Some time around 1998, Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld decided to pursue an idea they had discussed for a long time, that of using a domestic American crisis to reshape the world and the Middle East in particular, in a way they felt would be in America’s best interests.
Cheney and Rumsfeld resolved to take control of the crisis as well as the response, ensuring that their goals were precisely met. As such, a plan was developed to mount a spectacular attack on America, at a time when the two men had assumed some of the highest offices in the land, leaving them able to carry out this global realignment.
2001 was the obvious year to do it, with a date in the fall allowing them enough time after the January inauguration to put the pieces in place. That gave them over three years to subsequently enact their plans, seven if the new Republican president won two terms (which would be an almost certainty in a time of crisis).
George W. Bush was selected as the right man to front the operation. Bush was an imbecile, easily malleable, and came from a family with good brand recognition. Bush took the Republican nomination with barely any opposition, and when he put Cheney in charge of a search for a VP, Cheney chose himself.
The number of people actively involved in the plot eventually ended up in the hundreds, but information could be compartmentalised so that most involved didn’t know the whole picture. A number of men were brought into the central planning group, such as Richard Myers, Paul Wolfowitz, Dov Zakheim and Jerome Hauer. The Israelis were contacted via Bibi Netanyahu, and he got the Mossad and their specialised division Sayeret Matkal involved. In turn, the Israelis shared the plan with the Saudis, who had much to gain from a realignment of the Middle East.
The plan needed a plausible scapegoat, and Muslim fundamentalism was the bogeyman du jour. The Saudis were able to monitor their rogue son Osama bin Laden, a wildcard with dreams of attacking the US, but who lacked anything like the resources required to carry out a major attack. Bin Laden selected a group of around 30 men to travel to America and begin training. All of these were kept under close watch by Israeli and Saudi spies once on American soil. The men themselves were expendable, bumbling fools who only knew they were training for an as-yet unspecified mission.
Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the US, was the man in overall charge of the cover story.
Before Bush even took office, the details of the plan had been agreed. A series of hijackings would be faked and planes flown into symbols of American finance, military and politics. Three World Trade centre buildings in New York, the Pentagon and either the Capitol or the White House, most probably the former.
The plan couldn’t be allowed to fail, so although the Middle Eastern ‘hijackers’ would be on board the planes, the flights cockpit communications would be cut and the planes flown remotely, using Raytheon’s Flight Termination Systems software, that had been developed only a year earlier.
Cheney and Rumsfeld took the summer recess off to put the final pieces of the plan together. The plot was now so broad that leaks were making it to America’s intelligence agencies, but investigations were stymied, and ultimately no action would be taken because Bush was spending nearly 50% of his time on vacation, including nearly all of August. Bush’s PDB on 6th August 2001 was entitled ‘bin Laden determined to strike in US’. The President did nothing.
By early September all the pieces were in place. The ‘hijackers’ were to be on board, and thought they were carrying out a regular hijacking. The main protagonists were back at their posts in Washington and a number of army and navy divisions had been moved to the Middle East, ensuring that an invasion of Afghanistan could be launched in a matter of weeks.
The attacks themselves were quite simple. America’s multi-billion dollar defense systems had to fail for around two hours. Those charged with taking steps to defend America during the crisis knew to stand down and do nothing. Wargames had been moved to coincide on 9/11, meaning air traffic controllers would be confused as the attacks commenced. Defense assets like fighter jets had been assigned to Alaska, as far from the action as possible. The President would be in Florida, and prevented from making any meaningful contribution until he became necessary in fronting the media that night.
Perversely, there was consideration taken to keep casualties to a minimum. Had the planes hit the twin towers just an hour later the death toll would have been many multiples of the 3,000 who perished.
The final plan was for two planes to strike the two towers of the World Trade centre, which would collapse at the moment the planes struck. Both buildings and tower Seven next door were prepared with massive charges of thermite and nanothermite cutting charges and explosives. These were installed by CIA operatives in the weeks prior to 9/11, under cover from Stratesec, the company that provided most of the security for the World Trade Centre as well as the airports which the planes took off from.
When the first plane struck the North tower, an explosion took place in the basement seconds before the impact, but somehow failed to bring the building down, so the plan was changed and collapse initiated from near the crash sites. The buildings were brought down with a controlled demolition, and pulverised by the enormous destructive forces.
It’s unclear what happened to flight 77 but whatever hit the Pentagon was very clearly not a commercial airliner, instead most probably an AGM (air to ground) Tomahawk cruise missile with a depleted uranium BLU tip or a small, remotely controlled A3 Skywarrior fighter plane, most probably the former, shot from a plane that flew towards the Pentagon then veered away and landed at Reagan National airport. The strike was chosen to be on the budget offices on the West Wing of the building, which had been recently reinforced and were on the opposite side of the building to Donald Rumsfeld’s office.
At least five planes had been due to take part, but United 23 didn’t get off the ground due to a delay, so all that was left was Flight 93, which was headed to Washington and likely aimed at the Capitol, which was in session. Cheney was by now in full command at the Presidential Emergency Operations Centre under the White House. He delayed the order to shoot the plane down as long as possible, but when it became untenable Cheney ordered the shootdown and Major Rick Gibney fired two Sidewinder missiles into the 757, which broke up in the air and rained debris over several miles.
A decision was made to cover up the shootdown as the plane had incriminating Flight Termination Systems equipment on board, so the press and first responders were directed to the impact site of just one piece of the fuselage, while the rest of the plane debris was secretly cleared up a few miles away, around Imgrund Mountain Road.
As the attacks came to an end, Cheney and Rumsfeld moved into action, determined to initiate a global response to the attacks. Cheney communicated a fake threat to Bush’s life to the president, keeping him away from Washington until nightfall, when he was allowed to return and go on television to assure Americans that all was well.
Although a strike on the Capitol failed, the attacks allowed the neo-Conservatives to enact many of their geopolitical plans. Anthrax attacks were carried out by the CIA and their Israeli counterparts, to keep the media and Democrats compliant. A ‘War on Terror’ footing successfully quelled any dissent and those asking questions could be painted as unpatriotic. A 9/11 Commission was initially opposed, then staffed with insiders tasked with producing a report that would be plausible enough to be digested by a disinterested public. Saudis and bin Laden family members were allowed to fly out under cover of darkness.
The attacks were broadly successful. The fascists took control of America and everyone with a vested interest gained substantially. Bush and his neo-cons got eight years in office, the defense sector saw unparalleled profits flow like rivers. Twenty years passed and the plot remained unquestioned. On the 20th anniversary of the attacks, barely anyone in the media even questioned any aspect of the attacks, and that is the ultimate mark of 9/11’s success.