Friday, July 01, 2005

Krugman, Dahr Jamal, CIA, Privacy, 9/11, Joke

1) It's about time someone in the "paper of record" finally got some wisdom about Iraq. Things really do seem to be turning in the US, and this is a very good sign indeed:
------------------------------------------------------

July 1, 2005

America Held Hostage
By PAUL KRUGMAN
New York Times Op-Ed

A majority of Americans now realize that President Bush deliberately misled the nation to promote a war in Iraq. But Mr. Bush's speech on Tuesday contained a chilling message: America has been taken hostage by his martial dreams. According to Mr. Bush, the nation now has no choice except to keep fighting the war he wanted to fight.

Never mind that Iraq posed no threat before we invaded. Now it's a "central front in the war on terror," Mr. Bush says, quoting Osama bin Laden as an authority. And since a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would, Mr. Bush claims, be a victory for Al Qaeda, Americans have to support this war - and that means supporting him. After all, you wage war with the president you have, not the president you want.

But America doesn't have to let itself be taken hostage. The country missed the chance to say no before this war started, but it can still say no to Mr. Bush's open-ended commitment, and demand a timetable for getting out.

I know that this argument will be hard to sell. Despite everything that has happened, many Americans still want to believe that this war can and should be seen through to victory. But it's time to face up to three realities. First, the war is helping, not hurting, the terrorists. Second, the kind of clear victory the hawks promised is no longer possible, if it ever was. Third, a time limit on our commitment will do more good than harm.

Before the war, opponents warned that it would strengthen, not weaken, terrorism. And so it has: a recent C.I.A. report warns that since the U.S. invasion, Iraq has become what Afghanistan was under the Soviet occupation, only more so: a magnet and training ground for Islamic extremists, who will eventually threaten other countries.

And the situation in Iraq isn't improving. "The White House is completely disconnected from reality," said Senator Chuck Hagel, referring to upbeat assessments of progress. "It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq."

Mr. Hagel claims to believe that we can still win, but it's hard to see how.

More troops might help, but pretty much the whole U.S. Army is already in Iraq, on its way back from Iraq or getting ready to go to Iraq. And the coalition of the willing is shrinking.

Helping Iraqis rebuild their country could help win hearts and minds. But for all the talk of newly painted schools, the fact is that reconstruction, originally stalled by incompetence and corruption, is now stalled by the lack of security. When Ibrahim al-Jafaari, the Iraqi prime minister, visited Washington, he was accompanied by Iraqi journalists. One of them asked Mr. Bush, "When will you begin the reconstruction in Iraq?"

Meanwhile, time is running out for America's volunteer military, which is cracking under the strain of a war it was never designed to fight.

So what would happen if the United States gave up its open-ended commitment to Iraq and set a timetable for withdrawal?

Mr. Bush claims that such a step would "send the wrong signal to our troops, who need to know that we are serious about completing the mission." But what the troops need to know is that their country won't demand more than they can give. He also claims that it would encourage the insurgents, who will "know that all they have to do is to wait us out." But the insurgents don't seem to need encouragement.

It's far more likely that if the Iraqi government knew that our support had an expiration date, it would both look to its own defenses and, more important, try harder to find a political solution to the insurgency.

The Iraq that emerges once U.S. forces are gone won't bear much resemblance to the free-market, pro-American, Israel-friendly democracy the neocons promised. But it will pose less of a terrorist threat than the Iraq we have now.

Remember, Iraq wasn't a breeding ground for terrorists before we went there. All indications are that the foreign terrorists now infesting Iraq are there on the sufferance of a homegrown insurgency that finds them useful for the moment but that, brutal as it is, isn't interested in an apocalyptic confrontation with the Western world. Once we're no longer targets, the foreign terrorists won't be welcome.

The point is that the presence of American forces in Iraq is making our country less safe. So it's time to start winding down the war.

E-mail: krugman@nytimes.com



2) An additional point to this story -- the "Yeni Safak" newspaper referred to in the beginning is a somewhat unreliable Islamist newspaper in Turkey. I'll always remember them for stating that the 1999 earthquake was God's punishment for Turkey's drinkers, secular state, and alliance with Israel. This, of course, does not at all take away from the credibility of Dahr Jamal, the Iraqi journalist who posted this article on his blog...:


June 23, 2005
by Dahr Jamal
http://dahrjamailiraq.com/weblog/archives/dispatches/000256.php


At long last, the culminating session of the World
Tribunal on Iraq is upon us. As a witness providing testimony, like the other witnesses I’m being
interviewed by many outlets. Today, one of them was by
reporters for one of the larger newspapers in Turkey, the Yeni Safak Newspaper.

I’ll leave the reporters nameless, for reasons you’ll
soon see.

The newspaper has been translating various articles of
mine into Turkish and running them, particularly those concerning the most recent Fallujah massacre. The report who was interviewing me today told me that the former American consulate here, Eric Edelman, asked the Prime Minister of Turkey to pressure his paper to not run so many of my stories.

“Why did he do this,” I asked him.

“Edelman said it was the wrong news,” he told me with
a smile. Turns out Edelman also asked that articles by Robert Fisk and Naomi Klein not be run so often in Yeni Safak either.

He smiled at me while he watched the wheels turning in
my head before I smiled back and said, “That makes me very happy, it means I’m doing my job as a journalist.”

We laughed heartily together at this, as did everyone
else at the table.

Reminds me of the obtuse hate mails I sometimes
receive-confirmation that I am doing my job-they always make me smile.

