digitaljustice

August 8, 2009

James Bamford on the 9/11 Commission

Filed under: Uncategorized — digitaljustice @ 12:43 am

These comments are transcribed from “The Boiling Frogs” podcast of July 21, 2009 with Sibel Edmonds, Peter B. Collins and James Bamford.

You can listen to or download this show here.

listen to the show here

(beginning at 31:03)

PETER B. COLLINS: You are listening to Boiling Frogs with me, Peter B. Collins, and Sibel Edmonds. Our guest is James Bamford, the author of The Shadow Factory and a number of other books regarding The National Security Agency. And as we mentioned earlier, Jim Bamford also was the producer, writer and lead anchor on the Nova special broadcast on February 3rd of this year (2009) called “The Spy Factory.” And Jim, in the book and in the Nova video piece you went into great detail. And I’d like to focus on two particular aspects. One is, the failure of three key agencies to coordinate information prior to 9/11, that being that Michael Scheuer was on camera with you describing how the CIA could not get critical information from the NSA and they went to some lengths to create their own eavesdropping system but they were only able to get half of the conversation, and they even sent transcripts of their half of the conversation to the NSA saying, “Well look, we’ve got this. Can you help us out and give us the rest?” NSA said no. Likewise, FBI was not permitted – you have an agent who, after the fact, in any case, was fairly courageous about talking about this saying that he was not permitted to pick up the phone and share information. He was an FBI agent who was in a liaison position with I don’t recall, NSA or CIA, but he was not permitted to share that information with his superiors. So I’d like you to comment on agency coordination and to the extent that that may be better or worse with the new super structure that was created with the National Intelligence Director. And secondly I’d like you to describe in a little detail what you were able to trace to a safe house in San`a’, Yemen. But first talk a little bit about agency coordination.

JAMES BAMFORD: Well, I thought it was extraordinary when I was looking into it: The fact that the NSA which had picked up the first indication of the 9/11 plot when it eavesdropped on a phone call in Yemen from this house that operated as Bin Laden’s operation center in Yemen, in December of 1999. And the CIA was very interested in getting whatever the NSA could get from that house. It did pass on that one message, that December 1999 message. The CIA wanted everything that the NSA was picking up from that house, that house in Yemen that served as Bin Laden’s operations and logistics and communications center. Mike Scheuer was the chief of what was known as the “Alec Station” which was the Bin Laden unit of the CIA and he went up to NSA numerous times, even meet with the head of operations at NSA and basically demanded the NSA pass on that information from that house because I mean this was his bailiwick. It was – he was the guy in charge of trying to find out everything he could on Bin Laden and NSA’d listened to Bin Laden’s operation center. So Scheuer said that he was refused every single time. So the CIA at the request of Scheuer extraordinarily built their own intercept facility. But all they could pick up was the down-link since they didn’t have any satellites that were capable of picking up the up-link they could only get half the conversation. And when they went back to, when Scheuer went back to the NSA and said “Now we can get half. Can you at least give us the other half?” and again they refused. This is all pre 9/11. What happened was after, in December of 1999 when NSA did pick up that communication, that one communication and passed it off to CIA. What the CIA was able to do was to get a copy of one of, or actually, well, one of the key terrorist’s passport, Khalid al-Mihdhar’s passport, and they discovered, by having that passport photographed, that he had a visa, an active visa, to come to the United States. That was passed on immediately to “Alec Station.” This was after Scheuer left. And the FBI agent in there, one of the FBI agents in there, Mark Rossini, in the CIA’s operation [??], he was assigned there temporarily, as a liaison, said, this should be passed on immediately to the FBI. I mean, here you have two terrorists that are on their way to the United States. I mean, they have visas for the United States. They wouldn’t have visas if they weren’t coming to the United States. And numerous times, I think, at least two or three times, the CIA official in that office refused to allow the FBI agent to send that memo to FBI Headquarters. Had they done that, they could have, two things could have happened. One, they could have stopped the initial two terrorists as they were entering the United States in Los Angeles. And, what would have been even better, since they knew they were coming into the United Stated at that point, they could have secretly eavesdropped on their communications. They could have easily gotten a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance warrant on them since they were being sent by Bin Ladin’s operations center. And had they eavesdropped on their communications in San Diego they would have discovered the whole plot because both Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf Al-Hazmi were communicating back and forth to both the Middle-East and to Mohammed Atta and the other terrorists on the East Coast. So they would have picked up the whole thing.

PETER B. COLLINS: And one of the big…

JAMES BAMFORD: It was an enormous lack of cooperation, the NSA not giving information to the CIA, the CIA not giving information to the FBI and so forth.

PETER B. COLLINS: And one of the most embarrassing things that you disclose in the Nova program, “The Spy Factory,” is that a group of the alleged hijackers spent the last two weeks before 9/11 in a cheesy motel within a couple of miles of the NSA Headquarters at Fort Meade.

JAMES BAMFORD: Well, that’s right. Among the documents I got, were a lot of documents that had been released under the Freedom of Information Act. And one of them was a very thick chronology. It was almost a minute by minute chronology, it was formerly secret, that was prepared by the FBI. So I knew, virtually, every, every move they made through the whole time they were in the United States. And we traced their path across the United States. Every phone booth they went to. And it was really extraordinary. They ended up building their final command center, or their final base of operations, in the same town NSA is located. Basically, just across the Baltimore-Washington Parkway where the NSA is located.

PETER B. COLLINS: Yeah. Just amazing.

JAMES BAMFORD: You have this one situation where you’ve got a major operations meeting of the terrorists just across the street from a major operations meeting at NSA. NSA is trying to find them and the terrorists are, basically, across the street. Mohammed Atta flew in. They had, they actually took over three hotels for that meeting.

(beginning at 40:27)

SIBEL EDMONDS: Jim, you also mentioned the 9/11 Commission and the fact that they did not interview two very important FBI agents who were assigned to the Bin Ladin units. These were agents Rossini and Doug Miller. Did you find out why and how that happened?

JAMES BAMFORD: Well I thought the commission did a horrible job. I spent a lot of time looking into what the commission was doing, and I just was astonished at how poorly a job they were doing. They not only didn’t interview Mark Rossini and his partner at the CIA. I mean, I can’t think of two more people you’d want to interview than the two FBI agents who were in the CIA’s Bin Ladin center at the time everything was happening. Yet they didn’t interview them. And then I also discovered they never investigated NSA’s role in the entire 9/11. My book was reviewed in the Washington Post by Bob Kerrey, the former Senator from Nebraska who was on the 9/11 Commission. And he said my book went well beyond what the Commission investigated and what other investigative reporters have come up with thus far. The fact that an author, just out there on his own, can come up with more than what the entire Commission was able to do, with all the millions of dollars they had and enormous amount of staff. What apparently happened was that the Commission had no interest in NSA whatsoever. The staff tried to get the staff [??]  to look at NSA records and they had only an interest in looking at the CIA. The staffers had mentioned that they thought it was – looking at the CIA was a sexy thing to look at and looking at the NSA was a lot of people with computers and they didn’t really understand it. So it was a terrible investigation I thought.

PETER B. COLLINS: Indeed, I was there for a few days observing the work of the 9/11 Commission and I was similarly appalled. And in retrospect I’ve interviewed a number of people, members of the FAA Red Team. They were in charge of security at airports and knew what the status was of those efforts. They never really paid any attention to those who profited by betting against airline stocks – in the week before 9/11 – with stock options that were intended to make a big profit if airlines stocks dropped precipitously. Those are just a couple of examples and I have no confidence really in the ultimate product of the 9/11 Commission.

SIBEL EDMONDS: Neither do I.

JAMES BAMFORD: I actually interviewed Lee Hamilton, the Co-chairman of the Committee. And I asked him, did you ever interview Mike Hayes, head of NSA. And he couldn’t remember whether he interviewed him. This was the head of the largest intelligence agency in the country and the Co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission couldn’t remember whether he interviewed him or not. It was just extraordinary.

(beginning at 56:50)

PETER B. COLLINS: And when we hear the candid comments that Jim Bamford made and I second and I know you agree with, related to the work of the 9/11 Commission. It was a kind of public drama that they put on to pacify the survivors of 9/11 victims and those of us who were seeking the truth. But the most important thing, I think, to take away from that is that however it happened, and I don’t believe the official story that we’ve been told about 9/11, I’ll put that aside for now. The point is that we were skunked on 9/11. Our defense systems, our NSA programs to monitor the behavior of those who threatened us, it was a complete and utter failure. And yet those most responsible got promoted.

SIBEL EDMONDS: Absolutely, and Peter, as he (James Bamford) mentioned in his writing regarding the 9/11 Commission not interviewing these people, another thing he mentioned – that the media has not covered this – this angle – these two FBI agents that were not interviewed. And as you said, here is James Bamford able to go out there and get this information and put it out there – confirm information – so where are the rest of these people (the press)?

PETER B. COLLINS: Yeah, well they’re chasing Michael Jackson stories and they’ll be diverted to that for quite a while I’m afraid and of course Republican sex scandals take precedence over the critical issues of our constitutional rights.  It’s really upside-down, Sibel.

SIBEL EDMONDS: It is, and can’t you feel, the water is boiling, Peter.

From Sibel Edmonds website: James Bamford is one of the country’s leading writers on intelligence and national security issues. His books include “The Puzzle Palace,” “Body of Secrets,” “A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies,” and most recently “ The Shadow Factory”. Mr. Bamford co-produced NOVA’s “The Spy Factory”, which was based on his latest book. He has written for many magazines, including investigative cover stories for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine and The Los Angeles Times Magazine, and is a contributing writer for Rolling Stone. His 2005 Rolling Stone article “The Man Who Sold the War” won a National Magazine Award for reporting. He also spent a decade as the Washington investigative producer for the ABC News program, World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and taught at the University of California, Berkeley, as a distinguished visiting professor.

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August 5, 2009

A Farewell to Justice: Joan Mellen on the JFK Assassination Conspiracy

Filed under: Uncategorized — digitaljustice @ 10:21 am

“How the Failure to Identify, Prosecute and Convict President Kennedy’s Assassins Has Led to Today’s Crisis of Democracy” with author Joan Mellen speaking about her most recent book, “A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination and the Case That Should Have Changed History” on January 24, 2006 at the Ethical Culture Society in New York City.

This talk by Joan Mellen was originally broadcast on the March 15, 2006 episode of Guns & Butter on KPFA Radio, 94.1 FM.

You can listen to or download this show here.

“How the Failure to Identify, Prosecute and Convict President Kennedy’s Assassins Has Led to Today’s Crisis of Democracy” with author Joan Mellen speaking about her most recent book, “A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination and the Case That Should Have Changed History” on January 24, 2006 at the Ethical Culture Society in New York City.
This talk by Joan Mellen was originally broadcast on the March 15, 2006 episode of Guns & Butter on KPFA Radio, 94.1 FM.
You can listen to or download this show here.

BONNIE FAULKNER: This is Guns & Butter. I’m Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns & Butter – Joan Mellen. Joan Mellen is an author and professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia. Her most recent book “A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison’s Investigation, JFK’s Assassination, And the Case That Should Have Changed History” began as a biography of New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison, turned into the story of Jim Garrison’s investigation, and then into an investigation of the assassination itself. Eight years in the writing, including 1,000 interviews, “A Farewell to Justice” is the subject of her presentation given on January 24, 2006 at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. How the Failure to Identify, Prosecute, and Convict President Kennedy’s Assassins has led to Today’s Crisis of Democracy. Joan Mellen.

JOAN MELLEN: My book is about the Kennedy Assassination. It began as a biography of Jim Garrison. For those who don’t remember and who don’t even remember Oliver Stone’s movie, he was District Attorney of Orleans Parrish, a place that no long exists. And he remains the only public official ever to have brought anyone before the Bar of Justice for participation in the conspiracy to murder President Kennedy. Garrison assumed that role because he discovered that the person framed for the crime, a low level intelligence agent named Lee Harvey Oswald, resided in his jurisdiction between April and September of 1963. The biblical metaphor is inevitable. That great harlot city New Orleans, destroyed by flood. Among its many sins, incubating the Kennedy assassination. After his suspect Clay Shaw was acquitted…Clay Shaw was the man whom the new evidence reveals was a CIA operative, guilty of participating in the implementation of the murder of President Kennedy. Garrison was asked how he imagined he could convict someone of conspiracy in the murder of President Kennedy in a Louisiana State Court. Garrison said, “I guess I thought I was living in the country I was born in.” He wasn’t, and we aren’t. I’d like to suggest that the truth about the Kennedy assassination, far from being a matter of interest only to historians and not even to most of them, will help us understand how we arrived at a point where people as respectable as New York attorney Martin Garbus are comparing the current U.S. government with the rise of fascism in the mid-twentieth century. It’s my belief that the present state of our political culture is a direct result of the fact that those responsible for the murder of President Kennedy have never been brought to justice. To sum up, “A Farewell to Justice” suggests that the clandestine service of the CIA not only covered up the truth about the Kennedy assassination, that’s easy to demonstrate from the four million documents now residing at the National Archives, but organized the event itself. That the CIA escaped without penalty. This extraordinary fact has been integrated over these 42 years into the body politic. It has produced a political culture where the unthinkable has become accepted practice. Meaningful freedom of the press has fallen into serious jeopardy. For a flagrant example of what we have come to, we might revisit the scantily reported change on December 1st between Notre Dame professor Doug Castle and John Yu, a former Deputy Assistant to Attorney General John Ashcroft, a participant in the writing of the Patriot Act and now a Berkeley law professor. The subject of the debate was the illegal expansion of Presidential powers. Professor Castle asks “If the President deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?” And Yu answers “No treaty”. Castle follows up, “Also no law by Congress?” That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.” And Yu replies “I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that”. If Professor Castle’s hypothetical question seems melodramatic, we have Martin Garbus. Alarmed by the twin expansion of Presidential and police powers, writing in the New York Observer, “This country is approaching a dangerous turning point. And suggesting that the United States today, bears some similarities to Weimar, Germany where liberal democracy was not able to contend with the fascist onslaught. In Miami a few weeks ago, I was struck by the omnipresence on the streets and restaurants, of police officers from a variety of law enforcement agencies. Famously, Benjamin Franklin replied to a question of whether this new land should be a monarchy or a republic with the line, “A republic, if you can keep it.” What begins as surveillance moves to wiretapping, then COINTELPRO tricks, and finally to murder. A diagram of what happened to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and why the illegal NSA surveillance is so alarming. We have not been aided in understanding the meaning of the Kennedy assassination by the continued public silence of those closest to President Kennedy. One day I requested of one of Jim Garrisons law school classmates Tulane School of Law class of 1949. Is Wilmer Thomas here tonight he called me this morning and I.. There he is. ‘Wilmer, hi.’ I asked Wilmer to ask his acquaintance, Kennedy adviser Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., whom he believed was behind the assassination of President Kennedy. Professor Schlesinger observed, quietly, “We were at war with the National Security people.” That the CIA at its highest levels exacted its revenge on President Kennedy has been an open secret since 1963. A Gallup poll on the 40th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination in 2003 found that twice as many people believed that the CIA was implicated in the assassination as there were who accepted the official fiction that Oswald had acted alone. In 1963, people were already worried abut the CIA’s extraordinary use of its powers. In the New York Times, Arthur Krock wrote in October 1963 that if ever there would be a coup in the United States, it would “come from the CIA and not the Pentagon.” The CIA, Krock wrote, was a “malignancy on the body politic.” It is difficult to imagine such words being printed in the Times today, so profoundly has our freedom of the press eroded since the time of the Kennedy assassination. After the death of President Kennedy, ex-President Harry S. Truman, under whose watch the CIA was created in 1947, wrote on the front page of the Washington Post, that the CIA had been running a shadow government becoming “operational.” Truman declared that the CIA was in urgent need of correction. Brazenly, Allen Dulles at one point even told a reporter, Allen Dulles of course was Director of Central Intelligence, even told a reporter to think of the CIA as “the State Department for unfriendly countries.” The CIA’s policy-making also involved interference in the electoral process in France and Italy, funneling money to certain political parties – in Italy it was the Christian Democrats whom the CIA funded in an effort to prevent a coalition of Socialists and Communists from taking power. The assassination of Prime Minister Aldo Moro was connected to that CIA campaign. At the time of the assassination, Charles de Gaulle remarked that John F. Kennedy, whom he admired, had died as a result of an intra-government conflict, a situation not uncommon in many countries. The documentation available since the passage of the JFK Act in 1992 overwhelmingly supports de Gaulle’s view. The rubber-stamping of the Warren Report by the press in 1964 seems to mark the moment when the mainstream press became “embedded” in official versions of events. Traces of that process have surfaced. In April 1967 the CIA issued a memo available now at the National Archives, I wish the New York Times would read it, instructing friendly reporters on how to reply to challenges to the Warren Report, recommendations that have resurfaced in the past few years in a renewed set of attacks on Jim Garrison, a decade after his death. So it should come as no surprise that the New York Times for a year covered up the National Security Agency domestic surveillance of citizens with rubber-stamped search warrants issued under a “Foreign Intelligence Services Act” (FISA) run by the Pentagon, or with no warrants at all. Only when their own reporter was about to publish a book detailing the evidence did the Times run that story. It should be horrifying that the Congressional debate about the Patriot Act has been not whether there should be a government capability, but how long it should be extended. Ponder the Times treatment of Jim Garrison, and later of Oliver Stone, who dared to make a film with Jim Garrison as its central character. When Garrison’s first book, “A Heritage of Stone,” appeared in 1969, John Leonard gave it a positive review in the daily Times. In his final paragraph, Leonard recounted a few of Garrison’s challenges to the Warren Report. “Something stinks about this whole affair,” Leonard writes. “Why were Kennedy’s neck organs not examined at Bethesda for evidence of a frontal shot? Why was his body whisked away to Washington before the legally required Texas inquest? Why?”

