On the final run up to the tenth anniversary of 9-11 a number of thoughts and observations come to mind.
Ten years ago I was busy working on a piece of software that would be used at a trade show to be run by Pearson Publication; the location of Pearson and the future show was New York.
Then just before lunchtime my partner caught the very first report of an incident in New York. She called me upstairs to watch CNN, NBC and whatever else we could get at the time. We caught the events unfolding perhaps as little as 10 minutes after the first plane hit the tower.
The events that unfolded over the next few hours were impossible to turn away from and I have vivid recollection of everything I saw that day.
And there’s the problem.
Because no matter what the slant or bias of the mainstream media on the events of “September 11” one thing still holds true to me, as it did at the time. Its the sheer disbelief that nothing was being done or that what was being done, was ineffective. But I’m not saying that in a tragic sense, I’m posing a very strong question. Why?
Initial live and local feeds spoke openly of explosions, real or imagined, missiles or smaller planes. But this is to be expected. In general, Joe Public is a terrible witness.
But there was just something about the speed in which the pictures of the 19 hijackers turned up or the as surety that Osama Bin Laden was “the mastermind”. it’s like the scene in JFK when Donald Pleasance’s character is talking about how the news spread. Just a little too much, too soon.
And no, I’m not talking about when the BBC announced building 7 had collapsed before it did. But that’s funny in of itself.
Then we have the repeated statements that nobody was expecting it, planes as missiles. Clearly a lie, or the security services clearly lacked any imagination.
After all, just two years earlier EgyptAir Flight 990 was crashed by it’s co-pilot as an act of revenge. Although that seems sketchy.
But if you want more exacting standards. How about this;
- October 30 – November 1, 1991 – Islamic Terrorists plan to crash hijacked planes into buildings in Madrid to kill World leaders during the opening conference of the MidEast Peace Process. Sadly the coverage of this story on the London Times has long since gone.
- February 11, 1993 – Nebiu Demeke, an Ethiopian, hijacks a Lufthansa Airbus bound from Frankfurt to Addis Ababa, via Cairo. Wielding a gun (later discovered to be a starting pistol) he forces the pilot to fly to New York. Passenger Eric Margolis (a journalist) claims that he and other fellow passengers are “convinced the hijacker intended to crash the plane into Manhattan”.
- February 26, 1993 – Morgan Stanley security chief Rick Rescorla (who previously worked for MI5/Mi6). He writes a brief that states his belief that terrorists will attempt to destroy the buildings again, only using a cargo plane. He is in his office on 44th flow on 9/11 and successfully evacuates almost all of Morgan Stanley’s 2,700 workers. But he himself is killed when the tower collapses.
- September, 1993 – The New York Port Authority asks Kroll Associates to help design new security measures for WTC. Kroll’s deputy chairman Brian Michael Jenkins leads the analysis of future terrorists threats. Included in the list, deliberately flying a plane into the towers.
The list continues on and on and on and on. I think I made my point.