So the American government is pressuring foreign
countries to censor their news. Aside from the fact that this act is the height of arrogance by the
United States, it makes it exceedingly clear why so
many Americans who rely on the corporate media for their news continue to be so misinformed/un-informed about the goings on in Iraq. If the American
government is attempting to censor the news in foreign
countries, you can imagine what they are doing at home.

Because people like Edelman don’t want citizens of the
United States to know that events like the massacre of Fallujah or the atrocities in Abu Ghraib are not isolated incidents.

People like Edelman don’t want people to know what one
of my sources in Baquba just told me today.

His email reads:

“Near the city of Buhrez, 5 kilometers south of
Baquba, two Humvess of American soldiers were destroyed recently. American and Iraqi soldiers came
to the city afterwards and cut all the phones, cut the
water, cut medicine from arriving in the city and told them that until the people of the city
bring the “terrorists” to them, the embargo will
continue.”

The embargo has been in place now for one week now,
and he continued:

“The Americans still won’t anyone or any medicines and
supplies into Buhrez, nor will they allow any people in or out. Even the Al-Sadr followers who organized some help for the people in the city (water, food,
medicine) are not being allowed into the city. Even
journalists cannot enter to publish the news, and the situation there is so bad. The Americans keep asking for the people in the city to bring them the persons who were in charge of destroying the two Humvees on the other side of the city, but of course the people in the city don’t know who carried out the attack.”

People like Edelman don’t want people to know about
the recent US attacks in Al-Qa’im and Haditha either. Attacks that Iraqis are describing as just as bad as the massacre of Fallujah.

On Haditha and Al-Qa’im, an Iraqi doctor sent me this
email yesterday:

“Listen…we witnessed crimes in the west area of the
country of what the bastards did in Haditha and Al-Qa’im. It was a crime, a really big crime we have witnessed and filmed in those places and recently also in Fallujah. We need big help in the western area of the country. Our doctors need urgent help there. Please, this is an URGENT humanitarian request from the hospitals in the west of the country. We have big proof on how the American troops destroyed one of our hospitals, how they burned the whole store of medication of the west area of Iraq and how they
killed a patient in the ward…how they prevented us from helping the people in al-Qa’im. This is an URGENT Humanitarian request. The hospitals in the
west of Iraq ask for urgent help…we are in a big humanitarian medical disaster…”

People like Edelman don’t want the public to know that
the same tactics used in Fallujah by the US military-posting snipers around the city to shoot anyone who moves, targeting ambulances, impeding medical care, or the detaining of innocent civilians en masse.

After all, Fallujah is the model. Fallujah is our
Guernica. And now, Haditha, Al-Qa’im can be added to the list, with Baquba and Buhrez under deconstruction.


3) I can only imagine someone trying to figure out US airstrikes or rendition abductions by deciphering Fox News telecasts. It's surreal, and of course always good to know our security is still in good hands. CIA on the beat:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1516940,00.html

CIA blunder on al-Jazeera 'terror messages'

Gary Younge in New York and Vikram Dodd
Wednesday June 29, 2005
The Guardian

CIA analysts forced 30 flights to be cancelled and raised the US terror alert from yellow to orange because they thought that al-Qaida was sending hidden messages through the headlines of the Arabic television news channel al-Jazeera, it has been revealed.

According to a report by NBC, CIA experts thought they had decoded messages that they believed gave dates, flight numbers and geographic coordinates for targets that included the White House, Seattle's Space Needle and even the small town of Tappahannock, Virginia, which has a population of 2,000...



4) Privacy petition:

http://action.stopfamilyviolence.org/content.jsp?key=566

Take the Oath to Protect Confidentiality

The US military has declared war on the privacy rights of rape victims and their therapists. If they win, it could give the military the power to invade the private, confidential conversations we all have with our physicians, lawyers, therapists, or even spouses.

Your help is urgently needed to fight back.
Sign a citizen or professional oath indicating your interest in making sure that privacy rights are upheld. Bier’s attorney, Wendy Murphy, will take your pledges with her to federal court to help bolster her arguments to keep confidential communications from military purview....


5) This is a long and fascinating article about 9/11 (sorry about the graphics, but it's too long to edit):

Former Bush Admin Economist Says Official Story of
> WTC Collapse 'Bogus'
> United Press International
>
http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20050613-102755-6408r.htm

