11 September 2007

9/11, Six Years On and Only Burning Questions with No Answers

Questioning the official narrative of international terrorism, or of events like 9/11 or 7/7, is widely perceived as evidence of an irrational, paranoid, delusional mindset, that automatically necessitates some totally bizarre "truth" purporting to explain "what really happened."

I'm not interested in that, and most people aren't. But it's now becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the fact that what really happened on 9/11 remains unknown. The 9/11 Commission Report was denounced as a comprehensive "whitewash" by one of the very 9/11 widows, Lorie van Auken, who played a leading role in the 9/11 Families Steering Committee whose incessant lobbying forced the Bush administration to set-up the Commission.

Unfortunately, although there are some journalists in the mainstream media who are beginning to recognize, and belatedly voice their questions, about aspects of the 9/11 official story, the media continues to really fail to pick up on some of the most explosive expert testimonials that continue to emerge, discrediting the official narrative.

It was therefore with great surprise that I read the piece by veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk in The Independent, noting some of the extant anomalies with the 9/11 official narrative. Fisk, one of the few Western journalists to have personally interviewed Osama bin Laden three times (all printed in The Independent in 1993, 1996, and, 1997), begins by establishing clearly that he has no regard for conspiracy theories about 9/11. He points out that "the Bush administration has screwed up everything – militarily, politically diplomatically – it has tried to do in the Middle East; so how on earth could it successfully bring off the international crimes against humanity in the United States on 11 September 2001?" Emphasising that he still holds to that view, Fisk nevertheless goes on to not that questions about the anomalies surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attacks, from physical evidence to intelligence issues, are perfectly legitimate:

"I am talking about scientific issues. If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the twin towers – whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C – would snap through at the same time? (They collapsed in 8.1 and 10 seconds.) What about the third tower – the so-called World Trade Centre Building 7 (or the Salmon Brothers Building) – which collapsed in 6.6 seconds in its own footprint at 5.20pm on 11 September? Why did it so neatly fall to the ground when no aircraft had hit it? The American National Institute of Standards and Technology was instructed to analyse the cause of the destruction of all three buildings. They have not yet reported on WTC 7. Two prominent American professors of mechanical engineering – very definitely not in the 'raver' bracket – are now legally challenging the terms of reference of this final report on the grounds that it could be 'fraudulent or deceptive'.

"Journalistically, there were many odd things about 9/11. Initial reports of reporters that they heard 'explosions' in the towers – which could well have been the beams cracking – are easy to dismiss. Less so the report that the body of a female air crew member was found in a Manhattan street with her hands bound. OK, so let's claim that was just hearsay reporting at the time, just as the CIA's list of Arab suicide-hijackers, which included three men who were – and still are – very much alive and living in the Middle East, was an initial intelligence error.

"But what about the weird letter allegedly written by Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian hijacker-murderer with the spooky face, whose 'Islamic' advice to his gruesome comrades – released by the CIA – mystified every Muslim friend I know in the Middle East? Atta mentioned his family – which no Muslim, however ill-taught, would be likely to include in such a prayer. He reminds his comrades-in-murder to say the first Muslim prayer of the day and then goes on to quote from it. But no Muslim would need such a reminder – let alone expect the text of the 'Fajr' prayer to be included in Atta's letter.

"Let me repeat. I am not a conspiracy theorist. Spare me the ravers. Spare me the plots. But like everyone else, I would like to know the full story of 9/11, not least because it was the trigger for the whole lunatic, meretricious 'war on terror' which has led us to disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan and in much of the Middle East."

And Fisk is right. Six years after the event, asking hard questions about 9/11 is not simply rational; it is a matter of political urgency. Admitting that the official story is riddled with absurdities, contradictions, outright fabrications and inexplicable holes is merely to acknowledge what is in the public record. Yet doing so, is not the same as endorsing a specific theory about what actually happened -- because in truth, we simply don't really know what happened.

