15 September 2006

What the 9/11 Families are Saying

One of the things that really bothers me is the marginalization of the 9/11 families, the people who lost their loved ones in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Not only have the families, and their call for an investigation even now, been marginalized by the Bush administration; they have also been marginalized by the 9/11 "truth" movement which has largely shown little interest in what the families have been saying.

More than anyone, it's been the 9/11 families who have been at the forefront of the ongoing campaign for an independent public inquiry into the attacks that might truly hold the authorities to account, and result in full disclosure of what happened, how and why. Indeed, one of the most powerful resources demonstrating how little we really know about 9/11 comes in the form of the huge list of 9/11 Unanswered Questions on the website of the 9/11 Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission. In all, there are, I believe, several hundred questions pertaining to virtually every single dimension of the terrorist attacks. (NOTE: by the way, when I cited 9/11 widow Lauri van Auken in my article below "Interrogating 9/11", although she spoke on behalf of many 9/11 families, she did not speak on behalf of the 9/11 Families Steering Committee as the latter had been disbanded in January 2005 already)

Readers familiar with my work on 9/11 in The War on Freedom and The War on Truth will note the numerous parallels between the lines of inquiry set out in those books, and the questions and anomalies raised by the 9/11 Families Steering Committee. Last year at the McKinney hearing in the House of Representatives, two of the Jersey widows, Mindy Kleinberg and Lauri van Auken, told me that The War on Freedom was quite literally the first book they had read offering a deeply critical perspective of the 9/11 official narrative. Very early on, my colleague Kyle F. Hence of 9/11 Citizens Watch had ensured that copies of the book were passed on to family members as well as Congressional representatives.

While the 9/11 Families Steering Committee website offers a litany of pounding questions that the 9/11 Commission ignored, those who want a no-nonsense factual reference point for understanding the extent to which the 9/11 official narrative is riddled with holes, would be well-advised to check out the work of Paul Thompson at the Centre for Cooperative Research, whose 9/11 Timeline inspired the Jersey widows and fed heavily into their new documentary film, 9/11 Press for Truth, for which Thompson was story adviser. I'm pleased to note that my research in The War on Truth is cited in a Cooperative Research Timeline project on "The use of Islamist militants by American and Israeli militarists - The War in Afghanistan to September 11 and beyond". Thompson's work is pivotal precisely because of its nature -- it's not theoretical, it's not hypothetical and its not speculation: it's purely and simply a chronological collection of continually updated raw historical and empirical data. My method of analysis is somewhat similar in that I avoid theoretical speculation as far as possible, and instead insist on discerning breaks, shifts, and interconnections in the data itself by which one can observe clear patterns and their implications.

One reason I bring all this up is to flag-up Thompson's data on the WTC investigations, in particular in relation to the burning question of the huge deposits of molten metal noticed by dozens of eyewitness -- fire fighters, scientists, and other experts -- for up to five weeks after the 9/11 attacks (appended below with this post)

A commentator has attempted to "debunk" the findings of molten steel at Ground Zero, which I mention in my article below, "Interrogating 9/11". There are a number of problems with this approach, first and foremost which is the overriding ideological predisposition to "prove" that no molten steel was found. This is a disingenious position, as looking at the data itself, the sheer volume of people who witnessed the molten metal demonstrates that the phenomenon did exist. The vast majority of observers insisted that this was actually molten steel, not any other kind of metal, which was often seen to be dripping either directly off steel beams, or from the cores where the beams were originally erected. Now looking at the data in its totality, the insistence that it was not molten steel in the face of this credible testimony is simply bizarre. The insistence is not founded in fact, but merely in the assumption that all the observers at Ground Zero were wrong. My position is simply this:

1. the data largely speaks for itself, and in the absence of convincing evidence to the contrary, should be taken at face value.

2. whereas a final conclusion may not be deductible on this basis, preliminary probable inferences are justifiable on the basis of the available data.

3. such inferences based on reasonable grounds indicate an unresolved anomaly in the official narrative.

The anomaly could be consistent with a variety of interpretations. What I don't understand is the desire of some, such as the commentator, to completely deny that any such anomaly exists. This is, indeed, exactly what the official NIST investigation did, pretend that there was never any molten metal. I can accept that the findings of molten steel have not been forensically confirmed, but this is precisely because, as Thompson also documents, the Bush administration deliberately ensured that the materials were collected and scrapped before any such investigation was possible. We are, therefore, forced to work solely with the data that we do have, which is overwhelming and credible enough to justify the conclusion that an anomaly relating to the WTC collapse persists, and that independent investigation is necessary.