By the next edition Leonard’s final paragraph had vanished, a third of a column slid down the memory hole. One of the people Jim Garrison liked to invoke often was George Orwell, and in fact, he nicknamed one of his investigators Winston Smith. Of course most people didn’t recognize where the reference came from. Leonard’s review now closed with these words: “Frankly I prefer to believe that the Warren Commission did a poor job rather than a dishonest one. I like to think that Garrison invents monster’s to explain incompetence. It was an extraordinary example of management censorship of a book review. To this date, as I said, The Times tolerates no factual challenges to the Warren Report. They appear to be the only people who still believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was responsible for the death of President Kennedy. I spoke in Clinton, Louisiana last month at the oldest working courthouse in the United States. The judge who introduced me asked the audience how many people believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was guilty. Not a single hand went up. The audience knew the Warren report was not sensical because it was an East Feliciana Parish and the little hamlets of Clinton and Jackson that Oswald appeared in the company of Clay Shaw and a CIA contract pilot named David Ferrie, played by Joe Pesci in Oliver Stone’s movie in the late summer of 1963, three months before the assassination. In the audience were actual witnesses, including the barber who cut Lee Harvey Oswald’s hair. That the Warren Report could so fragrantly lie and present itself as a homicide investigation, while doing virtually no investigation at all, neither Clay Shaw nor David Ferrie were interviewed for the Warren Commission, inspiring Jim Garrison’s quip, “they didn’t call anyone who was involved” has resulted in other presidential commissions taking similar liberties with the truth. I wrote an Op-Ed piece comparing the deliberate ignoring of crucial information by the 9/11 Commission with a similar failure to investigate a key lead by the Warren Commission. It begin with the information released by a Lieutenant Colonel in Army Intelligence, Tony Shaffer, that the Able Danger Intelligence Unit had identified Muhammad Atta, I’m sure people know about this story by now, and other accused hijackers as part of the cell of Al Qaeda operating in the United States at least a year before 9/11. Colonel Shaffer had wanted this information to go immediately to the FBI, only for Defense Department lawyers to forbid Able Danger from contacting the Bureau. The New York Times buried this extraordinary information two thirds of the way into the paper. The Washington Post ran a Pentagon denial. Information has to get out and I think we have to account for why some of these things weren’t looked at as part of the overall report, Colonel Shaffer said on NPR. Shaffer then revealed something else; he had presented the findings of the Able Danger Team to Philip Zelikow, that same Executive Staff Director of the 9/11 Commission who has defended the recent attacks on Jim Garrison as a dupe of the KGB. Zelikow saw to it that the Able Danger information never appeared in the 9/11 Commission Report and went on to deny that he was given the information. He now works on the staff of Condoleezza Rice. One might ask; could Zelikow and company have gotten away with denying the reality of a cover up of vital information about 9/11 if we had demanded the truth from the Warren Commission? I sent my Op-Ed piece to 34 newspapers. Only one would print it, the Key West Citizen. What has all this to do with the Kennedy Assassination per se? I’m suggesting that demanding the truth about the Kennedy Assassination, even at this late date, is a step toward restoring our basic freedoms. The discourse needs to go even further than pointing to who planned and who implemented the crime. Was the CIA acting alone, on its own behalf? Whose interests did the Agency serve in 1963? Because the CIA eviscerated by George W. Bush was a very different institution from the agency that waged war against President Kennedy. The discussion of who rules America must begin with President Eisenhower, and you’ll forgive me for repeating this, warning against a Military Industrial and we need of course to add National Security Complex. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes, President Eisenhower said. Eisenhower cut the military budget as soon as he took office. The CIA, the research reveals, sabotaged President Kennedy’s effort to achieve Détente with the Soviets in the final year of his Presidency. Through the downing of Francis Gary Powers, U-2 over-flew into the Soviet Union. President Eisenhower had a good definition of National Security, he said; National Security meant that the country was proceeding in peace and without a deficit.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You’re listening to author Joan Mellen, the Failure to Identify, Prosecute, and Convict President Kennedy’s Assassins has led to Today’s Crisis of Democracy. I’m Bonnie Faulkner. This is Guns & Butter.

JOAN MELLEN: Jim Garrison often asked during his investigation: Cui Bono? Who benefits? A lawyer friend of mine living near Langley Forks in Virginia pointed out to me some interesting connections. The Texas School Book Depository, from which some, but not all, of the shots were fired on November 22, 1963, was owned by one D. H. Byrd. B-Y-R-D. Byrd also founded and was the commander of the Southwest Post of the Civil Air Patrol, which included Louisiana and the Troop led by David Ferrie, among whose cadets was Lee Harvey Oswald. In November, 1963, one of Byrd’s companies, I think he had fifty, LTV, a major defense contractor, was almost bankrupt. Defense contracts flowing from the Vietnam War changed that, and by 1968 the stock had increased geometrically in value. Meanwhile we know that President Kennedy opposed vehemently a protracted ground war, and that as soon as he was dead, Lyndon Johnson dispatched thousands of troops to Vietnam. Among D.H. Byrd’s associates was a man named Neil Mallon, the Skull and Bones classmate of Prescott Bush. Mallon headed a company called Dresser Industries, and it was Dresser which sent George H. W. Bush, his friend’s son, west to Texas in 1949. It was for Mallon that the first President Bush named one of his sons. Mallon built Byrd’s barite plant in Mexico, barite a product involved in oil drilling. By the way I got an e-mail today talking about the Mexico holdings of two companies Halliburton and Schlumberger, both of which figure in this story. Dresser Industries was bought by Halliburton in 1998, and at that time the Kellogg subsidiary of Dresser became part of Brown and Root. Brown and Root itself had been bought by Halliburton in 1962, the year before President Kennedy’s death. It is less well known that Brown and Root profited not only from the war in Iraq, but first from Vietnam. Having recognized the role of Brown and Root, and discovering that George Brown was a CIA asset, as the CIA’s own released documents confirm, Jim Garrison hoped to investigate Brown’s role. Was the CIA acting on behalf of President Eisenhower’s Military-Industrial Complex? As a matter for further research, the intelligence connections of the Bushes date from before the very founding of the CIA: the Agency’s mandate was outlined in 1946 by Robert A. Lovett, who was a partner of Prescott Bush at Brown Brothers Harriman. Not least, as readers of The Nation Magazine know, and many I hope are here, after the Kennedy assassination, the FBI was enlisted to brief CIA asset George Bush, and by the way the first President Bush always denied when he was appointed Director of Central Intelligence that he ever before had a role in the CIA. CIA was briefing THE George Bush, and not a low-level man in the Agency by the same name, as was at first claimed, on the reaction – the topic was the reaction of the Miami anti-Castro community to the Kennedy Assassination. To the general observation that the CIA represented the interests of the oil-defense industries, and the Pentagon, must be added another motive for the involvement of the CIA in the assassination. Almost from the moment Kennedy took office, a conflict raged between the President and the CIA. Once Kennedy refused to be blackmailed by the CIA into a full-scale invasion of Cuba at the time of the Bay of Pigs, de Gaulle’s “intra-administration war” erupted. The clandestine service of the CIA pushed for an invasion of Cuba. President Kennedy declined, and went on to fire the Director of Central Intelligence, Allen Dulles, who re-emerges as the central figure in the Warren Commission. We all know that. Throughout Kennedy’s brief presidency, the CIA treated him as an enemy. They withheld information, which included details about the Soviet missiles in Cuba. Also concealed from President Kennedy were the CIA’s continuing assassinations and attempted assassinations of foreign leaders. John F. Kennedy, in turn, sought to reign in the CIA, and to limit the scope of its activities, including reducing the powers of the Director of Central Intelligence. He intended to transfer the overflight U-2 program from the CIA to the Strategic Air Command. He intended to cut the CIA budget. He sent, I discovered, Richard Goodwin down to No-Name Key to ask the Soldiers of Fortune training there to take over Radio Swan, the CIA station, on behalf of the President. They declined. And one of the Soldiers of Fortune down there, his name was Gerald Patrick Hemming, said to me that John F Kennedy was the last president who thought he could take power. Kennedy threatened the existence of the Agency as they knew themselves. Richard Reeves, in his very honest biography of John F. Kennedy, quotes the President repeating over and over again: “I’ve got to do something about those CIA bastards,” and “Those CIA bastards. I’m going to get those bastards if it’s the last thing I ever do.” It was the persistent refrain of the Kennedy presidency. The current President has also had his conflicts with the CIA. He, however, has espoused the very policy favored by the CIA under Kennedy – the relentless pursuit of foreign wars. To achieve his end, that war in Iraq, no matter what lie he had to tell to implement it, George W. Bush had to do what Kennedy knew he had to do as well – eviscerate the CIA. So the disinformation was spread that the CIA had fallen down on the job. In fact, the CIA had reported accurately about the situation in Iraq, and this before the Iraq war. The CIA noted that the invasion of Iraq was likely to lead to civil war. The CIA reported that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Rather than give up his war, the President undercut the CIA. Then Bush attempted to subvert the CIA further by claiming that the CIA had endorsed what it had not, but which fit his projected policy. He claimed that the CIA had told him first that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, then he said [the] CIA had been wrong. Neither claim was true. The outcome was the subordination of the clandestine services and of the agency itself, so that the CIA director no longer enjoys the daily briefing with the President, and is subordinate to a new director of national intelligence, whom the President can control. We should not be surprised that the National Security Agency, empowered only to spy on foreign agents abroad, is spying on us instead. A research into the Kennedy Assassination reveals that although the CIA was supposedly created to deal with foreign threats, the CIA operated together with the FBI in the coverup of the Kennedy Assassination. Documents reveal that this mutual cooperation dates from the moment of the founding of the CIA. In Louisiana, the sabotage of Garrison’s investigation was led by the CIA, operating beyond its mandate, domestically. Let me return to some details of what Jim Garrison accomplished. As Garrison once quipped about the supposed lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. In fact, Oswald was virtually never alone. Nomoreover, he was not involved with anyone who was not connected to the CIA. Oswald was an FBI informant, Garrison learned from Louisiana Representative Hale Boggs, a member of the Warren Commission. And Garrison always said that the person who turned him on to the investigation of President Kennedy’s death was Senator Russell Long. People often criticized Garrison of talking to the press too much, and, in fact, Garrison kept his secret until the day of his death. The person who involved him in the Kennedy investigation was not Senator Russell Long. In fact, I talked to Senator Russell Long’s family, and Garrison always talked about a plane ride that he took with Long, in which they discussed the Kennedy Assassination and Russell Long convinced him to investigate. Well, what Russell Long’s family told me was that when Russell Long got off the airplane, he said Garrison “chewed his ear off” about the Kennedy assassination. So the truth was the reverse. And one of those Soldiers of Fortune, whom I just mentioned, told me in Miami, “The one true thing you said was that nothing is as it seems.” It was Hale Boggs, obviously. Hale Boggs, a member of the Warren Commission, who had been at secret meetings – closed sessions of the Warren Commission, which talked about Lee Harvey Oswald’s status as an FBI informant. Allen Dulles told him, “Don’t tell anyone about this.” And Hale Boggs, of course, told Jim Garrison and that was what really persuaded him to begin. I discovered a conversation Garrison did not know about. At the first district police station, where Oswald was taken after he was arrested for a disturbance when he was handing out his pro-Castro leaflets – and by the way, the documents reveal that the Fair Play for Cuba, which Oswald supposedly represented, was heavily infiltrated by CIA; those documents are all available at the Archives – Oswald requested of Lt. Francis Martello of the New Orleans Police that Martello call the FBI field office. “Call the FBI,” Oswald ordered Martello imperiously, “tell them you have Lee Oswald in custody.” Oswald asked that special agent Warren De Brueys come down to see him. Obviously, Oswald was someone the New Orleans field office of the FBI knew well. The agent on duty that night, John Quigley, then asked a young clerk named William Walter – the person who took Martello’s call to check all the files, locked and unlocked – for what they had on Oswald. On one file jacket, in the locked filing cabinet of the special agent in charge where security files were kept, were two names: Lee Oswald and Warren De Brueys. To this day, Mr. De Brueys denies that he ever knew Oswald, and he’s testified as such to many committees. So just before my book came out, I called him up on the pretext of how to spell his name correctly. “Do you spell “De” with a capital “d” or with a small “d”?” And I was waiting, would De Bruyes say anything after all these years? And what he said to me was this: “After forty years, you wouldn’t be a very intelligent person if you didn’t change your mind about things.” Now, that wouldn’t hold up as a confession in court, but I take it as one. Oswald has also been part of the CIA counter intelligence false defector program. Oswald, I found new evidence to show, also worked for U.S. Customs in New Orleans as many CIA people worked for Customs and some of those Custom Officers or one of them, told the Church Committee “I’ve been waiting 10 years for someone to ask me what happened.” And then he told about Oswald’s role with Customs. Now those boxes, only 25% of the Church Committee records are open to the public, so far. So I had the summary of that but not the actual deposition. Garrison began by exploring Oswald’s government connections. He indicted Clay Shaw for participating in the conspiracy without having our government records released under the JFK Act and by the way I want to say again about the JFK Act, an extraordinary development, we’re not likely to witness any time soon again. And these records show that Shaw was a CIA Operative and we have to thank Oliver Stone because as a result of his film, people wrote to Congress and said if this isn’t true, if what Oliver Stone said in this film isn’t true – open the records and at that moment in 1992 they did, wouldn’t today. By shepherding Oswald around Louisiana, Shaw was repaying the CIA for considerable favors rendered. Because Shaw was acquitted, Garrison chose as the title of his third book, “A Farewell to Justice.” He never used that title and so I appropriated it and I think I had a right to do so. I did a book about Lillian Hellman once and Lillian Hellman gave a course at Harvard to creative writing students which she titled, “Stealing.” And she said, “Never imitate, it’s not okay to imitate other writers, but stealing is perfectly okay.” You steal and you make it your own and so I took Garrison’s title. You can see that Garrison was a literary man. He liked Graham Greene in particular, he loved Shakespeare and obviously Hemingway. Part of my book includes how Federal agencies worked actively to thwart Garrison’s investigation. Garrison was astonished that the FBI refused to cooperate with New Orleans law enforcement in an investigation of the Kennedy assassination. In fact, J. Edgar Hoover, we know who that is, subverted Garrison’s effort. Witnesses came forward to the FBI believing that in providing the FBI with their information, they were simultaneously reaching the District Attorney. And the document reads as follows, “Give Garrison nothing.” Hoover wrote to all Special Agents in Charge adding in “In reference to the Special Agent in Charge in New Orleans, Robert Rightmeyer,” quote, “Tell Rightmeyer that I want him and all personnel in New Orleans to keep their mouths shut.” This was February 1967, a week after Jim Garrison’s investigation became public. Bobby Kennedy’s right hand man, Walter Sheridan, had spearheaded the blackmail, bribery and wiretapping that accomplished the conviction of Jimmy Hoffa. The evidence of Walter Sheridan’s illegalities in the railroading of Jimmy Hoffa is chronicled in Fred Cook’s brilliant three parts series in The Nation Magazine. A further irony is that Chief Justice Earl Warren enlisted by Lyndon Johnson to rubber-stamp the preordained conclusion that Oswald murdered President Kennedy, wrote what seems to me a brilliant dissent when the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Hoffa conviction. I asked a friend of mine without saying this, I asked Richard A. Posner, “Well, do you agree with me about Earl Warren’s dissent there?” I have to tell you he did not, he did not. Bobby Kennedy then sent Sheridan to New Orleans as Sheridan freely admitted to destroy Jim Garrison. That same National Security Agency spying on American citizens today spawned Walter Sheridan, who was also cleared for service with FBI and CIA. Sheridan personally telephoned the Governors of several states to ensure that Garrison’s subpoenaed witnesses not be extradited back to the state of Louisiana, not a single witness was returned to New Orleans.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You are listening to author, Joan Mellen, “How the Failure to Identify, Prosecute and Convict President Kennedy’s Assassins Has Led to Today’s Crisis of Democracy.” I’m Bonnie Faulkner, this is “Guns and Butter.”

