This dude not only accepts the "gross incompetence" fable, but takes it one step further, and asserts that 9/11 Truth is actually fomented and instigated by the establishment itself, in order to cover up incompetence and enforce a false notion of American omnipotence. And we're the "conspiracy theorists"?
Some Gibroney: Is there a cover-up involving 9/11? Most certainly, especially given all the evidence in the materials you've sent me. However, it is my opinion that most theories of this sort are cover stories deliberately propagated (if not created) by intelligence organs of the gov't to distract people from its periodic episodes of gross incompetence w/r/t security, exemplified by the JFK assassination and 9/11.
The CIA has brought radical Muslims into the US. The hijackers trained on US military bases. More military training exercises were scheduled for September 11, 2001 than usual. Hijackers were able to enter the airspace of, to say nothing of crashing a plane into, the headquarters of the most powerful military in human history and so on and so on...
We know that the US gov't has a long history of psychological operations against its own population; the UFO/alien myth for instance is propagated (probably with the collusion of Hollywood) to distract the public from the size and scope of the black military budget and the high-tech weaponry and vehicles it produces. The US gov't is also well known for its history of covert paramilitary action, but the vast majority of that is concentrated abroad, with a few exceptions (COINTELPRO being one).
As far as I can tell, there are two viable explanations that incorporate all of these facts:
1) A high-level conspiracy involving dozens, if not hundreds, of specially trained individuals and agents, none of whom are affected by the temptation to expose one of the greatest conspiracies in world history and thus become (inter)national heroes.
2) Gross incompetence (with probably some bad luck) on the part of the US intelligence/security apparatus, with a cover-up/conspiracy theory generated later to make sure the administration would not be viewed as bunglers, but as nigh-omnipotent masterminds.
The main reason we can reject explanation 1 is that any of the purported 'inside job' 9/11 schemes would have a very low chance of succeeding. Undertaking such a plan would be costly, elaborate, and difficult to keep under wraps because of the extremely high risk of detection and/or defection. If the aim of the 9/11 attacks was to drum up support for an aggressive foreign policy in general (and eventual war with Iraq in particular), a far easier plan would've been to engage in some of the things recommended by Operation Northwoods, particularly a bombing campaign. Stealing or fabricating seemingly Iraqi-made explosives is well within the powers of US intelligence, but even in that case, an eventual leak of their real source is very likely, given the amount of manpower and resources necessary for such an operation.
It is very useful to compare the events of 9/11 with those of the Kennedy assassination. They share many features: a devastating security breach, evidence for (probably unwitting) CIA involvement with the perpetrators (making the incidents a form of blowback), a deliberately avoidant and selectively informative gov't commission, and, I believe, manipulation of public paranoia in the form of deliberately and systematically withheld evidence (e.g. Kennedy's missing brain, the confiscated Pentagon security camera tapes). In both cases, the credibility of the US security apparatus is on the line. Fear is a crucial component of the power of these organizations; if they lose face they lose much of their ability to indimidate.
Machiavelli wrote that "it is better to be feared than loved", but being feared is also better than being thought a buffoon (and fessing up to criminal negligence). We need only look as far as the Bush administration's record in Afghanistan and Iraq to see how incompetent they really are when it comes to security, in both the short- and long-term. And as depicted in the video you sent me, before 9/11, high US gov't officials were either dismissive of critical intelligence (e.g. the memo infamously ignored by Condi Rice and others), or they never received it, which explains Bush & co.'s fetishistic obsession with more communication and integration among the US's various intelligence agencies. Though the CIA probably had contacts with bin Laden's organization, including several of the hijackers, it would be fallacious to then conclude that the CIA intended for those individuals to undertake terrorist acts against the United States; it seems evident to me that the authors of that video are taking Chomsky's words out of context.
