Terrorism: It Could Be Anyone Now

This weekend I ran across a random copy of The Wall Street Journal and decided to see what passes for mainstream news these days. Reading it reminded me of the striking amount of terrorism propaganda being foisted upon the U.S. public. The numerous terrorism-related stories painted a confused and contradictory picture that reflects the difficulty in keeping the American public focused on terrorist threats and increasingly suspicious of their fellow citizens.

The weekend edition of The Journal included five major stories about terrorism, including a shooting at a Colorado high school, the release of video from a hospital massacre in Yemen, and a review of how the Sandy Hook victims’ families are coping. In the most prominent spot, at the top left of the front page, readers found an alert for a major expose covering the Boston bombers. The fifth story was about the arrest of a Wichita man for plotting to blow up aircraft with a homemade bomb at the airport.

The new, Wichita story provides a good example of the challenges facing the FBI and corporate media in ongoing efforts to stoke the public fear. The suspect, like others in the last few years, had no previous history of terrorist activity and the FBI did everything for him.

LaneTerry Lee Loewen was an avionics specialist at a private company working at the Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita. Allegedly, he tried to drive his car, loaded with explosives that the FBI had helped him make, onto the tarmac to cause “maximum carnage and death.” This man, who neighbors called quiet and “normal” was supposedly working for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The emerging story of Loewen includes a significant number of contradictory reports and unbelievable aspects. The official account is that Loewen decided to become a Muslim about six months ago and he immediately began devoting all his time to preparations for becoming a “lone wolf” suicide bomber. FBI-produced documents allegedly provide this 58-year old white man’s reasoning for his radical change of life course—“My only explanation is that I believe in jihad for the sake of Allah + for the sake of my Muslim brothers + sisters.”

Although Loewen did not enter a plea and his public defender and current wife would not comment, his ex-wife and son were contacted for interviews and neither of them had any idea about his new commitment to jihad and martyrdom. The son had spoken to his father in the last month yet, according to The Journal, “didn’t detect anything amiss” and “didn’t know about any turn toward Islam by his father.”

Although Loewen is being portrayed as a serious, jihadist Muslim, he had no known connection to any Muslim organization in Wichita or elsewhere. Apparently he was only an online Muslim and the FBI caught him making comments about his desire to wage jihad against his own country on behalf of the members of his new faith.

His neighbors couldn’t believe it and never saw anything suspicious about him or his current wife. And although his own son had no idea about it, and his ex-wife would never have predicted it, in his last six months he must have devoted every spare moment to his new mission. One might think that a new convert would take time to learn about his new religion and interact with at least one or two Muslims in his community. After all, doesn’t becoming a Muslim require more than just making a few online comments?

Not for Loewen, according to the FBI. Instead, one day he was just a solitary, radical Muslim and he immediately began spending all his free time “studying subjects like jihad, martyrdom operations, and Sharia law.” He also “studied the airport layout and took photos of access points, researched flight schedules and acquired components to make car bombs.” He was obviously very busy and totally committed.

FOX News reported that Loewen was inspired by Usama bin Laden. Investigators from the Wichita Joint Terrorism Task Force further claimed that Loewen “frequently expressed admiration for Anwar Al-Awlaki.” Republican Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas said that Loewen’s action reminded us that we must “reaffirm our commitment” to the War on Terror.

There are certainly suspicious things about Loewen. For one thing, he had another name—Terry L. Lane. How many readers of The Wall Street Journal just happen to have other names?  And Loewen was cited in 2009 for “a concealed-carry violation at the airport.”

Nonetheless, according to his ex-wife of 10-years, Loewen/Lane was a “peaceful, easy-going, quiet man” who “didn’t like confrontation; he was never one to start a fight.” She said he had left his job at Hawker Beechcraft Air Services for a time, to work at Learjet across town. She didn’t know when he returned to Beechcraft. “He was happy. He was a normal human being,” she said. And although The Journal reported that the son had no idea about Loewen’s conversion to Islam, The Wichita Eagle reported that the son told his mother that Loewen had recently become a Muslim.

Other news sources report that the son said his dad was “always really calm and a loving man” and that he “had no idea how his father came to be the main suspect in a foiled terror plot.”

Therefore the news about Loewen/Lane and this alleged new terrorist plot includes many confusing reports and makes little or no sense. A 58-year old man with no connection to any Muslim organization just decided on his own to give up his entire life to become a jihadist. He forsook all other commitments to make a martyr of himself for the benefit of “brothers and sisters” whom he had never met. His family and neighbors apparently knew nothing about it.

If we can learn anything from the incident it is that the next terrorist could be anybody—you, your father, your neighbor—anyone at all. And there won’t necessarily be any signs other than what the FBI provides about internet activity.

This brings us to the big expose that The Journal published on the Boston bombers. Readers might wonder about the coincidence of the reporter from The Journal just happening to be a relatively close friend of the Tsarnaev family, whose two sons were accused of the marathon attack. Ostensibly, that relationship was initiated because both the reporter and the family spoke Russian and the reporter was doing research on Chechens and the “Russia’s Islamist insurgency.”  But the friendship was clearly much more than that. Who could have predicted that chance relationship would come in so handy for a terrorism reporter from a major U.S. news source?

Anyway, the story about the Tsarnaevs presents more contradictions. For instance, the mother of the accused bombers is portrayed quite differently than we have seen before. The woman who suddenly became a terrorist suspect herself a week after she began claiming that her sons were controlled by the FBI has most often been seen as a strict Muslim woman dressed in very traditional garb. In The Journal’s new story, however, she is “a wide-eyed rapid talker with a low-cut dress and high heels who waved her arms and teased her black hair like the pop singer Cyndi Lauper.” And she ran a business on the side giving facials.

In this new light, mother Tsarnaev could be an office girl from Jersey, or the girl next door.

But those who read the whole story realize that there is a bigger purpose behind this spread on the Tsarnaevs and it is not to describe their dress habits. It is, in fact, to reveal that the Boston bombers were conspiracy theorists. Specifically, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother were “filled with thoughts of conspiracy” including that “the Sept.11 attacks were organized by shadowy financial elites.”

