(This post is a response to evidence presented by Thought Criminal. For a full explanation and TC’s complete comments, see my post “9/11 was an inside job: convince me” or TC’s post “The Thought Criminal takes up the $100 ‘Inside Job’ Challenge“. TC was the only person who seriously responded to this challenge, and he gave it a good go.)
It would make my life a lot easier (not to mention a lot more interesting!) to believe that 9/11 was a false-flag operation, but I just don’t see enough solid, persuasive evidence. Are there mysteries, unresolved issues, and unanswered questions about 9/11? Absolutely, in spades. Would I like to see another investigation? You bet. Does the evidence most commonly presented by Truthers adequately explain the events of 9/11 and reflect reality? In my opinion, no.
Thought Criminal’s abridged comments are in italics, my responses are in bold. I encourage you to read TC’s comments in full; they’re very funny (intentionally funny, unlike some of the Truther comments on previous posts!).
On the amount of explosives needed to bring down the World Trade Center Towers, without anyone reporting suspicious materials entering the building: “it has been estimated that the amount of explosives, depending on the type, would be in the hundreds of pound, not tons. Some have postulated that mini-nukes may have been used, and they do in fact exist and have since the 50’s. If those were used, the number or amount would be far less still…There were unprecedented ‘power downs’ in the towers just prior to 9/11 and bomb sniffing dogs and other security withdrawn. They said this was to upgrade cables, and there were indeed workers in the building. Cameras did not work, nor did other electronic security measures such as door locks…Several workers reported later that they heard constant noise going on, on vacant floors, of which there were many…Workers reported that each morning when they arrived in their offices, there was always a fine grey dust everywhere, which they had not experienced in the past.William Rodriguez, the janitor hero of the day who saved many people confirmed that he too heard strange noises eminating from vacant floors but he was never told what was going on. He said he was too scared to look inside. Several [Israeli-owned] companies broke their leases and moved out, despite the huge cost of the penalties they would have faced, just prior to 9/11.
I have been able to confirm that one company partly owned by Israel moved out of the WTC in the weeks prior to 9/11, but found no information that its lease was broken. The Zim American Israel Shipping Co. (now Zim American Integrated Shipping Services) announced its move to Norfolk, Virginia 6 months earlier (April ’01 announcement by Va. governor James Gilmore) and still had several employees and computers in the WTC on 9/11 (Israel News Agency article). At least one Israeli company, ClearForest, also had offices in the WTC on 9/11 (the 47th floor of the north tower).
The sole source of the WTC powerdown story is an April 2004 email to Truther John Kaminski from one Scott Forbes (reprinted here), who claimed to be a database administrator at Fiduciary Trust (now Franklin Templeton), working on the 97th floor of the south tower the weekend before 9/11 (Sept. 8-10). A British man identifying himself as Forbes later gave interviews to George Washington’s Blog (here) and to Killtown (here), but no part of his story has been corroborated, including his identity.
If a powerdown had taken place on the upper floors of the tower (floor 48 up, according to Forbes), many businesses would have been hugely inconvenienced – and everyone working in those offices would have had to accept the ridiculous story that the powerdown was part of a cabling upgrade. As pointed out at 9-11 Review: “Cabling upgrades for data bandwidth do not require interrupting AC power at all. Even if the AC wiring were being upgraded, the new wiring would have been installed and powered up in parallel with the old wiring. Any interruptions would be minimized to a few minutes. Powering down large portions of a tower, and for 36 hours, would have generated numerous protests from tenants.”
Also, Forbes said the security systems and cams were not operational during this powerdown, allowing anyone to freely enter and leave the upper floors of the building for 30+ hours. However, security cameras use independent power supplies that are not affected by power interruptions, and security systems are designed in such a way that if power is interrupted, doors can remain locked (openable only with keys).
I’ve always found the mysterious dust/noise stories intriguing, but I have been unable to find any sources for them other than Scott Forbes and William Rodriguez. Though Rodriguez’s account of 9/11 is fascinating and partially corroborated by Felipe David, Rodriquez’s interpretations of things he saw/heard in the north tower are problematic. First, he says he heard unusual construction noises coming from the vacant, completely empty 34th floor and was very frightened by this because no construction was taking place there. However, wholly ordinary construction for Lehman Brothers was taking place on the 34th floor of the north tower on September 11th, and had been going on for months (article here). Construction noises would be expected.
