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Flurry of Calls Among Saudi Staff and Spy Coincided with 9/11 Hijackers’ Arrival (starkrealities.substack.com)
185 points by tomohawk 43 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 108 comments

Not trying to be a negative Nancy here, but I did read (most) of TFA and was underwhelmed.

That Saudi nationals were involved in the 9/11 attacks isn't news.

That they had money and support (including from folks inside the US) isn't news.

That multiple Federal and state law "enforcement" and intelligence agencies had information about the potential for these attacks isn't news.

That those agencies didn't put all that information together and stop those attacks isn't news.

That declassified documents confirm what we already knew and/or suspected is mildly interesting, but hardly news.

I didn't get to the end of the article (after six or seven iterations of "so what?" I gave up), so I don't know if there was some sort of attempt to create a conspiracy theory or to bash the US government, both and/or other stuff.

But almost 21 years on, I couldn't manage much more than a "meh" based on the information provided.

I'm sure that all this documentation will be a wonderful trove for future historians, but I'm not sure what it adds at the moment.

Edit: I initially erased ten years of history. Fixed now.

It is not officially known that the Saudi government provided support to the hijackers through Embassy officials and known agents. The currently accepted story is that the Saudi government has always tried to protect the US, has never been in cahoots with Osama bin Laden (at least after he became a terrorist) or Al Queda, and is just kind of unfortunate to have some crazies live on its soil.

If this is true, it is actually a very big deal and would make a significant difference in Saudi US relations, in fact in the relations between Saudi Arabia and most free countries, and it would also allow for the victims of many terrorist attacks to actually sue the Saudi government.

It’s easy to forget that a central job of the Embassy was to support Saudis going to school and they had been providing this service formally and informally for many years and to many people -- the vast majority of whom went back to their community with an expanded outlook on life influenced by the tolerance and social freedoms of spending some formative years in the west. If the Embassy didn't know these guys were terrorists (due to the for-eyes-only information stovepipes which affected the FBI just as much) then they would treat them just the same as any Saudi in the USA -- on-board them into the US (advice on accommodation/where the mosques are/where they serve hallal food/introduce to other Arabs in the community/play cards/etc), then check up on their situation from time to time. And then try to hide the fact they had any contact at all after the passports turned up in the wreckage.

Not saying it’s impossible for any specific bad actor collusion by some individual(s)/institution(s) with overlapping goals - just that proof there was Embassy contact and some support for these terrorists is not conclusive evidence because the same could be said for several hundred thousand non-terrorists.

It sounds like they wound up working with a "salafi fanatic" in the Saudi consulate in LA though.

At the very least it sounds like extremists had infiltrated into government positions and some of them provided critical assistance.

I'm not sure how much this changes the story that we already knew though. There's no evidence that anyone high up in the Saudi government was involved in plotting. The fact that their government could be riddled with religious fanatics isn't terribly surprising.

As far as I understood it was that individuals paid or employed by the Saudi government supported the would-be attackers. That is a far cry from "The Saudi government provided support", especially if you imply that this support was intentional.

Also as far as I understand it, in Saudi Arabia the public sector is rather large and so the chance that Saudi nationals are involved in the government in some way or other is quite high already.

I don’t think these “crazies” employed by the Saudi govt constitute a small percentage. That’s why we shouldn’t call them crazies, as a large section of Saudi bureaucracy supports Salafis. The king of Saudi can’t eradicate them, as they are not 50 crazies working, but they are thousands of salafist sympathizers.

Once Saudi started wallowing in Petrodollars, the Saudi state and its foundations exported their preachers to countries where Muslims and others lived peacefully for a large extent, only to stir up.

I think the huge missing piece in all this is that bin Landen is an heir to what is still one of SA’s largest companies.


Impossible to imply that had no hand in government officials’ willingness to help Osama (even if he was an “outcast”).

It's not a smoking gun to say that some people at the Saudi embassy helped Saudi nationals settle in the US, even if 18 months later those Saudi nationals went on to commit terrorist acts.

For example:

> Bayoumi’s final call to al-Sudairy at the Saudi embassy came on February 7, 2000, after the hijackers were fully settled in the same apartment complex where Bayoumi lived.

It'd be interesting to know how many other non-terrorist people went through a simialr process.

For anyone interested, The Looming Tower provides excellent insight into the events leading up to 9/11.


I watched the show and thought it was pretty good. Not sure how faithful of an adaptation it is, though.

>I don't know if there was some sort of attempt to create a conspiracy theory

Saudi Arabia has threatened to abandon USD and use Yuan for oil and it looks like they are moving ahead. The last two people to threaten the PetroDollar were Saddam and Gaddafi.

On the one hand you seem to think they are clever and cunning, on the other hand they think they can stage a mass casualty attack on US soil (for what reason exactly?) without the US ever finding out and retaliating.

