On the fifteenth anniversary of the the day that changed our lives, Bangkok Jack revisits the events in a weekend series of The Jack Report
WTC Building 7
Possibly the most conclusive evidence that the events of 9/11 differ from the official report can be found by investigating the mysterious collapse of Building Seven, or WTC7 at 5.20pm on that day. Actually, it doesn’t take much investigating at all. Just reading through the facts available, including from the official report, will provide some startling evidence. We don’t need youtube rabble rousers or online ‘truthers’ to re-enforce the case for a proper, unbiased public inquiry. Or a criminal investigation.
The official version of events relating to WTC7, released in November 2008 after a six year investigation by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), concluded like this;
‘The National Institute of Standards and Technology last week released its final report on the Sept. 11, 2001, collapse of the 47-story World Trade Centre building 7 (WTC 7) in New York City. The final report is strengthened by clarifications and supplemental text suggested by organizations and individuals worldwide in response to the draft WTC 7 report, released for public comment on Aug, 21 2008 but the revisions did not alter the investigation team’s major findings and recommendations, which include identification of fire as the primary cause for the building’s failure.
The extensive three-year scientific and technical building and fire safety investigation found that the fires on multiple floors in WTC 7, which were uncontrolled but otherwise similar to fires experienced in other tall buildings, caused an extraordinary event. Heating of floor beams and girders caused a critical support column to fail, initiating a fire-induced progressive collapse that brought the building down.
In response to comments from the building community, NIST conducted an additional computer analysis. The goal was to see if the loss of WTC 7’s Column 79—the structural component identified as the one whose failure on 9/11 started the progressive collapse—would still have led to a complete loss of the building if fire or damage from the falling debris of the nearby WTC 1 tower were not factors. The investigation team concluded that the column’s failure under any circumstance would have initiated the destructive sequence of events.
Revisions to the final WTC 7 report included:
Expanding the discussion of fire-stopping, the material placed between floors to prevent floor-to-floor fire spread;
Clarifying the description of thermal expansion as it related to WTC 7’s shear studs and floor beams; and
Explaining in greater detail the computer modelling approach used to define where and when the fire in WTC 7 started and the extent of window breakage as a result of fire.
With the release of the final WTC 7 report, NIST has completed its federal building and fire safety investigation of the WTC disaster that began in August 2002. A three-year study of the collapses of the WTC towers (WTC 1 and 2) was completed in October 2005. More than twenty changes in the U.S. model building and fire codes have already been adopted based on the findings and recommendations from the investigation.
NIST will now work with various public and private groups toward implementing additional changes to the U.S. model building and fire codes including those based on the thirteen recommendations from the WTC 7 report (one new and twelve reiterated from the towers investigation).
The complete text of the final WTC 7 report, a video describing the WTC 7 investigation findings, and of all comments received on the draft WTC 7 report, a chart tracking the progress toward implementing all of the NIST WTC recommendations, and other materials may be accessed at http://wtc.nist.gov
Now, I am not a truther, conspiracy theorist, ranter or raver so let’s just have a calm look at all of the main facts, whether we fully understand them or not – for now.
1. Building Seven was occupied by the U.S. Department of Defence, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the CIA, the U.S. Secret Service, the National Security Agency (NSA), the Inland Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Office of Emergency Management, which was Mayor Guiliani’s main command centre and who were co-ordinating the efforts of the emergency response teams in the city on that day. In other words it was already the most heavily protected, and guarded, building in New York City. Or should have been.
2. No steel and concrete building has ever been completely levelled to the ground, (collapsed) by a minor fire, in the history of steel and concrete buildings. Neither before September 11, 2001 or since then. The only officially recorded example of ‘fires on multiple floors (in WTC 7), which were uncontrolled but otherwise similar to fires experienced in other tall buildings, caused an extraordinary event.
Heating of floor beams and girders caused a critical support column to fail, initiating a fire-induced progressive collapse that brought the building down,’ as stated in the report, happened on that day and it happened three times. In the last fifty-years there have been one-hundred uncontrolled fires in tall, steel and concrete buildings and none of them have collapsed, except as a result of earthquake or subsequent controlled demolition.
3. The minor and containable fires visible on the fifth and sixth floors during the afternoon were caused by falling debris from WTC1 that punctured diesel tanks in the basement of WTC7.
