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More News And Links On Yesterday's Terrorist Attack 1529

Posted by timothy
from the count-blessings dept.
Everyone out there who set up content mirrors helped the spread of information survive as well as it did. After the tremendous crush yesterday, conventional news sources seem to have largely recovered. However, people are still cushioning the network burden with their own mirrors and original reporting. We'll be putting up occasional updates as necessary, but for now hit that link below and you can read a ton of stories on all aspects of the story.

Ian Peon writes: "SF Gate has a short article on how the Internet "proved its mettle as a communications facilitator in a time of crisis." Kudos to all those who kept things running!"

An anonymous reader writes: "The who, what, and how are detailed in this Boston Herald story. The weapons were smuggled in the razor cases. And in order to get to the cockpit, they terrorized the stewardesses, killing a few in order to lure the pilot out. Once the pilot was out, they took control of the plane. They have identified a car driven by 5 arabs had flying instruction in arabic. The men have been traced back to different arab countries."

This WorldTribune.com story claims that Israeli intelligence reports favor the idea that the attacks may have had the backing of Saddam Hussein's Bagdhad government. According to a submission from UberOogie ,Osama bin Ladin denies involvement in the attacks. The claims, speculation and disclaimers will no doubt continue.

Connord D writes: "View the Survivor's Register Please, PLEASE go to the survivor registers, register that your looking for your family, tell your friends, pass the word around and identify those that have survived and those that are missing. Help worried families either confirm the fates of their loved ones so that they can mourn, or help them find those people that are missing." And Brian Mears, LAN Systems Operations Manager for Computer Sciences Corporation, writes: "I have created a forum on my website to allow families and friends of survivors to post messages and communicate with each other concerning this most tragic period." Here's the link: http://www.ntadmin.net/forum/.

It would be a godsend if the various survivor registries would pool their data, or if someone sets up a google-like search engine to reach all of them at once.

oo7 writes: "CNN has a stream of the first plane crash. If you'd like to download it you can from the videos section of this site; it has news updated as fast as I can and streams as fast as I can capture. Please forward any unknown news and links that you may have."

pKa writes: "The last image from WTCs 77th floor webcam is available on a few sites around the net. The original WCTA.org cam-site is dead, but available in Googles cache, where you can see the dark screen (camera already dead, most likely) at 09:52:52, 09/11/01 - just before the buildings crashed. Article (in norwegian) with screenshots available here" The stream of concern that yesterday's events will lead to an illiberal attitude toward privacy is growing into a torrent: vena writes: "CNN reported on television broadcast earlier today that the NSA was now going through volumes of recorded cellular calls for calls made by passengers on the planes. Clear admission."

GothChip writes: "Ananova are reporting that just hours after the terrorist attack on New York, the FBI started approaching ISPs asking for help in installing Carnivore."

mkelley writes: "This is only the beginning folks...looks like the internet is going to be blamed for this...Wired has a story that is sure to cause panic. This is going to be the goverment's way to push wiretapping into your email and web surfing. In this time of crisis, people in high places are going to use this to get their agenda through. "Blame the Internet" is going to be the rallying cry for everything ..." If you're interested in the details of the planes the terrorists chose, a Semi-Anonymous Coward writes: "American Airlines flight 77 confirmed down, crashed into the Pentagon, Washington DC. Flight 77 (Dulles to Los Angeles) is scheduled as a Boeing 757-200:

Boeing 757-200 data and history:

American Airlines Boeing 757-200 photos:

United Airlines flight 175 confirmed down, crashed into World Trade Center New York. Flight 175 (Boston to Los Angeles) is scheduled as a Boeing 767-200: United Airlines flight 93 confirmed down near Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. Flight 93 (Newark to San Francisco) is scheduled as a Boeing 757-200:
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More News And Links On Yesterday's Terrorist Attack

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  • by Russ Nelson (33911) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:13PM (#2286333) Homepage
    I have some pictures [russnelson.com] I grabbed from the WallStreetItalia.com webcam.
    -russ

    • Congratulations! Y'all have managed to generate more traffic to my server than Code Red! I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
      -russ
    • by ekrout (139379) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:37PM (#2286475) Journal
      So, I have 142 average to high-res images on a page I threw together, as well as several videos. The site, http://www.students.bucknell.edu/ekrout/images/911 _In_America/images/gallery/index.html [bucknell.edu], should be able to take high-abuse in terms of bandwidth, etc. It's a resource, so feel free to use it. Thanks.
  • And also the obligatory plug for Poliglut.

    Thanks for all who have sent in news and emailed their thanks during the crush yesterday.

    Several stories, a diary of the events and many links available from the .sig
  • by Libertius (83369) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:17PM (#2286348)
    Link available on amazons frontpage [amazon.com]. So far, $481,726 has been collected. Please help, most of us can spare a dollar...
  • Suspects (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dopplex (242543) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:21PM (#2286352)
    MSNBC (The TC channel) was saying that two suspects had apparantly attended flight school in Florida last summer. It didn't have any more information on WHO the suspects were however. Here [msnbc.com] is a related story there.
  • by nanojath (265940) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:21PM (#2286353) Homepage Journal
    Media and others are jumping on the Osama Bin Laden theory a bit too eagerly for my comfort. I've had my eye on Iraq since yesterday night. People keep saying it wouldn't be that hard to do this - this is bull. While the armchair commandos and flight-simulator captains blow smoke about how anyone could do this, veteran pilots and intelligence and terrorism experts keep telling us it was a highly sophisticated and intricately planned attack. Noone can deny it is leaps and bounds above what Bin-Laden's organization has accomplished thus far.


    Note Iraq's basically unique reaction at http://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/europe/09/12/mideast .reaction/ and judge for yourself. I can't help thinking about unfinished business, and the sins of the father... But please remember: NOONE except those responsible know for sure who the culprits are. Rash action will rightfully incite more hatred from people not responsible for the action. If we act cooly, rationally, carefully but implacably it will be better for everyone.

    • the correct url is:
      http://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/europe/09/12/mideast .reaction/ [cnn.com]

      although my paranoia is saying homegrown.
    • by kin_korn_karn (466864) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @01:03PM (#2286720) Homepage
      Anybody who's been in the military can figure out how to time something like this. "Move at 0x00 hours". OK, synchronize your watches and there you go.

      The idea of dropping 4 planes at once and deciding that it was feasible is the hard part. Stuff like this has been tried before, but failed, because it wasn't planned well enough.

      I don't care if I am a 'flight-simulator captain' for saying this, but the hardest part of flying a plane is doing so safely. There's a reason why it was possible during WWII to give pilots 6 weeks of flight training then put them up against the enemy - it just isn't THAT HARD to fly an airplane (yes, even modern jets - prop planes are often more complex to keep up) once you learn the concepts behind it. If you're a lunatic that wants to crash into the WTC, then you don't have to follow FAA regs, get the plan safely on a runway, or follow military ROE/procedure. You don't have to do anything but point it at the building and make sure it hits it. The worst part of flight training is learning all the regulations. Pilots in the WWI (that's ONE, not two) would learn enough flight dynamics to take off, fly, and land safely within a WEEK.

      Ever been in an auto accident? Tell me how hard that was compared to getting to/from work safely.

      • Slate.com's 'Explainer' had a pretty level-headed take on How Good Were the World Trade Center Pilots? [msn.com]
      • by Merk (25521) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @01:37PM (#2286991) Homepage

        I somewhat agree. Training to fly the plane is a lot easier if you don't care about safety regulations and don't care about learning to land or take off. But it's not that easy.

        Big planes have *lots* of momentum. Any change in altitude or direction has to be planned long in advance. Turns also have to be smooth. The roll-rate of a jumbo-jet isn't all that great.

        The one part of this that really indicates training to me is the navigation. The planes that hit the World Trade Center took off from Boston headed for California. Sometime in the flight they successfully found the right bearing to NYC, then found the world trade centre buildings in NYC. Even though they're a prominent landmark in Manhattan, finding Manhattan itself would require some real navigation skills.

