British Broadcasting contorts itself again to blast 9/11 conspiracy advocates
(“The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 – The Third Tower,” BBC 2, July 6, 2008)
If you want to kill a dangerous animal, you go for the jugular. If you want to demolish a building, you destroy its main supports. If you want to marginalize the burgeoning 9/11 truth movement, you attack its most popular points. This isn’t brain surgery.
In a recently broadcast documentary, The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 – The Third Tower, the BBC presents the second of two programs confronting claims made by a growing activist movement comprised of people who doubt the official story of 9/11. This time the BBC looks into one of the most compelling areas of 9/11 research, the theory that WTC7 was brought down by controlled demolition.
The perfect vertical implosion of this enormous building—the last of seven WTC buildings to be completely destroyed on 9/11—was filmed from several excellent angles and is further supported by aerial photos (fig. 1). Those theorists who claim that the Twin Towers as well were brought down with explosives have enjoyed an exponential boost in credence from strong evidence supporting the intentional demolition of WTC 7.
Besides giving the green light to plans on paper since the GHW Bush administration to add Iraq and Afghanistan to the U.S.’s portfolio, many 9/11 truth researchers believe that the destruction of the entire WTC was the ultimate ground breaking, the first step in an epic municipal makeover; the total remodeling of the obsolete World Trade Center complex. The fact that the only buildings completely destroyed on 9/11 just happened to be all seven of the World Trade Center buildings certainly gives this theory some traction.
What constitutes conclusive evidence—irrefutable points that prove or disprove any given assertion—is always a valid question. These are what lawyers call “best evidence,” the most solid and unimpeachable points at hand. But lawyers use another interesting phrase, “guilty demeanor,” the squirrelly behavior of those trying desperately to hide something. We see quite a bit of this in those who write articles, post websites and produce documentaries blasting 9/11 truth. And the formulas they use have become easily recognizable to those who have taken notice.
When dismantling propaganda, the simplest questions are always the best: If 9/11 truthers are such crackpots, why has big money media and their corporate masters invested millions of dollars in time and resources to refute them? Don’t these elaborate counter-offensives dignify these miscreants more than they deserve and give them the much needed platform they seek? Seems to me these debunkers and their millions doth protest too much. How did this ‘9/11’ truth nonsense get so out of control in the first place?
Countless articles and op-eds in newspapers and magazines, and a plethora of anti-truth websites are popping up all the time. Some of these efforts have been quite elaborate. In 2005, the Hearst owned Popular Mechanics Magazine devoted an entire cover story (no pun intended) to a broadside against 9/11 truth. When that didn’t work, they published a book on the subject, complete with an introduction by John McCain and a jab at yours truly. The History Channel and National Geographic have both taken pot shots at 9/11ers and movies like Flight 93 and World Trade Center are commonly thought of as elaborate propaganda by those who have, you know, seen the evidence.
If this seems like paranoia to you just cue up Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 to the segment about the tiny, frumpy peace group in Fresno that suffers infiltration from a covert operative. When this young man died, his work for the local anti-terrorism squad was revealed in his obituary. He was promptly asked to resign from the group.
Now, if the powers that be actually saw this tea and cookie crowd as a clear and present threat to national security, then how much more time and effort (and cash) is being thrown into to the anti-9/11 truth movement? Newspapers and magazines—not to mention network news and Hollywood studios—are commonly rented out to those with political agendas. You just have to know the right people and show them the money.
Opinions are not evidence. What any single individual can or cannot wrap their minds around is not evidence. A fact is not a fact because someone with credentials says it is; a solid, well reasoned argument must follow no matter who does the talking.
Likewise, a voluminous study conducted by an army of “experts” that “conclusively proves” that the sky is green should never be more convincing to a person then a quick look up. The Warren Commission was almost laughable in its inability to take the magic out of bullets. The 9/11 Commission, another state sponsored, exhaustive study conducted by “experts” steeped in self-interest is such a transparent con-job that even the chairmen of the project have been sighted backing out of the room.