It is such independent investigation that the 9/11 families continue to call for, not to support some preconceived lunatic fringe theories, but to get to the unsullied truth -- not simply for the sake of their own "closure", but because the phenomenon of terrorism since 9/11 continues to play an integral role in the international system, and continues to kill and maim innocent civilians around the world.

==

Appendix:
Paul Thompson's WTC Data on Molten Steel

September 12, 2001-February 2002: Witnesses See Molten Metal in the Remains at Ground Zero
A chunk of hot metal being removed from the North Tower rubble about eight weeks after 9/11. [Source: Frank Silecchia]
In the weeks and months after 9/11, numerous individuals report seeing molten metal in the remains of the World Trade Center: Ken Holden, who is involved with the organizing of demolition, excavation and debris removal operations at Ground Zero, later will tell the 9/11 Commission, “Underground, it was still so hot that molten metal dripped down the sides of the wall from [WTC] Building 6.” [9/11 Commission, 4/1/2003] William Langewiesche, the only journalist to have unrestricted access to Ground Zero during the cleanup operation, describes, “in the early days, the streams of molten metal that leaked from the hot cores and flowed down broken walls inside the foundation hole.” [Langewiesche, 2002, pp. 32] Leslie Robertson, the structural engineer responsible for the design of the WTC, describes fires still burning and molten steel still running 21 days after the attacks. [SEAU News, 10/2001 ] Alison Geyh, who heads a team of scientists studying the potential health effects of 9/11, reports, “Fires are still actively burning and the smoke is very intense. In some pockets now being uncovered, they are finding molten steel.” [Johns Hopkins Public Health Magazine, 2001] Ron Burger, a public health advisor who arrives at Ground Zero on September 12, says that “feeling the heat” and “seeing the molten steel” there reminds him of a volcano. [National Environmental Health Association, 9/2003, pp. 40 ] According to a member of New York Air National Guard’s 109th Air Wing, who is at Ground Zero from September 22 to October 6, “One fireman told us that there was still molten steel at the heart of the towers’ remains. Firemen sprayed water to cool the debris down but the heat remained intense enough at the surface to melt their boots.” [National Guard Magazine, 12/2001] New York firefighters recall “heat so intense they encountered rivers of molten steel.” [New York Post, 3/3/2004] As late as five months after the attacks, in February 2002, firefighter Joe O’Toole sees a steel beam being lifted from deep underground at Ground Zero, which, he says, “was dripping from the molten steel.” [Knight Ridder, 5/29/2002] Steven E. Jones, a physics professor from Utah, later will claim this molten metal is “direct evidence for the use of high-temperature explosives, such as thermite,” used to deliberately bring down the WTC towers. [MSNBC, 11/16/2005] He will say that without explosives, a falling building would have “insufficient directed energy to result in melting of large quantities of metal.” [Deseret Morning News, 11/10/2005] There is no mention whatsoever of the molten metal in the official reports by FEMA, NIST, or the 9/11 Commission. [Federal Emergency Management Agency, 5/1/2002; 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004; National Institute of Standards and Technology, 9/2005 ] But Dr. Frank Gayle, who leads the steel forensics aspects of NIST’s investigation of the WTC collapses, is quoted as saying, “Your gut reaction would be the jet fuel is what made the fire so very intense, a lot of people figured that’s what melted the steel. Indeed it didn’t, the steel did not melt.” [ABC News 7 (New York), 2/7/2004] As well as the reports of molten metal, data collected by NASA in the days after 9/11 finds dozens of “hot spots” (some over 1300 degrees) at Ground Zero (see September 16-23, 2001).

15 comments:

  1. Dear Nafeez and readers,

    Please note that I have transcripts of the McKinney hearings available for viewing/copying here;

    http://gnn.tv/B12001

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Nafeez and readers,

    I have transcripts of the McKinney hearing available on my blog;

    http://gnn.tv/B12001

    -Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the great post.

    You might consider these points for future reference.

    First, on the Ahmed piece, note that although there may have been molten steel, it was more likely to be molten Iron (a product of the Thermite reaction). This is a fine point, but an important one.

