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When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed
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Advance Praise for David Ray Griffin’s 9/11 Ten Years Later • 400 Words
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“Our civilization cannot survive if we do not confront the unanswered questions about 9/11. David Ray Griffin does that with the same clarity and meticulous documentation that characterized his preceding books. Frightening as the enormity of the truth about 9/11 may be, we should also bear in mind that it is a window of opportunity for addressing a whole range of problems threatening the lives of our children and grandchildren. I am sure those who follow will recognize David Ray Griffin’s body of work as one of the most important contributions of the last decade.”

Niels Harrit, Associate Professor Emeritus, Nano-science Center, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen

“Anyone who has actually studied Griffin’s writings on 9/11 knows that the evidence against the truth of the official account is overwhelming. It is not surprising that the mainstream response has been to ridicule and ignore rather than to engage in reasoned discussion. What is disappointing is that leading liberals and responsible journalists have joined in by affirming ideas that contradict basic science and condescendingly rejecting solid research without examining it. In this book, Griffin describes the behavior of these journalists and attempts, in a remarkably charitable spirit, to understand it.”

John B. Cobb, Jr., author of The Earthist Challenge to Economism and (with Herman Daly) For the Common Good

“Why yet another book on 9/11? Because, as David Ray Griffin points out clearly and persuasively, 9/11 continues to be not only the greatest crime in American history, but also the most strenuously covered up, and certainly the crime with the greatest political consequences. He shows how over a decade the events of 9/11 and the reports on them have been used to attack the American democratic system. Above all, he documents the success of this attack—by the refusal of the media, the academy, and religious institutions to openly discuss these matters, and by the numbers of critics who at one extreme have made fools of themselves in echoing the Orwellian official version, and at the other extreme have been either fired or silenced after their dissent from it.”

Peter Dale Scott, poet, former Canadian diplomat, professor at the University of California (Berkeley), and author of American War Machine

Introduction: 9/11 Ten Years Later • 2,000 Words

The words in the title of this book—“9/11 Ten Years Later”—are often followed with an exclamation point. The exclamation point may be a way of expressing, by members of the 9/11 Truth Movement, amazement that the truth has not already been publicly revealed. The exclamation point might be used by detractors of this movement—perhaps along with an expletive—to express their feeling that it is time for these people to “get a life.” The exclamation point might reflect a position somewhat in the middle—of spouses of members hoping that no more years of their family life will be oriented around the work of trying to get the truth revealed.

In any case, for reasons discussed in this book (especially the final two chapters), there is nothing surprising about the fact that the 9/11 crime has not been revealed. Those who have gained control of a state in an ostensible democracy have many means not only for orchestrating major crimes, but also for preventing those crimes (including their crimes against democracy itself) from being publicized.

What is somewhat surprising, perhaps to the perpetrators themselves, is the fact that the 9/11 Truth Movement is still alive and, in fact, continues to grow. The first professional 9/11 organization, Scholars for 9/11 Truth, was formed in 2005, and since then a dozen professional organizations have been created. It was not until 2006 that architect Richard Gage started Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth with one member—himself—but now over 1,500 architects and engineers have signed its petition. Some of the organizations, such as Scientists for 9/11 Truth and Actors and Artists for 9/11 Truth, have started up only in the past two years.

This tenth anniversary marks a milestone in my own work: The present book is my tenth book about 9/11. I have been pleased to see, as indicated by sales, that my books on this topic have continued to seem helpful—including my oldest book, The New Pearl Harbor.[1]My previous nine books were: The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 (2004); The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (2005); Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action (2006); 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, co-edited with Peter Dale Scott (2006); Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (2007); 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press (2008); The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (2008); The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center: Why the Final Official 9/11 Report is Unscientific and False (2009); Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (2010). I did not include in this list The American Empire and the Commonwealth of God: A Political, Economic, Religious Statement, co-authored with John B. Cobb Jr., Richard Falk, and Catherine Keller (2006), because it had only a few pages about 9/11. And I did not include Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (2008), because there is no evidence—even the FBI agrees—that Osama bid Laden had anything to do with 9/11.

Unfortunately, “ten years later” also applies to the war in Afghanistan, which began on October 7, 2001. The first chapter of this book deals with the still widely-held belief that this war was justified by 9/11. For people new to the issues, this chapter can serve as a summary of the evidence against the view that Osama bin Laden in particular, or al-Qaeda in general, was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is also the tenth anniversary of the new onslaught of the (Christian and Jewish) West against the Muslim world—an onslaught that now includes not only the US-NATO attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, but also support for Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon/Hezbollah and its continued oppression of Palestine, along with US provocations in Iran, Yemen, and Syria. How can anyone think that 9/11 is ancient history, which no longer matters?

For most people, “9/11” is virtually synonymous with the title of this book’s second chapter: “The Destruction of the World Trade Center.” However, rather than simply rehearsing the arguments against the official view—according to which these buildings were brought down by the airplane strikes and the resulting fires—this chapter asks: “Why Have Otherwise Rational Journalists Endorsed Miracles?”—with “miracles” understood to be events that violate well-established laws of science. Dealing with a number of left-leaning journalists, I ask why these people, who in other contexts would ridicule miracles, have endorsed them in relation to the destruction of the World Trade Center. They do not, to be sure, speak in terms of miracles. But they affirm events that require violations of fundamental scientific principles.

In the following chapter, I deal with this question in relation to two of our best and deservedly respected journalists in particular, Bill Moyers and Robert Parry. (Although Parry is not nearly as well known as Moyers, who long hosted what many considered the best hour on television every week, Parry is well respected by people who know his writings.) I ask: Why do Moyers and Parry endorse the official 9/11 story about the World Trade Center, even though one cannot endorse this story without implying a belief in miracles? I suggest that their endorsement can only be understood in terms of the psychological dynamics of the “Big Lie.”

In the fourth chapter, I focus on Building 7 of the World Trade Center, taking the name of this chapter from a New York City judge who, while getting ready to rule on a petition to allow the people of the city to vote on whether they want their own investigation of 9/11, asked in response to a statement about Building 7: “Building what?” Given the fact that this building was so big, and that the demolition of it was so obvious, I discuss “How State Crimes against Democracy Can Be Hidden in Plain Sight.” I thereby introduce the language of “state crimes against democracy,” abbreviated SCADs, which was in 2010 brought into the discussion of 9/11 by means of a symposium in a leading social science journal (this being another example of the continued expansion of the 9/11 Truth Movement). As this language indicates, 9/11 was not simply a crime against the people of the United States and the world, especially the people who were murdered on 9/11 or who had loved ones who were murdered. It was also a crime against democracy itself.

Chapter 5 turns to the chief method through which the perpetrators convinced the American people that the attacks had been orchestrated by Muslims: the apparent phone calls from the 9/11 planes, through which Americans were first told that Middle Eastern men had hijacked four airliners. This information was provided by a leading member of the Bush-Cheney administration, the Department of Justice’s solicitor general, Theodore “Ted” Olson, who told CNN and hence the world that his wife, well-known CNN correspondent Barbara Olson, informed him that her plane, American Airlines 77, had been hijacked by men armed with knives and box-cutters. In 2006, it became public knowledge (by means of the FBI’s evidence provided for the trial for Zacarias Moussaoui) that Ted Olson’s report—that his wife had talked to him twice from AA 77—was not true. This could hardly have been more important, given the fact that the alleged phone calls had provided the evidence that the planes had been hijacked, combined with the fact that the first and most important conveyor of this reported evidence was Ted Olson. And yet the American media, which have the responsibility of reporting the information the American public needs to function as a democracy,[2]The International Federation of Journalists has defined freedom of the press: “that freedom from restraint which is essential to enable journalists, editors, publishers and broadcasters to advance the public interest by publishing, broadcasting or circulating facts and opinions without which a democratic electorate cannot make responsible judgments”; contained in “Status of Journalists and Journalism Ethics: IFJ Principles,” May 2003 (http://www.ifj.org/en/articles/status-of-journalist...ples). It matters little whether the “restraint” is political (as in the former Soviet Union) or financial. have never reported the FBI’s acknowledgment that the Olson calls never happened. This chapter also treats other evidence that the “phone calls from the planes” never happened.

In Chapter 6, we begin a transition to the official story about the attack on the Pentagon. This chapter is based on an essay that was written the week that Tim Russert, the well-known moderator of Meet the Press, suddenly died. Titled “Tim Russert, Dick Cheney, and 9/11,” this article pointed out that Cheney, in a discussion with Russert on his program only a few days after 9/11, had revealed something about his actions on 9/11 that contradicted what the 9/11 Commission later claimed—something that strongly suggested that Cheney had given “stand-down” orders prior to the Pentagon attack. I wrote this chapter because I thought that, given the respect and grief for Russert in the news media, there was a chance—not much of one, but more than usual—that someone in the mainstream media might pick up this story. But there was no breach of the general policy: Stories that challenge any important part of the official account of 9/11 are not to be covered. Nevertheless, I turned that essay into a chapter for the present work, both for its intrinsic interest and for its importance for the following chapter.

The title of that following chapter—“A Consensus Approach to the Pentagon”—alludes to the widespread sense, both in and outside the 9/11 Truth community, that, whereas there is a lot of consensus within this community about the destruction of the World Trade Center, there is no such consensus about the attack on the Pentagon. In this chapter, I argue that, although there is indeed much disagreement on the issue that has received the most debate—was the Pentagon hit by a Boeing 757?—this is a relatively trivial point in comparison with an issue about the Pentagon attack on which the 9/11 Truth Movement has reached consensus.

The title of Chapter 8 employs an expression that may seem strange to most readers: “Nationalist Faith.” We normally think of the primary form of faith in the United States as Christian. But I suggest, in agreement with theologian John Cobb, that the primary form of faith in America is the American version of nationalism, which could be called “Americanism.” To illustrate how this nationalist faith can trump Christian faith, I explain how the one book I wrote on 9/11 from an explicitly Christian point of view, Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11,[3]David Ray Griffin, Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2006). led to the removal of Westminster Press’s president and vice-president, who had given the go-ahead for the publication of my book. As I explain, people in the church who complained about my book, including members of the board who censured my book, did not raise any theological objections. What was objectionable was that I had provided evidence that the 9/11 attacks, rather than having been carried out by foreign Muslims, were orchestrated by members of the US government.

The final chapter expounds the idea expressed in the book’s subtitle: “When State Crimes against Democracy Succeed.” Having introduced the notion of SCADs in the fourth chapter, I deal in this final chapter with the dangers to our country and, indeed, to the whole world, when American SCADs succeed and are not quickly reversed. When President Kennedy and then Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, wise commentators at the time warned that if the truth about these murders were not revealed, then more, perhaps greater, state-sponsored crimes would be committed. That prediction came true on 9/11.

Ten years have elapsed since 9/11, and this greatest of all SCADs has not been reversed. So anyone who cares about the future of this country, and of the world as a whole, should be working to expose the state crime against democracy that occurred on 9/11.

Footnotes

[1] My previous nine books were: The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 (2004); The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (2005); Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action (2006); 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, co-edited with Peter Dale Scott (2006); Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (2007); 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press (2008); The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (2008); The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center: Why the Final Official 9/11 Report is Unscientific and False (2009); Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (2010). I did not include in this list The American Empire and the Commonwealth of God: A Political, Economic, Religious Statement, co-authored with John B. Cobb Jr., Richard Falk, and Catherine Keller (2006), because it had only a few pages about 9/11. And I did not include Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (2008), because there is no evidence—even the FBI agrees—that Osama bid Laden had anything to do with 9/11.

[2] The International Federation of Journalists has defined freedom of the press: “that freedom from restraint which is essential to enable journalists, editors, publishers and broadcasters to advance the public interest by publishing, broadcasting or circulating facts and opinions without which a democratic electorate cannot make responsible judgments”; contained in “Status of Journalists and Journalism Ethics: IFJ Principles,” May 2003 (http://www.ifj.org/en/articles/status-of-journalists-and-journalism-ethics-ifj-principles). It matters little whether the “restraint” is political (as in the former Soviet Union) or financial.

[3] David Ray Griffin, Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2006).

Chapter 1 • Did 9/11 Justify the War in Afghanistan? • 11,500 Words

There are many questions to ask about the war in Afghanistan. One that has been widely asked is whether it would turn out to be President Obama’s Vietnam. This question has implied several others, such as: Is this war winnable, or has it become a quagmire? And this question is partly motivated by the widespread agreement that the Afghan government under Hamid Karzai is at least as corrupt and incompetent as the government we tried to prop up in South Vietnam for 20 years. Also, just as the American people turned increasingly against the war in Vietnam, they have now turned increasingly against the war in Afghanistan. Commentators have increasingly been referring to it as a “purposeless war.”

Although there have been many similarities between these two wars, there has also been a big difference: This time, there has been no draft. For this reason, as anti-war writers often comment, no strong anti-war movement has developed. If there were a draft, so that college students and their friends back home were being sent to Afghanistan, there would have been huge demonstrations against this war all across this country. If the sons and daughters of wealthy and middle class parents had been coming home in boxes, or with permanent injuries, or with post-traumatic stress disorder, which might lead them to commit suicide—this war would have been stopped long ago. People have often asked, did we learn any of the “lessons of Vietnam”? Our government learned one: If you’re going to have an unpopular war, don’t have a draft.

However, even though there has not been a draft, the American people have said that the war should be brought to an end. An ABC/Washington Post Poll in June of 2011 showed that only 43 percent of the American people consider the war “worth fighting,” and this figure reflected a bump from the announcement of the killing of Osama bin Laden: In March, only 31 percent marked “worth fighting.” A CNN poll showed that 74 percent of the American people wanted US troops to come home partly or totally.[1]ABC/Washington Post Poll, June 2–5, 2011 (http://www.pollingreport.com/afghan.htm); (Jennifer Epstein, “Poll: Rising Number of Americans Want U.S. Out of Afghanistan,” Politico, June 9, 2011 (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/56623.html).

There are many other questions that have been asked about the war in Afghanistan, but in this essay, I focus on only one: Did the 9/11 attacks justify the war in Afghanistan?

This question has thus far been considered off-limits, not to be raised in polite company, and certainly not in the mainstream media. It has been permissible, to be sure, to ask whether the war during the past several years has been justified by those attacks so many years ago. But one has not been allowed to ask whether the original invasion was justified by the 9/11 attacks.

Various commentators, to be sure, have raised some pretty fundamental questions about the effectiveness and affordability of the “counterinsurgency strategy” and even whether American fighting forces should remain in Afghanistan at all. But I will ask an even more fundamental question: Whether this war was ever really justified by the publicly given reason: the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

This question has two parts: First, did these attacks provide a legal justification for the invasion of Afghanistan? Second, if not, did they at least provide a moral justification? I will begin with the question of legal justification.

I • Is the War in Afghanistan Legally Justified? • 600 Words

Since the founding of the United Nations in 1945, international law with regard to war has been defined by the UN charter. It is widely agreed by international lawyers that, measured by this standard, the US-led war in Afghanistan has been illegal from the outset.

Marjorie Cohn, a well-known professor of international law, wrote in November 2001:

[T]he bombings of Afghanistan by the United States and the United Kingdom are illegal. This bombardment violates both international law and United States law.[2]Marjorie Cohn, “Bombing of Afghanistan Is Illegal and Must Be Stopped,” Jurist, November 6, 2001 (http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forum/forumnew36.htm).

In 2008, Cohn repeated this argument in an article entitled “Afghanistan: The Other Illegal War.” The point of the title was that, although by then it had become widely accepted that the war in Iraq was illegal, the war in Afghanistan was equally illegal.[3]Marjorie Cohn, “Afghanistan: The Other Illegal War,” AlterNet, August 1, 2008 (http://www.alternet.org/world/93473/afghanistan:_th..._war). In this article, Cohn added the following observation: “Bush’s justification for attacking Afghanistan was that it was harboring Osama bin Laden and training terrorists. Iranians could have made the same argument to attack the United States after they overthrew the vicious Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979 and he was given safe haven in the United States. The people in Latin American countries whose dictators were trained in torture techniques at the School of the Americas could likewise have attacked the torture training facility in Fort Benning, Ga., under that specious rationale.”

According to international law as codified in the UN Charter, she pointed out, disputes are to be brought to the UN Security Council, which alone may legally authorize the use of force. Without this authorization, any military activity against another country is illegal.

However, there are two exceptions to this principle: One of these is that, if your nation has been subjected to an armed attack by another nation, you may respond militarily in self-defense. This condition was not fulfilled by the 9/11 attacks, however, because they were not carried out by another nation. Afghanistan did not attack the United States. Indeed, the 19 men charged with the crime were not Afghans; most of them were from Saudi Arabia.

The other exception occurs when a nation has certain knowledge that an armed attack by another nation is imminent—too imminent for the matter to be brought to the Security Council. The need for self-defense must be “instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation.” Although the US government claimed that its military operations in Afghanistan were justified by the need to prevent a second attack, this need, even if real, was clearly not urgent, as shown by the fact that the United States waited almost a month to launch its attack on Afghanistan.

US political leaders have claimed, to be sure, that the UN did authorize the US attack on Afghanistan. This claim, originally made by the Bush-Cheney administration, was repeated by President Obama in his West Point speech of December 1, 2009, in which he said that the “United Nations Security Council endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks,” so that US troops went to Afghanistan “[u]nder the banner of . . . international legitimacy.”[4]President Barack Obama, “The Way Forward 
in Afghanistan and Pakistan” (remarks at the US Military Academy at West Point), December 1, 2009 (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34231058).

However, the language of “all necessary steps” is from UN Security Council Resolution 1368, in which the Council, taking note of its “responsibilities under the Charter,” expressed its own readiness “to take all necessary steps to respond to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.”[5]“Security Council Condemns, ‘In Strongest Terms,’ Terrorist Attacks on United States,” September 12, 2001 (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2001/SC7143.doc.htm).

Of course, the UN Security Council might have determined that one of these necessary steps was to authorize an attack on Afghanistan by the United States. But it did not. Resolution 1373, which is the only other Security Council resolution about this matter, laid out various responses, but these included matters such as freezing assets, criminalizing the support of terrorists, exchanging police information about terrorists, and capturing and prosecuting terrorists. The use of military force was not mentioned.[6]Brian J. Foley “Legal Analysis: U.S. Campaign Against Afghanistan Not Self- Defense Under International Law,” Lawyers against the War, November 6, 2001 (http://www.counterpunch.org/foley1.html).

The US war in Afghanistan was not authorized by the UN Security Council in 2001 or at any time since, so this war began as an illegal war and has remained an illegal war. Our government’s claim to the contrary is false.

This war is illegal, moreover, not only under international law, but also under US law. The UN Charter is a treaty, which was ratified by the United States, and, according to Article VI of the US Constitution, any treaty ratified by the United States is part of “supreme law of the land.”[7]“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” US Constitution, Article VI, par. 2. The war in Afghanistan, therefore, has been in violation of US law as well as international law. It could not be more illegal.

II • Is the War in Afghanistan Morally Justified? • 6,900 Words

The American public for the most part probably does not realize that this war is illegal, because this is not something our political leaders have been anxious to point out, and our press has for the most part also ignored this issue. So most people simply do not know.

If they were informed, however, many Americans would be inclined to argue that, even if technically illegal, the US military effort in Afghanistan has been morally justified by the attacks of 9/11. For a summary statement of this argument, we can turn again to the West Point speech of President Obama, who has taken over the Bush- Cheney account of 9/11. Seeking to provide an answer to the question of “why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place,” Obama said:

We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women and children without regard to their faith or race or station. . . . As we know, these men belonged to al Qaeda—a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam, one of the world’s great religions, to justify the slaughter of innocents. . . . [A]fter the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden—we sent our troops into Afghanistan.

This standard account can be summarized in terms of three points:

• The attacks were carried out by 19 Muslim members of al-Qaeda.

• The attacks had been authorized by the founder of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, who was in Afghanistan.

• The US invasion of Afghanistan was necessary because the Taliban, which was in control of Afghanistan, refused to turn bin Laden over to US authorities.

On the basis of these three points, our political leaders concluded that the United States had the moral right, arising from the universal right of self-defense, to attempt to capture or kill bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network to prevent them from launching another attack on our country.

The only problem with this argument is that all three points are false. I will show this by looking at these three points in reverse order, beginning with the claim that we invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban refused to hand over bin Laden.

1. First Claim: Afghanistan Attacked for Taliban’s Refusal to Turn Over bin Laden

The claim that the Taliban refused to turn over bin Laden was repeatedly made by political leaders and our mainstream media. For example, Robert Reid, writing for the Associated Press, said in 2009 that the war “was launched by the Bush administration after the Taliban government refused to hand over Osama bin Laden for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States.”[8]Robert H. Reid, “August Deadliest Month for US in Afghanistan,” Associated Press, August 29, 2009 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/28/us-firing-...html). Reports from the time, however, show the truth to be very different.

Who Refused Whom?

Ten days after the 9/11 attacks, CNN reported:

The Taliban . . . refus[ed] to hand over bin Laden without proof or evidence that he was involved in last week’s attacks on the United States. . . . The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan . . . said Friday that deporting him without proof would amount to an “insult to Islam.”

CNN also made clear that the Taliban’s demand for proof was not made without reason, saying:

Bin Laden himself has already denied he had anything to do with the attacks, and Taliban officials repeatedly said he could not have been involved in the attacks.

Bush, however, “said the demands were not open to negotiation or discussion.”[9]“White House Warns Taliban: ‘We Will Defeat You,’” CNN, September 21, 2001 (http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/09/21/ ret.afghan.taliban).

With this refusal to provide any evidence of bin Laden’s responsibility, the Bush administration made it impossible for the Taliban to turn him over. As Afghan experts quoted by the Washington Post pointed out, the Taliban, in order to turn over a fellow Muslim to an “infidel” Western nation, needed a “face-saving formula.” Milton Bearden, who had been the CIA station chief in Afghanistan in the 1980s, put it this way: While the United States was demanding, “Give up bin Laden,” the Taliban were saying, “Do something to help us give him up.”[10]David B. Ottaway and Joe Stephens, “Diplomats Met with Taliban on Bin Laden,” Washington Post October 29, 2001 (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-486256.html). But the Bush administration refused.

After the bombing began in October, moreover, the Taliban tried again, offering to turn bin Laden over to a third country if the United States would stop the bombing and provide evidence of his responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. But Bush replied: “There’s no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he’s guilty.” An article in London’s Guardian, which reported this development, was entitled: “Bush Rejects Taliban Offer to Hand Bin Laden Over.”[11]“Bush Rejects Taliban Offer to Hand Bin Laden Over,” Guardian October 14, 2001 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/oct/14/afghani...ism5). So it was the Bush administration, not the Taliban, that was responsible for the fact that bin Laden was not turned over.

In August of 2009, President Obama, who had criticized the US invasion of Iraq as a war of choice, said of the US involvement in Afghanistan: “This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity.”[12]Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “Obama Defends Strategy in Afghanistan,” New York Times August 17, 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/us/politics/18vet...c=th). It appears, however, that it was a war of choice, every bit as much as the war in Iraq.

What Was the Motive for the Invasion?

This conclusion is reinforced by reports indicating that the United States had made the decision to invade Afghanistan two months before the 9/11 attacks. The background to this decision was the fact that the United States had been supporting a pipeline project proposed by UNOCAL that would transport oil and gas from the Caspian Sea region through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian Ocean.[13]See the two chapters entitled “The New Great Game” in Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), and Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (New York: Penguin, 2004), 330. This project had been on hold through the 1990s because of the civil war that had been going on in Afghanistan since the withdrawal of the Soviet Union in 1989.

In the mid-1990s, the US government had supported the Taliban with the hope that it would be able to unify the country through its military strength and provide a stable government. By the late 1990s, however, the Clinton administration had given up on the Taliban.[14]Rashid, Taliban, 75–79, 163, 175.

When the Bush administration came to power, it decided to give the Taliban one last chance. During a four-day meeting in Berlin in July 2001, representatives of the Bush administration insisted that the Taliban must create a government of “national unity” by sharing power with factions friendly to the United States. The US representatives reportedly said to the Taliban: “Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.”[15]Quoted in Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2002).

After the Taliban refused this offer, the Americans said: “[M]ilitary action against Afghanistan would go ahead . . . before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.”[16]George Arney, “U.S. ‘Planned Attack on Taleban,’” BBC News, September 18, 2001 (“Taleban” is a spelling preferred by most British writers). Indeed, given the fact that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon occurred on September 11, the US military was able to mobilize to begin its attack on Afghanistan by October 7.

It appears, therefore, that the United States invaded Afghanistan for reasons far different from the official rationale, according to which we were there to capture or kill Osama bin Laden.

2. Second US Claim: Good Evidence Exists of bin Laden’s Responsibility for 9/11 Attacks

I turn now to the second point: the claim that Osama bin Laden had authorized the attacks. Even if the Bush administration refused to give the Taliban evidence for this claim, it surely, most Americans probably assume, had such evidence and provided it to those who needed it. Again, however, the reports from the time indicate otherwise.

The Bush Administration

Two weeks after 9/11, Secretary of State Colin Powell said that he expected “in the near future . . . to put out . . . a document that will describe quite clearly the evidence that we have linking [bin Laden] to this attack.”[17]Meet the Press, NBC, September 23, 2001 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ wpsrv/nation/specials/attacked/transcripts/nbctext092301.html). But at a joint press conference with President Bush the next morning, Powell withdrew this pledge, saying that “most of [the evidence] is classified.”[18]“Remarks by the President, Secretary of the Treasury O’Neill and Secretary of State Powell on Executive Order,” White House, September 24, 2001 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/200...html).

Is this not remarkable? The Bush administration asked the American people to support an attack on Afghanistan on the basis of its claim that Osama bin Laden, who was in Afghanistan at the time, had authorized those attacks. But it said that the evidence for this claim could not be shared with us.

Seymour Hersh, citing officials from both the CIA and the Department of Justice, said that the real reason why Powell withdrew the pledge to share the evidence was a “lack of solid information.”[19]Seymour M. Hersh, “What Went Wrong: The C.I.A. and the Failure of American Intelligence,” New Yorker October 1, 2001 (http://cicentre.com/Documents/DOC_Hersch_OCT_01.htm).

The British Government

The following week, British Prime Minister Tony Blair tried to help out, issuing a document purportedly showing that “Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the terrorist network which he heads, planned and carried out the atrocities on 11 September 2001.” Blair’s report, however, began by saying: “This document does not purport to provide a prosecutable case against Osama Bin Laden in a court of law.”[20]Office of the Prime Minister, “The UK’s Bin Laden Dossier in Full,” BBC News, October 4, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/1579043.stm). The original title for the story—“Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States”— made clear the government’s claim. So, the case was good enough to go to war, but not good enough to take to court. The next day, the BBC emphasized this weakness, saying: “There is no direct evidence in the public domain linking Osama Bin Laden to the 11 September attacks.”[21]“The Investigation and the Evidence,” BBC News, October 5, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1581063.stm).

The FBI

What about our own FBI? Surely, people would assume, it has an iron-clad case against bin Laden. But the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorist” webpage on “Usama Bin Laden” never listed 9/11 as one of the terrorist acts for which he was wanted. This webpage did mention Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) as terrorist acts for which he was wanted. But it made no mention of 9/11.[22]Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Most Wanted Terrorists: Usama bin Laden” (http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/terbinladen.htm). When asked in 2006 why not, Rex Tomb, the FBI’s chief of investigative publicity replied: “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”[23]Ed Haas, “FBI says, ‘No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11,’” Muckraker Report, June 6, 2006 (http://web.archive.org/web/20090207113442/http://te...html). For more on this episode, see my 9/11 Contradictions, Chap. 18.

After this story started flying around the Internet and was even covered by a TV station in Louisiana,[23]Ed Haas, “FBI says, ‘No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11,’” Muckraker Report, June 6, 2006 (http://web.archive.org/web/20090207113442/http://te...html). For more on this episode, see my 9/11 Contradictions, Chap. 18. Dan Eggen of the Washington Post tried to downplay its significance in an article entitled “Bin Laden, Most Wanted For Embassy Bombings?”[25]“Bin Laden, Most Wanted For Embassy Bombings?” Washington Post August 28, 2006 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/articl...08/27/ AR2006082700687.html). Complaining about “conspiracy theorists” who claimed that “the lack of a Sept. 11 reference [on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” webpage for bin Laden] suggests that the connection to al-Qaeda is uncertain,” Eggen quoted the explanation offered by a former US attorney, who said that the FBI could not appropriately “put up a wanted picture where no formal charges had been filed.”

But that explanation, while true, simply pushes the issue back a step to this question: Why have such charges not been filed? Rex Tomb’s fuller statement, which Eggen failed to mention, had answered this question the previous June, saying:

The FBI gathers evidence. Once evidence is gathered, it is turned over to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice then decides whether it has enough evidence to present to a federal grand jury. In the case of the 1998 United States Embassies being bombed, Bin Laden has been formally indicted and charged by a grand jury. He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.[26]Quoted in Haas, “FBI says, ‘No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.’”

Most Americans, however, were never told by the press that the Department of Justice has never formally indicted Osama bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks, because its FBI never provided it with any hard evidence.

The 9/11 Commission

What about the 9/11 Commission? Its entire report is based on the unquestioned premise that bin Laden was behind the attacks. When we look closely, however, we see that the Commission’s own co-chairs, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, later admitted that this assumption was not supported by any reliable evidence. Insofar as the 9/11 Commission’s report did give evidence of bin Ladin’s responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, it consisted of testimony that had reportedly been elicited by the CIA from al-Qaeda operatives. The most important of these operatives was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed—generally known as simply “KSM”—who has been called the “mastermind” of the 9/11 attacks.

If you read the 9/11 Commission’s account of how bin Laden planned the attacks, and then check the notes, you will find that almost every note says that the information came from KSM.[27]See 9/11CR Ch. 5, notes 16, 41, and 92.

But Kean and Hamilton, in a 2006 book giving “the inside story of the 9/11 Commission,” said that we cannot rely on this information. They had no success, they reported, in “obtaining access to star witnesses in custody . . . , most notably Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.”[28]Kean and Hamilton, Without Precedent, 118. Besides not being allowed by the CIA to interview KSM, they were not permitted to observe his interrogation through one-way glass. They were not even allowed to talk to the interrogators.[29]Ibid., 122–24.
(Kean and Hamilton, Without Precedent, 118.)
Therefore, Kean and Hamilton complained:

We . . . had no way of evaluating the credibility of detainee information. How could we tell if someone such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed . . . was telling us the truth?[30]Ibid., 119.
(Kean and Hamilton, Without Precedent, 118.)

Moreover, it is now known that KSM and the other al-Qaeda leaders had been tortured, and it is widely acknowledged that statements elicited by torture lack credibility. “At least four of the operatives whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report,” an NBC report pointed out, “have claimed that they told interrogators critical information as a way to stop being ‘tortured.’”[31]Robert Windrem and Victor Limjoco, “9/11 Commission Controversy,” NBC News, January 30, 2008 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/post911/commissio...ssion_ torture.html).

Accordingly, neither the Bush administration, the British government, the FBI, nor the 9/11 Commission ever provided reliable evidence of bin Laden’s responsibility for the attacks.

The Claim that bin Laden Confessed to the 9/11 Attacks

Granted that “hard evidence” of bin Laden’s responsibility for 9/11 has never been provided, it is often claimed that evidence is no longer needed, because bin Laden admitted his responsibility. This claim has been made primarily about a videotape that was released on December 13, 2001, by the Pentagon, claiming that the videotape, dated November 9, 2001, had been found in Jalalabad. But doubts have been raised from the beginning. BBC News said in a report entitled “Could the Bin Laden Video Be a Fake?”

Washington calls it the “smoking gun” that puts Bin Laden’s guilt beyond doubt, but many in the Arab world believe the home video of the al-Qaeda chief is a fake.[32]“Could the Bin Laden Video Be a Fake?” BBC News, December 14, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1711288.stm).

Reporting “growing doubt in the Muslim world about the authenticity of the film,” Guardian writer Steven Morris pointed out that “the White House had provided no details about how the Pentagon came to be in possession of the tape. Some opponents of the war theorise that the Bin Laden in the film was a look-alike.”[33]Steven Morris, “US Urged to Detail Origin of Tape,” Guardian December 15, 2001 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/dec/15/septemb...stan). The BBC and Guardian writers also stated that, without more details, it would be impossible to determine whether the video was authentic.[34]Ibid.; BBC, “Could the Bin Laden Video Be a Fake?”
(Steven Morris, “US Urged to Detail Origin of Tape,” Guardian December 15, 2001 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/dec/15/septemb...stan).)

Bin Laden’s Statements about 9/11: Another reason to consider the “confession video” a fake is that, in the days leading up to November 9, bin Laden consistently denied that he planned the 9/11 attacks. He made this statement on September 12, in which bin Laden said that, although he “thanked Almighty Allah and bowed before him when he heard this news [about the attacks],” he had “had no information or knowledge about the attack.”[35]Ibid.
(Steven Morris, “US Urged to Detail Origin of Tape,” Guardian December 15, 2001 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/dec/15/septemb...stan).)
He continued to make essentially the same point on September 16,[36]Associated Press, “Bin Laden Denies Being Behind Attacks,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel September 16, 2001 (http://www2.jsonline.com/news/nat/sep01/ binladen-denial.asp). September 17,[37]“Pakistan to Demand Handover of Bin Laden,” Guardian September 16, 2001 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/sep/16/septemb...sa16). September 28,[38]“Interview with Usama bin Laden,” Ummat (Karachi), September 28, 2001 (http://www.robert-fisk.com/usama_interview_ummat.htm). Bin Laden’s statement about innocents repeated what he had said in an interview with John Miller of ABC News in 1998: “Our religion forbids us from killing innocent people such as women and children” (http://web.archive.org/web/ 20010927151820/http://abcnews.go.com/sections/world/DailyNews/miller_ binladen_980609.html). and October 7, 2001.[39]“Bin Laden’s Message to the US,” Asia Times October 10, 2001 (http://www.atimes.com/media/CJ10Ce02.html); the text of the speech can be read at “Osama bin Laden Speeches,” September11News.com (http://www.september11news.com/OsamaSpeeches.htm).

Bin Laden’s Appearance: To believe that bin Laden confessed to orchestrating the attacks of 9/11, moreover, one would also need to believe that there was a sudden change not only in bin Laden’s testimony but also in his appearance.In videos made on October 7 and November 3, there is a considerable amount of white in bin Laden’s beard, but in the latter, his health appears to have deteriorated somewhat.[40]For a photograph from the video of November 3, 2001, see “Bin Laden Lashes Out at U.N., U.S. Attacks in Taped Message,” CNN, November 3, 2001 (http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/...laden. statement/index.html). Bin Laden’s appearance in the October 7 and November 3 videos can also be seen in “Osama bin Laden Speeches,” September11News.com(http://www.september11news.com/OsamaSpeeches.htm). We would expect the bin Laden of the video dated November 9 (the so-called “confession video”) to have looked about the same, or even somewhat worse, than the bin Laden in the November 3 video. However, the bin Laden of this video seems darker than previous videos,[41]For a video known to have been made sometime after November 16, 2001, see either “Osama bin Laden Speeches” or “Transcript: Bin Laden Video Excerpts,” BBC News, December 27, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/ middle_east/1729882.stm). A portion of the November 9 video is on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0FVeqCX6z8). and seems to be heavier, with fuller cheeks than the bin Laden of a video known to have been made after November 16. Also, the bin Laden of the “confession video” also seemed to have a differently shaped nose[42]For a nose comparison, see “Osama bin Laden Gets a Nose Job” (http://www.awitness.org/news/december_2001/osama_no....html) or “Bruce Lawrence,” Radio Du Jour (http://www.radiodujour.com/people/lawrence_bruce). and shorter, heavier hands.[43]Compare his hands with bin Laden’s hand as shown in the post-November 16 video (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1729882.stm).

Things the Real bin Laden Would Not Have Said: Still another problem is that the bin Laden of this “confession video” made some statements that the real bin Laden, if he were confessing to having planned the attacks, would not have made. For example, “bin Laden,” discussing the collapse of the towers, said:

[D]ue to my experience in this field, I was thinking that the fire from the gas in the plane would melt the iron structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it only. This is all that we had hoped for.[44]“Transcript of Usama bin Laden Video Tape.”

Given his “experience in this field,” as a contractor, the real bin Laden would have known that the buildings were framed with steel, not with iron, and he also would have known that none of the buildings’ steel (or iron) would have been melted by the “fire from the gas in the plane.” He would have known that a building fire fed by jet-fuel could not have gotten above 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas iron and steel do not begin to melt until they are heated to at least 2,700 degrees. Osama bin Laden, therefore, would not have expected any iron or steel to melt.

The Opinion of Professor Bruce Lawrence: In February 2007, Bruce Lawrence, a Duke University history professor who is widely considered the country’s leading academic bin Laden expert,[45]Lawrence is the editor of Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama Bin Laden (London and New York: Verso, 2005). was asked what he thought about this so-called confession video. He said: “It’s bogus.” Adding that he had friends in the US Department of Homeland Security assigned to work “on the 24/7 bin Laden clock,” he said that “they also know it’s bogus.”[46]Lawrence made these statements on February 16, 2007, during a radio interview conducted by Kevin Barrett of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. It can be heard at Radio Du Jour (http://www.radiodujour.com/people/lawrence_bruce).

“The Killing of Osama bin Laden”

On May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama announced that a team Navy SEALs had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan that day. Although the corporate press simply reported the president’s statement as if there were no serious questions to be raised about it, the discussion in the alternative press showed otherwise.

One kind of question raised the morality and even legality of the reported raid, in which a defenseless bin Laden was assassinated, hence murdered.[47]Mark Hosenball, “Bin Laden, Two Others Didn’t Fire on Seals: Sources,” Reuters, May 5, 2011; Mark Landler and Mark Mazzetti, “Account Tells of One-Sided Battle in Bin Laden Raid,” New York Times May 4, 2011 (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/05/us/politics/05bin...html). Indeed, later reports indicated, the goal “was never to capture bin Laden,” but simply to kill him.[48]Yochi Dreazen, Aamer Madhani, Marc Ambinder, “Goal Was Never to Capture bin Laden,” Atlantic May 4, 2011 (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/05...er-to- capture-bin-laden/238330/). Noam Chomsky, for one, argued that bin Laden, who after all was merely a suspect, deserved a trial.[49]Evann Gastaldo, “Bin Laden Just a ‘Suspect,’ Deserved Trial: Noam Chomsky Describes His Reaction to Osama Bin Laden Raid,” Newser, May 8, 2011 (http://www.newser.com/story/118098/noam-chomsky-osa...html).

Another kind of question dealt with the reported treatment of the body: No Muslim was invited to perform the last rights, and the body was buried at sea[50]Philip Rucker, Scott Wilson, and Anne E. Kornblut, “Osama bin Laden Buried at Sea After Being Killed by U.S. Forces in Pakistan,” Washington Post May 1, 2011 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/osama-bin-la...html).—which is definitely not proper.

Another kind of question was whether the person killed by the SEALs was actually Osama bin Laden.[51]SEALs is shorthand for the Navy’s Sea, Air, and Land Teams. Another question about the SEALs is whether this operation was executed with no deaths, as claimed. A purported eyewitness said that one of the helicopters caught fire and all aboard were killed. See Paul Craig Roberts, “How Many SEALs Died?” Information Clearing House, May 21, 2011 (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article281....htm).After all, the body, reportedly, was quickly buried at sea; no Muslim friends or acquaintances were asked to confirm the man’s identity; we were told that one of his wives was there, but there has not been (as of this writing) an interview with her with a translator. Also there was the question of how Osama bin Laden, who was close to death in 2001, according to many reports (including one by CNN’s Sanjay Gupta),[52]As reported in David Ray Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2009), 5–6. could have survived another ten years. Many authorities had even stated that bin Laden died—either definitely or probably—in 2001.[53]Ibid., Ch. 1.
(As reported in David Ray Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2009), 5–6.)

The most important question, however, was one that was not raised in the mainstream press and was only occasionally raised in the alternative media. Obama famously said, in announcing the killing of Osama bin Laden, that “justice was done.” This claim presupposed that people had been given good evidence that bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. As we have seen, however, no evidence of bin Laden’s responsibility had ever been provided.[54]With the aid of Elizabeth Woodworth, I used a press release to try to insert this point into the public discussion. See David Ray Griffin, “Obama Says ‘Justice Has Been Done’: Bin Laden Scholar Says No,” PR Newswire, May 6, 2011 (http://www.prnewswire.com/news- releases/obama-says-justice-has-been-done-bin-laden-scholar-says-no-121381654.html). So Chomsky was correct: bin Laden was merely a suspect.

This point was well stated in 2009 by a German federal judge, Dieter Deiseroth, who said:

To date, more than 8 years after 9/11, no independent authority, no independent court, has reviewed available evidence, alleged or actual, and established verifiable procedures, satisfying constitutional requirements, as to who was responsible for the attacks of 9/11. What in no case is to be said is that the argumentation is difficult – that it is for us too arduous to identify the perpetrators and possible masterminds and take them into custody: therefore, we avoid these constitutional difficulties and start a war to kill possible suspects by military force directly. It is not acceptable in a constitutional state to omit the necessary steps in identifying suspects and bringing them to trial before an independent court, but instead proclaim a war, bomb a foreign country in which possible suspects or perpetrators may reside, and occupy it militarily.[55]Translation of passage in “Das schreit geradezu nach Aufklärung,” Interview of Federal Judge Dieter Deiseroth, by Marcus Klöckner, December 15, 2009 (http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/31/31729/1.html). My thanks to Jens Wagner of Hamburg, Germany, for help with the translation.

So if Osama bin Laden was indeed killed on May 1, 2011, the claim that “justice was done” is emphatically not true.

3. The Third US Claim: There Is Good Evidence of al-Qaeda’s Responsibility

I turn now to the third claim—that, even if there is no proof that Osama bin Laden authorized the attacks, we have abundant evidence that the attacks were carried out by Muslims belonging to his al-Qaeda organization. The main basis for this claim has been evidence that Muslim hijackers were on the airliners. The remainder of this chapter shows that no good evidence exists for this claim. There is even evidence against this claim, suggesting that 9/11 was instead a false-flag attack—an attack that people within our own government orchestrated while planting evidence to implicate Muslims. I will look at various types of evidence that were used to convince Americans that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by al-Qaeda Muslims.

Devout Muslims?

The 9/11 Commission portrayed the 19 men who (allegedly) took over the planes as devout Muslims, ready to meet their Maker—a “cadre of trained operatives willing to die.”[56]The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Authorized Edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), 154.

However, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Atta and other hijackers had made “at least six trips” to Las Vegas, where they had “engaged in some decidedly un-Islamic sampling of prohibited pleasures.” The Chronicle quoted the head of the Islamic Foundation of Nevada as saying: “True Muslims don’t drink, don’t gamble, don’t go to strip clubs.”[57]Kevin Fagan, “Agents of Terror Leave Their Mark on Sin City,” San Francisco Chronicle October 4, 2001 (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/ chronicle/archive/2001/10/04/MN102970.DTL).

Mohamed Atta: The contradiction is especially strong with regard to Mohamed Atta. On the one hand, Professor Dittmar Machule, who was Atta’s thesis supervisor at a technical university in Hamburg in the 1990s, said that Atta was “very religious,” prayed regularly, and never touched alcohol.[58]“Professor Dittmar Machule,” Interviewed by Liz Jackson, A Mission to Die For, Four Corners, October 18, 2001 (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/atta/ interviews/machule.htm). (Professor Machule, incidentally, says that he knew this student only as Mohamed al-Emir—although his full name was the same as his father’s: Mohamed al-Emir Atta.) The 9/11 Commission says that Atta was very religious, even “fanatically so.”[59]The 9/11 Commission Report, 160. (The Commission wrote that when Atta arrived in Germany, he was not fanatically religious at first, but “[t]his would change.”) Although Machule did not describe Atta as fanatically religious, he and the 9/11 Commission agreed that Atta was very religious. According to the American press, on the other hand, Mohamed Atta drank heavily. After downing five glasses of vodka, wrote Newsweek, Atta shouted an Arabic word that “roughly translates as ‘F—k God.’”[60]Evan Thomas and Mark Hosenball, “Bush: ‘We’re at War,” Newsweek September 24, 2001 (http://www.newsweek.com/id/76065). Investigative reporter Daniel Hopsicker, who wrote a book about Atta, stated that Atta regularly went to strip clubs, hired prostitutes, drank heavily, and took cocaine. Atta even lived with a stripper for several months and then, after she kicked him out, came back and disemboweled her cat and dismembered its kittens.[61]Daniel Hopsicker, Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta and the 9-11 Cover-Up in Florida (Eugene, OR: MadCow Press, 2004). See also Hopsicker, “The Secret World of Mohamed Atta: An Interview With Atta’s American Girlfriend,” InformationLiberation, August 20, 2006 (http://web.archive.org/web/20090120194105/http://in...4738). Many of the details are summarized in my 9/11 Contradictions, Chap. 15, “Were Mohamed Atta and the Other Hijackers Devout Muslims?” As I explain in that chapter, there were attempts to try to discredit Amanda Keller’s account by intimidating her into recanting and by claiming that she lived with a different man of the same first name, but these attempts failed.

Could this be the same individual as Professor Machule’s student Mohamed al-Emir, who would not even shake hands with a woman upon being introduced, and who never touched alcohol? “I would put my hand in the fire,” said the professor, “that this Mohamed El-Amir I know will never taste or touch alcohol.” Could the Atta described by Hopsicker and the American press be the young man whom this professor described as not a “bodyguard type” but “more a girl looking type”?[62]“Professor Dittmar Machule.” Could the man who disemboweled a cat and dismembered its kittens be the young man known to his father as a “gentle and tender boy,” who was nicknamed “nightingale”?[63]Kate Connolly, “Father Insists Alleged Leader Is Still Alive,” Guardian September 2, 2002 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/sep/02/septemb....usa).

We are clearly talking about two different men. This is confirmed by the differences in their appearance. The American Atta was often described as having a hard, cruel face, and the standard FBI photo of him bears this out. The face of the Hamburg student was quite different, as photos available on the Internet show.[64]“Photographs Taken of Mohamed Atta during His University Years,” A Mission to Die For, Four Corners (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/atta/resources/photo....htm). Also, the differences between the (bearded) Atta in his passport photo, which is in the FBI’s evidence for the Moussaoui trial, and the Atta of the standard FBI photo, seem greater than can be accounted for by the fact that only the former Atta is bearded. The two photos can be compared at 911Review (http://911review.org/JohnDoe2/Atta.html). Also, his professor described him as “very small,” being “one meter sixty-two” in height[65]“Professor Dittmar Machule.”—which means slightly under 5’4”—whereas the American Atta has been described as 5’8” and even 5’10” tall.[66]Thomas Tobin, “Florida: Terror’s Launching Pad,” St. Petersburg Times, September 1, 2002 (http://www.sptimes.com/2002/09/01/911/Florida__terr...html); Elaine Allen-Emrich, “Hunt for Terrorists Reaches North Port,” Charlotte Sun-Herald September 14, 2001 (available at http://www.madcowprod.com/keller.htm).

One final reason to believe that these different descriptions apply to different men: The father of Mohamed al-Emir Atta reported that on September 12, before either of them had learned of the attacks, his son called him and they “spoke for two minutes about this and that.”[67]Connolly, “Father Insists Alleged Leader Is Still Alive.”

Other Members of al-Qaeda: There are also problems in relation to many of the other alleged hijackers. For example, the BBC reported that Waleed al-Shehri, who supposedly died along with Atta on American Flight 11, spoke to journalists and American authorities in Casablanca the following week.[68]David Bamford, “Hijack ‘Suspect’ Alive in Morocco,” BBC, September 22, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/155866....stm). Although some news organizations, including the BBC itself, later tried to debunk this story, they failed, as I showed in The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2009), 151–53. Moreover, there were clearly two men going by the name Ziad Jarrah—the name of the alleged hijacker pilot of United Flight 93.[69]See Jay Kolar, “What We Now Know about the Alleged 9-11 Hijackers,” in Paul Zarembka, ed., The Hidden History of 9-11 (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2008), 3–44, at 22–26; and Paul Thompson, “The Two Ziad Jarrahs,” History Commons (http://www.historycommons.org/essay.jsp?article=ess...rrah). Accordingly, besides the fact the men labeled “the hijackers” were not devout Muslims, they may not have even been Muslims of any type.

And if that were not bad enough for the official story, evidence that purportedly shows that they hijacked the planes does not even prove that they were on the planes. All the evidence for this claim falls apart upon examination. I will illustrate this point with a few examples.[70]For types of evidence not discussed here, see Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, Chap. 8, “9/11 Commission Falsehoods about Bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Pakistanis, and Saudis.”

Incriminating Evidence in Atta’s Luggage?

Proof that al-Qaeda hijacked the planes was reportedly found in luggage belonging to Mohamed Atta that was discovered inside the Boston airport after the attacks. Why was the luggage there? Because, we were told, although Atta was already in Boston on September 10, he and another al-Qaeda operative, Abdul al-Omari, rented a blue Nissan and drove up to Portland, Maine. After staying overnight, they caught a commuter flight back to Boston early the next morning in order to transfer to American Airlines Flight 11. Although these men got to Boston in time to make the transfer, Atta’s luggage did not make it.

This luggage, according to an FBI affidavit, contained much incriminating material, including a handheld flight computer, flight simulator manuals, two videotapes about Boeing aircraft, a slide-rule flight calculator, a copy of the Koran, and Atta’s last will and testament.[71]FBI Affidavit, signed by agent James K. Lechner, October 4, 2001 (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/atta/resources/docum....htm). This material was widely taken as proof that al-Qaeda was behind the attacks. When examined closely, however, the Atta- to-Portland story loses all credibility.

One problem is the very idea that Atta would have included these items in baggage that was to be transferred to Flight 11. What good would a flight computer and other flying aids do inside a suitcase in the plane’s luggage compartment? Why would Atta have planned to take his will on a plane he planned to crash into the World Trade Center?

Another problem with the Atta-to-Portland story was the question of why he would have taken this trip. Atta was supposedly the ringleader of the hijackers as well as the intended pilot for Flight 11. If the commuter flight had been late, Atta would have had to call off the whole operation, which he had reportedly been planning for two years. Why in the world would Atta have taken the overnight trip to Portland? Both the FBI and the 9/11 Commission admitted that they had no answer to this question.[72]9/11CR 451n1; FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, “Statement for the Record,” Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry, September 26, 2002 (http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2002_hr/092602muell...html).

We can see why those unanswerable questions exist by examining news stories that appeared immediately after the 9/11 attacks. According to these stories, the incriminating materials were found in a rented white Mitsubishi, which Atta had left in the Boston airport parking lot (not in Atta’s luggage inside the airport). As reported in these news stories, two al-Qaeda members indeed drove the rented blue Nissan to Portland, stayed overnight, and then took the commuter flight back to Boston the next morning, in time to board Flight 11. But they—as material left in the car reportedly showed—were named Adnan and Ameer Bukhari (not Mohamed Atta and Abdul al-Omari).[73]“Two Brothers among Hijackers,” CNN, September 13, 2001 (http://english. peopledaily.com.cn/200109/13/eng20010913_80131.html).

This story fell apart on the afternoon of September 13, when it was discovered that the Bukharis could not have been on Flight 11, because neither of them had died on 9/11: Ameer Bukhari had died the year before, whereas Adnan Bukhari was still alive.[74]“Feds Think They’ve Identified Some Hijackers,” CNN, September 13, 2001 (http://edition.cnn.com/2001/US/09/12/investigation....rism).

By the next day—September 14—the Associated Press started saying that Atta and a companion drove a blue Nissan to Portland, stayed overnight, and then took the commuter flight back to Boston. By September 16, a Washington Post story added the detail that the incriminating material had been found in Atta’s luggage inside the Boston airport (rather than in a white Mitsubishi).[75]Joel Achenbach, “‘You Never Imagine’ A Hijacker Next Door,” Washington Post September 16, 2001 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/ wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A38026-2001Sep15). Within three days, in other words, the story had been transformed into what has remained the official story to this day.

Given the way in which the Atta-to-Portland story emerged, we cannot take seriously the idea that Atta’s luggage provided reliable evidence about al-Qaeda’s responsibility for 9/11.

Al-Qaeda Operatives on Airport Security Videos?

Frames from videos taken by airport security cameras supposedly showed al-Qaeda operatives checking into the airports at Boston and Washington, DC. But this photographic evidence was deceptive.

Shortly after the attacks, photos showing Mohamed Atta and Abdul al-Omari at an airport “were flashed round the world.”[76]Rowland Morgan and Ian Henshall, 9/11 Revealed: The Unanswered Questions (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005), 181. It was widely assumed that these photos were from the airport at Boston, whereas they were really from the airport in Portland, Maine. No photos showing Atta or any of the other alleged hijackers at Boston’s Logan Airport were ever produced. We at best have photographic evidence that Atta and al-Omari were at the Portland Jetport. Moreover, a photo showing Atta and al-Omari passing through the security checkpoint is marked both 05:45 and 05:53[77]This photo can be seen at http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a553...ale=0.—which means that the photo could not be genuine.

On the day in July 2004 that The 9/11 Commission Report was published, the official story was said to have been corroborated by an airport video, about which the Associated Press wrote:

Hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar . . . passes through the security checkpoint at Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va., Sept. 11 2001, just hours before American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon in this image from a surveillance video.[78]Associated Press, July 24, 2004. The photo with this caption can be seen in Morgan and Henshall, 9/11 Revealed, 117–18, along with a genuine security video (with identification data), or at http://killtown.911review.org/flight77/hijackers.html (scroll half-way down).

However, this video contains no evidence that it was taken by a security camera at Dulles on September 11. As Rowland Morgan and Ian Henshall pointed out:

[A] normal security video has time and date burned into the integral video image by proprietary equipment according to an authenticated pattern, along with camera identification and the location that the camera covered. The video released in 2004 contained no such data.[79]Rowland and Henshall, 9/11 Revealed, 118.

Also, although this so-called Dulles video contained a man who was identified by the 9/11 Commission as Hani Hanjour,[80]9/11CR 452n11. this man had a muscular build and a full head of hair, with no receding hairline, whereas Hanjour was thin and had a receding hairline (as shown by a photo taken six days before 9/11).[81]Jay Kolar, “What We Now Know about the Alleged 9-11 Hijackers,” in Paul Zarembka, ed., The Hidden History of 9-11 (New York: Seven Stories, 2008), 3–44, at 8.

Besides the fact the videos purportedly showing hijackers for Flights 11 and 77 are clearly inauthentic, there are no videos even purportedly showing the hijackers for the other two flights—even though, if the 19 “hijackers” had really checked into the Boston and Dulles airports, authentic security videos would exist to prove this claim.

A Hijacker’s Voice on a Radio Transmission

Still more evidence for the existence of hijackers on the planes, the public was told, was provided by a message transmitted by a man on American 11. The man said:

We have some planes. Just stay quiet, and you’ll be okay. We are returning to the airport. . . . Nobody move. Everything will be okay. If you try to make any moves, you’ll endanger yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet. . . . Nobody move please. We are going back to the airport. Don’t try to make any stupid moves.[82]Quoted in 9/11CR 19.

The 9/11 Commission Report, employing the first line of this message (“We have some planes”) as the title of its first chapter, stated that this transmission came from “American 11.”

However, there was no evidence that this transmission came from American Flight 11 (or any of the other 9/11 planes). According to the FAA’s “Summary of Air Traffic Hijack Events,” published September 17, 2001, these messages came “from an unknown origin.”[83]“Summary of Air Traffic Hijack Events: September 11, 2001,” FAA, September 17, 2001(http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20100728000016/http:// www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB165/faa7.pdf) Bill Peacock, the FAA’s air traffic director, said: “We didn’t know where the transmission came from.”[84]Frank J. Murray, “Americans Feel Touch of Evil; Fury Spurs Unity,” Washington Times September 11, 2002 (http://web.archive.org/web/20020916222620/http://ww...s.com/ september11/americans.htm). This transmission, in other words, provided no evidence that hijackers had taken control of American Flight 11.

Passports at the Crash Sites

The public’s belief that there were al-Qaeda terrorists on the planes was bolstered by the claim that some of their passports had been found at crash sites. But were these reports believable? For example, the FBI claimed that, while searching the streets after the destruction of the World Trade Center, they discovered the passport of Satam al-Suqami, one of the (alleged) hijackers on American Airlines Flight 11, which had (reportedly) crashed into the North Tower.[85]“Ashcroft Says More Attacks May Be Planned,” CNN, September 18, 2001 (http://edition.cnn.com/2001/US/09/17/inv.investigat...html); “Terrorist Hunt,” ABC News (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/disinfo/ deceptions/abc_hunt.html). For this to be true, the passport would have had to survive not only the fire ignited by the plane’s jet fuel, but also the disintegration of the North Tower, which evidently pulverized much of the building’s contents into fine particles of dust. But this claim was too absurd to pass the giggle test: “[T]he idea that [this] passport had escaped from that inferno unsinged,” remarked a British commentator, “would [test] the credulity of the staunchest supporter of the FBI’s crackdown on terrorism.”[86]Anne Karpf, “Uncle Sam’s Lucky Finds,” Guardian March 19, 2002 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/september11/story/0,11209...html), emphasis added. Like some other articles, this one mistakenly said that the passport belonged to Mohamed Atta.

By 2004, the claim had been modified to say that “a passer-by picked it up and gave it to a NYPD detective shortly before the World Trade Center towers collapsed.”[87]Statement by Susan Ginsburg, senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, at the 9/11 Commission Hearing, January 26, 2004 (http://www.9-11commission.gov/ archive/hearing7/9-11Commission_Hearing_2004-01-26.htm). The Commission’s account reflected a CBS report that the passport had been found “minutes after” the attack, which was stated by the Associated Press, January 27, 2003.So, rather than needing to survive the destruction of the North Tower, the passport merely needed to escape from al-Suqami’s pocket or luggage, then from the plane’s cabin, and then from the North Tower without being destroyed or even singed by the giant fireball that erupted when this building was struck. (In Flat Earth News, Nick Davies reported the opinion of some senior British sources that “the discovery of a terrorist’s passport in the rubble of the Twin Towers in September 2001 had been ‘a throwdown,’ i.e. it was placed there by somebody official.”[88]Nick Davies, Flat Earth News: An Award-Winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion, and Propaganda in the Global Media (London: Random House UK, 2009), 248.)

An al-Qaeda Headband at a Crash Site?

Some of the “phone calls from the planes” described the “hijackers” as wearing red headbands. For example, the Washington Post, discussing United Airlines Flight 93, said:

[P]assenger Jeremy Glick used a cell phone to tell his wife, Lyzbeth, . . . that the Boeing 757’s cockpit had been taken over by three Middle Eastern-looking men. . . . The terrorists, wearing red headbands, had ordered the pilots, flight attendants and passengers to the rear of the plane.[89]Charles Lane and John Mintz, “Bid to Thwart Hijackers May Have Led to Pa. Crash,” Washington Post September 13, 2001 (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-459249.html).

According to the FBI, one of these headbands was found at the Flight 93 crash site along with Ziad Jarrah’s passport.[90]For a photograph of the bandana, see United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui (http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui...ution/ PA00111.html), or 911 Research, “The Crash of Flight 93” (http://911research.wtc7.net/disinfo/deceptions/flig...html). But former CIA agent Milt Bearden, who helped train the Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan, pointed out that it would have been very unlikely that members of al-Qaeda would have worn such headbands: Al-Qaeda is a Sunni movement, whereas the red headband is “a uniquely Shi’a Muslim adornment,” dating “back to the formation of the Shi’a sect.”[91]Milt Bearden, quoted in Ross Coulthart, “Terrorists Target America,” Ninemsn, September 2001 (http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/sunday/cover_stories/ transcript_923.asp). I learned of Bearden’s statement in Ian Henshall, 9/11 Revealed: The New Evidence (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2007), 106. Does it not seem likely that the headband was planted by people who failed to understand the difference between Shi’a and Sunni Muslims?

Passenger Manifests

The public has widely assumed, due to misleading claims,that the names of the alleged hijackers were on the passenger manifests for the four flights.[92]For claims about hijackers’ names on the flight manifests, see Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (New York: Free Press, 2004), 13; George Tenet, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA (New York: HarperCollins, 2007), 167–69; and my discussion in Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 174–75. However, the manifests for the four airliners did not contain the names of any of the alleged hijackers. They, in fact, contained no Arab names whatsoever.[93]See Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 163, 174–75.

It might appear that this problem had been rectified in 2005, thanks to the claim by Los Angeles Times reporter Terry McDermott that he had received passenger manifests that contain the names of the (alleged) hijackers.[94]His 2005 book (Terry McDermott, Perfect Soldiers: The 9/11 Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It [New York: HarperCollins, 2005]), contains a photocopy of a portion of an apparent passenger manifest from American Flight 11, with the names of three of the alleged hijackers (photo section after page 140). In response to a query, McDermott reportedly stated that a set of flight manifests for the four flights were “amongst a set of investigative files he obtained from the FBI while researching his book,” 911 Myths, “The Passengers” (http://911myths.com/html/the_passengers.html). However, the evidence presented by the FBI to the Moussaoui trial in the following year (2006) did not include these purported manifests.[95]Although discussions on the Internet have often claimed that these manifests were included in the FBI’s evidence for the Moussaoui trial, several researchers looking for them have failed to find them. See Jim Hoffman’s discussion (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/passeng...html). And there would have been good reason to consider them inauthentic. Although the FBI claimed that it had received flight manifests from the airlines by the morning of 9/11, the “manifests” that appeared in 2005 had names that were not known to the FBI until a day or more after 9/11.[96]For example, Ziad Jarrah’s last name is spelled correctly on this “manifest,” whereas in the early days after 9/11, the FBI was referring to him as “Jarrahi,” as news reports from the time show (“Hijackers Linked to USS Cole Attack? Investigators Have Identified All the Hijackers; Photos to Be Released,” CBS News, September 14, 2001 [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/09/12/ national/main310963.shtml]; Elizabeth Neuffer, “Hijack Suspect Lived a Life, or a Lie,” Boston Globe September 25, 2001 [http://web.archive.org/web/20010925123748/boston.co...2/268/ nation/Hijack_suspect_lived_a_life_or_a_lie+.shtml]). Also, the “manifest” for American Flight 77 contains Hani Hanjour’s name, whereas the FBI’s initial list of hijackers for this flight included a name transcribed as “Mosear Caned,” leading the Washington Post to speculate as to why Hanjour’s “name was not on the American Airlines manifest for the flight” (“Four Planes, Four Coordinated Teams,” Washington Post, September 16, 2001 [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/graphic...s.html]). Moreover, the manifest for American Flight 11 contains the names of Wail al-Shehri, Waleed al-Shehri, Satam al-Suqami, and Abdul Aziz al-Omari, whereas the FBI’s original list of hijackers included instead the names of Adnan Bukhari, Ameer Bukhari, Amer Kamfar, and Abdulrahman al-Omari (see Jay Kolar, “What We Now Know about the Alleged 9-11 Hijackers,” Paul Zarembka, ed., The Hidden History of 9-11-2001, Elsevier [2006]; enlarged edition Seven Stories Press [2008]). These 2005 “manifests,” therefore, could not have been the original manifests for the four 9/11 flights.

The American Airlines Flight 77 Autopsy Report

The absence of Arab names on the flight manifests led Dr. Thomas Olmsted—a psychiatrist and former Navy officer—to wonder if there were any Arab names on the autopsy list for American Airlines Flight 77, which reportedly struck the Pentagon. Having sent a FOIA request to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, which carried out the autopsy, he received, after a considerable wait, the autopsy list for AA 77. What he discovered was indicated by the title of his report: “Still No Arabs on Flight 77.”[97]Thomas R. Olmsted, M.D. “Still No Arabs on Flight 77,” Rense.com, June 23, 2003 (http://www.rense.com/general38/77.htm). Claims to the contrary cannot survive scrutiny.[98]Popular Mechanics has claimed that hijacker names were on the Pentagon autopsy report; see Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts: An In-Depth Investigation by Popular Mechanics, ed. David Dunbar and Brad Reagan (New York: Hearst Books, 2006), 63. For my discussion, see Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2007], 267-69.

Failure to Squawk the Hijack Code

The public has been led to believe that all the evidence about what happened on board the four airliners supported the claim that they were taken over by hijackers. This claim, however, was contradicted by something that did not happen. If pilots have any reason to believe that a hijacking may be in process, they are trained to enter the standard hijack code (7500) into their transponders to alert controllers on the ground. This is called “squawking” the hijack code. But controllers on 9/11 did not receive the code. Why not?

Two months after 9/11, a Boston Globe story said that “it appears that the hijackers’ entry was surprising enough that the pilots did not have a chance to broadcast a traditional distress call.”[99]Glen Johnson, “Probe Reconstruction Horror, Calculated Attacks on Planes,” Boston Globe November 23, 2001 (http://www.boston.com/news/packages/ underattack/news/planes_reconstruction.htm). The very day after 9/11, however, CNN had pointed out: “The action takes seconds.”[100]“America Under Attack: How Could It Happen?” CNN Live Event, September 12, 2001 (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/12/se.6...html). Squawking the hijack code would have taken much less time than hijackers would have required to break into the pilots’ cabins. A reporter at the Moussaoui trial, where the (purported) tapes from United 93 had been played, wrote:

In those tapes, the pilots shouted as hijackers broke into the cockpit. “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!” a pilot screamed in the first tape. In the second tape, 30 seconds later, a pilot shouted: “Mayday! Get out of here! Get out of here!”[101]Richard A. Serrano, “Heroism, Fatalism Aboard Flight 93,” Los Angeles Times April 12, 2006 (http://rednecktexan.blogspot.com/2006/04/heroism-fa...html).

According to these tapes, therefore, the pilots were still alive and coherent 30 seconds after realizing that hijackers were breaking into the cockpit.

So why did neither of the two pilots on United 93 squawk the hijack code while al-Qaeda hijackers were breaking into the cabin? And why did none of the pilots on any of the other 9/11 flights squawk the code? The fact that the hijack code was not squawked provides very strong evidence that the official story about the 9/11 planes, according to which the cabins were taken over by hijackers, is false.

The Reported Phone Calls from the Planes

It has been widely believed that we knew about the existence of hijackers on the airliners by means of numerous phone calls from passengers and crew members, in which they reported the hijackings. According to the 9/11 Commission: “Reports from two flight attendants [on American 11] tell us most of what we know about how the hijacking happened.”[102]9/11CR 5.As we will see in Chapter 5, however, the reported phone calls from passengers and flight attendants on the 9/11 flights were evidently faked.

Conclusion

It appears, therefore, that 9/11 was the most elaborate example yet of a false-flag attack, which occurs when a country, wanting to attack another country, orchestrates attacks on its own people while planting evidence to implicate the other country. Hitler did this when he was ready to attack Poland, which started the European part of World War II; Japan did it when it was ready to attack Manchuria, which started the Asian part of that war. In 1962, the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed false-flag attacks killing American citizens to provide a pretext for invading Cuba.[103]See David Ray Griffin, Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11 (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2006), Chap. 1, “9/11 and Prior False Flag Operations.” This proposal was not put into effect because it was vetoed by President Kennedy. But in 2001, the White House wanted to attack Afghanistan, Iraq, and several other predominantly Muslim countries—including Libya, which is the latest country to be attacked by America.[104]General Wesley Clark, Winning Modern Wars: Iraq, Terrorism, and the American Empire (New York: Public Affairs, 2003), 120, 130; “Gen. Wesley Clark Weighs Presidential Bid: ‘I Think about It Everyday,’” Democracy Now! March 2, 2007 (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/02...0234); Joe Conason, “Seven Countries in Five Years,” Salon.com, October 12, 2007 (http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2007/10/12/wes...lark); Gareth Porter, “Yes, the Pentagon Did Want to Hit Iran,” Asia Times, May 7, 2008 (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JE07Ak01.html). And so, it appears, evidence was planted to implicate Muslims.

