Student Suspended for Broken Pencil Sharpener

Hilton Head Island International Baccalaureate Elementary School officials have supplied yet another example of blind mindless application of policies. They has suspended a student for having a broken pencil sharpener.


The boy — a fourth-grader had no criminal intent and merely brought a broke sharpener to school. Officials in South Carolina treated the exposed razor as a weapon.

For the full story, click here.

99 thoughts on “Student Suspended for Broken Pencil Sharpener

  1. This is downright crazy. These school administrators must be held accountable, if for no other reason but to be an example of what happens when the school world goes nuts. They are not only putting this student through something that is unfair and unnecessary, they are wasting time and energy and money that could be spent better to keep the school safe from real threats.

  2. True, but had it been a functioning pencil sharpener, he probably would have just used it to turn otherwise harmless pencils into makeshift shanks. Nice catch.

  3. HHI school administrators are to be commended for their quick witted initiative in exploiting an unforseen opportunity to provide this youngster with a valuable “real world” lesson in the actual operation of contemporary American institutions.

    It’s officials like this who’ve made America the nation it is today.

  4. This story doesn’t go here but I think it may be of interest to many. It’s from today’s Salon.

    “Sept. 12, 2008 | For almost three years now, the Bush administration has insisted that the nation’s security depends on keeping secret a part of its war on terror that was first exposed in the media back in 2005: its extralegal spying inside the United States. Bush lawyers have relied on the state secrets privilege to block numerous lawsuits challenging the administration’s reported spying on Americans and others without warrants, claiming that even to acknowledge such allegations would put the country’s security in jeopardy.

    A cornerstone case in this legal battle is that of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation Inc., an Oregon-based charity group, in which there appears to be the most known evidence of such spying. And, as it turns out, one need look no further than the FBI’s official Web site to find irrefutable evidence that surveillance of the group occurred — and that the government’s persistent claims of maintaining secrecy about it have been spurious.a”

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/09/12/surveillance_alharamain/index.html?source=newsletter

  5. 1L:

    “True, but had it been a functioning pencil sharpener, he probably would have just used it to turn otherwise harmless pencils into makeshift shanks. Nice catch.”

    Seems to me a sharpened pencil would do far deeper/greater damage than a short razor.

  6. Thanks for the link Bob. I’ll read it.

    I see now that this is a dangerous website. 1L has given children the blueprints for national security mayhem in the classroom. Some people fail to accord the pope or a certain judge his proper respect. Humph!

  7. IL,
    I am not sure that the kids even know what a “shank” is. I would be more worried about the plastic rulers being shaved to a point and used to attack the lunch ladies!

  8. It’s good they caught this fledgling terrorist. If left unstopped, he might have used a sharpened pencil to write an essay. From there, it’s only a matter of time until he turns to reading books. Then he might actually start questioning what he reads. Such a person would be dangerous, indeed.

  9. I’m for sending my kids to that school. Apparently they have absolutely no real problems there if they can waste time on this nonsense.

  10. Ladies & Gents:

    Let me assure you that this story though based on a police report, was not correct. I really wish that everyone would quit assuming that everything they read is true. I applaud this district and administration for their decision and I think if you really think about it you should too.

    Ask yourself: What would have happened if this boy decided to bully someone with that blade? An entirely different story, truth-be-told, but we hold teachers and school administrators responsible for students safety and then when they do their best to make sure they are safe, we throw them to the dogs? Seriously? Can we really afford to do that in a post 9/11, post Columbine, post VT world?

    The teacher and the assistant principal involved in this situation did not ask for their entire week to be ruined because of this boys bad choice. Let me remind you that all of this HOPLA is over a 10 year old boys bad choice. He dismantled a pencil sharpener (AT home) then brought the blade to school (not the other pieces) then decided to play with it during instruction. The teacher then had to stop instruction to deal with the situation. No this boy is not innocent, he isn’t exactly what I would call a “good student” either.

    I wish adults AND PARENTS would stop defending children for their bad choices, and actually PUNISH THEM for them for their mistakes. Maybe then we wouldn’t have the need for Safe School Acts or zero tolerance policies.

    Thank you for your time.

  11. Fed up in SC: “I really wish that everyone would quit assuming that everything they read is true.”

    Gladly. I’ll start by assuming you’re full of it.

    Do you believe that the Hilton Head school is devoid of anything in everyday use that could conceivably be used as a weapon by one child to bully another?

    Are you in favor of allowing children to use *unbroken* pencil sharpeners in school? If so, how do you propose to prevent dastardly 4th-graders from ducking into a bathroom stall, dismantling their evil pencil sharpener and thereby producing a weapon of mass bullying?

    Finally, you neglected to state what evidence you are privy to that makes you think that the boy is not a “good student”. How do you know better than assistant principal Bratt?

  12. I have to agree with activecatalyst on this one. The story gives us no indication that the boy brought the blade for the purpose of doing evil things with it. Fedup in SC, how is this related to 9/11? The bad decision is yours in trying to connect this situation to a terrorist activity. The only thing that was done wrong here is the over reaction by the school officials. They have the ability to remove the “offensive” sharpener and could have spoken to the child and maybe his parents and it could have easily been dealt with in that manner. Suspending a good student and not allowing him/her to come to school is admitting that we don’t have a clue on how to correct this situation in a way that keeps all students in the school. The suspension is the easy way out for the administrators.
    Personally, I am fed up with hearing people using the Bush talking point,”in a post 9/11 world”. The talking point that this country needs is “in a post George W. Bush world”! Stop inventing boogie men and attempting to link situations to 9/11.