    • by 4iedBandit (133211) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @01:21PM (#2286871) Homepage
      While the armchair commandos and flight-simulator captains blow smoke about how anyone could do this, veteran pilots and intelligence and terrorism experts keep telling us it was a highly sophisticated and intricately planned attack. Think about this carefully. While there had to have been a good deal of planing involved in the attack, especially to coordinate several planes at once, it is very easy for this to happen. All it requires is that people get over the mindset that criminals require guns and explosives to do bad things. Appart from coordination, which could have been setup months ago outside the US before the terrorists even got here, and a little bit of pilot training, this attack did not require extraordinary resources. Only extraordinary individuals willing to sacrifice their lives. Getting plastic or ceramic blades past security would be a piece of cake. Often times I myself travel with two steel blades. One on the Swiss army knife I carry on my keychain, which security sees as I hand it to them with my keys, and a Leatherman I keep in my briefcase which is exrayed. I have never once been stopped or questioned about them, even on international flights. Any blade made of non-metallic substances would not even have to be disclosed at the security points. You just walk right through with it. As to flying the planes, another Slashdotter (sorry don't remember who) pointed out that take off and landing constitue 99% of the difficulty in flying a jet. While that might be exagerating a little, it's only a little. Once that plane is in the air it is very easy to fly. Point the nose where you want to go essentially. Am I 'arm chair quarterbacking?' Sure. But I've also had the fortune to fly in one of Uniteds simulators at their training facility in Denver a number of years ago. They let me sit in the pilots seat, take off, fly, and land a simulated 737. At that point I had never even flown a simulator on a PC, let alone a big, honkin' full motion simulator. The only time I sweat was durring landing. Everything else was a breeze. You have to consider that the terrorists had no intention of landing, or even surviving. All they had to do was line up with the buildings, that's it. Ask some real pilots how hard it is to fly if you don't have to take off or land. It's even easier if you don't plan to survive. Everyone needs to keep in mind that everything you see and hear about this disaster is going to be tainted with an agenda of some kind. The media will play it up, they already have. They reported that the attack in Kabul may have been American before they had any kind of proof for or against. The Polititians are going to play it up for their own agenda's, namely not getting blamed for allowing this to happen. What we as citizens of the US need to do is keep our heads on straight, and don't let this be used as an excuse to relieve us of any more liberties. Was this really a sophisticated attack? No. It was unsophisticated to the degree that our reliance on spy technology failed to see it comming. If 12 men willing to give their lives, sit down in a house, plan an attack and then go their seperate ways till the designated time, there is very little you can do about it unless one of them talks and you happen to overhear it. Am I saying that this was the result of 12 angry men with no ties to any organization? No. Although it's possible, it's not probable. The attack was simply well planned, brutal, and effective. There will never be peace as long as people hate each other enough to kill.
    • by sterno (16320)
      While there is a certain amount of complexity involved in this, I wouldn't say that this is beyond Bin Laden's capabilities. Remember that a few years back they managed a coordinated attack on two embassies in Africa within minutes of eachother. So they definitely are capable of the logistics necessary to pull off this kind of attack. Let's look at what is really required to pull this off:

      1) Terrorists with the ability to fly an airplane, a skill that can be readily obtained at any number of places given money to pay for it (and certainly Bin Laden has cash).
      2) Knives. Knives are VERY easy to get onto a plane. I have more than once wondered why nobody questioned my bringing of a pocket knife, etc, on board. When I heard about what happened my first assumption was that it had been done with knives (not good for taking on counter-terrorists, but if you don't plan to ever land the plane they are very effective).

      Now, given that, the actual hard part is setting up the terrorist cells to pull this off and plan the operation. It was probably executed by four seperate cells opeating independently but with a coordinated schedule. It's likely that each cell had NO IDEA that other planes were involved. Somebody centrally plans where to strike, which planes to take, and then just issues orders to the cells.

      Don't get me wrong, Iraq is definitely on the top of a short list of suspects, but I don't think Bin Laden can be reasonably rules out given his history. At the same time, I agree that we shouldn't leap to conclusions.
  • You know, I have to speak up about something: I am sickened by the cowardice I saw yesterday on Slashdot. There were many that were calling for appeasing the terrorists. Many called for just "moving on", and not making a response. Still more said that we shouldn't "make them mad" by striking back, which would invite more terrorism. Many even said that we should try and "understand" the terrorists.

    Hogwash.

    Tens of thousands of people have died. These are not freedom fighters, these are mentally disturbed people with great resources. Should we have tried to understand Kaczinsky when he sent mail bombs? Or do we remove him from society?

    The perpetrators must be punished, and the countries that give safe harbor to these countries must be punished. As an American, I believe the response must be overwhelming force. Terrorism on American soil? This must not be tolerated.

    You people who think that we are inviting more terrorism have it exactly backwards. That is how the terrorists want you to feel! The want you to feel fear, to give in to whatever demands they make. We must NEVER do that. Once they find out that we will do nothing to their attacks, particularly on this scale, it will invite every crazy to cause more damage.

    It's time for Sheriff Uncle Same to ride into town, and kick some bad-guy ass. The cowards who wring their hands over what needs to be done make me sick. Go hide under your bed, and allow the grown-ups to do what needs to be done.

    • by typical geek (261980) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:24PM (#2286363) Homepage
      who sacrified himself [adequacy.org] to save others, on United Flight 93.
    • Re:Cowards (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FFFish (7567) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:45PM (#2286546) Homepage
      I'd be surprised if anyone is advocating rolling over and playing dead.

      Rather, I suspect you're misinterpreting what is being said: be coldly rational and thorough. Identify the guilty and destroy them and, if at all possible, them alone.

      This advice is given based on past hysteria:

      - The panic after Pearl Harbour resulted in tens of thousands of innocent American and Canadian citizens being imprisoned in internment camps, and the loss of all their possessions. These weren't Japs that were mistreated: they were second- and third-generation Americans.

      - The panic after the JFK assasination resulted in immediate finger-pointing against Cuba and Russia. It was a truly nasty time to have Cuban skin in the US.

      - The panic after the Oklahoma bombing resulted in many American citizens being mistreated: there was plenty of bullying, name-calling, and threats. All because these citizens had Arab looks and skin.

      The public's reaction to the WTC terrorist attack can -- and probably will -- turn just as ugly as before: there are people clamouring to kick out American citizens based on their religion ("Muslims out") and people calling for the complete destruction of the mid-East, even though the mid-East isn't a homogenous society and even though most of the citizens over there aren't guilty.

      It's time for Sheriff Uncle Sam to get some fucking serious about destroying the terrorist groups and those who support them

      *AND*

      to get serious about figuring out why the USA is so thoroughly hated and then figuring out how to gain, if not friendly terms, neutral terms with other nations/cultures/peoples.

      *Both* steps are needed to fix the problems. Neither one alone will work.
    • by tester13 (186772) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:47PM (#2286564) Homepage
      For the record, I personally am not sure what the United States should do about these attacks. I do however think that some thought should be applied rather then just bombing everyone that moves regardless of civilian casualties.

      I live in Brooklyn NY, and I witnessed the second WTC tower fall yesterday from the sidewalk in front of my house. There is a Palestinian refrigeration supply store next door to my apartment. They were as upset about the attacks as you are. However, they also feared for their safety and elected to close there stores and go home for the day (as did all the stores in my neighborhood owned by Arabs).

      My point is that if we are to do something, it should be a calculated helpful thing to people, not just the obligatory military response. I'm not saying that a military response is not justified I just thing that calmness (i.e. not calling people cowards that disagree with you) should be the order of the day.

      Rudy Giuliani's speech urging restraint and togetherness was the right message.
    • Re: Cowards (Score:3, Funny)

      by Zappa (26961)
      It would not be bad to find out, what organisation / country / people are behind this before shouting out and asking for war. Fighting fire with fire meens bringing other families / people / countries in the same situation you are now - and noone profits anything from it.
    • Re:Cowards (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mr. Punch (58068) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:52PM (#2286607)
      >You people who think that we are inviting more terrorism have it exactly backwards. That is how the terrorists want you to feel! The want you to feel fear, to give in to whatever demands they make.

      No. They want terror. They want disruption. They want us to be so twisted by rage and fear that we can no longer function as a nation.

      These are people who believe that America is an evil and terrible nation. I believe they are wrong. But if we go charging into the Middle East without a proper investigation, without being sure that we're going after the right man or group, we WILL be PROVING ourselves to be as bad as they claim.

      I'm not saying we shouldn't react to this terrible offense. I'm saying we shouldn't lash out blindly at the first target to present itself.

    • Re:Cowards (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ami Ganguli (921) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:56PM (#2286648) Homepage
      It's time for Sheriff Uncle Same to ride into town, and kick some bad-guy ass. The cowards who wring their hands over what needs to be done make me sick. Go hide under your bed, and allow the grown-ups to do what needs to be done.

      Unfortunately it's that attitude on both sides that caused this mess. The American government regularly "kicks ass" all over the world and creates a lot of resentment among the poor people who suffer because of it.

      Now some of those bitter angry people have found a way to strike back. They probably feel exactly the way you do - eager to "kick some ass".

      I'm neither American nor Arabic, so I suppose I can't really understand the anger that these groups feel for each other, but I am sad at what looks like an escalation of needless killing. So now you want to bomb some more Arabs. More angry people will join terrorist organizations, and more Americans will be killed. So when does it end? Does one side have to be totally anihilated? That's crazy.

      If the U.S. wants justice the answer is to support international organizations like the international court. Give them the mandate and the resources to pursue international criminals. Unfortunately the current administration is following the opposite policy: witholding money from the U.N., and refusing to support the international court. Sad, but that's what happens when you let cowboys into the Whitehouse.

    • Re:Cowards (Score:3, Insightful)

      by joss (1346)
      Oh wow, you're a true patriot are you ?

      I don't think many people would argue with killing those responsible, just make sure you can identify who they are first.

      However, if you think the bombing of civilians is going to fix anything, I don't know whether I am more impressed by your hypocracy or your stupidity.

      As for saying it is foolish to try and "understand" the terrorists, have you ever heard the phrase "know your enemy" ?

      While we're on the subject of "Cowards" every news story calls the terrorists' attacks "Cowardly". Does anyone else find this absurd ? They may be crazed fanatics, but facing certain death in order to further your cause is not how I understand the term. Advocating the use of long-range missiles on civilian center's on the other side of the world seems a little closer to my understanding of the word.

      Since when was ignorance a point of view ?

    • Re:Cowards (Score:3, Insightful)

      by theghost (156240)
      The desire for peace and justice is not the same as cowardice.

      Cowardice is to be afraid to act. Violence is preferable to cowardice, but it requires much more bravery to remain non-violent in the face of violence. (Gandhi said that.)

