Sunday, September 14, 2014

(Those Effing Geniuses!) Breach Birth:  Bipartisan Bullshot Brings New War



If anyone ever thought this guy, Ezra Klein, was an intellectual (or even very well read (or educated)) . . . . I mean, no f*cking wonder the Obama crowd has always seemed like they're in a daze.

Having spoken with David Halberstam at length at a Key West Seminar many years ago about his book referenced in the essay below, I can attest that this amazement about poli sci knowledge is a known (not an unknown known or a known unknown (h/t Donald Rumsfeld's muddled Iraq War confusion) among both educated people and people who read a lot.

From one Poli Sci grad to all the others:

Are you f*cking kidding me?


Sunday, Sep 14, 2014

All These Effing Geniuses:  Ezra Klein, Expert-Driven Journalism, and the Phony Washington Consensus

Ezra Klein and his data brigade think political science will save us. But expert opinion is why we're in this mess.

Thomas Frank

In a recent article on Vox, Ezra Klein declared that his generation of Washington journalists had discovered political science, and it is like the hottest thing on wheels. In the old days, he writes, journalists “dealt with political science episodically and condescendingly.” But now, Klein declares, “Washington is listening to political scientists, in large part because it’s stopped trusting itself.”

Klein finds that political scientists give better answers to his questions than politicians themselves, because politicians are evasive but scientists are scientists, you know, they deal in “structural explanations” for political events. So the “young political journalists” who are roaring around town in their white lab coats frightening the local bourgeoisie “know a lot more about political science and how to use it” than their elders did.


Hence Klein’s title: “How Political Science Conquered Washington.”

Nearly every aspect of this argument annoyed me. To suggest, for starters, that people in Washington are — or were, until recently — ignorant or contemptuous of academic expertise is like saying the people of Tulsa have not yet heard about this amazing stuff called oil. Not only does Washington routinely fill the No. 1 spot on those “most educated cities” articles, but the town positively seethes with academic experts. Indeed, it is the only city I know of that actually boasts a sizable population of fake experts, handing out free-market wisdom to passers-by from their subsidized seats at Cato and Heritage.

The characteristic failing of D.C. isn’t that it ignores these herds of experts, it’s that it attends to them with a gaping credulity that they do not deserve. Worse:  : In our loving, doting attentiveness to the people we conceive to be knowledgeable authorities, we have imported into our politics all the traditional maladies of professionalism.

The powerful in Powertown love to take refuge in bewildering professional jargon. They routinely ignore or suppress challenging ideas, just as academics often ignore ideas that come from outside their professional in-group. Worst of all, Washingtonians seem to know nothing about the lives of people who aren’t part of the professional-managerial class.

How well-known is this problem? It is extremely well known. One of the greatest books of them all on American political dysfunction, David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest (1972), is the story of how a handful of poli-sci geniuses got us into the Vietnam War. How political science conquered Hanoi, you might say, except that it didn’t exactly work out like that.

You can see this dysfunction for yourself in the headlines of recent years. Ever wonder why the foreign policy authorities never seem to change, keep coming back, despite racking up shattering failures like the Iraq War? It’s because of the way Washington worships expertise, and the way these authorities have perched themselves atop a professional structure that basically does not acknowledge criticism from the outside.

Ever wonder why the economic experts never seem to change, keep coming back, despite racking up such shattering failures as the housing bubble and the financial crisis and the bank bailouts?

Ever wonder why a guy like Larry Summers gets to be chief economist at the World Bank, then gets to deregulate Wall Street, then gets to bail Wall Street out, then almost gets to become chairman of the Fed, and then gets to make sage pronouncements on the subject of — yes — inequality?

It’s for the same bad reasons:   Because D.C. worships expertise and because Summers, along with a handful of other geniuses, are leading figures in a professional discipline dominated by what a well-informed observer once called a “politburo for correct economic thinking.”


Some people are ignored in this town even though they are often right while others are invited back to the Oval Office again and again even though they are repeatedly wrong — and the reason is the pseudo-professional structure of the consensus. No one has described how it works better than Larry Summers himself. “I could be an insider or I could be an outsider,” Elizabeth Warren says Summers told her, back in the bailout days.

“Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People — powerful people — listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule:  They don’t criticize other insiders.”

*
Back to the main point. It is true that some of the hottest deck chairs on the sinking ocean liner known as the press are number-crunching divisions like The New York Times’s “Upshot” section and Ezra Klein’s own former department, the Washington Post’s “Wonkblog.” In these corners of the trade, journalists today are no longer content merely to quote political scientists; they aspire instead to be political scientists. Where they once gave us words, they now deal in charts. Graphs! Diagrams!

This approach has had a number of successes. But its limitations are far more striking. I offer, as Exhibit A, last Sunday’s big "Upshot" piece in the New York Times, “Why Democrats Can’t Win the House” by Nate Cohn, another journalist known for his data-shuffling skills.

Cohn asks why Democrats, who are the majority party, have so little chance of re-taking the House of Representatives from the Republicans this fall, despite the Republicans’ extreme misbehavior over the last few years.

It’s a good question, and Cohn downplays the usual answer, that it’s all because of partisan gerrymandering. Instead, he points to the concentration of Democratic voters in a small number of urban Congressional districts, which has the effect of leaving the remaining House seats of a given state to the GOP.


Even so, these House Republicans are really, truly awful. Isn’t there a way for Democrats to beat them regardless of the geographic hurdles? According to Cohn, not really. Either Democrats have to appeal to lost voters (like “the conservative Democrats of the South and Appalachia”) by moving rightward, or they will have to “wait for demographic and generational change” to win the seats for them.

And maybe that makes sense, given the assumptions of the lame school of political science that D.C. types always gravitate to — the kind in which there are but two poles in political life and politicians of the left party can only win if they move rightward.


It is this kind of strikingly unoriginal thinking, which I am sure is shared by the blue team’s high command, that explains why the Democratic Party looks to be headed for another disaster this fall.

