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Conspiracy Theory -- Who brought down Flight 93? How? And why are so many people still asking questions? Just after the one-year anniversary of Flight 93's descent into a field in rural Shanksville, Pennsylvania, one resident snorted indignantly at what has been reported about the crash. "You have to be crazy to believe what they tell you," he says, declining to give his name.
What really happened on Flight 93? Who was at the controls when the plane went down? Is there something sinister about the crash, perhaps something the government doesn't want you to know?
Perhaps more than any other event in American history, the assassination of President Kennedy helped shape what has become a national pastime, the conspiracy theory. One part of the Kennedy investigation in particular, the fantastic "magic bullet" theory endorsed by the Warren Commission, gave skeptics an archetype of governmental deceit that makes any official proclamation about a tragedy suspect.
September 11 has inspired skeptical inquiry as well. There are literally hundreds of websites and chat rooms offering a host of alternative theories, including a percentage that maintain that rogue elements within the U.S. government actually planned and carried out the September 11 attacks. One conspiracy-minded journalist insists that the WTC would have survived being struck by jetliners but was instead brought down by controlled explosions.
It's not a uniquely American phenomenon. A number of conspiracy theories from around the world try to reveal what really happened on September 11. In many Arab countries the rumor that thousands of Jewish workers in the Trade Center were warned not to come to work that fateful day is still taken as fact, as is the theory that Israel's Mossad was actually behind the terrorism, implicating Arabs in order to provoke worldwide anger at Muslims and destabilize the region. In France, a book purporting that the Pentagon wasn't actually hit by a plane became a bestseller. And of course, a predictable international contingency insists aliens had something to do with it. (Pulp)
'P2OG' allows Pentagon to fight dirty "Run away from the light": Such might be the motto of a new, covert policy that the Bush administration is considering implementing. According to recent news reports, it would be the largest expansion into the world of black ops and covert action since the end of the Vietnam War in the 1970s (Asia Times)
Bush Backs Independent 9-11 Probe But Apparent Reversal May Not Include Look At Intelligence Failures - The CIA maintained interest in al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi since they were seen at the January 2000 meeting in Malaysia. But they continued to live openly in the United States. While residing in San Diego in 2000, they used their true names on an apartment lease and al-Mihdhar obtained a driver's license. They also took flight lessons in San Diego in May 2000. The two men were not put on the State Department's watch list for denying visas until Aug. 23, 2001 — well after they entered the country and about three weeks before they helped hijack American Airlines Flight 77 and crash it into the Pentagon. (CBS)
Agency planned exercise on Sept. 11 built around a plane crashing into a building In what the government describes as a bizarre coincidence, one U.S. intelligence agency was planning an exercise last Sept. 11 in which an errant aircraft would crash into one of its buildings - Officials at the Chantilly, Va.-based National Reconnaissance Office had scheduled an exercise that morning in which a small corporate jet would crash into one of the four towers at the agency's headquarters building after experiencing a mechanical failure. The agency is about four miles from the runways of Washington Dulles International Airport. (Associated Press)
Keeping us rolling The most famous widow in America arrives for her book signing through the stock room, thereby avoiding unplanned contact with the orderly crowd of Washington suburbanites.
The line of customers -- mostly white, mostly women -- snakes through the Books-a-Million store, around the table of Sept. 11 titles, and out the front door. A young man in the queue speaks into his cell phone: "Jen thinks she's the greatest woman in the world." - "Several days passed before she spoke with the GTE Airfone operator, Lisa Jefferson, who had spoken with Todd for a quarter of an hour as the passengers planned their uprising. Jefferson recounted Todd's last words. Almost as important, she explained that Todd had not called his wife directly because he was afraid she might lose the baby if he did." (St Petersburg Times)
Vignettes: They were there Pete Hamill had a full schedule for Sept. 11.
The New York Daily News columnist and author had finished his new novel late the night before. After a morning meeting, he planned to head to Kinko's to copy the manuscript and send it off, then celebrate by taking his wife to lunch at Balthazar.
Instead, Hamill found himself standing at the corner of Vesey and Broadway in lower Manhattan, staring into the gutter at the remnants of someone else's morning -- an unopened bottle of V-8 Splash, a cheese danish in a cellophane wrapper and a woman's black shoe, sticky with blood.
Looking up at the fireball eating through the World Trade Center, he saw a shirtless man tumbling, then plunging, fast and face-first, from the sky.
