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Left-leaning despisers of the 9/11 Truth Movement: Do you believe in miracles?

David Ray Griffin | 07.07.2010 09:20 | Anti-militarism | Anti-racism | Social Struggles | World

An Open Letter to Terry Allen, Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, David Corn, Chris Hayes, George Monbiot, Matthew Rothschild, and Matt Taibbi.

Gatekeepers chart by Eric Salter
Gatekeepers chart by Eric Salter

Left-leaning despisers of the 9/11 Truth Movement: Do you really believe in miracles?

An Open Letter to Terry Allen, Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, David Corn, Chris Hayes, George Monbiot, Matthew Rothschild, and Matt Taibbi.

by David Ray Griffin, 6 July 2010

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 Part I of this essay, I show in Part II that the exact opposite is the case: that the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center implies miracles (I give nine examples), and that the 9/11 Truth Movement, in developing an alternative hypothesis, has done so in line with the assumption that the laws of nature did not take a holiday on 9/11. In Part III, I ask these left-leaning critics some questions evoked 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

Several left-leaning critics of the 9/11 Truth Movement, besides showing contempt for its members, charge them 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,”3 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.”4 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.”5 With regard to Building 7 of the World Trade Center, Cockburn claimed (in 2006) that the (2002) report by FEMA was “more than adequate.”6

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.”7

Matt Taibbi, saying that the “9/11 conspiracy theory is so shamefully stupid” and referring to its members as “idiots,” wrote with contempt 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.”8

Chris Hayes, writing in The Nation in 2006, did not stoop to the kind of name-calling employed by Cockburn, Monbiot, and Taibbi. Also, he 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.”9

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.”10 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.”11

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.”12

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.”13 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.”14

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 later essay, according to which the Bush administration was “not that evil,” “not that ballsy,” and “not that competent.”15 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.”16

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.”17

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 use of explosives18), 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

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. 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, although it was not hit by a plane, came down at 5:21 PM that day. Unlike the collapse of the Twin Towers, the collapse of this building was not publicized. The 9/11 Commission Report, for example, did not even mention it.19 Many people have, accordingly, never heard of this building’s collapse. A Zogby poll in 2006, for example, found that 43 percent of the American people were still unaware that a third WTC building had collapsed, and even though NIST’s report on its collapse appeared in 2008, many people today still do not know that this building also came down.20 For the purposes of the present essay, in any case, the main point is that, insofar as people profess belief in the official account of this building’s collapse as articulated by NIST, they imply an acceptance of several miracles.

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-frame 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-frame 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?”21

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”22 (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.”23

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-frame 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].”24

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.”25

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 counter-claim by Popular Mechanics evidently settled the matter for Hayes.26

Also, although Terry Allen did not mention Popular Mechanics, her article was apparently dependent 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.”27

Like Rothschild, therefore, she gave the same twofold explanation for WTC 7’s collapse that had been provided by Popular Mechanics.28

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.”29 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.”30

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-frame] tall building primarily due to fires.”31

One ambiguity needs clearing up: Although in these just-quoted statements, NIST seemed to indicate that the debris damage had a “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,32 Also, in a press release announcing its Draft for Public Comment in August 2008, NIST called the collapse of WTC 7 “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.”33 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.”34 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.”35

It is not wrong, therefore, to say that NIST portrayed WTC 7 as the first (and thus far only) steel-frame 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.” 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.”36

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 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-frame 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. 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.37

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.38 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.39

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-frame 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 precise way 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, 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 all 82 of these columns to fail at the same instant.

Even if otherwise possible, 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 evenly covered with fire. As it was, however, there were fires on only a few floors, and these fires never covered an entire floor at the same time. 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 Debunking40), 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.”41

However, even if the fire could have heated the steel up to this temperature in the time available (which would have been impossible42), 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,43 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.”44

Because of these two features of the collapse, anyone 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.”45

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.”46

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.”47

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.”48

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.”49 Mark Loizeaux, the president of the afore-mentioned demolition firm, Controlled Demolition, Inc., has explained why: “[T]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.”50

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.51 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 members of 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.”52

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 . . . 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.”53

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 at this briefing, challenged Sunder’s denial of free fall, stating that Sunder’s “40 percent longer” claim contradicted “a publicly visible, easily measurable quantity.”54 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.”55 (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].”56 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.”57 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 understatement). 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.”58

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).”59

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.”60

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.”61 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.” 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.”

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. NIST’s negative claim here is that neither explosives nor incendiaries helped bring the buildings down.

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.”62 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.”63 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.”64

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.”65

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.”66

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.67 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.”68

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.”69

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.”70

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.”71 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.”72 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

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 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

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 one 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 at 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 Hoffman 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

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

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

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:

“[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

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

Deets was referring to the fact that the collapse 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 collapses 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

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 final report on WTC 7, he said: “The debris from Tower 1 . . . started fires on at least 10 floors of the building.”82 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 thereby admitted that debris had been thrown out horizontally from the North Tower at least 350 feet.84 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

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 Therefore, although NIST admitted that these horizontal ejections occurred, it suggested no energy source to explain them.

High explosives, such as RDX or nanothermite, could explain these horizontal ejections. 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 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

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 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

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

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

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 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.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (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

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 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

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 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 organization, was hired by Deutsche 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 There were, 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 The existence of these particles, the RJ Lee Group said, proved that iron had “melted during the WTC Event.”100 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

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

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 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.”103

8. Inextinguishable Fires

Besides having the power to produce the miraculous 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

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

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 some people seem to think of as having miraculous powers, even though it 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 2009.107 Being both an incendiary and a high explosive, nanothermite is one among several types of “energetic nanocomposites” – 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 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 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

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 central 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 NYT 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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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?

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 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 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

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 contemptuously of people who have tried to educate him “on the supposed anomalies of physics involved with the collapse of WTC-7.”126 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 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 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

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 Cockburn, writing in 2006, agreed, saying: “The Conspiracy Nuts have combined to produce a huge distraction.”130 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 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

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

1. The Fear of Being Discredited

You 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

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 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

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

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 In response, I pointed out that this policy entails that the HP “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. One implication of this fact combined with HP’s policy, I concluded, is that HP “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 But HP, 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’s 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 have been even 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 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 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 mid-west 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 them, 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, at that time a professor at Brigham Young University, and some other scientists started a new online outlet, the Journal of 9/11 Studies. By now, it has published dozens of peer-reviewed papers, five of which were cited earlier: “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?” (by Jones himself); “9/11: Acceleration Study Proves Explosive Demolition” (by Frank Legge); “Revisiting 9/11/2001: Applying the Scientific Method” (by Jones); “Momentum Transfer Analysis of the Collapse of the Upper Storeys of WTC 1” (by Gordon Ross); and "Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction" (by Jones and seven other scientists).

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 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

• “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

• “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

• “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

• “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

• "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

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.

The physical scientists (beyond those already mentioned) 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

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), began Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and by now its membership includes over 1,200 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.

• David A. Johnson, PhD, 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.

• 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

Here are a few of the engineers:

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

• Robert Bowman, PhD; 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.

• Joel Hirschhorn, PhD; 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.

• Fadhil Al-Kazily, PhD; licensed Professional Civil Engineer.

• Jack Keller, PhD; 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.

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

• Ali Mojahid, PhD, 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

In addition to 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,150 Intelligence Officers for 9/11 Truth,151 Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth,152 Pilots for 9/11 Truth,153 S.P.I.N.E.: The Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-Eleven,154 and Veterans for 9/11 Truth.155

Less obviously relevant, but surely not entirely irrelevant, are some other professional organizations, including Journalists and Other Media Professionals for 9/11 Truth,156 Lawyers for 9/11 Truth,157 Political Leaders for 9/11 Truth,158 Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth,159 and Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice.160 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 Part I of this essay, 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.”161 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.”162 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.”163

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 Revisited164 (which, incidentally, was a Publishers Weekly “Pick of the Week” in November 2008,165 an honor not normally bestowed on books written by morons and idiots).

One of the things that falls apart is the idea that there were al-Qaeda hijackers on the airliners. Having in my book examined the various types of evidence for this idea, I will here focus on the type of evidence usually considered the strongest: the alleged phone calls from the planes, during which the presence of hijackers was reported. 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.”166 However, about ten of the reported calls from this flight were said to have been made on cell phones, most of them when the plane was at 35,000 feet or higher, and the technology at that time did not allow cell phone calls to be made from airliners at such altitudes, as pointed out by members of the 9/11 Truth Movement – most definitively by A. K. Dewdney and Michel Chossudovsky in 2003 and 2004.167

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.”168 It would appear, however, that the FBI took such “minutiae” seriously: When it issued a report in 2006 on the (alleged) phone calls from the 9/11 airliners, the FBI designated only two of them as having been made on cell phones, and both of those, the FBI said, had been made from Flight 93 when it, about to crash, was at a low altitude. All the other reported calls from this flight (as well as all the reported calls from the other flights) were said to have been made from onboard phones, including three to five calls that Deena Burnett reported having received from her husband, Tom Burnett.169

This change of story got rid of the problem of technologically impossible (miraculous) phone calls, but it created another problem: How to explain the reports of approximately ten calls from this flight that, according to the recipients, had been made on cell phones? In some cases, we might assume, the recipients had misunderstood, or misremembered, what they had been told. But Deena Burnett said – and she reported this to the FBI on 9/11 itself – that she knew her husband had used his cell phone, because she recognized his cell phone number on her own phone’s Caller ID. If Tom Burnett had really called his wife using an onboard phone, as the FBI now claims, the fact that his cell phone number repeatedly showed up on her Caller ID would have to count as a miracle.

I would think people generally skeptical of the claims made by the government, especially claims from which the military-industrial complex is benefiting, would consider this problem – which is documented at length in The New Pearl Harbor Revisited170 - worthy of investigation.

I have also raised questions about the alleged phone calls from CNN correspondent Barbara Olson, which had been reported that day by her husband, US Solicitor General Ted Olson. She had phoned him twice, he claimed, from American Flight 77 (which allegedly crashed into the Pentagon shortly thereafter).

In a list of my views treated derisively by Rothschild, he said: “Griffin casts doubt on whether the phone calls actually happened.”171 Perhaps Rothschild will be more impressed by the fact that, in its 2006 report on phone calls from the 9/11 airliners, the FBI did not support the claim that the calls from Barbara Olson “actually happened.” Although Ted Olson said he had received two calls from his wife, with the first call lasting “about one (1) minute”172 and the second one lasting “two or three or four minutes,”173 the FBI report on calls from American Flight 77 says that Barbara Olson attempted one call, which was “unconnected,” so that it (of course) lasted “0 seconds.”174

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.”175 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.176

Accordingly, insofar as you left-leaning despisers 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 treasuries. 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 it is, as I wrote in response to Cockburn in Le Monde Diplomatique three years go, “The Truly Distracting 9/11 Conspiracy Theory.”177

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 using up our time, talent, and treasury for almost 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 tightened up. One consequence might have been that the Gulf oil blowout (not “spill”), which could turn out to be extremely 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 is, therefore, 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 while this essay was being written178). 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.”179

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.”

Then, explaining why the evidence for this conclusion cannot reasonably be dismissed as a distraction from more important matters, he 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.”

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.”180

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,” he 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?181

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

I recently completed a 15-city tour, presenting a lecture entitled “Is the War in Afghanistan Justified by 9/11?” My hope was that, by providing clear evidence that it is not – 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.”182 I have written the present essay with the same hope. But if this hope is to be fulfilled, erstwhile left-leaning despisers of the 9/11 Truth Movement will need to prove that Cockburn’s charge about this movement’s members – “They’re immune to any reality check” – and Corn’s charge – they “are not open to persuasion”183 – are not instead true of themselves.

* David Ray Griffin is the author of 36 books dealing with various subjects: philosophy, theology, philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, and 9/11 and US imperialism. In September 2009, The New Statesman ranked him #41 among “The 50 People Who Matter Today.” His most recent book is The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 is Unscientific and False (2009). His next book will be Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (September 2010). He wishes to thank four scientists – Jim Hoffman, Frank Legge, Kevin Ryan, and John Wyndham – and three other superb critics - Matthew Everett, Tod Fletcher, and Elizabeth Woodworth – for help with this essay.



1 As those who know the history of modern theology are aware, one of its seminal writings was Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Speeches on Religion to Its Cultured Despisers (1799). These “cultured despisers” of religion were people whom Schleiermacher admired and with whom he agreed on most issues. He believed, however, that they had a blind spot with regard to religion, mainly because they did not understand its true nature and the experience on which it is based. I address those I call “left-leaning despisers of the 9/11 Truth Movement” in the same spirit.

2 David Ray Griffin is the author of 36 books dealing with various subjects: philosophy, theology, philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, and 9/11 and US imperialism. In September 2009, The New Statesman ranked him #41 among “The 50 People Who Matter Today.” His most recent book is The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 is Unscientific and False (2009). His next book will be Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (September 2010). He wishes to thank four scientists – Jim Hoffman, Frank Legge, Kevin Ryan, and John Wyndham – and three other superb critics - Matthew Everett, Tod Fletcher, and Elizabeth Woodworth – for help with this essay.

3 Alexander Cockburn, “The 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts,” ZNet, September 20, 2006 ( A shorter version appeared in the September 24, 2010, issue of The Nation.

4 Alexander Cockburn, “The Conspiracists, Continued – Are They Getting Crazier?” The Free Press, September 16, 2006 (

5 Alexander Cockburn, “Conspiracy Disproved: Distractions from Awful Reality,” Le Monde Diplomatique, December 2006 (

6 Ibid.

7 George Monbiot, “9/11 Fantasists Pose a Mortal Danger to Popular Oppositional Campaigns,” The Guardian, February 20, 2007 (

8 Matt Taibbi, “The Idiocy Behind the '9/11 Truth' Movement,” AlterNet, September 26, 2006 ( This date, incidentally, refers to the original posting of the article at It was not posted on AlterNet until May 7, 2008. In another article, posted on 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” (Matt Taibbi, “Americans in Denial about 9/11,” AlterNet June 6, 2008

9 Christopher Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia,” The Nation, December 8, 2006 (

10 “Chomsky: 9/11 Truth Movement Pushes Non-Scientific Evidence,” YouTube (

11 “Chomsky Dismisses 9/11 Conspiracy Theories As 'Dubious'”, December 13, 2006 (

12 Terry Allen, “The 9/11 Faith Movement,” In These Times, July 11, 2006 (

13 David Corn, “When 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Go Bad,” AlterNet, March 1, 2002 (

14 David Corn, “How 9/11 Conspiracy Poison Did in Van Jones,” Politics Daily, September 7, 2009 (

15 Ibid.

16 David Corn, “Van Jones and the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory Poison,” Mother Jones, September 7, 2009 (

17 Matthew Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already,” The Progressive, September 18, 2006 (

18 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 [Interlink Books], 2009), Chs. 4 and 5.

19 See David Ray Griffin, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (Northampton, Mass.: Olive Branch Press [Interlink Books], 2005), 29.

20 See David Ray Griffin, “Building What? How SCADs Can Be Hidden in Plain Sight,”, May 27, 2010 (

21 James Glanz, “Engineers Suspect Diesel Fuel in Collapse of 7 World Trade Center,” New York Times, November 29, 2001 (

22 See FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, ed. Therese McAllister, ed. (Washington D.C., and New York: Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2002), Chapter 5, by Ramon Gilsanz, Edward M. Depaola, Christopher Marrion, and Harold “Bud” Nelson (, 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.

23 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.

24 Ibid., 53-54, 29.

25 Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already.”

26 Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia.”

27 Allen, “The 9/11 Faith Movement.”

28 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 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 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 (as we have seen) 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.” Besides the fact that she was obviously the one who was operating on faith with regard to 9/11, she was also assuming that, because I am “a theologian,” I must operate in the way she assumes all theologians operate. Since the 18th-century Enlightenment, however, there has been a great methodological divide within theology. Many theologians still do operate on the traditional basis, in which questions of truth are settled by appeals to authority, the pronouncements of which are taken on faith. But I have always practiced the Enlightenment-based type of theology, which, as I explained in a book subtitled A New Synthesis of Scientific Naturalism and Christian Faith, rejects the “method of authority” in favor of the method of “settling questions of truth and falsity on the basis of common experience and reason – that is, by reasoning on the basis of experience that is at least potentially common to all people” (David Ray Griffin, Two Great Truths: A New Synthesis of Scientific Naturalism and Christian Faith [Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004], 62). Also central to this type of theology is the rejection of “miracles,” in the sense of “supernatural interruptions of the world’s most fundamental causal processes” (ibid., 98). The centrality of this element in my theology is illustrated by the titles of two of my other books, Religion and Scientific Naturalism: Overcoming the Conflicts (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000), and Reenchantment without Supernaturalism: A Process Philosophy of Religion (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2001). My explicit rejection of miraculous interruptions of the world’s normal causal processes may make me more sensitive to this issue than are some left-wing critics of the 9/11 Truth Movement, who to me seem puzzlingly unconcerned about the official account’s cavalier violations of principles that have long been considered inviolable laws of nature.

29 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 ( 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).

30 Ibid., xxxvii.

31 Ibid., xxxv.

32 See, for example, Shyam Sunder, “Opening Statement,” NIST Press Briefing, August 21, 2008 (; NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, November 2008, Volume 2: 493, 617, 618 (

33 “NIST WTC 7 Investigation Finds Building Fires Caused Collapse,” NIST, August 21, 2008 (

34 NIST NCSTAR 1A, xxxvii.

35 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, November 2008, Vol. 1 ( 341.

36 Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already”; Allen, “The 9/11 Faith Movement.”

37 J. Gordon Routley, Charles Jennings, and Mark Chubb, “High-Rise Office Building Fire, One Meridian Plaza, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,” FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), 1991 (; Robin Nieto, “Fire Practically Destroys Venezuela’s Tallest Building,” Venezuela News, Views, and Analysis, October 18, 2004 (

38 Sunder, “Opening Statement.”

39 Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: 170-77.

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

41 Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia.”

42 Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, 152-63.

43 See “WTC7 Demolition on 9/11 – Video Compilation,” YouTube ( For video and analysis, see “WTC7: This Is an Orange,” YouTube (, and David Chandler, “WTC7: NIST Finally Admits Freefall (Part III)” ( , at 2:25-4:00.

44 See Frank Legge, “9/11: Acceleration Study Proves Explosive Demolition,” Journal of 9/11 Studies, Vol. 5, November 2006 (

45 Daniel Hofnung, Patriots Question 9/11 (

46 Chester W. Gearhart, Patriots Question 9/11 (

47 Jack Keller, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (

48 See “Danny Jowenko on WTC 7 Controlled Demolition,” YouTube ( For more of the interview, “Jowenko WTC 7 Demolition Interviews,” in three parts (

49 “The Myth of Implosion” (

50 Liz Else, “Baltimore Blasters,” New Scientist 183/2457 (July 24, 2004), 48 (

51 Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia.”

52 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Draft for Public Comment, Vol. 2 (, 596.

53 “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 (, 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 (

54 Ibid.

55 David Chandler, “WTC7 in Freefall - No Longer Controversial,” September 4, 2008 ( , at 2:45.

56 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 2: 607.

57 Chandler, “WTC7 in Freefall – No Longer Controversial,” at 3:27.

58 Chandler, “WTC7: NIST Finally Admits Freefall (Part III),” January 2, 2009 ( , at 1:19.

59 “Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” NIST, August 21, 2008, updated April 21, 2009. Whereas the original version of this document denied free fall, the updated version affirms it. Although both versions have been removed from NIST’s website, Jim Hoffman’s website has both the 2008 version ( ) and the 2009 version (

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

61 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Draft for Public Comment, Vol. 2: 595-96, 596, 610.

62 NIST, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, September 2005 ( , 146.

63 NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” August 30, 2006 (, Question 2.

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

65 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).

66 Jim Hoffman, “A Reply to the National Institute for Standards and Technology's Answers to Frequently Asked Questions” (

67 William Rice’s statement is quoted at Patriots Question 9/11 (

68 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 (

69 “Request for Correction Submitted to NIST,” Journal of 9/11 Studies, Vol. 12: June 2007 ( This letter, dated April 12, 2007, was also signed by Bob McIlvaine, Bill Doyle, and Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice.

70 Gordon Ross, “Momentum Transfer Analysis of the Collapse of the Upper Storeys of WTC 1,” Journal of 9/11 Studies, Vol. 1: June 2006 ( : 32-39, at 37.

71 NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” Question 7.

72 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 (

73 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 (

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, Vol. 3 (September 2006), 1-47, at 28 (

78 Quoted in Liz Else, “Baltimore Blasters” (see note 50, above).

79 “Request for Correction Submitted to NIST.”

80 The statement by Deets is at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (

81 See “911 Eyewitness: Huge Steel Sections Ejected More than 600 Feet” (, or “9/11 Mysteries: Demolition” (

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 (

88 Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and R. D. Sisson, Jr., “Limited Metallurgical Examination,” Appendix C of World Trade Center Building Performance Study, FEMA, 2002 (

89 James Glanz and Eric Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse,” New York Times, February 2, 2002 (

90 Joan Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” WPI Transformations, Spring 2002 (

91 James Glanz, “Engineers Suspect Diesel Fuel in Collapse of 7 World Trade Center,” New York Times, November 29, 2001 ( I have here quoted Glanz’s paraphrase of Barnett’s statement.

92 See Kenneth Change, “Scarred Steel Holds Clues, And Remedies,” New York Times, October 2, 2001 (

93 WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (

94 “Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” August 21, 2008 ( This statement was repeated in a version of this document that was updated April 21, 2009 ( Thanks to Jim Hoffman for preserving these documents at his website, after NIST had removed them from its own website.

95 See NIST NCSTAR 1-3C, Damage and Failure Modes of Structural Steel Components, September 2005 (, 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 and; the statement by Barnett is at 48:00. I am indebted to Chris Sarns for this discovery as well as the one in the previous note. 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 suppressant 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.

99 RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology,” December 2003 ( 24.

100 Ibid., 17.

101 See “Comments on WTC Signature Study and Peer Review from Greg Meeker, Paul Lioy and Mort Lippmann, November 3, 2005” ( I am indebted to Kevin Ryan for this information.

