Thursday, August 31, 2006

[UrukNet] - [Daily Information from Occupied Iraq] - [newsletter 29 Aug 2006]
:: information from occupied iraq
:: informazione dall'iraq occupato

Sinister Plan to Divide Iraq
Hassan Tahsin
One of the most unrealistic statements made by US President George Bush in recent times is that he is worried about the lack of progress in Iraq. In his statement in the Pentagon meeting on Aug. 15, Bush also expressed disappointment at the Iraqi people’s lack of understanding of the American "sacrifices" in terms of man and material for their sake. However the most serious point made by Bush at the meeting was, according to a White House statement, his rejection of the ! idea of Iraq’s division as a solution to end the violence. This meeting was not, apparently, held to express the US president’s worries over the Iraqi people’s plight. It was, presumably, to chalk out a method to extricate the US from the Iraqi quagmire. At the same time the US also wanted to guarantee the implementation of its secret scheme to divide the Arab world into small petty states that could be easily brought to obedience in order to protect the US and Israeli interests forever. Those familiar with the American behavior in recent times could view the White House statement only as a preliminary step on the road to Iraq’s division into three states — Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish. This division would also pave the US road to Iran and Syria...

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Apocalypse Now or Pack of Lies?*
UK Airport Terror Plot

Felicity Arbuthnot**
On September 11, 2001, when Prime Minister Blair announced, in the wake of the disaster of the Twin Towers — apparently without discussing Britain's stance with his Cabinet and with no debate in Parliament — that Britain stood "shoulder to shoulder" with the United States, the refrain on the street, on the bus, among friends was broadly "thanks a bunch, Tony, we are all targets now." Inspite of the outpouring of sympathy for innocent! lives lost, people were mindful of possible reasons, such as the 21 countries attacked or destabilized by America since 1945. Yet when London's bombings of July 7, 2005, took place, grief and sadness were accompanied by huge doses of cynicism.

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The Lobby and the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon:
Their Facts and Ours

James Petras,
All the national, state and local Jewish organizations have launched a $300 million fundraising and propaganda campaign in support of the 21 Jewish civilians and 116 soldiers killed during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon (but not the 18 Israeli Arabs who were excluded from Jews-only bomb shelters). As adjuncts of the Israeli foreign office not a single one of the 52 organizations which make up The P! residents of the Major Jewish Organizations in the US voiced a single public criticism of Israel’s massive destruction of civilian homes, hospitals, offices, supermarkets, refugee convoys and churches and mosques, and the deliberate killing of civilians, UN peacekeepers and rescue workers with precision bombing. On the contrary the entire Jewish lobby echoed in precise detail the Israeli lies that the Lebanese deaths were caused by the Lebanese resistance’s "use of human shields," despite the total devastation of the heavily populated southern suburbs of Beirut, completely out of range of any Hezbollah rockets. The magnitude of the Jewish Lobby’s cover-up of Israel’s massive military assault can be measured in great detail...

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If You Get Your News From the Corporate Media: Just Shut Up and Listen!!!
Advice to the Uninformed From TvNewsLIES

...YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING IN IRAQ! You don’t know that the war in Iraq is getting less media coverage than any other conflict in American history. You only know that the invasion of Iraq is supposedly part of a greater War on Terror. The connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda was a lie, but you still believe the claim. The insurgency is made up largely of Iraqis who op! pose an invasion of their country, but they are constantly referred to as terrorists. No one tells you where the billions upon billions of your war dollars have gone; the Bush administration certainly has not rebuilt the country they bombed to smithereens. You don’t know what is happening because US reporters are not free to leave the safety of the Green Zone and they rely on official military reports for their information. You hear what the Pentagon chooses to tell you. You hear that progress is being made, despite the ongoing, daily, non-stop death and mayhem and carnage. You just don’t know...

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Free Speech or Censorship?
Project for the Old American Century blog
This story could end up being pivotal in terms of both free speech and censorship issues. The US government arrested and charged Javed Iqbal - an American businessman originally from Pakistan - for providing customers in New York with broadcasts from Al Manar (a "Hizbullah" television station in Lebanon). According to the prosecutor (Stephen A Miller), "The charge lurking in the background is material support for terrorism." Mr. Stephens said he! did not know of any other cases of people "accused of breaking US law by offering access to news outlets via satellite dish." Mr Iqbal was arrested under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ("IEEPA") (pdf) as Al Manar was listed as a terrorist organization in March 2006. Al Manar was bombed by Israel on June 12, 2006. Al Manar is one of the 10 most watched Arab stations...

