Blogs > HNN > Is Bush's Greatest Achievement a Non-Achievement: No Subsequent 9/11s?

Dec 4, 2008 3:03 am

Is Bush's Greatest Achievement a Non-Achievement: No Subsequent 9/11s?

In yet another example of “blowback” actually undermining Islamist terrorism, the Mumbai mayhem may boost George W. Bush’s historical legacy. In the waning days of his presidency, the massacres highlighted one of Bush’s most significant but elusive achievements. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment is a non-event. After September 11, most Americans assumed they would endure a wave of terrorist attacks. Even those Americans who hate Bush must grant him at least some credit for the fact that not one major attack has occurred again on American soil.

Subsequent atrocities in London, Madrid, Bali, Jerusalem, and now Mumbai – among many others – as well as occasional warnings and arrests within the United States -- suggest that the terrorists kept trying. In assessing a president’s legacy, it is hard to celebrate something that did not happen. It is hard to build a monument or even to write clearly regarding a threat that, while palpable and potentially lethal, never materialized. The Bush Administration cannot of course divulge details of most operations it thwarted. Still, the fact that so far the United States has avoided another 9/11 demonstrates that many of the Bush Administration’s anti-terror strategies worked.

A similar challenge faces Cold War historians. How do we explain the decades-long record of relative peace with the Soviet Union, despite repeated fears not just of confrontation but of nuclear confrontation? In analyzing this bell that did not ring, we assess the fears of Armageddon to see whether they were reasonable or exaggerated. We try to understand how the Soviets acted and reacted at the time. And we examine the American policies to see what worked and what failed.

This mystery of how we avoided the worst case scenario so many expected explains the enduring fascination with the Cuban Missile Crisis. The “Thirteen Days” in October 1962 continue to attract so much attention because we came so close to war – and because we can study the actors on both sides. Especially since the Soviet Union fell, scholars and retired policy makers have done an impressive job reconstructing and deconstructing the excruciating chess game that ended in a Soviet retreat rather than worldwide apocalypse. In some ways now we can appreciate how close the world came to the brink, and salute both John Kennedy’s and Nikita Khruschev’s moderation in determining the happy outcome.

Of course, the no-new-9/11s debate is shrouded in much more mystery. In addition to the Bush administration’s admirable reluctance to violate national security to score some PR points, the Islamist terrorists’ chaotic, secretive world remains obscured too. Still, it seems clear that the Treasury’s crackdown on the flow of funds into and out of the United States helped inhibit the terrorists. Similarly, the greater scrutiny in general, the tightened security at airports and other vulnerable targets, and the immigration crackdowns have helped.

More controversial, of course, is the Patriot Act and other moves that came at a higher cost, namely America’s tradition of maximizing individual civil liberties. Those difficult questions enter the realm of political theology. Given the fog around the facts, that debate more reflects individuals’ commitments to civil liberties balanced against their faith in the judgment of Bush and the broader national security apparatus. The arrogance, incompetence, arbitrariness, characterizing so much of the Bush Administration has undermined its credibility on this critical issue, where it may have achieved some great successes.

The terrorist attacks in India were equally mistimed regarding Bush’s successor. President-elect Barack Obama’s decisions to keep on Bush’s Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and to appoint Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State partially reflect Obama’s own realization of the seriousness of the terrorist threat. As a New York senator when the Twin Towers fell, as a mother who first did not know exactly where in Manhattan her daughter was on September 11, Senator Clinton has a heartfelt, sophisticated disgust for Islamist terrorism. Moreover, al Qaeda’s recent videotape using an ugly racial epithet to characterize Barack Obama as servile, may have been ignored by much of the media, but could not have escaped Obama’s attention. The combination, during a presidential transition, of a revolting display of Islamist racism and a horrific explosion of Islamist terrorism, proves that this ugliness persists – and that a reprehensible ideology unites these murderers who target Westerners and democrats wherever possible.

Despite all the hype during a presidential campaign about a candidate’s skills, judgment, character, experience, and potential, external events often define presidencies. George W. Bush himself entered office expecting to focus on domestic affairs. The horrific murders in Mumbai – along with the continuing economic roller coaster – illustrate that Obama’s legacy, like that all of his predecessors, remains in the hands of powerful actors and historical forces beyond his control, no matter how talented he is, no matter how focused on this one leader we remain.

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Rodney Huff - 12/14/2008

It is precisely the discomfort of knowing that we've been lied to that compels me to call for a new, truly independent investigation into 9/11. There's nothing racist about it. The evidence points to a government cover up, so we should go where the evidence takes us. That's all there is to it.