Allow me to drop a single, disturbing data point on this march of science. You might recall that Democrats controlled the House of Representatives from the early 1930s until 1994 with only two brief Republican interludes.

What ended all that was not an ill-advised swerve to the left, but the opposite:   A long succession of moves toward what is called the “center,” culminating in the administration of New Democrat Bill Clinton, who (among other things) signed the Republicans’ NAFTA treaty into law.

Taking economic matters off the table was thought to be the path of wisdom among expert-worshipping Washingtonians, but it had the unforeseen consequence of making culture that much more important for a large part of the population. Democrats were eventually swamped by all the crazy grievance campaigns of the right, which has splashed back and forth in the mud of the culture wars ever since.

In 2010, the two parties repeated the act, with D’s embracing the extremely unpopular Republican bailout strategy (and a more modestly unpopular Republican healthcare program) and R’s pretending to be some kind of ’30s-style protest movement waving signs in the street.


Not getting this is standard in the comfortable and well-educated precincts of Washington, D.C. All political contests are battles over the center, everyone here knows that, and so Democrats who wish to win must always move to the center, meaning to the right. That the noble pursuit of the median voter might somehow bring defeat is beyond comprehension.

So a data-minded commentator like Nate Cohn is able to look out over the blasted moonscape of Appalachia and conclude that a party of the left has nothing it might conceivably offer the people there.

If Democrats wish to win back the seats that Republicans have taken away from them in such stricken areas, the Dems must either become more conservative themselves or sit audaciously on their butts for a couple of decades while some new generation is born and grows up to populate the boarded-up towns and collapsing houses of the deindustrialized hinterland. Those are the only choices.


The fatalism here may be science-driven, but still it boggles the mind. Today, the right is out there organizing and proselytizing and signing people up for yet another grievance-hyping mass movement. Over the last 40 years they have completely remade the world, and at no point did they play by the centrist rules.

But the Democrats chase nobly on after grand Washington bargains and sign more free-trade deals and make endless compromises with Wall Street — and then can’t figure out why such achievements don’t win them the adoration of the people in the hard-bitten countryside.

No matter. They’ll simply wait for a new generation to come along, a new public that is more enlightened, better able to appreciate the fine distinctions between the parties, that is capable, at long last, of making the rational choice.

Thomas Frank is a Salon politics and culture columnist. His many books include "What's The Matter With Kansas," "Pity the Billionaire" and "One Market Under God." He is the founding editor of The Baffler magazine.



Chris Floyd reports what the U.S. citizens/taxpayers need to be told.

Again.

And again.

Every.

Single.

Day.

Breach Birth:   Bipartisan Bull Brings New War


Chris Floyd

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Trevor Timms' new piece in the Guardian is one of the best, most succinct articles I've seen on the insane rush into Iraq War III, which the Peace Prize President (ha)s announc(ed) on Wednesday.

The same lies that were told the last time around ("Sleeper cells!" "Mass Destruction of our cities!" "Unprecedented evil!" "Imminent danger!") are being trotted out again, this time in Democratic drag. Cheney and Obama, Kissinger and Kerry, working together to beat the war drums - who says bipartisanship is dead?

As in 2003 (and 1991, for that matter), facts are thin on the ground - but the bull is flowing thick and fast. So it's once more into the breach, with a military intervention to solve the problems caused by the last military intervention - which will no doubt cause problems which can only be addressed by a future military intervention. But hey, who cares? The new iPhone is here!!

From Timms:


Did you know that the US government’s counterterrorism chief Matthew Olson said last week that there’s no “there’s no credible information” that the Islamic State (ISIS) is planning an attack on America and that there’s “no indication at this point of a cell of foreign fighters operating in the United States”? Or that, as the Associated Press reported, “The FBI and Homeland Security Department say there are no specific or credible terror threats to the US homeland from the Islamic State militant group”?

Probably not, because as the nation barrels towards yet another war in the Middle East and President Obama prepares to address that nation on the “offensive phase” of his military plan Wednesday night, mainstream media pundits and the usual uber-hawk politicians are busy trying to out-hyperbole each other over the threat ISIS poses to Americans. In the process, they’re all but ignoring any evidence to the contrary and the potential hole of blood and treasure into which they’re ready to drive this country all over again.

Facts or consequences have never gotten in the way of Congress’ lust for war before … and this time it’s no different. Sen James Inhofe (R-OK) recently said ISIS militants are “rapidly developing a method of blowing up a major US city and people just can’t believe that’s happening.” (Maybe because there’s no proof that they are?) Sen Bill Nelson (D-FL) said, “It ought to be pretty clear when they … say they’re going to fly the black flag of ISIS over the White House that ISIS is a clear and present danger.” (Again, who cares if they’re not?)

Thanks to this wall-to-wall fear mongering, a once war-weary public is now terrified. More than 60% of the public in a recent CNN poll now supports airstrikes against Isis. Two more polls came out on Tuesday, one from the Washington Post and the other from NBC New and the Wall Street Journal, essentially concluding the same thing. Most shocking, 71% think that ISIS has terrorist sleeper cells in the United States, against all evidence to the contrary.

… And the president is said to favor a multi-pronged approach that also relies on our “partners” – like the repressive Saudi Arabia – to train and arm the “moderate” Syrian resistance army that is fighting both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and ISIS in Syria. (Yes, that’s the same Saudi Arabia which, as the Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin reported, have been accused of funding and supporting Isis, and the same Saudi Arabia that beheaded 19 people in just the first half of August, including eight for non-violent offenses.)


It’s also strange that we are unquestionably calling the Free Syrian Army (FSA) the “moderate” opposition and putting our faith in their abilities, despite many actual experts claiming they’re far from moderate and far from a cohesive army. As George Washington University’s Marc Lynch wrote in the Washington Post recently, “The FSA was always more fiction than reality, with a structure on paper masking the reality of highly localized and fragmented fighting groups on the ground.”

