BOP 9/11 Archive: Part Two
By BOP Staff
September 12, 2011


Wiggie: “Just logged on and haven't been through all the messages yet, but I was frantically running though the archives looking to see if Woody and Pet had checked. Call me the biggest dork in the world, but I am so fucking relived to see you (Woody) here.” – Editor's note: Wiggie was our second west coast resident to check in. It was 9:05 a.m. her time and all of this had already transpired.

C. Hyde: “As evil as it all is, it's undoubtedly a brilliantly organized and executed attack. I mean, they shut down the US stock market and the air transportation system and have essentially paralyzed a good portion of the country and a lot of the federal government...thousands of lives lost and a cost of billions to your enemy.

If you're taking on Goliath, you have to consider that a rousing success.”

Lafarrow: “Not such a success. the country will go on. So what for the money - there is always more. The level of scrutiny visited and the cost for the benefit will be bad.”

David Mumpower: “And if I'm advising these psychotics, my question would be why would you do it? All you've done is severely piss off someone who can make you a smoking dot in the floor. In addition, you've given the hawks in their organization
the public opinion to crush you like your actions would warrant.

On a sidenote for Tony, there's a need for blood donation in Washington if you are able and near a facility.”

Tony Kollath: “Yeah, heather & I are going in about an hour.”

David Mumpower: “You're a good man.” – Editor’s note: He really is.

C. Hyde: “(You do it) because you can. Because it's your one way to strike out at an enemy much more powerful and with more resources than you. Because you believe your enemy is evil and that god is on your side. You hit them where they're vulnerable and if you're lucky your warrior's death will lead you into the kingdom of heaven.

Or some such rot.”

C. Hyde: “OK, channel 7 out of boston is reporting the two planes that hit the Trade Center were American Airlines Flight 11 (that's the LAX flight I think) and United Flight 175 from Logan Airport.”

Kim Hollis: “Bush in Florida. Powell in Peru. Peace talks were to start between the Palestinians and Israel. I don't imagine the timing is coincidental.”

Musubi: “ The Pentagon plane was said to be a small commuter aircraft. Aren't 767s pretty big airliners?”

JD: “You betcha. Relatively new to the Boeing line. Seats probably 200-250 depending on configuration. Was on one last night Pittsburgh to LAX. Nifty the difference a day makes.

Also learning that leaving a more detailed iterineray behind on future biz trips would be a good thing as it seems the majority of the people thought that I was in the Boston area as opposed to Pittsburgh. (Spent last week in Baltimore and Foxboro area, Foxboro stop somehow became a generic Boston stop around here)” – Editor’s note: JD is an aerospace engineer so he’s the right guy to ask about this sort of thing

Lafarrow: “Take the world's richest country add in the collapse of its closest rival, add budget surpluses, add republican president from Texas - this is gonna be very very bad. unprecedented defense and intelligence spending. Restrictions on travel.”

Ursine: “CNN says that the President is at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, is not going back to DC.”

Reagen Sulewski: “Movie thought: If Columbine delayed O for two years, how long does Sum of All Fears get shelved?”

David Mumpower: “I know everyone else probably has this figured out now but since we have confused the hell out of the list, here's the deal. There are 2 Boston to LAX hijacked flights. One of those plus one from Dulles hit the WTO. The other from Boston is the one at the pentagon while the last one from Newark was crashed in PA. I don't mean to point fingers in a what is already a terrible time for them but it says a lot about their security that the plan involved getting two of their planes.

That or the more horrific thought that there could have been a dozen or more attempts at hijacking and these were just the only 4 that succeeded.”

Petronella: “I'm all right...thanks for the concern. Things here are a bit crazed as you would imagine. Right now my big concerns are (a) all the schools are closing and looking to us as to what to do with these kids whose parents are stuck in NYC and (b) Tad's stuck in Jersey and can't get back home. I was in court this morning in Putnam Cty (about 1 hour north of the City) and the court shut down, but other than that I've been just glued to the set, glued to the phones and worried about loads of friends in the City.

I can't tell you how many people I knew from law school who worked in the WTC...I only hope that they got out in time.

I'll check in intermittently, but until these kids are released (to whom, God knows) I'm going to be a bit busy.

Peace to all...” – Editor’s note: Pet checked in at 1:42 EST, five long hours after the first attack…and there was much rejoicing among our staff that she was safe

Kim Hollis: “So thankful you and Woody are fine.”

Wiggie: “Thank God.”

David Mumpower: “I'm so relieved and happy to hear from you.”

Reagen Sulewski: “I breathed half a sigh when Woody posted, and the other half when Pet posted.”

