Tuesday, July 11, 2006

NY City Bldg. Collapse

Update 11:10
from msnbc web page:

Update 8:15 a 7/11
Noticing the morning replay for Keith Olbermann (Countdown)
Mentioned the MD that is a capable demolition artist (refering to this story)

Update: 9:41 p 7/10
Greta on Fox Nows
Special email from Patsy (23 pages?)
My Wild Speculation about this Event: Zionist Terror Operation
Drudge Disinfo

NYC building explosion in apparent suicide bid...
'I Will Leave The House Only If I Am Dead'...


Rescuers work at the site of a collapsed building on Manhattan's East Side in New York, July 10, 2006. A four-story building collapsed in Manhattan on Monday after an explosion, the Fire Department said.
Rescuers work at the site of a collapsed building on Manhattan's East Side in New York, July 10, 2006. A four-story building collapsed in Manhattan on Monday after an explosion, the Fire Department said. (Xinhua Photo)

NEW YORK, July 10 (Xinhua) -- At least 15 people were injured in an apparent gas blast, possibly triggered by a suicidal attempt, which brought down a four-story apartment building in Manhattan's Upper East Side Monday, city officials said.

Authorities were investigating the possibility that the morning explosion was the result of a suicide attempt by Dr. Nicholas Bartha, the owner of the house. "We're still investigating that, talking about the potential for suicide. So that's a distinct possibility," Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said.

Polly Passonneau, a lawyer for Bartha's wife, reportedly contacted police recently saying that her husband sent her an e-mail message, indicating he was contemplating suicide.

The doctor was forced to sell the building because of the divorce, and authorities believe that the explosion may be related to a suicide attempt involving gas.

Bartha, the only person inside when the blast occurred, was pulled from the rubble after communicating with authorities from his phone in the wreckage, Scoppetta said. He was among at least 15 injured, including 10 firefighters battling the blaze.

Ten firefighters and five civilians, including two seriously injured, were treated at area hospitals and at the scene.

The building housed Bartha's office and his apartment, in addition to another medical office, records show. The blaze had intensified to five alarms around 10:20 a.m. with 44 units and nearly 200 firefighters on the scene.

The medical offices opened at 9 a.m., so there were likely no patients yet in the building when the blast occurred, said NYPD spokesman Lieutenant Gene White.

Witnesses described hearing a large explosion before the collapse.

"The building just blew up," said Yaakov Kermaier, 36, who was across the street from the explosion after returning from synagogue services.

Several streets in the affected area were closed, affecting city bus service. Several uptown bus lines were diverted to other streets. Enditem

Building collapses in New York City after explosion

Related: Building collapses in explosion in New York

NEW YORK, July 10 (Xinhua) -- A three-story building on Manhattan's East Side collapsed following an explosion on Monday, the Fire Department said.

Heavy black smoke rose high above the building across Midtown and Manhattan's Upper East Side. Local media reported that people were trapped inside the building, but this was not immediately confirmed by fire officials.

At least two people were under evaluation in hospital.

The New York Fire Department received a call reporting the explosion at 8:40 a.m. (1340 GMT). Streets around the area were closed off to traffic as ambulances and rescue units responded just before 9 a.m. (1400 GMT).

The cause of the explosion was still unknown. A Fire Department official said it "appeared to be a gas explosion."

White House spokesman Tony Snow also said that the incident had not been an act of terrorism. "As far as we know at this point, no terrorism nexus."



Gas explosion causes brownstone collapse

Jul. 10, 2006 at 3:43PM

A doctor was critically injured Monday morning when the New York brownstone where he lived and worked collapsed after an apparent gas explosion.
Dr. Nicholas Bartha is believed to have been alone in the four-story building at the time of the blast shortly before 9 a.m., The New York Times reported. He was able to guide rescue workers by using his cell phone and was pulled from the wreckage at about 10 a.m.
Four pedestrians near the building were also injured by falling debris and several firefighters were injured but all were listed in stable condition, the Times reported.
New York City Fire Chief Nicholas Scoppetta said that residents of the neighborhood reported smelling gas before the explosion.
"I ran out and saw the building -- the floor, I saw it sliding down," Derrick Keo, an employee at a private club nearby, told the Times.
Adam Schare, a 10-year-old from Los Angeles staying at the Regency Hotel with his parents, said his first reaction was that an earthquake had struck.
Officials say that terrorism has been ruled out.
photos * NYC building collapses after explosion, fire

NEW YORK — A four-story building housing doctors' offices collapsed and burned in an apparent gas explosion today after what witnesses described as a thunderous blast that rocked an upscale neighborhood just off Madison Avenue.