In any case, the official rationale for our presence in Afghanistan is a lie. The government has been there for other reasons. Critics have offered various suggestions as to the most important of those reasons.[105]Some have seen drug profits as central. Others have focused on access to oil, natural gas, and minerals. For example, economist Michel Chossudovsky, referring to the allegedly recent discovery of huge reserves of minerals and natural gas in Afghanistan, wrote: “The issue of ‘previously unknown deposits’ sustains a falsehood. It excludes Afghanistan’s vast mineral wealth as a justifiable casus belli. It says that the Pentagon only recently became aware that Afghanistan was among the World’s most wealthy mineral economies . . . [whereas in reality] all this information was known in minute detail.” See Michel Chossudovsky, “‘The War is Worth Waging’: Afghanistan’s Vast Reserves of Minerals and Natural Gas: The War on Afghanistan is a Profit Driven ‘Resource War,’” Global Research, June 17, 2010 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&a...9769). Whatever be the answer to that question, however, we have not been there to apprehend the terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Besides never being legally justified, the war in Afghanistan has not even been morally justified.

This war has been an abomination. In addition to the thousands of US and other NATO troops who have been killed or impaired for life, physically and/or mentally, the US-led invasion-and-occupation of Afghanistan has resulted in a huge number of Afghan casualties, with estimates of death running from several hundred thousand to several million.[106]Dr. Gideon Polya, author of Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality Since 1950, estimated by January 2010 that over four million Afghanis died (from both violent and non-violent causes) since the 2001 invasion who would not have died without the invasion; see “January 2010 – 4.5 Million Dead in Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide,” January 2, 2010, Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide (http://afghangenocide.blogspot.com). But whatever the true number, the fact is that the United States has produced a great amount of death and misery—sometimes even bombing funerals and wedding parties—in this poor country, which had already suffered terribly and that, even if the official story were true, had not attacked America. The fact that the official story is a lie makes our war crimes even worse.

Besides the fact that the war in Afghanistan has been a crime against peace—which American leaders at the end of World War II declared to be “the supreme crime”—it should also be understood to be a crime against democracy. This point will be introduced in Chapter 4 and developed more fully in Chapter 9.[107]On US-NATO war crimes in Afghanistan, see Marc W. Herold, “Media Distortion: Killing Innocent Afghan Civilians to ‘Save our Troops’: Eight Years of Horror Perpetrated against the People of Afghanistan,” Global Research, October 15, 2009 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&a...5665).

Notes • 3,400 Words

[1] ABC/Washington Post Poll, June 2–5, 2011 (http://www.pollingreport.com/afghan.htm); (Jennifer Epstein, “Poll: Rising Number of Americans Want U.S. Out of Afghanistan,” Politico, June 9, 2011 (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/56623.html).

[2] Marjorie Cohn, “Bombing of Afghanistan Is Illegal and Must Be Stopped,” Jurist, November 6, 2001 (http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forum/forumnew36.htm).

[3] Marjorie Cohn, “Afghanistan: The Other Illegal War,” AlterNet, August 1, 2008 (http://www.alternet.org/world/93473/afghanistan:_the_other_illegal_war). In this article, Cohn added the following observation: “Bush’s justification for attacking Afghanistan was that it was harboring Osama bin Laden and training terrorists. Iranians could have made the same argument to attack the United States after they overthrew the vicious Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979 and he was given safe haven in the United States. The people in Latin American countries whose dictators were trained in torture techniques at the School of the Americas could likewise have attacked the torture training facility in Fort Benning, Ga., under that specious rationale.”

[4] President Barack Obama, “The Way Forward 
in Afghanistan and Pakistan” (remarks at the US Military Academy at West Point), December 1, 2009 (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34231058).

[5] “Security Council Condemns, ‘In Strongest Terms,’ Terrorist Attacks on United States,” September 12, 2001 (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2001/SC7143.doc.htm).

[6] Brian J. Foley “Legal Analysis: U.S. Campaign Against Afghanistan Not Self- Defense Under International Law,” Lawyers against the War, November 6, 2001 (http://www.counterpunch.org/foley1.html).

[7] “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” US Constitution, Article VI, par. 2.

[8] Robert H. Reid, “August Deadliest Month for US in Afghanistan,” Associated Press, August 29, 2009 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/28/us-firing-on-afghan-clini_n_270997.html).

[9] “White House Warns Taliban: ‘We Will Defeat You,’” CNN, September 21, 2001 (http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/09/21/ ret.afghan.taliban).

[10] David B. Ottaway and Joe Stephens, “Diplomats Met with Taliban on Bin Laden,” Washington Post October 29, 2001 (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-486256.html).

[11] “Bush Rejects Taliban Offer to Hand Bin Laden Over,” Guardian October 14, 2001 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/oct/14/afghanistan.terrorism5).

[12] Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “Obama Defends Strategy in Afghanistan,” New York Times August 17, 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/us/politics/18vets.html?_r=1&th&emc=th).

[13] See the two chapters entitled “The New Great Game” in Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), and Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (New York: Penguin, 2004), 330.

[14] Rashid, Taliban, 75–79, 163, 175.

[15] Quoted in Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2002).

[16] George Arney, “U.S. ‘Planned Attack on Taleban,’” BBC News, September 18, 2001 (“Taleban” is a spelling preferred by most British writers).

[17] Meet the Press, NBC, September 23, 2001 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ wpsrv/nation/specials/attacked/transcripts/nbctext092301.html).

[18] “Remarks by the President, Secretary of the Treasury O’Neill and Secretary of State Powell on Executive Order,” White House, September 24, 2001 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010924-4.html).

[19] Seymour M. Hersh, “What Went Wrong: The C.I.A. and the Failure of American Intelligence,” New Yorker October 1, 2001 (http://cicentre.com/Documents/DOC_Hersch_OCT_01.htm).

[20] Office of the Prime Minister, “The UK’s Bin Laden Dossier in Full,” BBC News, October 4, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/1579043.stm). The original title for the story—“Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States”— made clear the government’s claim.

[21] “The Investigation and the Evidence,” BBC News, October 5, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1581063.stm).

[22] Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Most Wanted Terrorists: Usama bin Laden” (http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/terbinladen.htm).

[23] Ed Haas, “FBI says, ‘No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11,’” Muckraker Report, June 6, 2006 (http://web.archive.org/web/20090207113442/http://teamliberty.net/id267.html). For more on this episode, see my 9/11 Contradictions, Chap. 18.

[24] “Bin Laden’s FBI Poster Omits Any 9/11 Connection,” KSLA 12 in Shreveport, Louisiana (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6443576002087829136).

[25] “Bin Laden, Most Wanted For Embassy Bombings?” Washington Post August 28, 2006 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/27/ AR2006082700687.html).

[26] Quoted in Haas, “FBI says, ‘No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.’”

[27] See 9/11CR Ch. 5, notes 16, 41, and 92.

[28] Kean and Hamilton, Without Precedent, 118.

[29] Ibid., 122–24.

[30] Ibid., 119.

[31] Robert Windrem and Victor Limjoco, “9/11 Commission Controversy,” NBC News, January 30, 2008 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/post911/commission/msnbc_commission_ torture.html).

[32] “Could the Bin Laden Video Be a Fake?” BBC News, December 14, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1711288.stm).

[33] Steven Morris, “US Urged to Detail Origin of Tape,” Guardian December 15, 2001 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/dec/15/september11.afghanistan).

[34] Ibid.; BBC, “Could the Bin Laden Video Be a Fake?”

[35] Ibid.

[36] Associated Press, “Bin Laden Denies Being Behind Attacks,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel September 16, 2001 (http://www2.jsonline.com/news/nat/sep01/ binladen-denial.asp).

[37] “Pakistan to Demand Handover of Bin Laden,” Guardian September 16, 2001 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/sep/16/september11.usa16).

[38] “Interview with Usama bin Laden,” Ummat (Karachi), September 28, 2001 (http://www.robert-fisk.com/usama_interview_ummat.htm). Bin Laden’s statement about innocents repeated what he had said in an interview with John Miller of ABC News in 1998: “Our religion forbids us from killing innocent people such as women and children” (http://web.archive.org/web/ 20010927151820/http://abcnews.go.com/sections/world/DailyNews/miller_ binladen_980609.html).

[39] “Bin Laden’s Message to the US,” Asia Times October 10, 2001 (http://www.atimes.com/media/CJ10Ce02.html); the text of the speech can be read at “Osama bin Laden Speeches,” September11News.com (http://www.september11news.com/OsamaSpeeches.htm).

[40] For a photograph from the video of November 3, 2001, see “Bin Laden Lashes Out at U.N., U.S. Attacks in Taped Message,” CNN, November 3, 2001 (http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/11/03/ret.bin.laden. statement/index.html). Bin Laden’s appearance in the October 7 and November 3 videos can also be seen in “Osama bin Laden Speeches,” September11News.com(http://www.september11news.com/OsamaSpeeches.htm).

[41] For a video known to have been made sometime after November 16, 2001, see either “Osama bin Laden Speeches” or “Transcript: Bin Laden Video Excerpts,” BBC News, December 27, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/ middle_east/1729882.stm). A portion of the November 9 video is on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0FVeqCX6z8).

[42] For a nose comparison, see “Osama bin Laden Gets a Nose Job” (http://www.awitness.org/news/december_2001/osama_nose_job.html) or “Bruce Lawrence,” Radio Du Jour (http://www.radiodujour.com/people/lawrence_bruce).

[43] Compare his hands with bin Laden’s hand as shown in the post-November 16 video (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1729882.stm).

[44] “Transcript of Usama bin Laden Video Tape.”

[45] Lawrence is the editor of Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama Bin Laden (London and New York: Verso, 2005).

[46] Lawrence made these statements on February 16, 2007, during a radio interview conducted by Kevin Barrett of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. It can be heard at Radio Du Jour (http://www.radiodujour.com/people/lawrence_bruce).

[47] Mark Hosenball, “Bin Laden, Two Others Didn’t Fire on Seals: Sources,” Reuters, May 5, 2011; Mark Landler and Mark Mazzetti, “Account Tells of One-Sided Battle in Bin Laden Raid,” New York Times May 4, 2011 (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/05/us/politics/05binladen.html).

[48] Yochi Dreazen, Aamer Madhani, Marc Ambinder, “Goal Was Never to Capture bin Laden,” Atlantic May 4, 2011 (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/05/goal-was-never-to- capture-bin-laden/238330/).

[49] Evann Gastaldo, “Bin Laden Just a ‘Suspect,’ Deserved Trial: Noam Chomsky Describes His Reaction to Osama Bin Laden Raid,” Newser, May 8, 2011 (http://www.newser.com/story/118098/noam-chomsky-osama-bin-laden-was-just-a-suspect-and-deserved-fair-trial.html).

[50] Philip Rucker, Scott Wilson, and Anne E. Kornblut, “Osama bin Laden Buried at Sea After Being Killed by U.S. Forces in Pakistan,” Washington Post May 1, 2011 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/osama-bin-laden-is-killed-by-us-forces-in-pakistan/2011/05/01/AFXMZyVF_story.html).

[51] SEALs is shorthand for the Navy’s Sea, Air, and Land Teams. Another question about the SEALs is whether this operation was executed with no deaths, as claimed. A purported eyewitness said that one of the helicopters caught fire and all aboard were killed. See Paul Craig Roberts, “How Many SEALs Died?” Information Clearing House, May 21, 2011 (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28156.htm).

[52] As reported in David Ray Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2009), 5–6.

[53] Ibid., Ch. 1.

[54] With the aid of Elizabeth Woodworth, I used a press release to try to insert this point into the public discussion. See David Ray Griffin, “Obama Says ‘Justice Has Been Done’: Bin Laden Scholar Says No,” PR Newswire, May 6, 2011 (http://www.prnewswire.com/news- releases/obama-says-justice-has-been-done-bin-laden-scholar-says-no-121381654.html).

[55] Translation of passage in “Das schreit geradezu nach Aufklärung,” Interview of Federal Judge Dieter Deiseroth, by Marcus Klöckner, December 15, 2009 (http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/31/31729/1.html). My thanks to Jens Wagner of Hamburg, Germany, for help with the translation.

[56] The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Authorized Edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), 154.

[57] Kevin Fagan, “Agents of Terror Leave Their Mark on Sin City,” San Francisco Chronicle October 4, 2001 (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/ chronicle/archive/2001/10/04/MN102970.DTL).

[58] “Professor Dittmar Machule,” Interviewed by Liz Jackson, A Mission to Die For, Four Corners, October 18, 2001 (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/atta/ interviews/machule.htm).

[59] The 9/11 Commission Report, 160.

[60] Evan Thomas and Mark Hosenball, “Bush: ‘We’re at War,” Newsweek September 24, 2001 (http://www.newsweek.com/id/76065).

[61] Daniel Hopsicker, Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta and the 9-11 Cover-Up in Florida (Eugene, OR: MadCow Press, 2004). See also Hopsicker, “The Secret World of Mohamed Atta: An Interview With Atta’s American Girlfriend,” InformationLiberation, August 20, 2006 (http://web.archive.org/web/20090120194105/http://informationliberation.com/?id=14738). Many of the details are summarized in my 9/11 Contradictions, Chap. 15, “Were Mohamed Atta and the Other Hijackers Devout Muslims?” As I explain in that chapter, there were attempts to try to discredit Amanda Keller’s account by intimidating her into recanting and by claiming that she lived with a different man of the same first name, but these attempts failed.

[62] “Professor Dittmar Machule.”

[63] Kate Connolly, “Father Insists Alleged Leader Is Still Alive,” Guardian September 2, 2002 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/sep/02/september11.usa).

[64] “Photographs Taken of Mohamed Atta during His University Years,” A Mission to Die For, Four Corners (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/atta/resources/photos/university.htm). Also, the differences between the (bearded) Atta in his passport photo, which is in the FBI’s evidence for the Moussaoui trial, and the Atta of the standard FBI photo, seem greater than can be accounted for by the fact that only the former Atta is bearded. The two photos can be compared at 911Review (http://911review.org/JohnDoe2/Atta.html).

[65] “Professor Dittmar Machule.”

[66] Thomas Tobin, “Florida: Terror’s Launching Pad,” St. Petersburg Times, September 1, 2002 (http://www.sptimes.com/2002/09/01/911/Florida__terror_s_lau.shtml); Elaine Allen-Emrich, “Hunt for Terrorists Reaches North Port,” Charlotte Sun-Herald September 14, 2001 (available at http://www.madcowprod.com/keller.htm).

[67] Connolly, “Father Insists Alleged Leader Is Still Alive.”

[68] David Bamford, “Hijack ‘Suspect’ Alive in Morocco,” BBC, September 22, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1558669.stm). Although some news organizations, including the BBC itself, later tried to debunk this story, they failed, as I showed in The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2009), 151–53.

[69] See Jay Kolar, “What We Now Know about the Alleged 9-11 Hijackers,” in Paul Zarembka, ed., The Hidden History of 9-11 (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2008), 3–44, at 22–26; and Paul Thompson, “The Two Ziad Jarrahs,” History Commons (http://www.historycommons.org/essay.jsp?article=essayjarrah).

[70] For types of evidence not discussed here, see Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, Chap. 8, “9/11 Commission Falsehoods about Bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Pakistanis, and Saudis.”

[71] FBI Affidavit, signed by agent James K. Lechner, October 4, 2001 (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/atta/resources/documents/fbiaffidavit1.htm).

[72] 9/11CR 451n1; FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, “Statement for the Record,” Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry, September 26, 2002 (http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2002_hr/092602mueller.html).

[73] “Two Brothers among Hijackers,” CNN, September 13, 2001 (http://english. peopledaily.com.cn/200109/13/eng20010913_80131.html).

[74] “Feds Think They’ve Identified Some Hijackers,” CNN, September 13, 2001 (http://edition.cnn.com/2001/US/09/12/investigation.terrorism).

[75] Joel Achenbach, “‘You Never Imagine’ A Hijacker Next Door,” Washington Post September 16, 2001 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/ wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A38026-2001Sep15).

[76] Rowland Morgan and Ian Henshall, 9/11 Revealed: The Unanswered Questions (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005), 181.

[77] This photo can be seen at http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a553portlandfilmed&scale=0.

[78] Associated Press, July 24, 2004. The photo with this caption can be seen in Morgan and Henshall, 9/11 Revealed, 117–18, along with a genuine security video (with identification data), or at http://killtown.911review.org/flight77/hijackers.html (scroll half-way down).

[79] Rowland and Henshall, 9/11 Revealed, 118.

[80] 9/11CR 452n11.

[81] Jay Kolar, “What We Now Know about the Alleged 9-11 Hijackers,” in Paul Zarembka, ed., The Hidden History of 9-11 (New York: Seven Stories, 2008), 3–44, at 8.

[82] Quoted in 9/11CR 19.

[83] “Summary of Air Traffic Hijack Events: September 11, 2001,” FAA, September 17, 2001(http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20100728000016/http:// www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB165/faa7.pdf)

[84] Frank J. Murray, “Americans Feel Touch of Evil; Fury Spurs Unity,” Washington Times September 11, 2002 (http://web.archive.org/web/20020916222620/http://www.washtimes.com/ september11/americans.htm).

[85] “Ashcroft Says More Attacks May Be Planned,” CNN, September 18, 2001 (http://edition.cnn.com/2001/US/09/17/inv.investigation.terrorism/index.html); “Terrorist Hunt,” ABC News (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/disinfo/ deceptions/abc_hunt.html).

[86] Anne Karpf, “Uncle Sam’s Lucky Finds,” Guardian March 19, 2002 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/september11/story/0,11209,669961,00.html), emphasis added. Like some other articles, this one mistakenly said that the passport belonged to Mohamed Atta.

[87] Statement by Susan Ginsburg, senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, at the 9/11 Commission Hearing, January 26, 2004 (http://www.9-11commission.gov/ archive/hearing7/9-11Commission_Hearing_2004-01-26.htm). The Commission’s account reflected a CBS report that the passport had been found “minutes after” the attack, which was stated by the Associated Press, January 27, 2003.

[88] Nick Davies, Flat Earth News: An Award-Winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion, and Propaganda in the Global Media (London: Random House UK, 2009), 248.

[89] Charles Lane and John Mintz, “Bid to Thwart Hijackers May Have Led to Pa. Crash,” Washington Post September 13, 2001 (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-459249.html).

[90] For a photograph of the bandana, see United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui (http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution/ PA00111.html), or 911 Research, “The Crash of Flight 93” (http://911research.wtc7.net/disinfo/deceptions/flight93.html).

[91] Milt Bearden, quoted in Ross Coulthart, “Terrorists Target America,” Ninemsn, September 2001 (http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/sunday/cover_stories/ transcript_923.asp). I learned of Bearden’s statement in Ian Henshall, 9/11 Revealed: The New Evidence (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2007), 106.

[92] For claims about hijackers’ names on the flight manifests, see Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (New York: Free Press, 2004), 13; George Tenet, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA (New York: HarperCollins, 2007), 167–69; and my discussion in Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 174–75.

[93] See Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 163, 174–75.

[94] His 2005 book (Terry McDermott, Perfect Soldiers: The 9/11 Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It [New York: HarperCollins, 2005]), contains a photocopy of a portion of an apparent passenger manifest from American Flight 11, with the names of three of the alleged hijackers (photo section after page 140). In response to a query, McDermott reportedly stated that a set of flight manifests for the four flights were “amongst a set of investigative files he obtained from the FBI while researching his book,” 911 Myths, “The Passengers” (http://911myths.com/html/the_passengers.html).

[95] Although discussions on the Internet have often claimed that these manifests were included in the FBI’s evidence for the Moussaoui trial, several researchers looking for them have failed to find them. See Jim Hoffman’s discussion (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/passengers.html).

[96] For example, Ziad Jarrah’s last name is spelled correctly on this “manifest,” whereas in the early days after 9/11, the FBI was referring to him as “Jarrahi,” as news reports from the time show (“Hijackers Linked to USS Cole Attack? Investigators Have Identified All the Hijackers; Photos to Be Released,” CBS News, September 14, 2001 [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/09/12/ national/main310963.shtml]; Elizabeth Neuffer, “Hijack Suspect Lived a Life, or a Lie,” Boston Globe September 25, 2001 [http://web.archive.org/web/20010925123748/boston.com/dailyglobe2/268/ nation/Hijack_suspect_lived_a_life_or_a_lie+.shtml]). Also, the “manifest” for American Flight 77 contains Hani Hanjour’s name, whereas the FBI’s initial list of hijackers for this flight included a name transcribed as “Mosear Caned,” leading the Washington Post to speculate as to why Hanjour’s “name was not on the American Airlines manifest for the flight” (“Four Planes, Four Coordinated Teams,” Washington Post, September 16, 2001 [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/graphics/attack/hijackers.html]). Moreover, the manifest for American Flight 11 contains the names of Wail al-Shehri, Waleed al-Shehri, Satam al-Suqami, and Abdul Aziz al-Omari, whereas the FBI’s original list of hijackers included instead the names of Adnan Bukhari, Ameer Bukhari, Amer Kamfar, and Abdulrahman al-Omari (see Jay Kolar, “What We Now Know about the Alleged 9-11 Hijackers,” Paul Zarembka, ed., The Hidden History of 9-11-2001, Elsevier [2006]; enlarged edition Seven Stories Press [2008]).

[97] Thomas R. Olmsted, M.D. “Still No Arabs on Flight 77,” Rense.com, June 23, 2003 (http://www.rense.com/general38/77.htm).

[98] Popular Mechanics has claimed that hijacker names were on the Pentagon autopsy report; see Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts: An In-Depth Investigation by Popular Mechanics, ed. David Dunbar and Brad Reagan (New York: Hearst Books, 2006), 63. For my discussion, see Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2007], 267-69.

[99] Glen Johnson, “Probe Reconstruction Horror, Calculated Attacks on Planes,” Boston Globe November 23, 2001 (http://www.boston.com/news/packages/ underattack/news/planes_reconstruction.htm).

[100] “America Under Attack: How Could It Happen?” CNN Live Event, September 12, 2001 (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/12/se.60.html).

[101] Richard A. Serrano, “Heroism, Fatalism Aboard Flight 93,” Los Angeles Times April 12, 2006 (http://rednecktexan.blogspot.com/2006/04/heroism-fatalism-aboard-flight-93.html).

[102] 9/11CR 5.

[103] See David Ray Griffin, Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11 (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2006), Chap. 1, “9/11 and Prior False Flag Operations.”

[104] General Wesley Clark, Winning Modern Wars: Iraq, Terrorism, and the American Empire (New York: Public Affairs, 2003), 120, 130; “Gen. Wesley Clark Weighs Presidential Bid: ‘I Think about It Everyday,’” Democracy Now! March 2, 2007 (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/02/1440234); Joe Conason, “Seven Countries in Five Years,” Salon.com, October 12, 2007 (http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2007/10/12/wesley_clark); Gareth Porter, “Yes, the Pentagon Did Want to Hit Iran,” Asia Times, May 7, 2008 (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JE07Ak01.html).

[105] Some have seen drug profits as central. Others have focused on access to oil, natural gas, and minerals. For example, economist Michel Chossudovsky, referring to the allegedly recent discovery of huge reserves of minerals and natural gas in Afghanistan, wrote: “The issue of ‘previously unknown deposits’ sustains a falsehood. It excludes Afghanistan’s vast mineral wealth as a justifiable casus belli. It says that the Pentagon only recently became aware that Afghanistan was among the World’s most wealthy mineral economies . . . [whereas in reality] all this information was known in minute detail.” See Michel Chossudovsky, “‘The War is Worth Waging’: Afghanistan’s Vast Reserves of Minerals and Natural Gas: The War on Afghanistan is a Profit Driven ‘Resource War,’” Global Research, June 17, 2010 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19769).

[106] Dr. Gideon Polya, author of Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality Since 1950, estimated by January 2010 that over four million Afghanis died (from both violent and non-violent causes) since the 2001 invasion who would not have died without the invasion; see “January 2010 – 4.5 Million Dead in Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide,” January 2, 2010, Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide (http://afghangenocide.blogspot.com).

[107] On US-NATO war crimes in Afghanistan, see Marc W. Herold, “Media Distortion: Killing Innocent Afghan Civilians to ‘Save our Troops’: Eight Years of Horror Perpetrated against the People of Afghanistan,” Global Research, October 15, 2009 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15665).

Chapter 2 • The Destruction of the World Trade Center: Why Have Otherwise Rational Journalists Endorsed Miracles? • 20,000 Words

It has now been ten years since the 9/11 attacks. From the beginning, a few people started arguing that the official account of the attacks—that they were carried out by foreign Muslims in other countries—was false, and that 9/11 was an inside job, carried out by people and agencies in our own government. An emerging movement to make this case came to be called “the 9/11 Truth Movement.”

According to several left-leaning critics of the 9/11 Truth Movement, some of its central claims, especially about the destruction of the World Trade Center, show its members to be scientifically challenged. In the opinion of some of these critics, moreover, claims made by members of this movement are sometimes unscientific in the strongest possible sense, implying an acceptance of magic and miracles.

After documenting this charge in the first part of this chapter, I show in the second part that the opposite is the case: On the one hand, these left-leaning critics have endorsed the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, even though it implies many miracles. On the other hand, the 9/11 Truth Movement, in developing an alternative hypothesis, has done so under the assumption that the laws of nature did not take a holiday on 9/11. In the third part of this chapter, I ask these left-leaning critics some questions raised by the fact that it is they, not members of the 9/11 Truth Movement, who have endorsed a conspiracy theory replete with miracle stories as well as other absurdities.

I • The Charge that 9/11 Truth Theories Rest on Unscientific, Even Magical, Beliefs • 1,100 Words

Several left-leaning critics of the 9/11 Truth Movement charge its members with relying on claims that are contradicted by good science and, in some cases, reflect a belief in magic. By “magic,” they mean miracles, understood as violations of basic principles of the physical sciences.

For example, Alexander Cockburn, who has referred to members of the 9/11 Truth Movement as “9/11 conspiracy nuts,”[1]Alexander Cockburn, “The 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts,” ZNet, September 20, 2006 (http://www.zcommunications.org/the-9-11-conspiracy-...rn-1). A shorter version appeared in the September 24, 2006, issue of The Nation. quoted with approval a philosopher who, speaking of “the 9-11 conspiracy cult,” said that its “main engine . . . is . . . the death of any conception of evidence,” resulting in “the ascendancy of magic over common sense, let alone reason.”[2]Alexander Cockburn, “The Conspiracists, Continued—Are They Getting Crazier?” The Free Press September 16, 2006 (http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/2/2006/1433). Also, Cockburn assured his readers: “The conspiracy theory that the World Trade Centre towers were demolished by explosive charges previously placed within them is probably impossible.”[3]Alexander Cockburn, “Conspiracy Disproved: Distractions from Awful Reality,” Le Monde Diplomatique December 2006 (http://mondediplo.com/2006/12/02dconspiracy). With regard to Building 7 of the World Trade Center, Cockburn claimed (in 2006) that the (2002) report by FEMA was “more than adequate.”[4]Ibid.
(Alexander Cockburn, “Conspiracy Disproved: Distractions from Awful Reality,” Le Monde Diplomatique December 2006 (http://mondediplo.com/2006/12/02dconspiracy).)

Likewise, George Monbiot, referring to members of the 9/11 Truth Movement as “fantasists,” “conspiracy idiots,” and “morons,” charged that they “believe that [the Bush regime] is capable of magic.”[5]George Monbiot, “9/11 Fantasists Pose a Mortal Danger to Popular Oppositional Campaigns,” Guardian February 20, 2007 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/ commentisfree/2007/feb/20/comment.september11).

Matt Taibbi, saying that the “9/11 conspiracy theory is so shamefully stupid” and referring to its members as “idiots,” wrote with derision about the “alleged scientific impossibilities” in the official account of 9/11; about the claim that “the towers couldn’t have fallen the way they did [without the aid of explosives]”; of the view (held by “9/11 Truthers”) that “it isn’t the plane crashes that topple the buildings, but bombs planted in the Towers that do the trick”; and of “the supposed anomalies of physics involved with the collapse of WTC-7.” He had been assured by “scientist friends,” he added, that “[a]ll of the 9/11 science claims” are “rank steaming bullshit.”[6]Matt Taibbi, “The Idiocy Behind the ‘9/11 Truth’ Movement,” AlterNet, September 26, 2006 (http://www.alternet.org/story/42181). This date, incidentally, refers to the original posting of the article at Rollingstone.com. It was not posted on AlterNet until May 7, 2008. In another article, posted on Rollingstone.com a couple of weeks earlier (September 14, 2006), Taibbi had offered a different diagnosis, saying that people who thought that the towers had been wired with explosives were “clinically insane.” See Matt Taibbi, “Americans in Denial about 9/11,” AlterNet June 6, 2008 (http://www.alternet.org/story/41635).

Chris Hayes, writing in The Nation in 2006, did not stoop to the kind of name-calling employed by Cockburn, Monbiot, and Taibbi. He also knew, he admitted, of “eyewitness accounts of [people] who heard explosions in the World Trade Center.” And he was aware that “jet fuel burns at 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit [whereas] steel melts at 2,500.” He asserted, nevertheless, that “the evidence shows [a 9/11 conspiracy] to be virtually impossible,” so that the 9/11 Truth Movement’s conspiracy theory is “wrongheaded and a terrible waste of time.”[7]Christopher Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia,” The Nation December 8, 2006 (http://www.chrishayes.org/articles/911-roots-paranoia).

Noam Chomsky has also declared that the available facts, when approached scientifically, refute the 9/11 Truth Movement. Speaking of evidence provided by this movement to show that 9/11 “was planned by the Bush Administration,” Chomsky declared: “If you look at the evidence, anybody who knows anything about the sciences would instantly discount that evidence.”[8]“Chomsky: 9/11 Truth Movement Pushes Non-Scientific Evidence,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBg3aFZVATk). In spite of his dismissive attitude, however, Chomsky in 2006 gave some helpful advice to people who believe they have physical evidence refuting the official account:

There are ways to assess that: submit it to specialists . . . who have the requisite background in civil-mechanical engineering, materials science, building construction, etc., for review and analysis. . . . Or, . . . submit it to a serious journal for peer review and publication. To my knowledge, there isn’t a single submission.[9]“Chomsky Dismisses 9/11 Conspiracy Theories As ‘Dubious,’” Rense.com, December 13, 2006 (http://rense.com/general74/dismiss.htm).

In These Times writer Terry Allen, in a 2006 essay entitled “The 9/11 Faith Movement,” assured her readers that “the facts [do not] support the conspiracists’ key charge that World Trade Center buildings were destroyed by pre-positioned explosives.”[10]Terry Allen, “The 9/11 Faith Movement,” In These Times July 11, 2006 (http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2702).

In an essay posted at AlterNet a few months after 9/11, David Corn used a purely a priori argument to demonstrate—at least to his own satisfaction—that 9/11 could not have been an inside job: “U.S. officials would [not have been] . . . good [capable] enough, evil enough, or gutsy enough.” In 2009, after having been silent about 9/11 for the intervening years, he addressed the issue again. Referring to “9/11 conspiracy silliness,” “9/11 conspiracy poison,” and “9/11 fabulists,” Corn declared:

The 9/11 conspiracy . . . was always a load of bunk. You don’t have to be an expert on skyscraper engineering . . . to know that [this theory] make[s] no sense.[11]David Corn, “When 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Go Bad,” AlterNet, March 1, 2002 (http://www.alternet.org/story/12536); “How 9/11 Conspiracy Poison Did in Van Jones,” Politics Daily, September 7, 2009 (http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/09/07/how-9-11-co...ones).

Corn thereby implied that, whereas anyone can know that the 9/11 Truth Movement’s conspiracy theory is false, those people who are “expert[s] on skyscraper engineering” would have even more certain knowledge of this fact.

As to how people (such as himself) who are not experts on such matters could know this movement’s conspiracy theory to be “a load of bunk,” Corn again employed his three-point a priori argument, as re-worded in a 2009 Mother Jones essay, according to which the Bush administration was “not that evil,” “not that ballsy,” and “not that competent.”[12]Corn, “How 9/11 Conspiracy Poison Did in Van Jones.” Corn even referred to his three-point argument as “a tutorial that should persuade anyone that the 9/11 theory makes no sense.” Although this “tutorial” does not, of course, convince members of the 9/11 Truth Movement, Corn explained this fact by saying: “I have learned from experience that people who believe this stuff are not open to persuasion.”[13]David Corn, “Van Jones and the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory Poison,” Mother Jones, September 7, 2009 (http://motherjones.com/mojo/2009/09/van-jones-and-9...ison).

In any case, although his argument against the inside-job theory was almost entirely a priori, he did make the above-mentioned suggestion that one’s a priori certitude would be reinforced by people, such as “expert[s] on skyscraper engineering,” who have relevant types of expertise to evaluate the empirical evidence.

A fuller statement of the general claim made by these authors—that the 9/11 Truth Movement is based on unscientific claims—was formulated by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive. In an essay entitled “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Already,” Rothschild wrote:

Here’s what the conspiracists believe: 9/11 was an inside job. . . . [T]he Twin Towers fell not because of the impact of the airplanes and the ensuing fires but because [of] explosives. Building 7, another high-rise at the World Trade Center that fell on 9/11, also came down by planted explosives. . . . I’m amazed at how many people give credence to these theories. . . . [S]ome of the best engineers in the country have studied these questions and come up with perfectly logical, scientific explanations for what happened. . . . At bottom, the 9/11 conspiracy theories are profoundly irrational and unscientific. It is more than passing strange that progressives, who so revere science on such issues as tobacco, stem cells, evolution, and global warming, are so willing to abandon science and give in to fantasy on the subject of 9/11.[14]Matthew Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already,” The Progressive September 18, 2006 (http://www.alternet.org/story/41601/).

However, in spite of the confidence with which these critics have made their charges, the truth is the complete opposite: It is the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, which has been endorsed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), that is profoundly unscientific (partly because it ignores a massive amount of evidence pointing to the use of explosives[15]See David Ray Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 Is Unscientific and False (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2009), Chs. 4–5.), and it is precisely for this reason that the 9/11 Truth Movement has come up with an alternative explanation—namely, that the WTC buildings were brought down in the procedure known as “controlled demolition.”

II • Miracles Implied by NIST’s Explanation of the WTC’s Destruction • 9,200 Words

The main reason why NIST’s theory of the destruction of the World Trade Center is profoundly unscientific is that it cannot be accepted without endorsing miracles, in the sense of violations of fundamental principles of physics and chemistry. The fact that such violations are ruled out by science has been treated with humor in a cartoon involving a mathematical proof on a chalkboard. Most of the steps consist of mathematical equations. But the second step simply says: “Then a miracle happens.”[16]This cartoon, by Sydney Harris, is contained in Science Cartoons Plus (http://www.sciencecartoonsplus.com/pages/gallery.php). This is funny, because it is universally understood in the scientific community that a scientific explanation of some phenomenon cannot include the affirmation of a miracle, even implicitly.

And yet this is what NIST does. NIST’s theory of the destruction of the World Trade Center, in fact, includes the affirmation of several miracles. I will demonstrate this point in terms of nine miracles implied by NIST’s accounts of the destruction of Building 7 of the World Trade Center (WTC 7) and the Twin Towers (WTC 1 and 2).

1. The Fire-Induced Collapse of WTC 7: An Apparent Miracle

WTC 7 was a 47-story building that came down at 5:21 PM that day. In discussing the miracles implied by NIST’s account of this building’s collapse, I begin with a fact about WTC 7’s collapse that at least appears to entail a miracle: that it was (according to the official account) the first steel-framed high-rise building in the known universe to be brought down solely by fire. The Twin Towers were hit by airliners, so the official account could attribute their collapses to the airplane impacts as well as to the ensuing fires. But WTC 7 was not hit by a plane, so its collapse apparently had to be attributed to fire alone.

The unprecedented nature of a fire-induced collapse of a steel-framed high-rise building was expressed a couple of months after 9/11 by New York Times reporter James Glanz. Calling the collapse of WTC 7 “a mystery,” Glanz reported that “experts said no building like it, a modern, steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever collapsed because of an uncontrolled fire.” Glanz also quoted a structural engineer as saying: “[W]ithin the structural engineering community, [WTC 7] is considered to be much more important to understand [than the Twin Towers],” because engineers had no answer to the question, “why did 7 come down?”[17]James Glanz, “EngineersHave a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center: Diesel Fuel,” New York Times November 29, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/29/nyregion/nation-c...-site- engineers-have-culprit-strange-collapse-7-world-trade.html). The original title of this story was “Engineers Suspect Diesel Fuel in Collapse of 7 World Trade Center.”

The mystery was not lessened in 2002 when FEMA issued the first official report on this building’s collapse. Saying that its “best hypothesis” was that flaming debris from the collapse of the North Tower had ignited diesel fuel stored in the building, resulting in large, steel-weakening fires that made the building collapse, FEMA admitted that this hypothesis had “only a low probability of occurrence”[18]See FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, Therese McAllister, ed. (Washington, DC, and New York: Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2002), Chapter 5, by Ramon Gilsanz, Edward M. Depaola, Christopher Marrion, and Harold “Bud” Nelson (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_ch5.pdf), 31. As the title of Glanz’s article in the previous note indicates, he had already suggested that the diesel fuel might provide an explanation. (although Alexander Cockburn years later, as we saw above, would declare this report to be “more than adequate”).

This cautionary statement by FEMA did not, however, prevent defenders of the official account from claiming that WTC 7’s collapse was not really very mysterious after all. In a 2006 book, Popular Mechanics told its readers what they could probably expect to find in the report on this building to be put out by NIST—which had taken over from FEMA the responsibility for issuing the official reports on the Twin Towers and WTC 7. Citing NIST’s “current working hypothesis,” Popular Mechanics said that WTC 7’s diesel fuel had probably fed the fires “for up to seven hours.”[19]Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts: An In-Depth Investigation by Popular Mechanics, ed. David Dunbar and Brad Reagan (New York: Hearst Books, 2006), 53, 56.

Also, using NIST’s then-current thinking in order to claim that “WTC 7 was far more compromised by falling debris than the FEMA report indicated,” Popular Mechanics argued that critics could not reject the official account on the grounds that it would make WTC 7 the first steel-framed high-rise to have failed “because of fire alone,” because, Popular Mechanics claimed, the causes of WTC 7’s collapse were analogous to the causes of the collapses of WTC 1 and WTC 2: “A combination of physical damage from falling debris [analogous to the damage caused in the Twin Towers by the airplane impacts] and prolonged exposure to the resulting [diesel-fuel-fed] fires [analogous to the jet-fuel-fed fires in the Twin Towers].”[20]Ibid., 53–54, 29.
(Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts: An In-Depth Investigation by Popular Mechanics, ed. David Dunbar and Brad Reagan (New York: Hearst Books, 2006), 53, 56.)

Popular Mechanics called this twofold explanation a “conclusion” that had been reached by “hundreds of experts from academia and private industry, as well as the government.” This claim evidently impressed many people, including Chris Hayes and Matthew Rothschild, both of whom said that Popular Mechanics had disproved the claims of the 9/11 Truth Movement. Rothschild, repeating Popular Mechanics’ twofold explanation, wrote:

Building 7 . . . is a favorite of the conspiracy theorists, since the planes did not strike this structure. But the building did sustain damage from the debris of the Twin Towers. “On about a third of the face to the center and to the bottom—approximately ten stories—about 25 percent of the depth of the building was scooped out,” Shyam Sunder, the lead investigator for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, told Popular Mechanics. What’s more, the fire in the building lasted for about eight hours, in part because there were fuel tanks in the basement and on some of the floors.[21]Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already.”

Hayes, saying that “Popular Mechanics assembled a team of engineers, physicists, flight experts and the like to critically examine some of the Truth Movement’s most common claims,” reported that these experts “found them almost entirely without merit.” This claim by Popular Mechanics evidently settled the matter for Hayes.[22]Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia.”

Also, although Terry Allen did not mention Popular Mechanics, her article clearly depended on it. Assuring her readers that she had found it “relatively easy” to undermine the “facts” employed by the 9/11 Truth Movement, she wrote:

Many conspiracists offer the collapse of WTC Building 7 as the strongest evidence for the kind of controlled demolition that would prove a plot. Although not hit by planes, it was damaged by debris, and suffered fires eventually fueled by up to 42,000 gallons of diesel fuel stored near ground level.[23]Allen, “The 9/11 Faith Movement.”

Like Rothschild, therefore, she gave the same twofold explanation for WTC 7’s collapse that had been provided by Popular Mechanics.[24]As this example shows, Allen’s rejection of the 9/11 Truth Movement’s empirical claims seems to be based entirely on her taking on faith the claims of the Bush-Cheney administration as mediated through Popular Mechanics. It is quite ironic, therefore, that she caricatures the 9/11 Truth Movement as the “9/11 Faith Movement.” But she seems to have a special knack for getting things backwards: With regard to an In These Times editor’s question about me, “What could have transformed this sober, reflective scholar into a conspiracy theorist?” (which was his way of asking why I had rejected the government’s conspiracy theory in favor of an alternative conspiracy theory), she replied: “I think part of it is that he’s a theologian who operates on faith” (quoted in Salim Muwakkil, “What’s the 411 on 9/11?” In These Times, December 21, 2005 [http://www.inthesetimes.com/ article/2444]). Given the fact that the primary issue at hand was my belief “that the towers were toppled by a controlled demolition,” for which there is an overwhelming amount of empirical evidence, it is especially strange that she would say that the reason I believe this must be that I am “a theologian who operates on faith” She was obviously the one who was operating on faith with regard to 9/11.

However, when NIST finally issued its WTC 7 report in 2008, it did not affirm either element in the twofold explanation that had been proffered by Popular Mechanics. With regard to the first element, NIST said: “[F]uel oil fires did not play a role in the collapse of WTC 7.”[25]NIST NCSTAR 1A, Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (brief version), National Institute of Standards and Technology, November 2008, xxxvi (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201A.pdf). This document is henceforth cited simply as NIST NCSTAR 1A, which will always refer to the final (November 2008) version (as distinct from the Draft for Public Comment, which was issued in August 2008). With regard to the second element, NIST said: “Other than initiating the fires in WTC 7, the damage from the debris from WTC 1 [the North Tower] had little effect on initiating the collapse of WTC 7.”[26]Ibid., xxxvii.
(NIST NCSTAR 1A, Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (brief version), National Institute of Standards and Technology, November 2008, xxxvi (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201A.pdf). This document is henceforth cited simply as NIST NCSTAR 1A, which will always refer to the final (November 2008) version (as distinct from the Draft for Public Comment, which was issued in August 2008).)

This second point means that, contrary to what Popular Mechanics had claimed it would say, NIST actually asserted that WTC 7 was brought down by fire, at least primarily. In NIST’s words, the collapse of WTC 7 was “the first known instance of the total collapse of a [steel-framed] tall building primarily due to fires.”[27]Ibid., xxxv.
(NIST NCSTAR 1A, Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (brief version), National Institute of Standards and Technology, November 2008, xxxvi (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201A.pdf). This document is henceforth cited simply as NIST NCSTAR 1A, which will always refer to the final (November 2008) version (as distinct from the Draft for Public Comment, which was issued in August 2008).)

One ambiguity needs clearing up: Although in these just-quoted statements NIST seemed to indicate that the debris damage had “little effect” on initiating the collapse, so that this collapse was only primarily (rather than entirely) due to fire, NIST generally treated fire as the sole cause: Besides repeatedly speaking of a “fire-induced” collapse,[28]See Shyam Sunder, “Opening Statement,” NIST Press Briefing, August 21, 2008 (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/opening_remarks_082108.html); NIST NCSTAR 1–9, S tructural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, November 2008, Volume 2: 493, 617, 618 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201-9%20Vol%....pdf). a press release by NIST in August 2008 referred to the collapse of WTC 7 as “the first known instance of fire causing the total collapse of a tall building.” This press release, moreover, quoted lead investigator Shyam Sunder as saying: “Our study found that the fires in WTC 7 . . . caused an extraordinary event.”[28]See Shyam Sunder, “Opening Statement,” NIST Press Briefing, August 21, 2008 (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/opening_remarks_082108.html); NIST NCSTAR 1–9, S tructural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, November 2008, Volume 2: 493, 617, 618 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201-9%20Vol%....pdf). The brief version of NIST’s final report said: “Even without the structural damage, WTC 7 would have collapsed from fires having the same characteristics as those experienced on September 11, 2001.”[30]NIST NCSTAR 1A, xxxvii. The long version said: “WTC 7 sustained damage to its exterior as a result of falling debris from the collapse of WTC 1, but this damage was found to have no effect on the collapse initiating event.”[31]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, November 2008, Vol. 1 (wtc.nist.gov/ NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201-9%20Vol%201.pdf): 341.

It is not wrong, therefore, to say that NIST portrayed WTC 7 as the first (and thus far only) steel-framed high-rise building to have come down because of fire alone. NIST said, in other words, precisely what Popular Mechanics, knowing that claims about unprecedented physical events are deeply suspect, had assured people it would not say.

In doing so, moreover, NIST contradicted both parts of Popular Mechanics’ explanation for WTC 7’s collapse, which, according to Rothschild and Allen, had provided the basis for discounting the 9/11 Truth Movement’s claims about this collapse. To review: Rothschild said that the official account was credible, contrary to the Truth Movement’s claims, because “the building did sustain damage from the debris of the Twin Towers” and the “fire in the building lasted for about eight hours,” due to the “fuel tanks in the basement and on some of the floors.”[32]Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already.” Allen likewise said the official account was believable because, although WTC 7 was not hit by a plane, “it was damaged by debris, and suffered fires eventually fueled by up to 42,000 gallons of diesel fuel stored near ground level.”[33]Allen, “The 9/11 Faith Movement.”

But then, when NIST later denied that either the debris-damage or the diesel fuel played a role in the collapse of WTC 7, Rothschild and Allen did not retract their prior assurances. It seems that they, in effect, simply said—like Gilda Radner on Saturday Night Live in the 1970s—“Never mind.” Their attitude seemed to be, in other words, that whatever the government says, that is what they will believe. Whatever kind of journalism this is, it is certainly not critical, truth-seeking journalism.

In any case, NIST’s claim that WTC 7 suffered an unprecedented, fire-induced collapse is made even more problematic by the fact that the fires in this building were relatively unimpressive, compared with fires in some other steel-framed high-rises. In 1991, a huge fire in Philadelphia’s One Meridian Plaza lasted for 18 hours and gutted eight of the building’s 38 floors.[34]J. Gordon Routley, Charles Jennings, and Mark Chubb, “High-Rise Office Building Fire, One Meridian Plaza, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,” FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), 1991 (http://www.interfire.org/res_file/pdf/Tr-049.pdf). In Caracas in 2004, a fire in a 50-story building raged for 17 hours, completely gutting the building’s top 20 floors. In neither case, however, did the building, or even a single floor, collapse.[35]Robin Nieto, “Fire Practically Destroys Venezuela’s Tallest Building,” Venezuela News, Views, and Analysis, October 18, 2004 (http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/741).

In WTC 7, by contrast, there were long-lasting fires on only six of the building’s 47 floors, according to NIST, and by “long-lasting,” NIST meant only that they lasted up to seven hours.[36]Sunder, “Opening Statement.” It would be exceedingly strange, therefore, if fire had produced a total collapse of this building. The claim becomes even stranger when one discovers that NIST had no evidence that the fires on any of the floors lasted for much over three hours.[37]Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: 170–77.

Accordingly, besides undermining the confident explanations of WTC 7’s collapse offered by Popular Mechanics, NIST’s conclusion about this building—that it was the first steel-framed high-rise building ever to be brought down by fire—appears to constitute a rather remarkable miracle-claim.

2. WTC 7’s Collapse: A Perfect Imitation of an Implosion

More clearly miraculous, given the official account, was the preciseway in which WTC 7 collapsed: symmetrically (straight down, with an almost perfectly horizontal roofline), into its own footprint. In order for this symmetrical collapse to occur, the top section of all the (vertical) steel columns supporting the building had to fail simultaneously. There were 82 of these columns, so the fire theory of WTC 7’s collapse entails that the fires in this building caused the top section of all 82 of these columns to fail at the same instant.

Such a symmetrical failure would have been essentially impossible even if the building had been entirely engulfed by fire, so that all the floors would have been uniformly covered with fire. As it was, however, there were fires on only a few floors, and these fires never covered an entire floor. The official account implies, therefore, that a very asymmetrical pattern of fires produced an entirely symmetrical collapse. If that is not a genuine miracle, it will do until one comes along.

Another problem is the fact that, even if a symmetrical, total collapse could be caused by an asymmetrical pattern of fires, a fire theory could not explain the sudden onset of WTC 7’s collapse. Popular Mechanics, which is unreliable on every aspect of 9/11 (as I showed in my 2007 book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking[38]David Ray Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2007), Chap. 4.), apparently misled Chris Hayes on this point by suggesting otherwise. Attempting to illustrate his claim that Popular Mechanics had shown the core ideas of the 9/11 Truth Movement to be “almost entirely without merit,” Hayes wrote:

To pick just one example, steel might not melt at 1,500 degrees [Fahrenheit], the temperature at which jet fuel burns, but it does begin to lose a lot of its strength, enough to cause the support beams to fail.[39]Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia.”

However, even if the fire could have heated the steel up to this temperature in the time available (which would have been impossible[40]Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, 152–63.), the fire would have weakened the steel gradually, causing it to start sagging. Videos would, therefore, show deformations in the building before it came down. But they do not. One moment the building was perfectly immobile, and the next moment, as videos show,[41]See “WTC7 Demolition on 9/11 – Video Compilation,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlTBMcxx-78). For video and analysis, see “WTC7: This Is an Orange,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv7BImVvEyk&feat...ated), and David Chandler, “WTC7: NIST Finally Admits Freefall (Part III)” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3mudruFzNw), at 2:25–4:00. it was accelerating downward in free fall (the significance of free fall will be discussed below). As Australian chemist Frank Legge has observed: “There is no sign of the slow start that would be expected if collapse was caused by the gradual softening of the steel.”[42]See Frank Legge, “9/11: Acceleration Study Proves Explosive Demolition,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 5 (November 2006) (http://journalof911studies.com/ volume/200611/911-Acceleration-Study-Proves-Explosive-Demolition.pdf).

Because of these two features of the collapse, people knowing anything about such things can tell, simply by seeing a video of WTC 7’s collapse, that it was brought down in the procedure known as “controlled demolition.” For example, Daniel Hofnung, an engineer in Paris, has written:

In the years after [the] 9/11 events, I thought that all I read in professional reviews and French newspapers was true. The first time I understood that it was impossible was when I saw a film about the collapse of WTC 7.[43]Daniel Hofnung, Patriots Question 9/11 (http://patriotsquestion911.com/ engineers.html#Dhofnung).

Kansas City civil engineer Chester Gearhart wrote:

I have watched the construction of many large buildings and also have personally witnessed 5 controlled demolitions in Kansas City. When I saw the towers fall on 9/11, I knew something was wrong and my first instinct was that it was impossible. When I saw building 7 fall, I knew it was a controlled demolition.[44]Chester W. Gearhart, Patriots Question 9/11 (http://patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html#Gearhart).

Jack Keller, emeritus professor of engineering at Utah State University (who had been named by Scientific American as one of the world’s leaders in using science and technology to benefit society), wrote simply of WTC 7’s collapse: “Obviously it was the result of controlled demolition.”[45]Jack Keller, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://www2.ae911truth.org/signpetition.php).

In revealing the collapse of WTC 7 to be an example of controlled demolition, moreover, the videos show it to be the type of controlled demolition known as “implosion,” in which explosives and/or incendiaries are used to slice the building’s steel support columns so as to cause the building to collapse into its own footprint.

In 2006, for example, a Dutch filmmaker asked Danny Jowenko, the owner of a controlled demolition company in the Netherlands, to comment on a video of the collapse of WTC 7, without telling him what it was. (Jowenko had been unaware that a third building had collapsed in New York on 9/11.) After viewing the video, Jowenko said: “They simply blew up columns, and the rest caved in afterwards. . . . This is controlled demolition.” When asked if he was certain, he replied: “Absolutely, it’s been imploded. This was a hired job. A team of experts did this.”[46]See “Danny Jowenko on WTC 7 Controlled Demolition,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=877gr6xtQIc). For more of the interview, “Jowenko WTC 7 Demolition Interviews,” in three parts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3DRhwRN06I&feat...ated).

Moreover, the reason to implode a building, rather than simply causing it to fall over sideways, is to avoid damaging nearby buildings, and engineering an implosion is no mean feat. An implosion, in the words of a controlled demolition website, is “by far the trickiest type of explosive project,” which “only a handful of blasting companies in the world . . . possess enough experience . . . to perform.”[47]“The Myth of Implosion” (http://www.implosionworld.com/dyk2.html). Mark Loizeaux, the president of the aforementioned demolition firm, Controlled Demolition, Inc., has explained why: “[T]he upper portion of WTC 2 did not fall as a block upon the lower undamaged portion, but instead disintegrated as it fell. Thus, there would be no single large impact from a falling block . .

. [but only] a series of small impacts as the fragments of the disintegrating upper portion arrived.
[79]“Request for Correction Submitted to NIST.”

6. Horizontal Ejections from the Twin Towers

Dwain Deets, former director of the research engineering division at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, has written that the “massive structural members being hurled horizontally” from the Twin Towers “leave no doubt” in his mind that “explosives were involved.”[80]The statement by Deets is at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.ae911truth.org/profile.php?uid=998819).

Deets was referring to the fact that the disintegration of each of the Twin Towers began with a massive explosion near the top, during which huge sections of perimeter columns were ejected out horizontally so powerfully that some of them traveled 500 to 600 feet. Although this feature of the destructions was not mentioned in NIST’s (2005) report on the Twin Towers, there could be no doubt about it, because some of these sections of steel implanted themselves in neighboring buildings, as can be seen in videos and photographs.[81]See “911 Eyewitness: Huge Steel Sections Ejected More than 600 Feet” (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=18074674342...6490), or “9/11 Mysteries: Demolition” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5_tTRliTDo).

These ejections are now, in any case, part of the official account, because NIST, apparently finding them necessary to explain how fires got started in WTC 7, mentioned them in its report on this building. In Shyam Sunder’s opening statement at the August 2008 press briefing to announce the release of NIST’s draft report on WTC 7, he said: “The debris from Tower 1 . . . started fires on at least 10 floors of the building.”[82]Sunder, “Opening Statement.” NIST’s WTC 7 report said: “The fires in WTC 7 were ignited as a result of the impact of debris from the collapse of WTC 1, which was approximately 110 m[eters] (350 ft) to the south.”[83]NIST NCSTAR 1A: xxxvi.

NIST thereby admitted that debris had been thrown out horizontally from the North Tower at least 350 feet.[84]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 1: 125. NIST’s report also stated:

When WTC 1 collapsed at 10:28:22 AM, . . . some fragments [of debris] were forcibly ejected and traveled distances up to hundreds of meters. Pieces of WTC 1 hit WTC 7, severing six columns on Floors 7 through 17 on the south face and one column on the west face near the southwest corner. The debris also caused structural damage between Floor 44 and the roof.[85]NIST NCSTAR 1A: 16.

Debris that caused such extensive damage, including the severing of seven steel columns, had to be quite heavy. NIST seemed to be granting, therefore, that sections of steel columns had been hurled at least 650 feet (because “hundreds of meters” would mean at least 200 meters, which would be about 650 feet). Enormous force would be needed to eject large sections of steel that far out.

What could have produced this force? According to NIST, as we saw earlier, there were only three causal factors in the collapse of the Twin Towers: the airplane impacts, the fires, and gravitational attraction. The airplane impacts had occurred 56 minutes (South Tower) and 102 minutes (North Tower) earlier, and gravitational attraction pulls things straight downward. Fire could, to be sure, produce horizontal ejections by causing jet fuel to explode, but the jet fuel had, NIST pointed out, burned up within “a few minutes.”[86]NIST NCSTAR 1, Final Report on the Twin Towers, 183, 184. Therefore, although NIST admitted that these horizontal ejections occurred, it suggested no energy source to explain them.

These ejections could be explained by explosives. According to NIST, however, explosives did not contribute to the destruction of the Twin Towers. Those who accept NIST’s account must, therefore, regard these horizontal ejections as constituting yet another miracle.
7. Metal-Melting Fires

In light of the above-discussed unprecedented effects produced by the fires in the WTC buildings (according to the official account), it would seem that these fires must have had miraculous powers. This conclusion is reinforced by an examination of still more extraordinary effects.

Swiss-Cheese Steel: Within a few months of 9/11, three professors from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) had issued a brief report about a piece of steel recovered from the WTC 7 debris, stating that it had undergone “microstructural changes,” including “intergranular melting.”[87]Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and Richard D. Sisson, Jr., “An Initial Microstructural Analysis of A36 Steel from WTC Building 7,” JOM 53/12 (2001), 18 (http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/0112/Biederman/ Biederman-0112.html). A greatly expanded version of this report, which contained a description of a similarly eroded piece of steel from one of the Twin Towers, was included as an appendix to the first official report on the destruction of the World Trade Center, which was issued by FEMA in 2002.[88]Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and R. D. Sisson, Jr., “Limited Metallurgical Examination,” FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, Appendix C, 2002 (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_apc.pdf).

A New York Times story, noting that parts of these pieces of steel had “melted away,” even though “no fire in any of the buildings was believed to be hot enough to melt steel outright,” said that these discoveries constituted “[p]erhaps the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”[89]James Glanz and Eric Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse,” New York Times February 2, 2002 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04...8B63). Describing these mysterious pieces of steel more fully, an article in WPI’s magazine, entitled “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” said:

[S]teel—which has a melting point of 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit—may weaken and bend, but does not melt during an ordinary office fire. Yet . . . [a] one-inch column has been reduced to half-inch thickness. Its edges—which are curled like a paper scroll—have been thinned to almost razor sharpness. Gaping holes—some larger than a silver dollar—let light shine through a formerly solid steel flange. This Swiss cheese appearance shocked all of the fire-wise professors, who expected to see distortion and bending—but not holes.[90]Joan Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” WPI Transformations Spring 2002 (http://www.wpi.edu/News/Transformations/2002Spring/...html).

One of the three WPI professors, Jonathan Barnett, was quoted by the Times as saying that the steel “appear[ed] to have been partly evaporated in extraordinarily high temperatures.”[91]Glanz, “Engineers Suspect Diesel Fuel in Collapse of 7 World Trade Center.” I have here quoted Glanz’s paraphrase of Barnett’s statement.

That the steel had actually evaporated—not merely melted—was also reported in another New York Times story. Professor Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl of the University of California at Berkeley, speaking of a horizontal I-beam from WTC 7, reportedly said: “Parts of the flat top of the I, once five-eighths of an inch thick, had vaporized.”[92]See Kenneth Chang, “Scarred Steel Holds Clues, And Remedies,” New York Times October 2, 2001 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B05...8B63).

Why do these phenomena involve miracles? Because the fires could not possibly, even under the most ideal conditions (which did not obtain), have been hotter than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (the maximum possible temperature for hydrocarbon-based building fires, which these fires were said to be), whereas the melting and boiling points of steel are only slightly lower than those of iron, which are 2,800°F and 5,182°F, respectively.[93]WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html). So if one accepts the official account, according to which all the heat was produced by the building fires, then one must believe that these fires had miraculous powers.

NIST, which took over from FEMA the task of writing the official reports on the WTC, avoided this issue by simply not mentioning any of these pieces of steel, even though two of them had been discussed in a FEMA report appendix. NIST even claimed that no recovered steel from WTC 7 could be identified, because the steel used in this building, unlike that used in the Twin Towers, “did not contain . . . identifying characteristics.”[94]“Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” August 21, 2008 (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_082...html). This statement was repeated in a version of this document that was updated April 21, 2009 (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_042...html). Thanks to Jim Hoffman for preserving these documents at his website, after NIST had removed them from its own website. Now the 2009 has been updated in September 17, 2010 (http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa....cfm).

In making this claim, however, NIST was clearly not being truthful. For one thing, it had previously published a document in which it had referred to steel recovered from WTC 7—including the piece discussed by the WPI professors.[95]See NIST NCSTAR 1–3C, Damage and Failure Modes of Structural Steel Components, September 2005 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/ NCSTAR%201-3C%20Damage%20and%20Failure%20Modes.pdf), in which the authors, Stephen W. Banovic and Timothy Foecke, referred to “the analysis of the steel from WTC 7 (Sample #1 from Appendix C, BPAT/FEMA study) where corrosion phases and morphologies were able to determine a possible temperature region” (233). Also, NIST’s claim about not identifying any WTC 7 steel was made in August 2008, shortly after the airing in July 2008 of a BBC program on WTC 7, in which one of those WPI professors, Jonathan Barnett, had discussed an “eroded and deformed” piece of steel from WTC 7, which he and his colleagues had studied in 2001. These professors knew “its pedigree,” Barnett explained, because “this particular kind of steel” had been used only in WTC 7, not in the Twin Towers.[96]The Conspiracy Files: 9/11—The Third Tower, BBC, July 6, 2008 (available at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=90720620202...93250# and http://www.911blogger.com/node/16541); the statement by Barnett is at 48:00. I am indebted to Chris Sarns for this discovery. Barnett during this interview, incidentally, speculated that the steel had “cooked” in the underground fire. This explanation was, however, deceptive at best, for three reasons: First, the effects being discussed by Barnett could have been caused only by something producing much higher temperatures than ordinary hydrocarbon fires could have produced—fires fueled, for example, by nanothermite or some other energetic nanocomposites, as explained below in Section 8. The second and third reasons also involve facts discussed in that section: Ordinary hydrocarbon fires would not have been able to keep burning underground without oxygen; and they would, in any case, have been extinguished by the water and chemical suppressants that were pumped into the rubble.

So, although it called the collapse of WTC 7 “the first known instance of fire causing the total collapse of a tall building,”[97]“NIST WTC 7 Investigation Finds Building Fires Caused Collapse.” NIST had demonstrated its awareness of a recovered piece of steel from this building that only a very miraculous fire could have produced. NIST was surely also aware of the similarly eroded piece of steel from one of the Twin Towers, which had likewise been reported by the WPI professors in their paper included as an appendix to the 2002 FEMA report.

If the fires in WTC 7 and the Twin Towers had miraculous powers, we would expect still more miraculous effects to have been discovered, and this was indeed the case.

Melted Iron: The RJ Lee Group, a scientific research firm, was hired byDeutsche Bank, which had a building close to the World Trade Center, to prove that the dust contaminating its building after 9/11 was not ordinary building dust, as its insurance company claimed, but had resulted from the destruction of the World Trade Center. The RJ Lee Group’s reports showed that the dust in the bank’s building shared the unique chemical signature of the WTC dust, part of which was “[s]pherical iron . . . particles.”[98]RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature,” Expert Report, May 2004: 11 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/130%20Liberty%20Stre....pdf). The spherical shape shows that melting has occurred: The shape is produced by surface tension as the drops fly through the air.

There was, moreover, an enormous number of these particles: Whereas iron particles constitute only 0.04 percent of normal building dust, they constituted (a whopping) 5.87 percent of the WTC dust.[99]RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology,” December 2003: 24 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/ 130%20Liberty%20Street/Mike%20Davis%20LMDC%20130%20 Liberty%20Documents/Signature%20of%20WTC%20dust/WTC%20Dust %20Signature.Composition%20and%20Morphology.Final.pdf). The existence of these particles, the RJ Lee Group said, proved that iron had “melted during the WTC Event.”[100]Ibid., 17.
(RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology,” December 2003: 24 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/ 130%20Liberty%20Street/Mike%20Davis%20LMDC%20130%20 Liberty%20Documents/Signature%20of%20WTC%20dust/WTC%20Dust %20Signature.Composition%20and%20Morphology.Final.pdf).)
The scientists conducting the EPA’s WTC dust signature study, incidentally, had at one time considered including “iron spheres” among the components to be mentioned; it would be interesting to learn why this idea was dropped.[101]See “Comments on WTC Signature Study and Peer Review from Greg Meeker, Paul Lioy and Mort Lippmann, November 3, 2005” (http://web.archive.org/web/20100508195240/http://ww...panel/ pdfs/SubGroupComments_110305.pdf). I am indebted to Kevin Ryan for this information.

In any case, the identification of iron spheres by both the EPA and the RJ Lee Group was another miraculous discovery, for the reason given above: The melting point of iron is 2,800°F, whereas the WTC fires could not possibly have gotten above 1,800°F.[102]WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html).

Melted Molybdenum: Scientists at the US Geological Survey, in a study intended to aid the “identification of WTC dust components,” discovered an even more miraculous effect of the fires. Besides finding the spherical iron-rich particles, these scientists found that molybdenum, the melting point of which is 4,753°F (2,623°C), had also melted. Although these USGS scientists failed to mention this discovery in their published report,[103]Heather A. Lowers and Gregory P. Meeker, U.S. Geological Survey, US Department of the Interior, “Particle Atlas of World Trade Center Dust,” 2005 (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1165/508OF05-1165.html). another group of scientists, having obtained the USGS team’s data through a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request, reported evidence showing that the USGS scientists had devoted serious study to “a molybdenum-rich spherule.”[104]Steven E. Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 19 (January 2008): 4 (http://journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp....pdf).
8. Inextinguishable Fires

Besides having the power to produce the extraordinary effects already reported, the World Trade Center fires were also miraculously inextinguishable. The fact that fires continued burning in the Ground Zero rubble for many months, in spite of every attempt to put them out, was widely reported. The title of a New York Times story in the middle of November, two months after the attacks, referred to the “Most Stubborn Fire.” A New Scientist article in December was entitled “Ground Zero’s Fires Still Burning.” Very hot fires continued to burn in the Ground Zero debris piles, these stories reported, even though heavy rains came down, millions of additional gallons of water were sprayed onto the piles, and a chemical suppressant was pumped into them.[105]Eric Lipton and Andrew C. Revkin, “The Firefighters: With Water and Sweat, Fighting the Most Stubborn Fire,” New York Times November 19, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/19/nyregion/19FIRE.html); Jonathan Beard, “Ground Zero’s Fires Still Burning,” New Scientist December 3, 2001 (http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn1634).

According to Greg Fuchek, vice president of a company that supplied computer equipment to identify human remains at the site, the working conditions at Ground Zero remained “hellish” for six months, because the ground temperature ranged from 600 to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.[106]Trudy Walsh, “Handheld APP Eased Recovery Tasks,” Government Computer News September 11, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/wtc/ evidence/gcn_handheldapp.html).

