Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”     Plato

February 29, 2008

What Ron Paul Could Have Learned From Barry Goldwater And William F. Buckley

by Doug Mataconis

In what may well be one of the last published articles he wrote, William F. Buckley Jr. recalls the problems that arose when the John Birchers got too close to Barry Goldwater’s Presidential Campaign:

The society had been founded in 1958 by an earnest and capable entrepreneur named Robert Welch, a candy man, who brought together little clusters of American conservatives, most of them businessmen. He demanded two undistracted days in exchange for his willingness to give his seminar on the Communist menace to the United States, which he believed was more thoroughgoing and far-reaching than anyone else in America could have conceived. His influence was near-hypnotic, and his ideas wild. He said Dwight D. Eisenhower was a “dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy,” and that the government of the United States was “under operational control of the Communist party.” It was, he said in the summer of 1961, “50-70 percent” Communist-controlled.

(…)

The society became a national cause célèbre—so much so, that a few of those anxious to universalize a draft-Goldwater movement aiming at a nomination for President in 1964 thought it best to do a little conspiratorial organizing of their own against it.

So, in 1962, a meeting took place between Goldwater, Buckley, and Russell Kirk at which a crucial decision was made:

Time was given to the John Birch Society lasting through lunch, and the subject came up again the next morning. We resolved that conservative leaders should do something about the John Birch Society. An allocation of responsibilities crystallized.

Goldwater would seek out an opportunity to dissociate himself from the “findings” of the Society’s leader, without, however, casting any aspersions on the Society itself. I, in National Review and in my other writing, would continue to expose Welch and his thinking to scorn and derision. “You know how to do that,” said Jay Hall.

I volunteered to go further. Unless Welch himself disowned his operative fallacy, National Review would oppose any support for the society.

“How would you define the Birch fallacy?” Jay Hall asked.

“The fallacy,” I said, “is the assumption that you can infer subjective intention from objective consequence: we lost China to the Communists, therefore the President of the United States and the Secretary of State wished China to go to the Communists.”

“I like that,” Goldwater said.

What would Russell Kirk do? He was straightforward. “Me? I’ll just say, if anybody gets around to asking me, that the guy is loony and should be put away.”

“Put away in Alaska?” I asked, mock-seriously. The wisecrack traced to Robert Welch’s expressed conviction, a year or so earlier, that the state of Alaska was being prepared to house anyone who doubted his doctrine that fluoridated water was a Communist-backed plot to weaken the minds of the American public.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Goldwater didn’t win in 1964, but his candidacy created the political apparatus of a conservative movement that elected Ronald Reagan President sixteen years later.

Ron Paul could’ve done this. He could’ve explicitly disavowed Stormfront and denounced them as racists. He could have disowned Alex Jones and the 9/11 Truthers and scorned them as the kooks that they are. He could have outed the author of his newsletters by name instead of prevaricating.

But he didn’t. Apparently, the idea wasn’t even considered. And, because of that, his candidacy is going to be dismissed by history as part of the kook fringe rather than the beginning of a movement for freedom.

H/T: Hit & Run

TrackBack URI: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2008/02/29/what-ron-paul-could-have-learned-from-barry-goldwater-and-william-f-buckley/trackback/
Read more posts from
• • •

86 Comments

  1. Well, I imagine it would be hard for you to understand why Ron Paul isn’t a close minded yokel. Wouldn’t want the facts clouding the truth…

    Comment by Fritz — February 29, 2008 @ 10:15 am
  2. Goldwater Republicans as represented by Ronald Reagan and his adherents have borrowed us into near bankruptcy, have frightened us into relinquishing some of our most precious civil rights and are preparing to lose the government to one of two left leaning socialist Democrats in the Fall thus ushering the USA into a state of affairs as close to communist Russia as anything since communist Russia.

    Welch is exonerated IMHO

    Comment by jim — February 29, 2008 @ 10:20 am
  3. It’s amazing how right brain thought is considered to be “fringe”. But America is learning. When you right wingers wake up to the realization that your left brain has been taken over by computers and outsourcing, you’ll be calling us “fringe” brain exports for your lives back. What will you do with all your facts; well, they’re in my computer, but what do they mean? Damn if I know, there’s something out there that’s threatning our lives. And the computer is telling you to kill first? Yes. Well, it doesn’t understand laws and morals and ethics does it? Nope. Keep listening to your computer right wingers. You’ll get us all killed.

    Comment by Vinny — February 29, 2008 @ 10:34 am
  4. Dr. Paul doesn’t need to disavow anything. This rEVOLution is moving. It is time we remember some of his quotes about this:

    ———————————————–
    All great movements are popular movements. They are the volcanic eruptions of human passions and emotions, stirred into activity by the ruthless Goddess of Distress or by the torch of the spoken word cast into the midst of the people.

    As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.

    As soon as by one’s own message even a glimpse of right on the other side is admitted, the cause for doubting one’s own right is laid.

    All message has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.

    Generals think war should be waged like the tourneys of the Middle Ages. I have no use for knights; I need revolutionaries.

    He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.

    It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

    Sooner will a camel pass through a needle’s eye than a great man be “discovered” by an election.

    The doom of a nation can be averted only by a storm of flowing passion, but only those who are passionate themselves can arouse passion in others.

    - Ron Paul

    Comment by Ron08 — February 29, 2008 @ 10:34 am
  5. At this point in Americas history I don’t fear the truthers or the neo-nazis. I fear the neo-cons and Democrats.

    Comment by Linda — February 29, 2008 @ 10:36 am
  6. [...] short, it’s called disassociating yourself from the wacko fringe.   [...]

    Pingback by Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » What Ron Paul Could Have Learned From Barry Goldwater And William F. Buckley — February 29, 2008 @ 10:50 am
  7. let’s see where doug’s priorities lie:

    buckley: “courageous”
    paul: crap

    it’s blindingly obvious that his discernment is absentee.

    Comment by oilnwater — February 29, 2008 @ 10:56 am
  8. Right – the only politician who doesn’t attack his opponents, I’m sorry, who doesn’t even say his opponents names – needs to respond to media smear jobs. Get a life!!! Contrary to your conclusion above, the inevitable R3volution will continue…Swadharmey midhunam Shraya, par dharmo bayawaha. – Bhagvadgeeta.

    Comment by Baba Padmanabhan — February 29, 2008 @ 11:01 am
  9. Oilnwater,

    So you’re saying that Buckley shouldn’t have shunned obvious nutjobs like Robert Welch ?

    Purity is nice, but it can be political suicide.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 29, 2008 @ 11:01 am
  10. @ Doug Mataconis ~

    The question you need to ask is whether or not the United States has moved closer to a socialist/communist state since 1958 or closer to a free market Republic?

    The difference between subjective intent and objective consequences are just the yammerings of a man fascinated with brain teasers and verbal magic – the results are all that matter.

    Comment by jim — February 29, 2008 @ 11:07 am
  11. i’m saying buckley never gave a shit about you, other than playing the whimsical troubador free from actually doing anything outside of intermittent punditry.

    Comment by oilnwater — February 29, 2008 @ 11:21 am
  12. LOL, a link to a Trotsky mag.

    -Buckley got rid of the Birchers because Robert Welch refused to sign on to the war in Vietnam and Buckley’s old friend, groomsman, and Bircher, Revilo Oliver, was spending a lot of time on the JFK Assassination which Buckley (ex?-CIA) may have been encouraged to curtail.

    -Goldwater received some bad advice and chose to be more pro-war on the subject of Vietnam, than LBJ who ran as the peace candidate. Goldwater’s suggestion regarding the use of “tactical nukes” was a major turnoff to Catholic conservatives (Clarence Manion and Kirk), Kirk who was famous for leading the conservative case against the war atrocity of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Comment by C Bowen — February 29, 2008 @ 11:30 am
  13. Paul did disown the 9/11 Truthers but not forcefully enough. He said enough to anger many of them (check the ronpaulforums.com threads for that). The truthers and radicals certainly hurt his campaign, but the largest hindrance was his own campaign staff which simply wasn’t up to the job of a national campaign. His downfall was not replacing them after the mistakes they made in Iowa and NH.