Please do not take my word for it. Do your own research. Research Sibel Edmonds and ask yourself why she was fired from the FBI for doing her job.
Research World Trade Center 7 and ask yourself why the 9/11 Commission failed to even mention this skyscraper's collapse in its Final Report. A 47-story, steel-frame skyscraper--which wasn't even hit by a plane--suffers total collapse in Manhattan 5 hours after the second WTC building fell, falling in the same manner as the other two WTC buildings; and it doesn't even get mentioned in the Final Report?

Meanwhile, byproducts of an incendiary often used in building demolitions have been found in dust samples taken from the WTC site shortly after the attacks. See the work of Steven Jones et al. (
Then there are the 9/11 oral histories collected by the FDNY in which several firefighters and other first-responders talk about hearing and feeling the rumble of explosions going off just before and during the collapses.

Of course, this doesn't "prove" anything, but, taken together, this is prima facie evidence that was either ignored or explained away by the 9/11 Commission. At the very least, such prima facie evidence warrants a new investigation. We would be remiss not to demand one.

Arnold Shcherban - 12/12/2008

All that the FBI and CIA disclosed about Bin Laden's involvement in 9/11 attacks is that he knew those attacks
are coming. How did he know that?
Again, based on the information provided for public consumption by the same security agencies, Bin Laden and his closest leutenants have not been directly organizationally or operationally involved in 9/11 attacks; the masterminds and operatives of 9/11 came to so-called Al-Qaeda chiefs as to ideological and spiritual leaders to get a blessing for the act of terror ready to be executed at that point. Naturally, they shared the whole scheme with Obama and his closest leautenents.
That is how the latter became aware of the upcoming strike.
Then, again, noone has confirmed the authenticity of Bin Laden's "confession tape" with any definitiveness, and therefore it cannot serve as evidence from a legal
Moreover, according to the US intellegence, since the guerilla war against Soviets, Bin Laden has been known for his tendency to ascribe to himself leadership in deeds he had, at the best, tangential participation in. So, it would not be too far-fetched to conclude that he (knowing too well that he's a dead man in the eyes of US and other governments at that point) had nothing to loose, but a lot to gain (especially, within Muslim world) announcing his leadership in 9/11 case as well.

Arnold Shcherban - 12/12/2008

A couple of points on that "great achievement" (as you call it) of Bush administration's policies, i.e. the absence of another 9/11 or similar to it terrorist acts on the US soil.
Any terrorist expert in a sober state of mind and any educated lay-person would tell you and Mr. Troy that the terrorist acts of 9/11 scale and success rate happen with the probability of perhaps, 0.001 of a percent. It is almost unavoidable that
something goes wrong already at the preparation stage of such acts, not already mentioning the stage of execution. 9/11 scenario should have failed! The fact that it has not failed represents one extremely lucky outcome for the perpetrators, and tragically unlucky for the victims, regardless of the actions/inactions of the US security agencies.
Now, let's go to the second point.
It would be totally inconceivable that any administration (and in any country for that matter) did not take decisive measures on strengthening its national security after similar to 9/11 terrorist attacks. Therefore, Bush administration did not do anything exceptional in this regard and on that reason deserves no praise
or commendation.
Moreover, to assert that there have not been any significant Islamic terrorist acts in this country since 2001 just because of the policies (internal or external) of Bush administration is a (partisan) fantasy, and a dangerous one, too.
It is a fantasy on the reasons indicated in my first point and because now every more or less viable
anti-American terrorist group wants to go for nothing less (at the least -not much less) than 9/11 attack and therefore, almost certainly, fails.
It is dangerous fantasy, since it develops a false and euphoric sense of being protected by Homeland Security and by the administration's "toughness" (whereas the maximum the latter can do on many occasions is only guess and hope for the best), conditioned on partisan preference.

Arnold Shcherban - 12/12/2008

Are you kidding us, Mr. Hughes, with this more than bold prediction?
How soon: in twenty years, or perhaps on fifty?
And even if it is so, how do we know that minus severe economic sanctions and a million or so Iraqis' violent deaths over US occupation (not already mentioning many more deaths and socio-economic disaster indirectly caused by it) the Iraq would not be prosperous as "soon" (or sooner,) as you predict?
You logic, if any, is the logic of absolution for any imperialist aggression... unless it perpetrated by the usual suspects, i.e. US enemies - again - in your world view.

Edmond Dantes - 12/12/2008

If only we could all spin off into the bliss that comforts and shields the paranoid.

John Connally - 12/12/2008

All these conspiracy theories get more complex by the day. I see a lot of comfortable, educated, white men going to great lengths to prove that 9-11 was an inside job. It seems quite racist to me! Is it that hard to fathom that a group of Arabs were able to pull off such a complicated terrorist attack? Are they too inferior to pull something like this off?

