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Waterboarding Our Democracy

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Posted on Dec 11, 2007
Pelosi
AP photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

Speak up, Ms. Speaker:  Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi fields questions about Iraq at a press conference on Capitol Hill last April.

By Robert Scheer

When the CIA destroyed those prisoner interrogation videotapes, was it also destroying the truth about 9/11?  After all, according to the 9/11 Commission Report, the basic narrative of what happened on that day—and the definition of the enemy in this war on terror that George W. Bush launched in response to the tragedy—comes from the CIA’s account of what those prisoners told their torturers.  The commission was never allowed to interview the prisoners, or speak with those who did, and was instead forced to rely on what the CIA was willing to relay. 

On the matter of the existence of the tapes, we know the CIA lied, not only to the 9/11 Commission but to Congress as well.  Given that the Bush administration has for six years refused those prisoners any sort of public legal exposure, why should we believe what we’ve been told about what may turn out to be the most important transformative event in our nation’s history?  On the basis of what the CIA claimed the tortured prisoners said, President Bush launched a “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), an endless war that threatens to bankrupt our society both financially and morally.   

How important to the 9/11 Commission Report were those “key witnesses”?  Check out the disclaimer on Page 146 about the commission’s sourcing of the main elements laid out in its narrative:

Chapters 5 and 7 rely heavily on information obtained from captured al Qaeda members. ... Assessing the truth of statements by these witnesses ... is challenging.  Our access to them has been limited to the review of intelligence reports based on communications received from the locations where the actual interrogation took place.  We submitted questions for use in the interrogations, but had no control over whether, when, or how questions of particular interest would be asked.  Nor were we allowed to talk to the interrogators so that we could better judge the credibility of the detainees and clarify ambiguities in the reporting.  We were told that our requests might disrupt the sensitive interrogation process.

Videos were made of those “sensitive” interrogations, which were accurately described as “torture” by one of the agents involved, John Kiriakou, in an interview with ABC News.  Yet when the 9/11 Commission and federal judges specifically asked for such tapes, they were destroyed by the CIA, which then denied their existence. 

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Of course our president claims he knew nothing about this whitewash, and he may be speaking the truth, since plausible deniability seems to be the defining leadership style of our commander in chief.  But what about those congressional leaders who were briefed on the torture program as early as 2002?  That includes Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi, who has specialized in heartfelt speeches condemning torturers in faraway places like China.

Pelosi press aide Brendan Daly told me that The Washington Post report on her CIA briefing was “overblown” because Pelosi, then the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, thought the techniques described, which the CIA insists included waterboarding, were merely planned and not yet in use.  Pelosi claimed that “several months later” her successor as the ranking Democrat, Jane Harman, D-Calif., was advised that the techniques “had in fact been employed.”  Harman wrote a classified letter to the CIA in protest, and Pelosi “concurred.”  Neither went public with her concerns.

Harman told The Washington Post, “I was briefed, but the information was closely held to just the Gang of Four.  I was not free to disclose anything.”  The “Gang of Four” is an insider reference to the top members of the House and Senate intelligence committees and not to the thugs who ran Mao’s China during the Cultural Revolution.

Not only did the congressional Gang of Four fail to inform the public about the use of torture by our government, but it also kept the 9/11 Commission in the dark.  Pelosi testified before the commission on May 22, 2003, but uttered not a word of caution about the methods used.  However, more than two years later, on Nov. 16, 2005, Pelosi stated correctly that on the basis of her “many years on the intelligence committee,” she knew that “[t]he quality of intelligence that is collected by torture is ... uncorroborated and it is worthless.”

Having admired Pelosi for decades, I hope I am missing something here.  If she and the others in the know have another version of these events it’s time to come clean.  As matters now stand, they not only concealed torture but, more significantly, they abetted the waterboarding of our democracy.

 

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Dwight VW, December 18, 2007 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

Patrick Henry said:

“The CIA needs to be pared down if not dissolved completely, That agency has caused this nation trouble since its inception and has an agenda contrary to the U.S. Constitution.”

Harry Truman agreed with you in December 1963:

http://www.maebrussell.com/Prouty/Harry Truman’s CIA article.html

Just after Kennedy’s assassination, Truman wrote that in the Washington Post.  I found this so hard to believe that I want to my university library and found it on microfiche.  The timing is interesting, but it’s possible Truman was talking about, or also talking about, CIA involvement in overthrow of regimes in Iran in 1953, installing the Shah, and Iraq in 1963, installing the Baathists.  Who knows.  Regardless, the president that established the CIA said it’s covert operations were not what he intended.

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By cyrena, December 18, 2007 at 2:12 am Link to this comment

Jeeze…this is gonna seem really boring after reading all of your comments and the associated links.

But, I’ll post it anyway. This included the explanation for why the CIA destroyed the tapes of the interrogation and torture of the detainees who supposedly provided the information on 9/11, even AFTER the federal judge had told them NOT to destroy anything.

This is the White Houses’ explanation for why they did it anyway:

......” Federal Judge Told Not to Ask About CIA Tapes
  By Matt Apuzzo
  The Associated Press

  Saturday 15 December 2007

  Washington - The Bush administration told a federal judge it was not obligated to preserve videotapes of CIA interrogations of suspected terrorists and urged the court not to look into the tapes’ destruction.

  In court documents filed Friday night, government lawyers told U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy that demanding information about the tapes would interfere with current investigations by Congress and the Justice Department.

  It was the first time the government had addressed the issue of the videotapes in court.

  Kennedy ordered the administration in June 2005 to safeguard “all evidence and information regarding the torture, mistreatment, and abuse of detainees now at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay.”

  Five months later, the CIA destroyed the interrogation videos. The recordings involved suspected terrorists Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri

  Government lawyers told Kennedy the tapes were not covered by his court order because Zubaydah and al-Nashiri were not at the Guantanamo military prison in Cuba. The men were being held overseas in a network of secret CIA prisons. By the time President Bush acknowledged the existence of those prisons and the prisoners were transferred to Guantanamo, the tapes had been destroyed….”

Here’s the link to the rest.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/121507A.shtml

It’s all here folks. The clues to 9/11, torture, rendition, secret CIA prisons, Mukasy - now AG would would never denounce waterboarding as torture..

You get the gist. Same old shit.

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By troublesum, December 17, 2007 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

The only coup we need to be concerned about today is this one:  http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2007/2920

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By cann4ing, December 17, 2007 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

antispin, if you read “Plausible Denial” you will see that findings made by the Warren Commission are exceedingly suspect, including those purporting to reflect Jack Ruby’s movements.  For example, one of the key Commission findings has Oswald visiting the Soviet & Cuban Embassies in Mexico City.  The CIA did not turn over any cables in part because the cables reveal that Sylvia Duran, whose statement placing Oswald at the Cuban embassy, was arrested by Mexican police at the direction of the CIA, which instructed the Mexican police not to inform their own government of the arrest.  After she signed the statement, Duran was released and instructed to never speak about the incident.

The evidence placing Oswald at the Soviet embassy consisted of a tape recording and a photograph, which was given to the FBI by the CIA just hours “before” the assassination.  (“Plausible Denial,” at p. 61). 

When an FBI agent showed the photo to Oswald’s mother, she initially said she did not recognize the man in the photo.  After her son was murdered, she said it was Jack Ruby.  The first comprehensive FBI report on the JFK assassination reveals that the DCIA, The Deputy Director of Plans [Richard Helms], and the officer in charge of the Western Hemisphere all conspired to lie to the Warren commission about Oswald’s alleged presence at the Soviet embassy.  (Id., at p. 62). 

During a Sept. 1977 debate with Lane, the CIA’s David Atlee Phillips admitted “there was never a photograph taken of Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City….Lee Harvey Oswald never visited….there is no evidence to show that Lee Harvey Oswald visited the Soviet Embassy.”  (Id. at 82).  Lane obtained through discovery a world-wide CIA dispatch directing its media assets to destroy Lane’s credibility, something for which Phillips apologized during his debate with Lane. 

The key CIA man on the Warren Commission was Allen Dulles, the former DCIA whom Kennedy had fired in the wake of the Bay of Pigs.  The FBI’s man was a then obscure Michigan Congressman named Gerald Ford.  A 12/17/63 memo details items Ford illegally passed to Cartha DeLoach, assistant FBI director.  Ford reported to DeLoach that two commission members had serious doubts that the president had been shot from the 6th floor window of the Texas School Book Depository but he predicted they could be brought to the FBI’s view.  (Id. at p. 43).

Lane also covers in depth how the House Select Committee was similarly compromised, with the committee forced to replace its chief counsel Richard Sprague with Robert Blakley of the DOJ who had ties to organized crime figure Mo Dalitz.  (Id. at p. 34)

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By antispin, December 17, 2007 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

EC -  First, I knew Carl Oglesby as a boy, but, while he is an expert, I am no expert on the JFK assassination.  I did a quick look see and found this site, which attempts to debunk Lane’s book:
http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/denial.htm

Here’s a excerpt:

“During 1977 and 1978, Lorenz’ claims were extensively investigated by the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Chief Counsel Robert Blakey outlined the Committee’s conclusions:

We also rejected the story of Marita Lorenz, who told us she had driven from Miami to Dallas on November 15, 1963, with Oswald and several anti-Castro activists, including Gerry Patrick Hemming, Orlando Bosch, a terrorist . . . Pedro Diaz-Lanz, the former Cuban Air Force chief, and Frank Sturgis, who was arrested in the Watergate break-in in 1972. All four men denied Lorenz’s charge emphatically, and we could find no evidence to refute them. Lorenz, who claimed to have been Fidel Castro’s mistress as well as the instrument of an attempt by the CIA to poison Castro . . . did not help her credibility by telling us that when she arrived in Dallas with Oswald and the anti-Castro activists, they were contacted at their motel by Jack Ruby. 
G. Robert Blakey and Richard Billings, Fatal Hour (New York, Berkley Books [paperback], 1992), p. 200.


“Jack Ruby’s whereabouts were tracked in meticulous detail by the Warren Commission, and there is no possibility he could have gone to any motel as Lorenz described. 
Warren Commission Report, pp. 333-334.


“Likewise, Oswald’s whereabouts were also well accounted for during the days before the assassination, and a car trip by him from Miami to Dallas was entirely out of the question.  Warren Commission Report, pp. 129-131, 740.”

So there you have it.  The Warren Commission trumps all, according to this debunker.

I’m not saying it is fiction, but for someone like me, it’s Norman Mailerish.  Who can say?

My gut tells me that we suffered a coup d’etat in 1963 and that Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II have been part of the occupying government.  Not sure what to make of Carter and Clinton.

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By sdemetri, December 17, 2007 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

niloroth, about molten aluminum. The visible appearance of molten aluminum is dull gray with faint reddish/pink glow. It does not glow a hot orange/yellow, as is seen in several images of the towers immediately before collapse. The visible attributes of molten metals are pretty standard stuff. If you are implying that the bright orange/yellow droplets or glows caught in photographs or in videos is molten aluminum, I would say the visible attributes of molten aluminum disqualify it from consideration. Just as Jones says. I have had enough training in science to know certain physical properties under normal conditions are quite constant. The “glow” a molten metal emits at certain temperatures being one of them.