    Comment by hucker — February 29, 2008 @ 11:40 am
  14. hucker,

    I’d say you pretty much nailed the real problem.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 11:46 am
  15. Ron Paul is from the government and he is here to help.

    Comment by JackieL — February 29, 2008 @ 12:09 pm
  16. Airplanes flew into the trade centers and the pentagon on 9/11.

    The question still remains, how all of that was able to be carried out by a rag tag group of 12 illegal aliens, under heavy surveillance by the cia and fbi, using credit cards, box cutters and 4 commercial air busses vs the might, mighty US Air Force and federal air traffic controllers, even after spending 40 billion on espionage and 600 billion+ on military gadgetry and game planning. McGiver would not have been able to pull that shit off.

    It is a monumental failure worthy of further investigation. If my desire as a tax paying citizen to have a closer look at the events of that day make me a 9/11 truther then I’m a 9/11 truther.

    Yeah I’ve looked at the websites (I know internet information is sacrosanct) I’m still not satisfied that we know the whole story.

    I’d still vote for Paul if given the opportunity because you have to move forward. What is done is done. And there are more immediate issues to contend with. However, he would not have lost my vote either had he expressed cynicism with accepting the totality of the 9/11 commissions findings.

    Furthermore, this country needs more principled radicals and less licentious centrists.

    Comment by jim — February 29, 2008 @ 12:58 pm
  17. Jim,

    The only people who continue to believe the government carried out something on the scale of 9/11 and kept it all quiet are people who don’t know anything about a) 9/11, b) the patchwork nature of intelligence gathering, or c) the utter fallibility of government.

    But feel free to continue to waste your life scouring the Internet for evidence of a conspiracy that doesn’t exist…it’s not like you were going to do anything useful with it anyway.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 1:12 pm
  18. @ UCrawford

    Where did I say the government carried it out?

    My viewing of the websites was written as past tense.

    You must work for the government base on your inability to discern what I had written.

    Comment by jim — February 29, 2008 @ 1:19 pm
  19. Jim,

    Where did I say the government carried it out?

    I took that as implied by the below statement from your previous post. If I misinterpreted your meaning, I apologize.

    The question still remains, how all of that was able to be carried out by a rag tag group of 12 illegal aliens, under heavy surveillance by the cia and fbi, using credit cards, box cutters and 4 commercial air busses vs the might, mighty US Air Force and federal air traffic controllers, even after spending 40 billion on espionage and 600 billion+ on military gadgetry and game planning. McGiver would not have been able to pull that shit off.

    There is no question remaining…it was carried out by 12 hijackers who had more or less unlimited time to plan and train for carrying out their operation and who got exceedingly lucky because they were able to slip through the cracks in an inherently inefficient government-run protection network despite being detected repeatedly by both law enforcement and concerned citizens.

    That’s it.

    The hijackers’ nationality had nothing to do with it because there’s no racial handicap that limits individuals from being able to plan complex acts of violence. Many of the 9/11 commission reports “findings” were little more than Monday morning quarterbacking based on disparate factoids that often had minimal or no apparent value when they were timely and relevant. And the claim that the CIA and FBI were “tracking” the hijackers prior to 9/11 is inaccurate because prior to 9/11 the intelligence community and law enforcement were statutorily prohibited from communicating with each other on most intelligence gathering because of restrictions put in place as a result of the Church Committee investigations in the 1970s (those restrictions were removed almost immediately after 9/11).

    And intelligence-gathering has never been and will never be a perfect science…it’s inevitable that eventually some terrorists will evade detection/capture and will be successful in their operations because they will always have the initiative (regardless of how many laws are passed) and because it is impossible to predict or determine the future even with copious amounts of information (all you can do is manage risk). Paul Pilar (a former intel director and vocal Bush administration critic) wrote an excellent article explaining the limitations of intelligence gathering in the last edition of Foreign Affairs.

    http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20080301fareviewessay87211/paul-r-pillar/intelligent-design.html

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 1:37 pm
  20. @ UCrawford

    Apology accepted.

    Their nationality is irrelevant. That they had overstayed there visas isn’t. That they were all immediately identifiable by one agency or another speaks for itself.

    But basically you’re saying that you’re satisfied with “oops” as the official government explanation.

    Okay then.

    Seems like we could save a lot of money on intelligence spending if that is the best they can give us for our money.

    Comment by jim — February 29, 2008 @ 2:19 pm
  21. Jim,

    But basically you’re saying that you’re satisfied with “oops” as the official government explanation.

    It’s probably more accurate to say that I accepted long ago that “oops” is eventually going to happen no matter how good your intelligence apparatus is, and that in regards to 9/11 specifically there is no compelling reason or concrete evidence to believe otherwise. As the article I linked to discusses, the primary reason that people think that 9/11 should never have happened is because they have unrealistic expectations of the government’s abilities and intelligence analysis in general…probably because it’s comforting to buy into the idea that there’s always a system in place and that whoever’s in charge is smart and capable enough to prevent horrific things from ever happening (even though they’re likely smart enough to realize that isn’t the case).

    Seems like we could save a lot of money on intelligence spending if that is the best they can give us for our money.

    The best solution I ever heard about how 9/11 could have been prevented actually came from Ron Paul. He noted that had the FAA not made it illegal for private airlines to provide their own security for their own planes, forcing them to rely entirely on the inefficient and underfunded/understaffed government agencies, it’s very likely that 9/11 would never have happened. Private businesses provide their own security all the time to protect their property and customers and it usually works fine…why should the airlines be stripped of that right?

    Paul’s solution also wouldn’t have required new laws to implement, nor would it have cost taxpayers additional money to bring about.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 2:50 pm
  22. That said, I still believe that our intelligence services generally are effective and serve an important function in our society in regards to national defense. But I don’t believe that we should put all of our faith in government programs to protect us because that’s often just the illusion of safety (usually in exchange for too many of our freedoms).

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 2:53 pm
  23. Why was NORAD ordered to stand down when they knew what was going on? That’s not “oops” that’s deliberate. Why did the alleged hijackers involved either turn up alive later or plan flights for after 9/11? Why were the “oops”ers promoted instead of fired? How do you train for a specific event as said event is taking place? Prevention is long gone, how about accountability?

    Comment by Fritz — February 29, 2008 @ 3:01 pm
  24. Jim,

    Frankly, thousands of visiting foreigners skip out on visas, either short or long term for various reasons. It’s happened for decades. Simply skipping out on a visa isn’t evidence in and of itself of violent intent. Most of those skipping out on visas do so to either a) find work here in the U.S., or b) avoid going home to an oppressive government situation or such (I knew a guy who skipped out on returning home after his student visa expired because he didn’t want to face mandatory military service once he returned home).

    As for the box cutter issue – up until 9/11, standard airline procedure was NOT to stand up to hijackers and wait out the hijacking. Most hijackings did not end generally in violence. The 9/11 hijackers knew this and used it to their advantage, unfortunately.

    Comment by SC — February 29, 2008 @ 3:03 pm
  25. Fritz,

    Why was NORAD ordered to stand down when they knew what was going on?

    All air travel in U.S. airspace was immediately ordered grounded by the FAA once the government realized what was going on and shootdown orders were issued for any aircraft violating those grounding orders and flying in a threatening manner. Out of the hundreds if not thousands of aircraft in the sky at the time of attack only four were controlled by terrorists (a fact unknown at the time) and NORAD had almost no way of knowing which hostile and was which was friendly until they flew into their attack run.

    Would you have preferred that the Air Force just blasted random civilian airplanes out of the sky because there might be hijackers on board?

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 3:11 pm
  26. It took a number of hours…

    Comment by Fritz — February 29, 2008 @ 3:12 pm
  27. Fritz,

    Why did the alleged hijackers involved either turn up alive later or plan flights for after 9/11?

