Commemorating Pearl Harbor Day

…the V.D. Hanson Way.

As in, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself forgetting our fear, for the Eternal Muslim forever schemes and plots.”


Our Pearl Harbor
By Victor Davis Hanson

On Dec. 7, 1941 – 65 years ago this week – pilots from a Japanese carrier force bombed Pearl Harbor. They killed 2,403 Americans, most of them service personnel, while destroying much of the American fleet and air forces stationed in Hawaii.

The next morning, an outraged United States declared war, which ended less than four years later with the destruction of most of the Japanese empire and its military.

You know what’s coming next, right?

Sixty years after Pearl Harbor came another surprise attack on U.S. soil, one that was, in some ways, even worse than the “Day of Infamy.”

Shorter V.D. Hanson: “The War On Terror is directly comparable to World War II, except for being completely diff… Uh, I believe this only strengthens my point.”


Comments: 77


Even Shorter V.D. Hanson: “I am a screaming nutter”


Just as in World War II, the War on Terra’s most fervent supporters stayed home, enjoying Cheetosâ„¢ and tax cuts.


Not to wave the conspiracy-theorist paranoia hand, but has anyone ever wondered about the fact that the towers came down exactly as if they’d been wired for demolition?

The whole event smelled to high heaven.


Not to wave the conspiracy-theorist paranoia hand, but has anyone ever wondered about the fact that the towers came down exactly as if they’d been wired for demolition?

Sadly, Nut!


I wondered more about the fact that the President, upon hearing the news, sat there staring into space for seven minutes like he’d been smoking hash laced with opium and vicodin.

Smiling Mortician

That’s what Victor Davis Can It Be A Piece of Liver Hanson looks like? A cross between Billy Graham and Les Nessman? Why had I never seen him before? More importantly, why must I see him now?


It’s unthinkable I know, almost as unthinkable as George ever becoming presnident…I’m just sayin’ – And him in that classroom looking resigned and frozen all at once. It smells corpsey.

INDEPTH! I wouldn’t jump off the low diving board. You’re liable to crack your cranium.


C’mon Lesley, you’re just joshin’, right? I mean, these 9/11 conspiracy theories are beyond stupid, and you’ve shown a tendency towards rationality on these boards. In case anybody takes this nonsense seriously, 2 things. First, you’re tellin me that the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, the folks that brought you Iraq, Katrina and the 109th congress developed and executed an incredibly complex and perfectly timed and executed operation and utterly got away with it? And second, c’mon, the building was hit by a fully fueled Boeing 767 at 560 miles per hour. That it fell down is NOT a surprise. HOW it fell down – well, when we have another couple of similar events to analyze and they happen substantially differently, well, then we’ll talk….



Mikey, I’m not telling you any such thing. I only commented that those buildings coming down looked like a demolition job. They imploded perfectly. That’s all. Maybe humongous steel buildings planes go into do that. I don’t know…it just seemed odd, that’s all.


I’m just sayin’

Yeah, it’s a possibility I’ve thought about as well. But as always with conspiracies, there are a lot of seamy people researching it. It’s good to be extra-careful when delving into that kinda stuff.


It’s voting time!

Don’t be shy folks, vote early, vote often. (Also vote for Michael Berube for Best Educational Blog, he’s a cool cat!)


And it’s “odd” compared to what? All the other 110 story buildings hit by airliners we’ve seen come down? Come on, not only do we not have the expertise to make that call, what do we have to compare it to? How many 100+ story buildings have we seen brought down in that fashion? It might be exactly how it looks. Sorry, but it sounds like looking for something that just isn’t there…


LA Confidential Pantload

Gotta go with VD Abel Baker Charlie Hanson’s view: a terrorist attack by a handful of lunatics is FAR, FAR WORSE than an assault – perhaps, a “pre-emptive war” if you will – by a high-tech,organized military. Islamofascisnazienablingaclutypes are scary! What a worthless piece of shit…Sage of Fresno, indeed.


Is Good ‘ol VD Hanson any relation to the twins in that iconic 90’s rock band Hanson?
I first knew I was in trouble with VD when he slammed Jared Diamond in the intro to “Carnage and Culture”.
Shorter VDH “how dare he claim those cannibal darkies are smart!1!!”
Don’t look at me that way – the pickins were slim at the Seatac airport bookstore on my concourse.
VDH has got to have “carthago delenda est” tatooed on his penis. In very small copperplate gothic.