The New York Times reported two weeks ago that FSA has a penchant for beheading its enemy captives as well, and now the family of Steven Sotloff, the courageous journalist who was barbarically beheaded by Isis, says that someone from the “moderate” opposition sold their son to ISIS before he was killed....

Obama Channels Reagan:  Why His ISIS Strategy Is Doomed from the Start

Stephan Richter and Richard Phillips

The Gipper's muscular foreign policy did nothing to prevent terrorist attacks. Obama's falling into the same trap.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice: “We Are In that Brave New World, and We Are Capable of Being In that Orwellian World, Too”

Preparing To Asset-strip Local Government? The Fed’s Bizarre New Rules

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11 Tribute (Has Every Single Person in Government With Any Integrity Left Already Gone?)



Contributions to this blog's operation are always welcome!

Not really news (anymore):

Big Banks Fined Mega-Billions; CEOs Remain Untouched, Above the Law*
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

World Trade Center Building 7 was 610 feet tall, 47 stories, and would have been the tallest building in 33 states. Although it was not hit by an airplane on 9/11, it completely collapsed into a pile of rubble in less than 8 seconds at 5:20 p.m. on 9/11. In the 6 years since 9/11, NIST has failed to provide any explanation for the collapse. In addition to NIST’s failure to provide an explanation, absolutely no mention of Building 7’s collapse appears in the 9/11 Commission's "full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks." [To watch a video of the collapse, click here http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/IMAGES/WTC7_Collapse.wmv ]

The most interesting part of all this 9/11 Tribute (lack of national coverage as a given) seems to be that it's been revealed that hundreds, if not thousands, of people knew that the official story was balderdash all along. Not, as the conspiracy theory goes, that if anything had actually been underhanded that plenty of people would have told about it, but since no one ever did, nothing else must have happened. . . .

But as the U.S. attacks Iraq/Syria (wherever a scent of ISIS/L emanates from now on), no one will ever divulge again what they know now on pain of . . . .
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

The plot thickens.

Finally.

Or at least the reporting does.

After years of persistence a group in New York has secured the necessary number of valid signatures to put on the ballot a vote to investigate the cause of the collapse of the three WTC buildings. The official account, if correct, means that existing fire and building codes are insufficient to protect the public and that all other steel high rise structures are subject to the same failure. The group has been clever to frame the issue in terms of public safety and not in terms of 9/11 truth.

New York authorities, of course, continue to oppose the initiative. The question now rests on a judge’s ruling. It is difficult to imagine a judge going against the government in such a major way, but the group will have made the point that the government has no confidence in the truth of its own story.

Over these 13 years, physicists, chemists, architects, engineers, and first responders have provided massive evidence that completely disproves the official account of the failure of the three skyscrapers. The response to experts has been for non-experts to call experts “conspiracy theorists.” In other words, the defenders of the government’s story have no scientific or factual basis on which to stand. So they substitute name-calling. 

9/11 was used to fundamentally alter the nature of the US government and its relationship to the American people. Unaccountable executive power has replaced due process and the checks and balances established by the US Constitution. In the name of National Security, executive power knows no restraints. Essentially, Americans today have no rights if the government targets them.

Those Americans born after 9/11 were born into a different country from the rest of us. Having never experienced constitutional government, they will not know what they have lost.

Former Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts is now in Paul Krugman scream mode.

And he's making no secret of it.

September 10, 2014

9/11 After 13 years


Paul Craig Roberts


The tragedy of September 11, 2001, goes far beyond the deaths of those who died in the towers and the deaths of firefighters and first responders who succumbed to illnesses caused by inhalation of toxic dust. For thirteen years a new generation of Americans has been born into the 9/11 myth that has been used to create the American warfare/police state.

The corrupt Bush and Obama regimes used 9/11 to kill, maim, dispossess and displace millions of Muslims in seven countries, none of whom had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11.

A generation of Americans has been born into distain and distrust of Muslims.

A generation of Americans has been born into a police state in which privacy and constitutional protections no longer exist.

A generation of Americans has been born into continuous warfare while needs of citizens go unmet.

A generation of Americans has been born into a society in which truth is replaced with the endless repetition of falsehoods.

According to the official story, on September 11, 2001, the vaunted National Security State of the World’s Only Superpower was defeated by a few young Saudi Arabians armed only with box cutters. The American National Security State proved to be totally helpless and was dealt the greatest humiliation ever inflicted on any country claiming to be a power.

That day no aspect of the National Security State worked. Everything failed.

The US Air Force for the first time in its history could not get intercepter jet fighters into the air.

The National Security Council failed.


All sixteen US intelligence agencies failed as did those of America’s NATO and Israeli allies.
Air Traffic Control failed.

Airport Security failed four times at the same moment on the same day. The probability of such a failure is zero.

If such a thing had actually happened, there would have been demands from the White House, from Congress, and from the media for an investigation. Officials would have been held accountable for their failures. Heads would have rolled.

Instead, the White House resisted for one year the 9/11 families’ demands for an investigation. Finally, a collection of politicians was assembled to listen to the government’s account and to write it down. The chairman, vice chairman, and legal counsel of the 9/11 Commission have said that information was withheld from the commission, lies were told to the commission, and that the commission “was set up to fail.” The worst security failure in history resulted in not a single firing. No one was held responsible.

Washington concluded that 9/11 was possible because America lacked a police state.

The PATRIOT Act, which was awaiting the event was quickly passed by the congressional idiots. The Act established executive branch independence of law and the Constitution. The Act and follow-up measures have institutionalized a police state in “the land of the free.”

Osama bin Laden, a CIA asset dying of renal failure, was blamed despite his explicit denial. For the next ten years Osama bin Laden was the bogyman that provided the excuse for Washington to kill countless numbers of Muslims. Then suddenly on May 2, 2011, Obama claimed that US Navy SEALs had killed bin Laden in Pakistan. Eyewitnesses on the scene contradicted the White House’s story.

