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The Best, Most Damning Reporting of the 9/11 Era

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The U.S. flag above maximum security detainee camps at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, (File photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

We’ve updated this post with your suggestions.

We’ve gathered the seminal stories of the years after Sept. 11, the ones that reveal the reality about the attackers and how our government changed in the post-9/11 era.

Email or tweet us your suggestions. Here’s what we’ve put together so far. 

The Roots of 9/11

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, 2006
Lawrence Wright’s book on the events leading up to 9/11 focuses on Osama Bin Laden and the others who planned the attack, as well as the FBI agents who believed an attack was coming and tried to prevent it. This excerpt, from the book’s first chapter, focuses on Sayyid Qutb, an Islamist theorist whose anti-Western ideas influenced al-Qaida.

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, 2004
An excerpt from Steve Coll’s book about how the CIA’s involvement in Afghanistan during the Cold War funded Islamic militants and helped give rise to al-Qaida.

The 9/11 Commission Report, 2004
Praised for its clear, compelling prose, the report concluded that 9/11 might have been prevented if government intelligence agencies had communicated better.

The Agent, 2006
Lawrence Wright’s account of how the CIA and the agency’s own bureaucracy may have stopped FBI agents from preventing 9/11.
(via @mattdpearce)

One Man and a Global Web of Violence, New York Times, 2001
Months before the 9/11 attacks, the New York Times published a chilling profile of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. The piece ended with a French scholar saying, “Osama bin Laden doesn’t want to negotiate.” [Disclosure: The story was written by ProPublica’s managing editor, Stephen Engelberg, with reporting by Craig Pyes and Judith Miller]. 

Consequences at Home

Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts, New York Times, 2005
Before 9/11, the National Security Agency’s mission was to monitor foreign communications for suspicious activity. Days after the attacks, Bush authorized the NSA to wiretap people within the United States without a warrant. The decision went unreported until this story was published four years later.

Behind the Walls of Ward 54, Salon, 2005
Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration at Army's Top Medical Facility, Washington Post, 2007
Years into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Walter Reed Hospital, located just five miles from the White House, was overflowing with wounded soldiers. In 2005, Salon described the mistreatment and neglect many patients reported. Two years later, the Washington Post detailed how red tape prevented many soldiers from leaving the facility, and the poor conditions many of them lived in while they waited.

Pushing the Envelope on Presidential Power, Washington Post, 2007
Vice President Dick Cheney’s office played a central role in some of the Bush administration's most controversial decisions, including shattering limits on abuse of detainees. 

Torture and Abuse

U.S. Decries Abuse but Defends Interrogations, Washington Post, 2002
An early but little-noticed piece in the Washington Post described harsh CIA interrogation tactics known as “stress and duress.” One official involved in the process told the Post, “If you don’t violate someone's human rights some of the time, you probably aren't doing your job." There were also suggestions of so-called rendition. “We don't kick the (expletive) out of them," said one official. "We send them to other countries so they can kick the (expletive) out of them."

Enduring Freedom, Human Rights Watch, 2004
A few months before the Abu Ghraib scandal hit, Human Rights Watch released a report detailing prisoner abuse by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. " 'We were all beaten, without exception,' recalled one prisoner in Afghanistan." Soldiers reportedly nicknamed one prison “Camp Slappy.”

Torture at Abu Ghraib, The New Yorker, 2004
The disturbing images taken by soldiers at Abu Ghraib that appeared alongside this Seymour Hersh piece came to represent the dark side of the war on terror: “The photographs tell it all,” Hersh wrote. “In one, Private England, a cigarette dangling from her mouth, is giving a jaunty thumbs-up sign and pointing at the genitals of a young Iraqi, who is naked except for a sandbag over his head, as he masturbates.”

CIA ‘Black Sites’ and Gitmo

CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons, Washington Post, 2007
After the 9/11 attack, the CIA worked with the spy agencies of foreign countries to set up an international network of secret prisons for holding and interrogating terrorism suspects. Details about the prisons—also known as "black sites"—their locales and how detainees were treated stayed largely shielded from Congress and the public even as concerns about abuse escalated. 

The Black Sites, The New Yorker, 2007
Jane Mayer described a confidential report produced by the Red Cross after interviewing more than a dozen CIA detainees at Guantanamo, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Sources told Mayer that the report criticized CIA interrogation tactics as possible violations of the Geneva Conventions and U.S. law banning torture.

U.S. Said to Overstate Value of Guantanamo Detainees, New York Times, 2004
The Bush administration justified the detention of hundreds in Guantanamo on the grounds that the detainees were terrorists with valuable intelligence on al-Qaida. In this 2004 report, U.S. officials acknowledged that the dangers posed by the Guantanamo detainees—and the value of the information they provided—were overblown.

Blunders in Iraq

The Fifty-First State?, Atlantic, 2002
Written four months before the U.S. invasion, James Fallows’ detailed summary of the challenges America would face in Iraq now seems prophetic. Based on several dozen interviews, Fallows concluded that advocates of the invasion typically had little awareness of what war in Iraq might actually entail.



Your Suggestions

On Iraq and Afghanistan

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas Ricks, 2006

Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, 2003

Recommended by Warren Cosford

 

Private Armies, The Washington Post, 2004-2008

Recommended by ProPublica’s Jennifer LaFleur

 

Not a Good Day to Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda by Sean Naylor, 2005

Recommended by John McNamara

 

On Al Qaeda

The Osama Bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of Al Qaeda’s Leader by Peter Bergen, 2006

Recommended by Christina Davidson

 

The Plot: How Terrorists Hatched a Simple Plan to Use Planes as Bombs, The Los Angeles Times, 2002

Recommended by ProPublica’s Sebastian Rotella

 

On the expansion of national security efforts after 9/11

State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration by James Risen, 2006

Recommended by Warren Cosford

 

The September 11 Detainees: A Review of the Treatment of Aliens Held on Immigration Charges in Connection with the Investigation of the September 11 Attacks, U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, 2003

Recommended by Aarti Shahani

Barry Schmittou

Sep. 9, 2011, 4:38 p.m.

I would like to know more about Homeland Securities tremendous spending, possible waste, and abuse of citizens and our constitution as seen in the documentary Top Secret America at :

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/topsecretamerica/

According to the doc there are close to a million people being paid to do things that we don’t know about in 17,000 locations, 1,900 private companies also involved and we don’t know how many billons it costs,

What are the locations of the hidden Homeland Security buildings and what are their corporate connections as mentioned in the documentary.

Also more about Homeland Security managers/employees including Tom Ridge, and how they have gone to work for businesses that have huge contracts with Homeland Security.

