Live from the LP Convention: Who Planted Those Explosives in the Twin Towers, Anyway?

A bit after noon, Mary Ruwart held a punchy Q&A at the speaker's room at the back of the convention hall. She expressed a vision of compassionate libertarianism that could appeal to the left as well as the religious right; she also called Bob Barr an "unacceptable" choice because he attacked her age of consent passage from Short Answers to the Tough Questions (which she calls one of the "worst-written" things she's ever penned) on Glenn Beck's radio show. Some of the listeners (about 60 of them) were moved to tears and support for Ruwart, and Bob Barr made an apparent blunder by leading a brief, loud rally only a few yards away, before he marched to deliver his tokens for inclusion in tonight's debate. On the way over, Barr's supporters were heckled by radicals; one hummed the "Imperial March" from Star Wars.

Later I caught up with Andrew Ferguson and Mark Rand of Liberty, who'd conducted an interview with Ruwart. Her answer on why she signed the Libertarians for Justice pledge puzzled us. (That 1:30 minute answer is here.)

You know, when you have an attack or you have a crime, the thing that you do is take care of that site and protect it very carefully to deconstruct it, so you know exactly what happened. Our government did not do that on 9/11. What they did is they swept everything up, possibly for a legitimate reason; they didn’t want to alarm the public, they wanted it to be erased as soon as possible.

The downside of that is that if we don’t actually know what happened, how do we prevent it in the future? There’s some evidence that there may have been some explosives involved in the demolition—some demolition involved in the buildings collapsing. If that were true, then we should know about that, because how did those explosives get there? What kind of things did the terrorists find out about our security that they learned in order to do that? Without knowing more, without deconstructing that site very carefully, we can’t find that out.

So I do think we should have more investigation, because there’s a lot of data floating out there that’s been ignored by the official investigation and it’s been brought up by a number of individuals that had access to that data, and that’s something that is important to look at. So I believe we should go ahead, look at it for national security reasons, so we can prevent this in the future.

It sounded to me like Ruwart was making a rhetorical mistake. She didn't suggest that 9/11 was an inside job, just that controlled demolitions might have been part of the attack. Who knows who placed them? I found Ruwart again to get her to clear up the quote. What does she believe happened on 9/11?

I think we don't know because there are so many unanswered questions. That's why I think we should have investigated it as a forensic site. If I was the commander-in-chief that's exactly what I would have done, so we could prevent it in the future.

Who planted the explosives?

We have no idea at this point. How do we know? We don't have enough information. I'm a scientist—I don't like to jump to conclusions. And there's a lot of data left.

So, Ruwart's a skeptic. In the first (flawed) barometer of candidate support, she got 94 tokens for entrance into tonight's debate, tying Barr and Root. Ruwart had directed some surplus tokens to Steve Kubby, and Barr had passed some to Mike Gravel. The top seven candidates from my analysis of the LP field will all be debating.

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  • ||

    There's a lot of data left to evaluate on the law of gravity, too. I hear some kids are going to do a pendulum experiment in summer school next week, let's not jump to conclusions by assuming the period of oscillation will be (L/g)^0.5.

  • Brandybuck||

    There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that there were planted explosives. Questions ("we're only asking questions") from nutjob websites do not qualify as evidence.

  • ||

    We have no idea at this point. How do we know? We don't have enough information. I'm a scientist-I don't like to jump to conclusions. And there's a lot of data left.

    Permanent skepticism is just as harmful to the advancement of science as jumping to unwarranted conclusions. It would be like the people running the atom smasher at Fermilab refusing to believe in the existence of the electromagnetic force because it hasn't been proven.

  • Colin||

    Just say no to Truthers.

    Dave, do you see a Barr/Gravel alliance is in the making, or was his help simly Machiavellian?

    Gotta love the intrigue.

  • Stephen the Goldberger||

    There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that there were planted explosives. Questions ("we're only asking questions") from nutjob websites do not qualify as evidence.

    Seriously, and I don't want the LP candidate to waste her/his time with this nonsense.

