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WTC 7: Why after six years, do we still not know what happened to this stupid building?

Joseph Murtagh

World Trade Center 7: Why after six years, do we still not know what happened to this stupid building? 


April 5, 2007 -- On February 28, 2007 Muckraker Report editor Ed Haas and Connecticut attorney Jerry Leaphart sent a Request for Correction to the National Institute of Technologies as a preliminary to filing a legal injunction against NIST for its conduct in the investigation of the collapse of World Trade Center 7.  The U.S. Department of Commerce has published the Request for Correction on an office web site, which you can view here.


The point of this Request for Correction and filing of a legal injunction is not to shut down any and all investigations into the collapse of WTC 7, but to make sure the current investigation by the National Institute of Standards and Technologies proceeds in a correct and responsible fashion.  Because at the moment this investigation is totally haphazard: not only has NIST still not managed to release it official report on building 7 after six years, which in itself is crazy, but they’ve contradicted themselves publicly in various documents (if they found no evidence of a controlled demolition as they claim in the NCSTSAR 1 report of October 2005, why in the “WTC 7 Technical Approach and Status Summary” of December 2006 do they say they’re considering whether “hypothetical blast scenarios could have played a role in initiating the collapse?”) and more importantly are introducing possible scenarios into the investigation for which they are unqualified to deal with, because if it did turn out that “hypothetical blast scenarios” were present, this would clearly be evidence of criminal wrongdoing, requiring the collaboration of a criminal investigator, which the scientists at NIST most certainly are not.           


And moreover, because NIST hasn’t yet released an official report, they’re spreading all kinds of rumors about building 7 that people then interpret as fact, since the source is, after all, the National Institute of Science and Technologies.  To give just one example: Popular Mechanics in an article just a week ago quoted a 2004 NIST “interim progress report” on building 7 as proof that the building collapsed from fire.  So here’s my question: why, if the official body of scientists hasn’t released its final report, is Popular Mechanics leaping to conclusions about what happened?  Wouldn’t that suggest a failure of the scientific method, implying that Popular Mechanics, in this instant at least, is behaving in a very unscientific way?       


So which is it, guys?  Fires, or “hypothetical blast events?”  More to the point, why after six years is the U.S. government and its various scientific appendages still bogged down in a fog of unknowingness as to what happened to this building?  And why has sorting out the details of the third steel building to collapse from fire in the history of the earth been left up to widowed mothers and kids with laptops and Rosie O’Donnell?  Seriously, why is a man who so obviously can tell the difference between a fact and a supposition as Geraldo Riveria so obviously can, going on the O’Reilly Factor and calling Rosie O’Donnell’s comments a “preposterous theory that’s been disproved time and time again,” when actually, Geraldo, the National Institute of Science and Technologies is considering the possibility that “hypothetical blast events” may have initiated the collapse of one of the World Trade Center buildings in an investigation that still after half a decade hasn’t managed to release its official report?    


Where is rationality?  Where is science?  How come the editors of Popular Mechanics and Counterpunch appear to be incapable of understanding the difference in validity between an official investigation composing numerous scientists and a totally arbitrary speculation from an “interim progress report” already three years old?  And why are the organs of public opinion, from Bill O’Reilly to Inside Edition, then running with these speculations and treating them like fact?  Why can’t Joe Scarborough and Michelle Malkin and John Gibson and the rest of them understand that calling for Rosie O’Donnell to be fired is a direct attack on her first amendment rights? 


And why are our elected officials, especially those who are running for President, so oddly silent about all of this?  Why will Dennis Kucinich say he’s planning an investigation into “some areas” of 9/11, but not be forthcoming about which areas he means or what the timetable for this investigation is or how exactly it’s going to differ from the last train wreck of investigation?  And if Barack Obama is supposedly this great audacious leadership type, why doesn’t he take leadership now?  Never mind that Hillary Clinton and Rudy Guiliani, as Senator and Mayor, actually have an obligation to New Yorkers on this issue –


So why don’t they stand up? 

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