November 6, 2007

Disinformation and the Misleading and False LIHOP/MIHOP Dichotomy

Disinformation and the Misleading and False LIHOP/MIHOP Dichotomy

By Arabesque

November 2007 – for the Visibility9-11 Newsletter

Accuracy in language is important.  Reality is often far more complex than can usually be understood with simplistic terminology.  By definition, labels and phrases like “9/11 was an inside job”, “MIHOP”, “LIHOP”, “conspiracy theories”, and “War on Terror” are frequently used to simplify reality into small and easily comprehensible packages.  While often helpful, translating reality into black and white labels is often misleading and inaccurate.  This can even be purposeful and deliberate as frequently seen in politics and the mainstream media.  The events of 9/11 are controversial and misunderstood by many and one significant culprit for this situation is the misleading and inaccurate usage of language to describe what happened.  Understanding the role of disinformation and misinformation is essential to form a complete and accurate understanding of the 9/11 attacks.[1]  What is disinformation?  Jim Fetzer explains that “while ‘misinformation’ can be simply defined as false, mistaken, or misleading information, ‘disinformation’ entails the distribution, assertion, or dissemination of false, mistaken, or misleading information in an intentional, deliberate, or purposeful effort to mislead, deceive, or confuse.[2]

When labels are misleading they can function as disinformation and misinformation.  Take for example, the commonly seen accusation within the 9/11 truth movement that someone is a “disinformation agent”.  Labels like these are often improperly used to oversimplify reality into black and white paradigms; this is another example of disinformation/misinformation.  For example, even a “disinformation agent” is capable of telling the truth and providing accurate information.  Yes, we must be wary of those who consistently give us bad information—this is basic common sense.  In journalism, this is known as relying on the ‘credible sources’.  We should especially confirm information when it comes from a source that we know to be unreliable.  Similarly, as seen in the “disinformation agent” example, we cannot simply reject all aspects of the 9/11 ‘official story’ simply because some parts are wrong, inaccurate, or misleading.  While some parts may be false, others are clearly not.  Promoting credible and accurate 9/11 research with precise language is important if the 9/11 truth movement wishes to emphasize “truth” rather than style, speculation, and personalities.  The omission of facts, oversimplification, and exaggeration through the use of labels often results in misinformation and disinformation.

The Misleading and False MIHOP/LIHOP Dichotomy

As observed, simplification is often achieved through the use of labels.  Though they are frequently helpful, labels and descriptive terms can lend themselves to misuse, over-simplification, and distortion when used in a misleading context.  The most significant example of this within the 9/11 truth movement is the misleading and false “Made it Happen on Purpose” (MIHOP) and “Let it Happen on Purpose” (LIHOP) dichotomy.  What is a false dichotomy?  George Bush gave us this famous example in his response to the 9/11 attacks: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.[3] False dichotomies such as these are commonly used to inaccurately frame debates in political discourse.  Also known as the false dilemma fallacy, it is used to create a false binary choice:

  1. Either claim X is true or claim Y is true (when X and Y could both be false).
  2. Claim Y is false.
  3. Therefore claim X is true.[4]

The MIHOP and LIHOP labels were purportedly coined by Nico Haupt in 2002: “I invented the acronym ‘LIHOP’ at the same time [we] created [the] ‘9/11 Science and Justice Alliance’.[5] Consequently, these terms were widely adopted and “MIHOP” was popularized in the book 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA by Webster Tarpley:

This book argues the rogue network MIHOP position. That is to say, it represents the analytical point of view which sees the events of September 11, 2001 as a deliberate provocation manufactured by an outlaw network of high officials infesting the military and security apparatus of the United States and Great Britain, a network ultimately dominated by Wall Street and City of London financiers. It is our contention that any other approach… misrepresents what actually happened in the terror attacks.[6] 

When clearly defined as seen in the above passage, MIHOP is a coherent thesis that can be analyzed and critiqued.  In fact, it is not even necessary to use the word “MIHOP” to forward this thesis.  The labels LIHOP and MIHOP are like an empty drinking glass ready to be filled with clarification and context—left unfilled, they specify almost nothing.  As such, the terms MIHOP and LIHOP themselves are also easily misused when employed without clarification leaving them vague, misleading, and open-ended.  Discussing his book in an interview with Alex Jones, Tarpley explained that:

This is the only book that gives strong MIHOPThere is the negligence theory, not wearing well. Then there is LIHOP, Let it happen on purpose, like the Arab hijackers have some kind of independent reality. Like Ruppert's Crossing the Rubicon. This also has not worn well. Then MIHOP, Make it happen, that the patsies are controlled assets, they don't make it happen, the professionals make it happen under the cover of drills.[7]

