Problems of 9-11-2001

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    TRANSCRIPT of "The Spy Factory"

    PBS Airdate: February 3, 2009

    NARRATOR: Halfway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., is a hidden city, the headquarters of the National Security Agency, NSA. Here, tens of thousands of mathematicians, computer scientists, analysts, linguists and voice interceptors work in absolute secrecy ...

    NSA's job? To secretly listen in on telephone conversations, email communications, anything and everything that might warn of plots to do harm.

    ERIC HASELTINE (National Security Agency, Director of Research, 2002 - 2005): The scope of what happens at NSA is mind-boggling. I don't think the average person can even begin to conceive of the staggering depth and breadth of what they have to do.

    NARRATOR: But was NSA doing its job before the 9/11 attacks? It's a question that has never been thoroughly investigated.

    MICHAEL SCHEUER (Former Central Intelligence Agency Analyst): None of this information that we're speaking about this evening is in the 9/11 Commission Report. They simply ignored all of it.

    NARRATOR: But author James Bamford has investigated and come up with a chilling tale of terrorists, living in San Diego, communicating with bin Laden's operations center in Yemen, moving freely about, and all the while, NSA is listening in.

    JAMES BAMFORD (Author, The Shadow Factory): But the NSA never alerted any other agency that the terrorists were in the United States and moving across the country towards Washington.

    NARRATOR: Since the 9/11 attacks, NSA's role has grown even bigger, along with its license to listen in on Americans here and abroad.

    ADRIENNE KINNE (Former National Security Agency Voice Interceptor): It was incredibly uncomfortable to be listening to private, personal conversations of Americans ...

    NARRATOR: But is this flood of information making America any safer? Looking into The Spy Factory, right now on NOVA ... The National Security Agency, NSA -- Its mission: making and breaking codes; tapping into foreign signals, sifting through the international phone calls, emails, text and instant messages that blanket the modern world.

    Every day, more than 20,000 people flood into this secret city. Unlike undercover CIA operatives, spying in hostile territory, NSA's spies use technology in what is believed to be the largest collection of mathematicians, linguists and computer scientists on the planet. Author James Bamford has written about NSA for the past 25 years.

    JAMES BAMFORD: ... During the cold war, NSA circled nearly the entire Soviet Union with listening posts, to intercept military and diplomatic communications. NSA even listened in on Soviet leaders calling to the Kremlin from their limousines. At its headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, NSA used acres of supercomputers to break any coded communications.

    NARRATOR: But when the Soviet Union collapsed, a new enemy emerged, one NSA was never designed to engage. That enemy was Al Qaeda. Eric Haseltine was NSA's Director of Research.

    ERIC HASELTINE: The Russians were easy to find and hard to kill, and terrorists are hard to find and easy to kill.

    NARRATOR: Unlike the Soviets, Al Qaeda was a small, scattered, moving target. Headquartered in remote, mountain training camps, its soldiers communicated by cell and satellite phones.

    ERIC HASELTINE: And if you look at the job of NSA, to find the enemy, they had to go from looking at an enemy that they kind of knew who they were and where they were, to one that they didn't know who they were or where they were or how they communicated.

    NARRATOR: For NSA, the challenge was to change tactics to match an increasingly dangerous adversary. In cities across Asia and the Middle East, Al Qaeda operatives were using public payphones and internet cafes to plan a series of strikes that would culminate in the 9/11 attacks ...

    NARRATOR: ... Questions still resonate today. Was the National Security Agency, the organization responsible for intercepting foreign calls and messages, listening in on Al Qaeda prior to 9/11? What role did the NSA play? And are we any safer today?

    Surprisingly, the 9/11 Commission never investigated the NSA's role as fully as it did those of the CIA or FBI, but by carefully piecing together a variety of unclassified public records, the story of NSA and its role in the "war on terror" emerges.

    JAMES BAMFORD: In my research, I used thousands of documents available in the public record. They included intelligence agency memos, transcripts of terrorist trials, and a secret FBI chronology of the 9/11 terrorists' movements obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. One fact is clear from these sources: they were monitoring the Al Qaeda leader long before 9/11.

    NARRATOR: In November, 1996, a known Al Qaeda contact buys an Inmarsat satellite phone from a store in a New York suburb. That phone is for Osama bin Laden. Once he starts dialing from Afghanistan, NSA's listening posts quickly tap into his conversations. Analysts at the CIA, like Michael Scheuer - head of Alec Station, the CIA's newly formed bin Laden tracking unit - are also eager to get the information.

    MICHAEL SCHEUER: Osama bin Laden's Inmarsat telephone was really a godsend. It gave us an idea, not only of where he was in Afghanistan, but where Al Qaeda, as an organization, was established, because there were calls to various places in the world.

    NARRATOR: For NSA, tapping into satellite calls is a basic tactic in what's known as "signals intelligence." Inmarsat phones transmit signals straight to a satellite orbiting over the Indian Ocean. By tracking all calls in and out of Afghanistan, the NSA quickly determines bin Laden's number: 873-682505331. Once they have this, they home in on both sides of his conversations, listening to bin Laden by means of a huge dish in space, and to the person he's speaking to with a dish-shaped antenna on the ground.

    MICHAEL SCHEUER: In the intelligence business, signals intelligence is among the most important kind of intelligence options that you have - the electronic communications that are in the air, whether from telephone to telephone, from satellite to satellite, from Inmarsat radio to Inmarsat radio - and NSA collects those with a very broad array of electronic collection capability, but once you collect them, all you have is the signals. And ultimately, it all comes down to the human being.

    NARRATOR: Human analysts plot out which numbers are being called from bin Laden's phone and how frequently. They quickly discover that most of the calls from bin Laden's phone in Afghanistan are going to a house in Yemen, 2,000 miles to the south.

    JAMES BAMFORD: Yemen is central to understanding how Al Qaeda operates. It's where Osama bin Laden's father was born and raised. It has a culture of clans and secrets. It didn't surprise me that bin Laden chose its capital city, Sana'a, for his logistics and communications headquarters. What was surprising was that I found it tucked away in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods. The headquarters was hidden in a small undistinguished house the CIA said was the home of one of bin Laden's closest associates.

    NARRATOR: Bin Laden's phone calls aren't encrypted, so there is no code for NSA's supercomputers to break. Instead, NSA voice interceptors and linguists painstakingly translate, transcribe and write summaries of the calls. The summaries are shared with the CIA, but its analysts at Alec Station want more. They believe that only by carefully studying each word will it be possible to understand bin Laden's intentions.

    MICHAEL SCHEUER: Over time, if you read enough of these conversations, you first get clued in to the fact that maybe "bottle of milk" doesn't mean "bottle of milk." And if you follow it long enough, you develop a sense of what they're really talking about. But it's not possible to do unless you have the verbatim transcript.

    We went to Fort Meade to ask then the NSA's deputy director for operations for the transcripts, and she said, "We are not going to share that with you." And that was the end.

    NARRATOR: NSA declined NOVA's repeated requests for interviews, but its policy since its founding has been to never share raw data, even with other intelligence agencies. Scheuer is so determined to get it, he persuades the CIA to build its own ground station. But without a satellite, he can only get half of the conversations.

    MICHAEL SCHEUER: We would collect it, translate it, send it to NSA and ask them for the other half of it, so we could better understand it, but we never got it.

    NEWSCASTER (8/7/98): A terrorist attack on Americans half a world away.

    NARRATOR: August 7, 1998: Al Qaeda strikes two U.S. embassies in east Africa.

    NEWSCASTER (8/7/98): The principal suspect is Osama bin Laden.

    NARRATOR: Both NSA and CIA are monitoring the Al Qaeda network, but neither gives any warning of the two precisely timed attacks.

    MICHAEL SCHEUER: Truth of the matter is, though, we had various reports from human intelligence sources within East Africa that there was an Al Qaeda operation brewing somewhere on the east coast of Africa. We could never really pin it down.

    NARRATOR: The embassy attacks are technically on American soil, so the FBI is called in and finds out about the house in Yemen.

    MARK ROSSINI (Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Supervisory Agent): I first learned about the communications center in Yemen when I got to Nairobi, after the embassy bombing there. That house was a focal point for operatives in the field to call in, that number would then contact bin Laden to pass along information and receive instruction back.

    NARRATOR: With only a handful of ways to pin down bin Laden's location -- reconnaissance satellites, spies on the ground and signals intelligence -- NSA's expertise is becoming increasingly important.

    ERIC HASELTINE: If you've only got very few people who are hiding out in a cave somewhere, you're looking for a very small target and very few targets, as opposed to a big army division or a big missile complex. So, imagery intelligence was of relatively less value. Human intelligence, in an environment where a terrorist network is all relatives, blood relatives, it becomes tougher to get information in that kind of network ...

    NEWSCASTER (10/12/00): An American ship is attacked in Yemen.

    NARRATOR: October 12, 2000: Al Qaeda strikes again. This time, it's an attack on the U.S.S. Cole, moored off the coast of Yemen.

    NEWSCASTER: Yemen's Port Authority had been penetrated, immediate suspect Osama bin Laden.

    NARRATOR: Once again, the U.S. intelligence community fails to give a timely warning of the attack. Frank Blanco, NSA's Executive Director at the time, says NSA was still stuck confronting terrorist tactics with Cold War technology.

    FRANK BLANCO (National Security Agency Executive Director, 1999 - 2001): You've got targets that are very mobile. They use a variety of communications, which are cell phones, laptops. NSA had to begin to think about, "What is the real technology that is necessary and how much is it going to cost and where do we get the money?" ...

    NARRATOR: By law, NSA was prohibited from spying on American soil without approval from a special court, created by FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ...

    ERIC HASELTINE: ... You may collect a lot of stuff, but you don't know what you've got. Really, the biggest technology challenge was how do you deal with volumes of information like that and find dots, connect dots and understand dots. That's the problem.

    NARRATOR: In late December, 1999, NSA finds one very important dot: it intercepts an alarming call to the house in Yemen, instructing two Al Qaeda foot soldiers to fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for what sounds like a terrorist summit. The foot soldiers are Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. This is the phone call that sets in motion the 9/11 attacks.

    JAMES BAMFORD: After picking up this critical call, NSA passed on their first names to the FBI and the CIA but not their last names. Nawaf's last name had been in the NSA's database for over a year, because of his association with bin Laden's operations center in Yemen, but apparently the NSA never looked it up.

    NARRATOR: The CIA does find al-Mihdhar's name in its database. They ask security agents to make a copy of his passport as he passes through a checkpoint in Dubai. When analysts at CIA headquarters see it, they are astonished to find a valid U.S. visa inside. Alec Station, the CIA's bin Laden unit, now has two FBI agents detailed to it, Doug Miller and Mark Rossini.

    MARK ROSSINI: Once they arrived in Kuala Lumpur, of course, the CIA requested the intelligence service over there in Malaysia to conduct surveillance of these subjects and find out as much as they can. They took photographs, followed them. And you read from that one of the individuals had a visa to come to the U.S.

    NARRATOR: Fearing an Al Qaeda terrorist may be headed to the U.S., the agents are determined to tell the FBI, but a CIA official will not allow it.

    MARK ROSSINI: I guess I was the more senior agent. So I went up to the individual that had the ticket on the Yemeni cell, the Yemeni operatives. And I said to her, I said, "What's going on? You know, we've got to tell the Bureau about this. These guys clearly are bad. One of them, at least, has a multiple-entry visa to the U.S. We've got to tell the FBI."

    And then she said to me, "No, it's not the FBI's case, not the FBI's jurisdiction."

    So I go tell Doug. And I'm like, "Doug, what can we do?" If we had picked up the phone and called the Bureau, I would have been violating the law. I would have broken the law. I would have been removed from the building that day. I would have had my clearances suspended, and I would be gone.

    JAMES BAMFORD: This is one of the most astonishing parts of the story. The CIA had FBI operatives working within their bin Laden unit, but when the FBI operatives found out that one, and possibly two, of the terrorists had visas to the United States, were heading for the United States, the CIA wouldn't let them tell their headquarters that they were coming. Only the FBI could have put out alerts to stop Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi if they tried to enter the United States.

    NARRATOR: January 15, 2000, Los Angeles International Airport: United Airlines Flight 2 arrives from Bangkok, where the CIA lost al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi's trail. They pass through U.S. Immigration undetected. Within two weeks they move into the anonymity of a San Diego suburb.

    MARK ROSSINI: The FBI put together this chronology as part of its investigation into the 9/11 attack. The timeline, the declassified copy, is the movements and the activities of the hijackers while they are in the U.S., hiding in plain sight.

    NARRATOR: They get drivers licenses in their own names. They use a local bank to pick up international wire transfers from a known Al Qaeda finance chief. Their telephone number is even listed in the San Diego white pages: Alhazmi Nawaf M 858-279-5919.

    JAMES BAMFORD: The CIA was forbidden from operating within the United States, and the FBI didn't know they were here, so the only way to track the terrorists was if NSA continued to monitor the conversations as they called back to the house in Yemen.

    NARRATOR: But nine days after al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar arrive in California, the NSA has a catastrophic failure.

    FRANK BLANCO: I remember getting a phone call on January 24, 2000, that began with, "We have a problem." NSA systems had actually stopped working. [How convenient, like running air defense war games on 9-11-2001.]

    NARRATOR: The most technologically advanced intelligence agency in the world, capable of monitoring millions of simultaneous conversations, is deaf.

    FRANK BLANCO: NSA was brain-dead. It took probably three to four, maybe even five days to bring everything back up the way it was.

    NARRATOR: It is unclear whether, during those five days, NSA misses any calls from the hijackers in San Diego. But what is certain, as the FBI chronology spells out, is that the hijackers waste no time settling into their new neighborhood.

    MARK ROSSINI: Here, as it says in the chronology: February 5, 2000: al-Mihdhar signed a lease to rent an apartment at 6401 Mount Ada Road, in San Diego.

    February 25 [2000]: Al-Mihdhar purchased a Toyota Corolla, in San Diego, California.

    February 28: records at Progressive Insurance Company verify Al-Mihdhar's insurance policy, number 604725921-0, Huggy Bear Insurance Corporation.

    March 20: the San Diego telephone number associated with Nawaf al-Hazmi made a call, which lasted 16 minutes, to Yemen.