Anybody remember what thread – must have been mid november- that has the DETAILED comments about how 911 was all missles and shit? When was that?


Mikey, I guess I expected them to fall over in a big expansive mess, crushing adjacent buildings and people. They didn’t. Heh. Maybe that makes me stupid and all buildings come down so neatly under such circumstances, and you’re right, there’s nothing to compare it to.

Other steel buildings have withstood the force of fire over extended periods, and haven’t collapsed. But I’m not a scientist and I don’t know. I’m only pointing out an observation I had the day it occurred. I’m sure all kinds of people – nutjobs and rational people who are otherwise completely unalike – had the same observation.

I read somewhere – and I’m hesitant to go on with this because I already am being made to feel like a wingnut for bringing it up – that demolitions experts sent letters expressing surprise at the way these buildings collapsed to the 911 commission. Should they not have asked? Is it wrong to voice an observation about something just because some crazies have taken this and run with it?


I, for what it’s worth don’t believe the 9/11 story in full. I don’t believe in the deeply complicated conspiracy theories either; as mikey pointed out these guys can’t get a damn thing right so I doubt they pulled off some grand caper.
But there are a lot of questions unanswered, and I’ve never trusted the government to give me the full story. They never have.
The truth’s somewhere in between, and may never be fully known.
JFK, RFK, MLK anyone? Bueller? Bueller?


Gavin M. said, Yeah, it’s a possibility I’ve thought about as well. But as always with conspiracies, there are a lot of seamy people researching it. It’s good to be extra-careful when delving into that kinda stuff.



Lemonheads, that’s where I’m at with the whole thing, too. There are many unanswered questions.

In any case, there’s no point in wildly speculating about that which I know naught. Science may sort it out one day. I just threw it out there and my apologies if I offended anyone.


Getting back to Victor up there. He looks a little like John Malkowitch, no?


Dammit, the one time that I think of something worthwhile. You guys go and start a new thread.


I dunno, Lesley. You wanna name orgz, anyway? Who set the couple thousand charges? The SEALS? Maybe Mosssad, doing DCI a favor? If you’re willing to suggest that american citizens were complicit in the 9/11 attacks, it would be nice if you were willing to identify the attackers so we could at least begin to understand their motives. I mean, to question the collapse of the towers and not give a reason why americans would have done that seems a bit unfair to me…



I’m with Mikey, on this one.

You know, seven friends I used to work with were in WTC1 that morning, none of them made it out.

The story here isn’t some fantastic conspiracy, it’s the criminal stupidity of the Cheney regime ignoring the warnings from Clarke, etc., lying about receiving the warnings, and then using their own failure, AND THE VICTIMS THEMSELVES, to do what they wanted to do all along.

Which was attack Iraq, which is now an even more spectacular failure.


If 911 is a conspiracy then there are way, way too many people keeping quiet about killing close to 3000 of their fellow citizens. I can’t believe that this could remain bottled up if the guvmint did it.


I saw a PBS Frontline docu maybe a year or so after 9/11/01 that went into great technical detail (for TV) about how and why the towers fell as they did.

As I recall it came down to the level of fire insulation around the key connections between the building’s skeleton and its outer skin. The insulation was rated to withstand typical high-rise fires, but was totally melted away under the heat produced by flaming jet fuel. As those connections weakened in the intense heat, the skeleton essentially started to buckle in upon itself, creating a sort of domino effect that brought the building straight down under its own weight.

It may have looked like a standard demolition job from the outside, but that appearance was misleading and superficial– inside, things were quite different.


mikey, you’re putting suggestions in my mouth. I never suggested or implied americans or any other “group” brought down those towers. And I’m not going to engage you there…you’re flying into wingnut territory and I’m not there, have never been there, have no intention of visiting.

You Americans are so easily offended, Christ. Take a breath.


I’m really sorry if it seemed like that. I find that the conspiracy theories are USUALLY wingnut territory, and I engage them ’cause I want to hear who they think is behind this crime. I’m really sorry if you thought I was attacking YOU, I was attacking an IDEA I find offensive and unrealistic. But I’m really not “offended”…



Longer and Funnier Lesley:

I say this with zero knowledge of structual engineering, or intimate knowledge of the contrustion of the towers, but, were it me? That’s exactly how I would design my towers to fall, if they were going to.
If you go on the assumption of something ass-bad would have to happen in order to provoke a totaly structural failure, one would assume that the building would have been mostly, if not fully, evacuated before the building comes down.
If you can design it to fall in on itself like a house of cars, rather then, say, having a 100 story tall building fall over sideways? I’d do it.
It sounds crass and heartless, and it is, but it should minimize collateral damage, and save more lives of bystanders who are not in immediate danger. Sometimes, that’s how it has to go.

