September 11, 2001 the number of people killed and injured would have been significantly higher than 125.
The side of the Pentagon that was hit by the plane is the only one of the five that is across the street from a large grassy hill that civilian mourners and newscrews could use as a gathering place. The other four sides of the building are surrounded by secure parking lots for Pentagon employees.
An excuse to invade Iraq
Some, including Richard Clarke, former counter terrorism chief for the White House during the 9/11 attacks, assert that immediately after the September 11 attacks, defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld was already seeking evidence to put the blame on Saddam Hussein. Retired General Wesley Clark has alleged pressure on himself to participate in this effort, but his failure to provide evidence has drawn criticism. Richard Clarke also claims that Donald Rumsfeld, immediately following 9/11, said "There aren't any good targets in Afghanistan, but there are a lot of good targets in Iraq". Critics of Clarke say he had a personal vendetta against the White House and was only looking to garner fame for his upcoming book, which happened to be an expose' of the Bush administration's plan to shift blame away from Osama bin Laden and onto Saddam Hussein.
In addition, Bob Woodward writes in his book Plan of Attack of Rumsfeld on Sept. 11: "The notes show that Rumsfeld had mused about whether to 'hit S.H. @ same time -- not only UBL'..." (page 25). Also, a January, 2003 Washington Post article stated the following:
- "On Sept. 17, 2001 ... President Bush signed a 2½-page document marked "TOP SECRET" that outlined the plan for going to war in Afghanistan as part of a global campaign against terrorism.
- Almost as a footnote, the document also directed the Pentagon to begin planning military options for an invasion of Iraq, senior administration officials said."
Some theories even claim that the Bush administration knew where the eventual 19 hijackers were the whole nine months before 9/11. Prior to 9/11, the administration had a huge plan on taking out Islamic terrorist network al-Qaida, but like all operations before then, it would have to have an enormous just cause to justify their plan. The theories then argue that an attack on America would provide such a justification. In these theories, the administration would not only allow such an attack to occur on U.S. soil, but would actually help it along, giving the hijackers plenty of support in their training in flight simulators across the country. Then, when the attack on 9/11 had finally occurred, the excuse would be there for the administration to toy with at will and therefore could play out their operations in Afghanistan in order to oust Osama bin Laden. With the "success" of 9/11, the administration could therefore fake the WMDs excuse in order to go to war with Iraq, in order to oust Saddam Hussein, who Bush would want dead for his almost successful assassination attempt on his father (a former president) in 1991. However, theorists claim that this time the administration was caught when Bush claimed that Iraq was supposedly getting uranium isotopes from countries in Africa. George Tenet of the CIA claimed the comment was incorrect which opened up the credibility gap on Bush that eventually opened up the debate on WMDs in Iraq when they weren't found.
Delmart "Mike" Vreeland , a specialist in Russian intelligence for the Office of Naval Intelligence was arrested in Canada on December 6, 2000 for credit card fraud, a charge later dismissed after it came to light that it was his own credit-card involved. While in jail, he claims that on several occasions he attempted to warn the Canadian government, through his jailers, of an impending attack on the United States, including specifics about the World Trade Center and Osama Bin-Laden. He also claims that after several months he had two pens smuggled in which used different ink then allowed in jail, and he wrote out the note on the left on either August 11th, or 12th. The Canadian government has since admitted that the pens used in the creation of this note, as well as the paper it was written on were confiscated well before the attacks. Among the targets detailed in the letter were the Sears Tower, World Trade Center the White House and The Pentagon followed by the mysterious phrase "Let one happen. Stop the rest!!!" The government claims that Vreeland was a criminal and had been discharged from the Navy in 1986 after a few months of substandard preformance, but when forced to submit his preformance records in Vreeland's subsequent extradition hearings, they provided a 1,200 page document, heavily altered and redacted, with dates of his Navy physical testing as recent as 1998. During the trial, Vreeland also called the Pentagon switchboard from the stand and which confirmed his rank of Lieutenant, confirmed his office number, and was put in contact with his own voice-mail, despite his lack of employ in the United States Defense Forces.
Criticism on 9/11 Investigation and openness
Critics also claim that Bush has not allowed a proper investigation of the attacks (as of October 2003, the bipartisan commission continues to be barred from certain "key intelligence" documents by Bush, and is considering subpoena power  .)
