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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Debunking the Truthers

“Anyone who knows how difficult it is to keep a secret among three men - particularly if they are married — knows how absurd is the idea of a worldwide secret conspiracy consciously controlling all mankind by its financial power; in real, clear analysis. — Oswald Mosley

Every detective and prosecutor knows the importance of MOM — Means, Opportunity and Motive in a criminal case. With MOM it’s difficult, if not impossible to get an arrest warrant or a conviction. While theories may be a starting point police and prosecutors need MOM along with a certain amount of forensic evidence.

The 9-11 Truthers use pseudo-science for their forensics and lack MOM in their claims that the George W. Bush, the CIA, the Pentagon, the Israelis or the owners were behind the 9-11 attacks on the on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

In my previous post, Remembering 9-11, I wrote about the timeline and my recollections of the attacks. In this post I will attempt to debunk the claims made by the Truthers. I will use information from various sources including Popular Mechanics, The History Channel, The National Geographic Channel, and my personal knowledge based on 55 years’ experience in civil and transportation engineering.

I will not attempt to debunk all claims made on the list I previously published as I believe I dealt with some of the claims about the aircraft, the steel, and the building collapse.

Claim No.1: In the months leading up to 9/11, the United States’ vaunted intelligence agencies lost track of 19 foreigners, most of whom had overstayed their visas, and could not catch up to them even though some of them were living with FBI informants and others were enrolling in flight schools where they sought to learn to fly — but not land — airplanes. They were living the high life and not showing any evidence of trying to hide. In July 2001, according to an article in Germany’s daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies received warning signals through the Echelon spy network that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons against important symbols of American and Israeli culture. Yet we are told the attacks came as a complete surprise. How could this happen?

Yes, the FBI and CIA screwed up. They were not talking to each other and the FBI did not take the threats from Al Qaeda seriously. John O’Neill the head of the anti-terrorist joint task force in New York was thwarted time and time again in his efforts to get intelligence on Al Qaeda. When he went to Yemen to investigate the attack on the USS Cole he was severally restricted by our Ambassador, Barbara Bodine.

Arriving in Yemen, O'Neill finds challenging field conditions. His agents confront 102-degree heat and a cramped, unsecured hotel for their quarters. O'Neill soon finds himself clashing with Barbara Bodine, the U.S. ambassador to Yemen, who is concerned about the number of FBI agents and military personnel flooding into the country after the bombing. O'Neill argues that the FBI needs resources to thoroughly investigate the attack. Bodine has different priorities, including maintaining good relations with Yemen. "I had to act as a cultural interpreter. They have endured first British colonialism, and then the Soviets. These people have only had foreigners telling them what to do. Now O'Neill and his men were coming in, doing essentially the same thing," Bodine later told Britain's The Sunday Times.

As relations between the two sour, the number of topics they disagree on multiplies. O'Neill wants a heavily-armed security presence; Bodine wants the agents to be unarmed. O'Neill wants to have direct access to Yemeni officials; Bodine feels she should supervise encounters. As O'Neill starts to seek support from Barry Mawn and other FBI officials back in the U.S., the cables sent by Bodine to the State Department become increasingly critical of O'Neill. It reaches the point where Louis Freeh and Janet Reno become personally involved in the dispute.

After numerous bureaucratic fights with his superiors in the FBI O’Neill resigns from the FBI and takes on the job of chief of security at the World Trade Center. O’Neill lost his life on 9-11 saving the lives of others.

After the Khobar Towers Bombing, Dharan, Saudi Arabia, a blast kills 19 American soldiers and injures 500 others. At first bin Laden is a suspect, but U.S. officials later conclude the plotters were probably linked to the Iranian government.

Both O'Neill and FBI Director Louis Freeh are directly involved in the investigation. They travel to Saudi Arabia where they reportedly disagree on whether the Saudis are cooperating. According to FBI lore, O'Neill tells Freeh bluntly that the Saudis were "blowing smoke up your ass." Whether the story's true or not, O'Neill's friend and ABC News producer, Chris Isham confirms that O'Neill was frustrated with the investigation. "He felt the Saudis were definitely playing games and that the senior officials in the U.S. government, including Louis Freeh, just didn't get it." The movie “The Kingdom” is loosely based on this event.

After numerous bureaucratic fights with his superiors in the FBI O’Neill resigns from the FBI and takes on the job of chief of security at the World Trade Center. O’Neill lost his life on 9-11 saving the lives of others.