Thank you !!

News & info….

All of the arrogance and stupidity of GWB and Co and the Congress and the media as applied to Iraq apply equally if not more so to Afghanistan, our longer war.  What is neglected is the role of Barack Obama, who very early in his presumptions declared that Afghanistan is the “right war” - and many of us cheered him on as the Democratic nominee and the President.

What made him so smart?  What did he study in Columbia’s courses in international relations that gave him the insight for such a profound and consequential conclusion?  We cannot know because, for one thing, Barack Obama’s record as a student at Columbia (and at Occidental College) was sealed by Barack Obama.  We don’t know if he learned his lessons well or missed the point of most of them.

What we do observe is that GWB still gets his deserved reproaches for Iraq, but we not very little criticism of this Obama, Obama, Obama who swooped down on us from the mid-west, but not at all like Bryan, Bryan, Bryan like an eagle to save us from the big banks, our “cross of gold”, but more like a crow to perch upon it for decades to come.

Thanks so much! I had bought Coll’s book, “Ghost Wars” when it first came out, and got through about a third of it before I gave up - feeling overwhelmed in trying to keep tangled events, shifting alliances, and their associated names straight in following his densely written well-documented, and impeccably well-researched book. Your excerpt is much appreciated!

I also intend to read all of the other offerings you’ve provided in this section as well. Collectively they continue to inform us as much as possible on the workings of our “other” unelected government which remain much too invisible to US citizens.

I appreciate the collection assembled by ProPublica, but I would welcome thoughts on my observation:  that Barack Obama does not receive the reproaches and condemnations that are deservedly given to GWB for his invasion and occupation of Iraq.  Our longest war, in Afghanistan, was enthusiastically supported by Obama even before American forces had set foot in Iraq.  He had no basis for such jingoism - as early as 2002.  Why is he not reproached as a blunderer, worse, as a war criminal, as is GWB?  Is he shielded because he is a Democrat or our first black-skinned president?  Why is he not equally condemned as a warmonger?

On the 9/11 Anniversary

I watched some news programs this past Sunday morning and naturally virtually all of them advertised that they’d be doing long anniversary specials on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It depresses me for so many reasons it’s nearly overwhelming. News junkie that I am, that day I’m going to skip these things. Besides the worst tragedy of all these attacks, what gets me most is that it was so unnecessary and so avoidable. The FBI, internally, knew Al Qaeda members were learning how to fly planes, hastily and in pretty good numbers, across the country and, worst of all, President at the time, George W. Bush had a Daily Presidential Brief back in August, warning that Osama bin Laden was trying to do this very thing. That is, that he was preparing to attack New York by plane. Finally, that same administration was still allowing small pocket knives on commercial flights across the nation. As you’ll recall, that was how one group of terrorists were able to take over at least one plane, with small pocket knives. European security hadn’t allowed such things for years. What it boils down to is, 9/11 shouldn’t have happened, absolutely. It was totally, utterly and completely avoidable. That it did happen is shameful. Yet George W. Bush is off in Texas, fully enjoying his cushy, wealthy, fatcat life. It would be nice if Americans recognized and kept in mind his dereliction of duty and what it ended up meaning to the thousands of people who died that day, unnecessarily. Links: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/07/AR2006030700216.html; http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=131432&page=1; http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20040801215339657; http://www.slate.com/id/2097476/; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bin_Ladin_Determined_To_Strike_in_US


http://moravings.blogspot.com/2011/09/on-911-anniversary.html

It’s not hard to detect the direction of a “news” article from the source alone. Save a lot of time and unnecessary reading. Are there no honest journalists?

I greatly admire and appreciate ProPublica’s work. You are trying to do the job of speaking truth to power that should be done by our mainstream news organizations.

However. You take this 9/11 anniversary to show the limits of your desire for the truth no matter how much it hurts.

The REAL research into what REALLY happened on Sept 11, 2001, is being done by Steven Jones, Kevin Ryan, Aidan Monaghan, Richard Gage, Neils Harrit, David Chandler, and many, many other brave souls who know and have demonstrated scientifically the falseness and cruel absurdity of the idea that the attacks were made a handful of Muslim extremists who couldn’t fly planes. Jones and Ryan have already sacrificed their careers (Brigham Young University and Underwriters Laboratories, respectively) for speaking out. Now THAT’S speaking truth to power. ae911truth dot org and patriotsquestion911 dot com are good starting places for those who are interested in knowing what is REALLY known (and what isn’t) about 9/11.

The biggest lie is the hardest one NOT to believe. The people who planned and executed 9/11 know that. Cui bono?

Keep up the good work in other areas.

I would add Richard Clarke’s “Your Government Failed You”.

James B Storer

Sep. 10, 2011, 5:30 a.m.

TOSSED SALAD (…conclusion…):
Time is usually a relaxed companion.  It is a concertina that fills and empties to match our pace.  Tragedy, though, forces time to a long and sluggish beat through pain and regret.  Scars of memory must cover the anguish of this day.
TIME RUNS ITS COURSE.  METAL, concrete, and glass, will rise again in Manhattan.  I believe the new designs will show respect.  Among them, I foresee a provision for Solitude for each nation.  These are open to the public and to the sun shining down.  Mementoes of victims, and of those who transcend duty, may appear here.  It is for those who visit softly, flying on memory’s cleansing wings.  They soar upward, reaching and stretching a tiny moment high above the prevailing thermals of sorrow, regrets, and loss.
Chronicles of revenge should not soil this ground.  We have no room here for grand monuments or testimonials.  Sorrow roams freely in this place.  Do not imprison it on polished bronze and marble.  The dignitary who did not really suffer loss in the rubble does not belong here.  His tired platitudes should not intrude.  This is a place for remembrance.  It is a place where murder, injury, and labor beyond the call of duty claims victims.  We will visit here.  We must not dwell here.
Many nations suffered in this place.  Many people will come to respect victims and those struggling in rescue and support.  Global confusion will follow this holocaust.  This site must, instead, honor what endures.  Visitors will be here to share memories.  Strangers may join in reviewing universal truths that sustain:  Love, dignity, sacrifice, and fellowship.  Generations of misery, hunger, and despair came to New York in pursuit of these truths.  These truths laced rotting shoes that walked ashore and found room.  Today our outrageous city stands, and will remain the World’s tireless Capital of Freedom.
SPARROWS ARE RETURNING.  THEY CHAT calmly within long shadows of the high plains sunset.  No two are “exactly” alike.  Still they all fit, though sometimes precariously, between “nearly perfect” and “nearly imperfect.”  They leave one by one to rest up for a new day
-  -  -  -  -

Common sense dictates a complete look at stories & pieces of history beginning with an indepth look & chronological report on PNAC. It’s history, all signatories from pre 9/11 & how it shows the beginnings of a desire to take out Iraq.
Subsequent pieces play off it.
Thanks for all you do.

