Saturday, October 27, 2012

Treachery in Wedge One

There is much arguing within 9/11 Truth community about what, if anything, struck the Pentagon’s recently refurbished Wedge One. I am on record supporting the idea the plane overflew the Pentagon, with planted explosives as the explanation for the fireball and internal damage. I stated that opinion on Jesse Ventura’s “Conspiracy Theory” TV show back in December 2010. Since that time, I have mulled over more information, and today, find myself more on the fence if not on the other side. 
It is worthwhile to examine that change in viewpoint. Citizen Investigation Team (CIT) is the primary proponent of the overflight hypothesis. They base this on on-camera interviews of about a dozen witnesses who independently attest to the plane flying north of a CitGo service station to the west of the Pentagon. The most crucial interviews are of the witnesses who were at the CitGo station, Sgt. William Lagasse and Sgt. Chadwick Brooks, interviewed by Craig Ranke. Ranke asks Lagasse how confident he is the plane passed to the north, and he answered, “100%, bet my life on it.”
This idea of asking how confident a person is of their answer is a good idea. If the “Conspiracy Theory” interviewer would have asked me how confident I was of my “overflight” explanation, I probably would have said about 80%. The reasoning -- deduct 10% because there might have been a way to pass north of CitGo and still strike the Pentagon at the location of damage, and another 10% as Sgts. Lagasse and Brooks might have been lying.
At the time, one of my reasons in support of the overflight hypothesis was the flight data recorder (FDR) indicated an altitude higher than the Pentagon as the airplane passed across structure’s face [Balsamo]. 
New information became available with the publication in January 2011 of a new FDR analysis [Legge and Stuttthat decoded 4 additional seconds of data that apparently was on the file released by the NTSB, but had not been decoded. If these additional seconds of data are valid, the radar altitude measurement indicates the airplane did level off at a low enough altitude to strike the Pentagon. There are reasons to be cautious of the FDR, as it has no identifying numbers to authenticate it as having been installed in a particular aircraft, or even that the data came from a plane in flight. All the recorded parameters could have been outputs from of a very complete simulator. Nevertheless, I think these additional 4 seconds of decoded data warrants adjusting my 80% confidence level downward by about 30%, lowering my overall confidence in an overflight to about 50%.
More recently, I have come upon an article reporting on a careful examination of the photographic evidence of damage to the face of the Pentagon. I find it difficult to come up with explanations other than a 757-sized airplane that would cause the damage photographed. With that said, I conclude my 50% confidence should be reduced a bit more, down to 30%. The compliment of this statement, is I now have 70% confidence a medium-size transport airplane struck the Pentagon.   
This idea of making probability estimates for something that is unknowable, at least with available evidence, has been used in other areas of science. Most notably, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) makes use of the Drake Equation. That is, it provides a systematic approach to estimating the probability there is intelligent life on another planet close enough to communicate with Earthlings. As applied to the Pentagon question, possibly stated as the “probability a large airplane struck the Pentagon.” Such a percentage (if expressed that way) would be the product of a number of conditional probabilities. An example of a conditional probability related to the FDR would be “probability the data file provided by NTSB is valid, given the FDR came from aircraft debris recovered from the Pentagon.” 
If probability numbers were used on this “what struck the Pentagon?” issue, it might loosen the polarization between the two sides that now exist within the 9/11 Truth movement. As it is now, people on the two sides sound as if they have 100% confidence in their respective positions. Maybe they do, but they might be willing to back off these hard-over positions if there was a pattern of dialogue which facilitated taking more moderate views.
If we set aside the polarizing issue of what (if anything) struck the Pentagon, it may be easier to reach agreement on which military organizations had significant numbers of victims, and possibly the implications. Of the 125 deaths, the Army had 78, the Navy and Defense Intelligence Agency combined had 46, and Office of the Secretary of Defense had one [Navy History]. This Army section was primarily a financial management/audit area, and may have been devoted to trying to track the $2.3 Trillion Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld publicly announced as possibly “missing” the day before [Honegger]. The Navy and Defense Intelligence Agency personnel are characterized as being part of the Naval Command Center [ibid]. Part of this unit was the Chief of Naval Operations Intelligence Plot (CNO-IP), as described by Washington Post writer Richard Leiby. CNO-IP was responsible for production of daily intelligence briefings and other intelligence materials for the Chief of Naval Operations, Secretary of the Navy, and other senior military and civilian officials, including the Director of the ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence). The ONI was also part of the Command Center [Heidner]. The ONI, it was reported, was at odds with Bush and his primary enforcement agencies -- the CIA and NSA.
The possibility emerges these two functions, Army budget auditors and ONI investigators, may have been moved into the first floor of the vacant Wedge One to be “targets” in the larger scheme for 9/11.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Reflections