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The Assault on Iraqi Agriculture --- U.S. Agribusiness Targets the Fertile Crescent
Daniel Stone
...In 1991, the U.S. deliberately bombed Iraq's civilian infrastructure of water purification and electrical plants, and then prevented Iraq from rebuilding same by imposing sanctions (more accurately a "military blockade" - an act of war). In both 1991 and 2003, "US bombing raids targeted cattle feed lots, poultry farms, fertilizer warehouses, pumping stations, irrigation systems, fuel depots and pesticide factories ! ---the very infrastructure of Iraqi agriculture." It will take years to restore these operations under good conditions. Under the U.S.-driven sanctions' rubric of "dual use," the most common and necessary materials were blocked from entering Iraq. For instance, some parts for irrigation systems were banned, thus preventing the repair and use of irrigation...

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Iraqi hospitals are war’s new ‘killing fields'
Medical sites targeted by Shiite militiamen

Amit R. Paley
...In Baghdad these days, not even the hospitals are safe. In growing numbers, sick and wounded Sunnis have been abducted from public hospitals operated by Iraq's Shiite-run Health Ministry and later killed, according to patients, families of victims, doctors and government officials. As a result, more and more Iraqis are avoiding hospitals, making it even harder to preserve life in a city where dea! th is seemingly everywhere. Gunshot victims are now being treated by nurses in makeshift emergency rooms set up in homes. Women giving birth are smuggled out of Baghdad and into clinics in safer provinces. In most cases, family members and hospital workers said, the motive for the abductions appeared to be nothing more than religious affiliation. Because public hospitals here are controlled by Shiites, the killings have raised questions about whether hospital staff have allowed Shiite death squads into their facilities to slaughter Sunni Arabs (...) According to patients and families of victims, the primary group kidnapping Sunnis from hospitals is the Mahdi Army, a militia controlled by anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr that has infiltrated the Iraqi security forces and several government ministries...

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Doing the Wrong Thing in Afghanistan: Depleted Uranium: The Definitive Moral Paradox
Michael Clarke
It is Canada Day evening, and I can barely hear the whistles, booms and bangs of the fireworks. It sounds a bit like distant bombs exploding, reminding me of the incredible moral paradox our federal government's aggressive military role in Afghanistan has created for all Canadians. Our government, military, newspapers, television and radio media are efficiently dispersing the official sound bytes: "our troops in Af! ghanistan have the moral authority"; "Canada is doing the right thing"; "it's a noble mission"; and, "we are just spreading freedom and democracy". But, they are not telling us that there is something else we are spreading around Afghanistan that any truly moral person would instinctively consider immoral and evil...

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Iraqi forces strike truce with Shiite militia after battles kill at least 80
Daily Star staff
Iraqi forces struck a truce Tuesday with Shiite militia fighters after violent clashes in a town south of Baghdad left at least 80 dead since Monday (...) The deal with the Shiite militias came as a string of sectarian attacks killed at least 10 and a pipeline exploded near Diwaniyya, incinerating at least 36 civilians as they looted fuel. And Iraqi police found the bodies of 24 people who had apparently been tortured an! d shot before being dumped at two locations in Baghdad, police said. "We reached a settlement with Mehdi Army forces to end the confrontation," town councilor Sheikh Ghanim Abid said, as shops in Diwaniyya reopened and water and electricity supplies were turned back on. Saheb al-Ameri, the head of cleric Moqtada Sadr's office in Najaf, said Diwaniyya's governor met the cleric on Monday to negotiate an end to the battle, which he blamed on the "personal behavior" of some Mehdi Army members...

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Today in Iraq
U.S. soldier killed by roadside bomb southeast of Baghdad late Saturday. Marine killed on Friday in Anbar is identified as Cpl. Jordan C. Pierson, 21, of Milford, Connecticut. Bomb in a minibus in central Baghdad kills 9, injures 16. Bomb in a marketplace in Baghdad northern suburb al-Khalis kills six, wounds more than 12. Car bomb attack on Iraqi government-run newspaper in Baghdad kills one, injures 30, according to one report, kills two, wounds 20 accor! ding to another, kills 2, wounds 25 according to AFP. Al-Sabah, or "The Morning," newspaper is part of the government-run Iraqi Media Net group, which includes Iraqiya Television channel. 20 bodies found around Baghdad, shot in head and showing signs of torture...

