Official 9/11 story depends on a 'perfect storm' of blunders

Somehow no fighters were able to intercept any of the four hijacked planes.

November 20, 2010

By Craig McKee

It’s a very tempting notion for a lot of people. Incompetence. Confusion. Bad luck.
For people who can’t bring themselves to believe that their own government would murder 3,000 people, it’s comforting instead to chalk up the attacks of 9/11 to a series of unfortunate mistakes. The Bush administration did not admit that catastrophic errors were made, but if 9/11 wasn’t an inside job, there’s no other explanation.
Somehow the idea that the terrorists were too fiendishly brilliant for anyone to be able to stop them just doesn’t cut it, even for “official story” believers. Claims by George W. Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld that no one could have anticipated hijacked planes being flown into buildings have been discredited. We know for a fact that war games going on that very morning simulated this very scenario.
So that leaves people who don’t believe in official 9/11 complicity on the part of the government to settle on the idea that the country’s defences broke down inexplicably. It’s not a pretty theory if you believe in your government, but it has to do. The alternative, that the Bush administration planned the attacks, is unthinkable for many.
So how can someone make the case that it was a string of honest mistakes that allowed the attacks to succeed? Basically the scenario goes like this:

  • Law enforcement agencies like the FBI had their eyes on some of the future hijackers long before 9/11 but didn’t follow up or somehow lost track of them.
  • Airport security on 9/11 singled out the hijackers for additional screening but failed to notice that they were sneaking knives and box cutters on to the planes.
  • Even though the FAA knew that Flight 11 was off course by 8:21 and hijacked by 8:25, it failed to notify the military until about 15 minutes later. By then it was too late to intercept it before it crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46.
  • Due to multiple war games being under way at the same time, most fighters that could have been scrambled were either out of the area or were simply not scrambled at all. This failure was so complete that it offers one of the best reasons to suspect government complicity.
  • Pilots on the four passenger flights all failed to set a four-digit code on the plane’s transponder that would alert air traffic control that a hijack was in progress.
  • The White House was evacuated in frantic fashion because information existed that a plane was on the way there. However, no one thought to evacuate the Pentagon, which was actually hit.
  • Surface to air missiles of the type installed at the White House were not thought of for the Pentagon, which is the nerve centre for the military.
  • High-level officials, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, stayed in scheduled meetings even after both towers had been hit. Rumsfeld only found out what was going on when the Pentagon was hit almost an hour after the first tower impact.
  • General Richard Myers, who was Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 9/11, heard about the first tower impact just before going into a meeting with Senator Max Cleland about Myers’ upcoming confirmation hearing. No one told him about the second impact, nor did they tell him they suspected a hijacked plane was headed for Washington. He emerged from the meeting around the time the Pentagon was hit.
  • After the first tower was hit, people in the second tower started leaving the building but were encouraged to return to their offices where they would be “safer.”
  • Fighters that were finally scrambled were accidently sent out to the Atlantic Ocean rather than straight to Washington to intercept Flight 77, which was on its way to the Pentagon.
  • President Bush, after being told that the second tower had been hit and that “America is under attack,” asked no questions, did nothing, and continued to listen to grade school students read a story about a goat; he took his time at the Florida school, not leaving until at least 30 minutes after the second tower was hit – even though he could have been an intended target.
  • The architects and designers of the World Trade Center intended to make buildings that could withstand multiple airliner impacts – but apparently they were bunglers too.

Oh, I forgot the best one – the American government let Osama bin Laden get away even though they were supposedly closing in on him. Later, Bush would state that he really wasn’t that concerned about apprehending the notorious “evil-doer.”
This is by no means an exhaustive list of “blunders.” There would have to have been many more.  But to believe the government was genuinely taken by surprise you have to believe that all these errors took place. You have to believe that the nation’s defences were hopelessly inadequate to cope with a large scale terrorist attack.
I believe the evidence overwhelmingly points elsewhere. I believe the government deliberately cultivated the appearance of having screwed up. I believe the multiple war games taking place that day were scheduled to supply a plausible reason for many of these failures.
In upcoming posts, I’ll look at all of these and show where the evidence really leads, and how the appearance of incompetence served the official story very well.


