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BATTLE: AN EXPERT RECANTS ON WHY WTC TOWERS COLLAPSED
By John Flaherty and Jared Israel

[Originally posted 14 September 2001 under the title, "'Explosives Planted In Towers,' New Mexico Tech Expert Says. Updated 26 December 2001 Revised 26 August 2002]

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Emperor's Clothes has not commented on the debate over the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers.

Some argue that the towers were brought down by explosives. Others (including defenders of the official story on 9-11) insist that the towers collapsed because fire weakened the steel support structure.

On September 14th we did post an interesting article from the Albuquerque Journal concerning the WTC towers.

It is based on an interview with Van Romero, the director of research at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

According to the article, Mr. Romero:

'studies explosive materials and the effects of explosions on buildings, aircraft and other structures.'

His Institute:

'assists in forensic investigations into terrorist attacks, often by setting off similar explosions and studying the effects.'

The Institute is funded, at least in part, by grants from the Pentagon.

Van Romero reported that he had studied the videos of the WTC collapse and concluded that the towers were most likely destroyed by carefully placed demolition charges. He told the 'Journal':

"It would be difficult for something from the plane to trigger an event like that."

FROM EXPERT OPINION TO 'SUPPORT' STATEMENT

We posted the Journal story with a link to its Web address. But when you go that address, you don't see the original story. You see a rebuttal, entitled, "Fire, Not Extra Explosives, Doomed Buildings, Expert Says."

It's a rebuttal to the original story. Unless you read almost to end of the rebuttal, you won't see that the original story is posted below it. Very odd.

Here's the address:
http://www.abqjournal.com/aqvan09-11-01.htm

The original article and the rebuttal have a very different 'feel.'

Reading the original article, it is clear that Romero is motivated by a desire to understand what happened. This is not surprising; after all he studies how buildings collapse. He isn't thinking about political implications; he's thinking about science. He doesn't have an axe to grind. He explains himself clearly and he is quoted frequently.

In the retraction, Romero is only quoted twice. Instead of letting the man speak for himself, the reporter keeps repeating the official explanation of why the WTC buildings collapsed, informing us that Romero accepts it.

And regarding that word, "supports," doesn't it suggest a political rather than a scientific act? Consider:

"Romero [now] *supports* other experts, who have said the intense heat of the jet fuel fires weakened the skyscrapers' steel structural beams to the point that they gave way under the weight of the floors above.

Why didn't the Journal let this researcher, who "assists in forensic investigations into terrorist attacks," explain for himself what new information caused him to change his expert opinion?

What did he learn between 9-11 and 9-21, the date of the retraction, from "conversations with structural engineers"?

How could someone who has spent years researching "explosive materials and the effects of explosions on buildings, aircraft and other structures" not know about the steel beams in the WTC?

Or has Mr. Romero confined his research to older buildings, i.e., those constructed prior to 1972? Before agreeing to do forensic work on a building blown up by terrorists, does he ask, "When was it built?" And if the answer is, "After 1972," does he turn down the investigation?

In the retraction, Romero is quoted twice:

The first quote is short: "Certainly the fire is what caused the building to fail."

"Certainly"?!

Why would an experimental scientist, commenting on anyone's previous conclusion - in this case, his own - demean the original assessment as "certainly" wrong?

Wouldn't that mean Romero "certainly" assessed this most important terrorist attack without first getting the facts? Doesn't that make Romero a sloppy scientist?

How humiliating for a man who acts as an expert witness in courts of law.

And consider the second quote:

Second quote: "Romero said he has been bombarded with electronic mail from the conspiracy theorists. 'I'm very upset about that,' he said. 'I'm not trying to say anything did or didn't happen.'" [End quote]

Note that the Journal dismisses those who doubt the official story as "conspiracy theorists." This newspaper has become a public relations service for Washington. And note the suggestion of desperation in Romero's comment that, "I'm not trying to say anything did or didn't happen.'"

He's not?

But in the original piece, he was quoted saying the WTC most likely collapsed due to demolition charges. And in the retraction he is quoted saying he "certainly" was wrong.

Moreover, isn;t deciding whether "anything did or didn't happen" the goal of all of Romero's research. He "studies explosive materials and the effects of explosions on buildings, aircraft and other structures" in order to determine what "did or didn't happen."

It seems that in both quotes Van Romero negates himself, first as incompetent, then as irrelevant. Or perhaps his second comment, that "I'm not trying to say anything did or didn't happen," may be seen in a different light. We shall return to that.

Why did Mr. Romero recant? Consider the following paragraph from the original story:

"Romero said he and another Tech administrator were on a Washington-area subway when an airplane struck the Pentagon. He said he and Denny Peterson, vice president for administration and finance, were en route to an office building near the Pentagon to discuss defense-funded research programs at Tech. [New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, where Romero is Vice President for research.]"

Here is our hypothesis.

Romero gave the original interview right after the WTC attacks. He said what he thought, unaware he was stepping on a land mine.

But the powers-that-be were aware.