I think the fact that no US government retaliated against Saudi Arabia for 9/11 is quite a bit of evidence in favor of there being no covered-up evidence that the Saudi Arabian government intentionally supported or even condoned this attack. Their dealings with the US in the past few decades tell me they know better than to poke the bear.

Alternatively, we sit on the intel until an opportune moment like Suadi Arabia suggesting a switch from USD.

The US government has an abysmal history of sitting on secrets.

Also, for the sitting government, revealing that information would be more harmful and inconvenient than for the Saudis. What are they gonna do, sanction their oil exports?

thank you

This has already been ruled a conspiracy, the only theories are about who's in on it and who isn't.

So I basically buy the South Park "9/11 Conspiracy conspiracy" where the government doesn't do very public attempts at discrediting its participation in these attacks because...like makes them look scary. Really it's the media not picking up that line. George Bush didn't even address it but denied it in the consequence of his words and deeds, and in his autobiography in fact, where he says his achievement as president first and foremost was protecting America from a second major terrorist attack in the third millennium. And USG deny it, they always denied it, they will always deny it, and good that they denied it because it is impossible to admit to it since it's not true. And there's like government spokespersons which are ignored by the bitchvictim media. And the government openly discrediting and investigating (which is tricky, casting blame around within the government between agencies, fucking bad minefield) and they talk about it on eg the websites of embassies, but it never gets picked up by CNN.

Like they didn't have the Sherlock Holmes at the right place at the right time to stop these attacks. And in particular they have this immune response to hardcore conspiracy theorists, don't listen to them. Nobody sane sees bear markets coming. But the insane are accredited no worth in society. But like at all, societiy discards their worth early and forever. To me, a conspiracy theorist has worth if he is correct. Simple as that. Do you think there's a conspiracy? Better be right.

Julius Caesar should have been a conpiracy theorist.

Theories--meaning abductive logic--are the only way to piece together a conspiracy in the moment. And that's why it's so frowned upon by the bitchvictim media, because it works against them.

In fact the biggest obstacle to an intercessor on a plane would be the other passengers interceding on behalf of Muhammed Ata, to basically protect the stewardess from his boxcutter from Muhammed Ata from the intercessor. Like the terrorist isn't crazy, he's just a terrorist, you're crazy because you're protecting us from annihilation. Apart from that, apart from the other passengers insisting I accept a stewardess taken hostage, I could have totally stopped one of the two plane strikes had I been a passenger. Would have been called South Tower Attack.

So in fact I was converted into a conspiracy theorist by schoolmates, before the teacher arrived, everything was fine, a pat on the back then everybody started kicking me, and I couldn't figure out why, until a girl told me why. And I couldn't figure it out on my own, couldn't come up with conspiracy theories fast enough, because I wasn't a conspiracy theorist. And in fact the only way to figure out you have a "kick me" on your back is knowing about that specific abuse or coming up with the theory, simulating it, and comparing it to reality. Or being told by someone in the conspiracy. That happened a lot. So that "kick me" which the whole class saw, publicly displayed, was a confession of conspiracy. They told me when they conspired against me after conspiring, like half the time. Over time it seems like it wasn't half, less than that, less and less.

Can you argue with that? "Kick me"?

> In fact the biggest obstacle to an intercessor on a plane would be the other passengers interceding on behalf of Muhammed Ata, to basically protect the stewardess from his boxcutter from Muhammed Ata from the intercessor. Like the terrorist isn't crazy, he's just a terrorist, you're crazy because you're protecting us from annihilation. Apart from that, apart from the other passengers insisting I accept a stewardess taken hostage, I could have totally stopped one of the two plane strikes had I been a passenger. Would have been called South Tower Attack.

I'm having trouble following the logic here, but I think the argument is that "passengers didn't stop the attacks and therefore it is a US government conspiracy"?

To that I'll say: How old are you? For people who were adults before 9/11 we understood how hijackings worked: the plane would be landed, there would be negations and hopefully there would be no injuries - or in the worst case maybe the plane would be stormed and a few passengers would die.

9/11 changed that. It's easy to see how true this was by how differently the passengers on flight US93 behaved: this flight was hijacked after the WTC and Pentagon suicide attacks, and they learned about that from SMS and phone calls. That led to them fighting back.

That didn't happen on the other planes because suicide hijacking attacks were new and unexpected.

> new and unexpected.

So on a South Tower flight, supposing I weren't a child at the time and were the man I am now, like you know the time of day, you know they're flying north, you know they're not turning the plane around to Cuba, which is what the itinerary looks like but like but it's not exactly it. And thirty minutes is an eternity for that.

So the key is flashing on the truth, so there's like a couple times in your life, or in History, where the problem is intractable. So for instance, for the 2008/2009 crash, there were government spokespersons saying "nobody on Earth could have seen this coming. Maybe from Mars they could." Well guess I'm a fucking Martian then, because if you do see it coming, you can short the market in the nick of time, high leverage...et cetera. If you can get it to the day, that's priceless. Somewhere in the trillions in value, pays out once per cycle.