> A former Bush team member during his first
> administration is now voicing
> serious
> doubts about the collapse of the World Trade Center
> on 9-11.
>
> Former chief economist for the Department of Labor
> during President George
> W.
> Bush's first term Morgan Reynolds comments that the
> official story about
> the
> collapse of the WTC is "bogus" and that it is more
> likely that a controlled
> demolition destroyed the Twin Towers and adjacent
> Building No. 7.
>
> Reynolds, who also served as director of the
> Criminal Justice Center at the
> National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas and is
> now professor emeritus
> at
> Texas A&M University said, "If demolition destroyed
> three steel skyscrapers
> at
> the World Trade Center on 9/11, then the case for an
> 'inside job' and a
> government attack on America would be compelling."
>
> Reynolds commented from his Texas A&M office, "It is
> hard to exaggerate the
> importance of a scientific debate over the cause of
> the collapse of the
> twin
> towers and building 7. If the official wisdom on the
> collapses is wrong, as
> I
> believe it is, then policy based on such erroneous
> engineering analysis is
> not
> likely to be correct either. The government's
> collapse theory is highly
> vulnerable on its own terms. Only professional
> demolition appears to
> account for
> the full range of facts associated with the collapse
> of the three
> buildings."
>
>
> Why Did the Trade Center Skyscrapers Collapse?
>
http://prisonplanet.com/articles/june2005/150605wtccollapse.htm
> Morgan Reynolds
>
> "It didn’t seem real… There are thousands of
> these steel beams that
> just
> fell like pickup sticks."
>
> ~ John Albanese, volunteer firefighter and amateur
> photographer
>
> "What struck us – guys like Warren Jennings and
> myself, who have
> spent
> basically all our lives in the scrap business – we’d
> never seen steel
> this
> heavy, this huge, this massive. It was just
> unbelievable."
>
> ~ Michael Henderson (p. 93),
> General Manager, Marine Terminals, Metal Management
> NE
>
> To explain the unanticipated free-fall collapses of
> the twin towers at the
> World
> Trade Center on September 11, 2001, mainstream
> experts (also see The
> American
> Professional Constructor, October 2004, pp. 12–18)
> offer a three-stage
> argument:
> 1) an airplane impact weakened each structure, 2) an
> intense fire thermally
> weakened structural components that may have
> suffered damage to
> fireproofing
> materials, causing buckling failures, which, in
> turn, 3) allowed the upper
> floors to pancake onto the floors below.
>
> Many will nod their head, OK, that does it and go
> back to watching the NBA
> finals or whatever, but I find this theory just
> about as satisfying as the
> fantastic conspiracy theory that "19 young Arabs
> acting at the behest of
> Islamist extremists headquartered in distant
> Afghanistan" caused 9/11. The
> government’s collapse theory is highly vulnerable on
> its own terms, but
> its
> blinkered narrowness and lack of breadth is the
> paramount defect unshared
> by its
> principal scientific rival – controlled demolition.
> Only professional
> demolition
> appears to account for the full range of facts
> associated with the
> collapses of
> WTC 1 (North Tower), WTC 2 (South Tower), and the
> much-overlooked collapse
> of
> the 47-story WTC building 7 at 5:21 pm on that
> fateful day.
>
> The scientific controversy over the initial
> structural weakening has two
> parts:
> what caused the original tower damage and did that
> damage "severely" weaken
> the
> structures? Photos show a stable, motionless North
> Tower (WTC 1) after the
> damage suffered at 8:46 am and the South Tower after
> its 9:03 am impact. If
> we
> focus on the North Tower, close examination of
> photos reveals arguably
> "minor"
> rather than "severe" damage in the North Tower and
> its perimeter columns.
>
> As many as 45 exterior columns between floors 94 and
> 98 on the northeast
> (impact) side of the North Tower were fractured –
> separated from each
> other –
> yet there is no direct evidence of "severe"
> structural weakening. None of
> the up
> per sections of the broken perimeter columns visibly
> sags or buckles toward
> its
> counterpart column below. We can infer this because
> of the aluminum covers
> on
> the columns: each seam uniformly aligns properly
> across the Tower, forming
> a
> horizontal "dashed line" in the façade from beveled
> end to end. Despite
> an
> impact hole, gaps in perimeter columns, and missing
> parts of floors 95–98
> at the
> opening, the aluminum façade shows no evidence of
> vertical displacement
> in the
> columns, suggestive of little or no wider floor
> buckling at the perimeter.
>
> The aluminum covers attached to the columns also
> aligned vertically after
> impact, that is, separated columns continued to
> visually remain "plumb"
> (true
> vertical), lining up top to bottom around the
> aperture, implying no
> perceptible
> horizontal displacement of the columns. Photographic
> evidence for the
> northeast
> side of the North Tower showed no wider secondary
> structural impact beyond
> the
> opening itself. Of course, there was smoke pouring
> out of the upper floors.
>
> The fact that perimeter columns were not displaced
> suggests that the floors
> did
> not buckle or sag. Despite missing parts of floors
> 95–98, photos show no
> buckling or sag on other floors. If so, that boosts
> the likelihood that
> there
> was little damage to the core. Photos do not
> document what happened within
> the
> interior/core and no one was allowed to inspect and
> preserve relevant
> rubble
> before government authorities – primarily FEMA – had
> it quickly
> removed.
> Eyewitness testimony by those who escaped from
> inside the North Tower
> concerning
> core damage probably is unavailable.
>
> Photos do not allow us to peer far into the interior
> of the building; in
> fact
