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18 August 2011


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William R. Cumming

What is the significance of no large scale attacks domestically since 9/11/01 if any?

Also National Geographic will present an anniversary program on 9/11/01 on August 21st at 9PM. Not sure of channel.



The significance is that there was zero reason panic, pass the Patriot Act, invade Iraq or occupy Afghanistan.

The actual capabilities of a small group of jihadist to actually move like minded individuals who are fluent in our language and with sufficient cultural skills to 'hide in place' while they plan to do something against our people is close to zero. The idea that AQ has shoe bombs, underwear bombs, fake boob bombs and on and on is a load of crap that helps both an authoritarian government and a multitude of 'security' companies (from training to x-ray machines) push their agenda.

We survived the riots of the cities in the '60s without the Patriot Act. In the 1970's a Puerto Rican independence group shot at least one member of Congress on the floor of the House of Representatives - the response was not to isolate the elected representatives from the citizens -treating the later as suspects to a crime not as the people to whom Congress are accountable. The panic created over 9-11, just like the self created 'crisis' of the budget is a methodology being used to change the nature of government, its accountability to its ultimate source of power - the citizens, and a cover for the immense transfer of wealth from one class of citizen to another.


William R. Cumming--

"What is the significance of no large scale attacks domestically since 9/11/01 if any?"

That a law enforcement approach to terrorism works?

Not that I approve of our surveillance state, nor do I think it necessary for our legal system to function properly.


Colonel Lang,

Why should anyone bother? It is no longer necessary to have a "successful" attack [I think this is what WRC implicitly referred to]. A failed attack or a merely threatened attack has the same negative impact on our system. Recent events would suggest maybe even more.e.g. After the 911 events I couldn't take my box cutter onto an aircraft, this rarely directly impacted me. After the failed "underwear attack" TSA cretin thugs can inspect my underwear (with me still in them!)This impacts me frequently.Persons who wish to hurt us have only to make a small move against us and our over amplified police state will magnify the attack into a severe one against our fundamental values and institutions. A much better ROI for the attacker.

USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96

Ken Halliwell

Multiple choice test: Given a normally distributed probability, what area under the "bell curve" best represents the probability for three steel-framed buildings (Trade Center 1, 2 & 7) all being damaged in a similar manner (building 7 less so than the others), all completely collapsing in virtually the same manner (i.e., straight down), all falling at close to free-fall speed, and all creating a pool of red-hot steel that takes weeks to cool?

A: 68.2% (This happens all the time, no doubt about it.)
B: 27.2% (This happens sometimes -- doesn't it?)
C: 4.2% (This could happen, anything is possible.)
D: 0.2% (Holy s$$t, how did that happen? It seems impossible.)
E: less than 0.2% (Impossible, without doubt.)

Admittedly, my background in statistics and physics is only at the undergraduate engineering course level, but it seems to me that the best answer is D -- with lots of bias toward E.


Bonehead Alert, Bonehead Alert.


Tom Coburn: ‘Good thing I can’t pack a gun on the Senate floor’

To say things, no matter how disgusting/disgraceful/boneheaded in the well of the Senate and House is one thing, it's protected speech, but for any Member of Congress to say such things outside the Congressional wells is entirely another matter.

One need remember that Senator Coburn is one of the boneheads who wants to renig on U.S. Government promises made to career military regarding their career pay and benefits, Coburn wants to renig on military healthcare and px/bx/commisary/military hospitals/military schools, Coburn also wants to renig on Social Security and Medicare/Medicade.

There is one particular thing that I have never to this day heard Senator Coburn call for cutting on, and that is Congressional and White House 'fat'. None of the Members of the Congress be they Senator or Representative are worth over $50k per year salary, anything above that salary figure is unwarranted. Also the sizes of the Congressional Staffs are outrageous, especially since most of the Congress Membership 'farm out' their legislation to private lobbyists, private think tanks, and institutional focus groups. Because of that, Members of the Congress don't deserve the sizes of their staffs they now enjoy.

Now the 64 dollar question -- Does the Senate have a Breivik type in their midst that needs to be immediately jettisoned from the Congress?

Coburn IMO needs to resign/forced-to-resign his Senate seat over this 'foopah' of his. We as a nation cannot afford Breivik types sitting in the houses of legislation, especially given how on edge the average American has become thanks to crooked politicans, crooked bankers, and crooked business types.



They don't even need a failed attack. The 'boob bomb' scare was a TSA generated idea based on 'potential' risk. The same rationale - somewhere on Earth somebody used a baby to hide a bomb, so now the TSA thugs terrorize our kids with pat downs. Why fly at all? In San Francisco why ride BART as they shut down all cell service to 'pre-empt' a public protest. Collective pre-punishment.

Land of the free, home of the brave.


It's tempting to assume the hidden hand of an immense, invisible plot to derail our form of government, but really, having studied this phenomenon first hand, I think its something a bit more pernicious.

It's a wave of sweeping addiction. An analyst takes a flyer, says, "it could even be "x", "X" being the most bizarre, over-the-top interpretation of a set of facts that could be imagined. The analyst is tired, he or she has been working 7 day weeks for months, the interpretation is in the way of a sick joke.

Imagine the surprise when the piece comes back from the White House scribbled all over with kiss-marks--They LOVED it!

Needless to say this addiction started in the last administration, but it has spread so far it can not be stopped. Those who dare to throw the BS flag about something loved by the WH are quickly marginalized, those who show the quickness of mind and the opportunistic nature to make up the things that feel best to the highest audience are quickly promoted.

The "intelligence customers" get the drift and quickly demand more fantasies. After all, fantasies are good grist for the CBJB, the font of all funding increases.

