Five years ago today was the worst day of most of our lives, akin to the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor for our parents? generation. I was half asleep in bed in San Antonio when I suddenly heard on the radio that a plane had struck the World Trade Center. I threw off the covers and headed for the TV, saying to Anne that I thought I?d heard that a commuter plane had hit one of the twin towers.
My immediate thought was that the tower might come down. I had two reasons to fear this: the first was that, when the towers were being built, I had flown over them in the company of an engineer who was working on them, who happened to be my seatmate on a business trip. When I commented on how I had read that there was so much wire in them that the construction job had actually driven up the price of copper, he merely muttered that he wouldn?t want to work in one of them, not ever.
I was surprised, and naturally asked him why. ?They?re deathtraps,? he said. He went on to explain that they couldn?t withstand much force because the curtains were load bearing, meaning that the outer walls bore the weight of the structure, or part of it.
He said that if a jet like the one we were in were to hit one of the towers midway down, it would almost certainly collapse. Given that one of LaGuardia airport?s main approaches goes down the Hudson and doglegs around the tip of Manhattan, many hundreds of flights a week would be taking turns around the towers. I know statistics: I realized that the probability of an accident was there.
I was so struck by this possibility that I wrote a story about a 747 crashing into the towers and causing both of them to fall over. Where that story is now, I don?t know. It?s been at least 30 years since I laid eyes on it.
The second thing that crossed my mind was that somebody had told me at some point that buildings in which US intelligence agencies have secret devices and classified information are routinely mined, so that they can be demolished if there is any chance that the secrets might be compromised. Understand, I don?t know this for a fact, but it certainly seems possible that at least the areas where such secrets are kept would be capable of being destroyed if necessary.
I turned on the TV and saw smoke and flame pouring out of the first tower. My heart just broke, to think of all the suffering that must be going on in that structure, and the agony of friends and family on the outside. Then the second plane hit and I thought, ?this isn?t an accident.? Then I thought of the National Security Agency assets in the Twin Towers and the CIA establishment in Building 7 of the complex, and I felt that it would not be long before they all came down, Building 7 included.
As I watched all this horror, I went online and got on the phone to start building stories for our website. It was tiny then, just an author?s website with an occasional news story, my journal, and a message board with a couple of hundred people on it. I was delighted to see that we were getting twenty thousand hits a month, a far cry from the twenty million we get now.
There were no reporters, Anne wasn?t editing it, but that day changed everything for us. As I worked, I realized that there were important parts of the story that the media was ignoring, and I tried to concentrate on those. For example, I was well aware of the ?dissident? Osama bin Laden, and the fact that the Taliban were trying to get him out of Afghanistan. I knew that he had bombed the US embassy in Nairobi and the USS Cole, because this fact had been in the press. So I thought to myself, I?ll bet it?s him. And soon enough, there came a story from Pakistan that the Taliban ambassador had denied that bin Laden had anything to do with the attacks. So this was the first story I went with, aside from our initial bulletins.
At the time, we had no resources to call on in India or Pakistan, much less Afghanistan. But I knew that a major part of the story would be played out there, and that it would be mostly ignored by the general media. Eventually, we obtained quite a few stories from the area, certainly enough to convince me that US intelligence was not all that satisfactory for the region, and therefore that the various presidential pronouncements that were coming out about it were to be taken with a grain of salt.
Something else happened on that day that has virtually disappeared from the media, even from the work of the most thorough analysts. This was a brief story to the effect that Air Force One had received a misdirect that had almost caused it to fly the president to Washington, and that the plane?s communications system had been ?compromised.? Instead, they had taken the president far out to the west.
This reminded me of another strange?and strangely similar?story: that there had been exactly one boat that the FBI had not investigated after the explosion of TWA Flight 800: a speedboat that had gone racing out to sea from right under the crashing plane. Arguably, this boat was the single most important investigative target, if only because they would have seen the explosion in detail.
I also knew that Pierre Salinger had been expecting something to be brought to him on that flight, which was why he had immediately announced that it had been shot down. His evidence?the only evidence he could bring?prove to be faulty, but I did not believe the official story and I still don?t. I have examined the ?streak of light? video frame by frame, and the light of the streak first reached the camera when whatever caused it was on the surface of the ocean, in the approximate position of the disappeared speedboat.
The CIA?s elaborate explanation of that streak of light does not appear valid to me, any more than does the notion that Building 7 collapsed due to pressures from below. It collapsed because of a controlled demolition, probably activated because the entire area around it was in chaos, and the building was no longer secure. I don?t know whether or not buildings 1 and 2 were intentionally destroyed, but it is perfectly possible that the burning jet fuel inside set off thermate charges that had been put there to make it possible to demolish the buildings if they became compromised. It is also possible, of course, that those charges were set off intentionally, and it is possible that the buildings collapsed for the reason that my engineer friend said they would: they were not strong enough to survive the impact of a jet.
