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Talbot writes: "The freak show that is American politics got even freakier last week. Mercury was definitely in retrograde, as Sean Hannity got up close and personal with Julian Assange, Sarah Palin hailed him as a national hero (and urged people to see Oliver Stone's 'Snowden') and Donald Trump, who once called for the 'death penalty or something' for Assange, suddenly embraced the WikiLeaks founder as a trusted source."

Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City, November 9, 2016. (photo: AFP)
Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City, November 9, 2016. (photo: AFP)


Daniel Ellsberg: We're About to See a Fascist Regime Take Office in Washington

By David Talbot, San Francisco Chronicle

10 January 17

 

he freak show that is American politics got even freakier last week. Mercury was definitely in retrograde, as Sean Hannity got up close and personal with Julian Assange, Sarah Palin hailed him as a national hero (and urged people to see Oliver Stone’s “Snowden”) and Donald Trump, who once called for the “death penalty or something” for Assange, suddenly embraced the WikiLeaks founder as a trusted source.

On Friday, Trump had a sit-down with top intelligence chiefs at Trump Tower, which he proclaimed as “constructive” — the same way a president describes a meeting with an enemy power. But he made it clear he still wasn’t buying the spooks’ story about foreign interference in an election that he won fair and square, not counting those 3 million or so votes.

The source of all this madness, of course, was the alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential election. On Thursday, James Clapper, the director of national “intelligence” — as President-“elect” Trump air-quotes it — appeared before a Senate committee to confirm his belief in Moscow’s nefarious interference. Yes, this is the same Clapper who once lied bald-faced to Congress about NSA surveillance of the public. But the Senate, in rare bipartisan frenzy, declared the intelligence chief totally credible this time.

The U.S. intelligence report finally released Friday was dismissed by skeptics as underwhelming in its evidence of Russian hacking but was embraced by political partisans like House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who found it “stunning” in its persuasiveness. Computer security experts I contacted have been convinced of Putin’s guilt for some time.

“Healthy skepticism is a good thing, but at this point it’s no longer healthy and bordering on ‘jet fuel can’t melt steel,” Nicholas Weaver, a UC Berkeley computer science lecturer, emailed me. “There is simply a ton of evidence showing that Russia hacked the Democrats and released that information. And those ‘serious’ (people) who state otherwise are simply defending the special snowflake of a president-elect whose ego is so fragile that to admit that Putin helped him out is untenable to him.”

But even if the Russian government was responsible for handing the Democratic National Committee’s emails to WikiLeaks — possibly through other parties — is this really an “act of war,” as ever-belligerent Sen. John McCain has called it? And should we be throwing “rocks,” as Sen. Lindsey Graham demanded, even though the stones on both sides are nuclear-tipped? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald is not the only one who finds the media’s Putin fever to be “reckless.”

For some much-needed perspective, I consulted with Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers whistle-blower and a former nuclear war planner. Ellsberg, who was a Pentagon consultant under Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, is completing a book based on his experiences titled “The Doomsday Machines: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.”

At 85, Ellsberg is still active on the political front and has visited Assange, who has been under house arrest for six years at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London. He refuses to take a position on the Russian hacking question, which he finds “too fraught and complex.” But he was outspoken about the increasingly tense relationship between Washington and Moscow.

Ellsberg, who lives in Kensington, did not vote for Trump, whom he regards as a “disaster” in every way but one. “I’m against conflict with Russia, so on this one issue, I’m on Trump’s side. Even if the Russians are guilty of hacking, I don’t think we should risk war with them. Even if the Russians intervened in our election, as we ourselves have done in many countries on an even bigger scale.

“Look,” Ellsberg continued, “I think we’re about to see a fascist regime take office in Washington. And I’d rather see these two authoritarian regimes — led by Trump and Putin — not fighting. At this point, I don’t see either regime as expansionist in the Hitler mode. Trump seems less interventionist than the Washington establishment, although his rhetoric about China and Iran is alarming. But on Russia, he looks like a deal maker.”

This is a good thing, Ellsberg observed, particularly given rising tensions in Europe, which could become a nuclear battlefield. NATO, which is committed to defending frontline countries like Poland and the Baltic states against any incursion, maintains a dangerous first-use nuclear policy. Despite Putin’s strong protests, a destabilizing antiballistic-missile system was installed in Romania and another is planned for Poland.