> the hole is black, with no flames visible. We know
> that the structural core
> and
> its steel was incredibly strong (claimed 600%
> redundancy) making it
> unlikely
> that the core was "severely" damaged at impact.
> There were 47 core columns
> connected to each other by steel beams within an
> overall rectangular core
> floor
> area of approximately 87 feet x 137 feet (26.5 m x
> 41.8 m). Each column had
> a
> rectangular cross section of approximately 36" x 14"
> at the base (90 cm x
> 36 cm)
> with steel 4" thick all around (100 mm), tapering to
> ¼" (6 mm) thickness
> at the
> top. Each floor was also extremely strong (p. 26), a
> grid of steel,
> contrary to
> claims of a lightweight "truss" system.
>
> Those who support the official account like Thomas
> Eagar (p. 14), professor
> of
> materials engineering and engineering systems at
> MIT, usually argue that
> the
> collapse must be explained by the heat from the
> fires because the loss of
> loading-bearing capacity from the holes in the
> Towers was too small. The
> transfer of load would have been within the capacity
> of the towers. Since
> steel
> used in buildings must be able to bear five times
> its normal load, Eagar
> points
> out, the steel in the towers could have collapsed
> only if heated to the
> point
> where it "lost 80 percent of its strength, " around
> 1,300oF. Eagar believes
> that
> this is what happened, though the fires did not
> appear to be extensive and
> intense enough, quickly billowing black smoke and
> relatively few flames.
>
> While some experts claim that airliner impact
> severely weakened the entire
> structural system, evidence is lacking. The
> perimeters of floors 94–98
> did not
> appear severely weakened, much less the entire
> structural system. The
> criminal
> code requires that crime scene evidence be saved for
> forensic analysis but
> FEMA
> had it destroyed before anyone could seriously
> investigate it. FEMA was in
> position to take command because it had arrived the
> day before the attacks
> at
> New York’s Pier 29 to conduct a war game exercise,
> "Tripod II," quite a
> coincidence. The authorities apparently considered
> the rubble quite
> valuable:
> New York City officials had every debris truck
> tracked on GPS and had one
> truck
> driver who took an unauthorized 1 ½ hour lunch
> fired.
>
> The preliminary NIST Response claims that "the wall
> section above the
> impact
> zone moved downward" (pdf, p. 36) on WTC 1 but
> offers no evidence. It
> offers
> photographic evidence, however, for a "hanging floor
> slab" on the 82d floor
> of
> the South Tower at 9:55 a.m. This looks minor though
> because there is no
> sag on
> adjacent floors and the integrity of the structure
> looks very much intact.
> The
> fire looks weak too, yet the South Tower collapsed
> only four minutes later.
> This
> would be quite a puzzle without a demolition theory.
>
> About a dozen of the fragmented ends of exterior
> columns in the North Tower
> hole
> were bent but the bends faced the "wrong way"
> because they pointed toward
> the
> outside of the Tower. This fact is troublesome for
> the official theory that
> a
> plane crash created the hole and subsequent
> explosion between floors 94 and
> 98.
> The laws of physics imply that a high-speed airplane
> with fuel-filled wings
> breaking through thin perimeter columns would
> deflect the shattered ends of
> the
> columns inward, if deflected in any direction,
> certainly not bend them
> outward
> toward the exterior.
>
> A possible response would be that, well, yes, an
> airliner crash would bend
> a
> column inward rather than outward, if bent at all,
> but the subsequent force
> of a
> jet fuel blast would act in the opposite direction:
> any inward bends caused
> by
> plane impact would straighten toward vertical or
> even reverse the bent
> steel
> columns toward the exterior under blast pressure.
> However, such a proposed
> steel
> "reversal theory" (first bend inward by collision,
> then bend outward by
> explosion) suffers two major handicaps:
>
> 1.
> No "inward-bending columns" were observed and
> it would be unlikely
> that
> each and every one would be reversed by subsequent
> explosion, and
>
> 2.
> the hypothesis is ad hoc and lacks simplicity,
> both scientific
> negatives.
>
> Occam’s razor would suggest that the outward bends
> in the perimeter
> columns were
> caused by explosions from inside the tower rather
> than bends caused by
> airliner
> impact from outside. Also supporting this theory is
> the fact that the
> uniformly
> neat ends of the blown perimeter columns are
> consistent with the linear
> shaped
> charges demolition experts use to slice steel as
> thick as 10 inches. The
> hypothesis of linear shaped charges also explains
> the perfectly formed
> crosses
> found in the rubble (crucifix-shaped fragments of
> core column structures),
> as
> well as the rather-neatly shorn steel everywhere.
>
> The engineering establishment’s theory has further
> difficulties. It is
> well-known that the hole in the west wing of the
> Pentagon, less than
> 18-foot
> diameter, was too small to accommodate a Boeing 757,
> but the North
> Tower’s hole
> wasn’t big enough for a Boeing 767 either, the
> alleged widebody airliner
> used on
> AA Flight 11 (officially tail number N334AA,
> FAA-listed as "destroyed"). A
> Boeing 767 has a wingspan of 155’ 1" (47.6 m) yet
> the maximum distance
> across
> the hole in the North Tower was about 115 feet (35
> m), a hole undersized by
> some
> 40 feet or 26 percent. "The last few feet at the
> tips of the wings did not
> even
> break through the exterior columns," comments
> Hufschmid (p. 27). But 20
> feet on
> each wing? I’d call that a substantial difference,
> not "the last few
> feet,"
> especially since aircraft impact holes tend to be
> three times the size of
> the
> aircraft, reflecting the fact that fuel-laden
> airliners flying into
> buildings
> send things smashing about in a big way. The small