The whole, “inside job” theory is much more popular with the Pentagon, since there is a large amount of film, much of it live, that shows planes hitting the tower. (including the first plane. A camera crew was on the sreet talking to firefighters, I believe, when the first plan flew over head, and they tracked it into the Tower.)
I’d love to see how that one would go.
“Okay, men, here’s today’s mission…”
“Ummm, what? This is the Pentagon? What the fuck?”
“That’s right. And you can’t tell anyone you ever did this.”
“…the word “frag” leaps to mind…”


Oh. Another similarity that Cobag McHanson here skipped over is that the most audacious thing about both attacks is that they were able to be pulled off.
The military had pretty good reason to believe that Japan was going to attack, and a small radar station had picked up the incoming attackers, but they were mistaken to be arriving American bombers.
Since I’m geeking out anyways; when they discovered the American carriers were NOT in Pearl Harbor, as the Japanese had thought, but out at sea, Yamamoto feared a suprise counter-attack by American planes on his fleet, and cancled the third wave of attack that would have finished off most of the inland instillations and destroyed America’s fuel stockpiles. This well intentioned but ultimatly wrong discision was a major reason why the American Pacific fleet was able to rebound from the attack so swiftly.


If 911 is a conspiracy then there are way, way too many people keeping quiet about killing close to 3000 of their fellow citizens. I can’t believe that this could remain bottled up if the guvmint did it.

The closest I come to crediting the conspiracy notions is the idea that Bin Laden might’ve been allowed to carry off the attacks. Possible? Maybe. I dunno.

It’s hard to say with the Bush/Cheney crew what they’re capable of, or how brazen or stupid they might be.

But I certainly don’t have any personal investment in that sort of narrative. I’ve tried to file it in the ‘let’s see what comes out over the years’ category.


Lesley said,

I guess I expected them to fall over in a big expansive mess, crushing adjacent buildings and people.

Why? The jet crash weakened or destroyed the support elements holding up the part of the building above the impact point. The resulting fire weakened them further. When they became too weak to hold up the top of the building any longer, gravity took over and it fell directly onto the floor below. The weight of the entire top of the building was too much for that floor to support, so it collapsed, falling straight down onto the floor below. Repeat, until the ceilings in the ground-floor lobbies collapse.

There being no force acting on the top of the building other than gravity, there was no reason for it to tip over in any direction. And since there was no explosion, there was no reason for the building to fly apart.


“Is it wrong to voice an observation about something …”

Course not. Just know that to do so is to illustrate the old saw, “Opinions are like butt holes – everyone has one, and they all stink.”

FWIW, there was a detailed PBS program (Frontline?) on the engineering behind the WTC towers (including plenty of face time with the chief design engineer).

The way that the towers fell was readily accounted for by virtue of the heat generated by lots of burning jet fuel (the planes were each loaded for a cross country trip); the effects of the heat on particular joints holding beams to the steel uprights; and the pancake effect of floors collapsing sequentially one upon the other.

But if someone wants to think it was an elaborate demo job, who am I to dissuade them?


An observation is not necessarily an opinion, Rub.


An observation is not necessarily an opinion, Rub.

When they’re framed like this, they certainly are:

Not to wave the conspiracy-theorist paranoia hand, but has anyone ever wondered about the fact that the towers came down exactly as if they’d been wired for demolition?

The whole event smelled to high heaven.


Clearly I need to be sent to the SadlyNo Comment Re-education Camp.

I can be thoughtless, careless, and inarticulate at times.

I’m not a wingnut conspiracy theorist though.


Well, I certainly don’t mind discussions on alternate theories of 9/11.

I think it’s one of those difficult topics, though.


Well, I certainly don’t mind discussions on alternate theories of 9/11.

I think it’s one of those difficult topics, though.

It wouldn’t be a difficult topic if there was something to hang those theories on. It would be news.


The last serious one i saw, it’s first arguement was against the superstructure collapsing due to fire. Apparently, since your pot doesn’t melt one your stove when you boil water, the Towers couldn’t POSSIBLY have melted from the jet-fuel inferno.
I stopped watching at that point.