These inextinguishable fires were a mystery. Assuming the truth of the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, there would have been nothing in the debris pile other than ordinary building materials, and these can burn only in the presence of oxygen. There would have been little oxygen available in the densely packed debris piles, and wherever it was available, the fires should have been easily suppressed by the enormous amounts of water and chemical suppressants pumped into the piles. The fires’ seemingly miraculous power to keep burning could not be explained by the airplanes’ jet fuel (which is essentially kerosene), because it would have all burned out, as mentioned above, within a few minutes.

A non-miraculous explanation is suggested by the discovery of a large amount of nanothermite residue in the WTC dust, which was reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 2009. Nanothermite—“which can be tailored to behave as an incendiary (like ordinary thermite) or as an explosive”[107]Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, et al., “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal 2 (2009): 7–31 (http://www.benthamscience.com/open/tocpj/articles/V...J.htm? TOCIEJ/2008/00000002/00000001/35TOCIEJ.SGM). The quoted description of how nanothermite can be tailored was provided by Niels Harrit, email letter of June 19, 2011, to Elizabeth Woodworth for Consensus 9/11.—is one among several types of “energetic nanocomposites,” which were described by an article in The Environmentalist as “chemical energetic materials, which provide their own fuel and oxidant and are not deterred by water, dust or chemical suppressants.”[108]Kevin R. Ryan, James R. Gourley, and Steven E. Jones, “Environmental Anomalies at the World Trade Center: Evidence for Energetic Materials,” The Environmentalist 29/1 (August, 2008): 56–63, at 58, 56. Also published online, August 4, 2008 (http://www.springerlink.com/content/f67q6272583h86n4/ fulltext.html). Ryan has provided experiments showing the explosive power of nanothermite; see DK1Ryan, “Experiments with Nanothermite,” July 24, 2011 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O66UyGNrmSI). The discovery of nanothermite residue in the dust provided, therefore, an empirical basis for a non-miraculous explanation of the long-lasting fires at Ground Zero.

According to the official account, however, the buildings were all brought down without the aid of any incendiaries or explosives. WTC 7 was said by NIST, as we saw above, to have been brought down by fire alone, and this fire, NIST added, was “an ordinary building contents fire.”[109]NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 1: 330. As for the Twin Towers, they were brought down through the combined effects of the airplane impacts and the ensuing fires: NIST explicitly rejected “alternative hypotheses suggesting that the WTC towers were brought down by controlled demolition using explosives.”[110]NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 2.

For anyone who accepts the official account, therefore, the inextinguishable underground fires at Ground Zero provide still another demonstration of miraculous powers that must have been possessed by the World Trade Center fires.
9. Supernatural Sulfur

In the seventh section, I discussed the two Swiss-cheese-appearing pieces of steel that had been recovered from the World Trade Center rubble—one from WTC 7, the other from one of the Twin Towers. In that discussion, however, I ignored one of the critical features of these pieces of steel, which was central to the reason they were said by the New York Times to constitute “the deepest mystery.”

This was the fact that the thinning of the steel had resulted, according to the three WPI professors’ report, from sulfidation, but there was no explanation for the source of the sulfur or the mechanism through which it entered into the steel. According to a preliminary analysis reported by the professors, said the New York Times article, “sulfur released during the fires—no one knows from where—may have combined with atoms in the steel to form compounds that melt at lower temperatures.”[111]Glanz and Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse.”

This phenomenon was discussed more fully in the article, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” in WPI’s magazine, which attributed the holes and the thinning to “a eutectic reaction” that “occurred at the surface, causing intergranular melting capable of turning a solid steel girder into Swiss cheese.”[112]Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel.”

In summarizing their findings in the paper included in the FEMA report, the three professors wrote:

1. The thinning of the steel occurred by a high-temperature corrosion due to a combination of oxidation and sulfidation.

2. Heating of the steel into a hot corrosive environment approaching 1,000°C (1,832°F) results in the formation of a eutectic mixture of iron, oxygen, and sulfur that liquefied the steel.

3. The sulfidation attack of steel grain boundaries accelerated the corrosion and erosion of the steel.[113]Barnett, Biederman, and Sisson, “Limited Metallurgical Examination.”

Then, having mentioned sulfidation in each of these three points, the professors added: “The severe corrosion and subsequent erosion of Samples 1 and 2 are a very unusual event. No clear explanation for the source of the sulfur has been identified. . . . A detailed study into the mechanisms of this phenomenon is needed.”[114]Ibid., C-13.
(Barnett, Biederman, and Sisson, “Limited Metallurgical Examination.”)


However, although Arden Bement, who was the director of NIST when it took over the WTC project from FEMA, said that NIST’s report would address “all major recommendations contained in the [FEMA] report,”[115]Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., Testimony before the House Science Committee Hearing on “The Investigation of the World Trade Center Collapse,” May 1, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/wtc/official/nist....htm). In the quoted statement, the name “FEMA” replaces “BPAT,” which is the abbreviation for “Building Performance Assessment Team,” the name of the ASCE team that prepared this report for FEMA. NIST ignored this recommendation. Indeed, as we saw earlier, it did not even mention these Swiss-cheese pieces of steel.

Also, when NIST was later asked about the sulfidation, it tried to maintain that the source of the sulfur was not actually a mystery, saying that “sulfur is present in the gypsum wallboard that was prevalent in the interior partitions.”[116]“Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” NIST, Question 12.

But there are three problems with this explanation. First, gypsum is calcium sulfate, so if all the sulfur discovered had been from gypsum wallboard, it would have been matched by about the same percentage of calcium. That, however, was not the case.[117]Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” 3.

Second, the WPI professors reported not merely that there was sulfur in the debris, but that the steel had been sulfidized. This means that sulfur had entered into the intergranular structure of the steel (which the New York Times article had indicated by saying that sulfur had “combined with atoms in the steel”). As chemist Kevin Ryan has said, the question NIST would need to answer is: “[H]ow did sulfates, from wallboard, tunnel into the intergranular microstructure of the steel and then form sulfides within?”[118]Email letter from Kevin Ryan, October 16, 2008. Physicist Steven Jones added:

[I]f NIST claims that sulfur is present in the steel from gypsum, they should do an (easy) experiment to heat steel to about 1000°C in the presence of gypsum and then test whether sulfur has entered the steel. . . . [T]hey will find that sulfur does not enter steel under such circumstances.[119]Email letter from Steven Jones, October 17, 2008.

Chemistry professor Niels Harrit has explained why it would not: Although gypsum contains sulfur, this is not elemental sulfur, which can react with iron, but sulfur in the form of calcium sulfate, which cannot.[120]Personal communications from Niels Harrit, May 8, 2009, and June 25, 2010.

The official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, therefore, implies that the sulfidized steel had been produced by a twofold miracle: Besides the fact that the fires, as we saw earlier, could have melted steel only if they had possessed miraculous powers, the sulfur in the wallboard could have entered into this melted steel only by virtue of supernatural powers.

Once again, a non-miraculous explanation is available: We need only suppose that thermate, a well-known incendiary, had been employed. As Steven Jones has written:

The thermate reaction proceeds rapidly and is in general faster than basic thermite in cutting through steel due to the presence of sulfur. (Elemental sulfur forms a low-melting-temperature eutectic with iron.)[121]Steven E. Jones, “Revisiting 9/11/2001: Applying the Scientific Method,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 11 (May 2007): 81 (http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200704/ JonesWTC911SciMethod.pdf).

Besides providing an explanation for the eutectic reaction, thermate could also, Jones pointed out, explain the melting, oxidation, and sulfidation of the steel:

When you put sulfur into thermite it makes the steel melt at a much lower temperature, so instead of melting at about 1,538°C [2,800°F] it melts at approximately 988°C [1,820°F], and you get sulfidation and oxidation in the attacked steel.[122]Ibid., 75.
(Steven E. Jones, “Revisiting 9/11/2001: Applying the Scientific Method,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 11 (May 2007): 81 (http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200704/ JonesWTC911SciMethod.pdf).)


NIST, however, insists that no incendiaries were employed: WTC 7 was brought down by fire alone; the Twin Towers by the fires combined with damage from the airplane impacts. Those who endorse the official account, therefore, are stuck with yet another miracle.o bring [a building] down . . . so . . . no other structure is harmed,” the demolition must be “completely planned,” using “the right explosive [and] the right pattern of laying the charges.”[48]Liz Else, “Baltimore Blasters,” New Scientist July 24, 2004, 48 (http://www.911 research.wtc7.net/mirrors/new_scientist/BaltimoreBlast_Loizeaux.html).

Would it not be a miracle if a fire-induced collapse, based on scattered fires on a few of WTC 7’s floors, had produced a collapse that perfectly imitated the kind of planned, controlled demolition that can be carried out by only a few companies in the world?

Chris Hayes suggested that the 9/11 Truth Movement, by doubting the government’s account of 9/11, exemplifies a resurgence of the “paranoid style” in American politics. But in accepting the government’s account, as defended by the pseudo-scientific Popular Mechanics, he illustrated the other target of his article, the “credulous style,” which, he pointed out, is generally exemplified by the American media.[49]Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia.” Surely, however, his credulity does not extend to the acceptance of miracles.

3. WTC 7’s Descent in Absolute Free Fall

Even if some readers question whether the two previously discussed features of the collapse of WTC 7, when understood within the framework of NIST’s fire theory, imply miracles, there can be no doubt about a third feature: the now-accepted (albeit generally unpublicized) fact that WTC 7 came down in absolute free fall for over two seconds.

Although scientists in the 9/11 Truth Movement had long been pointing out that this building descended at the same rate as a free-falling object, or at least virtually so, NIST had long denied this. As late as August 2008, when NIST issued its report on WTC 7 in the form of a Draft for Public Comment, it claimed that the time it took for the upper floors—the only floors that are visible on the videos—to come down “was approximately 40 percent longer than the computed free fall time and was consistent with physical principles.”[50]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Draft for Public Comment, Vol. 2 (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/NIST_NCSTAR_1-9_vol2_for_....pdf), 596.

As this statement implied, any assertion that the building did come down in free fall, assuming a non-engineered collapse, would not be consistent with physical principles—meaning basic laws of Newtonian physics. Explaining why not during a “WTC 7 Technical Briefing” on August 26, 2008, NIST’s Shyam Sunder said:

[A] free fall time would be [the fall time of] an object that has no structural components below it. . . . [T]he upper portion of WTC 2 did not fall as a block upon the lower undamaged portion, but instead disintegrated as it fell. Thus, there would be no single large impact from a falling block . .

. [but only] a series of small impacts as the fragments of the disintegrating upper portion arrived.
[79]“Request for Correction Submitted to NIST.”

6. Horizontal Ejections from the Twin Towers

Dwain Deets, former director of the research engineering division at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, has written that the “massive structural members being hurled horizontally” from the Twin Towers “leave no doubt” in his mind that “explosives were involved.”[80]The statement by Deets is at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.ae911truth.org/profile.php?uid=998819).

Deets was referring to the fact that the disintegration of each of the Twin Towers began with a massive explosion near the top, during which huge sections of perimeter columns were ejected out horizontally so powerfully that some of them traveled 500 to 600 feet. Although this feature of the destructions was not mentioned in NIST’s (2005) report on the Twin Towers, there could be no doubt about it, because some of these sections of steel implanted themselves in neighboring buildings, as can be seen in videos and photographs.[81]See “911 Eyewitness: Huge Steel Sections Ejected More than 600 Feet” (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=18074674342...6490), or “9/11 Mysteries: Demolition” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5_tTRliTDo).

These ejections are now, in any case, part of the official account, because NIST, apparently finding them necessary to explain how fires got started in WTC 7, mentioned them in its report on this building. In Shyam Sunder’s opening statement at the August 2008 press briefing to announce the release of NIST’s draft report on WTC 7, he said: “The debris from Tower 1 . . . started fires on at least 10 floors of the building.”[82]Sunder, “Opening Statement.” NIST’s WTC 7 report said: “The fires in WTC 7 were ignited as a result of the impact of debris from the collapse of WTC 1, which was approximately 110 m[eters] (350 ft) to the south.”[83]NIST NCSTAR 1A: xxxvi.

NIST thereby admitted that debris had been thrown out horizontally from the North Tower at least 350 feet.[84]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 1: 125. NIST’s report also stated:

When WTC 1 collapsed at 10:28:22 AM, . . . some fragments [of debris] were forcibly ejected and traveled distances up to hundreds of meters. Pieces of WTC 1 hit WTC 7, severing six columns on Floors 7 through 17 on the south face and one column on the west face near the southwest corner. The debris also caused structural damage between Floor 44 and the roof.[85]NIST NCSTAR 1A: 16.

Debris that caused such extensive damage, including the severing of seven steel columns, had to be quite heavy. NIST seemed to be granting, therefore, that sections of steel columns had been hurled at least 650 feet (because “hundreds of meters” would mean at least 200 meters, which would be about 650 feet). Enormous force would be needed to eject large sections of steel that far out.

What could have produced this force? According to NIST, as we saw earlier, there were only three causal factors in the collapse of the Twin Towers: the airplane impacts, the fires, and gravitational attraction. The airplane impacts had occurred 56 minutes (South Tower) and 102 minutes (North Tower) earlier, and gravitational attraction pulls things straight downward. Fire could, to be sure, produce horizontal ejections by causing jet fuel to explode, but the jet fuel had, NIST pointed out, burned up within “a few minutes.”[86]NIST NCSTAR 1, Final Report on the Twin Towers, 183, 184. Therefore, although NIST admitted that these horizontal ejections occurred, it suggested no energy source to explain them.

These ejections could be explained by explosives. According to NIST, however, explosives did not contribute to the destruction of the Twin Towers. Those who accept NIST’s account must, therefore, regard these horizontal ejections as constituting yet another miracle.
7. Metal-Melting Fires

In light of the above-discussed unprecedented effects produced by the fires in the WTC buildings (according to the official account), it would seem that these fires must have had miraculous powers. This conclusion is reinforced by an examination of still more extraordinary effects.

Swiss-Cheese Steel: Within a few months of 9/11, three professors from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) had issued a brief report about a piece of steel recovered from the WTC 7 debris, stating that it had undergone “microstructural changes,” including “intergranular melting.”[87]Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and Richard D. Sisson, Jr., “An Initial Microstructural Analysis of A36 Steel from WTC Building 7,” JOM 53/12 (2001), 18 (http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/0112/Biederman/ Biederman-0112.html). A greatly expanded version of this report, which contained a description of a similarly eroded piece of steel from one of the Twin Towers, was included as an appendix to the first official report on the destruction of the World Trade Center, which was issued by FEMA in 2002.[88]Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and R. D. Sisson, Jr., “Limited Metallurgical Examination,” FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, Appendix C, 2002 (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_apc.pdf).

A New York Times story, noting that parts of these pieces of steel had “melted away,” even though “no fire in any of the buildings was believed to be hot enough to melt steel outright,” said that these discoveries constituted “[p]erhaps the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”[89]James Glanz and Eric Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse,” New York Times February 2, 2002 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04...8B63). Describing these mysterious pieces of steel more fully, an article in WPI’s magazine, entitled “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” said:

[S]teel—which has a melting point of 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit—may weaken and bend, but does not melt during an ordinary office fire. Yet . . . [a] one-inch column has been reduced to half-inch thickness. Its edges—which are curled like a paper scroll—have been thinned to almost razor sharpness. Gaping holes—some larger than a silver dollar—let light shine through a formerly solid steel flange. This Swiss cheese appearance shocked all of the fire-wise professors, who expected to see distortion and bending—but not holes.[90]Joan Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” WPI Transformations Spring 2002 (http://www.wpi.edu/News/Transformations/2002Spring/...html).

One of the three WPI professors, Jonathan Barnett, was quoted by the Times as saying that the steel “appear[ed] to have been partly evaporated in extraordinarily high temperatures.”[91]Glanz, “Engineers Suspect Diesel Fuel in Collapse of 7 World Trade Center.” I have here quoted Glanz’s paraphrase of Barnett’s statement.

That the steel had actually evaporated—not merely melted—was also reported in another New York Times story. Professor Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl of the University of California at Berkeley, speaking of a horizontal I-beam from WTC 7, reportedly said: “Parts of the flat top of the I, once five-eighths of an inch thick, had vaporized.”[92]See Kenneth Chang, “Scarred Steel Holds Clues, And Remedies,” New York Times October 2, 2001 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B05...8B63).

Why do these phenomena involve miracles? Because the fires could not possibly, even under the most ideal conditions (which did not obtain), have been hotter than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (the maximum possible temperature for hydrocarbon-based building fires, which these fires were said to be), whereas the melting and boiling points of steel are only slightly lower than those of iron, which are 2,800°F and 5,182°F, respectively.[93]WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html). So if one accepts the official account, according to which all the heat was produced by the building fires, then one must believe that these fires had miraculous powers.

NIST, which took over from FEMA the task of writing the official reports on the WTC, avoided this issue by simply not mentioning any of these pieces of steel, even though two of them had been discussed in a FEMA report appendix. NIST even claimed that no recovered steel from WTC 7 could be identified, because the steel used in this building, unlike that used in the Twin Towers, “did not contain . . . identifying characteristics.”[94]“Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” August 21, 2008 (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_082...html). This statement was repeated in a version of this document that was updated April 21, 2009 (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_042...html). Thanks to Jim Hoffman for preserving these documents at his website, after NIST had removed them from its own website. Now the 2009 has been updated in September 17, 2010 (http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa....cfm).

In making this claim, however, NIST was clearly not being truthful. For one thing, it had previously published a document in which it had referred to steel recovered from WTC 7—including the piece discussed by the WPI professors.[95]See NIST NCSTAR 1–3C, Damage and Failure Modes of Structural Steel Components, September 2005 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/ NCSTAR%201-3C%20Damage%20and%20Failure%20Modes.pdf), in which the authors, Stephen W. Banovic and Timothy Foecke, referred to “the analysis of the steel from WTC 7 (Sample #1 from Appendix C, BPAT/FEMA study) where corrosion phases and morphologies were able to determine a possible temperature region” (233). Also, NIST’s claim about not identifying any WTC 7 steel was made in August 2008, shortly after the airing in July 2008 of a BBC program on WTC 7, in which one of those WPI professors, Jonathan Barnett, had discussed an “eroded and deformed” piece of steel from WTC 7, which he and his colleagues had studied in 2001. These professors knew “its pedigree,” Barnett explained, because “this particular kind of steel” had been used only in WTC 7, not in the Twin Towers.[96]The Conspiracy Files: 9/11—The Third Tower, BBC, July 6, 2008 (available at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=90720620202...93250# and http://www.911blogger.com/node/16541); the statement by Barnett is at 48:00. I am indebted to Chris Sarns for this discovery. Barnett during this interview, incidentally, speculated that the steel had “cooked” in the underground fire. This explanation was, however, deceptive at best, for three reasons: First, the effects being discussed by Barnett could have been caused only by something producing much higher temperatures than ordinary hydrocarbon fires could have produced—fires fueled, for example, by nanothermite or some other energetic nanocomposites, as explained below in Section 8. The second and third reasons also involve facts discussed in that section: Ordinary hydrocarbon fires would not have been able to keep burning underground without oxygen; and they would, in any case, have been extinguished by the water and chemical suppressants that were pumped into the rubble.

So, although it called the collapse of WTC 7 “the first known instance of fire causing the total collapse of a tall building,”[97]“NIST WTC 7 Investigation Finds Building Fires Caused Collapse.” NIST had demonstrated its awareness of a recovered piece of steel from this building that only a very miraculous fire could have produced. NIST was surely also aware of the similarly eroded piece of steel from one of the Twin Towers, which had likewise been reported by the WPI professors in their paper included as an appendix to the 2002 FEMA report.

If the fires in WTC 7 and the Twin Towers had miraculous powers, we would expect still more miraculous effects to have been discovered, and this was indeed the case.

Melted Iron: The RJ Lee Group, a scientific research firm, was hired byDeutsche Bank, which had a building close to the World Trade Center, to prove that the dust contaminating its building after 9/11 was not ordinary building dust, as its insurance company claimed, but had resulted from the destruction of the World Trade Center. The RJ Lee Group’s reports showed that the dust in the bank’s building shared the unique chemical signature of the WTC dust, part of which was “[s]pherical iron . . . particles.”[98]RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature,” Expert Report, May 2004: 11 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/130%20Liberty%20Stre....pdf). The spherical shape shows that melting has occurred: The shape is produced by surface tension as the drops fly through the air.

There was, moreover, an enormous number of these particles: Whereas iron particles constitute only 0.04 percent of normal building dust, they constituted (a whopping) 5.87 percent of the WTC dust.[99]RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology,” December 2003: 24 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/ 130%20Liberty%20Street/Mike%20Davis%20LMDC%20130%20 Liberty%20Documents/Signature%20of%20WTC%20dust/WTC%20Dust %20Signature.Composition%20and%20Morphology.Final.pdf). The existence of these particles, the RJ Lee Group said, proved that iron had “melted during the WTC Event.”[100]Ibid., 17.
(RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology,” December 2003: 24 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/ 130%20Liberty%20Street/Mike%20Davis%20LMDC%20130%20 Liberty%20Documents/Signature%20of%20WTC%20dust/WTC%20Dust %20Signature.Composition%20and%20Morphology.Final.pdf).)
The scientists conducting the EPA’s WTC dust signature study, incidentally, had at one time considered including “iron spheres” among the components to be mentioned; it would be interesting to learn why this idea was dropped.[101]See “Comments on WTC Signature Study and Peer Review from Greg Meeker, Paul Lioy and Mort Lippmann, November 3, 2005” (http://web.archive.org/web/20100508195240/http://ww...panel/ pdfs/SubGroupComments_110305.pdf). I am indebted to Kevin Ryan for this information.

In any case, the identification of iron spheres by both the EPA and the RJ Lee Group was another miraculous discovery, for the reason given above: The melting point of iron is 2,800°F, whereas the WTC fires could not possibly have gotten above 1,800°F.[102]WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html).

Melted Molybdenum: Scientists at the US Geological Survey, in a study intended to aid the “identification of WTC dust components,” discovered an even more miraculous effect of the fires. Besides finding the spherical iron-rich particles, these scientists found that molybdenum, the melting point of which is 4,753°F (2,623°C), had also melted. Although these USGS scientists failed to mention this discovery in their published report,[103]Heather A. Lowers and Gregory P. Meeker, U.S. Geological Survey, US Department of the Interior, “Particle Atlas of World Trade Center Dust,” 2005 (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1165/508OF05-1165.html). another group of scientists, having obtained the USGS team’s data through a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request, reported evidence showing that the USGS scientists had devoted serious study to “a molybdenum-rich spherule.”[104]Steven E. Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 19 (January 2008): 4 (http://journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp....pdf).
8. Inextinguishable Fires

Besides having the power to produce the extraordinary effects already reported, the World Trade Center fires were also miraculously inextinguishable. The fact that fires continued burning in the Ground Zero rubble for many months, in spite of every attempt to put them out, was widely reported. The title of a New York Times story in the middle of November, two months after the attacks, referred to the “Most Stubborn Fire.” A New Scientist article in December was entitled “Ground Zero’s Fires Still Burning.” Very hot fires continued to burn in the Ground Zero debris piles, these stories reported, even though heavy rains came down, millions of additional gallons of water were sprayed onto the piles, and a chemical suppressant was pumped into them.[105]Eric Lipton and Andrew C. Revkin, “The Firefighters: With Water and Sweat, Fighting the Most Stubborn Fire,” New York Times November 19, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/19/nyregion/19FIRE.html); Jonathan Beard, “Ground Zero’s Fires Still Burning,” New Scientist December 3, 2001 (http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn1634).

According to Greg Fuchek, vice president of a company that supplied computer equipment to identify human remains at the site, the working conditions at Ground Zero remained “hellish” for six months, because the ground temperature ranged from 600 to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.[106]Trudy Walsh, “Handheld APP Eased Recovery Tasks,” Government Computer News September 11, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/wtc/ evidence/gcn_handheldapp.html).

These inextinguishable fires were a mystery. Assuming the truth of the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, there would have been nothing in the debris pile other than ordinary building materials, and these can burn only in the presence of oxygen. There would have been little oxygen available in the densely packed debris piles, and wherever it was available, the fires should have been easily suppressed by the enormous amounts of water and chemical suppressants pumped into the piles. The fires’ seemingly miraculous power to keep burning could not be explained by the airplanes’ jet fuel (which is essentially kerosene), because it would have all burned out, as mentioned above, within a few minutes.

A non-miraculous explanation is suggested by the discovery of a large amount of nanothermite residue in the WTC dust, which was reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 2009. Nanothermite—“which can be tailored to behave as an incendiary (like ordinary thermite) or as an explosive”[107]Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, et al., “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal 2 (2009): 7–31 (http://www.benthamscience.com/open/tocpj/articles/V...J.htm? TOCIEJ/2008/00000002/00000001/35TOCIEJ.SGM). The quoted description of how nanothermite can be tailored was provided by Niels Harrit, email letter of June 19, 2011, to Elizabeth Woodworth for Consensus 9/11.—is one among several types of “energetic nanocomposites,” which were described by an article in The Environmentalist as “chemical energetic materials, which provide their own fuel and oxidant and are not deterred by water, dust or chemical suppressants.”[108]Kevin R. Ryan, James R. Gourley, and Steven E. Jones, “Environmental Anomalies at the World Trade Center: Evidence for Energetic Materials,” The Environmentalist 29/1 (August, 2008): 56–63, at 58, 56. Also published online, August 4, 2008 (http://www.springerlink.com/content/f67q6272583h86n4/ fulltext.html). Ryan has provided experiments showing the explosive power of nanothermite; see DK1Ryan, “Experiments with Nanothermite,” July 24, 2011 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O66UyGNrmSI). The discovery of nanothermite residue in the dust provided, therefore, an empirical basis for a non-miraculous explanation of the long-lasting fires at Ground Zero.

According to the official account, however, the buildings were all brought down without the aid of any incendiaries or explosives. WTC 7 was said by NIST, as we saw above, to have been brought down by fire alone, and this fire, NIST added, was “an ordinary building contents fire.”[109]NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 1: 330. As for the Twin Towers, they were brought down through the combined effects of the airplane impacts and the ensuing fires: NIST explicitly rejected “alternative hypotheses suggesting that the WTC towers were brought down by controlled demolition using explosives.”[110]NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 2.

For anyone who accepts the official account, therefore, the inextinguishable underground fires at Ground Zero provide still another demonstration of miraculous powers that must have been possessed by the World Trade Center fires.
9. Supernatural Sulfur

In the seventh section, I discussed the two Swiss-cheese-appearing pieces of steel that had been recovered from the World Trade Center rubble—one from WTC 7, the other from one of the Twin Towers. In that discussion, however, I ignored one of the critical features of these pieces of steel, which was central to the reason they were said by the New York Times to constitute “the deepest mystery.”

This was the fact that the thinning of the steel had resulted, according to the three WPI professors’ report, from sulfidation, but there was no explanation for the source of the sulfur or the mechanism through which it entered into the steel. According to a preliminary analysis reported by the professors, said the New York Times article, “sulfur released during the fires—no one knows from where—may have combined with atoms in the steel to form compounds that melt at lower temperatures.”[111]Glanz and Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse.”

This phenomenon was discussed more fully in the article, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” in WPI’s magazine, which attributed the holes and the thinning to “a eutectic reaction” that “occurred at the surface, causing intergranular melting capable of turning a solid steel girder into Swiss cheese.”[112]Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel.”

In summarizing their findings in the paper included in the FEMA report, the three professors wrote:

1. The thinning of the steel occurred by a high-temperature corrosion due to a combination of oxidation and sulfidation.

2. Heating of the steel into a hot corrosive environment approaching 1,000°C (1,832°F) results in the formation of a eutectic mixture of iron, oxygen, and sulfur that liquefied the steel.

3. The sulfidation attack of steel grain boundaries accelerated the corrosion and erosion of the steel.[113]Barnett, Biederman, and Sisson, “Limited Metallurgical Examination.”

Then, having mentioned sulfidation in each of these three points, the professors added: “The severe corrosion and subsequent erosion of Samples 1 and 2 are a very unusual event. No clear explanation for the source of the sulfur has been identified. . . . A detailed study into the mechanisms of this phenomenon is needed.”[114]Ibid., C-13.
(Barnett, Biederman, and Sisson, “Limited Metallurgical Examination.”)


However, although Arden Bement, who was the director of NIST when it took over the WTC project from FEMA, said that NIST’s report would address “all major recommendations contained in the [FEMA] report,”[115]Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., Testimony before the House Science Committee Hearing on “The Investigation of the World Trade Center Collapse,” May 1, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/wtc/official/nist....htm). In the quoted statement, the name “FEMA” replaces “BPAT,” which is the abbreviation for “Building Performance Assessment Team,” the name of the ASCE team that prepared this report for FEMA. NIST ignored this recommendation. Indeed, as we saw earlier, it did not even mention these Swiss-cheese pieces of steel.

Also, when NIST was later asked about the sulfidation, it tried to maintain that the source of the sulfur was not actually a mystery, saying that “sulfur is present in the gypsum wallboard that was prevalent in the interior partitions.”[116]“Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” NIST, Question 12.

But there are three problems with this explanation. First, gypsum is calcium sulfate, so if all the sulfur discovered had been from gypsum wallboard, it would have been matched by about the same percentage of calcium. That, however, was not the case.[117]Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” 3.

Second, the WPI professors reported not merely that there was sulfur in the debris, but that the steel had been sulfidized. This means that sulfur had entered into the intergranular structure of the steel (which the New York Times article had indicated by saying that sulfur had “combined with atoms in the steel”). As chemist Kevin Ryan has said, the question NIST would need to answer is: “[H]ow did sulfates, from wallboard, tunnel into the intergranular microstructure of the steel and then form sulfides within?”[118]Email letter from Kevin Ryan, October 16, 2008. Physicist Steven Jones added:

[I]f NIST claims that sulfur is present in the steel from gypsum, they should do an (easy) experiment to heat steel to about 1000°C in the presence of gypsum and then test whether sulfur has entered the steel. . . . [T]hey will find that sulfur does not enter steel under such circumstances.[119]Email letter from Steven Jones, October 17, 2008.

Chemistry professor Niels Harrit has explained why it would not: Although gypsum contains sulfur, this is not elemental sulfur, which can react with iron, but sulfur in the form of calcium sulfate, which cannot.[120]Personal communications from Niels Harrit, May 8, 2009, and June 25, 2010.

The official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, therefore, implies that the sulfidized steel had been produced by a twofold miracle: Besides the fact that the fires, as we saw earlier, could have melted steel only if they had possessed miraculous powers, the sulfur in the wallboard could have entered into this melted steel only by virtue of supernatural powers.

Once again, a non-miraculous explanation is available: We need only suppose that thermate, a well-known incendiary, had been employed. As Steven Jones has written:

The thermate reaction proceeds rapidly and is in general faster than basic thermite in cutting through steel due to the presence of sulfur. (Elemental sulfur forms a low-melting-temperature eutectic with iron.)[121]Steven E. Jones, “Revisiting 9/11/2001: Applying the Scientific Method,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 11 (May 2007): 81 (http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200704/ JonesWTC911SciMethod.pdf).

Besides providing an explanation for the eutectic reaction, thermate could also, Jones pointed out, explain the melting, oxidation, and sulfidation of the steel:

When you put sulfur into thermite it makes the steel melt at a much lower temperature, so instead of melting at about 1,538°C [2,800°F] it melts at approximately 988°C [1,820°F], and you get sulfidation and oxidation in the attacked steel.[122]Ibid., 75.
(Steven E. Jones, “Revisiting 9/11/2001: Applying the Scientific Method,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 11 (May 2007): 81 (http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200704/ JonesWTC911SciMethod.pdf).)


NIST, however, insists that no incendiaries were employed: WTC 7 was brought down by fire alone; the Twin Towers by the fires combined with damage from the airplane impacts. Those who endorse the official account, therefore, are stuck with yet another miracle.he . . . time that it took . . . for those 17 floors to disappear [was roughly 40 percent longer than free fall]. And that is not at all unusual, because there was structural resistance that was provided in this particular case. And you had a sequence of structural failures that had to take place. Everything was not instantaneous.[51]“WTC 7 Technical Briefing,” NIST, August 26, 2008. Although NIST originally had a video and a transcript of this briefing at its Internet website, it removed both of them. However, Nate Flach has made the video available at Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/11941571). And the transcript, under the title “NIST Technical Briefing on Its Final Draft Report on WTC 7 for Public Comment,” is available at David Chandler’s website: (http://911speakout.org/NIST_Tech_Briefing_Transcrip....pdf).

In saying this, Sunder was presupposing NIST’s theory that the building was brought down by fire, which, if it could have produced a collapse of any type, could have produced only a progressive collapse.

In response, high-school physics teacher David Chandler, who was allowed to submit a question to this briefing, challenged Sunder’s denial of free fall, stating that Sunder’s “40 percent longer” claim contradicted “a publicly visible, easily measurable quantity.”[52]Ibid.
(“WTC 7 Technical Briefing,” NIST, August 26, 2008. Although NIST originally had a video and a transcript of this briefing at its Internet website, it removed both of them. However, Nate Flach has made the video available at Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/11941571). And the transcript, under the title “NIST Technical Briefing on Its Final Draft Report on WTC 7 for Public Comment,” is available at David Chandler’s website: (http://911speakout.org/NIST_Tech_Briefing_Transcrip....pdf).)
Chandler then placed a video on the Internet showing that, by measuring this publicly visible quantity, anyone understanding elementary physics could see that “for about two and a half seconds. . . , the acceleration of the building is indistinguishable from freefall.”[53]David Chandler, “WTC7 in Freefall – No Longer Controversial,” September 4, 2008 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCDpL4Ax7I), at 2:45. (This is, of course, free fall through the air, not through a vacuum.)

In its final report on WTC 7, which came out in November 2008, NIST—rather amazingly—admitted free fall. Dividing the building’s descent into three stages, NIST described the second phase as “a freefall descent over approximately eight stories at gravitational acceleration for approximately 2.25 s[econds].”[54]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 2: 607. NIST thereby accepted Chandler’s case—except for maintaining that the building was in absolute free fall for only 2.25, not 2.5, seconds (a trivial difference). NIST thereby affirmed a miracle, meaning a violation of one or more laws of physics.

Why this would be a miracle was explained by Chandler, who said: “Free fall can only be achieved if there is zero resistance to the motion.”[55]Chandler, “WTC7 in Freefall—No Longer Controversial,” at 3:27. In other words, the upper portion of Building 7 could have come down in free fall only if something had suddenly removed all the steel and concrete in the lower part of the building, which would have otherwise provided resistance (to make a considerable under- statment). If everything had not been removed and the upper floors had come down in free fall anyway, even if for only a fraction of a second, this would have been a miracle—meaning a violation of physical principles. Explaining one of the physical principles involved, Chandler said:

Anything at an elevated height has gravitational potential energy. If it falls, and none of the energy is used for other things along the way, all of that energy is converted into kinetic energy—the energy of motion, and we call it ‘free fall.’ If any of the energy is used for other purposes, there will be less kinetic energy, so the fall will be slower. In the case of a falling building, the only way it can go into free fall is if an external force removes the supporting structure. None of the gravitational potential energy of the building is available for this purpose, or it would slow the fall of the building.[56]Chandler, “WTC7: NIST Finally Admits Freefall (Part III),” previously dated January 2, 2009, now dated February 12, 2010 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3mudruFzNw), at 1:19.

That was what Sunder himself had explained, on NIST’s behalf, the previous August, saying that a free-falling object would be one “that has no structural components below it” to offer resistance. But NIST then in November, while still under Sunder’s leadership and still defending its fire theory of WTC 7’s collapse, agreed that, as an empirical fact, free fall happened. For a period of 2.25 seconds, NIST admitted, the descent of WTC 7 was characterized by “gravitational acceleration (free fall).”[57]“Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” NIST, August 21, 2008, updated April 21, 2009. Whereas the 2008 version of this document denied free fall, the updated version affirmed it. Although both versions were removed from NIST’s website, Jim Hoffman’s website has both the 2008 version (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_082....html) and the 2009 version (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_042...html). Now, NIST has an updated (2010) version of the 2009 version (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_042...html).

Besides pointing out that the free fall descent of WTC 7 implied that the building had been professionally demolished, Chandler observed that this conclusion is reinforced by two features of the collapse mentioned above:

[P]articularly striking is the suddenness of onset of free fall. Acceleration doesn’t build up gradually. . . . The building went from full support to zero support, instantly. . . . One moment, the building is holding; the next moment it lets go and is in complete free fall. . . . The onset of free fall was not only sudden; it extended across the whole width of the building. . . . The fact that the roof stayed level shows the building was in free fall across the entire width. The collapse we see cannot be due to a column failure, or a few column failures, or a sequence of column failures. All 24 interior columns and 58 perimeter columns had to have been removed . . . simultaneously, within a small fraction of a second.[58]Chandler, “WTC7: NIST Finally Admits Freefall (Part III),” at 2:20, 3:15.

For its part, NIST, knowing that it had affirmed a miracle by agreeing that WTC 7 had entered into free fall, no longer claimed that its analysis was consistent with the laws of physics. Back in its August draft, in which it was still claiming that the collapse occurred 40 percent slower than free fall, NIST had said—in a claim made three times—that its analysis was “consistent with physical principles.”[59]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Draft for Public Comment, Vol. 2: 595-96, 596, 610. In the final report, however, every instance of this phrase was removed. NIST thereby almost explicitly admitted that its report on WTC 7, by affirming absolute free fall while continuing to deny that either incendiaries or explosives had been employed, is not consistent with basic principles of physics.

Accordingly, now that it is established that WTC 7 came down in absolute free fall for over two seconds, one cannot accept the official theory, according to which this building was not professionally demolished, without implying that at least one miracle happened on 9/11.

George Monbiot, as we saw, described members of this movement as “morons” who “believe that [the Bush regime] is capable of magic.”[60]Monbiot, “9/11 Fantasists Pose a Mortal Danger to Popular Oppositional Campaigns.” Unless Monbiot, upon becoming aware of NIST’s admission of free fall, changes his stance, he will imply that al-Qaeda is capable of magic.

Matthew Rothschild said he was “amazed” at how many people hold the “profoundly irrational and unscientific” belief that “Building 7 . . . came down by planted explosives.” Given the fact that progressive members of the 9/11 Truth Movement “so revere science on such issues as tobacco, stem cells, evolution, and global warming,” Rothschild continued, it is “more than passing strange that [they] are so willing to abandon science and give in to fantasy on the subject of 9/11.”[61]Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already.”

NIST’s report on WTC 7, however, provided the final proof that the 9/11 Truth Movement had been right all along—that those progressives who credulously accept the Bush-Cheney administration’s explanation for WTC 7’s collapse are the ones who “abandon science and give in to fantasy on the subject of 9/11.”

4. The Twin Towers: Descending in Virtual Free Fall

Miracles are implied not only by the official account of WTC 7’s collapse but also by the official account of the destruction of the Twin Towers. According to this account, the North Tower (WTC 1) and the South Tower (WTC 2) came down because of three and only three causes: (i) the airplane impacts, which caused structural damage; (ii) the ensuing fires, which were initially fed and spread by jet fuel from the planes; and (iii) gravity. Neither explosives nor incendiaries helped bring the buildings down. Internationally known architect David A. Johnson has written:

[A]s a professional city planner in New York, I knew those buildings and their design. . . . So I was well aware of the strength of the core with its steel columns. . . . When I saw the rapid collapse of the towers, I knew that they could not come down the way they did without explosives and the severing of core columns at the base. . . . Moreover, the symmetrical collapse is strong evidence of a controlled demolition. A building falling from asymmetrical structural failure would not collapse so neatly, nor so rapidly. . . . [T]he upper portion of WTC 2 did not fall as a block upon the lower undamaged portion, but instead disintegrated as it fell. Thus, there would be no single large impact from a falling block . .

. [but only] a series of small impacts as the fragments of the disintegrating upper portion arrived.
[79]“Request for Correction Submitted to NIST.”

6. Horizontal Ejections from the Twin Towers

Dwain Deets, former director of the research engineering division at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, has written that the “massive structural members being hurled horizontally” from the Twin Towers “leave no doubt” in his mind that “explosives were involved.”[80]The statement by Deets is at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.ae911truth.org/profile.php?uid=998819).

Deets was referring to the fact that the disintegration of each of the Twin Towers began with a massive explosion near the top, during which huge sections of perimeter columns were ejected out horizontally so powerfully that some of them traveled 500 to 600 feet. Although this feature of the destructions was not mentioned in NIST’s (2005) report on the Twin Towers, there could be no doubt about it, because some of these sections of steel implanted themselves in neighboring buildings, as can be seen in videos and photographs.[81]See “911 Eyewitness: Huge Steel Sections Ejected More than 600 Feet” (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=18074674342...6490), or “9/11 Mysteries: Demolition” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5_tTRliTDo).

These ejections are now, in any case, part of the official account, because NIST, apparently finding them necessary to explain how fires got started in WTC 7, mentioned them in its report on this building. In Shyam Sunder’s opening statement at the August 2008 press briefing to announce the release of NIST’s draft report on WTC 7, he said: “The debris from Tower 1 . . . started fires on at least 10 floors of the building.”[82]Sunder, “Opening Statement.” NIST’s WTC 7 report said: “The fires in WTC 7 were ignited as a result of the impact of debris from the collapse of WTC 1, which was approximately 110 m[eters] (350 ft) to the south.”[83]NIST NCSTAR 1A: xxxvi.

NIST thereby admitted that debris had been thrown out horizontally from the North Tower at least 350 feet.[84]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 1: 125. NIST’s report also stated:

When WTC 1 collapsed at 10:28:22 AM, . . . some fragments [of debris] were forcibly ejected and traveled distances up to hundreds of meters. Pieces of WTC 1 hit WTC 7, severing six columns on Floors 7 through 17 on the south face and one column on the west face near the southwest corner. The debris also caused structural damage between Floor 44 and the roof.[85]NIST NCSTAR 1A: 16.

Debris that caused such extensive damage, including the severing of seven steel columns, had to be quite heavy. NIST seemed to be granting, therefore, that sections of steel columns had been hurled at least 650 feet (because “hundreds of meters” would mean at least 200 meters, which would be about 650 feet). Enormous force would be needed to eject large sections of steel that far out.

What could have produced this force? According to NIST, as we saw earlier, there were only three causal factors in the collapse of the Twin Towers: the airplane impacts, the fires, and gravitational attraction. The airplane impacts had occurred 56 minutes (South Tower) and 102 minutes (North Tower) earlier, and gravitational attraction pulls things straight downward. Fire could, to be sure, produce horizontal ejections by causing jet fuel to explode, but the jet fuel had, NIST pointed out, burned up within “a few minutes.”[86]NIST NCSTAR 1, Final Report on the Twin Towers, 183, 184. Therefore, although NIST admitted that these horizontal ejections occurred, it suggested no energy source to explain them.

These ejections could be explained by explosives. According to NIST, however, explosives did not contribute to the destruction of the Twin Towers. Those who accept NIST’s account must, therefore, regard these horizontal ejections as constituting yet another miracle.
7. Metal-Melting Fires

In light of the above-discussed unprecedented effects produced by the fires in the WTC buildings (according to the official account), it would seem that these fires must have had miraculous powers. This conclusion is reinforced by an examination of still more extraordinary effects.

Swiss-Cheese Steel: Within a few months of 9/11, three professors from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) had issued a brief report about a piece of steel recovered from the WTC 7 debris, stating that it had undergone “microstructural changes,” including “intergranular melting.”[87]Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and Richard D. Sisson, Jr., “An Initial Microstructural Analysis of A36 Steel from WTC Building 7,” JOM 53/12 (2001), 18 (http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/0112/Biederman/ Biederman-0112.html). A greatly expanded version of this report, which contained a description of a similarly eroded piece of steel from one of the Twin Towers, was included as an appendix to the first official report on the destruction of the World Trade Center, which was issued by FEMA in 2002.[88]Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and R. D. Sisson, Jr., “Limited Metallurgical Examination,” FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, Appendix C, 2002 (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_apc.pdf).

A New York Times story, noting that parts of these pieces of steel had “melted away,” even though “no fire in any of the buildings was believed to be hot enough to melt steel outright,” said that these discoveries constituted “[p]erhaps the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”[89]James Glanz and Eric Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse,” New York Times February 2, 2002 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04...8B63). Describing these mysterious pieces of steel more fully, an article in WPI’s magazine, entitled “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” said:

[S]teel—which has a melting point of 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit—may weaken and bend, but does not melt during an ordinary office fire. Yet . . . [a] one-inch column has been reduced to half-inch thickness. Its edges—which are curled like a paper scroll—have been thinned to almost razor sharpness. Gaping holes—some larger than a silver dollar—let light shine through a formerly solid steel flange. This Swiss cheese appearance shocked all of the fire-wise professors, who expected to see distortion and bending—but not holes.[90]Joan Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” WPI Transformations Spring 2002 (http://www.wpi.edu/News/Transformations/2002Spring/...html).

One of the three WPI professors, Jonathan Barnett, was quoted by the Times as saying that the steel “appear[ed] to have been partly evaporated in extraordinarily high temperatures.”[91]Glanz, “Engineers Suspect Diesel Fuel in Collapse of 7 World Trade Center.” I have here quoted Glanz’s paraphrase of Barnett’s statement.

That the steel had actually evaporated—not merely melted—was also reported in another New York Times story. Professor Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl of the University of California at Berkeley, speaking of a horizontal I-beam from WTC 7, reportedly said: “Parts of the flat top of the I, once five-eighths of an inch thick, had vaporized.”[92]See Kenneth Chang, “Scarred Steel Holds Clues, And Remedies,” New York Times October 2, 2001 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B05...8B63).

Why do these phenomena involve miracles? Because the fires could not possibly, even under the most ideal conditions (which did not obtain), have been hotter than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (the maximum possible temperature for hydrocarbon-based building fires, which these fires were said to be), whereas the melting and boiling points of steel are only slightly lower than those of iron, which are 2,800°F and 5,182°F, respectively.[93]WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html). So if one accepts the official account, according to which all the heat was produced by the building fires, then one must believe that these fires had miraculous powers.

NIST, which took over from FEMA the task of writing the official reports on the WTC, avoided this issue by simply not mentioning any of these pieces of steel, even though two of them had been discussed in a FEMA report appendix. NIST even claimed that no recovered steel from WTC 7 could be identified, because the steel used in this building, unlike that used in the Twin Towers, “did not contain . . . identifying characteristics.”[94]“Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” August 21, 2008 (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_082...html). This statement was repeated in a version of this document that was updated April 21, 2009 (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_042...html). Thanks to Jim Hoffman for preserving these documents at his website, after NIST had removed them from its own website. Now the 2009 has been updated in September 17, 2010 (http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa....cfm).

In making this claim, however, NIST was clearly not being truthful. For one thing, it had previously published a document in which it had referred to steel recovered from WTC 7—including the piece discussed by the WPI professors.[95]See NIST NCSTAR 1–3C, Damage and Failure Modes of Structural Steel Components, September 2005 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/ NCSTAR%201-3C%20Damage%20and%20Failure%20Modes.pdf), in which the authors, Stephen W. Banovic and Timothy Foecke, referred to “the analysis of the steel from WTC 7 (Sample #1 from Appendix C, BPAT/FEMA study) where corrosion phases and morphologies were able to determine a possible temperature region” (233). Also, NIST’s claim about not identifying any WTC 7 steel was made in August 2008, shortly after the airing in July 2008 of a BBC program on WTC 7, in which one of those WPI professors, Jonathan Barnett, had discussed an “eroded and deformed” piece of steel from WTC 7, which he and his colleagues had studied in 2001. These professors knew “its pedigree,” Barnett explained, because “this particular kind of steel” had been used only in WTC 7, not in the Twin Towers.[96]The Conspiracy Files: 9/11—The Third Tower, BBC, July 6, 2008 (available at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=90720620202...93250# and http://www.911blogger.com/node/16541); the statement by Barnett is at 48:00. I am indebted to Chris Sarns for this discovery. Barnett during this interview, incidentally, speculated that the steel had “cooked” in the underground fire. This explanation was, however, deceptive at best, for three reasons: First, the effects being discussed by Barnett could have been caused only by something producing much higher temperatures than ordinary hydrocarbon fires could have produced—fires fueled, for example, by nanothermite or some other energetic nanocomposites, as explained below in Section 8. The second and third reasons also involve facts discussed in that section: Ordinary hydrocarbon fires would not have been able to keep burning underground without oxygen; and they would, in any case, have been extinguished by the water and chemical suppressants that were pumped into the rubble.

So, although it called the collapse of WTC 7 “the first known instance of fire causing the total collapse of a tall building,”[97]“NIST WTC 7 Investigation Finds Building Fires Caused Collapse.” NIST had demonstrated its awareness of a recovered piece of steel from this building that only a very miraculous fire could have produced. NIST was surely also aware of the similarly eroded piece of steel from one of the Twin Towers, which had likewise been reported by the WPI professors in their paper included as an appendix to the 2002 FEMA report.

If the fires in WTC 7 and the Twin Towers had miraculous powers, we would expect still more miraculous effects to have been discovered, and this was indeed the case.

Melted Iron: The RJ Lee Group, a scientific research firm, was hired byDeutsche Bank, which had a building close to the World Trade Center, to prove that the dust contaminating its building after 9/11 was not ordinary building dust, as its insurance company claimed, but had resulted from the destruction of the World Trade Center. The RJ Lee Group’s reports showed that the dust in the bank’s building shared the unique chemical signature of the WTC dust, part of which was “[s]pherical iron . . . particles.”[98]RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature,” Expert Report, May 2004: 11 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/130%20Liberty%20Stre....pdf). The spherical shape shows that melting has occurred: The shape is produced by surface tension as the drops fly through the air.

There was, moreover, an enormous number of these particles: Whereas iron particles constitute only 0.04 percent of normal building dust, they constituted (a whopping) 5.87 percent of the WTC dust.[99]RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology,” December 2003: 24 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/ 130%20Liberty%20Street/Mike%20Davis%20LMDC%20130%20 Liberty%20Documents/Signature%20of%20WTC%20dust/WTC%20Dust %20Signature.Composition%20and%20Morphology.Final.pdf). The existence of these particles, the RJ Lee Group said, proved that iron had “melted during the WTC Event.”[100]Ibid., 17.
(RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology,” December 2003: 24 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/ 130%20Liberty%20Street/Mike%20Davis%20LMDC%20130%20 Liberty%20Documents/Signature%20of%20WTC%20dust/WTC%20Dust %20Signature.Composition%20and%20Morphology.Final.pdf).)
The scientists conducting the EPA’s WTC dust signature study, incidentally, had at one time considered including “iron spheres” among the components to be mentioned; it would be interesting to learn why this idea was dropped.[101]See “Comments on WTC Signature Study and Peer Review from Greg Meeker, Paul Lioy and Mort Lippmann, November 3, 2005” (http://web.archive.org/web/20100508195240/http://ww...panel/ pdfs/SubGroupComments_110305.pdf). I am indebted to Kevin Ryan for this information.

In any case, the identification of iron spheres by both the EPA and the RJ Lee Group was another miraculous discovery, for the reason given above: The melting point of iron is 2,800°F, whereas the WTC fires could not possibly have gotten above 1,800°F.[102]WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html).

Melted Molybdenum: Scientists at the US Geological Survey, in a study intended to aid the “identification of WTC dust components,” discovered an even more miraculous effect of the fires. Besides finding the spherical iron-rich particles, these scientists found that molybdenum, the melting point of which is 4,753°F (2,623°C), had also melted. Although these USGS scientists failed to mention this discovery in their published report,[103]Heather A. Lowers and Gregory P. Meeker, U.S. Geological Survey, US Department of the Interior, “Particle Atlas of World Trade Center Dust,” 2005 (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1165/508OF05-1165.html). another group of scientists, having obtained the USGS team’s data through a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request, reported evidence showing that the USGS scientists had devoted serious study to “a molybdenum-rich spherule.”[104]Steven E. Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 19 (January 2008): 4 (http://journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp....pdf).
8. Inextinguishable Fires

Besides having the power to produce the extraordinary effects already reported, the World Trade Center fires were also miraculously inextinguishable. The fact that fires continued burning in the Ground Zero rubble for many months, in spite of every attempt to put them out, was widely reported. The title of a New York Times story in the middle of November, two months after the attacks, referred to the “Most Stubborn Fire.” A New Scientist article in December was entitled “Ground Zero’s Fires Still Burning.” Very hot fires continued to burn in the Ground Zero debris piles, these stories reported, even though heavy rains came down, millions of additional gallons of water were sprayed onto the piles, and a chemical suppressant was pumped into them.[105]Eric Lipton and Andrew C. Revkin, “The Firefighters: With Water and Sweat, Fighting the Most Stubborn Fire,” New York Times November 19, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/19/nyregion/19FIRE.html); Jonathan Beard, “Ground Zero’s Fires Still Burning,” New Scientist December 3, 2001 (http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn1634).

According to Greg Fuchek, vice president of a company that supplied computer equipment to identify human remains at the site, the working conditions at Ground Zero remained “hellish” for six months, because the ground temperature ranged from 600 to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.[106]Trudy Walsh, “Handheld APP Eased Recovery Tasks,” Government Computer News September 11, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/wtc/ evidence/gcn_handheldapp.html).

These inextinguishable fires were a mystery. Assuming the truth of the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, there would have been nothing in the debris pile other than ordinary building materials, and these can burn only in the presence of oxygen. There would have been little oxygen available in the densely packed debris piles, and wherever it was available, the fires should have been easily suppressed by the enormous amounts of water and chemical suppressants pumped into the piles. The fires’ seemingly miraculous power to keep burning could not be explained by the airplanes’ jet fuel (which is essentially kerosene), because it would have all burned out, as mentioned above, within a few minutes.

A non-miraculous explanation is suggested by the discovery of a large amount of nanothermite residue in the WTC dust, which was reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 2009. Nanothermite—“which can be tailored to behave as an incendiary (like ordinary thermite) or as an explosive”[107]Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, et al., “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal 2 (2009): 7–31 (http://www.benthamscience.com/open/tocpj/articles/V...J.htm? TOCIEJ/2008/00000002/00000001/35TOCIEJ.SGM). The quoted description of how nanothermite can be tailored was provided by Niels Harrit, email letter of June 19, 2011, to Elizabeth Woodworth for Consensus 9/11.—is one among several types of “energetic nanocomposites,” which were described by an article in The Environmentalist as “chemical energetic materials, which provide their own fuel and oxidant and are not deterred by water, dust or chemical suppressants.”[108]Kevin R. Ryan, James R. Gourley, and Steven E. Jones, “Environmental Anomalies at the World Trade Center: Evidence for Energetic Materials,” The Environmentalist 29/1 (August, 2008): 56–63, at 58, 56. Also published online, August 4, 2008 (http://www.springerlink.com/content/f67q6272583h86n4/ fulltext.html). Ryan has provided experiments showing the explosive power of nanothermite; see DK1Ryan, “Experiments with Nanothermite,” July 24, 2011 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O66UyGNrmSI). The discovery of nanothermite residue in the dust provided, therefore, an empirical basis for a non-miraculous explanation of the long-lasting fires at Ground Zero.

According to the official account, however, the buildings were all brought down without the aid of any incendiaries or explosives. WTC 7 was said by NIST, as we saw above, to have been brought down by fire alone, and this fire, NIST added, was “an ordinary building contents fire.”[109]NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 1: 330. As for the Twin Towers, they were brought down through the combined effects of the airplane impacts and the ensuing fires: NIST explicitly rejected “alternative hypotheses suggesting that the WTC towers were brought down by controlled demolition using explosives.”[110]NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 2.

For anyone who accepts the official account, therefore, the inextinguishable underground fires at Ground Zero provide still another demonstration of miraculous powers that must have been possessed by the World Trade Center fires.
9. Supernatural Sulfur

In the seventh section, I discussed the two Swiss-cheese-appearing pieces of steel that had been recovered from the World Trade Center rubble—one from WTC 7, the other from one of the Twin Towers. In that discussion, however, I ignored one of the critical features of these pieces of steel, which was central to the reason they were said by the New York Times to constitute “the deepest mystery.”

This was the fact that the thinning of the steel had resulted, according to the three WPI professors’ report, from sulfidation, but there was no explanation for the source of the sulfur or the mechanism through which it entered into the steel. According to a preliminary analysis reported by the professors, said the New York Times article, “sulfur released during the fires—no one knows from where—may have combined with atoms in the steel to form compounds that melt at lower temperatures.”[111]Glanz and Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse.”

This phenomenon was discussed more fully in the article, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” in WPI’s magazine, which attributed the holes and the thinning to “a eutectic reaction” that “occurred at the surface, causing intergranular melting capable of turning a solid steel girder into Swiss cheese.”[112]Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel.”

In summarizing their findings in the paper included in the FEMA report, the three professors wrote:

1. The thinning of the steel occurred by a high-temperature corrosion due to a combination of oxidation and sulfidation.

2. Heating of the steel into a hot corrosive environment approaching 1,000°C (1,832°F) results in the formation of a eutectic mixture of iron, oxygen, and sulfur that liquefied the steel.

3. The sulfidation attack of steel grain boundaries accelerated the corrosion and erosion of the steel.[113]Barnett, Biederman, and Sisson, “Limited Metallurgical Examination.”

Then, having mentioned sulfidation in each of these three points, the professors added: “The severe corrosion and subsequent erosion of Samples 1 and 2 are a very unusual event. No clear explanation for the source of the sulfur has been identified. . . . A detailed study into the mechanisms of this phenomenon is needed.”[114]Ibid., C-13.
(Barnett, Biederman, and Sisson, “Limited Metallurgical Examination.”)


However, although Arden Bement, who was the director of NIST when it took over the WTC project from FEMA, said that NIST’s report would address “all major recommendations contained in the [FEMA] report,”[115]Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., Testimony before the House Science Committee Hearing on “The Investigation of the World Trade Center Collapse,” May 1, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/wtc/official/nist....htm). In the quoted statement, the name “FEMA” replaces “BPAT,” which is the abbreviation for “Building Performance Assessment Team,” the name of the ASCE team that prepared this report for FEMA. NIST ignored this recommendation. Indeed, as we saw earlier, it did not even mention these Swiss-cheese pieces of steel.

Also, when NIST was later asked about the sulfidation, it tried to maintain that the source of the sulfur was not actually a mystery, saying that “sulfur is present in the gypsum wallboard that was prevalent in the interior partitions.”[116]“Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” NIST, Question 12.

But there are three problems with this explanation. First, gypsum is calcium sulfate, so if all the sulfur discovered had been from gypsum wallboard, it would have been matched by about the same percentage of calcium. That, however, was not the case.[117]Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” 3.

Second, the WPI professors reported not merely that there was sulfur in the debris, but that the steel had been sulfidized. This means that sulfur had entered into the intergranular structure of the steel (which the New York Times article had indicated by saying that sulfur had “combined with atoms in the steel”). As chemist Kevin Ryan has said, the question NIST would need to answer is: “[H]ow did sulfates, from wallboard, tunnel into the intergranular microstructure of the steel and then form sulfides within?”[118]Email letter from Kevin Ryan, October 16, 2008. Physicist Steven Jones added:

[I]f NIST claims that sulfur is present in the steel from gypsum, they should do an (easy) experiment to heat steel to about 1000°C in the presence of gypsum and then test whether sulfur has entered the steel. . . . [T]hey will find that sulfur does not enter steel under such circumstances.[119]Email letter from Steven Jones, October 17, 2008.

Chemistry professor Niels Harrit has explained why it would not: Although gypsum contains sulfur, this is not elemental sulfur, which can react with iron, but sulfur in the form of calcium sulfate, which cannot.[120]Personal communications from Niels Harrit, May 8, 2009, and June 25, 2010.

The official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, therefore, implies that the sulfidized steel had been produced by a twofold miracle: Besides the fact that the fires, as we saw earlier, could have melted steel only if they had possessed miraculous powers, the sulfur in the wallboard could have entered into this melted steel only by virtue of supernatural powers.

Once again, a non-miraculous explanation is available: We need only suppose that thermate, a well-known incendiary, had been employed. As Steven Jones has written:

The thermate reaction proceeds rapidly and is in general faster than basic thermite in cutting through steel due to the presence of sulfur. (Elemental sulfur forms a low-melting-temperature eutectic with iron.)[121]Steven E. Jones, “Revisiting 9/11/2001: Applying the Scientific Method,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 11 (May 2007): 81 (http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200704/ JonesWTC911SciMethod.pdf).

Besides providing an explanation for the eutectic reaction, thermate could also, Jones pointed out, explain the melting, oxidation, and sulfidation of the steel:

When you put sulfur into thermite it makes the steel melt at a much lower temperature, so instead of melting at about 1,538°C [2,800°F] it melts at approximately 988°C [1,820°F], and you get sulfidation and oxidation in the attacked steel.[122]Ibid., 75.
(Steven E. Jones, “Revisiting 9/11/2001: Applying the Scientific Method,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 11 (May 2007): 81 (http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200704/ JonesWTC911SciMethod.pdf).)


NIST, however, insists that no incendiaries were employed: WTC 7 was brought down by fire alone; the Twin Towers by the fires combined with damage from the airplane impacts. Those who endorse the official account, therefore, are stuck with yet another miracle.he official explanation doesn’t hold water.[62]Johnson’s statement is at Patriots Question 9/11 (http://patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html#Djohnson).

Johnson was saying, in short, that the official story required miracles.

One of the miracles implicit in this account is that, although each building had 287 steel support columns—240 perimeter columns and 47 massive core columns—and although neither explosives nor incendiaries were used to destroy these columns, each building came down, as NIST itself put it, “essentially in free fall.”[63]NIST, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, September 2005 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201.pdf), 146. How would that have been possible?

According to NIST, each airliner took out several perimeter and core columns at its area of impact and also created huge fires, which began weakening the steel. After a period of time (56 minutes for the South Tower, 102 minutes for the North Tower), “the massive top section of [each] building at and above the fire and impact floors” fell down on the lower section, which “could not resist the tremendous energy released by [the top section’s] downward movement.”[64]NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” August 30, 2006 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_8_2006.htm), Question 2. Accordingly, NIST’s report said:

Since the stories below the level of collapse initiation provided little resistance to the tremendous energy released by the falling building mass, the building section above came down essentially in free fall, as seen in videos.[65]NIST NCSTAR 1, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, 146.

Trying to describe more fully its theory of how this happened, NIST wrote:

The potential energy released by the downward movement of the large building mass far exceeded the capacity of the intact structure below to absorb that energy through energy of deformation. . . . As the stories below sequentially failed, the falling mass increased, further increasing the demand on the floors below, which were unable to arrest the moving mass. In other words, the momentum [of the top stories] falling on the supporting structure below . . . so greatly exceeded the strength capacity of the structure below that [the latter] was unable to stop or even to slow the falling mass.[66]NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 6. In the italicized portion of this statement, NIST was quoting NIST NCSTAR 1, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, Section 6.14.4 (page 146).

Even before we think about any specific law of physics violated by this account (assuming that no explosives or incendiaries were used to remove the steel columns), we can see intuitively that this explanation implies a miracle: As NIST critic Jim Hoffman has pointed out, it “requires us to believe that the massive steel frames of the [lower structure of the] towers provided no more resistance to falling rubble than [would] air.”[67]Jim Hoffman, “A Reply to the National Institute for Standards and Technology’s Answers to Frequently Asked Questions” (http://911research.wtc7.net/reviews/nist/WTC_FAQ_re...html).

As to why physics rules out NIST’s account, William Rice, who has both practiced and taught structural engineering, pointed out that NIST’s account “violates Newton’s Law of Conservation of Momentum,” which requires that, “as the stationary inertia of each floor is overcome by being hit,” the speed of descent must decrease.[68]William Rice’s statement is quoted at Patriots Question 9/11 (http://patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html#Rice). A paper by physicists and engineers published in an engineering journal agreed, stating:

NIST evidently neglects a fundamental law of physics in glibly treating the remarkable ‘free fall’ collapse of each Tower, namely, the Law of Conservation of Momentum. This law of physics means that the hundreds of thousands of tons of material in the way must slow the upper part of the building because of its mass.[69]Steven E. Jones, Frank M. Legge, Kevin R. Ryan, Anthony F. Szamboti, and James R. Gourley, “Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction,” Open Civil Engineering Journal 2/1 (2008): 35–40 (http://911reports.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/ fourteen-points-of-agreement-with-official-government-reports-on-the- world-trade-center-destruction-by-steven-e-jones-frank-m-legge-kevin-r-ryan-anthony-f-szamboti-and-james-r-gourley).

A letter to NIST signed by physicist Steven Jones, chemist Kevin Ryan, and architect Richard Gage, among others, made a similar point, saying:

Basic principles of engineering (for example, the conservation of momentum principle) would dictate that the undamaged steel structure below the collapse initiation zone would, at the very least, resist and slow the downward movement of the stories above. There is, indeed, a good chance that the structural strength of the steelwork below would arrest the downward movement of the stories above.[70]“Request for Correction Submitted to NIST,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 12 (June 2007) (http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200704/ RFCtoNISTbyMcIlvaineDoyleJonesRyanGageSTJ.pdf). This letter, dated April 12, 2007, was also signed by Bob McIlvaine, Bill Doyle, and Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice.

NIST, as we saw above, claimed that the lower portion would not retard—let alone arrest—the downward movement of the upper part, because the “tremendous energy” of the upper part’s downward momentum would be irresistible. Let us examine this claim with regard to the North Tower. It was struck at the 95th floor, so the upper portion consisted of only 16 floors. Also, the structure at this height had relatively little weight to bear, compared with the structure lower down, so the steel columns in the upper part, above the area of impact, were much thinner than those in the lower part. This means that the upper 16 floors probably constituted less than 15 percent of the building’s total weight. Also, the top portion would have fallen only a story or two before hitting the lower portion, so it would not have acquired much velocity before striking the lower portion. For these reasons, the top portion would have not had much momentum, so its energy would not have been so “tremendous,” it would seem, as to be irresistible by the lower part, with its millions of pounds of interconnected steel.

This conclusion, based on a purely commonsense analysis, was confirmed by a technical analysis of the North Tower collapse by mechanical engineer Gordon Ross. Far from failing to retard the downward movement of the building’s upper portion, his analysis showed, the lower portion would have quickly and completely stopped the top portion’s descent. Having made the necessary calculations (which NIST failed to do), Ross concluded that the “vertical movement of the falling section would [have been] arrested . . . within 0.02 seconds after impact. A collapse driven only by gravity would not continue to progress beyond that point.”[71]Gordon Ross, “Momentum Transfer Analysis of the Collapse of the Upper Storeys of WTC 1,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 1 (June 2006) (http://www. journalof911studies.com/articles/Journal_5_PTransferRoss.pdf): 32–39, at 37.

If Ross’s calculations are even close to accurate, then NIST’s account—according to which the Twin Towers came down “essentially in free fall,” even though they were not professionally demolished—implied two enormous miracles (one for each building).

Another element in NIST’s account, to be sure, is the claim that the fires in the buildings weakened the steel, so that it provided less resistance than normal. “[W]hen bare steel reaches temperatures of 1,000 degrees Celsius,” NIST wrote, “it softens and its strength reduces to roughly 10 percent of its room temperature value.”[72]NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 7. NIST thereby, without actually saying it, implied that the steel columns had been heated up to the point where they lost 90 percent of their strength.