The biggest mistake of many in what passes for a 9/11 "truth" movement is it's claim to "know" the "truth" of 9/11. But this is a grave error that fails to appreciate the nuances and complexities in the little that we do know. For example, take the question of the collapse of the WTC towers, that Fisk also raises without any fear of being labelled a conspiraloon. Fisk recognizes that asking questions about the collapses does not automatically a conspiracy theory by itself. The interpretation of the new data requires a whole new analysis in itself. So we have some pertinent data, some disturbing questions, and some serious lines of inquiry. But any case that we build at this stage is purely circumstantial and liable to change in the event of introduction of new credible evidence. So while we should be outspoken and confident in highlighting very real anomalies and contradictions in the official narrative, we should be a little less hasty in endorsing full-fledged alternative narratives of what really happened. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try -- but that we should be prudent, pragmatic, and ultimately as close to the available data as we can be.

On the other hand, we have an equally fundamentalist theology emerging from the so-called icons of the "Left", claiming to "know", with a matching fervour, that 9/11 was certainly not an inside job; and moreover, that any attempt to question the official narrative of 9/11 is inherently an endorsement of insane conspiracy theories; and further that questioning the official narrative of 9/11 is, thereby de facto an intrinsically useless and fruitless pursuit, particularly by the lofty standards of the "Left".

In reality, I see no genuine equation between authentic and credible leftwing thought and such bizarre propositions that purport to close-off asking questions and pursuing inquiries into the historic event that opened and defined the politics of the 21st century, all in the name of "truth". And more and more experts are coming out who are vindicating those, 9/11 families, activists, and researchers alike, who have condemned the official story as worthless whitewash. Yet curiously, their stories don't make the news.

Here's a small sample of what you might've missed:

On 4th September, Joel S. Hirschhorn, Ph.D., who served for 12 years as a Senior Staff Member of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and later as Director of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources for the National Governors Association, called for a new investigation of 9/11, saying "First, let the technical truth emerge. Then, if necessary, cope with the inevitable political, conspiracy and other questions."

On 27th August, Lynn Margulis, Ph.D., member of the National Academy of Sciences and world renowned scientist, characterized the official account of 9/11 as "a fraud" and called for a new investigation, "I suggest that those of us aware and concerned demand that the glaringly erroneous official account of 9/11 be dismissed as a fraud and a new, thorough, and impartial investigation be undertaken."

On 21st August, it was reported that James Quintiere, Ph.D., former Chief of the Fire Science Division of the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) that investigated the WTC collapses, called for an independent review of the World Trade Center Twin Tower collapse investigation. "I wish that there would be a peer review of this," he said, referring to the NIST investigation. "I think all the records that NIST has assembled should be archived. I would really like to see someone else take a look at what they've done; both structurally and from a fire point of view. ... I think the official conclusion that NIST arrived at is questionable."

Similarly, on 16th July, J. Marx Ayres, former member of the National Institute of Sciences Building Safety Council and former member of the California Seismic Safety Commission called for a new investigation of 9/11, and even went so far as endorse the specific line of inquiry being pursued by physicist Steve Jones: "Steven Jones' call for a serious investigation of the hypothesis that the WTC 7 and the Twin Towers were brought down, not just by impact damage and fire, but through the use of pre-positioned 'cutter-charges' must be the rallying cry for all building design experts to speak out."

Now these are not the only people to have spoken out in some form or other, based on their own expertise, calling into question the fundaments of everything we think we know about 9/11. There are hundreds of others, physicists, engineers, architects, ex-government, military, Air Force, intelligence officers, members of Congress, and so on, who have dismissed various elements of the official narrative as a fairy tale. Some of these people have their own interpretations, others articulate no particular overall viewpoint. Some are clearly close to suggesting some kind of collusion on the part of the state and/or its agencies; others are forthright in saying this; and still others are very cautious. But none of them are deluded, paranoid maniacs. In fact, most of them are leading experts in their respective fields, who are trying to offer a sincere and careful analysis.