At least 11 people were injured — five civilians and six firefighters, the Fire Department said. One of the injured was the doctor who owned the building and was pulled from the rubble after communicating with rescuers by phone, fire chief Nicholas Scoppetta said.

"This could have been an even worse disaster than it already is," Scoppetta said.

Scoppetta said authorities were investigating the possibility that the blast was the result of a suicide attempt. "We're still investigating that, talking about the potential for suicide. So that's a distinct possibility."

A police official told The Associated Press that the lawyer for the doctor's wife contacted police recently and said that she had received an e-mail from him in which the physician, 66-year-old Nicholas Bartha, indicated he was contemplating suicide.

He was going through a difficult divorce and was being forced to sell the building, and authorities believe the explosion may have be related to a suicide attempt, the police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Power company Con Edison said its crews had been responding to complaints from a gas customer at an adjacent building at the time of the blast. White House press secretary Tony Snow said there was no indication of terrorism.

Yaakov Kermaier, 36, a resident in a building next door, said he was outside when he heard "a deafening boom. I saw the whole building explode in front of me."

"Everybody started running, nobody knew what was coming next," he said. His nanny and newborn escaped from their next-door apartment unharmed.

The building on Manhattan's Upper East Side included two doctors' offices, and records show at least one apartment was in the building, Fire Department Lt. Eugene Whyte said. Authorities said a nurse who was supposed to open one of the offices arrived late, narrowly missing the explosion.

Heavy black smoke rose high above the building, wedged between taller structures on 62nd Street between Park and Madison Avenues just a few blocks from Central Park. Bricks, glass and splintered wood was littered across the block, and windows in a neighboring building were blown out.

Thad Milonas, 57, was operating a coffee cart across from the building when he said the ground shook and the building came down, said he helped two bleeding women from the scene.

TV host Larry King, who had been in a hotel room nearby, described the explosion to CNN as sounding like a bomb and feeling like an earthquake.

"I've never heard a sound like that," King said.

Streets around the area were closed off to traffic as ambulances and rescue units responded about 8:40 a.m.

The building is an upscale neighborhood where the 2000 Census put the median home price at $1 million. On one corner of the street is the high-end Luca Luca clothing store, and across the street is the French retailer Hermes.

Probe focuses on doctor in building collapse
Newsday, NY - 56 minutes ago
An explosion, likely fueled by a gas leak, leveled a ... Investigators Monday were looking into whether the doctor who owned the building, Nicholas Bartha, 66 ...
Suicide Attempt Probed in NYC Collapse
Forbes - 32 minutes ago
A four-story building on Manhattan's Upper East Side ... pile of rubble Monday after a thunderous explosion that hurled ... said the blast was caused by gas, and they ...
Access to plant the bomb

"Power company Consolidated Edison said an employee had been in the basement of an adjacent building responding to a complaint about a smell of gas at the time of the blast. The employee was unhurt.

The utility had been at the Bartha building June 8 after a routine check found a gas leak on a pipe in the basement. The gas was shut off, and Nicholas Bartha was asked to get the pipe fixed, spokesman Joe Petta said. The gas was turned back on the utility ensured the leak was fixed.

Yaakov Kermaier, 36, a resident in a building next door, said he was outside when he heard "a deafening boom. I saw the whole building explode in front of me."

Court documents say Bartha subjected his wife, a Jewish woman born in Nazi-occupied Holland, to cruelty and placed "swastika-adorned articles and notes affixed around their home, and became enraged when she removed them."

NYC building collapses after 'gas' blast
The Age, Australia - 2 hours ago
Ground shakes then building collapses1:21am | A three-storey building on Manhattan's East Side went up in flames and collapsed on Monday after what witnesses said was a thunderous explosion.

The Sydney Morning Herald: national, world, business, entertainment, sport and technology news from Australia's leading newspaper.

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Did Gonzales lie to Congress?


"The Bush Administration asserted this became necessary after 9/11," plaintiff's lawyer Carl Mayer said in a telephone interview. "This undermines that assertion."

9/11 WTC Squibs


Bloglines - FTR #556 Update on 9/11 and Related Matters

For The Record

FTR #556 Update on 9/11 and Related Matters

By FTR Summary

Recorded June 11, 2006 REALAUDIO [Available 9pm] This program supplements previous programs about the 9/11 investigations. Of primary significance is the failure of the United States to provide Swiss authorities with information about the A.Q. Khan nuclear smuggling network, as well as the failure of the international community to successfully interdict the Muslim Brotherhood’s network of

Web Page Updated

Looks like Al-Cia-dah or Zionist Propaganda

The Mujahideen Shura Council in Iraq issued today, July 10, 2006, a 4:39 minute video that shows the mutilated corpses of the two American soldiers the group stated to have captured on June 19, 2006. The extremely graphic footage is preceded by an audio clip of a past Usama bin Laden speech, and an audio track from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is heard over the scenes in which the Mujahideen display and prod the corpses.

