Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Israeli Attack on Flotilla Sparks Wave of International Protests

Israeli Attack on Flotilla Sparks Wave of International Protests

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Rami al-Meghari watched the news unfold from live video feeds monitoring international waters 65km off the coast of the Gaza Strip Monday morning, one of Gaza's 1.5 million residents anticipating a shipment of wheelchairs, prefabricated homes, crayons, raw construction supplies, dental surgery equipment and reams of paper brought by international humanitarian activists on board a flotilla of boats.

However, the flotilla was intercepted and attacked by Israeli naval commando units, flanked by armed speedboats and helicopters. Soldiers climbed on board the Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara ship and opened fire with live ammunition, killing at least 19 people and wounding 60, according to the latest reports.

A journalist living in Gaza's Meghazi refugee camp, al-Meghari tells Truthout that the attack was a devastating blow to the Palestinian people in Gaza - who have suffered through a three-year-long blockade as Israel forbids the entry of essential goods and humanitarian supplies, including medicines. He says he was horrified at what took place on the ship. "I am in absolute sorrow for the human loss," he said.

From the occupied Gaza Strip to the San Francisco Bay Area, global reaction in protest of the Israeli military's attack on the flotilla has been swift. Outraged by Israel's attack on the flotilla, and fueled by international news headlines and internet-based information swapping through sites such as Twitter and Facebook, tens of thousands of people across the world have taken to the streets in sustained anger against Israeli policies and the actions of its military toward the humanitarian aid flotilla, while the United Nations and the Turkish government work to impose diplomatic pressure.

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank launched demonstrations against the Israeli military immediately following the attack, but the protests were quickly dispersed and banned by the Palestinian Authority's security forces. Earlier in the day, Israeli forces shot a young American journalist in the face with a tear gas grenade during a women-led demonstration at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem. There were also protests inside the old city in occupied East Jerusalem, while others demonstrated outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's house in the Western side of the city.

In the Palestinian city of Umm al-Fahem in northern Israel, Palestinian youth burned tires as Israeli forces attempted to lock down areas of the city. Elsewhere, Israeli and Palestinian protesters descended on the city of Ashdod, where detention camps had been set up by the military to hold those arrested from the flotilla and to where some of the ships on the flotilla were being towed. Protesters in Haifa and other northern Israeli cities also joined the day of action.

People in Egypt and Jordan took part in similar protests as thousands across the region demanded that their governments sever diplomatic and political ties with Israel. Lebanese demonstrators surrounded the UN headquarters in Beirut to condemn Israel's policies and the violent attack against the flotilla.

In Turkey, thousands of protesters attempted to storm the Israeli embassy in Istanbul right after the killings. Later in the day, Turkish government officials categorized Israel's attack as "state terrorism" and withdrew its ambassador to Israel as thousands of protesters hit the streets in spontaneous demonstrations demanding justice for those killed in the attack and for Palestinians in Gaza.

In Canada, protests were planned at Israeli embassies and Federal buildings in an "emergency response" to Israel's aggressions. Seven thousand Swedish demonstrators hit the streets of Stockholm as the Swedish government summoned its Israeli ambassador, condemning the attack as "completely unacceptable" and demanding clarification by the Israeli government. Sweden had several of its citizens on board the ships.

Meanwhile, across the US, pro-justice activists took to the streets in anger and anguish over the killings. Protesters organized in New York City's Times Square, and in Houston, Cleveland and Seattle, among other cities. University of Chicago freshman Sami Kishawi tells Truthout he joined a massive demonstration in downtown Chicago on Monday afternoon. "I will remain open and willing to participate in dialogue that will reveal to the public the grim reality of the oppression of the Palestinian people," he said.

In the Bay Area, activists protested outside Israeli embassy in downtown San Francisco. Oakland resident Amir Qureshi told Truthout that he joined the protests in solidarity with the more than 600 activists on the flotilla, and is taking part in other actions as well, including countering some of the Israeli propaganda that's filtered down inside the US corporate media and calling US representatives in Congress. "Ordinary unarmed global civilians from more than a dozen countries have the courage to take on Israel's navy in support of the besieged population of Gaza and even give our lives in doing so," Qureshi said. "Such global solidarity shows the power of people and how it can affect global causes."

At the same time, condemnation of Israel's attacks have come from global leaders and icons of civil rights and justice. The Elders - a contingent of past and present world leaders and Nobel laureates, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and Jimmy Carter - released a press statement on Monday declaring Israel's attack as "completely inexcusable."

"This tragic incident should draw the world's attention to the terrible suffering of Gaza's 1.5 million people, half of whom are children under the age of 18," The Elders' statement said.

Back in Gaza, locally-based civil society groups sent out a press statement urging the international community to take direct action against Israeli policies. They wrote:

"We Gaza based Palestinian Civil Society Organizations and International activists call on the international community and civil society to pressure their governments and Israel to cease the abductions and killings in Israel's attacks against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla sailing for Gaza, and begin a global response to hold Israel accountable for the murder of foreign civilians at sea and illegal piracy of civilian vessels carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza.

"We salute the courage of all those who have organized this aid intervention and demand a safe passage through to Gaza for the 750 people of conscience from 40 different countries including 35 international politicians intent on breaking the Israeli-Egyptian blockade. We offer our sincerest condolences to family and friends who have lost loved ones in the attack.

"... The people of Gaza are not dependent people, but self sufficient people doing what they can to retain some dignity in life in the wake of this colossal man-made devastation that deprives so many of a basic start in life or minimal aspirations for the future.

"We, from Gaza, call on you to demonstrate and support the courageous men and women who went on the Flotilla, many now murdered on a humanitarian aid mission. We insist on severance of diplomatic ties with Israel, trials for war crimes and the International protection of the civilians of Gaza. We call on you to join the growing international boycott, divestment and sanction campaign of a country proving again to be so violent and yet so unchallenged. Join the growing critical mass around the world with a commitment to the day when Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as any other people, when the siege is lifted, the occupation is over and the 6 million Palestinian refugees are finally granted justice."

From Gaza's Meghazi refugee camp, al-Meghari said of Israel's actions Monday morning, "violence only breeds violence. And as long as Israeli repression remains in place, Palestinian and pro-justice people around the world will keep up their resistance to that repression."

More revelations point to criminality of BP, Transocean

More revelations point to criminality of BP, Transocean

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New revelations continue to emerge demonstrating the criminal negligence of BP and rig owner and operator Transocean in the lead-up to the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon.

Douglas Harold Brown, the top mechanic and acting engineer on the Deepwater Horizon, told the House Judiciary Committee this week that downsizing by Transocean had contributed to a breakdown of basic safety measures. “Because of the cuts in the number of engine room personnel, we were often days, weeks and even months behind in completing the necessary preventative maintenance requirements,” Brown said in prepared testimony.

Brown confirmed accounts from other survivors that in the immediate aftermath of the explosion workers were not allowed to contact their families, but were instead interrogated. “I was then immediately taken to a room and interrogated by two lawyers from Transocean in front of a court reporter,” said Brown, who was suffering from leg injuries at the time.

Stephen Stone, a general laborer on the rig, said that Transocean officials forced him to take a drug test and asked him to sign a waiver forfeiting his right to sue in exchange for $5,000. “I never would have expected for my company to treat me like a criminal after I had survived such a disaster by making me submit to a drug test, and they try to tempt or trick me into giving up my legal rights by signing forms without a lawyer present,” Stone said.

The testimony confirms a World Socialist Web Site report, based on interviews with survivors, published on May 6. (See “Deepwater Horizon survivors told to take drug test before being allowed to call families”)

Meanwhile, in joint hearings held this week by the Minerals Management Services (MMS) and the Coast Guard, a safety official for BP admitted that drilling operations were 43 days behind schedule on the Deepwater Horizon. With Transocean charging $533,000 per day for use of the rig, this represented a cost overrun for BP of about $23 million. This corroborates a mass of testimony suggesting cost concerns drove BP to skip past normal steps and ignore safety concerns in capping the well.

Brown, the same mechanic who gave testimony to the House Committee, told the joint MMS-Coast Guard hearings that BP’s “top man” on the rig overruled drilling bosses from Transocean in determining to proceed with replacing heavy mud in the rig’s riser prior to capping it.

“I recall a skirmish between the company man, the OIM [offshore installation manager], the tool-pusher and the driller,” Brown said. “The driller was outlining what would be taking place, whereupon the company man stood up and said, ‘No, we’ll be having some changes to that.’ It had to do with displacing the riser for later on. The OIM, tool-pusher and driller disagreed with that, but the company man said, ‘Well, this is how it’s gonna be,’ and the tool-pusher, driller and OIM reluctantly agreed.”

A BP official on the rig at the time of the explosion, Robert Kaluza, used his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself and refused to provide testimony to the hearings, which are being held in Louisiana.

A lengthy Wall Street Journal analysis published Thursday, and based on internal BP and Transocean documents, reveals other ways in which BP sped along the well-capping process. Among other decisions, BP expedited a procedure involving drilling fluid that is normally used to detect gas in a well and passed over a usual quality test of the durability of cement around the rig’s riser. It did so in spite of warnings from cement contractor Halliburton, which had said the rig risked “a SEVERE gas flow problem.” Many of BP’s decisions to speed up or bypass usual steps in the capping process were approved by the MMS, according to the report.

“We were behind schedule already,” rig technician Tyrone Benton said. Managers “hoped we’d be finished by that Friday.... But it seemed like they were pushing to finish it before Friday.... They were doing too many jobs at one time.”

The Journal also learned that BP’s manager was a novice who, in his own words, was aboard the rig “to learn about deep water.”

Also on Thursday, a New York Times report based on information from congressional investigators found that several days before the explosion BP chose to use a more economical pipe casing for the well “that the company knew was the riskier of two options.” The option not taken would have provided two barriers against deadly gases from the well.

The Wall Street Journal’s examination of the disaster has revealed a situation dominated by chaos and a breakdown in the chain of command in the immediate aftermath of the explosion.

An account published in the Journal Thursday quotes Andrea Fleytas, 23, who helped operate the Deepwater Horizon's navigation machinery. She was the first to make a Mayday call after noticing that no one in command had issued a distress call. In the ensuing chaos, Ms. Fleytas jumped overboard and was one of 115 people eventually rescued by the Bankston, a nearby vessel.

Oil rig worker Carlos Ramos told the Journal, “The scene was very chaotic. People were in a state of panic.” As flames shot out of the well hole up to 250 feet, and debris was falling, injured workers were strewn around the deck.

“People were just coming out of nowhere and just trying to get on the lifeboats,” Ramos said. In the confusion, workers began jumping directly into the sea—a 75-foot drop into the dark water.

These latest revelations add to testimony given to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, which revealed that in spite of major warnings of a pending disaster even in the hours and minutes leading up to the explosion, the decision was taken to proceed, and no extra precautions were taken to protect rig workers. (See “BP had prior warning of Deepwater Horizon blowout”)

BP's Photo Blockade of the Gulf Oil Spill

BP's Photo Blockade of the Gulf Oil Spill

Photographers say BP and government officials are preventing them from documenting the impact of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

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Jean-Michel Cousteau (center) was turned away from a wildlife sanctuary by the U.S. Coast Guard after they discovered that an AP photographer was on board.

As BP makes its latest attempt to plug its gushing oil well, news photographers are complaining that their efforts to document the slow-motion disaster in the Gulf of Mexico are being thwarted by local and federal officials—working with BP—who are blocking access to the sites where the effects of the spill are most visible. More than a month into the disaster, a host of anecdotal evidence is emerging from reporters, photographers, and TV crews in which BP and Coast Guard officials explicitly target members of the media, restricting and denying them access to oil-covered beaches, staging areas for clean-up efforts, and even flyovers.

Last week, a CBS TV crew was threatened with arrest when attempting to film an oil-covered beach. On Monday, Mother Jones published this firsthand account of one reporter’s repeated attempts to gain access to clean-up operations on oil-soaked beaches, and the telling response of local law enforcement. The latest instance of denied press access comes from Belle Chasse, La.-based Southern Seaplane Inc., which was scheduled to take a New Orleans Times-Picayune photographer for a flyover on Tuesday afternoon, and says it was denied permission once BP officials learned that a member of the press would be on board.

