Ode To Yamasaki – Was the WTC architect a CIA asset?
Have you ever wondered how the folks in the CIA go about constructing their buildings? Do they put out a bid request to the private sector, or do they have their own building department for such things, or do they bring in the Army Corps of Engineers?
Being an agency of spies and depending on the intended use of the building being constructed (e.g., office space, or a weapons research lab), one would think the CIA needs to be very careful when contracting architects, engineers and builders. If I were a spy, I would think getting my hands on the blueprints for the headquarters of the enemy would be a pretty big deal, and consequently I would carefully guard my own blueprints, not to mention the guy who drew them. All things considered, the buildings used for clandestine intelligence work are undoubtedly designed and built differently than would be your average mall.
This is an old and touchy subject; the relationship between the builder and the client, and it is impossible to discuss that relationship without mentioning Freemasons. I do my honest best to avoid Freemasons when it comes to 9/11 – it is not necessary to discuss the masonic details which become self-evident as the veil is lifted, and I only do so now for context. However much the brotherhood’s symbolism permeates the 9/11 story, I feel scrutinizing Freemasonry is a waste of time which weakens the impact of the evidence. Too often a masonic discussion devolves into an Illuminati discussion; with the term “Illuminati” tending to lower the credibility of the person using it; an effect beneficial to perception managers eager to distract attention, assuage fears and diffuse suspicion. Nonetheless, when researching Minoru Yamasaki, I couldn’t help but think of the ancient stonemasons:
“Early operative Freemasons, unlike virtually all Europeans except the Clergy, were Free — not bound to the land on which they were born. The various skills required in building complex stone structures, especially churches and cathedrals, allowed skilled masons to travel and find work at will. They were lodged in a temporary structure — either attached to, or near, the main stone building. In this lodge, they ate, slept and received their work assignments from the master of the work. To maintain the freedom they enjoyed required exclusivity of skills, and thus, as an apprentice was trained, his instructor attached moral values to the tools of the trade, binding him to his fellows of the craft.” Source
Throughout history, the people who could afford the expense of castles and cathedrals had a special relationship with the people who were able to build them. The guilds of builders were practically the only people allowed to leave the lands on which they were born. Simply put; the builders effectively became one of the powers behind the throne, the guys with the literal keys to the back door of the kingdom. Allegedly this is whence the “Freemasons” of the 17th century sprang, with America being the jewel in their crown of accomplishments, however little actual stonework was involved in that dubious achievement.
This relationship certainly exists today, with top-secret clearances required for architects and builders of today’s government strongholds, and it is this history that keeps nagging at me the more I read about Minoru Yamasaki’s pauper-to-prince success story; one that could only be written in America.
Was Yamasaki groomed to construct props for a thirty-year CIA con-job? Let’s review.
- During a time when other West-Coast Japanese-Americans were being put in internment camps, with the help of a Detroit-based architectural firm with ties to the defense industry, Yamasaki was able to move his family from Seattle to New York City.
- Shortly after World War II, he designed buildings for the government and for the CIA, among others. Later, he even designed a Federal Reserve Bank Building.
- He had a reputation for designing buildings to the specifications of the client whether or not they made sense; being discreet and compliant where other architects might have balked.
- The WTC was built to make a patriotic statement rather than to provide office space; the Twin Towers were marketed from the beginning as national icons on par with the Statue of Liberty, when actually they represented international capitalism, elitism and arrogance, everything for which our military and intelligence services stand.
To believe the Twin Towers were synonymous with America makes no sense unless you consider multinational corporations to be as American as apple pie. There is nothing about freedom and liberty in corporatism, just ask Mussolini, and there was no louder statement of corporatism than the twin phalluses of New York City. They were not natural American icons, they were marketed American icons. They represented capitalism, big-business, big-finance, and big-government, but NOT America. Yet, still, every celebration – that is, every anniversary of 9/11 – is bathed in red, white and blue tears of outrage; a clear indication of a propagandist’s dig at a never-healing wound.
