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The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll
March 20, 2006 1:31 PM   Subscribe

The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll New York Magazine's Mark Jacobson has an excellent write up on the 9-11 theories and the conspiracy theorists out for the truth. From the March 27 issue. I recommend passing it on to your friends because it raises real questions while not sounding batshit insane at all. It all boils down to whether you believe in LIHOP or MIHOP. One page link here.
posted by daHIFI (223 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Holograms, holmes. I'd type more but they're listening to my keystrokes. You don't think they have the capacity for that? Huge holograms? Yeah, you keep living in that world. So safe.
posted by billysumday at 1:45 PM on March 20, 2006


See also.
posted by ColdChef at 2:27 PM on March 20, 2006


...and the conspiracy theorists out for the truth.

The New World Orderists will never allow that to happen.
posted by stirfry at 2:29 PM on March 20, 2006


Thanks. Now I have something to read on the N train home.
posted by clubfoote at 2:31 PM on March 20, 2006


From wikipedia:

Humans naturally respond to events or situations which have had an emotional impact upon them by trying to make sense of those events, typically in spiritual, moral, political, or scientific terms.

Events which seem to resist such interpretation—for example, because they are, in fact, unexplainable—may provoke the inquirer to look harder for a meaning, until one is reached that is capable of offering the inquirer the required emotional satisfaction.

....humans apply a 'rule of thumb' by which we expect a significant event to have a significant cause....Subjects were significantly more likely to suspect conspiracy in the case of the 'major events'...than in the other cases, despite all other evidence available to them being equal.

....a tendency in news media and wider culture to understand events through the prism of individual agents, as opposed to more complex structural or institutional accounts....

....media have a tendency to start to seek culprits if an event occurs that is of such significance that it does not drop off the news agenda within a few days....
posted by driveler at 2:34 PM on March 20, 2006


I'm voting for the Knights Templar on this one. They've been pulling the strings while encased in plate armor since the 12th century. They clank in the night.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:36 PM on March 20, 2006


Who needs dark shadowy forces? The Republicans are operating in broad daylight.

A terrorist attack on the U.S. and America's Most Wanted is still running around sending in Audition tapes to Arabian Idol.

An American city was wiped of the map with a large number of citizens left to drown. Then there bodies were left to rot.

The largest robbery in the history of the planet took place in Iraq under the guidance of the CPA.

Those are just the most huge well known slobber knocking suckerpunches.

For there to be a conspiracy they would have to be smoking and hiding in undergound garages. They're not. They're on TV telling you that they love you and that they would've used lube but there just wasn't time.
posted by srboisvert at 2:38 PM on March 20, 2006


Questions? Sure, there are questions.

Like: How many times does this crap have to be debunked?
posted by tkchrist at 2:40 PM on March 20, 2006


My "HOP Level" is IHOP.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:40 PM on March 20, 2006


From the article: "This process has been one holy shit after another."
posted by kirkaracha at 2:42 PM on March 20, 2006


Doesn't the govt. sort of encourage tinfoil-hat behavior by not releasing documents and information? If Kennedy, 9/11, et al. are so black and white, why all the secrecy and bizarre behavior on their part? Something about how they feed/manipulate the conspiracy trolls rubs me the wrong way.
posted by shoepal at 2:42 PM on March 20, 2006


It's sad that these anomalies and unanswered questions are being derided as being part of the realm of the "conspiracy nut." There is plenty surrounding 9/11 for anyone to chew on, tinfoil hat or no.
posted by fire&wings at 2:44 PM on March 20, 2006


From the article:

And why, if hydrocarbon-fueled fire maxes out at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and steel melts at 2,700 degrees, did the towers weaken sufficiently to fall in such a short time—only 56 minutes in the case of the South Tower?

And why, if the impact destroyed the planes’ supposedly crash-proof flight-recorder black boxes, was the FBI able to find, in perfect condition, the passport of Satam al Suqami, one of the alleged American Airlines Flight 11 hijackers?

How could they, an hour after the first World Trade Center crash, allow an obviously hostile airplane to smash into the Pentagon, headquarters of the entire military-industrial complex, for chrissakes? And why did the Defense Department choose to stage an extraordinary number of military exercises on 9/11—occupying matériel and spreading confusion about who was who on that day?

And why was it so important, as decreed by Mayor Giuliani, to clear away the debris, before all the bodies were recovered?

And what about the short-selling spree on American and United airlines stock in the days before the attacks? Betting on the stocks to go down—was this real sicko Wall Street insider trading?
posted by cell divide at 2:44 PM on March 20, 2006


Nothing new here then.
posted by Artw at 2:46 PM on March 20, 2006


Questions? Sure, there are questions.

Like: How many times does this crap have to be debunked?


Once would be good enough for me.
posted by kenlayne at 2:47 PM on March 20, 2006


raises real questions while not sounding batshit insane at all

You might want to read it again: "September 11 was a holocaust-as-ordered by the neocon cabal Project for the New American Century, which, like its Svengali, Leo Strauss, recognized the U.S. masses to be meth-addled, postliterate, post-logical lard-asses, a race of “sheeple” that would never rise to inherit the mantle of post–Cold War world-dominators without “some catastrophic and catalyzing event."
posted by beagle at 2:51 PM on March 20, 2006


beagle, I think that's a summary of someone else's beliefs ("Tarpley and others[']" beliefs). Hard to tell, 'cause it doesn't have ye infamous summary quotes.

There are plenty of other weird moments in the article, though; I too would cross out the "not sounding batshit insane at all."
posted by booksandlibretti at 2:55 PM on March 20, 2006


beagle, you might want to read it again, the article is describing views in that blurb, not advancing them.
posted by cell divide at 2:55 PM on March 20, 2006


As is almost always the case with these theories of government conspiracies: they would if they could but they can't.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:56 PM on March 20, 2006


The problem with 9/11 conspiracy theories isn't the questions -- it's the total lack of any plausible alternative answer. None of these theories advance a motive that makes any sense. (And no, the coming danger of "peak oil" is not a plausible alternative answer -- more like a conspiracy theorist's wet dream).

That said, I'm squarely in the camp that believes the administration is directly responsible for the continued existence of these crackpot theories because it has been so stupidly secretive. I just tend to ascribe that less to an effort to hide a smoking gun, and more to the reflexive secrecy that we've seen every step of the way the last six years.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:58 PM on March 20, 2006


Sounds like some people need a nice close shave.
posted by Mach5 at 3:00 PM on March 20, 2006


I'll take a crack!
And why, if hydrocarbon-fueled fire maxes out at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and steel melts at 2,700 degrees, did the towers weaken sufficiently to fall in such a short time—only 56 minutes in the case of the South Tower?

You can bend steel at 75 degrees or 40 degrees or 1000 degrees, it just becomes much easier the hotter it is. Aluminum, for instance, bends quite readily at room temperature, while not melting until its significantly hotter.

And why, if the impact destroyed the planes’ supposedly crash-proof flight-recorder black boxes, was the FBI able to find, in perfect condition, the passport of Satam al Suqami, one of the alleged American Airlines Flight 11 hijackers?

I don't quite get the point of this, but if this really was evidence of a conspiracy, wouldn't they have found all 6? And didn't you see the footage of ream upon ream of paper fluttering out of the burning towers? I've heard that while the jet fuel got things started, it was really paper and other office detritus that kept the blaze going and ultimately brought the towers down. There was ALOT of it. Is it so implausible that ALOT would survive?

How could they, an hour after the first World Trade Center crash, allow an obviously hostile airplane to smash into the Pentagon, headquarters of the entire military-industrial complex, for chrissakes? And why did the Defense Department choose to stage an extraordinary number of military exercises on 9/11—occupying matériel and spreading confusion about who was who on that day?

All of this has to do with upper-level pentagon decision making, something I have zero qualification to comment upon. Just about everything the military does looks suspicious in some light.

And why was it so important, as decreed by Mayor Giuliani, to clear away the debris, before all the bodies were recovered?

Because Giuliani has always been more concerned with how New York *looks* rather than how it *is*. This kind of decision is right in line with countless others he's made using similar rationale.

And what about the short-selling spree on American and United airlines stock in the days before the attacks? Betting on the stocks to go down—was this real sicko Wall Street insider trading?

I've heard tell of this, but I've also heard alot of it happened through anonymous proxies in foreign countries and was therefore impossible to track. Terrorist trying to get rich off their own crimes? Probably. But if you were the government trying to pin this attack on someone else, wouldn't you have made those transactions relatively easy to trace back to whom you wanted to blame?
posted by ChasFile at 3:01 PM on March 20, 2006


The problem with 9/11 conspiracy theories isn't the questions -- it's the total lack of any plausible alternative answer. None of these theories advance a motive that makes any sense.

Even the details as put forth by our friendly neighborhood C-theorists leave me puzzled. If the point of the airplanes crashing into major buildings was to have a reason to get our war on, why was it necessary to do the demolition deal?

It must be that a standing building, on fire, with multitudes dead wouldn't be a good enough reason. The building simply had to be collapsed!
posted by stirfry at 3:07 PM on March 20, 2006


stirfry,

That's one of my big problems with the conspiracy folks too. I was more horrified by the sight of the planes crashing into the buildings than the buildings collapsing. Am I unusual in that?
posted by Bugbread at 3:10 PM on March 20, 2006


None of these theories advance a motive that makes any sense.

A recently renewed insurance contract on the twin towers specifically citing acts of terrorism @ $3.5B, and the owner attempts to claim each tower as a separate instance for a total claim of $7B.

A country handed over to warmongers in a frenzied, revenge-oriented position willing to fight whoever perpetrated these attacks.

Look where we are now - look at all of the contract scandals, all of the money associated with the war. WMD's have been debunked from day one, spreading democracy is a fucking joke of a theory. So you're left with the money, all you have to do is follow it. Yet there's no plausible motivation presented here? Amazing.

It's ok though, because really... MetaFilters views are already summed up quite nicely here.

Pretty sad that we've collectively branded it a worthless exercise in mental gymnastics - yet mathowie links it from his blog as a "9/11 movie that shows screenshots of MetaFilter (or so I'm told)", unbeknownst, a year later.
posted by prostyle at 3:13 PM on March 20, 2006


And why was it so important, as decreed by Mayor Giuliani, to clear away the debris, before all the bodies were recovered?

-AND-

Because that shit was toxic as hell and sitting on 400 acres of trillion dollar Manhattan real estate.
posted by tkchrist at 3:14 PM on March 20, 2006


This article is a disgrace to the magazine in which it was published. It's a total journalistic op-out: 'let's revel in all these conspiratorial theories and interesting personalities without actually doing any intellectual work to try to ascertain if any of it is true.'
posted by twsf at 3:15 PM on March 20, 2006


it all gets wonky with these theories because debates can keep going on forever as there is no evidence.

For example, someone would just say to stirfry that the explosives were in place just in case the planes missed or didn't do enough damage to really set things in motion. There was obviously a back-up plan which would have said that terrorists had blown up a bunch of vans in the basement a la 1993.

I am not a believer, but I do think there are a lot of things we don't know about what happened that day, and that some of them are indeed sinister.
posted by cell divide at 3:15 PM on March 20, 2006


"I find a colander is more effective at filtering out both the 1800 and 850 MHz mind control beams. Tinfoil suffers from weak signal impedance in the high frequency range."

-MetaFilter

Actually that's great.
posted by cell divide at 3:16 PM on March 20, 2006


And another thing...

The folks who planned and carried this conspiracy out clearly have power and no morals. I'm sure that they would do whatever possible not to be unmasked.

So how is it that these C-theorists are still alive?
posted by stirfry at 3:17 PM on March 20, 2006


WMD's have been debunked from day one,

What happened to the mega-organizational ability? They can plan and execute the airplane crashes and demolition but can't plant a few WMDs?

Gimme a break!
posted by stirfry at 3:21 PM on March 20, 2006


Stirfry,

While I don't believe in the c-theories, that one's a bit of a giveaway: does anyone of any importance believe in these c-theories? No. There's no problem with being unmasked if nobody believes the unmasker, so there's no reason to go to efforts to make sure c-theorists don't catch you.
posted by Bugbread at 3:21 PM on March 20, 2006


as i recall, the fellow that hit the pentagon failed flight school yet managed a 270 degree banking descent in order to hit the sea facing (fortified) side of the pentagon which happened to be empty due to repairs. Isn't that alone a little too convenient?
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 3:27 PM on March 20, 2006


bugbread:

There's no problem with being unmasked if nobody believes the unmasker, so there's no reason to go to efforts to make sure c-theorists don't catch you.

Point taken.
posted by stirfry at 3:31 PM on March 20, 2006


*sigh* everything was so much easier when we thought that astrology held all the answers.
posted by public at 3:31 PM on March 20, 2006


"it is difficult to find anyone who believes Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman...." wow! After that statement how can I take anything else with any seriousness. There are Many who believe Oswald the lone gunman, though what might be unsure is what the motive behind it was and who might have helped him. But I had seen not very long ago an experiment with a gunman and crew, duplicating everything that took place and using the same rifle etc etc do exactly what the record says ONE gunman did..and this was a very very through test, forensics etc

Now how can I take seriously a guy who believes in god and heaven and the Church when he tells us he knows the truth of things?
posted by Postroad at 3:31 PM on March 20, 2006


"They can plan and execute the airplane crashes and demolition but can't plant a few WMDs?"

that a good point but perhaps the planted WMDs would have to stand up to scrutiny, inspection etc. I imagine the IAEA would wanna have a look at them. If we just grabbed one from our arsenal, they'd surely know it was ours. I can't imagine that manufacturing a Nuke to appear to be of Iraqi make would be an easy or cheap task.

also, if iraq did have one, where'd they get the parts? These "shadow figures" would have to also invent answers to these questions when the world community begins looking into how saddam got WMDs. Creating an international nuclear parts smuggling ring sounds like a tall order.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 3:33 PM on March 20, 2006


Tryptophan-5ht : "as i recall, the fellow that hit the pentagon failed flight school yet managed a 270 degree banking descent in order to hit the sea facing (fortified) side of the pentagon which happened to be empty due to repairs. Isn't that alone a little too convenient?"

I dunno. Did he fail flight school because of his ability to make a 270 degree banking descent?
posted by Bugbread at 3:35 PM on March 20, 2006


Tryptophan-5ht : "I can't imagine that manufacturing a Nuke to appear to be of Iraqi make would be an easy or cheap task."

Nor would rigging the WTC to collapse.
posted by Bugbread at 3:36 PM on March 20, 2006


That Loose Change video is so full of goddamned holes and out right preposterous assumptions that it should be labeled comedy.

You want something with real facts, then start here:

How the Towers Fell

And then brows on:

The Man Who Knew
posted by tkchrist at 3:41 PM on March 20, 2006


I can't imagine that manufacturing a Nuke to appear to be of Iraqi make would be an easy or cheap task.

Yes. Yes it would. A fuck-load cheaper and easier than demoing 400 acres of prime Manhattan skyline and coordinating a hit on your own country.

And wouldn't HAVE to be nukes. We could concoct a couple of missiles loaded with nearly untraceable Chemical or Bio weapons in a heart beat.

Jesus H. These people have a hard enough time getting their shit together for covert operations. They would stand nothing, I mean nothing, to gain from orchestrating 9/11 even IF they were competent enough to do it. Haliburton non-withstanding. 9/11 sucked a trillion dollars out of the commerical sector economy for christ sake.

It's ALL irrelevant because all these supposed mysteries have been explained again and again.
posted by tkchrist at 3:52 PM on March 20, 2006


prostyle writes "A recently renewed insurance contract on the twin towers specifically citing acts of terrorism @ $3.5B, and the owner attempts to claim each tower as a separate instance for a total claim of $7B. "

Silverstein may be greedy, but do you think he orchestrated the murder of almost 3,000 people (his tenants) for a $7 billion insurance settlement? That's comic book villain kind of stuff. If he was so evil, why did he wait until he was almost 70 years old to start killing his tenants en masse? He's owned plenty of big buildings with big insurance policies.
posted by mullacc at 3:52 PM on March 20, 2006


Conspiracy theories can not be disproved — ever.

Argue with the 9/11 tinfoil beanie folks until Doomsday: at no point will you ever convince them they are wrong. At no point will they ever present you with credible evidence that they are correct (but will always have that tantalizing bit of evidence that is being suppressed by the man, if only they could get it...). The evidence they present that looks like evidence is either flatly wrong (as is the stuff about the fires not being hot enough), or wildly implausible. And all of it will lack any credible testing.

These folks are not engaging in rational thinking — they’re story telling. We live in a chaotic, disordered, insane universe. Most people can’t deal with that. Conspiracy theorists are making up stories and myths to try and create order from the chaos. Just like the Ancient Greeks and Babylonians, or Native Americans, or Christians, or Jews ... or you and me (good vs. evil is another of the common, farsical themes humans make up to feel better).

But in any event, arguing with them is as fruitful as schooling a stone.

Of course all of this is complicated by the fact that real conspiracies do exist. The tobacco industry in America engaged in one. The fact that things of that ilk can happen adds fuel to the fire of the irrationally paranoid conspiracy theorist’s mind, and ensnares a few who would otherwise not be taken in.
posted by teece at 3:54 PM on March 20, 2006


There's even a conspiracy theory about the conspiracy theory that a plane didn't hit the Pentagon.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:59 PM on March 20, 2006


That's awesome, kirkaracha. "One of the earliest clues that this was a deliberate operation by an intelligence agency was the sheer volume of emails insisting that this issue HAD to be looked at. Sometimes the spooks betray themselves with their own heavy handedness."
posted by Bugbread at 4:05 PM on March 20, 2006


I used to think conspiracy theories were bullshit until I read this:

9+1+1=11 and there are eleven letters in both George W. Bush and The Pentagon, for which ground was broken September 11, 1941, exactly 155 (=11) years after the Masonic-dominated Founding Fathers opened the Constitutional Convention on September 11, 1786, not to mention, for CIA MIHOP fans, that Kissinger and the Langley boys chose September 11, 1973, to overthrow Chilean socialist president Salvador Allende

Holy shit. It was a setup!
posted by b_thinky at 4:09 PM on March 20, 2006


In all seriousness, the only motive that actually makes sense is Mossad making it happen.

