Thursday, February 26, 2009

Beyond 15 Questions; Historical Context of 9/11

Recently I received an email informing me that Joseph Welch has posted his rebuttal to my reply for "15 Questions 9/11 Truthers need to Answer", and was dared to respond.

I cant imagine this would be for Mr. Welch's benefit. In the week I spent debating Joseph and his loyal clique at "CounterKnowledge" they made it perfectly clear they had their minds made up in support of the "official version" of 9/11 and were unwilling to seriously consider any information that contradicts that version.

Not only would a response to Joseph's rebuttal to my reply to Joseph's questions be redundant, but I can already tell you the outcome: Any news source I cite will be dismissed as biased, any witness testimony will be considered hearsay, any official documents will be deemed irrelevant, and any expert I quote will have his credibility attacked. Ironically, the debunkers will use similar "disputable" sources to demonstrate their case.

The fact remains that you cannot force someone to understand what they do not want to understand. It is an exercise in futility to try. And yes, the same could be said of 9/11 Truthers.

So I am left to try to formulate a reply that would be constructive to both Mr. Welch and anyone who may read this article with the slightest bit of objectivity.

I'll first say that I do not resent Mr. Welch or any debunker for their beliefs. The job of any good debunker is to pick apart information and find some kind of plausible deniability to discredit the argument. In this regard Mr. Welch is very good at what he does and I have learned a lot from our interaction.

In fact, after taking some time to read about other topics on "CounterKnowledge", I tend to agree with almost all of their views on Creationism, Scientology, Holocaust denial, Astrology, etc. I would even go so far as agree that there are way too many ridiculous claims and misinformation about 9/11. I refer here to things like "no plane" or "space beam" theories that are so far fetched that many 9/11 Truthers themselves do not support them.

But I must take exception with the portrayal of all 9/11 research as false, and all Truthers as either liars or nuts. There are many of us who take this subject very seriously and, while we are just as prone to mistakes as anyone else, we struggle to separate the facts from the deceptions because we are genuinely concerned that we have not been told the truth about 9/11. I believe we are justified in this concern.

In 1986 the Iran/Contra scandal first exposed me to the reality of government corruption. Since then I've been researching "deep politics" following the work of people like James Bamford, Peter Dale Scott, Philip H. Melanson, and others who have had the courage to speak out when the public's trust is abused.

This is why I am disappointed that 9/11 is the only political conspiracy addressed on "CounterKnowledge" because I would be very curious to know their views topics like:
1. Whether Roosevelt had foreknowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack and allowed it to send America to war,
2. American involvement in the 1975 Indonesian invasion of East Timor,
3. The CIA's history of political assassinations, election rigging, and terrorism,
4. And many other stories of conspiracies that don't officially exist because the mainstream press, both left and right, refuse to report them.

Of course the most easily comparable conspiracy subject is the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Despite overwhelming physical evidence to the contrary, the Warren Commission concluded there was only one lone gunman and hence, no conspiracy. Similar to 9/11, when people spoke out at the time questioning the validity of the "official story", they were labeled as crackpots and publicly shunned.

Yet 15 years later the House Select Commitee on Assassinations concluded there had to be at least two shooters and that the CIA, FBI, and Department of Justice had intentionally withheld relevant information from the Warren Commission. Despite these findings there was no public acknowledgement of the Warren Commission's failure and to this day those who question it are still publicly mocked as "conspiracy nuts".

Now I'm not suggesting that the history of American conspiracies is any kind of proof that the 9/11 attack was a conspiracy as well, but it should justify a healthy skepticism of the "official story". The belief that covert power and profit driven elements of the American government would not be involved in an attack like 9/11 over ethical reasons is historically incorrect.

The strongest reasons I cite for a new investigation into 9/11, some of which Joseph Welch responded to, I still believe need further clarification:

1. NSPD-9, Afghanistan War Planned.
Whether the motive was the construction of an energy pipeline, the PNAC's goal of a "Pax Americana", or the elimination of Al-Qaeda, the fact remains that the plans to invade Afghanistan in October 2001 were finalized before 9/11. This was not a "routine test scenario" as many debunkers claim. According to the White House's own description of NSPD-9, " It was the first major substantive national security decision directive issued by this Administration. It was presented for decision by principals on September 4, 2001 – 7 days before September 11th."

The reason I believe this is a "smoking gun" is that as of September 9, when the plans were submitted for presidential approval, there was no legal justification for any military action against the Taliban. For the war plans to proceed as scheduled in October, the White House had only one month to convince both Congress and the American people that Afghanistan posed such an immediate threat that a military invasion was necessary. If it were not for the 9/11 attack then what would have been the Bush administrations justification for the invasion in October? If there was one we never heard it.

