18 Aug 2014

The Never-Ending War On Terror: Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

By Jeff Sparrow

The art of war these days seems to be more about bluff than blunder. And money, of course. It's all about the money. Jeff Sparrow elaborates.

‘We’ll fight Islam for 100 years, says ex-army head Peter Leahy.’

That was The Australian on August 9. Later editions inserted the word ‘radical’ before ‘Islam’, perhaps in recognition that taking on all 1.6 billion members of the Muslim faith might be a little excessive.

But there was no rescinding the happy prospect of a revived Forever War. Not coincidentally, Britain’s PM David Cameron was reading from the same script.

“We are in the middle of a generational struggle against a poisonous and extremist ideology,” he said, “which I believe we will be fighting for the rest of my political lifetime.”

Naturally, Tony Blair, the warmongers’ warmonger, agreed, urging more interventions in the Middle East.

“The threat of this radical Islam is not abating. It is growing. It is spreading across the world. It is destabilising communities and even nations.”

We’re seeing yet more evidence that what was once called the War on Terror will never actually end.

In 2013, Michael Sheehan, Obama’s assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, explained that the administration expected the WoT to run for at least another 10 to 20 years.

A few years earlier, Brigadier Genereal Mark O. Schissler, the Defense Department’s deputy director for the ‘war on terrorism’ also announced a generational conflict against Muslims prepared to fight for 50 or 100 years.

In 2002, James R. Woolsey, the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, explained that World War IV had begun (with the Cold War constituting World War III).

Fascinatingly, the enemy in these projections keeps changing, even as the rhetoric remains the same.

The latest promises of generational conflict cite the threat posed by the Islamic State (ISIS), an organisation that’s only been an Official Enemy for some months. Indeed, until comparatively recently, ISIS seems to have been receiving support from Saudi Arabia, America’s Official Friend. The death of Osama bin Laden, ostensibly the goal of western operations since the invasion of Afghanistan, has made no difference whatsoever.

If we go right back to 2001, we can see why. On September 20, 2001, George W. Bush explained: “Our war on terror begins with Al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.... Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen....”

War until the defeat of every terrorist group? That’s a war for all eternity.

What does Peter Leahy want us to do, in the course of our war against terror?

He told the Australian:

“The [government] should advance a narrative that explains that radical Islamism and the terrorism it breeds at home and abroad will remain a significant threat for the long term, it will require considerable effort, the expenditure of blood and treasure and it will, of necessity, restrict our rights and liberties.”

Let’s look at those concerns one at a time.

The threat terrorism breeds at home?

Any honest discussion of that begins with the simple fact that no Australians have been killed by terrorists on Australian soil since the Hilton bombing in 1978. Indeed, in July 2010, University of NSW academic Chris Michaelson published a study that calculated the risk from terrorism in Australia at… well, almost zero, actually.

Now, we can’t predict the future, and it’s possible that terrorists might, at some point, kill someone in Australia. But, of course, all manner of things kill Australians in Australia. Last year, more than a hundred of us died in workplace injuries. Why not launch, say, a generational struggle for safety in the building industry? Why are hypothetical deaths by terrorism so much worse than real deaths that are actually happening now?

Even in the US, terrorism is scarcely a major problem. In the last few years, an average of 4.6 Americans per year died from domestic terrorist attacks. By way of comparison, more people have been killed by lightning strikes, dog attacks, bathtub falls, and by playing football.

As for the expenditure of blood and treasure, in 2011, Bernard Keane calculated that Australia had already spent $16.7 billion on the war on terror, a figure that, obviously, has expanded since then.

How much more does Leahy want to spend? According to one calculation, the US has devoted a staggering US$6 trillion in American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – the equivalent of a levy of US$75,000 per household.

Does anyone seriously think that ordinary Americans are better off as a result?

Another calculation shows that the US allocates “over $400 million on terrorism prevention per victim annually, as compared to cancer, for which we spend only $9,000 for prevention research per victim. The same general pattern holds true for other big killers like heart disease, strokes, and influenza.”

How does that make any sense whatsoever?

Leahy also says we must be prepared for the war to restrict our rights and liberties. Again, that’s already happened, with ASIO being granted an extraordinary range of powers, including the right to implement control orders and the right to detain you even if you’re not a suspect.

