BYU spanks "tenured" professor

<p>Tenure is in quotes because they don't grant tenure- I guess that makes sense for a religious university for a religion that doesn't have seminarians, but this professor did have seniority.
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<p>His conspiracy theory is that Bush administration officials blew up the World Trade Center to spark a Middle East War? I may blame Bush for a lot of things, but this one seems a little far fetched!</p>

<p>Many of the protesters in New York this week and the week of the 9/11 remembrances believe that. Sincerely believe it and will make a case for it quite eloquently. It's like entering an alternate universe.</p>

<p>As if BYU weren't enough of an alternate universe!</p>

<p>ZM, the problem is that Bush has done so many incredibly whacked out things that some folks don't see the border between reality and fantasy just because Bush, ah, really pushed the boundaries.</p>

<p>TheDad I think that's a stretch, I really do. I can't imagine how a serious person would think that Bush would kill 3000 Americans. If nothing else, what would be his motive?</p>

<p>I am not going to say that the conspiracy theorists have any validity
or at least while I admit I haven't investigated it- what remains of my common sense tells me that I dont' have to read it, to disagree with it ;) )</p>

<p>If a prof has tenure, there usually has to be some pretty strong reasons to sanction them right?
I just don't know, if this tangent this professor is going off on, is reason enough to pull a prof out of his courses.
Northwestern is used as an example of a school who didnt' punish a prof who spoke out denying the Holocaust, because it wasn't relevant to his field.
The competency of the physics prof isnt being questioned, not re physics anyway.UsNews suggests a "certain govt involvment" in teh FBI and CIA that is behind the ouster.</p>

<p>EK, maybe the BYU administration thinks that he is "going wacky."</p>

<p>Zoos, I am not a conspiracy theorist either, but several things about 9/11 just don't add up. There should be some valid and lucid responses to the many incongruities, which the 9/11 Commission did not answer.</p>

<p>Problem is, the conspiracy theorists sound like nuts, and then real answers are never explored, but simply dismissed.</p>

<p>The 9-11 commission- why hasn't it gone into phase two? that to me is a conspiracy, the administration not doing what it said it would do to get more answers</p>

<p>Allmusic, (I'm not hating and destroying you here!) what things don't add up? I'm really asking this because I'd like to hear the POV of a rational person with those questions. Someone that I take seriously. This is not a rhetorical question.</p>

<p>CGM, I ask you the same question as I asked Allmusic. (Not rhetorical, again). What questions would you like answered that haven't been? Since I'm in New YOrk, this issue is so fraught that maybe I really am missing something that I'm not hearing because I don't listen to people screaming on street corners. That is literal, as well. Week two of mega-protests. Working in Times Square it's impossible to walk outside without being shouted at or otherwise accosted.</p>

<p>Zoos, for me, I am most troubled by the absence of fighter jets which should have been scrambled to bring down the hijacked airliners. That just makes not an iota of sense. Even before 9/11, jets were scrambled when there was even an inkling of trouble in the sky. And there was plenty of chance to do so, in the time between A11 and Shanksville. Why were two more planes allowed to be hijacked to their targets? And the third?</p>

<p>I am also troubled by incongruities between photographic evidence of damage to the Pentagon grounds building. I'm not saying there wasn't a plane, like the conspiracy theorists, but I am troubled by the evidence, or lack thereof.</p>

<p>Also the collapse of building #7, which didn't then, and doesn't to this day, make any sense. It had no plane hit, had minimal damage, and yet it pancaked onto itself. I found that more that just a little puzzling.</p>

<p>Allmusic, thanks for responding as you did. Those questions actually do make sense. May I ask another (same drill, asking not attacking). What motive do you think that Bush would have had for causing the attacks?</p>

<p>I don't really know about the fighter jets, but it always struck me as panic and incompetence in some blend.</p>

<p>As far as 7 WTC, I used to work there and don't find it at all odd (this is a personal opinion only). That area is all landfill (some going back to the 1700s) and extremely low-lying, so it would make sense to me that the vibrations of the collapse and the heat generated by the fires (which burned for months) could and would have brought down that building.</p>

<p>I am not in any way disrespecting or attacking your views. I'm genuinely interested in a discourse with you.</p>

<p>The jets were scrambled but not close enough to intercept the hijacked planes in time.</p>