  • ||

    She expressed a vision of compassionate libertarianism that could appeal to the left as well as the religious right;

    God help us. Libertarianism is a political philosophy of bare-bones govt, there's no relevance for compassion or any other emotion. Wasn't Ruwart supposed to be the REAL libertarian, as opposed to diluters Barr and Root?

  • Kolohe||

    Updated list of human endeavors where there is no crying:

    1) Baseball
    2) The Libertarian Party
    3) The Democratic Party
    4) The Republican Party

  • ||

    Kolohe,

    That "Republican tears" picture is pretty good, but it can't match the hands-down best example in that category.

  • Kolohe||

    That's why I think we should have investigated it as a forensic site.

    Ugh. It was.

  • Kolohe||

    crymethink:

    Yours is indeed superior; I'm surprised it didn't come up on the first page of the GIS for "republican + crying."

  • ||

    I noticed Weigel changed his wording in the last paragraph from the fairly sympathetic-sounding "Ruwart can be accused of nothing but skepticism" to "Ruwart is a skeptic". Good move.

  • hello||

    What about the antenna system that was installed in the towers? We know who installed that (Giuliani).

    The talk about "explosives" is bullshit COINTELPRO being pushed by Mormon cultist Steve Jones. High-technology energy weapons were used to virtually disintegrate wash quarter-mile high building in 10 seconds.

    Meanwhile, Weigel is doing a great job demanding libertarians swear fealty to the official government conspiracy theory. Classy.

  • goodbye||

    *wash = each

  • ||

    Weigel is just another Kochtopus Kunt who is whoring for Barr.

  • KKKountry of AmeriKKKa||

    figure out how to work a third "K" in there and it will be more effectice as a political insult

  • Kokkktopus||

    I'm not Jewish, but I'm incredibly gay.

  • ||

    I thought the Kochtopus' enemies were for Barr as a slightly-inferior substitute for Paul. Do I have to update my scorecard again?

  • TallDave||

    I think we all know the real culprits were religious extremists who reject modern, Western society.

    That's right -- the Amish were behind 9/11.

  • Dormouse||

    [i]That's right -- the Amish were behind 9/11.[/i]

    That explains a lot of things...

  • ||

    Humming the Imperial March might be the single best political stunt I've ever heard of.

    Bravo to that guy. You could do it to Hillary, McCain, Cheney...

  • Dormouse||

    What? No BBCode?

  • I\'m Just Sayin\'||

    So basically, Libertarians get to choose between truther nutjobs (or those sympathetic to truther nutjobs), a quasi-socialist, and a social conservative?


    Seriously, FUCK the LP.

  • ||

    Dormouse,

    Fraid so. We believe in raw <HTML> in these parts.

  • I\'m Just Sayin\'||

    Dormouse, you can use regular html tags like .

  • ||

    Somewhere in Chile, Ron Paul's doppelganger is saying I told you so:

    South America nations found union

  • LeTerrassier||

    I think I like Ruwart; I just hope she shuts up about 9/11. Al Qaeda was clearly behind it, so instead of babbling about explosives lets talk about why they (Al Qaeda, not Bush/Clinton/The Jews) did it. Last I checked it is not likely someone would kill 3,000 human beings because they hate their 'freedom'. The focus should be on 1) Why people in third world countries hate Americans so much (it might have something to do with those wars we keep starting). 2) Why Bush does not care about bringing justice to Bin Laden, and instead cares only about nation building in Afghanistan, Iraq, and (coming soon...) Iran. 3) What drives religious and political extremism in general.
    Of course these questions would inevitably come back to American Imperialism, and thus are ignored by most Americans, who seem to feel uncomfortable with the idea of the 'American Empire' despite its existence for nigh on a century.
    To sum it all up:
    Bin Laden = bad
    Bush = bad
    Ruwart = pretty cool
    9/11 Truthers = crazier then me (shockingly)
    America = screwed
    I think that covers it.

  • ||

    Humming the Imperial March might be the single best political stunt I've ever heard of.

    Bravo to that guy. You could do it to Hillary, McCain, Cheney...

    I think the Wicked Witch of the West music would be more suited.

  • Galileo||

    The 9/11 attacks were staged by the executive branch of the federal government. There is video of the Twin Towers and WTC 7 coming down in demolition.