May be my following posting is not matching yours exactly but shall tell something…....................
:Shahislam says:

September 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Someone elusively just completely destroyed unseen my hour-long typing of highly beneficial ‘honest thoughts provoking’ good comments in Yahoo news and I cannot rewrite because of my severe back pain this early morning hours! It is painful but I shall be trying my best to recollect my precious thoughts again!
What I wrote in, as nicely as possible way, was my philosophical neutral views with examples of Somalian pirates and Pakistani, Indian, or Arabian /Semitic religiously totally blind murderers etc. that are the only threats and there are no more terrorists today in Africa unless a faceless money greedy opportunist groups or IAH’s of the East and West may generate again some within a few days only just like bacterias.
The growth can be too fast if there was some suppressed anger against some kind of past injustice! The more stronger anti-bacterial-type treatments are tried to be applied against, the more terroristic resistance will grow. If left alone, the vengeful bacteria-type anger or products of dysfunctional mental sickness slowly get vanished automatically; that means: the criminals do not have to be killed but with the time their minds will cure, if awareness of wrong-doing for these unwise guys is generated by Medias like you (Yahoo’s digital News, other good sources of news, even Facebook etc.) and Positive healthy thinkers /writers like me and others with neutral philosophy.
Please note that there shall always be some killers here and there just like recent Norwegian, US born ones that are committing heinous crimes too, but if the developing Medias of China, India tomorrow start to color the above normal criminals of the West and the bombers in the East as terrorists hired by the West (which cannot be true facts), then all of a sudden. newly rich and emerged some ego blind leaders of the East may start, just like Hitler did start wars for dumb reasons of controlling then business situations in 1912 and the killings of millions of good innocent public continued for years.
We, the West in 2001, unanimously agreed or not; angry US head: the Bushes impatiently ordered war of revengeful killings and by all means, especially wanted to kill Osama. b. Laden and up until now, total how many innocent soldiers and citizens of USA, UK, Canada, France, Italy etc. have been killed? The only benefited parties are Weapon and Oil dealers of the East and West and the final outcome of war for others in the rest of the world is nothing but painful memories.
The unwilling to perish humans suffered physical or mental pains of failed wishes at the very moment of their deaths and never to get back again and anywhere the lives they had right here on this planet Earth!
The playful Cosmic Creator that programmed human-sense of judging, is above humanly judgment of Right and Wrong (when natural disasters kill) but not any killer human; because in its mind conscience is programmed to be in normal balanced state with “50% Rule-Good or Bad” and again human unbiasedly has only 50% control (just like the play of electron, proton and neutron) on everything including luck except few things such as birth, love, death etc..

We, the West or North-America mainly just need transparently visible or clearly identified wisest advisers as a must and then, elected or selected Head of the World leaders to continue to exist as the best humanitarian and united pioneer power in the entire political World.

Thanks for the summary.  Can I suggest a summary of the work of the two reporters from McClatchy (Knight Ridder), Strobel and Landay, who were publishing articles questioning the pretense for the invasion of Iraq?  This would be another good reminder of how we got here.

What reading materials would you recommend to explain how the collapse of Building 7 ties into the events of 9/11?

There are so many unanswered questions about 911 and so few willing to ask them in the mainstream media. Modern journalists are afraid of approaching D.C with the truth and what it means for their jobs. I want to know what happened with Building 7. It’s apparently off limits for discussion on CNN and all the network news shows and even ProPublica. I guess I’ll have to settle for emulating the curious and educated of the past - read good books.

elizabeth shipley

Sep. 10, 2011, 5:41 p.m.

How about the redacted part of the 911 commission that has yet to see the light of day. We, as a democracy, should demand that our government allow the last part of the report to be read by anyone interested in transparent government.  Our government is shrouded in secrecy and I really don’t see anyone being put on trial for going to illegal and unjust wars. If Obama wants transparency, why does he not allow people to look at his college record?

Americans suffered the loss of about 3,000 people on 9/11.  Those people did not deserve their fate at the hands of terrorists.

Do we think about the millions of people who have died since, to choose a time, the end of the Korean War,  in Central America,  the Caribbean, southeast Asia, Chile now in Central Asia and the Middle East,  as a result of US invasions and occupations.  embargoes, missile and drone strikes,  special forces attacks,  etc., etc ?  They, too, are victims of terrorism and imperialism carried out in our names by our government.  A drone humming over one’s does not make one think of democracy.  It terrorizes!

Just like the Republicans owe much of their political success to their strategy of “Divide, and conquer”....to the fact that there are always some humans who are dying to be told that there are other humans whom it is “OK” to hate, the stain upon America’s honor that is the the illegal use of torture arose from that there are always some humans who are dying to have the power and freedom to exercise their sadism.

Both truths are related…and both sets of humans would deny - and perhaps even believe their own denials - those truths.

Interesting that there’s not much on the enormous chunk of the Iraqi population that’s been killed, injured, or displaced, estimates going as high as a full third of the country.  There’s nothing about the continuing fight to force the government to disclose its domestic spying activities.  Nothing about the complete ineptitude of Homeland Security and the TSA.  Nothing about the atrocities committed on our own soldiers by our military contractors or the windfall profits they made for supplying us with tainted water, worthless body armor, and the occasional rape and murder.

And nothing, as goedelite points out, on the Democratic support of the “Republican” war or the many more Americans we have sacrificed since the attack to…do whatever it was that we were supposed to be doing.

The most horrifying thing about the events is that the events themselves have become everybody’s focus, trying to help three thousand corpses, instead of helping millions of living people today.  Imagine if a tiny fraction of “truthers” (or whatever the polite term would be—sorry, I still call Star Trek fans “Trekkies,” too) turned their attention to something happening right now…

Remember the Corporate Govt. promoters vow to “BREAK OBAMA” and the furor it evoked, With His bowing to their power, across the board, it appears he’s been more than broke, more like stump broke. Catering to the will of the people would go further than Corporate funding if he wants to get reelected. We’re tired of the “Best Govt. Money Can BUY. (borrowed quote)

2 very important works missing:

on the Arab and Wester World history: Robert Fisk, The Great War for Civilization.
On Afghaniston: Ahmed Rashid, Descent Into Chaos

Barry Schmittou

Sep. 12, 2011, 12:32 p.m.