There is no evidence of mini-nukes at the towers: no radioactivity was detected (Steven E. Jones tested debris, though the provenance of his samples is questionable), no witnesses were blinded by intense electromagnetic radiation, and no radiation burns or sickness were reported by survivors or first responders. We could expect to see all of these things if mini-nukes had been used. Also, you mentioned squibs. Squibs would not appear in a nuke explosion.
Lucky Larry Silverstein (the 7 billion dollar 9/11 sweepstakes winner)…
I don’t know if you’re implicating Larry Silverstein or not, but I know that many people have. And in my opinion that is reprehensible. This man was a leaseholder with good insurance coverage (who had to fight in court for full payouts); unless he has a history of mass murder or insurance fraud, it is grossly unfair – even slanderous – to implicate him as a co-conspirator.
The Communist-derived “who benefits?” line of reasoning often leads to dead ends, because innocent people can and do benefit from crimes.
Eyewitness reports of molten steel and evidence of explosives: If explosives did not cause the molten steel, what could have? You know that jet fuel could not have done it, right?… Infra red satellite imagery also showed the pools of molten metal – not just witnesses.
You’re right, jet fuel cannot melt steel. But there was no molten steel at Ground Zero, only other kinds of molten metal which melt at much lower temperatures than steel. NASA thermal imaging photos showed temperatures of up to 1400 degrees F in the Ground Zero rubble, which is not hot enough to melt steel. (U.S. Geological Survey World Trade Center environmental assessment)
Did you know that NIST has given up trying to explain the collapses of both towers, each of which fell in under 10 seconds, virtually capitulating to the controlled demolition theory. As to building 7, they stated that their best guess theory had only a low probability of occurrence..
Forensic analysis of metal samples showed traces of sulphur and other elements consistent with explosives, especially thermate…
There are many lingering questions about the collapses and the debris, and NIST clearly doesn’t have all the answers. Even the House Science and Technology Committee called for a broader WTC investigation. (2002 committee press release)
The concrete was completely pulverized and the steel blown out in all directions, with pyroclastic flows along the ground, which are indicative of super heating…Squibs are seen shooting out well below the collapse areas or ‘demolition wave’. Pieces of steel beems weighing 30 or 40 tons shot out hundreds of yards, impaling themselves into neighbouring buildings.
To me, this is an indication that the buildings were not brought down by controlled demolition. Controlled demolition is, well, more controlled than this.
From Rodger Herbst’s “Mysteries of the Twin Towers”: “Yet even if support columns had melted due to burning jet fuel, it is highly unlikely that the resulting structural weakness would be completely symmetrical. Irregularity would have produced a collapse in which concrete and steel girders would have rained down over a wide area, causing additional damage and fatalities.”
there is 100% proof that explosives were used at the WTC…Remember WTC 5 and WTC 6? They were too short to be hit with a hijacked plane… Instead, they stood there, right next to the massive twin towers (unlike WTC 7 which was a block away) and they were pelted with falling debris from WTC 1 and 2. While they were rendered unusable, the silly things did not do the ‘WTC 7 trick’ and fall down…
My understanding of WTC buildings 5 and 6 is that, despite the serious damage they sustained, they wouldn’t have “pancaked” because they were much smaller, lighter buildings than the twin towers and building 7. The upper floors of the 9-story building 5 (floors 4-9) did partially collapse. Likewise, the Customs House (building 6) was so heavily damaged that it was later pulled the rest of the way down by cables.
There were no collapsed floors found, and none of the massive 47 core columns were left standing, thus the pancake theory is unfortunately ‘toast’ theory. Yes, obviously the floors (110 per building) just disintegrated because the plane hit, even if that has never happened before when buildings have been struck by large aircraft
I’m no structural engineer, but the pancake theory makes sense to me; the floors crumbled not when the planes struck, but when upper floors slammed down on them with their combined weight. As mentioned, this doesn’t necessarily happen to buildings smaller and lighter than the twin towers and building 7.
On my suggestion that WTC 7 could have been demolished to keep documents out of the hands of looters: Building 7 paper was strewn everywhere – explosions don’t effectively destroy papers, they just scatter them. Though at least some documents were likely destroyed by fire. Evidence of insider put options trading was still gleaned from forensic analysis of hard drives found at the site.