JOAN MELLEN: In the recent attacks on Jim Garrison may be found the preposterous notion that the only reason Garrison focused on the CIA was that he was the victim of KGB propaganda flowing from an Italian newspaper, Paese Sera. This total falsehood, and I mentioned this earlier, has been defended by Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission. One of the half-dozen anti-Garrison articles appeared, not surprisingly, on the CIA’s own web site, “Studies in Intelligence.” As a biographer, among the questions I asked was: did Jim Garrison take bribes from executives profiting from pinball machine gambling, then illegal in Orleans Parish. You could play pinball but you couldn’t gamble with a pinball machine, for which he was charged by the Federal Government? Was Jim Garrison dishonest? The new documents reveal that after Shaw’s acquittal, after he perjured himself, and suborned perjury, Garrison was ready to continue his investigation, only for that same operative, Walter Sheridan, to return to New Orleans and blackmail Garrison’s friend and former chief investigator, Pershing Gervais. This is from the documents, not from interviews, I did a thousand by the way. Would Gervais not help them to nail Garrison for taking bribes from pinball gambling interests, Gervais would go to jail for eight years – the document is that specific – for income tax fraud. So we see in this story, the mutual cooperation of agencies: the FBI helping the CIA, the IRS enlisted by the National Security Agency and the CIA. Years later, on the occasion of Oliver Stone’s film, “JFK,” Anthony Lewis wrote in the New York Times that Garrison had taken bribes. In fact, Garrison was acquitted. The bribes were indeed going to a “big man at Tulane and Broad,” but it was not six foot six inch Jim Garrison, but Chief of Police, Joseph Giarrusso. The police headquarters was also at Tulane and Broad. Addressing a frequent attempt to discredit Jim Garrison, I also had to ask: was Garrison tied to the Mafia? Did he blame the CIA for the assassination as a way of protecting the Mafia? I learned that Carlos Marcello, the Mafia chieftain of Louisiana and Texas, despised Garrison and wanted him out of office. Garrison was “unreliable,” Marcello complained to Governor John J. McKeithen, whose assistant, John Tarver, relayed this to me. McKeithen himself did take bribes and a person who ran against him in 1968 named John Rarick, told me this story where John Rarick’s campaign manager was visited by Carlos Marcello’s person and offered $50,000 and John Rarick’s man refused and Carlos Marcello’s representatives said “Well Big John took his.” So in other words Marcello was giving $50,000 to each side. The final chapter of my book, entitled “Rabbi,” reflects my interviews with a person who was involved in setting up the assassination, a man named Thomas Edward Beckham. It describes his CIA training at a facility in Virginia. Beckham presented me with a government document which describes him as a man who would feel no guilt about killing. This phrase matches in language documents released by the Church Committee describing the assassins hired by the CIA in their assassination attempts against foreign leaders: Lumumba, Trujillo, Diem, and, of course, Fidel Castro. Beckham had been subjected to a polygraph by the New Orleans Police in the late 1970s: when Robert Blakey and Gary Cornwell, who headed the House Select Committee on Assassinations, discovered this, the Louisiana investigators were suspended for conducting a polygraph without authorization. The CIA controlled that investigation as it did the Warren Commission. My favorite anecdote concerns the moment when former Justice Arthur Goldberg was asked to head the Committee after Philadelphia prosecutor Richard A. Sprague was fired. Knowing that the CIA held the truth about the assassination, Goldberg telephoned the Director of Central Intelligence, Stansfield Turner, and asked whether, should he take the job, he would be given full CIA cooperation. He asked his question again, there was silence. He asked his question again, only then did Turner reply, “I thought my silence was my answer.” Goldberg did not take the job. My final question came at my last interview, in Miami in June of 2005. It was one that also perplexed Jim Garrison: Why did Bobby Kennedy try to sabotage his investigation through Walter Sheridan? I interviewed a Cuban close to Robert Kennedy, who revealed that Robert Kennedy had Oswald under surveillance in New Orleans during the summer of 1963. Like Professor Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy looked first to the CIA for responsibility in the murder of his brother. On the day of the assassination, Bobby confronted John McCone, the Director of Central Intelligence, with this question: “Did the CIA kill my brother?” He told Harry Ruiz Williams, one of the Cubans working for him, confirming his prior awareness of Oswald, “One of your guys did it!” and it was not a question, but a statement. Wanting to be certain, Bobby sent that same Walter Sheridan to Dallas to find out if the Mafia had planned the crime. They had not. Bobby also asked a Mafia-connected Chicago lawyer, Julius Draznin, who worked for the NLRB, the same question. The answer, as Draznin reported to Walter Sheridan, was that the assassination was not a Mafia hit. Years later, Sheridan would testify under oath that the Mafia was behind the assassination! He knew better. It was in the circles of the anti-Castro movement that Bobby Kennedy moved his aim to protect the life of his brother from some Cuban still furious about the Bay of Pigs. His other aim was to “neutralize” Fidel Castro. Since the Church Committee hearings, newspapers have reported on Operation Mongoose, the CIA-Mafia plots to assassinate Fidel Castro. Bobby Kennedy’s separate efforts have been less widely publicized but I have it confirmed from many people, including Ramsey Clark. It was in this Miami research that I discovered my parallel between the cover-up by the 9/11 Commission of the Able Danger information and a similar set of facts that faced the Warren Commission in its closing days. It reveals information that bears upon why Robert F. Kennedy was so nervous about Jim Garrison’s investigation. And about any investigation of his brother’s death. This began at the Bethesda autopsy. Nothing to do with Jim Garrison. One of the doctors, Pierre Fink, testified for the defense in New Orleans at State of Louisiana vs. Clay Shaw, that the Kennedy family had asked that the trajectory of the President’s wounds not be examined. “If my brother were killed,” Garrison said, “I would be interested in getting the individuals involved, no matter who they were.” Garrison made this statement on national television exasperated by the persistent question by news people, “If you’re on the right track why isn’t Bobby Kennedy helping you?” Late in its deliberations, the Warren Commission discovered that Lee Harvey Oswald had visited a Cuban exile and former law student named Sylvia Odeo in Dallas in late September 1963. During the weekend of the assassination Mrs. Odeo and her sister Annie, both at once identified Oswald as the man who had visited them in the presence of two Cubans whom Sylvia Odeo would never identify. Mrs. Odeo testified before the Warren Commission. She said that the day after that visit one of the Cubans had telephoned her and in the course of the conversation remarked that Leon Oswald had said, “President Kennedy should have been assassinated after the Bay of Pigs. And some Cuban should have done that. It’s so easy to do it.” Indicating both foreknowledge of the assassination and that Oswald was being set up. The Warren Commission never adequately investigated this information. They certainly didn’t call Leopoldo, the man who phoned Sylvia Odeo just as the 9/11 Commission didn’t feel obliged to investigate the Able Danger documents. The Warren Commission’s Chief Counsel, J. Lee Rankin, expressed irritation at the very suggestion that Sylvia Odeo’s story should be fully investigated, murmuring, “We were supposed to be closing doors, not opening them.” Years later Rankin was bitter that the FBI and CIA had concealed vital information from the Warren Commission. Deposed in the late 1970’s by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, Rankin admitted that he regretted that he had taken the CIA’s word that Oswald was never a CIA agent. Invited to ask if he had anything further to say – this was after the questioning – Rankin had a question for the lawyers and committee members in the room. “Was the HSCA investigating whether the people involved in the CIA cover up were involved in the assassination as well?” He received the same response Arthur Goldberg had. Silence. The Warren Commission lacked a context in which to evaluate the incident of Oswald visiting Sylvia Odeo because the FBI and CIA both, on the instruction of Chief of Counter Intelligence James Angleton, concealed the CIA’s history of attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro, now a matter of public record. In my pursuit of the question of why Bobby Kennedy tried to sabotage Jim Garrison’s investigation, Garrison used the word “torpedo”, I studied the minutes of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board – I recommend that to all researchers – and the Church Committee papers. I tried to interview Cubans who worked closely with the Attorney General and this is some of what I discovered. And then I’ll close. Bobby Kennedy had assembled a team of anti-Castro Cubans. One, Manolo Rebozo is now living in Nicaragua, having married into the wealthy Samoza family. Another, Manuel Arteme is dead. But I did find a man named Angelo Murgado. A man so devoted to the Kennedys that at his citizenship hearing he changed his name from Murgado to Kennedy in homage to a person whom he admired. That is Bobby. If you look in the — well, you won’t find him in the Miami telephone book. Angelo told me that Bobby’s instructions to his special team were twofold. One aim was to find a means of getting rid of Fidel Castro. Bobby’s other aim was to protect his brother. He sent these Cubans to New Orleans. Moving among, as Angelo puts it, “Castro’s agents, double agents and Cubans working for the CIA” they hoped to “neutralize” a future assassin. In New Orleans Angelo Murgado ran into Lee Harvey Oswald who was moving among the anti-Castro community. He put Oswald under surveillance. When I mentioned that I had discovered Oswald’s acquaintance with an anti-Castro Cuban named Juan Valdez – and of course, he laughed. That couldn’t possibly be anybody’s real name – who worked at Clay Shaw’s International Trade Mart, Angelo was dubious. How could that be? He knew everyone Oswald was acquainted with and he didn’t know this man. That’s how close to Oswald they drew. Scrutinizing Oswald and reporting back to Bobby, his team discovered that Oswald was an informant for the FBI. Learning this, Bobby reasoned, if the FBI is controlling him, he’s no problem. Bobby underestimated the role Oswald had been induced to play in the murder of his brother and ceased to make him a major target of his concern. Bobby knew “something was cooking in New Orleans,” Angelo Murgado told me but Bobby urged caution, he was out of his depth. In September it was Angelo, and a fellow veteran of the Bay of Pigs who traveled from New Orleans to Dallas to visit Sylvia Odio. Angelo believed they were there to marshal help for the anti-Castro efforts and talked about buying arms to support anti-Castro efforts within Cuba. Mrs. Odio’s father, in jail in Cuba, headed a liberal organization called Jure J U R E, it’s position, “Fidelismo sin Fidel.” Angelo believed that he could trust his companion, referred to in the Warren Report as “Leopoldo,” because not only was he a fellow veteran of the Bay of Pigs, but his brother was running for Mayor of Miami. He was respectable. The next day, out of Angelo’s hearing, and that’s very important, out of Angelo’s hearing, Leopoldo phoned Mrs. Odio to tell her how how Leon Oswald had talked about the need to murder President Kennedy. “Leon is kind of nuts,” Leopoldo stated, setting up Oswald as the patsy. Oswald’s mental imbalance forms the conclusion of the Warren Report; Oswald was called Leon a number of times, not least at a gathering at David Ferrie’s apartment where Clay Shaw and Ferrie, Garrison’s chief suspects, discussed what their alibis would be for November 22nd. At Sylvia Odio’s, Angelo used his true given name, Angelo Murgado. “Leopoldo” was an alias. Placing Oswald in the company of so close an associate of Bobby Kennedy, in an incident that points to foreknowledge of the assassination as well as the framing of Oswald, created the trap that would silence Bobby forever. Bobby asked his aide, Frank Mankiewicz whether “any of our people were involved,” and, Mankiewicz told me, he had asked himself, did you think there might be? Angelo, meanwhile, had been betrayed by a companion he believed he could trust, a man not so much assigned to the overthrow of Fidel Castro, as Angelo believed, as he was to arrange for Oswald to be blamed for the murder of the President. “Leopoldo” was a Cuban named Bernardo de Torres. A virtual flood of documents reveals that he was an asset of both the CIA and military intelligence. When he was subpoenaed before the House Select Committee, CIA arrived on the day de Torres was deposed to insist that he be granted immunity. The CIA so totally controlled that Committee that they agreed to the CIA demand that de Torres would not be questioned about the period of time leading up to the Kennedy assassination. Both the Warren Commission and the HSCA buried what they knew about Oswald’s participation in ANTI-Castro activities, information that would have led directly to the role of the CIA in the assassination. I believe that we are now suffering the consequences of allowing lies about what happened to President Kennedy to remain unchallenged. The consequence of the public not demanding that the murder of the head of state be properly investigated has led directly to the current undermining of the integrity of our democratic institutions, not least the press. An obvious consequence of the obfuscations of the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee has been the ease with which the 9/11 Commission was able to conceal important truths. I wrote my book to make a small contribution to the need for government accountability and openness because what is at stake, if I can be grandiose for a second, is Democracy itself. And now I’ll close with one line, it’s a line from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from a sermon of 1967 the year before his death: “No lie can live forever.” Thank you.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You’re listening to author Joan Mellen, “How the failure to identify, prosecute and convict President Kennedy’s assassins had led to today’s crisis of democracy.” I’m Bonnie Faulkner, this is “Guns and Butter.”

QUESTIONER: Let me ask you a question about Lee Harvey Oswald himself. Did he know that he was being put into this role at this particular point? Was he was just a dupe at that particular point?

JOAN MELLEN: I think that Oswald didn’t know what was happening until he was arrested in Dallas and then I think he wanted to show his CIA handlers that he was still with the program, that they really ought to rescue him because what Oswald did when he was arrested in Dallas was ask for John Abt to represent him. And John Abt as we know was the lawyer who represented the Communist Party. So here’s Oswald signaling to his CIA handler, “Something has gone terribly wrong, I didn’t do this, and get me out of it, look I’m still with the program, I’m still maintaining my disguise, my cover – which was – that I was pro-Castro.” David Atlee Phillips, a name familiar to researchers of the Kennedy assassination, was the CIA propaganda specialist who managed the CIA infiltration of Fair Play for Cuba.

QUESTIONER: Can you explain further why Bobby Kennedy stymied the investigation? Bobby Kennedy is a hero to many of us, and this was obviously sad information when we read it. Can you give us some more insight into that?

JOAN MELLEN: I want to say something in defense of Bobby Kennedy. And that is that he must really have posed a threat to those who murdered his brother, or he himself would not have been assassinated, just as he was about to really run for the presidency with a good chance of winning. There’s no question that Bobby Kennedy tried to stop not only, as I said, Jim Garrison, but any investigation. When Jim Garrison went into Federal Court to ask for the records of the autopsy, the X-rays and photographs, the Kennedy family fought very hard and defeated the Orleans Jurisdiction and they didn’t get those materials. I think that Bobby Kennedy didn’t want it to come out that he was running his own team, that was attempting to “neutralize Fidel Castro.” I think it was part of the times. I think that the Kennedys had contradictory policies. John McCone said it, many Kennedy family friends said it. They were pursuing contradictory policies. Which I suppose many political leaders do and it’s kind of difficult for us to accept. John F. Kennedy was attempting rapprochement with Fidel Castro. He sent an emissary, William Atwood, to Cuba. Arthur Schlesinger told me, go read Carlos Lechuga’s memoirs because Carlos Lechuga was the Cuban ambassador to the UN. And they were making advances on normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba. And yet, at the same time, the Kennedys were involved in sabotaging Fidel Castro. A person is incredulous that this could be, but I think that the situation isn’t so easy to understand. John F. Kennedy is the person, after all, who sent the Green Berets, Phoenix Program and Special Forces into Vietnam. These were death squads. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese died in the early 1960s under these programs. It’s true that John F. Kennedy did not want to send ground troops into Vietnam, but he was not the Prince of Peace either, as some people have said. And I think we shouldn’t be afraid of the truth, wherever it leads.

QUESTIONER: When Garrison told the truth, he was attacked in the press. When the movie “JFK” came out, Oliver Stone was attacked in the press. Can you described the mechanism that makes these attacks possible. And has your book been attacked in a similar fashion? What can we do about the corruption of the media by the CIA and more recently by Bush? Can we hope that the CIA will now try to bring down Bush?

JOAN MELLEN: It’s too late. I think Bush feared it, because that’s why he eviscerated the CIA, and that’s why we have a Director of National Intelligence now, and the CIA, the people in the clandestine service resigned right and left. The CIA is no longer the power that it was. So the current administration has accomplished that end. The CIA was someone to be feared, not to be trusted. And the Bush Administration took no chances. What can we do about it? Standing here today, I hope I’m doing something about it. Writing the book, I hope I’m doing something. It seems such a small thing. It seems – it’s a pity – if I really were doing something that was a threat, I would be shot. I must not be doing something right. People who write books must not be doing enough. Jim Garrison himself survived, because they had other ways of discrediting him. So, we do what we can.

QUESTIONER: How could a conspiracy that had to involve so many people be kept so secret for over 40 years?

JOAN MELLEN: It has not been secret. I think people know. Richard Goodwin certainly knew that these soldiers of fortune down there who were training to invade Cuba were refusing the order of the Executive, of the President of the United States. The people who were responsible for this crime did not come forward. Even I think it was the New York Times or the Washington Post, titled the obituary of Richard Helms, “He Died With His Secrets.” I don’t think that we’re going to bring the people to justice. I think what’s important for history is to understand what has happened in our country in an effort to try and stop what’s happening now. Which is shocking, just shocking.

QUESTIONER: The CIA agent in charge of the Bay of Pigs, fired by Kennedy, and the Mayor of Dallas were brothers. Was that connection used to facilitate the assassination? If so, does that bolster the case for CIA involvement?

JOAN MELLEN: Well, that was Jim Garrison’s contention. Whoever wrote that knows Jim Garrison well. Jim Garrison was preoccupied all his life, by the fact…well, let me just go back a little bit. Remember John F. Kennedy fired Allen Dulles who was the Director of Intelligence. And his second in command, Dulles’ second in command, was General Charles Cabel. And when Dulles was fired, General Charles Cabel had to resign. Who should be mayor of Dallas at the time of the Kennedy assassination but Earl Cabel, brother of General Charles Cabel. So Garrison was really struck by this. And of course, the parade route was changed. And for students of the Kennedy Assassination who know better than I do the details of this, it appears that the Mayor had something to do with the changing of the parade route. Certainly, that parade route was outrageous, taking that slow ride and passing the Texas Schoolbook Depository. And so Garrison was persuaded that there was definitely a connection and that connection linked Dallas to the CIA.