But if you do it! Not if you almost do it, so close but no cigar, no, do it! Time the market! Fucking nail it! You just gotta be right!

And then nobody can fuck you with surprises. Not even the first time. Doesn't matter if it's new and unexpected. Spinal reaction.

Have a look at the list of hijackings[1]. I count 149 hijackings between 1960 and 9/11, and about 10 that were "mass casualty events" where more than the hijackers and 5 passengers or airline staff were killed. It seems at least 2 of the mass casualty events were accidents by the hijackers (bombs went off probably accidentally).

I understand your impulse to act, but the math is pretty clear - before 9/11 you were better off waiting out the hijacking. In the even that happened that would have been explained to you by the airline staff and fellow passengers as well as the hijackers.

(And most hijackings in the US didn't go to Cuba - they set down at a domestic airport)

In any event - your instinct to act is irrelevant as to if there was some conspiracy (which I think was your initial point?)

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_hijackings

So I divine the hijackers asked their leader, Osama bin Laden, personally, what happens if an intercessor impedes our martyrdom on the plane? And everyone in the camp kind of twitched when they heard that. They thought of that, feared it. Nobody can memorize the Koran enough to deal with that.

Because then they punish--we're talking punish--the captured terrorists by the standards of the harm of the other tower, which--it's the Twin Towers, they're pretty much the same, it's morally the same, and the terrorists treated them the same. So then when those guys had went to Guantanamo--maximum maximum security--where they belonged--and were retaliated against in life according to the suffering of the victims of the other tower--like that fucks the whole plot. They were at their peak of Muslim devotion, they could only go down from there. They really believed in that afterlife, like if you wake up with a migraine and that migraine never goes away, like...no, I think they'd rather not be terrorists. A thousand powerful, rich would-be 9/11 victims--half of them--would hate their guts forever. Like the people that barely missed the flight. No CNN archeological evidence of fucking anything revising history no "history channel" nothing in any way could protect them from the equivalent punishment. No body doubles. Eye for an eye. A million people's suffering basically, not only the direct deaths but the threat and the power they wished to derive from that threat, the million not the thousand, that is the sunlight focussed on them with a magnifying glass, they are the ant under the glare of a million people's suffering (that's roughly a million to one in fact). No visits, not because nobody was allowed, but because nobody would dare associate with them. And they would cave to the torment, these were really privileged Saudi civil engineers, good degrees good background, beyond their eg memorizing the Koran they were soft. They weren't prepared for justice. Death yes. Punishment no.

And that's why everyone at the camp twitched.

But Osama said it wouldn't happen. Privately prayed for that.

And sure enough, it didn't. America let him predict the future, by discriminating against people just like me, like the endless bots calling me a bot, or saying I'm a monster. Those accusations together disprove each other. So like bots can detect when someone is not a bot--there's those adversarial neural nets that struggle against each other, and when they detect what they can detect, or a human does it for them, when something is too hardcore they call me a bot to plagiarize my answer. Then it's racism accusation, rapism accusation, white supremacist accusation, for blacks it's "playing the race card" accusation, women they call sluts in different ways, they have comedians ready to go too, they have insults for everybody. But never going to court, never fucking going to court, no Judges of the Court, only producers, the judges of public opinion. On this same thread, some nobody with no name and no face called me a GPT-3 bot.

I'd love to be a bot.

Terminator on North Tower flight.

You said you were a child at the time so I think it’s hard to understand the world before you. Everyone expected a hacked plane would land you the passengers would most likely be safe. From everything the passengers on the first plane knew the best way to survive was to do nothing.

Dude before me there was Clint Eastwood. We exist, we're real. Just the number-one threat on the radar, the internal threat of Christian dignity and just NOT TAKING SHIT. So except for the Law, the Bible, the Churches, the Courts, some parts of the USG, the Police, the sailors, the women (in a courtship capacity not in a bureaucratic capacity) and to some extent the children, I am universally hated by all American society, all of it.

America took a lot of shit on 9/11.

It could have taken half.

I missing some literary device here? I have no clue what you just wrote…

It's a new literary device. Well many actually. No idea what to call them, just read my other comments and get the drift.

EDIT: yeah so it's a new form of logic, not a tree, a graph. So there's no hierarchy, it's more like Venetian Democracy: all the people elect twenty among the old to decide on which six children must vote for which ten young husbands to...it goes on, but it goes on for a while, and everyone in the city has say in who becomes the Venetian Duce.

It's clear that the US government has no intention of stirring up trouble inside Saudi Arabia because they're the middle east country that likes money more than religion, and that makes them an important partner if not ally in taming the bat-shit crazy governments of other local countries, some of which we actually put in place.