    NARRATOR: That is one of many calls made from San Diego to bin Laden's operations center, the house in Yemen that NSA has been monitoring for over three years. But NSA would not pass on that information to any other intelligence agency. Eleanor Hill investigated NSA's role in 9/11 for Congress.

    ELEANOR HILL (Staff Director, United States Congress 9/11 Committee): We were very surprised to learn that, you know, they had this information. And if there are contacts from known terrorists in the United States with terrorist facilities abroad, that's exactly the kind of information our intelligence community needs to have. They didn't have it.

    MARK ROSSINI: You put the NSA intel and the FBI intel together, you have both sides of the conversation. So they come in, we follow them, find out where they're going; listen to their homes, listen to their conversations at their home, or cell phone, whatever; emails. The possibilities are endless once you're able to peer into someone's life.

    JAMES BAMFORD: Incredibly, the NSA never informed the FBI that these calls were coming from the United States, and we may never know why. No one from NSA will discuss it, and the 9/11 Commission never investigated it. They either didn't realize the two terrorists were calling from the United States, which is hard to believe because even I have caller I.D., which shows where calls are coming from, or what's more likely is that they ignored it because then they would have had to hand the contacts over to the FBI ...

    GENERAL MICHAEL HAYDEN (National Security Agency Director, 1999 - 2005): Let me put a fine point on this ...

    JAMES BAMFORD: But General Hayden knew that the law permitted the agency to eavesdrop on the terrorists without interruption if they entered the United States.

    MARK ROSSINI: You could link back who they were, their connection to bin Laden, the connection to the Yemeni house, et cetera. You could have gone to any court, any judge in the FISA court and say, "We want a FISA on that residence in San Diego."

    It would have been easy. And we would have surveilled them, and we would have learned more information. People who are going to watch this, they're going to say, "Oh, it's hindsight 20/20." But, no, I'm not talking hindsight 20/20. I'm talking basic, logical investigation.

    NARRATOR: Again, the FBI chronology, compiled after the 9/11 attacks, describes precisely how al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi begin training for their 9/11 operation.

    MARK ROSSINI: April 4, 2000: Nawaf al-Hazmi received one hour of introductory flight instruction from the National Air College, located at 3760 Glenn Curtis Road, San Diego.

    May 4: Khalid al-Mihdhar debit card purchase: two Jeppesen training kits.

    June 10, 2000: Al-Mihdhar departed U.S. via Lufthansa Flight 457 from Los Angeles, California to Frankfurt, Germany.

    NARRATOR: Khalid al-Mihdhar is heading home to see a newborn son. For the next 13 months he will live with his wife and baby in the house in Yemen, the house NSA is monitoring. He will even apply for a new U.S. visa, and, incredibly, he will get it.

    December 8, 2000: Hani Hanjour, another 9/11 hijacker, touches down in San Diego. Three days later he joins Nawaf al-Hazmi on a road trip to New Jersey, where the rest of the hijackers are assembling. Once more, the FBI chronology, compiled after the attacks, documents their five-month trip.

    MARK ROSSINI: March 1, 2001: Hanjour has eight hours of simulator training at Jet Tech.

    April 1 [2001]: Nawaf al-Hazmi received a speeding ticket and received a summons for failure to wear a seatbelt ...

    NARRATOR: June 21, 2001: a reporter from the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation interviews bin Laden's lieutenants in Afghanistan. They hint that a major attack may soon take place. U.S. forces in the Mideast are put on the highest alert.

    After the interview is released, NSA's traffic analysis detects a huge spike of threatening communications.

    ELEANOR HILL: There was a great anticipation that there was going to be an attack on U.S. interests by Al Qaeda ...

    MARK ROSSINI: As the chronology goes on:

    July 4, 2001: Al-Mihdhar entered the U.S. on Saudi Arabian Flight 53, via J.F.K., in New York City, using a B1 business visa and listing his intended address as the Marriot Hotel, New York City. That was the Marriot Hotel at the World Trade Center.

    NARRATOR: To make final preparations for their attack, al-Hazmi, al-Mihdhar and Hanjour drive south on the New Jersey Turnpike. They avoid staying in large cities. They avoid hotel chains with computerized registration. Instead, the crew drives into the Maryland town of Laurel and checks in to the low-budget Valencia Motel. By now they have their final assignment, targeting the Pentagon.

    JAMES BAMFORD: Throughout their whole journey, whether they were in San Diego or they were in New Jersey or they were in Laurel, Maryland, they were communicating back and forth to the bin Laden ops center in Yemen. NSA was listening in on the ops center, recording the conversations and then transcribing them. But the NSA never alerted any other agency that the terrorists were in the United States and moving across the country, towards Washington.

    NARRATOR: On the face of it, Laurel, Maryland, looks like a typical Washington suburb.

    JAMES BAMFORD: What's very different is that this town happens to be right next door to NSA's headquarters.

    NARRATOR: While NSA has detected a spike in communications threatening an imminent attack, Bin Laden's hit men have taken refuge right in their backyard.

    MARK ROSSINI: August 18 [2001]: Hani Hanjour rented mailbox number 433 ...

    9/6/2001: Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al-Midhar, Hani Hanjour: Gold's Gym, Greenbelt, Maryland.

    JAMES BAMFORD: The hijackers seemed to blend in very well. Even when they shopped for improvised weapons for the hijackings, they shopped in a Target Store just down the street from NSA. No one thought what they were doing was suspicious.

    So here you have these two groups of people: one, the terrorists who were plotting the largest terrorist operation in U.S. history. And you have NSA, which had been listening to some of their phone calls for years. And now they are living side by side, neither of them knowing that the other is there.

    What was really tragic is that if General Hayden had looked out his eighth floor window, west, towards Laurel, just two miles away, he could have almost seen the motel in which the hijackers were living. I mean, it's one of the biggest ironies in the history of American intelligence.

    NARRATOR: On the day of the 9/11 attacks, most of NSA's employees are ordered to leave their headquarters. Afraid that NSA might be another target, some of the few who remain move from their upstairs offices to lower floors. Others tack up black curtains to block their windows. They seem to have no idea what their own agency and the CIA both knew but had said nothing about ...

    MARK ROSSINI: I can't come up with a rational reason why I didn't break the rules, pick up the phone, and tell that the hijackers, or really bad guys, are in the U.S. And I don't know if I'll ever be able to come to terms with that. I don't know. I really don't know.

    MICHAEL HAYDEN: On the 13th of September ... I told the workforce, there are going to be a lot of pressures to push ... toward security ...

    NARRATOR: Those pressures aren't long in coming. When Hayden is asked by Vice President Cheney what more NSA can do, he answers, "Not much, without breaking FISA laws," ...

    Three weeks after the attacks, President Bush bypasses those laws, by secretly issuing an executive order: NSA will no longer have to worry about obtaining warrants to eavesdrop inside America ...

    NARRATOR: But to make the new program work, Hayden must finally bring the National Security Agency into the modern age. The backbone of global communications had moved from easily intercepted satellite signals in space, to fiber optic cables buried under the ocean. To understand the challenge NSA faces, NOVA follows one email message as it circles the globe.

    In Malaysia's capital city of Kuala Lumpur, James Bamford is researching Al Qaeda's communications network. In a busy cafe, he types out an email message to NOVA's producers, in Boston. Bamford's message is harmless but contains the kinds of keywords and phrases that NSA supercomputers are programmed to detect, phrases like "blow up the White House," "destroy the Capitol building," "biological warfare."

    When he presses "send," Bamford's message is instantly mixed in with dozens of other messages on the same wireless network, then routed to a large telecommunications center in the city. There, voice calls are converted from analog to digital signals and streamed, as pulses of light, through a fiber optic cable that dives into the South China Sea, off Malaysia's Coast.

    Along the way, Bamford's message is merged with thousands of phone calls, emails and faxes, in dozens of languages, from hundreds of Asian cities. The jumble of data crosses under the Pacific Ocean at the speed of light.

    Just five hundredths of a second after the message was sent, it comes ashore, six feet under this lonely stretch of California beach, near Morro Bay. There, beneath screeching gulls and surfers in wet suits, Asian communications stream in. A few miles inland, the message passes through a small, nondescript building near San Luis Obispo.

    JAMES BAMFORD: If you want to tap into international communications, it seems like the perfect place is San Luis Obispo. That's where 80 percent of all communications from Asia enters the United States.

    NARRATOR: But under NSA's new orders, they don't tap in here. Instead the cables run straight from San Luis Obispo to a building in San Francisco.

    The building, at 611 Folsom Street, is AT&T's regional switching center. All the international traffic snakes up to the seventh floor, and it is here that a crucial change takes place. The seventh floor is also where AT&T's domestic traffic is routed - a cacophony of millions of conversations: cries and laughter, hopes and dreams, emails, faxes, bank statements, hotel reservations, love poems and death notices, all sent by people from inside the United States. The only thing they have in common is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

    NARRATOR: In 2003, an AT&T engineer notices that the cables on the seventh floor have been rerouted, and a mirror image of all the traffic, both domestic and international, is now being sent to a secret room one floor below.

    MARK KLEIN (Former AT&T Technician): It was obvious that this was some kind of NSA installation. I figured out that what they were doing was a blind wholesale copying of the entire internet data flow. And this meant randomly scooping up huge amounts of purely domestic data, as well as international data.

    BRIAN REID (Internet Systems Consortium): When I hear the word wiretap, I've always imagined some person in a trench coat and a black hat and sunglasses, skulking around after dark, secretly tapping into a wire and hoping that no one notices. But what they've done in that facility is by full light of day, they've cut the fiber optic cables and then reconnected them in a splitter. What they have built is a facility that is capable of monitoring absolutely all data communication through it.

    NARRATOR: Brian Reid, a communications expert, has examined AT&T's internal documents that Klein provided. They show that the secret room contains electronic equipment specifically designed for signals intelligence, equipment programmed to sift through millions of messages, searching for keywords like the ones Bamford sent from Kuala Lumpur.

    BRIAN REID: The most curious piece of equipment in that room is a completely flexible monitoring system that can be told on a moment's notice, "Please monitor all conversations that contain the word hummingbird. Please monitor all conversation that goes to Mobile, Alabama. Please monitor all conversations that contain both the word hummingbird and go to Mobile, Alabama."

    NARRATOR: NSA has turned its giant ear to listen in on America.

    BRIAN REID: Based on everything I know, I believe that there are between 15 and 30 of these secret rooms around the U.S.

    NARRATOR: The post-9/11 rules authorized NSA to listen in to Americans both inside and outside the U.S., without any special court approval.

    ADRIENNE KINNE: After 9/11, we were essentially put in charge of a new system which intercepted satellite phone communications in Iraq and Afghanistan and surrounding areas.

    NARRATOR: Calls and data from the Middle East and North Africa are collected and relayed to a listening post, tucked in the hills, outside Augusta, Georgia. As a voice interceptor, Adrienne Kinne listened to some of those calls. Assigned by the Army to NSA, she was called back to active duty after 9/11.

    ADRIENNE KINNE: For a voice interceptor, the computer system would essentially pop up, and it would be very similar, I would say, to iTunes, where you could just go through and click on various conversations, and it would have the phone number, the time up, time down. We were told that we were to listen to all conversations that were intercepted, to include those of Americans and other allied countries.

    NARRATOR: Some of those conversations are personal, some even intimate.

    ADRIENNE KINNE: And there was no directive to say that when you had conversations like this come through, that you should delete them. That's what we did when I was on active duty in '94 to '98. We would never collect on an American. I had a real problem with the fact that people were listening to it and I was listening to it. The time that that interceptor, that voice interceptor, is spending listening to conversations in the States, that's time that they can't spend looking or listening for actual conversations related to terrorist organizations.

    NARRATOR: As NSA began tapping in to fiber optic cables as well as satellites, information began to flood in like never before.

    According to a Congressional study in 2008, some intelligence data sources grow at a rate of four petabytes, that's four quadrillion bytes - per month, the equivalent of 12 filing cabinets of new information for every American citizen, every year. But what does it all mean? ...

    DAVID MURFEE FAULK (Former National Security Agency Voice Interceptor): I decided, a couple weeks after 9/11, to enlist, and go do Arabic. And I hoped to go hunt Osama at that time.

    NARRATOR: David Murfee Faulk was one of the thousands of new linguists trained to work in the trenches of NSA's signals intelligence operations.

    DAVID MURFEE FAULK: NSA spends literally billions of dollars to obtain signals, to process them, move them from place to place without people knowing, to get them to an end user, a translator who can make some sense of them and write up a transcription.

    What I found was a large number of translators simply not meeting minimal requirements in language skills, basically running some very expensive, very complicated equipment, without the kind of knowledge or context that they would need to do that properly.

    NARRATOR: Before 9/11, the budget for U.S. intelligence was $26.7 billion. By 2008 that budget nearly doubled. NSA's portion is secret, but believed to be over a third, more than the departments of Treasury, Interior or Labor. Its ranks have swelled to over 35,000 ...

    JAMES BAMFORD: The problem with reporting on a story like this is that you're really searching in the dark. There's no way to sit on the outside and really know what's going on on the inside ...

    Without an official inquiry, some questions can't be answered: Why did the NSA fail to act or pass on information that could have warned of 9/11? Why didn't it share information with the CIA and FBI that could possibly have stopped the plot? [Was the NSA muzzled by the kleptocrats in power at the time? How eager was the CIA to stop a bin Laden attack? Did certain forces want a Reichstag Fire or another Pearl Harbor?]

    As for the question of whether we are any safer now than we were before, WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SAFE THE WAY IT WAS. NSA had all the information that it needed to stop the hijackers, and it already had laws that allowed it to track them.

    So now, with NSA's new rules, with all the money it's spent, with all the data it collects, is NSA doing a better job or is its job that much harder because it's just being flooded with data? How much information is enough, and won't too much information end up making the world more dangerous? ...''

    For more 9/11 timeline, see

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 7-25-10,

    by Mark Mazzetti, Jane Perlez, Eric Schmitt and Andrew W. Lehren, The New York Times

    ``Pakistan spies linked to Taliban in WikiLeaks report

    Americans fighting the war in Afghanistan have long harbored strong suspicions that Pakistan's military spy service has guided the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand, even as Pakistan receives more than $1 billion a year from Washington for its help combating the militants, according to a trove of secret military field reports made public Sunday.