We have seen this tactic before with other terrorism stories but never this blatantly. We are being told that not only can anyone be a terrorist, but it is more likely that anyone who questions the official accounts of terrorism is a terrorist. How convenient for the military-terrorism-industrial complex. If such an approach takes hold in the minds of fearful citizens, there would be no stopping the architects of the War on Terror and no shortage of suspects to keep the whole thing rolling along.

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How to Debunk WTC Thermite

wtc_thermite_2The evidence for the presence of thermite at the World Trade Center (WTC) on 9/11 is extensive and compelling. This evidence has accumulated to the point at which we can say that WTC thermite is no longer a hypothesis, it is a tested and proven theory. Therefore it is not easy to debunk it. But the way to do so is not difficult to understand.

To debunk the thermite theory, one must first understand the evidence for it and then show how all of that evidence is either mistaken or explained by other phenomena. Here are the top ten categories of evidence for thermite at the WTC.

  1. Molten metal: There are numerous photographs and eyewitness testimonies to the presence of molten metal at the WTC, both in the buildings and in the rubble. No legitimate explanation has been provided for this evidence other than the exothermic reaction of thermite, which generates the temperatures required and molten iron as a product.
  2. The fires at Ground Zero could not be put out for several months. Despite the application of millions of gallons of water to the pile, several rainfall events at the site, and the use of a chemical fire suppressant, the fires would not subside. Thermal images made by satellite showed that the temperatures in the pile were far above that expected in the debris from a typical structure fire. Only thermite, which contains its own oxidant and therefore cannot be extinguished by smothering it, can explain this evidence.
  3. Numerous eyewitnesses who were fleeing the area described the air mass as a hot wind filled with burning particles.[1] This evidence agrees with the presence of large quantities of thermite byproducts in the air, including hot metallic microspheres and still-reacting agglomerates of thermite.
  4. Numerous vehicles were scorched or set on fire in the area. Photographic evidence shows that cars parked within the lower-level garage areas of the WTC complex burned as if impacted by a super-hot wind like that described by the eyewitnesses. All non-metallic parts of the cars, including the plastic, rubber, and glass, were completely burned off by a hot blast.
  5. There was a distinct “white smoke” present—clearly different from smoke caused by a normal structural fire—as indicated by eyewitnesses and photographic evidence.[2] The second major product of the thermite reaction is aluminum oxide, which is emitted as a white solid shortly after reaction.
  6. Peer-reviewed, scientific research confirmed the presence of extremely high temperatures at the WTC. The high temperatures were evidenced by metallic and other microspheres, along with evaporated metals and silicates. These findings were confirmed by 9/11 investigators and by scientists at an independent company and at the United States Geologic Survey.
  7. The elemental composition of the metallic microspheres from the WTC dust matches that of metallic microspheres produced by the thermite reaction.
  8. The environmental data collected at Ground Zero in the months following 9/11 indicate that violent incendiary fires, like those produced by thermite, occurred on specific dates. Peer-reviewed scientific analysis of these data show that the components of thermite spiked to extraordinary levels on specific dates in both the air and aerosol emissions at Ground Zero.
  9. Carbon nanotubes have been found in the WTC dust and in the lungs of 9/11 first responders. Formation of carbon nanotubes requires extremely high temperatures, specific metal catalysts, and carbon compounds exactly like those found in nanothermite formulations. Researchers have discovered that nanothermite produces the same kinds of carbon nanotubes. That finding has been confirmed by independent analysis in a commercial contract laboratory.
  10. A peer-reviewed scientific publication has identified the presence of nanothermite in the WTC dust. One of the critical aspects of that paper has been confirmed by an independent scientist. A visual comparison between nanothermite residues and particles found in the WTC dust is remarkable.

There is also a great deal of indirect evidence for the thermite theory. This includes the attempts by NIST to downplay the evidence for thermite. It also includes things like a weak effort by Rupert Murdoch’s National Geographic Channel to discredit the ability of thermite to cut structural steel, which was itself roundly discredited by one independent investigator. It is now unquestionable that thermite can cut structural steel as needed for a demolition.

Therefore, debunking the WTC thermite theory is not easy but is very straightforward. Doing so simply requires addressing the evidence listed above point by point, and showing in each case how an alternative hypothesis can explain that evidence better. Given the scientific grounding of the thermite theory, use of the scientific method, including experiments and peer-reviewed publications, would be essential to any such debunking effort.

That is almost certainly why we have seen no such debunking. Instead, the people working to refute the WTC thermite theory have resorted to what might be called a case study in how NOT to respond to scientific evidence.

The failed thermite theory debunkers have produced:

  • Thousands of chat room comments and other posts yet not one peer-reviewed scientific article.
  • Alternate hypotheses that have little or no evidence to support them. For example, the mini-nuke hypothesis and the “Star Wars Beam” hypothesis.
  • Government scientists declaring that the evidence simply doesn’t exist.
  • Attempts to exaggerate the meaning of the evidence, for example by saying that thermite or nanothermite could not have caused all of the effects seen at the WTC.
  • Deceptive efforts to introduce the government contractors who created the official accounts as independent scientists.

The last of these methods has been the most popular. Trying to debunk the tenth piece of evidence for WTC thermite, NIST contractor James Millette produced an unreviewed paper that purports to replicate the finding of nanothermite in the WTC dust. This was apparently organized in the hope that doing so would discredit all of the evidence for thermite at the WTC.

Millette is well known for having helped create the official reports on the analysis of WTC dust. He was responsible for creating the form that was used to pre-screen all materials found in the dust prior to any analysis by official investigators. Those official reports did not mention any of the evidence listed above, in particular failing to report the abundant iron microspheres scattered throughout the WTC dust. Additionally, Millette’s official report team did not find any red-gray chips, let alone nanothermite.

As he worked to debunk the WTC thermite research, Millette was still unable to find any iron microspheres. But he did claim to have finally found the red-gray chips. Curiously, he did not attempt to replicate the testing that would determine if those chips were thermitic.