  • FDM||

    You got to be kidding me... you don't even have to be an architect to know that when the mass of the floors above the impact began to move they would blow thru everything below as if it wasn't there. It's the difference between statics and dynamics. Plus as each disintegrating floor added its mass to the mass already in motion everything accelerated. OF COURSE it looked like demolition. The very structure of the towers made it pull straight downwards. Sheesh... Tinfoil nutjobs at the LP.

  • ||

    I guess if the father of modern observational astronomy thinks 9/11 was an inside job, who am I to argue?

  • Galileo||

    FDM said;

    "You got to be kidding me... you don't even have to be an architect to know that when the mass of the floors above the impact began to move they would blow thru everything below as if it wasn't there. It's the difference between statics and dynamics."

    Galileo says;

    What you say is NOT reflected in the official NIST report on the collapse on the Twin Towers. If you have some engineering secret, you may want to inform NIST.

    You are typical of ignorant debunkers, you don't know what you are talking about.

  • Ruwart \'08: It\'s for the chi||

    I heard some "twofers" talking about how some of the evidence wasn't examined and wound up in dumps and nonsense like that. Those people are nuts. What the government said is what really happened.

    Also, compassion has no part to play in the modern LP. Let us remain the party of reason... and of Reason!

  • FDM||

    No Galileo -- YOU CAN'T READ -- I QUOTE THE VERY REPORT YOU REFERENCE --:

    " The change in potential energy due to downward movement of building mass above the buckled columns exceeded the strain energy that could have been absorbed by the structure. Global collapse then ensued."

  • ||

    The weak and elderly have no place in libertarianism.

  • Acton||

    Good lord again we see why the LP will never ammont to anything. Personally I wold go to the Furry Con down the road. It would be more interesting.

  • ||

    Lonewacko, it looks like someone is taking your advice to heart...there was a question at the LP presidential debate about whether the American Indians' "open borders immigration policy" worked out for them.

  • ||

    Good lord again we see why the LP will never ammont to anything. Personally I wold go to the Furry Con down the road. It would be more interesting.
    I'm interested to see who they pick for their presidential candidate

  • Chasque y Aprenda||

    Oí un cierto "twofers" hablando de cómo algo de la evidencia no examinó e hiere para arriba en descargas y absurdo como eso. Ellos son locos. Qué el gobierno dijo es qué sucedió realmente.

    También, la compasión no tiene ninguna parte a jugar en el LP moderno. ¡Sigamos siendo el partido de razón… y de Razón!

  • J Golden Rockwell||

    Galileo wrote: "There is video of the Twin Towers and WTC 7 coming down in demolition."

    There's video of Yoda fighting Count Duku. That doesn't mean that the whole Star Wars thing is true.

  • J Golden Rockwell||

    FDM wrote: "Sheesh... Tinfoil nutjobs at the LP."

    What, you thought that the Democrats had the market cornered . . ?

  • Mike Laursen||

    Libertarianism is a political philosophy of bare-bones govt, there's no relevance for compassion or any other emotion.

    Yeah, OK, whatever you say, Mr. Spock.

  • Chamdar||

    I heard some "twofers" talking about how some of the evidence wasn't examined and wound up in dumps and nonsense like that. Those people are nuts. What the government said is what really happened.

    Also, compassion has no part to play in the modern LP. Let us remain the party of reason... and of Reason!


    Right, because you're obviously all about compassion when you support punishing innocent "anchor babies" for the crimes of their parents.

  • Galileo||

    The NIST report never explains why "Global collapse then ensued".

    That's the whole point of the report, since the WTC was designed to not collapse in that scenerio.

    Engineers need to know why, if the top 15 floors of a building falls 10 feet, the remaining 95 floors below it will be crushed to the ground.

    Likely.

  • Brandybuck||

    Engineers need to know why, if the top 15 floors of a building falls 10 feet, the remaining 95 floors below it will be crushed to the ground.



    Did your mother drop you on your head as a baby? The "global collapse then ensued" because the floor upon which the top 15 floors landed on collapsed. Instead of pretending to have read the NIST report, why don't you go and actually read it for real?

  • JB||

    Galileo, mass and gravity. This shit really isn't that hard.

