“Saudi officials were ‘supporting’ 9/11 hijackers, commission member says” – TTG

A former Republican member of the 9/11 commission, breaking dramatically with the commission’s leaders, said Wednesday he believes there was clear evidence that Saudi government employees were part of a support network for the 9/11 hijackers and that the Obama administration should move quickly to declassify a long-secret congressional report on Saudi ties to the 2001 terrorist attack.

The comments by John F Lehman, an investment banker in New York who was Navy secretary in the Reagan administration, signal the first serious public split among the 10 commissioners since they issued a 2004 final report that was largely read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia, which was home to 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11.

“There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government,” Lehman said in an interview, suggesting that the commission may have made a mistake by not stating that explicitly in its final report. “Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia.”  (The Guardian)


I don’t think we’re going to get the toothpaste back in the tube on this one. Might as well release those 28 pages now because it’s not going to get any better for our dear Saudi friends. According to RT, the FBI has more potential dirt on the Saudis to the tune of 80,000 files. And what about those five dancing Israelis in New Jersey on 9/11? 





This last ABC News link leads to an error 404 page. To view it, put "Were Israelis Detained on Sept. 11 Spies?" in a Google search and view it from the first link provided.


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144 Responses to “Saudi officials were ‘supporting’ 9/11 hijackers, commission member says” – TTG

  1. Martin Oline says:

    I thought those dancing Israelis were forgotten as soon as they were whisked back to Israel. They were here as intelligence agents weren’t they?

  2. Martin Oline,
    A lot of people want that story to be forgotten. Trump conflated it into thousands of dancing Muslims. Reports were that they were Mossad agents working under cover of a Jersey moving company. Maybe there’s more in those 80,000 FBI files.

  3. Fred says:

    I’d hate to see the press cover something as unimportant as this story. Thank goodness the President is going to issue an executive order on transgender bathrooms in public schools nationwide.
    Just how stupid does the establishment thin Americans are?

  4. Erika says:

    To your reference to the dancing Israelis, there was also the attempt by Israeli agents to bomb the Mexico Congress.
    I remember seeing this in the news, on the Spanish channels.
    Sorry for these links. These were the only ones I could find that provided more details.

  5. Jackrabbit says:

    “Saudi individuals.” OK. So what happened to them?
    I think this is the key question. Their fate tells us if the Saudis monarchy/govt is an enemy. If we know of these people, then the Saudis Govt must know of them also.
    <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
    I expect that the release of the report will depict KSA as a victim of terr0rism/extremism (a point that they Saudis often make). But this is duplicitous. KSA Govt has supported extremists in the past to further its own interests and it appears that they are still doing so.

  6. crf says:

    What’s the Quid pro Quo for keeping this report secret? All I can see is a hill of beans.
    The Saudis have behaved in fantastically silly ways since 9/11. The Wahhabiya extremism that spreads from Riyadh has been an important factor in destabilizing many Muslim societies. So Bush probably didn’t extract a promise for them to behave better in exchange for keeping the report secret.

  7. crf,
    The full answer eludes me. Only theories I have are: 1) the Israelis and Saudis are butt buddies, 2) Saudi Arabia serves as the bank and weapons storehouse for the CIA, 3) the Saudis are a lucrative market for our arms manufacturers, 4) ties between wealthy families (houses of Saud, Bush and Clinton), 4) vestigial memory of a time when the Saudis ruled OPEC and the oil supply.

  8. F5F5F5 says:

    My intuition is that the 28 Pages might be more embarrassing for the US Government than it would be for KSA. Because it would raise questions like “if you knew this, then why didn’t you do anything?”
    Call me devil advocate, but at some level KSA does closely collaborate with counter-terrorism doesn’t it?
    Also KSA does fund mosques and provide wahhabi imams, but in the West the most influential in converting people to a form of radical islam are the Tabligh (from India), and home-grown crackpot salafis often get their religious training in Egypt.
    So let’s not throw the baby with the Baath water.

  9. Green Zone Café says:

    Always remember Bush classified this at the same time he was making a public case that Saddam helped the 9/11 hijackers.

  10. MRW says:

    Paul Thompson has these stories on his excellent timeline. I also have copies of the original stories on drives somewhere. The web was wiped a few years later. Yes, these stories were reported at the time. Also–believe it or not–a bunch of Israeli soldiers danced in the streets of Hebron so that if you searched for “dancing Israelis,” all you would find was that story. It was funded by the Israeli Ministry of Information.
    The Saudi angle was never reported, except by Daniel Hopsicker (Sp?).
    Does Lehman have cancer? Is that why he’s coming forward?

  11. Jag Pop says:

    “And what about those five dancing Israelis in New Jersey on 9/11? ”
    Don’t forget about ISI’ (Pakistan) transfer(ing) of funds to Mohammed Atta.
    Also, if the Saudi government was involved in planning 9/11 where was our CIA?
    The CIA wasn’t watching, wasn’t listening?
    Mossad wasn’t watching, wasn’t listening?
    ISI wasn’t watching, wasn’t listening?
    The information in the infamous Blacked-out 28 Pages was only known to the CIA **after** 9/11 ?
    The current Director of the CIA, John Brennan, was CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia during the planning days of 9/11 (whoever was doing that).
    9/11 hijackers came to the US in January 2000 and based themselves in San Diego.
    Just shortly before this (months or weeks?) John Brennan completed his tenure, 1996-1999, as CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia and became Chief of Staff to then-CIA Director George Tenet.
    9/11 was planned in Saudi Arabia. (?)
    John Brennan was CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia.
    John Brennan and two hijackers then left Saudi Arabia and based themselves in the US.

  12. MRW says:

    This is what happens when a full investigation doesn’t happen. No one has yet explained how an 1,000C fire–per the official NIST report–could have caused those tower collapses in the first place.
    Based on this comprehensive investigation, NIST concluded that the WTC towers collapsed because: (1) the impact of the planes severed and damaged support columns, dislodged fireproofing insulation coating the steel floor trusses and steel columns, and widely dispersed jet fuel over multiple floors; and (2) the subsequent unusually large jet-fuel ignited multi-floor fires (which reached temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius) significantly weakened the floors and columns with dislodged fireproofing to the point where floors sagged and pulled inward on the perimeter columns. This led to the inward bowing of the perimeter columns and failure of the south face of WTC 1 and the east face of WTC 2, initiating the collapse of each of the towers. Both photographic and video evidence—as well as accounts from the New York Police Department aviation unit during a half-hour period prior to collapse—support this sequence for each tower
    1,000C = 1,832F.
    Japanese Kishu Binchotan charcoal reaches temperatures of 1800F–some say, 1875F, but my laser gun says 1825F–and doesn’t melt, or in any way destroy, ordinary Weber barbecues with flimsy grates. The Japanese grill: from classic yakitori to steak, seafood, and vegetables by Tadashi Ono, Harris Salat.
    I use Kamitosa White Binchotan.
    See comparison, both are Ubame Oak charcoal.
    We Americans are so butt-f**k stupid. Dripping in mind-numbing stupidity. And it’s measurable. with a laser temperature gun.

  13. divadab says:

    Why take out Iraq? It must have taken a coalition – Iraq was a successful secular Arab government – the enemy of Israel and the Saudis. And since a US war, corporate interests – the oil cartel – benefited mightily from taking Iraq oil offline – remember $160 a barrel oil in 2006-7, when oil companies made the highest profits of any corporation in the history of the world? I mean, the Pres of BP retired and his final year’s pay was $487 million – paid for by the poor US taxpayer who also paid with higher gas prices and who will be paying the war debt forever.
    The idiots threw three years worth of income tax revenues into the desert and set it on fire – and who was the main beneficiary? Iran, which has regained its former territories.

  14. And the KSA nationals flown out of D.C. on 9/12/2001?

  15. Ali says:

    my 2 cents:
    1) Yes
    Here’s a a little anecdote in relation to this:
    Pakistan has been flirting with a travel quarantine on account of Polio. Most cases detected in international settings may be DNA typed to identify the source country as each has unique strains.
    Just across the Egyptian border there is the Bedouin city of Rahat, Israel; it was here that sewage samples tested positive for polio virus typed to Pakistan (http://www.dawn.com/news/1030054).
    The wild polio virus (WPV) forms circulating in Pakistan and the reason for possible quarantine can all be traced to the FATA region (insurgency hit, rife with Wahhabi madrassahs and associated anti vaccination sentiment). I bet on transport of appropriate nut jobs from here to the Syrian theater with Israel as one port of entry. Suggests cooperation a least. I wonder how far back this may extend into the past. BTW said transport and material support thereafter would not be cheap. Not many countries are that rich, SA is but IMF says they are going broke soon….
    2) Yes + mobilizes a ready reserve of nut jobs from a range of muslim countries where Wahhabi madrassahs are in place, pays for the logistics for this.
    3) Hell yes!
    4) dunno
    A few questions that I would appreciate clarity and your opinion on:
    Was the Borg present/operational at that time?
    What is the borg’s objective in view of actions taken thus far? (Ukraine, russia baiting, indulging jihadis, gutting social support programs in the US (to include educational funds))
    PS: Col Lang, there is nothing like this space on the net…NOTHING! Do not deprive those who seek the light. 😀

  16. samar says:

    On Tuesday, UNSC held a vote to list Ahrar Al-Sham & Jaysh al-Islam as terrorist groups. #US, #UK & #FR have vetoedSyria Intelligence added,
    H e b a @HKX07
    18+ Disturbing image
    U.S backed “rebels” stepping on bodies of female civilians they massacred in Zarah #Homs Syria
    Jenan Moussa ‏@jenanmoussa
    #Syria opposition groups (Nusra &Ahrar) committed massacre yesterday against Alawites in AlZara town. This conflict is only getting worse.
    Max Abrahms ‏@MaxAbrahms
    Amnesty International says our rebel friends seem to be using chemical weapons against civilians indiscriminately https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/syria-armed-groups-may-have-used-chemical-weapons-aleppo-new-evidence-war-crimes#.VzUXlmV1kXU.twitter ….

  17. SmoothieX12 says:

    Say it ain’t so. Saudis supporting terrorists and only now this story being made public! I am being facetious, of course. In the end, it is not about KSA and this sh.t hole being main (together with Qatar) generators of jihad in the world, it is about those in US (and Europe) who still have audacity to talk about KSA being “ally” on any issue.

  18. tim s says:

    Full answers are hard to come by with acts as enormous as this one with as many influential people who want no light shown on it. It looks like KSA is being set up as the weakest of the three players among the major conspirators if worse comes to worst, since people keep looking and asking. I can’t help but think the brains behind this lie in Israel, and to no small extent in the US, although the distinction between the US and Israel is illusory on the levels we are looking at here. How many dual US/Israeli citizens are involved at the highest levels? Who did it? Those who would rule the world….

  19. elkern says:

    Re Theory #1, I find it very interesting that many pro-Israeli sources in the USA have recently been throwing KSA under the bus. An “alliance” like that couldn’t last long, and I think it’s over.

  20. turcopolier says:

    IMO there is way too much “Protocols…” in some of these comments. How about this? The Wahhabi-takfiri revivalism cycle we are in is genuine. The jihadists are NOT agents or dupes of anyone or anything except their own god drunk minds. How about the thought the Western intelligence was simply lazy and incompetent in not comprehending the riding jihadi tide and was also collectively incompetent in not penetrating the Bin Laden sect before 9/11? Brennan is a friend of the jihadis? Who knew? Not me. pl

  21. Jag Pop,
    That’s all a bit too conspiratorial for me. Brennan as part of a 9/11 plot? That’s ludicrous. The CIA just missed this as did Brennan. Saudi Arabia has always been a tough intelligence target. It’s like infiltrating a Mafia family with competing, scheming factions. Mossad may have gotten wind of the plot. Maybe that explains why the dancing Israelis were filming the burning towers. Maybe it was just a coincidence. As MRW said, this is what happens when a full investigation doesn’t take place. I’d add that when a full explanation isn’t offered to the public, the public is left to its own imagination.