> size of the holes in
> both
> towers casts doubt on the airliner-impact hypothesis
> and favors
> professional
> demolition again. There were no reports of plane
> parts, especially wings,
> shorn
> off in the collision and bounced to the ground on
> the northeast side of the
> tower, to my knowledge, though FEMA reported a few
> small pieces to the
> south at
> Church street (pp. 68–9) and atop WTC-5 to the east
> of WTC-1.
>
> Adding to the suspicious nature of the small
> aperture in WTC 1 is that some
> vertical gaps in the columns on the left side of the
> northeast hole were so
> short, probably less than three feet (p. 105) high
> (p. 27). Not much of a
> jumbo
> jet could pass through such an opening, especially
> since a fuel-laden plane
> would not minimize its frontal area. The engines are
> a special problem
> because
> each engine is enormous and dense, consisting mainly
> of tempered steel and
> weighing 24 to 28.5 tons, depending upon model. No
> engine was recovered in
> the
> rubble yet no hydrocarbon fire could possibly
> vaporize it.
>
> The hole in the North Tower also is suspicious
> because it did not even have
> a
> continuous opening at the perimeter, but instead
> contained substantial WTC
> material (p. 27) just left of center (pp. 62, 105).
> This material appears
> integral to that area, so it did not move much,
> suggesting minimal
> displacement
> and no clean penetration by a jumbo jet. These huge
> airliners weigh 82 tons
> empty and have a maximum takeoff weight of up to 193
> tons.
>
> In the case of the South Tower, an engine from UAL
> Flight 175 (tail number
> N612UA and FAA-registered as still valid!) has not
> been recovered despite
> the
> fact that the flight trajectory of the video plane
> implied that the right
> engine
> would miss the South Tower. Photos showing minor
> engine parts on the ground
> are
> unconvincing, to put it mildly. Perhaps independent
> jet engine experts
> (retired?) can testify to the contrary. Further
> contradicting the official
> account, the beveled edge of the southeast side of
> the south tower was
> completely intact upon initial impact. The
> government never produced a jet
> engine yet claimed it recovered the passport of
> alleged hijacker Satam al
> Suqami
> unharmed by a fiery crash and catastrophic collapse
> of the North Tower. The
> government has not produced voice (CVR) or flight
> data recorders (FDR) in
> the
> New York attack either, so-called black boxes, a
> fact unprecedented in the
> aviation history of major domestic crashes.
>
> Adding to the problems of the official theory is the
> fact that photos of
> the
> North Tower hole show no evidence of a plane either.
> There is no
> recognizable
> wreckage or plane parts at the immediate crash site.
> While the issue
> probably
> takes us too far afield, the landing wheel assembly
> that allegedly flew out
> of
> the North Tower and was found several streets away
> could easily have been
> planted by FEMA or other government agents. I’ve
> never seen any objective
> analysis of this wheel assembly though it would be
> welcome. In fact, the
> government has failed to produce significant
> wreckage from any of the four
> alleged airliners that fateful day. The familiar
> photo of the Flight 93
> crash
> site in Pennsylvania (The 9/11 Commission Report,
> Ch. 9) shows no fuselage,
> engine or anything recognizable as a plane, just a
> smoking hole in the
> ground.
> Photographers reportedly were not allowed near the
> hole. Neither the FBI
> nor the
> National Transportation Safety Board have
> investigated or produced any
> report on
> the alleged airliner crashes.
>
> The WTC 1 and Pentagon holes were not alone in being
> too small. Photos show
> that
> the hole in WTC 2 also was too small to have been
> caused by the crash of a
> Boeing 767. In fact, the South Tower hole is
> substantially smaller than the
> North Tower hole.
>
> The next question is whether the fires were hot
> enough to cause the WTC
> buildings to collapse. In defending the official
> account and its clones
> that try
> to explain the unprecedented collapses of three
> steel-framed skyscrapers
> without
> demolition, heat arguably is more important than
> structural impact.
> That’s
> obviously true for building WTC 7 because there was
> no alleged airplane
> impact.
>
> First, no steel-framed skyscraper, even engulfed in
> flames hour after hour,
> had
> ever collapsed before. Suddenly, three stunning
> collapses occur within a
> few
> city blocks on the same day, two allegedly hit by
> aircraft, the third not.
> These
> extraordinary collapses after short-duration minor
> fires made it all the
> more
> important to preserve the evidence, mostly steel
> girders, to study what had
> happened. On fire intensity, consider this
> benchmark: A 1991 FEMA report on
> Philadelphia’s Meridian Plaza fire said that the
> fire was so energetic
> that
> "[b]eams and girders sagged and twisted," but
> "[d]espite this extraordinary
> exposure, the columns continued to support their
> loads without obvious
> damage"
> (quoted by Griffin, p. 15). Such an intense fire
> with consequent sagging
> and
> twisting steel beams bears no resemblance to what we
> observed at the WTC.
>
> Second, severe structural damage to the WTC towers
> would have required
> fires
> that were not only large but growing throughout the
> buildings and burning
> for a
> considerable period of time. None of these
> conditions was present. "The
> lack of
> flames is an indication that the fires were small,
> and the dark smoke is an
> indication that the fires were suffocating," points
> out Hufschmid (p. 35).
> Eyewitnesses in the towers, as well as police and
> firefighters, reported
> (pp.
> 199–200) the same thing.
>
> Third, the impact opening was 15 floors lower in the
> South Tower than in
> the
> North Tower, where core columns were thicker, so the
> South Tower fire had
> to