From an article published in December, 2009 by The Reason (a publication of the Reason Foundation) Jeff Taylor writes:

For years federal authorities have argued that antiquated laws kept the cops from stopping 9/11. They said the failure to prevent the terrorist attacks demonstrated the need for the PATRIOT Act and every other proposed expansion of the government’s surveillance powers. But in testimony before Congress in September, Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell changed tack, saying “9/11 should have and could have been prevented” after all; the authorities simply “didn’t connect the dots.”

McConnell did not draw the obvious conclusion: If greater federal power was not needed pre-9/11 to stop terrorists, then even more federal authority is not needed now. Instead, McConnell argued that the Protect America Act—which allows the attorney general and the director of national intelligence, without judicial oversight, to authorize surveillance of international phone calls and email involving people in the U.S.—made vitally needed changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

How does the supposed need for greater surveillance power square with McConnell’s declaration that 9/11 was preventable and his lament that “we didn’t connect the dots”? How did we get the dots without the Protect America Act?

Via good old-fashioned police work that top officials in the Federal Bureau of Investigation ignored. Federal agents on the ground knew that hijackers Khalid al Mihdhar and Nawaf al Hazmi had sought pilot training. They knew Zacarias Mous­saoui had sought the same sort of training; he was carrying 747 manuals when he was picked up on immigration charges. In the days leading up to 9/11, Minneapolis FBI agent Harry Samit repeatedly tried to obtain permission to search Moussaoui’s laptop computer and belongings. Headquarters refused to seek a warrant.

New details on just how costly that denial proved to be were first published in a widely overlooked September 10 story by Greg Gordon, McClatchy Newspapers’ Washington reporter. Gordon discovered that the FBI had enough information to arrest part of Al Qaeda’s financing network in the days before 9/11—information that could have stopped the hijackings. Cue McConnell’s dots.

Moussaoui’s fellow jihadists considered him a loose cannon and security risk. They were right: The key to the whole network was right there in his notebooks. Al Qaeda operative Ramzi Binalshibh wired $14,000 to Moussaoui in August 2001, and Moussaoui sloppily recorded the routing number.

But authorities never looked at that notebook. Instead, FBI brass rejected Agent Samit’s attempts to search Moussaoui’s belongings, citing lack of information that Moussaoui was a known terrorist or foreign agent. The notebooks were not searched until after the attacks.

Gordon notes that investigators almost certainly could have traced Moussaoui’s money back to an Al Qaeda moneyman in Dubai; Binalshibh’s transactions would have led them there. The Dubai contact used one of his Western Union receipts to jot down a phone number in the United Arab Emirates. That number received calls from 9/11 hijackers while they were living in Florida prior to their attack.

As Gordon reports, FBI agents at Moussaoui’s trial testified that had he confessed to the plot after his August 16 arrest on immigration charges, thus giving them access to his notebooks pre-9/11, they could have moved on 11 of the 19 hijackers. But Washington steadfastly refused to move on information developed from the field offices. Rather than endlessly tweaking the intelligence-gathering statutes, the White House should have spent the past six years addressing the “obstructionism, criminal negligence and careerism” that Samit cited as the roadblock in his investigation. It obviously has not.”

Another report in the Washington Post states:

“The inability to detect the Sept. 11, 2001, hijacking plot amounts to a "significant failure" by the FBI and was caused in large part by "widespread and longstanding deficiencies" in the way the agency handled terrorism and intelligence cases, according to a report released yesterday.

In one particularly notable finding, the report by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine concluded that the FBI missed at least five chances to detect the presence of two of the suicide hijackers -- Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar -- after they first entered the United States in early 2000.

"While we do not know what would have happened had the FBI learned sooner or pursued its investigation more aggressively, the FBI lost several important opportunities to find Hazmi and Mihdhar before the September 11 attacks," the report said.”

Jamie S. Gorelick, a deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration who served as a member of the Sept. 11 panel, said the "litany of reports" documenting FBI problems in recent months "has to be a wake-up call" for Director Robert S. Mueller III and other FBI officials.

"I think they believe they have made significant progress, but there is still quite a bit of work to be done," she said. This is the same Jamie Gorelick, who as a member of the Clinton administration built the wall between the FBI and the CIA. She served on he board of Fannie May and walked away with millions due to the housing bubble collapse. It was her policies that got us into this mess and then she serves on the 9-11 Commission. She walked away richer and blameless, that’s how Washington D.C. works.

