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Twin gas tanks' demolition foreshadows Twin Towers' demolition

Posted in the database on Wednesday, May 17th, 2006 @ 15:15:35 MST (6162 views)
by Jery Mazza    Online Journal  

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When I was a kid growing up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I remember the low skyline included two huge gas tanks; about 400 feet high, on Maspeth Avenue, not far from the notorious Newtown Creek, considered the most polluted body of water in New York. The top 20 feet or so of each gas tank was painted with a red/white warning pattern. Little did I know then, those gas tanks would be a part of the terrifying history of 9/11.

As kids, it was a great adventure to walk down to the fractured-factory creek-side and take a close-up look at the grand tanks. This was in the early 50s. The first tank was built in 1927, the twin in 1948, when I was 10 years old. The tanks maintained gas pressure for the surrounding neighborhoods, flexing their heights through some mysterious mechanisms. And we looked like a bunch of peanuts before them.

It came as a shock to me as an adult, having long-crossed the river to live in “the city,” (Manhattan) on the Upper West Side, to read that the tanks’ implosions were courtesy of Controlled Demolition, Inc. The date of the twin tank implosion was the truly disconcerting factor, July 18, 2001, less than two months before 9/11. Of course, Controlled Demolition handled the 9/11 clean-up, not to mention whatever else. Meanwhile, check the link. Tell me what the picture reminds you of. Then look at this whole sequence. See if they jog the memory.

KeySpan, formerly Brooklyn Union Gas, said the “Maspeth Avenue Holders” were last used in 1992 and 1997, respectively. The tanks seemed on their way to landmark status. Yet in April of 2001 KeySpan received a permit to implode the tanks from the Department of Buildings. They announced their boom-plans at a community meeting in June 2001, and met with neighborhood groups on Monday, July 11, to clue them in about precautions to stop lead dust from showering their neighborhoods only a week later. How decent of them.

Naturally, many residents in this working class to poor area felt the precautions didn’t cut it and were ticked off that KeySpan held off till the tanks’ demolition was a week away. Who does that remind you of? Cleanup of the tanks remnants, which included huge chunks of steel plate, was expected to take three months. The WTC was an eight months clean-up by the way. Yet KeySpan said it had no immediate plans for the land. So what was the rush to demolish them?

In fact, KeySpan rolled in after with scissor-jawed machines from another planet to cut up the steel skin of the tanks rather than use blow torches which would vaporize the many layers of lead paint. They even laid down “a special fabric cover” to shield nearby buildings. Then they vacuumed the streets after the big BOOM BOOM. What does that remind you of? Anybody want to cough, barf, scream?

Parenthetically, maybe it was just one of those things that KeySpan announced on April 19, almost four years to the tanks’ demolition day, that its energy chief, “Robert B. Catell, will reap a $45 million payout when British energy conglomerate Nation Grid Group PLC buys KeySpan early next year,” according to the Boston Globe. Mr. Catell will continue on as co-chairman of NGG, and rake in even more cash.

But hey, it was all a learning curve, a practice run to see two huge twin towers fall, to check the footprints they left and the pollution they left and whether or not the people would come after KeySpan with baseball bats and lawsuits, which they didn’t but should have. Fortunately, the tanks didn’t have planes crash into them as a cover for the demolition. Unfortunately, the Towers did, to add some havoc, death and destruction.

Similarly Tower 7 was not hit by a plane but “pulled” (demolished) by the order of owner Larry Silverstein, which doesn’t happen in a day. If it took KeySpan nearly three months from the June 1 announcement to the July 18 demolition to take down two 400-foot high gas tanks, imagine it would take months, the very least weeks to “pull” a 47 story, redundant structured steel building.

Nor did the nasty powers that be stop there. Few people know that Tower 6, the seven-story Customs House across from Tower 7, went down also from a huge explosion from under the building, an explosion that left an eight story deep pit. Previous explanations blamed Tower 6’s fall on wreckage from Tower 1 or 2. Wrong. Baloney.

So who knows what records of custom transactions were lost, just as thousands of SEC case records were lost in Tower 7, along with CIA and FBI records. Is it any wonder Silverstein only has two or three tenants in his new 52 story version of his previous 47 story pull job. Would you like to work or live in a building whose owner has a history of blowing up his properties for insurance money, like the $500 million he made off the tragedy as WTC leaseholder?

Shouldn’t this give us a reason to go after the Bush administration with every means possible; to go after the NSA, CIA, NORAD, the spoon-benders, et al, who engineered the demolition of the World Trade Center and the murder of thousands of innocent Americans? I think so.

I think it’s our patriotic duty, first and foremost, to save this country. That’s what they taught us in P.S. 18 on Leonard and Maujer Streets, standing in the classroom, hands on our hearts, looking at the flag, pledging allegiance. Then in the auditorium of J.H.S. 50 on Driggs Avenue and South Third Street, where I was a flag holder.

Then in Eastern District High School on Marcy Avenue and Roebling Street, where I was not a flag holder but a greaser. Then in Brooklyn College, on Bedford Avenue and Campus Road, where they actually taught us there was a whole other side to the story. And to take the America-first part with a grain or two of salt, lest we end up cannon fodder. It’s no wonder I ended up sitting out the “atomic drills” on the campus steps with all the other young rads and beats.

So, net net, I don’t think it was a bunch of Saudis who planned 9/11, or Osama in his cave. I think it was the mad gangbangers three paragraphs up. At best, they contracted some of the other creeps to do some dirty work. But only the US gov has the material, the manpower, the means to organize a scheme as big as 9/11, a scheme whose demolition extended to the West Wing of the Pentagon, and which ended in a rabbit hole in rural Pennsylvania, if indeed that’s where Flight 93 vanished.

Ultimately, it was a scheme that gave the US government its coup to start The War on Terror and attack Afghanistan, Iraq, and wherever else they have the money, manpower and weapons to go.

So if you learn anything growing up in Brooklyn, it’s not just about stickball, egg creams and the Dodgers. First of all, you grow with all kinds of people, all colors, all ethnic groups, all hungry for life. And you learn to respect them for that.

Moreover, you learn in the conflicts of diversity and life’s struggle how to spot bad faces of all kinds when you see them, faces that give you a bad feeling: wise-guys, psychos, punks, creeps, pervs, killers, guys in suits talking about demolitions, presidents, vice presidents, anyone who would mess with you just for the hell of it, not to mention take your lunch, your money, your sneakers or your life. On the wrong street, the right signal to your brain to take flight or fight could save any of the above. And that’s a lesson you never forget. And now the signal says is no time to run. Figure out the rest.

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer who lives in New York. Reach him at gvmaz@verizon.net.



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