Isn’t Robert Fisk A Journalist?

Allahpundit piqued my curiosity with his link to Robert Fisk’s latest screed at the Independent, wherein he claims to be unable to find answers to many questions about the 9/11 attacks. Don’t call me a conspiracy theorist, he says, and “spare me the plots”, but he implores Karl Rove to tell him about how the Bush administration created the reality of 9/11. But spare him the plots, of course.
This puzzles me, because Robert Fisk claims to be a journalist, and one would expect a journalist to understand how to conduct research. Let’s see if we can help Mr. Fisk with his questions, which unfortunately get spread throughout a paranoid harangue.
Where are the aircraft parts (engines, etc) from the attack on the Pentagon?
Shockingly, this information actually can be found at Popular Mechanics, along with eyewitness testimony:

Blast expert Allyn E. Kilsheimer was the first structural engineer to arrive at the Pentagon after the crash and helped coordinate the emergency response. “It was absolutely a plane, and I’ll tell you why,” says Kilsheimer, CEO of KCE Structural Engineers PC, Washington, D.C. “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.” Kilsheimer’s eyewitness account is backed up by photos of plane wreckage inside and outside the building. Kilsheimer adds: “I held parts of uniforms from crew members in my hands, including body parts. Okay?”

Why did flight 93’s debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field?
Answer: it wasn’t. One piece went a mile and a half from the site after the plane exploded on impact, and the rest was found within that radius. Coincidentally, Popular Mechanics also did the legwork on this question:

Experts on the scene tell PM that a fan from one of the engines was recovered in a catchment basin, downhill from the crash site. Jeff Reinbold, the National Park Service representative responsible for the Flight 93 National Memorial, confirms the direction and distance from the crash site to the basin: just over 300 yards south, which means the fan landed in the direction the jet was traveling. “It’s not unusual for an engine to move or tumble across the ground,” says Michael K. Hynes, an airline accident expert who investigated the crash of TWA Flight 800 out of New York City in 1996. “When you have very high velocities, 500 mph or more,” Hynes says, “you are talking about 700 to 800 ft. per second. For something to hit the ground with that kind of energy, it would only take a few seconds to bounce up and travel 300 yards.” Numerous crash analysts contacted by PM concur.

If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the twin towers – whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C – would snap through at the same time?
Oddly enough, the journalist in Mr. Fisk apparently missed the explanation for this — but the journalists at Popular Mechanics didn’t:

Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750°F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn’t need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength — and that required exposure to much less heat. “I have never seen melted steel in a building fire,” says retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn, author of The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety. “But I’ve seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks.”
“Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F,” notes senior engineer Farid Alfawak-hiri of the American Institute of Steel Construction. “And at 1800° it is probably at less than 10 percent.” … NIST reports that pockets of fire hit 1832°F.

Really, given the international stature of Mr. Fisk, it’s hard to believe that he really could be this lazy. Perhaps he’s just terribly unintelligent. Fortunately, the journalists and engineers at Popular Mechanics are neither, and their work speaks for itself, with real engineers and eyewitness testimony to answer everyone but the ravers and the conspiracy nuts … and Mr. Fisk.
For the rest of us, I’d recommend their book, which gives even greater detail.

78 thoughts on “Isn’t Robert Fisk A Journalist?”

  1. “Really, given the international stature of Mr. Fisk, it’s hard to believe that he really could be this lazy. Perhaps he’s just not terribly intelligent.”
    He’s both. And you left out “dishonest.” The precise mixture of laziness, stupidity, and duplicity involved in any particular falsehood spread by Fisk must be a matter of conjecture, of course.

  2. The History Channel nailed the Truther’s this week. Their most despicable theory by far is that the Flight 93 cell phone calls were phonies.

  3. I know about the subject – have a BS in it. the fire chief is not correct, the buckling of the tower columns had nothing to do with no room for expansion. there ws plenty of room, it was a free standing building for God’s sake. Its all about the Modulas of Elasticity/strength. Add heat and steel become Plastic (like silly puddy (extreme analogy but apt). The weight of the tower above the floor where the fire was located was enough to force the beams to buckle due to their lowered Modulus of Elasticity.
    It don’t take much – LA had a bad fire in the 80’s and there was a fear that the hirise there might fail – thankfully it did not, but many folks really have no understanding of steel.
    Most folks probably don’t know that the inverse is true in severe cold – steel becomes britle (this too is a bad thing – for there is no micro-deformation to warn of impending failure) and loses its stength.
    – it is all about the material, Alumium has no (little really) corolation between the temperature and its strength (ulike Steel which is highly dependant). However AL is not linearly elastic – which makes it alot harder to design for building structures. Linear elasticity is the ability of a material to bend and then return to the exact former shape after the force is removed (like a rubber band – steel is like this (until it’s internal integrity is violated by an overwhelming force))…..aluminum is not. any force applied with deform it and it will not return to the former shape after the force is removed – it may return “close” to the former shape……..but that is not close enough to call the material “linearly elastic”.
    …I got sidetracked,
    the relivant point is:
    1. Fire make steel weak.
    2. Journalists – today are a proffesional descrace(sp), i’ve not read nor hear nor seen honourable journalism since the 1970’s.
    WHY? three reasons:
    a. CONSOLIDATION = dumbing down. There is no worst enemy to our Nation than our own ignorant population and the tabloid corporate media that feeds it.
    b. Dumbing down america = Consolidation
    c. repeal of Fairness doctrine/telicon act 96 = dumbing down america.
    see a pattern???????? yep Fairnes doctrine – thats right Conservatives, the speech limiting rules. Well you know what? maybe we just ain’t smart enough to have totally free speech?
    ya scary thought – but maybe we do need to become wiser before we have access to media without the fairness doctrine.
    I principle I oppose the fairness doctrine – in the real world I support it. I know for a fact that we as a people were a hell of alot wiser in 30 yrs ago than we are today.
    In ten years we will be the dumbest Nation on Earth if we continue down this road……………
    but of course: its all Klintoon’s fault.
    how about them Cowboys!

  4. Not terribly intelligent? What you actually mean is “dumber than a box of rocks,” right? Come on, this is the guy who, after being beaten up by an Afghan mob, concluded that he had it coming. Because it was George Bush’s fault.

  5. Thank you, Ed. After backspacing through four vulgarity-filled attempts to vent my thoughts on Mr. Fisk, who does to reason what Michael Vick does to Pit Bulls, I decided I’d stick with ‘Thank you, Ed.’

  6. “Isn’t Robert Fisk A Journalist?”
    Why yes, and an all-too-common one these days in the enemedia…

  7. Robert Fisk: Living proof that, in today’s world, a lack of intellectual curiosity, intelligence, integrity, and talent need not bar one from a comfortable career in journalism.