    The documents, made available by an organization called WikiLeaks, suggest that Pakistan, ostensibly an ally of the United States, allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders.

    Taken together, the reports indicate that American soldiers on the ground are inundated with accounts of a network of Pakistani assets and collaborators that runs from the Pakistani tribal belt along the Afghan border, through southern Afghanistan and all the way to the capital, Kabul ... Many of the reports rely on sources that the military rated as reliable ...

    The records also contain firsthand accounts of American anger at Pakistan's unwillingness to confront insurgents who launched attacks near Pakistani border posts, moved openly by the truckload across the frontier, and retreated to Pakistani territory for safety ...''


    The American Federation of Teachers, the United Auto Workers, the AFL-CIO in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Vermont, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Operators of America, and the International Longshoremen's Union have all passed resolutions that the US end its war in Afghanistan.

    For more on this kleptocratic conspiracy and the Unocal pipeline, see


    CNN Transcript of LARRY KING LIVE, 7-26-10

    ``U.S. Afghanistan War Secrets Leaked

    LARRY KING, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, Afghanistan bombshell, leaked documents ... [show] America's failures and mistakes and a growing threat of the Taliban exposed in 92,000 secret reports.

    The man whose Web site, WikiLeaks, published the classified documents for the world to see is here. Did his actions damage national security? Will they change the course of the war? Could someone be charged with treason?

    KING: Good evening.

    We welcome from London, Julian Assange. He is the editor and chief of WikiLeaks.

    The leaked documents cover the period from January 2004 to December 2009. CNN has not independently confirmed their authenticity.

    We'll talk with Julian in a moment. First, let's check in with our own Nic Robertson. He's CNN's senior international correspondent, also in London.

    Give us some of the key takeaways, if you will, Nic, from this massive release?

    NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, some of the things indicate that perhaps the war is going worse, or grimmer than officials would often tell us. For example, Taliban have been firing heat-seeking surface-to-air-missiles at NATO and U.S. helicopters. We hear that the civilian death toll is often higher than is reported by military troops in the field.

    There is a shadowy covert operation going on to kill Taliban leaders, a shoot-to-kill by a group called Task Force 373. That's something we had a lot of details about before as well. And strong, damning allegations in these documents that Pakistan's intelligence services, the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence directorate], has been helping the Taliban in Afghanistan kill U.S. troops and others, Larry ...

    KING: Also in London is Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

    Julian, in a nutshell, what is WikiLeaks?

    JULIAN ASSANGE, FOUNDER, WIKILEAKS: WikiLeaks is an international public service that helps whistleblowers and journalist get the press material out to the public. Over the past 4 1/2 year, we've published an enormous range of sensitive documents from different countries around the world, which have gone on to have significant political effects.

    KING: Do you just get it and put it out or do you authenticate it?

    ASSANGE: No, we authenticate everything that's coming. To our knowledge, we've never been wrong. And there's no allegation by the rest of the press that we've been wrong. We've never lost a source through the process that we go through. We go through a high minimization process to try and notify affected parties or to slightly redact.

    KING: What was the goal? What do you hope to accomplish?

    ASSANGE: In general, we have seen from the human rights community and from the best journalism that lasting reforms that tend to push human rights come about as a result of finding material that is being kept secret by organizations, because they fear exposure. So by selectively looking for material that is being kept secret, we're able to selectively induce reforms that tend to have a positive human rights effect ...

    KING: Do you always know the sources?

    ASSANGE: We usually always do not know the sources. We are specialized in, in fact, not knowing who our sources are. You know, we specialize in, instead of verifying sources, verifying the documents themselves. That is how we've been able to protect our sources over the past four years is by trying to not understand who they are but rather just concentrating on the material that they bring to us ...

    ROBERTSON: ... If you don't mind, Larry, I'd like to ask Mr. Assange a question here if I may.

    KING: Sure.

    ROBERTSON: What I find interesting is, journalists often turning, Mr. Assange, to the Internet, to social networking sites, to get answers to their questions about current issues. But here, you're almost turning to the professionals, the journalists to pick their brains to pass on documents and say, OK, over to you. Is this some radical change? Is this -- is this something that you see as new?

    ASSANGE: ... There's 91,000 reports and some of them are quite technical. It really does need a good team to go through it.

    So, our organization, and small organizations are very successful, but we just needed more people who are experts, people who have been stationed in Afghanistan, people who have been stationed in Karachi. So, we put together this coalition between "The New York Times," "Der Spiegel" and "The Guardian" ...

    KING: ... Julian, you said that these leaked documents contain evidence of war crimes by United States forces. What kind of evidence?

    ASSANGE: Yes ... We see an incident in August 2006 where U.S. forces in one report killed 181, what they say are insurgents. There's one wounded and zero captured. And those sorts of reports that have this sort of flavor of a lot of people killed, but no people taken prisoner and no people left wounded, gives some sort of deeply suspicious feeling about what happened in these events ...

    KING: Julian remains. We'll be joined by Daniel Ellsberg in a moment. Mr. Ellsberg ignited that firestorm in the early '70s, leaking a top secret story about the course of the war in Vietnam, leaking top secret documents.

    Daniel Ellsberg joins us after this ...

    KING: And we are joined by Daniel Ellsberg. He started that firestorm in 1971 by leaking to "The New York Times" and other newspapers, a top secret study of U.S. decision-making in Vietnam. His story is the focus of the Oscar-nominated documentary you just saw a clip, "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers." It is now out on DVD.

    All right, Daniel, what do you make of Julian Assange? He has said that the nearest analog to what WikiLeaks has done is your release of the Pentagon papers. Do you agree?

    DANIEL ELLSBERG, LEAKED "PENTAGON PAPERS" DURING VIETNAM: I see the same -- I see what he sees. There hasn't been an unauthorized disclosure of this magnitude since the Pentagon papers 39 years ago. I've been waiting for it for a long time.

    There should have been the Pentagon papers of Iraq and a lot of other places. And I wish there had been Pentagon papers of Afghanistan earlier than this. But better late than never, the war is still on. The Congress is just being challenged now to vote $33 billion more to a war that's cost $300 billion, in a war where the opponent we're fighting is stronger than it's ever been before. So the analogy to the war I was helping to expose is very close.

    KING: How do you respond to the White House's assertion that this leak puts U.S. forces in danger?

    ELLSBERG: You know, the people who put U.S. forces in harm's way, 100,000 men and women are -- in Afghanistan, are the last two administrations, but particularly this one ... with a decision to escalate the war ... I think it takes a lot of -- I don't know what to say -- chutzpah for people who made the reckless, foolish, and I would say, irresponsible decisions to escalate a war that I'm sure they know internally is as hopeless as these new revelations reveal it to be.

    And yet, they're preferring to send men and women into harm's way to die and to kill civilians and others -- in a war that I think they perceive is endless and hopeless, rather than to face the accusations of generals that they have ... lost a war that the generals claimed is winnable ...

    I'd say that was exactly the same as the boss I served in 1965, Lyndon Johnson. He didn't want General Johnson, the chief of staff of the Army, and others to resign if he didn't give them enough of what they were asking for. I think President Obama has made the same terrible error.

    KING: Julian, in June, Daniel Ellsberg told "The Daily Beast" that he believed you, Julian, were in some danger of bodily harm. Do you believe that, Julian? Do you think you're in danger?

    ASSANGE: Well, we've taken certainly security precautions to make sure I'm not in danger of bodily harm, or our other volunteers or employees. But there was a period early on where some private signals coming out of the U.S. administration were not too pleasant ...

    KING: Julian, thanks.

    ELLSBERG: Larry, could I comment on that?

    KING: Yes, Daniel, you're staying with us. We'll have you comment.

    Julian Assange is the founder of WikiLeaks. We thank him for being with us.

    Has national security been compromised? We'll talk about it next with the panel and Daniel Ellsberg will remain. Don't go away ...

    KING: We're back with Daniel Ellsberg.

    And joining us: Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst and best-selling author. His books include "The Osama bin Laden I know." And Michael Hastings, contributor editor of "Rolling Stone." His article, "The Runaway General," led to the ouster of General Stanley McChrystal as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

    We'll have Daniel Ellsberg make the point he was going to make in a moment. But, first, Peter Bergen, what do you make of all of this?

    PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think there's been a lot of hype about all of this. If you think about 92,000 so- called secret documents in which there's almost no new information ...

    There's only really one item that's really new, which is the Taliban using heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles. But, you know, the other big story, the Taliban is being supported by Pakistan's military intelligence service, well, that story has been true since 1994. What's really the headline in that? ...

    [The kleptocrats will continue to waste American lives and money despite the fact that the Russians are not going to let them build the Unocal pipeline. Instead the Russians are going to pay us back for the Stinger missliles we gave Osama bin Laden to shoot down Russian helicopters in the 1980's.

    For more on this kleptocratic conspiracy and the Unocal pipeline, see]

    KING: Michael, what are your thoughts?

    MICHAEL HASTINGS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, ROLLING STONE: Well, I think the question is, in terms of the national security issue -- in the long term, what's the worst for national security, WikiLeaks or bad U.S. policy? And I think the answer is bad U.S. policy. And in so much as this WikiLeaks disclosure sparks debate about some of the obvious flaws in our Afghan policy, I think that's a positive development.

    KING: All right, Daniel Ellsberg, you were going to say at the end of the last segment when you wanted to tack on to what the --

    ELLSBERG: Larry, if I could follow on --

    KING: Yes.

    ELLSBERG: Let me rather follow on to what Peter Bergen said for a moment there. The Pentagon papers actually did reveal a number of things, but one of the major lessons that I think is very comparable to what we're hearing ... was what was NOT in those 7,000 pages of top secret documents ...

    What was not there was a good reason for being in Vietnam or for escalating or for continuing the war, or any reason to believe that we'd do better in the future than we've been doing for the past 23 years.

    I suspect from what we've seen so far, and the correspondence of that with leaks from the General Eikenberry, the ambassador there, whose secret cables were leaked in January and revealed that his vision was pretty much what these ... papers are showing for the last six years.

    I think you won't find in those 92,000 pages any reason, any basis for believing that we're going to be more successful in the next nine years or nine months or whatever --

    KING: Peter --

    ELLSBERG: -- than we were in the last nine months. And that's something for the Congress, I think, to consider very strongly before they vote for money for this war.

    KING: Peter, is that true? And Peter, do you have concerns about WikiLeaks?

    BERGEN: No, I don't. I mean, I think the more information we have about these very important matters the better. But, you know, first of all, Danny Ellsberg did the nation a tremendous service by leaking the Pentagon papers to "The New York Times."

    But, you know, we're not reliving history in Afghanistan. The North Vietnamese army was 500,000 men strong. It was supported by the Soviet Union and Maoist China. The Taliban is maybe 25,000 fighters on a good day. They're a relatively small insurgency.

    It's not that the [Taliban] -- you know, it's not that they're so strong, it's that the Afghan government and the Afghan military are relatively weak ...

    KING: All right, Michael Hastings, does the leak put forces at risk? Michael?

    HASTINGS: I don't think so. I think, you know, WikiLeaks made a smart move by going to "The New York Times" and other media outlets who have established reputations with dealing with high-level security issues on things like this.

    I think one of the most interesting things about this is something that Peter said. Many of these secrets are not really secret. In fact, they -- they confirm a narrative that many journalists and others have been talking about for years.

    So the question is, well, then why is it secret to begin with? The Afghans know about civilians being killed in Afghanistan. The Pakistanis know about ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence directorate], involvement in Afghanistan. The American soldiers on the ground know about civilian killings and the Pakistanis' involvement across the border.

    So the question is, why is this secret? Who's being kept in the dark? And I think the answer to that is they're trying to keep the American public in the dark about a lot of this stuff.

    KING: Daniel, do you understand why Mr. Gibbs, representing the president, is so upset?

    ELLSBERG: Well, he's very upset in part because he's working for a president who has indicted more people now for leaks than all previous presidents put together ...

    But, you know, in terms ... of the relation to Vietnam, the crucial thing that I think even these relatively low-level, field-level secret documents, compared to the top-secret ones in the Pentagon papers, what they both reveal is this:

    Why it is that despite the fact that the Taliban is not popular in that country, they get stronger every year as we put more troops in? That's a prospect that I think should give Congress a very great reason ... against sending more troops over there ...

    KING: Let me get a break. When we come back, I want to ask Peter and Michael and Daniel, what should be secret? In times of conflict, is anything secret? After this ...

    KING: Back to secrecy. Michael, what should be secret? Many complain that your story shouldn't have been told. What should be secret in times of conflict?

    HASTINGS: Well, I think clearly there are operational details that as a reporter you would never report that are going to actually put U.S. troops in harm's way, but I think unfortunately the government has a tendency to classify things not to prevent Americans from being in harm's way, but to prevent embarrassment for themselves. I think that's the major issue here ...

    KING: You agree, Daniel? Certain-- certain secret things are secret?

    ELLSBERG: ... I agree that there are things that should be kept secret. I think it was ... wrong for the Bush administration to reveal the name of Valerie Plame, the covert operator who was working against proliferation, ... just to punish her husband for telling the truth ...

    [July 14, 2003: Columnist Robert Novak outs the wife [Valerie Plame] of retired ambassador Joseph Wilson as a CIA agent.]

    The fact is that when it comes to judgment as to what should be secret and what should not be secret, Julian Assange's judgment has been pretty good so far. I don't think he's made any mistakes that I've seen so far as in that video of the Apache helicopter that they kept wrongly secret for years.

    KING: Yes.

    ELLSBERG: And I don't give the benefit of the doubt to the people in the government who decided to keep that video secret and to keep these cables secret ...

    KING: Peter, as a journalist, are you comfortable with how WikiLeaks operates?

    BERGEN: Yes. I mean, they do seem to be acting responsibly. But just, you know, this whole discussion of secretly, you know, where are eight -- according to the "Washington Post's" recent excellent investigation, there are 800,000 Americans with top secret clearances.

    The real problem here is this over-classification of everything. It's not just simply the impulse to kind of hide things, but it's also just a bureaucratic impulse to make everything secret ...

    ELLSBERG: But it also raises the question, why it was so urgent to keep it secret?

    KING: Michael, is the administration over reacting? ...