“We are not at liberty to fly media, journalists, photographers, or scientists,” the company said in a letter it sent on Tuesday to Sen. David Vitter (R-La.). “We strongly feel that the reason for this massive [temporary flight restriction] is that BP wants to control their exposure to the press.”

The ability to document a disaster, particularly through images, is key to focusing the nation’s attention on it, and the resulting clean-up efforts. Within days of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, pictures of dead otters, fish, and birds, as well as oil-covered shorelines, ignited nationwide outrage and led to a backlash against Exxon. Consumers returned some 10,000 of Exxon’s 7 million credit cards. Forty days after the spill, protestors organized a national boycott of Exxon. So far, no national boycott of BP is in the works, despite growing frustration over the company’s inability to cap the leaking well. Obviously, pictures are emerging from this spill, but much of the images are coming from BP and government sources.

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Click to View a Timeline of the Gulf Oil Spill

A Timeline of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

The U.S. Coast Guard insists that they and BP have gone to great lengths to accommodate journalists and “roughly 400 members of the media have been given tours of the spill on either BP-contracted aircraft or Coast Guard helicopters,” says U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer David Mosley, who is based at the BP command center in Houma, La. (BP referred all questions to the command center). “I understand there may be some frustration [among the press], but there is a constant ongoing effort to fulfill media requests.” Mosley defended flight restrictions as a necessary safety precaution. Since the flight restrictions were expanded on May 11, private aircraft must get permission from BP’s command center to fly over a huge portion of the Gulf of Mexico encompassing not just the growing slick in the Gulf, but the entire Louisiana coastline, where oil is washing ashore. If a request is denied, aircraft must stay 3,000 feet above the restricted area, where visibility is minimal.

Photographers who have traveled to the Gulf commonly say they believe that BP has exerted more control over coverage of the spill with the cooperation of the federal government and local law enforcement. “It’s a running joke among the journalists covering the story that the words ‘Coast Guard’ affixed to any vehicle, vessel, or plane should be prefixed with ‘BP,’ ” says Charlie Varley, a Louisiana-based photographer. “It would be funny if it were not so serious.”

The problem, as many members of the press see it, is that even when access is granted, it’s done so under the strict oversight of BP and Coast Guard personnel. Reporters and photographers are escorted by BP officials on BP-contracted boats and aircraft. So the company is able to determine what reporters see and when they see it. AP photographer Gerald Herbert has been covering the disaster since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20. He says that access has been hit or miss, and that there have been instances when it’s obvious members of the press are being targeted. “There are times when the Coast Guard has been great, and others where it seems like they’re interfering with our ability to have access,” says Herbert. One of those instances occurred early last week, when Herbert accompanied local officials from Plaquemines Parish in a police boat on a trip to Breton Island, a national wildlife refuge off the barrier islands of Louisiana. With them was Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of Jacques, who wanted to study the impact of the oil below the surface of the water. Upon approaching the island, a Coast Guard boat stopped them. “The first question was, ‘Is there any press with you?’ ” says Herbert. They answered yes, and the Coast Guard said they couldn’t be there. “I had to bite my tongue. That should have no bearing.”

Local fishermen and charter boat captains are also being pressured by BP not to work with the press. Left without a source of income, most have decided to work with BP to help spread booms and ferry officials around. Their passengers used to include members of the press, but not anymore. “You could tell BP was starting to close their grip, telling the fishermen not to talk to us,” says Jared Moossy, a Dallas-based photographer who was covering the spill along the Gulf Coast earlier this month. “They would say that BP had told them not to talk to us or cooperate with us or that they’d get fired.”

Some Gulf Coast watermen find BP’s desire to limit press access obvious. “If there was a major fire in a warehouse, would you let reporters go inside and start taking pictures?” asks Peace Marvel, a charter-boat captain in Venice, La. Job one, he says, is to clean up the spill, and running members of the press around only gets in the way and makes things worse. “Nobody wants this marsh saved as much as we do.” Since the spill, Marvel has turned his 15 years of experience into helping coordinate the logistics of ferrying BP officials around the Gulf Coast to deal with the spreading disaster. His current contract with BP lasts for 30 more days, and he says he’s making more money working for BP than he did as a charter-boat captain. “I’m hustling for business,” he says.

So are the reporters and photographers trying to cover the worst environmental disaster in the history of the U.S. waters. They’ll have to do it without the help of people like Peace Marvel, and against the will of BP.

Chevron Has Five Activists Arrested and Bars Entry to Global Victims of Its Practices at Annual Shareholders’ Meeting

Chevron Has Five Activists Arrested and Bars Entry to Global Victims of Its Practices at Annual Shareholders’ Meeting

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Chevron has had five protesters arrested at its annual shareholders meeting in Houston and refused to allow another two dozen people from Chevron-affected countries around the world, like Nigeria, Ecuador and Burma. Those denied entry held legal shareholder proxies. The True Cost of Chevron Network says it organized the protest to call attention to Chevron’s human rights and environmental record. We speak to Antonia Juhasz, director of the Chevron Program at Global Exchange, who spent the night in jail after her arrest; and Emem Okon, an activist from Nigeria and the founder and executive director of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Center in the Niger Delta.

Guests:

Antonia Juhasz, director of Global Exchange’s Chevron Program.

Emem Okon, Nigerian women’s rights advocate and environmentalist. She is the founder and executive director of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Center in the Niger Delta.

Amy Goodman: We turn now to Chevron. Juan?

Juan Gonzalez: Yes, to the practices of another oil giant, the Chevron company. On Wednesday, Chevron had five protesters arrested in Houston at its annual shareholders’ meeting and refused to allow another two dozen people from Chevron-affected countries around the world, like Nigeria, Ecuador and Burma. Those denied entry held legal shareholder proxies.

The True Cost of Chevron Network says it organized the protest to call attention to the company’s human rights and environmental record. The five who were arrested are activists from groups like Amazon Watch and the Houston-based environmental group TEJAS. They were all released on Thursday.

Amy Goodman: Among those arrested was author Antonia Juhasz, director of the Chevron Program at Global Exchange. She was detained after questioning Chevron’s CEO John Watson during an open comment period for proxy holders. Antonia Juhasz joins us from Houston, as does Emem Okon, an activist from Nigeria and the founder and executive director of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Center in the Niger Delta.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Antonia, let’s begin with you. What happened? What did you ask Chevron’s President, CEO? And how did you end up in jail?

Antonia Juhasz: Chevron truly exposed its great fear at having the true cost of its operations being revealed to its shareholders and the media. It revealed its great fear at the communities who are actually impacted by Chevron being able to tell the truth about its operations. And I think most importantly, it revealed in Houston how it treats those who come to tell the truth about its operations, engage with the company, with a brutal response, a response that stifles the ability of free speech. And that was a very small taste of what’s experienced much more dramatically at Chevron’s hands all around the world.

I actually went in as a shareholder. I spoke during the shareholder response time. And as I was saying to the gathered shareholders that Chevron had denied—after showing a video of its impacts in communities during the shareholder meeting, it refused to then let those actual representatives from those communities, who had literally traveled from Burma, from Australia, from Alaska, from Nigeria, from Ecuador, all over the world, into the meeting. As I was saying, "These are the people who are here to tell you about your corporation and its operations," I was aggressively grabbed by the police, by private security. I was dragged very forcibly—I still have a handprint on my arm from the law enforcement—dragged, prone on my back, out the back, thrown by four police officers it took to get me, lift me into and move me into the van, and arrested. And I was charged with criminal trespass and disrupting a meeting, and I was incarcerated for twenty-four—a twenty-four-hour period.

And all that time, there were—the few representatives who have gotten—got in, from Angola and Kazakhstan and representing the Philippines, were—we took over the meeting and said essentially that Chevron is lying, it is afraid, it is afraid to expose the true cost of operations—of its operations. But I think most importantly, what we demonstrated was that Chevron is afraid of the organizing against it, that when the communities from the location where it operates not only tell the truth about what it does, but link and form a community and a network, that we send an enormous amount of fear and shock through this company, because, believe me, this has never happened in a Chevron meeting before. They have never felt the need to have such aggressive, physical, abusive tactics to arrest activists in the front from Richmond, California, from Houston, Texas, from around the world, and to drag me physically from inside the meeting.

Juan Gonzalez: Antonia, according to one report that I read, the company chairman had to actually adjourn the meeting at a certain point, because he wasn’t able to get control of it?

Antonia Juhasz: This was new CEO John Watson’s very first meeting as the CEO of the company, and he absolutely lost control of the meeting. He chose to bring in an enormous, as I said, quantity of security that filled the meeting. And actually, it seemed like they were starting to outnumber the actual attendees. And he chose to have that very aggressive and physical response to me simply highlighting that people like Emem Okon from Nigeria and people from all over the world were being denied access. We then—the shareholders were actually trying to listen to me. We were also chanting. And at one point, the CEO, John Watson, simply threw up his hands and said, "You know, I don’t know what to do. I guess the meeting’s adjourned." And that was the end of the meeting, as we continued to voice our opposition and statements of Chevron’s lies and the true cost of its operations, and essentially broke up and ended the meeting in that way.
Amy Goodman: Emem Okon, you came from Nigeria for the Chevron shareholders’ meeting.

Emem Okon: Yes.

Amy Goodman: From the Niger Delta. Why?

Emem Okon: Yeah, I came from all the way from the Niger Delta region of Nigeria to be at the Chevron shareholders’ meeting. I came to represent the voices of the community women in the Niger Delta region that are suffering the direct impact of Chevron oil and gas activities in the Niger Delta. And what I witnessed on Wednesday during the shareholders’ meeting is a demonstration of the lack of respect of human rights by Chevron. Chevron has a beautiful human rights policy, where they guarantee a two-way communication between the community people and Chevron. But on Wednesday, they outrightly did not respect even their own human rights policy. What happened is a confirmation and a demonstration of the abuse of human rights in the Niger Delta region by Chevron. It’s the demonstration by the use of brutal force by Chevron to suppress the indigenous people of the Niger Delta region. It’s a direct demonstration of the fact that Chevron does not listen to the voices of the people, to the complaints of the people, to the plight and conditions of the people of the Niger Delta communities.

I came to tell Chevron that they have oppressed in the Niger Delta region with impunity for the past fifty years, poisoning our waters, devastating our environment, killing the fish we eat, burning poison gas through gas flares in the Niger Delta that has caused cancer, asthma, corroding our roofs. And they have not done anything to alleviate the sufferings of the people as a result of their—as the result of their activities. And what they did on Wednesday was a demonstration of the fact that they are not ready to change their mode of oppression in the Niger Delta region, and they are not ready to recognize and respect the human rights of the people, and they are not ready to change the inhumane way they treat the communities in which they oppress.

I am surprised at the attention that the BP oil spill has attracted in the United States, and I expect that the condition in the Niger Delta should attract the same coverage and that the international community should impress it on Chevron and every other oil community to stop their inhuman activity and abuse of human rights in the Niger Delta region.

Amy Goodman: Did the meeting take place—I know Chevron has taken over the Enron building in Houston. Is that where the meeting took place? And where do you go from here?

Antonia Juhasz: Yeah, very appropriate. And actually, in Houston, it’s still referred to as the old Enron building. Chevron simply moved in after Enron exploded—or went kaput, excuse me, and hired on many former Chevron energy traders, as a matter of fact, and continued on with its own business. What happened was that we had, you know, this amazing network of community members. Obviously, as Emem says, there’s a BP-size disaster every single day in these Chevron-affected communities, and whether that is taking place in Burma or Alaska, Colombia—one of the most amazing things was that as we walked into the meeting, there was a photograph of a basket from the Wayuu community of Colombia that was hanging in Chevron’s headquarters. Well, a representative of the Wayuu community of Colombia, Debra, was left outside, denied her proxy access in to actually address that community, but they hung the basket.

So where we go next is that we actually take this victory of really taking over the meeting, I think, dominating what the shareholders—

Amy Goodman: We have ten seconds.

Antonia Juhasz: —had to hear, dominating what the press had to hear, and carrying the energy and power of this network—we are denied access into the meeting, but we carried our message outside. We continued to organize and strategize over these next two days of how you really work together as communities across a broad spectrum of oil’s influence to not only demand a change within that company, but to carry that energy to demand much greater restrictions, regulations, reining in and ultimately retiring of the entire oil industry and by the power and advocacy, most importantly, of those communities and their advocates at the front lines of oil’s [inaudible]—

Amy Goodman: Antonia, we have to leave it there. I want to thank you for being with us. Antonia Juhasz, director of Global Exchange’s Chevron Program. And Emem Okon, founder and executive director of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Center in the Niger Delta.

