9/11: Incompetence and Dishonesty

At the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, there will be much commentary about lessons learned. To former FBI agent Coleen Rowley, who tried to ring the alarm before the attacks, one enduring realization is the incompetence, hubris and dishonesty that pervades all levels of government.

By Coleen Rowley

Although the prior decade has seen much leak out in dribs and drabs, good questions still exist about 9/11, especially concerning the level of pre 9/11 intelligence and warnings, much of which has still been suppressed mostly by the CIA and NSA (and FBI goes along). 

The info is suppressed for different reasons but mostly these agencies are loath to admit that government incompetence on every level is massive and huge. The government officials tend to lie for the same reason that people climb mountains, because they can, they don’t need a nefarious motivation to lie.

The simplistic narrative of good guys v, bad guys that makes for wars and war agenda is undercut by public’s knowledge that most of the “turrerists” were our buddies (and many like Libya “rebels” who are Al Qaeda affiliates will become our buddies) and many, many were either used or willingly worked for the CIA at one point in various U.S. covert plots to topple unfriendly regimes or get back at the Russians (and increasingly ensure China is kept in place). 

You need to appreciate that the Machiavellians at the controls of U.S. Government, people like Henry Kissinger, Karl Rove and the neo-cons, are well aware of how easy it is to manufacture a casus belli out of whole cloth. 

As Nazi leader Hermann Goering once explained, “it is always a simple matter to drag the people along” for war, “all you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

That includes fake “democracies” whose media and academia are almost totally corrupted and controlled.  Most incidents of violence can be used as “new Pearl Harbors” to fool the public with some good propaganda.  

I’m on record calling for a new 9/11 investigation, but I haven’t thus far seen any real evidence or likelihood of controlled demolition or any of the other wilder “conspiracies.”

Coleen Rowley, a FBI special agent for almost 24 years, was legal counsel to the FBI Field Office in Minneapolis from 1990 to 2003. She wrote a “whistleblower” memo in May 2002 and testified to the Senate Judiciary on some of the FBI’s pre 9/11 failures. She retired at the end of 2004, and now writes and speaks on ethical decision-making and balancing civil liberties with the need for effective investigation.

18 comments for “9/11: Incompetence and Dishonesty

  1. J. B. Gregorovich
    September 12, 2011 at 04:38

    The demolition fantasists apparently never heard of gravity ( see Isaac Newton).

    • Chris
      September 12, 2011 at 22:55


      Since you brought it up check out this video and get back to us on what you think. Newton vs NIST, if you can’t or won’t then we know your just a troll, not someone in finding out the truth.


  2. Bill Pilgrim
    September 11, 2011 at 01:07

    I will never be able to prove this to anyone’s satisfaction now, but will leave it for future revelations. I have it from a sincere, credible foreign friend – who for decades had been “associated” with a major intelligence group – that at least two diplomats, one from a foreign government and one from our own state department, warned the Bush Admin. THREE MONTHS in advance that such an attack was coming and would be against the Pentagon, the White House, and “another building.” THEY DID NOTHING. Given what we already know from Richard Clark and others, I”ll go with hubris, incompetence, and an arrogant delusion of our invulnerability.
    What’s really galling is to see W. emerge from his rathole to take part in commemorations.

  3. Chris
    September 11, 2011 at 00:30

    Another good read, Crossing the Rubicon. It’s got all the pieces in a nice timeline.

  4. Robert
    September 8, 2011 at 21:31

    Dear Colleen,
    Maybe you need to do some more reading. I suggest you read,THE BIG WEDDING, by Sander Hicks to find out much more about what exactly the government knew and when they new it about the hijackers.

  5. September 7, 2011 at 13:32

    For those of you who think that our good government would never put it’s own people’s lives at risk or in harms way, I suggest you look up the Gulf of Tonkin on the google thingy.
    If a 3′ x 21′ swimming pool full of kerosene and a jet liner could shear off the top of a steel reinforced skyscraper, IF, it doesn’t explain the bottom turning to dust.

