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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Remembering 9-11

“I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people—and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!” — President George W. Bush, September 14, 2001.

Note: This post contains numerous links to reports and data that are relevant to the narrative.

This Sunday will mark the tenth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Flight 93. The attacks killed 2,996 people: airline passengers, building occupants, rescue workers and the hijackers. Thousands of others were injured and are still suffering the after effects of the attack, both physical and mental.

During this past week there have been numerous documentaries on the0305911-lead-lg History and National Geographic channels. Most of the documentaries focus on interviews with the survivors and their personal stories of survival and heroism of the New York City Firemen and others in the twin towers and Pentagon. These were heart wrenching accounts of people willing to sacrifice their lives to save others.

There were also a few documentaries detailing exactly how the attacks were carried out, the perpetrators, the planners, the timeline, and how some of the planners were brought to justice including the capture of Khalid Sheik Mohamed (KSM) and Osama bin Laden.

There were also a few documentaries about the numerous conspiracy theories still floating and how the government, George W. Bush, the CIA, the Israelis, or some other dark and nefarious force. These so called “Truthers” like Loose Change and others have been spilling their nonsense for more than eight years and are still at it. The video bellows shows some of the stuff these truthers are putting forth.

As you can see from watching the video the producers of loose change, when challenged, will with turn to attacks on the challenger rather than on the facts. It like the old adage; “when the facts are against you, argue the law; when the law is against you, argue the facts; and when they're both against you, call the other guy names.” You will note that the first statement out of the mouth of the Loose Change producers was to disparage Popular Mechanics and its editorial board. Also the video was aired on KPFK, a well-known leftwing radio station. The only other mainstream channel I have seen the conspiracy theorist on has been the National Geographic Channel and it was in the context of debunking them. Other reputable media outlets seem to be ignoring them for good reason, and this no doubt infuriates them as it would any true believer with a cause to promote.

Before continuing I would like to review a brief background of attacks leading to the 9-11 attack. This is important as it shows a pattern of Al Qaeda attacks that are ignored by the Truthers.

1992 — Hotel bombing in Aden, Yemen where 100 U.S. servicemen were staying. No one was wounded. Osama Bin Laden claimed responsibility.

February 26, 1993 — A truck packed with bombs exploded in the underground parking garage below the north tower (1 Tower). It opened a 200-foot wide and 5-story deep hole. Six people were killed and over 1,000 injured.

November 13, 1995 — Bombing at Army training headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 5 Americans killed; 31 wounded;

June 25, 1996 — Khobar Towers apartments bombed at U.S. military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; 19 Americans killed; 372 wounded;

August 7, 1998 — U.S. embassies bombed in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; 224 killed including 12 Americans;

August 28, 1998 - The FBI accuses Osama bin Laden of having declared 'jihad' or holy war against the United States.

November 4, 1998 — Osama bin Laden is charged with ordering embassy bombings.

October 12, 2000 — USS Cole bombed in Aden, Yemen; 17 Americans killed; 39 wounded;

January 15, 2001 — U.N. imposes new economic sanctions against Taliban for refusing to turn over bin Laden for trial.

The detailed timeline for the September 11th is quite long and detailed and may be found on Wikipedia. The Wikipedia timeline is loaded with links to secondary information about the planes, hijackers, and persons interviewed. I suggest you read it. During the remainder of this post I will refer to some of the events that took place that day using this timeline.

I recall exactly where I was and what I was thinking when I saw the aftermath of the first plane striking the North Tower and witnessing the second plane (UA 175) plow into the South Tower. Like lightning to the reports of the attack on Pearl Harbor (at the age of 5) and the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy these memories are indelibly etched in my mind.

I remember with great clarity that I was awoken at 5:50 am Pacific Daylight Savings Time (8:50 in New York) when my daughter rushed into our bedroom and told us to turn on CNN as a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I did as she told us and my wife and I sat up in bed and began to watch events unfold in New York City.

“8:46:26: American Flight 11 crashes at roughly 466 mph (790km/h or 219m/s or 425 knots) into the north face of the North Tower (1 WTC) of the World Trade Center, between floors 93 and 99. (Many early accounts gave times between 8:45 and 8:50). The aircraft enters the tower mostly intact. It plows to the building core, severing all three gypsum-encased stairwells, dragging combustibles with it. A powerful shock wave travels down to the ground and up again. The combustibles and the remnants of the aircraft are ignited by the burning fuel. As the building lacks a traditional full cage frame and depends almost entirely on the strength of a narrow structural core running up the center, fire at the center of the impact zone is in a position to compromise the integrity of all internal columns. People below the severed stairwells start to evacuate—no one above the impact zone is able to do so.[Source: Wikipedia]

The reports from CNN and other networks were hazy and in general inaccurate. My first thoughts were of the B-25D bomber that crashed into the Empire State Building at 9:50 am on July 28, 1945. The newscasters were calling this a probable accident caused by a small plane gone off course. Ifig1 immediately knew this was nonsense and the newscasters were way off base. The B-24 crash took place on a foggy day and the pilot did not know where he was. When I saw the smoke, fire and the size of the impact zone I knew it was a large commercial jet, a 757 or 767. The hole made by the B-25 medium bomber was miniscule in comparison to the impact zone I was looking at and commented to my wife that this looked like a deliberate attack and an attempt to bring down one of the towers as was done in 1993. I still can recall getting upset at the lack of background knowledge that was being displayed by the various network reporters and talking heads.