C. Hyde: “Phew. good to hear you're OK. Even my bitter heart was worried about you :).” – Editor’s note: See? Much rejoicing!

Petronella: “Pffftttt! I know you're really just a big softie.

Thanks for the concern everyone...really, but I'm not even on the map Woody linked for you (Woods, I'm glad you're OK...I was working at the federal bldg when the WTC was bombed and I know what unimaginable hell you're in right now. Stay safe and sane and I hope you can get back to your apt.). As I said, i'm just hoping I can locate my friends. All of my NYC cousins are accounted for, luckily.”

Feathers McGraw: “That all of the hijacked planes were east coast flights bound for the west coast. Those involved wanted planes with large fuel payloads.”

David Mumpower: “This was literally the first thing my father said to me as the situation unfolded. He knew instantly.”

Ursine: “Yeah, large fuel payloads, and relatively light passenger lists. I expected a whole lot more people in those planes.”

Dulcinea: “Jesus H. Christ. I just got up and found out it's the end of the world as we know it. I haven't read all your messages, but I'm hoping you're all OK and that your family and friends are OK.

My God in Heaven.” – Editor’s note: this was a bad day to be on the west coast and sleep in until noon…or maybe the perfect day to do so.

John Tree: “Not well organized thoughts, and probably pretty meaningless...but this is getting to me.

Mom and brother both work at Tinker AFB in Midwest City, OK (just outside OKC). Mom was sent home, brother was in a secure area and is not being permitted to leave. Word is that all of the AWACS are being put in the air.

Our university closed earlier this morning. Sent everyone home, people are scrambling to get places (traffic is a bitch). Heard of problems getting kids out of daycare (sent relatives or friends, but they weren't on the approved lists).

Flashing back to the OKC bombing. I can't recall if I've told this story before, but my brother was across the street in his mail truck when the bomb went off. He had been in the building an hour earlier, delivering mail. Longest fucking 3 hours in my life, waiting to hear from my dad, who picked his way through downtown OKC to get my brother home.

Like David and others, I am fixated on what happened in those planes. Word from "experts" had Bin Laden training pilots in hijacking to take over the flight. A pilot in the cockpit and one or two assistants guarding the door, and it's not that difficult to see it happening.

Was getting a bite to eat when W came on TV. Everyone got quiet to listen. When he finished, people started laughing at how badly he read the statement. Jesus, what I wouldn't give for a real President right about now.

I'm hearing stories about Palestinian involvement with Bin Laden. Has to be radical fringe groups (if it's true), since the official leadership of the PLO have been courting US public opinion for years now. They'd know the punishment they'd receive for getting involved with this (full US blessing for complete Israeli overruns of all Palestinian holdings).

Bin Laden presents a major problem for retaliation. While the US could strike his personal holdings, they would have a hard time going after host countries unless they could show official involvement. This is the real problem here: it would be a bit like a foreign country justifying attacks on US targets because Lafarrow lives here. To do it right, the US would have to at least make a token attempt to get the other countries (Afghanistan, primarily) to hand over Bin Laden and his followers. Quick, unilateral
action would almost certainly be outside legal bounds.

Unfortunately, there will be almost pathological pressure applied on the federal government to act quickly and powerfully. I give us no more than 72 hours before some military action takes place. Yet the ideal solution would be to take our time in figuring out a well-measured action: the proper targets, the appropriate responses.

Imagine if the government had gone after Richard Jewell with cruise missiles. We can make huge mistakes in a rush to punish *somebody*, right now. But it's gonna happen. Especially with this adminstration.

I expect weeks of accusations against and hand-wringing by the FAA on this. Yet, as history has shown, the US population is not willing to put up with Israeli-style flight security on a 24/7/365 basis. If the public wouldn't balk, the FAA would have instituted much more elaborate, invasive security at all US airports. The security we have is what the American public was willing to accept in the past. Now we're going to accept much, much more - at least until the memory begins to fade.

One last thought: is there anyone who still thinks we should be spending $8 billion on missile defense? Could a space-based laser have kept those planes from being hijacked? Our greatest vulnerability comes from terrorist attacks on US soil, not a non-existent "rogue state" missile attack.”

C. Hyde: “This is just sooooo accurate. people are totally unwilling to give up the time and the relative ease of air travel in this country for more security. Last time i went to logan it looked to me like it was a security nightmare, but when the place takes you forever to get in and out of as it is, i can't imagine that any sort of real security measures there would be acceptable since they'd just make travelling out of there even more painful. Most people aren't willing to trade their time for enhanced security.

The price of freedom is sometimes very dear.”