      Slaughtering innocents in Afghanistan, Palestine or Iraq is no better than slaughtering innocents in New York, nor is it justified by what happened yesterday.

      The US should respond, but not with indiscriminate violence. It's too easy for us to be deluded by racist undercurrents and nationalistic propaganda that seeks to restore America's tough image instead of her ideals of freedom and justice.

      Those who advise caution want to make sure that the situation does not happen again. We want to make sure that justice is served on the correct parties, not on a scapegoat. We want to ensure that we don't spark fear and hatred in the nations who were not responsible for yesterday's attacks.

      If we act in a heavy-handed and indiscriminate manner we will only make more enemies and provoke more attacks. We don't care about angering the terrorists who are responsible for yesterday, we just don't want to create more terrorists by overreacting. By all means prevent those who are responsible for yesterday's attacks from ever doing it again, but let's not strike out prematurely and blindly.

      Do not confuse vengeance with justice. Vengeance heals wounded pride but causes more problems. Justice heals wounded spirits and prevents more problems.

      As an American, i believe that we must show that we can be strong without being tyrannical to other nations. We must show other countries that we will defend our citizens but we will not indiscriminately harm theirs.

      Grown-ups know that an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth leaves us all blind and toothless. (Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi said that.)

      Let's take care of our wounded and grieving first and defend ourselves from a repeat as well. When we know who is responsible then we can talk about what to do about it.

    • Re:Cowards (Score:3, Insightful)

      by localman (111171)
      The perpetrators must be punished, and the countries that give safe harbor to these countries must be punished.


      Good idea. Now let's blow up Timothy McVeigh's country too.

  • Our Rights (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Coffee Warlord (266564) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:22PM (#2286356)
    The following was a letter emailed to the President by a friend of mine, and I think you would all be interested in reading it.



    I am writing you to express my thanks for your sincere and thoughtful remarks on today's national tragedy. Like you, I offer my condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this horrific attack. I also write you on behalf of potential victims of a growing and unreasoned response to this travesty.

    Interspersed with the reports on today's national tragedy, I have been hearing other news that is as disconcerting as the senseless loss of life. Namely, that Federal Law Enforcement Agency spokespersons are talking of limiting not only civil liberties of free passage, but veiled references to endorsing the curtailing of privacy-enabling technologies, all of which are cryptography-based.

    It seems that those who truly care about freedom and all that it entails are being afforded no time to mourn this day's losses. I believe it no product of wild speculation to suggest that many policiticians and media pundits will once again renew their calls for limitations on public access to strong cryptography. These movements will be built on the graves of the dead in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. The claim will ultimately be made that if cryptography had not been so readily available, our intelligence agencies would have been able to detect and summarily thwart today's attack on the contintental United States.

    Suffice it to say that I can no sooner embrace such notions than I can embrace the terrorists who brought this tragedy to our nation's shores. And anyone suggesting such a course of action should be met with resistance equal to that which you call on us to muster against the forces of terrorism.

    The day we sacrifice our liberties in the name of "security" is the day that the terrorists' goals will have been achieved. To reiterate the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin, if we surrender our liberty in the name of security, we shall have neither.

    It is unfortunate that it seemed necessary to compose this note less than twelve hours after this day's attack, but it is every citizen's duty to take every possible action to avert national disaster; especially one in the making.

    Thank you for your valuable time. It is my hope that the perpetrators of this crime against the United States will be swiftly brought to justice. God bless America.
    • Re:Our Rights (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Old DBA (521165) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:41PM (#2286503)
      An alarmist (I hope) article from the Telegraph newsite in the UK about the loss of liberty that US citizens are about to have imposed by their own government:By John Keegan

      By John Keekan:

      'KILL one, frighten a thousand" is the terrorist watchword. Yesterday, a terrorist organisation, or group of organisations, killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of people.

      The atrocity will frighten not merely individuals, but whole populations and the states that rule them. It was a dark event in the history of human liberty. The most likely outcome is the imposition of measures to restrict freedom of movement and residence. Such measures will be ineffective in preventing a repetition of the disasters, but will be made all the same.

      The introduction of identity cards, compulsorily to be carried at all times, is a probable response, even in countries where "police papers" are regarded as repugnant. Registration of residence is another, and notification of change of dwelling. Officially or spontaneously, surveillance networks will emerge, in order to enforce residence controls at the local level. There will be a huge increase in the amount of personal information entered into government computer databases, and a consonant increase in the numbers of personnel employed in internal population control.

      Such measures will, in a comparatively short space of time, transform the atmosphere of social life in all countries with reason to fear this new style of terrorist attack. There will be a return to the mood of the Second World War, remembered popularly as a time of neighbourly closeness. It was also a time of snooping, informing, poison-pen letter writing and, of course, intense xenophobia.

      It should not be forgotten that, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the immigrant Japanese population of the American West Coast, several hundred thousand in number, were deported from their homes and locked up in remote detention camps. The United States will not start locking up Muslims tomorrow - it has yet to be established that the perpetrators were Muslim - but, if an Islamic organisation is identified as responsible, life for Muslims inside the country will become socially difficult quite quickly and may be legally circumscribed soon after.

      The advancing tide of human rights litigation will be thrown into reverse. Aliens protesting at refusal of admission or at detention once admitted or at expulsion will find that new laws, hastily enacted, have abolished the rights on which they and their lawyers expected to take their stand. The withdrawal of human rights provisions will be widely welcomed by the established population, which regards such laws as unfairly favouring incomers, social misfits and the undeserving.

      The reaction may be sharpest among the young, who, traditionally more open in their dealings with strangers and foreigners than the middle-aged, also come into contact with them more closely and freely. Friendly campus life for Middle Easterners may soon be a thing of the past. An event of this dimension can arouse latent nationalist passions and hatreds very easily and, if it suddenly becomes fashionable to display a violent patriotism, as it may, the next generation or two may be entirely different from the casual, obsessively tolerant teenagers of the 1990s.

      Meanwhile, whatever external military action the United States government decides to take will be warmly endorsed by old and young alike. The difficulty in the immediate aftermath is to identify a target and the possibility is that Washington will strike at almost any suspect - Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, perhaps all three - simply for the satisfaction inherent in retaliation. Another difficulty is that there are, after the internal and foreign wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, not many targets of value left in those countries, which made poor objectives for punishment in any case.

      If Israel were, unprompted or nudged by Washington, now to decide to terminate the existence of the Palestinian Authority, destroy its structures and re-occupy the West Bank completely, those measures would be widely supported in America, just after a moment when it seemed that opinion in the United States was tiring of its traditional support for Israel and becoming ready to accept a further withdrawal and an abandonment of the most exposed settlements. One undoubted effect of the World Trade Centre disaster is to heighten the likelihood of war in the Middle East, which may indeed, in a perverse way, have been its planners' immediate desire.

      There will, as an afterthought, be an even more immediate result of yesterday. Do not expect to be allowed to take hand baggage of any sort on flights to or within the United States. Expect delays of hours at check-in, invasive body searches, rejection of luggage and the presence in the seat next to you of an armed sky marshal, ready to shoot it out at 30,000 ft with anyone reckless enough of life to attempt a hijacking again.

  • Thanks slashdot for the fantastic work you have done over the last 2 days. When other services have been down or out, you have been able to fill us in and have provided a forum for people to use, and provide links to working news sources.

    This isn't news for nerds exclusivly but it was well worth the exception.
  • speculation (Score:4, Offtopic)

    by graveyhead (210996) <`ten.scinorthctelf' `ta' `hctelf'> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:25PM (#2286370)
    My wife and I were speculating last night: will they rebuild the towers? They will almost certainly fix the Pentagon because only about a fifth of the building was damaged, but what about our landmark center for capatailsm? Thoughts?
    • Re:speculation (Score:5, Offtopic)

      by ekrout (139379) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:30PM (#2286403) Journal
      The best comment I've heard was that we should rebuild the towers, but this time have three -- two smaller ones on the sides, and in the middle, a much taller one, symbolizing a hand giving the middle-finger to whatever cowards were responsible for the act.
    • Re:speculation (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Darth Maul (19860)
      Rebuild them taller. That's the only thing to do. Show the cowards that we'll just get bigger when they hit. And, I say we increase our support of Israel ten-fold. And send a message that every attack they carry out on us will result in more increases in support and bigger buildings.

      I'm so full of rage and anger.

      I was in a building just south of the Pentagon yesterday when everything happened; our building shook when the collapse occurred and smoke was everywhere. It was frightening to then see the F-16's overhead providing air cover (the plane that crashed in PA was headed for DC).

      I was sick to my stomach all day yesterday coming down off the adrenaline. What a tragedy.

      • Rebuild them taller. That's the only thing to do. Show the cowards that we'll just get bigger when they hit.

        The terrorists attacked WTC for two reasons, the first of which is that it was symbolic. The second reason is that it would cause massive loss of life.

        Now, back some decades it apparently seemed important, for some reason, to build the tallest towers, etc. In fact, a similar argument was used to go to the moon. That's all well and good, but haven't we moved past that?

        Malaysia is the latest nation to believe that having the tallest building somehow enhances its national prestige. Is the U.S. really so insecure that it feels it has to compete with nations like Malaysia on this basis? Or is it a case of needing to impress the primitive folk, both within and without our country?

        Wouldn't it be better to focus our energies on protecting our borders, skies and buildings in a way that doesn't diminish the freedoms of the residents of the U.S.?