QUESTIONER: What do you think of McClelland’s book that implicates LBJ in the assassination?

JOAN MELLEN: I don’t know what to say about that. Now the fact that there were many murders involved as Lyndon Johnson came to power – nothing connected with the Kennedy assassination, but just many murders – is very interesting. And I recommend the book not for what it says about the Kennedy assassination but for the discussion of the politics of Lyndon Johnson and his ascent to the Presidency.

QUESTIONER: I would have liked to have heard more in the book about Jack Ruby. What were the connections between Jack Ruby and Oswald prior to the assassination? I know you place them together at various times. Can you tell us a little bit more about Jack Ruby as a person?

JOAN MELLEN: There’s so much to tell about Jack Ruby. Just about two days ago, someone in Louisiana who was working on Jim Garrison’s investigation sent me a Xerox of a photograph of Jack Ruby as a young man. And he’s with another young man who seems to be in drag. It’s Rose Sheramee [sp] who was one of the witnesses in this case who was murdered in 1965, often spoke, and I have this in my book, of a sexual relationship between Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald. And I don’t know all about it. But there’s a lot to be said about Jack Ruby. In fact, Angelo Murgado said to me, “Here’s what your next project should be. You should write a book about Jack Ruby.” And the same thing was said to me by one of the Louisiana investigators for the House Select Committee: Jack Ruby. What I have in my book are many examples which reveal that contrary to what Jack Ruby said, that he knew Lee Harvey Oswald very well. And in particular, my witness Thomas Edward Beckham, said to me that on the day of the assassination he talked to someone and he said, “How could Jack do that to Lee?” So the fact that these people were very well acquainted certainly is important and needs to be in the mainstream press just to get the discussion going. There’s a lot to be said. Jim Garrison said that Jack Ruby – and I hope I get it right this time – Jack Ruby was a member of the Mafia branch of the CIA. Garrison by the way never denied that the Mafia was involved in the assassination. The issue was who planned the crime and whose idea was it and who was in control of it.

QUESTIONER: In your research, did the name “William Harvey” come up in any significant way? Also, how did it go with Doug Brinkley and can you talk about C.V. Jackson?

JOAN MELLEN: Doug Brinkley, the Presidential historian, asked me to address his class, which is a class in the history of the Cold War at Tulane. Now of course, you know that there was no class at Tulane and it was quite shocking, of course, to see what was left of New Orleans. But Tulane was not what was left. William Harvey was the CIA executioner. He was the person who created executive action programs for the, which meant their murder capability. And the irony of that is that at one point John F. Kennedy asked the CIA to create an “executive action capability.” And of course, they had already done so. William Harvey is a very interesting figure. I had a lot of trouble finding a publisher. And finally, I found Potomac Books Inc., this little publisher in Dulles, Virginia. Well, when I first heard that it was Dulles Virginia I thought, “Oh, these people are…they’re into the hand of the CIA. This is impossible.” And this publisher, I think was very courageous in publishing a book which said that the CIA killed President Kennedy. Involved in it. Especially since they mostly publish memoirs of CIA officers. And at the moment, they have under contract what? A biography of William Harvey. So that’s what makes me think of… William Harvey is a figure in Robert Littel’s wonderful novel, The Company. For literary fiction on the subject of the Kennedy assassination, I don’t think we could do without Don DeLillo. He’s my favorite author. I tell him there’s no student of mine in this room that hasn’t read Don DeLillo. And I urge you to read Libra, which is his fictional version of Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans, written before the release of any of the documents. And also, Underworld, which describes the conspiracies in government, including the Kennedy Assassination.

QUESTIONER: In November 2004, the New York Times printed a significant article about the modern acoustical analysis of the police belt to determine whether three or four shots were fired. Do you know any outcome of this acoustical analysis?

JOAN MELLEN: Well I’ll tell you one thing about the acoustic analysis. The House Select Committee on Assassinations to which I referred in my talk, Robert Blakey, the professor at Notre Dame, who’s been the proponent of “the Mafia did it.” You’ve seen him on the History Channel often. He was warning, really, according to Richard Billings, who’s the co-author of his book. He wanted, really, to rubber-stamp the Warren Report and to blame Lee Harvey Oswald. At the last minute, what comes, but that Dictabelt. And the Dictabelt shows that at least four shots were fired at Daly Plaza, making it impossible for Oswald to have been the lone assassin. And it was only that Dictabelt which said that there had to be a conspiracy, which, it seems so open and shut now. But at that time, in the late Nineteen-Seventies, that was an important step. Despite everything negative that I’ve said about the House Select Committee, they did say that there was a conspiracy. And it was the acoustic evidence, and I believe that acoustic evidence and I’ve talked to Don Thomas and I’ve heard him speak on a number of occasions and I urge you to go on the Internet and find Don Thomas’ articles because they’re very persuasive about the acoustic evidence. Naturally, there’s been disinformation, attempting to discredit the acoustic evidence, what else. But I would really urge you [to] read Don Thomas because, he’s a scientist, he lives in Texas, and he’s done very good work on the subject.

[Music]

BONNIE FAULKNER: You’ve been listening to the January 24th, 2006 presentation: How the Failure to Identify, Prosecute, and Convict President Kennedy’s Assassins has led to Today’s Crisis of Democracy, with author Joan Mellen. This presentation is based on Joan Mellen’s most recent book, A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History. Joan Mellen is author of 17 books on subjects ranging from film criticism, fiction, and Latin American Studies, to crime, sports and biography. She is professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia. Visit her web site at http://www.joanmellen.net for more information. A Farewell to Justice is available from the publisher, Potomac Books, from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and selected independent booksellers. Guns & Butter is edited and produced by Yarrow Mahko and me, Bonnie Faulkner. To leave comments or order copies of this show, call 510-848-6767 extension 628. Email us at blfaulkner@yahoo.com.

LINKS

“The Jim Garrison Story,” a documentary about the Distric Attorney of New Orleans and his investigation into the Kennedy Assassination.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