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Israeli Apartheid
Segregation, Control and the Creation of Bantustans in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

Owen Powell
The question of Israel as an apartheid state has received increasing attention over the last years as Israel has continued colonial expansion in the West Bank while simultaneously attempting to diverge itself from the Palestinians. The purpose of this article is to highlight the growing systemization of apartheid in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) with particular r! eference to Israel's policy of unilateral disengagement. The need for this debate is highlighted by the effective outcomes of disengagement which has already resulted in the segregation of Palestinian communities and delineation of exclusive Jewish space by means of the segregation barrier. Furthermore the creation of Palestinian enclaves or ghettos in the OPT bears a striking resemblance to the South African policies during the apartheid era which sought the establishment Bantustans as a means to facilitate segregation and to secure privileges for an ethnic minority...

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Why Israel Creates a Humanitarian Disaster in Palestine
James Marc Leas
Palestine is suffering a manmade disaster stemming from a sequence of US backed Israeli actions: military occupation, the wall, the embargo, and now the military invasion. Israel's pretext for these actions has been suicide bombers, captured Israeli soldiers, and rockets fired at Israeli towns. The real purpose appears to be weaken, humiliate, and force out the civilian population so Israel can take over the rest of their land. Back in 2003 a! UN report stated that "a humanitarian catastrophe" was already building in the occupied Palestinian territories "as a result of extremely harsh military measures that the occupying Israeli military forces have imposed in response to the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000."...

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More Sunni-Shiite clashes are reported in Baghdad
Nancy A. Youssef and Mark Brunswick, McClatchy Newspapers
Armed groups of Sunni and Shiite Muslims battled Tuesday for control of several neighborhoods in southwest Baghdad, residents of those areas reported. It was another sign that security is deteriorating in the capital and that Iraq may be moving closer to a full-fledged civil war. Fighting between armed groups of Shiites and Sunnis isn't uncommon in Baghdad, but the extent of Tuesday's fighting was unprecede! nted (...) There was no official version of the fighting in al Ray, Shurta Rabiyah, Ghuratan and Suwaib, which are predominantly Sunni neighborhoods. Residents said an effort by supporters of militant Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr to seize control of the areas had triggered the fighting. A Sadr spokesman, while acknowledging battles, said no Sadr supporters were involved...

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Media Disinformation on 911: Anatomy of a Hatchet Job: CBC Radio’s “The Current” and Scholars for 9/11 Truth
Prof. Michael Keefer,
...That’s much what happened in 2003 and since to the corporate media’s narratives about Saddam Hussein’s fearsome weapons of mass destruction, about the supposed reluctance of Bush and Blair to go to war in Iraq, and their supposedly pure and democratic motives when they did. That’s much what’s happening now to the claims advanced by Israel to legitimize its renewed! aggressions against the Palestinians and Lebanese (Hizbollah’s "kidnapping" of two Israeli soldiers rather loses its steam as a casus belli once people learn about Israel’s prior provocations—and about the fact that all the early Israeli statements and press reports identified the soldiers as having been on Lebanese soil when they were captured). It’s happening as well to two somewhat more complex stories that have, until recently, been managing to sustain themselves in the corporate media. One of these is the story that George W. Bush actually won the 2004 presidential election, and hence has some right to the office he continues to occupy. The other is the no less fraudulent story that the terrorist crimes of September 11, 2001 were perpetrated by a gang of Islamist fanatics led by a bearded Saudi in an Afghan cave—rather than being organized (and subsequently covered up) by civilian and military officials at the highest levels of the Bush regime...

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America Is Losing Iraq: Is Anybody Watching?
Danny Schechter,
...Iraq has been reduced to a litany of bloody incidents and body counts. For many, it is both boring and hard to follow, and so they tune out. Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, terrorists, insurgents, private militias...whatever happened to 'us' and 'them?' No wonder that when the JonBenet Ramsey story resurfaced the TV channels flocked to it like flies to a flame. When I worked for network TV, we had a term for stories we lost interest in. We ! would say, "Been there, done that!" In the nation's newsrooms, the triage has begun -- with Iraq sounding more and more like something that happened long ago. Get ready for more History Channel specials and somber retrospectives that help us to believe that we can be forgiven for thinking of the Iraq War in the past-tense. Besides, covering Iraq is so dangerous. Few reporters want to take so many risks for so little "face time" on TV. And there are hardly any " positive" stories to report -- even though the conservative media keep beating the bushes for them...