        I'm not saying symbolism isn't important to the human psyche, but perhaps if we got past the "mine is bigger than yours" phase, it might change the nature of the battle for the better.

      • Why should we increase our support of Israel ten-fold? So that we can get attacked again? It's high time we realize the we are vulnerable, and will always be vulnerable as long as we maintain an open society. Does that mean that we shouldn't respond to this latest attack? Of course not. But at the same time, we should realize that our foreign policy is literally driving large numbers of people into suicidal frenzys!

        Rather than go into a blind rage of fury, we need to look long and hard at how the rest of the world views our policies and talk about whether the risk those policies create offsets the benefits. We may very well find that the lives lost in NYC yesterday are the price we pay for cheap gas. After all, oil is the only reason we give a damn about the middle east. I know I'm being overly simplistic, but the reality is that our actions have consequences. We need to be willing to talk openly and honestly about these things. Letting the rage of the moment cloud our judgement in this time of crisis is the worst thing we can do.
        • Clouded judgement (Score:4, Insightful)

          by sheldon (2322) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @02:17PM (#2287326)
          Charles Lindbergh's Des Moines Speech of 1941

          It is now two years since this latest European war began. From that day in September, 1939, until the present moment, there has been an over-increasing effort to force the United States into the conflict.

          That effort has been carried on by foreign interests, and by a small minority of our own people; but it has been so successful that, today, our country stands on the verge of war.

          At this time, as the war is about to enter its third winter, it seems appropriate to review the circumstances that have led us to our present position. Why are we on the verge of war? Was it necessary for us to become so deeply involved? Who is responsible for changing our national policy from one of neutrality and independence to one of entanglement in European affairs?

          Personally, I believe there is no better argument against our intervention than a study of the causes and developments of the present war. I have often said that if the true facts and issues were placed before the American people, there would be no danger of our involvement.

          Here, I would like to point out to you a fundamental difference between the groups who advocate foreign war, and those who believe in an independent destiny for America.

          If you will look back over the record, you will find that those of us who oppose intervention have constantly tried to clarify facts and issues; while the interventionists have tried to hide facts and confuse issues.

          We ask you to read what we said last month, last year, and even before the war began. Our record is open and clear, and we are proud of it.

          We have not led you on by subterfuge and propaganda. We have not resorted to steps short of anything, in order to take the American people where they did not want to go.

          What we said before the elections, we say [illegible] and again, and again today. And we will not tell you tomorrow that it was just campaign oratory. Have you ever heard an interventionist, or a British agent, or a member of the administration in Washington ask you to go back and study a record of what they have said since the war started? Are their self-styled defenders of democracy willing to put the issue of war to a vote of our people? Do you find these crusaders for foreign freedom of speech, or the removal of censorship here in our own country?

          The subterfuge and propaganda that exists in our country is obvious on every side. Tonight, I shall try to pierce through a portion of it, to the naked facts which lie beneath.

          When this war started in Europe, it was clear that the American people were solidly opposed to entering it. Why shouldn't we be? We had the best defensive position in the world; we had a tradition of independence from Europe; and the one time we did take part in a European war left European problems unsolved, and debts to America unpaid.

          National polls showed that when England and France declared war on Germany, in 1939, less than 10 percent of our population favored a similar course for America. But there were various groups of people, here and abroad, whose interests and beliefs necessitated the involvement of the United States in the war. I shall point out some of these groups tonight, and outline their methods of procedure. In doing this, I must speak with the utmost frankness, for in order to counteract their efforts, we must know exactly who they are.

          The three most important groups who have been pressing this country toward war are the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration.

          Behind these groups, but of lesser importance, are a number of capitalists, Anglophiles, and intellectuals who believe that the future of mankind depends upon the domination of the British empire. Add to these the Communistic groups who were opposed to intervention until a few weeks ago, and I believe I have named the major war agitators in this country.

          I am speaking here only of war agitators, not of those sincere but misguided men and women who, confused by misinformation and frightened by propaganda, follow the lead of the war agitators.

          As I have said, these war agitators comprise only a small minority of our people; but they control a tremendous influence. Against the determination of the American people to stay out of war, they have marshaled the power of their propaganda, their money, their patronage.

          Let us consider these groups, one at a time.

          First, the British: It is obvious and perfectly understandable that Great Britain wants the United States in the war on her side. England is now in a desperate position. Her population is not large enough and her armies are not strong enough to invade the continent of Europe and win the war she declared against Germany.

          Her geographical position is such that she cannot win the war by the use of aviation alone, regardless of how many planes we send her. Even if America entered the war, it is improbable that the Allied armies could invade Europe and overwhelm the Axis powers. But one thing is certain. If England can draw this country into the war, she can shift to our shoulders a large portion of the responsibility for waging it and for paying its cost.

          As you all know, we were left with the debts of the last European war; and unless we are more cautious in the future than we have been in the past, we will be left with the debts of the present case. If it were not for her hope that she can make us responsible for the war financially, as well as militarily, I believe England would have negotiated a peace in Europe many months ago, and be better off for doing so.

          England has devoted, and will continue to devote every effort to get us into the war. We know that she spent huge sums of money in this country during the last war in order to involve us. Englishmen have written books about the cleverness of its use.

          We know that England is spending great sums of money for propaganda in America during the present war. If we were Englishmen, we would do the same. But our interest is first in America; and as Americans, it is essential for us to realize the effort that British interests are making to draw us into their war.

          The second major group I mentioned is the Jewish.

          It is not difficult to understand why Jewish people desire the overthrow of Nazi Germany. The persecution they suffered in Germany would be sufficient to make bitter enemies of any race.

          No person with a sense of the dignity of mankind can condone the persecution of the Jewish race in Germany. But no person of honesty and vision can look on their pro-war policy here today without seeing the dangers involved in such a policy both for us and for them. Instead of agitating for war, the Jewish groups in this country should be opposing it in every possible way for they will be among the first to feel its consequences.

          Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it cannot survive war and devastations. A few far-sighted Jewish people realize this and stand opposed to intervention. But the majority still do not.

          Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.

          I am not attacking either the Jewish or the British people. Both races, I admire. But I am saying that the leaders of both the British and the Jewish races, for reasons which are as understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war.

          We cannot blame them for looking out for what they believe to be their own interests, but we also must look out for ours. We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples to lead our country to destruction.

          The Roosevelt administration is the third powerful group which has been carrying this country toward war. Its members have used the war emergency to obtain a third presidential term for the first time in American history. They have used the war to add unlimited billions to a debt which was already the highest we have ever known. And they have just used the war to justify the restriction of congressional power, and the assumption of dictatorial procedures on the part of the president and his appointees.

          The power of the Roosevelt administration depends upon the maintenance of a wartime emergency. The prestige of the Roosevelt administration depends upon the success of Great Britain to whom the president attached his political future at a time when most people thought that England and France would easily win the war. The danger of the Roosevelt administration lies in its subterfuge. While its members have promised us peace, they have led us to war heedless of the platform upon which they were elected.

          In selecting these three groups as the major agitators for war, I have included only those whose support is essential to the war party. If any one of these groups--the British, the Jewish, or the administration--stops agitating for war, I believe there will be little danger of our involvement.

          I do not believe that any two of them are powerful enough to carry this country to war without the support of the third. And to these three, as I have said, all other war groups are of secondary importance.

          When hostilities commenced in Europe, in 1939, it was realized by these groups that the American people had no intention of entering the war. They knew it would be worse than useless to ask us for a declaration of war at that time. But they believed that this country could be entered into the war in very much the same way we were entered into the last one.

          They planned: first, to prepare the United States for foreign war under the guise of American defense; second, to involve us in the war, step by step, without our realization; third, to create a series of incidents which would force us into the actual conflict. These plans were of course, to be covered and assisted by the full power of their propaganda.

          Our theaters soon became filled with plays portraying the glory of war. Newsreels lost all semblance of objectivity. Newspapers and magazines began to lose advertising if they carried anti-war articles. A smear campaign was instituted against individuals who opposed intervention. The terms "fifth columnist," "traitor," "Nazi," "anti-Semitic" were thrown ceaselessly at any one who dared to suggest that it was not to the best interests of the United States to enter the war. Men lost their jobs if they were frankly anti-war. Many others dared no longer speak.

          Before long, lecture halls that were open to the advocates of war were closed to speakers who opposed it. A fear campaign was inaugurated. We were told that aviation, which has held the British fleet off the continent of Europe, made America more vulnerable than ever before to invasion. Propaganda was in full swing.

          There was no difficulty in obtaining billions of dollars for arms under the guise of defending America. Our people stood united on a program of defense. Congress passed appropriation after appropriation for guns and planes and battleships, with the approval of the overwhelming majority of our citizens. That a large portion of these appropriations was to be used to build arms for Europe, we did not learn until later. That was another step.

          To use a specific example; in 1939, we were told that we should increase our air corps to a total of 5,000 planes. Congress passed the necessary legislation. A few months later, the administration told us that the United States should have at least 50,000 planes for our national safety. But almost as fast as fighting planes were turned out from our factories, they were sent abroad, although our own air corps was in the utmost need of new equipment; so that today, two years after the start of war, the American army has a few hundred thoroughly modern bombers and fighters--less in fact, than Germany is able to produce in a single month.

          Ever since its inception, our arms program has been laid out for the purpose of carrying on the war in Europe, far more than for the purpose of building an adequate defense for America.