  8. Who cares what Fisk writes about since 9/11.
    “Bin Laden and Adam Gadahn, an alleged Al-Qaeda spokesman and translator of American birth, have apparently mentioned Robert Fisk in speeches. Osama bin Laden said Fisk’s reporting was “neutral”.[10] According to a MEMRI report, on September 2, 2006, in a videotaped statement, Adam Gadahn, said that Fisk and George Galloway have a “respect and admiration for Islam,” have “sympathy for Muslims their causes”, and added “I say to them, isn’t it time you stopped sitting on the fence and came over to the side of truth?”.
    With his latest screed he may have gotten off the fence.

  9. For some reason, I seem to think Fisk lives in Beirut. WHere the government, without a strong army, still had to fend off the terrorists sent in by Al-Kay-Duh. Where a palestinian camp erupted into chaos. There’s not much left of this camp. And, it really took time for the Lebanese Army to pretty much “level the place.”
    But you get nothing from the media. Perhaps, they’d have reported more if the terrorists won? Didn’t.
    And, up at Little Green Footballs, on one of the threads, this link was entered as a “must read.” Oh, boy, AND. IT. IS!
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/08/courage_cowardice_and_the_word_1.html

  10. Sorry about the double posting. I keep getting error messages saying that my comment is rejected for having too many submitted.

  11. Gabbo said
    “I know for a fact that we as a people were a hell of alot wiser in 30 yrs ago than we are today.”
    First of all, let me state again that you are great entertainment, Gabby. It’s like going on a bird-watching expedition to see the last living chickenhawk.
    Now, let’s look at your statement. 30 years ago? Let’s see, that would be 1977, right? Here’s what happened in that “wise” year:
    1.The first US prison inmate in 10 years is executed by a firinq squad (Gary Gilmore). Wise decision number 1?
    2. Jimmy Carter gives away the Panama Canal
    Wise decision number 2?
    3. Jimmy Carter gives unconditional amnesty to those who refused to serve their country in a time of a war that his fellow Democrats escalated.
    Wise decision number 3?
    4. 570 people die in the collision of 2 Boeing 747 airliners on the ground in the Canary Islands. The cause of the accident was later determined to be arrogance on the part of the senior pilot for KLM (that’s the Dutch airline) who was in too much of a hurry to obey instructions from the control tower.In other words, a wise decision (NOT)
    5. Inflation hits 11%
    6. New York City blacked out.
    7. Mass slaughter by Khmer Rouge
    8. Beginnig of the War on Terror: in March,
    approximately a dozen armed Hanafi Muslims take over 3 buildings in Washington, DC, killing 1 person and taking more than 130 hostages. The hostage situation ends 2 days later
    9.May: In Milan, Italy, during a far-left demonstration, a hooded person shoots at the police, killing a policeman, Antonino Custrà. The scene is photographed and the picture of the hooded man shooting in the middle of the street will appear in many magazines around the world.
    10. May: Moluccan terrorists take over a school in Bovensmilde, northern Netherlands (105 hostages), and a passenger train in Bovensmilde-Assen route nearby (90 hostages) at the same time. On June 11, Dutch Royal Marines storm the train; 6 terrorists and 2 hostages are killed
    11. After campaigning by Anita Bryant and her anti-gay “Save Our Children” crusade, Miami-Dade County, Florida voters overwhelmingly vote to repeal the county’s gay rights ordinance.
    12. Left-wing German terrorists Susanne Albrecht[ Brigitte Mohnhaupt and a third person assassinate Jürgen Ponto, chairman of the Dresdner Bank in Oberursel, West Germany
    13. German Autumn: Employers Association President Hanns-Martin Schleyer is kidnapped in Cologne, West Germany. The kidnappers kill 3 escorting police officers and his chauffeur. They demand the release of Red Army Faction (RAF) prisoners.
    14. September 6 – Steve Biko suffers a massive head injury in police custody in South Africa, later dying
    15. October 13 – German Autumn: Four Palestinians hijack a Lufthansa Airlines flight to Somalia and demand release of 11 Red Army Faction members
    October 17-October 18 – German Autumn: GSG 9 troopers storm a hijacked Lufthansa passenger plane in Mogadishu, Somalia; 3 of the 4 hijackers die.
    16. October 18 – German Autumn: Red Army Faction members Andreas Baader, Jan-Carl Raspe and Gudrun Ensslin commit suicide in Stammheim prison; Irmgard Möller fails (their supporters still claim they were murdered). They are buried October 27.
    17. December 4 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 653 is hijacked and crashed in Tanjung Kupang, Johor, Malaysia, killing all the 100 passengers and crew aboard the flight.

  12. I thought all this talk about melted steel ended when the freeway in California collapsed a few months ago due to a truck fire. It did not melt but lost its strength due to the heat. I guess that example was not enough for a hard core conspiracy theorist.

  13. I thought all this talk about melted steel ended when the freeway in California collapsed a few months ago due to a truck fire. It did not melt but lost its strength due to the heat. I guess that example was not enough for a hard core conspiracy theorist.

  14. Oh, Gaffo, stick to your craft! You’re marvelous on the engineering parts. Making your explanations cogent. And, material to non-engineers.
    But you don’t have a grip when it comes to “wordsmiths.” Of all the people who come here to read, I hope you use the link to the psychiatrist’s article on Courage, Cowardice, and “wordsmiths.” He’s got it nailed.
    And, he uses life to explain that, yes, we learn about aggression, and it’s benefits when we go out to play, in kindergarten. He connects to Cappitalism, too. Which is an aggressive form of behaviors; where you’re taking risks. Not just dreaming over a blank sheet of paper.
    And, then Dr. Ruttenberg adds a quote from Eric Hoffer: About how intellectuals get so “offended” when ordinary people do great things; without the interference of “words.” Many of them, meaningless. Quite a lesson!
    Yes, today’s youngsters can leave the classrooms faster than their teachers; because they’re all on the Net. And, the whole thing bubbled up into usage from ten year olds! Please don’t forget who figured out the best ways to tap into these contraptions. (CLUE: It wasn’t the college professors.)
    That there are unreasonable people out there? Always! And, in a free Republic you’re gonna get the whole kit and caboodle.
    Just like in the old days, when families were large, and not everybody turned out the same way.
    It’s a pretty good idea to learn that you can live among others, and share nothing of their religion, or even their political beliefs. But that getting along is an ART. And, onc where you control all your own buttons.
    Just as you control all the thoughts in your head.
    Sometimes? We have to learn to upgrade. ANd, just not run with the old tapes.
    While, oddly enough, where you said journalism was better 30 years ago; that’s where I really disagree. I think the same bottle washers were working then, as now. But they had the microphone. ANd, you’d think, because they were claiming to be the pundits, how lots of people gave them credits they didn’t deserve.
    Today? People expect more.
    40 years ago, did Detroit disappoint? Yup. You could blame it ALL on the union, but you’d be wrong. Management was over its eye-balls, making short term contracts, without having an iota of an idea their business was gonna go bust.
    Of course, they also disgraced themselves by advancing the empty suits; the marketeers. WHile the engineers found they couldn’t get into management’s fast lane.
    Of course, you know what happened! We lost that “war” to the Japanese.
    What does it take to lose excellence?
    The crap that’s gotten ahead through politics. Be it in DC. Or in classrooms. They’re the LAST OF THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION HIRES.
    When today’s kids are old, they’ll have a hard time explaining to their kids how this crap came to pass inspection. But then, they can tell their great-grand-kids about THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES.
    Figure out a stink-o credentialing system; and expect failure.
    Build for the future? Well, obsolesence still rears its ugly head. That’s why engineers ponder what they’re gonna buld.
    Fisk? He ain’t talented. He’s just a leftist jerk who gets paid good money to produce crap. For a dying media.
    Ya know, Mencken, who was a genius, went after FDR, and RDR’s record survives; you get to understand failure from a whole other perspective.

