Tom Breidenbach Replies to Jeff Wells re 9/11


One of the most interesting and blogs on the web is Rigorous Intuition: principal postings by Jeff Wells with mostly intelligent comments by a cadre of commentators. See Jeff's 2007-01-10 posting, Under the Red Sky, for a sample.

However, his posting of 2007-03-07, A Dot Too Far, riled many of his admirers. In it he stated that he found the evidence for the falsity of the official 9/11 story unconvincing (that is, the evidence for deliberate demolition of the Twin Towers and WTC7, and the evidence for the absence of a Boeing 757 at the Pentagon). This does not imply that Jeff accepts the official story, but rather indicates a kind of agnosticism on the subject, or perhaps a fatalistic resignation to the conviction that (as with the JFK assassination) what actually happened will probably never be known. This position was not considered defensible by some of his readers. The remainder of this web page is a comment by one of them, Tom Breidenbach by name.

Tom Breidenbach said ...


I deeply admire your blog, as well as the work of Hopsicker. I also think Nafeez Ahmed is an important and underrated voice on 9/11 and I can’t recommend his WAR ON FREEDOM and WAR ON TRUTH highly enough.

Reasonable people may and do disagree about the controlled demolition hypothesis, for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that “physical evidence” can be a tough angle to make stick, forensically speaking, especially now that most all of it’s been swept away.

That said, I’m morally certain (as the philosophers say) that the Towers were blown up. And that even if I’m eventually proven wrong (and I might be), there is every reason at present to defend the controlled demolition hypothesis. Here’s why.

Molten metal, in all likelihood steel, was found under WTC buildings One, Two and Seven. This metal appears on film of the site taken nearly six weeks after the attacks. Its presence was commented upon extensively by various officials and first responders at the site. It roiled and smoldered for many weeks, perhaps months. I live in New York and, along with millions of others, smelled that pile burning for nearly half a year after 9/11 (the longest uncontrolled fire in any city in US history, if I remember the article in the NY Times correctly). Anyone following the controversy has heard testimony from various witnesses, including firefighters and first responders, about the molten metal. Those of us here in the city probably remember reading articles about it. It was common knowledge in the weeks and months following the attacks. I’ve spoken at length with a first responder who’s active in the 9/11 Truth Movement and is very sick now; he testifies to what others on “the pile” reported seeing: flowing metal throughout the rubble following the attacks. A lot of it. He also confirms that the steel beam cut slant-wise was visible, very much as it appears in photos, when he first arrived at scene within an hour after Tower One “collapsed.”

Architect Bart Voorsanger, attempting to account for the survival of the North Tower’s antenna, clearly confirms the view that the molten metal underneath the rubble at Ground Zero was steel. Commenting on the antenna, which was made of steel, Voorsanger says, “It was the piece that collapsed onto everything else, and I think it must have fallen far enough away from the internal fires within the center of the Towers that it was not melted into some unrecognizable fused mass.” Here the man described by the Associated Press as having “headed the team of architects that retrieved trade center steel” is acknowledging what multiple eye-witnesses including engineering professionals working at Ground Zero, as well as video and “thermographic” aerial photography (not to mention scientists including Jones) all point to: that masses of molten steel roiled beneath the Towers for weeks, even months after they’d “collapsed.” There has been no rational explanation as to how this could have occurred without the use of explosives or some source of destructive energy other than hydrocarbons.

NIST appears to understand that no such explanation is possible, that the molten metal (most probably steel) is the Achilles heel of the official “collapse” narrative. Which is why NIST Engineer John Gross now simply denies that molten metal ever existed under the rubble pile.

Here we might identify the source of some of the rage being directed against you on this post. In the face of what appears to be a bald and arrogant ploy by authorities, one echoing all those others we’ve seen play out in official responses to almost every other aspect of the attacks, you — who’ve fought this battle bravely on so many fronts — appear to capitulate here, going weak in the knees, as if resigning the fight to hold on to the very history of 9/11 even as others risk their livelihoods and reputations to salvage and defend it.