And what about London, Madrid, Mumbai, and countless others? Were they inside jobs as well?

Rodney Huff - 12/11/2008

There is so much more to say about this topic, but I'm afraid this may not be an adequate forum for delving deeper into this issue. I hope that in the space I have taken up on this message board I've provoked some interest in finding out the truth. Please do some independent research and draw your own conclusions. If you look past the propaganda and disabuse yourself of certain unexamined assumptions about what can and cannot happen in this country, you'll find that there is plenty of prima facie evidence indicating that 9/11 was an inside-outside job.

At the very least, the wealth of investigative leads that simply weren't followed by the 9/11 Commission warrants a new, truly independent investigation into the attacks.

Historians especially should understand that power corrupts and that we ought not simply trust that government officials are telling us the truth. Didn't this understanding prompt our Founding Fathers to devise a political system based on distrust?

"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge — even to ourselves — that we’ve been so credulous."

Carl Sagan

Rodney Huff - 12/9/2008

According to Edmonds, shortly after 9/11, there were a number of suspected moles that the FBI wanted to question. But the same State Department official intervened to shield the foreign operatives from investigation:

Following 9/11, a number of the foreign operatives were taken in for questioning by the FBI on suspicion that they knew about or somehow aided the attacks.
Edmonds said the State Department official once again proved useful. “A primary target would call the official and point to names on the list and say, ‘We need to get them out of the US because we can’t afford for them to spill the beans’,” she said. “The official said that he would ‘take care of it’.” (

So, the State Department official turned loose suspects who may have been complicit in the 9/11 attacks. But there was at least one person involved in the secret deals whom Indian intelligence identified as the source of the funds for 9/11.

At the time the Turkish-Pakistani mole network was infiltrating our government, General Mahmoud Ahmad was head of the Pakistan ISI. According to Edmonds, General Ahmad orchestrated the illegal trades:

The Turks, she [Edmonds] says, often acted as a conduit for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, because they were less likely to attract suspicion. Venues such as the American Turkish Council in Washington were used to drop off the cash, which was picked up by the official.
Edmonds said: “I heard at least three transactions like this over a period of 2½ years. There are almost certainly more.”
The Pakistani operation was led by General Mahmoud Ahmad, then the ISI chief.
Intercepted communications showed Ahmad and his colleagues stationed in Washington were in constant contact with attachés in the Turkish embassy.

General Ahmad’s connection to 9/11 is now well known.

Ahmad was the Pakistani official who ordered Al-Qaeda operative Ahmed Omar Sheikh to wire Mahmud Atta, the lead 9/11 hijacker, $100,000 just before the 9/11 attacks. Indian intelligence discovered the source of the wire transfer shortly after 9/11, and the FBI confirmed it.

Strangely – perhaps, not surprisingly – the only US media outlet to even mention this crucial piece of information was the Wall Street Journal, which saw fit to bury this story in its online opinion journal:

So, the man who allegedly helped fund and coordinate 9/11 was also involved in pilfering nuclear secrets from the US military and passing them on to those “dangerous regimes” Bush has been warning us about.

Rodney Huff - 12/9/2008

Sibel Edmonds started working as a translator for the FBI shortly after September 11th, 2001. Her job was to translate a backlog of covertly recorded conversations between foreign crime suspects. As she was translating these tapes, she discovered evidence of a multi-national spy network embedded in the U.S. military and State Department. The evidence indicated that Turkish agents, or “moles,” were funneling U.S. nuclear secrets to Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The Turkish moles were employed in highly sensitive government research and military institutions where they could obtain these secrets. According to Edmonds, a high-level State Department official provided the moles with access to these sensitive areas, accepting bribe money in exchange for his treasonous services. When Edmonds sent the evidence up the FBI chain of command to expose these criminal activities, including drug trafficking and money laundering associated with the mole network, she was fired.

Edmonds has since been placed under a gag order by the Justice Department; but in closed Congressional hearings, FBI officials heard and corroborated her testimony. Since these hearings, the Justice Department has classified Edmonds’s testimony, invoking state secrets privilege.

It gets more interesting. Though monitored by the FBI, this foreign mole network has been allowed to operate continuously since at least the Clinton administration in order to preserve favorable diplomatic relations.

The consequences of this tradeoff, you wonder?

Once in the hands of Pakistan’s top nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, the nuclear secrets were then sold to Libya, Iran and North Korea – precisely those “dangerous regimes” that must be denied nuclear weapons, according to George W. Bush.

Here’s the most frightening part:
Khan caused an alert among western intelligence agencies when his aides met Osama bin Laden. “We were aware of contact between A Q Khan’s people and al-Qaeda,” a former CIA officer said last week. “There was absolute panic when we initially discovered this, but it kind of panned out in the end.”
It is likely that the nuclear secrets stolen from the United States would have been sold to a number of rogue states by Khan.

