Still in the Dark About 9/11

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/still_in_the_dark_about_9_11_20110308/

Posted on Mar 8, 2011

By Robert Scheer

Ignorance is the real victor in the president’s reluctant decision to abandon the effort to bring the alleged perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attack to account in civilian court. The significance of a fair and public trial would be to reveal to the world the motives and makeup of those we must defeat, and yet the very people in this country who claim to be the most militant in combating terrorism have been the most energetic and effective in stifling that inquiry.

It must be said that Barack Obama deserves credit for attempting to show the world that truth will triumph and justice will prevail when even the most dastardly offenders are given their day in court. But faced with a shrill Republican-led opposition in Congress that succeeded in banning the trials on U.S. soil, the president reluctantly reversed the decision he had made upon taking office to halt military commission trials of those detained at Guantanamo. The announcement Monday by Defense Secretary Robert Gates rescinding the ban on the military trials also called for the indefinite imprisonment of those Guantanamo inmates thought to be too dangerous to be released but against whom the government doesn’t have enough evidence to obtain convictions. The shortcomings of the military commission trials was denounced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who said such proceedings fall “far short of core constitutional values by failing to provide judicial review of cases considered by the review board’ and to guarantee “meaningful assistance of counsel” to those accused.

But it is not the rights of the accused, important as they are, that should be the main concern here. Rather it is the right—indeed, need—of the American public to learn the truth about the motives, financing and methods of those who are alleged to have torn at the heart of our social fabric. What led 15 solid citizens of our ally Saudi Arabia to hijack those planes under direction of their Western-educated leaders is still murky. How did our allies in the war against Soviet communism in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, come to mastermind that savage attack on America? It is startling that, almost a decade after the attack, we still must rely for our understanding of what happened on a narrative informed not by the full disclosure revealed by the evaluation of a vetted record and robust cross-examination in open court of the key witnesses but rather by the unexamined and unquestioned reckoning of the facts supplied by the government officials who interrogated and indeed tortured the prisoners, most significantly Mohammed.

What the public has been led to believe about the events of 9/11 is most fully encapsulated in the report of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, appointed by President George W. Bush. But the Bush administration denied the commission access to the prisoners whose testimony, elicited after torture, provided the basic narrative as to how Sept. 11, 2001, came to be. That fatal flaw in the investigation was clearly conceded in a box on Page 146 of the official 9/11 Commission report containing a disclaimer that the key chapters “rely heavily on information from captured al Qaeda members” and admitting that the commission was dependent on hearsay reports from the interrogators as to what those witnesses actually said.

“We submitted questions for use in the interrogations but had no control over whether, when, or how questions of particular interest would be asked. Nor were we allowed to talk to the interrogators so that we could better judge the credibility of the detainees and clarify ambiguities in the reporting. We were told that our requests might disrupt the sensitive interrogation process.”

Much of that story was derived from the waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was slated to be tried in Manhattan in civilian court until Congress derailed that possibility. As a result, the mystery of what led him from a small North Carolina Baptist college to fight alongside the United States in Afghanistan and then turn against this country may never be known—along with who financed and directed his journey and that of the hijackers he is said to have guided. For a decade, we have been obsessed with a terrorist enemy that we still barely comprehend. Ignorance is not bliss.

Brennan Linsley / AP / dapd

A trailer set up as a military hearing room for detainees in 2006 at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Advertisements

