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Gov't spokesman says, "I don't understand the public's fascination with WTC Building 7"

Government spokesman says, “I don’t understand the public’s fascination with World Trade Center Building Seven.” 

 

March 21, 2006 – Michael E. Newman, Public and Business Affairs spokesman for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in a phone interview with the Muckraker Report on Monday, March 20th, said that he didn’t “understand the public’s fascination with World Trade Center Building Seven.”  Newman was contacted by the Muckraker Report to discuss when the National Institute of Standards and Technology anticipated releasing its report regarding how World Trade Center Building Seven collapsed onto its footprint at 5:20p.m. EST on September 11, 2001.

 

What I found so interesting about my 30-minute conversation with Newman was how easily he discounted as unfounded conspiracies, the findings and opinions of scientists who are operating outside of the government’s payroll.  He frequently used analogies to conspiracy theories and urban legends such as Bigfoot and UFO’s.  At one point Newman said that he has joked with members of his Public and Business Affairs that they might as well conduct press conferences wearing “Bigfoot” costumes because “no matter what we say, some people will not believe the government”.  Newman continued, “For some people, no matter what the government says about 9/11, they will still believe that the government is lying.  Some people still believe the world is flat and there are UFO’s.  There’s nothing the federal government can say to convince these people otherwise.” 

 

When I mentioned to Newman that we’re not talking about nutcases from Kooksville, but rather credentialed scientists such as BYU Physics Professor, Stephen E. Jones, Claremont Professor Emeritus, David Ray Griffin, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Engineer, Jeff King, he said, “Just because a person is from MIT doesn’t mean that they know what they’re talking about.”  Assuming that Newman is right, then it must be noted that the Lead Technical Investigator for the NIST National Construction Safety Team for WTC Investigation is a gentleman named Shyam Sunder, who incidentally, received his doctoral degree in structural engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1981.[1] 

 

I asked Newman whether his agency had a compelling interest to produce a report regarding the collapse of the Twin Towers that substantiated the 9/11 Commission Report.  He indicated that NIST had no such interest.  When asked if NIST would produce and release a report on World Trade Center Building Seven, even if the Institute’s conclusions reveal that WTC-7 did in fact collapse as the direct result of a controlled demolition, Newman said that NIST would release such a report if that turns out to be its findings. 

 

Intrigued by Newman’s ability to maintain a persona of impartiality and claimed dedication to truthfulness while he simultaneously scoffed, if not ridiculed any scientist who disagrees with the government’s scientists and their findings, I decided to test his dedication to impartiality and whether NIST had any predisposition towards finding a cause of collapse of WTC Building Seven that will coincide with the government’s account of 9/11. I asked him about the now infamous public statements made by Larry Silverstein, the controller of the World Trade Center Complex.  Recall that on a PBS documentary that aired in September 2002, Silverstein said that he and the New York Fire Department decided jointly to “pull” WTC-7.  Here is the exact Silverstein quote from the 2002 PBS documentary. 

 

“I remember getting a call from the ER, Fire Department Commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, ‘We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is ‘pull it.’  And they made the decision to ‘pull’ and we watched the building collapse.” 

 

Almost immediately after I finished referencing Silverstein as saying that the “smartest thing to do is pull it”, Newman responded with a condescending chuckle to remind me that the federal government is always right, and the people, always wrong.  He then said, “Silverstein already explained that what he meant was that they decided to pull the firefighters and emergency rescue workers from World Trade Center Building Seven.”  One can only hope that NIST doesn’t consider its investigation into what Silverstein meant by his usage of the words, “pull it” as complete, solely on an ambiguous clarification offered years later by a man (Silverstein) that certainly has a financial and personal interest in the government’s official account of 9/11 prevailing.   

 

After Newman finished minimizing the value of the Silverstein comment as essentially worthless, I pointed out to him the fact that organizations such as Scholars for 9/11 Truth and 9/11 Revisited certainly seemed to be presenting thoughtful and scientific information that refuted much of the work by the government’s scientists at NIST.  I expressed to him my concern that more than half of all Americans now believe the U.S. government has some complicity if not culpability regarding 9/11, with many people now believing that 9/11 is nothing more than a massive government cover-up; a public perception Newman did not refute. However, when I suggested that a possible method to reconcile the division in the United States between the government and its people might be for a series of televised national debates between his thirty scientists assigned to investigate how World Trade Center Buildings – 1, 2, & 7 collapsed onto their footprints on September 11, 2001, I was abruptly interrupted and told that none of the NIST scientists would participate in any public debate. 