    HASTINGS: Well, I -- I think they have -- I think there must be this sense, in fact there -- I know there is this sense that the war is sort of unraveling before their eyes. It's been a very difficult summer for them ...

    KING: All right. Michael and Daniel remain. Peter, thanks for joining us. And when we come back, General Wesley Clark and Anthony Shaffer will join us. Don't go away.

    KING: Before General Clark and Anthony Shaffer join Daniel Ellsberg and Michael Hastings, let's go to Anderson Cooper who will host "AC 360" at the top of the hour.

    What's up?

    ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We have breaking news tonight, Larry. BP CEO Tony Hayward, remember he said famously that he wanted his life back? Well, he's reportedly about to get his wish.

    The board of BP has met. Hayward is said to be losing his job, but walking away with a compensation package worth more than $18 million.

    This while lives and livelihoods in the Gulf are teetering on the edge. No golden parachutes for businesses and businessmen there. Just worrying about aggravation. Worrying and -- waiting for compensation claims filed with BP. Those have gone unanswered according to Ken Feinberg, the man now in charge ...

    KING: That's Anderson Cooper, "AC 360," 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific.

    Joining us now, General Wesley Clark, United States Army retired, former NATO supreme allied commander, and senior fellow at UCLA's Burkle Center for International Relations.

    And Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, external communications director for the Center for Advanced Defense Studies and a U.S. Army Reserve officer. He's a military intelligence and operations expert and he served two combat tours in Afghanistan.

    All right, General Clark. What do you make of all of this?

    GEN. WESLEY CLARK, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Well, a lot of documents, a lot of low-level stuff. Some of it is accurate, some of it is inaccurate. All of it is dated. If you analyze it, maybe you'll learn something about U.S. operational methods and communications techniques ...

    KING: Anthony Shaffer, what do you think of WikiLeaks and the whole thing?

    ANTHONY SHAFFER, FMR. MILITARY INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: Well, at first off, if you want a good narrative of the war, you can buy my book in 30 days at the end of August, "Operation America" which covers exactly all the issues which we talked about today and was cleared through an Army clearance process ... And as you might recall, I was a whistleblower, and I testified in 2005, 2006 ...

    KING: How do you respond, Daniel?

    ELLSBERG: I have to say that we don't know who the source was for sure. The charges have been brought against Private Bradley Manning. And we have secondhand reports of his motives that he revealed to a hacker who turned him in.

    Based on those, I do see an analogy to the situation I was in 40 years ago. Yes, there are lots of differences and what I had access to was different from in many ways from what this is.

    But what Private Manning ... said at that time and what's been repeated in his chat logs was that he was ready to go to prison for life. Even be executed, he said, in order to get out information that he thought was horrific. He's not by the way referring entirely just to what we've been seeing so far.

    What he talked then was a great deal more to come, and we have yet to see that. And he said ...

    KING: General --

    ELLSBERG: -- in that state of mind that I was in for 40 years, so I think he was acting patriotically ...

    KING: General Clark, what's the fear? What -- what are you worried about in the release of this?

    CLARK: What am I worried about? Well, first of all, I think when you trust people with classified documents, they're serving in uniform, they should serve their country loyally. Everybody who serves in the military takes an oath to support and uphold the Constitution of the United States, and the chain of command ...

    KING: Michael Hastings, doesn't General Clark have a point? You take an oath, live by it.

    HASTINGS: Well, I think if Private Manning turns out to have been motivated by principles and has stood on his principles and has made this -- you know, basically thrown his life away for his principle, that to me is very honorable ...

    KING: Daniel, quickly, does he have a good point?

    ELLSBERG: You know, we've been talking about oaths here, actually General Clark and Colonel Shaffer and I and every member of Congress, and every official of the government took an oath not to the secrecy system, not to the commander in chief, not to the president, when we were civilians, but an oath to uphold, support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies domestic and foreign ...

    And I think that many people who kept their mouths shut when we committed aggression, as I see it, in Iraq ... did not observe that oath as they should have ...''


    NEWS ARTICLE from The New York Times, Associated Press, 8-19-10

    ``Russia moves to bolster Afghan economic ties

    Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev [meet] on Wednesday [8-18-10] at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, southern Russia ...

    MOSCOW -- Twenty years after the last Russian soldier walked out of Afghanistan, Moscow is gingerly pushing its way back into the country with business deals and diplomacy, and promises of closer ties to come.

    Russia is eager to cooperate on economic matters in part by reviving Soviet-era public works, its president, Dmitry Medvedev, said Wednesday during a summit meeting with the leaders of Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan, the second such four-way meeting organized by Russia in the past year.

    In fact, Russia has already begun a broad push into Afghan deal-making, negotiating to refurbish more than 140 Soviet-era installations, like hydroelectric stations, bridges, wells and irrigation systems, in deals that could be worth more than $1 billion ...

    Studies by U.S. geologists have indicated Afghanistan is ripe for a potentially profitable mining boom, and others are already piling in. The China Metallurgical Group, for example, has already agreed to invest $3 billion in a copper mine south of Kabul ...

    Medvedev offered the Pakistani president, Asif Ali Zardari, support in dealing with the severe floods devastating his country, but his focus was clearly on the Afghan president.''


    [According to Wikileaks, elements of the Pakistani intelligence services are stabbing us in the back; but is it possible that elements of American intelligence services have been protecting Osama bin Laden before, during, and after 9-11-2001?

    And here are the people for whom Americans are dying to bring freedom and democracy to Afghanistan:]

    NEWS ARTICLE from The New York Times, 8-16-10


    ``Afghan couple stoned to death by crowd that included relatives

    KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Taliban on Sunday ordered their first public executions by stoning since their fall from power nine years ago, [2001] killing a young couple who had eloped, according to Afghan officials and a witness.

    The punishment was carried out by hundreds of the victims' neighbors in a village in northern Kunduz province, according to Nadir Khan, 40, a local farmer and Taliban sympathizer, who was interviewed by telephone. Even family members were involved, both in the stoning and in tricking the couple into returning after they had fled.

    Khan said that as a Taliban mullah prepared to read the judgment of a religious court, the lovers, a 25-year-old man named Khayyam and a 19-year-old woman named Siddiqa, defiantly confessed in public to their relationship.

    "They said, 'We love each other no matter what happens,' " Khan said.

    Khayyam had a wife and two young children, but Afghan men are legally allowed to marry four women. Siddiqa was engaged to marry a relative of Khayyam's but was unwilling to do so, according to Khan ...

    Perhaps most worrisome were signs of support for the action from mainstream religious authorities in Afghanistan. The head of the Ulema Council in Kunduz province, Mawlawi Abdul Yaqub, interviewed by telephone, said Monday that stoning to death was the appropriate punishment for an illegal sexual relationship ...

    And less than a week earlier, the national Ulema Council brought together 350 religious scholars in a meeting with government religious officials, who issued a joint statement Aug. 10 [2010] calling for more punishment under Shariah law, apparently referring to stoning, amputations and lashings ...

    The couple eloped to Kunar province, in eastern Afghanistan, staying with distant relatives, but family members persuaded them to return to their village, promising to allow them to marry. Once back in Kunduz, however, they were seized by the Taliban, who convened local mullahs from surrounding villages for a religious court.

    After the Taliban proclaimed the sentence, Siddiqa, dressed in the head-to-toe Afghan burqa, and Khayyam were encircled by the male-only crowd in the bazaar. Taliban activists began stoning them first, then villagers joined in until they killed first Siddiqa and then Khayyam, Khan said. No women were allowed to attend, he said.

    Khan estimated that about 200 villagers participated in the executions, including Khayyam's father and brother, and Siddiqa's brother, as well as other relatives, with a larger crowd of onlookers who did not take part.

    "People were very happy seeing this," Khan maintained, saying the crowd was festive and cheered during the stoning ...

    Time magazine focused widespread indignation on Afghanistan recently by putting on its cover a picture of an 18-year-old woman from Oruzgan province whose nose and ears were cut off by her Taliban husband after she had fled her child marriage to him ...''

    Top -- Home

    OP ED from the NY TIMES, 8-8-10, by Paul Krugman

    ``America Goes Dark

    The lights are going out all over America -- literally. Colorado Springs has made headlines with its desperate attempt to save money by turning off a third of its street lights, but similar things are either happening or being contemplated across the nation, from Philadelphia to Fresno.

    Meanwhile, a country that once amazed the world with its visionary investments in transportation, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, is now in the process of unpaving itself: in a number of states, local governments are breaking up roads they can no longer afford to maintain, and returning them to gravel.

    And a nation that once prized education -- that was among the first to provide basic schooling to all its children -- is now cutting back. Teachers are being laid off; programs are being canceled; in Hawaii, the school year itself is being drastically shortened. And all signs point to even more cuts ahead ... The federal government ... could and should be offering aid to local governments, to protect the future of our infrastructure and our children.

    But Washington is providing only a trickle of help, and even that grudgingly. We must place priority on reducing the deficit, say Republicans and `centrist' Democrats. And then, virtually in the next breath, they declare that we must preserve tax cuts for the very affluent, at a budget cost of $700 billion over the next decade.

    In effect, a large part of our political class is showing its priorities: given the choice between asking the richest 2 percent or so of Americans to go back to paying the tax rates they paid during the Clinton-era boom, or allowing the nation's foundations to crumble -- literally in the case of roads, figuratively in the case of education -- they're choosing the latter.

    It's a disastrous choice in both the short run and the long run. In the short run, those state and local cutbacks are a major drag on the economy, perpetuating devastatingly high unemployment.

    It's crucial to keep state and local government in mind when you hear people ranting about runaway government spending under President Obama. Yes, the federal government is spending more, although not as much as you might think. But state and local governments are cutting back ...

    For all the talk of a failed stimulus, if you look at government spending as a whole you see hardly any stimulus at all. And with federal spending now trailing off, while big state and local cutbacks continue, we're going into reverse.

    But isn't keeping taxes for the affluent low also a form of stimulus? Not so you'd notice. When we save a schoolteacher's job, that unambiguously aids employment; when we give millionaires more money instead, there's a good chance that most of that money will just sit idle.

    And what about the economy's future? Everything we know about economic growth says that a well-educated population and high-quality infrastructure are crucial. Emerging nations are making huge efforts to upgrade their roads, their ports and their schools. Yet in America we're going backward.

    How did we get to this point? It's the logical consequence of three decades of antigovernment rhetoric, rhetoric that has convinced many voters that a dollar collected in taxes is always a dollar wasted, that the public sector can't do anything right ...

    So the end result of the long campaign against government is that we've taken a disastrously wrong turn. America is now on the unlit, unpaved road to nowhere.''


    HARVARD MAGAZINE, July-August 2010, by Jonathan Shaw

    ``After Our Bubble

    Saving more. Consuming less. Paying down debts. Making sacrifices. Most Americans have not experienced austerity in a long time, so the decade ahead may come as a shock ... Be happy if all that is the only price this country must pay as part of the financial hangover from the party that began in 2001 ...

    "People talk about the declining role of the U.S. in the world economy," says Boas professor of international economics Richard Cooper, but at the moment, "It is hard to find a big economy that is not in the same boat." ...

    To err on the conservative side in papers he has written about global financial imbalances (in which foreigners' "excess savings" end up being loaned to American consumers at low interest rates), Cooper uses the U.S. share of gross world product (GWP), which stood at about 27 percent in 2006-2007 ... Foreign investment in the United States now stands at just 12 percent, not 27 percent (which would reflect the U.S. share of GWP) ...

    Another gauge of the U.S. imbalance in trade and capital flows with the rest of the world is the current account deficit, an annual measure of the amount by which consumption exceeds production. In 2006, the U.S. current account deficit (CAD) reached 6 percent of GDP [Gross Domestic Product], a level most economists felt was unsustainable. Cooper disagreed then and still does ...

    The willingness of foreigners to lend Americans the money that funded U.S. consumption habits clearly played a part in keeping this country's interest rates low and, by extension, in fueling the housing bubble. [But] Cooper thinks that mass euphoria -- psychological factors -- combined with a "lax or totally absent regulatory framework," played a more important role ... [in other words, it was a kleptocrat paradise.]

    Stanfield professor of international peace Jeffry Frieden has a ... different view ... "The U.S. is in the midst of a classic foreign-debt crisis," he says. "Between 2001 and 2007, we borrowed between half a trillion and a trillion dollars each year from the rest of the world. Over the course of those years we built up about five trillion dollars in new foreign debt." ...

    No one likes austerity measures. And often "the people who benefited from the boom are not those who are asked to make the biggest sacrifices during the adjustment period," Frieden points out.

    In the United States, two-thirds of the income growth during the boom of 2001-2007 went to the top 1 percent of the population. "That is about a 60 percent increase in the average income of that segment of the population, while there was a 6 percent increase for the rest of the population," he explains.

    "It is not that things were bad for the rest of us, but they were a whole lot better for the very wealthy. Now the crisis is having a much more serious negative effect on people in the bottom half of the income distribution than on those in the top half." ...

    We face a very difficult period of adjusting to a new macroeconomic reality: dealing with the $5 trillion to $7 trillion we borrowed to get ourselves into this mess, and the $5 trillion to $7 trillion we borrowed to get ourselves out ..."''

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    [The Thermite Signature]

    ``International researchers have found traces of explosives among the World Trade Center [WTC] rubble.

    A new scientific article concludes that impacts from the two hijacked aircraft did not cause the collapses in 2001 ...

    Researchers found nano-thermite explosive in the rubble, that cannot have come from the planes. They believe several tonnes of explosives were placed in the buildings in advance.

    MODERATOR: Niels Harrit, you and eight other researchers conclude in this article, that it was nano-thermite that caused these buildings to collapse.

    What is nano-thermite?

    NIELS HARRIT: We found nano-thermite in the rubble. We are not saying only nano-thermite was used. Thermite itself dates back to 1893. It is a mixture of aluminum and rust powder [iron oxide], which react to create intense heat. The reaction produces iron, heated to 2500 °C. This can be used to do welding. It can also be used to melt other iron.

    Nanotechnology makes things smaller. So in nano-thermite, this powder from 1893 is reduced to tiny particles, perfectly mixed. When these react, the intense heat develops much more quickly. Nano-thermite can be mixed with additives to give off intense heat, or serve as a very effective explosive. It contains more energy than dynamite, and can be used as rocket fuel.