  22. Erika,
    That whole story strikes me as a pair of lone nut jobs striking out on their own. Even if they had no relationship with the Israeli government, they would be an extreme embarrassment to Israel. Israel would have been wise to get the whole incident swept under the rug.

  23. And remember: no plane ever struck building 7, and yet it burst into flame and collapsed anyway. The collision and jet-fuel arguments don’t even apply in the case of building 7.

  24. bks says:

    Slight tangent: “9/11 judge and prosecutors should step down over ‘destroyed evidence’, defense demands”

  25. Babak Makkinejad says:

    One must appreciate the fact that NATO states have had a good and solid relationship with Saudi Arabia and Gulfies going back for decades.
    There is a long history of mutual aide and succor in this which survived numerous Arab-Israeli Wars as well as the Oil Embargo of 1973.
    Furthermore, Gulfies financially helped in the war against USSR in Afghanistan and later against Iraq in 1991.
    And then there are very real and substantial financial and commercial interests between NATO states and the Gulfies.
    For example, outside of the arms trade, there is very very substantial presence of United Kingdom subjects in the aviation and banking sectors of UAE.
    Money comes from the Gulfies, and the managerial leadership is supplied from UK.
    I would expect that NATO states would endeavor to sweep under the rug all sorts of malfeasance or otherwise unsavory behaviors by their Gulfie partners.
    Furthermore, one has to admit that the Iran’s Islamic Revolution severed NATO states from Iran in 1979 and the subsequent events – such as Iran-Iraq War (1980-9188), Israeli’s invasion and occupation of Lebanon (1982-2000), Israel-Hezbollah War of 2006, and lastly the NATO states’ economic war against Iran (2003-2016) & the Syrian War (2011 to Present) further removed the possibility of any alternatives to the Gulfies to the NATO states.
    NATO states are stuck with a genuine Wahhabi-takfiri revivalism cycle to which they are neither conceptually, nor intellectually, nor politically equipped to respond.

  26. SmoothieX12 says:

    “NATO states are stuck with a genuine Wahhabi-takfiri revivalism cycle to which they are neither conceptually, nor intellectually, nor politically equipped to respond.”
    And they will continue to be not ready. For starters, they are incapable (or impeded) of identifying the root cause of the issue and then, the process of de-Hellinization (as Robert Reilly defines it), that is of abandoning a rational view of the world is in full swing now. This, plus, of course, vast numbers of representatives of Western political class being in the deep pockets of Gulfies. It is a perfect storm, really, but in the end, West has only oneself to blame.

  27. Jackrabbit says:

    While I agree with you that speculation can sometimes go too far, the fact is governments and government officials ‘conspire’ to advance their interests – and lie/mislead as they deem necessary. It is hard work to gain some understanding of the true state of things. A few examples:
    >> NATO expansion? “not one inch”
    >> “They hate us for our freedoms”
    >> Clapper lies to Congress about NSA data collection;
    >> Gen. Alexander lies to Congress saying that NSA spying has prevented terr0rist attacks on Homeland;
    >> Rumsfeld: “We are an Empire now … we make our own reality”
    >> Benghazi: “Spontaneous demonstration” sparked by an anti-Islamic video
    Addressing your points in order:
    1) “The jihadists are NOT agents or dupes of anyone or anything except their own god drunk minds.”
    They are agents/dupes of whomever has/is funding and organizing them. Note: there has been no attempt to curtail the madrasas and dozens of Saudi clerics publicly called for supporting the jihadis after Russia’s intervention in Syria.
    2) “Western intelligence was simply lazy and incompetent in not comprehending the riding jihadi tide”
    >> Biden and Dempsey have spoken of allies that support ISIS/jihadis, and there is plenty of “open source” intel regarding funding and arms traffic to jihadis;
    >> the West openly supports “moderate rebels” that often work with the jihadis and pass on weaponry;
    >> A DIA report obtained by Judicial Watch spoke of “our allies” supporting the establishment of a Caliphate in Iraq-Syria;
    >> It is hard to ignore the commercial and FP benefits that accrue to the West from the use of extremists as a weapon:
    – countering Iranian/Russian influence;
    – record arms sales;
    – future reconstruction contracts;
    – etc.;
    3) “. . . collectively incompetent in not penetrating the Bin Laden sect before 9/11?”
    This ‘sect’ enjoyed the support of the govt of Afghanistan, ISI, and powerful Saudis – leading one to question if the persistence of today’s jihadis imply such (governmental) support (much circumstantial evidence indicates that this is indeed true);
    4) “Brennan is a friend of the jihadis?
    Our ‘Lead from Behind’ (“LfB”) M.E. foreign policy = support for the initiatives of our allies – even if immoral. Brennan/CIA is a loyal government official following a policy that advances US interests. That jihadis benefit from this policy doesn’t make him their ‘friend’ – though it may (legally) make him complicit in their crimes.

  28. apol says:

    I assume Patrick BAHZAD will have heard that François Hollande’s ‘gouvernement’ is planning to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle of Verdun ( where over 300,000 French soldiers lost their lives ) with a rap concert in Verdun.
    The petition protesting this outrage can be found here.

  29. All,
    A characteristically sober, and incisive, piece posted by Philip Giraldi last month is I think well worth a close read. An excerpt:
    ‘And, of course, the big question is motive. That Saudi Arabia might be bribing a home grown terrorist group to leave it alone is perhaps not surprising, but if they were supporting that group knowing that it was planning a major terrorist attack in the United States that would be something quite different. Lacking Saudi government internal documents, I would imagine the 28 pages will be unable to determine whether or not that was the case and one might well assume that it would have been insanity for the Saudis to support such an initiative.’
    (See http://www.unz.com/article/the-missing-28-pages/ .)
    As to the Israelis – or one might perhaps better say, some Israelis – such people certainly had a motive.
    The notion that they were actively involved in instigating the attack seems to me wildly improbable. That they knew, and let the attack go forward, does not seem to me anything like as improbable. But it could equally well simply be a coincidence.
    The point is that we need a proper investigation, designed to ascertain the truth.
    The most fundamental problem, I think, was pinpointed by Putin in his address to the U.N. last September. Two key paragraphs:
    ‘It is equally irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you’ll find a way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them.
    ‘I’d like to tell those who engage in this: Gentlemen, the people you are dealing with are cruel but they are not dumb. They are as smart as you are. So, it’s a big question: who’s playing who here? The recent incident where the most “moderate” opposition group handed over their weapons to terrorists is a vivid example of that.’
    (See http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50385 .)
    As so often, a stupid intellectual arrogance is the Achilles heel of many. Time and again, the notion that fanatics are fools blows up in one’s face.
    It is perhaps understandable that, in the circumstances of the time, the Imperial German General Staff thought it was a bright idea to assist in the transportation of Lenin – in the famous sealed train, as though he was a kind of poison bacillus – from Switzerland back to Russia.
    Again, it is perhaps not entirely incomprehensible that, in the circumstances of the early ‘Thirties, German conservatives thought that Hitler would be a manipulable instrument, who could employ the ‘black arts’ of ‘mass politics’ pioneered by the Bolsheviks in support of conservative agendas.
    In both cases, a ‘devil’s pact’ laid up problems for the future.
    The Anglo-American ‘devil’s pact’ with the Saudis has been very advantageous for a great many people, in all kinds of ways. It was, of course, originally pioneered by ourselves, before being taken over by you people.
    But it has involved spreading the Wahhabist toxin throughout the Islamic world.
    Even without this, as discussions on this blog have brought out, the task of finding some kind of reconciliation between Islam and ‘modernity’ would be difficult enough.
    For Britain and the United States to be suggesting that there are ‘moderate Islamists’ who can lead Syria, or Turkey, or Chechnya, into a ‘modern world’, while employing jihadists sponsored by the Saudis as an instrument for this anticipated
    transition, is almost surreally stupid.
    However, Babak Makkinejad and ‘SmoothieX12’ are quite wrong in thinking that it is clear that we will go on, as it were, ‘reinforcing failure’.
    As I have tried to explain in previous comments, what is happening in Britain is an immense collapse of confidence in élites. How this is developing, and will develop, is utterly unpredictable: it could end quite benignly, or utterly catastrophically.
    What is clear is that changing responses to Islam are at the centre of this. At the popular level, however, what almost all of these have in common is a hostility to Wahhabism. And implicit in this is a question – why are people like Blair and Cameron behaving as they do? A possible answer is: because the Saudis paid them.
    (One of my all-time favourite films, was called, for its American release, ‘Out of the Past’: did they want to make it appear boring? Released in Britain, it was called by the more evocative name: ‘Build my Gallows High.’)

  30. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to F5F5F5,
    Yes, I agree that one must proceed cautiously in this matter. Hasn’t it already been said that the Saudi government officials who may have been involved were officials in the religious ministries? If you go back to the 1979 Grand Mosque takeover you can see the back and forth between various elements of the religious side of the Saudi government and the secular as they desperately struggled to find a way to deal with the Juhayman insurrection that some of the religious authorities sympathized with. Incidentally, there was a lot of “muscle” from the Southwest mountains, including Asir, with Juhayman at Mecca, just as there was on 9/11. (I think that there are connections in 9/11 that go way back.)
    But one thing needs to be said about the Tablighi Jamaat, which you mention as being from India. I don’t know the point of origin of the Tablighi, but they have been well established in Pakistan going all the way back to the 80’s, for sure. I once talked with someone who rode from Quetta on a bus with his student organization to the Tablighi Jamaat gathering at Raiwind Markaz, which is outside of Lahore. This is the second largest gathering of Sunni Muslims after Haj. I have looked at videos of this meeting on Youtube. It is very impressive how they do it. Feeding all those people, for example. You can perceive a very beneficient mood among those “maken pilgrimage” as Chaucer put it, didn’t he? “Wan thot Aprila wit its sura sota the drogtht of Marsch hath pierced to the rota…” ?? (Ok. Ok. ..Go easy on me. I can’t find my OBEV.) (How’s that for an abbreviation!) (It’s still April, cold and raining off and on here in C-Ville. I express my sense of gratitude, and is it restlessness?) My cats close around me, Lada on top of my modem, which maybe is not good for her? (Warm though.)
    My friend said that important Saudis fly in. I think there is a landing strip there, they can see the Gulfstreams coming in. At night, the landing lights. There is a sense of the approval and benediction of their (from over the kala pani) brothers, the magnificent One Percent who also happen to be the Keepers of the Holy Places. The Arabs are very distinctive and impressive, tall fiigures in their impeccable and elegant robes. They are invariably there for the last day or two days of prayers, in which, row by row, in a vast assembly, each row recites a line of the Koran. Surely it must go long into the night. There is a tremendous emotional sense of brotherhood and salvation.
    I think that it is obvious that vast amounts of Saudi money–whether from the religious side of the government or from individual Princes and rich Arab businessmen –have been given in support of the Tablighi. I would think there could be concern in one part of the Saudi government at what another side of the government is doing, and not a lot the pragmatists can do about it. Definitely private money from Saudi Arabia going to Tablighi!
    Guess who started the religious thing rolling in Pakistan. The Carter administration.
    I also agree with TTG that at some point this thing has to be opened up. (Carefully.)

  31. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think you are wrong about calling me and Smoothie12 wrong.
    NATO states, indeed any non-Muslim state, cannot adjudicate among Muslims – good, bad, or ugly; radical, moderate, extremist etc.
    You guys are in your post-Christian phase, you will not be able to even adjudicate among various Christian sects – since, by definition, that is now outside of the purview of your normal politics.
    To combat jihadists and Deobandis and all other such Muslims one needs enlist the aid of Muslim states.
    In my opinion, the only credible and conceivable way that this could be achieved is by crafting a unified political and religious position between Iran and Turkey.
    These two states are the only Muslim states that might be able to, over a long hard slug, fight and discredit and destroy the Jihadists and such hard cases as takfiri revivalism across the Muslim world.
    That is, these two states will be able to beat some sense into the rest of Islamdom.
    However, NATO states have burnt their bridges with Iran and Turkey – evidently due to internal as well as unfulfilled promises made by her allies to her – has gone off the reservation, so to speak.
    NATO states have no choice except walking down this path – the price of normalization with Iran, inducements for Turkey, and settlement with Russia is too steep to pay; in my opinion.
    A man such as Nixon, or Deng could have done this but there is no Western statement that is capable of this either.

