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Ah, conspiracy theories!

It has been a while since I tripped over one of these. Let me state up front that I have no reason to think Richard Poe is a member of the tinfoil hat and black helicopter brigade, so I read his stuff with rather more respect that I do on some other sites I could mention. Thus I will try to examine his thesis without the usual clothespeg-on-the-nose I use when looking at conspiracy theories. He has written an article called The 9-11 Conspiracy: We Need a Truth Commission, in which he suggest that that:

Though cautiously worded, Judge Baer’s decision has implications beyond the 9-11 case. Dissident experts ranging from former CIA director James Woolsey to Yossef Bodansky, director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, have long alleged that America may be under “low-intensity” or “asymmetric” attack by foreign powers hiding behind “false flag” operatives such as bin Laden.

[…]

Through the Clinton years, Big Media and Big Government systematically suppressed evidence of foreign involvement in such operations as the 1995 attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and the downing of TWA Flight 800 in 1996 (probably by a missile). But the evidence continues to grow.

[…]

Moreover, the number of America’s enemies abroad may be larger than we have been led to believe. The alliance which George Bush named the “Axis of Evil” — minimally defined as Iran, Iraq, North Korea and their “terrorist allies” — may itself be a false flag operation under whose cover such envious powers as Russia, China — and perhaps even the European Union, under French and German domination — may have secretly cooperated to oppose what they see as the threat of U.S. global hegemony.

I will not even attempt to address Richard’s domestic issues as I cannot get to grips in my mind with his theory on why both the previous and current US governments would cover up what he is suggesting they are covering up, so I will just look at the other main thrust: the asymmetric attack by foreign powers.

It is very unclear what the objective of these shadowy people behind the ‘false flag’ gig would be, given the nature of the actual and putative attacks. Blowing up a US government building in Oklahoma City, of all places, would gain what for whom? For a born-in-the-USA individual such as Tim McVeigh, who may feel Oklahoma City actually features in the grand scheme of things, perhaps the attack made perfect sense as a strike against tyranny and day-care centres. But who outside the USA could find Oklahoma State on a map without considerable squinting, let alone Oklahoma City, or see attacking it as a stepping stone to overthrowing the hated hegemonic power? Did mission planners in Moscow, Paris or Peking know something about the importance of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building to the global geo-strategic balance of power that is hidden from the untutored eye? I cannot see how blowing up a bunch of run-of-the-mill bureaucrats was going to bring Oklahoma to its knees, let alone the United States. Likewise, shooting down the TWA flight does what for whom? It seems to me that the whole point of terrorism is to terrorize, and thus the worst possible result for the perpetrators would be for people to think “darn, another accident”, which clearly is the majority view of what happened. Where the hell is the terror? No, sorry, the authors of that shoot-down (or whatever) would surely want everyone to know it was a terrorist act, even if they hid who did it. What is the point otherwise? Target practice?

To say I am not a fan of the EU would be a masterly understatement, but the idea that the…

European Union, under French and German domination — may have secretly cooperated to oppose what they see as the threat of U.S. global hegemony

…suggests some sort of cost/benefit analysis must have gone on in Berlin and Paris that resulted in “it makes sense for us to fuck with the USA by helping folks to blow various things up”. Not even I reckon they are that stupid (and I think they are pretty stupid), but okay, let’s try and do some thinking along those lines ourselves.

If the people behind the ‘false flag’ ops have decided that attacking the USA physically like this is the way to achieve their objectives, and if their objectives are, presumably, the significant dis-aggrandising of the USA, then the result of the attacks are presumably seen by the attacker as the upside: that which brings the objective closer to realisation.

Yet we are really talking about a series of pinpricks over several years. Face it, in brutal numerical terms, even 9/11 was less destructive than many natural disasters around the world… and the other ‘terrorist’ incidents Richard is suggesting were even smaller in terms of psychological impact, loss of life and economic disruption. For some historical context, there were huge numbers of allied area bombing attacks against German cities during the Nazi Götterdämmerung, hundreds of which caused many times more casualties than 9/11, all which in retrospect did little to really slow down the Nazi war effort psychologically or militarily.