BP Oil Spill: "Top Kill" Failure Means Well May Gush Until August

BP Oil Spill: "Top Kill" Failure Means Well May Gush Until August

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After the failure of "top kill," BP said it will concentrate on containing, not stopping the leak. As failures to stop the BP oil spill mount, the federal government is careful not to promise too much.

With the failure of the BP “top kill” maneuver, the effort to combat the BP oil spill is increasingly becoming an attempt to manage expectations.

A month ago, when the spill was barely a week old, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told CNN that the “ultimate relief” – drilling a relief well – was still “90 days out.”

Now, that pronouncement is looking like the most realistic target. BP managing director Bob Dudley said Sunday that the the company's best hope was not in capping the well but in containing and collecting the oil at the source until a relief well is ready in August.

"If we can contain the flow of oil and keep it out of the ocean, that's not a bad outcome," said Mr. Dudley on CNN's "State of the Union," noting that the next maneuver is to fit a new containment valve on the well.

After BP's three unsuccessful attempts to stop or siphon the gushing oil, federal officials also appear to be shifting focus. They are subtly but repeatedly emphasizing that their efforts should be judged by the region’s long-term recovery – not on the immediate issue of whether they can stop the Macondo wellhead from leaking 800,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico.

Addressing the situation in a statement Saturday, President Obama said: “It is as enraging as it is heartbreaking, and we will not relent until this leak is contained, until the waters and shores are cleaned up, and until the people unjustly victimized by this manmade disaster are made whole.”

As he states, Mr. Obama is not giving up on efforts to contain the leaking oil before the relief well is expected to be ready. The problem is that BP – not the federal government – is best placed and equipped to stop the leak, yet the challenges presented by the Macondo wellhead are so great that BP might be unable to make much headway until August.

Some scientists have noted, without hyperbole, that it would be easier to launch a spacecraft to the moon than shut down the Macondo wellhead, which is 5,000 feet deep. The “top kill” live feed offered a glimpse at this: robot submarines attempting precise maneuvers amid the crushing pressures of pitch-dark waters.

In his Saturday statement, Obama in some ways sounded as though he was in the midst of launching an ad hoc space program to the sea floor. At a time when the nation is wanting him to give the aura of presidential power – that there is no solution beyond the scope of his administration – the statement instead cast him as the reluctant scientist, speaking of probabilities and technical challenges.

With “the surest way to stop the flow of oil – the drilling of relief wells” – needing “several months to complete … engineers and experts have explored a variety of alternatives,” Obama said.

“While we initially received optimistic reports about the [top kill] procedure, it is now clear that it has not worked,” he said, later adding: “While we were hopeful that the ‘top kill’ would succeed, we were also mindful that there was a significant chance it would not.”

So the Coast Guard directed BP to launch a new procedure, he said, “which is not without risk and has never been attempted before at this depth…. It will be difficult and will take several days”

From here on, in fact, any new plans to contain or cap the well will be comparably riskier or less likely to work than “top kill,” which was seen as BP’s best and most reliable option. This is because BP tried the maneuvers it thought most promising first, culminating in the failed “top kill” effort.

The next attempt to stop the leak will involve cutting the riser pipe and fitting a new containment valve, called the lower marine riser package (LMRP), atop it.

If the LMRP works, it could allow BP to collect all the oil leaking from the wellhead. If it fails, it could increase the amount of oil leaking in the Gulf. The riser pipe is kinked like a garden hose, and many scientists believe it is restricting the flow of oil somewhat.

Mr. Dudley countered Sunday that BP estimated that any increase in oil flow would be small.

With the prospect for containing the oil becoming progressively less likely with every mounting failure, Obama and his lieutenants are left to try to prepare Gulf coast residents for the worst without looking as though they have already accepted it.

The long-term federal relief effort, while unsatisfying to Gulf residents watching oil choke their coasts, is at least one area where the government can exercise control.

Gulf Oil Spill: "This Disaster Just Got Enormously Worse"

Gulf Oil Spill: "This Disaster Just Got Enormously Worse"

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Washington - If the growing oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico isn't contained soon--and the latest efforts suggest that's unlikely--then the damage to the fragile region will intensify over the coming summer months as changing currents and the potential for hurricanes complicate the containment and cleanup efforts.

"It's all lose, lose, lose here," said Rick Steiner, a retired University of Alaska marine scientist who's familiar with both the current Gulf oil spill and the Exxon Valdez disaster two decades ago.

"The failure of the top kill really magnified this disaster exponentially," he said. "I think there's a realistic probability that this enormous amount of oil will keep coming out for a couple months. This disaster just got enormously worse."

As the federal government and BP try yet another strategy to curb the flow of oil from the blown well a mile below the surface of the Gulf _ one that could increase the flow of oil by as much as 20 percent _ scientists anticipate a range of disastrous effects, only some of which are well understood.

The damage to the shorelines of Gulf states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida is literally only the surface of the problem: The damage to the sea floor could be extensive, and oil could also devastate marine life between the Gulf floor and its surface, as well as in coastal areas far from the leaking wellhead.

If none of the short-term solutions plugs the well, the only long-term fix--drilling two relief wells to stem the flow of oil--likely won't be completed until late July or August. President Barack Obama on Saturday called the news about the latest failed attempt "as enraging as it is heartbreaking."

"As I said yesterday, every day that this leak continues is an assault on the people of the Gulf Coast region, their livelihoods, and the natural bounty that belongs to all of us," he said in a White House statement.

Larry Crowder, a professor of marine biology at Duke University, said that if the spill continues for a couple more months, then oil almost certainly would get into the Loop Current that flows clockwise around the Gulf. It then would be a week to 10 days before it got to the Florida Keys, and a couple of weeks more before the Gulf Stream carried it to North Carolina.

If the leak had been stopped this weekend, the oil might have been diluted, but if there's two to three times the current amount by August, he said: "It could go anywhere."

"If you have enough oil, it can go a big distance," and some 100 million gallons could be spilled by this summer. "There's almost no place that's off-limits," Crowder said.

With summer approaching, hurricanes are the most obvious complication. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts an above-average hurricane season, and a hurricane getting into the Gulf and moving toward the Louisiana coast could force BP to halt its effort to drill the relief wells until the storm passed.

Hurricanes also could disperse the oil farther and wider--or roil the waters so that oil at the surface plunges to great depths and poisons the deepwater ecosystem.

A hurricane and its accompanying storm surge also could drive oil onto land, even into the rice and sugarcane fields that aren't far from the coast in Louisiana, said James H. Cowan Jr., a biological oceanographer at Louisiana State University.

"It will probably get stranded if it gets to the upper estuary, and it's very difficult to clean there," he said.

Right now, a big eddy that's spun off the Loop Current is still blocking oil from entering it, and it has moved south--away from the oil, Cowan said, but scientists say it's not possible to predict exactly where winds and currents will drive the oil.

Less is known about where the oil may already be going in the western part of the Gulf. Scientists don't know if there are any big plumes of oil under water to the west of the leaking well, although it's reasonable to suspect that there are some, Cowan said.

The oil already is spread along 100 miles of the Louisiana coast, and the coastal current could take it west toward Texas and an area where two deltas have been building since the 1970s. There, freshwater marshes would suffer even more damage than saltwater marshes do; freshwater plants could be devastated. Storms or other changes in the currents also could send oil toward sensitive saltmarshs, killing fisheries and other animal life.

"It's a nightmare that just won't quit," Cowan said. He's spent his career researching fisheries production and ecosystem management, but he now sees nothing ahead but studying what the oil is doing to the Gulf. "I'm 54, and I never expected I'd spend the rest of my career dealing with oil spill issues," he said.

Steiner, the Alaska scientist, said that while the shoreline has gotten the most attention, the damage from oil plumes under the Gulf's surface would be extensive.

"A lot of this oil has yet to surface, and so it's formed these huge sub-surface plumes," he said.

That oil will devastate marine life that’s sensitive to contaminants from the sea floor to the surface. The Gulf, he said, is a critical spawning habitat for many large fish species such as bluefin tuna and blue marlin. Eggs and larvae from such species probably already have been exposed to toxins in the oil and the chemicals BP has been using to disperse it.

"There is a lot of oil going into the sea there," he said. "It does degrade over time, but before it degrades it is toxic, and it wreaks havoc."

The dispersants also could have unintended long-term effects. They've never been used at such depths, and never in such huge amounts, said Crowder of Duke University.

The dispersants seem to be keeping most of the oil offshore, but they're driving much of it deep underwater. The chemicals have never been used in water as cold and under as much pressure as there is at this leak a mile below the surface, he said.

US Navy Veterans Continue to Seek Justice for Israeli Attack

US Navy Veterans Continue to Seek Justice for Israeli Attack

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The Israeli military has attacked a flotilla of international peace activists, killing as many as 19 innocent civilians while they were carrying ten tons of aid to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. This is not the first time the Israeli military has attacked a nonthreatening entity in international waters.

On June 8, 1967, while sailing in international waters, the US Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty was attacked by air and naval forces of the state of Israel. Of the Liberty's crew of 294, more than half were killed or wounded. More than 40 years later, survivors are still seeking justice.

The Israeli forces attacked with full knowledge that the Liberty was an American ship, yet survivors have been forbidden to tell their story under oath to the American public.

Joe Meadors was on the Liberty during the attack.

"I watched some jets pass us then turn left after they passed our ship, then they started strafing [attacking repeatedly with bombs or machine-gun fire from low-flying aircraft] us," Meadors told Truthout.

"The attack lasted 90 minutes, during which we got a message off to the 6th fleet asking for assistance, and we learned later, Joe Tully, commanding officer of the USS Saratoga, launched aircraft within minutes of the attack, but he told us later they were recalled before they reached the horizon. We found this out 20 years after the attack."

Meadors said he and his group, the USS Liberty Veterans Association, believe that Rear Adm. Lawrence Geis, the Sixth Fleet carrier division commander at the time of the attack, was following orders from Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who called off the Navy's rescue mission for the USS Liberty.

Meadors, along with other survivors of the attack, have been engaged in what has evolved into a more than 40-year struggle to find justice.

"The most frustrating thing has been a lack of reaction from the US government," Meadors explained, "On June 8, 2005 we filed a war crimes report, and they [the US Government] are required to investigate these allegations. They've created reports about our mission, but they never did conduct an actual investigation of the attack itself."

Meadors and the other veterans he works with to bring about a governmental investigation of the attack take the position that they should not have to force the government to do this.

In 2003, an independent commission of highly regarded experts was created to look into the matter. The Moorer Commission, named after its chairman, included Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, United States Navy (Ret.), former chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and Gen. Raymond G. Davis, United States Marine Corps and former assistant commandant of the Marine Corps.

Findings of this commission included: "Israel launched a two-hour air and naval attack against USS Liberty ... Israeli torpedo boats later returned to machine-gun at close range three of the Liberty's life rafts that had been lowered into the water by survivors to rescue the most seriously wounded ... Israel's attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew."

Ray McGovern is a senior CIA analyst who served under seven presidents - from John Kennedy to George H. W. Bush.

McGovern is clear about why he believes the US government continues to refuse to launch an investigation. "For the same reason that President Johnson called back the fighter/bombers; i.e., so as not to embarrass our friend Israel," McGovern explained to Truthout, "It is my view that the killing of 34 USS Liberty crew and wounded more than 170 others and the fact that the US Navy, Congress, executive branch not only prohibited the survivors to speak about it, but also launched faux 'inquiries,' is the poster child for what is wrong with the US relationship with Israel, showing the penchant of senior US officials to sacrifice honesty, justice, and US servicemen on the sacral altar of "compassionate attachment" to Israel."

McGovern added that, in his view, the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty is "the archetypical example of how Israel was given convincing affirmation of its belief that it can get away with murder, literally, and the US Gulliver would be bound to ignore it ... or even mount 'official' inquiries to explain it away."

Bryce Lockwood survived the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty and was awarded the Silver Star for his heroic actions during the attack, when he saved at least one wounded sailor's life.

Lockwood, like McGovern, feels there is no doubt whatsoever that the attack was no accident.