Claiming to have found the chips, Millette perfomed an XEDS analysis for elemental composition but failed to do any of the other tests including BSE, DSC, the flame test, the MEK test, or measurement of the chip resistivity. Having inexplicably “ashed” the chips at 400 °C in a muffle furnace, thereby proving that they were not the materials of interest (which ignite at 430 °C), Millette ignored the remainder of the study he had set out to replicate.  Because he did not do the DSC test, he could not do XEDS of the spheres formed from the chips. Since he had still not found spheres in the dust, he could not test those and this allowed him to ignore the testing of spheres from the thermite reaction.

ftir911Millette rested his case on FTIR, which I have also performed on chips from WTC dust but with a much different result. Like Millette’s paper, my FTIR work is not yet part of a peer-reviewed publication and therefore should not be taken as authoritative evidence. There has been less urgency to this supplemental work because what has been done to date has received no legitimate response from the government or from much of the scientific community. That sad fact should be the central point of discussion today.

In any case, Millette attempted only one tenth of the tests in his struggle to replicate (or refute) one tenth of the evidence for thermite at the WTC. His un-reviewed “one percent approach” was nonetheless very convincing to many people, including some of the people who produced the official reports for 9/11. But it is obvious to others that Millette’s work was not a replication in any sense of the word.

I’m looking forward to the peer-reviewed scientific article that finally does replicate the nanothermite paper or any of the other peer-reviewed scientific papers that document the evidence for thermite at the WTC. Hopefully, we can approach those efforts without concerns about the sources and without recalling all the deception and manipulation that preceded them.

Until then, it is important to recognize the difference between the superficial appearance of science and the actual practice of science. Ignoring 90 percent of the evidence is not scientific. And replication of the 10 percent means actually repeating the work. If thermite debunkers and alternate hypothesis supporters can find the courage and focus to step through that challenge, maybe they can begin to add to the discussion.


[1] Here are only a few examples of the hot wind:
“Then the dust cloud hits us. Then it got real hot. It felt like it was going to light up almost.” -Thomas Spinard, FDNY Engine 7
“A wave — a hot, solid, black wave of heat threw me down the block.” – David Handschuh, New York’s Daily News
“When I was running, some hot stuff went down by back, because I didn’t have time to put my coat back on, and I had some — well, I guess between first and second degree burns on my back.” -Marcel Claes, FDNY Firefighter
“And then we’re engulfed in the smoke, which was horrendous. One thing I remember, it was hot. The smoke was hot and that scared me” -Paramedic Manuel Delgado
“I remember making it into the tunnel and it was this incredible amount of wind, debris, heat….” -Brian Fitzpatrick FDNY Firefighter
“A huge, huge blast of hot wind gusting and smoke and dust and all kinds of debris hit me” -Firefighter Louis Giaconelli
“This super-hot wind blew and it just got dark as night and you couldn’t breathe” -Firefighter Todd Heaney

[2] For example, see Joel Meyerowitz, Aftermath: World Trade Center archive. Phaldon Publishing, London, p 178. See photograph of the event on 11/08/01 that shows a stunning and immediate change of cloud-like emissions from the pile, from dark smoke to white cloud.

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Noam Chomsky and the Willful Ignorance of 9/11

In response to a question at the University of Florida recently, Noam Chomsky claimed that there were only “a miniscule number of architects and engineers” who felt that the official account of WTC Building 7 should be treated with skepticism.  Chomsky followed-up by saying, “a tiny number—a couple of them—are perfectly serious.”

If signing your name and credentials to a public petition on the subject means being serious, then Noam Chomsky’s tiny number begins at 2,100, not counting scientists and other professionals. Why would Chomsky make such an obvious exaggeration when he has been presented with contradictory facts many times?

ChomskyI’ve personally had over thirty email exchanges with Chomsky. In those exchanges, he has agreed that it is “conceivable” that explosives might have been used at the WTC. But, he wrote, if that were the case it would have had to be Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden who had made it so.

Of course, it doesn’t matter how many professionals or intellectuals are willing to admit it. The facts remain that the U.S. government’s account for the destruction of the WTC on 9/11 is purely false.  There is no science behind the government’s explanation for WTC7 or for the Twin Towers and everyone, including the government, admits that WTC Building 7 experienced free fall on 9/11. There is no explanation for that other than the use of explosives.

The obviously bogus “tiny number” statement from Chomsky is only one of several such absurdities the man uttered in his lecture response. Here are a few of the others.

“[Scientists seeking the truth about 9/11] are not doing what scientists and engineers do when they think they’ve discovered something. What you do, when you think you have discovered something, is you write articles in scientific journals [he admits to “one or two minor articles”], give talks at the professional societies, and go to the Civil Engineering Department at MIT, or Florida or wherever you are, and present your results.”

I’ve copied Chomsky on more than two peer-reviewed scientific articles in mainstream journals that describe evidence for demolition at the WTC. Therefore he knows that this statement is not true. And I’ve given dozens of talks around the U.S. and Canada that focused on the WTC demolition theory, many of which were at universities.

I’ve also pointed out that MIT’s civil engineering professor Eduardo Kausel made elementary mistakes in his public comments about the WTC disaster. Kausel claimed in Scientific American that the WTC towers were “never designed for the the intense jet fuel fires—a key design omission.”  Kausel also claimed that jet fuel from the aircraft “softened or melted the structural elements—floor trusses and columns—so that they became like chewing gum.”  At the risk of making a Chomsky-like exaggeration, I’ll venture that nearly everyone today knows that these statements are false.

Chomsky went on in an attempt to belittle, and downplay the sacrifices of, people seeking the truth.

“There happen to be a lot of people around who spent an hour on the internet who think they know a lot of physics but it doesn’t work like that.”

“Anyone who has any record of, any familiarity, with political activism knows that this is one of the safest things you can do. It’s almost riskless. People take risks far beyond this constantly, including scientists and engineers. I could, have run through, and can run through many examples. Maybe people will laugh at you but that’s about it. It’s almost a riskless position.”