One thought on “Still in the Dark About 9/11

  1. y sdemetri, March 11 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

    6. NIST has a long-standing partnership with NASA for the development of
    new nano-thermites and other nano-technological materials. In fact, Michael
    Zachariah coordinates this partnership (CNMM 2008).
    7. In 2003, two years before the NIST WTC report was issued, the University
    of Maryland College Park (UMCP) and NIST signed a memorandum of
    understanding to develop nano-technologies like nano-thermites (NIST 2003).
    Together, NIST and UMCP have done much work on nano-thermites (NM2
    2008).
    8. NIST has their own Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST
    2008). Additionally, NIST’s Reactive Flows Group did research on
    nanostructured materials and high temperature reactions in the mid-nineties
    (NRFG 1996).
    9. Richard Gann, who did the final editing of the NIST WTC report, managed a
    project called “Next-Generation Fire Suppression Technology Program”, both
    before and after 9/11. Andrzej Miziolek, another of the world’s leading experts
    on nano-thermites (Amptiac 2002), is the author of “Defense Applications of
    Nanomaterials”, and also worked on Richard Gann’s fire suppression project
    (Gann 2002). Gann’s project was sponsored by DOD’s Strategic Environmental
    Research and Development Program (SERDP), an organization that sponsored a
    number of LLNL’s nano-thermite projects (Simpson 2002, Gash et al 2003).
    10. As part of the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer, NIST
    partners with the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Indian Head (NSWC-IH) on
    Chemical Science and Technology (FLCTT 2008). NSWC-IH is probably the most
    prominent US center for nano-thermite technology (NSWC 2008). In 1999, Jan
    Puszynski, a scientist working for the DURINT program, helped NSWC-IH
    design a pilot plant to produce nano-size aluminum powder. It was reported
    that “At that time, this was [the] only reliable source of aluminum nanopowders
    in the United States” (SDSMT 2001), however, private companies like Argonide
    and Technanogy were also known to have such capabilities.
    Among an interesting group of contractors that NSWC-IH hired in 1999 were
    SAIC, Applied Ordnance, Battelle, Booz Allen Hamilton, Mantech, Titan, Pacific
    Scientific Energetic (see below), and R Stresau Laboratories for “demolition
    materials” (NSWC 2000).
    A tragic coincidence left William Caswell, an employee of NSWC-IH, dead on the
    plane said to have hit the Pentagon (Flight 77). He had for many years worked
    on “deep-black” projects at NSWC-IH (Leaf 2007).

    All of this research is found in the excellent paper by Kevin Ryan here:

    http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/2008/Ryan_NIST_and_Nano-
    1.pdf

    The official conspiracy theory is a farce and a cover up.
    Report this

    By sdemetri, March 11 at 11:18 pm Link to this comment

    Ok, maybe three parts:

    4. Arden Bement, the metallurgist and expert on fuels and materials who was
    nominated as director of NIST by President George W. Bush in October 2001,
    was former deputy secretary of defense, former director of DARPA’s office of
    materials science, and former executive at TRW.
    Of course, DOD and DARPA are both leaders in the production and use of
    nano- thermites (Amptiac 2002, DOD 2005). And military and aerospace
    contractor TRW has had a long collaboration with NASA laboratories in the
    development of energetic materials that are components of advanced
    propellants, like nano-gelled
    explosive materials (NASA 2001). TRW Aeronautics also made fireproof
    composites and high performance elastomer formulations, and worked with
    NASA to make energetic aerogels.
    Additionally, Bement was a professor at Purdue and MIT. Purdue has a thriving
    program for nano-thermites (Son 2008). And interestingly, at MIT’s Institute for
    Soldier Nanotechnology, we find Martin Z. Bazant, son of notable “conspiracy
    debunker” Zdenek P. Bazant (MIT 2008), who does research on granular flows,
    and the electrochemical interactions of silicon. Zdenek P. Bazant is interested in
    nanocomposites as well (Northwestern 2008), and how they relate to naval
    warfare (ONR 2008). MIT was represented at nano-energetics conferences as
    early as 1998 (Gordon 1998).
    Bement was also a director at both Battelle and the Lord Corporation. Battelle
    (where the anthrax was made) is an organization of “experts in fundamental
    technologies from the five National Laboratories we manage or co-manage for
    the US DOE.” Battelle advertises their specialization in nanocomposite coatings
    (Battelle 2008). The Lord Corporation also makes high-tech coatings for
    military applications (Lord 2008). In 1999, Lord Corp was working with the
    Army and NASA on “advanced polymer composites, advanced metals, and
    multifunctional materials” (Army 1999).
    5. Hratch Semerjian, long-time director of NIST’s chemical division, was
    promoted to acting director of NIST in November 2004, and took over the WTC
    investigation until the completion of the report on the towers. Semerjian is
    closely linked to former NIST employee Michael Zachariah, perhaps the world’s
    most prominent expert on nano-thermites (Zachariah 2008). In fact, Semerjian
    and Zachariah co-authored ten papers that focus on nano-particles made of
    silica, ceramics and refractory particles. Zachariah was a major player in the
    Defense University Research Initiative on Nanotechnology (DURINT), a
    groundbreaking research effort for nano-thermites.
    Report this

    By sdemetri, March 11 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

    And some interesting information on nanothermite, NIST, and the companies
    that NIST has collaborated with in R&D work on the material (in two parts):

    “Was the steel tested for explosives or thermite residues? … NIST did not test
    for the residue of these compounds in the steel.” NIST Responses to FAQs,
    August 2006

    Here are the top ten reasons why nano-thermites, and nano-thermite coatings,
    should have come to mind quickly for the NIST WTC investigators.