When the towers began to crumble, Hamill and his wife, journalist Fukiko Aoki, ran, but lost each other in the dust. After a frantic search, each trudged home, collapsing in a relieved hug when they found each other outside their apartment. - The plane, too, was decimated. The largest pieces were the size of suitcases, the smallest the size of dimes.
"It just looked like somebody just dropped a bunch of metal out of the sky," Miller said. (Houston Chronicle)
Bush blocks funds for 9/11 rescue workers At his Waco, Tex., CEO pep rally on the economy, President Bush announced he intended to enforce 'spending restraint' by blocking a $5.1 billion emergency spending bill passed by Congress which included $90 million for long-term health monitoring of World Trade Center (WTC) rescue workers and volunteers (People's Weekly World)
Part II: No one was sure if hijackers were on board Aboard Delta Flight 1989, Capt. Paul Werner learns of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks from his cockpit radio. The time: around 9:15 a.m. Werner, 54, figures the planes that hit the World Trade Center must be small ones — not passenger jets like the Boeing 767 he commands. He has no idea what the FBI and air traffic controllers suspect: that terrorists plan to hijack his flight next.
Shortly after the second attack on the Trade Center at 9:03 a.m., FBI agents called an air traffic facility in Ohio that was tracking Flight 1989. Watch what the Delta flight does, agents told controllers at Cleveland Center.
Controllers there had already been watching.
Like the FBI, they realized that the Delta flight had taken off from Boston just minutes after American Flight 11 and United Flight 175 — the two jets that crashed into the Trade Center towers. The similarities didn't end there.
All three jets were Boeing 767s.
All were bound for Los Angeles.
All were heavy with fuel.
On this day, as Werner flies west over Pennsylvania, the similarities can't be dismissed.
Now around 9:30 a.m., controllers hear words that seem to confirm their worst fears. They hear shouting as Flight 1989 approaches the Ohio border. Then they hear a voice: "Get out of there!" Then what sounds like a scuffle.
Minutes later, a new voice, this one with a heavy accent: "Ladies and gentlemen, here it's the captain. Please sit down. Keep remaining sitting. We have a bomb aboard." (USA Today)
Jones: Intelligence Sources Confirm bin Laden is Dead Please note: Alex has warned that this might be disinfo and the fact that we're reporting on it pre-emptively may cause them to change the script. - Alex Jones, the radio talk show host based in Austin Texas, claims to have received inside intelligence that suggests Osama bin Laden is dead and will be publicly pronounced so by the Bush administration just before the next presidential election in November, 2004.
Jones' credibility soared on September 11th after he predicted the previous July that the globalists would use bin Laden to attack lower Manhattan, New York, with reference to the World Trade Center, in order to advance their agenda to create a one world government and a police state.
On his Thursday August 15th daytime broadcast, Jones stated, "I have it from high level [sources] from inside the Bush administration...that bin Laden died of natural causes and that his family has given the body to the CIA, that they're gonna roll him out right before the election, that he's on ice right now. They will claim they killed him right before the election." (Prison Planet)
Calm Before the Crash -- Flight 11 Crew Sent Key Details Before Hitting the Twin Towers "Listen, and listen to me very carefully. I'm on Flight 11. The airplane has been hijacked," said the voice on the other end. The caller was Amy Sweeney, a flight attendant on board American Airlines Flight 11, which had just been hijacked on its way from Boston to Los Angeles.
Over the next 25 minutes, Sweeney, a 13-year veteran with the airline, calmly relayed information to Woodward that would later be crucial in helping the FBI identify the men who hijacked the plane and flew it into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
Another flight attendant, Betty Ong, who had been with American Airlines for 14 years, also called colleagues on the ground. (ABC)
Is America a Police State? Mr. Speaker:
Most Americans believe we live in dangerous times, and I must agree. Today I want to talk about how I see those dangers and what Congress ought to do about them.
Of course, the Monday-morning quarterbacks are now explaining, with political overtones, what we should have done to prevent the 9/11 tragedy. Unfortunately, in doing so, foreign policy changes are never considered.
I have, for more than two decades, been severely critical of our post-World War II foreign policy. I have perceived it to be not in our best interest and have believed that it presented a serious danger to our security.