During a long shot of the South Tower with the billowing smoke and flames shooting out of the gapping gash in the building I saw the second plane, United Flight 175, plow into the North Tower and terrific fireball erupt from the building as the plane plowed through the entire building with its cockpit sticking out of the other side. I immediately exclaimed to my wife; “this is a second Pearl Harbor, we are under attack. The terrorists are using our airliners like piloted cruise missiles.”

9:02:59: United Flight 175 crashes at about 590 mph (950 km/h) into the south face of the South Tower (2 WTC) of the World Trade Center, banked between floors 77 and 85 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. [Source: Wikipedia]

As I continued watching the new coverage and switching channels I became more convinced as incomplete and hazy reports began to come in about a fire at the Pentagon. I knew this was no doubt another plane strike. Due to its location, in Arlington, Virginia, reports were slow in coming in on the Pentagon strike.

“9:37:46: Flight 77 crashes into the western side of the Pentagon and starts a violent fire. The section of the Pentagon hit consists mainly of newly renovated, unoccupied offices. All 64 people on board are killed, as are 125 Pentagon personnel. [Source: Wikipedia] “

We were beginning to witness what is called the “fog of war” developing in the media reporting. There were confusing reports about the Pentagon and United Flight 93. There was also confusion among the first responders, the air traffic controllers, and the military. All of this was delved into by the 9-11 Commission and the interviews shown in the various legitimate documentaries.

As I continued to watch the two towers burn I began to see the peoplewtcjumper2 jumping out of the buildings from the floors above the fire. I knew at this time that there must have been tremendous inferno on those upper floors for these people to take such desperate actions. To this day it still disturbs me to think of what must have been going through the minds of these men and women as they were making the decision to jump rather than be incinerated. What a horrible choice. To this day the media will not show these horrific images. I guess they believe it would shock and incense the public too much. Perhaps we need a little shocking and incensing to remember what happened on that day of infamy.

I knew that the buildings would probably pancake down as the intense heat weakened the exposed steel support beams causing the floors above the fires to begin collapsing. I knew from my engineering background that steel began loses 90% of its strength at temperatures above 900 degrees. This combined with the structural damage caused by the planes impact would no doubt begin a collapse of the towers. I believed the South Tower would go first as the plane hit lower on the building causing more weight above the strike area to cause the lower floors to pancake down. The flames in the south tower appeared to be much more intense than those in the North Tower and the Boeing 767 weighing some 200 tons had totally sliced through the building.

“9:59:04: The South Tower of the World Trade Center begins to collapse, 56 minutes and 2 seconds after the impact of Flight 175. Its destruction is viewed and heard by a vast television and radio audience. As the roar of the collapse goes silent, tremendous gray-white clouds of pulverized concrete and gypsum rush through the streets. Most observers think a new explosion or impact has produced smoke and debris that now obscures the South Tower, but once the wind clears the smoke it becomes clear that the building is no longer there. On ABC, Good Morning America correspondent Don Dahler, who was home at the time of the incident and lived near the site, reports to anchor Peter Jennings on air that he has witnessed the tower collapse; this is perhaps the first official word of the collapse as Dahler's report is filed seconds after the building collapsed.”

(The “explosion” people claim to have heard was actually the sound of the upper floors smashing into the strike area causing the windows to blow out and send debris flying into all directions.)

As the South Tower collapsed I knew it would just be a matter of time before the North Tower would suffer the same fate. All I could think of was the people who were being incinerated by the fire our crushed beneath the thousands of tons of concrete and steel.

“10:28:25: The North Tower of the World Trade Center begins to collapse. Due to the destruction of the gypsum-encased stairwells on the impact floors (most skyscraper stairwells are encased in reinforced concrete), no one who was above the impact zone in the North Tower escapes the collapse. The Marriott Hotel, located at the base of the two towers, is also destroyed. The second collapse is also viewed live on television and heard on radio. The North Tower collapses 1 hour, 41 minutes and 45 seconds after the impact of Flight 11. [Source: Wikipedia]

Eventually reports and video began to come in from the Pentagon. The terrorist pilot had placed his Boeing 757 low on the “E” Ring causing maximum damage and loss of lives.

“9:37:46: American Flight 77 crashes into the western side of the Pentagon and starts a violent fire. The section of the Pentagon hit consists mainly of newly renovated, unoccupied offices. All 64 people on board are killed, as are 125 Pentagon personnel. [Source; Wikipedia]”

Because the Pentagon was a military facility and security was high it was difficult for the reporters to get the information out. Also, the direction and angle as which the 757 struck made it almost impossible for the media to get good video.