    They didn’t…all hijackers participating in 9/11 were killed and there is absolutely no real evidence to prove otherwise.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 3:14 pm
  28. Fritz,

    It took a number of hours…

    It took one hour to order all national air travel grounded…which is unbelievably fast.

    http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/inside911/timeline.html

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 3:19 pm
  29. There isn’t evidence? So i guess BBC just gets to lie then..

    An hour is not fast, it takes less than 10 minutes to get the jets there. Less than a single second to notice one off course. Try from when the first plane went off course, till they one circled around “disappeared” from radar then turned up and hit the pentagon. 1hr 20 minutes? The first 2 each had about 30 minutes of notice. Thats 2 hrs 20 minutes, total failure right there.

    Comment by Fritz — February 29, 2008 @ 3:30 pm
  30. Fritz,

    An hour is not fast,

    The government was not going to order hundreds of thousands of people to be thrown off schedule and dumped in the middle of their flights on the assumption that something “might” be happening because incidents where something “might” happen occur every day and no previous incident of hijacking had ever merited that response. An hour from the recognition of the first hijacking to ordering all air traffic grounded is unbelievably fast because a) it was unprecedented, b) government communication almost never works that fast even on a smaller scale, and c) the government was able to do it without fucking up and making the situation worse or shooting down non-hijacked planes. Hell, two hours would have been remarkable.

    If you honestly think that the government could have acted more quickly than it did without panicking and making the situation worse, then you’re quite obviously an idiot who doesn’t know a damn thing about government bureaucracy, the government’s capabilities, or crisis management…which is the case with the overwhelming majority of “truthers” I’ve encountered. Of course that doesn’t keep you from spinning your bullshit stories and second-guessing people who actually do that job for a living.

    Less than a single second to notice one off course. Try from when the first plane went off course,

    Right, because planes never fly off course on a given day due to technical problems, pilot error, or any of a dozen reasons that have nothing to do with planning to kill 3,000 people. Obviously the government’s fault for not employing more psychics and fortune-tellers on staff at the FAA.

    By the time it could reasonably be established that we were being attacked it was too late to do anything about it because the terrorists had seized or were about to seize all four aircraft and nobody from the government was in any position to stop it short of shooting down every single aircraft in the air (which would have killed more people than the attacks themselves).

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 4:02 pm
  31. There isn’t evidence? So i guess BBC just gets to lie then…

    Hmmm, given a choice of who’s a liar between the BBC/government/press and some random dude on the Internet with no proof of his accusations against the government whatsoever who’s already made several blatant and easy-to-debunk factual errors, who do I think is the more likely to be untruthful? Hmmm, who to choose…

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 4:07 pm
  32. Less than a single second to notice one off course. Try from when the first plane went off course,

    Wow… That’s rich. With 4,000 planes in the air at any given time, tracked between multiple locations as they overfly various ATC “jurisdictions”, most of whom are relying on the plane’s own transponder rather than radar, and somehow the FAA is going to notice within a second that one has flown off course and is going to take direct, substantive action (such as grounding all commercial traffic) on it?

    Someone has been watching too many movies if they think the government’s that competent.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 29, 2008 @ 4:49 pm
  33. All right wait a minute. 4 airplanes where hijacked at the exact same time. If that is not a heads up what is? Add to that people where calling on their cell phones and authorities where notified. What was the name of Bush’s attorney friend who’s wife was on the plane that flew untouched into the command center of all the military, the pentagon? Barbara Olson? She called her husband while the hijacking was going on. I’m not even going to go into what my childhood friend who is an air traffic controller in Indianapolis called to tell me on that day about flight 93. Seriously, where are the rolling heads? I’m a little less forgiving despite my previous knowledge that the government is incompetent to begin with.

    Comment by jim — February 29, 2008 @ 5:10 pm
  34. Jim,

    All right wait a minute. 4 airplanes where hijacked at the exact same time.

    They weren’t, actually…read through the timeline. And it was one hour from the time the hijacking of Flight 11 was clearly identified to the time that all flights were ordered grounded (across the country) which was about as optimal a response as you can get from the government considering the sheer scale of who they had to notify.

    And keep in mind that once those planes were hijacked, there was nothing anyone could have done to prevent massive casualties short of a passenger revolt (which probably still would have killed hundreds if not thousands of people). Had Flight 11 been shot down within the 21 minute window available (which would have been impossible since its beacon was turned off) or brought down by passengers the wreckage would likely have landed somewhere in the middle of New York City. Same with Flight 175 (16 minutes from hijacking, which FAA could not confirm in time, to crash). Same with Flight 77, which gave no clear indication of hijacking until it hit the Pentagon. Same with Flight 93, which nobody was sure was hijacked until after it crashed.

    The government did everything it possibly could have done in the timeframe available and even if they’d acted more quickly and sent fighters to shoot down the hijacked planes (which would have been virtually impossible considering the timeframe and unreasonable considering that all previous hijackings had been about ransom) two planes still would have crashed over downtown New York City (probably killing just as many or more than at the WTC) and one over Washington D.C. or Arlington, VA. (likely killing more than at the Pentagon).

    What was the name of Bush’s attorney friend who’s wife was on the plane that flew untouched into the command center of all the military, the pentagon? Barbara Olson? She called her husband while the hijacking was going on.

    So what? Bush’s attorney friend wasn’t working in NORAD or for the FAA, and since both of those organizations were kind of busy at the moment their crisis management people were probably a little too swamped to take calls from some schmuck they didn’t know…assuming that Bush’s attorney friend knew anyone with pull at the FAA and had their number on speed dial.

    I’m not even going to go into what my childhood friend who is an air traffic controller in Indianapolis called to tell me on that day about flight 93.

    To be blunt, who cares what your ATC friend in Indianapolis had to say? None of the planes were anywhere near Indianapolis. Flight 93 got hijacked and the passengers brought it down in Pennsylvania before anyone knew it was hijacked. Considering that the FAA was dealing with major three crashes already and was trying to clear the skies of air traffic to prevent more their lack of response there was reasonable.

    Seriously, where are the rolling heads?

    The guy responsible is hiding in Pakistan. If you want somebody’s head to roll, go find his. Otherwise you’re just complaining because the government wasn’t able to predict the future, which is an unreasonable standard to hold them or anyone to.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 5:57 pm
  35. @ UCrawford

    You’re hilarious.

    Comment by jim — February 29, 2008 @ 6:27 pm
  36. Not only that, but standard procedure for a routine hijacking didn’t involve grounding ALL air traffic across the entire country. Up until 9/11, no one had used a hijacked plane as a bomb and until the first plane actually hit no one knew with any certainty at all that that was the intent. So your predicating your argument based on hindsight, not what actual experience and doctrine was up to that time.

    The fact is the government was just plain unprepared for something like 9/11 because something like it had never been tried before – multiple near-simultaneous hijackings with intent to suicide bomb with them had never been done before and as with many things, until it happened no one had seriously prepared for the possibility.

    Comment by SC — February 29, 2008 @ 6:36 pm
  37. Jim,

    I’m not really trying to rip on you, but seriously man…come on. You honestly believe that any government system is supposed to react perfectly in unforseen catastrophic circumstances like that? Especially since they’re generally incompetent in most other arenas they interfere in? In fact, what the government was able to do in reaction to 9/11 was pretty amazing considering their standard level of performance (e.g. Hurricane Katrina).

    And let’s not lose sight of the fact that it was bin Laden who perpetrated this. Whether the government made mistakes or not (and I think they made very few of them), they still weren’t the ones who planned and carried out the attack, and that’s where the blame should lie…with the hijackers and with their leaders bin Laden and al-Zawahiri.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 6:50 pm
  38. SC,

    That’s pretty much it. Hell, for all we know aliens from Rigel 7 could drop out of the sky tomorrow to invade…is the government wrong for not running disaster drills to prepare for that? Or an asteroid could suddenly fly out of nowhere on a collision course with Earth…should we hold the government accountable for not blowing our entire budget over the last 20 years on a planetary defense system to shoot it out of the sky?