> produce more heat to raise the steel temperatures to
> soften up (thermally
> weaken) the steel columns. Yet its fires were
> considerably smaller and 30
> minutes shorter in duration. The Tower collapsed
> after burning only 56
> minutes.
> A prime candidate to explain why "the wrong tower
> fell first" is that the
> small
> dying fire in the South Tower forced the hand of the
> mass murderers who
> decided
> to trigger demolition earlier than planned in order
> to sustain the lie that
> fire
> caused the collapse. The North Tower stood for
> another 29 minutes and its
> core
> steel was thinner at its upper stories. The 1991
> Meridian Plaza fire burned
> for
> 19 hours and the fire was so extreme that flames
> came from dozens of
> windows on
> many floors. It did not collapse.
>
> Fourth, implicitly trying to explain away these
> difficulties, the current
> NIST
> investigation, conducted by "an extended
> investigation team of 236 people,"
> makes "dislodged fireproofing" the key variable to
> explain the collapses.
> Supposedly, "the probable collapse sequence for the
> WTC towers are (sic)
> based
> on the behavior of thermally weakened structural
> components that had
> extensive
> damage to fireproofing or gypsum board fire
> protection induced by the
> debris
> field generated by aircraft impact" (p. 111). "Had
> fireproofing not been
> dislodged by debris field," this team of
> government-paid experts claims,
> "temperature rise of structural components would
> likely have been
> insufficient
> to induce global collapse" (p. 108). Perhaps
> acknowledging the lack of
> direct
> evidence for its conjectures, the NIST admits that
> "a full collapse of the
> WTC
> floor system would not occur even with a number of
> failed trusses or
> connections" and it "recognizes inherent
> uncertainties" (pp. 110 and 112).
> The
> NIST will have to boost its creativity to plausibly
> explain the WTC 7
> collapse
> because it won’t have the benefit of tales of
> aircraft and debris fields.
>
> Aside from specific defects in the fire collapse
> theory, a wide variety of
> facts
> undermine it:
>
> * Photos show people walking around in the hole
> in the North Tower
> "where
> 10,000 gallons of jet fuel were supposedly burning.
> The women (p. 27) seem
> to
> (sic) looking down to the ground" (the NIST
> "Response" pdf, p. 62, also
> shows a
> similar photo of the same blond woman with
> light-colored slacks looking
> over the
> edge of the 94th floor).
> * By the time the South Tower was hit, most of
> the North Tower’s
> flames had
> already vanished, burning for only 16 minutes.
> * The fire did not grow over time, probably
> because it quickly ran out
> of
> fuel and was suffocating rather than the sprinkler
> system dousing the
> fires.
> * FDNY fire fighters remain under a gag order
> (Rodriguezvs-1.Bush.pdf,
> p.
> 10) to not discuss the explosions they heard, felt
> and saw. FAA personnel
> are
> also under a 9/11 gag order.
> * Even the 9/11 Commission (Kean-Zelikow) Report
> acknowledges that
> "none of
> the [fire] chiefs present believed that a total
> collapse of either tower
> was
> possible" (Ch. 9, p. 302). It shocked everyone that
> day, amateur and
> professional alike, although some firefighters
> realized that so-called
> secondary
> explosive devices were a risk.
>
> Griffin (pp. 25–7) succinctly identifies the primary
> defects in the
> official
> account of the WTC collapses, and its sister
> theories. These problems were
> entirely ignored by The 9/11 Commission Report
> (2004), so the government
> appointees must have found it difficult to account
> for the following facts:
>
> 1. Fire had never before caused steel-frame
> buildings to collapse except
> for
> the three buildings on 9/11, nor has fire collapsed
> any steel high rise
> since
> 9/11.
> 2. The fires, especially in the South Tower and
> WTC-7, were small.
> 3. WTC-7 was unharmed by an airplane and had only
> minor fires on the
> seventh
> and twelfth floors of this 47-story steel building
> yet it collapsed in less
> than
> 10 seconds.
> 4. WTC-5 and WTC-6 had raging fires but did not
> collapse despite much
> thinner
> steel beams (pp. 68–9).
> 5. In a PBS documentary, Larry Silverstein, the
> WTC lease-holder,
> recalled
> talking to the fire department commander on 9/11
> about WTC-7 and said,
> "…maybe
> the smartest thing to do is pull it," slang for
> demolish it.
> 6. FEMA, given the uninviting task of explaining
> the collapse of
> Building 7
> with mention of demolition verboten admitted that
> the best it could come up
> with
> had "only a low probability of occurrence."
> 7. It’s difficult if not impossible for
> hydrocarbon fires like those
> fed by
> jet fuel (kerosene) to raise the temperature of
> steel close to melting.
>
> Professional demolition, by contrast, can explain
> all of these facts and
> more.
> Demolition means placing explosives throughout a
> building, and detonating
> them
> in sequence to weaken "the structure so it collapses
> or folds in upon
> itself"
> (p. 44). In conventional demolitions gravity does
> most of the work,
> although it
> probably did a minority on 9/11, so heavily were the
> towers honeycombed
> with
> explosives.
>
> 1. Each WTC building collapse occurred at
> virtually free-fall speed
> (approximately 10 seconds or less).
> 2. Each building collapsed, for the most part,
> into its own footprint.
> 3. Virtually all the concrete (an estimated
> 100,000 tons in each tower)
> on
> every floor was pulverized into a very fine dust, a
> phenomenon that
> requires
> enormous energy and could not be caused by gravity
> alone ("…workers
> can’t even
> find concrete. ‘It’s all dust,’ [the official]
> said").
> 4. Dust exploded horizontally for a couple
> hundred feet, as did debris,
> at
> the beginning of each tower’s collapse.
> 5. Collapses were total, leaving none of the
> massive core columns
> sticking up
> hundreds of feet into the air.
> 6. Salvage experts were amazed at how small the