    On the Thompson entry, note that Robertson was not "the structural engineer responsible for the design of the WTC." The primary engineer in charge of the design of the World Trade Center was Robertson’s boss, John Skilling. This was clearly described in articles by The Engineering News-Record from the time of construction. We also know, from Glanz and Lipton’s book “City in the Sky”, that John Skilling said he performed analyses on the aircraft impacts and the resulting jet fuel fires and “the building structure would still be there”.

    In fact, Robertson was only a junior member of Skilling’s engineering firm, and his primary contribution was the elastic dampers added to reduce the psychological effects of wind sway. By then of course, the major structural components had been designed and selected. The only other remarkable thing on this point is that, according to Karl Koch’s book “Men of Steel”, Robertson did not have an engineering degree at the time he was involved.

    The facts about Robertson become more important when you realize how much he has done, and continues to do, to uphold the official story.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "A commentator has attempted to "debunk" the findings of molten steel at Ground Zero, which I mention in my article below, "Interrogating 9/11". There are a number of problems with this approach, first and foremost which is the overriding ideological predisposition to "prove" that no molten steel was found."

    Yes, it's true I do have an ideological predisposition to "prove" that no molten steel was found, but only because I'm a physics graduate and it breaks my heart to see a physics professor attempting to use his position to convince people that 911 was an "inside job".

    "This is a disingenious position, as looking at the data itself, the sheer volume of people who witnessed the molten metal demonstrates that the phenomenon did exist."

    I'm not disputing the fact that a huge amount of molten metal was observed at ground zero, I'm just pointing out that you cannot tell what kinds of metal are present in a sample just by looking at it with your eyes. It doesn't matter if you are a fireman, a structural engineer, a public health official or a physicist who specialises in identifying metals - it just cannot be done without laboratory analysis. There is nothing bizarre or disingenious about this position. It is a simple fact.

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  5. What basis do you have for saying that the 911 families have been marginalized by the 911 Truth Movement? The 911 Truth Movement wants the families' questions, among other questions, answered. They both want a truly independent investigation.

    ReplyDelete
  6. anonymous,

    why is Professor Steven Jones the subject of such attack? And why is he being defended by his peers? Is it because he applied the scientific principles of 'laboratory analysis' that you suggest to the actual 'stuff' that was found in the rubble of the WTC1 and WTC2, and found THERMATE, which indicates planted explosives, a conclusion which can also be backed up by the claims of firemen etc, and video evidence which shows, that there was a series of explosions cascading down the WTC towers as they crumbled?

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/
    articles/june2006/
    200606scientificanalysis.htm

    The documentary "Loose Change 2" also reveals that sections of the WTC were closed off in the week before 9/11, and bomb-sniffer dogs were taken off-duty. Christopher Bollyn, who was recently roughed-up by some local heavies, is a good source on who heard and saw the detonations as the towers collapsed.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Professor Jones is the man who wrote a "scientific" paper claiming that he could tell that Jesus had visited the native Americans based on his analysis of drawings. He is not being defended by his peers, he is in the process of being fired from BYU.

    If you can't see that Alex Jones is a dishonest nutter then there is no hope for you my friend anonymous2. You should have paid more attention at school. That Alex is such a big hit in the states is proof that the average American is not a sophisticated thinker. I bet you miss the Art Bell show...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for including in your 15 September entry Paul Thompson's Cooperative Research timeline on reports of molten steel at Ground Zero through February 2002.

    In response to a comment yesterday by anonymous2 asking (rhetorically, I might add) "why is Professor Steven Jones the subject of such attack?", may I direct readers to my 14 September blog "Fascism Alert: Academic Censorship in Utah via Desperate White House," at http://www.milkhouse-mouse.blogspot.com/

    The cumulative evidence indicates the White House, alarmed over mounting public suspcions at its complicity in 9/11, is taking draconian measures to ensure it will not be rolled up in any post-November election impeachment furor when, as poll pundits are predicting, the Democrats retake the US House and reimplement Wite House oversight by congress.

    To foreshadow my next entry for later this weekend, the White House has quietly implemented a domestic gulag system to detain American dissidents as "terrorists" based scary language hidden in the folds of a defense appropriations bill quietly circulating in the Senate Arm Forces Committee.

    If the US nukes Iran (as Daniel Ellsberg, former DoD employee who leaked the Pentago Papers, predicts), the opportunitistic White
    House instead can roll up its growing list of opponents before the elections by reprising its 9/11 attacks linked to Iran (and Syria).