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Israel is a terrorocracy, not a democracy
Khalid Amayreh,
One of the most enduring myths about Israel is the often-made claim that it is a democracy. The big lie is marketed effectively in many Western countries where Zionist-controlled or Zionist-influenced media has a definitive stranglehold on public opinion. consequently, the "veracity" of the myth is taken for granted by many politicians, journalists, intellectuals and ordinary people, and is used as a ready-made weapon against Israel’s c! ritics. The truth of the matter, however, is that Israel is not a real democracy but rather a nefarious religious- ethnic terrorist regime that heavily employs state-terror as official policy...

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The Big Lie About 'Islamic Fascism'
Eric Margolis
The latest big lie unveiled by Washington’s neoconservatives are the poisonous terms, "Islamo-Fascists" and "Islamic Fascists." They are the new, hot buzzwords among America’s far right and Christian fundamentalists. President George W. Bush made a point last week of using "Islamofacists" when recently speaking of Hezbullah and Hamas – both, by the way, democratically elected parties. A Canadian government minister from the Conservative Party compared Lebanon’s He! zbullah to Nazi Germany. The term "Islamofascist" is utterly without meaning, but packed with emotional explosives. It is a propaganda creation worthy Dr. Goebbels, and the latest expression of the big lie technique being used by neocons in Washington’s propaganda war against its enemies in the Muslim World. This ugly term was probably first coined in Israel – as was the other hugely successful propaganda term, "terrorism" – to dehumanize and demonize opponents and deny them any rational political motivation, hence removing any need to deal with their grievances and demands...

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Today's 'Islamic fascists' were yesterday's friends
Brendan O'Neill
...In a nutshell, the wars over state, territory, and politics that defined the Cold War era have given way to cosmic battles between "good" and "evil" - between a West apparently keen to defend secular, democratic values and its twisted opponents who prefer the idea of autocratic Islam. This simplistic view of the new geopolitical landscape is deeply problematic. It overlooks the key role that the West played in nurturing radical Islamist groups! , precisely as a means of isolating and undermining secular movements that were judged by Western governments to be too uppity or dangerous. Over the past 80 years and more - from Egypt to Afghanistan to Palestine - powerful governments in the West and their allies in the Middle East helped to create radical Islamic sects as a bulwark against secular nationalist parties or pan-Arabism. They gave the nod to, and in some instances funded and armed, Islamist movements that might challenge the claims of local anti-colonial, liberationist, or communistic outfits...

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Johann Hari. "Who Is This Guy?"
Stalin’s nephews in our democracy fiction

Gabriele Zamparini, The cat's dream
Johann Hari, the "award-winning journalist", the "twice-weekly columnist for The Independent, one of Britain's leading newspapers" and "the youngest person to ever be nominated for the prestigious Orwell Prize for political writing" wrote on 25 August 2006 "An intriguing example of blatant anti-Semitism and blindness to it by some on the left" where he accused me of anti-Semitis! m not for something I did, said or wrote but for a comment someone else left on my blog. Accusations of "anti-Semitism" have become in these days like patriotism: usually used as the refuge of the scoundrel. In spite of the ludicrous writing of Johann Hari, this topic is quite important and it’s the subject of two interesting books by Norman G. Finkelstein: The Holocaust Industry and Beyond Chutzpah, On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History...

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Battle highlights splits in Iraq's Shi'ite south
A battle between militiamen and Iraqi troops that left dozens dead highlighted deep fractures among Shi'ite parties united in the Baghdad coalition government but warring for influence over the oil-rich Shi'ite south (...)
At the heart of the fighting in Diwaniya, a provincial capital in the fertile Middle Euphrates plain, appear to have been fighters from the Mehdi Army militia, even though senior political officials close to its clerical leader Moqtada al-Sadr denied involvement in a battle that killed at least 20 soldiers. Sadr's movement, popular among poor and long-oppressed Shi'ites for charity work modelled on Lebanon's Iranian-backed Hizbollah, is one of a handful of major Shi'ite parties grouped in the United Alliance, which dominates parliament and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's U.S.-backed national unity government...