102 WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web: Iron (

103 Heather A. Lowers and Gregory P. Meeker, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior, “Particle Atlas of World Trade Center Dust,” 2005 (

104 Steven E. Jones et al., "Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction," Journal of 9/11 Studies, January 2008 ( 4.

105 Eric Lipton and Andrew C. Revkin, “The Firefighters: With Water and Sweat, Fighting the Most Stubborn Fire,” New York Times, November 19, 2001 (; Jonathan Beard, “Ground Zero's Fires Still Burning,” New Scientist, December 3, 2001 (

106 Trudy Walsh, “Handheld APP Eased Recovery Tasks,” Government Computer News, 21/27a: September 11, 2002 (

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, 2009, 2: 7-31 (

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 (2009): 56-63, at 58, 56.

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 ( 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, Vol. 11: May 2007 (, 81.

122 Ibid., 75.

123 Symposium on State Crimes Against Democracy, American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 783-939 (

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 (, at 934.

125 Ibid., 932 (emphasis in original).

126 Cockburn, “The Decline of the Left,” The Free Press, September 30, 2006 (; 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 Although 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), 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 [Interlink Books], September 2010).

137 Quoted in “Jesse Ventura’s Piece on 9/11 – KILLED BY HUFFPOST!” News from the Underground, March 9, 2010 (

138 “HuffPost’s Absurd Stand on ‘Conspiracy Theories’ (David Ray Griffin),” News from the Underground, March 11, 2010 (

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 (

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

142 Kevin R. Ryan, James R. Gourley, and Steven E. Jones, “Environmental Anomalies at the World Trade Center: Evidence for Energetic Materials,” The Environmentalist, 29 (2009): 56-63 (published online, August 4, 2008 (

143 Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley, and Bradley R. Larsen, “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, 2: 7-31 (

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 (

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 (

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 (

147 Some of these scientists belong to Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice (; others belong to S.P.I.N.E.: The Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-Eleven (; and still others have been quoted on Patriots Question 9/11 ( The remainder will be announcing their affiliation with the 9/11 Truth Movement in the near future.

148 Information about these and other architects who question the official story can be found at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth ( or under “Engineers and Architects” at Patriots Question 9/11 (

149 Information about these and other engineers who question the official story can be found under “Engineers and Architects” at Patriots Question 9/11 (

150 Firefighters for 9/11 Truth (

151 Intelligence Officers for 9/11 Truth (

152 Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth (

153 Pilots for 9/11 Truth (

154 Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-Eleven: Physics 911 (

155 Veterans for 9/11 Truth (

156 Journalists and Other Media Professionals for 9/11 Truth (

157 Lawyers for 9/11 Truth (

158 Political Leaders for 9/11 Truth (

159 Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth (

160 Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice (

161 Corn, “How 9/11 Conspiracy Poison Did in Van Jones.”

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

163 “9/11: Time for a Second Look.” For the text, see, April 18, 2009 ( For the lecture as delivered in Boston, see the YouTube video at ( ). For the lecture as delivered in Hamburg, see the YouTube video at (

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

165 Publishers Weekly, November 24, 2008 (

166 Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already.”

167 A. K. Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93,” Physics 911, June 9, 2003 (; Michel Chossudovsky, “More Holes in the Official Story: The 9/11 Cell Phone Calls,” Global Research, August 10, 2004 ( For discussion of this issue, see Griffin The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 112-14.

168 Hayes, “9/11: The Roots of Paranoia.”

169 The FBI’s report on the phone calls from the four flights is at United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Exhibit Number P200054 ( But these documents can be more easily viewed in Jim Hoffman’s “Detailed Account of Phone Calls from September 11th Flights” (

170 Griffin, NPHR 115-18.

171 Rothschild, “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already.”

172 FBI, “Interview with Theodore Olsen [sic],” 9/11 Commission, FBI Source Documents, Chronological, September 11,, March 14, 2008, (

173 “America’s New War: Recovering from Tragedy,” Larry King Live, CNN, September 14, 2001 (

174 See the graphic at Jim Hoffman’s website ( and my discussion in NPHR 60-62.

175 Griffin, NPHR 206-07.

176 See David Ray Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2009), 22-36.

177 Dr. David Ray Griffin, “The Truly Distracting 9/11 Conspiracy Theory: A Reply to Alexander Cockburn,” Le Monde Diplomatique, Nordic Edition, March 2007 (; a response to Alexander Cockburn, “US: The Conspiracy That Wasn’t,” Le Monde Diplomatique, December 2006 (, which was headlined: “Distractions from Awful Reality.”

178 See the obituary I wrote, “William A. ('Bill') Christison (1928-2010),”, June 20, 2010 (

179 Bill Christison, “Stop Belittling the Theories about September 11,” Dissident Voice, August 14, 2006 (

180 Paul Joseph Watson, “28-Year Career CIA Official Says 9/11 An Inside Job,” Prison Planet, September 7, 2006 (

181 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 (; and “January 2010 – 4.5 Million Dead in Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide,” Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide, January 2, 2010 (

182 Both this statement and the Chicago version of my lecture can be seen at Ed’s Links: Is the War in Afghanistan Justified by 9/11? ( A slightly revised version has been posted as David Ray Griffin, “Did 9/11 Justify the War in Afghanistan? Using the McChrystal Moment to Raise a Forbidden Question,” Global Research, June 24, 2010 (

183 Cockburn, “The Decline of the Left”; Corn, “Van Jones and the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory Poison.”


David Ray Griffin
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The left gatekeepers phenomenon

07.07.2010 09:32

The Left Gatekeepers Phenomenon

The denial that 9/11/01 was an inside job is nowhere deeper than in the traditional Left and the established Left media. Respected commentators for the Left, such as David Corn of the Nation, pooh-poohed challenges to the official story of the attack, or at most suggested complicity of the Bush administration by pointing to Saudi connections to the Bush family, all while staying within the confines of the official myth of the hijackers, crumbling skyscrapers, etc.

The causes of the Left gatekeeper phenomenon are, no doubt, complex. It may be that, because of their political marginalization, writers on the Left tend to be more defensive about their credibility. Furthermore, many Left publications are dependent on foundation funding, and those relationships may compromise objectivity on conscious and unconscious levels. It is also probable that many left icons are co-opted by covert disinformation programs such as Operation Mockingbird that target the Left media precisely because people expect challenges to the official story to come from that quarter.

Left Denial

Researcher Mark Robinowitz devotes much of his vast website to tracking the Left gatekeeper phenomenon. He provides a good summary of the phenomenon of Left denial.

e x c e r p t

title: Denial is not a river in Egypt: 'Not See's,' Nazis and the psychological difficulty in facing the truth about 9/11

author: Mark Robinowitz

"Both the corporate, mainstream media and most of the foundation-funded "alternative" media have sought to restrict investigative journalism and dissident opinions about the so-called "War on Terror." Since 9/11, the Left media -- including The Nation, Z magazine, The Progressive, Mother Jones, Alternative Radio -- have shied away from examining the pretext for endless war. They have ignored the national "Deception Dollar" campaign, which has printed over three million DD's listing websites of the independent investigations of 911, despite a massive distribution effort across the country, especially at peace rallies.

Worse, several of these institutions have gone on the attack against independent media and journalists who have done excellent work exposing the lies behind the official stories of 9/11. In the spring of 2002, when some of the material documenting official foreknowledge of 9/11 began to surface in the corporate media, The Nation, Z and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting attacked independent investigators who are piecing together the evidence, instead of helping those who have done the best work."

site: page:

Hypocrisy Now!

"One of the most notable cases of Left denial is that of the respected journalist Amy Goodman and her show Democracy Now!. Goodman has long rebuffed requests that she interview an expert on the subject. Instead she has tiptoed around the core facts of the attack and addressed only peripheral issues, such as the EPA's fraudulent assurances that the air in Lower Manhattan was safe to breathe while Ground Zero was still smoldering. Finally, after a concerted campaign by the 9-11 Visibility Project, Goodman featured David Ray Griffin, author of The New Pearl Harbor, on her May 26, 2004 show. Goodman pitted Chip Berlet against Griffin, and gave the last word and closing summary to Berlet, who spun the myth that the attack was strictly blowback. Nonetheless, Griffin was allowed to make the case that the attack was an inside job for the first time ever on the nationally syndicated show.

Mark Robinowitz recounts confronting Amy Goodman about her refusal to cover the issue prior to the Griffin interview."

e x c e r p t

title: Amy Goodman's Not-So-Good Coverage of 9/11

author: Mark Robinowitz

"In the fall of 2002, Ms. Goodman spoke in the same room at the University of Oregon during a previous speaking tour. After her speech (which was very similar to her May 2004 speech), I asked her after the event if she would help investigate the recently disclosed story of how the Air Force, CIA, NORAD and National Reconnaissance Office were conducting "war games" similar to 9/11 during the 9/11 "attacks," which were apparently used to confuse the air defense response. She would not reply, and looked at me in apparent fear. It was a particularly strange response considering she had just spoken eloquently about her tremendous courage in reporting on the massacre in East Timor. (The issue of the 9/11 war games on 9/11 has not ever been mentioned on Democracy Now -- and it is likely that if they were, DN would run the risk of losing their foundation funding, which would force them to lay off much of their staff.)"

site: page:

On of the factors behind the reluctance of journalists such as Goodman to give a voice to skeptics of the official 9/11 myth may be their dependence on foundation money.

Cracks in the Wall

Two early exceptions to the Left media's blackout of evidence that the attack was an inside job were the radio shows Guns and Butter and Taking Aim , both of which have prominently featured Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone. These researchers focus on issues of historical precedents and economic and imperial motives pointing to the attack being an inside job or false-flag operation. Guns and Butter also made the historic step in January of 2004 of airing an interview with researcher Jim Hoffman on the physical evidence of the demolition of the World Trade Center, whose transcript is posted on, a site focusing on physical evidence.

The publication of Griffin's book, The New Pearl Harbor, appears to have somewhat eroded the Left establishment's taboo against questioning the attack. Among the endorsements printed on the book is one by Professor Howard Zinn, author of the acclaimed A People's History of the United States. The 9-11 Visibility Project also counts Medea Benjamin, Gore Vidal, Jim Hightower, and Ed Asner among the endorsers of the

9/11 Truth Movement.

The work of Steven Jones, a physics professor for 20 years who published a draft of Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse? in late 2005, appears to have created still more space for progressives to question the official version of events. In an essay in , Ernest Partridge highlights several anomalies that undermine the official version, but gives short shrift to evidence that the attack was engineered.

The 2006 Offensive

The year 2006 saw an unprecedented barrage of attacks by trusted left media icons, paralleling a surge in attacks by mainstream media outfits. The surge is almost certainly a response to an growth in the number of people considering challenges to the official story -- an expansion in part fueled by the increased credibility imparted to such challenges by the work of Steven E. Jones.


In July published The 9/11 Faith Movement by July Terry Allen, of the Independent Media Institute. The article is yet another straw man attack, failing to disclose any strong arguments for insider involvement in the attack while highlighting red-herrings like the Silverstein's "pull-it" comment.

Dissident Voice

In August, Dissident Voice published Stop Belittling the Theories About September 11 by CIA alum Bil Christison. While packaged as a plea to take the "conspiracy theories" about 9/11 seriously, the piece actually appears to be a Trojan horse attack, enthusiastically promoting the Pentagon no-jetliner theory while pairing it with a tepid endorsement of the WTC demolition theory. Christison trots out the usual arguments for the no-jetliner theory, failing to note any of their errors. In contrast, he fails to note any specific arguments for the demolition of the Twin Towers or Building 7.

The Progressive

On the anniversary of the attack, the Progressive published Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracies, Already by Matthew Rothschild. Rothschild lauches his attack with sarcasm and ennumerates many positions of "conspiracy theorists" in order to ridicule them, but fails to describe the arguments on which those postions are based. The main argument Rothschild adduces against the theories is the fallacious one that an inside job would necessarily involve a vast conspiracy. Rothschild's attack amounts to little more than a series of fallacies: appeals to prejudice, appeals to authority, guilt by association, and straw man arguments.


Alexander Cockburn has a longstanding habit of bashing the "conspiracy theorists" in his publication. In late 2006 Counterpunch featured a series of three articles by Manuel Garcia, an employee of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, purporting to explain the collapse of WTC 1, 2, and 7. Whistleblower Kevin Ryan penned a biting critique of Garcia's articles in Manuel Garcia Sees Physics That Don't Exist. After dismantling Garcia's "physics", Ryan provides insight into the political and psychological forces that are in play.

e x c e r p t

title: Manuel Garcia Sees Physics That Don't Exist

author: Kevin Ryan

"Government scientists get paid to support government policies, particularly in this era of "Bush Science", and clearly Garcia is willing to play along. But why would political news organizations, like Counterpunch, that present themselves as alternatives to the corporate media, promote these false claims?

Consider for a moment the implications of a breakthrough in the truth about 9/11. If the official story about 9/11 is completely false, as it has proven to be, that fact should call into question those media sources who have helped to cover-up the details over the last five years, even if only through gross negligence of the facts. Whether or not collusion with alternative media was involved, if there is a possibility that the neo-cons actually helped in planning or executing the attacks, then the fact that they pulled it off means that Alexander Cockburn and other (ostensibly) liberal leaders might no longer enjoy the "irreverent and biting" superiority that they identify themselves with. It could be very distressing for some of these rebel leaders to realize that instead of "muckraking with a radical attitude" they have spent years meekly bolstering the status quo.

It appears that these kinds of realizations are inevitable, and actually offer us a chance to improve our situation. In the US, we'll soon have more opportunity to notice the default states in which we are expected to accept scientific authority no matter how illogical, and accept a cartoonish political framework no matter how impotent. In the next few months, these opportunities will come like "hot volleys" from Manuel Garcia, providing stark examples of how pretentious "experts", and other types of fictitious, homogenized (ironcrete) leaders give no real alternatives to the problems we've seen in the last five years."

site: page:

The Psychology of Denial

The reasons for the intense denial about the 9/11/01 attack inside the Left establishment appear to go much deeper than the fact that many of its institutions are funded by endowments like those of the Ford Foundation. The official myth appeals to political philosophies that condemn U.S. imperialism by providing the supreme example of "blowback" -- the proverbial chickens coming home to roost. Researcher August West speaks to this and other psychological underpinnings of the denial.

e x c e r p t

title: Left Denial on 9/11

author: August West

"Denial lies at the heart of this unusual Left reaction. Many activists have looked at the questions, thought about the answers for a bit, and retreated in horror in the face of implications. If the government had foreknowledge and let the attacks happen, or worse, actually took part in facilitating them, then the American state is far more vicious than they could have imagined. And if so, what would happen to them should they vocalize this? Needless to say, this would greatly raise the stakes of political action well beyond the relatively superficial level that even many leftists operate at. It would be impossible to go on living as before, being essentially a spectator whose life is work/shopping/entertainment, with the occasional political rally, lecture or movie to spice things up and make one feel involved. People like that, or even ones more involved with some regular effort at political reform, could no longer feel that the political situation could be changed for the better through small, incremental steps, a 100 year or even 500 year plan. This prospect is thoroughly unsettling, and is easier to deal with if simply dismissed outright. ...

Beneath unconscious motivations also lie some conscious agendas. Those on the Left who have embraced "critical support" for a "limited response" war will no doubt not wish to have their political bankruptcy exposed. But even most of those who oppose the War have nevertheless accepted the notion that the U.S. was attacked by a vicious enemy. For some, this represents an opportunity to promote their moralistic approach: let us respond in an appropriate, moral and non-military manner. Others, such as Chomsky, Michael Albert, Howard Zinn and Alex Cockburn, simply trot out the "blowback" explanation: this horrible attack happened because America has done bad things, has not listened to "us" (wag, wag the finger), and better start changing its policies (as if an empire can be run in a nice way!). Yet others who disagree with war boosters like Katrina van den Heuvel of The Nation nevertheless buy their thesis that the war promotes increasing state powers (e.g., making airport baggage inspectors federal employees), and this amounts to a move towards "socialism". If the events of 9/11 were not what they seemed to be, this takes away the chance to promote these political programs, perhaps to even advance certain careers."


fool me twice
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Flashback: Islamophobia in the UK post 9/11 and 7/7

07.07.2010 09:46

Independent, 8 September 2009
Independent, 8 September 2009

from the archives:

an excerpt from: "Is it racist and/or Islamophobic to continue to subscribe to the official story of 9/11?"

by Keith Mothersson, 9 July 2008

Islamophobia in the UK post 9/11 and 7/7

I have just watched Peter Oborne’s C4 Dispatches programme on July 7th 2008, in which the following poll results were announced:

61 percent of British Muslims believe hostility to them has worsened since the London bombings.
36 percent report that they or a family member has suffered abuse in that period.
51 percent of British public blame Islam for the London bombings
26 percent see the presence of Muslim in Britain as a threat to national security.
70 percent agree that hostility to Muslims has increased since 7-7.

69 percent of media stories show Muslims as a source of problems (Cardiff University study).

For all Peter Oborne’s commendable concern, he never once stopped to consider whether the story of the London bombings was fundamentally true or false, or possibly some yet to be determined mixture of truth and falsehood – this despite a Channel Four poll of June/July 2007 which revealed that almost three in five British Muslims believe the government hasn't told the whole truth about the July the 7th bombings. Nearly a quarter don't believe the four men identified as the London bombers were responsible for the attacks - and more than half say the intelligence services have made up evidence to convict terrorist suspects. nt+hasnt+told+truth+about+77/545847

Many non-Muslims are of like mind, though in smaller, but still significant percentages. (On the July 7 murders see the devastating critique of the official narrative on the impeccably factual website and its associated discussion forum, which carries extremely well-informed and sharp analysis of e.g. terror scares and trials.) Similar skepticism is widespread concerning September 11, and even more so in the US, where one CBS/New York Times poll of November 2006 showed only 16 percent still satisfied with the official story.

At a time when the lucrative Terrorism Industry are warning that ‘it is not a matter of if but when there will be another large scale terrorist attack in the UK’, many young Muslims are afraid to speak out or go on the internet to search out alternative perspectives, for fear of being branded disloyal. Relatively few Muslim community leaders have joined Dr Naseem, Chair of Birmingham Central Mosque, in calling the official accounts of both 9/11 and 7/7 into serious question. The result is that many young Muslims lack role models and confidence to express their faith publicly and politically –

“ When asked: 'What kind of jihad is better?'’ Muhammad replied, 'A word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler!' " Sunan Al-Nasa'i, Hadith 4209.

This understandable reaction - for lack of confidence that they will experience solidarity from supposed allies - this holding back by Muslim community leaders from voicing genuine views which are very widely held in many Muslim communities may carry serious public mental health implications, and is surely a contributory driver for alienating young people, with the twin risks that they might either incorporate negative ‘war on Terror’/’Clash of Civilisation’ stereotypes into their own sense of identity, or become vulnerable to those who might seek to recruit them for terrorist ends (who may be ‘genuine’ religious extremists and/or quite possibly linked in with devious and sinister games of the security services).

It is therefore vital that Muslims find community leaders and reliable non-Muslim allies to take the lead in the fight back, not just against the war(s) but also against the lies which led to the wars. But at present sections of the State’s Terror industry see the internet as a breeding ground of extremism, and not also a vital resource for understanding our society, especially when a) the mainstream media carry lies about Muslims and b) even non-Muslims who seek to expose wrong-doing by the powerful are routinely ridiculed as ‘conspiracy theorists’.

The struggle (jihad) for truth is a spiritual discipline for the sake of society as a whole and our own sanity, and if we are Muslims, our own self-respect. If Muslims who oppose 9/11 propaganda can be free to organize politically as Muslims opposed to all forms of terrorism (properly so-called) – in their own communities, in society at large and in interfaith contexts, without this being seen as an inherently subversive activity, this will be the exact opposite of any kind of ‘precursor activity’ to terrorism.

Understanding 9/11 and 7/7 could be the real keys to ‘tackling terrorism’ and reducing non-Muslims’ fear of Muslims, which is being whipped up by the usual suspects for geo-political advantage. If the 9/11 story is founded on a racist lie, it is vital that Muslims and their allies stop accepting it and instead challenge the leaders of ‘progressive opinion’ to say why, in the absence of credible court-worthy evidence concerning the perpetration of the September 11 Act of Mass Destruction, they give continued credence to very much the same fasiqs who brought us tales of Saddam’s WMD.

“Ye who are conscious of God – if a fasiq [untrustworthy violent person] comes to you with alarming news, make sure you verify their word, lest you afflict people out of your ignorance, and regret your actions.” Holy Qu’ran, 49:6

What's the logic of this charge?

In an e-mail thread about the Future of the 911 Truth Campaign, a colleague, call him S, wrote:

"I can agree far more easily with Elias [Davidson] asking we use the term "alleged hijackers" than Keith's insistence we advance the theory that there were definitely no hijackers.
There being a lack of concrete evidence for something does not equal proof against it.
The truth is there is not enough evidence to state one way or the other whether there were hijackers/patsies/anyone at all on the planes [sic – italics added, KM] - so why bother speculating?

One thing that is grinding me though is the insistence that it is "racist" to say there were hijackers.

What exactly is the logic?"

Before attempting to spell out this logic directly, it will be helpful to clarify various things which I am not saying and to set out various factors which may make my reasoning and choice of words more palatable.

What are the implications of acknowledging racism?

S is one of many good people who feel personally offended by my insistent plea that we should break with the hijacker story which we have unwittingly swallowed, and should now consider to be both false and racist.

A principal benefit of this choice of words is that by alleging racism we potentially make it harder and harder for the controllers of ‘politically correct’ progressive opinion to ignore our evidence about 9/11 being an inside job and frame-up, and our arguments about 9/11’s centrality to effectively resisting War, Islamophobia and creeping dictatorship.

However as we raise the ante, we inevitably walk a tight-rope. Precisely because of the emotional punch associated with the ‘R’ word, we run the risk of generating more heat than light, entrenching opinions behind renewed self-righteous defensiveness. So how can we increase the light-factor without also increasing the heat-factor, which detracts from enlightenment, unless any almost inevitable accompanying upset can be sympathetically handled and worked through?

Part of the hill we have to climb reflects the hyper judgmental way so many of us have fallen into thinking about racism, and even more about racists!