    For more info check out this little video.

  6. Meremark
    September 7, 2011 at 05:26

    Coleen, you ignorant putz. (doing my best Chevy Chase deadpan.)

    Where “government incompetence on every level is massive and huge” and you are one in that government, perhaps not seeing credible evidence is a blindspot in the eye of the beholder (incompetent?) rather than no crime scene clues evident.

    Consider the simplest photograph; (is a photo evidence enough?). I suspect the Bureau has better photos than this one to work with. Notice that massmedia is forbidden (by whom?) to broadcast such photos and inform people of the actual true size of the event.


    The merest photo proves the Official Legend of Nine-Eleven Op is false. The merest photo proves the (reaction) energy coming out of a (N. Tower) collapse is an eruption of force at least 100 times greater than the force (of action) the Off’l.Legend says went on there, (namely: gravity, ‘squished the building flat like pancakes’). In other words, the Off’l.Legend says the Action caused 100 times more Reaction, (not equal) … for the first time since Newton showed Action and Reaction energies are always equal. The Off’l.Legend is false.

    It’s about like having a photo of a gunshot body severed in pieces (by a grenade, say), and the Off’l.Story says a b-b gun was the murder weapon. False; the photo proves the b-b gun theory is totally bogus. (Of course, the photo might not prove what the truth is — a grenade or a howitzer shell did it? — but it does prove ‘b-b gun’ is false.

    The Legend oF N.E.O. says (fire weakened the building, and) gravity squished the concrete building smashed into bits, and smithereens. Except, smashed bits and smithereens is NOT what the Tower was turned into. The Tower in the photo IS turned into a heated erupting gaseous cloud of very fine 50-micrometer dust, as photos show. And as a mile-diameter 1-inch layer of dust powder settled on Manhattan also showed.

    Here is how to get a personal sense of the Force (or Work) difference between smashed concrete and dust-powder concrete. Get a chunk of concrete. Drop it, kick it, smash it into bits with a sledgehammer. Okay, when it is sufficiently shattered that it meets your definition of ‘smashed to bits and smithereens’ and you know how much effort you expended to do the smashing, then get out your sledgehammer again and go on and pulverize all the pieces into microfine dust. Realize (suddenly?) how much more effort it takes you to finish the job. ‘Smashed and broken’ is one thing; pulverized microfine dust is something else entirely about hundred times more work.

    The Tower collapse shows a billowing eruption of a heated gas-cloud of microfine dust. Gravity cannot do that to concrete. It’s a physical impossibility. Gravity force is at least 100 times too puny. Like saying a b-b gun or a firecracker can blow a body to pieces.

    The Legend of N.E.O. is saying people have no sense of seeing the energy difference between a building falling down and a building exploding.

    However, for the purpose of expert-witness testimony admissible in Court, almost any Science teacher at the local high school can run the numbers for you (‘incompetent government’). Total gravity force (‘potential’ energy) in the Tower is easy to calculate and agreed by all: 135,000 (KWH) energy units. The heated dust cloud (‘kinetic’ energy) erupted out of the Tower is quite some amount greater than 10,ooo,ooo (KWH) energy units.

    See the calculation sequence guideline (for high school Science teachers) at the link, above.

    ‘Force of explosion’ calculation is nearly a routine exercise for news reporting, such as the assessment of Mt. St. Helens blasting “the equivalent force of 30,ooo KiloTons of TNT.” Where does that casually-given number come from? Picked out of thin air? Nope. It is a straightforward (photographic) calculation of the amount of dirt (‘before’) and how big of a cloud of hot dust the dirt turns into (‘after’). It’s very curious that the news reports of Nine-Eleven Op never did the math of the explosive force of ‘squishing into a stack of pancakes.’ Why not?