New proposals would give the security services even more latitude, including, most controversially, access to the metadata produced by your electronic communications.

The Snowden revelations exposed the ambitions of security agencies in this respect. An NSA agent can, it seems, use an interface called XKEYSCORE to access anything you’ve ever done on the internet simply by your email address. According to NSA documents, in a single month in early 2013, one NSA unit collected data on more than 3 billion telephone calls and emails that had passed through the US. In that same period, it monitored 97 billion emails and 124 billion phone calls from around the world.

And what has all this achieved?

The professional bedwetters in the security industry and their media enablers explain the absence of any deaths from terrorism in Australia by pointing to the plots already foiled by the authorities. But, in his study, Chris Michaelson pointed out that, while people had been convicted for terrorism, all the prosecutions were for ancillary offences under very broad anti-terror laws.

None of them were preparing an attack; none of them had selected a target.

It’s similar in the US. In March this year, the academic John Mueller compiled a report looking at all known cases of Islamic extremism that had occurred within, or have been targeted against, the US since September 11. He broke down the 52 cases as follows:

• 3 involved situations where no plot had yet been hatched, but authorities worried one might arise.
• 27 were “essentially created or facilitated in a major way by the authorities”. In other words, a would-be jihadist, often mentally ill, would be provided the coaxing and resources necessary to carry out an attack, and then arrested upon proving that they were willing participants.
• There are no known plots disrupted that involved weapons of mass destruction.
• All but two cases involved nothing more than a plan to set off conventional explosives.

Researcher Trevor Aaronson trawled the data on terror arrests, he and came to a similar conclusion: only a tiny percentage of those convicted were what most of us would consider ‘real’ terrorists.

T]he majority of the foiled attacks that they cite are really only foiled attacks because the FBI made the attack possible, and most of the people who are caught in these so-called foiled attacks are caught through sting operations that use either an undercover FBI agent or informant posing as some sort of Al-Qaeda operative.

In all of these cases, the defendants, or the would-be terrorists, are people who at best have a vague idea that they want to commit some sort of violent act or some sort of act of terrorism but have no means on their own. They don’t have weapons. They don’t have connections with any international terrorist groups.

In many cases they’re mentally ill or they’re economically desperate. An undercover informant or agent posing as an Al-Qaeda operative gives them everything they need… gives them the transportation, gives them the money if they need it, and then gives them the bomb and even the idea for the terrorist attack. And then when that person pushes a button to detonate the bomb that they believe will explode—a bomb that was provided to them in whole by the FBI—agents rush in, arrest them and charge them with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and then parade that person out to the public saying, “Look at us. We caught a terrorist. This is us keeping you safe.”

It’s not hard to understand such behavior. The billions of dollars spent so far on the war on terror have created an enormous caste of people with a material interest in talking up the threat so as to keep the resources flowing. For instance, last month, the Daily Telegraph published an article entitled ‘The high risk of terror is hitting home’. The piece explained that a Bali-style terrorist attack was “inevitable” on Australian soil.

Scary stuff, to be sure! But who was the source of this information? It came from Labor’s Anthony Byrne, who was channeling what the paper quaintly called the “intelligence community” – a community that had informed Byrne that, unless ASIO received all the new powers and funding it demanded, “an attack on home soil of the magnitude of the 2002 Bali bombing – which claimed the lives of 202 people including 88 Australians – was not only possible but now probable.”

Evidence? Why, there’s none! It’s all secret, handily enough.

But you can see the process by which the national security infrastructure builds itself, with almost zero accountability. Last year, the Washington Post reported that, in the US, there had been almost no research performed as to whether counter terrorism programs actually worked – despite the government allocating $17.2 billion each year fighting terrorism through the intelligence agencies, and another $47.4 billion to the Department of Homeland Security.

As Glenn Greenwald puts it, “If you were a US leader, or an official of the National Security State, or a beneficiary of the private military and surveillance industries, why would you possibly want the war on terror to end? That would be the worst thing that could happen. It's that war that generates limitless power, impenetrable secrecy, an unquestioning citizenry, and massive profit.”

