The Center for an Informed America

  October 27, 2004
  September 11, 2001 Revisited: Act III

Photographs reveal that when the south tower first began to collapse, it was definitely not in a symmetrical manner. To the contrary, WTC2 first began to collapse in exactly the way that one would expect a tower to collapse after an airplane had ripped away one corner: the intact upper portion of the building, above the point of impact, began to tilt precariously toward the point of structural weakness. It is perfectly obvious that this was not the onset of a symmetrical, 'pancake' collapse.

How then did it become, literally in the blink of an eye, a perfectly symmetrical collapse? With no other forces acting upon it, gravity and momentum should have sent the enormous block of concrete and steel crashing down alongside the topless tower, likely on top of WTC4. But that isn't what happened. Instead, something very peculiar happened -- something that can be seen in the series of photos to the lower right.


Instead of continuing to topple over, the massive block seems to have mysteriously self-destructed. But how could that have happened? The upper portion of the tower certainly couldn't have 'pancaked,' unless it did so from the bottom up. And smoke and fire don't normally cause large chunks of steel-framed buildings to suddenly blow apart. That usually only happens when explosives of some kind are involved. And if the top of the tower blew apart, than what was it that provided the impetus for the 'pancaking' of the remainder of the tower?

The photo to the right reveals that the collapse of the north tower began asymmetrically as well. As was the case with the south tower, the upper portion of the north tower, above the point of impact, began to tilt as a solid block toward the point of the initial structural damage. But in a virtual instant replay, the asymmetrical collapse of WTC1 was instantaneously transformed into a perfectly symmetrical collapse.

What could have caused the tops of the towers to suddenly begin toppling over? That would seem to require that the massive steel cores of the towers simply snapped at the point of impact, allowing the upper portions of the towers to completely break free from the lower portions -- even though, in the case of the south tower at least, there was likely minimal structural damage to the building's core from the initial impact and explosion.

The only way to get the World Trade Center towers to drop straight down was to eliminate the central support structure. The best way to do that would have been to blast away a portion of each of those 47 core columns, down near where they were anchored to the bedrock, causing the entire central core of the tower to abruptly drop a given distance, which would begin to pull each of the floors down toward the center of the building's footprint. As this happened, the entire load of the tower would have been transferred, instantaneously, onto the exterior shell, which was not engineered to support such a load.

What we are looking at in the photos showing the tilting tower tops are images captured in that very brief moment in time after the core had dropped and the load had been transferred to the building's exterior skeleton. In other words, although the towers still appear to be intact, they have already begun to collapse from within. With the core support gone, the unsupported upper shell immediately began to tilt toward the point of impact. But even as that occurred, the entire tower was beginning a top-to-bottom collapse precipitated by the drop of the core.

Early news reports, broadcast before the official spin had set in, acknowledged that the collapses had been assisted by explosives. NBC correspondent Pat Dawson, for example, stated the following on the air: "The Chief of Safety of the Fire Department of New York told me that, uhh, he thinks that there were actually devices that were planted in the building. One of the secondary devices he thinks that took place after the initial impact was, he thinks, may have been on the plane that crashed into one of the towers. The second device, he thinks, he speculates, was probably planted in the building, uhh, so that's what we have been told by, uhh, Albert Turi, who is the Chief of Safety for the New York City Fire Department, he told me that just moments ago."

A radio broadcaster on station WLS in Chicago, whose former colleague was on the scene at the towers, reported that this colleague had witnessed an enormous fireball emanating from beneath one of the towers immediately before it came crashing down. Such a fireball would, of course, be entirely consistent with the collapse scenario just outlined. Also consistent with that scenario are the multiple reports of pools of molten steel found in the basements of the towers days after the collapses.

Steve Evans, a correspondent for the BBC, reported the following on the air: "I was at the base of the 2nd tower, the second tower that was hit. There was an explosion -- I didn't think it was an explosion, but the base of the building shook. I felt it shake, then when we were outside, the second explosion happened and then there was a series of explosions. We can only wonder at the kind of damage -- the kind of human damage -- which was caused by those explosions, those series of explosions."

On September 24, 2001, People Weekly published an interesting witness account provided by Louie Cacchioli, one of the first firefighters to enter the south tower: "I was taking firefighters up in the elevator to the 24th floor to get in position to evacuate workers. On the last trip up a bomb went off. We think there were bombs set in the building."