> debris stacks were.
> 7. The steel beams and columns came down in
> sections under 30 feet long
> and
> had no signs of "softening"; there was little left
> but shorn sections of
> steel
> and a few bits of concrete.
> 8. Photos and videos of the collapses all show
> "demolition waves,"
> meaning
> "confluent rows of small explosions" along floors
> (blast sequences).
> 9. According to many witnesses, explosions
> occurred within the
> buildings.
> 10. Each collapse had detectable seismic
> vibrations suggestive of
> underground
> explosions, similar to the 2.3 earthquake magnitude
> from a demolition like
> the
> Seattle Kingdome (p. 108).
> 11. Each collapse produced molten steel identical
> to that generated by
> explosives, resulting in "hot spots" that persisted
> for months (the two
> hottest
> spots at WTC-2 and WTC-7 were approximately 1,350o F
> five days after being
> continuously flooded with water, a temperature high
> enough to melt aluminum
> (p.
> 70).
>
> Controlled demolition would have required unimpeded
> access to the WTC,
> access to
> explosives, avoiding detection, and the expertise to
> orchestrate the deadly
> destruction from a nearby secure location. Such
> access before 9/11 likely
> depended on complicity by one or more WTC security
> companies. These
> companies
> focus on "access control" and as security specialist
> Wayne Black says,
> "When you
> have a security contract, you know the inner
> workings of everything."
> Stratesec,
> a now-defunct company that had security contracts at
> the World Trade Center
> and
> Dulles International Airport, should be
> investigated, among others, because
> of
> the strange coincidence that President Bush’s
> brother, Marvin P. Bush,
> and his
> cousin, Wirt D. Walker III, were principals in the
> company, with Walker
> acting
> as CEO from 1999 until January 2002 and Marvin
> reportedly in New York on
> 9/11.
> At least one report claims that a "power down"
> condition prevailed on
> September
> 8–9 (pdf, p. 45) at WTC to complete a "cabling
> upgrade," presenting an
> opportunity to plant explosives with low risk of
> detection.
>
> A related point is that demolition companies go to
> considerable expense to
> wire
> steel-framed skyscrapers with explosives to produce
> safe implosions, and
> they
> would love to do it more cheaply by simply setting
> two small fires like
> those
> that (allegedly) caved in building 7. Apparently,
> the terrorist-inventors
> have
> kept this new technology secret.
>
> Why would the killers destroy WTC-7, especially
> since a collapse would
> arouse
> suspicion in some quarters? A logical if unproven
> theory is that the
> perpetrators used Mayor Giuliani’s sealed OEM
> "bunker" on the 23d story
> of WTC-7
> to conduct the twin tower implosions and then
> destroyed the building and
> evidence to cover up their crimes, just as a
> murderer might set his
> victim’s
> dwelling ablaze to cover up the crime (one in four
> fires is arson).
> Giuliani’s
> "undisclosed secret location" was perfect because it
> had been evacuated by
> 9:45
> a.m. on 9/11, it enabled unmolested work, provided a
> ringside seat, was
> bullet-
> and bomb-resistant, had its own secure air and water
> supply, and could
> withstand
> winds of 160 mph, necessary protection from the wind
> blasts generated by
> collapsing skyscrapers.
>
> There is special import in the fact of free-fall
> collapse (item one in the
> list
> immediately above), if only because everyone agrees
> that the towers fell at
> free-fall speed. This makes pancake collapse with
> one floor progressively
> falling onto the floor below an unattractive
> explanation. Progressive
> pancaking
> cannot happen at free-fall speed ("g" or 9.8 m/s2).
> Free-fall would require
> "pulling" or removing obstacles below before they
> could impede (slow) the
> acceleration of falling objects from above.
> Sequenced explosions, on the
> other
> hand, explain why the lower floors did not interfere
> with the progress of
> the
> falling objects above. The pancake theory fails this
> test.
>
> If we put the murder of 2,749 innocent victims
> momentarily aside, the only
> unusual technical feature of the collapses of the
> twin towers was that the
> explosions began at the top, immediately followed by
> explosions from below.
> WTC-7, by contrast, was entirely conventional,
> imploding from bottom up.
>
> It is hard to exaggerate the importance of a
> scientific debate over the
> cause(s)
> of the collapse of the twin towers and building 7.
> If the official wisdom
> on the
> collapses is wrong, as I believe it is, then policy
> based on such erroneous
> engineering analysis is not likely prove to be
> sound. Revised engineering
> and
> construction practices, for example, based on the
> belief that the twin
> towers
> collapsed through airplane damage and subsequent
> fires is premature, to say
> the
> least.
>
> More importantly, momentous political and social
> consequences would follow
> if
> impartial observers concluded that professionals
> imploded the WTC. If
> demolition
> destroyed three steel skyscrapers at the World Trade
> Center on 9/11, then
> the
> case for an "inside job" and a government attack on
> America would be
> compelling.
> Meanwhile, the job of scientists, engineers and
> impartial researchers
> everywhere
> is to get the scientific and engineering analysis of
> 9/11 right, "though
> heaven
> should fall." Unfortunately, getting it right in
> today’s "security state"
> demands daring because explosives and structural
> experts have been
> intimidated
> in their analyses of the collapses of 9/11.
>
> Morgan Reynolds, Ph.D., is professor emeritus at
> Texas A&M University and
> former
> director of the Criminal Justice Center at the
> National Center for Policy
> Analysis headquartered in Dallas, TX. He served as
> chief economist for the
> US
> Department of Labor during 2001–2, George W. Bush's
> first term.
>