  15. Fisk is being neither lazy or ignorant. He is simply being your average, run-of-the-mill left wing hate-America-first “journalist” — which is to say a moron.

  16. gaffo,
    Couldn’t that fire chief be noticing effects traceable to the differences in the coefficient of expansion between steel and concrete? From what he said, I think he’s talking about rebar wrapped in concrete.
    If he is, than his explaination is close to the mark — he just has the directions of expansion a bit off.

  17. Give me a break Chichita (love your song BTW) – what was that rant listing for the whole year?
    fuck – we have all that shit happening now in ONE WEEK! – just open the paper!
    – as for relivance? was that post suppose to show how wise we are today?……….guess i missed that part.

  18. There was definitely a conspiracy that lead to 9/11 and I don’t know how anyone can sincerely deny it. 19 men, along with several others, conspired to hijack 4 airliners and fly them into buildings, killing as many people as possible. They did this very simply, with a modicum of expertise (knowing how to fly the plane but not needing to know how to land it), with modest funding (something less than $300K if I remember correctly) and by exploiting the inadequacies of various government agencies and the aviation security apparatus in place at the time.
    I don’t know why that conspiracy isn’t intriguing enough for some people.

  19. You obviously don’t understand moonbat logic. Let me help. 🙂
    Because America’s 2000 Presidential Election was “stolen,” George W. Bush is by definition an “evil usurper.” “Evil usurpers” always lie. And since Bush contends that an al-Qaeda terrorist plot is responsible for 9/11, then the “one thing we know for sure” is al-Qaeda is not primarily responsible for 9/11. The “obvious” implication: Jeb Bush was Governor of Florida in 2000, and his brother became President, so therefore 9/11 had to be an “inside job.” B follows from A which follows from B. Simple. I don’t know why people don’t understand moonbat logic. It’s taught widely, in all of our “best” colleges.

  20. True enough uncle – good observation/question.
    But, in a concrete structure, the rebar steel ONLY serves to take the tension loading. ALL the compression loading is done by the concrete. And assuming ( for arguments sake – we all know the twin towers were made of steel and not reinforced concrete) that the building was made of concrete, then the fire would have had NO effect in weakening the building.
    Why? because the fire would have only weakened steel (not concrete) and all the rebar in the concrete serves to resist tension force only – and in a free standing highrise the pillars are in compression. Thus for a concrete building fire will not cause failure of the structure since the fire will not weaken the concrete which is the the materail that resists compressive force in concrete buildings.
    The Fire chief was refering to a steel structure however – so though your obsveration is a good one – it does nto apply if the chief was talking about a steel structure. Since steel rather than concrete is the material rsisting compressive loading (as was the case with the twin towers and all the high-rise building since 1900 or so). Fire will refinately weaken steel in such buildings and cause collapse if the fire can reach a high enough temp and remain lit long enough.
    Interesting to note that the second hit building collapsed first – whether that was due to a larger fire or the fact that the plane hit a lower floor (and thus more wieght above siad floor) was the reason for faser failure is unkown.
    I do fault the NYC fire department for not ordering their men out however. You do not have to have a degree to know the stuff I posted. Any firemen would know it and thier captian SHOULD now it. For the lives of many men/women are under his command. He should have ordered those men out (yes I know there are civilians to save – but fact is looking at the events in a cold manner you know that an airliner with full fuel WILL cause those tower to fail in a few hours – PERIOD!, the IMO he should have been releived of his duty and maybe even charged with negligent homicide for the lives if the men under his command).
    Sadly – but true, in rare events – extreme environs, there comes a time when you have to turn your back on those you have a duty to serve/save – and 911 was one of those times. The Fire Cheif of the whole NYC fire department (whoever or whatever that title was/is – the guy giving orders in otherwords) had a duty to recall his men before they they needlessly died in the collapse of those towers. he did not give that order and IMO I think that was criminal.
    Yes I know the Nation had to “heal” and “move on” etc…………. but those men stayed in those buildings trying to save those that could not be save. They should have been called out – when? tough call, but before 9:45 at the very least.
    ESP.!!! after the first building fell!!…..what of those in building #2??? did they stay? did the fire chief order them out? or not???
    these are questions that the “media” (nor the American Sheople) bothered to ask (or even ponder).
    that is the sadest fact of all ;-(.

  21. ..left out “never”……….
    these are questions that the “media” NEVER (nor the American Sheople) bothered to ask (or even ponder).
    that is the sadest fact of all ;-(.

  22. Fisk inspired a verb.
    A point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or (especially) news story. A really stylish fisking is witty, logical, sarcastic and ruthlessly factual; flaming or handwaving is considered poor form. Named after Robert Fisk, a British journalist who was a frequent (and deserving) early target of such treatment.”
    Need more be said?

  23. gaffo:

    see a pattern???????? yep Fairnes doctrine – thats right Conservatives, the speech limiting rules. Well you know what? maybe we just ain’t smart enough to have totally free speech?

    Here we have, in a nutshell, the Leftist Elitist core position.
    Government (of the “correct” sort, bien sur) must intervene, to ensure that the ideas of the non-elites are not directly expressed. Freedom for thee is just so messy and mustn’t be allowed in a truly diverse, progressive, multicultural society. There oughta be a law!
    I’m so tired of the tedious self-aggrandizement that characterizes those who declare themselves my “betters.” They ain’t, no matter how loudly they shriek it.

  24. Gabbo said:
    “Give me a break Chichita (love your song BTW) – what was that rant listing for the whole year?
    fuck – we have all that shit happening now in ONE WEEK! – just open the paper!
    – as for relivance? was that post suppose to show how wise we are today?……….guess i missed that part.”
    Yeah, you’re right, I’m not “relivant.”
    As for all that shit happening in one week? Give us credible examples of such. Let me brew some coffee first…

  25. Call it what you will Louisa.
    Fact remains………..
    with Freedom comes RESPONSIBILITY
    and we are currently too ignorant as a People to be resposible.
    call me an elitist if it makes you happy – i don’t give a shit. I’m not – just calling it like I see it.
    You (we) got to EARN your (our) Liberty – prove you (we) have the wisdom not to piss it away.
    So far i see alot of pissing, moaning and crying about a free lunch and no taking of resposibility for anything.
    just a bunch of children – we get the system we deserve bubba!