  13. Fed up in SC:

    “Can we really afford to do that in a post 9/11, post Columbine, post VT world?

    Could we afford to dispose entirely of critical thinking? Guess so; since neither Colin Powell nor Tony Blair ever made their case against Bin Laden as promised. That one ranks much higher than the WMD lies.

    Can we afford to do away with reading comprehension? Ever read the 1st chapter of the 911 report CLOSELY?

    Accordingly, spare me the American version of the original 9-11; i.e. the holiest day in the Nazi calendar.

    http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/99feier.htm

  14. Fed up in SC
    1, September 12, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Seriously? Can we really afford to do that in a post 9/11, post Columbine, post VT world?

    We sure can. We can afford a lot more than that too.

    America is supposed to be the Land of the Free and the Home of the BRAVE.

    Not the home of the afraid.

    At least so says our National Anthem.

    So why then do we have to tolerate the constant whining from those of us like you, who are not so brave, as to live in a free and open society?

    If you’re so afraid why don’t you and those like you purchase a bunch of those steel “Panic Rooms” like we see on the infomercials. The ones you bury in the ground.

    Just dig a hole, drop the steel Panic Room in, climb in and shut the door behind you.
    :|

    We’ll call you when its safe to come out.

  15. lol . . . I’ll remember this is a tough crowd.

    Fed up, you should be adjusting your tie and sweating. You certainly aren’t getting any respect. You are kind of funny though.

    If an adult can’t disarm a 4th grader, then they have no business being around children in a supervisory capacity. Show some common sense. There was no credible threat except from the HHI administration’s draconian stupidity.

    So until there is a murder perpetrated by a kid with a protractor or terror reigns down in the form of nubby scissors wielded with malice aforethought, I bid you adieu.

  16. Bob,esq.,
    Well said! That “we are in a post 9/11 world” line gets me fired up every time I see it. Bush/Cheney/McCain/Palin all want us to be afraid and stupid. That is how they got(and get) away with stealing for their corporate pals by keeping the masses dumbed down. Enough.

  17. rafflaw,

    I like your use of “the post bush world” and I’m glad so many people spoke up about how even this small incident was being linked to 9/ll. Cults use “thought stopping” phrases to control their memebers. I think that’s exactly what “post 9/11″ functions as in this society. Its purpose is to put the protractor through any type of critical thought.

  18. Jill,
    Comparing cults to the Bush-ites is interesting. Their mindless following of policies that in many cases are against their own best interests is quite astonishing. Of course, for the Republican neocons and neocon wannabees, to have “thought stopping” techniques used against them might be useless because they haven’t had a “thought” in years.

  19. rafflaw,

    I think our whole nation has had classic cult techniques used on our population. Once you’ve frightened people, and continue to frighten them, you can get away with all kinds of things. I heard the lie that we went after the people who attacked us on 9/ll when we went into Iraq on NPR (Diane Rehm show commentator). I knew Palin was flogging that lie and I guess the so called “intelligencia” is right there with her. It was disturbing to hear such a blatent lie resurfacing so strongly.

    I have noticed that there’s been a hugh uptick in talk of nuclear, biological, etc. terrorist attacks this summer, culminating in the afterglow of the rnc. You can always tell it’s a political calculation whenever fear is raised but ways to combat the supposed threats are never given. In fact, the govt.’s efforts to actually do anything against terrorism are completely inadequate. Instead we see new rules for the FBI to use against our citizens being approved by DOJ.

    cheney/bush are all about terrorizing our population and show little interest in taking steps to actually protect this nation.

  20. What is moronic is how people have been hoodwinked into believing this post 9/11 crap that has been spewed for 7 years now. What is moronic is school administrators thinking that they have to suspend a student for an incident like this one.

  21. Cro Magnum Man: “Whats even more moronic is the White House is now saying Bin Laden didn’t do it. :| Whats up with that?”

    A. The Bush Administration is a completely and permanently effective agent of the War on Terror.

    B. It is therefore impossible that the Bush Administration has gone for seven years without catching the guy who did it.

    B1. The Bush Administration has not caught Osama bin Laden.
    B2. The Bush Administration has caught Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

    C1. Therefore, Osama bin Laden cannot be the guy who did it.
    C2. Therefore, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is the guy who did it.

    A’. The Bush Administration is a completely and permanently effective agent of the War on Terror. They caught the guy who did it, after all.

    It’s all just simple logic. There are many more examples of simple logic.

    A. AIDS is a syndrome defined in part by the presence of HIV.

    B. Everybody with AIDS has HIV.

    C. HIV is the cause of AIDS.

    A’. AIDS is a syndrome defined by the presence of HIV. HIV is the cause of AIDS, after all.

    A. It’s impossible to switch entirely to renewable energy sources in 10 years.

    B. Any plan to switch entirely to renewable energy sources in 10 years would require hundreds of billions of dollars.

    C. Nobody has ever spent hundreds of billions of dollars on switching entirely to renewable energy sources in 10 years.

    A’. It’s impossible to switch entirely to renewable energy sources in 10 years. Nobody has that kind of money, after all.