<p>Allmusic: It is not at all surprising that B7 went down. There is/was a huge insurance dispute over whether or not the two planes are "one event" or "two events" for the purposes of insurance - lower total payout for one event. The insurance company's investigators figured out that even if ONLY ONE plane hit (i.e. one hijacking), BOTH towers would have come down. The shock waves were incredible - 110 stories tall, acres wide, crashing down. It would have been enough to destabilise Tower 2 and many of the surrounding buildings.</p>

<p>That's an insurance company, not the government. Sure, they have an interest in the result, but they aren't part of a huge conspiracy.</p>

<p>As for other things - I can only beg people to remember the morning of 11 September. I thought that my roommate got her facts wrong - I told her that it was a "War of the Worlds" thing, until she dragged me in front of the TV. She saw the second one hit, had run out and told us. I remember calling my parents and telling them, and they were like - "Um, what? Planes? World Trade Center? Aries, speak English, please." </p>

<p>Planes travel at about 400 mph. Did they even have time to get jets up in the air in time? They didn't have a flight path, they didn't get responses from the cockpit - and they are supposed to get jets up in the air and guess where these planes were going? They came out of Logan and were headed for California, not NYC. </p>

<p>I also think that a lot of people very conveniently forget that the 9/11 scheme was proposed in 1996 by Muhammud Atta - which was 4 years in, 4 years left of Clinton.</p>

<p>AM, Popular Mechanics looked into these claims and did a credible job of answering them:

CLAIM: No fighter jets were scrambled from any of the 28 Air Force bases within close range of the four hijacked flights. "On 11 September Andrews had two squadrons of fighter jets with the job of protecting the skies over Washington D.C.," says the Web site "They failed to do their job." "There is only one explanation for this," writes Mark R. Elsis of "Our Air Force was ordered to Stand Down on 9/11."</p>

<p>FACT: On 9/11 there were only 14 fighter jets on alert in the contiguous 48 states. No computer network or alarm automatically alerted the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) of missing planes. "They [civilian Air Traffic Control, or ATC] had to pick up the phone and literally dial us," says Maj. Douglas Martin, public affairs officer for NORAD. Boston Center, one of 22 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regional ATC facilities, called NORAD's Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) three times: at 8:37 am EST to inform NEADS that Flight 11 was hijacked; at 9:21 am to inform the agency, mistakenly, that Flight 11 was headed for Washington (the plane had hit the North Tower 35 minutes earlier); and at 9:41 am to (erroneously) identify Delta Air Lines Flight 1989 from Boston as a possible hijacking. The New York ATC called NEADS at 9:03 am to report that United Flight 175 had been hijacked--the same time the plane slammed into the South Tower. Within minutes of that first call from Boston Center, NEADS scrambled two F-15s from Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Mass., and three F-16s from Langley Air National Guard Base in Hampton, Va. None of the fighters got anywhere near the pirated planes.</p>

<p>Why couldn't ATC find the hijacked flights? When the hijackers turned off the planes' transponders, which broadcast identifying signals, ATC had to search 4500 identical radar blips crisscrossing some of the country's busiest air corridors. And NORAD's sophisticated radar? It ringed the continent, looking outward for threats, not inward. "It was like a doughnut," Martin says. "There was no coverage in the middle." Pre-9/11, flights originating in the States were not seen as threats and NORAD wasn't prepared to track them.


CLAIM: "It has been standard operating procedures for decades to immediately intercept off-course planes that do not respond to communications from air traffic controllers," says the Web site "When the Air Force 'scrambles' a fighter plane to intercept, they usually reach the plane in question in minutes."</p>

<p>FACT: In the decade before 9/11, NORAD intercepted only one civilian plane over North America: golfer Payne Stewart's Learjet, in October 1999. With passengers and crew unconscious from cabin decompression, the plane lost radio contact but remained in transponder contact until it crashed. Even so, it took an F-16 1 hour and 22 minutes to reach the stricken jet. Rules in effect back then, and on 9/11, prohibited supersonic flight on intercepts. Prior to 9/11, all other NORAD interceptions were limited to offshore Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ). "Until 9/11 there was no domestic ADIZ," FAA spokesman Bill Schumann tells PM. After 9/11, NORAD and the FAA increased cooperation, setting up hotlines between ATCs and NORAD command centers, according to officials from both agencies. NORAD has also increased its fighter coverage and has installed radar to monitor airspace over the continent.