The Washington Post report continues:

“Although the memo from Phoenix FBI agent Kenneth Williams was proposed as "a theory rather than a warning or a threat," the report concludes that the bureau "failed to fully evaluate, investigate, exploit and disseminate information related to" the memo because of shortcomings in the way its analysis and intelligence programs were set up and run. "Even though it did not contain an immediate warning and was marked routine, Williams's information and theory warranted strategic analysis from the FBI," the report says.

Fine's conclusions about Moussaoui are less clear, because most references to the case have been blacked out by court order. U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema, who is presiding over Moussaoui's prosecution in Alexandria, blocked release of the full report because of objections from defense attorneys.

Some hints of Fine's conclusions are still evident in the censored version of the report, however. In one paragraph that clearly pertains to the Moussaoui case, the report says agents "did not receive adequate support from the field office or from FBI headquarters" and criticizes the FBI for "disjointed and inadequate review" of requests for secret warrants.”

This is not evidence of a conspiracy, it’s sloppy and bureaucratic police work by a bunch of people in the Justice Department who just want to cover their behinds and protect their careers.

Claim No. 2: Two days before the 9/11 attacks, the “Lion of Panjshir,” Ahmad Shah Massoud Khayin, who was the leader of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, was assassinated by two suicide bombers posing as journalists. In the early morning hours of Sept. 11, a van occupied by Middle Eastern men pulled up to The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort in Florida, where Bush was staying. They said they were there to interview the President, but didn’t have an appointment. They were turned away. Are these two incidents related?

What do these two events have to do with 9-11? Massoud Khayin’s assassination by a suicide bomber, who had hidden a bomb in his TV camera, was directed by bin Laden as a pay-back to the Taliban. There is no credible evidence of the van of reporters at the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort. If so were hey here to assassinate George W. Bush. Why would Bush allow his own murder?

Claim No. 3: At 8:44 a.m., during a working breakfast on missile defense with Congressional leaders, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld predicted a terrorist attack would come, saying, “Let me tell you. I’ve been around the block a few times. There will be another event.” Did he know about the attack in advance?

A lot of people were predicting terrorist attacks including the FBI, CIA, MI-6 and the German BND. After all that had been happening the past 5 or 6 years my German shepherd knew an attack was coming. This is just a libel against the hated Rumsfeld from the left-wing wingnuts. It probably was a coincidence that Rumsfeld made this remark 30 minutes prior to the first plane striking the WTC. As Sigmund Freud said; “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

Claim No. 4: How did that passport of Satam al-Suqami survive the crash? The plane was exploded into a giant fireball upon impact with WTC 1. Yet the passport exited his pocket or luggage and fell unharmed to the ground near the tower, where it was spotted by a passerby and turned over to police despite the bedlam going on all around? How is it that his was the only identification found out of all the passengers on the plane?

In a recent article in the History Club Magazine Michael Graves, an eye witness to the events at Ground Zero writes:

Instead, I saw what appeared to be a 737 as it came into view from behind the Bankers' Trust Building. It banked to the left and was just screaming, making a sound that reminded me of the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels tracing overhead at low altitude. In an instant, the plane slammed into 2 WTC, nearly immediately above us. I was astonished at the visual impression it left: It hadn't crashed into 2 WTC, it had crashed through it. Between the two towers, we could make out the unmistakable shape of a piece of the nose/ cockpit section of the plane arcing toward the ground, several blocks away.

For an instant, there was a neat, clean hole in the side of 2 WTC, about two thirds of the way up: long, narrow slits at approximately 45 degrees where the wings had hit, and a large circle in the center where the fuselage had entered. A second later, that section of the building exploded in a ball of flame, smoke, and flying metal and glass. We could see the shapes of two people who'd been blown out of the building and we're falling toward us.

We had watched the airplane plow into the building in stunned silence. Now as the building erupted in flame, the crowd around me erupted into complete panic. The earlier debris was nothing compared to what was raining down now. Everyone nearby ran headlong from the area, trying to get away before the flaming carnage landed in the street. The sheer size of the building provided a window of safety; I made it to the corner of Liberty and West Streets, and perhaps another 20 yards southeast on West before I heard the thundering crash on the street around the comer. Two more people lay in the street near the intersection of West and Liberty. Across the street, a police officer was being treated for wounds to his head. The front of his blue shirt was covered with blood

I was incredulous. They're trying to kill us, I thought. I'm living in a Tom Clancy novel. Feeling as though I were out of imminent danger, my mind began to process what I'd just seen. ''What the hell was that" asked a man walking nearby. "It was an airplane. It looked like a Continental 737," I said. As it turned out I was wrong on both counts-it was a United 757 [Sic].

