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A Closer Look at 9-11 “Inside Job” Theory
By Jack Cashill
When writing my last column (“No, Virginia, a missile did not hit the Pentagon), I was unaware that the “inside job” theories I challenged had, for many people, hardened into dogma or something close to it. Indeed, at least two respondents told me that they either teach or preach their 9-11 theories in church. I would have been far more tactful in my criticism had I known that.
The volume and intensity of my email made me aware that I had blasphemed. What follows are some very typical examples, edited only for grammar:
I received about 200 comparable emails—several of them attacking WND and publisher Joe Farah as well—from what I had previously thought an audience of like-minded people. These letters came from the right, not the left, the proof of which was the almost total absence of profanity, a notable silver lining. Still, the dissonance among those of us on the right is deeper than I had anticipated and surely a source of great joy to our common enemies. It needs to be resolved, and I believe it can be.
In my previous column I questioned the logic of the various “inside job” theories and made the mistake of referring readers to mainstream sources—United 93, Richard Miniter’s Disinformation, and the March 2005 issue of Popular Mechanics—for details.
These made no impact. They are widely discounted as propaganda pieces. Several people informed me that one of the nine reporters on the comprehensive Popular Mechanics piece, Ben Chertoff, is a nephew of DHS honcho, Michael Chertoff. Given this relationship, my respondents felt free to ignore the testimony of the 70 authorities with whom PM had consulted, like blast expert Allyn E. Kilsheimer, the first structural engineer to arrive at the Pentagon after the attack.
"It was absolutely a plane, and I'll tell you why," Kilsheimer, CEO of KCE Structural Engineers PC, tells PM. "I saw the marks of the plane wing on the face of the building. I picked up parts of the plane with the airline markings on them. I held in my hand the tail section of the plane, and I found the black box."
What struck me most forcefully about Kilsheimer's testimony was the following, "I held parts of uniforms from crew members in my hands, including body parts. Okay?" I know that Kilsheimer is ultimately in the employ of the Pentagon, but I don’t know any American who would lie about a detail like that. The missile-in-the-Pentagon theory works only if Kilsheimer is a shameless liar.
If there is any one publication that cannot be considered a shill of the New World Order—as more than a few emails accused me and/or WND of being—it is the New American, the journal of the John Birch Society. When I did daily talk radio I subscribed to the publication because of its reliable, tough-minded reporting.
In checking, I discovered that the New American’s gripe with the “inside job” theories was largely the same as mine, namely that the unfounded theories cheapen the well founded. As a result, writes William Jasper, “Those of us who responsibly expose and oppose the one-world agenda of the Bush administration (as we did also with the Clinton administration, without fear or favor) are more easily marginalized as extremists and "conspiracy nuts.’"
Realizing that people like Kilsheimer might be disbelieved because of his establishment credentials, the New American turned to Brig. Gen. Benton K. Partin, USAF (retired), one of the world's leading missile and military explosives experts and a man, who, as the New American relates, “has proven his independence and willingness to challenge coverups in the past.”
Partin, who lives near the Pentagon, began studying the evidence immediately. "When you slam an aluminum aircraft at high velocity into a concrete structure, it's going to do exactly what we saw happen at the Pentagon on 9/11," Partin told the New American. The near absence of visible evidence on the exterior resulted from the plane’s forced entry into the building. “The aluminum cylinder--the plane fuselage--is acting like a shaped charge penetrating a steel plate. It keeps penetrating until it is consumed.” As to wings, adds Partin, they “have a much lower mass cross-section and are loaded with fuel besides, so there is little left of them except small bits and pieces."
This same New American piece, 9-11 Conspiracy Fact & Fiction, addresses the various World Trade Center theories, in particular the one offered by Dave vonKleist in his popular video, 911 In Plane Site. VonKleist, among others, likens the collapse of WTC 1,2 and 7 to the 1995 attack on OKC’s Murrah Building, which Partin himself believes to have been caused by internal demolition charges, in addition to the Ryder truck bomb.
Partin absolutely rejects any comparison. "The claims that the explosions and fires would not have generated enough heat to cause the [WTC] building to collapse are nonsense," said Partin. "Steel doesn't have to 'melt' as some of these people claim. The yield strength of steel drops very dramatically under heat, and the impact of the airliners would have severely impacted the support columns.” Every structural engineer that the New American consulted felt the same.
WTC 7 generated more queries among my correspondents than did any other detail. For the record, this 47-story building stood just north of the twin towers and was connected by a pedestrian walkway. It collapsed at 5:20 PM about nine hours after the original attack for reasons that are not entirely certain.
Some theorists argue that the presumed demolition of this building more or less proves that WTC 1 and WTC 2 were the result of controlled demolition as well. Many of my correspondents anchored their theories—and their wrath at my complicity—on the statement that building owner and “traitor” Larry Silverstein made to a PBS crew some months after the attack:
I remember getting a call from the Fire Department commander, telling me they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire [in WTC 7], and I said, you know, “We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is just pull it.” And they made that decision to pull and we watched the building collapse.
Silverstein later clarified that the “it” that was to be pulled was the crew of firefighters still in the obviously damaged building. Theorists insists that by “pull it” Silverstein meant to trigger the controlled demolition pre-set by authorities. In the combined Pentagon-WTC theory, this is the strongest evidence for an “inside job.”
United Flight 93 is of another category altogether. As I mentioned in the last column, the shootdown theories make a fair amount of sense. One problem, though, is that if our planes did shoot down United 93, they would seem to have thwarted the larger “new Pearl Harbor” plot in place at the Pentagon and the WTC.
A few months ago I made a video for a group called, the 9-11 Families for A Secure America. I interviewed eight people who lost loved ones on September 11, six of whom lost children. They have since dedicated their lives to securing our borders. If the “19 Arabs” are an illusion, as many of my correspondents seem to think, these family members are wasting their lives.
Before you tell them that, before you accuse the president and his staff of the greatest crime in American history, the burden of proof falls on you, not me. This is a serious responsibility. It is not enough to string a few anomalies together and call it an “inside job.” America needs to hear what did happen, if you know what did not.
Until then, these arguments among ourselves only weaken our national will and strengthen the hands of those whose well documented evil now seems trivial by comparison.
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