So you can see how dedicated we are to 9-11 justice when it's not a goat path wasteland or an oil dictatorship that had nothing to do with the attack.

It seems so wild that part of the US government was so happy to start wars in irrelevant countries despite the fact that it appears pretty obvious the real perpetrators hit the Pentagon with a plane. I wonder how conversations go between people in both those departments/branches.

Yeah I think Afghanistan was just a place they could safely drop a lot of expensive bombs.

Iraq, and later see Libya, Syria, and others, ongoing, are places where they don't want strong dictators who are against the international monetary monopoly. Just look at the shenanigans African dictators get up to and we just send trainers, because it's the only effective solution over time.

Everyone always forgets Yemen.

Why does everyone forget Yemen?

Is it because it's the Saudis again? Or is it because Obama did it? Or because Trump continued it? Or is it because Biden said he would end it but didn't?


Inflammatory comment I know. Tell that to the 100s of thousands being genocided.

There seems to be some disconnect with Yemen as we aren't doing the bombing, we're merely supplying the bombs and planning the bombing. It's not our fault that the Saudi's are dropping US bombs on US targets.

This justification falls apart with the blockade though.

If you want to advocate for the Yemeni Civil War issue, why don’t you commenters start with the reasons why Saudis and US are involved. Houthi’s are a foreign-backed (Iran) insurgency attempting to overthrow the government, with the racist slogan “Death to America, Death to Israel, Cursed be the Jews, Victory to Islam".

With that said, lots more needs to be done to prevent innocent civilians from the atrocities from both sides.

Nobody likes having to realpolitik with Saudi. They’re a shitty necessity to counter Iran’s attempt at stirring the pot with global Muslim caliphate nonsense.

I never understand this argument. "The Houthi say "death to America," something they clearly state is an attack on US imperialist policies, so why should we feel bad about slaughtering them and the thousands of unrelated civilians?"

That’s literally addressing only three words from my argument into a straw man caricature. Try the whole thing in good faith.

OK, there's nothing wrong with disliking Israel or liking your religion, and "cursed be the Jews" is racist. No one is advocating bombing/blockading other political groups with racist ideas though.

Plus, it addressed the most important word "slogan." Saying terrible things isn't justification for what we've done to Yemen. The argument has no legs without needing to further turn it into a straw man.

You admit they’re a racist group and then say my “argument has no legs” while failing to address the crux of the issue. Yemeni civil war is started by Houthi attacks on the Government of Yemen. Immense casualties on both sides with civilians caught in crossfire. Iran supporting Houthi rebels undemocratically coup’ing the Yemeni Government. Saudi supporting existing Yemeni government. Do you honestly propose the government just lay down everything and let Houthi takeover as another Taliban?

Fwiw, I still believe in withdrawing US arms and intelligence support for Saudi Arabia. I just am frustrated at always seeing these one-sided takes of the Yemeni Civil War like the Houthis aren’t an equal participant of the crap going on there. An obviously shit situation with no easy answers because of the slimy regional powers.

>You admit they’re a racist group and then say my “argument has no legs” while failing to address the crux of the issue.

I don't think saying racist things justifies bombing someone. Worse, I don't think you should be blockaded because your neighbor is racist.

>Do you honestly propose the government just lay down everything and let Houthi takeover as another Taliban?

The undemocratic government was free to resist, but foreign intervention likely made the situation far worse.

And let's not pretend that Yemen wasn't already "another Taliban." Even before the civil war, the US had regularly launched drone strikes in Yemen for over a decade. Which is the kind of shit that leads a group professing "death to America" to gain power.

I am not responsible for what I consider to be abhorrent acts by the Houthi. I am supposed to be responsible for the acts of the US government.

>obviously shit situation with no easy answers because of the slimy regional powers.

Dropping billions in arms on the situation only makes things worse.

> undemocratically coup’ing the Yemeni Government

I think you're missing some context here. Democracy doesn't have anything to do with anything in Yemen. It was a dictatorship, and when the dictator retired there was an agreement for him to pass power to his vice president, who was afterwards elected in a single-candidate election. Meanwhile the Houthis were facing religious prosecution for years, were against this, and rebelled. Both sides are pretty terrible on the "democracy" axis so no need to involve it and imply that the Yemeni Government (Hadi) have democratic legitimacy. Bashar al-Assad was also elected, does he have democratic legitimacy over the various Syrian opposition parties?

Israel is not a race. (No, the Nazis don't get to decide that.) Genetically, the patriarchy of Israel were closer to present-day Palestinians than to anybody else.

We don't get a say on Houthi. "We" do get a say on use of US intelligence details to target civilians.

Same deal as the Palestinian genocide. Merely supplying the bombs.

> There seems to be some disconnect with $somesuddenlyeuropeancountry as we aren't doing the bombing, we're merely supplying the bombs and planning the bombing. It's not our fault that the $somesuddenlyeuropeancountry's are dropping US bombs on US targets.