In the preface to the second edition of Synthetic Terror, Tarpley repeats the charge that “[the] LIHOP view of things has been vociferously and voluminously defended by Mike Ruppert, whose book features the constant refrain borrowed from Delmart ‘Mike’ Vreeland, 'Let one happen. Stop the rest!’”[8] In the above passages, Tarpley makes a comparison between LIHOP and MIHOP by referencing Crossing the Rubicon by Michael Ruppert.[9] However, the largely undefined terms MIHOP and LIHOP are inaccurate and clumsy when taken out of context, often lending themselves very well to straw-man assertions.[10] Is Ruppert’s book “LIHOP”?  From page 1 of Crossing the Rubicon:

While these attacks were arguably one of the most serious homicides ever committed, the investigation and ‘prosecution’… has never even approached the legal and logical standards governing all such investigations. Regardless of whom the suspect(s) turns out to be, these are the basic questions every homicide investigator must seek to answer in the course of the investigation… In the end the only ‘suspects’ found to meet all of these criteria will not be al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. They will instead be a group of people operating within certain government agencies, including the White House, for the benefit of major financial interests within the United States and in other countries.[11]

Ruppert’s thesis is almost identical to the one given in Tarpley’s book.  Since this is the case, how can Tarpley make the charge that Ruppert is arguing “LIHOP”?  As 9/11 researcher Jim Hoffman observes, Ruppert “has done a great deal of work on documenting the role of government agencies, such as the CIA, in the September 11th attack.[12] Elsewhere in his book, Ruppert expands on his actual thesis while clearly insinuating that the alleged hijackers could not have flown the aircraft on 9/11:

The 9/11 terrorists did not act on their own volition. The suicide hijackers were instruments in a carefully planned intelligence operation I [am] absolutely convinced that… the so-called hijackerscould not have accomplished the flying required on 9/11... Their behavior was more consistent with the creation of a detailed “legend” to make the public believe they had done the deed... The technology to fly airliners by remote control or, what the air force calls remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs), has been around since the 1960s... Like any “well-planned” government operation, the planning and initial preparations for what became 9/11 had begun in the Clinton administration as a contingency plan. That’s when the 19 so-called hijackers (and/or their handlers) began establishing their legends... Some of these “terrorists” had been turned by US, British, or Israeli intelligence long before 9/11. Some were probably long-time, deep-cover field agents... I believe that the so-called hijackers who had received this training were probably part of an ultra-secret US military and intelligence joint operation “Opposition Force,” or OPFOR, which routinely played bad guys in hijack exercises around the world and inside the US...What is clear is that the government’s assertions that 19 hijackers, funded from caves in Afghanistan, were able to execute what happened on September 11th is beyond ludicrous.[13]

Clearly, Ruppert implies that the planes were flown by remote control, the hijackers were patsies, and the attacks were a “well-planned government operation”—almost exactly what Tarpley argues in his book.  If Ruppert’s suspects included members of the White House and the CIA but excluded the alleged terrorists—how could his book “vociferously” argue “LIHOP” as Tarpley suggests?  Not surprisingly, if Tarpley can make a stunning mischaracterization of Ruppert’s thesis, lesser researchers and rank and file activists are even more prone to misuse these labels.  Not only can “LIHOP” and “MIHOP” mean different things to different people, their meaning can easily change when they are not clearly defined or clarified.  On their own, the words “made” and “let” are as simple and basic as exist within the English language, while “it” can mean anything that happened on 9/11.  Both imply intent with the phrase “on purpose”.

For example, “LIHOP” has been used to imply all of these variable, distinct, and even contradictory claims:

  1. The planes were “allowed” to hit their targets
  2. The hijackers were “allowed” to fly the planes into their World Trade Center
  3. The hijackers were “allowed” by NORAD to fly the planes
  4. The hijackers were “allowed” by NORAD and the secret government to fly the planes into their targets while simulated War Game hijacking scenarios simultaneously took place to enable a stand-down.
  5. The remote-controlled planes were “allowed” by NORAD to fly into their targets while simulated War Game hijacking scenarios took place.
  6. The Illuminati “allowed” the planes to hit the buildings
  7. Bush “let” the planes hit the World Trade Center while reading about a pet goat

These hypothetical examples clearly demonstrate the weakness of the LIHOP/MIHOP labels.  On their own, they specify nothing while pretending that the intended audience understands their meaning. LIHOP has also been used to mean any and all of these claims:

  • Government or insider foreknowledge of the attacks[14]
  • Government or insider responsibility/negligence/complicity for the attacks[15]
  • Government or insider cover-up of incriminating insider responsibility for the attacks[16]
  • Government or insider benefit, and motive for the attacks to happen[17]
  • Government or insider participation to help facilitate (allow) the attack to be successful
  • Hijacker responsibility for the attacks

Noteworthy is that the first five points are also common to MIHOP. 

