National questions reverberate in Sedona's own back yard
While most of us would rather forget the events of 9/11, they remain imbedded in our collective consciousness. As the scar tissue of a nation slowly heals itself, doubt over the origin of the attacks still loiters in the minds of an increasing number of Americans.
From a journalist’s perspective, the inconsistencies in the 9/11 reports still pose some unresolved questions – much like the immigration debacle or even Sedona’s tree challenges highlighted on our Community Issues page.
What have we learned?
Within months after the tragic event six years ago, I found myself facing one of another kind: the burial of my father at Arlington National Cemetery. As soldiers performed their honorary six-gun salute, my curious eye wandered to the gutted Pentagon situated within close proximity to dad’s grave site.
Right then and there I realized in utter amazement that there was no way a plane could have entered the building so low to the ground from that direction without grazing the busy six-lane highway just yards away and taking out an untold number of vehicles along with it.
Why have we never seen evidence of jet engines or other debris that would result from such an attack?
While many experts debate whether or not a jet did indeed crash into the Pentagon, they do agree that the Pentagon should have never been hit.
More importantly, why haven't we read about such debates in more national newspapers?
It appears that is changing – six years later.
Doing their job
So profound are the 9/11 inconsistencies that even the most mainstream media have stepped up to examine the claims and probe the inner workings of American bureaucracies.
In 2002 the National Press Club conducted a conference titled “Unanswered Questions” to probe the inexplicable circumstances surrounding 9/11 and to ask the questions journalists are supposed to be asking – the kind that often get censored in today’s mainstream newsrooms.
The Washington Bureau of Cox News Service now has a Government Secrecy beat – a media first. Even ABC.com ran a report titled “New Tape Stirs Up 9/11 Conspiracy Theories” while the Winnipeg Sun featured “9/11: An Inside Job?” in addition to “War on Terror Looks Like a Fraud.”
The media is finally posing some tough questions: Why does the FBI claim there is “no hard evidence” linking bin Laden to the 9/11 attacks? Why did the towers collapse when a steel-frame building has never succumbed to fire in the history of architecture?
Certainly there have been enough eyewitness accounts of explosions inside the buildings before they collapsed, all supporting the theory of a controlled demolition. In addition, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s resistance in taking the vital steps to prove otherwise only adds to the suspicions of foul play.
Even more jolting are the allegations of government conspiracy and a masterminded Bush administration plot to brainwash the American public in support of launching a war against terror and creating new government control policies, such as the Patriot Act.
If not, then why did the Bush administration oppose a 9/11 investigation for more than a year? Why is so much 9/11 evidence still unavailable to the public?
Another even more intriguing question rose from the media probes: Was the integrity of the U.S. financial system at stake due to the ongoing refusal by the Pentagon to provide for annual audited financial statements for the Dept. of Defense budget? Did the Pentagon use the attacks as an excuse for not having done so?
Still, they have not accounted for the reported $3.3 trillion dollars of undocumented adjustments in their privately-managed accounting system, according to testimony provided by Catherine Austin Fitts, managing director of a top Wall Street investment bank. In addition, an unidentified number of stock traders made millions of dollars from short-selling stocks of airlines involved in the attacks.
Other emerging questions include: Where was FAA and military intervention on 9/11 since they routinely dispatch fighter jets if a plane deviates from its normal flight path? Why didn’t the government heed previous attack warnings?
And why on earth did Bush remain in a classroom surrounded with schoolchildren after learning that America was under attack?
Likewise, why was the debris from Flight 93 scattered for miles instead of in the field where it crashed?
Numerous eyewitness accounts suggest something suspicious occurred on Flight 93 while it was still airborne due to the sudden appearance of a small aircraft just seconds before the crash.
And how could Associated Press capture photos of the first plane hitting the first tower? Were they alerted of an oncoming disaster and poised in the just the right place with their cameras pointed at the towers just at that decisive moment?
And why do we still have no conclusive 9/11 Commission Report on the inexplicable collapse of the buildings surrounding the towers hours later on 9/11?
