People in other countries are also people. They have the same reactions and emotions that we would when a foreign entity blows up their businesses, families, and friends. We have so far been lucky that none of our victims have had the military power and political will to retaliate in the vicious and violent manner that we would. That will not always be the case, and I do not look forward to the day when our own brutality is visited upon us.
But it suffers from something too common around here - dispassion. Looking at the wider, geopolitical implications, a step back from the facts and keeping things on the level of "people" - not that person.
I read your comment first, then dived into the article. I expected to agree with you, but I just felt mounting horror, outrage and a realisation that things are beyond a line I never knew existed. So here is my comment
Jesus H Fucking Christ on a Stick! We are blowing up American Citizens sitting in cafes and legally it's "untouchable". Are we that fucking removed from reality that its ok to murder people with no trial or comeback. It seems its ok to blow away the son and grandson of other country's government ministers and not expect a war, a prison sentence, or even a mention on CNN
Are we that fragile as a civilisation that the tiny amount of damage terrorism presents is actually a threat? What did I miss - I thought we had industry, welfare, science and ingenuity. Stop murdering people.
I am writing to my MP but mostly I would like some figures - there was a twitter thing that reported gun murders. Can we do the same for drone murders?
If that's not anti-constitutional, your constitution ain't worth shit.
If it is anti-constitutional, your system of "checks and balances" ain't worth shit.
Either way something fundamental is very broken there.
[Edit: Utah's house, not the US congress]
(EDIT: In case this looks like an argument it isn't, parent's comment originally referred to "our congress".)
The most extremist power any political leader can assert
is the power to target his own citizens for execution
without any charges or due process, far from any
battlefield. The Obama administration has not only
asserted exactly that power in theory, but has exercised
it in practice.
Dear Mr Franklin, Sorry its taken me a while to catch
up. I promise to stay on the ball from now on.
What is this referring to? Google brings up nothing at all on this paragraph.
I feel weird linking to an image macro on HN, but it is sadly relevant.
That's not what was done with Al Awalki. He was on a kill list because it wasn't possible to bring him in alive, because he was hiding in Yemen. The Constitution has never protected fugitives who hide out in order to evade capture and a trial (the old west "wanted: dead or alive").
The Constitution just guarantees you "due process." This almost always means a trial, but it does not mean that the government has to give you a trial regardless of the circumstances.
Do we have rules about foreign assassinations and their legality?
I seem to recall in the Clinton years it was considered a big deal to snuff someone in another nation.
Often, we've relied on foreign intelligence services -- like Mossad -- to do it for us.
I have no idea what I think about droning, except that in my experience, technological ability always takes precedence over legal and moral fictions.
In other words, if we can do it, other guys can do it, and so we use it to keep up.
There are no words that can express how I feel about this, and at the same time are suitable for this fine audience.
Once the whole world is a battlefield then everyone is on the field of battle. Interestingly enough it takes congress to declare war so in effect what we've had here is a very blatant power grab, an invocation of emergency procedures in the name of National Security. How aptly the National Security Agency seems named now, don't you think.
Obviously there is the TIDE list that gets people restricts their right of travel (no-fly lists - (I wonder does this cover getting on a boat or is it just that specific mode of international travel - (thank you for reading this far))). But there must also be a shorter "these people are really bad and must be taken out list" and that's what these people are on. Modulo the odd innocent bystander, and error be it human operator or machine or intelligence.
So it's not murder, it's 21st century warfare and these are the enemy.
That doesn't mean it doesn't stink to high hell. And if they was any justice in the world the people who set up and enable these unjust extra-judicial killings with there oh so pat cover story and layers and layers of secrecy upon secrecy would get their just desserts in turn.
† it's not 'murder' when they do it
The United States has declare a very few wars and fought many more, of varying degrees of length and intensity.