The video does not address another crucial section of that particular Q&A of Chomsky's talk in Hungary, in which he discusses the nature of controlled experiments conducted in the best laboratories in the world under controlled conditions. A scientist routinely encounters strange patterns and coincidences, even apparent violations of the laws of nature under such conditions, but if (s)he approaches the experiment with scientific skepticism, (s)he will perform the experiment as many times as possible to make sure that all of the data is meaningful and there are no hidden variables. We don't have that luxury with the 9/11 attacks; they can only happen once. The precise reasons for (say) the structural collapse of the WTC complex can only be surmised, and only very sketchily modeled. There are so many variables in this case, it should come as no surprise that the conclusions of Steven Jones and others are only endorsed by a fraction of accredited architects and engineers.
In conclusion, it seems reasonable to me to surmise, based on the available evidence, that certain facts about the 9/11 attacks are indeed being downplayed, ignored, or denied by certain members of the American political establishment. But it's far more likely that they're all trying to cover their asses after carelessly letting a catastrophe unfold. It's important to maintain healthy skepticism w/r/t the actions of very powerful states, but just because they're hiding something, doesn't mean they're hiding what you (or me, or anyone else) THINKS they're hiding.
The Gibroney Hunter: Thanks for taking the time to respond, it's amazing how rare it is for people to be willing to seriously debate or discuss the matter, rather than resorting to arguing like children. I'll try to address some of your points.
The "gross incompetence" theory is commonly offered as a response to the abundance of incriminating evidence indicating federal involvement. I could find some merit in this if the case against the establishment was based solely on a few instances of counterintelligence. Unfortunately, however, much of the evidence is far too direct and damning to be accounted for by such a theory.
For example, the video evidence of building 7's collapse is in no way consistent with a collapse caused by fire. A photograph clearly showing smoke rising from the lower levels of the north tower, before either building was hit by aircraft. The fact that the federal government promised to have a large amount of evidence linking Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to the attacks. 8 years on, they have yet to reveal any of this evidence whatsoever. Which would seem counterintuitive, since the single best way to disprove us "conspiracy theorists" would be to simply provide us with the evidence that we were, after all, promised by the government shortly after the attacks. (The "smoking gun" video evidence, which in my opinion features an obvious body double with darker skin and higher cheekbones, is the sole article offered to the public)
If all of this evidence (which is by no means the bulk of it all) is to be explained as merely part of an elaborate disinformation campaign, then that would seem to clash with the "gross incompetence" theory, since that very incompetence should logically be expected to result in the uncovering of this supposed disinformation. It's important to keep in mind that there are numerous independent journalists, investigators, and truth seekers working daily to uncover any and all information regarding 9/11. As far as I know, no one has provided hard evidence of such a disinformation campaign (as opposed to the disinformation that is the official story, for which there is overwhelming evidence of it's existence)
I find it very difficult to believe that if, for example, Steven Jones' evidence of nano-thermite was falsified, no one would uncover this fact or at the very least uncover reasons to be suspicious of that fact. To summarize, the reason I don't give much credence to the theory that the 9/11 Truth movement is the result of disinformation, intended to serve as a smokescreen for incompetence, is because there's simply no evidence to support this claim. If you're aware of any, I'd be very interested to see it.
The main reason the cause of the structural collapse of the buildings can only be surmised is because the steel debris, which should have been treated as evidence in a massive crime scene, was sold off to China to be recycled. It's highly likely that a forensic study of that steel would have resulted in a conclusive analysis of the towers' collapse.
I believe the reason Steven Jones' work has been ignored by mainstream science is blacklisting, plain and simple. Assuming the establishment's story is true, it should be in their best interest to have his work peer-reviewed, in order to finally quell this controversy. Instead he's fired from his job and ignored by all major scientific journals. The sad truth is that the financiers of scientific and medical research have far too big a say in the direction of that research, and this generally explains why ideas such as Jones' are whitewashed. Also, a Danish scientist, along with 8 others, recently reached the same conclusions as Jones, and his findings have been gaining attention and traction since he presented them. Anyone even vaguely familiar with the history of science is aware that new ideas are not always welcomed with open arms, and often it's a gradual process of awareness.