For the first ten years, the 11th was the day to reflect on September 11th. This, the 11th anniversary, for me, the day itself was less of an event, whereas, the whole month seemed to bring on the reflections. Maybe because the background of the upcoming Presidential election, or maybe because the magnitude of the ongoing global financial crisis, whatever the reason, this anniversary of the 9/11 events seemed much different.
Notable in the Presidential campaign is the complete avoidance of the real underlying causes of the global financial crisis. Without singling out which cause is the biggest, lets just say there are several, each would be an elephant in the room. The two major candidates, Barack Obama and George Romney, as well as all their handlers, manage to find fault with their opposition without hinting at the elephants in the room. 
Likewise, there are a half-dozen or so major 9/11 issues within the Truth movement. The leading figures on either side of these issues, and their supporters, seem to be falling into the same polarizing patterns as the politicians in their Presidential races. Here are two examples:
Did a large plane strike the Pentagon?  Of course, the Official Story says American Airlines Flight 77, a Boing 757 did strike the Pentagon. But some questioning the Official Story say no, and others say yes. Citizen Investigation Team (CIT) argues on the basis of a dozen well-placed witnesses that the plane (a large one) that approached the Pentagon was on a path that couldn’t have caused the physical damage. Therefore, the plane couldn’t have struck the Pentagon -- it must have flown over, and the physical damage caused in some other manner. CIT concluded the strongest evidence against their no side, a combination of flight data recorder, radar, and other eyewitnesses, must have all been wrong. The most recent technical article on the yes side was The Pentagon Attack: Problems with Theories Alternative to Large Plane [ (2011) by John D. Wyndham  (PhD, Physics). In concluding in favor of a large plane strike, Wyndham comes close to not even mentioning the strongest evidence on the no side. That strongest evidence came from three eyewitnesses situated at the pivotal point where they could see if the plane flew north of the CITGO station, or south of the station. Since they were at the station, they stated very clearly, independently, that the plane flew on the north side. No question in their minds. However, if the plane did in fact fly on the north side, it couldn’t have caused the damage path at Pentagon.
As an aside, I am on record on the no side. However, the more I continue to study it, the more I think I could change my mind. If I do, I will have to decide the three eyewitness at the CITGO station must have misremembered what they thought they saw. A politician would never admit to such a change of their mind. If they did change their mind, they would find a way glossing over it.
The second example is -- were nuclear devices used at the World Trade Center? At  The 9/11 Toronto Hearings held the weekend of the 10th Anniversary, the question wasn’t even raised. Most probably, any speaker known to have considered nukes wouldn’t have been invited. At The 9/11 Vancouver Hearings held in June, 2012, the question was not only raised, but answered by two speakers (Don Fox [Fox presentation slides] and Jeff Prager [Prager presentation slides]) in the affirmative. I followed their presentations with an assessment of several theories of Twin-Tower destructions [Deets written version]. Nuclear devices came out in first position based on the nine issues I considered.
As a second aside, I included in my “several theories”, one which has received little attention among 9/11 Truth researchers. Going by the name Runaway Open Office Space Destruction (ROOSD)[Global Characteristics of Twin Tower Collapses], it did well in my assessment, coming in second place. However, that I even included it at all drew severe criticism from one of the Vancouver Hearings co-organizers, Jim Fetzer. Furthermore, the advocates for ROOSD were angered their theory was included in a presentation that included nuclear devices, so even though their ROOSD theory received favorable treatment, they prefer to ignore its presence on the list. 
In both these examples, the different sides tend to argue at poles length. They seem to adopt similar tactics as the Presidential campaigns. Either avoid the elephant in the room, or avoid mentioning any topic that might point to evidence favorable to one’s opponent. Seeking the truth doesn’t seem to be in anyone’s play book. 
The elephant in the room for 9/11 Truth may be that it doesn’t matter which side is correct on the detailed “what happened” questions. In the bigger picture which pertains to the “why it happened” questions, it appears a decision has been made at some very high level to do what ever was necessary across international lines to keep hidden massive illegal activities, using illegal methods, with confidence the true reasons could be hidden from the public by a compliant U.S. media, controlled governments, and intelligence agencies to snuff out any potential whistleblowers. Not just hiding the true reasons, but substituting a false reason, in this case, al Qaeda hijackers who supposedly “hate our freedom.” Hopefully, next September, more evidence on the “why it happened” will be known to the public.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Which is the Bigger Problem -- Terrorism or Exhaustion of Earth’s Resources?

As frequently happens, I find myself reading multiple books more or less at the same time. At present, two non-fiction books have my attention. One argues that terrorism is our biggest problem. The other argues that limitations on resources is the biggest problem. The manners in which this topic is approached couldn't be more different.