          Now at the same time we were being prepared for a foreign war, it was necessary, as I have said, to involve us in the war. This was accomplished under that now famous phrase "steps short of war."

          England and France would win if the United States would only repeal its arms embargo and sell munitions for cash, we were told. And then [illegible] began, a refrain that marked every step we took toward war for many months--"the best way to defend America and keep out of war." we were told, was "by aiding the Allies."

          First, we agreed to sell arms to Europe; next, we agreed to loan arms to Europe; then we agreed to patrol the ocean for Europe; then we occupied a European island in the war zone. Now, we have reached the verge of war.

          The war groups have succeeded in the first two of their three major steps into war. The greatest armament program in our history is under way.

          We have become involved in the war from practically every standpoint except actual shooting. Only the creation of sufficient "incidents" yet remains; and you see the first of these already taking place, according to plan [ill.]-- a plan that was never laid before the American people for their approval.

          Men and women of Iowa; only one thing holds this country from war today. That is the rising opposition of the American people. Our system of democracy and representative government is on test today as it has never been before. We are on the verge of a war in which the only victor would be chaos and prostration.

          We are on the verge of a war for which we are still unprepared, and for which no one has offered a feasible plan for victory--a war which cannot be won without sending our soldiers across the ocean to force a landing on a hostile coast against armies stronger than our own.

          We are on the verge of war, but it is not yet too late to stay out. It is not too late to show that no amount of money, or propaganda, or patronage can force a free and independent people into war against its will. It is not yet too late to retrieve and to maintain the independent American destiny that our forefathers established in this new world.

          The entire future rests upon our shoulders. It depends upon our action, our courage, and our intelligence. If you oppose our intervention in the war, now is the time to make your voice heard.

          Help us to organize these meetings; and write to your representatives in Washington. I tell you that the last stronghold of democracy and representative government in this country is in our house of representatives and our senate.

          There, we can still make our will known. And if we, the American people, do that, independence and freedom will continue to live among us, and there will be no foreign war.

    • Re:speculation (Score:5, Informative)

      by kootch (81702) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:57PM (#2286659) Homepage
      Highly doubtful, and if so, it won't be for 15+ yrs atleast.

      It'll take over a year just to remove the rubble that's currently across the 10+ square blocks. Removing the parts of the building that are still there atleast another year. But then removing the foundation will take years. The entire foundation of the complex is almost definitely weakened beyond belief. For safety, they'll probably tear down all of the remaining buildings that share the foundation, but this will be complicated by the amount of underground networks (both cable, electric, gas, and transportation) that run under the buildings.

      Only when they're done that will they ever be able to build again.

      Approx. 10 years ago there was a fire in an office tower in the middle of Philly. The middle 3 floors were affected, but they twisted the floors above it by only a few degrees. That was enough to have the building perm. evacuated and necessitated ripping it down. They're still trying to take that building apart.
  • by ChrisDolan (24101) <chris+slashdot&chrisdolan,net> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:25PM (#2286373) Homepage
    Numerous editorials in todays NY Post have advocated ignoring the law and using racist, mob logic to correct the injustice of yesterday's attack. These frothing calls to action are not only irresponsible, they are barbarous.

    "Who is responsible for yesterday's carnage? That's no great mystery."
    - editorial 4006 [nypost.com]

    The law of the land is innocent until proven guilty. Until there is concrete evidence pointing to the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks, there can be no action. If the US attacks without evidence, then we are terrorists as well, and would deserve all the condemnation we are piling on our - still unknown - attackers.

    "To hell with Bill Clinton's 'gather the evidence and proceed to court' approach."
    - editorial 4022 [nypost.com]

    "The response ... should be as simple as it is swift - kill the bastards. No, I don't mean hunt them, arrest them, extradite them and prosecute them in a court of law. I mean a far quicker and neater form of retribution for this cabal of cowards. A gunshot between the eyes, blow them to smithereens, poison them if you have to."
    - Steve Dunleavy editorial 3999 [nypost.com]

    Both of these editorialists call for dismissing the due process on which our justice system is based. They call for the removal of equal treatment under the law. These demands for extreme measures are demands for the creation of a dictatorship, of a police state. Assassinations, executions without trials, condemnation without evidence - these are the hallmarks of regimes like Stalin's Soviet Union, Mao Tse Tung's China and Hitler's Germany.

    Consistent and reasoned responses are imperitive in civilized society. Everything else is barbarism.

    • by falloutboy (150069) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:40PM (#2286496)
      "Numerous editorials in todays NY Post have advocated ignoring the law and using racist, mob logic to correct the injustice of yesterday's attack. These frothing calls to action are not only irresponsible, they are barbarous."


      As a New Yorker, I have the priviledge of seeing the Post every so often next to more intelligent, reputable publications, and what you should realize is that this is par for the course. The Post pretty much always has a dumb, reactionary comment to make. On a scale of journalistic integrity, they're only slightly above tabloids in that they sensationalize real events, instead of fake ones.

  • by glowingspleen (180814) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:28PM (#2286388) Homepage
    Great articles on Slate right now:

    Why the Towers collapsed:

    http://slate.msn.com/code/explainer/explainer.as p? Show=9/11/2001&idMessage=8265

    How good were the Pilots?

    http://slate.msn.com/code/explainer/explainer.as p? Show=9/11/2001&idMessage=8270
  • by Belly of the Beast (457669) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:28PM (#2286390)
    If some one has a concise report of the damage to the WTC beyound the towers(which buildings, what damage, etc.) it would be of interest to those of use in the hinter lands
  • by Harper (5397) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:28PM (#2286392) Homepage Journal
    I have set up a rather extensive set of image and video mirrors.
    http://www.watership.org/media/

    I have made tar balls of the images and the movies so everyone will be able to set up their own mirror.

    http://watership.org/media/images.tar.gz -(26985k)
    http://watership.org/media/movies.tar.gz -(200189k)

    i am not sure on the copyright issues. But anyone is welcome to dload and set up content mirrors.
  • Ad Revenue (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NetJunkie (56134) <jason.nash@ g m a i l . com> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:28PM (#2286395)
    I noticed that no TV or radio stations were doing ANY commercials around here yesterday. I was thinking how good it would be for some sites that got a LOT more traffic yesterday to donate some of the profit to the Red Cross or another relief organization.

    Slashdot mentioned getting 3x as much traffic..how about donating some of the after-expenses profit?
  • Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Skyshadow (508) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:29PM (#2286401) Homepage
    This is interesting:

    I'm a reasonably intelligent person, I know that the NSA is basically admitting to recording all cell phone traffic, I know this will include my private calls...

    And I don't care. Maybe I will in a week or two, but right now...

    Anyway, I'm usually very pro-privacy, so I found my reaction on this one interesting.
  • by Razov (520769) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:31PM (#2286413)
    Perhaps now it is time to think if a big amount of money should be spent on the missile shield, if even the pentagon can be hit by a terrorist attack.

    Although the attack was quite well organized, it probably didn't cost too much, and the shield wouldn't be useful against this kind of attacks.

    Given the current situation of the middle east, this kind of things are much more probable than a missile attack from some distant country.
  • by ergo98 (9391) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:33PM (#2286437) Homepage Journal

    This is a horrendous situation and I hope most of the people got out of the buildings before the collapse. As a Canadian they might as well have hit Toronto because it feels the same. While the US media has ignored it there have been lines at blood banks across Canada, and every Canadian city has offered to help however they can (and they are actually offering for real. Toronto prepared 15 EMS teams with ambulances and all of the equipment ready to go on NY's request, and our hospitals and air ambulances prepared to take any overflow that might exist).


    Having said that it is INCREDIBLY irritating seeing the natural habit of pointing to easy solutions to get the knee jerk solutions : For instance every report has been making a BIG deal about 2 of the people possibly having come from Canada (though strangely apparently they had New Jersey licenses from preliminary reports). Guess what: They flew FROM US airports, and they apparently had UAE passports, so could someone tell me why this "Canadian connection" is given such relevance? Secondly during the attack all attention was immediately placed on international flights despite the fact that the four flights were originating and destined in the US, but of course it's easy to think of foreign airports as lax versus the super secure impenetrable US airports. I just had to get this off my chest because while I would do anything for New York right now, it's hard to tolerate the habit of looking outwards for blame. As a caucasian I really feel for anyone of Middle Eastern descent as all of them are being painted with the same brush and people should remember that not every Muslim is a terrorist, and not every Middle Eastern descended person thinks this is cool: The vast majority are horrified.

  • by graveyhead (210996) <`ten.scinorthctelf' `ta' `hctelf'> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:34PM (#2286443)
    It seems that ESR has written an opinion piece [newsforge.com] on Newsforge that is sure to get slashdotters up in arms. Sorry couldn't resist the lame pun. Seriously though, it seems like ESR is promoting his personal agenda during this time of crisis. Hardly appropriate.
    • by nd (20186)
      So far, nearly every response I've read criticizing ESR's remarks are pretty much the same -- "he's a wacko", "this is disgusting", "stick to software", etc.

      Rather than things like this, and conspiring about personal agendas, could you give a legitimate argument against his piece? It's not very unreasonable at all.

      Here's my take on his view in short:

      Government restricts personal liberties of citizens for our "protection". Good citizens abide. Bad citizens bypass/ignore restrictions, leaving good citizens defenseless. Something is very wrong here, and ESR suggests that perhaps the restrictions shouldn't exist. Yesterday's incident is evidence of this scenario.

