Washington (AFP) – The FBI encouraged and sometimes even paid Muslims to commit terrorist acts during numerous sting operations after the 9/11 attacks, a human rights group said in a report published Monday.
“Far from protecting Americans, including American Muslims, from the threat of terrorism, the policies documented in this report have diverted law enforcement from pursuing real threats,” said the report by Human Rights Watch.
Aided by Columbia University Law School’s Human Rights Institute, Human Rights Watch examined 27 cases from investigation through trial, interviewing 215 people, including those charged or convicted in terrorism cases, their relatives, defense lawyers, prosecutors and judges.
“In some cases the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting the idea of taking terrorist action or encouraging the target to act,” the report said.
In the cases reviewed, half the convictions resulted from a sting operation, and in 30 percent of those cases the undercover agent played an active role in the plot.
“Americans have been told that their government is keeping them safe by preventing and prosecuting terrorism inside the US,” said Andrea Prasow, the rights group’s deputy Washington director.
“But take a closer look and you realize that many of these people would never have committed a crime if not for law enforcement encouraging, pressuring and sometimes paying them to commit terrorist acts.”
US Attorney General Eric Holder has strongly defended the FBI undercover operations as “essential in fighting terrorism.”
“These operations are conducted with extraordinary care and precision, ensuring that law enforcement officials are accountable for the steps they take -– and that suspects are neither entrapped nor denied legal protections,” Holder said July 8 during a visit to Norway.
The HRW report, however, cites the case of four Muslim converts from Newburgh, New York who were accused of planning to blow up synagogues and attack a US military base.
A judge in that case “said the government ‘came up with the crime, provided the means, and removed all relevant obstacles,’ and had, in the process, made a terrorist out of a man ‘whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope,'” the report said.
The rights group charged that the FBI often targets vulnerable people, with mental problems or low intelligence.
It pointed to the case of Rezwan Ferdaus, who was sentenced to 17 years in prison at age 27 for wanting to attack the Pentagon and Congress with mini-drones loaded with explosives.
An FBI agent told Ferdaus’ father that his son “obviously” had mental health problems, the report said. But that didn’t stop an undercover agent from conceiving the plot in its entirety, it said.
“The US government should stop treating American Muslims as terrorists-in-waiting,” the report concluded.
Mike German, a former FBI agent now with the Brennan Center, said FBI counterterrorism excesses were a source of concern — “concerns that they both violate privacy and civil liberties, and aren’t effective in addressing real threats.”
But JM Berger, a national security expert, said law enforcement faces a dilemma: it can’t just ignore tips or reports about people talking about wanting to commit a terrorist action or seeking support for one.
“The question is how to sort out which cases merit investigation and which do not,” he said.
WASHINGTON — The authors of the seminal 9/11 Commission report have produced a new study, a decade after the first, painting an often alarming picture of the country’s vulnerability to another terrorist attack.
The report, released Tuesday, praises some federal actions for making the country ”better equipped to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks than in 2001.” The commission, led by Chairman Tom Kean and Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton, points to the federalization of airport security, upgraded security at ports of entry, and the devotion of hundreds of billions of dollars to the intelligence community as policy movements in the right direction
Yet the report finds foreboding gaps. The authors argue that the U.S. remains under-resourced on cyber-terrorism and under-appreciative of emerging threats, predominantly in the Middle East. They note that while core al Qaeda “has been damaged in recent years, its affiliates and associated groups … now have a presence in more theaters of operation than they did half a decade ago, operating today in at least 16 countries.”
Titled “Today’s Rising Terrorist Threat and the Danger to the United States,” the report, released in conjunction with the Bipartisan Policy Center, is meant to map out the progress and continued shortcomings of America’s anti-terrorism policy. It spends more ink on the latter than the former. The authors seem particularly unsparing with Congress.
The legislative branch just doesn’t seem to get oversight right, as Kean and Hamilton see it. The authors note that in 2004, they were astonished to learn that the Department of Homeland Security reported to 88 committees and subcommittees of Congress.
