[Gllug] OT - What really happened on 9/11 ?

Aaron Trevena aaron.trevena at gmail.com
Sun Jul 16 15:39:52 UTC 2006

(assuming Gasper meant to reply to list)
On 16/07/06, Casper Gasper <casper.gasper at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 16/07/06, Aaron Trevena <aaron.trevena at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 16/07/06, Benjamin Donnachie <benjamin at py-soft.co.uk> wrote:
> > > > Now cast your mind to the terrorist attacks that we are being told that the UK
> > > > police are preventing (but I usually don't see any real evidence).
> > > > Concerned ?
> > >
> > > I think you'll find that most of the work is being done by MI5.  Trust
> > > me, you'll soon believe the threat when they mess up and an attack succeeds!
> >
> > Um, like the 2 attacks last year that actually happened and weren't
> > spotted at all you mean?
> >
> > Before deciding on the strength of the threat it's worth reading Bruce
> > Schneier and his
> > debunking of the actual dangers in the west (terrorism is a very real
> > and daily threat in iraq, parts of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, etc -
> > mostly with arab/muslim victims outside of Israel).
> >
> > The largest and most preventable risks are not the ones that make the
> > news - cancer, heart disease, driving. Even DIY is more likely to kill
> > you than terrorism.
>   Can't... resist... urge to... reply....
>   I have read a fair bit of Bruce Schneier, and I really don't think
> he's saying the threat from terrorism isn't real -- just that it needs
> to be put into proportion.  Mostly his arguments are based on the ROI
> of security; what are you getting for your money.

Exactly - most of the spending in the war on terror isn't giving
returns (ID Cards anyone?)

The actual risk of terror is very very low, the actual risk of injury
or death in boring every day is stuff is far far higher (but still
reasonably low) - it's like comparing lottery tickets and savings, one
is very unlikely to produce returns, the other certainly will. Compare
this to terrorism, when you know car accidents can be definately be
reduced by X ammount for Y money, as opposed to spending money on
'anti-terror measures' where terrorism can be increased or decreased
by an unknown ammount for Y ammount of money, of course the difference
is that with a lottery the jackpot is out of proportion to the
savings, where as terror vs other safety spending are likely to be in
the same sort of region.

> > Don't forget that Omagh and Manchester bombings were about as deadly
> > as the July 7th London bombings - but of couse the big difference was
> > they didn't affect politicians and journalists directly so aren't as
> > important.
> These bombings were widely reported, but taking down the London
> Underground  was a more 'impressive' feat of terror -- that's why it
> got such headlines.

The other bombings were in the news for less time and didn't result in
journalists still talking about it regularly a year later or new laws
being introduced, and certainly didn't result in innocent people being
shot by police (twice!).

> > Security on the tube network was always shockingly absent, it was
> > always a soft and obvious target, and nothing was done - there wasn't
> > even any preperation for the inevitable attack and so emergancy and
> > security forces couldn't and still can't communicate under ground -
> > many of the reccomendations after the Kings Cross disaster (in the
> > 80's for fucks sake) haven't yet been carried out, and those would
> > have saved lives and reduced injury.
> Again, Bruce Schneier has argued there's no point in heavily
> defending individual targets like the Underground; terrorists would
> simply switch to softer targets like overland stations, bus stops,
> football stadiums -- whereve people congregate.

True, but it makes sense to put in place at least some minimum
security and some ways to cope with an event - like adequate
communications and access, etc.

> > Like I said, I don't have all the information but the accuracy of our
> > security services intelligence about things like Iraq (totally wrong),
> > Stockwell (huge, fatal fuck up), Forest Gate (huge, nearly fatal fuck
> > up), 7/7 (immense fuck up), etc looks abysmal.
>   Everyone must agree that the West's intelligence in the Islamic
> world has been shockingly bad; but the answer is more and better
> intelligence, not less (and Bruce Schneier says this too).

More intelligence would be great. As would more accountability and
less headline seeking publicity stunts where the police or whoever
leak details to the press about suspected plots only to discover it
was all tosh later.

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