I would like to know more about Homeland Securities tremendous spending, possible waste, and abuse of citizens and our constitution as seen in the documentary Top Secret America at :

pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/topsecretamerica/

According to the doc there are close to a million people being paid to do things that we don’t know about in 17,000 locations, 1,900 private companies also involved and we don’t know how many billons it costs,

What are the locations of the hidden Homeland Security buildings and what are their corporate connections as mentioned in the documentary.

Also more about Homeland Security managers/employees including Tom Ridge, and how they have gone to work for businesses that have huge contracts with Homeland Security.

Thank you !!

Alternatively, me2, since Obama openly voted for the wars, the bailouts, and the secrecy, we might instead conclude that he’s not broken at all, but functioning perfectly and the corporate assertions to the contrary were propaganda to convince people to vote for him.

It’s not provable, but when someone campaigns on the precise opposite of his voting record, one really needs to wonder if the truth is in speech or action.

We can spend our life time trying to find hidden truths but confusion will still be there when it comes to politics.
I recommend use of common sense in evaluation of government affairs and things on available basic information.
No human has blue blood and everybody is naked under his or her clothes and does good or bad things just like all the other creations do.
“50% rule” applies in everything about creation. If we can see only a number of good qualities in a human, we have to understand the fact that the same number of opposit qualities are just well hidden; but it doesn’t matter as long as no crime is committed!
Some schocking truth will surface and the world will see how many of the past leaders had committed crimes against humanity! However, let there be the truth in light but solution and peace will follow in humanly forgiveness! ‘Do or Die’, Do and Die’ both situations must be avoided in new kind of politics: “Do and live long with us all” of this generation. 

I have lost my faith in religion(s) but I believe in the Omni-power of the Cosmic Creator and can see things that top leaders can only understand after being informed by intelligence agencies!

We do things not knowing the reasons; and that’s why some of my thoughts are like these:

How can we afford to waste funds to nowhere up in the space from borrowed money in trillions of dollars, for these kinds of childish fanciful, half century old unfruitful researches of NASA?

Would Congressmen of USA please stop these tax dollar consuming nonsense researches and feasibly spend the money into making commercial giant air-planes on the soil of North-America that will use jet engine mainly during take of the ground then will run by solar and wind powers, transporting people and goods at cheapest possible costs, although moving slowly under the sun towards West, keeping pace with the Sun’s movement by intermittent thrusts of jets if and when necessary only, to minimize fuel cost that is, on top of unnecessary and avoidable expenses of airport security measures, responsible for too expensive air-fares.

And loading, unloading, maintainences of this light gigantic solar cell covered baloon type slower but stable new generation long distance Air-transporters will be done at the night time when solar power is not available.

This dream of today is possible to realize tomorrows by our North-American jobless expertise and labors (who are willing to offer hands with minimum wages to give the new program a head start in the global competition of cheapest labor) and tax dollars, even by other obtainable dollars in a positive endeavor of instantly creating jobs for millions right here and change the course of current imbalanced practices in the free trade of the world.


At the same time, we have to consider the following facts for greater purposes:

Yesterday is gone but the experience is still there, based on which we are easily capable of modifying or changing our homeland and international policies on financial matters of all kinds (until we become an united North-American super power, still securing in it, a symbolic top /highest place for the Queen of UK-for its hereditary historical role in the spreading of highly beneficial civilized law and orders, and in the future’s ‘New totally honest think-tank’ of clearly identified ‘Advisers’ of Government Heads of North-America) in conforming with common sense driven presently developing non-violent US policies instead of old anti-bacterial-type application of of war toys against terrorism caused by some Eastern groups of individuals or God created super-animals in the form of humans whose impulsive actions or reactions are not much higher than the wild animals of the jungle, therefore, total reflection of humanity’s positive side has not been present on the global tapestry!    (More to be written soon if some are interested or show enthusiasm.)

Errr…shahislam, those “childish fanciful, half century old unfruitful researches of NASA” got you GPS, smoke detectors, economical water filtration, readable images of the Dead Sea scrolls, digital photography (including medical), prosthetic limbs, and so forth.  That ignores the improvements in commercial flight, manufacturing, and so forth.

Modern NASA (since the shuttle program) has provided next to nothing, because it’s been run by marketing drones, military men, and politicians and had no real goals.  But the NASA that landed on the Moon, put landers on Venus and Mars, and created probes that are still sending back amazing pictures every day?  Those guys created the world that lets you say they were useless, and they donated all that research into the public domain for your use.

The Apollo Program alone created a national (GDP) return on investment of nearly two thousand percent, all told, giving us the standard of living that still impresses the heck out of our parents.

If you think that was a waste—if you think the lives saved and increased leisure alone have been “nonsense,” let alone the knowledge gained—then, whatever it is, I don’t think your path to the future is worth considering, no matter how spiritually you try to dress it up.

Thank you for responding to that and supporting science—and NASA.  I don’t have a dog in this fight (neither I nor any of my family works for them, for instance) but this seems like money far better spent than the 700 billion dollars per year we spend to blow people up. (DoD)

Mo Rage
the blog

John, my thoughts were mainly focused on imbalanced state of overdone things. Now, most if the NASA’s jobs can be accomplished from the ground. Space is too big for the resources including energy we have on earth. (More later…................)

Barry Schmittou

Sep. 13, 2011, 4:22 p.m.

Hi John,

I appeciated your comments about NASA in the present time and your info about good things NASA accomplished in the past,

With the economy like it is and much hunger in the world do you have any input on my thoughts that many of the current NASA programs, including those that seek the origins of the solar system and other curiousity seeking projects, are a waste of money that should be spent elsewhere.

Barry, I’m unrelated to NASA, just to clear that up.  But I think the Apollo program is the right model.  Pick something big that’s not just science.

The origins are armchair work, as far as I’m concerned.  They’re not a waste of effort, but they’re a waste of money, since high school kids are equally capable of looking at pictures and doing math as PhDs and engineers.  And NASA’s crowd-sourcing efforts have been remarkably successful (SETI@Home, the “circle the crater” project, whatever it was called, and a few others).  Turns out geeks will contribute time to a cool project.

Where NASA should be focusing, in my eyes and for what that’s worth, is on enormous projects.  Get me a base on Mars.  Land on Saturn’s moons.  Not because it’s important to do those things (it wasn’t important to be on the Moon, as evidenced by the fact that nobody goes there today), but because there’s a huge engineering feat in terms of computer systems, ventilation, recycling, energy usage, shielding, and so forth.