EDIT: and with M777 and HIMARS it's quite literal US bombs.

Yet, not genocide. Unless targeting invading Russian tanks and warships counts as trying to eliminate Russians in general.

Yeah, exactly. Compare the civilian losses in these two conflicts and remember who is running around with 'genocide'.

Everyone ignores Yemen for the same reason they ignore Syria: It's bad guys attacking bad guys.

Edit: I appear to be wrong about this:

America would not support either side in those wars, so they just leave them alone to fight.

This is false and a false equivalence. It's like saying that we shouldn't care about ukraine since they have azov actively fighting on the frontline, so both sides are just bad.

There's mostly one side that's doing the "bombing civilians" and "invade your weaker neighbor " part. And it's not like America is neutral here. They are actively supporting the saudi/anti houthi coalition, with intel and weaponry.

It's fine to say that you just don't really care because we can't care about everything, which is true, but there's no need to rationalize that choice.

Really?? I thought US is supplying most of the weapons and logistics for Saudi Arabia to fight in Yemen while Russia is supporting Iran which supports the Houthis. In the end, both sides are bombing the hell out of that country which has no recourse.

I looked into it, just in case I was wrong, and it's certainly not "most of the", but there is some American support for Saudi Arabia fighting Yemen, so I was partially wrong.

>Why does everyone forget Yemen?

Most people have their worldview spoonfed to them by the media, who are almost universally not interested in the Yemen war.

> Afghanistan was just a place they could safely drop a lot of expensive bombs

Afghanistan is literally where Al-Quaeda was based. It wasn't even the US alone - NATO allies also joined the war in Afghanistan because of the obvious connection with 9-11.

Really? I mean! Aren't we pretty far along the desire to attack things,, America is attacking itself

Al Qaida is a mix of Saudi money and Egytian Muslim Brotherhood know how. It all mixed together in Afghanistan.

The attacks were planned and prepped in Afghanistan, and the Taliban gave them sanctuary/protection there.

This makes Afghanistan a relevant country.

The initial strategy there was pretty good, and yielded good results. But the neocons couldn't resist doing a nation building exercise, and that didn't go so well. You didn't need any hindsight to see that coming.

It was mostly planned in Germany, with leadership from the base in Afghanistan and was funded in KSA.

Where is your evidence of Muslim brotherhood involvement?

Yeah I agree. I was exaggerating too much. You are correct they deserved our attention but not a doomed attempt at civilizing a place that doesn't want it.

And everything to do with being a scapegoat for massive pursing of public funds into private entities such as Lockheed and Halliburton

>taming the bat-shit crazy governments of other local countries

Not taking any sides but you should really think about how much of this view is based on factual experience vs. how much could be due to propaganda or a shifted image that arrives after traveling halfway around the world.

It's clear they aren't going to do the same in America because Americans like money?

> It's clear that the US government has no intention of stirring up trouble inside Saudi Arabia because they're the middle east country that likes money more than religion, and that makes them an important partner if not ally in taming the bat-shit crazy governments of other local countries, some of which we actually put in place. The reason why the US doesn't go after them is because if they do, then it will bring to light USA's own role in these attacks.

Still, this is looking like a hell of a lot of leverage that a dem presidency has over a country with leadership that historically loves republicans in office.

To think that no one, anywhere in government, (to say nothing of multiple parties in various positions) will make use of this leverage seems a bit strange and goes against the very implications of holding any power at all.

What leverage exactly? Consider a major split between SA and US. Who do you think would come out worse off?

Look at the hysterics over the current gas crisis. Break it off with the Saudi and you’ll be wistfully looking back at $5 gas. The Saudi regime would have some issues too, but the worse things are for them, the worse it would be for the west.

This develops an immobilization in which the best choice is suspiciously-often found in accepting whatever comes; it's the prophet's conceit, a non-executive position which seeks to intuit outcomes rather than take risk and develop a smart path forward.

In application this psychology is not suitable for the full scope of political decisionmaking.

One needs to design a subjective logical system in which the leverage operates. The leverage could be used in thousands of different ways.

I don't understand the questions. You can't see how knowing of a SA conspiracy against the US is leverage?

Edit: Things you could do:

- Increase cultural pressure within US SA community

- Increase cultural pressure within US arab community

- Tell SA you are wondering what Israel thinks about this

- Incentivize new cultural narratives (film, books, etc) and redirect special funding to think tanks

- Create a long-term partnership coalition

- Behind the scenes: Find new weak spots in SA

- Behind the scenes: Exploit new weak spots in SA, foment a renewed arab spring, etc.

These are just the tip of the iceberg, there must be thousands more.

The bad things that would happen as a result:

- Reduced SA govt access to power

- Reduced SA govt access to needed resources

- Reduced SA govt image

- Increasing trouble literally anywhere in or with SA.