    I have to say I would definitely watch a Youtube video of physics vs. Truthers. Hammer meets skull results in demolition of head.

  • masticator||

    The "global collapse then ensued" because the floor upon which the top 15 floors landed on collapsed.

    But then what happened to the next floor down? Don't have an answer for that one, do you little sheeple?

  • Brandybuck||

    But then what happened to the next floor down? Don't have an answer for that one, do you little sheeple?



    I have no idea if you're joking or not. Because twoofers will say shit just as stupid. But just in case: The floor below will collapse because of the weight of 11 floors landing on it. I haven't yet gotten around to figuring out what caused the floor below that to collapse, though. I suspect it was due to the weight of 12 floors landing on it, but I haven't done the math yet...

  • Kendra||

    Hi all,

    I lurk on Hit and Run almost daily, but don't typically have something to say.

    I'm a Denver local so I've been crashing the convention this weekend. I caught Mary's Q&A and I do think she is a compelling candidate and great speaker. As a non-Libertarian I was interested in hearing her speak because so many of her supporters told me they thought she was the best choice to bring in reluctant people who are concerned that, once implemented, Libertarian rollback of certain social programs would lead people to rot.

    I am one of those people, and my big issue is education funding, so I was glad that someone asked Mary about that. I have to say, her answer was unsettling. She used Sesame Street as an example of what would be available to people who could not avoid private school tuition.

    Now, leaving aside the fact that this is a program that airs with government assistance, I tried to imagine a country in which our worst-off children received their k-12 in front of edutainment TV brought to you by Kix and Mattel.

    I know our public school system is a mess (I do support vouchers,) but Mary's answer reminded me of why, despite my other libertarian leanings, I do not want to live in Libertopia.

  • ||

    The Nevada State Chair, Jim Duensing, appears to be a ringleader of the LP Truthers.

    As the former Chair, now a Ron Paul Republican, I can say that Duensing is an person who claims he wants his state candidates to be "moderate" as he defines it.

    The Nevada LP is totally centered in Las Vegas and Pahrump now.

    Perhaps having a State Chair that claims to be a "moderate" while organizing the LP Truthseekers is the reason.

    Bob Barr was wise to not sign the petition.

  • ||

    Kendra--

    Are you aware of the third world private school movement? The very poorest people in India and Africa are turning to private education because the public schools are so bad.

    The market will find a way to help the poor get educated. Harlem Prep was a better example for Ruwart to use than Sesame Street.

    If you support vouchers that is OK, but they might backfire if the state uses them to regulate private schools.

    There will be inexpensive private schools in a deregulated world, and private charity for those who are absolutely too poor.

    But, part of Libertopia will be that people will be more aware of the responsibility that child rearing entails. The Catholic "God will provide" approach to child rearing will be looked on less favorably, I think.

  • Kendra||

    Thanks for the response, libertree. I haven't really heard much about what's going on in other countries, but I am familiar with Harlem Prep. I'm very impressed with many of the charter schools around here, too. Right now most kids receive government assistance to attend those schools, and I just don't know what free market incentive there is for anyone to replace those funds.

    You are right that Mary could have used inexpensive private schools as a more convincing example, though. I guess I was just taken aback by the way she described television-based education as such a great low-cost learning opportunity, as if it would somehow be an adequate substitute for a classroom teaching environment of any kind.

  • ||

    Kendra, the cost to educate a pupil in a public school is around $4000 to $6000 a year (from memory, you'll have to look up current numbers). I used to work in a private non-parochial school, and we charged only $2000 per year.

    The problem isn't how to fund private schools, that's the easy part. Take away public schools, and cheaper and better private schools will emerge in their place. Competition will increase performance and lower prices. Despite claims to the contrary, anarchy is not an option. We ahve to deal with government fingers in our education whether we want it or not. Decentralizing government back to the county level is still within the realm of possibility, and we need to focus on it.

    But what about the poor? There are several options. Vouchers are one way, but they unfortunately come with government strings attached. 100% tax credits are another way, usuable by anyone who pays tuition, whether or not it's the parent. Or Friedman's idea of a negative tax to replace all forms of welfare.