If Trump is serious about reducing tensions with Moscow, Ellsberg said, he should begin by removing those ABM systems and by negotiating reductions in the two countries’ nuclear arsenals to the level where a nuclear exchange would not result in the end of human life on the planet.

“A nuclear exchange involving even a fraction of the weapons that the U.S. and Russia now have on alert status alone would result in nuclear winter, with the smoke from burning cities widely dispersing and blocking sunlight for over a decade. That means years without harvests on Earth. Just one year pretty much does the job of eliminating the human race. So maintaining nuclear arsenals this size is insane and immoral and unjustifiable.”

The old, terrifying Cold War scenarios still loom over the planet as the voices of hysteria clamor for a new Cold War. Ellsberg said that he and his fellow nuclear planners used to regard the mad doomsday satire “Dr. Strangelove” as “a documentary.” In his opinion, Hillary Clinton would have done little to restore sanity in the nuclear relationship with Russia. And Trump is “a cipher. We don’t know what we’ll get from him. And his off-the-cuff remarks are disturbing.”

For this reason, Ellsberg hopes that Trump and the intelligence agencies can establish a healthy working relationship. “He shouldn’t be getting into a war with the intelligence community — it’s bad for him and for the country. There’s no question that he could be putting himself at risk by doing this. Nixon didn’t trust the CIA either. And look what happened to him.”

I didn’t bring up JFK, who threatened to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds” after the agency’s Bay of Pigs disaster, but of course, the bitter split between that president and his national security team still shadows American history.

In any case, we can only pray that sanity, in extremely short supply these days, can somehow be restored in Washington.

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+66 # DongiC 2017-01-10 12:49
Ellsberg still makes a lot of sense, even at 85. We got to have peace with Russia to avoid nuclear winter. No crops for six seasons, brrrrrrrrr.
 
 
+10 # HowardMH 2017-01-10 14:51
Go read the Daily KOS article on how Russian Mobsters bailed out Trump from his 7th Bankruptcy in 2008. He is definitely their man.

The Daily KOS address: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/1/9/1618540/-Was-Donald-Trump-bailed-out-of-bankruptcy-by-Russia-crime-bosses?detail=email&link_id=2&can_id=409af9bdd6bc43981f18b5b37a3d41dc&source=email-as-trump-is-jeered-watch-the-peoples-president-get-a-raucous-heartfelt-standing-ovation-in-nyc&email_referrer=as-trump-is-jeered-watch-the-peoples-president-get-a-raucous-heartfelt-standing-ovation-in-nyc&email_subject=as-trump-is-jeered-watch-the-peoples-president-get-a-raucous-heartfelt-standing-ovation-in-nyc
 
 
-1 # Emmanuel Goldstein 2017-01-10 15:30
Howard, please use a Tiny URL next time!
 
 
0 # MindDoc 2017-01-10 15:56
The Daily Cos story about Trump's Russian-money connection, tiny: http://tinyurl.com/hdq2cxy
 
 
+6 # sfreeman 2017-01-10 16:31
The Daily Kos article is excellent. As to the long URL, it is easy to copy and paste; so, why the complaint?
 
 
+3 # Kootenay Coyote 2017-01-10 18:33
Just knock ff everything after the ?, including the ?.
 
 
+1 # Jaax88 2017-01-12 00:49
Read it. Very interesting. This whole trump/Putin/Rus sia thing is like a whack-a-mole game. I wonder when someone is going to hit him with something him cannot duck and won't come out of the hole again.
 
 
+33 # grandlakeguy 2017-01-10 15:16
Disbelief in the nonsense story that the "Russian hack" cost Hillary Clinton the election is now being mocked by the reference to "jet Fuel can't melt steel" (it CANT by the way, there is a wonderful demonstration of that which was conducted some years back!) as conspiracy theory.

The Democrats are desperate to deflect the truth away from the fact that they lost the election by betraying their constituents with election theft in the primaries in order to force a totally dishonest and wildly unpopular candidate on the voters.

Had the primary voters been allowed to make the choice we would be looking forward to a President Bernie Sanders next Friday.
How could the meddling of a handful of corrupt party officials so damage the world?
 