What incentive does the US have to decrease SA power and stability, considering that they one of US's strongest partners in the region? All of the things you list seem like a negative outcome for the US.

It's only leverage if you can describe the bad thing that would happen to SA if the conspiracy came out. From where I'm standing, the US has more to lose in this situation.

I think that's backwards. This is leverage over Biden. The release is timed to shame the administration for reversing their anti-Saudi policy, just as Biden goes over to make amends and ask for more oil to ease inflation.

Even if that's the case, such a release would be so easy to flip?

Just one example: "Look, we all see how 9/11 happened. You want your republican friends to love you again, we all know that. But now it's looking really bad..."

... = more oil concessions from SA that you don't even have to mention back in the US. You could even dump on SA in the press with that leverage.

My memory of the post 9-11 investigation:

Weeks 0-3: The investigation can lead anywhere as long as it does not lead to Saudia Arabia.

Weeks 3+: The investigation can lead anywhere as long as it leads to Iraq.

I don't remember a direct link being made between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein. There always was mumbling about Saddam supporting terrorism, and Iraq being part of generally the same problem. Not exactly a wrong supposition, though the conclusion was quite disastrous.

The GP's point is that 9/11 was turned into an excuse to invade Iraq, even though there was no actual connection.

My feeling (I'm not an American) is that America got attacked and partly lost its mind and partly just had to lash out at somebody in retaliation to keep up its deterrence as a superpower. That climate made the Iraq invasion look like a good idea at the time.

As far as I understood it, 9/11 was never stated as an excuse to invade Iraq (as opposed to Afghanistan). At best as a reason to take the region more seriously. The government was convinced Saddam Hussein had connections to terrorism, but that wasn't really the reason to knock him out, they thought he had weapons of mass destruction. And yes, the Bush administration really was convinced of that, they just lied about the degree of evidence they had.

Anyone with a modicum of awareness of politics at the time knew the Bush administration:

1) wanted to be in a war, since it historically makes the administration more significant

2) wanted to invade Iraq to "finish Dad's business" (and show him up)

3) oil

4) military industrial complex loves war

Sadly, #3 is the most sane reason we got in that war.

Oh yeah, and Halliburton made a mint on Iraq war support. The corruption was that blatant.

Cheney did, in fact, frequently express such a connection, even long after it was shown to be false.

Rumsfeld had openly started planning for attacks on Iraq within 5-6 hours of the pentagon being struck by flight 77.

As well he should. Iraq was one of the major suspects, especially that early. Having those plans, and preferably to never use them, is the very job of the defense department.

What are you talking about? There never was, nor has there ever been evidence that Hussein orchestrated 9/11 attacks and Rumsfeld mentions targeting him specifically even in light of only having evidence that bin Laden was involved.

Plane hits pentagon 9:37am

by 2:40pm Rumsfeld is quoted in notes

> "best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H." – meaning Saddam Hussein – "at same time. Not only UBL" – the initials used to identify Osama bin Laden.

I didn't say there was. But when the culprits weren't clear, Iraq was a legitimate suspect for a time.

Let me get this straight. There was very little evidence and the evidence we did have didn't point to Iraq, but they were a legitimate suspect?

You have to realize how this sounds, but I'll keep an open mind to interpreting what you're saying hospitably if you'd like to explain your reasoning.

Maybe "suspect" means more to you than it does to me.

Maybe, that's why I'm hoping you'll explain what you mean.

It was never unclear. The Administration knew the same day that it was Al-Quaeda.

One of the stewardesses on the first plane to hit the tower called and told the control tower the seats the hijackers were in (2A & B), which led to their identification and connections to al-quaeda - same DAY.

I mean I may be wrong about this. Still I don't see evidence that it was clear on that day that Saddam Hussein was not responsible in any way. Saddam Hussein had motives to act against the US, did so in the past, and I really doubt that they had conclusive evidence Saddam Hussein didn't and would never work with Al-Qaeda.

The very job of the DOD is to have such attack plans in the drawer. That's all I'm going to say on this.

I don’t know what to make of this. While this is news to me it is not to the FBI right? Would they really cover up Saudi involvement in 9/11? Could whatever aims we have there (and I do realize the importance of our relationship with them) really be that important? Looking the other way on terrible things like Khashoghi’s murder is bad but you can at least understand the calculus, but 9/11?

It’s hard to imagine this is something. But not impossible.

Everyone was desperately trying to let the feds know there was a pending attack since at least July/August 2001, they were just strategically deaf to it.

Best case scenario, these alerts happen so often that 99% are false positives. They regarded the 9/11 as a false positive as well. Not that that's an excuse for such a grave "error" but at least a thesis against the conspiracy theory

It was a lot worse than that. This would’ve been a credible threat that various intelligence agencies in the US were aware of.

Al-Queda was already involved in other terrorist attacks and was known to US intelligence.