  22. Must control the fist of death………

    Why didn’t the teacher bring the boy up, and tell him that the exposed blade was dangerous and could be seen as a weapon. She could have taken it away from him and pitched it into the trash. The kid would learn a lesson, and could have gone back to his desk.

    Assuming a fourth grader of good repute would use a broken pencil sharpener as a weapon says more about the adults than the kid. He was probably making do with what he had. Do adults fear their children this much that they assume the worst?

    I think they’re watching too much O’Reilly and TV cop shows.

  23. Alfredo,
    You hit the nail on the head. You would think that reasonable administrators would have handled this matter as an educational moment. The school and the child would have been better off.

  24. Jill:

    Also, I’m not sure it’s correct to say the White House “admitted” it wasn’t bin Laden. That presupposes that it wasn’t bin Laden. It’s my impression that intelligence is fairly solid that the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by Al-Qaeda, whose leader is bin Laden, even if others were doing on-the-ground planning.

    (Just as the invasion of Iraq was perpetrated by the United States, whose leader is GWB, even if others were doing on-the-ground planning.)

    So I think it’s more correct to say that the White House has now begun to *pretend* that it wasn’t bin Laden.

  25. rafflaw: “You would think that reasonable administrators would have handled this matter as an educational moment.”

    Uh huh. You would’ve thought that the school would be mostly concerned about the kid hurting himself rather than worrying about him mounting a terrorist attack on other 4th-graders with a 0.75″ blade. Of course, this is the rural South, so the kid probably uses a 20″ machete to clean fish.

  26. Alfredo: “I think they’re watching too much O’Reilly and TV cop shows.”

    Besides, Columbine events are bad for business. Let them play with a broken pencil sharpener and, before you know it, they’ll be spraying the school cafeteria with an Uzi. The bad publicity would just kill next year’s budget.

  27. Jill
    1, September 13, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    I didn’t hear about the wh admitting it wasn’t bin Laden. Can you send a link?

    Thanks,

    Jill

    Hey Jill,

    I don’t have a link but you can follow the one to ThinkProgress that ActiveCat posted for you.

    It happened on Thursday, when Dana-“whats the cuban missle-crisis”-Perino stated that Osama Bin Laden was NOT the mastermind behind the 911 attacks.
    :|

    7 years they’ve been saying it was him, then Thursday morning she acts like they never said it and declares that Osama Bin Laden was NOT the mastermind behind the Sept 11th attacks.

    It was surreal.

  28. I tried to gauge one afternoon, the volume of raw hubris it takes every day for a woman who is so sorely underqualified for her position, that she had to ask what the Cuban Missle Crisis was, to get up in front of the mic and act smug and superior to the White House Press corp.

    Heres a woman, who is supposed to be the source for information from the highest office in the land, and she doesn’t even know about the most dangerous nuclear standoff ever encountered in this world. She didn’t know what the Cuban Missle Crisis was, yet she manages smuggery on a level worthy of Karl Rove himself.

    And now, after 7 years of official reports on Osama Bin Laden and his masterminding of the 911 attacks, she has the stuff to get up in front of the podium, and act like everyones stupid for thinking Osama Bin Laden masterminded the 911 attacks.

    I tell you they must think that we are as stupid as they act.

  29. What I don’t get is how this doesn’t hit the fan for McCain.

    He’s ready to pursue bin Laden to the gates of Wasilla, but the Bush Administration is giving us yet another “mission accomplished”.

  30. CroMM: “I tell you they must think that we are as stupid as they act.”

    Just remember that 50% of all Americans have below-average intelligence.

    That’s part why spin, stonewalling and mendacity work as well as they do.

    Ideological blinders account for the other part.

  31. activecatalyst and CroMM,

    Thank you both, ac for the link, and CroMM for telling me where to go! That is quite an amazing statement. Today I received the article below written by David Griffin. I think many of the people in the 9/ll truth movement are sleazy, but I don’t know what I think of David Griffin. I would like to hear the opinion of others should anyone care to comment. One thing I do know is the story of 9/ll as we’ve been told it, just doesn’t hang together in many ways.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20722.htm

  32. There’s a lot we don’t know about warnings received prior to the attacks and the response (or lack thereof) to these warnings.

    There’s a lot that could be said about the way the Bush Administration, Congress and the Supreme Court have responded to 9/11.

    But I have no reason to believe that anything in the 9/11 Commission Report was untrue.

  33. I don’t know about the 911 commission report which was comprised mostly of talking points rehashed along with questionable intelligence.

    Whether there is reason to doubt the offical story from an administration proven to rely on deceit and deception, well, given their character one would need to be braindead to not question it.

    What is the truth? Haven’t a clue. But one things for sure.

    If anyone believes the official report from the Bush administration on what happened, then I’d really like to talk to you about a wonderful little piece of … er…. “wetlands” I have for sale.
    :|

    I might even be willing to toss in the towns local bridge, for the right price.

  34. The 9/11 Commission was not part of the Bush Administration. It consisted of five Democrats and five Republicans, appointed by the President and Congress.

    If there’s a conspiracy theory to be had here, then it would have to start somewhere other than the unsupported assumption that the Commission was a mouthpiece for Bush.

