It’s a sad commentary on our ability to fight and win a war against radical Islam that a book has to be published debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories. Popular Mechanics has done so, examining the bizarre theories that blame U.S. officials for what happened on that tragic day.
The issue is not whether there was federal incompetence before 9/11. That is obviously the case. In addition, because of the pro-Muslim policies pursued by the Clinton Administration, the inability to see 9/11 coming was a function of willful ignorance and blindness. That was negligence, perhaps criminal negligence. But the idea that federal officials planned or deliberately facilitated 9/11 is a wild charge that distracts attention from the real war being waged against our nation.
Like true conspiracy theorists, people insisting that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda were not responsible for 9/11 have “answers” for everything. When I pointed out, for example, that Al-Jazeera journalist Yosri Fouda interviewed the al-Qaeda operatives responsible for 9/11, and that they admitted their roles, I was told that Fouda was an agent of British intelligence and had been “discredited.”
Another claim I hear is that bin Laden had nothing to do with 9/11 because the “most wanted” poster description of him on the FBI website omits any mention of his role in that terrorist attack. That poster was originally done in June 1999 and refers specifically to his role in the bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998. However, it also refers to his involvement in other terrorist attacks.
Rex Tomb, chief of investigative publicity for the FBI, is said to have commented, when asked why there is no mention of 9/11 on the Bin Laden’s Most Wanted Web page, that “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.” Dan Eggen of the Washington Post reported that “FBI officials say the wanted poster merely reflects the government’s long-standing practice of relying on actual criminal charges in the notices.”
Bin Laden’s videotaped statement, released just before the 2004 presidential election and aired by Al-Jazeera, admitted responsibility for the 9/11 attacks.
Bin Laden said he was inspired to attack the United States by the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon in which towers and buildings in Beirut were destroyed:
“I say to you, Allah knows that it had never occurred to us to strike the towers. But after it became unbearable and we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the American/Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind?And as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children?So with these images and their like as their background, the events of September 11th came as a reply to those great wrongs, should a man be blamed for defending his sanctuary?
In July 31, 2002, testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Marion E. (Spike) Bowman, Deputy General Counsel, FBI, said that “We believe the suicide hijackers of September 11, 2001 acted in support of the 1998 fatwa which, in turn describes what we believe is the international jihad.”
That fatwa, calling for attacks on Americans, was issued by bin Laden and declared that “in compliance with God’s order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims: the ruling to kill the Americans and their allies, including civilians and military, is the individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it.”
Does all of this constitute a criminal case that can be handled in a court of law? Perhaps not. But that doesn’t get bin Laden off the hook for 9/11.