NIST was in this way able to mislead some nonscientific journalists into thinking that fire could have caused the Twin Towers to collapse. Alexander Cockburn, stating that the collapses did not require preplaced explosives, said: “High grade steel can bend disastrously under extreme heat.” Chris Hayes, stating that the 9/11 Truth Movement’s claims about the Twin Towers are without merit, wrote (in a passage quoted earlier): “[S]teel might not melt at 1,500 degrees [Fahrenheit], the temperature at which jet fuel burns, but it does begin to lose a lot of its strength, enough to cause the support beams to fail.”[73]Alexander Cockburn, “The 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts: How They Let the Guilty Parties of 9/11 Slip Off the Hook,” Counterpunch, September 9/10, 2006 (http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn09092006.html); Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia.”

However, the idea that steel heated up by fire could account for the collapses of the Twin Towers is wrong for at least two reasons. In the first place, even if the steel had indeed lost 90 percent of its strength, it would still have offered some resistance, because the law of conservation of momentum would not have taken a holiday. So a collapse “essentially in free fall” would have been impossible.

In the second place, there is no empirical basis for claiming that either tower’s steel had lost any strength, let alone 90 percent of it. On the one hand, as MIT engineering professor Thomas Eagar has pointed out, structural steel only “begins to soften around 425°C [797°F].”[74]Thomas W. Eagar and Christopher Musso, “Why Did the World Trade Center Collapse? Science, Engineering, and Speculation,” JOM 53/12 (2001) (http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/jom/0112/eagar/eag...html). On the other hand, scientific studies on 16 perimeter columns carried out by NIST scientists found that “only three [of these perimeter] columns had evidence that the steel reached temperatures above 250˚C [482˚F].” These NIST scientists also found no evidence that even this temperature (250˚C [482˚F]) had been reached by any of the core columns.[75]NIST NCSTAR 1, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, 90.

Accordingly, far from having evidence that any of the steel in the columns reached the temperature (1,000°C [1,832°F]) at which it would have lost 90 percent of its strength, NIST had no evidence that any of the columns would have lost even five percent of their strength. If neither explosives nor incendiaries were used to remove the 287 steel support columns, therefore, the top portion of the building came down through the lower portion as if it were not there, even though the steel in that portion was cool and hence at virtually full strength.

In claiming, therefore, that both of the Twin Towers came down essentially in free fall without the aid of either incendiaries or explosives, NIST implied enormous violations of the physical principle known as the conservation of momentum. Although Rothschild accused the 9/11 Truth Movement of being “irrational and unscientific,” this characterization applies instead to NIST’s report on the Twin Towers and anyone who accepts it.

5. The South Tower’s Mid-Air Miracles

Having illustrated the previous miracle primarily in terms of the North Tower, I turn now to a miracle unique to the South Tower. It was struck at the 80th floor, so that its upper portion consisted of a 30-floor block. As videos of the beginning of this building’s collapse show, this block began tipping toward the corner that had been most damaged by the airplane’s impact. According to the law of the conservation of angular momentum, this section should have fallen to the ground far outside the building’s footprint. “However,” Jim Hoffman and fellow 9/11 researcher Don Paul have observed,

as the top then began to fall, the rotation decelerated. Then it reversed direction [even though the] law of conservation of angular momentum states that a solid object in rotation will continue to rotate at the same speed unless acted on by a torque.[76]Don Paul and Jim Hoffman, Waking Up from Our Nightmare: The 9/11/01 Crimes in New York City (San Francisco: Irresistible/Revolutionary, 2004), 34.

And then, as if this were not miraculous enough:

We observe [wrote physicist Steven Jones] that approximately 30 upper floors begin to rotate as a block, to the south and east. They begin to topple over, not fall straight down. The torque due to gravity on this block is enormous, as is its angular momentum. But then—and this I’m still puzzling over—this block turned mostly to powder in mid-air! How can we understand this strange behavior, without explosives?[77]Steven Jones, “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?” Journal of 9/11 Studies 3 (September 2006): 1–47, at 28 (http://www. journalof911studies.com/volume/200609/Why_Indeed_Did_the_WTC_ Buildings_Completely_Collapse_Jones_Thermite_World_Trade_Center.pdf).

If someone were to ask how even explosives could explain this behavior, we could turn to a statement by Mark Loizeaux, the president of Controlled Demolition, Inc. In response to an interviewer’s question as to how he made “doomed structures dance or walk,” Loizeaux said:

[B]y differentially controlling the velocity of failure in different parts of the structure, you can make it walk, you can make it spin, you can make it dance. We’ve taken it and moved it, then dropped it or moved it, twisted it and moved it down further—and then stopped it and moved it again. We’ve dropped structures 15 storeys, stopped them and then laid them sideways. We’ll have structures start facing north and end up going to the north-west.[78]Quoted in Liz Else, “Baltimore Blasters” (see note 48, above).

If we suppose that explosives were used, therefore, we can understand the mid-air dance performed by the upper portion of the South Tower.

If we refuse to posit explosives, however, we are stuck with a major miracle: Although the upper block was rotating and tipping in such a way that its angular momentum should have caused it to fall down to the side, it somehow righted itself by disintegrating.

This disintegration, incidentally, further undermines the official theory, according to which the “tremendous energy” of this block’s downward momentum caused the lower part of the South Tower to collapse. This theory requires that the upper part smashed down, as a solid block, on the lower part. Videos show, however, that it did not. As Gage, Jones, Ryan, and other colleagues pointed out to NIST:

Footnotes

[T] he upper portion of WTC 2 did not fall as a block upon the lower undamaged portion, but instead disintegrated as it fell. Thus, there would be no single large impact from a falling block . .

. [but only] a series of small impacts as the fragments of the disintegrating upper portion arrived.[79]“Request for Correction Submitted to NIST.”

6. Horizontal Ejections from the Twin Towers

Dwain Deets, former director of the research engineering division at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, has written that the “massive structural members being hurled horizontally” from the Twin Towers “leave no doubt” in his mind that “explosives were involved.”[80]The statement by Deets is at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.ae911truth.org/profile.php?uid=998819).

Deets was referring to the fact that the disintegration of each of the Twin Towers began with a massive explosion near the top, during which huge sections of perimeter columns were ejected out horizontally so powerfully that some of them traveled 500 to 600 feet. Although this feature of the destructions was not mentioned in NIST’s (2005) report on the Twin Towers, there could be no doubt about it, because some of these sections of steel implanted themselves in neighboring buildings, as can be seen in videos and photographs.[81]See “911 Eyewitness: Huge Steel Sections Ejected More than 600 Feet” (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=18074674342...6490), or “9/11 Mysteries: Demolition” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5_tTRliTDo).

These ejections are now, in any case, part of the official account, because NIST, apparently finding them necessary to explain how fires got started in WTC 7, mentioned them in its report on this building. In Shyam Sunder’s opening statement at the August 2008 press briefing to announce the release of NIST’s draft report on WTC 7, he said: “The debris from Tower 1 . . . started fires on at least 10 floors of the building.”[82]Sunder, “Opening Statement.” NIST’s WTC 7 report said: “The fires in WTC 7 were ignited as a result of the impact of debris from the collapse of WTC 1, which was approximately 110 m[eters] (350 ft) to the south.”[83]NIST NCSTAR 1A: xxxvi.

NIST thereby admitted that debris had been thrown out horizontally from the North Tower at least 350 feet.[84]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 1: 125. NIST’s report also stated:

When WTC 1 collapsed at 10:28:22 AM, . . . some fragments [of debris] were forcibly ejected and traveled distances up to hundreds of meters. Pieces of WTC 1 hit WTC 7, severing six columns on Floors 7 through 17 on the south face and one column on the west face near the southwest corner. The debris also caused structural damage between Floor 44 and the roof.[85]NIST NCSTAR 1A: 16.

Debris that caused such extensive damage, including the severing of seven steel columns, had to be quite heavy. NIST seemed to be granting, therefore, that sections of steel columns had been hurled at least 650 feet (because “hundreds of meters” would mean at least 200 meters, which would be about 650 feet). Enormous force would be needed to eject large sections of steel that far out.

What could have produced this force? According to NIST, as we saw earlier, there were only three causal factors in the collapse of the Twin Towers: the airplane impacts, the fires, and gravitational attraction. The airplane impacts had occurred 56 minutes (South Tower) and 102 minutes (North Tower) earlier, and gravitational attraction pulls things straight downward. Fire could, to be sure, produce horizontal ejections by causing jet fuel to explode, but the jet fuel had, NIST pointed out, burned up within “a few minutes.”[86]NIST NCSTAR 1, Final Report on the Twin Towers, 183, 184. Therefore, although NIST admitted that these horizontal ejections occurred, it suggested no energy source to explain them.

These ejections could be explained by explosives. According to NIST, however, explosives did not contribute to the destruction of the Twin Towers. Those who accept NIST’s account must, therefore, regard these horizontal ejections as constituting yet another miracle.

7. Metal-Melting Fires

In light of the above-discussed unprecedented effects produced by the fires in the WTC buildings (according to the official account), it would seem that these fires must have had miraculous powers. This conclusion is reinforced by an examination of still more extraordinary effects.

Swiss-Cheese Steel: Within a few months of 9/11, three professors from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) had issued a brief report about a piece of steel recovered from the WTC 7 debris, stating that it had undergone “microstructural changes,” including “intergranular melting.”[87]Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and Richard D. Sisson, Jr., “An Initial Microstructural Analysis of A36 Steel from WTC Building 7,” JOM 53/12 (2001), 18 (http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/0112/Biederman/ Biederman-0112.html). A greatly expanded version of this report, which contained a description of a similarly eroded piece of steel from one of the Twin Towers, was included as an appendix to the first official report on the destruction of the World Trade Center, which was issued by FEMA in 2002.[88]Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and R. D. Sisson, Jr., “Limited Metallurgical Examination,” FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, Appendix C, 2002 (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_apc.pdf).

A New York Times story, noting that parts of these pieces of steel had “melted away,” even though “no fire in any of the buildings was believed to be hot enough to melt steel outright,” said that these discoveries constituted “[p]erhaps the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”[89]James Glanz and Eric Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse,” New York Times February 2, 2002 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04...8B63). Describing these mysterious pieces of steel more fully, an article in WPI’s magazine, entitled “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” said:

[S]teel—which has a melting point of 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit—may weaken and bend, but does not melt during an ordinary office fire. Yet . . . [a] one-inch column has been reduced to half-inch thickness. Its edges—which are curled like a paper scroll—have been thinned to almost razor sharpness. Gaping holes—some larger than a silver dollar—let light shine through a formerly solid steel flange. This Swiss cheese appearance shocked all of the fire-wise professors, who expected to see distortion and bending—but not holes.[90]Joan Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” WPI Transformations Spring 2002 (http://www.wpi.edu/News/Transformations/2002Spring/...html).

One of the three WPI professors, Jonathan Barnett, was quoted by the Times as saying that the steel “appear[ed] to have been partly evaporated in extraordinarily high temperatures.”[91]Glanz, “Engineers Suspect Diesel Fuel in Collapse of 7 World Trade Center.” I have here quoted Glanz’s paraphrase of Barnett’s statement.

That the steel had actually evaporated—not merely melted—was also reported in another New York Times story. Professor Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl of the University of California at Berkeley, speaking of a horizontal I-beam from WTC 7, reportedly said: “Parts of the flat top of the I, once five-eighths of an inch thick, had vaporized.”[92]See Kenneth Chang, “Scarred Steel Holds Clues, And Remedies,” New York Times October 2, 2001 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B05...8B63).

Why do these phenomena involve miracles? Because the fires could not possibly, even under the most ideal conditions (which did not obtain), have been hotter than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (the maximum possible temperature for hydrocarbon-based building fires, which these fires were said to be), whereas the melting and boiling points of steel are only slightly lower than those of iron, which are 2,800°F and 5,182°F, respectively.[93]WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html). So if one accepts the official account, according to which all the heat was produced by the building fires, then one must believe that these fires had miraculous powers.

NIST, which took over from FEMA the task of writing the official reports on the WTC, avoided this issue by simply not mentioning any of these pieces of steel, even though two of them had been discussed in a FEMA report appendix. NIST even claimed that no recovered steel from WTC 7 could be identified, because the steel used in this building, unlike that used in the Twin Towers, “did not contain . . . identifying characteristics.”[94]“Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” August 21, 2008 (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_082...html). This statement was repeated in a version of this document that was updated April 21, 2009 (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_042...html). Thanks to Jim Hoffman for preserving these documents at his website, after NIST had removed them from its own website. Now the 2009 has been updated in September 17, 2010 (http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa....cfm).

In making this claim, however, NIST was clearly not being truthful. For one thing, it had previously published a document in which it had referred to steel recovered from WTC 7—including the piece discussed by the WPI professors.[95]See NIST NCSTAR 1–3C, Damage and Failure Modes of Structural Steel Components, September 2005 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/ NCSTAR%201-3C%20Damage%20and%20Failure%20Modes.pdf), in which the authors, Stephen W. Banovic and Timothy Foecke, referred to “the analysis of the steel from WTC 7 (Sample #1 from Appendix C, BPAT/FEMA study) where corrosion phases and morphologies were able to determine a possible temperature region” (233). Also, NIST’s claim about not identifying any WTC 7 steel was made in August 2008, shortly after the airing in July 2008 of a BBC program on WTC 7, in which one of those WPI professors, Jonathan Barnett, had discussed an “eroded and deformed” piece of steel from WTC 7, which he and his colleagues had studied in 2001. These professors knew “its pedigree,” Barnett explained, because “this particular kind of steel” had been used only in WTC 7, not in the Twin Towers.[96]The Conspiracy Files: 9/11—The Third Tower, BBC, July 6, 2008 (available at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=90720620202...93250# and http://www.911blogger.com/node/16541); the statement by Barnett is at 48:00. I am indebted to Chris Sarns for this discovery. Barnett during this interview, incidentally, speculated that the steel had “cooked” in the underground fire. This explanation was, however, deceptive at best, for three reasons: First, the effects being discussed by Barnett could have been caused only by something producing much higher temperatures than ordinary hydrocarbon fires could have produced—fires fueled, for example, by nanothermite or some other energetic nanocomposites, as explained below in Section 8. The second and third reasons also involve facts discussed in that section: Ordinary hydrocarbon fires would not have been able to keep burning underground without oxygen; and they would, in any case, have been extinguished by the water and chemical suppressants that were pumped into the rubble.

So, although it called the collapse of WTC 7 “the first known instance of fire causing the total collapse of a tall building,”[97]“NIST WTC 7 Investigation Finds Building Fires Caused Collapse.” NIST had demonstrated its awareness of a recovered piece of steel from this building that only a very miraculous fire could have produced. NIST was surely also aware of the similarly eroded piece of steel from one of the Twin Towers, which had likewise been reported by the WPI professors in their paper included as an appendix to the 2002 FEMA report.

If the fires in WTC 7 and the Twin Towers had miraculous powers, we would expect still more miraculous effects to have been discovered, and this was indeed the case.

Melted Iron: The RJ Lee Group, a scientific research firm, was hired byDeutsche Bank, which had a building close to the World Trade Center, to prove that the dust contaminating its building after 9/11 was not ordinary building dust, as its insurance company claimed, but had resulted from the destruction of the World Trade Center. The RJ Lee Group’s reports showed that the dust in the bank’s building shared the unique chemical signature of the WTC dust, part of which was “[s]pherical iron . . . particles.”[98]RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature,” Expert Report, May 2004: 11 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/130%20Liberty%20Stre....pdf). The spherical shape shows that melting has occurred: The shape is produced by surface tension as the drops fly through the air.

There was, moreover, an enormous number of these particles: Whereas iron particles constitute only 0.04 percent of normal building dust, they constituted (a whopping) 5.87 percent of the WTC dust.[99]RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology,” December 2003: 24 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/ 130%20Liberty%20Street/Mike%20Davis%20LMDC%20130%20 Liberty%20Documents/Signature%20of%20WTC%20dust/WTC%20Dust %20Signature.Composition%20and%20Morphology.Final.pdf). The existence of these particles, the RJ Lee Group said, proved that iron had “melted during the WTC Event.”[100]Ibid., 17.
(RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology,” December 2003: 24 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/ 130%20Liberty%20Street/Mike%20Davis%20LMDC%20130%20 Liberty%20Documents/Signature%20of%20WTC%20dust/WTC%20Dust %20Signature.Composition%20and%20Morphology.Final.pdf).)
The scientists conducting the EPA’s WTC dust signature study, incidentally, had at one time considered including “iron spheres” among the components to be mentioned; it would be interesting to learn why this idea was dropped.[101]See “Comments on WTC Signature Study and Peer Review from Greg Meeker, Paul Lioy and Mort Lippmann, November 3, 2005” (http://web.archive.org/web/20100508195240/http://ww...panel/ pdfs/SubGroupComments_110305.pdf). I am indebted to Kevin Ryan for this information.

In any case, the identification of iron spheres by both the EPA and the RJ Lee Group was another miraculous discovery, for the reason given above: The melting point of iron is 2,800°F, whereas the WTC fires could not possibly have gotten above 1,800°F.[102]WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html).

Melted Molybdenum: Scientists at the US Geological Survey, in a study intended to aid the “identification of WTC dust components,” discovered an even more miraculous effect of the fires. Besides finding the spherical iron-rich particles, these scientists found that molybdenum, the melting point of which is 4,753°F (2,623°C), had also melted. Although these USGS scientists failed to mention this discovery in their published report,[103]Heather A. Lowers and Gregory P. Meeker, U.S. Geological Survey, US Department of the Interior, “Particle Atlas of World Trade Center Dust,” 2005 (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1165/508OF05-1165.html). another group of scientists, having obtained the USGS team’s data through a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request, reported evidence showing that the USGS scientists had devoted serious study to “a molybdenum-rich spherule.”[104]Steven E. Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 19 (January 2008): 4 (http://journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp....pdf).

8. Inextinguishable Fires

Besides having the power to produce the extraordinary effects already reported, the World Trade Center fires were also miraculously inextinguishable. The fact that fires continued burning in the Ground Zero rubble for many months, in spite of every attempt to put them out, was widely reported. The title of a New York Times story in the middle of November, two months after the attacks, referred to the “Most Stubborn Fire.” A New Scientist article in December was entitled “Ground Zero’s Fires Still Burning.” Very hot fires continued to burn in the Ground Zero debris piles, these stories reported, even though heavy rains came down, millions of additional gallons of water were sprayed onto the piles, and a chemical suppressant was pumped into them.[105]Eric Lipton and Andrew C. Revkin, “The Firefighters: With Water and Sweat, Fighting the Most Stubborn Fire,” New York Times November 19, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/19/nyregion/19FIRE.html); Jonathan Beard, “Ground Zero’s Fires Still Burning,” New Scientist December 3, 2001 (http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn1634).

According to Greg Fuchek, vice president of a company that supplied computer equipment to identify human remains at the site, the working conditions at Ground Zero remained “hellish” for six months, because the ground temperature ranged from 600 to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.[106]Trudy Walsh, “Handheld APP Eased Recovery Tasks,” Government Computer News September 11, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/wtc/ evidence/gcn_handheldapp.html).

These inextinguishable fires were a mystery. Assuming the truth of the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, there would have been nothing in the debris pile other than ordinary building materials, and these can burn only in the presence of oxygen. There would have been little oxygen available in the densely packed debris piles, and wherever it was available, the fires should have been easily suppressed by the enormous amounts of water and chemical suppressants pumped into the piles. The fires’ seemingly miraculous power to keep burning could not be explained by the airplanes’ jet fuel (which is essentially kerosene), because it would have all burned out, as mentioned above, within a few minutes.

A non-miraculous explanation is suggested by the discovery of a large amount of nanothermite residue in the WTC dust, which was reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 2009. Nanothermite—“which can be tailored to behave as an incendiary (like ordinary thermite) or as an explosive”[107]Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, et al., “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal 2 (2009): 7–31 (http://www.benthamscience.com/open/tocpj/articles/V...J.htm? TOCIEJ/2008/00000002/00000001/35TOCIEJ.SGM). The quoted description of how nanothermite can be tailored was provided by Niels Harrit, email letter of June 19, 2011, to Elizabeth Woodworth for Consensus 9/11.—is one among several types of “energetic nanocomposites,” which were described by an article in The Environmentalist as “chemical energetic materials, which provide their own fuel and oxidant and are not deterred by water, dust or chemical suppressants.”[108]Kevin R. Ryan, James R. Gourley, and Steven E. Jones, “Environmental Anomalies at the World Trade Center: Evidence for Energetic Materials,” The Environmentalist 29/1 (August, 2008): 56–63, at 58, 56. Also published online, August 4, 2008 (http://www.springerlink.com/content/f67q6272583h86n4/ fulltext.html). Ryan has provided experiments showing the explosive power of nanothermite; see DK1Ryan, “Experiments with Nanothermite,” July 24, 2011 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O66UyGNrmSI). The discovery of nanothermite residue in the dust provided, therefore, an empirical basis for a non-miraculous explanation of the long-lasting fires at Ground Zero.

According to the official account, however, the buildings were all brought down without the aid of any incendiaries or explosives. WTC 7 was said by NIST, as we saw above, to have been brought down by fire alone, and this fire, NIST added, was “an ordinary building contents fire.”[109]NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 1: 330. As for the Twin Towers, they were brought down through the combined effects of the airplane impacts and the ensuing fires: NIST explicitly rejected “alternative hypotheses suggesting that the WTC towers were brought down by controlled demolition using explosives.”[110]NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 2.

For anyone who accepts the official account, therefore, the inextinguishable underground fires at Ground Zero provide still another demonstration of miraculous powers that must have been possessed by the World Trade Center fires.

9. Supernatural Sulfur

In the seventh section, I discussed the two Swiss-cheese-appearing pieces of steel that had been recovered from the World Trade Center rubble—one from WTC 7, the other from one of the Twin Towers. In that discussion, however, I ignored one of the critical features of these pieces of steel, which was central to the reason they were said by the New York Times to constitute “the deepest mystery.”

This was the fact that the thinning of the steel had resulted, according to the three WPI professors’ report, from sulfidation, but there was no explanation for the source of the sulfur or the mechanism through which it entered into the steel. According to a preliminary analysis reported by the professors, said the New York Times article, “sulfur released during the fires—no one knows from where—may have combined with atoms in the steel to form compounds that melt at lower temperatures.”[111]Glanz and Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse.”

This phenomenon was discussed more fully in the article, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” in WPI’s magazine, which attributed the holes and the thinning to “a eutectic reaction” that “occurred at the surface, causing intergranular melting capable of turning a solid steel girder into Swiss cheese.”[112]Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel.”

In summarizing their findings in the paper included in the FEMA report, the three professors wrote:

1. The thinning of the steel occurred by a high-temperature corrosion due to a combination of oxidation and sulfidation.

2. Heating of the steel into a hot corrosive environment approaching 1,000°C (1,832°F) results in the formation of a eutectic mixture of iron, oxygen, and sulfur that liquefied the steel.

3. The sulfidation attack of steel grain boundaries accelerated the corrosion and erosion of the steel.[113]Barnett, Biederman, and Sisson, “Limited Metallurgical Examination.”

Then, having mentioned sulfidation in each of these three points, the professors added: “The severe corrosion and subsequent erosion of Samples 1 and 2 are a very unusual event. No clear explanation for the source of the sulfur has been identified. . . . A detailed study into the mechanisms of this phenomenon is needed.”[114]Ibid., C-13.
(Barnett, Biederman, and Sisson, “Limited Metallurgical Examination.”)

However, although Arden Bement, who was the director of NIST when it took over the WTC project from FEMA, said that NIST’s report would address “all major recommendations contained in the [FEMA] report,”[115]Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., Testimony before the House Science Committee Hearing on “The Investigation of the World Trade Center Collapse,” May 1, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/wtc/official/nist....htm). In the quoted statement, the name “FEMA” replaces “BPAT,” which is the abbreviation for “Building Performance Assessment Team,” the name of the ASCE team that prepared this report for FEMA. NIST ignored this recommendation. Indeed, as we saw earlier, it did not even mention these Swiss-cheese pieces of steel.

Also, when NIST was later asked about the sulfidation, it tried to maintain that the source of the sulfur was not actually a mystery, saying that “sulfur is present in the gypsum wallboard that was prevalent in the interior partitions.”[116]“Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” NIST, Question 12.

But there are three problems with this explanation. First, gypsum is calcium sulfate, so if all the sulfur discovered had been from gypsum wallboard, it would have been matched by about the same percentage of calcium. That, however, was not the case.[117]Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” 3.

Second, the WPI professors reported not merely that there was sulfur in the debris, but that the steel had been sulfidized. This means that sulfur had entered into the intergranular structure of the steel (which the New York Times article had indicated by saying that sulfur had “combined with atoms in the steel”). As chemist Kevin Ryan has said, the question NIST would need to answer is: “[H]ow did sulfates, from wallboard, tunnel into the intergranular microstructure of the steel and then form sulfides within?”[118]Email letter from Kevin Ryan, October 16, 2008. Physicist Steven Jones added:

[I]f NIST claims that sulfur is present in the steel from gypsum, they should do an (easy) experiment to heat steel to about 1000°C in the presence of gypsum and then test whether sulfur has entered the steel. . . . [T]hey will find that sulfur does not enter steel under such circumstances.[119]Email letter from Steven Jones, October 17, 2008.

Chemistry professor Niels Harrit has explained why it would not: Although gypsum contains sulfur, this is not elemental sulfur, which can react with iron, but sulfur in the form of calcium sulfate, which cannot.[120]Personal communications from Niels Harrit, May 8, 2009, and June 25, 2010.

The official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, therefore, implies that the sulfidized steel had been produced by a twofold miracle: Besides the fact that the fires, as we saw earlier, could have melted steel only if they had possessed miraculous powers, the sulfur in the wallboard could have entered into this melted steel only by virtue of supernatural powers.

Once again, a non-miraculous explanation is available: We need only suppose that thermate, a well-known incendiary, had been employed. As Steven Jones has written:

The thermate reaction proceeds rapidly and is in general faster than basic thermite in cutting through steel due to the presence of sulfur. (Elemental sulfur forms a low-melting-temperature eutectic with iron.)[121]Steven E. Jones, “Revisiting 9/11/2001: Applying the Scientific Method,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 11 (May 2007): 81 (http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200704/ JonesWTC911SciMethod.pdf).

Besides providing an explanation for the eutectic reaction, thermate could also, Jones pointed out, explain the melting, oxidation, and sulfidation of the steel:

When you put sulfur into thermite it makes the steel melt at a much lower temperature, so instead of melting at about 1,538°C [2,800°F] it melts at approximately 988°C [1,820°F], and you get sulfidation and oxidation in the attacked steel.[122]Ibid., 75.
(Steven E. Jones, “Revisiting 9/11/2001: Applying the Scientific Method,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 11 (May 2007): 81 (http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200704/ JonesWTC911SciMethod.pdf).)

NIST, however, insists that no incendiaries were employed: WTC 7 was brought down by fire alone; the Twin Towers by the fires combined with damage from the airplane impacts. Those who endorse the official account, therefore, are stuck with yet another miracle.

III • Which 9/11 Conspiracy Theory Is Truly Discrediting and Distracting? • 5,400 Words

In light of the above facts, I ask Terry Allen, David Corn, Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, Chris Hayes, George Monbiot, Matthew Rothschild, and Matt Taibbi: Are you still comfortable with endorsing the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center?

A symposium on “State Crimes against Democracy” in one of our major social science journals, American Behavioral Scientist,[123]Symposium on State Crimes against Democracy, American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 783–939 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6). has recently addressed this issue. Likening Orwell’s “secret doctrine” that 2 + 2 = 4, which intellectuals must safeguard in dark times, to unquestioned laws of physics, one of the symposium’s authors criticized “the awesome intellectual silence making permissible the blithe dismissal of more than one law of thermodynamics in the World Trade Center Towers’ collapse.”[124]Matthew T. Witt, “Pretending Not to See or Hear, Refusing to Signify: The Farce and Tragedy of Geocentric Public Affairs Scholarship,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 921–39 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6), at 934. Part of this silence has involved the failure of the academy to protest when “Professor Steven Jones found himself forced out of [a] tenured position for merely reminding the world that physical laws, about which there is no dissent whatsoever, contradict the official theory of the World Trade Center Towers’ collapse.”[125]Ibid., 932 (emphasis in original).
(Matthew T. Witt, “Pretending Not to See or Hear, Refusing to Signify: The Farce and Tragedy of Geocentric Public Affairs Scholarship,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 921–39 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6), at 934.)

I wonder if you are still comfortable with giving your own consent to NIST’s “blithe dismissal” of otherwise unquestioned physical principles—as did Cockburn, when he ridiculed the 9/11 Truth Movement for its “delirious litanies about . . . the collapse of the WTC buildings,” and Taibbi, when he wrote dismissively of people who have tried to educate him “on the supposed anomalies of physics involved with the collapse of WTC-7.”[126]Cockburn, “The Decline of the Left,” The Free Press September 30, 2006 (http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/2/2006/1440); Taibbi, “The Idiocy Behind the ‘9/11 Truth’ Movement.” I would think that, if there are good reasons to suspect that these physical principles have been dismissed in the interests of covering up a major state crime against democracy, you journalists would be especially uncomfortable with giving your consent to it.

Some of you have expressed fear, to be sure, that the left will be discredited insofar as it is seen as endorsing a 9/11 conspiracy theory. Having asked in 2007, “Why do I bother with these morons?” George Monbiot replied: “Because they are destroying the movements some of us have spent a long time trying to build.”[127]“9/11 Fantasists Pose a Mortal Danger to Popular Oppositional Campaigns.” In 2009, David Corn wrote: “[W]hen the 9/11 conspiracy theories were first emerging on the left, I wrote several pieces decrying them [for] fear . . . that this unsound idea would infect the left and other quarters—discrediting anyone who got close to it.”[128]Corn, “How 9/11 Conspiracy Poison Did in Van Jones.”

Some of you, moreover, have objected to the 9/11 Truth Movement on the grounds that it has served as a distraction from truly important issues. The 9/11 conspiracy theories, Corn wrote in 2002, serve to “distract people from the real wrongdoing.”[129]Corn, “When 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Go Bad.” Cockburn, writing in 2006, agreed, saying: “The Conspiracy Nuts have combined to produce a huge distraction.”[130]Cockburn, “The 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts: How They Let the Guilty Parties of 9/11 Slip Off the Hook.” That same year, Chomsky said: “One of the major consequences of the 9/11 movement has been to draw enormous amounts of energy and effort away from activism directed to real and ongoing crimes of state.”[131]“Chomsky Dismisses 9/11 Conspiracy Theories As ‘Dubious.’” And Monbiot, naming in 2007 some truly important issues from which, in his view, the 9/11 conspiracy theory has distracted us, mentioned “climate change, the Iraq war, nuclear proliferation, inequality, . . . [the fact] that corporate power stands too heavily on democracy, [and] that war criminals, cheats and liars are not being held to account.”[132]Monbiot, “9/11 Fantasists Pose a Mortal Danger to Popular Oppositional Campaigns.”

I will address these two fears—of being discredited and of being distracted—in order.

1. The Fear of Being Discredited

Left-leaning journalists are certainly right to fear that the left would be discredited by being aligned with a conspiracy theory that is scientifically unsupportable and even absurd. It is hard to imagine, however, what could discredit the left more than having many of its recognized leaders endorsing the Bush-Cheney administration’s 9/11 conspiracy theory, especially at a time when more and more scientists and people in relevant professions are pointing out its absurdities.

Conspiracy Theories and the Official Account of 9/11: I realize, of course, that most of you do not like to acknowledge that the official account of 9/11 is itself a conspiracy theory, given the one-sided, propagandistic meaning with which this term is now commonly employed. As New Zealand philosopher Charles Pigden has pointed out in a superb essay entitled “Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom”:

[T]o call someone ‘a conspiracy theorist’ is to suggest that he is irrational, paranoid or perverse. Often the suggestion seems to be that conspiracy theories are not just suspect, but utterly unbelievable, too silly to deserve the effort of a serious refutation.[133]Charles Pigden, “Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom,” Episteme 4 (2007): 219–32, at 219.

However, Pigden continues, using the term in this way is intellectually dishonest, because “a conspiracy theory is simply a theory that posits a conspiracy—a secret plan on the part of some group to influence events by partly secret means.”[134]Ibid., 222.
(Charles Pigden, “Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom,” Episteme 4 (2007): 219–32, at 219.)
And, given this neutral, dictionary meaning of the term:

[E]very politically and historically literate person is a big-time conspiracy theorist, since every such person subscribes to a vast range of conspiracy theories. . . . [T]here are many facts that admit of no non-conspiratorial explanation and many conspiracy theories that are sufficiently well-established to qualify as knowledge. It is difficult . . . to mount a coup [or an assassination] without conspiring. . . . Thus anyone who knows anything about the Ides of March or the assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand or the Tsar Alexander II is bound to subscribe to a conspiracy theory, and hence to be a conspiracy theorist.[135]Ibid., 223.
(Charles Pigden, “Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom,” Episteme 4 (2007): 219–32, at 219.)

In light of the neutral meaning of the term provided by Pigden, everyone is a conspiracy theorist about 9/11, not only people who believe that the US government was complicit. According to the government’s theory, the 9/11 attacks resulted from a conspiracy between Osama bin Laden, other al-Qaeda leaders (such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed), and 19 young members of al-Qaeda who agreed to hijack airliners.[136]Political leaders, the mainstream press, and even much of the left-leaning press have been reluctant to admit that the official account of 9/11 is a conspiracy theory (often because they like to use this label to discredit people without examining their evidence). But former Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein, who was appointed to a senior post in the Obama administration, acknowledged this fact in a co-authored essay: Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures,” Journal of Political Philosophy 17/2 (June 2009), 202–27, at 208. Sunstein also helpfully referred to Charles Pigden’s above-quoted article, which criticizes the widespread use of the “conspiracy theory” label to avoid substantive issues. I deal with the Sunstein-Vermeule essay in Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2010).

Failure to recognize this point can lead to absurd consequences. For example, after an article about 9/11 by former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, which had been posted at the Huffington Post, was quickly taken down, the HP editor gave this explanation:

The Huffington Post’s editorial policy . . . prohibits the promotion and promulgation of conspiracy theories—including those about 9/11. As such, we have removed this post.[137]Quoted in “Jesse Ventura’s Piece on 9/11—KILLED BY HUFFPOST!” News from the Underground, March 9, 2010 (http://markcrispinmiller.com/2010/03/jesse-venturas...post).

In response, I pointed out that this policy entails that the Huffington Post “cannot accept any posts that state, or imply, that al-Qaeda was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, for that is a conspiracy theory.” This fact has been acknowledged, I added, by former Harvard law professor and current Obama administration member Cass Sunstein—who referred to the above-quoted article by Charles Pigden. I pointed out that this fact combined with the Huffington Post’s policy would lead to a strange implication:

[The Huffington Post] cannot allow President Obama to say that we are in Afghanistan to ‘get the people who attacked us on 9/11,’ because he’s thereby endorsing the Bush-Cheney conspiracy theory about 9/11.[138]“HuffPost’s Absurd Stand on ‘Conspiracy Theories’ (David Ray Griffin),” News from the Underground, March 11, 2010 (http://markcrispinmiller.com/2010/03/huffposts-absu...ffin).

But the Huffington Post, evidently not bothered by logical inconsistency, has not changed its policy.

In any case, once it is acknowledged that both of the major theories about 9/11 are conspiracy theories, the 9/11 Truth Movement’s theory cannot rationally be rejected on the grounds that it is a conspiracy theory. Making a rational judgment requires comparing the two conspiracy theories to see which one is more plausible. And when the issue is posed in this way, the official theory does not fare well, whether viewed from a scientific or a merely prima facie perspective.

The Prima Facie Absurdity of the Official Conspiracy Theory: Even when viewed only superficially (prima facie), the central elements in the official story, if evaluated in abstraction from the fact that it is the official story, is certainly implausible—it probably would even have been too implausible to pass muster as the plot for a bad Hollywood movie. Matt Taibbi has made such a statement about the story implicit in the various claims made by the 9/11 Truth Movement, saying that if you combine those claims into a coherent script, “you get the dumbest story since Roman Polanski’s Pirates.”[139]Taibbi, “The Idiocy Behind the ‘9/11 Truth’ Movement.” However, aside from the fact that Taibbi failed to support this claim, he simply ignored the absurdity of the official story, which, boiled down to a one-sentence summary, says:

Inexperienced Muslim hijackers, armed only with knives and box- cutters, took control of four airliners, then outfoxed the world’s most sophisticated air defense system, then used two of these airliners to bring three skyscrapers down (indeed, straight down, in virtual free fall),[140]See “Two Hit, Three Down—The Biggest Lie,” by National Medal of Science-winner Lynn Margulis, Rock Creek Free Press January 24, 2010 (http://rockcreekfreepress.tumblr.com/post/353434420...t-lie) and then, almost an hour later—when the US air defense system would have been on highest alert—flew a third one, undetected, from the midwest back to Washington, DC, where—thanks to heroic piloting by a man who had never before flown an airliner and who was, according to the New York Times, known as a “terrible pilot,” incapable of safely flying even a tiny plane—this third airliner went through an extremely difficult trajectory (even too difficult for themselves, said some experienced airline pilots) in order to strike the first floor of the Pentagon—surely the most well-protected building on the planet—without scraping the Pentagon lawn.

What could discredit “the left” more than the fact that you, some of its leading spokespersons, have endorsed such nonsense?

The Scientific Status of the Two Conspiracy Theories: Actually, there is one thing that would be even more discrediting: If, after having it pointed out to you that at least nine miracles are implied by this story, you fail to renounce your former acceptance of it.

Also, it is not only the miracles implicit in the official account that undermine your apparent assumption that good science supports the official account rather than that of the 9/11 Truth Movement. Although that assumption was less obviously unreasonable a few years ago, at least by people who either could not or would not look at the evidence for themselves, that assumption is now completely and obviously unreasonable, due to developments that have occurred in the past few years.

In 2006, as we saw above, Chomsky suggested that there would be two decisive tests for the physical evidence touted by the 9/11 Truth Movement: (i) “submit it to specialists [with] the requisite background in civil-mechanical engineering, materials science, [and] building construction,” (ii) “submit it to a serious journal for peer review and publication.”

To begin with the second test: A few months before December 2006, when Chomsky made this suggestion, physicist Steven Jones and some other scientists started a new online outlet, the Journal of 9/11 Studies. By 2011, it has published dozens of peer-reviewed papers, five of which were cited earlier: “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?” and “Revisiting 9/11/2001: Applying the Scientific Method” (by Jones himself); “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction” (by Jones and seven other scientists); “9/11: Acceleration Study Proves Explosive Demolition” (by Frank Legge); and “Momentum Transfer Analysis of the Collapse of the Upper Storeys of WTC 1” (by Gordon Ross).

Of course, people who are skeptical of the 9/11 Truth Movement’s claims may assume—albeit wrongly, from what I have learned—that this journal, being favorable to such claims, may have a less than rigorous peer-review process. And what Chomsky had suggested, in any case, was that 9/11 Truth Movement scientists should submit articles to mainstream science journals, to see if they could pass their peer-review processes.

Jones and other physical scientists, deciding to take up Chomsky’s challenge, started working on papers to submit, and since 2008, at least six papers disputing the official account of the WTC have been published in mainstream journals:

• “Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction,” by Steven E. Jones, Frank M. Legge, Kevin R. Ryan, Anthony F. Szamboti, and James R. Gourley, published in 2008 in the Open Civil Engineering Journal.[141]Jones et al., “Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction.”

• “Environmental Anomalies at the World Trade Center: Evidence for Energetic Materials,” by Kevin R. Ryan, James R. Gourley, and Steven E. Jones, published in 2009 in The Environmentalist.[142]Ryan, Gourley, and Jones, “Environmental Anomalies at the World Trade Center.”

• “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” by University of Copenhagen chemistry professor Niels Harrit and eight colleagues (including Jones, Ryan, Legge, and Gourley), published in 2009 in The Open Chemical Physics Journal.[143]Harrit, Farrer, Jones, et al., “Active Thermitic Material.”

• “Discussion of ‘Progressive Collapse of the World Trade Center: A Simple Analysis’ by K.A. Seffen,” by physicist Crockett Grabbe, published in 2010 in the Journal of Engineering Mechanics, which is published by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).[144]Crockett Grabbe, “Discussion of ‘Progressive Collapse of the World Trade Center: A Simple Analysis’ by K.A. Seffen,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics 136/4 (April 2010): 538–39 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)EM. 1943-7889.0000025).

• “Discussion of ‘Mechanics of Progressive Collapse: Learning from World Trade Center and Building Demolitions’ by Zdenek P. Bazant and Mathieu Verdure,” by chemical engineer James R. Gourley, published in 2010 in the ASCE’s Journal of Engineering Mechanics.[145]James R. Gourley, “Discussion of ’Mechanics of Progressive Collapse: Learning from World Trade Center and Building Demolitions’ by Zdenek P. Bazant and Mathieu Verdure,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics 134/10 (October 2008): 915–16 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9399(2008)134:...915)).

• “Discussion of ‘What Did and Did Not Cause Collapse of World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York?’ by Zdenek P. Bazant, Jia-Liang Le, Frank R. Greening, and David B. Benson,” by Anders Björkman, published in 2010 in the ASCE’s Journal of Engineering Mechanics.[146]Anders Björkman, “Discussion of ‘What Did and Did Not Cause Collapse of World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York?’ by Zdenek P. Bazant, Jia-Liang Le, Frank R. Greening, and David B. Benson,” ASCE, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, 136/7 (July 2010): 933–34 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)EM.1943-7889.0000090).

Given the time it takes to write scientific papers and get them through the peer-review process, combined with the relatively small number of scientists writing about these issues, this is an impressive achievement. It would seem that this part of Chomsky’s test has been met.

These publications demonstrate, moreover, that many of the same scientists who had been publishing in the Journal of 9/11 Studies have now written papers that have gotten through the peer-review process of mainstream science journals. There is no empirical basis, accordingly, for the assumption that the Journal of 9/11 Studies’ peer-review process is any less critical. We can, therefore, add the 25 scientific papers about the WTC collapses in the Journal of 9/11 Studies to the six recent papers in mainstream journals, giving us a total of over 30 peer-reviewed scientific articles challenging the official theory about the destruction of the WTC that have appeared since 2006.

I turn now to Chomsky’s other suggested way for members of the Truth Movement to test physical evidence that they see as disproving the official story: “submit it to specialists [with] the requisite background in civil-mechanical engineering, materials science, [and] building construction.” This has now been done and, as a result, the movement has large and continually growing numbers of physical scientists, engineers, and architects.

Some scientists (beyond those already mentioned) who have recently formed an organization called Scientists for 9/11 Truth include:

• Dr. A. K. Dewdney, professor emeritus of mathematics and physics, University of Western Ontario.

• Dr. Timothy E. Eastman, Consultant, Plasmas International, Silver Spring, Maryland.

• Dr. Mark F. Fitzsimmons, senior lecturer in organic chemistry, University of Plymouth.

• Dr. David L. Griscom, former research physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory; principal author of 100 papers in scientific journals; fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

• Dr. Jan Kjellman, research scientist in nuclear physics and nanotechnology, École Polytechnique Federale, Lausanne.

• Dr. Herbert G. Lebherz, professor emeritus, Department of Chemistry, San Diego State University.

• Dr. Eric Leichtnam, professor of mathematics and physics, University of Paris.

• Dr. Terry Morrone, professor emeritus, Department of Physics, Adelphi University.

• Dr. John D. Wyndham, former research fellow, California Institute of Technology.[147]Scientists for 9/11 Truth (http://www.scientistsfor911truth.org) has been formed under the leadership of Dr. John Wyndham, a former research scholar at the California Institute of Technology.

With regard to architects and engineers: In December 2006, when Chomsky issued his suggestion, there were few if any architects and engineers who had publicly questioned the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center. But in January, 2007, architect Richard Gage, a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), founded Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and by 2011 its membership had grown to include over 1,500 professional architects and engineers. Here are a few of the architects:

• Daniel B. Barnum, AIA fellow; founder of the Houston AIA Residential Architecture Committee.

• Bertie McKinney Bonner, M. Arch; AIA member; licensed architect in Pennsylvania.

• David Paul Helpern, AIA fellow; founder of Helpern Architects.

• Cynthia Howard, M. Arch; licensed architect in Maine and Massachusetts; past president, AIA’s New England Chapter.

• Dr. David A. Johnson, internationally known architect and city planner; chaired the planning departments at Syracuse and Ball State universities; former president of the Fulbright Association of the United States.

•Kevin A. Kelly, AIA fellow; author of Problem Seeking: An Architectural Programming Primer, which has become a standard textbook.

• Anne Lee, M. Arch, AIA member; licensed architect in Massachusetts.

• Dr. David Leifer, coordinator of the Graduate Program in Facilities Management, University of Sydney; former professor at Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow.

• Paul Stevenson Oles, fellow of the AIA, which in 1989 called him “the dean of architectural illustrators in America”; co-founder of the American Society of Architectural Perspectivists.

• David A. Techau, B. Arch., MS; AIA member; licensed architect in Hawaii.[148]Information about these and other architects who question the official story can be found at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.ae911truth.org) or under “Engineers and Architects” at Patriots Question 9/11 (http://www.patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html#S...arch).

Here are a few of the engineers:

• Dr. John Edward Anderson, professor emeritus, Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota; licensed Professional Engineer (PE).

• Dr. Robert Bowman, former head, Department of Aeronautical Engineering, US Air Force Institute of Technology; director of Advanced Space Programs Development (“Star Wars”) under Presidents Ford and Carter.

• Ronald H. Brookman, MS Eng; licensed Professional Civil and Structural Engineer in California

• Dwain Deets, former Director for Research Engineering and Aerospace Projects, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, which awarded him the NASA Exceptional Service Award.

• Dr. Joel Hirschhorn, former professor, Metallurgical Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison; former staff member, Congressional Office of Technology Assessment.

• Richard F. Humenn, licensed PE (retired); senior Project Design Engineer, World Trade Center electrical systems.

• Dr. Fadhil Al-Kazily, licensed Professional Civil Engineer.

• Dr. Jack Keller, professor emeritus, Civil Engineering, Utah State University; member, National Academy of Engineering; named one of the world’s 50 leading contributors to science and technology benefiting society by Scientific American.

• Dr. Heikki Kurttila, Safety Engineer and Accident Analyst for Finland’s National Safety Technology Authority.

• Dr. Ali Mojahid, Civil and Architectural Engineering; licensed PE.

• Edward Munyak, Mechanical and Fire Protection Engineer; former Fire Protection Engineer for California and the US Departments of Energy and Defense.

• Kamal S. Obeid, MS, licensed Professional Structural and Civil Engineer.[149]Information about these and other engineers who question the official story can be found in Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (see previous note) or under “Engineers and Architects” at Patriots Question 9/11 (http://www. patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html#Search).

In addition to Scientists for 9/11 Truth and Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, many other 9/11 organizations of professionals with relevant types of expertise have been formed, including Firefighters for 9/11 Truth, Intelligence Officers for 9/11 Truth, Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth, Military Officers for 9/11 Truth, Pilots for 9/11 Truth, and Veterans for 9/11 Truth.[150]Firefighters for 9/11 Truth (http://firefightersfor911truth.org); Intelligence Officers for 9/11 Truth (http://IO911truth.org); Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth (http://mp911truth.org); Military Officers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.militaryofficersfor911truth.org); Pilots for 9/11 Truth (http:// pilotsfor911truth.org); Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-Eleven: Physics 911 (http://physics911.net); Veterans for 9/11 Truth (http://v911t.org).

Less obviously relevant, but surely not entirely irrelevant, are some other professional organizations, including Actors and Artists for 9/11 Truth, Journalists and Other Media Professionals for 9/11 Truth, Lawyers for 9/11 Truth, Political Leaders for 9/11 Truth, Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth (the organization to which I belong), and Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice.[151]Actors and Artists for 9/11 Truth (http://www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org); Journalists and Other Media Professionals for 9/11 Truth (http://mediafor911truth.org); Lawyers for 9/11 Truth (http://l911t.com); Political Leaders for 9/11 Truth (http://pl911truth.com); Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth (http://rl911truth.org); Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice (http://stj911.com). If we combine the membership of these organizations with those in the previous paragraph, we can see that several thousand professional people have publicly announced their alignment with the 9/11 Truth Movement.

In light of the above-mentioned developments, could any fair-minded person deny that the 9/11 Truth Movement’s evidence has passed Chomsky’s twofold test with flying colors?

Given the make-up of the 9/11 Truth Movement, could any such person agree with the claims about this movement quoted in the first part of this chapter, according to which its members are “conspiracy nuts,” “idiots,” and “morons,” who, being devoid of “any conception of evidence,” are “willing to abandon science” in favor of “magic”? In one of his 2009 essays, David Corn expressed concern about “9/11 conspiracy silliness.”[152]Corn, “How 9/11 Conspiracy Poison Did in Van Jones.” But it is hard to imagine anything sillier, and hence more self-discrediting, than making such claims about the scientists, architects, engineers, intelligence officers, lawyers, medical professionals, political leaders, and other professionals who have publicly aligned themselves with the 9/11 Truth Movement.

As I stated on a lecture tour in early 2009:

Among scientists and professionals in the relevant fields who have studied the evidence, the weight of scientific and professional opinion is now overwhelmingly on the side of the 9/11 Truth Movement. Whereas well over 1,000 such people have publicly supported the stance of this movement, there are virtually no scientists or professionals in the relevant fields who have gone on record in defense of the official story—except for people whose livelihood would be threatened if they refused to support it. This caveat is important, because, as Upton Sinclair famously observed: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”[153]Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (1935; University of California Press, 1994), 109. Except for such people, virtually everyone who has expertise in a relevant field, and who has seriously studied the evidence, rejects the official conspiracy theory. It is time, therefore, for journalists and everyone else to take a second look.[154]“9/11: Time for a Second Look.” For the text, see Voltaire.net.org, April 18, 2009 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article159749.html). For the lecture as delivered in Boston, see the YouTube video at davidraygriffin.com (http://davidraygriffin.com/calendar/april-11-2009-b...ston). For the lecture as delivered in Hamburg, see the YouTube video at davidraygriffin.com (http://davidraygriffin.com/calendar/may-9-2009-hamburg).

A More General Problem with the Official Conspiracy Theory: In addition, the twofold fact that the official conspiracy theory’s account of the WTC destruction implies miracles and has been increasingly rejected by informed and independent people in relevant professions, this theory is rendered unworthy of belief by a more general problem: when its various details are subjected to critical scrutiny, the entire story falls apart—as I showed in my 2008 book, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited[154]“9/11: Time for a Second Look.” For the text, see Voltaire.net.org, April 18, 2009 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article159749.html). For the lecture as delivered in Boston, see the YouTube video at davidraygriffin.com (http://davidraygriffin.com/calendar/april-11-2009-b...ston). For the lecture as delivered in Hamburg, see the YouTube video at davidraygriffin.com (http://davidraygriffin.com/calendar/may-9-2009-hamburg). (which, incidentally, was a Publishers Weekly “Pick of the Week” in November 2008,[155]Publishers Weekly November 24, 2008 (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/ by-topic/1-legacy/15-web-exclusive-book-reviews/article/6017-web-exclusive-reviews-week-of-11-24-2008-.html).an honor not normally bestowed on books written by morons and idiots).

One of the things that falls apart, as we will see in Chapter 5, is the idea that the existence of al-Qaeda hijackers on the airliners was shown by the reported phone calls from the airliners. All of you have evidently accepted these calls as genuine.

For example, Matthew Rothschild, defending the government’s account of what happened on United Flight 93, wrote: “we know from cell phone conversations that passengers on board that plane planned on confronting the hijackers.”[156]Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already.” As pointed out in Chapter 5, however, the cell phone technology at that time did not allow cell phone calls to be made from airliners flying at high altitudes.

Chris Hayes faulted the Truth Movement for focusing on what he called “physical minutiae,” such as “the altitude in Pennsylvania at which cellphones on Flight 93 should have stopped working.”[157]Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia.” It would appear, however, that the FBI took such “minutiae” seriously. As pointed out in Chapter 5, the FBI in its 2006 report to the Moussaoui trial stated that of all the reported phone calls from the four flights, only two of them were calls from Flight 93 when it, about to crash, was at a low altitude. This meant that the reported calls from Tom Burnett had to be recategorized as onboard calls, even though Deena Burnett told the FBI that she knew her husband had used his cell phone, because she recognized his cell phone number on her phone’s Caller ID.[158]The FBI’s report on the phone calls from the four flights is at United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Exhibit Number P200054 (http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui...ution/ flights/P200054.html). But these documents can be more easily viewed in Jim Hoffman’s “Detailed Account of Phone Calls from September 11th Flights” (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldet...html).

By denying that either the Burnett call or any of the other calls from United 93 when it was flying above 35,000 feet were made on cell phones, the FBI got rid of the problem of technologically impossible (miraculous) phone calls. But if Tom Burnett had really called his wife using a seatback phone, as the FBI now claims, and yet his cell phone number showed up on Deena Burnett’s Caller ID, this would have to count as a miracle.

I have also raised questions, as I point out in Chapter 5, about the alleged phone calls from CNN correspondent Barbara Olson. As one of several of my views that Rothschild treated with derision, he said: “Griffin casts doubt on whether the phone calls actually happened.”[159]Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already.” But in the FBI’s 2006 report on phone calls, as I show in Chapter 5, the FBI did not support the claim that the calls from Barbara Olson “actually happened.” Although Ted Olson said he had received two lengthy calls from his wife, the FBI says that Barbara Olson attempted one call, which was “unconnected,” so that it (of course) lasted “0 seconds.”[160]See the graphic at Jim Hoffman’s website (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldet....html) and my discussion in NPHR 60–62.Is Rothschild so certain that the reported calls from Barbara Olson “actually happened” that he now regards the FBI with derision?

The reported calls from Barbara Olson were very important: They provided the first evidence given to the public that the planes had been hijacked; they were instrumental in getting the American public ready to strike back at Muslims in a “war on terror”; and they were also the only source for a piece of information that everyone “knows”—that the hijackers had box-cutters. One would think, therefore, that it would be of more than passing interest to people concerned about the direction of US foreign policy since 9/11 that an FBI report in 2006 indicates that these calls never happened.

This is the same FBI that—in spite of Rothschild’s confident claim that there is no doubt of Osama bin Laden’s responsibility for the attacks, because he (allegedly) claimed responsibility for them in a video (allegedly) found in Afghanistan by the US military—does not list him as wanted for 9/11. Why? Because, an FBI spokesman explained, “the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”[161]Griffin, NPHR 206–07. The FBI must be less certain than Rothschild about the evidentiary value of that so-called confessional video—and for good reason, as I have shown elsewhere.[162]See David Ray Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2009), 22–36.

Accordingly, insofar as you left-leaning detractors of the 9/11 Truth Movement have been concerned not to discredit yourselves by endorsing an unsupported, implausible, irrational, and even scientifically impossible conspiracy theory, that is precisely what you are doing so long as you stand by your endorsements of the Bush administration’s—and now the Obama administration’s—9/11 conspiracy theory.

2. The Fear of Being Distracted

The second fear—that the focus on a false conspiracy theory has been distracting many people from more important matters—is equally valid. But this fear has been directed toward the wrong conspiracy theory. Nothing has distracted the United States and its allies from issues such as global apartheid, the ecological crisis, nuclear proliferation, and corporate power more than the “war on terror”—with its huge operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, its incessant terror alerts and stories of attacks prevented, and its depletion of our national treasury. Lying at the root of this so-called war on terror, both historically and as present justification, is the official account of 9/11. So this official account is, as I wrote in response to Cockburn in Le Monde Diplomatique four years ago, “The Truly Distracting 9/11 Conspiracy Theory.”[163]Dr. David Ray Griffin, “The Truly Distracting 9/11 Conspiracy Theory: A Reply to Alexander Cockburn,” Le Monde Diplomatique, Nordic Edition, March 2007 (http://www.lmd.no/index.php?article=1408); a response to Alexander Cockburn, “US: The Conspiracy That Wasn’t,” Le Monde Diplomatique, December 2006 (http://mondediplo.com/2006/12/02conspiracy), which was headlined: “Distractions from Awful Reality.”

Had the falsity of this account been exposed within weeks—as it certainly could and should have been—the war in Afghanistan, which has now been consuming the country’s time, talent, treasury, and young lives for a decade, could have been avoided altogether. If the falsity of the Bush-Cheney 9/11 conspiracy theory had at least been exposed within a year, the fiasco in Iraq could have been avoided. If the truth had been exposed within three years, those wars could have been closed down long ago and the Bush-Cheney administration dismissed before it had a second term. If so, the next administration, not distracted by two major wars and exaggerated fears about terrorist attacks on the “homeland,” might have focused on the fact that many environmental regulations needed to be strengthened. One consequence might have been that the Gulf oil blowout (not “spill”), which was very destructive to our planet’s ecosystem, might never have occurred. The fact that the official conspiracy theory about 9/11 has distracted the United States and its allies from the ecological crisis—especially global climate change—is no trivial matter, and this is merely one of many illustrations that could be given.

That the 9/11 Truth Movement, by contrast, cannot be rationally considered a distraction from more important matters was persuasively expressed in August 2006 by former CIA official Bill Christison, who by the end of his 28-year career had risen to the position of Director of the CIA’s Office of Regional and Political Analysis (and who, sadly, died in 2010).[164]See the obituary I wrote, “William A. (‘Bill’) Christison (1928-2010),” 911Truth.org, June 20, 2010 (http://911truth.org/article.php?story=20100620115516747). In an article entitled “Stop Belittling the Theories About September 11,” Christison wrote:

After spending the better part of the last five years treating these theories with utmost skepticism, I have devoted serious time to actually studying them [and] have come to believe that significant parts of the 9/11 theories are true, and that therefore significant parts of the ‘official story’ put out by the U.S. government and the 9/11 Commission are false.

Then, after listing nine judgments that had led him to this conclusion—one of which was that the “North and South Towers of the World Trade Center almost certainly did not collapse and fall to earth because hijacked aircraft hit them”—he added:

If [these] judgments . . . are correct, they . . . strongly suggest that some unnamed persons or groups either inside or with ties to the government were actively creating a ‘Pearl Harbor’ event, most likely to gain public support for the aggressive foreign policies that followed—policies that would, first, ‘transform’ the entire Middle East, and second, expand U.S. global domination.

Finally, explaining why the evidence for this conclusion cannot reasonably be dismissed as a distraction from more important matters, Christison wrote:

A manageable volume of carefully collected and analyzed evidence is already at hand . . . that elements within the Bush administration, as well as possibly other groups foreign or domestic, were involved in a massive fraud against the American people, a fraud that has led to many thousands of deaths. This charge of fraud, if proven, involves a much greater crime against the American people and people of the world than any other charges of fraud connected to the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. It is a charge that we should not sweep under the rug because what is happening in Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq, Syria, and Iran seems more pressing and overwhelming. It is a charge that is more important because it is related to all of the areas just mentioned—after all, the events of 9/11 have been used by the administration to justify every single aspect of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East since September 11. It is a charge that is more important also because it affects the very core of our entire political system. If proven, it is a conspiracy, so far successful, not only against the people of the United States, but against the entire world.[165]Bill Christison, “Stop Belittling the Theories about September 11,” Dissident Voice, August 14, 2006 (http://dissidentvoice.org/Aug06/Christison14.htm).

In this passage, Christison expressed this charge of fraud conditionally, saying “if proven.” He later made clear, however, that he had personally found the evidence convincing, referring to the 9/11 attacks as “an inside job.”[166]Paul Joseph Watson, “28-Year Career CIA Official Says 9/11 An Inside Job,” Prison Planet, September 7, 2006 (http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/ september2006/070906insidejob.htm).

In any case, besides saying that 9/11 is more important than America’s crimes in the Middle East because “the events of 9/11 have been used by the administration to justify every single aspect of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East since September 11,” Christison also, in saying that the 9/11 fraud “affects the very core of our entire political system,” anticipated the above-cited symposium in the American Behavioral Scientist, which treated 9/11 as a probable instance of its topic: State Crimes against Democracy. Christison’s implicit message to Chomsky, therefore, was: Given your concern with “real and ongoing crimes of state,” I would respectfully suggest that you do what I finally did: Actually examine the evidence that 9/11 was one of these crimes.

As for the concern to prosecute war criminals, what bigger war criminals could there be than people within our own government who engineered these attacks, then used them as a pretext for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have killed millions?[167]Mainstream sources estimate the total number of deaths due to the invasions and occupations at about one million for each country. But Dr. Gideon Polya, author of Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality Since 1950, has put the numbers much higher. See his “Iraqi Holocaust: 2.3 Million Iraqi Excess Deaths,” March 21, 2009 (http://www.countercurrents.org/polya210309.htm); and “January 2010 – 4.5 Million Dead in Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide,” Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide, January 2, 2010 (http://afghangenocide.blogspot.com).

As for the hope of stopping these horribly deadly and terribly expensive wars, what better means could be had than proof—which scientists, architects, engineers, firefighters, and pilots in the 9/11 Truth Movement have provided—that the official account of 9/11 is a lie and that the attacks had to be, at least in part, an inside job?

Concluding Statement

In a 15-city tour in 2010, I presented as a lecture what became the first chapter of this book, asking whether the war in Afghanistan was justified by 9/11. My hope was that, by providing clear evidence that it is not justified—because the official account of 9/11 is false from beginning to end—“the 9/11 Truth Movement and more traditional Peace and Anti-War groups [would] be able to combine forces to oppose this illegal and immoral war.”[168]Both this statement and the Chicago version of my lecture can be seen at eddieleaks.org (http://edwardrynearson.wordpress.com/2010/05/02/is-...911/). The present book as a whole is in part animated by this hope. But if this hope is to be fulfilled, erstwhile left-leaning detractors of the 9/11 Truth Movement will need to prove that the charges about this movement’s members leveled by Cockburn—“They’re immune to any reality check”—and Corn—they “are not open to persuasion”[169]Cockburn, “The Decline of the Left”; Corn, “Van Jones and the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory Poison.”—are not instead true of themselves.

If the anti-war community in general becomes willing, as did Bill Christison in particular, to look at the evidence, it will quickly realize that 9/11 was a false-flag operation, intended to enable the US military machine to attack Muslim countries without much examination of the grounds for those attacks. The anti-war coalition will then be able to add to the already well-rehearsed arguments against these wars the fact that the US government, with its Pentagon, murdered almost three thousand people in order to launch an anti-Muslim “war on terror.” The strongest proof of the false-flag nature of these attacks is that the government’s story could be true only if many miracles happened that day. And surely, one hopes, left-leaning journalists are not willing to accept such miracles.

Notes • 4,100 Words

[1] Alexander Cockburn, “The 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts,” ZNet, September 20, 2006 (http://www.zcommunications.org/the-9-11-conspiracy-nuts-by-alexander-cockburn-1). A shorter version appeared in the September 24, 2006, issue of The Nation.

[2] Alexander Cockburn, “The Conspiracists, Continued—Are They Getting Crazier?” The Free Press September 16, 2006 (http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/2/2006/1433).

[3] Alexander Cockburn, “Conspiracy Disproved: Distractions from Awful Reality,” Le Monde Diplomatique December 2006 (http://mondediplo.com/2006/12/02dconspiracy).

[4] Ibid.

[5] George Monbiot, “9/11 Fantasists Pose a Mortal Danger to Popular Oppositional Campaigns,” Guardian February 20, 2007 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/ commentisfree/2007/feb/20/comment.september11).

[6] Matt Taibbi, “The Idiocy Behind the ‘9/11 Truth’ Movement,” AlterNet, September 26, 2006 (http://www.alternet.org/story/42181). This date, incidentally, refers to the original posting of the article at Rollingstone.com. It was not posted on AlterNet until May 7, 2008. In another article, posted on Rollingstone.com a couple of weeks earlier (September 14, 2006), Taibbi had offered a different diagnosis, saying that people who thought that the towers had been wired with explosives were “clinically insane.” See Matt Taibbi, “Americans in Denial about 9/11,” AlterNet June 6, 2008 (http://www.alternet.org/story/41635).

[7] Christopher Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia,” The Nation December 8, 2006 (http://www.chrishayes.org/articles/911-roots-paranoia).

[8] “Chomsky: 9/11 Truth Movement Pushes Non-Scientific Evidence,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBg3aFZVATk).

[9] “Chomsky Dismisses 9/11 Conspiracy Theories As ‘Dubious,’” Rense.com, December 13, 2006 (http://rense.com/general74/dismiss.htm).

[10] Terry Allen, “The 9/11 Faith Movement,” In These Times July 11, 2006 (http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2702).

[11] David Corn, “When 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Go Bad,” AlterNet, March 1, 2002 (http://www.alternet.org/story/12536); “How 9/11 Conspiracy Poison Did in Van Jones,” Politics Daily, September 7, 2009 (http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/09/07/how-9-11-conspiracy-poison-did-in-van-jones).

[12] Corn, “How 9/11 Conspiracy Poison Did in Van Jones.”

[13] David Corn, “Van Jones and the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory Poison,” Mother Jones, September 7, 2009 (http://motherjones.com/mojo/2009/09/van-jones-and-911-conspiracy-theory-poison).

[14] Matthew Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already,” The Progressive September 18, 2006 (http://www.alternet.org/story/41601/).

[15] See David Ray Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 Is Unscientific and False (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2009), Chs. 4–5.

[16] This cartoon, by Sydney Harris, is contained in Science Cartoons Plus (http://www.sciencecartoonsplus.com/pages/gallery.php).

[17] James Glanz, “EngineersHave a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center: Diesel Fuel,” New York Times November 29, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/29/nyregion/nation-challenged-site- engineers-have-culprit-strange-collapse-7-world-trade.html). The original title of this story was “Engineers Suspect Diesel Fuel in Collapse of 7 World Trade Center.”

[18] See FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, Therese McAllister, ed. (Washington, DC, and New York: Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2002), Chapter 5, by Ramon Gilsanz, Edward M. Depaola, Christopher Marrion, and Harold “Bud” Nelson (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_ch5.pdf), 31. As the title of Glanz’s article in the previous note indicates, he had already suggested that the diesel fuel might provide an explanation.

[19] Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts: An In-Depth Investigation by Popular Mechanics, ed. David Dunbar and Brad Reagan (New York: Hearst Books, 2006), 53, 56.

[20] Ibid., 53–54, 29.

[21] Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already.”

[22] Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia.”

[23] Allen, “The 9/11 Faith Movement.”

[24] As this example shows, Allen’s rejection of the 9/11 Truth Movement’s empirical claims seems to be based entirely on her taking on faith the claims of the Bush-Cheney administration as mediated through Popular Mechanics. It is quite ironic, therefore, that she caricatures the 9/11 Truth Movement as the “9/11 Faith Movement.” But she seems to have a special knack for getting things backwards: With regard to an In These Times editor’s question about me, “What could have transformed this sober, reflective scholar into a conspiracy theorist?” (which was his way of asking why I had rejected the government’s conspiracy theory in favor of an alternative conspiracy theory), she replied: “I think part of it is that he’s a theologian who operates on faith” (quoted in Salim Muwakkil, “What’s the 411 on 9/11?” In These Times, December 21, 2005 [http://www.inthesetimes.com/ article/2444]). Given the fact that the primary issue at hand was my belief “that the towers were toppled by a controlled demolition,” for which there is an overwhelming amount of empirical evidence, it is especially strange that she would say that the reason I believe this must be that I am “a theologian who operates on faith” She was obviously the one who was operating on faith with regard to 9/11.

