August 1, 2011

ATTEMPTS AT RAISING 9/11 AWARENES:
RICHARD GAGE – TORONTO HEARINGS

          As mentioned in previous installments the 9/11 Truth Movement consists essentially of two groups. One which concentrates on evidence which is incompatible with the official 9/11 Commission Report and limits itself to the attempt to bring these to the attention of the general public. It does not engage in speculation as to who did what but merely presents facts which require better explanations than the government has provided. The second group approaches the problem from the viewpoint of a murder investigation – nearly 3000 innocent civilians were, after all, deliberately killed in a mass murder of previously unprecedented magnitude – and in the popular phrase as a “who-done-it?” Since this approach is obviously more speculative at this time it readily invites flights of fancy.

Although both groups demand a genuine unbiased, independent international investigation of this crime, the strategy how to achieve this goal differs.  The “fact-finding” group believes that it can be most readily accomplished when the improbability of the government’s theory in regard to the destruction of the Twin Towers and WTC7, as proposed by NIST and which has become official dogma, is clearly demonstrated. I emphasize the word “theory” because the government has never provided proof of how this disaster happened. The currently advocated sequence of events was not derived from facts obtained from the crime scene but from computer models performed under the auspices of the government. This must be clearly kept in mind when the results are evaluated. If it can be proven that impact of the planes and subsequent fires could not have caused the total destruction of the WTC, with nearly free fall speed, the implications are serious indeed. The only reasonable alternative for the events we all saw on television is that some type of explosives had been used to bring the buildings down. But if this had been the case, the destruction was deliberate. This is a thought most of us don’t want to entertain because it renders the government’s statement, that Osama bin Laden with 19 Muslim hijackers had alone achieved this feat, untenable. Yet, unless we think the unthinkable our government will have license to potentially keep deceiving us in other matters; especially in regard to the War on Terrorism, which is still pursued by the Obama administration.

This is what makes the 9/11 catastrophe so important. But every effort is made by the media and our politicians “not to go there.” Nevertheless, there are some determined individuals who will not let the matter rest in spite of the personal attacks they are subjected to as a result. One of these is the architect Richard Gage. He founded the group Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth in 2006, and has currently 1,704 signatures by these professionals demanding a new investigation. Mr. Gage has been extremely active in bringing the signatories’ point of view to the attention of the general public and has earlier this year taken a multi-city bus lecture tour from Vancouver across Canada to Montreal. Subsequently he toured most of the major cities in the US showing the video “9/11 Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out.” Salt Lake was not on the schedule and if I had not been an Internet surfer I would not have known about it.

Since the mainstream media have failed to adequately provide information on this topic an international conference was held last September on the campus of Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. In contrast to the usual conferences with speakers and discussion it was modeled to some extent on the Grand Jury concept as it exists in the United States. Since my European readers may not be familiar with it let me quote from Wikipedia:

 

“Unlike a trial jury – which operates under the unanimous system – a grand jury can indict a defendant with a majority vote. Moreover, trial juries will decide whether a defendant is guilty or not guilty of the crime in question, whereas, a grand jury will listen to evidence and decide if a suspect should be charged with a crime. As a result, the grand jury is responsible for determining probable cause, and not “innocence” or “guilt.”

Because the grand jury’s primary responsibility is to determine probable cause, the body will not hear all the evidence or conflicting arguments associated with the case. The information provided to the grand jury is delivered by the prosecutor; this individual must present conflicting evidence for the grand jury to accurately determine probable cause. The suspect’s lawyers (the defense team) are not allowed to be present during this evaluation process. The defense team cannot present evidence, but may consult with witnesses outside the courtroom.”

 

Ordinarily a Grand Jury consists of at least 12 members but at the Canadian Hearings four “panelists” served in this function. There was no prosecutor but the speakers were the “witnesses” who laid out their case to the panel which would subsequently render a verdict whether or not probable cause existed for this case to be further investigated. It was envisioned that the witnesses would provide their written reports to the panel members who would then issue their final opinion. The proceedings including the panel’s verdict would subsequently be published.

Members of the assessment panel were: Ferdinando Imposimato, Honorary President of the Supreme Court of Italy. Herbert Jenkins, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at McMaster University. Richard B. Lee, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. David Johnson, Professor Emeritus of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Tennessee. The names of the witnesses and their qualifications will be listed in the context of their presentations. The date of the four-day Hearings was determined in a manner that the last presentations were on September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the catastrophe. Ryerson University did not sponsor the meeting but leased facilities to the organizers and helped in a variety of other ways.

