artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


13 June 2005

Completely Bogus or Leftfield Wisdom on 9/11?
"A former chief economist in the Labor Department during President Bush's first term now believes the official story about the collapse of the WTC is 'bogus,' saying it is more likely that a controlled demolition destroyed the Twin Towers and adjacent Building No. 7."
The article is by Greg Szymanski and the link is to the original. It's being repeated verbatim at Conspiracy Planet & Collective Bellaciao but nowhere of substance.
An economist giving engineering opinion?! Ummm? Trying to get back at former employer??
7 WTC was definitely brought down on purpose by us--i think they've admitted that already.

I don't know...i do believe they knew it was going to happen and chose not to stop it. There was a survey here in NYC recently and most of us here felt that way. As for them having explosives ready to detonate...i don't know.
posted by amberglow 13 June | 12:58
gaaaah...I've accidentally posted this twice. An economist giving engineering advice!? Maybe he now hates GWB?
posted by peacay 13 June | 13:01
i've zapped the other one. do you want that second bit of text back?
posted by dodgygeezer 13 June | 13:03
no...don't worry...heh....I just emailed you too! Thanks.
posted by peacay 13 June | 13:03
oh feck, i've put it in anyway. hey, it looks better that way let's leave it like that, no?
posted by dodgygeezer 13 June | 13:05
man is that dumb.

Although no one expected it to happen at the time, in retrospect it makes perfect sense that if just one floor were to collapse it would in effect set off a domino effect because of the intense weight (if the first floor to collapse was the 75th floor or so, then a 30 story building landed on the next floor down). Explosives would have been extremely difficult to hide, and would have caused a more instant / less domino effect-y collapse.

if the claim is that the explosives would only have been set off in whatever particular floor it was that first collapsed, how would they have managed to set up those explosives and have all the wiring still work after driving the planes into things, and get the planes to drive into just the right floors, plus what was the plan in DC & pennsylvania? And anyway, if these steel structures are so strong, why would unnoticable explosives do a better job than an actual airplane? Plus, what are the arguments about "supposedly full of jet fuel" etc - whether he wants to argue that the jet fuel didn't cause the collapse or not, how the hell is he going to make a case for the jet fuel not having been there at all? Did they photoshop the airplanes into the televised version??

yeah, really not well thought out.
posted by mdn 13 June | 13:09
WTC was definitely brought down on purpose by us

Um..that's a very very bold statement.
I'm with mdn. It doesn't on the face of it make any sense at all.
It's just very odd that a former GWB insider is not only raising spurious allegations, but that he's done it through what seems to be a very unbelievable channel. I kind of wonder about his mental health/ publishing deal/ relationship with the white house.
posted by peacay 13 June | 13:20
here you go: Larry Silverstein, the controller of the destroyed WTC complex, stated plainly in a PBS documentary that he and the FDNY decided jointly to demolish the Solomon Bros. building, or WTC 7, late in the afternoon of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.

In the documentary "America Rebuilds", aired September 2002, Silverstein makes the following statement;

"I remember getting a call from the, er, fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, 'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.' And they made that decision to pull and we watched the building collapse." [mp3]

In the same program a cleanup worker referred to the demolition of WTC 6: "... we're getting ready to pull the building six." [mp3]

There can be little doubt as to how the word "pull" is being used in this context.

posted by amberglow 13 June | 13:40
Wisdom on 9/11 is indeed what brought the towers down. Wisdom weighs a lot, I am told.
posted by Cryptical Envelopment 13 June | 13:44
"Pull," as in, "pull all of our firefighters out and stop trying to fight the fire," yes?

Is the position being taken that letting a building burn and eventually collapse in order to prevent further firefighter casualties is the same as bringing the building down on purpose?