It was not until around 11:00 am that reports began to filter in about United Flight 93. Because Flight 93, headed for the Capitol Building, has crashed in a remote field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania reports and video came on very slowly. In fact by the time news crews reach the site it had already been roped off as a crime scene. Very little was known about Flight 93, except for the relatives of some of the passengers that had received cell or airphone calls form the passengers on board.

10:03:11: United Airlines Flight 93 is crashed by its hijackers and passengers, due to fighting in the cockpit 80 miles (129 km) southeast of Pittsburgh in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.[18] Later reports indicate that passengers had learned about the World Trade Center and Pentagon crashes on cell phones and at least three were planning on resisting the hijackers; the resistance was confirmed by Flight 93's cockpit voice recording, on which the hijackers are heard making their decision to down the plane before the passengers succeed in breaching the cockpit door. The 9/11 Commission believed that Flight 93's target was either the United States Capitol building or the White House in Washington, D.C.” [Source: Wikipedia]

Much has been written about the heroism of the passengers on board United 93. There was even a feature film, United 93, written, co-produced, and directed by Paul Greengrass that chronicles events aboard United Airlines Flight 93. The film is based on interviews with those relatives receiving he calls, ATC tapes and cockpit recordings. It is a sensitive film that sticks to the facts and attempts to tell the story as best as the experts can reconstruct events.

Flight 93 was a victim of something called “Controlled Flight Into Terrain” (CFIT) something I know a great deal about from my work with the FAA, ICAO, NIMA (now the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency), and air traffic agencies in Latin and South America while developing Global Positioning Navigation (GNSS) airport approaches. Basically, CFIT is where a perfectly good aircraft is crashed into the ground due to pilot or navigation error. Most CFITs occur during an airport approach and there can be survivors due to the angle of impact and the lower landing speeds. The CFIT of Flight 93 was almost vertical and at a speed in excess of 500 miles per hour. In essence the aircraft was in a power dive. The kinetic energy of the 130 ton 737 traveling in excess of 500 miles per hour must have been terrific. It would have generated a giant hole with no survivors and very little recognizable aircraft parts. The engine nacelles would have been ripped off and scattered several miles away from the crash site.

By the end of the day reports were already coming in from the FBI on who the hijackers were and who their leader was. They identified 19 Arab terrorist form airline records, security cameras, U.S., British, Israeli, and German intelligence agencies. They even had photos of the 19 posted on the web and TV. Because of the quickness of this identification those prone to conspiracy theories were quick to go into action, and they did.

Like the Lincoln, John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy assassinations along with the Roosevelt knowing of Pearl Harbor the conspiracy theorists did not take long to begin to grind their grist. Filmmakers like Michael Moore and Hollywood personalities like Rosie O’Donnell, Charlie Sheen, George Clooney, and many others were quick to move from the expressions of sorrow over the deaths of the 2,996 innocent people and began to attack George W. Bush, the Pentagon, and the CIA as the planners and initiators of the 911 attacks. Islamic organizations like CAIR were already blaming the United States for he attacks.

Eventually a couple of bright college-age filmmakers put out a web-based video under the name of Loose Change based on faulty or pseudo-science and engineering fallacies. These people eventually became known as “Truthers”

Here are their main points to support their claims:

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?

Recent papers released by WikiLeaks indicate that in the weeks before 9/11, American intelligence services were on the trail of another group of five men with terrorist ties who were staying in California. They slipped away in the days after 9/11. Were they a fifth team of hijackers who did not complete their mission for some reason? How were they able to escape the massive U.S. dragnet?

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?

Two hours before the planes slammed into the Twin Towers, two employees of the Israeli instant messaging service Odigo received messages warning of the coming attacks, according to the Israeli publication Haaretz. Who sent the messages and why? Who else was warned ahead of the attacks?

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?

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?

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 no 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?

According to media reports, a number of the passengers on the hijacked airliners supposedly used cellphones to call loved ones and authorities. But cellphone technology in 2001 didn’t allow the use of phones above 10,000 feet. How were the calls possible?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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.

The maneuver required to fly an airliner at the trajectory of the one that hit the Pentagon would be difficult for an experienced pilot, and some of the air traffic controllers watching the flight believed it to be a military aircraft at the time. How did a terrorist with limited — and by all accounts very poor — flying ability pull off such a maneuver without crashing into the ground prior to reaching the Pentagon?

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?

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?

Why did Bush begin talking to cabinet members about attacking Iraq while the Afghanistan attack was being formulated?

If we attacked Afghanistan with the intention of defeating al-Qaida and killing Osama bin Laden, why are we still there? Al-Qaida is no longer in Afghanistan and bin Laden is reportedly dead.

Why did the Pentagon participate in a cover-up and attempt to mislead the 9/11 Commission?

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?

A few of these conspiracy claims have been addressed above. In my next post I will attempt to most of these claims

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