Teresa Veliz, who was on the 47th floor of the north tower when it was hit, told her survivor story in Dean Murphy's September 11: An Oral History (Doubleday, 2002): "The flashlight led us into Borders bookstore, up an escalator and out to Church Street. There were explosions going off everywhere. I was convinced that there were bombs planted all over the place and someone was sitting at a control panel pushing detonator buttons. I was afraid to go down Church Street toward Broadway, but I had to do it. I ended up on Vesey Street. There was another explosion. And another. I didn't know where to run."

In mid-December 2001, USA Today revisited the collapse of the towers in a compelling series of articles written by Dennis Cauchon. The first of the articles, published December 18, included an account of survivor Ronald DiFrancesco's encounter with a fireball at the base of the south tower: "As he left the building, he saw a fireball rolling toward him. He put his arms in front of his face. He woke up three days later at St. Vincent's hospital. His arms were burned. Some bones were broken. His lungs were singed. But he was alive--the last person out of the south tower."
(Dennis Cauchon "Four Survived by Ignoring Words of Advice," USA Today, December 18, 2001

The second article focused on an interesting, if not necessarily directly relevant, aspect of the tower attacks: "When the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993, Otis Elevator's mechanics led the rescue of 500 people trapped in elevators. Some mechanics were dropped onto the roofs of the twin towers by helicopter. Others, carrying 50-pound oxygen tanks on their backs, climbed through smoke to machine rooms high in the towers. On Sept. 11, the elevator mechanics - many of the same men involved in the rescues in 1993 - left the buildings after the second jet struck, nearly an hour before the first building collapsed ... The departure of elevator mechanics from a disaster site is unusual."
(Dennis Cauchon "Mechanics Left Towers Before Buildings Collapsed," USA Today, December 19, 2001

The third article, published December 20, was an analysis of who survived the collapses, and who did not. It was by far the most compelling article in the series. Among the revelations was that the twin towers were very sparsely occupied that day: "USA Today estimates 5,000 to 7,000 people were in each tower when the attack began. Earlier estimates ranged from 10,000 to 25,000 per tower. But company head counts show many desks were empty at 8:46 a.m."
(Dennis Cauchon "For Many On Sept.11, Survival Was No Accident ," USA Today, December 20, 2001

Cauchon offered some specific examples of the pattern of occupancy that day: "For example, Marsh & McLennan, an insurance company, had offices on the 93rd through 100th floors in the north tower. About 1,000 worked there; 295 were at work at the time. All died. Fred Alger Management, a money manager, occupied most of the 93rd floor. Thirty-five of 55 employees were in. They all died. Only 25 of 55 employees were in the New York Metro Transportation Council's 82nd floor office. Three died. The receptionist was the only person in the office at the 16-employee law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath on the 89th floor. She lived."

Perhaps this would be a good time to pause and reflect on a rather uncanny series of 'coincidences': as we recall from Act I, all four of the hijacked aircraft took off with far more empty seats than filled ones; as was mentioned in Act II, the Pentagon was impacted in a section that had just been renovated and was not yet fully reoccupied; and now we find, curiously enough, that the other two targets, the twin WTC towers, were sparsely occupied as well. Maybe Allah just wasn't on the terr'ists side that day.

USA Today determined that, "In each tower, 99% of the occupants below the crash survived. At the impact area and above, survival was limited to just a handful of people in the south tower who made an amazing escape." If the towers had not collapsed, the majority of the people trapped above the impact area would most likely have been rescued (especially if the elevator mechanics had stuck around to assist the other rescue personnel). In addition, virtually all of the 479 rescue workers killed that day would have survived as well. In other words, the already surprisingly low death toll from the tower attacks would have been considerably lower. So again the question needs to be raised: would '9-11' have had nearly the impact on the American psyche if the towers had not fallen?

One of the lingering questions surrounding the collapse of the towers is why the south tower fell just 56 minutes after impact, while the north tower held for 102 minutes -- nearly twice as long. Just days after the attacks, I speculated in one of my meandering rants that perhaps the south tower was brought down first because it was evacuated first, owing to the fact that the occupants of the south tower received advance warning via the crash into the north tower, and therefore had the benefit of beginning evacuation before the south tower was hit and all hell broke loose. At the time that post went up, most respondents seemed to find that idea absurd, and news reports repeatedly claimed that occupants of the south tower did not in fact begin evacuating after the strike on the north tower, but rather were advised to remain in their offices.

