Sunday, December 28, 2008

15 Answers: An open response to Joseph Welch

I had recently been directed to this new posting by Joseph Welch who poses 15 questions to the 9/11 Truth Movement that he feels will point out logical gaps in our arguments. Because he does not have an available e-mail address that I can respond to, I will post my answers here for all to either criticize or agree with depending on their view, and hopefully will make its way back to Mr. Welch. ( Be sure to click on the links embedded in the text. )

Joseph Welch)-Let’s take your thesis (that 9/11 was an inside job perpetrated by the Bush administration, and covered up by a coalition of US government agencies, allied powers, big business and the media) as read. The following questions point to logical and factual gaps within that thesis. It is now up to you to answer these questions and explain why your theories are still valid. For your answers to be credible, they need to be detailed and based on verifiable evidence. No suppositions, no speculation, no unsupported assertions, just the facts. Stop “asking questions”, and provide answers. These fifteen initial questions will do for starters.

Stewart Bradley)- After looking over your 15 questions I have found most of them to be irrelevant to the main concerns of the 9/11 Truth movement and the LIHOP case which I focus on in particular. But I will answer these fifteen questions to the best of my abilities provided I get a civil and intelligent response to my four short questions posted below. Lets begin:

(1) On 9th September 2001 Ahmed Shah Massoud, the most effective military commander of the anti-Taliban coalition (the Northern Alliance, or NA) was killed by two Arab suicide bombers posing as journalists. The assassination of Massoud had taken months to plan, and the latter had received the bogus request for an ‘interview’ in May 2001 (See Steve Coll, Ghost Wars, pp.574-576; Jason Burke, Al Qaeda, p.197; Daniel Byman, Deadly Connections, p.210. Two days before 9/11, Al Qaeda killed the Taliban’s main enemy, who had also played a pivotal role in keeping the NA factions together, and who would have been the obvious figure to liase with if the Americans had decided to effect regime change in Afghanistan. If Al Qaeda were not responsible for 9/11, then why was Ahmed Shah Massoud’s assassination so well co-ordinated with the attacks on New York and Washington?

SB)- Your question asserts as fact that Al Qaeda was responsible for the Ahmed Shah Massoud's assassination. How do you know that some other involved faction did not commit the crime and use Al Qaeda as the scapegoat? The only people who know for sure are conveniently dead.

(2) Conversely, prior to 9/11, the US government had minimal contacts with Massoud and other Northern Alliance figures, much to the latter’s frustration (See Coll, passim). If 9/11 was a “false flag” operation intended to justify a pre-determined plan to invade Afghanistan, then why didn’t the CIA and other US government agencies do more to facilitate ties with the NA?

SB)- Here you assume that the CIA wanted the involvement of the Northern Alliance before the invasion. If the true motive of the war was the construction of the Trans-Afghani pipeline, along with occupational forces to guard the project, would Massoud and the NA have supported the invasion? Especially when the US already had Harmid Karzai, who was directly involved with the pipeline deal, to install as Afghanistan's new leader.

(3) Just before 9/11, Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and other key Al Qaeda personnel left their quarters in Kandahar to hide in Tora Bora (Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower, pp.356-358). Why did bin Laden and al-Zawahiri suddenly leave their known locations and go to ground, if they were not anticipating imminent military action by the USA?

SB)- Despite the Bush administrations outrageous claim that there were no warnings of the 9/11 attack, there are dozens of documented reports of an imminent attack on America, many of which Osama bin Laden had access to. ( Many claiming to be from Al Qaeda. )

The real question is why our military allowed bin Laden to escape into Pakistan when we had him boxed in at Tora Bora?

(4) In the days following 9/11, the Bush administration asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff for a plan to invade Afghanistan. The JCS had to admit that they had no contingency plan for such an invasion, and in the weeks preceding Operation Enduring Freedom the CIA and the Department of Defense were obliged to improvise a plan of attack against the Taliban and its Al Qaeda allies (Benjamin Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror; Bob Woodward, Bush At War). If 9/11 had been an inside job, and if there was a long-standing intention by Bush and his advisors to invade Afghanistan and overthrow the Taliban, then why did they have to scrabble around for a workable plan? Why was one not prepared beforehand?

SB)- Congratulations on telling your first bold faced deception. It has been well publicized that according to Condi Rice on September 9, two days before the attack, the final plans to go to war against the Taliban to begin in October were ready for President Bush to sign despite having no Congressional approval for any military action. It is critical to point out that without the 9/11 attack the Bush administration would not have had justification to use this plan.