Chomsky knows that I was fired from my job as Site Manager at Underwriters Laboratories for publicly challenging the government’s investigation into the WTC tragedy.  He knows that many others have suffered similar responses as well, including Brigham Young University physicist Steven Jones and University of Copenhagen chemist Niels Harrit, who were forced into retirement for speaking out. And although everyone knows that researchers and universities today depend on billions of grant dollars from the government, Chomsky implies that such funding could never be impacted in any way by questioning of the government’s most sensitive political positions.

The “hour on the internet” nonsense is ludicrous, of course, and Chomsky knows it well. Jones and Harrit have better scientific credentials than some MIT professors and we have all spent many years studying the events of 9/11. I’ve spent over a decade, and have contributed to many books and scientific articles, on the subject.

Pandering to the hecklers in the crowd, Chomsky summarized his simplistic (public) position on the events of 9/11.

“However, there’s a much more deeper issue which has been brought up repeatedly and I have yet to hear a response to it. There is just overwhelming evidence that the Bush administration wasn’t involved—very elementary evidence. You don’t have to be a physicist to understand it, you just have to think for a minute. There’s a couple of facts which are uncontroversial:

#1—The Bush Administration desperately wanted to invade Iraq. (He goes on to say that there were good reasons, including that Iraq was “right in the middle if the world’s energy producing region.)

#2—They didn’t blame 9/11 on Iraqis, they blamed it on Saudis—that’s their major ally.

#3—Unless they’re total lunatics, they would have blamed it on Iraqis if they were involved in any way.” He continues to say that “there was no reason to invade Afghanistan” which “has been mostly a waste of time.”

Basically, these three “overwhelming” reasons boil down to one reason—Chomsky assumes that if the Bush Administration was involved it would have immediately blamed Iraq for 9/11. Of course, Bush Administration leaders did immediately blame Iraq for 9/11 and they did so repeatedly. That was one of the two original justifications given by the Bush Administration for invading Iraq.

Moreover, Chomsky most definitely received a response to his “deeper issue” when he received a copy of my new book Another Nineteen several months before his comments.  The book gives ample reasons—meaning actual overwhelming evidence—to suspect that Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and nineteen of their colleagues were behind the 9/11 attacks. After writing that he was “glad to learn about the new book,” he sent his mailing address for a free copy. Chomsky acknowledged receiving the book in August and wrote to me that he was “pleased to have a copy of the book, and hope to be able to get to it before too long.”

Therefore, Chomsky has either ignored the response to his one major concern for several months or he knows that his concern is no longer valid. What would make him feign ignorance in such a way?  Perhaps it is the fact that he would lose a great deal of face if he were to finally admit that there is much more to the story of 9/11.

Regardless, when a tiny number begins at 2,100 and “just overwhelming evidence” to exonerate the Bush Administration boils down to one bad assumption, we are again reminded of the power that 9/11 holds. When presented with substantial evidence for complicity on the part of corporate and government leaders, the obvious becomes either undeniable or an emotional cue to dissemble.

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Jet Fuel Caused the Incendiary Explosions in The WTC Lobby?

Incendiary explosions in the lobby and in the basement levels accompanied the destruction of the North Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC). The evidence for these incendiary explosions is significant and includes numerous eyewitness testimonies and photographic evidence. The official, government investigation conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) did not address these phenomena in any meaningful way and offered only a weak suggestion that is demonstrably false.

NIST admitted to the presence of an incendiary explosion at the concourse level and to the deaths and injuries caused by it, stating, a “fireball killed or injured several occupants in the Concourse Level lobby (NIST NCSTAR 1-7, p 73).” However, a scientific explanation was never provided. Instead, an untested hypothesis was given as fact.

“There are numerous media reports of building occupants being burned in the ground-floor lobby of WTC 1 following the aircraft impact. Numerous eyewitness accounts describe a large flash fire on the concourse floor lobby at the time of aircraft impact, that came from one or more of the elevator shafts that ran from the concourse floor of the tower past the floors where the aircraft impact took place. This observation suggests that sufficient burning liquid aviation fuel entered at least one of these elevator shafts to continue burning, while it fell roughly 1,175 feet. Even after falling this distance, sufficient unburned fuel was available to create the overpressure that opened the elevator shaft at the concourse level and forced additional unburned fuel into the lobby area, creating the extensive flash fire observed.” NIST NCSTAR 1-5A, p 80

It would have been easy to test this “jet fuel bolus” hypothesis but, as with the other features of the official account, no testing was done. That’s probably because the scientists at NIST knew that this hypothesis was very improbable to begin with.

The plane hit the center of the north face of WTC1 and all of the approximately 10,000 gallons of jet fuel was located in the wing tanks (i.e. none in the center tank according to NIST). There were 22 elevators that served the impact zone and only three of them ran all the way down to the concourse level. Given those initial conditions, a scientific approach must be used to determine what happened.

For the jet fuel bolus hypothesis to be even remotely reasonable, the following five challenges would have to be overcome.

1)  The jet fuel that was available to flow down and away via openings, after accounting for the external fireballs and impact zone fires, was estimated by FEMA to be about 3,500 gallons. And NIST stated that, “No evidence or analysis emerged that significantly altered the FEMA estimate” (NCSTAR 1-5F, p 56). The 3,500 gallons would need to flow evenly across the entire, acre-wide area of the impact floors.

2)  The impact damage would have had to fully open, and leave exposed, the 22 elevator shafts in the core area of the impact zone (or the 30+ in the WTC2 impact zone). The shafts that were most important would be for cars #6, #7, and #50, the express elevators traveling the entire distance from top to bottom. In WTC1, these were located at the opposite side of the core from the impact zone.

3)  We must assume that no more than a proportionate amount of jet fuel flowed into the express elevator shafts on the opposite side, after traveling through more than half of floor space of the tower. This would be one-22nd of the total available, or 159 gallons. There were also 12 in x 18 in telephone cable openings between floors, however, and holes in the floors made by the impacting aircraft, through which fuel would have been lost. A realistic maximum therefore might be 120 gallons in each shaft, assuming an equal amount of the spilling jet fuel made it all the way across to the express elevator side.

