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9.11 investigation

Bush administration 911 lie exposed

"A lost tape of lost voices, ignored until recently by investigators studying the
emergency response on Sept. 11, shows that firefighters climbed far higher
into the south tower than practically anyone had realized. At least two men
reached the crash zone on the 78th floor, where they went to the aid of
grievously injured people trapped in a sprawl of destruction."
"The fact that veteran firefighters had "a coherent plan for putting out" the
"two pockets of fire" indicates they judged the blazes to be manageable.
These reports from the scene of the crash provide crucial evidence debunking
the government's claim that a raging steel-melting inferno led to the tower's collapse."
Lost Voices of Firefighters, Some on 78th Floor
by The New York Times, August 4, 2002

By JIM DWYER and FORD FESSENDEN

A lost tape of lost voices, ignored until recently by investigators studying the
emergency response on Sept. 11, shows that firefighters climbed far higher
into the south tower than practically anyone had realized. At least two men
reached the crash zone on the 78th floor, where they went to the aid of
grievously injured people trapped in a sprawl of destruction.

Until the building's final minutes, one of the two firefighters, Battalion Chief
Orio J. Palmer, was organizing the evacuation of people hurt by the plane's
impact. He was accompanied by Fire Marshal Ronald P. Bucca. Both men died.

Only now, nearly a year after the attacks, are the efforts of Chief Palmer,
Mr. Bucca and others becoming public. City fire officials simply delayed listening
to a 78-minute tape that is the only known recording of firefighters inside the
towers. The Fire Department has forbidden anyone to discuss the contents
publicly on the ground that the tape might be evidence in the trial of Zacarias
Moussaoui, the man accused of plotting with the hijackers.

According to four people who have heard it, the tape provides new, sharp and
unforgettable images of the last minutes inside the trade center complex.

For months, senior officials believed that firefighters had gone no higher than
about the 50th floor in each tower, well below most damage. The transmissions
from Chief Palmer and others reveal a startling achievement: firefighters in the
south tower actually reached a floor struck by the second hijacked airplane.
Once they got there, they had a coherent plan for putting out the fires they
could see and helping victims who survived.

About 14 or 15 minutes before the south tower collapsed, a group of people
who had survived the plane's impact began their descent from the 78th floor.
As they departed, Chief Palmer sent word to Chief Edward Geraghty that a
group of 10 people, with a number of injuries, were heading to an elevator
on the 41st floor. That elevator was the only one working after the plane hit.
On its last trip down, however, the car became stuck in the shaft. Inside the
elevator was a firefighter from Ladder 15, who reported that he was trying to
break open the walls. It is not clear whether the group of 10 had reached that
elevator before it left the 41st floor but those who listened to the tape said it was
most unlikely that they had enough time to escape, by the elevator or by stairs.

Only a minute or two of the tape covers transmissions from the north tower;
the rest are from the south tower. Senior officials said this suggested that the
communications problems that plagued the Fire Department's response to the
attack were caused not simply by equipment failures, but possibly also by
misunderstandings over how certain radio gear was working.

On the tapes, the commander of operations in the south tower, Donald Burns,
is heard repeatedly calling for additional companies, but many firefighters headed
for that building became caught in traffic or became confused about which tower
they should report to. As events developed, the inability to get more firefighters
into the south tower may have spared some lives, officials said.

The tape was recovered months ago by staff members from the Port Authority
of New York and New Jersey, although authority officials could not be precise
about the time. In January or February, the Port Authority offered a copy of
the tape to Fire Department officials, but they declined the offer.

The fire officials said they were not told at the time that the tape contained
important information and did not want to sign a confidentiality agreement
demanded by the Port Authority.

In early July, after The New York Times reported the existence of the tape
and the fact that consultants studying the department's response to the
attack had not listened to it, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced that
the fire investigators would immediately review it. A draft of the consultants'
report does not take account of the tape's contents.

The department has identified the voices of at least 16 firefighters on the
tape, and on Friday, their families were invited to listen to it in a ballroom
at the Southgate Tower Suite Hotel near Pennsylvania Station. First, they
were required to sign a statement prepared by city lawyers saying they
would not disclose the last words of their husbands, brothers and sons.

