The multi-target terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001 – commonly referred to as "9-11" ("9/11", the Sept. 11 attacks, etc.) – was an event with immense effects and implications worldwide.
A number of anomalies and objections to the official account have arisen, further widening the scope of the event's impact; considerable effort has also been spent trying to discredit the idea of investigating these anomalies. This has resulted in considerable disagreement, among even the most reasonable people, as to whether the official account is believable.
George W. Bush appears to have seen the instant "political capital" granted by these attacks as representing his golden moment to justify his pre-existing ambition of invading Iraq.
Several public figures have suggested that we need another 9/11 to unify the United States politically, suggesting that those figures value political unity over individual lives and giving a hint of the kind of mentality which might be necessary in order to be involved with committing such an act.
- /official: documents and other materials which comprise the official account
- /anomalies: anomalies in the official story, and (conspiracy) theories surrounding those anomalies
- /anomalies/debate: legitimate debate over anomalies in the official story
- /anomalies/straw men: phony arguments used to obscure the real ones
- /anomalies/disinformation: false information seeded in the discussion in order to discredit it
- /foreknowledge (to be written): general foreknowledge of the attacks
- /foreknowledge/investigations: There is also evidence that the administration actively worked to block investigations which might have prevented the attacks
- /foreknowledge/official: official foreknowledge of the attacks
- /truth: the "9/11 Truth" movement seeks a new, credible investigation
- /videos: eyewitness video, mostly of the WTC attacks
- 9/11 Commission:
- Loose Change: investigation of /anomalies, but also some straw men
- The Path to 9/11: dramatization of events leading up to the attacks
- WTC1, "The North Tower", a 110-story skyscraper (417m plus antenna)
- WTC2, "The South Tower", a 107-story skyscraper (415m)
- WTC7, a 47-story skyscraper (174m); a.k.a. The Salomon Brothers Building
- The Pentagon, the world's largest office building
- AA11 (Wikipedia) a Boeing 767-223ER which crashed into the North Tower (WTC1)
- AA77 (Wikipedia), a Boeing 757-223 which crashed into the Pentagon
- UA93 (Wikipedia), a Boeing 757-222 which crashed in Pennsylvania before reaching a target; its "black box" was later recovered
- UA175 (Wikipedia), a Boeing 767-222 which crashed into the South Tower (WTC2)
The main theatres in which the attacks played out:
- /NYC: WTC1, WTC2, and collateral damage
- /DC: the Pentagon
- /PA: where UA93 crashed into a field before it could reach another target
- 2,973 people died, plus 24 missing (presumed dead), plus 19 hijackers
- WTC2 collapsed 0:55:51 after impact
- WTC1 collapsed 1:41:51 after impact
see 9/11 timeline for a more complete listing of events
- 08:46:30*: AA11 hits WTC1 at roughly 490 mph (*time also given as 08:46:40)
- 09:02:59*: UA175 hits WTC2 at roughly 590 mph (*time also given as 09:03:11)
- 09:06: FAA initiates First Tier Groundstop (no takeoffs within airspace of New York, Boston, Cleveland, and Washington Centers)
- 09:08: FAA bans takeoffs nationwide for all flights going through New York Center airspace
- 09:26: FAA imposes national groundstop (for the first time ever)
- 09:37:46: AA77 hits the Pentagon
- 09:45: United States airspace is shutdown; incoming international flights are redirected to Canada
- 09:59:04: WTC2 collapses (0:55:51 after impact)
- 10:03*: UA93 crashes in Pennsylvania (*or possibly 10:06 )
- 10:28:25: WTC1 collapses (1:41:51 after impact)
- 17:20: WTC7 abruptly collapses
- The Taliban government of Afghanistan denounced the attacks
- Iraq stated that the attacks are the fruit of "U.S. crimes against humanity" in an official announcement on state television
- Some interesting events related to the Afghanistan Northern Alliance happened shortly before and after the 9/11 attacks
- 2001-09-12 (reported 2002-06-20, Messages intercepted by U.S. on Sept. 10 revealed): "Messages intercepted by U.S. intelligence one day before the Sept. 11 attacks came from telephone conversations between people in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, sources said Thursday. ... One of the intercepts said, 'The match begins tomorrow.' The other said, 'Tomorrow is zero hour.' The intercepts however, were not translated and analyzed until Sept. 12 -- one day after the attacks." This at least somewhat legitimizes the Afghanistan invasion, but why did we accuse Iraq of harboring terrorists instead of Saudi Arabia?
- 2001-09-17 U.S. Decision On Iraq Has Puzzling Past: Opponents of War Wonder When, How Policy Was Set "...six days after the attacks ..., President Bush signed a 2(?)-page document marked "TOP SECRET" that outlined the plan for going to war in Afghanistan as part of a global campaign against terrorism. Almost as a footnote, the document also directed the Pentagon to begin planning military options for an invasion of Iraq, senior administration officials said."
As poorly-prepared as we apparently were to deal with the 9/11 attacks, as a result of the US invasion of Iraq we are now far less ready to deal with another similar occurrence.
Motives for the Attacks
Osama bin Laden was fingered as a likely instigator/planner of the plot as early as 09:55, and indeed was known to have been "determined to strike US" many months earlier; CIA director George Tenet states that "al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan are essentially one and the same". (The connection between Osama and al Qaeda, though widely accepted, should also be documented...)