    On the contrary, the Bush Administration and some of its agencies did a lot to impede the Commission’s investigation. The result of that is that there is still a lot we don’t know, which is what I said above. But I still have no reason to believe that anything in the 9/11 Commission Report was untrue, which is also what I said above.

  35. activecatalyst
    1, September 13, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    The 9/11 Commission was not part of the Bush Administration. It consisted of five Democrats and five Republicans, appointed by the President and Congress.

    If there’s a conspiracy theory to be had here, then it would have to start somewhere other than the unsupported assumption that the Commission was a mouthpiece for Bush.

    What are you kidding me?

    First, it was signed into law by President Bush, and pushed by the REPUBLICAN CONGRESS.

    Did a lot of the democrats fall in line? Oh sure. The “usual suspects”. The ones complicit with voting for the Iraq war, and permitting the President to break the law with Domesitic spying.

    The commission was headed by the Governor of NEW JERSEY. Tom Keane was a right wing crony with no qualifications for heading up such an investigation. Just another republican stooge all choked up over one of Bush’s speeches.

    And it was co Chaired by an intelligence community insider, Lee Hamilton, who sits on several commissions, advisory boards, etc including the President Homeland Security Advisory board and the Permanent House Select Committee on Intelligence, the guys who knew about the Presidents domestic spying and let it fly.

    This was no “investigation”. It was a bunch of interviews and already available data compiled together in such a way as to be thouroughly unreadable and wholly unreliable.

    The reason the report is so long, is because thats how they do it. They “bury it in bullsh$t”.

    But no real investigation could come out of such an event if its perpetrated by the govt.

    After all, IF the governments a suspect, then it would be less than logical to conclude that they should be the ones to investigate themselves.

  36. And please, save your “conspiracy theory” red herrings.

    That I am honest enough to say I don’t know what happened and smart enough to question leaders already proven to have lied to me, does not make me a “conspiracy theorist”.

    I don’t know what happened, and neither do you.

  37. If you’d like to know whether or not the government was involved in 911 then the last ones you’d want to perform the investigation, would be the government.

  38. CMM,
    You are right that you don’t ask any organization to investigate itself and expect to get honest and accurate information. I am still asking why Bush was allowed to bring Cheney with him and that they were not sworn in. No excuse for that and it only leads to more questions.

  39. CroMM:

    You haven’t pointed to anything in the 9/11 Commission Report is untrue, and how you know it’s untrue.

    You say you don’t trust it, and that’s fine.

    What I said is that I have no evidence that anything in the report is untrue. I might have added: “And neither do you.”

  40. Thursday the White House Press Secretary announced that Osama Bin Laden wasn’t involved, and considering she did so in a deceptive way, that is, implying that we all should already know that, suggests that there is something just beneath the surface here, that we just can’t quite see yet.

    What is it? Don’t know.But for SEVEN YEARS they’ve been telling me Osama Bin Ladens the guy, and last Thursday they acted like they’ve never even suggested that.

    So I don’t know whats going on but what I do know is if they’re lips are moving they’re lying.

  41. activecatalyst
    1, September 13, 2008 at 10:03 pm
    CroMM:

    You haven’t pointed to anything in the 9/11 Commission Report is untrue, and how you know it’s untrue

    Well, I know that the NTSB lead investigator\scientist was fired when he suggested the combination of materials would not produce enough heat to drop the building, much less both of them.

    And I know a lot of other interesting tidbits that I won’t go into here because I am not making a case either way.

    As I said the first time, I don’t know what happened.

    But what I do know, is one would be quite naive to conclude the government had no involvement, whether passive or active, based on a report produced by the same government.
    :|

    Particularly when that government has been proven to routinely lie about pretty much everything.

    Thats what I know.

  42. And when that same government comes out suddenly and tries to claim that they never fed me the original story that they’ve been feeding me for the last 7 years, then I know whatever the truth is, they ain’t tellin it.

  43. activecatalyst:

    “The 9/11 Commission was not part of the Bush Administration. It consisted of five Democrats and five Republicans, appointed by the President and Congress.

    If there’s a conspiracy theory to be had here, then it would have to start somewhere other than the unsupported assumption that the Commission was a mouthpiece for Bush.”

    Eh hem….

    “Unable to block [an] additional inquiry, Cheney again moved to control it. Bush and Cheney dropped their objections “after winning the power to appoint the chairman, who also has the power to block subpoenas.” And the White House had a chairman in mind: Henry Kissinger, a selection described by The Nation on December 23, 2002) as “a sick, black-is-white, war-is-peace joke — a cruel insult to the memory of those killed on 9/11.” Given Kissinger’s record of “coddl[ing] state-sponsored terrorists” and standing as “a proven liar, … Bush has rendered the independent commission a sham”

    Kissinger didn’t last long, for he was unwilling to disclose his clients in his international consulting business to avoid any conflicts of interest, profit trumping his patriotism. Next The White House selected former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean, a fine man with absolutely no experience in national security matters, which made him a perfect selection. But the real reason the White House wanted authority to select the chairman was that, it wanted the ability to control the selection of the key staff, for this is where the investigation would be conducted. Co-chairman Kean, not by coincidence, selected as executive director for the commission Phillip D. Zelikow, who might as well have come directly from the Bush-Cheney White House. Zelikow had co-authored a book with Condi Rice (Germany Unified & Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft, 1995) and had served with Rice on Bush senior’s NSC. In addition, Zelikow had worked with Cheney on the transition.