Not trying to start an argument on Israel or anything, but they have been the largest beneficiaries (if there are any) of 9/11. Americans are naturally more suspicious of arabs now. We invaded Iraq, and are preparing for war with Syria and Iran. None of this benefits the average American, but neutralizing 3 of Israels largest threats is a big plus for that country.
posted by b_thinky at 4:15 PM on March 20, 2006


that article does the same thing that the popular mechanics "debunking" does, which is to lump legitimate questions in with hare-brained conspiracy bullshit, having the net effect of discrediting anyone who suggests that something other than the official story happened that fateful day.

at the very least, it makes it more difficult for someone to take such an idea seriously.

but to those people, i say "Remember the Maine!"

can't plant a few WMDs

i don't think they thought they needed to plant anything -- there'd be enough bullshit VX or mustard gas on hand to justify it in the soft american brain -- but their intelligence was so piss-poor that they were not aware that there was nothing left of the program.
posted by Hat Maui at 4:25 PM on March 20, 2006


that article does the same thing that the popular mechanics "debunking" does, which is to lump legitimate questions in with hare-brained conspiracy bullshit, having the net effect of discrediting anyone who suggests that something other than the official story happened that fateful day.

at the very least, it makes it more difficult for someone to take such an idea seriously.

but to those people, i say "Remember the Maine!"

can't plant a few WMDs

i don't think they thought they needed to plant anything -- there'd be enough bullshit VX or mustard gas on hand to justify it in the soft american brain -- but their intelligence was so piss-poor that they were not aware that there was nothing left of the program.
posted by Hat Maui at 4:25 PM on March 20, 2006


whoops!

damn illuminati.
posted by Hat Maui at 4:26 PM on March 20, 2006


Maybe I have a naive trust in humanity. I just can't imagine any of these scenarios actually being true.

I believe in serial killers, torture, ethnic clensing and other horrific things like these, but I can can't fathom an elaborate conspiracy of this size. It just seems like it would talk too many people to pull it off. Someone along the chain would leak something. How could all of the info ever be kept under wraps?
posted by tomplus2 at 4:28 PM on March 20, 2006



And why, if hydrocarbon-fueled fire maxes out at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and steel melts at 2,700 degrees, did the towers weaken sufficiently to fall in such a short time—only 56 minutes in the case of the South Tower?


Jesus Fucking Christ, do the goddamn experiment yourself if you don't believe it. Load up a steel beam to distortion. Get another, identical beam. Put 10% of the load that distored it on it. Now, heat the steel up to 800F, and watch it fold.

Or, the kitchen version. Go to store. Buy a pound of butter, packaged in four quarter pound sticks. Put one in freezer. Put on in fridge. Put one on counter. Wait a day. Now, take the last one and throw in the microwave and nuke it. That one is melted. Compare the other sticks. The one on the counter hasn't melted, as long as your house isn't extremely warm.

Does it have the same strength as the chilled and frozen ones? It hasn't melted -- so it must, right? Take heavy object, and place them on the three sticks. Each stick -- -15C, 0C, 20C -- can hold the same load, right?

Wrong. That's why the beams failed. They could hold up the load when they were at 70F. They couldn't when they were at 900F -- a trivially achievable temp in an office fire, nevermind one that had a tremendous impact to shatter objects and damage fire supression systems, then, as a kicker, add several thousand pounds of jet fuel to the equation.

You are welcome to calculate the energy contained in a fully fueled 757 or 767. Here's a hint -- the fuel burning put far more energy into the towers than the impact did -- by several orders of magnitude. That's why the building didn't fall at impact, and did fall after the fuel burned for a while.

The rule of thumb is Steel is fine until 300C, but at 400C, it starts to weaken rapidly. At 550C, it's down to 60%, at 600C, it's down to 40%, at 700C, it's less than 10%. These numbers vary with the exact alloy of steel used, but structural steels are tested, they're known, and the fire easily reaches temps that severely comprimise the strenght of the columns -- many of which are already damaged and or destroyed by the impact.

Here's another hint. Why do you think blacksmiths use a forge? You can hammer on iron all day, and you won't get much done. Heat it to yellow hot, and you can easily shape it.

Or, hell, just look here.

As to the "This never happened before" -- well, I know of exactly two buildings over 1000' high that were hit by jet airlines at high speed. They both fell down.
posted by eriko at 4:32 PM on March 20, 2006


In all seriousness, the only motive that actually makes sense is Mossad making it happen.

Mossad would be, perhaps, one of the few organizations that could pull it off and keep it fairly secret. For a while. But eventually somethign that planned comes out. And given how hostile a good portion of this country is toward jews - how long do you think it would be before somebody here nuked the crap out of that country? Hello Armageddon.
posted by tkchrist at 4:34 PM on March 20, 2006


And why, if hydrocarbon-fueled fire maxes out at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and steel melts at 2,700 degrees, did the towers weaken sufficiently to fall in such a short time—only 56 minutes in the case of the South Tower?

As other people have pointed out, you don't need to melt the steel beams, you just need to heat the connectors enough for them to fail under load. The failure of one part places a higher load on the remaining parts.

And why, if the impact destroyed the planes’ supposedly crash-proof flight-recorder black boxes, was the FBI able to find, in perfect condition, the passport of Satam al Suqami, one of the alleged American Airlines Flight 11 hijackers?

Which points to another conspiracy theory, one that I suspect is much more probable. The key groups have been manipulating the aftermath to turn lemons into lemonade, and playing fast and loose with the evidence as a result. Case in point:

A recently renewed insurance contract on the twin towers specifically citing acts of terrorism @ $3.5B, and the owner attempts to claim each tower as a separate instance for a total claim of $7B.

The WTC had previously been a target. Not covering the WTC would have been extremely stupid. Of course this guy is going to try to milk insurance for all he can get. Who wouldn't? But taking advantage after the fact is not strong evidence of motivation or participation.

How could they, an hour after the first World Trade Center crash, allow an obviously hostile airplane to smash into the Pentagon, headquarters of the entire military-industrial complex, for chrissakes?

Heh, how do you identify a plane as "obviously hostile?" Does its icon suddenly turn red on the heads-up display? A large chunk of the problem was due to poor communication between FAA control centers. The control center tracking American Airlines 77 had no idea that there were hijacked planes in the system until 17 minutes before American 77 hit the pentagon. You had a group of people in Indianapolis trying to find the plane on a West Virginia hillside, and a group of military officers looking for a plane that had been dead for 40 minutes. Too much of the conspiracy can be explained through simple incompetence.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:46 PM on March 20, 2006


eriko, that still doesn't explain why the thing came down at freefall speed.

or why the south tower collapsed first, given that it sustained no damage to the building core and that most of the fuel exploded in the air, or given that it was giving off black smoke before the collapse, meaning the fire was oxygen-deprived and nearly out, and therefore much cooler than the max burning temperature of kerosene.

why didn't it come down like a tree if it's the weakening that caused it? indeed, it started to topple first and then magically fell back in the direction of the intact side.

also, it's worth noting that the jets were not "fully fuelled" but rather had about 10,000 gallons each at takeoff (capacity is 24,000 gallons). it's also worth noting that it's the opinion of the NIST that most of the jet fuel in BOTH fires burned off in 5 to 15 minutes. if you think that's enough time to heat structural steel to a significant weakening point, you would be wrong.

also, did you really just use butter as an example to prove your argument? come on, dude.

"This never happened before" -- well, I know of exactly two buildings over 1000' high that were hit by jet airlines at high speed. They both fell down.

fine and good. then please to explain WTC7.
posted by Hat Maui at 4:50 PM on March 20, 2006


Does its icon suddenly turn red on the heads-up display?

in a manner of speaking, yes -- that plane had its transponder turned off. all other planes except for flight 93 and the WTC flights did not.

all other planes were in the process of landing, but this plane was heading toward washington DC on no known flight path.

turning off a transponder doesn't cause a plane to not be visible on radar, it just has no identifying information. so in essence, the transpoder-off planes should have been pretty easy to identify for that fact alone.
posted by Hat Maui at 4:53 PM on March 20, 2006


Hat Maui - Just for my own info, which ones? I know of exactly two buildings over 1000' high that were hit by jet airlines at high speed
posted by michaelonfs at 4:59 PM on March 20, 2006


michaelonfs,

i was responding to eriko's comment -- he was referring to the WTC.

thus the italicisation of his original comment.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:05 PM on March 20, 2006


I know of exactly two buildings over 1000' high that were hit by jet airlines at high speed. They both fell down.?

Did they fall over, or fall down? The conspiracy theorists always say it's suspicious that the World Trade Center towers fell straight down, but how to buildings hit by airplanes typically behave? Were they supposed to have fallen over like trees?

do you think he orchestrated the murder of almost 3,000 people (his tenants)

Worst. Landlord. Ever.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:06 PM on March 20, 2006


Oops wrong person!
eriko - Just for my own info, which ones? I know of exactly two buildings over 1000' high that were hit by jet airlines at high speed
posted by michaelonfs at 5:11 PM on March 20, 2006


I've worked phone support at a couple of jobs, and on numerous occasions, been accused of being part of a conspiracy to destroy said persons job/life/etc . . . because their service was down. 9 times out of 10, it was because of gross incompetence on the part of the companies I worked for, not any intentional spite. (the other 1 time it was just a shit happens situation like a tree downing a power line).

Yet, each person that accused me or the company of intentionally doing harm to them refused to accept that it wasn't happening because the company "had it in for them". In two cases, it was our company working with the government who was really controlled by . .. I don't remember who, but it was insane.

This lead me to believe the majority, if not all conspiracy theories are our minds way of rationalizing stupid and preventable events. Some people CAN'T accept that the answer is an oops. Oops, we let the terrrrist into the country. Oops, we trained them to fly the planes they would later crash into our buildings. Oops, we had advanced warning and didn't heed it.

Its occam's razor at its finest. The simplist answer (in this case gross incompetence/gross negligence) is usually the right one.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 5:13 PM on March 20, 2006


it seemed a good place to talk about the only former world’s tallest building(s) to fall down

Lincoln Cathedral motherfucker.
posted by cillit bang at 5:19 PM on March 20, 2006


turning off a transponder doesn't cause a plane to not be visible on radar, it just has no identifying information. so in essence, the transpoder-off planes should have been pretty easy to identify for that fact alone.

Air traffic control works of transponders, mainly. Tracking using the radar echo is great if you have an echo. First you need to find the target. The jets that were scrambled were sent up without being given a a vector.

The whole thing just shows that our air defense isn't the magic deal that some make it out to be.

Incompetence not evil planning.
posted by stirfry at 5:25 PM on March 20, 2006


There are MANY legitimate questions that have NOT been answered about the events of 9/11. They have not been answered, debunked, explained, or otherwise put to rest.

The physical model put forth by the 9/11 commission describing "pancaking" of the WTC towers does not in any way match the structural layout of said towers.

The timeline of events in the 9/11 commission report changed significantly three times.

The 9/11 report essentially says "we don't know why building 7 fell."

Extensive eyewitness testimony from police, firefighters, and other witnesses and emergency personnel describing myriad explosions and flashes consistent with demolition have been ignored.

Video evidence - such as the footage in "9/11 eyewitness" clearly capturing multiple explosions within the towers, as well as dust clouds, preceding the collapses of the buildings by several minutes, again, have been ignored.

Over half of New Yorkers polled believe that there are many unanswered questions about 9/11, and that an independent investigation should be reopened.

New Yorkers. People who were fucking THERE when it happened.

Claims of bias within the commission

Some members of victims' families have claimed that the commission has numerous conflicts of interest. 9/11 CitizensWatch, in particular, called for the resignation of Philip D. Zelikow, the executive staff director. Zelikow is a Bush-appointee who served on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He spent three years on the President George H. W. Bush's National Security Council. Zelikow worked closely with Bush NSC advisor Condoleezza Rice and even co-wrote a book with her. Some worry that Zelikow may be using his power to deflect blame from himself and to protect Rice.

In addition, many members had ties which could be viewed as conflicts of interest.

* Thomas Kean has ties to the National Endowment for Democracy, a long-time conduit of CIA covert operations abroad. Kean also has a history of investments that link him to Saudi investors who have financially supported both George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden in the past. One example is his former business connections to Khalid bin Mahfouz, an alleged terrorist financier. He was also at one point or still is on the board of Pepsi Bottling, Amerada Hess, UnitedHealth Group, CIT Group and Aramark.

* Fred F. Fielding has done legal work for two of Bush's leading "Pioneer" fund-raisers. Fielding also works for a law firm lobbying for Spirit Airlines and United Airlines.

* Slade Gorton has close ties to Boeing, which built all the planes destroyed on 9/11, and his law firm represents several major airlines, including Delta Air Lines.

* James Thompson is the head of a law firm that lobbies for American Airlines, and he has previously represented United Airlines.

* Richard Ben-Veniste represented Boeing and United Airlines.

* Lee Hamilton sits on many advisory boards, including those to the CIA, the president's Homeland Security Advisory Council, and the US Army.

* Tim Roemer represents Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

* Jamie Gorelick's firm has agreed to represent Prince Mohammed al Faisal in the suit by the 9/11 families. The families contend that al Faisal has legal responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. According to Attorney General John Ashcroft in his testimony before the commission, Gorelick wrote a procedural memo that would have prevented communication between various government agencies (the wall memo[2]). She is on the board of United Technologies.
posted by stenseng at 5:26 PM on March 20, 2006


From the article:

"Later, Rodriguez met James Randi, a.k.a. the Amazing Randi, the magician best known as a debunker of supernatural claims, offering the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge to anyone able to demonstrate verifiable evidence of psychic powers.

“Randi was my mentor,” said William. “I admired him for his tricks but also because he never said they were anything but tricks. He separated the truth from the phony.”

William moved to New York, but beyond some gigs at Mostly Magic, his career did not take off. He started working for a cleaning company in the World Trade Center. He’d stay there twenty years.

On 9/11, William was late. Instead of mopping the stairwells on the 110th floor, where he almost certainly would have died, he was chatting with the maintenance crew on level B-1 in the basement. “I heard this massive explosion below, on level B-2 or 3. I saw this guy come up the stairs. The skin on his arms was peeled away . . . hanging. Then I heard another explosion, from above. That was the first plane, hitting the building.”

In possession of one of the few master keys in the building, William led firemen up the stairwells. He was responsible for getting at least a dozen people out of the towers. Trying to escape as the North Tower fell, he found himself beneath a half-buried fire engine.

“I told myself this is going to be a slow death, but I should make it last as long as I could. My training as an escape artist helped me. I knew to be calm. They found me just in time. I understood my whole life had been pointing to this moment.”

Acclaimed as “the last man pulled from the rubble,” William became a hero of 9/11. “I was at the White House. They took my picture with President Bush.”

Four years later, after repeatedly being rebuffed in his attempts to tell officials his story about the basement explosion, William is suing the U.S. government under the rico statute, legislation drafted to prosecute Mafia families. The suit reads like an Air America wet dream, with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, John Ashcroft, George Tenet, Karl Rove, and others (the Diebold Company is thrown in for good measure) listed as defendants.

“They say I’m a conspiracy theorist; I call them conspirators, too,” William says.

“It is like Randi said. There’s reality, and there’s illusion. When illusion becomes reality, that’s a problem. Nine-eleven is a giant illusion. Besides, what can they do to me? I’m a national hero, Bush told me so himself.”
posted by stenseng at 5:36 PM on March 20, 2006


Hat Maui: turning off a transponder doesn't cause a plane to not be visible on radar, it just has no identifying information. so in essence, the transpoder-off planes should have been pretty easy to identify for that fact alone.

"While FAA radar equipment tracked the flight from the moment its transponder was turned off, this information was not available to controllers at Indianapolis Center, for technical reasons. The result was that Indianapolis Center never saw Flight 77 turn around and head back toward Washington. The plane traveled undetected for 36 minutes."

From the documentation I've been able to pick up, the FAA has been reducing their dependence on radar reflections because of the fair quantity of noise that renders them less than reliable.

And a loss of transponder contact just means a loss of transponder contact. It does not necessarily mean that the plane is hostile.

why didn't it come down like a tree if it's the weakening that caused it? indeed, it started to topple first and then magically fell back in the direction of the intact side.

Why the expectation that it would fall like a tree?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:36 PM on March 20, 2006


Typical was the opinion offered by an investment banker at a downtown bar. “I can see them wishing it would happen, secretly happy it did. But on purpose? Look at the way they’ve managed Iraq. They’re boobs. They couldn’t have pulled off 9/11 without getting caught. Not possible.”



What better alibi than clouseau-esque malcompetence...
posted by stenseng at 5:40 PM on March 20, 2006


Just because someone takes a seemingly rational, level tone doesn't make them NOT batshit insane. I've actually met flat-earthers and Hollow-moon folks. They were university educated, calm, level-headed, well-travelled and well-read. And batshit insane.
posted by slatternus at 5:41 PM on March 20, 2006


stenseng: Extensive eyewitness testimony from police, firefighters, and other witnesses and emergency personnel describing myriad explosions and flashes consistent with demolition have been ignored.

It amazes me that in this enlightened age when we know about the inherent fallibility of human perception and memory, that people treat "eyewitness testimony" as if it was worth even a bucket of warm shit. (And on my more cynical days, I'd place a higher value on shit, because at least you can get good tomatoes.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:42 PM on March 20, 2006


Why did that grainery fall when that man was under it?
posted by 235w103 at 5:44 PM on March 20, 2006


There are MANY legitimate questions that have NOT been answered about the events of 9/11. They have not been answered, debunked, explained, or otherwise put to rest.

There are things about the mechanics, the physics of the collapse which are not well enough explained. There are legitimate questions.

What bothers me is the leap from the questions to a full blown cospiracy complete with the actors involved but no real motives.

It reminds me very much of the approach of some of those who visceraly object to evolution. They pick aspects not completely understood and then go AHA! God did it!