    There’s only so much the government can do to plan for or even adapt to any contingency…that’s the biggest reason why we shouldn’t put too much faith in them.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 6:56 pm
  39. @ UCrawford

    What ever man. I don’t know why you feel the need to apologize for the ineffectiveness of our defense systems. Plus I just thought it was kind of funny that you had accused me of spending a considerable portion of my life searching the internet for 9/11 conspiracy theories and yet you appear to have the commissions report in front of you ready to deflect any and all alternate possibilities. Like it’s your job or something. Can’t we just agree that the government sucks. It isn’t going to get any better by throwing more money at it or by giving them any more power over our lives in the name of security that they can’t or won’t provide. so…Let’s close down some agencies that don’t are can’t work. Seriously, if they don’t and can’t work why pay for ‘em.

    Plus fuc* Bin Laden. The guys who actually did it are already dead.

    Comment by jim — February 29, 2008 @ 7:10 pm
  40. Jim, he’s defending the actual reality against your bias and other truther perceptions, which sound naive, tenuous, and founded on mis-perceptions on how the government actually operates. That’s what I see at least.

    The only thing truther’s ever had “right” was questioning what happened, but everything else concerning conspiracy theories and attempts at theorizing without detailed knowledge of the object of their disgust (government) are basically them shooting themselves in the foot.

    For instance, your last sentence reeks of sumptuous naivety: how do you know of the actual people who did are already dead? Provide some evidence, because otherwise, people outside of your truther group might not take you seriously.

    Also, as far as?I can gather, Crawford might know what he’s talking about concerning his admission of previously working for/in the government. Can you say the same?

    Additionally, good luck in closing down those agencies. In other news, I hear MI5 is hiring; I can’t wait to get my Walther PPK in the mail with my certification.

    Comment by Nitroadict — February 29, 2008 @ 7:31 pm
  41. Jim,

    What ever man. I don’t know why you feel the need to apologize for the ineffectiveness of our defense systems.

    Because people who recognize that government is incompetent and unadaptive in every day circumstances shouldn’t expect them to do better when faced with the unpredictable.

    And I don’t see it as apologizing for the government so much as defending the men and women working in government who did their best on 9/11 against baseless accusations by a bunch of people who have no clue what they’re talking about and can’t be bothered to get their facts straight.

    Plus I just thought it was kind of funny that you had accused me of spending a considerable portion of my life searching the internet for 9/11 conspiracy theories and yet you appear to have the commissions report in front of you ready to deflect any and all alternate possibilities. Like it’s your job or something

    It was my job. I know about it because I was working that day as an intel analyst and reporter, I spent the next eight hours of my shift reporting on and listening to reports on what was happening while wondering if my family (who were scheduled to fly that day) were okay and how many more attacks would be coming. It was, frankly, one of the worst days of my life and I spent the next three weeks working with teams of other analysts trying to find evidence of who was responsible so we could make them pay…and the evidence pointed to bin Laden.

    I deflect the “alternative possibilities” that you refer to because there is no evidence supporting them…at all. Just supposition by a bunch of amateurs whose only experience with intelligence analysis or government work was watching Jack Bauer on ’24′ and whose only corroboration was other “truthers” with the same level of experience. You want me to consider “alternative” possibilities about how our government did it? Fine, show me the proof…otherwise don’t expect me or anyone else to take those “theories” seriously. They’re an insult to me and they’re an insult to the people and the families of people who’ve died as a result of those attacks.

    Can’t we just agree that the government sucks. It isn’t going to get any better by throwing more money at it or by giving them any more power over our lives in the name of security that they can’t or won’t provide…Let’s close down some agencies that don’t are can’t work. Seriously, if they don’t and can’t work why pay for ‘em.

    We can and do agree on all of that and you never needed to trot out ridiculous, unsubstantiated accusations against the government to get my agreement on those points. If you want anyone but idiot “truthers” to agree with you on those arguments I suggest you’d do best to quit with the bullshit conspiracy theories because nobody with the ability to help you achieve those goals of a more limited government wants to hear them.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 7:46 pm
  42. Nitroadict,

    In other news, I hear MI5 is hiring; I can’t wait to get my Walther PPK in the mail with my certification.

    Funny enough, I was just about to pop “Casino Royale” into the DVD player :)

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 8:10 pm
  43. The fact that a dozen “foreign operatives” managed to do what they did with out our spies knowing in advance is a successful “conspiracy”. Their actions are the very definition of “conspiracy”. So what is with all the angst about the word “conspiracy”. It’s typical when anyone raises questions about the veracity of “our” government that a certain few feel the need to discredit them by merely using the word “conspiracy”. If there never ever where a conspiracy there would not be need to list the word in the dictionary. I’m not suggesting our treasured elected officials and all the trustworthy bureaucrats would have anything to do with this specific conspiracy. But, you know what, it’s even more disturbing that it isn’t an inside job “conspiracy”. At least if it where then I could still have some faith in the competency of the powerful few who pretend to have things under control. Knowing that it is simply an epic failure, built on systemic incompetence, incredibly poor planning, childish turf battles and an asleep at the wheel administration is not really that comforting. Doesn’t give me a warm cozy feeling knowing the crack espionage units are completely defenseless against some third world lunatics bent on our destruction. How about you?

    Comment by jim — February 29, 2008 @ 9:08 pm
  44. @nitroadict

    Meant to respond to your question regarding how I know the guys who did it are dead. They were in the airplanes right? I’m pretty sure they are dead.

    Unless you are saying there is some kind of “conspiracy” ..are you?

    Comment by jim — February 29, 2008 @ 9:29 pm
  45. Jim,

    The fact that a dozen “foreign operatives” managed to do what they did with out our spies knowing in advance is a successful “conspiracy”.

    I have no disagreement with that conspiracy argument because there’s evidence for it…my only problem is with those that claim it must have been an “inside job” (because it wasn’t). Al-Qaeda openly planned for it for five years after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in 1996 and gave them a training ground largely free from outside interference. And the hijackers tipped their hand frequently while in the U.S., it’s just that the Church committee’s restrictions preventing the intelligence community and law enforcement from talking to each other created some big cracks to slip through (although, to be fair to the government, those restrictions were done as a result of quite real abuses by the Nixon administration).

    But, you know what, it’s even more disturbing that it isn’t an inside job “conspiracy”. At least if it where then I could still have some faith in the competency of the powerful few who pretend to have things under control.

    That’s very understandable, it’s a hang-up that a lot of people have, actually…even extremely rational ones. It’s very human to look for hidden answers for why horrific things happen and to attribute more power and knowledge to those in charge than they actually possess because it lets us feel as if somebody was always in charge, as if somebody was always in control and able to keep us safe and when things go wrong the fixes are easy.

    The fact of the matter is, however, that it’s not the case and that even with the best, most capable people in charge and the the most efficient system in place it’s still impossible to eliminate all threats. All you can do is manage your risks to decrease the probability of being attacked but the odds are still there that eventually some terrorists will eventually be smart enough, or lucky enough to slip through any safety net and have success.

    The key to dealing with that is just to realize that every once in awhile attacks may happen, that as long as we’re careful and smart (and don’t go out of our way looking for trouble) those events will be less likely and less damaging, and not to overreact and panic when they do happen (like we did after 9/11) and not let the fear rule our lives. This is a lesson that much of the world has had to learn, the way we’re learning now, but eventually it does sink through and things do work out.

    Knowing that it is simply an epic failure, built on systemic incompetence, incredibly poor planning, childish turf battles and an asleep at the wheel administration is not really that comforting.

    Happens to even the smartest leaders too. If it’s any consolation, there’s not much that Bush could have done to prevent 9/11, if anything, unless he’d been exceptionally lucky…the planning had already been going for five years by that point. Most of the gears were set in motion well before he even thought about running for office and the reasons for what happened stretch back another 20+ years or more. He just happened to be the guy sitting in office when it all went off.

    That said, while I don’t blame Bush for 9/11 his reactions to it have been nothing short of horrific and criminally incompetent…particularly in how he used it as an excuse to attack Iraq (which had nothing to do with 9/11).

    Doesn’t give me a warm cozy feeling knowing the crack espionage units are completely defenseless against some third world lunatics bent on our destruction. How about you?