The inaccurate LIHOP term is a misnomer; even if you believed the attacks were fully “allowed” to happen, this involved “making it happen” coordination—even the clumsy term admits it was “on purpose”.  9/11 Family member Mindy Kleinberg, in an opening address to the 9/11 Commission hints at this issue:

“It has been said that the intelligence agencies have to be right 100% of the time. And the terrorists only have to get lucky once. This explanation for the devastating attacks of September 11th, simple on its face, is wrong in its value, because the 9-11 terrorists were not just lucky once. They were lucky over and over again. When you have this repeated pattern of broken protocols, broken laws, broken communication, one cannot still call it luck.  If at some point, we don’t look to hold the individuals accountable for not doing their jobs, properly, then how can we ever expect for terrorists to not get lucky again?”[18]

The official 9/11 conspiracy theory depends on omission and ignorance of the coordinated and simultaneous “failures”.  David Ray Griffin gives a particularly hilarious example:

Another reason for skepticism… is that the incompetence of the FAA on that day… is too extreme to be believed. The task that the FAA allegedly failed to perform repeatedly that day—notifying the military when an airplane shows any of the standard signs of being in trouble—is one that the FAA had long been carrying out regularly, over 100 times a year. Can we really believe that virtually everyone—from the flight controllers to their managers to the personnel in Herndon and FAA headquarters—suddenly became ridiculously incompetent to perform this task?  This allegation becomes even more unbelievable when we reflect on the fact that the FAA successfully carried out an unprecedented operation that day: grounding all the aircraft in the country. The Commission itself says that the FAA “[executed] that unprecedented order flawlessly.”[19] Is it plausible that FAA personnel, on the same day that they carried out an unprecedented task so flawlessly, would have failed so miserably with a task that they, decade after decade, had been performing routinely?[20]

If all of these “failures” happened simultaneously as we are told, was it “luck” or was it “made” to happenIf these simultaneous failures were intentionally coordinated (i.e. “made” to happen), how can the inaccurately named LIHOP theory even exist?  The LIHOP label absurdly implies that a massively coordinated “failure” was not MADE to happen, while the MIHOP label has been used to indiscriminately imply that parts of the attack were not ALLOWED to happen.  It is impossible to choose between the two unless by inaccurate generalization.  Both happened, and yet both “theories” pretend that only one or the other happened, which is demonstrably misleading.  For these reasons, MIHOP/LIHOP is a misleading and false dichotomy, inherently ambiguous, and easily results in straw-man arguments.  Paradoxically, they are misleading because they are so simple—their meaning shifts depending on the context in which they are used easily resulting in misinformation.  Because the false MIHOP/LIHOP dichotomy emphasizes many of the same things, a false choice occurs when it is framed in this way:

The 9/11 attacks were “MIHOP”. Any evidence, area of research, or unanswered questions that appear to be “LIHOP” are therefore disinformation, false, or not worthy of consideration.

This is a straw-man argument as explained above since the 9/11 attacks would have been impossible without the simultaneous planning and enabling the eventthe attacks were both intentionally and simultaneously made (MIHOP) and allowed (LIHOP) to happen—not one or the other