they have an amazing datastore of all of the known drone strikes
if you click into a specific country,
they give detailed accounts of the events,
like location, and how many dead,
down to the number of civilians versus presumed militants,
and also a detailed description of what occurred
i remember reading of one where the drone bombed a shelter with presumed militants inside, one person survived, crawled out of the wreckage and began to run into the desert,
the drone circled around and tracked and followed the man for twenty minutes as he ran away and finally shot him dead
there are so many that I had to go into their archive to find the one spoken about in this article,
and it is a very detailed account:
October 14 2011
♦ 7-9 people killed, including 16-year and 17 year old boy
♦ 2 teenage children reported killed
A second drone attack then struck either a vehicle or a restaurant area. PBS Frontline later filmed at the scene of the attack, the footage showing the ruined foundations of a small building along with a nearby crater. Abdel- Rahman Anwar al Awlaki, the 16-year old son of al-Awlaki, died... the article is written by NASSER al-AWLAKI... Also initially reported killed was militant Ibrahim al-Bana. Doubts have since been raised about al-Bana’s death. A statement from Abdel-Rahman’s family read, ‘he left with some friends for dinner under the moonlight when an American missile landed, killing Abdel-Rahman and his friends‘. In a separate statement, the family said: ’On October 14th, 2011 Abdulrahman, along with some of his tribe’s youth have gone barbecuing under the moonlight. A drone missile hit their congregation killing Abdulrahman and several other teenagers’. A second teenager and family member, Ahmed Abdel-Rahman al-Awlaki, 17, is known to have died. Five to seven others were also killed, including Sarhan al-Qusa (aka Farhan al Quso) brother of AQAP leader Fahd al-Qusa or Quso, according to a member of Awlaki’s tribe. Reuters later claimed that the dead men were planning to renounce al Qaeda before they were killed. Elders claimed that four other Awlaki tribal members died in the strike.
Two weeks after the strike, AQAP released leaflets stating that Ibrahim al-Bana had not been killed. Ansar al-Sharia also reported in its second October newsletter that Bana’s death was ‘a lie’. In a statement, Yemen security officials said the air strike was among five that targeted al Qaeda positions in Shabwa, adding that al-Bana was wanted internationally for planning attacks both inside and outside Yemen. ‘He was one of the group’s most dangerous operatives,’ it said. The Washington Post reported that it was JSOC rather than the CIA which carried out the attack:
When pressed on why the CIA had not pulled the trigger, US officials said it was because the main target…an Egyptian named Ibrahim al-Banna, was not on the agency’s kill list. The Awaki teenager, a US citizen with no history of involvement with al Qaeda, was an unintended casualty. In interviews, senior US officials acknowledged that the two kill lists don’t match, but offered conflicting explanations as to why.
In April 2012 the Toronto Star featured an interview with Nasser al-Awalaki, grandfather of Abdel-Rahman and former Yemen government minister. In it he said that former Yemen President Saleh had sent him a message insisting that he had had no role in his grandson’s death: ‘Tell Dr. Nasser I swear to God that I have nothing to do with the killing of his son.’Nasser al-Awlaki also said he would be taking legal action: ‘I am only a university professor and I’m not the kind of guy who would enlist tribal people. My only chance now is to go to court and I hope as far as Abdulrahman at least, they will be fair to us. They cannot claim he’s collateral damage.’
In April 2013 Jeremy Scahill added further controversy to the attack, reporting:
A former senior official in the Obama administration told me that after Abdulrahman’s killing, the president was “surprised and upset and wanted an explanation.” The former official, who worked on the targeted killing program, said that according to intelligence and Special Operations officials, the target of the strike was al-Banna, the AQAP propagandist. “We had no idea the kid was there. We were told al-Banna was alone,” the former official told me. Once it became clear that the teenager had been killed, he added, military and intelligence officials asserted, “It was a mistake, a bad mistake.” However, John Brennan, at the time President Obama’s senior adviser on counterterrorism and homeland security, “suspected that the kid had been killed intentionally and ordered a review. I don’t know what happened with the review.”‘
And in May 2013 US Attorney-General Eric Holder told US lawmakers Abdulrahman was ‘not specifically targeted by the United States’. In a letter, Holder explained Anwar al Awlaki was a legitimate target and that ‘[US] citizenship alone does not make such individuals immune from being targeted’. He said three other US citizens, including Abdulrahman, had been killed by US drones during Obama’s presidency.
Abdulrahman’s grandfather discusses his death in a July 2012 interview for ACLU and CCR
Type of action: Air assault, drone strike
Location: Azan, Shabwa
References: CNN, GlobalPost, Business Insider, Yemen Post, ABC, AFP (via Taiwan News), Reuters,Press TV, AP, Washington Post, Long War Journal, LA Times, Reuters, Yemen Post, Time Magazine, Antiwar.com, Empty Wheel, Salon, Al-Awlaki family statement, EmptyWheel, Toronto Star, PBS Frontline, CNN, The Nation (US), Department of Justice
i was first turned onto this site from an app that attempted to text you every time a new drone strike was posted to this site,
the APPL app store refused its submission a number of times citing "The features and/or content of your app were not useful or entertaining enough"
This is one of the big reasons I went with Android - I don't want to be blocked from doing what I define as "useful or entertaining" on my own hardware. [To be clear - I'm not saying Android is perfect, secure, private or anything else.]
Here is an interview with Josh Begley, the man behind that account:
The crux of the debate is how much an "american citizen" can claim the protection of that citizenship while waging war against the U.S. and evading attempts to bring him to justice for a decade.
Being an American citizen entitles you to due process. Not "a court trial no matter what the circumstances," but some level of process appropriate to the circumstances.
