Edward Snowden adds voice to calls for Google to stay out of China, calls project ‘reckless’

Edward Snowden adds voice to calls for Google to stay out of China, calls project ‘reckless’

  • Former NSA contractor signs open letter calling tech giant’s Project Dragonfly ‘reckless’, potentially violating human rights
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 December, 2018, 12:05pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 December, 2018, 7:33pm

On the eve of Google chief executive Sundar Pichai’s testimony to the US Congress, a coalition of human rights groups and activists, including former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, are demanding more details on the internet search giant’s potential plans to build out its China business.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists are among the organisations and individuals who signed the letter, which asks Google to promise it will not create a search engine for China that contributes to censorship and political repression in the country.

“Facilitating Chinese authorities’ access to personal data, as described in media reports, would be particularly reckless,” the letter’s authors write. “There is a real risk that Google would directly assist the Chinese government in arresting or imprisoning people simply for expressing their views online, making the company complicit in human rights violations.”

The activists also released a letter they obtained from Google’s senior vice-president for global affairs Kent Walker, responding to an earlier set of protests and statements made by Amnesty International and others in October.

Walker references Google’s goals of connecting people in emerging markets to the internet and repeats statements made by Pichai that Project Dragonfly, as the search engine was known internally, was not close to being launched formally. He refrains from making any commitments about censorship though, instead saying the company will weigh all feedback carefully before making a final decision.

Project Dragonfly has caused an uproar inside and outside of Google, with many employees expressing concern about the company potentially working with the Chinese government after pulling out of the country in 2010 precisely because Chinese authorities were pushing Google to help them monitor their citizens.

The conversation will come to a head on Tuesday, when Pichai answers questions at a committee of US lawmakers. Some have already questioned why Google is considering a China search engine while backing away from some of its work with the US military.

“We’re hoping that folks on the hill will ask Google some hard questions,” said Cynthia Wong, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Senior Israeli Lawmaker Calls for Killing All Palestinians, “Because they are just Nazis Anyhow”

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said that “the number [of peaceful Palestinian protesters] killed does not mean anything because they are just Nazis anyhow.”

Chair of the Defence Committee at the Israeli Parliament Avi Dichter has called for killing all the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

As he was commenting on the peaceful protests of the Great March of Return taking place along the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, he said:

“The Israeli army has enough bullets for every Palestinian.”

Dichter is a senior member of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, which is a right wing one.

Former director of Shin Bet internal security service and Minister of Internal Security Dichter said that the Israeli army is prepared to use all means, including lethal force to deter the Palestinians protesters.

Since March 31, thousands of peaceful Palestinian protesters have been staging protests along the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, calling for lifting the 12-year-old Israeli siege and reinforcing the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan repeatedly referred to the protesters killed in Gaza as “Nazis,” saying that there were no demonstrations, just “Nazi anger.”

He later added:

“The number [of peaceful Palestinian protesters] killed does not mean anything because they are just Nazis anyhow.”

*

After Mueller’s Indictments, an Interview With a Mole Who Was Inside Russia’s Pro-Trump Troll Factory

After Mueller’s Indictments, an Interview With a Mole Who Was Inside Russia’s Pro-Trump Troll Factory

02.18.18 12:55 PM ET
ROGUE BOTS
Credit: Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast
MOSCOW—When Lyudmila Savchuk read the U.S. federal grand jury indictment of 13 Russians accused of interfering in the the 2016 U.S. elections and other crimes, including bank fraud and identity theft, she was disappointed. All of those named by special counsel Robert Mueller were connected to the Internet Research Agency, also known by its infamous sobriquet the Troll Factory. Savchuk used to work there, and Mueller’s list, she said, should include hundreds of people.

“I am super excited to see the indictment, but for now 13 trolls sounds like a joke,” Savchuk told The Daily Beast on Sunday, after she read and studied the 37-page document.

Since 2015 Savchuk and her Internet World team of 15 anti-trolling experts have been running their own investigation of the Factory’s methods. They’ve looked at the way it hired “bot drivers” to create slanted or completely fictitious posts that automated networks could spread like wildfire across social media, and they’ve studied the campaigns and projects of the Troll Factory on both social networks and pro-Kremlin media.

So, they had a pretty good idea from the moment they read about the indictments and saw initial reactions what the Kremlin’s line would be: as Savchuk put it, “To laugh and mock the U.S. investigation.”

And that theme, as it happened, also was picked up by U.S. President Trump.

First he suggested, in a classic Trumpian non sequitur, that if the FBI had wasted its time on the Russia investigation it might have stopped a deranged teenager from murdering 17 people at a Florida high school. Then Trump claimed he never said Russia did not meddle in the U.S. elections, only that his campaign had not colluded with them. Then this:

“If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S.,” Trump tweeted, as if there were any question about that in the judgment of his own intelligence services and, indeed, of his own chief of staff, “then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!”
That was early Sunday morning, Mar-a-Lago time, and by then, the Russians had indeed set the tone.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quick off the mark on Friday, posting on her Facebook page, “Turns out, there’ve been 13 people, in the opinion of the U.S. Justice Department. 13 people interfered in the U.S. elections? 13 against billions budgets of special agencies? Against intelligence and counterespionage, against the newest technologies? Absurd?—Yes.”

Aleksey Pushkov, a Russian senator wrote on Twitter of Mueller’s work: “The mountain gave birth to a Nano-mouse and now they try to fill it up with air, to turn into a terrifying mouse.”

In fact, nothing about the new indictments suggests that they represent the end of Mueller’s investigation. Nothing about them excludes further indictments related to collusion by Trump campaign officials, several of whom are now actively cooperating with Mueller’s team. And nothing about the ongoing investigation of substantial allegations against Russian government agencies, including the foreign intelligence service, SVR, the domestic state security, FSB, and military intelligence, GRU, all of which allegedly have participated in operations meant to impact the U.S. elections.

The Troll Factory, for instance, is not alleged to have played any role in the hacking of Democratic National Committee and related emails, many of which were then disseminated through WikiLeaks. Those critical operations were the work of other players allegedly backed by the Kremlin.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov may have had all this in mind on Saturday when he tried to dismiss the indictments as “just blather,” noting that U.S. officials “can publish anything, and we see those indictments multiplying, the statements multiplying.”

“The existence and operations of the so-called Internet Research Agency had been well established in a number of investigative reports well before the American elections.”

“There should be nothing funny here for the Kremlin’s guys,” Yulia Latynina, an independent political analyst, told The Daily Beast. “They should know that even if they use a rusty weapon to attack a foreign state, even if they fail at their efforts, they would get punished.”

Observers from the Russian opposition welcomed Mueller’s action, but wondered why it had taken the U.S. so long to harvest what they saw as pretty low hanging fruit. The existence and operations of the so-called Internet Research Agency had been well established in a number of investigative reports well before the American elections.

In the summer of 2015, The New York Times Magazine published an extensive report on the Internet Research Agency’s dirty tricks in the United States, including a social media campaign to spread panic in Texas about a nonexistent terror attack. Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny put out his video investigation of Russian trolls in August 2015. And just last October RBC magazine published a 5,000 word report on the Troll Factory that laid out in considerable detail how it tried to influence the U.S. race for the presidency with a budget of $2.2 million and 100 people (not 13).