(5) We are being asked by the truthers to believe that the 19 hijackers were “patsies”, or non-existent. If that was the case, and if the intention of the real plotters in the US government was to justify military interventions to overthrow hostile regimes in the Middle East, why were 15 out of the 19 ‘bogus’ Al Qaeda terrorists given Saudi nationality? The other four hijackers consisted of an Egyptian, a Lebanese and two citizens of the UAE. We are being asked to believe that the conspirators behind 9/11 decided that they would make the hijackers citizens of allies of the USA, not enemies. Why were they not given Iraqi, Iranian or Syrian identity? Why were they not given forged links with terrorist groups (such as the Abu Nidal Organisation, the PLFP-GC or Hizbollah) with closer links to Tehran, Damascus and above all Baghdad? If we are supposed to believe that the Israelis had a hand in 9/11, then why were none of the patsies Palestinians linked to Fatah or Hamas? What kind of conspirator sets up a plot to frame an innocent party without forging the evidence to implicate the latter?

SB)- While we could speculate for years, as to the true identities of the hijackers, or if there is any hard evidence that these men were really on board the doomed flights, it is clear that the attack was meant to incriminate Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network. Your guess may be as good as mine here, but considering this was the opening of the "War on Terror" the enemy "Boogymen" had to be portrayed as part of a world wide network and not linked specifically to one nation if they hoped to extend and expand the war as wide as possible.

To play devils advocate, it seems odd to me that these hijackers, who cleverly evaded detection for years, would on 9/11 suddenly leave such an obvious paper trail to their supposed identities, some of which are still in dispute.

(6) Following on from this point, if the identities and the nationalities of the hijackers were faked, then why did the Saudi, Egyptian, Lebanese and UAE governments accept that citizens from their own countries were involved? What incentive did Saudi Arabia have for accepting that 15 of its own people had committed mass murder on US soil? Why would the Saudis co-operate in a plot which would blacken their country’s name, benefit Israeli interests in the Middle East, provide the pretext for the overthrow of one fundamentalist Sunni regime in Afghanistan, and contribute to the destruction of a Sunni Arab dictatorship in Iraq long seen by the Saudi royal family as a bulwark against Iran?

SB)- Indeed, how do bullies on the playground coerce the lunch money from smaller children? With threats of military action. I'm not sure if you recall our president telling the world, "If you are not with us you are against us", and how quickly all aforementioned countries joined the US led effort against terrorism, despite the US being instrumental in the creation of these very terror organizations.

(7) Afghanistan is a landlocked country (truthers may need to be reminded of this fact), and any invasion is logistically impossible without the support of its neighbours. Prior to 9/11, Pakistan was a staunch ally of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan (see Ahmed Rashid, Taliban, passim). The former Soviet Central Asian states of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan backed the NA, but were also wary of antagonising their former imperial master, Russia. Pre-September 2001 these states would not have contemplated admitting any US or Western military presence on their soil. Although Russian President Vladimir Putin backed the USA’s invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, it took the Americans considerable effort to persuade him to permit the US and NATO forces to use bases on Uzbek and Tajik territory as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. It also took time and considerable pressure to force General Pervez Musharraf to abandon the Taliban - despite resistance from the military and ISI. Given the geo-political realities of Central Asia in mid-2001, there were no guarantees of any host nation support for any attack on Afghanistan. Assuming againt that 9/11 was an inside job, how could the US government realistically presume that the Russians and Pakistanis would actually permit the USA to effect regime change against the Taliban?

SB)- Again your question is based on false information. First, if Pakistan was such a Taliban ally then why was the head of the ISI, General Mahmoud Ahmed meeting with Bush administration officials in Washington during the time of the attack, while approving funding to lead hijacker Mohammed Atta?

Secondly, at the end of the Cold War several major American energy companies began buying up oil supplies in the Caspian Sea region, including Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan which border Afghanistan. There were already US troops based in Uzbekistan before 9/11 to protect these oil supplies, which then became a staging area for the Afghanistan invasion.

(8) Assuming that claims of Mossad complicity in 9/11 (”dancing Israelis”, etc.) are correct, can the truthers suggest a feasible motive for the Israeli government conniving in an act of mass murder on US soil? Since 1967, the mainstay of Israel’s security and survival has been its alignment with the USA, and the military assistance it has received as a result. This relationship is based on a bipartisan political consensus (both the Republican and Democratic parties are predominantly pro-Israeli) and considerable public support in the USA. Why engage in a “false flag” attack against the civilian population of an ally, when you have so little to gain and so much to lose if your responsibility is ever disclosed?

SB)- Israel has obviously benefitted from the invasion and occupation of both Afghanistan and Iraq, who were two known enemies of Israel, and certainly enjoys having US troops nearby to help protect it from it's other enemies in the region. Although I have personally seen no empirical evidence to suggest that the Mossad were involved in 9/11, it's always useful to debunkers to try to associate the 9/11 Truth Movement to anti-semitism and other hate based groups.

(9) Following on from this, assuming that the “five dancing Israelis” story isn’t a complete fabrication, what kind of secret service recruits undercover agents who compromise themselves by acting so ostentatiously in public? And if the five arrested Israelis were part of a conspiracy organised with the US government, then why did the FBI hold them in custody for over two months, instead of releasing them on the quiet a matter of hours and days after their apprehension?

SB)- I don't personally believe that the story of the "dancing Israelis" is either true or relevant to the 9/11 case.