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta told the families that he had not
known the tape existed until very recently. Later, he declined to discuss
its contents, but said it had a powerful effect on him. "Every time I've seen
videotapes, listened to audio recordings or read the accounts of firefighters
and their actions on Sept. 11, I've felt the same thing: an extraordinary
sense of awe at their incredible professionalism and bravery."

As the tape played over the hotel sound system, a transcript was displayed
on a video screen.

Chief Palmer's widow, Debbie Palmer, said she attended the session with
trepidation, but as Commissioner Scoppetta did, she used the word "awe"
to describe her feelings afterward. She had known little about her husband's
movements on Sept. 11. Mrs. Palmer stressed that she would not break her
promise to keep the tape confidential but said it had given her some peace
about her husband's last moments.

"I didn't hear fear, I didn't hear panic," she said. "When the tape is made
public to the world, people will hear that they all went about their jobs
without fear, and selflessly."

Chief Palmer, 45, worked as a firefighter and officer in every borough of the
city except Staten Island, said Capt. Robert Norcross, a close friend. He was
a student of communication technology, publishing a study of radio equipment
in the Fire Department's internal newsletter. "Every time he went to work,
Orio had a project," Captain Norcross said. "He was a very brilliant man. And
he also was in excellent shape — a marathoner. When the department started
giving out a fitness medal, he was the first to win it three or four times."

Chief Palmer began his assignment in the north tower after the first plane struck,
helping to organize the operations there. Soon after the second plane hit the
south tower at 9:02 a.m., Chief Palmer moved into that building with Chief Burns.

Although most elevators were knocked out of service, Chief Palmer found one that
was working and took it to the 41st floor. At that point, he was halfway to the
impact zone, which ran from the 78th to the 84th floors.

As he began climbing, he crossed paths with a handful of injured people who had
been in the 78th floor Sky Lobby, where scores of office workers had been waiting
for express elevators when the second plane hit. The tip of its left wing grazed the
lobby, instantly killing most of a group variously estimated between 50 and 200
people. Only a dozen ultimately escaped from the building.
Among them was Judy Wein.

"We saw the firefighters coming up, and they would ask us, what floor did you
come from?" Ms. Wein recalled in an interview. "We told them, 78, and there's lots
of people badly hurt up there. Then they would get on their walkie-talkies and
report back in."

Ed Nicholls, whose arm was nearly severed by the blast across the 78th floor,
recalled in an interview that he saw a firefighter somewhere around the 50th floor
who had advice on how to get out. "We encountered a fireman who told us to go
to the 41st floor," he said.

While it is impossible to say if Chief Palmer was the firefighter whom Mr. Nicholls saw,
the chief did send radio messages with the information that he collected from civilians
trying to escape the building.

As Ling Young, another survivor of the 78th floor, made her way down, she passed
two fire marshals, Mr. Bucca and James Devery. They had climbed the stairs from
the lobby because they did not know about the elevator that ran to the 41st floor.
"Ronnie was ahead of me, like a flight, at all times — he was just in better shape,"
Mr. Devery said in an interview. "And then on the 51st floor there was a woman
standing there on the stairwell landing and she had her arms out and her eyes
were closed. And she was bleeding from the side." That was Mrs. Young, and
she seemed ready to faint, he recalled, so he decided to escort her out.

"Then I yelled to Ronnie, I yelled up, because he was ahead of me — I said,
`Ronnie, I got to help her down, I'll be back,' " Mr. Devery said. "But he didn't
answer me. He must have been two flights ahead of me."

Mr. Devery and Mrs. Young took the elevator on the 41st floor to the street.
She spent weeks in the hospital recuperating.

When Chief Palmer reached the 75th floor, he reported meeting a fire marshal
in the stairway, and officials said that was Mr. Bucca. The two men were well
ahead of all the other firefighters in the building. Mr. Bucca, 47, was very fit,
like Chief Palmer, and was active in the Army Reserve.

As they passed other survivors from the impact zone, Chief Palmer informed
the fire officers on the lower floors about their injuries. Chief Geraghty, who
had come to the 41st floor, called down to the ground for firefighters with
medical training.

Chief Palmer also found an obstruction in the stairway and told the trailing fire
companies how to get around it. He asked the chiefs below him to find an elevator
that reached the 76th floor, those who heard the tape said.

Throughout, the voices of Chief Palmer, Chief Geraghty, and the other firefighters
showed no panic, no sense that events were racing beyond their control.