Savchuk and the information she had gathered at the Internet Research Agency figured in several reports. She published her articles in Novaya Gazeta and other independent newspapers, and she said she would be happy to talk to Mueller’s investigators, but, so far, he hasn’t been in touch.

It was just about three years ago that Savchuk, an investigative journalist, volunteered to become a mole at the Factory. Her Internet World team watched it from outside, taking photos and videos of hundreds of employees walking out of the four-story building every day at 9 p.m., while a new shift crowded by the entrance, ready to walk inside and sit shoulder to shoulder at their tightly lined-up desks, composing posts on fake accounts until 6 in the morning.

The Factory, at that time, was operating from a building in the suburbs of Saint Petersburg at 55 Savushkina Ave., but earlier this month it moved into a seven-story business center with multiple exits. So now it is harder for the observers to count and identify the Factory’s employees.

“The bot farm is working today. Thousands of people are involved in the propaganda machine attacking U.S. and European Union democracy. I believe there is more than just one building,” Savchuk told The Daily Beast. “There must be trolls in the United States, too, but in Russia we have cheap labor, people happy to work as slaves for a miserable fee.”

In 2015, there was a security camera over Savchuk’s desk, she said, watching as she wrote “casual posts about Ukraine and other international affairs.” The special project she was assigned to work on was the LiveJournal blog of a fortune teller that is still up on the web.

Savchuk said that every employee at the Factory reported to “a tall, bald guy named Oleg Vasilyev,” she was surprised not to find Vasilyev on the Mueller’s list. The former mole said she had known a few of the Troll Factory Thirteen, including Gleb Vasilchenko, Mikhail Bystrov, and Mikhail Burchik. And when she checked Facebook friends of people from the indictment list she found Sergei Karlov and Robert Bovda, who also were “men I saw at the Factory.”

She said she does not remember two women from the Internet Research Agency, Aleksandra Krylova and Anna Bogacheva, who allegedly traveled to the United States in 2014 to gather intelligence for their operations. But the indictment notes that both had left the agency by the end of that year, before Savchuk started there.

“Her critics call her ‘traitor,’ an agent for the CIA and the State Department.”

The agency promised to pay Savchuk around $700 a month, but the activist managed to keep her job there for only two and a half months, until the day her employers discovered her secret, that she was a journalist with an agenda, and attacked her for being, to say the least, an insincere troll.

Later, Savchuk took the Factory to court for not signing any work agreement with her and for not paying her salary for one and a half months of work.

“I won the hearing only because the court system was not prepared to defend the Factory on labor disputes,” Savchuk explained to The Daily Beast. “But that court hearing helped our investigation a lot: two official representatives of the Internet Research Agency showed up at the court—that was how we knew that the Factory existed on official papers.”

The only document the Factory wanted Savchuk to sign was a secrecy agreement, obliging her not to describe the nature of her work even to her friends and close relatives. But that she was not about to do.

Ugly messages have been bombarding the journalist ever since her last day at the bot farm. Her critics call her “traitor,” an agent for the CIA and the State Department. Meanwhile, fans of Russian President Vladimir Putin, of whom there are many, seem to think the way social media are manipulated in his favor is just fine.

“Even my mother’s friend was shaking her head on hearing about the secret Factory where people write pro-Putin posts around the clock: ‘What an honorable job it must have been to be supporting the president at such difficult time!’”

Before getting a job at the factory Savchuk researched the biography of its owner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, known in the media world as “Putin’s cook” because much of his fortune was made from a catering business given enormous government contracts. That’s why the indictment included two Prigozhin’s companies besides the troll factory: Concord Management and Consulting, and Concord Catering.

Part of the document describes Prigozhin’s broader disinformation campaign as the Lakhda Project.

Lakhda is the name of the Saint Petersburg suburb where Prigozhin built his Troll Factories. “Prigozhin’s villa is also in the same area,” Savchuk told The Daily Beast. “Lakhda seems to be Prigozhin’s favorite word.”

Maybe that’s because it is a long way from the prison where Prigozhin spent nine years in the waning days of the Soviet Union before emerging to open a hot dog stand, become a Putin buddy, and make billions. “Prigozhin’s criminal past seems to be cloudy,” said Savchuk. “It requires deeper investigation.”

Back in 2015 Savchuk was one of the oldest employees at the Troll Factory. Most were in their mid-twenties. All the Factory needed from its employees was some ability to write well, and there were teachers of Russian and English for those who could not compose sentences in well-articulated troll.

Posters on the walls listed themes of propaganda subjects, which changed from day to day. “The USA and the EU were always at the top, as Russia’s main enemies,” Savchuk recalled.

“I would like to see every tiniest troll punished, so everybody, even those who carry a tripod for the Factory’s camera men realized that they will have to take responsibility for distorting reality.”

—with additional reporting by Christopher Dickey

Adam McKay: The Awful Trump Cameo I Was Forced to Film

Adam McKay: The Awful Trump Cameo I Was Forced to Film

Matt Wilstein

12.11.18 5:12 AM ET
ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT FOR PUTIN

Russia’s Disinformation Chief Takes Fresh Aim at America

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia—This city’s infamous “troll factory,” the focus of one series of special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments almost 10 months ago, is still out of bounds to journalists, even if its efforts to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election is now so well-known that Russian state television openly jokes about them.

But the world is less familiar with another operation reportedly underwritten here by the very same buddy of President Vladimir Putin who allegedly funded the trolls at the Internet Research Agency. Often dubbed “Putin’s chef” because of the enormous catering contracts on which he built his fortune, Yevgeny Prigozhin is the central figure in that Mueller indictment (PDF).

He is also the alleged money man behind the Federal News Agency, known by the Russian acronym FAN, which wages information war by other means, specifically by pretending to be a legitimate source of solid reporting.

Traditionally, journalism’s role is to hold the government to account when it fails to tell the truth or respect human dignity. That is what reporters at Russia’s independent media groups still believe when they investigate state corruption, report on human-rights violations, or government policy failures.

But that’s not the way FAN views things. Its watchword is not truth or justice but “patriotism,” and its unabashed aim is to propagate a semblance of news that supports the Putin government.

One might see in that a certain parallel with the Fox News version of reality in the United States, but with Prigozhin’s project there’s an added wrinkle. It is widely reported that he is also the man behind a mercenary army known as Wagner, whose combatants, mostly recruited from the regular services and the military intelligence apparatus known as the GRU, have been reported fighting in Ukraine, Syria, and the Central African Republic.

FAN’s agenda is to wage information war against Putin’s and Prigozhin’s critics in Russia, Ukraine, Syria, the United States, and Africa. The number of battlefields just keeps growing.

More than 12 million people read FAN’s news on riafan.ru. Meanwhile, the government of Ukraine in Kiev accuses the agency of “information terrorism.” This year, Facebook shut down the agency’s accounts, which infuriated FAN’s managers and inspired them to take the conflict to the enemy, as it were. The Russian information soldiers physically moved to Washington.