    [Nano thermite could have been painted on the steel support columns of the WTC buildings]

    MODERATOR: I Googled nano-thermite, and not much has been written about it. Is it a widely known scientific substance? Or is it so new that other scientists are hardly aware of it?

    NIELS HARRIT: It is a collective name for substances with high levels of energy. If civilian researchers (like myself) are not familiar with it, it is probably because they do not do much work with explosives. As for military scientists, you would have to ask them. I do not know how familiar they are with nanotechnology.

    MODERATOR: So you found this substance in the WTC, why do you think it caused the collapses?

    NIELS HARRIT: Well, it's an explosive. Why else would it be there?

    MODERATOR: You believe the intense heat melted the building's steel support structure, and caused the building to collapse like a house of cards?

    NIELS HARRIT: I cannot say precisely, as this substance can serve both purposes. It can explode and break things apart, and it can melt things. Both effects were probably used, as I see it. Molten metal pours out of the South Tower several minutes before the collapse. This indicates the whole structure was being weakened in advance. Then the regular explosives come into play. The actual collapse sequence had to be perfectly timed, all the way down.

    MODERATOR: What quantities are we talking about?

    NIELS HARRIT: A lot. There were only two planes, but three skyscrapers collapsed. We know roughly how much dust was created. The pictures show huge quantities, everything but the steel was pulverised. And we know roughly how much unreacted thermite we have found.

    This is the "loaded gun", material that did not ignite for some reason. We are talking about tonnes. Over 10 tonnes, possibly 100 tonnes.

    MODERATOR: Ten tonnes, possibly 100 tonnes, in three buildings? And these substances are not normally found in such buildings?

    NIELS HARRIT: No. These materials are extremely advanced.

    MODERATOR: How do you place such material in a skyscraper, on all the floors? How you would get it in?

    NIELS HARRIT: ... If I had to transport it in those quantities I would use pallets. Get a truck and move it in on pallets.

    MODERATOR: Why hasn't this been discovered earlier?

    NIELS HARRIT: By whom?

    MODERATOR: The caretakers, for example. If you are moving 10 to 100 tonnes of nano-thermite around, and placing it on all the floors. I am just surprised no-one noticed.

    NIELS HARRIT: As a journalist, you should address that question to the company responsible for security at the WTC.

    MODERATOR: So you are in no doubt the material was present?

    NIELS HARRIT: You cannot fudge this kind of science. We have found it. Unreacted thermite.

    MODERATOR: What responses has your article received around the world?

    NIELS HARRIT: It is completely new knowledge for me. It was only published last Friday. So it is too early to say. But the article may not be as groundbreaking as you think. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world, have long known that the three buildings were demolished. This has been crystal clear.

    Our research is just the last nail in the coffin. This is not the `smoking gun', it is the `loaded gun'. Each day, thousands of people realise that the WTC was demolished. That is something unstoppable.

    MODERATOR: Why has no-one discovered earlier that there was nano-thermite in the buildings? Almost ten years have passed.

    NIELS HARRIT: You mean in the dust?

    MODERATOR: - Yes.

    NIELS HARRIT: It was by chance that someone looked at the dust with a microscope.

    They are tiny red chips. The biggest are 1 mm in size, and can be seen with the naked eye. But you need a microscope to see the vast majority. It was by chance that someone discovered them two years ago.

    It has taken 18 months to prepare the scientific article you refer to. It is a very comprehensive article based on thorough research.

    MODERATOR: You have been working on this for several years, because it didn't make sense to you.

    NIELS HARRIT: Yes, over two years actually. It all started when I saw [a video of] the collapse of Building 7, the third skyscraper. It collapsed seven hours after the twin towers. And there were only two airplanes.

    When you see a 47-storey building, 186 [meters] tall, collapse in 6.5 seconds, and you are a scientist, you think "what?".

    I had to watch it again and again. I hit the button 10 times, and my jaw dropped lower and lower. Firstly, I had never heard of that building before. And there was no visible reason why it should collapse in that way, straight down, in 6.5 seconds.

    I have had no rest since that day ...''


    The Open Chemical Physics Journal

    ISSN: 1874-4125

    Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe

    By 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; Pp 7-31

    ``We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples we have studied of the dust produced by the destruction of the World Trade Center. Examination of four of these samples, collected from separate sites, is reported in this paper.

    These red/gray chips show marked similarities in all four samples. One sample was collected by a Manhattan resident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later.

    The properties of these chips were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC).

    The red material contains grains approximately 100 nm across which are largely iron oxide, while aluminum is contained in tiny plate-like structures. Separation of components using methyl ethyl ketone demonstrated that elemental aluminum is present ...

    Numerous iron-rich spheres are clearly observed in the residue following the ignition of these peculiar red/gray chips. The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic.''


    Thermite, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    ``Thermite is a pyrotechnic composition of a metal powder and a metal oxide, which produces an exothermic oxidation-reduction reaction known as a thermite reaction. If aluminum is the reducing agent it is called an aluminothermic reaction ...

    Thermite can create short bursts of extremely high temperatures focused on a very small area for a short period of time ...

    The most common thermite is aluminium-iron(III) oxide ...

    The aluminium reduces the oxide of another metal, most commonly iron oxide (hematite), because aluminium is higher in the activity series than iron:

    Fe2O3 + 2Al => 2Fe + Al2O3 + Heat

    [For magnetite, Fe3O4, the reaction is

    3Fe3O4 + 8Al => 9Fe + 4Al2O3 + Heat]

    The products are aluminium oxide, free elemental iron,... and a large amount of heat. The reactants are commonly powdered and mixed with a binder to keep the material solid and prevent separation ...''

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    [The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC 7)]

    By David Ray Griffin

    [See "Two Hit, Three Down, The Biggest Lie," by Lynn Margulis, Rock Creek Free Press, January 24, 2010]

    [NIST is the National Institute of Standards and Technology]

    ``At 5:21 PM on 9/11, Building 7 of the World Trade Center collapsed, even though it had not been hit by a plane, a fact that is important because of the widespread acceptance of the idea, in spite of its scientific absurdity, that the Twin Towers collapsed because of the combined effect of the impact of the airliners plus the ensuing jet-fuel-fed fires.

    The collapse of World Trade Center 7 (WTC 7) thereby challenges the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, according to which it was accomplished by al-Qaeda hijackers, even if one accepts the government's scientifically impossible account of the Twin Towers.

    This fact was recently emphasized in the title of a review article based on my 2009 book, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7,[1] ...

    The collapse of WTC 7 created an extraordinary problem for the official account of 9/11 for several reasons ...

    One reason is that, because of the collapse of WTC 7, the official account of 9/11 includes the dubious claim that, for the first time in the known universe, a steel-frame high-rise building was brought down by fire, and science looks askance at claims of unprecedented occurrences regarding physical phenomena.

    New York Times writer James Glanz, who himself has a Ph.D. in physics, wrote: "Experts said no building like it, a modern, steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever collapsed because of an uncontrolled fire."

    Glanz then quoted a structural engineer as saying: "Within the structural engineering community, WTC 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?" ...

    Equally remarkable, besides the mere fact that this building came down, was the way it collapsed: straight down, in virtual free fall, making the destruction of this building appear to be an example of the type of controlled demolition known as "implosion," in which explosives and/or incendiaries are used to slice the building's steel support columns in such a way as to cause the building to collapse into its own footprint ...

    In 2006, for example, a Dutch filmmaker asked Danny Jowenko, the owner of a controlled demolition company in the Netherlands, to comment on a video of the collapse of WTC 7, without telling him what it was. (Jowenko had been unaware that a third building had collapsed on 9/11.)

    After viewing the video, Jowenko said: "They simply blew up columns, and the rest caved in afterwards ..."

    Besides the obviousness from the very appearance of the collapse of Building 7 that it was a product of controlled demotion, there were testimonies about explosions in this building.

    One of these was provided by Michael Hess, New York City's corporation counsel and a close friend of Mayor Rudy Giuliani. While on his way back to City Hall, Hess was stopped for an interview at 11:57 that morning, during which he said:

    "I was up in the emergency management center on the twenty-third floor [of WTC 7], and when all the power went out in the building, another gentleman and I walked down to the eighth floor ... where there was an explosion and we were trapped on the eighth floor with smoke, thick smoke, all around us, for about an hour and a half. But the New York Fire Department just came and got us out." ...

    Hess thereby reported a mid-morning explosion in WTC 7.

    The other gentleman, Barry Jennings of the New York City Housing Authority, reported the same thing during another on-the-street interview, reporting that he and "Mr. Hess" had been walking down the stairs when they became trapped by a "big explosion." ... Jennings, in fact, said that explosions continued going off while they were waiting to be rescued. ...

    There were also reports of explosions in the late afternoon, just as WTC 7 started coming down. Reporter Peter Demarco of the New York Daily News said:

    "There was a rumble. The building's top row of windows popped out. Then all the windows on the thirty-ninth floor popped out. Then the thirty-eighth floor. Pop! Pop! Pop! was all you heard until the building sunk into a rising cloud of gray."[10] ...

    A New York University medical student, who had been serving as an emergency medical worker that day, gave this report:

    "We heard this sound that sounded like a clap of thunder ... we were shocked ... It looked like there was a shockwave ripping through the building and the windows all busted out ... About a second later the bottom floor caved out and the building followed after that."[12] ...

    In addition to the visual and testimonial evidence, there was clear physical evidence that explosives and incendiaries were used to bring down WTC 7.

    SWISS-CHEESE STEEL: Within a few months of 9/11, three professors from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) had issued a report about a piece of steel from Building 7 that was described in a New York Times story by James Glanz and Eric Lipton as "perhaps the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation."

    Part of the mystery was the fact that the steel was "extremely thin," indicating that the steel had "melted away," even though "no fire in any of the buildings was believed to be hot enough to melt steel outright." Another part of the mystery was that atoms in the steel seemed to have combined with sulfur "to form compounds that melt at lower temperatures," but as to the source of the sulfur, "no one knows." ...

    The thinning and the holes even suggested that the steel had vaporized. Explaining as early as November 2001 why fire could not account for this mysterious steel, Glanz paraphrased one of the three WPI professors, Jonathan Barnett, as saying that it "appeared to have been partly evaporated in extraordinarily high temperatures." ...

    Another New York Times story reported that the same phenomenon was described by Professor Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl of the University of California at Berkeley, who had received a National Science Foundation grant to spend two weeks at Ground Zero studying steel from the buildings. According to reporter Kenneth Change, Professor Astaneh-Asl, speaking of a horizontal I-beam from WTC 7, said: "Parts of the flat top of the I, once five-eighths of an inch thick, had vaporized." ...

    These reports clearly showed that something other than fire had been making things happen in the buildings, because the fires could not possibly have been higher than 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, while the boiling point of steel is roughly the same as that of iron, which is 5182F. But even if the steel had not evaporated but had simply melted, that by itself would have proved the point, because the melting point of steel is only a little less than that of iron, which is 2800F.

    (An obvious source of both the melting and the sulfidation would be a well-known incendiary, thermate, a "mixture of thermite and sulfur which lowers the melting point of iron it contacts when reacting by forming a eutectic system," which is "useful in cutting through steel.") ...

    Clear evidence against the official account of Building 7, according to which it was brought down by fire, existed in plain sight in the form of videos of its collapse, published testimonies about explosions in the building, and physical evidence reported in the New York Times.

    The reasonable inference to draw from this evidence, namely, that the official account is false, was reinforced by the first official report on this building's collapse, which was issued in 2002 by FEMA ... "No clear explanation for the source of the sulfur has been identified" ...

    In addition to all these facts, WTC 7 was a very big building, being 47 stories high and having a base about the size of a football field. Although it was dwarfed by the 110-story Twin Towers, it would have been the tallest building in half of the states in the nation. For all of these reasons, the collapse of this building should have become one of the best-known facts about 9/11. But it did not ...

    A Zogby poll in May 2006 found that 43 percent of the American people were unaware that WTC 7 had collapsed, ... and that same year, as mentioned earlier, Danny Jowenko of the Netherlands still did not know about it, even though controlled demolition was his field ...

    In a New York Times story in November 2001, James Glanz wrote that the collapse of WTC 7 was "a mystery that under normal circumstances would probably have captured the attention of the city and the world." ...

    Part of the abnormality was the fact that Building 7, while huge, was overshadowed by the Twin Towers, which were over twice as tall. This fact by itself, however, would not account for the enormous ignorance of this third building's collapse. Knowledgeable people had said right away, as Glanz pointed out, that there was a sense in which the collapse of Building 7 should have been the bigger story. Why was it not? ...

    The answer seems to be that it was a deliberately suppressed story. This conclusion is supported by the following facts:

  • First, after 9/11 itself, our television networks played videos of the Twin Towers being hit by planes, then coming down, over and over, but the collapse of Building 7 was seldom if ever shown.

  • Second, when The 9/11 Commission Report was issued in 2004, it did not even mention that Building 7 came down.

  • Third, after NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, took over from FEMA the task of explaining the destruction of the World Trade Center, it repeatedly delayed its report on WTC 7.

    In 2003, NIST said that this report would be issued along with its report on the Twin Towers, the draft of which was to appear in September 2004. ... However, even though NIST's report on the Twin Towers did not actually appear until 2005, the promised report on WTC 7 was not included ...

    NIST said that [the promised report on WTC 7] ... would appear in 2006. But when August of 2006 came, NIST said: "It is anticipated that a draft report [on WTC 7] will be released by early 2007." ... But it was not released in 2007, either early or late.

    Instead, NIST in December 2007 "projected" that it would release draft reports on July 8, 2008, followed by final reports on August 8, 2008. ... Instead, the draft report did not appear until August, and the final report not until November of that year, when the Bush-Cheney administration was about to leave office.

    Moreover, when in 2008 NIST was accused of having deliberately delayed its report on WTC 7 (which the 9/11 Truth Movement had long considered the "Achilles Heel" or "Smoking Gun" of the official account of 9/11[27]), NIST lied, saying that it had worked on this report only since 2005 and hence for only three years, the same length of time it had worked on its Twin Towers report.