Hold on! When I refer to “America”, what am I thinking? Am I thinking of “Americans”? When I think of Americans, am I thinking of me? I just re-read my last paragraph, and wonder what the hell was going through my mind. Of course the Twin Towers were natural American Icons; they were hollow, corrupt shells held together with flimsy, easily broken connections. All it took was the right leverage to bring them down. They were the perfect metaphor for America and that could be precisely why they were built; to be destroyed.
They were conceived at the end of WWII by men who had the world by the balls. Their audacity and arrogance knew no bounds; just look at the size of those towers! They created an absurdly out-sized effigy of America, authored a contrived story, and supplied a cast of cartoon characters to burn it down. They knew we’d believe it because we believed the news reels claiming they nuked the Japs; and after they laid the Moon Landings on us, they knew we’d believe anything as long as it was on the TeeVee.
Nowadays, however, I am convinced the towers were built as props for a decades-long scam; I have my reasons for reaching this conclusion and have touched on some of them here, however I have the researchers at LetsRoll Forums to thank for this enlightenment; they crossed the line from conspiracy theorists to historians and have discovered what I think of as the keystone to uncovering the truth: for most of their lives, the towers were empty, hollow shells; and never were they “cities within the city” they were advertised to be. The implications are strong that they were built specifically for a 9/11-type event, possibly with that very day in mind all along.
This article is not about the Hollow Towers though, only a supplement to their story. When considering the towers might have been built as props in a 30-year screenplay, certain coincidences become apparent; take the Islamic connection for example.
Shortly after 9/11, Slate published an article that tried (unsuccessfully) to illustrate that Osama bin Laden targeted the WTC in part because he resented the Islamic flavor of Yamasaki’s architecture; and that may well have been the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back:
“Having rejected modernism and the Saudi royal family, it’s no surprise that Bin Laden would turn against Yamasaki’s work in particular. He must have seen how Yamasaki had clothed the World Trade Center, a monument of Western capitalism, in the raiment of Islamic spirituality.”
The idea is a bit silly that in addition to hating America for occupying the holy land, not to mention hating us for our freedoms, Osama targeted the WTC in part because the architecture defiled Islamic spirituality; but however silly the premise, the article does shed light on the relationship between Yamasaki and Saudi Arabian construction projects. It should be noted that in those days (as it is today) it was very difficult to build any large Saudi construction project without involving Bin Laden Construction:
“As a scion of the Binladin contracting firm, destined to inherit some portion of its vast operations, Osama Bin Laden would certainly have been aware of Yamasaki’s Saudi Arabian projects. Indeed, his family may have built them. (Minoru Yamasaki Associates won’t say, but the Binladens were involved with almost all royal construction.)”
At the time Yamasaki was riding high in Saudi Arabia building large government projects with the likely help of Bin Laden Construction, the CIA was basically running the country:
“If postwar America became, in the words of Harvard anthropologist Enseng Ho, “an empire without colonies,” then Arabia was certainly part of that invisible empire. We Americans built Aramco, built the company towns of the Eastern Provence, built the Dhahran air base…
…The Saudi intelligence apparatus is modeled after our CIA – and for decades American intelligence officers, often embedded inside Aramco, were the closest of advisers to the king.
…We aligned ourselves with Wahhabi royalists and against secular Arab nationalists, and when the House of Saud was threatened by Saddam Hussein’s occupation of Kuwait in 1990, we sent an army of half a million Americans to defend the Kingdom. All of this was done because of our desire to control Arabian black gold.” Source
There is a history there, and that history could have given birth to stories like the one linked below. Are these stories planted rumors designed to further confuse an already confused issue; or are they rumors borne of the overlapping history of Bin Laden Construction and of Yamasaki? Or is there any truth to it at all?
