April 7, 2006
When I first read the March 31
Hill Blue headline, "9/11 conspiracy theories don't
pass the smell test," I thought editor Doug Thompson was pulling
an April Fool's joke on us a day early. Buoyed by Thompson's well-deserved
reputation for being out there first with "damn the torpedoes --
full speed ahead" -- truth no matter where it takes him, I read
avidly to the end of the rant, poised to burst into laughter at his
"Gotcha!" punch line. It wasn't there.
"I know my government,"
Thompson ended lamely, "They're just not good enough to pull off
something like this."
That's it, then? Thompson's
reason for ridiculing those who question 9/11 is, "it's improbable
such a ragtag group" is capable of attacking a vulnerable nation
and killing thousands of its people? Man -- in the wake of all that
has happened since 9/11, that dog won't hunt.
If Thompson is serious when
he says "the many theories surrounding 9/11 come mostly from conspiracy
buffs" -- or when he says those whose judgment he trusts "support
the facts that Al Qaeda planned and executed the attacks," then
his credibility is destroyed on this subject and on all other subjects
as well. If he's serious, there's no reason to revisit Capitol Hill
Blue or Thompson ever again.
But I'm not convinced Thompson
is serious. He's too good at what he does. Like he says -- often --
he's been in journalism "for more than 40 years." He's a hard-hitting
reporter whose cognitive and investigative skills are legend; whose
"unnamed sources" walk shoulder-to-shoulder throughout the
administration; frolic through the halls of Congress. Thompson doesn't
just report the news, he breaks it, busts it wide open and takes no
prisoners. It is inconceivable that Thompson would back off a story
of this magnitude, given his penchant for holding the administration's
cloven hooves to the fire, especially those of George Bush and Dick
Thompson is the man who wrote
on March 20 that "the most dangerous man in the world is not sitting
in a jail cell somewhere in Iraq...He is not hiding out in a cave somewhere
in Afghanistan...The most dangerous man in the world may well be working
out of an oval-shaped office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington,
He is the one who unearthed
a GOP memo less than a year ago suggesting that a "new
attack by terrorists on US soil" could reverse the sagging fortunes
of Bush as well as the GOP and would "restore his image as a leader
of the American people." This strategy, the memo says, would "'validate"
the President's war on terror and allow Bush to "unite the country
in a time of national shock and sorrow," and would reverse the
President's fortunes and "keep the party from losing control of
Congress in the 2006 midterm elections."
And, as recently as April
4, Thompson wrote, "America
is a bully, an international thug that uses fear, lies
and deceit to advance the personal agendas of its leaders. Bullies do
not deserve respect. Bullies do not deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Bullies are beneath contempt." Thompson continued, "Unfortunately,
as long as Americans tolerate the despotic rule of George W. Bush, we
share responsibility for the shame our leadership has brought upon a
once-great nation called the United States of America."
Why, then, would Thompson
say that he "cannot -- and will not" believe any explanation
of what happened on 9/11 other than what the most dangerous man in the
world tells him -- a despotic leader who's entertaining the "strategery"
of murdering even more Americans for no other reason than to advance
his political agenda, and who is a vicious liar who doesn't want the
US Constitution thrown in his face because "it's nothing but a
goddamned piece of paper?
Does Thompson's dog look
to you like it's hunting?
It's futile to try to reach
a mind so firmly closed. However, Thompson's reasons are more than passing
strange. For example, the only investigation that apparently passed
his "smell test" was conducted by the National Institute of
Standards and Technology (NIST) because he says "an engineer he'd
known for 25 years" ran a computer simulation of the building collapses
According to Kevin
Ryan, formerly of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) which
certified the steel used in the WTC buildings, "NIST put together
a black box computer model that would spit out the right answers."
Ryan said when the parameters did not generate the results they were
seeking, they changed the parameters. The final model, according to
Ryan, "produced video graphics that would enable anyone to see
the buildings collapse without having to follow a train of logic to
get there." NIST offered no proof for the dynamics of the amazing
free-fall collapse of the only three buildings to do so in history as
a result of fire, other than "...once the upper building section
began to move downwards...global collapse ensued."
Thompson says he was at the
Pentagon on 9/11 where he interviewed "dozens" of witnesses
who saw the plane hit. He smelled the burning jet fuel. He says he's
flown Boeing 757, 767, and 777 flight simulators, and he can safely
assure us "the maneuvers made by the hijackers on September 11
were relatively simple course corrections that are not that difficult
in planes equipped with modern navigational computers." Well, I've
never flown a simulator, but I once knew a guy who practiced his riding
skills on a mechanical bull, but when he hit the rodeo circuit, he got
his ass stomped in two seconds flat.
According to a site
dedicated solely to Pentagon research, Hani Hanjour, the
pilot of Flight 77, was refused the rental of a Cessna 172 just weeks
prior to 9/11 because of his sadly lacking maneuvering skills. But after
reading a 757 manual on the way to the airport, Hanjour was able to
cruise over the unsecured White House, enter Reagan International airspace
while performing a 270-degree turn with a 7,000-foot drop in altitude
in 2.5 minutes with military precision -- then hit five 25-foot, 293-pound
steel lamp poles, a fence, a 39,500-pound generator trailer, two cable
spools, two single-wide mobile home construction trailers and a tree
-- before slamming into the only wedge in the Pentagon under construction,
leaving only a couple pieces of debris small enough to hold in your
hands. He left "no tail, no wings, no engines, no horizontal stablizer,
no passenger seats, no luggage and no aircraft cargo," and left
the lawn in front of the Pentagon untouched.
But it's Thompson's vicious
"kill the messenger" ad
hominem attack on actor Charlie Sheen for questioning the
official scenario that is the most bewildering. Thompson wants to know
-- Is Sheen the best we wild-eyed conspiracy nut jobs can do? Is Sheen
our new poster child? Thompson sneered at conspiracy freaks for "pinning
their credibility on a known drug user, admitted purchaser of the services
of prostitutes and an intellectually-challenged misfit who couldn't
even graduate from high school..."
Somebody should remind Thompson
that Sheen, however randy and hot-headed he may be, is also a concerned
American citizen, and he has a dog in this hunt. Sheen has an inherent
right -- a duty -- to question his government. He wants to know, as
we all do, how 19 amateurs armed with box cutters could take over four
commercial airliners and fly around over New York City and Washington
DC until they finally hit three of their targets.
Sheen wants to know how the
official story of fuel running down elevator shafts could cause the
inferno it would take to bring down the world's two tallest and most
solidly built buildings. He wants to know about the early eyewitness
accounts from the media and bystanders about "huge explosions"
in the bowels of the WTC -- and why WTC landlord Larry Silverstein openly
admitted the decision to "pull" building 7 before
it toppled in 6.6 seconds into its own footprints.
But Thompson will not be
moved. He said, "I have yet to get a report from a structural engineer
or demolitions expert that support the theories of internal explosions
and too many witnesses saw the planes. If an engineer or expert with
credentials that could be verified came forward I might be willing to
take another look at this but in the absence of such, I'll go with the
conclusions of experts I trust."
If Thompson has viewed "Loose
Change, 2nd Edition" or perused Brigham Young University
Physics Professor Stephen E. Jones' critical paper, "Why
Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse"; if he has
visited the many 9/11 research sites, and is still determined to cling
to administration experts he trusts, so be it.
The hunt for the 9/11 truth
will go on -- whether Thompson's dog is in it or not.
Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma
writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She
is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her
at: email@example.com. ę 2005 Sheila Samples