Accuracy in language is important.  Consider this reductio ad absurdum illustration to progressively demonstrate why these terms are inaccurate, misleading, and even absurd when used in an inappropriate context. One of the most significant 9/11 anomalies observed was that the aircraft were seemingly "allowed" to hit their targets without interception by NORAD—ignoring standard and routine intercept procedure.[21] This clearly shows that some aspects of the attack involved “letting it happen” even as others were “made to happen”.  However, the aircraft could also have been “made” to fly by remote control, but a successful attack still would have been impossible without a “let happen” stand-down.  But even this would be too simple a characterization.  Was the stand-down actually LIHOP or was it “MIHOP” under the smokescreen of simultaneous pre-“made” war-game scenarios “coincidentally MIHOP” to involve simulated hijacked aircraft?[22] What about the alleged hijackers—were they incredulously “LIHOP” to attend flight training schools at US military bases or was this a “MAKE it Happen no matter how ridiculous it looks” deal?[23] This also assumes that plane-as-missile MIHOP intent would LIHOP the alleged patsies to MIHOP—they couldn’t even MIHOP their Cessnas properly!  After failed lessons, some of the MIHOP-wannabe hijackers were not even LIHOPED to fly anymore.[24] And then we are told that this LIHOPPITY Hanni Hanjour managed to “allegedly” “MIHOP” his LIHOP plane into the ground floor of the Pentagon (oops—that’s LIHOP)![25] Some of them were so MIHOP incompetent they apparently couldn’t even MIHOP their own deaths.[26] On the other hand, it’s impossible to MIHOP a “LIHOP” back-story without patsies MIHOPED to blame with supporting “MIHOP-believe” planted and fabricated evidence (discreetly disguised as ‘LIHOP’ of course).[27] For example, in the pre-9/11 LIHOP Able Danger program that was (MIHOP) running, the LIHOP terrorists were LIHOPED to stay in the US while under MIHOP observation and surveillance.  Don’t be confused!  The LIHOPS were obviously manipulated as part of an imaginary LIHOP cover story (this evil set-up was pure MIHOP, of course).  These LIHOPPERS wouldn’t even know their MIHOPDALIHOP[28] fate. The only trick was that we had to fool [MIHOP, of course] the LIHOPPERS to HOP on their LIHOP planes so that it would give the (MIHOP) appearance of LIHOP.  This phony cover story would then be sold as LIHOP to the naively MIHOP-Uninformed public with MIHOP assistance from the Media.[29] Who's to blame for this MIHOP situation? What about those suspicious promotions of those MIHOPPISH LIHOPPERS who LIHOPPED on 9/11?[30] Those who were given promotions for LIHOP serve to actually secretly divert the blame away from the real MIHOPPERS—and I’m not talking about the Bush/Cheney MIHOPPLINGS. You’re not dumb enough to fall for that LIHOPPISHY nonsense are you?[31] But was this purely a MIHOP affair, or did others dabble in LIHOP while MIHOPPING?  Did some of the MIHOPS assign others to LIHOPLike the LIHOPPISHING young man who asked Dick ‘MADE 9/11 HAPPEN on PURPOSE’ Cheneydo the LIHOP orders still stand?[32] MIHOPPING MAD Cheney replied of course the LIHOP orders still stand, did you hear any LIHOPPING or MIHOPPING orders to the contrary!??” As with the LIHOPPER planes at the World Trade Center, the MIHOP order to LIHOP from Dick ‘Mr. MIHOP’ Cheney predictably resulted in another preventable 9/11 LIHOP event.  Of course, what I really want to know is how the heck they managed to MIHOP those fire/plane-crash surviving LIHOP passports?[33] In the end, who cares that insiders are HOP responsible regardless for the deaths of 3000 people?—we need another investigation just to sort out this more important MIHOP/LIHOP stuff! 

As you can see, in this context the terms are rendered useless and ridiculous.  These misleading labels are often not used to understand 9/11; frequently, their function serves to distort and obfuscate.  When this happens, it is tempting to say that these labels function as part of the 9/11 cover-up as misinformation or disinformation when they are used to falsely dismiss and attack certain types of incriminating evidence as “not complicit enough”; framing legitimate understandings of complicity into imaginary and destructively illegitimate labels.  This process is Orwellian:

You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you—even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent—and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear.[34]

The frequently inaccurate and misleading LIHOP/MIHOP dichotomy is the embodiment of the debasement of language; a subversive attack against subtlety, critical thought, and reason.  These terms effectively think our thoughts for us: “LIHOP is bad!  MIHOP is good!” They are framed as if they were opposites while inaccurately concealing their precise meaning from us. More accurately, these terms are different shades of the same thing—not opposites. When these terms are inappropriately employed in misleading contexts and false paradigms they function as disinformation and misinformation—possibly as a deliberate part of the 9/11 cover-up.  As an example of evidence dismissed as “LIHOP”, an article entitled ‘The LIHOP/MIHOP Distraction Continued’, by writer ‘Angie’ implies that we should dismiss the testimony of Sibel Edmonds because she is “limited hangout” or “LIHOP”:[35]

[I’m] still wondering, who is still Lihop nowadays? [Taking] a look at, a site which places a premium on mainstream political correctness… is STILL LIHOP (including their mission statement)… From’s ‘breaking news and ongoing stories of special import’ link is Sibel Edmonds’ May 14th article.  And to the right of that, a ton of Sibel links… [she] is not even LIHOP for 9/11, guys.  Her hints consist of pointing fingers at unnamed corrupt gov't officials… REINFORCES the official story.[36]

On the other hand, Webster Tarpley’s book includes a section on Sibel Edmonds as part of the “MIHOP” thesis—completely contradicting the “LIHOP” point of view as put forward by ‘Angie’ and others:

Sibel Edmonds… worked as a translator for the FBI’s Washington field office… Edmonds’ letter provides another rare glimpse at how moles operate inside intelligence agencies to sabotage law enforcement and make sure that patsies are not rounded up or effective warnings given until it is too late… Edmonds also revealed a specific pre-9/11 warning on patsy activities which was simply ignored by the FBI, and then ignored again by the 9/11 commission… Edmonds goes on to mock the clichés about connecting the dots and sharing intelligence which are the stock in trade of the controlled corporate media. She points out that the Phoenix memo, the Minneapolis alarms, and the Sarshar material all converged in the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington DC. The FBI had all that it needed to know that a large operation was afoot, which it could have disrupted by rolling up parts of the patsy network. But the FBI did nothing, and the 9/11 commission dropped the ball here as well.[37]

Whereas Sibel Edmonds is dismissed as “LIHOP” by the writer ‘Angie’ and other 9/11 activists, Webster Tarpley embraces her as part of his “rogue network MIHOP” thesis.  For these and many other reasons, not only are the LIHOP and MIHOP terms inaccurate, equivalent, and interchangeable while discussing many of the same types of evidence, they can be effectively used as misinformation and disinformation to falsely distort, devalue, and illegitimately discredit incriminating evidence, legitimate research, and valid areas of inquiry into the 9/11 attacks

This Orwellian debasement of language misrepresents the events of 9/11 into a ridiculous and overly-simplistic distortion of reality.  Clearly, the 9/11 attacks were both ‘made’ and ‘allowed’ to happen in a carefully planned, complex, psychological operation—they would have been impossible without the use of both of these components.  The misleading and false LIHOP/ MIHOP paradigm avoids the obvious and meaningful subtleties of reality.  As Blogger Jeff Wells comments, “Binary thinking is a mind cancer that retards insight, and unfortunately flourishes in conspiracy culture. The beginning of wisdom,said Terrence McKenna, ‘is our ability to accept an inherent messiness in our explanation of what's going on.’”[38]

As such, many aspects of the attack involved both “allowing/letting it happen” and “making it happen” complicity:     

“ALLOWED” to happen:

“MADE” to happen:

NORAD Stand Down: allowed the planes to hit their targets[39]

NORAD Stand Down: accomplished via War Game Exercises?

Alleged Hijackers: allowed to train on US airbases[40]

Alleged Hijackers: deliberately constructed back-story to give misleading appearance they could carry out the attacks

The Able Danger Program: identified the alleged hijackers but allowed them to stay out of jail.  Only a whistleblower spoke up about it[41]

The Able Danger Program: intentional surveillance of intelligence assets/patsies

FBI blocking of pre-9/11 alleged Hijacker investigations to allow the patsies to stay out of jail[42]

FBI blocking of pre-9/11 Alleged Hijacker investigations to allow the patsies to stay out of jail

Promotions for allowing the attack[43]

Promotions for facilitating the attack

War Game Exercises: allowing exercises to continue during the attacks[44]

War Game Exercises: orchestrated to closely mirror the attacks

Pre-9/11 insider trading: suspiciously allowed to happen without investigation or warning the public[45]

Pre-9/11 insider trading: intentional profiting from the 9/11 attack

Remote control of aircraft: allowing aircraft to fly into their targets without military response—accurately[46]

Remote control of aircraft: flying the aircraft into their targets accurately

George Bush let the attack happen while reading about a pet Goat[47]

Controlled Demolition/Thermite, Building 7[48]

Notice that several areas of complicity could be interpreted as being common to both of the weakly defined labels; reinforcing the notion that MIHOP/LIHOP is a misleading dichotomy while further emphasizing their similarities rather than their differences.  9/11 researcher Mark Robinowitz explains, “the false debate between ‘let it happen’ and ‘made it happen’ is a distraction. There is a large amount of credible evidence that 9/11 was allowed to happen, and that it was given technical assistance (via wargames and probably remote control) to make sure that it happened as desired.”[49]    

Since the 9/11 attacks can be understood to involve both facilitating and allowing the attacks to successfully occur, uncritically dismissing evidence simply because it falls into the imaginary "LIHOP" category can easily result in muddying the "big picture".  This would be misleading since just as it is necessary to understand the role and function of Oswald in the JFK assassination, it is necessary to demonstrate that the alleged hijackers were indeed patsies to present the case that 9/11 was an “inside job”, or that the official story is disinformation.  It is necessary to understand why the official story is weakly supported, just as it is important to understand what really happened.  While other evidence may seemingly make this a foregone conclusion, the accumulation of more solid evidence to conclusively prove this is helpful.  Even assuming that hijackers were partly responsible for the attacks, many other significant aspects of the attacks are anomalous and incriminating: Building 7, the World Trade Center Towers, and the presence of Thermate at Ground Zero, and many of the other types of evidence already mentioned.  It is also misleading to dismiss consideration of evidence that at first glance may not appear to be as incriminating as other types of evidence.  Often, evidence found under the make-believe “LIHOP” category is among the most incriminating because it can name the actual names of those complicit for the attacks.[50] We know who was responsible for NORAD on 9/11.[51] We know who planned the War Games.[52] We know who got promoted.[53] On the other hand, we don’t know who is responsible for placing the thermite at the World Trade Center.[54] This is significant because knowing the precise names of those responsible could lead to prosecutions or even create pressure to name others responsible for the events of 9/11. In contrast, unanswered speculation about who is responsible for observed (or perceived) physical anomalies of the 9/11 attack will frequently force a potentially never-ending “who did it” guessing game until an investigation can conclusively answer these questions. 