USA Today concluded otherwise after talking to numerous survivors: "Most of the dead were in the north tower, the first one hit and the second to collapse. USA Today documented 1,434 who died in the north tower vs. 599 in the south tower. (Locations could not be determined for 147 of the building occupants.) An analysis shows that two-thirds of south tower occupants evacuated the upper floors during the 16 1/2 minutes between the attacks. In the north tower, an average of 78 people died per floor at the crash area and above, compared with 19 people per floor in the south tower."

The occupants of the south tower had both advance warning and the benefit of utilizing the building's ninety-nine elevators, which is obviously a much quicker way to exit than walking, single file, down as many as 110 flights of stairs. So even though the south tower was hit at a lower elevation, thus potentially trapping far more people, and even though it stood for only half as long, more than twice as many people died in the north tower. It seems entirely reasonable then to speculate that the south tower was brought down first because it was 'cleared' first (for lack of a better word).

The USA Today report seemed to subtly suggest that scenario: "The evacuation was a success. Nearly everyone who could get out did get out. The Port Authority had revised its evacuation plan for the buildings after a terrorist bomb exploded in a Trade Center garage in 1993. On Sept. 11, those changes saved hundreds, possibly thousands, of lives. The buildings, sturdily constructed, exquisitely engineered and equipped with stairwells bigger than building codes require, stood just long enough to give potential survivors a chance to get out." (emphasis added)

The reason the evacuation was a success, according to USA Today, was because of the lessons learned from the February 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. At the time of that attack, "The evacuation took nearly four hours in dark, smoky, poorly marked stairwells. Some people were stuck in elevators for 10 hours. The Port Authority made crucial improvements after that attack. The changes saved countless lives on Sept. 11."

Those improvements included the addition of a back-up power supply, fire command posts, stairwell lighting with battery back-up, loudspeakers, reflective paint and directional arrows. In addition, evacuation drills were reportedly held every six months. Taking all that into consideration, and also taking into consideration that the 1993 WTC bombing was carried out by operatives under the supervision of the FBI, a skeptic might be tempted to conclude that the 1993 'attack' was really a test to see how quickly the buildings could be evacuated in an actual emergency.

One final intriguing nugget of information included in the USA Today report is that just "Ten bystanders were killed by falling debris." If true, that is a remarkable statistic. So precisely controlled were the collapses that two 1,360-foot-tall towers fell in the densely populated heart of Manhattan and just ten bystanders were killed! And yet we are expected to believe that those uncannily symmetrical collapses were caused by airplanes striking the buildings at entirely random points.

Following the pattern set at the Pentagon, virtually all of the key evidence concerning the attacks on the towers has been suppressed. The contents of the infamous 'black boxes' remain a mystery. Only bits and pieces of the seventy-eight-minute audiotape of firefighters working within the stricken towers have been released. And perhaps most troubling of all, the structural steel from the towers was quickly shipped overseas as scrap, preempting an investigation that could have determined whether the collapses were caused by fire or explosives:
Some 185,101 tons of structural steel have been hauled away from Ground Zero. Most of the steel has been recycled as per the city's decision to swiftly send the wreckage to salvage yards in New Jersey. The city's hasty move has outraged many victims' families who believe the steel should have been examined more thoroughly. Last month, fire experts told Congress that about 80% of the steel was scrapped without being examined...
(New York Daily News, April 16, 2002)

For more than three months, structural steel from the World Trade Center has been and continues to be cut up and sold for scrap. Crucial evidence that could answer many questions about high-rise building design practices and performance under fire conditions is on the slow boat to China, perhaps never to be seen again in America until you buy your next car... Fire Engineering has good reason to believe that the "official investigation" blessed by FEMA and run by the American Society of Civil Engineers is a half-baked farce that may already have been commandeered by political forces whose primary interests, to put it mildly, lie far afield of full disclosure. Except for the marginal benefit obtained from a three-day, visual walk-through of evidence sites conducted by ASCE investigation committee members - described by one close source as a "tourist trip"- no one's checking the evidence for anything.
(Fire Engineering Magazine, January 2002)

Federal officials overseeing the clean-up operation, in conjunction with Giuliani's office, resorted to extraordinary measures to insure that none of the steel went missing on the way to the official dumpsite, purportedly to thwart an alleged criminal operation aimed at stealing the scrap steel.