“Incredibly,” they write, “Congress over the past ten years has increased this plethora of oversight bodies to 92.”
Kean and Hamilton recommend that Congress reduce the number of committees with jurisdiction over DHS, or simply empower one primary authorizing committee.
Meanwhile, the authors argue that Congress’ thumbprint is too faint elsewhere. Lawmakers, they write, need to provide “additional oversight” over the National Security Agency data-collection programs that were revealed by Edward Snowden.
Kean and Hamilton argue that these NSA “programs are worth preserving,” but they see a downside in lax checks and balances. They reference the need to protect civil liberties almost in passing, spending more time expressing concern that the NSA will suffer staffing shortages as young, computer-savvy Americans recoil at working there.
While there was a post-9/11 upsurge in the number of young people applying for national security jobs, recent headwinds appear to have seriously affected recruiting efforts. We see at least two potential factors behind this troubling trend. One is the Edward Snowden leaks, which may have dented young Americans’ enthusiasm for national security work. NSA applications reportedly fell by one-third in the wake of these disclosures, and the NSA was apparently disinvited from conferences at which it had recruited in the past…. A second factor is what we see as a waning sense of urgency on this issue, particularly among a younger generation for whom the 9/11 attacks were not a formative experience.
Finally, the authors urge Congress to get more involved (not less) in litigating the war on terror. The 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force needs to be updated, they argue, “to track the evolution of the terrorist threat.” Kean and Hamilton express skepticism that that authorization was legally sound for dealing with the rise of ISIS in Iraq. But the need for a new legal foundation is about more than just emerging threats in the Middle East.
“The Constitution assigns Congress a central constitutional role in authorizing the use of military force,” the report says. “Congressional approval also confers greater legitimacy, both at home and in the eyes of the world. Whatever course is ultimately chosen, this is not a decision that can or should be taken by the executive branch alone. Continuing to indefinitely rely on the September 2001 AUMF without further congressional action threatens to erode the constitutionally mandated separation of powers.”
A recent poll conducted by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team, part of an effort to force a change of venue for his trial, found that a majority of Bostonians—58 percent—are already convinced the accused Marathon bomber is “definitely guilty.”
That may be persuasive to the presiding judge. But what’s perhaps more interesting is that the poll found a sizable number of Boston residents—42 percent—are still “unsure,” indicating that even the population with the closest proximity to the April 15, 2013, act of terrorism still harbor doubts about the “official” version of events.
Without seeing the evidence the government claims to have of the younger Tsarnaev’s guilt, and due to many anomalies and lingering questions about the bombing and its aftermath, we’re siding with the 42 percent who just aren’t sure yet.
Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe recently expressed surprise about the poll’s results in a column in which he wrote: “Call me Pollyanna, but I’m shocked they were able to find the 42 percent who don’t think he’s guilty.” While people answering that they’re unsure about Tsarnaev’s guilt isn’t the same as thinking he’s innocent, it does reflect a substantial feeling that the jury is still out in many Bostonians’ minds.
Cullen’s surprise makes sense when one considers the nature of the event, with its gut-wrenching imagery and suspenseful days-long manhunt. After an experience like that, it’s understandable that Bostonians would want someone to hang.
And from the beginning, law-enforcement along with the vast majority of the media have implied that the evidence against Tsarnaev is so airtight, and that his guilt is so self-evident, that it’s bordering on the absurd to assert some things in the official version may not be exactly as we’ve been told.
You Can’t Fool All the People All the Time
The problem, as 42 percent of Bostonians apparently recognize, is that nobody has seen any evidence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s involvement in the actual bombing. It appears to many that there is likely more to this story than the simplistic, “self-radicalized lone wolves” yarn being spun by law enforcement and the mainstream media.
It does appear that these brothers were somehow involved in the violence. However, serious doubts remain with the government’s version of events.
We’ve been told that the brothers:
• Built, placed and detonated the “highly sophisticated” bombs
• Killed Officer Sean Collier execution-style
• Hijacked a Chinese national who made a daring escape
• Set off a chase that culminated in the Watertown shootout, the death of Tamerlan, and the subsequent capture of Dzhokhar in a dry-docked boat
Most importantly, we’ve been told they did all of this alone.