Osama bin Laden became the only human in history to survive renal failure for ten years. There was no dialysis machine in what was said to be bin Laden’s hideaway. The numerous obituaries of bin Laden’s death in December 2001 went down the memory hole. And the SEAL team died a few weeks later in a mysterious helicopter crash in Afghanistan. The thousands of sailors on the aircraft carrier from which bin Laden was said to have been dumped into the Indian Ocean wrote home that no such burial took place.

The fairy tale story of bin Laden’s murder by Seal Team Six served to end the challenge by disappointed Democrats to Obama’s nomination for a second term. It also freed the “war on terror” from the bin Laden constraint.

Washington wanted to attack Libya, Syria, and Iran, countries in which bin Laden was known not to have organizations, and the succession of faked bin Laden videos, in which bin Laden grew progressively younger as the fake bin Laden claimed credit for each successive attack, had lost credibility among experts.


Watching the twin towers and WTC 7 come down, it was obvious to me that the buildings were not falling down as a result of structural damage. When it became clear that the White House had blocked an independent investigation of the only three steel skyscrapers in world history to collapse as a result of low temperature office fires, it was apparent that there was a coverup.

After 13 years people at home and abroad find the government’s story less believable.

The case made by independent experts is now so compelling that mainstream media has opened to it. Here is Richard Gage of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth on C-SPAN:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zbv2SvBEec#t=23

After years of persistence a group in New York has secured the necessary number of valid signatures to put on the ballot a vote to investigate the cause of the collapse of the three WTC buildings. The official account, if correct, means that existing fire and building codes are insufficient to protect the public and that all other steel high rise structures are subject to the same failure. The group has been clever to frame the issue in terms of public safety and not in terms of 9/11 truth.

New York authorities, of course, continue to oppose the initiative. The question now rests on a judge’s ruling. It is difficult to imagine a judge going against the government in such a major way, but the group will have made the point that the government has no confidence in the truth of its own story.


Over these 13 years, physicists, chemists, architects, engineers, and first responders have provided massive evidence that completely disproves the official account of the failure of the three skyscrapers. The response to experts has been for non-experts to call experts “conspiracy theorists.” In other words, the defenders of the government’s story have no scientific or factual basis on which to stand. So they substitute name-calling.

9/11 was used to fundamentally alter the nature of the US government and its relationship to the American people. Unaccountable executive power has replaced due process and the checks and balances established by the US Constitution. In the name of National Security, executive power knows no restraints. Essentially, Americans today have no rights if the government targets them.

Those Americans born after 9/11 were born into a different country from the rest of us. Having never experienced constitutional government, they will not know what they have lost.

The anthrax attacks of October 2001 have been forgotten, but Professor Graeme MacQueen in The 2001 Anthrax Deception (Clarity Press, 2014) shows that the anthrax attacks played an essential role in setting the stage for the government’s acquisition of unaccountable police state power. Two Democratic Senate committee chairmen, Thomas Daschle and Patrick Leahy, were disturbed by the Bush regime’s overreach for carte blanche power, and were in a position to block the coming police state legislation and the ability of the executive branch alone to take America to war.

Both senators received anthrax letters, as did major news organizations. The TV network news anchors, such as Dan Rather, who compared the collapse of WTC skyscrapers to buildings brought down by controlled demolition, had not yet been fired by Republicans on framed-up charges.

Initially, the anthrax letters, which caused the deaths of some USPS employees, were seen as the second stage of the 9/11 attack. Fear multiplied. The senators and media shut up. Then it was discovered that the anthrax was a unique kind produced only by a US government military facility.

The response to this monkey wrench thrown into the government’s propaganda, was the FBI’s frame-up of a dead man, Bruce Edwards Ivins, who had been employed in the military lab that produced the anthrax and was driven to suicide by the false charges. The dead man’s colleagues did not believe one word of the government’s false story, and nothing in the dead man’s past indicated any motive or instability that would have led him to such a deed.

Initially, the US government tried to frame up Steven Jay Hatfill, but despite the best efforts of the New York Times and Nicholas Kristof the attempt to frame Hatfill failed. Hatfill received $5 million from the US government for the false accusation that ruined his life. So the corrupt US government moved on to Ivins.

Ivins was dead and couldn’t defend himself, but his colleagues did.

The entire episode stinks to high heaven. Justice is something that exists outside the borders of the United States. Never expect to find justice within the United States.

Most Americans are unaware of the extent to which the federal government owns the experts who can contradict its fairy tales. For example, no competent physicist can possibly believe the official story of the destruction of the three WTC buildings.

But physics departments in US universities are heavily dependent on federal money. Any physicist who speaks his mind jeopardizes not only his own career but also the career of all of his colleagues. Physicist Steven Jones, who first pointed to the use of thermite in the destruction of the two towers had to agree to having his university buy out his tenure or his university was faced with losing all federal financing.

The same constraints operate in the private sector. High rise architects and structural engineers who express doubts about the official explanation of the collapse of three skyscrapers are viewed by potential clients as Muslim apologists and conspiracy kooks. The clients, of course, have no expert knowledge with which to assess the issue, but they are indoctrinated with ceaseless, endless, repetition that 9/11 was Osama bin Laden’s attack on America. Their indoctrination makes them immune to facts.

The 9/11 lie has persisted for 13 years. Millions of Muslims have paid for this lie with their lives, the destruction of their families, and with their dislocation. Most Americans remain comfortable with the fact that their government has destroyed in whole or part seven countries based on a lie Washington told to cover up an inside job that launched the crazed neoconservatives’ drive for Washington’s World Empire.

And on the current "terrorism" front, we hear from our leader that we must re-bomb Iraq (or continue re-bombing them, which we never actually stopped doing due to our romance with drones).