  • TallDave||

    Right now most kids receive government assistance to attend those schools, and I just don't know what free market incentive there is for anyone to replace those funds.

    Ideally, I think, the charter schools would compete to be chosen by parents to have their kids schooled there. Teachers who didn't perform would be fired because it would hurt the school's revenue, schools that didn't perform would go bankrupt.

  • TallDave||

    Oh, and to make this work you would have the schools paid through vouchers given to each parent, who would then decide where to allocate the funds based on who they believe would do the best job of educating their children.

  • Dave W.||

    I have to say I would definitely watch a Youtube video of physics vs. Truthers. Hammer meets skull results in demolition of head.

    Why doesn't it make a wave-like collapse that proceeds all the way down through your body, pulverizing everything right down to the soles of your shoes? How massive would the hammer need to be to make that happen?

    I don't think the Twin Towers were brought down by explosives, but: (i) the collapse is not intuitive (even though people love to say it is); and (ii) a better forensic investigation would have been a very good thing. Re point (ii), I am left with the firm impression that if there is a big enough fire in a modern skyscraper, then the metal at the base will "soften" and the whole thing will be down in a matter of hours. That seems like a problem that transcends terrorism.

  • Dave W.||

    OF COURSE it looked like demolition. The very structure of the towers made it pull straight downwards. Sheesh...

    Here is an experiment you can do at home. Plant a pipe cleaner in a glob of silly putty so that the pipe cleaner if sticking straight up like a flagpole. Now drop a heavy book onto the top of the pipe cleaner. Drop the book as sqaurely down on the top end of the pipe cleaner as you can.

    Now lift the book to see what happened to the pipe cleaner. Did the pipe cleaner smash straight down into the silly putty base, demolition-style, or did it collapse a different way?

    Like I said, this stuf is not intuitive.

  • ||

    I don't have the budget for the silly putty or pipe cleaner, but intuition tells me that the pipe cleaner will "fold" into some "random" pattern/direction, as it will "bend" rather than "compress". I don't see how that's the same thing as the towers, though.

    Full disclosure: I am not a physicist or an engineer, although both endeavors intrigue me and I have a subscription to SciAm. I am not a "truther" although I watched 9/11: Loose Change with some acquaintances.

  • ||

    Re point (ii), I am left with the firm impression that if there is a big enough fire in a modern skyscraper, then the metal at the base will "soften" and the whole thing will be down in a matter of hours.

    It's much less likely in a typical fire. Modern steel buildings have spray applied fireproofing on the steel that gives them protection for several hours. The difference in the WTC was the plane crashing through the building which, more than likely, stripped the fireproofing off of the steel.

  • Dave W.||

    I don't have the budget for the silly putty or pipe cleaner, but intuition tells me that the pipe cleaner will "fold" into some "random" pattern/direction, as it will "bend" rather than "compress". I don't see how that's the same thing as the towers, though.

    Okay, then do the same experiment but with mechanical pencil leads instead of pipe cleaners.

    Actually, I think I will make a video of this experiment at some point and put the results up on the YouTube. Hopefully the pencil leads will crumble straight down into the putty base, and not travel laterally outwards, but if they do go sideways then it makes my point that the support beams crumbling straight down into the base, demolition-style, is not a matter of mere intuition as so many people seem to think.

    Stay tuned to the 9/11 conspiracy thds here at the HnR and I will report back sometime in the next couple months.

  • Dave W.||

    Modern steel buildings have spray applied fireproofing on the steel that gives them protection for several hours. The difference in the WTC was the plane crashing through the building which, more than likely, stripped the fireproofing off of the steel.

    1. The skyscraper I am sitting in now is about as old as the Twin Towers. Lots of them are. Some even older.

    2. I have a hard time visualizing this theory of the shrapnel shearing the fireproofing off of all the support beams, or even a majority of them. Would have been nice to have some investigatory findings on that issue. Absent that, I call bull....

  • ||

    Why doesn't it make a wave-like collapse that proceeds all the way down through your body, pulverizing everything right down to the soles of your shoes?



    Because the human body is not constructed like the WTC buildings. Duh. Neither is a pipecleaner. Duh. You really haven't read the NIST report have you?