  1. Dear Mr. McKee,
    Another good post to add to your collection. Your first bullet point was:

    Law enforcement agencies like the FBI had their eyes on some of the future hijackers long before 9/11 but didn’t follow up or somehow lost track of them.

    Two different agencies were hot on the trail of the 19 Saudi (patsies). One was Able Danger and was put on the shelf by superiors, much to the chagrin of those doing the tracking and connecting dots, which at that point were of the form these are very suspicious characters that we need to keep an eye on.
    The other agency was the FBI, where again agents had flagged these people as highly suspicious only to have orders rammed down their throat from on high to back off any investigations into Saudis.
    They really did get special treatment. You already mentioned the additional screening they got at the airport, but what amazes me is that video evidence of them going through screening and through the gate to the plane has not been made public for all 19 Saudis. It would be such an easy thing to release and settle the doubts about who really got on the planes.
    Also in the realm of special treatment for these rigorously devote Muslims is their presence on board one of those gambling ships with connections to Jack Abramoff (who may have been on the ship at the same time, I don’t remember)… Yes, that Jack who was deeply connected with Bush & Rove in financing some of their political black ops and subsequently indicted, convicted, and served jail time.
    For those who don’t believe that we were manipulated by the govt and complicit corporate media, the scapegoat were 15 Saudi Arabian hijackers (I do not recall the nationalities of the others, but it was neither Afghani nor Iraqi.)
    Did the USA invade Saudi Arabia? No, we invaded Afghanistan, which makes little sense even with factoring in the claims that the Taliban was harboring Osama bin Laden and allowing his groups to train there. However, even the claim of harboring Osama is dubious, because they did offer to turn him over upon receiving proof of his involvement with 9/11.
    Is it a coincidence that the Opium poppy production in Afghanistan has never been better, and the natural gas pipeline construction is going well, something in 2000 they wanted built across the country (that the Taliban rejected despite a threat of “accept our carpet of gold or be buried with a carpet of bombs before the snow flies in October).
    A year after Afghanistan, did the USA invade Saudi Arabia? No, we invaded Iraq after a mammoth disinformation campaign to equate Saddam Hussein with 9/11 and resulted in 935 public lies from members of the Bush Administration.
    Still, did we ever invade Saudi Arabia? Hell no. In fact, once the US had its tentacles into Iraq and the Bagdad base & military city had such momentum that it from that point on could never be shut down, the US shut down all of its bases in the Saudi holy land, which removes a major plank in Osama’s complaint against the US.
    On this front, we have to give Osama some credit. I mean, while he is sitting on a death bed (that he recovered from) in a Dubai (?) hospital getting kidney dialysis and blood transfusion work, he manages to negotiate with a visiting CIA agent [begin speculation] the use of his name and likeness as the USA’s #1 boogy-man in exchange for getting military bases out of the holy land in Saudi Arabia. Thereafter, not only was recruitment enhanced for bin Laden’s rag-heads but also the USA’s jarheads, but the rag-heads also got to assume the hard-won marketing trademark of “Al Quada”, which can mean “the (data)base” or “chamber squat pot” as CIA in-jokes. [end speculation]

    1. Yes, you’ve highlighted many of the areas that contradict the “incompetence” defense of the official story. It all reminds me of Lee Harvey Oswald passing out pro-Castro pamphlets after having served in U.S. military intelligence. If you accept the surface level of things you might briefly be fooled by these cover stories, but as soon as you look a bit closer the truth comes out.
      And you’re right that the “hijackers” (I must remember to put that word in quotes or to call them “alleged”) behaved like anything but devout Muslims. I don’t think gambling, prostitutes, and excessive drinking are encouraged in Islam. But there is evidence that the “hijackers” engaged in all three.
      And most important – as you point out – is the fact that orders came from the top to leave these suspicious Saudis alone. Obviously it wouldn’t have worked if the patsies had been kicked out of the country before their mission was completed.

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