New York City activist

November 7, 2007

“LIHOP” vs. “MIHOP”?

Filed under: 9/11 Truth — Diane @ 2:07 am

Well, I learned something new today. I thought I knew what “LIHOP” and “MIHOP” meant. Apparently, not quite.

As I understood it, LIHOP (“Let It Happen On Purpose”) is the view that the events of 9/11 were primarily Al Qaeda’s doing, but that high officials in the U.S. government were aware of the plot and deliberately let it happen for political convenience, whereas MIHOP (“Made It Happen On Purpose”) is the view that that the 9/11 attacks were primarily the work of a cabal within the U.S. government, and that any foreign terrorists involved were at most patsies.

However, judging by a discussion I got into in the thread NIST Report Release Date for WTC 7: Second anniversary! on the TruthAction board, it turns out that some folks use “LIHOP” to refer to any hypothesis that involves real live human hijackers at all, even if, say, the CIA was ultimately behind their activities. Some folks also reserve the term “MIHOP” for those hypotheses that don’t involve any foreign terrorists at all, even as patsies.

What surprised me even more is that the latter usage is accepted by at least one influential person who I would have thought of as “MIHOP” but who, under the latter definitions, is “LIHOP.” (This person believes that 9/11 was an inside job, but that it also involved foreign terrorists.)

Nicholas Levis wrote, in What Is Your “HOP” Level?:

LIHOP = “Letting It Happen On Purpose”

As in the official story, hijackers were dispatched by “al-Qaeda” (the Bin Laden-inspired cell networks) to carry out the 9/11 plan. However, Bush & Co. and/or other elements within the U.S. government, secret services or establishment knew about the attacks in advance and worked to ensure they would happen, with the intent of exploiting a New Pearl Harbor. This insider help may have included protection of the alleged hijackers, obstruction of FBI investigations, a standdown of air defense, an intentional leadership AWOL during the attacks, and possible construction of other excuses for inaction, such as “we were only holding a wargame and it was subverted by evildoers.” This is the minimum position of Michael Ruppert, David Ray Griffin, and the mainstream of the 9/11 truth movement.

VARIANT 5a, LIHOP PLUS: The insiders took additional steps to guarantee that the 9/11 plot would succeed (why leave something so important in the hands of amateurs?), for example by infiltrating and helping out the hijackers, possibly even replacing them with loyal doubles or steering the planes (or drones) by remote control, or doing whatever else was thought necessary.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I think the likeliest hypothesis is of an inside job that exploited a “genuine” terrorist plot. Sometime between the Bojinka Plot of 1996 and 9/11 itself, the original Islamic-extremist dream of crashbombing planes into American targets was subverted and then steered to fruition by masterminds within the US power elite. This is the logical way to leave a robust trail of evidence pointing to the patsies. The perfect plot would produce a patsy who sincerely believed he had himself committed the crime – like Marinus van der Lubbe, the man who went proudly to his execution for burning down the German Reichstag (parliament) in 1933, although there is no realistic doubt the Nazis themselves set the fire.

MIHOP = “Making It Happen On Purpose”

There were no hijackers. The whole thing was planned long before 2001 and finally executed as an inside job by elements within the US intel apparatus and/or the Bush mob. They created the false-flag excuses, using patsies or a completely fake list of perpetrators. The planes were likely flown by remote control, or were replaced in mid-flight by drones. Wargames mimicking the actual attacks were held on Sept. 11 so as to confuse the majority of the military and provide a back-up cover story. The whole thing might as well have been Made in Hollywood, and was in fact pre-figured in Hollywood productions such as “The Lone Gunmen” pilot episode of March 2001, “The Siege” (1998), “The Long Kiss Goodnight” (1996) and other films. In fact, such movies may have been used consciously as propaganda preparation. This is the conclusion of author Mamadou Chinyelu, Webster Tarpley, John Leonard and others.

Further down in the article, he says:

NOTE ON DEMOLITIONS: Scenarios 5a to 8, all of which qualify as “Inside Job Theories,” may or may not include the idea that the WTC buildings were brought down by pre-planted explosives. While the demolition theory (for those who believe in it) is considered to prove that 9/11 was an inside job, one can easily believe in an inside job without requiring demolitions. Those who make the case for inside job with demolition generally focus on two possible sets of motives. One is based in the theory of psychological operations (“psyops”): the downright biblical vision of collapsing towers generates an even greater shock than the plane hits. It traumatizes the hundreds of millions who see it live or on television, making them far more susceptible to the mental programming of a new enemy image and a perpetual “War on Terror.” The other set of motives draws from the pedestrian world of material gains: the buildings were obsolete and full of asbestos, and an orderly disposal would have cost billions; the owners made a killing on the insurance; the destruction stimulates a later re-development of Manhattan; the damaging records stored in WTC 7 were destroyed; etc.

Previously, I had assumed that “MIHOP” was synonymous with “inside job.” Apparently, though, a lot of people use “MIHOP” to refer only to a narrower concept.

I consider this usage to be confusing and misleading. But it seems to be widely accepted, to my surprise. Perhaps because of this misleading usage, these labels have also been a topic of much bickering. That being the case, I’m now inclined to agree those who think that the terminology of “MIHOP” vs. “LIHOP” should just be dropped.

I personally, like Nicholas Levis, lean toward the viewpoint he described as “LIHOP plus,” at least for now. (My opinion might change as I explore the evidence more.)

P.S., 11/17/2007: Here on the Truth Action board, Abel Ashes recommends some books about Al Qaeda.



  1. “Well, I learned something new today. I thought I knew what “LIHOP” and “MIHOP” meant. Apparently, not quite.”

    Watching how the terms are used, I’ve come to realize that they mean nothing and everything at the same time.