One popular issue that surfaced in the press is why members of the bin Laden family were permitted to fly out of the U.S. at a time when all commercial flights were grounded. And why has no one been held accountable for the events leading up to and including 9/11?
These represent just a few of the questions that still await answers – by the American people and the press. So the investigations continue.
Grounds for suspicion
The bottom line is: Why do we still lack sufficient evidence and a conclusive government report about what really happened?
Did the 9/11 Commission fail to ask the right questions? If so, were members knowingly hiding the truth?
Do we still trust our government agencies in light of what's been revealed about them in recent years? Has the research been thoroughly conducted by the proper authorities? Can we rely on our leaders to make the right choices in the best interest of public welfare? What must we do to put this compelling matter to rest and move forward?
Interestingly, these represent the very same questions many people were asking in the Sedona community during the recent tree removal debate surrounding the SR 179 road reconstruction.
What really happened? Were the trees addressed in the original road planning stages? Did the residents who participated in the road planning process ask the right questions? Did they knowingly decide that the trees would have to come down?
If so, did these people lack proper environmental awareness? Do we trust our government agency or the allegations of the Save Sedona Trees group?
Towers, trees and truth
Could there be similarities between the underlying national woes of 9/11 and the community ones with the SR 179 reconstruction?
For that, writer May Sarton has an answer: Go deep enough and there is always a bedrock of truth, however hard.
Only by continually digging for answers will we unearth the answers to the lingering doubts – from Sedona’s trees to 9/11. Because no nation or community should ever live with mistrust or lingering doubt.
There are those who would scoff and say: Who cares? Release the past and move on.
While it would be so much easier and less painful to sweep these ugly circumstances under the carpet, to do so only leaves the wounds unhealed. After all, we will only face them again as a nation when the next calamity strikes and – in Sedona – when the next tree falls.
As Sarton advises, we must go deep enough until we find the truth.
The Iceman Cometh after 5,000 Years
Lessons from an ancient mummy offer hope for 9/11 truth
by Carl Weis
Two months ago, researchers in Switzerland published an article in the Journal of Archaeological Science stating that the man known as Oetzi [aka "The Iceman," mummified in the Alps for 5,000 years] died after an arrow tore a hole in an artery beneath his left collarbone, leading to massive blood loss, shock and heart attack.
But radiologists, pathologists and other researchers, using new forensic information and CAT scans, now say they believe blood loss from the arrow wound only made Oetzi lose consciousness. They now say he died either from hitting his head on a rock when he passed out or because his attacker hit him in the head.
-- Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, August 30, 2007
What does science tell us? And what does it have to do with the events of September 11, 2001?
Here is a classic case of forensic misdiagnosis rectified by new scientific analysis. If truth can be unraveled after 5,000 years in a deep freeze, perhaps we can also use science to extricate it from what is arguably the most traumatic incident in U.S. history since Pearl Harbor – the "terrorist attacks of 9/11."
Why should Americans care?
The “official” story claims that three hijacked commercial jets caused the collapse of two, 110-story towers and a section of the Pentagon after crashing into them. In the past six years, much scientific evidence has been unearthed indicating that 9/11 was something VERY different than what the world has been told. Such findings will shake the very foundations of most Americans’ belief structures, shocking them to their very core in utter disbelief.
Chances are that something has already come to the awareness of most who are reading this article — probably not from mainstream media sources — that throws serious doubt upon the official 9/11 Commission Report's conclusion that Mohammed Atta and Osama bin Laden, plus 18 others with box cutters, immobilized the entire trillion-dollar U.S. Air Force and collapsed three World Trade Center buildings on 9/11, killing nearly 3,000 innocents (including 189 people at the Pentagon and on United Airlines Flight 93 near Shanksville, Penn.).
While this article does not dwell upon the scientific realities of the 9/11 events, it does include a short list of compelling anomalies that should leave readers questioning – if they haven’t already.