As for the rest of your many points, you go on pointing to the trees. I want to hear about the forest from one of you c-theorists.
posted by stirfry at 5:47 PM on March 20, 2006


"It amazes me that in this enlightened age when we know about the inherent fallibility of human perception and memory, that people treat "eyewitness testimony" as if it was worth even a bucket of warm shit. (And on my more cynical days, I'd place a higher value on shit, because at least you can get good tomatoes.)"

uh, what.

Methinks you might want to look into the evidentiary weight of eyewitness testimony in the American legal system then, mistar cynical man.
posted by stenseng at 5:48 PM on March 20, 2006


I have a question for those who are using 'common sense' to determine that there is something wrong with the official story about the physics of the collapse. (That is, the people asking, 'Why didn't they fall like a tree?' "Why did they fall so close to free fall?", etc.)

If it is so obvious to you that the physics is wrong, shouldn't it be far more obvious to a structural engineer? And if so, why aren't structural engineers across the country screaming bloody murder about how the story is wrong?
posted by event at 5:49 PM on March 20, 2006


"As for the rest of your many points, you go on pointing to the trees. I want to hear about the forest from one of you c-theorists."


What are you getting at? Are you asking for motive?

See, the problem is, I could speculate as to motive, and then you'd say, "yes, but that's all speculation, what about the physical evidence?"
posted by stenseng at 5:50 PM on March 20, 2006


Alright, if you're all so clever - do me a favor and explain the Flight 93 cell phone records. Here's a very recent thread about expanding the capabilities and acceptance of cell phones on airline travel. Only one single person makes the connection, the rest of the thread is trivial griping on how much more devestating this will make your personal airline journey.

The last topic covered in Loose Change is this very subject, and they point to United Airlines spending millions of dollars in 2004 on aircraft installed technology to enable in-flight calling. Why would they do this if their very planes carried the signals for 13+ minute conversations multiple times on 9/11? What of the calls themselves?

Let's Roll, indeed.
posted by prostyle at 5:50 PM on March 20, 2006


For too long our culture has said, "If it feels good, do it." Now America is embracing a new ethic and a new creed: "Let's roll."
posted by prostyle at 5:54 PM on March 20, 2006



"If it is so obvious to you that the physics is wrong, shouldn't it be far more obvious to a structural engineer? And if so, why aren't structural engineers across the country screaming bloody murder about how the story is wrong?"


Uh. Probably because like most people that have questions about 9/11, they're scared shitless of the implications, and have no motivation whatsoever to risk their livlihoods and professional reputations questioning the official story...

That said, Fire Engineering Magazine, and some other experts in related fields have raised questions, but it's not exactly in anyone's best interest to be branded a "conspiracy nut," and potentially lose their job, in order to ask questions or raise objections.

Honestly, I think a LOT of people have questioned the official explanation of the 9/11 attacks, in their own minds, or privately among trusted friends.

However, the magnitude of potential deceit is frightening enough that most people would much rather not think about it.
posted by stenseng at 5:58 PM on March 20, 2006


eriko, that still doesn't explain why the thing came down at freefall speed.

That's easy. KE=1/2mv2. Acceleration due to gravity is 9.8m/s2.

Homework: Determine the mass of 10 floors of WTC1 or 2. Then determine the kinetic energy of it falling 15 feet. Then, determine how strong the next floor below must be to keep standing.

When you see that the answer are "lots", "way more than lots" and "vastly more than was there", you'll understand that once it got going, the lower floors of the tower barely slowed it down.

or why the south tower collapsed first

It was hit lower. Thus, the damaged section had to support more mass. Bonus extra damage -- the plane that hit the south tower was moving much faster.

given that it sustained no damage to the building core

The elevator shafts took damage, therefore, the building core did sustain damage. Indeed, the very lightweight steel facade is one reason the planes did so much damage -- there was little mass to resist them.

and that most of the fuel exploded in the air

Jet-A doesn't explode, in any sense of the word. That was merely the result of kinetic energy.

or given that it was giving off black smoke before the collapse, meaning the fire was oxygen-deprived and nearly out

Or was merely oxygen deprived a bit, and fed lots of long chain polymers. Say, oh, plastics and diesel fuel.

Ever see a tire fire? Sheesh.

why didn't it come down like a tree if it's the weakening that caused it?

What force could push it over?

Here's how it fails. We've seen this before -- not on this scale, but we've seen it before.

A column is damaged. It fails. Failing, it cannot support the load. So, the load transfers to other columns. But they're damaged as well (and with fire, they're weakening.) One by one, they fail -- which transfers the load to the other columns. Now these columns are weakening, and have to support more load.

Soon, the curve crosses -- one more column fails, the load transfers to the remaining columns, which pushes them all to failure, and the rest fall.

Why the tower didn't keep rotating? Nothing to push against. The math is clear -- at about 3 degress, the shear forces shatter the floor it is pivoting on, and without any other force to rotate the falling tower, it doesn't. Force diagram. The math is below.

also, did you really just use butter as an example to prove your argument? come on, dude.

Easier to buy and work with. The experiment will work exactly the same with butter, ice, lead, aluminum or steel -- but the loads and temps are different. Most people can't safely heat steel to 900F, or load it with tons of force. Most everyone can safely melt butter. Many people could do this with lead, but there is a fair amount of danger.

As to the math, It is here.

I know of exactly two buildings over 1000' high that were hit by jet airlines at high speed
eriko - Just for my own info, which ones?


United and American. Of course, I meant to write "airliners". The buildings -- 1 & 2 WTC, New York City.

The lesson here is "Don't cite this as an example of how it couldn't happen, when it has happened twice, and the result has been loss of building both times." Or, in snarkier terms, the reason more 1000' tall building haven't fallen down is that they haven't been hit by jet airplanes.
posted by eriko at 5:59 PM on March 20, 2006


stenseng:

What are you getting at? Are you asking for motive?

See, the problem is, I could speculate as to motive, and then you'd say, "yes, but that's all speculation, what about the physical evidence?"


Your assertions are loaded with implied motive. I assume you don't think that bin Ladin was the mastermind here but that Bush and others were.

As was pointed out above by tkchrist: They would stand nothing, I mean nothing, to gain from orchestrating 9/11 even IF they were competent enough to do it.
posted by stirfry at 6:00 PM on March 20, 2006


Heh, how do you identify a plane as "obviously hostile?" Does its icon suddenly turn red on the heads-up display?

At that point, you have to be careful to stay out of aggro range of said hostile airplane, particularly if it's conning anything above orange to you. That was the Pentagon's first mistake.
posted by thanotopsis at 6:04 PM on March 20, 2006


If there wasn't all these loose ends it would be too obvious that it all was, in fact, a monstrous conspiracy.

THINK ABOUT IT.
posted by sacre_bleu at 6:04 PM on March 20, 2006


God did it because He wants Armageddon.
posted by bigbigdog at 6:07 PM on March 20, 2006


cell divide >>> "And why, if the impact destroyed the planes’ supposedly crash-proof flight-recorder black boxes, was the FBI able to find, in perfect condition, the passport of Satam al Suqami, one of the alleged American Airlines Flight 11 hijackers?"

Because weird shit happens in disasters. Tornados can ram a piece of straw through a telephone pole, kids get thrown out of cars in accidents and end up unscathed, etc.

Imaginea plane breaking apart, and a terrorist getting sucked out in the explosive decompression (would that occur at that low altitude? I dunno). His passport falls out of his pocket. It's not that farfetched.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:08 PM on March 20, 2006


If there wasn't all these loose ends it would be too obvious that it all was, in fact, a monstrous conspiracy.

THINK ABOUT IT.
posted by sacre_bleu at 6:04 PM PST on March 20 [!]


But in fact there are loose ends. So what does it make it now?
posted by stirfry at 6:09 PM on March 20, 2006


Hehe...I got a fun conspiracy theory for you all to chew on -- get this...a few days after the 9/11 attacks, the President of the United States rounded up his senior staff, including his counterterrorism czar and asked them again and again to find a connection...any connection...to Saddam and Iraq, even thought there wasn't one. The defense secretary even wrote a memo encouraging his people to "see whether good enough to hit SH...get best info fast...sweep it all up....things related and not". It's TRUE!

Then before long they were siphoning money from a Congressional approporiation to build this big, long runway in Kuwait, among other things, which cost $700M in all. Congress was never told. THEY VIOLATED THE CONSTITUTION! They started bombarding the airwaves with a storyline that drummed home the point "9/11=terrorism=Iraq" and planted stories in a systemic fashion to tie Saddam to the attacks and to al Queda in the public mind. Commentators were paid off to espouse this crazy theory that Saddam was responsible for the attacks and that he was an imminent threat to our nation. Critics were marginalized and made fun of, their patriotism and sanity questioned. I SAW IT.

They fabricated evidence which said that Iraq sought uranium yellow cake from Africa, and told the world that aluminum tubes could only be used as centrifuges to enrich that uranium. They talked about mushroom clouds, unmanned aeriel drones, and battlefield orders to use chem/bio weapons.Experts who contradicted them were TARGETED FOR RETRIBUTION. It was a scary time.

When the claims didn't come true...they alternated between claims that they didn't make them ("never said imminent threat") and that everyone else believed it too ("BUT CLINTON!").

I know it sounds crazy, but ya gotta believe me. There's this massive conspiracy which caused the deaths of untold numbers of innocent people and American troops, and they're hiding the facts and figures which prove it.

THEY AREN'T INCOMPETENT...THAT'S JUST WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO THINK. While you debate their malcompetence...they and their cronies made literally tens of billions of dollars DISAPPEAR into their offshore bank accounts, under the cover of the chaos they created. You think you can drum them from power, but TENS OF BILLIONS has a way of staying influential long after the principal players are gone from office.

Ehhh...just a conspiracy theory.
posted by edverb at 6:10 PM on March 20, 2006


"As was pointed out above by tkchrist: They would stand nothing, I mean nothing, to gain from orchestrating 9/11 even IF they were competent enough to do it."

Uh. That's an assertion, not a fact.

It's an assertion I totally disagree with. In fact, it's one of the most laughably absurd assertions I've ever heard.

This administration has essentially garnered it's every perquisite, right, and overreach of executive power as a result of the 9/11 attacks.

-Credibility, that the "lame duck" Bush administration was sorely lacking prior to 9/11

-Carte blanche for far reaching expansion of powers by the executive, including the patriot act, declaration of war without congressional approval, massive debt increases, and the largest expansion of the federal government in history

-New powers and abilities to pry into the personal lives and communications of Americans, up to and including domestic surveilance against political enemies

-justification of torture as legitimate policy. Torture.

-justification for an unending war based on false pretences in the most oil-rich region in the world

shall I go on?


Name a single overstep, over reach, or hyper extension of executive authority that hasn't been justified by 9/11 and the GWAT.
posted by stenseng at 6:10 PM on March 20, 2006


His passport falls out of his pocket. It's not that farfetched.

It's fucking insanity, but hey... pass the bong! This shit is CRAZY!
posted by prostyle at 6:10 PM on March 20, 2006


It's too far fetched. They could never pull it off.
posted by edverb at 6:11 PM on March 20, 2006


Wow, srvoisvert. Thank you for saying everything I've been thinking.

The worst part of conspiracy theories is that they ignore the obvious.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:13 PM on March 20, 2006


Would you believe that over the course of five years, from 1939 to 1945 over 130,000 people worked on a top secret program to develop a super-weapon that would ensure American military dominance and bring about an end to the Second World War, and they somehow managed to keep it a secret?


Nah...too far fetched. They could never keep people quiet...


Oh wait. It was called the Manhattan Project...
posted by stenseng at 6:19 PM on March 20, 2006


This administration has essentially garnered it's every perquisite, right, and overreach of executive power as a result of the 9/11 attacks.

It was a very nice day here today. Sunny, warm and I made good use of it by getting out and about.

A big difference between that scenario and yours which says that I created that warm and sunny day and then went out to enjoy it.
posted by stirfry at 6:19 PM on March 20, 2006


"A big difference between that scenario and yours which says that I created that warm and sunny day and then went out to enjoy it."



Sure. And I'm not saying I'm 100% certain that they caused 9/11.

I'm just saying, a: there are a lot of oddities about 9/11, that I don't feel are anywhere nearly adequately explained by the official story, and then asking b: well, qui bono?
posted by stenseng at 6:22 PM on March 20, 2006


"We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership" The Project for the New American Century

signed by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld.

Motive? - methinks so...
posted by RufusW at 6:25 PM on March 20, 2006


Further, why was the physical evidence at the WTC site destroyed before it could be examined by outside experts?

Why was the 9/11 commission such a mockery of an independent investigation?

Why were the many objections of the 9/11 families totally ignored?

Why did Bush and Cheney contact Tom Daschle directly and ask him to limit congressional inquiry?

Why were Bush and Cheney allowed to testify off the record?

etc. etc. etc.
posted by stenseng at 6:26 PM on March 20, 2006


And what the fuck was with the military grade anthrax attacks on democratic congressmen and major media figures, simultaneous to the period in which any meaningful investigation of 9/11 could take place?
posted by stenseng at 6:27 PM on March 20, 2006


Would you believe that over the course of five years, from 1939 to 1945 over 130,000 people worked on a top secret program to develop a super-weapon that would ensure American military dominance and bring about an end to the Second World War, and they somehow managed to keep it a secret?

No, I wouldn't. Soviet spies penetrated the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos and several other locations, sending back to Russia critical information that helped speed the development of the Soviet bomb.

Would you believe that the same genuises who orchestrated the September 11 attacks bungled the response to Hurricane Katrina?
posted by kirkaracha at 6:28 PM on March 20, 2006


It was a very nice day here today. Sunny, warm and I made good use of it by getting out and about.

A big difference between that scenario and yours which says that I created that warm and sunny day and then went out to enjoy it.


Alright, this is just asinine.

Would you believe that the same genuises who orchestrated the September 11 attacks bungled the response to Hurricane Katrina?

What would a swift response to Katrina have done to their pocketbooks? Balance their flagging poll numbers so they could delay the next series of townhall meetings and stage-managed presentations to rally support for this quagmire? Poor analogy.
posted by prostyle at 6:31 PM on March 20, 2006


prostyle writes "The last topic covered in Loose Change is this very subject, and they point to United Airlines spending millions of dollars in 2004 on aircraft installed technology to enable in-flight calling. Why would they do this if their very planes carried the signals for 13+ minute conversations multiple times on 9/11? What of the calls themselves?"

My understanding (and I'm superlayman, so I may be wrong) is not that you can't call from inside planes, necessarily, but that your phone boosts its signal based on how weak a signal it's getting from the nearest phone exchange. If you don't have an antenna on the plane itself, everybody's phone will boost to maximum power, and will work (depending on altitude, distance from transmitter, etc), but will create a lot of electromagnetic noise that pilots are worried will affect their equipment. By installing an antenna on the plane itself, individual phones will only power up their signal as much as is needed to reach that antenna, creating less electromagnetic noise.

Like I say, I know little about signals / cell phones. On the other hand, what I heard above I heard with absolutely no connection to 911, so it's not a counterconspiracy theory.
posted by Bugbread at 6:34 PM on March 20, 2006


"No, I wouldn't. Soviet spies penetrated the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos and several other locations, sending back to Russia critical information that helped speed the development of the Soviet bomb."

Sure, foreign intelligence penetrated the Manhattan Project to a certain extent, but the American people were in the dark for as long as was needed.
posted by stenseng at 6:35 PM on March 20, 2006


I'm just saying, a: there are a lot of oddities about 9/11, that I don't feel are anywhere nearly adequately explained by the official story, and then asking b: well, qui bono?
posted by stenseng at 6:22 PM PST on March 20 [!]


I agree. I see the oddities as things lacking a good physical explanation. We haven't had this sort of thing happen enough times to get a good feel for the mechanics of it.

As to the official story... They are politicians and will try to use whatever happens to further their agendas. The way things have gone down, 9/11 has become pretty much the Crucifixion and Resurrection for the administration.

In their evil little hearts, they tremble with joy at this wonderous thing that God gave them.
posted by stirfry at 6:42 PM on March 20, 2006


i was in the midst of making a big long explaination as to why the buildings pancaked with some quick and dirty math, but in my research for it, i found this NOVA interview which answers everything more exactly than i ever could. heres a nice direct quote just for Hat Maui:

NOVA: I've read that the collapse was a near free-fall.

Eagar: Yes. That's because the forces, it's been estimated, were anywhere from 10 to 100 times greater than an individual floor could support. First of all, you had 10 or 20 floors above that came crashing down. That's about 10 or 20 times the weight you'd ever expect on one angle clip. There's also the impact force, that is, if something hits very hard, there's a bigger force than if you lower it down very gently.


remember everyone, ockhams razor. just keep repeating it over and over while you watch your little internet videos which prove nothing. you dont have to be paranoid if you just realize they are out to get you.
posted by Mach5 at 6:42 PM on March 20, 2006


First of all, you had 10 or 20 floors above that came crashing down.

At any point, did it ever come to you that maybe the crux of the collapse we were questioning was prior to 10 to 20 floors of sky-scraper bearing down on itself? I don't think anyone has argued against those forces and their capabilities.

The elevator shafts took damage, therefore, the building core did sustain damage.

Right, the ones that were hermetically sealed. I don't have the numbers from the film offhand, but do you honestly think the remaining amount of jet fuel was able to propel itself down all those flights while providing it's own oxygen? Producing an explosive force devastating enough to mutilate the lobby and knock marble panels off the walls? Oh wait... yea, you're the one who was comparing steel beams to frozen butter. What about the pools of molten steel found at the base of the columns three stories below ground level? I forgot, eighth grade science fair is the culmination of scientific progress.
posted by prostyle at 6:51 PM on March 20, 2006


stenseng writes "Sure, foreign intelligence penetrated the Manhattan Project to a certain extent, but the American people were in the dark for as long as was needed."

To be fair, Stenseng, people were being kept in the dark about something they didn't know happened. The WTC collapse is something that people did know happened. If, for example, a nuclear weapon was tested within view of a major metropolis, and the government managed to keep the cause of it concealed, it would be a more valid comparison.

prostyle writes "I don't think anyone has argued against those forces and their capabilities."