    Actually, however, NIST had filed progress reports on WTC 7 in December 2002 and May 2003 ... In truth, therefore, NIST had worked on its report on WTC 7 for almost six years, not merely three. So there was good reason to suspect that this report had been deliberately delayed for as long as possible ...

    Be that as it may, when the Draft for Public Comment did finally appear in August 2008, it was announced at a press conference with much bravado. Shyam Sunder, NIST's lead investigator for its World Trade Center projects, said:

    "Our take-home message today is that the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery. WTC 7 collapsed because of fires fueled by office furnishings. It did not collapse from explosives." ...

    The mainstream media for the most part simply repeated Sunder's claims ... Reporters, however, could easily have discovered ... that NIST's WTC 7 report repeatedly committed scientific fraud in the technical sense, as defined by the National Science Foundation ...

    One type of fraud is falsification, which includes "omitting data." ... While claiming that it "found no evidence of a controlled demolition event," ... NIST simply omitted an enormous amount of evidence for that conclusion ...

    MELTED IRON: Deutsche Bank, which had a building close to the World Trade Center that had been contaminated with dust, hired the RJ Lee Group, a scientific research organization, to prove to its insurance company that the dust contaminating its building was not ordinary building dust, as its insurance company claimed, but had resulted from the destruction of the World Trade Center.

    Reports issued by the RJ Lee Group in 2003 and 2004 proved that the dust was indeed WTC dust, having its unique chemical signature. Part of this signature, the RJ Lee Group said in its final (2004) report, was "spherical iron particles," and this meant, it had pointed out in its 2003 report, that iron had "melted during the WTC Event, producing spherical metallic particles." ...

    The RJ Lee reports thereby provided additional evidence that temperatures had been reached that significantly exceeded those that could have been produced by fire. These reports, which were made known in an article published in January 2008 by a group of scientists led by physicist Steven Jones, ... were simply ignored by NIST.

    MELTED MOLYBDENUM: Another study was carried out by scientists at the US Geological Survey. Besides also finding the spherical iron particles, these scientists found that something had melted molybdenum ..., which has an extremely high melting point: 4,753F (2,623C). ...

    Although these USGS scientists failed to mention this discovery in the published version of their report, a group of scientists led by Steven Jones, having obtained the USGS team's data through a FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] request, reported evidence that this team had devoted serious study to "a molybdenum-rich spherule." ... NIST, however, failed to mention this discovery by the US Geological Survey, although it is another federal agency.

    NANOTHERMITE: A peer-reviewed report by University of Copenhagen chemist Niels Harrit and several co-authors, including physicist Steven Jones and chemist Kevin Ryan, showed that the WTC dust contained unreacted nanothermite. Unlike ordinary thermite, which is an incendiary, nanothermite is a high explosive.

    This report by Harrit, Jones, Ryan, and their colleagues did not appear until 2009, so it could not have been mentioned in NIST's final report, which came out at the end of November 2008. However, given the standard guidelines for the investigation of building fires, NIST should have tested the WTC dust for signs of incendiaries, such as ordinary thermite (including thermate), and explosives, such as nanothermite. ...

    When asked whether it had carried out such tests, NIST said it had not ... When a reporter asked NIST spokesman Michael Newman why not, he replied: "Because there was no evidence of that." When the reporter asked the obvious follow-up question, "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." ...

    Besides omitting and otherwise falsifying evidence, NIST also committed the type of scientific fraud called fabrication, which means simply "making up results." ...

    For example, in offering its explanation as to how fire caused Building 7 to collapse, NIST said that the culprit was thermal expansion, meaning that the fire heated up the steel, thereby causing it to expand. Expanding steel beams on the 13th floor, NIST claims, caused a steel girder connecting columns 44 and 79 to break loose. Having lost its support, column 79 failed, starting a chain reaction in which all the other columns failed. ...

    Leaving aside the question of whether this is even remotely possible, let us simply ask: Why did that girder fail? NIST's answer was that it was not connected to the floor slab with sheer studs. NIST wrote: "In WTC 7, no studs were installed on the girders." ... In another passage, NIST said: "Floor beams had shear studs, but the girders that supported the floor beams did not have shear studs." ...

    However, NIST's Interim Report on WTC 7, which it published in 2004 before it had developed its girder-failure theory, said shear studs were used to anchor "most of the beams and girders," including the girder in question. ...

    Although in its 2004 Interim Report on WTC 7, NIST said that by 4:45 PM, "the fire on Floor 12 was burned out," ... it claimed in its 2008 report that at 5:00, just 21 minutes before the building collapsed, the fire on this floor was still going strong. ...

    NIST's final report on WTC 7, which appeared in November 2008, was for the most part identical with its draft report, which had appeared in August ...

    NIST's August 2008 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 ... But in NIST's Draft for Public Comment, issued 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 principles." ...

    On August 26, 2008, Shyam Sunder said: "... you had a sequence of structural failures that had to take place. Everything was not instantaneous." ... In saying this, Sunder was, of course, 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 ...

    In response, high-school physics teacher David Chandler, who was able to speak at this briefing, challenged Sunder's denial of free fall, stating that Sunder's "40 percent" claim contradicted "a publicly visible, easily measurable quantity." ...

    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." ...

    Chandler, said: "Free fall can only be achieved if there is zero resistance to the motion. ... In other 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 ...

    But then in November, while still defending its fire theory of collapse, NIST agreed 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)." ...

    In [NIST's] August draft, in which it said that the collapse occurred 40 percent slower than free fall, NIST had repeatedly said that its analysis was "consistent with physical principles." One encountered this phrase at least three times. ... In the final report, however, every instance of this phrase had been removed. NIST thereby almost explicitly admitted that its report on WTC 7 -- by admitting free fall while continuing to deny that explosives and incendiaries were used -- is not consistent with the principles of physics.


    NIST thereby implicitly acknowledged that Building 7 was intentionally demolished. It also thereby implicitly admitted the same about the Twin Towers, because the collapses of these buildings manifested many of the same tell-tale signs of controlled demolition as did WTC 7, plus some additional ones, including the horizontal ejection of sections of steel columns, weighing many thousands of pounds, more than 500 feet from the towers. (These ejections occurred at the outset of the collapses, after which the Towers came straight down.). ...

    And with this implicit admission that the collapses were examples of controlled demolition, NIST undermined the al-Qaeda theory of 9/11. Why?

    For one thing, the straight-down nature of the collapses of the Twin Towers and Building 7 means that the buildings were subjected to the type of controlled demolition known as "implosion," which is, in the words of a controlled demolition website, "by far the trickiest type of explosive project," which "only a handful of blasting companies in the world possess enough experience to perform." 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 the World Trade Center buildings toppled over sideways, they would have caused massive destruction in Lower Manhattan, crushing 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?

    [Was Osama bin Laden a "fall guy", played like Lee Harvey Oswald?

    The thieves must think we all have tea bags for brains. Did the Bush Administration deliberately encourage chatter about a terrorist attack on the Twin Towers and then pretend to ignore the chatter, taking a long vacation in August, 2001? How could Bush and company have missed the following:

    Scoop Article, 6-12-02, by Cheryl Seal

    ``From April, 2001 right up to the day the WTC and Pentagon were slammed, urgent warnings of impending large-scale attacks by terrorists had been issued to the Bush administration from multiple sources.

    Germany, Egypt, Russia and Israel all delivered alerts that accurately foretold the scale of the attack and that it would involve a prominent landmark of some type. This would automatically put the WTC and Pentagon on the short list, especially as both landmarks had been targeted before ...

    The German intelligence agency BND warned the US ... in June [2001] that Middle Eastern terrorists were "planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack" ...

    On June 13 [2001], Egypt sent an urgent warning that a plane stuffed with explosives could be used as a weapon against George Bush ...

    Vladimir Putin was so certain of the information he received in the summer of 2001 of an impending attack that he personally instructed Russian intelligence to tell Bush "in the strongest possible terms" (his own words on September. 15, 2001) of an impending attack involving airports and government ...

    In August, 2001, the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad warned the CIA and FBI that as many as 200 al Qaeda members were infiltrating the US and planning "a major assault on the US" against "a large-scale target" ...

    By February 2001, the National Security Agency had broken Osama bin Laden's communications encryption system. We know that the encryption was broken because the Bush administration reported AFTER 9/11 that it had intercepted encrypted calls bin Laden made to his mother two days before the attack ...

    If this message was intercepted before the attack, what others were intercepted as well that the Bush administration did NOT reveal? Most likely six-months'-worth of terrorist planning.

    Last but not least, the CIA knew a week before the attack which airlines were most likely to be hijacked. The Agency maintains an advanced program called Promis, which monitors unusual stock market activity, specifically as a way to anticipate potential terrorist attacks.

    Promis provides 24-hour continuous real-time data on stock market activity and the FBI and Justice Department have both admitted that Promis was up and running all through the summer and fall of 2001.

    So there is no doubt whatsoever that as early as September. 7 [2001], the CIA knew that something was going down and knew which airlines were being targeted ...'']

    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 incendiaries and explosives. Only insiders could have done this. ...

    [Also see:

    POST to Scoop on 5-1-10, by David Ray Griffin

    Did Osama bin Laden Confess to the 9/11 Attacks ...?

    Global Research, April 30, 2010

    ``In 2009, I published a little book entitled Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? ... Pointing out that the only evidence to the contrary consists of "messages from bin Laden" in the form of audiotapes and videotapes that have appeared since 2001 ...

    I discussed two videotapes containing purported interviews of Osama bin Laden in the fall of 2001, when the issue was whether he had been responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

    I suggested that both of these tapes, in which bin Laden allegedly admitted his responsibility, were fakes. If they were, I pointed out, this fact would increase the likelihood that all of the "Osama bin Laden tapes" appearing in the following years ... were also fakes

    The clearest example, I argued, was the most famous of the so-called bin Laden confession videos. Having allegedly been found in a private home in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in late November 2001, it is sometimes called the "November 9 bin Laden video," because this date was stamped on it, implying that this was when it was made.

    It is also called the "bin Laden video of December 13," because that was the date on which it was released to the public by the Pentagon ...

    In an essay entitled "Constructing an Evil Genius," Samuel Winch, a professor of communications and the humanities, wrote: "Osama bin Laden was framed in news media reports from 1999 through 2002 as an evil genius, very similar to the fictional villain Dr. Fu-Manchu, a Victorian horror novel character." The loss of such a figure would be far from insignificant ... President Obama has greatly intensified the focus on bin Laden ...

    During the Al Jazeera interview of October 21 [2001], bin Laden ... expressed his approval of the attacks in New York and Washington, calling them "great on all levels" and saying, in particular, that "the collapse of the twin towers is huge." ...

    Having denied direct responsibility for the attacks, he suggested that he might have been indirectly responsible. Speaking of "the brave guys who took the battle to the heart of America and destroyed its most famous economic and military landmarks," bin Laden said:

    "They did this, as we understand it, and this is something we have agitated for before, as a matter of self-defense, in defense of our brothers and sons in Palestine, and to liberate our sacred religious sites/things." ...

    To summarize: Having denied that he was a "terrorist" in the sense of having planned or specifically authorized the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden added that, if the word "terrorist" is used (unreasonably) for Muslims who strike back at America in self-defense, or who encourage fellow Muslims to do so, then he and the "brave guys" who attacked America on 9/11 are indeed terrorists.

    I am grateful to ... for pointing out the existence of the Al Jazeera interview, thereby giving me the opportunity to provide this analysis of it. By showing the falsity of the widespread assumption that bin Laden confessed direct responsibility for the 9/11 attacks in this interview, this analysis strengthens the case against the authenticity of the tape released December 13 [2001], in which the bin Laden figure claimed to have been directly involved in planning the 9/11 attacks ...

    Bin Laden in the Al Jazeera interview once again denied responsibility for the attacks -- except possibly in the indirect sense that his fatwas against America may have influenced the attackers -- then the video released December 13, 2001, would, if authentic, be the one and only recording we have in which bin Laden claimed direct responsibility.

    I turn now, in any case, ... to my book's treatment of this video ...

    On December 13, 2001, the Pentagon released a video that was dated November 9, 2001, claiming that it had been found by US forces in a private home in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in late November (after anti-Taliban forces had taken over the city). As I wrote in my book:

    "The tape purportedly shows Osama bin Laden, in a private home, talking about the 9/11 attacks with a visiting Sheikh. During the course of the conversation, in which the bin Laden figure is seen and heard gloating about the success of the attacks, he states that he not only knew about them several days in advance but had also, in fact, planned them."

    After showing that the tape had been widely used to confirm the US-British position that bin Laden had been responsible for the 9/11 attacks, I discussed several features of the tape that support the widespread view that it was a fake -- that the bin Laden figure in it was not Osama bin Laden himself ...

    Iron-melting Fires: Arguably the most problematic statement made by the confession video's "bin Laden" ...

    "We calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy who would be killed based on the position of the tower. We calculated that the floors that would be hit would be three or four floors.

    Due to my experience in this field, I was thinking that the fire from the gas in the plane would melt the iron structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it only. This is all that we had hoped for." ...

    In the first place, given bin Laden's "experience in this field" -- he was a civil engineer -- he would surely have known that that the Twin Towers would have been supported by steel, not iron. If the translation is correct, therefore, this is a statement that the real bin Laden would have been unlikely to make.

    Even more serious is the second problem: As a civil engineer, Osama bin Laden would surely have known that the "fire from the gas in the plane" could not have melted any of the Twin Towers' steel support columns.

    He would have known that a building fire, even one fed by jet-fuel (which is essentially kerosene), could not have brought any of the steel columns anywhere close to their melting point. The real Osama bin Laden, therefore, would not have expected any of the buildings' columns to have melted.

    He would not, therefore, have had even the minimal expectation about floor collapse expressed by the man on the tape, namely, that the fire would "collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it"

    Although the man on the tape formulated this expectation as a modest hope -- that he expected "only" those floors to collapse -- the real bin Laden, unless he expected Allah to help out with a miraculous intervention, would likely have laughed ...'']

    Explaining the Ignorance about WTC 7

    NIST's admission that Building 7 came down in free fall for over two seconds should, therefore, have been front-page news. The same is true, moreover, of the various other things I have reported, ... [especially] NIST's omissions of physical evidence, such as the Swiss-cheese steel and the particles showing that iron and molybdenum had been melted; and the later discovery of nanothermite particles in the WTC dust.