The Jawa Report: Beheading Desecration Video of Dead U.S. Soldiers Released on Internet by al Qaeda (Video/Images)

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Blogged with Flock

JURIST - Paper Chase: BREAKING NEWS ~ Federal judge rules FBI raid on congressional office legal

Blogger Thoughts:

The Opinion issued seems to completely avoid addressing the Congressional Brief filed.

JURIST - Paper Chase: BREAKING NEWS ~ Federal judge rules FBI raid on congressional office legal

Bloglines - Embracing Hamdan

Bainbridge continues to ignore the most fundamental issue with Hamdan, and the Guantanimo environment that it addresses:

It is only with due process that anyone can begin to fairly establish who are and who aren't the so-called "Islamofascist terrorists".

The evidence is overwhelming that some of those at Gitmo are guilty of nothing, turned in by those wanting the bounty to be had. The treatment that has been enforced qualifies as the most barbaric and unjustifiable, short of summary execution. Evidently those who committed suicide a few months ago preferred death.

Bainbridge and everyone else who chooses to ignore the practical and theoretical implications of the atrocities that they seem to support is either a monster of indeterminate proportions, or they are so deluded by the propaganda of the "Terrorists myths" that their powers of reason have ceased to function.


Embracing Hamdan

By Steve Bainbridge

Dave Hoffman posts:

It is sometimes said of today’s progressives that our agenda is a defensive crouch. More energy is spent rehashing defending old decisions than imagining new victories. ... today's law students, of a certain mind, have few modern decisions that resonate like liberalism's now fifty-year-old great triumph in Brown v. Board. ... Thus, a colleague at Temple suggests to me an interesting question: is it right to think of Hamdan as this generation's Brown?

It's an interesting commentary on the academic left, which would equate a decision on the purported rights of foreign Islamofascist terrorists with an opinion that tried to undo the legacy of slavery and centuries of racial prejudice and discrimination against a class of American citizens. It's also another example of how some - and I emphasize some - folks on the academic left can come off sounding as though they're neutral, at best, on the war on terror. (To be sure, Hoffman tries to characterize Hamdan as an opinion about executive power, but that's like calling Brown a case about the powers of school boards.)

Bloglines - Michael Scheuer's Glass House

Tired of Spin in the No Spin Zone? Wanting some Hardball but tired of a host that tosses NERF balls? This blog takes no prisoners and offers no quarter on issues of your security in today's dangerous world. We don't care if you agree or disagree with us. We only care that you think about what we write.

Michael Scheuer's Glass House

By Larry Johnson

Larry C Johnson

Former CIA analyst, Michael Scheuer hit the hypocrisy trail last week with his attack op-ed on the credibility of Richard Clarke and the FBI. According to Scheuer:

Media teasers about the mini-series have said that Mr. Clarke -- the former "terrorism czar" -- and a senior FBI officer, the late John O'Neill, will be the heroes of the saga. If true, and if ABC's fact-checkers are not diligent in verifying Mr. Clarke's stories and claims, the mini-series will be the September 11 commission's dream come true: The Bush administration will be blamed for September 11, the feckless moral cowardice of the Clinton administration will be disguised and Mr. Clarke and Mr. O'Neill -- in my view, two principal authors of September 11 -- will be beatified.

Mr. Clarke's book, on the basis of my involvement to varying degrees in the issues it covers, is a mixture of fact, fiction and cover-up. Mr. Clarke seems to get most names and dates right, and is correct in damning the early Bush administration for obliviousness to the al Qaeda threat. We must also take him at his word on his touching, if sycophantic, tales of Mr. Clinton instructing a young boy to be good to his mom and Hillary Rodham Clinton's secluded moment praying on her knees.

Scheuer, in case you forgot, authored Through Our Enemies Eyes as Anonymous. He later acquired a measure of fame and condemnation for his subsequent book, published in 2004, that was very critical of George Bush. Maybe Scheuer is trying to get back into the good graces of the Bush crowd or is miffed that Hollywood didn't recognize his genuis.

I personally think Scheuer is completely full of shit. To characterize Clarke and O'Neill as the "principal authors of 9-11" is idiotic and wrongheaded. No U.S. person or official was the author of 9-11. Khalid Sheik Mohammed enjoys that distinction. An FBI buddy, who worked at the Counter Terrorism Center with Scheuer has some great details on Scheuer's tenure at CTC.