Some people have questioned why the building would fall as if it were in free-fall, so, no, people have not argued against those forces, but they have argued that something that happened was suspicious, and it is only suspicious because they didn't take into account those forces and their capabilities.

prostyle writes "yea, you're the one who was comparing steel beams to frozen butter."

Well, yeah, they're both objects that weaken under certain temperatures, and melt under even greater temperatures. I can explain shadows cast by the sun by using a flashlight as an example. That doesn't mean I'm implying that a flashlight is a giant thermonuclear ball of energy. It's just a handy way to explain a certain phenomenon (shadows, or melting point vs. weakening point, as the case may be). If there's a problem with the butter example, point it out, by all means, but just saying "you compared steel to butter, haha!" is not much of a counterargument.
posted by Bugbread at 7:06 PM on March 20, 2006


I posted to NOVA and Frontline who deal with step by step explanations who, how, and why the WTCs were hit and collapsed.

Every one of these issues HAS been debunked to death. Over and over.

So. Stenseng. If you do believe 9/11 - the most evil plot in ALL of human history - was perpetrated by the Bush administration then how can you sit on your ass typing on the Internet all day? Hell Bin Laden would be RIGHT, wouldn't he?

If I believed it. REALLY believed it. I would be strapping bombs to my body or something, SOMETHING, - some kind of serious action - to stop what is the most insidious evil this planet has ever faced.

If I believed the conspiracy I would not be deterred by my job, family nor anything else. If I believed what you say.

No man of conscience or principle could just sit back and let it happen with out dedicating their life - in total and without rest - to stopping it.

Stenseng you remind me of a Neocon still swearing there are WMD in Iraq despite all the facts.

Yet here you are. So what are you doing in the face of this, the greatest evil ever perpetrated?
posted by tkchrist at 7:09 PM on March 20, 2006


also,

Mossad MIHOP dovetails with the baseless rumor, widely believed in Arab countries, that 4,000 Jewish World Trade Center workers were told to stay home that day, showing that conspiracy theory can be tricky terrain. Mossad MIHOP easily morphs into Zionist MIHOP or Jewish MIHOP, leading to the charges of anti-Semitism that have dogged the 9/11 Truth movement.”

Ever notice how all conspiracy theories are ultimately traced back to the Jews?
posted by Afroblanco at 7:11 PM on March 20, 2006


prostyle: go ahead, read the whole article i quoted before you say im wrong. ill wait. the Eager that was quoted happens to be a Thomas Lord Professor of Materials Engineering and Engineering Systems at MIT. if you can beat probably 30+ years of study and research in the exact field we are talking about, ill let your little theory about the building being able to withstand a PLANE HITTING IT AND THE ENTIRE FLOOR IGNITING stand. how much is it going to take to convince you?
posted by Mach5 at 7:15 PM on March 20, 2006


tkchrist writes "No man of conscience or principle could just sit back and let it happen with out dedicating their life - in total and without rest - to stopping it."

True, but most people aren't of conscience or principle. I don't believe there was a conspiracy. However, if I did, there's no way I'd stand up to a juggernaut like that. Better to lay low, live life like normal, and hope the evil eye doesn't get focussed on me. That may make me a man without conscience or principle, but I'd wager that most people are like me, even really nice, otherwise good people.
posted by Bugbread at 7:16 PM on March 20, 2006


Mach5 writes "if you can beat probably 30+ years of study and research in the exact field we are talking about, ill let your little theory about the building being able to withstand a PLANE HITTING IT AND THE ENTIRE FLOOR IGNITING stand."

Eigth grade science fair is the culmination of scientific knowledge, there's nothing for an MIT engineering professional to bring to the table that a high school graduate wouldn't already know.
posted by Bugbread at 7:17 PM on March 20, 2006


"Yet here you are. So what are you doing in the face of this, the greatest evil ever perpetrated?"

Well, let's see.

I'm organizing showings of various 9/11 testimony and other 9/11 related films at my local community college, in conjunction with the local progressive student group.

I'm organizing and presenting at a similar showing for our local county Democratic club in a few weeks.

I'm on the ballot for the upcoming primary as a candidate for precinct committee person for my county Democratic Party, and I'm running for a seat in the Idaho State Senate come Nov. 2nd.

I also blog regularly on state and national politics at www.43rdstateblues.com. I have broken stories demonstrating that the Idaho Republican Party took money from Willie Tan and other Abramoff/DeLay connected sweatshop owners, as well as Dirk Kempthorne, our suckass Governor, your soon to be suckass Interior Dept. Head, exploiting a campaign finance loophole, and taking tens of thousands in corporate largess under the guise of "office expenses." He then spent that money, some twenty-five thousand or more on travel, dinner at fancy restaurants, haircuts, and more.

I've also been campaigning to save a Boise reporter's job after she reported on the saipan/abramoff/delay connection and was a week later summarily dismissed for "creative differences" without warning.

Oh, I'm also volunteering at a HOBIE conference in the summer.

So, I have kind of a full plate at the moment.

What are you doing?
posted by stenseng at 7:21 PM on March 20, 2006


If there's a problem with the butter example, point it out, by all means, but just saying "you compared steel to butter, haha!" is not much of a counterargument.

Sure thing:

We know that the steel components were certified to ASTM E119. The time temperature curves for this standard require the samples to be exposed to temperatures around 2000F for several hours. And as we all agree, the steel applied met those specifications. Additionally, I think we can all agree that even un-fireproofed steel will not melt until reaching red-hot temperatures of nearly 3000F (2). Why Dr. Brown would imply that 2000F would melt the high-grade steel used in those buildings makes no sense at all.

Kevin R Ryan - An executive at Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the company that certified the steel used in the construction of the World Trade Center


He was promptly fired after this exchange.

The Twin Towers were composed of 200,000 tons of steel, 425,000 cubic yards of concrete, 103 elevators, 43,600 windows, 60,000 tons of cooling equipment, and a 360 foot television antenna.

So, what about those airtight elevator shafts? All 103 of them were compromised and resulted in the temperature shifts necessary across the entire structure of the building to bring it down? Then how do you explain this:

Chief Palmer had reached the fire on the 78th floor of the South Tower, and devised a plan to put it out.

He describes "two isolated pockets of fire", and requests two lines (hoses) to knock it down.

If the 78th floor was a “raging inferno” like the government would have us believe, then Palmer wouldn’t have gotten as far as he did, and certainly wouldn't have been able to put it out with two fire hoses.


Do you deny the knowledge and veracity of the fire-cheifs life experiences up to this point? Think he had no idea what he was dealing with, and it's just happen-chance that the Emergency Services tapes were blocked from being released for an entire year?
posted by prostyle at 7:23 PM on March 20, 2006


HOBY rather. Youth Leadership, not surfboards. huur.
posted by stenseng at 7:24 PM on March 20, 2006


I don't believe there was a conspiracy. However, if I did, there's no way I'd stand up to a juggernaut like that. Better to lay low, live life like normal, and hope the evil eye doesn't get focussed on me.

Then you would not likely be ringing the bell constantly on the Internet either, right?

C'mon. You saying if Hitler - that's right Godwin fans - HITLER, knowing everything we know about what the Nazis are capable of, was brought back from the dead, Zombie Hitler invaded your town and started herding your family into camps you'd "lay low?"

And.

For the sake of argument - you got advanced word, or had a premonition, BEFORE this happened and saw all the little signs of it and you knew - you KNEW 100% - they were bringing Hitler (YES HITLER! DAMNIT) back to life - you would "lay low?"

I think you would not. And if you would. My friend you are not only unprincipled you are the worst form of coward. Not only a coward but a fool.

And, if the 9/11 conspiracy is true, then Bush is WORSE THAN HITLER! Yes. I said it. Because Hitler invaded Poland right out in the open, he said he wanted to take over the planet and he openly went for it. That gave the good a rallying point. An obvious means to stop him.

Bush, on the other hand is using subterfuge, deception and apocalypse. No army can stand in Bush's way. If HE perpetrated 9/11 then what is next? It can't be good. Millions, nay BILLIONS, may die.

My friend if you knew this - and Bush was WORSE THAN HITLER! (Yes, I said it again!), and you did nothing but bitch on the internet about it. You, my friend, are WORSE than a stooge, sympathizer, or an accomplice (at least they GET something out of it) - you and all the others that Know The Truth would be Judas's of epic proportions and we should spit and curse your name(s). P-tewee!
posted by tkchrist at 7:33 PM on March 20, 2006


tkchrist, as amusing as your comment is, I haven't heard anyone in this thread assert that they absolutely unequivocally "Know The Truth."

I have said, as others have, that what we are being fed as "the Truth," in many ways does not add up.
posted by stenseng at 7:36 PM on March 20, 2006


And I would be happy, fucking relieved in fact, to abandon any theory or suspicion contrary to the official story of 9/11, if I felt the subject had seen adequate daylight from an open, impartial, and independent inquiry, not the partisan cockjob that was Bush's 9/11 commision.


I'd be relieved to lay the issue to rest, because it's a scary, unsettling, nauseating thing to suspect that your government, the government of the nation you love, might have had a hand in such a dastardly act.

Yet that suspicion will remain as long as the many legitimate and unanswered questions surrounding 9/11 remain.
posted by stenseng at 7:40 PM on March 20, 2006


I'm on the ballot for the upcoming primary as a candidate for precinct committee person for my county Democratic Party, and I'm running for a seat in the Idaho State Senate come Nov. 2nd.

My god. And we wonder why the democrats lose.

I'm sure Dean is thrilled a conspiracy theorist runs a precinct. I KNOW the local GOP must be.

So, I have kind of a full plate at the moment.

No. You don't. Ghandi was one man. He didn't have a job. His job was saving his people from tyrany.

Your the laziest Keeper of The Truth I have ever seen. Because none of that - piddly getting the word out stuff - means SHIT in face of what you say you believe is 100% truth. In fact it's a sad joke if you believe that:

A). Bush is an illegal and illegitimate leader

B). Perpetrated the worst evil on mankind in modern history as a result of the power he has stolen.

Or. Maybe. You DON'T believe that 9/11 is conspiracy. Not REALLY. It's kind of entertaining little sci-fi fantasy so you can feel like your "underground" and punk rock.

Which I think is most likely.
posted by tkchrist at 7:41 PM on March 20, 2006


Right, the ones that were hermetically sealed.

WTF is the proof of that? There were stairways at the corners of the core. Three of them were so badly damaged in the south tower that they were unuseable. If more people above had know that Stairway A was intact, they might have gotten out.

So, now, you're positing an attack that leaves 132 elevators untouched, but destroys three stairwells?

Fuck, you're too stupid to argue with.
posted by eriko at 7:45 PM on March 20, 2006


I have said, as others have, that what we are being fed as "the Truth," in many ways does not add up.

Oh. Bullshit. You have said you KNOW this is a conspiracy. You have been shown contrary facts to your "mysteries" time and time again. You draw irrational conclusions based on "face on Mars" type anomalies.

Oh. What is the point? I can only conclude that the only conspiracy is that you REALLY work for the GOP.
posted by tkchrist at 7:46 PM on March 20, 2006


Bush, on the other hand is using subterfuge, deception and apocalypse. No army can stand in Bush's way. If HE perpetrated 9/11 then what is next?

It comes easier the next time and poll numbers can oh so easily be bumped up by another "attack". Seems we should have had another one by now since the first was so very useful for them.
posted by stirfry at 7:57 PM on March 20, 2006


Like: How many times does this crap have to be debunked?
posted by tkchrist at 2:40 PM PST on March 20 [!]


When you can explain how WTC7 came down.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:15 PM on March 20, 2006


"Your the laziest Keeper of The Truth I have ever seen. Because none of that - piddly getting the word out stuff - means SHIT in face of what you say you believe is 100% truth. In fact it's a sad joke if you believe that:

A). Bush is an illegal and illegitimate leader

B). Perpetrated the worst evil on mankind in modern history as a result of the power he has stolen.

Or. Maybe. You DON'T believe that 9/11 is conspiracy. Not REALLY. It's kind of entertaining little sci-fi fantasy so you can feel like your "underground" and punk rock.

Which I think is most likely."

That's the craziest assertion in the entire thread pal.

So, by your logic, every protester during Vietnam who didn't storm the White House dropped the ball?

Every Jew who didn't fight the brownshirts as they were forced into the ghettos got what was coming to them?

Every person who opposed segregation but couldn't personally march in Selma, or make it to hear MLK speak in DC dropped the ball?

nice.
posted by stenseng at 8:18 PM on March 20, 2006


If you believe it was a CONSPIRACY then you have the MORAL OBLIGATION to do something about it. It was a TERRORIST ACT and if it turns out that the terrorists are running the government you MUST OVERTHROW their evil dominion.

Honest to god, if it were true it would be downright impossible to just stand idly by. Absolutely impossible. Civil war would be inevitable.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:22 PM on March 20, 2006


But we don't do "civil wars" anymore, they're insurrections these days...
posted by stenseng at 8:31 PM on March 20, 2006


And I for one, have no interest in being labeled an "insurgent" by Donnie Rumsfeld.


Regardless, I'm not talking about a certaintly, I'm talking about a strong suspicion. A strong suspicion that I think a LOT of Americans share, not unlike questions of electoral fraud in 2000 and '04.

I want an open, honest, and independent investigation. That's all.

Can you really tell me that that's what we got in the Kean Commision?
posted by stenseng at 8:35 PM on March 20, 2006


I'll take a crack!
And why, if hydrocarbon-fueled fire maxes out at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and steel melts at 2,700 degrees, did the towers weaken sufficiently to fall in such a short time—only 56 minutes in the case of the South Tower?

You can bend steel at 75 degrees or 40 degrees or 1000 degrees, it just becomes much easier the hotter it is. Aluminum, for instance, bends quite readily at room temperature, while not melting until its significantly hotter.


I've melted my fair share of iron over the years. Just before the 1st building went down, the life feed I was watching had some nice hot steel (ok, it looked like hot Fe, it looked like hot steel on the TV anyway) leaving a corner of one of the buildings. The dialogue with my mother was something like this:

I'm going to get back to my vaccuming
Wait - on station .... they are showing a camera shot with hot steel leaving the side of the building
So?
That's not good - the building will fail. If it doesn't come down today, they'll end up tearing it down.
Ok - gotta go
Then the building came down.
Other talk then:
I wonder if the other building is lonely now.
Mom, if the other building has its steel melting, it won't be lonely for long.

Something in a liquid state that looked like hot steel left one of the buildings and it was shown on TV.


But none of the collapse of WTC1 and WTC2 explain WTC7, does it?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:40 PM on March 20, 2006


re: WTC7, do you really think whether or not it remained standing had any impact on, like, anything? I actually thought it had been brought down because it was too weak/dangerous to stay up, since it had been bombarded with lots of debris from the towers. I knew someone who worked in WTC7 and saw the face of one of the jumpers on his way down, through the office window... anyway, they were evacuated & the building suffered damage, and then it went down later that night - like I said I had been under the impression that that was on purpose.

It was certainly not a source of any kind of shock or trauma or anything. I wish I could find info on it, but all the searches I do just lead to nutty conspiracy sites... But it may very well have been demo'd on purpose, just not wired to do so before the other towers were hit.

The fall of the main towers seems very intuitive to me - it was absolutely shocking to me when it happened, but when you think about it, all that had to happen was that one floor where the plane struck got weak enough that the roof caved - once that happened, the enormous weight above would cause a domino effect and bring down the whole thing. And totally ordinary non-jet-fuel fires cause roofs to cave in sometimes, so it is hardly that shocking that it happened here. however, I don't think many people saw it coming - certainly not the firemen running up the stairs.

A tree falls sideways because its vertical structure is fully intact and it is being pushed sideways. The vertical structure of the WTC towers was segmented, into floors, and one floor was pushed sideways, so to speak (really it was burned through). So the wall of that floor folded, causing the entire building sitting on top of it (another 30 floors or whatever) to fall directly onto it - the rest has been described above; watch a video of it if you think it happened any differently.

Re: engineers don't talk because they'll be ostracized, if it were a more reasonable position, it would not have become something taboo - if engineers generally agreed that it didn't make sense, it would have been the consensus opinion to begin with, don't you think?

Re: it happened too neatly to not have been controlled, why would conspirators make it happen in too neat a way? It's usually easier for demolitions to make a building fall sideways; if they thought that would be more believable, what possible motivation would they have for doing it the harder way? Ask yourself honestly: if the towers had fallen over sideways, do you really think there would be no one out there asking why they didn't fall straight down?
posted by mdn at 8:42 PM on March 20, 2006


I posted to NOVA and Frontline who deal with step by step explanations who, how, and why the WTCs were hit and collapsed.

Every one of these issues HAS been debunked to death. Over and over.

posted by tkchrist at 7:09 PM PST on March 20 [!]


I've not seen the NOVA and Frontline's that explain the collapse of WTC7.

When was that?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:45 PM on March 20, 2006


None of the seeds of 'conspiracy theories' would be able to take root and grow without the noted history of governments and powerful people abusing the people they rule over.

If you don't want conspiracy theories, start demanding a government where such ideas can't grow.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:54 PM on March 20, 2006


My HOP level is somewhere between B (incompetence) and C (let it happen), thus, malcompetence1. I mean, the scared my-pet-goat reader is all you really need -- these guys bitched and moaned about putting the country back under the hands of the "adults" and then when shit happened they panicked and froze. They lost no time manipulating it to their advantage, of course. In other words, this was the gift from heaven they had hoped for in the PNAC doc.

I really think if they'd coordinated the thing, though, they would have made the ties to Iraq clearer. That was their objective, after all. It was convenient to make all Ay-rabs and Mohammedans the culprits, but tricky because they had to go through Afghanistan to get to Iraq. I don't think anybody wanted fuck-all to do with Afghanistan, and the speed with which it fell off their radar again proves that. That was the rally moment, that's all. They've resisted defining the GWOT because it suits them to have a vague mandate without portfolio. But really, if they'd designed the thing, wouldn't they have worked it out more cleverly?