We’ve also been informed that neither the FBI nor any other federal agencies had any contact with the brothers—directly or indirectly—after the agency closed its investigation into Tamerlan and his mother in 2011.
In the absence so far of hard evidence implicating the brothers as the sole perpetrators, many Bostonians appear to have kept an open mind.
In this, they may have been influenced by their familiarity with the FBI’s history of covering up embarrassing relationships to bad guys, like the one local agents had with the murderous Boston mobster Whitey Bulger—not to mention the Bureau’s less-than-stellar record of transparency regarding major events like 9/11. And that doesn’t even take into account some of the geopolitical and national security implications swirling around the case.
In other words—many reasonable doubts still exist.
Here’s a few of them:
• “Danny,” the main witness to Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s alleged confession to the Marathon bombing, and the shooting of Sean Collier, changed significant parts of his story over time, thereby undermining his credibility. And he is a budding entrepreneur with an uncertain immigration status—an easy target for law enforcement manipulation (For our two-part discussion on the reasonable doubts about Danny’s story, see here and here).
• As far as we know, there are no eyewitnesses to the shooting of Sean Collier. The security camera footage that supposedly recorded them attacking Collier has not been shown to the public. Additionally, at least three different law enforcement officials told the New York Times that the video in question does not show the attackers’ faces.
• There was an armed felon in the vicinity of Vassar Street around that same time who had just robbed a 7-Eleven at gunpoint. He’s still at large.
• The brothers supposedly shot and killed Collier for his gun, but didn’t take it. They also managed to avoid getting any blood on themselves, when one or both of them allegedly tried to wrestle Collier’s pistol from his bleeding body.
• The FBI initially denied knowing who the brothers were until Russia called them out on it. Was the FBI—or another federal agency—hiding something?
• The FBI’s assertions that its investigation of Tamerlan Tsarnaev was limited by a concern for his civil liberties are not credible. Since its inception, the FBI has routinely ignored the Bill of Rights, particularly, in recent years, when it comes to Muslims.
• Prior to the bombing, Tamerlan Tsarnaev somehow evaded being detained at the airport not once but twice, despite being on two different no-fly lists To get an idea of the frequency with which the government routinely allows individuals with questionable associations to travel in and out of our country as they please, see here and here.
• Why is it that the FBI appears to be relentlessly intimidating, punishing, deporting and in one case—that of Ibragim Todashev—shooting to death a person closely connected to the brothers? That pattern of behavior can easily call into question the FBI’s stated desire to get to the truth. Indeed, it can create the opposite impression. After the Todashev shooting, the FBI leaked to the media radically contradictory stories about how it happened: Todashev came at the agent with a knife, no, it was a sword, no, it was a pole. Even the Florida State Attorney’s investigation revealed mind-boggling contradictions between the stories of the FBI agent who did the shooting, and the Massachusetts state trooper who was in the room at the time. The trooper said Todashev charged him with a broom handle raised high like a javelin. But the FBI agent said Todashev ran at him with his left shoulder dropped in an attacking posture. For more details about the Todashev killing, please take a look here and here.
• The Tsarnaev’s uncle Ruslan and his apparent connections to retired CIA officer Graham Fuller and the CIA deserve further scrutiny.
• The fact that these immigrants were refugees from an area heavily contested between the United States and Russia, who were living in Cambridge, an established hotbed of espionage and international intrigue involving the United States, Russia and other countries, should give one serious pause before swallowing the “lone wolves” assertion.
• Even some law enforcement officials have expressed skepticism that the Tsarnaev brothers could have had the technical ability to construct and successfully detonate such highly sophisticated bombs in a flawlessly coordinated manner without help. The Tsarnaevs did not seem like criminal masterminds, as demonstrated by their boneheaded and panicky behavior once they were identified as the bombers.
And finally, the public has never seen the alleged video footage of Dzhokhar planting his backpack at the scene of the second explosion. What we have seen are grainy videos that show the brothers on Boylston St. carrying backpacks—like hundreds of other spectators that day.
