by Prof. David Ray Griffin
June 25, 2010
David Ray Griffin is the author of 36 books on various topics, including
philosophy, theology, philosophy of science, and 9/11.
His 2008 book, The
New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé, was named a
“Pick of the Week” by Publishers Weekly.
In September 2009, The New
Statesman ranked him #41 among “The 50 People Who Matter Today.”
recent book is The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the
Final Official Report about 9/11 is Unscientific and False (2009).
book will be Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine
the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (September 2010).
He wishes to thank Tod
Fletcher, Jim Hoffman, and Elizabeth Woodworth for help with this essay.
There are many questions to ask about the war in Afghanistan.
One that has
been widely asked is whether it will turn out to be “Obama’s Vietnam.” 1 This
question implies another: Is this war winnable, or is it destined to be a
quagmire, like Vietnam? These questions are motivated in part by the
widespread agreement that the Afghan government, under Hamid Karzai, is at
least as corrupt and incompetent as the government the United States tried
to prop up in South Vietnam for 20 years.
Although there are many similarities between these two wars, there is also a
big difference: This time, there is no draft. If there were a draft, so that
college students and their friends back home were being sent to Afghanistan,
there would be huge demonstrations against this war on campuses all across
If the sons and daughters of wealthy and middle-class parents
were coming home in boxes, or with permanent injuries or post-traumatic
stress syndrome, this war would have surely been stopped long ago.
have often asked: Did we learn any of the “lessons of Vietnam”? The US
government learned one: If you’re going to fight unpopular wars, don’t have
a draft - hire mercenaries!
There are many other questions that have been, and should be, asked about
this war, but in this essay, I focus on only one: Did the 9/11 attacks
justify the war in Afghanistan?
This question has thus far been considered off-limits, not to be raised in
polite company, and certainly not in the mainstream media. It has been
permissible, to be sure, to ask whether the war during the past several
years has been justified by those attacks so many years ago. But one has not
been allowed to ask whether the original invasion was justified by the 9/11
However, what can be designated the “McChrystal Moment” - the probably brief
period during which the media are again focused on the war in Afghanistan in
the wake of the Rolling Stone story about General
Stanley McChrystal, the
commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, which led to his resignation
- provides the best opportunity for some time to raise fundamental questions
about this war.
Various commentators have already been asking some pretty
basic questions: about the effectiveness and affordability of the present
“counterinsurgency strategy” and even whether American fighting forces
should remain in Afghanistan at all.
But I am interested in an even more
Whether this war was ever really justified by the
publicly given reason: the terrorist attacks of
September 11, 2001.
This question has two parts:
First, did these attacks provide a legal
justification for the invasion of Afghanistan?
Second, if not, did they at
least provide a moral justification?
I. Did 9/11 Provide Legal Justification for the War in Afghanistan?
Since the founding of the United Nations in 1945, international law with
regard to war has been defined by the UN Charter. Measured by this standard,
the US-led war in Afghanistan has been illegal from the outset.
Marjorie Cohn, a well-known professor of international law, wrote in
“[T]he bombings of Afghanistan by the United States and the United Kingdom
are illegal.” 2
In 2008, Cohn repeated this argument in an article entitled “Afghanistan
- The Other Illegal War.”
The point of the title was that, although it was by
then widely accepted that the war in Iraq was illegal, the war in
Afghanistan, in spite of the fact that many Americans did not realize it,
was equally illegal.3
Her argument was based on the following facts:
First, according to international law as codified in the UN Charter,
disputes are to be brought to the UN Security Council, which alone may
authorize the use of force. Without this authorization, any military
activity against another country is illegal.
Second, there are two exceptions: One is that, if your nation has been
subjected to an armed attack by another nation, you may respond militarily
in self-defense. This condition was not fulfilled by the 9/11 attacks,
however, because they were not carried out by another nation: Afghanistan
did not attack the United States. Indeed, the 19 men charged with the crime
were not Afghans.
The other exception occurs when one nation has certain knowledge that an
armed attack by another nation is imminent - too imminent to bring the
matter to the Security Council.
The need for self-defense must be, in the
generally accepted phrase,
"instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of
means, and no moment for deliberation.”
Although the US government claimed
that its military operations in Afghanistan were justified by the need to
prevent a second attack, this need, even if real, was clearly not urgent, as
shown by the fact that the Pentagon did not launch its invasion until almost
a month later.
US political leaders have claimed, to be sure, that
the UN did authorize the
US attack on Afghanistan.
This claim, originally made by the
administration, was repeated by President
Obama in his West Point speech of
December 1, 2009, in which he said:
“The United Nations Security Council
endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks,” so
US troops went to Afghanistan “[u]nder the banner of... international
However, the language of “all necessary steps” is from UN Security Council
Resolution 1368, in which the Council, taking note of its own
“responsibilities under the Charter," expressed its own readiness “to take
all necessary steps to respond to the terrorist attacks of 11 September
Of course, the UN Security Council might have determined that one of these
necessary steps was to authorize an attack on Afghanistan by the United
States. But it did not.
Resolution 1373, the only other Security Council
resolution about this issue, laid out various responses, but these included
matters such as freezing assets, criminalizing the support of terrorists,
exchanging police information about terrorists, and prosecuting terrorists.
The use of military force was not mentioned.6
The US war in Afghanistan was not authorized by the UN Security Council in
2001 or at anytime since, so this war began as an illegal war and remains an
illegal war today. Our government’s claim to the contrary is false.
This war has been illegal, moreover, not only under international law, but
also under US law. The UN Charter is a treaty, which was ratified by the
United States, and, according to Article VI of the US Constitution, any
treaty ratified by the United States is part of the “supreme law of the
The war in Afghanistan, therefore, has from the beginning been in
violation of US as well as international law. It could not be more illegal.
II. Did 9/11 Provide Moral Justification for the War in Afghanistan?
The American public has for the most part probably been unaware of the
illegality of this war, because this is not something our political leaders
or our corporate media have been anxious to point out.8 So most people
simply do not know.
If they were informed, however, many Americans would be inclined to argue
that, even if technically illegal, the US military effort in Afghanistan has
been morally justified, or at least it was in the beginning, by the attacks
of 9/11. For a summary statement of this argument, we can turn again to the
West Point speech of President Obama, who has taken over the Bush-Cheney
account of 9/11.
Answering the question of “why America and our allies were
compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place,” Obama said:
“We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked
four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at
our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent
men, women and children without regard to their faith or race or station...
As we know, these men belonged to al Qaeda
- a group of extremists who
have distorted and defiled Islam... [A]fter the Taliban refused to turn
over Osama bin Laden - we sent our troops into Afghanistan.” 9
This standard account can be summarized in terms of three points:
The attacks were carried out by 19 Muslim members of al-Qaeda.
The attacks had been authorized by the founder of al-Qaeda, Osama bin
Laden, who was in Afghanistan.
The US invasion of Afghanistan was necessary because the Taliban, which
was in control of Afghanistan, refused to turn bin Laden over to US
On the basis of these three points, our political leaders have claimed that
the United States had the moral right, arising from the universal right of
self-defense, to attempt to capture or kill bin Laden and his al-Qaeda
network to prevent them from launching another attack on our country.
The only problem with this argument is that all three points are false. I
will show this by looking at these points in reverse order.
Did the United States Attack Afghanistan because the Taliban Refused to
Turn Over Bin Laden?