On Friday, The Daily Beast spoke with FAN’s general director, Yevgeny Zubarev, about that strategy.

“When Facebook banned us in April,” he said, “we declared that we would respond by establishing a group in America, we called it USA Really.” Then he added defiantly, “Whoever wants us to surrender should not count on it. We are not going to be quiet.”

Zubarev complained that he had received “attacks from the USA” in the form of multiple emails from American organizations and the government fighting fake news. “The United States Cyber Command writes to me to say that what I am doing is wrong, that their job is to fight trolls,” said Zubarev, insisting that his agency had nothing to do with the “troll farm.”

Last month, however, The Daily Beast reported that FAN and the IRA trolls operated out of the same address, used the same internet infrastructure, and shared links to some of the same staff.

When asked to confirm or deny that FAN is owned by Putin’s friend Prigozhin, who funds the IRA, Zubarev took a long pause, then said it was his right to keep the owners anonymous. He was much more comfortable speaking about his agency as a victim of American pressure. “Our colleagues based in the U.S. receive threats,” he said. “Last month, the FBI detained Alexander Malkevich, the manager of USA Really, at Washington airport. The FBI questioned him for several hours, then gave him an official notice proclaiming USA Really a ‘foreign agent.’”

Zubarev found it funny that the United States would do what Russian authorities have been doing for years: labeling organizations with opposition views and overseas funding as “foreign agents.” Zubarev actually giggled. “The pattern is just the same,” he said.

FAN’s head office is in St. Petersburg, on the ground floor of a grim red business center called “Ilyich” (Lenin’s patronymic name ). Zubarev did not want The Daily Beast reporter to see the newsroom: “I don’t think there will be anyone to show you around,” he said.

According to an investigative report by RBK Group, recognized in Russia for independent journalism, the “media factory” costs more than $3 million a year. It employs as many as 250 people serving 16 web portals, where you can find news, stories about Russia’s geopolitical tensions with the West, or about an actress posting her nude photographs on Instagram. Independent media experts warn that each piece of information published on FAN needs to be double-checked.

In late November, police arrested two men for setting FAN’s office on fire. Zubarev blamed Kiev for financing the attack by paying “radicals” in St. Petersburg.

“We know who tried to burn our newsroom in October; each attacker made around 25,000 rubles [$370] and they acted on an order by either Ukrainian Nazi groups or SBU [Ukraine State Security],” he said. “Among our staff we have a big number of political refugees from Ukraine, where they have faced death threats, so they are biased in their coverage of Kiev,” Zubarev said, and then added, “But every publication is biased.”

Zubarev did not agree that it was professional for a journalist to criticize his government, and alluded to the fate of Muammar Gaddafi, the longtime dictator of Libya who was deposed and killed in 2011. “Gaddafi built a great country and now look at the consequence of criticism against him.”

For Zubarev, a Russian journalist’s role is to be a defender of the motherland, and therefore to say only good things about its government—at least if the motherland is Russia.

To fight the information war in Ukraine, the Russians have put up at least two websites aggregating positive news about Ukraine’s eastern regions, controlled by pro-Russian military forces, and negative news about Kiev’s policy.

On Sunday, these were some of the headlines:

“Kiev May Be Planning a Chemical Attack”

“Kiev on the Verge of a Large-Scale War”

“Heirs of Fascists”

Zubarev complained about the difficulties of operating in Ukraine, where the government maintains “fake-news kills” and treats Russian infowarriors the same way it treats conventional Russian soldiers: by arresting them. “As soon as they discover our stringers [freelance reporters] in Ukraine, they report to SBU and accuse our people of extremism or terrorism.”

Propaganda rules oblige Kremlin-controlled media to avoid harsh criticism of Putin or of Kremlin policies, which officials call “provocative” coverage. For example, last Thursday FAN did not publish a single word about the first television interview with Katerina Tikhonova, described by dozens of news outlets as “Putin’s daughter.”

It was surely too good and too surreal a story to miss: She was talking about brainwaves in front of a screen featuring a wired human head. And yet FAN did not cover the story—the children of the Kremlin are apparently taboo.

“If a controlled media makes a mistake, they receive a call from the presidential administration,” says Georgy Bovt, editor in chief of Russkiy Mir magazine. “Though today we see youth in media with strong noses for the political winds; the presidential administration does not have to call them, they sense political correctness.”

Nobody at the Kremlin had to drill FAN’s boss when it was founded in May 2014. “I was originally ideologically ready, when I came to this job, I had clear conservative views,” Zubarev told The Daily Beast. “Nobody needed to advise me on how to manage the agency: We are defending the motherland on the information fronts.”

Not many Russian media outlets paid much attention to what was called “Prigozhin’s media factory,” as opposed to his troll factory. But then three independent journalists were killed in the Central African Republic while shooting a film about Wagner, Prigozhin’s private military force. Several groups of independent journalists trying to investigate the murder suspected that Prigozhin might be behind the assassinations.

Out of journalistic solidarity and respect for the profession, most Russian independent media outlets make sure to describe FAN as a firm “linked to the ‘troll factory’ and Yevgeny Prigozhin” whenever they quote the websites, but not always. Last week, Medusa, a Riga-based online newspaper and news aggregator, cited FAN without any caveat, simply saying, “According to FAN agency’s source,” in one of their own stories. This is how disinformation can be laundered and allowed to seep into the mainstream media.

Professional journalists with good reputations would hardly want to be associated with propaganda, but some may compromise when the pay is good, says Alexander Gorshkov, editor in chief of Fontanka.

Fontanka reported on the direct link between billionaire Prigozhin’s security chief, Yevgeny Gulyaev, and Wagner forces fighting in Ukraine and Syria. Fontanka has been speaking with Wagner soldiers, publishing their names, photographs, and documents since 2015. “I don’t think that FAN or USA Really will be dangerous for Americans, just like Radio Liberty’s website does not play any significant role in Russia; though we should not even compare Liberty to USA Really,” Gorshkov told The Daily Beast.

St. Petersburg is a city of communities where journalists know each other. Gorshkov said that most of FAN’s staff had nothing to do with journalism but they could write a patriotic post on Facebook, which was good enough to get hired.

“Prigozhin’s structures employ professional journalists, along with former policemen and semi-criminals,” Gorshkov said. “FAN pays about 60,000 rubles [$896] a month, which is a big salary for a reporter based in St. Petersburg. As with Wagner soldiers we have interviewed, their biggest motivation is money.”

Prigozhin and Wagner are some of the most dangerous topics to report on in modern Russia. Fontanka, TV Rain, and Novaya Gazeta find their reporters under surveillance, receiving death threats as soon as they cover these topics.

“Originally, Prigozhin created his media factory to go after all his critics; every time I am about to publish or have published something about him or his Wagner, they attack me from all sides,” a journalist at TV Rain, Lilya Yapparova, told The Daily Beast.

