Donald Rumsfeld and the Demolition of WTC 7
Originally published at Washingtonsblog by Kevin Ryan on 5/22/14
When former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was asked about World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC 7), he claimed that he had never heard of it. This was despite the unprecedented destruction of that 47-story building and its relationship to the events of 9/11 that shaped Rumsfeld’s career. Although not hit by a plane, WTC 7 experienced free fall into its own footprint on the afternoon of 9/11—through the path of what should have been the most resistance. The government agency charged with investigating the building’s destruction ultimately admitted that it had been in free fall during a portion of its descent. That fact makes explosive demolition the only logical explanation. Considering how WTC 7 might have been demolished leads to some interesting facts about Rumsfeld and his associates.
The one major tenant of WTC 7 was Salomon Smith Barney (SSB), the company that occupied 37 of the 47 floors in WTC 7. A little discussed fact is that Rumsfeld was the chairman of the SSB advisory board and Dick Cheney was a board member as well. Rumsfeld had served as chairman of the SSB advisory board since its inception in 1999. According to the financial disclosures he made in his nomination process, during the same period Rumsfeld had also been a paid consultant to the Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet. Rumsfeld and Cheney had to resign from their CIA and SSB positions in 2001 when they were confirmed as members of George W. Bush’s cabinet.
Several of Rumsfeld and Cheney’s colleagues had access to, or personal knowledge of, WTC 7. Secret Service agent Carl Truscott, who was in charge of the Presidential Protection Division on 9/11, knew the building well because he had worked at the Secret Service’s New York field office located there. Furthermore, Tenet’s CIA secretly operated a “false front of another federal organization” from within WTC 7. That false front might have been related to the Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service, Rumsfeld’s Department of Defense, or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), all of which were listed as tenants of WTC 7. The SEC lost many important documents when the building was destroyed, including much of what was needed to effectively prosecute Enron and WorldCom.
In any event, it is clear that covert operatives had access to WTC 7. Through the Secret Service, the DOD, and a secret office of the CIA, the building provided access to many such people. Additionally, electronic security for the WTC complex was contracted out to Stratesec, a security company operated by military arms logistician and Iran-Contra suspect, Barry McDaniel. Wirt Walker, the son of a CIA employee who was flagged by the SEC for suspected 9/11 insider trading, was McDaniel’s boss at Stratesec.
Amazingly, explosives and terrorism were planned topics of discussion at WTC 7 on the day of the attacks. There was a meeting scheduled at WTC 7 for the morning of 9/11 that included explosive disposal units from the U.S. military. The Demolition Ordnance Disposal Team from the Army’s Fort Monmouth just happened to be invited there that morning to meet with the building’s owner, Larry Silverstein. They were “reportedly planning to hold a meeting at 7 World Trade Center to discuss terrorism prevention efforts.” The meeting was set for eight o’clock in the morning on 9/11 but was canceled with the excuse that one of Silverstein’s executives could not make it.
Richard Spanard, an Army captain and commander of Fort Monmouth’s explosive disposal unit, was at WTC 7 to attend the meeting. He was “enjoying breakfast at a deli 50 feet from the World Trade Center twin towers when the first plane hit. General hysteria inundated the deli. Spanard decided that he and the three soldiers with him should move to number 7 World Trade Center, where they had a scheduled meeting.” Building 7 was “full of people in the midst of evacuating. A second explosion was heard, and people began mobbing the three escalators in a state of panic. Spanard and the now five soldiers with him began yelling for everyone to remain calm.”
In yet another “eerie quirk of fate,” Fort Monmouth personnel were preparing for an exercise called Timely Alert II on the day of 9/11. This was a disaster drill focused on response to a terrorist attack and included law enforcement agencies and emergency personnel. The drill simply changed to an actual response as the attacks began.
Fort Monmouth, located in New Jersey just 49 miles away from the WTC complex, was home to several units of the Army Materiel Command (AMC). Coincidentally, Stratesec’s Barry McDaniel had led AMC a decade earlier. McDaniel had an interesting past and, after 9/11, became business partners with one of Dick Cheney’s closest colleagues.
The Fort Monmouth response on 9/11 included the explosives unit and the Army’s Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM). As the drill was converted to an actual response, teams of CECOM experts were deployed to locate cell phone transmissions in the pile at Ground Zero. The remainder of the base’s explosive ordnance company was there by the afternoon of 9/11 and stayed for three days in order to, among other things, help “authorities” look for any possible explosives in the debris.
The explosive disposal/terrorism meeting was not just a request of Larry Silverstein, however, but was actually organized by the Secret Service field office. The U.S. Navy’s explosive ordnance disposal Mobile Unit 6 had also been invited to WTC 7 that morning, again at the request of the Secret Service. As they arrived, the planes began to strike the towers.
Considering all of this, Rumsfeld’s claim that he had never heard of WTC 7 is not believable. It does not reconcile with the facts about the positions he held and those of his colleagues and subordinates. It certainly doesn’t reconcile with the fact that Rudy Giuliani gave Rumsfeld a personal tour of Ground Zero just two months after the attacks. Surely Rumsfeld noticed the huge pile of still-smoking rubble that was once the building where Giuliani’s 23rd-floor emergency bunker was housed. They were photographed standing right across the street from it.
Rumsfeld was the chairman of the advisory board for a company that occupied nearly the entirety of WTC 7. On 9/11 he led the DOD—another tenant of the building. Explosive disposal units from both the Army and the Navy (DOD entities) were scheduled to meet in WTC 7 on the morning of 9/11, ostensibly to discuss terrorism. A DOD-sponsored terrorism exercise was scheduled for that morning in the same area. Moreover, Rumsfeld’s long-time business associate Peter Janson ran AMEC Construction, a company hired to clean-up the debris at the WTC complex (after having renovated the exact area where Flight 77 was said to have hit the Pentagon).
And as stated above, Rumsfeld had been a paid consultant to CIA director George Tenet in the three years prior to 9/11. Immediately after WTC 7 was destroyed, the CIA ordered the immediate area around the building to be surrounded by FBI agents. According to the New York Times, the CIA then “dispatched a special team to scour the rubble.” Reportedly this was to retrieve secret documents. But was the CIA, in conjunction with (or posing as) the Secret Service, also coordinating the military’s ordnance disposal units in their search for explosives in the debris?
Rumsfeld’s comments should be considered in light of the fact that he was among the leaders of a concerted plan to lie about Iraq’s WMDs. Similarly, there has been a pattern of lying about WTC 7 by government officials. The official report on the destruction of the building is patently and provably false and followed a long string of false explanations. When government scientists finally admitted that WTC 7 was in free-fall, indicating that they had previously lied about that fact, even their body language revealed the deception.
When we remember 9/11, we should remember that those crimes initiated and continue to drive the devastating “War on Terror.” We should also remember that war is based on deception and the official account of 9/11 is a prime example. We see the lies about 9/11 everyday as they are still being told, like the one readily seen in the form of a 47-story building experiencing free fall and nearly every statement made about it by government officials since that time.