The suggestion that OBL and AQ were involved, but duped, was popular around here for awhile but is even more far-fetched than anything else.

"That’s what happens when the truth is systematically suppressed"
-- is really about all you need to know. In a way, I suspect that the endless conspiracy theories serve a purpose for the powers that be, at the very least as a convenient means to dismiss critics. But this is the crux of the problem. A lot of what happened, we'll just never know, like what happened in the cockpit of Flight 93 or where that flight recorder went or the exact mechanism of WTC 7's collapse. We can look at the debris and make some educated guesses, but this isn't CSI where you turn on the microscope and get an indictment. This whole business about the steel being whisked away -- which isn't true, a lot of it was carefully examined -- seems predicated on the basis that it would magically reveal the secrets of the collapse. Of course what people really want is steel with explosives scorch marks or something, and the absence of that evidence becomes evidence of an intent to destroy the evidence.

How could they, an hour after the first World Trade Center crash, allow an obviously hostile airplane to smash into the Pentagon... And why did the Defense Department choose to stage an extraordinary number of military exercises on 9/11?

I think a lot of us thought that the Pentagon had some kind of air defense system. I know I did. Supposedly they did back in the 1960s but not since then. Yeah, that baffles me, especially given the PDB. As for the exercises, that actually put planes in the air that were able to respond. So it cut both ways. And I have no idea what an "extraordinary" number of exercises is -- when the military isn't at war, it's supposed to be training for war, or so I've heard. The one thing that was definitely unusual was the procedural exercise involving the civilian FAA.

I know of exactly two buildings over 1000' high that were hit by jet airlines at high speed

This is the key weakness of Jones's argument (aside from his being a wackjob Mormon who believes Christ visited Arizona, and having no structural engineering training). He asserts that only controlled demolitions can create the conditions of the buildings' collapse, and asserts that no skyscraper collapsed due to fire prior to 9/11. But we don't have anything to tell us that airplanes crashing into buildings don't create conditions like we saw, either, and we know that airplanes hit the buildings that day, so what conclusion are we supposed to draw from that? That airplane crashes into buildings can never create the necessary conditions? That's nonsense, and Jones knows it. There's also an inordinate amount of discussion of the fact that WTC 7 wasn't hit by an airplane. But it was hit by a massive amount of debris falling from as much as 1000' in the sky. Are we again to assume that such an event may be assumed to have no effect on the structural integrity of a building designed chiefly to hold up its own weight during times of nominal behavior?

why didn't it come down like a tree

In fact, eriko's graphic better describes the behavior of falling trees that I have seen than the classic "Timber!" 90° rotation. I do a lot of pruning and the one thing I've learned is that the 2" branch you think is going that way, well, isn't. If you carefully cut it a certain way, you have a better chance of directing its fall, but in the end it's pretty much gonna move off a bit and come straight down.

Would you believe that over the course of five years

It was just barely three years, actually. Almost everything that happened before 1942 was quasi-public science or policy. But it's a very pointless comparison.

And what the fuck was with the military grade anthrax attacks on democratic congressmen and major media figures, simultaneous to the period in which any meaningful investigation of 9/11 could take place?

I dunno. What the fuck is with the terrorism we've seen these last few months as the President's numbers have fallen through the floor and Democratic prospects for November have never looked better? I mean, if they did it once, why aren't they doing it now? I hear the beaches on the Caspian are looking nice this time next year, after all.

And the butter example was spot on.

1Astro Zombie we are forever in thy debt
posted by dhartung at 8:55 PM on March 20, 2006


re: WTC7, do you really think whether or not it remained standing had any impact on, like, anything?

Yes. Because if it had remained standing, it would not be talked about.

Really, the WTC buildings were the property of a bunch of rich people - so why does it matter on, like anything? And eventually, WTC1 and WTC2 would have come down, right?

I actually thought it had been brought down because it was too weak/dangerous to stay up, since it had been bombarded with lots of debris from the towers. I knew someone who worked in WTC7 and saw the face of one of the jumpers on his way down, through the office window... anyway, they were evacuated & the building suffered damage, and then it went down later that night - like I said I had been under the impression that that was on purpose.

Go ahead. Actually go read about WTC7. Because your admission doesn't agree with what the official report comments on.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:02 PM on March 20, 2006


What are you doing?
posted by stenseng at 7:21 PM PST on March 20 [!]


I'll tell you what I'm NOT doing - and that's wasting my life trying to uncover nonexistent conspiracies.

You wanna know the truth about 9/11? I did it. You wanna know my motive? I wanted to see if I could get away with it, and I have, for almost 5 years.

There, now you know the truth. Please continue your life as of 9/10/01.
posted by b_thinky at 9:08 PM on March 20, 2006


Why, oh why, oh why am I not surprised that all of the right-wing assholes are ballyhooing this article?

If you take all of the screwy "coincidences" and unanswered questions and condensed them to the scale of - oh, say, a case of arson on the behalf of some racketeers so that they would achieve some objective that everybody knows they've wanted for years – then yes, only a moron would think that the warehouse caught on fire all by itself.

I think the answer is pretty damn clear that eleven fuck-ups from nowhere Arabia could never have coordinated and executed this all of this all by themselves.
posted by rougy at 9:37 PM on March 20, 2006


http://www.physics911.net/kevinryan.htm
posted by stenseng at 9:47 PM on March 20, 2006


jeez! ya trying the old swamp tactic? so many of you c-theorists revert to that when you feel that things aren't going too well in a discussion.

what the hell was all that anyway?
posted by stirfry at 9:49 PM on March 20, 2006


things aren't going too well in a discussion.
posted by stirfry at 9:49 PM PST on March 20 [!]


Yea, no one is explaining how WTC7 came down. If things were going well, the WTC7 collapse would be explained.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:54 PM on March 20, 2006


From your link, I find this page. Interesting that Osama is fake, Saddam is fake, and in fact most every terrorist attack was fake since there isn't such a thing as terrorists!

This is a lot like using TinFoil Jones as an authority. You know, the Mormon Prof who also has Jesus walking amongst the natives in America.
posted by stirfry at 10:02 PM on March 20, 2006


If I were a government operative [ whose ? - heh, heh. Of course - I am not ] I would throw an awful lot of $ into fueling the worst, most extreme aspects of the 9-11 conspiracy theories. This observation of mine has nothing whatsoever to do with the truth value of these theories at all.
posted by troutfishing at 10:03 PM on March 20, 2006


"From your link, I find this page. "

I can't speak for the veracity of that site, but Ryan's article is of interest, particularly because he has footnoted it with links to official NIST reports on structural integrity testing that seem to contradict the official explanation of the WTC collapses.

Sorry that the post got fubared... those footnotes worked in preview. Anyway, that's all that's of interest to me there - check out his story, look at the related NIST documents he links to
posted by stenseng at 10:07 PM on March 20, 2006


Yea, no one is explaining how WTC7 came down. If things were going well, the WTC7 collapse would be explained.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:54 PM PST on March 20 [!]


It was due to explosive charges set on Bushes orders several months before the cruise missiles disguised as passenger jets were ordered flown into the WTC.

WTC 7 was also to be taken down because it housed records of this nefarious plot. These records had to be eliminated.

Also 7 is a mystical number.
posted by stirfry at 10:11 PM on March 20, 2006


You think the right is doomed. You find a thread like this and suddenly you realize how scary the looney left can be. Keep on preachin' brotha.
posted by justgary at 10:21 PM on March 20, 2006


I tried to mention WTC7 in a previous thread and was promptly shat upon (somewhat rightly so, derail). Anyway, I think it's very convenient that the questions revolving its demise are usually rolled up with the whacked out theories on WTC1-2, which I feel is remiss. I don't believe that missiles hit the big towers, I haven't seen compelling evidence that there were explosions unrelated to the planes, the anti-semitic stuff is crap. However, there are some things that we know about WTC7, and some things that might or might not be the case. See below:

-WTC7 did not appear to be seriously damaged on 9/11. Pictures from daytime 9/11 show that although there were scattered fires, but there certainly doesn' appear to be damage enough to bring the building down on its own.

-At 5:20PM, WTC7 collapses. Dan Rather comments that it appears to be a controlled demolition. (Yes, I am aware of some of his bouts with accuracy. See below.)

-Larry Silverstein, "landlord" of the complex, says in the PBS documentary America Rebuilds: A Year at Ground Zero that the building was "pulled", an industry term for demolition. Officials later say he meant the firefighters, but notice he says "pull it" rather than "pull them". Also, according to FEMA's own report (PDF) there were no manual firefighting operations taking place in WTC7 at or near the time of the order to "pull".

-WTC7 was the home of several federal, state, and local emergency management/anti-terrorism organizations. The CIA, Secret Service, Department of Defense, Office of Emergency Management, IRS, and the SEC (same PDF as above, Table 5.1) all had offices in the building. These offices were demolished, and there is no evidence of any attempts to recover any of what might have been in these offices.

I think the easy point to agree on is that it simply isn't possible by any means anyone here is aware of to arrange and execute the demolition of a 47 story building in 8 1/2 hours. Yet there is definitely difficult to refute evidence that Silverstein says this was the scenario, and there is the contradictory and equally hard to swallow FEMA line that this building was brought down by what from all appearances was minor fire and debris damage. There are inconsistancies in the stories, most spoken by people "in the know" and documented by trustworthy sources (PBS and FEMA as examples).

What I probably failed to get across in the other thread I will do my best to get across now. I espouse no theories, I merely want answers to some questions that I don't feel like any truly credible entities (goverment or otherwise) have attempted to answer in any comprehensive way. I think that it's important for all of us to be asking these questions and seeking these answers. This can only be expected and demanded about what, as an event not limited to WTC7, was the largest attack on American soil. I fear that even now, almost 5 years later, many people are averse to the idea of having this dialogue because it is believed this is somehow a dishonor to those who lost their lives on that day and in various actions related to it. Well, I knew a few of those people. One was a high school pal, another was a family friend, and yet another trained me in the CT fire academy. I feel that there is nothing greater I can do to honor them than request early and often that we have the utmost in transparancy regarding what happened that day, and I don't believe we've gotten it.
posted by rollbiz at 10:23 PM on March 20, 2006


You think the right is doomed. You find a thread like this and suddenly you realize how scary the looney left can be.
posted by justgary at 10:21 PM PST on March 20 [!]


'left'? 'right'? What exaclty are you trying to say?

In my world, where the background on Metafilter is blue, backers of 'new world order' and 'government control so keep your gun handy' is the talk of the 'right'. Many of the attempts to explain the events of Sept 11th, 2001 have been from the 'right' crowd, based on the 'keep your guns handy to make it harder for the new world order' dialogue.

So do you actually have a definition of what is 'left' and what is 'right'?
posted by rough ashlar at 11:11 PM on March 20, 2006


WTC7 pulled for national security reasons, that I can sure believe. Probably someone panicked, thinking the WTC1&2 attack was a diversionary tactic.

Or maybe it was. Who knows?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:18 PM on March 20, 2006


equally hard to swallow FEMA line

via http://www.wtc7.net/
you get here: http://www.wtc7.net/nistreport.html
And this link http://www.wtc7.net/femareport.html goes here
http://www.wtc7.net/articles/FEMA/WTC_ch5.htm

Amazing how a building with damage on one side and small random fires in different locations falls down into its own footprint.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:22 PM on March 20, 2006


WTC7 pulled for national security reasons, that I can sure believe. Probably someone panicked, thinking the WTC1&2 attack was a diversionary tactic.

I think it's as realistic an reason as any...My question is: How? Was the building primed with the charges it (in normal controlled demolitions) takes months to prepare? Normally in controlled demolitions, all but the most vital of supports are removed. How was this accounted for in WTC7? In essence: Regardless of motive, how was the demolition of a robust and viable 47 story building accomplished in 9 hours?

(Not neccesarily asking you to answer the questions, five fresh fish, just throwing them out there.)
posted by rollbiz at 11:31 PM on March 20, 2006


Aw, man. The "Shrink MIHOP."

Those wacky Scientologists always do it for me. They're like the comic relief intermission in an ongoing war between Christianity and Islam.
posted by Clamwacker at 11:32 PM on March 20, 2006


But don't get me started on this goddamn thing again. If someone forms a class action lawsuit against the government, or something where we can all get together and say we agree on one explanation that counters the government's story, then I'll sign.

Otherwise, entirely too much time is spent bickering on the peculiarities of how this was perpetrated by the government, without actually achieving any consensus that the government must be questioned, and how.

[Is it possible to get indented paragraphs somehow?]
posted by Clamwacker at 11:35 PM on March 20, 2006


how was the demolition of a robust and viable 47 story building accomplished in 9 hours

The normal way with explosives or thermite is by lots of planning and time. More than 9 hours.

If you are going to preach 'Its occam's razor at its finest.', then its alot of planning and time to make sure the data is right and the charges are properly placed.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:41 PM on March 20, 2006


Clamwhacker...Seriously. Do you really need class action against our government to ask for answers yourself? My neck is on the line, if you (or anyone else) can't answer the same questions I've asked, shouldn't yours be? I've taken a lot of shit for talking about this in the previous thread I mentioned and elsewhere, but I'll keep goddamn talking about it until just one person can provide an answer which deals with all of the inconsistancies pointed out.
posted by rollbiz at 11:43 PM on March 20, 2006


MetaUsenet
posted by matteo at 12:00 AM on March 21, 2006


The thing that I just can't buy in the MOHIP or LOHIP scenarios is still the question of motive.

I do agree that there are a good deal of questions that could use answers -- for me, the extensive calls on Flight 93 and the weirdly intact al-Suqami passport stand out -- but I just can't see the attacks being actively planned by Cheney et al. I mean, Cheney is the actual, real-world kind of evil, the kind represented by his office's policies on torture. He's not some chortling comic book evil genius.

Furthermore, given the administration's behavior prior to the attacks, I don't think they really felt like they needed some sort of national catastrophe to assert ludicrous levels of executive control (see Cheney's energy task force, for instance). They would have pushed for it anyways; 48% of the popular vote was all the mandate they needed, and the GOP base was already gung-ho behind them after the 2000 elections. I just don't see that they would have needed whatever boost 9/11 is supposed to have given them. Even if 9/11 had never happened, the odds are good that we'd still be involved in a colossal fuckup in Iraq in 2005.

About WTC 7, the only passing reference about it that I read which seemed to make sense was that the collapse of 1 and 2 destabilized the subway infrastructure underground, which also supported WTC 7. I'm not at all qualified to judge how plausible that is, though.
posted by whir at 12:18 AM on March 21, 2006


rollbiz, I agree with you. It's just that I am perhaps not as diligent. I don't usually bring it up on web forums, primarily because I have no expectation of a logical discourse afterward. What I try to do is talk to friends and well-acquainted neighbors (you don't want your neighbors thinking you're a conspiracy nut unless they have to), and if they are vehemently against the idea, I ask them to explain their standpoint.

Generally this leads to a number of inconsistencies, and that leads the more moderate people in the room to lean to the LIHOP/MIHOP side, which gives me momentum to press the "official story" believer into a backpedal, and ultimately to either acknowledge/agree with the theory or grow angry and storm out of the room.

My point is, I'm exhausted with arguing about this thing, and unless there is a nascent solidarity that I have missed, I am nearing the point of giving up entirely. If no change results from all this time spent suggesting alternative theories for the towers' collapses, then why did we spend so much time on it?
posted by Clamwacker at 12:30 AM on March 21, 2006


there's a lot of unnecessary hostility in this thread. why are you directing so much nastiness at stenseng, tkchrist? is it because you're experiencing cognitive dissonance?

i can't really figure out the antipathy to skepticism of government and authority. is that not the great journalistic tradition? to ask questions of those in power? to demand answers?

for a lot of you in this thread, the "official word" that didn't even go so far as to mention the collapse of a 57-story steel skyscraper is sufficient.

for others of us, that's simply not good enough. we want to know why the investigation wasn't more expansive and thorough. why it was so politicized. why it was delayed for years. why it isn't still under investigation, especially given its unprecedented nature.

but the mere act of asking these kind of questions, discussing it, seems to engender hostility in some of you. please try to keep it in check. there's no need for it. we're just asking questions, is all.
posted by Hat Maui at 1:16 AM on March 21, 2006


stenseng: Methinks you might want to look into the evidentiary weight of eyewitness testimony in the American legal system then, mistar cynical man.

Exactly. The very deep flaws and extreme quantity of weight given to eyewitness testimony in the American legal system is a pretty darn good reason why that system shouldn't have the ultimate power of life and death. Perhaps the only saving grace is that the courtroom gives all parties equal time to invent their own truth.

rollbliz: Yet there is definitely difficult to refute evidence that Silverstein says this was the scenario, and there is the contradictory and equally hard to swallow FEMA line that this building was brought down by what from all appearances was minor fire and debris damage. There are inconsistancies in the stories, most spoken by people "in the know" and documented by trustworthy sources (PBS and FEMA as examples).

What's interesting is the webfairy bit which quotes multiple reports of considerable damage:

"So we go there and on the north and east side of 7 it didn’t look like there was any damage at all, but then you looked on the south side of 7 there had to be a hole 20 stories tall in the building, with fire on several floors. Debris was falling down on the building and it didn’t look good."

"By now, this is going on into the afternoon, and we were concerned about additional collapse, not only of the Marriott, because there was a good portion of the Marriott still standing, but also we were pretty sure that 7 World Trade Center would collapse. Early on, we saw a bulge in the southwest corner between floors 10 and 13, and we had put a transit on that and we were pretty sure she was going to collapse. You actually could see there was a visible bulge, it ran up about three floors. It came down about 5 o’clock in the afternoon, but by about 2 o’clock in the afternoon we realized this thing was going to collapse."

"You couldn’t really see from where we were on the west face of the building, but at the edge of the south face you could see that it was very heavily damaged."