Those who cry "wolf" most successfully are strengthened, those who stick to the truth are soon on the sidelines.

To some, the "War on Terror" is the substitute for the WWII that legendarily got us out of the Great Depression. Apparently though, the money spouts only work in limited areas, and the breadth of the "threat" just doesn't reach the whole nation, pretend as we might.

Then of course, we get people like WRC who persist in saying, "but the king isn't wearing any clothes," Hush, the cow is not completely milked yet. We can still pretend some more.

It's all become a Milo Minderbinder-like enterprise. The bad guys that exist push the cyber buttons to make it seem they might be powerful, and the John Pistoles run around becoming evermore creative in trampling on civil liberties in the interest of protecting us from these invisible, but ultra powerful foes.

Where will it end? I honestly don't know. Perhaps we will simply fly around in ever-tightening orbits at ever increasing speeds till we all fly up our own a**holes and disappear. There's probably a 4.2% likelihood of that.

William R. Cumming

Ken Halliwell! Not sure of my facts but I understand several different reports prepared on WTC collapase after the hit by the airplanes. One is by the the former Bureau of Standards and now relabeled--something like NTIS!

On 9/11/01 I understand thee were 500 + buildings in the USA of 40 or more stories (one definition of a skyscraper)and while no new ones started since that date less than one dozen finished.

Hoping you can improve on this comment?



What do you make of Pistole, especially since he lists in his bio he was with the Bureau for 26 years? His bio, says he was Executive Assistant Director for Counter-terrorism and Counterintelligence, and in 2004, Pistole was named Deputy Director for the FBI.

Now given light of his 26 years, one would think that he would have learned a thing or two about our nation's fundamental values, alas it appears both Pistole and his TSA unwarranted intrusive behavior only shows just how little he learned during his 26yrs. Their TSA behavior is one of a molester, not a protector.

Don Bohn


Bad test.

1. The internal floors of 1 & 2 had pancaked way down the tower (weakened by jet fuel dontcha know) before the unique structural skin gave way. Once the perimeter columns began to scissor (see films), there was essentially nothing of substance to impede the fall of the top of the towers - at that point they were naturally in free fall.

2. Any idea how much dust drilling in concrete produces?

3. The two engineers who are peddling this stuff are w----s.

PS Don't really know much about #7. Do you?


Mark Logan


Can you find a large skyscraper collapse that wasn't straight down?


Skeptical Hippo says 98% chance.


DDE issued a warning about the military-industrial complex, which is still ignored. Now a security-industrial complex has been added with a financial-industrial complex that finances the politics to sustain them all.

It is amazing what the American public is now putting up with. In Ike's time, there was a red menace. Now we have a red, white and blue menace and it got supercharged after 9/11.

The question is how long it can be sustained? It is creating a broke and broken nation.



What you say is very true, sadly. It points to the complete lack of leadership of either party. J's link to Senator 'radio rawanda' Colburn is a case in point.

William R. Cumming

Rand has produced and issued for free download an odd report summarizing efforts and successes since 9/11/01 but perhaps oddly focuses largely on the GWOT.


Still dreaming that Iraq contains one patriot. See http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65061

Please ask us to leave...definitively.


Were the Israelis that were killed/attacked today civilians or soldiers? The media is not saying.



The Israeli media are saying 6 civilians and 1 soldier, both attacks happend on roads near Eilat. The Israeli media reports as 'unclear' exactly where the 1 soldier was killed.



What I found disturbing was that the Israeli IDF used one of their U.S. supplied F16s to attack civilians in Gaza in retaliation. I'd call Israel's IDFs 'retaliation' response 'over the top' and 'extremely heavy handed' wouldn't you?

Israeli Defense Minister Barak is vowing even more IDF heavy-handedness is in the offing against the civilians in Gaza.


Looks like Ollie North's attitude to shredding documents still survives:



"PS Don't really know much about #7. Do you?"


"... they made that decision to pull, and we watched the building collapse."

Will Reks



Our branches of government are coequal. However, Congress has ceded much authority, in effect, over to the President in recent decades. If that had not been so perhaps we could avoid the theater from our political parties. And perhaps the Presidency could be more of a ceremonial post than something approaching royalty.

There is a reason that the approval rating of Congress is much lower than the President's own anemic numbers.

William R. Cumming

Lars! What does DDE stand for?



Why Dwight David Eisenhower of course. Ike.


I had a sneaking feeling that the SST post of Richard Clarke's assertions about 9/11 would eventually turn out the WTC deniers. So here's my question for all of you who believe that the WTC (and especially buildings 1 and 2) could not have collapsed because of the airplane impacts.

If the collapse were not due to the crashes, then how did I know as soon as I saw the impacts that those towers would likely collapse, and that their collapse mechanism would be localized into that vertical mode of destruction that structural engineers call "pancaking"?

I knew it because I know the science behind the dynamics of tall structures, and because large-scale structural engineering is my profession (I earned a Ph.D. in it 25 years ago, and have been practicing ever since). So my prediction was scientific, i.e., it was made before the collapse occurred (as scientists do), not after (as half-baked conspiracy theorists do).

Darned near everyone in the structural engineering profession (and especially those of us with expertise in earthquake engineering, which is the most common case of dynamic loads applied to large structures) knew what was likely to happen once those aircraft burrowed into the primary structures of the WTC. It's not that hard to predict, right down to the speed of collapse. It's science that was settled in the time of Newton, so it's not exactly new.

Thousands of innocent Americans died when the WTC collapsed. The passing of those poor souls deserves nothing less than our most ardent forms of respect. But trotting out lame-brained conspiracy theories that can't pass muster in informed conversation is definitely not a demonstration of respect for those who died on that awful morning ten years ago.

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