But the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) study into the strange collapses of WTC Building’s 1, 2 and 7 is easily the most insidious. This excruciatingly technical and voluminous investigation— thousands of pages in length, costing millions of dollars, and, seven years after the attacks, still having yet to be released in its final form—is the best example of cover-up-by-boredom-and-technical-jargon since the 26 volume Warren Commission report. It also comes to much the same conclusion: apparently the sky is green.
So, as we proceed to deconstruct the latest BBC documentary on 9/11 truth we need to savvy up. Regardless of how painful or upending it may be, it’s essential that we take nothing for granted, follow only where the evidence leads us and never forget the sage words of British master detective Sherlock Holmes: “Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how bizarre, bewildering or over the top, must have been what really happened.” Well, something like that.
The Playing Field
Right off the cricket bat, we see marked discrepancies in the levelness of the playing surface. Every aspect of this television program is owned and operated by, well, whoever owns and operates the BBC. Again, nothing should be taken for granted, and yet viewers are asked to do just that; assume that the BBC is an unassailable font of objective unbiased reporting with no discernable slant or agenda. If anyone honestly believes that, I’ll give them a good deal on Wembley Stadium.
Every camera angle, subject choice, every edit, every nuance of this program will be controlled by people who are up to their ears in the propaganda-for-hire business, and the same ones who have clearly betrayed their bias in previous programming. The 9/11 ‘truthers’ who bravely reappear to tell the BBC their side of the story don’t have a chance of getting a fair shake, but that doesn’t keep them from trying.
The BBC also has the budget to not just quote the army of individuals who faithfully support the party line, they can hop on a plane with a camera crew and interview them personally. Leading scientists in government studies, the CEOs of demolition and architecture firms, various police and fire department officials, even former anti-terrorism expert Richard Clarke are only a phone call away for the giants at the BBC. In contrast, team ‘truth’ are a humble few with almost no budget at all. They don’t represent the elite of anything, a fact which, ironically, makes their astounding success in this arena all the more impressive.
On team BBC, we have The Conspiracy Files producer Guy Smith who, in a patronizing write up entitled We’re all conspiracy theorists at heart, makes the unctuous claim that 9/11 truthers can’t handle “events of disproportionate tragedy” so they invent more digestible alternatives. The fact that the alternative ‘truthers’ have “invented” is many times more upsetting than the Muslim-fanatics-counterattack theory makes one want to take a closer look at Dr. Smith’s psychology diploma.
Speaking of unctuous, how’s this from another producer of TCF, Mike Rudin. In an essay entitled The Evolution of a Conspiracy Theory, Rudin quotes lead NIST scientist Dr. Shyam Sunder: “It’s only at the very end in 2005 that [truthers] became more vocal…they just woke up one morning and decided to take this on as an issue.” This, of course is in response to ‘truthers’ complaints that, seven years after 9/11, NIST still hasn’t released its final report. Presumably, Mr. Rudin included this in his essay because he thought it made good sense.
For this installment of The Conspiracy Files, or TCF, the producers bring back Dylan Avery, one of a small team of twenty something filmmakers behind the internet sensation Loose Change. Referring to a version of this movie recently retooled for broad theatrical release, our narrator comments “Now there’s a new version for the screen. Conspiracies have become big business.” Debunkers attempting to cast 9/11 truth advocates as opportunists exploiting a national tragedy in order to turn a buck is an old and dirty trick. But it’s particularly dirty for several reasons.
First, there may be a few 9/11 truth filmmakers, authors and lecturers who, on occasion, see some modest returns for their worthy efforts, but the vast majority of those who’ve pursued this issue do so in their free time and at their own expense. Their efforts can be accurately summed up with one word; sacrifice. They sacrifice their time, energy and money (not to mention their safety) and all too often are the subject of ridicule and dismissiveness by their friends and families.
These charges are also unfair because it’s typically big money media minions who try to sell this nonsense—the same ones who are pulling in the really big bucks spinning half truths, marketing slander and trumpeting the lies of their corporate masters. A slick, mainstream documentary about an event as grave as 9/11 that shamefully leads us away from the truth rather than towards it, now that’s the real desecration.
