Thursday, August 29, 2013

Do You Have Faith in World Trade Center Bldg 7 Story?

In an episode of All in the Family, Archie Bunker tells his son-in-law, faith is when you believe something that no one in their right mind would believe.  So do you have faith in the World Trade Center Building 7 collapse story? 

Almost every day during the open discussion portion of the popular call in show Washington Journal at, at least one person will call in to ask why there is no investigation into the collapse of building 7 of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

While C-Span’s hosts have collectively dubbed this as an organized effort to sabotage the show, is the discussion not worth having?  It seems that any time someone asks about the collapse of WTC building 7, they are immediately cut off or dismissed as some kind of conspiracy kook by those in control of the microphone. 

For example, during the final broadcast of NPR’s Talk of the Nation, outgoing host Neal Conan hung up on a caller from Florida who questioned the U.S. Government’s official explanation for the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 on September 11, 2001.

Conan retired after 36 years with NPR after dismissing a caller’s concerns as “scientific nonsense”. But was he really saying that we can’t discuss 9/11 any further? 

The on-air confrontation transpired during a segment of the program called “What’s The Talk Of Your Nation”, during which callers are invited to share what they are talking about during everyday life in America.

“We’re talking about what you’re talking about, around your dinner table, in the car with the kids, as you stand in line at the grocery story or check in on Twitter.  You may not realize it, but you’ve always helped set our agenda every day when we fill up our planning board with the topics we’ll cover at 2:00pm Eastern Time.  Your voices ring in our ears.  So tell us, one more time, what’s the talk of the nation?”  - Neal Conan, “Talk of the Nation” June 27, 2013.

The first caller, a listener named Bob from Gainesville, FL, apparently strayed off the NPR agenda reservation when he voiced concern that NSA surveillance of innocent Americans is not actually about security.  Bob suggested that the September 11, 2001 tragedy, which officials use to justify NSA surveillance, was a “false flag attack”, citing an analysis of the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 by an activist group of architects and engineers who concluded the building failed due to controlled demolition.

That is just one example of how anyone questioning the official tale of World Trade Center Building 7 is immediately silenced.

The purpose of this article is not to discredit nor validate any viewpoint of what happened to Building 7, but to ask, why can’t we talk about it in a rational way?  This is not an opinion piece, but an objective evaluation of the facts. 

Let’s take a look at the events leading up to the September 11th attacks because to assume that the Bush Administration orchestrated the largest attack on America since Pearl Harbor seems implausible given their limited intellectual capacity.

In April of 2001 the Hart-Rudman Commission presented the Bush Administration with its counter-terrorism report. 


The commission predicts a direct attack on the United States.  The warning was nothing if not blunt. "A direct attack against American citizens on American soil is likely over the next quarter century. The risk is not only death and destruction but also a demoralization that could undermine US global leadership."

The act of guarding US territory from foreign depredations should be made "the primary national security mission of the United States." Preventing or deterring attacks against US soil or responding to them if preventive measures fail will require a comprehensive strategy and new government structures.

Such was the principal conclusion of the US Commission on National Security/21st Century, better known as the Hart-Rudman Commission after Co-chairmen Gary Hart, a former Democratic Senator from Colorado, and Warren Rudman, a former Republican Senator from New Hampshire. The panel was chartered in 1998 by Defense Secretary William S. Cohen. It has now reported to both Cohen and to President Bush's Pentagon leader, Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Hmm.  Interesting the report was presented to Bush’s Pentagon leader, Donald Rumsfeld. What did Rummy do with the report? 

Bush administration officials told former Sens. Gary Hart, D-Colo., and Warren Rudman, R-N.H., that they preferred instead to put aside the recommendations issued in the January report by the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century.

Instead, the White House announced in May that it would have Vice President Dick Cheney study the potential problem of domestic terrorism -- which the bipartisan group had already spent two and a half years studying -- while assigning responsibility for dealing with the issue to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, headed by former Bush campaign manager, Joe Allbaugh. 

The Hart-Rudman Commission had specifically recommended that the issue of terrorism was such a threat it needed far more than FEMA's attention.

Before the White House decided to go in its own direction, Congress seemed to be taking the commission's suggestions seriously, according to Hart and Rudman. "Frankly, the White House shut it down," Hart says. "The president said 'Please wait, we're going to turn this over to the vice president. We believe FEMA is competent to coordinate this effort.' And so Congress moved on to other things, like tax cuts and the issue of the day."

My, my my, put America’s terrorism security in the hands of Bush Campaign Manager Joe Allbaugh. 

Were there other anti-terrorism commissions from the Clinton Administration that gave specific warnings to the new Bush Administration?