The claim that the Taliban refused to turn over
Bin Laden has been
repeatedly made by political leaders and our mainstream media.10 Reports
from the time, however, show the truth to be very different.
Who Refused Whom?
Ten days after the 9/11 attacks, CNN reported:
CNN also made clear that the Taliban’s demand for proof was not made without
With this refusal to provide any evidence of bin Laden’s responsibility, the
Bush administration made it impossible for the Taliban to turn him over. As
Afghan experts quoted by the Washington Post pointed out, the Taliban, in
order to turn over a fellow Muslim to an “infidel” Western nation, needed a
Milton Bearden, who had been the CIA station chief in
Afghanistan in the 1980s, put it this way: While the United States was
But the Bush administration refused.
After the bombing began in October, moreover, the Taliban tried again,
offering to turn bin Laden over to a third country if the United States
would stop the bombing and provide evidence of his guilt.
But Bush replied:
article in London’s Guardian, which reported this development, was entitled:
“Bush Rejects Taliban Offer to Hand Bin Laden Over.”13
So it was the Bush
administration, not the Taliban, that was responsible for the fact that bin
Laden was not turned over.
In August of 2009, President Obama, who had criticized the US invasion of
Iraq as a war of choice, said of the US involvement in Afghanistan:
But the evidence shows,
as we have seen, that it, like the one in Iraq, is a war of choice.
What Was the Motive for the Invasion?
This conclusion is reinforced by reports indicating that the United States
had made the decision to invade Afghanistan two months before the 9/11
At least part of the background to this decision was the United
States’ long-time support for UNOCAL’s proposed pipeline, which would
transport oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea region to the Indian
Ocean through Afghanistan and Pakistan.15
This project had been stymied
through the 1990s because of the civil war that had been going on in
Afghanistan since the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.
In the mid-1990s, the US government had supported the Taliban with the hope
that its military strength would enable it to unify the country and provide
a stable government, which could protect the pipeline. By the late 1990s,
however, the Clinton administration had given up on the Taliban.16
When the Bush administration came to power, it decided to give the Taliban
one last chance. During a four-day meeting in Berlin in July 2001,
representatives of the Bush administration insisted that the Taliban must
create a government of “national unity” by sharing power with factions
friendly to the United States.
The US representatives reportedly said:
After the Taliban refused this offer, US officials told a former Pakistani
foreign secretary that,
And, indeed, given the fact that the attacks on
the World Trade Center and the Pentagon occurred when they did, the US
military was able to mobilize to begin its attack on Afghanistan by October
It appears, therefore, that the United States invaded Afghanistan for
reasons far different from the official rationale, according to which we
were there to capture or kill Osama bin Laden.
Has Good Evidence of Bin Laden’s Responsibility Been Provided?
I turn now to the second point: the claim that Osama bin Laden had
authorized the attacks.
Even if it refused to give the Taliban evidence for
this claim, the Bush administration surely - most Americans probably assume
- had such evidence and provided it to those who needed it.
reports from the time indicate otherwise.
The Bush Administration
Two weeks after 9/11, Secretary of State
Colin Powell said that he expected
“in the near future... to put out... a document that will describe
quite clearly the evidence that we have linking [bin Laden] to this
But at a joint press conference with President Bush the next
morning, Powell withdrew this pledge, saying that “most of [the evidence] is
Seymour Hersh, citing officials from both the CIA and the
Department of Justice, said the real reason why Powell withdrew the pledge
was a “lack of solid information.”21
The British Government
The following week, British Prime Minister
Tony Blair issued a document to
show that “Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the terrorist network which he
heads, planned and carried out the atrocities on 11 September 2001.”
report, however, began by saying:
case was good enough to go to war, but not good enough to take to court. The
next day, the BBC emphasized this weakness, saying: “There is no direct
evidence in the public domain linking Osama Bin Laden to the 11 September
What about our own FBI? Its “Most Wanted Terrorist” webpage on “Usama bin
Laden” does not list 9/11 as one of the terrorist acts for which he is
When asked why not, the FBI’s chief of investigative publicity
replied: “because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to
The 9/11 Commission
What about the 9/11 Commission? Its entire report is based on the assumption
that bin Laden was behind the attacks. However, the report’s evidence to
support this premise has been disowned by the Commission’s own co-chairs,
Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton.
This evidence consisted of testimony that had reportedly been elicited by
the CIA from al-Qaeda operatives. The most important of these operatives was
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - generally known simply as “KSM” - who has been
called the “mastermind” of the 9/11 attacks. If you read the 9/11
Commission’s account of how bin Laden planned the attacks, and then check
the notes, you will find that almost every note says that the information
came from KSM.26
In 2006, Kean and Hamilton wrote a book giving “the inside story of the 9/11
Commission,” in which they called this information untrustworthy. They had
no success, they reported, in “obtaining access to star witnesses in custody... , most notably Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.”27
Besides not being allowed by
the CIA to interview KSM, they were not permitted to observe his
interrogation through one-way glass. They were not even allowed to talk to
Therefore, Kean and Hamilton complained:
They could not.
Accordingly, neither the Bush administration, the British government, the
FBI, nor the 9/11 Commission ever provided good evidence of bin Laden’s
responsibility for the attacks.
Did Bin Laden Confess?
Some people argue, to be sure, that such evidence soon became unnecessary
because bin Laden admitted his responsibility in a videotape that was
discovered by the US military in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in November 2001.
But besides the fact that bin Laden had previously denied his involvement
many times,30 bin Laden experts have called this later video a fake,31 and
for good reasons. Many of the physical features of the man in this video are
different from those of Osama bin Laden (as seen in undoubtedly authentic
videos), and he said many things that bin Laden himself would not have
The FBI, in any case, evidently does not believe that this video provides
hard evidence of bin Laden’s responsibility for 9/11, or it would have
revised its “Most Wanted Terrorist” page on him after this video surfaced.
So, to review the first two points: The Taliban said it would turn over bin
Laden if our government would give it good evidence of his responsibility
for 9/11, but our government refused. And good evidence of this
responsibility has never been given to the public.
I turn now to the third claim: that, even if there is no proof that Osama
bin Laden authorized the attacks, we have abundant evidence that the attacks
were carried out by Muslims belonging to his al-Qaeda organization. I will
divide the discussion of this third claim into two sections:
looks at the main support for this claim: evidence that Muslim hijackers
were on the airliners. Section 3b looks at the strongest evidence against
this claim: the collapse of World Trade Center 7.
3a. Evidence Al-Qaeda Muslims Were on the Airliners
It is still widely thought to have been established beyond question that the
attacks were carried out by members of al-Qaeda.
The truth, however, is that
the evidence entirely falls apart upon examination, and this fact suggests
that 9/11 was instead a false-flag attack - an attack that people within our
own government orchestrated while planting evidence to implicate Muslims.
Let us begin with the 9/11 Commission’s claim that the men who (allegedly)
took over the planes were devout Muslims, ready to sacrifice their lives for
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Atta and other hijackers had made
“at least six trips” to Las Vegas, where they had “engaged in some decidedly
un-Islamic sampling of prohibited pleasures.” The Chronicle then quoted the
head of the Islamic Foundation of Nevada as saying: "True Muslims don't
drink, don't gamble, don't go to strip clubs.”33
The contradiction is especially strong with regard to Mohamed Atta. On the
one hand, according to the 9/11 Commission, he was very religious, even
“fanatically so.”34 This characterization was supported by Professor
Machule, who was Atta’s thesis supervisor at a technical university in
Hamburg in the 1990s.