All the different agencies had info on a lot of the hijackers but they all kept it to themselves or the info wasn’t passed up the ladder.

The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright is one of the best books on this topic and goes further into it. But I’m sure you can find other references, including the 9/11 Report.

This was a massive failure by the US intelligence community.

---- Edit:

I'll add some references so my comment is a little more contributory besides just "read this book."


This special report goes into it. Here is a quote from the report:

"The intelligence led to a surveillance operation in Malaysia in which it was discovered that Mihdhar had a valid multiple-entry U.S. visa and photographs of Mihdhar meeting with other al Qaeda operatives were taken."

The CIA had this information and should've passed it on to the FBI. (CIA operates outside the US, FBI operates inside the US.)

The report continues:

"We reviewed whether this information was in fact passed to the FBI by the CIA, and based on the evidence, concluded that while the CIA passed some of the information about Mihdhar to the FBI, it did not contemporaneously pass the information about Mihdhar’s U.S. visa to the FBI. We concluded it was not disclosed by the CIA until late August 2001, shortly before the September 11 terrorist attacks. We also reviewed whether FBI detailees to the CIA contemporaneously acquired this information and what action, if any, they took with respect to this information."

Then there's the FAA-related stuff, which is what brought on the TSA. This is from the 9/11 Report:

"The next aviation security layer was passenger prescreening. The FAA directed air carriers not to fly individuals known to pose a “direct” threat to civil aviation. But as of 9/11, the FAA’s “no-fly” list contained the names of just 12 terrorist suspects (including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed), even though government watchlists contained the names of many thousands of known and suspected terrorists."

A few paragraphs down, the report explains why the known hijackers were still allowed to fly:

"Although the algorithm included hijacker profile data, at that time only pas- sengers checking bags were eligible to be selected by CAPPS for additional scrutiny. Selection entailed only having one’s checked baggage screened for explosives or held off the airplane until one had boarded. Primarily because of concern regarding potential discrimination and the impact on passenger throughput, “selectees” were no longer required to undergo extraordinary screening of their carry-on baggage as had been the case before the system was computerized in 1997. This policy change also reflected the perception that nonsuicide sabotage was the primary threat to civil aviation."

This is just two examples I wanted to quickly dig up. There's an entire list of failures you can find if you read the reports or the book I mentioned earlier. It's quite good reading, I promise! Understanding the failures also gets you to understand the changes that came after 9/11. This includes things like the PATRIOT act, TSA, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), etc. DHS is meant to force the intelligence communities to share intel with each other rather than "compete" for it.

I would love to damn the Bush Administration of ignoring the warnings so they had a casus belli. But the Bush Administration hated the clintons so much that they ignored all intelligence handovers and warnings that came from holdover administration personnel. In this case it was incompetence.

But they woke up REAL FAST to using it to their ends and desires.

Of course they woke up! And now we'll likely be stuck with things like the PATRIOT Act for the rest of this country's existence. Just can't ever see it taken away.

Based on the article, if everything is true (or beyond ordinary coincidence which it argues), what other explanation is possible?

People either have short memories, or were too young, but there was a legitimately bipartisan, independent commission that looked into this. Most of the info in this article is from that commission's investigation, with a few interesting new connections added.


There was no coverup, it is just complicated. No doubt that there were elements in the Saudi govt that helped. That doesn't mean it was Saudi policy. Same with Bin Laden hiding in Pakistan.

Yes, but that commission report was published in 2004 with heavily redacted and edited documents and the way that every subsequent administration has stonewalled release of any other tidbit of information makes it look like they have something to hide about a Saudi Arabian connection. Stuff has had to be dragged out over the decades to even piece together what actually happened in detail. Maybe there's nothing there. But we won't know at this rate for 100 years.

Even with discovery by the attorneys for the victims of the 9/11 attacks uncovering more information over the years, we did not know the identity of Mussaed al-Jarrah until the FBI under the Trump administration accidentally released documents with his name not redacted. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/in-court-filing-fbi-accident...

Saudi Arabia later admitted it had been funding terrorists for generations supposedly as a counter to the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan and Iran, it only recently has tried to stop the spigot of money - the 9/11 commission made like this was not by design but outside forces somehow corrupting the intent - that they got this so wrong seems like something out of work of fiction https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/09/saudi-arabia...

What with them not doing much about pumping more oil in moment of crisis, I'm starting to think they are not very good allies.

They aren't Putin.

What's going on in Yemen is pretty similar to what's going on in ukraine right now. And the KSA also has a putin-like tendency of sending death squads to murder international opposition.

The only reason why they seem to not be as bad for westerners is because middle eastern lives are given almost 0 value here in the west.

So you'll always get some hand wavy rationalisation to justify not doing anything about the KSA, because eh it's a complex situation! While at the same time claiming that the human cost of war is so atrocious and unexcusable that nothing is off the table, no punishment is severe enough, and everyone needs to do something... when it's russian aggression.