    Like 9/11 the political benefits are staggering:

    1. Take out the only US-Isreali adversary in the Middle East any threat regional hegemony while dropping the Euro in favor of the dollars as "liberated" Iran's new oil currency;

    2. Indefinitely postpone November's elections, which only augur contentious congressional hearings later on by a reconstituted US House;

    3. Impose martial law to sweep up the mounting dissidence by the more than 1 of every 3 Americans now believing the White House's complicity in 9/11.

    Karl Rove prides himself on such Machiavellian strokes, particularly with that kind of payoff to the neocons.

    More later.
    Moose

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  9. "Yes, it's true I do have an ideological predisposition to 'prove' that no molten steel was found, but only because I'm a physics graduate..."

    well, my wife is a physics graduate from UCL. the ideological predisposition which you admit simply isn't helpful -- it creates a propensity to suppress evidence that doesn't fit the ideology, and accept evidence that does. this, in fact, is precisely the problem with many conspiracy theories.

    here, i'm not concerned with jumping the gun to look at the implications of molten steel being at Ground Zero. in fact, pinning down the implications are not so easy. perhaps jones is incorrect in his explanation about explosives. even if he was correct in suggesting explosives were used, establishing the chain of guilt to particular individuals in the US government is another thing entirely.

    there are several logical possibilities, and narrowing down which is more likely would itself be a complex task involving a criminal investigation. one might argue, for example, that al-qaeda planted the explosives (assuming jones is completely correct). one might argue further that al-qaeda did so with the help of corrupt elements with access to the wtc, who were bought off (al-qaeda after all has access to funding, and fbi whistleblowers like sibel edmonds have talked about the corrupt relationship between terrorists, mafia and intelligence operatives in certain cases).

    indeed, one might say many things. the point is, what you've done is closed off acceptance of a piece of empirical data because you've assumed that it has certain political implications, which you find abhorrent. what i'm saying is, your assumptions about the political implications are not necessarily true, and that even if they could be true, it's not scientific to be 'opposed' to empirical data simply on the basis that it doesn't fit one's standards of political convenience. that has nothing to do with being a physics graduate. as my wife would attest.

    "I'm not disputing the fact that a huge amount of molten metal was observed at ground zero, I'm just pointing out that you cannot tell what kinds of metal are present in a sample just by looking at it with your eyes."

    strictly speaking, of course you're right. but you've avoided looking closely at some of the actual eyewitness accounts. for instance, some accounts show that eyewitnesses saw the molten deposits dripping from the cores where the original steel columns had been. others saw the molten metal dripping directly off the steel beams themselves. e.g. the account from firefighter Joe O’Toole who saw a "steel beam being lifted from deep underground at Ground Zero" which itself was dripping off molten metal. having seen this, all observers unanimously agreed that the molten deposits melted from the steel itself. it's clear that they believed this on the basis of seeing the physical continuity between what was left of the solid steel, and the rivers of molten metal dripping therefrom. some of these people were scientists, which means that they knew about the significance of laboratory analysis. that didn't stop them from drawing the conclusion they did, and that's significant enough to form the basis of a small but crucial part of an independent public inquiry. it cannot be explained away in toto on the basis of subjective political convenience.

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  10. Hi Nafeez

    A new documentary which examines 7/7 and events since that date has been released:

    The film-makers say:

    On the 7th of July 2005 London was hit by a series of explosions. You probably think you know what happened that day. But you don’t.

    The police have, from the onset of their investigation, chosen to withold from the public almost every bit of evidence they claim to have and have provably lied about several aspects of the London Bombings.

    The mainstream news has wilfully spread false, unsubstantiated and unverifiable information, while choosing to completely ignore the numerous inconsistencies and discrepancies in the official story.

    The government has finally, after a year, presented us with their official ‘narrative’ concerning the event. Within hours it was shown to contain numerous errors, a fact since admitted by the Home Secretary John Reid. They have continuously rejected calls for a full, independent public inquiry. Tony Blair himself described such an inquiry as a ‘ludicrous diversion’. What don’t they want us to find out?


    Ludicrous Diversion

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nafeez,

    Thank you for all of your work. The WTC is a big can of worms, and I do not believe that it can be proven either way at this juncture.

    On the other hand, the "inside job" of 9-11 has already been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, to reasonable people who bother to investigate thoroughly.