It’s hard to imagine that Barry Jennings would ever intentionally try to deceive anyone. He just doesn’t look like the type. But he does look like the kind of man who does what he’s told, especially when it’s a matter of “national security.” And there’s no question that testimony he’s given to several sources since 9/11 differs considerably with what was aired on The Conspiracy Files.
Deputy Director of the New York City Housing Authority’s Emergency Services Department, Jennings recounts being trapped in WTC 7 for “an hour and a half” (TCF says it was three hours) just after entering the building at approximately 9 AM. When he first ascended to the emergency bunker on floor 23, he got a call from a “higher up” who was shocked to hear that anyone was still in the building. The caller urged Jennings to “Get out of there. Get out of there now,” a strange thing to say when, at the time, the only danger was that the Towers were on fire. WTC 7 had been evacuated as a precaution but it certainly wasn’t like Jennings was in any immediate danger.
When he was almost out of the building, Jennings has always claimed that a “big explosion…blew us [he and NYC Corporation Counsel Michael Hess] back into the 8th floor.” In the BBC program, he describes the scene: “There was an eerie sound. The whole building went dark and the staircase that I was standing on just gave way.” He also recounted hearing several other explosions as well.
The problem for Jennings is that he told TCF producers that statements he made to Loose Change—that he and Hess “stepped over bodies” as they were being lead out of the building by rescuers—had been misconstrued by Avery and his crew. He never actually saw any bodies and it was all a big misunderstanding. But when young Avery plays an actual recording of his chat with Jennings, things go down hill quickly: “The firefighter who took us down kept saying ‘do not look down.’ And I kept saying ‘why’…and, we’re stepping over people. And you know you can feel when you’re stepping over people.”
9/11 truther’s claims that WTC 7 was destroyed with explosives naturally jibe well with the Hess/Jennings testimony in which they both recount at least one huge explosion and several other smaller ones in WTC 7 well before the collapse of either towers. Though the veracity of Jenning’s testimony has been compromised by contradictions, this certainly doesn’t mean that all of what he said was untrue. As an employee of Rudy Giuliani’s, who can tell what orders he may have received from “higher ups” to alter and self-censor his comments to Loose Change and the BBC.
The Conspiracy Files predictably comes to the rescue of the inscrutable Manhattan real estate developer Larry Silverstein—owner of WTC 7 since the eighties and leaseholder of the entire WTC since shortly before 9/11— who is best known for comments he made in a television documentary in 2002.
In PBS’s America Rebuilds, Silverstein’s bold assertion, that he and the FDNY discussed the deteriorating situation on the phone that afternoon and decided that it would be best for everyone if they just ‘pulled’ Building 7 rather than let it collapse and kill any more people, has done much to attract suspicion. After all, demolishing a 47 storey skyscraper on the spur of the moment is not something that happens every day.
What Silverstein actually meant when he used the word ‘pull’ has been the subject of much controversy. The only two sentences chosen by the PBS filmmakers for inclusion in the ninety minute film are obviously a short excerpt from a much longer interview, so why they would choose these encrypted comments from Silverstein is hard to imagine. Since neither the filmmakers nor Silverstein clarify his statement with even the briefest of comments, we’re left to fend for ourselves, a burden few quality documentarians would inflict on their viewers. Reducing to a minimum confusing, ambiguous references is lesson one in the documentary filmmakers art, especially in regard to a subject as grave as 9/11.
Silverstein’s first sentence refers to the phone call mentioned above and the precarious situation on the ground. But it’s always been those last few words that really turned things upside down; the part when he says “…and they made that decision to ‘pull,’ uh, and we watched the building collapse” just as a video in the background shows WTC 7 in silhouette falling in a perfect vertical implosion. All semantics aside, it just sounds so damn clear what the man is saying: “we” made a tough decision and “they” brought the building down.