But Greenwald makes another point that’s particularly relevant given the new focus on ISIS. The war on terror continues, he says, because it’s self-generating.

There's a good reason US officials are assuming the ‘War on Terror’ will persist indefinitely: namely, their actions ensure that this occurs. The US - through the very policies of aggression and militarism justified in the name of terrorism - is creating the very "terrorists" those polices are supposedly designed to combat. It's a pure and perfect system of self-perpetuation.

We’re now urged to buckle in for more decades of war because of the threat from terrorism from the Islamic State in Iraq. Yet, of course, the mayhem in that country stems directly from an invasion put together to… end the threat of terrorism. Back in 2006, Donald Rumsfeld, an early advocate of the Long War cause, explained what Iraq would be like in 2016.

What we'll see is a country that has water, that has oil, that has intelligent people, that has history. And it will be a country that will not be attacking its neighbors. It will not be filling mass graves with hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people. It won't be using chemicals on its own people. It will be a country that will be at peace and opposing violent extremists. And I think that that would be a fabulous thing for the world.

Yeah, not so much.

Both the former head of the AFP Mick Keelty and the former Defence Chief Peter Cosgrove have acknowledged that the invasion of Iraq increased the likelihood of terrorism in Australia. And yet it’s the threat of terrorism in Australia that drives fresh calls for strikes on Iraq.

“War is a racket,” warned the US General Smedley D. Butler in 1935. The war on terror is the best racket of them all.

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Syd Walker
Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 - 14:59

Excellent article and very timely.

It does not, however, go far enough in my opinion. 

Australia DID experience a terrorist attack on our soil - back in 1978. The case remains unsolved, but suspicion lingers that ASIO itself was behind the Sydney Hilton bombing atrocity -it may well have been a stunt gone wrong. There inquest was aborted and there has never been a public inruiry.

Arguably, it also experienced a terrorist attack in 1996. That was at Port Arthur in Tasmania - the largest mass murder in recent Australian history. Once again, there has been no inquest or public inquiry. Defendent Martin Bryant's trial did not test the prosecution evidence, as he eventually pleaded guilty (after months of refusing to do so while isolted and incarcerated).

The first of these atrocities paved the way for (relatively modest) increases in spook budgets in the 1980s. The second helped relegate widespread concerns over the Sydney Hilton bombing to the Memory Hole and faciliated a stronger State monopoly over access to legal firearms.

The came 9/11. Nuff said? That's when the money really began to flow like water into the coffers of spookdom, in Australia as elsewhere in the "Western" world. Australians died on that occasion.

Did any Australian "intelligence agency" investigators even bother to interview the Australian leasheholder of part of the WTC, whose tacit approval one might reasonably suspect would have been needed for any prior wiring up of the three buildings for controlled demolition (the only feasible explanation for the WTCs collapse in the view of thousands of qualified architects and engineers)? Pass.

Perhaps I should spell it out.. 

In my opinion, not only is there no evidence Australia's spooks have prevented any significant atrocities in which Australians could have been murdered. There are strong grounds for believing they are complicit in some, of not all, of the very worst atrocities we've suffered.

Australia's debate should not be how much more we fund our spooks. Our debate should be over their abolition.

Honest police are all that's needed to solve serious crimes. A well-functioning diplomatic service and Foreign Affairs Department is sufficient to provide advise to Ministers on overseas policy. Ministers should not be taking advice from suspected criminals who have the means and motive to blackmail them!

War is a racket - and so are the "Intelligence Agencies". No more dosh until spooks show the ability to investigate and acknowledge their own past misdeeds. In other words, no more dosh.

What to do with the new ASIO HQ in Canberra? Perhaps it could be rented to overseas business interests? The Chinese might be interested..

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Mercurial
Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 - 15:26

If you look at terrorism as just another crime, you can see the futility of the 'war on terror'.  The 'war on drugs' has already failed.  Imagine a 'war on shoplifting' or a 'war on theft' where the goal was to stamp out every shoplifter or thief.

Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 - 16:34

Excellent article.