    My issue with Professor Jones is that "thermate" is an unlikely means of bringing down a building, espeicially covertly. It is high volume, high weight, lots of mass required. Further, the reactions would drip down with gravity, rather than attack a column across its horizontal plane (without some kind of elaborate mechanism to wrap the columns and contain them, envelope them).

    A second explanation for the heat below the collapse is from kinetic energy. Other physicists have attempted to calculate these astronomical numbers of joules that the collapse of a 110 story skyscraper would release.

    Since I have no way of calculating this stuff myself, I prefer to wait and see on that question.

    Further -- "Thermate" was NOT found, as 9-11 truthers keep claiming. Some chemical residue was found on some samples. But sulfur, which is Jones' "thermate" indicator, could have come from other sources inside the buildings.

    You see the can of worms we are confronted with.

    John Doraemi publishes Crimes of the State

    ReplyDelete
  12. Many are the Anonymous. Such a failure in imagination. But to the issue...

    "Yes, it's true I do have an ideological predisposition to "prove" that no molten steel was found, but only because I'm a physics graduate and it breaks my heart to see a physics professor attempting to use his position to convince people that 911 was an "inside job"."

    You make a good point: analysis of the physical evidence to prove that 911 was an inside job is futile as the physical evidence has been removed or destroyed. A better way to prove culpability of those in power is to focus on means, motive and opportunity.

    "...It doesn't matter if you are a fireman, a structural engineer, a public health official or a physicist who specialises in identifying metals - it just cannot be done without laboratory analysis. There is nothing bizarre or disingenious about this position. It is a simple fact."

    Indeed it is. And the reason it cannot be done by laboratory analysis is, again because the physical evidence has been removed or destoyed.

    It is worth pointing out that pre-meditated murder is always a conspiracy. Those who destroy evidence have tampered with the crime scene and made themselves accesories after the fact. And so while physical evidence may be considered a Holy Grail, it is really a chimera, for little of it remains, and, what does, is controlled by those who refuse to be questioned under oath.

    In short we need a new, independent investigation: http://911truthgroups.org/911truth

    Long live the Jersey Girls.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nafeez,

    For your consideration:

    9-11 TRUTH ACTION: Burn your copy of the 9-11 Commission Report in front of Congress on January 3rd, 2007

    Seize the moment with a new tea party for the new millenium.

    The 9-11 Truth Movement should converge on the new business as usual 110th Congress, and bring as much media and independent video as possible. As Nancy Pelosi plays footsie with George W. Bush, the movement will burn a giant stack of 9-11 Omission Commission reports outside the building.

    This is the time. This is the opportunity. If you can get to the US Capitol on January 3rd with a copy of the 9-11 Commission Report (printed off the internet, or purchased), then make a huge bonfire. Challenge the congress to see the movement. Challenge them to acknowledge the crowds. Challenge them to respond.

    Please pass this to everyone in the 9-11 Truth Movement. Time is of the essence. January 3rd, 2007 is when the new Congress seizes power.

    As far as I know, burning the flag is First Amendment protected speech. Therefore burning this state sponsored collection of lies should also fall under First Amendment protected speech, as well as petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.

    This is a NON-VIOLENT and PEACEFUL action to petition the US Congress for a redress of grievances, so they will reinvestigate September 11th, 2001. The bonfire should be done in a safe, open area and in a responsible manner with no chance of property damage or injury to anyone, preferably outside of the tight security zone directly surrounding the Capitol building.

    TV and print media reporters will be there to cover the changing of the guard in Congress. Their attention is crucial.

    PS.

    For this protest in Washington, DC to be a success, it's going to take at least several dozen -- better several hundred -- persons to participate (a million would be nice :). Please forward the info on to your lists and friends in the region.

    I realize that some don't agree with this tactic. However, think how happy you'll be if this action gets broadcast everywhere, upstages the Congress, and Congresspersons start getting asked numerous questions about the failings of the 9-11 Commission Report as a result.

    I see it on par with our founding fathers burning King George III in effigy.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The materials taken from the wreckage of the buildings were kept at Fresh Kills for several weeks before being recycled.

    Further, I don't think it's accurate to presume that the Bush administration was micro-managing the cleanup of ground zero. IIRC, that was headed up by the city of New York, with the aid of federal funding.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The materials taken from the wreckage of the buildings were kept at Fresh Kills for several weeks before being recycled. Further, I don't think it's accurate to presume that the Bush administration was micro-managing the cleanup of ground zero. IIRC, that was headed up by the city of New York, with the aid of federal funding.

    ReplyDelete

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