Professor Machule says he knew his student only as
Mohamed Al-Emir - although his full name was the same as his father’s:
Mohamed Al-Emir Atta. In any case, Machule says that this young man was
“very religious,” prayed regularly, and never touched alcohol.35
According to the American press, on the other hand, Mohamed Atta drank
heavily and, one night after downing five glasses of Vodka, shouted an
Arabic word that, Newsweek said, “roughly translates as ‘F--k God.’”36
Investigative reporter Daniel Hopsicker, who wrote a book about Atta, stated
that Atta regularly went to strip clubs, hired prostitutes, drank heavily,
and took cocaine. Atta even lived with a stripper for several months and
then, after she kicked him out, she reported, he came back and disemboweled
her cat and dismembered its kittens.37
Could this be the same individual as Professor Machule’s student Mohamed
Al-Emir, who would not even shake hands with a woman upon being introduced,
and who never touched alcohol?
Could the Atta described by Hopsicker and the American press be
the young man whom this professor described as not a “bodyguard type” but
“more a girl looking type”?38 Could the man who disemboweled a cat and
dismembered its kittens be the young man known to his father as a “gentle
and tender boy,” who was nicknamed “nightingale”?39
We are clearly talking about two different men. This is confirmed by the
differences in their appearance. The American Atta was often described as
having a hard, cruel face, and the standard FBI photo of him bears this out.
The face of the Hamburg student was quite different, as photos available on
the Internet show.40
Also, his professor described him as “very small,”
being “one meter sixty-two” in height41 - which means slightly under 5’4”
- whereas the American Atta has been described as 5’8” and even 5’10” tall.42
One final reason to believe that these different descriptions apply to
different men: The father of Mohamed al-Emir Atta reported that on September
12, before either of them had learned of the attacks, his son called him and
they “spoke for two minutes about this and that.”43
There are also problems in relation to many of the other alleged hijackers.
For example, the BBC reported that Waleed al-Shehri, who supposedly died
along with Atta on American Flight 11, spoke to journalists and American
authorities in Casablanca the following week.44 Moreover, there were clearly
two men going by the name Ziad Jarrah - the name of the alleged hijacker
pilot of United Flight 93.45
Accordingly, besides the fact the men labeled “the hijackers” were not
devout Muslims, they may not have even been Muslims of any type.
And if that were not bad enough for the official story, there is no good
evidence that these men were even on the planes - all the evidence for this
claim falls apart upon examination. I will illustrate this point with a few
Passports at the Crash Sites
One of the purported proofs that the 19 men identified as the hijackers were
on the planes was the reported discovery of some of their passports at crash
sites. But the reports of these discoveries are not believable.
For example, the FBI claimed that, while searching the streets after the
destruction of the World Trade Center, they discovered the passport of Satam
al-Suqami, one of the hijackers on American Flight 11, which had crashed
into the North Tower.47
But for this to be true, the passport would have had
to survive the collapse of the North Tower, which evidently pulverized
almost everything in the building into fine particles of dust - except the
steel and al-Suqami’s passport.
But this claim was too absurd to pass the giggle test:
“[T]he idea that
[this] passport had escaped from that inferno unsinged,” remarked a British
commentator, “would [test] the credulity of the staunchest supporter of the
FBI's crackdown on terrorism.”48
By 2004, the claim had been modified to say
that “a passer-by picked it up and gave it to a NYPD detective shortly
before the World Trade Center towers collapsed.”49
So, rather than needing
to survive the collapse of the North Tower, the passport merely needed to
escape from al-Suqami’s pocket or luggage, then from the plane’s cabin, and
then from the North Tower without being destroyed or even singed by the
This version was no less ridiculous than the first one, and the other
stories about passports at crash sites are equally absurd.
Reported Phone Calls from the Airliners
It is widely believed, of course, that we know that there were hijackers on
the airliners, thanks to numerous phone calls from passengers and crew
members, in which they reported the hijackings. But we have good reasons to
believe that these calls never occurred.
Reported Calls from Cell Phones: About 15 of the reported calls from the
airliners were said to have been made on cell phones, with about 10 of those
being from United Flight 93 - the one that reportedly crashed in
Pennsylvania. Three or four of those calls were received by Deena Burnett,
who knew that her husband, Tom Burnett, had used his cell phone, she told
the FBI, because she recognized his cell phone number on her Caller ID.
However, given the cell phone technology available in 2001, high-altitude
cell phone calls from airliners were not possible. They were generally not
possible much above 1,000 feet, and were certainly impossible above 35,000
or even 40,000 feet, which was the altitude of the planes when most of the
cell phone calls were supposedly made.
Articles describing the impossibility
of the calls were published in 2003 and 2004 by two well-known Canadians:
A.K. Dewdney, formerly a columnist for Scientific American, and economist
Perhaps in response, the FBI changed the story. In 2006, it presented a
report on the phone calls from the planes for the trial of Zacarias
Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker. In its report on United Flight 93,
it said that cell phones were used for only two of the calls, both of which
were made the plane, shortly before it crashed, had descended to a low
altitude.51 These two calls were, in fact, the only two cell phone calls
made from any of the airliners, the FBI report said.52
The FBI thereby
avoided claiming that any high-altitude cell phone calls had been made.
But if the FBI’s new account is true, how do we explain that so many people
reported receiving cell phone calls? Most of these people said that they had
been told by the caller that he or she was using a cell phone, so we might
suppose that their reports were based on bad hearing or faulty memory.
what about Deena Burnett, whose statement that she recognized her husband’s
cell phone number on her Caller ID was made to the FBI that very day?53
Tom Burnett used a seat-back phone, as the FBI’s 2006 report says, why did
his cell phone number show up on his wife’s Caller ID? The FBI has not
answered this question.
The only possible explanation seems to be that these calls were faked.
Perhaps someone used voice morphing technology, which already existed at
that time,54 in combination with a device for providing a fake Caller ID,
which can be ordered on the Internet. Or perhaps someone used Tom’s cell
phone to place fake calls from the ground. In either case, Tom Burnett did
not actually call his wife from aboard United Flight 93. And if calls to Deena Burnett were faked, we must assume that all of the calls were
- because if there had really been surprise hijackings, no one would have been
prepared to make fake phone calls to her.
The Reported Calls from Barbara Olson: This conclusion is reinforced by the
FBI’s report on phone calls from American Flight 77 - the one that
supposedly struck the Pentagon.
Ted Olson, the US Solicitor General,
reported that his wife, Barbara Olson (a well-known commentator on CNN), had
called him twice from this flight, with the first call lasting “about one
(1) minute,”55 and the second call lasting “two or three or four minutes.”56
In these calls, he said, she reported that the plane had been taken over by
hijackers armed with knives and box-cutters.
But how could she have made these calls? The plane was far too high for a
cell phone to work. And American Flight 77 was a Boeing 757, and the 757s
made for American Airlines - the 9/11 Truth Movement learned in 2005 - did
not have onboard phones.57 Whether or not for this reason, the FBI’s report
to the Moussaoui trial did not endorse Ted Olson’s story. Its report on
telephone calls from American Flight 77 did mention Barbara Olson, but it
attributed only one call to her, not two, and it said that this call was
“unconnected,” so that it lasted “0 seconds.”58
This FBI report allows only two possibilities:
either Ted Olson engaged in
or he, like Deena Burnett, was duped by faked calls
case, the story about Barbara Olson’s calls, with their reports of hijackers
taking over Flight 77, was based on deception.