4. The five-hundred and seventy-six feet building collapsed into its own foundations in 6.5 seconds causing no damage to any other building around it. Some of them only a few feet away.
5. In April 2005 (long before the final report was released) NIST concluded that they ‘have seen no evidence that the collapse of WTC7 was caused by bombs, missiles or controlled demolition.’
6. The owner of WTC7, Larry Silverstein, Chairman of Silverstein Properties, gave a televised interview on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) afterwards during which he explained that the ‘fire department commander (Fire Chief Daniel Nigro) told me they were not sure they could contain the fire and so I said, you know we have such terrible loss of life, the smartest thing to do is just pull it. They made that decision to pull and then we watched the building come down.’ NB, yes I know that sentence doesn’t make sense but you can make your own enquiry by searching ‘Larry Silverstein Pull It’ on you tube and see for yourself.
7. Silverstein Properties were also the owners of WTC1 & WTC2, the only other two buildings to completely collapse on September 11, 2001. (Or indeed, in the history of steel and concrete construction)
8. Rudy Dent, a Vietnam War veteran, four year member of the NYPD and thirty-two year FDNY firefighter was in the staging area close to WTC7. He gave evidence, several times, that the Fire Department Commissioner and Mayor Rudi Guiliani were in the building until shortly before the collapse. He also testified that there were fire fighters in the building who were ‘calling for a hose to mop up the isolated fires. There was no concern about the fires.’ After the building collapsed Dent testified he was aware of ‘molten, lava like steel in the debris.’
9. News journalist Jane Standley was reporting live for the BBC and announced at 5pm that WTC7, the Salomon Brothers building, had become the third collapse of the day. Amusingly WTC7 was still clearly visible behind her as she submitted her report.
10. Men dressed as New York fire fighters are seen on early live television footage ordering people away and shouting that the building was about to ‘explode.’
WTC7 used to sit approximately one-hundred meters north of the Twin Tower Complex. Between them were the smaller buildings Five & Six that were hardly damaged at all until the towers collapsed. And yet the official conclusion is that falling debris punctured a diesel tank in the basement of WTC7 and the resulting fire eventually led to a complete failure of the structure. And yet diesel oil can only ignite at temperatures in excess of 140 degrees. And, even if it did, what is the likelihood of a spark or flame jumping five or six storeys into the air and setting fire to the curtains of a building with bomb proofed and air sealed windows?
Ask yourself how a small diesel fire or spark could penetrate one of the most secure buildings in America housing the New York Disaster Control Centre, the CIA and the U.S. Secret Service. A building that was gas proof, sarin proof, bullet proof, missile proof, chemical & biological weapon proof, radiation proof and no doubt nuclear bomb proof. It was designed to be a command centre in case of attack by Russia or China. How do the curtains catch fire on the fifth floor after falling rubble, from a building one hundred metres away, penetrates the secure basement and punctures a diesel oil tank? You might also wonder why there is no CCTV footage of any of this.
All of these questions would easily be answered when NIST carried out their thorough testing of the steel structure during their investigation. Just as in the case of any air crash investigation engineers would rebuild the structure and look for the cause of catastrophic failure. Especially in a case a high profile as 9/11.
However, within hours of the collapse the steel structure was being taken by barges across the Hudson River, and overland by a constant stream of trucks, to scrap metal dealers Hugo Nue Schnitzer at Fresh Kills Landfill, Staten Island, Hugo Nue Schnitzer’s Claremont Terminal in Jersey City, Metal Management in Newark and Blanford and Co. in Keasbey. Four hundred articulated lorries, every-twenty four-hours, moved the debris in convoys. That is one leaving the site every three and a half minutes until Building Seven was gone.
At the scrap yards 350,000 tons of steel were processed and sold (much of it to Chinese companies) for $120 per ton. American steel mills had been paying $160 per ton prior to then. In the end over 80% of the steel structures removed from Ground Zero was on the slow boat to China before investigators had a chance to examine any of it. Because they were not given the necessary authority to impound any of it before it was sold and shipped.
There is now so little doubt that WTC7 fell to the ground as the result of a controlled demolition that it leaves one to wonder why the official NIST report concluded otherwise six years later. After all, the building owner told us in the immediate aftermath of the event that either he, or fire-chief Nigro, ordered the building to be pulled. (‘pulled’ being a well-known phrase in the demolition community to mean ‘demolish’). Even if Silverstein himself changed the story during the same sentence between him giving the order and fire-chief Nigro making that decision.