    I realize that there are some things I have control over and some things I don’t…and terrorist attacks fall under the “don’t have control” category. If somebody decides to fly an airplane into my office or detonate a nuke and wipe me out and they have a great plan and a little luck on their side there’s not a hell of a lot I can do about it. I also recognize that the odds are greatly against them succeeding (our intel services are actually pretty competent and you’d be surprised at how many terrorists are complete fucking idiots) and that my chances of dying in a car crash tomorrow, or having a heart attack, or falling off my roof and breaking my neck are a lot greater than the odds of dying in a terrorist attack so I don’t spend too much time dwelling on it because it’s not something I have any ability to change…when your time’s up, your time’s up, but in the meantime it’s more important just to live your life and enjoy it the best you can.

    I will say that if we’d like to manage our risks a little better and reduce the chances of future attack I think that it probably wouldn’t hurt to stop our government from interfering in the internal affairs of half the countries on the globe…a lot of the resentment that leads to events like 9/11 is a result of people in places like the Middle East feeling just as threatened by our government as many Americans feel by al-Qaeda.

    And if it will make you feel a little better, here’s a link about just how stupid many terrorists are and how the media and government often blow threats out of proportion from reality. I thought this article pretty much nailed just how unrealistic the terror threat often is:

    http://www.wired.com/politics/security/commentary/securitymatters/2007/06/securitymatters_0614

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 10:07 pm
  46. @jim: I thought you were implying a conspiracy concerning the entire affair as the typical “inside job”; this is why I did not think you were referring to the hijackers who went down with the planes.

    Comment by Nitroadict — February 29, 2008 @ 10:15 pm
  47. Jim,

    It’s also important to keep in mind that most people in the Middle East are like most people here. They have lives and families and friends that they enjoy there, same as we do here, and most of them aren’t interested in destroying us. Heck, places like Dubai often try to emulate us and want to do business with us. Just because there are cultural differences between there and here doesn’t mean that we’re not all people who want to build a better life for ourselves. Sometimes it’s easy, with the fear and hysteria that get stirred up, to lose sight of that…and we shouldn’t.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 10:20 pm
  48. RP was running as a Republican. Saying things that Republicans didn’t want to hear. Was branded a Libertarian whom Libertarians didn’t want to support because many such as in the followers of the CATO institute wanted War.

    RP needed the anti-war movement for support, they chose not to. Rp need the 9/11 guys to shut up and understand they were hurting not helping him, they didn’t.

    I don’t know how many time I heard RP has great ideas but no chance to win we’re going for Obama.

    Finally RP needed to be more in the spot light and people like Naomi Wolf who recognized his courage and dedication to needed to endorse him.

    If Ann Clouter had any brains she would be supporting RP as would all other conservatives, they didn’t; however, all you could ever find were articles wanting to debate his virtue by blogs like the Liberty Papers.

    Lack of support for the best candidate allowed the worst to prevail so if it is sympathy you looking for for your lack of support you don’t have mine.

    The Liberty Papers didn’t want RP and should stop pretending that it did anything good for RP.

    Being Non-White I agreed with this old white man much more than I have ever agreed with anyone in my life and so did many non-whites that I know but they would tell me that when they spoke to others all they would hear is that yes he has they best ideas but… based upon Megan Mc’Ardle or some other fool they had to question how sincere he was after all he is just another republican sounding like GW did in 2000 and a Libertarian that the Libertarians didn’t seem to like. And them there was the most astounding thing non-white trying to convince whites that RP was not a racist!! I must admit that was somewhat comical.

    The failure of people to recognize a spokesman and support that spokesman by changing their behavior to become mainstream is the main reason for failure. The second is a campaign management for not vigorously cutting down rags like McArdle, the Liberty papers while criticizing the CATO institute . The third reason was that RP was actually too smart for his own good, too capable a thinker, misjudged the fact he needed people to go out and pound at his opponents weaknesses and needed to get on the ballot like McCain by using the promise of Federal Funding and not having to spend time doing the grass roots thing. Alas if it were dishonest or had the appearance of dishonesty RP would probably not go for it.

    Oh , and there was one other culprit.. me for not doing enough. Like, taking time off of work or playing with the kids and getting out there and pounding the pavement like I should have and just maybe that was the real number one reason.

    Comment by Josh — March 1, 2008 @ 3:15 am
  49. Great post, Josh.

    Comment by Jussi — March 1, 2008 @ 4:35 am
  50. Shortly before his death, E. Howard Hunt, the 25-year veteran CIA agent famous for managing the Watergate break-in (and according to recordings published by his son saintjohnhunt.com, the JFK assassination), wrote American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond, published in 2007. The forward section of the book is written by William F. Buckley, Jr. The association between Hunt and Buckley comes from the fact that Hunt gave Buckley his first job out of college…

    From page 48:
    “At OPC [Office of Policy Coordination - a department of the CIA], I also met and frequently consulted with Dr. James Burnham, a former philosophy professor and a prominent 1930′s Trotskyite…Burnham, however, had gone through an idealogical metamorphosis and in 1941 published The Managerial Revolution, a best-seller detailing his “science of politics,” which theorized that a new ruling class of “managers” would usurp the dominance of both capitalists and Communists alike…Through Burnham, I was eventually to meet a young Yale graduate, William F. Buckley, Jr., whose seminal work, God and Man at Yale, stirred great controversy within Eastern academic circles and marked the emergence of one of of the most influential conservative thinkers of our time.”

    Hunt goes on to describe Buckley’s first project where he gave book-writing assistance to Eudocio Ravines, “a Chilean Marxist intellectual and follower of Mao Tse-tung” who had become disenchanted with the ideology. Buckley helped Ravines write The Yenan Way, which was about “the Communists plan to take over the world”.

    For more on this, please listen to this excellent description of how Buckley helped the new neocon right take over the old conservative right:
    http://dissentradio.com/radio/08_02_27_rockwell.mp3

    Comment by Ken — March 1, 2008 @ 4:40 am
  51. I like the adage, if it looks like conspiracy, think incompetence.

    No airplane wreckage at the Pentagon and in PA. That seems like an odd thing. I’ve heard airline investigators say there’s always wreckage.

    Buildings falling into footprints. That never happened with steel buildings on fire, yet, three times that day.

    BBC has news footage of an anchor announcing that bldg 7 collapsed, yet bldg 7 is clearly visible behind her in a live shot, aired at a time before the collapse. That seems kind of odd.

    Someone notices these inconsistencies, so now there a “troofer”? That seems like a poor explanation of the inconsistencies.

    Giving these noticers power as a political block, “9/11 truthers”, to explain the outcome of the Ron Paul campaign, seems as ridiculous a leap as anyone who promotes theories of shadow government, cave dwellling hijackers, or parallels between “Truthers” or Stormfront racists and Ron Paul vs. Birchers and Goldwater.

    This here is one wacky thread!

    Comment by linus — March 1, 2008 @ 6:48 am
  52. Linus,

    That never happened with steel buildings on fire, yet, three times that day.

    That’s because prior to that day nobody had ever purposely flown commercial airliners full of fuel into high-rise buildings at top speed. If you want the physics of it explained this site does that:

    http://www.debunking911.com/

    Comment by UCrawford — March 1, 2008 @ 7:34 am
  53. I dont even know Doug Mataconis. I can not in any way be responsible for how he acts or how he thinks. It doesn’t seem to me like Doug Mataconis is one of us.

    Go Ron Paul!

    Comment by Regnad Kcin — March 1, 2008 @ 8:14 am
  54. @ UCrawford

    Hey, I know you probably feel we closed the whole book on this potential shenanigans on 9/11 thing. But…LOL……what is the official response to building 7. It didn’t get hit by a plane. It also “imploded” hours after the 2 big towers. This is the building where genius Giuliani (decent mayor for the most part I voted for him twice) installed the “Command Center” after the first attempt on the towers in ’93(?). ….. help me get past this.

    Comment by jim — March 1, 2008 @ 10:08 am
  55. @ UCrawford

    I have questions about 9/11 too, but I usually assume it was incompetence. Good job pointing out the fact that government is made up of good people who care, but as a whole might be incompetent sometimes.

