[Marxism] Government answers 9/11 conspiracy theories

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Sep 2 08:42:10 MDT 2006


NY Times, September 2, 2006
2 U.S. Reports Seek to Counter Conspiracy Theories About 9/11
By JIM DWYER

Faced with an angry minority of people who believe the Sept. 11 attacks 
were part of a shadowy and sprawling plot run by Americans, separate 
reports were published this week by the State Department and a federal 
science agency insisting that the catastrophes were caused by hijackers who 
used commercial airliners as weapons.

The official narrative of the attacks has been attacked as little more than 
a cover story by an assortment of radio hosts, academics, amateur 
filmmakers and others who have spread their arguments on the Internet and 
cable television in America and abroad. As a motive, they suggest that the 
Bush administration wanted to use the attacks to justify military action in 
the Middle East.

Most elaborately, they propose that the collapse of the World Trade Center 
was actually caused by explosive charges secretly planted in the buildings, 
rather than by the destructive force of the airliners that thundered into 
the towers and set them ablaze.

The government reports and officials say the demolition argument is utterly 
implausible on a number of grounds. Indeed, few proponents of the 
explosives theory are willing to venture explanations of how daunting 
logistical problems would be overcome, such as planting thousands of pounds 
of explosives in busy office towers.

Nevertheless, federal officials say they moved to affirm the conventional 
history of the day because of the persistence of what they call 
“alternative theories.” On Wednesday, the National Institute of Standards 
and Technology issued a seven-page study based on its earlier 10,000-page 
report on how and why the trade center collapsed. The full report, released 
a year ago, and the new study, in a question and answer format, are 
available online at http://wtc.nist.gov.

About a dozen researchers produced the new study over the last two months 
by assembling material from the longer report that addressed the conspiracy 
claims.

“With the fifth anniversary coming up, there seemed to be more play for the 
alternative viewpoints,” said Michael E. Newman, a spokesman for the 
institute. “We have received e-mails and phone calls asking us to respond 
to these theories, and we felt that this fact sheet was the best means of 
doing so.”

A nationwide poll taken earlier this summer by the Scripps Survey Research 
Center at Ohio University found that more than a third of those surveyed 
said the federal government either took part in the attacks or allowed them 
to happen. And 16 percent said the destruction of the trade center was 
aided by explosives hidden in the buildings. The survey questioned 1,010 
adults by telephone and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 
four percentage points. Details are available at http://newspolls.org.

The demolition theory has managed to endure what would seem to be enormous 
obstacles to its practicality. Controlled demolition is done from the 
bottom of buildings, not the top, to take advantage of gravity, and there 
is little dispute that the collapse of the two towers began high in the 
towers, in the areas where the airplanes struck.

Moreover, a demolition project would have required the tower walls to be 
opened on dozens of floors, followed by the insertion of thousands of 
pounds of explosives, fuses and ignition mechanisms, all sneaked past the 
security stations, inside hundreds of feet of walls on all four faces of 
both buildings. Then the walls presumably would have been closed up.

All this would have had to take place without attracting the notice of any 
of the thousands of tenants and workers in either building; no witness has 
ever reported such activity. Then on the morning of Sept. 11, the 
demolition explosives would have had to withstand the impacts of the 
airplanes, since the collapse did not begin for 57 minutes in one tower, 
and 102 minutes in the other.

Those who believe in the demolition theory remain unpersuaded by government 
statements new or old, and the officials who issued the would-be rejoinders 
say they are not surprised. “We realize that this fact sheet won’t convince 
those who hold to the alternative theories that our findings are sound,” 
Mr. Newman said. “In fact, the fact sheet was never intended for them. It 
is for the masses who have seen or heard the alternative theory claims and 
want balance.”

Mr. Newman was correct that the institute’s reports would not convert those 
who favor the demolition theories, said Kevin Ryan, who is the coeditor of 
an online publication, www.journalof911studies.com, that has published much 
of the material arguing that the government’s accounts are false.

“The list of answers NIST has provided is generating more questions, and 
more skepticism, than ever before,” Mr. Ryan said.

Mr. Newman said, “NIST respects the opinions of others who do not agree 
with the findings in its report on the collapses of WTC1 and WTC2.”

The State Department report, which officials said was written independently 
of the new institute study, is titled, “The Top Sept. 11 Conspiracy 
Theories” and says, “Numerous unfounded conspiracy theories about the Sept. 
11 attacks continue to circulate, especially on the Internet.” Produced by 
an arm of the State Department known as a “counter-misinformation team,” 
the report is dated Aug. 28 and appears as a special feature on the 
department’s Web site, at http://usinfo.state.gov/media/misinformation.html.

The report brought to light one little-known detail about the morning: a 
private demolition monitoring firm, Protec Documentation Services, had 
seismographs at several construction sites in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Those machines documented the tremors of the falling towers, but captured 
no ground vibrations before the collapses from demolition charges or bombs, 
according to a separate report by Brent Blanchard, the director of field 
operations for Protec. It is available online at www.implosionworld.com.

Asked for comment, Mr. Ryan said that his online 9/11 journal would soon 
publish an article on those seismic recordings. He also maintained that the 
Protec paper did not adequately address why puffs of smoke were seen being 
expelled from some of the floors. However, the federal investigators said 
that about 70 percent of a building’s volume consists of air, and what 
looked like puffs of smoke were jets of air — and dust — that were pushed 
ahead of the collapse.

Among those now propelling the argument that explosives took down the trade 
center is Steven E. Jones, a physics professor at Brigham Young University, 
coeditor with Mr. Ryan of www.journalof911studies.com, which published his 
paper, “Why Indeed Did the World Trade Center Buildings Completely Collapse 
on 9-11-2001?”

In an e-mail message yesterday, Professor Jones did not explain how so much 
explosive could have been positioned in the two buildings without drawing 
attention. “Others are researching the maintenance activity in the 
buildings in the weeks prior to 9/11/2001,” he wrote.

He said his investigation was finding fluorine and zinc in metal debris and 
dust gathered from near the trade center site, and argued that those 
elements should not have been found in the building compounds. “We are 
investigating the possibility of thermite-based arson and demolition,” he 
wrote, referring to compounds that, under controlled circumstances, can cut 
through steel.

The federal investigators at the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology state that enormous quantities of thermite would have to be 
applied to the structural columns to damage them. Not so, said Professor 
Jones; he said he and others were investigating “superthermite.”

Professor Jones also argues that the molten steel found in the rubble was 
evidence of demolition explosives because an ordinary airplane fire would 
not generate enough heat. He cited photographs of construction equipment 
removing debris that appeared to be red.

In rebuttal, Mr. Blanchard of Protec said that if there had been any molten 
steel in the rubble, it would have permanently damaged any excavation 
equipment encountering it. “As a fundamental point, if an excavator or 
grapple ever dug into a pile of molten steel heated to excess of 2000 
degrees Fahrenheit, it would completely lose its ability to function,” Mr. 
Blanchard wrote. “At a minimum, the hydraulics would immediately fail and 
its moving parts would bond together or seize up.”





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