 
+6 # sfreeman 2017-01-10 16:35
PLUS the fact the Democratic party systematically has betrayed the people and toadied to Wall Street, the Military Industrial Complex, and imperialists since Johnson's IDIOTIC invasion of Viet Nam. If Democrats want someone to blame, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Sadly, it is "we, the people" who will have to pay the price for Democrats' willingness to sell us out for "30 pieces of silver"--althou gh, I suspect the price for most of them is no more than a couple of pieces of silver.
 
 
+6 # Doll 2017-01-10 16:59
When republicans did this, we had no problem seeing the error in their logic: They were shooting the messenger. Now, it is the DNC engaged in shooting the messenger and ignoring the message.

It was the factual message that was Clinton's undoing.
 
 
+6 # Radscal 2017-01-10 20:03
Thanks for pointing out the "jet fuel can't melt steel" Easter Egg.

Although the corporate media does everything it can do to bury the truth, "Ground Zero" yielded not just tons of melted steel, but one particular artifact, known as "the meteorite" is a blob of melted steel AND CONCRETE!

Concrete melts at temperatures over 3,200 degrees fahrenheit. That's 6 times the temperature that jet fuel burns in open air, and twice the maximum possible temperature in specially-creat ed furnaces. And the highest temperature claimed in the 911 Commission Report is less than 480 degrees.

A chunk of it, and other melted materials are displayed at The U.S. Customs House.

http://911encyclopedia.com/wiki/index.php/World_Trade_Center_Molten_Material_Images

http://www.mepetroleum.com/jet_fuel.htm
 
 
-1 # Caliban 2017-01-12 02:03
I had much rather had Bernie running the country than HRC or DJT, but the principle remains -- No proof, no theft.
 
 
-1 # Jaax88 2017-01-12 20:15
All the accusing fingers do not mention the point that Bernie (my candidate) was not a Demo and latched himself to the DP. Why is it the Demo who are at fault in the knock down, drag out exercise we name elections when he was not real Democrat. I think all that is happening with all the blaming comments is to set up antagonism with voters who will be needed to oust trump and Repugs all over the country. Talk about shoot one's self in the foot.
 
 
+5 # elizabethblock 2017-01-11 15:19
Especially at 85. He's one of quite a few people who I am glad have lived a long time, and who I hope will live a lot longer.
 
 
+33 # MainStreetMentor 2017-01-10 12:55
Every non-conservativ e in the country has branded the incoming regime as fascist – Ellsberg’s declaration is not “breaking news”. What is needed now, is not a declaration of that fact, but an organized effort to legally reverse it. And while we’re at it: Is there any way to convince the major news networks to stop plastering photos of Ivanka alongside anyone-of-posit ion within the incoming regime? As far as I know there is no official government position she occupies … so why is she included in almost every photo op of anyone within, or even associated with, the Trump regime? After the 1 millionth photo of her, we all know what she looks like – so there’s no need to see her on the front page of every newspaper, nor on every website and blog!
 
 
+12 # reiverpacific 2017-01-10 14:49
Quoting MainStreetMentor:
Every non-conservative in the country has branded the incoming regime as fascist – Ellsberg’s declaration is not “breaking news”. What is needed now, is not a declaration of that fact, but an organized effort to legally reverse it. And while we’re at it: Is there any way to convince the major news networks to stop plastering photos of Ivanka alongside anyone-of-position within the incoming regime? As far as I know there is no official government position she occupies … so why is she included in almost every photo op of anyone within, or even associated with, the Trump regime? After the 1 millionth photo of her, we all know what she looks like – so there’s no need to see her on the front page of every newspaper, nor on every website and blog!

Hitler didn't show Eva Braun around much either -but she died with him!
 
 
+14 # Robbee 2017-01-10 15:22
Quoting MainStreetMentor:
Is there any way to convince the major news networks to stop plastering photos of Ivanka alongside anyone-of-position within the incoming regime?

- yes - everyone stop watching media - altogether now!
 
 
+13 # candida 2017-01-10 16:10
Quoting Robbee:
- yes - everyone stop watching media - altogether now!