In an article dated July 5th, 2006, authored by Mike Scheuer, he once again took the opportunity to criticize the FBI and its personnel. This theme has been repeated by him in his books, articles and interviews aired on television. Also, as usual, Mr. Scheuer paints himself and the members of his former bin Laden Unit, in the best light. To my knowledge, no one from the FBI has challenged Mr. Scheuer’s views. I worked in the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (CTC) with Mr. Scheuer, so I speak from experience.

CTC was compromised of exceptional, collegial, talented, and dedicated men and women from many disciplines within the Agency. It also had in its ranks equally talented men and women representing other Agencies within the federal government. All with one purpose; “to prevent disrupt and defeat” terrorism. My comments below are not directed at CTC; just Mr. Scheuer and a handful of individuals who served in his Unit.

In my view, Mr. Scheuer was the single most important obstacle to the CIA and FBI working together against al Qaeda. He did not believe in sharing information and working with the FBI. He more than once told me that the FBI had no business working terrorism matters overseas; that was CIA’s territory. Even more important than Mr. Scheuer not being a collegial partner, he negatively influenced several of his subordinates which polluted the atmosphere in his Unit among those subordinates against the FBI. If he was not actively opposing the FBI, he merely did not support their mission. This opinion is shared by every FBI Agent that ever served in his Unit.

Mike was and is an extremely intelligent and talented individual. He was a CIA treasure in the fight against terrorism. However, he failed to understand the concept that although intelligence and law enforcement come from different cultures, America was best served by the CIA and FBI working together against terrorist targets. A CIA disruption of a terrorist plot overseas is a tremendous success, however it can be even a bigger success if the terrorist plotters are prosecuted and put behind bars. Putting them behind bars requires more coordination; more working with the FBI; and, administratively a much more difficult operation. In the end, Mr. Scheuer’s intransigence outweighed his value.

It could be said that Mike Scheuer and John O’ Neill were viewed as the faces of the CIA and FBI in their respective agency’s efforts against bin Laden and al Qaeda terrorists. Of course, so many others in each organization contributed much to the fight and arguably played equal or more significant roles. Mr. Scheuer’s quote in his article, “Mr. O'Neill was interested only in furthering his career and disguising the rank incompetence of senior FBI leaders”, is not only an inaccurate assessment; it is, petty and juvenile. Mr. Scheuer’s jealousy of John O’Neill is apparent and reprehensible. It further demonstrates that Mike viewed counterterrorism efforts as a contest rather than a coordinated cooperative effort.

Mr. Scheuer further states in his article, “Mr. Clarke's claim that ‘the CIA had taken months to tell the FBI’ several hijackers were in America is a lie. FBI officers sat in the unit I first commanded and then served in and they read the same information I did. If the data did not get to FBI headquarters it is because the FBI then lacked, and still lacks, a useable computer system.” Mr. Scheuer is accurate in his criticism of the FBI computer system; however he is disingenuous in using that as the reason for the FBI not obtaining the information referred to in a timely fashion.

By January 2000, Mr. Scheuer had been relieved of command of the bin Laden Unit. According to unclassified documents, early in January 2000, the CIA was aware that Khalid al-Mihdhar, one of the future 9/11 hijackers, was an al Qaeda operative; met with other operatives in Malaysia; and had a multiple entry US visa. By March 2000, they were also aware that Nawaf al-Hazmi, another future hijacker was at the same meeting and was in the US. However, as stated above, Mr. Scheuer’s legacy lived on with his closest analytical subordinates who continued Mr. Scheuer’s practice of non cooperation with the FBI. When an FBI Agent assigned to the Unit, learned of the meeting in Malaysia, and that one of the participants held a multiple entry US visa, he drafted a communication from the CIA to the FBI. This communication was not released, being withheld by one of Mr. Scheuer’s former subordinates; the Deputy Chief of the bin Laden Unit.

During June 2006, the US Department of Justice released a report from the Office of the Inspector General which stated in part, “In sum, the evidence shows that in January and March 2000, the CIA uncovered important intelligence information about Mihdhar and Hazmi…..Yet, we found that the CIA did not share significant pieces of this information with the FBI….” Further, “An FBI detailee at the CIA drafted a CIR (Central Intelligence Report) to share with the FBI, but the information was not released by the CIA to the FBI.”

We Need Reform of our Fed. Govt.. The Admin Branch and the Judicial Branch should be combined. Oh, wait: looks like that's already happening.