Some Middle Eastern guy was arrested at Disneyland on 9/11. He had raised some new “terrorism” red flags about “filming.” He had left his camcorder recording while he had stuck it in his bag and there were three or four hours of the inside of his bag, and a couple of family and touristy clips. “They” – someone, the government, some media outlet, who can remember – got a lot of mileage out of this until they admitted he was just a very unlucky tourist and he and his family flew back to the Middle East. The story was supposed to be that he was a member of Al Qaeda assigned to Disneyland and was going to blow up Cinderella’s Castle as part of the terrorist attacks.

One assumes there are archives of the New York Times and other newspapers from 9/11 to about 2003. The “conspiracy theories” they were pushing make “QAnon” seem mild. One constant refrain was how “our infrastructure is vulnerable.”

There had been “terrorist chatter” – yes, they used the concept of “chatter” to justify all sorts of crazy nonsense – that Al Qaeda was planning to “disrupt the electricity grid” by sending agents to neighborhood substations.

This was supposed to be a serious concern until they ran a feature article about these mysterious hipsters that had a weird nerd hobby of staking out neighborhood substations and pointed out that the Department of Homeland Security was doing nothing, they weren’t even padlocked, and if there really were terrorists Al Qaeda could literally just walk in and take down the entire city. So they moved on to something else.

In the era of Covid-19, it’s probably worth remembering that in 2003 the newly created Department of Homeland Security recommended that Americans set aside a “safe room” in their house, with plastic sheets duct taped over any windows and doors, in case of a chemical or biological attack by Al Qaeda.

That was the “official line” from the United States Department of Homeland Security in 2003. Not Alex Jones, not some crank Internet blog. That was straight from the federal agency that had been created specifically to prevent “the next 9/11” which we were assured was coming any day now.

But you should remember that the week after 9/11, the Anthrax Attacks had happened, killing five people and sending 20 to the hospital, including the Congressional leaders of the Democratic party.

According to the Media Cartel, the “QAnon Conspiracy Theory” says that Covid-19 was faked to legalize mail in voting that the Democrats used to steal the election from Donald Trump.

We all know that is crazy, so why make up conspiracy theories when the official story is just as good? In October of 2002, in the weeks leading up to the 2002 Congressional elections, the first election after the 9/11 attacks, under the new “War On Terror” regime, a Muslim Al Qaeda Sniper, called the “DC Sniper,” shows up and murders ten people, injures three, and essentially shuts down the entire Washington DC area encompassing hundreds of miles in any direction, including parts of four neighboring states.

As Wikipedia dryly notes, “Some speculate that [the Republican victory] may have been due to increased support for the President’s party in the wake of the September 11 attacks.” Also maybe in the wake of a mysterious Sniper murdering people seemingly at random for a month.

When he was arrested they said his name was “John Allen Muhammad” but of course his real name was “John Allen Williams.” He serves in the US Army for twenty years, is awarded three medals for helping to dismantle “Iraqi chemical warfare rockets.” In the mid 90’s he disappears, apparently traveling around the Caribean with an unrelated minor child with no passport, then shows up the month of the first election after 9/11, changes his name to “Muhammed,” declares his loyalty to Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden and starts shooting people.

Look – this is their story. I’m just quoting Wikipedia.

“Williams changed his name to John Allen Muhammad in October 2001.” Wikipedia handles the name change oh-so-gingerly, implying earlier that he had changed his name, and his “identity” from “decorated African-American Army veteran” to, as Wikipedia says,

After his arrest, authorities also claimed that Muhammad admitted that he admired and modeled himself after Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda and approved of the September 11 attacks. Malvo testified that Muhammad had indoctrinated him into believing that the proceeds of an extortion attempt would be used to establish “a camp in Canada where homeless children would be trained as terrorists.”

Again – their story, not mine. This is not “QAnon.” This is the “official story” about the lead up to the November 2002 elections in four states surrounding Washington DC.

With seven separate shooting victims, including six deaths, in the first 15 hours of the D.C. area spree, the North American media soon devoted extensive coverage to the shootings. By the middle of October 2002, all news television networks provided live coverage of the aftermath of each attack, with the coverage often lasting for hours at a time. The Fox show America’s Most Wanted devoted an entire episode to the shooters in hopes of aiding in their capture.

Much of the coverage of the case in The New York Times was written by Jayson Blair and subsequently found to be fabricated. The ensuing scandal resulted in the resignations of the newspaper’s two top editors, Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd. During the weeks when the attacks occurred, public fear mounted of the apparently random shootings, especially in relation to such sites as service stations and parking lots of large stores, where many had taken place. People pumping gasoline at gas stations kept moving, hoping to present a smaller target.

Lisa Notgrass of Lake Jackson, Texas, recommended to media that gas stations put up tarps around the awnings over the fuel pumps, so people would feel safer, and some did. Also, many people with access tried to fuel their vehicles at the naval base of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, as they felt it was safer inside the guarded fence.

Government buildings such as the White House, U.S. Capitol, and the Supreme Court building, and memorial tourist attractions at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. also received heightened security. For the duration of the attacks, United States Senate pages received a driven police escort to and from the United States Capitol every day and were not allowed to leave their residence hall for any reason except work. Drivers of white vans and box trucks were viewed with suspicion from other motorists as initial media reports indicated the suspect may be driving such a vehicle.

They closed the schools because ‘Al Qaeda’ had specifically threatened to shoot children.

By this point, gas stations had begun to put tarps up to conceal their customers (see Public reaction, below). Malvo and Muhammad did not commit any more shootings for five days. On October 19 at 8:00 p.m., 37-year-old Jeffrey Hopper was shot in a parking lot near the Ponderosa Steakhouse at State Route 54 in Ashland, Virginia, about 90 miles (145 km) south of Washington, near Interstate 95. His wife Stephanie called out to passers-by, who phoned for an ambulance, enabling Hopper to survive his injuries. Authorities discovered a four-page letter from the shooter in the woods that demanded $10 million and made a threat to children.

After the specific threat against children was delivered, many school groups curtailed field trips and outdoors athletic activities based upon safety concerns. At the height of the public fear, some school districts, such as Henrico County Public Schools and Hanover County Public Schools, after the Ponderosa shooting, closed school for the day. Other schools such as the MJBHA, canceled all outdoor activities after the shooting at the Connecticut and Aspen Hill intersection. Others changed after-school procedures for parents to pick up their kids to minimize the amount of time children spent in the open. Extra police officers were placed in schools because of this fear. Joel Schumacher’s film Phone Booth was deemed potentially upsetting enough that its release was delayed until April 2003.

QAnon? The Capitol Siege?

This? This is nothing.