2. The Intelligence "Failure".
It is also important to note that as the Bush administration was drawing up these war plans, they were ignoring dozens of messages from both foreign and domestic intelligence agencies warning of an impending Al-Qaeda attack. While Mr. Welch asserts that these warnings were,"short on specifics", if he would have looked at the page I linked he would have seen a listing of over 50 warnings received from June to September 10, 2001 which repeatedly specify, "Al-Qaeda attack, suicide hijackers, target in NY - WTC." Yet not one of these warnings was passed on to the FAA by the Bush administration.

While Mr. Welch claims the obstruction of the FBI is a myth, he refers to a debunker site that attacks the validity of an FBI case file stamped "Executive Order W199I". But my evidence of obstruction is not just W199I, but rather the eye witness accounts of FBI counterterror chief John O'Neill, field officer Robert Wright, Coleen Rowley and Harry Samit of the Minnesota FBI, translator Sibel Edmonds, Anthony Shaffer of Able Danger, FBI informant Randy Glass, and prosecutor David Shippers which all indicate a concerted high level effort to hinder intelligence warnings and investigations of an impending Al-Qaeda terror attack. Does Mr. Welch believe all of these whistleblowers are lying?

Welch also repeats the official "Looming Tower" story that rivalry and incompetence at the CIA and FBI prevented these warnings from reaching the White House, but if someone within these agencies were responsible for not passing on vital information or obstructing investigations they certainly would have been dismissed or reprimanded. Instead those responsible for these "errors" were rewarded with promotions and medals such as David Frasca, Mike Maltbie, and Marion Bowman.

3. Air Defense Failure
There are several suspicious factors concerning the failure of our air defenses to follow Standard Operating Procedures for hijackings on 9/11, the most obvious being the three conflicting versions of the "official story" given to us by NORAD, the FAA, and the 9/11 Commission. Who is telling the truth?:

There was also the June 2001 changes in Standard Operating Procedures which were altered to require approval from Secretary of Defense before NORAD could respond with "potentially lethal support", ( launching combat aircraft ), to an emergency call:

It was revealed that multiple military exercises, remarkably similar to the 9/11 attack, were scheduled for the morning of September 11, 2001, although military officials refuse to confirm who scheduled these drills during the very time of the real attack. Again the debunkers try to dismiss this by refusing to address all the drills going on and their direct effect on air defense response:

And according to the testimony of Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, Dick Cheney not only lied about the time he arrived at the PEOC bunker, but he knew for at least 10 minutes beforehand about Flight 77 heading for the Pentagon yet refused to try to warn the Pentagon or intercept the Flight. While debunkers and the mainstream press continue to misquote Mineta, saying he was referring to Flight 93, Mineta has repeatedly clarified he was speaking of Flight 77. Many believe this to be evidence of a "Stand Down" order.

4. Molten Steel
In their initial investigation FEMA sent samples of steel from all three collapsed buildings to Worchester Polytechnic Institute, WPI, for limited metallurgic testing. The WPI study confirms the steel was melted by an “eutectic mixture of iron oxide and iron sulfide having the elements in such proportion as to have the lowest possible melting point.”

Debunkers are correct in assessing this could not be the work of thermite, but thermite is not the only possibility. There are various engineered forms of aluminothermic materials, called nanothermite, that have explosive power without the concussion of conventional high-explosives, and the addition of sulfur lowers the melting point of steel. These mixtures also contain high amounts of zinc and barium, materials unlikely to be abundant in an office building, which were found in WTC dust samples.

Regardless, the NIST investigation totally ignored the recommendation of WPI to further explore this phenomena and refused to test WTC debris for “exotic excellerants” in direct violation of National Fire Protection Association order 921 18.3.2 on High Order Damage. NIST also claims to be ignorant of nanothermite technology despite NISTs own contributions to nanothermite research:

My apologies to Joseph Welch if this was not the response he had hoped for. I'm sure this won't stop Mr. Welch and his followers from declaring "another victory for the good guys" and commence the attacks on my character that are now standard in debunking work. Or could it be that you may now actually see 9/11 in a historical context and cede that maybe, just maybe, a new investigation is warranted.

Nah, I didn't think so.

Respectfully....... Stewart Bradley

Related Info:

15 Answers: An open response to Joseph Welch

Conflicting Sources: Another Final Note to Joseph Welch

Master Debaters: A tribute to Joseph Welch