On September 5, the White House Office of the Press Secretary headlined ”Remarks by President Obama at NATO Summit Press Conference.”

He called things today “a time of transition (and) testing.” He claimed “NATO’s combat mission in Afghanistan is coming to an end” despite America intending permanent control of its Eurasian colony.

He irresponsibly accused Russia of “aggression against Ukraine.” He claimed it “threatens our vision of a Europe that is whole, free and at peace.”

He left unexplained Washington’s full responsibility for Ukraine’s crisis conditions. It’s wanting all former Russian republics and Warsaw pact countries made NATO members.

It’s wanting US bases encircling Russia and China. It’s wanting long-range multiple warhead nuclear missiles targeting their heartlands.
It’s wanting unchallenged first-strike capability. It’s risking humanity-destroying global war in the process.
America dominates NATO. It defrays 75% of its budget. It calls the shots.

It bullies, pressures and bribes less belligerent members to support its imperial agenda.
It wants increasing amounts for global militarism. Dominant NATO nations deplore peace. The Alliance’s mission is war-making.
Its Readiness Action Plan and Rapid Response Force target Russia.
The Russian Federation’s Foreign Ministry called its Wales summit “hardly surprising.” NATO “cannot change its genetic code by definition,” it said.

“(I)nterfering in the affairs of foreign states did not emerge yesterday or today.”

The official conspiracy theory (the NIST one) has had its flaws exposed for over a decade.  Too bad the public has never been informed by the mainstream American media.


No Airliner Black Boxes Found at the World Trade Center? Senior Officials Dispute Official 9/11 Claim


By Consensus911.org

Global Research, September 10, 2014


Consensus911

NEW YORK – As disappearing airliners continue to dominate the headlines, new evidence is surfacing to negate official claims that the black boxes from the 9/11 planes were never found.

Firemen working at the Ground Zero in October 2001 claim to have found three of the four virtually indestructible boxes. The telltale flight recorder “pinging” had earlier been reported by the director of the New York State Emergency Management Office, and was confirmed by radio frequency detectors.

This information is presented by the 24-member 9/11 Consensus Panel, which uses a rigorous medical model to establish its evidence.  The Panel has produced, over a three-year period, 44 peer-reviewed Consensus Points refuting official claims concerning the events of September 11, 2001.

Although 19 Muslim hijackers allegedly broke into the cockpits and commandeered four aircraft on 9/11, none of the eight pilots “squawked” the 7500 hijack code.

Nor is there any proof that the lost radar signals (which made NORAD interception difficult) resulted because alleged hijackers turned off the cockpit transponders.

This lack of proof is compounded by the fact that NORAD’s traditional procedures to intercept aircraft that deviate from course, or lose radar and radio contact, were not followed on 9/11.

Strangely, NORAD’s commander-in-chief, General Ralph Eberhart, had scheduled for the morning of 9/11 an unprecedented number of annual military air drills that involved most of the U.S. Air Force.

After being informed of the real-world attacks, Eberhart’s bewildering activities and decisions caused critical delays that led to an utterly failed military response.

His accounting of these delays, published in NORAD’s September 18, 2001, timeline, was reversed when he testified before the 9/11 Commission in 2003.


Further questions regarding official behavior arise in “Point MC-10:  The Activities of NYC Mayor Giuliani on September 11, 2001.

Giuliani told ABC’s Peter Jennings in the morning that while he and his Emergency Management team – who were in a building at 75 Barclay Street where they had set up temporary headquarters after the Twin Towers were struck – he had been warned that the World Trade Center was going to collapse.

Giuliani failed to warn others of this notification. How he knew that the Twin Towers were going to collapse and why he did not pass this on requires intensive investigation under oath.

The 9/11 Consensus Panel joins such people as its Honorary Members, and more recently, 30-year career NSA official and whistle-blower William Binney, in calling for a new investigation into 9/11.

Source:  The 9/11 Consensus Panel @911consensus

Contact list:  http://www.consensus911.org/media-contacts/

Coordinator:  Elizabeth Woodworth, emwoodworth@gmail.com


Point MC-10:  The Activities of NYC Mayor Giuliani on September 11, 2001


Introduction

One of the most surprising events of 9/11 was that New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told ABC’s Peter Jennings in the morning that while he and his Emergency Management team – who were in a building at 75 Barclay Street where they had set up temporary headquarters after the Twin Towers were struck – had been warned that the World Trade Center was going to collapse, so they had decided to [escape from] leave the Barclay Street building.

He later gave the 9/11 Commission a quite different account about which building was expected to collapse.

The 9/11 Commission did not ask him about the apparent contradictions, so the account he gave the Commission must be considered the official story.

The Official Account

On 19 May 2004, Mayor Giuliani testified before the 9/11 Commission. Volunteering to tell what he had done on the morning of September 11, 2001, Giuliani said that, after finishing breakfast at a hotel some distance away from the World Trade Center, he was told that a twin-engine plane had crashed into the North Tower. While in a van trying to get to the World Trade Center, Giuliani and his breakfast companions learned that the World Trade Center’s South Tower had been struck by a second plane, making it clear to him that a terrorist attack was underway.

Giuliani and his companions then found that the van could get no farther than Barclay Street, at which point the Police Commissioner notified him that 7 World Trade (which housed Giuliani’s Office of Emergency Management) had been evacuated, so they would instead set up a command post at 75 Barclay Street. Giuliani told the Commission that, after going inside 75 Barclay Street and while waiting to talk to Vice President Dick Cheney on the phone:

“I heard a click, the desk started to shake, and I heard next Chief Esposito, who was the uniformed head of the police department, . . . say, ‘The [South] tower is down, the tower has come down.’ And my first thought was that one of the radio towers from the top of the World Trade Center had come down. I did not conceive of the entire tower coming down, but as he was saying that, I could see the desk shaking and . . . then all of a sudden I could see outside a tremendous amount of debris and it first felt like an earthquake, and then it looked like a nuclear cloud. So we realized very shortly that  we were in danger in the [Barclay  Street] building, that the building could come down. . . . So the police commissioner and I, and the deputy police commissioner, we jointly decided that we had to try to get everyone out of the building.”