People will believe what they want to believe, irregardless of logic or facts.


The towers’ collapse explained in pictures-

Obviously a Warren Commisionish coverup. Clearly the towers were secretly wired with several thousand pounds of explosives, possibly by the Jews, but more probably by Buddhists.

Lets not forget that the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddha in 2001, just 6 months before 9/11. And everyone knows Buddhists are sneaky.


i have worked in the construction industry for nearly thirty years and can tell you that nothing is ever built fully to specifications. EVERYBODY cuts corners, including the inspectors who are supposed to suppress corner-cutting. Remember that everybody involved in any building was the lowest bidder, unless the fix was in (which circumstance speaks for itself). Mostly, this system works, in a chaotic fashion, because mostly catastrophe does not strike- when it does, your life could depend on the hungover welder, the cheap brittle chinese-cast bolts, the concrete poured by a crew that does not speak the same language as the guy bossing them- not to speak of the design team cranking out plans fasterfasterfaster to meet budget, the overworked and often underqualified construction supervisors, and so on.


further, i have always heard that the construction industry in NYC has been more or less in the pocket of the Mafia for 50+ years- even if this is exaggerated or entirely untrue, there is more than enough shoddy material, bad workmanship and lax oversight in the construction of any large building i have ever known much about to preclude any great faith in its ability to withstand a real, serious test.
Plans and specifications tell you what the design team would get in their dreams- catastrophe demonstrates what they got.
Everybody involved , from the manufacturers of the beams to the trim carpenters, is a little, fallible human being who is not always focussed on the job at hand. Many little failures add up.


*peeking over edge to see if it’s safe*

Lesley, I think a lot of people feel there was something more going on that day who are also not out there in crazy land. The put options on the airline stocks, the total lack of military air support, the collapse of a building that wasn’t really structually near the towers (though part of the complex), the total lack of forensic investigation (everything was swept up and sent to a landfill)- and as Gavin said, maybe – just maybe – the warnings were deliberetly ignored. Wasn’t it PNAC who was calling for another Pearl Harbor?

I doubt we’ll ever get the full story, but I can tell you something – the 9/11 Commission sure as hell didn’t provide many satisfying answers.

Anyway, Mikey, Righteous, Some Guy et all – I’d certainly like to know more, wouldn’t you? I’m certainly not comfortable with the “official” explanation…


…and just so you know I used to work at the corporate HQ of a major bank in the Pacific NW on the facility safety committee. A 42 story high-rise (ok, not that tall compared to other skyscrapers, but similar safety principles apply). I’m not an engineer, but I’m not talking from a completely uninformed position either. Our building was built in the red quadrant of an earthquake zone – several blocks away from a major river (get this) in the flood plain. Oh what fun meetings we used to have, discussing the ‘what if?’ scenarios and emergency response (there really wouldn’t be one) in the event of a catastrophic earthquake. The ground beneath you basically turns to mud. Good times – the basic scenario is that you are stuck in there for 3 to 5 days with dead, dying and injured people and virtually no way for emergency services to get to you. Don’t even get me started on the fire protocols…

So yeah, I watched the towers fall in a perfect implosion with some credulity myself. There are a lot of factors at work in a highrise catastrophe, and as dalton periphery said, no building is ever completed to full specs. Corners will always, always be cut.


A building liek that CAN’T fall sideways. The structure isn’t strong enough to hold together enough to do so. As soon as it starts to fall, it’ll crumble.

There are a couple of good debunking sites. If I remember right, both are run by good lefties who were horrified at the tinfoil crowd adopting the views of the far RW nuts on Rense, etc.


Shouldn’t it be “Out of his depth”?

Smiling Mortician

If you want a 9/11 conspiracy theory, how about his one? The feds surreptitiously fan the flames of all the it-couldn’t-have-happened-that-way theories in order to keep our eye off the real ball, which is that the feds (maliciously? incompetently? you decide!) allowed it to happen at all.

Hate Encrusted Eyes

The question is if this attack by the islamo fascists was the new Perle Harbor why did Bush respond by asking us to shop? Where is the total war mobilization?


You know VD Hanson stuns me (actually he doesn’t, that’s just a slightly disingenous lead-in to a gratutious explanation of why I’m not surprised by his recent career – which follows directly)

Mr Hanson wrote a pretty good book once (“The Western Way of War”) which put forward a hyphothesis of why the ancient greeks were so successful in fighting off the Persians – the Greeks were a small collection of partially civilized states, while the Persians were the superpower of their time.