On November 26, the city initiated use of an in-vehicle GPS tracking system to monitor locations of trucks hired to haul the debris to Fresh Kills, the official dump site on Staten Island ... In the weeks before launching the GPS system, the city relied on a paper-based system for tracking traffic and loading data. Police and several other agencies teamed up to monitor the trucks on their routes between Ground Zero through 20 to 30 miles of tunnels, bridges and highways to the dump on Staten Island ... To get a GPS truck-monitoring system rolling right away, DDC-NYC and the New York Port Authority (NYPA) quickly identified several possible suppliers, viewed presentations from the candidates, and sent out a request for proposal. In the end, the contract went to IDC-Criticom, a large alarm system wholesaler based in Minneapolis, and its two subcontractors: GPS hardware maker PowerLoc; and implementation specialist Mobile Installation Technologies (MIT) of Marietta, Ga. Within three weeks, the system elements were in place, and nearly 200 trucks in New York City were being tracked in real time. Installed by MIT with assistance from PowerLoc and four trucking contractors, the solution revolved around PowerLoc's Vehicle Location Device (VLD). Each VLD unit costs about $1,000.

Since 'Ground Zero' was, by all accounts, the site of a mass murder, the actions taken collectively by federal officials amounted to nothing less than the willful, deliberate destruction of evidence in a criminal investigation. If the collapse of the towers was due to an unprecedented, spontaneous failure of structural components of the buildings, then a full and rigorous investigation was mandated to insure that new construction methods could be implemented in future highrise projects, and so that existing buildings at risk could be identified. If, on the other hand, the collapse of the towers was due to strategically placed, synchronized explosive charges, then only the appearance of an investigation was necessary, for two rather obvious reasons: (1) those who need to know already know why the towers collapsed; and (2) they don't want anyone else to know why the towers collapsed.

As it did with all aspects of the September 11 attacks, the Bush administration chose to go with the appearance of an investigation.

In addition to the suppression of the firefighter tape and the willful destruction of the forensic evidence, an invaluable source of information on the collapses was destroyed when WTC7 collapsed. Housed on the twenty-third floor of the building was Mayor Giuliani's Office of Emergency Management, a state-of-the-art command center designed to serve as a base of operations during times of crisis. On September 11, 2001, the command center was monitoring the situation in lower Manhattan -- at least it was until the personnel staffing the center received an order to evacuate. One of the officials manning the command center that day told filmmakers from The History Channel that, "to this day, we don't know who gave that order."
("The World Trade Center: Rise and Fall of an American Icon," The History Channel, September 8, 2003)

Excuse me? How could they not know who gave that order? How many people, other then the mayor, were authorized to issue such an order? The city's emergency command center, the very entity set up to advise others how to proceed in times of crisis, was itself ordered to shut down in the middle of the worst crisis the city had ever faced, and no one knows who gave that order?! Am I the only one who finds that a little hard to believe?

The History Channel also spoke with a Colonel John O'Dowd, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. O'Dowd, who is no stranger to disaster scenes, said that he had never seen anything like what he saw at the site where the towers had once stood. "At the World Trade Center sites," he said, "it seemed like everything was pulverized." Other than the miles of twisted steel beams and columns, there was nothing recognizable in the debris pile -- nothing to indicate that the pulverized debris had been, just seconds earlier, a functioning 10,000,000-square-foot office building.

Colonel O'Dowd had also been present at the scene of the partially collapsed Oklahoma City Federal Building. Though the collapse of the Murrah building was definitely facilitated by at least one powerful explosive charge, O'Dowd noted that the debris from that collapse was not pulverized to the degree that it was at the site of the WTC towers. And the towers, according to the official story, were acted upon by nothing more than the effects of fire and gravity.

Curiously enough, the contractor hired to finish off the Murrah building, and then haul all the debris off to an unmarked desert grave, was the same contractor brought in to oversee the clean-up/cover-up of the WTC tower debris. That contractor is Controlled Demolitions, Inc., which happens to be the biggest name in the controlled demolition industry, begging the question of whether CDI's WTC contract included payment for more than just cleaning up the aftermath of the collapses.