I did this some years ago, do not have cable, and have not regretted it for a minute. I have not seen one photo of any family members and very few of Trump except on RSN. I get my news by public radio (national and local), online streaming (KPFK/KPFA, DemocracyNow!) and news aggregators like RSN. Cancel your cable today! Cable is a major reason for this rise of fascism, including the spread of disinformation. While I fear the incoming administration (a rational fear), I do not have the irrational fears of many Americans who watch TV and cable (and documented by research) of exaggerated incidents of house invasions, violent crime or child abductions!
 
 
+11 # Emmanuel Goldstein 2017-01-10 15:35
Ivanka and Melania are the sort of window-dressing that any self-respecting fascist needs around him. I doubt Trump would have been "elected" were it not for them. We might as well get used to it.
 
 
+10 # sfreeman 2017-01-10 16:38
I seriously doubt if very many (possibly even if anyone) voted for Trump because of Ivanka or Melania. When I see Melania, I wonder what she uses for a brain. As for Ivanka, I just feel sorry for her.
 
 
+4 # ptalady 2017-01-11 00:51
Have you any basis for denigrating her intelligence? Beyond an assumption based on a stereotype? She apparently speaks five languages.... and evidently is at least a reasonably good strategic thinker, judging by her trajectory in life.
 
 
+2 # bird 2017-01-11 16:47
Yea, Lady, for pointing out the misogyny here.
 
 
+1 # Guangzhou 2017-01-11 23:35
Most Western Europeans speak five languages. This is not anything unusual.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-01-12 10:43
Quoting ptalady:
and evidently is at least a reasonably good strategic thinker, judging by her trajectory in life.
Beautifully stated.
 
 
+17 # grandlakeguy 2017-01-10 15:57
The only way to "legally reverse it" MainStreet Mentor is to blow the cover off of the myth that "American elections are the most honest and secure in the world"

However the actions of both parties and the MSM to hide the truth that our elections are a total charade makes that disclosure highly unlikely.

If the American people actually woke up to the reality that they have been voting in what is essentially election theater and realized that the emperor has no clothes only then would we see such an outcry that we could force new REAL elections on our corrupt government.
Either that or they force martial law upon us as that would certainly be the preference of our entrenched rulers.
 
 
-3 # Caliban 2017-01-11 01:17
"Election theater": everybody knows there is a lot of "theater" in the campaign process, but you seem to mean something bigger and more devious, GLG.

Would you be willing to be more specific for those who are not yet seeing this theater element in the same way conceptually as you seem to be seeing it?
 
 
+2 # Radscal 2017-01-11 14:59
You've never acknowledged that you've even looked at the evidence we've been posting since the Iowa Caucus.
 
 
+1 # ptalady 2017-01-11 00:17
We learn in story after story that the way to really control someone is to threaten their loved ones. What if the presidential owners (e.g. The Russian mob as Howard MH proposes) required her to appear in public -- i.e. Become vulnerable to attack -- alongside anyone they wanted to make sure said the right things in public, "or else." I think this strategy was used toward the end of the Hunger Games trilogy, if memory serves.

On the other hand, if "he is their man," maybe she is the handler's agent. She surely has a lot going on in that noggin to get where she is -- soon to be perhaps the most powerful woman in America or the world. We mustn't let stereotypes get the better of us. There is no shortage of gorgeous women in Russia; she surely has more to offer than window dressing.
 
 
+2 # Radscal 2017-01-11 15:11
The stereotyping of women who have the traits considered "beautiful" in today's Western culture is disgusting.

Melania is a Slovanian, born in what was Yugoslavia, though; not Russia.

“My mom was in the fashion business. I was 5 years old when I did my first catwalk and did commercials at 16,” Melania told the website Parenting a few years ago.

She apparently attended college for less than one year, to go full time into modeling at age 17/18.

“She was reserved,” the former model [Edit Molnar,] once said.

“The first party she ever came to with me was the one she met Donald at.”

That would be a party hosted by Zampolli at the Kit Kat Club during New York Fashion Week in 1998. She was 28. He was 52.

It was love at first sight for Trump, but when the well-known womanizer tried to get Melania’s number, she refused, asking that he give her his instead.

“I am not a girl who will just give away the number to anybody,” she later told The New York Times.

