Since major news organizations like the Washington Post had no direct access to this area or the highway fronting it for any of their staff photographers or journalists, in a 13-image photo essay Attack on America: The Pentagon, they relied on two up-close photographs taken by a Courtney Platt and a Paul Haring, with the credits for the two photos labeled "for washingtonpost.com," rather than a standard agency "AP," "Reuters," or "The Washington Post" imprimatur of staff work.
The professional distinction was probably lost on the general public---that is until July 2, 2008, when Courtney Platt posted a flickr file containing 16 previously unknown images he claims he took at the Pentagon that day, along with extensive commentary, which seems directed to the question of his credibility in authoring the one image that found its way into the Washington Post. He tells us:
"On September 11th, 2001 I was at National Geographic Magazine headquarters in Washington, D.C. editing two assignments with the esteemed editor Bert Fox."He says he was "ordered to evacuate the building" after seeing TV images of the second jet crashing into Tower 2, and "by the time I reached my hotel just up the street, smoke could be seen rising from the Pentagon." So he "began the 2 1/2 mile fast march toward the smoke," and
"after doing 'my duty' to document the scene for history, I followed the instructions of an FBI agent to move to the other side of the road."But here is a central implausibility, as at no time does Platt say the FBI questioned his access or presence there, nor did they ask for his help, such as copies of the images to aid the investigation. Instead, they were polite enough to wait until he was finished to shoe him away. He goes on:
Later that evening I caught up with Tom Kennedy who used to be the illustrations editor hiring me at National Geographic. Now the editor of the Washington Post, Tom was kind enough to use this image in their web site coverage at: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/attack/pentagon/8.htmNow here is a central inconsistency. Platt's commercial web site states he has done five photo shoots for the prestigious National Geographic Magazine, but "Down the Cayman Wall," from November, 1988, is the only work that predated 9/11/01. Others that came after, such as "Golden Age Treasure", March 2002; "Henrietta Marie Slave Shipwreck," August 2002; "Battle of Trafalgar" Oct. 2005, might even be interpreted as being rewards for services rendered. What Platt was doing in Washington D.C. on 9/11/01 with Bert Fox is a mystery and investigators should determine the comprehensiveness of his credits. If Platt had only a single (outdated) credit from 1988, did Tom Kennedy remember him from 13 years before?
In any event, the National Geographic Magazine is already fully implicated in the conspiracy of Arlington 9/11, by lending its stature to the false Flight 77 victim's narrative.
Now, here we can begin an analysis of the actual images themselves, although Platt warns
"I have ignored these images for too long and now wish to share them as a part of our history that needs to be remembered. Do not steal my images for use on any crazy conspiracy theory web sites! I will prosecute you if you do."You talking to me? To this I reply, "Bring it on Courtney!" I could use the publicity of a good court fight and I can think of no better way of bankrupting myself than by ruinous legal fees in standing up for a history which does indeed need recollecting. Platt was oblivious to his patriotic "duty" to help explicate understanding of that history for seven years. He may also want to acquaint himself with Fair Use Notice. Instead of showing heroism, he now proffers
"Here are a few selects, shown to the public for the first time (aside from one frame printed in the Washington Post the next day)."A FEW SELECTS! From a fresh evidential standpoint, one image stands in a league apart---Platt's view of an automobile on Route 27 that was damaged, he says, from falling aircraft debris.
"This piece of what I think is an actuator motor for the leading edge extension of a Boeing 757, bashed into a car on the road about half a mile in the opposite angle of approach of the plane to the building...perfectly consistent with what really happened...an airplane hit the building!"However, this same "aircraft part" is known from a second, similar image, found on a page of Russell Pickering, where it is listed as "photographer unknown." If you look closely you will see that the tightly encasing crime-scene tape has been rewound between the two shots. And apparently, when photographing "actuator motors," disparate photographers are equally drawn to filming it in a tightly cropped view. But what doesn't make sense is if this odd piece of debris is worthy of recording, why not the adjacent (we assume) damaged automobile? Since this detail of damaged cars exists in the written narrative record, how is it that the only image of it was taken by Platt, who was too lazy or disinterested to make it available for seven years? Russell says, "I have heard rumors that this is a flap slat actuator."
"This aerial view of the scene that day has my notes showing where some of the following shots were made. Note where the car and wing actuator were... right where they should have gone after the plane flew in through the street lights from the other angle. It's perfectly consistent with all of the other evidence already given for a 757 airplane."Here is a good example of why homosexuals should have been allowed to serve in the military before they attempted such a complicated myth-making and story-telling psy-op exercise! Without gays life has all the verve of a TV program like Let's Make A Deal. Here the idea of an aerial image on which to make contemporaneous notes is good professional detail, however, this image is unlikely to have surfaced within the brief time frame allotted, so a more believable choice would have been a Google map printout.