  32. Jack says:

    I’m curious how this “immense collapse of confidence in elites” is manifesting itself in Britain?
    From my following the Brexit campaign from across the pond, the Stay side is backed by the political and financial elites. Both Conservative and Labor party establishments with massive financial backing are using the most true and tried approach of fear to rally voters to reject Brexit and the sovereignty of the British parliament.
    My view is that while confidence in elites is waning here in the US they still have a strangehold on the organs of power. Who Trump selects as his running mate and key advisors will be a giant tell. I will not be surprised at all if he goes the way of Mr. Hope & Change, who I knew would be a Borgist when TurboTax Timmy and Larry Summers were appointed. There was no chance then of shining light on the financial malfeasance that led to the 2008 credit crisis as both were deeply implicated. Trump’s fund raising chief is from Goldman Sachs. That is reason for some caution in optimism around his candidacy as a major change from the Borg.

  33. David Habakkuk,
    Yes, that man Putin is a genius in understanding the human condition. In my last assignment, my detachment went after an unusually crafty and ingenious foe and did so on that foe’s home territory. I admonished my people to remember that no matter how smart and skilled they were, there is always someone out there either smarter than you or luckier than you. Never assume you have outwitted your foe.
    Whether “the powers that be” will break out of this destructive cycle of thinking themselves too clever by half is an open question.

  34. Jackrabbit says:

    Good Points.
    Seems appropriate to add:
    1) Many point to the neocon’s call for a “new Pearl Harbor” as stated in PNAC (Project for the Next American Century) as proof by association for Israel’s complicity. This alone means little. But:
    >> the neocons worked hard to buttress and re-orient the American military after the end of the Cold War toward re-making the M.E.
    >> Al Queda had already attacked the WTC in 1993 and it was well known (by those that followed ME affairs) that they often returned to complete a failed attack. Those that didn’t understand al Queda (like the neocons) couldn’t comprehend the danger.
    Did the neocons refrain from expressing their concerns in the hope of a successful attack?!?!?!
    2) Netanyahu has said – in regards to the Sunni-Shia conflict – that one should not interfere when one’s enemies are making a mistake. Really? Aren’t there human rights implications? Allowing other nations to support extremists begs the question of who is responsible for unintended consequences.
    Legally, the driver of the getaway car is just as responsible as the perpetrators for the (unintended!) death of a Bank clerk or security guard. And those who have foreknowledge a crime can be guilty of conspiracy or obstruction.
    IMO anyone that wishes to lead the world must act morally. Our leaders think that only the propaganda-induced APPEARANCE of morality is necessary.

  35. ToivoS says:

    Your interpretation of this information is flawed. It is well known that 1000 deg does not melt steel or cast iron. However, it is well documented that the load bearing strength of structural steel is compromised at 500 deg. In fact, in one study I looked at the load bearing strength was reduced by 90% as the temperature increased to 500 deg. Your Weber barbecue is not made out of load bearing steel for the simple reason cast iron is sufficient for cooking purposes. One cannot build a building of more than 8 or so stories out of cast iron, that is why it is tempered to produce structural steel. The science on this problem was worked out at the end of the 19th century.

  36. MRW says:

    I remember when it went down on 9/11 afternoon. I had the BBC as a pic-in-pic on my computer. Do you know I couldn’t get anyone to believe me for three years?
    I’m really simple-minded. I hear all the accusations of it being the USG, the Saudis, or the Israelis behind this. How can anyone make these claims? It’s all conjecture.
    First job is what happened and how. And no one has answered that yet. NIST’s reasoning is insane, from a scientific POV.
    The British Steel association (renamed itself in the 00’s) did extensive fire tests for structural engineers in 1995 at the Cardington Labs in some British university over a two-year period. Every major European steel company was involved. Their main report was issued in June, 2000, 15 months before 9/11. They built an eight-story steel-framed office building specifically to study the effect of fire on every material imaginable. They rebuilt the building after every experiment.
    I have copies of all their reports but no links. Google “cardington british steel” They photographed the effect on steel beams–negligible–and have highly detailed data that only an engineer whose job determines whether a person lives or dies would love. Hundreds of pages per report. They let the fires burn for days in some experiments. They studied the different grades of steel. They studied office equipment. Wall treatments. Vertically contained areas like stairwells and elevator shafts. The effect of various fuels. Molecular structures. Whether the fire was exogenous or endogenous. You name it.
    Except for the US-based Czech scientist who developed the pancake theory within 48 hours of the towers’ collapse, you won’t find a single structural engineer in good standing, and who values his reputation, who believes the official bullshit story.

  37. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to Tidewater,
    (Did I just commit some sort of crime?)
    I. The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales
    by Geoffrey Chaucer (1340?-1400)
    Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote
    The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
    And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
    Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
    Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
    Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
    The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
    Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
    And smale fowles maken melodye,
    That slepen al the night with open ye,
    (So priketh hem nature in hir corages:
    Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
    And palmers for to seken straunge strondes,
    To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes;
    And specially, from every shires ende
    Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
    The holy blisful martir for to seke,
    That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.
    Bifel that, in that sesoun on a day,
    In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay
    Redy to wenden on my pilgrimage
    To Caunterbury…
    Interesting to me that there was more than one pilgrimage route to Canterbury. One route was from the southern ports, for pilgrims came from across the Channel. And another route was from western England, and stopped the night before at Chilham, four or five miles from the cathedral. The Tabard Inn, across the Thames in London, at Southwark (known for its watermen) must have had as its sign the red cross on white, the flag of England now, which was put on the cotton or canvas tunic worn over armor, the unforgettable sign of the Crusader. It took me the longest time to realize the significence of “Tabard”. I assume the inn specialized to the trade. Man, that is some swell use of the colon there right before “Than longen folk..” Sets it up nice.

  38. Thomas says:

    David Habakkuk linked to Phil Giraldi’s article below on The Missing 28 Pages which has this statement.
    “The five “dancing Israeli” celebrants, who turned out to be employees of an Israeli-owned moving company in New Jersey, were arrested after 9/11 and held in Brooklyn, initially on charges relating to visa fraud. FBI interrogators questioned them for more than two months. Several were held in solitary confinement so they could not communicate with each other and two of them were given repeated polygraph exams, which they failed when claiming that they were nothing more than students working summer jobs. The two men that the FBI focused on most intensively were believed to be Mossad staff officers and the other three were volunteers helping with surveillance. After 71 days, the Bush White House intervened, ordering the Israelis to be released and deported. They later complained about their treatment and sued the United States government.”

  39. Thomas says:

    “I find it very interesting that many pro-Israeli sources in the USA have recently been throwing KSA under the bus.”
    When you look at the recent talk of the privatization of Aramco, it could be part of a shakedown play to get the Saudis to allow the Hedge Funds to turn their commercial paper into something of value before the coming apocalypse of “Margin Call”.

  40. MRW says:

    Toivo, well the 19th C science is superseded by the two-year Cardington Fire Frame Experiments done in 1995, which was performed on an eight-story building built with structural steel. See my post once the Colonel approves it. You can research it yourself.
    500 deg my ass. Fire broke out in the North Tower in February, 1975 on the 11th floor and spread to the 9th and 19th floors. NYT photos showed it engulfed the entire perimeter. Flames leapt from the 11th to the upper floors. It burned for hours from 11:30 PM well into the night. I watched it from the Jersey side.
    Furthermore, the Cardington building had unprotected beams/trusses. There was no fire-rated suspended ceiling or spray-on retardant. Also, the Cardington tests showed that the relatively cool concrete slabs on each floor strengthened the structural frame, something they hadn’t anticipated. (It takes decades for cement to cure. The Boulder Dam, built in 1935+, is still curing. Heat gets the moisture out.)

  41. Walrus says:

    I had an Australian researcher working on a joint project at an American Government laboratory at and before 9/11. I was project managing our (Australian) end of the work.
    My researcher was an extremely verbose person via email.
    He sent me either weekly or monthly (I forget which) copies of his official lab security warning emails that were sent, as far as I can tell, to all Federal employees at that time.
    The gist of those security warnings was that America, Americans and American Government facilities were targets for terrorist operations and that the danger was real. The warnings may have alluded to a heightened threat, but I can’t remember. Employees were warned to be on the lookout and to be on their guard.
    I also recall, I think, and this is critical, that the warning emails stopped after 9/11 which suggests that intelligence knew something was planned, but not what it was.
    I would imagine that some members of SST may have received similar blanket warnings at the time.

  42. Cieran says:

    With all due respect, your last paragraph may be true, but not in the sense you intended. The simple truth is that the NIST report does explain how the twin towers collapsed, and those explanations have been debated in the open literature in engineering, with a resulting understanding the the collapse based on the laws of physics and chemistry, as expressed via the profession of structural engineering.
    What it takes to appreciate the content of those debates in a solid understanding of the dynamics of large structures, including plenty of calculus, engineering mechanics and material science as a prerequisite technical foundation. Subject matter expertise in these fields is in short supply among the general populace (including many engineers, and virtually all architects), so there’s no surprise that lots of people don’t believe the NIST report: understanding it takes more technical chops than most of the population possesses.
    The bottom line is that people who don’t know what an LFRS is, and how it works, or are not fluent in the interaction of margins of safety and dynamic load factors, are not going to understand the physics of the collapse. Those of us who do (and yes, I am a structural engineer, though my expertise tends towards the weapons-effects-on-buildings end of the picture instead of the design and construction of high-rises: in my end of the engineering world, the latter are generally referred to as “targets”, not as “buildings”) know that the NIST report is as accurate a picture as we’ll get for an event with as much inherent uncertainty as the 9/11 attack. I am sorry if that causes troubles for your beliefs, but folks like me live in the world of physical facts, not conspiracy theories.
    And as far as WTC 7 is concerned, while I wish we could explain every observed physical response perfectly, we can’t. We simply don’t have much experience with what happens to high rises designed for east-coast structural practices when a couple skyscrapers collapse suddenly right next door. That’s not exactly something we can simulate in the lab. We do have lots of experience with why some buildings collapse or burst into flames due to other forms of ground shock (like earthquakes), and that experience leads us to wonder if that might be the root cause of the WTC 7 failure.
    But they key word is “wonder”. That is the beauty of science: it makes one wonder, and in the best case that wonder leads to rational and verifiable explanations of how nature plays havoc with our built environment. On the other hand, irrational speculation and appeals to pseudo-authorities on the physical response of large structures doesn’t lead to wonder: it all too often leads to mistrust, paranoia and anger instead.
    I highly recommend choosing wonder.

  43. Jackrabbit says:

    Correction: Those who didn’t understand al Queda (like the neocons DID)…

  44. A. Pols says:


  45. VietnamVet says:

    The world turned upside down. For those left with pensions and professional jobs in the West, it is just about the same as ever except public services are fraying and user fees increasing. For the millions who lost their jobs and homes; it is hellish, softened by alcohol and opiates. For the wealthy few, it is their world now. The era of the sovereign states, mass armies and the professional officer corps are long gone. To fight its Empire wars, the Western elite have had to use proxy jihadists, neo-Nazis and mercenaries supported by special operators. This has created strange bedfellows that are best ignored by hush money and weapon sales. America’s allies Turkey, Gulf Monarchies and Israel are vested in prolonging the existence of the Sunni Caliphate and continued, never ending, warfare in the Levant. With allies like this, America doesn’t need enemies.
    The basic question is how will the people regain control of the lives and their government.

  46. Dubhaltach says:

    Please tell us preferably with the aid of a map _precisely_ which “former territorie” Iran has regained and when it lost them.

  47. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to SmoothieX12 13 May 2016 at 08:55 AM
    “together with Qatar”
    Keeping pushing that loud and clear and repeatedly they may not be as internally vicious as the Saudis and it’s for sure a much nicer place to visit (if you’re male, well-connected, and have something they want) but when it comes to promotion of Wahabbism they’re in competition with the Saudis as to who spread it the most.
    This fact is sedulously ignored by westerners in general, if they knew it in the first place.