    Especially given the fact that the collapse of Building 7 had been declared a mystery from the outset, the world should have been waiting with bated breath for every new clue as to why this 47-story building had come down. Upon hearing Building 7 mentioned, nobody in the world with access to CNN should have asked, "Building what?"

    How do we explain the fact that five and even nine years after the mysterious collapse of this building, ignorance about it was still widespread?

    To begin answering this question, let us return to James Glanz's statement that the collapse of WTC 7 was "a mystery that under normal circumstances would probably have captured the attention of the city and the world." ... As I stated before, the abnormality seems to have been such that videos and even the very fact of this building's collapse were deliberately suppressed. What was this abnormality?

    If 9/11 was a ... [conspriacy], the collapse of WTC 7 would not have been allowed to capture the world's attention ...

    Unlike the Twin Towers,

  • it was not hit by a plane;

  • because of this, there was no jet fuel to spread big fires to many floors;

  • its collapse, ... looked exactly like a classic implosion, in which the collapse begins from the bottom and the building folds in upon itself, ending up almost entirely in its own footprint;

  • and the videos show that it came down, at least part of the way, in absolute free fall.

    The fact that Building 7 was brought down by controlled demolition was, therefore, more obvious.

    This greater obviousness is illustrated not only by Danny Jowenko's response, but also by the many engineers and scientists who joined the 9/11 Truth Movement only after seeing a video of this building's collapse. For example, Daniel Hofnung, an engineer in Paris, wrote:

    "In the years after the 9/11 events, I thought that all I read in professional reviews and French newspapers was true. The first time I understood that it was impossible was when I saw a film about the collapse of WTC 7." ...

    Likewise, civil engineer Chester Gearhart wrote:

    "I have watched the construction of many large buildings and also have personally witnessed 5 controlled demolitions in Kansas City.

    When I saw the towers fall on 9/11, I knew something was wrong and my first instinct was that it was impossible. When I saw building 7 fall, I knew it was a controlled demolition." ...

    This video was also decisive for University of Copenhagen chemist Niels Harrit, who later became the first author of the nanothermite paper. When asked how he became involved with these issues, he replied:

    "It all started when I saw the collapse of Building 7, the third skyscraper. It collapsed seven hours after the Twin Towers. And there were only two airplanes.

    When you see a 47-storey building, 186 meters tall, collapse in 6.5 seconds, and you are a scientist, you think "What?" I had to watch it again...and again. I hit the button ten times, and my jaw dropped lower and lower.

    Firstly, I had never heard of that building before. And there was no visible reason why it should collapse in that way, straight down, in 6.5 seconds. I have had no rest since that day." ...

    Given these reactions, it is obvious why, if 9/11 was a State Crime Against Democracy [SCAD], the fact of Building 7's collapse, especially the video of this collapse, had to be suppressed as much as possible.

    [Was] WTC 7 ... a Dud?

    Having made this point, I need to respond to an obvious objection: If those who were responsible for bringing down Building 7 were going to need to suppress the video of its collapse, why did they wait until late in the afternoon, when the air was clean and cameras would be trained on this building, with the consequence that we have perfectly clear videos of the collapse of this building from various angles, each one showing its straight-down free-fall descent?

    Why did they not bring it down in the morning, shortly after one of the Twin Towers had collapsed, when the resulting dust cloud would have made any images impossible? After the collapse of the North Tower at 10:28, for example, visibility did not return sufficiently for film crews to come back to the area, NIST reported, until 11:00.[81]

    Had Building 7 been imploded at, say, 10:45, its collapse would still have been a big mystery, but there would have been no videos showing that it had come straight down and, for over two seconds, in absolute free fall.

    There are many reasons, as I showed in an appendix to The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7, to believe that this had indeed been the plan, but that this building was, as one researcher put it, "a dud" .., meaning that "the demolition system in WTC 7 simply did not respond as intended and the building defiantly remained intact." ...

    As a result, agents were perhaps sent into the building to set fires to provide the basis for a cover-story saying that fires had brought the building down. This hypothesis -- that fires were set in the building only after a controlled demolition system had failed to bring it down in the morning -- would explain why, although the fires in Building 7 were supposedly started by burning debris from the North Tower's collapse at 10:28, no flames are visible in this building, as NIST admits, until after noon, and on some floors there is no photographic evidence of fire until 3:40 PM or even later. ...

    I have emphasized this likelihood, that the destruction of WTC 7 was a botched operation, because if true it provides the clearest possible illustration of the theme of this essay, namely, that ... [conspiracies] can be hidden in plain sight.

    There are literally dozens of problems in the official account of 9/11 sufficiently serious to show the official story to be false. But the clearest proof is provided by the video of this enormous building coming straight down in absolute free fall.

    And yet even though this proof has existed in plain sight for all these years, the fact that 9/11 was an inside job, and hence a State Crime Against Democracy [SCAD], has remained a hidden fact, at least in the sense that it is not part of the public conversation. If the destruction of WTC 7 was a botched operation, then the hiding of the fact that 9/11 was a SCAD is even more impressive ...

    Hiding SCADs: The Role of the Mainstream Media

    Peter Dale Scott, discussing the erosion of the US Constitution in recent times, suggests that "this erosion has been achieved in part through a series of important deep events in (post-World-War-II) American history, events aspects of which will be ignored or suppressed in the mainstream media."...

    Indeed, Scott adds: "The mainstream U.S. media ... have become so implicated in past protective lies, that they, as well as the government, have now a demonstrated interest in preventing the truth about any of these events from coming out ...

    Besides parroting the government's account of 9/11 and stigmatizing those who provide alternative accounts with the discrediting label "conspiracy theorists," how has America's mainstream media kept the truth about WTC 7 hidden from the majority of the American people? Through various means, including the following:

  • First, by never replaying the statements by Dan Rather and other reporters about how the collapse of WTC 7 looked just like a controlled demolition.

  • Second, by seldom if ever replaying the video of this building's collapse.

  • Third, by never mentioning credible critiques of the official account. For example, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 is Unscientific and False, which has been endorsed by prestigious scientists and engineers, has never been reviewed in the mainstream media, even though my previous 9/11 book, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, was a Publishers Weekly "Pick of the Week" in 2008. ...

  • Fourth, by never mentioning, except for one story that apparently slipped through, ... the existence of an organization called Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, which by now has some 1,200 professional architects and engineers calling for a new investigation of WTC 7 as well as the Twin Towers ...

  • Fifth, by never reporting scientific evidence contradicting the official account of these buildings' destruction, such as the reported discovery of nanothermite in the WTC dust.

  • Sixth, by overlooking the fact that NIST's report on WTC 7 omitted an enormous amount of evidence showing that explosives and/or incendiaries must have been used:

    For example, although the New York Times in 2002 called the piece of Swiss-cheese steel recovered from this building "the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation," it did not issue a peep when NIST's 2008 report on this building failed to mention this piece of steel and even claimed that no steel from this building had been identified: The Times clearly knew better but said nothing.

  • Seventh, by not mentioning the fact, even after it was reported in my 2009 book, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7, that NIST had used various types of fabricated evidence to support its theory of a fire-induced collapse.

  • Eighth, by reporting NIST's August 2008 press briefing, in which Shyam Sunder announced, triumphantly, that the "the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery" and that "science is really behind what we have said," but then not reporting on NIST's final report in November of that year, in which NIST almost explicitly admitted that science does not stand behind, but instead contradicts, its theory of this building's collapse.

  • Ninth, by systematically ignoring the fact that the official account of WTC 7's collapse has implications for many fields that, if taken seriously by leaders in those fields, would demand revolutionary changes in both theory and practice ...

    Through these and related means, the truth about the collapse of WTC 7 has been effectively hidden, even though it has existed in plain sight all these years. Even the bare fact of the collapse itself has been so effectively hidden that in 2006 over 40 percent of the American public did not know about it, and in 2009 a judge in New York City, upon hearing a reference to Building 7, asked: "Building what?"

    I offer this essay as a case study in the power of the forces behind SCADs or deep events to hide things that exist in plain sight, because if they can hide the straight-down free-fall collapse of a 47-story building captured on video in broad daylight, they can hide almost anything.

    I say this, however, not to instill despair, but to point to the seriousness of the problem, and also to pave the way for making a proposal. Recognizing ... that a new, or rather real, 9/11 investigation is needed, I propose that the international 9/11 Truth Movement initiate a ... world-wide, year-long "Building What?" campaign. Through this campaign, we would seek to make the fact of its collapse so widely known that the mention of Building 7 would never again evoke the question: "Building What?"

    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 Expos, was named a "Pick of the Week" by Publishers Weekly ...

    His most recent book is The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 is Unscientific and False (2009).

    His next book will be Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (September 2010) ... See

    [In his new book "Cognitive Infiltration, An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory", Dr. David Ray Griffin writes about former Chicago and Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein ...

    Shortly after taking office on January 20, 2009 President Obama appointed Harvard law professor (and personal friend) Cass Sunstein to the post of Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget.

    In June 2009 Sunstein published an essay in The Journal of Political Philosophy containing a plan for the government to prevent the spread of anti-government conspiracy theories.

    Because Sunstein explicitly states that 9/11 conspiracy theories are his main focus, virtually all interpreters have agreed that Sunstein's call -- for what is essentially another Cointelpro Operation -- is directed specifically against the 9/11 truth movement. (Cointelpro, or Counter Intelligence Program, was the FBI's name for its operations to infiltrate, provoke, undermine and disable civil rights ... movements during the late 1950s and the 1960s.)

    The kleptocrats have a lot at stake: the Unocal (Chevron) pipeline and the opportunuity to turn Afghanistan into another Congo. For more on this kleptocratic conspiracy and the Unocal pipeline, see]


    1 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).

    2 Lynn Margulis, "Two Hit, Three Down, The Biggest Lie," Rock Creek Free Press, January 24, 2010 ...''

    Top -- Home

    NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 5-2-11, By the Associated Press

    [Panetta gets Bin Laden]

    ``WASHINGTON -- Osama bin Laden, the elusive mastermind behind the devastating Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that led the United States into war in Afghanistan and later Iraq, was killed in a firefight, President Barack Obama said Sunday [5-1-11] ...

    'Justice has been done,' the President said.

    A small team of Americans killed bin Laden ... Sunday [5-1-11] in the town of Abbottabat, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of the capital [of Pakistan] Islamabad, ...

    [The operation occurred in pre-dawn darkness on Monday in Pakistan -- Sunday afternoon in Washington. Obama went on television late Sunday night to make the announcement.] ...

    Based on statements given by U.S. detainees, intelligence officials have known for years that bin Laden trusted one al-Qaida courier in particular and they believed he might be living with him in hiding.

    In November [2010], intelligence officials found out where he was living, a huge fortified compound. It was surrounded by walls as high as 18 feet (5.5 meters), topped with barbed wire. There were two security gates and no phone or Internet running into the house. Intelligence officials believed the $1 million home was custom-built to harbor a major terrorist ...

    Three adult males were also killed in Sunday's raid, including one of bin Laden's sons, whom officials did not name. One of bin Laden's sons, Hamza, is a senior member of al-Qaida ...

    Obama ... said the death of bin Laden was 'the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al-Qaida.'

    'His death does not mark the end of our effort. There's no doubt that al-Qaida will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant,' he added ...''


    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 5-2-11, By The Associated Press and The Plain Dealer

    ``WASHINGTON -- Helicopters descended out of darkness on the most important counterterrorism mission in U.S. history. It was an operation so secret, only a select few U.S. officials knew what was about to happen ...

    Nestled in an affluent neighborhood, the compound was surrounded by walls as high as 18 feet, topped with barbed wire. Two security gates guarded the only way in. A third-floor terrace was shielded by a seven-foot privacy wall. No phone lines or Internet cables ran to the property.

    The residents burned their garbage rather than put it out for collection. Intelligence officials believed the million-dollar compound was built five years ago to protect a major terrorist figure. The question was, who? ...

    By mid-February [2011], intelligence from multiple sources was clear enough that Obama wanted to "pursue an aggressive course of action," a senior administration official said. Over the next two and a half months, Obama led five meetings of the National Security Council focused solely on whether bin Laden was in that compound and, if so, how to get him, the official said.

    Normally, the U.S. shares its counterterrorism intelligence widely with trusted allies in Britain, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. And the U.S. normally does not carry out ground operations inside Pakistan without collaboration with [Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate [ISI]] But this mission was too important and too secretive.

    On April 29 [2011], Obama approved an operation to kill bin Laden ... To execute it, Obama tapped a small contingent of the Navy's elite SEAL Team Six and put them under the command of CIA Director Leon Panetta, whose analysts monitored the compound from afar.

    Panetta was directly in charge of the team, a U.S. official said, and his conference room was transformed into a command center.

    Did President Obama put Leon Panetta in charge of the CIA to bypass ISI and Bin Laden collaborators in a serious effort to get Bin Laden?

    Details of exactly how the raid unfolded remain murky. But the al-Qaida courier, his brother and one of bin Laden's sons were killed. No Americans were injured ...''


    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 5-1-11, By The Associated Press and The Plain Dealer

    ``WASHINGTON -- Osama bin Laden, the glowering mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of Americans, was slain in his luxury hideout in Pakistan early Monday in a firefight with U.S. forces, ending a manhunt that spanned a frustrating decade.

    "Justice has been done," President Barack Obama said in a dramatic announcement at the White House ...

    U.S. officials said ... elite troops from Navy SEAL Team Six, a top military counter-terrorism unit, flew to the hideout in four helicopters. Bin Laden was shot in the head ...

    The U.S. team took custody of bin Laden's remains. A U.S. official later said bin Laden had been buried at sea and the remains were handled in accordance with Islamic practice, which calls for speedy burial ...

    Obama said no Americans were harmed in the operation. Three adult males were also killed in the raid, including one of bin Laden's sons, whom officials did not name. One of bin Laden's sons, Hamza, is a senior member of al-Qaida. U.S. officials also said one woman was killed when she was used as a shield by a male combatant, and two other women were injured ...

    The operation occurred in pre-dawn darkness on Monday in Pakistan -- Sunday [5-1-11] afternoon in Washington. Obama went on television late Sunday night to make the announcement ...