Bill de Blasio, another NYC Mayor who has an allergy to reality, decency, and an interest in actually investigating the crimes of 9/11/01 on Thursday said,
“From what I’ve heard it’s absolutely ridiculous,”… “And it’s inappropriate, after all the suffering that went on 9/11 and since. It seems to be this is a very insensitive and inappropriate action.”
That “insensitive and inappropriate action” is the ballot initiative spearheaded by the High Rise Safety Initiative, a group of grassroots activists and 9/11 family members like Bob McIlvaine, father of Bobby McIlvaine, have gathered 67, 192 signatures so far from verifiable New York legal residents, that if passed November 4th, it would require the City’s Department of Buildings to investigate the collapse of WTC 7 and any future high-rise collapses.
“I believe the City Council will share our view that this should never be on the ballot,” said that Mayor with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito nodding in agreement beside him.
With Thursdays statement the current”Hizzoner” officially joins the dishonor roll of elected NY City Mayors who choose to deflect genuine inquiry into the impossible physics of the 3 WTC towers destruction.
Keyboard Activism : What Does The Council Speaker Have To Say?
Speaker, @NYCCouncil | Representing District 8 (El Barrio/East Harlem and the South Bronx)
Painting by Anthony Freda
Governments from Around the World Admit They Carry Out False Flag Terror
Governments from around the world admit they carry out false flag terror:
- A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson
- Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939, and declared that the fire originated from Finland as a basis launching the Winter War four days later
- Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this)
- The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
- The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out false flag attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change
- The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s and blamed the communists, in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism. As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: “You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security” (and see this)(Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred). And watch this BBC special
- As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960′s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
- 2 years before, American Senator George Smathers had suggested that the U.S. make “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]“.
- And Official State Department documents show that – only nine months before the Joint Chiefs of Staff plan was proposed – the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The 3 plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals
- A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists
- The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident”, thus framing the ANC for the bombing
- An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author)
- Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion)
- According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.
- The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings
- As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the “war on terror”.
- Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the white House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country
- Similarly, the U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks – as shown by a memo from the defense secretary – as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war. Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil … not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction (despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers)
- Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”
- United Press International reported in June 2005:
U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.
- Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians
- Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this)
- At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence
- A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat
- U.S. soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then “drop” automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants
- The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence – Prince Bandar – recently admitted that the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists
- High-level American sources admitted that the Turkish government – a fellow Nato country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government; and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out false flag attacks and blame it on the Syrian government
So Common … There’s a Name for It
This tactic is so common that it was given a name for hundreds of years ago.
“False flag terrorism” is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames. Or as Wikipedia defines it:
False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s strategy of tension.
The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship in its own navy. Because the enemy’s flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a “false flag” attack.
Leaders Throughout History Have Acknowledged False Flags
Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the danger of false flags:
“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
– U.S. President James Madison
“A history of false flag attacks used to manipulate the minds of the people! “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
– Adolph Hitler
“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
– Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.
“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.
– Josef Stalin
People Are Waking Up to False Flags
People are slowly waking up to this whole con job by governments who want to justify war.
More people are talking about the phrase “false flag” than ever before.
By John Bursill – Licensed Avionics Aircraft Engineer, Boeing 767/737/747 Series
For most 9/11 Truth Advocates the question of what hit the World Trade Centres on 9/11 is valid, though it is generally accepted likely that it was as reported, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175. It has been suggested by some that the aircraft were drones or military cargo aircraft, but this hypothesis has failed to develop beyond some anomalies found in the grainy video of that day and a few witness reports. This ambiguous evidence of something other than AA11 and UA175 was predominantly brought to light by Dave von Kleist in his popular film “In Plane Site”. Von Kleist asked questions about the flights that hit the WTC; in particular, what he suggested was an appendage to the lower fuselage of Flight 175. He argued that this appendage or “pod”, as it came to be known, was not consistent with a standard Boeing 767-200 and could indicate a military aircraft. While interesting and not being dismissed by many pilots and industry professionals, this argument has been left behind by most as inconclusive and problematic. I for one have never dismissed out of hand the possibility that aircraft were swapped on the 11th of September 2001, but have chosen to accept the official version due to a simple lack of clear evidence of another.