The alleged phone calls, therefore, do not provide trustworthy evidence that
there were hijackers on the planes.
Autopsy Reports and Flight Manifests
The public has widely assumed, due to misleading claims,59 that the names of
the alleged hijackers were on the flight manifests for the four flights, and
also that the autopsy report from the Pentagon contained the names of the
hijackers said to have been on American Flight 77.
However, the passenger
manifests for the four airliners did not contain the names of any of the
alleged hijackers and, moreover, they contained no Arab names whatsoever.60
Also, as a psychiatrist who was able to obtain a copy of the Pentagon
autopsy report through a FOIA request discovered, it contained none of the
names of the hijackers for American Flight 77 and, in fact, no Arab names
Failure to Squawk the Hijack Code
Finally, the public has been led to believe that all the evidence about what
happened on board the four airliners supported the claim that they were
taken over by hijackers.
This claim, however, was contradicted by something
that did not happen. If pilots have any reason to believe that a hijacking
may be in process, they are trained to enter the standard hijack code (7500)
into their transponders to alert controllers on the ground. This is called
“squawking” the hijack code.
None of the eight pilots did this on 9/11, even
though there would have been plenty of time: This act takes only two or
three seconds and it would have taken longer than this for hijackers to
break into the pilots’ cabins: According to official account of United
Flight 93, for example, it took over 30 seconds for the hijackers to break
into the cockpit.62
It appears, therefore, that 9/11 was the most elaborate example yet of a
false-flag attack, which occurs when countries, wanting to attack other
countries, orchestrate attacks on their own people while planting evidence
to implicate those other countries.
Hitler did this when he was ready to
attack Poland, which started the European part of World War II; Japan did it
when it was ready to attack Manchuria, which started the Asian part of that
war. In 1962, the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed false-flag
attacks killing American citizens to provide a pretext for invading Cuba.63
This proposal was not put into effect because it was vetoed by President
Kennedy. But in 2001, the White House was occupied by an administration that
wanted to attack Afghanistan, Iraq, and several other predominantly Muslim
countries,64 and so, it appears, evidence was planted to implicate Muslims.
3b. How the Collapse of WTC 7 Disproves the Al-Qaeda Theory
I turn now to the strongest evidence that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated
by insiders rather than foreign terrorists: the collapse of Building 7 of
the World Trade Center, which is the subject of my most recent book, The
Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report
about 9/11 Is Unscientific and False.65
I speak of the “mysterious collapse” because the collapse of this building
was, from the very beginning, seen as more mysterious than that of the Twin
Towers. Given the fact that those two buildings were hit by planes, which
started big fires, most people evidently thought - if wrongly - that the
fact that these buildings came down was not problematic.
But Building 7 was
not hit by a plane, and yet it came down at 5:21 that afternoon.
This would mean, assuming that neither incendiaries nor explosives were used
to demolish this building, that it had been brought down by fire alone, and
this would have been an unprecedented occurrence.
New York Times writer James Glanz wrote,
“experts said no building like it, a modern,
steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever collapsed because of an uncontrolled
Glanz then quoted a structural engineer as saying:
structural engineering community, [Building 7] is considered to be much more
important to understand [than the Twin Towers],” because engineers had no
answer to the question, “why did 7 come down?”66
Moreover, although Glanz spoke of an “uncontrolled fire,” there were
significant fires on only six of this building’s 47 floors, and these fires
were visible at most for three to four hours, and yet fires have burned in
other steel-frame skyscrapers for 17 and 18 hours, turning them into
towering infernos without causing collapse.67
So why did Building 7 come
down? FEMA, which in 2002 put out the first official report on this
building, admitted that its “best hypothesis” had “only a low probability of
Reasons to Suspect Explosives
By its “best hypothesis,”
FEMA meant the best hypothesis it could suggest
consistent with the fact that it, as a government agency, could not posit
the use of incendiaries and explosives. Why might anyone think that
incendiaries and explosives brought this building down?
Precedent: One reason is simply that, prior to 9/11, every collapse of a
steel-frame high-rise building was brought about by explosives, often in
conjunction with incendiaries, in the procedure known as “controlled
demolition.” Collapse has never been produced by fires, earthquakes, or any
other cause other than controlled demolition.
Vertical Collapse: Another reason to posit controlled demolition is that
this building came straight down, collapsing into its own footprint. For
this to happen, all of this building’s 82 steel columns had to fail
simultaneously. This is what happens in the type of controlled demolition
known as “implosion.”
It is not something that can be caused by fires.
Simply seeing a video of the building coming down makes it obvious to anyone
with knowledge of these things that explosives were used to bring it down.
On 9/11 itself, CBS News anchor Dan Rather said:
In 2006, a filmmaker asked Danny Jowenko, the owner of a controlled
demolition company in the Netherlands, to comment on a video of the collapse
of Building 7 without telling him what it was. (Jowenko had never heard that
a third building had collapsed on 9/11.)
After viewing the video, Jowenko
When asked if he was certain, he replied:
An organization called “Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth,” which was
formed in 2007, now has over 1,200 members. Many of them, as one can see by
reading their statements, joined after they saw a video of Building 7’s
In light of all of these considerations, a truly scientific investigation,
which sought the truth about Building 7, would have begun with the
hypothesis that it had been deliberately demolished.
NIST’s Report as Political, Not Scientific
However, this hypothesis did not provide the starting point for
National Institute of Standards and Technology - which took over from FEMA
the responsibility for writing the official report on the destruction of the
World Trade Center.
Rather, NIST said:
So, although every other steel-frame building that has collapsed did so
because explosives (perhaps along with incendiaries) were used to destroy
its support columns, NIST said, in effect:
To understand why NIST started with this hypothesis, it helps to know
that it is an agency of the Commerce Department, which means that all the
years it was working on its World Trade Center reports, it was an agency of
the Bush-Cheney administration.
Also, a scientist who had worked for NIST reported that by 2001 it had been
“fully hijacked from the scientific into the political realm,” so that
scientists working there had “lost [their] scientific independence, and
became little more than ‘hired guns.’”73
One manifestation of NIST’s political nature may be the fact that it delayed
its report on Building 7 year after year, releasing it only late in 2008,
when the Bush-Cheney administration was preparing to leave office.
Be that as it may, NIST did in August of 2008 finally put out a report in
the form of a draft for public comment.
Announcing this draft report at a
press conference, Shyam Sunder, NIST’s lead investigator, said:
Sunder added that “science is really behind what we have said.”75
However, far from being supported by good science, NIST’s report repeatedly
makes its case by resorting to scientific fraud. Two of the major types of
scientific fraud, as defined by the National Science Foundation, are
fabrication, which is “making up results,” and falsification, which means
either “changing or omitting data.”76
I will begin with falsification.
NIST’S Falsification of Testimonial Evidence Pointing to Explosives
Claiming that it “found no evidence of a... controlled demolition
event,”77 NIST simply omitted or distorted all such evidence, some of which
Two city officials, Barry Jennings of the Housing Authority and Michael
Hess, the city’s corporation counsel, reported that they became trapped by a
massive explosion in Building 7 shortly after they arrived there at 9:00 AM.
NIST, however, claimed that what they called an explosion was really just
the impact of debris from the collapse of the North Tower, which did not
occur until 10:28.
