Thursday, November 29, 2007

Striking parallels

What is the standard procedure for explosive demolition of high-rises? Implosion, according to experts speaking on the History Channel feature Modern Marvels.

"The building implodes when the vertical support columns are removed," as the feature story says. One expert noted that an imploded building generally falls in eight or nine seconds.

Both main World Trade Center towers and a third high-rise collapsed in a manner indistinguishable from implosion. The NIST specifically said that the walls of the main towers fell inward because core columns were "shortened" (allegedly by fire heat and buckling). Though trade center collapse times are difficult to ascertain precisely, very rapid falls are seen in videos and collapse times seem to be not much faster than free fall time.

Typically, RDX explosive charges are placed at two points on a column to snap it and a third "kicker" charge blows the piece out horizontally in order to initiate rapid collapse, according to History Channel experts. The two RDX charges are placed in notches burned out of the column by a worker.

RDX is used not only by demolition firms but also by the Pentagon. It packs a detonating velocity of 26,000 feet per second and a pressure of 3 million pounds per square inch.

In some cases, the charges are timed to go off at intervals of fractions of a second. A hotel at Clearwater Beach, Fla., had charges spaced a half second apart, and some of these blasts were visible from the street. Each of the twin towers collapsed after bright, tightly timed blasts went off, but the NIST dismissed these as coincidental jet fuel blasts (jet fuel doesn't pack enough punch to sever a column, the NIST admitted).

If one looks at videos of the trade tower collapses and the various controlled implosions shown on the History Channel, one finds little if any difference, except for scale.

The segment may be purchased online from the History Channel.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Who warned Israelis on 9/11?

Two Israel-based employees of the now-defunct Odigo instant messaging service received a message warning of a big attack in lower Manhattan about two hours before the first plane struck. Stories appeared in Haaretz and the Washington Post (the stories survive on the web but may have been purged from the newspaper web sites).

That's on the public record. After that, the picture gets murky.

Of 4,000 Israeli nationals in New York that day (source: Anti-Defamation League) few were killed in the attacks. Specifically, three died in the twin towers and two were among those listed as plane casualties (let's be clear: military drone planes struck the towers).

So there is at least some ground to believe that the two Odigo employees alerted the Odigo office near the World Trade Center and that those employees messaged Israelis in Manhattan.

Odigo refused to disclose the content of the message but said that Israeli security and the FBI had been notified, apparently after the attacks began, though this point is fuzzy. I don't recall anything on Odigo in the 9/11 commission report, which lacks an index. If you know of some closely held method of searching the report and its appendixes online, let me know.

Now here's a question for New Yorkers Rudolph Giuliani and Hillary Clinton: who tipped off Israelis that an attack was imminent? What does the Israeli government have to say about that?

One later report implied that some terrorist group had sent the message to the Israelis, but this smells like disinformation. It seems more likely that Israeli intelligence knew the attack was coming and that some Israeli spook leaked the information to his or her countrymen. One can't help but wonder whether Israeli intelligence had been monitoring the plotting and that an insider had signaled the plot was a "go" about two hours in advance.

Mere speculation, you object. Yes, and why so? Because U.S. and Israeli authorities have been extremely tight-lipped on a matter that many Americans might wish to know more about, especially in light of the fact that the 9/11 attacks were used to implement the militarist Israel lobby's war agenda.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

9/11 coverage and obstruction of justice

Is it possible that media professionals could face obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges for failing to do their civic duty by passing along information they had on suspicious activity, whether federal or otherwise, regarding the 9/11 attacks?

The First Amendment covers a lot of ground, including the right not to publish information in one's possession. If a news organization or media professional publishes something that could affect a criminal inquiry, the duty to inform law enforcement agencies has probably been fulfilled (unless one chooses a form of publication that cannot reasonably be expected to be seen by the police).

But, if a reporter, editor, publisher or other media person vetoes such a story, then there may be an obligation to report this material directly to some law enforcement agency.

So, reporters and others who are sitting on such material might wish to consider putting together a report with supporting materials and making copies available to investigative authorities. In fact, why not send copies to a number of places: The FBI, the Justice Department, New York City Police, Port Authority Police, Pennsylvania State Police, Washington, D.C., police and the criminal investigation divisions of military services?

Also, we need a responsible historian or two to set up a 9/11 documents archive that makes available online all declassified 9/11 documents. The archive would also be a repository for video, photos, tapes and authenticated reproductions of physical evidence. Reporters would make their notes and amplified reports available.

The archive should get no federal funding and make every effort to stay free of political control.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

News story blockades

About a week ago, the "email to a friend" function repeatedly failed on a Herald of Scotland story about the U.S. refurbishing its Diego Garcia facilities for an Iran air strike.

Today, I'm having the same problem with Yahoo's "email to a friend" function about an AP story concerning congressional testimony about "suitcase nukes." The story provides very good background on the improbability of such a weapon.

I know not whether the block is meant to "cover" for the previous block, or is meant to send a message that "we are in control of communication" or is simply another instance of internet censorship that appears to reflect Israeli militarist propaganda and other needs.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Is America under Israeli military censorship?

If so, a lot of things would make sense.