> Stop murdering people.
It's only murder when people who are part of the same social compact and subject to the same law kill each other. When one group of people organized into a state kills people in another group, that's not "murder" it's exercise of the sovereign right of nations.
This applies to Anwar Al-Awlaki himself, and even then the constitutionality of the killing seems highly suspect to me. But his son (the author's granson), Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki, was also killed by a drone strike in Yemen. Nobody has publicly stated a justification for Abdulrahman's death. He was simply an American citizen traveling in the country his family came from, as far as we know.
On the other hand, the drone program in essence demands that the US conduct a long-running campaign of assassination. I might not have a moral problem with that in the specific case of actual, bona fide Al Qaeda personnel, but surely this can't be how we deal with all our adversaries moving forward?
I want to make sure we're on the same page here. A child who is not on any kill lists, a boy who according to the laws of our land does not have the capacity to make rational decisions when it comes to having sex, looking at people have sex, drink alcohol, vote, smoke tobacco, rent a car, drive a car, I can go on but it's getting boring? A child who isn't able to do any of those things ... can nevertheless wage war against the US and be executed for treason without due process or even a sham trial? You even get those in Russia, of all places.
Oh wait. They didn't accuse him of treason. Collateral damage then? I guess that's OK.
I would say something offensive that might be construed as treasonous at this point, but the NSA is reading.
No, there was no indication. There was also no acknowledgement, apology, or explanation either. That's what the article is about.
What's done is done. The child is dead. What the government owes every citizen at this point is an explanation of what happened and a clear process to make sure it never happens again.
Instead, there's just silence.
Apparently you can just be killed by the US government for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, even though you're a citizen and deserve proper due process?
That's my take at this point. I wonder at what point the US government will start targeting individuals on US soil? We already have drones flying above our heads here at home. How soon until you're the collateral damage?
You can't blame the government for not giving due process to someone killed in a military strike where the government didn't even know he was going to be there.
> I wonder at what point the US government will start targeting individuals on US soil?
The slippery slope argument here just doesn't hold up. It's not the first time in history an American has been killed collaterally in a military strike targeted at a foreign enemy. Thousands of American citizens, including POW's, were killed in Hiroshima: http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20118397,00..... It's regrettable and unfortunate, but not a sign of some slippery slope leading to drone strikes on U.S. soil.
The fact is that the rules are different for engagements abroad versus engagements at home and always has been. Not just for the U.S., but for every country in the history of the world.
Edit: I don't completely love focusing on the technology behind killing innocent people in war. Whether the planes are piloted or not, people sitting in cafes, elementary schools, orphanages... get killed because we no longer arrest bad guys. We try to blow them up.
That's the problem. Americans are very sheltered from the wars they start for the most part, so they let their government do whatever. Americans aren't still thinking 9/11 happened because they hated them for their freedoms, do they?
That said, where the public stands has relatively little to do with the US's actions. the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions were knee-jerk actions made supported by people who were acting under information that later turned out to be totally false. The current drone strikes weren't ever a serious ballet issue. In fact, I daresay most conflicts in which the US has been engaged in the last 40 years were initiated with very little regard as to public consent beyond "will they riot if we do this?"
Have some personal accountability.
Or else, you are not free, nor a democracy.
While I agree with you, it is more complex than I simplified it. It is that general apathy of americans that lets administrations get so out of control.
Party sizes vary greatly after elections which means politicians feel the consequences of their actions. It is not perfect of course, but it is better.
The weird thing is that it is possible to have multiple parties in the US, but they never get enough votes. This makes it seem like their has to be a lot of corruption.
Countries where multiple parties feasibly compete have the possibility, at least, of a disruptive new party taking share.
The American system, like the American ISP market in most of the country, is so rigged for the two corrupt incumbents that you basically always have a choice of light dark gray or dark light gray.
I live in Japan where we have a wide range of competing ISPs and political parties. Both Internet service and political representation are vastly better than in my native USA.
(Admittedly, the former more so than the latter...)
he did indicate he would continue President Obama’s controversial drone strike program against alleged terrorist suspects.
In human rights abuses, illegal wars, prison population, and all of those other great things that you're all so damn proud of.
My friend, have you considered the horrors of an America faced with a credible threat and given the opportunity to justify real, total war against an opponent capable of the same?
I do not wish to live in that world.
The number of humans on Earth that want to kill large numbers of other humans is exceedingly, vanishingly small.
Most people just don't want to blow people up, no matter how angry they are.
If this were false, we'd see bombings, shootings, and poisonings constantly all over the country. We don't.
I grew up in Detroit. Trust me when I say that this country has no shortage of machine guns.