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By cann4ing, December 17, 2007 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

antispin, meeting with Jack Ruby blends fact into fiction only if you reject the sworn testimony of Marita Lorenz.  She stated, under oath, that Ruby arrived at their motel room around forty minutes after E. Howard Hunt left.  Are you aware of some credible evidence that would rebut Lorenz’s sworn testimony?

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By sdemetri, December 17, 2007 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

niloroth, Jones paper was anonymously reviewed by four PhD’s, two of whom are physicists. It was published on the Journal of 911 Studies website, as you probably know, after revisions. Other articles published on this site are reviewed by the same method. Those reviewing the papers are not necessarily in agreement with the conclusions of the papers but review them to ascertain the methodology used is as free of bias as possible and advance their thesis according to scientific method. I find the process credible, especially as the results they point to are not exaggerated or mistreated. The results are very plausible, except to those who find no reason to even consider the possibility they have merit.

It is true that none of these papers have been, to my knowledge, published in established peer-reviewed journals. Given the subject matter, and given that controversial subjects are often more rigorously examined before publication in such journals, that comes as no surprise. When sufficient data has been amassed, on going work, I believe the findings will be published. A very similar public statement has been made by a representative of a Congress member. When the evidence is air-tight it will be given its due.

The lengths those who are critical of any thing to do with the Truth Movement, while ignoring the gaping holes in official investigations, the limitations artificially imposed on avenues of inquiry in the official investigations, the unscientific conclusions is a motivating factor for me. If there was not reasonable doubt, there would nothing to fear in facing a truly independent investigation.

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By cann4ing, December 17, 2007 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Truthdug, the video you refer to contains no seismic data.  It contains words written over essentially nothing but a partial collapse of the penthouse roof about thirty seconds before the entire 47 story structure collapsing into its own footprint in the span of 6.6 seconds.  Where is the seismic data?  Who was recording it? 

As a Californian who has lived through a number of quakes, I have, shall we say, some experience with seismic events.  I do not know of a single instance in which a high rise building collapsed into its own footprint in the manner depicted in the very video which you “think” debunks the controlled demolition theory.  But then you are so blatantly stupid that you mistook a post containing the sworn testimony of Fidel Castro’s testimony about her peripheral role in the JFK assassination as an assertion that JFK killed Castro’s former girlfriend, so why would I expect anything resembling a coherent thought to flow from your computer keyboard.

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By antispin, December 17, 2007 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

#120548 by Truthdug on 12/16 at 7:42 am
(Unregistered commenter)

* * *

I am not saying this to insult you Ernest Canning,
==================================
Our country (the former USA) has been shifted off its foundation and onto a false premise.  In logic, if you assume a falsehood, then any implication is possible.  For example, if we assume a cow jumped over the moon, then it may follow that George W. Bush is a bougainvillia.  Well, boogey villain, for sure.  But Bush is, in fact, a master of injecting cognitive dissonance into the national psyche and then reaping riches from the ensuing chaos.  This is the preemptive war doctrine, for instance.  The one percent doctrine.  The war based on lies doctrine.  Any sane person should be going mad at a time like this.

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By PatrickHenry, December 16, 2007 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

I believe we have the whole team here, the buttons and those who push them.  I’m sure there are some other middle men who connected the two parties together , however they would be the first ones to be silenced and thereby the link between the two groups would be un-provable.

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By antispin, December 16, 2007 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, your link to the prisonplanet site includes a History Channel program exploring the evidence for LBJ’s complicity in the JFK assassination/coverup.  Juxtaposing that with the Plausible Denial book has not led to any discrepancies that I notice, though they are quite distinct.  One group is in Texas (LBJ, Oilmen, Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon) and the other is coming from Florida (Sturgis, Hunt, and the German girl…Lorenz). 

They meet with Ruby?  This is where fact and fiction begin to blur in uncertainty. 

There are so many yarns to unravel, but it seems worth it.  Any lawyers out there?  Isn’t possible there are plenty of people still alive who participated in the cover-up, no matter whether they were in on the dastardly deed or not?  Rumsfeld?  Cheney?  Bush? 

Nixon is dead, right?  So are most of the principals…with the notable exception of g herbert walker b?  Don’t we have ways of making these people talk?

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By antispin, December 16, 2007 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

sdemetri,

Thanks for the Nader link.  Seems things are worse than we thought, whoever we are.  If that’s truly the reason for not impeaching, and I don’t doubt it much, then the federal democracy is dead.  Are we now to blindly throw our individual bodies on the gears of illegitimate government, or is there a more concerted, organized form of resistance available?  I can’t say I wouldn’t mind going to jail.  I would mind.  I sure admire all those Code Pink people, bless there brave souls.

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By cann4ing, December 16, 2007 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

sdemetri, I hate to borrow a line usually used by the right-wing, but Representative Olver’s line of reasoning for “not” impeaching—fear that it would push the cabal into attacking Iran—sounds very much like Neville Chamberlain thinking he could prevent WW II by appeasing Hitler, handing him a part of Czecholovakia.

Every time these spineless Dems surrender another piece of the Constitution we move that much closer to dictatorship.  Their historical antecedent can be found in the Weimar Republic’s social democrats who could not appreciate the gravity of the danger until it was too late.

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By cann4ing, December 16, 2007 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

troublesum:  Are you dense?  No one suggested that JFK knocked off Castro’s girlfriend.  Marita Lorenz testified under oath as to her role in the plot to assassinate JFK—testimony which directly implicated two of the Watergate burglars, E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis.  Although he denied it throughout the federal court litigation in Hunt vs. Liberty Lobby, Hunt eventually admitted his guilt in a recorded, death bed confession.

There is a rather curious link to Watergate that goes beyond Lorenz’s identification of the convicted Watergate burglars, Hunt and Sturgis.  It was provided to none other than HR Haldeman in “The Ends of Time” (1978).  Seeking the CIA’s protection from the escalating Watergate scandal, Nixon dispatched Haldeman to meet with Richard Helms.  When he met the usual CIA stonewalling, Haldeman told Helms that the “president asked me to tell you this entire affair may be connected to the Bay of Pigs….”  Helms came unglued, gripping the arms of his chair and shouting there was no connection.  Haldeman, initially perplexed by Helms’s overreaction, observed, “It seems that in all those Nixon references to the Bay of Pigs he was referring to the Kennedy assassination.”

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By cann4ing, December 16, 2007 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

Once again we find Truthdig’s resident debunker and con-artist, niloroth aka nilbrains, spouting a lie about Dr. Steve E. Jones.  He states flat out that Jones “never submitted any of his papers for peer review”—a point which he knows full well is utter rubbish.  (Elsewhere at Truthdig, nilbrains claimed that Dr. Jones resigned to avoid peer review.)

As reflected in a wikipedia reference site that nilbrains himself has previously cited:

“Some of Jones’ colleagues have defended his work on 9/11 to varying degrees, and Project Censored lists his 9/11 research among the top mainstream media censored stories of 2007.

“Jones maintains that the paper was peer-reviewed prior to publication, though it has never been published in an independent peer-reviewed journal.”

Wikipedia goes on to note that on “September 7, 2007 Jones removed his paper from BYU’s website at the request of administrators and was placed on paid leave” with BYU citing “concern about the ‘increasingly speculative and accusatory nature’ of Jones’ work and the concernt that perhaps it had ‘not been published in appropriate scientific journals.”

“Jones placement on paid leave drew criticism from the American Association of university Professors and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.  Both oerganizations are long time critics of BYU’s record on academic freedom.  Jones ‘welcomed the review’ because he hoped it would ‘encourage people to read his paper for themselves,’ however the review was abandoned when Jones elected to retire, effective January 1, 2007.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_E_Jones

nilbrains is a shameless fabricator of disinformation about the subject of 9/11.  He has repeatedly shown elsewhere at Truthdig that he cannot be relied upon to accurately state the facts.  The BYU response to scientific criticism of official theory, unfortunately, is but a part of a wider assault on academic freedom led by the likes of David Horowitz, Bill O’Reilly, and Alan Dershowitz against any who would dare challenge the official line be it on 9/11, Israel or any other neocon project—an assault that can already count Norman Finkelstein and Ward Churchill amongst its victims.

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By sdemetri, December 16, 2007 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

To further a thought, this clip is of Ralph Nader explaining why Mass. Rep John Olver would not honor the request of 2/3’s of his constituents to impeach Bush and Cheney. Olver said he would not support that effort because he believed if the Democrats pursued impeachment, Bush and Cheney would attack Iran, declare a national emergency, impose marshal law, and cancel elections.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIO-tCPSfHA

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By PatrickHenry, December 16, 2007 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

The deathbed confession of Johnsons mistress implicated him and Oil Tycoon Hunt, who brought Johnson to power.
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/january2007/150107ciaman.htm

Why has the attorney general given up on this?  There is no statute of limitations on this crime. History demands the truth.

Could it be because Bush 41 is involved up to his ears? and I suspect Nixon, Reagan and Ford were involved too.

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By niloroth, December 16, 2007 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

sdemetri:

You mentioned that there were only a few peer reviewed papers about the events of 9/11.  This is true, but i think you are listing one to many when you quote Steve E. Jones, he has never submitted any of his papers for peer review, and they have never been published in any peer reviewed journals.  However, i can point you to some that have, but i have to tell you, NONE of them support either Jones or the truthers.

You are also correct that the NIST said that at no time did the fires melt the steal.  There is no evidence for that, and their does not need to be.  What temp does aluminum melt at? 

Looking forward to your comments, maybe you will be the first person on this site who might actually know what he is talking about?  Wrong, obviously, but still at least informed?

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By antispin, December 16, 2007 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

I meant, of course, coup d’etat, pardon my French.

Someone said that the only difference between a coup d’etat in a banana republic and the one here is that the banana republic gets a lot of attention by the MSM.

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By antispin, December 16, 2007 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

There will be those who contend this is off-topic, but the link from “missing tapes” to “cover up” to “coup de tat” tends to lead back to the assassination of JFK.  So one is compelled to look at it. 

Here is the Spartacus compendium of info:
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKlorenzM.htm

...and here is an attempt to debunk the Denial book:
http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/denial.htm

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By troublesum, December 16, 2007 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

JFK knocked off by Castro’s girlfriend - that’s a new one!

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By troublesum, December 16, 2007 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

The best book on the Kennedy Assassination is Reclaiming History by Vincent Bugliosi.  Only in the US is everything a conspiracy.  This doesn’t happen in other countries.  Why?

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By cann4ing, December 16, 2007 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

sdemetri:  The death bed confession to which you refer came from E. Howard Hunt—a point that makes Mark Lane’s central thesis in “Plausible Denial” all the more compelling.  Lane’s book was grounded in his defense of a small publisher, Liberty Lobby, in a libel action that Hunt had brought against it for publishing an article by former CIA agent Victor Marchetti which implicated Hunt in the assassination of JFK.

After demolishing Hunt’s story that he had been in Washington DC on the date of the JFK assassination in cross examination, Lane read the transcript of the deposition of Marita Lorenz into the record. 

Lorenz was Fidel Castro’s girlfriend until the former head of the Cuban Air Force, Frank Fiorini, aka Frank Sturgis (who would later, along with Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, be convicted for the Watergate burglary), lied to her, convincing her that Castro intended to kill her and her son.  She fled to Miami where she was recruited into the CIA.