How do I know about them? Well, we have one man to thank, Allan Miller, a US citizen who off his own back decided to set up a non-partisan non-theoretical website, Patriots Question 9/11 showcasing the testimonials of experts, whose own words were allowed to speak for themselves. Allan offers no theories, no explanations, and no speculations of his own. He merely lets hundreds of experts speak for themselves.

This data, these testimonials, show that the 9/11 case remains, very much, open. That's all I wanted to emphasise. That we don't know.

Check it out. It might just open your mind.

11 comments:

  1. I like your writing very much, Nafeez, especially your book The War on Truth which I bought and read about a year ago.

    Just on the face of it, it is not credible to me that the tragic events of 9/11 were what the official story claim them to be. It is not credible to me that four commercial jetliners could be hijacked and fly over the most protected airspace in North America for 45 minutes to an hour wihout any attempt at jet fighter interception until it was too late. If not an intentional stand-down, then why has no one lost their job from incompetence or even suffer a severe reprimand? If Osama Bin Laden was the mastermind, as claimed in the 9/11 report, why has our government, including members of Congress, shown little interest or urgency in trying to capture him or bringing him to justice? Instead, the events have been useful primarily to psychologically manipulate people to accept the US's unprovoked attack on Iraq. The so-called "War on Terror" is indeed bogus, as MP Michael Meacher has asserted.

    As for the collapse of the WTC buildings, I have less interest. Educated as an architect and urban planner and having spent my professional career in the building construction and planning field, I have not been persuaded yet that the buildings' collapse need any more explanation than the apparent crash of the jetliners into them and the associated falling debris. Even immediately after the WTC collapse, I could easily visualize how it happened, and the subsequent investigation corroboroated my initial views. What most laymen fail to understand is the vulnerability of steel esposed to heat and fire. Steel loses much of its yield strength very quickly as the heat of a fire increases, even at comparatively low temperatures of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, an exposed steel structure will fail rather quickly in any kind of fire. A steel structure will fail long before a fire reaches its "melting" point.

    I witnessed the aftermath of a restaurant kitchen fire firsthand as an intern architect. The steel roof structure over the dining area collapsed surprisingly soon because the builders had failed to install the firewall material between the kitchen and dining room in the plenum space between the suspended ceiling and the roof structure.

    Normally, fire-resistive insulation (typically gypsum in one form or another) will give the structure several hours of protection -- plenty of time for occupants to escape before collapse. However, the designers of WTC did not anticipate the fire-resistive insulation being penetrated or blown off, despite the fact that in an abstract sense, they structurally analyzed a jet aircraft crash into the WTC. It is not unusual for designers making assumptions in the abstract without previous experience to overlook combined effects, such as that of the dynamic load of the jetliner and the impact on the non-structural fire-resistive material.

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  2. Good article, but have you seen this article on Jim's site?

    Discrediting By Association: Undermining the Case for Patriots Who Question 9/11

    Also I guess you saw Peter Tatchell's article?

    Peter Tatchell: 9/11 – The big cover-up?

    Some of the comments on it on the CiF site are a classic example of disinformation -- someone could do a dissertation on these comments!

    There have been some responses to Fisk and Tatchell coming out for 9/11
    truth, like on UK Watch and on Comment is Free, I expect there are many others... things are shifting, If Gandi was right:

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    We are at the "then they fight you" stage...

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  3. ewastud said...

    "I have not been persuaded yet that the buildings' collapse need any more explanation than the apparent crash of the jetliners into them and the associated falling debris"

    I don't think you can have been paying attention, I also trained as an architect, the clincher for me is that the initial acceleration of the tops of the 3 towers can be measured from the films and it is close to 9.8m/s from the outset. This indicates that the, intact, structure below is offering not much more resistance than air -- this can only be explained by the explosive removal of the structural elements below.