  48. optimax says:

    Here’s a video of a blacksmith demonstrating structural steel bending like a noodle at 1800 degrees. Aviation fuel burns at 1500 but if you add the other fuel sources, paper and wood,it could easily add 300 degrees.
    Next are accounts of survivors and structural engineers and other experts who knew the towers were coming down before they collapsed. The buildings were swaying and falling apart, obviously structurally compromised.

  49. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to Jack 13 May 2016 at 02:22 PM
    Read the comment sections of traditionally Tory newspapers such as The Express or The Daily Mail and you’ll see what Mr. Habakuk means.
    There’s ENORMOUS push back against the official line in the comments. Whether it’s on Brexit, Syria, Russia, Fracking – you name it, conservative supporters aren’t buying the line being pushed by the Conservative party establishment.
    In fact this push back got so bad The Daily Telegraph (The “Torygraph”) recently stopped allowing comments. Personally I think that’s a pity as reading readers comments on anything by Con Coughlin was a revelation into how much sometimes quite polite excoration could be fitted onto a single A4 sheet of paper when printed out.

  50. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to David Habakkuk 13 May 2016 at 01:27 PM
    Utterly off topic for which my apologies however seeing your name reminded me of this piece of music that I think you’d greatly enjoy on Saturday Chorale:
    The entire series of postings about Hawes’ Song of Songs cycle is worth visiting and reading but the penultimate one that I’ve linked to above is a stunning musical portrayal of ecstatic joy.

  51. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to The Twisted Genius 13 May 2016 at 02:35 PM
    “Never assume you have outwitted your foe.”
    The late Barbara Tuchman said that wars always start because someone thought they’d get away with it.
    Your advice reminded me of that.
    Successful mission = “we got away with it” and not “we think we got away with it” or even God help us “we should get away with it”.

  52. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to Babak Makkinejad 13 May 2016 at 02:16 PM
    Was Turkey ever on the reservation? If you look at their history you could make a pretty good argument for them being an expansionist power for most of their history.
    Even during the period of Ottoman decline they had the desire if not the ability.

  53. doug says:

    The tensile and shear strength of steel drops 90% by the time you reach 700C or so.

  54. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments.
    I think that they have been part of NATO, certainly during the so-called Kemalist period.
    But I think that Erdogan acts too much like a man that has been betrayed; did Guflies, US, or EU make repeated promises to him in regards to Syria that were never fulfilled?

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    For many, that “Beauty of Science” is a dreadful thing since each question that is answered leads to more questions.
    A never ending quest.
    How difficult is it to write a structural engineering simulation for a high-rise building, do you know?
    Are the software packages that can be used or adopted for that purpose or does one have to build everything from scratch?
    Surely the entire dynamics of the building complex can be simulated, no?

  56. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Iraq was an ongoing failure from the time that the English left.

  57. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Likely the steel grade and type was different; in a sky scraper the load bearing lower floors would be sturdies parts.

  58. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think he has in mind possibly the return of Iran to the Mediterranean Sea after 2500 years and to the Levant after 1600 years and to Mesopotamia after 250 years.
    God willing, Iran will be back in Kabul in too distant future.
    Perhaps, in the ripeness of time, the 12 million Iranians living under the Turkic oppression of Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan will come back to the bosom of the motherland too.
    One can only hope…but thinking about that and the Great King is just too much right now…

  59. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to Babak Makkinejad 13 May 2016 at 10:57 PM
    I’m very open to correction on this but surely Kemalism was a reaction to defeat and a realisation that if Turkey failed to adapt that it would cease to exist.
    Yes they looked west and yes they joined NATO and attempted to join the EU. But my contention is that that period was the exception and that Neo-Ottomanism starting with Turgut Özal is a reversion to type.
    Your comment about Erdogan – whatever commitments were made to him he’s plainly unhappy, perhaps it’s a question of “Hell hath no fury like a Neo-Ottoman scorned”

  60. jld says:

    but if you add the other fuel sources, paper and wood,it could easily add 300 degrees.

    That’s definitely a silly statement, if you know jackshit about physics it would be preferable not to expose it so obviously, even if only for the sake of your argument.

  61. Jag Pop says:

    4) “Brennan is a friend of the jihadis”
    The question mark, did someone apply a question mark?
    4) “Brennan is a friend of the jihadis”
    At the Thanksgiving Day dining room table one could expect the
    question mark to be applied by your sweet cousin grown in Idaho,
    but here at SST – who would have thunk it?
    “The support for the Syrian rebels is only the latest chapter in the decadeslong
    relationship between the spy services of Saudi Arabia and the United States,
    an alliance that has endured through the Iran-contra scandal,
    support for the mujahedeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan
    and proxy fights in Africa. Sometimes, as in Syria, the two countries have worked in concert.
    In others, Saudi Arabia has simply written checks underwriting American covert activities.”
    At the dinner table one wouldn’t even bother attempting to enlighten one’s sweet cousin, not even bother
    with the effort to supply one meager paragraph. Groupthink consumes your cousin as surely as every movie
    goer knew that the Body Snatchers would harvest Donald Sutherland.
    (Warning: major major digression coming)
    Wish that I could draw, as in: Editorial Cartoon Drawing.
    If anyone has witnessed a 9/11 debate at the reuniting of far flung family members around the
    Thanksgiving Day dinner table one could be forgiven if one fell into the trap of believing the debate
    was about facts. It is about Group Identity. (no question mark need be applied)
    If I could draw I would create two panels side by side to illustrate Groupthink in action.
    In one panel I would show Groupthink protecting and enabling raping Catholic Priests.
    Mirrored by the second panel would be Groupthink loyalty to Oppressive Zionism.
    On one side of a dinner table sits a victim of priestly manners, the victim has “come out” with his
    detailed knowledge and experience. I would draw him with slightly, but suggestively,
    disheveled hair and a weary but sagacious bearing. At the head of the table the father of the family
    beseeches the son, “You are attacking The Church!”. The various other family members at the table
    I would draw with crazied, body-snatched looks, each emitting their own cartoon speech-bubble.
    “You harm The Church”, “Attack upon God!!”, “Our family will be outcasts!!!!”
    In the room upstairs, directly above the dining room table, I would draw a bedroom. Two children –
    a small boy and a small girl – sit up in bed disturbed awake by the silhouetted figure of a priest
    standing in the doorway to their bedroom.
    There in the top area, the bedroom, is the reality and the consequences ***enabled*** by
    It is fully mirrored in the panel about Oppressive Zionism with only a few words changed.
    The dissenter has criticised the policies of Israel, the Groupthinkers emit, “You attack The Jewish People!”, “We will be defenseless and gassed!”, “G-d’s Chosen People!”, “Our family will be outcasts!!”.
    In the basement, below the feet of the dinner table, is a different scene. Enabled, IDF troops pour
    through a door. Two children cower in a corner. Smiling and laughing IDF put their heels
    upon the back of the neck of the children’s father as he lays prone upon the bedroom floor.
    Identity trumps reality.

  62. rjj says:

    off the wall wild guesses quibbles about conclusiveness of video.
    he doesn’t say how long the test steel was in the forge. takes time to compromise metal structure. the more massive the object the longer it takes. also forge heat is steady. the fuel would have run off and burned off quickly so the temperature would not have been at 1500 + for the whole time unless wind effects generated forge-like temperatures – like ancient chinese ceramic kilns – but kilns and forges are closed systems.

  63. Aristonicus says:

    Further links regarding “The High-Fivers”:
    Justin Raimondo at Antiwar
    By CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM “What Did Israel Know in Advance of the 9/11 Attacks?”

  64. robt willmann says:

    Issues and subjects that can get people to start thinking individually about the events of 11 September 2001 and their aftermath are very useful. The topics of Saudi Arabia, the U.S. government allowing some Saudis to fly out of the U.S. when flights were otherwise banned, and the Israelies in New Jersey celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center Twin Towers all add to the process.
    MRW is on the right track in his comments. The physical laws of motion, thermodynamics, and gravity were not suspended on September 11, nor were they suspended before or after that date. Causing a tall skyscraper to drop at free fall speed perfectly into its footprint is a very tricky and difficult thing to do. You have to destroy the supporting structures in exactly the right places at exactly the right time and in exactly the right sequence. Otherwise, it will not completely fall down, or will not collapse at free fall speed, or will tip over sideways into another building, and so forth.
    Suppose that the City of New York and the Port Authority decided that the Twin Towers and Building 7 in the World Trade Center were tacky eyesores in Manhattan that should be dismantled and taken down, and that they were actually going to take competitive proposals and bids to do so. Desiring to get in on this opportunity, we make a presentation and say: “We are going to knock a hole in one side of each Twin Tower about two or three stories high, fairly far up in the building. The hole will only extend part of the way horizontally along the side of the building and not all the way across the outside wall. Then, we are going to randomly splash some jet fuel inside on those two or three floors and set it on fire and burn the furniture, office supplies, and paper therein. We will then walk down the street and get a sandwich and a 32-ounce container of ice tea with no sweetener in it for about 50 minutes, and then walk back and watch both towers drop at free fall speed perfectly into their footprints and turn largely to dust. Then, we are going to put a tank of diesel fuel at around ground level in Building 7, set the tank on fire, go home and take a nap, and come back in several hours and watch the 47-story building collapse perfectly into its footprint at free fall speed.”
    After the people to whom we are making our presentation stop laughing, they will thank us for providing some humor and entertainment, tell us we are excused, and say they are ready for the next proposal.
    In a homicide investigation, all remotely relevant evidence is to be preserved with a proper chain of custody. You would think that every piece of metal, concrete, other tangible thing, a lot of dirt, and all damaged vehicles would be preserved in an environment that is as clean and sanitary as possible for continuous study for years by scientists, engineers, and others to try to understand the claimed events. However, much of the evidence was knowingly destroyed.

  65. Jack says:

    How about Labor partisans? Are they pushing back too?
    Do you see other manifestations of the erosion in confidence in elites? Writing comments to articles on corporate media is one thing, tangible action is another.
    It seems to me sitting here in the US that the Brexit vote will be instructive since the elites are backing Stay with the full power of both Labor and Conservative party establishments.
    I am very interested in this topic to understand how pushback evolves. Does it accelerate or stagnate? Does it become more universal?
    I believe here in the US the primary election is a good example where the elites are under pressure with Trump now the presumptive Republican nominee and Sanders still in the race and financially viable despite the entire party apparatus arrayed against his candidacy. But, with each election cycle it seems the elites at the end carry the day. The re-election of incumbents and Borgists to Congress is still in the 80-90% range. We also saw how quickly the Occupy movement fizzled here. That is why I am very interested to see how Trump evolves. Does he continue to be a maverick or will he get co-opted as soon as he is elected? I think who he appoints as his key advisors will be a leading indicator.

  66. Jack says:

    This is off topic but germane in that the incoming President of Philippines is skeptical of US covert operations in his country and has a bad taste in his mouth from a past experience as Mayor of Davao.

  67. rjj says:

    afterthought – memory belch (unreliable). forget the beams what about the fastening elements ??? mechanical strain over time then thermal shock???

  68. optimax says:

    I’ll take a practical demonstration over theory any day. Did you read the eyewitness accounts? In the picture you can see the building buckling inward.

  69. rjj says:

    aargh! missed ~40 posts above from people who actually know something. vow of silence after this:
    Every time I drive across the Hudson river I give awed thanks for the expertise and skill of engineers who keep really really big things from falling apart. In the case of WTC wonder more about the take of demolition people who know the complexities of bringing massive structures down both neatly and precisely.

  70. LG says:

    Col. Saheb, how can you imagine that you’ll be able to abandon this wonderful discussion at SST? I am sure you’d miss the participants no less than they’d miss you.