Yes, the painstaking contextualization of the 9/11 attacks provided by Ahmed is essential and sadly under-emphasized in 9/11 studies. Caveats expressed by Sander Hicks and others concerning the “physical evidence” school of 9/11 skepticism are well-taken, at least by me. Clearly, even if we prove the CD hypothesis, knowing the buildings were blown up won’t tell us all or even most of what we need to know about 9/11.

But on the other hand, it isn’t fair (though it might appear far more respectable in some circles) to leave the matter at that, especially with the multiple indications in the public record indicating the possibility — make that the likelihood — of controlled demolition. Besides the molten metal issue, there’s the powerful and corroborating testimony from multiple eye-witnesses that has been categorized by David Ray Griffin into eleven categories of observed phenomena, each strongly indicative of, if not exclusive to, controlled demolition.

With the broad array of relevant data on the matter, 9/11 Truth appears on solid, even fruitful theoretical ground with the controlled demolition hypothesis, especially given the state of the aptly titled “collapse” theory, that “ever-changing, but always flimsy, story” in Kevin Ryan’s words, reliant on “anti-science” whose handful of actual proponents “started with their conclusions and worked backward to some ‘leading hypotheses.’” Of course the bitter fact remains that most of the evidence regarding the Towers’ destruction was hastily and, as has been strenuously argued from official corners, illegally destroyed. (Retired NYPD Officer Craig Bartmer, who labored at Ground Zero, reports rumors widely circulating on “the pile” that “the mob was stealing the steel.”) While certainly crippling to the material investigation, this destruction of evidence, protested vehemently in official quarters, in itself is highly indicative of official complicity. As with 9/11 in general, it is the broader context of the controlled demolition issue, more than any one or few of the multiple anomalies in the official account, where the charnel depths of state complicity come into focus.

The controlled demolition theory not only best explains the array of specific phenomena witnessed that day, it also points up some disturbing circumstances relating to security at the Towers complex prior to the attacks, and to the roles played by certain agencies — private, State and municipal — in 9/11 and the corrupt military/industrial power structure more generally. The controlled demolition hypothesis also begs [or rather, raises] some very serious questions pertaining to the precise nature, structure and tactics of state-sponsored terrorism, implying among other things the existence of a special forces unit whose expertise includes spectacular feats of mass human slaughter.

And then there’s the crux of the matter: the psychological angle.

Kevin Ryan, who was fired from his job with Underwriters Laboratories, the company that certified the steel components of the WTC, observes, “if we really want to zero in on the exact turning point around which we plunged into chaos, we need to focus in particular on the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. This is where our hearts were wrenched and our minds were made ready for never-ending war, torture, and apparently the end of everything that was American. If we are ever to emerge from this insanity, we need to know how three tall buildings collapsed due to fire, all on the same day, when no such thing has ever happened before.”

As Ryan implies, whether we like it or not an intelligible account of what brought the Towers down is essential to determining the character and fate of our society. Short of any cogent explanation from our officials we are morally compelled to advocate the most consistent hypothesis regarding their destruction — however incredible we ourselves may find it.

Here I’ll quote from an essay in which I paraphrase and reflect on observations by Webster Tarpley: “the subliminal effects of 9/11 threaten to permanently distort our at-home-ness in reality, in the physical world, which on that day became a place where majestic state-of-the-art buildings, marvels of engineering and modernist architecture’s capstones, monuments (affirmed by cliché) to human ingenuity and spirit ... unpeeled so strangely to dust. The question of how the towers fell isn’t merely academic, but in some measure crucial to our psychological health as a people. If they were destroyed by explosives planted in the structures, then we’ve been compelled to accept a counterfeit view of physical reality, marking the radical intensification of a schizophrenic mindset already endemic in — and increasingly definitive of — Anglo-American culture.