 

Curious, I asked why the National Institute of Standards and Technology would avoid public debate, particularly if it was confident in its work.  Newman responded, “Because there is no winning in such debates.”  When I pointed out that such a debate between the thirty scientists who worked on the NIST 9/11 Investigation and thirty equally-qualified scientists who dispute, and claim to be able to refute the NIST findings; that such a public, televised debate might actually help answer many of the public’s questions and possibly restore some national unity, the NIST spokesman emphatically insisted that such a debate will never occur.

 

As precociously as Michael E. Newman presented himself as a government man, and therefore trustworthy, the inconsistencies in his agency’s work pertaining to how the Twin Towers collapsed will persist if NIST and its lot of government scientists don’t publicly debate with non-government scientists that are presently and publicly disputing the government’s findings. 

 

Glaring evidence of a fallible, if not predisposed government agency is found on the National Institute of Standards and Technology web site.  For example, NIST lists as one if its main 9/11 investigation objectives as to determine:

 

  • Why and how World Trade Center buildings 1, 2, and 7 collapsed after the initial impact of the aircraft[2] 

Note: In the event that NIST changes the aforementioned misleading language on its web site, click here to see how the web page read as of March 20, 2006. 

 

Why is the false statement on the NIST web site?  The National Institute of Standards and Technology knows, along with the rest of the world, that no aircraft impacted WTC-7.  Yet on its web site, it uses language that suggests that WTC-7 was also collided into by an aircraft.  Is it any wonder why Americans are struggling to accept the government’s 9/11 story when a federal agency intended to set the standard is demonstrating to the world that its own standard of accuracy regarding the dissemination of information is woefully inadequate? 

 

This lack of standards is demonstrated again in the National Institute of Standards and Technology - Executive Summary, which is a portion of its report regarding how the Twin Towers collapsed.   Listed as Finding 59, NIST reported:

 

  • NIST found no corroborating evidence for alternative hypotheses suggesting that the WTC towers were brought down by controlled demolition using explosives planted prior to September 11, 2001.  NIST also did not find any evidence that missiles were fired at or hit the towers.  Instead, photographs and videos from several angles clearly showed that the collapse initiated at the fire and impact floors and that the collapse progressed from the initiating floors downward, until the dust clouds obscured the view. 

Amazingly, the government sees the dust clouds produced during the collapse of the Twin Towers as an obstruction of view, while scientists, outside the government’s control, see the volume, density, and speed of outward projection from the buildings during the collapse that the dust clouds demonstrated, as evidence of secondary explosive devices.   Whether secondary explosive devices caused or assisted the collapse of the Twin Towers or not, the dust clouds were and remain compelling evidence that the government, by their own admission, missed or ignored.

 

Seeing as NIST scientists couldn’t see the fact that the dust clouds were themselves, evidence, and not obstructions, is it possible for the National Institute of Standard and Technology to be taken seriously, let alone, trusted?  Why is the public so fascinated with WTC-7 Mr. Newman?  We are so fascinated by it because the events of September 11, 2001 were a national tragedy with many valid and unanswered questions remaining in the public mind. 

 

If there is a weak link in a government cover-up, World Trade Center Building Seven is it.  If WTC-7 is found to have collapsed as a result of a controlled demolition, than the NIST report on the Twin Towers will be aggressively scrutinized because the question of how and when explosive devices were wired into WTC-7 would have to be answered. By answering that question, a new truth regarding WTC-1 and WTC-2 might be revealed.  

 

Does NIST have a compelling interest to report that WTC-7 defied the laws of physics also on September 11, 2001 and miraculously collapsed at freefall speed as the result of office fires?  You bet it does!  Can the National Institute of Standards and Technology be trusted as a competent federal agency that will deliver an untainted, truthful analysis of WTC-7 regardless of what that truth might be?  I’ll leave the answer to that question up to you. 



[1] National Institute of Standards and Technology, Project Leaders, National Construction Safety Team for WTC Investigation, Shyam Sunder, http://wtc.nist.gov/pi/wtc_profiles.asp?lastname=sunder, [Accessed March 20, 2006]

[2] NIST & The World Trade Center, Fact Sheets, http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs.htm, [Accessed March 20, 2006]

Freelance writer / author, Ed Haas, is the editor and columnist for the Muckraker Report.  Get smart.  Read the Muckraker Report.  [http://teamliberty.net]  To learn more about Ed’s current and previous work, visit Crafting Prose.  [http://craftingprose.com]   

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