As news of Edmonds’s allegations began to spread, Bush has sought to make the illicit trade in nuclear secrets with Turkey legal. He has asked Congress to approve the deals, thus seeking retroactive immunity for treasonous State Department and FBI officials.

Our government has been infiltrated and colonized by rogue elements who are acting contrary to the interests of the American people and jeopardizing this nation's security.

Rodney Huff - 12/9/2008

More than 500 architects and engineers have signed a petition to open a new, truly independent investigation into 9/11 Below are some select comments from professional civil engineers and architects who understand the need for a new investigation.

Nathan S. Lomba
P.E., S.E., M.ASCE
Lic: 4132 C/S ID, C43284 CA
B.S.C.E., U. of Colorado
Eureka, CA
• Bio:
Consulting civil/structural engineer with over 22 years in private practice (39 years total). Experience ranges from custom residential to heavy industrial structures. Some major project involvements include: Lead civil/structural engineer on a $700 million project for the US Air Force; structural design engineer for a 41,000 sq. ft. Pulp Machine Building; and Resident Engineer on a 550 MW Natural-gas fired power plant.
Idaho PE, 1980
Idaho SE, 1990
California PE, 1987
BSCE, 1976, University of Colorado, Denver/Boulder, CO
Professional Affiliations:
Member, American Concrete Institute (ACI)
Member, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Charter member, Structural Engineering Instititute (SEI)
Professional member, American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)
et al.

• Personal 9/11 Statement:
I began having doubts about, so called, official explanations for the collapse of the WTC towers soon after the explanations surfaced. The gnawing question that lingers in my mind is: How did the structures collapse in near symmetrical fashion when the apparent precipitating causes were asymmetrical loading? The collapses defy common logic from an elementary structural engineering perspective. “If” you accept the argument that fire protection covering was damaged to such an extent that structural members in the vicinity of the aircraft impacts were exposed to abnormally high temperatures, and “if” you accept the argument that the temperatures were high enough to weaken the structural framing, that still does not explain the relatively concentric nature of the failures.
Neither of the official precipitating sources for the collapses, namely the burning aircraft, were centered within the floor plan of either tower; both aircraft were off-center when they finally came to rest within the respective buildings. This means that, given the foregoing assumptions, heating and weakening of the structural framing would have been constrained to the immediate vicinity of the burning aircraft. Heat transmission (diffusion) through the steel members would have been irregular owing to differing sizes of the individual members; and, the temperature in the members would have dropped off precipitously the further away the steel was from the flames—just as the handle on a frying pan doesn’t get hot at the same rate as the pan on the burner of the stove. These factors would have resulted in the structural framing furthest from the flames remaining intact and possessing its full structural integrity, i.e., strength and stiffness.
Structural steel is highly ductile, when subjected to compression and bending it buckles and bends long before reaching its tensile or shear capacity. Under the given assumptions, “if” the structure in the vicinity of either burning aircraft started to weaken, the superstructure above would begin to lean in the direction of the burning side. The opposite, intact side of the building would resist toppling until the ultimate capacity of the structure was reached, at which point a weak-link failure would undoubtedly occur. Nevertheless, the ultimate failure mode would have been a toppling of the upper floors to one side—much like the topping of a tall redwood tree—not a concentric, vertical collapse.
For this reason alone, I rejected the official explanation for the collapse of the WTC towers out of hand. Subsequent evidence supporting controlled, explosive demolition of the two buildings are more in keeping with the observed collapse modalities and only serve to validate my initial misgivings as to the causes for the structural failures.

Kevin Ryan
Laboratory Manager, Co-Editor – 9/11 Journal
B.S. Chem., Certified Quality Engineer
Bloomington, IN
• Bio:
Kevin Ryan, BS Chem – Certified Quality Engineer. Former Site Manager for Environmental Health Laboratories, a division of Underwriters Laboratories. Co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies. Contributing author to 9/11 and American Empire (Vol I) – Intellectuals Speak Out (2006).
Member: Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice Association Statement: "Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice is a non-partisan organization consisting of independent researchers and activists engaged in uncovering the true nature of the September 11, 2001 attacks."
Member: Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-Eleven Association Statement: "We have found solid scientific grounds on which to question the interpretation put upon the events of September 11, 2001 by the Office of the President of the United States of America and subsequently propagated by the major media of western nations."

• Personal 9/11 Statement:
I was fired by Underwriters Laboratories for sending a letter to an NIST scientist pointing out inconsistencies in the NIST WTC report, and asking for clarification.