    You can do the math to your own satisfaction, Coleen. Just ignore the chatter of contradictory eye-witnesses, or chain-of-custody weak links, or (political) means /opportunity /motivation. You only have to believe yourself and you can generate your own testimony and conviction, (even a hundred years after the last eye-witness is ‘silenced’), that the Official Legend of N.E.O. (‘gravity dunnit’) is flat-out false. … and seems like an intentional liewhose intention?

    • tedbohne
      September 10, 2011 at 11:31

      you ignorant bastard. no one suggests gravity caused the collapse of the towers. it is unalterable fact that controlled demolition caused this catastrophe. you must be an american. bereft of any schooling

  7. Harbaugh
    September 6, 2011 at 19:00

    Ah, there’s the rub:

    Today, I saw a “Fawning Corporate Media” story reference to an article which claimed, something like: “50% of all Americans will succumb to Mental Illness at Some Point in their Lives”. It went on to say that most of them were the same people who believe in 9/11 “conspiracy” theories.

    Let’s look at the linguistics. First of all, there were apparently nineteen, or some odd Middle Eastern young men who behaved in a coordinated manner and hijacked some planes. Nineteen people? SWEET JESUS! That’s the very definition of a conspiracy.

    All we know for sure is that four planes were hijacked. One of them plowed into a field in Pennsylvania. One of them apparently hit the Pentagon leaving a hole only five meters in diameter. In New York City, the other two hit one building apiece, which caused the collapse of…THREE buildings.

    The fireballs in New York and Washington DC were caught on video. One may assume that there must have been a fireball in Pennsylvania as well. I recently watched a documentary narrated by a prominent Italian journalist on a prominent Italian media outlet in which a number of respectable Italian scientists and experts provided their insights. Keep in mind that Italy produced Enrico Fermi, Guglielmo Marconi, and Galileo. (Galileo demonstrated that the velocity of a falling body was independent of its weight). We saw three buildings fall at the speed of acceleration due to gravity.

    But the rub, as was so adeptly documented in this presentation, was how many of the “hijackers” turned out to be still alive and well after the incident. Not to mention the so called, “Magic Passports” which miraculously survived the fireballs.

    Me? I don’t believe in a “government” conspiracy. But if you believe the “official” story, sorry Pal, but you’re the one that’s nuts.

  8. Mary
    September 6, 2011 at 08:52

    I’m on record calling for a new 9/11 investigation, but I haven’t thus far seen any real evidence or likelihood of controlled demolition or any of the other wilder “conspiracies.”


    Start with building seven.


  9. Gregory L Kruse
    September 5, 2011 at 19:41

    As usual, the truth is probably somewhere between the official narrative and the popular imagination. There is a wide range of speculation based on the evidentiary aftermath of the incident known as 9/11, but the forensics of such an event ventures into uncharted territory. It is impossible for me to believe that any US government cabal could plan and execute a ruse so complicated as to make the Normandy invasion look like a really big 9/11 conspiracy, only to prepare public opinion for an invasion of Iraq. A much less ambitious course to use the intentions of the 9/11 terrorists to achieve the same goal would be much more believable. I think B/C and the neocons knew that a plan was in the making to fly planes into big buildings, but they didn’t expect Arabs to be so competent, and so they could be stopped in time to prevent major damage, but the attempt could still be used as a propaganda tool for advancing their plans to return the Iraqi oil fields to the oil corporations. Even incontrovertible proof that the most egregious construction could be put upon the events of 9/11, the fact remains that those responsible will never be held accountable, and once again, the most evil character will become the hero of the age.

    • CC
      September 9, 2011 at 08:29

      “only to prepare public opinion for an invasion of Iraq”?

      Have you not been paying attention? The invasion of Iraq is not the only thing that the government did after 9/11. In the past decade, constitutional rights have been trampled on, permanent global war instituted, a homeland security apparatus entrenched, the military-industrial complex enriched, international law shredded, a torture/indefinite detention regime solidified and the rule of law fatally undermined.