This is a situation in which semantics are very important. While I don't think it's misinformed or disingenuous, the phrase "brought down on purpose" paints reaction as action and leaves the field open for irresponsible demagoguery of all kinds.
posted by Hugh Janus 13 June | 13:51
I'm an engineering student studying with a dynamics professor who was part of the engineering team that studied the WTC (he specializes in catastrophic dynamics - earthquakes, fires, bomb explosions, etc). There is no way the Two Towers were brought down my a controlled explosion (I don't really know much about WTC-7, I'm just talking about the 2 Towers). There have been tons of reports and documentaries on this subject, made by competent engineers with no reason to lie. The evidence presented by Dr. Reynolds has been disputed tirelessly in many forums. I could go through point-by-point and refute them, but I'm too lazy and it's already out there. Look, I'm all for scientific enquiry, but this guy is pure bunk.
posted by muddgirl 13 June | 14:01
I didn't even remember #7 collapsing... it may well have been demolished because it was too damaged to fix, so leaving it up would just invite an uncontrolled collapse at an undetermined point. I'm certain that if it was demolished, they evacuated it first.

that's completely different from the towers, which caused the death of 3000 people (not to mention traumatizing the rest of us).
posted by mdn 13 June | 14:06
the phrase was "pull it", as in "pull it down", not "pull it" as in get the firefighters out--they say there weren't any firefighters in it, and the bldg had already been evacuated--This was that afternoon.

I've also heard there has been insurance trouble about that building too--they didn't pay him or the Port Authority, or didn't want to pay out for 7WTC.
posted by amberglow 13 June | 14:11
(not to mention traumatizing the rest of us)

I would like to state for the record that I was not traumatized by September 11. I am however traumatized by the aftermath and its many inanities.
posted by dame 13 June | 14:26
Um...the semantics surrounding a few words, said over a radio by people under enormous stress are hardly the stuff of credible doubting, amberglow.
It's beyond reasonableness to skew those words (I didn't listen & accept they were transcribed faithfully) that were no doubt muffled by static and surrounding noise into conspiratorial evidence in the face of what we all witnessed happening with the aircraft. Even without following up muddgirls's suggestion to scout around for all the reports, I comfortably revert to the occam's razor approach.
posted by peacay 13 June | 14:38
read up on it, peacay-- and it's no sin to demolish a building that had already been hit by debris, and had fires inside. Many other buildings had to be torn down too--they just did this one that day, which is weird. I'm not sure if it's the one that had the mayor's emergency center in it or not.
posted by amberglow 13 June | 14:53
jesus amber,
posted by quonsar 13 June | 15:14
OK..when I first reacted to you amberglow I didn't notice you meant building 7. You had '7 WTC' and I read it as a typo.
I wouldn't doubt they pulled it down for engineering & safety reasons with or without dynamite. That was 7 hours after 1 + 2 fell. It still doesn't pass muster as a conspiracy.
I could never believe the planes were arranged (by govt. or the like) or that 1 + 2 were detonated.
But as dame suggests, the aftermath since, that's where the govt. involvement gets downright creepy. From the whisking away of the bin Laden family all the way through to Iraq. But that's political outrageousness, not criminal (per se) premeditation.
posted by peacay 13 June | 15:18
it's Silverman's quote from that PBS doc that's important, not the url, quonsar. if you can find any transcript of any PBS documentaries, i'll gladly post that instead--but they don't exist.

peacay, the guy in the link you posted above spoke of controlled demolition. I was pointing out that 7 WTC was exactly that. I don't know why you're putting words in my mouth--i didn't say conspiracy--i said that they admitted to demolishing 7WTC.

jeez. i think maybe you shouldn't have posted this at all if you're going to be so hostile about it. Why did you post it?
posted by amberglow 13 June | 15:24
hostile? Well you're reading in something not intended. I was combattive yes because, as I said, I misread you and presumed you were saying that it was common knowledge that the WTC event itself was caused by USA.
I posted it here because of its dubiousness. I thought (for about 2 secs) about foisting it on the blue, but it doesn't have anywhere near a ring of authenticity about it to be anything other than lame. I also posted it to see if others had any idea why this guy was sounding off or if there was any known background kind of thing. Um..sorry if I came across the wrong way 'round.
posted by peacay 13 June | 15:52
9/11 is truly going to be JFK for the next generation.
posted by dodgygeezer 13 June | 16:04
Oh yeah...and for us as's not like I'll forget in a hurry where I was......I stayed up the whole night with about 30 windows open and flicking between tv channels. I was shattered at work the next day.
posted by peacay 13 June | 16:07
I understand the chronology better now, and I get that the fire chief was saying "pull it" down.

