Through the careful release of select images and the constant repetition of phrases like "work the pile," a mental picture of reality was constructed within our collective consciousness that was completely at odds with the reality on the ground.
"Bucket brigades" are traditionally associated with firemen and their work. Before the advent of mobile hand pumps, using a bucket to carry water from its source to the fire was the only available means to fight one. That function of a self-organizing system that spontaneously achieves its own optimum configuration in a time of acute peril, also carries with it a sense of working for the common good, and makes for its potency
Collecting an archive of images from Ground Zero whose intention would express this idea about firemen at work, show instead the complete opposite---approximately constructed and posed vignettes of non-performing actors devoid of kineticism, meaning and any emotion beyond boredom and anxiety.
All of the images in the public record that I have seen can be placed in the category of charades stage managed for public consumption. Sometimes hundreds of men are involved in these photo ops of faked scenes.
In the image below taken from American Media Inc.'s commemorative publication, 9/11: One Year Later--- A Nation Remembers, over 100 men work with less than a dozen buckets, which doesn't seem optimal configured, or effective either. The caption reads: " BUCKET BRIGADES Rescue workers fan out in long lines, passing recovered debris from person to person." without telling us why the debris needed to be carried for that long a distance, or even what they mean by "recovered debris."
Everyone within range at Ground Zero was a co-conspirator---to feather bedding and deceiving the public if not murder.
Bucket brigades? They can't even pick up their own trash!
History.Com puts it very carefully for the sake of future plausible deniability.
"Almost as soon as the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001, thousands of firefighters, police officers, construction workers, search-and-rescue dogs and their handlers and volunteers headed to Ground Zero to look for survivors. Because they didn't know how many people were trapped alive in the wreckage, firefighters and other rescue workers had to search carefully through the unstable piles of rubble for air pockets, called "voids," where they might find people who had been unable to escape from the collapsing buildings. To be safe, they didn't use any heavy equipment at first. Some dug with their bare hands, while others formed bucket brigades to move small amounts of debris as efficiently as possible."
They are even writing scholarly dissertations about bucket brigadeism on college campuses.
9/11 Volunteerism: From Collective Behavior to Civic Engagement: A Liminal Test
produced by Lou Angeli
Jeff Johns was a Transit Authority foreman and a volunteer "rescuer," who was also a production assistant for director Lou Angeli. I guess that means they couldn't find a New York City fireman willing to go on camera.
"I remember, the first thing, was you couldn't believe it. You just couldn't believe it. It was beyond the scope of imagination. It wasn't a building, it wasn't two buildings, it was blocks. Walking was almost impossible. When all the steel had intertwined, a shovel would just bounce off---if it hits one piece of steel it's going to bounce off. The only way to do it is to force your hands down in there and put it in a bucket. That's how most of the buckets were filled.Ground Zero's Bucket Brigades
"The most dangerous job site I've ever seen in my life. Just danger everywhere. But, ah, below your feet was why you were there.
"There were no direct orders, no one person or group in command. Those in the bucket lines were solemn and intently focused.
"You would find yourself moving further and further, up, around and down in to the center of ah, what used to be the towers. When you made it to the absolute front there was about four or five maybe six guys. That was the circle of digging, that was the circle of prying, of ripping, of cutting. And when you got there to the front, you didn't want to leave. I mean, you're there! If you're going to make a difference, that's the place to be. So you stayed there for as long as you possibly could. And for me, I stayed there until my hands didn't work anymore."