    A better analogy is a house of cards. Build one 110 floors high, and flick out a card from the 86 floor. It's going to collapse, and it's going to collapse straight down. Why didn't the buildings topple over on their sides? Because there was no lateral force to do that. Gravity is perpendicular to the ground. Every fscking video taken shows it collapsing from the top. When a tree is cut and falls over on its side, it topples from the bottom, not from a collapsing top.

  • Dave W.||

    A better analogy is a house of cards.

    weak.

  • ||

    Hopefully the pencil leads will crumble straight down into the putty base, and not travel laterally outwards, but if they do go sideways then it makes my point that the support beams crumbling straight down into the base, demolition-style, is not a matter of mere intuition as so many people seem to think.

    The only thing that crumbled straight down was the building (which is entirely expected -- buildings that size cannot do anything else). The beams themselves did not "crumble straight down" (as evidenced by the massive pile of them afterwards), nobody claims they did, they do not do so in a demolition either. Therefore your "experiment" is woefully inapt and your point entirely invalid.

    Further, nothing about the properties of graphite make it a suitable substitute for studying the properties of steel, or more laughably, building collapses.

  • Dave W.||

    The only thing that crumbled straight down was the building (which is entirely expected -- buildings that size cannot do anything else). The beams themselves did not "crumble straight down" (as evidenced by the massive pile of them afterwards), nobody claims they did, they do not do so in a demolition either. Therefore your "experiment" is woefully inapt and your point entirely invalid.

    Further, nothing about the properties of graphite make it a suitable substitute for studying the properties of steel, or more laughably, building collapses.


    1. Leaning Tower of Pisa.

    2. The support beams did fall substantially into the foot print of its Tower. They did not fall laterally outwards to any substantial degree.

    3. Fine. Get yourself some steel wires, some plaster of paris and a 100 lb weight. Then how me how the wires fall right into their base. Personally, I doubt you even be able to get the wires to crack at all and the ends of your wires will end up even farther out from the base than my pencil leads do.

    4. If you want to get vertical, long beam-shaped compression members to collapse into their own foot print by dropping a weight on them from above, then you would probably need to make them out of very crumbly clay or very brittle glass. Your experiment with steel will not work out in your favour, I don't think.

  • Dave W.||

    Further, nothing about the properties of graphite make it a suitable substitute for studying the properties of steel, or more laughably, building collapses.

    One more thing:

    My point isn't to prove that th buildings were demolished. My point is to prove that the collapses are matters far outside the intuition that living our quotidian lives afford us. My point is that when someone says it is common sense that Towers must fall straight down that it is not common sense at all. There probably is some reason why steel pipe cleaners, or steel wires, collapse so much differently than the beams of WTC1 and WTC2 did, but these reasons are far outside the realm of common sense.

  • ||

    I've seen parts of a couple different documentaries on the WTC collapses. One on PBS. They both offered theories on the collapses, but best believe I can't remember many particulars.

  • Dave W.||

    btw, my best guess as to what kept the vertical suport beams from flying outward is that the horizontal members prevented them from buckling over too long a portion of their total run down to the ground. So, instead, they buckled more locally, maybe even buckling within the vertical run of each floor for example. So maybe there were 86 little buckles instead of one big buckle. OTOH, this raises the question of why the collapse was so fast and did not proceed in any sort of perceptible increments.

    Whatever the ultimate truth of the collapses is, I am not going to sit here and say that that is a matter of common sense. If the theory in the previous para. about why the collapses were essentially straight down turns out to be the true explanation, then NIST should have explained it a lot better. If it was something else entirely, then NIST should have explained that better, too.

    My guess is that NIST didn't even consider the issue, and, really, that is the problem.

  • Antiglobalist||

    We planed those explosives ourselves, when we occupied Afghanistan.

  • ||

    1. Leaning Tower of Pisa.

    The tower leans because of differential settlement of the underlying soils, not because of any structural deficiencies. Actually given the amount the tower leans it's pretty amazing that the structure is still standing.

  • Dave W.||

    The tower leans because of differential settlement of the underlying soils, not because of any structural deficiencies. Actually given the amount the tower leans it's pretty amazing that the structure is still standing.