  26. Gaffo, I can assure you that you are not an “elitist.” The language you use doesn’t fly with the queen of england. So, no worries about that.
    You also seem dense.
    In other words, separate from your BS, which you claim as a credential, you’re also full of BS.
    Since today’s youth are far and above “smarter” than the crap the adults passed to them, through the Department of Education. It’s where “regurgitation” became a formality to achieve grades.
    In a degraded credentialing system.
    In time, these things catch up.
    Just like it did to the dudes who controlled the American automobile market. It wasn’t the engineers who got ahead, ya know?
    As to engineers who use “shit” words to explain themselves in public; that would put a damper on anyone’s career. Engineers, in particular, don’t give vent to their frustrations by making bathroom sounds. Sorry.
    You’re the one with the problem.

  27. “Isn’t Robert Fisk A Journalist?”

    HOME SHIFT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT CTRL-X RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT CTRL-V
    RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT DEL
    Fixed it for you.

  28. Robert Fisk: My Credibility Hasn’t Suffered Enough

    The man whose name is used as a synonym for point by point debunking of poorly formed arguments and hair brained ideas has decided to go the extra mile and destroy what little intellectual credibility he might have had. From The Independent:
    But – he…

  29. Thanks for the insults Herman – feel better?
    as for your comment:
    “Since today’s youth are far and above “smarter” than the crap the adults passed to them,”
    I don’t see it. Show us how these “youth” are so much smarter than their parents/abults.
    BTW “Smarter” don’t mean shit if you are a fool. Cleverness is not wisdom.
    the former is but a shadow of the latter. maybe that is the problem with the American Sheople. So many “clever” so few wise.
    i suspect that is the true weakness of our society.

  30. Some years ago, New York City started to clean up the derelict buildings on the West Side, on the Hudson River. One of these, an old pier, I think, was a steel skeleton that looked like it had been made of Play-Doh and squished. I concluded that it had had a fire, and the fire had been left to burn.
    Anyone who lived in NYC at that time (1970’s into the ’80’s) could have seen it, and could have seen what happens to steel in a building fire. This was not a skyscraper; it did not have enormous loads bearing down on it from below. It was just an empty, hanger-like building frame supporting its own weight and, at one time, the weight of a roof and an exterior wall.
    Who are you going to believe, a conspiracy theorist or your own eyes?

  31. In some twisted way, is Mr. Fisk’s article related to looming success in Iraq?
    I see a lefty fallback back position being excavated–“Well yes, the US is winning in Iraq, but the whole war was based on a fraud, starting with 9/11.”
    In early September, expect articles on the lack of WMDs in Iraq: “Well yes, the US is winning in Iraq, but the whole war was based on a fraud, because there never were WMDs in Iraq.”
    My problem with the fairness doctrine: Who will sit on the committee of our “betters” appointed to see what is “fair?” Who will appoint the members of the “fairness committee?” Will the appointments be “fair?” Who will define what is “fair?” Maybe we could put Consumer Reports in charge of the whole process.
    If I ran this site, the use of obscene language in a comment would be cause for deleting the comment and ultimately banning the poster.

  32. Gaffo, like a person needing glasses, and refusing to be fitted for them; you’re a person with limits on what you’re willing to see.
    The youth you’re complaining about have to deal with the terrible service they’re getting from our government provided education. However, in the 1980’s, when this putrid educational system was in place. And, the course curriculum was designed by the affirmative action crew; the computers also came on market.
    And, it was the youth that taught the engineers all the things that you could do.
    And, not just here! But in Japan! Where the cell phones, in the hands of kids, became practical communicators.
    In this regard, (not dealing with the stuff kids needs to memorize and regurgitate), but in actual practicality; it’s our kids who led the way into the computer age.
    How do I know?
    I experienced this shift. My kid, born in 1979, was the first one, here, to use the computer. Oh, and to have Nintendo. He was so drawn to it, that he and his friends, using BASIC, figured out how to design games.
    In college, he studied computer science.
    But he got a real early start.
    There are a lot of old fogey’s, who for some strange reason, love to think of our kids as idiots.
    While I’m sure, if you’re looking for idiots, you’ll find them. But they’re distributed thru the Bell Curve. And, some idiots exist in every age group.
    If your BS point was to add “engineering qualities” to the troofers’ claims that 9/11 was an inside job, what can I say? “Dumb,” doesn’t quite cover it.
    As to Fisk “being a journalist,” we’ve entered the world, now, of “so what?”
    H. L. Mencken went after FDR, full blast, with his pen dipped in poisoned ink. Only thing was, this didn’t throw FDR for a loop. FDR rather enjoyed deflating the over-inflated “journalists.” He held their feet to the fire. And, he roasted a couple.
    At last, that’s not Bush’s strength. Reparte, never was. And, never will be.
    Still, Dan Rather gave Bush a boost in 2004. And, TNR’s jerky attempts to assail our troops also backfired. How does that work? Like a boomerang. That’s like when an engineer “tosses it out,” and it flies back. So, there ya go. You’re an “elitist” in your own home. Big deal.

  33. with Freedom comes RESPONSIBILITY
    and we are currently too ignorant as a People to be respo[n[sible.
    See my previous comment. I rest my case.

  34. Whatever case you’re resting, Louisa, it ain’t in this courtroom.
    Some people just love to string words together than include a reference to people and their responsibilities. Who made you God? It ain’t your setup. Either.

  35. In his Council Wars series, John Ringo uses the word “fisk” in the place of aanother four-letter word starting with “f”.
    A fitting tribute, doun’t you think?

  36. “1. Fire make steel weak.
    “2. Journalists – today are a proffesional descrace(sp), i’ve not read nor hear nor seen honourable journalism since the 1970’s.”
    How hilarious is it that someone who consistently posts semiliterate gibberish would complain about the “dumbing down” of America?
    Physician, heal thyself.
    Or, “fizzishun, heel thyslef.”

  37. My personal opinion is that Zionist suicide bombers masquerading as muslims carried out 9/11. Do your history, the JDL (Jewish Defence League) were an active terrorist group inside the US.

  38. I’m not sure it was that much better thirty years ago, it was forty years ago that Uncle Walter decided wars for the Pentagon. Thirty years ago Woodward and Bernstein were embellishing an FBI leak into an urban legend.
    I think what is definitely true, is that print media has become as sloppy as TV news. Sad.
    I wouldn’t blame that on the consumer, or fix it by giving sloppy journalists a monopoly on the news.

