[Edit: We're repeating ourselves, so i'm not responding to this subject any further. have the last word if you like.]
drachefly wrote:First off, the on-topic matters.
The failures of Stanley were Ruler-based - pursuing an overly aggressive foreign policy. That's his domain, so yes, the failures there are 100% his.
Except that's not entirely true. Wanda makes it abundantly clear that she was pressing him to pursue the Arkentool agenda. She knew he was pliable, and so could manipulate him to her plans. Had Wanda not been whispering in his ear, would he have followed the same path? If that answer is, "No," then you can't say it is entirely his fault.
Further, you don't know how those failures occurred. The one turning point that we know of, the death of Manpower, was not attributed to a failure of Stanley, but that the enemy had one more force than it should, and so was able to try a strategy that the local Chief Warlord was not prepared for... a flanking maneuver. Is Manpower's death Stanley's fault? Or his own, for failing to cover a flank?
So let's not jump to conclusions, here. We don't know at what level everything fell apart. There are many candidates for having made bad decisions, or given bad advice. Stnaley is, at some level, responsible, but others made mistakes, too, and that means he is not 100% responsible for everything.
All it would have taken to prevent the tactic from working would have been a highly public announcement that it was being attempted. That intel, we had.
NO YOU DID NOT. There was ONE report from ONE pilot trainer that ONE person was trying to learn how to fly a plane, but did not care how to land. It was UNCORROBORATED. And it DIED in the LOWEST levels of the FBI, without further investigation! It was one of thousands of reports about thousands of suspected terrorists submitted by thousands of paranoid Americans that see enemies in every schwarma shop, just because their skin is brown.
Before 9/11, there was only one SINGLE hostage situation where a few people suspected that a plane might have been intended to be used as a missile, but the actual discussions were about exploding it over a city. Air France 8969. The terrorists wanted fuel to fly from Marseilles to land in Duvalle, but afterwards, the passengers said the terrorists had discussed blowing the plane up over Paris instead of landing. I saw one speculate that since they ddn' actually have a bomb, that they might have flown it into the Eiffel Tower, but that was a post-9/11 interview.
There was one single report generated by the FBI terrorism division during the Clinton years that suggested someone might fly a plane into a building, and suggested the WTC's because of the '95 bombing, but again, that did not reach the Executive and was kept entirely in that division of the FBI. It was a product for the Clinton staff, not the Bush staff.
Moreover, we around that time acquired a valuable Al-Qaeda leader in custody in an allied country. After 9/11 when interrogating him was finally authorized, he revealed a considerable amount of intelligence (without a trace of torture, note), including the Al-Qaeda affiliation of the attackers. The particular tactic used in that case would not have worked, but others could have.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confessed after Waterboarding, which is considered torture and now banned by the USA.
Ramzi bin al-Shibh has never confessed.
The other possible plotter was Ramzi Yousef, who was conspiring to bomb a number of planes simultaneously in the mid-90's and participated in the first WTC bombing. He may have been the man to give Khalid the idea for 9/11, since they knew each other and Yousef was a much more grandiose plotter. But while he may have originated the idea, he took no part in the plans and was entirely unaware of the plot itself, since he was captured in '95.
What specific pressure could be applied? We had contacts with the Northern Alliance - remember them? - and they would have eagerly accepted military aid to fight the Taliban.
The "northern Alliance" is a loose collections of Warlords known more for ties to heroin than fighting for freedom. They were in direct conflict with the Taliban, who were trying to be the only military force and who hated heroin, but had this gotten out without 9/11 justification for working with these wretched men, Bush would have been vilified for working with organized criminals against a religiously profiled enemy that had never done anything to the US, and would have been prevented from that course by the War on Drugs. (The Northern Alliance was fighting to continue its drug trade, not for freedom.) The Taliban was not directly responsible for the actions of al-Qaeda, and the Warlords could not have gotten past the Taliban to get to al-Qaeda. In fact, for the Warlords, al-Qaeda meant nothing: it was only the Taliban they wanted rid of, and only in their own Northern region. The Northern Alliance refused to help free southern Afghanistan after 9/11 (which is how Karzai wound up in chrage), so the presumption that the NA would have fought al-Qaeda is entirely without foundation, even if they could get there past the Taliban forces..
Back in the US, simply sending out a memo to flight instructors asking about flight students who were avoiding learning about landing procedures would have pinpointed at least one of the pilots in short order!
Which requires foreknowledge that the US government did not have. As I have repeatedly stated, US Airline policy was based solely on the Hijackings that took planes to Cuba, not on attacks that had never happened. Policy was to give in to the hostage taking, and keep yourself alive through non-aggression and compliance. It was this policy of compliance that the terrorists used in order to execute their plot.
Still, sure, perhaps they could have gotten it to work. I allowed that was possible.
You have no evidence that anyone knew a hijacking, must less a crash into the WTC, was in the offing. Previous terrorist events of the type had always been hostage takings, or been intended to be sensationalistic bombings over a city, not the destruction of a building.