As I understand it, the book got a pretty good reception from the war buffs and classical history buffs (amatuers – I count myself in both camps), and a quite respectful one from the academics who actually study this stuff for a living (professionals). His hypothesis was that, for various environmental, social, economic and political reasons

the Greeks favored short, sharp and brutal conflict; whereas the Persians – like most other peoples in the ancient world took a more ‘nuanced’ and leasurely approach.

In other words the Greeks were the ‘hard bastards’ of the ancient world and managed to beat the living daylights out of anyone who tackled them. Pretty good so far.

Unfortunately he then when on and justified his title by insisting that the modern west was the natural inheritor of this martial tradition and that “no other army can stand against the moral force of the army of a modern western democracy”. I thought this was slightly off the rails at the time I read the book:- I seem recall to that the Germans had a couple of pretty good armies that could fight off western democracies fairly effectively during the
20thC and I don’t think the Nazi’s were all that democratic.

It was also pretty weird that – accepting that particular circumstances turned the ancient Greeks into warmongering thugs – no parallels to those conditions really exist in the modern world. Or at least, he never made that argument, even though his thesis implicitely requires that parallels be established.

No matter, it was a good book and so I read his follow-up “The Soul of Battle”. Very much more populist, and a quite entertaining description of three great leaders – one of ancient Greece, Sherman during the civil war and Patton in Europe. But I was always troubled by the way, whenever VD Hanson tried to elicidate his philosphy the books seemed to just ramp up the moral outrage, and tension, until just short of breaking out into outright ranting
and frothing at the mouth, he’d pull back and regroup to have another go 20-30 pages further on. Then it would ramp up again, but there’d never be any conclusion. The revelation of the ultimate truth was always just out of reach.

Throughout there was never any clear, coherent argument as to what he actually mean’t, or how it could be made relevent to the modern world. No way in which his call for brutal, swift violence on a shock-n-awe scale could be measured against the requirements of particular situations. No way to decide when it was justified and when it was not. Just a lot of tooth grinding rants proposing might makes right. When should we make war? Whenever we damn well feel like it, seemed to be the argument.

I put the books aside for a few years.

And then Cheney appeared (along with Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz). And after a few months of watching the teeth grinding, ranting, frothing and abusive rejection of contrary views, I started to wonder “I’ve seen/heard this
before, I wonder if they’ve read VDH)?”.

And lo and behold there he was. A prime mover in the neocon movement.

What we’ve got here is an amatuer academic, who once wrote a good PhD thesis to justify his father’s participation in the the horrendous slaughter of the Japanese in Allied air-raids during WWII, turned it into a book, and then parleyed that into a consulting career.

Unfortunately, he also convinced a bunch of people who had the controls of a major military machine at their disposal and they were influenced to conduct this murderous and stupid war using his thesis as intellectual cover.

Time to ignore him, let his books go out of print, and let him retire to his orange farm in CA. (OTOH – if he ever took government money, maybe a prosecution for war profiteering?)


The closest thing to a plausible 911 conspiracy would be that Bush et al knew some sort of attack was coming, and deliberately did not take action to stop it in order that the attack could be spun into the basis for invading Iraq.

When the attack came it was several orders of magnitude larger than Bush expected.

This explains the inexplicable Pet Goat incident, and the shift of policy priorities out of Afganistan and into Iraq. Still, the fact that such a theory explains certain events is not evidence that the alleged conspiracy actually existed. Occam’s razor implies the evident hackery, laziness, and sheer stupidity are sufficient to make any conspiracy theory effectively disproven.


Yeah, that’s what I keep thinking.

One thing that troubles me, though, is the PNAC statement that looks forward to a ‘new Pearl Harbor’ that would enable bold military interventions. That was Rumsfeld, Perle, Feith, et al.


When Pearl Harbor was destroyed by the Japs most Americans had never even heard of Pearl Harbor or knew where it was. Nor was Hawaii even a state.

And what did America do after the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor?
They began bombing white people six months later in Europe. What did white people have to do with Pearl Harbor?


Umm, actually starting a question with, “Not to wave the conspiracy-theorist paranoia hand, but has anyone ever wondered…” not only doesn’t rise to the level of opinion, in my opinion; I’d hesitate to call it an observation.

It sounds more like the sort of idle musing someone might engage in while sitting around bullshitting with friends. Of course, sometimes the reaction of said friends is to throw things (soft things) at you. But that’s a risk we all have to take sometimes.