When in reality both situations are just as bad and just as unexcusable. And man I know my comment has gone on a tangent, but the cognitive dissonance and the overt downplaying that comes with it just irks me. It's so blatant too: our side always deserves nuance, justification and contextualization ( whether it's us fully supporting the KSA regime or US/EU imperalism).

It's just so convenient, especially when you compare the passivity/downplaying in threads like this one to other discussions on the same website where people are unironically arguing that your average Joe should risk jail and torture to stop their government from killing people in their wars of aggression. But us? No; I mean we aren't as bad as putin, and death yemenis will just understand that

The fact that your comment doesn't include the word Iran anywhere tells me something.

What does it tell you? Obviously the houthis are supported by Iran, and I don't even have any particular love for the houthis themselves. But I don't blame them for getting Iranian support, just like I don't blame ukraine from getting foreign support. You take what you can get in those situations.

Not that it matters but I'm sunni muslim, so my outlook is not even sectarian imo.

My terse one-liner was obviously not implying Saudi Arabia is a nation of saints or even better than Russia in any regard.

One argument one can make is that the situation in Ukraine is worse from a European perspective because it is so much closer and the economic and political ties are much tighter.

The Trump administration "fully supported" KSA, Biden does not btw.

Yeah again sorry about my rant! Id say that me being a muslim from the MENA region is probably why I care as much, just like europeans care more about ukraine. The issue is when that (geographic?) biais is not acknowledged, so we get tons of downplaying or people arguing that it's actually just not as bad. Again, that's more of a observation on the thread in general ,not aimed at your comment in particular!

Though I'd dispute your last point, Biden hasn't done anything against the KSA and the status quo just means a (+-) continuation of trump's policy. We will probably even see the Biden administration placating the saudis to keep gas prices in check, and hurt the russians. Which to me is absurd/Self defeating and would just signal that again, some lives are worth more than others.

Biden already called Saudi Arabia a pariah when he took office and he'll probably continue calling them out on quite a few things. But in general, there are bigger problems and there's not a lot to be improved just from rethoric.

The one thing about 9/11 that nobody has been able to explain to me, even my most skeptical friends, is where is any footage or photographs of the plane that hit the pentagon?

I’m not talking about scattered debris. Or burnt desks and papers.

I’m talking about the plane. Or what’s left of it.

Anyone seen any actual footage or photos?

There was only one security camera on at the time with only a few frames of the plane before impact - but it's not good footage. I saw it a long time ago.

Remember that this is in the time before cell phone cameras.

I'll drop references which might interest some of you if you are interested in learning more about the subject:

Plan of Attack, by Bob Woodward

Decision Points, by George W. Bush

No Higher Honour, by Condoleezza Rice

Known and Unknown, by Donald Rumsfeld

At the Center of the Storm, by George Tenet

In My Time, by Dick Cheney

Yes, I know what you're thinking, but it's a good thing to be able to view a situation from another person's point of view, no matter your personal opinion of them.

You might also be interested in “If I Did It” by OJ Simpson.

But seriously, these are not good faith, honest accounts of what transpired. These are political actors doing politics; trying to burnish legacies that were tarnished by the blood of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

>but it's a good thing to be able to view a situation from another person's point of view

Why? I already lived through the Bush presidency, why do I need to read his BS justification for his crimes again?

When 9/11 happened half the bush administration probably celebrated. If you don’t think Dick Cheney was salivating at the prospects of profiteering from war then you are crazy.

Oh and of course the lockheeds and the Boeings and all those companies probably viewed the attack as an opportunity to extract billions from the American public.

The source of these “intelligence” always seems to be flawed or straight up lies in retrospect. Coming out after two decades seems like an invention to use as an excuse for a battering ram of new wars or regime changes if they stray out of Biden’s orbit and wishes. Seems the snub of the phone calls and other slights are the answer to such stories and their occurrence and surfacement.

My favorite Awlaki story:


This is nothing more than US government pressuring the Saudi government ahead of the planned Biden visit. Obviously if the Saudi had been there involved in 9/11 directly or indirectly they would have been a invaded the next day. It’s no secret that Al Qeada and the Saudis are sword enemies that been fighting each other for decades. The US-Saudi relations during at the time was stellar and the Saudis would have to have been completely insane to do something like 9/11.

The only wise this the Saudis can do now is withdraw all their accounts for investments from the US unless they want to get blackmailed and their assets frozen.

Also they’d do well to stop buying US weapons and instead ally with China. Also, they should consider ditch the US dollar To watch America turn to a third world country overnight.

> Obviously if the Saudi had been there involved in 9/11 directly or indirectly they would have been a invaded the next day

9/11 happened because al-Qaeda said the US had already had invaded "Saudi" Arabia eleven years earlier. 9/11 was successful in that it was the catalyst for removing US military bases from Saudi Arabia within two years of 9/11.

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