First, taking terrorism as the problem. The book is International Terrorism: Challenge and Response, edited by Benjamin Netanyahu (1981). One of the essays was written by Paul Johnson, a noted British writer and historian (and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006). One statement captures the extent to which he thinks terrorism is the number-one problem: "It is almost impossible to exaggerate the threat that terrorism holds for our civilization. It is a threat which is in many respects more serious than the risk of nuclear war, of population explosion, of global pollution, or the exhaustion of the earth's resources. I believe these dangers to our civilization can be, have been, or are being contained. I believe the threat of terrorism is not being contained."

In stark contrast, the problem of limited resources is the topic of the second book, Winner Take All: China's Race For Resources and What it Means For the World by Dambisa Moyo (2012). In this book, Moyo describes how China is methodically securing the rights to the four essential resources; water, food, energy, and minerals -- sufficient in quantity to satisfy the essential needs of its population well into the future.

Apparently, based on observations of the acquisitions and agreements China is pursuing, its government has adopted a strategy placing acquisition of resources worldwide as its number one priority.   Apparently, China's leadership believes exhaustion of the earth's resources is very much our biggest problem. It is not, as Johnson says, "a danger...being constrained."

How do we decide between these widely differing viewpoints? Johnson, speaking on behalf of what he calls civilization -- would have helped this discussion had he called it western civilization, as he names terrorism as the biggest problem. China has a very different view, and is acting on that view.

Quoting Moyo, "The sad truth is that governments with regular election cycles, government officials rationally focus on 'immanent dangers.' Under the pressures of the ballot box, the urgent usurps the important. A more brutal way to put it is that governments tend not to care for future generations; these supposedly desirable models of government actually encourage political myopia." Western civilization is mostly represented by these types of governments.

China, on the other hand, concerns itself much more with the long term. China's government makes sure its populations of the future have their needs met. Keeping their needs met avoids future revolutions. Providing the four essential resources makes it possible to feed their populations, thereby keeping the ruling party in power.

We decide by caring for our future generations. Our biggest problem is exhaustion of earth's resources.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Case for Seeking 9/11 Whistleblowers’ Testimony

Unnamed individuals claiming to be 9/11 whistleblowers have sent a document titled Dakota Report to one or more individuals within the 9/11 Truth community. The document claims to give a detailed accounting of what the 9/11 perpetrators did to accomplish their mission (i.e., set of operations), plus descriptions of some future, even more gruesome, planned missions. The document does name some familiar names, including George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld, as well as brief mention of George H.W. Bush, and last names only of Silverstein and Giuliani. The whistleblowers claim to be members of this perpetrator team. They also claim their main intent is to expose and thus prevent the future missions. 
The whistleblowers demand immunity and impunity, and protection by a security detail. Should this demand be granted, it must be announced publicly by a high level person in the Administration. It must be announced before 12-12-12 at 20:00 EST. In exchange for these demands, they will provide detailed video, photographic, audio recordings, implicating the individuals responsible for 9/11.
Since the report became known to a number of 9/11 Truth leaders on or about 7/3/12, there has been a scramble to discredit the Dakota Report, or argue against being supportive of the whistleblowers’ demands. One argument is 9/11 Truth leaders have virtually no chance in getting any U.S. politician to advocate the granting of immunity for a case such is this.
I take a different view. I think the document is plausible enough that it should be treated as authentic. (Some will prefer I say “potentially authentic,” but I find it clearer to hypothesize that it is authentic.) Part of my tendency to do this is my familiarity with assessing safety hazards associated with possible experimental aircraft failure conditions. The approach is to hypothesize some failure condition, such as a hydrogen leak into a particular hazardous area. The task is then to prove to everyone's satisfaction that a hydrogen leak can not lead to a catastrophic outcome. There will be people who want to argue that a hydrogen leak into that area of concern is so improbable that we shouldn't spend time worrying about it. I sometimes find myself in that camp. But, it is important to think through the ramifications of the hydrogen leak as a given. 
Similar to Cheney’s One Percent Doctrine (irony noted) which gave inspiration for the title of a Ron Suskind book (, where he quotes Cheney, “If there's a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysis ... It's about our response.” Applied to this case, if there’s a 1% chance the Dakota Report is authentic, we should treat it as a certainty in terms of our response.
Taking it as certain, the political challenges are daunting. The most likely situation is the demands will not be granted prior to the General Election. That leaves the six-week period between Nov 6 and Dec 12 for the announcement to be made.
If Obama wins, there is the small possible opening in that there probably aren’t any Democrats implicated. However, Obama has been very unfriendly to transparency in general, and whistleblowers in particular. Obama is unlikely to change just because of a second-term victory.
If Romney wins, this puts Obama as a lame duck during this critical period. Maybe Obama would be willing to grant the demand in order to damage prominent Republican leadership from the George W. Bush Administration.
The third possibility, highly unlikely, is that Obama grants the demand prior to the Election. Possibly, granting what is equivalent to a Presidential Pardon on the anniversary of Sept. 11, which if played correctly, would be a major hit to the Republican Party.
This third possibility will not happen of its own accord. Things have to be lined up to give it any chance at all.
One possibility is to urge the Defense for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to seek this whistleblower information. Maybe the Defense can argue that the information has been offered to the Government, potentially information that can clear their defendant from any charges of wrongdoing.
We should seek strategic help from people like Dennis Kucinich and Cynthia McKinney on the political side, and William Veale on the legal side. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

