He was very earnest. There was no mistaking that. I had never met him before, but there he sat in front of me last week looking dour, and concerned. He wanted to know who, in my opinion, had imploded the World Trade Center buildings Sept. 11, 2001.

Of the questions that came my way during the week, this one seemed easy enough – a softball lobbed high and down the middle. Only after answering it did I learn it was actually a low inside fast ball that had gotten by me.

“Arab terrorists,” I responded, expecting a nod of approval.

Not only was there no affirming gesture, there was no response at all. He remained slouched in the chair in front of my desk looking at me suspiciously.

Finally, I said, “Who do you think did it?”

“Bush,” he said matter of factly, referring, of course, to our current President.

I wasn’t unaware of this line of thinking. Some suspect the entire episode was a U.S. government conspiracy, something like the one about President Franklin Delano Roosevelt knowing the Japanese were on their way to bomb Pearl Harbor but doing nothing to stop it.

“Why do you think so?” I heard myself asking.

“To start a war in Iraq,” he responded. His contention was that President Bush had dynamite placed at strategic locations in the World Trade Center towers just like demolition experts use in condemned buildings to purposely implode them.

To bolster his contention he handed me a web site document from http://www.the7thfire.com/jet-fuel-WTC.htm purporting to prove that jet fuel could not have caused those massive structures to tumble down.

The elaborate chemical equations presented in it were beyond my understanding much in the same way a fish could never in a million years comprehend a world above the waterline.

I told him I would check with someone who does understand chemistry, and I did. On condition of anonymity my expert said he had no problem with the chemistry employed in the document. It is acceptable science. Jet fuel by itself, he said, didn’t cause the buildings to implode.

He added, though, that there were other factors involved. The web site analysis leaves out the fact that once the fuel ignited there were many other combustibles around to take the work over including furniture, plasterboard, curtains, paint, carpet, wallpaper, and more, that would have added to the heat generated.

As for the World Trade Center buildings plummeting to the ground, the impact of the jets viciously slamming into them would have loosened everything from top to bottom, adding to their instability.

One major question not involving science then occurred to me: What earthly payment is sufficient to persuade a group of people to sacrifice their lives flying a plane into a building?

There can be none.

The misguided souls who perpetrated this horror thought their reward was heaven. No president, including our current office holder, could persuade anyone he had the power to deliver eternal bliss.

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