But Jennings explicitly said that they were trapped
before either of the Twin Towers came down, which means that the explosion
that he and Hess reported occurred before 9:59, when the South Tower came
down. NIST rather obviously, therefore, distorted these men’s testimonial
Other people reported that explosions went off in the late afternoon, when
the building started to come down.
Reporter Peter Demarco of the New York
Daily News said:
NIST dealt with such testimonies by simply ignoring them.
NIST’s Omission of Physical Evidence for Explosives
NIST also ignored a lot of physical evidence that Building 7 was brought
down by explosives.
Swiss-Cheese Steel: For example, three professors from Worcester Polytechnic
Institute discovered a piece of steel from Building 7 that had melted so
severely that it had holes in it, making it look like Swiss cheese.79 The
New York Times, pointing out that the fires in the building could not have
been hot enough to melt steel, called this “the deepest mystery uncovered in
The three professors, in a report included as an
appendix to the 2002 FEMA report, said:
When NIST’s report on Building 7 appeared, however, it did not mention this
mysterious piece of steel. It even claimed that no recovered steel from this
building had been identified.82 And this was just the beginning of NIST’s
omission of physical evidence.
Particles of Metal in the Dust: The nearby Deutsche Bank building was
heavily contaminated by dust produced when the World Trade Center was
destroyed. But the bank’s insurance company refused to pay for the clean-up,
claiming that the dust in the bank was ordinary building dust, not dust that
resulted from the destruction of the WTC.
So Deutsche Bank hired the RJ Lee
Group, a scientific research organization, to do a study, which showed that
the dust in this building was WTC dust, with a unique chemical signature.
Part of this signature was “[s]pherical iron... particles,”83 and this
meant, the RJ Lee Group said, that iron had “melted during the WTC Event,
producing spherical metallic particles.”84
Iron does not melt until it reaches 2,800°F (1,538°C), which is about 1,000
degrees F (540 degrees C) higher than the fires could have been. The RJ Lee
study also found that temperatures had been reached “at which lead would
have undergone vaporization”85 - meaning 3,180°F (1,749°C).86
Another study was carried out by scientists at the US Geological Survey.
Besides also finding iron particles, these scientists found that molybdenum
had been melted87 - even though its melting point is extremely high: 4,753°F
These two studies proved, therefore, that something had produced
temperatures many times higher than the fires could have produced. NIST,
however, made no mention of these studies. But even this was not the end of
the physical evidence omitted by NIST.
Nanothermite Residue: A report by several scientists, including University
of Copenhagen chemist Niels Harrit, showed that the WTC dust contained
Whereas ordinary thermite is an incendiary,
nanothermite is a high explosive. This report by Harrit and his colleagues
did not appear until 2009,89 several months after the publication of NIST’s
final report in November 2008. But NIST should have, as a matter of routine,
tested the WTC dust for signs of incendiaries, such as ordinary thermite,
and explosives, such as nanothermite.
When asked whether it did, however, NIST said that it did not.
reporter asked Michael Newman, a NIST spokesman, why not, Newman replied:
“[B]ecause there was no evidence of that.” “But,” asked the reporter, “how
can you know there’s no evidence if you don’t look for it first?” Newman
replied: “If you’re looking for something that isn’t there, you’re wasting
your time... and the taxpayers’ money.”90
NIST’s Fabrication of Evidence to Support Its Own Theory
Besides omitting and distorting evidence to deny the demolition theory of
Building 7’s collapse, NIST also fabricated evidence - simply made it up - to support its own theory.
No Girder Shear Studs: NIST’s explanation as to how fire caused Building 7
to collapse starts with thermal expansion, meaning that the fire heated up
the steel, thereby causing it to expand. An expanding steel beam on the 13th
floor, NIST claimed, caused a steel girder attached to a column to break
loose. Having lost its support, this column failed, starting a chain
reaction in which the other 81 columns failed, causing a progressive
Ignoring the question of whether this is even remotely
plausible, let us simply ask: Why did that girder fail? Because, NIST
claimed, it was not connected to the floor slab with sheer studs. NIST
wrote: In WTC 7, no studs were installed on the girders.92 Floor beams...
had shear studs, but the girders that supported the floor beams did not have
This was a fabrication, as we can see by looking at NIST’s
Interim Report on WTC 7, which it had published in 2004. That report,
written before NIST had developed its girder-failure theory, stated that
girders as well as the beams had been attached to the floor by means of
A Raging Fire on Floor 12 at 5:00 PM: Another case of fabrication is a
graphic in NIST’s report showing that at 5:00 PM, there were very big fires
covering much of the north face of Floor 12.95
This claim is essential to NIST’s explanation as to why the building collapsed 21 minutes later.
However, if you look back at NIST’s 2004 report, you will find this
“Around 4:45 PM, a photograph showed fires on Floors 7, 8, 9, and 11 near
the middle of the north face; Floor 12 was burned out by this time.”96
Other photographs even show that the 12th floor fire had virtually burned
out by 4:00. And yet NIST, in its final report, claims that fires were still
raging on this floor at 5:00 PM.
NIST’s Affirmation of a Miracle
In addition to omitting, falsifying, and fabricating evidence, NIST affirms
a miracle. You have perhaps seen the cartoon in which a physics professor
has written a proof on a chalkboard.
Most of the steps consist of
mathematical equations, but one of them simply says: “Then a miracle
This is humorous because one thing you absolutely cannot do in
science is to appeal to a miracle, even implicitly. And yet that is what NIST does.
I will explain:
NIST’S Denial of Free Fall: Members of the 9/11 Truth Movement had long been
pointing out that Building 7 came down at the same rate as a free-falling
object, at least virtually so.
In NIST’s Draft for Public Comment, put out in August 2008, it denied this,
saying that the time it took for the upper floors - the only floors that are
visible on the videos - to come down “was approximately 40 percent longer
than the computed free fall time and was consistent with physical
As this statement implies, any assertion that the building did come down in
free fall would not be consistent with physical principles - meaning the
laws of physics.
Explaining why not, Shyam Sunder said:
“[A] free fall time would be [the fall time of] an object that has no
structural components below it... [T]he... time that it took...
for those 17 floors to disappear [was roughly 40 percent longer than free
fall]. And that is not at all unusual, because there was structural
resistance that was provided in this particular case. And you had a sequence
of structural failures that had to take place. Everything was not
In saying this, Sunder was presupposing NIST’s rejection of controlled
demolition - which could have produced a free-fall collapse by causing all
82 columns to fail simultaneously - in favor of NIST’s fire theory, which
necessitated a theory of progressive collapse.
Chandler’s Challenge: In response, high-school physics teacher David
Chandler challenged Sunder’s denial of free fall, pointing out that Sunder’s
“40 percent longer” claim contradicted “a publicly visible, easily
Chandler then placed a video on the Internet showing
that, by measuring this publicly visible quantity, anyone knowing elementary
physics could see that “for about two and a half seconds..., the
acceleration of the building is indistinguishable from freefall.”100
NIST Admits Free Fall: Amazingly, in NIST’s final report, which came out in
November, it admitted free fall. Dividing the building’s descent into three
stages, NIST described the second phase as “a freefall descent over
approximately eight stories at gravitational acceleration for approximately
2.25 s[econds].”101 (“Gravitational acceleration” is a synonym for free fall
So, after presenting over 600 pages of descriptions, graphs, testimonies,
photographs, charts, analyses, explanations, and mathematical formulae, NIST
says, in effect: “Then a miracle happens.”
