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9/11 Commission Shield

The Definitive Treatment of 9/11

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By Tod Fletcher
September 11, 2008

Cover image of The New Pearl Harbor RevisitedIn THE NEW PEARL HARBOR REVISITED , David Ray Griffin provides a brilliant and much-needed companion to his path-breaking and movement-building book on 9/11, The New Pearl Harbor (NPH; 2004). Now, on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of those horrific events, Griffin surveys in detail all the main lines of evidence against the official account of 9/11 to have emerged during the last four years. THE NEW PEARL HARBOR REVISITED (NPHR) has been designed as volume 2 of a two-volume set with NPH as volume 1; together they provide a thorough and up-to-date case against the official conspiracy theory (they can be bought separately, of course).

Griffin has already published four other books that provide in-depth analysis of most of the evidence to have emerged since 2004. NPHR’s main purpose is to provide an easily accessible survey of all of the new evidence, so that it is now possible for a beginner to the subject (including journalists and members of Congress) to master its enormous complexity simply by reading two books. NPHR is structured identically to NPH; each chapter in NPHR comments and builds on the corresponding chapter in NPH. Much of the content is entirely new; there are many facts and analyses in NPHR which Griffin presents for the first time, and which literally make the book an up-to-the-minute statement of the case.

In the Preface, Griffin explains why he undertook to “update” The New Pearl Harbor . In the Introduction he outlines the continued failure of the press to investigate any of the questions raised against the official account, and the lame attempts, especially by the main “progressive” or “left” appendages of the press, to portray such questioning as lunacy. He provides a brief overview of the history of “false-flag” operations, including the Pentagon’s Operation Northwoods, halted by President Kennedy. Griffin then argues that the term “conspiracy theory” is used dishonestly to prevent investigation of the claims of critics (and never to describe the government’s theory about 19 Arab hijackers controlled from a cave in Afghanistan).

The very substantial first chapter tackles two major issues, the timing of events related to flights AA 11 and UA 175 and the collapses of the WTC buildings. Griffin shows that the 9/11 Commission’s new timeline is contradicted by much solid evidence and is inherently unbelievable. The Commission claims that the military was not notified by the FAA of the flight emergencies on flights AA 11 and UA 175 until much later than the times the military itself had claimed during the years between 9/11 and the publication of the Commission’s Report in 2004. The Commission based its new claim on the “NORAD Tapes,” a set of purportedly genuine tapes of telephone communications between the FAA and NORAD on the morning of 9/11. But these tapes were never produced until 2004, after the glaring holes in the Pentagon’s defense against the charge of a standdown had become evident, and are probable fakes, which Griffin shows would have been easy to produce. The strongest indication that they are indeed fakes is that they contradict mountains of highly diverse independent lines of evidence.

Then he treats the new official story about how the Twin Towers collapsed, as presented in the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Report of 2005. He thoroughly deconstructs NIST’s five “crucial claims”: (i) that designers of the buildings had not anticipated the possibility of airliner impacts; (ii) that many core and peripheral columns were severed by the plane impacts, and that fire-proofing material was stripped off many other core columns; (iii) that the now-unprotected core columns were then weakened by fire to the point of buckling; (iv) that the floors then sagged and pulled the perimeter columns inward; and (v) that the downward momentum of the upper portions of the buildings was so great that they collapsed “essentially in free fall,” i.e. that there was virtually no resistance at all to the fall through the undamaged lower portions of the buildings. For each of these claims Griffin is easily able to show that NIST in fact provides no supporting evidence for them!

He then proceeds to demonstrate that NIST ignored vast amounts of relevant evidence for controlled demolition of the buildings: explosions witnessed by first responders; horizontal ejections of huge sections of steel perimeter columns; melting of steel, indicating temperatures far higher than can be reached by jet-fuel and office-materials fires; and residues indicating explosives were used, including iron and aluminum microspheres in dust from the WTC (a typical product of thermite reactions) and “red chips” in the dust with thermite’s chemical signature.

Griffin concludes Chapter 1 with a survey of the strong evidence for controlled demolition of WTC 7, the 47-story skyscraper that was not struck by a plane, had only minor fires inside, and yet collapsed into its footprint late in the afternoon at free-fall speed (in under six seconds). Although tasked with an explanation, NIST had still not provided one when Griffin’s book went to press. Griffin lays out in detail the many explanatory challenges still ahead for the agency, including the vertical, symmetrical collapse; the pool of melted steel underneath the debris pile for weeks afterwards; the free-fall speed of collapse; the similarity of the collapse to classic controlled demolition; the testimony by NYC officials Barry Jennings and Michael Hess reporting explosions inside hours before the building collapsed; the foreknowledge, hours before, that the building was going to fall; the array of evidence that the building was intended to fall in the morning at about the same time as the Towers; the media’s premature announcement of its collapse; and Larry Silverstein’s evident admission that the building was demolished. (Now that NIST’s report on WTC 7 has finally appeared, one can see that it fulfilled Griffin’s expectation that it would simply ignore all the evidence that is inconsistent with its fire theory of the collapse.)