[25] NIST NCSTAR 1A, Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (brief version), National Institute of Standards and Technology, November 2008, xxxvi (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201A.pdf). This document is henceforth cited simply as NIST NCSTAR 1A, which will always refer to the final (November 2008) version (as distinct from the Draft for Public Comment, which was issued in August 2008).

[26] Ibid., xxxvii.

[27] Ibid., xxxv.

[28] See Shyam Sunder, “Opening Statement,” NIST Press Briefing, August 21, 2008 (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/opening_remarks_082108.html); NIST NCSTAR 1–9, S tructural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, November 2008, Volume 2: 493, 617, 618 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201-9%20Vol%202.pdf).

[29] “NIST WTC 7 Investigation Finds Building Fires Caused Collapse,” NIST, August 21, 2008 (http://www.physorg.com/news138546437.html).

[30] NIST NCSTAR 1A, xxxvii.

[31] NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, November 2008, Vol. 1 (wtc.nist.gov/ NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201-9%20Vol%201.pdf): 341.

[32] Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already.”

[33] Allen, “The 9/11 Faith Movement.”

[34] J. Gordon Routley, Charles Jennings, and Mark Chubb, “High-Rise Office Building Fire, One Meridian Plaza, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,” FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), 1991 (http://www.interfire.org/res_file/pdf/Tr-049.pdf).

[35] Robin Nieto, “Fire Practically Destroys Venezuela’s Tallest Building,” Venezuela News, Views, and Analysis, October 18, 2004 (http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/741).

[36] Sunder, “Opening Statement.”

[37] Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: 170–77.

[38] David Ray Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2007), Chap. 4.

[39] Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia.”

[40] Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, 152–63.

[41] See “WTC7 Demolition on 9/11 – Video Compilation,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlTBMcxx-78). For video and analysis, see “WTC7: This Is an Orange,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv7BImVvEyk&feature=related), and David Chandler, “WTC7: NIST Finally Admits Freefall (Part III)” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3mudruFzNw), at 2:25–4:00.

[42] See Frank Legge, “9/11: Acceleration Study Proves Explosive Demolition,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 5 (November 2006) (http://journalof911studies.com/ volume/200611/911-Acceleration-Study-Proves-Explosive-Demolition.pdf).

[43] Daniel Hofnung, Patriots Question 9/11 (http://patriotsquestion911.com/ engineers.html#Dhofnung).

[44] Chester W. Gearhart, Patriots Question 9/11 (http://patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html#Gearhart).

[45] Jack Keller, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://www2.ae911truth.org/signpetition.php).

[46] See “Danny Jowenko on WTC 7 Controlled Demolition,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=877gr6xtQIc). For more of the interview, “Jowenko WTC 7 Demolition Interviews,” in three parts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3DRhwRN06I&feature=related).

[47] “The Myth of Implosion” (http://www.implosionworld.com/dyk2.html).

[48] Liz Else, “Baltimore Blasters,” New Scientist July 24, 2004, 48 (http://www.911 research.wtc7.net/mirrors/new_scientist/BaltimoreBlast_Loizeaux.html).

[49] Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia.”

[50] NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Draft for Public Comment, Vol. 2 (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/NIST_NCSTAR_1-9_vol2_for_public_comment.pdf), 596.

[51] “WTC 7 Technical Briefing,” NIST, August 26, 2008. Although NIST originally had a video and a transcript of this briefing at its Internet website, it removed both of them. However, Nate Flach has made the video available at Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/11941571). And the transcript, under the title “NIST Technical Briefing on Its Final Draft Report on WTC 7 for Public Comment,” is available at David Chandler’s website: (http://911speakout.org/NIST_Tech_Briefing_Transcript.pdf).

[52] Ibid.

[53] David Chandler, “WTC7 in Freefall – No Longer Controversial,” September 4, 2008 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCDpL4Ax7I), at 2:45.

[54] NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 2: 607.

[55] Chandler, “WTC7 in Freefall—No Longer Controversial,” at 3:27.

[56] Chandler, “WTC7: NIST Finally Admits Freefall (Part III),” previously dated January 2, 2009, now dated February 12, 2010 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3mudruFzNw), at 1:19.

[57] “Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” NIST, August 21, 2008, updated April 21, 2009. Whereas the 2008 version of this document denied free fall, the updated version affirmed it. Although both versions were removed from NIST’s website, Jim Hoffman’s website has both the 2008 version (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_082108.html) and the 2009 version (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_042109.html). Now, NIST has an updated (2010) version of the 2009 version (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_042109.html).

[58] Chandler, “WTC7: NIST Finally Admits Freefall (Part III),” at 2:20, 3:15.

[59] NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Draft for Public Comment, Vol. 2: 595-96, 596, 610.

[60] Monbiot, “9/11 Fantasists Pose a Mortal Danger to Popular Oppositional Campaigns.”

[61] Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already.”

[62] Johnson’s statement is at Patriots Question 9/11 (http://patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html#Djohnson).

[63] NIST, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, September 2005 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201.pdf), 146.

[64] NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” August 30, 2006 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_8_2006.htm), Question 2.

[65] NIST NCSTAR 1, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, 146.

[66] NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 6. In the italicized portion of this statement, NIST was quoting NIST NCSTAR 1, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, Section 6.14.4 (page 146).

[67] Jim Hoffman, “A Reply to the National Institute for Standards and Technology’s Answers to Frequently Asked Questions” (http://911research.wtc7.net/reviews/nist/WTC_FAQ_reply.html).

[68] William Rice’s statement is quoted at Patriots Question 9/11 (http://patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html#Rice).

[69] Steven E. Jones, Frank M. Legge, Kevin R. Ryan, Anthony F. Szamboti, and James R. Gourley, “Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction,” Open Civil Engineering Journal 2/1 (2008): 35–40 (http://911reports.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/ fourteen-points-of-agreement-with-official-government-reports-on-the- world-trade-center-destruction-by-steven-e-jones-frank-m-legge-kevin-r-ryan-anthony-f-szamboti-and-james-r-gourley).

[70] “Request for Correction Submitted to NIST,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 12 (June 2007) (http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200704/ RFCtoNISTbyMcIlvaineDoyleJonesRyanGageSTJ.pdf). This letter, dated April 12, 2007, was also signed by Bob McIlvaine, Bill Doyle, and Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice.

[71] Gordon Ross, “Momentum Transfer Analysis of the Collapse of the Upper Storeys of WTC 1,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 1 (June 2006) (http://www. journalof911studies.com/articles/Journal_5_PTransferRoss.pdf): 32–39, at 37.

[72] NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 7.

[73] Alexander Cockburn, “The 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts: How They Let the Guilty Parties of 9/11 Slip Off the Hook,” Counterpunch, September 9/10, 2006 (http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn09092006.html); Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia.”

[74] Thomas W. Eagar and Christopher Musso, “Why Did the World Trade Center Collapse? Science, Engineering, and Speculation,” JOM 53/12 (2001) (http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/jom/0112/eagar/eagar-0112.html).

[75] NIST NCSTAR 1, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, 90.

[76] Don Paul and Jim Hoffman, Waking Up from Our Nightmare: The 9/11/01 Crimes in New York City (San Francisco: Irresistible/Revolutionary, 2004), 34.

[77] Steven Jones, “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?” Journal of 9/11 Studies 3 (September 2006): 1–47, at 28 (http://www. journalof911studies.com/volume/200609/Why_Indeed_Did_the_WTC_ Buildings_Completely_Collapse_Jones_Thermite_World_Trade_Center.pdf).

[78] Quoted in Liz Else, “Baltimore Blasters” (see note 48, above).

[79] “Request for Correction Submitted to NIST.”

[80] The statement by Deets is at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.ae911truth.org/profile.php?uid=998819).

[81] See “911 Eyewitness: Huge Steel Sections Ejected More than 600 Feet” (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1807467434260776490), or “9/11 Mysteries: Demolition” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5_tTRliTDo).

[82] Sunder, “Opening Statement.”

[83] NIST NCSTAR 1A: xxxvi.

[84] NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 1: 125.

[85] NIST NCSTAR 1A: 16.

[86] NIST NCSTAR 1, Final Report on the Twin Towers, 183, 184.

[87] Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and Richard D. Sisson, Jr., “An Initial Microstructural Analysis of A36 Steel from WTC Building 7,” JOM 53/12 (2001), 18 (http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/0112/Biederman/ Biederman-0112.html).

[88] Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and R. D. Sisson, Jr., “Limited Metallurgical Examination,” FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, Appendix C, 2002 (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_apc.pdf).

[89] James Glanz and Eric Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse,” New York Times February 2, 2002 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04E0DE153DF931A35751C0A9649C8B63).

[90] Joan Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” WPI Transformations Spring 2002 (http://www.wpi.edu/News/Transformations/2002Spring/steel.html).

[91] Glanz, “Engineers Suspect Diesel Fuel in Collapse of 7 World Trade Center.” I have here quoted Glanz’s paraphrase of Barnett’s statement.

[92] See Kenneth Chang, “Scarred Steel Holds Clues, And Remedies,” New York Times October 2, 2001 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B05E6DC123DF931A35753C1A9679C8B63).

[93] WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html).

[94] “Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” August 21, 2008 (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_082108.html). This statement was repeated in a version of this document that was updated April 21, 2009 (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_042109.html). Thanks to Jim Hoffman for preserving these documents at his website, after NIST had removed them from its own website. Now the 2009 has been updated in September 17, 2010 (http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa_082108.cfm).

[95] See NIST NCSTAR 1–3C, Damage and Failure Modes of Structural Steel Components, September 2005 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/ NCSTAR%201-3C%20Damage%20and%20Failure%20Modes.pdf), in which the authors, Stephen W. Banovic and Timothy Foecke, referred to “the analysis of the steel from WTC 7 (Sample #1 from Appendix C, BPAT/FEMA study) where corrosion phases and morphologies were able to determine a possible temperature region” (233).

[96] The Conspiracy Files: 9/11—The Third Tower, BBC, July 6, 2008 (available at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9072062020229593250# and http://www.911blogger.com/node/16541); the statement by Barnett is at 48:00. I am indebted to Chris Sarns for this discovery. Barnett during this interview, incidentally, speculated that the steel had “cooked” in the underground fire. This explanation was, however, deceptive at best, for three reasons: First, the effects being discussed by Barnett could have been caused only by something producing much higher temperatures than ordinary hydrocarbon fires could have produced—fires fueled, for example, by nanothermite or some other energetic nanocomposites, as explained below in Section 8. The second and third reasons also involve facts discussed in that section: Ordinary hydrocarbon fires would not have been able to keep burning underground without oxygen; and they would, in any case, have been extinguished by the water and chemical suppressants that were pumped into the rubble.

[97] “NIST WTC 7 Investigation Finds Building Fires Caused Collapse.”

[98] RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature,” Expert Report, May 2004: 11 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/130%20Liberty%20Street/Mike%20Davis%20LMDC%20130%20Liberty%20Documents/Signature%20of%20WTC%20dust/WTCDustSignature_ExpertReport.051304.1646.mp.pdf).

[99] RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology,” December 2003: 24 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/ 130%20Liberty%20Street/Mike%20Davis%20LMDC%20130%20 Liberty%20Documents/Signature%20of%20WTC%20dust/WTC%20Dust %20Signature.Composition%20and%20Morphology.Final.pdf).

[100] Ibid., 17.

[101] See “Comments on WTC Signature Study and Peer Review from Greg Meeker, Paul Lioy and Mort Lippmann, November 3, 2005” (http://web.archive.org/web/20100508195240/http://www.epa.gov/wtc/panel/ pdfs/SubGroupComments_110305.pdf). I am indebted to Kevin Ryan for this information.

[102] WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html).

[103] Heather A. Lowers and Gregory P. Meeker, U.S. Geological Survey, US Department of the Interior, “Particle Atlas of World Trade Center Dust,” 2005 (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1165/508OF05-1165.html).

[104] Steven E. Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 19 (January 2008): 4 (http://journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp2.pdf).

[105] Eric Lipton and Andrew C. Revkin, “The Firefighters: With Water and Sweat, Fighting the Most Stubborn Fire,” New York Times November 19, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/19/nyregion/19FIRE.html); Jonathan Beard, “Ground Zero’s Fires Still Burning,” New Scientist December 3, 2001 (http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn1634).

[106] Trudy Walsh, “Handheld APP Eased Recovery Tasks,” Government Computer News September 11, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/wtc/ evidence/gcn_handheldapp.html).

[107] Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, et al., “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal 2 (2009): 7–31 (http://www.benthamscience.com/open/tocpj/articles/V002/7TOCPJ.htm? TOCIEJ/2008/00000002/00000001/35TOCIEJ.SGM). The quoted description of how nanothermite can be tailored was provided by Niels Harrit, email letter of June 19, 2011, to Elizabeth Woodworth for Consensus 9/11.

[108] Kevin R. Ryan, James R. Gourley, and Steven E. Jones, “Environmental Anomalies at the World Trade Center: Evidence for Energetic Materials,” The Environmentalist 29/1 (August, 2008): 56–63, at 58, 56. Also published online, August 4, 2008 (http://www.springerlink.com/content/f67q6272583h86n4/ fulltext.html). Ryan has provided experiments showing the explosive power of nanothermite; see DK1Ryan, “Experiments with Nanothermite,” July 24, 2011 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O66UyGNrmSI).

[109] NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 1: 330.

[110] NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 2.

[111] Glanz and Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse.”

[112] Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel.”

[113] Barnett, Biederman, and Sisson, “Limited Metallurgical Examination.”

[114] Ibid., C-13.

[115] Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., Testimony before the House Science Committee Hearing on “The Investigation of the World Trade Center Collapse,” May 1, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/wtc/official/nist/bement.htm). In the quoted statement, the name “FEMA” replaces “BPAT,” which is the abbreviation for “Building Performance Assessment Team,” the name of the ASCE team that prepared this report for FEMA.

[116] “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” NIST, Question 12.

[117] Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” 3.

[118] Email letter from Kevin Ryan, October 16, 2008.

[119] Email letter from Steven Jones, October 17, 2008.

[120] Personal communications from Niels Harrit, May 8, 2009, and June 25, 2010.

[121] Steven E. Jones, “Revisiting 9/11/2001: Applying the Scientific Method,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 11 (May 2007): 81 (http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200704/ JonesWTC911SciMethod.pdf).

[122] Ibid., 75.

[123] Symposium on State Crimes against Democracy, American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 783–939 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6).

[124] Matthew T. Witt, “Pretending Not to See or Hear, Refusing to Signify: The Farce and Tragedy of Geocentric Public Affairs Scholarship,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 921–39 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6), at 934.

[125] Ibid., 932 (emphasis in original).

[126] Cockburn, “The Decline of the Left,” The Free Press September 30, 2006 (http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/2/2006/1440); Taibbi, “The Idiocy Behind the ‘9/11 Truth’ Movement.”

[127] “9/11 Fantasists Pose a Mortal Danger to Popular Oppositional Campaigns.”

[128] Corn, “How 9/11 Conspiracy Poison Did in Van Jones.”

[129] Corn, “When 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Go Bad.”

[130] Cockburn, “The 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts: How They Let the Guilty Parties of 9/11 Slip Off the Hook.”

[131] “Chomsky Dismisses 9/11 Conspiracy Theories As ‘Dubious.’”

[132] Monbiot, “9/11 Fantasists Pose a Mortal Danger to Popular Oppositional Campaigns.”

[133] Charles Pigden, “Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom,” Episteme 4 (2007): 219–32, at 219.

[134] Ibid., 222.

[135] Ibid., 223.

[136] Political leaders, the mainstream press, and even much of the left-leaning press have been reluctant to admit that the official account of 9/11 is a conspiracy theory (often because they like to use this label to discredit people without examining their evidence). But former Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein, who was appointed to a senior post in the Obama administration, acknowledged this fact in a co-authored essay: Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures,” Journal of Political Philosophy 17/2 (June 2009), 202–27, at 208. Sunstein also helpfully referred to Charles Pigden’s above-quoted article, which criticizes the widespread use of the “conspiracy theory” label to avoid substantive issues. I deal with the Sunstein-Vermeule essay in Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2010).

[137] Quoted in “Jesse Ventura’s Piece on 9/11—KILLED BY HUFFPOST!” News from the Underground, March 9, 2010 (http://markcrispinmiller.com/2010/03/jesse-venturas-piece-on-911-killed-by-huffpost).

[138] “HuffPost’s Absurd Stand on ‘Conspiracy Theories’ (David Ray Griffin),” News from the Underground, March 11, 2010 (http://markcrispinmiller.com/2010/03/huffposts-absurd-stand-on-conspiracy-theories-david-ray-griffin).

[139] Taibbi, “The Idiocy Behind the ‘9/11 Truth’ Movement.”

[140] See “Two Hit, Three Down—The Biggest Lie,” by National Medal of Science-winner Lynn Margulis, Rock Creek Free Press January 24, 2010 (http://rockcreekfreepress.tumblr.com/post/353434420/two-hit-three-down-the-biggest-lie)

[141] Jones et al., “Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction.”

[142] Ryan, Gourley, and Jones, “Environmental Anomalies at the World Trade Center.”

[143] Harrit, Farrer, Jones, et al., “Active Thermitic Material.”

[144] Crockett Grabbe, “Discussion of ‘Progressive Collapse of the World Trade Center: A Simple Analysis’ by K.A. Seffen,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics 136/4 (April 2010): 538–39 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)EM. 1943-7889.0000025).

[145] James R. Gourley, “Discussion of ’Mechanics of Progressive Collapse: Learning from World Trade Center and Building Demolitions’ by Zdenek P. Bazant and Mathieu Verdure,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics 134/10 (October 2008): 915–16 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9399(2008)134:10(915)).

[146] Anders Björkman, “Discussion of ‘What Did and Did Not Cause Collapse of World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York?’ by Zdenek P. Bazant, Jia-Liang Le, Frank R. Greening, and David B. Benson,” ASCE, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, 136/7 (July 2010): 933–34 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)EM.1943-7889.0000090).

[147] Scientists for 9/11 Truth (http://www.scientistsfor911truth.org) has been formed under the leadership of Dr. John Wyndham, a former research scholar at the California Institute of Technology.

[148] Information about these and other architects who question the official story can be found at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.ae911truth.org) or under “Engineers and Architects” at Patriots Question 9/11 (http://www.patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html#Search).

[149] Information about these and other engineers who question the official story can be found in Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (see previous note) or under “Engineers and Architects” at Patriots Question 9/11 (http://www. patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html#Search).

[150] Firefighters for 9/11 Truth (http://firefightersfor911truth.org); Intelligence Officers for 9/11 Truth (http://IO911truth.org); Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth (http://mp911truth.org); Military Officers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.militaryofficersfor911truth.org); Pilots for 9/11 Truth (http:// pilotsfor911truth.org); Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-Eleven: Physics 911 (http://physics911.net); Veterans for 9/11 Truth (http://v911t.org).

[151] Actors and Artists for 9/11 Truth (http://www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org); Journalists and Other Media Professionals for 9/11 Truth (http://mediafor911truth.org); Lawyers for 9/11 Truth (http://l911t.com); Political Leaders for 9/11 Truth (http://pl911truth.com); Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth (http://rl911truth.org); Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice (http://stj911.com).

[152] Corn, “How 9/11 Conspiracy Poison Did in Van Jones.”

[153] Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (1935; University of California Press, 1994), 109.

[154] “9/11: Time for a Second Look.” For the text, see Voltaire.net.org, April 18, 2009 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article159749.html). For the lecture as delivered in Boston, see the YouTube video at davidraygriffin.com (http://davidraygriffin.com/calendar/april-11-2009-boston). For the lecture as delivered in Hamburg, see the YouTube video at davidraygriffin.com (http://davidraygriffin.com/calendar/may-9-2009-hamburg).

[154] David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Northampton: Olive Branch Press, [Interlink Publishing] 2008); henceforth NPHR.

[155] Publishers Weekly November 24, 2008 (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/ by-topic/1-legacy/15-web-exclusive-book-reviews/article/6017-web-exclusive-reviews-week-of-11-24-2008-.html).

[156] Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already.”

[157] Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia.”

[158] The FBI’s report on the phone calls from the four flights is at United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Exhibit Number P200054 (http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution/ flights/P200054.html). But these documents can be more easily viewed in Jim Hoffman’s “Detailed Account of Phone Calls from September 11th Flights” (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldetail.html).

[159] Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already.”

[160] See the graphic at Jim Hoffman’s website (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldetail.html) and my discussion in NPHR 60–62.

[161] Griffin, NPHR 206–07.

[162] See David Ray Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2009), 22–36.

[163] Dr. David Ray Griffin, “The Truly Distracting 9/11 Conspiracy Theory: A Reply to Alexander Cockburn,” Le Monde Diplomatique, Nordic Edition, March 2007 (http://www.lmd.no/index.php?article=1408); a response to Alexander Cockburn, “US: The Conspiracy That Wasn’t,” Le Monde Diplomatique, December 2006 (http://mondediplo.com/2006/12/02conspiracy), which was headlined: “Distractions from Awful Reality.”

[164] See the obituary I wrote, “William A. (‘Bill’) Christison (1928-2010),” 911Truth.org, June 20, 2010 (http://911truth.org/article.php?story=20100620115516747).

[165] Bill Christison, “Stop Belittling the Theories about September 11,” Dissident Voice, August 14, 2006 (http://dissidentvoice.org/Aug06/Christison14.htm).

[166] Paul Joseph Watson, “28-Year Career CIA Official Says 9/11 An Inside Job,” Prison Planet, September 7, 2006 (http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/ september2006/070906insidejob.htm).

[167] Mainstream sources estimate the total number of deaths due to the invasions and occupations at about one million for each country. But Dr. Gideon Polya, author of Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality Since 1950, has put the numbers much higher. See his “Iraqi Holocaust: 2.3 Million Iraqi Excess Deaths,” March 21, 2009 (http://www.countercurrents.org/polya210309.htm); and “January 2010 – 4.5 Million Dead in Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide,” Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide, January 2, 2010 (http://afghangenocide.blogspot.com).

[168] Both this statement and the Chicago version of my lecture can be seen at eddieleaks.org (http://edwardrynearson.wordpress.com/2010/05/02/is-the-war-in-afghanistan-justified-by-911/).

[169] Cockburn, “The Decline of the Left”; Corn, “Van Jones and the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory Poison.”

Chapter 3 • Why Have Bill Moyers and Robert Parry in Particular Endorsed Miracles? • 6,900 Words

As we saw in the previous chapter, the 9/11 Truth Movement argued from the outset that 9/11 was a false-flag attack, designed to allow the Bush-Cheney administration and its Pentagon to attack Afghanistan and Iraq, but that most of the traditional anti-war journalists did not endorse the 9/11 Truth Movement. Most of them, in fact, attacked it.

In the first years, to be sure, the Movement did not have a very impressive membership: It had few professionals in relevant disciplines. But in recent years, a dozen professional organizations have been formed, including Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Firefighters for 9/11 Truth, and Scientists for 9/11 Truth. The 9/11 Truth Movement is now very impressive in both size and professional leadership.

Nevertheless, the traditional anti-war leadership has continued to distance itself from the 9/11 Movement. There have been a few notable exceptions—including Richard Falk and former CIA analysts Bill Christison and Ray McGovern. But most of the anti-war leaders have maintained the stance they took in the first years after 9/11, in spite of all the changes in the 9/11 Truth Movement in the intervening years. For example, when I was interviewed on Democracy Now! in 2004, the main argument against my position was that I could not name “one structural engineering expert who said it is not feasible that the planes caused the towers to go down.”[1]“The New Pearl Harbor: A Debate On A New Book That Alleges The Bush Administration Was Behind The 9/11 Attacks,” Democracy Now! May 26, 2004 (http://www.democracynow.org/2004/5/26/the_new_pearl...bate). The movement’s lack of architects and engineers at that stage constituted a persuasive argument. But now that there are 1,500 professional members of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, who say “it is not feasible that the planes caused the towers to go down,” one would suppose that Democracy Now! would have reassessed its position. But it has not.

Progressive journalists in general have not availed themselves of the evidence provided by the 9/11 Truth Movement to argue against the legitimacy of the so-called “war on terror.” If any major journalist could have been expected to do so, it would have been Bill Moyers.

I • Bill Moyers • 300 Words

Moyers began his public life by working for President Lyndon Johnson, ending up as the White House press secretary. But having become increasingly opposed to Johnson’s war in Vietnam, Moyers resigned in 1966. Next becoming the publisher of Newsday, Moyers turned this conservative paper into a progressive organ, which in five years won over 30 awards for journalism, including two Pulitzer Prizes. Then after a brief stint at CBS, Moyers spent most of the rest of his professional life at PBS producing and writing the Bill Moyers Journal.

In these programs, Moyers argued that democracy cannot co-exist with a permanent war state. His 2007 program on “The Secret Government” exposed ways in which presidents have deceived the people to promote war, and another 2007 program, “Buying the War,”[2]“Buying the War,” Bill Moyers Journal, PBS, April 25, 2007 (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/btw/transcript1.html). showed that the media, instead of exposing truths that could have prevented the war in Iraq, served as cheerleaders.

However, while driving home the fact that the media failed to expose Saddam Hussein’s lack of weapons of mass destruction, Moyers failed to expose Osama bin Laden’s lack of responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. And then in 2011, he attacked the 9/11 Truth Movement. After criticizing Rush Limbaugh and Fox News for providing disinformation that undermines the truths needed for democratic self-government, Moyers added:

Disinformation is not unique to the right. . . . Like other journalists, I have been the object of malevolent assaults from the ‘9/11 truthers’ for not reporting their airtight case proving that the Bush administration conspired to bring about the attacks on the World Trade Center.[3]Bill Moyers, “America Can’t Deal With Reality—We Must Be Exposed to the Truth, Even If It Hurts,” AlterNet, February 14, 2011 (http://www.alternet.org/world/149925/bill_moyers%3A...ca_can’t_deal_with_reality_–_we_must_be_exposed_to_the_truth,_even_if_it_hurts).

In referring to this “airtight case,” Moyers spoke sarcastically, considering this case anything but airtight. In fact, he said that “the truthers,” having no real evidence, simply “‘cherry-picked’ a few supposed ‘anomalies’ to build an ‘inside-job’ story line.”[4]Ibid.
(Bill Moyers, “America Can’t Deal With Reality—We Must Be Exposed to the Truth, Even If It Hurts,” AlterNet, February 14, 2011 (http://www.alternet.org/world/149925/bill_moyers%3A...ca_can’t_deal_with_reality_–_we_must_be_exposed_to_the_truth,_even_if_it_hurts).)

II • Robert Parry • 1,200 Words

In criticizing this case, Moyers was paraphrasing a statement by independent journalist Robert Parry, who said: “Lacking any real evidence . . . , the ‘truthers’ have built their case on alleged anomalies in the collapse of the buildings.”[5]Robert Parry, “The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game,” Consortiumnews.com, January 15, 2011 (Updated January 16, 2011) (http://www.consortiumnews.com/2011/011511.html). In drawing on Parry, Moyers was aligning himself with one of the best of the independent journalists. Having helped to reveal the Iran-Contra affair and having been the first journalist to report Oliver North’s involvement, Parry received the George Polk award for journalism in 1984 and was a finalist for a Pulitzer the following year. In 1995, having resigned from both the Associated Press and Newsweek because they put brakes on stories he wanted to report, he created Consortiumnews.com, the first online magazine of investigative journalism. “What distinguishes Parry’s project from the mass media’s cyber-ventures,” Norman Solomon wrote, “is his passionate belief that journalism has a responsibility to follow the trail of the truth, wherever it leads.”[6]Norman Solomon, “Robert Parry,” AlterNet, April 26, 2000 (http://www.alternet.org/story/8012/cohen_and_solomo...arry). In 2004, explaining the motivation behind Consortiumnews, Parry wrote:

[T]he Consortiumnews.com Web site . . . was meant to be a home for important, well-reported stories that weren’t welcome in the . . . conventional-wisdom-driven national news media . . . . I was distressed by the silliness . . . that had pervaded American journalism by the mid-1990s. I feared, too, that the decline of the U.S. press corps foreshadowed disasters that would come when journalists failed to alert the public about impending dangers.

In concluding that 2004 essay, Parry said: “[T]he fight for honest information is a battle for the future of American democracy.”[7]Robert Parry, “A Brief History of Consortiumnews.com,” Consortiumnews.com, December 21, 2004 (http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/122104.html). Given Parry’s commitments, we would have expected him to explore some of the contradictions in the official 9/11 story.

There is still another reason why we would have expected Parry to expose obvious lies in the official 9/11 narrative. After Parry had won awards for his reporting about the Iran-Contra affair, he delved more deeply into this story, finding evidence to support the theory that the Reagan-Bush administration’s contact with the Iranian government of Ayatollah Khomeini had begun years earlier, during the 1980 presidential campaign. President Jimmy Carter was trying to negotiate the release of US citizens being held as hostages by the Iranian government. The Republicans reportedly feared that Carter would arrange an “October Surprise”—a last-minute release of the hostages, which would guarantee Carter’s reelection.

But Parry moved toward the theory that the Reagan-Bush campaign had worked out a different “October Surprise”—according to which the Iranians, in exchange for weapons for their war with Iraq, would hold the hostages until after the election, thereby virtually guaranteeing victory by the Republicans. This theory had been argued in a 1989 book, entitled October Surprise, by Barbara Honegger[8]Barbara Honegger, October Surprise (Greensboro: Tudor Publishers, 1989). (who had worked in the Reagan White House until she resigned for reasons of conscience in 1983). But Parry publicly endorsed this view only after he had investigated the claims himself, uncovering additional evidence.

Having left Newsweek in 1990 after it insisted that Parry quit reporting about Iran-Contra, he was approached by PBS’s Frontline to do a special about the October Surprise allegations. Parry knew his career would be improved if he joined other journalists in debunking the charge that the Reagan-Bush ticket had won the election by means of a dirty trick. However, finding multiple testimonies that George Bush, then the Republican vice-presidential candidate, and Bill Casey, the Republican campaign chairman, met with Iranians in Madrid and Paris in 1980, he reported these events in a 1991 Frontline program. This program, appearing the same week as a New York Times op-ed by Iranian expert Gary Sick, led to a congressional investigation. But these allegations were widely denounced in the press, and Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton, who headed the congressional task force, declared that the theory of a secret deal had “no credible evidence.”

In reality, there was a lot of credible evidence. Jamshid Hashemi, the brother of Iranian banker Cyrus Hashemi, said that he and his brother had met with Casey in Madrid on July 27 and 28, 1980. And testimony that Bush and Casey had met with Iranian officials was provided by former Iranian President Bani-Sadr, by Russian intelligence, and by the biographer of France’s chief of intelligence. However, Hamilton and his chief counsel, Lawrence Barcella, hid some of this evidence and disputed the rest of it by means of false claims and ludicrous alibis.[9]For example, Newsweek and the New Republic declared that Casey could not have been in Madrid on July 27 and 28, because he was at a historical conference in London. The press declared this evidence proved the “October Surprise” to be a myth. However, the attendance sheet for this London conference, Parry discovered, showed that Casey did not arrive until 4:00 PM on the 28th, so he could have had meetings in Madrid on July 27 and 28, as the witnesses had testified. Although Newsweek and the New Republic, confronted with this disproof of their claims, refused to print retractions, Lee Hamilton sought a better alibi for Casey. His task force claimed that from July 25 to 27, Casey had been at the Bohemian Grove near San Francisco, after which he flew overnight to London in time to arrive at the historical conference by 4:00 PM on the 28th. However, documentary evidence showed that Casey attended the Bohemian Grove in August, not in July. Hamilton’s task force, nevertheless, stuck with the Bohemian Grove alibi.

One task force member, Democratic Representative Merv Dymally, recognized the absurdity of the alibis and planned to dissent. But Hamilton used threats to get him to remain silent, so the task force’s report was accepted without dissent. Hamilton then wrote a New York Times op-ed entitled “Case Closed” (January 24, 1993), in which he stated that the task force’s findings “should put the controversy to rest once and for all.” Consequently, Parry wrote, “Washington’s ‘conventional wisdom’ quickly solidified around the judgment that the October Surprise story was a loony conspiracy theory.”[10]Ibid.
(For example, Newsweek and the New Republic declared that Casey could not have been in Madrid on July 27 and 28, because he was at a historical conference in London. The press declared this evidence proved the “October Surprise” to be a myth. However, the attendance sheet for this London conference, Parry discovered, showed that Casey did not arrive until 4:00 PM on the 28th, so he could have had meetings in Madrid on July 27 and 28, as the witnesses had testified. Although Newsweek and the New Republic, confronted with this disproof of their claims, refused to print retractions, Lee Hamilton sought a better alibi for Casey. His task force claimed that from July 25 to 27, Casey had been at the Bohemian Grove near San Francisco, after which he flew overnight to London in time to arrive at the historical conference by 4:00 PM on the 28th. However, documentary evidence showed that Casey attended the Bohemian Grove in August, not in July. Hamilton’s task force, nevertheless, stuck with the Bohemian Grove alibi.)

However, in spite of this conventional wisdom, Parry did not recant. Indeed, he founded Consortiumnews.com in large part because of new documents “that put the history of the 1980s in a new . . . light,”[11]Parry, “A Brief History of Consortiumnews.com.” especially showing that the Reagan-Bush team had won the presidency in 1980 by virtue of a dirty trick that bordered on treason. But the press continued to hold, Parry wrote, that “the October Surprise story was a bogus conspiracy theory, despite the fact that many of the same Reagan figures had been caught lying about the secret Iran-Contra guns-for-hostages negotiations in 1985-86.”[12]Robert Parry, “Key October Surprise Evidence Hidden,” Consortiumnews.com, May 6, 2010 (http://www.consortiumnews.com/2010/050610.html).

Parry’s continuing insistence on the truth and importance of the October Surprise, wrote a sympathetic journalist in 1996, has “made him persona non grata” in the media establishment.[13]Dan Kennedy, “Parry’s Thrust,” Salon.com, June 11, 1996 (http://www.salon.com/media/media960611.html). One of the Newsweek journalists who wrote the debunking story said that, although Parry was “a very good reporter,” the October Surprise story “was his undoing,” and the author of the New Republic’s debunking story said: “Parry’s continued obsession with these delusions is a personal tragedy.” Parry himself said: “It used to be that you were admired if you took on a tough story. Now you’re portrayed as a nut.”[14]Ibid.
(Dan Kennedy, “Parry’s Thrust,” Salon.com, June 11, 1996 (http://www.salon.com/media/media960611.html). One of the Newsweek journalists who wrote the debunking story said that, although Parry was “a very good reporter,” the October Surprise story “was his undoing,” and the author of the New Republic’s debunking story said: “Parry’s continued obsession with these delusions is a personal tragedy.”)

Given Parry’s commitment to truthful journalism, combined with his awareness that the October Surprise became relegated to the status of a “bogus conspiracy theory” only because of lying politicians and careless and dishonest journalists, we would have expected him to engage in meticulous reporting about independent (from the government) intellectuals, including scientists, who have expressed dissent from the official account of the 9/11 attacks. We would have expected him to be suspicious of the official account because it was provided by the Bush-Cheney administration, which is now known to have lied about Iraq. And we would have expected Parry to be even more suspicious about the official story of 9/11 because the chief of the lying politicians in the October Surprise case, Lee Hamilton, served as the Democratic co-chair of the 9/11 Commission.[15]Technically, Hamilton was the vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission and Thomas Kean was the chairman, but the two men had agreed to function as co-chairmen; see page 68 of the book in the following note.

Moreover, Parry could have learned from a book entitled The Commission, by New York Times writer Philip Shenon, that Hamilton’s duplicitous ways continued in his new role.[16]Philip Shenon, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation (New York: Twelve, 2008), Chap. 10. Hamilton, together with the Republican co-chair Thomas Kean, appointed Philip Zelikow to be the commission’s executive director, even though he was essentially a member of the Bush White House.[17]Because of his conflicts of interest, Zelikow was asked repeatedly to resign by The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Commission, which had been instrumental in getting the 9/11 Commission created. In 2004, this committee wrote: “Dr. Zelikow should never have been permitted to be Executive Staff Director of the Commission. . . . . The Family Steering Committee is calling for: 1. Dr. Zelikow’s immediate resignation. . . . 4. The Commission to apologize to the 9/11 families and America for this massive appearance of impropriety” (Statement of the Family Steering Committee for The 9/11 Independent Commission, March 20, 2004 [www.911independentcommission.org/ mar202004.html]). Hamilton also, with Kean, concealed from the staff the fact that Zelikow had written a detailed outline of the Commission’s final report, complete with “chapter headings, subheadings, and sub-subheadings,” before the staff had its first meeting.[18]Shenon, The Commission, 388–89.

III • Moyers and Parry vs. 9/11 Truth • 3,300 Words

For all of these reasons, we should have expected Parry, as well as Moyers, to have done good reporting about the 9/11 attacks. They instead used bad reporting to attack the 9/11 Truth Movement’s claim that 9/11 was an inside job.

Both Moyers and Parry, as we saw earlier, said that “truthers” had rejected the official account of 9/11 on the basis of alleged or supposed anomalies. “Anomalies,” coming from the word nomos, refers to occurrences that are exceptions to norms, rules, or regularities. In saying that the 9/11 Truth Movement speaks of supposed, or alleged, anomalies in the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, Moyers and Parry were saying that the official account, according to which the buildings were brought down by the airliners and the resulting fires, contained no real anomalies—no exceptions to the regularities of physics and chemistry, no miracles.

1. World Trade Center Miracles

In truth, the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center contains many anomalies, and some of them so obviously and violently violate laws of science, as we saw in the previous chapter, that they must be called “miracles.” Insofar as Moyers and Parry endorse the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, they accept all of these miracles. I will focus on six of the miracles discussed in the previous chapter.

WTC 7 As Brought Down By Fire: When people talk about the World Trade Center, they usually have in mind the Twin Towers. But a third building came down: World Trade Center 7, a 47-story building two blocks from the Twin Towers, which came down at 5:21 in the afternoon.

It came to be widely accepted that the collapse of the Twin Towers was understandable, because they were struck by airliners, which caused damage, and the planes’ jet fuel led to big fires. But WTC 7 was not hit by a plane, so its collapse seemed to be unprecedented, being the first steel-framed building to collapse because of fire. And this building’s fires, moreover, were neither very big nor very long- lasting, compared with earlier building fires—such as the 1991 fire in Philadelphia’s One Meridian Plaza, which raged for 18 hours.[19]See FEMA, “High-Rise Office Building Fire, One Meridian Plaza, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania” (http://www.interfire.org/res_file/pdf/Tr-049.pdf).

New York Times writer James Glanz referred to the collapse of this building as a “mystery.”[20]James Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center: Diesel Fuel,” New York Times November 29, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/29/nyregion/nation-c...-site- engineers-have-culprit-strange-collapse-7-world-trade.html). The obvious solution to this mystery would be to say that WTC 7 was brought down by explosives—and there was much evidence for this conclusion. But the Bush administration and NIST—an agency of the federal government—insisted that no explosives were used.

From the perspective of the official account, therefore, the collapse of WTC 7 was definitely an anomaly. If Moyers and Parry endorse the official view of this building, do they not therefore endorse a miracle?

Imitation of a Controlled Implosion: As we saw in the previous chapter, Building 7 collapsed symmetrically, coming down with an almost perfectly horizontal roofline—which means that all 82 of the steel columns supporting the building had to fail simultaneously. Even if we leave aside the fact that fires could not have caused a steel-framed building to collapse, the pattern of fires in WTC 7 was very asymmetrical, and a symmetrical effect could not be caused by a very asymmetrical pattern of causes. Also, rather than starting to sag, as the fires gradually heated up, the collapse had a sudden onset, changing in a split second from complete immobility to coming down in free fall.

These two characteristics of Building 7’s collapse—the symmetrical pattern and the sudden onset—are characteristics of a controlled implosion, in which incendiaries and explosives are used to slice the building’s steel support columns so as to cause the building to come straight down. And engineering an implosion, as we saw, is “by far the trickiest type of explosive project,” which “only a handful of blasting companies in the world . . . possess enough experience . . . to perform.”[21]“The Myth of Implosion” (http://www.implosionworld.com/dyk2.html).

If Moyers and Parry hold that Building 7 came down without the aid of explosions, then they imply that scattered fires in this building produced a collapse that perfectly imitated the kind of controlled implosion that could be performed by only a few companies in the world. Moyers and Parry would be stuck, therefore, with a miracle.

WTC 7’s Descent in Absolute Free Fall: If Moyers and Parry believe that WTC 7 was brought down by fire, they imply that a third miracle is constituted by the fact that WTC 7 came down in free fall for over two seconds.

As we have seen, Shyam Sunder, who was in charge of NIST’s World Trade Center reports, pointed out that WTC 7, assuming that it was brought down by fire, could not have come down in free fall, “because there was structural resistance.”[22]“WTC 7 Technical Briefing,” NIST, August 26, 2008. Although NIST originally had a video and a transcript of this briefing at its Internet website, it recently removed both of them. However, Nate Flach has made the video available at Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/11941571), and the transcript, under the title “NIST Technical Briefing on Its Final Draft Report on WTC 7 for Public Comment,” is available at David Chandler’s website (http://911speakout.org/NIST_Tech_Briefing_Transcrip....pdf). Later, however, NIST came to agree with physicist David Chandler that the building came down in free fall for over two seconds. NIST had rightly said that this would be impossible in a fire-induced collapse. But NIST, continuing to insist that no explosives were used, continued to presuppose a fire-induced collapse.

If Moyers and Parry accept the official account, therefore, they would imply that the free-fall descent of WTC 7 was a miracle.[23]Parry assumed that the first three features of Building 7’s collapse create no problems. He wrote: “[T]he speed of the collapse should not be all that surprising because Building Seven had a large atrium. Once the atrium’s supports were breached by the shock of the Twin Tower collapse and a resulting fire, Building Seven would logically fall into the open space at near freefall speed” (“The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game”). But if such an easy answer could be given, one must wonder why NIST’s physicists and engineers did not suggest it. Also, Parry seemed not to be aware that there were fires on only a few of the building’s floors; not to be aware that coming down in near free fall would have required all 82 of the building’s columns to fail simultaneously; and not to be aware that for over two seconds the building came down not merely in “near freefall speed” but in absolute free fall, which requires zero resistance. Parry, a superb journalist about political matters, shows that he does not understand the problems in the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center. In response to being “scolded [by ‘truthers’] for not delving deeply enough into the intricate arguments behind their claim that 9/11 was an ‘inside job,’” Parry said: “[T]he truth is that I have devoted way more time to these preposterous notions than they deserve.” The real truth seems to be that, being convinced in advance that the 9/11 arguments were “preposterous,” he did not spend the time needed to evaluate them.

The Twin Towers: Descending in Virtual Free Fall: The Twin Towers came down, in NIST’s words, “essentially in free fall.”[24]NIST, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, September 2005 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201.pdf), 146. In trying to explain this fact while denying that explosives were used, NIST said, as we saw in the previous chapter, that “the massive top section of [each] building” fell down on the lower section, which “was unable to stop or even to slow the falling mass.”[25]NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 6. In the italicized portion of this statement, NIST was quoting NIST NCSTAR 1, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, Section 6.14.4, page 146.

As we further saw, however, this idea violates one of the fundamental principles of physics and (hence) engineering, called “the conservation of momentum.” By this principle, the “undamaged steel structure” of the lower part would necessarily retard the descent of the upper part and perhaps even completely arrest it.

In claiming, therefore, that each of the Twin Towers came down essentially in free fall without the aid of explosives, NIST implied enormous violations of the conservation of momentum. If Moyers and Parry endorse the official view of the destruction of the Twin Towers, therefore, they would imply the occurrence of two more miracles.[26]If Parry’s understanding of the “collapse” of WTC 7 was uninformed, his solution to the question of why Twin Towers came down, and in the way they did, was, if anything, even more so. He wrote: “[T]he structure of the Twin Towers, with interlocking beams allowing them to have height without the weight of older skyscrapers, would have produced the falling in on itself effect once the beams were weakened by the impact of the planes and the heat from the fires.” But only a few floors would have been impacted by the planes. The North Tower was impacted on the 93rd to the 98th floor, the South Tower on the 78th to the 84th floor. And the fires were restricted almost entirely to those floors and those above them. So in the South Tower, the steel in the lowest 75 floors would have been essentially unaffected, and in the North Tower the same would have been true of the lowest 90 floors. The happenings in the upper floors would not have affected the core columns of the lower floors, and these core columns were massive in the lowest floors. Unless explosives were used, only a miracle could have prevented these floors from continuing to support the floors above them.

Horizontal Ejections from the Twin Towers: As we also saw, the collapse of each tower began with a massive explosion near the top, during which huge sections of perimeter columns were ejected out 500 to 600 feet. Enormous force would have been needed to eject such large sections of steel that far out. But these ejections could not have been produced by any of the three causal factors allowed by NIST: airplane impacts, fires, and gravity. NIST would not allow that these horizontal ejections were produced by explosives. If Moyers and Parry really mean to endorse the official account, therefore, they imply that these horizontal ejections were miracles.

Metal-Melting Fires: Moyers and Parry probably did not think of the fires in the World Trade Center as having had miraculous powers. But NIST’s account, as we saw in the previous chapter, implies they did. According to professors at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of California, steel in the Twin Towers and WTC 7 melted and even evaporated—a process requiring a temperature almost three times that of an ordinary building fire. Equally extraordinary was evidence by the US Geological Survey that something in the World Trade Center melted molybdenum, the melting point of which is over two and a half times the temperature that the building fires could have produced.[27]These USGS scientists failed to mention in their published report the discovery of molybdenum that had melted (Heather A. Lowers and Gregory P. Meeker, U.S. Geological Survey, US Department of the Interior, “Particle Atlas of World Trade Center Dust,” 2005 [http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1165/ 508OF05-1165.html]). But another group of scientists, having obtained the USGS team’s data through a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request, reported evidence showing that the USGS scientists had devoted serious study to “a molybdenum-rich spherule” (Steven E. Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 19 (January 2008): 4 [http://journalof911studies.com/articles/ WTCHighTemp2.pdf]).

So if Moyers and Parry reaffirm the official account, they would imply that the World Trade Center fires had miraculous powers.

2. Trying to Explain Moyers and Parry

Moyers and Parry have not, of course, explicitly endorsed miracles. In fact, they would surely deny that the destruction of the World Trade Center involved any miracles. But insofar as they accept the official account, their views of the six phenomena I have discussed violate principles of physics, so these phenomena would have to be classified as miracles.

Wrong Answers: Why would Moyers and Parry accept the official account, even though it implies miracles? One answer might be that they, like many other journalists, have accepted the official view out of fear for their reputations. But Moyers and Parry have repeatedly shown that they have the courage to stand up for truth as they see it, regardless of the consequences.

So why did Parry, who was wrongly charged with making “baseless accusations” about an October Surprise,[28]Robert Parry, “Lies Spun into History,” Consortiumnews.com, March 14, 1996 (http://www.consortiumnews.com/archive/xfile8.html). wrongly charge “truthers” with making “unsubstantiated and bizarre claims about ‘controlled demolitions’”?[29]Parry, “The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game.” As we have seen, there is nothing unsubstantiated about the claims that the Twin Towers and Building 7 were brought down by means of explosives. Parry claims that “scientists and engineers have provided plausible explanations” for the official view.[30]Ibid.
(Parry, “The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game.”)
But only a handful of scientists and engineers have stated in print that they see nothing wrong with the official view, and most of them have been dependent upon the government. (Remember Upton Sinclair’s famous statement: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”[31]Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (1935; University of California Press, 1994), 109.) By contrast, thousands of professionals have publicly stated that the official view cannot be true, and these professionals include scientists, firefighters, intelligence officers, military officers, and over 1,500 architects and engineers.[32]Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.ae911truth.org), Firefighters for 9/11 Truth (http://firefightersfor911truth.org), Intelligence Officers for 9/11 Truth (http://IO911Truth.org), Military Officers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.militaryofficersfor911truth.org), Scientists for 9/11 Truth (http://sci911truth.org).

Parry has unfairly been called a “nut” because of his persistence in laying out the evidence for the October Surprise. So why did he, on the basis of inadequate study, turn around and say: “To label the ‘truther’ version of the 9/11 events nutty would seem an understatement.”[33]Parry, “The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game.”

Moyers has also treated 9/11 poorly. Observing that “America seems more and more unable to deal with reality,” Moyers rightly said in his 2011 lecture that “many people inhabit a closed belief system on whose door they have hung the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign.”[34]Moyers, “America Can’t Deal with Reality.” But Moyers’ own belief system has evidently made him unable to deal with the reality revealed by the 9/11 Truth Movement.

Moyers’ Bias Against Truthers: Moyers’ bias against 9/11 Truth was manifested, it seems, three years before his 2011 statement. On February 1, 2008, in preparation for the presidential election, the Bill Moyers Journal asked viewers: “What one book do you want your next president to read?” The next week, Moyers named the three books receiving the most votes, while adding: “We detected only one organized campaign behind a certain book, and we disqualified it as a result.”[35]Bill Moyers Journal, PBS, February 8, 2008 (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2008/02/bill...ading_ recommenda_1.html). The book in question, viewers learned the following week, was my book 2007 book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking—which was the book that actually received the most votes.[36]David Ray Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2007).

Was the alleged “organized campaign” the real reason why this book was disqualified? It would seem not, for three reasons. First, Moyers had not, in explaining the contest, said anything about disallowing organized campaigns.

In the second place, the so-called organized campaign consisted entirely of one person writing a statement on 9/11 Blogger. Saying that he suspected most members of the 9/11 Truth Movement would be recommending one of my 9/11 books, he suggested that they agree on one of them, and he suggested the most recent, Debunking 9/11 Debunking. I myself played no role in this “campaign.” Indeed, I did not even know about the contest until it was over.

In the third place, one of the book authors, Kim Michaels, organized a campaign on behalf of his own book, The Art of Non-War. On his website, he wrote: “Bill Moyers is asking viewers to recommend the one book that the next president of the United States should take to the White House. If you feel so inclined, please recommend The Art of Non-War.”[37]This fact was revealed on the blog for Bill Moyers Journal by a contributor named Jerry on February 10, 2008 (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2008/02/bill...ading_ recommenda_1.html). As a result, Michaels’ book came in third, a fact that the book’s publisher used to promote the book.[38]The “Product Description” at Amazon.com states: “In February, 2008 Bill Moyers asked PBS viewers to recommend one book that the next president should take to the White House. More than one hundred people recommended The Art of Non-War by Kim Michaels, making it one of the top three choices” (http://www.amazon.com/Art-Non-war-Kim-Michaels/sim/...9X/2). However, the Bill Moyers Journal did not eliminate Michaels’ book from the competition in spite of his self-organized campaign. In justifying the exclusion of my book because of “signs of an orchestrated campaign,” Moyers said: “I wouldn’t call it a conspiracy, but I wouldn’t call it fair, either.”[39]Transcript, Bill Moyers Journal, PBS, February 15, 2008 (http://www.pbs.org/ moyers/journal/02152008/transcript4.html). But if unfairness was the reason why my book was excluded, the Michaels book—the campaign for which could have easily been detected—should also have been excluded.[40]See two notes above.

It would seem, accordingly, that my book was excluded because Bill Moyers did not want to announce that his program had recommended my book, with its claim that 9/11 was an inside job.

By taking together Moyers’ treatment of my book with his 2011 attack on “truthers,” we can see that he, like Parry, has expressed hostility to the 9/11 Truth Movement that is not justified by the empirical evidence.

The Esteemed Friends Who Are Truthers: I have yet another question for Moyers and Parry. Given their negative characterization of people they call “truthers”—such as Moyers’ statement that they employ “sophistry” and Parry’s charge that they have “preposterous” ideas—one would assume that none of their esteemed friends would have anything good to say about such people. But one of Moyers’ most esteemed friends was William Sloane Coffin, who after leaving the CIA became famous as a preacher, an anti-Vietnam-war activist, and a leader of the civil-rights movement. Moyers interviewed Coffin in 2004 and then spoke at his funeral in 2006.[41]Moyers, “William Sloane Coffin,” NOW, March 5, 2004 (http://www.pbs.org/now/society/coffin.html); Moyers, “Remembering Bill Coffin,” Religion and Ethics, PBS, April 20, 2006 (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ religionandethics/episodes/april-20-2006/remembering-bill-coffin-bill- moyers/2954). Shortly before his death, Coffin wrote:

All Americans who love their country enough to dig into the facts of these critical times will be well rewarded by examining Professor Griffin’s books. 9/11 truth is a very important issue with the power to bring lasting change to our country.

Another of Moyers’ esteemed friends whom he interviewed is Joseph Hough, who at the time was the president of Union Theological Seminary.[42]“Bill Moyers Interviews Union Theological Seminary’s Joseph Hough,” NOW with Bill Moyers, broadcast October 24, 2003 (http://www.commondreams.org/views03/1027-01.htm). Hough wrote a blurb for my first 9/11 book, saying that it “ought to be read by any American who values our democracy.”

One of Parry’s esteemed friends is Ray McGovern, who as a CIA analyst prepared the President’s Daily Brief for three presidents and more recently founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. McGovern has published many articles in Consortiumnews.com, and he and Parry have lectured together. And yet McGovern wrote endorsements for two of my 9/11 books, saying in one of them that he hoped readers did not “prefer the comfort of acquiescing to the official version of 9/11 and the imperial wars it facilitated.”

How would Moyers and Parry reconcile the comments by these esteemed friends with their negative treatment of “truthers”? I do not know.

The Big Lie: But can we at least understand why Moyers and Parry developed such hostility to the 9/11 Truth Movement? Might the explanation be that the spin machine has been so effective in presenting the 9/11 Truth Movement as “kooky” that Moyers and Parry simply accepted this view and never seriously looked at the best evidence? I suspect that this is part of the answer. Although Parry charged “truthers” with being guilty of “anti-empiricism,”[43]Parry, “The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game.” it is Parry and Moyers who have violated the need for empiricism about 9/11—for which I called, incidentally, in the lecture I gave in Seattle in 2007, “9/11: Let’s Get Empirical.”[44]A video of the lecture,”9/11: Let’s Get Empirical,” is available at 911TV.org. (http://communitycurrency.org/911TV/index.html). A written version is available in Global Outlook: Prescription for a World in Crisis, Issue 13, Annual 2009: 87–102.

However, whereas Moyers’ and Parry’s anti-empiricism about 9/11 is probably due in part to the spin machine, this surely cannot be the whole answer. Parry and Moyers both know how effective the spin machine can be with regard to any charge that would put the government in a bad light, so they would know the need to get behind the spin by examining the best evidence for the issue at hand.

So why did they not do this with regard to 9/11? For many journalists and other people, the answer would be what I have called “nationalist faith”—the mythical belief that the American government would never deliberately do anything terribly evil. But Parry and Moyers have both reported stories that contradict this myth.

We can distinguish, however, between the kinds of evils they have reported and the type of enormous evil to which Hitler alluded in his discussion of “the Big Lie,” in which he said:

[Ordinary people] more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.[45]Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, trans. James Murphy, Vol. I, Ch. X.

I suspect that, although Moyers and Parry have been more willing than most American journalists to expose ugly truths about American political and military leaders, they drew the line at 9/11. For American political leaders to have planned 9/11, they felt, would have been so evil, and the resulting lie would have been so colossal, that they could not believe that any American politicians—even Bush and Cheney—would have done it.

The very idea that 9/11 could have been an inside job, Parry said, is “preposterous.” Any right thinking person would know this, he seemed to think, and so one could know the claims of the “truthers” to be false without delving into their arguments.[46]Jonathan Kay recently published a book (Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground [New York: HarperCollins, 2011]), in which he makes very negative judgments about members of the 9/11 Truth Movement—calling them, for example, “cranks”—while providing no evidence to support these judgments. In an earlier writing, Kay explained: “[T]he truth is. . . I never bothered with schooling myself on the minutae [sic] of 9/11-ology. . . . I never felt the need to because, on a purely instinctual level, I always felt the Truthers case was complete nonsense.” In “Jonathan Kay on the Humbling Frustrations of Debating 9/11 Truthers,” National Post October 27, 2008(http:// network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/10/27/jonathan-kay-on-the-humbling-frustrations-of-debating-9-11-quot-truthers-quot.aspx). It would appear that Parry and Moyers have treated 9/11 in the same way. One can know a priori, for example, the falsity of their claim that explosives brought down the Twin Towers and Building 7. One does not need to know why the buildings came down to know that they were not brought down by explosives, because explosives would mean that it was an inside job, and this idea is preposterous.

The “truthers” are so obviously wrong that it is not necessary to study their writings. The truth about 9/11 is provided by the NIST reports and the Popular Mechanics book, both of which Parry recommended.[47]Parry, “The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game.” Perhaps David Ray Griffin wrote a book criticizing Popular Mechanics and the NIST report on the Twin Towers and another entire book on Building 7. But Moyers and Parry could know, without reading them, that these books could safely be ignored. And if Parry and Moyers are now aware that the 9/11 Truth Movement contains thousands of professional people—including architects, engineers, lawyers, pilots, medical professionals, scientists, and religious and political leaders—they think that the very fact that these people have become “truthers” shows that something is wrong with their thought processes.

This is my answer to the question, Why do Bill Moyers and Robert Parry endorse the official 9/11 story, even though this story implies that massive miracles occurred on 9/11? Moyers and Parry have fallen for the Big Lie. Whereas they would usually, as Norman Solomon said about Parry, “follow the trail of the truth, wherever it leads,” Moyers and Parry did not follow the trail of truth laid down by the independent scientists and other intellectuals who inform the 9/11 Truth Movement.

Whereas Parry said that journalists should not accept “patently absurd reasoning,” he and Moyers accepted NIST’s patently absurd claims about the Twin Towers and Building 7. Parry said that time spent on 9/11 “means that real crimes . . . get neglected.”[48]Ibid.
(Parry, “The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game.”)
But 9/11 was the biggest crime in American history. Parry started Consortiumnews.com because he feared that “the decline of the U.S. press corps foreshadowed disasters that would come when journalists failed to alert the public about impending dangers.” But the failure to expose the 9/11 crime is the supreme example of the decline of the American press. Parry rightly said that “the fight for honest information is a battle for the future of American democracy,”[49]Robert Parry, “A Brief History of Consortiumnews.com,” Consortiumnews.com, December 21, 2004 (http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/122104.html). and Moyers said that he and Bill Coffin agreed that democracy had reached a fork in the road, one fork of which “leads to an America where military power serves empire rather than freedom.” Yet nothing has promoted American imperialism and distorted American democracy more than the Big Lie about 9/11.

One example of this Big Lie at work, I have suggested, is that even Bill Moyers and Robert Parry, two of our best journalists, fell for it. One of the next steps for the 9/11 Truth Movement, I propose, is to focus on the relatively small number of journalists who are both honest and courageous as well as intelligent, trying to help them, starting with Moyers and Parry themselves, to see that the 9/11 Big Lie is indeed a lie.

Notes • 1,800 Words

[1] “The New Pearl Harbor: A Debate On A New Book That Alleges The Bush Administration Was Behind The 9/11 Attacks,” Democracy Now! May 26, 2004 (http://www.democracynow.org/2004/5/26/the_new_pearl_harbor_a_debate).

[2] “Buying the War,” Bill Moyers Journal, PBS, April 25, 2007 (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/btw/transcript1.html).

[3] Bill Moyers, “America Can’t Deal With Reality—We Must Be Exposed to the Truth, Even If It Hurts,” AlterNet, February 14, 2011 (http://www.alternet.org/world/149925/bill_moyers%3A_america_can’t_deal_with_reality_–_we_must_be_exposed_to_the_truth,_even_if_it_hurts).

[4] Ibid.

[5] Robert Parry, “The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game,” Consortiumnews.com, January 15, 2011 (Updated January 16, 2011) (http://www.consortiumnews.com/2011/011511.html).

[6] Norman Solomon, “Robert Parry,” AlterNet, April 26, 2000 (http://www.alternet.org/story/8012/cohen_and_solomon%3A_robert_parry).

[7] Robert Parry, “A Brief History of Consortiumnews.com,” Consortiumnews.com, December 21, 2004 (http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/122104.html).

[8] Barbara Honegger, October Surprise (Greensboro: Tudor Publishers, 1989).

[9] For example, Newsweek and the New Republic declared that Casey could not have been in Madrid on July 27 and 28, because he was at a historical conference in London. The press declared this evidence proved the “October Surprise” to be a myth. However, the attendance sheet for this London conference, Parry discovered, showed that Casey did not arrive until 4:00 PM on the 28th, so he could have had meetings in Madrid on July 27 and 28, as the witnesses had testified. Although Newsweek and the New Republic, confronted with this disproof of their claims, refused to print retractions, Lee Hamilton sought a better alibi for Casey. His task force claimed that from July 25 to 27, Casey had been at the Bohemian Grove near San Francisco, after which he flew overnight to London in time to arrive at the historical conference by 4:00 PM on the 28th. However, documentary evidence showed that Casey attended the Bohemian Grove in August, not in July. Hamilton’s task force, nevertheless, stuck with the Bohemian Grove alibi.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Parry, “A Brief History of Consortiumnews.com.”

[12] Robert Parry, “Key October Surprise Evidence Hidden,” Consortiumnews.com, May 6, 2010 (http://www.consortiumnews.com/2010/050610.html).

[13] Dan Kennedy, “Parry’s Thrust,” Salon.com, June 11, 1996 (http://www.salon.com/media/media960611.html). One of the Newsweek journalists who wrote the debunking story said that, although Parry was “a very good reporter,” the October Surprise story “was his undoing,” and the author of the New Republic’s debunking story said: “Parry’s continued obsession with these delusions is a personal tragedy.”

[14] Ibid.

[15] Technically, Hamilton was the vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission and Thomas Kean was the chairman, but the two men had agreed to function as co-chairmen; see page 68 of the book in the following note.

[16] Philip Shenon, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation (New York: Twelve, 2008), Chap. 10.

[17] Because of his conflicts of interest, Zelikow was asked repeatedly to resign by The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Commission, which had been instrumental in getting the 9/11 Commission created. In 2004, this committee wrote: “Dr. Zelikow should never have been permitted to be Executive Staff Director of the Commission. . . . . The Family Steering Committee is calling for: 1. Dr. Zelikow’s immediate resignation. . . . 4. The Commission to apologize to the 9/11 families and America for this massive appearance of impropriety” (Statement of the Family Steering Committee for The 9/11 Independent Commission, March 20, 2004 [www.911independentcommission.org/ mar202004.html]).

[18] Shenon, The Commission, 388–89.

[19] See FEMA, “High-Rise Office Building Fire, One Meridian Plaza, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania” (http://www.interfire.org/res_file/pdf/Tr-049.pdf).

[20] James Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center: Diesel Fuel,” New York Times November 29, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/29/nyregion/nation-challenged-site- engineers-have-culprit-strange-collapse-7-world-trade.html).

[21] “The Myth of Implosion” (http://www.implosionworld.com/dyk2.html).

[22] “WTC 7 Technical Briefing,” NIST, August 26, 2008. Although NIST originally had a video and a transcript of this briefing at its Internet website, it recently removed both of them. However, Nate Flach has made the video available at Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/11941571), and the transcript, under the title “NIST Technical Briefing on Its Final Draft Report on WTC 7 for Public Comment,” is available at David Chandler’s website (http://911speakout.org/NIST_Tech_Briefing_Transcript.pdf).

[23] Parry assumed that the first three features of Building 7’s collapse create no problems. He wrote: “[T]he speed of the collapse should not be all that surprising because Building Seven had a large atrium. Once the atrium’s supports were breached by the shock of the Twin Tower collapse and a resulting fire, Building Seven would logically fall into the open space at near freefall speed” (“The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game”). But if such an easy answer could be given, one must wonder why NIST’s physicists and engineers did not suggest it. Also, Parry seemed not to be aware that there were fires on only a few of the building’s floors; not to be aware that coming down in near free fall would have required all 82 of the building’s columns to fail simultaneously; and not to be aware that for over two seconds the building came down not merely in “near freefall speed” but in absolute free fall, which requires zero resistance. Parry, a superb journalist about political matters, shows that he does not understand the problems in the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center. In response to being “scolded [by ‘truthers’] for not delving deeply enough into the intricate arguments behind their claim that 9/11 was an ‘inside job,’” Parry said: “[T]he truth is that I have devoted way more time to these preposterous notions than they deserve.” The real truth seems to be that, being convinced in advance that the 9/11 arguments were “preposterous,” he did not spend the time needed to evaluate them.

[24] NIST, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, September 2005 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201.pdf), 146.

[25] NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 6. In the italicized portion of this statement, NIST was quoting NIST NCSTAR 1, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, Section 6.14.4, page 146.

[26] If Parry’s understanding of the “collapse” of WTC 7 was uninformed, his solution to the question of why Twin Towers came down, and in the way they did, was, if anything, even more so. He wrote: “[T]he structure of the Twin Towers, with interlocking beams allowing them to have height without the weight of older skyscrapers, would have produced the falling in on itself effect once the beams were weakened by the impact of the planes and the heat from the fires.” But only a few floors would have been impacted by the planes. The North Tower was impacted on the 93rd to the 98th floor, the South Tower on the 78th to the 84th floor. And the fires were restricted almost entirely to those floors and those above them. So in the South Tower, the steel in the lowest 75 floors would have been essentially unaffected, and in the North Tower the same would have been true of the lowest 90 floors. The happenings in the upper floors would not have affected the core columns of the lower floors, and these core columns were massive in the lowest floors. Unless explosives were used, only a miracle could have prevented these floors from continuing to support the floors above them.

[27] These USGS scientists failed to mention in their published report the discovery of molybdenum that had melted (Heather A. Lowers and Gregory P. Meeker, U.S. Geological Survey, US Department of the Interior, “Particle Atlas of World Trade Center Dust,” 2005 [http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1165/ 508OF05-1165.html]). But another group of scientists, having obtained the USGS team’s data through a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request, reported evidence showing that the USGS scientists had devoted serious study to “a molybdenum-rich spherule” (Steven E. Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 19 (January 2008): 4 [http://journalof911studies.com/articles/ WTCHighTemp2.pdf]).

[28] Robert Parry, “Lies Spun into History,” Consortiumnews.com, March 14, 1996 (http://www.consortiumnews.com/archive/xfile8.html).

[29] Parry, “The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game.”

[30] Ibid.

[31] Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (1935; University of California Press, 1994), 109.

[32] Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.ae911truth.org), Firefighters for 9/11 Truth (http://firefightersfor911truth.org), Intelligence Officers for 9/11 Truth (http://IO911Truth.org), Military Officers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.militaryofficersfor911truth.org), Scientists for 9/11 Truth (http://sci911truth.org).

[33] Parry, “The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game.”

[34] Moyers, “America Can’t Deal with Reality.”

[35] Bill Moyers Journal, PBS, February 8, 2008 (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2008/02/bill_moyers_reading_ recommenda_1.html).

[36] David Ray Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2007).

[37] This fact was revealed on the blog for Bill Moyers Journal by a contributor named Jerry on February 10, 2008 (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2008/02/bill_moyers_reading_ recommenda_1.html).