"It was deliberate," Lockwood told Truthout. He went on to explain why he thinks Moshe Dayan, who was appointed as Israel's Defense Minister in 1967, ordered the attack.

"I only learned recently, via a document released by the CIA, that Dayan ordered the attack, despite objections from his staff members," Lockwood explained, "Our ship had the capability of monitoring virtually everything ... all communications. The Israelis had nuclear capability, and it was extremely important to the Johnson administration that the Israelis not use the nuclear option. We could monitor all of this, even when it was done by the Israelis. The Israelis wanted unbridled use of the nuclear option, and they didn't want us to know about it ... that's why they attacked us."

Another reason why Lockwood is so certain that the attack was deliberate is because he watched Joe Meadors hoist three US flags up a pole in an attempt to insure the Israeli pilots knew they were firing on a US ship.

"The Israelis claim they didn't see a US flag, but they shot down two, and Joe raised three of them, since they kept firing on them," Lockwood explained, "They riddled the third with bullet holes, but it stayed up."

In addition, writing in his memoirs, Richard Helms, the director of Central Intelligence at the time of the attack, explained that the CIA undertook a "final" investigation after more evidence became available, and he offered the following information concerning the CIA's final finding:

"Israeli authorities subsequently apologized for the incident, but few in Washington could believe that the ship had not been identified as an American naval vessel. Later, an interim intelligence memorandum concluded the attack was a mistake and not made in malice against the US.... I had no role in the board of inquiry that followed, or the board's finding that there could be no doubt that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing in attacking the Liberty. I have yet to understand why it was felt necessary to attack this ship or who ordered the attack."

Meadors' and Lockwood's struggle to find justice spans decades, and there doesn't appear to be an end in sight.

Meadors is measured in his explanation of how he perceives the politics behind the lack of an investigation. "Politicians feel the Israeli lobby is so powerful, that if they do anything about this it will cost them votes. Nobody thinks it was a mistake, everybody knows it was deliberate. But they won't investigate it because they feel it would damage the relationship between the US and Israel."

"I'm disgusted with our country and our representatives," Lockwood concluded, "My country doesn't give a damn about me or the people on the Liberty. I'm terribly disappointed in the way our country has dealt with us."

While both Meadors and Lockwood urge people to contact their Congressional representatives and demand an investigation, Meadors is moving ahead with looking for an attorney who will help the USS Liberty Veterans group to which he belongs determine if they have a course of action through federal courts.

The 9/11 "Official Story" and the Collapse of WTC Building Seven

Building What? How SCADs Can Be Hidden in Plain Sight: The 9/11 "Official Story" and the Collapse of WTC Building Seven

Go To Original

At 5:21 PM on 9/11, Building 7 of the World Trade Center collapsed, even though it had not been hit by a plane – a fact that is important because of the widespread acceptance of the idea, in spite of its scientific absurdity, that the Twin Towers collapsed because of the combined effect of the impact of the airliners plus the ensuing jet-fuel-fed fires. The collapse of World Trade Center 7 (WTC 7) thereby challenges the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, according to which it was accomplished by al-Qaeda hijackers, even if one accepts the government’s scientifically impossible account of the Twin Towers. This fact was recently emphasized in the title of a review article based on my 2009 book, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7,[1] by National Medal of Science-winner Lynn Margulis: “Two Hit, Three Down – The Biggest Lie.”[2]


1. Why the Collapse of WTC 7 Created an Extraordinary Problem

The collapse of WTC 7 created an extraordinary problem for the official account of 9/11 for several reasons.


An Unprecedented Occurrence

One reason is that, because of the collapse of WTC 7, the official account of 9/11 includes the dubious claim that, for the first time in the known universe, a steel-frame high-rise building was brought down by fire, and science looks askance at claims of unprecedented occurrences regarding physical phenomena. New York Times writer James Glanz, who himself has a Ph.D. in physics, wrote: “[E]xperts said no building like it, a modern, steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever collapsed because of an uncontrolled fire.” Glanz then quoted a structural engineer as saying: “[W]ithin the structural engineering community, [WTC 7] is considered to be much more important to understand [than the Twin Towers],” because engineers had no answer to the question, “why did 7 come down?”[3]


Visual Evidence of Implosion

Equally remarkable, besides the mere fact that this building came down, was the way it collapsed: straight down, in virtual free fall, making the destruction of this building appear to be an example of the type of controlled demolition known as “implosion,” in which explosives and/or incendiaries are used to slice the building’s steel support columns in such a way as to cause the building to collapse into its own footprint. CBS anchor Dan Rather, not one to let a remarkable fact go unremarked, said:

“[I]t’s reminiscent of those pictures we’ve all seen . . . on television . . . , where a building was deliberately destroyed by well-placed dynamite to knock it down.”[4]

Dan Rather, moreover, was not the only reporter to make such a comment. Al Jones, a reporter for WINS NYC News Radio, said: “I turned in time to see what looked like a skyscraper implosion – looked like it had been done by a demolition crew.”[5]

Moreover, whereas Jones and Rather, being laymen in these matters, merely said that the collapse of Building 7 looked like a controlled demolition, experts, upon seeing the video, could tell immediately that it actually was a controlled demolition. In 2006, for example, a Dutch filmmaker asked Danny Jowenko, the owner of a controlled demolition company in the Netherlands, to comment on a video of the collapse of WTC 7, without telling him what it was. (Jowenko had been unaware that a third building had collapsed on 9/11.) After viewing the video, Jowenko said: “They simply blew up columns, and the rest caved in afterwards. . . . This is controlled demolition.” When asked if he was certain, he replied: “Absolutely, it’s been imploded. This was a hired job. A team of experts did this.”[6]


Testimonies about Explosions

Besides the obviousness from the very appearance of the collapse of Building 7 that it was a product of controlled demotion, there were testimonies about explosions in this building.

One of these was provided by Michael Hess, New York City’s corporation counsel and a close friend of Mayor Rudy Giuliani. While on his way back to City Hall, Hess was stopped for an interview at 11:57 that morning, during which he said:

“I was up in the emergency management center on the twenty-third floor [of WTC 7], and when all the power went out in the building, another gentleman and I walked down to the eighth floor [sic] where there was an explosion and we were trapped on the eighth floor with smoke, thick smoke, all around us, for about an hour and a half. But the New York Fire Department . . . just came and got us out.”[7]

Hess thereby reported a mid-morning explosion in WTC 7.

The other gentleman, Barry Jennings of the New York City Housing Authority, reported the same thing during another on-the-street interview, reporting that he and “Mr. Hess” had been walking down the stairs when they became trapped by a “big explosion.”[8] Jennings, in fact, said that explosions continued going off while they were waiting to be rescued.[9]

There were also reports of explosions in the late afternoon, just as WTC 7 started coming down. Reporter Peter Demarco of the New York Daily News said:

“[T]here was a rumble. The building's top row of windows popped out. Then all the windows on the thirty-ninth floor popped out. Then the thirty-eighth floor. Pop! Pop! Pop! was all you heard until the building sunk into a rising cloud of gray.”[10]

NYPD officer Craig Bartmer gave the following report:

“I was real close to Building 7 when it fell down. . . . That didn't sound like just a building falling down to me . . . . There's a lot of eyewitness testimony down there of hearing explosions. . . . [A]ll of a sudden. . . I looked up, and . . . [t]he thing started pealing in on itself. . . . I started running . . . and the whole time you're hearing ‘boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.’”[11]

A New York University medical student, who had been serving as an emergency medical worker that day, gave this report:

“[W]e heard this sound that sounded like a clap of thunder. . . . [T]urned around – we were shocked. . . . [I]t looked like there was a shockwave ripping through the building and the windows all busted out. . . . [A]bout a second later the bottom floor caved out and the building followed after that.”[12]

Physical Evidence

In addition to the visual and testimonial evidence, there was clear physical evidence that explosives and incendiaries were used to bring down WTC 7.

Swiss-Cheese Steel: Within a few months of 9/11, three professors from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) had issued a report about a piece of steel from Building 7 that was described in a New York Times story by James Glanz and Eric Lipton as “[p]erhaps the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”13 Part of the mystery was the fact that the steel was “extremely thin,” indicating that the steel had “melted away,” even though “no fire in any of the buildings was believed to be hot enough to melt steel outright.” Another part of the mystery was that atoms in the steel seemed to have combined with sulfur “to form compounds that melt at lower temperatures,” but as to the source of the sulfur, “no one knows.”[14]

Describing this mysterious piece of steel more fully, an article entitled “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel” in WPI’s magazine, said:

“[S]teel – which has a melting point of 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit – may weaken and bend, but does not melt during an ordinary office fire. Yet metallurgical studies . . . reveal that . . . a eutectic reaction . . . caus[ed] intergranular melting capable of turning a solid steel girder into Swiss cheese . . .. A one-inch column has been reduced to half-inch thickness. Its edges – which are curled like a paper scroll – have been thinned to almost razor sharpness. Gaping holes – some larger than a silver dollar – let light shine through a formerly solid steel flange. This Swiss cheese appearance shocked all of the fire-wise professors, who expected to see distortion and bending – but not holes. A eutectic compound is a mixture [involving sulfur]. . . . ‘The important questions," says [one of the professors], ‘are how much sulfur do you need, and where did it come from?’”[15]

The thinning and the holes even suggested that the steel had vaporized. Explaining as early as November 2001 why fire could not account for this mysterious steel, Glanz paraphrased one of the three WPI professors, Jonathan Barnett, as saying that it “appear[ed] to have been partly evaporated in extraordinarily high temperatures.”[16]

Another New York Times story reported that the same phenomenon was described by Professor Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl of the University of California at Berkeley, who had received a National Science Foundation grant to spend two weeks at Ground Zero studying steel from the buildings. According to reporter Kenneth Change, Professor Astaneh-Asl, speaking of a horizontal I-beam from WTC 7, said: “Parts of the flat top of the I, once five-eighths of an inch thick, had vaporized.”[17]

These reports clearly showed that something other than fire had been making things happen in the buildings, because the fires could not possibly have been higher than 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, while the boiling point of steel is roughly the same as that of iron, which is 5182°F. But even if the steel had not evaporated but had simply melted, that by itself would have proved the point, because the melting point of steel is only a little less than that of iron, which is 2800°F. (An obvious source of both the melting and the sulfidation would be a well-known incendiary, thermate – a “mixture of thermite and sulfur . . . which lowers the melting point of iron it contacts when reacting by forming a eutectic system,” which is “useful in cutting through steel.”)[18]


Evidence in Plain Sight

Therefore, clear evidence against the official account of Building 7, according to which it was brought down by fire, existed in plain sight in the form of videos of its collapse, published testimonies about explosions in the building, and physical evidence reported in the New York Times. The reasonable inference to draw from this evidence – namely, that the official account is false – was reinforced by the first official report on this building’s collapse, which was issued in 2002 by FEMA. Besides including as an appendix the paper by the WPI professors containing the study of the Swiss-cheese piece of steel recovered from WTC 7 – a study that attributed the erosion to “oxidation and sulfidation” while adding: “No clear explanation for the source of the sulfur has been identified”[19] – the engineers who wrote the FEMA report admitted that their “best hypothesis” about why WTC 7 collapsed had “only a low probability of occurrence.”[20]


Failure to Become Well Known

In addition to all these facts, WTC 7 was a very big building, being 47 stories high and having a base about the size of a football field. Although it was dwarfed by the 110-story Twin Towers, it would have been the tallest building in half of the states in the nation. For all of these reasons, the collapse of this building should have become one of the best-known facts about 9/11. But it did not.


2. Widespread Ignorance about WTC 7

A Zogby poll in May 2006 found that 43 percent of the American people were unaware that WTC 7 had collapsed,[21] and that same year, as mentioned earlier, Danny Jowenko of the Netherlands still did not know about it, even though controlled demolition was his field.