  39. I don’t even know where to begin. So let me start with this actual article. The questions the author is posing are questions millions, if not billions of people are posing. Fisk, at no point, suggests its some government conspiracy. If any of you read and actually understand his article it is extremely clear. He is arguing that the government is rather reckless and incompetent. Furthermore, he is arguing they are not even capable of launching an attack of that kind, which I agree.
    When Fisk writes that “the CIA’s list of Arab suicide-hijackers, which included three men who were – and still are – very much alive and living in the Middle East,” he is merely stating a fact. That is not some wild conspiracy. And once again it is not suggesting that Bush and his goons are behind it. Mainly that they are lazy and incompetent.
    My next points are directed at someone under the name Gaffo. He wrote, “the relivant point is:
    1. Fire make steel weak.” To this I completely agree. It is very likely that 9/11 was completely natural. In almost every scientific experiment things happen that people don’t expect so why expect such a difference with 9/11.
    His second point “2. Journalists – today are a professional disgrace (thats the word I think he meant to use)(sp), I’ve not read nor hear nor seen honorable journalism since the 1970’s.” Well, minus the 1970’s jab, I also agree. Journalists are a disgrace, but Fisk is actually a God send for journalism. He does very important investigative work and has written some of the most detailed accounts of Westerners criminality. It would take real ignorance to not recognize that.
    The Gabbo argues
    “a. CONSOLIDATION = dumbing down. There is no worst enemy to our Nation than our own ignorant population and the tabloid corporate media that feeds it.
    b. Dumbing down America = Consolidation
    c. repeal of Fairness doctrine/telicon act 96 = dumbing down America.”
    The repealing of that act is one thing and I also agree corporate media is keeping people foolish but I think we see it in a different light. American media has a such a ridiculous patriotic bias that Americans can’t even see things clearly. Things that people in every country understand when they are children. Whether it is Fox News, CNN, the New York Times, they are all propagating nonsense. For instance, the notion that America is or has ever tried to spread democracy. They may as well discuss angels, ghosts, and the tooth fairy.
    What is also important is that this individual is talking about the American media, and I’m wondering if he even realizes Fisk doesn’t write for American media so this act would not even affect him in any way. So this comment has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion. You may as well discuss censoring the press in East Timor.
    Michelle Malkin, O’reilly, Coulter, Hannity, and the rest have about the credibility in politics of say a chicken or maybe a goldfish. They are nothing but propagandists. Its a shame anyone can even take them seriously. They can rant and scream but they are leading this nation to a sheer catastrophe and you people are walking blindly into it.
    I’m going to quote someone. Maybe the people on this page will figure out who it is. It is an important quote that pertains to all of you.
    “In trying to affix a meaning to such things, we would do well to remember the wave of elation that swept America at reports of what was happening along the so-called Highway of Death: perhaps 100,000 “towel-heads” and “camel jockeys” – or was it “sand niggers” that week? – in full retreat, routed and effectively defenseless, many of them conscripted civilian laborers, slaughtered in a single day by jets firing the most hyper-lethal types of ordnance. It was a performance worthy of the nazis during the early months of their drive into Russia. And it should be borne in mind that Good Germans gleefully cheered that butchery, too. Indeed, support for Hitler suffered no serious erosion among Germany’s “innocent civilians” until the defeat at Stalingrad in 1943.”
    “There may be a real utility to reflecting further, this time upon the fact that it was pious Americans who led the way in assigning the onus of collective guilt to the German people as a whole, not for things they as individuals had done, but for what they had allowed – nay, empowered – their leaders and their soldiers to do in their name.
    If the principle was valid then, it remains so now, as applicable to Good Americans as it was the Good Germans. And the price exacted from the Germans for the faultiness of their moral fiber was truly ghastly.”
    Sleep on that.

  40. “He does very important investigative work and has written some of the most detailed accounts of Westerners criminality. It would take real ignorance to not recognize that.”
    Actually Fisk is one of the most bigoted Eurocentric writers out there. He routinely slams Western societies for doing things he totally excuses in Third World countries. It was OK, for instance, for Pakistanis to beat Mr. Fisk’s head with a rock trying to kill him, because he was a Westerner and they had been abused. It was not okay, for his country’s armed forces to shoot terrorists in those same mountains, because they were imperialists. The only way that makes sense, is that Fisk feels the West is more morally capable than Pakistani villagers. The West is not behaving any better than Pakistani villagers throwing rocks, but it could do so and so should be encouraged, while that rock-throwing Pakistani just needs to be left alone. He can’t be reached. He can’t be changed.
    “Whether it is Fox News, CNN, the New York Times, they are all propagating nonsense. For instance, the notion that America is or has ever tried to spread democracy. They may as well discuss angels, ghosts, and the tooth fairy.”
    What do you call what they do in all the freed states of the former Reich then? And in Japan?
    100,000 armed men are never effectively defenseless, and a rout instantly becomes a defense once they stop running. The elation is that US troops would not have to close within range of enemy fire to harass and rout the enemy. Those 100,000 were fleeing a country they’d raped in a war of conquest they’d started, so it is that 100,000 who morally resembles the Nazis, and not the US Air Force. The German people were punished for starting a war of aggression against all neighbors, continuing it, and the systematic slaughter of conquered peoples. Not for the routing of field armies.

  41. Carol H said:
    “You also seem dense. In other words, separate from your BS, which you claim as a credential, you’re also full of BS” and
    “If your BS point was to add “engineering qualities” to the troofers’ claims that 9/11 was an inside job, what can I say? “Dumb,” doesn’t quite cover it.”
    I actually understood what the heck she was talking about…and discover that she was right. Not being a “wordsmith” or “elitist” myself, guess it must have been another case of the blind squirrel finding his nuts…

  42. Looks like someone needs to explain to the babbling, drooling, lefties (hypocritical in their own self-righteousness) the difference between “retreat” and “surrender”.

  43. In this drivel Fisk demonstrates exactly why he inspired the verb, but a look at the wikipedia article on ‘Fisking’ also explains why he feels all those questions are unanswered.
    “Fisk’s use of the Internet
    Toronto Star columnist Antonia Zerbisias interviewed Fisk in 2005. Fisk stated “I don’t use the Internet. I’ve never seen a blog in my life. I don’t even use email,” and Zerbisias reported that she had to define the term “fisking” for Fisk.[10]

    Since he doesnt use the internet and I think it’s reasonable to assume he doesnt read Popular Mechanics, we must therefore also assume he gets his information from the arab street or cocktail parties, whichever fits his mood.

  44. There are conspiracy theories for everything. From the North American Union to the Truthers. And to some extent it has always been thus. After all I have known people from the WW2 generation who believed that FDR had something to do with the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
    However, this particular theory is just absurd on its face. If people can not believe what they see with the evidence of their own eyes, then there is no convincing them. We all saw this, the world witnessed it. For rational people there should be no question what happened, and who did it.
    As for journalists, Fisk is a rabblerouser.There are a lot of them left and right out there who try to pass themselves off as journalists, but this man is a tool. Or maybe he is even something worse.
    I think Coulter and Malkin are obnoxious, but it is not the same thing.
    I have never been able to listen to an entire talk radio show and actually pay attention to what people are saying so much of seems stupid, but that is not the same either.
    I don’t like 60 Minutes anymore because they got too opinionated, but that is not the same.
    This is just ridiculous. The kind of thing that Frisk does can not be compared with Coulter running her mouth…the kind of thing Fisk does is more like the cartoons that Hamas runs to brainwash children into growing up to be suicide bombers. It is destructive in a particularly nasty way.
    Bizarre is the word I am looking for.

  45. And, by the way, it seems to me that it would be a sensational coup for some ‘neutral’ journalist on, say, Guardian or Independant staff to actually meet and interview one or more of those ‘ALIVE AND WELL’ so-called hijackers.
    If those reporters werent as lazy as those suggested by the likes of Fisk, that is.
    Or have I missed something on kos or HuffPo?