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GI Special 4H29: Cornered Rat - August 29, 2006
Thomas F. Barton
Rumsfeld Caught Telling More Stupid Lies:
Meets With Families Of Soldiers Held In Iraq Against Their Will;
Press Shut Out, But Soldiers Wife Tapes And Spreads It;
"A 'Death Watch’ For Soldiers"
... Asked why reporters would not be permitted to cover his meeting with the family members, Rumsfeld at first replied, "I don't have any idea. I haven't addressed the subject." Later he said he makes it a practice to make all family meetings private ...

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From (WTC7)

The Penta-bomb

Joseph Cannon (

The Penta-bomb

By Joseph

(Note: In 2003, I wrote an unpublished piece on the conspiracy theories congealing around the Pentagon strike. What you are about to read is the first half, updated and revised, with many of the footnotes worked into the text. I'll publish an updated version of the rest of the piece if readers ask for it, although I suspect that most of you will consider this bit sufficient -- perhaps even TMI.

I beg commenters to focus on the specific subject at hand. There will be time enough later to talk about the temperature of melting steel or pods beneath the jetliner wings or Why Bush is Bad or whatever other topic you are dying to switch to. This is about American Airlines 77.)

The French edition of Thuerry Meyssan’s The Frightening Fraud -- which posits that American Airlines Flight 77 did not fly into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 -- sold nearly 200,000 copies in its first three weeks of publication. No other volume in French history has sold so well in so short a time. The book’s argument comes down to four simple words: Where is the Boeing?

Most Americans were introduced to this argument via a popular web site, where, in photograph after photograph, visual evidence did indeed seem to present an intriguing mystery. None of the photos display any aircraft debris. The collapsed area of the Pentagon's outer wall is substantially smaller than the nearly 125-foot wingspan of a Boeing 757. Only the outermost of the building's five concentric "rings" of offices collapsed, and the width of this ring is smaller than the 155-foot length of a Boeing 757.

"Can you explain," asks Meyssan, "how a Boeing 757-200, weighing nearly 100 tons and traveling at a minimum speed of 250 miles an hour, only damaged the outside of the Pentagon?" The building is five stories high, while the jet is just under 15 yards in height, with the landing gear down. Early photos, taken within the first fifteen minutes, show that the upper floors did not collapse immediately. The hole, in short, seems much smaller than the object which created it.

The French theorist also believes that the Secretary of Defense acted suspiciously when he "deemed it necessary to sand over the lawn, which was otherwise undamaged..." (The reference here is to the grassy area in front of the impact site.) Meyssan has stated that either a bomb or a missile damaged the building; the actual fate of Flight 77 remains unknown.

His collection of photographs makes for an interesting case, which will persuade only those who close their eyes to certain facts.

Let us first deal with the "sand over the lawn" poser, which has a simple solution. The task of hauling away building wreckage required heavy equipment, and that equipment required a makeshift roadway. No engineer would want to place a massive crane on soft earth -- and no evidence suggests that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld personally made the decision to re-surface the area.

Anyone studying the crash scene photographs should keep in mind that the Pentagon is not only the largest office building in the world, it is also the most heavily fortified. Each of its five outermost walls features a limestone exterior, placed over a mixture of 100,000 tons of sand and steel-reinforced concrete. Not long before the disaster, the building received further reinforcement -- a "skeleton" of steel tubing, a Kevlar-like wall-covering material, and blast-resistant windows -- to help prevent collapse during a terrorist bombing.

Despite this protection, the Boeing obliterated the bottom two floors of the outermost ring of offices, causing a section of that ring to cave in less than fifteen minutes later. The next ring received substantial impact damage, although it did not collapse. Parts of the plane even reached the middle sector. Aerial photos show that fire affected all five rings over a wide area. (By way of comparison, note that the World Trade Center towers -- only 208 feet wide, with far more fragile outer walls -- “consumed” most of the two jets which ploughed into their sides.)

According to witnesses, the landing gear was not down as the plane sailed across the lawn before impact with the Pentagon, which means the height of the jet was well short of 15 yards. The body of a 757 is in fact less than twelve feet high and less than 14 feet wide. The heaviest portion of the body is the lower half; the top portion – where the passengers sit – is comparatively thin.