“The effect of the Towers’ destruction is tied to the structures’ form as well as the place of the ‘tower’ and ‘twin’ archetypes in legend (whether in Tolkien, the Tarot or the Pentateuch for the former, or astrology, religious esoterism and classical myth for the latter). Anthropomorphic totems, the Twin Towers connoted a unity of two (or balanced duality), the harmonious couple (thus love, or lovers), or the self and its reflection: in short, completion, with the North Tower (with its antennae) the yang to the South’s yin (slightly recessive, as if, from the greater Manhattan perspective, backing the other up). Their destruction, then, was an eidetic inscription, rooted in mortal shock, of the shattering of unity, the failure of love, the death of the iconic companions, God’s wrathful judgment (ala Babel) upon our aspirations (and the futility of endeavor) and the fracture of communion (language, community — or logos, word or idea embodied ... meaning). Situated at the millennial cusp, at the crossroads of macrocosmic time and superhuman space, the structures’ spectacularly surreal dematerialization unmistakably declared the triumph of disunity, unreason, separation and loss — in short, the reign of antichrist, which 9/11 would appear to have been intended by certain of its architects to herald.”

I do not imply here that I necessarily believe that the fall of the Twin Towers announced the advent of the “end-times.” But I do believe their destruction reverberates as such an omen, however reflexively, among many in western society and beyond. And based upon express oligarchic intent to reduce Earth’s human population, I also take seriously the possibility that 9/11 was intended as such a harbinger by at least certain of its sponsors. And I certainly do not discount the possibility that the fears engendered by 9/11 might yet qualify it as the herald of a final judgment (perhaps in the form of nuclear or biological war), especially if they are not bravely, rationally and collectively confronted.

Tarpley warns that 9/11 plays into radical millenarian or “end-time” neuroses, exacerbating fears and paranoia exemplified by the many millions strong “Left Behind” or “rapture” movements, whose adherents — including former Attorney General John Ashcroft, implicated in facilitating 9/11 — have been powerful allies of the current administration. Investigating, determining and articulating more or less precisely how the Towers fell may be one of the central acts of demystification that breaks the pernicious spell under which 9/11, called by Tarpley the “myth of the 21st century,” holds the world. The “pancake collapse” is perhaps the chief idol of the official 9/11 cult to be smashed, as it appears to most effectively mask the iniquity of the attack’s actual sponsors.

To fathom what was taken from us on 9/11, recall the technological achievement represented by our shimmering Towers, once widely assumed — whatever their aesthetic flaws — to be masterpieces of engineering, state-of-the-art and revolutionary. The Twin Towers occupied a lineage of epic industrial expressions including the Brooklyn and Golden Gate Bridges, the Empire State Building, and the moon landing. In this sense they signified a soaring, celebratory triumph of our nation’s commitment to science, industry, technology and commerce, and were an enduring symbol of our collective ingenuity, ambition and intelligence. (Whoever expected to outlive them?) As the casual TV viewer understood, they could withstand hurricanes, earthquakes and jet-liner impacts. And most anyone watching that day knew they weren’t about to fall.

Here we may begin assessing the precise depths of our betrayal on 9/11. Again, one doesn’t need to have liked the Twin Towers — our blasé, even disdainful regard of them is the point. The extent to which we took them for granted marks our shock upon their destruction, in which we were faced with — and forced to swallow — our own failure as a culture to protect those left alive in the buildings, awaiting our rescue. Mistaking it for humility, we internalize this guilt, inducted into a collective masochism marked by a loss of analytical impetus, of which our acceptance of the simplistic pancake-collapse “theory” is symptomatic. Shamed children, we abide the illegal destruction of the rubble pile, eager to see our mess cleaned up, erased, and blamed on others.

