Stephen J. Sniegoski on the anomalies of September 11 -- third update and afterword

September 11 and the origins of the "War on Terrorism":
A revisionist account

by Stephen J. Sniegoski — third update

Table of contents

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The changing story
and the conspiracy of inaction



The official story of 9/11 is changing as a spate of information pours out showing that the government had advance warnings of a terrorist attack. It turns out that the attack was not a bolt from the blue, as we had previously been told and as we are usually told with regard to such events.

According to the first major media revelation, more than a month before the September 11 tragedy President Bush received a CIA briefing that mentioned the possibility of a jet hijacking by al Qaeda. The Bush administration's initial spin was that, while it had been made aware of a possible plane hijacking, it had received no hint that the hijackers would crash the planes into buildings. The Establishment media then disclosed that the government had shown concern about terrorists training in American flight schools. In "traditional" plane hijackings, of course, there is no need for the hijackers to learn how to fly. Next, the major media revealed that various national-security reports had considered the airplane-as-missile scenario for a number of years, notwithstanding the protestations of senior Bush officials that such a thing was unimaginable.

Of course, there is really nothing startlingly new about the recent revelations. The major media had already published information that pointed to those conclusions, and an investigator could find it if he looked hard enough. The information had been posted and interpreted on various anti-Establishment Websites; I couldn't have written my 9/11 series had that not been the case. What has changed recently is that the mainstream American media are providing many more such revelations and are promoting them extensively. Moreover, the media are now explaining the significance of the information — connecting the dots, as it were. It is one thing to present some tidbits of information that conflict with the official story and let them languish unacknowledged and unintegrated; it is quite another to bellow in headlines: BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAD PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF TERRORIST ATTACKS.

Why, it might be asked, are the mainstream media now publicizing information that for eight months had been largely off-limits to public scrutiny? In large part, it's a liberal and partisan Democrat effort to discredit the Bush administration. While Establishment liberals and Democrats are all for the "war on terrorism," they have not relished the fact that Bush has received credit as a great War Leader. Moreover, it's likely that some Zionists of the Likudnik strain want to whittle down Bush's public stature so that his administration does not command the power to pressure Israel over Palestine.

But the Establishment critics of the Bush administration have to walk a fine line. They must restrict themselves to accusations of incompetence and hope that other, "less responsible" writers won't use the information they're providing to accuse the regime of deliberately allowing a terrorist attack in order to provide a rationale for its pre-existing foreign policy agenda.

The current approach of the Bush defenders is that while the administration knew some generalities relating to the impending terrorist attack, it did not know the specifics: it did not know the date, the place, exactly what planes would be hijacked, the names of everyone involved, and so on. When the media then proceed to reveal that Washington did possess specific information pointing to a suicide airplane attack, senior figures such as Vice President Cheney claim that the higher-ups never saw that information.

We the unwashed could discover just what intelligence was in the hands of the administration if that information were released to investigators, but Bush officials say they cannot release classified intelligence information, for that would harm national security. Of course, it is hard to see how U.S. security could be harmed more than it was on September 11. The conscientious (if somewhat naïve) civics student might argue that officials should air their very smelly laundry in public, so that U.S. intelligence might be improved and might actually begin to protect the American people.

But you can't go digging through intelligence matters during "wartime," snarl the shills for the Bush administration. From the perspective of someone such as myself who believes that the government's failure to act on intelligence information might have been a deliberate ploy to involve the United States in war, the "no investigation during wartime" defense is reminiscent of the classic story of the son who murders his parents and then asks for leniency from the court because he is an orphan.


As a defense of Washington's inaction prior to 9/11, the whole issue of detailed knowledge is actually something of a red herring. Preventing the September 11 events might — might — have required a mass of ultra-detailed knowledge of the terrorists' plans; but much less knowledge — and much less detailed knowledge — should have sufficed to prompt countermeasures far beyond those that were actually implemented.