9/11 Hearings in Vancouver -- Taking the Next Step

I'm flying home from Vancouver after participating in the 9/11 Vancouver Hearings. The memory of the Canadian customs official questioning me as I entered Canada is vivid in my mind. After asking me what conference I was attending, I replied, "the 911 Vancouver Hearings." 
While hoping that would be a sufficient answer, he followed quickly with another question. 
"And, what is your role?" he asked.  
"As a speaker," I replied.  
"Okay, you may go."
And as if to add an exclamation point, he came down with the stamp machine on my passport.
With an inner sigh of relief, I promptly moved on, almost afraid I would be called back for further questions.
Fast forward to the opening session. I really was thinking of this as a conference. Calling it a Hearings was, I thought, just a quirky little thing. Something like giving it some spin to make it sound more dignified. But, soon it would become clear there was a good reason these were called Hearings.
A panel of jurists, headed by Judge Alfred Lambremont Webre, would be hearing evidence from each of the witnesses. I was to be one of the witnesses. 
I listened closely as the first witness was called. Judge Webre swore him in, asking him to affirm he would tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The first witness was also asked to state his qualifications as it relates to the area of 9/11 research. 
At the end of the first session at which three witnesses testified, Judge Webre asked each of them to identify two or more individuals for which prima facia evidence exists indicating they should be questioned.
This grabbed my attention. I immediately realized I would be asked the same question, and that would be taking a big "next step." I always had placed myself solidly on the "what happened" question. It was for others some time later to ask the "who did it" question.
My time to be called as a witness was the next day, nearly 24 hours later. Not enough time, it seemed, to sufficiently mull over two difficult questions. One; what qualified me to be a witness on the destruction of the Twin Towers?  And two; who would I name as, in my terminology, "persons of interest"?
The idea of being qualified as a witness brought back to mind my answer to a question asked of me many times in my stint being a 9/11 activist -- “aren't you afraid to be speaking out so publicly about 9/11?” My answer has always been -- no, because I hidn't witnessed anything. I've never considered myself a witness or in any kind of danger. But, now, I'm suddenly looking for a reason why I am qualified to be a witness.
I did decide it made sense to be a witness on the Twin Towers destructions because of my experience as an engineering general manager. There wasn't any particular discipline that would make me that much more qualified, in that the breadth of disciplines possibly involved in the Twin Towers destructions was quite large, indeed.
As it turned out among Internet chatter the next day, I was accused of not being qualified because I was not an architect. Or maybe the criticism was that I was more qualified in other areas, such as with airplane issues. I would agree, I am more qualified with airplane issues, but I feel I am adequately qualified in general engineering and matters involving the laws of physics. The Twin Towers destructions certainly falls within those areas.
My presentation on assessing alternative theories on the Twin Tower destructions was meant to propose a process for evaluating evidence. I illustrated the process by assessing four theories against nine issues. This is limited both in number of theories considered, and number of issues considered. Thus, this example shouldn’t be a final answer. However, in this limited assessment, there was one issue, radionuclides, that made a strong difference in support of nuclear devices of some sort. So, the matter of who would be my top two persons of interest was logically associated in a negative sense to that issue.
I decided, from the evidence that I put forward in my presentation, the most troubling information pertained to the concentration levels of elements found in the dust, as reported by the USGS. Although USGS apparently didn't recognize the significance of these measurements, several different 9/11 truth researchers have reported the strong correlation between certain elements that correlate with nuclear fission. This, I conclude, makes the strong implication that the isotopes of these elements must be radionuclides, that is, radioactive. 
Having radionuclides in the rubble must have been known by those behind this treasonous event, and been of great concern that their presence must be covered up. The first person that comes to mind when I think of hiding the rubble is Mayor Rudi Giuliani. He was the one who ordered immediate removal of the debris, and therefore should be a person of interest for the criminal destruction of evidence.
The second person I identified, tentatively at this point, was Michael Chertoff. At the time (2001), he headed the criminal division of the Department of Justice. My understanding is that Chertoff had authority over the part of the FBI conducting the WTC investigation. Many indicators suggest this part of the FBI was primarily hiding any evidence related to the WTC debris from the public, rather than conducting a serious investigation. I will investigate further this possible connection between Chertoff and the FBI before deciding if the “tentative” qualifier should be removed.