CLAIM: Seven hours after the two towers fell, the 47-story WTC 7 collapsed. According to "The video clearly shows that it was not a collapse subsequent to a fire, but rather a controlled demolition: amongst the Internet investigators, the jury is in on this one."</p>

<p>FACT: Many conspiracy theorists point to FEMA's preliminary report, which said there was relatively light damage to WTC 7 prior to its collapse. With the benefit of more time and resources, NIST researchers now support the working hypothesis that WTC 7 was far more compromised by falling debris than the FEMA report indicated. "The most important thing we found was that there was, in fact, physical damage to the south face of building 7," NIST's Sunder tells PM. "On about a third of the face to the center and to the bottom--approximately 10 stories--about 25 percent of the depth of the building was scooped out." NIST also discovered previously undocumented damage to WTC 7's upper stories and its southwest corner.</p>

<p>NIST investigators believe a combination of intense fire and severe structural damage contributed to the collapse, though assigning the exact proportion requires more research. But NIST's analysis suggests the fall of WTC 7 was an example of "progressive collapse," a process in which the failure of parts of a structure ultimately creates strains that cause the entire building to come down. Videos of the fall of WTC 7 show cracks, or "kinks," in the building's facade just before the two penthouses disappeared into the structure, one after the other. The entire building fell in on itself, with the slumping east side of the structure pulling down the west side in a diagonal collapse.</p>

<p>According to NIST, there was one primary reason for the building's failure: In an unusual design, the columns near the visible kinks were carrying exceptionally large loads, roughly 2000 sq. ft. of floor area for each floor. "What our preliminary analysis has shown is that if you take out just one column on one of the lower floors," Sunder notes, "it could cause a vertical progression of collapse so that the entire section comes down."</p>

<p>There are two other possible contributing factors still under investigation: First, trusses on the fifth and seventh floors were designed to transfer loads from one set of columns to another. With columns on the south face apparently damaged, high stresses would likely have been communicated to columns on the building's other faces, thereby exceeding their load-bearing capacities.</p>

<p>Second, a fifth-floor fire burned for up to 7 hours. "There was no firefighting in WTC 7," Sunder says. Investigators believe the fire was fed by tanks of diesel fuel that many tenants used to run emergency generators. Most tanks throughout the building were fairly small, but a generator on the fifth floor was connected to a large tank in the basement via a pressurized line. Says Sunder: "Our current working hypothesis is that this pressurized line was supplying fuel [to the fire] for a long period of time."</p>

<p>WTC 7 might have withstood the physical damage it received, or the fire that burned for hours, but those combined factors--along with the building's unusual construction--were enough to set off the chain-reaction collapse.


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<p>wow, good thing for Popular Mechanics....</p>

<p>FF, how do you respond to the wargames going on, coincidentally, that morning?</p>

<p>"From the moment Generals Myers, Eberhart, and Arnold were sworn in to testify, they continually stated that NORAD's "military posture on 9/11, by law, by policy and in practice was focused on responding to external threats, threats originating outside of our borders" (a quotation from General Myers sworn testimony).</p>

<p>But NORAD was not simply running "an exercise against the former Soviet Union" on 9/11, as Commissioner Roemer's question insinuated. That was only one of the multiple war games running that morning, titled NORTHERN VIGILANCE, which was simulating an air attack coming out of Russia. To insinuate, as Commissioner Roemer did, that this was the only exercise that morning lends credence to the three Generals' false claim that NORAD's only mission was to protect against external threats. </p>

<p>The multiple war games running on 9/11 also included (but were not limited to) VIGILANT GUARDIAN, which involved hijacking scenarios over the continental United States. None of the war games was ever referenced by name at any time during the hearings. The details of these exercises are the Achilles' heel of the "external threat" mantra parroted by all three generals, and these details seem to be classified."</p>


<p>"NORAD was unusually prepared on 9/11, because it was conducting a week-long semiannual exercise called Vigilant Guardian. </p>

<p>On 9/11, North American Aerospace Defense Command's (Norad) Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) was fully staffed, its key officers and enlisted supervisors already manning the operations center "battle cab." [Aviation Week]</p>

<p>COLONEL ROBERT MARR, US AIR FORCE: We had the fighters with a little more gas on board. A few more weapons on board. [...] We had 14 aircraft on alert, seven sites, two aircraft at each site. [ABC News]</p>

<p>That's a ratio of 3.5 'hot' fighter jets per hijacked airliner.</p>

<p>AM, I'm not sure what this claim is supposed to be. I spend as much time thinking about a 9/11 conspiracy as I do about Big Foot or Nessie. They all are about equally likely.</p>