A dramatic example of the fact that this building’s collapse has not been prominent in the public consciousness was provided in a New York City courtroom in September 2009. Judge Edward Lehner was hearing arguments about a petition sponsored by NYC CAN to allow residents to vote on whether New York City should have its own investigation of the World Trade Center attacks. After Judge Lehner had observed that the 9/11 Commission had carried out an investigation and issued a report, Dennis McMahon, a lawyer for NYC CAN, said that this report left many unanswered questions. “One of the biggest questions,” he added, “is why did Building 7 come down” – at which point Judge Lehner asked: “Building what?” McMahon replied: “World Trade Center Seven. There were three buildings that came down.” When the judge, continuing to illustrate his ignorance about this building, asked if it was owned by the Port Authority, McMahon replied that it was owned by Larry Silverstein.[22]

Judge Lehner, it should be emphasized, was not simply an ordinary American citizen. Besides being a judge presiding in New York City, he had been assigned to a case involving the 9/11 attacks in this city. So his ignorance about this building was surprising. And yet it was typical. With his query - “Building what?” – he expressed the ignorance manifested in 2006 by controlled demolition expert Danny Jowenko and almost half of the American people. How can we account for this ignorance?


Abnormal Circumstances

In a New York Times story in November 2001, James Glanz wrote that the collapse of WTC 7 was “a mystery that under normal circumstances would probably have captured the attention of the city and the world.”[23] Clearly these were not normal circumstances.

Part of the abnormality was the fact that Building 7, while huge, was overshadowed by the Twin Towers, which were over twice as tall. This fact by itself, however, would not account for the enormous ignorance of this third building’s collapse. Knowledgeable people had said right away, as Glanz pointed out, that there was a sense in which the collapse of Building 7 should have been the bigger story. Why was it not?


Deliberate Suppression

The answer seems to be that it was a deliberately suppressed story. This conclusion is supported by the following facts:

First, after 9/11 itself, our television networks played videos of the Twin Towers being hit by planes, then coming down, over and over, but the collapse of Building 7 was seldom if ever shown.

Second, when The 9/11 Commission Report was issued in 2004, it did not even mention that Building 7 came down.

Third, after NIST – the National Institute of Standards and Technology – took over from FEMA the task of explaining the destruction of the World Trade Center, it repeatedly delayed its report on WTC 7. In 2003, NIST said that this report would be issued along with its report on the Twin Towers, the draft of which was to appear in September 2004.[24] However, even though NIST’s report on the Twin Towers did not actually appear until 2005, the promised report on WTC 7 was not included: NIST said that it would appear in 2006. But when August of 2006 came, NIST said: “It is anticipated that a draft report [on WTC 7] will be released by early 2007.”[25] But it was not released in 2007 – either early or late. Instead, NIST in December 2007 “projected” that it would release draft reports on July 8, 2008, followed by final reports on August 8, 2008.[26] Instead, the draft report did not appear until August, and the final report not until November of that year – when the Bush-Cheney administration was about to leave office.

Moreover, when in 2008 NIST was accused of having deliberately delayed its report on WTC 7 (which the 9/11 Truth Movement had long considered the “Achilles Heel” or “Smoking Gun” of the official account of 9/11[27]), NIST lied, saying that it had worked on this report only since 2005 and hence for only three years – the same length of time it had worked on its Twin Towers report. Actually, however, NIST had filed progress reports on WTC 7 in December 2002 and May 2003;[28] in June 2004, it published an Interim Report on WTC 7;[29] and in April 2005, NIST released another preliminary report on WTC 7.[30]Then, after ceasing work on this building until after the report on the Twin Towers was issued in October 2005, NIST reported, “the investigation of the WTC 7 collapse resumed.”[31] In truth, therefore, NIST had worked on its report on WTC 7 for almost six years, not merely three. So there was good reason to suspect that this report had been deliberately delayed for as long as possible.

3. NIST’s Draft for Public Comment: Mystery Solved?

Be that as it may, when the Draft for Public Comment did finally appear in August 2008, it was announced at a press conference with much bravado. Shyam Sunder, NIST’s lead investigator for its World Trade Center projects, said:

“Our take-home message today is that the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery. WTC 7 collapsed because of fires fueled by office furnishings. It did not collapse from explosives.”[32]

The mainstream media for the most part simply repeated Sunder’s claims. For example, an Associated Press story entitled “Report: Fire, Not Bombs, Leveled WTC 7 Building,” began by saying: “Federal investigators said Thursday they have solved a mystery of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: the collapse of World Trade Center building 7, a source of long-running conspiracy theories.” Then, after reinforcing this message by quoting Sunder’s assurance that “the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery,” this story concluded by quoting his claim that the science behind NIST’s findings is "incredibly conclusive," so that “[t]he public should really recognize that science is really behind what we have said.”[33]

Reporters, however, could easily have discovered that this was not so. They could have seen, in fact, that NIST’s WTC 7 report repeatedly committed scientific fraud in the technical sense, as defined by the National Science Foundation.

4. NIST's Falsification of Evidence

One type of fraud is falsification, which includes “omitting data.”[34] While claiming that it “found no evidence of a . . . controlled demolition event,”[35] NIST simply omitted an enormous amount of evidencefor that conclusion.


Omitting Testimonial Evidence

NIST failed, for one thing, to mention any of the testimonial evidence for explosions. Besides claiming that the event described as a mid-morning explosion by Michael Hess and Barry Jennings was simply the impact of debris from the collapse of the North Tower – which occurred at 10:28 and hence about an hour later than the explosion they had described – NIST failed to mention any of the reports of explosions just as the building started to come down.


Omitting Physical Evidence:

NIST’s report on this building also omitted various types of physical evidence.

The Swiss-Cheese Steel: One of these was the piece of Swiss-cheese steel reported by the three WPI professors in a paper that was, as mentioned earlier, included as an appendix to the 2002 FEMA report. After describing the erosion of this piece of steel, the professors had said: “A detailed study into the mechanisms of this phenomenon is needed.”[36] When NIST took over from FEMA the responsibility of issuing the official reports on the World Trade Center, NIST’s director promised that its reports would address “all major recommendations contained in the [FEMA] report.”[37] However, when NIST’s report on Building 7 appeared in 2008, it did not even mention this mysterious piece of steel, let alone explain how it had been produced. NIST even claimed that no recovered steel from WTC 7 had been identified, because the steel used in this building, unlike the steel used in the Twin Towers, “did not contain . . . identifying characteristics.”[38]

NIST made this claim, incidentally, even though it had previously published a document in which it had referred to steel recovered from WTC 7, including the piece discussed by the WPI professors in the appendix to the FEMA report. This claim about not identifying any steel was made by NIST (in August 2008), moreover, even though one of these professors, Dr. Jonathan Barnett, had during a BBC program on WTC 7 (in July 2008) discussed an “eroded and deformed” piece of steel that he and his colleagues had studied in 2001, explaining that they knew “its pedigree” because “this particular kind of steel” had been used only in WTC 7, not in the Twin Towers.[39]

Melted Iron: Deutsche Bank, which had a building close to the World Trade Center that had been contaminated with dust, hired the RJ Lee Group, a scientific research organization, to prove to its insurance company that the dust contaminating its building was not ordinary building dust, as its insurance company claimed, but had resulted from the destruction of the World Trade Center. Reports issued by the RJ Lee Group in 2003 and 2004 proved that the dust was indeed WTC dust, having its unique chemical signature. Part of this signature, the RJ Lee Group said in its final (2004) report, was “[s]pherical iron . . . particles,” and this meant, it had pointed out in its 2003 report, that iron had “melted during the WTC Event, producing spherical metallic particles.”[40]

The RJ Lee reports thereby provided additional evidence that temperatures had been reached that significantly exceeded those that could have been produced by fire. These reports, which were made known in an article published in January 2008 by a group of scientists led by physicist Steven Jones,[41] were simply ignored by NIST.

Melted Molybdenum: Another study was carried out by scientists at the US Geological Survey. Besides also finding the spherical iron particles, these scientists found that something had melted molybdenum[42] – which has an extremely high melting point: 4,753°F (2,623°C).[43] Although these USGS scientists failed to mention this discovery in the published version of their report, a group of scientists led by Steven Jones, having obtained the USGS team’s data through a FOIA request, reported evidence that this team had devoted serious study to “a molybdenum-rich spherule.”[44] NIST, however, failed to mention this discovery by the US Geological Survey, although it is another federal agency.

Nanothermite: A peer-reviewed report by University of Copenhagen chemist Niels Harrit and several co-authors, including physicist Steven Jones and chemist Kevin Ryan, showed that the WTC dust contained unreacted nanothermite. Unlike ordinary thermite, which is an incendiary, nanothermite is a high explosive.

This report by Harrit, Jones, Ryan, and their colleagues did not appear until 2009,45 so it could not have been mentioned in NIST’s final report, which came out at the end of November 2008. However, given the standard guidelines for the investigation of building fires, NIST should have tested the WTC dust for signs of incendiaries, such as ordinary thermite (including thermate), and explosives, such as nanothermite.[46]

When asked whether it had carried out such tests, NIST said it had not.[47] When a reporter asked NIST spokesman Michael Newman why not, he replied: “[B]ecause there was no evidence of that.” When the reporter asked the obvious follow-up question, “[H]ow can you know there’s no evidence if you don’t look for it first?” Newman replied: “If you’re looking for something that isn’t there, you’re wasting your time . . . and the taxpayers’ money.”[48]


5. NIST’s Fabrication of Evidence

Besides omitting and otherwise falsifying evidence, NIST also committed the type of scientific fraud called fabrication, which means simply “making up results.”[49]


No Girder Shear Studs

For example, in offering its explanation as to how fire caused Building 7 to collapse, NIST said that the culprit was thermal expansion, meaning that the fire heated up the steel, thereby causing it to expand. Expanding steel beams on the 13th floor, NIST claims, caused a steel girder connecting columns 44 and 79 to break loose. Having lost its support, column 79 failed, starting a chain reaction in which all the other columns failed.[50]

Leaving aside the question of whether this is even remotely possible, let us simply ask: Why did that girder fail? NIST’s answer was that it was not connected to the floor slab with sheer studs. NIST wrote: “In WTC 7, no studs were installed on the girders.”[51] In another passage, NIST said: “Floor beams . . . had shear studs, but the girders that supported the floor beams did not have shear studs.”[52]

However, NIST’s Interim Report on WTC 7, which it published in 2004 before it had developed its girder-failure theory, said shear studs were used to anchor “[m]ost of the beams and girders,” including the girder in question.[53]


A Raging 12th Floor Fire at 5:00

Although in its 2004 Interim Report on WTC 7, NIST said that by 4:45 PM, “the fire on Floor 12 was burned out,”[54] it claimed in its 2008 report that at 5:00, just 21 minutes before the building collapsed, the fire on this floor was still going strong.[55]


6. NIST’s Final Report: Affirming a Miracle

NIST’s final report on WTC 7, which appeared in November 2008, was for the most part identical with its draft report, which had appeared in August. But NIST did add a new element: the affirmation of a miracle, meaning a violation of a fundamental law of physics.

This issue is treated in a cartoon in which a professor has written a proof on a chalkboard. Most of the steps consist of mathematical equations, but one of them simply says: “Then a miracle happens.”[56] This is humorous because one thing scientists absolutely cannot do in their scientific work is appeal to miracles, even implicitly. And yet that is what NIST does. I will explain.


NIST’s August 2008 Denial of Free Fall

Members of the 9/11 Truth Movement had long been pointing out that Building 7 came down at the same rate as a free-falling object, or at least virtually so. But in NIST’s Draft for Public Comment, issued in August 2008, it denied this, saying that the time it took for the upper floors – the only floors that are visible on the videos - to come down “was approximately 40 percent longer than the computed free fall time and was consistent with physical principles.”[57]

As this statement implies, any assertion that the building did come down in free fall would not be consistent with physical principles – meaning the laws of physics. Explaining why not, during a “WTC 7 Technical Briefing” on August 26, 2008, Shyam Sunder said:

“[A] free fall time would be [the fall time of] an object that has no structural components below it. . . . [T]he . . . time that it took . . . for those 17 floors to disappear [was roughly 40 percent longer than free fall]. And that is not at all unusual, because there was structural resistance that was provided in this particular case. And you had a sequence of structural failures that had to take place. Everything was not instantaneous.”[58]

In saying this, Sunder was, of course, presupposing NIST’s rejection of controlled demolition – which could have produced a free-fall collapse by causing all 82 columns to fail simultaneously – in favor of NIST’s fire theory, which necessitated a theory of progressive collapse.


