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.
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).
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