July 30, 2009

Explosive Testimony – The 9/11 Oral Histories

Filed under: Uncategorized — digitaljustice @ 8:14 pm
Explosive Testimony – The 9/11 Oral Histories
Bonnie Faulkner: This is Guns & Butter. [music plays]
There’s something happening here – yeah, yeah
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there …
David Ray Griffin: We even have Wall Street reporters who gave amazing testimony. John Bussey said he was on the ninth floor of the Wall Street Journal office building. He said “I looked out of the window to see what seemed like perfectly synchronized explosions coming from each floor, one after another from top to bottom, with a fraction of a second between. The floors blew to pieces, individual floors, one after the other, exploding outward.” He said, “Oh my God, they’re going to bring the building down, and they, whoever they are, had set charges. I saw the explosions.”
Bonnie: I’m Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns & Butter, Dr. David Ray Griffin. Today’s show, Explosive Testimony – The 9/11 Oral Histories. David Ray Griffin is author of The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11, and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, in addition to over 25 other books.
On August 12th, 2005, as the result of a lawsuit brought by the New York Times and several families of 9/11 victims, the New York Court of Appeals ordered the city to release hundreds of oral histories of 9/11 witnesses. These witness testimonies were originally gathered shortly after September 11th on the order of Thomas Von Essen, the City Fire Commissioner, who said he wanted to preserve these accounts before they became reshaped by a collective memory.
In these oral histories, firefighters and emergency medical workers recounted their experiences of that day. The New York Fire Department recorded over 500 oral histories, which Mayor Bloomberg’s administration then refused to release.
Bonnie: David Ray Griffin, welcome.
David: Good to be with you, Bonnie.
Bonnie: David, you’ve written several lengthy articles recently regarding the events of September 11th. In your research, is the physical evidence from the collapses of the World Trade Center consistent with the official explanation that they occurred solely because of damage to the buildings caused by the plane impacts combined with the fires that occurred when the jet fuel exploded?
David: I just read an article this morning that somebody was sending around the internet, saying that, how the Bush Administration has been repealing all sorts laws since 9/11, and that they’ve also repealed the Laws of Physics. So, with the new Laws of Physics promulgated by the Bush Administration, it may be that the collapses were consistent with the Laws of Physics. But, if you accept the old-fashioned Laws of Physics that have been worked out from Newton through the Twentieth Century, well no, the collapses completely contradict everything we know.
Bonnie: You have written that shortly after 9/11 the New York Fire Department recorded over 500 oral histories, in which firefighters and emergency medical workers recounted their experiences of that day. You also go on to say that Mayor Bloomberg’s administration, however, refused to release them. But that, then, the New York Times, joined by several families of 9/11 victims, filed suit. And after a long process, the New York Court of Appeals ordered the city to release them, which it did in August of 2005. And then the Times, of course, made these oral histories public. I hadn’t heard much of anything about these oral histories.
David: Surprise, surprise. You mean Fox News has not reported them? What a shock. You mean NBC News and CBS and ABC have not reported them?
Bonnie: Exactly. And been I’ve involved in this for years and I only had the vaguest recollections of their existence. Could you talk about those oral histories?
David: Yeah. And also I think you have read the 9/11 Commission Report. And again, even though they had 571 pages, they didn’t have a single sentence to spare to mention these oral histories. And in this case we know that they had access to them, because the City of New York had initially turned down the Commission when it requested copies. And then the Commission threatened to use its subpoena power – one of the few times it did – and they turned them over. So at least some members of the 9/11 Commission had access to these, and yet nobody saw fit to mention them. And it’s no surprise that they didn’t because, of course you and I and many of our listeners know that the 9/11 Commission was devoted solely to protecting and reinforcing the official story under the guidance of Philip Zelikow who was essentially a member of the 9/11 Commission. And we could go on and on about that for some time. So this is no surprise. But when you look at these oral histories, you see that they did not want the public to know that these oral histories not only were published now but were available on a New York Times website so any citizen can go on and find these and read them for themselves. And in my paper, which anybody can Google by just going on Google Explosive Testimony and you’ll find my paper on this and you can just read all the ones that I had listed out. I could read a few of them now if you’d like.
Bonnie: Yes. And just before you do that, who was it that ordered these oral histories? Weren’t these ordered on the day of September 11th? They were requested.
David: You mean who had the oral histories recorded?
Bonnie: Yes.
David: Yeah. That was the outgoing head, I believe, of the New York Fire Commission. Yes. It was Thomas Von Essen the City Fire Commissioner at that time and these were recorded during December of 2001 and then January. So they were at a time when the memories were still pretty fresh and that’s what he wanted. He said he wanted to preserve those accounts before they became reshaped by a collective memory. So we’re very indebted to Thomas Von Essen.
Bonnie: That’s right. That’s what I had thought. He wanted those recorded specifically so that the memories were fresh in peoples mind and they were not going to be rewritten by a later collective memory. Now there were some dramatic, I was amazed, some very dramatic testimony from at least 500 people who were present on September 11th. Their experiences, what they saw, what they heard, what they felt, and a lot of it was extremely dramatic. Could you talk about a few of those testimonies?
David: Sure. So the fire department is made up actually of firefighters and emergency medical workers so I’ve got a combination of these. One medical technician, Michael Ober http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110093.PDF said, “We heard a rumble. We looked up. It looked to me just like an explosion. It didn’t look like the building was coming down. It looked like just one floor had blown completely outside of it.” Now that’s important because the official story says that when you get these horizontal ejections from the building with dust and other things being blown out. That’s because the floor collapsed and blew it out. But he says no. He saw this explosion before there was any sign the building was coming down. And this was backed up by Fire Chief Frank Cruthers http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110179.PDF who said, “There was what appeared to be first an explosion. It appeared at the very top, simultaneously from all four sides. Material shot out horizontally. And then there seemed to be a momentary delay before you could see the beginning of the collapse.” Then there are other things particularly important because Mark Loizeaux who is the head of Control Demolition, one of the top demolition companies in the world. He said, “If I were going to bring down the towers I would begin with explosions in the basements to take out some of those columns and that would mean there would be shaking of the ground prior to the collapse.” And medical technician Lonnie Penn http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110203.PDF says that, “Just before the collapse of the South Tower, I felt the ground shake. I turned round and ran for my life. I made it as far as the Financial Center when the collapse happened.” So the shake obviously occurred several seconds before the building started coming down. And several other people gave supporting testimony to that. Likewise you get several people who report multiple explosions. So firefighter Thomas Turilli http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110501.PDF said about the South Tower, “It almost sounded like bombs going off. Like ‘Boom, boom, boom.’ Like seven or eight.” Another firefighter Craig Carlsen http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110505.PDF said “It seemed like it took forever, but there were about 10 explosions.” Joseph Meola http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110287.PDF , another firefighter, said it looked like the building was blowing out on all four sides. We actually heard the pops. Didn’t realize it was falling, you know? You heard the pops of the building. You just thought it was blowing out.” And then, paramedic Daniel Rivera http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110035.PDF , he was asked “How did you know the South Tower was coming down?” He said “It was that noise.” “What noise?” He said “It was a frigging noise. At first I thought it was… Did you ever see professional demolition, where they set the charges on certain floors, and then you hear ‘pop, pop, pop, pop, pop?’ That’s exactly what I heard.”
Bonnie: David, here is another one in your article from Captain Karin Deshore http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110192.PDF. She said “Somewhere around the middle, there was this orange and red flash coming out. Initially, it was just one flash. Then this flash just kept popping all the way around the building, and that building had started to explode. With each popping sound, it was initially an orange, and then a red flash came out of the building, and then it would just go all around the building on both sides, as far as I could see. These popping sounds and the explosions were getting bigger, going both up and down, and then all around the building.”
David: That’s right. And her testimony is very important, because when you read through the various oral histories, people are telling what happened for hours that day. And you find out that she was a highly respected member of the force, and so her testimony is particularly important. And that supports one of these other features of controlled demolition, which is “demolition rings.” That is where you see explosions running around the building very quickly. So you gave that, then firefighter Richard Banaciski http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110253.PDF said “There was an explosion. It seemed like on television when they blow up these buildings. It seemed like it was going all the way around like a belt, all these explosions.” Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fitzpatrick http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110001.PDF said about the South Tower, “All we saw was a puff of smoke coming from about two-thirds of the way up. It looked like sparkling around one specific layer of the building. My reaction was that it was exactly the way it looks when they show you those implosions on TV.”
Bonnie: You have listed in your articles, when you talk about the multiple evidence of controlled demolition, and that the oral histories, the oral testimonies of those present, included 10 elements or aspects of a controlled demolition. And I wanted to sort of list them, and I thought we could talk about them, to make it clearer to listeners as to just exactly what we’re talking about. Now, these are characteristics of a controlled demolition that were reported on September 11th: sudden onset, straight down, almost free fall speed…
David: Let me go ahead and comment. The sudden onset is so important, because the official theory being that fire heated up the steel and made it buckle. Well, if fire were heating up steel, the steel would gradually begin to sag. And yet, when you look at the videos, which are on multiple sites on the Internet, you can see these collapses of Twin Towers and Building 7, and you see they’re perfectly still, motionless, and then all of a sudden, pow, they start. There’s no bending of the steel, no sagging. It’s a very sudden onset. [music]
Bonnie: I’m speaking with Author and Theologian, Doctor David Ray Griffin. Today’s show, “Explosive Testimony: The 9/11 Oral Histories.” I’m Bonnie Faulkner. This is Guns and Butter. [music fades] And then the next characteristic you mentioned is “straight down.”
David: Yeah, completely vertical. Now, that doesn’t mean they completely fall into their own footprint. Now, that was true of Building 7. It was a really classic example of implosion, which starts at the bottom. But with the Twin Towers, the collapse had to start near the top, where the airplanes hit, because that was going to be the story, that the hole created by the airplanes, then weakened, and weakened that floor, and some floors above it collapsed and came down. So, it couldn’t quite be a classical implosion, but it still was an implosion in that the building came down, rather than falling over. Now, one thing to know about this is that, as Mark Loizeaux says, “These things don’t just happen. They have to be precisely planned.” He’s talking about when he’s bringing down a building. And, he would study it for weeks and decide exactly where the explosives had to be planted, and so on. And the whole purpose of implosion, the kind of controlled demolition known as implosion, is to bring the building straight down. The easier kind of controlled demolition is just to knock the building over. Now, you can do that if it’s out in the desert [laugh] with no other buildings around it. But, in downtown Manhattan, if these 110 story towers had toppled over, you would’ve had I don’t know how many hundreds of buildings destroyed, how many billions of dollars, how many tens of thousands of people killed. So, it was very important that the buildings come straight down. There was no way that hijackers, even if they had been able to sneak in there and put a few bombs in the building, would’ve had that kind of expertise. A Website called “ImplosionWorld.com”, you can go on there and see. They say only a few companies in the world have the expertise to do traditional implosion. And, certainly very few people would have the expertise to do an implosion with something as huge as the Twin Towers. So, that’s very important that they came straight down. Not entirely I say with the towers into their own foot print, because another feature here was that, as I said, things were ejected out of the floors and aluminum and even steel beams from the building were ejected out several hundred feet. So, this had to be a massive explosive used, with great power, with horizontal power, whereas the gravitational power that the official theory talks about, would be vertical. And, so you did get debris spewed over an area of several blocks. But, for the most part, the towers, like Building 7, came straight down.
Bonnie: You also mention another characteristic that people witnessed, that is a characteristic of a controlled demolition, and that is the almost free fall speed of the collapse.
David: That’s right. Let’s say that we accepted the official theory, which is that the collapse began with the floor right above where the airplanes created a hole in the building. Well, then, those floors would have fallen down on the floor below them. Well, you still would’ve had eighty or ninety floors below that with all their steel, all their concrete, they’re going to give resistance. I mean, even if it were conceivable that they could’ve collapsed, had a total collapse, which is not conceivable, but we’ll pretend it is, then there would have been delays. And yet these buildings came down at virtually free fall speed. If you had thrown a brick off the top of the World Trade Center, it would’ve been roughly ten seconds (until it struck the ground) and that’s roughly the speed at which these came down. People say anywhere from eight, to twelve or thirteen seconds. Anywhere in there is virtually free fall speed. And, you can see it on the videos because you can see that the things that were ejected out sideways, so they’re not being resisted by anything except the air, they’re falling at virtually the same speed as the material within the foot print which should be at least slowed down by all those floors of steel and concrete below them, but they’re not. So, that is just, it is just absolute proof, this is controlled demolition. There is simply no other way the buildings could’ve been brought down in that fashion.
Bonnie: That’s right. The building itself, falling into itself is falling at the same speed as the debris that’s spewing out. So, that’s a very good point.
David: That’s right, and so this is one of the Laws of Physics that would have to be overturned and fortunately, evidently, the Bush administration has it in with the Almighty and could change the Laws of Physics, at least on 9/11. And, so steel could fall down through steel and concrete at free fall speed just as if it were falling through the air.
Bonnie: Another characteristic that you point out in the oral testimonies that coincides with a controlled demolition is total collapse.
David: Yeah, each one of these is, by itself, a proof. And when you have eleven characteristics, as I think I gave in that paper, then you realize that if no one of them could have occurred according to the official theory, all the more could not all eleven of them occurred. And this by total collapse, it means that these 110 story towers and the 47 story World Trade Center Building 7, collapsed into a pile of rubble only a few stories high. Now, why that’s so important, because as I indicated, each tower had 47 massive steel columns constituting the core of the tower. So even if the “Pancake Theory” could be accepted, which was that the floors broke loose from the perimeter and the core columns. And then you could imagine that the concrete would have pulverized into tiny dust particles [laughs] when it fell down, you would still have these massive columns sticking up into the air. And of course not all singly but they were tied together by steel beams and trusses. So you would have had this center fixture sticking up at least 1000 feet into the air. And yet it collapses into a pile of rubble a few stories high. The only way that is possible, the only way, is through the way it is always done. You take a particular kind of explosive, or maybe several kinds. Steven Jones, in his now well known paper, a physicist from BYU, suggests thermite and maybe thermate, a variation of it, and maybe some other kinds of explosives used. And that’s what these things do, they slice the steel. I have a quote in my paper by a guy who knows about, a spokesperson for RDX, a certain kind of explosive, and he says this stuff slices through steel the way a razor blade slices through a tomato. And once you realize that that’s the way it normally happens, you look at these buildings, you see the tiny little pile of rubble, and you say there is no other way it could have happened. Because even if the steel columns had somehow failed, they wouldn’t have broken into rather small pieces. Jim Hoffman has said, looking at the evidence, it seems like that most of the steel columns were broken into pieces no more than 50 feet long. A lot of them about 30 feet long. In other words, about the size ready to be loaded onto trucks. And of course, that’s what happened to the steel. It was immediately loaded onto trucks, sold to scrap dealers, and put on ships to Asia to be melted down. Rather than given to some scientific committee to study the steel. And which they could have looked at it and say, “Well let’s see if explosives were used, there would be telltale marks on the steel.” So, you can see a motive for why Federal Officials oversaw the removal of the steel when usually the removal of anything, even a matchbook, from a crime scene is considered a Federal Offense.
Bonnie: You’ve just mentioned the sliced steel which is another one of the characteristics of a controlled demolition. You also mention in your paper as an aside that FEMA had noted that the few pieces of steel, that they did see, had evidence of sulfidation, which is also characteristic of explosives. Isn’t that right?
David: That’s right. The first investigation that was carried out had some signs of honesty in it. This was overseen by FEMA but the actual investigation was ASCE, the American Society of Civil Engineers. And so, they reported, honestly, some startling facts, and this was one of them. That there was some sulfidation. And that is significant because that’s the trace that explosives would leave. But by the time you get to the 9/11 Commission Report, of course, there is no mention of that. And then when you get to the NIST report, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the final report which is supposed to be the definitive report, they do not mention this sulfidation. And don’t mention some other things that were discovered as well. Even the New York Times came out with a story on this and said, “This seems to be the deepest mystery, that this steel has these characteristics.” They didn’t say characteristics that are usually found on steel that is affected by explosives, but they did admit that it was a great mystery because you have to know a priori that of course explosives were not used, and therefore if it had sulfidation, that would be a huge mystery.
Bonnie: You also mentioned pulverization of concrete and other materials as another characteristic of a demolition.
David: Yeah, and in a lot of demolitions this is not a big factor. You usually get significant dust cloud, and as I mentioned in the paper, there are places on the internet where you can see videos of say the Seattle Kingdome and other buildings that have been brought down, you can see that normally there’s a pretty good sized dust cloud, but still you have a lot of rubble at the end of the implosion. But in this case, and you can see that it would make sense, these buildings were so huge, and there was so much steel in them, and these core columns were so huge most of the way up, that it would have taken massive explosions compared with your ordinary demolition of say a fifteen story building, or something like that. And as a result, there is nothing left at the end of these except steel and dust, for the most part. So you have, in other words, no desks, no computers [laughs], nothing in the rubble to show that this was an office building. You just have dust, so everything was pulverized. Jim Hoffman suggests that it was dust particles of maybe about ten microns, in other words, extremely tiny. There’s just no way that gravitational collapse or fire plus gravity could have done this to all the concrete.
Bonnie: And of course you also cite the massive dust clouds, which you’ve just mentioned, as another characteristic. You also mentioned the horizontal ejections of the materials as the buildings came down.
David: Yeah, and I tell you, that is something you can see on the videos, and you really have to see it on the videos or in some very good photographs, like you can get in Eric Hufschmid’s book Painful Questions Painful Questions http://www.erichufschmid.net/PainfulQuestionsTOC.html . He’s got great photographs, and you can see, as Jim Hoffman says, that these ejections included steel and aluminum going out for several hundred feet, and until you see that, you can’t imagine how impressive that is. And then once you have seen it, you say: “Well, there’s no way that could have been done, except by explosions.” And again, many of the testimonies say that they saw the ejections first, and then the building came down. And in the NIST Report, again, to show how dishonest it is, they say “Well sure there were ejections, but these occurred below the area of impact. When the floors were pancaking down, of course that collapsed the air and pushed the air and other things out the windows.” But, as Hoffman and many others point out, the ejections start at the very top of building, above the level of impact, so even if you accepted that official theory, you would have no explanation for the horizontal ejections in the floors above because, by hypothesis, those floors were collapsing as a solid block. There was no reason they would have disintegrated, or no reason any of the floors above the area of impact would have been falling on the floors below them, so why have horizontal ejections there, and yet there are – very visibly. [Music]
Bonnie: I’m speaking with author and theologian Dr. David Ray Griffin. Today’s show: Explosive Testimony – The 9/11 Oral Histories. I’m Bonnie Faulkner. This is Guns and Butter. You talk about demolition rings. What are demolition rings?
David: Oh, those are those things we were talking about before with Karin Deshore. What you do with controlled demolition, you don’t have to collapse every floor. If you’re slicing these steel columns into pieces about thirty feet long, the biggest explosions have to be where you want that to happen, and so there would be a ring of explosions running clear around the building, because you’ve got those perimeter columns, too, two hundred and some of those. So her testimony is very dramatic in that it’s backed up by several other people who say “we saw…”. They didn’t say “demolition rings,” but they described the phenomena which are consistent with demolition rings.
Bonnie: Yes. You talk about the sights and the sounds produced by these explosions – that the witnesses see flashes or demolition rings. And, in fact, we’ve been talking about the evidence of controlled demolition in the…well, I guess they were published in August of 2005. The 500 eyewitness accounts. But in fact, there were much earlier eyewitness testimony, not as voluminous, but that did make it out into the press a little bit with regard to the sight and sounds produced by these explosions. And you talk about early witness testimony by a janitor in the World Trade Center, William Rodriguez. Also, there’s an engineer, Mike Pecararo. Firefighter Louie Cacchioli.
David: That’s right. We don’t want to ignore these early testimonies because now they have been supported and confirmed by the later testimonies. So like you say, William Rodriguez who was declared a national hero, because he helped several people escape from the North Tower, but now he cannot get a hearing. Even though he was invited to the White House as a national hero, now he cannot get on television. He went to NIST to testify, and he said they just stared at him when he was telling them. And what he was telling them was that he was down in one of the higher sub-basements. I think, I don’t remember if it was exactly the second basement or something like that. And a bunch of them were in the room there. And he heard these explosions, felt them, from the floor below. And then a fellow worker, Felipe David, came in with skin hanging off of his body. And what he said was that he was standing near the elevator and this huge ball of fire came up from below and set him on fire. And then that’s consistent… You mention Mike Pecararo …he said he was down on the C level in the basement, where there was a small machine shop, and when he came there there was nothing but rubble. And he says were talking about a 50 ton hydraulic press gone. Then he went up to the D level and they found a steel and concrete fire door which had weighed 300 pounds wrinkled up like a piece of aluminum foil. So anybody who wants to support the official story either has to call these people liars or explain how the airplane crashing into one of the 80th or 90th floor(s), somewhere up there, could have caused these kinds of effects in the basements. Another testimony is by Dennis Tardio. He was a fire captain. And he says, “I hear an explosion. I look up. It is as if the building is being imploded from the top floor down. One after another. Boom. Boom. Boom.” And then Louie Cacchioli says that when he came in to the North Tower he saw the elevator doors had been completely blown out and people being hit with debris. Well some people try to explain this by saying the fuel came down the elevator shafts and created a big fireball down there. That that’s why the lobby was so destroyed. But then he says he went up to the 24th floor, so this would have been several minutes later by the time he got up there, and he says he and another fireman heard this huge explosion that sounded like a bomb which knocked off the lights and stalled the elevator. And then after they got out of the elevator, a huge, another huge explosion like the first one hits, this one hits about two minutes later. And I’m thinking, “Oh my God, these bastards put bombs in here like they did in 1993.” And then Teresa Veliz, she had been working in a software development company on the 47th floor and after the whole building shook she decided she’d better get out of there and while she was going downstairs she says “There were explosions going off everywhere. I was convinced that there were bombs planted all over the place. And someone was sitting at a control panel pushing detonator buttons. There was another explosion and another. I didn’t know where to run.” And we have testimonies from journalists like Steve Evans from the BBC says “I was at the base of the second tower that was hit. There was an explosion. The base of the building shook. Then there was a series of explosions.” Sue Keane, who used to be a Sergeant in the US Army and then was a member of the New Jersey Fire – Police Department, said that before the North Tower collapsed she says, “There was another explosion that sent me and two firefighters down the stairs. I can’t tell you how many times I got banged around. Each one of those explosions picked me up and threw me. There was another explosion and I got thrown with two firefighters out onto the street.” Anybody can tell that there’s no way any that ordinary fires or the reverberations from the airplanes could have caused those kinds of phenomena. We even have Wall Street reporters who gave amazing testimony, John Bussey said he was on the ninth floor of the Wall Street Journal office building. He said, “I looked out of the window to see what seemed like perfectly synchronized explosions coming from each floor, one after another, from top to bottom, with a fraction of a second between. The floors blew to pieces.” Another Wall Street Journal reporter said that after he had seen what appeared to be individual floors, one after the other exploding outward. He said, “Oh my God! They’re going to bring the building down and they, whoever they are had set charges. I saw the explosions.” Well they just go on and on and on.
Bonnie: It’s amazing. And why haven’t we heard of these accounts by firefighters and medical responders long before now?
David: People in charge did not want you to hear these things [laughs] obviously. Louie Cacchioli tried to go to the… he went to the 9/11 Commission, not to a public session of course. No firefighters were invited to testify in public. Even though everybody praised them to high heaven and said how great they were and of course they were the ones who lost the most people so we’re so sorry for them and grateful. But not grateful enough to invite them to testify [laughs] in open session to the 9/11 Commission with TV cameras running. So Louie Cacchioli was invited to talk to a few staff members of the Commission behind closed doors. And Sibel Edmonds testified. She testified for, I believe, three and a half hours and (said) that she was convinced everything that was said behind closed doors would stay behind closed doors – even better than staying in Las Vegas. That was the same thing with Louie. He said he went in and he tried to tell them what he had experienced. They just started really trashing him and discounting his… and really suggesting he didn’t know what he was talking about and he finally just got mad and left.
Bonnie: So then the 9/11 Commission did have access to these oral histories?
David: Of course! They could have subpoenaed all these firefighters, all these medical workers and yes, they did have at least some members of the staff – we don’t know who saw them but somebody saw them – and they did not make their way into the final report. I mean even the existence of them is not mentioned, just as the existence of the collapse of Building 7 is not mentioned, just as the testimony of Norman Mineta about the time that Cheney went down to the underground bunker, to get to another part of this big story (that) is not mentioned. And of course, that’s the title of my book, “The 9/11 Commission: Omissions and Distortions.” They omit just about everything that is relevant to understanding what really happened that day.
Bonnie: Now these 500 oral histories, testimonies taken on that day, these were only made public because of a lawsuit brought by the New York Times isn’t that correct?
David: That’s right. It went through the lower courts in the State of New York and everybody turned them down, that is sided with the City of New York. But finally, the highest court in New York; The New York State Court of Appeals said, “No. You must release these. This is public information. Obviously this was compiled the time of the fire department. That’s public money. So of course this has to be made public.” So the New York Times got a hold of them and then they did their duty. They made them accessible on their website. But, that was the end of it. They never let anybody write a story or at least never published any story that would tell the readers that these kinds of things were in these oral histories.
Bonnie: So then these weren’t published in the paper itself, just posted on the website.
David: That’s right, the stories in the paper would tell you, oh, that there were communication problems, they’d tell some things that were somewhat embarrassing to officials but nothing that would suggest that there was criminal conspiracy here to cover up crime. So they know very clearly where to draw the line on what can be revealed and what cannot.
Bonnie: Now, in addition to the mainstream press failing to report some of these statements, isn’t it also true that many of the firefighters and the others were afraid to speak out because they were afraid of losing their jobs?
David: We have this testimony from an alternative fireman named Paul Isaac who has said that lots of people in the fire department know that there were bombs in the buildings and that explosions brought the building down, but they are afraid to talk because they’ve been told by their higher-ups not to talk. So, you can understand these people who are just barely getting by, have families to support, if they’re threatened with the loss of their job. It’s understandable they’re not going to speak out, particularly when there is nobody asking them to speak out. The New York Times isn’t going to them and saying “here, we would really like to hear your story”, and there’s no special prosecutor, there is no congressional committee saying we really want to, you know, we’ve heard that there were explosions in the building, we want to get your direct testimony and make sure that what you said in your oral history is supportable – nobody asking them to go under lie detector tests, nobody saying that we’ll take your testimony and give you anonymity so that you won’t lose your job or that we’ll give you immunity or we’ll give you another job. Nobody wants them to testify, nobody in the official world. So one can understand why they, uh, and even if they go try to try to speak out publicly they can’t do it. I mean Willie Rodgriguez has been trying to do it, and Paul Isaac was, and Louie Catchioli, but you can’t just call up your local TV station or your NBC affiliate and say, “Here, put my testimony on the air.” So there’s no way these people can get these stories out in public to more than a few million people who read these kinds of things on the internet or listen to alternative radio or read books about this.
Bonnie: David, we’ve heard a lot in the past about foreknowledge of the attacks, government foreknowledge of the attacks. But in fact, there was foreknowledge of the collapses. In your papers, you have mentioned the fact that Mayor Rudy Giuliani on ABC news said, “We were told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse” and it did collapse. You also went on to say that at least four of the recently released oral histories indicate that shortly before the collapse of the South Tower, the Office of Emergency Management had predicted the collapse of at least one tower. The director of this office reported directly to Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
David: That’s right, and here’s another not only under reported but unreported story, ’cause this is just again by itself undermines the official story because put yourself back in that situation, never before in our universe, on our planet, has a steel frame high rise building been brought down by fire or fire combined with some sort of external injury such as from an airplane. So you would have no reason whatsoever to think [laughs] that an hour after the South Tower had been hit it was going to collapse. Nobody except people who had prior knowledge would have thought that, and so you had all these fireman going up there and reaching about the 78th floor and reporting that there were no big fires there they they said oh, well you got, a little, a couple little pockets of fire here just give us a little help here and we can knock these down. Other people have testified the fires were not very big, and that’s right at the area of impact so that’s where the fire should have been the biggest. So there was no reason in the world even if you thought a huge fire could start a collapse, there would have been no reason to think….so Giuliani saying somebody told me that the towers were going to collapse and in this case that would have meant the South Tower first, that’s unbelievable. There would be no reason in the world anybody would have thought that. These buildings were perfectly stable. It had been an hour since the airplanes had hit, the fires were burning down, were just about burnt out. And yet suddenly somebody tells him they’re going to collapse.
Bonnie: [music in background ]I’m speaking with author and Theologian Dr. David Ray Griffin. Todays show, Explosive Testimony, the 9/11 Oral Histories. I’m Bonnie Faulkner. This is Guns and Butter. [music fades out] And also with regard to Building 7, apparently there was also foreknowledge that Building 7 was going to collapse. It collapsed similarly but was it never hit by a plane. How could that happen? Indira Singh, a medical first responder said on my program that they knew World Trade Center 7 was going to fall hours before it did and that they had to move the rescue stations away to a safe distance. How could anyone know ahead of time that the building would collapse? It had just a few small fires in it.
David: That’s right. There are people who have testified that it had lots of fires in it. But isn’t it amazing that with all the photographers and television cameras that would have been on the site that afternoon, not a one of them captured all of these fires. And then we’re told, oh there was a lot of damage to the face of it, to the south side. And nobody captured any of that. I mean these would have been magnificent photos that could have won prizes, and yet nobody bothered. So, you see that it’s not very credible. In any case, even if there had been enormous fires in Building 7, even if there had been great structural damage to the face of it, facing the World Trade Center Towers, you could not explain the collapse, straight down, almost free fall speed, less than 7 seconds. Forty-seven story building going straight down and collapsing into a pile of rubble. The very tiny pile of rubble, folding over perfectly just like a perfect controlled implosion. And yes, the advanced knowledge of this one is truly extraordinary, because it seems like about noon, the firefighters were pulled out of there and just stood around all afternoon waiting for the building to come down. So everybody down there knew, or were told that Building 7 was going to collapse. And then, at, finally at 5:20, it did. It was truly amazing, and again there would have been no reason because even if people thought, well let’s see, the Twin Towers collapsed because they were hit by airplanes and then the fires brought them down. Nobody would have thought, well, building 7’s going to collapse too, because it was hit, oh no it wasn’t hit by a plane, and it’s only got a few fires in it. I quote this one fellow as saying “I think there were fires on just three floors.” He was a medical worker, and then here are the firefighters standing around and he says “Are you guys going to put that fire out?”. And another guy says, this is just amazing, this was a fireman, so here are the fireman standing around and he says “There are fires in that building” and they say “we know”. So he says its just amazing, they’re just standing around waiting for the building to collapse. And the important thing here is that it was the same office, it was Giuliani’s own office, that was supposedly the source of the information that the towers were going to come down. That same office is the source of the information that World Trade Center 7 was going to come down.
Bonnie: The Office of Emergency Management.
David: Right.
Bonnie: That is, yes. That reported directly to Guiliani.
David: That’s right. So people should pay attention to this because it looks like this guy may be running for President. Do you want your next President also to be somebody who is involved in the conspiracy of 9/11?
Bonnie: Could you say a few words about other suspicious facts. Could you talk about the World Trade Center security.
David: Well yeah, this is a big question. How could have anybody gotten in there to set these explosives? It would take many, many hours. As I said, Mark Loizeaux, head of Controlled Demolition said “This has to be done very carefully, planned very carefully and then the explosives have to be put in exactly the right places. They have to be set, wired in such a way that they go off in precisely the right order.” You can’t have the wrong-floor explosives go off first, so it would take quite a while. Al Qaeda terrorists, I say, could not have gotten in there and gotten to the floors, gotten to the secure areas to do this. But just by the strangest coincidence – another coincidence never mentioned in your mainstream press – the company that was in charge of security for the World Trade Center had two very interesting principal figures. One member of the Board was Marvin Bush, the President’s brother, and then Wirt Walker the third, their cousin, was the CEO for that company during the period of 9/11. He remained for several months afterwards. So we do have a hypothesis as to how people representing the Federal Government could have gotten into the buildings to plant the explosives.
Bonnie: You mentioned in your paper you quote Scott Forbes of Fiduciary Trust, which was one of the companies in one of the World Trade Center towers: “On the weekend of September 8th and 9th, 2001, there was a quote ‘power down condition’ in the South Tower. This power down condition meant that there was no electrical supply for approximately 36 hours from Floor 50 up. The reason given by the World Trade Center for the power down was that cabling in the Tower was being upgraded. Of course, without power, there were no security cameras, no security locks on doors, while many, many engineers were coming in and out of the Tower.” You also quote another person – Ben Fountain, a financial analyst with Firemen’s Fund, in the South Tower. You mentioned that he was quoted in People’s Magazine during the weeks before 9/11, that the towers were evacuated “a number of times.”
David: This is one more example that, the deeper you look into this, and look at the various evidence, and test the two hypotheses – because that’s what we’re doing here – people need to approach this with some sort of scientific state of mind and say, “OK, we’ve got two hypotheses: One is the official theory that it was Al Qaeda that brought the buildings down. And they did it solely by crashing airplanes into the buildings, which they knew would cause fires, and that’s what happened. And then you’ve got all this evidence that doesn’t fit that. You’ve got all the evidence of the testimonies of explosions. You’ve got these 11 features of controlled implosion that occur in all three of these buildings, and cannot be explained without the use of explosives. You’ve got the fact that the steel was immediately whisked away. You’ve got the fact we haven’t even gotten to, that there is molten steel under the buildings. And when the beams were pulled up, some witnesses reported that the ends of the steel were dripping molten metal, which is precisely what would happen if they had been sliced by explosives.” So all of the data, all of the phenomena relevant to asking the question of what happened – all of them fit this theory that the buildings were brought down by explosives. None of the phenomena support the Official Theory. The only thing the Official Theory has going for it is that it’s the Official Theory, and that many people desperately want to believe it because they do not want to believe that our own Government would have done such a heinous thing. Or they convince themselves that if such a thing had happened, somebody would have talked, it couldn’t have remained silent. And so they use some a priori reason to say, “Oh, it couldn’t be that. The official story has to be true. And I can’t explain all the data. So you’ve got all these data, but I’m not going to pay attention to them because that would just be too ugly.” But if you’re going to not look at it in an emotional way, and just look at the facts, all these facts support the Alternative Theory. None of the facts support the Official Theory. And what you have cited is just one more example of that – that there is an explanation of how explosives could have been set, because we know that two members of the Bush Family were in charge of the company that was in charge of security, and we know from testimonies that there was a power down situation there, and so called, you remember he put engineers in quote marks – said these so called “engineers” were coming in and out of the building.
Bonnie: You also mentioned that, in your conclusion to that, foreigners could not have orchestrated a cover-up, and you mention – you cite the quick disposal of the steel, the FEMA Report, the 9/11 Commission Report, the NIST Report, that all of the cover up had to be orchestrated within our government.
David: That’s right. It couldn’t have been Controlled Demolition, Inc., or it couldn’t have been just the City of New York who did this, or it couldn’t have been just Larry Silverstein who was going to make billions of dollars off of this. No, it had to be something orchestrated, with the FBI involved, with the Justice Department involved. So it is very frightening to think that our government has been taken over by a criminal class, and I don’t blame people for not wanting to believe it. But we’ve got to face facts and get this gang of criminals stopped before they undermine any more laws. And undermine any more civil rights of our people, and attack any more countries, and on, and on, and on. So that’s why I’m devoted to this story, because it’s not just a matter of getting to the truth, but it’s a matter of getting to the truth and getting it publicly exposed in time to prevent these criminals from continuing to ravage our country and our planet.
Bonnie: David Ray Griffin, thank you very much.
David: You’re very welcome, Bonnie. [Music plays]
There’s something happening here, yeah, yeah
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there…
[Music fades into the background as Bonnie starts speaking]
Bonnie: I’ve been speaking with author and theologian Dr. David Ray Griffin. Today’s show has been “Explosive Testimony: The 9/11 Oral Histories.” David Ray Griffin has recently written three lengthy articles on the events of September 11, 2001. These articles are posted on the internet at http://www.911truth.org, and other websites. David Ray Griffin retired from the Claremont School of Theology after 31 years as professor of Theology and Philosophy of Religion. He is author of over twenty-five books, including The New Pearl Harbor, and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. David Ray Griffin’s books are available online at Amazon.com. Thanks to Todd Fletcher for helping to produce today’s show. Guns and Butter is edited and produced by Yarrow Mahko and me, Bonnie Faulkner.
[Music continues]
Aiyo, these are some serious times that we’re livin in G
And a new world order is about to begin, y’knowhutI’msayin?
Now the question is – are you ready, for the real revolution
which is the evolution of the mind?
If you seek then you shall find that we all come from the divine
You dig what I’m sayin?
Now if you take heed … [Music fades out]
Links:
Guns & Butter: Explosive Testimony – The 9/11 Oral Histories
The 9/11 Oral Histories
Explosive Testimony: Revelations about the Twin Towers in the 9/11 Oral Histories by David Ray Griffin