According to Molnar, the model was initially “turned off” by the billionaire.

http://nypost.com/2015/08/16/melania-trump-would-be-a-first-lady-for-the-ages/
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-01-12 10:45
Very interesting ideas.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-01-12 10:48
I believe MSM is referencing Ivanka while you are talking about Melania, but most of the provocative ideas you specify would apply to either woman.

And yes, that tactic was used in Hunger Games v.3
 
 
+34 # revhen 2017-01-10 14:13
You couldn't make this stuff up. If someone wrote a novel around an election such as this, people would laugh at it as a humorous fancy. Maybe we should treat it as such and laugh it out of existence.
 
 
+16 # wrknight 2017-01-10 15:25
Quoting revhen:
You couldn't make this stuff up. If someone wrote a novel around an election such as this, people would laugh at it as a humorous fancy. Maybe we should treat it as such and laugh it out of existence.

Good luck on that one.
 
 
+7 # Dave_s Not Here 2017-01-10 15:57
Can't wait for the movie.
 
 
-1 # Jaax88 2017-01-12 19:47
Get the writer and producer of Hamilton on the job. I think trump would look like he
acts and speaks, with a forked tongue.
 
 
+23 # HowardMH 2017-01-10 14:41
Trump is an illiterate, ignorant, unintelligent, delusional, egomaniac. He is no more prepared to be the President of the United States than any 3rd grade student chosen at random.

I really think Drumpf the narcissistic man-child psycho, orange fuehrer, certified loon, Pig-Headed ignorant idiot will certainly be the U.S.s worst nightmare in the last hundred years. I have also been reminded that he is also a illiterate, ignorant, unintelligent, delusional, egomaniac. He is no more prepared to be the President of the United States than any 3rd grade student chosen at random.
 
 
+6 # Robbee 2017-01-10 15:41
Quoting HowardMH:
Trump is an illiterate, ignorant, unintelligent, delusional, egomaniac. He is no more prepared to be the President of the United States than any 3rd grade student chosen at random.

I really think Drumpf the narcissistic man-child psycho, orange fuehrer, certified loon, Pig-Headed ignorant idiot will certainly be the U.S.s worst nightmare in the last hundred years. I have also been reminded that he is also a illiterate, ignorant, unintelligent, delusional, egomaniac. He is no more prepared to be the President of the United States than any 3rd grade student chosen at random.

- i heard you twice the first time!

and where does it say that a candidate for prez has to be "more prepared to be the President of the United States than any 3rd grade student chosen at random"?

the premise of this story is that rump's regime will be fascist - i wish ellsberg cared to develop his theme
 
 
+4 # reiverpacific 2017-01-10 19:26
Quoting Robbee:
Quoting HowardMH:
Trump is an illiterate, ignorant, unintelligent, delusional, egomaniac. He is no more prepared to be the President of the United States than any 3rd grade student chosen at random.

I really think Drumpf the narcissistic man-child psycho, orange fuehrer, certified loon, Pig-Headed ignorant idiot will certainly be the U.S.s worst nightmare in the last hundred years. I have also been reminded that he is also a illiterate, ignorant, unintelligent, delusional, egomaniac. He is no more prepared to be the President of the United States than any 3rd grade student chosen at random.

- i heard you twice the first time!

and where does it say that a candidate for prez has to be "more prepared to be the President of the United States than any 3rd grade student chosen at random"?

the premise of this story is that rump's regime will be fascist - i wish ellsberg cared to develop his theme


It's worldly ignorance -via lousy, racist education- that got you here. Only dedicated involvement, penetrative sense of reality and collective activism pushback will work.
All else is hot air!!!
 
 
-1 # ericlipps 2017-01-11 23:37
Quoting Robbee:
Quoting HowardMH:
Trump is an illiterate, ignorant, unintelligent, delusional, egomaniac. He is no more prepared to be the President of the United States than any 3rd grade student chosen at random.

I really think Drumpf the narcissistic man-child psycho, orange fuehrer, certified loon, Pig-Headed ignorant idiot will certainly be the U.S.s worst nightmare in the last hundred years. I have also been reminded that he is also a illiterate, ignorant, unintelligent, delusional, egomaniac. He is no more prepared to be the President of the United States than any 3rd grade student chosen at random.