Many people remain unaware that a third World Trade Center building, WTC 7, collapsed into its own footprint later that same day. WTC 7 was a 47-story steel frame building situated a full block away from the North Tower (WTC 1) and hit by no airplane, thereby hosting a few scattered pockets of fire. It fell in 6.6 seconds at 5:20 p.m. Dust and smoke once again billowing outward for blocks in all directions, creating a toxic environment in lower Manhattan.
It has the signature of being a controlled demolition (in 11 specific particulars; see the work of physicist Steven Jones [www.Journalof911studies.org] and theologian David Ray Griffin). A controlled demolition uses strategically prepositioned charges – hundreds or thousands – to bring a structure down straight and fast.
Once we see that WTC 7 was no natural occurrence, then the collapse of the 110-story twin towers in 10 and 11 seconds respectively looks like controlled demolition as well. When has any building collapsing by gravity produced a dust cloud so thick that, for 30 seconds and longer, people caught nearby and even blocks away couldn’t see their hands in front of their faces? But that is the overwhelming and very graphic testimony of first responders and reporters on the scene.
The Tyson testimony
Neil DeGrasse Tyson, director of New York's Hayden Planetarium and a world renowned astronomer and astrophysicist, was in his apartment four blocks from what would soon be called Ground Zero, north of due east, when the twins fell at 10:00 and 10:30 that morning.
Tyson reported that the dust cloud from WTC 1 reached his windows in 15 seconds and "visibility was a centimeter" outside – in other words, pitch black. When the dust had cleared, three inches of the toxic dust had collected on his outside window ledges.
The mild breeze that day was approximately five degrees east of due south and fully 90 degrees away from the direction of Tyson's apartment. Buildings collapsing from structural failure and gravity – as in an earthquake or airplane impacts and subsequent fires – might kick up dust similar to an Arizonan desert dust storm that closes highways. That is VERY different from what happened in lower Manhattan on 9/11.
Less than a year ago, new human remains were found on the roof of the Deutsche Bank building – 44 stories high and two football fields south of Ground Zero. The larger fragments were bones an eighth of inch long. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York has announced that the remains of 43 percent of known 9/11 victims have not been recovered. This amounts to 1,151 bodies without a tooth found. And we are told these were gravity collapses!
Where was the Air Force?
On Sept. 10, 2001, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld testified before a Congressional committee that $2.3 trillion remained unaccounted for in the Defense Department’s computers – a trite matter compared to the missing interceptor Air Force jets the following day.
That the Pentagon could be struck by anything airborne almost an hour and 20 minutes after a commercial plane was hijacked (the FAA knew at 8:20 a.m. that American Airlines Flight 11 was hijacked) and nearly a full hour after the same plane hit the first of the WTC towers remains completely mind-boggling.
It is past time America woke up. There’s enough evidence to indicate that 9/11 was a psychological operation beyond the comprehension of the average citizen. But comprehension dawns slowly when viewed from a distance and seen in a larger context.
In retrospect it becomes clear that many such events have traumatized us through recent history.
The downing of a CIA U-2 spy plane over central Soviet Russia on May 1, 1960 represents not just a spy plane, but a summit meeting scheduled two weeks hence when President Eisenhower would meet his Soviet opposite, Premier Khrushchev, to explore a new kind of peace between the superpowers. That opportunity came down in flames one day after Ike had explicitly told the CIA director that U-2 flyovers were to cease (Mayday, Michael Beschloss, Harper & Row, 1986, p.10).
Then there was the Kennedy assassination in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. There’s enough evidence to imply that the truth about this tragedy was buried by the Warren Commission, just like the truth of 9/11 was evidently buried by the Kean-Hamilton-Zelikow Commission.
Powder burns on the scalp behind the right ear of Robert F. Kennedy after his assassination in June 1968 proved that “lone gunman” Sirhan Sirhan, who was never closer than 5 feet in front of the senator, could NOT have fired the fatal shot. Powder burns require 6-inch or closer proximity (Contract on America, Scheim, Shapolsky Publishers, 1988). Apparently, the real assassins again went free.
Patrick Henry did not say, “Give me liberty or give me sleepwalking!” Americans who may think the government cherishes freedom have been sleepwalking through recent history and been taken for a very bad ride during their somnambulism.