This fact goes some ways toward explaining why the initial impact obliterated only the bottom two floors. Real life is not a Tex Avery cartoon, and we should not expect to see the exact outline of a jet punched into the wall. The photographic evidence demonstrates that the width of the total impact zone far exceeded the section which collapsed. A stout wall can be hit hard yet remain upright, as a number of drunk drivers have discovered. Some windows did remain intact – not surprising, since the windows were blast-reinforced.

(To read the rest, click "Permalink" below)

The images chosen for Meyssan's web site may not show aircraft debris, but other photos do -- silvery pieces, matching the color of an American Airlines jet. Fans of the “penta-bomb” idea have mooted the suggestion that these photographs were faked. Conversely, opponents of this theory have accused Meyssan of cropping his images in a deceptive fashion. Technology writer Paul Boutin points out: "If you've seen photos of airline crashes after the fire is out, they look more like landfill sites than anything recognizable as having been an airplane." (“‘Hunt the Boeing’ Answers”:; accessed 2003. )

British writer Joe Vialls, a former member of London's Society of Licenced Aeronautical Engineers and Technologists – whom I quote precisely because he is a 911 conspiracy theorist – sneers at the French theory:
Visit any one of several hundred vertical or near-vertical high-speed crash sites and you will observe a strange phenomenon -- the aircraft all seem to vanish into relatively small holes. There is no easy explanation for this, but rest assured that I speak from direct experience.

In the early sixties we were sent out to find the crash site of an English Electric Lightning Mach 2 fighter, which went in vertically at nearly 400 miles per hour during an aerobatics display. Despite having a wingspan of 35 feet, the Lightning impact crater measured only 22 feet across. Did we find the wings lying about in the field next door? No, we did not.

By some strange twist of physics the wings were in the same impact crater, near the top. What was left of the Lightning fuselage lay many feet beneath the wings...
In a follow-up article, Vialls notes a case offering a direct parallel to the Flight 77 tragedy. (, dated May 2002.) On October 4, 1992, El Al Flight 1862, a 747 jumbo jet – weightier and larger than the craft which hit the Pentagon -- lost an engine shortly after take-off from an airport in Amsterdam; the pilot managed to keep the craft more-or-less horizontal as it lost power and slammed into a massive apartment block in Bjilmer, an Amsterdam suburb. Although the 747 had a 212-foot wingspan, the resultant “hole” in the building was only half as wide. As in the Pentagon case, photographs of the crash site (taken from a distance) do not show any obvious pieces of the craft. Indeed, those photos depict a scene quite similar to the disaster along the Potomac, even though the Bjilmer apartments must have had far weaker exterior walls.

As Vialls notes:
A high proportion of the mass in any aircraft is contained within its fuselage, which presents a very small cross section at the point of impact, relative to the thin but very wide and fragile wings. Thus in both cases the high mass and low cross section caused Flight 77 and Flight 1862’s fuselages to punch holes deep into and through the concrete targets.

The wings are a different matter… The problem when an aircraft hits a flat building is that, although the wings snap off, they still have enormous inertia and will continue moving forward if at all possible...
First-hand accounts of the Pentagon catastrophe confirm this analysis. One eyewitness, a pilot named Tim Timmerman, noted that American Airlines Flight 77 "added power on its way in. The nose hit, and the wings came forward and it went up in a fireball." Keep in mind that the Pentagon’s walls received a substantial blow outside the collapsed area.

News reports quote numerous other witnesses -- a priest, commuters, office workers, reporters (the USA Today building offers a view of the impact zone), even a gardener. They all tell a consistent tale of passenger-jet-meets-building. None of them speak of bombs or missiles.

John O'Keefe, managing editor of a publication called Influence, was traveling on Interstate 395 when "from my left side -- I don't know whether I saw or heard it first -- this silver plane, I immediately recognized it as an American Airlines jet. It came swooping in over the highway, over my left shoulder, straight across where my car was heading... I thought, 'That's not going to make it to National Airport.' And then I realized where I was, and that it was going to hit the Pentagon. There was a burst of orange flame that shot out that I could see through the highway overpass. Then it was just black. Just black thick smoke." (New York Law Journal, September 12, 2001.)