9/11 Blogger George Washington observes another inherent problem with the LIHOP/MIHOP dichotomy: 

It has become clear that, whatever their original usefulness, the labels lihop and mihop now create more confusion and division within the truth movement than clarity. Why? Because mihop advocates think that lihops are ‘limited hang out’ gatekeepers who are intentionally suppressing the most damning evidence of complicity in the attacks, as a way to stall the 9/11 truth momentum. And many lihop advocates think that the mihop proponents are stressing crazy or at least non-provable physical evidence theories which distract and waste energy, cloud the waters, and divert attention away from the most solid evidence of government complicity which will be believed by the most people.[55]

While there are many theories about what happened on 9/11, the attack was far more complex than can be understood with the misleading and false LIHOP/MIHOP dichotomy.[56] These terms are even less useful when they are predictably distorted to create straw-man arguments, unnecessary fighting, and to divisively label individuals as suggested above by George Washington.  Could divide and conquer be a deliberate intent with the use of these terms?  Mark Robinowitz writes: “Binary thinking is a tool of control… Within the 9/11 truth movement, there is a false dichotomy between whether 9/11 was LIHOP… or MIHOP… This divisiveness keeps government critics from uniting.[57] A COINTELPRO letter by FBI director Edgar Hoover revealed that the “instigating of or the taking advantage of personal conflicts or animosities existing between New Left leaders” was a deliberate strategy to divide activist groups.[58] Effectively, the LIHOP/MIHOP dichotomy is used to accomplish exactly this on the internet and discussion forums whether by design or accident.[59] This is the difference between disinformation and misinformation; just as one can promote bad information with or without knowing it is bad information, misleading and inaccurate terms can be utilized without comprehending or correcting their inaccuracy.

If the MIHOP/LIHOP dichotomy is agreed to be divisive, misleading, and inaccurate (i.e. disinformation or misinformation), what terms should we use instead?  “Inside Job” and “insider complicity” are far more descriptive and accurate labels, but even these have problems of their own depending on how they are used to frame understanding of the 9/11 attacks.  Although more useful and precise than the false LIHOP/MIHOP dichotomy, "inside job" suffers from a similar problem.  On its own, it starts with the conclusion and assumes that the intended audience knows the necessary facts.  In this context, "inside job" is useful to those who know the evidence, and useless to those who do not.  When terms are not supported by compelling facts or explanation, descriptive labels have limited power to encourage new members to the join the 9/11 truth movement or convince them that the official story is false.  On their own, labels and terms are not enough—education and unmasking the disinformation supporting the 9/11 ‘official story’ is necessary to reach new activists, researchers and force an investigation. 


Accuracy in language is important.  While descriptive terms are often helpful, they can be misleading, inaccurate, and unhelpful when used in the wrong context.  A clear component of the 9/11 cover-up is the use of disinformation to cloud the case for a clear inside job by muddying the waters and promulgating misinformation; inaccurate labels are very effective for this purpose.  LIHOP and MIHOP are frequently vague, inaccurate, and misleading terms that continuously damage and impede analysis and understanding within the 9/11 truth movement.  It is my thesis that the terms should be rejected and abandoned.  They create a false and misleading dichotomy by ignoring that the 9/11 attacks involved elements of both “making it happen” and “letting it happen”.  While the label MIHOP is inaccurate when it fails to account for aspects of the attacks that were allowed to occur (i.e. apparent NORAD stand-down), LIHOP is inaccurate when it fails to account for the things that were made to occur (i.e. NORAD war game exercises involving simulated hijackings).   

There is nothing wrong with disagreement, but distorted straw-man arguments with misleading and inaccurate language and labels are not real disagreement. The misleading and false MIHOP/LIHOP dichotomy is effectively used in straw-man debates in which 9/11 activists are attacked with ridiculously misleading and inaccurate labels.  Instead, accurate language should be used to critique and advance understanding of the 9/11 attacks.  If misinformation is defined as “misleading information", then the MIHOP and LIHOP labels closely follow this definition, but if they are used with deliberate intent to confuse and mislead, they clearly function as disinformation. This is because they can mean almost anything depending on what the user wants them to mean when left unqualified, and they can just as easily be misunderstood by the intended audience when this happens.  Without clarification, the terms are like empty, unfilled glasses; containers without meaningful content.  When these labels are followed by specific explanations and analysis they are somewhat more useful, but without clarification they are dangerously open-ended: 

  • Who made it happen? 
  • What happened?
  • How did it happen?
  • Why did it happen? 
  • Why is the official story wrong? 
  • Which parts of the official story are wrong? 
  • What parts are true?
  • And most importantly, how can you prove it? 