Why this would be a miracle was explained by Chandler, who said: “Free fall
can only be achieved if there is zero resistance to the motion.”102
words, the upper portion of Building 7 could have come down in free fall
only if something had suddenly removed all the steel and concrete in the
lower part of the building, which would have otherwise provided resistance.
If everything had not been removed and the upper floors had come down in
free fall anyway, even for only a second or two, a miracle - meaning a
violation of the laws of physics - would have happened.
That was what Sunder himself had explained the previous August, saying that
a free-falling object would be one “that has no structural components below
it” to offer resistance.
But then in November, while still defending the fire theory of collapse,
NIST admitted that, as an empirical fact, free fall happened. For a period
of 2.25 seconds, NIST admitted, the descent of WTC 7 was characterized by
“gravitational acceleration (free fall).”103
Knowing that it had thereby affirmed a miracle, NIST no longer claimed that
its analysis was consistent with the laws of physics. In its August draft,
in which it had said that the collapse occurred 40 percent slower than free
fall, NIST had said three times that its analysis was “consistent with
In the final report, however, every instance of
this phrase was removed. NIST thereby almost explicitly admitted that its
report on WTC 7, by admitting free fall while continuing to deny that
explosives were used, is not consistent with the principles of physics.
Conclusion about WTC 7: The science of World Trade Center 7 is, therefore,
settled. This fact is reflected in the agreement by many hundreds of
professionals with various forms of expertise - architects, engineers,
firefighters, physicists, and chemists - that this building was deliberately
This truth has also recently been recognized by a symposium in one of our
leading social science journals, which treats 9/11 as an example of what its
authors call State Crimes Against Democracy (SCADs).105
majority of the academic world for its “blithe dismissal of more than one
law of thermodynamics” that is violated by the official theory of the World
Trade Center collapses, these authors also criticize the academy for its
failure to protest when,
And now the world can see, if it will only look, that even NIST, in its
final report, did not dissent:
By admitting that Building 7 came down in
free fall for over two seconds, while simultaneously removing its previous
claim that its report was consistent with physical principles, NIST
implicitly admitted that the laws of physics rule out its non-demolition
theory of this building’s collapse.
NIST thereby implicitly admitted that
explosives were used.
Implications for the Al-Qaeda Theory of 9/11
And with that implicit admission, NIST undermined the al-Qaeda theory of
For one thing, the straight-down nature of the collapse of WTC 7 means that
it was subjected to the type of controlled demolition known as “implosion,”
which is, in the words of a controlled demolition website,
Al-Qaeda terrorists would not have had this kind of expertise.
Second, the only reason to go to the trouble of bringing a building straight
down is to avoid damaging nearby buildings. Had WTC 7 and the Twin Towers - which also came straight down, after initial explosions at the top that
ejected sections of steel outward several hundred feet108 - instead toppled
over sideways, they would have caused massive destruction in Lower
Manhattan, destroying dozens of other buildings and killing tens of
thousands of people.
Does anyone believe that, even if al-Qaeda operatives
had had the expertise to make the buildings come straight down, they would
have had the courtesy?
A third problem is that foreign terrorists could not have obtained access to
the buildings for all the hours it would have taken to plant explosives.
Only insiders could have done this.109
The science of the collapse of World Trade Center 7, accordingly, disproves
the claim - which from the outset has been used to justify the war in
Afghanistan - that America was attacked on 9/11 by al-Qaeda Muslims. It
suggests, instead, that 9/11 was a false-flag operation to provide a pretext
to attack Muslim nations.
In any case, the official rationale for our presence in Afghanistan
lie. We are there for other reasons. Critics have offered
suggestions as to the most important of those reasons.110
Whatever be the
answer to that question, however, we have not been there to apprehend the
terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Besides never being legally
justified, therefore, the war in Afghanistan has never been morally
This war, moreover, is an abomination. In addition to the thousands of US
and other NATO troops who have been killed or impaired for life, physically
and/or mentally, the US-led invasion/occupation of Afghanistan has resulted
in a huge number of Afghan casualties, with estimates running from several
hundred thousand to several million.111
But whatever the true number, the
fact is that the United States has produced a great amount of death and
misery - sometimes even bombing funerals and wedding parties - in this
country that had already suffered terribly and that, even if the official
story were true, had not attacked America. The fact that the official story
is a lie makes our war crimes even worse.112
But there is a way out. As I have shown in this paper and even more
completely elsewhere,113 the falsity of the official account of WTC 7 has
now been demonstrated, leaving no room for reasonable doubt. In his
inaugural address, President Obama said, “We will restore science to its
rightful place,”114 thereby pledging that in his administration, unlike that
of his predecessor, science would again be allowed to play a determinative
role in shaping public policy.
By changing his administration’s policy with
regard to Afghanistan in light of the science of WTC 7, the president would
not only fulfill one of his most important promises.
He would also prevent
the war in Afghanistan from becoming known as “Obama’s Vietnam.” 115
1 For a few of the many times this issue has been raised, see Jeffrey T.
Kuhner, “Obama's Vietnam?” Washington Times, January 25, 2009
(http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/25/obamas-vietnam); Juan Cole,
“Obama’s Vietnam?” Salon.com, January 26, 2009
Barry and Evan Thomas, “Afghanistan: Obama’s Vietnam,” Newsweek, January 31,
2 Marjorie Cohn, “Bombing of Afghanistan Is Illegal and Must Be Stopped,”
Jurist, November 6, 2001 (http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forum/forumnew36.htm).
3 Marjorie Cohn, “Afghanistan: The Other Illegal War,” AlterNet, August 1,
4 President Barack Obama, “The Way Forward
in Afghanistan and Pakistan,
Remarks at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, December 1, 2009
5 “Security Council Condemns, ‘In Strongest Terms,’ Terrorist Attacks on
United States,” September 12, 2001
6 Brian J. Foley "Legal Analysis: U.S. Campaign Against Afghanistan Not
Self-Defense Under International Law," Lawyers Against the War
7 "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made
in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under
the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”
US Constitution, Article VI, par. 2.
8 See Richard Falk and Howard Friel, The Record of the Paper: How the New
York Times Misreports US Foreign Policy (London: Verso, 2007).
9 Obama, “The Way Forward
in Afghanistan and Pakistan
10 For example, Robert H. Reid, writing for the Associated Press (“August
Deadliest Month for US in Afghanistan,” Associated Press, August 29, 2009
said the war “was launched by the Bush administration after the Taliban
government refused to hand over Osama bin Laden for his role in the Sept.
11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States.”
11 “White House Warns Taliban: ‘We Will Defeat You,’” CNN, September 21,
12 David B. Ottaway and Joe Stephens, “Diplomats Met with Taliban on Bin
Laden,” Washington Post, October 29, 2001
13 “Bush Rejects Taliban Offer to Hand Bin Laden Over,” Guardian, October
14 Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “Obama Defends Strategy in Afghanistan,” New York
Times, August 18, 2009
15 See the two chapters entitled “The New Great Game” in Ahmed Rashid,
Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (New Haven:
Yale University Press, 2001), and Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History
of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to
September 10, 2001 (New York: Penguin, 2004).
16 Rashid, Taliban, 75-79, 163, 175.
17 Quoted in Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, Forbidden Truth:
U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden (New
York: Thunder’s Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2002), 43.