I continued south on West Street to the end of the block, where I crossed to the west on Albany Street. Here large numbers of emergency and law-enforcement vehicles were coming down West Street from both directions, stopping right about where I crossed to avoid falling debris. There were tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people in the street. Ambulances could only crawl down West Street. I had crossed West and made it a half a block down Albany when the crowd was electrified again by the sound of approaching aircraft. As everyone dashed for whatever cover they could find, a pair off-16 fighter jets roared directly overhead, at approximately 1,500 feet (they seemed just high enough to easily clear the twin towers). The jets started a semi-circle around the burning buildings, and a collective sigh of relief went up from the crowd.”

As Mr. Graves reports that debris were being thrown out of the plane and building why wouldn’t the passport of Satam Al Suqami be thrown out of American Flight 11. Did some nefarious FBI agent travel to New York with Al Suqami’s passport and plant it among the debris? Give me a break! If you believe that one I have a bridge in New York I can sell you at a good price.

Claim No. 5: At 8:50 a.m., four minutes after the first plane struck, Tenet was made aware of the crash and realized it was no accident. Yet there is no911-flight175windows-l indication he made an effort to stop Bush from making a scheduled appearance at Booker Elementary School in Florida, despite the danger he may have been facing were a highly coordinated attack being carried out. Before entering the classroom, Bush paused to speak with then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. Later, Bush said he learned of the first crash before entering the classroom when he saw the plane crash into the building on television. There was no video of the first crash until much later in the day, and the school principal said there was no television in the area that Bush could have seen anyway. Why this discrepancy? Was Bush lying?

I realized it was no accident when I saw the first images and I was 3,000 miles away. The report that Bush learned of the attack before entering he classroom is false. If you watch the video of him in the classroom you will Andy Card walk in a whisper in his ear that a plane had crashed into he building. He returned a few minutes later and told the President another plane had hit the WTC. What was Bush to do, tell the first graders we were under attack from terrorist and scare the bejabbers out of them? No, he calmly walked out of the classroom and made a brief statement after he had gotten enough facts to do so. Did he lie, no, it’s Loose Change doing the lying.

Claim No. 5: Witnesses reported seeing a white jet that looked like a fighter plane trailing United Airlines Flight 93, and a sonic boom was reported in the area over Pennsylvania. Was there a second plane? If so, where did it come from?

That so called white jet was either a private general aviation jet that had been asked by Cleveland Center to see if it could locate United 93 or a military jet circling to report on the damage. Either way there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Flight 93 was shot down by our military.

Popular Mechanics reports:

“There was such a jet in the vicinity—a Dassault Falcon 20 business jet owned by the VF Corp. of Greensboro, N.C., an apparel company that markets Wrangler jeans and other brands. The VF plane was flying into Johnstown-Cambria airport, 20 miles north of Shanksville. According to David Newell, VF's director of aviation and travel, the FAA's Cleveland Center contacted copilot Yates Gladwell when the Falcon was at an altitude "in the neighborhood of 3000 to 4000 ft."—not 34,000 ft. "They were in a descent already going into Johnstown," Newell adds. "The FAA asked them to investigate and they did. They got down within 1500 ft. of the ground when they circled. They saw a hole in the ground with smoke coming out of it. They pinpointed the location and then continued on." Reached by PM, Gladwell confirmed this account but, concerned about ongoing harassment by conspiracy theorists, asked not to be quoted directly.”

Some witnesses reported hat a similar white jet was seen over the WTC and that was an indication that the planes were being controlled remotely and they had no windows. Betty Ong, a flight attendant on American Flight 77 blows this claim competently out of the water.

Claim No. 6: Some witnesses also reported seeing Flight 93 on fire before it crashed into the field. Why were these witnesses hushed up and why weren’t they allowed to testify for the 9/11 Commission? What was the plane they saw and did it shoot down Flight 93 upon orders from Vice President Dick Cheney?

If the plane flew into the ground intact, how did a large portion of the engine fall more than a mile away from the crash site? How did lighter debris wind up as far as eight miles away?

