About the mysteries of the 9-11 attack

Summary:  Much about 9-11 remains unclear, especially since (as usual) the 9-11 commission was botched.  Much relevant material hidden from the Commission (about which they have protested loudly, although we remain deaf).  Many important questions remain unasked.  Key parts of the story probably false.  Unfortunately we have no answers, but understnding the unknowns is progress.  Considering how greatly 9-11 changed the course of US history, even good questions are valuable.

For an excellent introduction to the mysteries of 9-11 I recommend George Washington’s blog.  If you are a hard-core skeptic, you can skip the text and just follow the links — most of which go to reliable sources.

  1. FBI Believed that Bombs Were Used on 9/11, 10 Feburary 2010
  2. Colleen Rowley: Minders Ensured She Didn’t Say Anything About 9/11 the FBI Didn’t WANT Told, Even to Government Officials With Top Security Clearance, 17 March 2010
  3. SEC: Government Destroyed Documents Regarding Pre-9/11 Put Options, 15 June 2010
  4. Pentagon Papers Whistleblowers, Congressman Who Saved Headwaters Forest, and 9/11 Commissioners Themselves Call for a New 9/11 Investigation, 7 March 2011
  5. Arguments Regarding the Collapse of the World Trade Center Evaporate Upon Inspection, 24 May 2011
  6. Co-Chair of 9/11 Inquiry: American Government Covered Up State Assistance to Hijackers, 11 July 2011
  7. Bush and Clinton Counter-Terrorism Czar Alleges Massive 9/11 Cover Up, 12 August 2011
  8. 9/11 Commission Admits It Never Got The Facts … But No One Wants to Hear From the People Who Know What Happened, 9 September 2011
  9. Co-Chair of the Congressional Inquiry Into 9/11 – and Former Head of the Senate Intelligence Committee – Calls for a New 9/11 Investigation, 13 September 2011
  10. Government Twists Science of 9/11, 26 September 2011

Other posts about 9-11

  1. Was 9/11 the most effective single military operation in the history of the world?, 11 June 2008
  2. Thoughts about 9-11-01 from Rebecca Solnit, 12 September 2009
  3. New Books, with insights about our changing world, 8 December 2009 — Review of The Ground Truth – The Untold Story of America Under Attack on 9/11 by John Farmer
  4. The vital things to know about 9-11, painful and so seldom mentioned today, 12 September 2011

16 thoughts on “About the mysteries of the 9-11 attack

  1. Suprised you dont have any article about 9-11 being connected to peak oil. That being the attack would give us the Casus Beli inorder to invade the oil rich regions in the Mid East and Central Asia and secure them for ourselves by direct presence of our forces or friendly regimes. I dont subscribe to this view but it is out there.

    1. Reacting to and taking advantage of a calamity does not imply causing the calamity although this is a point that is frequently misunderstood. One often assumes that if someone profits that they must have caused the conditions which caused them to profit when it is far more often luck and preparedness which allows for profit.

  2. Two things:

    Was 9/11 the most effective single military operation in the history of the world? Yes by far. Though we colluded in our own destruction. But most people forget BL was originally a very successful businessman with much experience of dealing with Western businessmen/politicians/etc, he had an acute eye for Western weaknesses.

    Secondly and I’ve posted this before. The real 9/11 conspiracy was the poor design of the Twin Towers. It was extremely vulnerable to fire. The fact the building lasted so long was (forced on them) alterations that added asbestos to key points while it was being built. Realistically you could have brought that building down with half a dozen guys with fuel cans. After about 3-4 floors got really going nothing could save it.

    Which is why the NY Fire Dept lost so many of their finest. They knew that, which is why they responded so quickly to get people up there to put the fires out. As we all know they didn’t make it in time.

    Steel loses strength rapidly as it heats. As for those extreme results, when it collapsed you had rapid transfer of potential to kinetic energy, a lot of which transferred into heat and shock waves into the steel frame. The total energy of the collapse was comparable to a small nuke.

    The energy to start the collapse (by weakening the frame) was quite small, but the collapse energy was immense.