All of the pictures and video I've seen linked are looking at the North face of the building. Not the side facing the collapsed twin towers or the underlying substructure. I've done just enough documentary video editing to know that conclusions made from Silverstein's comment need to be taken with a grain of salt. Perhaps he meant "pull it" as in "controlled implosion" or perhaps he meant "pull it" as in let the fire take its course. Perhaps there was some creative editing going on around that quote. Perhaps he said something more damming that got cut off. Perhaps he qualified it and that got cut. Perhaps he meant "pull it" in the same meaning as a firefighter quoted on this conspiracy page, "We pulled everybody back probably by 3 or 3:30 in the afternoon. We said, this building is going to come down, get back."

In addition, that website cites this map which reveals that for a controlled demolition designed to bring down WTC 1, 2 and 7 on its own footprint, it was a spectacular failure with buildings on all sides of WTC 7 sustaining major structural damage. It certainly appears that the buildings did not fall on their own footprint, shattered all over the neighborhood.

Which I suppose just goes as a case example of how we make our own truth. A map that reveals extensive damage to buildings surrounding WTC 7 can be spun as evidence supporting a controlled "pull." I read the quotes provided as supporting the exact opposite conclusion. There were multiple signs that WTC 7 had sustained severe damage. The possibility of an impending collapse was discussed hours before it happened. None of the buildings fell onto their own footprint, they scattered outward causing major structural damage over the entire neighborhood.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:51 AM on March 21, 2006


Hat Maui: i can't really figure out the antipathy to skepticism of government and authority. is that not the great journalistic tradition? to ask questions of those in power? to demand answers?

I try to apply my skepticism across the board. Recognizing that the government is engaged in an attempt to spin the evidence to support one interpretation of quoted evidence does not mean that I should practice empty-headed acceptance of more clumsy attempts to spin the evidence to support a radically different interpretation.

for others of us, that's simply not good enough. we want to know why the investigation wasn't more expansive and thorough. why it was so politicized. why it was delayed for years. why it isn't still under investigation, especially given its unprecedented nature.

Well, believe it or not, I can think of multiple hypotheses to explain this that neither depend on the goodwill of the government, or on the government as a passive opportunist letting the attacks happen, or on the government as an active mover and shaker behind the attacks.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:05 AM on March 21, 2006


who said that other hypotheses had to conform to the categories as stated in the article?

that said, let's hear your explanations. i suspect you'll tell me something about politicization and who's in control and whatnot, but maybe i shouldn't presuppose that.
posted by Hat Maui at 2:47 AM on March 21, 2006


Metafilter: one holy shit after another.
posted by mowglisambo at 3:36 AM on March 21, 2006


This is really very funny, in a sick sort of way. Someone calls the 9-11 attacks into question, all hell breaks loose. All these screaming, profane 'rationalists', insisting the official story is true and correct are so unconvincing.

A very clear false dichotomy is constructed here. One either "believes" in a "conspiracy theory", or "believes" the official version. Only those who're demanding answers have a lick of credibility. The ones making all the tin-foil-hat ad hominems put a strain on any credibility their supposed rational explanations might have.

I don't believe conspiracy theories. I often suspect them. I've learned to not instantly accept one damned thing said by the current US government. This is rational.

Some of the conspiracy theories are clearly the product of delusion and prejudice. That doesn't prove they are all unworthy of consideration.

It is a very clever trick to turn conspiracy theories into "tin-foil hat" lunacy. Often, conspiracy theories are valid, but no one will entertain them when they've categorically been deemed paranoid delusions. Suddenly, incompetent conspirators can act in broad daylight and everyone looks away.

Fact: The executive branch of the US government is run by a bunch of nuts from a lunatic organization with the paranoid name of "Project for a New American Century". They got in initially by making sure votes weren't counted. They started a war by lying, and have continued to get away with it after the lies are exposed.

So who's rational now? Seems to me, rationality requires questioning everything in the sphere of the US government.
posted by Goofyy at 4:12 AM on March 21, 2006


Americans sure love a conspiracy theory!
posted by asok at 4:37 AM on March 21, 2006


prostyle : "Additionally, I think we can all agree that even un-fireproofed steel will not melt until reaching red-hot temperatures of nearly 3000F (2). Why Dr. Brown would imply that 2000F would melt the high-grade steel used in those buildings makes no sense at all."

Thanks, and that's an illuminating quote. We have two issues, here, then: first, if Dr. Brown implied that the temperature would melt steel, then that implication seems to be wrong. Second, Dr. Brown being wrong about steel melting doesn't mean that the steel didn't grow weak from the heat. That doesn't show a problem in the butter/steel analogy, but a problem in Dr. Brown's analysis of what happened.

prostyle : "All 103 of them were compromised and resulted in the temperature shifts necessary across the entire structure of the building to bring it down?"

I don't know. But why the assumption that the temperature shifts would be necessary across the entire structure?

tkchrist : "Then you would not likely be ringing the bell constantly on the Internet either, right?"

Good point, and true.

tkchrist : "You saying if Hitler - that's right Godwin fans - HITLER, knowing everything we know about what the Nazis are capable of, was brought back from the dead, Zombie Hitler invaded your town and started herding your family into camps you'd 'lay low?' "

Huh? No. But none of the people in the WTC were my family. If Hitler, knowing what I do about Hitler, took over the US military and started killing off New York, then, yeah, I'd lay low.

tkchrist : "For the sake of argument - you got advanced word, or had a premonition, BEFORE this happened and saw all the little signs of it and you knew - you KNEW 100% - they were bringing Hitler (YES HITLER! DAMNIT) back to life - you would 'lay low?'"

Well, knowing what I know about Hitler, I'd probably flee the country, but I suppose that would count as "laying low". If faced with the choice of killing myself without stopping evil, or staying alive without stopping evil, I'd choose to stay alive. I'm not saying you are like that, or should be like that.

tkchrist : "My friend you are not only unprincipled you are the worst form of coward. Not only a coward but a fool."

Well, coward, I will admit to. Fool, I'm not so sure. What makes me foolish?

tkchrist : "My friend if you knew this - and Bush was WORSE THAN HITLER! (Yes, I said it again!), and you did nothing but bitch on the internet about it. You, my friend, are WORSE than a stooge, sympathizer, or an accomplice (at least they GET something out of it) - you and all the others that Know The Truth would be Judas's of epic proportions and we should spit and curse your name(s). P-tewee!"

Er, I'm guessing this is all hypothetical, because I don't believe there is a conspiracy here. But I don't see how someone who knows the truth of great evil but doesn't die for it is worse then someone who assists or participates in great evil. How does that work out?

stenseng : "Every Jew who didn't fight the brownshirts as they were forced into the ghettos got what was coming to them?"

I believe his argument was that the Jews who didn't fight back against the Nazis were actually worse than the Nazis.
posted by Bugbread at 5:48 AM on March 21, 2006


bugbread : "I believe his argument was that the Jews who didn't fight back against the Nazis were actually worse than the Nazis."

On reread, that's not quite true. I should say, his argument is that the Jews who didn't fight back were worse than the Nazis' assistants.
posted by Bugbread at 5:50 AM on March 21, 2006


Here's what fucking hate love about these arguments.

They post the "That couldn't have happened." -- the building wasn't damaged that much, the fire wasn't hot enough, it would have twisted. You shoot those down like clay pigeons suspended from strings.

Sigh.

The answer is the "Well, what about..." -- listen, I've just shot down your last four points. Quit using them as support for your theory.

WTC 7 didn't look damaged from the viewpoint of the news cameras, because the cameras couldn't get around to the other side, because of the collapsing towers. This image shows the geometry -- and not the amount of debris being thrown into it.

Now, kids, what happened when the south tower fell?

1) Lots of people, including rescue workers, died.

2) Those who didn't were told to get away.

They stayed away for a while, started to get close again, then were told to get away, because they were worried about the other tower. It falls.

Now they're worried about 7WTC, and 2 & 3 WFC. They are, quite deliberatly, staying away from these buildings for several hours.

Meanwhile, 7WTC is on fire. The collapse of 1&2WTC has destroyed the utilites in the area. So. Several Hours. No fire suppression. Fire on several low floors -- even the consipiracy nuts note that. These fires burn for hours -- much slower than the kerosene driven tower fires, but burn, they do. Steel gets hot. Steel weakens.

Meanwhile, we've gouged a huge hole out of a corner.

It's not a mystery why WTC7 collapsed. It's a mystery that it stayed standing as long as it did.

WFC 2 and 3 surivived. Why? Because there, the fires didn't start, and the structural damage to the towers was minor. Once FNDY realized this, they were able to attack those fires from the backside of the WFC complex. So, the buildings that didn't lose many columns from impact, and had effective fire supression stood. The ones that did lose columns, and didn't have fire supression, fell.
posted by eriko at 5:54 AM on March 21, 2006


I've noticed in the last few months a lot more people outside the usual conspiracy circles talking about 9-11 theories.

I wonder if the more facially plausible theories have just now filtered out into general population, or if people have privately felt this way and now for some reason feel it is an appropriate topic for discussion.

Has anyone else noticed this?

The executive branch of the US government is run by a bunch of nuts from a lunatic organization with the paranoid name of "Project for a New American Century". They got in initially by making sure votes weren't counted. They started a war by lying, and have continued to get away with it after the lies are exposed.

That is all true. I think that when some people realize that they were indeed deceived about Iraq, they feel as though the rug were pulled out from under them.

When it sinks in that the administration has implemented institutionalized torture, falsified evidence to justify initiating an attack on another country, possibly rigged at least one election, and is possibly wiretapping your phone, you think: "What wouldn't these people do?" All that is plenty bad enough!

That might account for the impulse to lump all 9-11 inconsistencies into one Bush-helmed conspiracy, when such a conclusion may not be warranted.

For instance, it could be that WTC7 was long ago rigged for some sort of incendiary devices, for destroying sensitive information housed there or something (I'm just winging it.) When said postulated devices were ignited, the already-weakened foundation might have been pushed to collapse. Regardless of if that example is halfway true, those kind of multi-causal scenarios seem more plausible than assuming some intentional actor behind every single discrepancy.
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:07 AM on March 21, 2006


Meanwhile, 7WTC is on fire.

The history of steel framed building on fire shows a lack of collapse. This is because the building codes require a coating on the steel to suppress the heat conduction.

Plenty of buildings removed after the fire, but no total collapses. Fires MUCH more intense than the ones at WCT7. For 8+ hours.

It's not a mystery why WTC7 collapsed.

Really? Would it be gravity that cause collapse?

It's a mystery that it stayed standing as long as it did.

That gravity is trix-sy. Bringing everybody down. In fact, I bet gravity is oppressing you RIGHT now!

WAR ON GRAVITY!
posted by rough ashlar at 6:22 AM on March 21, 2006


rough ashlar : "The history of steel framed building on fire shows a lack of collapse. This is because the building codes require a coating on the steel to suppress the heat conduction."

Good point, but these other buildings which showed lack of collapse, did they also suffer structural damage? Might it not be the combination of the two factors, plus time, which caused the collapse?
posted by Bugbread at 6:29 AM on March 21, 2006


you think: "What wouldn't these people do?"

The history of governments across the planet have plenty of documented examples of actors using the color of government to deceive/hurt their populations.

And, right now...what IS the punishment? How does the punishment come close to offering restitution to damaged parties?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:31 AM on March 21, 2006


Go ahead. Actually go read about WTC7. Because your admission doesn't agree with what the official report comments on.

My admission? My point was merely that that would hardly be a worthwhile conspiracy - no one would have minded if they wanted to bring down what was left of the building. Why would they go to any trouble at all to secretly demolish a building that really made no difference at all to their supposed motives?

I have no problem believing that it fell on its own either - I'm just pointing out that it did no one any good. Documents inside? It's not like the building was vaporized - toppling a concrete structure to destroy documents inside is about the least efficient way of doing that that I can think of.

A very clear false dichotomy is constructed here. One either "believes" in a "conspiracy theory", or "believes" the official version

but the "official version" is that two planes flew into the WTC and after fire burned for an hour or two, the structures weakened to a point that they fell. we all saw that happen - to believe a conspiracy theory you have to somehow believe they also set up dynamite in the building - so then why not just do the dynamite and blame it on the terrorists? Or if for some wacky reason you want to do both, why not reveal both and blame it on the terrorists - what point is there in hiding any nefarious action when you can just blame it on the terrorists?

If you want to believe that the terrorists were really buddy-buddy with bush and he was really behind the whole plot, then discussions about the way the buildings fell etc is completely irrelevant since by that theory you would believe "the official version".

Though, as people have said above, if bush were really that kind of evil genius, he'd have made clear connections to iraq, he'd have made sure to look capable and reassuring right away [hey, maybe giuliani was behind it!], and he'd have arranged for the war to go a lot better than it is...
posted by mdn at 6:35 AM on March 21, 2006


Good point, but these other buildings which showed lack of collapse, did they also suffer structural damage?

Because of the fires, yes. A few have had partial collapse.

Now, if a building lacks the protective coating on the steel then there is collapse. That is why I tell every person who builds a home with the steel backbone to place a 3 hour coating over the steel beam, that way a fire won't warp the backbone. Most place a 1.5 hour barrier around the beam as an afterthought.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:38 AM on March 21, 2006


Sorry, by "structural damage", I meant "non-fire structural damage". That is, buildings suffering fire damage only have a history of non-collapsing, but what about buildings with non-fire structural damage and fire damage?
posted by Bugbread at 6:43 AM on March 21, 2006


Why would they go to any trouble at all to secretly demolish a building that really made no difference at all to their supposed motives?

I've seen many things offered up. The insider trading on Harken Energy - how much of the data on this matter was at that office and in no other place is the most 'personal' motive. But only if you think the investigation of Harken stock was not impartial would such matter.

Documents inside?

How was the pile of material handled? I don't remember press reports of people sifting for documents, just press reports of loading up dump trucks.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:55 AM on March 21, 2006


Sorry, by "structural damage", I meant "non-fire structural damage". That is, buildings suffering fire damage only have a history of non-collapsing, but what about buildings with non-fire structural damage and fire damage?

You have to go to war records - and data from war zones is hard to get and in other countries.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:03 AM on March 21, 2006


Fuck, you're too stupid to argue with.

I appreciate your concern for my education, but you can spare me the drama.

What of the stairwells? Are you positing that their damage indicates undeniable proof of the elevators being compromised, all 123 of them? Apparently you'll take the jet-fueled line verbatim in light of the airtight chambers - yet I'm too stupid to argue with. You need to take a hint from bugbread, stop acting so hysterical.

You still haven't addressed the pools of molten steel three floors below the structures at the base of the support columns.

I don't know. But why the assumption that the temperature shifts would be necessary across the entire structure?

It's not my assumption - it's the official story. The buildings were hit, burned for whatever amount of time across 4+ floors, ensuing collapse, done. The temperature shifts would be necessary across the entire structure (on those floors, obviously) to support the idea of a centralized collapse due to the weakening of the core components and its "open floor design".
posted by prostyle at 7:34 AM on March 21, 2006


you're too stupid to argue with.

I appreciate your concern for my education, but you can spare me the drama.

If I thought the problem was education, I would have said you are too ignorant to argue with. Thanks for letting us know the problem is worse than we thought.
posted by eriko at 7:50 AM on March 21, 2006


I'm still LIHOP even after reading it (it's a terrible article). There are way way too many still-unanswered questions. And they did "pull" WTC 7, but we and they still don't know why. ...I asked Dr. Sunder about 7 WTC. Why was the fate of the building barely mentioned in the final report?
This was a matter of staffing and budget, Sunder said. He hoped to release something on 7 WTC by the end of the year.
NIST did have some “preliminary hypotheses” on 7 WTC, Dr. Sunder said. “We are studying the horizontal movement east to west, internal to the structure, on the fifth to seventh floors.”
Then Dr. Sunder paused. “But truthfully, I don’t really know. We’ve had trouble getting a handle on building No. 7.”


And i'm sure we downed the plane in PA too.

And the Katrina failures actually raise more questions about it all--if our government is so incompetent in general--and they are, why weren't they incompetent when it came to making the false case for war with Iraq, and now have control of it (for better or worse)? And what about Cheney's energy meetings? Why did everyone let them lie like that about Iraq's involvement?

And where the fuck is Osama? Why did we stop looking, and worse, let him get away when he had the opportunity not to? Doesn't it stretch credibility that we never even really tried that whole "dead or alive" thing? Why?

The PDB about Bin Ladin determined to attack was the clincher--they got that and other warnings from all over the world, but did nothing.
posted by amberglow at 7:52 AM on March 21, 2006


amberglow : "And the Katrina failures actually raise more questions about it all--if our government is so incompetent in general--and they are, why weren't they incompetent when it came to making the false case for war with Iraq, and now have control of it (for better or worse)?"

I don't really follow. It seems to me that making a false case for war that you really want is relatively easy. Far easier than rigging up the WTC. And moderately easier than handling a big hurricane that you don't particularly care about. So from my perspective, they managed to handle something relatively easy that they were interested in OK, and managed to handle something moderately harder that they weren't interested in badly. None of that indicates that they would therefore be likely to be able to handle something much, much, much harder, which is what covertly blowing up the WTC yourself would be.
posted by Bugbread at 8:01 AM on March 21, 2006


The worst thing about the article is that the author really derides the entire process of questioning, much like the administration does. She maintains throughout that it's somehow wrong to be asking questions, and that when the questions are never answered, to try to make sense. It's natural to ask questions about really big events and to try to make sense of it, and to try to get facts. The 9/11 Commission didn't do any of that. The author doesn't give any impression that she really believes that questioning is normal--it's somehow insane or tinfoil to even ask (which is a really dumb position for a journalist to take). Talking to 9/11 widows and then immediately saying this is really off: ... If you ask me, they’re just Americans, looking for the truth, which is supposed to be our right.”

7.Why 7 WTC Fell
Talking to these women was not unlike watching the Zapruder film, I thought. The famous 8-mm. movie shot by ladies’-garment manufacturer Abraham Zapruder has been used to justify any number of Kennedy-assassination theories....

posted by amberglow at 8:06 AM on March 21, 2006


why weren't they incompetent when it came to making the false case for war with Iraq,

Ahhh, but here on the Blue, the yellowcake forgeries WERE discussed within a day of the release of the evidence. And how the letters were signed by people who were not in the office at the time Before the bombing started.

