Thursday, May 02, 2002

CNN has covered the new French book on September 11 (a copy of the transcript is also here). Predictably, they sneer at it, and make ad hominem attacks on it by suggesting that the French nationality of the author of the book explains its anti-American and conspiratorial bent, and then further smear the author by immediately sliding into a discussion of the vote for Le Pen, as if that had anything to do with the analysis of the Pentagon crash. They wisely don't deal with any of the substance of the book. I've gone on and on about this, but would like to consider three additional points:

  1. If Flight 77 didn't crash into the Pentagon, what happened to it? It could have been shot down over any uninhabited area. On September 11 there were reports that a plane had been intercepted and shot down in Colorado, reports which apparently have been forgotten.

  2. Since the hijackers (or even, in the most conspiratorial theories, the U. S. government) had control over Flight 77 and it was going to crash anyway as a result of being shot down, why didn't they crash it into the Pentagon? In other words, why go through the charade of hijacking a plane if you were not going to use it to attack the Pentagon? The first response is that we do not know that any hijackers had control of Flight 77. All our information comes from the U. S. government, which has given us an obviously bogus list of hijackers, and quite possibly a bogus flight path for Flight 77. We have to remember that Flight 93 was very probably shot down. If it had been shot down over an uninhabited area and the wreckage had been covered up, it might have been blamed for the Pentagon attack, and it might have been unnecessary to shoot down Flight 77 (in other words, the un-hijacked Flight 77 might have landed in Los Angeles, blissfully unaware of how close it came to being chosen as the Pentagon patsy plane). The second response is that prior to September 11, the U. S. military had been considering the effects of a large plane crash into the Pentagon in planning for emergency operations, and may have determined that the damage caused by a real plane crash would be too great or too unpredictable. It would be better to use bombs or a small missile, which would cause a photogenic amount of damage but do no harm to the important work being done in the rest of the building.

  3. If the intent of the hijackers was to crash into the Pentagon, why did they hijack the Flight 77 so far away from Washington, and then have to turn the plane around and fly it all the way back, giving the U. S. air defence all that extra time to shoot it down? Did this meticulously planned operation fail to take into account the possibility that the United States has an Air Force? Did they know that the air defences had been stood down, and that they were at no risk of being intercepted no matter how much time it took them to get back to the Pentagon? Or was the plane not hijacked at all, and the official map of its route just a lie? It may very well be that the only two planes hijacked on September 11 were the two that crashed into the WTC.

Given the problems with the lists of hijackers, including the fact that none of the hijacker names appear on the crashed plane passenger manifests (which means that either the manifests have been edited or all the hijackers got on the planes without having to produce normal identification and were not recorded on the passenger lists by the employees at the gates), the fact that the identities of at least some of the hijackers on the official lists were stolen identities of people living in the Middle East who had lived in the United States (and even after this has been pointed out no revised list of hijackers has ever been produced), and the ridiculous speed with which the U. S. government came up with the full lists (so quickly one might be forgiven for believing that the lists were available before the terrorist attacks), there is every reason to doubt everything about the official hijacker lists. Indeed, if there were only two planes hijacked, there would be no need for anywhere near the 19 described hijackers. Since guns and explosives (I don't believe the silly boxcutter story) were likely put on the planes by the same inside help that got the hijackers on the planes without leaving a trace on the passenger manifests, it would have been possible to hijack each of the two planes with two or three hijackers, leaving a grand total of perhaps six. This group may have consisted of just the people who associated with Atta in Florida (though the U. S. government has been so kind as to supply enough information that it has been possible to create a chart of the interrelationships between all the 19 or so fictitious hijackers). Of these, it is possible that only the two pilots knew that the hijackings were a suicide mission. We are left with the possibility that there are many fewer hijackers than we have been led to believe (the 19 hijackers has become a part of common knowledge), and that the identities of all of them are fake.