This interview of Dr. David Ray Griffin conducted by Bonnie Faulkner was originally broadcast on the March 29, 2006 episode of Guns & Butter on KPFA Radio, 94.1 FM.

You can listen to or download this show here.

BONNIE FAULKNER: This is Guns & Butter.

[music plays]

LEAD IN BY DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: We even have Wall Street reporters who gave amazing testimony. John Bussey said he was on the ninth floor of the Wall Street Journal office building. He said “I looked out of the window to see what seemed like perfectly synchronized explosions coming from each floor, one after another from top to bottom, with a fraction of a second between. The floors blew to pieces, individual floors, one after the other, exploding outward.” He said, “Oh my God, they’re going to bring the building down, and they, whoever they are, had set charges. I saw the explosions.”

BONNIE FAULKNER: I’m Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns & Butter, Dr. David Ray Griffin. Today’s show, Explosive Testimony – The 9/11 Oral Histories. David Ray Griffin is author of The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11, and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, in addition to over 25 other books.

On August 12th, 2005, as the result of a lawsuit brought by the New York Times and several families of 9/11 victims, the New York Court of Appeals ordered the city to release hundreds of oral histories of 9/11 witnesses. These witness testimonies were originally gathered shortly after September 11th on the order of Thomas Von Essen, the City Fire Commissioner, who said he wanted to preserve these accounts before they became reshaped by a collective memory.

In these oral histories, firefighters and emergency medical workers recounted their experiences of that day. The New York Fire Department recorded over 500 oral histories, which Mayor Bloomberg’s administration then refused to release.

BONNIE FAULKNER: David Ray Griffin, welcome.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: Good to be with you, Bonnie.

BONNIE FAULKNER: David, you’ve written several lengthy articles recently regarding the events of September 11th. In your research, is the physical evidence from the collapses of the World Trade Center consistent with the official explanation that they occurred solely because of damage to the buildings caused by the plane impacts combined with the fires that occurred when the jet fuel exploded?

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: I just read an article this morning that somebody was sending around the internet, saying that, how the Bush Administration has been repealing all sorts laws since 9/11, and that they’ve also repealed the Laws of Physics. So, with the new Laws of Physics promulgated by the Bush Administration, it may be that the collapses were consistent with the Laws of Physics. But, if you accept the old-fashioned Laws of Physics that have been worked out from Newton through the Twentieth Century, well no, the collapses completely contradict everything we know.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You have written that shortly after 9/11 the New York Fire Department recorded over 500 oral histories, in which firefighters and emergency medical workers recounted their experiences of that day. You also go on to say that Mayor Bloomberg’s administration, however, refused to release them. But that, then, the New York Times, joined by several families of 9/11 victims, filed suit. And after a long process, the New York Court of Appeals ordered the city to release them, which it did in August of 2005. And then the Times, of course, made these oral histories public. I hadn’t heard much of anything about these oral histories.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: Surprise, surprise. You mean Fox News has not reported them? What a shock. You mean NBC News and CBS and ABC have not reported them?

BONNIE FAULKNER: Exactly. And I’ve been involved in this for years and I only had the vaguest recollections of their existence. Could you talk about those oral histories?

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: Yeah. And also I think you have read the 9/11 Commission Report. And again, even though they had 571 pages, they didn’t have a single sentence to spare to mention these oral histories. And in this case we know that they had access to them, because the City of New York had initially turned down the Commission when it requested copies. And then the Commission threatened to use its subpoena power – one of the few times it did – and they turned them over. So at least some members of the 9/11 Commission had access to these, and yet nobody saw fit to mention them. And it’s no surprise that they didn’t because, of course you and I and many of our listeners know that the 9/11 Commission was devoted solely to protecting and reinforcing the official story under the guidance of Philip Zelikow who was essentially a member of the 9/11 Commission. And we could go on and on about that for some time. So this is no surprise. But when you look at these oral histories, you see that they did not want the public to know that these oral histories not only were published now but were available on a New York Times website so any citizen can go on and find these and read them for themselves. And in my paper, which anybody can Google by just going on Google Explosive Testimony and you’ll find my paper on this and you can just read all the ones that I had listed out. I could read a few of them now if you’d like.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Yes. And just before you do that, who was it that ordered these oral histories? Weren’t these ordered on the day of September 11th? They were requested.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: You mean who had the oral histories recorded?

BONNIE FAULKNER: Yes.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: Yeah. That was the outgoing head, I believe, of the New York Fire Commission. Yes. It was Thomas Von Essen the City Fire Commissioner at that time and these were recorded during December of 2001 and then January. So they were at a time when the memories were still pretty fresh and that’s what he wanted. He said he wanted to preserve those accounts before they became reshaped by a collective memory. So we’re very indebted to Thomas Von Essen.

BONNIE FAULKNER: That’s right. That’s what I had thought. He wanted those recorded specifically so that the memories were fresh in peoples mind and they were not going to be rewritten by a later collective memory. Now there were some dramatic, I was amazed, some very dramatic testimony from at least 500 people who were present on September 11th. Their experiences, what they saw, what they heard, what they felt, and a lot of it was extremely dramatic. Could you talk about a few of those testimonies?

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: Sure. So the fire department is made up actually of firefighters and emergency medical workers so I’ve got a combination of these. One Medical Technician Michael Ober said, “We heard a rumble. We looked up. It looked to me just like an explosion. It didn’t look like the building was coming down. It looked like just one floor had blown completely outside of it.” Now that’s important because the official story says that when you get these horizontal ejections from the building with dust and other things being blown out. That’s because the floor collapsed and blew it out. But he says no. He saw this explosion before there was any sign the building was coming down. And this was backed up by Fire Chief Frank Cruthers who said, “There was what appeared to be first an explosion. It appeared at the very top, simultaneously from all four sides. Material shot out horizontally. And then there seemed to be a momentary delay before you could see the beginning of the collapse.” Then there are other things particularly important because Mark Loizeaux who is the head of Control Demolition, one of the top demolition companies in the world. He said, “If I were going to bring down the towers I would begin with explosions in the basements to take out some of those columns and that would mean there would be shaking of the ground prior to the collapse.” And Medical Technician Lonnie Penn says that, “Just before the collapse of the South Tower, I felt the ground shake. I turned round and ran for my life. I made it as far as the Financial Center when the collapse happened.” So the shake obviously occurred several seconds before the building started coming down. And several other people gave supporting testimony to that. Likewise you get several people who report multiple explosions. So Firefighter Thomas Turilli said about the South Tower, “It almost sounded like bombs going off. Like ‘Boom, boom, boom.’ Like seven or eight.” Another Firefighter Craig Carlsen said “It seemed like it took forever, but there were about 10 explosions.” Joseph Meola , another firefighter, said it looked like the building was blowing out on all four sides. We actually heard the pops. Didn’t realize it was falling, you know? You heard the pops of the building. You just thought it was blowing out.” And then, Paramedic Daniel Rivera , he was asked “How did you know the South Tower was coming down?” He said “It was that noise.” “What noise?” He said “It was a frigging noise. At first I thought it was… Did you ever see professional demolition, where they set the charges on certain floors, and then you hear ‘pop, pop, pop, pop, pop?’ That’s exactly what I heard.”

BONNIE FAULKNER: David, here is another one in your article from Captain Karin Deshore. She said “Somewhere around the middle, there was this orange and red flash coming out. Initially, it was just one flash. Then this flash just kept popping all the way around the building, and that building had started to explode. With each popping sound, it was initially an orange, and then a red flash came out of the building, and then it would just go all around the building on both sides, as far as I could see. These popping sounds and the explosions were getting bigger, going both up and down, and then all around the building.”

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: That’s right. And her testimony is very important, because when you read through the various oral histories, people are telling what happened for hours that day. And you find out that she was a highly respected member of the force, and so her testimony is particularly important. And that supports one of these other features of controlled demolition, which is “demolition rings.” That is where you see explosions running around the building very quickly. So you gave that, then Firefighter Richard Banaciski said “There was an explosion. It seemed like on television when they blow up these buildings. It seemed like it was going all the way around like a belt, all these explosions.” Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fitzpatrick said about the South Tower, “All we saw was a puff of smoke coming from about two-thirds of the way up. It looked like sparkling around one specific layer of the building. My reaction was that it was exactly the way it looks when they show you those implosions on TV.”