Robert M. Bowman
Dr., Lt. Col., USAF, ret; Engineering Manager
PhD, Aeronautics & Nuclear Eng, Caltech
Melbourne, FL
National Commander, "The Patriots"; Archbishop Primate, United Catholic Church; Exec VP, Millennium III Corp; Vice-Pres, Space Communications Co; Mgr, Advanced Space Programs, General Dynamics; Director of Advanced Space Programs Development, US Space Division (USAF) (directed all DoD "Star Wars" programs under Ford & Carter); Dep Dir, Ballistic Systems Division, Space & Missile Systems Org (SAMSO); 101 combat missions F4, Vietnam; Chief of Aeronautics, European Ofc of Aerospace R&D, London; Head of Aero. Eng. Dept & Asst Dean, AF Inst of Tech, WPAFB, OH; Post-Doc studies, VonKarman Inst, Brussels, Belgium;
The Patriots.US

• Personal 9/11 Statement:
The official explanation in the NIST report violates the laws of physics. It is physically impossible for a building (or anything else) to fall at near-free-fall speed and do work (smashing steel and concrete) on the way down. An external energy input (like explosives) is absolutely essential. In addition, for the top of one of the towers to tip about 30 degrees and NOT continue tipping and falling off violates the law of conservation of angular momentum. The symmetrical collapse of building 7 due to highly asymmetrical damage is also unbelievable. We have not yet been told the truth. If the government has nothing to hide, why continue to hide everything? Why not a new and truly independent investigation?

James Martin Tomlin
Lic: Calif. Architect's License #C29398, exp. 6/09
B.Arch., 1988, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Fresno, CA

• Bio:
Full time in architecture since 1989.
Experience with Ernst & Lloyd Architects, Stockton, CA 1986-1992; Derivi Castellanos Architects, Stockton, CA 1992-1993; Design Strategies/HMC, Calexico, CA 1993-98; Palacios Architects, Santa Maria, CA 1998-2001.
Director of Church Design, Daniel Cook Associates / Building God’s Way, Ogden, UT 2001-2005.
Manager of Fresno office of Tarr Architects, 2005 to the present.
License in CA 2003.
Member American Institute of Architects since 2004.
Evangelical/Baptist Christian since 1995.

• Personal 9/11 Statement:
For the past 6 years since 9/11, my belief in the official media accounts of what happened to the WTC that day has been gradually but increasingly eroding down to disbelief. Yet, I have been willfully disregarding any 'conspiracy theories' that loudly and obnoxiously point fingers at the Presidency with more hatred than evidence (Bush has some power, but he is not omnipotent!). But, after stumbling upon this site, I find some of my colleagues have been quietly and steadfastly giving this issue a fair and rational assessment that I now think deserves my attention and support. There are many serious questions that have yet to be answered about 9/11, and I am looking forward to being part of the movement towards uncovering the truth, whatever it may be, wherever it may lead us.
Alaa Rustom
Structural and Geotechnical Civil Engineer *
BSC Structural and Geotechnical Civil En
Ottawa, ON – CAN
• Bio:
With over a year's experience in the structural field, I am a new graduate of structural and geotechnical Civil Engineering. I have just graduated from the University of Ottawa, and pronounced an Obligated Engineer by ward 12 on an obligation to work with the highest quality of workmanship in my field.

• Personal 9/11 Statement:
For any Structural Engineer, the 911 collapse was obviously a controlled demolition. I remember in October of 2003, a group of Civil Engineers walked into our University and forced us (made it a graduating requirement) to watch their presentation, which explained how the jet fuel was responsible for the collapse. Their explanation made no sense, and when they were hammered with questions, their lies or lack of knowledge leaked out their teeth. Now, is it possible, from my studied background that those planes can cause a answer is sure. BUT DEFINITELY NOT WHAT WE SAW ON TV! would of been a local collapse, and since the buildings main beam-column infrastructure is centered, even if those floors in the WTC were to collapse, it is possible that it would bring all the top floors down with it (even though it is still unlikely) but the collapse would look almost pyramid shaped, therefore, the edges of the building would fall on itself maybe up to 4 or 5 floors below the point of impact (including everything above the impact). The collapse however, that we all saw was global and not possible unless you blow the main beam-column connections all in orderly MUST be controlled, there just isn't another way of explaining it...

Clayton J. Simmons
P.E., Associate Engineer
Lic: 72749 (CE) CA
B.S.C.E., Brigham Young University
Santa Rosa, CA

Mr. Simmons studied at Brigham Young University, graduating with degrees in Russian and Civil & Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in structures. He had the unique privilege of being one of Dr. Steven Jones' physics students prior to 9/11, learning from him the principles of conservation of energy and momentum.
Following his formal training, he returned to his native Santa Rosa, California and has worked for the past three years in the engineering profession, analyzing and designing water-based infrastructure and residential structures.