Political figures in the Russian opposition also complain about attacks by FAN. A year ago, FAN published a story about deputy Boris Vishnevsky’s “secret meeting” with Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his aide Vladimir Kara-Murza in Tallinn. “First, there was nothing ‘secret’ about my meeting with Kara-Murza, I had published my photograph with [Kara-Murza] on social media; second, I did not meet with Khodorkovsky—that was a fake piece of news,” Vishnevsky, a deputy at the St. Petersburg legislative assembly told The Daily Beast on Saturday. “Prigozhin’s propaganda machine, FAN, is not to be trusted, they target people like me with fake news.”

 

 

 

Facebook Struck Secret Deals To Sell Preferential User Data; Used VPN App To Spy On Competitors

Update: As the giant cache of newly released internal emails has also revealed, Karissa Bell of Mashable notes that Facebook used a VPN app to spy on its competitors.

The internal documents, made public as part of a cache of documents released by UK lawmakers, show just how close an eye the social network was keeping on competitors like WhatsApp and Snapchat, both of which became acquisition targets.

Facebook tried to acquire Snapchat that year for $3 billion — an offer Snap CEO Evan Spiegel rejected. (Facebook then spent years attempting, unsuccessfully, to copy Snapchat before finally kneecapping the app by cloning Stories.)

Facebook’s presentation relied on data from Onavo, the virtual private network (VPN) service which Facebook also acquired several months later. Facebook’s use of Onavo, which has been likened to “corporate spyware,” has itself been controversial.

The company was forced to remove Onavo from Apple’s App Store earlier this year after Apple changed its developer guidelines to prohibit apps from collecting data about which other services are installed on its users’ phones. Though Apple never said the new rules were aimed at Facebook, the policy change came after repeated criticism of the social network by Apple CEO Tim Cook. –Mashable

A top UK lawmaker said on Wednesday that Facebook maintained secretive “whitelisting agreements” with select companies that would give them preferential access to vast amounts of user data, after the parliamentary committee released documents which had been sealed by a California court, reports Bloomberg.

The documents – obtained in a sealed California lawsuit and leaked to the UK lawmaker during a London business trip, include internal emails involving CEO Mark Zuckerberg – and led committee chair Damian Collins to conclude that Facebook gave select companies preferential access to valuable user data for their apps, while shutting off access to data used by competing apps. Facebook also allegedly conducted global surveys of mobile app usage by customers – likely without their knowledge, and that “a change to Facebook’s Android app policy resulted in call and message data being recorded was deliberately made difficult for users to know about,” according to Bloomberg.

In one email, dated Feb. 4, 2015, a Facebook engineer said a feature of the Android Facebook app that would “continually upload” a user’s call and SMS history would be a “high-risk thing to do from a PR perspective.” A subsequent email suggests users wouldn’t need to be prompted to give permission for this feature to be activated. –Bloomberg

The emails also reveal that Zuckerberg personally approved limiting hobbling Twitter’s Vine video-sharing tool by preventing users from finding their friends on Facebook.

In one email, dated Jan. 23 2013, a Facebook engineer contacted Zuckerberg to say that rival Twitter Inc. had launched its Vine video-sharing tool, which users could connect to Facebook to find their friends there. The engineer suggested shutting down Vine’s access to the friends feature, to which Zuckerberg replied, “Yup, go for it.”

“We don’t feel we have had straight answers from Facebook on these important issues, which is why we are releasing the documents,” said Collins in a Twitter post accompanying the published emails. –Bloomberg

Thousands of digital documents were passed to Collins on a London business trip by Ted Kramer, founder of app developer Six4Three, who obtained them during legal discovery in a lawsuit against Facebook. Kramer developed Pikinis, an app which allowed people to find photos of Facebook users wearing Bikinis. The app used Facebook’s data which was accessed through a feed known as an application programming interface (API) – allowing Six4Three to freely search for bikini photos of Facebook friends of Pikini’s users.

Facebook denied the charges, telling Bloomberg in an emailed statement: “Like any business, we had many of internal conversations about the various ways we could build a sustainable business model for our platform,” adding “We’ve never sold people’s data.”

A small number of documents already became public last week, including descriptions of emails suggesting that Facebook executives had discussed giving access to their valuable user data to some companies that bought advertising when it was struggling to launch its mobile-ad business. The alleged practice started around seven years ago but has become more relevant this year because the practices in question — allowing outside developers to gather data on not only app users but their friends — are at the heart of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Facebook said last week that the picture offered by those documents was misleadingly crafted by Six4Three’s attorneys. –WaPo

“The documents Six4Three gathered for this baseless case are only part of the story and are presented in a way that is very misleading without additional context,” said Facebook’s director of developer platforms and programs, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, who added: “We stand by the platform changes we made in 2015 to stop a person from sharing their friends’ data with developers. Any short-term extensions granted during this platform transition were to prevent the changes from breaking user experience.”

Kramer was ordered by a California state court judge on Friday to surrender his laptop to a forensic expert after he admitted giving the UK committee the documents. The order stopped just short of holding the company in contempt as Facebook had requested, however after a hearing, California Superior Court Judge V. Raymond Swope told Kramer that he may issue sanctions and a contempt order at a later date.

“What has happened here is unconscionable,” said Swope. “Your conduct is not well-taken by this court. It’s one thing to serve other needs that are outside the scope of this lawsuit. But you don’t serve those needs, or satisfy those curiosities,when there’s a court order preventing you to do so.”

Trouble in paradise?

As Facebook is now faced with yet another data harvesting related scandal, Buzzfeed reports that internal tensions within the company are boiling over – claiming that “after more than a year of bad press, internal tensions are reaching a boiling point and are now spilling out into public view.”

Throughout the crises, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who maintains majority shareholder control, has proven remarkably immune to outside pressure and criticism — from politicians, investors, and the press — leaving his employees as perhaps his most important stakeholders. Now, as its stock price declines and the company’s mission of connecting the world is challenged, the voices inside are growing louder and public comments, as well as private conversations shared with BuzzFeed News, suggest newfound uncertainty about Facebook’s future direction.

Internally, the conflict seems to have divided Facebook into three camps: those loyal to Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg; those who see the current scandals as proof of a larger corporate meltdown; and a group who see the entire narrative — including the portrayal of the company’s hiring of communications consulting firm Definers Public Affairs — as examples of biased media attacks. –Buzzfeed

“It’s otherwise rational, sane people who’re in Mark’s orbit spouting full-blown anti-media rhetoric, saying that the press is ganging up on Facebook,” said a former senior employee. “It’s the bunker mentality. These people have been under siege for 600 days now. They’re getting tired, getting cranky — the only survival strategy is to quit or fully buy in.”

A Facebook spokesperson admitted to BuzzFeed that this is “a challenging time.”

Reynolds – “my brain hurts”

 

Reynolds – “my brain hurts”

By Gerard Holmgren
April 28, 2007

Months ago, I challenged Morgan Reynolds to explain how, if it was impossible for a 160 ft Boeing to fly into a building leaving a cartoon shape of itself but no wreckage, why different laws of physics applied to a smaller plane or one made by a different aircraft manufacturer.