BONNIE FAULKNER: You have listed in your articles, when you talk about the multiple evidence of controlled demolition, and that the oral histories, the oral testimonies of those present, included 10 elements or aspects of a controlled demolition. And I wanted to sort of list them, and I thought we could talk about them, to make it clearer to listeners as to just exactly what we’re talking about. Now, these are characteristics of a controlled demolition that were reported on September 11th: sudden onset, straight down, almost free fall speed…

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: Let me go ahead and comment. The sudden onset is so important, because the official theory being that fire heated up the steel and made it buckle. Well, if fire were heating up steel, the steel would gradually begin to sag. And yet, when you look at the videos, which are on multiple sites on the Internet, you can see these collapses of Twin Towers and Building 7, and you see they’re perfectly still, motionless, and then all of a sudden, pow, they start. There’s no bending of the steel, no sagging. It’s a very sudden onset. [music]

BONNIE FAULKNER: I’m speaking with Author and Theologian, Doctor David Ray Griffin. Today’s show, “Explosive Testimony: The 9/11 Oral Histories.” I’m Bonnie Faulkner. This is Guns and Butter. [music fades] And then the next characteristic you mentioned is “straight down.”

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: Yeah, completely vertical. Now, that doesn’t mean they completely fall into their own footprint. Now, that was true of Building 7. It was a really classic example of implosion, which starts at the bottom. But with the Twin Towers, the collapse had to start near the top, where the airplanes hit, because that was going to be the story, that the hole created by the airplanes, then weakened, and weakened that floor, and some floors above it collapsed and came down. So, it couldn’t quite be a classical implosion, but it still was an implosion in that the building came down, rather than falling over. Now, one thing to know about this is that, as Mark Loizeaux says, “These things don’t just happen. They have to be precisely planned.” He’s talking about when he’s bringing down a building. And, he would study it for weeks and decide exactly where the explosives had to be planted, and so on. And the whole purpose of implosion, the kind of controlled demolition known as implosion, is to bring the building straight down. The easier kind of controlled demolition is just to knock the building over. Now, you can do that if it’s out in the desert [laugh] with no other buildings around it. But, in downtown Manhattan, if these 110 story towers had toppled over, you would’ve had I don’t know how many hundreds of buildings destroyed, how many billions of dollars, how many tens of thousands of people killed. So, it was very important that the buildings come straight down. There was no way that hijackers, even if they had been able to sneak in there and put a few bombs in the building, would’ve had that kind of expertise. A Website called “ImplosionWorld.com”, you can go on there and see. They say only a few companies in the world have the expertise to do traditional implosion. And, certainly very few people would have the expertise to do an implosion with something as huge as the Twin Towers. So, that’s very important that they came straight down. Not entirely I say with the towers into their own foot print, because another feature here was that, as I said, things were ejected out of the floors and aluminum and even steel beams from the building were ejected out several hundred feet. So, this had to be a massive explosive used, with great power, with horizontal power, whereas the gravitational power that the official theory talks about, would be vertical. And, so you did get debris spewed over an area of several blocks. But, for the most part, the towers, like Building 7, came straight down.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You also mention another characteristic that people witnessed, that is a characteristic of a controlled demolition, and that is the almost free fall speed of the collapse.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: That’s right. Let’s say that we accepted the official theory, which is that the collapse began with the floor right above where the airplanes created a hole in the building. Well, then, those floors would have fallen down on the floor below them. Well, you still would’ve had eighty or ninety floors below that with all their steel, all their concrete, they’re going to give resistance. I mean, even if it were conceivable that they could’ve collapsed, had a total collapse, which is not conceivable, but we’ll pretend it is, then there would have been delays. And yet these buildings came down at virtually free fall speed. If you had thrown a brick off the top of the World Trade Center, it would’ve been roughly ten seconds (until it struck the ground) and that’s roughly the speed at which these came down. People say anywhere from eight, to twelve or thirteen seconds. Anywhere in there is virtually free fall speed. And, you can see it on the videos because you can see that the things that were ejected out sideways, so they’re not being resisted by anything except the air, they’re falling at virtually the same speed as the material within the foot print which should be at least slowed down by all those floors of steel and concrete below them, but they’re not. So, that is just, it is just absolute proof, this is controlled demolition. There is simply no other way the buildings could’ve been brought down in that fashion.

BONNIE FAULKNER: That’s right. The building itself, falling into itself is falling at the same speed as the debris that’s spewing out. So, that’s a very good point.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: That’s right, and so this is one of the Laws of Physics that would have to be overturned and fortunately, evidently, the Bush administration has it in with the Almighty and could change the Laws of Physics, at least on 9/11. And, so steel could fall down through steel and concrete at free fall speed just as if it were falling through the air.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Another characteristic that you point out in the oral testimonies that coincides with a controlled demolition is total collapse.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: Yeah, each one of these is, by itself, a proof. And when you have eleven characteristics, as I think I gave in that paper, then you realize that if no one of them could have occurred according to the official theory, all the more could not all eleven of them occurred. And this by total collapse, it means that these 110 story towers and the 47 story World Trade Center Building 7, collapsed into a pile of rubble only a few stories high. Now, why that’s so important, because as I indicated, each tower had 47 massive steel columns constituting the core of the tower. So even if the “Pancake Theory” could be accepted, which was that the floors broke loose from the perimeter and the core columns. And then you could imagine that the concrete would have pulverized into tiny dust particles [laughs] when it fell down, you would still have these massive columns sticking up into the air. And of course not all singly but they were tied together by steel beams and trusses. So you would have had this center fixture sticking up at least 1000 feet into the air. And yet it collapses into a pile of rubble a few stories high. The only way that is possible, the only way, is through the way it is always done. You take a particular kind of explosive, or maybe several kinds. Steven Jones, in his now well known paper, a physicist from BYU, suggests thermite and maybe thermate, a variation of it, and maybe some other kinds of explosives used. And that’s what these things do, they slice the steel. I have a quote in my paper by a guy who knows about, a spokesperson for RDX, a certain kind of explosive, and he says this stuff slices through steel the way a razor blade slices through a tomato. And once you realize that that’s the way it normally happens, you look at these buildings, you see the tiny little pile of rubble, and you say there is no other way it could have happened. Because even if the steel columns had somehow failed, they wouldn’t have broken into rather small pieces. Jim Hoffman has said, looking at the evidence, it seems like that most of the steel columns were broken into pieces no more than 50 feet long. A lot of them about 30 feet long. In other words, about the size ready to be loaded onto trucks. And of course, that’s what happened to the steel. It was immediately loaded onto trucks, sold to scrap dealers, and put on ships to Asia to be melted down. Rather than given to some scientific committee to study the steel. And which they could have looked at it and say, “Well let’s see if explosives were used, there would be telltale marks on the steel.” So, you can see a motive for why Federal Officials oversaw the removal of the steel when usually the removal of anything, even a matchbook, from a crime scene is considered a Federal Offense.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You’ve just mentioned the sliced steel which is another one of the characteristics of a controlled demolition. You also mention in your paper as an aside that FEMA had noted that the few pieces of steel, that they did see, had evidence of sulfidation, which is also characteristic of explosives. Isn’t that right?

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: That’s right. The first investigation that was carried out had some signs of honesty in it. This was overseen by FEMA but the actual investigation was ASCE, the American Society of Civil Engineers. And so, they reported, honestly, some startling facts, and this was one of them. That there was some sulfidation. And that is significant because that’s the trace that explosives would leave. But by the time you get to the 9/11 Commission Report, of course, there is no mention of that. And then when you get to the NIST report, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the final report which is supposed to be the definitive report, they do not mention this sulfidation. And don’t mention some other things that were discovered as well. Even the New York Times came out with a story on this and said, “This seems to be the deepest mystery, that this steel has these characteristics.” They didn’t say characteristics that are usually found on steel that is affected by explosives, but they did admit that it was a great mystery because you have to know a priori that of course explosives were not used, and therefore if it had sulfidation, that would be a huge mystery.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You also mentioned pulverization of concrete and other materials as another characteristic of a demolition.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: Yeah, and in a lot of demolitions this is not a big factor. You usually get significant dust cloud, and as I mentioned in the paper, there are places on the internet where you can see videos of say the Seattle Kingdome and other buildings that have been brought down, you can see that normally there’s a pretty good sized dust cloud, but still you have a lot of rubble at the end of the implosion. But in this case, and you can see that it would make sense, these buildings were so huge, and there was so much steel in them, and these core columns were so huge most of the way up, that it would have taken massive explosions compared with your ordinary demolition of say a fifteen story building, or something like that. And as a result, there is nothing left at the end of these except steel and dust, for the most part. So you have, in other words, no desks, no computers [laughs], nothing in the rubble to show that this was an office building. You just have dust, so everything was pulverized. Jim Hoffman suggests that it was dust particles of maybe about ten microns, in other words, extremely tiny. There’s just no way that gravitational collapse or fire plus gravity could have done this to all the concrete.

BONNIE FAULKNER: And of course you also cite the massive dust clouds, which you’ve just mentioned, as another characteristic. You also mentioned the horizontal ejections of the materials as the buildings came down.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: Yeah, and I tell you, that is something you can see on the videos, and you really have to see it on the videos or in some very good photographs, like you can get in Eric Hufschmid’s book Painful Questions . He’s got great photographs, and you can see, as Jim Hoffman says, that these ejections included steel and aluminum going out for several hundred feet, and until you see that, you can’t imagine how impressive that is. And then once you have seen it, you say: “Well, there’s no way that could have been done, except by explosions.” And again, many of the testimonies say that they saw the ejections first, and then the building came down. And in the NIST Report, again, to show how dishonest it is, they say “Well sure there were ejections, but these occurred below the area of impact. When the floors were pancaking down, of course that collapsed the air and pushed the air and other things out the windows.” But, as Hoffman and many others point out, the ejections start at the very top of building, above the level of impact, so even if you accepted that official theory, you would have no explanation for the horizontal ejections in the floors above because, by hypothesis, those floors were collapsing as a solid block. There was no reason they would have disintegrated, or no reason any of the floors above the area of impact would have been falling on the floors below them, so why have horizontal ejections there, and yet there are – very visibly. [Music]

BONNIE FAULKNER: I’m speaking with author and theologian Dr. David Ray Griffin. Today’s show: Explosive Testimony – The 9/11 Oral Histories. I’m Bonnie Faulkner. This is Guns and Butter. You talk about demolition rings. What are demolition rings?

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: Oh, those are those things we were talking about before with Karin Deshore. What you do with controlled demolition, you don’t have to collapse every floor. If you’re slicing these steel columns into pieces about thirty feet long, the biggest explosions have to be where you want that to happen, and so there would be a ring of explosions running clear around the building, because you’ve got those perimeter columns, too, two hundred and some of those. So her testimony is very dramatic in that it’s backed up by several other people who say “we saw…”. They didn’t say “demolition rings,” but they described the phenomena which are consistent with demolition rings.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Yes. You talk about the sights and the sounds produced by these explosions – that the witnesses see flashes or demolition rings. And, in fact, we’ve been talking about the evidence of controlled demolition in the…well, I guess they were published in August of 2005. The 500 eyewitness accounts. But in fact, there were much earlier eyewitness testimony, not as voluminous, but that did make it out into the press a little bit with regard to the sight and sounds produced by these explosions. And you talk about early witness testimony by a janitor in the World Trade Center, William Rodriguez. Also, there’s an engineer, Mike Pecararo. Firefighter Louie Cacchioli.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: That’s right. We don’t want to ignore these early testimonies because now they have been supported and confirmed by the later testimonies. So like you say, William Rodriguez who was declared a national hero, because he helped several people escape from the North Tower, but now he cannot get a hearing. Even though he was invited to the White House as a national hero, now he cannot get on television. He went to NIST to testify, and he said they just stared at him when he was telling them. And what he was telling them was that he was down in one of the higher sub-basements. I think, I don’t remember if it was exactly the second basement or something like that. And a bunch of them were in the room there. And he heard these explosions, felt them, from the floor below. And then a fellow worker, Felipe David, came in with skin hanging off of his body. And what he said was that he was standing near the elevator and this huge ball of fire came up from below and set him on fire. And then that’s consistent… You mention Mike Pecararo …he said he was down on the C level in the basement, where there was a small machine shop, and when he came there there was nothing but rubble. And he says were talking about a 50 ton hydraulic press gone. Then he went up to the D level and they found a steel and concrete fire door which had weighed 300 pounds wrinkled up like a piece of aluminum foil. So anybody who wants to support the official story either has to call these people liars or explain how the airplane crashing into one of the 80th or 90th floor(s), somewhere up there, could have caused these kinds of effects in the basements. Another testimony is by Dennis Tardio. He was a fire captain. And he says, “I hear an explosion. I look up. It is as if the building is being imploded from the top floor down. One after another. Boom. Boom. Boom.” And then Louie Cacchioli says that when he came in to the North Tower he saw the elevator doors had been completely blown out and people being hit with debris. Well some people try to explain this by saying the fuel came down the elevator shafts and created a big fireball down there. That that’s why the lobby was so destroyed. But then he says he went up to the 24th floor, so this would have been several minutes later by the time he got up there, and he says he and another fireman heard this huge explosion that sounded like a bomb which knocked off the lights and stalled the elevator. And then after they got out of the elevator, a huge, another huge explosion like the first one hits, this one hits about two minutes later. And I’m thinking, “Oh my God, these bastards put bombs in here like they did in 1993.” And then Teresa Veliz, she had been working in a software development company on the 47th floor and after the whole building shook she decided she’d better get out of there and while she was going downstairs she says “There were explosions going off everywhere. I was convinced that there were bombs planted all over the place. And someone was sitting at a control panel pushing detonator buttons. There was another explosion and another. I didn’t know where to run.” And we have testimonies from journalists like Steve Evans from the BBC says “I was at the base of the second tower that was hit. There was an explosion. The base of the building shook. Then there was a series of explosions.” Sue Keane, who used to be a Sergeant in the US Army and then was a member of the New Jersey Fire – Police Department, said that before the North Tower collapsed she says, “There was another explosion that sent me and two firefighters down the stairs. I can’t tell you how many times I got banged around. Each one of those explosions picked me up and threw me. There was another explosion and I got thrown with two firefighters out onto the street.” Anybody can tell that there’s no way any that ordinary fires or the reverberations from the airplanes could have caused those kinds of phenomena. We even have Wall Street reporters who gave amazing testimony, John Bussey said he was on the ninth floor of the Wall Street Journal office building. He said, “I looked out of the window to see what seemed like perfectly synchronized explosions coming from each floor, one after another, from top to bottom, with a fraction of a second between. The floors blew to pieces.” Another Wall Street Journal reporter said that after he had seen what appeared to be individual floors, one after the other exploding outward. He said, “Oh my God! They’re going to bring the building down and they, whoever they are had set charges. I saw the explosions.” Well they just go on and on and on.

BONNIE FAULKNER: It’s amazing. And why haven’t we heard of these accounts by firefighters and medical responders long before now?

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: People in charge did not want you to hear these things [laughs] obviously. Louie Cacchioli tried to go to the… he went to the 9/11 Commission, not to a public session of course. No firefighters were invited to testify in public. Even though everybody praised them to high heaven and said how great they were and of course they were the ones who lost the most people so we’re so sorry for them and grateful. But not grateful enough to invite them to testify [laughs] in open session to the 9/11 Commission with TV cameras running. So Louie Cacchioli was invited to talk to a few staff members of the Commission behind closed doors. And Sibel Edmonds testified. She testified for, I believe, three and a half hours and (said) that she was convinced everything that was said behind closed doors would stay behind closed doors – even better than staying in Las Vegas. That was the same thing with Louie. He said he went in and he tried to tell them what he had experienced. They just started really trashing him and discounting his… and really suggesting he didn’t know what he was talking about and he finally just got mad and left.

BONNIE FAULKNER: So then the 9/11 Commission did have access to these oral histories?

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: Of course! They could have subpoenaed all these firefighters, all these medical workers and yes, they did have at least some members of the staff – we don’t know who saw them but somebody saw them – and they did not make their way into the final report. I mean even the existence of them is not mentioned, just as the existence of the collapse of Building 7 is not mentioned, just as the testimony of Norman Mineta about the time that Cheney went down to the underground bunker, to get to another part of this big story (that) is not mentioned. And of course, that’s the title of my book, “The 9/11 Commission: Omissions and Distortions.” They omit just about everything that is relevant to understanding what really happened that day.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Now these 500 oral histories, testimonies taken on that day, these were only made public because of a lawsuit brought by the New York Times isn’t that correct?

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: That’s right. It went through the lower courts in the State of New York and everybody turned them down, that is sided with the City of New York. But finally, the highest court in New York; The New York State Court of Appeals said, “No. You must release these. This is public information. Obviously this was compiled the time of the fire department. That’s public money. So of course this has to be made public.” So the New York Times got a hold of them and then they did their duty. They made them accessible on their website. But, that was the end of it. They never let anybody write a story or at least never published any story that would tell the readers that these kinds of things were in these oral histories.

BONNIE FAULKNER: So then these weren’t published in the paper itself, just posted on the website.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: That’s right, the stories in the paper would tell you, oh, that there were communication problems, they’d tell some things that were somewhat embarrassing to officials but nothing that would suggest that there was criminal conspiracy here to cover up crime. So they know very clearly where to draw the line on what can be revealed and what cannot.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Now, in addition to the mainstream press failing to report some of these statements, isn’t it also true that many of the firefighters and the others were afraid to speak out because they were afraid of losing their jobs?