“I knew why. Because, when I was there, there were these engineers from Saudi Arabia, actually part of the Bin Laden construction company, because Yamasaki [WTC main architect] worked with them and built them up…and they started in Arabia and worked for Yamasaki, and was doing all kinds of things for them, airports, schools, doing very large projects…and he just brought them over. And I saw these guys…these swarthy looking guys wandering around, and some of them were asking me “where would you put demolition devices?” “Well, I’m not really an engineer, but I’m curious to know [laughing] why, why would you put things in to demolish it, when it’s not even built?” Then he replied “Well, that’s the way things are going now.” Here’s why.” Source
Regardless of the true or false rumors behind the Twin Towers, the history can’t be denied. Whatever the reasons for their being constructed and whatever the reasons for their being destroyed, their destruction DID spark a Global War On Terrorsim. Whether or not Yamasaki was an “asset”, the construction of the Twin Towers DID give pretext to another asset, Osama bin Laden, to publicly declare war against the USA; giving credence to the Official Story that al Qaeda jihadists were responsible for 9/11. And finally, the destruction of the Twin Towers gave pretext to the US Military to invade the world. The whole tinny, tawdry, thirty-year tale, fairly screams, “Hegelian dialectic!”
Yamasaki’s tie to the CIA-backed Saudi construction industry isn’t the only coincidence when it comes to 9/11; with the Saudis, the CIA and the Bush family lies a coincidence that simply can’t be ignored; but that’s a subject best left for another time.
Blast From The Past
Yamasaki was a perfect mark to be manipulated. He and his family were Japanese at a time when racism was state policy and America was at war with Japan. They were vulnerable, dirt-poor, and living on skid row:
“Yamasaki had grown up in Yesler hill, the Seattle neighborhood that gave birth to the term skid row, originally a nickname for the log slides that once carried timber down to the waterfront and later, of course, an insulting slang term for a slum – like the neighborhood.” Source
Before the war, Yamasaki’s story read like a fairytale nightmare of Americana; if he hadn’t been in that role, America would have needed to invent him. A desperately poor son of Japanese immigrants puts himself through school during the Great Depression while living and studying in a racist country soon to be at war with the native land of his parents.
He was suspected and accused of spying, yet he was allowed to design a naval station:
“When he married his Japanese-American wife two days before Pearl Harbour, it looked like foreknowledge and he was investigated by the FBI. After a thorough vetting, he was allowed to work on the design of a naval station, but found himself constantly reported as a spy.” Source
During WWII, when most Japanese-Americans were being rounded up and put in cages, Minoru Yamasaki was able to roam freely. Details are few as to why Yamasaki was granted freedom over so many others, but it seems he could thank the architectural firm of Smith, Hinchman and Grylls:
“After moving to New York City later in the 1930s, Yamasaki enrolled at New York University for a master’s degree in architecture and got a job with the architecture firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, designers of the Empire State Building.
In 1945, Yamasaki moved to Detroit, where he was hired by Smith, Hinchman and Grylls. The firm helped Yamasaki avoid internment as a Japanese-American during World War II. He also sheltered his parents in New York City during this time. Yamasaki left the Detroit firm in 1949 and started his own partnership.” Source
The accounts don’t explain HOW Smith, Hinchman and Grylls helped Yamasaki avoid internment, or why they helped him in 1942 but didn’t hire him until 1945. According to the records Yamasaki worked for Shreve, Lamb and Harmon from the late thirties until being hired by Smith, Hinchman and Grylls in 1945. The problem I have with this story is the timeline.
Yamasaki was a native nisei whose parents were issei living in King County, the heart of the Seattle Japanese population when evacuations began there in 1942, three years before Yamasaki’s move to Detroit to work for Smith, Hinchman, and Grylls, the firm that assisted his family to avoid internment. “Public Proclamation 21” went into effect in January of 1945, so by the time Yamasaki moved to Detroit, Japanese-Americans were no longer interred. Source
Who were these architects from Michigan anyway? Why would a Detroit-based firm assist a New York-based architect employed by a different firm? The story itself sounds odd. Why wouldn’t Yamasaki’s employer in New York help him? Why did Smith, Hinchman & Grylls step up to help? Was this firm like the Schindler of architectural firms?
