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WOLFOWITZ: Okay, fine. And what do we do with these hijackers?
CHENEY: We sit idly by while they plot to hijack a series of passenger jet planes and crash them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the White House.
WOLFOWITZ: And how do we get them to do that?
CHENEY: We just do. You see, we worked with these people back in the old mujahideen days in Afghanistan. So naturally we’re still thick as thieves with them.
FEITH: Oh, of course. So we get them to fly into these buildings. And the impact from the planes will bring down the World Trade Center.
CHENEY: No, Doug, dammit, you’re not following me. The impact from the planes most certainly won’t be sufficient to knock down the towers. We know this because we’ve privately conducted studies that show that the towers will easily be able to withstand impact by two jets loaded to the gills with jet fuel.
That said, the jets will likely cause skyscraper fires hot enough to kill everyone above the point of impact; we’re going to have to assume, of course, that the exits from the higher floors to the lower floors will be mostly blocked after the collisions. So assuming we crash the planes about two-thirds of the way up each of the towers early on a business day, we’re looking at trapping and killing a good three, four, maybe even five thousand people on the upper floors.
FEITH: Fantastic. I love killing people in the finance industry. It’s too bad the people on the lower floors will get to escape.
CHENEY: It is too bad—especially since we’re going to blow up the rest of the building complex anyway.
FEITH: We are?
CHENEY: Yes. You see, the way I see it, our best course of action is to first crash planes into each of the towers, trapping and killing those thousands on the upper floors of each building. After the impact, of course, the people on the lower floors will find their way out of the building and onto the street, where they will achieve relative safety—at which point we’ll finally detonate the massive network of explosive charges we’ve secretly hidden in the buildings in the weeks and months prior to the attacks.
FEITH: Wait, why did we do that again?
CHENEY: Because the buildings wouldn’t have fallen down unless we did.
WOLFOWITZ: But why do we need the buildings to fall down?
CHENEY: Because the events of the day will be insufficiently horrifying and impactful without the building collapses.
FEITH: So why don’t we detonate the charges earlier, so that we can kill the people on the lower floors, too?
CHENEY: That’s a good question. At some point we have to sacrifice effect for believability. You see, if the planes crash into the buildings and the buildings collapse immediately, everyone will be suspicious and they’ll be onto the presence of the explosives. So what we have to do is let the planes crash into the building, give the jet fuel time to start fires that will “soften” the building core, and then we detonate the charges. Afterward, we’ll be able to argue that the fires coupled with the impact actually caused the buildings to collapse.
FEITH: Why will we be able to argue that? Didn’t our studies show that impact and fire alone wouldn’t have caused the buildings to collapse?
CHENEY: Those were our secret, far-more-advanced studies, done with secret, far-more-advanced military technology. The vast majority of the world’s civilian structural engineers, however, can be counted on after the incident to conclude that the buildings collapsed due to a combination of fire, impact, and the knocking off of fireproofing from the building beams.
FEITH: Why can they be counted on to conclude that?
CHENEY: Because that’s what our secret research shows their not-secret research will show! Jesus Christ, work with me on this, will you?
WOLFOWITZ: I think I get it. We crash the planes, kill everyone above the impact of the planes, let the people underneath the impact out to safety, then collapse the buildings about an hour or so later using the explosives that we pointlessly incurred months’ and weeks’ worth of career-and life-threatening risk to covertly plant in a building complex visited by hundreds of thousands of people every week.
CHENEY: Exactly! The actual deaths will mostly be caused by the planes. But we’ll incur the massive additional risk simply to destroy the building for effect, because it will look cool and scary on television.
FEITH: I’m still confused about the our-studies and their-studies thing.
CHENEY (sighing): What’s the matter, Doug?
FEITH: If we know the planes won’t collapse the buildings, isn’t it possible that other people after the accident will figure out that the planes didn’t collapse the buildings?
CHENEY: Yes. But those other people will be a tiny minority of mostly nonscientists who’ll deduce the whole plan by researching the matter on the Internet. But we can count on their groundbreaking, visionary research being ignored by the mainstream scientific community, which will continue to insist the planes caused the collapses
FEITH: Why can we count on that?
CHENEY: Because the mainstream science community, like the whole of the corporate media, the Congress, the Democratic Party, even the mainstream leftist political opposition, will naturally be in either conscious or unconscious assent with our plan. Most scientists, you know, depend in some form or another on government funding. So they’ll be highly motivated to sign off on our dastardly mass-murder plot, since they know their salaries—some of these people make almost a hundred thousand a year, you know—ultimately depend on our ability to secure fifty billion additional barrels of oil per day by 2010 by fooling the population into invading Saddam Hussein’s secular Iraq by faking a terrorist attack against the World Trade Center at the hands of a bunch of Saudi religious radicals loyal to the Afghan-supported terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
WOLFOWITZ: No, I get it, I really do. It all makes sense.
Taibbi, Matt (2008-05-06). The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion at the Twilight of the American Empire (Kindle Locations 3459-3460). Spiegel & Grau. Kindle Edition.