We don't think with compassionate wisdom of racism as a prevalent vulnerability to mistaken attitudes which all who grow up in Imperialist countries are perhaps especially liable to share to some extent and which easily cause harm because they impact negatively on certain people defined ethnically/'racially'.

Rather we have come to think of racism as a defining mark of Badness, something which resides in those evil Racists out there - who probably need to be chased down the street as the Anti-Nazi League did in the late seventies.

This idea that racism resides mainly in those others allows us to polish our egos quite cheaply, with self-assurance that we are on the side of the angels because

• we buy Fair Trade goods (at a labour-remuneration ratio of ten minutes work here for 100 there),
• oppose 'heavy-handed' immigration controls (but not ‘sensible legislation’),
• go along to Stop the War demos - which don’t, alas (but we don’t delve deeper into the reasons why we haven’t found a way, a voice and a unity to stop the Wars - though we should give ourselves one cheer for having limited Western militarism to a degree).

Us 'racist'? - Never!, a real affront to the narcissistic tendencies we all harbour to some extent or other.

Instead of being compassionate to ourselves, our harsh judgments of others are internalised as defensiveness which gets in the way of the needed revision of our views and perspective, both at the time someone is drawing our attention to the racism we too are perhaps practicing or complicit in, and as an on-going awareness-expanding process, whereby we hopefully shed more and more aspects of our imperial/racist conditioning - and hence become freer less-afraid human beings and better allies to the most oppressed people in the world and in the UK.

So I am not saying we good liberal progressive lefty green peace people are only racist. I am saying that people hold a spectrum of beliefs many of which are indeed anti-racist/pro-human, but we should all consider that it is likely that we also hold other assumptions/identifications which may be unconsciously derogatory of 'others', and cherish other views which we may confidently assume to be universally valid, but merely reflect our relatively privileged position in the imperial hierarchy of class and global caste.


Note: Keith Mothersson was the founder of Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth


He passed away on July 3rd, 2009.


Keith Mothersson
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The "demonization" of Muslims and the battle for oil

07.07.2010 09:49

"The New Middle East"
"The New Middle East"

Throughout history, "wars of religion" have served to obscure the economic and strategic interests behind the conquest and invasion of foreign lands. "Wars of religion" were invariably fought with a view to securing control over trading routes and natural resources.

The Crusades extending from the 11th to the 14th Century are often presented by historians as "a continuous series of military-religious expeditions made by European Christians in the hope of wresting the Holy Land from the infidel Turks." The objective of the Crusades, however, had little to do with religion. The Crusades largely consisted, through military action, in challenging the dominion of the Muslim merchant societies, which controlled the Eastern trade routes.

The "Just War" supported the Crusades. War was waged with the support of the Catholic Church, acting as an instrument of religious propaganda and indoctrination, which was used in the enlistment throughout Europe of thousands of peasants, serfs and urban vagabonds.

America's Crusade in Central Asia and the Middle East

In the eyes of public opinion, possessing a "just cause" for waging war is central. A war is said to be Just if it is waged on moral, religious or ethical grounds.

America's Crusade in Central Asia and the Middle East is no exception. The "war on terrorism" purports to defend the American Homeland and protect the "civilized world", it is upheld as a "war of religion", a "clash of civilizations", when in fact the main objective of this war is to secure control and corporate ownership over the region's extensive oil wealth, while also imposing under the helm of the IMF and the World Bank (now under the leadership of Paul Wolfowitz), the privatization of State enterprises and the transfer of the countries' economic assets to foreign capital. .

The Just War theory upholds war as a "humanitarian operation". It serves to camouflage the real objectives of the military operation, while providing a moral and principled image to the invaders. In its contemporary version, it calls for military intervention on ethical and moral grounds against "rogue states" and "Islamic terrorists", which are threatening the Homeland.

Possessing a "just cause" for waging war is central to the Bush administration's justification for invading and occupying both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Taught in US military academies, a modern-day version of the "Just War" theory has been embodied into US military doctrine. The "war on terrorism" and the notion of "preemption" are predicated on the right to "self defense." They define "when it is permissible to wage war": jus ad bellum.

Jus ad bellum serves to build a consensus within the Armed Forces command structures. It also serves to convince the troops that the enemy is "evil" and that they are fighting for a "just cause". More generally, the Just War theory in its modern day version is an integral part of war propaganda and media disinformation, applied to gain public support for a war agenda.

The Battle for Oil. Demonization of the Enemy

War builds a humanitarian agenda. Throughout history, vilification of the enemy has been applied time and again. The Crusades consisted in demonizing the Turks as infidels and heretics, with a view to justifying military action.

Demonization serves geopolitical and economic objectives. Likewise, the campaign against "Islamic terrorism" (which is supported covertly by US intelligence) supports the conquest of oil wealth. The term "Islamo-fascism," serves to degrade the policies, institutions, values and social fabric of Muslim countries, while also upholding the tenets of "Western democracy" and the "free market" as the only alternative for these countries.

The US led war in the broader Middle East Central Asian region consists in gaining control over more than sixty percent of the world's supplies of oil and natural gas. The Anglo-American oil giants also seek to gain control over oil and gas pipeline routes out of the region. (See table below and maps above).

Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, possess between 66.2 and 75.9 percent of total oil reserves, depending on the source and methodology of the estimate. (See table below).

In contrast, the United States of America has barely 2 percent of total oil reserves. Western countries including its major oil producers ( Canada, the US, Norway, the UK, Denmark and Australia) control approximately 4 percent of total oil reserves. (In the alternative estimate of the Oil and Gas Journal which includes Canada's oil sands, this percentage would be of the the order of 16.5%. See table below).

The largest share of the World's oil reserves lies in a region extending (North) from the tip of Yemen to the Caspian sea basin and (East) from the Eastern Mediterranean coastline to the Persian Gulf. This broader Middle East- Central Asian region, which is the theater of the US-led "war on terrorism" encompasses according to the estimates of World Oil, more than sixty percent of the World's oil reserves. (See table below).

Iraq has five times more oil than the United States.

Muslim countries possess at least 16 times more oil than the Western countries.

The major non-Muslim oil reserve countries are Venezuela, Russia, Mexico, China and Brazil. (See table)

Demonization is applied to an enemy, which possesses three quarters of the world's oil reserves. "Axis of evil", "rogue States", "failed nations", "Islamic terrorists": demonization and vilification are the ideological pillar of America's "war on terror". They serve as a casus belli for waging the battle for oil.

The Battle for Oil requires the demonization of those who possess the oil. The enemy is characterized as evil, with a view to justifying military action including the mass killing of civilians. The Middle East Central Asian region is heavily militarized. (See map). The oil fields are encircled: NATO war ships stationed in the Eastern Mediterranean (as part of a UN "peace keeping" operation), US Carrier Strike Groups and Destroyer Squadrons in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian deployed as part of the "war on terrorism".

The ultimate objective, combining military action, covert intelligence operations and war propaganda, is to break down the national fabric and transform sovereign countries into open economic territories, where natural resources can be plundered and confiscated under "free market" supervision. This control also extends to strategic oil and gas pipeline corridors (e.g. Afghanistan).

Demonization is a PSYOP, used to sway public opinion and build a consensus in favor of war. Psychological warfare is directly sponsored by the Pentagon and the US intelligence apparatus. It is not limited to assassinating or executing the rulers of Muslim countries, it extends to entire populations. It also targets Muslims in Western Europe and North America. It purports to break national consciousness and the ability to resist the invader. It denigrates Islam. It creates social divisions. It is intended to divide national societies and ultimately trigger "civil war". While it creates an environment which facilitates the outright appropriation of the countries' resources, at the same time, it potentially backlashes, creates a new national consciousness, develops inter-ethnic solidarity, brings people together in confronting the invaders.

It is worth noting that the triggering of sectarian divisions and "civil wars" is contemplated in the process of redrawing of the map of the Middle East, where countries are slated to be broken up and transformed into territories. The map of the New Middle East, although not official, has been used by the US National War Academy. It was recently published in the Armed Forces Journal (June 2006). In this map, nation states are broken up, international borders are redefined along sectarian-ethnic lines, broadly in accordance with the interests of the Anglo-American oil giants (See Map above). The map has also been used in a training program at NATO's Defense College for senior military officers.

The Oil Lies in Muslim Lands

The oil lies in Muslim lands. Vilification of the enemy is part and parcel of Eurasia energy geopolitics. It is a direct function of the geographic distribution of the World's oil and gas reserves. If the oil were in countries occupied predominantly by Buddhists or Hindus, one would expect that US foreign policy would be directed against Buddhists and Hindus, who would also be the object of vilification.

In the Middle East war theater, Iran and Syria, which are part of the "axis of evil", are the next targets according to official US statements.

US sponsored "civil wars" have also been conducted in several other strategic oil and gas regions including Nigeria, the Sudan, Colombia, Somalia, Yemen, Angola, not to mention Chechnya and several republics of the former Soviet Union. Ongoing US sponsored "civil wars", which often include the channelling of covert support to paramilitary groups, have been triggered in the Darfur region of Sudan as well as in Somalia, Darfur possesses extensive oil reserves. In Somalia, lucrative concessions have already been granted to four Anglo-American oil giants.

"According to documents obtained by The Times, nearly two-thirds of Somalia was allocated to the American oil giants Conoco, Amoco [now part of BP], Chevron and Phillips in the final years before Somalia's pro-U.S. President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown and the nation plunged into chaos in January, 1991. Industry sources said the companies holding the rights to the most promising concessions are hoping that the Bush Administration's decision to send U.S. troops to safeguard aid shipments to Somalia will also help protect their multimillion-dollar investments there." (America's Interests in Somalia, Global Research, 2002)

Globalization and the Conquest of the World's Energy Resources

The collective demonization of Muslims, including the vilification of Islam, applied Worldwide, constitutes at the ideological level, an instrument of conquest of the World's energy resources. It is part of the broader economic, political mechanisms underlying the New World Order.

Michel Chossudovsky
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We need to spread this article everywhere

07.07.2010 10:10

because it demands a response from those it is addressed to, who, ironically, make a good 'foil' against which to illuminate the truth (shiney side out).

They themselves are the real "tin foil hatters" for believing in impossible things.

He's right to be very excited about this article, and therefore we should be too.

Thanks for the arrow David. We'll do our best to fire it around and get it going viral on the Net, as it gets picked up by more and more bloggers in the bloggosphere, and on the various discussion forum boards, etc.

People are INTO reading stuff like this now, and they take it seriously, they're not all totally dumbed down and out to lunch. They too have unanswered questions about the way things went down on and in the wake of 9/11. The official government story just doesn't add up, it doesn't make any sense, and it cannot be believed unless one is prepared to believe, in impossible things and divorce themselves from reality, to uphold and defend the official story.

Let the debate BEGIN in earnest.

It's like we're starting to enter the 2nd and 3rd stage of Shopenhauer's 3 Stages of Truth.

Thus, the very moment the debate begins, we will be violently opposed, but at this particular juncture and threshold, what was once considered unbelievable simply because of the unthinkable implications, and merely ridiculed as such, will become self evident truth.

Beyond mere ridicule, the actual debate about it will begin, and then we win, as they start totally freaking out and losing it.

They've avoided the debate, but at some point, as DRG is illuminating, it can no longer be avoided outright and MUST be addressed. It's in their face. We've got to push it and keep it there, until they respond/react as the readers look on and evaluate for themselves, one generation after another.

We are ALMOST all the way there.

Keep up the good work all. We "done good" so far.. and this represents a nice little forward leaning tool as a point of leverage to really get the debate started, and mount the final quantum leap threshold, unto a historical transformation, and revitalization. It's coming. It's inevitable.

And then it happens all at once.

Robert Rice

Flashback: Damage control: Noam Chomsky and the Israel-Palestine conflict

07.07.2010 10:35

from the archives:

Damage Control: Noam Chomsky and the Israel-Palestine Conflict

By Jeffrey Blankfort, Left Curve, Issue 27, May 2003

It was 1991 and Noam Chomsky had just finished a lecture in Berkeley on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and was taking questions from the audience. An Arab-American asked him to explain his position regarding the influence of America's Israel lobby.

Chomsky replied that its reputation was generally exaggerated and, like other lobbies, it only appears to be powerful when its position lines up with that of the "elites"who determine policy in Washington. Earlier in the evening, he had asserted that Israel received support from the United States as a reward for the services it provides as the US's "cop-on-the-beat"in the Middle East.

Chomsky's response drew a warm round of applause from members of the audience who were no doubt pleased to have

American Jews absolved from any blame for Israel's oppression of the Palestinians, then in the fourth year of their first Intifada.

What is noteworthy is that Chomsky's explanation for the financial and political support that the U.S. has provided Israel over the years is shared by what is generically known as the Israel lobby, and almost no one else.

Well, not quite "almost no one."Among the exceptions are the overwhelming majority of both houses of Congress and the mainstream media and, what is equally noteworthy, virtually the entire American Left, both ideological and idealistic, including the organizations ostensibly in the forefront of the fight for Palestinian rights.

That there is a meeting of the minds on this issue between supporters of Israel and the Left may help explain why the Palestine support movement within the United States has been an utter failure.

Chomsky's position on the lobby had been established well before that Berkeley evening. In The Fateful Triangle, published in 1983, he assigned it little weight:

The "special relationship"is often attributed to domestic political pressures, in particular the effectiveness of the American Jewish community in political life and in influencing opinion. While there is some truth to thisŠ it underestimates the scope of the "support for Israel,"andŠ it overestimates the role of political pressure groups in decision making. (p.13) [1]

A year earlier, Congress had applauded Israel's devastating invasion of Lebanon, and then appropriated millions in additional aid to pay for the shells the Israeli military had expended. How much of this support was due to the legislators' "support for Israel"and how much was due to pressures from the Israel lobby? It was a question that should have been examined by the left at the time, but wasn't. Twenty years later, Chomsky's view is still the "conventional wisdom."

In 2001, in the midst of the second intifada, he went further, arguing that "it is improper - particularly in the United States - to condemn ŒIsraeli atrocities,'"and that the "US/Israel-Palestine conflict"is the more correct term, comparable with placing the proper responsibility for "Russian-backed crimes in Eastern Europe [and] US-backed crimes in Central America."And, to emphasize the point, he wrote, "IDF helicopters are US helicopters with Israeli pilots."[2]

Prof. Stephen Zunes, who might be described as a Chomsky acolyte, would not only relieve Israeli Jews from any responsibility for their actions, he would have us believe they are the victims.

In Tinderbox, his widely praised (by Chomsky and others) new book on the Middle East, Zunes faults the Arabs for "blaming Israel, Zionism, or the Jews for their problems."According to Zunes, the Israelis have been forced to assume a role similar to that assigned to members of the Jewish ghettos of Eastern Europe who performed services, mainly tax collection, as middlemen between the feudal lords and the serfs in earlier times. In fact, writes Zunes, "US policy today corresponds with this historic anti-Semitism."[3] Anyone comparing the relative power of the Jewish community in centuries past with what we find in the US today will find that statement absurd.

Jewish power has, in fact, been trumpeted by a number of Jewish writers, including one, J. J. Goldberg, editor of the Jewish weekly Forward, who wrote a book by that name in 1996.[4] Any attempt, however, to explore the issue from a critical standpoint, inevitably leads to accusations of anti-Semitism, as Bill and Kathy Christison pointed out in their article on the role of right-wing Jewish neo-cons in orchestrating US Middle East policy, in Counterpunch (1/25/03):

Anyone who has the temerity to suggest any Israeli instigation of, or even involvement in, Bush administration war planning is inevitably labeled somewhere along the way as an anti-Semite. Just whisper the word "domination"anywhere in the vicinity of the word "Israel,"as in "U.S.-Israeli domination of the Middle East"or "the U.S. drive to assure global domination and guarantee security for Israel,"and some leftist, who otherwise opposes going to war against Iraq, will trot out charges of promoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the old czarist forgery that asserted a Jewish plan for world domination.[5]

Presumably, this is what Zunes would call an example of the "latent anti-Semitism which has come to the fore with wildly exaggerated claims of Jewish economic and political power."[6] And that it "is a naïve asumption to believe that foreign policy decision-making in the US is pluralistic enough so that any one lobbying groupŠ can have so much influence."[7]

This is hardly the first time that Jews have been in the upper echelons of power, as Benjamin Ginsberg points out in The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State; but there has never been a situation anything like the present. This was how Ginzberg began his book:

Since the 1960s, Jews have come to wield considerable influence in American economic, cultural, intellectual and political life. Jews played a central role in American finance during the 1980s, and they were among the chief beneficiaries of that decade's corporate mergers and reorganizations. Today, though barely 2 % of the nation's population is Jewish, close to half its billionaires are Jews. The chief executive officers of the three major television networks and the four largest film studios are Jews, as are the owners of the nation's largest newspaper chain and the most influential single newspaper, the New York Times.[8]

That was written in 1993. Today, ten years later, ardently pro-Israel American Jews are in positions of unprecedented influence within the United States and have assumed or been given decision-making positions over virtually every segment of our culture and body politic. This is no secret conspiracy. Regular readers of the New York Times business section, which reports the comings and goings of the media tycoons, are certainly aware of it. Does this mean that each and every one is a pro-Israel zealot? Not necessarily, but when one compares the US media with its European counterparts in their respective coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict, the extreme bias in favor of Israel on the part of the US media is immediately apparent.

This might explain Eric Alterman's discovery that "Europeans and AmericansŠ differ profoundly in their views of the Israel/Palestine issue at both the elite and popular levelsŠ, with Americans being far more sympathetic to Israel and the Europeans to the Palestinian causeŠ"[9]

An additonal component of Chomsky's analysis is his insistence that it is the US, more than Israel, that is the "rejectionist state,"implying that were it not for the US, Israel might long ago have abandoned the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinians for a mini-state.

Essential to his analysis is the notion that every US administration since that of Eisenhower has attempted to advance Israel's interests in line with America's global and regional agenda. This is a far more complex issue than Chomsky leads us to believe. Knowledgeable insiders, both critical and supportive of Israel, have described in detail major conflicts that have taken place between US and Israeli administrations over the years in which Israel, thanks to the diligence of its domestic lobby, has usually prevailed.

In particular, Chomsky ignores or misinterprets the efforts made by every US president, beginning with Richard Nixon, to curb Israel's expansionism, to halt its settlement building and to obtain its withdrawal from the Occupied Territories.[10]

"What happened to all those nice plans?"asked Israeli journalist and peace activist Uri Avnery. "Israel's governmentsŠ mobilized the collective power of US Jewry - which dominates Congress and the media to a large degree - against them. Faced by this vigorous opposition, all the presidents; great and small, football players and movie stars - folded, one after another."[11]

Gerald Ford, angered that Israel had been reluctant to leave the Sinai following the 1973 war and backed by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, not only suspended aid for six months in 1975, but in March of that year made a speech calling for a "reassessment"of the US-Israel relationship. Within weeks, AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee), Israel's Washington lobby, secured a letter signed by 76 senators "confirming their support for Israel, and suggesting that the White House see fit to do the same. The language was tough, the tone almost bullying."Ford backed down.[12]

We need to only look at the current Bush presidency to see that this phenomenon is still the rule. In 1991, the same year as Chomsky's talk, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir asked the first Bush administartion for $10 billion in loan guarantees in order, he said, to provide for the resettlement of Russian Jews. Bush Sr. had earlier balked at a request from Congress to appropriate an additional $650 million dollars to compensate Israel for sitting out the Gulf War, but gave in when he realized that his veto would be overridden. But now he told Shamir that Israel could only have the guarantees if it freezes settlement building and promised that no Russian Jews would be resettled in the West Bank.

An angry Shamir refused and called on AIPAC to mobilize Congress and the organized American Jewish community in support of the loans guarantees. A letter, drafted by AIPAC was signed by more than 240 members of the House demanding that Bush approve them, and 77 senators signed on to supporting legislation.

On September 12, 1991, Jewish lobbyists descended on Washington in such numbers that Bush felt obliged to call a televised press conference in which he complained that "1000 Jewish lobbyists are on Capitol Hill against little old me."It would prove to be his epitaph. Chomsky pointed to Bush's statement, at the time, as proof that the vaunted Israel lobby was nothing more than "a paper tiger. It took scarcely more than a raised eyebrow for the lobby to collapse,"he told readers of Z Magazine. He could not have been further from the truth.[13]

The next day, Tom Dine, AIPAC's Executive Director, declared that "September 12, 1991 is a day that will live in infamy."Similar comments were uttered by Jewish leaders, who accused Bush of provoking anti-Semitism. What was more important, his friends in the mainstream media, like William Safire, George Will, and Charles Krauthammer, not only criticized him; they began to find fault with the economy and how he was running the country. It was all downhill from there. Bush's Jewish vote, which has been estimated at 38% in 1988, dropped down to no more than 12%, with some estimates as low as 8%.[14]

Bush's opposition to the loan guarantees was the last straw for the Israel lobby. When he made disparaging comments about Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem in March, 1990, AIPAC had begun the attack (briefly halted during the the Gulf War). Dine wrote a critical op-ed in the New York Times and followed that with a vigorous speech to the United Jewish Appeal's Young Leaders Conference. "Brothers and sisters,"he told them as they prepared to go out and lobby Congress on the issue, "remember that Israel's friends in this city reside on Capitol Hill."[15] Months later, the loan guarantees were approved, but by then Bush was dead meat.

Now, jump ahead to last Spring, when Bush Jr. forthrightly demanded that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon withdraw his marauding troops from Jenin, saying "Enough is enough!"It made headlines all over the world, as did his backing down when Sharon refused. What happened? Harsh criticism boomed from within his own party in Congress and from his daddy's old friends in the media. George Will associated Dubya with Yasser Arafat and accused Bush of having lost his "moral clarity."[16] The next day, Safire suggested that Bush was "being pushed into a minefield of mistakes"and that he had "become a wavering ally as Israel fights for suvival."[17] Junior got the message and, within a week, declared Sharon to be "a man of peace."[18] Since then, as journalist Robert Fisk and others have noted, Sharon seems to be writing Bush's speeches.

There are some who believe that Bush Jr. and Presidents before him made statements critical of Israel for appearances only, to convince the world, and the Arab countries in particular, that the US can be an "honest broker"between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But it is difficult to make a case that any of them would put themselves in a position to be humiliated simply as a cover for US policy.