    Understandably, the 9/11 families felt the fix was in when they learned this, and requested his removal.13 But Zelikow remained. Those who know Zelikow, a highly ambitious fellow, say they would be amazed if he has not provided a back channel to and from the White House regarding the work of the commission – and if he has not, it is simply because he is taking good care of everything for them. With Zelikow in such a vital post, any report by the 9/11 commission is suspect. Regardless of the good intentions of the commission members, the staff can have a tremendous influence on their knowledge and focus, and thus their report. The White House successfully managed to reach inside the 9/11 commission to protect itself.

    If Bush and Cheney and their aides had acted reasonably and responsibly before 9/11, why the endless efforts to block the investigation? A logical inference can be drawn from their behavior (for example, classifying previously unclassified information, launching an FBI investigation of Leah from the congressional inquiry, publicly trying to discredit it) is that Bush and Cheney want to hide what they were doing.”

    (John Dean, Worse Than Watergate, pgs. 113-115)

  44. CroMM: “But what I do know, is one would be quite naive to conclude the government had no involvement, whether passive or active, based on a report produced by the same government.”

    Passive involvement would not be surprising, because the Bush Administration is foolish and incompetent. As I said before, there’s a lot we don’t know about the run-up to the attacks.

    Active involvement by the government in the 9/11 attacks is an extraordinary claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Otherwise they’re just loony conspiracy theories deserving of a tinfoil hat.

  45. Bob, Esq.: “(John Dean, Worse Than Watergate, pgs. 113-115)”

    I missed the part where you were going to point out something in the 9/11 Commission Report is untrue.

    I’ve already stipulated that it’s incomplete, so I guess I’m not seeing what the debate here is about.

    You and CroMM seem to be saying that it’s “obvious” that “everything” in the 9/11 Commission Report is surely untrue because of the way the Commission and the report were created. That’s not good enough.

    If you think the 9/11 Commission Report was part of a cover-up of *active* involvement by the government in perpetrating the attacks (*passive* involvement is not news, and not surprising), then that is an extraordinary claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. So far I haven’t seen anybody here suggest *any* evidence, much less extraordinary evidence.

    If there is any evidence, why isn’t Daily Kos talking about it? HuffPost? Olbermann? Maddow?

    The answer is that Daily Kos, HuffPost, Olbermann and Maddow are generally fairly careful to stay away from the tinfoil hat crowd. We all have more fish to fry (such as making sure Obama gets elected), so I think that’s a pretty good idea.

  46. activecatalyst
    1, September 13, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Active involvement by the government in the 9/11 attacks is an extraordinary claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Otherwise they’re just loony conspiracy theories deserving of a tinfoil hat.

    No one is making claims. Just asking questions.

    Questions you seem to feel are satisfactorily answered by the 911 Commission report, a report created by a committee that was appointed by the Bush Administration.

    And why all the neocon buzz words?

    Tin Foil hat? Looney conspiracy theories?

    These are words employed by the right wing to stifle any real investigations and to dissuade the public from asking questions.

    So why use them?
    :|

    Regardless of what you think, the fact is 911 was the single most beneficial event for the Bush administration in his entire presidency.

    Prior to the attacks his approval ratings were dismal, down in the high 30’s and low 40’s. The public did not warm to Bush mostly due to the fact that the Supreme Court decided the election, something that the public did not like. He was in fact, hated. He was the only US President in history to have his motocade pummelled by protesters. They lined the streets of DC. By August 2001 the term “Lame Duck” was being bantered about and Bush was hiding out at his ranch in Crawdad trying to keep a low profile.

    Then 911 occurs, and within hours his approval ratings begin to climb. By the end of the second week his approval rating was in the high 80’s and he was suddenly the most well loved well respected man in the world.

    And he wasted NO time, using that favor to slip all sorts of new laws in under the radar. He did this in the form of his “Signing Statements” which effectively was Bush sitting at his desk making laws, a right supposedly empowered only in the Congress.

    Domestic spying, torture, pre-emptive war… all happened because Bush was untouchable post 911.

    Now, years later, as people are seeing what he’s like, the approval ratings have returned to pre 911 status, and even dropped below, but one thing is incontestable.

    The single most advantageous event in the Bush presidency, was the terrorists attacks of 911.

    So, if this were a criminal investigation, you would have already established motive.

    And when the stories start to fall apart you have established suspicion.

    I am not saying they had anything to do with it at all, but with both motive and suspicion already determined, no good investigator would call anyone questioning them or even suggesting they were involved, “looney” or “tin foil hat” conspiracy theorists.

    Did they have anything to do with it actively? Don’t know. Doubt it, cause it worked.

    Passively however, is another question. And passive doesn’t mean incompetent.

    It means looking the other way. Ignoring things on purpose thinking America needs a good wake up call to get them to see what a good president and government they have.

  47. activecatalyst:

    “You haven’t pointed to anything in the 9/11 Commission Report is untrue, and how you know it’s untrue.

    You say you don’t trust it, and that’s fine.