IMG_13044)  The jet fuel would have adhered to the surface of the elevator shaft as it traveled downward. The elevator shafts were lined with 2-inch thick gypsum planking and the low surface tension jet fuel would have wetted this thoroughly. An estimate of the surface area in an express shaft is 60,000 square feet. A quick experiment shows that gypsum board soaks up approximately 0.03 gallons of kerosene per square foot.  All the available jet fuel (120 gallons) would have been lost in this process before the jet fuel bolus reached the mid-point of its fall.

Therefore the jet fuel that was available to flow down and away from the floors of impact could not have reached the concourse level of the WTC towers.

5)  However, a lot of damage was attributed to this impossible jet fuel bolus. Eyewitnesses stated that there were intense elevator area fires in the lower half of the building. There were fires on the 40th floor, and the 22nd floor, and witnesses said that the elevator doors on the 22nd floor had been blown out from fires or explosions in the elevator shafts. Even if a highly disproportionate quantity of jet fuel from the aircraft had somehow caused these fires and the related damage, there certainly would not have have been any left to reach the lobby.

All of this ignores the questions of how unburned jet fuel could make its way around the elevator cabs in the shafts, how it could re-accumulate at the lower level, and how the supposed fuel/air mix could become optimum and then ignite. It also ignores how much jet fuel would be required to produce the explosive energy needed to destroy so much of the lobby, including the huge windows and the massive granite wall coverings, and kill people in that area.

The jet fuel bolus hypothesis also ignores the eyewitness testimonies of massive explosions within the lobby.

If NIST had done a minimal amount of physical testing to support its weak fuel bolus suggestion, the hypothesis would have been easily disproven. But that would have left people to wonder what actually did cause these incendiary fires and the ones in the basement levels. The answers to those questions would almost certainly add to the other, extensive evidence for the presence of energetic, incendiary materials at the WTC.

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Hillary’s Friend McAuliffe Rolls Deep

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton offered a glowing endorsement of “longtime family friend” Terry McAuliffe in his second run for Governor of Virginia. McAuliffe certainly has been a good friend to the Clintons, having once made them a $1.35 million gift which, after becoming a scandal, turned into a loan. But the most interesting parts of McAuliffe’s history often go unnoticed, including his links to the security upgrades at the World Trade Center (WTC) in the late 1990s.

One of the primary companies involved in the security upgrades for the WTC was Ensec International, founded by Charles Finkel. Ensec’s Florida subsidiary had an office on the 33rd floor of the North Tower. At the same time, Finkel was an export sales executive for a company called Engesa, a manufacturer of tanks and other military vehicles for Operation Desert Storm. Engesa was a Saudi-approved supplier.

Ensec’s responsibility at the WTC involved setting up a new system for securing the basement levels, particularly in the parking garages. It was reported that the access control system used was manufactured and installed by Ensec. The system included proprietary software, proximity card readers and vehicle identification tags for all registered vehicles. The system also included cameras, located “in critical locations within the complex, such as machine rooms, computer areas, visitor areas and other sensitive locations.”

Lockheed Martin subcontracted the PANYNJ work to Ensec in November of 1996. This was the same time that Carlyle Group executive and Iran-Contra suspect Barry McDaniel was hired to run operations for the highly suspicious WTC security contractor Stratesec. And just as Ensec obtained the contract to work alongside McDaniel and Stratesec, it added Terry McAullife as a director.

Before joining Ensec, McAuliffe had been involved in a number of suspicious business dealings. For example, he was linked to Teamster related corruption. And he was also involved in a lawsuit regarding Loral Space, a company investigated for collaborating with and giving secrets to the Chinese for use in satellite and intercontinental ballistic missile programs.

The charges against McAuliffe in the Loral Space scandal were that he agreed “to participate in this scheme to sell seats on taxpayer-financed foreign trade missions and other government services in exchange for campaign contributions to the Democratic National Committee (DNC).” McAuliffe also “played a central role in selecting trade mission participants and, on information and belief, securing other favorable treatment from the Clinton Administration for Defendant Loral.” Those who “prominently figured among those selected for participating in the high-profile Commerce Department trade mission to China was Defendant Schwartz, who would go on to become the single largest contributor to the DNC.” Bernard Schwartz was the billionaire CEO of Loral.

The CEOs of Hughes Aircraft, Loral, and Lockheed co-wrote a letter to President Clinton, in October 1995, asking the president to “transfer all responsibility for commercial satellite export licensing to the Commerce Department.” Hughes was run by James Abrahamson at the time. Abrahamson would go on to be a director at Stratesec and later, with James Clapper, at satellite spy company GeoEye. Hughes, Loral, and Lockheed ended up paying enormous fines for illegal exports of advanced technology to China, and Hughes was charged with 123 counts of national security violations. But in 1996, Clinton did move oversight of the satellite exports to the Department of Commerce and the three CEOs thanked him publicly.

McAuliffe was linked to another company that was mired in scandal―Global Crossing. It was reported that McAuliffe purchased $100,000 in Global Crossing stock before the company went public and cashed out several years later for $18 million (some reports put it at a mere $8 million). Richard Perle was a lobbyist for Global Crossing, which was a partner in several deals with the Chinese company Hutchison Whampoa, called an “arm of the PLA [People's Liberation Army].” Li Ka-Shing was the Chinese billionaire owner of Hutchison who invested in firms owned by Winston Partners and employed Winston cofounder (and Stratesec director) Marvin Bush’s brother, Neil Bush, as a consultant.

terry_mcauliffe_APIn 2001, McAuliffe became Chairman of the DNC. Between that role and his later job as campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential run, McAuliffe worked as Vice-Chairman of Carret investments. McAuliffe was hired at Carret by Alan Quasha, who once “bailed out George W. Bush’s failing oil company in 1986, folding Bush into his company, Harken Energy, thus setting him on the path to a lucrative and high-profile position as an owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, and the presidency.”

Alan Quasha had owned Carret since 2003. But he was previously known for his leadership of Harken Energy, and thereby, his connection to the many suspicious organizations related to Harken, including BCCI. At Carret and Harken, Quasha had a partner named Hassan Nemazee. An investor in Harken and the founder of the Iranian-American PAC, Nemazee was also associated with the RAND Corporation. Nemazee was later charged with running a $292 million ponzi scheme.

