Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Correction to Summary of Arguments

I just realized that I have been linking to the wrong comment in the "impossible crash physics" portion of my Summary of Arguments. This is the correct comment, which relates to the behavior of aluminum on impact with harder steel:


Also, my summary cites to statements by Joseph Keith about the crash physics. Mr. Keith has also made statements about the impossibility of a Boeing 767 flying over 500 mph at low altitude. This analysis suggests that the question is still open:


Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Pentagon does not "play politics"

I've long wondered if the primary reason for the Military Commissions Act is to allow show trials of purported 9/11 perpetrators like Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who we are told is at Guantanamo after capture in Pakistan in 2003 and who allegedly said in March 2007 at Guantanamo: "I was responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z."

The Washington Post article below, entitled "Colonel: Pentagon playing politics with Gitmo trials," suggests I may be right. In the article, the former lead prosecutor for terrorism trials at Guantánamo Bay says that senior defense officials discussed in a September 2006 meeting the "strategic political value" of putting some prominent detainees on trial. This is not "playing politics" as stated in the title of the article. When the Pentagon talks about "strategic political value" (and much of what it does addressed to the public), it is engaged in information warfare.

"[T]he public information battle space is simply too important to ignore."


(at page 3 of 4, quoting Major Gary Pounder, the chief of intelligence plans and presentations at the College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education at Maxwell Airforce Base in an article in Aerospace Power Journal. Notice that Major Pounder explicitly says that Public Affairs specialists need to be involved in Information Operations to "win the media war.")

Of course, Psychological Operations (a subset of Information Operations/Wafare) are only used against foreign audiences:


(page 10 of 37)

I guess that makes the U.S. public a foreign audience.

Here's the article and some excerpts:


Colonel: Pentagon playing politics with Gitmo trials

By Josh White
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Politically motivated officials at the Pentagon have pushed for convictions of high-profile detainees ahead of the 2008 elections, the former lead prosecutor for terrorism trials at Guantánamo Bay said Friday night, adding that the pressure played a part in his decision to resign earlier this month.

Senior defense officials discussed in a September 2006 meeting the "strategic political value" of putting some prominent detainees on trial, said Air Force Col. Morris Davis. He said that he felt pressure to pursue cases that were deemed "sexy" over those that prosecutors believed were the most solid or were ready to go.

Davis said his resignation also was prompted by newly appointed senior officials seeking to use classified evidence in what would be closed sessions of court, and by almost all elements of the military commissions process being put under the Defense Department general counsel's command, something he believes could present serious conflicts of interest.

"There was a big concern that the election of 2008 is coming up," Davis said. "People wanted to get the cases going. There was a rush to get high-interest cases into court at the expense of openness."

. . .

Part of the new focus, Davis said, was to speed up cases that would show the public the system was working. Davis said he wanted to focus on cases that had declassified evidence, so the public could see the entire trial through news coverage. That would defuse possible allegations that the trials were stacked against defendants.

But [Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann, a new legal adviser to the convening authority for military commissions] said he was satisfied with putting on cases that included closed sessions, because the law allows it.

"He said, the way we were going to validate the system was by getting convictions and good sentences," Davis said. "I felt I was being pressured to do something less than full, fair and open."

Given the widespread public distrust of the 9/11 official story, it would appear urgent to "validate the system," in a controllable forum.

Does this trouble Rice's conscience?

(AP) Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was accosted by an anti-war protester with her hands painted red to look like blood as she entered the room to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The protester shouted that Rice was a "war criminal" and should be taken to the Hague, a reference to international war tribunals.

Rice was stoic and proceeded with business as normal as the protester was immediately spirited from the room. Other protesters were likewise escorted away at the behest of Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-Calif.

The above picture is the first of three in a slide slide show of the incident beginning here:


Video here:


It appeared to me that Rice's security detail was much more competent and professional than the capital police who dragged another protester out in a painful wristlock.

Here's an article on the courageous woman who approached Rice, Desiree Fairooz.


Ms. Fairooz yelled "The blood of millions of Iraqis is on your hands!"

What if Rice's "business as normal" is criminal behavior that is resulting in mass death and great destruction?

Do war criminals deserve respect because of the office they are abusing?

Does that further the rule of law?

Friday, October 26, 2007

New York Web 2.0 Television interviews 9/11 activists


One of the interviewees talks about the 9/11 responders not being helped. One of them, an EMT, is about to lose his home because of disability and unpaid medical bills.


The lies of EPA's Christine Whitman about air quality after 9/11,


the refusal of the federal appeals court to find that this action supports a constitutional claim,


and the delays and evidentiary hurdles imposed on compensation for 9/11 responders



are all reflections of a political economy that would allow a 9/11 for the "good" of the system, no matter the costs to citizens, and would block a real investigation and real assignment of criminal and civil liability.

(This last paragraph is a rough beginning stab at a response to the assertions of Noam Chomsky, Chip Berlet, ad nauseum, that there is a clear dichotomy between "structuralist" and "conspiratorialist" analyses of elite actions.)