    Any structure will be brought down by enough fire, no matter what it is made of. I remember a year or so after 9/11 a bridge in the US was brought down by a fire from a fuel tanker. It got hot enough to weaken the steel reinforcing struts within the concrete .. then boom.

    Another tragedy of 9/11 was the lack of a central reinforced concrete core. It made more profits of course (more area to let) but it meant that the aeroplanes damaged the centre, which meant many people above the impact points couldn’t escape. If it had been a conventional design just about everyone could have got out and the death would have been (max) in the low hundreds, probably less.

    I think the designers and builders got off very lightly over this. I’d have hauled them over the coals (plus all the officials that approved the design).

    1. I did a report on the WTC when I was in 5th grade. It was based off of a tv show I saw, which spent quite a bit of time about how incredibly unique the WTC design was. To this day, people still do not understand that the exterior shell supported 50% of the buildings weight.

      Anyone who’s ever taking a materials science class in engineering was shocked those buildings lasted as long as they did.

    2. Not a claim, a fact easily obtainable by reading any report with real engineering in it, or stopping and thinking about what first generation “framed-tube” architecture means. There aren’t faeries holding those spans up.

      Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster – Design, Construction, and Maintenance of Structural and Life Safety Systems, National Institute of Standards and Testing, September 2005 — PDF

      Under “gravity load”

    3. I reviewed the NIST report (one of a series by NIST about the WTC disaster, this one looking specifically at the WTC with respect to building standards and codes).

      It has 26 “findings” — none of which provide the slightest support for the claims made above by Oldskeptic and SRV about the WTC’s construction (and hence responsibility of those who built it). They state that the considerable volume of available data shows that the WTC buildings were built to code, and updated as the codes evolved over time.

      The NIST report documents in the inadequacies of the codes, as happens after most disasters.

      As for SRV’s claim that “Anyone who’s ever taking a materials science class in engineering was shocked those buildings lasted as long as they did”, and that the NIST report supports this claim — I see nothing in the NIST report that does so. There are 19 mentions of “gravity load”, none of which support his claim.

      You’ll have to do better than that, or peddle misinformation elsewhere. This is the wrong place for wild and unsupported claims.

      Note that the Washington Blog articles give specific expert references for his claims. You do not.

    4. Re: claims by Oldskeptic and esp SRV about the inadequacies of the WTC’s design and construction

      Many of the experts cited at Washington’s Blog discuss WTC 7. This was (quoting the NIST report cited by SRV) a 47 floor tower with “typical steel-framing for high-rise construction”. Many such buildings have burned in collapsed during the past few decades. None have “pancaked” like WTC 7.

      This is esp odd as WTC 7 collapsed in a manner similar to WTC 1 and WTC 2, which were structurally different construction, over 2x the height — and hit by aircraft. Many experts find the NIST explanation inadequate.

      That the official explanations deal so poorly with such obvious anomalies has aroused skepticism. The largely bogus response to these questions (eg, the Popular Mechanics article, which focused on adsurd claims and ignored experts’ questions) has intensified the skepticism.

      The response to these experts’ question is out of the Soviet Union playbook: questions about official doctrine indicate insanity. It’s becoming a standard response of our ruling elites, effective as the American public becomes more bovine — and hence the ever-fewer men and women stand out as exceptions. Anyone questions anthopogenic global warming is a “denier”. Anyone questioning our endless foreign war is anti-American. Anyone questioning the offical story about the WTC attacks is a loon.

  3. Always looked to me too like a controlled demolition … But , if conspiracy ,

    1. Why has nobody blabbed by now , in the bar , for a huge fee , or on deathbed ?

    2. If gov did it , would you really expect the whole complex op to run so smoothly – suspects , planes, bombs ? Wouldnt one of the planes have been delayed , or some bombs planted in the wrong tower , or one of the bombs to have gone off the previous night ?

    1. (1) Governments and organizations can keep secrets for a long time. The secret of ULTRA code-breaking during WWII, released only when useful to do so in 1974.

      (2) You spend too much time listening to conservative propaganda. Many government operations work smoothly. The Pearl Harbor attack and 1941 invasion of France, to mention two large examples.