So let’s assume that’s true, because one part of it is. There is nothing wrong with the fire department ordering a building to be pulled down if it was believed the fire was out of control. But even that is unlikely given that Mayor Guiliani and the fire-chief himself were inside until half an hour before the collapse. And, according to eye-witness Rudy Dent, they were inside for ‘quite some time.’ There is also nothing wrong with an order to pull a building if it was considered to be unsafe and about to collapse, which is also unlikely for the same reason I previously mention.
That is not, however, a decision that can be made by the owner of any building, or even a fire chief in respect of a building with such strategic importance as WTC7. Not surprisingly Daniel Nigro has a different recollection of events and insists, ‘they claim, among many outrageous claims, that the building’s owner, Larry Silverstein, gave the order for me to pull the building,’ he said. ‘And that is absolute nonsense.’ We know that Mr Nigro, but that only strengthens the case.
Either way, just imagine the sensitive information and equipment that could be found in the filing cabinets that might flutter all over the city after the demolition of a working building and not a derelict one. And imagine the sensitive information on the hard drives and network drives of some of the occupying businesses and agencies. No report has ever been made of any guard being placed around the demolition site over-night or at anytime afterwards.
Rudy Dent testified he was making his way through the rubble and noticed ‘molten, lava like steel in the debris.’ So he, and others, clearly had access to the site. He didn’t mention if he had a look around for any safes stuffed with cash whilst he was at it. Let alone anything else because, presumably, anything valuable or sensitive would have been removed before demolition. That’s sensible, right?
So, we are in the middle of one of the greatest and most chaotic events in world history and Larry Silverstein, or the fire chief – it’s not really important – who cares, decide to pull WTC7. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt here and agree that it would be possible for them to take that decision. How long then do you think, in light of all the facts we have, would it take for a team of demolition experts to obtain from City Hall, and then study, the floor and structure plans of WTC7. Using the latest planning software they would then have to calculate the explosives needed and work out exactly where they would have to be placed.
Following that, how long would it take a team to get into the building, already declared unsafe and with fire raging all around, and drill or cut the explosive charges into the supporting structure with enough accuracy to bring the building down in only 6.5 seconds into its own foot-print. And causing no damage at all to surrounding structures? Ask yourself how long all of this would take. And then consider how long it might take for the staff of the CIA, U.S. Secret Service, FEMA and all the other occupants to get back in and retrieve their files, valuables and any other sensitive information they did not want fluttering around New York on the demolition draft.
Do your own research like I did. The answer is that most demolition experts agree this would take at least three weeks of planning and preparation. Some insist it would be much longer and this has become the subject of a heated debate, which just doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is nobody claims they could carry out such a comprehensive clear out and then controlled demolition, between being awarded the contract and completion, in twenty-five minutes.
Which is exactly what building owner Larry Silverstein wants you to believe happened. (Despite the official report denying this multiple times and over many years) And if it didn’t happen because it is not possible within the time-frame, then it must have been a pre-arranged demolition where the charges had already been planned and planted. Which is also possible. Of course it is possible that the building had already been cleared out, wired and prepared for demolition on or around 9/11. This would have been the sensible thing to say in the first place. That’s what I would have said. But they didn’t. Why not?
Finally there is the seemingly incidental question of what information the BBC had been given for them to report the collapse of a building that was, until twenty minutes later, only suffering from small, containable fires. As obscure as this detail seems to be it is, in fact, a massive piece of clear evidence pointing towards a pre-arranged event.
Unfortunately it looks as if somebody, somewhere, in the middle of the chaos of the day, sent an email to the BBC a little too soon. Or perhaps the demolition was delayed by half an hour because Mayor Guiliani was still in there rummaging around and looking for his car keys. Who knows? It doesn’t really matter either.
The BBC explained away this by insisting that the live satellite feed from New York cut off at exactly 5.15pm and so they were showing slightly older footage, from earlier in the day, behind the news reporter who was broadcasting in real time. But that still obviously does not explain why she was reporting something that happened twenty-five minutes later, according to the clock on the screen, regardless of what was being displayed behind her. It could have been nothing behind her, a blank screen even.