A better explanation was provided by Stephen Green, whose Taking Sides, America's Secret Relations with Militant Israel, was the first examination of State Department archives concerning US-Israel relations. Since the Eisenhower administration, wrote Green in 1984, "Israel, and friends of Israel in America, have determined the broad outlines of US policy in the region. It has been left to American Presidents to implement that policy, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, and to deal with the tactical issues."[19]

A slight exaggeration, perhaps, but former US Senator James Abourezk (D-South Dakota) echoed Green's words in a speech before the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee last June:

That is the state of American politics today. The Israeli lobby has put together so much money power that we are daily witnessing US senators and representatives bowing down low to Israel and its US lobby.

Make no mistake. The votes and bows have nothing to do with the legislators' love for Israel. They have everything to do with the money that is fed into their campaigns by members of the Israeli lobby. My estimate is that at least $6 billion flows from the American Treasury to Israel each year. That money, plus the political support the US gives Israel at the United Nations, is what allows Israel to conduct criminal operations in Palestine with impunity."[20]

That is a reality that has been repeated many times in many forms by ex-members of Congress, usually speaking off the record. It is the reality that Chomsky and the left prefer to ignore. The problem is not so much that Chomsky has been wrong. He has, after all, been right on many other things, particularly in describing the ways in which the media manipulates the public consciousness to serve the interests of the state.[21] However, by explaining US support for Israel simply as a component of those interests, and ignoring the influence of the Israel lobby in determining that component, he appears to have made a major error that has had measurable consequences. By accepting Chomsky's analysis, the Palestinian solidarity movement has failed to take the only political step that might have weakened the hold of Israel on Congress and the American electorate, namely, by challenging the billions of dollars in aid and tax breaks that the US provides Israel on an annual basis.

The questions that beg asking are why his argument has been so eagerly accepted by the movement and why the contrary position put forth by people of considerable stature such as Edward Said, Ed Herman, Uri Avnery and, more recently, Alexander Cockburn, has been ignored. There appear to be several reasons.

The people who make up the movement, Jews and non-Jews alike, have embraced Chomsky's position because it is the message they want to hear; not feeling obligated to "blame the Jews"is reassuring. The fear of either provoking anti-Semitism or being called an anti-Semite (or a self- hating Jew), has become so ingrained into our culture and body politic that no one, including Chomsky or Zunes, is immune. This is reinforced by constant reminders of the Jewish Holocaust that, by no accident, appear in the movies and in major news media on a regular basis. Chomsky, in particular, has been heavily criticized by the Jewish establishment for decades for his criticism of Israeli policies, even to the point of being "excommunicated,"a distinction he shares with the late Hannah Arendt. It may be fair to assume that at some level this history influences Chomsky's analysis. But the problems of the movement go beyond the fear of invoking anti-Semitism, as Chomsky is aware and correctly noted in The Fateful Triangle.:

[T]he American left and pacificist groups, apart from fringe elements, have quite generally been extremely supportive of Israel (contrary to many baseless allegations), some passionately so, and have turned a blind eye to practices that they would be quick to denounce elsewhere.[22]

The issue of US aid to Israel provides a clear example. During the Reagan era, there was a major effort launched by the anti-intervention movement to block a $15 million annual appropriation destined for the Nicaraguan contras. People across the country were urged to call their Congressional representatives and get them to vote against the measure. That effort was not only successful, it forced the administration to engage in what became known as Contragate.

At the time, Israel was receiving the equivalent of that much money on a daily basis, without a whimper from the movement. Now, that amount "officially"is about $10 million a day and yet no major campaign has ever been launched to stem that flow or even call the public's attention to it. When attempts were made they were stymied by the opposition of such key players (at the time) as the American Friends Service Committee, which was anxious, apparently, not to alienate major Jewish contributors. (Recent efforts initiated on the internet to "suspend"military aid - but not economic - until Israel ends the occupation have gone nowhere.)

The slogans that have been advanced by various sectors of the Palestinian solidarity movement, such as "End the Occupation,""End Israeli Apartheid,""Zionism Equals Racism,"or "Two States for Two Peoples,"while addressing key issues of the conflict, assume a level of awareness on the part of the American people for which no evidence exists. Concern for where their tax dollars are going, particularly at a time of massive cutbacks in social programs, certainly would have greater resonance among voters. Initiating a serious campaign to halt aid, however, would require focusing on the role of Congress and recognition of the power of the Israel lobby.

Chomsky's evaluation of Israel's position in the Middle East admittedly contains elements of truth, but nothing sufficient to explain what former Undersecretary of State George Ball described as America's "passionate attachment"to the Jewish state.[23] However, his attempt to portray the US-Israel relationship as mirroring that of Washington's relations to its client regimes in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, has no basis in reality.

US involvement in Central America was fairly simple. Arms and training were supplied to military dictatorships in order for their armies and their death squads to suppress the desires of their own citizens for land, civil rights and economic justice, all of which would undermine US corporate interests. This was quite transparent. Does Israel fit into that category? Obviously not. Whatever one may say about Israel, its Jewish majority, at least, enjoys democratic rights.

Also, there were no Salvadoran, Nicaraguan or Guatemalan lobbies of any consequence in Washington to lavish millions of dollars wooing or intimidating members of Congress; no one in the House or Senate from any of those client countries with possible dual- loyalties approving multi-billion dollar appropriations on an annual basis; none owning major television networks, radio stations, newspapers or movie studios, and no trade unions or state pension funds investing billions of dollars in their respective economies. The closest thing in the category of national lobbies is that of Miami's Cuban exiles, whose existence and power the left is willing to acknowledge, even though its political clout is miniscule compared to that of Israel's supporters.

What about Chomsky's assertion that Israel is America's cop-on-the-beat in the Middle East? There is, as yet, no record of a single Israeli soldier shedding a drop of blood in behalf of US interests, and there is little likelihood one will be asked to do so in the future. When US presidents have believed that a cop was necessary in the region, US troops were ordered to do the job.

When President Eisenhower believed that US interests were threatened in Lebanon in 1958, he sent in the Marines. In 1991, as mentioned, President Bush not only told Israel to sit on the sidelines, he further angered its military by refusing to allow then Defense Sectretary Dick Cheney to give the Israeli air force the coordinates it demanded in order to take to the air in response to Iraq's Scud attacks. This left the Israeli pilots literally sitting in their planes, waiting for information that never came.[24]

What Chomsky offers as proof of Israel's role as a US gendarme was the warning that Israel gave Syria not to intervene in King Hussein's war on the Palestinian Liberation Organization in Jordan in September 1970.

Clearly this was done primarily to protect Israel's interests. That it also served Washington's agenda was a secondary consideration. For Chomsky, it was "another important service"for the US.[25] What Chomsky may not be aware of is another reason that Syria failed to come to the rescue of the Palestinians at the time:

The commander of the Syrian air force, Hafez Al-Assad, had shown little sympathy with the Palestinian cause and was critical of the friendly relations that the PLO enjoyed with the Syrian government under President Atassi. When King Hussein launched his attack, Assad kept his planes on the ground.

Three months later, he staged a coup and installed himself as president. Among his first acts was the imprisonment of hundreds of Palestinians and their Syrian supporters. He then proceeded to gut the Syrian sponsored militia, Al-Saika, and eliminate the funds that Syria had been sending to Palestinian militia groups. In the ensuing years, Assad allowed groups opposed to Yasser Arafat to maintain offices and a radio station in Damascus, but little else. A year after Israel's invasion of Lebanon, he sponsored a short, but bloody intra-Palestinian civil war in Northern Lebanon. This is history that has fallen through the cracks.

How much the presence of Israel has intimidated its weaker Arab neighbors from endangering US interests is at best a matter of conjecture. Clearly, Israel's presence has been used by these reactionary regimes, most of them US allies, as an excuse for suppressing internal opposition movements. (One might argue that the CIA's involvement in the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, and Abdel Karim Kassem in Iraq in 1963, had more of an impact on crushing progressive movement in the region.)

What Israel has provided for the US to their mutual benefit have been a number of joint weapons programs, largely financed by US taxpayers and the use by the US of military equipment developed by Israeli technicians - not the least of which were the "plows"that were used to bury alive fleeing Iraqi soldiers in the first Gulf War. Since high levels of US aid preceded these weapons programs, it is hard to argue that they form the basis of US support.

Another argument advanced by Chomsky has been Israel's willingness to serve the US by taking on tasks which past US administrations were unable or unwilling to undertake due to specific US laws or public opinion, such as selling arms to unsavory regimes or training death squads.

That Israel did this at the request of the US is an open question. A comment by Israeli minister Yakov Meridor's comment in Ha'aretz, at the time, makes it unlikely:

We shall say to the Americans: Don't compete with us in Taiwan, don't compete with us in South Africa, don't compete with us in the Caribbean area, or in other areas in which we can sell weapons directly and where you can't operate in the open. Give us the opportunity to do this and trust us with the sales of ammunition and hardware. [26]

In fact, there was no time that the US stopped training death squads in Latin America, or providing arms, with the exception of Guatemala, where Carter halted US assistance because of its massive human rights violations, something that presented no problem for an Israeli military already steeped in such violations. In one situation we saw the reverse situation. Israel provided more than 80% of El Salvador's weapons before the US moved in.

As for Israel's trade and joint arms projects, including the development of nuclear weaponry, with South Africa, that was a natural alliance: two societies that had usurped someone else's land and saw themselves in the same position, "a civilized people surrounded by threatening savages."The relationship became so close that South Africa's Sun City became the resort of choice for vacationing Israelis.

The reason that Israeli officials gave for selling these weapons, when questioned, was that it was the only way that Israel could keep its own arms industry functioning. Israel's sales of sophisticated weaponry to China has drawn criticism from several administrations, but this has been tempered by Congressional pressure.

What Israel did benefit from was a blanket of silence from the US anti-intervention movement and anti-apartheid movements, whose leadership was more comfortable criticizing US policies than those of Israel's. Whether their behavior was due to their willingness to put Israel's interests first, or whether they were concerned about provoking anti-Semitism, the result was the same.

A protest that I organized in 1985 against Israel's ties to apartheid South Africa, and its role as a US surrogate in Central America, provides a clear example of the problem. When I approached board members of the Nicaraguan Information Center (NIC) in San Francisco and asked for the group's endorsement of the protest,

I received no support. NIC was the main group in solidarity with the Sandinistas and, despite Israel's long and ugly history, first in aiding Somoza and, at the time of the protest, the contras, the board votedŠ well, they couldn't vote not to endorse, so they voted to make "no more endorsements,"a position they reversed soon after our rally. NIC's board was almost entirely Jewish.

I fared better with GNIB, the Guatemalan News and Information Bureau, but only after a considerable struggle. At the time, Israel was supplying 98% of the weaponry and all of the training to one of the most murderous regimes in modern times. One would think that an organization that claimed to be working in solidarity with the people of Guatemala would not only endorse the rally but be eager to participate.

Apparently, the GNIB board was deeply divided on the issue. Unwilling to accept another refusal, I harassed the board with phone calls until it voted to endorse. Oakland CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) endorsed. The San Francisco chapter declined. (A year earlier, when I had been quoted in the San Francisco Weekly criticizing the influence of the Israel lobby on the Democratic Party, officials from the chapter wrote a letter to the editor claiming that I was provoking "anti-Semitism.") The leading anti-apartheid organizations endorsed the protest but, again, after lengthy internal debate.

The protest had been organized in response to the refusal of the San Francisco-based Mobilization for Peace, Jobs and Justice, (Mobe), a coalition of movement organizations, to include any mention of the Middle East among the demands that it was issuing for a march opposing South African apartheid and US intervention in Central America.

At an organizing meeting for the event, a handful of us asked that a plank calling for "No US Intervention in the Middle East"be added to the demands that had previously been decided. The vote was overwhelmingly against it. A Jewish trade unionist told us that "we could do more for the Palestinians by not mentioning them, than by mentioning them,"a strange response which mirrored what President Reagan was then saying about ending apartheid in South Africa. I was privately told later that if the Middle East was mentioned, "the unions would walk,"recognition of the strong support for Israel that exists among the labor bureaucracy, as well as the willingness of the movement to defer to it.

The timing of the Mobe's refusal was significant. Two and a half years earlier, Israel had invaded Lebanon and its troops still remained there as we met that evening. And yet, the leaders of the Mobe would not let Tina Naccache, a programmer for Berkeley's KPFA, the only Lebanese in the large union hall, speak in behalf of the demand.

Three years later, the Mobe scheduled another mass march. The Palestinians were in the first full year of their intifada, and it seemed appropriate that a statement calling for an end to Israeli occupation be added to the demands. The organizers, the same ones from 1985, had already decided on what they would be behind closed doors: "No US Intervention in Central America or the Caribbean; End US Support for South African Apartheid; Freeze and Reverse the Nuclear Arms Race; Jobs and Justice, Not War."

This time the Mobe took no chances and canceled a public meeting where our demand could be debated and voted on. An Emergency Coalition for Palestinian Rights was formed in response. A petition was drawn up and circulated supporting the demand. Close to 3,000 people signed it, including hundreds from the Palestinian community. The Mobe leadership finally agreed to one concession. On the back of its official flyer, where it would be invisible when posted on a wall or tree, was the following sentence:

Give peace a chance everywhere: The plight of the Palestinian people, as shown by the recent events in the West Bank and Gaza, remind us that we must support human rights everywhere. Let the nations of our world turn from building armies and death machines to spending their energy and resources on improving the quality of life - Peace, Jobs and Justice.

There was no mention of Israel or the atrocities its soldiers were committing. The flyer, put out by the unions ignored the subject completely.

Fast forward to February, 2002, when a new and smaller version of the Mobe met to plan a march and rally to oppose the US war on Afghanistan. There was a different cast of characters but they produced the same result. The argument was that what was needed was a "broad"coalition and raising the issue of Palestine would prevent that from happening.

The national movement to oppose the extension of the Iraq war has been no different. As in 1991, at the time of the Gulf War, there were competing large marches, separately organized but with overlapping participants. Despite their other political differences, what the organizers of both marches agreed on was that there would be no mention of the Israel-Palestine conflict in any of the protest literature, even though its connections to the situation in Iraq were being made at virtually every other demonstration taking place throughout the world. The movement's fear of alienating American Jews still takes precedence over defending the rights of Palestinians.

Last September, the slogan of "No War on Iraq - Justice for Palestine!"drew close to a half-million protesters to Trafalgar Square. The difference had been presciently expressed by a Native American leader during the first Intifada. "The problem with the movement,"he told me, "is that there are too many liberal Zionists."

If there is one event that exposed their influence over of the movement, it is what occurred in the streets of New York on June 12, 1982, when 800,000 people gathered in front of the United Nations to call for a ban on nuclear weapons. Six days earlier, on June 6th, Israel had launched a devastating invasion of Lebanon. Its goal was to destroy the Palestine Liberation Organization, then based in that country. Eighty thousand soldiers, backed by massive bombing from the air and from the sea were creating a level of death and destruction that dwarfed what Iraq would later do in Kuwait. Within a year there would be 20,000 Palestinians and Lebanese dead and tens of thousands more wounded.

And what was the response that day in New York? In recognition of the suffering then taking place in his homeland, a Lebanese man was allowed to sit on the stage, but he would not be introduced; not allowed to say a word. Nor was the subject mentioned by any of the speakers. Israel and its lobby couldn't have asked for anything more.

Twenty-one years later, Ariel Sharon, the architect of that invasion, is Israel's Prime Minister, having been elected for the second time. As I write these lines, pro-Israel zealots within the Bush administration are about to savor their greatest triumph. After all, they have been the driving force for a war which they envision as the first stage in "redrawing the map of the Middle East,"with the US-Israel alliance at its fore. [27]

And the Left? Rabbi Arthur Waskow, a long-time activist with impeccable credentials, assured the Jewish weekly, Forward, that United for Peace and Justice, organizers of the February 15th anti-war rally in New York, "has done a great deal to make clear it is not involved in anti-Israel rhetoric. From the beginning there was nothing in United for Peace's statements that dealt at all with the Israel-Palestine issue."[28]

* Jeffrey Blankfort is former editor of the Middle East Labor Bulletin and has written extensively on the Israel-Palestine conflict. His photographs of the Anti-Vietnam War Movement and the Black Panthers have appeared in numerous books and magazines and are currently part of a show, "The Whole World is Watching,"He lives in San Francisco.



1. Noam Chomsky, The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, South End Press, 1983, p. 13.

2. Roane Carey, Ed., The New Intifada, Verso, 2001, p. 6.

3. Stephen Zunes, Tinderbox, Common Courage Press, 2003, p. 163.

4. J. J. Goldberg, Jewish Power, Addison-Wesley, 1996.

5. Bill and Kathy Christison, "Too Many Smoking Guns to Ignore: Israel, American Jews, and the War on Iraq,"Counterpunch (online).

6. J. J. Goldberg, ibid., p. 158.

7. ibid., p. 159.

8. University of Chicago, 1993, p. 1.

9. Footnote, The Nation, Feb. 10, 2003, p.13.

10. The Rogers Plan, introduced by Nixon's Secretary of State William Rogers was accepted by Egyptian President Gamal Nasser but turned down by Israel and the PLO, since at the time the Palestinians had dreams of returning to the entirety of what had been Palestine. Under the plan, the West Bank would have been returned to Jordan and Gaza to Egypt.

11. Ha'aretz, March 6, 1981.

12. Edward Tivnan, The Lobby, Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy, Simon & Schuster, 1988.

13. Z Magzine, December 1991.

14. Goldberg, op. cit.

15. Washington Jewish Week, March 22, 1990.

16. Washington Post, April 11, 2002.

17. New York Times, April 12, 2002.

18. International Herald Tribune, April 19, 2002.

19. Stephen Green, Taking Sides, America's Secret Relations with Militant Israel, William Morrow, 1984.

20. Al-Ahram, June 20-27, 2002.

21. Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent, Pantheon Books, 1988.

22. Chomsky, op. cit., p. 14.

23. George W. Ball and Douglas B. Ball, The Passionate Attachment, America's Involvement with Israel, 1947 to the Present, Norton, 1992.

24. Moshe Arens, Broken Covenant, Simon and Shuster, 1995, p. 162-175.

25. The New Intifada, p. 9.

26. Los Angeles Times and Financial Times, August 18, 1981.

27. Bill and Kathy Christison, op. cit.; Robert G. Kaiser, "Bush and Sharon Nearly Identical On Mideast Policy,"Washington Post, Feb. 9, 2003; p. A01

28. Forward, February 14, 2003


Jeffrey Blankfort
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Regarding comment on Islamophobia and demonization of muslims

07.07.2010 10:51

I believe that for us on the political left, there is balance to be struck between defending muslims against attacks and discrimination and being able to criticize Islam as a religion. If there was no Koran and no Hadiths (islamic books), then there wouldn't be any suicide bombers (no 9/11 or 7/7) and no Israel-Palestinian conflict. Most westerners do not understand this, because they have not read the Koran, which is full of hateful writings. The fact that most muslims choose not to follow what is prescribed in the Koran and Hadiths is a credit to them as people, not because the Koran is a peace-loving book! Most muslims are good people not because of the Koran but inspite of the Koran. Most muslims have never heard criticism of the Koran, because in their religion, it is not allowed. Islam, unlike Christianity for example, is not a religion of conscience, it is imposed on people - by parents, by clerics, by the community. You cannot NOT be a muslim. This is plain wrong. Some muslims of course are opposed to this sort of totalitarianism and we on the left should be supporting them ie.secular muslims.
Whilst we should aim to be fair to all people as human beings, we should stand by those who oppose Islamism, not with those who promote it, and most of all we should support those who have left the faith and are in real danger for their lives.

Islamists like to state how muslims are afraid of being hurt in this country. Whilst there are no doubt instances of this, I do not believe it is significant enough, as otherwise, women would not be wearing headscarves like they are. Most muslim women are more afraid of what Islamists will do to them than they are of being attacked by non-muslims as far as I can see.

Should we be supporting Islamists?

Maybe because the conspiracists are morons?

07.07.2010 12:42

Why do some left-leaning people think the conspiracists are idiots? Because the conspiracists are. And this isn't funny any more.

Yes - initially it was interesting to see some of the arguments for a conspiracy theory. But each one has been systematically debunked, and the troofers are left repeating earlier stuff, past research mistakes and blurted news reports that have since been corrected.

The early troofer theories - missiles hidden in holograms, vast amounts of explosives rigged to the precise floors where planes would improbably hit with accuracy - have given way to other ones. WTC-7 keeps coming back, though the reasons for its fall have been explained. When you see the pics of it, in the centre of the collapsing buildings, is it that improbable that the debris - which damaged a third of the front of a badly-balanced building - would have caused the collapse? Not really.

None of this is to claim that 9/11 justifies the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The justification seems clunky, nonsensical - a desperate bit of opportunism by the Bush regime. But the clumsiness of that makes the inside-job theory even less likely.

Why involve thousands of people in a conspiracy that would bring down a political party forever, kill thousands of your own countrymen and damage a major financial centre; why assume you'll be able to hit buildings at a particular height and that the fall will be at a particular angle... why take all these risks... then totally fluff the entire thing by not bothering to arrange one piece of A4 paper, one scrawl on the back of an envelope that convincingly links the attacks to Afghanistan and Iraq? Why instead implicate Saudi Arabia, a US ally? Anyone? Anyone?

And the 7/7 troofers, who seem to base their theories on the belief that no British trains are ever delayed, that no companies carry out emergency exercises for a long-predicted event, and that all CCTV cameras in the UK work perfectly. Well, they can f**k off too.


conspiracy nonsense

07.07.2010 14:39

The only thing sadder than the utter lunacy of the troofers is their wildly inflated sense of self-importance. They take the opposition they encounter as "proof" that they must be on to something, that they "must have hit a nerve." But crackpot theorists always encounter opposition, for one simple reason: they're wrong.

Most Indymedia sites won't touch the Troofer movement. But then Indymedia UK has no reputation left to lose.

he's right

Chomsky's mask

07.07.2010 16:45

In Britain, all the 'liberal and tolerant' participants in the BBC, Guardian and Times platforms in the days before the current phase of the Blair-Bush genocide operation against Muslim populated, energy-rich states and territories, found no obstacle to their conversion to fully active backers of the genocidal line.