    To some they mean (and I have seen them used to mean):

    Plane hit the Pentagon
    Sibel Edmonds
    Hijackers–talking about them even as patsies
    Refusing to talk about Controlled Demolition
    Limited Hangout
    Supporting the official story
    Bad, Evil, and worth Fighting over. Endlessly.


    My thesis is that since the terms can (and are used to) specify anything, they should be replace with actual statements, ideas, and arguments.

    Disinformation and the Misleading and False LIHOP/MIHOP Dichotomy

    Comment by arabesque911 — November 11, 2007 @ 7:28 am | Reply

  2. Arabesque, you make some good points about LIHOP/MIHOP being a false dichotomy, but Tarpley’s book is what made me see this. I don’t see why he should be accused of disinformation (that’s your title) or misinformation merely because he uses terms that were already out there. It’s not the terms LIHOP/MIHOP that are divisive, but the accusations that LIHOP advocates are intentionally pushing a “limited hangout.” Researchers and activists are just trying to understand what happened, and I don’t see the need to criticize the theories they develop as misinformation or disinformation. You could have made your argument on the merits that a lot of the MIHOP case incorporates elements of the LIHOP case like the hijackers, Able Danger, Sibel Edmonds, etc. Placing every criticism into the “disinformation/misinformation” rubric is divisive and patronizing, and discourages people from assessing arguments on their merits.

    You’re right that Tarpley makes similar arguments to Ruppert on many issues. Maybe it’s just ego on Tarpley’s part that makes him want to distinguish his work from Ruppert’s.

    Tarpley wrote a good book that follows many of your prescriptions for supporting arguments and not just using the term “MIHOP,” and synthesizes many of the LIHOP/MIHOP arguments into broader explanation. I don’t see any reason to call it disinformation/misinformation just for using terms that were already common in 9/11 research.

    Finally, you conclude with the least common denominator approach of saying that the LIHOP/MIHOP 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.” This implies the possibility of negligence, which I think the unified belief has moved far beyond. Your ultimate conclusion appears to be not that LIHOP/MIHOP is misleading and divisive, but that 9/11 researchers and activists should focus on LIHOP.

    Most people agree that the planes don’t explain the destruction of the buildings, and I would call that a unified belief that is easily provable by basic physical laws. The only attempts to prove the official fairy tale are Bazant, Manuel Garcia, and now Steffan of Cambridge, and their arguments are patently absurd. People can choose to ignore this absurdity or call it non-provable if they wish, and should not be called “limited hangouters,” but they should not criticize those who want to stress the physics of the actual event that killed so many people.

    Comment by dwightvw — November 14, 2007 @ 10:17 pm | Reply

  3. Nicholas Levin does good categorizing. I would just say that the 5:LIHOP could fit into 6:MIHOP if the patsies genuinely believed they were getting on planes to do a hijacking, but the planes were diverted elsewhere or remote-controlled into the Towers. Given transnational military, intelligence, and corporate links, 6,7, and 8 all are basically similar, the only question being whether Bush knew. I agree with Tarply that he probably did not.

    About the demolitions, I think both sets of motives – psyop and financial – are accurate. The reality is that the buildings could not be left standing after the explosions in their upper floors, because it would have been expensive to repair already unprofitable buildings, and because the buildings would have been even less profitable because tenants would leave and noone would want to replace them. And it was hugely profitable to destroy the buildings without having to comply with safety and environmental regulations.

    Comment by dwightvw — November 14, 2007 @ 10:31 pm | Reply

  4. I found Michael Wolsey’s assertion that LIHOP/MIHOP is Orwellian Newspeak to be incredibly overwrought.

    Comment by dwightvw — November 15, 2007 @ 8:36 am | Reply

  5. “Tarpley wrote a good book that follows many of your prescriptions for supporting arguments and not just using the term “MIHOP,” and synthesizes many of the LIHOP/MIHOP arguments into broader explanation. I don’t see any reason to call it disinformation/misinformation just for using terms that were already common in 9/11 research.”

    I mean that the terms can be used in a misleading way (i.e. misinformation/disinformation) depending on the context in which they are used. There are many possible contexts as well as examples in which they could be misunderstood as opposed to understood and Tarpley calling Ruppert’s book “LIHOP” is one among many. When I observed this description of “LIHOP” to describe Ruppert’s book, I was more confused than clear on the meaning of what Tarpley was trying to articulate. When I actually compared the books, I found that they actually articulate almost the same thesis. The only real difference is that Ruppert avoids physical evidence arguments and gives his own reasons for doing this in the book. He does not make the argument that the WTC towers were controlled demolitions for example, although neither does he dismiss this possibility.

    In a sense, this confusion is a result of the terms themselves, not the intent of the user. If I say the attacks were “made” to happen, that can encompass a whole variety of things–so the terms themselves do not necessary mean very much on their own. Which begs the question, if you need to explain what they mean, why use them?

    I also believe that they are used to create value judgments in which MIHOP is considered good, while LIHOP is considered “not good enough”. That’s certainly the way that Tarpley and many others use the terms–to lessen the value of research or approaches that do not coincide with their idea of what happened in the attacks. But if the terms are used in a misleading way, what does this value judgment mean? What does it mean when the attacks involved both elements of making and letting it happen? When this value judgment happens, many deride the work of others as “not important”, “not relevant”, or “not complicit enough”. There are many areas of the 9/11 attacks that involve more and less areas of complicity, and they should all be considered worthy of examination in my opinion. The LIHOP term for example, is often used to distort and discredit different areas of inquiry, such as those involving the hijackers.

    Comment by arabesque911 — December 2, 2007 @ 10:16 am | Reply

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