I addressed this in my previous post with my discussion of CFIT. Even if United 93 was shot down, and it was not, what difference would it make? It was a flying bomb headed for either the White House or the Capitol Building.

Claim No. 7: In the days following the attacks, at least 60 Israeli citizens were arrested and held secretly — some of them with ties to Israeli military and intelligence. Fox News’ Carl Cameron was the first mainstream reporter to break the news. It was weeks later before other mainstream news outlets picked up on it. His four-part series that provided evidence that the Israelis had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks has been scrubbed from Fox News’ website. Who were these Israelis, what did they know and what became of them? Why did Fox News scrub the stories?

I can find no legitimate evidence of this claim in any but the anti-Semitic and extreme Libertarian web sites. I did find one site, however, that referred to the Fox Report regarding the activities of AMDOCS, an Israeli telecommunications company. In the past here have been cases of espionage by Israel against the United states with the most famous case being that of Jonathan Pollard who still languishes in a U.S. Prison.

As I stated in my previous post several national intelligence services had bits and pieces of information regarding AL Qaeda and their terrorist activities. Click here for my post on What Went Wrong in Khost, a complete failure of the CIA due to its bureaucratic and academic nature.

Claim No. 7: The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is tasked with protecting American airspace. Yet even though the Federal Aviation Administration notified NORAD of the hijacking of American Airlines Flight 11 at 8:38 a.m. and other flights in the minutes that followed, it wasn’t until long after the last plane hit the ground that NORAD planes showed up. Where were they and why did NORAD sit on news of the hijacked planes for several minutes (which NORAD admits to but won’t explain) before scrambling any fighters?

When the 9/11 Commission tried to get answers to these questions, NORAD stonewalled and its representatives lied. What were they covering up and why? Why do they continue to stonewall to this day?

Once again the “fog of war” was in play here Of course NORAD will not explain their actions. We are still waiting for a compete explanation of the events leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor. These NORAD and NEADS installation are manned by Air Force personnel not authorized on their own to launch military aircraft over the United States on intercept missions. There was also a fog of war within the halls of the FAA. Here is the timeline for the events leading to the closing of U.S. air space

9:02:59: Flight 175 crashes at about 590 mph into the south face of the South Tower (2 WTC) of the World Trade Center, banked between floors 77 and 85.[9] By this time, several media organizations, including the three major broadcast networks (who have interrupted their morning shows), are covering the first plane crash—millions see the impact live. Parts of the plane leave the building from its east and north sides, falling to the ground six blocks away.

9:03: FAA's New York Center notifies NORAD (NEADS) of the hijacking of Flight 175.

9:06: The FAA bans takeoffs of all flights bound to or through the airspace of New York Center from airports in that Center and the three adjacent Centers — Boston, Cleveland, and Washington. This is referred to as a First Tier ground stop and covers the Northeast from North Carolina north and as far west as eastern Michigan.

9:08: The FAA bans all takeoffs nationwide for flights going to or through New York Center airspace. ABC reports later that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that runs the New York-area airports, asked the FAA for permission to close down the New York Center airspace.

9:13: The F-15 fighters from Otis Air National Guard Base leave military airspace near Long Island, bound for Manhattan.

9:17: The FAA closes down all New York City-area airports. The city had initially asked the FAA to close down the airports.

9:25: The Otis-based F-15s establish an air patrol over Manhattan.

9:26: The FAA bans takeoffs of all civilian aircraft regardless of destination—a national groundstop. All military bases in the United States are ordered to increase threat conditions to Delta status.

It took ten minutes for the Air Force to launch their F-15s to form an air cap over New York and another thirteen minutes to groundstop all aircraft in U.S. air space. These were momentous moves made by men and women risking their careers on the decisions they were making. The FAA and NORAD had never encountered real-world events like this and the bureaucracy got in the way.

Popular Mechanics in their detailed debunking of the 9-11 conspiracy theories states:

“In the decade before 9/11, NORAD intercepted only one civilian plane over North America: golfer Payne Stewart's Learjet, in October 1999. With passengers and crew unconscious from cabin decompression, the plane lost radio contact but remained in transponder contact until it crashed. Even so, it took an F-16 1 hour and 22 minutes to reach the stricken jet. Rules in effect back then, and on 9/11, prohibited supersonic flight on intercepts. Prior to 9/11, all other NORAD interceptions were limited to offshore Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ). "Until 9/11 there was no domestic ADIZ," FAA spokesman Bill Schumann tells PM. After 9/11, NORAD and the FAA increased cooperation, setting up hotlines between ATCs and NORAD command centers, according to officials from both agencies. NORAD has also increased its fighter coverage and has installed radar to monitor airspace over the continent.”