And what did America do after the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor?
They began bombing white people six months later in Europe. What did white people have to do with Pearl Harbor?

Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that Germany and Italy had declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941. The Allied Powers determined that it was in the best long-term strategic interest to defeat Germany and Italy first, and hold Japan at bay in the interim.

As usual, Chung’s ignorance (or is it his intellectual dishonesty) is staggering.


Ok, I’d be fascinated by any actual evidence of any kind of conspiracy other than the one hatched by bin Laden in Afghanistan. But here’s my problem with these grand conspiracy theories, not just 9/11 but everything in the Kennedy/NWO class. We laugh and cry daily about the sheer incompetence of government, from the local Mayor’s office and it’s inability to get the roads fixed to the police kicking down the wrong door and killing an old woman to Katrina. But then, somehow, we’re willing to ascribe consistently perfect operations to that same class of government/civil servant operative.

For that matter, we get leaks on everything. We get leaks of classified intelligence findings, we get leaks of political memos, we get leaks of IM conversations, we get leaks about leaks. And yet, again, we’re willing to just accept that these very large conspiracies, with the complicity of, in some cases hundreds of people, are held perfectly airtight for not just years, but decades. In spite of the finacial opportunity for anybody with a real story to tell – writing the book, complete with supporting evidence, would make someone very wealthy. It just doesn’t seem possible…



People will believe what they want to believe, irregardless of logic or facts.

Please, oh please believe that “irregardless” is a horrible word.


Is no one else reminded of Buffalo Bill by that picture of VD Hanson?

“It renounces Muslim sin or else it gets the Army again.”


I mean, to question the collapse of the towers and not give a reason why americans would have done that seems a bit unfair to me…

Well, it’s all laid out in the PNAC manifesto. See also, American foreign policy 2001-2006.


One thing that troubles me, though, is the PNAC statement that looks forward to a ‘new Pearl Harbor’ that would enable bold military interventions. That was Rumsfeld, Perle, Feith, et al.

One of the things I always feel guilty about is my reaction, which after the initial awe and amazement and horror, was “this is like a gift to these assholes.” Naturally there was a family friend in one of the towers and a whole bunch of other people besides who did not have to die; thinking about politics so quickly felt like a character flaw, one shared by Rumsfeld.

In a perverse way knowing someone who died there is one of my arguments against the “letting it happen” thesis: I and a bunch of people I know had friends in those buildings, and I would be pretty surprised if the PNAC people didn’t lose some of their own friends or acquaintances in the cataclysm. Pretty easy to bomb abstractions, less easy to let your golf-buddy get taken out by your enemy.

Please, oh please believe that “irregardless� is a horrible word.

It’s got an extra syllable, so it’s like, one better.


mikey, maybe those who subscribe to conspiracy theories find some crazy kind of comfort in them.

Recently, where I live, a massive hydro failure occurred during unseasonably cold weather, and my God, the hysteria during this time s was unbelievable. Few were coping well with it because they were, of course, unprepared, and like most urban dwellers complacent. You turn a switch and light and heat are delivered. At the same time, the community was under a boil-water advisory for two weeks and, well… out popped the conspiracy-theorists claiming the government was in cahoots with the bottled water companies and so on. People had fist fights in Costco for bottled water. Ridiculous. There was plenty available.

I live in an earthquake zone. I can just imagine how insane the scene will be if the big one ever hits. People may bitch about government but they also have faith in the governments they claim not to trust. Faith in organization and expertise. When chaos happens, most people seek reassurance. They want to feel safe. They want order, explanations, they want to be able to make sense of what doesn’t make sense.

So, without going on ad nauseum, maybe for some people a conspiracy theory, even if it implies something beyond the pale of egregiousness is a soother.


“Irregardless” is used quite intentionally. I like it, so nurts to you “it’s not a word!” peoples.

I think a large part of the drive behinf the conpsirancy is that people have a hard time believe that things just happen. That there can be no order or reason or justification for things that is apparent, so there MUST be a reason that is hidden!
Someone asked earlier if we were satisfied that some nutjobs hijacked planes, crashed them into some buildings, and through design and/or negligent construction, the buildings fell; that emergency responders had absolute shit communication, and that there was no military response.
Well, yeah. Things don’t always work.


