Last Tuesday, Salon magazine published an article expressing sympathy for the 9/11 truth movement: "Give Truthers a Chance: Not all conspiracy theorists are as crazy and absurd as Alex Jones and the Sandy Hook truthers would have you think."
In the article, the author Greg Olear, who was actually writing for a Salon partner publication The Weeklings, opines,
“unlike with Sandy Hook, 9/11 conspiracy theories flow from a scientific fact: whatever the 9/11 Commission Report might claim, fire generated by burning jet fuel is not hot enough to melt steel,”
Salon immediately removed the article (rather than simply publishing a correction) and later published a retraction"On Jan. 22, Salon republished an article from one of our content partners, the Weeklings, that was sympathetic to unfounded 9/11 conspiracies. The article slipped through our usual review process, and was clearly not up to our standards; we removed it as soon as it was brought to our attention by readers. Salon has a long history of debunking fringe conspiracists — around Sept. 11, and more recently, Sandy Hook — and are proud of those efforts. We regret this oversight."
Jeremy Stahl of Slate magazine picked up the story, describing the debacle and adding that
"In 2011, I wrote a history of the 9/11 conspiracy movement for Slate, and I can tell you that, no, this is not scientific fact, nor any other kind of fact. Salon feels the same way and has since pulled the article from its site ...."
A couple of facts need to be reviewed here:
Burning jet fuel does not generate enough heat to melt steel. Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F. Steel melts at about 2750°F. No government report has ever made the claim that jet fuel can melt steel.
The 9/11 Commission Report did not investigate the causes of the collapses of the towers. The primary focus of the 9/11 Commission Report was to describe how emergency responders dealt with the tragic events. In the Commission report there is one sentence about the collapse: "The building collapsed into itself, causing a ferocious windstorm and creating a massive debris cloud" (page 305). The report then goes on to discuss the information the Bush administration may or may not have had about Osama Bin Laden’s plan prior to 9/11.
The investigation into the destruction of the towers was done later by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In their 2008 report, NIST claims that after the jet fuel burned off, burning office furnishings generated enough heat to weaken steel. NIST claims that the damaged, fire-weakened floors then started to collapse.
Contrary to what is portrayed in the Salon and Slate articles, 9/11 truth activists claim that what the government failed to explain is how the undamaged parts of the buildings, which were not hit by planes and did not burn, were then destroyed so rapidly and completely by the falling debris.
As reported previously by Digital Journal, in its report, NIST does not explain how the 15 falling floors of the South Tower, or the 32 falling floors of the North Tower were able to completely demolish the undamaged floors below, 95 and 78 floors respectively, in about as much time as it would take a coin--dropped from these heights falling through air--to hit the ground. In the 298-page document of the report, only two paragraphs (on page 146) concern the entire collapse of the undamaged floors. NIST claims the intact structure offered “minimal resistance,” but does not attempt to offer an explanation why this would be so. NIST claims “the potential energy” that was released “far exceeded the capacity of the intact structure” but does not attempt give an estimate of that energy nor does NIST specify what the capacity of the intact structure was prior to impact. In short, the destruction of the undamaged sections was left completely uninvestigated. These facts can be checked by examining the NIST report.
A documentary produced by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth called Experts Speak Out, which was aired on a PBS station in August of 2012, discusses many of the facts that were not investigated by NIST. The experts claim that incendiaries and explosives were likely used to destroy the buildings, and they report that several independent agencies have found evidence of a high-tech explosive called nano-thermite in dust samples. Experts Speak Out became the "most watched" and "most shared" video on PBS online for over a month, as also reported earlier by Digital Journal.