Furthermore, the Japanese population of the West Coast was generally encouraged to move east, not that folks east of California wanted them, but if Minoru was already in New York, why would he require the help of anyone to move his parents East? How much was bus fare to New York from the slums of Seattle? The more I looked at that narrative, the less sense it made, so I started following the only lead I had: Smith, Hinchman & Grylls.
Why is it when researching the WTC, almost everywhere I turn there’s a weapons contractor?
During the Great Depression, Smith, Hinchman & Grylls almost went out of business, and during WWII they survived by building ammunition plants for the military:
“They survived the Great Depression with small jobs from existing clients, a major commission in 1935 from the University of Michigan, and, in the late 1930s, new corporate plants and municipal facilities. During World War II they built ammunition plants.” Source
Ah, an architectural firm with ties to the defense industry; that sounds about right. Perhaps I’m getting too paranoid for my own good, but I can’t imagine why an architectural firm relying on building government ammunition plants during a time of war with Japan would stick-out their necks for a Japanese-American architect employed by a competitor in another city. Call me crazy, but this story just doesn’t flow; even so, the deeper you dig the weirder it gets. It turns out Smith, Hinchman & Grylls was doing more than just building ammunition plants; it was contracted by the Department of War during the site selection process for nuclear weapon production facilities:
“The Director of the Engineering Division, Roger S. Warner, Jr., took the next logical step. He engaged an engineering consulting firm, Smith, Hinchman & Grylls, to make a detailed
comparative survey of Fort Peck and Pocatello. The firm began
work on January 5, 1949, and presented its interim report
exactly one month later, concluding that Pocatello was preferable
on many grounds.
The congressional questioning of the AEC staff responsible
for hiring Smith, Hinchman & Grylls led to a number of
embarrassing revelations about the entire selection process. The
Director of the Engineering Division was criticized for awarding
the contract on the basis of a recommendation by someone from
another agency.” Source
Well, that didn’t help clear up anything at all. Yamasaki was spared internment by an architectural firm whose bread and butter was the defense industry, and later, during his employment with the firm, they were involved with the mother of all hoaxes, the Manhattan Project. But wait, there’s more:
“The New (CIA) Headquarters Building was designed in the early 1980s by the Detroit architectural and engineering firm of Smith, Hinchman & Grylls.” Source
Like a stonemason from the middle ages, Yamasaki appears to have had friends in high places. Even before the creation of the CIA, it is clear, somebody up there liked him, and for whatever their reasons, they used their clout to keep his family out of a cage and give him employment in a firm with very strong ties to the military industrial complex. But talk about gratitude! After saving his family’s asses, Yamasaki abandoned Smith, Hinchman & Glylls, and opened his own firm in competition, and in the same year went on to design the U.S. Consulate in Kobe, Japan, just four years after the end of WWII.
Was he so good that he could land a gig like that in a country the US military had so recently conquered, or was he just that well-connected? I say he was the Company architect, or one of them, and he was not so much good at it as he was good and quiet about it. He would do as he was asked, and not ask questions.
“Minoru Yamasaki will forever be remembered alongside America’s most profound architectural disaster. Whatever he was before 2001—which was dead, maligned, and mainly sliding away into obscurity—he is forever after the designer of the most ambitious modern structure ever to end up as a gaping hole.” Source
Much has been written about Minoru Yamasaki, and much of it is not flattering. He was not the most respected architect in history by any means, and certainly wasn’t considered one at the time he was chosen to design the WTC. Yamasaki and Associates was a relatively unknown firm which once selected raised eyebrows, and not just because of the firm’s lack of notoriety. The firm’s experience was called into question:
“Carol Willis, Historian: Yamasaki was a very strange choice for the architect of the world’s tallest buildings, because he had never been a commercial architect, and especially of skyscrapers or of high-rises — his previous buildings had been mid-rises of 20 or so stories. He was not one of those architects who was particularly emphatic about a structural engineering solution. One thinks of his earlier work more in a decorative vein. He was interested in the play of light and shadow on the surface of a building. So that his previous buildings seemed almost delicate in scale, and wholly out of proportion to the ambition of the commission of the Trade Center.”