Y’know, Lesley, that is quite honestly something I have never considered, and it made me think (dammit!). I have to wonder if, with my years of active resistance to religion and the doctrine of “there has to be a reason, god did it” I have become knee-jerk opposed to solutions more organized or “intelligently designed”, if you will, than a simple explanation of poo poo occurs. I’m going to hide in the bushes and observe me for a couple weeks – we may have identified a heretofore undocumented behavior in Oldgrouchyus Mikeyus



I think a large part of the drive behinf the conpsirancy is that people have a hard time believe that things just happen.

People believe they’re living lives with meaning, and part of that meaning involves some recognizable story arc or myth, and we shoehorn happenstance into destiny or conspiracy. The “stabbed in the back” myth is for instance powerful and people relate to it, irregardlessly of where the truth may lay. Snort. I don’t believe it’s all about safety as much as it’s about narrative, and narrative has strength through chaos (9/11 and associated misadventures) and order (relatively peaceful Clinton years).


That makes sense, Bubba. Probably the same reason that people who believe they have lived previous lives were always kings, queens, great warriors or scholars or some other manifestation of Famous Historical Person ™. Nobody was ever Joe Schmoe, because what meaning would that have?



well, I’m relatively well educated as far as building codes go, and they have been getting more stringent for decades.

Earthquake, or lateral loading requirements, are a good example. As the West coast experiences more, and larger earthquakes teh amount of knowledge increases, and the design requirements of buildings are modified to provide increasing levels of safety. Modern building codes would have negated most of the disastrous effects of the Great SF Earthquake.

But on the other side of the coin, there is no such thing as complete safety. Every building is designed for a certain level of stress from various effects, but Nature (and of course, mankind) are ever-able to apply forces beyond what the building is designed for.

The WTC were well-designed for laterla loading, being relatively modern buildings. Meaning that when the planes hit, the buildings responded by oscillating until the force was spent. The planes hitting by themselves presented a relatively minor lateral load, compared to, say, a constant wind of 80 mph against the entire side of the building for several hours (which the buildings had withstood any number of times in their lifespan)

It also has to be kept in mind that building elements are designed to withstand fire for a discreete period of time, and typical assemblies are tested at maybe 1200 degrees for one, two, three, four hours…. but eventually fail, no matter how they’re built. Increase that to a temp of 3000 degrees, add to that the physical damage created by the initial impact, and I have no problem beleiving that a floor would fail, then falling directly downward. Then you have a cascading failure, which has been observed plenty of times in ‘lift-up’ construction.

I can’t see the failure behavior of the Towers as evidence of conspiracy or cover up. I also, believe, however, that there are parts of the puzzle that the Gov is not telling us, or is lying about, and may not be discovered for some time.

But yeah, mikey, we are all too immersed in American culture to believe that things don’t fit some pattern, and meaninglessness is hard to accept for a lot of people.


I was watching the History Channel once (maybe Discovery, I forget) and they were talking about tall-ass buildings.
In order to withstand the constant, high-velocity winds that you get on a building that tall (it’s basically a giant sail), you need to build it to swall and give with the pressure.
Obviously, it can only give so much before it would topple, so to accomidate this, tall buildings have a large counter weight that sits at or near the top of the building. Basically, it’s a giant pendulum, the idea being that it willl sway counter to how the building is shifting, and more or less hold it in place.
The size of the weight is dependant to how tall the building is. However, for super-tall buildings (read: quarter mile+ tall) the size of the pendulum counter-eight needed to keep the building upright gets exponentially larger, and would become simply to large to be viable.
However, Asian egineers (Believe Hong Kong, possibly Japan) have worked out that. with a system of computers and pistons, they can creat an active-counterweight, one that would react to the sway of the building before the vuilding does. This would allow for the use of a much smaller counter-weight in the buildings, and furthur prove that there is nothing Western civilization can do that Asia can’t do better (except live-action entertainment. Suck it, Japan!)
There were also plans about building large …buildings… in a sort of hallow cylinder-type form (closer to an octogon, or possible a septogon, if you’re into that sort of thing, you pervert), which would reduce structural strain from high winds and decrease the largest hazard from building fires, which is smoke inhilation.
Fascinating, n’est-ce pas?

Something like 20% of Americans believe the Apollo missions were faked.


Get a load of this! Shoot me now.