It seems likely that the planners of 9/11 hoped to provoke the United States into an intense, unplanned, unconsidered response, which would result in additional chaos and make the US look like a global bully, which would in turn increase global resentment against the US and increase the ranks of Islamic extremism. In that the US went into Iraq without a post-invasion plan, against global consensus, and are now watching the supposedly "accomplished mission" of Iraq slowly devlolve into civil war, those terrorist planners would seem to have succeeded admirably. --Woozle 19:15, 15 September 2006 (EDT)
The Bush Administration's Position
- 2006-09-07 White House Targets Conspiracy Theorists As Terrorist Recruiters: specifically mentions 9/11 conspiracy theorists, and implies that the 9/11 truth movement is itself a conspiracy to support terrorism
- Complete 911 Timeline: starts decades before the attack itself; very detailed, with sources (although some links are dead)
- 2015/09/10 [L..T] Message -- Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks “The terrorist threat that led to the declaration on September 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues. For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect after September 14, 2015, the national emergency with respect to the terrorist threat.”
- 2014/03/14 [L..T] WATCH: Rand Paul's Big Flip-Flop on Russia "Earlier this week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) slammed President Barack Obama for not doing enough in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's incursion into Crimea." In 2009, however, he said almost the exact opposite.
To Be Filed
- 2001-09-12 The Nation Reels
- 2001-09-14 Timeline of Disaster: may not reflect the most accurate understanding of what happened, but is historically useful as it shows much of what was known or believed a mere 3 days after the attacks. Note, for example, the quote claiming that the terrorists were good pilots.
- 2001-09-?? Some Notes About Calamity... and Opportunity by David Brin: an early analysis of the causes of 9/11, along with a catalog of suggestions (and one or two prescient warnings) for possible responses
- 9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes By Michael Bronner, Vanity Fair
- 2002-04-19 Robert S. Mueller, III, Director, FBI discusses the events of 9/11
- September 11, 2001 @ War Without End forum area
- 2001-09-12 and 2001-09-20: Gray Watson Personal Thoughts 2001.09.12 The New Day of Infamy, with more thoughts added a week later and a collection of links
- 2007-12-04 Happy 2001 by Jerry Mazza: "And then my mind cut to 9/11/2001, the apocalypse, everyone in shock unless you were a dancing Israeli on top of a white van in Liberty Square Park facing the Hudson and the exploding towers. We heard first that they were Middle-Eastern men, Palestinians, dancing on the van, jumping for joy, and I hated the bastards immediately. But that was a lie." Links to various news stories indicating that there may have been two separate white vans, each with dancing Israelis. (is this a reprint of a WSJ online article? W..) More evidence of 9/11 foreknowledge?
News & Views
- 2007-11-02 Ex-Saudi ambassador: Kingdom could have helped U.S. prevent 9/11: "Saudi Arabia could have helped the United States prevent al Qaeda's 2001 attacks on New York and Washington if American officials had consulted Saudi authorities in a "credible" way, the kingdom's former ambassador said in a documentary aired Thursday."
- 2007-10-08 Of Myths and Men "In her new book, Susan Faludi examines the cultural impact of the 9/11 terror attacks. What she says about their effect on U.S. politics, feminism and the differences between American and European approaches to history."
- 2007-09-30 9/11 Is Over by Thomas L. Friedman: "...since 9/11, we've become "The United States of Fighting Terrorism." .. 9/11 has made us stupid. I honor, and weep for, all those murdered on that day. But our reaction to 9/11 – mine included – has knocked America completely out of balance, and it is time to get things right again."
- 2007-04-17 France knew of and told CIA about al-Qaeda hijack plans prior to 9/11
- 2007-04-04 Historic Result From San Diego Citizens' Grand Jury On The Crimes Of September 11, 2001 In New York City: Jurors Vote To Charge Sixteen With 'Conspiracy To Commit Mass Murder' On 9/11/01. This moves beyond observing that there are anomalies; it identifies specific individuals whose actions warrant further investigation.
- 2007-03-15 Transcript of 9/11 confession by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed released
- 2001-09-16 The Vice President appears on Meet the Press with Tim Russert: Dick Cheney's first press conference since July 16. ("MR. RUSSERT: Do we have any evidence linking Saddam Hussein or Iraqis to this operation? VICE PRES. CHENEY: No." Of course, this was early on...) The conversation gets into a lot of important details, about the attacks, the response, and the likely effects.
- Remarks by the President In Photo Opportunity with the National Security Team The Cabinet Room
- Presidential Determination #2001-26, Continuation of the Exercise of Certain Authorities Under the Trading With the Enemy Act
- 09:30: Remarks by the President After Two Planes Crash Into World Trade Center, Emma Booker Elementary School, Sarasota, Florida
- ??:??: Remarks by the President Upon Arrival at Barksdale Air Force Base Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana (time unknown; takes place after the Elementary School remarks, according to WH timeline)
- 13:47: Press Briefing to the Pool By Ari Fleischer Aboard Air Force One
- 17:30: Press Briefing to the Pool By Ari Fleischer Aboard Air Force One En Route Andrews Air Force Base
- 19:15: Press Briefing by Attorney General, Secretary of HHS, Secretary of Transportation, and FEMA Director: Press Briefing by Attorney General John Ashcroft, Secretary of HHS Tommy Thompson, Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta, and FEMA Director Joseph Allbaugh, The Briefing Room
- 20:30: Statement by the President in His Address to the Nation
- ??:??: Statement by the Press Secretary (time unknown)
- ??:??: Press Briefing by Karen Hughes, Counselor to the President National FBI Headquarters (time unknown): summarizes where all the top officials are
- 9/11 DETAILS THE AMERICAN MEDIA HOPES YOU FORGET: a collection of news stories mostly involving supposed Israeli connections to 9/11
- 2012-09-10 discussion on Google+ relating to fire, seismic damage