So the yellowcake evidence was a failure.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:06 AM on March 21, 2006


why weren't they incompetent when it came to making the false case for war with Iraq

They were incompetent. They went to war having convinced very few people that what they were doing was justified.
posted by cillit bang at 8:07 AM on March 21, 2006


Thanks for letting us know the problem is worse than we thought.

Get back to me when you actually have something substantive to say on this topic. If you'd simply like to insult me further, as you've made apparent, feel free to keep it off the blue and direct it towards my inbox. Thanks much!
posted by prostyle at 8:10 AM on March 21, 2006


bug, i don't believe they blew it all up at all. I kinda agree with you. Helping with a hurricane is actually much much easier than ginning up a war under false pretenses 1/2way around the world, but they didn't care. The fact that they cared far more about removing Saddam than helping Americans in need before during and after (still) Katrina says to me that they're only competent when they care--they didn't care that so many Americans were killed on 9/11 except insofar that they could use it to get Saddam and Iraq. They cared enough to sit back and let 9/11 happen so they could do what they wanted.
posted by amberglow at 8:14 AM on March 21, 2006


some very interesting questions raised, but the conspiracy theorists lost me up-thread when one of them said "Is it any less plausible than believing that 11 dumb fucks from nowhere Arabia....Blah, Blah Blah" So really, that's what this is, there is no way that people we consider inferior in whatever sense could have pulled this off. Riiight! Much easier to believe the incredibly inefficient Bush regime could plot this one. Or even be used by the military industrial complex as patsies to do so.
Princip (Archduke Ferdinand) and Oswald weren't the brightest either but look what they managed to do.

Given the right Swiss cheese risk enviornment what happened was entirely possible and even plausible.
posted by Wilder at 8:14 AM on March 21, 2006


So from my perspective, they managed to handle something relatively easy that they were interested in OK, and managed to handle something moderately harder that they weren't interested in badly

You are pre-supposing a level of interest.

On what basis are you coming up with such a 'level of interest'?

From what I remember of what the President was doing before Sept 10th, 2001 was alot of vacation, more than *I* get. Golf and some brush clearing. If what you do==interest, then Bush was interested in golf and tree-wacking.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:15 AM on March 21, 2006


But it didn't matter that some people (like us) knew they were lying--it didn't matter that millions of people knew they were lying--it happened. No one stopped them at all from doing what they wanted, facts be damned. If no one stopped them from proactively waging war and invasion, what would stop them from having knowledge of 9/11 and passively letting it happen, especially as they knew it would help them achieve their Iraq aim?
posted by amberglow at 8:19 AM on March 21, 2006


This is a diagram of an unusual truss in WTC7 (it is rare for steel buildings to have trusses like this). As you can see in the diagram, that truss extends from the 5th to 7th floors. We know there were fires on those floors (for example -- also note that the major damage from debris impacts to the building would be around the corner in that picture).

Now to all of you talking about temperatures at which steel melts -- this is a complete red herring. We don't need to melt the steel, we only need to soften it. Just as in eriko's butter analogy, steel softens long before it melts.

The bottom section of the truss (the horizontal beam) is under tension -- that is, the weight of the upper part of the building rests on the apex of the truss, pushing down on the two legs, so that each end of that horizontal beam is being pulled. As that beam gets heated by the fires, it is going to soften and the tension is going to make it start to stretch. This will make the apex lower, causing the building to sag, exactly as the eyewitnesses cited a ways above describe.

Now if that truss failed completely, we would expect the building to collapse in a certain way -- obviously we would expect the parts of the building supported by that truss to fall first. Examine these two figures: 1, 2. Check out the roofline. See how it's not horizontal during the collapse? That means that part of the roof started falling before other parts of the roof.

Now it turns out that the low point on the roof (the part that had to start falling first) is directly in line with the apex of the truss. This is a very strong indication that it was, in fact, the failure of this truss that caused the building to collapse.

So where does that leave us? Either:

- The truss failed due to the fires and debris impacts that we know were exactly in its location.
- Firefighters (stealth commando teams?) went into the building all the way to the fifth floor, through the fire and carnage, and detonated the crossbar on that truss.
- The truss was pre-wired for demolition, and the pre-wired explosives survived 8 hours of fires and debris unscathed before being set off.
posted by event at 8:22 AM on March 21, 2006


The worst thing about conspiracy theorists is how fully they buy into Bush Logic.

"If you don't believe our theories, you're with the government."
posted by Captaintripps at 8:33 AM on March 21, 2006


Wilder : "the conspiracy theorists lost me up-thread when one of them said 'Is it any less plausible than believing that 11 dumb fucks from nowhere Arabia....Blah, Blah Blah' So really, that's what this is, there is no way that people we consider inferior in whatever sense could have pulled this off."

I think the conclusion you should have drawn wasn't "the conspiracy theorists lost me" but "one conspiracy theory lost me".

rough ashlar : "You are pre-supposing a level of interest.

On what basis are you coming up with such a 'level of interest'? From what I remember of what the President was doing before Sept 10th, 2001 was alot of vacation, more than *I* get."


Well, it's more post-supposing interest (but, you are correct, it is supposing, no matter how you slice it). PNAC, the weak evidence clinged to strongly, and the like seem to point me in the direction that, post 9/11, mid-Afghanistan, the gov't had an interest in going to war in Iraq. Regardless, I'm not talking about what the President was doing before Sept 10th, 2001, but what he was doing mid to late 2002.

amberglow : "If no one stopped them from proactively waging war and invasion, what would stop them from having knowledge of 9/11 and passively letting it happen, especially as they knew it would help them achieve their Iraq aim?"

Personally, I don't think that's what happened, but that wasn't the argument I was trying to make (and I suspect it's just that I misread your ideas). I thought you were arguing that the gov't could have blown up the WTC and successfully hid it, because they managed to get a war started in Iraq. I was just arguing that getting a war started in Iraq is easier than setting up explosives and detonating the WTC without getting caught out.
posted by Bugbread at 8:43 AM on March 21, 2006


9/11 conspiracy theories are the Left's version of Creationism.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:46 AM on March 21, 2006


Just wanted to say I LOVE the butter example and will use it in the future. Very smart, logical, and well played.
posted by agregoli at 8:46 AM on March 21, 2006


If no one stopped them from proactively waging war and invasion, what would stop them from having knowledge of 9/11 and passively letting it happen

Are you arguing that because the military obeyed Bush's orders to invade Irag, he must have known about the hijackers?
posted by cillit bang at 8:49 AM on March 21, 2006


We don't need to melt the steel, we only need to soften it.

I don't think this softening assertion holds much water. I've taken all the available courses on welding structural support beams, and if you've ever worked with an acetylene torch on any plate steel it's a pretty ridiculous notion that a certified material would simply fail after hours of low grade exposure. Inconsistent and undirected exposure (ie: flames licking beams) across any tempered steel is highly ineffective and energy deficient. Why would the underwriter of the steel used in the construction be immediately fired after issuing contradictory statements? If the softening theory holds true - explain the molten pools, three stories below at the base of the columns. The beams don't need to be hot enough to melt for a collapse to ensue, yet that is what is found three stories below the structure? Interesting.

"If you don't believe our theories, you're with the government."

For what it's worth, this is not my mantra and as always I welcome honest discussion. There are just too many questions that remain unanswered about the circumstances surrounding the events for me to ever be satisfied with the results of the 9/11 commission. Ever. That has nothing to do with spite or ignorance, that's a choice to remain skeptical. Attribute whatever you want to me, but you'll find no malice and contempt here. I don't claim to know what happened on that day, and I do not attempt to promote any theory counter to the official story as the gospel truth.
posted by prostyle at 8:49 AM on March 21, 2006


cillit bang : "Are you arguing that because the military obeyed Bush's orders to invade Irag, he must have known about the hijackers?"

I'm pretty sure that's not what amberglow is arguing.
posted by Bugbread at 8:51 AM on March 21, 2006


the softening theory holds true - explain the molten pools, three stories below at the base of the columns.

I'm really wondering why this is such a sticking point with you - the WTC burned for hours internally, in all the rubble after it came down - why wouldn't this explain the molten pools (which sounds kind of delicious if you apply the phrase to a hot fudge sundae)?
posted by agregoli at 8:54 AM on March 21, 2006


prostyle : "If the softening theory holds true - explain the molten pools, three stories below at the base of the columns."

Straightforward question here: What would explain those molten pools?
posted by Bugbread at 8:56 AM on March 21, 2006


Clearly, many of the proponents on both sides of the fence have made up their minds first and then shoehorned the evidence to fit, while conveniently ignoring facts that don't fit their prejudice. Both the government sponsored "explanation" and the conspiracy crowd are guilty of this behavior. A couple of points to consider:

Convection is an aspect of the plane fuel fires I never hear sufficiently addressed. The steel supporting structure of a skyscraper is a massive (90,000+ ton) heat sink like the cooler sitting on top of your computer's CPU. Heat one end of a steel beam and it takes forever to warm up because the steel conducts heat away from the hot spot to the cooler parts. Only by supplying more heat to an area (i.e. cutting torch or thermite charge) than can be conducted away (and/or by structural overloading) will it fail.

The biggest fact against WTC 1&2 being brought down by standard controlled demolition is where the collapse occurred - directly below the points of airplane impact. Controlled demolition cuts the building supports in the basement and uses the weight of the stucture to cause the collapse, (which descibes exactly how WTC7 came down linked video).

Considering the testimony of multiple witnesses such as William Rodriguez about explosions in the WTC basement before the planes hit, and considering testimony about the "pools of molten steel" in the basements of the collapsed buildings weeks after 9/11, which show up on satellite thermal scans of Ground Zero, perhaps this actually did occur.

What would happen if only some of the supporting core columns in the basement were severed? Would the weight of the severed colums hanging from the floor joints central supports cause the collapse that occurred below the crash site with only minor heat-induced weakening?

It seems logical to constuct a finite element analysis model of the burning floors structural support and see what scenarios would cause the it to collapse. I have not seen this happen.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 8:56 AM on March 21, 2006


what Enron said about WTC7.

Are you arguing that because the military obeyed Bush's orders to invade Irag, he must have known about the hijackers?
Nope. I'm arguing that i believe they knew about 9/11, were warned about it coming repeatedly--from inside our government and from other governments, and did nothing to stop it because they knew it would help them. One of the only proactive things i think was done was to schedule the NORAD exercises the same day. I think their behavior before and during Katrina show the same pattern--they knew it was coming, they knew it would be devastating, and did nothing about it.
posted by amberglow at 9:09 AM on March 21, 2006


So where does that leave us? Either:

- The truss failed due to the fires and debris impacts that we know were exactly in its location.
- Firefighters (stealth commando teams?) went into the building all the way to the fifth floor, through the fire and carnage, and detonated the crossbar on that truss.
- The truss was pre-wired for demolition, and the pre-wired explosives survived 8 hours of fires and debris unscathed before being set off.
posted by event at 8:22 AM PST on March 21 [!]


Good post and good points! But you see, we don't want reason. Like that Creationist, we have our presupposition and facts need to fit it and not vice versa.
posted by stirfry at 9:10 AM on March 21, 2006


Stuff like this continuing to come out even now just reinforces it, to my mind: An FBI agent who interrogated Zacarias Moussaoui before Sept. 11, 2001, warned his supervisors more than 70 times that Moussaoui was a terrorist and spelled out his suspicions that the al-Qaeda operative was plotting to hijack an airplane, according to federal court testimony yesterday. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:21 AM on March 21, 2006


event: Thanks for the structural diagrams on WTC7... I hadn't seen this before. However, I would be interested to see the entire structure rather than just the one small section out of context. Where is the "FEMA" article that this is from?
posted by Enron Hubbard at 9:23 AM on March 21, 2006


explain the molten pools, three stories below at the base of the columns.

when you melt something, it doesn't all melt at once. If you put that butter out on the counter, you might get some melted butter on the wrapper, for instance, even if most of it is only softened. Just like you get steam rising from your water before the whole thing reaches boiling point (so some of it is turning into gas before the whole thing reaches a temperature where it's supposed to turn to gas - and when it does reach that temperature, the whole thing doesn't just evaporate at once). Anyway, does a dynamite implosion cause pools of molten steel? It sounds more congruent with jet fuel fires on an intuitive level.

But again: why would the bush admin plan this whole nefarious scheme & keep it under wraps instead of doing it in the open and just blaming the terrorists? If the towers were brought down by a bomb in the basement - which of course was the original plot in '93 - it would have been just as effective. I don't agree with it, but at least a claim that bush was "in on" the plot as it was carried out is logically coherent. But these conspiracies about the way the buildings fell etc just don't make any sense at all.
posted by mdn at 9:30 AM on March 21, 2006


firedoglake today: ... That the Bush Administration may have known this all along, and kept the information from the 9/11 Commission, and every other commission that has studied these issues -- because they were limited in scope in terms of their investigative powers, is unconscionable.

Those Americans and those of other nations who were tragically killed on 9/11 deserve a hell of a lot better than getting confirmation of this only during cross-examination in the death penalty phase of the Moussaoui trial. A hell of a lot better. ...

posted by amberglow at 9:35 AM on March 21, 2006


event: Thanks for the structural diagrams on WTC7... I hadn't seen this before. However, I would be interested to see the entire structure rather than just the one small section out of context. Where is the "FEMA" article that this is from?

The image I linked is hosted on a conspiracy site, but the structural diagram is from Chapter 5 of the FEMA report (the conspiracy site was the only version of the image I could find that wasn't in PDF format).
posted by event at 9:46 AM on March 21, 2006


ReddHedd : "Americans and those of other nations"

In Texas, we have a single word for that. We call them "people"
posted by Bugbread at 10:06 AM on March 21, 2006


Bush has never fully investigated 9/11, nor has Congress, and neither ever will.

Why? Because they will look bad. Bush was grossly incompetent in that he ignored possible terrorist activity on American soil prior to 9/11. Why did he ignore it? Simple. Clinton was big on terrorism and OBL — Bush had to destroy everything Clinton did. So terrorism was immediately “last millennia” as soon as that idiot took office (and ironically it is now the magic incantation he uses to turn off Republican brains in the face of his unsurpassed incompetence). Of course, Bush is not only to blame, the CIA and FBI screwed up, too, but the boss is always ultimately responsible, which is something Republicans have disavowed of late.

We’ll never know if Bush could have thwarted 9/11 by actually doing his job. But the mere fact that he was incompetent was enough for him to make sure we not fully investigate what led to 9/11. Congress ended up complicit, because they liked the sudden wave of paranoia and patriotism the Republican party was riding, and didn’t want to disrupt it.

So neither investigated 9/11 fully. That (and the human desire for narrative where it does not exist) is the root of most of these conspiracy theories. In an effort to not look bad, and because he wanted it to be easier to use 9/11 to justify every single action in his presidency, Bush did not want full investigation.

That’s the only conspiracy here. Nobody knew that terrorists were going to fly plains into the towers. Nobody planted bombs. There are no gaping holes in the “official” description of what happened. Israel was not involved. It’s not a great mystery that WTC7 fell down. Flight 93 was not shot down (although we don’t really know, either, if heros crashed the plane).

There are real questions, sure. The world is very complicated, and we will never fully understand everything that happened that day. But the idea that the “official” story is a cover up for a great conspiracy by the government is just fucking stupid (and justgary is even dimmer).
posted by teece at 10:19 AM on March 21, 2006


for others of us, that's simply not good enough. we want to know why the investigation wasn't more expansive and thorough. why it was so politicized. why it was delayed for years. why it isn't still under investigation, especially given its unprecedented nature.

The mere act of asking these kind of questions, discussing it, seems to engender hostility in some of you. please try to keep it in check. there's no need for it. we're just asking questions, is all.


Ok. This is a mischaracterization of the criticisms people have of what is blatant conspiracy theorizing - not "questioning" authority.

And that is: People like Stenseng and Rough Ashlar are not looking for "THE" truth. They are looking for "A" truth.

They have facts to explain a large portion of their mysteries. But they choose to subvert them for nothing substantial.

Few here agree with how the Bush administration handled this investigation.

Yes. They lied. Yes they obfuscated and misled.

And yes, one conclusion is that likely 9/11 could have been prevented - or at least it would have been made more difficult - by simple things like lockable cockpit doors that had been proposed 20 years ago by Nader and others, that, and the removal political cronies from the intelligence chain.

But the WHY these things happened is fucking incompetence, ok - not deep dark twenty years long conspiracy. THAT is what they are hiding. THAT is why they are lying through their goddamned teeth.

It's simple. The neocons YEARS ago decided that terrorism was NOT a strategic threat of any importance. They decided instead to concentrate on states they could intimidate or overthrow to project US hegemony in the mistaken notion that THAT would stem the tide of Terrorism. They outlined these thought quite openly. They said they wanted to pick a war in Iraq in the 1990. They even got a US president to sign on to it, Clinton. They almost talked Clinton into withdrawing monies from anti-terrorism into these overt operations in Iraq. But then WTC attack number one happened on February 26, 1993 and he had to us funds for anti-terror.

So they got Bush.

They DIDN'T NEED 9/11. Ok. They had what they wanted in November of 2000. We were going to go to war with Iraq ANYWAY. Any idiot can see that.

But all of this is irrelevant. Why? Al Queada already attacked the WTC in 1993. We know this. And they said they were going to do it again.

Bin Laden SAID he was going to fly planes into the WTC as early as 1998 (Hello, remember Columbine? Those kids got Bin Ladens plans from some website and were going to hijack a plane and fly it into the WTC as their Final Act - remember?).

And Bin Laden has said it was AQ. Ok.

So all this bullshit Stenseng is saying - and then duplicitously backing off of saying he merely wants the "truth" - is all irrelevant because the culprits ADMITTED IT. Unless of course THAT is all part of the plot.

And, so, then we are back to square one and so far outside Occam that we are really talking about religious belief.