Lorenz testified under oath that in November 1963 she traveled in a heavily armed, two-car caravan from Miami to Dallas together with Sturgis, Patrick Hemming, Orlando Bosch and Jack Patrick Hemming.  Shortly after Lorenz and Sturgis arrived at a Dallas motel on Nov. 21, 1963, Hunt arrived; handed an envelope stuffed with cash to Sturgis.  Within an hour of Hunt’s departure another individual arrived at their motel room—Jack Ruby!

Lorenz, who had not been provided the identity of the target of their operation only knew the operation was “big” and that she was to act as a decoy.  Having second thoughts, she persuaded Sturgis to take her to the airport.  She flew back to Miami.

Hunt’s lawyer, concerned with the impact this had on his client’s denial he was in Dallas, made the mistake of asking whether Sturgis later spoke to her about the assassination.  He had.  He told her she missed “the really big one.”

“We killed the president that day.  You could have been a part of it—you know, a part of history.  You should have stayed.  It was safe.  Everything was covered in advance.  No arrests, no real newspaper investigation.  It was all covered, very professional.”

On Feb. 6, 1985, a federal jury rendered its verdict favoring Liberty Lobby.  Although jury foreperson Leslie Armstrong, when approached by the press, made it clear the jury was convinced that the CIA killed JFK & Hunt was a part of it, a reporter pressed her about “actual malice” being a part of a libel case.  Armstrong noted, per the judge’s instruction, actual malice is a part of every libel case, the jury did not reach the issue because it was convinced the Marchetti article was true.

That evening, a Miami TV station owned by the Washington Post & Newsweek, reported only Armstrong’s remark about actual malice being an essential element in a libel case.  Testimony & a jury verdict which should have produced banner headlines, screaming across the front pages of every newspaper was treated as a non-event by the corporate-owned media.

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By sdemetri, December 16, 2007 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

Also, I am not a student of JFK’s killing, but accept as credible reports of a deathbed confession, and a recent audio analysis with newer, sophisticated techniques that support multiple shooters.

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By sdemetri, December 16, 2007 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Ernest, I wish I had optimism about next year’s election. The charade of the rather pointless debates, the corporate media coverage sustaining the charade, the hollow shirts on parade, is all very disheartening. I expect another attack. I wish it were not so, but there it is. I hope we are both wrong on this account.

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By cann4ing, December 16, 2007 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

toublesome, I would recommend that you read Mark Lane’s “Plausible Denial.”  The CIA and anti-Castro Cubans killed JFK.  The FBI was not involved in the plot to assassinate but was involved in the ensuing cover-up.

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By troublesum, December 16, 2007 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

Following the JFK asassination the CIA and FBI went to such lenghts to suppress the facts about their dealings with Oswald that they ended up looking like they were involved in the asassination.  Their purpose was to protect their respective agencies from being blamed for not preventing the asassination, but the result was that all sorts of government conspiracy theories sprang up.  The same kind of thing is happening regarding 9/11.  Government agencies, including the military, fuck up all the time, and then they try to cover up their fuck ups.  Witness what happened with FEMA in New Orleans when Katrina struck.

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By cann4ing, December 16, 2007 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

smedetri:  Thank you for providing the science.  I only wish I could share your optimism that come 2009 there will be a new administration and an opportunity to embark on an open and thorough investigation.  Unfortunately, given the level of Cheney’s ruthlessness, his desire to take us to war with Iran, the likely blow back, and the existence of executive orders purporting to extend to the president the right to declare a national emergency in the event of a new terrorist incident on U.S. soil, leading to martial law, a suspension of the Constitution, a closing of Congress and a postponement of the Nov. 2008 election, an actual end to this fascist regime is by no means insured by the mere presence of a constitutional provision that would call for it to peacefully surrender power, any more than the constitutional provisions against unreasonable search and seizure have prevented the NSA from spying on Americans without a warrant.

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By cann4ing, December 16, 2007 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Verne, do you take any time to actually “think” before you post?  Aside from the fact there is no evidence that the temperatures were sufficient to melt any portion of the steel columns, your comment that it would only have taken sufficient temperature to melt a small core area of the steel columns ignores location.  As the fires burned near the tops of WTC 1 & 2, one would anticipate that the hottest temperatures would be near the source of the flames—far from the base of the buildings.  How then do you explain a collapse of steel columns near the base of the buildings resulting in their precipitous free falls into their own footprints?  Your thesis ignores that the 47 story WTC 7 was “not” struck by an aircraft.  Why is it that there is no other recorded instance of a high rise structure collapsing in this manner due to fire? 

Like you, I am a skeptic.  I apply that skepticism not only to those advancing theories of official complicity but also to those who would advance the official version of what happened.  The term “conspiracy theorist” does not just apply to those who believe there was complicity within the same neocon sector which had stated that acceptance of the policies actually put into place after 9/11 would take “a new Pearl Harbor.”  The words “conspiracy theorist” applies equally to those who accept the line that 9/11 was exclusively the product of 19 men armed only with box cutters.

Use of dismissive denigration—“conspiracy theorist,” “tin foil hat”—is a far cry from the presentation of scientific proof necessary to meet the burden of proof necessary to establish the official theory as being accurate.  Indeed, this form of dismissive denigration reveals a lack of appreciation for the true meaning and purpose of “theory” within its use as part of scientific methodology—as defined by Webster’s, “theory” means “systematically organized knowledge applicable in a relatively wide variety of circumstances, esp. a system of assumptions, accepted principles, and rules of procedure devised to analyze, predict, or otherwise explain the nature or behavior of a specified set of phenomena.”

Frank began this current colloquy by dismissing all alternative theories of 9/11 that do not square with the “official theory” as “paranoid ramblings”—a point with which you concurred, based on the written overlay of a video depicting the collapse of the roof of the penthouse of WTC 7, an overlay that made the unscientific claim the penthouse roof collapse more than a half minute before the sudden free fall was somehow related to a loss of support from the underlying structure.

The essence of the scientific method is that “all theories” be they official or alternative must be subject to the same rigorous standards of examination and testing.  You can’t come onto the site, make unsupported claims and then, when those claims are challenged by competing science, say, “I’m tired all over and will not post again on this subject” and actually expect that “yours” will be the last word.

You are absolutely correct. “Belief is the end of knowledge.”  You and Frank come to the table with a core “belief” that the “official theory” is correct, and nothing anyone can say, no level of rigorous application of science to challenge the efficacy of your belief will change your mind.  After all why should you be open to the suggestion that anything this government has told you could possibly be less than the unvarnished truth?

Sorry, Verne and Frank, while there are a number of holes in competing theories—many due to the absence of an exhaustive impartial investigation—there are even greater gaping holes in the “official theory.”  For me, being the skeptical atheist that I am, I will not be satisfied with any of the theories advanced to explain this pivotal event absent the science to back it up.  Dismissive denigration is not science.

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By troublesum, December 16, 2007 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Back to topic:  For the specifics on the democratic “leadership’s” complicity in Bush’s reign of terror go to http://counterpunch.com/mcgovern12122007.html

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By sdemetri, December 16, 2007 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

Verne, as a blacksmith, perhaps this will pique you curiosity:

“One of the relatively few previous peer-reviewed papers relating to the WTC collapses provides “An Initial Microstructural Analysis of A36 Steel from WTC Building 7.”  This brief but important letter states:
  While the exact location of this beam could not be determined, the unexpected erosion of the steel found in this beam warranted a study of microstructural changes that occurred in this steel.  Examination of other sections in this beam is underway.
  ANALYSIS   Rapid deterioration of the steel was a result of heating with oxidation in combination with intergranular melting due to the presence of sulfur. The formation of the eutectic mixture of iron oxide and iron sulfide lowers the temperature at which liquid can form in this steel.  This strongly suggests that the temperatures in this region of the steel beam approached ~1000°C by a process similar to making a “blacksmith’s weld” in a hand forge.  (Barnett, 2001)

How were these ~1000°C temperatures in the steel beam achieved?  As noted above in the quotation from Eagar, it is difficult to reach temperatures above 650°C in the type of diffuse fires evident in the WTC buildings, let alone in the steel columns where heat is transported away by the enormous heat sink of the steel structure.  So the high steel (not just air) temperatures deduced by Barnett, Biederman and Sisson are indeed remarkable. 
       
Then there is the rather mysterious sulfidation of the steel reported in this paper— What is the origin of this sulfur?  No solid answer is given in any of the official reports.
       
Of course, there is a straightforward way to achieve 1000°C temperatures (and well above) in the presence of sulfur, and that is to use thermate (or a similar variation of thermite).  Thermate is a high-level thermite analog containing sulfur developed by the military. 
       
Finally, sulfidation was observed in structural steel samples found from both WTC7 and one of the WTC Towers, as reported in Appendix C in the FEMA report. It is quite possible that more than one type of cutter-charge was involved on 9/11, e.g., HMX, RDX and thermate in some combination.  While gypsum in the buildings is a source of sulfur, it is highly unlikely that
this sulfur could find its way into the structural steel in such a way as to form a eutectic.  The evidence for the use of some variant of thermite such as sulfur-containing thermate in the destruction of the WTC Towers and building 7 is sufficiently compelling to warrant serious investigation.” From Jones paper.

Again, the evidence calls into question the official explanation. What is more significant than the actual numbers of who believes a new investigation is warranted, is the change in those numbers. More people in positions to critically judge the matter are coming to the conclusion the official story is unsupported. When one honestly applies the test: was there opportunity, means, and motive?, the answer is yes. There is reasonable doubt. Given the direction those likely responsible for the events of 911 have taken the country it is extremely important all reasonable doubts be dispelled.

It looks very likely the Republicans will be losing in a big way in next year’s election. If 911 was an inside job, with the intent the US enters the middle east on a permanent “constabulatory” basis, from the 2000 PNAC report, what would stop them from another black ops operation, blamed on terrorists, to call off elections after marshal law is declared, and a state of emergency called? There is little to prevent such a scenario from taking place. In the event of a major domestic “terrorist” strike, in the ensuing confusion, chaos, and panic, we would not be able to discern the difference.

Knowing what happened on 911 in truth, not the half truths and outright falsehoods of the official explanation, is of immediate importance.

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By sdemetri, December 16, 2007 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Verne, with a small nod to your blacksmithing experience, here is what the “experts” say about the jet fuel and temperature of the fires burning before the total destruction of three steel framed buildings. Again, with due respect for your blacksmithing, your view is based on some common misconceptions:

“The government reports admit that the building fires were insufficient to melt steel beams—then where did the molten metal pools come from?  Metals expert Dr. Frank Gayle (working with NIST) stated:

Your gut reaction would be the jet fuel is what made the fire so very intense, a lot of people figured that’s what melted the steel. Indeed it did not, the steel did not melt. (Field, 2005; emphasis added.)
 
And in an a fact sheet released in August, 2006, NIST states:  “In no instance did NIST report that steel in the WTC towers melted due to the fires.”
http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_8_2006.html

      None of the official reports tackles the mystery of the molten metal pools. Yet this is clearly a significant clue to what caused the Towers and WTC 7 to collapse.  So an analysis of the composition of the previously-molten metal is required by a qualified scientific panel.  This could well become an experiment crucis.
        Prof. Thomas Eagar explained in 2001 that the WTC fires would NOT melt steel:  “The fire is the most misunderstood part of the WTC collapse.  Even today, the media report (and many scientists believe) that the steel melted.  It is argued that the jet fuel burns very hot, especially with so much fuel present.  This is not true….  The temperature of the fire at the WTC was not unusual, and it was most definitely not capable of melting steel. 