6) This is a follow-up to the previous 9/11 Story:

Thursday, June 30, 2005
http://www.lewisnews.com/article.asp?ID=105580

Bush Insider Claim WTC Collapse Bogus Gets 'Huge
Response' And Read By Millions Worldwide

Posted on: 6/28/2005 7:37:00 AM -
Columnist By Greg Szymanski

When Morgan Reynolds called the official story about
9/11 bogus, it seemed like the whole world stopped for
a moment to listen.

It seemed like a lighting bolt hit the heart of the
government story, cracking it into a million
unexplainable pieces.

And when the dust settled from his explosive
tatements, the highest-ranking member of the Bush team
to make such an accusation said he wasn’t expecting
any "invitations to the White House anytime soon."

Two weeks ago, the former chief economist in the Labor
Department during President Bush’s first term told the
world he thought the WTC fell from a controlled
demolition, indicating 9/11 was "an inside government
job."

Reynolds, a respected economist and former Republican
conservative, made his claims after researching many
aspects of 9/11, including scientific and engineering
data for and against the government story.

He presented his findings on the Internet in a long,
detailed article, concluding:
"It is hard to exaggerate the importance of a
scientific debate over the cause(s) of the collapse of
the twin towers and Building 7. If the official
wisdom on the collapses is wrong, as I believe it is,
then policy based on such erroneous engineering
analysis is not likely to be correct either.

"The government's collapse theory is highly vulnerable
on its own terms. Only professional demolition appears
to account for the full range of facts associated with
the collapse of the three buildings.

"More importantly, momentous political and social
consequences would follow if impartial observers
concluded that professionals imploded the WTC.
Meanwhile, the job of scientists, engineers and
impartial researchers everywhere is to get
the scientific and engineering analysis of 9/11
right."

Considering his place among the Republican faithful,
once the media got its "claws into his controversial
remarks," his words quickly spread with the help
of cyberspace like an out of control wildfire.

Not only did millions read his story on the Internet,
but Reynolds controversial comments then drew instant
attention from numerous mainstream newspapers, radio
and television stations, including UPI, MSNBC, FOX
News and over a dozen other major market local radio
and TV stations.

It was a story that "grew wings," a story Reynolds
never expected would get so much attention and such a
large audience.

"I had a huge response and it really was amazing. I
never expected so many people to respond so
passionately," said Reynolds this week in a telephone
interview. "I literally received hundreds and hundred
of emails, some agreeing with me and others, of
course, disagreeing.

"After it was all said and done, as things are
starting to finally quiet down now, I would guess it
was about 5 to 1 in favor of what I was saying.
However, I never imagined how much support there was
out there for what I was suggesting occurred on 9/11."

Without mincing words, as he did in his article,
Reynolds quickly changed the subject, again placing
the blame squarely on the government for not coming
clean about what happened on 9/11, saying it’s important to get to the bottom of a "story that dwarfs all others in comparison."

"What it boils down to is that the government and the
mainstream media are not digging into the 9/11
controversy because they are hiding something," said
Reynolds. "From a media point of view, it’s the story
of the century and they are not even trying to connect
the dots."

Continuing to throw some punches at his former
employer, he added:

"It’s nothing new. The government has always lied
about so many things. Look at the Downing Street Memo,
for example, the document confirming that the Bush
administration lied to us about its motives for
getting into the war.

" If they lied to us about this, what else? Well, 9/11
is just another example."

To add more fuel to the hot 9/11 controversy, William
Rodriguez, the WTC janitor who heard and felt a strong
explosion in the basement levels of the north tower
just seconds before the jetliner crashed into the top
floors, recently came forward to tell his story,
adding further credibility to Reynolds’ conclusions.

Rodriguez claims a massive underground explosion
brought down the towers. His story is strengthened
further by 14 other eye witnesses who can verify his
claims, as well as a burn victim from the basement
explosion who he helped to safety.

Immediately following 9/11, Rodriguez tried to tell
his story, but claims the 9/11 Commission and the
mainstream media have systematically censored his
words in order to protect the official government
story, a story ignoring the possibility of explosives
being used to bring down the WTC.

Commenting on Rodriguez, Reynolds said: "It’s not a
coincidence that there was first an explosion below
and then the jetliner explosion seconds later above.
At least there should have been a thorough
investigation since the timing of the explosions
strikes me as an impossibility if you believe, as the government contends, that only a jetliner brought down the towers."

Reynolds added that nobody from the Bush administration has officially contacted him about his
statements suggesting 9/11 was an "inside job," but
said he was aware that "administration operatives" have carried his message into the halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

"How high up it went, I just don’t know," he added.

Asked if he was going to continue to research and
write about 9/11, Reynolds said: "Yes, of course, I
see it as a citizen’s duty and I hope to do some more
writing on the subject very soon."




7) Could this be another sign that the mood is shifting in the US (or is it just humor?):

A lobbyist, on his way home from work in Washington, D.C., came to a dead halt in traffic and thought to himself, "Wow, this seems worse than usual."

He noticed a police officer walking between the lines of stopped cars, so he rolled down his window and asked, "Officer, what's the hold-up?"

The officer replied, "The President is depressed, so he stopped his motorcade and is threatening to douse himself with gasoline and set himself on fire. He says no one believes his stories about why we went to war in Iraq, or the connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda, or that his tax cuts will help anyone except his wealthy friends; the press called him on the lie about Iraq, and now with the Downing Street Memo and four others that prove he planned on war a year before telling the public, he's gone off the deep-end. So we're taking up a collection for him."

The lobbyist asks, "How much have you got so far?"

The officer replies, "About 14 gallons, but a lot of folks are still siphoning."

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