Just when we seemed to move on, a much more problematic suggestion of “no planes” hitting the WTC on 9/11 raised its head in 2008. This assertion was thought completely ridiculous and immediately dismissed by the vast majority of the 9/11 Truth Movement, many of whom in New York City knew people that saw the planes. Unfortunately, a small minority of people picked up the issue as the “real truth” and dug in their heels. Rather than seeing this hypothesis as a possible disinformation campaign to distract the public from the real questions and to discredit our movement in general, some found it plausible and took great offence to it being ignored. In their minds, the censorship we all oppose about 9/11 Truth was apparently being used on them. I and many other researchers did not think the issue would have any traction at all due to its ludicrous nature and were surprised when we saw a very vocal group fighting hard for this hypothesis to be considered both scientific and as based in evidence. Obviously, this was helped by the usual suspects, Reynolds, Fetzer, Haupt, et al., getting behind the campaign. The “no planers” produced films, did interviews with “experts” (?) and moved to attack our best web sites proclaiming us, the “non-no plane” believers as agents, idiots, gatekeepers and fools. This is when some of us put aside important work to nip this hysteria in the bud, by debunking the claims made.
Examples of the work of advocates of the no-plane at the WTC theory are easy to find! Some of the more prominent ones are films such as “September Clues” and more recently “Continuos Pieces – 9/11”. There have been many articles pulling these films and ideas to pieces, so that now we can say the hypothesis of video fakery, holograms and implausible debris are obviously false, even to the gullible layperson, if fully considered. There was only one thing that I saw as an argument that still had some legs–the “impossible speed” of AA11 and UA175.
Impossible Speed of AA11 and UA175?
It was after viewing a YouTube of an interview done by Project Camelot with pilot John Lear talking about “no planes” (found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3N2RrQWsGes) that I became extremely concerned! Lear stated during this interview that AA11 and UA175 demonstrated “impossible speed”. This obviously needed to be addressed and debunked, especially due to the fact Lear was an experienced and qualified pilot. I spent a day and debunked his video in an e-mail I sent out widely, which was also posted on the Net. Unfortunately, the problem persisted due to Lear being a member of “Pilots for 9/11 Truth” and the logistical difficulty of proving his “impossible speed” argument clearly false. Consequently this interview was still seen by many as credible regarding the capabilities of the 767-200, thereby keeping the “No Planers” alive a little longer.
I thought I could solve this problem by addressing the need to revoke Lear’s membership at Pilots for 9/11 Truth as a way of undermining his credibility. So I wrote to Robert Balsamo, the head of Pilots for 9/11 Truth, to discuss this video and Lear’s membership. He subsequently refused my request to remove him from Pilots for 9/11 Truth and actually defended his right to his opinion, as he was “qualified to have it.”
Lear brought up one other issue that I found very concerning in this interview which I will mention here briefly. Lear stated that remote control of a 767-200 was basically impossible. This statement, made as if fact, then gave credence to his no plane argument (straw man). I agree it would be truly very difficult to hit those towers in a 767 at that speed, even for an experienced pilot, using just manual control. Luckily this statement had little or no credibility, as most well informed researchers know Boeing had flown aircraft themselves during testing by remote control and it is well known that Autopilot Systems these days can do nearly anything. From my own experience as an Avionics Engineer I know that the installation of such a system is no big deal at all. (See http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/2008/AutopilotSystemsMonaghan.pdf for technology plausibly used on 9/11.) I personally believe the most likely scenario was the use of remote control via a remote flight management program and parts of the aircrafts autopilot system, with the aid of GPS; for all the hijacked flights on 9/11.
Let’s now get to the question of Lear’s statement regarding the “impossible speed” at which both AA11 and UA175 were flying, according to official reports. Here are the simple facts relating to the Boeing 767-200’s AA11 & UA175 on 9/11;
1. The speed of the aircraft that hit the WTC was officially reported as between 500mph and 560mph ground speed, calculated by the observed point to point distance covered over time.