If we find the origin of the solar system, we get a new page in textbooks.  Yeah, it’s possible we’ll get something useful out of the search (GPS came from scientists in their spare time trying to guess where Sputnik would be, then realizing the math could be reversed to figure out where YOU are), but it’s probably “just” information we can’t really use.

If we land on the outer planets, though, to pick an example, think of all the problems that need to be solved to get there.  We learn to regulate biosystems, conserve energy, and communicate effectively.  Those are all technologies that (being created by the Federal government) would be free for anybody to build into their products.  Buildings are built better, computers run faster, and we can work with less waste, basically.  And we also get (also public) information on how people fare in isolation for years in harsh environments, and so forth, which supports medical research without expensive and unethical human testing.

But if a project can be run out of an office or with equipment we already have?  I won’t say there’s no benefit to running the project, because there’s some benefit to every bit of scientific knowledge.  But there’s no reason for the government to be involved, because there’s no benefit to the people at large beyond a new topic at dinner.

Hopefully, that makes some sense, at least…

Barry Schmittou

Sep. 14, 2011, 9:14 a.m.

Thank you John : )

By the way, I did not think you were with NASA. I wanted your input because I learn from your posts.

I like what you said about “huge engineering feat in terms of computer systems, ventilation, recycling, energy usage, shielding, and so forth”

In your earlier post you mentioned all the very good technological achievements of NASA in the past, then you wrote “Modern NASA (since the shuttle program) has provided next to nothing, because it’s been run by marketing drones, military men, and politicians and had no real goals.”

That’s my big concern now, plus I feel strongly we need to do everything we can to provide food, shelter and medical care to everyone we can, and the current NASA is spending billions on curiosity projects.

I believe it’s probably of Biblical proportions for NASA to be spending billions trying to discover the origins of the universe, while many are hungry and/or starving in the U.S. and on earth if the articles I read are correct. I do know there are many hungry people in Tennessee where I live.  That’s one reason I pray a lot.

John, thank you very much for taking time to respond !!

good point John, kinda like corporate railing against EPA, DEQ, FDA, USDA, etc. All those oppressive agencies and regulations.
In regard to the rescue personnel of 911, the Gulf oil release and myriad other incidents, They profess to protect the public when in reality they protect the Corporate backsides.  Not to worry guys, it’s all good, we wouldn’t lie to ya, It’s safe. Taxpayer paid spokesmen for the industry.
If more people would read the book, “INCONCLUSIVE BY DESIGN” Available for free on the net, the lie wouldn’t fly quite so easily.

Me2, I may not believe them, but I always LOVE a good conspiracy theory.  But in this case, it’s too suspicious.  Healthcare is a great example, where on “one side,” we have Republicans demanding a loosening of regulation and protection of the corporation at our expense, whereas the “other side” has Democrats shovelling money into the same companies and “restricting” them with regulations that don’t seem to affect their actions.

Thanks for the book reference, by the way.  Hadn’t heard about it before, and I’m nearing the end of my current reading list.

Barry, no problem, and I wanted to disclaim any connection to NASA before anybody thought I might have a voice.  On the Internet, you never know who you’re talking to, and I wanted to emphasize my “nobody-ness”...

As for the hungry, I wish the problem was money.  We can collect money from people without too much trouble.  The problem is that the poor aren’t a priority and are sometimes an obstacle.

I don’t know the specifics of Tennessee (I haven’t been down there in years, and never too far outside downtown Nashville), but it looks to me like people are deprived of food for a handful of reasons:

1.  We export it.  It turns out that mega-farms can get more money sending food to (affluent parts of) Europe and Asia than selling it here to people in need.
2.  Corruption prevents delivery.  For example, I forget the number, but there was a long time when more than half of all aid to North Korea was kept by Kim Jong-Il’s people for his birthday feast.  Rwanda and other poor countries see this routinely.
3.  Speculation driving prices.  Goldman-Sachs pioneered the idea of “riding” food derivatives.  At the end of the contract term, rather than sell the food at market cost and start over, they “roll” new commodities into the contract to replace the sold food AND take a profit to buy more contracts, thereby increasing the prices every term.
4.  Crop destruction.  Because the costs are higher than distributors are willing to pay, there’s no reason for the farms to harvest that much of the food.  Worse, government subsidies pay for food NOT sold, so it’s more profitable to burn wheat than give it away.

In other words, there’s plenty of food to go around, but poor people aren’t allowed to have it.  That’s a much harder problem to solve, unfortunately.

One place I found some inspiration for a possible plan (though I don’t have the resources to work at it) was Karl Hess’s “Community Technology.”  If you’ve heard of him, you know him as the libertarian nutball from the ‘70s, but the book goes into his experiences in “going off the grid” in the slums of Washington, DC.  They built rooftop farms and farmed trout in basements to great success.  Trout can eat insects (solving another problem) and convert food to meat at a good rate, and are socially easier to kill than chickens.

Paul Stamets also suggests a lot of uses for mushrooms, in his books, not only as food, but in strengthening the land against floods, replenishing nutrients, and generally making it more productive for farming or gardening.  (Also to replace woods and plastics for construction, but that’s less relevant.)

I don’t know if there’s anything to that, honestly.  I have a Black Thumb when it comes to growing food, and am very lucky to live in an affluent area where I don’t need to.  But the idea of decentralizing food sounds like a good start, where it’s possible to do so.

For reasons like that, I don’t think we’re necessarily looking at any end of the world.  The problems are hard, but it’s possible to break them down, at least for now.  There are people (like yourself) in specific terrible situations, but my hope is that a lot of us can build around the ossifying government and corporate institutions to help people.

It is hard for all of us to confront the truths of 9/11. Our country, our way of life is special, and we’ve become used to having a mommy/daddy figure in Washington to look out for us.

But eventually grown-ups will have to take off the blinkers and consider the evidence of controlled demolitions at WTC on 9/11. It’s solid evidence and it is presented with professional rigor at A&E 9/11 Truth.

Peep out of your cocoons and check it out. First it will hurt, then disappoint, but eventually you will finally be able to answer other questions about the Bush and Obama administrations, and the security agencies and propaganda mills that are desperately working to preserve the official version of 9/11.

Joseph Danison

Sep. 17, 2011, 6:43 p.m.

I have contributed to ProPublica because I like its emphasis on fact-based reporting;however, it treats 911 as a purely political event without examining the facts. To ignore the work of David Ray Griffin is a serious betrayal of your own journalistic standards.

I suppose to be respectable and get your funding you have to go along with the official lies. I think ProPublica’s devotion to the truth is a fair weather sort of thing,.,..