    @ Josh

    Right on! If Ron Paul supporters would support the message and not their pet cause, it could have made a difference. He was the only anti-war candidate, and no anti-war groups supported him.

    At least my eyes are open more to our economy and our dollar. That is a win for RP.

    Comment by Matt — March 1, 2008 @ 12:02 pm
  56. Okay, RP was not the only anti-war candidate, so think before you speak next time. Kucinich, despite being a socialist, was also staunchly anti-war, and sadly got shafted by his own party that seems intent nowadays merely being mildly inept Utilitarian apologists in congress, wagging the dog around the emerging bi-partisan Statist party?Pelosi and Co. are having a grand ol’ time but none of us are invited, let alone democrats themselves.

    At also, this overtly-optimistic view that somehow RP will suddenly be looked to for guidance when the economic shitstorm kicks into gear is naive.

    Being fully honest here, with some of the stuff I’ve been reading lately, as well as taking into account the more or less eventuality of Obama being the democratic candidate (if not president), I see nothing but a ripe opportunity for the democrats to yet again demonstrate their complete failure at understanding economics, by advocating a re-regulation of the economy of New Deal proportions. Because when I think of the New Deal, oh yeah, I think economic progress. (end sarcasm)

    (here:?http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=7992

    And Matt, I would not use the incompetence argument as some type of comfort against the government sliding into fascism (whether liberal or conservative fascism). Not by a long shot.

    Comment by Nitroadict — March 1, 2008 @ 4:10 pm
  57. Doug shut the fuck up no one cares what you think, your just mad because no ones gonna visit your shitty blog anymore, fuck the neo liberty papers

    Comment by Max — March 1, 2008 @ 7:16 pm
  58. “But he didn’t. Apparently, the idea wasn’t even considered. And, because of that, his candidacy is going to be dismissed by history as part of the kook fringe rather than the beginning of a movement for freedom.”
    ————–
    How his candidacy is going to be viewed in history depends on two things — how successful the young generation of freedom activists he has inspired are in carrying on the revolution, and how accurate Ron Paul’s predictions of financial disaster turn out to be.

    Ron Paul did address the Truther smears, early and often, sometimes in nationally televised debates. He strongly denounced the ideology of the few neo-nazi nuts who supported him. Apparently it wasn’t enough for some, but it had hardly any impact on his presidential campaign.

    Most voters still have barely heard of Ron Paul, and if they did, they spent little time investigating his ideas, due to the disrespectful manner in which he was treated by the media and most of his competitors for the nomination.

    And appearing on the Alex Jones show on multiple occasions is not the same thing as endorsing every cockamamie idea Alex Jones holds. If one radio host with a national audience treats you with respect and gives you airtime, you take him up on the offer.

    If Sean Hannity had interviewed Ron Paul more than a handful of times, it wouldn’t have meant that Ron Paul supports Hannity’s ludicrous idea that invading and occupying a country that had no role in 9/11, posed no threat to the US, and had a secular dictator suppressing the Islamic extremist terrorists who are supposedly such an existential threat to us was a great policy.

    Comment by Craig — March 1, 2008 @ 7:52 pm
  59. what about sibel edmonds???

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/25/60minutes/main526954.shtml

    What about the events after the Moussaoui arrest almost a month before 9-11, how the FBI continually denied requested for search warrants based on the evidence evidence uncovered.

    I am not going to say anything about who did or did not do 9-11, but I am extremely concerned about the competency of government agents as well as the possibility of high ranking career bureaucrats who are on the take and perhaps actively aiding America’s enemies.

    Comment by anonymous — March 1, 2008 @ 9:52 pm
  60. Boy, that’s some militant debunking. Why do the truthers need to be debunked, if they’ve been successfully labeled as crazy in the first place?

    Comment by linus — March 1, 2008 @ 9:55 pm
  61. Unfortunately it took segregationist Governor Wallace to reveal the truth that “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between” Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats willingly went along with the War in Iraq, suspension of Habeas Corpus, detaining protesters, banning books like “America Deceived’ from Amazon, stealing private lands (Kelo decision), warrant-less wiretapping and refusing to investigate 9/11 properly. They are both guilty of treason.
    Support Dr. Ron Paul and save this great nation.
    Last link (before Google Books bends to gov’t Will and drops the title):
    http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0

    Comment by Kent L — March 1, 2008 @ 10:38 pm
  62. The advice for Ron Paul might be sound, but I wouldn’t be trying to interpret his poor performance in the presidential race to this issue.

    Ron Paul lost because the message of liberty means absolutely nothing to 80%-90% of the partisan fanatics who register for either party.

    Comment by Jono — March 2, 2008 @ 4:19 am
  63. I must be a truther because I would like to know:

    Why did President GW Bush say he saw a plane crash into the first WTC tower before he went into the schoolroom to talk to the kids. Video of the first plane did not show up until the next day. So he obviously, blatantly lied!!! 2 Presidents in a row decide to blatantly lie to We the People.

    Why was the Vice President in command of NORAD at the precise moment they were most needed. This has never happened before, EVER!

    Government may be incompetent, our military is extremely competent. Had jets been scrambled there is no doubt a plane would not have hit the 2nd tower or the Pentagon. Why weren’t the War Games instantly terminated and jets scrambled as needed? Because for the first time ever in American history, the Vice President was in command of NORAD.

    Why are other countries not buying the “official” 911 story. The governments of Japan, Australia and others have and are questioning. So why aren’t you calling them truthers? (Which according to some replies here is supposed to be a derogatory term.)

    Ron Paul 2008 & 2012

    Comment by WizarDave — March 2, 2008 @ 5:33 am
  64. I’ve posted a couple of other times, but I thought I would weigh in on this one. I’m a chief security officer for a very large health care delivery system (i.e. a hospital system). Over a 20+ year period of time I have served in the military, run incident investigations for a Fortune 500, run crisis management for a Fortune 500 and been the chief security officer of two different multi-billion dollar organizations.

    One of my most significant responsibilities is crisis management.

    So, from someone who does this for a living, let me tell you that it would be nearly impossible for me to identify an attack in progress of this nature targeted at 4 of my roughly 250 facilities and take effective action to stop the attack in a time period of 25 minutes (which is roughly the amount of time ATC, the FAA and NORAD had). I would have to rely on my local staff taking action in the absence of central crisis management. All I would be able to do is clean up after the fact.

    Since I happen to know what I’m doing (I’ve managed multiple, significant crises with potential costs of well over $100 million successfully, for example) and get paid a lot of money to do it successfully, I have to say I’m probably more knowledgeable on the subject than “Jim” is. And Jim, you are flat out wrong.

    The bottom line is that the Information Age has made a man with an idea capable of successfully launching an asymmetrical attack on a nation state or Fortune 500 company. Governments and corporate security staffs are all well aware of this fact and plan for how to manage the crisis, because the attack itself cannot be prevented once it is in progress. VA Tech couldn’t be stopped, once it started, for example. Nor could 9/11.

    That’s just the bottom line.

    Comment by CSO — March 2, 2008 @ 9:48 am
  65. @ CSO

    You said “…the attack itself cannot be prevented once it is in progress.”

    Jim says taxpayers paid over 40 billion dollars to prevent this from happening not to “manage it” after the fact. The folks who got paid failed and Jim say “heads should roll”. Agencies should be held accountable. If they are incapable of providing the protection we pay them for then we don’t need them. We won’t get the whole story though because god forbid we look into every ugly corner because that would be unpatriotic.

    There is plenty of evidence after the fact that points to gross incompetence, negligence and plain old “failure” among those entrusted to provide preventative measures from foreign invasion. Those responsible, starting with GWB, should be fired. Not coddled and apologized for.