In any case, Ensec International and its leaders should have been investigated for possible security breaches at the WTC. The management structure at Ensec, including its arms dealer founder Charles Finkel and director Terry McAuliffe, should have led the 9/11 Commission and NIST to consider the problems that might have resulted from this company having rebuilt the access systems for the WTC basement levels. Additionally, the fact that Lockheed Martin had subcontracted the PANYNJ work to Ensec was one indicator that these companies might have benefited from the attacks.

The official U.S. investigations into 9/11 are over but some political cronies from the glory days of the Bush and Clinton administrations are still waiting in the wings. McAuliffe is one of those cronies and he has a suspicious background that includes unbelievable strokes of fortune and work for some apparently very powerful, international operators. Virginia residents might wonder what favors he’ll do for those old friends in high places if and when he becomes governor.

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The NSA Spying and Lying Does Relate to 9/11

Earlier this month, National Security Agency (NSA) head Keith Alexander admitted that he had lied to the U.S. Congress and the American people in an attempt to justify the NSA’s growing surveillance of U.S. citizens.[1] In June, while attempting to defend the secret NSA programs revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, Alexander claimed that over 50 terrorist plots had been thwarted though collection of the phone and internet records of American citizens. Alexander said that his agency had provided Congress with 54 specific cases in which the programs helped disrupt terror plots in the U.S. and around the world.[2]

alexanderJust a few weeks before the “54 plots” claim, Alexander had testified to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee that NSA spying on American citizens had played a critical role in thwarting “dozens” of terrorist attacks.[3] Alexander spent the next three months declaring that the NSA’s spying on Americans was preventing terrorism and another 9/11.

None of that was true as we found out a few weeks ago. Of the 54 alleged plots, only one or two were identified as a result of bulk phone record collection, according to Alexander’s most recent comments. That number has since been whittled down to just one incident that wasn’t a terrorist plot at all but was a case of a cab driver sending cash to an alleged terrorist organization.[4] Bottom line ― the NSA spying on Americans has not stopped any terrorist plots, let alone dozens or 54.

Alexander’s lies followed closely after National Intelligence Director James Clapper’s lie, or as he called it ― his “least most untruthful statement” ― that the NSA was not even collecting information on large number of Americans citizens. In March, Clapper appeared before Congress and was asked “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper replied, “No, sir.” Clapper’s blatant lie was premeditated. Senator Ron Wyden’s office had sent him the question the day before the hearing.[5]

Overlooking these unprosecuted felonies, the idea that the NSA programs prevent terrorism is absurd given NSA’s knowledge about previous terrorist suspects. Although the Bush and Obama administrations have claimed for more than a decade that spying on Americans was justified by 9/11, the intelligence the NSA had prior to 9/11 was enough to stop the attacks. Three examples help to demonstrate this fact.

On March 7, 2001, during trial proceedings for the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, an FBI agent read aloud in court a phone number that had been used by alleged al Qaeda plotters to plan and execute the embassy attacks.[6] This was the phone number of the “Yemen Hub,” which doubled as the home phone of Ahmed Al-Hada, the father-in-law of alleged 9/11 hijacker Khalid Al-Mihdhar. According to U.S. officials, the same phone was used for planning the USS Cole bombing and, later, the 9/11 attacks. The phone number was also published in the British weekly the Observer, just five weeks before 9/11. As author Kevin Fenton wrote: “Any of the Observer’s readers could have called the number and asked for a message to be forwarded to Osama bin Laden.”[7] This widely reported FBI gaffe should have alerted al Qaeda to U.S. knowledge of its secret Yemen operations center while also ensuring that anyone listening would know the exact al Qaeda phone number being monitored by the NSA. Despite this major tip-off, al Qaeda continued to use the phone to contact the alleged 9/11 hijackers until “only weeks before 9/11.”[8]

The NSA later claimed that, although it was listening in on the calls it didn’t want to dig into who the calls were going to in the U.S. because it did not want to be accused of spying on Americans. However, the NSA was already well aware of who was receiving the calls ― two of the alleged 9/11 hijackers. This is clarified by the second example.

According to former NSA director Michael Hayden, “In early 2000, we had the Al-Hazmi brothers, Nawaf and Salem, as well as Khalid Al-Mihdhar, in our sights. We knew of their association with al-Qaeda, and we shared this information with the [intelligence] community.”[9] The NSA knew about these suspects well before that, however, because an early 1999 NSA communications intercept referenced Nawaf Al-Hazmi, so it was clear that the NSA knew about him for more than two years before 9/11.

The third example has to do with the U.S. Army program called Able Danger that had identified and was tracking Mohamed Atta and several other of the alleged 9/11 hijackers. Alexander was running the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command at the time, and was therefore in charge of Army counterterrorism programs. Apparently, Alexander “covered up and destroyed the Able Danger discovery of two of the 9-11 terrorists prior to 9-11.”[10] The program was shutdown and its records were destroyed in the year before 9/11. Erik Kleinsmith, an Army major who testified to this destruction of evidence, said that Able Danger had shown that the al Qaeda network, prior to 9/11, had “a surprisingly significant presence within the United States.”[11]

These examples indicate that the NSA knew about the alleged hijackers before 9/11 and did little or nothing to stop the attacks. Apparently the NSA is not really in the business of preventing terrorist attacks, no matter what information it obtains. What the NSA’s actual purpose is behind the mass surveillance of American citizens is not yet clear.

What is clear is that high-level U.S. leaders are becoming comfortable lying to Congress and the American people. It’s also clear that the September 11 crimes share similarities with the crimes the NSA is committing today in some interesting ways. Sure, Dick Cheney and others have been bellowing that the 9/11 attacks would have been prevented if the NSA had been able to spy on Americans. And although the examples above make it clear that those claims are false, there are important similarities between how 9/11 and the NSA spying has been handled by military and intelligence community leaders.