So Giuliani and his team left the Barclay Street building, because “if something happened and the building crashed, you’d virtually have all of city government gone.”[1]

The Best Evidence

Giuliani’s account to the 9/11 Commission contains two serious contradictions with what Giuliani had told Peter Jennings:

(1) He did not tell the Commission that he had been warned that the World Trade Center was going to collapse.

(2) He told the Commission that he and his people left the Barclay Street building for fear that this building might collapse.

 The Peter Jennings Interview

While being interviewed during the morning of 9/11 via telephone by Peter Jennings, then the anchor at ABC News, Giuliani said that after he learned about the attack on the World Trade Center,

“I went down to the scene and we set up headquarters at 75 Barkley Street, which was right there with the Police Commissioner, the Fire Commissioner, the Head of Emergency Management, and we were operating out of there when we were told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse. And it [the South Tower] did collapse before we could actually get out of the [Barclay Street] building, so we were trapped in the building for 10, 15 minutes, and finally found an exit and got out.”[2]

Giuliani’s statement to Jennings agreed in part with the account he later gave the 9/11 Commission, but he did not  tell the Commission about being “told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse.”   Also, whereas he had told Jennings that he was concerned that the Twin Towers were going to collapse, he told the Commission that he instead was worried that he and his people were “in danger in the [Barclay Street] building, that the building could come down.”

 Although the 9/11 Commission failed to ask Giuliani about these contradictions – no mention of concern that the World Trade Center would collapse; new concern that the Barclay Street building might collapse – WNBC reported that in May 2007, he was asked about the Jennings interview by a small group of people with a video camera.[3]  A young woman, after reminding Giuliani of his statement to Jennings that “no steel structure in history has ever collapsed due to a fire,” asked: “How come people in the buildings weren’t notified? And who else knew about this? And how do you sleep at night?” Giuliani replied: “I didn’t know the towers were going to collapse.” A male member of the group then reminded Giuliani that he had indeed told Jennings that he had been notified in advance that the towers were going to collapse, adding, “Who told you the towers were going to collapse in advance, sir?” Giuliani replied:

I didn’t realize the towers would collapse. . . . Our understanding was that over a long period of time, the way other buildings collapsed, the towers could collapse, meaning over a 7, 8, 9, 10-hour period. No one that I know of had any idea they would implode. That was a complete surprise.[4]

But this explanation contradicts Giuliani’s statement to Jennings—“we were told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse. And it did collapse before we could actually get out of the building.” According to that statement, he had clearly expected an imminent collapse of at least one of the Twin Towers.

Giuliani’s Claim about Other Building Collapses

Giuliani’s alternative explanation also contradicted factual evidence.

In the first place, in speaking about “the way other buildings collapsed,” he implied that steel-framed high-rise buildings had previously collapsed. (Otherwise, the mention of collapsed buildings would have been irrelevant.) In fact, the young woman’s statement, that “no steel structure in history has ever collapsed due to a fire,” is not controversial. Two months after 9/11, for example, New York Timesreporter James Glanz wrote that “experts said no . . . modern, steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever collapsed because of an uncontrolled fire.”[5]

Also, although Giuliani claimed that he expected a tower to collapse over a 7-10 hour period, steel-framed buildings had burned, some of them longer than 10 hours, without collapsing:

·       In 1988, the 62-story First Interstate Bank Building in Los Angeles burned for 3½ hours, with 64 fire companies battling the blaze. The fire gutted offices from the 12th to the 16th floor, with “no damage to the main structural members.”[6]

·       In 1991, a huge fire in Philadelphia’s One Meridian Plaza lasted for 18 hours and gutted 8 of the building’s 38 floors. “Beams and girders sagged and twisted . . . under severe fire exposures,” said the FEMA report, but “the columns continued to support their loads without obvious damage.”[7]

·       During the 1990s, a series of experiments were run in Great Britain to see what kind of damage could be done to steel-framed buildings by subjecting them to extremely hot, all-consuming fires that lasted for many hours. After reviewing those experiments, FEMA said: “Despite the temperature of the steel beams reaching 800-900°C (1,500-1,700°F) in three of the tests. . . , no collapse was observed in any of the six experiments.”[8]

·       Finally, illustrating that the laws of nature had not changed in 2001, a 50-story building fire in Caracas in 2004 raged for 17 hours, completely gutting the building’s top 20 floors, and yet this building did not collapse.[9]

 However, although the implicit claim that steel-framed buildings had collapsed after burning for several hours was false, his statement was: “Our understanding was that over a long period of time, the way other buildings collapsed, the towers could collapse” (emphasis added). However, even that is false, because Robert F. Shea, the acting administrator of FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, said: “No one who viewed it that day, including myself, believed that those towers would fall,”[10] and this view was confirmed by multiple firefighters and other experts.[11] 

 Accordingly, there is no basis for a revisionist account, according to which Giuliani did not      tell ABC’s Peter Jennings that he had been warned that “the World Trade Center was going to collapse.” Given the fact that Giuliani did say this, the next question is:  Who gave Giuliani this information?

Who Told Giuliani that the World Trade Center Was Going to Collapse?

A partial answer may be found in the oral histories recorded by the Fire Department of New York.  