    Why don't you take the Progressive Collapse Challenge or read and watch the presentations on Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth or watch 9/11 Revisited, the evidence that the buildings were blown up is overwhelming.

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  4. typo: nevertheless goes on to not that questions

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  5. Running a 911 Truth aware candidate in each and every district.

    I posted the following on the 911 Scholars for Truth and Justice Forum just yesterday, and was wondering what Nafeez thinks of it. I have little faith in the members of our current government, and feel that we need to replace 95%+ of them. That won't happen by wishing it were so. In a nutshell, I am proposing that activists run for office at every level of government, as 911 Truth aware candidates. One can stand for a truthfulness not exhibited by our current crop of unworthies, and furthermore do so as a Democrat, Republican, Green, Tory, Labour, or whatever-party-you-choose candidate.

    ==================================

    I believe we should initiate an effort to leverage the 911 Truth Movement to get apathetic Americans off of their collective derrieres and to get involved with politics, at any level. We should not favor any particular political movement, party, or political ideology, but IMO citizens are deluding themselves if they believe that they can effect change by merely voting every couple of years and sending off an irate letter to their Congressional representatives when the spirit moves them.

    Instead, they need to get it into their heads that they need to organize and put people with character into office. Such people should NOT be single issue candidates - even if that issue is 911 Truth.

    When I say "leverage the 911 Truth Movement", I don't mean just putting a banner on our web site. I mean directly contacting each and every 911 Truth Movement in the country (if not the world), and asking them to ask their contacts not just to become conscious of 911 Truth and complain about it to the existing government. Rather, I mean asking them to take control of the government by either helping 911 savvy candidates (whatever their politics) run for office, or by having their members run for office, themselves.

    The end game is not just having X% of the American population conclude that MIHOP occurred, and Y% conclude that LIHOP occurred. Nor is it just throwing a few traitors in jail (sorry, I know some of you may disagree.)

    No, the end game is having a moral government. And that isn't going to happen if Americans continue leaving politics to the politicians.

    So, my suggestion for a motto for a coalition of 911 Truth organizations seeking real CHANGE in our government (rather than ineffectual venting, e.g.), is "Send 911 deniers on vacation. Begging them isn't working." And a suitable name for such a coalition might be "911 Truth Taking Political Office Coalition".

    We have ALREADY had appreciable efforts get current office holders to embrace 911 Truth. It's now time to throw the bums out.

    This is hugely problematical, because the existing power structure(s) send $$ the way of candidates, who are thus encouraged to keep their mouths shut about reforms that threaten those same structures. I don't have all the answers for this - ultimately, citizens need to outfund special interests, which requires organization that doesn't appear to exist, yet.

    However, I have more faith in a radical approach - such as running a 911 Truth aware candidate in each and every district. Even if they have essentially NO $$, this strikes me as more promising than begging/pleading/demanding of the current crop of cowards and moral traitors that they simply do their jobs. They've had 6 years to do their jobs, and at least open their mouths about the subject. I can only believe that it is hopeless naivete that would convince anybody that people who acted this way, for so long, will now see the light. Ain't gonna happen.

    In particular, we should ask young people in and just out of college to run as, and/or support, 911 Truth aware candidates. It is not our business to ask them to run as Democrats, Republicans, Greens or Independents. Nor is it our business to ask them to run as conservatives or liberals. However, as fellow citizens, it is our business to ask them to run as TRUTHFUL candidates, and not least of the truths we want them to hold dear is the truth of needing to get to the bottom of 911.