Since demolition is an ineffective way to destroy documents, then there was no good reason to demolish WTC 7 at all. I only considered that possibility because an anonymous source suggested it to Whitley Strieber, telling him certain government buildings are “mined” during construction to protect the sensitive documents that will be stored there. So, scratch that idea: Building 7 came down on its own. The whys and wherefores are unknown at this time.
on Osama not being sought for 9/11 because his financial backing would be difficult to prove: Actually, forensic financial investigation is very common and expected, and it works well! If anything could prove that it was bin Laden, that would…What we do know for sure about the money trail is that the head of the Pakistani ISI (a CIA asset) wired $100,000 to Atta Boy shortly before 9/11. The same guy was in the USA meeting with Bush Sr. and other neocon insiders at the time of the attacks.
Yes, Pakistan is indeed a strange bedfellow for the U.S., and ISI complicity in 9/11 has been largely swept under the rug along with the possible Saudi connection, apparently because the administration is petrified of alienating its few “allies” in the Middle East. If they are trying to conquer the Middle East, they need to keep those nations on their side.
As for bin Laden’s alleged involvement in the financing and planning of 9/11…there just isn’t enough evidence, apparently. Perhaps he wasn’t involved at all, and only the free agents who sometimes worked with him planned and executed the whole thing.
the hijackers: some of them lived at the Pensacola Naval Airbase in Florida, while others were getting training at the defence language school in Monterey, California. And they rented planes at CIA run flight schools in Florida…9 are known to still be alive…
Some of the 9/11 hijackers may have received training at military – and CIA-affiliated schools. But, those men are still alive and weren’t really hijackers at all; they were victims of identity theft and government frame-up? You can’t have it both ways. If the hijackers were using stolen ID and stolen credentials, then they didn’t necessarily receive government-affiliated training in the U.S. If they were using stolen IDs, we don’t know who they were or what they did prior to 9/11. The source of the hijackers-may-be-alive story is a series of BBC news releases, which were canceled out by later reports (this was addressed by BBC editor Steve Hermann in 2006). The pilot from Morocco who allegedly claimed to be the real Waleed al-Shehri has not been found. Kevin Barrett searched for him without success. His very existence is in doubt, so it’s impossible to use the claim as credible supporting evidence at this time. I’m hoping that more information will surface so this can be cleared up.
Common sense tends to undermine the frame-up theory. If the U.S. government was selecting “Islamist hijackers” to frame, would they choose men who had received documented government-affiliated training? Also, wouldn’t they have chosen Iraqi or Iranian or Syrian or Afghani men to frame, rather than Saudis?
A frame-up would not have required the use of controlled demolition, either. Flying jets into the buildings, even if only a few dozen people on one or two floors were killed, would be sufficient to scare the populace into supporting just about any retaliatory measure.
It’s also doubtful that the hijackers actually trained at Pensacola. The three men who listed their addresses as the airbase (Saeed al-Ghamdi and two others) arrived in the U.S. in spring/summer of 2001, and so far there is no indication that they actually lived at the naval base. A pilot with the same name as Saeed Al-Ghamdi (one of several known men with that name) did reportedly train at Pensacola at an earlier date.
On John O’Neill: I think I finally understand why John O’Neill is so often mentioned by Truthers! (I’ve asked them to explain it, but they decline or tell me it should be obvious). Is it because he knew more than any American about bin Laden/Al Qaeda, so he had to be fired from the FBI because he would have realized that 9/11 was not an Al Qaeda operation? And to top it off, someone deliberately hired him to work at the World Trade Center, knowing he would probably be killed there?
there were pools of molten metal under all WTC 1, 2 and 7 which could not be the result of jet fuel, proving once again the evil genius Osama bin Laden and the boxcutter boys who obviously stuffed their luggage with the stuff, but were careful not to get any on their passports that were recovered at the scene.
The passports recovered from the site were pretty burned up.
One of the first things [new lease holder Silverstein] did was hire a new security company called Securicom run by Wert Walker III, cousin of Marvin Bush who was on the board of directors.
Securacom (later Stratesec) began work at the WTC in 1996, long before Silverstein obtained the lease.