  71. Cieran says:

    You ask good questions.
    It’s easy enough to write simulations for high-rises under service conditions of wind and seismic loadings. Structural response is confined to linear-elastic (i.e., reversible) stresses and strains, and high accuracy can be obtained. Plenty of good software packages exist, many in the open source world, too. Even commercial software designed for mechanical engineering systems can be used to good effect.
    And for that matter, so can hand calculations: the portal and cantilever methods enabled structural engineers to design large buildings well before the advent of digital computers, and for service loads, these work remarkably well.
    The problem arises from simulation of extreme loadings, and the WTC collapse had plenty of those. Thermal-mechanical effects (e.g., softening and creep of steel with temperature) are just the tip of a complexity iceberg that limits our ability to gain true fidelity. Some of those limits (e.g., geometric nonlinearities like buckling or contact of structural members) we get better at with time, some of them (e.g., accurate models of inelastic and hysteretic response of structural materials) may never become accurate enough to gain the fidelity required.
    It helps to think of such computational predictions the way that computational meteorologists do, i.e., each simulation is but one member of a larger ensemble of potential results, so the answer is the collective predictions of the ensemble. The butterfly-effect of computational fluid dynamics is a good frame of reference for these limits to predictability, and its practical effect is not limited to fluids. A good literature on the topic of computability in nonlinear solid mechanics exists, and much of it is reasonably accessible to lay audiences.
    So the answer to your last question is “no, it cannot”. It can be simulated, certainly, but the credibility of any particular simulation is hard to justify. It’s not hard to run simulations after the fact that show close agreement with the results, but that’s not a predictive capability: it’s an explanatory tool. But lots of after-the-fact simulations have been performed for the WTC collapse, and they all show basically the same thing: that those two structures had their vertical force-resisting systems compromised by the terrorist attack, and that gravity took care of everything else. No thermite required!

  72. Jackrabbit says:

    Didn’t the steel beams have flame retardant (maybe asbestos?)? Didn’t the jet fuel burn away within minutes?
    As far as the tower’s swaying as a sign of structural compromise: doubtful. The towers were designed to sway (on windy days you could see toilet water sloshing back and forth) and to survive. The towers were also designed to survive an aircraft impact.
    (I don’t follow this closely. There does seems to be deficiencies in the 9-11 Commission report.)

  73. Cvillereader says:

    Yes, and looking at who was placed in charge of that destruction–or shall we say recovery—might yield some powerful clues. It wasn’t the Saudis who were in charge of the clean (cover?) up.

  74. optimax says:

    The temperature in a wood fueled kiln can reach 2500F. Not saying it reached that temperature inside WTC buildings. The planes impacts took out structural beams. Some of the witnesses to the collapse were experts and knew it was coming down. Those inside felt the buildings weakening and becoming increasingly unstable.
    The Titanic was unsinkable.

  75. Jackrabbit says:

    That doesn’t sound like a structural engineer.

  76. Castellio says:

    Exactly so!

  77. Cieran says:

    Interesting observation.
    The appropriate acronym is “SESM”, i.e., structural engineering and structural mechanics. The former is an engineering discipline, the latter a scientific field, each with long histories of practice. When one field gets too far from the other, things all-too-often fall down, and that’s a basic tenet of the profession.
    So to be successful at the high end of the profession, one learns to wear both hats.

  78. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Please see here:
    Interesting and it confirms what we know: in the past 25 to 45 years, the income gap between the top 10 to 20% and the rest has been widening. This also applies to the UK, and less so to Continental Europe.
    I think there’s been a redistribution of income from labour to capital, i.e. from the salaried classes to the capitalist class that owns assets of all kinds. It’s also linked to the pressures of globalization, automation, etc.
    No wonder populist leaders such as Trump in the USA and far-right demagogues in Europe are on the rise. A lot of people out there are very frustrated and very bitter…

  79. Thomas says:

    Thank you for the links.

  80. optimax says:

    The sway, three degrees, in this case was caused by loss of structural integrity.
    The conspiracy of who supported and knew about the hijackers without notifying the authorities is a more relevant avenue for investigation.

  81. optimax says:

    This is from Cieran above:”And as far as WTC 7 is concerned, while I wish we could explain every observed physical response perfectly, we can’t. We simply don’t have much experience with what happens to high rises designed for east-coast structural practices when a couple skyscrapers collapse suddenly right next door. That’s not exactly something we can simulate in the lab. We do have lots of experience with why some buildings collapse or burst into flames due to other forms of ground shock (like earthquakes), and that experience leads us to wonder if that might be the root cause of the WTC 7 failure.”
    He is an expert and I am not. A few days after the ’89 quake I walked around San Francisco surveying the damage. What was interesting was seeing a collapsed apartment building or house next to undamaged ones, despite identical architecture and probably built by the same contractor to the same specs. No one knows why one came down and another didn’t.

  82. MRW says:

    With all due respect, did you bother to read any of these reports before you accused me of being a conspiracy theorist and snickered that i’m not a structural engineer?
    I didn’t write these reports or carry out the experiments. These people did:
    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardington_test
    “The Cardington Fire Tests were a series of large-scale fire tests conducted in real structures (wood, steel-concrete composite and concrete) at the BRE Cardington facility near Cardington, Bedfordshire, England. during the mid 1990s. After the tests, extensive computational and analytical studies of the behaviour of steel-framed composite structures in fire conditions were carried out by, among others, The University of Edinburgh, Sheffield University and Imperial College London.”
    From the University of Edinburgh alone: Cardington Test Reports. Any non-engineer can follow, and should read, the Executive Summary in the first report listed on this page. You would be interested in the model analyses.
    In 2002, FEMA and the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (SEI/ASCE) wrote the comprehensive World Trade Center Building Performance Study
    Available online here: http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/3544
    In their Executive Summary, they write “the sequence of events leading to the collapse of each tower could not be definitively determined.” They say, “The heat produced by this burning jet fuel does not by itself appear to have been sufficient to initiate the structural collapses.” And then go on to surmise that perhaps it was airplane fuel dripping onto lower floors that ignited MORE fires: “However, as the burning jet fuel spread across several floors of the buildings, it ignited much of the buildings’ contents, causing simultaneous fires across several floors of both buildings. The heat output from these fires is estimated to have been comparable to the power produced by a large commercial power generating station.” Because as the rest of their report chapters show, that degree of heat was necessary to cause the damage done, a point they make repeatedly, except they can’t figure out where that degree of heat came from. (Don’t forget the firemen were recorded talking to Dispatch (NYT) from the 80th or 81st floor of the South Tower one second before the tower collapsed and 45 minutes after the plane hit, so the heat was certainly tolerable for a human being.)
    The Cardington fire tests showed that office contents do not contribute to structural damage materially; highly flammable material produced local reactions, not global ones.
    Curiously, the FEMA/ SEI/ASCE report listed overall recommendations for further studies that were answered specifically by the Cardington fire tests.
    NIST did not address them.
    And it was a presentation by members in good standing of the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers that I watched several years ago that rammed this home. They didn’t agree with the NIST report and presented what they considered to be its failures. It’s where I found out about the two-year Cardington tests (I subsequently read about 800 pages of those reports). So your gripe is with your fellow members for their lack of wonder. Not me.

  83. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you.
    Non-linear plastic flow – say no more…

  84. Jackrabbit says:

    Jag Pop
    I was replying to turcopolier. He applied the question mark. (see above)

  85. Jackrabbit says:

    >> “He is an expert and I am not.”
    Did you see his degree? Did you check his references?
    I’m not saying that he is not.
    >> “No one knows why one came down and another didn’t.”
    But you don’t ignore it. You look into it. And if it is an important sky-scrapper, structure engineers look very very closely at every possibility.
    Just sitting back and marveling with wonderment is not an answer.

  86. MRW says:

    That’s what everyone has claimed for decades. However, the Cardington test fires showed something completely different. From the opening paragraph of the Executive Summary in the Behaviour of steel framed structures under fire conditions main report.
    “Steel beams in standard fire tests reach a state of deflections and runaway well below temperatures achieved in real fires. In a composite steel frame structure these beams are designed to support the composite deck slab. It is therefore quite understandable that they are fire protected to avoid runaway failures. The fire at Broadgate showed that this didn’t actually happen in a real structure. Subsequently, six full-scale fire tests on a real composite frame structure at Cardington showed that despite large deflections of structural members affected by fire, runaway type failures did not occur in real frame structures when subjected to realistic fires in a variety of compartments.
    “This project was the first major effort to understand this behaviour using computational models of the Cardington fire tests. A full explanation of the mechanics that are responsible for the robust behaviour of unprotected composite frames in fire has been achieved and will be presented in detail in this report. Reaching this new understanding has been a laborious process, and numerous blind alleys had to be investigated along the way, however obvious the answer may now seem to the researchers involved in this project.”
    You can read the rest here. They spent two years doing the fire tests, then three years creating the models and doing the analysis to interpret these tests accurately. This was done at two universities and British Steel (now called Corus).

  87. MRW says:

    but if you add the other fuel sources, paper and wood
    On September 14, 2001 on ABC World News with Peter Jennings, reporter Robert Krulwich said he talked to WTC architects and engineers who provided the list of what was vaporized in under 10 seconds:
    • 43,600 windows
    • 600,000 sq ft of glass
    • 5 million sq ft of gypsum
    • 6 acres of marble
    • 425,000 cubic yds of concrete
    • 200,000 tons of structural steel
    Krulwich showed their 9/11 footage of all that was left on Wall Street: paper everywhere. The paper didn’t burn in the fire.

  88. MRW says:

    but if you add the other fuel sources, paper and wood
    On September 14, 2001 on ABC World News with Peter Jennings, reporter Robert Krulwich said he talked to WTC architects and engineers who provided the list of what was vaporized in under 10 seconds:
    • 43,600 windows
    • 600,000 sq ft of glass
    • 5 million sq ft of gypsum
    • 6 acres of marble
    • 425,000 cubic yds of concrete
    • 200,000 tons of structural steel
    Krulwich showed ABC’s footage from three days before of all that was left on Wall Street: paper. Everywhere. The paper didn’t burn in the fire.

  89. MRW says:

    but if you add the other fuel sources, paper and wood
    On September 14, 2001 on ABC World News with Peter Jennings, reporter Robert Krulwich said he talked to WTC architects and engineers who provided the list of what was vaporized in under 10 seconds:
    • 43,600 windows
    • 600,000 sq ft of glass
    • 5 million sq ft of gypsum
    • 6 acres of marble
    • 425,000 cubic yds of concrete
    • 200,000 tons of structural steel
    Krulwich showed ABC’s footage from three days before of all that was left on Wall Street: paper. Everywhere. The paper didn’t burn in the fire.
    P.S. Jet Fuel open air burning temperature 260-315°C (500-599°F). It can reach higher temps (~1,000C) in pure oxygen or hydrogen situations, but that wouldn’t describe the WTCs.

  90. MRW says:


  91. optimax says:

    Cieran has been a reader and participant, though he hardly posts anymore, on SST for years. The colonel knows his expertise is real. I take his word for it.

  92. Cieran says:

    I am completely familiar with the literature from FEMA, NIST, and others on the WTC collapse, and on many other cases of terrorism such as the failure of Murrah Building. And if you want to take offense at my comments here, please feel free, but recognize that you are taking offense, but none was given or intended.
    I honestly don’t know why you keep bringing up the Cardington tests as proof of something-or-another, or why you might think that a Weber grill constitutes evidence of how structural steel behaves under thermal-mechanical loads in a high-rise. Combustion of energetic materials, and the resultant effects on the function of complex engineered systems, is something I have a fair bit of experience with in my daily work life, and one thing I’ve learned is that it’s good to let yourself be surprised by just how well fire can wreak havoc with our best efforts at design.
    So I try to avoid believing that one set of tests proves that some observed response cannot occur. The Cardington tests look interesting enough, and I thank you for mentioning them, but if you see proof there that the collapse of the WTC towers could not have been caused by those two aircraft, I would prefer to see the intervening steps. As my professors always used to say, it’s good to show your work.
    My views are simple, and I have expressed them here before, though usually closer to an anniversary of 9/11. I don’t see the need to cook up conspiracies to explain the collapse of the WTC towers. The cause and effect are obvious: we were attacked by foreign terrorists, and thousands of innocents perished. We don’t need to postulate inside-job-thermite-on-columns to explain why a compromised structure falls generally in the negative z-direction: gravity explains that observation quite nicely.
    And contrary to your suggestion, I have no gripes with my profession. My only gripe on the 9/11 front would be with those folks who insist that it was somehow an inside job, and who then misrepresent the facts and thus divert attention away from the simple truth that it was not Americans who brought down those towers: it was our enemies.
    Before you our anyone else considers taking offense with that statement, please note that I am not asserting or even implying that you are one of those miscreant misrepresenters of 9/11 fact. I’m just correcting your sense of where the object of my gripe might lie.