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." -- George Orwell

This user is a New Matilda supporter. PAW
Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 - 17:03

Iain Hall, as you have stated, the discovery of chemical used for explosives, so the AFP and state police are doing their job, that is what they are trained to do.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. PAW
Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 - 17:50


Iain Hall, it would be everyone asking the government why it didn't do something, not just the left, your hatred for the left is showing, you will blame the left if something does happen, just so you can blame anyone but the current government.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Dipso Facto
Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 - 18:08

Hall, as usual, is so impatient to tilt at strawmen in the form of those inveterate latte sippers that he misses the point of yet another article. Who's being nonchalant about the threat of mass violence? 

I think this is a good and timely article, well encapsulated by the quotes from Greenwald. The USA just keeps on manufacturing terror crises, repeatedly 'backing the wrong horse' and/or allowing madcap ideology and national hubris to intrude into its foreign adventures. They backed the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviets, the anti-government forces in Syria probably because the Russians and Iranians were backing Assad, and of course they directly caused the present situation in Iraq by toppling the dictator they had once supported in his pointless, tragically wasteful war against Iran.

'Terror' itself has become such a malleable, catch-all concept it can be used and abused for base political motives whenever required. That's nothing to be 'sanguine' about; there's a nebulous space in which genuine prevention of mass violence, political propaganda and humbug, and even provocation and fear-mongering, sit quite conveniently beside each other for political exploitation and gimcrack adventurism. 

Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 - 18:22

Islamofascism??? What a moronic 'Fox News' phrase. (Hitchens really did lose the plot in the last decade of his life)

In fact I'm more worried about the fascistic tendencies of 'Fox News' and our 'One Nation' Prime-minister.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Dipso Facto
Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 - 19:34

In fact I'm more worried about the fascistic tendencies of 'Fox News' and our 'One Nation' Prime-minister.

Agreed. But hasn't 'One Nation' been supplanted by 'Team Australia'?

In the MSM Abbott is praised by faint damnation.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. O. Puhleez
Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 - 20:46


'Terror' itself has become such a malleable, catch-all concept it can be used and abused for base political motives whenever required. 

In my reading of history, terrorists are never for any kind of democracy. In Russia, some misguided opponents of Tsarism used the terrorist's bomb as a weapon, but they were opposed by democrats, and even by Leninists.

In the modern context, the world's major users of terror as a political tactic are the Islamists. They are not fighting for democracy, however defined, from the inside of totalitarian Islamic societies like Iran. They are fighting for totalitarianism from the inside of democratic societies like the US,  Australia and Indonesia (whose wobbly infant democracy has them worried).


Islamofascism??? What a moronic 'Fox News' phrase. (Hitchens really did lose the plot in the last decade of his life)

The term 'Islamofascism' was never favoured by Hitchens. "William Safire makes particular note of Hitchens as a "popularizer" of the word, though Hitchens declined credit for coining it and preferred the phrase 'fascism with an Islamic face'". (Source

Hitchens obviously got up your nose, but he never lost the plot.

Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 - 23:40

As a Bush apologist and neo-con stooge, Hitchens more than lost the plot. He became the court jester for an ugly junta that have wasted millions of lives needlessly. An ignominous end to a life that had a lot of potential. Just like so many of those he imperiously turned his thumb down to. He became Tom Freidman with a more elaborate vocabulary and a posh accent. Truly, the worst fate that he could have suffered.

Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 - 23:48

What's the big idea Jeff? - putting a perspective on this huge hoax.  Does this mean I throw away my fridge magnet?

Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 00:25

A great fuss has been made recently regarding it being necessary for ISP providers to keep metadata (logs) for up to two years in order to counter the 'terrorist' threat. If it is to be such an efficient tool, why doesn't the US require the same? A number of VPN providers who don't keep logs are based in the US for this very reason (it is not mandatory by law to do so). When it comes to the question  of Abbott's leadership abilities, I am reminded of what Lenin said about Stalin - words to the effect that while Stalin was an excellent Party Member and organiser, he did not possess those qualities which were necessary for the top job. To finish with - Anwar Al-Awlaki (the assassinated US citizen) once stated in one of his lectures that 'Jihad Fisabilillah' would last until Judgement Day. Ain't theology grand?

Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 06:12

Is 'Islamofascism' worse than IPA fascism ?

Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 06:58

Iain Hall

You're an economic rationalist right?