One way is that the recent lies told by NSA leaders are reminiscent of the lies told to Congress and the 9/11 Commission by CIA Director George Tenet and NORAD Commander Ralph Eberhart during the investigations into 9/11.[12] That’s not surprising given that Alexander got the NSA job because of his connection to Donald Rumsfeld, who had worked closely with Tenet on the deceptions behind the Iraq War and who supervised Eberhart.[13]

As described in Another Nineteen, Eberhart testified to the U.S. Senate in October 2001 that NORAD had received notification about three of the four hijacked planes with plenty of time to ensure interception and had scrambled jets from multiple bases as the attacks proceeded. Eberhart presented a timeline giving the exact times that the military was notified about the hijackings. He repeatedly told Senators that this was “documented notification.”[14]

However, the 9/11 Commission later told us that all of Eberhart’s statements were untrue. According to the Commission’s account, which exonerated the military, NORAD was not given notification about any of the hijacked flights. And although the Commission claimed that U.S. Air Force officers had knowingly provided false information on these questions, Eberhart was never held accountable.

George Tenet lied extensively about the events surrounding 9/11. He lied to the 9/11 Commission about having met with Bush in the month before the attacks, he lied under oath about CIA foreknowledge of the alleged hijackers, and he lied to the 9/11 Commission by failing to tell them about torture videos that his agency later destroyed. And although Tenet retired in 2004, his protégé John Brennan runs the CIA today and is known for lying to the public about torture and the killing of innocent civilians using drones.

The behavior exhibited by Alexander and Clapper appears to be similar to that of Eberhart and Tenet during the 9/11 investigations. Coupled with Alexander’s role in the Able Danger cover-up, people should wonder if the crimes that the NSA is committing against American citizens today are, in fact, somehow connected to the crimes of 9/11. Not in the sense of preventing terrorism, but in a way that suggests the ongoing implementation of a long-term plan to control the world’s most strategic resources and also the American people.


[1] NSA Director Alexander Admits He Lied about Phone Surveillance Stopping 54 Terror Plots, AllGov.com, Monday, October 07, 2013

[2] Gopal Ratnam, NSA’s Alexander Says Secret Programs Stopped Terror Plots, Bloomberg, June 27, 2013

[3] Jerry Markon and Ellen Nakashima, NSA director says surveillance programs thwarted ‘dozens’ of attacks, The Washington Post, June 12, 2013

[4] NSA Spying Did Not Result In a SINGLE Foiled Terrorist Plot, Washington’s Blog, October 15, 2013

[5] David Sirota, James Clapper is still lying to America, Salon, July  1, 2013

[6] United States v. Usama bin Laden et al., transcript of day 14, March 7, 2001, accessed at Cryptome, http://cryptome.org/usa-v-ubl-14.htm

[7] Kevin Fenton, Disconnecting the Dots: How CIA and FBI officials helped enable 9/11 and evaded government investigations, Trine Day, 2011, p 220

[8] Transcript of Hardball Special Edition, MSNBC, July 24, 2004

[9] Steven Strasser and Craig R. Whitney, ed.s, The 9/11 Investigations: Staff Reports of the 9/11 Commission, PublicAffairs, 2004, p 396

[10] Robert David Steele VIivas, Intelligence for the President–and Everyone Else, Counter Punch, March 1, 2009

[11] Hearing Before the Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate One Hundred Ninth Congress, Able Danger and Intelligence Information Sharing, September 21, 2005, U.S. Government Printing Office

[12] Because providing false testimony to Congress is a crime, these men would be in prison today if the U.S. justice system was still functioning.

[13] Shane Harris reported that Alexander got the NSA job due to Rumsfeld, see his article in Foreign Policy called Profile of NSA Director General Keith Alexander, September 9, 2013

[14] Transcript of Hearing Before the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, October 25, 2001, U.S. Government Printing Office

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Why the NIST WTC Report on the Towers is False

This article first appeared at ReThink911.org.

The official account of the Twin Towers’ destruction was produced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and released in September of 2005. Unfortunately, NIST’s report provided only a hypothesis of the events leading up to the initiation of the collapses, or the “collapse initiation sequence.” NIST did not attempt to explain how, once the collapses initiated, the upper sections of these 110-story skyscrapers would continue falling downward through the path of greatest resistance, instead simply asserting that, once each building was destabilized, “global collapse ensued.” However, we can examine the general features of NIST’s collapse initiation sequence for both Twin Towers to see if it is consistent with known facts, or is at least self-consistent.

The seven steps of NIST’s collapse initiation sequence that are common to both Twin Towers are as follows:[1]

1. A number of columns were severed by aircraft impact

2. Loads were redistributed to the remaining columns

3. Fireproofing was “widely dislodged”

4. Columns and floor assemblies were softened by high temperatures

5. Softened floor assemblies began to sag

6. Sagging floors pulled the exterior columns inward, causing columns to buckle

7. Instability spread around the exterior of the building

The first two steps of this sequence are not surprising. With regard to step one, we can accept that approximately 15% of the columns were severed in each building by aircraft impact. This is quite low compared to original design claims reported in the mid-1960s by the Engineering News-Record that said the towers could lose more than 25% of their columns without having any problems. As for the second step, NIST says the loads actually decreased on some columns and increased slightly for others. Again, there is no problem here considering similar design claims that the exterior columns could withstand 2,000% increases in live load.[2]

finalreport_coverWith step three we get to the core of NIST’s collapse initiation argument. The report states that “The WTC towers likely would not have collapsed under the combined effects of aircraft impact damage and the extensive, multi-floor fires if the thermal insulation had not been widely dislodged or had been only minimally dislodged by aircraft impact.” Considering that NIST depends so heavily on the concept of extensive fireproofing loss, you would think it would have spent a great deal of its time investigating this effect and communicating the details. That was not the case, however.

NIST’s only test for fireproofing loss, never included in the draft reports, involved shooting a total of fifteen rounds from a shotgun at non-representative samples in a plywood box. Flat steel plates were used instead of column samples and no floor deck samples were tested at all. After criticism of the lack of testing provided in its draft report, NIST inserted the results into a 12-page appendix to the final report.[3]

These shotgun tests actually disproved NIST’s findings. One reason is that there is no evidence that a Boeing 767 could transform into any number of shotgun blasts. Nearly 100,000 blasts would be needed based on NIST’s own damage estimates, and these would have to be directed in a very symmetrical fashion to strip the columns and floors from all sides. It is much more likely that the aircraft debris was a distribution of sizes from very large chunks to a few smaller ones, and that it was directed asymmetrically along the path of the impacting airliner. Moreover, there is no indication that fireproofing could have been stripped from beneath the aluminum cladding on the exterior columns, but in subsequent steps of its explanation, NIST depends on this.