• Personal 9/11 Statement:
My initial exposure to the case for controlled demolition was as a result of a coworker, Ron Brookman, giving me a copy of one of Dr. Jones' papers. Knowing that I had attended BYU, Ron asked me if I had heard of him. I informed him that I had a physics class from him and vouched for his integrity as a scholar and person. Then I read the article.
I was not taken easily by the hypotheses at first, and have to admit that, while the science was well-founded, my conscience did not want to let me accept this alternative theory and its startling consequences. I found myself challenging the points made, especially the symmetrical fall theory, and tried mentally to reason my way out of what I was slowly becoming convinced of. In the end, the science -- primarily, the near-freefall speed at which the buildings came down and the evidence of incendiaries in the rubble -- the testimonies, the pictures and video footage, and the structural drawings, which show a central core around which, even if the floors did progressively collapse due to weakening of the steel by heat, would have been left intact -- all these things convinced me that we did not have the full story as provided by NIST, FEMA, ASCE, and the WTC buildings' own structural engineer, Leslie Robertson.
Getting to the bottom of what happened on 9/11 requires another serious look at the evidence, much of which has already been destroyed. Our representatives in Congress need to stand up and speak for us, not bow to the powers that, while they do much good, also have a tendency to threaten, incite fear in, and weaken us.
I saw a bumper sticker that reads "We must speak up, even if our voices shake." Such is the case here. Money, perceived civil order, and temporary stability are not worth rejecting truth - ever. In the end, the hard truth must be accepted, whatever it may be. We must suffer the consequences of our shameful mistakes and then start to heal the wounds.
I am concerned with my profession's involvement in this apparent cover up and the media's refusal to address important questions for the reasons stated above. Nothing will happen and this will all evolve into another "conspiracy theory," if it has not already, if we don't speak up resolutely now.
Finally, I feel deeply for those whose loved ones were lost on 9/11 and indirectly through our questionable involvement in international affairs. I realize that my support of additional inquiries into what happened may seem like stirring the pot for people who simply want closure and to move on. I love my country and the unprecedented freedoms it provides. In order to preserve these freedoms, however, I feel that we must pursue the truth and responsibly deal with it, not close our eyes to it because of how painful it is.

Rodney Huff - 12/9/2008

Perhaps the most damning evidence of an inside-outside job is the curious collapse of World Trade Center 7 (WTC 7), along with the case of Sibel Edmonds, the FBI whistleblower who was fired for doing her job.

What happened to WTC 7?

WTC 7 was a 47-story, steel frame skyscraper, part of the WTC complex. It was the THIRD building to collapse in Manhattan on 9/11. It wasn't even hit by an airplane; yet, it fell straight down, symmetrically, at nearly free fall speed into its own footprint, through the path of most resistance. These are not the characteristics of a spontaneous collapse caused by asymmetrical damage and fire. In a spontaneous collapses, a building topples over, twisting and bending in the direction of the damage; it doesn’t fall straight down at nearly free fall speed; those are signs of a controlled demolition.

Given this dramatic event, why didn't the 9/11 Commission even mention WTC 7 in its Final Report? Why all the secrecy surrounding WTC 7? I didn't even hear about WTC 7 until about a year ago. Until then, I was like most people. I didn't question the official story. After seeing WTC 7 implode, however, I began to question everything.

NIST's final report on WTC 7 does nothing to dispel doubts about the official story, as it advanced what it called a "new phenomenon" in its explanation of the unlikely collapse. For the first time ever in the history of modern high-rise architecture, "thermal expansion" was responsible for the total collapse of a steel frame skyscraper.

And when NIST was asked whether they had considered the alternative explosives-hypothesis, NIST's Dr. Shyam Sunder said it was dismissed outright as being too improbable, without even testing it. Sunder said that 100 lbs of explosives would be needed to cause total building collapse.

But when he was asked why would so much explosives be needed to do what a regular fire did (as explained by NIST), Sunder stumbled through a convoluted explanation that made little sense. He was obviously not prepared to be caught in a contradiction.

Rodney Huff - 12/9/2008

Here are some of the most pressing questions left unanswered by the 9/11 Commission to this day:

The 9/11 Commission concluded that a “failure of imagination” allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen. This conclusion echoes what Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Ari Fleischer all said repeatedly soon after the attacks: that no one could have imagined such attacks.

