This is as good a time and thread as any to run through a "gut check" on the generalized conspiracy theories related to your questions. I can
understand your confusion and reluctance. A great deal of "9/11 conspiracy" speculation on the Internet revolves around extraordinary claims and
hard-to-fathom conclusions based on tenuous (at best) evidence.
But there are many common threads among even the most outlandish theories, and they apply nicely to your questions:
1. If the Bush Administration had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, why didn't we act on the evidence?
The most commonly reoccurring reason among conspiracy theorists is that the post-attack environment would be more favorable to certain nefarious
plans, and provide a means to accelerate such plans as a "police state", increased military spending, and a rationale to devise a plan to engage
Iraq in war.
2. Why would the Bush Administration have prior knowledge?
If there were agents or groups within the administration that had planned the events of 9/11, then certainly there would be prior knowledge.
Additionally, a common thought is very similar to what we now know about the attack on Perl Harbor, we knew it was coming through intelligence but
allowed it to happen as a means to enter the war.
3. Why would the events of 9/11 be orchestrated by the Bush Administration?
See our content on Operation Northwoods
. The operation was presented to the Joint Chiefs as a plan
for covert US operatives to hijack civilian aircraft, pose as extremist terrorists, and use the aircraft as weapons to attack civilian targets. The
plan was devised a pretext to ignite a war with a foreign nation.
4. Why would Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda claim responsibility of the attacks if the Bush Administration orchestrated it?
Within some conspiracy theory circles, there is some doubt about the validity of Osama's claim of responsibility. His visual appearance appears
unusually different in one of the videos used as evidence of his making this claim. Also, within conspiracy speculation, it's not a difficult stretch
to consider that Osama is playing his role in a complicated game of multiple groups and complex political alliances.
5. Why wouldn't the Bush Administration say it had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks if it did even if it was little?
In some minor ways, it did. The 9/11 Commission report outline some key tidbits of knowledge that, if properly assembled by the non-cooperative
intelligence agencies, may have provided enough information to properly anticipate the attacks. However, within conspiracy circles, this breakdown in
cooperation between intelligence agencies was devised expressly to avoid the successful analysis of pre-9/11 intelligence.
6. What would the Bush Administration gain if it did orchestrated the 9/11 attacks?
The New World Order
The "NWO", a socialist ideal of a one-world government police-state, has long been a type of "grand unification conspiracy theory", and many
long-term conspiracy theorists speculate it is the long-standing end game of nearly every major event since the Nixon administration. There are
several items to consider:
1) The attacks inspired the Department of Homeland Security and "police state" styled evolution
2) The attacks required increased spending on military and intelligence agencies
3) The attacks inspired controversial follow-up military action
4) The US follow-up military action (Iraq) was contrary to UN decisions, and has not been successful
5) Our international "political capital" is suffering now more than ever, while the UN is increasing
The "long term" conspiracy theorist (not someone who became curious about conspiracies because of 9/11) sees the 9/11 attacks as an important
trigger event that is acting as an accelerant and creating an environment that is favorable to bringing about the fabled and feared "New World
Order". For those power-players working to make that happen, there is much to gain.
I hope that summarizes the basics for you.