In the matter of the airliner that allegedly struck the Pentagon but neither created a hole large enough to consume a jetliner nor left any parts suggesting that there even was one there outside the structure, it has now been reported by the conservative website Sierratimes.com after a Freedom of Information Act investigation that there were no Arab men or middle eastern men aboard the plane at all.
Both the Clinton and Bush administrations failed to control the threat posed by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, and the National Security Council under Condoleeza Rice was incredibly remiss in failing to respond to 11 warnings transmitted to it by the FAA that terrorists were likely to try to fly passenger planes into the World Trade Center. What is more disturbing is the fact that those warnings were classified?probably illegally?until after the last election. Then, to make matters worse, Ms. Rice testified before the 911 Commission that they had been blindsided by the attack on the towers.
Either there was fantastic incompetence, or they let it happen, or worse, as the 911 Truth Movement claims, they actually did it.
What might all of this mean? The implication is clear: from the carefully ignored boat speeding away beneath Flight 800 through the intercept of Air Force One communications on 911 to the mysterious lack of debris from the unhijacked plane that probably never struck the Pentagon at all to Ms. Rice’s apparently fantastic incompetence, there is something OTHER THAN a terrorist operation in progress. Whatever this is, it has the power to force the U.S. government to conceal its activities.
Perhaps evidence of its existence was what was being sent to Pierre Salinger aboard Flight 800.
It has a purpose that goes far beyond terrorism. Its purpose is to destroy mankind without appearing to do so.
No matter the cause, the effect is the same: we have been masterfully distracted from the only ?war? that really matters right now, which is the war to keep mankind alive in the context of a rapidly failing planetary environment.
There are so many things wrong environmentally that I can?t even begin to list them all. The three most serious that I know about are the Amazonian drought, the rapid decline of the Gulf Stream and the massive outgassing of methane from melting Arctic permafrost.
These are very serious and immediate problems, and all the wars and violence and ideological conflict that owns the news right now is really of very little importance in comparison. Indeed, our obsession with these issues almost seems like a sort of evil spell cast over us, which has as its hidden purpose the extinction of the human species.
Which is what will happen, if these problems are allowed to gain any traction. And, frankly, there is not a lot of time between now and then. The methane outgassing is a self-strengthening process, in the sense that the more methane that enters the atmosphere the hotter it becomes, and the greater melt releases yet more methane.
In the past, every ice age has been preceded by just such a methane spike, then a period of climate chaos, then the coming of the ice. What happens is that the sudden heating of air near the surface across the arctic, caused by a combination of CO2 and methane in the atmosphere, with the highest methane concentrations in the arctic where it is being produced, results in an explosive storm of the type depicted in Superstorm and the Day After Tomorrow. This happens when the warm surface air rises into the ultra-cold upper atmosphere above the arctic?which will be made far colder even than normal by the fact that the methane is preventing the heat from radiating upward.
After the storm, a very large area, perhaps a quarter or more of the northern hemisphere, lies under a blanket of snow that does not melt the following summer, because the whiteness of it reflects so much heat that not even the methane can prevent it, and the next winter and the winter after, and on down the ages, the snows come.
However, we are also outgassing methane at such a high rate that it?s almost unprecedented. It could be that the lower atmosphere will actually heat up all but the very highest layers of the upper atmosphere, and the planet?s temperatures will even out.
Temperature differences between the equator and the arctic are what drive weather patterns. If they even out, weather ends. To an extent, this is already happening. It?s why there have been so many fewer hurricanes this season than the experts predicted, and it?s a very ominous development.
If the jet streams follow the Gulf Stream into extinction, then atmospheric circulation ends and cities across the world literally suffocate. A quarter of a billion people or more could smother to death in pollution choked cities, under this scenario. By the time it was over, perhaps a third of the human population would have vanished.
Adding the death of the Amazon to the mix makes the picture even more hideous. If this happens, a mass human extinction will unfold over the next quarter century, as the ruins of the forest dump trillions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, instead of the trillions of tons of oxygen that come from the area now.
So, then, why are we preoccupied by the mirage of war when we need to be looking to the survival of our children and grandchildren?
Good question, especially given that there are?at least for the while?solutions to our environmental problems that do not require particularly large economic upheavals and, indeed, may actually help business prosper.
All we need is the one thing we don?t have and, in fact, have not had in the White House in too many years?effective leadership. The president, with all his power and prestige, could popularize the adoption of the Canadian Prime Minister?s Challenge outlined on our Quickwatch page. Some parts of it could even be made mandatory will little social cost. But no, we go on tilting at our windmills. And the experience of companies like DuPont, which increased its productivity and so also its bottom line by cleaning up its act could be made a model for the whole world.
But instead we send our young people off to wars that have actually contributed to instability instead of doing the opposite. And our current president, fantastically, continues to sit on his hands.
Conspiracy or not, stupidity it certainly is. A little money spent today will save billions of lives and trillions upon trillions of dollars?the day after tomorrow.
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