I thought you linked to the conspiracy site, amberglow, because you thought they demolished #7, hit by debris and burning, with suspicious speed.

I think it was a normal response to an abnormal situation. But it's also ripe fruit for demagoguery from all sides. And I don't mean you, necessarily. Just in general.

Me? I think it was cooked up by a vaster conspiracy than anyone else's, as a ploy to make us forget Enron and reelect greed. The proof is in the pudding.
posted by Hugh Janus 13 June | 16:20
the thing about the chronology that's weird (them doing it that afternoon) is that all reputable people/sites say you can't set up explosives to bring down a building that quickly (in a few hours)--it takes longer than that.
posted by amberglow 13 June | 16:29
The lead of this article says:
A former chief economist in the Labor Department during President Bush's first term now believes the official story about the collapse of the WTC is 'bogus,' saying it is more likely that a controlled demolition destroyed the Twin Towers and adjacent Building No. 7.

Reynolds is saying same cause for all three buildings. And I'm with mudgirl (and I've read the engineering reports on the towers collapse) -- this guy is making shit up.

Reynolds, now a professor emeritus at Texas A&M University, also believes it's 'next to impossible' that 19 Arab Terrorists alone outfoxed the mighty U.S. military
Oooh, look at the pretty flag. It's red.
posted by warbaby 13 June | 16:34
The kind of experts the government has at its disposal out-expert the kind of experts civilian entities have at their disposal, demolition-wise.

All I'm saying is, it was a day of unprecedenteds and next-to-impossibles. If they worked double-time (or even fourple-time) to set up the demolition, I wouldn't be surprised. The chronology was weird, but there were all sorts of decisions afoot -- who knows, maybe some higher-up was jonesing to deploy some newfangled demo team Congress had just approved.

I think these are good questions, and right. Not asking leads us to the pickle we're in now.

But I'm prepared for the answer to be, "we thought it was the right thing to do to keep our people on the ground safe," whether it's a lie or not.
posted by Hugh Janus 13 June | 16:59
"That Silverstein would admit that officials intentionally demolished Building 7 is bizarre for a number of reasons. Silverstein Properties Inc. had already won an $861 million claim for the loss of the building in a terrorist incident. FEMA's report states that the cause of building's collapse was fires. Presumably FEMA and the insurance company would be interested in knowing if the building was instead demolished by the FDNY. Moreover, the logistics of rigging a skyscraper for demolition in the space of a few hours would be daunting to say the least, particularly given that demolition teams would have to work around fires and smoke.

A third explanation is less obvious but makes sense of the non-sequiturs in the above explanations: perhaps Silverstein's statement was calculated to confuse the issue of what actually happened to Building 7. By suggesting that it was demolished by the FDNY as a safety measure, it provides an alternative to the only logical explanation -- that it was rigged for demolition before the attack. The absurdity of the FDNY implementing a plan to "pull" Building 7 on the afternoon of 9/11/01 will escape most people, who neither grasp the technical complexity of engineering the controlled demolition of a skyscraper, nor its contradiction with FEMA's account of the collapse, nor the thorough illlegality of such an operation. Thus the idea that officials decided to "pull" Building 7 after the attack serves as a distraction from the inescapable logic that the building's demolition was planned in advance of the attack, and was therefore part of an inside job to destroy the entire WTC complex."
posted by Feisty 13 June | 17:09
i do believe they knew it was going to happen and chose not to stop it.

Who are 'they'?

