Thursday, April 26, 2007

World Trade Center Janitor Speaks in Madison

Via Althouse, the story of how a bit player in the 9/11 tragedy is now telling interesting tales that incline toward there having been a U.S. government conspiracy to bring down the Twin Towers.
The last man alive out of the World Trade Center’s North Tower Sept. 11 2001, janitor William Rodriguez, told his story of survival and heroism Saturday at a lecture sponsored by the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth.

Rodriguez held one of five master keys to the WTC—a tool he calls “the key of hope” that enabled him to save 15 people trapped inside the two towers.

At 8:46 a.m. he heard an explosion. “Boom!” Rodriguez imitated. He heard a man screaming “Explosion! Explosion!” from underneath. “I wanted to say a generator blew up. I thought it was a bomb.”

This piece of evidence may show explosives were used in accompaniment to the hijacked planes, he said. When the plane hit, “the walls cracked and the building shook.”

Rodriguez did not pause. He helped a man with a third of his body burned and pulled two out of an elevator filled with water. He put them in an ambulance and re-entered the towers.

He met firefighters and used his key to open stairwells and guide them through the building he had worked in for over twenty years.

A native of Puerto Rico and a U.S. citizen, Rodriquez is now a global activist. He has been honored by the White House five times and helped create the 9/11 Commission.

But Rodriguez says survivors are still searching for answers.

“Twenty-two people were injured down there [in the basement], and not one of them was called to testify. We believe they did not tell us the truth.”

Rodriguez’s visit was sparked by an invite from UW lecturer and 9/11 conspiracy theorist, Kevin Barrett.

Barrett said Rodriguez wrote to him, and wanted to visit to “set the record straight,” after the College Republicans hosted a 9/11 survivor in March and much of the talk surrounded Barrett’s conspiracy theories.

“He is the custodian of truth that can save the world—he is the 9/11 key master—the key to unlocking the truth,” Barrett said of Rodriguez.
We’ve seen this before: bit players in a national tragedy who come forward to tell stories that imply a conspiracy and become the darlings of a small clique of conspiracy believers.

Where the Kennedy assassination is concerned we have (just to name a few):

  • Jean Hill, a woman who told of seeing a Grassy Knoll shooter, of seeing Jack Ruby in Dealey Plaza, and of being waylaid and intimidated by phony “Secret Service agents” in the minutes following the assassination.
  • Roger Craig, who testified to seeing Oswald flee the scene in a Rambler station wagon with an accomplice, to seeing a Mauser recovered in the sixth floor of the Depository, and to have witnessed a confrontation in Dallas Policy headquarters that implicated Ruth Paine in the assassination.
  • Beverly Oliver, who claims to have seen Oswald and Ruby together in the Carousel Club, and to have photographed the assassination in Dealey Plaza (with the FBI confiscating the film).
  • Robert Morrow, who claims to have been a CIA agent, and to have supplied weapons for the shooters in Dealey Plaza.
  • Gordon Novel, who claimed to be a CIA agent, first worked with the Garrison investigation and then turned into a Garrison suspect.
  • Judyth Vary Baker, a fellow employee of Oswald’s at the Reily Coffee Company in the summer of 1963, claims to have been Oswald girlfriend, and involved with him in a secret bioweapons project that intended to kill Castro but ended up killing Kennedy.
And that is just a few choice examples from a much longer list.

We have no evidence that Rodriguez is telling less than the full truth about what he did on 9/11, but he seems to be at least a bit eccentric in the conclusions he draws.

From New York Magazine:
A few days after the St. Mark’s meeting, I went to a Community Board No. 1 forum where the NIST report would be discussed. The meeting was in the Woolworth Building, the world’s tallest structure when it was completed in 1913. Since it was still standing, it seemed a good place to talk about the only former world’s tallest building(s) to fall down. I was with William Rodriguez, who, as he always does, brought along his video camera, “so they know I’m watching them.”

On 9/11, William was late. Instead of mopping the stairwells on the 110th floor, where he almost certainly would have died, he was chatting with the maintenance crew on level B-1 in the basement. “I heard this massive explosion below, on level B-2 or 3. I saw this guy come up the stairs. The skin on his arms was peeled away . . . hanging. Then I heard another explosion, from above. That was the first plane, hitting the building.”

Four years later, after repeatedly being rebuffed in his attempts to tell officials his story about the basement explosion, William is suing the U.S. government under the rico statute, legislation drafted to prosecute Mafia families. The suit reads like an Air America wet dream, with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, John Ashcroft, George Tenet, Karl Rove, and others (the Diebold Company is thrown in for good measure) listed as defendants.

“They say I’m a conspiracy theorist; I call them conspirators, too,” William says.

“It is like [magician] Randi said. There’s reality, and there’s illusion. When illusion becomes reality, that’s a problem. Nine-eleven is a giant illusion. Besides, what can they do to me? I’m a national hero, Bush told me so himself.”
Given the tricks that human perception and human memory can play, Rodriguez may honestly believe that he heard a basement explosion before the first plane hit.

But since the plane strikes alone were adequate to bring down the towers, just why would conspirators set off an unnecessary explosion in the basement of one of the buildings?

Rodriguez seems to be enjoying his celebrity a bit too much.

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