(10) If the WTC towers in New York City were destroyed by controlled demolitions rigged by US government agencies, then why were the fake terrorist attacks used to cover up these controlled demolitions so insanely convoluted? Why concoct a scenario involving the hijacking of planes which are then crashed into tower blocks (involving complicated planning involving remote controlled flights timed with explosives detonated in the towers, which allow plenty of opportunities for gliches and technical errors)? Why not use a more simple means, such as a truck bomb?

SB)- While this question is purely speculative and ignores the WTC anomalies that are in question, the tactic of using hijacked commercial aircraft in Kamikaze style attacks had been know about and planned for by our air defenses before 9/11.

If 9/11 was a false flag attack then using commercial planes is much more sinister because of the helpless people aboard the aircraft. And the timing of the second aircraft crash almost insured live coverage of the attack, providing the maximum psychological impact on the viewing public. And considering the technology available at the time, faking an attack like this would not be so difficult to carry out, providing one can explain why our air defenses did not intercept the flights, and can direct any resulting investigations into the attack.

(11) Assuming that Niaz Naik’s account of his alleged meeting with retired US officials in July 2001 is true, then where were the 17,000 Russian troops who were supposedly ready to invade Afghanistan when it came to the commencement of military operations in October 2001? And if the main motive behind the invasion was to build a natural gas pipe-line which would be under US control, then why was no attempt ever made to build one once the Taliban were overthrown?

SB)- While it is impossible to know whether Niaz Naik's story is legitimate the agreement for the pipeline deal was signed in December of 2002, while the construction of the pipeline (now called TAPI) has been hindered by the ongoing war.

(12) We are being asked by the conspiracy theorists to assume that NORAD was stood down on the morning of 11th September 2001 so as to enable the success of the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. NORAD is a combined command, not a purely American one - it has a binational staff drawn from the US military and the Canadian Forces (CF). We are either supposed to believe that the CF personnel assigned to NORAD were too stupid to notice anything amiss in their headquarters - and query it - or that the Canadian government and the CF were complicit in 9/11. Which of these scenarios is true?

SB)- Both of these scenarios assume incorrectly that a "stand down" scenario would require complicity with all NORAD personnel. These men follow orders in a chain of command and are informed of situations on a "need to know" basis. The person in charge and giving the orders is the only one who is responsible for their actions, or inactions. On the morning of 9/11 that person was Dick Cheney.

(13) If Al Qaeda were set-up for the 11th September attacks, then why have its leaders and spokesmen repeatedly affirmed their responsibility for - and pride in - these attacks (see here, here, here and here for examples)? Why are we supposed to believe that repeated video pronouncements by bin Laden and Zawahiri are fake, while just one written statement allegedly from bin Laden denying responsibility - which was handed by courier to al-Jazeera without any confirmation of its origins - was genuine?

SB)- You do not need to convince me that Osama bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attack, rather you need to convince the FBI. To this day the FBI claims it has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11 and the 9/11 attack is conspicuously absent from his list of crimes on their website. While it only took three months to obtain a Federal indictment against bin Laden for his role in the 1998 embassy bombings, there has been no indictment issued for 9/11 after 7 years of searching. The justice department isn't even trying to get an indictment. What do they know that you can't seem to accept as reality?

Now let's assume there was no direct history between Osama and the CIA and that Al Qaeda is not being sponsored to justify the War on Terror, do you mean to tell me you Did Al Qaeda have a grudge against old, asbestos laden buildings?

(15) Finally, if the US government is institutionally ruthless enough to organise the massacre of thousands of its own citizens in a series of “false flag” attacks, then why is it too squeamish to arrange for the deaths of the supposed “truth-seekers” (David Griffin, Kevin Barrett, Steven Jones, Richard Gage, the Loose Change team, Alex Jones, etc.) who have exposed their complicity in one of the most heinous crimes a government can commit against its own people? Why are these people still alive and well, and in a position to publicise their “theories” on radio, television, in print and online?

SB)- The obvious reason is that if popular and outspoken Truthers would start dying in mysterious accidents it would only serve to raise suspicions about what they are saying. Why go to all the trouble of assassinating the Truthers when the guilty parties have the media power to assassinate their character by publicly denouncing them as "loony moonbats" while preventing any serious debate about their claims on any mainstream media source. Small radio shows and internet videos aren't considered a threat when they know most Americans only get their information from major network news broadcasts.

There, I answered your questions. Now will you answer my four short and simple questions?:

1. Why did the Bush administration ignore 9/11 warnings and obstruct FBI investigations?

2. Who scheduled the multiple military war games for the morning of 9/11?

3. Why did the Bush administration try to block the 9/11 investigation?

4. The FEMA funded study by WPI documented WTC steel melting. How did this steel melt?

I look forward to your answers but I won't hold my breath.
With all due respect..... Stewart Bradley

Related Info:

Beyond 15 Questions; Historical Context of 9/11

Conflicting Sources: Another Final Note to Joseph Welch

Master Debaters: A tribute to Joseph Welch