Are you referring just to #7, or to all the attacks of 9/11?
posted by jenleigh 13 June | 19:25
the attacks of 9/11, and i'm not alone, at all...

Zogby, 8/04---
On the eve of a Republican National Convention invoking 9/11 symbols, sound bytes and imagery, half (49.3%) of New York City residents and 41% of New York citizens overall say that some of our leaders "knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act," according to the poll conducted by Zogby International. The poll of New York residents was conducted from Tuesday August 24 through Thursday August 26, 2004. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of +/-3.5.
The poll is the first of its kind conducted in America that surveys attitudes regarding US government complicity in the 9/11 tragedy. Despite the acute legal and political implications of this accusation, nearly 30% of registered Republicans and over 38% of those who described themselves as "very conservative" supported the claim.
The charge found very high support among adults under 30 (62.8%), African-Americans (62.5%), Hispanics (60.1%), Asians (59.4%), and "Born Again" Evangelical Christians (47.9%).
Less than two in five (36%) believe that the 9/11 Commission had "answered all the important questions about what actually happened on September 11th," and two in three (66%) New Yorkers (and 56.2% overall) called for another full investigation of the "still unanswered questions" by Congress or Elliot Spitzer, New York's Attorney General. Self-identified "very liberal" New Yorkers supported a new inquiry by a margin of three to one, but so did half (53%) of "very conservative" citizens across the state. The call for a deeper probe was especially strong from Hispanics (75.6%), African-Americans (75.3%) citizens with income from $15-25K (74.3%), women (62%) and Evangelicals (59.9%).
W. David Kubiak, executive director of, the group that commissioned the poll, expressed genuine surprise that New Yorkers' belief in the administration's complicity is as high or higher than that seen overseas. "We're familiar with high levels of 9/11 skepticism abroad where there has been open debate of the evidence for US government complicity. On May 26th the Toronto Star reported a national poll showing that 63% of Canadians are also convinced US leaders had 'prior knowledge' of the attacks yet declined to act. ...
posted by amberglow 13 June | 20:07
41% of New York citizens overall say that some of our leaders "knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act

Yes, I realize that some New Yorkers may feel that way, but much of the world's population also thinks a man with a white beard sits in the clouds all day pulling our strings, evidence be damned. Ultimately, anyone can believe anything they wish. You don't need evidence to say, "I believe X explains Y"--you just need a platform, in this case a Zogby poll, to print it, thus making it seem like a valid claim. You think poll data supplied by New Yorkers on the eve of the RNC provides any definitive data?

What I'm asking is:
Where are you getting the facts to support any of it?

In four years of reading Metafilter I've yet to see a conspiracy theory come down the pike you didn't hop on, with or without evidence. ("Tactical post" being the latest example). Bush wore a wire? "I'll buy that!". Color-coded alerts sounded to bump Kerry/Edwards off the front pages? "Has to be!" Rove planted Bush pot-smoking tapes? "Unquestionably."

I've been a skeptic-verging-on-cynic all my life, but even if I wanted to I don't think I could construct a plausible scenario where Bush's people are told, "Terrorists are attacking the WTC on Tuesday, thousands will die!", and their response is, "Eh, let it happen. We'll use it to further our agenda!" Depending on what day it is, Bush is either an 'idiot' or some kind of Machiavellan genius. Which is it?

Do you have scientific, credible evidence Bush simply allowed the attacks to happen, or is it something it feels good to say out of general mistrust for Bush? The admin apparently botched 9/11 from day one, but underestimating a threat and actively encouraging it are two different conversations.
posted by jenleigh 13 June | 20:36
Don't start again--you weren't satisfied last time. And i'd watch my mouth if i were you. There's one theory i don't buy, and you continue to provide evidence of it--you're really not a worthwhile person, contrary to some beliefs.

