I myself have felt the pull of the conspiracy theorists — who believe that 9/11 was an inside job, somehow pulled off by the U.S. government. For the record, I don’t believe that the World Trade Center was brought down by our own explosives, or that a rocket, rather than an airliner, hit the Pentagon. I spent a career in the CIA trying to orchestrate plots, wasn’t all that good at it, and certainly couldn’t carry off 9/11. Nor could the real pros I had the pleasure to work with.
Still, the people who think 9/11 was an inside job might easily be able to believe that Abu Zubaydah named his American accomplices in the tape that has now been destroyed by the CIA.
It isn’t going to help that the Abu Zubaydah investigation has a lot of problems even without destroyed evidence. When Abu Zubaydah was arrested in Pakistan in 2002, two ATM cards were found on him. One was issued by a bank in Saudi Arabia (a bank close to the Saudi royal family) and the other to a bank in Kuwait. As I understand it, neither Kuwait nor Saudi Arabia has been able to tell us who fed the accounts. Also, apparently, when Abu Zubaydah was captured, telephone records, including calls to the United States, were found in the house he was living in. The calls stopped on September 10, and resumed on September 16. There’s nothing in the 9/11 Commission report about any of this, and I have no idea whether the leads were run down, the evidence lost or destroyed.