Hogan's Alley

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rosie O'Donnell Is An Idiot

I'm sorry, but there is just no other way to say it. Since joining the View, Ms. O'Donnell has made her bones by instigating feuds with other "celebrities". She has also used this forum to angrily trumpet her ill thought out views of all matters political and social. Her targets in the political arena seem to include anyone to the right of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Her latest explosion of bile has been aimed at what she sees as clear evidence of a conspiracy to take down at least the building known as World Trade Center 7 on 9/11/01. As you will see in the clip, her only real opposition from the View panel comes from the blonde genius in red, I'm sorry I don't know her name. That bright light is apparently the only person left in the world who believes that Saddam may have had some connection to 9/11, allowing Rosie to beat her over the head with that straw man of an argument.

In response to Rosie's claim that, apparently based on her extensive knowledge of physics, the steel in the building couldn't have" melted" and that the building had to have been demolished by explosives, Popular Mechanics has put up a response on its website. As they point out, and as is clearly visible in the photo above, the truth is that it is difficult to understand how any building that close to the towers survived.

( In the photo, the large building to the left of the frame is WTC Tower 1 and the smaller, slightly brownish building at the upper center of the frame is WTC 7. Not visible behind WTC 1 and to the left of WTC 7 is the Verizon building. As photos linked to by PM show it was damaged but survived, showing the structural superiority of older building techniques. On a personal note, my sister was working in the Verizon building on the morning of 9/11 and was able to evacuate and clear out of the area before the buildings came down. This perhaps accounts for why I take this issue seriously and personally.)

Here is the core of the PM argument, based on studies by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):

1. Initial reports from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) misunderstood the amount of damage the 47-floor WTC7 sustained from the debris of the falling North Tower—because in early photographs, WTC7 was obscured by smoke and debris.

Towers 1 and 7 were approximately 300 ft. apart, and pictures like the ones here and here offer a clear visual of how small that distance is for structures that large. After further studies, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) told PM that debris from the 110-floor North Tower hit WTC7 with the force of a volcanic eruption. Nearly a quarter of the building was carved away over the bottom 10 stories on its south face, and significant damage was visible up to the 18th floor (see p. 24 of this report).

The unusual design of WTC7 is also crucial to the discussion, in that key columns supported extreme loads—as much as 2000 sq. ft. of floor area for each floor—as the building straddled an electrical substation. “What our preliminary analysis has shown is that if you take out just one column on one of the lower floors,” NIST lead investigator Shyam Sunder told PM, “it could cause a vertical progression of collapse so that the entire section comes down.” The tower wasn’t hit by a plane, but it was severely wounded by the collapse of the North Tower. Which is when the fires started.

2. The North and South Towers of the World Trade Center weren’t knocked down by planes—they both stood for more than a half-hour after the impacts. But the crashes destroyed support columns and ignited infernos that ultimately weakened—not melted—the steel structures until the towers could no longer support their own weights (NIST offers a primer here). Ms. O’Donnell fundamentally misstates the case with her use of the word “melting”: Evidence currently points to WTC7 also collapsing because fires weakened its ravaged steel structure.

Tower 7 housed the city’s emergency command center, so there were a number of fuel tanks located throughout the building—including two 6000-gal. tanks in the basement that fed some generators in the building by pressurized lines. “Our working hypothesis is that this pressurized line was supplying fuel [to the fire] for a long period of time,” according to Sunder. Steel melts at about 2,750 degrees Fahrenheit—but it loses strength at temperatures as low as 400 F. When temperatures break 1000 degrees F, steel loses nearly 50 percent of its strength. It is unknown what temperatures were reached inside WTC7, but fires in the building raged for seven hours before the collapse.

The other key point that must be made is, of course, that in order for WTC 7 to be imploded by explosives at precisely the right time, after or during the collapse of the Twin Towers, those who set the explosives must have known of the timing of the plans by Mohamed Atta and company. Thus whoever Ms. O'Donnell believes responsible was a conspirator in the collapse of the towers and thus responsible for the deaths of 3000 souls as well.

Given the tenor of much of Ms. O'Donnell's rants, I have no doubt that she believes it was committed by the US government under the direction of G. Bush and D. Chenney. So far she has lacked the guts to say what she truly believes, as stupid as it is.

I can't wait to see the "professors" from Harvard or Yale Rosie will recruit to support her "argument". Maybe they will be able to prove some of her other key beliefs, such as the faking of the moon landing, the attack on Pearl Harbor and the JFK conspiracy. Those would be the only kind of experts who would support Rosie. I wager that she will in fact only be able to get the clowns who have been proclaiming his 9/11 conspiracy theory far and wide, no pun intended. I won't link to them, find them yourself, contributions gratefully accepted, not that I'm implying that the motivation for their existence.

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