  93. MRW says:

    I lived on West Broadway between Warren and Murray Streets when I walked to Merrill Lynch on Liberty Street (across from the South Tower) for work. I was three blocks from WTC 7.
    Everytime a relative came to town he or she wanted to go to the Observation Deck on top of the WTC. I can’t tell you how many times I hit the bar a couple of floors below. If it was really windy–and it could be windy up above, but not on the street–the building swayed 10 degrees, which you could actually see and feel when you were up there. That was the allowable limit to keep the Observation Deck open. If the wind was tearing up a storm, the sway was much greater, so they closed it.
    Three degrees was de minimus.

  94. MRW says:

    The conspiracy of who supported and knew about the hijackers without notifying the authorities is a more relevant avenue for investigation.
    The scientific method: first, the what. Then the how.
    Assigning blame comes when you know what you’re talking about.

  95. Cieran says:

    Thanks for the kindness.
    But you’re right: I don’t post much these days, because most of what has been discussed lately has to do with important subjects that I don’t have any particular expertise in, so I read and learn rather than write and share. This site is the only one I read every day, and virtually every word, too.
    The fact that most of my professional work is sensitive (at best) also puts a serious crimp in my public correspondence, but as long as our host keeps this site in business, I’ll keep reading everything. It’s the best place on the web, and I thank my lucky stars to play some small part of this committee of correspondence.

  96. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I hope that you will not be offended by what I am about to say but you will take it in the spirit of open discussion; that the word “Neo-Ottoman-ism” is devoid of analytical content.
    Yes, the AKP leaders and before them the murdered Turgut Ozal had decided to set Turkey on a more diversified path which was less dependent on Western European states & NATO since the security problems that they had faced for centuries from the Prince of Moscowy had disappeared in 1991.
    That is, the Turkish leaders assessed that they could exercise more political independence from the United States. However, in the realm of economics, the Turkish economy still as dependent on financial infusion from European banks – and perhaps more – as the Kemalist times.
    Furthermore, the Turkish Army is still completely dependent on US and EU inputs – their arms industry is nascent – far below the requirement of any “Neo-Ottoman” aspirations that they may have.
    The Ottomans were running a multi-cultural empire on ancient Persian Imperial patterns – “Padeshah” – was the designation of the Ottoman Emperor. The court and educated Pashas were intimately familiar with Persian Literature and Culture and both were Lovers of Ahl Beyt. And that affection, evidently, was also shared by the rank & file Turks.
    Crucially, in the person of the Padeshah were joined both Spiritual and Temporal Authority; from which emanated the (Moral) Authority of the State.
    Of the above, what is still there is the affection for the House of the Prophet – last Ashoura sermons were read in 96,000 Turkish mosque in memory of Imam Hussein. And that some of the AKP leaders actually have read the works of Ayatollah Khomeini, Allameh Tabatabaie, and Ayatollah Montazeri.
    I think that AKP and her leaders remain religiously closest to the Iranians among the existing leadership of all of the Lands ohelpf Islam – like the old Ottoman times.
    But that does not make them Ottomans – new or old.
    In regards to Syria: I think AKP government had been given promises – likely of quick victory, or massive US intervention, or massive financial largess – by US, Arabs, EU or a combination thereof.
    What I see in the behavior of AKP leaders is akin to having been betrayed.
    Erdogan and AKP stand accused of sedition and ruining the lives of so many Muslims – that is huge indictment for AKP that spouses Islam with its deep insistence on brotherhood of all believers.
    Turkey shot down a Russian jet, she did not get her escalation, and burnt her bridges with Russia (this item actually does have precedence among Ottomans).
    And then her agricultural and tourist economy suffered from the War in Syria.
    And the cordiality of 2010 between Iran and Turkey also vanished with this.
    And someone started getting the Kurds to create mischief for Turkey.
    AKP has paid a very high price for the Syrian misadventure and has hung out to dry; it seems to me.
    Perhaps that is why AKP leaders and Erdogan behave as they do – angry and lashing out.

  97. dws says:

    That was interesting. Thanks for taking the time to write about this.

  98. Jackrabbit says:

    OK. I am new here.
    But my non-Credentials observation still stands. Engineers NEED to understand as much as they can about what goes wrong. Small buildings that fall after a quake may not warrant looking into a great deal, but a major sky-scrapper after an event like 9-11 would be very different.
    Now, maybe it WAS looked into. MAYBE there were extensive studies done that were inconclusive. (As I said, I don’t follow this much.) But wonderment or thanks that more buildings didn’t fall is not something that one would expect to hear from a structural engineer that has looked into the WTC disaster.

  99. Jackrabbit says:

    I don’t mean any offense to you. I was unaware of your participation at SST.
    I agree with optimax that it’s more productive to look at who was funding supporting the 9-11 hijackers. But I also think that the 9-11 Commission report was deficient (if those that question it are even half right).

  100. MRW says:

    I not offended; I don’t get offended easily because if I’m wrong, I want to know. I thought you were making assumptions about me, so I corrected them.
    I am also someone who doesn’t have an opinion about the actual perps. I’m still stuck on the science of what happened. Sure, two planes flew into the buildings, and there was a fireball from one of them. The hijackers left suicide note and wills in a leased car in an airport enroute to Portland, ME, so we knew they were Arabs. The buildings collapsed. There was devastating loss. But since when do Jet A/kerosene fires burn downward and vaporize massive steel buildings in under 10 seconds?
    By the same token, my ire was piqued when I watched Ehud Barak, of all people, declare on BBC at 11:30 AM EST on 9/11, an hour after the North Tower came down, as if he were the President of the United States, calling for a US-run global war on terror, and declaring twice that it was Bin Laden who done it. Then four hours later Richard Perle and Barak were back for two hours on the BBC to declare positively that Bin Laden did it. No investigation. Zip. Fait accompli. And everyone bought it.
    When TWA 800 blew up over Long Island Sound, they retrieved every piece they could, and reconstructed the plane to study what happened. It was a crime scene. No one could go in there. It took the NTSB four years to conclude their investigation. 9/11? We got rid of the evidence. we sold it to the Chinese.
    The consequences of the results over time of the decisions that immediately followed the WTC catastrophe have been disastrous, in my view, for America, both domestically and internationally. Bush refused an investigation until the three widows shamed senators and representatives into doing something 440 days later. WTF? The General Counsel for the 9/11 Commission (some guy named Farmer) wrote a book describing how they were purposefully hamstrung in doing their jobs, and denied access to documents. Further, they were forced to do it on a shoestring, and denied funds to do the job properly.
    So I’m back at the beginning. As I wrote optimax below, the scientific method: first the what, and then the how. Neither has been answered satisfactorily. NIST’s quasi-pancake theory implies resistance, and there was no resistance in the 10-second free-fall we all witnessed. Working with the physics is complicated and requires experts. And time. But the final answer is not. I didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that the O-rings in the Challenger disaster would fail below 32 degrees, and that NASA ignored the manufacturer’s desperate warning not to launch the day of because it was too cold.
    Things have to make sense. And nothing about the supposed science of the tower destructions makes any sense to me. Snap, Crackle, and Pop downward in 10 seconds doesn’t cut it with me.

  101. Cieran says:

    No offense was taken, and no explanations are needed.
    I do think you might want to look up the definition of the word “wonder”, however. My dictionary provides something along the lines of “to be curious to know something”, and that is exactly the appropriate response to uncertainty, whether it’s about WTC 7 or anything else of importance.
    So I’m at a loss as to why you are surprised that someone trained in science and engineering would be curious to know more about important topics.

  102. rjj says:

    What was interesting was seeing a collapsed apartment building or house next to undamaged ones, despite identical architecture and probably built by the same contractor to the same specs.

    but that’s exactly it! In this case three buildings came down in seemingly identical fashion – one after the owner said “pull it.” How likely is that to happen spontaneously. How hard is that to do? The experts who know the answer to that are demolition people.
    I agree with you about practical demonstrations. The blacksmith’s bar in the forge was was not that.
    also super high temperatures of forges, kilns, and Finnish stoves are contained structured systems – a burning building is a mostly open one.

  103. To all those who have insight into the collapse of the WTC,
    Was any investigation able to determine if the structures were actually built to the required specifications? Did anyone cut corners during the construction?

  104. optimax says:

    The second link in the my first post has a picture showing the WTC buckling inward. I won’t convince anybody of anything, just putting what I think out there.

  105. optimax says:

    Cieran, I have always learned much from your comments. I read SST everyday and consider it the gold standard–the colonel and many posters are vintage elixirs that separate the precious metal from the base elements of our MSM and government propaganda. I don’t post much but I’m, an INFP and absorb more than I emit.

  106. optimax says:

    a burning building is a mostly open one.
    I disagree–the floor and ceiling made it more like a stove, the open sides fed air to the fire. It didn’t have to get as hot as a kiln.

  107. Cieran says:

    That’s another good question. I don’t recall allegations of improper construction in any of the official reports, but it’s been a few years since I last used these documents as required reading for graduate coursework in hazard-resistant structural design, so my recollection may be incomplete.
    There were concerns expressed in the FEMA report about more-or-less random changes made to the structure over time, but those were more of the architectural and operational varieties than structural, e.g., changing occupancy and use patterns.
    Probably the most relevant building modifications cited were those that added private stairs and re-routed as-designed egress routes, but compared to the effect of the airplane crashing into and severing those evacuation routes, those later revisions were not likely a substantial factor in the loss of life. Design changes that occur during construction are common root causes for structural collapse (e.g., the 1978 collapse of the Hartford Civic Center), but I do not recall any mention of such large-scale revisions to the WTC towers, and that’s the kind of smoking gun that one tends to remember!
    Cutting corners on construction is a common unfortunate occurrence, but it’s not generally found in high-visibility high-priced structures in this country. My own practical experience tends to west-coast practices, where it is well-known that the highest structures generally have the best designs and the most careful construction. I imagine that the WTC would be a similar case, but I’m not as familiar with east-coast practices beyond the observation that they tend to lag best-practices in earthquake country.
    There are some important factors implicated in the collapse that are less about cost-cutting, and more about ad hoc protection measures that could have been performed with less attention to detail than warranted given the importance of the structure. For example, many of the buildings’ fire-resistance systems were add-ons, and some of those protective measures were installed in a piecemeal or incremental manner that could compromise performance. Those protection systems were not designed to work in case of a collision with an airliner, and it would not take much of a compromise of structural fire-retardant coatings to cause unexpected structural effects.
    Many people have asserted that the WTC towers were designed to resist impact by an aircraft, but the presumption in that case was a relatively slow-moving airliner lost in the fog or otherwise off course at an approach velocity. The terrorists flew those 767s into the WTC towers at more like 500 mph, and designing a high-rise structure to resist that kind of insult is well beyond the scope of normal practice.
    I keep a copy of the WTC FEMA report in my office, along with reports and plans for other buildings that have suffered at the hands of man-made and natural hazards. I’ll give the FEMA report a look next week to see if any mention can be found of improper construction processes, but I don’t recall any such concerns offhand.

  108. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to Jack 14 May 2016 at 09:33 AM
    Short answer is yes followed by saying Mr Habakuk will be able to give you far better information than I.
    Take a look at the comments in The Guardian to see left-wing pushback but _far more importantly_ take a look at who is leader of the Labour party. Now that’s pushback.
    I suggest you do some research on the Momentum movement in the UK, here’s some links to get you going. Remember if you do further searches to spell the name of the political party as Labour with a U.
    https://www.facebook.com/PeoplesMomentum/photos/a.160217227657006.1073741829.155710354774360/260012541010807/?type=3&theater (that one is referencing their help overthrowing the Conservatives in London and electing a Labour mayor)
    Finally a starting point search on google:
    Hope some or all of that helps.
    Agreed about Brexit – and I’ve moved from being very pro-EU to wanting it at the very least sharply curbed and that a Brexit would be the start of that.