One might have thought that the great man might have put some thought into this question during the 7 months that he spent painstakingly copying my original forensics observations and writing them out in different words in order to present them as his own thoughts. As he was copying the FAA aircraft registry data from my site to write into his “work”, one might have thought that a spark of an original thought might have popped up somewhere.

As he diligently copied the BTS data from my site to add to his rehash, you might have thought that his own brain might have started slowly ticking over.

As he pasted in the photo that I dug up and distributed of the smashed up plane which had collided with a light steel pole on a runway, perhaps his great mind might have turned to wondering whether the same thing happens to planes other than “big Boeings”.

Alas, no. The strain on the mental capacities of the great one from all that copying and pasting and rewriting in his own words was too great to examine this weighty question.

His keen and enquiring mind had grasped the concept of what happens to a “Big Boeing” when it collides with something, but the question of what might happen to a smaller Boeing or a plane manufactured by some other aircraft manufacturer was still shrouded in the depths of mystery. Perhaps Idiot Jim might eventually be able to shed some light on it with some insight about Elves throwing a grand piano off the top of the world trade center on to a plane. After all, he is a former marine corps officer…

But as the months dragged on and Idiot Jim ran out of grand pianos to use in such experiments, our hero’s brow became increasingly furrowed with the difficult question of whether the same laws of physics applied to smaller Boeings as to larger Boeings. He grappled day and night with the impossible question of whether planes made by other aircraft manufacturers complied with the same physics principles as those manufactured by Boeing.

So several months ago, I invited the great one to present his argument that smaller Boeings and planes manufactured by competitor corporations follow different laws of physics. Suspecting that “an attorney of the Gerard Holmgren variety might crush them” he disrespectfully declined to present such arguments and went to take another headache tablet to relieve the swelling in his brain which he mistakenly assumed was from intellectual effort rather than simply the ego of a brainless cretin who declares himself entitled to “question with authority” as part of the elite Grand Piano throwing and chip rearranging league of a former marine corps officer and prize idiot named Jim who’s published more books than you have.

But never underestimate the perseverance and brilliance of someone with years of experience in the tactical differences of chip rearranging. After over a year of such cerebral endevour, our hero was finally able to declare just the other day that he still doesn’t know. And that therefore while he can confidently declare “no Big Boeings” at the WTC on the back of a year of intense plagiarism activity, he wasn’t yet ready to plagiarize the lot.

There are cherries to be picked, chips to be re-arranged, tactical differences to be implemented and Grand Pianos to be thrown. There are questions to be authorized but not answered and public embarrassments to be concocted by former marine corps officers.

There are conferences to be held and bribes to be offered, podiums to be ponced on, controversies to be avoided, egos to be inflated and hang outs to be hung.

Poor Morgan ! His brain hurts ! What *does* happen to a large McDonnell Douglas or Airbus Plane which flies into a building ? How do smaller Boeings differ from larger Boeings ?

Indeed, perhaps it’s better not to even examine the question. After all, Idiot Jim did decree that “even if true it hurts the truth movement”, so perhaps a little “tactical discretion” is to be required.

Response from Damien Duffy, aka “Coffinman”
http://coffinman.co.uk 
http://crashphysics.blogspot.com 

If only I had such eloquence.

It is indeed about time that we heard from Morgan what he thinks about the differences between large and small planes with regards to crash physics. For the record, most of the idiots I come across who believe the plane stories favour the weight and speed of the plane as helping in the penetration.

Of course smaller planes are lighter and slower.

A computer simulation calculated that a 767 would have to have been travelling at 7800mph to penetrate the outer wall, and I don’t think that took the floors into consideration.

So Morgan, as I asked Jim, if a boeing is too slow to penetrate the building, and a smaller plane even more so, and if you are still insistent on finding a plane that did it, do you think it could have been a space shuttle?

Morgan needs to answer these long-overdue questions if he wishes to be seen as any kind of theorist.
We know he stole all of the ideas he uses anyway.
Morgan there were no planes that crashed on 911.
I would like you to answer that statement.
It involves four separate planes.

If you claim to be a 911 researcher then you must share your thoughts so far.

If you ignore the question (i.e. hide under a rock, run away, avoid the issue etc.) then you are obviously not being open.

Gerard has proven this already with you but I have noticed that “you guys” tend to use the perceived offensiveness of Gerard’s remarkably humerous form of narrative as an excuse not to engage in discussion with him. Such tactics appear childish to me, but I can see that when you’re ducking, any rock will do.

Well I have never been abrasive or offensive Morgan, so please explain to me why you think that some type of aircraft hit the towers, and what you think of the Shanksville and pentagon stories. 

MANUFACTURED TERRORISM THE TRUTH ABOUT SEPT 11 

 

MANUFACTURED TERRORISM

THE TRUTH ABOUT SEPT 11 

By Gerard Holmgren holmgren@nettrade.com.au April 18 2004.

There’s just one problem with the official story of Sept 11 – it isn’t true.


This article presents a summary of the evidence that entire event was planned and carried out by the US govt and its agencies.

The research and documentation to support the charges made in this article can be found here

To start with, lets assume that the official story is basically true – that 19 Arabs hijacked four planes and crashed three of them into buildings and one into a field. As I’ll demonstrate later, this is not what happened ,but even if it were true, there is solid proof that the govt must have had prior knowledge and deliberately allowed it to happen. In order to understand this proof, one must first know the basics of the official story.

American Airlines flight 11, a Boeing 767, tail number N334AA, with 92 people aboard, including the hijackers, was hijacked by 5 Arabs, while on route from Boston to LA. It was known to be hijacked by 8.25 AM or earlier, and hit the Nth tower of the WTC at 8.46.

United Airlines flight 175, a Boeing 767, tail number N612UA, with 65 aboard , including the hijackers , was hijacked by 5 Arabs, while flying the same route as AA 11. It was known to be hijacked at about 8.55 AM and hit the Sth Tower of the WTC at 9.03.

The towers later collapsed due to fire and /or impact damage.

American Airlines flight 77, a Boeing 757, tail number N644AA, with 64 aboard, including the hijackers, was hijacked by 5 Arabs while on route from Dulles airport (DC) to LA. It was known to be hijacked at about 8.55 and hit the Pentagon at 9.45.

United Airlines flight 93, a Boeing 757, tail number N591UA, with 45 aboard, including the hijackers, on route from Newark (New Jersey) to SF , was hijacked by 4 Arabs. It was known to be hijacked about 9.45, and crashed in PA at 10.10.

The incriminating anomaly in this timeline is that the US air force did not scramble a single fighter jet to intercept any of the hijacked planes.

A little research into aviation regulations and historical precedent demonstrates that every one of those planes should have been intercepted by jet fighters before it got anywhere near its crash destination. The failure to launch any intercepts is only explainable by a systematic nation-wide stand down of routine air defence procedures. FAA regulations state that if any plane deviates from its flight path, and fails to respond to ATC commands or communications, it is automatically declared an emergency. This is because is it has become a hazard to other planes – even if no malicious intent is suspected. If ATC is any doubt as to whether an emergency exists, it is to be considered as one.