2. A Boeing 767-200 airframe is rated to .86 of Mach speed (speed of sound) at any altitude before the risk of structural failure. It as the aircraft approaches the speed of sound when the properties extreme high and low pressure areas can have destructive effects on the airframe. This figure is as with all limits set conservatively.
3. The speed of sound at approximate sea level is 761 mph on a standard day. Therefore the theoretical maximum speed the 767-200 can reach intact is, conservatively, .86 x 761mph = 654mph or approximately 100mph above the officially reported speed of AA11 or UA175.
4. The 767-200 is an aircraft that’s considered highly powered due to its requirement to function with only one engine for ETOPS – Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards. It is capable of taking off fully loaded with only one engine.
5. Lear’s argument: The normal maximum operating speed at sea level is 360Knots/h (Nautical miles) which equates to 415mph (a lot less than seen on 9/11). It is not, as Lear stated in his interview 360mph, which is considerably less. This maximum operating speed (Indicated) used is something that is decided by Boeing in conjunction with the operator and is not a structural or performance limit; rather it has been determined to be a safe speed at which to operate with commercial passengers on board and to prevent the need for increased maintenance.
6. The 767-200 is considered by pilots and aviation professionals to be a “slick” or “low drag” aircraft, being without bulbous construction and with highly swept 31.5 degree wings. It is well known that it is difficult to keep the 767 aircraft from over-speeding during decent; due to its low drag/high power configuration.
Considering all of these facts we are still left with the question: Can a 767-200 make 560mph ground speed at sea level or the equivalent of .74 of Mach speed? We know that it is definitely within its design parameters and that it can do so at high altitude (not in question), but can it do this at sea level (higher air density)? Considering that 560mph is 145mph faster than its recommended maximum operating speed (Lear’s argument), it is simply not possible to test this speed in a commercial 767-200 aircraft; it would be against the aircraft manufacturer’s recommendations, outside of standard company operating procedures and against the authorities’ rules (FAA in US). For these reasons we will not see a 767-200 attain 560mph in operation unless it is in the middle of an aircraft incident or accident. The only way to test this is in an accredited Full Flight Simulator.
Boeing 767-300 Simulator Experiment on the 29th of April 2009
The idea of using a Full Flight Simulator accredited by the FAA or relevant authority to test the maximum attainable speed for a Boeing 767-200 is only possible if you have the thousands of dollars it costs to hire such or access to one through your vocation. Well it just so happens that during my training in Sydney I worked in our Simulator Centre as a technician where Australian 767 pilots are trained and certified. The simulators are extremely busy and it is difficult to get access during the day or evening. On the 29th of April, after I had completed my work for the night shift, I drove to the Simulator Facilities at our Flight Training Centre at the Jet Base. I rang the nightshift maintenance staff and gained access to the building at just after 3am on the 29th of April 2009. Being licensed on the 767 and familiar with the facilities, I asked if I might access the simulator under the supervision of the technician on duty, Daniel Gazdoc. He agreed to help and I explained what I wanted to do and why.
We boarded the simulator (#2) which was configured as a GE powered 767-300 (marginally different from the 767-200, being a little longer and a bit heavier) and booted up the computers, placing the aircraft at 2000ft above Sydney (This altitude was set to prevent us hitting any obstacles if I lost control, resulting in an insignificant 6mph difference compared to AA11 and UA175; that is compared to Mach speed). We set the aircraft weight to 130,000kgs (286,000 pounds), approximately what it would have been on Flight 11 and 175; that is, lightly loaded. We pulled the aural warning circuit breakers on the overhead panel so that we would not be annoyed by configuration and over-speed warnings during our test. I sat in the pilot’s seat and pushed the throttles to the stops, maintaining wings level and a flat trajectory. To my surprise, within a few seconds we had exceeded the maximum operating Indicated Air Speed of 360Knots/h (415mph); then the needle continued to rise until it hit the stop on the indicator at over 400Knots/h (460mph). At this very fast speed you only have the Mach indication to go off, as IAS (Indicated Air Speed) is off the scale. The aircraft continued to increase speed until it reached .86 Mach (654mph), which is its rated airframe Mach speed limit. This makes complete sense, as the manufacturer does not want you to exceed this but wants you to have the maximum thrust available in case of emergency. At this air speed I was surprised at how easy it was to maintain my attitude once the aircraft was trimmed.