By using Occam’s Razor we can shave away all of those silly details that do not matter and keep to the facts. Was Guiliani in the building just before it collapsed, or not? Who cares? The time of the BBC report and the time of the event – matters. A pre-prepared demolition matters. And both prove advanced knowledge.
There is also the clear television pictures of those men dressed as fire fighters (they might be real fire fighters) telling everybody to clear out as the building was going to explode. ‘How did they know that?’ the conspiracy theorists all shout at the same time. ‘See, clear evidence that it was pre-planned,’ screams every truther’s website. No it isn’t and again, it doesn’t matter. Use Occam’s Razor and shave that one off too. Because by now we already know it was pre-planned. The real puzzle is why wasn’t that the story from the outset. The easy and obvious story that nobody would question, would they?
The two buildings once known as the World Trade Centre, or the Twin Towers, and World Trade 7, the only three buildings to be damaged enough to collapse during the events of September 11, 2001, were all owned by one man – Larry Silverstein.
Silverstein is a Jewish-American property investor and who bought the World Trade Centre Complex in April 2001. It was the first time in the building’s thirty-three year life-time that the ownership had changed hands. The previous owners agreed to sell the complex, valued at $3.2 billion to Silverstein for only $124 million because they knew the Twin Towers required a complete overhaul and restoration.
Some of the materials used when the complex was built thirty-three years earlier, namely asbestos, had since been declared a health hazard and the buildings had to be stripped. The New York Port Authority had long been aware of the asbestos problem at the World Trade Centre and had tried, on several occasions, to obtain demolition permits for the buildings, only to be turned down. Asbestos dust could be deadly and the city planners refused to allow a white cloud of it to be cast over New York as a result of demolition.
Instead the buildings would have to be carefully stripped down floor by floor and room by room. The cost of this was estimated at the time to be $15 billion. The scaffolding alone came in at $2.4 billion. So, the original owners, the developer, decided to off-load their white elephant, having made billions of dollars in rental income over the previous three decades, for a paltry $124 million. Which for them represented a cool return of $15,124,000,000 if you include the $15 billion they would avoid being forced to spend. For Larry Silverstein the deal represented and absolute bargain at $124 million, for a $3.4 billion piece of prime New York real estate, if only he too could avoid paying the $15 billion upgrade costs.
So, the first thing Silverstein did as the new, proud owner of the World Trade Centre Complex, was to replace the security company. Obviously, of course. Isn’t that the first thing anybody would think of? The new company he employed was Securacom, now known as Stratasec, whose board of directors included Marvin Bush and Wirt Walker III, the brother and cousin of President George W. Bush. Securacom also had the contracts to provide services at United Airlines and Dulles International Airport, but more of that later.
It was no coincidence or, for that matter, secret that the security company was financially linked to the Kuwait-American Corp, known as KuwAm, an investment consortium who, in turn, were closely linked to the Bush family. And had been since the first Gulf War when George & Marvin’s father (and Wirt’s uncle) former President George H. W Bush, sent American troops in to relieve Kuwait of occupying Iraqi forces. Silverstein, for his part, is a close friend of current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (apparently they speak on a daily basis) who, in turn, is another Bush family ally.
Another of Securacom’s board directors was Mishal Yousef al Sabah, a member of the Kuwaiti Royal Family and principal member of the KuwAm Investment Fund. The fact that the security of all the buildings, including electronic access, the airline and one of the airports all central to the events of September 11, 2001, was provided by Bush family associates was later dismissed by Silverstein as a coincidence. It was also a coincidence that the second thing Silverstein did when taking control of the complex was the insure the buildings valued at $3.4 billion for $7 billion and specifically included a clause that covered them against terrorist attack. (This is all a matter of public record, go and do your own research.)
Naturally the insurance policy would not cover WTC7, or the Twin Towers, for controlled demolition and this would be why that was never given as the reason for the collapse of the any of them which, in the circumstances, seemed to have been the best option at the time. As we now know. In the aftermath of the attack Silverstein filed two separate insurance claims for $7billion each by making the case that there had been two terrorist attacks in New York on that day.
