the conjuror of september 11th.
i am the conjuror of 11 september 2001.
i wanted to make a spectacular show.
as with all complex theatricals, the big ideas came first, and
the detail was fleshed out with the asistance of many others
as the plan developed.
the plan was to demolish the twin towers of the world trade
centre, on television. for this i needed two hi-jacked planes,
one to draw the television cameras to the scene. the other
to perform the second act live, when everyone was ready.
some of you have thought about the problems of putting on
such a show, but you are still some way from seeing how it
was done - and i am not going to reveal everything to you
at this stage, no, not even now.
when i asked for hi-jacked planes, they said 'no, too risky -
we are military men. we crave control. we hate reckless
and unpunctual amateurs, too scary, give us drones or
remote control or something we can practise and make
perfect. no arab amateurs, please.'
but i still needed planes. i needed planes to blame. the
hi-jackers and passengers must die, to cover our tracks
and to excite the fear and loathing of the people. i would
keep the passengers to a minimum, because i do not wish
unnecessary suffering. i am, however, immune to feeling
any remorse over necessary suffering . . . and some would
undoubtedly be necessary.
why start from boston ? maybe they had some connections
with security or at the airport in boston, but anyway they said
they would need half an hour at least to be sure of getting the
two planes in the air together, and to line up the shot. so it
made no difference starting from boston.
the planes had transponders. not all of the air traffic controllers,
naturally, were part of the show, some were 'in the audience' -
so we had to bluff them too. when you wanted to hide - you
turned the transponder off. when you wanted to leave a trail,
you left the transponder on - or got someone else to punch a
transponder with your number.
now there is no point in trying to follow a conjuror's every move.
he is trained and practised to dazzle you with speed and skill.
but there is a general rule for all shows - do not look where the
conjuror wants you to look.
- and where does the conjuror want you to look ? into a hole in
pennsylvania. i think that hole is empty.
who wanted to go to pennsylvania ? the hi-jackers ? that surely
was the way to get shot down, to be in the air for an unnecessary
hour after norad had awoken from its early morning exercises.
so what about the military ? if they were involved, they would
have the same objection - how would they explain an aircraft in
the air for an uninterrupted hour after the show had begun ? so
if it did not suit the hi-jackers and it did not suit the military, who
else is there to suit ?
there is the conjuror.
'flight 93' is no more than a hole in the ground in pennsylvania,
and a transponder track. easy. a hole in a disused coal mining
strip, a bang, and a transponder on a plane. what plane ?
you have had the idea sown in your minds, by a man in custody -
khalid sheikh mohammed - that flight 93 was en route to the
capitol. even that idea was hearsay. if the sheik was on the
television, i must have missed it . . . . so, did some torturer's
assistant repeat out loud what the sheik had said ?
so who flies west to hit a target in the city that they have just
departed from in the east ? no one.
if the conjuror says 'look west' - look east. even if that means
looking out to sea. out to sea where the fighter planes were
sent, by mistake . . .
suppose nothing much went west except the transponder code ?
suppose there is nothing in the hole in pennsylvania. suppose
a lot of stories about planes that land at cleveland and take off
again are more conjuring ? suppose delta 1989 flight that really
did land at cleveland is used as a smokescreen to make the
flight that does not go there seem more real ? suppose the 'slip
up' that the plane was shot down is more smokescreening. you
cannot 'trust' conjurors on any point. they are professional
deceivers, you cannot afford to take any point for granted.
crashed, or shot down ? landed or did not land ? the conjuror
happily lets you discuss a matter that cannot be resolved -
certainly not if the plane was never there in the first place.