If these sorts of things were being stopped by the NSA's dragnet, they wouldn't have claimed to have stopped "dozens" of attacks with their surveillance. They'd have claimed "hundreds" or "thousands". They didn't.
There just aren't that many people who wish civillian populations harm, even if their government did blow up their loved ones.
The typical reaction of a nation is not "Oh well, we better stop doing that then".
Just to give you some perspective: I live in Poland. 20% of the population - 6 million (not 10,000) civilians - was killed in WW2 by Germans and Russians. Our neighbors. We lived through it. We have quite good relations with both countries. Now - forgive me the language - but how many Poles look at your 9/11 - it's a non-event. And you go like crazy on a 1000-year war with billion Muslims because some idiots blew up a couple of buildings. I'm sorry but that's how I and I'm sure many in Europe perceive it. Completely and totally overreacted. Just bring the responsible before the Court give them the due process and hand them or something.
You are totally inexperienced as a nation with just 200 years of history with the phenomenon called "shit happens" and totally, totally overreact to the point it just looks comical. You are like this big fat guy with a machine guy at a bar doing shooting-frenzy trying to kill a fly.
To use an analogy, it looks like in the US they would have tortured Breivik for years before letting him to go to face a Trial but without a defense attorney. It's another extreme. Taking into account that the US is the world superpower, much more concerning one.
EDIT: Now thinking about it, Breivik spent a lot of time in France. It's a stretch, but if the Norway had the US attitude, it would just invade France now, lol. My point is that they are really, really over the top with that "terrorism" thing.
The Unites States has a mentality of punishing the perpetrators, often very hard, in order to gain revenge and maybe act as a deterrent to others. This is why the US is one of the onlycountries in the world that use capital punishment, and the country in the world where most people are in prison.
Unfortunately research shows that this doesn't work, as evidenced by crimerates and homicides in the US. Norway takes a different approach, and instead of looking for revenge they ask "how do we prevent this from happening again". This is why there is no capital punishment, why you see drug offenders in nice rehabilitation homes, and why Breivik was convicted like any other murderer within the Norweigan system.
The Norweigan system works, and the American doesn't. Just look at the numbers.
I am a firm believer in the Norwegian style of punishment and rehabilitation. The goal of a justice system is not to punish or get revenge but to create a safe society with little crime, and if rehabilitation does that (which is what I believe) then we should have more rehabilitation.
That might not work with suicide bombers. Just a thought.
The problem here that the "Fight for what's mine" mentality is a core of American society. If there was a credible threat to America, the 310 million of them would band together stronger than ever before to unleash a horrible, all consuming war.
As a side note on the Middle East. I think that the US deliberately destabilize the situation in the region, preparing the ground for the Iran takeover.
What is the much more efficient boundary of government that is not a nationstate ?
Something is going to break. And we generally wake up and fix thing only after things break.
I say another 5-10 manning/snowden type events before we transition from the united states of america to the the united states of earth.
National identities, as complex as they are and as huge an improvement over religions as they are to serve for the above purpose, are still artificial constructs that in many ways create arbitrary boundaries, introduce and perpetuate differences that are not necessary to exist between people and in some cases have even been manipulated and used by governments for political reasons.
Last I checked they immigrated too.
But if a person says the phrase "I'm American", what's your first guess - that he is referring to the USA, to Canada or to Mexico?
Speaking as a Canadian, I do not call myself an 'American', even though my country is certainly part of North America.
I understand that "Americans" is a shorthand for "USA Habitant", in the minds of a lot of people, mainly because USA is the dominant culture in this side.
But is like ask: "I'm Asian" and asume is about a chinese.
The big difference in this case is that we have tacit (or maybe even explicit) consent from the Yemeni government to hunt Al Qaeda. So the representatives of the people of that country are allowing us to kill these people basically on their behalf. (which doesn't make it OK, but is a major differnce)
It's not just that we are bullying Yemen into allowing us to bomb people in their country - it's that the Yemini authorities (and probably most of the population) don't want these people operating in their country but they lack the resources and infrastructure to stop them themselves; and that's where we come in.
Bare in min that we also give Yemen a lot of military aid so that we DON'T HAVE TO come in and do their law enforcement for them. In this case that wasn't sufficient and we intervene on their behalf
To make your example comparable you would need to have a person that is evading US authorities, operating in the US, and that we are completely incapable of stopping (and only some other country could do it for us?)
Here is why: Yemeni government != Yemeni people. The authorities, probably, don't mind letting US drones kill people, simply because it won't be them getting killed.
Imagine the US military firing tear gas and water cannons on protesters in Turkey and saying "It's OK, your government gave us permission". The major problem in the Middle East is that, the governments can get away with not giving a fuck about the people.