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: We have this testimony from an alternative fireman named Paul Isaac who has said that lots of people in the fire department know that there were bombs in the buildings and that explosions brought the building down, but they are afraid to talk because they’ve been told by their higher-ups not to talk. So, you can understand these people who are just barely getting by, have families to support, if they’re threatened with the loss of their job. It’s understandable they’re not going to speak out, particularly when there is nobody asking them to speak out. The New York Times isn’t going to them and saying “here, we would really like to hear your story”, and there’s no special prosecutor, there is no congressional committee saying we really want to, you know, we’ve heard that there were explosions in the building, we want to get your direct testimony and make sure that what you said in your oral history is supportable – nobody asking them to go under lie detector tests, nobody saying that we’ll take your testimony and give you anonymity so that you won’t lose your job or that we’ll give you immunity or we’ll give you another job. Nobody wants them to testify, nobody in the official world. So one can understand why they, uh, and even if they go try to try to speak out publicly they can’t do it. I mean Willie Rodgriguez has been trying to do it, and Paul Isaac was, and Louie Catchioli, but you can’t just call up your local TV station or your NBC affiliate and say, “Here, put my testimony on the air.” So there’s no way these people can get these stories out in public to more than a few million people who read these kinds of things on the internet or listen to alternative radio or read books about this.

BONNIE FAULKNER: David, we’ve heard a lot in the past about foreknowledge of the attacks, government foreknowledge of the attacks. But in fact, there was foreknowledge of the collapses. In your papers, you have mentioned the fact that Mayor Rudy Giuliani on ABC news said, “We were told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse” and it did collapse. You also went on to say that at least four of the recently released oral histories indicate that shortly before the collapse of the South Tower, the Office of Emergency Management had predicted the collapse of at least one tower. The director of this office reported directly to Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: That’s right, and here’s another not only under reported but unreported story, ’cause this is just again by itself undermines the official story because put yourself back in that situation, never before in our universe, on our planet, has a steel frame high rise building been brought down by fire or fire combined with some sort of external injury such as from an airplane. So you would have no reason whatsoever to think [laughs] that an hour after the South Tower had been hit it was going to collapse. Nobody except people who had prior knowledge would have thought that, and so you had all these fireman going up there and reaching about the 78th floor and reporting that there were no big fires there they they said oh, well you got, a little, a couple little pockets of fire here just give us a little help here and we can knock these down. Other people have testified the fires were not very big, and that’s right at the area of impact so that’s where the fire should have been the biggest. So there was no reason in the world even if you thought a huge fire could start a collapse, there would have been no reason to think….so Giuliani saying somebody told me that the towers were going to collapse and in this case that would have meant the South Tower first, that’s unbelievable. There would be no reason in the world anybody would have thought that. These buildings were perfectly stable. It had been an hour since the airplanes had hit, the fires were burning down, were just about burnt out. And yet suddenly somebody tells him they’re going to collapse.

BONNIE FAULKNER: [music in background] I’m speaking with author and Theologian Dr. David Ray Griffin. Todays show, Explosive Testimony, the 9/11 Oral Histories. I’m Bonnie Faulkner. This is Guns and Butter. [music fades out] And also with regard to Building 7, apparently there was also foreknowledge that Building 7 was going to collapse. It collapsed similarly but was it never hit by a plane. How could that happen? Indira Singh, a medical first responder said on my program that they knew World Trade Center 7 was going to fall hours before it did and that they had to move the rescue stations away to a safe distance. How could anyone know ahead of time that the building would collapse? It had just a few small fires in it.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: That’s right. There are people who have testified that it had lots of fires in it. But isn’t it amazing that with all the photographers and television cameras that would have been on the site that afternoon, not a one of them captured all of these fires. And then we’re told, oh there was a lot of damage to the face of it, to the south side. And nobody captured any of that. I mean these would have been magnificent photos that could have won prizes, and yet nobody bothered. So, you see that it’s not very credible. In any case, even if there had been enormous fires in Building 7, even if there had been great structural damage to the face of it, facing the World Trade Center Towers, you could not explain the collapse, straight down, almost free fall speed, less than 7 seconds. Forty-seven story building going straight down and collapsing into a pile of rubble. The very tiny pile of rubble, folding over perfectly just like a perfect controlled implosion. And yes, the advanced knowledge of this one is truly extraordinary, because it seems like about noon, the firefighters were pulled out of there and just stood around all afternoon waiting for the building to come down. So everybody down there knew, or were told that Building 7 was going to collapse. And then, at, finally at 5:20, it did. It was truly amazing, and again there would have been no reason because even if people thought, well let’s see, the Twin Towers collapsed because they were hit by airplanes and then the fires brought them down. Nobody would have thought, well, building 7’s going to collapse too, because it was hit, oh no it wasn’t hit by a plane, and it’s only got a few fires in it. I quote this one fellow as saying “I think there were fires on just three floors.” He was a medical worker, and then here are the firefighters standing around and he says “Are you guys going to put that fire out?”. And another guy says, this is just amazing, this was a fireman, so here are the fireman standing around and he says “There are fires in that building” and they say “we know”. So he says its just amazing, they’re just standing around waiting for the building to collapse. And the important thing here is that it was the same office, it was Giuliani’s own office, that was supposedly the source of the information that the towers were going to come down. That same office is the source of the information that World Trade Center 7 was going to come down.

BONNIE FAULKNER: The Office of Emergency Management.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: Right.

BONNIE FAULKNER: That is, yes. That reported directly to Giuliani.

David: That’s right. So people should pay attention to this because it looks like this guy may be running for President. Do you want your next President also to be somebody who is involved in the conspiracy of 9/11?

BONNIE FAULKNER: Could you say a few words about other suspicious facts. Could you talk about the World Trade Center security.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: Well yeah, this is a big question. How could have anybody gotten in there to set these explosives? It would take many, many hours. As I said, Mark Loizeaux, head of Controlled Demolition said “This has to be done very carefully, planned very carefully and then the explosives have to be put in exactly the right places. They have to be set, wired in such a way that they go off in precisely the right order.” You can’t have the wrong-floor explosives go off first, so it would take quite a while. Al Qaeda terrorists, I say, could not have gotten in there and gotten to the floors, gotten to the secure areas to do this. But just by the strangest coincidence – another coincidence never mentioned in your mainstream press – the company that was in charge of security for the World Trade Center had two very interesting principal figures. One member of the Board was Marvin Bush, the President’s brother, and then Wirt Walker the third, their cousin, was the CEO for that company during the period of 9/11. He remained for several months afterwards. So we do have a hypothesis as to how people representing the Federal Government could have gotten into the buildings to plant the explosives.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You mentioned in your paper you quote Scott Forbes of Fiduciary Trust, which was one of the companies in one of the World Trade Center towers: “On the weekend of September 8th and 9th, 2001, there was a quote ‘power down condition’ in the South Tower. This power down condition meant that there was no electrical supply for approximately 36 hours from Floor 50 up. The reason given by the World Trade Center for the power down was that cabling in the Tower was being upgraded. Of course, without power, there were no security cameras, no security locks on doors, while many, many engineers were coming in and out of the Tower.” You also quote another person – Ben Fountain, a financial analyst with Firemen’s Fund, in the South Tower. You mentioned that he was quoted in People’s Magazine during the weeks before 9/11, that the towers were evacuated “a number of times.”

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: This is one more example that, the deeper you look into this, and look at the various evidence, and test the two hypotheses – because that’s what we’re doing here – people need to approach this with some sort of scientific state of mind and say, “OK, we’ve got two hypotheses: One is the official theory that it was Al Qaeda that brought the buildings down. And they did it solely by crashing airplanes into the buildings, which they knew would cause fires, and that’s what happened. And then you’ve got all this evidence that doesn’t fit that. You’ve got all the evidence of the testimonies of explosions. You’ve got these 11 features of controlled implosion that occur in all three of these buildings, and cannot be explained without the use of explosives. You’ve got the fact that the steel was immediately whisked away. You’ve got the fact we haven’t even gotten to, that there is molten steel under the buildings. And when the beams were pulled up, some witnesses reported that the ends of the steel were dripping molten metal, which is precisely what would happen if they had been sliced by explosives.” So all of the data, all of the phenomena relevant to asking the question of what happened – all of them fit this theory that the buildings were brought down by explosives. None of the phenomena support the Official Theory. The only thing the Official Theory has going for it is that it’s the Official Theory, and that many people desperately want to believe it because they do not want to believe that our own Government would have done such a heinous thing. Or they convince themselves that if such a thing had happened, somebody would have talked, it couldn’t have remained silent. And so they use some a priori reason to say, “Oh, it couldn’t be that. The official story has to be true. And I can’t explain all the data. So you’ve got all these data, but I’m not going to pay attention to them because that would just be too ugly.” But if you’re going to not look at it in an emotional way, and just look at the facts, all these facts support the Alternative Theory. None of the facts support the Official Theory. And what you have cited is just one more example of that – that there is an explanation of how explosives could have been set, because we know that two members of the Bush Family were in charge of the company that was in charge of security, and we know from testimonies that there was a power down situation there, and so called, you remember he put engineers in quote marks – said these so called “engineers” were coming in and out of the building.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You also mentioned that, in your conclusion to that, foreigners could not have orchestrated a cover-up, and you mention – you cite the quick disposal of the steel, the FEMA Report, the 9/11 Commission Report, the NIST Report, that all of the cover up had to be orchestrated within our government.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: That’s right. It couldn’t have been Controlled Demolition, Inc., or it couldn’t have been just the City of New York who did this, or it couldn’t have been just Larry Silverstein who was going to make billions of dollars off of this. No, it had to be something orchestrated, with the FBI involved, with the Justice Department involved. So it is very frightening to think that our government has been taken over by a criminal class, and I don’t blame people for not wanting to believe it. But we’ve got to face facts and get this gang of criminals stopped before they undermine any more laws. And undermine any more civil rights of our people, and attack any more countries, and on, and on, and on. So that’s why I’m devoted to this story, because it’s not just a matter of getting to the truth, but it’s a matter of getting to the truth and getting it publicly exposed in time to prevent these criminals from continuing to ravage our country and our planet.

BONNIE FAULKNER: David Ray Griffin, thank you very much.

DR. DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: You’re very welcome, Bonnie.

[Music plays, then fades into the background as Bonnie starts speaking]

BONNIE FAULKNER: I’ve been speaking with author and theologian Dr. David Ray Griffin. Today’s show has been “Explosive Testimony: The 9/11 Oral Histories.” David Ray Griffin has recently written three lengthy articles on the events of September 11, 2001. These articles are posted on the internet at http://www.911truth.org, and other websites. David Ray Griffin retired from the Claremont School of Theology after 31 years as professor of Theology and Philosophy of Religion. He is author of over twenty-five books, including The New Pearl Harbor, and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. David Ray Griffin’s books are available online at Amazon.com. Thanks to Todd Fletcher for helping to produce today’s show. Guns and Butter is edited and produced by Yarrow Mahko and me, Bonnie Faulkner.  To leave comments, or order copies of this show, call (510) 848-6767 extension 628. Email us at blfaulkner@yahoo.com.

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The 9/11 Oral Histories

Explosive Testimony: Revelations about the Twin Towers in the 9/11 Oral Histories by David Ray Griffin

What Bomb? What Testimony?

October 6, 2008

Scare Tactics

Filed under: Uncategorized — digitaljustice @ 6:00 pm

by Mumia Abu Jamal

October 4, 2008

Using individual tales of fallen 401Ks or of a few firings, they successfully insinuated that unless “the bailout” passed, YOU might lose your job or YOUR 401K might turn to dust. They ran the banner headlines of the drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and scared legislators into flipping their prior “No” votes into “Yea” votes.

Here’s the deal: What we’ve seen from both major political parties is the greatest transfer of public wealth into private hands in history. Indeed, it is privatization run amuck. It is a bailout, pure and simple, that the media and its masters want you to call a rescue.

But who is rescued? You? Come on. Does the government that facilitated the loss of millions of jobs, that scuttled public education, that gave away the U.S. economy to Wall Street bankers, that sold you a long war based on lies, that allowed millions of homeowners to fall into foreclosure, give a damn about you? A government that cared about its people wouldn’t have led them to this disaster.

Think of it this way: The same government that fought for months to privatize Social security, or in other words, to invest people’s retirement money into stocks, came up with THIS “bail out” plan. If the government was successful, some 40 million people, or those over 65 would have been flat broke. What they couldn’t do one way, they did another. For the economic hole that another trillion dollars will blow into the deficit spells danger to this project.

If you elect a government based on political rhetoric’s of anti-government, of deregulation, of “the blind hand of the market,” you get economic carnage, crony capitalism and misery for millions. In a nutshell: You get what you vote for.

From Death Row, this is Mumia Abu Jamal.

These commentaries are produced by Noelle Hanrahan for Prison radio.

September 17, 2008

Silent Riots on Wall St.

Filed under: Uncategorized — digitaljustice @ 10:13 pm

by Mumia Abu Jamal

September 17, 2008

With the fall of Lehman Brothers holdings, a major American financial securities firm, the other shoe hits the floor. For this is but the latest in a string of failures in the wheels of fortune and fate that is “the business game.”

What forced Lehman’s hand is the government’s denial of another bailout bid, public monies for private businesses, the latest proof that deregulation was a neo-conservative Reaganite pipe-dream that actually meant access for the rich and a squeeze for the poor and working class. Isn’t it ironic that the advocates of free trade, those who yelled loudest for free markets, have bellied-up to the bar to cover the tabs of Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These, we were told, were too big to fail.

Lehman Brothers apparently wasn’t big enough. So, unable to cover its debts, Lehman files for bankruptcy after one hundred and fifty eight years as a powerhouse. Wouldn’t it be nice if this same government that bailed out Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bailed you out? No such luck.

For several years ago Congress passed a repressive, restrictive, bankruptcy bill that made it harder for people to discharge their debts. Guess who one of the biggest supporters of the new bankruptcy bill was? None other than Delaware Senator and Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden. Biden was so chummy with the “big bank” types who supported the bill, that he was called “Senator Mastercard.” The same government that made bankruptcy so hard for regular folks, bailed out multi-billion dollar businesses with a drop of a hat.

A leading financial analyst recently asked: “Where is the outrage for this plundering of public funds?” He couldn’t understand the silence. Perhaps much of it can be attributed to the warped media that keeps people hypnotized by trivia and inanities. For those who claim to be conservatives and idealogically anti-socialist, how could they not protest this socialized protection of private wealth and corporate risk with public monies? The silence is deafening.

From Death Row, this is Mumia Abu Jamal.

These commentaries are produced by Noel Hanrahan for Prison Radio.

You can listen to this commentary here.

On a move.

August 8, 2008

A Candle for Tibet

Filed under: Uncategorized — digitaljustice @ 12:07 am

9 o'clock (med).jpg

Taken at 9 o’clock

Games Over
Free Tibet

In solidarity with A Candle for Tibet!

August 7, 2008

Dog Years

Filed under: Uncategorized — digitaljustice @ 2:42 pm

OK. They convicted Hamdan “fair and square,” although their “Fizzbin” rules would make even kangaroo jurisprudence blush.

So here are the sentencing rules which the American people who have both read the coinstitution and support the ASPCA, stipulate: We’re not going to dispute a 30 year sentence. After all he was essentially a bodyguard to a billionaire, a very s e r i o u s crime.

But, since you treated him like a dog, his sentence has to be in dog years. So that’s 30 divided by 7.5 which is 4. (I apologize for using fractions. I know it makes you insecure about falling behind in math in the third grade.) Dudes, you’ve already held him longer than that. Time-served; Hamdan is out!

UPDATE:

I must be psychic. And props to that jury for mooning Bush!

June 13, 2008

The Impeachment Question

Filed under: Uncategorized — digitaljustice @ 10:52 am

What are we afraid of that we’re afraid to look into violations of law by this president?

Dennis Kucinich on Democracy Now! June 13, 2008

May 7, 2008

Bimbo Eruption

Filed under: Uncategorized — digitaljustice @ 9:52 pm

MoDo

May 2, 2008

Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj speaks after his release

Filed under: Uncategorized — digitaljustice @ 9:21 am

The Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj has been released from Guantanamo. He was detained in Guantanamo for nearly six-and-a-half years without a trial or any charges brought against him. He was arrested in Pakistan in December of 2001 while traveling to Afghanistan for work with Al Jazeera, then transferred to US custody, and six months later taken to Guantanamo Bay.

SAMI AL-HAJ: [translated] I’m very happy to be in Sudan, but I’m very sad because of the situation of our brothers who remain in Guantanamo. Conditions in Guantanamo are very, very bad, and they get worse by the day. Our human condition, our human dignity was violated, and the American administration went beyond all human values, all moral values, all religious values. In Guantanamo, you have animals that are called iguanas, rats that are treated with more humanity. But we have people from more than fifty countries that are completely deprived of all rights and privileges, and they will not give them the rights that they give to animals.

For more than seven years, I did not get a chance to be brought before a civil court. To defend their just case and to get the freedom that we’re deprived of, they ignored every kind of law, every kind of religion. But thank God. I was lucky, because God allowed that I be released. Although I’m happy, there is part of me that is not, because my brothers remain behind, and they are in the hands of people that claim to be champions of peace and protectors of rights and freedoms.

But the true just peace does not come through military force or threats to use smart or stupid bombs or to threaten with economic sanctions. Justice comes from lifting oppression and guaranteeing rights and freedoms and respecting the will of the people and not to interfere with a country’s internal politics.

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