Congressman Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, appeared on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight on Wednesday, and offered more scathing criticism of the Defense Department’s attempt to “cover up” the Able Danger story. Weldon is calling for a criminal investigation. Separately, a Brigham Young University professor is calling for an investigation into whether explosives were used to demolish the World Trade Center buildings.
The Pentagon inspector general is investigating the Defense Intelligence Agency’s treatment of an Army colonel who was the first to claim publicly that the government knew about four September 11 hijackers long before the 2001 attacks, officials said on Wednesday.
Among the issues under review is whether the DIA revoked the security clearance of Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer last September in retaliation for repeated comments he made in the media about a military intelligence team code-named Able Danger, sources familiar with the case said.
Revelations about Able Danger, a small data-mining operation that ended in 2000, have reignited debate about whether the United States could have prevented the attacks on New York and Washington that killed 3,000 people and prompted the U.S. war on terrorism. . . .
Shaffer came forward in August with claims that Able Danger had identified September 11 ringleader Mohamed Atta and three other hijackers as al Qaeda members in early 2000. But he said Pentagon lawyers prevented the team from warning the FBI.
Others associated with Able Danger, including the team’s former leader, Navy Capt. Scott Phillpott, have since made similar statements. But an exhaustive Pentagon search of tens of thousands of documents and electronic files related to the operation failed to corroborate the claims.
Officials with House and Senate intelligence oversight committees have also said there is little substantiating evidence.
U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon, a Pennsylvania Republican who has championed Able Danger and other data-mining projects, told reporters on Wednesday that Able Danger also uncovered evidence of a threat to U.S. interests in Yemen two days before the 2000 bombing of the Navy destroyer Cole, which killed 17 sailors. — Reuters
Hm, Rep. Weldon thinks there’s something there. In fact, he appeared on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight on Wednesday, and had this to say:
Slade Gorton has never talked to any principle involved with Able Danger. And how he can go off and profess to know something about something that he’s never talked to anyone about, is beyond me.
Slade Gorton is into what the 9/11 commission is doing, Lou. It’s called c, y, a. Cover their butts, pretend it didn’t happen. . . .
Weldon then said he had received over 100 signatures from other Congressmen calling for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to allow officers involved in Able Danger to testify before Congress.
He further went on to call for a criminal investigation to determine if there was “a deliberate
attempt to cover-up information.”
In closely related news, Brigham Young University physics professor Steven E. Jones has written a peer-reviewed academic paper studying the collapse of the Twin Towers and WTC 7 and puts forward the hypothesis that the three buildings were brought down by explosive charges.
Both towers collapsed in place after the attacks, and later that day, 7 World Trade Center, which was never hit by a plane, fell in less than seven seconds. . . .
“They’re sticking with this one hypothesis. Its almost like they have blinders on — and its got to be fires and damage,” says Jones. . . .
“Notice how it’s straight down,” Jones says referring to the fall of one of the buildings.
Especially intriguing to Jones was the destruction of 7 World Trade Center, damaged and ablaze from tower debris but never hit by a plane.
“Symmetrically now, it doesn’t topple over, as you might expect, from what we call the second law of thermodynamics. It comes straight down. This is the goal of prepositioned explosives in a controlled demolition,” says Jones.
If explosives detonated like this — if they did — it begs the question.
“Who set the explosives?” 2News reporter Brian Mullahy asked Jones.
“I try not to go there because we have to answer the first question first — the scientific issue first,” says Jones. “We need to consider all options for the collapse of these buildings. Let the chips fall where they may.”
Jones said that models conducted in tests since 9/11 have not been able to duplicate what happened to the buildings. He is not saying this is a proven theory, but rather a hypothesis. He wants a fresh new independent investigation. — KUTV
I’m not at all one to put much stock in conspiracy theories, and this is edging dangerously close to conspiracy theory territory. But the conspiracy theorists, if that’s what they truly are, raise some dangerous unanswered questions.
The arguments, grounded in actual physics, that Jones puts forth, are:
- The three buildings collapsed nearly symmetrically, falling down into their footprints, a phenomenon associated with “controlled demolition” — and even then it’s very difficult, he says. “Why would terrorists undertake straight-down collapses of WTC-7 and the Towers when ‘toppling over’ falls would require much less work and would do much more damage in downtown Manhattan?” Jones asks. “And where would they obtain the necessary skills and access to the buildings for a symmetrical implosion anyway? The ‘symmetry data’ emphasized here, along with other data, provide strong evidence for an ‘inside’ job.”
- No steel-frame building, before or after the WTC buildings, has ever collapsed due to fire. But explosives can effectively sever steel columns, he says.
- WTC 7, which was not hit by hijacked planes, collapsed in 6.6 seconds, just .6 of a second longer than it would take an object dropped from the roof to hit the ground. “Where is the delay that must be expected due to conservation of momentum, one of the foundational laws of physics?” he asks. “That is, as upper-falling floors strike lower floors — and intact steel support columns — the fall must be significantly impeded by the impacted mass. . . . How do the upper floors fall so quickly, then, and still conserve momentum in the collapsing buildings?” The paradox, he says, “is easily resolved by the explosive demolition hypothesis, whereby explosives quickly removed lower-floor material, including steel support columns, and allow near free-fall-speed collapses.” These observations were not analyzed by FEMA, NIST nor the 9/11 Commission, he says.
- With non-explosive-caused collapse there would typically be a piling up of shattering concrete. But most of the material in the towers was converted to flour-like powder while the buildings were falling, he says. “How can we understand this strange behavior, without explosives? Remarkable, amazing — and demanding scrutiny since the U.S. government-funded reports failed to analyze this phenomenon.”
- Horizontal puffs of smoke, known as squibs, were observed proceeding up the side the building, a phenomenon common when pre-positioned explosives are used to demolish buildings, he says.
- Steel supports were “partly evaporated,” but it would require temperatures near 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit to evaporate steel — and neither office materials nor diesel fuel can generate temperatures that hot. Fires caused by jet fuel from the hijacked planes lasted at most a few minutes, and office material fires would burn out within about 20 minutes in any given location, he says.
- Molten metal found in the debris of the World Trade Center may have been the result of a high-temperature reaction of a commonly used explosive such as thermite, he says. Buildings not felled by explosives “have insufficient directed energy to result in melting of large quantities of metal,” Jones says.
- Multiple loud explosions in rapid sequence were reported by numerous observers in and near the towers, and these explosions occurred far below the region where the planes struck, he says.
I still have yet to read the full report (PDF) of the 9/11 Commission, but it just got moved to the top of my reading list. If actual science says that the planes themselves couldn’t possibly have brought down the towers, then we’re out of the realm of conspiracy theory, and into the realm of . . . I don’t know what exactly right now, but you can be sure I’ll have my eyes on this.
A special note: Before you comment, be aware that I’m fairly intolerant of conspiracy theory without facts to back it up. If you have relevant facts, by all means bring them forward. If you have questions, by all means post them. But if you only think you know what’s going on, then go post about it somewhere else.