Hmm.. can’t see yet…...

JD and Joseph, while I sympathize, it’s over.  It’s ten years.  It might satisfy your curiousity to find out “whodunnit,” but you’ve exchanged one set of cocoon for another.

Your answer won’t stop the wars.  It won’t stop the wiretapping.  It won’t stop the travel restrictions.

The “Truthers” overlook that their efforts could be doing real good in the here and now, instead of constantly reviewing decade-old footage and learning about building implosion.  Because while you’re busy doing that, the TSA gets more money to grope your mom at the airport, a few dozen soldiers die fighting for freedoms we no longer have, and the government chases after groups like WikiLeaks that are enforcing the sort of transparency we need.  Are you OK with that?

Me, I’m only willing to investigate such things when the patient on the table stops bleeding.  The people who died that day are already dead, and can wait for whatever you think you’re providing them, whereas the Congressional push to erode our freedom is ongoing and severely undermanned on the defensive side.

Frankly, it amazes and embarasses me that people will write letters to their Congressmen asking for a new investigation into the World Trade Center but didn’t lift a finger when the USA PATRIOT Act was up for renewal or when the War Powers Act deadline expired.

But your blinders are off…

@John:  If America didn’t have people who could be distracted by a single issue into ignoring the larger picture, then the right’s tactics of “Divide, and conquer.” wouldn’t work…and we wouldn’t have a “Patriot Act”, we wouldn’t be stuck throwing money away in wars to protect access to an energy source we should be long weaned from, America wouldn’t be decaying, and our children’s futures wouldn’t look so very grim.

Probably basically true, Steve (though I still object to the “right” label—it’s about power, not ideology), and I do love a good conspiracy theory and armchair investigation, myself.  But I’d feel guilty if I didn’t even put the token effort in to trying to undo what’s being done to us.  If we can inspire just one person to look up from their pet issue and, I don’t know, call is Congressman an obscene name or avoid buying even a single product from an irritating company, I’d call it a decent day’s work, wouldn’t you?

John, for you to try to bend the argument about 9/11 truth toward a ‘so what’ attitude, I have to conclude that you lack much passion for the truth, instead, you like living in the social matrix that you do, and don’t want to upset the apple cart.

It’s an interesting ploy, to agree about 9/11 and then refuse to speak up on the pretext that letting it lie there and fester is some sort of good deed to the world, Sir, you are absurd. And, you seem to have an agenda.

Doesn’t matter how much one earns annually but allowing $one-million
for each member of one’s family as a year’s personal enjoyment is too much imbalancing where e.g. another entire hard-working middle class family of an more intelligent guy can see in own pocket not even one hundred thousand annually! This is a disease just like atomic imbalance in a cencerous human body cell and the constant acts of trying to balance everything in our life is the meaning in our being alive. I like when someone suggests “praying to religionless Creator” and it’s mysteriously effective! 
I don’t like to watch unnecessarily worried mental states of people. Men-made problems are solvable by collective human intelligence free of humanly selfishness! In religionless God’s power we need to trust that acts constructive or destructively through its creations for creations.

Ofcourse the 50% reality and 50% Cosmic drama of 9/11 involved some then real criminals who at the moment of impact became just chemicals and atomic particles that forms existence of all of the creations based on only one balancing ‘50% rule’. A faceless group took advantage of that event only for power and making money.
We should identify the invisible guys but with an honest attitude of forgiveness toward shortcomings of mankind with an expectation since they are human they have the mental ability to understand our generosity and won’t bite us back like poisonous snakes we intentionally set free! Kill or be killed is a ugly part of cosmic rules that is applicable to wilderness or by uncivilized state of human mind(s).
 
I am surprised to watch the things, I co-incidentally wrote about long ago, are unfolding to become reality now.

Here is a excerpt from a document I started writing years ago for my application to the Upper Canadian Judicial system of which I really feel so proud!
 

...............................Today I have felt like, you OLRB have thrown at me a loaded garbage bag from your aloft position that has been entrusted to you by the gullible public who sadly and technically will never have an opportunity to question you on your responsibilities (unless people like me and myself find a painstaking positive alternative way to receive justice). This is cruel and unjust when justice is denied to an innocent person!

One thing you have done unmistakably. You have encouraged a violent employer (who hates the Jews, declared open contempt against the Jewish people, ridiculing them by asking question on their creeds) to continue harassing agenda (by confusing good citizens) with compulsive lies. [Many women in the warehouse who were my co-workers have witnessed evidences] I am not claiming that all the Arabs and Israelis are good people. Most of them are very intelligent and nice persons. Only the unwise ones with radical and dogmatic mindset are hostile to each other with revengeful sentiments carrying within themselves “an ancient animosity based on blind religious beliefs, generations after generations for many centuries”. I am also not denying the fact that the North-American part of the world does not belong (in authoritative sense) to the Jews, in a sense (just mentioned) as they are viewed by Muslim world (and otherwise by the isolated, blind, smaller than imagined crowds or groups with mobbish quality). In fact, Semites (the apparently chaotic but brave, although somewhat ‘unusual-hot-tempered’, Arabic-Jewish groups) are minorities but Semitic laws are not minor things at all, moreover, they are such great things like weapons useable without violence against injustices or inhumane killers of mankind and must be copied by other minorities of all corners of the world. What the Islamic world

 

[as per my understanding of it {just like millions of Muslim men, as religious part of my belief system inside my brain of childhood time had culturally and societally been conditioned very well, and wholeheartedly I believed, as a child of male sexuality, that in ‘after death paradise’, there definitely would be available unlimited numbers of clean, fair skinned and nice-looking unmarried girls or ‘virgin-houris’ waiting for the first touch of their only lover. And of course, in my boyhood-time it had a thrilling impact on me when somehow I became convinced that like all other men in the paradise, as my personal rewards for doing good things in the world I shall get my private ‘virgin houris’ too, for my personal pleasures (if I can get there by doing no sin) in the top section of paradise, above the seventh layer of the sky. Although there were lots of hear-sayings, after I had learned in the school that there is no oxygen in the upper sky or space, I wondered how the lovers will be kissing there! However, I can remember as a little boy I still tried to find some guarantee that after death I shall be able to go to heaven and get close companionships of those ‘houris’ probably because I had a clear idea by then that none of the girls of my age or older, that I like, is going to let me kiss her. And now, I find it to be so funny that in my surroundings as a teenager, I didn’t find a single girl to be really beautiful (at that time I had sensed that in Bengali culture boys and girls had some kinds of unfriendly or forbidden or fearful feelings towards opposite-sex and they had separate schools, classrooms or rows). So, believing in paradise doubtlessly was making me very happy and that blind belief kept me confused far beyond my adolescence} and also as may be viewed by confused itself and others with similar mindset (a void fanciful self-operating general idea and hearsay based antedated form of governance that exist only inside collective human minds with limited capacity on an imaginary global context like any or all other religions with similar or less positive or negative belief system)]

 

fails to realize is the fact that ‘both the groups themselves-the Arabs and Jews’ are infinitely being motivated by their ‘genetic or default identical egoistic power of believing’ (which is, with developed worldly knowledge, self-controllable and adjustable) generated from the almost same background and stages of civilization, although, gradually they have made themselves so isolated from each other and then, unlike other religions, divided into more smaller groups for own ingenious egocentricity (same for both) to fall eventually into minority groups instead of becoming majority together.