When Chief Palmer radioed from the 78th floor, he sounded slightly out of breath,
perhaps from exertion or perhaps from the sight of all the people who moments
before had been waiting for an elevator and now were dead or close to it.

"Numerous 10-45's, Code Ones," Chief Palmer said, using the Fire Department's
radio terms for dead people.

At that point, the building would be standing for just a few more minutes, as the
fire was weakening the structure on the floors above him. Even so, Chief Palmer
could see only two pockets of fire, and called for a pair of engine companies
to fight them.

Among those lying in the lobby of the 78th floor was Richard Gabrielle, an Aon
employee who had been waiting for the elevator. He was trapped under marble
that was blown off the wall, witnesses said.

His widow, Monica Gabrielle, said that she has been tormented by nightmares
about her husband's last moments, and that she was appalled that fire officials
had waited so long to listen to the tape. She had wondered whether her husband
had died alone. The efforts of Chief Palmer and Mr. Bucca in reaching the 78th floor
eased that anxiety.

"The fact that Rich, still alive, was not alone — at least he knew there was help,
and thought that they were getting out," she said. She added that she thought
all such records should be made public.

Mrs. Palmer said that as she sat in the audience on Friday listening to the tape,
she realized that she knew how events would end, but that her husband and
the other firefighters did not. "In my mind, I was saying, hurry up, hurry up,
get out of there," she said. "But what's done is done."


*******************************************

Bucca, Ronald: Ronald and a Battalion Chief were the only firefighters to reach
the 78th floor (the 'crash zone') of the south tower several minutes before the
tower collapsed. He was the first NY fire marshal ever to die in the line of duty.
He had been with the NYFD for 23 years and concurrently with the army reserves
as a military analyst. As an LPN he also held a BS degree in Public Safety.
He was an avid historian and had a lifelong interest in Boy Scouting.
Ronald was also known as 'The Flying Fireman', a nickname he received after
falling five stories suffering severe injuries during a fire rescue attempt in 1996.
His son Ronnie, who had walked alongside the fire truck that carried his dad's
casket, said of his dad "My father never bragged or talked about his accomplish-
ments, but the family knew what he did." Ronald, 47, lived in Tuckahoe,
NY where he is survived by his wife and two children.

 http://www.geocities.com/vegas_maxwell/WTC.html


*******************************************


New York Firefighters' Final Words Fuel Burning Questions About 9-11

Evidence that could debunk the official explanation for the collapse
of the World Trade Center is being kept secret by the Department
of Justice on a flimsy pretext.

Exclusive to American Free Press
By Christopher Bollyn


The Department of Justice has ordered secrecy measures to keep the
contents of a "lost tape" of firefighters' voices at the World Trade Center
from being made public. The 78-minute audiotape evidently debunks the accepted
explanation that intense jet fuel fires melted the towers' steel beams and caused
the collapses.

The New York Times recently revealed the existence of the tape of radio
transmissions between firefighters of the New York Fire Department (NYFD),
which proves that "at least two men" had reached the 78th floor Sky Lobby
of the South Tower. The firefighters had reported about the fires and casualties
they encountered and had begun evacuating the survivors.

The article said that firefighters "reached the crash zone on the 78th floor,
where they went to the aid of grievously injured people trapped in a sprawl
of destruction."

While the article raises as many questions as it answers, it points to a reason
for the secrecy: "Once they got there," the article says, "they had a coherent
plan for putting out the fires they could see and helping victims who survived."

The report names two of the firefighters who were at the crash site: Battalion
Chief Orio J. Palmer, who was organizing the evacuation of injured people, and
Fire Marshal Ronald P. Bucca. Both were among the 343 firefighters who perished.

The voices of the firefighters "showed no panic, no sense that events were racing
beyond their control," the Times wrote. "At that point, the building would be
standing for just a few more minutes, as the fire was weakening the structure
on the floors above him. Even so, Chief Palmer could see only two pockets of fire,
and called for a pair of engine companies to fight them."

The fact that veteran firefighters had "a coherent plan for putting out" the
"two pockets of fire" indicates they judged the blazes to be manageable.
These reports from the scene of the crash provide crucial evidence debunking
the government's claim that a raging steel-melting inferno led to the tower's collapse.

As the FEMA "Building Performance Assessment" report says, "Temperatures may have
been as high as 900-1,100 degrees Celsius (1,700-2,000 Fahrenheit) in some areas."

