September 11, 2008

Iran Paper Says Bush Ignored Warnings to “Exploit” 9/11 Attacks

Text of editorial by Yuram Abdullah Weiler headlined: "9/11 + 7 equals?" in English by Iranian newspaper Tehran Times on 10 September

Tehran, 10 September: Why have so few academics and technical experts, such as physicists and engineers, raised questions about the 9/11 gruel that the government has pushed? Why so little investigation and research about this pivotal event in world history? asked Dr Morgan Reynolds, who was the chief economist of the US Department of Labour during the first term of George W. Bush.

Ill never forget 11 September 2001 for as long as I live. I can still close my eyes and picture the scene as I arrived at work that day, with all my co-workers gathered around a television staring in disbelief at the surreal images of the World Trade Centre towers. I vividly recall the strange, eerie silence that spread as businesses closed and commercial flights were grounded, which seemed to amplify, instead of calm, the anxiety and inner turmoil that most of us were experiencing on that Tuesday.

The apocalyptic events of that day not only affected most Americans, but also impacted people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere as Bush unleashed his war on terror. I was no exception, as I struggled to understand the reasons behind the attacks. During this process, my worldview was turned upside down; I even adopted a new religion, Islam. Yet seven years later, troubling questions concerning the attacks remain unanswered.

The official account held that Al-Qa'idah, a shadowy group of religious fanatics led by Osamah Bin Laden, had carried out the 9/ 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. The narrative maintained that Bush had received no warnings and that the attacks were unforeseen by US defence and intelligence services. The story did not mention the five Israelis the FBI arrested at gunpoint after catching them gleefully filming the attacks from the roof of a white van. Nor did it discuss the connections between CIA Executive Director A. B. Krongard, Bankers Trust, and the huge increase in put options -- bets that stock prices will fall -- on United Airlines stock in the days before the attacks.

On 11 September 2001 in an afternoon press conference aboard Air Force 1, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer insisted that Bush knew of no warnings of the attacks. However, the following day, Osamah Bin Laden and Afghanistan had already been mentioned. While Fleischer claimed, something yesterday took place in New York that was not foreseen, by 13 September, Bin Laden had been promoted to prime suspect. The next day, as if previously planned, Bush called the reserves to active duty.

Flaws quickly appeared in the media spin when I learned Al- Qa'idah had its origins during the Carter administration as a US- funded proxy army established to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. During the Reagan years, then vice president George H. W. Bush was in charge of covert operations to support Al-Qa'idah predecessor Maktab al-Khidamat. Apparently, even some members of Congress knew of Osamah Bin Laden and the fact that Al-Qa'idah was a CIA intelligence asset with connections to both Bush administrations.

Disturbing questions arose about the administrations prior knowledge of the attacks and possible involvement. On 25 June 2001, National Security Council counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke warned National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice of possible Al-Qa'idah attacks based on six intelligence sources. On 6 August 2001, while vacationing at his Crawford, Texas ranch, Bush received a warning of an imminent Al-Qa'idah attack in a CIA daily briefing entitled Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US Despite 40 instances of the names Al-Qa'idah or Bin Laden in CIA briefings for the months of June and July of 2001, Bush administration officials denied receiving warnings under oath before the 9/11 Commission. Was their lying part of a cover up?

Neither was the possibility of hijackers flying a plane into a building unforeseen, as both the Pentagon and the CIA had conducted exercises using this scenario. The Pentagon had conducted such an exercise in October 2000 and the CIA was conducting a simulation of a jetliner crashing into one of its headquarters buildings on the very morning of the attacks.

The obvious question not being asked seems to be: Given that both the CIA and the Pentagon were aware of the hijacked plane scenario, that the CIA had given Bush numerous warnings of an impending attack, and that the administration failed to respond, did Bush deliberately ignore warnings to conceal CIA or administration involvement? Was this part of the neocons plan to exploit the attacks as the New Pearl Harbour to advance their agenda of global hegemony?

What caused the collapse of the WTC towers remains another perplexing, unanswered question. The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), the government agency tasked with the investigation, concluded that both towers collapsed due to plane impacts that damaged steel structural members and stripped off their fireproofing, allowing them to be softened by the jet fuel fires. The report emphasizes that the towers would have remained standing were it not for the dislodged insulation (fireproofing) and the subsequent multifloor fires.

Many scientists and engineers have criticized the NIST report due to its inadequate treatment of several anomalies. First, if the official narrative is to be believed, the WTC towers would be the only high-rise steel-framed buildings to collapse due to fire in the history of the world. Second, both towers collapsed in a highly symmetrical manner at near free-fall speeds. Third, WTC Building 7 also collapsed but was NOT struck by a plane. Finally, the jet fuel fires, with a maximum temperature of 1700 F in open air, allegedly softened steel, which has a melting point of 2800 F.

Kevin Ryan, a certified quality engineer, was a manager for a division of Underwriter Laboratories before being terminated for publicly questioning the conclusions of the NIST report. In a November 2004 letter he wrote, If the steel from those buildings did soften or melt, I'm sure we can all agree that this was certainly not due to jet fuel fires of any kind, let alone the briefly burning fires in those towers.

A colleague from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute put it more succinctly, saying, there is no indication that any of the fires in the World Trade Centre buildings were hot enough to melt the steel framework. If the jet fuel fires didn't soften the steel, then what did?

Sulphur was detected in samples taken from the few pieces of structural steel retained for testing and not hastily shipped overseas for meltdown as if to dispose of evidence. The sulphur challenges the official theory of how the buildings collapsed and its significance is even suggested in Appendix C of the NIST report:

The severe corrosion and subsequent erosion of Samples 1 (from WTC 7) and 2 (from WTC 1 or 2) are a very unusual event. No clear explanation for the source of the sulphur has been identified, it is also possible that the phenomenon started prior to collapse and accelerated the weakening of the steel.

Adding sulphur to steel lowers its melting point significantly, forming what chemists call a eutectic mixture. The antifreeze in a cars radiator is an everyday example of this. The sulphur is a crucial piece of the puzzle because without it, there would be no eutectic mixture, no depressed melting point of the steel, and hence no collapse.

The NIST suggested that the sulphur could be from the wallboard from interior partitions, but failed to address how it bonded to the exterior steel columns. Sulphur is suspiciously consistent with controlled demolition by use of thermate, a mixture of sulphur and thermite, which is a substance used for cutting steel, welding, and military purposes. The NIST did NOT test for the presence of thermite or thermate residues as recommended in the NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations. Why not?

The NIST acknowledged the observation of white-hot liquid flows prior to the collapse of WTC 2, but attributed them to aluminium from the plane. How the same aluminium, pulverized by the impact, first dislodged the fireproofing from the steel and then regrouped to form flows is not explained. One physical chemist stated that the observation of white-hot liquid flows is inconsistent with any theory of collapse except controlled demolition. Occams razor requires choosing the simplest theory consistent with the observed data.

The NIST goes on to state, The condition of the steel in the wreckage of the WTC towers was irrelevant to the investigation of the collapse since it does not provide any conclusive information on the condition of the steel when the WTC towers were standing. If so, then what is the point of forensic metallurgy?

9/11 was the most cataclysmic and history-altering event of our time. Bush used it as a pretext to launch his war on terror, spending trillions of dollars and killing over a million people, but he did not consider it to be of sufficient importance to allow the NIST to hire additional staff for the investigation. Why not? Was this part of the cover-up?

The unexplained sulphur in the steel is but one of many questions that scream for answers on behalf of the victims of the attacks and those who have died in their aftermath.

Originally published by Tehran Times, Tehran, in English 10 Sep 08.

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