 

There is a big difference between the degrees (strengths) of ‘hatred’ or ‘negativities’ of ‘the original Arabian-blood-Crowd’ and ‘the multinational mixed-Muslim-Crowd’. There is a misunderstanding.

 

The ‘terrorizing-war’: ‘Muslim versus West’ is a GAME of ‘media fed clever propagandists’ and ‘business leaders of religions’. The ensuing global public will learn one way or another or through a good media, how to correct minor misunderstandings such as above simple one and will contribute in processes of solving the human made confusions to make the world more peaceful than ever. 

Therefore, the innocent North-Americans that include Muslims, Jews, Arabs and people of all other religions (or natives of USA or UK, or Germany or any of the Developed Western rich country etc.) are not enemies of the Muslims (or ‘the religion of poor people’ or ‘the countries of humble poor people’, who live temporary earthly life of difficulties at the mercy-donations of wealthy kings, or dictators or rich-people with a guaranteed expectation to live everlasting (belief-bound for) luxurious life in the paradise). The day the Muslims (at religious meetings) shall start to think and discuss about the philosophies such as above ones and understand the meanings of those, a friendly ‘joint virtual journey to paradisiacal earth’ of the ‘ensuing global public’ consist of “all the religions of the present world (keeping own faiths intact within themselves and not caring whether people of other faiths must go to hell or wherever)” shall also begin. And then only, in a chain reaction manner, the newly developed trend can be followed by another journey of the modern civilization towards a new peaceful weapon-free world and the days of monarchy and blood shedding wars will be gone forever {No army of poor or rich people (motivated politically, religiously or by any of the reasons-‘generated from collective blind human belief’) will be trained on this planet: the earth and ‘no weapons of killing human races by human in the name of whatever’ shall be required or invented, in the first place, anymore and in order to facilitate such awareness, environment etc. the actual heads of all the contemporary operating governments of the world must have positive mentalities at least of people like myself or better. The top level advisers must be visible either by declarations from Heads e.g.: Presidents, Prime ministers of .............................


Shahislam

John (Denton), I love that argument:  The truth (on my chosen topic) matters more than lives.

Yes.  I have an agenda.  My agenda includes, in no particular order, stopping the encroaching police state and systematic criminalization of the citizenry, fixing the educational system so that kids can be successful adults, righting the economy so that people don’t starve, stopping our government from bombing the crap out of entire towns because “a terrorist might live there,” making it possible to open a business without getting buried in Intellectual Property infractions, and getting these elitist bottom-feeders out of political office so that our country can be better for future generations than it has been for us.

Truth matters, but the fact that you don’t have anything better to do than investigate a single crime makes you complicit in everything that has happened since.  Would you search a city for a shooter while the victim bleeds to death on the street?  Sorry, rhetorical question, of course you would, because “truth” as a purely abstract concept matters to you, and of course you alone.

Of course, I’ll bet that you’re only interested in Truth! on this one topic.  Have you ever investigated the real facts behind the Boston Tea Party?  The Holocaust?  The DDT ban?  Global Warming?  Hawaiian sovereignty?  Jack the Ripper?  The Big Bang Theory?  Or is this the only event in the history of the universe that is worthy of your astonishing intellect and ability to pull your head from the sand?  I’d bet you’ve never signed a petition to have it investigated, certainly.

Have you ever read the text of a single law passed by Congress in the last twenty years?  Have you even formed an uninformed opinion about one?

I’m not dismissing you, understand, and those questions aren’t as rhetorical as they sound.  I’d like to open this conversation (though this is a terrible forum for it), because there’s a LOT going on here and now that can use attention, and I’d like to understand how it can possibly be more important to identify that the government lied one time (which, no kidding) rather than stop them from destroying the country now, including many more deaths than occurred in that one event.

To be a little clearer:  Why are those three thousand deaths more important than stopping more deaths?  Why is that lie (or alleged lie, whatever) more important than the lies told routinely?  Why take a stand for an investigation rather than taking a stand for human rights or against poverty?  How is it that anybody who doesn’t have your priorities is a defender of the status quo, even when they’re actively working to dismantle the status quo?

Why, of all the things in the world, does this one “truth” matter to you more than anything else?  And what if you’re wrong?

John: You are way off base. We need to know!

You said, “Have you ever read the text of a single law passed by Congress in the last twenty years? Have you even formed an uninformed opinion about one?”

Please don’t talk down to me. I’m 65 years old and have read many a law text. I took college level classes in law, from practicing judges (U of Md. Who do you think you are to presume such?

So, your earlier unfounded decisions about who I must be are fine, but a tiny fraction of what I said is something you need to take offense at.

Thank you.  That, and your lack of response to anything substantive, answers my questions loud and clear.  There are very few sorts of people who respond to all dissent with lists of their certifications and accusations, after all, so I’ll let you get back to that.

Thank you for playing…

This is a terrific list, but I would definitely include the book, “None of Us Were Like This Before,” by Joshua E. S. Phillips.  It’s easily one of the most important books on US torture during the war on terror, and advances many unrecognized reasons why US forces and senior official pursued that course, as well as a whole host of hidden (or ignored) costs of torture (some of which are truly shocking).  There’s a website for the book here: http://noneofuswerelikethisbefore.com/book/ 

The author also wrote an amazing investigative story about the prevalence of abuse, as well as the impunity for it - again, a topic that was well reported, but sadly remains unrecognized. Such laudable investigative reporting deserves a greater audience, but at least a few select journalist keep plodding away.  Like the folks at ProPublica, I commend them.