The theory of a conspiracy of inaction, which I have posited, does not require the government to have had detailed knowledge. It simply holds that the leading officials of the U.S. government wanted a terrorist event to take place in order to provide the rationale for their preplanned agenda. The terrorist event could have been anything of significance, and not necessarily the actual terrorist event that took place, with jetliners crammed with passengers crashing into the Pentagon and the World Trade Towers. Allowing a terrorist event to take place simply required that the federal government refrain from interfering with the terrorists' activities. And the government certainly followed that passive mode.

To recapitulate: the fundamental question is not whether the U.S. government had enough information to stop the September 11 events, but whether it had enough information to take any action whatsoever against the terrorist network. It seems that with the evidence at its disposal a much greater response was called for than was actually put forth.

Some will say that government agencies cannot be expected to act in a competent manner. But if the U.S. government is simply unable to act on intelligence information, we are entitled to wonder why American taxpayers are made to fork over billions of dollars for such pointless mucking about. Most importantly, however — and this deserves great emphasis — the "incompetence" alibi ignores the fact that the "incompetence" enabled the Bush administration to implement its pre-existing foreign war agenda: an agenda that could not have been implemented, or at least not implemented as easily, if the Bush administration had acted in a more "competent" fashion and nipped the terrorist threat in the bud! (Administration plans to attack al Qaeda and the Taliban, dating from before September 11, have also been revealed recently by the mainstream media.)

In the usual, everyday affairs of life, one would be highly skeptical of the argument that a desired result was achieved by incompetence. At the very least, the alternate explanation that the desired goal was achieved by deliberate planning would not be ruled out as inconceivable.

Some patriots may be aghast at what I have implied: No American leader would be heinous enough to allow the deaths of 3,000 Americans, no matter how important the objective for Realpolitik! Surely only a high-ranking member of the "Axis of Evil" could countenance such an enormity. Our President himself addressed this issue in his usual sophisticated style: "Had I known that the enemy was going to use airplanes to kill on that fateful morning, I would have done everything in my power to protect the American people." Now, it is hard to envision Our President saying the contrary: "Had I known the enemy was about to slaughter thousands of Americans, I wouldn't have lifted a finger to try to prevent it." Nonetheless, I think Our President was being absolutely truthful in his statement. If he had known about the upcoming attack he would have acted — to the best of his ability. The trouble is that Our President would be about the last person in his administration to know anything about anything.

What of the people with some intelligence who really run the Bush administration — especially Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney? Cold-blooded, veteran procurators of empire that they are, they need not be cast as monsters of unprecedented villainy. Even if they expected a terrorist attack, it is reasonable to assume that they did not foresee the terrible consequences. Who could have imagined the collapse of the World Trade Towers?


For benefit of those still loyal to the official story (whichever version of that story may be circulating at the moment), it is necessary to briefly mention the Israeli spies. Israeli involvement is such a hot potato that the Establishment critics of Bush cannot even mention it. But even if U.S. intelligence and internal-security agencies are absolutely incompetent, the Mossad is not noted for being so. If the Bush administration had information about the Islamic terrorists, surely that information was also in the possession of the Israeli spies. Israeli "art student" spies managed to reside on the same street in Hollywood, Florida, as Mohammed Atta, indicating that they were keyed into the entire terrorist plot.

Given that it is very probable that the U.S. government had foreknowledge of the terrorist event, it doesn't even seem possible that Israel was ignorant of it.

But again I envision the Establishment faithful saying: "All this conspiracy talk is just speculation." Certainly it is. But it is also speculation to maintain that the Bush administration did the best it could or that it was incompetent. The theory of a conspiracy of inaction, on the part of the United States or Israel, is speculation, but it is speculation that best comports with the known facts.

May 20, 2002

To Dr. Sniegoski's
fourth update of May 28.

© 2002 by WTM Enterprises. All rights reserved.

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