Imagine one of the Towers collapsing without the handy scapegoat of a people whose natural resources we covet, and which our leaders had already divvied up. A lost or malfunctioning airliner had freakishly struck a Tower at high speed, let’s say. The building’s failure should have been an unacceptable err, a blow to our collective sense of ourselves so severe no resources would be spared in careful scrutiny of the event, as happens after catastrophes in societies valuing knowledge, quality, professionalism, craftsmanship, expertise and life. To recover our sense of ourselves, we would have taken every care — as healthy societies have throughout history — to articulate as precisely as possible the causal aspects of the disaster. Once the search for survivors was called off we’d have carefully and thoroughly scrutinized, documented and analyzed the scene. Recognizing that untold lives may depend on our investigation, that our findings could rewrite engineering code books, we would have encouraged a period of active and open debate, sparing no sacred cows, until clear, concise and reasonable explanations emerged as to why the Tower failed to live up to its revolutionary design.

On 9/11, the Twin Towers’ massive 47-interlinked-column core structure and 240 interlocking outer or “box” columns failed to impede the weight of the upper floors in their rush to the ground by so much as a second. Yet with next to none of it subjected to forensic examination, the rubble was hauled away as quickly as possible and nearly all of the steel sold as scrap on Asian markets. As Kevin Ryan notes, the NIST report, refusing to consider the controlled demolition hypothesis, dares take us only to the onset of the “collapse event,” after which its authors merely declare that “global” failure of the astonishing order observed was, somehow, “inevitable.” It takes twenty-two thousand pages of ignoring principles, observed phenomena, eyewitness reports, of distorting physical and computer models, fudging numbers and morphing variables, for NIST to swindle us into an abstruse combination of confessedly “less-likely” scenarios.

To register the wound dealt to our collective imagination on 9/11, we must appeal to archetype. The esoteric associations with the Twin Towers are profound. From Hebraic legend they reference the two great pillars Joachim and Boaz, placed at the entrance to Solomon’s Temple. Besides the ancient Hebrews, the Spartans, Phoenicians, Aryans and Scandinavians all associated the twin pillar motif with the presence of the deity. The Vedas refer to the twin Asvins, the Spartans to the Dioscuri, “clad in shining armor” and associated with clouds. The twin pillars: for the Greeks, symbols of Heracles (heroism), for the Scandinavians, of Thor (might). Legend associates them with Castor and Pollux, the twin brothers, one who gave his life for the other. They recall the twin Trees of Eden — Knowledge of Good and Evil (duality), and that of Eternal Life (unity) — as well as the Tree of Life diagram of Kabala, between whose pillars all is made manifest. For the Hebrews symbolizing establishment and strength, justice and mercy, as pillars of cloud by day and fire by night they led the Israelites from bondage, connoting a union of opposites, or harmony, fullness, the guidance and immanence of God.

Joachim and Boaz are central symbols of Freemasonry, bespeaking the resonance of the twin pillar motif at the deepest mythic strata of our cultural imagination. Guardians of the holy-of-holies, the twin pillars are ineluctably associated with mystery and initiation. Their magical destruction then, in the imago of the Twin Towers, is a sort of reverse, false or diabolic initiation into the realms of unreason, into the death or withdrawal of God. In the face of this threat to our image of the protective deity (or state) we accept the Towers’ “pancaking” and like raped or battered children turn the blame inward. With grasping sincerity, we acknowledge as dogma officialdom’s bloated appeal to its own authority.

What the controlled demolition hypothesis confronts us with is the likelihood that on September 11th, 2001, 2800 people were purposely — nay ritually — immolated, over a third of them vaporized beyond trace, while of many others mere fragments were found, some fleck of bone or viscera. This implies a most obscene affront to human dignity, blinding in the vastness of its degeneracy, a primordial and epic violation of a people by their leaders. Such cold-bloodedness is wholly distinct in character and degree from the comparably flaccid or sloppy negligence invoked by the LIHOP crowd, or the “roll ‘em” mentality naively attributed to complicit officials by those 9/11 skeptics who squirm at suggestions the planes may have been remotely guided into the buildings, or the buildings blown up.