Chomsky's mask has lasted a bit longer than those of the lesser-protected propagandists for imperialist racist genocide.

All seekers of the truth must heave a sigh of relief at Chomsky's confirmation of his real identity.

Now, will those Muslims and other targets of racist imperialist genocide wake up and start to sort out the thoughts before rushing to the nearest racist media propaganda unit to line up behind George Galloway and others of his ilk to rubbish the truthful ones who have said all along that the terrorist atmosphere has been one of the strategic tools created by the Bush Blair axis.

Question: what is to be done about the so-called centres of objective learning and inquiry - the western universities?

There is nothing in the rest of the world that can match the evil that is preached against humanity by these centres of evil learning.

Chomsky has often been portrayed as being vindicated as being nearer the truth than his former detractors on the record. As 'proof' Chomsky has been shown as being equally popular among both Muslim 'radicals' and their supposed religious foes.


latest theory!

07.07.2010 18:01

The 9/11 truth 'movement' is a conspiracy to make radicals spend all their time reading ridiculously long articles and having waste hours researching obscure scientific arguments and counter-arguments when we could be out in the streets organising against the tangible and obvious injustices of everyday life!

...or maybe not. But that's the effect it has!


great post

07.07.2010 21:18

very interesting, ignore the ignorant comments, some people are just so blind that they can't research things further than what they are told to believe. something isn't right about 9/11 and it is not hard to see that. wake up people. wake up



08.07.2010 00:57

I accept the idea that there is a great deal wrong about 9/11. I don't believe in amateur pilots being able to fly passenger aircraft halfway across a country and then being able to plant them, with pin point accuracy, into buildings like that. I also accept that at no time in the past have muslim hijackers, no matter how militant, engaged in such wanton violence such as was seen on that day. The only group that are capable of doing that are people who have grown up being fed a diet of horrific violence on TV, who have been brainwashed for decades, drip fed narcotics, encouraged by political leaders to believe that humanity is a selfish eyesore and who simply have no surviving humanity left at the end of it to speak of. It all points to American involvement.

But the 'truth' movement has long been accused by the left of only ever appearing when progressive political ideas are being pushed. Whenever the left begins to make progress or starts to develop a consensus on any issue, then, like clockwork, the 'truth' movement shows up!

Its purpose, to smother and quieten internet chatter, to drench any left leaning debate with a sense of the deranged and lunatic.

Its a fair point that the 'truth' movement has no answer for.

The ridiculously long entreatise published here is just the latest in a long line of organised disruption that the long-standing 'truth' movement has been responsible for.
It is a control device deployed by the 'right' to undermine and divorce the 'left' from gaining public acceptance and support.

There is one paragraph in this polemic that tries to claim that the sixteen floors in one of the towers above where the plane collided with these buildings weren't that heavy and when those floors fell as one section onto the structure underneath, should have stopped because it had only fallen by a few floors!

Sixteen floors might not seem that much but where I live we have buildings that are twelve stories high and are tower blocks in their own right. If one of those tower blocks were to drop as a single mass so much as a single inch, the entire building would collapse into rubble. The laws of physics say that once an object moves, it will continue to move unless a force acts against it. If a sixteen story building weighing hundreds of thousands of tonnes begins to move in one direction, it will not stop unless hundreds of thousands of tonnes of mass are pushed back against it, and if that happens, both structures will simply dissolve into each other with the pulverised debri tossed out to the side.

Which of course is exactly what happened. When the top sections fell, they met with huge mass underneath and that could only mean one thing, almost all the pulverised debri that was shredded was thrown out sideways. If there had been explosives planted in those buildings, those girders wouldn't have been thrown out as far!

The twin towers collapsed exactly as they should have given that they had gaping great holes in their structures and had colossal weight above those holes, which were always going to collapse. I remember that day as clearly as everybody else and was out working. Before those buildings collapsed, I phoned a friend and asked him if the buildings had collapsed yet, his answer was no.

When they did finally collapse, the entire world flipped into deranged lunacy, and things are only just recently getting back to some normality!

Its this carefully considered nonsense parading as fact that the public are always going to pick holes in and when they do, they subconciously attribute a sense of derangement to everything else they read from the same source. They do this because that deranged lunacy hasn't quite subsided yet.

The 'truth' movement is a tactic, and the tragedy of it is, that terrible crimes go unpunished as a direct result of its use, which of course, is its purpose and real motive.

To prevent the left gaining the required lay some justice down on the right!

Not a fool!

rabid rabbiting

08.07.2010 01:22

Chomsky a 'propagandist for imperialist racist genocide.'

Sometimes it's just a stunner how absolutely unrelated facts and words have become in some peoples' minds. Absolutely down the rabbit hole.

words mean nothing

More than a movement -- the search for 9/11 truth is an awakening

08.07.2010 04:59

Boston Sunday Globe, 17 December 2006
Boston Sunday Globe, 17 December 2006

from the archives:

More than a movement -- the search for 9/11 truth is an awakening

by Kevin Quirk, 21 July 2008

A year ago, I announced in this forum the launching of my survey for a book that would compile personal accounts of ordinary people active in the 9/11 truth movement. Since then, I’ve been gathering dozens of revealing, often moving stories from inside and outside the U.S., and I’ve begun to put a shape to Voices for 9/11 Truth. Along the way, I’ve come to believe that what we call the 9/11 truth movement is not really a movement per se. It’s something else, something potentially more important, more meaningful, and maybe even more impactful.

First, the obvious: we’re not exactly a homogenous group. Yes, there is a shared commitment to prompt a thorough and impartial 9/11 investigation and unravel the sinister mess behind the crime and cover-up, but we’re not linked by bloodlines, gender, age, economic status, or any other common entity. We’re no clearly defined, pre-established group seeking a platform to gain rights or power -- and anyway, we’d be hard pressed to put together a thousand members for a rally, let alone hundreds of thousands. In fact, what I’ve been most struck by in fielding these personal accounts and interacting with the gutsy people behind them is the wide diversity of those who believe that 9/11 was orchestrated from within our government.

That diversity should strengthen the sense of real community among 9/11 truthers while further dispelling the government and corporate media’s ridiculous attempts to marginalize and pigeonhole those who conclude that 9/11 was clearly an inside job.

We’ve all seen how some of the more visible members of the 9/11 truth movement highlight their professional standing: scholars for 9/11 truth, engineers and architects for 9/11 truth, etc. Understandingly, they believe that impressive titles or credentials are essential in establishing credibility of the evidence -- and the movement itself. But as I’ve dug deeper into who’s really out there spreading the truth about 9/11, I’ve found an inspiring assemblage of ordinary people from all walks of life. I’ve heard from priests, veterans, entrepreneurs, lawyers, therapists, technicians, comedians, students, writers, broadcasters, salespeople, homemakers, a DVD producer, a former intelligence officer, and a former member of FUNY, as well as those who happen to be engineers, scholars, and scientists. The credibility of the average person plastering their towns with 9/11 truth DVDs, organizing grassroots lectures and rallies, or just trying to convince family and friends, comes not from their status but from their passion, their commitment, and the authenticity of what they believe and how they proclaim it, even in the face of rejection and scorn.

Geographically, Voices for 9/11 Truth have come from the Northeast, Midwest, South, and Far West of the U.S., as well as from several provinces of Canada. I’ve also heard from 9/11 truth activists from England, Spain, France, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Bulgaria, and Japan. Ages range from over-70 retirees to a middle-school student who debates teachers on 9/11 in the classroom. Socio-economical levels vary from struggling recent college grads to one truther sporting a 9/11 bumper sticker on a Porsche Boxster.

Even more striking has been the rich diversity in religious and, yes, even political backgrounds. My survey has attracted fundamentalist Christians, as well as Catholics, Jews, Mormons, agnostics, and those with more eclectic religious or spiritual leanings. In politics, respondents have in no way been limited to the ranks of Progressives, Greens, or Libertarians. I’ve compiled profiles from Independents, mainstream Democrats, and several Republicans, including those who, pre-catching the 9/11 truth wave, voted for Bush in 2000 and even ’04!

If we’re all nuts, it’s one hell of a holiday variety pack.

So the 9/11 truth crowd hasn’t come together because of something we are. Rather, we came to the same place through something that happened inside our psyches and spirits.

That’s why I see this more as a 9/11 truth awakening. Beyond the basic questions of who really did it, and all the hows and whys that go with it, diving into 9/11 truth for many becomes a personal and even spiritual process. It stirs us to ask deep and profound questions: Who am I and what do I really believe? How do I know what I know? How would it change my life if I admit that “Dad” or any authority figure is really capable of the unthinkable? What does it mean to wake up and tell the truth every day -- to myself, first, and then to those around me who may ridicule me for what I say?

The first question I ask my respondents is how and when they first rejected the “official” government story and came to believe or strongly suspect our government’s involvement in 9/11. For some, the “aha” came within months, weeks, or even days (or hours) of the attacks. But many others did not cross that threshold until two, three, or even four years after 9/11. Reading David Ray Griffin, watching Loose Change, or coming across some other compelling source of evidence may trigger an initial exploration, but most don’t make the leap to the “other side” without some real soul-searching.

It’s more than just getting past cognitive dissonance. For many people I have heard from, embracing 9/11 truth has meant a massive overhaul of how they see themselves, their government, their media, their jobs, their churches, their families, and everything else around them. It’s little wonder, then, that when I ask how their involvement in 9/11 truth has changed their lives, many respondents paint a portrait of a major transformation and a lasting spiritual experience. They don’t speak as converts to some fundamentalist “ism,” but rather as grounded and aware people who feel like a veil has been lifted. Some are angry, or frustrated by the lack of action on the get-the-bad-guys front, but almost all are grateful for the personal change as they display amazingly creative and resourceful ways to open the doors for others to glimpse 9/11 truth. And the veils are coming off for more and more folks every day. As a former spiritually-oriented counselor and writer committed to both personal and cultural change, I’m especially heartened by this part of the 9/11 truth picture.

I’m searching for a potential publisher for Voices for 9/11 Truth, a daunting challenge in a climate where a best-selling author like Steve Alten had to veer far from the mainstream publishing world to find a home for The Shell Game -- a book that weaves 9/11 truth evidence into a novel! But as I wait and hope for a change in the weather, I’m trying to keep perspective.

We all want to see our culture act from the truth of what really happened on 9/11. We want Congress to wake up. We want the corporate media to wake up. We want not just a real investigation but real justice for the perpetrators. All that’s imminently worth our continued time, energy, and passion. But even if that sea change never happens -- as it sure hasn’t happened for so many other covert operations -- let’s get clear about one thing. This 9/11 truth awakening can never be called a failure.

* Kevin Quirk, a former journalist, is an author, editor, and personal historian with A Writer’s Eye.

Kevin Quirk
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So, thousands of people believe...

08.07.2010 09:46 the 9/11 conspiracy theory. So what? You can keep repeating the Zogby poll findings till you're blue in the face. Thousands of people, of different colours and backgrounds, also believe in alien abduction and creationism. Doesn't mean they're not gullible chumps.

An earlier poster, in a otherwise good post about how bored they were with all this, wrote: "I don't believe in amateur pilots being able to fly passenger aircraft halfway across a country and then being able to plant them, with pin point accuracy, into buildings like that."

They didn't have to fly halfway across the country. The journeys were relatively short. And, as was shown at the time, it doesn't take much training to swing planes towards two of the biggest buildings in the skyline. You can try it at home in Microsoft flight simulator. Landing at O'Hare is difficult. Crashing into one of the country's biggest buildings? Not so.

The point is, the hijackers didn't need pin-point accuracy. They could smack the planes into the buildings wherever they wanted, or hit ones nearby if they missed. The only case where pin-point accuracy would have been required... is if they had to strike specific floors to coincide with the pre-planted explosives. So it's only the conspiracy theory that demands that implausible leap of faith / god-like skill.

Oh, and anyone who thinks Chomsky is a right-winger, and anti-Muslim, just because he won't play your silly game is totally deluded and should educate themselves quickly.


A Monumental, Intellectual Challenge

08.07.2010 14:23

David Ray Griffin has articulated a monumental, intellectual challenge to the most significant critics of the 9-11 Truth movement that cannot go unanswered. We all await their responses, particularly Noam Chomsky, whose criticism was the most authentic and constructive, indeed, a guiding light to the movement for which we all may ultimately be thankful to him.
This is clearly a turning point. Much depends on their responses but in the absence of anything strikingly substantial and surprising, the 9-11 Truth has clearly won the day.
David Ray Griffin has thoroughly consolidated a highly coherent case that has been developed by some highly credible and intellectually capable research contributors and supported by a broad array of professional support. This will inevitably permeate the thinking world and "sink in". When the "penny drops" it will not be possible to keep this understanding from the rump-fed masses.
Change is coming.

Allen L. Jasson
mail e-mail:
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Immature insults aside from both antimperialist"sides",we know100%Gladio ops

08.07.2010 17:19

were a strategy of ension in 1970s& 80s& this led on to other actions by rogue right wing army & corporate groups . The Bilderberg group& trilateral commission do exist & are v powerful wether all their members are involved in these issuesor not, I know this for sure after writing on this for decades& working at Bilderberg with decent We are Change people+ charlie skelton from Gaurdian in Sitges, Spain.
That said there is a lot of conspiracy nonsense & misinfo from allover the political spectrum, including if not especially from many of those in power.

We know that Nanothermite has been found in 3 samples from groundzero on 911, the sample analysis is lab& peer proven, but who took the evidence samples for the 3 samples please& will it stand in a court??

Wether the answer is yes or no, we all know the war is wrong & chiefly about control of oil,heroin& gold+minerals discovered in afghanistan in Soviet times& hopefully we can all agree we need some kind of accountable universal constitutional direct democracy,
nationally& internationally to help replace the mess we are all in,east,west,north,south,establishment or not.

Green Syndicalist
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Court evidence

08.07.2010 17:21

How many people involved in 9/11 or 7/7 have been through a reliable legal and court process and have been found guilty?

Why do the Left leapt to the conspiraloon label instead of pointing to valid legal processes that has revealed that Al Qaida did it?


Irrationality of the incorrigle denialists

08.07.2010 20:20

In discussing this matter recently with some friends -- intelligent, educated intellectuals, all -- I was so frustrated by their unconsidering acceptance of the fairy-tales which they'd been fed on this matter by the corporate media that I was moved to cry out -- rather rudely, I admit -- "How can you be so naive!" Despite the embarrassing lack of tact, I think I still see that as a just response.

Incidentally, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth -- which I joined some months back -- now has well over a thousand appropriate-discipline members, and growing. And that's to say nothing of all the other appropriate-discipline organisations which are members of the truth movement: Firefighters, Police, Airline Pilots, Lawyers, etc., all growing in numbers. Funny how all these kooks can get it so wrong, innit!

Any actually open-minded onlooker to the knockabout comedy gigs that erupt here from time to time on this subject, who wants genuinely to get a serious, sober and above all rational handle on what it seems really happened on that fateful day -- and why -- is welcome to contact me privately for pointers to reliable information sources and sound analysis. Or you could just read David Griffin's latest essay, look at all the sober documentation and leads which he provides in his notes, and follow up from there. Despite the silly, laughably-under-informed scoffing of the incorrigible denialists, he is actually an impressive source of persuasive facts and analysis, as you can discover pretty quickly for yourself, just by giving him a fair hearing.

Rhisiart Gwilym
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Flashback: The shame of Noam Chomsky and the gatekeepers of the left

09.07.2010 07:00

Editor's note: This essay is excerpted from Chapter 5 of Barrie Zwicker's book, Towers of Deception. Barrie squarely addresses the issue of Left Gatekeepers, those wonderful and sensitive souls of the Left who bring us the 'real story' on alternative radio. These include most of the regulars I hear over the only alternative FM radio station available here in southern California, Pacifica's Radio KPFK out of Los Angeles. Amy Goodman, Lila Garrett, Sonali Kolhatkar, David Basarmian, Howard Zinn, and Noam Chomsky are but a handful of the more prominent names. What we hear from Chomsky, Zinn, and even Bill Moyers, are sublime and poignant commentary on the barbarities of our day- from the heartless profiteering by corporate fat cats to the incalculable misery imposed on the people of Afghanistan and Iraq by right wing 'neo cons' bent on ever- greater profits from oil, but we don't hear ONE word about 911 being an Inside Job. We don't hear one word about Chemtrails. We hear nothing of Rex 84, FEMA concentration camps, or any discussion of the more than 133 two-mile deep underground city/bases located all over America which every state governor and every member of congress has a ticket to enter. We hear zero criticism of the majority in congress who have voted for legislation or who sponsored bills which encouraged the hordes of illegal aliens to pour into this country from our southern border and deprive Americans of fair wage jobs, while saddling American taxpayers with the cost of incarceration, medical care, and schooling for roughly 32 million illegals. What we hear from Left Gatekeepers is what the Illuminati WANTS us to hear from a thoroughly controlled "alternative" news source ...Ken Adachi]


The shame of Noam Chomsky and the gatekeepers of the left (part 3)

(excerpted from Chapter 5 of Barrie Zwicker's "Towers of Deception"), 5 October 2007

[part 1]

[part 2]

A surprisingly large number of Left/ radical / alternative / non-establishment media outlets - most of them, in fact - have adopted the same stance on 9/11 as Chomsky: refuse to investigate 9/11, and discourage and ridicule those who do. Most wind up using the familiar "wacky conspiracy theorists" putdown to describe others on the Left who want to discuss the evidence of an inside job on 9/11. The almost total uniformity within the media (of all political alleged political persuasions) in sync with the White House is more puzzling. In other cases, the Left media pursue questions of malfeasance on the part of the power elites, including some conspiracies such as Iran-Contra.

Individuals and media outlets that have exhibited this stay-away-from 9/11 stance, entirely or in large part, for more than four years now include David Corn and The Nation; Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!; Chip Berlet, senior analyst at Political Research Associates in Somerville, Massachusetts; David Barsamian of Alternative Radio; Michael Albert of Z Magazine; Alexander Cockburn , Norman Solomon, The Progressive, Mother Jones,; Global Exchange; PBS; South End Press; Public Research Associates' FAIR / Extra; Counterspin; Columbia Journalism Review; Deep Dish TV working Assets; Molly Ivins; Ms Magazine; Inter Press Service;; Greg Palast; David Zupan; Northwest Media Project ....

Of course, different people can independently or through dialogue arrive at the same or similar conclusions. Bu it it's a startling anomaly for so many organs and leaders of the conscious Left to be seemingly unconscious regarding 9/22. More than a few on the Left share the opinion of progressive film maker Roy Harvey that "the greatest single obstacle to the spread of 9/11 Truth is the Left media." To my mind, the relationship of Chomsky and the Left Gatekeepers on 9/11 is analogous to the relationships of the White House and the 9/11 Commission. Both relationships are so tight as to invite close scrutiny. Elementary pattern recognition reveals a common agenda among these otherwise well-informed, intelligent, investigative critics of corporate greed, the power elite and the US hegemony. The agenda, completely atypical of their approach generally, is to vigorously reject investigation into 9/11. This is prima facie. One example, that of perhaps Chomsky's best known protégé and amplifier, David Barsamian, is typical of 9/11 blindness on the Left.

On March 7, 2006, Barsamian spoke at a small event in a church basement in his home city of Boulder, Colorado. He made points about the immorality and wrongness of the war in Iraq, the US imperial project, corporate greed, etc. His audience was appreciative of him, his approach, his knowledge of the territory and his ability to express himself. At the question period, the first hand up was that of a Denver man. It's worth nothing that, while Barsamian knew many in the room by name, he did not know who this questioner was except that he was sitting with a 9/11 Truth activist known to Barsamian. Barsamian recognized other hands one after the other, repeatedly ignoring the first hand up. Finally the Denver man's still raised arm could not be ignored any longer. His question in part: "There's been a lot of research into 9/11 in the four-plus years since it's happened." He then gave examples including the WTC Twin Towers, WTC7, the inadequate military response, the multiple war games. " question is this: given this regime is murderous - you have to use that word, you've been talking yourself about what's been going on in Iraq - when are we going to stop calling people 'conspiracy theorists' and dismissing them and be willing to look at 9/11 as an inside job, because it's been the thing that's been galvanizing this fear that's been gripping us?"

Barsamian replied: "I've looked into some of these things and I haven't found any convincing evidence that would persuade me..." he agreed the Bush administration has taken advantage of 9/11. "It's 9/11 24/7. That's their theme song. That's their national anthem." Barsamian said Osama bin Laden "took credit for what happened on September 11th 2001. Why don't we take him at his word?" This overlooked the first audio tape ostensibly from Osama, in September 2001, denying involvement. The murky December 2001 videotape allegedly [ostensibly from bin Laden,] "found" by US military in Kandahar, "took credit." There are many reasons to believe the second is fake. Barsamian pointed to statements by Zacarias Moussouai that he had foreknowledge of 9/11 and said famed investigative reporter Seymour Hersh "doesn't find compelling evidence."

Barsamian Says Pursuing the Truth About 9/11 is a "Black Hole"

"If there was a whiff, a whiff... this would be the greatest story in the history of the world... bigger than Watergate," Barsamian said. He then said "there's a little bit here and there (which sounds like a whiff) but it doesn't connect. It reminds me of the grassy knoll." He stated: "We know of criminal activities of this administration that can be proven beyond a scintilla of doubt. I think we should concentrate on those things." He did not specify which these were or who would concentrate on them or in what ways. He concluded by saying that pursuing the truth about 9/11 is a "black hole," worse than a waste of time. The questioner said later he was "shocked into silence by his response."50

Barsamian's response was remarkable for its synchronicity with Chomsky's and for the way it echoed that of David Ray Griffin's critics Chip Berlet and Robert Baer, David Corn of The Nation, Michael Albert of Z Magazine, and Matt Rothschild, editor of The Progressive.

That the agenda of Chomsky, Barsamian et al would be so widespread and pursued with such intensity begs explanation. One theory would be incompetence - that for some reason all these "thinkers", editors, producers and writers have just lost their curiosity and forgotten how to use the tools of their trade when it comes to 9/11. This theory requires the belief that such widespread persistent incompetence is also coincidental.