Where was Cheney?
Phillip Zelikow, executive director of the 9/11 Commission and the real force behind the suspected cover-up, co-authored a book with Condoleezza Rice (Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft, Harvard, 1995). Until a few short months ago, he held a high State Department position under Rice. Yet Americans have been asked to swallow the myth that his commission was “non-partisan.”
What has the commission hidden that we ought to know about? In that vein, the same question keeps pressing: Where was Vice President Cheney on the morning of 9/11 and what was he doing?
Cheney told Tim Russert on “Meet the Press,” which aired Sunday, Sept. 16, 2001, that his Secret Service detail abruptly entered his West Wing office in the White House, picked him up by his belt and said: “We’ve got to get out of here now!”
Cheney described how he was carried, feet scarcely touching the floor, and deposited in front of an elevator. The reader can only guess when this occurred. A White House photographer reported that Cheney allegedly went to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center bunker in the White House sub-basement shortly after the second plane hit the second WTC tower at 9:03 a.m.
The Mineta minutes
Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta testified under oath before the 9/11 Commission that he arrived at the PEOC at approximately 9:20 that morning and sat opposite Cheney at the table. Mineta told the commission:
“Within five or six minutes, a young man came in and reported to the vice president: ‘The plane is 50 miles out; the plane is 30 miles out.’ And when it came down to “The plane is 10 miles out,’ the young man also said to the vice president, ‘Do the orders still stand?’ The vice president turned and whipped his neck and said, ‘Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?’”
The commission ignored this completely in its “report” without even a footnote. Instead, it stated on page 40 that the vice president arrived in the PEOC at “around 10:00, perhaps 9:58.” The report also claims the Pentagon was hit by American Airlines Flight 77 at 9:38 a.m. Can any other conclusion be reached except that the commission saw as its mission to protect the vice president from culpability for treason?
No run-of-the-mill bureaucrat
For nearly 20 years from 1971 to 1990, Mineta represented his San Jose, Calif., district in the U.S. House of Representatives, after serving as mayor of San Jose. His service was distinguished.
Arguably, his greatest achievement was shepherding through Congress a bill signed in 1988 by President Reagan apologizing to and modestly compensating the 110,000 Americans of Japanese descent for their illegal and unconstitutional incarceration during World War II, when their property and freedom was confiscated without any due process after Pearl Harbor.
Mineta also served as Secretary of Commerce under President Clinton and is the only person to serve in both the Bush II and Clinton cabinets. Such is the regard in which he is held on both sides of the aisle.
Mineta has no reason to make up stories about the 9/11 events. But most Americans remain vacant between the ears about his testimony to the 9/11 Commission, just as the commission itself remains mute in its report – or worse than mute.
Lies and cover-ups
The facts suggest that the commission lied about Cheney and about the timing of his arrival in the PEOC.
If the day comes when Cheney is impeached on grounds of obstruction of justice and lying to federal officials, in addition to treason and murder, the 9/11 Commission itself should be prosecuted for publishing what it had to know were lies.
In an interview given to an MSNBC reporter, one commission vice-chair said that when members interviewed Bush and Cheney together, Bush did most of the talking except in relation to “events at the White House.”
When our grandchildren’s grandchildren look back on the era we inhabit now, what will they see? Will this be viewed as a glorious era when difficult truths were faced, the scoundrels unmasked and genuine integrity restored? Or will the Iceman have come before the grandchildren of our grandchildren?
Carl Weis is an artist, poet and former associate professor of creative arts (Siena College, Loudonville, New York) who now resides in the Village of Oak Creek. He is also a founding member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice (www.stj911.org) and a grassroots organizer at 911 Truth (www.911truth.org). E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carl dedicates his work to spread the truth about 9/11 to his friend, Father Mychal Judge, a New York City Fire Department chaplain and the first named victim of 9/11, as well as to his late father, Charles Weis, a volunteer fireman of 54 years.
On 9/11, 343 FDNY firefighters died and their memory is sacred.
None of the victims shall be forgotten.
Photo by Jim Watson