However, it is now well documented that the Bush administration received several warnings of imminent domestic terrorist attacks, some involving hijacked airplanes, in the months and days leading up to September 11, 2001 (see Paul Thompson’s “The Terror Timeline,” pp. 3-58). Add to these warnings the military exercises conducted by NORAD that simulated multiple DOMESTIC hijackings and a mock shoot down as well as an exercise for DoD medical personnel that involved a HIJACKED PLANE BEING CRASHED INTO THE PENTAGON. Thus, the events of 9/11 were not only imagined by U.S. governmental officials; they were also simulated and staged in various military exercises prior to 9/11. (See military training exercises at:;before_9/11=militaryExercises)

That no one could have imagined such attacks is simply false.

Given all these warnings, how could Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Fleischer tell us that no one could imagine such attacks? Why did no one in this administration call the Port Authority and order an evacuation of WTC after the first plane hit? Why did no government official respond adequately to the crisis? Why did Bush continue to read about a pet goat in a Florida classroom when he learned about the events unfolding in Manhattan?

Given all these warnings, how could our trillion-dollar intelligence community have been so fatally and completely caught off guard? How could 19 people with box-cutters circumvent the most sophisticated air defense system in the world and execute the most devastating terrorist attack on U.S. soil?

What happened to our air defense on 9/11? The skies over Washington are arguably the most heavily guarded in the world. How could the Pentagon have been caught off guard NEARLY AN HOUR after Flight 11 struck the first tower? Why weren’t any military planes scrambled to intercept or shoot down Flight 77 - or any other errant plane for that matter - before it reached the Pentagon?

Why did the Bush administration oppose an official investigation?

When Bush reluctantly agreed to answer questions from the 9/11 Commission, why did he refuse to go under oath? Why did he require Cheney’s presence during his debriefing? Why didn’t he allow any transcripts to be made?

Rodney Huff - 12/9/2008

I, too, have questioned the official story of 9/11 and have concluded that the 9/11 Commission lied to us. I am convinced that we need a new, truly independent investigation in order to find out how and why 9/11 happened. I also find it disheartening that most historians simply roll over and uncritically accept the government’s demonstrably false version of the story.

However, I also recognize that, in the absence of truth regarding the events of 9/11, some pretty incredible conspiracy theories have taken root on the Internet. For instance, one theory maintains that the planes that struck the WTC towers were actually missiles, and that the planes we saw were actually computer generated images. Another theory holds that American Airlines Flight 77 did not hit the Pentagon; it had to be a missile because the hole in the Pentagon was too small to fit a Boeing 757. These theories are extremely far-fetched and there is very little evidence, if any, to support them. Invariably, the theories are attributed to delusional “conspiracy theorists.”

However, there is a very real possibility that many of these conspiracy theories are concocted by agent provocateurs as a way to discredit the Truth Movement (TM). Their purpose is to obscure the real issues concerning 9/11 and to divert attention from the glaring inconsistencies in the official 9/11 story, which is itself a far-fetched conspiracy theory. Encountering gross speculation concerning 9/11, one may be tempted to treat any challenge to the official story, including the results of tenable research, as half-baked nonsense. It may be difficult for the casual observer to look past the wild theories in order to see the more viable inquiries that represent the heart of TM.

The core of TM consists of legitimate questions and issues left unaddressed by the 9/11 Commission. Many of these questions were asked by the families of 9/11 victims who pressured the Bush administration to create a committee to investigate the attacks. Without these families’ efforts, no official investigation would have been forthcoming, as the Bush administration was strangely (and vehemently) opposed to such an investigation.

We do a disservice to the victims and their families (and we endanger ourselves) by not demanding answers to the families’ questions. By not pressing for full disclosure of what happened prior to and on 9/11, we leave ourselves vulnerable to more devastating attacks.

Bill McWilliams - 12/8/2008

George E. Rennar said:
"Not only were the killers his followers, but he bragged about his responsibility."

The videotaped "confession" of OBL has long been proven to be a fake.

I'm not sure who you are referring to when you say "the killers" - but the Bush administration has not provided any credible proof that there were any plane crashes on 9/11, much less any terrorists.

The only "killers" were those who carried out the explosives-based demoliton of the WTC. There is much evidence that mini-nukes were used at the WTC. The only planes that crashed in NYC were CGI (computer generated images) that were used in faked videos. Real planes don't melt into buildings as though going thru butter.

George E. Rennar - 12/8/2008

Not only were the killers his followers, but he bragged about his responsibility.

Bill McWilliams - 12/8/2008

Bush promised to provide proof that OBL was behind 9/11. To date, no such thing has happened.

More and more people here and abroad are convinced that the available evidence supports the conclusion that 9/11 was a false flag operation.

The biggest thing that is shrouded in mystery is why so few historians are interested in learning the truth about what really happened on 9/11/01.