You suggest in the previous post that Morgan Reynolds is a disinformation artist sent to emphasize the controlled demolition hypothesis in order to keep us barking up that tree. Yet if he is a plant, Reynolds may have intended what it appears he’s actually accomplishing, dividing a hitherto unified view on the destruction of the WTC with his “particle beam” theory and thereby inserting a timely “wedge” into an inquiry that was gaining traction. If so, he’d be accomplishing what Martin Schotz, a psychiatrist who’s studied the JFK assassination, points out is the real objective of disinformation, which is not to persuade us of the “official account” but to create so much uncertainty that “everything is believable and nothing is knowable.”

The molten metal. The multiple eye-witness accounts. The incessant bad-faith responses (forensically speaking, “guilty behavior”) on the part of defenders of the official story. The profound psychological implications. These are powerful inducements against letting the controlled theory die, as you verge on proposing.

Jeff, you call yourself a pessimist, and (if I may) I suspect you’re living up to that title here. That is, that your skepticism on the controlled demolitions issue has crossed into pessimism that we may ever arrive at the verification of CD which many of us might desire. Might your dismissal of CD be a sort of preemptive strike against what you subconsciously feel is the possibility that your hope for “proof” of a conspiracy will eventually be dashed anyway? A kind of beating-the-devil-to-the-punch? “The wolf who cannot reach the grapes claims they are sour.” We may never reach those grapes, Jeff, but I’m not through trying. And I respectfully submit that personal predilections and reasoned analysis may be blurring in your irked and seemingly wholesale rejection of CD.

As far as the Silverstein comment, it’s not that relevant. Though it sounds to me like he’s talking about the building and not the firefighters, as with the CD hypothesis, I could be wrong.

But of course I was down there on 9/11, about five blocks north of WTC 7, on the west edge of the West Side Highway. A loose bunch of us New Yorkers standing around had heard and passed on the message since maybe forty minutes before that “They’re going to bring it down.” And we were staring up at building 7 as it fell. But then again, who the f**k am I?

Keep up your excellent work on your blog. Don’t know what I’d do without it. And no, we certainly don’t need to agree. A coalition of the dubious can be a beautiful thing.



PS: When JFK was assassinated, people understood he’d been shot from the front. There was no reason for anyone to deny it at the time, the President’s press secretary testified publicly to it, and all six Parkland doctors did as well, mentioning the large exit wound in the back of Kennedy’s head and indicating where it was with their hands. It was only later, when “they” needed the lone gunman and his magic bullet, that “they” took that truth away. And now “they” are taking the molten metal. And you are slipping away with it. I think what a lot of people are trying to say here, in our more or less clumsy ways, is we’ll miss you. (And by this I’m NOT implying you’re either with us or against us, Jeff ... just that the metal was there.)

Copyright 2007 Tom Breidenbach

Tom Breidenbach's blog is at Abdiel's Room

See also his: The Wicked Eunuch: Chomsky on 9/11

Another poster, sandymac by name, questioned Tom's inclusion of "the moon landing" as one of America's great technological achievements, saying " If you believe we went to the moon then why not believe that 19 Muslims with box cutters brought down the WTC, building 7 included?" Tom replied:

I'm just not sure about the moon. I've looked at both sides of the argument, but I'd need a lot more time with it to approach the moral certainty — either way — I apply to 9/11 and CD. It's an open question, and there are mysteries around the matter certainly. Just not sure what's up there, though I find the suggestions in Joseph Farrell's THE SS BROTHERHOOD OF THE BELL interesting.

That said, to the extent that the moon landing is a perceived accomplishment, it represents a feat in which our culture generally takes great pride. Should it be firmly revealed (and I appreciate your belief that it already has been) to have been faked, I'm sure this would prove a (further) blow to the national psyche. Thus I think its inclusion, along with the Twin Towers, in the lineage of great technical accomplishments of our culture is warranted.

As regards Morgan Reynolds, almost everyone in the 9/11 truth movement has at some time been accused of being a disinfo artist by someone. This is a favorite tactic of disinfo artists, who try to make us believe that they are not, only others (who are actually getting close to the truth) are. A visit to Morgan Reynold's website is recommended.

Tom Breidenbach: None So Blind
The World Trade Center Demolition and the So-Called War on Terrorism
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