These are all questions that MIHOP and LIHOP do not answer when they are not followed with explanation or precise definition; on their own these terms are virtually meaningless.  They avoid the complex nature of reality by avoiding subtlety and nuance.  While the phrases “inside job” and “insider complicity” are far more accurate and encompassing, as with the MIHOP and LIHOP labels they will not effectively bring new members into the 9/11 truth movement if they are not supported with convincing analysis to support them.   

My thesis is that the LIHOP/MIHOP dichotomy is:

  • Distorted and misleading since "let" and "made" are hopelessly vague if not clearly defined.
  • A false dichotomy. The 9/11 attacks involved both "allow" and "made" coordination; intentional “failures”, intentional planning to allow the attacks to be successful, and deliberate participation in the attacks.  The LIHOP theory incorrectly implies that a massively coordinated “failure” was not MADE to happen, while the MIHOP label is often absurdly used to imply that parts of the attack were not ALLOWED to happen.
  • Ambiguous for its user.  Meaningless if the terms are not specifically qualified, commonly resulting in straw-man arguments.  They are often ineffectively employed as empty rhetoric; assertions frequently framed without supporting explanation or argument.  By themselves, they are empty containers; conclusions without analysis or even clarification.
  • Ambiguous for its intended audience.  Uniquely perceived by the intended audience when terms are not clearly defined.
  • Virtually identical.  Both emphasize insider complicity, while encompassing many of the same types of evidence.
  • Divisive.  Used to falsely frame the 9/11 truth movement as being divided

The false LIHOP/MIHOP dichotomy should be rejected for all of the above reasons.  A historical component of FBI COINTELPRO included the purpose of weakening and dividing activist groups through provoking unnecessary internal debate and division; effectively what the MIHOP and LIHOP labels accomplish with or without the intent of its user.  When these terms are not used to clearly understand, analyze, or advance understanding of the attack, this false and misleading dichotomy diverts the truth movement away from its unified belief that 9/11 was not properly prevented, investigated, and explained or that government officials, insiders and unknown guilty parties were never held accountable or reprimanded.  

[1] Arabesque, 9/11 Disinformation and Misinformation: Definitions and Examples,

[2] Jim Fetzer, Information: Does It Have To Be True? Minds and Machines, 14, pp. 223–229

[3] Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, United States Capitol Washington, D.C. Office of the Press Secretary September 20, 2001

[4] Nizkor, Fallacy: False Dilemma,

This line of ‘reasoning’ is fallacious because if both claims could be false, then it cannot be inferred that one is true because the other is false.

[5] Jon Gold, LIHOP/MIHOP Labels Are Divisive,

Nico Haupt, They Let It Happen On Purpose! 9/11 The final Dots - Top 20 LIHOP Suspects,, August 13, 2002

[6] Webster Tarpley, Synthetic Terror: Made in USA, Preface to the Second Edition PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

On the back cover, Nico Haupt also describes Synthetic Terror by framing it within the LIHOP/MIHOP dichotomy:

“9/11 Synthetic Terror not only puts the tragic event of 9/11 into the clearest and so far, most detailed and best described historical context, it also combines often ignored physical and investigative evidence of a U.S.-scripted, planned, orchestrated and supervised attack. This book deserves to be at the top of every 9/11 truth leaflet and in the editorials of mainstream media, which both often ignore the deeper picture, watering down the clear evidence of an Inside Job and misleading the audience to suggest that 9/11 was just the result of negligence orLIHOP’ (let it happen on purpose). - Nico Haupt, Globalfreepress, INN World Report, Founding Member of and 9/11Truth Action December 2004”

[7] Webster G. Tarpley and Charlie Sheen with Alex Jones on the GCN Radio Network - March 24th, 2006, Transcript

[8] Webster Tarpley, Synthetic Terror: Made in USA, Preface to the Second Edition PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

[9] Michael C. Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil, New Society Publishers

[10] Nizkor, Fallacy: Straw Man,

[11] Michael C. Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon, page 1.