Chandler’s Challenge and NIST’s November Admission of Free Fall

In response, high-school physics teacher David Chandler, who was able to speak at this briefing, challenged Sunder’s denial of free fall, stating that Sunder’s “40 percent” claim contradicted “a publicly visible, easily measurable quantity.”[59] Chandler then placed a video on the Internet showing that, by measuring this publicly visible quantity, anyone knowing elementary physics could see that “for about two and a half seconds. . . , the acceleration of the building is indistinguishable from freefall.”[60]

Amazingly, in NIST’s final report, which came out in November 2008, it admitted free fall. Dividing the building’s descent into three stages, NIST described the second phase as “a freefall descent over approximately eight stories at gravitational acceleration for approximately 2.25 s[econds].”[61] So, after presenting over 600 pages of descriptions, photographs, testimonies, graphs, analyses, explanations, and mathematical formulae, NIST says, in effect: “Then a miracle happens.”

Why this would be a miracle was explained by Chandler, who said: “Free fall can only be achieved if there is zero resistance to the motion.”[62] In other words, the upper portion of Building 7 could have come down in free fall only if something had suddenly removed all the steel and concrete in the lower part of the building, which would have otherwise provided resistance. If everything had not been removed and the upper floors had come down in free fall anyway, even for only a second, a miracle – meaning a violation of laws of physics - would have happened.

That was what Sunder himself had explained the previous August, saying that a free-falling object would be one “that has no structural components below it” to offer resistance. But then in November, while still defending its fire theory of collapse, NIST agreed that, as an empirical fact, free fall happened. For a period of 2.25 seconds, NIST admitted, the descent of WTC 7 was characterized by “gravitational acceleration (free fall).”[63]

Knowing that it had thereby affirmed a miracle, NIST no longer claimed that its analysis was consistent with the laws of physics. In its August draft, in which it said that the collapse occurred 40 percent slower than free fall, NIST had repeatedly said that its analysis was “consistent with physical principles.” One encountered this phrase at least three times.[64] In the final report, however, every instance of this phrase had been removed. NIST thereby almost explicitly admitted that its report on WTC 7, by admitting free fall while continuing to deny that explosives and incendiaries were used, is not consistent with the principles of physics.


Implications

NIST thereby implicitly acknowledged that Building 7 was intentionally demolished. It also thereby implicitly admitted the same about the Twin Towers, because the collapses of these buildings manifested many of the same tell-tale signs of controlled demolition as did WTC 7, plus some additional ones, including the horizontal ejection of sections of steel columns, weighing many thousands of pounds, more than 500 feet from the towers. (These ejections occurred at the outset of the collapses, after which the Towers came straight down.).[65]

And with this implicit admission that the collapses were examples of controlled demolition, NIST undermined the al-Qaeda theory of 9/11. Why?

For one thing, the straight-down nature of the collapses of the Twin Towers and Building 7 means that the buildings were subjected to the type of controlled demolition known as “implosion,” which is, in the words of a controlled demolition website, “by far the trickiest type of explosive project,” which “only a handful of blasting companies in the world . . . possess enough experience . . . to perform.”[66] Al-Qaeda terrorists would not have had this kind of expertise.

Second, the only reason to go to the trouble of bringing a building straight down is to avoid damaging nearby buildings. Had the World Trade Center buildings toppled over sideways, they would have caused massive destruction in Lower Manhattan, crushing dozens of other buildings and killing tens of thousands of people. Does anyone believe that, even if al-Qaeda operatives had had the expertise to make the buildings come straight down, they would have had the courtesy?

A third problem is that foreign terrorists could not have obtained access to the buildings for all the hours it would have taken to plant incendiaries and explosives. Only insiders could have done this.[67]


7. Explaining the Ignorance about WTC 7

NIST’s admission that Building 7 came down in free fall for over two seconds should, therefore, have been front-page news. The same is true, moreover, of the various other things I have reported – NIST’s fabrications; NIST’s omission and distortion of testimonial evidence; NIST’s omissions of physical evidence, such as the Swiss-cheese steel and the particles showing that iron and molybdenum had been melted; and the later discovery of nanothermite particles in the WTC dust. Especially given the fact that the collapse of Building 7 had been declared a mystery from the outset, the world should have been waiting with bated breath for every new clue as to why this 47-story building had come down. Upon hearing Building 7 mentioned, nobody in the world with access to CNN should have asked, “Building what?” How do we explain the fact that five and even nine years after the mysterious collapse of this building, ignorance about it was still widespread?

To begin answering this question, let us return to James Glanz’s statement that the collapse of WTC 7 was “a mystery that under normal circumstances would probably have captured the attention of the city and the world.”[68] As I stated before, the abnormality seems to have been such that videos and even the very fact of this building’s collapse were deliberately suppressed. What was this abnormality?


SCADs

A symposium in the February 2010 issue of American Behavioral Scientist, one of our leading social science journals, argues that social scientists need to develop a scientific approach to studying an increasingly important type of criminality: State Crimes Against Democracy, abbreviated SCADs,[69] understood as “concerted actions . . . by government insiders intended to manipulate democratic processes and undermine popular sovereignty.” Having the “potential to subvert political institutions and entire governments . . . [SCADs] are high crimes that attack democracy itself.”[70]

Distinguishing between SCADs that have been officially proven, such as “the Watergate break-ins and cover-up . . . , the secret wars in Laos and Cambodia . . . , the illegal arms sales and covert operations in Iran-Contra . . . , and the effort to discredit Joseph Wilson by revealing his wife’s status as an intelligence agent,” on the one hand, and suspected SCADs for which there is good evidence, on the other, the symposium authors include in the latter category “the fabricated attacks on U.S. ships in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 . . . , the “October Surprises” in the presidential elections of 1968 . . . and 1980 . . . , the assassinations of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy . . . , the election breakdowns in 2000 and 2004 . . . , the numerous defense failures on September 11, 2001 . . . , and the misrepresentation of intelligence to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq.”[71]

Besides regarding 9/11 as one of the suspected SCADs for which there is good evidence, this symposium treats it as its primary example. The abstract for the introductory essay begins by asserting: “The ellipses of due diligence riddling the official account of the 9/11 incidents continue being ignored by scholars of policy and public administration.”[72] The symposium’s final essay, criticizing the majority of the academic world for its “blithe dismissal of more than one law of thermodynamics” that is violated by the official theory of the World Trade Center collapses,[73] also criticizes the academy for its failure to protest when “Professor Steven Jones found himself forced out of a tenured position for merely reminding the world that physical laws, about which there is no dissent whatsoever, contradict the official theory of the World Trade Center Towers’ collapse.”[74]

The authors of this symposium point out, moreover, that the official theory of the destruction of the three World Trade Center towers has serious implications for science and engineering. If NIST’s explanation “provides the most robust account of the Towers’ collapse, based on known science,” then some previously accepted physical laws would need to be revised:

“[These laws] would have to succumb, at some point, to the theoretical claims purported to explain the Towers’ collapse: New laws determining when steel melts and the phases at which such material loses its tensile strength would have at some point to replace existing science-based presumptions.”[75]

This revision of physical laws would also have practical implications for building codes: “[T]he specifications of design for all skyscrapers ought, in the public interest, to be subjected to major review.” The acceptance of NIST’s account, therefore, creates an “obvious crisis,” which should be evoking scientific and practical responses.[76]

The practical crisis that should have been caused by NIST’s report on WTC 7 had previously been addressed by four of the “Jersey Girls,” who had been instrumental in getting the 9/11 Commission created. In a statement released in September 2008, they wrote:

“Over the past seven years, the Families of the 9/11 Victims have been repeatedly told by fire experts, engineers and architects that we should NOT FOCUS our efforts on advocating for building and fire code changes based on the collapse of the WTC 1 and 2 towers. We were continuously reminded that the crashing of airplanes into buildings was a unique event. Additionally, we were told that the design and construction of WTC Towers 1 and 2 was unique and that there were no other buildings of that particular height or design in the world. We were repeatedly told that the key was WTC 7 since this building was of conventional design and height, yet it too collapsed without the unique event of an airplane striking it. . . .

“Dr. Shyam Sunder of NIST . . . stated that WTC 7 met all New York City codes. Yet, WTC 7 is the first steel high-rise building of traditional construction in the United States -- and the world, to completely collapse as a result of fire. According to . . . Dr. Sunder, "there were no flaws with the construction of the building."

“We don't how the rest of the country is feeling about this news, but we are very scared! These findings suggest that ANY EXISTING building is prone to a progressive collapse if a fire should start and the sprinkler system fails for whatever reason. . . .

“The ultimate purpose of advocating for the $16 million to have NIST study this event was to determine how to make buildings safer in the future. If we are now to believe that any skyscraper is subject to total collapse from fire, why isn't NIST emphasizing the impact on EXISTING buildings? . . . NIST needs to . . . provide guidance for EXISTING buildings.

“NIST should put the most important conclusion in plain English and announce it to the entire country: UNCONTROLLED FIRES IN HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS CAN LEAD TO THEIR TOTAL COLLAPSE. . . . NIST must address this dangerous issue immediately. The future safety of the public and the fire services hangs in the balance.”[77]

Like the SCADs symposium, this brilliant piece of satire makes clear that NIST’s explanation of WTC 7’s collapse should have created a crisis in many fields, both theoretical and practical. The implications of NIST’s explanation should have been extensively discussed in technical journals of various types and then in newspapers and on television programs and radio talk shows. But no such discussion occurred. The worlds of physics, engineering, building codes, and public safety continued on as if the report had never been issued. How can we understand this?


Hiding the Most Obvious Evidence that 9/11 Was a SCAD

If the reason why the collapse of WTC 7 did not occur “under normal circumstances” is the fact that it was part of 9/11, which was a SCAD, then it would not be surprising that the collapse of this building, which “under normal circumstances would probably have captured the attention of the city and the world,” did not do so.

If 9/11 was a SCAD, the collapse of WTC 7 would not have been allowed to capture the world’s attention for the reasons mentioned earlier: Unlike the Twin Towers, it was not hit by a plane; because of this, there was no jet fuel to spread big fires to many floors; its collapse, unlike that of each of the Twin Towers, looked exactly like a classic implosion, in which the collapse begins from the bottom and the building folds in upon itself, ending up almost entirely in its own footprint; and the videos show that it came down, at least part of the way, in absolute free fall. The fact that Building 7 was brought down by controlled demolition was, therefore, more obvious.

This greater obviousness is illustrated not only by Danny Jowenko’s response, but also by the many engineers and scientists who joined the 9/11 Truth Movement only after seeing a video of this building’s collapse. For example, Daniel Hofnung, an engineer in Paris, wrote:

“In the years after the 9/11 events, I thought that all I read in professional reviews and French newspapers was true. The first time I understood that it was impossible was when I saw a film about the collapse of WTC 7.”[78]

Likewise, civil engineer Chester Gearhart wrote:

“I have watched the construction of many large buildings and also have personally witnessed 5 controlled demolitions in Kansas City. When I saw the towers fall on 9/11, I knew something was wrong and my first instinct was that it was impossible. When I saw building 7 fall, I knew it was a controlled demolition.”[79]

This video was also decisive for University of Copenhagen chemist Niels Harrit, who later became the first author of the nanothermite paper. When asked how he became involved with these issues, he replied:

“It all started when I saw the collapse of Building 7, the third skyscraper. It collapsed seven hours after the Twin Towers. And there were only two airplanes. When you see a 47-storey building, 186 meters tall, collapse in 6.5 seconds, and you are a scientist, you think “What?” I had to watch it again...and again. I hit the button ten times, and my jaw dropped lower and lower. Firstly, I had never heard of that building before. And there was no visible reason why it should collapse in that way, straight down, in 6.5 seconds. I have had no rest since that day.”[80]

Given these reactions, it is obvious why, if 9/11 was a State Crime Against Democracy, the fact of Building 7’s collapse, especially the video of this collapse, had to be suppressed as much as possible.


WTC 7 as a Dud?

Having made this point, I need to respond to an obvious objection: If those who were responsible for bringing down Building 7 were going to need to suppress the video of its collapse, why did they wait until late in the afternoon, when the air was clean and cameras would be trained on this building, with the consequence that we have perfectly clear videos of the collapse of this building from various angles, each one showing its straight-down free-fall descent? Why did they not bring it down in the morning, shortly after one of the Twin Towers had collapsed, when the resulting dust cloud would have made any images impossible? After the collapse of the North Tower at 10:28, for example, visibility did not return sufficiently for film crews to come back to the area, NIST reported, until 11:00.[81] Had Building 7 been imploded at, say, 10:45, its collapse would still have been a big mystery, but there would have been no videos showing that it had come straight down and, for over two seconds, in absolute free fall.