I think you're having reading comprehension issues. It's not just that the gov't are requesting help. The reason we are involved in Yemen is because the Yemini gov't is incapable of exerting it's own will b/c they are weak and poor. Their interests are also strongly tied to our interests - so that's why we intervene.
Your example has is not at all analogous. The Turkish gov't is not incapable of tear gassing and water cannoning protesters, so they fail the first criteria of being incapable of carrying out their will. The example also fails the second criteria for intervention - that it's strongly in the US's interest.
"Yemeni government != Yemeni people"
Who else can you appeal to in Yemen to get permission to operate drones?
And are you seriously suggesting that the Yemeni people are supporting Al Qaeda? If they are, then they become the "enemy".
The way it works for other nations is we tell them:
1 - You will fight Al Qaeda in our country
2 - If you are incapable, we will help you do it by providing military aid.
3 - If you are still incapable we will us our own armed forces to make sure you are able to.
4 - If you are not willing to fight Al Qaeda or are actively defending them they we will intervene anyways.
The last point either leads to the case of the Taliban where we destroy them because they are defending Al Qaeda, or to Pakistan where they are forced to accept our help.
Aw, downvoted, for pointing out that the US carries out drone assaults in sovereign territories without consent.
Well, bury your head in the sand all you like.
Many people around the world would say that one of those days was September 11, 2001.
And on the following day, we'll bomb the everliving christ out of the people we think are responsible, and on some day hence, we will be bombed in response.
The wheel turns--might as well get into the drone and bomb business. :(
Just before people rewrite history, afganistan and iraq governments had nothing to do with 9/11.
Beating the USA over the head post-911 with the club of having assisted anti-Soviet fighters in the 1970s and 1980s makes as much sense as castigating Italy's WW1-era allies and people like Hemingway in the late 1930s for having come to Italy's aid twenty years earlier.
Harbouring criminals is a reason to declare war?
The argument remains the same, I drew a parallel with a current situation to highlight how ridiculous it was to blame the Taliban for 9/11 (as they had NOTHING to do with it). Just as Russia had nothing to do with Snowden (except that he's there).
Tin-foil hat aside, it strikes me as oddly coincidental that the folks who use drones these days to kill around the planet with impunity are the same folks who had several allegedly drone controlled airliners carry out an attack, garnering public support for several illegal wars.
Just saying, it's all mightily convenient. As ever.
As to foreign bombers... So? Most Americans agree drone strikes are a good thing, so surely they'd still be a good thing when they start happening on US soil?
If you don't, then I applaud your critical thinking.
I don't think a single word that comes out of the US (and UK) gov't is truthful. Why would they be truthful about 9/11?
Means, motive, and opportunity: Who'd consider 3000 dead Americans a reasonable price to pay for carte blanche to make a pushbutton military coup possible in this country?
The US already controls, coerces, or mutually cooperates with a large number of other sovereign states (as we've seen with this whole Snowden airspace thing, or the global surveillance networks, et c).
Such an action would place a person or group that was able to exert leverage over the majority of US persons high in the running for "able to control the majority of humans on Earth".
Not a bad prize, that.
What an utterly ridiculous statement.
The entire premise of this article is one of the oldest motives for violence in the history of the human race.
Or did you somehow think this was the first middle eastern child killed by America?
Analogy: a wasps best appears on your porch. Occasionally, you get stung.
Do you a) put up with being stung once in a while or b) whack the ever living shit out of the nest with a stick, knowing retaliation is the likely outcome, and wait to see what happens?
In spite of what the US media liked to portray, OBL was an intelligent man, well versed in both war and politics.
So no, there is no motive, unless you're suggesting that OBL's goal was to get Afghanistan and Iraq invaded, and millions of Arabs killed?
"[It is] easy for us to provoke and bait this administration. All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaeda, in order to make the generals race there and cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses ... This is in addition to our having experience in using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers, as we, alongside the mujahidin, bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat." - OBL, 2004
So yes, it's very fair to suggest that his goal was to get Afganistan and Iraq invaded given that his formative years were spent, in his mind, bringing down the Soviet Union by provoking them into a protracted and costly battle in Afganistan. Al Queda is responsible for killing thousands of Arabs directly. It's no stretch to think that he didn't mind seeing a few million killed, like all sorts of utopian-totalitarian ideologues who preceded him, in the cause of bringing about 1000 years of utopia on earth through the establishment of a new Caliphate.
OBL was an intelligent man, like Hitler or Stalin were intelligent men. Ruthless, but almost impossibly warped in his views on why the present he lived in didn't fit his own fantasy.