In combustion science, there are three basic types of flames, namely, a jet burner, a pre- mixed flame, and a diffuse flame….  In a diffuse flame, the fuel and the oxidant are not mixed before ignition, but flow together in an uncontrolled manner and combust when the fuel/oxidant ratios reach values within the flammable range.  A fireplace is a diffuse flame burning in air, as was the WTC fire.  Diffuse flames generate the lowest heat intensities of the three flame types…  The maximum flame temperature increase for
burning hydrocarbons (jet fuel) in air is, thus, about 1000 °C—hardly sufficient to melt steel at 1500 °C.”

“But it is very difficult to reach [even] this maximum temperature with a diffuse flame.  There is nothing to ensure that the fuel and air in a diffuse flame are mixed in the best ratio…  This is why the temperatures in a residential fire are usually in the 500 °C to 650 °C range [Cote, 1992].  It is known that the WTC fire was a fuel-rich, diffuse flame as evidenced by the copious black smoke….  It is known that structural steel begins to soften around 425 °C and loses about half of its strength at 650 °C [Cote, 1992]. 

This is why steel is stress relieved in this temperature range.  But even a 50% loss of strength is still insufficient, by itself, to explain the WTC collapse… The WTC, on this low-wind day, was likely not stressed more than a third of the design allowable… Even with its strength halved, the steel could still support two to three times the stresses imposed by a 650 °C fire.”  (Eagar and Musso, 2001; emphasis added.)

Eagar is an MIT professor and doesn’t believe the towers collapse by controlled demolition.

These quotes are taken from Jone’s paper:

http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200609/WhyIndeedDidtheWorldTradeCenterBuildingsCompletelyCollapse.pdf

Until the matter is proven “beyond a reasonable doubt” any attempt at explanation is nothing more than a conspiracy theory. That applies to the Truth Movements explanations, as well as the “official” explanation. The science, the circumstantial evidence, the word of whistle-blowers, gagged and sidelined, the eyewitnesses provide prima facea evidence of “reasonable doubt” in the official explanation.

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By Truthdug, December 16, 2007 at 8:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The fact that Ernest keep parroting the claim of the WTC 7 falling in “6.6” seconds while videos reveal it took much longer from the penthouse collapse, plus seismic data that shows it took 18 seconds, is one reason to not take him seriously. He will ignore any evidence that doesn’t help him maintain his belief system, or he will manufacture in his mind a conspiratorial source for any such data.

Show him something from one point of view that supports his desired belief, and he sees it as solid, incontrovertible evidence. Show him something that doesn’t support his desired belief, and it must be fake evidence produced by the conspiracy. Anyone who agrees with him, they are A-okay, anyone who does not must be part of a disinformation campaign. This is why it is pointless to debate people like him. You are literally talking to a logical brick wall. It is utterly and completely futile to try and wrest him away from his psychological deathgrip on the belief that he has special, secret knowledge of world events.

I am not saying this to insult you Ernest Canning, but I suspect you may have real psychological issues that need addressing by a professional. You are manifesting classic symptoms of Schizophrenia, which is treatable with medications. I hope I am wrong, but you owe it to yourself to seek out the opinion of a qualified mental health professional and tell them everything you have expressed here.

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By Verne Arnold, December 16, 2007 at 6:55 am Link to this comment

#120419 by antispin on 12/15 at 10:33 am
(44 comments total)

“Think about how much energy it would take to raise the temperature of 200,000 tons of steel”.

No, not 200,000 tons, just one small area in a few main columns.  When one wants to bend a large rod of iron or steel, one heats the area of the bend and then bends it.  It’s a local area heat application.  To heat the whole rod or bar would be to loose control of the bend, not to mention a waste of energy.  We “blacksmiths” heat the area to be worked not the whole piece.  So, if an area on the upper levels of a building were to reach critical heat the columns would fail thereby bringing down the whole structure.  Pancaking as has been described before.  I’m tired allover and will not post again about this subject.  You seem to be an honest broker, so for the last time I have addressed this subject with you.  Einstein said something like, “The only thing more infinite than the universe is the ability humans have to delude themselves.”  If possible, don’t fall into that category.  Belief is the end of knowledge.

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By PaulMagillSmith, December 16, 2007 at 4:38 am Link to this comment

RE: #120306 by Ernest Canning on 12/15 at 12:06 am
(1358 comments total)

“There is a need for an independent commission, one that has no connection to the administration, one with subpoena powers and full access to classified information.  If calling for an independent inquiry so as to insure that we get the whole truth makes one the wearer of a “tin hat,” then perhaps I should send in my hat size.”

Well said, Ernest, and it really cuts to the chase. A more condensed version is:

“If there is nothing to hide, and with credibility of numerous government agencies & individuals at stake, why so much opposition to a truly independent investigation?”

Oh yes, with the CIA illegally destroying evidence (the recent tape controversy) it appears there actually IS something to hide…many somethings.

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By cann4ing, December 15, 2007 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

Verne, better quit before you get too much further behind.  It is obvious that you have no clue as to how a building subjected to controlled demolition falls.  The 6.6 second free fall collapse of the 47 story WTC 7 building is precisely what you see in controlled demolition, a pointed repeatedly demonstrated by examples shown by Dr. Jones.

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By Archie1954, December 15, 2007 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These conspiracy theories can be put to rest once and for all by the Administration. All they have to do is make available the information they have been keeping secret for the last 6 years. Let the CIA torturers give testimony as to what actually happened in the American gulags. Let the true responses of the suspects be told, let the burned and melted structural beams from ground zero which were whisked away be brought forward and analysed. Let the actual first hand witnesses testify under oath as to what they saw and didn’t see. In other words let everything come out including the facts of prior knowledge or at least prior warnings. EVERYTHING!

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By antispin, December 15, 2007 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

Paraphrasing Daniel Ellsberg here:

It seems clear that Rodriguez got advice from CIA counsel Rizzo that he could destroy the tapes. Who told Rizzo he could give such advice?  People in the WH and DOJ - so what Mukasey would like to do is find out who leaked and punish them, but he’s got pesky Congress interfering.  DOJ would like to investigate their own crimes. Ridiculous, constitutionally.  The need for a special prosecutor could not be more clear.  Could even John Yoo condone the destruction of the tapes? 

What would be revealed on those hundreds of hours of tapes?  What exactly is shown?  Is waterboarding what they’re most worried about?  Probably the Abu Zabeida interrogation will show that he is a minor crazy man.  He admitted to Pearl Harbor and the Yalta Agreements - and this, as Scheer has pointed out, totally discreditw the basis for the whole WOT.  They claim that Zabeida led to KSM who has admitted (under torture) to a wild pot pourri of unsolved crimes.  According Suskind’s book, http://books.google.com/books?id=gV3m6sYhnrsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=inauthor:Ron+inauthor:Suskind&sig=WBSAObFR5F4Q8dZSnHn-P-W58Ac#PPR1,M1 they got KSM from a walk-in who has collected a $25 million award.  These interrogation tapes will not at all support the idea that they got useful information.  If it did, they would have shown them to McCain and Warner and Graham…all people who don’t support torture.  Certainly if they’d seen convincing evidence that it works, they would support it.

Any of you spooks reading this need to work hard at getting more leaks to the NYT (or maybe more reliable venues like Truthdig.)  The Democrats have, excepting Lee, Waters, Kucinich, failed to support the necessary impeachment and given GWB everything he wants.  Pelosi has acted as if her only job is to immunize the Dems from the charge that they haven’t given Bush want he wants.  The failure to filibuster Mukasey, for example.  41 votes.  The man who had given every signal that he will be just like Gonzalez in resisting honesty and lawfullness.  As Greenwald in Salon has pointed out, the Dems will not filibuster.

The public elected the Dems but the Dem leaders have sabotaged the voter’s will.  Will pressure help change the leadership’s behavior?  The NIE was released because there were people in line to face jail if it wasn’t put out.  That’s some courage in Spookville, but we need a lot more of it.

The whole idea of free speech and separate independent branches of government is based on distrust of the executive and the tendancy to tyranny.  Who would have expected Congress, the Judiciary and the MSM to all simultaneously support tyranny?  A perfect storm, perhaps.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, December 15, 2007 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

Questioning 911 was another post.

The issue of waterboarding as a moral one makes me laugh.  Remember the Dresden fire bombing and Hiroshima event were withing living memory for my parents, so much for morals.

The CIA needs to be pared down if not dissolved completely,  That agency has caused this nation trouble since its inception and has an agenda contrary to the U.S. Constitution.

If we use waterboarding as an across the board technique, then expect the worse for our troops when captured in battle.  I see no problem with it as a tool in battlefield interrogation against an enemy who chooses to cut off our soldiers heads, however, if we weren’t “over there” this would be a mute point.

I fear that the technique will transcend military interrogation and enter the civilian arena as a method to extract information much like the taser has been adopted as supposed non lethal force.

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By Douglas Chalmers, December 15, 2007 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

#120415 by antispin on 12/15: “As I was walking on the stair ...I met a man who wasn’t there…”

Yeah, ha ha! Just watch out for those “spooks”, eh!

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By antispin, December 15, 2007 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

Verne Arnold,

I also watched the 911 unfold live - before giving my 8am lecture.  One of my students was a dog handler and was called out of class to go to ground zero.  Never saw him again.

The South Tower, the second one hit, was much more of a glancing blow than the first one and the majority of the jet fuel can be seen burning off in the air.  Firefighters actually reached the floor where the impact occurred and were assisting the wounded there http://www.guardian.co.uk/september11/story/0,11209,769307,00.html.  They describe “two pockets of fire” and the videos show only black smoke coming out of the building.  How hot can that have been?  As a metal worker, you know how well metal conducts heat.  Think about how much energy it would take to raise the temperature of 200,000 tons of steel (see http://www.firehouse.com/terrorist/911/magazine/harvey.html to corroborate that) to a temperature anywhere near that necessary to precipitate such an explosive collapse.  And WTC2 was the first to collapse. 

I agree it begs credulity and was very slow coming around to my current opinion, but the MSM story about those (3) collapsing buildings is a lie. 

Furthermore, what do you make of weirdness like this: http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/bbc_wtc7_videos.html ?

How is it the BBC reported the collapse of WTC7 before it happened and - ironically - with the building itself evident in the backdrop?  That’s like being caught with your pants…still up?

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By Verne Arnold, December 15, 2007 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

I’ll add one more thing; controlled demolition is bottom up.  The towers were very plainly seen to be top down.  WTC7 was bottom up because the lower floors were compromised by damage from the other collapsing structures.
Say what you will, I’m really and truly done with this; over and out!

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By antispin, December 15, 2007 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Douglas Chalmers,

As I was walking on the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today.
Oh, how I wish he’d go away.

-Hughes Mearns

Not sure how to interpret your Scottish Prayer, but it’s similar to this bit doggerel I recall from my youth.  If there are no goulies and beasties, as you may suggest, then we certainly don’t need deliverance.  But from the secret societies like the CIA/NSA/DIA that Frank is so chummy with - yes, please!  I’m calling all haints and saints and supernatural and/or natural beings alike - whoever’s within earshot and gives a fig: please!  Deliverance!! 