Did you even bother read the 9/11 Commission report?
I have Condi briefing Bush the summer before more than once. I have sworn testimony from everyone with a brain that it was going to happen, and that they passed the information on to Condi and others way high up in the administration, as well as the FAA--go read once in a while--start with that Commission's report. I have all the many things the FBI and CIA did not follow up on, even tho they knew these people were flight training and wanted not to learn how to take off and land, but only one of those things. And that some had overstayed their visas. And that they had no means of support, and that was known. I have the blueprint from the PNAC. I have the incredibly heartless "hit the trifecta" and other remarks.

Most of us have read more than enough credible, sworn evidence that they knew. I don't know how you missed all the headlines and news reports.
posted by amberglow 13 June | 20:52
start with this, sunshine: The Guardian/Clarke ... He said Mr Bush's failure to put his administration on "battle stations" in anticipation of an attack meant vital clues were missed. He compared his actions with those of former US president Bill Clinton in similar circumstances in late 1999.

"In December 99 we get similar kinds of evidence that al-Qaida was planning a similar kind of attack. President Clinton asks the national security adviser to hold daily meetings with the attorney-general, the CIA, FBI," Mr Clarke said.

"They go back to their departments from the White House and shake the departments out to the field offices to find out everything they can find. It becomes the number one priority of those agencies. When the head of the FBI and CIA have to go to the White House every day, things happen and by the way, we prevented the attack [an al-Qaida millennium bomb plot aimed at Los Angeles airport].

"Contrast that with June, July, August 2001, when the president is being briefed virtually every day in his morning intelligence briefing that something is about to happen, and he never chairs a meeting and he never asks Condi Rice to chair a meeting about what we're doing about stopping the attacks. She didn't hold one meeting during all those three months. ...
posted by amberglow 13 June | 20:56
Don't start again--you weren't satisfied last time. And i'd watch my mouth if i were you. There's one theory i don't buy, and you continue to provide evidence of it--you're really not a worthwhile person, contrary to some beliefs.

Wow. Petty stuff. A "worthwhile person"? If "watch your mouth" is a threat, it's a rather limp one. Even the Clarke quotes you pasted contain no evidence the administration wanted 9/11 to happen. It just proves they didn't act quickly enough and prepare enough for the possibility.
posted by jenleigh 13 June | 21:04
who said "wanted"? can you read at all?
posted by amberglow 13 June | 21:26
here's my quote, which you requoted further up--see if you can read it, hon. it's not that many words, and none of them are big.

i do believe they knew it was going to happen and chose not to stop it.
posted by amberglow 13 June | 21:28
Well, despite the sucky flame war that has developed in this thread, this is an interesting line of questioning. The comparisons to JFK are spot on. We'll never really know. Even if someone did put all the pieces together, we would write them off as crazy, delusional, whatever.
posted by tomharpel 13 June | 21:56
While many people believe bush "knew something" but "did nothing about it," that is not the same as believing he had specific information of exactly what would be happening that day, and it certainly is not the same as imagining that he blew up the towers himself!

What those 41% probably think is that there was a lot of information he ignored or was not concerned enough about. Some percentage of them undoubtedly have more sinister conspiracy theories in mind, but you can't assume that poll to mean anything beyond "he was not attentive or responsible enough given the information he had access to."

If you actually think that bush put explosives in the towers and intentionally blew up the buildings, then you are making a much more considerable claim, and you need to be able to answer the questions I posed above. I tend to think the simplest answer is probably the truth, and in this case it is simply hugely more plausible that they were able to demolish a building more quickly than normal, perhaps due to its already being severely weakened by fire, than that dozens of people are hiding the work they had to do to prep the buildings, that no one noticed folks coming in and installing explosives in the walls, that they convinced someone to fly the planes into the buildings anyway, but just as a cover (why not just blow up the buildings and then blame the terrorists for it? why have the whole plane story to start with?), yadda yadda.

again, it is just not well thought through.
posted by mdn 13 June | 22:13
If you actually think that bush put explosives in the towers and intentionally blew up the buildings, then you are making a much more considerable claim, and you need to be able to answer the questions I posed above.
Who are you talking to, mdn? No one at all is saying that anywhere--except in the guy linked to at the top of the thread. I don't think he can hear you from here.
posted by amberglow 13 June | 23:44
can you read at all?

here's my quote, which you requoted further up--see if you can read it, hon. it's not that many words, and none of them are big.