[38] The “Product Description” at Amazon.com states: “In February, 2008 Bill Moyers asked PBS viewers to recommend one book that the next president should take to the White House. More than one hundred people recommended The Art of Non-War by Kim Michaels, making it one of the top three choices” (http://www.amazon.com/Art-Non-war-Kim-Michaels/sim/097669719X/2).

[39] Transcript, Bill Moyers Journal, PBS, February 15, 2008 (http://www.pbs.org/ moyers/journal/02152008/transcript4.html).

[40] See two notes above.

[41] Moyers, “William Sloane Coffin,” NOW, March 5, 2004 (http://www.pbs.org/now/society/coffin.html); Moyers, “Remembering Bill Coffin,” Religion and Ethics, PBS, April 20, 2006 (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ religionandethics/episodes/april-20-2006/remembering-bill-coffin-bill- moyers/2954).

[42] “Bill Moyers Interviews Union Theological Seminary’s Joseph Hough,” NOW with Bill Moyers, broadcast October 24, 2003 (http://www.commondreams.org/views03/1027-01.htm).

[43] Parry, “The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game.”

[44] A video of the lecture,”9/11: Let’s Get Empirical,” is available at 911TV.org. (http://communitycurrency.org/911TV/index.html). A written version is available in Global Outlook: Prescription for a World in Crisis, Issue 13, Annual 2009: 87–102.

[45] Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, trans. James Murphy, Vol. I, Ch. X.

[46] Jonathan Kay recently published a book (Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground [New York: HarperCollins, 2011]), in which he makes very negative judgments about members of the 9/11 Truth Movement—calling them, for example, “cranks”—while providing no evidence to support these judgments. In an earlier writing, Kay explained: “[T]he truth is. . . I never bothered with schooling myself on the minutae [sic] of 9/11-ology. . . . I never felt the need to because, on a purely instinctual level, I always felt the Truthers case was complete nonsense.” In “Jonathan Kay on the Humbling Frustrations of Debating 9/11 Truthers,” National Post October 27, 2008(http:// network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/10/27/jonathan-kay-on-the-humbling-frustrations-of-debating-9-11-quot-truthers-quot.aspx). It would appear that Parry and Moyers have treated 9/11 in the same way.

[47] Parry, “The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game.”

[48] Ibid.

[49] Robert Parry, “A Brief History of Consortiumnews.com,” Consortiumnews.com, December 21, 2004 (http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/122104.html).

Chapter 4 • Building What? How State Crimes against Democracy Can Be Hidden in Plain Sight • 9,200 Words

At 5:21 PM on 9/11, Building 7 of the World Trade Center collapsed, even though it had not been hit by a plane. This fact is important, as we saw in Chapter 2, because of the widespread acceptance of the idea, in spite of its scientific absurdity, that the Twin Towers collapsed because of the combined effect of the impact of the airliners plus the ensuing jet-fuel-fed fires. Even if the government’s account of the Twin Towers is accepted (in spite of its scientific impossibility), the collapse of Building 7 undermines the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, according to which it was accomplished by al-Qaeda hijackers. This fact—that the official explanation of the World Trade Center, based on the Twin Towers, is radically changed by taking into account WTC 7—was emphasized in the title of a review of my 2009 book, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7,[1]David Ray Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 Is Unscientific and False (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2009). by National Medal of Science-winner Lynn Margulis: “Two Hit, Three Down—The Biggest Lie.”[2]Lynn Margulis, “Two Hit, Three Down—The Biggest Lie,” Rock Creek Free Press January 24, 2010 (http://rockcreekfreepress.tumblr.com/post/353434420...-lie).

I • Why the Collapse of WTC 7 Created an Extraordinary Problem • 1,300 Words

The collapse of WTC 7 created an extraordinary problem for the official account of 9/11 for several reasons.

1. An Unprecedented Occurrence

One reason is that, because of the collapse of WTC 7, the official account of 9/11 includes, as pointed out in Chapter 2, the dubious claim that, for the first time, a steel-framed high-rise building was brought down by fire, and science looks askance at claims of unprecedented occurrences regarding physical phenomena. After New York Times writer James Glanz, who himself has a Ph.D in physics, made his previously quoted statement—“that experts said no building like it, a modern, steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever collapsed because of an uncontrolled fire”—Glanz quoted a structural engineer as saying: “[W]ithin the structural engineering community, [WTC 7] is considered to be much more important to understand [than the Twin Towers],” because engineers had no answer to the question, “why did 7 come down?”[3]James Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center: Diesel Fuel,” New York Times November 29, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/29/nyregion/nation-c...-site- engineers-have-culprit-strange-collapse-7-world-trade.html).

2. Visual Evidence of Implosion

Equally remarkable, besides the mere fact that this building came down, was the way it collapsed: straight down, in virtual free fall, making it appear to be an example of the type of controlled demolition known as “implosion,” in which explosives and/or incendiaries are used to slice the building’s steel support columns in such a way as to cause the building to collapse into its own footprint. CBS anchor Dan Rather, not one to let a remarkable fact go unremarked, said:

[I]t’s reminiscent of those pictures we’ve all seen . . . on television . . . , where a building was deliberately destroyed by well-placed dynamite to knock it down.[4]Rather’s statement is available on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvx904dAw0o).

Dan Rather, moreover, was not the only reporter to make such a comment. Al Jones, a reporter for WINS NYC News Radio, said: “I turned in time to see what looked like a skyscraper implosion—looked like it had been done by a demolition crew.”[5]See the video 911 Eyewitness (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=65460757734...39444) at 29:05.

Moreover, whereas Jones and Rather, being laymen in these matters, merely said that the collapse of Building 7 looked like a controlled demolition, experts, upon seeing the video, could tell immediately that it actually was a controlled demolition.

In 2006, for example, a Dutch filmmaker asked Danny Jowenko, the owner of a controlled demolition company in the Netherlands, to comment on a video of the collapse of WTC 7, without telling him what it was. (Jowenko had been unaware that a third building had collapsed on 9/11.) After viewing the video, Jowenko said: “They simply blew up columns, and the rest caved in afterwards. . . . This is controlled demolition.” When asked if he was certain, he replied: “Absolutely, it’s been imploded. This was a hired job. A team of experts did this.”[6]See “Danny Jowenko on WTC 7 Controlled Demolition,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=877gr6xtQIc), or, for more of the interview, “Jowenko WTC 7 Demolition Interviews,” in three parts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3DRhwRN06I&feat...ated).

3. Testimonies about Explosions

Besides the obviousness from the very appearance of the collapse of Building 7 that it had been brought down by explosives, there were testimonies about explosions in this building.

One of these was provided by Michael Hess, New York City’s corporation counsel and a close friend of Mayor Rudy Giuliani. While on his way back to City Hall, Hess was stopped for an interview at 11:57 that morning, during which he said:

I was up in the emergency management center on the twenty-third floor [of WTC 7], and when all the power went out in the building, another gentleman and I walked down to the eighth floor [sic] where there was an explosion and we were trapped on the eighth floor with smoke, thick smoke, all around us, for about an hour and a half. But the New York Fire Department . . . just came and got us out.[7]“Michael Hess, WTC7 Explosion Witness,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUfiLbXMa64). Hess should have said “down to the sixth floor.” As Barry Jennings later clarified, the explosion that blocked their descent occurred when they reached the sixth floor, after which they walked back up to the eighth floor, where they waited to be rescued; see “Barry Jennings—9/11 WTC7 Full Uncut Interview,” Part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxUj6UgPODo), at 5:08–5:33.

Hess thereby reported a mid-morning explosion in WTC 7.

The other gentleman, Barry Jennings of the New York City Housing Authority, reported the same thing during another on-the-street interview, reporting that he and “Mr. Hess” had been walking down the stairs when they became trapped by a “big explosion.”[8]See “Barry Jennings—9/11 Early Afternoon ABC 7 Interview” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LO5V2CJpzI). Jennings, in fact, said that explosions continued going off while they were waiting to be rescued.[9]This statement could previously be seen in “Barry Jennings—9/11 WTC7 Full Uncut Interview,” Part 1, at 3:57–4:05. But at the time this essay was written, it had been blocked from the Internet, because it is now in the film Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup. But the footage is available at “World Exclusive: WTC7 Survivor Barry Jennings Account” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRaKHq2dfCI).

There were also reports of explosions in the late afternoon, just as WTC 7 started coming down. Reporter Peter Demarco of the New York Daily News said:

[T]here was a rumble. The building’s top row of windows popped out. Then all the windows on the thirty-ninth floor popped out. Then the thirty-eighth floor. Pop! Pop! Pop! was all you heard until the building sunk into a rising cloud of gray.[10]Quoted in Chris Bull and Sam Erman, eds., At Ground Zero: Young Reporters Who Were There Tell Their Stories (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2002), 97.

NYPD officer Craig Bartmer gave the following report:

I was real close to Building 7 when it fell down. . . . That didn’t sound like just a building falling down to me . . . . There’s a lot of eyewitness testimony down there of hearing explosions. . . . [A]ll of a sudden. . . I looked up, and . . . [t]he thing started pealing in on itself. . . . I started running . . . and the whole time you’re hearing “boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.”[11]Bartmer’s statement is quoted in Paul Joseph Watson, “NYPD Officer Heard Building 7 Bombs,” Prison Planet, February 10, 2007 (http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/february2007/1....htm).

A New York University medical student, who had been serving as an emergency medical worker that day, gave this report:

[W]e heard this sound that sounded like a clap of thunder. . . . [T]urned around—we were shocked. . . . [I]t looked like there was a shockwave ripping through the building and the windows all busted out. . . . [A]bout a second later the bottom floor caved out and the building followed after that.[12]This unnamed medical student can be seen making this statement in 911 Eyewitness (at 31:30).

4. Physical Evidence

In addition to the visual and testimonial evidence, there was clear physical evidence that WTC 7 was brought down by explosives. As pointed out in Chapter 2, professors from Worcester Polytechnic Institute reported discovering a piece of steel from Building 7 with holes in it, giving it a Swiss-cheese appearance. The steel had melted, they said, and evidently even partly vaporized.[13]James Glanz and Eric Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse,” New York Times February 2, 2002 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04...8B63). Joan Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” WPI Transformations Spring 2002 (http://www.wpi.edu/News/ Transformations/2002Spring/steel.html); James Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center: Diesel Fuel,” New York Times November 29, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/29/ nyregion/29TOWE.html). And Professor Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl of the University of California at Berkeley also stated, according to New York Times reporter Kenneth Change, that parts of a beam from this building had vaporized.[14]See Kenneth Change, “Scarred Steel Holds Clues, And Remedies,” New York Times October 2, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/02/science/ scarred-steel-holds-clues-and-remedies.html).

These reports clearly showed that something other than fire had been making things happen in the buildings, because the fires could not possibly have been higher than 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, while the boiling point of steel is roughly the same as that of iron, which is 5182°F.[15]WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html). But even if the steel had simply melted, that by itself would have proved the point, because the melting point of steel is only a little less than that of iron, which is 2800°F.[16]Ibid.
(WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html).)

5. Evidence in Plain Sight

Therefore, clear evidence against the official account of Building 7, according to which it was brought down by fire, existed in plain sight in the form of videos of its collapse, published testimonies about explosions in the building, and physical evidence reported in the New York Times. The reasonable inference to draw from this evidence—namely, that the official account is false, because explosives were used—was reinforced by the first official report on this building’s collapse, which was issued in 2002 by FEMA. Besides including as an appendix the report by the three professors on the Swiss-cheese appearing piece of steel, the scientists who wrote the report for FEMA admitted that their “best hypothesis” about why WTC 7 collapsed had “only a low probability of occurrence”[17]See FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_ch5.pdf), Chap. 5, Sect. 6.2, “Probable Collapse Sequence,” at page 31.—which was science-speak for: “It would not happen in a million years.”

6. Failure to Become Well Known

In addition to all these facts, WTC 7 was a very big building, being 47 stories high and having a base about the size of a football field. Although it was dwarfed by the 110-story Twin Towers, it would have been the tallest building in half of the states in the nation. For all of these reasons, the collapse of this building should have become one of the best-known facts about 9/11. But it did not.

II • Widespread Ignorance about WTC 7 • 800 Words

A Zogby poll in May 2006 found that 43 percent of the American people were unaware that WTC 7 had collapsed.[18]“A Word about Our Poll of American Thinking Toward the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks,” Zogby International, May 24, 2006 (http://web.archive.org/web/20090422012551/http://ww...tures/ Features.cfm?ID=231). That same year, as we saw earlier, Danny Jowenko of the Netherlands still did not know about this building’s collapse, even though controlled demolition was his field.

1. Building WHAT?

A dramatic example of the fact that this building’s collapse has not been prominent in the public consciousness was provided in a New York City courtroom in September 2009. Judge Edward Lehner was hearing arguments about a petition, sponsored by NYC CAN (NYC Coalition for Accountability), to allow residents to vote on whether New York City should have its own investigation of the World Trade Center attacks. After Judge Lehner had remarked that the 9/11 Commission had carried out an investigation and issued a report, Dennis McMahon, a lawyer for NYC CAN, said that this report left many unanswered questions. “One of the biggest questions,” he added, “is why did Building 7 come down”—at which point Judge Lehner asked: “Building what?” McMahon replied: “World Trade Center Seven. There were three buildings that came down.” When the judge, continuing to illustrate his ignorance about this building, asked if it was owned by the Port Authority, McMahon replied that it was owned by Larry Silverstein.[19]In the ensuing exchange, Judge Lehner showed that he was not completely unaware of this building’s destruction, asking if it was “the one that has been rebuilt.” Shortly thereafter, however, the judge confused this building with the Twin Towers. See pages 16–19 of “Proceedings, Christopher Burke et al, Petitioners. vs. Michael McSweeney as City Clerk of New York and Clerk of the City Council of New York and the Board of Elections in the City of New York, before Honorable Edward H. Lehner, J. S. C., Supreme Court of the State of New York, September 29, 2009.”

Judge Lehner, it should be emphasized, was not simply an ordinary American citizen. Besides being a judge presiding in New York City, he had been assigned to a case involving the 9/11 attacks in this city. So his ignorance about this building was surprising. And yet it was typical. With his “Building what?” query in 2009, he expressed the same ignorance that had been manifested in 2006 by controlled demolition expert Danny Jowenko and by almost half of the American people. How can we account for this ignorance?

2. Abnormal Circumstances

In a New York Times story in November 2001, James Glanz wrote that the collapse of WTC 7 was “a mystery that under normal circumstances would probably have captured the attention of the city and the world.”[20]Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center.” Clearly these were not normal circumstances.

Part of the abnormality was the fact that Building 7, while huge, was overshadowed by the Twin Towers, which were over twice as tall. This fact by itself, however, would not account for the enormous ignorance about this third building’s collapse. Knowledgeable people had said right away, as Glanz pointed out, that there was a sense in which the collapse of Building 7 should have been the bigger story. Why was it not?

3. Deliberate Suppression

The answer seems to be that it was a deliberately suppressed story. This conclusion is supported by the following facts:

• First, after 9/11 itself, our television networks played videos of the Twin Towers being hit by planes, then coming down, over and over, but the collapse of Building 7 was seldom, if ever, shown.

• Second, when The 9/11 Commission Report was issued in 2004, it did not even mention that Building 7 came down.

• Third, after NIST—the National Institute for Standards and Technology—took over from FEMA the task of explaining the destruction of the World Trade Center, it repeatedly delayed its report on WTC 7. In 2003, NIST said that this report would be issued along with its report on the Twin Towers, the draft of which was to appear in September 2004.[21]“National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee 2003 Report to Congress” (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/NCSTAC2003ReporttoCongres....pdf), 4. However, even though NIST’s report on the Twin Towers did not actually appear until 2005, the promised report on WTC 7 was not included: NIST said that it would appear in 2006. But when August of 2006 came, NIST said: “It is anticipated that a draft report [on WTC 7] will be released by early 2007.”[22]NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” , Question 14 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_8_2006.htm). This document originally contained what was quoted in the text. But NIST, never a stickler for retaining past statements that later prove embarrassing, changed this statement, evidently when they “updated” it on January 28, 2008. This “updated” version of the 2006 document gives the reader the impression that NIST in 2006, instead of saying, “It is anticipated that a draft report will be released by early 2007,” said: “It is anticipated that a draft report will be released for public comment by July 2008 and that the final report will be released shortly thereafter.” The original document, as updated August 30, 2006, has been preserved in Jim Hoffman, “NIST’s World Trade Center FAQ” (http://911research.wtc7.net/reviews/nist/WTC_FAQ_re...html). But it was not released in 2007—either early or late. Instead, NIST in December 2007 “projected” that it would release draft reports on July 8, 2008, followed by final reports August 8, 2008.[23]NIST, “WTC Investigation Overview,” December 18, 2007 (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/NCSTAC_December18(Sunder).pdf). Like NIST’s 2006 document discussed in the previous note, this one has also been revised, so that it now says July and August, 2008, respectively, without giving exact dates. Instead, the draft report did not appear until August, and the final report not until November of that year—when the Bush-Cheney administration was about to leave office.

To expand on this third point: When in 2008 NIST was accused of having deliberately delayed its report on WTC 7 (which the 9/11 Truth Movement had long considered the “Achilles’ Heel” or “Smoking Gun” of the official account of 9/11[24]See “WTC 7: The Smoking Gun of 9/11” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwSc7NPn8Ok), and Paul Joseph Watson, “BBC’s 9/11 Yellow Journalism Backfires: Building 7 Becomes the Achilles Heel of the Official Conspiracy Theory,” Prison Planet, March 5, 2007 (http:// infowars.wordpress.com/2007/03/05/bbcs-911-yellow-journalism-backfires).), NIST lied, saying that it had worked on this report only since 2005 and hence for only three years—the same length of time it had worked on its Twin Towers report. However, NIST had filed progress reports on WTC 7 in December 2002 and May 2003;[25]“Progress Report on the NIST Building and Fire Investigation into the World Trade Center Disaster,” NIST, December 9, 2002 (http://www.fire.nist.gov/bfrlpubs/build03/PDF/b0304....pdf); “Progress Report on the Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster,” NIST, May 2003 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/MediaUpdate%20_FINAL_Progr....pdf). in June 2004, it published an Interim Report on WTC 7;[26]NIST, Interim Report on WTC 7, June 2004 (http://wtc.nist.gov/progress_report_june04/appendix....pdf). and in April 2005, NIST released another preliminary report on WTC 7.[27]NIST, “WTC 7 Collapse,” April 5, 2005 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/WTC%20Part%20IIC%20-%20WTC...207%20 Collapse%20Final.pdf). Then, after ceasing work on this building until after the report on the Twin Towers was issued in October 2005, NIST reported, “the investigation of the WTC 7 collapse resumed.”[28]NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 14. In truth, therefore, NIST had worked on its report on WTC 7 for almost six years, not merely three. So there was good reason to suspect that this report had been deliberately delayed for as long as possible.

III • NIST’s Draft for Public Comment: Mystery Solved? • 200 Words

In any case, when the Draft for Public Comment did finally appear in August 2008, it was announced at a press conference with much bravado. Shyam Sunder, NIST’s lead investigator for its World Trade Center projects, said:

Our take-home message today is that the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery. WTC 7 collapsed because of fires fueled by office furnishings. It did not collapse from explosives.[29]Shyam Sunder, “Opening Statement,” NIST Press Briefing, August 21, 2008 (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/opening_remarks_082108.html).

The mainstream media for the most part simply repeated Sunder’s claims. For example, an Associated Press story entitled “Report: Fire, Not Bombs, Leveled WTC 7 Building,” began by saying: “Federal investigators said Thursday they have solved a mystery of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: the collapse of World Trade Center building 7, a source of long-running conspiracy theories.” Then, after reinforcing this message by quoting Sunder’s assurance that “the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery,” this story concluded by quoting Sunder’s claim that the science behind NIST’s findings is “incredibly conclusive,” so that “[t]he public should really recognize that science is really behind what we have said.”[30]Associated Press, “Report: Fire, Not Bombs, Leveled WTC 7 Building,” USA Today August 21, 2008 (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-08-21-wtc-....htm).

Reporters, however, could easily have discovered that this was not so. They could have seen, in fact, that NIST’s WTC 7 report committed scientific fraud in the technical sense, as defined by the National Science Foundation.

IV • NIST Falsification of Evidence • 500 Words

One type of fraud is falsification, which includes “omitting data.”[31]National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General, “What is Research Misconduct?” in New Research Misconduct Policies (http://www.nsf.gov/oig/ session.pdf). This document is undated, but internal evidence suggests that it was published in 2001. While claiming that it “found no evidence of a . . . controlled demolition event,”[32]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, Vol. 1 (wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/ NCSTAR%201-9%20Vol%201.pdf): 324. NIST simply omitted an enormous amount of evidence that explosions had brought WTC 7 down.

1. Omitting Testimonial Evidence

NIST failed, for one thing, to mention any of the testimonial evidence for explosions. Besides claiming that the event described as a mid-morning explosion by Michael Hess and Barry Jennings was simply the impact of debris from the collapse of the North Tower—which occurred at 10:28 and hence about an hour later than the explosion they had described—NIST failed to mention any of the reports of explosions just as the building started to come down.

2. Omitting Physical Evidence

NIST’s report on this building also omitted various types of physical evidence, such as the piece of Swiss-cheese steel reported by the three professors in the appendix to the 2002 FEMA report.

The Swiss-Cheese Steel: After describing this piece of steel, the professors said: “A detailed study into the mechanisms of this phenomenon is needed.”[33]Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and Richard D. Sisson, Jr., “Limited Metallurgical Examination,” FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, Appendix C (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/AppendixC-fema403_apc.pdf), page 13. When NIST took over from FEMA the responsibility of issuing the official reports on the World Trade Center, NIST’s director promised that its reports would address “all major recommendations contained in the [FEMA] report.”[34]Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., Testimony before the House Science Committee Hearing on “The Investigation of the World Trade Center Collapse,” May 1, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/wtc/official/nist....htm). In the quoted statement, the name “FEMA” replaces “BPAT,” which is the abbreviation for “Building Performance Assessment Team,” the name of the ASCE team that prepared this report for FEMA. However, when NIST’s report on Building 7 appeared in 2008, it did not even mention this mysterious piece of steel, let alone explain how it had been produced. NIST even claimed that no recovered steel from this building had been identified.[35]“Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” August 21, 2008, updated (http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa...html). In response to the question, “Why didn’t the investigators look at actual steel samples from WTC 7?” NIST replied: “Steel samples were removed from the site before the NIST investigation began. In the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, debris was removed rapidly from the site to aid in recovery efforts and facilitate emergency responders’ efforts to work around the site. Once it was removed from the scene, the steel from WTC 7 could not be clearly identified. Unlike the pieces of steel from WTC 1 and WTC 2, which were painted red and contained distinguishing markings, WTC 7 steel did not contain such identifying characteristics.” This document was updated in 2010 (http://www.nist.gov/ public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa_082108.cfm), but there was no change in the quoted passage.

Melted Iron and Molybdenum: As we saw in Chapter 2, the RJ Lee research organization reported that steel was melted during “the WTC Event.” This report by the RJ Lee Group was made known in an article published in January 2008 by a team of scientists led by physicist Steven Jones,[36]Steven E. Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 19 (January 2008): 8 (http://journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp....pdf). but these reports were simply ignored by NIST.

Scientists at the US Geological Survey, besides also finding evidence that steel had melted, found that molybdenum,[37]Ibid., 4–5.
(Steven E. Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 19 (January 2008): 8 (http://journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp....pdf).)
with its extremely high melting point (4,753°F),[38]WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web (http://www.webelements.com/molybdenum/physics.html). had melted. NIST failed to mention this discovery by another federal agency, although the Steven Jones group had reported it ten months before NIST’s final report on WTC 7.

Nanothermite: A report by Jones and several other scientists, including University of Copenhagen chemist Niels Harrit, showed that the WTC dust contained unreacted nanothermite. Nanothermite, Harrit has said, can be tailored to behave as an incendiary (like ordinary thermite), and as an explosive.[39]See the statement quoted from Niels Harrit in n. 107 of Chap. 2. This report, which was published in a peer-reviewed science journal,[40]Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, et al., “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal 2 (2009): 7–31 (http://www.benthamscience.com/open/tocpj/articles/V...J.htm? TOCIEJ/2008/00000002/00000001/35TOCIEJ.SGM). was not published until after NIST’s final report on WTC 7 appeared. But NIST should have tested the WTC dust for signs of incendiaries, such as ordinary thermite, and explosives, such as nanothermite. But in spite of guidelines mandating examinations to ascertain whether such substances were used,[41]According to the Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, put out by the National Fire Protection Association, investigators should, in seeking to determine the cause of a fire, look for evidence of accelerants, which are any substances that could be used to ignite a fire or accelerate its progress (National Fire Protection Association’s 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, 1998 Edition, Section 12-2.4 (http://www.interfire.org/res_file/92112m.asp), and thermite mixtures are explicitly classified as accelerants (Section 19.2.4, “Exotic Accelerants” and “Thermite Mixtures”). NIST evidently did not do so: When NIST was asked whether it had carried out such tests, NIST said that it had not.[42]NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 12 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_8_2006.htm). When a reporter asked NIST spokesman Michael Newman why not, he replied: “[B]ecause there was no evidence of that.” When the reporter asked, “[H]ow can you know there’s no evidence if you don’t look for it first?” Newman replied: “If you’re looking for something that isn’t there, you’re wasting your time . . . and the taxpayers’ money.”[43]Jennifer Abel, “Theories of 9/11,” Hartford Advocate, January 29, 2008 (http://www.ae911truth.org/press/23).

V • NIST’s Fabrication of Evidence • 300 Words

Besides omitting and otherwise falsifying evidence, NIST also committed the type of scientific fraud called fabrication, which means simply “making up results.”[44]National Science Foundation, “What is Research Misconduct?”

1. No Girder Shear Studs

For example, in offering its explanation as to how fire caused Building 7 to collapse, NIST said that the culprit was thermal expansion, meaning that the fire heated up the steel, thereby causing it to expand. Expanding steel beams on the 13th floor, NIST claims, caused a steel girder connecting columns 44 and 79 to break loose. Having lost its support, column 79 failed, starting a chain reaction in which the other 81 columns all failed.[45]See The Mysterious Collapse, 150–55.

Leaving aside the question of whether this is even remotely possible, let us simply ask: Why did that girder fail? NIST’s answer was that it was not connected to the floor slab with shear studs. NIST wrote: “In WTC 7, no studs were installed on the girders.”[46]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 1: 346. In another passage, NIST said: “Floor beams . . . had shear studs, but the girders that supported the floor beams did not have shear studs.”[47]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 2: 462 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/ NCSTAR%201-9%20Vol%202.pdf).

However, NIST’s Interim Report on WTC 7, which it published in 2004 before it had developed its girder-failure theory, said shear studs were used to anchor “[m]ost of the beams and girders,” including the girder in question.[48]See NIST, Interim Report on WTC 7, L-6-7, and Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse, 212–15.

2. A Raging 12th Floor Fire at 5:00

Although in its 2004 Interim Reporton WTC 7, NIST said that by 4:45 PM, “the fire on Floor 12 was burned out,”[49]NIST, Interim Report on WTC 7, L-26 (http://wtc.nist.gov/progress_report_june04/appendix....pdf). This contradiction is pointed out in a video, “NIST Report on WTC7 Debunked and Exposed!” YouTube, December 28, 2008 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= qFpbZ-aLDLY), at 0:45 to 1:57. it claimed in its 2008 report that at 5:00, just 21 minutes before the building collapsed, the fire on this floor was still going strong.[50]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 2: 384, Figure 9–11.

VI • NIST’s Final Report: Affirming a Miracle • 400 Words

As we saw in Chapter 2, NIST denied in its next-to-final report on WTC 7—the Draft for Public Comment—that this building had come down in free fall or even close to it. Shyam Sunder, who headed up NIST’s reports on the World Trade Center, even stated that free fall would have been impossible. Speaking in August of 2008, he explained:

[A] free fall time would be [the fall time of] an object that has no structural components below it. . . . [But] there was structural resistance . . . . And you had a sequence of structural failures that had to take place. Everything was not instantaneous.[51]NIST, “WTC 7 Technical Briefing,” August 26, 2008. Although NIST originally had a video and a transcript of this briefing at its Internet website, it removed both of them. However, Nate Flach has made the video available at Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/11941571). And the transcript, under the title “NIST Technical Briefing on Its Final Draft Report on WTC 7 for Public Comment,” is available at David Chandler’s website (http://911speakout.org/NIST_Tech_Briefing_Transcrip....pdf).

But in its final report on WTC 7, which came out in November 2008, NIST admitted that free fall did occur for over two seconds, reporting “a freefall descent over approximately eight stories at gravitational acceleration for approximately 2.25 s[econds].”[52]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7 (wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR% 201-9%20Vol%201.pdf): 607.

While making this admission, NIST did not revise its explanation as to why the building came down: It still claimed that WTC 7 was brought down by fire. And yet Sunder had explained only three months earlier (in the previous indented statement) that a fire-induced collapse (which was what he was defending) could not possibly have come down in free fall.

Physicist David Chandler, who provoked NIST to admit free fall, had explained why a fire-induced collapse could not come down in free fall: “Free fall can only be achieved if there is zero resistance to the motion.”[53]David Chandler, “WTC7 in Freefall – No Longer Controversial,” September 4, 2008 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCDpL4Ax7I), at 3:27. In other words, a fire-induced collapse of a steel-framed building—assuming for the sake of argument that this might be possible—could not enter free fall, because even if the top floor came down, its descent would encounter resistance. The top floor of Building 7 could have come down in free fall only if something had suddenly removed all the steel and concrete in the lower part of the building, so that there would be zero resistance.

This removal could only have been produced—assuming that there was no divine intervention—by explosives. And yet NIST, continuing to insist that explosives were not used, implied that a violation of laws of physics occurred. Knowing full well that it had violated laws of physics, NIST—as we saw in Chapter 2—removed every instance of the phrase, stated in the preliminary report, that its report on WTC 7 is “consistent with physical principles.”[54]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Draft for Public Comment, Vol. 2: 595–96, 596, 610.

VII • Explaining the Ignorance about WTC 7 • 3,200 Words

NIST’s admission that WTC 7 came down in free fall for over two seconds—an admission that implies either explosives or a miracle—should have been front-page news. Given the fact that the collapse of WTC 7 had been declared a mystery from the outset, the world should have been waiting with baited breath for every new clue as to why this 47-story building had come down. Upon hearing Building 7 mentioned, nobody in the world with access to CNN should have replied, “Building what?” How do we explain the fact that five and even ten years after the mysterious collapse of this building, ignorance about it was still widespread?

To begin answering this question, let us return to James Glanz’s statement that the collapse of WTC 7 was “a mystery that under normal circumstances would probably have captured the attention of the city and the world.”[55]Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center” (emphasis added). As I stated before, the abnormality seems to have been such that the fact of this building’s collapse, and especially videos of this collapse, were deliberately suppressed. What was this abnormality?

1. SCADs

As mentioned in Chapter 2, an issue of American Behavioral Scientist, a leading social science journal, had a symposium on State Crimes against Democracy, which is abbreviated SCADs.[56]Symposium on State Crimes against Democracy, American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 783–939 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6). Online access is expensive, but the entire published (hardcover) issue can be purchased for $24 ([email protected]). The authors of this symposium argue that this is an increasingly important type of criminality, so that social scientists need to develop a scientific approach to studying it. SCADs are understood as “concerted actions . . . by government insiders intended to manipulate democratic processes and undermine popular sovereignty.” Having the “potential to subvert political institutions and entire governments,” SCADs are “high crimes that attack democracy itself.”[57]Lance deHaven-Smith, “Beyond Conspiracy Theory: Patterns of High Crime in American Government,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 795–825 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6), at 796.

There are two types of SCADs. On the one hand, there are officially proven SCADs, such as “the Watergate break-ins and cover-up . . . , the secret wars in Laos and Cambodia . . . , the illegal arms sales and covert operations in Iran-Contra . . . , and the effort to discredit Joseph Wilson by revealing his wife’s status as an intelligence agent.”

On the other hand, there are suspected SCADs for which there is good evidence. The symposium authors included in this category

the fabricated attacks on U.S. ships in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 . . . , the “October Surprises” in the presidential elections of 1968 . . . and 1980 . . . , the assassinations of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy . . . , the election breakdowns in 2000 and 2004 . . . , the numerous defense failures on September 11, 2001 . . . , and the misrepresentation of intelligence to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq.[58]Ibid. 797.
(Lance deHaven-Smith, “Beyond Conspiracy Theory: Patterns of High Crime in American Government,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 795–825 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6), at 796.)

As this list of illustrations shows, the symposium authors discuss as merely suspected SCADs some events that are widely considered proven, such as the Gulf of Tonkin hoax and the false claim that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

In any case, besides regarding the 9/11 attacks as one of the suspected SCADs for which there is good evidence, this symposium treated it as its primary example. The abstract for the introductory essay began thus: “The ellipses of due diligence riddling the official account of the 9/11 incidents continue being ignored by scholars of policy and public administration.”[59]Ibid., 783.
(Lance deHaven-Smith, “Beyond Conspiracy Theory: Patterns of High Crime in American Government,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 795–825 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6), at 796.)

The symposium’s final essay, criticizing the majority of the academic world for its “blithe dismissal of more than one law of thermodynamics” that is violated by the official theory of the World Trade Center collapses,[60]Matthew T. Witt, “Pretending Not to See or Hear, Refusing to Signify: The Farce and Tragedy of Geocentric Public Affairs Scholarship,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 921–39 (http://abs.sagepub.com/ content/vol53/issue6), at 934. also criticized the academy for its failure to protest when “Professor Steven Jones found himself forced out of a tenured position for merely reminding the world that physical laws, about which there is no dissent whatsoever, contradict the official theory of the World Trade Center Towers’ collapse.”[61]Ibid., 932 (emphasis in original).
(Matthew T. Witt, “Pretending Not to See or Hear, Refusing to Signify: The Farce and Tragedy of Geocentric Public Affairs Scholarship,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 921–39 (http://abs.sagepub.com/ content/vol53/issue6), at 934.)

2. Hiding the Most Obvious Evidence that 9/11 Was a SCAD

Now, if 9/11 was a SCAD, we would understand the full extent to which the destruction of the World Trade Center occurred under “abnormal” circumstances, and we would thereby be in a position to understand why the collapse of Building 7, which “under normal circumstances would probably have captured the attention of the city and the world,” did not do so.

The fact is that it was not allowed to become well known, for reasons mentioned earlier: Unlike the Twin Towers, it was not hit by a plane; because of this, there was no jet fuel to spread big fires to many floors; and its collapse, unlike that of each of the Twin Towers, looked exactly like a classic implosion, in which the collapse begins from the bottom and the building folds in upon itself, ending up almost entirely in its own footprint. That Building 7 was brought down by explosives was, therefore, much more obvious than the fact that the Twin Towers were explosively demolished.

This greater obviousness is illustrated not only by Danny Jowenko’s response, but also by the many engineers and scientists who joined the 9/11 Truth Movement only after seeing a video of this building’s collapse. For example, Daniel Hofnung, an engineer in Paris, wrote:

In the years after the 9/11 events, I thought that all I read in professional reviews and French newspapers was true. The first time I understood that it was impossible was when I saw a film about the collapse of WTC 7.[62]Daniel Hofnung, Patriots Question 9/11 (http://patriotsquestion911.com/ engineers.html#Dhofnung).

Likewise, civil engineer Chester Gearhart wrote:

I have watched the construction of many large buildings and also have personally witnessed 5 controlled demolitions in Kansas City. When I saw the towers fall on 9/11, I knew something was wrong and my first instinct was that it was impossible. When I saw building 7 fall, I knew it was a controlled demolition.[63]Chester W. Gearhart, Patriots Question 9/11 (http://patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html#Gearhart).

This video was also decisive for University of Copenhagen chemist Niels Harrit, who later became the first author of the nanothermite paper. When asked how he became involved with these issues, he replied:

It all started when I saw the collapse of Building 7, the third skyscraper. It collapsed seven hours after the Twin Towers. And there were only two airplanes. When you see a 47-storey building, 186 meters tall, collapse in 6.5 seconds, and you are a scientist, you think “What?” I had to watch it again. . . and again. I hit the button ten times, and my jaw dropped lower and lower. Firstly, I had never heard of that building before. And there was no visible reason why it should collapse in that way, straight down, in 6.5 seconds. I have had no rest since that day.[64]“Danish Scientist Niels Harrit, on Nanothermite in the WTC Dust (English subtitles),” YouTube, April 6, 2009 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_tf25lx_3o).

Given these reactions, it is obvious that, if 9/11 was a State Crime against Democracy, the fact of Building 7’s collapse, and especially the video of this collapse, had to be suppressed as much as possible. In order to prevent awareness that this building came down in virtual free fall, the cover-up artists prevented videos of WTC 7’s “collapse” from being shown on television. And in order to forestall as long as possible widespread awareness that this third building even came down, these cover-up artists prevented this fact from being mentioned in The 9/11 Commission Report.

3. WTC 7 as a Dud

Having made this point, I need to respond to an obvious objection: If those who were responsible for bringing down Building 7 were going to need to suppress the video of its collapse, why did they not bring this building down until late in the afternoon, when the air was clean and cameras would be trained on the building—with the consequence that we have perfectly clear videos of the collapse of WTC 7 from various angles, each one showing its straight-down, virtual free-fall, descent? Why did they not bring it down in the morning, shortly after one of the Twin Towers had collapsed, when the resulting dust cloud would have made any images impossible? After the collapse of the North Tower at 10:28, for example, visibility did not return sufficiently for film crews to come back to the area, NIST reported, until 11:00.[65]NIST NCSTAR 1A, Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201A.pdf) 51; NIST NCSTAR 1–9: 119. Had Building 7 been imploded at, say, 10:45, we would not have these videos clearly showing it coming straight down in virtual free fall.

There are many reasons, as I showed in an appendix to The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7, to believe that this had indeed been the plan—that is, to bring it down at about 10:45 AM—but that this building was, as one researcher put it, “a dud”[66]Jeremy Baker, “Was WTC 7 a Dud?” Serendipity, 2005 (http://www.serendipity.li/wot/wtc7_dud.htm).—meaning that “the demolition system in WTC 7 simply did not respond as intended and the building defiantly remained intact.”[67]Jeremy Baker, “Last Building Standing,” Serendipity, 2007 (http://www.serendipity.li/wot/last_building_standin....pdf). This is a revised and updated version of “Was WTC 7 a Dud?” If this is what happened, then it would make sense that agents would have been sent into the building to set fires, so that the cover-story could be that fires had brought the building down. This hypothesis would explain why, although the fires in Building 7 were supposedly started by flaming debris from the North Tower’s collapse at 10:28, no flames were visible in this building, NIST admitted, until after noon, and on some floors there is no photographic evidence of fire until 3:40, 4:00, and 5:00 PM.[68]NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 1: 194, 243, 244, 247.

In any case, had the demolition system worked as intended, this building’s collapse would still have been a big mystery, but there would have been no videos showing that it had come straight down and, for over two seconds, in absolute free fall.

I have emphasized this likelihood—that the destruction of WTC 7 was a botched operation—because if true it provides the clearest possible illustration of the theme of this chapter, namely, that SCADs can be hidden in plain sight. There are literally dozens of contradictions in the official account of 9/11 that show it to have been an inside operation. But the clearest proof of this is provided by the video of this enormous building coming straight down in free fall—virtual free fall for the entire period, which was about seven seconds, and absolute free fall for 2.25 seconds of that period. And yet even though this proof has existed in plain sight for all these years, the fact that 9/11 was an inside job, and hence a State Crime against Democracy, has remained a hidden fact, at least in the sense that it is not part of the public conversation. If the destruction of WTC 7 was a botched operation, then the hiding of the fact that 9/11 was a SCAD is even more impressive. How was this hiding achieved?

4. Hiding SCADs: The Role of the Mainstream Media

Peter Dale Scott, discussing the erosion of the US constitution in recent times, suggests that “this erosion has been achieved in part through a series of important deep events in [post-World-War-II] American history—events aspects of which . . . will be ignored or suppressed in the mainstream media.”[69]Peter Dale Scott, “9/11, Deep State Violence, and the Hope of Internet Politics,” Global Research June 11, 2008 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&a...9289). Indeed, Scott adds:

[T]he mainstream U.S. media . . . have become so implicated in past protective lies . . . that they, as well as the government, have now a demonstrated interest in preventing the truth about any of these events from coming out. This means that the current threat to constitutional rights does not derive from the deep state alone. . . . [T]he problem is a global dominance mindset that prevails not only inside the Washington Beltway but also in the mainstream media . . . , one which has come to accept recent inroads on constitutional liberties, and stigmatizes, or at least responds with silence to, those who are alarmed by them. . . . [A]cceptance of this mindset’s notions of decorum has increasingly become a condition for participation in mainstream public life.[70]Ibid. More recently, Scott has ceased speaking about a “deep state,” because it suggests an organized entity with a location, and speaks instead only of “deep events” brought about by “deep forces.” This revised language is reflected in his American War Machine (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010 [http://www.amazon.com/American-War-Machine-Connecti...555941]), in which he refers to “deep events” as “events that are systematically ignored, suppressed, or falsified in public (and even internal) government, military, and intelligence documents as well as in the mainstream media and public consciousness,” and says that underlying these events “is frequently the involvement of deep forces linked either to the drug traffic or to agencies of surveillance (or to both together).” He then adds: “A clearly defined deep event will combine both internal features—evidence, such as a discernible cover-up, that aspects are being suppressed—and external features—an ongoing and perhaps irresoluble controversy as to what happened.”
(Peter Dale Scott, “9/11, Deep State Violence, and the Hope of Internet Politics,” Global Research June 11, 2008 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&a...9289).)

Referring thereby to events such as the JFK assassination, the Tonkin Gulf hoax, and 9/11, Scott by “deep events” means the same types of events called SCADs by the authors of the symposium on that topic. Indeed, one of those authors cited Scott’s writings, treating his “deep events” as examples of SCADs and quoting his statements about the complicity of the mainstream media in covering up the truth about these events.[71]Laurie A. Manwell, “In Denial of Democracy: Social Psychological Implications for Public Discourse on State Crimes against Democracy Post-9/11,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 848-84 (http://abs.sagepub.com/ content/vol53/issue6), at 867–70.

These authors also make the same point themselves, remarking that “the U.S. government’s account of 9/11 [is] parroted by the mainstream media”[72]Ibid., 863.
(Laurie A. Manwell, “In Denial of Democracy: Social Psychological Implications for Public Discourse on State Crimes against Democracy Post-9/11,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 848-84 (http://abs.sagepub.com/ content/vol53/issue6), at 867–70.)
and commenting on “the profound disavowal of still burning, molten questions originating at 9/11 Ground Zero gone begging by the American media.”[73]Matthew T. Witt and Alexander Kouzmin, “Sense Making Under ‘Holographic’ Conditions: Framing SCAD Research,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 783–94 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6), at 789.

Besides parroting the government’s account of 9/11 and stigmatizing those who provide alternative accounts with the discrediting label “conspiracy theorist,” how has America’s mainstream media kept the truth about WTC 7 hidden from the majority of the American people? Through various means:

• First, by never replaying the statements by Dan Rather and other reporters about how the collapse of WTC 7 looked just like a controlled demolition.

• Second, by seldom, if ever, replaying the video of this building’s collapse.

• Third, by never mentioning credible critiques of the official account. For example, my 2009 book, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 is Unscientific and False, which has been endorsed by prestigious scientists and engineers, has never been reviewed in the mainstream media, even though my previous 9/11 book, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, was a Publishers Weekly “Pick of the Week” in 2008.[7]“Michael Hess, WTC7 Explosion Witness,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUfiLbXMa64). Hess should have said “down to the sixth floor.” As Barry Jennings later clarified, the explosion that blocked their descent occurred when they reached the sixth floor, after which they walked back up to the eighth floor, where they waited to be rescued; see “Barry Jennings—9/11 WTC7 Full Uncut Interview,” Part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxUj6UgPODo), at 5:08–5:33.

• Fourth, by never mentioning, except for one story that apparently slipped through,[75]Jennifer Harper, “Explosive News,” Washington Times February 22, 2010 (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/22/ins...umns). the existence of an organization called Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, which by now has over 1,500 licensed and/or degreed members calling for a new investigation of WTC 7 as well as the Twin Towers.[76]Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://ae911truth.org).

• Fifth, by never reporting scientific evidence contradicting the official account of these buildings’ destruction, such as the reported discovery of nanothermite in the WTC dust.

• Sixth, by overlooking the fact that NIST’s report on WTC 7 omitted an enormous amount of evidence showing that explosives must have been used. For example, although the New York Times in 2002 called the piece of Swiss-cheese steel recovered from this building “the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation,” it did not issue a peep when NIST’s 2008 report on this building failed to mention this piece of steel and even claimed that no steel from this building had been identified. The Times knew better but said nothing.

• Seventh, by reporting NIST’s press briefing of August 2008 announcing the Draft for Public Comment, in which Shyam Sunder announced with great bravado that the “the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery” and that “science is really behind what we have said,” but then not reporting on NIST’s final report in November, in which it almost explicitly admitted that science does not stand behind, but contradicts, its theory of this building’s collapse (by admitting that it came down in absolute free fall for over two seconds, even though Sunder had pointed out that free fall would, in a fire-induced collapse, have been impossible).

Conclusion

Through these and related means, the truth about the collapse of Building 7 has been effectively hidden, even though it has existed in plain sight all these years. Even the bare fact of the collapse itself has been so effectively hidden that over 40 percent of the American public in 2006 did not know that WTC 7 had come down on 9/11, and in 2009 a judge in New York City, upon hearing a reference to Building 7, could ask: “Building what?”

I offer this chapter as a case study in the power of the forces behind SCADs to hide things that exist in plain sight, because if they can hide the straight-down free-fall collapse of a 47-story building captured on video in broad daylight, they can hide almost anything.

Postscript

When I delivered the lecture on which this chapter is based in 2010, I said that I made the closing point—that “they can hide almost anything”—not to instill despair but to point to the seriousness of the problem, and also to pave the way for making a proposal: Recognizing the high correlation between those who know about the collapse of WTC 7 and those who believe that a new—or rather real—9/11 investigation is needed, I proposed that the international 9/11 Truth Movement should initiate, starting in September 2010, a year-long Building 7 campaign. This would involve expanding the Building What? campaign that had already been launched in New York by the NYC Coalition for Accountability (NYC CAN). This campaign would seek to increase greatly, by the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the level of awareness worldwide of what happened to World Trade Center 7.

The campaign became quite successful. In August 2010, a 30- second “Building What?” video ad was made by a first-rate filmmaker.[77]“Building What?” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXkiSPXvZbY). Through small donations, $100,000 was raised to purchase commercial time on cable television in the NYC area.

On November 13, Geraldo Rivera of Fox News, having seen the ad, arranged a segment about Building 7 with engineer Tony Szamboti, a member of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and Bob McIlvaine, who lost his son in the 9/11 attacks. “What caught my eye,” Rivera said, was the fact that over 1,300 architects and engineers disagreed with NIST’s conclusion about WTC 7. At the end of this segment, Rivera, who had previously derided “Truthers” (telling them to “get a life”), said: “I certainly am much more open minded about it than I was, because of the involvement of the 9/11 families, and all these engineers and architects—clearly they know more than I do.”[78]“Geraldo Rivera Does 911 Truth Segment about Building 7,” YouTube, November 13, 2010 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP0Hs-v-uJ0).

On November 19, 2010, Rivera was interviewed by Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox’s legal analyst, on his Fox Business show Freedom Watch. In light of Rivera’s acknowledgement that over 1,300 architects and engineers disagree with NIST’s conclusion, Napolitano asked Rivera whether he doubts the official conclusion. Rivera said:

I think that it is highly unlikely that the government would do anything nefarious on a scale of this epic nature. However, the building does appear to come down in a way that is reminiscent of a controlled demolition.

Rivera even said that, if the building was indeed brought down by explosives, then “the most obnoxious protestors in recent years are right.”[79]“Judge Napolitano and Geraldo Rivera Discuss Building 7,” November 24, 2010 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPEj2Pa1Y2g).

The following week, Judge Napolitano said: “It’s hard for me to believe that it came down by itself. . . . It couldn’t possibly have been done the way the government told us.”[80]“Fox Host Napolitano is a 9-11 Truther: ‘It couldn’t possibly have been done the way the government told us,’” Media Matters, November 24, 2010 (http://mediamatters.org/blog/201011240019).

In March 2011, the campaign, having changed its name to “Remember Building 7,” created a video ad of that name. Pointing out that the government claimed that, in Sunder’s words, the building collapsed “primarily due to fires,” an engineer states: “I along with 1,400 other architects and engineers have found the government’s conclusion to be physically impossible.”[81]Remember Building 7.org (http://rememberbuilding7.org). Another $100,000 was raised to inform still more people.

Simultaneously with releasing this new ad in June, the Remember Building 7 campaign released the results of a new poll. Among other things, this poll revealed that, although people in NYC surely are much more aware than people in the rest of the country, 33 percent of New Yorkers were still unaware that a third building had come down. And only 14 percent could name this building. So if the goal was to keep people ignorant about WTC 7, the perpetrators should be pleased.

But even more important, given Remember Building 7’s effort to overcome this ignorance, is this information: Of those who were aware that Building 7 came down, 24 percent of them believed it was a controlled demolition (while 49 percent believed it to be caused by fire). When people were informed that 1,500 architects and engineers dispute the government’s explanation of WTC 7’s collapse, the percentage who believe it was a controlled demolition rises from 24 to 36 percent. Assuming that the government has “encouraged” the press not to report about the existence of professional 9/11 organizations, such as Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, this finding by the poll would confirm the government’s wisdom in seeking to keep the public uninformed.

Likewise, these same poll results show the wisdom of Remember Building 7’s twofold approach: Informing people that not only the Twin Towers, but also Building 7 came down, and also that a growing number of architects and engineers say that the government’s explanation is physically impossible.

Notes • 2,300 Words

[1] David Ray Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 Is Unscientific and False (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2009).

[2] Lynn Margulis, “Two Hit, Three Down—The Biggest Lie,” Rock Creek Free Press January 24, 2010 (http://rockcreekfreepress.tumblr.com/post/353434420/two-hit-three-down-the-biggest-lie).

[3] James Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center: Diesel Fuel,” New York Times November 29, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/29/nyregion/nation-challenged-site- engineers-have-culprit-strange-collapse-7-world-trade.html).

[4] Rather’s statement is available on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvx904dAw0o).

[5] See the video 911 Eyewitness (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=65460757734339444) at 29:05.

[6] See “Danny Jowenko on WTC 7 Controlled Demolition,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=877gr6xtQIc), or, for more of the interview, “Jowenko WTC 7 Demolition Interviews,” in three parts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3DRhwRN06I&feature=related).

[7] “Michael Hess, WTC7 Explosion Witness,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUfiLbXMa64). Hess should have said “down to the sixth floor.” As Barry Jennings later clarified, the explosion that blocked their descent occurred when they reached the sixth floor, after which they walked back up to the eighth floor, where they waited to be rescued; see “Barry Jennings—9/11 WTC7 Full Uncut Interview,” Part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxUj6UgPODo), at 5:08–5:33.

[8] See “Barry Jennings—9/11 Early Afternoon ABC 7 Interview” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LO5V2CJpzI).

[9] This statement could previously be seen in “Barry Jennings—9/11 WTC7 Full Uncut Interview,” Part 1, at 3:57–4:05. But at the time this essay was written, it had been blocked from the Internet, because it is now in the film Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup. But the footage is available at “World Exclusive: WTC7 Survivor Barry Jennings Account” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRaKHq2dfCI).

[10] Quoted in Chris Bull and Sam Erman, eds., At Ground Zero: Young Reporters Who Were There Tell Their Stories (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2002), 97.

[11] Bartmer’s statement is quoted in Paul Joseph Watson, “NYPD Officer Heard Building 7 Bombs,” Prison Planet, February 10, 2007 (http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/february2007/100207heardbombs.htm).

[12] This unnamed medical student can be seen making this statement in 911 Eyewitness (at 31:30).

[13] James Glanz and Eric Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse,” New York Times February 2, 2002 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04E0DE153DF931A35751C0A9649C8B63). Joan Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” WPI Transformations Spring 2002 (http://www.wpi.edu/News/ Transformations/2002Spring/steel.html); James Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center: Diesel Fuel,” New York Times November 29, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/29/ nyregion/29TOWE.html).

[14] See Kenneth Change, “Scarred Steel Holds Clues, And Remedies,” New York Times October 2, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/02/science/ scarred-steel-holds-clues-and-remedies.html).

[15] WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html).

[16] Ibid.

[17] See FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_ch5.pdf), Chap. 5, Sect. 6.2, “Probable Collapse Sequence,” at page 31.

[18] “A Word about Our Poll of American Thinking Toward the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks,” Zogby International, May 24, 2006 (http://web.archive.org/web/20090422012551/http://www.zogby.com/features/ Features.cfm?ID=231).

[19] In the ensuing exchange, Judge Lehner showed that he was not completely unaware of this building’s destruction, asking if it was “the one that has been rebuilt.” Shortly thereafter, however, the judge confused this building with the Twin Towers. See pages 16–19 of “Proceedings, Christopher Burke et al, Petitioners. vs. Michael McSweeney as City Clerk of New York and Clerk of the City Council of New York and the Board of Elections in the City of New York, before Honorable Edward H. Lehner, J. S. C., Supreme Court of the State of New York, September 29, 2009.”

[20] Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center.”

[21] “National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee 2003 Report to Congress” (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/NCSTAC2003ReporttoCongressFinal.pdf), 4.

[22] NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” , Question 14 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_8_2006.htm). This document originally contained what was quoted in the text. But NIST, never a stickler for retaining past statements that later prove embarrassing, changed this statement, evidently when they “updated” it on January 28, 2008. This “updated” version of the 2006 document gives the reader the impression that NIST in 2006, instead of saying, “It is anticipated that a draft report will be released by early 2007,” said: “It is anticipated that a draft report will be released for public comment by July 2008 and that the final report will be released shortly thereafter.” The original document, as updated August 30, 2006, has been preserved in Jim Hoffman, “NIST’s World Trade Center FAQ” (http://911research.wtc7.net/reviews/nist/WTC_FAQ_reply.html).

[23] NIST, “WTC Investigation Overview,” December 18, 2007 (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/NCSTAC_December18(Sunder).pdf). Like NIST’s 2006 document discussed in the previous note, this one has also been revised, so that it now says July and August, 2008, respectively, without giving exact dates.

[24] See “WTC 7: The Smoking Gun of 9/11” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwSc7NPn8Ok), and Paul Joseph Watson, “BBC’s 9/11 Yellow Journalism Backfires: Building 7 Becomes the Achilles Heel of the Official Conspiracy Theory,” Prison Planet, March 5, 2007 (http:// infowars.wordpress.com/2007/03/05/bbcs-911-yellow-journalism-backfires).

[25] “Progress Report on the NIST Building and Fire Investigation into the World Trade Center Disaster,” NIST, December 9, 2002 (http://www.fire.nist.gov/bfrlpubs/build03/PDF/b03040.pdf); “Progress Report on the Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster,” NIST, May 2003 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/MediaUpdate%20_FINAL_ProgressReport051303.pdf).

[26] NIST, Interim Report on WTC 7, June 2004 (http://wtc.nist.gov/progress_report_june04/appendixl.pdf).

[27] NIST, “WTC 7 Collapse,” April 5, 2005 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/WTC%20Part%20IIC%20-%20WTC%207%20 Collapse%20Final.pdf).

[28] NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 14.

[29] Shyam Sunder, “Opening Statement,” NIST Press Briefing, August 21, 2008 (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/opening_remarks_082108.html).

[30] Associated Press, “Report: Fire, Not Bombs, Leveled WTC 7 Building,” USA Today August 21, 2008 (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-08-21-wtc-nist_N.htm).

[31] National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General, “What is Research Misconduct?” in New Research Misconduct Policies (http://www.nsf.gov/oig/ session.pdf). This document is undated, but internal evidence suggests that it was published in 2001.

[32] NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, Vol. 1 (wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/ NCSTAR%201-9%20Vol%201.pdf): 324.

[33] Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and Richard D. Sisson, Jr., “Limited Metallurgical Examination,” FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, Appendix C (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/AppendixC-fema403_apc.pdf), page 13.

[34] Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., Testimony before the House Science Committee Hearing on “The Investigation of the World Trade Center Collapse,” May 1, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/wtc/official/nist/bement.htm). In the quoted statement, the name “FEMA” replaces “BPAT,” which is the abbreviation for “Building Performance Assessment Team,” the name of the ASCE team that prepared this report for FEMA.

[35] “Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” August 21, 2008, updated (http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa_082108.html). In response to the question, “Why didn’t the investigators look at actual steel samples from WTC 7?” NIST replied: “Steel samples were removed from the site before the NIST investigation began. In the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, debris was removed rapidly from the site to aid in recovery efforts and facilitate emergency responders’ efforts to work around the site. Once it was removed from the scene, the steel from WTC 7 could not be clearly identified. Unlike the pieces of steel from WTC 1 and WTC 2, which were painted red and contained distinguishing markings, WTC 7 steel did not contain such identifying characteristics.” This document was updated in 2010 (http://www.nist.gov/ public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa_082108.cfm), but there was no change in the quoted passage.

[36] Steven E. Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction,” Journal of 9/11 Studies 19 (January 2008): 8 (http://journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp2.pdf).

[37] Ibid., 4–5.

[38] WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web (http://www.webelements.com/molybdenum/physics.html).

[39] See the statement quoted from Niels Harrit in n. 107 of Chap. 2.

[40] Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, et al., “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal 2 (2009): 7–31 (http://www.benthamscience.com/open/tocpj/articles/V002/7TOCPJ.htm? TOCIEJ/2008/00000002/00000001/35TOCIEJ.SGM).

[41] According to the Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, put out by the National Fire Protection Association, investigators should, in seeking to determine the cause of a fire, look for evidence of accelerants, which are any substances that could be used to ignite a fire or accelerate its progress (National Fire Protection Association’s 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, 1998 Edition, Section 12-2.4 (http://www.interfire.org/res_file/92112m.asp), and thermite mixtures are explicitly classified as accelerants (Section 19.2.4, “Exotic Accelerants” and “Thermite Mixtures”).

[42] NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 12 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_8_2006.htm).

[43] Jennifer Abel, “Theories of 9/11,” Hartford Advocate, January 29, 2008 (http://www.ae911truth.org/press/23).

[44] National Science Foundation, “What is Research Misconduct?”

[45] See The Mysterious Collapse, 150–55.

[46] NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 1: 346.

[47] NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 2: 462 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/ NCSTAR%201-9%20Vol%202.pdf).

[48] See NIST, Interim Report on WTC 7, L-6-7, and Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse, 212–15.

[49] NIST, Interim Report on WTC 7, L-26 (http://wtc.nist.gov/progress_report_june04/appendixl.pdf). This contradiction is pointed out in a video, “NIST Report on WTC7 Debunked and Exposed!” YouTube, December 28, 2008 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= qFpbZ-aLDLY), at 0:45 to 1:57.

[50] NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 2: 384, Figure 9–11.

[51] NIST, “WTC 7 Technical Briefing,” August 26, 2008. Although NIST originally had a video and a transcript of this briefing at its Internet website, it removed both of them. However, Nate Flach has made the video available at Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/11941571). And the transcript, under the title “NIST Technical Briefing on Its Final Draft Report on WTC 7 for Public Comment,” is available at David Chandler’s website (http://911speakout.org/NIST_Tech_Briefing_Transcript.pdf).

[52] NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7 (wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR% 201-9%20Vol%201.pdf): 607.

[53] David Chandler, “WTC7 in Freefall – No Longer Controversial,” September 4, 2008 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCDpL4Ax7I), at 3:27.

[54] NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Draft for Public Comment, Vol. 2: 595–96, 596, 610.

[55] Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center” (emphasis added).

[56] Symposium on State Crimes against Democracy, American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 783–939 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6). Online access is expensive, but the entire published (hardcover) issue can be purchased for $24 ([email protected]).

[57] Lance deHaven-Smith, “Beyond Conspiracy Theory: Patterns of High Crime in American Government,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 795–825 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6), at 796.

[58] Ibid. 797.

[59] Ibid., 783.

[60] Matthew T. Witt, “Pretending Not to See or Hear, Refusing to Signify: The Farce and Tragedy of Geocentric Public Affairs Scholarship,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 921–39 (http://abs.sagepub.com/ content/vol53/issue6), at 934.

[61] Ibid., 932 (emphasis in original).

[62] Daniel Hofnung, Patriots Question 9/11 (http://patriotsquestion911.com/ engineers.html#Dhofnung).

[63] Chester W. Gearhart, Patriots Question 9/11 (http://patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html#Gearhart).

[64] “Danish Scientist Niels Harrit, on Nanothermite in the WTC Dust (English subtitles),” YouTube, April 6, 2009 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_tf25lx_3o).

[65] NIST NCSTAR 1A, Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201A.pdf) 51; NIST NCSTAR 1–9: 119.

[66] Jeremy Baker, “Was WTC 7 a Dud?” Serendipity, 2005 (http://www.serendipity.li/wot/wtc7_dud.htm).

[67] Jeremy Baker, “Last Building Standing,” Serendipity, 2007 (http://www.serendipity.li/wot/last_building_standing.pdf). This is a revised and updated version of “Was WTC 7 a Dud?”

[68] NIST NCSTAR 1–9, Vol. 1: 194, 243, 244, 247.

[69] Peter Dale Scott, “9/11, Deep State Violence, and the Hope of Internet Politics,” Global Research June 11, 2008 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9289).

[70] Ibid. More recently, Scott has ceased speaking about a “deep state,” because it suggests an organized entity with a location, and speaks instead only of “deep events” brought about by “deep forces.” This revised language is reflected in his American War Machine (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010 [http://www.amazon.com/American-War-Machine-Connection-Afghanistan/dp/0742555941]), in which he refers to “deep events” as “events that are systematically ignored, suppressed, or falsified in public (and even internal) government, military, and intelligence documents as well as in the mainstream media and public consciousness,” and says that underlying these events “is frequently the involvement of deep forces linked either to the drug traffic or to agencies of surveillance (or to both together).” He then adds: “A clearly defined deep event will combine both internal features—evidence, such as a discernible cover-up, that aspects are being suppressed—and external features—an ongoing and perhaps irresoluble controversy as to what happened.”

[71] Laurie A. Manwell, “In Denial of Democracy: Social Psychological Implications for Public Discourse on State Crimes against Democracy Post-9/11,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 848-84 (http://abs.sagepub.com/ content/vol53/issue6), at 867–70.

[72] Ibid., 863.

[73] Matthew T. Witt and Alexander Kouzmin, “Sense Making Under ‘Holographic’ Conditions: Framing SCAD Research,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 783–94 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6), at 789.

[74] Publishers Weekly, November 24, 2008 (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/ by-topic/1-legacy/15-web-exclusive-book-reviews/article/6017-web-exclusive-reviews-week-of-11-24-2008-.html).

[75] Jennifer Harper, “Explosive News,” Washington Times February 22, 2010 (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/22/inside-the-beltway-70128635/?feat=home_columns).

[76] Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://ae911truth.org).

[77] “Building What?” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXkiSPXvZbY).

[78] “Geraldo Rivera Does 911 Truth Segment about Building 7,” YouTube, November 13, 2010 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP0Hs-v-uJ0).

[79] “Judge Napolitano and Geraldo Rivera Discuss Building 7,” November 24, 2010 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPEj2Pa1Y2g).

[80] “Fox Host Napolitano is a 9-11 Truther: ‘It couldn’t possibly have been done the way the government told us,’” Media Matters, November 24, 2010 (http://mediamatters.org/blog/201011240019).

[81] Remember Building 7.org (http://rememberbuilding7.org).

Chapter 5 • Phone Calls from the 9/11 Planes: How They Fooled America • 19,000 Words

The public has been led to believe that passengers and flight attendants on the 9/11 airplanes made telephone calls to people on the ground, telling them what was happening on the planes. According to these messages, the airplanes were hijacked. The reported phone calls fooled America, with even well-educated people believing that the reported calls were real. As we saw in Chapter 2, Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive, said in a 2006 essay defending the official account of 9/11: “we know from cell phone conversations that passengers on board that plane planned on confronting the hijackers.”

Besides convincing people that the 9/11 planes had been hijacked, some of the reported calls were more specific, saying that the planes were taken over by “Middle Eastern-looking men.” One caller, reporting having gotten a close look at one of the hijackers, described him as having “an Islamic look.”[1]Kerry Hall, “Flight Attendant Helped Fight Hijackers,” News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.), September 21, 2001 (http://web.archive.org/web/20080302115428/ http://mm.news-record.com/legacy/photo/tradecenter/....htm).

These reported phone calls have been of utmost importance to the official story about 9/11. They provided the main basis for the twofold belief that (1) the planes had been hijacked and that (2) the hijackers were from the Middle East. The authorities quickly identified the alleged hijackers as members of al-Qaeda.

There is a multi-faceted argument against the official account of 9/11 (according to which the 9/11 attacks were carried out by Muslim members of al-Qaeda). Part of this argument is that the “phone calls from the planes” were not authentic. The present essay provides various types of evidence that the calls were, indeed, faked.

I • The Alleged Hijackers: No Evidence They Existed, Evidence They Did Not Exist • 300 Words

The final section of Chapter 1 dealt primarily with evidence that was provided by US authorities for the claim that there were hijackers on four flights: AA 11 and 77 and UA 175 and 93. This evidence included incriminating evidence said to have been found in Mohamed Atta’s luggage; al-Qaeda operatives captured on airport security videos; the voice of a member of al-Qaeda, generally thought to be Atta, on a radio transmission; al-Qaeda passports at crash sites; an al-Qaeda headband at a crash site; and passenger manifests generally thought to contain the names of the men identified as the hijackers. As we saw in Chapter 1, however, all of this proffered evidence, when examined, disintegrates.

In addition to this negative evidence—that there is no evidence for the claim that al-Qaeda operatives hijacked the planes—there is also, as we saw, evidence for a stronger conclusion: that there simply were no al-Qaeda hijackers. This conclusion is grounded in three types of evidence: (1) That there were no authentic passenger manifests with the names of the alleged hijackers (in fact, with any Arab names whatsoever). (2) That the autopsies for the attack on the Pentagon contained no names of any of the alleged hijackers (indeed, no Arab names whatsoever). (3) That not a single one of the eight pilots squawked the hijack code. These facts count heavily—indeed decisively—against the idea that there were Arab-Muslim hijackers on the planes. And if there were no Arab-Muslim hijackers, then there would have been no phone calls from the planes in which passengers and flight attendants described such hijackers.

II • Evidence for Faked Phone Calls: The Burnett Calls • 2,800 Words

Some people may argue, nonetheless, that the presence of hijackers on the planes was proved by phone calls from passengers and flight attendants on the 9/11 flights—phone calls in which the existence of hijackers was reported. If authentic, these calls would provide strong evidence for the existence of hijackers.

