It was on the morning of the 12th of September, 2000, that Rumsfield has decided to bring the information to GW Bush.
"George, we've got a live one. I had my special team cracking away at this for the past two months and it is all very clear what is going. The Twin Towers are being targeted for an attack by as yet unknown individuals," Rumsfield stated.
"My God. Are you certain of this?, " Bush replied. Astonishment appearing on his face. He was never very good at showing a poker face - though he never felt he had to do so with his most loyal confidant.
"Let me give you a break-down," Rumsfield began. "It started with chatter, my boys picked it up and reported it to me. I had a gut feeling about it and got them to focus 100% of their efforts on only this. After two months of hard work - by only two agents - we have a very confidential, yet clear understanding of how they plan to do it."
"Go on, " Bush said, still reeling and eager to hear how people were planning to attack his beloved country.
"We believe they are terrorists, they may be al-Qaeda, may be Saudi, may be Pakistani, we are not sure yet of this. They have been using various cloaking methods for their communication and have employed some coded language - all in Arabic, so we are on a steep learning path right now. This is slowing things down because none of my men understand this gibberish crap. They are getting isolated translations and we will bring a full-timer Arab-speaking person on soon. There are sleeper cells in various places throughout America, waiting for their orders from afar."
"Secret, quiet groups of individuals that are members of various terrorist organisations that have been planted, quietly waiting in normal society until they have been given orders to perform some kind of attack. They are true believers and will do whatever it is they will be asked to do. We have not yet pin-pointed the residence or locations of these cells yet, we are still working on that, but we believe they are training to attack the Towers, right here on our soil."
"This is very intense, Don. Great work. What does it mean? What are your ideas?"
"It means that we have an entry strategy available to us. Nobody has a clue who these al-Qaeda pricks are yet. Even we don't fully know what they are up to - ever since we left Afghanistan after the Russians' fuck-up - although there has been a lot of activity in Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent years. When they attack, we will be on the ground running."
"But can't we stop them from attacking? What about the people? The Towers?," Bush asked, clearly not seeing as far ahead as Rumsfield had.
"Collateral damage, George. Keep in mind that this information is fresh, but we can't prove anything yet at this stage. We can't exactly tell all the citizens of America to stay off planes, to stay out of the Towers and stay away from work. If nothing eventuates, we will be considered clowns."
"I see. You are right. What is that about planes?"
"We believe they are planning to hijack some Boeing 747's - and maybe some others - to fly into targets, including the Towers."
"My God, those fucken crazy sons-of-bitches? Flying planes into the Towers! Who needs rockets?! There must be a couple thousand people in them, right?"
"George, there are over four thousand people working in the Towers and surrounding buildings, day in, day out. Some of the major financial institutions are there from around the world. People we know, actually. Which is why we can't say anything - can you imagine the panic? Can you imagine what the rest of America will think? People would be too scared to go to work in the morning. And what if we can't stop it? We can't now as we don't know enough, but how the hell do we stop airplanes from being hijacked and then stop them from being flown into the Towers? Or anywhere, for that matter. It is not like we can put up a big gigantic fucken net to trap them in."
"Yes, that's true.So how can we use this? Can we say it was a bunch of Iraqi's?"
"He he, not quite. But what we can do is prepare the Towers for a possible attack and lay the ground-work for an all-out attack in Afghanistan. Then, once we have the people's minds fizzing on this - and you can be sure they will be angry about the Towers and the ruthless attack on our great country - we will see what Iraq is trying to do to us - or better put - what we want people to think they are doing to us - so it will build an even stronger case for us to go at them. Who could say no to us when we have been the target of one of the most awesome and atrocious attacks in history?"
"How do we 'prepare' for the attack?"
"Well, I had my boys looking over the Towers' blueprints. That place is rock-solid. It was built to last hundreds of years - and quite possibly the impact of 10 or MORE planes. But they are tall sons-of-bitches, so we have to make sure that if they go down - they go down smoothly without fucking up the rest of the area. We may be happy to have an entry for war with those bastards, but we have to do our best to mitigate the collateral damage on our own soil. We get our best controlled demolition experts in and prepare for a controlled collapse 'just in case'. I say 'just in case' because we don't know if or when it will happen, all we can do is prepare. And if it does happen, we had better be ready to not only deal with the mess, but deal with the perpetrators."
"What about the Towers land-owner? Would we clue them in on this?"
"Yes, they must be involved. It is the only way we can lay the explosives to provide for a proper demolition. Those buildings weigh hundreds of thousands of tons - of steel and concrete. We need to get our best guys in there with our best explosives, maybe super-thermite, and it must all be not noticeable to the casual eye. This way, we can have an even more spectacular claim to blame it on the planes and the terrorists. I am not too easy about this whole thing, but we have to stand firm and strong and do what is right for America. In the scheme of things, a few thousand people is a small price to pay for removing the rats from the face of this earth, once and for all."
"OK, I get the gist of it all. Keep me informed on a daily basis - and make sure our good men are not in those fucken Towers when they go down."
"You got it. My thoughts exactly."
And with that meeting, the strategy spidered and grew and within a few months, they had the "Ace Elevator" "employees" going into the Towers for the next 9 months, "checking" and "upgrading" the whole system.
The Towers' Elevator shafts were once the lifeline of the buildings, of the inhabitants and the many businesses operating there. In the end, they would also serve to be their not-so-silent executioner.
From the basement's solid steel pillars that weighed thousands of tonnes, all the way up in perfectly measured distances, highly flammable super-thermite was placed and left to wait for a probable future catastrophe when terrorists' motivations would not only ignite with thunder the American pride, but also the once lively Towers.
Who would question the US government's resolve after witnessing such a tragedy?
Nobody would have time to consider - even if they eventually sniffed something - that the Towers' collapse was a well-planned demolition.
Rumsfeld's mind was spinning.
Even if they did find out, we would be right in preventing further damage to neighbouring buildings by controlling it. Maybe the problem - which will stay in the grey clouds forever - is whether the planes would really make enough impact to bring down the Towers - which is the point exactly - we don't even know. How many planes? Will it be just a scratch? How long should we wait to trigger the controlled collapse? Until it is too late? Soon enough to be fitting with the heightened state of emotions and global incredulousness?
And the clean-up - how the hell do we clean up the Towers with goddamned planes sticking out of them? This in itself will become a national focus-point. There are already urgings from the land and lease-owners to re-build and make a more modern, taller set of Towers. Bringing them completely down suits their goals, makes the scene even more dramatic, further compounding our entry-point to war.
It may be a a few who gain most out of the coming wars, but by god, it will be great - and our men will be the true martyrs.