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“Festering and Rotting”

by Berry Friesen (March 31, 2017)

“The wounds of 9/11 have remained unhealed for too long; 
they are festering and rotting and they are infected.
When you have a wound on the body, one of the 
first things you do is wash it out with hot, soapy water.
Then you bandage it up and yeah, it hurts—
it hurts while you’re washing it—it stings, it’s a sharp pain . . . .
My point is that truth is the hot, sudsy water with which
we wash out the wounds of 9/11 so that they can begin true healing.”
                                                                                Peter Michael Ketcham

As governance deteriorates in Washington and division deepens across America, pundits of one stripe or another are diagnosing our malaise, trying to explain how we lost our way.

Peter Michael Ketcham can help us, I think.  He’s no pundit; instead, he’s a technical specialist (math and computer operations) who worked for more fourteen years for the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).  That’s the agency within the US Department of Commerce responsible for working with private sector businesses to define the science-based standards applied across the US economy.

After the attacks of 9/11, NIST was given the task of investigating and explaining the collapses of three, steel-framed World Trade Center (WTC) towers (buildings 1, 2 and 7). Some say the attacks that day by two passenger jets provide all the explanation needed. But never before in history had a steel-framed building collapsed, notwithstanding instances of intense and long-burning fires.  So why did three such buildings collapse in a single day, including one (Building 7) that was not hit by a plane and experienced only relatively minor fires?  This is an important question of public safety.

NIST released its report on the collapse of the so-called Twin Towers in September, 2005.  It released its report on the collapse of the 47-story Building 7 in November, 2008, seven years after the event.

Ketcham worked for NIST throughout the time its investigation was going on, but did not engage in the project.  It was not until August 2016 that he carefully read the NIST reports, compared the reports with the video evidence, and concluded “the NIST investigation was not a sincere and genuine study” of the collapses.  As Ketcham puts it:

“The most likely cause—controlled demolition—was not investigated at all; in fact, it was dismissed in one or two sentences in the report.”

You can hear Ketcham in this 31-minutes video.

Of course, the path Ketcham followed in regard to 9/11—first nodding assent to the official version of what happened, then careful study, finally passionate dissent—is well charted by now.  From the very beginning, there were some who attributed the collapses to explosions.  But more of us became dissenters some time later, after NIST came out with final reports that failed to explain how steel-framed buildings could have fallen so quickly and symmetrically, leaving massive construction elements in relatively small pieces and acres of concrete pulverized into dust.

My turning away from the official account occurred in the summer of 2006, when I finally began to study the matter.  Timing was critical; by 2006, I had become aware of the criminal conspiracy by members of the Bush Administration to use deception to win US support for a war of aggression against Iraq.  This had forced me to face for the first time in my life that certain American leaders were war criminals.  So I began to wonder: might these leaders have committed crimes related to 9/11 too?

It’s not my intention here to summarize Ketcham’s position; you can listen to and evaluate that yourself.  Nor is it my intention to argue my own position.

My point is to remind readers that a large slice of the US population does not accept official accounts of what happened on 9/11.  A 2006 Scripps Howard poll found this slice included 36 percent of Americans (those who considered it “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that government officials either allowed the 9/11 attacks to be carried out or carried out the attacks themselves).   Subsequent polls have shown that number to be declining, but it still can be safely pegged at 20-25 percent.

Serious science-based research is ongoing to test the NIST conclusions and to more adequately explain how the three steel-framed towers became piles of rubble.  Last summer Europhysicis News published an article summarizing key science-based controversies related to 9/11 and noting some of the relevant research conducted by independent analysts.  This article has been viewed by 500,000 readers.

Nearly 3,000 certified US architects and structural engineers have called for a new and independent investigation of 9/11; you can read about that at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.  Last fall, it published a 50-page report, “Beyond Misinformation; What Science Says About the Destruction of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2 and 7.”

All of this has been largely ignored by the leadership layer of American society.  The mainstream media do not report the scientific findings and universities do not conduct peer reviews to either refute or confirm those findings.  Political leaders avoid the fact that many professionals engaged in the work of steel-framed construction have not found the NIST reports credible.

Thus, discussion of 9/11 is effectively stigmatized and rendered illegitimate.  You can carry on your vocation, civic activities and social role even while asserting the CIA assassinated President Kennedy or that President Bush lied the USA into the invasion of Iraq.  But if you claim US government agents participated in the criminal conspiracy to carry out the 9/11 attacks, you will be marginalized.

Which brings us back to where we started above: a diagnosis of our dysfunctional politics here in the US.

Think of it this way:  a substantial part of the population suspects some US political leaders are terrorists.  And a substantial part of the US population suspects current US leaders are covering up the culpability of the Bush-era conspirators.  These suspicions produce deep ambivalence about our government, an ambivalence that can easily sour into alienation and civic hostility.  And civic hostility can easily lead to destructive and dysfunctional politics.

To address this, we must address the festering, rotting wound of 9/11.  This Lenten season, we can turn toward healing by adding our voices to the call for a new and independent 9/11 investigation.