·       Deputy Assistant Chief Albert Turi reported that, at a time when they had no indication of any structural instability, Steve Mosiello, Chief Ganci’s executive assistant, came over to the command post and he said we’re getting reports from OEM that the buildings are not structurally sound,”after which “Pete [Ganci] said, well, who are we getting these reports from? . . . Steve [Mosiello] brought an EMT person over to the command post. . . Chief Ganci questioned him, where are we getting these reports? And his answer was . . . we’re not sure, OEM is just reporting this.”[12]  

·       Steven Mosiello’s statement shows that this “EMT person” was Emergency Medical Technician Richard Zarrillo, who said: “John [Perrugia] came to me and said you need to go find Chief Ganci and relay the following message: that the buildings have been compromised, we need to evacuate, they’re going to collapse. I said okay.” After he and Steve Mosiello told Ganci that the buildings were going to collapse, Ganci said “who the fuck told you that?” Mosiello told Ganci and others: “I was just at OEM. The message I was given was that the buildings are going to collapse; we need to get our people out.[13]

·       John Peruggia said: “They [people in the fire operations center] advised me that the Office of Emergency Management had been activated.” Later, Peruggia reported that “I was in a discussion with Mr. Rotanz [the deputy director of planning and research of the OEM[14]]. . . [and some] engineer type person, and several of us were huddled talking in the lobby and it was brought to my attention, it was believed that the structural damage that was suffered to the towers wasquite significant and they were very confident that the building’s stability was compromised and they felt that the North Tower was in danger of a near imminent collapse. I grabbed EMT Zarrillo, I advised him of that information. I told him he was to proceed immediately to the command post where Chief Ganci was located. . . . Provide him with the information that the building integrity is severely compromised and they believe the building is in danger of imminent collapse.”[15]

·       Peruggia was asked whether they were talking about “just the one building or both of them,” to which he said: “The information we got at that time was that they felt both buildings were significantly damaged.”[16]

As these testimonies show, the message that the towers were going to collapse came from the OEM. Accordingly, if Giuliani, as he told Peter Jennings, was informed that the towers were going to collapse, the warning must have originated from the OEM. 

However, the OEM was under Giuliani’s control.[17] So although Giuliani said that he and others at 75 Barclay Street “were told” that the towers were going to collapse, it was his own people in his own office who were providing this warning.

The only remaining question is: How could people in the OEM have known – given the virtually universal belief that a total collapse of the towers would have been impossible – that the towers were going to collapse?

The Fire Chief Who Expected the Towers to Fall

Chief Ray Downey was reportedly an exception to the 9/11 Commission’s stated belief that “none of the [fire] chiefs present believed that a total collapse of either tower was possible.”[18] And this was an important exception, because, as 9/11 Commissioner Timothy Roemer said, Downey was a “very respected expert on building collapse.” In fact, said a FDNY battalion chief, Downey was “the premiere collapse expert in the country.”[19]

FDNY Commissioner Thomas Von Essen had told the 9/11 Commission that Downey had said to him, “Boss, I think these buildings could collapse.”[20] As to why, according to Downey’s nephew Tom Downey, his uncle had been “worried about secondary devices in the towers, explosive devices that could hurt the firemen.”[21]

During his Oral History interview, FDNY chaplain Father John Delendick said that after the top of the South Tower appeared to explode, he asked Downey whether jet fuel had blown up. Downey replied “at that point he thought there were bombs up there because it was too even” – meaning that it had been too even to have been produced by exploding jet fuel.[22]

Conclusion

The account Mayor Giuliani gave to the 9/11 Commission in May 2004, according to which he got out of the building at 75 Barclay Street for fear that it would come down, is contradicted by the account he had given on the morning of 9/11 to ABC’s Peter Jennings.

When Giuliani was challenged to explain why he had not told people in the towers that they were going to collapse, he claimed that he “didn’t realize the towers would collapse” and that “No one that [he knew] of had any idea they would implode.” This is in stark contrast to Giuliani’s statement to Peter Jennings that he was told that the Twin Towers were going to come down.

 How Giuliani knew that WTC Buildings I and II were going to come down is a question that has not been asked publicly of Giuliani by the mainstream media or any government body.  This is a question that must be asked of Giuliani, while he is under oath.

References for Point MC-10

[1] 9/11 Commission Hearing,” 19 May 2004.

[2] This statement, made on 9/11 to Peter Jennings of ABC News, can be read and heard at “Who Told Giuliani the WTC Was Going to Collapse on 9/11?” What Really Happened (Updated), August 27, 2010.   

[3] A televised video of this encounter, entitled “Activists Confront Giuliani over 9/11,” was formerly available at http://web.archive.org/web/20070601065253/http://video.wnbc.com/player/?id=112179, and may now be viewed here.

[4] A video of this encounter, entitled “Activists Confront Giuliani over 9/11,” was formerly available at http://web.archive.org/web/20070601065253/http://video.wnbc.com/player/?id=112179, and may now be here.

[5] James Glanz, “Engineers are baffled over the collapse of 7 WTC,” New York Times, November 29, 2001.


[8] FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, May 2002, “Appendix A: Overview of Fire Protection in Buildings,” A-9.


[10] Learning from 9/11: Understanding the Collapse of the World Trade Center,” Hearing before the Committee on Science, House of Representatives, 6 March 2002 (http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/science/hsy77747.000/hsy77747_0f.htm).

Of course, WTC 7 was different:  Many people became convinced that it would come down, but this was after the Twin Towers had come down and after they had been
told that it was going to come down. See:  9/11 Consensus Panel, “Point WTC7-7: Foreknowledge of the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7”  (http://www.consensus911.org/point-wtc7-7/).

[11] To give a few examples:

·    John Skilling, the architect primarily responsible for the structural design of the Twin Towers, when asked in 1993 what would happen if one of the towers were to suffer a strike by an airliner loaded with jet-fuel, replied that “there would be a horrendous fire” and “a lot of people would be killed,” but “the building structure would still be there.” (Eric Nalder, “Twin Towers Engineered to Withstand Jet Collision,” Seattle Times, 27 February 1993.

·       An investigator with the Bureau of Investigations and Trials said that “no one ever expected it to collapse like that” (Oral History: Lieutenant Murray Murad, 20).