Lesley, Mikey, Celticgirl, I want to add one more only-in-NYC facet to Dalton’s comments: During most of the World Trade Center’s history, New Yorkers hated them. Hated the idea of them, hated the financing, hated the way the plans were drawn up, hated the final designs, hated the companies who were awarded the contracts, hated the way hundreds of small businesses were evicted (& mostly destroyed) to make space for them, hated the years of noise & traffic obstructions & environmental damage that resulted from tearing down a vibrant area in the heart of the city to put the towers up, hated what the towers did to the city’s skyline. And, in some cases, hated that the Port Authority basically destroyed New York’s future as a great seaport by taking hundreds of millions of dollars that should have been spent on upgrading its harbor facilities to deal with the burgeoning container-shipping industry (remember, we’re talking about the 1960s) and pouring those millions into a couple of phallic symbols loosely envisioned as encouraging international-megacorporate-financialism. Believe me, if it had been possible to sabotage those towers so easily, they’d never have been opened for business, because there was just that much animosity concerning their birth. My late dad worked for the Port Authority in those days, and the dockmasters and port workers actually had a favorite joke about demolishing the still-unfinished WTC that ended with the punchline “But where will we find a sky-diving rat?”

I have an open mind as to whether certain powers within our own government knew that the towers had been targeted before 9/11, or whether the Pentagon hit was part of bin Laden’s original plan, or whether the Carlyle Group somehow managed to add one more atrocity to its impressive tally of profiting from other peoples’ death. (After all, there are plenty of historians who believe FDR knew roughly what the Japanese were planning for Pearl Harbor, and allowed that horror to happen as a way of drawing America into defeating the Nazis.) But I fully believe that the World Trade Center towers ended as they began — providing a spectacle of blood & terror that was considerably less horrific than its destroyers hoped, yet still ugly enough to justify the ongoing waste of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. They were built, and they were demolished, for the same reasons earlier empires built the pyramids or burned the Library of Alexandria — because one set of rulers wanted to astonish the world with their powers, and another set wanted to punish the first bunch for those same powers.


I have an open mind as to whether certain powers within our own government knew that the towers had been targeted before 9/11

Attention: it was previously bombed.


Anne, will the city make the same mistake twice? Will the new constructions be privately maintained?

The owner of the twin towers, Larry Silverstein, received, I believe, $4.6 billion in insurance payments on his $124 million initial investment. (I’m not sure if the 4.6B included included the Silverstein-constructed tower 7 which was demolished after the attacks for reasons that remain unclear as it hadn’t been attacked and the structural damage from the fallout of the other two were reported to have been minimal. But he received money for the demise of Tower 7, too.) Is Larry still having a time renting this construction?


I’m not sure if the 4.6B included included the Silverstein-constructed tower 7 which was demolished after the attacks for reasons that remain unclear as it hadn’t been attacked and the structural damage from the fallout of the other two were reported to have been minimal.

There were clear reasons for demolishing WTC 7 which you would know if you bothered reading some of the material people have pointed you to.


demolishing WTC 7

Whoops, letting my fingers run away with me.


Not to stick my head in here, but the official story remains that WTC7 collapsed on its own, despite Silverstein’s having said that he and Giuliani made a decision to demolish the building.

Clearly both can’t be true, so either the official story is false or Silverstein’s account is false.


I should have been clearer. What I meant above was writing “demolishing WTC 7” on my part was an error.

Anyway, this is a pretty decent explanation of what the deal was there.


Bubba, the site suggests that by “pull it” Silverstein meant pull the firefighters out, not “pull the building.” By “it” he meant the effort.


Yes. No demolishment.


Bush of course knew an attack was coming… as did anyone closely following the news that summer. But did he know the specifics and “allow” the attack to occur? No way. Let’s say you’re Bush and your dastardly motive is to start a Mideast War. Why wouldn’t he arrest the guys in advance, put ’em on TV, let them give their “Death to America” chants, really show us repugnant they were, and then use his newly won heroism to launch a preemptive war to stave off the next attack. The country would have been with him, and he would’ve been able to sleep at night.

Also, he didn’t need an attack to justify a war. All he needed was a bunch of “mushroom cloud” oogity boogity to get us into Iraq (and perhaps next Iran).

Somewhat off-topic. For a very moving song about 9/11 I recommend “Exodus Damage” by John Vanderslice. Free download here:


Dakota, a bunch of ranting muslims would not have been enough to stampede America, and more specifically, Congress, into a war.

The ranting and oogity boogity served to ramp up the fear and horror people felt naturally enough after the attack. They would have been ineffedctive coming without the death of Amreicans.


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