  46. re: Gaffo’s observations on aluminum not being linear elastic – not being able to return to its undeformed shape when a load its designed for is removed.
    This would be a surprise to Boeing engineers (aluminum airframes for most planes). It would also surprise Cannondale engineers (aluminum frames for bicycles). It would also surprise Audi engineers(the A8 is completely aluminum bodied). And so on. Here’s a little list of metals/alloys that can be safely assumed to be linear elastic provided you don’t overload them – either with force or a combination of force and heat: steel, aluminum, titanium, copper, specialty alloys like Inconel, even exotics like beryllium. Aluminum is not cost effective for building frames, any more than titanium is. It is not somehow immune to loss of strength due to temperature, either. If you are into splitting hairs, nothing is truly exactly linear in response, but these metals (and others) are close enough when the applied loads are properly designed for. There are other metal alloys that aren’t – nitinol for example.

  47. Whatever case you’re resting, Louisa, it ain’t in this courtroom.
    Some people just love to string words together than include a reference to people and their responsibilities. Who made you God? It ain’t your setup. Either.

    Oops! I didn’t realize, upon visiting this site, that I’d entered a henhouse presided over by a clucking Nanny with an, umm, agenda of obscure intent.
    I’ll refrain from commenting here ever again, and I’ll actively avoid reading this blog in the future. You win, Carol Herman!

  48. I find the tone of this piece, though not the substance, to be distasteful. A lot of serious minded people had questions about the attacks in the days following 9/11 and for many of them it had nothing to do with political partisanship or hatred of their country, etc. etc. I had questions myself. And while the investigation and analysis in the intervening time has satisfied me that the attacks were almost definitely nothing more than they seemed to be (an orchestrated attack by AQ) that doesn’t mean that many of the observed effects didn’t raise very predictable questions. Dismissing such questions as treason or “nuttiness” is, frankly, demeaning.
    How could the method of the towers’ collapse not raise questions to the untrained eye? We are regularly treated to television shows by the rock stars of the demoltion indutry who bring down massive structures in just that fashion. They talk endlessly about how difficult it is, and how one mistake can end in tragedy. On 9/11 one of my office mates and I were discussing exactly how awful it would be if one of the towers fell over like a tree, smashing and killing for dozens of city blocks. It was certainly a shock to see them implode straight down.
    The Pentagon was even more of a head scratcher. My father-in-law worked there at the time (no more to say on that) and we are continually grateful that he was at home on 9/11, though he was back there shortly afterward. As a lifelong military veteran, GS worker and (later) government contractor dating back to pre-Nam, and a (literally) rocket scientist, he had some serious questions about the Pentagon impact which he shared with us. Primarily it was the distinct paucity of persistent, fuel driven flames on the outside of the structure. He’d seen plenty of planes crashed (some intentionally) and couldn’t understand how the wings, nearly fully loaded with fuel, hadn’t snapped off on impact and set the outside of the structure ablaze to a far greater degree. At the time, he said it “looked more like a major missle hit.” Small wonder that others had questions.
    I never read the theory about the dispersion of plane parts in the PA crash, but then again I haven’t really followed the truther literature, having been satisfied (as I said) with the explanations provided in the follow-up investigation. But I can also see how people might wonder about debris spreading around in a confusing pattern.
    In the end, I think what most convinced me that it wasn’t some sort of internal conspiracy was that it was simply too horrible to imagine. And nobody, no matter how evil of intent, could possibly think they could pull it off and get away with the coverup. Too much to risk, and you would be permanently seated alongside Hitler and Bin Laden for a place in the hall of fame for infamy for all time.
    But that doesn’t mean that some of the things that happened wouldn’t raise questions in the minds of reasonable people of good intent. Dismissing all such questioning as “whacko nutjob antics” is demeaning to a very serious topic.

  49. 9/11 was how many years ago?
    Exactly how long do we have to be non-demeaning? When can we call the nutjobs…nutjobs?

  50. In answer to Jazz:
    If that piece had been written by most anyone else it would have probably raised little or no attention, UNLESS one of the Lefty sites raised its profile. As it was Fisk, it deserves a beating down in the most severe manner possible. It comes down to ‘consider the source’.
    I suggest you also look at the Ad Hom byplay in the article. With a wave of the hand he dismisses the post Viet Nam bugout comparisons as some kind of ‘Bushy’ diversion, suggesting that the impetus of the killing fields was somehow due to US interference and that Viet Nam was proactive in stopping it, which to anyone paying attention at the time is ridiculous.
    The FACT is that Viet Nam tried to ignore it as long as possible, but their sensitivity to the western press cultivated in the Fonda years made a response imperative, if only for propaganda purposes.
    Not only that, the Khmer Rouge were far more radical than they were and they feared the spread of the intellectual cleansing into Viet Nam.
    So let’s not be cowed into letting Fisk off the hook on ANY precept relating to such ‘ideal-atries’, or suggest that he has a right to ‘his version of the truth’…he is a self centered smug liar and a fool at best. A lazy racist idiot at the worst.

  51. I, for one, really enjoyed Gaffo’s clear demonstration of “why people shouldn’t be permitted to make their own choices.”

  52. Jazz – I’ll bet the difference between your rocket scientist father-in-law and the truthers is that your FIL can be persuaded by facts, observations, calculations and experimentation. For the truthers, the truth is always ‘out there’.
    The NIST WTC report, funded by $20mm of your tax dollars, is freely available from NIST’s website. Each project within the overall effort has an executive summary, which can be understood by people who aren’t rocket scientists. Its not the be-all and end-all; there probably will never be a 100% accepted full explanation of the tragic events of that day. And by accepted, I mean accepted by people who have the skills, education and experience to form a rational defensible opinion.

  53. I dont know how the conversation got on aluminum… but here’s a juicy note on fire and structural steel almost any of you can dig up for yourself.
    Find a retired local residential building inspector who had been around in the fifties. Ask him about the use of steel I Beams in homes that have basements and why some local codes forbade them in favor of using wood as center support beams.
    In fact the use of steel WAS permitted in some locales IF a ‘2-by-‘ was inserted in the I Beam channel.

  54. Fisk isn’t stupid, he’s just an opportunistic whore. Sometimes, the two are hard to distinguish.
    He is hedging his bets that this conspiracy crap is gonna have some legs, and he’ll get his left wing bona fides if he joins in. Yet, he’s careful not to go all the way, in case the narrative falls apart (as it is, by the way). When it’s all over, he’ll merrily roll along saying, “I said there were some ‘questions,’ they’ve been answered, and I’m still a ‘journalist.'”
    He’s just a slime ball opportunist. Please don’t give him an easy out by suggesting he’s stupid. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

  55. pettyfog – I responded to gaffos gaffe on aluminum because, if believed, someone would then assert that aluminum’s (non-existent) resistance to heat would make it a better material than steel and the gov’t should have required it and yada,yada,yada. More chaff for the truthers. Apparently gaffo forgot about the Columbia disaster.
    DM – somebody said that most truthers are deluded, but a few are bleeping evil. I know where I’d categorize the reprehensible Fisk.