For the record, in January of 2000 I stated the following on this floor:
Our commercial interests and foreign policy are no longer separate...as bad as it is that average Americans are forced to subsidize such a system, we additionally are placed in greater danger because of our arrogant policy of bombing nations that do not submit to our wishes. This generates hatred directed toward America ...and exposes us to a greater threat of terrorism, since this is the only vehicle our victims can use to retaliate against a powerful military state...the cost in terms of lost liberties and unnecessary exposure to terrorism is difficult to assess, but in time, it will become apparent to all of us that foreign interventionism is of no benefit to American citizens, but instead is a threat to our liberties. (US Congress)
Dark heart of the American dream On 11 September, while Al-Qaeda's planes slammed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the Carlyle Group hosted a conference at a Washington hotel. Among the guests of honour was a valued investor: Shafig bin Laden, brother to Osama (London Guardian)
Memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller An edited version of the agent's 13-page letter - I have deep concerns that a delicate and subtle shading/skewing of facts by you and others at the highest levels of FBI management has occurred and is occurring. The term "cover up" would be too strong a characterization which is why I am attempting to carefully (and perhaps over laboriously) choose my words here. (Time)
Senators question 'Phoenix memo' author The author of an FBI memo raising questions about Arab students in U.S. flight schools met with Senate Judiciary Committee members Tuesday in a closed session senators said included hard questions for his boss. (CNN)
A Cloak But No Dagger An Ex-Spy Says He Seeks Solutions, Not Scapegoats for 9/11 - On the morning of Sept. 11, Goss and Graham were having breakfast with a Pakistani general named Mahmud Ahmed -- the soon-to-be-sacked head of Pakistan's intelligence service. Ahmed ran a spy agency notoriously close to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. (Washington Post)
'99 Report Warned Of Suicide Hijacking Said Terrorists Might Hijack Plane And Use It As A Bomb - "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile," said Condoleezza Rice (CBS)
1999 Report Warned of Suicide Hijack Exactly two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal report warned the executive branch that Osama bin Laden's terrorists might hijack an airliner and dive bomb it into the Pentagon or other government building (Associated Press)
Bush Was Warned bin Laden Wanted to Hijack Planes Bush had been warned by American intelligence agencies in early August that Osama bin Laden was seeking to hijack aircraft but that the warnings did not contemplate the possibility that the hijackers would turn the planes into guided missiles for a terrorist attack (New York Times)
Hallowed Ground -- Nobody asked for this, but as September 11 recedes, a small Pennsylvania town finds itself guardian of an American legend Wally Miller hits the siren on his dark Ford Excursion. He's alerting the Somerset County sheriffs that he is once again entering the restricted area surrounded by dense forest and enclosed by an eight-foot metal fence. Inside his truck is the familiar stale smell of the wilted flowers that he brings back from the 90 or so funerals he conducts every year. Death has been the family business at Miller Funeral Home in Somerset, Pa., for nearly half a century. Never, though, anything that even remotely resembles this.
Before Miller can even unfold his lanky 6-foot-4 body from the vehicle, a deputy sheriff thrusts at him a plastic baggie containing a handful of jagged metallic nuggets, mangled and melted into irregular shapes, little bigger than children's marbles. They are the latest of the shreds to be recovered -- nearly six months later -- of what remains of United Airlines Flight 93. Miller holds up the bag and says that virtually the entire airplane, including its 44 human occupants, disintegrated in similar fashion.
"I'm just a hick," Miller says when he considers the enormity of what he does. "I'm a country coroner." He is a youthful 44, with dark hair and a long, angular face that sometimes suggests a young, shaven version of Abe Lincoln. He is quite comfortable talking about death, most of the time. He grew up watching his father, Wilbur, deal with the grief of countless friends and neighbors, and then Wally succeeded Wilbur, both in running the funeral home and becoming Somerset County's elected coroner.
So it is with a calm, practiced voice that Miller speaks whenever he escorts grieving family members, as he has again and again and again, up the muddy hillock that overlooks the spot where Flight 93 came to earth. Here on this mound and elsewhere, in hundreds of face-to-face conversations and on the telephone, Miller explains to families from New Jersey to Berkeley to Japan to Germany the grisly calculus of what happened to their loved ones: The Boeing 757 still heavily laden with jet fuel slammed at about 575 mph almost straight down into a rolling patch of grassy land that had long ago been strip-mined for coal. The impact spewed a fireball of horrific force across hundreds of acres of towering hemlocks and other trees, setting many ablaze. The fuselage burrowed straight into the earth so forcefully that one of the "black boxes" was recovered at a depth of 25 feet under the ground. (Washington Post)
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