If the World Trade Center towers were brought down with explosives, which is the only reasonable explanation for what the world witnessed, then a considerable amount of advance work would have had to be done. Such an operation presumably would have had to be run through the WTC's security service, since that is the entity given unrestricted access to the buildings, and, of equal importance, the entity with the authority to restrict the access of others.

A business entity now known as Stratesec, Inc. began performing security work at the World Trade Center in 1993. In 1996, the company, then known as Securacom, was awarded an exclusive contract to provide security for the World Trade Center complex. Stratesec/Securacom also provided security for United Airlines and Dulles International Airport, two other key players in the 9-11 story. Sitting on Stratesec's board of directors, from the time the company began working at the WTC, was a major shareholder by the name of Marvin Bush. Marvin, like Jeb and Neil, is a brother of George W. Bush. Small world, isn't it?

* * * * * * * * * *

As with other aspects of the September 11 story, there is, unfortunately, a considerable amount of disinformation mixed in with the '9-11 skeptics' literature concerning the collapse of the towers. One widely disseminated bit of said disinformation concerns a statement by building leaseholder Larry Silverstein, who was interviewed for a PBS documentary entitled "America Rebuilds." During that interview, Silverstein recalled "getting a call from the, uh, fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, 'You know, we've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is, is pull it.' And they made that decision to pull and then we watched the building collapse."

Many researchers have suggested that Silverstein admitted on public television that he and the FDNY made a joint decision to bring WTC7 down in a controlled demolition. This is a particularly nasty line of disinformation because it casts the FDNY, universally viewed (and rightfully so) as the heroes of 9-11, as co-conspirators in bringing the buildings down.

It is perfectly clear from the context of Silverstein's statement that he was not suggesting that the building be brought down, but rather that fire fighting operations be suspended. The "terrible loss of life" he referred to was obviously the loss of scores of firefighters in the twin tower collapses, and his point was that it wasn't worth putting any more firefighters at risk, particularly in a building that had long since been evacuated.

In what parallel universe would a building owner casually suggest to the fire department that his building be brought down in a controlled demolition, as if such a thing can be engineered on the spot? And how exactly would collapsing an intact building save lives? At least one researcher claims that proof that the phrase "pull it" refers to demolishing the building can be found in the same PBS documentary in the statement of a rescue worker who recalled "getting ready to pull building six."

Apparently, triggering the controlled demolition of highrise buildings is a fairly common tactic during rescue operations. Everybody seems to be familiar with it and everyone speaks rather openly about it. Who knew?

There is one little problem with the 'proof,' unfortunately: WTC6 wasn't actually brought down in a controlled demolition. Like WTC7, it was completely evacuated. It was also damaged beyond repair by debris from the north tower. But it did remain standing. It is quite clear then that "pull," in this context, refers to pulling firefighters out of the building, since there was no reason for anyone to further risk their life in a building that couldn't be saved.

Far from candidly admitting that he had ordered the demolition of WTC7, what Silverstein was actually doing was lying to explain why no effort was made to control the easily controllable fires that purportedly brought the building crashing down.

Another morsel of disinformation that can be found in the skeptics' literature is exemplified by Michael Ruppert's claim that "WTC Building 7, which was not struck by an aircraft at all ... collapsed faster than gravity would permit." WTC7, along with WTC1 and WTC2, fell at nearly the speed that gravity would permit, indicating that the building offered virtually no resistance to the collapse. It did not, however, fall "faster than gravity would permit," which would be a physical impossibility. The only function served by inserting such absurdities into the narrative is to discredit the body of research that has been developed.