    1. NIST was working with LLNL to test and characterize these sol-gel nano-
    thermites, at least as early as 1999 (Tillitson et al 1999).
    2. Forman Williams, the lead engineer on NIST’s advisory committee, and the
    most prominent engineering expert for Popular Mechanics, is an expert on the
    deflagration of energetic materials and the “ignition of porous energetic
    materials”(Margolis and Williams 1996, Telengator et al 1998, Margolis and
    Williams 1999). Nano-thermites are porous energetic materials. Additionally,
    Williams’ research partner, Stephen Margolis, has presented at conferences
    where nano-energetics are the focus (Gordon 1999). Some of Williams’ other
    colleagues at the University of California San Diego, like David J. Benson, are
    also experts on nano-thermite materials (Choi et al 2005, Jordan et al 2007).
    3. Science Applications International (SAIC) is the DOD and Homeland Security
    contractor that supplied the largest contingent of non-governmental
    investigators to the NIST WTC investigation. SAIC has extensive links to nano-
    thermites, developing and judging nano-thermite research proposals for the
    military and other military contractors, and developing and formulating nano-
    thermites directly (Army 2008, DOD 2007). SAIC’s subsidiary Applied Ordnance
    Technology has done research on the ignition of nanothermites with lasers
    (Howard et al 2005).
    In an interesting coincidence, SAIC was the firm that investigated the 1993 WTC
    bombing, boasting that—“After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, our
    blast analyses produced tangible results that helped identify those responsible
    (SAIC 2004).” And the coincidences with this company don’t stop there, as SAIC
    was responsible for evaluating the WTC for terrorism risks in 1986 as well
    (CRHC 2008). SAIC is also linked to the late 1990s security upgrades at the
    WTC, the Rudy Giuliani administration, and the anthrax incidents after 9/11,
    through former employees Jerome Hauer and Steven Hatfill.
    Report this

    By sdemetri, March 11 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

    Some interesting links from articles in the national press about the trading that
    was going on:

    http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/sept11/cbs_profiting.html

    “An extraordinary number of trades were betting that American Airlines stock
    price would fall.
    The trades are called “puts” and they involved at least 450,000 shares of
    American. But what raised the red flag is more than 80 percent of the orders
    were “puts”, far outnumbering “call” options, those betting the stock would
    rise.
    Sources say they have never seen that kind of imbalance before, reports CBS
    News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. Normally the numbers are fairly even.”
    “The same thing happened with United Airlines on the Chicago Board Options
    Exchange four days before the attack”

    http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/sept11/chronicle_datasharing.html

    “The SEC’s action yesterday came after a period of official silence about its
    investigative activities. It also followed newspaper reports—including five in
    The Chronicle—about suspicious equity- and bond-trading near the time of
    the terrorist attacks, especially in shares of companies directly affected by the
    disasters, AMR Corp. and UAL Corp., parents of American and United airlines,
    which together lost four aircraft.

    On Oct. 2, Canadian securities officials confirmed that the SEC privately had
    asked North American investment firms to review their records for evidence of
    trading activity in the shares of 38 companies, suggesting that some buyers and
    sellers might have had advance knowledge of the attacks.”

    http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/sept11/londontimes_insidertrading.html

    “The FSA would not comment on its instructions from the CIA, but said that its
    team of specialists would do all they could to help the investigation. A
    spokesman said: “The financial authorities have great expertise in this field and
    could have a big part to play. It is something that is incumbent upon us all to
    look at to the best of our ability.” Market regulators in Germany, Japan and the
    US received information of short selling of insurance company shares, airline
    stocks and shares in arms companies – all of which have fallen since the attack.
    Italian, French and Swiss regulators have also joined the investigation.

    Munich Re, Swiss Re and Axa, all insurance companies, are also helping the
    authorities with the inquiries as large numbers of their shares were short-sold
    before the attack. A spokesman for Axa, a French company, said: “We have
    informed the market regulators in Paris that there are concerns about short
    selling.”

    Some pretty high powered guns were involved in the investigations that
    warranted the FOOTNOTE in the 9/11 Commission report, and apparently went
    nowhere.
    Report this

    By sdemetri, March 11 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

    Here are some interesting comments made concerning illegal trading that went
    on before the attacks, and even while they were in progress:

    “Oil and gold futures The Associated Press reported on September 22nd that a
    German Central Bank study strongly points to “terrorism insider trading” not
    only in airline and insurance companies but also in gold and oil futures. These
    he said, “could not be chalked up to coincidence.” Bundesbank President, Ernst
    Welteke, said that though it would be “extremely difficult to really verify” but he
    believed “in one or the other case it will be possible to pinpoint the source.”

