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
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
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,
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
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
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer who lives in New York. Reach
him at firstname.lastname@example.org.