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We have a situation in NYC where some people who have been exceptionally
productive and strong in opposing the war and the Bush agenda have gotten
caught up in accepting particularly strong assertions about the
Administration's complicity in the events of 9-11.  The key document is a
book called "The New Pearl Harbor" by David Ray Griffen.  It has a forward
by Richard Falk and encomiums by Howard Zinn and Marcus Raskin.  I have
only skimmed it and talked to people who have read it, but the book lays
out the case for believing that the Bush junta actually knew 9-11 was about
to happen and let it, or maybe even planned it.  It includes claims that
the towers and Building 7 were brought down by previously placed explosives
rather than the fires resulting from the impact, and that a missile, rather
than AA 77 hit the Pentagon.

This is a big, complicated mess and poking around on the Internet, e.g.,
http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/attack/index.html
can get you very excited.  Several people claim that UA 93 was actually
shot down over PA rather than crashing as a result of the heroic struggle
of the passengers.  I'm not convinced of this, but it's not preposterous,
since the Air Force would much rather let the hijackers take all the blame,
and they didn't know where the plane might go or who was in charge, so (if
they knew where it was) they might have felt they had to shoot.

My biggest problem is with the notion that the towers didn't fall from the
fires.  Griffen's description (p.16) is based on the erroneous notion that
the smouldering fuel fires couldn't heat the steel enough to soften it to
the point where it couldn't carry its load (~1200-1300F), hence the
explosives.  The whole description seems pasted together by technical
auto-didacts who really don't know their stuff.  They even claim that the
fact that the South Tower, hit second, fell first, shows that explosives
were used.  (It fell first because it was hit much lower down, so the
weight on the weakened steel was much greater.  They may also have been
differences in exactly where and how the fires burned, of course.)

Griffen also makes a case that a missile hit the Pentagon and AA 77 went
somewhere else and disappeared.  This seems really silly in the light of
all the witnesses who report having seen a plane fly into the Pentagon
(check the above web site, e.g.), but since the clean-up was apparently
carried out in "top secret" mode, the military have only themselves to
blame if people don't believe them.

I have no problem with a massive conspiracy to hide the incompetence, lack
of  coordination, etc.  We spend a trillion dollars on the military and
they can't even figure out that we're under attack?  My Pet Goat?  Of
course they had to dodge and obfuscate and deny.  And they are evil enough
to do anything.  But I don't think they are capable of the out-of-the-box
thinking it would take to ally with al Quaeda, and the conspiracy
theorist's technical argumentation (the parts I have read) seems really
contrived.

Has anyone in the group spent any time on this and come to a different
conclusion?  Any explanation for Falk and Zinn and Raskin going for this story?


All the best,
Dick