Graeme MacQueen a Professor of Religion, who had retired from McMaster University and was a member of the steering committee for the Hearings, was interviewed by CTV News about two weeks prior to the meeting. The segment was introduced by Jacqueline Milczarek and the interesting aspect was the banner under her image. It read, “911 skeptics will meet in Toronto” and in smaller letters “Conspiracy theorists to converge on Ryerson University.” When Professor MacQueen was introduced we were not told that he has been an academician for 30 years, the banner read instead: “Graeme MacQueen” and underneath “Conspiracy Theorist.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7hkIA1UdXM. Thus, any dissent from official dogma receives automatically a pejorative label by the media, even in Canada. Characteristically this is the case before the guest on the program has even uttered the first sentence. The media indoctrination has been so successful that no second thought is given to the potential substance of what the program’s guest might say. We have, therefore, a situation where anyone, regardless of professional status, who merely questions specific aspects of the official account, is automatically a conspiracy theorist with all of its negative connotations. This is the problem the Toronto Hearings was also intended to overcome.

Since the official publication of the Proceedings and the verdict by the panelists on the merits of the individual presentations have not yet appeared, I shall summarize the information from the DVD “The Toronto Hearings on 9/11 – Uncovering Ten Years of Deception,” as produced by “The International Center for 9/11 Studies and Press for Truth” http://www.ic911studies.org/Home_Page.html. It can be obtained from http://torontohearings.org and the site also provides further details.

As far as speakers and topics are concerned they were “bookended” by Mrs. Laurie van Aicken who lost her husband and the father of her children in the destruction of the North Tower and Mr. Bob McIlvain who lost his son, likewise in the North Tower. Mrs. van Aicken was instrumental in creating the New Jersey group of widows, which has been somewhat derisively called “the Jersey girls” and was discussed in the June 1 installment. She related their quest for clarity about the disaster and the difficulties experienced with the 9/11 Commission. She was “outraged” that Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the Commission, had allowed President Bush and Vice President Cheney to testify together without a transcript and recording devices.  The ladies had hoped for a real investigation to take place and were concerned about Zelikow’s appointment because he had major conflicts of interest. Not only was he a personal friend and closely associated with Condoleezza Rice, but he had also served on President Bush’s transition team and had retained close White House ties. Mrs. Van Aicken regarded it as incredible that there has never been a real independent investigation, even 10 years later, and wished for one to take place in a real courtroom where there is subpoena power and cross-examination of witnesses.

This sentiment was echoed by Mr. McIlvain who stated that he had lost faith in the 9/11 Commission, 90% of whose hearings he faithfully attended. He “got disgusted” when he heard National Security Advisor Condi Rice’s testimony. “She filibustered and talked nonsense. Everyone was smiling; they shook hands, that’s when I lost my cool. . . . The investigation was a total sham. Even some of the commissioners admitted that it was a sham.” An objective nonpartisan investigation was required.

I will now present some key aspects not in a chronologic manner, as seen on the video, but group them in terms of the topics which were covered. Since the destruction of the WTC is iconic for the 9/11 disaster it was extensively discussed by six different speakers. Richard Gage, the above mentioned San Francisco architect, provided an overview. He pointed out that the scientific method is required to validate a given hypothesis but this was not done by NIST. Destruction of steel frame high rise buildings by fire has never occurred in the past in spite of the fact that some buildings had been exposed to fire for considerably longer durations. As an example he showed the Beijing Mandarin Oriental Hotel fire of 2009. The steel structure remained standing in spite of the inferno having lasted considerably longer than the WTC fires. Furthermore, whenever buildings did collapse from “natural” causes they would not do so with nearly free fall speed and they would fall over onto one side. The debris are recognizable e.g. after earthquakes, and not pulverized. He then showed examples of explosions by controlled demolitions which are usually vertical and symmetrical. This was clearly also present at the WTC and as such did not fit with NIST’s computer models. He concluded that for the type of destruction we saw to have occurred at the Twin Towers and building 7, one needed access to the elevator shafts and from there to the core columns. It takes time to prepare a building for demolition and the media should be asking: who had the means and the opportunity? He emphasized that Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth don’t speculate, they go by the laws of physics and an impartial investigation is required.

          David Chandler, a teacher of physics and mathematics, concentrated on WTC7 and demonstrated that the NIST calculations for the duration of the collapse were faulty, because it had occurred in two stages. First the penthouse disappeared, but the building remained standing and a few seconds thereafter the entire structure went straight down. The latter event occurred at free fall speed which is evidence for controlled demolition. If there had been falling mass, as NIST said, there would have been deceleration which did not occur.

