by Shawn Hamilton
A group called New York City Coalition for Accountability Now ( NYC CAN ) is working with Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth on a campaign to make the New York City Council launch an investigation into the anomalous destruction of World Trade Center Building 7.
Please see also related article by David Ray Griffin, “Building What? How SCADs Can Be Hidden in Plain Sight”.
The group emerged a little over a year ago to reorganize the petition drive for the ballot initiative that city officials eventually deemed legally invalid because it sought powers to initiate an investigation that State law doesn’t confer upon citizens. Officials claimed that such powers are properly the domain of existing city agencies, the Manhattan District Attorney and the federal government.
NYC CAN, a coalition of 9/11 survivors, family members, first responders, and concerned citizens, is focusing on New York City’s 51-member city council rather than creating a new referendum. Group representatives, including NYC CAN’s Executive Director, Ted Walter, Bob McIlvaine , whose son Bobby was killed in the 9/11 attacks, along with engineers Tony Szamboti and Mike Donly, have already discussed 9/11 related issues with seven council members, and reported that all but one were supportive.
McIlvaine said his only role in the meetings is to represent his son, Bobby. Explaining how he became involved in 9/11 activism, he said, “On April 8, 2004, I was absolutely livid after the testimony of Condolezza Rice. I’ve been angry ever since. I walked away from that hearing knowing that forces within the US orchestrated the murder of my son. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.”
On March 1, McIlvaine personally delivered AE911Truth petitions to each of the New York City Council’s 51 members. Walter said that event marked the beginning of NYC CAN’s revised campaign. The group posted a video of McIlvaine on its web site to publicize the effort.
Tony Szamboti, a mechanical engineer who performs structural design and analysis in the aerospace industry, said the engineers’ role in the meetings is to answer questions council members may have about the science behind the destruction of WTC 7. “You have to discuss the fact that the building was undergoing full freefall acceleration for at least two and a quarter seconds in its initial fall, which NIST (National Institute for Standards and Technology) has admitted to. That’s about eight stories or over a hundred feet.” Szamboti said. “I explain to them that it’s pretty hard to have that occur without something removing the strength of the columns unnaturally, since freefall acceleration requires all of the potential energy to be converted into motion, with none of it being available to do any other work.” The group shows council members films of Building 7 falling and compares them to a model of what NIST describes in its report, pointing out the contradictions.
Walter said he hopes at some point council members can speak with a unified voice about 9-11 issues, but until that time, NYC CAN is being careful not to “blow the cover” of supportive council members and, consequently, did not name any for inclusion in this article. He cites careless blogging and widespread public exposure of council members as examples that could backfire on 9-11 truth advocates. Walter explained that the group wants the city council to conduct a hearing to register testimony from experts on the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 — laying the groundwork by starting with a scientific understanding of what happened then progressing to an investigation of who is responsible. He said that expert testimony should be the “fast part” of such an investigation, and that the hard part will be exposing the culprits. Walter mentioned that several council members asked about who might have carried out the 9-11 attacks and their motives.
“They ask us about those things, so we give them our opinion, but we don’t specifically say we think it was this or that person. For the most part they realize that Building 7 is just the tip of the iceberg, but that’s the tip they can show to the public, and the public will say, ‘Yeah, that doesn’t look like a normal building collapse,'” Walter said. He believes such an approach is “the way in” because experts in the movement like Niels Harrit became interested in 9-11 issues when he saw the film of Building 7 collapse.
“For the last three and a half weeks we have been calling three council members per day — hundreds of people calling and faxing, and it’s made it impossible for the council members not to know about the issue,” Walter said. “Every council member now is acutely aware of Building 7. Whether or not they spend any time looking at the videos or graphics, they know that there are many people out there who want them to look at Building 7.”
Walter noted that staff members who took the phone calls and faxes were asked by the callers to pull up videos on the Internet of Building 7, and most agreed that something didn’t look right. “So what you have now is an entire City Council — 51 council members and several hundred staff — who are very well informed on one very important aspect of 9/11. I would say half were not even aware that a third building had collapsed and 75 percent didn’t know anything about it — they couldn’t name the building — and probably 90 percent hadn’t seen footage of it,” he said adding that it’s an important lesson for the movement. He said we need to start with basic arithmetic before we can move on to algebra and calculus. When policymakers in the city in which 9/11 primarily happened don’t know about Building 7 — a critical aspect of the whole story — they’re not going to be responsive and do what we need them to do to get at the truth.
“I see the breakthrough actually happening — the 9/11 Truth Movement pursuing the issues because the New York City Council takes action, and that is what turns the tide. It’s a permission slip for people on the more left side of the mainstream media to start covering what’s going on with 9/11,” Walter told me. “If the city council has a hearing — one that’s public and recorded, and they’re listening to testimony from experts that are saying that Building 7 was brought down with explosives, that is enormously important.”