Platt says of the following image
"One of several street lights that were clipped off by the Boeing 757, AA Flight 77 in the last few seconds before impact to the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The angle of approach is perfectly consistent with all of the eye witness accounts of the attack."I mean, this is an awful lot of narrative detail to be putting together across a wide span of space. Looking at that trash in the highway, would I put two and two together and visualize the flight path of a 757 based upon clipped light poles? I don't think so, and in fact, this talking point is so heavily repeated by so many supposed eyewitnesses, one would think it was the central facet of the day's events. I'm more curious about all that damned brown grass.
And lastly, Platt repeatedly references the casualties by saying things like,
It was extremely emotional for me, as I'm sure it was for all present, when I realized that despite the tremendous amount of emergency support on site, there was nobody left coming out alive after the initial, immediate survivors had escaped the building, long before my arrival.He captions the next photo by saying
"After shooting the burning building I turned my attention to all of the emergency personnel and equipment that was standing by. I literally cried when I realized that, despite the amount of help on hand, there would be no more survivors coming out at this point. If you survived this, you probably got out in the first 15 minutes. Beyond that the smoke and fire would have already gotten to you as it continued to spread and the building collapsed."So why does he proffer an absurd image depicting a demonstrably false and exaggerated scene of triage in the center of the damn highway??? The trashy mayhem is faux art directed---NOBODY used this site for medical treatment! NADA! The truck, conveniently parked to block the view, and then the EZ-Up shade tent! Try to image an EZ-Up shade tent being erected in New York City that day! I distinctly remember in a video shot, another EZ-Up shade tent that was erected in the grassy middle of the cloverleaf, BEFORE THE SECTION OF BUILDING FELL! Somebody must have recognized how much this said DRILL, rather than emergency, (and I don't mean, Drill, Baby, Drill! On edit: God loves me. Paul Haring took a shot of it, although after the Pentagon collapsed.)
The red-color triage mats could indicate "Airway obstruction, cardiorespiratory failure, significant external hemorrhage, shock, sucking chest wound, burns of face or neck," but the triage here along Route 27 was a "staged event" rather than a "staging area."
And I learned an interesting factoid about the difference between military and civilian triages Triage: Beyond Red, Green, Yellow, Black.
In both Military and Civilian Triage models, victims with clearly lethal injuries or those who are unlikely to survive even with extensive resource application are treated as the lowest priority. However, the Military model treats that those with the least serious wounds may be the first treatment priority, because the priority is to get as many soldiers back into action as possible. While the Civilian model treats those with the most serious but realistically salvageable injuries are treated first because the ethical priority is to maximize survival of the greatest number of victims.
Since in the context of 9/11 the attacks were an ongoing and unknown threat, maximizing the military response would have been supremely important in the thinking of service members. But what of the "service agreements" between Arlington County fire responders and the Pentagon, and the "working relationships" between ACFD and the FBI? Which model did they use? Doesn't the absurdity of all this start to get you down?
Courtney Platt and Paul Haring have something else in common, along with so many others involved in the Pentagon, Shanksville, and New York plots, and a thread at Progressive Independent, Fundie Xians and 9/11, lists over 65 such individuals at just the Pentagon alone. This would be their self-identification proclaimed as fundamentalist or evangelical Christians---a unifying and corrupting "team building" attribute in my opinion, and an organizing principle, for the working class participants at least. Especially since the goal was to at various levels, blame extremist Muslims for the crime. Like knows like; the shadow knows; and Washington sure is a company town.
Haring took 16 images, which can be found at his personal wedding-photographer web site.
His bio says he works as a photo editor and photographer for Catholic News Service in Washington, but prior to this gig he "spent almost five years as a photographer covering the U.S. military." It is unclear if Haring was with CNS at the time of the 9/11 attack, but we are told "he was one of the first photographers on the scene of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon." His "background in photojournalism, especially covering religion" sounds as loose a credential as "covering the U.S. military."
Now this would make Russell Pickering's page, where he describes Paul Haring as a "Pentagon Staff Photographer," as possibly a dissembling feint. The title seems as made-up as the credentials. I am glad Haring is successful at "capturing dynamic images from ceremonies such as weddings, baptisms and other sacred events." However, 9/11 at the Pentagon was not a sacred event.
I think it is a terrible black eye for the Washington Post to have outsourced two of 13 images in its online photo essay to a pair of religious-nut wedding photographers. I hope they achieve forgiveness through confessing sins of conspiracy or complacency, which remains a very high-level and lovely, perhaps redeeming, Christian precept.