Lafarrow: “Of you want a legal reason why we can do whatever we want i'll provide it. The US has a long history of pursing pirates wherever they reside "from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli" terrorists are nothing more than pirates. Consequently they are outside the rule of international law. Now our relations with the host country don't fit this construct so you can just do what you want and say "screw you" (see Libya and Quadaffi under Reagan). The court of international opinion will be swayed back into our camp by economic weight of the US. or you can seek permission and use economic and other pressure to bend the state to your will. Takes longer, yes, and Iraq shows that that method has its drawbacks. Third option, it would seem, would be to use the United Nations as an extraterritorial police force to do your dirty work. "Its not us, ma, it's the world killing you." All in all
international law is just the force of will of the strongest state.”

David Mumpower: “You know, Ben is right here (hey, after a couple of years, he was due). This country has a longstanding history of doing what we want then justifying it later. Also, any country dumb enough to try to protect these murderous thugs deserves whatever they get and I consider that a matter of public perspective, not personal opinion. It's very hard to argue you're protecting people you believe to be innocent when one is dumb/proud enough to advertise his crime ahead of time. Laden is a man without a country right now (though he's trying to get one).

What the paranoid in me fears is that he has some ally that hasn't stepped up to the plate yet and that this is a trap we're going to walk into. The realist in me recognizes he's just a crazed zealot and it's unusual for those types to ever find allies...though not impossible.”

RKD: “The one good thing i can say about the Bush administration is that he has great people around him, for this type of thing. Whether or not you agree with them, they have the expertise and experience. As for Afghanistan or any other countries hosting/hiding the terrorists, they could easily be considered accomplices to this, particularly if they don't hand over the terrorists.” – Editor’s note: RKD worked on the Al Gore campaign

Dulcinea: “Dubya looked like an audio-animatronic robot badly in need of repair.”

David Mumpower: "In Bush's defense, if that plane really did land in the courtyard of the Pentagon, a lot of key people are dead right now. They're scurrying like this because they're scared and rightfully so. It's hard to come up with a decent speech that shows dramatic leadership when both the writer and the speechmaker have it in the back of their heads that a lot of friends and
associates have been killed.”

Reagen Sulewski: “China is supporting Iraq.. it's not that big a leap to think that they'd pat him on the back too, in an 'enemy of my enemy' kind of way.”

Tony Kollath: “Heather & I were supposed to leave for denver thursday night for an engagement party out there my folks are throwing for us. We pretty much decided that even if we could fly out, we'll reschedule the trip for a later date anyway.”

Dano: “Holy crap. It feels particularly weird to be out of the country right now. All of the rest of the festival screenings have been cancelled for the day so I'm just watching CNN. I hope that everyone in New York and Washington in particular are OK.

Not that it's all that important, of course, but Amelie was absolutely wonderful. I wish I could be watching it now to escape for two hours.” – Editor's note: A Baltimore resident at the time, Dano was covering the Toronto Film Festival when the attacks occurred

David Mumpower: “You know, on a selfish note, right now I'm happy Gore lost. We'd be scared to death for RKD's safety at the moment otherwise.”

RKD: “I feel the same way, particularly since i can think of at least a few people I know who would have been working at the Pentagon, including possibly me.”

David Mumpower: “I do think that presidents in the CNN era have a unique challenge because there is such an urgency with every news cycle. While I agree that FDR's speech is the definition of leadership in times of turmoil, it bears noting that Bush hasn't given that speech yet. He'll do it tonight. Today's miscues reflect just how important it is to always have your game face on (since he looked like what he was today, a scared dude in over his head...just like virtually anybody else in the country would have in the same situation) but I think that he should be steadier tonight now that things have settled. Of course, Gore would have been creepy today. No emotion might be even worse than looking scared.”

Jerry Simpson: “And of course, FDR's speech was the next day. He didn't do anything for 24 hours. I'm amazed at how much we've (as a world) have changed with instant news.”

Musubi: “This is not directed at anyone in particular, but I really don't think this is the time to point out the deficiencies of the current administration. I am convinced that NO president could be fully prepared to deal with a situation as this, and I fully intend to cut the guy a whole lot of slack in this situation. Our nation was attacked in a horrendous, cowardly fashion, and pointing out the weakness of our chosen leader is neither necessary nor prudent.”

Feathers McGraw: “I found it curious that a common reaction around the office was to say one of the following: 'Thank goodness this didn't happen with Clinton in office,' 'Thank goodness this didn't happen with Gore in office,' 'Why did this have to happen with Bush in office.'

Personally, politics are the last thing on my mind at this point.”