As for valkyrja, I don’t think Pelosi or Clinton or Harman are up to it.  McKinney?

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By Verne Arnold, December 15, 2007 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

#120402 by Ernest Canning on 12/15 at 9:14 am
(1354 comments total)

Ernest, as you said in a previous post, you and I generally agree.  As an iron worker, blacksmith, coppersmith, and engineer; I know a little about the behavior of metals when heat is applied.  In certain structural situations, especially compression, wood is actually stronger than steel (up to a point), when there is heat approaching 900F.  Steel when stripped of its fire-retardant insulation, can become “plastic” (not my term) at temperatures approaching 900 deg. F.  The hard parts of the planes blasted the fire retardant insulation off of the support pillars.  There were many tons of J2 fuel (high grade kerosene) vaporized into the towers.  This created temperatures high enough to plasticize the steel support columns.  Vaporized fuel will burn at higher temperatures than the liquid form of the same propellant (fuel air mixture).  This has been explained by people far more qualified than myself, but to know avail.  I just don’t get why these outrageous theories keep making their rounds.  I saw the live broadcasts on that fateful morning and have no doubt whatsoever about the result.  We will destroy ourselves if we cannot get over this divisive idea of a conspiracy that never was.  There are so many pressing issues; this needs to go away so we can battle the real enemies of our country.  Remember; education is no guarantee of competence; there are a lot of nut jobs out there with Phd’s.

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By cann4ing, December 15, 2007 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

It is intriguing how, in these Orwellian times, the 9/11 debunkers come up with terms of dismissive denigration—conspiracy theorist, tin foil hats—to evade inconvenient facts as they blindly buy into “official” reality. 

We are asked to buy into the “official theory” that three high rise buildings collapsed into their own footprints due to flames overheating steel columns when, in the history of the planet, there is not one other documented instance of a massive structure behaving in the same manner, yet hours and hours of footage demonstrating that what we saw is precisely what we would expect from controlled demolition.

Here come Verne and Frank linking to a video which makes the tenuous claim that the penthouse (actually the roof of the penthouse) on WTC 7 collapsed prior to the the precipitous event in which a 47 story structure dropped straight down, vanishing before our eyes.  The makers of this video claimed the penthouse collapse can be attributed to the structure beneath it giving way.  What rubbish! 

As someone who resides in California I have watched thousands of structure fires.  Usually the roof of the structure is the first to collapse due to the flames immediately beneath.  News flash!  Heat rises.  There are many occasions where the roof collapse is the “only” damage prior to the structure being saved. 

Of course, residential structures are built on wood frames whereas high rises stand on solid steel columns, but as we can see on videos provided by Dr. Steven E. Jones, there are documented cases of high rises in flames for days at end but no documentation of such high rises experiencing a precipitous free-fall collapse into its own footprint either prior to or subsequent to 9/11.

Verne and Frank would have us ignore these inconvenient facts, forget the basic laws of physics and buy into the “official theory” without further questions.  Forget the tin foil hats.  Guys like Verne and Frank need to be fitted for straight jackets.

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By Truthdug, December 15, 2007 at 8:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To get back to the original topic, one motivation the CIA had to destroy these tapes should be clear, and needs no shady explanation.  It can be summed up in two words: Abu Ghraib.  The leaking of those photos to the media and public were a PR disaster for the US, especially in muslim countries where we are trying to win allies.

Does anyone doubt that CIA tapes of interrogations handed over to Congress would somehow get leaked to the press, and end up all over the media in a short time?  Not only would it be more disastrous PR for the USA, and would be exploited to no end by Al Quaida,  it would also compromise the effectiveness of a technique that the agency might need to use again in the future under emergency circumstances to prevent a major terrorist attack.

It’s obvious the CIA is covering their own butts, but to suggest it supports some 9/11 conspiracy theory is just conjecture, just like suggesting that the tapes might have contained info about secret UFO bases, or the secret prison where the CIA is keeping Elvis.

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By Truthdug, December 15, 2007 at 8:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These days,  the good people at the CIA, NSA, FBI who love their country and the American way of life, vastly outnumber any there who are serving ulterior motives. Anyone in the US government known to be involved in the 9/11 attacks would be long dead by now, or curled up in a ball in a prison cell. No traitor in Congress, the Whitehouse, the military, or anywhere else are beyond the reach of America’s covert guardians.

They work every day to protect your freedom,  your ability to speak freely, and your very existence.  You will never know how many times they have saved your lives and saved this Republic from disaster. But go ahead and trash talk. They will keep serving America no matter what you think of them.

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By Douglas Chalmers, December 15, 2007 at 2:44 am Link to this comment

120250 by Frank on 12/14: “Antispin, you figure I must be part of a government coverup operation, which apparently is gravely concerned about the goings-on here in the Truthdig.com forums, based on the fact that I know people who work at the Pentagon…... And here comes the best part: My grandfather was a Scottish Rite Freemason…!”

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

-Traditional Scottish Prayer

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By cann4ing, December 15, 2007 at 1:06 am Link to this comment

Sorry Verne, you and I usually agree on matters, but if you go to the web sites posting the presentations from Dr. Steven Jones, I think you will find them far more convincing.  I would love to see a video, just one, of another high rise building (other than the WTC buildings) that experienced this calamitous drop strait into its own footprint as the result of fire.  The postings over this video do not amount to a scientific explanation and I am nothing less than astounded that you and Frank accept it as such.

As to the tin hats, looks like a lot of former high officials from the Reagan & Bush I administrations, hundreds of engineers and architects, scores of pilots and former intelligence officials must all be wearing them, because they don’t buy the “official theory.”  As much as I would like to believe that no American could possibly have been complicit in this heinous act, on the present state of the evidence I cannot, in good conscious, say that, even though I had “wanted” to dismiss those contesting official theory.

There is a need for an independent commission, one that has no connection to the administration, one with subpoena powers and full access to classified information.  If calling for an independent inquiry so as to insure that we get the whole truth makes one the wearer of a “tin hat,” then perhaps I should send in my hat size.

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By Verne Arnold, December 14, 2007 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment

#120231 by Frank on 12/14 at 1:58 pm
(153 comments total)

Forgive them, for they know not.  Thanks for the video of WTC7.  That was the only thing that didn’t make sense to me because I never saw the whole thing.  I no longer debate the tin hats either.

Back on topic; I am really concerned by our present turn of events regarding our constitution.

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By cann4ing, December 14, 2007 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena:  The fallacy in the truthdung/nilbrain line of reasoning can be demonstrated as follows:  Here in California we have an initiative.  It is based on getting a minute fraction of the eligible voters to place an initiative on the ballot.  I am not certain what that percentage is.  But let’s place it on the high side of 5%.

So suppose you gather signatures of 5% of the eligible voters to sign a petition.  If we followed the truthdung/nilbrain line of reason there would never be a reason to place such an initiative on the ballot because if you gather 5% signatures it would mean that 95% were opposed.

Of course, this is utter nonsense.  You cannot conclude that because 200 architechts and engineers signed a petition seeking to reopen the 9/11 investigation that 100,000 architects and engineers are opposed.  In fact, you cannot conclude from such evidence that so many as ten are opposed.

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By kath cantarella, December 14, 2007 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to LaughOutLoud:

‘You can write your ‘representative’ till your blue in the face kath, it won’t change anything.’

Even if you feel that way, even if it’s true (and i don’t think it’s completely true), it’s no excuse not to do it.

I’m asking you as a foreigner who CAN’T do it.

Feinstein’s trying something, so please support her.

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By antispin, December 14, 2007 at 9:32 pm Link to this comment

From http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/2007/12/pelosi-issues-s.html

Pelosi issues statement on torture briefings

Nancy Pelosi says told in the fall of 2002 that certain torture techniques were legal and that the Administration was considering making use of them.


Spencer Ackerman of TPMM recently posted Pelosi’s official statement on the matter:

“On one occasion, in the fall of 2002, I was briefed on interrogation techniques the Administration was considering using in the future. The Administration advised that legal counsel for the both the CIA and the Department of Justice had concluded that the techniques were legal.

“I had no further briefings on the techniques. Several months later, my successor as Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, Jane Harman, was briefed more extensively and advised the techniques had in fact been employed. It was my understanding at that time that Congresswoman Harman filed a letter in early 2003 to the CIA to protest the use of such techniques, a protest with which I concurred.”

Pelosi’s statement is consistent with yesterday’s story by Warrick and Eggen in the Washington Post.  The article said Pelosi was briefed about waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods in September, 2002.

Pelosi seems to be putting a lot of weight the distinction between being told that torture was legal and being told the CIA was torturing people.

If Pelosi knew that the Administration and the CIA had signed off on the legality of torture, what did she do about it?

As Pelosi notes in her statement, the subsequent ranking Democrat on the Intel Committee Jane Harman was briefed on advised that the techniques had already been employed. Pelosi says she “concurred” with Harman’s 2003 protest letter to the CIA. Does that mean she signed something, or did she just silently agree with Harman?

After Pelosi became House Majority Leader, she replaced Harman as committee chair. Come to think of it, Pelosi replaced Harman with Sylvestre “Jose Rodriguez is Jack Bauer” Reyes.

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By cyrena, December 14, 2007 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

#120233 by TruthDug
•  200 architects and engineers that ‘have questions’ about 9/11 and are demanding another investigation might sound impressive, except that it means the rest of the 100,000+ architects and engineers in the US (over 99.99%) apparently accept the official account.

•  things that make you go hmmmm….(this is truthdugs addition)

Truthdug, what a dichotomy. It does (or should) make you go hmmmm. But, your types wouldn’t get it. But, think about the statement, and look at the numbers and the language.
99.9% ‘APPARENTLY’ –accept- the official account?
How did you (or niloroth) come to that conclusion? What engineers does the statement reference? I ask because there are ‘engineers’ in the aviation industry as well. Not as many are referenced by that title any longer, because the commercial carriers have mostly consolidated to 2-person cockpit crews. However, for years, there were always 3 members of all commercial cockpit crews, the captain, the first officer, and the engineer. The engineer was NOT considered to be a ‘pilot’ because he/she didn’t sit at the wheel, but rather monitored all of the in-flight functions of the airplane, among other duties. Now of course most of the duties have been taken over by the dispatchers, who can do that stuff from the ground, (along with their other duties) and the pilots (in what are mostly 2-person cockpits now) do the rest.
But..I said that to make another point, in these made up statistics, the statement doesn’t even CONSIDER the number of aviation professionals (pilots, dispatchers, mechanics, ground personnel) who have ALSO added to the above list, if not to demand another investigation, (though many have) but to CERTAINLY voice questions.
This statement claims that 99.9% of the ‘apparently accept’ the official lie. There are approximately (and this is admittedly a ballpark number at this point in history) 10,000 commercial pilots in the US. How do you figure that 99.9% of THEM apparently accept the “official account?” I say that because if I were able to conduct a private poll, (and it would HAVE to be anonymous) among all commercial pilots/dispatchers/engineers, I think the results would be nearly the opposite. Or, to be more reflective of the current demographics, about 87.3 of them would NOT accept the official account.
Ah - so why haven’t we heard from them you ask? Actually, we have heard from some, but these statistics never include them. (they have joined with the above groups of architects, engineers, and scholars in requesting another investigation), and they have their own group as well. Pilotsfor911truth.org.
Still, I agree there aren’t many. Why is that? Well, lets start with the obvious. They wanna keep their jobs. I mean hey, we’ve all gotta earn a living, right? What would a 10 or 20 year commercial pilot do to support him or herself, (and family) if they started asking too many questions, and got kicked out of the labor market. (pilots don’t really know how to do much else) Live off of their ‘pensions’ and/or other ‘retirement plans’? Sorry, those evaporated long ago, and even for those who still have some semblance of one, it would evaporate as soon as they got kicked out for asking questions.
Besides what can they really accomplish by that? It’s already happened, all proof of what went on in those 4 cockpits has been destroyed, and while many of their speculations are probably right on the money, how would they prove that?
Meantime, all the rest of you guys still need to be able to jump on and off of those commercial flights, to get to wherever it is that you’re all in such a hurry to get to, and SOMEBODY has to drive you there. Right? At least until everyone can be equipped with their own personal flying machines. (that’s what I’m waiting for).