In Chapter 2, Griffin takes up the many developments since 2004 with respect to Flight 77 and the events that occurred at the Pentagon. He shows that Solicitor General Ted Olson’s claim to have received phone calls from his wife Barbara on Flight 77 cannot be true: it is self-contradictory (sometimes he claimed she called on a cell phone, and at other times on a seat-back phone), and it has even been abandoned by the FBI in its summary evidence of all phone calls from all the flights submitted at the Zacarias Moussaoui trial in 2006, which said that no connected call was made by her. These claimed calls from Barbara Olson were the principal “evidence” put forward to substantiate the assertion that the Flight 77 was still in the air and headed toward Washington D.C., and that it was hijacked by Arab Muslims.

Griffin then presents a detailed analysis of a broad array of physical evidence indicating that the Pentagon was not struck by a Boeing 757: photos of the damage to the outside of the building; lack of suitable debris; lack of video evidence; lack of time-change parts from the planes; no flight data recorder with the correct serial number has ever been produced; lack of a seismic signal of such an impact; the inexplicable C-Ring hole inside the Pentagon; the contradictory eye-witness evidence; the implausibility of terrorists striking the West Wing, farthest away from the offices of the top brass; and the known inability of Hani Hanjour to fly an airliner with the skill required by the claimed 330-degree downward spiral at high speed.

Again Griffin shows that the 9/11 Commission has distorted and suppressed evidence for the evident standdown of the air defense system, principally by creating a new timeline of events (based again on the dubious “NORAD Tapes”) of Flight 77 and thereby claiming the FAA did not notify the Pentagon of the flight emergency in time to intercept the plane. This claim falls for the same reason it does in the cases of flights 11 and 175: it contradicts reams of evidence from multiple independent sources, and is supported only by the Pentagon’s and the Commission’s claim that the tapes are genuine. In addition Griffin shows that the Commission’s claims that no interceptor aircraft were available at Andrews Air Base, and that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers were unavailable to coordinate a defensive response, are false.

Griffin also surveys witness accounts of bombs inside the Pentagon, considers the question why there was no evacuation of the building (even under the Commission’s claimed timeline there was ample time for evacuation), asks why Wedges 1 and 2 might have been selected by the real perpetrators, shows that the Commission suppressed the account of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta that is most plausibly interpreted as indicating that a standdown order had been given by Vice President Dick Cheney to prevent interception of a craft approaching the Pentagon, and several other important lines of evidence.

The many mysteries of Flight 93 over Pennsylvania are the subject of Chapter 3. Griffin’s analysis of the evidence developed since the publication of NPH in 2004 has led to a fundamental shift in his perspective on Flight 93. He no longer assumes, as he did at the time of the earlier book, that phone calls from the plane provide any evidence for what occurred onboard. This is because it is now clear that cell phone calls from planes at high altitude were technologically impossible on 9/11. And yet, family members and others evidently received cell phone calls that morning from people on the flight. As there is no basis to imagine all the recipients are lying, they must have been deceived. Griffin shows that voice morphing technology existed at the time, as well as freely-available devices to fake caller identification numbers, so that it was possible to place calls to family members which would appear to be genuine cell phone calls, as they reported to the press.

Perhaps in response to the growing awareness of these technological facts, in 2006 the FBI abandoned its earlier claims that a large number of cell phone calls were placed from UA 93. The agency reduced the number to just two, purportedly from below 5000 feet in elevation, and claimed that the other calls were all from seat-back phones. This late reversal, however, does not explain away the detailed claims by call recipients to have received cell phone calls. Those calls had to have been faked, and if they were, then the purported seat-back calls had to have been faked too.

Griffin also surveys new evidence regarding the alleged crash site, principally the lack of substantial debris of any kind at the site itself, while debris rained down over a wide area, several miles in diameter, including clothing, books, papers, and human remains. He destroys the 9/11 Commission’s claim, based again on the spurious “NORAD Tapes,” that the military was not notified of the emergency on Flight 93 in time to have responded, quoting military personnel who claimed they were notified and ready. He shows that the Commission’s claim that there was no time for Cheney to issue a shootdown order is also false. He concludes that the case for Flight 93 having been shot down by the US military is quite strong, and that the official account is false in virtually every respect.