Once ATC has detected an emergency, a request is put through to NORAD for an escort of fighter jets to intercept the plane, investigate the problem, and guide it back to its correct course, via a set of clearly stated procedures. Should the pilot prove unco-operative, the regulations provide the fighter pilots with a graduated range of more aggressive responses, such as firing warning tracers, flying one each side, to force it into the desired flight path – or even shooting down in extreme circumstances. The fighter jets are either scrambled from nearby air bases or else by diverting pilots on training flights to the intercept. It takes only a few minutes to scramble fighter jets, and the process is so routine that in the year leading up to Sept 11, there was an average of 1.6 such incidents weekly across the US. A study of the location of air bases in relation to the flight paths of the hijacked planes, indicates that every plane should have been intercepted before impact. And yet nothing was even scrambled until after the Pentagon was hit.

The most spectacular example is that of the Pentagon strike. Two planes had already hit the WTC by 9.03 and yet this plane was allowed to fly for another 42 minutes, off course towards Washington, untroubled by the world’s most powerful air force. Only 10 miles from the Pentagon is Andrews Airbase, a huge installation which is responsible for air defence around the DC area, and maintains two squadrons of fighter jets on permanent standby for this very purpose, since the security of the White House, State dept, Capitol and the City of DC are also at stake. This was not an unforseen contingency. The Pentagon had twice in the last two years conducted drills specifically simulating a plane strike, and for decades, US security services had been wrestling with the potential problem of a hijacked airliner taking a suicide plunge into the Whitehouse.

On Sept 11, they had nearly an hours warning of the Pentagon attack – and grounded the entire air force – in violation of standard operating procedures that are automatically implemented even in the case of a single plane accidentally deviating from its course with no obviously hostile intent.

NORAD, after initially admitting that it failed to scramble anything – supposedly because it simply hadn’t imagined such a situation – suddenly changed the story a week later, claiming that it had scrambled fighters from Langley air-base – 130 miles away – but they didn’t get there in time. If fighters were really scrambled from Langley, then how could NORAD – which issues the scramble order – have been unaware of it until a week later? And according to the times given by NORAD , the Langley fighters would have had to flown at less than 260 mph to have not got there in time – when the top speed of the fighters is about 1200mph. And why scramble from Langley, when Andrews had two squadrons just 10 miles away – specifically dedicated to the DC area?

Even more curious is that CBS news was the first to publish the claim about Langley, producing it without any source at all on Sept 14. On Sept 16,Vice President, Dick Cheney was still defending the lack on any scramble prior to the pentagon strike, and NORAD didn’t pick up the CBS spin and incorporate it until Sept 18.

Then they tried to say that no fighters were available at Andrews that day, but failed to explain how the non existent fighters then somehow appeared at Andrews to scramble a few minutes after the Pentagon was hit, but still didn’t bother to chase UA 93, which was supposedly still at large and heading towards DC.

While the air force was doing nothing, the two officials most directly responsible for defence of the nation – Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , General Richard Myers and President/Commander in Chief, George W. Bush were displaying what can only be described as cavalier indifference to the horror that was unfolding. Myers was about to start a routine meeting with Senator Max Cleland when he heard that a plane had hit the WTC. He went ahead with the meeting as if nothing had happened. 18 minutes later, when the second plane hit, and NORAD knew that at least one more plane was hijacked, Myers and Cleland continued with the meeting. Then a plane hit the Pentagon. And still they continued with the meeting.

Meanwhile, Bush was in Florida, about to make a televised photo opportunity trip to an elementary school, to listen to second graders read, after which he was to give a speech about the reading program. Before he even got to the school, he knew about the first WTC strike, but continued with his arrangement. And then, still, before he arrived at the school, NORAD — according to its own timeline, knew about two more hijackings, which means that Bush knew, but he continued to the school anyway – in spite of that fact that the school was only 5 miles from an international airport , and his movements were public knowledge in advance, which means that the school might have been a target – and then he pretended to know nothing about the attacks when he got there. Before he went into the classroom, it would have been clear to NORAD that a major terrorist attack was underway.

By 9.05 Bush was listening to a little girl read a story about her pet goat, and his Chief of staff, Andrew card came into the classroom and whispered in his ear that a second plane had hit the WTC and that “America was under attack.” Bush nodded casually and continued with the reading class – for about another 25 minutes, smiling ,joking and cheering about the reading skills of the children. A reporter who suggested that he should be addressing himself to the situation in NY was sternly rebuked by Bush, who said that now was not the time to be talking about it. And at this time, Bush knew that there was at least one more plane at large – something which no-one else in the class knew.

At 9.30, with AA 77 still flying unescorted towards DC, Bush finished the reading class (on schedule) and then wasted more time with a pointless speech to the nation, already promising to “hunt down and punish those responsible”, while showing no interest in doing anything about the plane which was still at large, a danger of which his audience was unaware. He left the school about the same time that the Pentagon was hit.

Later, in an attempt to cover up the fact that he’d still gone to the school in spite of being aware of the crisis, Bush lied about his movements on the morning, inventing a story that he was already at the school when the first WTC strike happened. This lie has worked its way into the popular mythology in the mainstream media. In the scramble to find a cover story for his movements that morning, Bush also carelessly claimed that he’d seen the first crash live on TV at the school and had thought it was an accident. This is also a lie because the first strike was never broadcast live.

Immediately after the attacks, US TV networks reported that investigators were looking into massive insider trading on airline stocks in the last few days before the attacks – indicating that the terrorists profited from foreknowledge of their actions. Then the story simply vanished from the mainstream media. Investigative and regulatory authorities could easily find out who placed those trades, but more than three years later, there has been no investigation, no charges laid and deafening silence about the trades from both govt and media.

Although the govt claimed to be completely taken by surprise, it somehow had no trouble in naming the alleged perpetrator – Osama Bin Laden – within hours, and immediately threatened to invade Afghanistan. What they neglected to mention was that the decision to invade Afghanistan had already been made by July 2001, and the specific war plans arrived on Bush’s desk on sept 9.

It a common myth that Bin Laden has claimed responsibility for the attacks but this simply isn’t true. He’s vigorously denied any involvement ,and according to some reports has condemned the attacks as un-Islamic. The myth of his confession is based entirely upon a video tape produced by the Pentagon which claims to show him laughing about how many innocent people he’s killed. This tape is a fake. In at least some of the clips, the person is not Bin Laden.

The US military conveniently “found” the tape in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon’s translation was immediately attacked by independent translators as misleading and incomplete. In response, the Pentagon effectively admitted as much, saying “it is not a verbatim translation of every word spoken at the meeting, but it does convey the messages and the information flow.” The Dept of defense defended the translation thus . ” The translation is what it is .We never said it was a literal translation.”

Incriminating as all of this is, it only scratches the surface. The FBI managed to name the 19 Arabs involved within a few days, and their names, faces and biographies were promptly splashed across the mainstream media. Supposedly, their passports and suicide notes were found at the crash scenes in spite of fiery crashes which completely incinerated the planes – including the normally indestructible flight recorder boxes – and all the occupants. In another miraculous stroke of good luck for the evidence hunters, the luggage of alleged ringleader, Mahommed Atta, was somehow left behind at Logan airport and just happened to contain instructions to his fellow conspirators. And it seems that they learned how to fly the giant Boeings at the last minute by reading flight manuals on the way to the airport – because they conveniently left the manuals – in Arabic of course – in the cars they had rented.