"It is enough to know that the economy of all Arab countries is weaker than the economy of one country that had once been part of our world when we used to truly adhere to Islam. That country is the lost Al Andalus... No Muslim territory should ever become non-Muslim...Let the whole world know that we shall never accept the tragedy of Andalusia." - OBL, 2004
There's your motive if you're looking for one. Spain defeated the Muslim invaders who had conquered part of it 500 years ago and since it's now richer than the whole Muslim world put together it proves that... wait... what?
Again, why break the habit of a lifetime?
"Live and let live" is a concept which no longer seems to be part of popular cognition.
And the analogy still holds.
It's remarkable that this interview with Richard Clarke only has 53,000 hits- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl6w1YaZdf8
It's sad that people just ignored the chief of counter terrorism on 9/11 stating that CIA knew terrorists were in the US planning an attack and purposely withheld it from the White House in an effort to develop sources. Not to mention ignoring the involvement of Saudi Arabia.
- Lots of CIA agents who have testified that they knew about the hijackers but were prevented from stopping them, e.g.
- High level FBI agents who have testified they would have stopped the attacks, but were purposely kept in the dark.
- The fact that on the morning of 9/11 the guy who wired 100k to Muhammed Atta to pay for the hijackings was having breakfast with the two guys who ran the official investigation into the attacks.
All this stuff about whether it was or wasn't a controlled demolition is just a red herring.
Then why wasn't he placed on trial for this crime?
He's still sitting in Guantánamo, supposedly "awaiting trial".
(I don't even speculate "who did what, exactly" -- but that this thing is fishy as fuck, and has been from day one, is undeniable. You can cover your ears and scream tinfoil all you want, but that doesn't answer the gaping questions. Apply Occam's razor, how about that? The possibility that the laws of physics were suspended that day is very slim, even more slim than aliens using lizards to convince mice to hypnotize humans to do it. Logic!)
The physics of a controlled demolition is fairly simple.
Take out or weaken one a few pillars and the weight of the building will do the rest.
Why would it not possible for a fire and/or an explosion to do exactly the same thing?
Lets assume it was a controlled demolition.
Now answer these obvious questions that this would raise.
Did all the people in the building not see the dynamite strapped to the pillars?
Did they not see the 100s of meters of wires?
When did the guys that wired the build do the wiring?
Was it during working hours or after hours?
How come no camera, person or security guard managed to see them?
Because it would very likely tip over, or at least veer to one direction, instead of folding neatly into itself.
What makes you assume dynamite?
What makes you assume wires?
Who knows? When did the dude who sucked at flying sports planes learn to fly a boeing so well? How did a passport of one of the attackers allegedly get found on the scene? If you want a conspiracy theory, try a bunch of guys taking down THREE high rises with TWO airplanes and a bunch of box cutters. Hah.
How is that relevant?
Are you say it's not possible to deposit bags of C4 (etc.) with remote triggers in the right spots even just 10 minutes before impact, and safely get out? Or, to be alone in a room just enough to hide it in the ceiling or walls or wherever? I'm not saying it's easy, but it seems easier than even just flying a boeing so well without practical experience, or such a tall skyscraper folding neatly just by pure luck, and both of that happening twice on one day.
I'm adamant that we're being lied to about things related to these attacks, but making things up to fill the vacuum of information is behavior that belongs back in the middle ages.
I'm glad you're starting to get a handle on this thing called Physics.
Parts of the official story are perhaps hard to believe or lack credibility. But it was not an ordinary event, it was an extraordinary one meaning that we'll have a lot of unanswered questions and very little precedent. In the absence of certainty we fall back on our default positions. Some people could never imagine a bunch of foreigners hate the US enough and have the skills and ingenuity to pull something like this off. Only we have agency, others do not. Some people blame everything bad that happens on their government. In fact for some it's more palatable in a way to think that your government did it.
Anyway, we know you know the truth - but can you please keep your opinions to yourself, it only serves to derail the actual discussion at hand; but who knows, maybe that's your intention.
The official story is an obvious lie.
Two wars in fact.
> It's enough to know that the government and the media lied their asses off
Life doesn't offer up points for being thoughtful and wise after the event.
The USA invaded IRAQ looking for WMD and trying to blaming Saddam Hussein for 9/11.
Even before the war started it was a well-known fact there were no WMDs and Saddam Hussein had no links to 9/11 and anyone who thought about this rationally knew an invasion was not a good idea.
But as you said the government and the media lied their asses off and the unwashed masses where taken in hook line and sinker.
The majority of the citizens of USA, UK, Australia and Spain all supported the plan to invade IRAQ.
Move on a decade and those same citizens now think it was a big mistake.
Well it too late. You can't put the genie back into the bottle.
Through their collective stupidity, the citizens of the USA, UK, Australia and Spain will be paying for that big mistake for years to come.
What's unfortunate the ripple effect of that big mistake affects us all.