Omar Campo was mowing the lawn across the road from the Pentagon when the plane came in overhead. "It was a passenger plane. I think an American Airways plane. I was cutting the grass and it came in screaming over my head. The whole ground shook and the whole area was full of fire." ("Pentagon Eyewitness Accounts," The Guardian, September 12, 2001)

Tim Timmerman, quoted above, also identified an American Airlines jet. (

Truck driver Steve Eiden noticed a passenger plane flying extremely low in what he presumed to be restricted airspace. "You could almost see the people in the windows." ("Sept 11, the Day America Changed," The Baxter Bulletin, 2001.)

During his drive to work, Fred Gaskins, an editor at USA Today, saw the jetliner "flying fast and low and the Pentagon was the obvious target." (USA Today, September 11, 2001.)

Steve Anderson had a clear view of the tragedy from his office in the USA Today building. "I thought to myself that I couldn't believe the pilot was flying so low. Then it dawned on me what was about to happen. I watched in horror as the plane flew at treetop level, banked slightly to the left, drug its wing along the ground and slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon, exploding into a bright orange fireball." (From an essay posted to web page devoted to his university, October 2, 2001)

While driving to Arlington for a funeral, Father Stephen McGraw took a wrong turn which brought him within view of the Pentagon. "The plane clipped the top of a light pole just before it got to us, injuring a taxi driver, whose taxi was just a few feet away from my car. I saw it crash into the building. My only memories really were that it looked like a plane coming in for a landing. I mean in the sense that it was controlled and sort of straight... There was an explosion and a loud noise and I felt the impact. I remember seeing a fireball come out of two windows." ("Pentagon crash eyewitness comforted victims," MDW News Service, September 28, 2001.)

Aydan Kizildrgli, a Turkish exchange student, described what he saw as a jetliner. (

Deb Anlauf, watching from the 14th floor of the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, told a reporter: “"Suddenly I saw this plane right outside my window... You felt like you could touch it; it was that close. It was just incredible. Then it shot straight across from where we are and flew right into the Pentagon. It was just this huge fireball that crashed into the wall (of the Pentagon). When it hit, the whole hotel shook." (

Dan Creed, of Oracle software, said “"I can still see the plane. I can still see it right now. It's just the most frightening thing in the world, going full speed, going full throttle, its wheels up.” (; the link to a Ahwatukee Foothill News account no longer functions.)

The CSPAN website made available an audio record of the D.C. area emergency dispatch system, in which a harried -- but always professional -- operator fields incoming information about the disaster. Within the first minute, a male voice reports that an “American Airlines” passenger plane has crashed. It is fair to presume that this report came from a police or security officer who had witnessed the event.

The NFPA Journal of November 1, 2001 (cited here: quotes a firefighter named Defina as saying that “we saw pieces of the nose gear” inside the Pentagon.

Anyone capable of discounting the eyewitness accounts will probably also discount the fact that Flight 77's two "black boxes" turned up in the wreckage ("Flight Data and Voice Recorders Found at Pentagon," PBS Online Newshour, Sept. 14, 2001; “The Tech Behind Black Boxes,” ABC news, Sept. 17, 2001), as did identifiable pieces of a passenger jet – not to mention the remains of the passengers. A team of some 50 forensic specialists from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, working twelve hour shifts in the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base, managed to identify 64 passengers and crew members, using DNA and other identification methods. (News release, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, January 11, 2002.)

Very few eyewitnesses reported smaller aircraft. A Mrs. Khavkin reported a “small commercial craft.” ( However, she was much further away than many of the other witnesses mentioned here – the BBC account quotes her thus: “Our balcony faces the city, with a panoramic view of the Pentagon, National Airport, and the entire downtown area of Washington, DC.” Note too that she says that “the plane knocked down a number of street lamp poles,” even though a few conspiracists insist that a jetliner could not do such a thing. Other witnesses who described a small jet are Don Wright, who watched from the 12th floor of a building in Rosslyn, and Steve Patterson, who watched from the 14th floor of a building in Pentagon City. (

We have hardly exhausted the list of eyewitnesses. Only the loopiest sort of conspiracy buff could envision a squad of American spooks scurrying about on that day, forcing numerous witnesses to change or concoct their stories. Predictably, the die-hard conspiracists react by “swiftboating” anyone who says anything they don’t want to hear. (See, for example, here:

Given the location involved, we should not be surprised to see military personnel and USA Today reporters prominent among the witnesses. I do not believe that everyone who works in any capacity for the nation’s military is a born liar. And although I am by no means a fan of USA Today, I cannot believe that everyone who has ever worked for that journal would lie about so important a matter.