- i heard you twice the first time!

and where does it say that a candidate for prez has to be "more prepared to be the President of the United States than any 3rd grade student chosen at random"?

the premise of this story is that rump's regime will be fascist - i wish ellsberg cared to develop his theme

Have you noticed that Ellsberg essentially is saying, "Sure, Trump will bring America a fascist regime, but so what, as long as it isn't 'expansionist'? " Dear God, what's happened to the man?
 
 
+10 # Johnny 2017-01-10 15:41
Probably right. But why resort to ad hominem abuse when there are promises and appointments to be exposed and lambasted?
 
 
+12 # ltsnh1941@gmail.com 2017-01-10 16:08
Actually, I would rather go with a fifth or sixth grader, as they are a bit more mature than the Donald. I have a grandson that might just fit that model!!
 
 
+10 # sfreeman 2017-01-10 16:40
HowardMH, you are too much the diplomat. Why don't you stop dancing around and just tell us what you really think? : ))
 
 
+21 # wrknight 2017-01-10 15:21
You know? If there's so damned much evidence proving the Russians hacked the emails (which I still don't give a damn if they did), why don't they show even a little of it to the public?

Like the little old lady in the Wendy's commercial some years ago, "Where's the beef"?
 
 
+7 # candida 2017-01-10 16:24
Quoting wrknight:
You know? If there's so damned much evidence proving the Russians hacked the emails (which I still don't give a damn if they did), why don't they show even a little of it to the public


There is. Terry Gross did an interview last year with a cybersecurity expert who gave great info and explanation which is corroborated by reports about the private security firm which the DNC hired to investigate the hacks as well as reports from various news sources republished recently by RSN.

I definitely care about campaigns and elections being rigged, whether by Russians, the GOP or the DNC. This should be condemned and fought by ALL, regardless of the source, or we will continue to get Bushes, Trumps and worse!
 
 
+9 # Radscal 2017-01-10 20:17
Why won't the DNC let the feds see their server so they could run the same tests the private company DNC hired allegedly did?
 
 
+4 # Johnny 2017-01-10 15:32
There are plenty of legitimate reasons to dread a Trump presidency, but all the belly-aching before he actually does something undermines the credibility of the complaints we will make when we really are injured. Remember the little boy who cried wolf?
 
 
+22 # candida 2017-01-10 16:16
Johnny, He has already done plenty to prove his demented mind heart and soul. Bankruptcies, stiffing working people, grabbing women's "pussies" (and then bragging about it), etc., etc.! THESE ARE ACTIONS! Or you think he will magically change on Jan 20? No need to wait. Aren't his cabinet and advisor picks enough to make you vomit?! How about that Jeff Sessions! And he's just the beginning!!!
 
 
-4 # candida 2017-01-10 16:19
"Computer security experts I contacted have been convinced of Putin’s guilt for some time.

“Healthy skepticism is a good thing, but at this point it’s no longer healthy and bordering on ‘jet fuel can’t melt steel,” Nicholas Weaver, a UC Berkeley computer science lecturer."

Thank you, Talbot, for rationality and logic.

I wonder why Ellsberg doesn't take a stand on this one. Perhaps a sense of loyalty to or protection of Assange. I wish he would, He has far more credibility in my eyes than Ray McGovern or Gribaldi.
 
 
+10 # Radscal 2017-01-10 20:22
Do you believe jet fuel can melt steel?
 
 
-1 # kyzipster 2017-01-11 11:48
"Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750°F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn't need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength—and that required exposure to much less heat. "I have never seen melted steel in a building fire," says retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn, author of The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety. "But I've seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks."

"Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F," notes senior engineer Farid Alfawak-hiri of the American Institute of Steel Construction. "And at 1800° it is probably at less than 10 percent." NIST also believes that a great deal of the spray-on fireproofing insulation was likely knocked off the steel beams that were in the path of the crashing jets, leaving the metal more vulnerable to the heat.

..the resulting inferno was intensified by the combustible material inside the buildings, including rugs, curtains, furniture and paper. NIST reports that pockets of fire hit 1832°F."