  56. Jazz,
    Robert Fisk knows where to find the answers to these questions. So do most people, especially here in the US. Even if he didn’t, as a journalist, he could interview real engineers, get his hands on studies from NIST, have them analyzed by independent academics in fields of discipline matching the issues.
    Did he choose to do that? Or, six years later, did he choose to write a silly column about how no one has answered his questions? SwabJockey is right. At a certain point, it passes from having questions to a refusal to find the answers — which translates to “nutjob”.

  57. This drives me crazy. I’ve brought up this point several times in similar posts, here and elsewhere. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one here with the background to make such a comment (BS-Physics, w/ minor in metallurgy).
    The steel doesn’t need to melt. The loss of “50 percent of its strength” might be pertinent, but I expect such buildings to be “over-engineered” (perhaps naive of me).
    But what does happen if the steel reaches 1333°F is a metal crystal phase change from alpha-iron to gamma-iron. I’ve seen what this does, and it is astounding. In seconds such a piece of steel grows about 10% longer.
    Let me repeat that. A one foot long piece of steel lengthens by about 1 1/2 inches in 1-2 seconds. Now if that steel is riveted tight at the bottom, and riveted tight at the top, what happens? I’m not sure myself, but I know it isn’t going to be good.

  58. It’s not really to the point, but the WTC’s frame wouldn’t have been riveted. It was connected by some mixture of welds and high-tension bolts (which hold by clamping the parts, not by shear through the bolt).

  59. Robert Fisk writes for the (ironically titled)Independent. So, no, he’s not a journalist. Chief propaganda writer would be a better description.

  60. msr – take a deep breath or two….
    NIST NCSTAR1-3D on the metallurgical investigation presents results of high temp testing. Figure 6-1 shows you lose more than 75% of strength at approx 1070 F. No need to look at phase change, its already gone. FWIW, I was looking at this report for their high strain effects results – job related. (I sort of have a life, but like you get real frustrated by all the mis- and dis-information out there.)

  61. Gaffo:
    you got the engineering theory nailed.
    but this is a forum where people argue for months about the form of a dangeling patriciple and whether it should dangel vertically or lay horizontally. the arguments of how many lawyers can dance on the point of a pin is passe with this bunch. so read the American Thinker artical (http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/08/courage_cowardice_and_the_word_1.html) he says it far more elegently than i could.
    keep in mind one thing. you build bridges, buildings, railroads, dams. if you error, people will die. if they error they simply wash it away with a trite phrase.
    your work will last for ages, thiers will only last until this computer is shut down.
    your work can be seen from space. theirs only by a small circle of sychophants.
    thunder on Gaffo, thunder on.
    C

  62. “Why did flight 93’s debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field?
    Answer: it wasn’t. One piece went a mile and a half from the site after the plane exploded on impact, and the rest was found within that radius.”
    Ed, you might want to read that bit again. I dont subscribe to the conspiracy theories about that day, but if you are going to complain about a journalist’s logic, maybe you should make some effort to be logical yourself.
    First you say the debris did not spread over miles, then you point out that at least one piece went over a mile. I agree with the general point of your post, but I despise sloppy logic.

  63. “Why did flight 93’s debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field?
    Answer: it wasn’t. One piece went a mile and a half from the site after the plane exploded on impact, and the rest was found within that radius.”
    Ed, you might want to read that bit again. I dont subscribe to the conspiracy theories about that day, but if you are going to complain about a journalist’s logic, maybe you should make some effort to be logical yourself.
    First you say the debris did not spread over miles, then you point out that at least one piece went over a mile. I agree with the general point of your post, but I despise sloppy logic.

  64. Gaffo:
    about the fire department getting out before the collapse.
    yes the business of pulling out before the collapse is the smart thing to do but in the military and semi military organizations tradition is the strong force.
    tradition in fire departments is that when there is a column of smoke up ahead firemen go forward when others go back.
    the fire chief is the very distillation of this essence. if he wasn’t he wouldn’t have the respect of his men. those guys lead from the front not the back.
    the military understands this very well. at one time if you went up the gang way to the U.S.S. Enterprise (a neucular powered air craft carrier) you would see a huge sign starting with the sentance:
    Enterprise: CVANxx [can’t remember the hull number] 8th ship of the name.
    followed by a list of the other seven and 200+ years of battle stars and commendations.
    No one who presents orders and signs aboard will ever let that bunch down.
    its who they are.
    Thunder on Gaffo, Thunder on.
    C

  65. Fisk doesn’t believe that 9/11 was an inside job. He admits to as much in the article. He thinks that Bush and his administration is too stupid to carry out an attack of this level. Just look at his rantings about how Bush screws up everything and you’ll get the idea. Frisk is suffering from severe Bush Derangement Syndrome, and this article is just symptomatic of that.
    BTW, why do so many people focus on just the jet fuel (highly refined kerosene) and ignore the other fuel sources that was also present in the twin towers fires, like wood, plastics, paper, magnesium alloys in aircraft engines, frames, etc? A combination of all these materials would drastically increase the temperatures that the fires generated.
    Now, add to the heat equation the “bellows” effect of the winds that brought fresh O2 into the fires and how that would increase the temperatures. The towers were not sheltered from the winds, in all the videos of the twin towers taken that day you can see how the smoke is billowing away from the towers. That indicates a rather high velocity to the airflow through the buildings at the burn points and that would vastly increase the temperatures, quite possibly well above the fail point of the steel joints and supports which were already weakened by the force of the initial impacts.
    Large, heavy planes like 757’s , moving at high speed, impart an enormous amount of energy into rigid structures when they collide. A lot of that energy would have been transfered into the structural steel, which would have caused the steel to reverberate at their resonant frequencies and that would have transfered momentum into joints that are susceptible to dislocation forces. That would have caused several joints to warp and break, weakening the structure even before the fires spread.
    I’m surprised that the towers held up as long as they did before collapsing. That’s a testament to how well the towers were constructed and not an indication of their inherent weaknesses.