"If FEMA's temperature estimates are correct, the interiors of the towers were
furnaces capable of casting aluminum and glazing pottery," Eric Hufschmid,
author of the book Time for Painful Questions writes. Yet the voices on the tape
prove that several firefighters were able to work "without fear" for an extended
period at the point of the crash, and that the fires they encountered there were
neither intense nor large.

The South Tower disintegrated in less than an hour after being hit by a plane,
which impacted between its 78th and 84th floors. "Fire has never caused a steel
building to collapse," Hufschmid writes. "So how did a 56-minute fire bring down
a steel building as strong as the South Tower?"

Hufschmid's forthcoming book presents compelling evidence that explosives
caused the towers to collapse.

Pointing to the Meridian Plaza fire in Philadelphia in 1991, Hufschmid writes,
"The Meridian Plaza fire was extreme, but it did not cause the building to collapse.
The fire in the South Tower seems insignificant by comparison to both the Meridian
Plaza fire and the fire in the North Tower. How could the tiny fire in the South Tower
cause the entire structure to shatter into dust after 56 minutes while much more
extreme fires did not cause the Meridian Plaza building to even crack into two pieces?"

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PA), the bi-state authority and owner
of the World Trade Center, retrieved the "lost tape." A spokesman for the authority,
Greg Trevor, told AFP that the tape was found in PA police offices at 5 WTC, "two or
three weeks" after 9-11. The PA police monitored radio transmissions from the WTC.

Because of an unexplained delay in producing the tape, it was believed "for months"
that firefighters had gone no higher than about the 50th floor in each tower.
The delay, Trevor said, was due to the time required to transfer the voice data
to "encrypted CDs."

In January or February, the PA offered a copy of the tape to NYFD officials, who
reportedly declined the offer because they did not want to sign the confidentiality
agreement as demanded by the PA. The Independent of Britain added that the PA
"held back from sharing it with police and only relinquished it on condition that a
confidentiality agreement was signed."

"That's not correct," Trevor told AFP regarding the allegation that the PA had
withheld the tape from the police. The PA had only handled the tape "under the
instruction of the U.S. attorney's office," he said.

Spokesman Bernard Gifford said NYPD had not pursued a criminal investigation
of 9-11, having "turned it over" to the FBI.

Gifford wouldn't say when this occurred, although Joe Valiquette of the New York
office of the FBI told AFP that the federal bureau had run the investigation
"from the moment it happened."

On Aug. 2 the relatives of the 16 firefighters whose voices were identified on the
tape were allowed to hear their last words in a New York City hotel. The families
were first required to sign a statement prepared by lawyers that they would not
disclose what was said on the tape.

Despite the fact that the contents of the tape are being kept secret, the Times
article says, "Only now, nearly a year after the attacks, are the efforts of Chief Palmer,
Mr. Bucca and others becoming public. City fire officials simply delayed listening
to a 78-minute tape that is the only known recording of firefighters inside the towers."

While Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said he had not known the tape
existed until "very recently," both the Times and CNN err in claiming that the
NYFD is the agency behind the extreme secrecy.

"The Fire Department has forbidden anyone to discuss the contents publicly on
the ground that the tape might be evidence in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui,
the man accused of plotting with the hijackers," the Times said.

When AFP asked the NYFD why the only conversations between firefighters engaged
at the scene of the crash had to be kept secret because of Moussaoui, who was in
prison in Minnesota at the time, the spokesman replied, "Take it up with the
Department of Justice."

Asked about the numerous reports by eyewitnesses, including firefighters,
of explosions inside the towers before they collapsed, Mike Logrin, spokesman
for the NYFD, said, "We're pretty sure there weren't bombs in the building."

On Sept. 11 the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) interviewed one of its New York-
based reporters, Steve Evans, who was in the second tower when it was hit.

"I was at the base of the second tower, the second tower that was hit," Evans said.
"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," he said.

Evans is a professional journalist and although his observations of explosions
in the second tower should be taken into account, they are not. Numerous
eyewitnesses reported also seeing or hearing explosions.

Valiquette of the FBI told AFP that he had not "heard anything" about reports
of explosions in the building and that he had "never heard any discussion of it"
in the FBI's New York office.

 http://www.americanfreepress.net/08_09_02/New_York_Firefighters__/new_york_firefighters__.html