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The enemy engineer

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I've caught up on my email a bit.  Very, very briefly...why is it so
hard to believe someone trained as an engineer contributed to the
planning of Tuesday's attack? Chemical engineers make chemical weapons. 
Mechanical engineers develop all sorts of weapons.  As an officer in the
US Army Corps of Engineers commanding a company of combat engineers
(Reserves), you better believe I would sit down with all the data I had
if I was tasked to drop a building, bridge, dam, or any other structure
as part of my military mission, just as my predecessors have going back
to Roman times.  Therefore, in a world of asymetric combat (little guy
uses terrorism against big guy), you can *BET* that someone recruited an
engineer for THE CAUSE, determined at about what height was needed to
get a good hammer effect when the floor burned out, what airspeed was
needed to penetrate into the building, the need to come in generally
level, the need to have a full fuel tank, etc.  I wouldn't be surprised
if he did computer modeling to nail down the mission feasibility and
parameters before the first people were sent to the US to train several
years ago. 

I'm not trying to justify it in the least, just recognizing the enemy
forces often have doctors, chemists, engineers, technicians, and other
professionals adding their skills to the guns and knives of the
"grunts."  Our profession is no more immune to abuse of knowledge than
any others.  If you wish a specific historical parallel, then take
Doctor Mengele (spelling?) of Nazi Germany, who despite his Hippocratic
Oath performed deadly experiments on humans in the name of science for
Nazi Germany.  Compare this to the structural engineer who determined
how to drop the towers and gave the terrorist the required mission
profile to achieve this goal.  This is actually a pretty important clue
and gives the intel people someone to track down....a civil/structural
engineer in a terrorist group would be key clue.  If anything, we should
be trying to help the good guys figure out who this evil person is,
instead of denying his existence.

Bart Kemper, PE
Baton Rouge, LA
Clarence B. Kemper III, Captain, Engineer, USAR
A Co/489th Engineer Battalion (Corps) (Mechanized)

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