NIST’s shotgun tests indicated that 1 MJ of energy was needed per square meter of surface area to shear the fireproofing off. For the areas in question―more than 6,000 square meters of column, floor deck and floor joist surface―the extra energy needed would be several times more than the entire amount of kinetic energy available to begin with. [4]

The problems with NIST’s explanation continue in step four, where high temperatures were said to have softened the columns and floors. NIST did tests for this as well, but then abandoned the results. The first test, which examined paint deformation on steel samples chosen specifically from the fire zones, showed that less than 2% of the samples had seen temperatures above 250 °C. Another test gave the one-sided result that no samples saw temperatures above 600 °C. The obvious problem was that steel does not soften or lose significant strength at the low temperatures indicated, yet NIST’s story depends on the softening or weakening of vast quantities of structural steel.

Fire resistance tests for the steel components used in the Twin Towers were performed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), at the time of construction, and the results verified conformance to the New York City code requirements for multiple hours of fire resistance at the temperatures expected in a building fire.[5] On 9/11, according to NIST, the fires in the failure zones did not actually last very long. NIST’s estimates indicate that the fires in the failure zones of the towers lasted for only about 45 minutes in each case, much less than the 3 or 4 hours of fire resistance required by the NYC code. [6]

As for step five, UL performed additional tests as part of the NIST investigation in order to establish the fire resistance of models of the WTC floor assemblies. The results were that the floor assembly models not only didn’t collapse, invalidating the longstanding “Pancake Theory,” but the floors barely sagged―only about 3 inches―despite the use of double the known floor load and two hours of fire exposure.[7] NIST then added this 3-inch of sag result to its computer model, and by way of an unknown transformation, it suddenly became 42-inches of extreme sagging.[8] This appears to have been a direct falsification of test results.

Step six says that sagging floors pulled exterior columns inward. To support this, NIST evaluated nine different scenarios within its computer model, with just one of those producing any inward bowing. To do this, NIST had to take a computer mock-up of a 9-story high by 9-column wide section of steel wall and perform manipulations that had no relevance to the events at the World Trade Center. NIST removed the virtual steel from its web of support by “disconnection,” stripped off all the fireproofing, exposed it to twice the known fire time (i.e. 90 minutes), and then applied an unspecified, utterly miraculous inward pull.[9] It is difficult to understand how an inward pull force could be applied to columns that have been disconnected from the floors. It is the floors that are supposed to have applied the inward force on the columns.

NIST’s final collapse initiation step states that, after all of these unscientific manipulations, “instability spread” around the entire building. Since the buildings came down uniformly, and did so in approximately 10 seconds, there was precious little time for instability spread. If we allot half a second to accomplish this, the instability would have had to move at nearly twice the speed of sound. That is, of course, not realistic.

After providing a false collapse initiation sequence, NIST left us to ponder the idea that “global collapse ensued.” With this statement, NIST avoided analyzing the actual collapse dynamics, perhaps because they knew the observed phenomena violated everything we know about physics and the performance of steel skyscrapers, unless the use of explosives is allowed for consideration.


[1] See NIST NCSTAR1, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, Principal Findings, 175 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NISTNCSTAR1CollapseofTowers.pdf) and, in more detail, NCSTAR 1-6, Probable Collapse Sequences, p 299 to 309 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NISTNCSTAR1- 6.pdf)

[2] For the original design claims, see “Structures Can Be Beautiful, World’s Tallest Buildings Pose Esthetic and Structural Challenge to John Skilling,” and “How Columns Will Be Designed for 110-Story Buildings,” Engineering News-Record, April 2, 1964. The exact comments were that “live loads on these [perimeter] columns can be increased more than 2000% before failure occurs” and “one could cut away all the first-story columns on one side of the building, and part way from the corners of the perpendicular sides, and the building could still withstand design live loads and a 100-mph wind force from any direction.”

[3] See NIST NCSTAR 1-6A, Appendix C, http://wtc.nist.gov/NISTNCSTAR1-6A.pdf

[4] NIST gave 2,500 MJ as the kinetic energy provided by the aircraft impacting the north tower. Professor Tomasz Wierzbicki from MIT, in a report called Aircraft Impact Damage, calculated that all of this energy was consumed in damaging the aircraft and the building, with no energy remaining.

[5] See Kevin Ryan, Propping Up the War on Terror: Lies About the WTC by NIST and Underwriters Laboratories, in David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott, eds., 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out (Northampton, Mass.: Interlink Books, Fall 2006).

[6] In NCSTAR 1-6, section 9.4.3 (p 322) and section 10.9.4 (p 338), NIST says “The fires in WTC 2 reached the east side of the building more quickly, within 10 to 20 minutes, than the 50 to 60 minutes it took the fires in WTC 1 to reach the south side.” http://wtc.nist.gov/oct05NCSTAR1-6index.htm In both cases, this would leave approximately 45 minutes of fire time in the failure zone.

[7] In NCSTAR 1-6, it says “…four standard fire resistance tests (ASTM E119) of the floor truss assemblies with twice the floor load that was on the WTC floors.” Chapter 10, p 332, Finding 17.

[8] The extent of the floor deck sagging after the unrealistic time of two hours can be seen in NCSTAR 1-6 Figure 3-11 (p 49). The 3-inch result is visible there or, based on the 45-minute duration of fires in the failure zones, it can be seen in the graph of Figure 3-15 (p 52). The unsupported computer result of 42-inches of sagging is noted in the same report, Chapter 9, Figure 9-6 (p 297).

[9] NIST’s Case 8, the “DBARE” result, was finally successful at causing inward bowing of a highly manipulated computer mock-up. It is described in NCSTAR 1-6, Chapter 4, tables 41-14 and 4-15 and pages 111 to 115.

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