“Paul Goldberger, Architecture Critic: He felt that sort-of standard issue modern architecture was harsh and unwelcoming and cold. And he wanted to make architecture warm. So he kept doing these buildings that were sort of delicate. A lot of his stuff had these funny little gothic arches and it looked kind of cute, in a weird way.”
“Paul Goldberger, Architecture Critic: They thought they were actually making kind of a leap to a sort of “high art” architect. Yamasaki was actually a kind of low-end “high art” architect. He was not one of the more admired ones by architectural historians and critics, but he was nonetheless sort of somewhere in the bottom of that group. And this was of course for him the opportunity of a lifetime.” Source
Out of the 12 firms considered, it was Yamasaki’s awarded the contract. Why Yamasaki?
“Eric Lipton, New York Times Reporter: They also wanted someone who was not so old and established and also set in his ways that they couldn’t, you know, twist his arm and get him to agree to do what they wanted to do. They wanted someone who was creative, but they also wanted someone that was going to listen to Guy Tozzoli and to Austin Tobin. And they got that in Minoru Yamasaki.” Source
“Yamasaki’s firm was selected for the design of the World Trade Center precisely because he could be counted on to be agreeable, to accommodate the developer’s demands. It gave him ulcers, but Yamasaki made real the visions of America’s leaders—and left everyone else to suffer the consequences.” Source
Below are some further supporting passages from the book, “
”, Rutgers University Press (November 1, 1999), Pages 46 and 47:
“Incidentally, if you’re going to build a great project, you should build the world’s tallest building.” Briefly then, the seed of this ambitious scheme came from neither architectural nor engineering considerations. It was a marketing device to attract tenants. …
…The planners of the trade center were acutely aware that they were doing a new thing, that it was a new idea. Because of its novelty, considerable risk was involved. At stake was the Port Authority’s money and the planners’ careers. Surprising as it may now seem, at that time in the United States, international trade accounted for less than 3.8 percent of the gross national product. And of that sum, 80 percent was being handled by large multinational corporations, to whom a world trade center meant nothing since they already had well-established international activities. Tozzoli and his planners were worried because they were betting their careers on building this complex as an income-producing entity. This was a task complicated by the fact that they had to follow the rules of the legislation, which specified that at least 75 percent of the tenants had to be either directly involved in international business or in servicing it. Tozzoli recalled, “I came to the conclusion, with Austin, that the only way to achieve that was to build the world’s biggest project.”…
…Tozzoli thanked the three architects who had been on the study team and let them go. He went on to seek out a new architect a Japanese American named Minoru Yamasaki, born in Seattle.”…
…So the Port Authority gave Minoru Yamasaki the program to be accomplished, but left him free on how to render it in space. Thus the actual plan would be left up to the architect, …
They were saving the gig for him, that’s some pretty heady stuff. Plus, they were building the towers as a marketing gimmick, and they were fine with whatever design he came up with as long as it met the Port Authority’s guidelines. The rest was up to the quiet, unassuming Japanese guy from Seattle.
Well, were his buildings any good? Sure, but not all of them. It turns out, his buildings were no strangers to disaster. As of last count, three of his projects were destroyed by explosives and/or fire.
The Pruitt-Igoe Houses project in St. Louis, Missouri was hated so badly it had to be dynamited, but what I consider the crème de la crème, is the National Personnel Records Center in Overland, Missouri. This huge concrete building was built to house the personnel records of much of the Army and Air Force. Paper records for the Military. The building was constructed per the client’s wishes without a fire extinguisher system. No sprinklers in the hall of records, and you guessed it, *poof*, up in flames after multiple arson attempts, incinerating decades’ of military records in the process.
