Was the involvement of just too many people required to pull off the so-called ‘conspiracy theory’ posited by the 9/11 Truth movement? Defenders of the ‘official story’ say yes. They claim the theory is too far-fetched because it is a plan that would have had to involve far too many people, far too many ‘conspirators’ to so smoothly have been pulled off. The idea being that at some point one of the ‘conspirators’ would have talked and/or come forward and/or refused to participate, etc. Some debunking websites and papers even claim the conspiracy would have needed the involvement of hundreds of people all coordinated not only operationally, but in their deviousness as well. And at first glance, this seems a reasonable point to make.
But there are ultimately two main problems with the argument. Firstly, it does not in any way answer any of the hard, relevant evidence relating to the case and narrative of 9/11 covered in this paper that does point to some kind of conspiracy. Instead, it is simply a stated notion of disbelief. And secondly, there did not, in actual fact, need to be that many people involved with the overall vision, of every detail and every implication of the plan. There only needed to be a select few people at the top of the chain of command who knew exactly what was being carried out, where and how to create confusion, and why. The military and intelligence community is made up of people accustomed to following orders, without question. And many researchers who have spent time in the CIA and military intelligence have stepped forward into the 9/11 truth movement to explain the notion of ‘compartmentalization’. A phenomenon and strategy that explains why not very many people need be in on the overall plan and execution of a covert operation for it to be successful.
“Compartmentalization is an organizational strategy analogous to the old parable of the blind men and an elephant — each of the men is asked to describe what the elephant is, and all accurately describe their perception (trunk, tusk, legs, ears, tail, body), but none of them understand what the entire elephant is. Covert operations succeed by keeping most of the participants focused on their particular task, unaware of the full situation. Compartmentalization means that only key people in key places need to know what their role in a covert operation is — others nearby might not be aware of those ensuring the success of the operation. This practice refutes the claim that too many people would have had to know about 9/11 for a conspiracy to allow it to have been possible.”
So, in other words, one person turns a particular screw here, another punches up a computer war game over there, someone else is told to ‘mock-up’ a phantom airplane to challenge controllers involved in the war game over there, another is told to leak a piece of information next door, another is told to delete some damaging information to protect their department downstairs, a commander from a squadron is told by his superiors that communication has been lost with the Pentagon and to ‘wait’ for further orders, tapes and testimony from principals involved are either ‘lost’, ‘classified’, or outright destroyed, and a few at the top who do know exactly what is happening just go on stirring the pot of chaos and confusion, pumping out subsequent PR material through their public network of channels to rewrite the story into everyone’s consciousness before anyone has recovered sufficiently from the ‘shock and awe’ to start connecting the disparate dots.
For the particularly heavy and devious work – like the planting of explosives in the Towers, the aeronautical maneuvers and modifications, etc. – is it such a stretch to think that foreign mercenaries, with no emotional investment whatsoever in the well-being of potential victims, and with ample experience in all sorts of covert intelligence and military operations could be brought in to carry out the dirty work? Conservative and Nationalist elements within Israel benefited as much from 9/11 as did our own Neo-Con faction. Surely the Mossad has amply trained operatives with enough experience in counter-intelligence, weaponry, and explosives to have pulled off the rigging of the Towers and other sensitive aspects of the mission. Especially if they were being aided and abetted by folks with high-level security clearance in our own government. And indeed, there are well-documented stories of multiple Israeli links to 9/11, including a group of Israeli nationals arrested for some very bizarre behavior on the morning of 9/11. “(Counterpunch) has put together a phenomenal synthesis of the highly suspicious Israeli intelligence activities in the U.S. on and before 9/11. An enormous network of ‘art students’, many of whom were located just blocks from the (alleged) 9/11 hijackers; and a small group of five or six Israeli intelligence operatives who were witnessed by many celebrating on a rooftop, with surveillance equipment, very soon after the first plane hit the Trade Center.”
Fear and intimidation are effective silencing tools that keep important stories like this out of the mainstream press. (See the Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame story as an exposed example of how this intimidation works.) And surely this story of Israel’s connection to 9/11 is worth pursuing. But there are certain stories that the elite decision makers of this country will simply not allow to be printed in the major U.S. newspapers. The control of the flow of information, whether overt or subversive, is an age-old art. Again, think of the lead-up to the Iraq War and all the important information and analysis that wasn’t printed. Is it really such a stretch to think that certain rogue elements within our own government are here again engaged in similar campaigns of cover-up and misinformation, fully confident the corporate media will not investigate, nor hold them accountable? Has not this control and spin of information been manipulated by governments for centuries? Are we ‘Americans’ really so different than the rest of humankind and human history? Has not the Bush/Cheney Administration gotten virtually every point on their policy wish list checked off as a result of 9/11? Do not the people who benefited most from 9/11 hold positions of immense power up and down the ranks of public and private decision-making organizations throughout the world? Is not the story of 19 bearded Arab men under the direction of a man in a cave in Afghanistan thwarting a multi-trillion dollar defense industry armed only with box-cutters the absurd conspiracy theory in need of our skepticism and derision?
David Ray Griffin, one of the leading scholars in the 9/11 truth movement, in response to this same notion that the theory put forth by the 9/11 truthers is just too grand a conspiracy to pull off, wrote this: “Another popular argument is that in any ‘vast conspiracy…there’s the likelihood that someone along the chain would squeal.’ Even this administration – (defenders of the official story argue) – ‘could never have acquiesced in so much human slaughter and kept it a secret. Especially when so many people would have to have been involved.’ Although this argument may seem strong at first glance, it becomes less impressive under examination.
“This argument is, for one thing, based partly on the belief that it is impossible for big government operations to be kept secret very long. However, the Manhattan Project to create an atomic bomb, which involved some 100,000 people, was kept secret for several years. Also, the United States provoked and participated in a civil war in Indonesia in 1957 that resulted in some 40,000 deaths, but this illegal war was kept secret from the American people until a book about it appeared in 1995. It also must be remembered that if the government has kept several other big operations hidden, we by definition do not know about them. We cannot claim to know, in any case, that the government could not keep a big and ugly operation secret for a long time.
“A second reason to question this a priory objection is that the details of the 9/11 operation would have been known by only a few individuals in key planning positions. Also, they would have been people with a proven ability to keep their mouths shut. Everyone directly complicit in the operation, moreover, would be highly motivated to avoid public disgrace and the death penalty. The claim that one of these people would have come forward by now is irrational.
“When people suggest that whistleblowers would have come forward, of course, they usually have in mind people who, without being complicit in the operation, came to know about it afterward, perhaps realizing that some order they had carried out played a part in the overall operation. Many such people could be kept silent merely by the order to do so, along with the knowledge that if they disobeyed the order, they would be sent to prison or at least lose their jobs. (see Kevin Ryan as an example of this) For people for whom that would be insufficient intimidation, there can be threats to their families. How many people who have expressed certainty about whistleblowers would, if they or their families or their jobs would be endangered by coming forward with inside information, do so?
“In any case, the assumption that ‘someone would have talked,’ being simply an assumption, cannot provide a rational basis for refusing to look directly at the evidence.” (From, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, by David Ray Griffin, pg.s 20 – 21, Olive Branch Press, 2007.)