The use of the word ‘pull’ to mean evacuation (the definition Silverstein came to use over time) just doesn’t work in the sentence. Wouldn’t he have instead said something like “…they made that decision to pull the rescue workers out of the area just in time because, not long after, we watched the building collapse”? Knowing that this odd use of the word ‘pull’ would likely confuse viewers, why did he choose to use it at all?
But demolition, which takes only a moment, works perfectly in the sentence, and the last few words that Silverstein said that day, framed by a visual of the building being rolled up and put in his pocket, seems to speak for itself.
Odd, then, that the producers of The Conspiracy Files cut the segment short. That’s right, those key few words at the end of Silverstein’s short TV appearance—the ones that caused all the ruckus in the first place—and the video clip are conveniently snipped right off and the viewing public is deprived of the opportunity to do what Architects for 9/11 Truth founder Richard Gage urges them to do: “I ask every viewer to come to their own conclusion about the language Larry’s using.”
The Conspiracy Files’ chicanery continues by mentioning the insurance policy Silverstein signed “just two months” before 9/11 that upped the ante for terrorist attacks. According to TCF, it was compulsory to the deal, but that’s not the point. What they neglect to focus on is the far more relevant fact that the deal they’re referring to is Silverstein’s acquisition of the entire World Trade Center complex “just two months” prior to 9/11, the first time that control of the WTC had changed hands since it was built thirty years before and the first time it was ever put into private hands.
Silverstein’s sooty fingerprints are all over 9/11, but he’s not done burying himself yet. In a speech he gave this spring, he claimed that the North Tower’s enormous antenna created the humongous gash that newly discovered video shows running up the full height of WTC 7’s south face.
This straight, clean, narrow, hollowed out shaft is suspicious enough in its own right; wreckage that hit other glass and steel buildings that day ploughed rough, ugly gouges in the sides of buildings. But the fact that all extent video clearly shows the North Tower’s enormous antenna falling away to the south—the exact opposite direction of Building 7—is just the latest in the lies and duplicity we’ve come to expect from Mr. Silverstein.
What caused the bizarre gash in Building 7’s side is anyone’s guess, but one thing’s for sure; if Silverstein had to concoct a flimsy, desperate lie to explain its presence, it must be something worth looking into.
TCF plays one card so deftly that I made sure to remember it in case I need it in the future. Since its inception, the 9/11 truth movement has predictably been the target of merciless attacks from all quarters. Every anti-truth article, op-ed or website leads with slander and invective, blunt tools used by debunkers to beat back the doubt and disillusionment embodied by those they mockingly deride as “conspiracy theorists.”
Although several of the official types that we see interviewed in TCF don’t mince their words when they talk about those who doubt the official story (and, by implication, their stories), this particular documentary is relatively devoid of any serious name calling. Instead, the filmmakers do something very interesting. Instead of betraying their own roles as abusive debunkers, they cleverly flip the script and put themselves into the role of victim. No, it’s the rabid 9/11 ‘truthers’ who are the real brutes, cornering and threatening the heroes they’ve so callously misjudged.
“The scale of the conspiracy has grown [to include] not just the government and foreign intelligence but police, fire service and even the media” our BBC narrator says in disbelief. Several of these poor people tell their stories like they were on Oprah: “Since 9/11, Mark Loizeaux and his company [Controlled Demolition, Inc.] have been the subject of a hate campaign and even accused [sic] of mass murder.” “I’m disturbed by 9/11,” says Loizeaux, “but I think there are ways to handle it and ways that you don’t handle it. And you certainly don’t terrorize, terrorize people like the good folks that work here and family members.”
You know, I’ve known 9/11 ‘truthers’ to be persistent, pushy, even obnoxious on occasion, but I have never known them to be violent or threatening. Quite the contrary. I’ve also never heard them accuse Controlled Demolition, Inc. of being bombers, just compliant clean up men. I’m also concerned that the words terror and terrorist are being tossed about too frequently these days, especially by Bush backer types like Loizeaux. Controlled Demolition, Inc. is a major contributor to the RNC and has done lots of mop up jobs for the federal government, Oklahoma City for one. Richard Gage puts it best: “Mark Loizeaux is not unbiased… he doesn’t want to lose his top clients.”