Even in economic terms 9/11, which was clearly mother of all terrorist acts, was a loud, unpleasant but transient hiccup from that vast hippopotamus called the US economy, from which it recovered. Don’t get me wrong, I think 9/11 was truly a monstrous day of infamy that still fills me with homicidal rage (I used to work in the WTC), but viewed from the perspective of some great false flag ‘shadow war’ to dis-aggrandise the USA, this all amounts to little more than throwing turds at the castle wall. Anyone who thinks these attacks have seriously reduced the overall power of the USA is mistaken on a truly epic scale (even assuming all the incidents Richard mentions were attacks, such as the crash of TWA 800).

The downside? Obviously that is the risk of finding yourself at war with the USA. That is what happened to Al Qaeda and Ba’athist Iraq and look what happened to them. Fairly predictable really.

So if ‘someone’ is running a complex series of covert operation over many years, and that ‘someone’ is not ultimately a bunch of deluded Islamic moonbats called Al Qaeda, then whoever they are, they must be damn close to 100% convinced that their true identity [add suspect here]* will never be discovered. To think otherwise suggest the true authors of these attacks are actually prepared to face the prospect of an all out war with the USA if someone on their payroll goofs. Can you name me anyone who would think that if the ‘real’ return address to 9/11 was known, that they could fight and win a full blown war with an outraged USA right now? Any takers? EU? Russia? China? Israel? OPEC?

Now bear in mind that unlike the guys we think in fact did perpetrate 9/11 (i.e. Al Qaeda), these ‘shadow warriors’ being suggested are not an amorphous dispersed trans-national bunch of Islamic barking moonbats, but rather are the employees of a nation-state or group of nation-states, with cities, airfields, ships etc., you know, kind of like Iraq, with all sorts of things that can be bombed, invaded, shot at, set fire to, irradiated, etc…. and unlike Iraq, most have democratic voting populations who would really rather not get bombed, invaded, shot at, set fire to, irradiated…

So to make the ‘false flag’ theory viable, there need to be some underpinning truths:

  1. The true party responsible is either 100% sure they can never be discovered and/or…
  2. They feel that the cost of discovery, i.e. war with the USA, is bearable

Truth 1 is preposterous, so if the ‘shadow warriors’ think that, they are in the same ‘deluded’ category that any reasonable observer would ascribe to the quality of the Taliban and Al Qaeda’s geo-political/military analysis. Why do I think this? Because if anyone is efficient enough to keep a series of attacks over many years from getting a correct return address on them, 100% of the time, we must be facing a group of such skill, dedication, flawless organisation and sheer luck hitherto unknown in the history of mankind… and all this in an increasingly information-rich omni-wired global environment. If such people exist anywhere, they sure as hell do not work in the public sector and certainly not the French public sector.

Truth 2 makes perfect sense if you are an Al Qaeda barking moonbat on September 10, 2001, who probably felt they were secure in Afghanistan and sufficiently dispersed globally to ride out any Clinton-style ‘fire a few ALCMs’ type response. However if you are the suggested ‘shadow warriors’ from France or China or Israel or Moscow or the Grand Cayman Islands, exactly what sort of response would you make to the USA saying “YOU have just attacked us! It’s clobbering time!” as they summon their allies and start paving the oceans over with aircraft carriers moving in your general direction. Exactly what sort of military response do you make to that? Diplomacy perhaps? Well if the ‘false flag’ has failed then that means the US is waving either a forensic ‘smoking gun’ due to some covert operational cock-up or worse yet, they have one of your operatives strapped to a chair somewhere in Langley, so now what? Dook it out in the UN security council? Riiiiiight. Clearly the end result if the Yanks are convinced you did the deed, is ‘game over, man’. In reality, the game is probably over from spectacular domestic political implosion (“you did WHAT?”) long before the USMC marches out of their barracks, let alone turn up at the presidential palace in a hail of bullets and smart bombs.