In the end, and after much debate and many threats, the insurance company consortium (there were over ten of them) paid out $4.55 billion, a handsome return on Silverstein’s initial investment of $124 million PLUS, he now also had a couple of plots of prime real estate land for sale once the authorities had finished clearing them up. (He didn’t even have to pay for that) Silverstein also received $3.4 billion of tax exempt funds in 2007, towards the end of the Bush Administration’s final term, to help with the re-building program.
To this day the Securities and Exchange Commission has not revealed the actual number of active cases of financial fraud it was investigating at the time of the collapse of WTC7, after which its files of evidence were lost forever. But the Los Angeles Times have reported an estimated three or four thousand criminal investigations came to an end on that day. Much of their work at that time was paper based and files were not backed up to a remote location as they are in modern times. (Incidentally, remote data storage such as The Cloud only became a feature as a result of 9/11.)
In that respect it is impossible to estimate how many corporations, bankers, investment banks and other crooks benefited by the loss of WTC7. Further still, there were over two-hundred agents of the U.S. Secret Services working on one of the floors and all of their evidence was also lost forever. Special Agent David Curran later lamented, ‘all the evidence that we stored at WTC7, in all of our active cases, went down with the building. And, according to the official and final report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, it was all because of a burst diesel tank in the basement.
As for the Twin Towers? Well so much has been written about them, and so many you tube documentaries made, that there seems little else to add. There were planes, weren’t there? Were they drones or missiles etc. But there is a single piece of evidence in respect of the Twin Towers that proves the 9/11 Commission Report to be a lie. You are supposed to believe that the aviation fuel from the aircraft tanks burned at such a high temperature that the critical core steel structure of the building failed and that the weight of the top part of the building caused it to drop into that failure zone, followed by a concertina effect throughout the floors below. Which dropped the buildings into their own foot prints.
In which case, how did the people on the floors above the impact manage to walk through this steel-furnace, wearing nothing more than a silk suit, and down the stairs to safety? And how were those poor souls we all saw waving towels and coats at the burning windows not vaporised? And, as if it were necessary, let’s also consider the witness testimony of three people who were in the building at the point of impact. Ling Young, who was in her office on the seventy-eighth floor (a direct impact floor) said, ‘Only people in my area were alive and those people were from my office. I figured out later because I sat around in there for ten or fifteen minutes. That’s how I got burned.’
Stanley Prainath was on the eighty-first floor of the South Tower: ‘The plane impacts. I try to get up and then realize I am covered up to my shoulders in debris. And when I am digging through all this rubble I can see the bottom wing starting to burn and that wing was wedged twenty feet into my office.’
And Donovan Cowan who was in an elevator, also on the seventy-eighth floor, quoted ‘We went into the elevator and as soon as I hit the button there was this big boom. We were both knocked down. I remember feeling this intense heat because the doors were still open. That heat lasted for about ten or fifteen seconds and then it stopped.’
Use the Occam’s Razor approach and shave away the improbable. Then work with what we have left. The Sherlock Holmes approach. It should not matter to anybody with a half-inch brain what the 9/11 Commission Report says. We already instinctively know that those fires were not hot enough to cause the critical failure those steel frameworks, because we have seen the evidence for ourselves and that cannot be ignored. If I placed a banana on the table and told you it was a grapefruit, you would have your own visual evidence and your own experience to know that I was not telling you the truth, unless you are under three-years-old.
So what did knock those buildings down? That doesn’t really matter too much because if you believe WTC7 was brought down deliberately, and you think you know how and why, then you have to believe that every negative event in New York City on that day is connected. Everybody can argue and disagree as much as they like about the Twin Towers but it is WTC7, Larry Silverstein and his network who are holding the smoking gun.
Finally, Larry Silverstein had been holding regular morning meetings, with his new tenants, at the Windows on the World restaurant on the top floor of the North Tower. His own temporary offices were down at the eighty-sixth floor of the same building where his staff of around one-hundred were located, including his daughter Lisa and son Roger. There are many suggestions that Silverstein had been warned not to go to work on that morning, claims that are strenuously denied.
I subscribe to no conspiracy theory but I do note that Larry Silverstein’s wife had made him an appointment at a dermatologist for an examination on that particular morning. And also that nearly all of his staff, including his son and daughter, were running late on that day and were not in the building when the planes struck. All except for four people, two of whom were brand new additions to his team. I bring you only those details without personal comment. You can do your own thinking and research.