How embarrassing for the FBI when some of the alleged hijackers started turning up alive, protesting their innocence! And even more embarrassing when the passenger lists provided by the airlines to CNN did not contain a single Arabic name. And none of the names on the passenger lists are alleged to be aliases for any of the Arabs. How did they get on the flights without being on the passenger lists, and if they were using false names, how were these traced to their real ID’s and why have none of the other names on the lists ever been identified as hijackers aliases ? 19 obviously Arabic men got on to planes with non Arabic false ID, with a 100% success rate? And why is there no airport security footage of them?

As the cover story quickly unravelled within a few weeks of “identifying” the hijackers, the FBI was then forced to admit that they actually had no idea who the hijackers were. In spite of this, the same 19 names and faces have been splashed across the mainstream media unchanged, as if this admission had never been made. The farcical “911 commission” treated the 19 Arabs as a fact, waffling about “missed intelligence warnings” in relation to their pre-Sept 11 activities.

And in subsequent statements, the FBI buried the admission of doubt about the hijackers identities with an avalanche of increasingly ridiculous spin about the sinister pre- Sept11 activities of the 19 Arabs, seemingly forgetting that they admitted these IDs to be fictitious. For example, the FBI rather stupidly claimed that 9 of the fictitious Arabs had actually been searched before boarding because they looked suspicious. If they were using false names when they were searched, then surely the FBI must know which of those 9 people on the passenger lists were actually the hijackers incognito? And if they were not using false IDs, can we know why they’re not on the passenger lists? Clearly, the 19 Arabs are complete fiction.

Some critical thinking about how the hijacking is supposed to have taken place also reveals the story as a bad cartoon script. In the event of a hijacking, the crew has only to punch in a four digit hijacking code – accessible from several different places – to alert ATC to a hijacking. So if 5 men were to try to take over a plane by the crude method of threatening people with box cutters, while it might be possible for them to be able to gain control of the plane, to do so without ATC first receiving a distress code is almost impossible. We are supposed to believe that they achieved the impossible 4 times out of 4.

In one of the phone calls allegedly made from AA 11, it was said that the crew locked themselves in the cockpit, and the hijackers attempted to lure them out by shooting and stabbing passengers. This is said to have gone on for 25 minutes. Why then no distress code from AA 11 ? Furthermore, the timeline of the alleged phone call indicates that the plane had already turned off course before the hijackers got into the cockpit!

But it wasn’t only the hijackers which were fiction. So were the hijackings. We all think that we saw a big plane hit the WTC live on TV, so there must have been hijacked planes, right ? A closer look reveals it as an elaborate illusion.

First , lets take AA77, the plane which is supposed to have hit the Pentagon. This is one of the most heavily monitored and defended buildings in the world, and yet somehow they can’t come up with any footage of the crash. Because it never happened. Something hit the pentagon but it wasn’t a Boeing 757 or anything anywhere near that size. There are numerous photos of the aftermath and nowhere is to be seen any evidence of wreckage of such a plane. A 757 has a wingspan of 125 ft, a tail height of 40 ft and a length of 155 ft. The hole in the Pentagon wall was about 16 ft wide, 12 ft high and collapsed only the first ring of the building – about 40 ft deep. There is no sign of any Boeing debris anywhere. No wings, no tail, no protruding fuselage. The tail couldn’t fit through the hole even if the plane was sliding along the ground. And because the grass outside is smooth, green and undamaged, even that is impossible. And because the angle of entry of the mystery object was about 45 degrees , 125 ft wingspan would cause an impact about 180 ft wide. A giant aircraft has supposedly passed through a hole many times smaller than itself, without breaking off any parts, and then totally vanished.

Furthermore, official aviation records from the US bureau of transportation say that the alleged AA 77 flight did not exist. The BT keeps a record of details about every flight ever scheduled from a US airport – even cancelled flights. No such record exists of AA 77 on Sept 11. Early reports said that the incident at the pentagon was caused by a truck bomb. Witness reports are confused and contradictory, but some mention a missile or small fighter jet.

Now consider AA 11, the plane alleged to have hit the Nth tower at 8.46. This is not the plane shown in the dramatic, often replayed crash video, but the less frequently shown first crash – not broadcast until later, when the official story of four large planes had already been put into the public’s mind. Whatever the object is, it is certainly not a Boeing 767 or any kind of large passenger jet. When one views the video at full speed, one can only see a brief flash and then the explosion. Since we are always being told that its AA 11, the natural tendency is to think that its just too fast to see on the video. However a frame by frame analysis shows a very strange looking object, more like a flying pig than a plane. Certainly nothing like a Boeing 767 and way too small. It dive-bombs into the tower in a manner which would appear to impossible for a large airliner.

Neither is there any witness evidence to support a large jet. All early reports say that it was a small plane or missile, or people who were looking right at the explosion and simply didn’t see any plane, and it only became a large plane after American Airlines issued a statement saying that it had lost AA11 in the crash.

The BT database also says that there was no such flight as AA 11 on Sept 11. A close examination of the passenger lists published by the media for the alleged AA11 proves them to be fabricated, because there are impossible contradictions between the lists published by different media outlets.

Now the Sth tower crash, the one shown live on TV. Surely this was a real Boeing 767 because we saw it live, and at superficial viewing it certainly appears to be a large jet. However, a frame by frame examination of the video reveals that it is not a real plane. It shows impossible physical characteristics and behaviour. It passes through the wall like a ghost without making a hole and without breaking off any parts. The hole only appears well after the plane has entirely disappeared without disturbing the building. It exceeds the maximum speed of a Boeing 767 at low altitude while banked sharply and flying in the opposite direction to that in which its banking. It hip hops across the screen regularly alternating ,frame by frame, between supersonic speed and hovering motionless. It has a strange anomaly in the shape of the belly.

It is a fake. The plane is simply a movie. There are several shots of the cartoon plane that were aired by news agencies at the time One is undoubtedly a crudely faked video. In relation to the others, argument continues over whether they are also conventional faked videos or whether they are real footage of some kind of kind of holographic projection. Whichever is the case, it is not a real plane, because real planes don’t pass through walls without making holes and without breaking off any parts.

Witness evidence for a large plane hitting the Sth tower is as elusive as for the Nth Tower and the Pentagon. There is a police transcript of a report of someone firing missiles.

Aviation records from the FAA show that although UA 175 existed as a flight, unlike AA 77 or AA 11, the plane to which this flight was assigned – N612UA – is still registered and valid. In other words, it never crashed. So we don’t know where it went, but we do know that it didn’t hit the WTC.

And finally UA 93 – alleged to have crashed in PA. Like UA 175, this was a bona fide flight, but the plane – N591UA – is also still registered as valid.

