9/11 and the Evidence

Professor David Ray Griffin is the nemesis of the
official 9/11 conspiracy theory.  In his latest book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking,

destroys the credibility of the National Institute of
Standards and Technology (NIST) and

Popular Mechanics
reports, annihilates his
critics, and proves himself to be a better scientist and
engineer than the defenders of the official story.

Griffin`s book is 385 pages divided into four chapters
and containing 1,209 footnotes. Without question, the
book is the most thorough presentation and examination
of all known facts about the 9/11 attacks.  Griffin is a
person who is sensitive to evidence, logic, and
scientific reasoning.  There is no counterpart on the
official side of the story who is as fully informed on
all aspects of the attacks as Griffin.

At the outset, Griffin points out that the reader`s
choice is between two conspiracy theories:  One is that
Muslim fanatics, who were not qualified to fly
airplanes, defeated the security apparatus of the US and
succeeded in three out of four attacks using passenger
jets as weapons.  The other is that security failed
across the board, not merely partially but totally,
because of complicity of some part of the US government.

Griffin points out that there has been no independent
investigation of 9/11.  What we have are a report by a
political commission headed by Bush administration
factotum Philip Zelikow, a

NIST report
produced by the Bush administration`s
Department of Commerce, and a journalistic account
produced by Popular Mechanics. Various scientists
who work for the federal government or are dependent on
government grants have issued speculative statements in
behalf of the official conspiracy theory, but have not
produced meaningful evidence in its behalf. 

The relevant skeptics of the official story are
approximately 100 independent researchers consisting of
experts and professors whose careers have required them
to deal with evidence and its analysis.  Their
individual contributions to 9/11 analysis can be found

Griffin has undertaken to absorb the arguments and
evidence for the official account and the arguments and
evidence against it. In his latest book, which has just
been released, he presents the case for the official
account and its evidential failure. 

Polls show that 36% of Americans do not believe the
official story.  Setting aside the 25% of the public
that is so uninformed or uninvolved as to believe that
Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attack,
leaves 39% of the public who believe the official
story.  However, this 39% is essentially relying on the
mainstream media`s endorsement of the official story. 
Griffin believes, perhaps naively, that truth can
prevail, and it is his commitment to truth that has
motivated him to shoulder the enormous task.

Everyone who believes in the integrity of the US
government or the Bush administration will find
Griffin`s book to be disturbing.  Readers will have to
confront such issues as why US authorities seized the
forensic evidence resulting from the destruction of the
three World Trade Center buildings, the attack on the
Pentagon and the crashed airliner in Pennsylvania and
prevented any forensic examination of any part of the
9/11 attacks.

Despite widespread belief that Osama bin Laden was
responsible for the attack, the evidence we have is a
suspect video declared to be "bogus" by Bruce
Lawrence, perhaps the leading American expert on bin
Laden. The US government has never produced the promised
report on bin Laden`s responsibility.  When the Taliban
offered to hand over bin Laden on presentation of
evidence, the US government had no evidence to deliver;
thus the invasion of Afghanistan.

The fragility of the NIST report is astonishing.  The
report succeeded because people  accepted its assurances
without examination. 

Griffin shows that the Popular Mechanics report
consists of special pleading, circular reasoning,
appeals to the authority of the NIST report, straw men,
and internal contradictions in the report itself.  

There is not space in a review to present the evidence
Griffin has mustered.  A few highlights should suffice
to alert readers to the possibility that the Bush
administration has lied about more than Saddam Hussein`s
weapons of mass destruction.  

The two WTC towers did not collapse.  They blew up and
disintegrated, as did WTC 7.  There is an enormous
energy deficit in every account that rules out the use
of explosives.  Gravitational energy is insufficient to
explain the pulverization of the buildings and contents
and the severing of the 47 massive center core steel
columns in each of the towers into convenient lengths to
be picked up and loaded onto trucks; much less can
gravitational energy account for the pulverization of
the top floors of the towers and ejection of steel beams
hundreds of feet horizontally just prior to the
disintegration of the floors below. 

Damage caused by airliners and short-lived limited fires
cannot explain the disintegration of the buildings. The
massive steel skeletons of the towers comprised a
gigantic heat sink that wicked away whatever heat the
limited fires produced.  

NIST`s final report stated that of the steel available
to it for examination, "only three columns had
evidence that the steel reached temperatures above 250
degrees Celsius"
(482 degrees Fahrenheit). The
self-cleaning ovens in our home kitchens reach
temperatures higher than this, and the ovens do not melt
or deform.

Steel begins to melt at 1,500 degrees C or 2,800 degrees
F.  Temperatures of 250 degrees C would have no effect
on the strength of steel. The explanation that the
buildings collapsed because fire weakened the steel is
speculative.  Open air fires do not produce temperatures
sufficient to deprive steel of its structural
integrity.  Steel framed buildings have burned 22 hours
in raging infernos, and the steel skeletons remained
standing.  The WTC fires in the towers lasted about one
hour and were limited to a few floors. Moreover, it is
impossible for fire to account for the sudden, total and
symmetrical disintegration of powerfully constructed
buildings, much less at free fall speeds that are
obtainable only with controlled demolition.

Griffin provides quotes from firefighters, police, and
tenants, who heard and experienced a series of
explosions prior to the disintegration of the towers. 
Such witness testimony is generally ignored by defenders
of the official conspiracy theory. 

Molten steel was found in underground levels of the WTC
buildings weeks after the buildings` destruction.  As
everyone agrees that the fires did not approach the
melting point of steel, a possible explanation is high
explosives used in demolitions that produce 5,000 degree
temperatures. The possibility that explosives were used
remains unexamined except by independent researchers.

Contradictions in the official conspiracy theory leap
off the pages and hit the reader in the face.  For
example, the evidence that Flight 77, a Boeing 757,
crashed into the Pentagon is the government`s claim to
have obtained from the wreckage enough bodies and body
parts to match the DNA for each person on the passenger
list and flight crew. Simultaneously, the absence of
passenger luggage, fuselage, wing and tail
sections–indeed the absence of a 100,000 pound
airliner–is attributed to the vaporization of the
airplane due to the high speed crash and intense fire. 
The incompatibility of vaporized metal but recovered
flesh and blood stood unnoticed until Griffin pointed it

Another striking inconsistency in the official
conspiracy theory is the difference in the impact of
airliners on the Pentagon and the WTC towers.  In the
case of the Pentagon, the emphasis is on why the
airliner caused so little damage to the building.  In
the case of the WTC towers, the emphasis is why the
airliners caused so much damage. 

Perhaps it is merely a coincidence that just prior to
9/11 Cathleen P. Black, who has family connections to
the CIA and Pentagon and is president of Hearst
Magazines, the owner of Popular Mechanics, fired
the magazine`s editor-in-chief and several senior
veteran staff members and installed James B. Meigs and
Benjamin Chertoff, a cousin of Bush administration
factotum Michael Chertoff.  It was Meigs and Benjamin
Chertoff who produced the Popular Mechanics
report that Griffin has eviscerated. 

In his conclusion Griffin reminds us that the 9/11
attack has been used to start wars in Afghanistan and
Iraq, to plan an attack on Iran, to curtail
constitutional protections and civil liberties in the
US, to radically expand US military budgets and the
power of the executive, and to enrich entrenched vested
interests.  Griffin is definitely correct about this
regardless of whether a believable case can ever be made
for the government`s version of the 9/11 conspiracy.



Paul Craig Roberts

] was Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration.
He is the author of

Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider`s Account of
Policymaking in Washington
and the Soviet Economy

Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy
and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of

The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice
. Click

for Peter
Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts
about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.