If you are a nation-state with a burning desire to pee in America’s gas tank, the ‘upside’ of doing these things is trivial unless you can somehow contrive to nuke Americans cites or find some other way to cause damage and disruption on a scale several orders of magnitude greater than killing a handful of people working for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Oklahoma or randomly downing an airliner every few years. And yet the downside is suicidal on a national level if the slightest thing goes wrong and the truth is revealed.

I try to keep an open mind but this ‘conspiracy’ just makes no sense.

*= The Jews, the Masons, Mossad, the Illuminati, The Jews, Vatican, MI-5, Deuxieme Bureau, The Jews, SPECTRE, The Jews, KGB redux, Justin Raymondo, George Soros, The Jews, The Templars, Chinese GRI…

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21 comments to Ah, conspiracy theories!

  • You know, a lot of people will believe every word of this without any further proof. It should keep a lot of bloggers busy for a couple of weeks.

  • A lot of people grasp for conspiracy theories, no matter how preposterous, because they find the idea that something on the scale of 9/11 can be done by group of a few hundred nutjobs without the resources of a nation behind them to frightening to accept. Just like they can’t accept that one lone nut like Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, could have shot JFK.

  • Kevin L. Connors

    While it is highly unlikely there is a “conspiracy” at play here, there is, most certainly, an “invisible hand”, made up of like-minded elements within the governments and power elites of many foreign nations that aid terrorist activities, however tangentally.

  • they who fear conspiracies in the air,
    soon plot their own…
    and thats the real danger

  • The problem I think is that so many people simply want to believe this sort of nonsense. In the West I think we can laugh at the sorts of people who believe this is idiots (if offensive idiots) and be done with it. A problem is that a large portion of the Arab world wants to believe that the 9/11 aircraft were flown by remote control by Isreali agents and that we know this because 4000 Jews were warned in advance and therefore didn’t go to work.

    In away this is good, because a desire to believe this kind of thing actually indicates that they do not want to Arab world to have to take responisbility for it and so they do actually believe that the attacks were wrong. However, the refusal to sit down, acknowledge the facts, and take responsibility is a big problem. And it’s a much wider problem than just recognising that the Arab world has to take responsibility for 9/11.

  • Specifically with respect to Iraq (or some Middle Eastern entity) and Oklahoma City, the Clinton Administration had a great deal of motivation to hide such a connection.

    Recall (or learn) that that incident single-handedly resurrected Clinton’s presidency, on the ropes after the staggering 1994 election defeat, in which the Republicans regained the majority in both houses of Congress for the first time in several decades. Clinton got to go out to OKC and “feel the nation’s pain” in very high profile. More importantly, once McVeigh and Nichols were found, he could use it to blast “right-wing talk radio” and “militias” and work the populace up into a froth over the evil right wingers (with the implication that they had been emboldened by the Congressional takeover). This gave him the political basis he needed to shut down the government the next fall over budget cuts and blame the Republicans for it.

    Discovery that McVeigh and Nichols were aided by Middle Eastern entities (for which there’s abundant evidence that the FBI either ignored, or in some cases suppressed, pressuring witnesses to change their stories) would not only have diluted this fortunate political fallout, but also forced him to actually do something significant about Iraq, or whoever was responsible, a course that history abundantly shows he was always reluctant to do.

    As to why the Bush Administration averts its eyes, I suspect that it’s a combination of a continuation of the situation at the lower levels of the bureaucracy (which is impervious to Administration changes, and after all, the people who engaged in it are hardly likely to want to expose it now) and a sense of not wanting to open up all of the criminality of the previous Administration for fear of causing the people to lose their faith in government entirely.

    Anyway, that’s my best take on it given my current understanding of the facts.

  • fritz

    “…as they summon their allies and start paving the oceans over with aircraft carriers moving in your general direction.”

    You certainly do have a way with words, dude!

  • The real conspiracy is the following:

    – The Iraq war has produced abundant evidence that France, Germany, China and Russia have been actively trying to undermine the US hegemony and all it stands for (political and economic freedom ?).

    The fact that this foreign policy objective is now being dressed as a conspiracy theory, only helps the “axis of weasels” to describe its critics and its opponents as a bunch of crackpots that cannot be taken seriously. They [a commonly used word in conspiracy theories], on the other hand, are the voices of reason and moderation.