    What I said is that I have no evidence that anything in the report is untrue. I might have added: “And neither do you.””

    Allow me….

    “Truth is the agreement between knowledge and its object” – Kant.

    · Uno absurdo dato, infinita sequuntur. — ‘One absurdity begin allowed, an infinity follow’

    Let’s examine the ‘truth’ contained in Chapter 1; wherein the commission spends all of two pages discussing the actual hijacking events.

    Hell, let’s just focus a few little ditties regarding AAL 11 as discussed in Chapter 1 of the report:

    · How did Atta know to fly seven minutes on a north westerly (310 deg) course out of his way to Tower 1 towards a gap in the primary radar and only thence turn off his transponder and why did he continue on said course all the way up to Schenectady before heading towards target? You think it was an accident that the tape made by ATC’s on duty that day was destroyed and disposed of in four separate garbage cans?

    How can any reader continue past the 8:41 mark, regarding AAL 11 within Chapter 1, without deeming the story as straining the bounds of credulity and epistemology? How did 21 witnesses to the stabbings and mace spraying move from First Class and Business, i.e. those sections of the plane where they couldn’t breathe, retreat to Coach without incident, memory or suspicion from other passengers in Coach? How is it that both Ong AND Sweeney explained that all the passengers from First and Business were in Coach, and, according to Sweeney, were somehow under the impression “it was a routine medical emergency?” Did a few of the passengers remain up front while holding an asphyxiation vigil over Daniel Lewin’s body?
    Did the witnesses to stabbings and mace spraying feel compelled to tell everyone in Coach they merely cut themselves shaving and got soap in their eyes? Or perhaps Flight 11 was chartered by Helen Keller society? (I want to believe; really I do.)

    BTW, I have it on good authority that one of Atta’s henchmen showed up in Morocco within a week after the attack. Was it Morocco Mole? Could Atta actually be Secret Squirrel? It would explain a hell of a lot; after all, who else but Secret Squirrel and Morocco Mole could pull off such a cartoon plot?

  48. CMM,
    I think you are correct in asking questions about the 9/11 commission. I say follow the money. Who has made money on the events stemming from the attacks on 9/11? Who has made money on attacking Iraq? Who has made money on the so-called Homeland Security? Bush and Cheney’s corporate friends have been making money by the billions due to the events put into play since 9/11. That alone would make me question some of the results of the investigation.

  49. Hell I’m still waiting for a believable answer on why Bush when told the United States was UNDER ATTACK, just sat there reading books with school kids.

    That he was incompetent is fine, but why wasn’t he hustled away by the secret service as is standard protocol under such circumstances?

    The White House answer back in 03 was the Secret Service felt he was safer there because the attacks were occuring elsewhere.
    :|

    Ok…. well how did the Secret Service know there wasn’t going to be one there too?

  50. rafflaw
    1, September 13, 2008 at 11:29 pm
    CMM,
    I think you are correct in asking questions about the 9/11 commission. I say follow the money. Who has made money on the events stemming from the attacks on 9/11? Who has made money on attacking Iraq?

    Who are Haliburton and or Dick Cheney, Alex.

  51. Dick Cheney, the guy the Secret Service DID hustle away when the attacks occured.

    Hustled him away to an “Undisclosed location” where he apparently “directed operations” while the President they just stuck in front of the cameras.
    :|

    It all seems quite odd.

  52. To be honest though, I doubt we’ll ever know.

    Its just impossible to prove passive involvement unless one of those on the inside, comes forward.

    And even then the public is so stupid, that they still don’t get it.

    Scott McClellan, the guy who sat there lying to us day in and day out saying “Nuh uh” about everything finally comes out and confesses, and the public listens to guys like the erectile disfunctional Bob Dole, who calls him a peice of crap.

    People don’t get it because from what I can tell, people don’t want to get it.

  53. activecatalyst

    “I missed the part where you were going to point out something in the 9/11 Commission Report is untrue.”

    Had you read what I quoted from you, you would have picked up on me responding to your comment about an “unsupported assumption that the Commission was a mouthpiece for Bush.”

    Per the 911 Commission report being ‘true,’ as discussed above, I’m afraid you’ll have to redefine the term if only to get beyond the first chapter.

    Finally, please refrain from using the term ‘conspiracy theory.’
    ‘Conspiracy’ is an inchoate (incomplete) crime that does not merge with the underlying offense. Since I am not ‘theorizing’ about an inchoate crime, as opposed to analyzing a completed crime and the explanation proffered therefor, your use of the term “conspiracy theory” connotatively suggests you have no intention of engaging in intellectually honest debate.

    Regards,

    Bob

  54. Sorry, don’t want to over post but I have to agree with Bob that using the term Conspiracy theory is just a cop out.

    The neocons use this term endlessly to discredit anyone questioning the official story.

    Well, on Thursday, the White House just questioned their OWN offical story, so mocking any of us for questioning it with talk of tin foil hats is just ridiculous.

  55. Cro Magnum Man

    “but why wasn’t he hustled away by the secret service as is standard protocol under such circumstances?”

    Without getting into commentary on the man with the bit lower lip and rolling eyes reading along with children during a crisis, as only a B movie would portray, the fact is that when the President is away, the White House Military Office controls the movement of the President–since it’s in charge of all the communications and transportation such as Air Force One.