18 George Arney, “U.S. ‘Planned Attack on Taleban,’” BBC News, September 18,
19 “Meet the Press,” NBC, September 23, 2001
20 “Remarks by the President, Secretary of the Treasury O'Neill and
Secretary of State Powell on Executive Order,” White House, September 24,
21 Seymour M. Hersh, “What Went Wrong: The C.I.A. and the Failure of
American Intelligence,” New Yorker, October 1, 2001
22 Office of the Prime Minister, “Responsibility for the Terrorist
Atrocities in the United States,” BBC News, October 4, 2001
23 “The Investigation and the Evidence,” BBC News, October 5, 2001
24 Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Most Wanted Terrorists: Usama bin
25 Ed Haas, “FBI says, ‘No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11’”
Muckraker Report, June 6, 2006
For more on this episode, see David Ray Griffin, 9/11 Contradictions: An
Open Letter to Congress and the Press (Northampton: Olive Branch
[Interlink], 2008), Chap. 18.
26 See The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission
on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Authorized Edition (New York:
W. W. Norton, 2004), Chap. 5, notes 16, 41, and 92.
27 Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, with Benjamin Rhodes, Without
Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission (New York: Alfred A.
Knopf, 2006), 118.
28 Ibid., 122-24.
29 Ibid., 119.
30 David Ray Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (Northampton: Olive
Branch [Interlink Books], 2009), 27-29.
31 Professor Bruce Lawrence interviewed by Kevin Barrett, February 16, 2007
32 Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? 16, 29-33.
33 Kevin Fagan, “Agents of Terror Leave Their Mark on Sin City,” San
Francisco Chronicle, October 4, 2001
34 The 9/11 Commission Report, 160.
35 “Professor Dittmar Machule,” Interviewed by Liz Jackson, A Mission to Die
For, Four Corners, October 18, 2001
36 Evan Thomas and Mark Hosenball, “Bush: ‘We’re at War,” Newsweek,
September 24, 2001 (http://www.newsweek.com/id/76065).
37 Daniel Hopsicker, Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta and the 9-11
Cover-Up in Florida (Eugene, OR: MadCow Press, 2004). See also Hopsicker,
“The Secret World of Mohamed Atta: An Interview With Atta’s American
Girlfriend,” InformationLiberation, August 20, 2006
(http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=14738). Many of the details are
summarized in my 9/11 Contradictions, Chap. 15, “Were Mohamed Atta and the
Other Hijackers Devout Muslims?” As I explain in that chapter, there were
efforts to try to discredit Keller’s account by intimidating her into
recanting and by claiming that she lived with a different man having the
same first name, but these attempts failed.
38 “Professor Dittmar Machule.”
39 Kate Connolly, “Father Insists Alleged Leader Is Still Alive,” Guardian,
September 2, 2002
40 “Photographs Taken of Mohamed Atta during His University Years,” A
Mission to Die For, Four Corners
the differences between the (bearded) Atta in his passport photo, which is
in the FBI’s evidence for the Moussaoui trial, and the Atta of the standard
FBI photo, seem greater than can be accounted for by the fact that only the
former Atta is bearded. The two photos can be compared at 911Review
41 “Professor Dittmar Machule.”
42 Thomas Tobin, “Florida: Terror’s Launching Pad,” St. Petersburg Times,
September 1, 2002
Allen-Emrich, “Hurt for Terrorists Reaches North Port,” Charlotte
Sun-Herald, September 14, 2001 (available at
43 Connolly, “Father Insists Alleged Leader Is Still Alive.”
44 David Bamford, “Hijack ‘Suspect’ Alive in Morocco,” BBC, September 22,
2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1558669.stm). Although
some news organizations, including the BBC itself, later tried to debunk
this story, they failed, as I reported in The New Pearl Harbor Revisited:
9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2008),
45 See Jay Kolar, “What We Now Know about the Alleged 9-11 Hijackers,” in
Paul Zarembka, ed., The Hidden History of 9-11 (New York: Seven Stories
Press, 2008), 3-44, at 22-26; and Paul Thompson, “The Two Ziad Jarrahs,”
46 For types of evidence not discussed here, see Griffin, The New Pearl
Harbor Revisited, Chap. 8, “9/11 Commission Falsehoods about Bin Laden,
al-Qaeda, Pakistanis, and Saudis.”
47 “Ashcroft Says More Attacks May Be Planned,” CNN, September 18, 2001
“Terrorist Hunt,” ABC News, September 12, 2001
48 Anne Karpf, “Uncle Sam’s Lucky Finds,” Guardian, March 19, 2002
some others, this article mistakenly said the passport belonged to Mohamed
49 Statement by Susan Ginsburg, senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, at
the 9/11 Commission Hearing, January 26, 2004
The Commission’s account reflected a CBS report that the passport had been
found “minutes after” the attack, which had been stated by the Associated
Press, January 27, 2003.
50 A. K. Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93,”
Physics 911, June 9, 2003 (http://physics911.net/cellphoneflight93.htm);
Michel Chossudovsky, “More Holes in the Official Story: The 9/11 Cell Phone
Calls,” Global Research, August 10, 2004
(http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO408B.html). For discussion of this
issue, see Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 112-14.
51 Greg Gordon, “Prosecutors Play Flight 93 Cockpit Recording,” McClatchy
Newspapers, KnoxNews.com, April 12, 2006
52 United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Exhibit Number P200054
These documents can be viewed more easily in “Detailed Account of Phone
Calls from September 11th Flights”
53 “Interview with Deena Lynne Burnett (re: phone call from hijacked
flight),” 9/11 Commission, FBI Source Documents, Chronological, September
11, 2001, Intelfiles.com, March 14, 2008
54 William M. Arkin, “When Seeing and Hearing Isn't Believing,” Washington
Post, February 1, 1999
discussion, see Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 114-18.
55 FBI, “Interview with Theodore Olsen [sic],” 9/11 Commission, FBI Source
Documents, Chronological, September 11, 2001Intelfiles.com, March 14, 2008,
56 “America’s New War: Recovering from Tragedy,” Larry King Live, CNN,
September 14, 2001 (http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/14/lkl.00.html).
57 See David Ray Griffin and Rob Balsamo, “Could Barbara Olson Have Made
Those Calls? An Analysis of New Evidence about Onboard Phones,” Pilots for
9/11 Truth, June 26, 2007 (http://pilotsfor911truth.org/amrarticle.html).
58 See the graphic in Jim Hoffman’s “Detailed Account of Telephone Calls
from September 11th Flights,” Flight 77
59 For claims about hijackers’ names on the flight manifests, see Richard
Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (New York: Free
Press, 2004), 13; George Tenet, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the
CIA (New York: HarperCollins, 2007), 167-69; and my discussion in Griffin,
The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 174-75. On claims about hijacker names on
the Pentagon autopsy report, see Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy
Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts: An In-Depth Investigation by Popular
Mechanics, ed. David Dunbar and Brad Reagan (New York: Hearst Books, 2006),
63, and my discussion of its claim in David Ray Griffin, Debunking 9/11
Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the
Official Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch [Interlink Books],
60 See Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 163, 174-75.
61 Thomas R. Olmsted, M.D. “Still No Arabs on Flight 77,” Rense.com, June
23, 2003 (http://www.rense.com/general38/77.htm).