  • Byron

    Playing along for a moment, I agree with Perry’s analysis. However, there is another result of such a low-level shadow war that could be the goal of whoever is waging it – increased Anti-Americanism worldwide.

    If pinpricking America enough times leads it to eventually react by invading an Arab country, it extends the US armed forces, demonstrates their capabilities and weaknesses, and most of all, creates an opportunity to foment major Anti-american sentiment worldwide, from Arabia to Europe to Asia. Given that our army is undefeatable on the battlefield, the only way to combat American Hyperpower is to turn world sentiment against by making us appear to be using our power for purely selfish and destructive ends. Everyone pulls for the David against the Goliath, and now America appears to be the Goliath.

    France, Germany, Russia, and China, whether they were responsible for these pinpricks or not, have certainly played that game to the hilt. Coincidence, or not?

  • …suggests some sort of cost/benefit analysis must have gone on in Berlin and Paris…

    Perry, thats really funny!!! Cost/benefit analysis and any European capital?? Ha ha ha ha ha.

    Good one that one.

  • I don’t really believe it’s a conspiracy on that level, either, but there is *one* candidate:

    China.

    Not responsible to voters, subjects are used to arbitrary death and destruction, and could probably survive as a unitary independent state a war with the US that didn’t end up in a full-scale nuclear exchange. (Which the US may not survive, either.)

  • Elizabeth

    Very interesting Perry!
    I don’t generally groove on conspiracy theories – but is rather fun to think about.
    I’d like to digest some of these suggestions over a few of days. 🙂
    Some people I know are under the impression that the anti-American struggle has everything to do with economics, WTO, euro vs dollar (… and frankly I haven’t studied enough about the Euro to understand what the value is based on vs the dollar), as well as OPEC, oil and power struggles – and so on. They believe they way to bring America down (as good anti-Capitalists would) is to damage us as hard and permanently though good old fashioned economics.

  • “why both the previous and current US governments would cover up what he is suggesting they are covering up”

    – why have they covered up Saudi involvement in terrorism, or the facts about the USS Liberty incident? Sometimes those in power make strange calculations as to the ‘greater good’.

  • M. Simon

    “The Latin American drug cartels have
    stretched their tentacles much deeper
    into our lives than most people
    believe. It’s possible they are calling
    the shots at all levels of government.”

    – William Colby, former CIA Director, 1995

  • M. Simon

    A conspiracy is not that hard to do. It is also easy to cover up.

    Think Saddam buying Chirac et. al. Think Saddam buying reporters.

    Control the orders, control the news.

    If the information is bad then countering the orders is difficult.

    My best guess is that three are two major forces operating in the world.

    1. Drug cartels and others in the shadow world of government criminal price supports. i.e. everything government does to support smuggling.

    2. The oil folks and their cartel.

    3. The productive economy – producing life support and a continually improving for the masses as well as the classes.

    1 & 2 are at war with 3.

    All motivations other than power (political/economic) are secondary. i.e. Islam is used to motivate the troops but is not the reason for the conflict.

    On the oil front the reason for war is that because of coming technological changes and the peaking of low cost oil production oil is at the start of a long term decline. Thus the oilers have two choices:

    a: capture control of the productive machinery
    b: become part of the productive machinery

    of course b: leads to loss of power.

    Then we have the smugglers. Their conspiracy is easier. All they have to do is to pay the “moralists” to be more moral. Or support the “workers” in an effort to keep out low cost foreign competition. Or support the factory owners in an effort to keep out low cost foreign competition.

    You can see at the margins that the smugglers and the oilers have joined forces against the producers. Think of the FARC working with Al Queda in the jungles of South America.

    To sort all this out one needs to separate what motivates the troops from what motivates the leaders.

  • M. Simon

    What the smugglers and oilers have in common is that they are currently profiting from restraint of trade.

  • Sandy P.

    Google Jayna Davis and Laurie Mylroie.

    Hamas could be involved along w/Iraq, according to an interview in the October 2002 issue of Chicago Magazine.

    There’s too many unanswered questions.