* * * * * * * * * *

As fate would have it, the Los Angeles Times announced, as I was working on this post, that a new report on the collapse of the towers will be released by the end of the year:

Federal investigators believe the second World Trade Center tower fell much more quickly than the first because it had a more concentrated, intense fire inside, officials said Tuesday. The detailed hypothesis was discussed at a meeting of investigators with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the Commerce Department. The Institute's investigators are preparing a report detailing how and why the towers collapsed after being struck by fuel-filled jetliners on Sept. 11, 2001. The report is to be released by year's end.
("9/11 Tower's Fall Tied to Intensity of Fire," Los Angeles Times, October 20, 2004)
Apparently, Washington is preparing to add yet another layer to the cover-up with yet another entirely fraudulent report. The notion that the south tower played host to a "more concentrated, intense fire" flies in the face of all the available evidence. As previously discussed, the plane that hit the south tower clipped a corner of the building, while the north tower was hit head-on. The result was that the vast majority of the fuel from the second aircraft was ejected out the side of the building, where it burned up immediately in a massive fireball, as can be clearly seen in the photo to the left.

Also clearly visible in the photo is that, in the north tower, impacted just 16½ minutes earlier, the flames had already died down and copious amounts of thick, black smoke were pouring out of the building, indicating a smoldering, oxygen-deprived fire, not a raging inferno. The truth is that there were no "concentrated, intense fires" burning in either of the towers, as photographs, videotape, survivor accounts, and the firefighter audiotape all amply document.

There were no intense fires for the simple reason that there was no fuel available to feed such blazes. Though the general public remains convinced that jet fuel fed the infernos, it has been acknowledged that such was not the case. Experts consulted by the Discovery Channel ("Collapse: How the Towers Fell," September 7, 2003) noted that jet fuel can burn quite fiercely, purportedly at temperatures approaching 2,000° F, but not for very long. At least one-half of the aircraft's fuel burned outside of the towers, it was acknowledged, and the remaining half, which ignited inside the towers, would have burned up in about eight minutes.

Even the heavily whitewashed FEMA report concurred with that assessment: "The large quantity of jet fuel carried by each aircraft ignited upon impact into each building. A significant portion of this fuel was consumed immediately in the ensuing fireballs. The remaining fuel is believed either to have flowed down through the buildings or to have burned off within a few minutes of the aircraft impact. The heat produced by this burning jet fuel does not by itself appear to have been sufficient to initiate the structural collapses."

We are left then with the problem of identifying a fuel source that could have allowed the fires to continue burning for a significant amount of time at the extreme temperatures required to cause the complete failure of structural steel. In a modern commercial office building, such fuel sources are hard to come by. The cores of the WTC towers, which contained elevator shafts, stairwells, and mechanical shafts, were constructed largely of concrete, steel and drywall. The exterior skeleton was a lattice work of structural steel elements. The exterior facade was constructed of aluminum and glass. The floor slabs were composed of steel trusses, corrugated steel decking, and lightweight concrete. Interior walls were constructed of light-gauge steel studs and fire-resistant drywall. Ceilings typically consist of a steel grid system and fire-resistant mineral fiber panels.

As a general rule, none of those building materials provide much fuel for a fire. The only readily available fuel would have been some of the decorative construction materials, such as carpet and draperies, and whatever was provided by the building's tenants, primarily office furniture and paper products. None of that would have come close to sustaining a fire of sufficient intensity to cause the collapse of the towers, which were, by the way, retrofitted with fire-sprinkler systems capable of handling routine office fires.

Even if we accept the claim that fires raged in the towers with enough intensity to cause the spontaneous failure of structural steel elements, and even if we accept that those elements failed in a uniform, perfectly symmetrical manner, and even if we simply ignore the fact that the cores of the towers were inexplicably pulverized, we still are left with no explanation of how WTC7 - which did not have an open floor plan that could have rendered it susceptible to 'pancaking,' and which was not hit by a fuel-laden airplane - imploded in essentially the same manner as the towers, and on the very same day.

* * * * * * * * * *

Let's just suppose, for the moment, that a decision was made, at some point in time, to rid New York City of the World Trade Center towers. Under normal circumstances, that would have been nearly impossible to accomplish. Even with the most carefully controlled demolitions, it simply would not be possible to bring the gargantuan towers down without doing a considerable amount of collateral damage to surrounding buildings. And it's a fairly safe bet that the toxic clouds of dust that blanketed much of Manhattan would not have been well received.

But if those collapses could be packaged into the Hollywood-style production known as the September 11 terr'ist attacks, then two birds could be killed with one stone: the towers could be brought down, and it could be done in the most spectacular way possible, thus traumatizing the nation and properly conditioning the people to accept the prepackaged, post-911 agenda.

If that was indeed the plan, then it appears to have been a successful one.