Fires have never before or since destroyed a steel skyscraper.
The team that investigated the collapse were kept away from the crime scene.
By the time they published their inconclusive report in May, 2002, the evidence had been destroyed.
Why did the government rapidly recycle the steel from the largest and most mysterious engineering failure in world histor? [..] ?
Unless you replicate all the aspects of the event that statement is meaningless.
What other steel building has been hit by a 300 tonne aircraft, fully loaded with jet fuel and flying at full speed?
It is actually pretty easy to understand why these steel buildings fell.
All it takes is stock standard structural engineering modelling:
Now this modelling involves a high level of maths, but we do know the modelling is correct.
Because that exact structural engineering modelling is used to put up these massive sky scrappers.
I take it you do you not accept the maths?
This is about WTC 7.
To replicate the event you're describing, we need to have a multi-million tonne building, close to our steel building and we need to make that first building collapse.
Naturally flying a plane into the first building won't make if fall, so we'll need a few hundred kilos of strategically placed C4 in that building to bring it down.
To hide that C4 explosion we'll use the plane flying into the building as a diversion but at least we're guaranteed to bring down that first building.
Now we have a collapsing multi-million tonne building close to the steel building we are trying to bring down and that event will be creating millions of tons of flying debris.
Naturally, that amount of flying debris won't be enough to collapse the target building, but luckily we also places some C4 in a second building that is also close by.
Once again we are going to need a second plane to hide the C4 explosion in that second building, but that should be easy enough to arrange.
Now we've managed to bring down two massive multi-million tonne buildings and created flying debris with the equivalent energy of thousands of tons of C4 but we always knew that wouldn't be enough energy to bring down our target building.
Luckily, while laying the C4 charges on the other two buildings, we also manage to plant a few hundred kilos of C4 in the third building.
Now to finish the job, all we have to do is detonate those last few kilos of C4 and no one will be the wiser.
What a simple plan. It's fool proof and using the planes to cover up the C4 explosions is a stroke of genius.
The only problem we face is this last explosion makes the building collapse like a demolition.
We should have thought about that!!!
1) bother with the 3rd building (are not the first two enough? The third didn't even get much publicity, it surely did little to rally public support)
2) wait so long after the collapse of the first to blow the 3rd (why wait? Surely one of the conspirators should have pointed out that a wait would only serve to make people suspicious. take it down seconds after one next to it falls and everything will look much more "natural")
3) bother with C4 at all (aren't planes slamming into buildings horrific enough? Controlled detonation of them afterwards adds very little but VASTLY increases the chances of something going wrong or the conspiracy being uncovered).
Conspiracy theorists almost never put themselves in the minds of the alleged conspirators. They latch onto things that are odd or unusual but the explanations they offer never actually reduce the oddness. WTC7 falling a few hours later is odd... it being blown up deliberately a few hours later is even more odd.
I particularly like the one about how the Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile.
Once again assuming this is true, any minimal amount of analysis raises a whole bunch of questions.
1) Flight 77 took off, so if it didn't hit the Pentagon where did it go? How did it just disappear?
2) The control tower voice and radar details match with the Flight 77 flight data recorder and they show the plane hitting the Pentagon.
Does that mean the control tower was in on the plot? Did the Pentagon also fudge the radar recordings?
3) Wouldn't the cruise missile also have shown up on the radar recording? Did the Pentagon remove it from the radar recordings?
4) Where was that missile launched from? Didn't anyone notice that launch? How did they keep the launch quite?
5) Wouldn’t someone, somewhere in the US Armed Forces be missing one cruise missile from their armaments inventory? Has no bean counter noticed that unaccounted missile?
And as always the conspiracy theorists answer to these types of question is the government did it but cover it up.
A video showing how the structural integrity of a building is severely compromised and it doesn't explain why the building collapsed?
Seems like a fairly myopic view to me.
I look at that video and to me it highlights the amazingly good structural engineering used in the design of the building.
For it to have taken such a massive hit and still manage to stay standing for as long as it did is a credit to the designers.
If only they had done a better job spacing the emergency exits many lives would have been saved.
Well... ok, let's assume it is.
> If you were told it's something different you wouldn't believe it.
Sure I would. It could be an apple wrapped in an orange shell. It could be a hologram. It could be a picture of an orange with a small kitten hidden behind it. It could, indeed, even be a chroma-shifted live-view of earth from space.
> What does it look like to you?
Looks like all the supports gave out at pretty much the same time. Like if there was a large fire and badly maintained fireproofing on them. Or maybe a gang of small kittens chewed them off. You have to admit it looks precisely like it would if you had a thousand kittens scratching at the supports simultaneously (assuming robot kittens, of course).
