Friday, March 25, 2005

9/11 : the day that nearly ended in disaster.

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i don't know if you are the same, but the moment i smell 'conspiraacy theory' i switch off. so let us set aside the far fetched theories about 9/11, that it was a conspiracy carried out from the pentagon, or from the caves on the afghan frontier. forget all that.

for the purposes of clarity - divide your headspace into four. number these four quarters - 0 false / 1. true / 2. true but we don't know that. / and 3. false but we don't know that. now the sections zero and one are out in the daylight, but sections two and three are concealed in the darkness so they look like one section. we know nothing of what is in there -- or do we ?

if all of that is not clear, let us take an example from 9/11 itself.

george bush is in a school in florida. one conspiracy theory says that he was in the know about the attacks on the world trade centre - another conspiracy theory says that he was not. what is the evidence from the school ? he was, after all, on camera. if george bush was surprised by the second attack ( one, after all, may prove to be an accident ) he would have jumped up and excused himself from the reading class. if he was in the know before 11 september, he would have rehearsed a reaction for this, the most important moment, knowing that he was bound to be photographed or video'd on such an occasion. so which did he do ? he did neither. he hung around like a man meeting someone at an airport when the arrivals board says ' flight delayed.'

so where were the arab hi-jackers ? if they were aboard flight 77 on their way to the pentagon, they were late. they were late because you cannot hang around for an hour in united states air space in a hi-jacked plane without meeting some suspicion, and almost certainly some active resistance to what you are trying to do. anyone would know that. so we do not have to chose between the theories. boxes 2 and 3 give off the same strong smell. we do not need to see inside. the plane was late.

the united states air force are not obliged to discuss counter terrorist operations with you, with me, or with anybody outside the loop. it would be foolish to expect that. so we can only look on and admire the heroes travelling towards the most historic day for the u s a f in american air space - at less than half speed. so they did not want to be early. after all, the plane they were meeting was late.

on flight 77's path across america it made a strange semi circular deviation and then resumed course. again we do not need to decide who was piloting the plane, or even whether it was a human or automatic pilot. boxes 2 and 3 say the same thing. if the plane had made a full turn at that point, it would have got back to washington earlier. so that may well be the point at which a delay became inevitable. someone, person or programme, failed to turn the plane 180 degrees, and instead turned 90 degrees to the right followed by 90 degrees to the left. some kind of human or mechanical dyslexic error.

that's all i have to tell. i hate hanging around at airports and i am sure you do too.

of course the guys solved it as the smart guys always do. when they got to the pentagon they did not attempt a 90 degree turn to get to the terminal they were booked into. they went around the other way and completed 270 degrees instead. phew.

9/11. the day that so nearly ended in disaster.
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