So, there you have it. And please stop throwing around “assumptions” as if we can think or decide whether or not an entire group of anyone, ‘apparently accepts’ anything.

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By Frank, December 14, 2007 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

OK, I said I wasn’t going to post again, but this I cannot resist…

Antispin, you figure I must be part of a government coverup operation, which apparently is gravely concerned about the goings-on here in the Truthdig.com forums, based on the fact that I know people who work at the Pentagon.

Well, you had better hold on tight to your tin foil hat, and maybe reinforce it with a fresh roll of foil,  because I have some more shocking disclosures for you that are sure to implicate me…in some conspiracy or another, and may just send you running under a desk with an aerosol can of Illuminati-Away!

Are you ready? Here goes…I also know folks who work at CIA.  I know guys at multiple federal law enforcement agencies. I even know a fellow who works for a defense contractor.  Seriously, I am not making this up. And here comes the best part: My grandfather was a Scottish Rite Freemason!

Holy dark conspiracies, Batman!

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By antispin, December 14, 2007 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

Truthdug, go ahead with the name calling: nya, nya, nya.  So *I’m* the goofy one, sure, ok.  But it seems to me Franks psyops tactics are pretty clear: connect (unwanted) conspiracy debunking with atheist and anti-fascist sentiments.  That will tend to cleave off those undecided types to play it safe and not look goofy. 

On the other hand, PatrickHenry’s comment seems fairly important, if true.  From Wiki: “The Aegis combat system is the most capable surface launched missile system currently being used. It can guide weapons to destroy almost any kind of threat including attacks from subsurface, surface, and the air. Because of its advanced computer system, the Aegis combat system can track over 100 weapons. Some Aegis equipped ships can track even more targets at one time.” 

Do the orders still stand?

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By PatrickHenry, December 14, 2007 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

re: #120231 by Frank

There has been an AEGIS missle ship stationed at Washington Naval Yard since I can remember.

Was somebody asleep?  I would think missiles would be armed and ready after all the warnings.

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By Truthdug, December 14, 2007 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

antispin, you just showed everyone the goofy paranoia of a conspiracy theorist with that last post about Frank.

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By laughoutloud, December 14, 2007 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You can write your ‘representative’ till your blue in the face kath, it won’t change anything.  Don’t kid yourself, you guys are far beyond that being a real difference maker.  Sad, but true.  Time to wake up.

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By antispin, December 14, 2007 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

“I have associates who work there and know every inch of the facility.” - Frank

Did I call this guy out, or what?  Some of his best friends are pentagons, but he’s just expressing his honest opinion…or not.  There is, it seems, a full-court press coming from the polygon that want to put an end to all these rumors of truth.

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By TruthDug, December 14, 2007 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

200 architects and engineers that ‘have questions’ about 9/11 and are demanding another investigation might sound impressive, except that it means the rest of the 100,000+ architects and engineers in the US (over 99.99%) apparently accept the official account.

Things that make you go hmmmm….

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By Frank, December 14, 2007 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

“A US military plane, not one piloted by al Qaeda, performed the highly skilled, steep, high-speed 270 to 330-degree dive towards the Pentagon that Dulles Air Traffic Controllers were sure was a military aircraft [which]...would have given off the ‘Friendly’ signal needed to disable the Pentagon’s anti-aircraft missile batteries as it approached the building.


Interesting. Seeing as how there were never any anti-aircraft missiles or anti-aircraft batteries of any kind at the Pentagon on 9/11/2001 in the first place, this commentator has just illustrated to me that she is a know-nothing.  I have associates who work there and know every inch of the facility. Prior to the deployment of mobile Patriot missile batteries there after the attacks, there have not been live missile batteries at the Pentagon since the Cuban missile crisis.  That anti-aircraft battery myth started from a book written by some French amateur who was speculating and could offer no evidence to back it up when he was pressed on the issue.  This is exactly how people get mislead into buying these BS theories, because they get convinced by the ‘suspicious’ lack of answers to questions that they don’t realize are bogus to begin with.  How many times do I have to repeat this: question the question before you demand answers.

By the way,  since when is a Deputy Housing Secretary any kind of a worthwhile authority on any of this?  Are we discussing rent-controlled housing?  I am not even going to get into the ‘expert flying’ argument again, especially not with anyone who is not an aviator themselves.

And why is it that nearly every conspiracy site that talks about WTC 7 omits the photographs and video taken from the side of the building that shows the structural damage done to it by falling debris from the other buildings? Why do they omit the recorded comment by one police officer “Look at the hole in that building….that might come down”. And why do those sites that claim that WTC 7 fell symmetrically in 6.5 seconds only show you the last 7 seconds of the collapse, instead of showing the whole video which shows the collapse took a minimum of 13 seconds as seen in the video (18 seconds according to seismic recordings during the collapse). 

Watch the entire video and decide for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLHwvwJCmgk

Or look at an entire page of counterpoints to the ‘controlled demolition’ claims:

http://www.debunking911.com/pull.htm

I’m not going to post on this thread again. If you want to believe 9/11 was planned and executed by Bush/CIA/Freemasons/Illuminati/Jews/whatever, you are welcome to it.  Really, have fun with it.  Ask yourself this question and answer honestly to yourself, not to me: would you be disappointed if you found out with certainty that the official account of 9/11 is true, and that all the alternative theories were bogus?  If the answer is yes, or anything but a resounding ‘no’, then that is a big part of your problem.

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By kath cantarella, December 14, 2007 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

if you care about this issue, get on the phone to your representative to tell them how you want them to vote on Sen. Diane Feinstein’s bill prohibiting waterboarding.

It will make you feel better than this pointless bitching. Pelosi this, Clinton that, c’mon guys!

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By David, December 14, 2007 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Judiciary Committee might take up hearings on Cheney’s impeachment.  Sign this petition.  He needs 50,000 signatures.
http://wexlerwantshearings.com/

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By Rogelio, December 14, 2007 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

The CIA and the ‘w’ adminstration should be ashamed of themselves. They clearly took advantage of the American public’s fears of another terroist attack.

You gotta love the loophole of using foreign soil to interrogate and torture prisoners of war. What have learned from these p.o.w.? They must have told ‘w’ where bin Laden is at, but ‘w’ is afraid to go after his oil buddies from the Middle East.

Our political leaders should be ashamed of themselves. God, could you please start communicating with ‘w’ again. ‘w’ told the American people that you speak to him often. God, have you forsaken him?

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By cann4ing, December 14, 2007 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Frank, here are some thoughts from people whom you dismiss as wide-eyed conspiracy buffs:

Paul Craig Roberts, former Ass. Sec. of Treasury, Reagan adm.  “I find the facts against the official story of the [WTC] collapse more compelling than the case that has been made in behalf of the official story.”

Catherine Austin Fitts, former Ass. Sec. Housing, Bush I adm.  “The official story could not possibly have happened.  In other words, what the administration has put forward is essentially a conspiracy theory that does not conform to the facts.  It’s not possible.  It’s not operationally feasible….The Commission was a whitewash.”

She adds, “We have watched the US government suppress facts and restrict….the 9-11 Commission’s access to information.  We have watched the 9-11 Commission fail to answer unanswered questions and concede to official suppression….We have noted the material omissions of the corporate media.  Something does not add up.”

Col. Ronald Ray (USMC-ret), Ass. Sec. Def., Reagan adm.:  “I am astounded that the conspiracy theory advanced by the administration could in fact be true….”

http:patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html

The link notes:  “WTC 7 was 610 feet tall, 47 stories.  It would have been the tallest building in 33 states.  Although it was not hit by an airplane, it completely collapsed into a pile of rubble in less than 7 seconds….However, no mention of its collapse appears in the 9/11 Commission’s ‘full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.’”

The are a number of scientific presentations and footage demonstrating that the “only” explanation for WTC 7’s sudden free fall collapse into its own footprint is controlled demolition.  Like you I am an atheist and a skeptic.  My first response to these scientific presentations was, well, so what?  Al Qaeda could have planted the charges.  So consider:

Barbara Honegger, Special Ass. to Chief Domestic Policy Advisor and W.H. Policy analyst, Reagan adm.  “The US military and intelligence community, not al Qaeda, had the sustained access weeks before 9/11 to also plant controlled demolition charges throughout the superstructures of WTC [1, 2 & 7] which brought down these buildings.”  Turns out, WTC 7 housed not only the NYC command center but satellite offices of several U.S. intelligence agencies.  It was one of the most secure buildings in the U.S.

Ms. Honegger also tells us:  “A US military plane, not one piloted by al Qaeda, performed the highly skilled, steep, high-speed 270 to 330-degree dive towards the Pentagon that Dulles Air Traffic Controllers were sure was a military aircraft [which]...would have given off the ‘Friendly’ signal needed to disable the Pentagon’s anti-aircraft missile batteries as it approached the building.  Only the US military, not al Qaeda, had the ability to break all of its Standard Operating Procedures to paralyze its own emergency system on 9/11.”  [I would add that only the military would have access to an aircraft that could have been piloted by remote control].

While there are a number of studies suggesting the absence of evidence that whatever struck the Pentagon was a civilian airliner, those advancing this argument have not explained what happened to the civilian airliner which the administration “claims” struck the Pentagon.  This does not mean that we are required to accept the official theory.  It means we need a more open, thorough and impartial inquiry into the event—one not tainted by a committee hand-picked by the White House, one with full subpoena power and access to all heretofore classified information.

Note that over 200 architects and engineers have signed a petition calling for a re-opening of the investigation.

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By cann4ing, December 14, 2007 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Any who have the slightest bone of curiousity about what really occurred on 9/11 must compare “competing theories.”  There is the “official theory” and those that challenge the official theory.  The question becomes one of which theory is the more scientifically sound, a question severely hampered by the fact that evidence gathering in the wake of that horrific event has been and continues to be surpressed by the White House which does not have a stellar track record when it comes to full disclosure or honesty in dealing with the American people.

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By sdemetri, December 14, 2007 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

Frank said, “Sorry, people I don’t need your conspiracy theories.”

Maybe not, but you seem full of them anyway, just those of your own choosing, those arrived at through your own skepticism, treatment of your own “facts,” and your own “logic.”

As stated below, quite appropriately, the content of the destroyed tapes relates to 911, and the current orthodoxy about who was behind it. Your beliefs about that day are likely influenced by what the CIA covered up in the destruction of those tapes. Links to Al Qeada and Pakistan’s ISI are pretty well documented, as are past links of the CIA to Bin Laden. Deny it, or ignore it, if you choose, but it doesn’t change anything.