    Think of the soft soil as the severed columns, and the hard soil as the columns not much compromised by the airplane crash. The tops of the towers could have leaned over and then fallen off, away from the footprint of the tower, like the leaning tower of pisa is doing in slo-mo.

    Going by intuition, that is what you would expect to happen.

    But, like I keep trying to point out, our intuition is useless here. The collapses are simply not in the realm of common sense.

    (except for the collapse of WTC7, which was clearly a demolition)

  • Dave W.||

    on a similar note, do you know how a tree falls when you chop away at one side and not the other?

    Right! That didn't happen with the twin towers.

  • ||

    Dave,

    Soil is quite different from steel in structural properties.

    There are different kinds of failure with soils. The tower suffers from settlement, which can occur slowly over many years. If you overload the soil quickly and cause a bearing capacity failure, the structure would move downward in a relatively straight fashion.

    Here's a sketch of a theoretical bearing capacity failure.
    I have a picture here at the office that shows what a bearing capacity failure looks like in a real situation. There was some asymmetry to the failure but the general movement of the soil stockpile that caused the failure was straight downward.

    With a tree, when you cut a wedge you remove the support completely from that section of tree, the tree falls toward the wedge.

    In the WTC the loads arched around the damaged columns. Think of it as a bridge with some string dangling from the middle. Which way does the bridge fall?

  • Dave W.||

    In the WTC the loads arched around the damaged columns.

    In one case the most damaged columns would have been at one corner. In the other case they would have been at one side edge.

    Intuitively, you would think that the partially severed top of the tower would sag over the cut/melted/softened/whatever columns (where the fireballs were), causing the tower top to tilt and the intact columns to bend or buckle in a direction toward the damaged columns.

    Furthermore, once this tilting got started, you would intuitively think that this is how the towers would fall because beams are far more resistant to compressive crushing than they are to bending forces. Once that bending gets started, the "moment arm" increases because of the deformation of the beam, and, assuming a constant load, things will go from bad to worse rather quick as the constant load works a greater and greater moment with the bending of the beam.

    Now, obviously, this is not what happened.

    To answer you question about dangling a string from a bridge -- I have seen this happen in real life. It is called fishing. Sometimes the people dangling the strings catch fish and sometimes they don't. In all cases, the bridge just sits there over the water, motionless and impassive.

  • ||

    Think for a moment though of how localized the bending could be (and it likely was). If the towers failed the way the report says, first the floor trusses failed. The trusses tie the exterior columns to the interior columns. If the trusses failed the exterior columns would lose any horizontal support they had from the trusses. The bending moment would increase, but only in the area where the trusses failed. The columns would certainly buckle but in a relatively small zone (maybe the distance between two floors. Once the columns bend and fail in that local area the building would start to collapse.

    You also have to consider that the columns were likely design with a factor of safety of 2 or 3. That means that half or more of the columns could be removed and the tower could still stand. Even with damaged columns the structure could resist the loads put on the remaining columns. It was the fire that compromised the structure. Once the steel got hot enough it was weakened enough to fail.

    The best way to think of it is like the game Jenga. If you pull a block out of the stack fast enough, the blocks above would fall straight down, not topple.

    Actually, best demonstration. Stand on an empty aluminum can. The have someone poke at one spot on the can. What happens? It collapses and you fall straight down. The can may bend and tilt slightly but your inertia causes you to fall straight down.

  • Beth||

    It is apparent from the conversation in this blog that there are still unanswered questions about the events of 9/11.

    Libertarians For Justice makes no assumptions about who was behind the events on that day, nor on how these events took place. A publicly conducted Congressional inquiry, with full subpoena power is necessary to answer your questions and to seek justice.

    Libertarians for Justice Founding Member and longtime expert researcher Dr. Stephen Jones, has published a PEER REVIEWED scientific analysis resulting in 14 Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction.

    You may read the full article here:
    http://www.libertariansforjustice.org/?q=node/29

    This evidence is further proof of the need for an investigation. Libertarians For Justice demands a publicly conducted Congressional inquiry, with full subpoena power into not just the WTC collapses questioned here, but into all five crime scenes.

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