  66. aluminum will burn also.
    occasionally in forest fires we would see chainsaws catch fire. the magnesium parts would start it and the aluminm would take over. very bright electric arc like flame, left a very white powder behind.
    there is a process in heavy industry where a mixture of iron oxide, aluminum powder and some magnesium is placed between two very large pieces of steel that are to be welded together.
    the mess is touched off with a railroad flare.
    the magnesium starts to burn which starts the aluminum iron oxide mixture, melts the iron and the adjacent solid iron. when it is cooled if all is done right the two large peices are welded together in a %100 weld.
    railroads do this as a field weld to join quarter mile long pieces of rail into much longer sections. they do xray or radiographic examiniations afterwards. it is the standard repair for pull aparts and internal flaws.
    i would speculate that if a large chunk of the aircraft (the landing gear and attachments are normally %50 of the aircrafts’ dry weight) became lodged at a critical joint and the aluminum caught fire it could take the steel in the building structure with it and exceed the melting point of steel. however the strong possibility exists that the local area would have collapsed from under the aluminum fire from thermal weakening before the steel melted and dropped out from under the fire scattering it.
    an important point to this wild theory is whether an amount of white powder (aluminum oxide) was observed on the wreck site.
    C

  67. pk brings up a good point.
    “aluminum iron oxide mixture”
    That’s normally called thermite, which produces an aluminothermic reaction and has been used since the early 1900’s to weld metal, It produces a very hot, intense chemical reaction.
    BTW, several metals can be combined with aluminum to produce an aluminothermic reaction, like the copper found in the electrical wiring which is in abundance in any modern business office. All you need is to mix the two metals together, and both copper and aluminum melt at relativity low temperatures (like those found in a jet fuel fire), and add a heat source, (once again like in a jet fuel fire) and the aluminothermic reaction will produce an extremely intense source of heat. Imagine this copper/aluminum mixture dripping on the structural joints and igniting, as could be reasonably expected in a situation like 9/11 attacks on the twin towers. I won’t doubt that this is one of the contributing causes of the collapse.

  68. Gaffo,
    In fact, the men in the second tower were ordered out after the first tower collapsed. Part of the reason that many of them didn’t make it out was the problems encountered with the radios. Command couldn’t get through to everyone to order them out.
    In any event, those firefighters had a responsibility to help as many people as possible. I think it’s pretty crappy of you to shite on their graves like you just did. They were heroes. Show some respect.
    Jim C

  69. Ray, a question: Wouldn’t a large amount of the aircrafts’ fuel-load have aerosolized or vaporized upon impact? And wouldn’t that amount of fuel been much more explosive and burn much hotter than fuel in a quiescent state?
    I just ask because that would seem to raise the potential temperature inside the building, as well as coat everything within the building with flaming jet fuel which, combined with the ‘bellows effect’ would have created even more extreme temperatures?

  70. Jazz:
    I’m late to this discussion but I still would like to make some comment with respect to your earlier comments today.
    Unlike you and your buddies I thought the collapse each individual Twin Tower on 9/11 occurred exactly as I would have expected and as the hijackers expected – they pan-caked almost straight down but still took out some other buildings in the area. I find it hard to believe that you (and probably your buddies) thought otherwise – “It was certainly a shock to see them implode straight down.” Why do you use the emotive word ‘implode’ in this context? Using that word certainly makes you sound like a Rosie O’Donnell or like any of the other truthers. You and your office cronies “talk endlessly about how difficult it is, and how one mistake can end in tragedy. On 9/11 one of my office mates and I were discussing exactly how awful it would be if one of the towers fell over like a tree, smashing and killing for dozens of city blocks.” Why would you think that? There was no damage to the bottom of the Tower buildings at the times of the collapses – how could they possibly come down like a tree? It should be mentioned that the first time that Osama sent his Islamo-fascist friends to take out one of the Towers in the early 1990’s the intent was to destroy the bottom of the structure on one side of the building so that it would topple over like a tree. But it didn’t work out that way.
    There has been a lot of talk about the weakening of the steel girders by the intense heat generated by the jet-fuel fires. The weakened girders then gave way owing to the weight of the building above and the buildings collapsed. I agree completely with this explanation but would add that concrete, reinforced or otherwise, would lose compressive strength due to the heat of the jet-fuel fires and that this probably contributed somewhat to the initial collapses in the areas of the fires.
    Only a truther could think the Pentagon was a ‘head scratcher.’ If a commercial jet did not hit the Pentagon then what ever happened to the people on the commercial jet that did not hit the pentagon? Did the bogeyman CIA drug them and put them all in mental hospitals or did that evil Karl Rove transport them to a parallel universe?
    Your father-in-law certainly doesn’t sound like a rocket scientist. He apparently doesn’t understand the concept of momentum, that is, velocity multiplied by mass. The massive Pentagon’s momentum was and is zero as its velocity was and is zero. On the other hand the commercial jet weighing about 125 tons and carrying about 35 tons of jet fuel was traveling at about 500 miles per hour before it hit the Pentagon. That’s about 750 feet per second. I would say that the jet plane and as well as it cargo of jet fuel penetrated quite a way into the Pentagon’s outer circle before any fuel got atomized and started to burn – hence the ‘paucity of persistent, fuel driven flames on the outside of the structure.’ There was a video of the first jet to hit one of the Twin Towers. It showed that the fuselage and wings penetrated the building intact. The fire initially was seen coming out of the other side of the building along with flaming debris and not from the area of entry. But of course I’m not allowed to use this as evidence because to truthers it’s part of the conspiracy scenario.
    What finally convinced you was that the ‘internal conspiracy was too horrible to imagine.’ Your conclusion about 9/11 reveal that you are an emotive rather than a logical person. A logical person would say that the internal conspiracy would be much too complicated to be keep secret for even a day and that there was no doubt whatsoever that the 9/11 death and destruction was carried out by 19 Islamo-fascist thugs under the direction of Osama bin Ladin.
    ConChem

  71. V the K,
    That’s very possible as this type of atomization of fuel is what occurs in the combustion chamber of a turbine engine. The heat produced can reach as high as 2700 degrees. That’s a lot higher than what you would get from a pool of burning jet fuel. Of course, the jet engine compresses the air prior to the addition and combustion of the fuel, so that can explain the higher temperatures.
    BTW, there is also magnesium in certain jet engine parts, at least there was in the 80’s when I was a Cobra mechanic (Cobras use a jet engine) so this can also add to the heat produced in an aircraft fire.

  72. “And assuming ( for arguments sake – we all know the twin towers were made of steel and not reinforced concrete) that the building was made of concrete, then the fire would have had NO effect in weakening the building.”
    Gaffo, there was a hell of a lot of concrete in the twin towers, mostly in the floors but also in the core of the building. Concrete can be weakened by fires as the heat will cause expansion and micro fractures will be produced in the concrete which weakens it and turns it very brittle. For an experiment, try baking a chunk of concrete for several hours in your oven and you’ll see that, even in the low temperatures you oven produces, the concrete will become brittle enough to break apart in your hand. It doesn’t take a lot of heat for concrete to lose the cohesive bonds between the cement mixture and the sand and rocks, which is what concrete is comprised of. Remember, cement itself is made by burning lime and fusing it with other materials in an oven.
    Also, rebar is used to add tensile strength to concrete because the floors of all modern buildings experience tensile forces naturally due to the effect of gravity trying to pull the floors down, which tends to stretch the concrete. Once the rebar began to lose it’s tensile strength due to the heat, the concrete would loose it’s ability to withstand those natural tensile forces as well. This would cause the concrete floors to collapse and that would have removed a lot of the lateral reinforcement of the structure. Those concrete floors not only supported the weight of the offices and associated equipment resting on them, they also were used to counteract the lateral forces present in any large structure. Remove that support and that building is very weak. So, yes, fire can weaken concrete and can cause a collapse. You may have a BS, but I doubt that you’re a building engineer as you would have already known this.

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