      This is NOT saying "everyone should carry a gun".
    • by pi_rules (123171) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @02:04PM (#2287201)
      I agree that the position sounds a bit alarming, but really it's quite logical.

      For crying out loud, the terrorists apparently took over the plane with -knives-. I'm guessing ceramic ones, so they could slip past the metal detectors. How in the world a plane full of 50-90 people were unable (or unwilling) to confront 3-5 "armed" people is beyond me. To me this is just evidence that the average American citizen is now nothing more than a fattened coward who thinks freeom and peace come without any work. That's the government's job, right?

      I am getting absolutely sick of people being called crazy for having firearms and ammunition "just in case.". You may think ESR is nuts for wanting armed citizens on planes, I think everybody else is nuts for NOT wanting them. The founding fathers would probably shit a brick to find out that 90 citizens weren't able to overpower a team of 5 because none of the law abiding people had any sort of weapon on them -- even more appauled that they could pull it off with knives. I'm standing here today not under British rule (not that I think Britians are bad) because armed citizens revolted against a tyranical government.

      People often spout off silly examples of one lunatic pulling out their gun and dropping a few people just because they're pissed off. Give me a freaking break. Do you -really- think somebody is going to pull out a gun for some silly-assed reason when it's encouraged for the average citizen to carry a gun? I really doubt it, unless they're criminally insane and have a death wish. Remember the shooting in a NYC subway a few years ago when some loon hopped on board with a semi-automatic handgun and rattled off 30 shots? Lets do some math here:

      If memory serves he was using some type of 9mm pistol with 15 round clips. Lets say this guy really knew his stuff and could rattle off a shot every .2 seconds; that's 3 seconds per clip (you have to be -trained- to do something like that BTW, it's far more likely it would have taken him .5 seconds or more). So, that's 3 second, clip empty, getting the next one in would take another 3 seconds (at least), then empty that one out. Total operation: 9 seconds.... for what I could consider somebody well trained. An armed passenger, who is also well trained, could have likely removed his weapon from a concealed position and fired two shots into his chest within 2 seconds... stopping the bulk of the killing.

      So, allow passengers to carry? Nope, ban anything that holds more than 10 rounds. Honestly, what kind of logic is this? Granted, you can still buy guns which hold more than 10 rounds, and you can buy the clips too; but only used clips. Now what used to cost 20 dollars for a piece of metal and plastic can run you anywhere from 50-150 depending on the type of gun you're looking for.

      There's outrage that gas prices were jacked up when people paniced and began filling up their tanks "just in case." At the same time, K-mart pulls it's firearms and ammunition off the shelves to look like a good guy. Good guy my ass. If somebody had turned off the gas at their gas station for fear of somebody building a bomb we'd consider the gas station owner crazy. K-mart pulls their guns and nobody seems to really give a rat's behind. The country is under attack and you intentionally keep people from buying arms and ammunition? Re-read that sentence again -- let it sink in. I will never set foot in K-mart again; and I do intend on writing a nice calm letter to their head office when this is all said and done.

      Given that the nation has received the ugly end of an act of War I would consider ESR's piece right on topic, not "hardly appropriate". Yes, there was a tragedy yesterday. Yes, perhaps ESR is taking this opportunity to point of why he thinks his view is right, but I don't consider his opinion any less valid than discussion of any other anti-terrorism measures the government is thinking about taking. The rules of engagement have changed. Citizens are being treated as if they're military soldiers -- so act like it. Don't own a guy? Buy one, learn how to use it. Go grab a few hundred rounds of ammo and put them in your closet. If you can in your state, carry it wherever you feel comfortable carrying a weapon.
  • by MousePotato (124958) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:36PM (#2286465) Homepage Journal
    Our organization has been very busy. Check my posts from yesterday. People in Dade County FL can use our site as the day goes on to help in our efforts. Click here [ckfonline.org] or cut and paste [http://ckfonline.org/arc/]. Thanks for everyones help everywhere.
  • by JasonVergo (101331) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:36PM (#2286466)
    Harry Browne of the libertarian party thoughts:

    http://www.antiwar.com/orig/browne2.html

    When Will We Learn?
    by Harry Browne
    September 12, 2001

    The terrorist attacks against America comprise a horrible tragedy. But
    they shouldn't be a surprise.

    It is well known that in war, the first casualty is truth - that
    during any war truth is forsaken for propaganda. But sanity was a
    prior casualty: it was the loss of sanity that led to war in the first
    place.

    Our foreign policy has been insane for decades. It was only a matter
    of time until Americans would have to suffer personally for it. It is
    a terrible tragedy of life that the innocent so often have to suffer
    for the sins of the guilty.

    When will we learn that we can't allow our politicians to bully the
    world without someone bullying back eventually?

    President Bush has authorized continued bombing of innocent people in
    Iraq. President Clinton bombed innocent people in the Sudan,
    Afghanistan, Iraq, and Serbia. President Bush Senior invaded Iraq and
    Panama. President Reagan bombed innocent people in Libya and invaded
    Grenada. And on and on it goes.

    Did we think the people who lost their families and friends and
    property in all that destruction would love America for what happened?

    When will we learn that violence always begets violence?

    Teaching Lessons

    Supposedly, Reagan bombed Libya to teach Muammar al-Qaddafi a lesson
    about terrorism. But shortly thereafter a TWA plane was destroyed over
    Scotland, and our government is convinced it was Libyans who did it.

    When will we learn that "teaching someone a lesson" never teaches
    anything but resentment - that it only inspires the recipient to
    greater acts of defiance.

    How many times on Tuesday did we hear someone describe the terrorist
    attacks as "cowardly acts"? But as misguided and despicable as they
    were, they were anything but cowardly. The people who committed them
    knowingly gave their lives for whatever stupid beliefs they held.

    But what about the American presidents who order bombings of innocent
    people - while the presidents remain completely insulated from any
    danger? What would you call their acts?

    When will we learn that forsaking truth and reason in the heat of
    battle almost always assures that we will lose the battle?

    Losing our Last Freedoms

    And now, as sure as night follows day, we will be told we must give up
    more of our freedoms to avenge what never should have happened in the
    first place.

    When will we learn that it makes no sense to give up our freedoms in
    the name of freedom?

    What to Do

    What should be done?

    First of all, stop the hysteria. Stand back and ask how this could
    have happened. Ask how a prosperous country isolated by two oceans
    could have so embroiled itself in other people's business that someone
    would want to do us harm. Even sitting in the middle of Europe,
    Switzerland isn't beset by terrorist attacks, because the Swiss mind
    their own business.

    Second, resolve that we won't let our leaders use this occasion to
    commit their own terrorist acts upon more innocent people, foreign and
    domestic, that will inspire more terrorist attacks in the future.

    Third, find a way, with enforceable constitutional limits, to prevent
    our leaders from ever again provoking this kind of anger against
    America.

    Patriotism?

    There are those who will say this article is unpatriotic and
    un-American - that this is not a time to question our country or our
    leaders.

    When will we learn that without freedom and sanity, there is no reason
    to be patriotic?

    Harry Browne was the 2000 Libertarian presidential candidate. You can
    read more of his articles at www.HarryBrowne.org, and his books are
    available at www.HBBooks.com.
  • by SilverThorn (133151) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:37PM (#2286467) Homepage
    For those that are interested, the Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network (LCSN) has recorded the activity that happened at the World Trade Center so you can realistically feel what was felt there and nearby for the impact and collapse of the buildings.

    LCSN Link: http://www.ldgo.columbia.edu/lcn.html [columbia.edu]

  • Perfect Blue Sky (Score:5, Insightful)

    by waldoj (8229) <(waldo) (at) (jaquith.org)> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:39PM (#2286483) Homepage Journal
    The United States' sky was blue, perfectly blue. Empty, simple, clear, clean, blue. Throughout the country, millions of people looked up at the sky on Tuesday to see the most perfect, cloudless sky that has existed for many, many years.

    Except for over New York City. The sky over Manhattan was obscured by thick, black smoke and dust from the remains of the World Trade Center. They did not share our sky, and we did not share theirs.

    The rest of us Americans shared something else, too: television. We spent hours glued to our televisions, placing panicked phones calls every few minutes to friends and family, not to share mutually-known news, but to share the thick silence of horror. Every station broadcast the latest news, without interruption. They all used a common title: "Attack on America," sparing us the usual battle over which network's tragedy-moniker will stick.

    By afternoon, many of those that had remained home to watch the news realized that they needed some face time, and headed to the streets for some human contact. Those that had spent the day at work had gotten very little done, finding themselves a part of impromptu television communities in neighboring offices. It was, of course, all that anybody talked about. Strangers gathered on street corners, nodding acquaintances traded news tips, people sobbed and prayed on the sidewalk.

    All beneath that perfect blue sky. With every last airplane in the United States resting safely on the tarmac, not a single contrail scarred our endless collective ceiling.

    The blood drives started by mid-afternoon, setting up cots in office parks, buses, and abandoned shopping malls. The turnout was so tremendous that crowds of people were turned away, asked to return the next day to give of their blood.

    Then there were the American flags. Where happy orange pumpkins and brown ice cream cones had flapped in front of homes and businesses, now crisp new star-spangled banners hung. On Charlottesville's Downtown Mall, four girls bearing carnations walked down the street, offering bright yellow flowers to babies and businessmen, homeless women and waitresses. Nearly everybody in sight bore boutonnieres in their buttonholes, and it was impossible not to cry.