Well get back to us when the cost of terrorist incidents affecting Australians begins to equal the cost of the 'war on terror' since 2001.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Mercurial
Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 07:59

There's no sanguinity there, Iain, just a good dose of reality.  And a little less conjecture on your part would help the discussion as well.

Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 10:57

Iain Hall.

There is no evidence that the explosive chemicals found at the vacant house in Brisbane were connected to a terrorist plot to blow up the G20. In fact, the Courier Mail had this to say:

"Insp Bradford said there was no indication of any terrorism plot as the state prepared for the G20 summit later this year.

“'It’s early days in the investigation, certainly there is no indications of that at this point in time,' he said."

The article goes on to say that the man living in the home was known to NSW Police, and has been arrested before on unrelated matters.

Yep, sound like a well-knon "Islamofachist" [sic] to me...


Frankly, if you are going to call Paul Wello a "fool" for not doing adequate research on the matter, you could at least do your own, instead of fabricating a non-existent plot.

You just come across as a screeching fabulist.

From a "minion of the left"... :)

This user is a New Matilda supporter. PAW
Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 11:32

Iain Hall, who is the fool now. By the way Iain Hall, my name is Paul, my screen name is ,PAW, there is no Wello in my name, check the profile you fool.

Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 11:44

Excellent article  and excellent comments by Syd. Some additional key points:

1. Numerous science, engineering, architecture , aviation, military and intelligence experts assert that the US Government  was responsible for   the 9-11 atrocity (some say with Israeli complicity) (see “Experts: US did-9-11”: https://sites.google.com/site/expertsusdid911/ ).

2. Only 4 Australians have been violently killed by ideological  terrorists  in Australia in the last half century  – the 3 killed in the Hilton bombing (probably by Australian Intelligence itself) and a clinic security guard killed by a Right-to-Lifer fanatic.

3. Western civilian deaths from Muslim-origin non-state terrorism in the last half century (ignoring 3,000 US-responsible  9-11 deaths and 2,000 racist  Zionist (RZ) invaders of Palestine) total about 2,000. In contrast, Muslim deaths in the post-1990 US War on Muslims total 12 million (see “Muslim Holocaust  Muslim Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/muslimholocaustmuslimgenocide/ ).

4. The ongoing Palestinian Genocide, Iraqi Genocide, Somali Genocide,  and Afghan Genocide have been associated with post-invasion violent plus non-violent excess deaths of 0.3 million (1967-2014), 4.6 million (1990-2014), 2.2 million (1992-2014) and 5.6 million, respectively; post-invasion under-5 infant deaths 0.2 million, 2.0 million, 1.3 million and 3.0 million, respectively; refugees totalling 7 million, 5-6 million, 2 million  and 3-4 million, respectively, plus a further 2 million NW Pakistan Pashtun refugees) (see “Muslim Holocaust  Muslim Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/muslimholocaustmuslimgenocide/ ).

5. The long-term  accrual cost to America of the Iraq War and the continuing Afghanistan War has been estimated at $3.5 trillion and $1-2 trillion, respectively (i.e. as high as $5.5 trillion) and the cost of the US War on Terror for Australia has been estimated at $125 billion. This huge fiscal perversion is associated with preventable deaths since 2001 in the US and Australia totalling 17 million and 0.8 million, respectively, associated with the US Alliance committing  trillions of dollars to killing 10 million Muslims abroad in the US War on Terror rather than keeping Americans and Australians alive at home (see Gideon Polya, “Endless War on Terror, Huge cost for Australia & America”, MWC News, 14 October 2012: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/22149-endless-war-on-terror.html ).

6. Global opiate drug-related deaths due to US Alliance (including Australia) restoration of  the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry  from 6% of world share in 2001 to 93% on  2007 now total 1.9 million, this carnage including  over 200,000 Americans, 50,000 Iranians,  18,000 British, 10,000 Canadians , 8,000 Germans  and 4,000 Australians. (see “Afghan Holocaust Afghan Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/afghanholocaustafghangenocide/     

7. . The US has invaded 70 nations (France 80, the UK 170) (see Gideon Polya, “The US has invaded 70 Nations since 1776 – make 4 July Independence From America Day”, Countercurrents, 5 July, 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya050713.htm ) and avoidable deaths from deprivation in countries occupied by the US, France, the UK and Apartheid Israel  since WW2 total over 80 million, 142 million, 727 million and 24 million (Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, that includes  an avoidable mortality-related history of every country since Neolithic times and is now available for free perusal on the web: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/body-count-global-avoidable-mortality_05.html  ).