  109. MRW says:

    @The Twisted Genius,
    According to the FEMA report, they exceeded them.
    Little known fact: the Bin Laden Construction group built them in the 60s.

  110. Peter Reichard says:

    The issue in earthquakes is foundation failure caused by factors involving soil mechanics. Bedrock is best, bay fill or sediment the worst as it can lead to soil liquefaction. Identical side by side structures can experience radically different results.

  111. Peter Reichard says:

    The NIST report on building 7 stated that the damage suffered to its south face from the collapse of the north tower in no way contributed to its failure, nor were the diesel fires hot enough to weaken steel to its failure point. It is alleged that thermal expansion of horizontal members at right angles to other horizontal members caused the latter to detach from a vertical column weakening its lateral support. The buckling of this one internal column in a 3×8 array surrounded by 48 external columns set up a chain reaction which brought down the whole building. I find this implausible and would welcome your comments.

  112. Fred says:

    to listen to the conspiracy theorists you’ll think we shouldn’t build anything a couple stories high lest it fall by dominoes due to a fire. Here’s an example of a partial collapse, all it took to get going was a cigarette.
    Fire fighting is its own “art”. Here’s a video from “American Heat” who put out a number of such training videos back when I was doing industrial fire fighting long ago. It will give you a good idea of what fire departments face in urban settings. Taller buildings have even greater challenges:

  113. Cieran says:

    No they didn’t. Tishman was the general contractor. Tishman also built WTC 7, in case anyone wants to start some new conspiracy theories!
    The only substantial connection between Bin Laden Construction and the WTC is through the architect Yamasaki. He designed a number of structures in Saudi Arabia, where the Bin Laden family did lots of construction business.

  114. Jack says:

    You are correct. Cieran is a long standing SST correspondent who seldom comments these days. His informative and technical comments on nuclear matters really helped shed light on some of the fallacies so prevalent on the Internet where cut & paste keyboard jockeys masquerading as experts abound. He is a person of great credibility like Zanzibar was on financial matters.
    MRW on the other hand while he generally makes interesting comments, is clearly on some potent stuff when it comes to finance and government spending. His faith-based promotion that infinite government spending leads to financial nirvana is plain absurd. His calling Jim Grant a very successful financial journalist and economic historian an idiot is laughable. If he was such an expert on national finances one wonders why he is he spending all his time channeling his ludicrous theories on the Internet instead of being Treasury Secretary. After all his Midas theory that unlimited government spending financed by money conjured from the ether would be in much demand in DC and national capitals around the world.

  115. MRW says:

    You’re right about Tishman being the general contractor, but according to an architect who worked for Emery Roth and Sons in the early 60s–can’t remember his name but I remember the design firm?–one of the many architectural and design firms that worked on the massive project over the 10-year period, Yamasaki brought a lot of the Bin Laden Construction Co. engineers he had worked with in Saudi Arabia over to work with him in NYC.
    I never use Preview, unfortunately. Should have written engineers from the Bin Laden group helped with the structural issues . . . . which I realized would be misconstrued after I pressed Post.

  116. Castellio says:

    When the physical evidence led Galileo to conclude that the earth moved around the sun, and the authorities of the day disagreed, there was literally an avalanche of writings against his thesis.
    They were two main arguments: the Scriptures said the sun moved around the earth and there was no truth greater than the scriptures; everyone can see with their own eyes that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
    In short, Galileo was declared, over and over, presumptuous and vain to challenge both the Scriptures and common sense.
    Replace the authority of the scriptures with the authority of the government, and the obvious trajectory of the sun with edited videos of the planes crashing and the buildings falling.
    It took roughly two hundred years for Galileo’s writing to be taken off the index of forbidden and outlawed publications.

  117. Jack, Dubhaltach,
    I wish I could give more coherent answers to the questions Jack raises.
    These are very complicated matters, about which I am trying to gather my thoughts. There will be ample opportunity, I think, to return to them on future threads.
    For the moment, one observation.
    On the referendum, my suspicion is that the odds given by the bookies, while I think they underestimate Trump’s chances against Hillary, are probably right about the prospects of ‘Brexit’. Currently, Ladbroke’s has it at 1/3 for remain, and 9/4 for leave.
    (See https://sports.ladbrokes.com/en-gb/betting/politics/british/eu-referendum/uk-european-referendum/220800266/ .)
    However, I do not think that this is largely a product of the backing given to the ‘Stay’ campaign by the Tory and Labour ‘establishments’.
    As with the Scottish referendum on independence from England two years ago, there is a very simple fact.
    If people vote ‘yes’, that would settle the issue – there would be no way back. If they vote ‘no’, there would always be the option of a ‘second bite at the cherry.’ Moreover, things in Europe are patently changing. This may not be an appropriate time to take a decision.
    Whatever the results of the referendum, moreover, it is not going to put an end to the civil wars going on in both the Labour and Tory parties.
    On the latter, I would recommend a piece written by one of the most intelligent Tory columnists, Peter Oborne, last December.
    (See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3356963/PETER-OBORNE-Cameron-crony-break-Tory-Party-two.html .)
    If one wants to see how complex and chaotic developments here are, I would recommend a look at Oborne’s ‘Wikipedia’ entry. Also relevant is the biography of his wife, Martine. Besides being the mother of five children, she is a former director of N.M.Rothschild, who is now vicar of an Anglican church near where I live.
    (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Oborne ; http://www.chiswickw4.com/default.asp?section=info&page=constmichaelsc003.htm .)
    Dubhaltach: Thanks for the link to the Patrick Hawes piece. I have listened to it, with interest and enjoyment, and will listen to the full cycle.

  118. Cieran says:

    I don’t find the NIST report’s conclusions on WTC 7 to be implausible. I find them to be full of uncertainty, but that’s what one would expect given the circumstances. WTC 7 had a lot of structural details (e.g., transfer elements) that are often associated with structural failures, but the NIST report asserted that those were not the primary cause of the failure.
    You overstate the NIST report’s findings, however, because it did assert that the tower collapses were contributors to the WTC 7 failure by dint of starting fires within WTC 7. The report also noted that several exterior columns were damaged, though those were not suspected of contributing to the primary collapse mechanism.
    Thermal expansion of some long-span girders is what I recall as the smoking gun from WTC 7 (though I admit that I haven’t reviewed the NIST report in a few years). Redundancy in girder systems is good insurance against collapse, but in the presence of long durations of heating well above design conditions, the indeterminacy of those member connections can quickly change from a structural asset to a serious liability.
    Bridge designers are keenly aware of this fact, which is why the design and inspection of thermal expansion joints in long-span bridges becomes something of a religion. The NIST report asserted that these thermal strains accumulated over long spans and compromised the vertical force-resisting systems of the building, and as someone with lots of experience in bridge engineering, I find that interpretation completely plausible.
    But as the NIST report notes, there is considerable uncertainty about nearly every aspect of the WTC collapse, starting with lack of availability of as-built plans, all the way up to the difficulty of doing forensic engineering at the WTC site. Various comments here have asserted that the structural materials of the two towers disappeared (“vaporized”) during the event, but they didn’t: the buildings created a gigantic pile of steel, concrete, and other materials that spread over several blocks.
    So a good forensic examination of the site was not likely, and especially given that the primary goal in the aftermath of the collapses was the search for survivors. We will likely never know the full sequence of events leading to the collapse, but one thing we know from plenty of experience is that once a progressive failure begins with even a local failure, it can propagate at astonishing speed because every mechanical system, including high-rise buildings, seeks its lowest potential energy state.
    In the case of high-rises, that’s DOWN.

  119. optimax says:

    I wonder what happened to Zanzibar and Confusedponderer? Voices of reason. I miss them. Age has its limitations.

  120. Castellio says:

    You are flaming MRW about his economic thoughts as a way to support Cieran’s thoughts on 9/11?

  121. Do KSA’s citizens still have automatic visa-waiver for entry to U.S.A.?

  122. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to Cieran, MRW, Optimax, and the engineers here, All,
    “The late John Skilling, the head of the structural engineering firm that designed the towers, used to enjoy showing a chart of all the lightest tall buildings in the world. In a yellow band at the top of the chart were the lightest buildings ever built. His designs were clustered in that band; as a group they were overwhelmingly the lightest tall buildings ever erected…In the era when the World Trade Center was designed, the weights for high-rises often exceeded 75 pounds of steel per square foot. The World Trade Center was 37 pounds, saving tens of millions of dollars.”
    This is from “Perfect Soldiers” by Terry McDermott. (Page 242.)
    “The lateral forces, however, which vary unpredictably, the main structural concern with Skilling’s building was always wind…” So this is Cieran’s LFRS. A “Lateral Force Resisting System,” as an unusally significant, dare I say, “problem” with the WTC towers.
    McDermott goes on: “In the event, the buildings performed as expected. They handily absorbed the impacts.” They returned to their upright stance. One of Skilling’s former partners watched Marwan al-Shehhi’s [hijacked plane] hit the South Tower. “Magnusson was… appalled….but proud too. The twin towers took the mightiest of blows and stood, still. They could not absorb what followed.”
    McDermott is repeating what he was told in interviews. I think there is a problem here. The way the conspiracy theories started begins with the obvious images of the towers still standing, and in some video footage, still showing the immense strength that was in their elegant design. There has been intense emphasis on the “fact” of the buildings having survived, only to be taken down by fire. And the fire itself, upon examination, proving suspicious. If the fire(s) cannot be conclusively accounted for, was this then a government conspiracy?
    I have spent a hour or more reading into the Optimax link, “Accounts of Tower Structural Instability and Expected Collapse.” After reading this I had some sense of having been in a place that was collapsing internally. I think this is a terrific source of info and thank you very much, Optimax. Indeed, thank you also,of course, Cieran and MRW –all the engineering comments, one way or the other.
    Flight 11 crashed into One World Trade Center (North Tower) at 8:46:40 a.m. betweeen Floors 93 and 94. Its speed was 466 MPH. That’s a good deal more than the kind of lateral force that Skilling was concerned about. I’ve been in hundred mile an hour winds. You can move around. It’s not that bad. The North Tower in that kind of wind would just lean, come back, and lean again more in gusts up to 120-140. That is not what witness reports describe in the North Tower. That building torqued and twisted and this violent alteration to the structure was not temporary, whatever the surface appearance. It was permanent and it was ruinous. There is a lot of hearsay evidence.
    Mark Loizeaux of Controlled Demolitions predicted the South Tower would go down first. He was right. He noted that 2/3 of the external columns in one area were missing, I think this was the North Tower. He also comments on paper fires as being a factor, like a coal fire, with plenty of air, up high in the sky. There must have been tons of reams of paper, etc. in those buildings. (It could be determined, I think, from company records.) Like charcoal briquettes?
    But skip the fire angle. There are witness reports and there are transcriptions of radio conversations between important people in the damage evaluation effort. It seems obvious that unencumbered fireman got to the 78th floor and above in the North Tower and made reports. By 9:15 a.m.(the North Tower would fall at about 10:27 a.m., so its early on) WTC Construction Manager Frank De Marini radioed from Floor 78 “Sky Lobby” that the drywall insulation was off the central core and that “he had seen something in the steel he’d didn’t like.” He wanted two structural engineers that were there on hand to come up and take a look. There are significant reports of a debate going on among the structural people and the authorities. The whole building was structurally compromised. “Structural damage appeared to be immense.”
    I have a little collection of witness statements, which, frankly, I find horrifying and fascinating. I once asked a submariner who was a friend of the family how he knew what had happened to the Japanese carrier he had just torpedoed –he was the approach officer–if they were lying deep and quiet after having survived a depth charge attack. He said they could hear a ship breaking up. Talk about the groaning lovesongs of the humpbacked whales! A ship is not designed to be stood on end. That surprisingly long bronze propeller shaft turning in its trough of cooling water I saw once on a German collier years ago crossing the Atlantic. That would make some noise breaking loose.
    The Towers were making NOISES! That is horrible. And amazing. Stair steps were cracking. Drywall coming down. Pipes were being twisted, snapping, water pouring down. Enormous sheets of glass on exterior suddenly giving way. The elevator shafts seem to have been twisted loose. Strong doors could not be opened, jammed shut. The building was creaking. Groaning. (I once heard that the whole urban legend that the White House was ghost-haunted back in, was it Truman’s day, was because the entire structure was slipping off its footings.) In the South Tower an architect, Bob Shelton, heard cracking, a strange, sinister sound, as of a box of spaghetti being broken in two. (In other worlds, something impossible to explain. Was it everywhere?) And he commented to the effect: When a building “goes off its center…” (Meaning it never comes back.) He got out of there quite promptly.
    So the North Tower, which in the first moments seemed to be tipping over, throwing people into the air, and down on the floor, came back, but when it came back, it came back wrong? There was a sudden energy shift from top to bottom that torqued it ultimately beyond survival, then? One thing that I noticed, a witness who had been high in the building stated that he saw a fifty-foot crack (!) in the floor. That would mean not only the concrete but the tile floor-covering then over the concrete? (Ever seen that in your house, stick built or not?) Having just read up on the way the floors were attached, suspended, fitted into that exoskeleton–quite soundly, I guess– that long crack is a shocker. It means that the twisting of the building not only broke the thick concrete and steel floor, it must have tested the fastenings, welds, angle straps, the whole clever, effective way the building support and floors were fitted together. This cracking on the horizontal surely must be at least in part a cause of sagging, which is clearly documented in videos in the inward bending of the exterior steel support walls; they were being pulled inboard, then, in at least some areas, by tons of now cracked, broken, slowly sinking concrete floor.
    Not to sound like an eejit–but that was a horrifying twist or torquing to the North Tower, and when the shock was absorbed, frankly, what I think had happened was, that building was done! It was ruptured!
    To speculate on an admittedly moot point: Suppose no fires at all, or they were put out, or they burned out. What would have happened? I think many lives could have been saved in a such a scenario, but then what? How many hours or days would the towers have continued to stand? I think there would have been a continued deterioration in the buildings, which is described or suggested in many accounts or observations of the growing instablity.
    My suspicion: Those towers would have gotten increasingly unstable, if they didn’t suddenly at some point, hours or days later, simply collapse. They would have had to be brought down by controlled demolition. It would have been very hazardous to accomplish. Perhaps it would not have gone so neatly.
    I think the North and South WTC Towers were dead in the air, if you will. You didn’t need fire. I can’t help but wonder about WTC 7. Was it “pulled?”