    Late afternoon brought perhaps the most surreal event of the day. Congress assembled on the Capital steps and sang a verse of "God Bless America." Republicans, Democrats and Independents sang together, slightly off-key, unaccompanied by music. Under our great blue sky.
  • by David Ishee (6015) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:42PM (#2286512) Homepage
    Janes has made info from their All the World's Aircraft data available online for the 767 [janes.com] and 757 [janes.com].

  • S11 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:45PM (#2286545)
    I noticed the date of the incident is September 11.

    This corresponds to the date of the demonstrations done against the World Economic Forum on September 11 a year ago.

    After searching on the Internet (google.com) a site turned up: www.s11.org. After going to the site I saw pages talking about plans in the future to go up against global coporations. S11 appears to be a group that harbors a strong hatred for global corporations and governments.

    One thing that struck me as unusual was one of the index pages had something written to the effect of "On September 11, 2000 at 9am we were successful in stopping the World Economic Forum." I found this unusual because on September 11, 2001 around 9am (NYT) the 2 planes crashed into the World Trade Center.

    Yesterday I did a whois (Internet) lookup of s11.org. There were a couple of unusual things about the whois record for s11.org. The record (at the time I looked at it) was created on September 11, 2000. The other unusual thing about the record was the expire date was set to September 11, 2001.

    I remember the contact for the whois record having a California address. A Los something city I cannot remember the name for.

    A few hours ago I attempted to go back to the s11.org site but was getting time out errors. After that I did a whois lookup on the same domain but the domain records had been changed. The whois record now shows a Last Update date of September 12, 2001 and is owned by a domain name squatter.

    It is quite unusal that the whois record for this domain name changed so suddenly at this point in time and is now owned by a different organization.

    Even though the site has disappeared, you can still see some cached pages of the original s11.org site by going to google.com and searching for s11.

    You can also see a graphic of the same 'global justice' graphics used on the S11 site at another site:

    www.channel6000.com [channel6000.com]

    One other set of unusual information that seems to indicate a well-planned attack are the relationship easily found between flight numbers of the hijacked planes and the date:

    The flights that were hijacked, from United and AA, were numbered as follows:
    11, 93, 175, and 77 11 = Yesterday 9+3 = 12 = Today 1+7+5 = 13 = Thursday 7+7 = 14 = Friday

  • another link (Score:3, Informative)

    by Maditude (473526) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:46PM (#2286553)
    Found this link on Slate:

    http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/visions/Publications/te rrorism.htm [harvard.edu]

    Written back in '98 apparently, it gives some good insight into plans for dealing with this sort of thing -- I suspect that the "monitoring" aspect of it will get a huge boost from yesterday's attacks.
  • In memory... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IdJit (78604) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:47PM (#2286565)
    In the aftermath of yesterday's gruesome terrorist attack, I'd like to recommend that we fly black ad banners on our sites for a few days in memory of the victims and their families.

    Our hearts and prayers are with them.
  • by msheppard (150231) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:49PM (#2286581) Homepage Journal
    Check here [nasa.gov] for Nasa images of the smoke plume from MODIS.

  • two biggies... (Score:3, Informative)

    by davey23sol (462701) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:50PM (#2286584) Journal
    FAA keeps flights down... looks like indefintely.
    http://www.cnn.com/2001/TRAVEL/NEWS/09/12/faa.flig hts/index.html [cnn.com].

    FBI thinks they have names of hijackers...
    http://www.theindychannel.com/sh/news/stories/nat- news-95625820010911-070921.html [theindychannel.com].

  • by update() (217397) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:52PM (#2286603) Homepage
    Yesterday, while at was work with no TV or radio, my primary source of information was Slashdot, both what the editors posted and what readers added. It has to have been one of the highlights of the site's history.

    Taco's notions of journalism can sometimes be almost as shaky as his spelling, but I think he and Hemos both have an excellent sense of what to do with the tremendous platform they have and they showed it yesterday.

    Three other random thoughts:
    First, when I went to donate blood yesterday, I was very touched by the number of people who rushed to help, and in particular by all the foreign students there. (Japanese, especially.) We may all have our differences, but it's good to see that almost all of us are basically on the same side.

    Second, and this is kind of out of nowhere, hopefully this incident will take some of the steam out of "anarchist" rioting. If you have honest objections to the IMF, World Bank, Starbucks or whatever, by all means protest, demonstrate, get arrested, but please start leaving it at that. The "black bloc" folks may think they're the ultimate badasses with their slingshots and gas masks, but yesterday should have made it clear that there's two kinds of people in the world and they're over here with us.

    Finally, and I'm aiming this mostly at myself but encouraging others to join in -- yesterday brought home just how insane it is to get enraged over whether one should say Linux or GNU/Linux or what Craig Mundie said about Linux. The world needs free software, it needs fair use of information but it doesn't need more hate. Certainly not over software.

  • by Brownstar (139242) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:54PM (#2286623)
    I know this is off topic for this story, I posted this info on the story about gas prices but with the 700+ +2 comments I doubt many people saw it.

    On the radio in to work today they were interviewing Michigan's Attorney General, Jennifer M. Granholm, about the sharp raise in gas prices. According to the major gas distributors, the price of gas at the retail level should NOT be affected. Any gas stations that have raised their prices significantly are doing so illegally.

    She encouraged everyone that drives past gas stations, in Michigan, that have raised their prices greatly to report [state.mi.us] it to the attorney general website so that they can take action against said gas stations.

    She also said to remember which gas stations are doing it and never by gas from them again.

    I am also sure that the Attorney Generals of other states will also be looking in to similar cases in their states. The url for your state's attorney general is www.ag.state.$state.us and replace $state with your 2 letter abreviation.
  • /. Pulls Through (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Milican (58140) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:54PM (#2286632) Journal
    All I have to say is thanks to everyone at Slashdot for doing such a great job. Not just the Slashcrew who kept Slashdot alive during tremendous traffic, but to the many contributors that make this place a great community of information and a tremendous resource to us all.

    When ABC, CNN, and FoxNews were down Slashdot was there to disseminate mirrors, other official and unnoficial news sites (BBC, etc..), and countless valuable info. I know the servers were a little stressed, but overall I think this is a testament to the planning of the Slashdot site (network, servers, admins, VA Linux, etc..) and shows how the major news sites can learn a thing or two from us nerds :)

    JOhn
  • by ClarkEvans (102211) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:57PM (#2286652) Homepage
    AT 12:55 in the Senate today Senator Kerry just suggested that we should rebuild the twin towers. He went on to say that this is the only adequate monument that could possibly be raised, a tribute to our democracy and capitalism. He said to those who would mark the new building as a target: "We have no shortage of tall buildings or monuments; this is not a question of targets, it is a question of our strength and of our national resolve."
  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @12:59PM (#2286667)
    America: The Good Neighbor.

    Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

    "This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.

    Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

    When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

    When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.

    The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

    I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?

    Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several times and safely home again.

    You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

    When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

    I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even
    during the San Francisco earthquake.

    Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."

    Stand proud, America!
  • by Masker (25119) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @01:11PM (#2286790)
    AP is announcing that a police/FBI raid is occuring at the Westin hotel right now: Story HERE! [yimg.com]
  • Re:Cowards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xonker (29382) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @01:16PM (#2286825) Homepage Journal
    As my parents taught me when I was quite young, two wrongs do not make a right. (Though three lefts do...)

    What is going on in Israel is horrible, no doubt. Our support of Israel isn't synonymous with persecution of Palestinians, though it is convenient and tempting for some to make that connection. Those weapons may be used against Palestinians, but they were not supplied for that purpose -- they were supplied for the purpose of protecting Israel from other Middle Eastern countries.

    We're idealistic fools to believe that we can actually introduce peace in an area of the world that is so fundamentally unstable. But that doesn't mean we deserve to have our country attacked by terrorists. America as a country for the last fifty or sixty years has been the equivalent of a man in his teens and twenties, bright-eyed, idealistic and convinced that he can make a difference. Smart, strong and eager to help, but sometimes wrong-headed and certainly inexperienced. I believe the events yesterday are going to be our coming of age and disillusionment. I hope that we will find the organization(s) responsible, destroy them utterly and then learn not to get involved in others' battles.

    Honestly, I believe we should simply write the entire Middle East off as unsalvageable and withdraw any support or relations with countries in that area altogether. If they want to kill one another and extract revenge until there are no survivors, fine. It's a cultural, not religious, thing that no amount of intervention will solve. If it weren't for the fact that we're so damn dependant on oil from that region I suspect we would have washed our hands of it long ago.

    I've gotten so sick of seeing so-called news about Israelis killing Palestinians or vice-versa. It's not news, it's the status quo. They don't want peace, they don't want to settle their differences. It's age-old hatred and humanity at its worst. It's sickening from both sides, neither side is righteous. I suspect that if there is a God in Heaven he will be harsh indeed on leaders of both factions for the atrocities that they have carried out in His name.
  • by kobaz (107760) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @01:23PM (#2286891)
    if anyone wants to know, here are lists of the buisnessness at the world trade center

    1 World Trade Center (North Tower): http://www.morrisville.edu/Library/wtc/tenants1.ht ml [morrisville.edu]
    2 World Trade Center (South Tower): http://www.morrisville.edu/Library/wtc/tenants2.ht ml [morrisville.edu]
  • by hardburn (141468) <hardburn@wumpus- ... OWnet minus city> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @01:25PM (#2286908)

    Having people brought in so soon (either for questioning or as suspects) worries me a lot. These attacks show a very high degree of sophistication, and not just in their timing (as many news orginizations have bleeted out of late).