If the presumed conspirators could compel such a massive degree of false testimony, if the conspirators command such god-like powers, then why did any “difficult” data find ink? Why, for example, were Khavkin and Wright allowed to have their say in print? And why did one reporter from the hated USA Today suddenly become credible when he uttered words that the “no jet” theorists found convenient?

USA Today’s Mike Walter, who was in traffic nearby, reported that he saw an American Airlines jet strike the Pentagon, as CNN mentioned in a story posted on September 11, 2001. ( ) However, Walter became a “good” witness for the conspiracy promoters when he described the craft as coming in “like a guided missile with wings.” Those who never attended English class -- and thus never learned that the word “like” signals the onset of a thing called a simile – took these words in an ultra-literal fashion. As Walter told a later interviewer (
I never imagined for a moment that a statement like that would come back to haunt me over and over again. A French author would come out with a book describing in detail the conspiracy theory and he would use that quote out of context to help promote his conclusions. I was very angry about all of this, and I remain angry about it today. I’m also upset that so many people lost their lives that day and while some people who have written about that tragic day have donated any and all proceeds to the victims of 9-11, he has capitalized on it to make an awful lot of money.
When Walter said these words, he became re-stigmatized as one of USA Today's liars-for-lucre.

A sufficiently determined conspiracist -- believe me, I’ve known a few -- can impeach anyone. The priest can be impeached with an appeal to anti-Catholic bigotry; a few muttered words about the Vatican banking scandal of thirty years ago will suffice to brand all priests as liars. Obviously, the Salvadoran gardener must have had immigration problems. How do we know that this alleged Turkish student really exists? Those 50 forensic specialists at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology must be fictional as well. I suppose I could try to contact one of those specialists via telephone, but why bother? A nay-sayer will simply presume that any interview subject who offers inconvenient testimony must be a liar.

Always keep in mind that a creative mind will find grounds to question your own testimony, should you ever see something that someone else does not want you to have seen. It does not matter who you are or what your background might be. Your entire work history and family background will be scoured until something comes up that sets off alarm bells: You say your cousin worked for the FBI ten years ago? A-HA! You once went to Baylor University? Ah, that’s where the CIA did MKULTRA experiments... And so you join the ranks of the presumed paid prevaricators, even though you're not a penny richer for it.

The theory of widespread witness intimidation and fabricated testimony becomes particularly risible when we compare the Pentagon tragedy to, for example, the JFK assassination. The FBI and the Warren Commission desperately wanted to find someone who would place Oswald in that 6th floor window, but the only witness available was a severely nearsighted man who didn’t wear his glasses that day. Pretty pathetic -- especially when compared to the dozens and dozens of alleged “liars” testifying to the Pentagon strike.

Although we have some credible accounts of attempted witness intimidation in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination, we nevertheless have the testimony of Jean Hill, the Newmans, Abraham Zapruder, Ed Hoffman, James Tague and many other people whose words damaged the Commission’s conclusions. Compare that situation to the 9/11 aftermath: Not one person has stepped forward to say: "The feds tried to pressure me into telling a false story about the Pentagon strike." Are we to believe that Hoover’s FBI was less intimidating than is the current incarnation? Ridiculous. Are we to believe that Americans are more compliant now than they were then? Ridiculous.

Indeed, I would posit that the Meyssanites are mimicking not the Warren Commission skeptics, but the Warren Commission’s defenders. Any eyewitness offering testimony contradicting the predetermined conclusion must be swift-boated – smeared through fair means or foul. Dan Creed and Jean Hill must go through the same meat grinder. The conclusion remains unmovable; the facts are malleable.

The “no jet hit the Pentagon” belief system marks the point where conspiracy theory becomes an exercise in gonzo epistemology. Reality is what you make of it. You can, if you wish, call into question which teams played last year’s World Series. After all, each person in the stadium offers impeachable testimony. Newspapers lie. Special effects wizards can manipulate the broadcast image.

How do you really know the Cubs didn’t win?