  56. I see Bob. Well its funny that they didn’t see the need to hustle the President onto Air Force one, considering enemy attacks were occuring and being reported in multiple locations.

    How did they know where they were at was safe?

    If attacks were occuring its reasonable to conclude that security may be also comprimised so therefore anything on “the schedule” should have been abandoned.

    How did they know it was ok for the President to sit there while Americans were jumping off of skyscrapers?

  57. I suppose it was just incompetence. After all, thats not a hard sell with this crowd.

    But I would like to see someone other than the government investigate all these and other questions about what happened before, during and after.

  58. Incompetence does not rule out conspiracy nor does conspiracy rule out incompetence. They can be and often are complimentary failures.

    I see a lot of both in the Bush-Halliburton-Exxon-Blackwater administration.

    Ex. Conspiracy – Cheney’s Secret Energy Task Force, Halliburton fleeing prosecution by moving HQ to Dubai, mercenary armies, no-bid contracts, etc.

    Ex. Incompetence – Alberto Gonzales, “intelligence failures”, the war without exit strategy, Katrina, etc.

    Ex. Both Simultaneously – waterboarding, rendition, obvious propaganda, destruction of e-mails, etc.

    The Bush Co. Family of Companies needs to be punished – real substantial financial pain (possibly dissolution) and long term incarceration – for the crimes related to their “conspiratorial incompetence”. Anything less and America will be a bad international joke.

    Doubt that? Then try on these words: international standing, dishonesty, lack of scruples, illegal war, damaged reputation, lack of moral authority, crimes by officials going unpunished, unconstitutional.

    Now try on this phrase, “Mr. Ambassador, the American representatives are here to see you.”

    Leaves a bad taste in your mouth, doesn’t it?

    The average response won’t be “I wonder what our American friends want or can do for us today?”. It will be “Holy crap! Hide the silverware!”

    That’s not tin-foil. That’s paying attention.

    Career diplomats have a tough job.

  59. CMM and Bob Esq. and Obama Sama,
    The Bush/Cheney regime wanted an excuse like 9/11 in order to initiate their Iraq and Middle East plans. I am not sold yet on the fact that they had advance knowledge and let it happen. But, I am willing to be sold on that thought if the facts are available.

  60. rafflaw,

    I put this link in early on this topic. It’s written by David Griffin. I don’t know what I think about him. He does footnote what he said but I haven’t looked them up. Some of his argument seems credible and other parts of it just don’t.

    As to the 9/11 report not being accurate. I believe the co-chairs felf it was inaccurate after the clear evidence about waterboarding KSM (and others) was released. I believe they were upset they did not have access to the “interrogation” tapes as they should have by law.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20722.htm

  61. rafflaw
    1, September 14, 2008 at 7:44 am

    CMM and Bob Esq. and Obama Sama,
    The Bush/Cheney regime wanted an excuse like 9/11 in order to initiate their Iraq and Middle East plans. I am not sold yet on the fact that they had advance knowledge and let it happen. But, I am willing to be sold on that thought if the facts are available

    Well someone else will have to sell you then Raff, since I as I stated, I’m not selling anything.

    All I said was I didn’t know what happened and I think its naive to conclude someone does know what happened based on the 911 commission report.

    I think there are questions, and questions is all I have.

  62. But I will say this Raff.

    Advanced knowledge they did have. We know the President was handed a briefing in July that said “Bin Laden determined to attack inside US” and in that briefing hijacking US Airlines was suggested as a possible method. He also had other information, like that produced by an FBI agent about Atta and others “training to fly commerical jets”, yet this information was squashed and the agent relocated.

    So was there advanced knowledge? Absolutely.

    We know that. Was there more advanced knowledge than what we know about? Who knows. But that there was advanced knowledge is clear. They knew he was going to attack and they knew it could likely involve commercial jets.

    The only real question is whether it was incompetence or passive complicity. Or as ObamaSama suggested, a little bit of both.

    And thats a question that we will likely never be able to answer unless someone confesses.

    But that there was negligence in responding to the threats is not in doubt, considering the Presidents response to this information from the intelligence community was to go on vacation.

  63. Jill,
    I did go through the link that you provided. It is pretty hard to accept some of what he stated. For example, who would be faking the cell phone calls that he claims to debunk? There is a lot of information there so I may need to re-read it again. I sure hope what he is saying is untrue, because if it is true we have an immense problem here. I am not one to buy into an alleged crime plot of this magnitude without some serious proof. Just pointing to inconsistencies is not enough. At least not yet.

  64. Hi rafflaw,

    I would like to go through the footnotes before making a judgement. I want to see if they are reliable sources that support his claims. I believe he is saying that our own govt. faked those calls. From a technological standpoint I believe he is correct that cell phone use in planes at that altitude was not all that feasible in 2001. Airlines have only been advertising the use of cell phones on planes, since around 2005? I do know they had to refine the tech capabilities to get them to work. You might want to look up Coleen Rowley, a whistleblower at the FBI and also Sibel Edmonds who can’t get her case to court due to “state secrets”.

    CroMM,

    I just hope JT is O.K. and not in an undisclosed location or goin’ huntin’ with dick cheney.

  65. rafflaw,

    “It is pretty hard to accept some of what he stated.”

    There’s the rub.