    Jim says without the incompetence at all levels events like VA Tech would not happen to begin with. There would be no crisis to manage. The possibility of an armed citizenry is something our “Constitution” allows for. The very real chance that your potential victim may be armed is a real deterrent and is a possible defense if the deterrent proves ineffective. The government didn’t allow the airlines to protect their passengers. They (the gov.) promised and we paid for them to take on that responsibility and they failed. We deserve accountability and retribution. But we won’t get it because folks like you want to give them a pass. Because it’s a hard job. Politicians want to keep citizens from carrying concealed weapons so guys like you can sell your expert services as “Security” guards. Now you’re telling me it’s impossible to protect us. Get out of the business of security then.

    Jim says if the government and private security won’t or can’t protect us then let us protect us.

    P.S. Don’t call yourself a security officer as you are not providing any. Call your self a janitor because in reality you’re just cleaning up.

    P.S.S. Building 7 imploding hours after the 2 towers even though no airliner ran into it cast a pall of suspicion over everything else. Splain it please.

    Comment by jim — March 2, 2008 @ 11:31 am
  66. One more thing….I’m not your enemy …and you’re not mine. We have both been failed by a government that we pay way too much for. There is no question of that. Why do we allow it to continue? When are we going to be fed up enough to stop feeding it? This is not the only area that they fail miserably at. So when do we start demanding accountability or when do we simply quit paying for services that aren’t provided?

    Comment by jim — March 2, 2008 @ 12:01 pm
  67. What about Operation Abledanger and its omission from the 9-11 Commission Report?

    Comment by MikeVA — March 2, 2008 @ 12:40 pm
  68. Jim

    Politicians want to keep citizens from carrying concealed weapons so guys like you can sell your expert services as “Security” guards.

    First, I’m not a “security guard” ……. I’m the executive that runs all security for my company.

    Second, I happen to believe that an armed citizenry can go a long way toward preventing events like VA Tech.

    Third, I never argued that gov was or was not competent. I simply pointed out that centralized crisis management cannot do anything to prevent events like 9/11, VA Tech, etc. once they are in progress. Your insistence that they could have betrays a lack of understanding of what it takes to respond to such an event.

    You are, in fact, arguing two different things at once. You are insisting that 9/11 should never have happened because it should have been known ahead of time AND that it should have been prevented once it was in progress. I have simply been pointing out that you are incorrect on the second argument. That has nothing to do with the first argument whatsoever.

    Of course, this is typical of armchair quarterbacks after the fact. Let me try to explain what a security organization CAN do:

    1. Identify predictable risks and events and build systems and structures to prevent or minimize them.
    2. Identify and understand that some risks and events are unpredictable and have a low likelihood of occurring, but a very high impact if they do. These are commonly known as outliers or “black swan” events. It is essentially impossible to build systems and structures to prevent of minimize such events.
    3. Educate and make aware those you are responsible to provide security for on what they can do to secure themselves and the greater group or community that they are a part of.
    4. Build crisis management capabilities to deal with #2.

    The reality, which you refuse to admit, is that 9/11 was basically not predictable before it happened, but obvious and predictable in hindsight. Because of that, you insist that either all government is a failure OR that it is a huge conspiracy. You fail to account for the reality that even if you could predict that such an event might occur, it would be impossible, from a financial and human perspective, to actually prevent it.

    Even more, you refuse to accept that the combination of the Information Age and asymmetrical conflict makes one man with an idea able to successfully take action against a nation-state or a Fortune 500, even as you celebrate the power of the individual and insist on individual rights and freedoms.

    The bottom line is that you refuse to see that the world is unpredictable, chaotic, complex and that there are no good solutions to some problems. You insist, instead, that the real outcomes of a complex, chaotic world means that secret conspiracies exist. You point to things that don’t fit an easy model to sustain your claim of such conspiracies.

    And then you wonder how the government is able to take more power each day.

    Comment by CSO — March 2, 2008 @ 1:18 pm
  69. It’s really easy, Jim, to sit here after the fact and bitch and whine and moan. What have you done, though, to fix all of these problems? Aside from whining, buying into 9/11 conspiracies and following an incompetent politician? I happen to make sure that, in the event they are needed, my hospitals and clinics and administrative facilities will be as secure and available as possible, both physically and the information we have stored in our systems. I’m contributing to making it better, while acknowledging that no man, organization or government is god like. While remembering that I can only do what is within the capability of myself, my staff and my funding. And while making sure that my organization and stakeholders are aware of my capabilities and limitations.

    Again, what have you done, besides whining?

    Comment by CSO — March 2, 2008 @ 1:26 pm
  70. Aside from suggesting that had security for their passengers been left in the hands of the airlines. I haven’t argued too vociferously that something could have been done to stop the attack once it began. I don’t completely concede the possibility because I’m not sophisticated enough or informed enough to have an intelligent point of view on that. But it is a fact that the FAA was aware of the situation as it was unfolding.

    But I don’t concede this point. “…9/11 was basically not predictable before it happened,…” There were clear indications of it’s possibility. Not the least of which there had been a previous attempt to blow up the twin towers. The culprits where on watch lists. Hours of phone taps went un-translated. It goes on and on. The failure doesn’t indicate intent. But it’s a failure that should be accounted for.

    I”m well aware of the chaotic nature of our world.

    Didn’t mean to demean your career. Or rather I should say “sorry” for reacting like a hot head.

    Carry on.

    Comment by jim — March 2, 2008 @ 1:42 pm
  71. Jim

    But I don’t concede this point. “…9/11 was basically not predictable before it happened,…” There were clear indications of it’s possibility. Not the least of which there had been a previous attempt to blow up the twin towers. The culprits where on watch lists. Hours of phone taps went un-translated. It goes on and on. The failure doesn’t indicate intent. But it’s a failure that should be accounted for.

    Let me try again.

    Risk management essentially orders the risks that a given organization faces into four quadrants based on likelihood of occurrence and potential impact (for example, loss of money, loss of life, destruction of property).

    So, take a piece of paper and draw an X and Y axis. Label Y “Likelihood” and X “Impact”. Now, divide each axis evenly and one half of it is low and the other half is high. This gives you four quadrants where you could have the following combinations of likelihood and impact:

    Likelihood Impact Comments
    ——————————
    Low Low Potentially can be ignored
    High Low Easy to deal with
    High High Must solve
    Low High Black Swan events, very hard

    9/11 was a low-high event. Could we predict that the WTC might be a target of terrorists? Yes. Could we predict that loves and property would be at risk? Yes. Could we predict that twin engine jets would be flown into the buildings within minutes of each other by hijackers who were not intent on following typical hijacking patterns? No. Not only that, it was even more unpredictable (mostly because there was no reason to think about it) that the buildings would collapse. Further, there are tens of thousands of high value targets for terrorists to strike in this country. Thus, we have a high probability of a terrorist attack against one of those targets, but a very low probability of a terrorist attack against any one specific target. This is a problem.

    It takes far more money, time, resources and intrusion into your privacy and civil rights than any citizen in this country is willing to support to come anywhere close to solving the black swan event problem that was 9/11. If, on 9/10/01, I had suggested that the government would need unlimited wiretap powers, secret subpoena’s and unlimited funding for “Homeland Security” to prevent any building in the country from being attacked by suicide bombers flying airplanes, I would have been dismissed out of hand by everyone in the country. Including you. But that is exactly what it would have taken before 9/11 to prevent the attack. And that would have not been foolproof either.

    Further, it is very true that the good guys have to win every time, but the bad guys only have to get lucky once. Which is basically what happened.

    Finally, just coming back to your point about whether the attacks could been stopped or reduced in impact once in progress. I’m trying to tell you, as someone who does this for a living, that they could not have been. That once the attack started, all we could hope for was good crisis management to manage the aftermath. I realize that is a bitter thing, but it is true. If you want to write to me privately, Brad (the site owner) can put you in touch with me since he knows who I am. I can then assure of you my bonafides and why I am qualified to speak on the subject in some authoritative sense. For a variety of reasons I can’t do that publicly.

    Thanks for the apology and hopefully what I’m saying is making some sense. Honestly, I would love nothing better than to have some solution for preventing future 9/11 type scenarios. I don’t have one that involves security forces, whether government or private. The best solution I can come up with is a combination of killing/defeating the bad guys and enabling change in the cultures that generate the bad guys in the first place.