·       A firefighter battalion chief said that after “everything blew out on . . . one floor,“ he thought that the top of the South Tower was going to come off and fall down, but “there was never a thought that this whole thing is coming down” (Oral History: Battalion Chief Brian Dixon, 15).

·       Another firefighter said: “You just couldn’t believe that those buildings could come down. . . . [T]here’s no history of these buildings falling down” (Oral History: Lieutenant Warren Smith, 14-15, 30-31, 32).

·       Even the 9/11 Commission said that, to its knowledge, “none of the [fire] chiefs present believed that a total collapse of either tower was possible” (The 9/11 Commission Report, 302). One apparent exception was Chief Ray Downey, who was a collapse expert, but he had become convinced that explosives had been placed in the buildings Tom Downey, The Last Men Out: Life on the Edge of Rescue 2 Firehouse, [New York, Henry Holt, 2004]).

·       Likewise, NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) wrote: “No one interviewed indicated that they thought that the buildings would completely collapse” (NIST NCSTAR 1-8, “The Emergency Response Operations,” 72) . One apparent exception was Chief Ray Downey, who was a collapse expert, but he had become convinced that explosives had been placed in the buildings; see Tom Downey, “The Last Men Out: Life on the Edge of Rescue 2 Firehouse,” New York, Henry Holt, 2004).



[14] Rotanz was assigned to the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management in 2000,” Urban Hazards Forum, FEMA, 2002.



[17] A document titled a “Brief History of New York City’s Office of Emergency Management” said: “1996: By executive order, the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management is created. The Director reports directly to the Mayor.”


[19] Roemer’s statement was made during a 9/11 Commission Hearing.

[20] 9/11 Commission Hearing, 18 May 2004. Von Essen had already told this story in his book, Strong of Heart: Life and Death in the Fire Department of New York, New York, William Morrow, 2002, 22.

[21] Tom Downey, The Last Men Out: Life on the Edge at Rescue 2 Firehouse (New York: Henry Holt, 2004).

[22] Oral History: Father John Delendick, 5.  Father Delendick added: “As we’ve since learned, it was the jet fuel that was dropping down that caused all this.” But what is important is what he reported that Downey, the expert, had said.

This post is also available in: French

And who said no one has done the work and put all the available data together? John O'Neill's successors know.

9/11: The Mysterious Death of John O’Neill, FBI Counterterror Chief in Charge of the Osama bin Laden Investigation
The Propaganda Preparation for 9/11

June 2, 2014 – The 24-member 9/11 Consensus Panel – which includes physicists, chemists, engineers, commercial pilots, attorneys and lawyers – today announced three new studies confirming the controlled demolition of World Trade Center 7.

The studies scientifically refute the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) claim that, for the first time in history, fire caused the sudden and complete collapse of a large, fire-protected, steel-framed building on 9/11. 

(Note that whereas the Consensus Panel uses a scientific methodology to peer-review its work, the NIST report was not peer-reviewed.)

The first Panel study deals with the NIST computer simulations, which purported to show that fire-induced thermal expansion caused a girder to be pushed off its seat at Column 79, thereby initiating a global collapse of the entire 47-storey building at 5:21 in the afternoon.  

However, a recent FOIA request has produced WTC 7 architectural drawings showing that the NIST simulations omitted basic structural supports that would have made this girder failure impossible. 

The second Consensus Panel study deals with NIST’s claim that it did not recover any steel from this massive steel-frame skyscraper.

This is extraordinary, given the need to understand why a steel-frame building would have completely collapsed for the first time in history from fire alone, and to thereby prevent a recurrence.

We know now that some of the steel was recovered.  Photographs recently obtained by researchers show the strange curled-up paper-thin WTC 7 steel, with a NIST investigator pointing it out. 

The third Panel study shows that on September 11, 2001, many people were told hours in advance that WTC 7 was going to collapse.

MSNBC reporter Ashleigh Banfield said early in the afternoon: “I’ve heard several reports from several different officers now that that is the building that is going to go down next.” 

Many members of the New York Fire Department were confidently waiting for the building to come down:

Firefighter Thomas Donato: “We were standing, waiting for seven to come down. We were there for quite a while, a couple hours.”

Assistant Commissioner James Drury: “I must have lingered there. There were hundreds of firefighters waiting to — they were waiting for 7 World Trade Center to come down.”  

Chief Thomas McCarthy: “So when I get to the command post, they just had a flood of guys standing there. They were just waiting for 7 to come down.”
In addition, CNN and the BBC made premature announcements.

This foreknowledge corroborates the evidence presented in previous Consensus Points (WTC7-1 to WTC7-5) that WTC 7 was brought down by controlled demolition.

Source:  The 9/11 Consensus Panel  consensus911@gmail.com  @Consensus911
Contact List:   http://www.consensus911.org/media-contacts/
Co-founders:   David Ray Griffin, Elizabeth Woodworth

Fascinating, ain't it?

"But, it's a coincidence. Right boss?"

"There's no such thing as coincidence, Tony."

- Jethro Gibbs


*
That is beyond comprehension, a clear travesty of justice, but it has become commonplace in America. Just look at the following list of U.S. and some foreign banks that have been fined billions of dollars. Not one of their top executives has been prosecuted in connection with the violations of the law that led to these fines:
$25 billion - Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, BAC, and Ally Financial - 2012

$13 billion - J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. — 2013

$9.3 billion - Bank of America, Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan & 10 others — 2013

$8.5 billion - Bank of America – June 2011

$2.6 billion - Credit Suisse AG – May 2014

1.9 billion - HSBC Holdings, HSBA - 2012

$1.5 billion – UBS, AGUBSN - 2012

$1.4 billion - 10 Wall Street firms including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and J.P. Morgan – 2003

What fraudulent practices brought on these massive fines? They involved mortgage foreclosure processing abuses, claims over residential-backed mortgage securities, deceptive mortgage loan application processes, associated tax evasion, manipulated interbank lending rates, and conflicts of interest between research and investment banking sectors.