It should be noted here that the PM report was used extensively in the National Geographic special on this same issue.

Claim No. 8: Firefighters and reporters arriving on the scene of the WTC fires claim to have heard numerous explosions before the buildings collapsed. What caused the explosions? Were they deliberately set to bring down the twin towers?

How did fires cause two skyscrapers to fall? It’s the first time fire ever brought down a skyscraper, and it happened to three buildings in one day. Why did they pancake down as if in a controlled demolition? If fire weakened the support beams, as the official stories suggest, why didn’t the towers fall to one side or the other rather than pancake down as if in a controlled event? Many engineers and architects at say it could not have happened as we’re told. Why are they being ignored? Better yet, if these architects and engineers are lying about their theories, ask yourself what they stand to gain from lying and what is their motive?

Traces of an explosive called thermite were found in the rubble of the WTC and melted steel was found beneath the columns. What is the source of the thermite and what caused the steel to liquefy? Burning jet fuel does not reach a temperature high enough to liquefy steel.

I attempted to address this in my previous post but here is another take on this claim as published in Scientific American:

In fact, if you type "World Trade Center" and "conspiracy" into Google, you'll get more than 250,000 hits. From these sites, you will discover that some people think the Pentagon was hit by a missile; that U.S. Air Force jets were ordered to "stand down" and not intercept Flights 11 and 175, the ones that struck the twin towers; that the towers themselves were razed by demolition explosives timed to go off soon after the impact of the planes; that a mysterious white jet shot down Flight 93 over Pennsylvania; and that New York Jews were ordered to stay home that day (Zionists and other pro-Israeli factions, of course, were involved). Books also abound, including Inside Job, by Jim Marrs; The New Pearl Harbor​, by David Ray Griffin​; and 9/11: The Great Illusion, by George Humphrey. The single best debunking of this conspiratorial codswallop is in the March issue of Popular Mechanics, which provides an exhaustive point-by-point analysis of the most prevalent claims.

The mistaken belief that a handful of unexplained anomalies can undermine a well-established theory lies at the heart of all conspiratorial thinking (as well as creationism, Holocaust denial and the various crank theories of physics). All the "evidence" for a 9/11 conspiracy falls under the rubric of this fallacy. Such notions are easily refuted by noting that scientific theories are not built on single facts alone but on a convergence of evidence assembled from multiple lines of inquiry.”

As to the collapse of the two towers Michael Shermer continues in his article:

“For example, according to, steel melts at a temperature of 2,777 degrees Fahrenheit, but jet fuel burns at only 1,517 degrees F. No melted steel, no collapsed towers. "The planes did not bring those towers down; bombs did," saysfig1 Wrong. In an article in the Journal of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society and in subsequent interviews, Thomas Eagar, an engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology​, explains why: steel loses 50 percent of its strength at 1,200 degrees F; 90,000 liters of jet fuel ignited other combustible materials such as rugs, curtains, furniture and paper, which continued burning after the jet fuel was exhausted, raising temperatures above 1,400 degrees F and spreading the inferno throughout each building. Temperature differentials of hundreds of degrees across single steel horizontal trusses caused them to sag--straining and then breaking the angle clips that held the beams to the vertical columns. Once one truss failed, others followed. When one floor collapsed onto the next floor below, that floor subsequently gave way, creating a pancaking effect that triggered each 500,000-ton structure to crumble. Conspiricists [Sic] argue that the buildings should have fallen over on their sides, but with 95 percent of each building consisting of air, they could only have collapsed straight down.

All the 9/11 conspiracy claims are this easily refuted. On the Pentagon "missile strike," for example, I queried the would-be filmmaker about what happened to Flight 77, which disappeared at the same time. "The plane was destroyed, and the passengers were murdered by Bush operatives," he solemnly revealed. "Do you mean to tell me that not one of the thousands of conspirators needed to pull all this off," I retorted, "is a whistle-blower who would go on TV or write a tell-all book?" My rejoinder was met with the same grim response I get from UFOlogists when I ask them for concrete evidence: Men in Black silence witnesses, and dead men tell no tales.”

Nothing else needs to be said.