Another theory would be that some, perhaps a surprisingly large percentage, of these individuals are following instructions that benefit the national security state; that they are, in other words, agents. The nature and consistency of the anomalies they present prohibit a focus for potentially acrimonious debate. That is, indeed, a not unreasonably founded conspiracy theory. The situation beings to mind the line from the famous Sherlock Holmes mystery The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: "Whenever you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

Acrimony can be diminished in a proportion to facts being brought to bear on the discussion. Because of the suffocating secrecy that attends operations by agents of influence, finding direct evidence is next to impossible. That is why those who want to investigate this intensely troubling and important situation are obliged to turn to circumstantial evidence, intuition and principles of inquiry such as the identification of contradictions, pattern recognition, and the Latin cui bono? (To whose benefit?)

There are other possible, and possibly overlapping, explanations for near-uniform 9/11 blindness on the part of the Left leaders and alternative media. These lead back, in part, to the CIA. Left media increasingly have been seeking and receiving funding from the likes of the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Carnegie Endowment, and MacArthur Foundation. Bob Feldman of San Francisco has been a tireless researcher of Left-foundation connections. His articles paint a picture rarely mentioned because both Left and Right have an interest in perpetuating the paradigm and keeping quiet about it.

The accompanying chart shows recent money flows from establishment foundations to Left / alternative media. In a recent article for critical Sociology entitled "report from the Field, Left Media & Left Think Tanks: Foundation-Managed Protest?" Feldman begins ":Left media and their organizations of grants from liberal foundations has transformed their organizational priorities, subjected them to elite control, or channelled their energies into safe, legalistic, bureaucratic activities and mild reformism."

However, 5,000 words and dozens of charts later, he concludes: "... there is much evidence that the funded left has moved towards the mainstream as it has increased its dependence on foundations. This is shown by the "progressive", reformist tone of formerly radical organizations; the gradual disappearance of challenges to the economic and political power corporations or United States militarism and imperialism; and silence on the relationship of liberal foundations to either politics and culture in general, or to their own organizations."51

Specifically on the subject of 9/11, some subtle inducements and pressures on Left media by Right-wing and overtly CIA-connected foundations have come to light. For instance Deep Dish TV Inc was given $75,000 is 2002 by the Ford Foundation to enable "the television news series Democracy Now! to continue incorporating the aftermath of September 11th attacks into future broadcasts." 9/11 Truth activist Emanuel Sferios of Seattle, who found the information, commented at the time: "They never told us a reason [that Democracy Now!] refused to consider any programming about 9/11, but it's quite simple. The Ford Foundation, by supplying so much money to Democracy Now! so they can 'continue incorporating' 9/11 into their broadcasts, does not have to explicitly tell Democracy Now! how they want 9/11 to be covered. Democracy Now! will simply self-censor, because they want future money from the Ford Foundation."52

A few of the left-wing organisations are primarily concerned about threats to media independence, yet all their attention is focused on for-profit corporate (or government) control; they ignore the possible influence of large subventions from non-profit institutions such as foundations, says Feldman. Journalist Ron Curran maintains that: "The only money nonprofits can get these days is from private foundations - and those foundations want to control the political agenda and debate."53 Another critic of the grant system, Brain Salter, makes a strong case against foundation funding of left media and think tanks. After examining the corporate and political connections of Ford and similar foundations' board members, Salter concludes: "The big establishment foundations are likely to seek out 'alternative' media that is more bark than bite, which they can rely on to ignore and dimiss sensitive topics ... as 'irrational distractions' or 'conspiracy theory.'" [emphasis added]

"The Kind of Opposition the US Elite can Live with" and Chomsky as its leader

Salter points out that recipients of funding protest that they are not swayed by any conflicts of interest and don't allow the sources of funding to affect their decisions, "but whether or not these claims are actually true is already somewhat of a red herring. Judging by the journalism being offered (and not offered) by The Nation, FAIR, The Progressive, IPA, Mother Jones, and other recipients of their funding, the big establishment foundations are successfully sponsoring the kind of 'opposition' that the US ruling elite can tolerate and live with."54

During the cold War, the CIA utilized foundations such as Ford "to set up and finance a 'parallel' organization to counter known left-wing bodies.55 In 975, the radical US feminist group Redstockings asserted that: "one major CIA strategy" during the Cold war was "to create or support parallel organizations which provide alternatives to radicalism and yet appear progressive enough to appease dissatisfied elements of society."56 There are no grounds to imagine the CIA or their partners in the foundations have changed their tune or their methods - except to make them more effective. Chomsky's record shows little or no attention to this kind of subversion.

To conclude, Chomsky, the most quoted "radical progressive" or "Leftist" in the Left media, systematically engages in deceptive discourse on certain key topics, such as 9/11, the JFK assassination and with regard to the CIA. In warning the Left against examining the evidence on JFK and 9/11, he lines himself up with George Bush and the corporate media, thereby advancing their agenda - which he otherwise opposes. When he is not appearing to undermine the American Empire, which is the main thing he does, he is buttressing it by undermining the most effective and therefore dangerous for the Empire faces - a conscious radical intelligentsia.

A study of Chomsky's stands on particularly dreadful actions such as JFK's assassination, 9/11, and with regard to the roles of the CIA and FBI, shows Chomsky to be a de facto defender of the status quo's most egregious outrages and their covert agency engines. He conducts his de facto defence of the Empire he appears to oppose through applying the very propaganda methods against which he has warned, including use of the derogatory phrase "conspiracy theorist," which in one context he has characterized as "something people say when they don't want you to think about what's really going on."

His recommendation that people practice "intellectual self-defence" is well taken. But how many could dream the person warning you is one of the most perilous against whom you'll need to defend yourself? That he is the fire marshal who wires your house to burn down, the lifeguard who drowns you, the doctor with the disarming bedside manner who administers a fatal injection? If Noam Chomsky did not exist, the diaboligarchy would have to invent him. To the New World Order he is worth 50 armoured division.

Barrie Zwicker

[POSTSCRIPT: In preparing this book, I contacted Chomsky well in advance and asked him if he would respond to a few questions. No response was received.


[part 1]

[part 2]


Notes: (part 3 notes begin with number 50)

50. Timothy C. Boyle, of Denver, CO, in an e-mail to Barrie Zwicker, April 2006.

51.Bob Feldman, "Report from the Field: Left Media & Left Think Tanks: Foundation-Managed Protest?" in Critical Sociology, Winter 2006.

52. Emanuel Sferios, January 2005, in an e-mail to Charles Shaw, founder and editor of Newtopia Magazine.

53. Ron Curran, "Buying into the News", San Francisco Bay Guardian, October 8, 1997.

54. Brian Salter, " 'Alternative' media paymasters: Carlyle, ALCOA, Xerox and Coca Cola?" posted on, September 29, 2002. Cited at

55. Joan Coxsedge with Ken Coldicutt and Gerry Harant, Rooted in Secrecy: The Clandestine Element in Australian Politics, self-published by the Committee for the Abolition of Political Police (CAPP), p 70.

56. Ibid., p 74.


Barrie Zwicker
- Homepage:

In answer to your questions...

09.07.2010 09:25

Insidejob asks:
“How many people involved in 9/11 or 7/7 have been through a reliable legal and court process and have been found guilty?”

Well, that’s a bit like the Bush gaffe about stopping suicide bombers before they do it again, isn’t it? The one person who was known to be a direct participant in the 9/11 attacks, but who didn’t die because his plane didn’t take off, was actually found guilty through the US courts. There was no need for legal action against the 7/7 bombers because they were all dead, but I imagine the martyrdom tapes would have been pretty good evidence.

Allen writes:
“David Ray Griffin has articulated a monumental, intellectual challenge to the most significant critics of the 9-11 Truth movement that cannot go unanswered.”

Here’s an answer to that “monumental challenge”. Which of the following options do you believe is more plausible?

1 A building collapses for the understandable reason that it was in the midst of the collapse of two of the world’s biggest skyscrapers, was hit by tonnes of rubble, had a third of its façade hit, and was already badly balanced.

2. Thousands of people were involved in a conspiracy that, if ever discovered, would bring down a political party forever; they were willing to kill thousands of their own countrymen and damage a major financial center. They built their plot around planes hitting buildings at a particular height and falling in a particular way – and it was really crucial, for some apparent reason, to ensure a building noone had ever heard of fell as well, even though that wouldn’t really add to the overall effect. And then, after all that, they messed up by failing to concoct one convincing link between the attack and Iraq or Afghanistan, instead implicating a series of Saudi nationals, who should be US allies.

I’m going with option 1 but would love to hear a coherent argument for option 2, as noone’s provided one yet.


[Video] Noam Chomsky: Manufacturing dissent

09.07.2010 12:39

The Corbett Report released a two-part documentary as a rebuttal to Chomsky's infamous 9/11 comments. These videos seek to expose the nonsensical and contradictory arguments Chomsky makes in trying to discredit 9/11 Truth. The documentary is intended to be an activist tool for spreading 9/11 Truth to academics, leftists and Chomskyites. If you think it is well-presented, please help get the word out by sending the link to people you think it might wake up.

Noam Chomsky: Manufacturing dissent

part 1:

part 2:

The first video covers Chomsky's denial of the viability of 9/11 science and his bizarre non sequitur that people shouldn't look into 9/11 Truth because someone can make up a conspiracy about a car crash. In our second video we delve into some of the numerous reasons people should look into 9/11 Truth, from terrorist financiers meeting with intelligence committee chairman on the day of the attack to CIA insider trading to Able Danger to military drills. We end by answering Chomsky's infamous question "Who cares?" about 9/11 Truth.

The Corbett Report
- Homepage:

Dust Samples - Chain of Custody

09.07.2010 13:33

Chain of Custody of 9-11 dust samples is obviously important and the researchers quite clearly are aware of this. Niels Harret has made strong statements on this subject and (while I haven't personally read the paper) he mentions it is discussed in the paper - as one would expect.

This is what science is all about - full documentation of materials and methods, repeatability... and this in turn is what peer review is all about... ensuring these requirements are fulfiled and the logical integrity of the work is sound.

Have no doubt... if the work was flawed it would not stand long in the science community.

Allen L. Jasson
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- Homepage: http://51 Haig Court

Not answers to questions - Norvello

09.07.2010 21:16

In answer to your questions...
09.07.2010 09:25
Insidejob asks:
“How many people involved in 9/11 or 7/7 have been through a reliable legal and court process and have been found guilty?”

Why is a progressive accepting the official stories on 7/7 and 9/11 without there having been any reliable court trials that asserts the guilt of those involved?

To say, they’re all dead, therefore, no need for trials is obviously absurd. We are all aware of trials involving people who were not suicide bombers who had connections to various British-Al Qaida plots. Wives who didn’t whistleblow are put on trial. Even young girls who write suicide poems have been put on trial. Yet involving 7/7? No one. And 9/11, one person, Zacarias Moussaoui

Moussaoui is the same person that FBI agent Coleen Rowley wanted to interview before 9/11 but was ordered to leave him alone.

Meanwhile on September 11 2001, ‘Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) at FBI headquarters calls the Minneapolis field office and talks to FBI agent Coleen Rowley. When Rowley says it is essential they get a warrant to search Moussaoui’s belongings, Maltbie instructs her to take no action, because it could have an impact on matters of which she is not aware.’

As for Moussaoui, July 25, 2002: Moussaoui Claims Accomplice Was British Agent
Zacarias Moussaoui claims that one of his associates, Atif Ahmed, was an informer for British intelligence and had foreknowledge of 9/11. In court Moussaoui says Ahmed “is a British agent who has taken a very important part of this,” adding, “My aim in pleading guilty was to expose the information I have.”

The Bin Laden confession tape would not stand up in court and his confession has not been repeated in any of the recorded statements he has made to the West. Indeed, the so-called Bin Laden explanation for why the buildings collapsed was wrong according to the official reports.

As for the 911 Commission, they present no reliable evidence whatsoever of Al Qaida being behind 9/11. The only evidence they site is a ‘confession’ from a member of the so-called Hamburg Cell who had been waterboarded. German intelligence has 24-hour surveillance on Atta and co whilst in Hamburg and they didn’t notice anything.
21 July 2005 London bombings
Individuals charged or held by police
As of 8 August 2005 the following people had been charged in relation to the 21 July or 7 July bombing attempts:
Charged with association with the aim of international terrorism and with possessing false documents in Italy:
Osman Hussein, found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court of conspiracy to murder and sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in prison.
Yasin Hassan Omar, arrested 27 July in Birmingham,[30] charged 7 August, found guilty of conspiracy to murder 9 July 2007.
Ramzi Mohammed, charged 7 August, found guilty of conspiracy to murder 9 July 2007.
Muktar Said Ibrahim, charged 7 August, found guilty of conspiracy to murder 9 July 2007.
Charged with conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life or cause serious injury:
Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, charged 7 August, remanded in custody until 14 November.
Charged with failing to disclose information that may help police investigating an act of terrorism:
Siraj Yassin Abdullah Ali, remanded in custody until 11 August.
Shadi Sami Abdel Gadir, remanded in custody until 11 August.
Omar Nagmeloin Almagboul, remanded in custody until 11 August.
Mohamed Kabashi, remanded in custody until 11 August.
Yeshiemebet Girma, remanded in custody until 11 August.
Mulumebet Girma, remanded in custody until 11 August.
Charged with failing to disclose information about suspected Shepherd's Bush bomber Hussain Osman:
Ismael Abdurahman, remanded in custody until 11 August.
Charged with assisting a person or persons in evading arrest:
Asias Girma, remanded in custody until 11 August.
Whabi Mohammed, remanded in custody until 11 August.
As of 8 August, the following individuals were being held by police in relation to the 21 July or 7 July bombing attempts:[29]
One of two men, arrested 1 August in raids on addresses in Clapham and Stockwell, South London
A woman, arrested 3 August in Stockwell
As of 8 August, the following individuals had been released from custody after being held by police in relation to the 21 July or 7 July bombing attempts:[29]
Two men, arrested 22 July in Stockwell, South London
A man, arrested 23 July in Tulse Hill, South London
A man, arrested 24 July near Curtis House, in New Southgate in North London and rearrested on 6 August, bailed to return in September
A man, arrested 25 July, again near Curtis House
three men, arrested 27 July in Washwood Heath, Birmingham
one woman, arrested 27 July in Stockwell on suspicion of harbouring offenders, bailed to return in September
nine people, arrested 28 July in Tooting, South London
three people, arrested 29 July in Notting Hill and North Kensington
two women, arrested 29 July in Liverpool Street station
three men and a woman, arrested 31 July in Brighton
a man arrested 2 August in Finchley, north London.
German intelligence monitored the apartment, but did not find any evidence against the residents. Both the United States' Central Intelligence Agency and German Intelligence have received criticism for failing to share information on these and other al-Qaida members.


The left's conspiracy of silence

10.07.2010 07:40

It should be beyond obvious that these smart, influential lefties know the truth movement is right about 9-11, and they've known it all along. They are part of the same massive cover-up and conspiracy of silence we see everywhere we turn. The ONLY question is what is their real motivation for attacking 9-11 truth. When you've read their attacks on Bush and Obama foreign and domestic policies, you realize these are brilliant minds that thoroughly investigate their topics. But one thing that stands out is they tend to avoid discussion of government conspiracies, no matter how well documented the conspiracies may be or how well the conspiracies reinforce their stated positions. After assessing all the information for years, I've come to the following conclusions that satisfy, barely, my need for a sensible explanation of the 9-11 cover-up of the left:

1. The left's cover-up of 9-11 is part of a broader cover-up of all conspired activities that originate with the ruling elite, aka the shadow government, the Illuminati, the-powers-that-be, the man behind the curtain, etc. They will not touch ops that were ordered by the elites, but they will defiantly and viciously attack abuses and policies surrounding those orders. For instance, they will not talk about Sibel Edmonds, or former AL governor Don Siegelman, the institutionalization of stolen elections (with a few exceptions), lost nukes, the truth behind the intentional Wall Street collapse, the reality behind al Qaeda, the proliferation of executive orders, etc, BECAUSE I believe these orders were received from above, as in, from above the president. Consequently, for some reason, the left has decided these matters are off-limits.

2. Their silence may be under threat or harm, or it may be politically strategic. Think of this. What would happen if the truth about 9-11 came out? How would the American public (and global citizenry) react? How would they feel about government, and especially big government? With the left living in fear of a global corporatocracy, the last thing they want is for the people to downsize or dismantle government, as there would then be nothing (in their minds) to stand in the way of a global corporate takeover. So, as bad and evil as government may be, the moment they write it off is the moment the left has lost its battle against its corporate nemesis. To tell the people the truth would ultimately lead to a reactionary shift toward militant isolationism and fascism, with a public no less gullible but more suspicious and worse, all the more ready to believe anything given the proper marketing.

3. The Bush administration would not have attempted 9-11 unless it knew that the silence of Bush's enemies, the left, could be guaranteed. Ironically, they did not appear to seek or get the same cooperation from the far right, including the nationalists, populists, militia, survivalist, libertarian true conservatives. So, why is it that the "idealistic, pacifist" left could so easily be bought and not the more ultranationalistic and militant right? This is a complex question with many complex answers, but the most important aspect might be that there was a trade-off, a quid-pro-quo with the left. While the left establishment is well aware of how the government really works, the far right after 9-11 is only now seeing their American fantasy fall apart. But why is it that the left has been in the loop but doesn't share these truths with its followers. Might the image of America held up by the left also be just a fantasy? If the government is revealed to not be of the people, but rather merely a tool by the super-rich, how would that impact the left political agenda. But, more to the point: How can the left point to 9-11 as evidence that the right is fascistic and evil (and the left is therefore the opposite), if the left also has a skeleton or two in its closet? It is clear that during WWII the highly effective US blockade of Japan was intended not to provoke surrender, as the US was not yet in the war. The US government was desperate to get into the war, but public sentiment was decidedly against, until Pearl Harbor. Might there be a deal that the right remains mum about Pearl Harbor and the left does likewise about 9-11? Both have American blood on their hands, and both would stand to lose the support of their followers.

4. The left does not attack 9-11 truth except thru ad hominem slander. This is not the way that the left tends to do anything; generally they have facts behind their slander, and usually most attacks are heavy on facts and light on slander. So the behavior surrounding 9-11 is very uncharacteristic. Similarly, the villains of the left gate-keeping community have staunch records of supporting human rights, civil liberties, openness and transparency in government. It is entirely impossible that all such commitments are charades. Rather, it appears that by attacking 9-11 Truth, they are protecting something very precious. But what is is? Their life, a family member, an agenda? We're all aware that the power elite who appear to have been behind 9-11 are also the same cadre pushing for a One World Government. My sense is this; the left realizes that free, sovereign nations run democratically is a wonderful fantasy, but is not the reality and has never been the reality. Given that the US we are taught about in school is not a viable option, what are the options? It would seem there are two: The Military Empire espoused by the Dark Lord Darth Cheney, and the Global Socialism sought by such heavies as Vermont's two senators: Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy. To contend, as many among our ranks do, that the socialist Jedi are on the same team as Cheney is about as unlikely as the official 9-11 fable being true. However, with Obama, it is appearing as though the elite are hoping to bring the two opposing factions together under some sort of fascist-socialist-militarist-internationalist composite. My hunch is that the left is willing to hold its nose while helping to build this New World Order, as a means of preventing the corporate fascists from running off with the entire ball of wax. But their anti-9-11 truth stance is one of pure strategy, and simply masks a more long-term, principled plan, I hope. Once the NWO is in place, the gloves come off and we'll see what kind of country/world we get. I gotta admit, even before 9-11, the US was not a good influence on the planet. Things have to change, and I'm hoping that the truthers and lefties will one day find themselves fighting on the same side. Incidentally, two of the Truth community's most high profile supporters, Daniel Ellsberg and Ray McGovern, are still much beloved by the left establishment. There is hope.


Desperation at its most pitiful.

11.07.2010 11:53

So the Incredible Shrinking Truth Movement can no longer mobilise on the streets, has no new 'evidence' to present and still lacks a single credible voice in its ranks. So instead they are attacking people with common sense and a genuine analysis of what the neocons have been up to. Well that will please their right wing allies. But to everyone else it just looks pathetic.

A handful of keyboard warriors pasting other peoples drivel onto what left of IMC UK just furthers the case that '9/11 truth' is well and truly in its death throes. Not a moment too soon.

Big Lizard

The crack in the matrix

11.07.2010 15:22

"It should be beyond obvious that these smart, influential lefties know the truth movement is right about 9-11, and they've known it all along. They are part of the same massive cover-up and conspiracy of silence we see everywhere we turn." nicely put I wholeheartedly agree. It would seem to me it's about Life and Death. Easy to see that this is the true nature of the game being played. Your material life, your physical life, your family life are the chips on the table and what exactly do you want to stake in the game. It seems that somehow most of our "leaders" including the academics have received some sort of secret doctrine doesn't it? Lest someone forget and a little "anthrax" sent in your mail will surely get your attention eh? They know the rules and refuse to either break them or talk about them. In the end they compromise and agree to exploit humanity for either selfish or self-preservation reasons. They obviously feel superior and confident or just plain scared so that no matter what we may think or feel we will always be manipulated or in some cases eliminated.

My personal feeling is that the economic model exists for the benefit of competing oligarchies only. Most of our individual efforts everyday have very little to do with helping humanity. Now that the economic model has started to fail because there are too many people and not enough jobs for them I fear for our future. The truth is under the current system most of humanity will not be needed and the benefits of the future including increased life expectancy etc will not be shared. I am sure extensive advances in technologies already exist for what a friend of mine calls " a runaway civilization" . The 911truth movement is the crack in the matrix with real potential for waking up significant numbers of people but time is not on our side and few of our leaders outside the movement are not compromised. The internet is our key to survival and is the biggest threat to the powers at hand for the moment. But we can't overestimate it , look what happened to the technology of television.


Oh dear, Tom

12.07.2010 13:08

“The left does not attack 9-11 truth except thru ad hominem slander”

Nope. Just posed a simple question. I repeat: which of the following options do you believe is more plausible?

1. A building collapses for the understandable reason that it was in the midst of the collapse of two of the world’s biggest skyscrapers, was hit by tonnes of rubble, had a third of its façade hit, and was already badly balanced.