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  6. It is not surprising that commentators are reluctant to examine the "collapse" of WTC towers 1, 2 and 7. If they were demolished by the use of some form of explosives then the whole of the government's argument disappears.
    When one does examine the evidence however, there is only one compelling infernece to draw: the towers could not have come down in the way they did without the assistance of cutter charges, most likely of a thermate nature.
    Your correspondent "ewastud" is frankly talking nonsense when he ventures into the behaviour of steel in hydrocarbon and kerosene fires. I invite him and similarly information challenged people to visit the web site of the Journal of 9/11 Studies, Gordon Ross' website, Jim Hoffman's website, and also read David Ray Griffin's latest book "Debunking 9/11 Debunking".
    The consequences for the world of the stage managed events of 11 September 2001 are all too horrifyingly evident to allow the perpetuation of the official conspiracy myths.

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  7. Just on the face of it, it is not credible to me that the tragic events of 9/11 were what the official story claim them to be.

    Argument from incredulity has no place in analysis of the facts.

    It is not credible to me that four commercial jetliners could be hijacked and fly over the most protected airspace in North America for 45 minutes to an hour wihout any attempt at jet fighter interception until it was too late.

    Argument from from incredulity again and also some facts wrong.
    The North Eastern section of NORAD had a total four fighters to defend their airspace. First notification to NORAD of hijacking of flight AA11 08:38 .Order to launch first fighters 08:46.


    If not an intentional stand-down, then why has no one lost their job from incompetence or even suffer a severe reprimand?

    NORAD did nothing wrong. Perhaps there are others who should have benn reprpmanded/fired, but not NORAD operatives.


    If Osama Bin Laden was the mastermind, as claimed in the 9/11 report, why has our government, including members of Congress, shown little interest or urgency in trying to capture him or bringing him to justice?

    My thought is that capture of Bin Laden in the Pakistan/Afghan border region would be extremley difficult. When this sank into the brains US goverment officials, they let the "we're going to get Bin Laden" thing drop.

    Instead, the events have been useful primarily to psychologically manipulate people to accept the US's unprovoked attack on Iraq. The so-called "War on Terror" is indeed bogus, as MP Michael Meacher has asserted.

    I wouldn't deny the Bush administration has used 9/11 for it's own ends. But that's an entirely different propostion than absurd conpiracy theories.

    I entirely agree with your comments about the Twin Towers

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  8. Just on the face of it, it is not credible to me that the tragic events of 9/11 were what the official story claim them to be.

    Argument from incredulity has no place in analysis of the facts.

    It is not credible to me that four commercial jetliners could be hijacked and fly over the most protected airspace in North America for 45 minutes to an hour wihout any attempt at jet fighter interception until it was too late.

    Argument from from incredulity again and also some facts wrong.
    The North Eastern section of NORAD had a total four fighters to defend their airspace. First notification to NORAD of hijacking of flight AA11 08:38 .Order to launch first fighters 08:46.


    If not an intentional stand-down, then why has no one lost their job from incompetence or even suffer a severe reprimand?

    NORAD did nothing wrong. Perhaps there are others who should have benn reprpmanded/fired, but not NORAD operatives.


    If Osama Bin Laden was the mastermind, as claimed in the 9/11 report, why has our government, including members of Congress, shown little interest or urgency in trying to capture him or bringing him to justice?

    My thought is that capture of Bin Laden in the Pakistan/Afghan border region would be extremley difficult. When this sank into the brains US goverment officials, they let the "we're going to get Bin Laden" thing drop.

    Instead, the events have been useful primarily to psychologically manipulate people to accept the US's unprovoked attack on Iraq. The so-called "War on Terror" is indeed bogus, as MP Michael Meacher has asserted.

    I wouldn't deny the Bush administration has used 9/11 for it's own ends. But that's an entirely different propostion than absurd conpiracy theories.

    I entirely agree with your comments about the Twin Towers

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  9. Came across this kinda interesting response to Robert Fisk's article.

    http://twentysixh.wordpress.com/

    Any thoughts?