And THAT is why I am slightly hostile to guys like this. They doing the work of the GOP and distracting us from reality, wasting time and resources. And this guy is an activist in the Democratic party. Jesus.
posted by tkchrist at 10:20 AM on March 21, 2006


We don't need to melt the steel, we only need to soften it.

I don't think this softening assertion holds much water. I've taken all the available courses on welding structural support beams,


Now that's just funny. Your course in welding makes your opinion invalidate all of the structural engineers and physicists that tell us how hot the fire might of been, and that in would have destroyed the beams. *rolls eyes*
posted by teece at 10:23 AM on March 21, 2006


Interesting. Comments and post.

I liked the POV of the firefighter who believed “A” - because if it was something else he’d have to do something about it and he didn’t want to think about that.

I think a lot of folks’ brains work that way.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:26 AM on March 21, 2006


For those interested-

The audio recordings of the firefighter transmissions from the building can be found here and here, the complete set of all FDNY and Port Authority repeater recordings can be found here (transcripts here)*PDF*. First hand firefighter accounts, and a lot more from the firefighter perspective can be found here.
posted by rollbiz at 10:42 AM on March 21, 2006


Controlled demolition cuts the building supports in the basement and uses the weight of the stucture to cause the collapse, (which descibes exactly how WTC7 came down linked video).

The primary points of evidence for the controlled demolition of WTC7 appear to be:

1: A video of the collapse looking at the north face from several blocks away with the lower half of the building obscured by nearby structures.

2: The "pull it" quote from a videotaped interview.

The linked video does not show the base of the building, much less the basement. It does not show the face of the building that had been impacted by debris from the other towers. It does not show the origin of the collapse. What we see is a chunk of superstructure near the south face fall first, followed by the rest of the building.

The "pull it" quote strikes me as especially ambiguous, and does not strike me as controlled evidence for a demolition.

Hat Maui: that said, let's hear your explanations. i suspect you'll tell me something about politicization and who's in control and whatnot, but maybe i shouldn't presuppose that.

Well, when you look at the issue of control and the incestuous relationships of power, there actually seems to be a strong motivation against directly motivating the attacks, or at least attacks on this scale. Multiple economic interests took a huge pounding from which the U.S. economy still has not fully recovered. The conflicts of interest in the investigation are not surprising to me. Our congress and major corporations are so inbred that the apparent lack of conflicts of interest should be suspicious.

If there was a "make it happen" conspiracy, I'd argue that it had to be very small, depending quite a bit on in systems that are already stressed almost to the point of failure. The hypothesis that the failure to identify the threat on the day of the attacks was due to flaws in the FAA control centers and airport security appears to be the best fit to the evidence. And gimping both NYC and Indianapolis seems like excessive complication. The people who "made it happen" only needed to slip one through, and they maximized their chances by four attempts. Likewise, the prospect of controlled demolitions on site (not knowing which or any of the planes would succeed) strikes me as an unnecessary complication.

On the other hand, I do think that after the fact, there was, if not a conspiracy, at least a consensus by those in power that they needed to make lemonade out of lemons. Part of this involved spinning facts into a quick and dirty truth. So you get an investigation process that pins the whole thing on the Taliban (in spite of the predominance of Saudi passports among the claimed attackers), and tries to minimize any loose ends as quickly as possible.

In addition, I do think the Administration was predisposed to opportunism. They did have plans to engage Afghanistan and Iraq set up in advance. However, I don't think the American people would have needed something on the scale of 9/11 in order to accept an invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. Kuwait, Panama and Grenada were accepted on much less. The American people had tolerated a state of continual slow-burn warfare in Iraq since the first Gulf War.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:55 AM on March 21, 2006


In addition, I do think the Administration was predisposed to opportunism. They did have plans to engage Afghanistan and Iraq set up in advance.

I don't think they had plans for Afghanistan. Iraq, yes, but I don't think this administration even knew where Afghanistan was until after 9/11, when it became clear that they would have to make some gesture toward capturing bin Laden before they could go after their real goal, which was Iraq.

And 9/11 was not strictly necessary for an invasion of Iraq. The American people and American media are at their most susceptible when it comes to war propaganda — I think Bush could have got his ratings boost in Iraq whether 9/11 happened or not, but we'll never know.
posted by teece at 11:14 AM on March 21, 2006


"Rumsfeld was saying that we needed to bomb Iraq," Clarke said to Stahl. "And we all said...no, no. Al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan. We need to bomb Afghanistan. And Rumsfeld said there aren't any good targets in Afghanistan. And there are lots of good targets in Iraq. I said, 'Well, there are lots of good targets in lots of places, but Iraq had nothing to do with it.'"
Chart of Bush approval ratings
posted by kirkaracha at 1:16 PM on March 21, 2006


It seems logical to constuct a finite element analysis model of the burning floors structural support and see what scenarios would cause the it to collapse. I have not seen this happen.

Then you have not read enough.

"Insights gained from these analyses were used, in turn, to formulate and execute nonlinear, temperature-dependent finite element analyses of global structural systems to predict the collapse sequence of each tower."

And prostyle - structural steels lose strength (both yield strength and tensile strength) as service temperatures increase - that's a fact. They also have a decreasing stiffness as temperatures go up (i.e. they get softer)

In fact, at temperatures above about 500 to 600 degrees F, these steels start to exhibit creep. Which means that deformations increase with time under a sustained load. For example, under normal operating conditions, the floor trusses in the WTC buildings would naturally deflect (sag) at their midspan by some amount due to the weight of the materials they were supporting (e.g. the concrete floor deck) Now, elevate the temperature of the truss to above 500-600 F, and this deflection begins to increase with time even though you have not put any more weight on the truss. This is bad if the rate of creep is high enough.
posted by pitchblende at 1:24 PM on March 21, 2006


teece and KirkJobSluder are right.

Bush didn't need 9/11 to go to war in Iraq. The American populace has shown all to often how tough they are bombing piss-ant countries.

For Christ Sake guys we accepted this under Clinton... our bestest liberal buddy.

Clinton was bombing the fuck out of Iraq - whose sanctions policies werer causing the deaths of tens of thousands of innocents in Iraq.

Did Janine Garafalo say shit about it? Fuck no. Think about this: Clinton was bombing WHITE people in Serbia and people didn't hardly say shit about it.

The neocons saw that and creamed thier jeans. Talk about a perfect storm. Saying we NEEDED 9/11 to start a war is absurd.

And like I said. Bin Laden ALREADY cop'd to it. And we had the WTC bombing in 1993. So where is the mystery?

The mystery is that even without a 9/11 conspiracy we have let Bush get as far as he has. The man IS a criminal from what we Do know.

It's bad enough WITHOUT a conspiracy.
posted by tkchrist at 1:26 PM on March 21, 2006


“It's bad enough WITHOUT a conspiracy.” - posted by tkchrist

Yeah. That’s the irony.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:37 PM on March 21, 2006


The neocons saw that and creamed thier jeans. Talk about a perfect storm. Saying we NEEDED 9/11 to start a war is absurd.

And like I said. Bin Laden ALREADY cop'd to it. And we had the WTC bombing in 1993. So where is the mystery?

The mystery is that even without a 9/11 conspiracy we have let Bush get as far as he has. The man IS a criminal from what we Do know.

It's bad enough WITHOUT a conspiracy.


Of course it's bad enough without. It was the PNAC that called for a "pearl-harbor moment" or whatever their wording was, knowing that ramming thru an elective war needs more than just talk. Bin Laden copped to it, but we left off the hunt for him, and Rumsfeld and others didn't even want to bother--WTF? The mystery is why you guys are so sure that Iraq would have happened without 9/11--i say it wouldn't, and i say the administration knew that. They used 9/11 to go after Iraq, and we're fucked because of that. They would not have been able to expand past Clinton's bombing runs and the sanctions but for 9/11.
posted by amberglow at 1:51 PM on March 21, 2006


and don't ever forget that pre 9/11 Bush was not a popular president at all. They rode 9/11 like that missile in Dr. Strangelove--they're still riding it, but the post-attack rallying around (which enabled him to drop Osama and hit Iraq) is long gone.
posted by amberglow at 1:54 PM on March 21, 2006


This panda is LIHOP. The big difference between us LIHOPs and the MIHOPs is the inane fixation on the mechanics of the building collapse. It really has such minutiae that a theorist can wallow in the details endlessly.

I consider the actual events that happen post airliner impact to be fairly moot. I really think we miss the forest for the trees when we fixate on the specifics of the collapse instead of the events leading up to that day.

The real questions we should be asking have to do with John O'Neill, Yemen, the USS Cole, and the ever changing FAA/NORAD timeline. That's why I think the administration had very reasonable suspicion of the plot, but let it happen. On the other hand, it's possible that they knew X but not Y, they knew the means but not the targets. There are many ways to skin the "willful incompetence" cat.

Crap article though, mainly for the fixation on WT7, for my reasons above.
posted by butterstick at 2:00 PM on March 21, 2006


amberglow, you're wrong. The Iraq war started in 1993. That momentum was nigh unstoppable. Eventually Saddam would have provided us with all the pretense we needed to finish the thing and fully invade. 2002. 2003. 2004. 2005. Eventually. It was a forgone conclusion. I called it 1999 and was right.

You can look at how and where materials and tactical supplies were moving. Who was mobilizing. It was all about Iraq. You could see that Afghanistan completely blind-sided them. So much so they had to use Clinton's war plans. If that isn't a delicious irony!

And two words - Gay Marriage. That would have given Bush any rallying point he would have needed to get re-elected in 2004. Plus, like I said, he would of still had his war in Iraq to wrap the himself in the flag by 2004. The democrats had NOTHING. Even WITH a disastrous war and lying president. They would of had less without 9/11.

Ok. Sure. Bush lied about knowing more about 9/11 than he has said. Duh. So has Clinton.

What was that lie? They willfully disregarded terrorism as a serious threat because they felt their were other more important strategic issues to spend the resources on... and... dare I say it... yes I dare.. THEY WERE RIGHT.

"Terrorism" IS a fucking joke. We really DO have bigger strategic fish to fry. As is all too apparent now, huh?
posted by tkchrist at 2:35 PM on March 21, 2006


but from 93 til Bush, it was contained--smart people knew Saddam kept a lid on the "nation" of Iraq. It would have remained contained had we left well enough alone. Again--if we had smart people in charge.
posted by amberglow at 3:45 PM on March 21, 2006


I really think we miss the forest for the trees when we fixate on the specifics of the collapse instead of the events leading up to that day.

A most excellent point.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:15 PM on March 21, 2006


A large part of my problem with conspiracy theories is the leap from, "the government is being less than honest about this situation" to "the government is less that honest about this situation because the real story is ..." The promotion of conspiracy theories is less about keeping an open mind, and more about pimping a set of alternative theories structured around an ideological bent.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:45 AM on March 22, 2006


a we fixate on the specifics of the collapse

For those who are interested in those "specifics", make sure you check out the NIST report links above - FOR and AGAINST.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology report methodology, although technically detailed, looks overly susceptible to the S.W.A.G Method and Finagle's Constant. (You make a Scientific Wild Assed Guess and then diddle the parameters (Finagle's Constant) until you get the answer you wanted from the start.)

Kevin Ryan, a chemist by profession and former executive for Underwriters Laboratories, was another of a growing recipient of the "We Take the Credit, You Get the Plame Award" for questioning the official party line. He notes that the NIST originally "rule out weak steel as a contributing factor in the collapse" and says that steel "samples available were adequate for the investigation." and "comments suggest that the steel was probably exposed to temperatures of only about 500F (250C), which is what one might expect from a thermodynamic analysis of the situation", yet they base the analysis above on much higher temperatures that caused the that steel to act like licorice.

"The day will come when we are collectively fooling ourselves in such a way that we essentially trade everything we have for what's behind our fantasy curtain. It appears that day is near." "No matter how you voted, what credentials or positions you hold, or what faith you have in people, you will face the consequences of our collective self-deceptions." - Kevin Ryan
posted by Enron Hubbard at 7:25 AM on March 22, 2006


cell divide writes "And why, if hydrocarbon-fueled fire maxes out at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and steel melts at 2,700 degrees, did the towers weaken sufficiently to fall in such a short time—only 56 minutes in the case of the South Tower?"

More scary than the conspiracy theories are the people who don't see a problem here, basic education is severely lacking.

KirkJobSluder writes "And a loss of transponder contact just means a loss of transponder contact. It does not necessarily mean that the plane is hostile."

It sure would suck if a plane was shot down just because their transponder failed.

prostyle writes "they point to United Airlines spending millions of dollars in 2004 on aircraft installed technology to enable in-flight calling."

Could it be because UA stands to make some money from the in flight calling. I don't know how the cell business works but I'd bet tower owners get a percentage of the revenue of each call.

stenseng writes "foreign intelligence penetrated the Manhattan Project to a certain extent, but the American people were in the dark for as long as was needed."

There's a bit of difference between keeping the secret of a super weapon for 2-3 years during war time and keeping the secret of the government killing 3000+ citizens on home soil for 4+ years.

five fresh fish writes "If you believe it was a CONSPIRACY then you have the MORAL OBLIGATION to do something about it. It was a TERRORIST ACT and if it turns out that the terrorists are running the government you MUST OVERTHROW their evil dominion.

"Honest to god, if it were true it would be downright impossible to just stand idly by. Absolutely impossible. Civil war would be inevitable."


Agree.

rough ashlar writes "The history of steel framed building on fire shows a lack of collapse. This is because the building codes require a coating on the steel to suppress the heat conduction."

A coating usually rated at 1-2 hours.

One of the interesting things about the twin towers is the plans were in the public domain and were widely studied. The architects I work with knew the towers were coming down, and predicted the collapse method, as soon as they saw the jet fires.
posted by Mitheral at 12:10 PM on March 22, 2006


I believe his argument was that the Jews who didn't fight back against the Nazis were actually worse than the Nazis.

Just saw this.

No my waaaay over dramatic analogy about the rise of Zombie Hitler was that the Jews in 1930's Germany didn't know what was about to happen to them until it was too late. Zombie Hitler. Well. We know where that is going don't we?

BUT Stenseng, with the benefit of his brilliant insight and 50 years of critical historical analysis of the rise of Fascism and the nature of conspiracies, DOES know what's up with the Bush administration and their evil plot. Mr. Stenseng has no such excuse.
posted by tkchrist at 1:33 PM on March 22, 2006


I don't know why I've become the focal point for so much anger and drama. I haven't made any assertions that I "know for certain" the truth behind the 9/11 attacks in this thread.

There are a LOT of people who have misgivings and suspicions about 9/11. I'm just one of many.

I've shared my suspicions, and specific discrepancies that to me do not add up, and that's all.

Also, I've worked with structural steel. I've spent time in an ironworker's hall.

There's no way in HELL that 4000 lbs of lamp oil (which is essentially what commercial aviation fuel is) (4000 lbs being NIST's estimate of the total amount that would have actually made it into the building) and paper and office furniture caused huge molten pools of steel that stayed dangerously hot for weeks.

Further, the fires were nearly out by the time the buildings came down - victims were standing in the impact holes hoping for rescue. Firefighters were in the affected floors working to rescue survivors and assess damage for a battle plan to put out the fires.

Why was the lobby of the building, a thousand-odd feet down, and separated from the impact by some eighty individually hermetically sealed stairwells blown apart, as if a bomb had gone off. There were decorative marble slabs on the walls that had cracked, been blown off, etc - each weighing hundreds of pounds.

Are you seriously trying to tell me that 4000lbs of kerosene came in at the impact point of the building, somehow was blown downward through 70-80 hermetically sealed stairwells, and managed to still be pressurized/aerosoled enough to explode in the lobby/basement/various other floors in various other parts of the building? Yet, certainly in the case of the shattered lobby, which was captured on video - there was no indication of fire/smoke damage/ diesel residue/ etc consistent with a fuel explosion or fire, just damage very consistent with the kind of shockwave HE can cause.

It's like some people are so threatened by the possibilities that, while they claim to be relying on logic/applied physics/science/occam's razor/what have you, as soon as those things don't adequately explain the documented circumstances, they flip to a diametrically opposite position of "HOLY SHIT - WEIRD SHIT HAPPENS IN A DISASTER, don't question it, man! - straw through telephone poles, moms flipping cars over with superhuman strength to save their babies!, frogs raining from the sky! - cats and dogs living together in harmony!"

I call bullshit. NO ONE has disproved any of this shit - this constant whining about "why bother, yuo = teh stupids, we have gone over this," is horseshit.

You haven't proven shit. Your butter analogy sucks. I could *maybe* see a prolonged localized fire for a longass period of time (I'm talking an order of days) causing structural weakness to a degree that *might* cause portions of floors to give way, but this scenario doesn't fit that in a myriad of different ways.

Not enough fuel: NIST estimates that ~4000 lbs of fuel got into each building. That little fuel, in a building that size probably burned off in the first couple of minutes. If you really believe that some kerosene, some paperwork, and some cubicles and chairs got hot enough to cause structural failure, I'm sorry, but you're a retard.

Not enough time: 56 minutes isn't going to cause fireproofed UL ASTM rated structural steel to give.

FLAT OUT NOT HOT ENOUGH: Go buy some lamp oil and play pyro in the backyard for a while. Unless it's in aerosol form and under a lot of pressure, it's hard to even ignite, let alone get the shit to explode.


Why did employees in the lower floors report what sounded like multiple bombs going off in the basement and in lower floors - resulting in documented injured victims escaping with wounds consistent with bombing from the bottom floors and basement of the building?

Why do so many firefighters and other rescue personnel working within and around the WTC buildings prior to the collapses report explosions, flashes, "detonations," etc. in many other areas of the buildings than the floors impacted by the airliners?

I've asked legitimate questions, provided SPECIFIC documentation, evidence, and examples that don't jibe with the official story, and I've been met at worst with derision, personal attacks, and at best with platitudes, generalities, and explanations that don't meet the scientific sniff test of anyone who's ever worked with steel, and/or fire, and that's it.
posted by stenseng at 11:58 AM on March 23, 2006


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