Good God, you're a jackass.

you're really not a worthwhile person, contrary to some beliefs.

IE, you don't agree with me, thus you're not 'worthwhile'. Such is the insular, myopic pitiful perspective amberglow brings to the table time and again.

Hey look, amberglow, there's a Republican under your bed -- BOO!
posted by dhoyt 13 June | 23:55
dhoyt, is jenleigh your sockpuppet or you just spend much of your Internet time defending her from the evil libruls who don't worship at the right-wing altar you bow your head to every day?
because it appears she can defend herself -- and attack others -- well enough already. we all have internet crushes, but still this is becoming a bit funny-sad.

and then, hearing MeFi's and MetaChat's own Zell Miller talk about "myopic pitiful perspective" is a bit rich
posted by matteo 14 June | 05:23
Wow. Is this a tag-team event or free-for-all?
I'm maybe a bit naive but patronizing and name calling and intellectual dishonesty from whichever fucking side of the political spectrum is ludicrous in terms of framing or furthering a debate, let alone garnering any impetus for a person to adopt a new perspective. Everybody go look up the word reasonable, now. Apply it liberally unsparingly to all affected parts and rub it in well.
posted by peacay 14 June | 06:00
Thanks, peacay. You're right. This thread was getting like Metafilter. Yuck.

Name-calling sucks. Unless it's just a homonym.
posted by Hugh Janus 14 June | 08:41
Who are you talking to, mdn?

sorry, I was just addressing the linked theory in that part of the comment. As I said earlier in the comment, I would bet that the majority of those 41% are just talking about bush not being responsive enough to info he had, rather than really thinking something as nutty as that the bush admin blew up the buildings themselves. Then I got caught in a tangent of explaining how silly that theory is.

Anyone who is defending conspiracy theories about 9/11 on a thread about a theory that it was an inside job, should probably clarify what level of conspiracy they're talking about, though. We've had enough confusion on this thread already.

And yeah, let's chill out a bit with the personal attacks etc...
posted by mdn 14 June | 08:55
The Washington Times have a mention of Morgan Reynold's accusations now. They contacted him and he's a tiny bit more specific in that he contends that govt. detonation brought down WTC 1,2& 7 buildings. Still unbelieveable - what was it, about 40 minutes or so from plane impact to collapse? That's impossible unless the theory has it that charges were already in place.

WTC7 is a different kettle of fish and perhaps less central to his "bogus" claims. Oy vay. I wonder what has prompted his apparent brain bubble.
posted by peacay 14 June | 09:35
Oh..tangentially: Take Back the Memorial.
posted by peacay 14 June | 10:06
Egads. Ok, seperate claims here:

i) The U.S. gov't took down the TT themselves.
No evidence for this. Moreover, one would think that out of the emergency teams working there, and the engineers who analyzed the wreckage, someone would notice that something was up. And no one would say anything?

ii) "They" did it but we let it happen.
Possible. Same theory has been told and retold for Pearl Harbor. But who knew? Had to be at least a few people, not just the POTUS, and no one felt obliged to leak the info? Guilt has driven no one to confess their knowledge? Dunno. Secrets like that are hard to keep.

iii) "They" did it, we suspected trouble, but under-prepared. This I believe. Bush had already stated his insular U.S.-centric foreign policy objective, and wasn't about to be naysayed by a bunch of Clinton-scaremongering about some Bin Laden. Whoops.

Seriously: are all the engineers part of the conspiracy? Are all the emergency crew workers? I don't dismiss conspiracy theories because they're conspiracy theories. Conspiracies exist. But this needs a tad more credibility to raise my ire.
posted by dreamsign 15 June | 00:45
So, do you ever get too hot to eat? || Weblog Woes