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ERROR: 'Inside Job Implies a Vast Conspiracy'

It is commonly believed that the 9/11/01 attack being an inside job implies the involvement of a vast numbers of co-conspirators. This idea is easily the single most effective impediment to serious examination of the evidence contradicting the official myth. The vast conspiracy idea is standard fare for leftgatekeepers like Alexander Cockburn.

e x c e r p t
title: The Poisoned Chalice
authors: Alexander Cockburn
The truly bad news is the 9/11 nuts have relocated to Stolen Election. My inbox is awash with their ravings. People who have spent the last three years sending me screeds establishing to their own satisfaction that George Bush personally ordered the attacks on the towers and that Dick Cheney vectored the planes in are now pummeling me with data on the time people spent on line waiting to vote in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, and how the Diebold machines are all jimmied. As usual, the conspiracy nuts think that plans of inconceivable complexity worked at 100 per cent efficiency, that Murphy's law was once again in suspense, and that 10,000 co-conspirators are all going to keep their mouths shut.

The vast conspiracy idea is also promoted by operations pretending to expose the attack as an inside job while actually working to discredit skepticism of the official story. Michael Elliot cleverly twists a statement by skeptic Andreas von Buelow in an interview in Tagesspiegel . In it, von Buelow states:

The planning of the attacks was technically and organizationally a master achievement. To hijack four huge airplanes within a few minutes and within one hour, to drive them into their targets, with complicated flight maneuvers! This is unthinkable without years-long support from secret apparatuses of the state and industry.
e x c e r p t
title: ExperiencedSkeptics
authors: Michael Elliot
Note the last line [of von Buelow's quote] "without years-long support from secret apparatuses of the state and industry", coming from someone who knows about this kind of operation. It's not just some renegade section of the American intelligence agencies that planned and executed 9/11: it's a massive operation by what we have been referring to as the military-industrial complex, including, but not limited to, the intelligence agencies.

Elliot conflates the technical sophistication and long-time planning of the attack with its requiring a vast number of insiders. In fact, as any student of 'black-ops' or even common military procedures knows, these operations involve rigorous compartmentalization in order to prevent the exposure of some operatives from endangering the entire operation. Even an operation of the technical sophistication of the 9/11/01 attack could be executed with a very small number of operatives, most of whom would not even grasp the scope of the entire operation. To understand how this is possible, consider two key tools at the disposal of top-ranking insiders in the U.S. military.

  • Military command structures: Military organizations are almost universally top-down structures in which underlings are trained to follow orders without question. This is true of the U.S. military, whose control ultimately rests in the hands of a few individuals. Although authority may be delegated to commanders at different levels in the hierarchy, it can be re-centralized at the direction of the top, as demonstrated by the June 1st order to funnel intercept authorizations through the office of the Secretary of Defense.
  • Automation: Contemporary military technology affords a high degree of automation. By definition, automation -- such as programmed or remote control of aircraft -- amplifies the power of a few individuals to execute complex operations. Through automation, an attack involving simultaneous maneuvers by several different aircraft could be pre-programmed by a single individual.

Technicians operating under strict orders by top officials and on a need-to-know basis could have performed many of the critical tasks for engineering the 9/11/01 attack. Perhaps they were supplied false explanations for the purpose of their tasks. Operatives who might have grasped the significance of their work as the attack unfolded may have been killed -- perhaps in the attack itself. It is reasonable to think that the entire 9/11/01 attack could have been executed by as few as a dozen insiders -- a far smaller number than the 10,000 assumed by Alexander Cockburn.

Operatives Versus Enablers

One source of confusion regarding the number of operatives required to execute the 9/11/01 and similar attacks is the failure to distinguish between the operatives involved in executing the attack and the enablers who profit from and obstruct investigation of the attack. Whereas the first group is very small by necessity, the second group is indeed vast, but very diffuse, consisting mostly of individuals not consciously involved in any conspiracy. Compartmentalizing the planning and execution of the operation gives even the leaders ordering the deadly attacks a plausible deniability of involvement in them.

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