The Gore Commission Demanded Tougher Airline Security, But Airlines And Conservatives Said No

"The federal government should consider aviation security as a national security issue, and provide substantial funding for capital improvements. The Commission believes that terrorist attacks on civil aviation are directed at the United States, and that there should be an ongoing federal commitment to reducing the threats that they pose."

Gore Commission final report, February 12, 1997.

3.1. The federal government should consider aviation security as a national security issue, and provide substantial funding for capital improvements.

The Commission believes that terrorist attacks on civil aviation are directed at the United States, and that there should be an ongoing federal commitment to reducing the threats that they pose. In its initial report, the Commission called for approximately $160 million in federal funds for capital costs associated with improving security, and Congress agreed.

3.7. The FAA should work with airlines and airport consortia to ensure that all passengers are positively identified and subjected to security procedures before they board aircraft.

3.10. The FAA should work with industry to develop a national program to increase the professionalism of the aviation security workforce, including screening personnel.

3.11 Access to airport controlled areas must be secured and the physical security of aircraft must be ensured.

The Gore Commission estimated the eventual cost of implementing all of its recommendations would be between $2.5 billion and $8 billion (the final cost would have depended on which technologies were used). This figure was in line with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates and was confirmed by a separate assessment by the General Accounting Office (GAO), which oversees federal government spending.

Oh dear, $2.5 billion and $8 billion, sounds like a real bargain.  So what happened?

But the airline industry was not concerned about possible terrorist attacks. TWA spokesman John McDonald was quoted in a 1996 Newsday article as saying: "TWA last year carried 21 million people and we didn't have a single plane blown out of the sky by someone who carried a bomb on the plane through security… I don't see it as an issue. The reality is, it hasn't occurred."

As soon as the Gore Commission report was finished, the airline industry rushed to label its findings as partisan. The day after the final report was published, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association fought back with a legislative action that claimed the Gore Commission existed simply to thwart the will of the Republican Congress.

Not surprisingly, the conservative press joined the airline industry in attacking the Gore Commission report. Most of the arguments advanced by the right focused on the "cost effectiveness" of implementing the recommendations. Susan Ellingwood's article in the March 10, 1997 edition of the New Republic entitled "Hot Air" is typical of the conservative response to the Gore Commission.

Now, that’s unfortunate.  $2.5 to $8 billion dollars and the whole 9-11 could have been avoided.  Well what about the “chatter” that was setting Richard Clarke’s hair on fire.  All that chatter coming in needing to be translated from Arabic and Farsi?

Between 1998 and 2004, the military discharged 20 Arabic and six Farsi speakers, according to Department of Defense data obtained by the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military under a Freedom of Information Act request.

The military previously confirmed that seven translators who specialized in Arabic had been discharged between 1998 and 2003 because they were gay. The military did not break down the discharges by year, but said some, but not all, of the additional 13 discharges of Arabic speakers occurred in 2004.

‘Still have a language problem’

Aaron Belkin, the center’s director, said he wants the public to see the real costs of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“We had a language problem after 9/11, and we still have a language problem,” Belkin said Wednesday.

The military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy allows gays and lesbians to serve in the military as long as they keep their sexual orientation private and do not engage in homosexual acts.

“The military is placing homophobia well ahead of national security,” said Steve Ralls, spokesman for the Service members Legal Defense Network, a nonprofit group that advocates for the rights of gay military members. “It’s rather appalling that in the weeks leading up to 9/11 messages were coming in, waiting to be translated ... and at the same time they were firing people who could’ve done that job.”

Well, well you really don’t want homosexuals translating terrorist threats do you?

What about the presidential daily briefing that Richard Clarke was so freaked out about that he made a trip to Crawford Texas to Bush’s “ranch” to make sure he understood the threats that were setting his hair on fire?

We’ve known for years now that George W. Bush received a presidential daily briefing on Aug. 6, 2001, in which he was warned: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” We’ve known for almost as long that Bush went fishing afterward.

What we didn’t know is what happened in between the briefing and the fishing, and now Suskind is here to tell us. Bush listened to the briefing, Suskind says, then told the CIA briefer: “All right. You’ve covered your ass, now.”

So, I don’t know if Building 7 of the World Trade Center was a controlled demolition, but I think we should be able to talk about it.   Someone should be able to say, “I’m agnostic, I believe in science, logic and reason not just blind faith.  Someone should be able to say, what’s presented to me is not enough, I need scientific proof without scorn and derision. 

So, do you have Faith?

By Patricia Baeten

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Coming soon, A Down The Rabbit Hole Exclusive: “The Controlled Demolition of America from Enron to ALEC".

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