[12] Jim Hoffman, Foreknowledge, Motive, and Complicity,

[13] Michael C. Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon, 117, 351, 473, 575, 578, 580

[14] Jim Hoffman, Foreknowledge, Motive, and Complicity

Jim Hoffman, Attack Foreknowledge Actions Reveal Widespread Advance Knowledge of the Attack

[15] Ibid. Foreknowledge, Motive, and Complicity

[16] Ibid. The Coverup,

[17] Ibid. Foreknowledge, Motive, and Complicity,

[18] Mindy Kleinberg, Complete testimony of Mindy Kleinberg, to The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, 9/11 victim's wife asks uncomfortable questions,, March 31, 2003.  See also:

9/11 Family Steering Committee,

[19] The 9/11 Commission Report, 31

[20] David Ray Griffin, 9/11 Live or Fabricated: Do the NORAD Tapes Verify The 9/11 Commission Report?

[21] David Ray Griffin, The 9/11 Commission's Incredible Tales: Flights 11, 175, 77, and 93,

[22] Michael C. Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon, The Wargames of September 11th (beta),

[23], 9/11 Hijackers Trained at U.S. Military Bases?

Paul Thompson, Complete 9/11 Timeline, Context of 'September 15-17, 2001: Did Some Hijackers Get US Military Training?'

[24] What Really Happened, Hani Hanjour: 9/11 Pilot Extraordinaire: From the ridiculous to the sublime...

Jim Hoffman, Clueless Super-Pilot Jetliner Aerobatics by Flight School Dropout Who Never Flew a Jet,

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid. At Least 7 of the 9/11 Hijackers are Still Alive,

[27] Paul Thompson, Complete 9/11 Timeline, Context of 'September 11-13, 2001: Hijackers Leave a Clear Trail of Evidence'

[28] (i.e. MIHOP-disguised-as-LIHOP)

[29], Able Danger Information Center,

[30] Arabesque, 9/11 “Incompetence”, Sabotage, and Promotions,

[31] (i.e. that those promoted for LIHOP are actually worth blaming or investigating)

[32] Gregor Holland, The Mineta Testimony: 9/11 Commission Exposed,

‘George Washington’, Mineta's Testimony CONFIRMED,

[33] Jim Hoffman, Crash-Proof Passport: Hijacker's Passport and a Landing Gear Fragment Alone Survive Fiery Crash,

[34] George Orwell, Politics and the English Language,, 1946

[35] Paul Thompson, Complete 9/11 Timeline, Sibel Edmonds and Related Scandals  

[36] ‘Angie’, The LIHOP/MIHOP Distraction Continued (w/ an update on and Sibel Edmonds), 

[37] Webster Tarpley, Synthetic Terror, First Edition, 78-83

[38] Jeff Wells, ‘Grassroots Wisdom’, Rigorous Intuition blog,, 2007-09-14

[39] David Ray Griffin, The 9/11 Commission's Incredible Tales: Flights 11, 175, 77, and 93

[40], 9/11 Hijackers Trained at U.S. Military Bases?

Paul Thompson, Complete 9/11 Timeline, Context of 'September 15-17, 2001: Did Some Hijackers Get US Military Training?'

[41], Able Danger Information Center,

[42] Paul Thompson, Complete 9/11 Timeline, Context of 'August 23-27, 2001: Minnesota FBI Agents ‘Absolutely Convinced’ Moussaoui Plans to Hijack Plane; They Are Undermined by FBI Headquarters'

[43] Arabesque, 9/11 “Incompetence”, Sabotage, and Promotions,

[44] Michael C. Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon, The Wargames of September 11th (beta),

[45] Jim Hoffman, Insider Trading: Pre-9/11 Put Options on Companies Hurt by Attack Indicates Foreknowledge,

[46] Ibid. Remote Control

[47] Ibid. George W. Bush: Cover Stories of the People in Charge

[48] Steven Jones, Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse? 

[49] Mark Robinowitz, Understanding 9/11 paradigms: Incompetence, Blowback, Pearl Harbor or Reichstag Fire?

[50] Arabesque, 9/11 “Incompetence”, Sabotage, and Promotions,

[51] Ibid.

[52] Michael Kane, Crossing the Rubicon Simplifying the case against Dick Cheney,

[53] Arabesque, 9/11 “Incompetence”, Sabotage, and Promotions,

[54] Steven Jones, Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?

[55] ‘George Washington’, Guilt,


Mark Robinowitz, Understanding 9/11 paradigms: Incompetence, Blowback, Pearl Harbor or Reichstag Fire? 

[57] Mark Robinowitz, Fake Debate: binary thinking is a tool of control,

[58] COINTELPRO letter from J. Edgar Hoover to Special Agent in Charge, Albany, 5 July 1968. COUNTERINTELLIGENCE PROGRAM: INTERNAL SECURITY DISRUPTION OF THE NEW LEFT.

[59] Arabesque, 9/11 Truth and Division: Disinformation, Agent Provocateurs, and False Adversaries,