62 See The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 275-79.
63 See David Ray Griffin, Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11
(Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2006), Chap. 1, “9/11 and Prior False
64 General Wesley Clark, Winning Modern Wars: Iraq, Terrorism, and the
American Empire (New York: Public Affairs, 2003), 120, 130; “Gen. Wesley
Clark Weights Presidential Bid: ‘I Think about It Everyday,’” Democracy Now!
March 2, 2007 (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/02/1440234);
Joe Conason, “Seven Countries in Five Years,” Salon.com, October 12, 2007
Porter, “Yes, the Pentagon Did Want to Hit Iran,” Asia Times, May 7, 2008
65 David Ray Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why
the Final Official Report about 9/11 Is Unscientific and False (Northampton:
Olive Branch [Interlink Books], 2009).
66 James Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World
Trade Center: Diesel Fuel,” New York Times, November 29, 2001
67 See FEMA, “High-Rise Office Building Fire, One Meridian Plaza,
(http://www.interfire.org/res_file/pdf/Tr-049.pdf), and “Fire Practically
Destroys Venezuela’s Tallest Building,” Venezuela News, Views, and Analysis,
October 18, 2004 (http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/741).
68 See FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study
(http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_ch5.pdf), Chap. 5, Sect. 6.2,
“Probable Collapse Sequence,” at p. 31.
69 Rather’s statement is available on YouTube
70 See “Danny Jowenko on WTC 7 Controlled Demolition,” YouTube
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=877gr6xtQIc), or, for more of the interview,
“Jowenko WTC 7 Demolition Interviews,” in three parts
71 Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.ae911truth.org).
72 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence
of World Trade Center Building 7, November 2008, Vol. 1
73 “NIST Whistleblower,” October 1, 2007
74 Shyam Sunder, “Opening Statement,” NIST Press Briefing, August 21, 2008
75 Quoted in “Report: Fire, Not Bombs, Leveled WTC 7 Building,” USA Today,
August 21, 2008
76 New Research Misconduct Policies, section headed “What is Research
Misconduct?” National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General
(http://www.nsf.gov/oig/session.pdf). This document is undated, but internal
evidence suggests that it was published in 2001.
77 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 1: 324.
78 Quoted in Chris Bull and Sam Erman, eds., At Ground Zero: Young Reporters
Who Were There Tell Their Stories (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2002),
79 Joan Killough-Miller, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” WPI
Transformations, Spring 2002
80 James Glanz and Eric Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse,”
New York Times, February 2, 2002
81 Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and Richard D. Sisson, Jr.,
“Limited Metallurgical Examination,” FEMA, World Trade Center Building
Performance Study, May 2002, Appendix C
82 “Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” NIST, August
21, 2008, updated April 21, 2009). NIST has removed both versions of this
document from its website, but Jim Hoffman’s website has preserved both the
original (2008) version
(http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/nist/wtc_qa_082108.html) and the
updated (2009) version
83 RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature,” Expert Report, May 2004
84 RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology,”
17. This earlier (2003) version of the RJ Lee report contained much more
information about melted iron than the 2004 version. For discussion, see
Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse, 40-42.
85 RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study” (2003), 21.
86 WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web
87 Steven E. Jones et al., "Extremely High Temperatures during the World
Trade Center Destruction," Journal of 9/11 Studies, January 2008
88 WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web
89 Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M.
Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley, and Bradley R.
Larsen, “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World
Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, 2: 7-31
90 Jennifer Abel, “Theories of 9/11,” Hartford Advocate, January 29, 2008
91 See The Mysterious Collapse, 150-55.
92 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 1: 346.
93 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence
of World Trade Center Building 7, November 2008, Vol. 2
94 For documentation and discussion of NIST’s claim about the lack of girder
shear studs, see Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse, 212-15.
95 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 2: 384, Figure 9-11.
96 Interim Report on WTC 7, NIST, June 2004
(http://wtc.nist.gov/progress_report_june04/appendixl.pdf), L-26. This
contradiction is pointed out in a video, “NIST Report on WTC7 Debunked and
Exposed!” YouTube, December 28, 2008
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFpbZ-aLDLY), at 0:45 to 1:57.
97 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Draft for Public Comment, Vol. 2
98 “WTC 7 Technical Briefing” (video), NIST, August 26, 2008, at 1:03. NIST
has removed this video and the accompanying transcript from the Internet.
However, Nate Flach has made the video available at Vimeo
(http://vimeo.com/11941571), and the transcript, entitled “NIST Technical
Briefing on Its Final Draft Report on WTC 7 for Public Comment,” is
available at David Chandler’s website
99 Ibid., at 1:01:45.
100 David Chandler, “WTC7 in Freefall - No Longer Controversial,” September
4, 2008 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCDpL4Ax7I), at 2:45.
101 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 2: 607.
102 Chandler, “WTC7 in Freefall - No Longer Controversial,” at 3:27.
103 “Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation.”
104 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Draft for Public Comment, Vol. 2: 595-96, 596, 610.
105 Symposium on State Crimes Against Democracy, American Behavioral
Scientist 53 (February 2010): 783-939
106 Matthew T. Witt, “Pretending Not to See or Hear, Refusing to Signify:
The Farce and Tragedy of Geocentric Public Affairs Scholarship,” American
Behavioral Scientist 53 (February 2010): 921-39
(http://abs.sagepub.com/content/vol53/issue6), at 935.
107 “The Myth of Implosion” (http://www.implosionworld.com/dyk2.html).
108 See Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 30-31.
109 As to how domestic terrorists could have gotten access, an answer
becomes possible if we are aware that Larry Silverstein, who owned Building
7 and had recently taken out a lease on the rest of the World Trade Center,
stood to make several billion dollars if it was destroyed in a terrorist
attack, and that a brother and cousin of George W. Bush were principals of a
company that handled security for the World Trade Center (Griffin, Debunking
9/11 Debunking, 111).
110 Some have seen drug profits as central. Others have focused on access to
oil, natural gas, and minerals. For example, economist Michel Chossudovsky,
referring to the allegedly recent discovery of huge reserves of minerals and
natural gas in Afghanistan, wrote: “The issue of ‘previously unknown
deposits’ sustains a falsehood. It excludes Afghanistan's vast mineral
wealth as a justifiable casus belli. It says that the Pentagon only recently
became aware that Afghanistan was among the World's most wealthy mineral
economies... [whereas in reality] all this information was known in
minute detail” (Michel Chossudovsky, “’The War is Worth Waging’:
Afghanistan's Vast Reserves of Minerals and Natural Gas: The War on
Afghanistan is a Profit Driven ‘Resource War,’” Global Research,
June 17, 2010.)
111 Dr. Gideon Polya, author of Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality Since
1950, has estimated that there over four million Afghanis have died since
the 2001 than would have died without the invasion; see “January 2010 - 4.5
Million Dead in Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide,” January 2, 2010, Afghan
Holocaust, Afghan Genocide (http://afghangenocide.blogspot.com).
112 On US-NATO war crimes in Afghanistan, see Marc W. Herold, “Media
Distortion: Killing Innocent Afghan Civilians to ‘Save our Troops’: Eight
Years of Horror Perpetrated against the People of Afghanistan,” Global
Research, October 15, 2009
113 See The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7, and, more recently,
“Building What? How SCADs Can Be Hidden in Plain Sight,” 911Truth.org, May
27, 2010 (http://911truth.org/article.php?story=20100527162010811).
114 “Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address,” New York Times, January 20, 2009
115 I wish to thank Tod Fletcher and Elizabeth Woodworth for considerable
help with this essay.