There are many reasons, as I showed in an appendix to The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7, to believe that this had indeed been the plan, but that this building was, as one researcher put it, “a dud”[82] – meaning that “the demolition system in WTC 7 simply did not respond as intended and the building defiantly remained intact.”[83] As a result, agents were perhaps sent into the building to set fires to provide the basis for a cover-story saying that fires had brought the building down. This hypothesis -- that fires were set in the building only after a controlled demolition system had failed to bring it down in the morning -- would explain why, although the fires in Building 7 were supposedly started by burning debris from the North Tower’s collapse at 10:28, no flames are visible in this building, as NIST admits, until after noon, and on some floors there is no photographic evidence of fire until 3:40 PM or even later.[84]

I have emphasized this likelihood – that the destruction of WTC 7 was a botched operation – because if true it provides the clearest possible illustration of the theme of this essay, namely, that SCADs can be hidden in plain sight. There are literally dozens of problems in the official account of 9/11 sufficiently serious to show the official story to be false. But the clearest proof is provided by the video of this enormous building coming straight down in absolute free fall. And yet even though this proof has existed in plain sight for all these years, the fact that 9/11 was an inside job, and hence a State Crime Against Democracy, has remained a hidden fact, at least in the sense that it is not part of the public conversation. If the destruction of WTC 7 was a botched operation, then the hiding of the fact that 9/11 was a SCAD is even more impressive. How has this hiding been achieved?


Hiding SCADs: The Role of the Mainstream Media

Peter Dale Scott, discussing the erosion of the US Constitution in recent times, suggests that “this erosion has been achieved in part through a series of important deep events in [post-World-War-II] American history – events aspects of which . . . will be ignored or suppressed in the mainstream media.”[85] Indeed, Scott adds:

“[T]he mainstream U.S. media . . . have become so implicated in past protective lies . . . that they, as well as the government, have now a demonstrated interest in preventing the truth about any of these events from coming out. This means that the current threat to constitutional rights does not derive from the deep state alone. . . . [T]he problem is a global dominance mindset that prevails not only inside the Washington Beltway but also in the mainstream media . . . , one which has come to accept recent inroads on constitutional liberties, and stigmatizes, or at least responds with silence to, those who are alarmed by them. . . . [A]cceptance of this mindset’s notions of decorum has increasingly become a condition for participation in mainstream public life.”[86]

Referring thereby to events such as the JFK assassination, the Tonkin Gulf hoax, and 9/11, Scott by “deep events” means the same types of events called SCADs by the authors of the symposium on that topic. Indeed, one of those authors explicitly cites Scott’s writings, treating his “deep events” as examples of SCADs and quoting his statements about the complicity of the mainstream media in covering up the truth about these events.[87]

These authors also make the same point themselves, remarking that “the U.S. government’s account of 9/11 [is] parroted by the mainstream media”[88] and commenting on “the profound disavowal of still burning, molten questions originating at 9/11 Ground Zero gone begging by the American media.”[89]

Besides parroting the government’s account of 9/11 and stigmatizing those who provide alternative accounts with the discrediting label “conspiracy theorists,” how has America’s mainstream media kept the truth about WTC 7 hidden from the majority of the American people? Through various means, including the following:

First, by never replaying the statements by Dan Rather and other reporters about how the collapse of WTC 7 looked just like a controlled demolition.

Second, by seldom if ever replaying the video of this building’s collapse.

Third, by never mentioning credible critiques of the official account. For example, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 is Unscientific and False, which has been endorsed by prestigious scientists and engineers, has never been reviewed in the mainstream media, even though my previous 9/11 book, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, was a Publishers Weekly “Pick of the Week” in 2008.[90]

Fourth, by never mentioning, except for one story that apparently slipped through,[91] the existence of an organization called Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, which by now has some 1,200 professional architects and engineers calling for a new investigation of WTC 7 as well as the Twin Towers.[92]

Fifth, by never reporting scientific evidence contradicting the official account of these buildings’ destruction, such as the reported discovery of nanothermite in the WTC dust.

Sixth, by overlooking the fact that NIST’s report on WTC 7 omitted an enormous amount of evidence showing that explosives and/or incendiaries must have been used. For example, although the New York Times in 2002 called the piece of Swiss-cheese steel recovered from this building “the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation,” it did not issue a peep when NIST’s 2008 report on this building failed to mention this piece of steel and even claimed that no steel from this building had been identified: The Times clearly knew better but said nothing.

Seventh, by not mentioning the fact, even after it was reported in my 2009 book, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7, that NIST had used various types of fabricated evidence to support its theory of a fire-induced collapse.

Eighth, by reporting NIST’s August 2008 press briefing, in which Shyam Sunder announced, triumphantly, that the “the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery” and that “science is really behind what we have said,” but then not reporting on NIST’s final report in November of that year, in which NIST almost explicitly admitted that science does not stand behind, but instead contradicts, its theory of this building’s collapse.

Ninth, by systematically ignoring the fact that the official account of WTC 7’s collapse has implications for many fields that, if taken seriously by leaders in those fields, would demand revolutionary changes in both theory and practice.[93]


Conclusion and Proposal

Through these and related means, the truth about the collapse of WTC 7 has been effectively hidden, even though it has existed in plain sight all these years. Even the bare fact of the collapse itself has been so effectively hidden that in 2006 over 40 percent of the American public did not know about it, and in 2009 a judge in New York City, upon hearing a reference to Building 7, asked: “Building what?”

I offer this essay as a case study in the power of the forces behind SCADs or deep events to hide things that exist in plain sight, because if they can hide the straight-down free-fall collapse of a 47-story building captured on video in broad daylight, they can hide almost anything.

I say this, however, not to instill despair, but to point to the seriousness of the problem, and also to pave the way for making a proposal. Recognizing the high correlation between those who know about the collapse of WTC 7 and those who believe that a new – or rather real – 9/11 investigation is needed, I propose that the international 9/11 Truth Movement initiate, starting this September, a world-wide, year-long “Building What?” campaign. Through this campaign, we would seek to make the fact of its collapse so widely known that the mention of Building 7 would never again evoke the question: “Building What?”[94]

David Ray Griffin is the author of 36 books on various topics, including philosophy, theology, philosophy of science, and 9/11. His 2008 book, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé, was named a “Pick of the Week” by Publishers Weekly. In September 2009, The New Statesman ranked him #41 among “The 50 People Who Matter Today.” His most recent book is The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 is Unscientific and False (2009). His next book will be Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (September 2010). He wishes to thank Tod Fletcher, Jim Hoffman, and Elizabeth Woodworth for help with this essay.


Notes

1 David Ray Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 Is Unscientific and False (Northampton: Olive Branch [Interlink Books], 2009).

2 Lynn Margulis, “Two Hit, Three Down – The Biggest Lie,” Rock Creek Free Press, January 24, 2010 (http://rockcreekfreepress.tumblr.com/post/353434420/two-hit-three-down-the-biggest-lie).

3 James Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center: Diesel Fuel,” New York Times, November 29, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/29/nyregion/nation-challenged-site-engineers-have-culprit-strange-collapse-7-world-trade.html).

4 Rather’s statement is available on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvx904dAw0o).

5 See the video 911 Eyewitness (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=65460757734339444) at 29:05.

6 See “Danny Jowenko on WTC 7 Controlled Demolition,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=877gr6xtQIc), or, for more of the interview, “Jowenko WTC 7 Demolition Interviews,” in three parts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3DRhwRN06I&feature=related).

7 “Michael Hess, WTC7 Explosion Witness,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUfiLbXMa64). Hess should have said “down to the sixth floor.” As Barry Jennings later clarified, the explosion that blocked their descent occurred when they reached the sixth floor, after which they walked back up to the eighth floor, where they waited to be rescued; see “Barry Jennings-–9/11 WTC7 Full Uncut Interview,” Part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxUj6UgPODo), at 5:08-5:33.

8 See “Barry Jennings – 9/11 Early Afternoon ABC 7 Interview” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LO5V2CJpzI).

9 This statement could previously be seen in “Barry Jennings-–9/11 WTC7 Full Uncut Interview,” Part 1, at 3:57-4:05. But at the time this essay was posted, this portion of the interview had been blocked from the Internet, because it is now in the film Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup.

10 Quoted in Chris Bull and Sam Erman, eds., At Ground Zero: Young Reporters Who Were There Tell Their Stories (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2002), 97.

11 Bartmer’s statement is quoted in Paul Joseph Watson, “NYPD Officer Heard Building 7 Bombs,” Prison Planet, February 10, 2007 (http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/february2007/100207heardbombs.htm).

12 This unnamed medical student can be seen making this statement in 911 Eyewitness (at 31:30).

13 James Glanz and Eric Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse,” New York Times, February 2, 2002 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04E0DE153DF931A35751C0A9649C8B63).

14 Ibid.

15 Joan Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” WPI Transformations, Spring 2002 (http://www.wpi.edu/News/Transformations/2002Spring/steel.html).

16 James Glanz, “Engineers Suspect Diesel Fuel in Collapse of 7 World Trade Center,” New York Times, November 29, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/29/nyregion/29TOWE.html). I have here quoted Glanz’s paraphrase of Barnett’s statement.

17 See Kenneth Change, “Scarred Steel Holds Clues, And Remedies,” New York Times, October 2, 2001 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B05E6DC123DF931A35753C1A9679C8B63).

18 For the melting point of iron, see “Iron,” WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html). The description of thermate is from “Thermite,” Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermite), as of May 25, 2010.

“Iron,” WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web (http://www.webelements.com/iron/physics.html).

19 Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and R. D. Sisson, Jr., “Limited Metallurgical Examination,” Appendix C of World Trade Center Building Performance Study, FEMA, 2002 (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_apc.pdf); also available on Jim Hoffman’s website (http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/evidence/metallurgy/WTC_apndxC.htm); see “C.2: Sample 1 (from WTC 7),” pages 1-5.

20 See FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_ch5.pdf), Chap. 5, Sect. 6.2, “Probable Collapse Sequence,” at page 31.

21 “A Word about Our Poll of American Thinking Toward the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks,” Zogby International, May 24, 2006 (http://www.zogby.com/features/features.dbm?ID=231).

22 In the ensuing exchange, Judge Lehner showed that he was not completely unaware of this building’s destruction, asking if it was “the one that has been rebuilt.” Shortly thereafter, however, the judge confused this building with the Twin Towers. See pages 16-19 of “Proceedings, Christopher Burke et al, Petitioners. vs. Michael McSweeney as City Clerk of New York and Clerk of the City Council of New York and the Board of Elections in the City of New York, before Honorable Edward H. Lehner, J. S. C., Supreme Court of the State of New York, September 29, 2009.”

23 Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center.”

24 “National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee 2003 Report to Congress” (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/NCSTAC2003ReporttoCongressFinal.pdf), 4.

25 NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” August 30, 2006 (http://911research.wtc7.net/reviews/nist/WTC_FAQ_reply.html), Question 14. This is the original version of the document, which contained what is stated in the text. But NIST, never a stickler for retaining past statements that later prove embarrassing, “updated” this document over two years later, on January 28, 2008 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_8_2006.htm). This “updated” version of this 2006 document gives the reader the impression that NIST in 2006 – instead of having said, “It is anticipated that a draft report will be released by early 2007” – actually said: “It is anticipated that a draft report will be released for public comment by July 2008 and that the final report will be released shortly thereafter.” The original document, as updated August 30, 2006, has been preserved in Jim Hoffman, “NIST’s World Trade Center FAQ” (http://911research.wtc7.net/reviews/nist/WTC_FAQ_reply.html).

26 NIST, “WTC Investigation Overview,” December 18, 2007 (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/NCSTAC_December18(Sunder).pdf). Like the NIST 2006 document discussed in the previous note, this one has also been revised, so that it now says merely July and August, 2008, respectively, without giving exact dates.

27 See “WTC 7: The Smoking Gun of 9/11” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwSc7NPn8Ok), and Paul Joseph Watson, “BBC’s 9/11 Yellow Journalism Backfires: Building 7 Becomes the Achilles Heel of the Official Conspiracy Theory,” Prison Planet, March 5, 2007 (http://infowars.wordpress.com/2007/03/05/bbcs-911-yellow-journalism-backfires).