      It is such a red herring to say that it was all about providing a pretext for war with Iraq — that’s how the media disparages and ridicules conspiracy theories as far-fetched. Come on, try to pay attention. Everything you see around you — the airport bodyscanners, the rampant militarism, the police state checkpoints — is a result of the 9/11 false flag attacks.

    • tedbohne
      September 10, 2011 at 11:20

      only someone who is unaware of the available data, both factual and evidential, that the United States government and co conspirators deliberately, with malice and aforethought did, to an absolute certainty engage in the destruction of the World Trade Center for the purposes of ushering a new social control paradigm using fear, purposeful lack of education, information and sophistication. the buildings behave exactly as would any building destroyed by controlled demolition. these buildings would be the first in human history to demonstrate fire as the cause of their disintegration of steel reinforced concrete secondary to fire. it would be the first occasion in human history than ANY aircraft vaporized by jet fuel, or any other source of heat. The US Regime rendition is a startling fabrication from beginning to end, and only mentally incapacitated people would accept such a blatant, easily disproven canard.

  10. Rogelio
    September 5, 2011 at 16:39

    Bush and Cheney lied in almost everything, except perhaps on their names. What makes you think they did not lie on this?

    You say ” I haven’t thus far seen any real evidence or likelihood of controlled demolition”. Does that mean that you have seen real evidence or likelihood that the Twin Towers and Building 7 fell because of the airplanes? Have you seen real evidence or likelihood that a plane hit the Pentagon?

    Those advocating conspiracy theories have provided a lot of sound technical analyses supporting their belief. I think it is time for those supporting the official side to provide at least one. And for independent and investigative journalists stop aligning with the media in accepting Bush and Cheney’s word without questioning.

    Yes, there might have been enough “FBI’s pre 9/11 failures” ignoring reports, but this is not real evidence to point a group. We could turn the question around. Instead of “Could the attacks have been prevented if just the FBI had taken all the information seriously?”, why not “Were the FBI pre 9/11 files a good source for building up the “muslim conspiracy theory”?
    (After all, do not forget that several of the supposed hijackers claimed to be alive, and neither the FBI nor the White House disproved those claims.)

    So here’s the challenge:

    Forget about the “intelligence” faults and start from scratch. You have undoubtely much more resources than we do. Interview people with technical knowledge about building structures, explosives, airplane piloting; have a scientist and an engineer you can trust as being really objective analize the technical reports (perhaps foreigners could be more objective). Analyze the procedures followed by the FBI, CIA, DOD, Pentagon and any other agency on and after 9/11, including the supposedly technical report from NIST, and the destruction of important forensic evidence. Do whatever you need to really tell us, without any room to doubt, that the official story is true. Look again at the official reports with the critical eye and training you have, all the way with another objective person doing it simultaneously and independently, and compare notes.

    Ten years later, perhaps the truth needs to be known.

  11. Jim Popper
    September 5, 2011 at 16:28

    “I’m on record calling for a new 9/11 investigation, but I haven’t thus far seen any real evidence or likelihood of controlled demolition or any of the other wilder “conspiracies.”

    Then you haven’t been looking at anything. One only needs to look at Building 7 for a start.


    Then punt the ball South.


    • Paul Richard
      September 8, 2011 at 16:39

      Consortium founder Robert Parry is on record and has published that he believes the official conspiracy story and disparages any “inside job” conspiracy belief. I don’t imagine Ms. Rowley twists her position on this just to be published here, but like Mr. Parry, it does enable her otherwise accurate and valuable message to be published in places it otherwise wouldn’t be. If so, there is positive method to her apparent “madness.”

  12. September 5, 2011 at 15:49

    There are 2 conspiracies concerning the 9/11 attacks. One says that a bunch of Muslims hijacked some planes and flew them into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. The other says that though the planes were flown into the building, the planes being radio controlled into their targets and the destruction caused by explosive demolition. One of the theories is backed up by science the other one isn’t. If you need help discerning which is which just google: 9/11 Building 7.

  13. drew
    September 5, 2011 at 15:39

    No demolition? I guess that would require the government to be competent.

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