Monday, January 22, 2007

Why are Dems happy with incomplete 9/11 report?

Congressional Democrats, such as Patrick Leahy, say they're satisfied with the Kean commission's 9/11 report. That's why, says Leahy, he has no intention of urging further investigation into 9/11 [see post below].

Now this is remarkable, considering that that report is incomplete.

The 2004 report never mentions the collapse of World Trade Center 7 hours after the collapses of the twin towers. Why? Well, as several top federal investigators have said, no credible explanation has been found for the collapse. The NIST is still working on it but, says the NIST's lead investiagtor, Shyam Sunder, the NIST just doesn't have a good handle on how it could have happened.

But, apparently the Kean panel knew what the outcome of any WTC7 probe would be, so the commissioners didn't feel it necessary to get into that matter.

Or maybe Leahy and other key lawmakers, along with 9/11 panelists, have agreed to a national security blackout on WTC7's collapse. It did house the CIA's New York station. And we know that a public TV web site deleted footage of trade center owner Larry Silverstein's remark that officials had decided to "pull" the building.

But even supposing Leahy is party to a national security blackout on that aspect of the events of 9/11, the Kean panel was also neglectful in the matter of collapse times.

The Kean panel report gives a collapse time of 10 seconds for WTC2. If you dropped a stone from the top of WTC2, it would take 9.2 seconds to reach the ground -- in a vacuum. That is, a collapse time of 10 seconds implies almost no structural resistance, which is consistent with the use of explosives.

So it seems that the Kean panel's science advice was rather poor, whether it came from FEMA, NIST or the FBI. Later, we are told (but I can't find the citation), the NIST lengthened the time to 12 seconds. As I show at, even 12 seconds is good cause for profound suspicion.

But anyway, how is it that leading lawmakers are happy with a seriously deficient report?

One more thing: Much of the commission's narrative is based on the "testimony" of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was grilled by CIA interrogators at a secret jail overseas. The commission was given redacted copies of statements and summaries but was not permitted to interview him nor pose specific questions to be asked by the CIA.

So this evidence is largely untestable and we cannot be sure of what Khalid really said, or meant, or in what context. Some of the statements attributed to him are quite suspect.

This is what some top Democrats are satisfied with?

Aren't they the same Democrats who decry the use of extra-judicial means against CIA captives? Who object that the Bush tribunals are intended to block an effective defense against secret evidence?


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