Some Errors in Chapters VI and VII
of Synthetic TERROR


Webster Griffin Tarpley's book Synthetic TERROR is filled mostly with Tarpley's analysis of geopolitics behind the '9/11' attack. However, it has two chapters of analysis on the attacks on New York City and Washington:

In these chapters, Tarpley covers a range of opics, and makes a number of minor and serious errors in the process. The purpose of this article is to flag many of those errors.

Chapter VI: The Collapse of World Trade Center 1, 2, and 7

Tarpley presents as the most compelling evidence for controlled demolition of the Twin Towers eyewitness reports of explosions -- the weakest evidence for controlled demolition, since there are other explanations for reports of isolated explosions, such as the shorting of electrical equipment.

The key to seeing beyond the official version is to chronicle the presence of secondary explosions...

Tarpley repeats the long-debunked myth of the Building 6 explosion, stating the a video (that was actually from 9:59 and shows a rising plume of the South Tower collapse dust cloud) was at 9:04 and shows the explosion that cratered Building 6. The Building 7 explosion myth (a variant of the Building 6 explosion myth) was first debunked in 2002
here, and the Building 6 explosion myth was conclusively debunked in 2003 here. A more concise exposition of the baselessness of the claim has been here since mid-2004.

Tarpley repeats the Scott Forbes story of the South Tower "power down" despite there being no corroboration of it. (The entire basis for this story appears to be an e-mail from a 'Scott Forbes' -- an email which could have been crafted entirely based on background information available here.)

Tarpley repeats the long-debunked theory that the largest seismic spikes from the collapses recorded at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory occurred just before the collapse of the towers began.

Both tremors were recorded before the vast majority of the mass hit the ground.

There is zero basis for this, other than, apparently Cris Bollyn's assertion of this claim, debunked here, and its widespread repitition.

Tarpley implies that CDI was the only company given the contract to clean up Ground Zero, when in fact it was a subcontractor to Tully Construction, one of four companies contracted by the city.

Tarpley mixes up the official collapse theories and their chronology, using terms I coined without crediting me (killer fires, wet noodle theories), implying the column failure theory was invented after FEMA's truss failure theory, and that the column failure (wet noodle) theory was based on the presumption that the fires melted the steel. Note that both the Popular Mechanics and Scientific American attack pieces accuse the "conspiracy theorists" of falsely attributing the claim that the fires melted steel to the official story (of which the column failure theory is a variant). I've always been careful to point out that while the fire-melts-steel claim was made by numerous experts, it was not endorsed by any official report.


Tests have shown that fires in steel buildings do not exceed 360C.

No, the Corus tests show that the STEEL did not exceed 360C.

... steel does not even begin to weaken at temperatures below 800C.

No, steel retains about 10% of its strength at 800C, as shown here since 2003.


WTC 7 did imitate the twin towers by collapsing almost exclusively on its own foundations.

In fact the towers exploded radially, so that only a fraction of their mass landed within their footprints.


[Silverstein] stand to net another billion in insurance gains from the Twin Towers...

Six billion is more accurate. Insurance gains from the destructions of the Towers are detailed here.

WTC7 was never hit by anything.

WTC 7 was hit by debris from the North Tower, though the extent of the damage is open to question.

Chapter VII: What Hit The Pentagon

Tarpley repeats the wildly inaccurate assertion that the impact hole was between 15 and 20 feet wide, totally ignoring the 96-foot expanse of breached walls on the first floor preceding the collapse of the section. The dimensions of the imapact punctures are documented

The Penta-lawn (as it came to be called) was totally pristine and untouched...

This ignores the fact that no photos show the hundred or so feet of lawn immediately adjacent ot the building. The Pentalawn hoax is debunked here.


But there were other, more serious obstacles: American 77 had to fly across a construction site which was surrounded by a chain link fence. There was also a generator located about where the right engine of the plane would have passed...

Tarpley gives no hint that of the gouges in the generator, its displacement from its original position, or the knocked-down section of fence, detailed here.

Tarpley states that there was only one piece of "identifiable aircraft debris" outside the building (apparently referring to the hull piece) when in fact there were many other pieces, such as described here.

Tarpley asserts that:

The Pentagon was unable to show any jet engines, any landing gear, any tail section ...

Tarpley ignores the possiblity that the Pentagon insiders may be intentionally suppressing such evidence in order to protect the plotters, as explained here.

One photograph was published claiming to show the turbofan of a 757; but in a recent OnlineJournal article, Karl Schwarz and his research team have identified it as a part from the much smaller A3 Skywarrior.

What kind of a source is Karl Schwarz? And the "turbofan" apparently refers to a high-pressure rotor that is consistent with a 757 engine, as explained here.

Tarpley states:

We now cite several eyewitness reports, frankly focusing on those which contradict the official version

Aside from admitting a bias, Tarpley provides no sense of the existence or extent of accounts confirming the approach and crash of a large jetliner.

For several eyewitness reports Tarpley cites, but the pages that contain these accounts reference the original sources (mostly mainstream news outlets), and credit Eric Bart with compiling the accounts and reference his site. As explained here, 911Research attributes the work of compiling the eyewitness accounts to others.

Like Hufschmid, Tarpley goes into a long analysis of what the five frames of Pentagon video show and don't show, ignoring the possibility that the footage was released as bait for the no-plane theory. That possibility looks highly likely against the backdrop of the history of the issue breifly reviewed here.