Also, substantiate your ability to judge “pseudo-scientific presentation,” as you are so reliant on facts and logic. Apparently the pot is calling the kettle black as you have become the arbiter of what is good science and not. Common man, speak up.

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By Frank, December 14, 2007 at 5:54 am Link to this comment

The world of science rejects the collapse of these (3) buildings in the manner the MSM would have us swallow.

antispin, Thanks for electing yourself the spokesman for the “world of science”. You might want to inform the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)  that you are now their spokesmen and that the “evidence is overwhelming” for your theories, because the vast majority of their members seem to think otherwise.

I am an atheist, a rationalist, and a skeptic. I don’t deal in beliefs. I deal in facts and logic. Come back when you have some, but don’t waste my time with sweeping claims you can’t support and links to third rate websites.  I have heard your claims a hundred times before backed up with ‘evidence’ that was so flawed and erroneous it would have been laughable, if it were not for the fact that so many people were taken in by it’s pseudoscientific presentation.

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By antispin, December 13, 2007 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

Frank,

We don’t need your “education.”  Cause it taint that, psy(cl)ops.  Like Odysseus, I hand you your eyeball on a stick:———0-

You truly do protest too much.  You pretend your incredulity trumps all mere mortal speculation and scientific analysis.  What are you, the God of the Church of New World Order?  Man of Mighty Mouthpiece whose proclamations require only belief.  Or just a 12dollaranhourer in a basement room of the DIA?

Like the canals of Mars, or the Great Barrier Reef, I come to you from beyond your belief.  The world of science rejects the collapse of these (3) buildings in the manner the MSM would have us swallow.  The evidence is overwhelming and the official line is getting thinner by the day.

What will Madge in Ipskawikkadille, Iowa think when her truck driving/hard drinking Southern Baptist Arkansas raised hubby Moe starts listening to the other radio stations and has an idea that maybe we’ve all been hornswaggled?  That’s what’s terrorizing your bosses, aint it?

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By Frank Cajon, December 13, 2007 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

I kind of hesitate to blog here lately, only checking once in a while, but as the house of fascist cards comes tumbling down in DC, thought I’d stop by. This board seems to be three groups: the CS (conspiracy theorists, who depending of the story can come up with a construct that makes some of the most paranoid of ramblings in decades of clinical experience I have heard (as I near retirement next year) that A) aliens B) Mossad agents or C) CIA operatives who otherwise can’t do anything without screwing it up secretly blew up the WTC towers, that there were no Flight 93 or Pentagon aircraft. The second group overlaps the first, is old left folks who want a conspiracy, but it must be the Zionists, who probably along with the Masons and the Skull and Bones Society have ruled the world while waging a behind the scenes war with the Knights Templar/Columbus for world financial and political domination for centuries. They, of course, blew up the WTC and the Pentagon explosion, as everyone knows never happened, and was staged; the coffins were empty. Then there is the final group: the one I belong to. I am an anti-fascist. I don’t want to hear any more conspiracy theories after hearing them several times a day at work, but I am getting sick of seeing my country’s executive branch turn into Nazi Germany in 1939. We have an oligarchy, all right, a military dicatatorship that has a Secret Police that could screw up a wet dream; a ‘President’ who I felt a year ago was so delusional he could be hospitalized and now am convinced has a paranoid personality disorder-and a blurred distinction between right and wrong, and ready two months ago to fight WW III over another delusional, non-existent weapon system. His deputy, a Goebels figure, calls the shots with impunity while the ‘opposition’ are a group of inept, gutless corporate puppets controlled by the same cabal that gave us the madmen that have turned our country into a police state and slaughtered 700,000 Iraqis at a cost of nearly a trillion dollars while jailing and torturing thousands of others in camps, some as bad as the one in Iraq where 3 were beaten to death and others raped with bayonettes. The evidence of torture atrocities is conveniently destroyed, the criminals pardoned, the killers immune. Sorry, people I don’t need your conspiracy theories. Our country is circling the drain, I want to raise an alarm, not bitch about Zionists or make an impossible to prove claim that Flight 93 never flew. We need to elect an entirely new Congress before they do away with our rights to elect our own representatives, and we better elect Congressmen who will clean Washington out. We need to seriously look at whether we need an Executive Branch of government at all. Or conspiracy theories.

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By laughoutloud, December 13, 2007 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Attention all americans.  In case you haven’t figured it out yet, you are living in an oligarchy. 

That oligarchy is not made up of your ‘elected’ officials in washington.

They are mere facilitators.

Democracy in the US right now is a myth, especially at the federal level.

It doesn’t matter who you vote for, if there is a vote, the result will be the same, and it will be what they want.

This isn’t conspiracy theory, because you can read about it right now.  Just open your eyes, and research just a little.

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By tigger, December 13, 2007 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

There is definantly something funny going on at the White House. I don’t mean laughing funny either. There always seems to be some sort of scandal or missing documents, now its missing tapes. It makes me wonder who is covering up what, when, where and how?
I hope that whatever happens after G. Bush is out of office, that the new player, plays fair~!

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By loveinatub, December 13, 2007 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

I’m so fed up with Pelosi. What a major, major letdown this woman turned out to be. We have no liberals leading this country. We have no liberals who are reframing the debate in this country. Neocons have done so much damage I dare say it is almost irreparable.

Pelosi, please resign. Allow a liberal to have your seat. We want someone with cojones which you so obviously lack.

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By Bill Jones, December 13, 2007 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Having admired Pelosi for decades”

How can any rational being admire Pelosi? A corrupt, cynical warmongering coward.

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By Anon Y. Mous, December 13, 2007 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

America’s government was overthrown in a coup in 2000.

911 was America’s Reichstag fire.

Historians of the future will boggle at the ignorance and capitulation of this generation of Americans. Yes that means you, too.

Hillary is another neocon right wing nut thinly disguised as a Democrat. Follow the money trail.

Vote for her and we’re all doomed.

Hear me now and believe me later.

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By d.alon, December 13, 2007 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So now we know Pelosi knew about the warrantless wiretapping program months before 9/11/01, and that she knew about torture.  We know she will not consider impeachment.  We know the Democrats have lost every major battle they’ve chosen – in fact they’ve just lost two more major ones within the last couple hours – war funding and the energy bill. Are they complicit in the globalist agenda?  We know that at least Hillary is (laughing off NAFTA as a bunch of charts).

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By Dwight VW, December 13, 2007 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Truthdug, this isn’t the place to discuss the physics of the plane impacts and building “collapses,” so I’m not going to continue this argument.  You are missing the point, which is separate: the CIA says it has destroyed tapes that would corroborate its claims about who was behind
9/11.  This is significant regardless of whether you think planes could destroy those towers as claimed.

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By Blueboy1938, December 13, 2007 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

By: #119868 by Frank on 12/12 at 9:27 pm

“Waterboarding is described by experts as being very unpleasant, likened to choking or dry-heaving with an added component of fear. How do we have these descriptions? Because everybody in the CIA who practices water-boarding has experienced it being done to them as a required part of the elective training in this technique. Water-boarding causes temporary fear and discomfort, not injury, not death. If it is ever justified, it is because the human suffering it is used to prevent is far greater than that it inflicts.”

By this logic, the rack, the iron maiden, branding, bamboo fingernail splinters, would all be justified “because the human suffering it is used to prevent is far greater than it inflicts.”  What complete nonsense!  The people who have died for this country did so believing that it stood for something fine and good in the world.  The decision to exclude torture from the calculus of national defense and criminal prosecution was among the features of that belief.  “Waterboarding” is torture by the definition of the Bybee memorandum specifically because it causes pain “equivalent to . . . death.”  That is why we, and even more importantly, the media, need to start calling it what it is:  “aborted drowning torture.”  Since descriptions have stated that it can result in unconsciousness by water suffocation, just as a drowning victim experiences, both the torture and drowning victims experience the same objective sensations.  The possibility of a drowning victim, and the more or less assurance of the “aborted drowning torture” victim, of being revived doesn’t change that one iota.  Either we torture, or we don’t, and personally I don’t particularly want to live in a country that equivocates about that.

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By LibertyWatch, December 13, 2007 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

Would it not be soul lifting to see justice win out with knowledge of the truth of the Bush regime! The lack of reason and seeking of profits has turn the US into the terrorist “W” sought out “Dead or Alive!”

Our democracy is dead and the alleged foreign terrorist are alive and stronger than ever. While all we the people, common folk, receive from the circle of power in D.C. are lies and deceit.

America has been undermined by zealots from within. Their elitist corruption, greed and humus towards the people of America is so disgraceful and undeserved. Many have failed to uphold their own oath to protect our Constitution while they methodically dismantle our individual freedoms. Like so many in history “We have become what we sought to destroy!”

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By MrJJ, December 13, 2007 at 11:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

AG MuKasey..“I think the Justice Department is capable of doing whatever it appears needs to be done,” Mukasey said. “The question of a special prosecutor is the most hypothetical of hypotheticals, and that isn’t going to be faced until it happens. And if it has to be, it will be.”

Mukasey may have a conflict of interest problem already, and may have to call upon a Special Prosecutor.

Jose Padilla’s lawyers argued before the Florida Federal Court that Abu Zubaydah was tortured into saying Padilla was an al Qaeda associate. The DOJ dismissed Padilla’s allegations as “meritless,” asserting Padilla’s legal team could not prove that Abu Zubaydah had been tortured. Well, it’s clear now that they certainly COULD have, if the tapes of the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah had been made available!

Now here is where Mukasey’s role comes into question. U.S. District Judge Mukasey, now attorney general, was the one who signed the warrant used by the FBI to arrest Padilla in May 2002. Court records show the warrant relied in part on information obtained from Abu Zubaydah’s interrogation. So we have a problem Houston.

The Attorney General can only issue a warrant based upon legally obtained evidence, and confessions under torture are certainly not “legally obtained”. So either Mukasey was misrepresented the evidence, and would be liable to be potentially a party in those who were presented with “perjured evidence”; or he knew that torture was used in obtaining the confession and ignored it.

In either case he is unsuitable to run an investigation, as it will, inevitably, involved himself. Thus a Special Prosecutor is necessary.

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By cann4ing, December 13, 2007 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

Pelosi has had her head so far up dubya’s bottom that I don’t know where he ends and she begins.

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By sdemetri, December 13, 2007 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

Truthdug asked:

“How did these massive explosions manage to happen without an air pressure surge blowing out the windows at the lower levels?”

My answer:

Capt. William Walsh – WTC survivor.  Currently, Captain, FDNY.  On 9/11, was Lieutenant with Ladder Company 1. ““The lobby is about six stories high and the lobby looked as though a bomb had exploded there.  All the glass was taken out.  There were 10 foot by 10 foot marble panels, that were once walls, loose from the walls of the Trade Center.  Lights were hanging down.  The lights were, I believe, off.  Unfortunately there were dozens of people in the lobby.  They were in a contorted position.  They were black in color; moaning; just writhing around.” “Lt. William Walsh:  We were just watching this airplane on target for the World Trade Center.  All of sudden, boom, he disappears into the Trade Center. ...

So immediately everybody got into the rig.  We automatically responded down to the World Trade Center. ... I imagine we got down there in less than two minutes. ...