“A building commissioned in 1951 by the Department of Defense was built without a sprinkler system, and then burned in a spectacular fire. That building, the U.S. Military Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, housed 38 million individual service records and 4,000 employees. When it was completed in 1956, the six-story concrete and aluminum behemoth was one of the twenty largest buildings in the world.
Less than twenty years later, in July 1973, a fire tore through the building, burning out of control for more than two days. It was the weekend of the official end of the draft, and the news was all bombs and impeachment. Over the previous two years, the Records Center had reported a dozen small fires, all started intentionally. This one, set shortly after midnight on July 12, appeared to be another case of arson. No one died in the blaze, set when only 50 employees were on duty, but sixteen to eighteen million military personnel files, many of them irreplaceable, were lost. Today, the Personnel Records Center informs those seeking information that, as a result of the fire, it cannot provide access to 80 percent of army files on personnel discharged between 1912 and 1960, as well as 75 percent of air force personnel discharged between 1947 and 1964. Information about hundreds of thousands of veterans vanished from the face of the earth.“ Source
Architects have always played a major role in the shaping of civilizations, just ask the Freemasons. Minoru Yamasaki designed castles for modern royalty, and for better or worse, his work profoundly shaped what passes for civilization today. Was he a spy? I don’t know, but if he wasn’t, he must surely have been surrounded by them.
Yamasaki was right there at the beginning and the end of it all, the beginning and end of the war with Japan, the beginning of the covert colonization of the Middle East, the beginning of the CIA and the start of the Cold War.
The New World Order needs its architects, after all.
Here’s to Minoru Yamasaki; a guy who helped build the props used to fool the world. Again.
Below is a partial list of his work:
National Personnel Records Center in Overland, Missouri
Overcome by fire 12 July 1973
Acreage: nearly 5
Pruitt-Igoe Houses, St. Louis, Missouri
Dynamited 15 July 1972
Capacity: 12,000 residents
Acreage: 55 acres (34 still vacant)
World Trade Center, New York, New York
Bombed from parking garage 26 February 1993
Hit by airplanes 11 September 2001
Acreage: 16 acres, redevelopment to be determined
Urban Redevelopment Plan, St. Louis, 1952
Gratiot Urban Redevelopment Project, Detroit, 1954
University School, Grosse Pointe, 1954
U.S. Consulate, Kobe, Japan, 1955
Pruit-Igoe Public Housing, St. Louis, 1955
Lambert-St.Louis Airport Terminal, 1956
McGregor Memorial Conference Center, Wayne State University, Detroit, 1958
Reynolds Metals Regional Sales Office, Southfield, 1959
Michigan Consolidated Gas Co., Detroit, 1963
U.S. Pavilion, World Agricultural Fair, New Delhi, India, 1959
Dhahran Air Terminal, Dhahran Saudi Arabia, 1961
Federal Science Pavilion, Seattle World’s Fair, 1962
Queen Emma Gardens, Honolulu, 1964
North Shore Congregation Israel, Glenco, Ill., 1964
Northwestern National Life Insurance Co., Minneapolis, 1964
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 1965
Century Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles, 1966
IBM Office Building, Seattle, 1964
Manufacturers and Traders Trust Co., Buffalo, 1967
World Trade Center, New York, 1976
Eastern Airlines Terminal, Logan International Airport, Boston, 1969
Horace Mann Educators Insurance Co., Springfield, Ill., 1979
Temple Beth El, Birmingham, 1974
Century Plaza Towers, Los Angeles, 1975
Colorado National Bank, Denver, 1974
Bank of Oklahoma, Tulsa, 1977
Performing Arts Center, Tulsa, 1976
Rainer Bank Tower, Seattle, 1977
Federal Reserve Bank, Richmond, Va., 1978
Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency Head Office, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1981
Founder’s Hall, Shinji Shumeikai, Shiga Prefecture, Japan, 1982
Eastern Province International Airport, Saudi Arabia, 1985