John,
  Your response is nonsense. The Patriot Act, growing surveillance state, wars abroad, all the nasty things you don’t like, are the direct result of the 911 attack. 911 is the CAUSE, the JUSTIFICATION, the national wound continuously INVOKED by the advocates of the deathly embrace of the national security state. Our national budget has been busted by the wars in the name of 911, and the counter terrorism infrastructure that has developed, not to mention the useless Department of Homeland Security. The TSA WOULD NOT be be groping the citizenry if it were understood that Arab terrorists did not bring down those buildings. Those buildings were blown up by domestic terrorists, people operating within the big black box called “the national security state.”
  You want to trivialize the event because it’s old news. It isn’t old news. It is continuously renewed by the state to justify its unlawful activities. You are content to leave the lie in place because you, like the journalists at this site, lack the simple courage to tell the truth.
  You aren’t going to change the Patriot Act no matter how much you protest. Because of people like you, and the reporters at this site, Americans remain hostage to the terror threat. At any time, those who blew up the WTC 1,2, & 7, can implement another act of terror to change the political landscape more to their liking. And the reason they can still do this is because people like you and the reporters at this site are cowards. That’s why we will remain hostage to these political criminals. It’s just tried and true Mafia tactics. It’s called a “protection racket”.

Joseph, while your tone is a bit unpleasant, I appreciate your trying to engage, here.

First, I’m not trivializing anything.  I have friends who live in lower Manhattan, who watched the planes fly into the buildings, and watched footage (on the Hispanic channels) of people jumping from their upper-story windows.  All told, about a dozen friends and acquaintences died in the Towers, and have one friend of the family who’s the sole survivor of his firm.  It’s a big deal, probably bigger to me than to you, if we play the odds.  So I’d appreciate it if you back off the pissing contest.

Second, you’re missing the point that those aren’t the only things going on in this country.  Nobody is claiming that the bank bailouts and current economic problems are related to terrorists.  The three bills going through Congress to cut off your Internet rights and free speech on accusation of copyright infringement don’t come from fear of Arabs.  The problems with education didn’t start in 2001.  Hell, the TSA has proven thoroughly impotent, but we don’t remove them, suggesting that it’s not because of the fear.  The correlation between government actions and the buildings’ collapse lasted for maybe a week.

Related, the American people didn’t get together to vote on the USA PATRIOT Act and warrantless wiretapping.  “We” were not tricked.  You may have been tricked, and that hurt your ego, but don’t pawn that off on “everybody,” because it was very clear that nobody with a backbone would have stood for this if we were allowed to know about it, and those who had a say had a vested interest regardless of the trigger.

Third, we still subsidize corn, decades after the reason for it has expired.  We still collect tolls to pay for bridges that have been covered a hundred times over.  Saying, “we’ll just tell people the reason is gone and everything will get better” is completely invalid political reasoning, about up there with signing a petition online.  Find me an example in history when this tactic has worked.

Heck, the Iran-Contra hearings were televised, and the very government-endorsed crimes reported openly to every man, woman, and child in America are ongoing.  Ollie North’s career even improved!  Clinton went through Impeachment hearings where his perjury was paraded in front of the country, and half the country reveres him, and of those who don’t, most hate him because he had sex with a pudgy college kid and don’t remember that pesky perjury charge.

Going back further in history Hawaiian paper published a warning about the Pearl Harbor “sneak attack” two days before.  The Lusitania carried weapons.  The world didn’t change even a tiny bit when we learned the government lied.

Fourth, in three paragraphs, you’ve directly called me stupid and a coward.  Acting like a self-important jackass isn’t going to get you support, and makes me question any points of agreement we might have.  I don’t agree with bullies; I stand up to them.

As I said, to me, it boils down to helping people today.  No matter how afraid they were or are, we can convince people today that letting cops listen to your phone when it’s off is wrong.  We can convince people that letting the RIAA inventory your computer and delete whatever they say belongs to them is wrong.  Funding a TSA that always picks the busty chick for a pat-down is clearly wrong.  Giving banks our money to lend back to us at interest is wrong.  Wiping out a quarter of Iraq’s population is wrong.

These are all wrong no matter how many terrorists or pirates or any other “evil” group it brings to justice.  There is no justification for them.  Even if cartoonishly-evil Arabs marched in the streets shooting non-Muslims, these wouldn’t be justified.  That’s another enormously important point you don’t seem to consider.

On the other hand, even if you’re right (that’s if—nobody’s evidence is conclusive, and terrorists can also learn to demolish buildings, in theory), nothing changes.  No society likes to admit we’re wrong, so we find a new justification.  The powers who make these deadly decisions will continue to make them, because you haven’t cut off their benefits.  If you hit a nerve, then there’s retaliation.

And, you know, truth is a funny word.  My parents taught me to never trust a person who tells me to trust them.  Kids who tell you how mature they are never are.  And more often than not, “truth” means “something we shouldn’t question,” and if you’re using it…well, I’d review your data and your stance every time the word comes out of your mouth.

You know why I don’t believe 9/11 was an inside job?  Four reasons:

First, ‘cuz the people in America who would (and did, in fact - but more as a result of seizing an opportunity rather than prior planning) benefit the most - our oil boyz - work hand in hand with our finance boyz.  And those buildings were full of finance boyz. 

Second, there is the little fact that the finance boyz also have the resources to identify and track payments and funding made by the oil boyz to the responsible terrorist groups…so the oil boyz would have been caught. 

Third, our oil boyz are right friendly with the military (the latter are a good customer, and they also provide security for the former)...and the Pentagon got hit.  (And I suspect that a bomb would have..uh…accidentally fallen off an aircraft the next place the perps had a meeting if our military ever thought they got set up.  lolll…least, that is what I would expect.  Which I reckon both the oil boyz and the PNAC types know.)

Now if a bunch of college football stadiums had been targeted instead, I’d be all over that variant of a conspiracy theory. 

lollll…but the invasion of Iraq?  Which - contrary to what that Administration lead the American people to believe - was and is an entirely separate and distinct subject from 9/11?  I think that was planned from day #1 of the “secret energy task force meetings” - which began taking place in just the second week of the Bush Administration, if you recall.

And that brings up the fourth and final reason why I don’t believe 9/11 was an inside job - not even an intentional omission of warning of its likelihood.  You see, I believe that Administration, had it known, would have positively scurried to stop the attacks - and then used the attack and the roar of public approval to move on Iraq.

And, quite likely, beyond.

I should have said “and then used the evidence of the planned attack and the roar of public approval to move on Iraq.”

As it turned out, 9/11 provided a…in a poor choice of words…providential additional excuse above and beyond WMDs that never existed:  The equally non-existent Iraqi al Qaeda training camps.

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