2. Thousands of people were involved in a conspiracy that, if ever discovered, would bring down a political party forever; they were willing to kill thousands of their own countrymen and damage a major financial center. They built their plot around planes hitting buildings at a particular height and falling in a particular way – and it was really crucial, for some apparent reason, to ensure a building noone had ever heard of fell as well, even though that wouldn’t really add to the overall effect. And then, after all that, they messed up by failing to concoct one convincing link between the attack and Iraq or Afghanistan, instead implicating a series of Saudi nationals, who should be US allies.

To section 2) you’ve just added “Oh – and they’ve managed to personally blackmail or threaten the families of every one of the tens of thousands of people on the left around the world who might, possibly, at some stage in the future speak out against them. With anthrax or something” Plus a theory about how this was all planned 60 years ago, as part of a deal with the left over Pearl Harbour. (I can’t even begin to address that).

Incidentally, it’s a bit much the troofers trying to claim that their opponents resort only to “ad hominem” attacks, when the standard response from a troofer to polite debunking is to claim the debunker must be an agent of a murderous plot.

Insidejob raises some fairer points, as ever, though again I’d argue that the lack of convictions is more cock-up than conspiracy – you only need to look at the reports on 7/7 to see the number of missed opportunities and mistakes. Associates of the 7/7 bombers have been convicted (see the fertilizer plot). And it’s not as if attempts haven’t been made to put accomplices on trial – but it’s a good sign for British justice that the three accused of carrying out the recce for 7/7 were acquitted.

The Western-centricism of the troofers does grate, incidentally. Hundreds of people are killed in bombings in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere every week (see today’s news about the attacks in Uganda). Now, maybe the troofers think all terrorist attacks in the world are orchestrated by the CIA / Illuminati. Or maybe they only give a toss about ones involving English-speaking Westerners.


Did 9/11 justify the war in Afghanistan?

12.07.2010 21:30

Did 9/11 justify the war in Afghanistan?

Using the McChrystal moment to raise a forbidden question

by Prof. David Ray Griffin, 25 June 2010

There are many questions to ask about the war in Afghanistan. One that has been widely asked is whether it will turn out to be “Obama’s Vietnam.”1 This question implies another: Is this war winnable, or is it destined to be a quagmire, like Vietnam? These questions are motivated in part by the widespread agreement that the Afghan government, under Hamid Karzai, is at least as corrupt and incompetent as the government the United States tried to prop up in South Vietnam for 20 years.

Although there are many similarities between these two wars, there is also a big difference: This time, there is no draft. If there were a draft, so that college students and their friends back home were being sent to Afghanistan, there would be huge demonstrations against this war on campuses all across this country. If the sons and daughters of wealthy and middle-class parents were coming home in boxes, or with permanent injuries or post-traumatic stress syndrome, this war would have surely been stopped long ago. People have often asked: Did we learn any of the “lessons of Vietnam”? The US government learned one: If you’re going to fight unpopular wars, don’t have a draft – hire mercenaries!

There are many other questions that have been, and should be, asked about this war, 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.

However, what can be designated the “McChrystal Moment” – the probably brief period during which the media are again focused on the war in Afghanistan in the wake of the Rolling Stone story about General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, which led to his resignation – provides the best opportunity for some time to raise fundamental questions about this war. Various commentators have already been asking some pretty basic questions: about the effectiveness and affordability of the present “counterinsurgency strategy” and even whether American fighting forces should remain in Afghanistan at all. But I am interested in 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. Did 9/11 Provide Legal Justification for the War in Afghanistan?

Since the founding of the United Nations in 1945, international law with regard to war has been defined by the UN Charter. 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.”2

In 2008, Cohn repeated this argument in an article entitled “Afghanistan: The Other Illegal War.” The point of the title was that, although it was by then widely accepted that the war in Iraq was illegal, the war in Afghanistan, in spite of the fact that many Americans did not realize it, was equally illegal.3 Her argument was based on the following facts:

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

Second, there are two exceptions: One 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.

The other exception occurs when one nation has certain knowledge that an armed attack by another nation is imminent – too imminent to bring the matter to the Security Council. The need for self-defense must be, in the generally accepted phrase, "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 Pentagon did not launch its invasion until almost a month later.

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: “The United Nations Security Council endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks,” so US troops went to Afghanistan “[u]nder the banner of . . . international legitimacy.”4

However, the language of “all necessary steps” is from UN Security Council Resolution 1368, in which the Council, taking note of its own “responsibilities under the Charter," expressed its own readiness “to take all necessary steps to respond to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.”5

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, the only other Security Council resolution about this issue, laid out various responses, but these included matters such as freezing assets, criminalizing the support of terrorists, exchanging police information 
about terrorists, and prosecuting terrorists. The use of military force was not mentioned.6

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

This war has been 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 the “supreme law of the land.”7 The war in Afghanistan, therefore, has from the beginning been in violation of US as well as international law. It could not be more illegal.

II. Did 9/11 Provide Moral Justification for the War in Afghanistan?

The American public has for the most part probably been unaware of the illegality of this war, because this is not something our political leaders or our corporate media have been anxious to point out.8 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, or at least it was in the beginning, 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. Answering 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. . . . [A]fter the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden - we sent our troops into Afghanistan.”9

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

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

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

3. 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 have claimed 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 points in reverse order.

1. Did the United States Attack Afghanistan because the Taliban Refused to Turn Over Bin Laden?

The claim that the Taliban refused to turn over Bin Laden has been repeatedly made by political leaders and our mainstream media.10 Reports from the time, however, show the truth to be very different.

A. 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.”11

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.”12 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 guilt. 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.”13 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.”14 But the evidence shows, as we have seen, that it, like the one in Iraq, is a war of choice.

B. 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. At least part of the background to this decision was the United States’ long-time support for UNOCAL’s proposed pipeline, which would transport oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea region to the Indian Ocean through Afghanistan and Pakistan.15 This project had been stymied through the 1990s because of the civil war that had been going on in Afghanistan since the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.

In the mid-1990s, the US government had supported the Taliban with the hope that its military strength would enable it to unify the country and provide a stable government, which could protect the pipeline. By the late 1990s, however, the Clinton administration had given up on the Taliban.16

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: “Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.”17

After the Taliban refused this offer, US officials told a former Pakistani foreign secretary that “military action against Afghanistan would go ahead . . . before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.”18 And, indeed, given the fact that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon occurred when they did, 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. Has Good Evidence of Bin Laden’s Responsibility Been Provided?

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

A. 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.”19 But at a joint press conference with President Bush the next morning, Powell withdrew this pledge, saying that “most of [the evidence] is classified.”20 Seymour Hersh, citing officials from both the CIA and the Department of Justice, said the real reason why Powell withdrew the pledge was a “lack of solid information.”21

B. The British Government

The following week, British Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a document to show 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.”22 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.”23

C. The FBI

What about our own FBI? Its “Most Wanted Terrorist” webpage on “Usama bin Laden” does not list 9/11 as one of the terrorist acts for which he is wanted.24 When asked why not, the FBI’s chief of investigative publicity replied: “because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”25

D. The 9/11 Commission

What about the 9/11 Commission? Its entire report is based on the assumption that bin Laden was behind the attacks. However, the report’s evidence to support this premise has been disowned by the Commission’s own co-chairs, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton.

This evidence 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 simply as “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.26

In 2006, Kean and Hamilton wrote a book giving “the inside story of the 9/11 Commission,” in which they called this information untrustworthy. They had no success, they reported, in “obtaining access to star witnesses in custody . . . , most notably Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.”27 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.28 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?”29

They could not.

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

E. Did Bin Laden Confess?

Some people argue, to be sure, that such evidence soon became unnecessary because bin Laden admitted his responsibility in a videotape that was discovered by the US military in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in November 2001. But besides the fact that bin Laden had previously denied his involvement many times,30 bin Laden experts have called this later video a fake,31 and for good reasons. Many of the physical features of the man in this video are different from those of Osama bin Laden (as seen in undoubtedly authentic videos), and he said many things that bin Laden himself would not have said.32

The FBI, in any case, evidently does not believe that this video provides hard evidence of bin Laden’s responsibility for 9/11, or it would have revised its “Most Wanted Terrorist” page on him after this video surfaced.

So, to review the first two points: The Taliban said it would turn over bin Laden if our government would give it good evidence of his responsibility for 9/11, but our government refused. And good evidence of this responsibility has never been given to the public.

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. I will divide the discussion of this third claim into two sections: Section 3a looks at the main support for this claim: evidence that Muslim hijackers were on the airliners. Section 3b looks at the strongest evidence against this claim: the collapse of World Trade Center 7.

3a. Evidence Al-Qaeda Muslims Were on the Airliners

It is still widely thought to have been established beyond question that the attacks were carried out by members of al-Qaeda. The truth, however, is that the evidence entirely falls apart upon examination, and this fact suggests that 9/11 was instead a false-flag attack - an attack that people within our own government orchestrated while planting evidence to implicate Muslims.

A. Devout Muslims?

Let us begin with the 9/11 Commission’s claim that the men who (allegedly) took over the planes were devout Muslims, ready to sacrifice their lives for their cause.

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 then 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.”33

The contradiction is especially strong with regard to Mohamed Atta. On the one hand, according to the 9/11 Commission, he was very religious, even “fanatically so.”34 This characterization was supported by Professor Dittmar Machule, who was Atta’s thesis supervisor at a technical university in Hamburg in the 1990s. Professor Machule says he knew his student only as Mohamed Al-Emir – although his full name was the same as his father’s: Mohamed Al-Emir Atta. In any case, Machule says that this young man was “very religious,” prayed regularly, and never touched alcohol.35

According to the American press, on the other hand, Mohamed Atta drank heavily and, one night after downing five glasses of Vodka, shouted an Arabic word that, Newsweek said, “roughly translates as ‘F--k God.’”36 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, she reported, he came back and disemboweled her cat and dismembered its kittens.37

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”?38 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”?39

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.40 Also, his professor described him as “very small,” being “one meter sixty-two” in height41 – which means slightly under 5’4” – whereas the American Atta has been described as 5’8” and even 5’10” tall.42

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.”43

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.44 Moreover, there were clearly two men going by the name Ziad Jarrah – the name of the alleged hijacker pilot of United Flight 93.45

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, there is no good evidence that these men were even on the planes - all the evidence for this claim falls apart upon examination. I will illustrate this point with a few examples.46

B. Passports at the Crash Sites

One of the purported proofs that the 19 men identified as the hijackers were on the planes was the reported discovery of some of their passports at crash sites. But the reports of these discoveries are not 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 hijackers on American Flight 11, which had crashed into the North Tower.47 But for this to be true, the passport would have had to survive the collapse of the North Tower, which evidently pulverized almost everything in the building into fine particles of dust – except the steel and al-Suqami’s passport.

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.”48 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.”49 So, rather than needing to survive the collapse 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.

This version was no less ridiculous than the first one, and the other stories about passports at crash sites are equally absurd.

C. Reported Phone Calls from the Airliners

It is widely believed, of course, that we know that there were hijackers on the airliners, thanks to numerous phone calls from passengers and crew members, in which they reported the hijackings. But we have good reasons to believe that these calls never occurred.

Reported Calls from Cell Phones: About 15 of the reported calls from the airliners were said to have been made on cell phones, with about 10 of those being from United Flight 93 – the one that reportedly crashed in Pennsylvania. Three or four of those calls were received by Deena Burnett, who knew that her husband, Tom Burnett, had used his cell phone, she told the FBI, because she recognized his cell phone number on her Caller ID.

However, given the cell phone technology available in 2001, high-altitude cell phone calls from airliners were not possible. They were generally not possible much above 1,000 feet, and were certainly impossible above 35,000 or even 40,000 feet, which was the altitude of the planes when most of the cell phone calls were supposedly made. Articles describing the impossibility of the calls were published in 2003 and 2004 by two well-known Canadians: A. K. Dewdney, formerly a columnist for Scientific American, and economist Michel Chossudovsky.50

Perhaps in response, the FBI changed the story. In 2006, it presented a report on the phone calls from the planes for the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker. In its report on United Flight 93, it said that cell phones were used for only two of the calls, both of which were made the plane, shortly before it crashed, had descended to a low altitude.51 These two calls were, in fact, the only two cell phone calls made from any of the airliners, the FBI report said.52 The FBI thereby avoided claiming that any high-altitude cell phone calls had been made.

But if the FBI’s new account is true, how do we explain that so many people reported receiving cell phone calls? Most of these people said that they had been told by the caller that he or she was using a cell phone, so we might suppose that their reports were based on bad hearing or faulty memory. But what about Deena Burnett, whose statement that she recognized her husband’s cell phone number on her Caller ID was made to the FBI that very day?53 If Tom Burnett used a seat-back phone, as the FBI’s 2006 report says, why did his cell phone number show up on his wife’s Caller ID? The FBI has not answered this question.

The only possible explanation seems to be that these calls were faked. Perhaps someone used voice morphing technology, which already existed at that time,54 in combination with a device for providing a fake Caller ID, which can be ordered on the Internet. Or perhaps someone used Tom’s cell phone to place fake calls from the ground. In either case, Tom Burnett did not actually call his wife from aboard United Flight 93. And if calls to Deena Burnett were faked, we must assume that all of the calls were – because if there had really been surprise hijackings, no one would have been prepared to make fake phone calls to her.

The Reported Calls from Barbara Olson: This conclusion is reinforced by the FBI’s report on phone calls from American Flight 77 – the one that supposedly struck the Pentagon. Ted Olson, the US Solicitor General, reported that his wife, Barbara Olson (a well-known commentator on CNN), had called him twice from this flight, with the first call lasting “about one (1) minute,”55 and the second call lasting “two or three or four minutes.”56 In these calls, he said, she reported that the plane had been taken over by hijackers armed with knives and box-cutters.

But how could she have made these calls? The plane was far too high for a cell phone to work. And American Flight 77 was a Boeing 757, and the 757s made for American Airlines – the 9/11 Truth Movement learned in 2005 – did not have onboard phones.57 Whether or not for this reason, the FBI’s report to the Moussaoui trial did not endorse Ted Olson’s story. Its report on telephone calls from American Flight 77 did mention Barbara Olson, but it attributed only one call to her, not two, and it said that this call was “unconnected,” so that it lasted “0 seconds.”58

This FBI report allows only two possibilities: Either Ted Olson engaged in deception, or he, like Deena Burnett, was duped by faked calls. In either case, the story about Barbara Olson’s calls, with their reports of hijackers taking over Flight 77, was based on deception.

The alleged phone calls, therefore, do not provide trustworthy evidence that there were hijackers on the planes.

D. Autopsy Reports and Flight Manifests

The public has widely assumed, due to misleading claims,59 that the names of the alleged hijackers were on the flight manifests for the four flights, and also that the autopsy report from the Pentagon contained the names of the hijackers said to have been on American Flight 77. However, the passenger manifests for the four airliners did not contain the names of any of the alleged hijackers and, moreover, they contained no Arab names whatsoever.60 Also, as a psychiatrist who was able to obtain a copy of the Pentagon autopsy report through a FOIA request discovered, it contained none of the names of the hijackers for American Flight 77 and, in fact, no Arab names whatsoever.61

E. Failure to Squawk the Hijack Code

Finally, 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. None of the eight pilots did this on 9/11, even though there would have been plenty of time: This act takes only two or three seconds and it would have taken longer than this for hijackers to break into the pilots’ cabins: According to official account of United Flight 93, for example, it took over 30 seconds for the hijackers to break into the cockpit.62

F. False-Flag Attack

It appears, therefore, that 9/11 was the most elaborate example yet of a false-flag attack, which occurs when countries, wanting to attack other countries, orchestrate attacks on their own people while planting evidence to implicate those other countries. 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.63 This proposal was not put into effect because it was vetoed by President Kennedy. But in 2001, the White House was occupied by an administration that wanted to attack Afghanistan, Iraq, and several other predominantly Muslim countries,64 and so, it appears, evidence was planted to implicate Muslims.

3b. How the Collapse of WTC 7 Disproves the Al-Qaeda Theory

I turn now to the strongest evidence that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by insiders rather than foreign terrorists: the collapse of Building 7 of the World Trade Center, which is the subject of my most recent book, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 Is Unscientific and False.65

A. Mysterious Collapse

I speak of the “mysterious collapse” because the collapse of this building was, from the very beginning, seen as more mysterious than that of the Twin Towers. Given the fact that those two buildings were hit by planes, which started big fires, most people evidently thought – if wrongly - that the fact that these buildings came down was not problematic. But Building 7 was not hit by a plane, and yet it came down at 5:21 that afternoon.

This would mean, assuming that neither incendiaries nor explosives were used to demolish this building, that it had been brought down by fire alone, and this would have been an unprecedented occurrence. New York Times writer James Glanz wrote, “experts said no building like it, a modern, steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever collapsed because of an uncontrolled fire.” Glanz then quoted a structural engineer as saying: “[W]ithin the structural engineering community, [Building 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?”66

Moreover, although Glanz spoke of an “uncontrolled fire,” there were significant fires on only six of this building’s 47 floors, and these fires were visible at most for three to four hours, and yet fires have burned in other steel-frame skyscrapers for 17 and 18 hours, turning them into towering infernos without causing collapse.67 So why did Building 7 come down? FEMA, which in 2002 put out the first official report on this building, admitted that its “best hypothesis” had “only a low probability of occurrence.”68

B. Reasons to Suspect Explosives

By its “best hypothesis,” FEMA meant the best hypothesis it could suggest consistent with the fact that it, as a government agency, could not posit the use of incendiaries and explosives. Why might anyone think that incendiaries and explosives brought this building down?

Precedent: One reason is simply that, prior to 9/11, every collapse of a steel-frame high-rise building was brought about by explosives, often in conjunction with incendiaries, in the procedure known as “controlled demolition.” Collapse has never been produced by fires, earthquakes, or any other cause other than controlled demolition.

Vertical Collapse: Another reason to posit controlled demolition is that this building came straight down, collapsing into its own footprint. For this to happen, all of this building’s 82 steel columns had to fail simultaneously. This is what happens in the type of controlled demolition known as “implosion.” It is not something that can be caused by fires.

Simply seeing a video of the building coming down makes it obvious to anyone with knowledge of these things that explosives were used to bring it down. On 9/11 itself, CBS News anchor Dan Rather 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.”69

In 2006, a filmmaker asked Danny Jowenko, the owner of a controlled demolition company in the Netherlands, to comment on a video of the collapse of Building 7 without telling him what it was. (Jowenko had never heard 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.”70

An organization called “Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth,” which was formed in 2007, now has over 1,200 members. Many of them, as one can see by reading their statements, joined after they saw a video of Building 7’s collapse.71

In light of all of these considerations, a truly scientific investigation, which sought the truth about Building 7, would have begun with the hypothesis that it had been deliberately demolished.

C. NIST’s Report as Political, Not Scientific

However, this hypothesis did not provide the starting point for NIST – the National Institute of Standards and Technology – which took over from FEMA the responsibility for writing the official report on the destruction of the World Trade Center. Rather, NIST said:

“The challenge was to determine if a fire-induced floor system failure could occur in WTC 7 under an ordinary building contents fire.”72

So, although every other steel-frame building that has collapsed did so because explosives (perhaps along with incendiaries) were used to destroy its support columns, NIST said, in effect: “We think fire brought down WTC 7.” To understand why NIST started with this hypothesis, it helps to know that it is an agency of the Commerce Department, which means that all the years it was working on its World Trade Center reports, it was an agency of the Bush-Cheney administration.

Also, a scientist who had worked for NIST reported that by 2001 it had been “fully hijacked from the scientific into the political realm,” so that scientists working there had “lost [their] scientific independence, and became little more than ‘hired guns.’”73

One manifestation of NIST’s political nature may be the fact that it delayed its report on Building 7 year after year, releasing it only late in 2008, when the Bush-Cheney administration was preparing to leave office.

Be that as it may, NIST did in August of 2008 finally put out a report in the form of a draft for public comment. Announcing this draft report at a press conference, Shyam Sunder, NIST’s lead investigator, 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.”74

Sunder added that “science is really behind what we have said.”75

However, far from being supported by good science, NIST’s report repeatedly makes its case by resorting to scientific fraud. Two of the major types of scientific fraud, as defined by the National Science Foundation, are fabrication, which is “making up results,” and falsification, which means either “changing or omitting data.”76 I will begin with falsification.

D. NIST’S Falsification of Testimonial Evidence Pointing to Explosives

Claiming that it “found no evidence of a . . . controlled demolition event,”77 NIST simply omitted or distorted all such evidence, some of which was testimonial.

Two city officials, Barry Jennings of the Housing Authority and Michael Hess, the city’s corporation counsel, reported that they became trapped by a massive explosion in Building 7 shortly after they arrived there at 9:00 AM. NIST, however, claimed that what they called an explosion was really just the impact of debris from the collapse of the North Tower, which did not occur until 10:28. But Jennings explicitly said that they were trapped before either of the Twin Towers came down, which means that the explosion that he and Hess reported occurred before 9:59, when the South Tower came down. NIST rather obviously, therefore, distorted these men’s testimonial evidence.

Other people reported that explosions went off in the late afternoon, when the building started to come 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.”78

NIST dealt with such testimonies by simply ignoring them.

E. NIST’s Omission of Physical Evidence for Explosives

NIST also ignored a lot of physical evidence that Building 7 was brought down by explosives.

Swiss-Cheese Steel: For example, three professors from Worcester Polytechnic Institute discovered a piece of steel from Building 7 that had melted so severely that it had holes in it, making it look like Swiss cheese.79 The New York Times, pointing out that the fires in the building could not have been hot enough to melt steel, called this “the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”80 The three professors, in a report included as an appendix to the 2002 FEMA report, said: “A detailed study into the mechanisms of this phenomenon is needed.”81

When NIST’s report on Building 7 appeared, however, it did not mention this mysterious piece of steel. It even claimed that no recovered steel from this building had been identified.82 And this was just the beginning of NIST’s omission of physical evidence.