US state terrorism,  UK state terrorism, French state terrorism,  Australian state terrorism and Israeli state terrorism (12 million Muslim deaths from violence or war-imposed deprivation since  1990, half of them CHILDREN) are vastly worse than repugnant Muslim-origin state terrorism (2,000 Western civilian deaths in the last 50 years) that has served as the "excuse" for this Western carnage (i.e. the Muslim terrorists are the de facto accomplices  of Western mass murderers of 12 million Muslims and indeed the US funded Al Qaeda) but Orwellian, lying Mainstream media (see “Mainstream media lying”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammedialying/ ) in the Western  Murdochracies, Lobbyocracies and Corporatocracies turn reality on its head.

Decent, anti-racist, pro-peace, pro-human rights Australians who abhor  both state terrorism and non-state terrorism will utterly reject war criminal Lib-Lab (Liberal-Laboral, Coalition and Labor Right)  state terrorism  and nuclear terrorism (see (Gideon Polya, "Nuclear Weapons Ban & Boycotts, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) to save World From  Nuclear, Poverty & Climate Threats", Countercurrents, 11 August 2014: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya110814.htm ;  “Nuclear weapons ban, end poverty & reverse climate change”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/nuclear-weapons-ban )   and will vote 1 Green and put the Coalition last.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. PAW
Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 12:00


Iain Hall, the terrorists friend, creating fear out of nothing, that is what terrorists do, create fear so the public will be in fear just from the threat.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. prism
Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 12:03

Excellent article, though it does not touch on the why of terrorism. When Robert Fisk, the Middle East correspondent for the Independent, asked why on September 11, he was called anti-American, anti-Semitic and a host of other adjectives by Alan Dershowitz.

Probably the only person who has answered the why is Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA's bin Laden unit. His book Imperial Hubris is worth a read.


This user is a New Matilda supporter. PAW
Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 15:00


Iain Hall, I read the article on the SMH site, buy reading that  it seems to me it just revenge against his ex girlfriend and her lovers, because he blew up one of her boyfriend's cars in 2007.




This user is a New Matilda supporter. PAW
Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 16:30


Iain Hall, I did read the article, and it states that he blew up his former girlfriend's lovers car, or did you not read that, and the police stated that they were not dangerous and were to be removed by regular waste management., which gives the impression they are not dangerous.

Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 20:47

It was a lack of imagination and conjecture that enabled those 19 men to learn to fly the planes into the WTC and the Pentagon  because prior to 9/11 no one considered the fact that a commercial aircraft is essentially a flying bomb, Like wise no one prior to 9/11 envisioned that those hijacking a plane would do so with the express intention of piloting such a bomb. Heck no one even thought it suspicious when those doing pilot training were uninterested in learning how to land an aircraft.

So please don't chide me because I can envision such things and that I think that we should be vigilant for any thing that could be a precursor to an atrocity here.

There was an x-files spinoff that had an episode in which people try to destroy the WTC with an airliner, before 2001. I think you're overstating the novelty of using a plane full of hostages as a weapon. It is not like the 9/11 bombers were the first hijackers. It wasn't even the first time AQ attacked the WTC.

9/11 could have been prevented with the powers and intelligence at the disposal of the CIA, FBI and NSA before the attack. They dropped the ball. This was the reason intelligence sharing was massively improved after the attack. It is how Manning got all the classified documents he leaked, coincidentally.

In the end we have more to fear from lone wolves, the kinds that aren't actually a part of these larger organizations and notoriously hard to profile and detect. Spooks won't find them with metadata so why bother?

This user is a New Matilda supporter. PAW
Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 21:01


Tom Clancy novels, he crashed a plane into the capital building in Washington, he asked then government personnel what type of defense was around Washington, they said,  basically none, and this was in the mid 90's.