In the very short chapters 4 and 5 Griffin provides brief additional arguments relating to President Bush’s strange behavior in the classroom in Florida on the morning of 9/11, and the many indications that the US government had long envisioned the possibility of such attacks and had trained for them (despite post-9/11 denials). In addition he shows the 9/11 Commission’s dismissal of the possibility of insider trading in the “put options” on airlines and other stocks the week before 9/11 to be based on circular reasoning and therefore unreliable.

In Chapter 6 Griffin discusses developments in the evidence of hidden connections between the Bush, bin Laden and Saudi royal families. He then explores new revelations concerning US government obstruction of investigations into the activities of al-Qaeda prior to 9/11, including blocking FBI investigations in Phoenix, Minneapolis and Chicago. And he treats in detail the suppression of the testimony of Sibel Edmonds regarding this blocking of investigations and its significant connection to the Valerie Plame Wilson case and other indications of illegal trafficking in nuclear weapons technologies. He then presents much new evidence regarding the true identities and characteristics of the “hijackers,” and examines the question whether there is in fact any solid evidence for the existence of Arab Muslim hijackers. Not surprisingly, it all dissipates into thin air when closely examined, leading Griffin to conclude, “it now appears that there is no good evidence for hijackers at all.” He then reviews in detail the information derived from Operation Able Danger, concluding that it, along with other evidence, suggests “reason to suspect that the `hijackers’ were really paid assets.”

Griffin surveys evidence for the motives that the highest levels of the US government would have had for orchestrating the 9/11 attacks in Chapter 7. He examines the pre-9/11 planning to attack Afghanistan (to control oil and natural gas flows from Central Asia and to secure new military bases in the region), and comparable planning to attack Iraq (to seize Iraqi oil, control its export, and establish military bases in another key geostrategic area). He then shows that the 9/11 Commission suppressed all mention of such motives, as well as of the discourse used by key Bush administration personnel, while members of PNAC (The Project for a New American Century) before his election (such as the idea of “a New Pearl Harbor”) and on the day itself and in its immediate aftermath (such as “opportunity”). Griffin shows that the Commission never mentioned Operation Northwoods or well-known false-flag operations that the US instigated such as Operation Gladio, and never examined the possibility that the attacks were orchestrated by the Bush-Cheney administration as a pretext to launch its pre-established agenda.

Chapter 8 illustrates, Griffin says, “especially clearly the extent to which the production of The 9/11 Commission Report was a cover-up operation.” He surveys the lack of hard evidence that Osama bin Laden was really involved in the attacks; the admitted failure by the Commission to verify the veracity of the information obtained by torture from Khalid Sheik Mohammed (the principal source for the “facts” presented by the Commission regarding the planning of the attacks by al-Qaeda); the criminal travesty of justice at the Military Commissions trials at Guantánamo; the expert opinion of military and intelligence professionals from all over the world who strongly dispute that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda had the capability to orchestrate the attacks; and the concealment by the Commission of the history of secret payments to al-Qaeda by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Chapter 9 presents a succinct summary of the main evidence of complicity by the Bush-Cheney administration in the 9/11 attacks. Griffin shows that the Commission never asked the most fundamental question about the crime, “who benefits?” It simply asserted that al-Qaeda had a motive, while ignoring massive evidence that top-level members of the US government had numerous powerful motivations. Griffin then lists 32 new items of evidence for official complicity to add to the list of 24 he provided in NPH.

In the final chapter, Griffin makes an overpowering case for a new investigation into the crimes of 9/11, because the 9/11 Commission, nominally under the control of Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, was in reality controlled by a White House insider, Philip Zelikow, and utterly failed to fulfill its official mandate “to provide the fullest possible account” of the attacks. Griffin presents a devastating exposé of Zelikow’s methodical construction of a cover-up to protect his superiors in the Bush administration. A special treat is a very long footnote providing a withering critique of Philip Shenon’s book on the 9/11 Commission.

This powerful chapter is a fitting conclusion to Griffin’s critique of the 9/11 Commission Report, begun in 2004 immediately after the publication of NPH, and developed and deepened year by year since. Thanks substantially to his own extraordinary personal dedication, Griffin is able to conclude that, “The 9/11 truth movement’s exposé of the cover-up of the truth about what happened on 9/11 is now complete — in the sense that this exposé has shown, to those who have paid attention, virtually every dimension of the official account of 9/11 to be false beyond a reasonable doubt.”

THE NEW PEARL HARBOR REVISITED by David Ray Griffin, in tandem with its famous predecessor, is the most effective presentation of this now-total exposé. It’s time now to put the perpetrators away in perpetuity.

For more information on THE NEW PEARL HARBOR REVISITED, Table of Contents, more reviews, and purchasing information, please click here .