So we had parked the apparatus right in front of the glass overhang on West Street which is the main entrance to World Trade Center Number One [North Tower].  We all gathered our tools, and we headed to through the front door. ...

What I observed as I was going through these doors and I got into the lobby of the World Trade Center was that the lobby of the Trade Center didn’t appear as though it had any lights.

All of the glass on the first floor that abuts West Street was blown out.  The glass in the revolving doors was blown out.  All of the glass in the lobby was blown out.  [Editor’s note: At this point, Lt. Walsh was in the lobby of the North Tower, approximately 1,050 feet below the airplane’s impact point at floors 93 to 98.]

The wall panels on the wall are made of marble.  It’s about two or three inches thick.  They’re about ten feet high by ten feet wide.  A lot of those were hanging off the wall. ...

What else I observed in the lobby was that—there’s basically two areas of elevators.  There’s elevators off to the left hand side which are really the express elevators.  That would be the elevators that’s facing north.  Then on the right-hand side there’s also elevators that are express elevators, and that would be facing south.  In the center of these two elevator shafts would be elevators that go to the lower floors.  They were blown off the hinges.  That’s where the service elevator was also.

Chief Frank Congiusta:  Were these elevators that went to the upper floors?  They weren’t side lobby elevators?

Lt. William Walsh:  No, no, I’d say that they went through floors 30 and below.

Chief Frank Congiusta:  And they were blown off?

Lt. William Walsh:  They were blown off the hinges, and you could see the shafts.  The elevators on the extreme north side and the other express elevator on the extreme south side, they looked intact to me from what could see, the doors anyway. http://graphics8.nytimes.com”

The implication of these elevator doors being to floors 30 and lower indicate the explosion that blew the doors off did not come from jet fuel approx 1000feet about that spot. It came from below. There are many, many other similar interviews.

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By Jim Yell, December 13, 2007 at 7:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As Donald Kaul so correctly said “they are all in it together”, or as Jim Yell says “the pigs are all feeding from the same trough.”

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By Rickinsf, December 13, 2007 at 7:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ll be voting for Cindy Sheehan this time around.

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By sdemetri, December 13, 2007 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

Truthdug, you are persistent in your disinformation.

The list of witnesses can be found here:

http://www.patriotsquestion911.com/

And here can be found a peer-reviewed analysis of those interviews of the first responders:

http://www.journalof911studies.com/articles/Article_5_118Witnesses_WorldTradeCenter.pdf

If you take the time to examine that links I sent yesterday you will find the debunking of your clever, but inaccurate aluminum theory. Get away from the Debunking website. It is full of disinformation, and might be the reason for your confusion.

As far as thermate being a quick explosion, no, actually, it contains its own source of oxygen, i.e. cannot be put out with water, and generates enough energy to initiate exothermic reactions that can be self-sustaining for long periods of time. They certainly burn out eventually, but can sustain themselves until their oxygen sources are diminished.

I would wager many, many people have witnessed explosions from a distance, close enough to determine what they were seeing was an explosion yet far enough away to NOT be killed. Weak argument.I know that the firefighters, quite familiar with different types of fires, have a good sense of what they are looking at. Others who saw molten iron flowing were very well qualified to make the judgement. It actually is not in dispute, except by those well behind the curve on what is and isn’t established fact.

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By weather, December 13, 2007 at 5:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Come on D.Chalmers, Hillary is hardly a class-act, Gore is and he knows the Ugly Clinton’s stuff better than we ever will.

Ron Paul 08

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By Douglas Chalmers, December 13, 2007 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

#119896 by adamjohn12 on 12/12: “Scheer… put your bourgeois socialist money where you mouth is…...”

#Quote Robert Scheer: “Having admired Pelosi for decades….. If she and the others in the know have another version of these events it’s time to come clean.  As matters now stand, they not only concealed torture but, more significantly, they abetted the waterboarding of our democracy.”

I guess he is now doing that at long last, adamjohn12. It is by their actions that you will know them - but just be sure of any hidden agendas.

Sad to say that Truthdig is still having a bet each way this week with two articles slagging Hillary Cliton as “a Bush-lite” and as “sleazy”. Is this really a matter of Scheer’s macho failings finally catching up with him as he bags both of the top Democrat women?

I hope I am missing something here….. its time to come clean, Scheer!

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A Khokar's avatar

By A Khokar, December 13, 2007 at 4:34 am Link to this comment

Waterboarding a Highest form of Torture


US interrogation places are usually located some thousands of miles away from the scene of crime.(
For instance distance between Afghanistan and Gitmo prison)The interrogator; who might have not even seen the scene of crime; under these circumstances if you water board a charged criminal to get the information. Man is water board and if he gives you some concocted tail to escape the torture. Then what?  Is that information, real information?

Interrogator may be running to verify his statement. The charged person is ok, at least till the time it’s refuted.

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By RWW, December 13, 2007 at 3:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The ABC News story that featured the waterboarding CIA officer, John Kiriakou, was very clear on the point of 9/11.

According to Brian Ross, “Al-Qaeda leaders were not expecting the 9/11 attacks would kill so many. It was only supposed to be a wake up call”.

This suggests that Al-Qaeda leaders didn’t expect the WTC towers to collapse into dust (since they hadn’t personally wired them to explode). Presumably this line of reasoning has occurred to both Kiriakou and ABC News… They’d be too stupid if it hadn’t.

Are we witnessing what a truly ‘pancaking structure’ looks like now, with all the floors collapsing from too much water?

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By imgstacke, December 13, 2007 at 2:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow ‘TRUTHDUG’ what a deceptive name - leading one to conclude that you are

Pelosi lied by omission, you are lying by deception.

staff here at truthdig.com, and therefore speaking on behalf of this website.

Disinformation Primer:
http://truthaction.org/?q=exposed

But then again, I shouldn’t be surprised, one spreading disinformation uses ever trick available to fool as many people as possible.

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By adamjohn12, December 13, 2007 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

This is the same Robert Scheer that called Pelosi “a good lookin women”. lol, and how proud he was to have her in Congress…

In his debate (if you could call it that) with Ralph Nader, Scheer is asked flat out by Nader “What is your breaking point with Democratic Party”.

2 Answers: Not ending the War, Torture

So Scheer… put your bourgeois socialist money where you mouth is…

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By Jonas South, December 13, 2007 at 12:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No, Madam Speaker, covering up the truth about 9/11 is not a trivial matter, and your role in the cover up is not ‘overblown’.

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By cyrena, December 13, 2007 at 12:27 am Link to this comment

#119868 by Frank

Frank, Here’s the deal. Torture is terror. It’s terror because torture is INTENDED to terrorize, just like any other intimidation of any kind. The US tortures at Guantanamo. The US has tortured at Abu Grahib, and the US tortures every single one of the ‘detainees’ that have been kidnapped and transported by the CIA to various secret prisons throughout the world.

Frank, this is TORTURE, and this is TERROR. What the KKK did back in the day, was TERROR. What the Israelis do to the Palestinians is TERROR. Frank, TORTURE is TERROR, no matter WHO IS DOING IT, or for WHAT PURPOSE.

When suicide bombers blow themselves up, and dozens or hundreds of other people with them, it is TERROR. Whatever their ‘reasons’ or whatever their goals, it is TERROR.

We the people, here in the US, have been TERRORIZED by our government, for at least 7 years.

I have to get back to work now Frank.

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, December 12, 2007 at 11:39 pm Link to this comment

Oh, well so we find out that another of our vaunted leaders has feet of clay, is this a surprise to anyone?

At this point, whats important is what are we going to do now?

We can argue about what happened forever and whose at fault, but that’s not going to change anything.

The Democratic party is as culpable as the Republican party for whats happening in this country I doubt if it’s in them to do anything different.

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By TruthDug, December 12, 2007 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“So why do videos show the planes entering without disintegrating?”

The WTC jets didn’t hit one continuous concrete or steel wall as in the Air Force test crash video on YouTube. Some parts of the planes impacted steel beams or concrete walls (elevator shaft) while passing through the WTC, disintegrating into aluminum dust particles, and other parts hit mostly glass, drywall, furniture, etc,  decelerating more slowly and remaining in solid chunks in the building that later melted and dripped as molten metal out of the sides. Some parts, perhaps harder/heavier steel parts or bits that hit fewer solid barriers,  traveled all the way through to blast out the other side with the fireball from the ruptured wing tanks.

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By antispin, December 12, 2007 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment

#119856 by 911truthdotorg on 12/12 at 7:51 pm
(276 comments total)

I have a very strong feeling that #1 is the real reason for #2.

1)http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/29305

2)http://thehill.com/campaign-2008/kucinich-booted-from-iow a-debate-2007-12-12.html
=====================

Aw, crap.  They cut Kucinich out of the debate?  That’s total cowardice by the DNC and the DLC.  They suck eggs.  Boycott!!!  At least the Repugnicans dared to bring Keyes in to break up the monotony. Though, since he won the debate, they probably regret it. 

So now we’re going to be waterboarded by Hilary and Obama into silly somnabulist droning on about inanity ad infinitum, etc, etc…

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By Frank, December 12, 2007 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena, deliberately murdering or maiming civilians to promote fear, for the purpose of coercing a political concession from a group or government, is terrorism.

Terrorism is not some broad term that simply means “doing really, really bad things to people.” Some murder is carried out for the purpose of terrorism. Most murder is not. Murder is not synonymous with terrorism.  Some torture is carried out for the purpose of terrorism. Most torture is not. Torture is not synonymous with terrorism. 

The goal of water-boarding is to get information from a single individual, period.  Waterboarding individual combatants to get information from them may be bad policy, but that does not make it terrorism.

I would agree that if the US were rounding up random civilians off the street in Iraq and publicly torturing them to spread fear among the population, and threatening the public that they had better comply with some political demand, lest the torture continue, that would be terrorism. In reality, the US approach to civilian populations in Iraq and Afghanistan has been pretty much the opposite, offering food, money, medical aid, and employment for civilians, to promote good relations and a positive image of the US. For the US, civilian suffering and death are a political liability, not a goal.

Waterboarding is described by experts as being very unpleasant, likened to choking or dry-heaving with an added component of fear. How do we have these descriptions? Because everybody in the CIA who practices water-boarding has experienced it being done to them as a required part of the elective training in this technique. Water-boarding causes temporary fear and discomfort, not injury, not death. If it is ever justified, it is because the human suffering it is used to prevent is far greater than that it inflicts.

The practices of water-boarding, sleep depravation, etc, however unpleasant, are nothing compared to the real tortures routinely perpetrated by Al Quaida members on civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq (apparently considered more moral by Cyrena because they “claim a cause”). These acts of barbarity include using power drills to drill into the brains of living, conscious people who are thought to be collaborators with the Iraqi government or members of the wrong sect of islam, dousing children with gasoline and setting them on fire, using knives to behead teenage girls, etc.  Are we really going to talk above water-boarding as being morally equivalent to the these acts of mass murder and human depravity, when water-boarding of terrorists is used to gather information for the purpose of preventing these crimes against humanity?

If it is all equivalent, then I guess relativism has finally won out over reason.

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By Dwight VW, December 12, 2007 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

Truthdug said:

“Air force crash test videos show that aluminum airframes disintegrate into clouds of aluminum dust upon impact with hardened surfaces like steel beams and concrete.”

Yes, they would.  So why do videos show the planes entering without disintegrating?

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