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a6384/debunking-911-myths-world-trade-center/
 
 
+4 # Radscal 2017-01-11 14:35
Besides literally tons of melted steel, melted and fused concrete was also recovered. The US Customs House has some on display:

http://911encyclopedia.com/wiki/index.php/World_Trade_Center_Molten_Material_Images

Oh, and concrete melts at temperatures OVER 3,200° to 4,500°F.

And, of course, jet fuel had no effect on the temperatures of the fire according to the official NIST Report:

"Jet fuel sprayed onto the surfaces of typical office workstations burned away within a few minutes. The jet fuel accelerated the burning of the workstation, but did not significantly affect the overall heat released."

NIST NCSTAR 1, WTC Investigation, page 184
http://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=909017

And the highest temperatures NIST documented were barely hot enough to burn paper, let alone "weaken steel" and no where near the temperatures to melt steel and concrete.

"Of the more than 170 areas examined on 16 perimeter column panels, only three columns had evidence that steel reached temperatures above 250 [480 F.]"

"Only two core columns had sufficient paint remaining to make such an analysis and the temperatures did not reach 250 C [480F]."

NIST NCSTAR 1 page 90
 
 
+2 # Jaax88 2017-01-12 19:52
He should take a stand on Chelsea Manning to get her released.
 
 
+29 # Ms M 2017-01-10 15:48
The other danger is that we focus so much attention on the White House that we miss another great danger - the House and Senate. Drumpf's devouring of the news cycle with his stupidity allows the worms in that branch of government to do their dirty deeds without the full spotlight on them. We have to maintain vigilance on all the branches of government, not just the Cheeto in Chief.
 
 
+11 # Dave_s Not Here 2017-01-10 15:54
"I didn’t bring up JFK, who threatened to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds” after the agency’s Bay of Pigs disaster, but of course, the bitter split between that president and his national security team still shadows American history."

That's putting it mildly!
 
 
+11 # revhen 2017-01-10 16:05
Many years ago, within one week, both an attorney and a Roman Catholic priest said to me, "Don't you think we'd be better off with a benevolent dictator?' I replied, "Dictators don't stay benevolent very long." We'll see what happens. If he lasts one term,runs for a second, and loses, we'll see if he relinquishes office.
 
 
+6 # globalfamily 2017-01-10 16:29
Sadly we live in a time where there is so much technology to instantly communicate to share information and resources and avert the issues of scarcity that plagued our ancestors for millennia. But too many of us, especially those now in power, still act as if we're living in the Ice Age/Dark Ages/ medieval feudal era, what have you. We need to focus on what really matters and what our collective ancestors have sought for so long -- even sacrificing their lives in slavery and/or horrific never-ending wars -- each generation slowly improving on the previous. We advanced with Obama, LGTBQ, women's rights, but then take two steps back, like a toddler learning to walk, and what each stage of growing up is like, according to child development experts
 
 
+6 # jwb110 2017-01-10 17:14
Why would Trump want to Nuke his banker. Trump is a wholly own subsidiary of Putin and Russian money.....as are a lot of the people he wants in his Cabinet. These politics have made for very strange bedfellow indeed!
 
 
+5 # Saberoff 2017-01-10 17:46
A circus, is our elections; vieing for the crown. Come hell or...
 
 
+2 # Donna Fritz 2017-01-10 17:51
“A nuclear exchange involving even a fraction of the weapons that the U.S. and Russia now have on alert status alone would result in nuclear winter, with the smoke from burning cities widely dispersing and blocking sunlight for over a decade. That means years without harvests on Earth. Just one year pretty much does the job of eliminating the human race..."

Right, it "pretty much" would wipe out humanity, but not everyone. With the technology we have available, building a bunker complete with all the necessities of life able to sustain a group of people for decades would be fairly easy. All you need is a a lot of money, land, and someone to build it. There's got to be thousands of such bunkers all over the planet. Some are probably very elaborate. Many very wealthy people will survive a nuclear war and keep humanity going.
 
 
+3 # Radscal 2017-01-11 17:26
A few months ago, Russia ran a nationwide civil defense drill in which more than 40 million citizens went into the underground bunkers Russia/USSR had built for them. And these bunkers are stocked to allow those people to live for at least months.

When I told that to a neighbor, she said "But the Russian Government doesn't care about it's people!"

So I asked if she knew where the shelter the US built for us is located.
 