Claim No. 9: Why was the hole in the Pentagon wall too small to accommodate an airliner — both in width and height? Why were no identifiable parts of a Boeing 757 found at the crash site? Why was an engine turbofan from an A3 Skywarrior found at the crash scene? If Flight 77 did not crash into the Pentagon, what happened to it and its passengers and crew?

This is a tough one. As there were no news reporters at the Pentagon the only video we have is from the security camera showing the fireball erupt at the Pentagon. We do, however, have the reports of the cell phone calls Barbara Olsen made to her husband Solicitor General Ted Olsen. During he flight she called her husband twice giving him information on the status and direction of American Flight 77. Flight 77 was hijacked at 8:54. At some point between 9:16 and 9:26, Olson called her husband. According to him, she reported that the flight had been hijacked, and the hijackers had knives and box-cutters. She further indicated that the hijackers were not aware of her phone call, and that they had put all the passengers in the rear of the plane. About a minute into the conversation, the call was cut off.

Shortly after, Barbara reached her husband again. She reported that the "pilot" had announced that the flight had been hijacked, and asked her husband what she should tell the captain to do. Ted Olson asked for her location and she replied that the aircraft was then flying over houses. Another passenger told her they were traveling northeast. Ted Olson informed Barbara of the two previous hijackings and crashes. She did not display signs of panic at the time. The second call was soon cut off.

Popular Mechanics reported:

“When American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon's exterior wall, Ring E, it created a hole approximately 75 ft. wide, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers Pentagon Building Performance Report. The exterior facade collapsed about 20 minutes after impact, but ASCE based its measurements of the original hole on the number of first-floor support columns that were destroyed or damaged. Computer simulations confirmed the findings.

Why wasn't the hole as wide as a 757's 124-ft.-10-in. wingspan? A crashing jet doesn't punch a cartoon-like outline of itself into a reinforced concrete building, says ASCE team member Mete Sozen, a professor of structural engineering at Purdue University. In this case, one wing hit the ground; the other was sheared off by the force of the impact with the Pentagon's load-bearing columns, explains Sozen, who specializes in the behavior of concrete buildings. What was left of the plane flowed into the structure in a state closer to a liquid than a solid mass. "If you expected the entire wing to cut into the building," Sozen tells PM, "it didn't happen."

The tidy hole in Ring C was 12 ft. wide—not 16 ft. ASCE concludes it was made by the jet's landing gear, not by the fuselage.”

I guess the Truthers just ignored this evidence.

I had a colleague at this time who was retired Navy captain and an aviator who flew A-4 Sky Raiders. At the time he was living in Springfield, Virginia and he told me he had lost 7 of his neighbors in the Pentagon attack. In speaking with a few of his friends who were at the Pentagon he said there was no doubt that the building was hit by a plane. I will take his word over the ranting of some wingnut on the web.

Claim No. 10:

In the weeks and months after the attack, men alleged to have been the hijackers and supposed to have died in the attacks began turning up alive. At least seven of them have been seen since 9/11 and one was found to have died prior to 9/11 in an airplane crash. What is the explanation for this?

There is no evidence whatsoever to back this claim and nothing I say will sway the true believers.

Claim No. 11:

Why do members of the 9/11 Commission believe there are still many unanswered questions regarding the events of that day? Why did Commission members say they believed the Commission was set up to fail? Why have there been no charges of obstruction filed against those who stonewalled and lied to the Commission?

Did someone or some ones in government or within some shadowy quasi-governmental agency participate in or facilitate the attacks? Was it a coup against the Bush regime? Could that explain Bush’s seeming confusion and his trips crisscrossing the Southern portion of the U.S. before going back to Washington, D.C.? What other lies are we being told?

These are rhetorical questions with no real answers. As I stated before there have been conspiracy theories since the assignation of Abraham Lincoln. People love conspiracy theories as they explain the unexplainable. They offer simple answers to complex issue by finding a scape goat to blame. They cannot accept the fact that government is a giant bureaucracy populated with people more concerned with their careers and protecting their derrieres rather than admitting to their incompetence and negligence. They are never held accountable for their actions and just play a game of musical chairs by moving from one agency to another. Just look at the blossoming scandal of the gun running program called Fast and Furious. There will be no indictments or charges. There will be no admissions of failure or guilt. Government will simply go on to the next issue while those responsible for their failures and negligence simply move through the system or retreat to academia.

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