FAA records do show the planes to which AA11 and 77 were allegedly assigned – N334AA and N644AA as destroyed – but not until Jan 14 2002, when the FAA regulations state that the deregistration must be reported on the day that a plane is totally destroyed. So most likely these planes were ready for retirement and were taken away somewhere to be scrapped.

Now to the question of the collapse of the WTC towers. The official story that they collapsed from fire and/or impact damage is a physical impossibility. Video of the event shows that the towers did not collapse – they exploded in mid air, and one can see clear evidence of explosive charges running down the buildings, and neatly chopped storey length pieces of steel girder being ejected as far as 70 metres from the building. There are numerous scientific studies which demonstrate that its impossible for them to have collapsed in the pancaking manner cited in the official story.

Firstly, all of the concrete in the towers was totally pulverized into fine dust. The amount of energy needed to achieve this task is quantifiable, and so is the amount of potential energy available in a gravitational collapse. Its insufficient to achieve this pulverization, which means that only an added input of energy (such as explosives) can balance the energy equation.

Secondly, a simple application of the laws of gravity demonstrate that the towers collapsed in a time which was impossible had the top floors been smashing through the lower floors. Excluding air resistance, any object free falls at 9.81m/s sq, regardless of weight. An object dropped from the top of the WTC would have hit the ground in 9.2 secs ( a little longer for air resistance). The towers supposedly collapsed by the method of the top floors smashing through the lower floors, meaning that at each stage of the 110 storey collapse, the falling rubble would have its acceleration significantly slowed by this resistance. But the towers collapsed in 11 secs, virtually a free fall. Although there are too many variables to calculate the exact minimum time possible for a pancake collapse, it would have to be more than 20 seconds. A pancake collapse in 11 seconds is impossible under the law of gravity.

This proves that the entire structure was suddenly and simultaneously converted into a free falling collection of disconnected rubble, something only achievable through the co-ordinated use of demolition explosives. There are also witness reports from fire-fighters who say that they heard bombs going off in the buildings.

The media likes to gloss over the similarly neat, vertical, and lightening quick collapse of WTC building 7, a 47 storey building which was not hit by anything but also disappeared in a manner identical to that of a classic controlled demolition. Apart from Sept 11, no steel framed skyscraper has ever totally collapsed from fire – and there were allegedly 3 in one day. The steel debris from the towers was rushed away for recycling with indecent haste, before any investigation could be conducted into the remains.

On Sept 14, a demolition expert who works for the Pentagon, professor Van Romero, said that upon his viewing of the collapse videos, he believed that it was a controlled demolition. Prof Romero later retracted his statement in mysterious circumstances, refusing to say why and refusing to offer any alternative scenario, simply saying that he wasn’t prepared to say what did or didn’t happen, and didn’t want to talk about it anymore.

The early spin from the media was that the ferocious heat of the burning jet fuel melted the structural steel of the skyscraper. Unfortunately, jet fuel, which is basically kerosene, typically burns at about 450 degrees C, and steel melts at about 1550C.

Calculations of the maximum amount of heat which could have been even theoretically generated by the maximum amount of fuel that the mythical planes could have carrying show that it could not have contributed more than 280C to the temperature – even if all the fuel was confined to one floor. Each floor of the WTC was about 4,000 sq metres. The maximum amount of fuel which the plane could have carried was about 8000 gallons. So even claiming that all of this fuel burnt within one floor, that’s about 2 gallons per sq metre – supposedly melting steel construction beams.

Neither does the myth of a ferocious fire in the WTC stand up to the scrutiny of witness or video evidence. Fire-fighter tapes describe some “isolated pockets of fire” which they could “knock out” with two hoses. And the black smoke drifting from the building indicates an oxygen starved fire.

Even if the mythical inferno were true, far more ferocious fires have been experienced in other skyscrapers – sometimes burning out of control for as long as 20 hours, and never has one of these buildings collapsed.

Why would they want to demolish the WTC? It had been losing money for years. Its the most valuable piece of real estate in the world, but the buildings themselves were a disaster. Under tenanted and beset by asbestos problems, the owner, the NY Port Authority had received warnings that it was sitting on a legal and financial time bomb. And of course, they couldn’t be demolished because of all the asbestos dust that would go into the air of NY. The NYPA had been trying to sell the buildings for years, and understandably, nobody was interested. In early 2001, the NYPA went to court in a test case, and tried to get its insurance company to pay for asbestos renovations. The case was thrown out. This should have made the buildings even more unsaleable. However, immediately after this, Manhattan property developer Larry Silverstein, who sits on the board of Westfield America, stepped in with a consortium worth $US3.2 billion for a 99 year lease on the site. Westfield Australia directly contributed $A840 million for control of the shopping plaza. Silverstein insured himself for $US3.5 billion per terrorist attack, and Westfield insured itself against terrorism and loss of rental income.

Not long after, when the WTC conveniently disappeared in a terrorist attack – along with building 7 of the complex – it solved the asbestos problem, leaving Silverstein with a clean building site on the best real estate in the world, and Westfield with a rental income which probably would have been unsustainable in a real trading environment, and no law suits over all the asbestos dust released into the air of Manhattan. Silverstein’s insurer has agreed to the $3.5 billion pay out, but Silverstein is claiming that it was two terrorist attacks and wants $ 7 billion, which is currently the subject of a court case.

Very early media reports had the two fictitious AA flights as the planes to hit the WTC. AA 77 was only switched to being the Pentagon plane hours later. UA 175 was the last plane to be “confirmed” as involved. At 9.17, the FAA started diverting all flights. Early reports show wild discrepancies in terms of which allegedly hijacked plane went where. The fictitious AA77 is particularly volatile from one report to another, at one stage saying that it hit the WTC, then that it didn’t even take off for a half hour after the Sth Tower strike ,then that after taking off at 9.33, it somehow flew 700 miles out to Ohio and back, in just 5 minutes, to hit the Pentagon. One report had UA 93 landing at Cleveland due to a bomb scare.

What is clear is that they were making it up as they went along, and the final cover story about which planes crashed where didn’t settle down for hours.

In summary, this is most likely how the morning of Sept 11 really played out. There was no need to issue an order for the air force to stand down routine intercept procedures, because it appears that there actually weren’t any hijackings.

Two unconventional objects were fired into the WTC. The impacts were blamed on the two fictitious AA flights. At this time UA 93 and 175 were flying normally. Then the FAA begins diverting flights – including the two UA flights. The BT database tells us of any flights which are diverted, but doesn’t tell us where they are diverted to. So we don’t have an official record of where the two UA flights landed , although there is some evidence that UA 93 actually landed at Cleveland. Later, AA 77 became the pentagon plane, and UA 175 became the Sth tower plane as the official cover story started to settle down.

Thus of the four allegedly hijacked planes , two didn’t exist, and the other two were diverted to safe landings.

Most likely the PA crash was a drone craft of some kind, and there is evidence that the substitute craft was shot down.

This is only a brief summary of the evidence. Much material had to be left out due to space constraints. I encourage all readers not to uncritically accept this at face value , but to avail themselves of the full documentation
http://members.iinet.net.au/~holmgren/truth.html
for this summary.
URL for this article is
http://911closeup.com/index.shtml?ID=51

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