    First, you have the fly-by-wire system, installed on all big commerical jets, which just plain won't let you fly the plane into a building. This system has to be disabled without completely destroying your ability to manuver. I have been told that there are very few people around who know how to do this. This person would either have to know which planes would be used for the job in advance and then disable those planes while they are sitting on the ground (while also getting around security on the ground and getting into the hanger, and also not doing so much damage that it would be picked up on preflight checks). Alternativly, the person to disable the system could be on the plane during flight, in which case he/she probably knew they were on a suicide mission. The list of people who can carry out such a job AND are willing to commit suicide must be very, very small.



    Secondly, there is a matter of how to hit the WTC. Those buildings were designed to take an aircraft smashing into them, so just flying them into a random position isn't enough. What really made the towers collapse (so say the structural engineers) was the fires breaking out and weaking the steel supports at the top, thus forcing the bottom to take on more weight. To do this, you want a plane with lots of gas in it to cause a bigger fire. Indeed, the planes involved were going to the other end of the country, and would thus have lots of gas on board.



    There are probably lots of other details I'm missing, but this is enough to show that these attacks are far more sophisticated then a lot of people know.



    Now you want to tell me that these highly planned attacks became so sloppy in implementation that people are being rounded up the day after? Given, humans make mistakes (or maybe the FBI got lucky), but this still seems unlikely. This is what worries me. I think the FBI is starting a witch hunt and will arrest anyone, and the American public will back the entire thing.

    • I don't know -- is it a troll if the information is just a little off?

      "Fly-by-wire" means the controls are connected by an electronic connection to the control surfaces instead of a physical connection, no more, no less. The system you are referring to is a warning system, not a control system, and I suspect it was probably going crazy in the cockpit when it hit.

      As for the rest of it, I really don't think this was a sophisticated attack at all; even a dozen militia rednecks from Kentucky could have pulled this one off. Granted, we know the hijackers were of Middle Eastern descent -- a few could have been American citizens, but that's sort of irrelevant -- but I'm saying that it *could* have been a domestic operation. All that was needed was a sufficient number of people willing to be duped and die for a cause. Give them innocuous weapons (box cutters) and a connection to get the (rumored) mace on board and you're all set. Some smarts are required, but only on the parts of a couple of the conspirators.

      In a world where politics has become so polarized, I don't think that would be too tough for anyone.

      /Brian
  • Great Flash Graphics (Score:5, Informative)

    by dschuetz (10924) <.slash. .at. .david.dasnet.org.> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @01:28PM (#2286928) Homepage
    So far the best graphics I've found, far surpassing any of the lousy diagrams I've seen on CNN, come from the Spanish paper El Pais. This page [elpais.es] includes two interactive, animated flash documents (Grafico -- currently the first two pictures) which shows the paths of all four planes, the way they hit the buildings, and how the supports in the towers got severed, leading to the collapse.

    Helps if you know spanish (which I don't), but the pictures speak for themselves.

    The actual animations are at http://www.elpais.es/multimedia/internacional/plan tilla10.swf and http://www.elpais.es/multimedia/internacional/estr uc.swf .
  • by Hard_Code (49548) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @01:37PM (#2286989)
    I keep thinking about how these events could have been thwarted. We probably cannot prevent every single hijack attempt, especially not such a sophisticated one. But my mind keeps wandering back to the fact that the hijackers only had razors and knives. I can't believe fellow Americans would allow a few hijackers armed with knives to take over a whole plane, containing 60 or 70 able-bodied persons. A report on Poliglut indicates that people DID attempt to overcome the hijackers on the plane that was headed toward Camp David. The only thing I can think of is that the passangers were not told they were going to be killed, so were just going along with it. However, this is refuted by the calls the flight attendent on flight 77 (I think) made, indicating that the terrorists "put" everybody, including the pilot, at the back of the plane, and then *told* them to call their loved ones to tell them they were going to die. I don't understand how two or three terrorists can simply move the entire 60-70 people to the back of a plane (armed only with knives mind you), and *then* tell them that they were going to die, with not ONE person attempting to overcome them. I'm boggled, and hope that in a similar situation I would do my best to thwart the hijackers. Perhaps, like on the Camp David plane, the hijackers told the passengers they had a bomb and thus the passengers did not want to try anything funny. But if you're being told you are going to die anyway, who cares...might as well try...

    I really hope that Americans tried to do something...
  • by iabervon (1971) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @01:49PM (#2287077) Homepage Journal
    I know that ground support for most such things would be very important, but it really seems like these people wouldn't have needed any help once the planes were in the air, and wouldn't have needed more people in advance.

    People have sited the close timing of the attacks, but that would only take an afternoon with a set of flight schedules. Getting groups of people on a set of planes at the same time is the sort of thing that anyone planning, say, a family reunion can pull off, and get on one of the planes themselves.

    The weapons seem to have been small blades attached to plastic handles. These are neither hard to come by, nor hard to get in sufficient quantity, nor hard to get by security (someone clean-shaven who doesn't want to check luggage?), nor hard to assemble.

    The hard part really would be getting a group of people who could fight effectively with knives and could frighten people into obeying with some people who could fly airliners, who were willing to die intentionally, without tipping off any intelligence agencies; but if the group has formed, there's no need for more people left behind (aside, perhaps, from a spiritual leader; but the leader doesn't need to have any idea what's going on).

    Probably the hardest thing would be thinking of the attack in the first place-- noticing that it would be easy to take control of an airplane, and that an airplane would make a very effective weapon. But again, there's no reason that the person who realized this couldn't have been one of the people who went along.

    We will probably find out that the terrorists had families and friends, and that some of these had some idea about the plans, because even determined terrorists can't always keep a secret. But, for instance, bin Laden probably actually didn't know what the plans were, or exactly who was involved, even if the terrorists turn out to be from his group, precisely because he wouldn't want to be vital as a living person to the success of this and other acts; he'd want to be able to say that the reason it worked was simply because there are people who are both clever and sufficiently angry at the US, and that, as long as the US behaves badly, this is certain to happen every once in a while, even without any obvious leaders.
  • by Braintrust (449843) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @01:54PM (#2287124)
    Please excuse the consistent use of male nouns and pronouns in the following. It made this easier to write and to understand, so is it that bad this once? Also, please ignore any Owellian reference you think you may see. That's the farthest thing from my intent. Hope this helps a little.

    I'm going to write something now that is so thoroughly and utterly Canadian in sentiment, although I'm sure it's a view shared by many other countries and individuals the world over. The United States is like our big brother. That is meant in the most fraternal of ways. It is a role Canada, and many other countries, willingly accept. The analogy is accurate in a number of ways. As the economically and culturally larger, more physically powerful sibling, you sometimes flaunt your power and tease your smaller brethren. But when one of us falls and skins our proverbial knee, you are always first to arrive on the scene, to make sure that everyone is ok, and safe. In return for the safety and protection you provide, we make you laugh, we sing and dance, and make arts and crafts of every kind for your amusement. We do some extra chores for you when the need arises, and we even put up with your teasing. We do this gladly, usually, for the benefit of letting you have your way most of the time, is the ability to fall asleep every night knowing that things aren't going to be so bad tomorrow, because somewhere out there our big brother is looking out for us.

    And the best thing is you really seem to relish the situation. America and it's citizens, although as equally capable of being evil and misguided as any population on the planet, inarguably live in the freest and most progressive society in the world. Although other countries all over the earth have certain benefits and advantages over the U.S, when taken as a whole, America is without peer in so many more ways. Have no doubt, you can be cruel sometimes, but you always seem to make up for it in the long run, and certainly you've contributed the most to our home, this beautiful and singular planet we share, and that definitely entitles you to some concessions.

    We hate to admit it, and will only do so under a firm twisting of our arm, to make us say uncle as it were, but we do look up to you and we think you're pretty great. Our big brother has done great things; you're the strongest, fastest, smartest, kindest, most noble and good big brother... a little brother or sister could ever ask for. And now you're hurt, someone sucker-punched you when you weren't looking, in your own backyard no less. We are all in shock; we are all hurt, by seeing our protective and kind sibling get rocked back a little bit. Someone snuck up on you from behind and gave you a black eye, and I know I speak for a lot of people around the world, all your loyal brother and sisters, when I say we can't wait to see you get back up again. We can't wait to see you rise to your feet, shake the dust off, and accept our hugs and affection as we try to reassure you that we're right here to offer any help you need. We can't wait to see you gather yourself, re-affirm your bearing, and then go get the guys that did this too you. We can't wait to see you catch up with the bad guys, and wipe them off the face of the earth, once and for all.

    We know you'll take your time. We know you're going to make sure you have the right people before you act. We know you'll do your best to protect the innocent as you exact your completely justified revenge. We know you're going to get them this time, no matter what it takes. And we are so happy to know that soon our home, our global neighborhood, will be a whole lot safer for all of us. We are so proud to be your siblings, America. We may argue sometimes, but it's nothing serious... not like this. You really are the best, and we are so grateful for all you've ever done. We couldn't ask for a better friend and brother. Go get them. We've got your back. Peace to each and every one of you.

"Life is a garment we continuously alter, but which never seems to fit." -- David McCord

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