  123. optimax says:

    Fred, That is harrowing. My great grandfather died in a fire.
    I’ve decided lizard aliens brought down the towers using mind control. Saw it on the internet. Must be true.

  124. optimax says:

    I think the flexibility built into the towers worked against it in this case. I think you are the only one that read my link. The survivors accounts of the building falling apart are testaments to the buildings increasing instability. There are quotes from experts that knew the buildings were going to collapse: a construction engineer, a building demolition expert and others.

  125. optimax says:

    “Pull it” is not a demolition term for bringing down a building but is used by firemen to evacuate a building that has become too dangerous to stay inside.

  126. rjj says:

    thank you. btw I miss your posts – both the wit and that very becoming Hawaiian shirt.

  127. optimax says:

    This is my last post on this subject.
    Here is group of short videos debunking the various conspiracy theories point by point.

  128. rjj says:

    thanks for the correction.
    http://goo.gl/sF2VuB (somehow managed to misplace earlier reply)

  129. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to Optimax, MRW, Cieran, and All,
    I think it’s interesting that “Pull it” is a fireman’s term. I didn’t know that. In a way, that simplifies life, doesn’t it? I believe in conspiracy, I know that it is often attempted, I love to read about conspiracy, and I believe that conspiracy can actually work. I know some very specific, step-by-step stuff about conspiracies that have worked, including at least one unacknowledged, unadjudicated prison murder, and I know about the 1984 escape from MCC. I understand the triple-cross. In a small way, it has been done to me both by persons inside of prison and ostensibly respectable people in society who kept aspects of their character well-hidden. I now have come to realize that I have taken a hit from more than one person with a personality disorder. I survived, though today I was yet thinking about one of these hits. The kind of conspiracy I know most about blooms in a hot-house kind of controlled environment, I mean prison. I am wary of conspiracy thinking when it has a lot of moving parts, and is on the grand scale. Occam’s razor has been talked about a lot in recent years. I learned about that forty years ago. I know that the old guard, now gone, at one of the most prominent of Richmond law firms –some famous lawyers, at least locally, who are like gods to me– very staunchly believed and would argue same over a few drinks, that that was how everything works and has always worked, all through history. (“The Conspiracy Theory of History.”) Some of their sons used to talk about this, debating it as well. Sometimes grinning.
    I think you have to grind. I haven’t on this topic. I once spent a little time looking at WTC 7 photos and videos. One thing, there was the whole question of a very high atrium in that building, with its support structure which would include at least one long beam (or beams), that might have become vulnerable. I assume that Cieran may be referring to that. Also, though I guess it has been discounted as having had any causative effect leading to the collapse, I am certain an enormous section of steel fell on to WTC 7. Further, if I remember correctly, there were a number of very important government operations going on out of that building. Plus the fuel storage tanks for vehicles? I didn’t think that the case was made that the fires in Building 7 were insignificent. I thought that there is also a question about how tightly the building fell in upon itself when you look at some of the pix of the rubble. That would matter if it was supposed to be controlled.
    However, there have been an awful lot of pros in the business in this country and in Europe who have stepped forward to state and perhaps to testify that the fall of WTC 7 was a controlled demolition. So, was there some sort of “Zipper effect” accidentally built into the very design of these buildings?
    Anyway, I have ordered “102 Minutes” by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn. I think that this is a book published in 2011. It amazes me how you turn your head away and then look back into the web a year or two later and there is a huge amount of new information out there.
    I am impressed that MRW actually knew that building and that bar, was it Windows On The World? It must have been the bar with THE most dramatic view in New York. I remember some quotes from F. Scott Fitzgerald in one of the public television documentaries about those buildings. You could see that The City actually had an end to it, ran out somewhere…
    I suspect that MRW is out for blood! I hope maybe we get to hear more about all this, including that bar, and that roof-top, what it was like up there, when the annniversary rolls around.

  130. Jackrabbit says:

    Well, I’ll note the obvious. A book is NOT an investigation.
    Reports of floor cracks and concerned looks of structural engineers are not the same as a thorough investigation by structural engineers and others.

  131. Jackrabbit says:

    The conversation in this thread points to why critics of the 9-11 Commission report believe that there should be a new investigation. Even those that accept the report’s findings: 1) don’t have a firm grasp on what caused the collapse; and 2) recognized that the report is incomplete and uncertain. They explain that _some degree_ of uncertainty is to be expected. Critics, are not willing to give this ‘benefit of the doubt’ in light of the profound post-9/11 changes that have been justified as necessary after the attack..
    But now WE KNOW that 28 pages of the report were withheld and that taints the whole report. This demonstrates that politics played a role in the 9-11 Commission report. The CONSPIRACY to withhold these pages gives ammunition to the ‘conspiracy theorists’ as it is not unreasonable to ask: what else might they be hiding?
    <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
    What I find curious is that conspiracy theorists question everything except the role of the neocons – whose agenda was advanced by the 9-11 attacks. Pre-9-11 neocons were more savvy about ME issues and knew much more about al Queda than most. Yet they don’t appear to have used their influence to support effective counter measures. Michael Scheuer, former chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station at the CIA has complained that many opportunities to arrest or kill ObL were nixed by Clinton Administration officials in the years prior to 9-11. And Bush anti-terror czar Richard Clark claimed that Dick Cheney and Condoleeza Rice were most to blame for ignoring the warnings leading up to the attack.
    MRW’s description (see below) of how Israel/neocons immediately recognized the likely perpetrator and the import of the attack demonstrate just how aware neocons were about the danger of ObL/al Queda. And given that “new Pearl Harbor” was hoped/anticipated to benefit their cause, one could well WONDER if neocons _deliberately_ failed to warn of the danger or otherwise _allowed_ the attack to occur.
    What we really need is a Watergate-style investigation that asks: “what did they know, and when did they know it?”
    MRW (above): “… my ire was piqued when I watched Ehud Barak, of all people, declare on BBC at 11:30 AM EST on 9/11, an hour after the North Tower came down, as if he were the President of the United States, calling for a US-run global war on terror, and declaring twice that it was Bin Laden who done it. Then four hours later Richard Perle and Barak were back for two hours on the BBC to declare positively that Bin Laden did it.”

  132. The February 1993 WTC attack created more damage than made public or at least registered in public memory. IMO of course.

  133. Cieran says:

    I read your link, and especially enjoyed re-reading the New Yorker article from shortly after the attack. That article is required reading for anyone who desires an informed opinion on the subject.
    Thanks for posting the link to all that information. There’s a lot of recollection there that is hard on the heart, but good for the soul.

  134. optimax says:

    Thank you, rjj’ I’ve always thought you are a valuable member of the Committee, which has been around since the founding of the country.

  135. optimax says:

    I’ve read that before but their disappearance is still a mystery.

  136. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to William R. Cumming and All,
    I just took a quick look at Wiki on the ’93 attack. One notes that these lower concrete floors were 30 inches thick. The blast went through three of them. Just to start with…
    The costs of “restoration” seem to vary. Terry McDermott states $300 million; another source says $250 million. Yet another put the cost at $835 million. The bomb cost $3,000. Interesting to contemplate what the repainting costs (because of smoke damage) might have been at both the WTC Tower and the Pentagon.
    I think the New Yorker article giving the explanation by Mark Loizeaux of Controlled Demolitions of what he thought happened in those buildings must surely be folded into the book “102 Minutes.” I was glad that Cieran recommends the article.
    The double-take that I am doing is who the players were. (Better late than never.) Some of them had family members involved in both attacks. Khalid Sheik Mohammed went to Chowan College, which is Baptist, right over the Virginia line in Eastern North Carolina!

  137. Imagine says:

    pithy Dancing Israeli info, includes redacted FBI reports from Freedom of Info reqs:
    apparently the incident has been classified until 2030. wow.
    quite nice writeup on intelligence community’s response to Israeli “art students”:
    http://www.salon.com/2002/05/07/students/ also see
    a rebuttal of Snopes’ article here, includes Larry Silverstein’s $3.5B insurance:
    photos of Israeli “artists” group “Gelatin” taking out a window in the WTC, allegedly testing dropping a gelatin human dummy from a top floor to test as a “performance piece”. Rather in poor taste.
    it’s alleged that the “BB-18” on the boxes in the second photo to the right of the guy in the pink shirt designate blasting caps, any confirmation?
    huge random data dump on Israeli WTC art students here, including conspiracies:
    British newspaper reports 200 Israeli spies arrested in U.S.; Fox news
    but most of this has been quietly scrubbed from the collective consciousness.

  138. Imagine says:

    Cheney’s shadow gov’t dates back years before; he had plans ready to invade Iraq; Borg was operational by 9/11. Also see Oded Yinon.

  139. Imagine says:

    Israeli and Bin Laden planes specially permitted:

  140. Imagine says:

    Treasury department. Apparently has its own secret police, and consultants/mercs. See pp 103-4 of “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”:
    “The condition was that Saudi Arabia would use its petrodollars to purchase U.S. gov’t securities; in turn, the interest earned by these securities would be spent by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury” for Saudi infrastructure [1974]. “Our own Treasury would hire us, at Saudi expense”…”no one had to obtain congressional approval–a process loathed by corporations…which prefer not to open their books…” “The Saudis, rolling in cash, would deliver hundreds of millions of dollars to Treasury, which held on to the funds until they were needed to pay vendors or employees. This system assured that the Saudi money would be recycled back into the American economy…It also ensured that the commission’s managers could undertake whatever projects they and the Saudis agreed were useful without having to justify them to Congress.” entire chapter on this.

  141. Not sure if this is new info on SST but the U.S. Senate passed a bill authorizing the 9/11/2001 survivors and families to file suit against the KSA in U.S. Courts.

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