Alexander Cockburn, like others who defend the ludicrous official story of 9/11, cannot argue with the facts ' so he resorts to name-calling, the one and only argument of the pro-'war-that-will-not-end-in-our-lifetimes' crowd ('The Real 9/11 Conspiracy,' 9/22/06).
Cockburn calls 9/11 skeptics 'nuts' who display 'fundamental idiocy' and 'believe military systems work the way Pentagon press flacks and aerospace salesmen say they should.' This will be news to the dozens of former high-level military and intelligence officials who have derided the official myth and blasted the 9/11 cover-up ' see patriotsquestion911.com.
Cockburn compares 9/11 skeptics to people whose beliefs are dictated by religious emotions, not hard facts. In my essay 'The Myth of 9/11,' to be published in 9/11 and the American Empire: Christians, Jews and Muslims Speak Out (October 2006, Interlink Books), I show that the opposite is the case.
It is the true believers in the official myth who have been whipped into a frenzy of blind 'religious' faith by a pseudo-religious event ' a spectacle of mass human sacrifice presumably scripted by specialists in public myths.
In this regard, it is interesting that Bush administration crony Philip Zelikow, Kissinger's replacement as the author/novelist of the 9/11 Commission Report, is a self-described expert in 'the creation and maintenance of 'public myths'' like the official version of Pearl Harbor, and the co-author of a 1999 Foreign Affairs article examining the cultural and psychological changes that would follow a devastating 'terrorist attack on America.'
Bravo to Alexander Cockburn!
Now we know that the biggest problem with the official 9/11 story is actually Rudy Giuliani's Motorola contracts! Mr. Cockburn's skillful sleuthing has an unearthed a whopper on this one, and I'll be astounded if the collapse of our society does not ensue.
I feel so much better knowing that none of the other massive discrepancies between the official 9/11 Commission Report and fact, news footage, logic, and reason have any relevance whatsoever. Perhaps, then, we could leave it to him to provide us with the real story.
Please, Mr. Cockburn, would you mind explaining how a 47-story building could collapse on its own, with several small, manageable fires on only two floors? And I suppose the fact that this same building housed the CIA, Department of Defense, Secret Service, IRS and Rudy Giuliani's $26 million emergency bunker ' as well as 3,000 to 4,000 documents related to numerous Wall Street and business investigations, including Enron ' is just a mere coincidence to you.
Also, while you're at it, can you please give us a real answer regarding the put options (bets that a stock will fall) placed on Boeing, United and American airlines up to 11 times the normal amount in the four days preceding the 9/11 attacks? Finally, would you also mind explaining exactly what Cheney, Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush and the whole neocon apparatus ' The Project for a New American century ' meant when describing, pre-9/11, 'a cataclysmic and catalyzing event ' like a New Pearl Harbor' as a necessary pretense for their war of conquest set to begin in Iraq, then Iran and Syria, finally cutting a swath eastward to conquer the remaining 'Axis of Evil'?
Perhaps Cockburn simply lacks the necessary acumen to piece together the larger picture, and for that reason, he reacts out of spite. Nonetheless, he will most likely find himself one day on the embarrassingly wrong side of history.
Alexander Cockburn replies: One of the best investigations of the supposed 9/11 'conspiracy' was written long before the planes hit the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. It was by Carl Jung, published in 1958, and called 'Flying Saucers, A Modern Myth.' It's a useful essay about mass psychosis: a 'psychological infection' that spreads among people who lack sufficient understanding to rationalize fearsome political forces and unstable social conditions.
We deal with the actual laws of physics and why the Towers fell in our current CounterPunch newsletter, if people want to know what really happened. (For a subscription, go to www.counterpunch.org.)
Hammond's letter is a typical 9/11 wingnut rant, stuffed with ignorance and irrelevancies. His sneers about Motorola are particularly ill-conceived. If Giuliani hadn't pushed that corrupt Motorola contract for radios for the New York Fire Department, many, many firemen and people in the Towers would be alive today, because they would have been able to hear evacuation orders and warnings that the Towers were about to fall.
At one public hearing where Giuliani appeared, Hammond might care to know that the first thing the widows of the firemen shouted was, 'What about the radios?' Maybe Hammond can go to the next hearing and deride them.
Building 7, where, again as a consequence of corruption, Giuliani had based his Office of Emergency Management, had aCon Ed substation with 109,000 gallons of oil. The diesel fuel systems ran very close to the core steel trusses. Citigroup had nine generators on the fifth floor, with two 6,000-gallon fuel systems. Office of Emergency Management had a 6,000-gallon reservoir hanging 15 feet above ground on the mezzanine.
There was a total of 43,284 gallons of diesel fuel for generators in Building 7 on 9/11, a lot of it deployed in flat defiance (and protected by Giuliani) of city safety codes.
It's a flat-out lie to assert, as Hammond does, there were only two small fires in Building 7. There were huge fires continuously fed by the fuel being pumped through by the emergency systems, and these led to the failureof thetransfer trusses between floors 5 and 7.
Hammond says there were federal and city agencies in Building 7 and the neocons dreamed of a Pearl Harbor in a memo to Netanyahu, etc. So? That's just standard kook cherry-picking, to try to tidy up reality into one vast, perfectly managed conspiracy. And these are the same arch-conspirators who couldn't even fake WMDs in Iraq?
Doyle backed too
I would like to clarify and correct your story highlighting the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans employee political action committee (PAC) as a contributor to Mark Green ('Seeing Double,' 9/15/06).
First, Thrivent Financial does not endorse political candidates, and no corporate or member resources are used for political contributions. Employees voluntarily contribute to an employee PAC, which in turn supports candidates for public office from both major political parties
Thrivent Financial has some 1,800 employees in Appleton, an area Green has represented in Congress for nearly a decade. During that time, the employee PAC contributed to Green's congressional campaigns. The $19,400 in contributions from the Thrivent employee PAC date back to his 1997 congressional campaign.
The employee PAC has contributed $1,000 to Mr. Green's gubernatorial campaign and $4,000 to Gov. Jim Doyle's re-election campaign. During the last four years, the PAC contributed $6,000 to Mr. Green (only $1,000 of which was to his gubernatorial campaign) and $4,000 to Gov. Doyle.
Finally, your article incorrectly suggested that Thrivent Financial was part of the Wisconsin Lutheran Synod. Thrivent Financial is not part of any church body or synod; it is a membership organization open to all Lutherans.
Paul Kelash, director of public relations, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton
Thanks for writing about solar electricity ('Solar Option Is Catching On,' 10/05/06). Going solar is not 'prohibitively expensive,' though. In the past this may have been true, but now solar it can actually save homeowners significant money.
Calculating solar costs is very complicated. You have to consider the rising cost of electricity, the lifespan of the solar panels or shingles, how easily you can conserve energy, how much juice will be generated at your specific site, switching to time-of-use rates, and more.
Our family of three is considering going solar for 100% of our electricity. After many hours making such calculations, we will not only break even, we'll save over $10,000 while the panels are still under warranty, and likely many thousands more, since they won't stop working overnight. And we don't live like hermits; we have a TV, computers, stereo...even an extra freezer in the basement.
I wrote an article that explains our situation at geocities.com/bay_creek/pv.html. Electricity is dirty power. Going solar is something many of us can do to slow global warming today.