    Are you sufficiently self-aware to realize which arguments you’ll assent to and which ones you won’t? More importantly, are you aware of your reasons why?

    Up to now you’ve no doubt swallowed quite a few counter-factual premises.

    Example of ‘swallowing’ a counter-factual premise:

    1. All celestial bodies are made of green cheese.

    2. The moon is a celestial body.

    3. The moon is made of green cheese.

    Jet fuel melts steel?

    Steel can remain in a molten state for six months without a sustained source of heat greater than the heat of fusion?

    In the history of architecture, only three steel buildings in the world have ever ‘collapsed as a result of fire’ and they did so on the same day?

    Buildings collapse entirely at nearly the speed of free fall without any help of demolition devices?

    Did you like that last Indiana Jones movie; where Jones survives a nuclear blast by hiding in a refrigerator?

    Like I said, it all boils down to what you’re willing to believe and why.

    Regards,

    Bob

  66. I received a free DVD with my newspsper today, called Obsession, Radical Islam’s war against the West endorsed by several right wing sites (one linked below). The DVD shows a picture of the twin towers after they were burnt with the American flag. On the flyer it says: “Obsession is a film about the threat of Radical Islam to Western Civilization…it reveals…their incitement of global jihad, and their goal of world domination…The film also traces the parallels between the Nazi movement of WWII…” Funny how that comes right around 9/ll and the election. It obviously took a great deal of money to distribute this whole thing.

    P.S., CroMM, If I had to put money on it I’d say JT was sacrificing animals to crocodiles in exchange for a blessing!

    http://www.libertyfilmfestival.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13&Itemid=30

  67. Jill,
    I saw postings on that DVD yesterday on another site.
    Bob, ESq., I have progressed beyond the green cheese theory. I do know which arguments I could understand and believe and I do know which ones I could not. Your example of the steel building melting and the freefall are examples of ones that I cannot buy into.
    CMM,
    I was also wondering why there was no new postings. I am sure that Prof. Turley is simply having a family weekend without having to deal with us!

  68. Jill
    1, September 14, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    You might want to look up Coleen Rowley, a whistleblower at the FBI

    Thats the FBI agent who reported on the terrorists learning to fly jets that got transferred that I was referring to Raff.

  69. rafflaw,

    This is from Sibel Edmond’s website: August 1, 2004: Sibel Edmond’s Letter to Chairman Thomas Kean found at:

    http://www.justacitizen.com/

    It makes for very interesting reading touching on 9/ll and even Gitmo.

    It did look like that DVD has been “released” a great many places.

  70. Jill, CMM, I have read about Rawley before and also about Sibel Edmonds.I will look at the link to Edmonds letter to Kean. The DVD has been issued in thousands of newpapers throught the country.

  71. Bob, Esq.,

    The term “conspiracy theory” has a meaning in plain English that is not dependent on the meaning of “conspiracy” in law. It is disingenuous for you to try to impose a legal definition on what is obviously a plain-English discourse. (It is also futile for you to try to impose your will on the terms I do or do not use.)

    You may be a lawyer, but I’m a semantician.
    Semanticians eat lawyers for breakfast.

    (I add that last bit since I always escalate ad hominem attacks.)

  72. Thanks, Jonathan, for providing this blog. You have many interesting tidbits that I don’t find elsewhere.

    I’ll not bother to post here anymore (as activecatalyst or otherwise), though, because you have too many bottom-feeders who resort to personal attacks at the drop of a hat.

  73. Mark P. Line
    1, September 15, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    You may be a lawyer, but I’m a semantician.

    :|

    Religion has nothing to do with it.

  74. Mark P. Line
    1, September 15, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Semanticians eat lawyers for breakfast.

    That seems rather extreme.
    :|

    Couldn’t you guys just do the fish on Friday thingy?

  75. “Zero Tolerance (of error/abuse)” philosophy strikes again. Sure one of the stupidest notions to come out of the 90’s, but even forced upon the people at NASA. And you see how well THAT worked!

  76. Mark P. Line:

    “The term “conspiracy theory” has a meaning in plain English that is not dependent on the meaning of “conspiracy” in law. It is disingenuous for you to try to impose a legal definition on what is obviously a plain-English discourse. (It is also futile for you to try to impose your will on the terms I do or do not use.)”

    Not dependent on the legal definition?

    “A theory seeking to explain a disputed case or matter as a plot by a secret group or alliance rather than an individual or isolated act.”

    “a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators”

    Perhaps you mean to say that the term “conspiracy theory” is a ‘plain English’ term imbued with a connotation of being ‘unworthy of any further critical analysis?’

    I’d call that disingenuous; wouldn’t you?

    “You may be a lawyer, but I’m a semantician. Semanticians eat lawyers for breakfast.”

    So you’re familiar with predicate logic?

    http://www.seop.leeds.ac.uk/entries/kant-judgment/

    “The question, famed of old, by which logicians were
    supposed to be driven into a corner, obliged either to have
    recourse to a pitiful sophism, or to confess their ignorance
    and consequently the emptiness of their whole art, is the
    question: What is truth? The nominal definition of truth,
    that it is the agreement of knowledge with its object, is
    assumed as granted; the question asked is as to what is
    the general and sure criterion of the truth of any and every
    knowledge.”

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