Maarja Krusten - 12/8/2008

You'll probably figure out what I meant where I have a typo but that should be "Everyone *wants* to keep the U.S. safe, regardless of party, of course."

Maarja Krusten - 12/8/2008

As you acknowledge with your references to the Cold War and to the Cuban Missile Crisis, these are the sorts of issues for which most of the actions would not have played out in public. Historians cannot easily judge what led to outcomes initially, if ever.

It will take some time for historians to unravel some of what the Bush administration did after 9/11 and what it might or might not have been able to do to prevent the 9/11 attacks. The February 2001 Hart-Rudman report, New World Coming: American Security in the 21st Century, certainly rang many alarm bells. Of course, that bipartisan commission only issued its report 6 months before 9/11. Historians also will have to consider the impact of choices made by the preceding administration. We presently know largely the outcomes, not the why and how. And these issues largely have been argued in a partisan fashion on political blogs in recent years so they await examination by more objective analysts.

Since I'm on vacation and have more time than usual, I'd like to raise a few questions in a related issue -- the shaping of public perceptions. Everyone ones to keep the U.S. safe, regardless of party. How did the administration end up in the position it did in terms of poll numbers?

We know that the President faced increasingly low approval ratings. What went into that? Would a "come walk with me" approach rather than a "you're either for us or against us" approach have had a different outcome in those ratings and more importantly, national unity in the face of challenges of critical importance?

Historians also will need to consider whether the President was poorly served by some of his supporters in the blogosphere. From what I’ve seen, many of them doubled down on weaknesses in the administration's communications strategy. Some laid on the bluster and bravado (and in a few cases that made me cringe when I saw them, bullying) so thickly, I just can't imagine it helped W. (It will be interesting to see how exchanges in the virtual world among a President's supporters and opponents play out during the Obama administration.) Such samples are self selecting, of course. I suspect moderates and independents show up less often on message boards than do people with strong ideological and party leanings.

Setting aside whether his vision was good or bad, in my view, a President who struggled to articulate his vision needed better public advocates than GWB had -- people who could complement and supplement the approach so many his spokesmen used.

So hstorians will look at not just what an administration achieved but how the public perceived its actions, whether it credited its achievements, and what they did with those perceptions in the elections of 2006 and 2008. An administration has to do more than just act wisely, it also has to sell its vision and intent and goals.

The world of Web 2.0 also provided citizens with opportunities to engage with officials. Here's an extract from an online q&a by an anonymous poster who asked a question of former Justice Department official John Yoo at the Washington Post’s site in 2006. The poster appears to be pulling together actions from the political and the operational world which may have affected public perceptions.

Anyonymous Poster: “Modern-day Presidents come into office with their public images colored by bitter electoral contests that often reflect an ethos of win at any cost. Can they easily shed that coloration once in office? Or does it become a drag on their ability to govern and convince the public of their trustworthiness?

The campaign ethos often reflects expediency and even a disregard for truth. If becoming President depends on one’s supporters handing out leaflets that imply that not voting for George Bush will lead the Bible to be banned in Arkansas, so be it. Or calling all critics unpatriotic. Or implying that John McCain has an illegitimate child, as happened during the primaries in 2000. . . . .

Do a President’s appointees understand the degree to which their efforts in governance are hurt by the earlier use of these tactics during a campaign? And by the continued reliance by many Presidents on political advisors for tactical advice while in office? How can you separate political expediency from governmental expediency, doing anything to win, but then turning around and saying, we will govern ethically and honorably? In other words, as a former government official, how insulated were you? [Did] you understand the extent to which your ability to stand up and argue ‘trust us, there is a legal and Constitutional basis for what we’re doing and we would never do anything to hurt Americans’ [was] harmed by the baggage an administration [dragged] behind it politically?

John Yoo: That is a very good question. It may be the case that the political environment created by campaigns makes it more difficult to govern, particularly in the foreign affairs area. This may be true especially when foreign affairs and national security issues are prominent in the campaigns themselves, as they were in 2004.”

Perhaps some day administration officials will discuss with historians how they reacted to public perceptions of their actions—for better or worse--many of which are now and may remain non-public in nature. At what point did some citizens stop listening to explanations of the administration’s goals and intent? Why did they stop listening? What would have prevented such slippage? Because I am interested not just in outcomes, but in tone at the top, executive vision and communications strategies, I’d like to hear more about that.

Posting from home, of course

Lawrence Brooks Hughes - 12/8/2008

The lack of follow-up attacks was a great achievement, but it is part of a bigger one--the establishment of new chemistry in the Middle East by creating a strong, and soon-to-be prosperous state of Iraq in Mesopotamia, friendly to the U.S. The long term change over there will eventually prove more important that our short term protection against follow-up attacks.