  4. SRV, when they were actually building it there was enough pressure (from people like the NY fire dept )placed to force them to cover some critical areas with asbestos. That may have kept them up a little longer..

    Another thing that contributed, not to them finally falling but the time it took until then, was ever increasing weight. When the buildings were first designed no one had a PC (for example). The addition of of those plus open plan offices and more people would have just kept putting the weight up and up. More storage of documents, other office equipment, etc, etc.

    Manuel Garcia (physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California with a PhD Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering) did several excellent articles on the physics of the collapse for Counterpunch. One is here, with links to the rest of his articles (such as WTC 7)

    There are some equations but you can skip those. Couple of snippets:

    “The fuel fire burned up to 1,100 degrees C (2,000 degrees F) for perhaps 10 minutes. It ignited the many plastic furnishing (carpets, curtains, furniture, equipment cases, clothing, fixtures, office ceilings and partitions), paper items (paper supplies, books, pressed wood), and some structural elements (gypsum wall boards, plastic plumbing), which then continued the fire. The exposed steel beams in the impact zone heated to between 700 C to 1,000 C. Steel at 700 C has 50 per cent to 70 per cent of its strength at habitable temperatures; and steel at 1,000 C has between 10 per cent to 30 per cent.”.

    “The WTC towers collapsed at speeds approaching that of free fall because:

    1. The dynamic force created out of the gravitational potential energy within the space of just one level spacing was far in excess of the static force the framing was designed to support, and

    2. Elastic waves launched from the collapse front quickly filled the building –both lower structure and upper block –with large dynamic stresses, which weakened and ruptured joints well in advance of that material entering the collapse front.

    The towers shattered, and the pieces fell to the ground.”

    As I said, some of the architects and developers should have been jailed, especially for the poor central core protection. With that damaged everyone above the impact points were just waiting to die.

    1. This sort of confidence is bizarre given the number of experts questioning the offical conclusions — including members of the 9-11 Commission.

      The point of this post is to point to the large body of expert analysis that casts doubt on these confident answers. No matter how strongly and repeatedly the news media pushes the approved narrative.

      We remain an ignorant people — and are becoming an increasingly ignorant people — because information no longer circulates freely.

      1. This is a common element to most of our problems.
      2. This is why articles like the ones cited here are so important for people to read.
      3. That’s why Wikileaks is so important — such as the massive release alledgedly done by Manning, which although only classified “secret” revealed so much that we did not know.
      4. That is why the release of the Climategate files (perhaps from an insider) is so important, showing the corrupt and sometimes fraudulent nature of much climate science.

      The pattern is that the true believers reply to these by crying “NO NO NO” while tightly shutting their eyes. When we reclaim our spirit we will again be able to look at difficult evidence without fear.

  5. Less than three years after the first bombing of the World Trade Center, in 1995 or 1996 during a dinner with a friend of mine who was then still working at the State Department on counter-terror issues, he described to me in detail the successful attack that occurred on 9/11. At that dinner he said it was “common knowledge” among people who travelled the Middle East that the goal was to destroy the towers. He said the intention was to hijack several planes from Kennedy Airport and fly them into the Trade Center at very high speed in order to knock them over, dropping them in a Christian Cross! On the morning of 9/11 when the first plane hit, I called him. He answered the phone, crying and screaming, “We told them, over and over……”
    At that dinner he said it was not possible to get a message out of State to the NSC or the White House. Nobody wanted to hear anything. The Airlines did not want any interference with their business etc. After 9//11 I wondered why the planes were flown into the tops of the towers when crashing them into the 50th floors would have killed many more 000s of innocent people. My presumption is they thought they could knock over the structures which was not possible.
    The entire response to 9/11 including the two invasions are part of a reaction to obscure the vast intelligence failures of our government over many decades, obscuring the culpability of our Saudi allies and other Arab “allies” who financed and supported these attacks. These people are not “traitors” but they are corrupt morons, with the Bush/Cheyney oil interests leading the way. But this is a bipartisan failure of the broadest dimension which embraces our entire national security operation. We are still blundering…..

    1. If everybody who claimed to have such a conversation did in fact have such a conversation, then more Americans knew about 9-11 than died in it.

      Consider me skeptical about your account.

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