  • driven to drink

    Here’s the really wild thing about conspiracies: sometimes they actually exsist. Hell, in 1939 Hitler and Stalin had a conspiracy to take over Europe, but you wouldn’t have known it reading the New York Times. If you had been reading the Times you would have thought ‘ol Joe Stalin was a pussycat. Keep an open mind to possiblities and degrees of possiblities, just not so open your brain falls out.

    If I were a “smart” terrorist, and I needed to do a live run test on a target to see what repsonse would come from the government, some out of the way place like Oklahoma City would be perfect. A city such a D.C., NY, or LA would not work, they would be too high profile for a test.

    And just to make sure you don’t leave your stink on anything get a cut-out whack job like Tim McVeigh to do your dirty work. He was mentally unstable, very paranoid of the government, willing to do anything for the “cause”, and he was easily manipulated. Because hell, he wanted to believe and he was going to take death before dishonor, or ratting the bastards out, and this was the qualities they needed for the dupe. It could happen in the early ’80s a whack job named Jim Jones convinced over 600 people to commit murder and/or suicide in South America.

    And as a matter of fact the details of the explosion aboard TWA800 has really never fully satisfied any skeptics of the government’s findings.

    If these two events were part of a larger terrorist plot then my assumption would be that they were tests. But most conspiracies eventually come to the light of day and if this is one I expect will too. And if some in Asia or Europe were giving intelligence, training, material, and/or money to an umbrella group running this snot nosed operations that will come out sooner or later.

  • A_t

    Michael Jennings, “the Arab world has to take responsibility for 9/11.”

    …on a website which emphasises *individual* responsability?

    Why should a peaceful arab in Cairo, Dubai, Bethlehem etc. take any responsibility for this?

    If you said arab governments should wake up to the terrorists they’re harbouring, and that arabs should perhaps consider whether their words or attitudes help foster this kind of fanaticism, then yes, i’d agree with you. But asking the ‘arab world’ to take responsability for the actions of a small group of fanatics? Shall we get all Caucasians to pay for slavery reparations while we’re at it? Or take responsability for the actions of the South African government?

    This strikes me as symptomatic of a larger problem; many in the West do seem to blame the arab world as a whole for 9/11 and the ongoing threat of terrorism. Stupid.

  • Kevin L. Connors

    The answer A_t, is that the average Arab on the street, and certainly the “opinion leaders”, refuse to accept the fact that the terrorists are our mutual enemies.

  • Alex

    Well I was never big on conspiracy theories but I do keep an open mind, I just do my best to weed out the stupid ones and keep my mind on plausible ones.

    Several French and German-made weapons were found in Iraq, especially anti-aircraft missiles and anti-ship missiles, luckily the French sucks militarily and sucks at engineering and the german weapons were rare. Russian Kornets were found too but the Iraqi troops either surrendered (because most are not loyal at all to Saddam) or got shot up before they could pull the trigger. This is why those three nations were opposed to our invasion. Russia is poor, I’ll give them that, dunno what to think about the Germans, they were prolly just trying to make a quick deutshe mark (but that doesnt mean they or the russians can be excused, that was blood money which could have killed our troops), but France on the other hand is a lot more questionable. France gives tons of money to Yassar Arafat (Im suprised Isreal hasn’t got on Jaques Chirac’s case about it), and France also has tons of oil and arms deals with Saddam, Syria, Lebanon etc. More over, much of the French Population is anti-semetic, and what better way to get rid of jews than to secretly (or try to be secretly) give funds and support to suicide bombers and evil dictators? And give such nations money through oil deals. The French *SUCK* militarily as well, which is why they would want to do this behind closed doors, plus they are afraid of the US which supports Isreal.

    Also, Richard Reid, the shoe bomber bragged out loud about his intent to blow up the plane, but the joke for security at Charles Du Gual Airport only held him for 24 hours and did not search his shoes. Luckily the passangers made like Flight 93 and capped his ass before he detonated his bombs.

    Ann Coulter wrote a column about France and its shady deals in december of 2001, long before its refusal to support the US in summer of 2002, very interesting read, which can be found at http://www.anncoulter.com