However, as I have pointed out (along with others[2]See especially Rowland Morgan. Voices. Self-published, 2010 (http://www.radiodujour.com/pdf/voices-book.pdf).), there is strong evidence that these calls were faked. To support this conclusion, one does not need to show that all, or even a large number, of the purported calls were faked. It is sufficient, logically, to show that one of the purported calls was faked. A century ago, philosopher William James pointed out that it takes only one white crow to prove that not all crows are black. Likewise, it takes only one faked call to prove that not all of the reported calls from the 9/11 airliners were authentic.

But at this point, the parallel with James’ white crow example breaks down. Spotting a white crow does not provide evidence that all, most, or even several crows are white. But realizing that one of the purported calls was faked does suggest that all of the purported phone calls were faked. Why? Because if some group or agency within the US government (including the US military) made a phone call that was supposed to be from one of the 9/11 planes, this could have come about only with considerable advance planning. This planning would disprove the official account of 9/11, according to which the planes were taken over in a surprise operation. And if the official account is false on this point, then it must be supposed that all of the purported calls were faked.

But while one example would suffice, I will discuss several purported phone calls from the 9/11 planes, showing that it would be very difficult to escape from the conclusion that they were faked. In the present section, I discuss the case of Deena Burnett, who reportedly received calls from her husband.

1. The Calls Received by Deena Burnett

Deena Burnett reported that while her husband, Tom Burnett, was on UA 93, she received “three to five cellular phone calls” from him.[3]“Interview with Deena Lynne Burnett,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 11, 2001 (http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-11-FBI-FD302-....pdf). This is important, because it would have been impossible—see the next section—for these calls to have been made using a cell phone. And yet it seems equally impossible to doubt her report about the calls she received.

With regard to some reports about people saying they had been called by a friend or relative using a cell phone, we can suspect that the person receiving the call misunderstood the caller, or that a reporter got the facts wrong. But such explanations would not work in relation to Deena Burnett, because she had recognized, she said, her husband’s cell phone number on her phone’s caller ID. She, in fact, told this to the FBI. The FBI’s summary of the interview said:

[Deena] Burnett was able to determine that her husband was using his own cellular telephone because the caller identification showed his number, 925 980-3360. Only one of the calls did not show on the caller identification as she was on the line with another call.[4]Ibid.
(“Interview with Deena Lynne Burnett,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 11, 2001 (http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-11-FBI-FD302-....pdf).)

We might, of course, assume that by the time Deena Burnett was interviewed, her memory had become confused. But this interview with the FBI occurred on 9/11 itself, only hours after she received the phone calls.

It seems, therefore, that one could explain away Deena Burnett’s testimony—that her caller ID indicated that she was called from Tom Burnett’s cell phone—only by arguing that she must have lied. However, besides the absence of evidence that Deena Burnett lied, there also appears to be no plausible hypothesis as to why she would have lied. Moreover, any suspicion that she is the type of person who might have lied would surely be dissolved by reading a 2006 interview.[5]“Tom Burnett: A Hero on Flight 93: An Interview with Deena Burnett,” Ignatius Insight, September 2006 (http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2006/deenabu...6.asp) We must conclude, therefore, that Deena Burnett’s caller ID indicated that she was called from Tom Burnett’s cell phone. Given this conclusion, would there be any way to deny that these calls must have somehow been faked?

2. Reason to Believe that the Burnett Calls Had Been Faked

At the times when Tom Burnett supposedly made his calls from UA 93, this plane would have been flying at an altitude of between 34,300 and 40,700 feet.[6]9/11CR 11, 29. The FBI’s interview of Deena Burnett showed that Tom’s first call came at 6:30 AM PST, hence at 9:30 AM EST (http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-11-FBI-FD302-....pdf). And at that time, UA 93 was said to have been at 36,000 feet. See “Flight Path Study: United Airlines Flight 93,” National Transportation Safety Board, February 19, 2002 (http://www.911myths.com/images/8/84/Team8_Box15_Hij...lanes_ Folder3_NTSB-Reports-On-UA93.pdf). Scientific studies have shown that the calls reported by Deena Burnett could not have come from Tom Burnett using his cell phone aboard UA 93. The most rigorous evidence of this kind has been provided by Canadian mathematician and scientist A. K. Dewdney, who for many years wrote a column for Scientific American. In 2003, he carried out experiments, using all the kinds of cell phones that were available in 2001 that he could find.[7]A.K. Dewdney, “Project Achilles Report: Parts One, Two and Three,” Physics 911, April 19, 2003 (http://www.physics911.net/projectachilles); “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93,” Physics 911, June 2003 (physics911.net/cellphoneflight93.htm). In my 2008 book, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, I wrote this about him:

[Dewdney] conducted some experiments with single- and double-engine airplanes to test the likelihood of successful cell phone calls from high altitudes. He found that in a single-engine plane, successful calls could be counted on only under 2,000 feet. Above that altitude, they became increasingly unlikely. At 20,000 feet, Dewdney concluded, “the chance of a typical cellphone call making it to ground and engaging a cellsite there is less than one in a hundred.” . . . In later experiments using a twin-engine plane, which has greater mass and hence provides greater insulation from electronic signals than a single-engine plane, Dewdney found that the success rate decayed to 0 percent at 7,000 feet.[8]The results of Dewdney’s twin-engine experiments are reported in Barrie Zwicker, Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-Up of 9/11 (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2006), 375. A large airliner, having much greater mass, would provide far greater insulation.[9]David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2008), 113, citing A. K. Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93,” Physics 911, June 9, 2003 (http://physics911.net/cellphoneflight93.htm).

I also wrote:

[A] cell phone had to complete a ‘handshake’ with a cellsite, and this took several seconds, so cell phones in high-speed planes would have had trouble staying connected to a cellsite long enough to complete a call.[10]Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 113.

Therefore, cell phone calls in airliners flying over 30,000 feet, especially calls that lasted long enough to have conversations, would have been out of the question.

A researcher named Erik Larson has dismissed Dewdney’s work as “not relevant” to the 9/11 flights on the grounds that “it was done in Canada, and no evidence was provided that conditions were similar.”[11]Erik Larson, “Critique of David Ray Griffin’s Fake Calls Theory,” 911 Truth News, February 11, 2011 (http://911truthnews.com/critique-of-david-ray-griff...eory). However, Dewdney wrote:

Footnotes

[N] ot only is the cellphone technological base in Canada identical to its US counterpart, but Canadian communication technology is second to none, Canada being a world-leader in research and development.[12]Dewdney, “Project Achilles Report,” Part 3.

Given the fact that Dewdney, as a scientist, would have known that the relevant conditions needed to be similar, it was up to Larson, if he wanted to dismiss Dewdney’s findings, to provide evidence that the conditions were not similar.

Larson’s dismissal of Dewdney’s work appears in the midst of an essay entitled “Critique of David Ray Griffin’s Fake Calls Theory.” Disputing my argument against the authenticity of the 9/11 phone calls, Larson claims that “there’s no actual evidence any of the phone calls were faked,” even the Burnett calls.[13]Larson, “Critique of David Ray Griffin’s Fake Calls Theory.”

Larson refers the reader to “myriad credible sources” that “indicate cell phone calls from airplanes were possible prior to 2001.” But the issue is not whether cell phone calls could have been made from planes. The issue is whether cell phone calls that lasted long enough for people to have conversations could have been made from high-altitude, fast-moving airliners. With regard to this issue, Larson, in spite of his dismissal of Dewdney’s work, said:

Cell phone calls from planes were possible before 2001, but it’s obvious that reception quality and the ability to connect and maintain a quality connection would decrease at higher altitudes and speeds. Some of the reported cell phone calls did take place at lower altitudes, but other reported calls, including Tom Burnett’s, were at higher altitudes.[14]Ibid.
(Larson, “Critique of David Ray Griffin’s Fake Calls Theory.”)

Given that recognition, there are only three options for dealing with the Burnett calls: First, one could claim that, in spite of Deena Burnett’s testimony that her husband used a cell phone, he actually used an onboard phone; this was the FBI’s approach. Second, one could claim that the calls were produced by fakery; that is my approach. Third, one could suggest that Tom Burnett’s cell phone received an electronic boost as part of a different type of fakery; this is Larson’s approach (although he has not referred to it is a type of fakery). I will look first at the FBI’s approach.

3. The Conflict with the FBI’s Report to the Moussaoui Trial

The FBI’s report on its interview with Deena Burnett on September 11, 2001, as we have seen, said she stated that her husband used his cell phone to call her, and that she knew this because she saw its number on her caller ID. Nevertheless, when the FBI issued its report on phone calls from the planes—which it made public in 2006 for the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui[15]United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Exhibit Number P200054 (http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui...ution/ flights/P200054.html). These documents can be more easily viewed in an article by Jim Hoffman, “Detailed Account of Phone Calls from September 11th Flights” (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldet...html).—it said that all of Tom Burnett’s calls were made from a passenger-seat phone. (The report even indicated the rows from which the calls were supposedly made, saying that one call was made from Row 25 and two of them from Row 24.)[16]Thomas Burnett, Jr., United Airlines Flight #93 Telephone Calls (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/docs/ex....png). According to this report, Burnett placed two calls from row 24 ABC and one call from row 25 ABC (although he had been assigned a seat in row 4).

Why, in light of the fact that Deena Burnett had clearly told the FBI in 2001 that her husband had used his cell phone to call her, did the FBI in 2006 state that Tom Burnett had used passenger-seat phones?

The answer seems to be that the FBI decided to make all of the reports of phone calls from the 9/11 airliners consistent with the evidence that cell phones available in 2001 would not work, at least reliably, from airliners at high altitudes. Dewdney’s work may have helped convince the FBI that it could not present a formal report that made claims thought to be impossible.

It had widely been reported that roughly 15 phone calls from the four 9/11 flights had been made from cell phones—some of which were, of course, the Burnett calls. But in its 2006 report, the FBI described all but two of these calls as having come from onboard phones.[17]Greg Gordon of McClatchy Newspapers reported that “a member of an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force testified” that “13 of the terrified passengers and crew members made 35 air phone calls and two cell phone calls.” See Greg Gordon, “Jurors Hear Final Struggle of Flight 93: Moussaoui Trial Plays Cockpit Tape of Jet that Crashed Sept. 11,” Sacramento Bee April 13, 2006 (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/sacbee/Gordon_M....pdf). The only two calls listed as cell phone calls were from UA 93, and they both were said to have occurred at 9:58 AM. This was when the plane had reportedly descended to 5,000 feet,[18]A graph labeled “US-93 Altitude Profile” (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/23677396100988...tPhuo) shows the plane as having descended to 5,000 feet at 9:58 AM. which was an altitude at which cell phone calls might seem plausible (even if Dewdney considered such calls quite unlikely above 1,000 feet). All of the other phone calls were said to have been made from onboard phones.

Is it not surprising that so many calls that for several years were considered cell phone calls are now designated onboard phone calls by the FBI? Is it really plausible that all of these calls had been made from onboard phones, in spite of the fact that news stories at the time reported that they had been made on cell phones? Does it not appear that the FBI simply changed their reports to prevent the stories about phone calls from being discredited by the evidence that high-altitude cell phone calls would have been impossible?

In the FBI’s defense, there are reasons to believe that many of the 15 reported calls in question had actually been described as onboard calls in some news stories from the beginning. For example, a Newsweek story about UA 93, published in September 2001, said: “Elizabeth [Honor] Wainio, 27, was speaking to her stepmother in Maryland. Another passenger, she explains, had loaned her a cell phone and told her to call her family.”[19]Karen Breslau, “The Final Moments of United Flight 93,” Newsweek September 22, 2001 (http://www.newsweek.com/2001/09/21/the-final-moment...html). Although that story clearly indicated that Wainio had used a borrowed cell phone, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story, published only a month later, said that the phone she borrowed was an “Airphone.”[20]Dennis B. Roddy, “Flight 93: Forty Lives, One Destiny,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette October 28, 2001 (http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20011028flt93....asp). With this and many other cases, we cannot say that the calls were consistently reported as having been made by cell phones.

There was also ambiguity with the case of flight attendant Amy Sweeney. In previous writings, I had taken as definitive an FBI affidavit about her testimony, in which FBI agent James Lechner stated that the American Airlines employee with whom Sweeney had a long discussion, Michael Woodward, said that Sweeney had been “using a cellular telephone.”[21]FBI Affidavit, signed by agent James K. Lechner, September 11, 2001 (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/atta/resources/docum....htm), page 9. Sweeney and Woodward are not identified by name in the affidavit, which refers simply to Sweeney as “a flight attendant on AA11” and to Woodward as “an employee of American Airlines at Logan.” But their names were revealed in an “investigative document compiled by the FBI” to which reporter Eric Lichtblau referred in “Aboard Flight 11, a Chilling Voice,” Los Angeles Times September 20, 2001 (http://articles.latimes.com/2001/sep/20/news/mn-47829). However, an FBI agent named Craig Ring reported having interviewed Woodward on that day, according to an FBI report dated September 11, 2001, and that he said Woodward “talked to flight attendant Amy Sweeney via air phone.”[22]Interview of Michael Woodward by FBI Special Agent Craig Ring, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 11, 2001 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/19131547/T7-B13-DOJ-Doc-R...-730). I am indebted to Eric Larson’s article, “Critique of David Ray Griffin’s Fake Calls Theory,” for that information. Also, a recording reportedly discovered in 2004 by the FBI said that Sweeney had used a passenger-seat phone thanks to “an AirFone card, given to her by another flight attendant.”[23]Gail Sheehy, “9/11 Tapes Reveal Ground Personnel Muffled Attacks,” New York Observer June 24, 2004 (http://www.observer.com/node/49415). So the evidence for the Sweeney call is ambiguous.

But with regard to Deena Burnett, as we have seen, there is no ambiguity, because there can be no reasonable way to deny her statement that her husband had called her from his cell phone, because her caller ID showed its number. And there is no reasonable way to deny, we have also seen, that her caller ID did indeed indicate that she had been called from his cell phone.

However, it is virtually impossible that Tom Burnett could have actually used his cell phone to call from UA 93, because this plane was reportedly flying at over 40,000 feet, and in 2001 it would have been impossible for Tom Burnett to have had three cell phone conversations with his wife while flying at that altitude.

Even Deena Burnett, who had been a flight attendant, found this puzzling. After writing in her 2006 book that she “looked at the caller ID and indeed it was Tom’s cell phone number,” she added: “I didn’t understand how he could be calling me on his cell phone from the air.”[24]Deena L. Burnett (with Anthony F. Giombetti), Fighting Back: Living Life Beyond Ourselves (Longwood, FL: Advantage Inspirational Books, 2006), 61.

Most important, the FBI, when writing its report on phone calls from the 9/11 planes—made public in 2006 in relation to the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui—evidently concluded that Tom Burnett could not have called his wife using his cell phone. So, although Deena Burnett had clearly said that her caller ID showed that she had been called from her husband’s cell phone, the FBI said in its report for the Moussaoui trial that Tom Burnett’s calls had been made from onboard phones.

4. Why Would the FBI Have Altered Deena Burnett’s Report?

There are good reasons to believe that the FBI altered the report about the calls to Deena Burnett to avoid having this report contain a claim—that Tom Burnett made cell phone calls while Flight 93 was over 40,000 feet in the air—that was technologically impossible. This is strongly suggested by the fact that the FBI treated Deena Burnett’s testimony differently from the way it treated the testimony of Lorne Lyles, the husband of CeeCee Lyles, a flight attendant on UA 93.

The FBI interviewed Lyles about a phone call from CeeCee Lyles to him that was said to have occurred at 9:58 AM, when her plane had descended to 5,000 feet. The 9:58 call from her was one of the two reported cell phone calls that were accepted by the FBI as having truly been made from cell phones. In the FBI’s summary of its interview with Lorne Lyles about the call from his wife, it said:

At 9:58 AM, Lorne Lyles received a call at home from her celular [sic] telephone. . . . Lyles commented that CeCe [sic] Lyles’ telephone number 941-823-2355 was the number on the caller ID.[25]Interview with Lorne Lyles, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 12, 2001 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/15072623/T1A-B33-Four-Fli...-843).

The FBI’s telephone report for the Moussaoui trial shows that the FBI accepted Lorne Lyles’s testimony, based on information derived from his caller ID, that his spouse had used a cell phone. But even though Deena Burnett provided the same type of evidence—that her spouse’s cell phone number had appeared on her phone’s caller ID[26]Interview with Deena Lynne Burnett, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 11, 2001 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/15072623/T1A-B33-Four-Fli...s-843) (also available at http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-11-FBI-FD302-....pdf).—the FBI’s report did not reflect her testimony. It instead said that her husband had used a seat-back phone. The difference in treatment seems to reflect the fact that the Burnett calls occurred when UA 93 was over 35,000 feet in the air, whereas the Lyles call occurred when the plane was only 5,000 feet in the air, where cell phone calls would at least be possible. This contrast provides strong evidence that the FBI’s report was tailored to avoid affirming any high-altitude cell phone calls.

The Burnett case, therefore, provides evidence for two conclusions: On the one hand, this case indicates that the phone calls to Deena Burnett had been faked, because the evidence shows that she was called from Tom Burnett’s cell phone, even though he could not possibly have carried on cell phone conversations from UA 93 while it was over 35,000 feet in the air. On the other hand, the FBI’s treatment of Tom Burnett’s reported calls—its claim that he had made the calls from onboard phones, even though his wife had clearly said that he had used his cell phone—strongly suggests an attempt to cover up faked calls.

III • Fakery By Means of Voice Morphing • 1,900 Words

The FBI illustrated, as we have seen, one of the ways of dealing with the Burnett calls: simply deny that they were cell phone calls. Considering that a dishonest way of dealing with the Burnett calls, I have argued that these calls must have been faked. In previous writings,[27]The New Pearl Harbor Revisited (2008); Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Books], 2007). I have argued that this fakery could have been achieved by means of the technology of voice morphing. Later in this essay, I will discuss another way in which the fakery might have been achieved. For the present, however, I will discuss voice morphing.

I have argued, in agreement with others,[28]Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93;” Section 3; Rowland Morgan, Voices. that voice morphing had been sufficiently developed by September 2001 to provide a way in which the calls to Deena Burnett might have been made. According to this hypothesis, although Deena Burnett was convinced that the calls were made by her husband, they were actually produced by means of voice morphing.

Voice-morphing technology was already quite advanced by early 1999, when an article entitled “When Seeing and Hearing Isn’t Believing” was published by Washington Post journalist William Arkin. “By taking just a 10-minute digital recording of [anyone’s] voice,” wrote Arkin, voice morphing experts at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico can “clone speech patterns and develop an accurate facsimile,” causing people to appear to have said things that they “would never otherwise have said.”[29]William M. Arkin, “When Seeing and Hearing Isn’t Believing,” Washington Post February 1, 1999 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ wp-srv/national/dotmil/arkin020199.htm).

To illustrate, Arkin described a demonstration in which the voice of General Carl Steiner, former commander-in-chief of the US Special Operations Command, said: “Gentlemen! We have called you together to inform you that we are going to overthrow the United States government.” The voice “sounds amazingly like [Steiner],” wrote Arkin.

“To refine their method,” Arkin continued, the members of the voice-morphing team—which was headed by scientist George Papcun—“took various high quality recordings of generals and experimented with creating fake statements.” One of the generals spoofed by this team was Colin Powell, whose voice was heard to say: “I am being treated well by my captors.”[30]Ibid.
(William M. Arkin, “When Seeing and Hearing Isn’t Believing,” Washington Post February 1, 1999 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ wp-srv/national/dotmil/arkin020199.htm).)

People are quite familiar with photo and video morphing, as illustrated by the 1994 film Forest Gump, in which Tom Hanks, in the title role, was seen to shake hands with President Kennedy. But voice morphing has been equally well developed. And, as Arkin points out, these types of morphing can be used not only by Hollywood but also by military and intelligence agencies: “For Hollywood, it is special effects. For covert operators in the U.S. military and intelligence agencies, it is a weapon of the future.”

One agency interested in this “weapon of the future,” Arkin reported, was “the Information Operations department of the National Defense University in Washington, the military’s school for information warfare.” Adding that video and photo manipulation had already “raised profound questions of authenticity for the journalistic world,” teaching it that “seeing isn’t necessarily believing,” Arkin pointed out that the addition of voice morphing means that “hearing isn’t either.” He meant, of course, that hearing shouldn’t necessarily be believing, because one now needs to be aware that voices can be morphed.

Morphed voices can be convincing, thanks to an array of techniques. As Dewdney said, the operator assigned to a particular call would have a voice changer, which has been adjusted to reproduce the timbre, pitch, and other characteristics of the voice of the person being simulated. The operator would also have various types of information about the person. If a call is supposed to be to the person’s spouse, for example, the operator would be supplied with the married couple’s pet names for each other and also “commonplace items such as references to ‘the kids.’” Moreover, audio engineers for 9/11 calls would have tapes that “portray mumbled conferences among passengers or muffled struggles, replete with shouts and curses.”

The voice morphing hypothesis can explain why Deena Burnett was convinced that her husband used his cell phone to call her from UA 93 in the air, even though that would have been impossible.

Erik Larson belittled this notion, referring to “easily exposed flaws in the voice morphing theory.”[31]Larson, “Critique of David Ray Griffin’s Fake Calls Theory.” Those who have seriously studied voice morphing, however, know that it cannot be so easily dismissed.[32]See Rowland Morgan, Voices; and Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93,” Section 3, “Operational Details.”

Larson belittled voice-morphing techniques by appealing to George Papcun himself, saying that Papcun “has commented that voice-morphing a conversation in near real time would be more complex than fabricating a simple recorded statement, and would require an extensive recording as a sample.” But according to Arkin’s article, the capacity to morph voices in “near real time” using a ten-second voice sample had already been developed by early 1999, more than two years before the 9/11 attacks. And surely there would have been no great difficulty in getting sufficiently extensive recordings of the people in question. As researcher Aidan Monaghan has written:

Advance booking of 9/11 flight reservations by 9/11 flight passengers would make surveillance of them and recordings of their pre-9/11 cell phone or other phone conversations possible. In 2006, the FBI ‘hacked’ into cell phone accounts of known organized crime figures to record their voices.[33]Aidan Monaghan, “No Conclusive Evidence Debunking Faked 9/11 Phone Calls,” 9/11 Blogger, February 24, 2011 (http://911blogger.com/news/2011-02-23/jesse-ventura...6640).

In a statement entitled “Voice Morphing and the Alleged 9/11 Government Conspiracy,”[34]George Papcun, “Voice Morphing and the Alleged 9/11 Government Conspiracy,” Sound Evidence (http://soundevidence.com/voicemorphing&911_ 1.html). Papcun made other arguments against the idea that morphing might have been used in the 9/11 calls. And this is not surprising: Papcun would naturally be inclined to minimize the possibility that his creation was instrumental in the 9/11 attacks, in which almost 3,000 people were killed.

In any case, the important question is not Papcun’s motivation, but the persuasiveness of his arguments. And his arguments are problematic. For example, Papcun stated: “[T]he conspiracy theory purveyors have needed to claim that someone (namely, me) created the voices of the passengers in those phone calls.” I know of no one, however, who has suggested that Papcun himself created the voices for the phone calls.

Also, in Papcun’s arguments against what he calls “wild-eyed theories” that voice morphing was used in the 9/11 calls, he stated:

[I]n this situation it would be necessary to know what someone would say to his or her loved ones under such circumstances. What pet names would be used?

But I think anyone reading the summaries of the statements made by alleged passengers—such as those purportedly made by Tom Burnett, as reported by Deena Burnett—would find statements that could have been made by operators who had studied the targeted passengers. Dewdney, having quoted passages from many of the reconstructed conversations, wrote that “all the conversations are consistent with [a voice-morphing] operation, along with a sprinkling of tantalizing clues that are more consistent with the operation than actual in-flight calls.”[35]Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93.”

Papcun also asked, rhetorically: “What references would be made to children and other loved ones?” As we have seen, however, operators making the calls would normally be supplied with phrases for children, such as “the kids,” and if having conversations with “the kids” would be uncomfortable for the operators, they could easily be avoided (as with the case at the end of the final call by “Tom Burnett,” treated later in this chapter).

Larson, building on Papcun’s statements, has said:

It would be [especially] difficult to fool the subject’s family members, who, in addition to being familiar with the person’s voice, would be familiar with their unique communication style and intimate details of their lives.[36]Larson, “Critique.”

Unfortunately for this argument, however, Papcun published a letter he had received, in which a woman wrote to him:

I came across an article called “When Seeing and Hearing is not believing,” where your name was mentioned as the inventor of a technology in which human voice can be cloned in real time without the voice owner saying all the things in a recording. I am writing to seek your assistance. . . . The reason I am asking this is that my husband heard a fake voice of me with another man and he is now suspecting me. My marriage is becoming a hell. . . . I swore to him and told him the voice was not me, but he actually doesn’t believe that such a technology exists. Can you please help me show him that such a thing is possible and I am not lying to him?[37]Papcun, “Voice Morphing and the Alleged 9/11 Government Conspiracy.”

Papcun “declined to become involved.” But without entering into the question as to whether he could have said something helpful without becoming “involved,” we can draw the most important conclusion: Just as voice morphing is good enough to fool friends of military generals, it is also good enough to fool spouses.

Given the voice morphing technology that was available in 1999, Arkin pointed out that hearing “should not necessarily be believing.” But this lesson has not been widely appreciated. Individuals who received phone calls on 9/11 from people who identified themselves as friends or relatives, as well as people who heard recordings of flight attendants from the 9/11 flights, have evidently accepted the phone calls as authentic. Even journalists have evidently accepted the authenticity of the calls without question. The point of Arkin’s 1999 article, however, was that people should understand that “hearing is not necessarily believing,” at least when there are reasons to doubt the authenticity of the calls.

And with the 9/11 calls, there are objective bases for questioning the authenticity of some of them. Insofar as people had been told that the calls they received were made from cell phones, they clearly had bases for doubting their authenticity. Former flight attendant Deena Burnett herself knew that there was good reason to wonder about the purported calls from her husband, because, as we saw earlier, she said: “I didn’t understand how he could be calling me on his cell phone from the air.”[38]Burnett, Fighting Back, 61. Likewise, Lorne Lyles, the husband of flight attendant CeeCee Lyles, reported that he said something similar after hearing the tape-recording of the previously-discussed 9:58 AM call from her:

I looked at the caller ID [said Lyles], and noticed that . . . it was from her cell phone. And I’m like, OK, wait a minute. How can she call me from on the plane from a cell phone, because cell phones don’t work on a plane? That’s what I’m thinking.[39]Portrait of Courage: The Untold Story of Flight 93, DVD, directed by David Priest (Baker City, OR: Grizzly Adams Productions, 2006). See Shoestring 9/11, “Husband of Flight 93 Attendant: ‘Cell Phones Don’t Work on a Plane” (http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2008/04/husband-o...html).

As pointed out earlier, her plane, UA 93, was reportedly at 5,000 feet, and that is an altitude at which cell phone calls might have been possible. Nevertheless, Dewdney said, cell phone calls above 2,000 feet would have been “unlikely.”[40]Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93.”

Moreover, even if cell phone usage might be made possible because of a plane’s altitude, it might be rendered impossible by the “handshake” problem, if the plane is still flying at the normal cruising speed—approximately 500 mph. The problem is that the plane, Dewdney says,

would not be over the cellsite long enough to complete the electronic ‘handshake’ (which takes several seconds to complete) before arriving over the next cellsite, when the call has to be handed off from the first cellsite to the next one.[41]Ibid.
(Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93.”)

UA 93 was reportedly flying at a very high speed: 580 mph. Therefore, even the two reported cell phone calls that were allowed by the FBI, both of which would have been at 9:58 AM when UA 93 was at 5,000 feet, would have to be rated as very unlikely.

In any case, as we have seen, the calls received by Deena Burnett provide very clear examples of faked calls.

IV • Further Evidence for Faked Calls on 9/11 • 7,200 Words

There are other objective reasons for doubting the authenticity of many of the 9/11 calls, beyond the calls to Deena Burnett, as the following sections will show.

1. “Tom Burnett” Declines Chance to Talk to Children

The Burnett case, as we have seen, provides seemingly incontrovertible evidence that the phone calls received by Deena Burnett must have been faked, because her caller ID indicated that the calls came from Tom Burnett’s cell phone, even though Tom could not possibly have called her on his cell phone while his plane was 40,000 feet in the air.[42]To be more precise, I would need to say that Tom Burnett could not possibly have made the calls unless his cell phone had been given artificial assistance, perhaps with a “repeater,” as suggested by Erik Larson. I will give reasons later, however, for rejecting this as a method that might have been used on 9/11.

There is, however, another reason to doubt that the Burnett calls were really made by Tom Burnett while he was in an airplane hijacked by foreign terrorists. In the final call received by Deena Burnett, she told him (in her retelling of the conversation) that their “kids” had been asking to talk to him. Tom, however, replied: “Tell them I’ll talk to them later.”[43]“Transcript of Tom’s Last Calls to Deena,” Tom Burnett Family Foundation (http://www.tomburnettfoundation.org/tomburnett_tran...html).

It is most unlikely, assuming that the events had developed in the purported way, that Tom Burnett would have responded this way. The reported response by Tom occurred after he told his wife he had realized that the hijackers were on a suicide mission, planning to “crash this plane into the ground,” so that he and others had decided to try to gain control of the plane as soon as it was “over a rural area.” And the hijackers had already killed one person. So Tom would have known there was a good chance that he would die in the next few minutes. And yet, rather than taking this probably last opportunity to speak to his children, he told his wife to say that he would “talk to them later.”[44]Ibid.
(“Transcript of Tom’s Last Calls to Deena,” Tom Burnett Family Foundation (http://www.tomburnettfoundation.org/tomburnett_tran...html).)
It is difficult to believe that the real Tom Burnett, dealing with a real situation, would have responded in this way.

However, if someone, using voice morphing, had been pretending to be Tom, we could well imagine why he would not want to talk to the children. For example, he might not have been told their names—in Deena’s accounts, the caller referred to the children only as “the kids.” Even if he had been told their names, he might not have wanted to admit that he did not know much about them, or that he could not distinguish their voices.

In addition to these two facts about the Burnett calls, there are additional facts about the “phone calls from the planes” that cast doubt on their authenticity.

2. The CeeCee Lyles Call: “You Did Great”

The most direct evidence of fakery is provided by the previously- discussed call to Lorne Lyles, the husband of flight attendant CeeCee Lyles, which he later heard on his answering machine. In the message, which his machine indicates was received on Tuesday at 9:47 AM, the CeeCee Lyles voice said:

Hi Baby. I’m . . . . Baby, you have to listen to me carefully. I’m on a plane that’s been hijacked. I’m on the plane. I’m calling from the plane. I wanna tell you I love you. Please tell my children that I love them very much. And I’m so sorry, babe. Un, I don’t know what to say. There’s three guys, they’ve hijacked the plane. I’m trying to be calm. We’re turned around and I’ve heard there’s planes that’s been, been flown into the World Trade Center. I hope to be able to see your face again, baby. I love you. Goodbye.[45]“Court Recording of CeeCee Lyles on Flight 93—HEAR THE WHISPERS IN THE BACKGROUND,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SED 76UvuAw).

After these words have been said, but before the recorded message comes to an end, a voice can be heard to whisper: “You did great.” How could anyone not take this whispered comment as clear evidence that the “CeeCee Lyles” message was a fake?

To call it a “fake” means that the message was not what it purported to be. It could have been a fake produced by voice morphing. Or it could have been CeeCee Lyles reading a script she was forced to read—in which case, the whispered message might have been by a person coaching her. But in either case, the message was not authentic.

It is important to realize that the whispered statement occurs in the official recording of the call—the one included in the computer presentation of the 9/11 phone calls given as evidence for the 2006 Moussaoui trial.[46]To confirm this point, one can check the CeeCee Lyles recording in the computer presentation of the AA 77 telephone calls. The official presentation is at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui...ibits/ prosecution/flights/P200054.html. Otherwise, we could suspect that the whispered message had been added by someone later, perhaps as a hoax. How and why the whispered comment got included on the official recording of this call will likely remain a mystery. In any case, this whispered comment undermines the official story about 9/11.

3. The Lack of Noise and Emotion

Assuming that foreign terrorists had really hijacked the four 9/11 planes, and that some of the passengers and flight attendants had been able to use telephones to convey to people on the ground what was happening on board, we would not assume that the cabin would be quiet and that the passengers and flight attendants would be calm. And yet that is what was reported in numerous accounts.[47]For this section, I am heavily indebted to Shoestring 9/11, “‘Shockingly Calm’: The Phone Calls From the Planes on 9/11,” July 5, 2008 (http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2008/07/shockingl...html).

Flight Attendants: I will begin with flight attendants whose calls from the planes were reportedly characterized by surprising calmness. Sandy Bradshaw, a flight attendant on UA 93, was described by a United Airlines manager as “shockingly calm.”[48]Staff Report, 9/11 Commission, August 26, 2004: 40 (http://www.archives.gov/research/9-11/staff-report.pdf). Calmness by her or any of the other flight attendants would indeed have been “shocking,” given what people on UA 93 supposedly experienced. According to The 9/11 Commission Report:

[Passengers and crew members who made phone calls] understood the plane had been hijacked. They said the hijackers wielded knives and claimed to have a bomb. . . . Callers reported that a passenger had been stabbed and that two people were lying on the floor of the cabin, injured or dead—possibly the captain and first officer. One caller reported that a flight attendant had been killed.[49]The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Authorized Edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), 13.

The flight attendants on AA 11 should also have been very frightened. The 9/11 Commission Report said that “a man in first class had his throat slashed; two flight attendants had been stabbed . . . ; the flight attendants were unable to contact the cockpit; and there was a bomb in the cockpit.”[50]Ibid., 6.
(The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Authorized Edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), 13.)
And yet Amy Sweeney, a flight attendant on AA 11, was said to have spoken “very, very calmly” while giving information about the hijackers.

Betty Ong was another flight attendant on American 11. Besides observing all the events witnessed by Sweeney, Ong was reportedly subjected to Mace, making it very difficult for her and others to breathe.[51]Ibid., 5.
(The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Authorized Edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), 13.)
Moreover, she reported:

Our No. 1 (flight attendant) got stabbed. Our purser is stabbed. Nobody knows who stabbed who. We can’t even get up to business class right now, because nobody can breathe. Uh, our No. 1 is stabbed right now. Our No. 5, our first class passenger, er, our first class galley flight attendant and our purser have been stabbed. And we can’t get into the cockpit. The door won’t open.[52]Hope Yen, “Flight Attendant Calm on September 11 Tape,” Associated Press, January 28, 2004 (http://www.redorbit.com/news/general/40060/flight_ attendant_calm_on_sept_11_tape/index.html).

Nevertheless Ong, like Sweeney, reportedly remained very calm. Fellow American Airlines employee Nydia Gonzalez said of her: “Betty was calm, professional, and in control throughout the call.”[53]Public Hearing, 9/11 Commission, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/archive/ hearing7/9-11Commission_Hearing_2004-01-27.htm), January 27, 2004. When Ong’s family heard the recording of her call, said an ABC reporter, they “couldn’t believe the calm in Betty’s voice.”[54]Jennifer Julian, “One of the Last Calls,” ABC11 Eyewitness News, September 11, 2002 (http://web.archive.org/web/20021107235946/http://ab...o.com/ wtvd/news/091002_NW_LastCall.html). An Associated Press story about her said: “[She] seemed calm and professional beyond reason as she reported a ghastly scenario during a 23-minute telephone call.”[55]Yen, “Flight Attendant Calm on September 11 Tape.”

Individual Passengers: The same calmness was reported about passengers. For example, Tom Burnett’s wife, Deena, said of him: “It was as if he was at Thoratec [the company for which he worked], sitting at his desk, and we were having a regular conversation. It was the strangest thing because he was using the same tone of voice I had heard a thousand times.”[56]Deena Burnett, Fighting Back, 66.

Jack Grandcolas, referring to a call from his wife, Lauren Grandcolas, said: “She sounded calm.”[57]David Segal, “A Red Carpet Tragedy: Grief and Glamour an Odd Mix at ‘United 93’ Debut,” Washington Post April 26, 2006 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/articl...04/26/ AR2006042600061.html). New York Times reporter Jere Longman said: “It sounded to Jack as if [his wife] were driving home from the grocery store or ordering a pizza.”[58]Jere Longman, Among the Heroes: United 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back (New York: HarperCollins, 2002), 128.

Lyz Glick, speaking about calls from her husband, Jeremy Glick, said: “He was so calm, the plane sounded so calm, that if I hadn’t seen what was going on on the TV, I wouldn’t have believed it.”[59]Matthew Brown, “Hero’s Family Perseveres: As Spotlight Fades, Young Wife Looks Ahead,” Bergen Record October 5, 2001 (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-47456022.html).

Kathy Hoglan, the aunt of passenger Mark Bingham on UA 93, said that he sounded “calm, matter-of-fact.” Bingham’s mother, Alice Hoglan, said: “His voice was calm. He seemed very much composed.”[60]Longman, Among the Heroes, 129–30; Phil Hirschkorn, “More 9/11 Families Testify for Moussaoui,” CNN, April 21, 2006 (http://edition.cnn.com/2006/LAW/04/21/moussaoui.fam...html).

Esther Heymann, discussing a conversation she had had with her stepdaughter, Honor Elizabeth Wainio, said that her stepdaughter remained “remarkably calm throughout our whole conversation.”[61]“Stories of Flight 93,” Larry King Live, CNN, February 18, 2006 (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0602/18/lkl....html).

Todd Beamer, the passenger on UA 93 who became immortalized as the person who (reportedly) said “Let’s roll” before he and others took on the hijackers, was also described as calm. Lisa Jefferson, a supervising customer service operator for GTE-Verizon who reportedly received a long telephone call from Beamer, said that he “stayed calm through the entire conversation.”[62]Wendy Schuman, Interview with Lisa Jefferson, “I Promised I Wouldn’t Hang Up,” Beliefnet, 2006 (http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/2006/06/ I-Promised-I-Wouldnt-Hang-Up.aspx). Indeed, Jefferson later wrote, “his voice was . . . so tranquil it made me begin to doubt the authenticity and urgency of his call.”[63]Lisa D. Jefferson and Felicia Middlebrooks, Called (Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 2006), 33.

The Passengers as a Whole: Not only these individuals, but also the passengers in general, seem to have been calm and quiet. For example, Jack Grandcolas, the husband of UA 93 passenger Lauren Grandcolas, commented: “It was really quiet in the background. There wasn’t screaming.”[64]Segal, “A Red Carpet Tragedy.”

Lyz Glick, also speaking about UA 93, said: “I was surprised by how calm it seemed in the background. I didn’t hear any screaming. I didn’t hear any noises. I didn’t hear any commotion.”[65]Brown, “Hero’s Family Perseveres.”

According to New York Times reporter Jere Longman, Esther Heymann, while listening to a call from her stepdaughter, Honor Elizabeth Wainio, “could not hear another person. She could not hear any conversation or crying or yelling or whimpering. Nothing.”[66]Longman, Among the Heroes, 172.

Vanessa Minter, an American Airlines employee who listened to Ong’s call, commented: “You didn’t hear hysteria in the background. You didn’t hear people screaming.”[67]“Calm Before the Crash,” ABC News, July 18, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/planes/evidence/a...html).

Mark Bingham’s mother, Alice Hoglan, said that a discussion between passengers about taking back the plane from the hijackers, which she overheard while talking with Mark, sounded like a “calm boardroom meeting.”[68]Hirschkorn, “More 9/11 Families Testify for Moussaoui.”

If the reported calls by these flight attendants and passengers were truly made from the four 9/11 flights, then such calmness would border on the miraculous. But if the calls were made elsewhere, then we have not supernatural calmness but merely poor acting.

4. The Mysterious Betty Ong Call

The call by flight attendant Betty Ong, which was mentioned above, was surprising partly because of the extraordinary calmness of this call. But it was also surprising because “Betty Ong” did not contact either of the places that we would have expected an experienced flight attendant to contact: American Airlines in Boston, from which her flight had departed, or American Airlines headquarters in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.

The Call to Cary, North Carolina: Rather, “Betty Ong” called the airline’s tiny reservations office in Cary, North Carolina. Betty Ong was, as we saw, praised for being “calm, professional, and in control.” If so, why did she not call a security office in Boston or Dallas, rather than a reservations office in Cary?

Also surprising is the fact that her phone call lasted for 27 minutes. American Airlines officials in Dallas-Fort Worth were eventually notified, but this was only because one of the employees in North Carolina alerted them. If Betty Ong was “calm and professional,” why did she use her telephone to go on and on with reservations workers in Cary, North Carolina, rather than contacting people who could have done something useful with her information?

If we assume that the “Betty Ong” phone call was actually made by the flight attendant named Betty Ong (who according to reports was indeed an excellent flight attendant), and that this call was made in the midst of a genuine hijacking, the phone call to Cary, North Carolina, is a complete mystery.

A Possible Solution to the Call to Cary: However, if one supposes that the Betty Ong call was produced by voice morphing, then one can formulate a plausible hypothesis as to why this call went to the reservations office in Cary, North Carolina. Rowland Morgan wrote:

A clue about why the Ong voice chose to call such a remote part of the American Airlines organisation might come from the following supposition. Plotters might have known that American’s reservations office in Cary, N.C., had just installed new recording equipment that recorded the first four minutes of any reservations call, for call-screening and archiving purposes. . . . Calling the Cary office ensured that the Ong voice would be recorded, not for the whole duration of the call, but just for a handy four-minute snippet, long enough to frighten the daylights out of the U.S. public, but not long enough for any blunders by the teleoperator to be exposed for all to hear (although the recorded Ong voice did at first misidentify the flight as Flight 12 on the recording).[69]Morgan, Voices, 113.

And indeed, the four-minute call by “Betty Ong” proved very useful. Although it was not heard by the public until 2004, this call was heard immediately by American Airlines supervisor Nydia Gonzalez and also a manager in Fort Worth—this being the first message about hijacking received by authorities. This message was also available to be played in 2004, when the 9/11 Commission was reporting its findings.[70]Public Hearing, 9/11 Commission, January 27, 2004, Panel III (http://www.9-11 commission.gov/archive/hearing7/9-11Commission_Hearing_2004-01-27.htm).

In any case, there are good reasons to take the “Betty Ong call” as inauthentic.

5. Telephone Calls Lasting After the Crashes

Another reason for taking the phone calls from the 9/11 planes to be fakes is that, according to the records, two of the telephones stayed connected after the crash of the airplane on which they supposedly were located.

The Jeremy Glick Call: Lyzbeth Glick, while visiting her parents (Richard and JoAnne Makely), received a call that they all assumed to be from Lyzbeth’s husband, Jeremy Glick, onboard UA 93. After a conversation with “Jeremy,” she agreed with him that he should join a group of men who were going to try to wrest control of the plane from the hijackers. According to the FBI’s report of its interview the next day with Lyzbeth Glick:

Jeremy told Lyzbeth that he loved her and asked her not to hang-up the telephone. Lyzbeth remained on the phone for a few minutes and then handed the telephone to her father, Richard Makely.[71]Interview with Lyzbeth Glick, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 12, 2001 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/14094225/T7-B17-FBI-302s-...ents).

In a book she wrote, she said: “I handed the receiver to my dad, ran into the bathroom, and gagged over the sink.”[72]Lyz Glick and Dan Zegart, Your Father’s Voice: Letters for Emmy about Life with Jeremy—and Without Him after 9/11 (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2005), 195. The FBI’s summary of its interview with her father said:

When Makely got the telephone from Lyzbeth, he only heard silence on the telephone, then three, four, or five minutes went by, and there were high pitched screaming noises coming over the telephone . . . . There was then several minutes of silence on the telephone. Then Makely heard a series of high pitched screaming sounds again, followed by a noise which he described as ‘wind sounds.’ The ‘wind sounds’ were followed by noises that sounded as though the airplane telephone was hitting a hard surface several times or banging around. Then there was silence on the telephone. During the screaming and other sounds that Makely heard, a telephone operator from Horizon broke into the telephone call and relayed the information to police officers. . . . Makely and the telephone operator stayed on the telephone for approximately 1 1/2 hours, until approximately 10:45 AM, but never heard any further noises on the telephone.[73]Interview with Richard Makely, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 12, 2001 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/14094225/T7-B17-FBI-302s-...ents).

UA 93 crashed at 10:03, according to the 9/11 Commission[74]9/11CR 462n168.—or at 10:06, according to the seismology report and local reporters.[75]Won-Young Kim and Gerald R. Baum, “Seismic Observations during September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attack,” Maryland Geological Survey, Spring 2002 (http://www.mgs.md.gov/esic/publications/download/91....pdf). Jonathan Silver, “Day of Terror: Outside Tiny Shanksville, a Fourth Deadly Stroke,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 12, 2001 (http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crash....asp); Tom Gibb, James O’Toole, and Cindi Lash, “Investigators Locate ‘Black Box’ from Flight 93; Widen Search Area in Somerset Crash,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 13, 2001 (http://post-gazette.com/headlines/20010913somersetp....asp); William Bunch, “We Know it Crashed, But Not Why,” Philadelphia Daily News November 15, 2001 (http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/flight_93_crash.html). In either case, Makely and the operator remained on the line long after UA 93 crashed. According to the FBI’s report on phone calls from the planes, indeed, the phone remained connected for 7,565 seconds (two hours and six minutes).[76]“Jeremy Glick,” United Airlines Flight #93 Telephone Calls (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/docs/ex....png). Did a voice-morpher forget to hang-up?

The Long-Lasting Todd Beamer Call: Verizon employee Lisa Jefferson, as mentioned above, had a long conversation with a man who described himself as Todd Beamer, a passenger on UA 93. Beamer became the most celebrated of the “heroes” of UA 93, thanks to his being credited with saying, as a group of passengers started their counter-attack on the hijackers, “Let’s roll.”

Various problems with the “Todd Beamer” call will be discussed in the following section. For now, I focus only on the length of the call. Although Lisa Jefferson apparently showed, in a 2006 book she co- authored,[77]Lisa D. Jefferson and Felicia Middlebrooks, Called (Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 2006). that she accepted the authenticity of the “Todd Beamer call,” she elsewhere made clear that the telephone of the man with whom she had been speaking remained connected after UA 93 crashed:

After he said, “Let’s roll,” he left the phone, and I would assume that’s at the point that they went to charge the cockpit. And I was still on the line and the plane took a dive, and by then, it just went silent. I held on until after the plane crashed—probably about 15 minutes longer and I never heard a crash—it just went silent because—I can’t explain it. We didn’t lose a connection because there’s a different sound that you use. It’s a squealing sound when you lose a connection. I never lost connection, but it just went silent.[78]Windy Schuman, Interview of Lisa Jefferson, “I Promised I Wouldn’t Hang Up,” Beliefnet, June 2006 (http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/2006/06/ I-Promised-I-Wouldnt-Hang-Up.aspx?p=1).

As with the Jeremy Glick call, telephone company information indicating that the telephone line remained open was accepted by the FBI. According to that information, the Todd Beamer call lasted for 3,925 seconds, slightly over 65 minutes. So rather than ending at 10:03 or 10:06 AM, when the plane crashed, the phone stayed connected until 10:49.[79]“Todd Beamer,” United Airlines Flight #93 Telephone Calls (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/docs/ex....png).

Interpretation: The Jeremy Glick call, as we saw, lasted even longer: for 7,565 seconds, or two hours and six minutes.

What do we make of these long-lasting calls? It is hard to explain how these calls happened. What seems clear, however, is that these calls were not made from phones in an airplane that crashed a few minutes after 10:00 AM, because the crash would certainly have caused the calls to be disconnected. The calls, therefore, could not have been from UA 93 (assuming, of course, that a flight designated “UA 93” actually crashed).

6. The Todd Beamer Call

As we have seen, Todd Beamer became celebrated as a hero of UA 93. Larry Ellison, who headed the company for which Beamer worked, wrote of him: “He helped prevent the airplane from reaching its target – our nation’s Capitol. . . Todd’s brave actions saved countless lives on the ground.”[80]“United Flight 93 Victims at a Glance,” USA Today September 25, 2001 (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/09/11/vict....htm). The phrase “Let’s roll,” which Beamer supposedly uttered at the end of his call, became “the Pentagon’s recruitment slogan,” as Rowland Morgan put it,[81]Morgan, Voices. for the US-led “war on terror.” (This so-called war on terror has, of course, been aimed at Muslim countries.) By early 2002, the phrase “Let’s roll” had not only been “[e]mbraced and promoted by President Bush as a patriotic battle cry,” wrote the Washington Post, but this phrase was also “emblazoned on Air Force fighter planes, city firetrucks, school athletic jerseys, and countless T-shirts, baseball caps and souvenir buttons.”[82]Peter Perl, “Hallowed Ground,” Washington Post May 12, 2002 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=a...;node= &contentId=A56110-2002May8). There are problems, however, with the idea of Beamer as hero.

One problem is the evidence that in her first account of Todd Beamer’s final words, Lisa Jefferson did not attribute the “Let’s Roll” phrase to Beamer. Jefferson claimed later that she heard Beamer say, as he put down the phone to her, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll!”[83]Jefferson and Middlebrooks, Called, 53. But in an interview shortly after 9/11, Jefferson reportedly quoted Beamer as having said only, “Are you ready? OK.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Jim McKinnon wrote:

He [Beamer] addressed his cohorts, still calm, saying, “Are you ready? OK,” Jefferson said. She did not complete the phrase that [Todd Beamer’s wife] Lisa Beamer relayed in an earlier interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in which she quoted her husband using a family catch phrase: “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll!”[84]Jim McKinnon, “13-Minute Call Bonds Her Forever with Hero,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 22, 2001 (http://www.post-gazette.com/ headlines/20010922gtenat4p4.asp).

However, although McKinnon’s suggestion that Todd Beamer did not actually use this catch phrase on 9/11 is of historical interest, it does not provide a reason to doubt the authenticity of the “Todd Beamer phone call.” But a reason to doubt this has been provided by the fact that the call continued long after UA 93 crashed. And there are, we will see next, some additional reasons.

“Todd Beamer” Passes Up Chance to Call Wife: Much more important is the fact that the self-identified Todd Beamer talking to Lisa Jefferson did not call Lisa Beamer—Todd Beamer’s wife—even though he had ample opportunity to do so. Rather, he talked the entire period to GTE/Verizon Airfone operators, whom he had never met. After spending the first few minutes of his call talking with an Airfone operator named Phyllis Johnson, he spent the remainder of it talking with Lisa Jefferson.[85]The name of Phyllis Johnson is publicly known only because of the aforementioned Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story by Jim McKinnon, “13-Minute Call Bonds Her Forever With Hero.” (Lisa D. Jefferson, who became well known by writing about this call, never mentioned Johnson’s name. See Jefferson and Middlebrooks, Called, 29; Wendy Schuman, Interview with Lisa Jefferson, “I Promised I Wouldn’t Hang Up.”)

At first, as we saw earlier, “Todd Beamer” seemed calm. But as it seemed that the passengers on UA 93 were going to die, he expressed fear. He told Jefferson: “I know we’re not going to make it out of here.”[86]Douglas Holt, “Call Records Detail How Passengers Foiled 2nd Washington Attack,” Chicago Tribune September 16, 2001 (http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-6..._ITM). He cried out: “Oh my God, we’re going down! We’re going down! Jesus help us.” A little later, having asked Lisa Jefferson to say the Lord’s Prayer with him, he said:

Jesus help me. . . . I just wanted to talk to someone, and if I don’t make it through this, will you . . . tell my wife and family how much I love them?[87]Jefferson and Middlebrooks, Called, 47.

However, we must wonder: Why did he not call his wife and two children and tell them himself, or ask to be connected to them? There could have been no problem in reaching his wife, given the fact that he was talking with an Airfone supervisor. In fact, Jefferson volunteered: “Would you like me to try to reach your wife and patch her call through?” In response, however, “Todd” replied:

No, no. I don’t want to upset her unnecessarily. She’s expecting our third child in January, and if I don’t have to upset her with any bad news, then I’d rather not.[88]Ibid., 47-48.
(Jefferson and Middlebrooks, Called, 47.)

If this were the real Todd Beamer, and if he believed that he was probably going to die in the next few minutes, would he not have realized that his wife would be “upset with [some] bad news” when she learned he was killed? Would he not suspect she would be especially upset if she learned that he had passed up the opportunity to talk to her one last time? Can we, in any case, believe that he would have passed up this last chance to speak to his wife and children? As Rowland Morgan says: “The contrast between a young man facing his end and his refusal to speak to his wife is implausible.”[89]Morgan, Voices. The refusal of (the real) Todd Beamer to speak to his wife would have been as strange as (the real) Tom Burnett not speaking to his children.

However, if the man on the line was not really Todd Beamer, but merely someone who knew some facts about him, we can perfectly understand why he would not have wanted to talk to Todd Beamer’s wife.

Was the Conversation Not Taped? One more difficult-to-believe feature of this story involves Lisa Jefferson’s claim that she did not tape her telephone conversation with Todd Beamer. Her explanation: “I had not had time to press the switch in my office that initiates the taping of a conversation.” But given the high-tech office in which she worked and given the fact that she had been an Airfone supervising operator for 17 years, her statement that the call was not recorded is, as Rowland Morgan says, implausible.[90]Ibid.
(Morgan, Voices.)

In fact, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story published eight days after 9/11 said: “[B]ecause [the Beamer call] was to an operator, [it] was tape-recorded.”[91]Jim McKinnon, “GTE Operator Connects With, Uplifts Widow of Hero in Hijacking,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 19, 2001 (http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010919gtena....asp). This report contradicts what was asserted by Airfone and the government. If there was indeed a tape of the phone call that has been concealed from the public, we can only wonder why. The recorded conversation might have shown, we could suspect, that the phrase “Let’s Roll” was missing—just as it was evidently missing from Lisa Jefferson’s first account of the call. Worse yet, we might suspect, the caller’s voice might not have sounded sufficiently like Todd Beamer’s to convince people who knew him.

In any case, the concealment of the tape recording would be yet another reason to believe the “Todd Beamer phone call” was inauthentic.

To Summarize: We have at least three reasons to consider the “Todd Beamer call” inauthentic:

• The call remained connected long after UA 93 crashed.

• The man making the call passed up the opportunity to call Todd Beamer’s wife and sons.

• Lisa Jefferson and the authorities claimed, implausibly, that no tape of the call was made.

7. The Barbara Olson Calls

Barbara Olson was a well-known commentator on CNN and the wife of US Solicitor General Theodore “Ted” Olson. On 9/11, Ted Olson told CNN and the FBI that his wife had called him twice from AA 77, with the first call lasting “about one (1) minute,”[92]“Interview with Theodore Olsen [sic],” 9/11 Commission, FBI Source Documents, Chronological, September 11, 2001, Intelfiles.com, March 14, 2008 (http://intelfiles.egoplex.com:80/2008/03/911-commis...ource- documents.html). and the second one “two or three or four minutes.”[93]“America’s New War: Recovering from Tragedy,” Larry King Live, CNN, September 14, 2001 (http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/14/lkl.00.html). His wife told him, he reported, that “all passengers and flight personnel, including the pilots, were herded to the back of the plane” by hijackers, who were armed with “knives and cardboard cutters.”[94]Tim O’Brien, “Wife of Solicitor General Alerted Him of Hijacking from Plane,” CNN, September 12, 2001 (http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/11/ pentagon.olson).

An Implausible Story: One problem with this story was that the alleged hijackers were rather small men. “The so-called muscle hijackers,” the 9/11 Commission pointed out, “were not physically imposing, as the majority of them were between 5’5” and 5’7” in height and slender in build.”[95]“Staff No. Statement 16: Outline of the 9/11 Plot,” 9/11 Commission, June 16, 2004 (http://www.9-11commission.gov/staff_statements/staf...ement_ 16.pdf). If these small men were armed only with knives and box- cutters, they surely could not have held off 60 passengers and crew members, who included pilot Charles “Chic” Burlingame, a former Navy pilot who was a weightlifter and a boxer, who was described as “really tough” by one of his erstwhile opponents.[96]Shoestring 9/11, “The Flight 77 Murder Mystery: Who Really Killed Charles Burlingame?” February 2, 2008 (http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2008/02/flight-77...y-who- really.html).

Moreover, even aside from the question of the size of the “muscle hijackers,” the story is implausible because of its claim that the pilots “were herded to the back of the plane.” Pilots do not give up their planes easily. Chic Burlingame’s brother Mark, in fact, said: “I don’t know what happened in that cockpit, but I’m sure that they would have had to incapacitate him or kill him because he would have done anything to prevent the kind of tragedy that befell that airplane.”[97]“In Memoriam: Charles ‘Chic’ Burlingame, 1949-2001,” USS Saratoga Museum Foundation (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/planes/analysis/chic_ remembered.html). The historians at the Pentagon expressed this view, saying that “the attackers either incapacitated or murdered the two pilots.”[98]Alfred Goldberg et al., Pentagon 9/11 (Washington, DC: Office of the Secretary of Defense, 2007), 12.

Cell Phone Calls Ruled Out: A second problem was whether a passenger on AA 77 could have made calls, from either a cell phone or an onboard phone. The summary of the FBI’s interview with Ted Olson said: “[Mr. Olson] doesn’t know if the calls were made from [Barbara Olson’s] cell phone or the telephone on the plane.” But Ted Olson seemed to lean towards the cell phone view, saying: “She always has her cell phone with her.”[99]Interview of Theodore Olson, Solicitor General of the United States of America, September 11, 2001 (http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-11-FBI-FD302-....pdf). And this was what Ted Olson told CNN, saying that his wife had “called him twice on a cell phone.”[100]O’Brien, “Wife of Solicitor General Alerted Him of Hijacking from Plane.” He later surmised on Hannity & Colmes that she must have been using the “airplane phone.”[101]Hannity & Colmes, Fox News, September 14, 2001. But that same day, he suggested to Larry Kingthat she used her cell phone.[102]Larry King Live, CNN, September 14, 2001 (http://edition.cnn.com/ TRANSCRIPTS/0109/14/lkl.00.html).

Thanks to the first report on CNN plus this Larry King appearance, most Americans accepted the idea that Barbara Olson had used a cell phone to call her husband. In statements made in later months, however, Ted Olson said that she had used a seatback phone.[103]Theodore B. Olson, “Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture,” November 16, 2001, Federalist Society, 15th Annual National Lawyers Convention (http://www.fed-soc.org/resources/id.63/default.asp); Toby Harnden, “She Asked Me How to Stop the Plane,” Daily Telegraph March 5, 2002 (http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/2002/telegraph0...html). But these statements evidently had little influence in America: On the first anniversary of 9/11, CNN was still reporting that Barbara Olson had used a cell phone.[104]“On September 11, Final Words of Love,” CNN, September 10, 2002 (http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/09/03/ar911.phone.calls), said: “Unbeknown to the hijackers, passenger and political commentator Barbara Olson, 45, was able to call her husband—Solicitor General Ted Olson—on her cellular phone.”

However, Barbara Olson could not have used her cell phone to call from AA 77. Her first call, according to the 9/11 Commission, occurred “between 9:16 and 9:26 AM,” when Flight 77, the official report said, would have been at an altitude of between 25,000 and 14,000 feet.[105]“Flight Path Study: American Airlines Flight 77,” National Transportation Safety Board, February 19, 2002 (http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB196/doc02.pdf). This would have been far too high for someone flying in an airliner in 2001 to have made cell phone calls lasting a minute or longer.

In any case, an FBI report ruled out this possibility in 2004, saying: “All of the calls from Flight 77 were made via the onboard airphone system.”[106]“T7 B12 Flight 93 Calls- General Fdr- 5-20-04 DOJ Briefing on Cell and Phone Calls From AA 77 408,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, May 20, 2004 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/18886083/T7-B12-Flight-93...-408).

Evidence There Were No Functioning Seatback Phones: Unfortunately for the claim that onboard calls were made from AA 77, there is strong evidence that this plane did not have a functioning onboard phone system. In 2004, Ian Henshall and Rowland Morgan had come to suspect that the Boeing 757s used by American Airlines did not have onboard telephones. Accordingly, they asked American Airlines whether its “757s [are] fitted with phones that passengers can use.” An AA spokesperson replied: “American Airlines 757s do not have onboard phones for passenger use.” Then, to check on the possibility that Barbara Olson might have borrowed a phone intended for crew use, they asked: “[A]re there any onboard phones at all on AA 757s, i.e., that could be used either by passengers or cabin crew?” The response was: “AA 757s do not have any onboard phones, either for passenger or crew use. Crew have other means of communication available.”[107]This exchange occurred on December 6, 2004; see Morgan and Henshall, 9/11 Revealed. Henshall and Morgan also found this information corroborated on the AA website: As it existed at that time (2005), the section headed “Onboard Technology” indicated that telephone calls were possible on AA’s Boeing 767s and 777s, but it did not mention AA’s 757s.

Then in 2006, a person on a German Internet forum reported that he had asked American Airlines this same question:

“On your website [he wrote], there is mentioned that there are no seatback satellite phones on a Boeing 757. Is that info correct? Were there any such seatback satellite phones on any Boeing 757 before or on September 11, 2001 and if so, when were these phones ripped out?”

An AA representative named Chad Kinder responded thus:

“That is correct; we do not have phones on our Boeing 757. The passengers on flight 77 used their own personal cellular phones to make out calls during the terrorist attack.”[108]See Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 60–61. A supplementary reason for holding that American Airlines 757s had no onboard phones is provided by a page in the Boeing 757 Aircraft Maintenance Manual (757 AMM), which was dated January 28, 2001. The first sentence of this page stated: “The passenger telephone system was deactivated by ECO [Engineering Change Order] FO878.” This page indicates, in other words, that by January 28, 2001, the passenger phone system for the AA 757 fleet had been deactivated. Also, American Airlines public relations representative John Hotard wrote: “An Engineering Change Order to deactivate the seatback phone system on the 757 fleet had been issued by that time [9/11/2001].” Following this statement, Hotard emphasized that photographs showing seatback phones in American 757s after 9/11 would not prove that the phones were still functioning, because: “We did two things: issued the engineering change orders to disconnect/disable the phones, but then did not physically remove the phones until the aircraft went . . . in for a complete overhaul.” So, there were still seatback phones in the American 757s, but they could not be used, because they had been disconnected.

Larson stated that I distorted the evidence because I had not quoted the following statement by Hotard: “Ron, engineers at our primary Maintenance & Engineering base in Tulsa tell me that they cannot find any record that the 757 aircraft flown into the Pentagon on 9/11 had had its seatback phones deactivated by that date.” However, the crucial matter was the order, which would have caused things to happen. The fact that Hotard could not find any record about “the 757 aircraft flown into the Pentagon” might simply reflect the fact that no such aircraft existed.

Larson also criticized me for not quoting this statement by Hotard: “It is our contention that the seatback phones on Flight 77 were working because there is no entry in that aircraft’s records to indicate when the phones were disconnected.” However, the entry in question is the statement in the Aircraft Maintenance Manual of January 28, 2001, which said: “The passenger telephone system was deactivated by ECO FO878.”

Captain Ralph Kolstad has also provided testimony on this point. After serving for 20 years in the US Navy—he was a fighter pilot and an air combat instructor at the US Navy Fighter Weapons School, where he was twice designated Top Gun—he served as an airline pilot for 27 years, during 13 of which he flew Boeing 757s and 767s for American Airlines. He wrote:

[T]he “air phones,” as they were called, were . . . deactivated in early or mid 2001. They had been deactivated for quite some time prior to Sep 2001. . . I have no proof, but I am absolutely certain that the phones were disconnected on the 757 long before Sep 2001. They were still physically installed in the aircraft, but they were not operational.[109]Captain Ralph Kolstad, email letters to Rob Balsamo and David Griffin, December 22, 2009. Larson, unfortunately, tried to discredit Kolstad’s testimony by resorting to guilt by association: Larson claimed that Kolstad’s credibility has been undermined by his membership in Pilots for 9/11 Truth—which holds “that AA 77 didn’t crash into the Pentagon” (something that evidently most of the members of the 9/11 Truth Movement hold)—and his endorsement of a particular book by a member of the 9/11 movement. I fail to see how these guilt-by-association charges, even if valid, would provide reason to doubt Kolstad’s observation skills. I suspect that someone twice named a Top Gun pilot must have pretty good observation skills.

The same testimony has been given by a former American Airlines flight attendant, Ginger Gainer, who wrote: “I am sure the 757’s on which I flew during that time frame either had the phones totally removed, or they were in place in the seat backs, but disabled.”[110]Letter from Ginger Gainer, February 16, 2011. She added: “I do recall stickers on the seatback phones (on the international configuration) indicating they were inoperative during the time the plane had them disabled, but had not yet gone in for a ‘C-Check.’ . . . As to the domestic configuration at the time, I asked several current and former Flight Attendants for American, . . . who flew domestic . . . , and they all said that they recalled the phones as having been disabled at the time, or gone (due to C-check reconfiguration).”

The FBI’s 2006 Report: In any case, the evidence that Barbara Olson could not have made calls from either a cell phone or an onboard phone is no longer needed to contradict the belief that she called her husband twice on the morning of 9/11, because the FBI has now stated that she made no calls. As we saw earlier, Ted Olson said he received two telephone calls from his wife that morning, the first of which, he told the FBI, “lasted about one (1) minute.”[111]“Transcription of FBI Interview with Theodore Olson,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 11, 2001 (http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-11-FBI-FD302-....pdf). A few minutes later, he said, he received the second call, during which, he later told CNN’s Larry King, they “spoke for another two or three or four minutes.”[112]“America’s New War: Recovering from Tragedy.”

But the FBI’s report to the Moussaoui trial said that Barbara Olson attempted one call, and it was “unconnected” and (therefore) lasted “0 seconds.”[113]United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Prosecution Trial Exhibit P200054. As stated earlier, this FBI report on phone calls from AA 11 can be viewed more easily in an article by Jim Hoffman, “Detailed Account of Phone Calls from September 11th Flights” (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/ calldetail.html). This report contradicted Ted Olson’s statement that he talked to his wife twice while she was on AA 77.

This report does not, to be sure, deny that there were calls to Ted Olson’s office that appeared to be from Barbara Olson. That such calls occurred was well supported.[114]The FBI’s summary of its interview with Helen Voss, Ted Olson’s special assistant, said: “Earlier this morning Barbara Olson called the office two (2) times to speak with her husband Ted Olson. Lori Keyton was the secretary that took both of these calls. . . . Lori Keyton called to Voss to relay to Ted Olson that Barbara Olson was on the phone. Keyton said that Barbara is on the line and she’s in a panic. . . . Ted Olson took the call and Voss heard him say, ‘hijacked!’” See Interview with Helen Voss, Special Assistant to the Solicitor General, September 11, 2001 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/15072623/T1A-B33-Four-Fli...-843).

The FBI’s summary of its interview with Lori Keyton said: “Keyton was working in Ted Olson’s Office this morning. She is regularly called there to cover the telephones. At approximately 9:00 AM, she received a series of approximately six (6) to eight (8) collect telephone calls. Each of the calls was an automated collect call. There was a recording advising of the collect call and requesting she hold for an operator. A short time later another recording stated that all operators were busy, please hang up and try your call later. Keyton then received a collect call from a live operator. The operator advised that there was an emergency collect call from Barbara Olsen [sic] for Ted Olsen [sic]. Keyton advised that she would accept the call. Barbara Olsen [sic] was put through and sounded hysterical. Barbara Olsen [sic] said, ‘Can you tell Ted?’ Keyton cut her off and said, ‘I’ll put him on the line.’ There was a second telephone call a few to five (5) minutes later. This time Barbara Olsen [sic] was on the line when she answered. She called direct. It was not a collect call. Barbara Olsen [sic] said, ‘It’s Barbara.’ Keyton said, ‘he’s on the phone with the command center, I’ll put you through.’ Keyton advised that there is no caller identification feature on the phone she was using.” See Interview with Lori Lynn Keyton, Secretary, DOJ, September 11, 2001 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/15072623/T1A-B33-Four-Fli...-843).