 
-5 # Depressionborn 2017-01-10 18:25
often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

sounds like noboma land to me. maybe we jusst got rid of facsism?
 
 
+3 # John S. Browne 2017-01-10 21:14
#

Nope, "sorry", as much as I am of course for sanity in D.C., there will be less and less sanity. It is a sign of the times. Restraint is being removed and the mad- men and women in D.C. are going more and more insane; and, thus, the situation is just going to get worse and worse. I of course wish I was wrong, but look at what has been going on, and how it has already been getting worse and worse. Only those with misguided optimism, believing far too much false propaganda, can believe that sanity is prevailing, or will prevail.

We have far-too-powerfu l people on both sides of the isle who are warmongers and support increasing U.S. fascism both at "home" and abroad who are in the majority in D.C., and are more and more calling for increased insanity, even so-called "winnable" nuclear war; and, of course, they are expanding, or for expanding, nuclear arsenals. Much of this is due directly to the influence of the "intelligence" people; so, Ellsberg's calls to cooperate with those insane people, who lie and mass-murder all the time, non-stop, is absolute insanity in and of itself.

(Continued below)
 
 
+2 # John S. Browne 2017-01-12 18:45
#

Thus, Ellsberg, who usually calls for stands for sanity, in calling for cooperating with the ultimate in insanity, is contradicting himself on an extremely troubling scale. We must NOT cooperate with EVIL on ANY level. John Kennedy for very good reason(s) wanted to disband "al CIAduh(!)", because all they support and carry out is insanity; with which, if we are to survive, we cannot support. Madness is madness, and insanity is insanity. We cannot overcome evil with evil. We must break with ALL of the insanity, and stand up against all of it.

I am not saying that the foregoing break with evil and insanity will ever happen, but even if it is never to be made a reality, we all have the duty to stand for nothing but True Sanity, and to stand against ALL of the madness. There is no sane compromising with evil. Either we are completely against evil; or, even if we are "only" for it somewhat, we actually support evil as a whole. There is no sanity in that whatsoever. Again, we must only stand for sanity, TRUE SANITY, and against ALL insanity, period; no matter how unlikely the realization of it is.

(Continued below)
 
 
+1 # John S. Browne 2017-01-13 19:00
#

Once more, no one can sanely compromise with evil at all. We are either for it or against it, completely. We are either on one side of the fence or the other. We cannot sanely straddle the fence and/or have one foot on one side and the other foot on the other side. We cannot be half sane and half insane, or any fraction thereof. We must ONLY stand for what is Truly Sane regardless of the pressure(s) to compromise with insanity and evil. "Al CIAduh(!)" is absolutely insane. There is no going along with supporting their absolute madness. Stand for nothing but what is Truly Right, and stand against ALL that is wrong even if it is fractionally wrong. Evil is evil, and those who compromise with evil are evil, no matter how much they do so.

#
 
 
+1 # John S. Browne 2017-01-12 18:52
#

(Daniel, please take notice of private messages to you in your RSN inbox. Thanks.)

#
 
 
+5 # chapdrum 2017-01-11 00:39
While we're distracted by the charade and its player$, most likely D. Cheney and M. Pence are close to completion of their playbook for term #1.
 
 
+5 # kyzipster 2017-01-11 10:25
"the special snowflake of a president-elect whose ego is so fragile"

Bravo.

Maybe his handlers can create a safe space in the White House, take away his Twitter and lock him inside the next time Meryl Streep says something.
 
 
+4 # bird 2017-01-11 16:42
I don't like to comment much,as such volubility is sure to reveal some stupidity eventually, but here goes. The whole election affair, and now particularly the nomination of people clearly antithetical to the posts they are being nominated to, reminds me of Allen Drury, "Advise and Consent". It makes me wonder if L. Ron Hubbard "Battlefield Earth" collaborated with Drury and Suzanne Collins "Hunger Games" would the screen play look like something the drama now unfolding, unbelievably.

Unfortunately, one of the possible endings for this yet unnamed real life movie involves a mushroom cloud, which might be preferred to the almost certain alternate ending of a shot of a desert planet, the top Trump Tower leaning crazily out of the shifting blowing sands.
If only I could step out into the corridor and sneak into "A Dog's Life" playing next door.
 

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