28 “Progress Report on the NIST Building and Fire Investigation into the World Trade Center Disaster,” National Institute of Standards and Technology (henceforth NIST), December 9, 2002 (http://www.fire.nist.gov/bfrlpubs/build03/PDF/b03040.pdf); “Progress Report on the Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster,” NIST, May 2003 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/MediaUpdate%20_FINAL_ProgressReport051303.pdf).

29 Interim Report on WTC 7, NIST, June 2004 (http://wtc.nist.gov/progress_report_june04/appendixl.pdf).

30 “WTC 7 Collapse,” NIST, April 5, 2005 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/WTC%20Part%20IIC%20-%20WTC%207%20Collapse%20Final.pdf).

31 “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” NIST, August 30, 2006 ((http://911research.wtc7.net/reviews/nist/WTC_FAQ_reply.html), Question 14 (see note 25, above).

32 Shyam Sunder, “Opening Statement,” NIST Press Briefing, August 21, 2008 (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/opening_remarks_082108.html).

33 Associated Press, “Report: Fire, Not Bombs, Leveled WTC 7 Building,” USA Today, August 21, 2008 (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-08-21-wtc-nist_N.htm).

34 National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General, “What is Research Misconduct?” in New Research Misconduct Policies, (http://www.nsf.gov/oig/session.pdf). This document is undated, but internal evidence suggests that it was published in 2001.

35 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, November 2008, Vol. 1 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201-9%20Vol%201.pdf) : 324.

36 Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and Richard D. Sisson, Jr., “Limited Metallurgical Examination,” FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, May 2002, Appendix C (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/AppendixC-fema403_apc.pdf): 13.

37 Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., testimony before the House Science Committee Hearing on “The Investigation of the World Trade Center Collapse,” May 1, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/wtc/official/nist/bement.htm). In the quoted statement, “FEMA” replaces “BPAT,” which is the abbreviation for “Building Performance Assessment Team,” the name of the ASCE team that prepared this report for FEMA.

38 “Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” August 21, 2008 (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_082108.html). In response to the question, “Why didn't the investigators look at actual steel samples from WTC 7?
” NIST replied: “Steel samples were removed from the site before the NIST investigation began. In the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, debris was removed rapidly from the site to aid in recovery efforts and facilitate emergency responders’ efforts to work around the site. Once it was removed from the scene, the steel from WTC 7 could not be clearly identified. Unlike the pieces of steel from WTC 1 and WTC 2, which were painted red and contained distinguishing markings, WTC 7 steel did not contain such identifying characteristics.” This document was originally available on NIST’s website (http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa_082108.html). However, like some other NIST reports, it has been removed. But is preserved at Jim Hoffman’s website (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_082108.html). This statement was repeated in a version of this document that was updated April 21, 2009, which is also preserved at Hoffman’s site (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_042109.html).

39 In NIST NCSTAR 1-3C, Damage and Failure Modes of Structural Steel Components, September 2005 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201-3C%20Damage%20and%20Failure%20Modes.pdf), the authors, Stephen W. Banovic and Timothy Foecke, referred to “the analysis of the steel from WTC 7 (Sample #1 from Appendix C, BPAT/FEMA study) where corrosion phases and morphologies were able to determine a possible temperature region” (233). The BBC program was The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 – The Third Tower, July 6, 2008 (available at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9072062020229593250# and http://www.911blogger.com/node/16541); the statement by Barnett is at 48:00. I am indebted to Chris Sarns for both of these discoveries.

40 RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature,” Expert Report, May 2004 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/130%20Liberty%20Street/Mike%20Davis%20LMDC%20130%20Liberty%20Documents/Signature%20of%20WTC%20dust/WTCDustSignature_ExpertReport.051304.1646.mp.pdf): 11; “WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology,” December 2003 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/130%20Liberty%20Street/Mike%20Davis%20LMDC%20130%20Liberty%20Documents/Signature%20of%20WTC%20dust/WTC%20Dust%20Signature.Composition%20and%20Morphology.Final.pdf): 17. For discussion of the differences between these two versions of the RJ Lee report, see Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse, 40-42.

41 Steven E. Jones et al., "Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction," Journal of 9/11 Studies, January 2008 (http://journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp2.pdf): 8.

42 Ibid., 4-5.

43 “Molybdenum,” WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web (http://www.webelements.com/molybdenum/physics.html).

44 For the published USGS report, see Heather A. Lowers and Gregory P. Meeker, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior, “Particle Atlas of World Trade Center Dust,” 2005 (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1165/508OF05-1165.html). The USGS’s evidence for the molybdenum-rich spherule is reported in Steven Jones et al., “Extremely High Temperatures,” 4.

45 Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, et al., “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal 2 (2009): 7-31 (http://www.bentham.org/open/tocpj/openaccess2.htm).

46 According to the Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, put out by the National Fire Protection Association, investigators should, in seeking to determine the cause of a fire, look for evidence of accelerants, which are any substances that could be used to ignite a fire or accelerate its progress (National Fire Protection Association’s 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, 1998 Edition, Section 12-2.4 (http://www.interfire.org/res_file/92112m.asp), and thermite mixtures are explicitly classified as accelerants (Section 19.2.4, “Exotic Accelerants” and “Thermite Mixtures”).

47 “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” NIST, August 30, 2006 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_8_2006.htm), Question 12 (NIST’s answer to this question has not been “updated” [see note 25, above]).

48 Jennifer Abel, “Theories of 9/11,” Hartford Advocate, January 29, 2008 (http://www.ae911truth.org/press/23).

49 National Science Foundation, “What is Research Misconduct?”

50 See Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse, 150-55.

51 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 1: 346.

52 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 2 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201-9%20Vol%202.pdf), 462.

53 See NIST, Interim Report on WTC 7 (http://wtc.nist.gov/progress_report_june04/appendixl.pdf): L-6-7, and Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse, 212-15.

54 Interim Report on WTC 7: L-26. This contradiction is pointed out in a video, “NIST Report on WTC7 Debunked and Exposed!” YouTube, December 28, 2008 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFpbZ-aLDLY), at 0:45 to 1:57.

55 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 2: 384, Figure 9-11.

56 This cartoon can be seen on the Internet (http://www.sciencecartoonsplus.com/pages/gallery.php).

57 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Draft for Public Comment, Vol. 2 (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/NIST_NCSTAR_1-9_vol2_for_public_comment.pdf), 595-96. In “Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” which was issued August 21, 2008 (simultaneously with NIST’s Draft for Public Comment), NIST repeated this denial, saying: “WTC 7 did not enter free fall.” As pointed out in note 38, above, NIST has removed this document from its website, but it has been preserved by Jim Hoffman (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_082108.html).

58 “WTC 7 Technical Briefing,” NIST, August 26, 2008. NIST has removed this video and the accompanying transcript from the Internet. However, Nate Flach has made the video available at Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/11941571), and the transcript, entitled “NIST Technical Briefing on Its Final Draft Report on WTC 7 for Public Comment,” is available at David Chandler’s website (http://911speakout.org/NIST_Tech_Briefing_Transcript.pdf).

59 Ibid.

60 David Chandler, “WTC7 in Freefall - No Longer Controversial,” September 4, 2008 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCDpL4Ax7I), at 2:45.

61 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 2: 607. The same point is stated in the brief version of NIST’s WTC 7 report, NIST NCSTAR 1A, which states: “In Stage 2, the north face descended at gravitational acceleration, as the buckled columns provided negligible support to the upper portion of the north face. This free fall drop continued for approximately 8 stories” (45).

62 Chandler, “WTC7 in Freefall – No Longer Controversial,” at 3:27.

63 “Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” NIST, updated April 21, 2009 (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_042109.html). (This version was “updated” from the original, which was posted August 21, 2008: see notes 38 and 57, above.) This updated document, originally available at NIST’s website (http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa_082108.html), has been removed it. It is preserved, however, at Jim Hoffman’s website (http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_042109.html).

64 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Draft for Public Comment, Vol. 2: 595-96, 596, 610.

65 See my discussion in Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2008), 30-31.

66 “The Myth of Implosion” (http://www.implosionworld.com/dyk2.html).

67 As to how domestic terrorists could have gotten access, an answer becomes possible if we are aware that Larry Silverstein, who owned Building 7 and had recently taken out a lease on the rest of the World Trade Center, stood to make several billion dollars if it was destroyed in a terrorist attack, and that a brother and a cousin of George W. Bush were principals of a company that handled security for the World Trade Center (Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory [Northampton: Olive Branch, 2007], 111).

68 Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center.”

69 Symposium on State Crimes Against Democracy, American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 783-939 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6). Online access is expensive, but the entire issue can be purchased for $24 (journals@sagepub.com).

70 Lance deHaven-Smith, “Beyond Conspiracy Theory: Patterns of High Crime in American Government,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 795-825 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6), at 796.

71 Ibid. 797.

72 Ibid., 783.

73 Matthew T. Witt, “Pretending Not to See or Hear, Refusing to Signify: The Farce and Tragedy of Geocentric Public Affairs Scholarship,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 921-39 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6), at 934.

74 Ibid., 932 (emphasis in original).

75 Ibid., 932.

76 Ibid.

77 “Statement of September 11th Advocates Regarding the Release of the NIST Final Draft of Collapse of WTC7” (signed by Patty Casazza, Monica Gabrielle, Mindy Kleinberg, and Lorie Van Auken), September 26, 2008 (http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20080927030009489).

78 Daniel Hofnung, Patriots Question 9/11 (http://patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html#Dhofnung).

79 Chester W. Gearhart, Patriots Question 9/11 (http://patriotsquestion911.com/engineers.html#Gearhart).

80 “Danish Scientist Niels Harrit, on Nanothermite in the WTC Dust (English subtitles),” YouTube, April 6, 2009 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_tf25lx_3o).

81 NIST NCSTAR 1A, Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (brief report), November 2008 (http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201A.pdf): 51; NIST NCSTAR 1-9: 119.

82 Jeremy Baker, “Was WTC 7 a Dud?” Serendipity, 2005 (http://www.serendipity.li/wot/wtc7_dud.htm).

83 Jeremy Baker, “Last Building Standing,” Serendipity, 2007 (http://www.serendipity.li/wot/last_building_standing.pdf). This is a revised and updated version of Baker, “Was WTC 7 a Dud?”

84 NIST NCSTAR 1: 1-9: 194, 243, 244, 247.

85 Peter Dale Scott, “9/11, Deep State Violence, and the Hope of Internet Politics,” Global Research, June 11, 2008 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9289).

86 Ibid. More recently, Scott has ceased speaking about a “deep state,” because it suggests an organized entity with a location, and speaks instead only of “deep events” brought about by “deep forces.” This revised language is reflected in his forthcoming book, American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010), in which he refers to “deep events” as “events that are systematically ignored, suppressed, or falsified in public (and even internal) government, military, and intelligence documents as well as in the mainstream media and public consciousness,” and says that underlying these events “is frequently the involvement of deep forces linked either to the drug traffic or to agencies of surveillance (or to both together).” He then adds: “A clearly defined deep event will combine both internal features – evidence, such as a discernible cover-up, that aspects are being suppressed – and external features – an ongoing and perhaps irresoluble controversy as to what happened.”

87 Laurie A. Manwell, “In Denial of Democracy: Social Psychological Implications for Public Discourse on State Crimes Against Democracy Post-9/11,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 848-84 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6), at 867-70.

88 Ibid., 863.

89 Matthew T. Witt and Alexander Kouzmin, “Sense Making Under ‘Holographic’ Conditions: Framing SCAD Research,” American Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 783-94 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6), at 789.

90 Publishers Weekly, November 24, 2008 (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/1-legacy/15-web-exclusive-book-reviews/article/6017-web-exclusive-reviews-week-of-11-24-2008-.html).

91 Jennifer Harper, "Explosive News," Washington Times, February 22, 2010 (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/22/inside-the-beltway-70128635/?feat=home_columns).

92 Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://ae911truth.org).

93 On the failure of the press release about WTC 7 by the Jersey Girls (see note 77, above) to receive any press coverage: Email letter from Lorie Van Auken, May 23, 2010.

94 This essay is based on a lecture of the same title delivered at a conference, “Understanding Deep Politics,” held May 14-16, 2010, in Santa Cruz, California, which was organized by Gabriel Day, Cheryl Curtiss, Jason King, and Kevin Zenzie.