          Kevin Ryan who had previously worked at Underwriters Laboratories (which certified the steel used at the Twin Towers and who was mentioned in the May 1 issue), pointed out further specifics in regard to the inadequacy of the NIST explanation. The additional main points were that the explanation of sagging floors having pulled the external columns inward and thereby initiated the collapse of the Towers was not valid. NIST never performed any kind of physical tests but relied only on computer models. When the initial models did not come up with the desired result the data were manipulated to fit the desired results. When NIST was asked to show how the model was arrived at, “they refused because it would jeopardize public safety.” In as much as NIST did not share its results with the scientific community, they cannot be independently verified. But this is the hallmark of science. He also pointed to extreme heat which was found in the basement of the WTC and which persisted for weeks after the collapse of the buildings. Molten steel was observed which required temperatures in excess of 1500 degrees C, but NIST listed maximum gas temperatures as 1000 degree C having occurred. On the other hand, if an explosive such as thermate had been involved, temperatures of 3000 degrees could well have been achieved.

          Jonathan Cole, an engineer, also discussed, “The Official Account and the Experimental Method – How did the Twin Towers fall?” His main points were that if the collapse had been initiated by the sagging floors having pulled the peripheral columns inward, the core columns should have remained standing. In addition, in as much as National Geographic had produced a documentary which claimed that thermitic material cannot cut through steel; he did the experiment in his backyard. He demonstrated to the audience that the National Geographic scientists had been mistaken and thermitic material can indeed do the job, albeit to the detriment of some of his trees and bushes which had suffered in the process.

          Retired Assoc. Professor Dept. of Chemistry University of Copenhagen, Niels Harrit also worked with physical data and found, “Incendiary/Explosive Residue Evidence in the WTC Dust.” Iron laden microspheres were observed in the dust, which resulted from molten steel, in addition to nanothermite residue. Furthermore, a team from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and Sloan Kettering Institute, NY, had reported in 2010 on carbon nanotubes (probably derived from thermitic material) in lung tissue from 9/11 emergency responders. http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.0901159.

          Professor Graeme McQueen presented examples from 156 eye-witnesses who reported that explosions had occurred in the Twin Towers. Although some of these persons had testified before the 9/11 Commission, their testimony was omitted in the final report. The NIST report likewise did not include a single eye-witness testimony.

          While these presentations dealt with evidence for explosions at the WTC, Barbara Honegger a “Former White House Policy Analyst & Senior Military Affairs Journalist at Naval Postgraduate School,” showed that this was also the case at the Pentagon. The official version of “A surprise Pearl-Harbor like Kamikaze plane attack on the West Outer Wall of the Pentagon by Arab/Muslim terrorists in control of FL 77, a large commercial 757 impacting near ground level at exactly 9:37:46, diagonally penetrating through 3 of 5 rings, causing a single ‘Exit hole’ on the inner wall of the middle C ring,” is not tenable. She had interviewed eye-witnesses who actually worked at the Pentagon on that day and was told that the event had not been totally unexpected, because bomb-sniffing dogs had been present earlier in the day. Furthermore, the only video which was released by the FBI (five frames), which purportedly shows the impact of AA 77, has significant problems. The pre-impact pictures show only a white streak and the impact itself a huge fireball. There is no evidence for a Boeing 757 in these frames. Ms. Honegger also pointed out that an early version of these frames had been “leaked” in 2002, but it showed the wrong date and time stamp, while the same official FBI released frames in 2006, had time and date removed. Yet if these were authentic surveillance pictures they would have had the time and date imbedded. The witnesses who had worked inside the Pentagon at the time of “impact” reported bomb explosions and that the damage was most severe in the innermost rings, rather than in the area of impact. Finally the official term the FBI uses for the 9/11 disaster is PENTTBOM which stands for Pentagon –Twin Towers – Bomb. Ms. Honegger’s presentation was full of further details which will be omitted for now because she presented an expanded version of her data in Vancouver. It will be related in that context next month.