    But within hours of the announcement, Pakistani officials and a witness said bin Laden's guards had opened fire from the roof of the building, and one of the choppers crashed. The sound of at least two explosions rocked the small northwestern town of Abbottabad, where the al-Qaida chief made his last stand.

    Flames were visible after the attack on the building, which was located about 100 yards from the gates of a Pakistani military academy -- certain to raise questions about al-Qaida's ability to build a custom-made hideout in such close proximity.

    Abbottabad, surrounded by hills and with mountains in the distance, is less than half a day's drive from the border region with Afghanistan, where most intelligence assessments believed bin Laden was holed up.

    The White House said Obama convened at least nine meetings with top national security officials in the lead-up to Sunday's raid ...

    CIA director Leon Panetta was directly in charge of the military team during the operation ...

    Halfway around the world, in Abbotabad, one witness described a military raid carried out under darkness.

    "I heard a thundering sound, followed by heavy firing. Then firing suddenly stopped. Then more thundering, then a big blast," said Mohammad Haroon Rasheed. "In the morning when we went out to see what happened, some helicopter wreckage was lying in an open field."

    A Pakistani official in the town said fighters on the roof opened fire on the choppers with rocket-propelled grenades. Another official said the four helicopters took off from the Ghazi air base in northwest Pakistan ...''


    NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 5-2-11, By the Associated Press

    ``WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. officials revealed details Monday of the daring raid in Pakistan in which elite American forces killed Osama bin Laden -- and how they confirmed that the man they killed was the world's most-wanted terrorist leader ...

    Senior administration officials said the DNA testing alone offered near 100 percent certainty that bin Laden was among those shot dead. Photo analysis by the CIA, confirmation by a woman believed to be bin Laden's wife on site, and matching physical features like bin Laden's height all helped confirmed the identification ...

    Two dozen SEALs in night-vision goggles dropped into the high-walled compound in Pakistan by sliding down ropes from Chinook helicopters in the overnight raid.

    The SEALs retrieved bin Laden's body and turned the remaining detainees over to Pakistani authorities.

    Traditional Islamic procedures for handling the remains were followed, the officials said, including washing the corpse and placing it in a white sheet ...

    The White House counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, said ... Bin Laden must have had some support in Pakistan ... The White House is talking with the Pakistani government and pledged to pursue all leads to find out what type of support system or benefactors bin Laden might have had ...

    U.S. Blackhawk helicopters ferried about two dozen troops from Navy SEAL Team Six, an elite military counter-terrorism unit, into the compound identified by the CIA as bin Laden's hideout -- and back out again in less than 40 minutes ...

    The compound is about a half-mile (800 meters) from the Kakul Military Academy, an army-run institution for top officers and one of several military installations in the bustling, hill-ringed town of around 400,000 people ...

    "We have rid the world of the most infamous terrorist of our time," CIA director Leon Panetta declared to employees of the agency in a memo Monday morning [5-2-11]. He warned that "terrorists almost certainly will attempt to avenge" the killing of a man deemed uncatchable. "Bin Laden is dead. Al-Qaida is not," Panetta said ...

    "Intelligence analysis concluded that this compound was custom built in 2005 to hide someone of significance," with walls as high as 18 feet (5.5 meters) and topped by barbed wire, according to one official. Despite the compound's estimated $1 million cost and two security gates, it had no phone or Internet running into the house.

    By mid-February, intelligence from multiple sources was clear enough that Obama wanted to "pursue an aggressive course of action," a senior administration official said. Over the next two and a half months, the president led five meetings of the National Security Council focused solely on whether bin Laden was in that compound and, if so, how to get him, the official said.

    Obama made a decision to launch the operation on Friday [4-29-11], shortly before flying to Alabama to inspect tornado damage, and aides set to work on the details.

    Administration aides said the operation was so secretive that no foreign officials were informed in advance, and only a small circle inside the U.S. government was aware of what was unfolding half a world away.

    It's unclear what bin Laden's demise will mean for the future of Afghanistan, where about 150,000 NATO troops -- most of them American -- are embroiled in daily fighting with Taliban insurgents. On Saturday, the Taliban announced the beginning of their spring offensive after showing their strength with a string of deadly attacks on government and military compounds ...''


    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 5-2-11, By Scott Wilson and Anne E. Kornblut, Washington Post

    U.S. stresses Osama bin Laden's luxury, cowardice in its outreach to Muslims

    ``WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration presented new details Monday about the death of Osama bin Laden, portraying the spiritual leader of al-Qaida as a reclusive figure who had lived in relative luxury and whose final moments had finally exposed his cowardice ... as he tried to escape U.S. Special Operations forces, he may have used one of his wives as a 'shield.' ...

    After flying bin Laden's body to the USS Carl Vinson, U.S. officials performed the rituals of Islamic burial, including wrapping it in a white shroud, before tipping it into the sea. Officials said the decision was made to comply with the Islamic mandate to bury a body within 24 hours after death. A burial at sea also ensured that bin Laden would have no gravesite for his followers to use as a shrine.

    U.S. officials said DNA tests performed Monday confirmed with 99.9 percent certainty that the body removed from the eight-acre compound in Abbottabad was bin Laden's ...

    Keep America Safe, a national security organization run by Liz Cheney, a daughter of the the former vice president, expressed gratitude 'to the men and women of America's intelligence services who, through their interrogation of high-value detainees, developed the information that apparently led us to bin Laden.'

    Throughout Monday, administration officials emphasized what they said was bin Laden's lavish lifestyle and suggested that, when faced with death, he hid behind his wife to avoid capture. The accusation of cowardice is a serious one in the male-dominated Muslim culture.

    'He had nothing to offer to young people across the Middle East and Asia,' said Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications. 'This is a clear choice being presented to the region. Do you go the way of cynical violence that has been shown to be a dead end' Or do you follow a path of peaceful protest to secure universal rights and freedoms?' ...''


    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 5-3-11, By Karen DeYoung and Karin Brulliard, Washington Post

    ``WASHINGTON -- Obama administration officials in Washington and Islamabad demanded Tuesday that Pakistan quickly provide answers to specific questions about Osama bin Laden and his years-long residence in a bustling Pakistani city surrounded by military installations.

    In addition to detailed information about the bin Laden compound -- who owned and built the structure and its security system -- Pakistani officials were asked in meetings with U.S. military, intelligence and diplomatic interlocutors to provide names of witnesses who can testify about visitors to the compound ...

    A Foreign Ministry statement said Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate [ISI], had kept the compound 'under sharp focus' since construction got underway in 2003 ...

    But as administration officials continued to provide details of the raid Tuesday, CIA Director Leon Panetta said that Pakistan was kept in the dark throughout the planning and the operation itself for fear word of the mission would leak.

    'It was decided that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardize the mission,' Panetta told Time magazine. 'They might alert the targets.'

    In a series of morning television interviews, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said Pakistani officials were trying to determine 'whether there were individuals within the Pakistani government or military intelligence services who were knowledgeable' of bin Laden's whereabouts.

    For now, Washington has accepted what appeared to be 'genuine surprise' at bin Laden's presence expressed by top Pakistani officials, including President Asif Ali Zardari; the country's military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, and Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the head of the ISI, one U.S. official said ...''

    Top -- Home

    Did thermite cold fusion bring down the Twin Towers on 9-11-2001?

    Commentator 3 wrote on 9-18-12:

    Put on your Tin-foil hats ...

    Aside from a possible nano-thermite connection to LENR [Low Energy Nuclear Reaction], [the thermite reaction is] one of the few chemical reactions which release soft x-rays ...

    Let me first add that ... I believe that if there was anything damning about the events leading up to 9-11, ... it probably did involve ... one or two rogue elements in an agency like the CIA -- who decided to sit on vital information instead of issuing an alert. They are probably promoted by now, by the Dilbert principal ...

    Steven Jones' findings are another issue ... Dr. Jones, when at Brigham Young University, was a nemesis of Pons and Fleishmann back then in 1989; but ironically, he found copious evidence of nano-thermite at the 9-11 site. And, were it not for his own association with LENR, he would have been taken more seriously ...


    Commentator 22 wrote on 7-7-14:

    If the cause of LENR is the excitation of the vacuum through the injection of very energetic EMF (magnetic), it might be possible that the energy intensive magnetic fields supported by exothermic gainful nuclear reactions might be injected into the vacuum enclosing the nucleus which might possibly supply the energy needed to make endothermic [fusion] nuclear reactions possible.

    Commentator 5 wrote;

    You don't need to do this. Just fuse everything together first, then it fissions to the detected end products.

    Commentator 3 wrote:

    There is a simpler explanation than either of these -- relating to magnetism, spin and symmetry -- which can operate without fusion ... thanks to applying the findings of Dr. Steven Jones ...

    As was known long before 9/11, the most powerful non-nuclear explosive is a version of thermite, once made with nano-iron-oxide [and aluminum] but now more exotic [ingredients].

    Tons of this material were found in dust near the Twin Towers site. There was a document circulating on the Web, purporting to be Top-Secret, claiming the gain in nano-thermite is 50 times chemical ...

    The usual explanation is that the higher surface area of "nano" is responsible for the large increase in power. This could be part of the case; however, there is likely to be something else, far more energetic, besides a redox reaction going on in these explosions, related to "superferromagnetism" and "superparamagnetism" both of which are intrinsic to the main component of nanothermite.

    What Wiki glosses over is the interaction between spin/magnetic behavior of nanoparticles breaking known and hidden symmetry, which taps into Dirac negative energy. Thus we find that dimensional symmetry is overcome by intense magnetic pulses and conservation of energy falls by the way-side.

    Not quite the same as LENR but close since, apparently with the military version of nano-thermite, instead of finding the usual nanoparticles of magnetite, we find that a ferrihydrite (nominally FeOOH) is used, which apparently has hydrogen content in order to provide the vehicle for gain.

    It would surprise no one to learn that a nickel version is also used (nominally NiOOH). As Commentator 5 will note, either can fit into a Mills [hydrino] explanation as well, since both metals have Rydberg ... "holes".

    Commentator 3 wrote:

    One further point relative to "it would surprise no one to learn that a nickel version is also used (nominally NiOOH).":

    As mentioned before [regarding] Rydberg holes in nickel and iron, the combination of the two -- found in the Rossi reactor [ecat] as well -- is especially energetic for ground state redundancy, since all of these deeper levels are covered:

    54.4 eV

    108.5 eV

    190.4 eV

    299.2 eV

    And the interesting deduction from those values is that average gain for the proton of NiOOH would be in the previously mentioned range, where the bulk material would appear to actually have about 50 time more energy than chemical, which was similar to a claim by some proponents of "ballotechnics"...



    by: Dimitri Diamant

    ... 1. Prominent independent research as to 9/11 was conducted by Steven Earl Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Physics at Brigham Young University, Utah. Dr. Jones is an expert in an area of science known as muon cold fusion, and, from the point of view of physics, this is somewhat related to the various uses of thermite.

    Naturally, Dr. Jones was somewhat concerned about the presence of thermite residue afterwards at Ground Zero, suggesting the possibility of demolition ... The concerns of Dr. Jones [resulted in] his being placed on paid leave; and he then resigned his tenure at Brigham Young University.

    2. A discussion as to the American Society for Quality, ...

    3. [Subsequently], Congress has created a federal agency known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, often known as the NIST.

    A few years ago, an Environmental Health Manager with Underwriters Laboratories, Kevin R. Ryan, CQE, became concerned with ... 9/11 evaluation activities being conducted by the NIST, and so he communicated with them accordingly ...

    Similar ... to the outcomes concerning Dr. Steven Jones, Kevin Ryan was then dismissed by Underwriters Laboratories.

    4. Next, there is the question of peer review ...

    By means of the Internet, one can find

    This is an organization that now sponsors a relatively large number of scientific journals ...

    After a bit of a search, you can then find the Open Chemical Physics Journal, and then click View Journal Articles, and then Volume 2, Year 2009. The following entry is then found:

    Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe pp.7-31 (25) Authors: Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley, Bradley R. Larsen ...

    5 - 7. Here, a certain digression is needed ...

    8. Now, the introductory Abstract to the relevant paper of Dr. Niels Harrit and colleagues is presented:

    "We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples we have studied of the dust produced by the destruction of the World Trade Center.

    Examination of four of these samples, collected from separate sites, is reported in this paper. These red/gray chips show marked similarities in all four samples. One sample was collected by a Manhattan resident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later.

    The properties of these chips were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The red material contains grains approximately 100 nm across which are largely iron oxide, while aluminum is contained in tiny plate-like structures.

    Separation of components using methyl ethyl ketone demonstrated that elemental aluminum is present. The iron oxide and aluminum are intimately mixed in the red material ...

    Numerous iron-rich spheres are clearly observed in the residue following the ignition of these peculiar red/gray chips. The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic."

    9. Further discussion of all of this is now warranted. Whereas Prof. Steven E. Jones is a physicist, Prof. Niels H. Harrit is a chemist. There is a German website known as

    and a search here (suche) can be made for wtc 9/11. A rigorous interview, also presented there in English, of Dr. Harrit can be found. During the interview, Dr. Harrit stated that the debris material that they collected was actually, in effect, weapons grade nano-thermite, aspects of which are classified information.

    In a colloquial sense, one could say that this is something that a Manhattan resident isn't going to ordinarily find lying around, let us say, at the Bronx Zoo. The question then becomes, this being the case, how could Dr. Harrit have access to the specifics of this substance? The answer is that Dr. Harrit specializes in nano-chemistry ...

    During the interview, Dr. Harrit stated: "Yes, the particles are much smaller. But it is prepared in a radically different way compared to ordinary thermite, where the small particles are made by making bigger particles smaller. In nanomaterials, the particles are prepared from atoms and molecules." ...

    10. The interview also rigorously probed ... how the debris material was collected for analysis ...

    Here is a detailed ... explanation as to how this was done:

    "It was learned that a number of people had saved samples of the copious, dense dust, which spread and settled across Manhattan. Several of these people sent portions of their samples to members of this research group.

    This paper discusses four separate dust samples collected on or shortly after 9/11/2001. Each sample was found to contain red/gray chips. All four samples were originally collected by private citizens who lived in New York City at the time of the tragedy. These citizens came forward and provided samples for analysis in the public interest, allowing study of the 9/11 dust for whatever facts about the day might be learned from the dust ..."

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