    Unusual high volume in pre-attack 5 year bond trading The Wall Street Journal
    reported on October 2 that the Secret Service had begun a probe into an
    unusually high volume of five-year US Treasury note purchases made prior to
    the attacks. The Treasury note transactions included a single $5 billion trade.
    The Journal noted that “Five-year Treasury notes are among the best
    investments in the event of a world crisis, especially one that hits the US. The
    notes are prized for their safety and their backing by the US government, and
    usually rally when investors flee riskier investments, such as stocks.” The value
    of these notes, the Journal pointed out, has risen sharply after the events of
    September 11.

    ‘Last hours’ surge of financial activity at WTC According to a Reuters report of
    December 16, German data retrieval experts, hired by WTC tenant firms, were
    mining data off damaged hard disks recovered from the ground zero. The goal
    is to discover who was responsible for the movement of unusually large sums
    of money through the computers of the WTC in the hours before the attack.
    Peter Henschel, director of Convar, the firm responsible, said, “not only the
    volume, but the size of the transactions was far higher than usual for a day like
    that.” Richard Wagner, a data retrieval expert estimated that more than $100
    million in illegal transactions appeared to have rushed through the WTC
    computers before and during the disaster.”

    The 9/11 Commission was so incredibly taken by these reports of insider
    trading (meaning, trading done with foreknowledge that something was afoot)
    that they dedicated an entire FOOTNOTE on pg 499 of the 567 page report,
    saying the source of one trade was discovered to be a “single US-based
    institutional investor with no conceivable ties to Al Qeada…” They purchased
    95% of an unusually high volume of United Airlines put options, basically
    betting the price was going to drop, in the days before the attack. The proof
    the deal was innocently conducted was because the institutional investor could
    have had “no conceivable ties” to Al Qeada in the Commission’s logic.

    No smoking guns because by the time any investigators got deep enough into
    the evidence trail, the trail went cold, dead cold, and has remained so.

    I have to wonder which large institutional investor made a killing on the United
    put options, and if they might be one of the recent LII’s that made a killing on
    the backs of mortgage holders and the taxpayers. I expect we will never know.
    Report this

    By sdemetri, March 11 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

    Here are some interesting comments made concerning illegal trading that went
    on before the attacks, and even while they were in progress:

    “Oil and gold futures The Associated Press reported on September 22nd that a
    German Central Bank study strongly points to “terrorism insider trading” not
    only in airline and insurance companies but also in gold and oil futures. These
    he said, “could not be chalked up to coincidence.” Bundesbank President, Ernst
    Welteke, said that though it would be “extremely difficult to really verify” but he
    believed “in one or the other case it will be possible to pinpoint the source.”

    Unusual high volume in pre-attack 5 year bond trading The Wall Street Journal
    reported on October 2 that the Secret Service had begun a probe into an
    unusually high volume of five-year US Treasury note purchases made prior to
    the attacks. The Treasury note transactions included a single $5 billion trade.
    The Journal noted that “Five-year Treasury notes are among the best
    investments in the event of a world crisis, especially one that hits the US. The
    notes are prized for their safety and their backing by the US government, and
    usually rally when investors flee riskier investments, such as stocks.” The value
    of these notes, the Journal pointed out, has risen sharply after the events of
    September 11.

    ‘Last hours’ surge of financial activity at WTC According to a Reuters report of
    December 16, German data retrieval experts, hired by WTC tenant firms, were
    mining data off damaged hard disks recovered from the ground zero. The goal
    is to discover who was responsible for the movement of unusually large sums
    of money through the computers of the WTC in the hours before the attack.
    Peter Henschel, director of Convar, the firm responsible, said, “not only the
    volume, but the size of the transactions was far higher than usual for a day like
    that.” Richard Wagner, a data retrieval expert estimated that more than $100
    million in illegal transactions appeared to have rushed through the WTC
    computers before and during the disaster.”

    The 9/11 Commission was so incredibly taken by these reports of insider
    trading (meaning, trading done with foreknowledge that something was afoot)
    that they dedicated an entire FOOTNOTE on pg 499 of the 567 page report,
    saying the source of one trade was discovered to be a “single US-based
    institutional investor with no conceivable ties to Al Qeada…” They purchased
    95% of an unusually high volume of United Airlines put options, basically
    betting the price was going to drop, in the days before the attack. The proof
    the deal was innocently conducted was because the institutional investor could
    have had “no conceivable ties” to Al Qeada in the Commission’s logic.

    No smoking guns because by the time any investigators got deep enough into
    the evidence trail, the trail went dead cold, and has remained so.

    I have to wonder which large institutional investor made a killing on the United
    put options, and if they might be one of the recent LII’s that made a killing on
    the backs of mortgage holders and the taxpayers. I expect we will never know.
    Report this

Comments are closed.