Particles of Metal in the Dust: The nearby Deutsche Bank building was heavily contaminated by dust produced when the World Trade Center was destroyed. But the bank’s insurance company refused to pay for the clean-up, claiming that the dust in the bank was ordinary building dust, not dust that resulted from the destruction of the WTC. So Deutsche Bank hired the RJ Lee Group, a scientific research organization, to do a study, which showed that the dust in this building was WTC dust, with a unique chemical signature. Part of this signature was “[s]pherical iron . . . particles,”83 and this meant, the RJ Lee Group said, that iron had “melted during the WTC Event, producing spherical metallic particles.”84

Iron does not melt until it reaches 2,800°F (1,538°C), which is about 1,000 degrees F (540 degrees C) higher than the fires could have been. The RJ Lee study also found that temperatures had been reached “at which lead would have undergone vaporization”85 – meaning 3,180°F (1,749°C).86

Another study was carried out by scientists at the US Geological Survey. Besides also finding iron particles, these scientists found that molybdenum had been melted87 – even though its melting point is extremely high: 4,753°F (2,623°C).88

These two studies proved, therefore, that something had produced temperatures many times higher than the fires could have produced. NIST, however, made no mention of these studies. But even this was not the end of the physical evidence omitted by NIST.

Nanothermite Residue: A report by several scientists, including University of Copenhagen chemist Niels Harrit, showed that the WTC dust contained unreacted nanothermite. Whereas ordinary thermite is an incendiary, nanothermite is a high explosive. This report by Harrit and his colleagues did not appear until 2009,89 several months after the publication of NIST’s final report in November 2008. But NIST should have, as a matter of routine, tested the WTC dust for signs of incendiaries, such as ordinary thermite, and explosives, such as nanothermite.

When asked whether it did, however, NIST said that it did not. When a reporter asked Michael Newman, a NIST spokesman, why not, Newman replied: “[B]ecause there was no evidence of that.” “But,” asked the reporter, “how 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.”90

F. NIST’s Fabrication of Evidence to Support Its Own Theory

Besides omitting and distorting evidence to deny the demolition theory of Building 7’s collapse, NIST also fabricated evidence – simply made it up – to support its own theory.

No Girder Shear Studs: NIST’s explanation as to how fire caused Building 7 to collapse starts with thermal expansion, meaning that the fire heated up the steel, thereby causing it to expand. An expanding steel beam on the 13th floor, NIST claimed, caused a steel girder attached to a column to break loose. Having lost its support, this column failed, starting a chain reaction in which the other 81 columns failed, causing a progressive collapse.91 Ignoring the question of whether this is even remotely plausible, let us simply ask: Why did that girder fail? Because, NIST claimed, it was not connected to the floor slab with sheer studs. NIST wrote: In WTC 7, no studs were installed on the girders.92 Floor beams . . . had shear studs, but the girders that supported the floor beams did not have shear studs.93 This was a fabrication, as we can see by looking at NIST’s Interim Report on WTC 7, which it had published in 2004. That report, written before NIST had developed its girder-failure theory, stated that girders as well as the beams had been attached to the floor by means of shear studs.94

A Raging Fire on Floor 12 at 5:00 PM: Another case of fabrication is a graphic in NIST’s report showing that at 5:00 PM, there were very big fires covering much of the north face of Floor 12.95 This claim is essential to NIST’s explanation as to why the building collapsed 21 minutes later. However, if you look back at NIST’s 2004 report, you will find this statement:

“Around 4:45 PM, a photograph showed fires on Floors 7, 8, 9, and 11 near the middle of the north face; Floor 12 was burned out by this time.”96

Other photographs even show that the 12th floor fire had virtually burned out by 4:00. And yet NIST, in its final report, claims that fires were still raging on this floor at 5:00 PM.

G. NIST’s Affirmation of a Miracle

In addition to omitting, falsifying, and fabricating evidence, NIST affirms a miracle. You have perhaps seen the cartoon in which a physics professor has written a proof on a chalkboard. Most of the steps consist of mathematical equations, but one of them simply says: “Then a miracle happens.” This is humorous because one thing you absolutely cannot do in science is to appeal to a miracle, even implicitly. And yet that is what NIST does. I will explain:

NIST’S Denial of Free Fall: Members of the 9/11 Truth Movement had long been pointing out that Building 7 came down at the same rate as a free-falling object, at least virtually so.

In NIST’s Draft for Public Comment, put out in August 2008, it denied this, saying 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.”97

As this statement implies, any assertion that the building did come down in free fall would not be consistent with physical principles – meaning the laws of physics. Explaining why not, Shyam Sunder said:

“[A] free fall time would be [the fall time of] an object that has no structural components below it. . . . [T]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.”98

In saying this, Sunder was presupposing NIST’s rejection of controlled demolition – which could have produced a free-fall collapse by causing all 82 columns to fail simultaneously – in favor of NIST’s fire theory, which necessitated a theory of progressive collapse.

Chandler’s Challenge: In response, high-school physics teacher David Chandler challenged Sunder’s denial of free fall, pointing out that Sunder’s “40 percent longer” claim contradicted “a publicly visible, easily measurable quantity.”99 Chandler then placed a video on the Internet showing that, by measuring this publicly visible quantity, anyone knowing elementary physics could see that “for about two and a half seconds. . . , the acceleration of the building is indistinguishable from freefall.”100

NIST Admits Free Fall: Amazingly, in NIST’s final report, which came out in November, it 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].”101 (“Gravitational acceleration” is a synonym for free fall acceleration.)

So, after presenting over 600 pages of descriptions, graphs, testimonies, photographs, charts, analyses, explanations, and mathematical formulae, NIST says, in effect: “Then a miracle happens.”

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.”102 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. If everything had not been removed and the upper floors had come down in free fall anyway, even for only a second or two, a miracle – meaning a violation of the laws of physics - would have happened.

That was what Sunder himself had explained the previous August, saying that a free-falling object would be one “that has no structural components below it” to offer resistance.

But then in November, while still defending the fire theory of collapse, NIST admitted 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).”103

Knowing that it had thereby affirmed a miracle, NIST no longer claimed that its analysis was consistent with the laws of physics. In its August draft, in which it had said that the collapse occurred 40 percent slower than free fall, NIST had said three times that its analysis was “consistent with physical principles.”104 In the final report, however, every instance of this phrase was removed. NIST thereby almost explicitly admitted that its report on WTC 7, by admitting free fall while continuing to deny that explosives were used, is not consistent with the principles of physics.

Conclusion about WTC 7: The science of World Trade Center 7 is, therefore, settled. This fact is reflected in the agreement by many hundreds of professionals with various forms of expertise – architects, engineers, firefighters, physicists, and chemists – that this building was deliberately demolished.

This truth has also recently been recognized by a symposium in one of our leading social science journals, which treats 9/11 as an example of what its authors call State Crimes Against Democracy (SCADs).105 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, these authors also criticize the academy for its failure to protest when “Professor Steven Jones found himself forced out of tenured position for merely reminding the world that physical laws, about which there is no dissent whatsoever, contradict the official theory.”106

And now the world can see, if it will only look, that even NIST, in its final report, did not dissent: By admitting that Building 7 came down in free fall for over two seconds, while simultaneously removing its previous claim that its report was consistent with physical principles, NIST implicitly admitted that the laws of physics rule out its non-demolition theory of this building’s collapse. NIST thereby implicitly admitted that explosives were used.

H. Implications for the Al-Qaeda Theory of 9/11

And with that implicit admission, NIST undermined the al-Qaeda theory of 9/11. Why?

For one thing, the straight-down nature of the collapse of WTC 7 means that it was subjected to the type of controlled demolition known as “implosion,” which is, in the words of a controlled demolition website, “by far the trickiest type of explosive project,” which “only a handful of blasting companies in the world . . . possess enough experience . . . to perform.”107 Al-Qaeda terrorists would not have had this kind of expertise.

Second, the only reason to go to the trouble of bringing a building straight down is to avoid damaging nearby buildings. Had WTC 7 and the Twin Towers – which also came straight down, after initial explosions at the top that ejected sections of steel outward several hundred feet108 - instead toppled over sideways, they would have caused massive destruction in Lower Manhattan, destroying dozens of other buildings and killing tens of thousands of people. Does anyone believe that, even if al-Qaeda operatives had had the expertise to make the buildings come straight down, they would have had the courtesy?

A third problem is that foreign terrorists could not have obtained access to the buildings for all the hours it would have taken to plant explosives. Only insiders could have done this.109

The science of the collapse of World Trade Center 7, accordingly, disproves the claim - which from the outset has been used to justify the war in Afghanistan – that America was attacked on 9/11 by al-Qaeda Muslims. It suggests, instead, that 9/11 was a false-flag operation to provide a pretext to attack Muslim nations.


In any case, the official rationale for our presence in Afghanistan is a lie. We are there for other reasons. Critics have offered various suggestions as to the most important of those reasons.110 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, therefore, the war in Afghanistan has never been morally justified.

This war, moreover, is 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/occupation of Afghanistan has resulted in a huge number of Afghan casualties, with estimates running from several hundred thousand to several million.111 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 country that 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.112

But there is a way out. As I have shown in this paper and even more completely elsewhere,113 the falsity of the official account of WTC 7 has now been demonstrated, leaving no room for reasonable doubt. In his inaugural address, President Obama said, “We will restore science to its rightful place,”114 thereby pledging that in his administration, unlike that of his predecessor, science would again be allowed to play a determinative role in shaping public policy. By changing his administration’s policy with regard to Afghanistan in light of the science of WTC 7, the president would not only fulfill one of his most important promises. He would also prevent the war in Afghanistan from becoming known as “Obama’s Vietnam.”115


* David Ray Griffin is the author of 36 books on various topics, including philosophy, theology, philosophy of science, and 9/11. His 2008 book, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé, was named a “Pick of the Week” by Publishers Weekly. In September 2009, The New Statesman ranked him #41 among “The 50 People Who Matter Today.” His most recent book is The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 is Unscientific and False (2009). His next book will be Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (September 2010). He wishes to thank Tod Fletcher, Jim Hoffman, and Elizabeth Woodworth for help with this essay.



1 For a few of the many times this issue has been raised, see Jeffrey T. Kuhner, “Obama's Vietnam?” Washington Times, January 25, 2009 (; Juan Cole, “Obama’s Vietnam?”, January 26, 2009 (; John Barry and Evan Thomas, “Afghanistan: Obama’s Vietnam,” Newsweek, January 31, 2009 (

2 Marjorie Cohn, “Bombing of Afghanistan Is Illegal and Must Be Stopped,” Jurist, November 6, 2001 (

3 Marjorie Cohn, “Afghanistan: The Other Illegal War,” AlterNet, August 1, 2008 (

4 President Barack Obama, “The Way Forward 
in Afghanistan and Pakistan,
” Remarks at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, December 1, 2009


5 “Security Council Condemns, ‘In Strongest Terms,’ Terrorist Attacks on United States,” September 12, 2001 (

6 Brian J. Foley "Legal Analysis: U.S. Campaign Against Afghanistan Not Self-Defense Under International Law," Lawyers Against the War (

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 See Richard Falk and Howard Friel, The Record of the Paper: How the New York Times Misreports US Foreign Policy (London: Verso, 2007).

9 Obama, “The Way Forward 
in Afghanistan and Pakistan

10 For example, Robert H. Reid, writing for the Associated Press (“August Deadliest Month for US in Afghanistan,” Associated Press, August 29, 2009 []), said 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.”

11 “White House Warns Taliban: ‘We Will Defeat You,’” CNN, September 21, 2001 (

12 David B. Ottaway and Joe Stephens, “Diplomats Met with Taliban on Bin Laden,” Washington Post, October 29, 2001 (

13 “Bush Rejects Taliban Offer to Hand Bin Laden Over,” Guardian, October 14, 2001 (

14 Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “Obama Defends Strategy in Afghanistan,” New York Times, August 18, 2009 (

15 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).

16 Rashid, Taliban, 75-79, 163, 175.

17 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), 43.

18 George Arney, “U.S. ‘Planned Attack on Taleban,’” BBC News, September 18, 2001 (

19 “Meet the Press,” NBC, September 23, 2001 (

20 “Remarks by the President, Secretary of the Treasury O'Neill and Secretary of State Powell on Executive Order,” White House, September 24, 2001 (

21 Seymour M. Hersh, “What Went Wrong: The C.I.A. and the Failure of American Intelligence,” New Yorker, October 1, 2001 (

22 Office of the Prime Minister, “Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States,” BBC News, October 4, 2001 (

23 “The Investigation and the Evidence,” BBC News, October 5, 2001 (

24 Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Most Wanted Terrorists: Usama bin Laden” (

25 Ed Haas, “FBI says, ‘No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11’” Muckraker Report, June 6, 2006 ( For more on this episode, see David Ray Griffin, 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press (Northampton: Olive Branch [Interlink], 2008), Chap. 18.

26 See 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), Chap. 5, notes 16, 41, and 92.

27 Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, with Benjamin Rhodes, Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006), 118.

28 Ibid., 122-24.

29 Ibid., 119.

30 David Ray Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (Northampton: Olive Branch [Interlink Books], 2009), 27-29.

31 Professor Bruce Lawrence interviewed by Kevin Barrett, February 16, 2007 (

32 Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? 16, 29-33.

33 Kevin Fagan, “Agents of Terror Leave Their Mark on Sin City,” San Francisco Chronicle, October 4, 2001 (

34 The 9/11 Commission Report, 160.

35 “Professor Dittmar Machule,” Interviewed by Liz Jackson, A Mission to Die For, Four Corners, October 18, 2001 (

36 Evan Thomas and Mark Hosenball, “Bush: ‘We’re at War,” Newsweek, September 24, 2001 (

37 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 ( 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 efforts to try to discredit Keller’s account by intimidating her into recanting and by claiming that she lived with a different man having the same first name, but these attempts failed.

38 “Professor Dittmar Machule.”

39 Kate Connolly, “Father Insists Alleged Leader Is Still Alive,” Guardian, September 2, 2002 (

40 “Photographs Taken of Mohamed Atta during His University Years,” A Mission to Die For, Four Corners ( 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 (

41 “Professor Dittmar Machule.”

42 Thomas Tobin, “Florida: Terror’s Launching Pad,” St. Petersburg Times, September 1, 2002 (; Elaine Allen-Emrich, “Hurt for Terrorists Reaches North Port,” Charlotte Sun-Herald, September 14, 2001 (available at

43 Connolly, “Father Insists Alleged Leader Is Still Alive.”

44 David Bamford, “Hijack ‘Suspect’ Alive in Morocco,” BBC, September 22, 2001 ( Although some news organizations, including the BBC itself, later tried to debunk this story, they failed, as I reported in The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2008), 151-53.

45 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 (

46 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.”

47 “Ashcroft Says More Attacks May Be Planned,” CNN, September 18, 2001 (; “Terrorist Hunt,” ABC News, September 12, 2001 (

48 Anne Karpf, “Uncle Sam’s Lucky Finds,” Guardian, March 19, 2002 (,11209,669961,00.html). Like some others, this article mistakenly said the passport belonged to Mohamed Atta.

49 Statement by Susan Ginsburg, senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, at the 9/11 Commission Hearing, January 26, 2004 ( The Commission’s account reflected a CBS report that the passport had been found “minutes after” the attack, which had been stated by the Associated Press, January 27, 2003.

50 A. K. Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93,” Physics 911, June 9, 2003 (; Michel Chossudovsky, “More Holes in the Official Story: The 9/11 Cell Phone Calls,” Global Research, August 10, 2004 ( For discussion of this issue, see Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 112-14.

51 Greg Gordon, “Prosecutors Play Flight 93 Cockpit Recording,” McClatchy Newspapers,, April 12, 2006 (

52 United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Exhibit Number P200054 ( These documents can be viewed more easily in “Detailed Account of Phone Calls from September 11th Flights” (

53 “Interview with Deena Lynne Burnett (re: phone call from hijacked flight),” 9/11 Commission, FBI Source Documents, Chronological, September 11, 2001,, March 14, 2008 (

54 William M. Arkin, “When Seeing and Hearing Isn't Believing,” Washington Post, February 1, 1999 ( For discussion, see Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 114-18.

55 FBI, “Interview with Theodore Olsen [sic],” 9/11 Commission, FBI Source Documents, Chronological, September 11,, March 14, 2008, (

56 “America’s New War: Recovering from Tragedy,” Larry King Live, CNN, September 14, 2001 (

57 See 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 (

58 See the graphic in Jim Hoffman’s “Detailed Account of Telephone Calls from September 11th Flights,” Flight 77 (

59 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. On claims about hijacker names 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, and my discussion of its claim in David Ray Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch [Interlink Books], 2007], 267-69.

60 See Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 163, 174-75.

61 Thomas R. Olmsted, M.D. “Still No Arabs on Flight 77,”, June 23, 2003 (

62 See The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 275-79.

63 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.”

64 General Wesley Clark, Winning Modern Wars: Iraq, Terrorism, and the American Empire (New York: Public Affairs, 2003), 120, 130; “Gen. Wesley Clark Weights Presidential Bid: ‘I Think about It Everyday,’” Democracy Now! March 2, 2007 (; Joe Conason, “Seven Countries in Five Years,”, October 12, 2007 (; Gareth Porter, “Yes, the Pentagon Did Want to Hit Iran,” Asia Times, May 7, 2008 (

65 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 [Interlink Books], 2009).

66 James Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center: Diesel Fuel,” New York Times, November 29, 2001 (

67 See FEMA, “High-Rise Office Building Fire, One Meridian Plaza, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania” (, and “Fire Practically Destroys Venezuela’s Tallest Building,” Venezuela News, Views, and Analysis, October 18, 2004 (

68 See FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study (, Chap. 5, Sect. 6.2, “Probable Collapse Sequence,” at p. 31.

69 Rather’s statement is available on YouTube (

70 See “Danny Jowenko on WTC 7 Controlled Demolition,” YouTube (, or, for more of the interview, “Jowenko WTC 7 Demolition Interviews,” in three parts (

71 Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (

72 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, November 2008, Vol. 1 (, 330.

73 “NIST Whistleblower,” October 1, 2007 (

74 Shyam Sunder, “Opening Statement,” NIST Press Briefing, August 21, 2008 (

75 Quoted in “Report: Fire, Not Bombs, Leveled WTC 7 Building,” USA Today, August 21, 2008 (

76 New Research Misconduct Policies, section headed “What is Research Misconduct?” National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General ( This document is undated, but internal evidence suggests that it was published in 2001.

77 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 1: 324.

78 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.

79 Joan Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” WPI Transformations, Spring 2002 (

80 James Glanz and Eric Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse,” New York Times, February 2, 2002 (

81 Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and Richard D. Sisson, Jr., “Limited Metallurgical Examination,” FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, May 2002, Appendix C (, C-13.

82 “Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” NIST, August 21, 2008, updated April 21, 2009). NIST has removed both versions of this document from its website, but Jim Hoffman’s website has preserved both the original (2008) version ( and the updated (2009) version (

83 RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature,” Expert Report, May 2004 (, 11.

84 RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology,” December 2003 (, 17. This earlier (2003) version of the RJ Lee report contained much more information about melted iron than the 2004 version. For discussion, see Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse, 40-42.

85 RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study” (2003), 21.

86 WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web (

87 Steven E. Jones et al., "Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction," Journal of 9/11 Studies, January 2008 (, 4-5.

88 WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web (

89 Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley, and Bradley R. Larsen, “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, 2: 7-31 (

90 Jennifer Abel, “Theories of 9/11,” Hartford Advocate, January 29, 2008 (

91 See The Mysterious Collapse, 150-55.

92 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 1: 346.

93 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, November 2008, Vol. 2 (, 462.

94 For documentation and discussion of NIST’s claim about the lack of girder shear studs, see Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse, 212-15.

95 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 2: 384, Figure 9-11.

96 Interim Report on WTC 7, NIST, June 2004 (, L-26. This contradiction is pointed out in a video, “NIST Report on WTC7 Debunked and Exposed!” YouTube, December 28, 2008 (, at 0:45 to 1:57.

97 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Draft for Public Comment, Vol. 2 (, 595.

98 “WTC 7 Technical Briefing” (video), NIST, August 26, 2008, at 1:03. NIST has removed this video and the accompanying transcript from the Internet. However, Nate Flach has made the video available at Vimeo (, and the transcript, entitled “NIST Technical Briefing on Its Final Draft Report on WTC 7 for Public Comment,” is available at David Chandler’s website (

99 Ibid., at 1:01:45.

100 David Chandler, “WTC7 in Freefall - No Longer Controversial,” September 4, 2008 (, at 2:45.

101 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 2: 607.

102 Chandler, “WTC7 in Freefall – No Longer Controversial,” at 3:27.

103 “Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation.”

104 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Draft for Public Comment, Vol. 2: 595-96, 596, 610.

105 Symposium on State Crimes Against Democracy, American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 783-939 (

106 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 (, at 935.

107 “The Myth of Implosion” (

108 See Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 30-31.

109 As to how domestic terrorists could have gotten access, an answer becomes possible if we are aware that Larry Silverstein, who owned Building 7 and had recently taken out a lease on the rest of the World Trade Center, stood to make several billion dollars if it was destroyed in a terrorist attack, and that a brother and cousin of George W. Bush were principals of a company that handled security for the World Trade Center (Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, 111).

110 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” (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 (

111 Dr. Gideon Polya, author of Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality Since 1950, has estimated that there over four million Afghanis have died since the 2001 than would have died without the invasion; see “January 2010 – 4.5 Million Dead in Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide,” January 2, 2010, Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide (

112 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 (

113 See The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7, and, more recently, “Building What? How SCADs Can Be Hidden in Plain Sight,”, May 27, 2010 (

114 “Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address,” New York Times, January 20, 2009 (

115 I wish to thank Tod Fletcher and Elizabeth Woodworth for considerable help with this essay.


David Ray Griffin
- Homepage:

Tip: making articles extremely long doesn't make them any more correct

15.07.2010 23:46

This is just tl;dr.

Just because you make a post that is excessively long with hundreds of links and footnotes doesn't make it any more correct, and it doesn't make people any more convinced either.

Just face it, virtually no one is going to wade through all this conspiracy theory drivel.

If you must must it, why not keep it short and to the point?

I think Indymedia needs a reasonable limit on the length of posts and comments. But I suppose then we'll just get the same split into (Part 1), (Part 2), ... etc. At least it will be easier to hide though.


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