Although there certainly exist many disconcerting facts, many people dismiss them as mere coincidences. For example, it is true that Pentagon officials canceled trips on September 10th, but this is in fact not unusual: Pentagon officials travel a lot and are very likely to have unexpected emergencies. If one looks at all possible events that would have happened if there were a conspiracy, statistically some of them are bound to actually happen. Similarly, if one looks up all public notes from the White House and only keeps those that might indicate knowledge of terrorist activities, a pattern is likely to appear.
Some also point to arguments that are directly contrary to the various theories. In particular, some people point to the facts that Osama bin Laden was in fact never captured, and that no WMDs were found in Iraq. If we think that the government was responsible for 9/11, or at least that it knew about it in great detail, then it is hard to imagine why they would not have gone all the way and actually capture bin Laden, or at least fake his capture, and plant weapons in Iraq. Both these actions would have given it a lot of political capital and would have been technically much simpler to achieve.
Proponents of the theory often point to historical precedents, in which governments have allegedly planned to use tragedy in order to gain support for unpopular policies. Alex Jones and others draw parallels between these precedents and the use of 9/11 to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- The Great fire of Rome, in 64 AD, which some historians believe to have been set by then emperor Nero, so as to have a pretext to persecute the Christian minority.
- An explosion on the USS Maine was used to justify the Spanish-American War. Later, the United States Navy published an investigation that concluded that the tragedy was self-inflicted, probably the result of a coal bunker fire. Some historians have disputed these findings, maintaining that failure to detect spontaneous combustion in the coal bunker was highly unlikely. Other people maintain that Maine was the victim of sabotage or sacrificed to rally public opinion against Spain.
- The Reichstag fire of 1933 is widely believed to have been started by the Nazis in order to garner popular support. Definitive proof of direct responsibility by the Nazis has yet to be discovered, but many feel that they are the most likely the guilty party, based on motive, circumstancial evidence, other murderous deception carried out by the Nazis, and the lack of credible evidence against anyone else.
- Pearl Harbor, which is referred to by the Project for the New American Century as a prototypical "Catalyzing Event", seen as necessary to the "process of transformation" of the US into a stronger worldwide power. Robert Stinnet , in his popular book Day of Deceit , presents evidence that the US government had advance knowledge of that attack, which propelled the nation into World War II.
- The Operation Northwoods documents, drafted by members of the US government in the 1960's (and shortly after rejected), include recommendations to destroy an unmanned drone and claim that it was a commercial plane "full of college students off on a holiday," in order to align public opinion against Cuba.
- Allegedly "unprovoked" attacks, which the North Vietnamese allegedly carried out on U.S. naval vessels in 1964 in the Gulf of Tonkin were used by the Johnson administration to convince the U.S. Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which led to the escalation of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. Squadron commander James Stockdale, who was flying aircover above the vessels at the time, says that no North Vietnamese attack occurred at all .
- On September 18, 1931, there was an explosion on the Japanese-controlled South Manchurian Railroad track, later referred to as the Mukden Incident. Blaming Chinese nationalists, the Japanese moved troops into South Manchuria to occupy it fully. Strong evidence suggests that Japan's ultranationalist Kwantung Army was directly responsible for the blast, and that the blast was a ruse intended as an excuse for invasion.
Conspiracy theories in the news
On December 16, 2004, financier James W. Walter offered a reward of $100,000 to anyone who can prove that the WTC towers collapsed in the manner described in the government's investigative report.
- 9/11 conspiracy theories
- Bush family conspiracy theory
- Fahrenheit 9/11 controversy
- October Surprise
- Alexander Dewdney
- Military Fund Raiser
- Homerun Aircraft System
- Markovian Parallax Denigrate
- Failure of imagination
- James W. Walter
- Articles on 9-11 from emperors-clothes.com
- WTC7.net the hidden story of Building 7
- Bush administration tries to claw back public domain data
- Did Bush Know? Warning Signs of 9-11 and Intelligence Failure long article with references
- Instructions issued from the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the 1st of June 2001, describing in minute detail the protocols and procedures to be undertaken if a plane is hijacked.
- "I saw papers that show US knew al-Qa'ida would attack cities with aeroplanes" The Independent, 2. April 2004
- 2 workers of instant messaging service received warnings two hours before the Twin Towers attack Haaretz, 5.April 2004
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