Trouble is, too many of these conspiracy theories turn out to be true. Just cast your mind back to the reactions of politicians when the rendition allegations first surfaced. Oh how they laughed and patronised. How they insulted and mocked. And then these same shameless filthy cowardly politicians came back to then justify their lies.
As for 9/11, I'm not sure any one knows the whole truth yet. Maybe we do, maybe those same politicians are telling the truth, but equally they themselves give us enough reason to doubt their word.
 You may notice that "intercepting communications with the express purpose of spying on people" is the charter of the NSA and of analogous agencies everywhere in the world.
You're more than welcome to take the word of a known dishonest agent. I prefer using my own common sense to discern events.
I'd suggest Dissident, but that's just me.
You forgot to mention the Arizona farm where Jim Morrison and JFK are living together.
Your debating skills suck. If you wish to be taken seriously, don't engage in namecalling and don't conflate issues by adding Bigfoot poison to the mix. It wrecks your cred.
"Debating" 9/11 truthers is a form of reasoning with people who have none.
My point is that diminishing the credibility of the US government doesn't enhance the credibility of 9/11 truthers. Have you made a point yet?
You're more than welcome to believe the Official Fables of the 9/11 Myth Cycle. Knock yourself out.
Who is maintaining that?
Or, y'know, perhaps shock horror scandal probe your government has lied to you! Nooooo.
NOTE: i'm supressing a serious rant along your vector.
The LAPD destroyed a home and burned a suspect alive, while having no good reason to suspect he was even alone. And not only was there very little outrage, but many were actually cheering this on.
And this, after the LAPD had multiply-revealed their snap-judgment to be dangerously-poor and restraint to be non-existent, having opened fire on innocent citizens in two separate instances, unprovoked, despite none of the citizens nor vehicles remotely matching the suspects description.
Do you really expect the reaction to have been much different, if that cabin was destroyed by hellfire missile, rather than the reckless-to-intentional over-application of tear-gas?
The citizenry is, to an appalling degree, OK with this sort of thing so long as the government can convince them that only "very bad people" are being targeted. (cf Ruby Ridge, Waco)
Sadly, I don't see them having too much additional trouble doing that, should they start using armed drones instead of SWAT teams.
So few Americans seem to care because to them it's just "some brown people on the other side of the world", showing it in the context of their own homes will make them realize how terrible these drone strikes really are.
It's not that it's far away from us, it's that it happens to others. In this case, to the family of a terrorist that, while born in the U.S., spent a decade waging war against the U.S. on behalf of Al Qaeda while eluding every attempt to bring him to justice.
The U.S. reserves the right to have different rules for us versus others like every other people in the history of the world.
We did give civilian trials to terrorists like John Walker Lindh and Jose Padilla who were American citizens in our custody. But Al Awalki evaded our attempts to give him judicial process for a decade. Does citizenship mean that you can't be touched as long as authorities can't bring you in alive?
> Yemeni authorities offered guarantees they would not turn al-Awlaki over to the U.S. or let him be questioned.
This demands explanation from the State Dept why they didn't pressure Yemen like they recently did to countries offering relief to Snowden. US-Yemen relations cannot be evinced in an Internet comment, but it appears to me the US was quick to pull the trigger when other options were not fully exercised. The least they could have done was charge him, right?
The places where we're conducting drone strikes are beyond the wild west. My dad was in Yemen when the Yemeni civil war broke out, and his hotel in the capital was shelled when fighting reached the city (he was ultimately evacuated with the other U.S. citizens by the U.S. military). The civil war is long over but the government has never been anything other than precarious, and the tribes have tremendous political power. One of the things Al Awlaki did was offer the protection of his powerful tribe to Al Qaeda officials against the Yemeni government.
Sorry, but this is the sign of a seriously f*ed up nation.
The Yemeni government began trying him in absentia in November 2010, for plotting to kill foreigners and being a member of al-Qaeda. A Yemeni judge ordered that he be captured "dead or alive.
This is a very well-written piece, but the (clearly intelligent and well-spoken) author's characterization of his son makes me suspicious of the rest of the content.
Justification could be (for the sake of argument): serious threat to national security / several lives at stake / not feasible to apprehend physically (jurisdiction, unfriendly government etc etc.)
If upon scrutiny the reasoning behind his demise were not justified:
proper adjustments must be made and compensation and punishment doled out.
addendum: People seemed ok with this when it was Osama, but not this guy. Seems like the method was less of an issue and it mattered much more about who it was. I agree with that sentiment.
In the case of Osama bin Laden a team was deployed and as far as I know they have not annihilated the entire family. In this case a drone was used to wipe out a group of people. The method is therefore very different and if that boy "was not specifically targeted" (which leaves him as collateral damage) then the method is also a very poor choice.