According to another FBI interview, Teresa Gonzalez, an operator for AT&T, telephonically contacted the FBI to report an emergency phone call received by AT&T, saying: “Mercy Lorenzo, also an operator with AT&T, received a call from a female passenger on flight 77 requesting to be transferred to telephone number 202514-2201 (which was the number for the Solicitor General’s office). The female passenger advised the plane was being hi-jacked. Hi-jackers were ordering passengers to move to the back of the plane and were armed with guns and knives.” Interview with Teresa Gonzalez, September 11, 2001 (http://www.911myths.com/images/9/95/265A-NY-280350-....pdf).

So, although these statements do not show that Barbara Olson was on American 77 and called Ted Olson from there, they do provide strong evidence that people in Ted Olson’s office believed that Barbara Olson made such calls.

The FBI’s Moussaoui trial report also does not deny that Barbara Olson called her husband and talked to him. The telephone information indicated only that there were no calls to Ted Olson’s office by Barbara Olson using phones aboard AA 77.

What really happened is, to be sure, mysterious. I am reporting only what the evidence indicates. This is one of many issues on which people in the 9/11 Truth Movement cannot be expected to figure out “what really happened.” But the new Department of Justice, given all the resources it has, could surely answer this question, if only it would try, by conducting a new and unrestrained investigation into the 9/11 attacks.

A Last-Ditch Attempt to Salvage the Olson Story: In spite of the fact that the FBI report said unambiguously in 2006 that there were no calls from Barbara Olson on AA 77 to her husband, some people, including Larson, have sought to reaffirm that those calls took place. These attempts are based on the fact that the FBI’s report to the 9/11 Commission in 2004 and to the Moussaoui trial in 2006 said that, in addition to the unconnected call from Barbara Olson, there were five calls from this flight for which the details were unknown. They were, in fact, doubly unknown: Each call was made by an “unknown caller,” and each call went to an “unknown number.” Four of these five calls were, however, listed as “connected.”[115]See the Flight 77 graphic for “Unknown Callers” (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldet...ref1).

The most obviously desperate attempt to salvage the Olson story was provided by the 9/11 Commission. With no mention of American Airlines’ evidence that Barbara Olson only attempted one call, which lasted “0 seconds,” the Commission suggested that all four of the “connected calls to unknown numbers” were calls from Barbara Olson to her husband. It wrote:

The records available for the phone calls from American 77 do not allow for a determination of which of [these four calls] represent the two between Barbara and Ted Olson, although the FBI and DOJ believe that all four represent communications between Barbara Olson and her husband’s office.[116]9/11CR 455n.57.

This was, I wrote in 2007:

[A] very strange conclusion: If Ted Olson reported receiving only two calls, why would the Commission conclude that the DOJ had received four connected calls from his wife?”[117]David Ray Griffin and Rob Balsamo, “Could Barbara Olson Have Made Those Calls? An Analysis of New Evidence about Onboard Phones,” Pilots for 9/11 Truth, June 26, 2007 (http://pilotsfor911truth.org/amrarticle.html); also at 9/11 Blogger (http://www.911blogger.com/node/9627).

Larson agreed, writing:

It is puzzling the DOJ/FBI reached this conclusion, given that Solicitor General Ted Olson, his Special Assistant Helen Voss, and his Secretary Lori Keyton all told the FBI there had been two calls from Barbara Olson.[118]Larson, “Critique.”

Larson added, however: “It would have been reasonable for the FBI to conclude that there were two connected calls from Barbara Olson to Ted Olson.”[119]Ibid.
(Larson, “Critique.”)

But would it? The most likely of the two unknown calls to be considered calls from Barbara Olson would be the first two.[120]See my analysis in David Ray Griffin, “Phone Calls from the 9/11 Airliners: Response to Questions Evoked by My Fifth Estate Interview,” Global Research, January 12, 2010 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&a...6924). The first one started at 9:15:34 and lasted for one minute and 42 seconds; the second began at 9:20:15 and lasted for four minutes and 34 seconds.[121]9/11CR 455 n.57. But there are several problems with this two-call hypothesis.

For one thing, the first of the connected unknown calls started precisely at 9:15:34, whereas the first of the calls from Barbara Olson was said to be “between 9:16 and 9:26 AM.”[122]Ibid., 9.
(9/11CR 455 n.57.)
According to these records, therefore, the first of the unknown but connected calls started 26 seconds earlier than the first of the calls from Barbara Olson.

Raising a second problem, one commentator pointed out:

[I]t is very strange that the FBI did not have any confirmed calls from Barbara Olson to Ted Olson. There were 4 connected calls with unconfirmed numbers and unconfirmed callers. That is odd. If they were able to confirm a call by Barbara Olson that was unconnected to the DOJ and lasted zero seconds, why not calls that were actually connected and lasted several minutes long?[123]“DavidS” in “Comments” to “David Ray Griffin on the 9/11 Cell Phone Calls,” 9/11 Blogger, December 20, 2009 (http://www.911blogger.com/node/22192).

Discussing this “very strange” set of ideas, I wrote:

[It] appears to be so bizarre as to be completely implausible. If the FBI was able to identify the number dialed for a call that failed to connect—so that it did not endure for even a hundredth of a second—could anyone give a plausible explanation as to why the FBI could not identify the number reached by two calls that, besides connecting, endured for over 1.5 and 4.5 minutes, respectively?[124]Griffin, “Phone Calls from the 9/11 Airliners: Response to Questions Evoked by My Fifth Estate Interview.”

Third, I added:

This problem becomes even more severe when we focus on the hypothesis that two of the connected calls to unknown numbers were from Barbara Olson to the Department of Justice, which was also reportedly the number reached by an attempted call from her that failed to connect. If the FBI was able to determine that Barbara Olson had at 9:18:58 unsuccessfully attempted to reach the Department of Justice, why would it have been unable to determine that the calls that she—according to the two-call hypothesis—made at 9:15:34 and 9:20:15 had reached that same Department of Justice?[125]Ibid.
(Griffin, “Phone Calls from the 9/11 Airliners: Response to Questions Evoked by My Fifth Estate Interview.”)

A New Analysis of Primary Telephone Records: A recent analysis of evidence from newly discovered primary telephone records confirms the FBI’s conclusion that Barbara Olson did not attempt any calls to her husband’s office from AA 77.[126]See Elizabeth Woodworth, “Did Barbara Olson Attempt Any Calls at All from Flight 77?” COTO Report (http://coto2.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/did-barbara-o...alls).This is important: The FBI’s report, according to which Barbara Olson attempted a call from AA 77 (even if it was an unconnected call, which lasted “0 seconds”), still provided support for the claim that she was on AA 77 and it was still aloft. The full importance of this evidence will be made clear in Chapter 7.

Conclusion: On the one hand, a combination of evidence shows that Barbara Olson did not make two successful calls to her husband’s office from AA 77.[127]See Ibid.
(See Elizabeth Woodworth, “Did Barbara Olson Attempt Any Calls at All from Flight 77?” COTO Report (http://coto2.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/did-barbara-o...alls).)
On the other hand, it seems impossible to deny that Ted Olson’s office received two calls that seemed to be from Barbara Olson. When taking these two points together, we must conclude that the Barbara Olson calls were in some sense faked.

8. The Small Number of Passengers Who Made Calls

Another reason for doubting the authenticity of the 9/11 phone calls is the very small number of passengers who, according to the official story, took advantage of the opportunities to make phone calls. The number of passengers who did so was significant in only one of the four airplanes.

AA 11: With regard to AA 11, we were told that although two flight attendants—Betty Ong and Amy Sweeney—made calls, no passenger did so. Rowland Morgan has written:

There were about 76 passengers sitting unsupervised in business and coach while the alleged hijackers were locked away. . . . All of them sat facing seatback phones. [A] voice over the public address system ostensibly had announced “If you try to make any moves you’ll endanger yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet.”

In spite of this announcement, Morgan was emphasizing, these men and women, being unsupervised and having phones right in front of them, could have made calls easily and with little fear of being detected by the hijackers. And yet, Morgan asked rhetorically, “no passenger called 9-1-1?”

Given the fact that AA 11 was the first of the airplanes to be involved, the passengers would not have known that it was to be crashed into a building. We might assume, therefore, that they thought that the hijackers simply planned, like most hijackers, to use them to extort money or some agreement from the authorities, and that if they simply sat quietly, no harm would come to them. As we saw earlier, however, the hijackers reportedly killed one passenger, stabbed two flight attendants, and sprayed Mace. The passengers would have known that developments were not promising. Surely some of them would have tried to call a relative, a friend, or 9-1-1. “The official account of Flight 11,” according to which not a single person placed a call, “is implausible,” Morgan wrote.[128]Morgan, Voices, at the end of the section entitled “Chicanery.”

United 175: What about United 175? According to the official account, there were 51 passengers on this flight, but only three of them placed calls.[129]The press has generally referred to only two passengers as having made phone calls from United 175: Lee Hanson and Brian Sweeney. However, the FBI’s telephone report for the Moussaoui trial indicates that four calls home were attempted by Garnet “Ace” Bailey (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/ evidence/calldetail.html), who had been a star ice-hockey player from 1968 to 1979, during which his team, the Boston Bruins, won the Stanley Cup twice. His last year of playing was with the Edmonton Oilers in the 1978-79 season, where he took rookie Wayne Gretzky under his wing. Bailey then became a coach with the Oilers from 1981 to 1994 (during which he won five more Stanley Cups). At the time of his death, he was living in Massachusetts while serving as the director of pro scouting for the Los Angeles Kings (Garnett Bailey, Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garnet_Bailey]).

This is one of the strangest episodes of the “phone calls from the planes.” The evidence supplied to the FBI indicates that three of the four attempted calls to his home number were connected, with these calls lasting for 22, 25, and 9 seconds (see United Airlines Flight #175: http://911research.wtc7.net/ planes/evidence/docs/exhibit/GarnetAceBailey.png). From reading these accounts, one would assume that his wife or someone else in the house had answered these calls. His wife, Kathy Bailey, said that she was at home watching the coverage of the attacks on TV with her son, Tod, but that they did not receive any of those calls. See Doug Krikorian, “‘Ace’ Bailey’s Legacy Lives On,” Press-Telegram (Long Beach, CA) September 10, 2007 (http://www.allbusiness.com/transportation/air-trans...ation- airports/15361814-1.html). How can we explain the phenomena? On the one hand, Kathy and Tod Bailey said that they received no phone calls from “Ace,” so that it was a complete surprise to them later to be told that he had been on one of the planes that struck the World Trade Center. On the other hand, the telephone records indicate that someone picked up the phone in the Bailey house three times—for 22, 25, and 9 seconds (and the telephone records had the Bailey home’s phone number correct). Something is clearly wrong here, even if we cannot say what.
It might be thought that this account is at least more plausible than that of AA 11, because three of 51 passengers on United 175 made calls, whereas none of the 76 passengers on AA 11 made calls.

But the official account of this flight is even more implausible. One can imagine that, because no passengers on AA 11 were making calls, they all may have assumed that there must have been some good reason why no one was using a phone. But once three passengers on United 175 proved that calls could be made successfully, many of the other passengers would surely have followed their lead. (The first successful call from United 175 reportedly occurred at 8:52 AM, so there would have been 11 more minutes in which calls could have been made.) We cannot believe that phone calls would have been made by three, and only three, of 51 passengers on this flight. AA 77: According to the FBI’s 2006 account of AA 77, only one of this plane’s 57 passengers and flight attendants used a phone to reach someone, this being flight attendant Renee May.[130]Phone Call Detail, Flight 77 (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldet...html). If Renee May had made a successful call, while standing or sitting near to other flight attendants and passengers, it is hard to believe that none of the other flight attendants and passengers would have made their own calls. It is, in fact, unthinkable that, if calls were possible, only one person on this flight made calls.

UA 93: We might think the official account of UA 93 is more credible, because it tells us that 11 of its 38 passengers made calls. Rowland Morgan wrote:

It is commonly thought that, while most passengers inexplicably did not call from the three earlier doomed flights, those aboard Flight 93 had longer to decide, and were influenced by the news of the 9/11 events received by those who had called, so lots of them called.[131]Morgan, Voices.

However, Morgan pointed out:

[C]allers were still an inexplicably small minority of those aboard. . . . [A]ccording to the Moussaoui evidence only about 11 of [the 38 passengers] called the ground. . . . That is to say: 33 passengers aboard Flight 93 flew for some 35 minutes, ostensibly knowing that their plane had been hijacked by a murderous gang, without calling home, office or police on one of the phones that were installed opposite their faces. Calling required only a credit card. . . . But . . . three-quarters of the passengers, . . . passing around news that indicated their plane might be doomed as well as hijacked, nevertheless did not call anyone.

When looked at from this perspective, the story about UA 93 is no more plausible than that of the other three flights. Given the position implied in the official account, that everyone on this flight knew that hijackers were planning to fly the plane into a building, it is hard to believe that only 11 of 38 passengers would have called someone—that is, that 27 of them would not. Could people watch Todd Beamer talk on the phone for 20 minutes while not calling someone to talk for a minute or two? Could someone near Tom Burnett watch him call his wife three times while not making a single call?

To the evidence cited in the previous sections, therefore, we must add this consideration: that the numbers of passengers on the 9/11 flights who supposedly made phone calls—from 11 passengers on UA 93 to 0 passengers on AA 11—are implausible. These implausible figures count strongly against the view that the reported phone calls from the 9/11 flights were authentic.

V • Could 9/11 Calls Have Been Faked in Another Way? • 2,500 Words

Because I, like some others, have tended to equate phone fakery with voice morphing, the two ideas have widely come to be equated. However, the idea that the calls to Deena Burnett, along with other 9/11 calls, were faked should not be simply equated with the idea that these calls were produced by voice morphing. Rather, that is only one way in which they might have been faked. I referred to this point in some writings.

In my 2010 book, Cognitive Infiltration, I wrote:

It would appear . . . that the reported calls from Tom Burnett, along with all of the other reported high-altitude cell phone calls, had somehow been faked.[132]David Ray Griffin, Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2010), 60; emphasis added.

In that book, I also wrote:

If Tom Burnett had actually used a seat-back phone, as the FBI’s report now says, why did Deena Burnett see his cell phone number on her Caller ID? The official defenders of the government’s conspiracy theory have offered no answer to this question. And for good reason: There is no possible answer except to admit that these calls had been faked, in one way or another.[133]Ibid., 80; emphasis added.
(David Ray Griffin, Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2010), 60; emphasis added.)

As these statements indicate, there could be more than one way in which phone calls could be faked. We must, in other words, distinguish clearly between fact and hypothesis. We have seen, I believe, sufficient evidence to consider it beyond reasonable doubt that at least some of the 9/11 phone calls were faked.[134]And this fact, I have argued, leads to the conclusion that all of the 9/11 calls must have been faked. Voice morphing is merely a hypothesis about a way in which these calls could have been faked. We need to remain open to the possibility that the calls might have been faked in a different way.

1. The “Repeater” Hypothesis

In fact, a different way in which the 9/11 calls could have been faked was suggested by Erik Larson—although he has not portrayed it as a type of fakery. Larson based his suggestion on the following statement by scientist and 9/11 researcher Jim Hoffman:

[A repeater] is sufficiently powerful to establish reliable connections with ground stations for several minutes at a time, and forwards all the communications between the cell phones aboard the plane and ground stations.[135]Larson, “Critique,” quoting James Hoffman, “The Cell Phone Repeater Hypothesis,” 9-11 Research (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/analysis/phoneca...oked).

Building on Hoffman’s hypothesis, Larson said that “cell phone repeaters could have been placed on the 9/11 flights.” These repeaters would have made it possible for cell phones to work at altitudes at which they normally would not. Therefore, Deena Burnett and other people who received calls would have learned what was going on in the planes.

Larson’s idea is evidently that there were real hijackers on the planes, who would be allowed to carry out their activities, but that everything was ultimately under the control of US operatives who had arranged physical processes that would destroy the World Trade Center and damage the Pentagon. Because passengers and flight attendants would see the plane being taken over by Middle Eastern terrorists, their messages to loved ones and colleagues would be filled with the types of genuine emotion needed to get the American public ready for the planned “war on terror.” In Larson’s words:

It could easily have been anticipated by insiders arranging for planes to be successfully hijacked and hit their targets on 9/11, that passengers, once aware of the hijackings, would attempt to use their cell phones and report hijackings by Middle-Eastern-looking men. It would have been obvious that news reports of these calls would be emotionally-charged, and could be used to convince the public that Islamic radicals were responsible for 9/11, as well as channel the public’s fear and anger into support for a “war on terror.”[136]Larson, “Critique.”

As shown by the first sentence of this passage—“It could easily have been anticipated by insiders arranging for planes to be successfully hijacked and hit their targets”—we have here a version of phone call fakery that would not have involved voice morphing.

In this scenario, real passengers and flight attendants would have made the calls. But they would not have been doing so in the context presented by the official account of 9/11, according to which the planes were hijacked in an operation that surprised our national political and military leaders. Rather, the people who made the phone calls would be under the control of the US perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. This point is made clear in the following statement by Hoffman, in which he explained an advantage of this hypothesis:

[T]his method would have afforded the attack planners great benefits with little risk of exposure. Genuine reports of the theatrics of the red-bandanna-wearing bomb-displaying Arabic-looking patsies aboard Flight 93 could be allowed to get through as long as the operatives wanted, adding realism to the hijackings so central to the official account. But the same operatives could “cut the feed” at the moment events took a turn threatening to evince something other than that account.

According to this scenario, there would be Arab-looking patsies on the planes, but the calls would be “allowed to get through [only] as long as the operatives wanted,” and the operatives “could ‘cut the feed’ at the moment events took a turn threatening to evince something other than [the official] account.” Within this framework, the so-called “hijackers” would not have really hijacked the planes. They would have believed that this was what they were doing, but they would have simply been employed, unbeknownst to them, to play roles in apparent hijackings.

So, although Larson presented the “repeater hypothesis” as an alternative to the view that “the phone calls were faked,” this is really another version of phone call fakery. Once this is seen, the next question is whether this version is better than the one employing voice morphing.

2. Is the “Repeater” Fakery Better?

Larson claimed that if repeaters had been carried onto UA 93, this would explain the Burnett calls. He admitted that “no direct evidence has surfaced [that repeaters were involved].” Also, this hypothesis has evidently not even been tested. I asked Jim Hoffman, who originated this idea, whether there have been “any demonstrations that repeaters would allow conversations of a few minutes at (say) 35,000 feet.”[137]Griffin to Hoffman email, March 2, 2011. Hoffman replied: “I’m not aware of specific tests relating to portable repeaters used to relay cellular calls from jets at 35K feet.”[138]Hoffman to Griffin email, March 2, 2011. Hoffman added that he is, nevertheless, certain that “it’s clearly feasible given the technology.” In support of his assertion about feasibility in his 2009 article, Hoffman provided this analysis: “The range of a repeater is a function of its power and the directional character of its receive-and-transmit antennae. Cell phone radios are very low power (around 2 watts peak) and have little to no directional gain on either transmit or receive. A shoebox-sized repeater could easily pack several hundred watts of power and include directional antennae to increase signal gain by orders of magnitude. A simple calculation: If a 2 watt radio is capable of transmitting to a station at 5,000 feet, then a similar 200 watt radio could reach the same station at 50,000 feet (since the strength of an omni- directional signal falls off with the square of the distance). The addition of a simple low-gain antenna like a yagi could boost distances greatly in a general direction, while an aimable high-gain antenna could punch through almost any line-of-sight path in the atmosphere.”

Larson criticized A.K. Dewdney’s ideas about the functioning of cell phones in airplanes, although these ideas were based on empirical tests. And Larson criticized voice morphing, even though this technology had been publicly demonstrated in 1999. And yet Larson proposed that the Burnett calls worked because repeaters had been placed on UA 93—even though he admittedly has no evidence that they were actually involved, and even though Hoffman admittedly does not know of any tests to determine whether repeaters would have enabled cell phones in 2001 to call home while cruising at 35,000 feet. It seems that Larson is excessively critical of Dewdney’s ideas and excessively uncritical of the repeater hypothesis, as I will suggest next.

3. Why Repeater Fakery Cannot Explain Most of the Inauthentic Phone Calls

In any case, even if repeater-boosted cell phones could have successfully made calls to the ground, the idea that repeaters accounted for some of the 9/11 calls seems unlikely. I will briefly explain why.

Tom Burnett’s Refusal to Speak to ‘the Kids’: If the man with whom Deena Burnett was talking were not really her husband, but only seemed to be him thanks to voice morphing, we could understand why that man would not have spoken to “the kids.” But if the real Tom Burnett had been speaking to his wife on his cell phone aided by repeaters (about which he would not have known), there would have been no reason, when his wife told him that the children wanted to talk to him, for him to decline. It is very hard, in fact, to believe that he would have passed up probably the last chance to speak to his children. So, even if the repeater hypothesis could explain how the Burnett calls could have been connected, it would not give a credible account of these calls as a whole.

The Lack of Noise and Emotion: If the “phone calls from the planes” were fabricated using voice morphing, we could readily understand how the passengers and flight attendants could have been so calm and the cabins so quiet. But if repeaters had allowed Tom Burnett and other passengers to make cell phone calls from UA 93 when the plane had been taken over by foreign hijackers, some people had been killed, and the passengers had learned that the hijackers planned to fly the plane into a building, we would have no explanation of the calm and quiet behavior of the passengers and flight attendants.

It is interesting that Hoffman said that this plan—having repeater-magnified phone calls reporting hijackings carried out by Arab-looking men—would help the 9/11 operation by “adding realism to the hijackings,”[139]Hoffman, “The Cell Phone Repeater Hypothesis.” and Larson said that “news reports of these calls [were] emotionally-charged.” The idea seems to be that the reports were emotionally charged because the phone calls themselves had been emotionally charged. As we have seen, however, the phone calls were notable for the calmness and lack of emotion of most of the passengers and flight attendants. It is true, to be sure, that if the phone calls were actually reporting the kinds of events described, we would expect the calls to have been very emotionally charged. The fact that they were generally not charged with the level of emotion we would expect counts against the application of the repeater hypothesis to 9/11.

The Small Number of Passengers Who Made Calls: As we have seen, Larson has said that once passengers became aware of hijackings, some of them would try to use their cell phones to report them, and if the calls went through—thanks to repeaters—many others would surely have used cell phones to make calls. So we would have expected most of the passengers on UA 93 to have made cell phone calls.

According to the FBI report made available to the Moussaoui trial in 2006, however, there were only two cell phone calls—the 9:58 AM calls made by passenger Ed Felt and flight attendant CeeCee Lyles.

It seems that Larson disagreed with the FBI’s report with regard to—and perhaps only with regard to—the Burnett calls: Whereas the FBI said that Tom Burnett had used a seatback phone, Larson said that Burnett, thanks to repeaters, had used his cell phone. But Larson’s account disconfirms his expectation “that passengers, once aware of the hijackings, would attempt to use their cell phones and report hijackings by Middle-Eastern-looking men.” Three repeater-assisted cell phone calls by Tom Burnett would be a much smaller number of calls than could have reasonably been expected from 38 passengers on UA 93.

Also, if repeaters were put on Flight 93, they would also presumably have been placed on Flights 11, 175, and 77. But any expectation that repeaters on those planes would have led to the widespread use of cell phones would not have been fulfilled. According to the FBI, there were no cell phone calls by passengers on any of those three flights. But even if Larson said, in opposition to the FBI’s stance, that all of the calls on these three flights described by the FBI as onboard calls were actually cell phone calls, there still would have been very few cell phone calls.

Again, Larson is certainly right to suggest that, if passengers on 9/11 flights had become aware of hijackers on their planes and had discovered that cell phones would work, they would probably have made numerous phone calls, many of which would have been cell phone calls. Therefore, the very low number of cell phone calls on the 9/11 flights, even UA 93, serves to disconfirm the repeater hypothesis.

4. Still Another Way to Fake Calls?

However, the failure of the repeater hypothesis does not necessarily mean that the voice-morphing hypothesis is correct. There may still be another way in which the phone calls from the planes could have been faked. And this is important. Those who believe, for some reason, that the calls could not have been morphed should not, for that reason, conclude that the calls were not faked. We need to keep a clear distinction between the evidence for a phenomenon that needs to be explained (called by philosophers of science the explanandum) and the explanation for that phenomenon (the explanans). We might reject all the available explanations. But that rejection will not do away with the explanandum, which in this case is the evidence that reported phone calls from the planes were faked. This chapter has focused primarily on this evidence. A secondary purpose is to show that voice morphing provides a possible explanation for these faked calls. But there might be a better explanation, which is presently unknown—except perhaps to the perpetrators.

Conclusion

It was the “phone calls from the 9/11 planes” that first convinced the public that America had been attacked by al-Qaeda, and until the public comes to see that these calls were faked, the United States will probably never shake free from the myth of “the al-Qaeda attack on America.”

Those who speak and write about 9/11 should, of course, take an evidence-based approach. And the evidence that the “calls from the planes” were faked is strong. The evidence against the authenticity of the phone calls from the planes is especially strong when we remember all the types of evidence summarized in the first section of this chapter. Some of this evidence shows there is no credible proof that the alleged hijackers were on the planes, and some of it supports an even stronger point: that the alleged hijackers simply were not on the planes. Obviously, if there were no hijackers on the planes, then purported descriptions of such hijackers by passengers and hijackers cannot be authentic.

Accordingly, there are two ways of showing that all of the “phone calls from the planes” were faked. One of those has just been stated: If there were no hijackers on the planes, then there could have been no phone calls from the planes reporting their activities. The second way of showing that all of the purported calls were inauthentic begins with a few of these calls—such as the Tom Burnett, the CeeCee Lyles, the Betty Ong, the Todd Beamer, and the Barbara Olson calls—which were rather obviously faked. We then move to the point that, if some of the calls were faked, then all of them must have been inauthentic, because if the official account—according to which the planes were hijacked in a surprise operation—were true, then no one would have been prepared to fake any calls.

In any case, the reported “phones from the planes” were central to the processes through which the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks convinced Americans that these attacks were planned and carried out by Muslims. These reported phone calls were, therefore, a central element of the 9/11 SCAD, or state crime against democracy—this plan “by government insiders intended to manipulate democratic processes and undermine popular sovereignty.”

Unfortunately, this plan succeeded brilliantly, allowing the Bush-Cheney administration to pass the so-called PATRIOT Act, through which the US Constitution was subverted; to increase military spending enormously; and to launch attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, even though these attacks did not work out well for the United States—except to further increase military spending.

Notes • 4,100 Words

[1] Kerry Hall, “Flight Attendant Helped Fight Hijackers,” News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.), September 21, 2001 (http://web.archive.org/web/20080302115428/ http://mm.news-record.com/legacy/photo/tradecenter/bradshaw21.htm).

[2] See especially Rowland Morgan. Voices. Self-published, 2010 (http://www.radiodujour.com/pdf/voices-book.pdf).

[3] “Interview with Deena Lynne Burnett,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 11, 2001 (http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-11-FBI-FD302-deena-lynne-burnett.pdf).

[4] Ibid.

[5] “Tom Burnett: A Hero on Flight 93: An Interview with Deena Burnett,” Ignatius Insight, September 2006 (http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2006/deenaburnett_intvw_sept06.asp)

[6] 9/11CR 11, 29. The FBI’s interview of Deena Burnett showed that Tom’s first call came at 6:30 AM PST, hence at 9:30 AM EST (http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-11-FBI-FD302-deena-lynne-burnett.pdf). And at that time, UA 93 was said to have been at 36,000 feet. See “Flight Path Study: United Airlines Flight 93,” National Transportation Safety Board, February 19, 2002 (http://www.911myths.com/images/8/84/Team8_Box15_HijackedAirplanes_ Folder3_NTSB-Reports-On-UA93.pdf).

[7] A.K. Dewdney, “Project Achilles Report: Parts One, Two and Three,” Physics 911, April 19, 2003 (http://www.physics911.net/projectachilles); “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93,” Physics 911, June 2003 (physics911.net/cellphoneflight93.htm).

[8] The results of Dewdney’s twin-engine experiments are reported in Barrie Zwicker, Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-Up of 9/11 (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2006), 375.

[9] David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2008), 113, citing A. K. Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93,” Physics 911, June 9, 2003 (http://physics911.net/cellphoneflight93.htm).

[10] Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 113.

[11] Erik Larson, “Critique of David Ray Griffin’s Fake Calls Theory,” 911 Truth News, February 11, 2011 (http://911truthnews.com/critique-of-david-ray-griffins-fake-calls-theory).

[12] Dewdney, “Project Achilles Report,” Part 3.

[13] Larson, “Critique of David Ray Griffin’s Fake Calls Theory.”

[14] Ibid.

[15] United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Exhibit Number P200054 (http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution/ flights/P200054.html). These documents can be more easily viewed in an article by Jim Hoffman, “Detailed Account of Phone Calls from September 11th Flights” (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldetail.html).

[16] Thomas Burnett, Jr., United Airlines Flight #93 Telephone Calls (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/docs/exhibit/ThomasBurnett.png). According to this report, Burnett placed two calls from row 24 ABC and one call from row 25 ABC (although he had been assigned a seat in row 4).

[17] Greg Gordon of McClatchy Newspapers reported that “a member of an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force testified” that “13 of the terrified passengers and crew members made 35 air phone calls and two cell phone calls.” See Greg Gordon, “Jurors Hear Final Struggle of Flight 93: Moussaoui Trial Plays Cockpit Tape of Jet that Crashed Sept. 11,” Sacramento Bee April 13, 2006 (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/sacbee/Gordon_MoussaouiTrialTape.pdf).

[18] A graph labeled “US-93 Altitude Profile” (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2367739610098837763LtPhuo) shows the plane as having descended to 5,000 feet at 9:58 AM.

[19] Karen Breslau, “The Final Moments of United Flight 93,” Newsweek September 22, 2001 (http://www.newsweek.com/2001/09/21/the-final-moments-of-united-flight-93.html).

[20] Dennis B. Roddy, “Flight 93: Forty Lives, One Destiny,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette October 28, 2001 (http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20011028flt93mainstoryp7.asp).

[21] FBI Affidavit, signed by agent James K. Lechner, September 11, 2001 (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/atta/resources/documents/fbiaffidavit1.htm), page 9. Sweeney and Woodward are not identified by name in the affidavit, which refers simply to Sweeney as “a flight attendant on AA11” and to Woodward as “an employee of American Airlines at Logan.” But their names were revealed in an “investigative document compiled by the FBI” to which reporter Eric Lichtblau referred in “Aboard Flight 11, a Chilling Voice,” Los Angeles Times September 20, 2001 (http://articles.latimes.com/2001/sep/20/news/mn-47829).

[22] Interview of Michael Woodward by FBI Special Agent Craig Ring, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 11, 2001 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/19131547/T7-B13-DOJ-Doc-Req-3513-Packet-6-Fdr-Entire-Contents-FBI-Reports-730). I am indebted to Eric Larson’s article, “Critique of David Ray Griffin’s Fake Calls Theory,” for that information.

[23] Gail Sheehy, “9/11 Tapes Reveal Ground Personnel Muffled Attacks,” New York Observer June 24, 2004 (http://www.observer.com/node/49415).

[24] Deena L. Burnett (with Anthony F. Giombetti), Fighting Back: Living Life Beyond Ourselves (Longwood, FL: Advantage Inspirational Books, 2006), 61.

[25] Interview with Lorne Lyles, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 12, 2001 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/15072623/T1A-B33-Four-Flights-Phone-Calls-and-Other-Data-Fdr-Entire-Contents-FBI-302s-843).

[26] Interview with Deena Lynne Burnett, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 11, 2001 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/15072623/T1A-B33-Four-Flights-Phone-Calls-and-Other-Data-Fdr-Entire-Contents-FBI-302s-843) (also available at http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-11-FBI-FD302-deena-lynne-burnett.pdf).

[27] The New Pearl Harbor Revisited (2008); Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Books], 2007).

[28] Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93;” Section 3; Rowland Morgan, Voices.

[29] William M. Arkin, “When Seeing and Hearing Isn’t Believing,” Washington Post February 1, 1999 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ wp-srv/national/dotmil/arkin020199.htm).

[30] Ibid.

[31] Larson, “Critique of David Ray Griffin’s Fake Calls Theory.”

[32] See Rowland Morgan, Voices; and Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93,” Section 3, “Operational Details.”

[33] Aidan Monaghan, “No Conclusive Evidence Debunking Faked 9/11 Phone Calls,” 9/11 Blogger, February 24, 2011 (http://911blogger.com/news/2011-02-23/jesse-ventura-s-fake-phone-calls-claim-debunked#comment-246640).

[34] George Papcun, “Voice Morphing and the Alleged 9/11 Government Conspiracy,” Sound Evidence (http://soundevidence.com/voicemorphing&911_ 1.html).

[35] Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93.”

[36] Larson, “Critique.”

[37] Papcun, “Voice Morphing and the Alleged 9/11 Government Conspiracy.”

[38] Burnett, Fighting Back, 61.

[39] Portrait of Courage: The Untold Story of Flight 93, DVD, directed by David Priest (Baker City, OR: Grizzly Adams Productions, 2006). See Shoestring 9/11, “Husband of Flight 93 Attendant: ‘Cell Phones Don’t Work on a Plane” (http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2008/04/husband-of-flight-93-attendant-cell.html).

[40] Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93.”

[41] Ibid.

[42] To be more precise, I would need to say that Tom Burnett could not possibly have made the calls unless his cell phone had been given artificial assistance, perhaps with a “repeater,” as suggested by Erik Larson. I will give reasons later, however, for rejecting this as a method that might have been used on 9/11.

[43] “Transcript of Tom’s Last Calls to Deena,” Tom Burnett Family Foundation (http://www.tomburnettfoundation.org/tomburnett_transcript.html).

[44] Ibid.

[45] “Court Recording of CeeCee Lyles on Flight 93—HEAR THE WHISPERS IN THE BACKGROUND,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SED 76UvuAw).

[46] To confirm this point, one can check the CeeCee Lyles recording in the computer presentation of the AA 77 telephone calls. The official presentation is at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/ prosecution/flights/P200054.html.

[47] For this section, I am heavily indebted to Shoestring 9/11, “‘Shockingly Calm’: The Phone Calls From the Planes on 9/11,” July 5, 2008 (http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2008/07/shockingly-calm-phone-calls-from-planes.html).

[48] Staff Report, 9/11 Commission, August 26, 2004: 40 (http://www.archives.gov/research/9-11/staff-report.pdf).

[49] The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Authorized Edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), 13.

[50] Ibid., 6.

[51] Ibid., 5.

[52] Hope Yen, “Flight Attendant Calm on September 11 Tape,” Associated Press, January 28, 2004 (http://www.redorbit.com/news/general/40060/flight_ attendant_calm_on_sept_11_tape/index.html).

[53] Public Hearing, 9/11 Commission, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/archive/ hearing7/9-11Commission_Hearing_2004-01-27.htm), January 27, 2004.

[54] Jennifer Julian, “One of the Last Calls,” ABC11 Eyewitness News, September 11, 2002 (http://web.archive.org/web/20021107235946/http://abclocal.go.com/ wtvd/news/091002_NW_LastCall.html).

[55] Yen, “Flight Attendant Calm on September 11 Tape.”

[56] Deena Burnett, Fighting Back, 66.

[57] David Segal, “A Red Carpet Tragedy: Grief and Glamour an Odd Mix at ‘United 93’ Debut,” Washington Post April 26, 2006 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/26/ AR2006042600061.html).

[58] Jere Longman, Among the Heroes: United 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back (New York: HarperCollins, 2002), 128.

[59] Matthew Brown, “Hero’s Family Perseveres: As Spotlight Fades, Young Wife Looks Ahead,” Bergen Record October 5, 2001 (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-47456022.html).

[60] Longman, Among the Heroes, 129–30; Phil Hirschkorn, “More 9/11 Families Testify for Moussaoui,” CNN, April 21, 2006 (http://edition.cnn.com/2006/LAW/04/21/moussaoui.families/index.html).

[61] “Stories of Flight 93,” Larry King Live, CNN, February 18, 2006 (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0602/18/lkl.01.html).

[62] Wendy Schuman, Interview with Lisa Jefferson, “I Promised I Wouldn’t Hang Up,” Beliefnet, 2006 (http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/2006/06/ I-Promised-I-Wouldnt-Hang-Up.aspx).

[63] Lisa D. Jefferson and Felicia Middlebrooks, Called (Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 2006), 33.

[64] Segal, “A Red Carpet Tragedy.”

[65] Brown, “Hero’s Family Perseveres.”

[66] Longman, Among the Heroes, 172.

[67] “Calm Before the Crash,” ABC News, July 18, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/planes/evidence/abc_f11beforecrash.html).

[68] Hirschkorn, “More 9/11 Families Testify for Moussaoui.”

[69] Morgan, Voices, 113.

[70] Public Hearing, 9/11 Commission, January 27, 2004, Panel III (http://www.9-11 commission.gov/archive/hearing7/9-11Commission_Hearing_2004-01-27.htm).

[71] Interview with Lyzbeth Glick, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 12, 2001 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/14094225/T7-B17-FBI-302s-of-Interest-Flight-93-Fdr-Entire-Contents).

[72] Lyz Glick and Dan Zegart, Your Father’s Voice: Letters for Emmy about Life with Jeremy—and Without Him after 9/11 (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2005), 195.

[73] Interview with Richard Makely, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 12, 2001 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/14094225/T7-B17-FBI-302s-of-Interest-Flight-93-Fdr-Entire-Contents).

[74] 9/11CR 462n168.

[75] Won-Young Kim and Gerald R. Baum, “Seismic Observations during September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attack,” Maryland Geological Survey, Spring 2002 (http://www.mgs.md.gov/esic/publications/download/911pentagon.pdf). Jonathan Silver, “Day of Terror: Outside Tiny Shanksville, a Fourth Deadly Stroke,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 12, 2001 (http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp); Tom Gibb, James O’Toole, and Cindi Lash, “Investigators Locate ‘Black Box’ from Flight 93; Widen Search Area in Somerset Crash,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 13, 2001 (http://post-gazette.com/headlines/20010913somersetp3.asp); William Bunch, “We Know it Crashed, But Not Why,” Philadelphia Daily News November 15, 2001 (http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/flight_93_crash.html).

[76] “Jeremy Glick,” United Airlines Flight #93 Telephone Calls (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/docs/exhibit/JeremyGlick.png).

[77] Lisa D. Jefferson and Felicia Middlebrooks, Called (Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 2006).

[78] Windy Schuman, Interview of Lisa Jefferson, “I Promised I Wouldn’t Hang Up,” Beliefnet, June 2006 (http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/2006/06/ I-Promised-I-Wouldnt-Hang-Up.aspx?p=1).

[79] “Todd Beamer,” United Airlines Flight #93 Telephone Calls (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/docs/exhibit/ToddBeamer.png).

[80] “United Flight 93 Victims at a Glance,” USA Today September 25, 2001 (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/09/11/victims-capsules.htm).

[81] Morgan, Voices.

[82] Peter Perl, “Hallowed Ground,” Washington Post May 12, 2002 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node= &contentId=A56110-2002May8).

[83] Jefferson and Middlebrooks, Called, 53.

[84] Jim McKinnon, “13-Minute Call Bonds Her Forever with Hero,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 22, 2001 (http://www.post-gazette.com/ headlines/20010922gtenat4p4.asp).

[85] The name of Phyllis Johnson is publicly known only because of the aforementioned Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story by Jim McKinnon, “13-Minute Call Bonds Her Forever With Hero.” (Lisa D. Jefferson, who became well known by writing about this call, never mentioned Johnson’s name. See Jefferson and Middlebrooks, Called, 29; Wendy Schuman, Interview with Lisa Jefferson, “I Promised I Wouldn’t Hang Up.”)

[86] Douglas Holt, “Call Records Detail How Passengers Foiled 2nd Washington Attack,” Chicago Tribune September 16, 2001 (http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-6765842_ITM).

[87] Jefferson and Middlebrooks, Called, 47.

[88] Ibid., 47-48.

[89] Morgan, Voices.

[90] Ibid.

[91] Jim McKinnon, “GTE Operator Connects With, Uplifts Widow of Hero in Hijacking,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 19, 2001 (http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010919gtenatp3.asp).

[92] “Interview with Theodore Olsen [sic],” 9/11 Commission, FBI Source Documents, Chronological, September 11, 2001, Intelfiles.com, March 14, 2008 (http://intelfiles.egoplex.com:80/2008/03/911-commission-fbi-source- documents.html).

[93] “America’s New War: Recovering from Tragedy,” Larry King Live, CNN, September 14, 2001 (http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/14/lkl.00.html).

[94] Tim O’Brien, “Wife of Solicitor General Alerted Him of Hijacking from Plane,” CNN, September 12, 2001 (http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/11/ pentagon.olson).

[95] “Staff No. Statement 16: Outline of the 9/11 Plot,” 9/11 Commission, June 16, 2004 (http://www.9-11commission.gov/staff_statements/staff_statement_ 16.pdf).

[96] Shoestring 9/11, “The Flight 77 Murder Mystery: Who Really Killed Charles Burlingame?” February 2, 2008 (http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2008/02/flight-77-murder-mystery-who- really.html).

[97] “In Memoriam: Charles ‘Chic’ Burlingame, 1949-2001,” USS Saratoga Museum Foundation (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/planes/analysis/chic_ remembered.html).

[98] Alfred Goldberg et al., Pentagon 9/11 (Washington, DC: Office of the Secretary of Defense, 2007), 12.

[99] Interview of Theodore Olson, Solicitor General of the United States of America, September 11, 2001 (http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-11-FBI-FD302-theodore-olsen.pdf).

[100] O’Brien, “Wife of Solicitor General Alerted Him of Hijacking from Plane.”

[101] Hannity & Colmes, Fox News, September 14, 2001.

[102] Larry King Live, CNN, September 14, 2001 (http://edition.cnn.com/ TRANSCRIPTS/0109/14/lkl.00.html).

[103] Theodore B. Olson, “Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture,” November 16, 2001, Federalist Society, 15th Annual National Lawyers Convention (http://www.fed-soc.org/resources/id.63/default.asp); Toby Harnden, “She Asked Me How to Stop the Plane,” Daily Telegraph March 5, 2002 (http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/2002/telegraph030502.html).

[104] “On September 11, Final Words of Love,” CNN, September 10, 2002 (http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/09/03/ar911.phone.calls), said: “Unbeknown to the hijackers, passenger and political commentator Barbara Olson, 45, was able to call her husband—Solicitor General Ted Olson—on her cellular phone.”

[105] “Flight Path Study: American Airlines Flight 77,” National Transportation Safety Board, February 19, 2002 (http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB196/doc02.pdf).

[106] “T7 B12 Flight 93 Calls- General Fdr- 5-20-04 DOJ Briefing on Cell and Phone Calls From AA 77 408,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, May 20, 2004 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/18886083/T7-B12-Flight-93-Calls-General-Fdr-52004-DOJ-Briefing-on-Cell-and-Phone-Calls-From-AA-77-408).

[107] This exchange occurred on December 6, 2004; see Morgan and Henshall, 9/11 Revealed. Henshall and Morgan also found this information corroborated on the AA website: As it existed at that time (2005), the section headed “Onboard Technology” indicated that telephone calls were possible on AA’s Boeing 767s and 777s, but it did not mention AA’s 757s.

[108] See Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 60–61. A supplementary reason for holding that American Airlines 757s had no onboard phones is provided by a page in the Boeing 757 Aircraft Maintenance Manual (757 AMM), which was dated January 28, 2001. The first sentence of this page stated: “The passenger telephone system was deactivated by ECO [Engineering Change Order] FO878.” This page indicates, in other words, that by January 28, 2001, the passenger phone system for the AA 757 fleet had been deactivated. Also, American Airlines public relations representative John Hotard wrote: “An Engineering Change Order to deactivate the seatback phone system on the 757 fleet had been issued by that time [9/11/2001].” Following this statement, Hotard emphasized that photographs showing seatback phones in American 757s after 9/11 would not prove that the phones were still functioning, because: “We did two things: issued the engineering change orders to disconnect/disable the phones, but then did not physically remove the phones until the aircraft went . . . in for a complete overhaul.” So, there were still seatback phones in the American 757s, but they could not be used, because they had been disconnected.

Larson stated that I distorted the evidence because I had not quoted the following statement by Hotard: “Ron, engineers at our primary Maintenance & Engineering base in Tulsa tell me that they cannot find any record that the 757 aircraft flown into the Pentagon on 9/11 had had its seatback phones deactivated by that date.” However, the crucial matter was the order, which would have caused things to happen. The fact that Hotard could not find any record about “the 757 aircraft flown into the Pentagon” might simply reflect the fact that no such aircraft existed.

Larson also criticized me for not quoting this statement by Hotard: “It is our contention that the seatback phones on Flight 77 were working because there is no entry in that aircraft’s records to indicate when the phones were disconnected.” However, the entry in question is the statement in the Aircraft Maintenance Manual of January 28, 2001, which said: “The passenger telephone system was deactivated by ECO FO878.”

[109] Captain Ralph Kolstad, email letters to Rob Balsamo and David Griffin, December 22, 2009. Larson, unfortunately, tried to discredit Kolstad’s testimony by resorting to guilt by association: Larson claimed that Kolstad’s credibility has been undermined by his membership in Pilots for 9/11 Truth—which holds “that AA 77 didn’t crash into the Pentagon” (something that evidently most of the members of the 9/11 Truth Movement hold)—and his endorsement of a particular book by a member of the 9/11 movement. I fail to see how these guilt-by-association charges, even if valid, would provide reason to doubt Kolstad’s observation skills. I suspect that someone twice named a Top Gun pilot must have pretty good observation skills.

[110] Letter from Ginger Gainer, February 16, 2011. She added: “I do recall stickers on the seatback phones (on the international configuration) indicating they were inoperative during the time the plane had them disabled, but had not yet gone in for a ‘C-Check.’ . . . As to the domestic configuration at the time, I asked several current and former Flight Attendants for American, . . . who flew domestic . . . , and they all said that they recalled the phones as having been disabled at the time, or gone (due to C-check reconfiguration).”

[111] “Transcription of FBI Interview with Theodore Olson,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 11, 2001 (http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-11-FBI-FD302-theodore-olsen.pdf).

[112] “America’s New War: Recovering from Tragedy.”

[113] United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Prosecution Trial Exhibit P200054. As stated earlier, this FBI report on phone calls from AA 11 can be viewed more easily in an article by Jim Hoffman, “Detailed Account of Phone Calls from September 11th Flights” (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/ calldetail.html).

[114] The FBI’s summary of its interview with Helen Voss, Ted Olson’s special assistant, said: “Earlier this morning Barbara Olson called the office two (2) times to speak with her husband Ted Olson. Lori Keyton was the secretary that took both of these calls. . . . Lori Keyton called to Voss to relay to Ted Olson that Barbara Olson was on the phone. Keyton said that Barbara is on the line and she’s in a panic. . . . Ted Olson took the call and Voss heard him say, ‘hijacked!’” See Interview with Helen Voss, Special Assistant to the Solicitor General, September 11, 2001 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/15072623/T1A-B33-Four-Flights-Phone-Calls-and-Other-Data-Fdr-Entire-Contents-FBI-302s-843).

The FBI’s summary of its interview with Lori Keyton said: “Keyton was working in Ted Olson’s Office this morning. She is regularly called there to cover the telephones. At approximately 9:00 AM, she received a series of approximately six (6) to eight (8) collect telephone calls. Each of the calls was an automated collect call. There was a recording advising of the collect call and requesting she hold for an operator. A short time later another recording stated that all operators were busy, please hang up and try your call later. Keyton then received a collect call from a live operator. The operator advised that there was an emergency collect call from Barbara Olsen [sic] for Ted Olsen [sic]. Keyton advised that she would accept the call. Barbara Olsen [sic] was put through and sounded hysterical. Barbara Olsen [sic] said, ‘Can you tell Ted?’ Keyton cut her off and said, ‘I’ll put him on the line.’ There was a second telephone call a few to five (5) minutes later. This time Barbara Olsen [sic] was on the line when she answered. She called direct. It was not a collect call. Barbara Olsen [sic] said, ‘It’s Barbara.’ Keyton said, ‘he’s on the phone with the command center, I’ll put you through.’ Keyton advised that there is no caller identification feature on the phone she was using.” See Interview with Lori Lynn Keyton, Secretary, DOJ, September 11, 2001 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/15072623/T1A-B33-Four-Flights-Phone-Calls-and-Other-Data-Fdr-Entire-Contents-FBI-302s-843).

According to another FBI interview, Teresa Gonzalez, an operator for AT&T, telephonically contacted the FBI to report an emergency phone call received by AT&T, saying: “Mercy Lorenzo, also an operator with AT&T, received a call from a female passenger on flight 77 requesting to be transferred to telephone number 202514-2201 (which was the number for the Solicitor General’s office). The female passenger advised the plane was being hi-jacked. Hi-jackers were ordering passengers to move to the back of the plane and were armed with guns and knives.” Interview with Teresa Gonzalez, September 11, 2001 (http://www.911myths.com/images/9/95/265A-NY-280350-302-22170-Unredacted.pdf).

So, although these statements do not show that Barbara Olson was on American 77 and called Ted Olson from there, they do provide strong evidence that people in Ted Olson’s office believed that Barbara Olson made such calls.

[115] See the Flight 77 graphic for “Unknown Callers” (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldetail.html#ref1).

[116] 9/11CR 455n.57.

[117] David Ray Griffin and Rob Balsamo, “Could Barbara Olson Have Made Those Calls? An Analysis of New Evidence about Onboard Phones,” Pilots for 9/11 Truth, June 26, 2007 (http://pilotsfor911truth.org/amrarticle.html); also at 9/11 Blogger (http://www.911blogger.com/node/9627).

[118] Larson, “Critique.”

[119] Ibid.

[120] See my analysis in David Ray Griffin, “Phone Calls from the 9/11 Airliners: Response to Questions Evoked by My Fifth Estate Interview,” Global Research, January 12, 2010 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16924).

[121] 9/11CR 455 n.57.

[122] Ibid., 9.

[123] “DavidS” in “Comments” to “David Ray Griffin on the 9/11 Cell Phone Calls,” 9/11 Blogger, December 20, 2009 (http://www.911blogger.com/node/22192).

[124] Griffin, “Phone Calls from the 9/11 Airliners: Response to Questions Evoked by My Fifth Estate Interview.”

[125] Ibid.

[126] See Elizabeth Woodworth, “Did Barbara Olson Attempt Any Calls at All from Flight 77?” COTO Report (http://coto2.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/did-barbara-olson-attempt-any-calls).

[127] See Ibid.

[128] Morgan, Voices, at the end of the section entitled “Chicanery.”

[129] The press has generally referred to only two passengers as having made phone calls from United 175: Lee Hanson and Brian Sweeney. However, the FBI’s telephone report for the Moussaoui trial indicates that four calls home were attempted by Garnet “Ace” Bailey (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/ evidence/calldetail.html), who had been a star ice-hockey player from 1968 to 1979, during which his team, the Boston Bruins, won the Stanley Cup twice. His last year of playing was with the Edmonton Oilers in the 1978-79 season, where he took rookie Wayne Gretzky under his wing. Bailey then became a coach with the Oilers from 1981 to 1994 (during which he won five more Stanley Cups). At the time of his death, he was living in Massachusetts while serving as the director of pro scouting for the Los Angeles Kings (Garnett Bailey, Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garnet_Bailey]).

This is one of the strangest episodes of the “phone calls from the planes.” The evidence supplied to the FBI indicates that three of the four attempted calls to his home number were connected, with these calls lasting for 22, 25, and 9 seconds (see United Airlines Flight #175: http://911research.wtc7.net/ planes/evidence/docs/exhibit/GarnetAceBailey.png). From reading these accounts, one would assume that his wife or someone else in the house had answered these calls. His wife, Kathy Bailey, said that she was at home watching the coverage of the attacks on TV with her son, Tod, but that they did not receive any of those calls. See Doug Krikorian, “‘Ace’ Bailey’s Legacy Lives On,” Press-Telegram (Long Beach, CA) September 10, 2007 (http://www.allbusiness.com/transportation/air-transportation- airports/15361814-1.html). How can we explain the phenomena? On the one hand, Kathy and Tod Bailey said that they received no phone calls from “Ace,” so that it was a complete surprise to them later to be told that he had been on one of the planes that struck the World Trade Center. On the other hand, the telephone records indicate that someone picked up the phone in the Bailey house three times—for 22, 25, and 9 seconds (and the telephone records had the Bailey home’s phone number correct). Something is clearly wrong here, even if we cannot say what.

[130] Phone Call Detail, Flight 77 (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldetail.html).

[131] Morgan, Voices.

[132] David Ray Griffin, Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Publishing], 2010), 60; emphasis added.

[133] Ibid., 80; emphasis added.

[134] And this fact, I have argued, leads to the conclusion that all of the 9/11 calls must have been faked.

[135] Larson, “Critique,” quoting James Hoffman, “The Cell Phone Repeater Hypothesis,” 9-11 Research (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/analysis/phonecalls.html#overlooked).

[136] Larson, “Critique.”

[137] Griffin to Hoffman email, March 2, 2011.

[138] Hoffman to Griffin email, March 2, 2011. Hoffman added that he is, nevertheless, certain that “it’s clearly feasible given the technology.” In support of his assertion about feasibility in his 2009 article, Hoffman provided this analysis: “The range of a repeater is a function of its power and the directional character of its receive-and-transmit antennae. Cell phone radios are very low power (around 2 watts peak) and have little to no directional gain on either transmit or receive. A shoebox-sized repeater could easily pack several hundred watts of power and include directional antennae to increase signal gain by orders of magnitude. A simple calculation: If a 2 watt radio is capable of transmitting to a station at 5,000 feet, then a similar 200 watt radio could reach the same station at 50,000 feet (since the strength of an omni- directional signal falls off with the square of the distance). The addition of a simple low-gain antenna like a yagi could boost distances greatly in a general direction, while an aimable high-gain antenna could punch through almost any line-of-sight path in the atmosphere.”

[139] Hoffman, “The Cell Phone Repeater Hypothesis.”

[140] Larson, “Critique.”

Chapter 6 • Cheney’s Meet the Press Interview: Why Did the 9/11 Commission Contradict It? • 5,200 Words

On September 16, 2001, just five days after the 9/11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney was interviewed at Camp David for a special edition of NBC’s Meet the Press.[1]“The Vice President Appears on Meet the Press with Tim Russert,” MSNBC, September 16, 2001 (http://web.archive.org/web/20040205001654/http://ww...e.gov/ vicepresident/news-speeches/speeches/vp20010916.html). Cheney was interviewed by Tim Russert, the long-time moderator of that program, who died seven years later, on June 13, 2008. During an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer the morning after Russert died, Cheney referred to the Camp David interview, saying:

I always, when I think of Tim and think of Meet the Press, that’s the show that always comes to mind. . . . It was a remarkable moment in American history.[2]“Interview of the Vice President by Matt Lauer of NBC News,” June 14, 2008 (http://web.archive.org/web/20090112111512/http://ww...e.gov/ news/releases/2008/06/20080614-3.html).

Lauer, commenting that he himself “remember[ed] that interview vividly,” asked: “Anything stand out from that interview?” In his reply, Cheney said: “We went back and reminisced to some extent about what had actually happened on the morning of 9/11. So it was—it was a remarkable moment in my career.”[3]Ibid.
(“Interview of the Vice President by Matt Lauer of NBC News,” June 14, 2008 (http://web.archive.org/web/20090112111512/http://ww...e.gov/ news/releases/2008/06/20080614-3.html).)

The Cheney-Russert interview itself was “a remarkable moment in American history.” One thing that made it remarkable was the fact that, in reminiscing about his movements that morning, Cheney contradicted a claim that the 9/11 Commission would later make.

Alluding to Russert’s reputation for being a rigorous, well-prepared interviewer, Cheney said to Lauer: “He would ask you tough questions, he would remind you of quotes you made previously in other settings or on earlier shows, so you never got away with anything going up vis-à-vis Tim.”[4]Ibid.
(“Interview of the Vice President by Matt Lauer of NBC News,” June 14, 2008 (http://web.archive.org/web/20090112111512/http://ww...e.gov/ news/releases/2008/06/20080614-3.html).)
We should apply Russert’s method to Cheney’s interview with him at Camp David, reminding ourselves of exactly what Cheney said about his movements that morning, then comparing his statement with what the 9/11 Commission said.

I • The Camp David Interview • 600 Words

After discussing with Cheney the US response to the 9/11 attacks, Russert turned to September 11 itself, asking Cheney where he was when he learned of the first attack on the World Trade Center. Replying that he was in his White House office, Cheney said that, after seeing the second attack on television, he convened a meeting in his office with Condoleezza Rice and others, then talked by telephone to President Bush (who was in Florida), discussing the public statement the latter might make. (This call would have needed to take place shortly after Bush left the classroom, which was reportedly at about 9:12,[5]William Langley, “Revealed: What Really Went On During Bush’s ‘Missing Hours,’” Telegraph December 16, 2001 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ worldnews/northamerica/usa/1365455/Revealed-what-really-went-on-during-Bush%27s-%27missing-hours%27.html), says that Bush left at 9:12. However, Bill Sammon, a strong supporter of the Republican administration, stated that Bush lingered longer (Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism: From Inside the Bush White House [Washington: Regnery, 2002], 89–90). if it was to help him prepare his address to the nation, which was to be given at 9:30. The New York Times wrote: “[A]t 9:12, [Bush] abruptly retreated [from the classroom], speaking to Mr. Cheney and New York officials.”[6]David E. Sanger and Don Van Natta Jr., “After the Attacks: the Events; In Four Days, a National Crisis Changes Bush’s Presidency,” New York Times September 16, 2001 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0D...rint).) Cheney then said:

While I was there, over the next several minutes, watching developments on the television and as we started to get organized to figure out what to do, my Secret Service agents came in and, under these circumstances, they just move. They don’t say “sir” or ask politely. They came in and said, “Sir, we have to leave immediately,” and grabbed me and. . . .[7]“The Vice President Appears on Meet the Press with Tim Russert.”

Russert asked: “Literally grabbed you and moved you?” Cheney replied:

Yeah. And, you know, your feet touch the floor periodically. But they’re bigger than I am, and they hoisted me up and moved me very rapidly down the hallway, down some stairs, through some doors and down some more stairs into an underground facility under the White House, and, as a matter of fact, it’s a corridor, locked at both ends, and they did that because they had received a report that an airplane was headed for the White House.

After confirming Russert’s supposition that this was Flight 77, Cheney continued:

And when it entered the danger zone and looked like it was headed for the White House was when they grabbed me and evacuated me to the basement. . . . [O]nce I got down into the shelter, the first thing I did—there’s a secure phone there. First thing I did was pick up the telephone and call the president again, who was still down in Florida, at that point, and strongly urged him to delay his return.

After discussing that advice in terms of the need to secure “presidential succession,” Cheney continued the narrative about his own movements that day, saying:

Once I left that immediate shelter, after I talked to the president, urged him to stay away for now, well, I went down into what’s called PEOC,[8]The transcript has “call a PEOC,” but this was surely a mistranscription for “called PEOC.” the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, and there, I had Norm Mineta . . . . I had Condi Rice with me and several of my key staff people. We had access, secured communications with Air Force One, with the Secretary of Defense over in the Pentagon. We had also the secure videoconference that ties together the White House, CIA, State, Justice, Defense.

After giving still more details, Cheney said: “I was in a position to be able to see all the stuff coming in, receive reports and then make decisions in terms of acting with it.” Cheney made clear, in other words, that he had everyone and everything he needed in the PEOC to take charge. He then added: “But when I arrived there within a short order, we had word the Pentagon’s been hit.

II • Summary of Cheney’s Account to Russert • 300 Words

According to what Vice President Cheney told Tim Russert, only five days after 9/11, the sequence of events went like this:

1. The Secret Service came into Cheney’s office to take him downstairs after they “received a report that an airplane was headed for the White House.” Although it turned out that the plane “turned away and . . . flew a circle” (after which the plane “came back in and then hit the Pentagon”), it was “when it entered the danger zone and looked like it was headed for the White House,” Cheney said, that “they grabbed me and evacuated me to the basement.” (This was shortly after his 9:12 phone call with the president, perhaps at about 9:15.)

2. The Secret Service agents hustled Cheney down to the underground corridor (which he also called the “immediate shelter,” evidently meaning the part of the bomb shelter that one reaches first).

3. While in this corridor, Cheney used the secure phone available in the corridor to talk to the president again, this time urging him to delay his return to Washington.

4. Cheney then went from this corridor to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, or PEOC (which is also called the “shelter conference room”).

5. After he arrived in the PEOC (which is under the East Wing of the White House), Cheney learned that the Pentagon had been hit. Cheney’s statement here—“[W]hen I arrived there within a short order, we had word the Pentagon’s been hit”—is ambiguous. Did “within a short order” mean that Cheney arrived in the PEOC soon? Or did it mean that, soon after arriving there, he learned that the Pentagon had been hit? The latter seems more likely. The main point, in any case, is clear: Cheney learned about the Pentagon attack only after arriving in the PEOC. He did not learn about the Pentagon attack while he was still in the corridor.

This is significant because it contradicts what the 9/11 Commission would state three years later.

III • The 9/11 Commission’s Account • 400 Words

According to The 9/11 Commission Report, the sequence of events was as follows:

1. At 9:33, the Secret Service learned that an unidentified aircraft was coming toward the White House. “No move was made to evacuate the Vice President at this time,” because the Secret Service learned at 9:34, just before sounding the alarm, “that the aircraft was turning south.” (So, whereas Cheney’s account to Russert on Meet the Press indicated that he was taken down to the underground corridor at roughly 9:15, this account by the 9/11 Commission says that Cheney was still in his office at 9:33.)

2. Just before 9:36, the Secret Service, having learned that the plane had started circling back, “ordered the immediate evacuation of the Vice President.” (This account by the 9/11 Commission has Cheney being taken downstairs 15 to 20 minutes later than Cheney’s Meet the Press account suggested.)

3. After being hustled downstairs: “The Vice President entered the underground tunnel leading to the shelter at 9:37. Once inside, Vice President Cheney and the agents paused in an area of the tunnel that had a secure phone, a bench, and television.”

4. While there, “The Vice President [telephoned Florida] and asked to speak to the President, but it took time for the call to be connected.” (Cheney’s Meet the Press account did not include the unbelievable claim that it took some time for Cheney on this secure phone to reach the president—a claim evidently included to kill some time.)

5. “He [Cheney] learned in the tunnel that the Pentagon had been hit, and he saw television coverage of the smoke coming from the building.” (Whereas this account by the 9/11 Commission claimed that Cheney learned about the Pentagon attack while he was still in the tunnel (corridor), Cheney had told Meet the Press in 2001 that he learned about the Pentagon attack only after he entered into the PEOC.)

6. Mrs. Cheney, having arrived at the White House at 9:52, “joined her husband in the tunnel.”

7. “[A]t 9:55, the Vice President was still on the phone with the President, advising that three planes were missing and one had hit the Pentagon.”

8. “After the call ended, Mrs. Cheney and the Vice President moved from the tunnel to the shelter conference room. . . . [T]he Vice president arrived in the room shortly before 10:00, perhaps at 9:58.”[9]The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Authorized Edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004) (http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf), 39–40.

As a comparison of these two timelines shows, the 9/11 Commission’s account differs significantly from the account that Cheney gave to Russert.

IV • Contradictions between the Two Accounts • 500 Words

The crucial difference is that, according to Cheney’s Meet the Press interview, he arrived in the PEOC before he learned about the attack on the Pentagon. But according to the 9/11 Commission, Cheney entered the PEOC after he learned about this attack (and, in fact, about 20 minutes after the attack, assuming we accept the Commission’s judgment that the attack occurred at 9:38 AM).

The two accounts appear, moreover, to contradict each other with regard to the time at which Cheney was taken downstairs to the underground corridor. According to what Cheney told Russert, this occurred as soon as the Secret Service agents heard that a plane was approaching the White House (they did not wait until the plane came in that direction a second time), and this seems to have been shortly after Cheney called the president about the latter’s public statement—a call that, according to the New York Times, occurred at 9:12. If Cheney was taken downstairs approximately five minutes later, his account would be compatible with the testimony of Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, who told the 9/11 Commission during an open hearing in 2003 that Cheney was already in the PEOC when he got there at 9:20.[10]9/11 Commission Hearing, May 23, 2003 (http://www.9-11commission.gov/archive/hearing2/9-11....htm). Mineta gave this account under questioning from 9/11 Commission Vice Chair Lee Hamilton and Commissioner Timothy Roemer. Mineta’s interchange with Hamilton can be viewed at http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-37224368524...84871, his interchange with Roemer at http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=200507241...22860.

If Cheney meant something close to this, his account would, however, strongly contradict The 9/11 Commission Report, according to which Cheney did not head downstairs until 9:36 and did not enter the corridor until 9:37.

Also, the natural interpretation of Cheney’s statement about the Pentagon—“when I arrived there [in the PEOC] within a short order, we had word the Pentagon’s been hit”—seems to be that the Pentagon attack occurred after Cheney was in the PEOC. Worded otherwise, Cheney was in the PEOC before the attack on the Pentagon.

One can point out, to be sure, that Cheney did not actually say this. Cheney said only that he learned about the Pentagon attack after he entered the PEOC—that is, that he was already in the PEOC when he learned about the Pentagon attack. One who wanted to support the 9/11 Commission’s timeline might argue that, although the Pentagon was attacked at 9:38, Cheney did not hear about this attack until approximately 20 minutes later—after he, as the Commission says, entered the PEOC at 9:58. On that basis, one might argue, Cheney’s account and that of the Commission could be reconciled.

However, besides being extremely implausible (by suggesting that Vice President Cheney, who was formerly the secretary of defense and on 9/11 was the person in charge at the White House, would not have been notified about such an attack for over 20 minutes), this attempted reconciliation would be ruled out by the Commission’s timeline, which says that Cheney learned about the Pentagon attack while he was still in the corridor, before he entered the PEOC. Cheney told Russert that he learned about the Pentagon after he was in the PEOC.

It is impossible, therefore, to reconcile the two accounts. If the story that Cheney told Russert at Camp David, just five days after 9/11, was true, then the story told by the 9/11 Commission in July 2004—almost three years later—was false.

V • The Unique Source for the 9/11 Commission’s Timeline • 1,000 Words

On what did the 9/11 Commission base its timeline? It claimed that the 9:37 time for Cheney’s entry into the corridor, from which the 9:58 estimate for his entry into the PEOC followed, was based on a timeline in a Secret Service report. By the Commission’s own admission, however, the Secret Service said that “the 9:37 entry time in their timeline was based on alarm data, which is no longer retrievable.”[11]The 9/11 Commission Report