Originally thinking I was going to have to do a dive to attain the speeds of AA11 and UA175 due to the engines possibly struggling to make enough thrust, I thought it would be good to see what speed we could achieve in a shallow dive. We took the aircraft to 10,000ft and I commenced a 5 degree dive to 2,000ft and found that the aircraft attained and maintained a speed of .89 Mach (approaching 700mph) and was reasonably easy to control for a non-pilot. We did these tests a couple more times to be sure and then at about 3:45am I left the simulator. Daniel was happy for me to record his name.
How accurate are Full Flight Simulators and how does the 767-300 compare to the 200?
The flight simulator in which I carried out this test is considered to be an exact representation of the real aircraft. It takes into account all of the test data gathered during the initial flight testing of the 767-200/300 and ongoing data gathered from Flight Data Recorders and observed performance. The instrumentation is exactly the same as the actual aircraft and can be put into service in a real aircraft. The performance of the aircraft engines and the aircraft’s structure are modelled so that a pilot can remain current without doing as many actual flight hours. Basically it is fair to say that what you can do in the simulator can be done in real life, especially as relates to thrust, lift and drag.
After doing this test I then spent a few days on the flight line checking whether the average 767 pilot thought that the engines could achieve .86 Mach at sea level considering what I found in the sim. Mostly they agreed–due to the exceptional power to weight ratio of the 767 series, and its low drag airframe, it was probable it could do just that. I also asked the older pilots that flew in the Pratt and Whitney (JT9-7R4) powered 767-200 series aircraft if those aircraft were similar to fly to the 767-300 General Electric (CF6) powered aircraft they now fly (current simulator configuration). They said they were very similar, having a little less power but being a little shorter and lighter, thus giving them nearly exactly the same power to weight ratio. Once again this was no surprise to me as this is what the manufacturer does–matches the airframe to the power plant to meet the performance specifications which are basically the same for 200 and the 300 series Boeing 767.
Conclusion: Is it probable that the 767-200 can make 560mph at sea level?
It is highly probable that AA11 and UA175 could easily make the airspeeds quoted in the official reports and as seen in the video footage. Here is a summation of the facts;
1. The aircraft were seen to make those airspeeds on September 11, 2001. This has never been questioned by any peer reviewed paper or team of experts, so it stands as fact.
2. The aircraft were well within their structural limit of .86 Mach by a margin of .12 Mach or approximately 14%; flying at maximum of reported speed of .74 Mach.
3. The simulator test carried out on an actual certified Full Flight Simulator (the best available), in a fully accredited pilot certification facility, showed that the 767 aircraft can reach an airspeed of .86 Mach in a flat trajectory at approximate sea level. It was also shown that .89 Mach could be achieved in a similar shallow dive as seen made by AA11 and UA175 on 9/11. These results show far greater speeds possible than the required official airspeed of 560mph or .74 Mach by some 16% at the minimum and 20% if the actual flight conditions were simulated in a shallow dive.
4. Considering the large margins demonstrated here, we can now conclude that the “Impossible Airspeed” stated by John Lear et al. is false.
Obviously there will be the usual suspects that may complain that I have not caught this on film and I have left out some of the details of exactly where I did this test (you can figure it out). I have done this because I like my job and our campaign is not part of my function there. What I would say to the “No-Planers” is why don’t Lear et al. hire a simulator and prove me wrong. I would have thought that John Lear, being a rich, well-connected pilot so outspoken on this issue would have already done so.
It is my hope that this puts the final nail in the “No Planes at the World Trade Centre on 9/11” hypothesis and we will see an end to this great time waster!