The paymaster of Romero's research institute is the Pentagon. Directly or indirectly, pressure was brought to bear, forcing Romero to retract his original statement. But perhaps expressing his exasperation with this pressure, he added, "I'm not trying to say anything about what did or did not happen." In this way, perhaps, he refused to recant entirely.

If our hypothesis is right, it illustrates three features of the new American Empire.

First: it has great wealth, which it wields shamelessly. (And often to ludicrous effect. Consider the hyperbole with which the Bush administration praised Pakistan for 'cooperating' in crushing the Taliban, which is, by the way, the collective child of the covert services of Pakistan, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. And consider how - immediately afterwards! - the Bush administration announced that Pakistan would receive millions of dollars in aid and cancellation of debt.)

So the first fact about the U.S. empire is: it pays for virtue.

Second: from the virtuous it demands servility. If the virtuous should err, so must the virtuous grovel. Otherwise, no cash.

Third: despite all its weapons and money, the U.S. Empire still has difficulty getting human beings to grovel. Thus, it may have been in order to hold onto some integrity that Van Romero said, "I'm not trying to say anything about what did or did not happen." The man relies on the Pentagon for funding; yet perhaps the man resists.

In an email to Emperor's clothes, Joan T., a reader, wrote: "What good is money without freedom?"

What good indeed.

- John Flaherty and Jared Israel

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The following is the original article from the 'ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL'. We suggest you read it first, then the second JOURNAL article, the rebuttal, which is now the first article on the page http://www.abqjournal.com/aqvan09-11-01.htm (We'll repost that url at the end)

'ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL' ~ "'EXPLOSIVES PLANTED IN TOWERS,' NEW MEXICO TECH EXPERT SAYS." By Olivier Uyttebrouck Journal Staff Writer

Televised images of the attacks on the World Trade Center suggest that explosives devices caused the collapse of both towers, a New Mexico Tech explosion expert said Tuesday.

The collapse of the buildings appears "too methodical" to be a chance result of airplanes colliding with the structures, said Van Romero, vice president for research at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

"My opinion is, based on the videotapes, that after the airplanes hit the World Trade Center there were some explosive devices inside the buildings that caused the towers to collapse," Romero said.

Romero is a former director of the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center at Tech, which studies explosive materials and the effects of explosions on buildings, aircraft and other structures.

Romero said he based his opinion on video aired on national television broadcasts.

Romero said the collapse of the structures resembled those of controlled implosions used to demolish old structures.

"It would be difficult for something from the plane to trigger an event like that," Romero said in a phone interview from Washington, D.C.

Romero said he and another Tech administrator were on a Washington-area subway when an airplane struck the Pentagon.

He said he and Denny Peterson, vice president for administration and finance, were en route to an office building near the Pentagon to discuss defense-funded research programs at Tech.

If explosions did cause the towers to collapse, the detonations could have been caused by a small amount of explosive, he said.

"It could have been a relatively small amount of explosives placed in strategic points," Romero said. The explosives likely would have been put in more than two points in each of the towers, he said.

The detonation of bombs within the towers is consistent with a common terrorist strategy, Romero said.

"One of the things terrorist events are noted for is a diversionary attack and secondary device," Romero said.

Attackers detonate an initial, diversionary explosion that attracts emergency personnel to the scene, then detonate a second explosion, he said.

Romero said that if his scenario is correct, the diversionary attack would have been the collision of the planes into the towers.

Tech President Dan Lopez said Tuesday that Tech had not been asked to take part in the investigation into the attacks. Tech often assists in forensic investigations into terrorist attacks, often by setting off similar explosions and studying the effects.

(C) 2001, 'Albuquerque Journal,' Reprinted for Fair Use Only

The Rebuttal to this article is posted at http://www.abqjournal.com/aqvan09-11-01.htm

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Emperor's Clothes Urgently Needs Your Help!

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FURTHER READING
= = = = = = = = = =

(1) 'Newspaper Articles Documenting the U.S. Creation of the Taliban and bin Laden's Terrorist Network' can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/docs/doc.htm

2) 'Gaping Holes in the 'CIA vs. bin Laden' Story' by Jared Israel at http://emperors-clothes.com/news/probestop-i.htm
provides strong documentation refuting the claim that bin Laden broke with the CIA (and, incidentally, his family) at the time of the Gulf War.

4) "Congressman Says: 'U.S. Set Up Anti-Taliban to be Slaughtered'" Excerpts from a most revealing hearing with comments by Jared Israel Can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/misc/rohr.htm For full (very long) text of hearings go to: http://emperors-clothes.com/misc/rohrfull.htm

4) Bin Laden in the Balkans' Mainstream news accounts of bin Laden's involvement in CIA-linked terrorist organizations attacking Yugoslavia and Macedonia years after he supposedly broke with the CIA. [Posted 3 October 2001] http://emperors-clothes.com/news/binl.htm

5) 'BUSHLADEN' can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/news/bushladen.htm

6) For a list of relevant articles concerning the involvement of top U.S. officials in 9-11, go to http://emperors-clothes.com/indict/911page.htm#1

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