          The rest of the presentations covered a variety of other inconsistencies of the 9/11 commission report and on account of space considerations I shall present only a few highlights. Prof. David Ray Griffin mentioned that Mohammed Atta, the ringleader, was far from a devout Muslim. He had visited strip clubs, lived for some time with a stripper and used alcohol as well as cocaine. Furthermore, Atta’s teacher in Hamburg, Professor Machule, said that this was not the Atta he knew because the latter was indeed very religious and small, about 5’4, while the American Atta was 5’8 or 5’10. At least six of the purported hijackers had actually turned out to be alive after 9/11 and there were conflicting reports for Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s whereabouts at the time of the Pentagon explosion. The 9/11 commission stated that he was in his office while Richard Clarke in his book “Against all Enemies” wrote that Rumsfeld had been in the conference room participating in Clarke’s video-conference. The same discrepancy applies to General Richard Meyers who was the acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. There is also conflicting evidence between early versions and the Commission Report in regard to when NORAD was notified about flights 77 and 93 having gone off course. Furthermore, the Commission Report gave an incorrect time for when Vice-president Cheney was taken to the “bunker” and omitted the crucial evidence provided by Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. He recalled that while he was with Cheney in the bunker prior to the Pentagon attack, a “young man” came in intermittently saying that, “the plane is 50 miles out,” “the plane is 30 miles out,” “the plane is 10 miles out. Do the orders still stand?” Cheney turned, whipped his neck around and said “Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?” What were these orders? As far as the crash site of UA 93 in Shanksville is concerned it was incommensurate with what one would have expected. Neither recognizable plane debris nor human remains were encountered and there was no contamination of the soil from oil or jet fuel. Additionally, the FBI had not only cordoned off the supposed crash site but an additional one 6-8 miles distant. Why was this done? In sum and substance: the Report is untrustworthy.

          James Kolar, a freelance writer, presented inconsistencies in the released passenger lists of the doomed flights; the videos from Dulles airport which showed the purported hijackers had no security stamp; and the bin-Laden videos did not always show the same person.  Paul Zarembka’s, Professor of Economics State University of New York, presentation dealt with “Insider Trading.” Although the 9/11 Commission mentioned it briefly it denied that substantial insider trading had occurred before 9/11. Yet, even one month after 9/11 the mainstream press reported that huge profits were made via “Put options.” Prof. Zarembka cited three studies two of which had so far been published. One of these appeared in the 2006 Journal of Business and is readily available. In it Professor Allen Poteshman of the University of Illinois concluded, “That there is evidence of unusual option market activity in the days leading up to September 11 that is consistent with investors trading on advance knowledge of the attacks.”   

          Other speakers dealt with what one may call local and global implications of 9/11. Lance De Haven-Smith, Professor Public Administration & Policy Florida State University, felt that a term was needed for crimes such as Watergate, Plamegate, Iran-Contra etc. and came up with SCADS, which stands for State Crimes Against Democracy. He defined the term as: concerted actions or inactions by government insiders intended to manipulate democratic processes and undermine popular sovereignty. They are the type of crime about which the conspiracy label discourages us from speaking. He noted that they tend to end up in wars and that there is a progressive trend from Watergate via Iran-Contra to Iraq with increasingly larger numbers of different agencies involved. Laurie Manwell, a PhD candidate in behavioral neuroscience and Toxicology at the University of Guelph, then presented, “SCADS and Psychological Resistance to Alternative Accounts.” She provided a neurobehavioral explanation for why people are resistant to look at evidence which conflicts with their firm opinions and why it is necessary to overcome this barrier.

Peter Dale Scott, a former English Professor at the University of California Berkley discussed, “9/11 and Deep State Politics.” The key quote came from the Commission Staff team leader John Palmer, that in regard to 9/11 we are dealing with, “either unprecedented administrative incompetence or organized mendacity on the part of key figures in Washington.” Michel Chossudovsky, emeritus Professor of Economics University of Ottawa, dealt with “Global Consequences of 9/11.” He presented the reasons for his conclusion that 9/11 was an “inside job” to create a pretext for the global war on terrorism, which benefits the military establishment. Former Representative Cynthia McKinney stated that when Congress asked questions they were simply given “talking points” instead of serious answers.

This was also the point made by former Senator Mike Gravel from Alaska in his presentation on, “State Deceptions in the Past and Today.” He was unusually blunt in his summation about how Congress works, which was due to both his age and the fact that he is no longer in Washington. The key statements were, “This knowledge [the 9/11 information] has to get out to the people. But if the people have no means to act on the information all you create is a new generation of cynics. You must have a vehicle to act upon it. The people without the ability to make law are disenfranchised. I got elected, several times, and that’s how it works: I took money from special interests and then looked down on you. I fooled you, I just got elected. That is the way it works.”

This certainly has the ring of truth and equally certainly does not want to be acknowledged. But sooner or later we will have to face facts, rather than wishful fantasies, if we want to keep our Republic. Senator Gravel’s recommendation will be dealt with in another installment but it needs an amendment to the Constitution, which would obviously take time to get ratified. Due to the increasing danger of a military conflict with Iran prior to the November elections a separate issue will appear on August 15, and the Vancouver Hearings will be discussed on September 1.

 
 
 
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