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  10. I am intrigued by Anonymous’s statement, “Argument from incredulity has no place in analysis of the facts.” The incredulity here refers to apparent oddities in the official account of 9/11. But I’m afraid his statement works both ways. Since he predictably refers to “absurd” conspiracy theories – by which he must mean the alternative theories of 9/11- it is reasonable to assume that he finds those theories incredible. That does not make them untrue.

    As for “the facts”, they are remarkably thin on the ground. No remaining evidence from the collapsed towers? I won’t describe that as incredible. But it is very convenient.

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  11. Patriots Question 911
    http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/patriots_question/index.html

    Discrediting By Association: Undermining the Case for Patriots Who Question 9/11
    by
    Victoria Ashley

    Version 1.2, August 13, 2007

    The website PatriotsQuestion911.com makes a strong case for the important fact that hundreds of notable, credible, professional, and experienced people have serious questions about the official story of the 9/11 attacks. These include government officials, scholars, household-name actors, retired military officers, pilots, and even 9/11 family members, shown in rich color photographs and paired with quotes in their own words along with relevant links. Creator Alan Miller and others helping him have done a laudable job of tracking down and documenting these hundreds of individuals of note and presenting them in an appealing format for easy public understanding of the scope of concerns with the official story.

    Unfortunately, the site currently also functions in a different and opposite way, albeit subtle. By presenting, directly alongside the serious and professional notable individuals, the advocates of ridiculous nonsense claims about the 9/11 attacks -- space weapons, nukes, "TV fakery" and even holograms -- the website functions to undermine a serious reader's overall belief that the site, the community, and the individuals are actually as credible as their titles suggest. This is not an extensive criticism of the site, but a specific concern which can easily be corrected, but yet has not been. Currently, individuals like Norman Mineta, Curt Weldon, Daniel Ellsberg and Richard Heinberg are placed on the same lists with Morgan Reynolds, David Shayler, Judy Wood and James Fetzer. Given the history of these individuals in the 9/11 community, such mixing serves the opposite purpose of the ostensible premise of the site.

    If one actually clicks on the links of these last four individuals, listens to the talks, or reads the material, there is no question that mixed with the real claims, the bizarre core of what they are advocating amounts to utter nonsense.




    http://www.opednews.com:80/articles/opedne_michael__070510_election_fraud_meets.htm

    May 10, 2007 at 10:47:01
    Election Fraud Meets 911
    by Michael Green

    The sane evidence-based 911 activists know that we have been infiltrated and sabotaged by the USG intelligence community that manages as part of its handiwork to fund and promote the genuine loons and fools who are naturally drawn to such repugnant ideas as that the major acts of domestic terror are of government/military/intelligence origins, and who have bizarre if not nutty theories of how these events are staged, and are thus easily discredited. The natural mix of loons is then seasoned with moles. We have thus been blessed by support from such champions of truth as Morgan Reynolds, Ph.D., the former Chief Economist for the Department of Labor under Bush 43, whose official position is that 911 is an "inside job" as evidenced by his deranged assertion that no plane hit either the Pentagon or either of the Twin Towers, the damage to which were caused respectively by a missile and internal explosives. There is also a growingly popular "Patriots Question 911" http://patriotsquestion911.com/ full of high ranking former military officials who claim to doubt the official story based on their patently false claim that no Boeing hit the Pentagon. Since the Boeing crash, wreckage and carnage were witnessed by Pentagon personnel, basing objections to the official 911 story on the claim that no Boeing hit the Pentagon is calculated to antagonize all the innocent military against the 911 movement as nutcakes. We are similarly inundated with "scientists" who expose 911 as an inside job basing their bizarre claims that the Towers were destroyed by space-based energy beams, or destroyed by small nuclear bombs. The sane branch of the 911 movement is also blessed by comrades-in-arms who with one hand denounce 911 as an inside job and with the other deny the Holocaust. With friends like this, who needs (more!) enemies?




    http://www.oilempire.us/pentagon-truth.html
    9/11 truth activists debunk Rumsfeld's "Pentagon Missile" hoax

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