    Comment by CSO — March 2, 2008 @ 2:15 pm
  72. P.S. I highly recommend reading “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. He explains why 9/11 was not predictable far better than I can. He also explains why more 9/11 like events will happen, not fewer, in the future.

    Comment by CSO — March 2, 2008 @ 2:20 pm
  73. Wow you really don’t like Ron Paul. It seems like you take every opportunity to take a shot at him.

    Comment by Jeff — March 3, 2008 @ 2:12 pm
  74. Ummm, I’m sure it had nothing to do with Ron Paul being blacked out by all mainstream media, ridiculed by Fox News as unelectable, completely left out of debates, while the public was continuously fed propaganda that he never had any chance of winning and/or that his “ideas” of “following the Constitution” would never work.

    Not to mention those absurd electronic voting machines that were used in the majority of the primaries. Diebold? What a joke.

    You think maybe that had something to do with why Ron Paul can still command up to 9,000 people at appearances yet we just never see that number translate to votes?

    Hmmmmm. Kind of makes SOME of us think…(and don’t kid yourself — we HAVE not conceded nor have we or Ron Paul given up)

    Comment by blakmira — March 3, 2008 @ 2:39 pm
  75. Jim,

    what is the official response to building 7. It didn’t get hit by a plane. It also “imploded” hours after the 2 big towers.

    Sorry for the delayed reply, I was gone for the weekend.

    This link explains how WTC Building 7 got damaged by falling debris and how small fires started by that damage, which went unfought by firefighters for six hours because of safety concerns about the structural integrity of the building, caused the building to collapse.

    http://www.debunking911.com/pull.htm

    It also discusses how people in the “truther” movement deliberately took comments out of context (particularly the usage of the word “pulled”) to make the collapse of Building 7 appear to be a conspiracy by the authorities on the scene. Basically, Building 7 collapsed because it was damaged by the fall of the WTC skyscrapers and the firefighters were ordered out of the building because the people in charge were afraid it would collapse as well and take more lives (a reasonable fear, considering what had just happened at the Twin Towers) so the resultant unchecked fires eventually brought 7 down, not a plane or controlled demolitions.

    Comment by UCrawford — March 3, 2008 @ 5:22 pm
  76. blakmira,

    You think maybe that had something to do with why Ron Paul can still command up to 9,000 people at appearances yet we just never see that number translate to votes?

    That’s likely because a large chunk of those “9,000″ people attended multiple rallies in multiple states. Since they can legally only be registered to vote in one state, that didn’t mean an automatic 9,000 votes every rally. Also, aside from the people who read blogs and go to rallies (which isn’t a substantial portion of the population) few people knew Ron Paul or his platform because Paul cheaped out on his campaign advertising.

    we HAVE not conceded nor have we or Ron Paul given up

    That’s why it’s tough to respect the opinions of Paulestinians…they live in a constant state of denial about the obvious facts of life. Your candidate lost. He lost because his hired staff ran a terrible campaign. It’s over. Move on.

    Comment by UCrawford — March 3, 2008 @ 5:29 pm
  77. Crawford is correct concerning the campaign…

    One of the best things RP followers can do now, is too accept that RP?is as fallible as any one else, to not ignore what others think about him, and to not ignore the mounting evidence concerning certain controversies of the campaign (race-bating, rockwell ghost-writing, etc.)

    RP followers should do the correct thing by taking the ‘loss’ in stride and taking a long-term approach towards getting things done. They should also engage in intelligent and thoughtful debate with people outside of the RP?following / campaign, and learn why the campaign itself failed. Stay awake, stay alert; but also stay open-minded and flexible.

    RP?followers would do themselves justice by not giving up being involved in politics. But they will not be able to get anything done without coming terms with reality. Blind idealism based upon misinformed conceptions is going to keep you blind.

    I will have no sympathy for any RP followers who decide, “welp, that was fun while it lasted, time to go home now.” I will have sympathy, perhaps even respect, for those who move on from being Paulstinians, and continue the learning process; whether that entails Libertarianism, real world politics, activism, all of the above, etc.

    Stay classy, RP followers.

    Comment by Nitroadict — March 4, 2008 @ 8:35 am
  78. Nitroadict,

    I think you said it best. Putting all your eggs in one basket by putting all your faith in one candidate is never a good idea. If you stay involved in the process afterwards and don’t get discouraged by the losses, eventually you realize that by staying engaged and working within the system (by which I mean working with others to achieve compromise instead of preaching) you can bring about some positive changes…more incremental, but ultimately longer-lasting than just electing one guy to the highest political office in the land.

    Comment by UCrawford — March 4, 2008 @ 8:42 am
  79. Ok, let’s step outside the whole 9/11 thing for a moment. I’d like to get back to the notion that Robert Welch was wrong (or not.)

    In 1958, he says the US Government was under “operational control” of Communists.

    Let’s give him benefit of the doubt, and assume he means “American, patriotic Communists”, and not “agents’ of foreign governments Communists.”

    Fast forward to 1969 and the ‘Grate’ Society. In what way is this not (C/c)ommunism? Graduated taxation steals more from those producers who make more (from each according to his means) and various welfare programs (food, housing, medical care, general assistance) gives to those who produce little or nothing (to each according to his needs.)

    Regulations remove control of private property under the guise of anti-racism and health. And the Federal government begins spying on citizens at all levels.

    It looks like communisim to me.

    Robert Welch was correct, and Buckley was a (f/t)ool. The scorn and derision tactic is still used today to draw attention away from topics that people don’t want to discuss, whether it’s the federal reserve’s debasement of the currency (He’s a gold-bug – burn him) or the true facts of 9/11 (I tend towards the incompetence theory myself, rather than the false-flag theory.)

    Even today, the Republican party promotes runaway spending and increased welfare (only they give it to corporations and elderly rather than individuals and children.)

    The US government is effectively Socialist, if not out-right communist in it’s effect. The fact that we have elections is totally irrelevant to the economic process. And while people are still generally free to choose their profession, this is changing from the bottom up (google: “school to work” “goals 2000″ “Mark Anderson” “Hillary Clinton”)

    Comment by Kevin Houston — March 5, 2008 @ 4:51 am
  80. Kevin:

    Let’s give him [Patrick Welch] benefit of the doubt, and assume he means “American, patriotic Communists”, and not “agents’ of foreign governments Communists.”

    That’s not “the benefit of the doubt”. It’s simply untrue. He meant that our government was controlled by agents of the ComIntern.

    By the way, Communism is Socialism. You have bought into socialist thinking if you distinguish between them.

    Comment by Adam Selene — March 5, 2008 @ 7:50 am
  81. Kevin,

    I believe that Welch and his crackpot minions also said that President Eisenhower of all people was a Communist agent.

    The guy was a nut. If he was alive today, he’d be wearing a tinfoil hat and still eating the rations he saved for Y2k

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — March 5, 2008 @ 7:58 am
  82. i’m with kevin, and would also like to point out that the Communist accusations of the 50′s were largely correct. you can bring in Welch and McCarthy all you want, yet there was evidence of Communist influence aplenty regarding the USGov in this era.

    Comment by oilnwater — March 5, 2008 @ 8:05 am
  83. No person did more to discredit the anticommunist cause in the 1950′s than Joe McCarthy.

    It almost makes you wonder if that wasn’t his plan all along ;)

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — March 5, 2008 @ 8:17 am
  84. sir, have you no decency?

    Comment by oilnwater — March 5, 2008 @ 8:43 am
  85. Nice touch ;)

    Okay, so McCarthy might not have been a Communist. He was just a hack politician and a drunk.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — March 5, 2008 @ 8:49 am
  86. [...] Shortly after that, the newsletters story broke and, combined with everything else that happened over the past year, reinforced in the minds of many the idea the the campaign really didn’t represent mainstream libertarianism. [...]

    Pingback by Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Ron Paul’s Friends Were His Own Worst Enemy — March 16, 2008 @ 8:11 am

Comments RSS

Subscribe without commenting

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Eric • Banner #1, #3, #4 by Stephen Macklin • Banner #2 by Mark RaynerXML