When BBC reporter Jane Standley announced, live, on air, that WTC 7 had collapsed twenty minutes before it actually did, 9/11 ‘truthers’ naturally took notice. “It was very upsetting about a year ago because of the level of persecution and the virulence in which I was spoken about.” This may have been true but I never heard a word about the reporter herself. It was the BBC that got the attention. “[It’s] just very unfortunate that this whole …rather ridiculous situation has grown out of what’s really a very small and very honest mistake.” Yes, but, honest mistake or not, when a 47 storey building just fell out of the sky for no good reason and you announced it before it happened, people are likely to point it out.
When asked about who makes the decision to evacuate a building, FDNY Department Chief on 9/11, Daniel Nigro, is adamant: “We don’t need to ask permission from the owner, no.” His control of the scene that day makes him wary of doubters: “That’s why I would know that there is no conspiracy, ’cause for me to be a part of that would be obscene and it disgusts me to even think of it.”
He may be right. During the same speech in which Larry Silverstein delivered his antenna comment, a questioner mentioned that Nigro, as “Department Commander” on 9/11, denied talking to Silverstein on the phone that afternoon. When the questioner asked him for the name of the FDNY commander he did talk to that day, Silverstein ignored him and abruptly pushed on to the next question.
The South Tower Sideshow
The most overtly deceptive part of TCF is arguably the sleight of hand they use when describing the timing of the collapse of the South Tower. Remember, Barry Jennings arrived at WTC 7 shortly after 9AM. We know this because he and Hess are on record saying that they arrived at Building 7 after the first plane hit but before the second one did.
The claim that debris from the South Tower caused the dramatic explosion that Jennings recounted is demonstrably absurd because he specifically states that he saw both Towers still standing afterwards. Remember, this event caused he and Hess to make statements like “This is it; we’re dead. We’re not gonna make it out of here…the landing that we were standing on gave way. I was left there hanging…we were trapped on the eighth floor with smoke, thick smoke, all around us [after] the big explosion.”
But the claim that any dangerous amounts of debris from the South Tower ever struck WTC 7 in the first place is preposterous. I’ve heard a lot of inane statements from the media since 9/11 but this is surely one of the most far fetched and easily refutable. The fact that the BBC would try to float this astonishing assertion clearly bespeaks a certain desperation.
9/11 researchers have all but proven it unlikely that WTC 7 was heavily damaged by debris from the North Tower, much less the safely distant South Tower. But let’s not do this here. After all, the next segment is called…
“The debris of hubris is the chassis of genesis.” Since hubris is the main ingredient in the acts of those who perpetrated 9/11 and its cover up, it’s not surprising that its debris presents us with a mountain of clues.
The issue of debris damage is essential to the study of what did and did not cause the collapse of Building 7. The fact that even TCF stipulates that all of WTC 7’s wreckage was carted off and recycled without a proper investigation after what was arguably the most bizarre building failure in history is, by itself, an almost unimaginably irreconcilable revelation. Extensive investigations by fire officials are mandatory after all building collapses, especially ones that have generated so much suspicion.
The fact that the producers of TCF draw our attention away from this astonishing fact and focus it on the laughable scrap of steel examined by scientists because it apparently shows certain curious features of “erosion” is a skillful diversion that we do well to notice. This mangled bit of metal, apparently the only known piece of steel left from WTC 7’s collapse (!), is analyzed and spectralyzed, poked and prodded by “experts” who explain its anomalies very scientifically. Too scientifically. So scientifically that you feel like tearing your hair out.
The Conspiracy Files claims that debris impact from the South Tower created the “explosion” that Jennings and Hess said caused
the staircase to fall out from under them, made them fear for their lives and caused the building to catch on fire and then ultimately collapse.
As if all this weren’t enough, there’s another deceptive element to this story. The low-rise WTC Buildings 5 and 6 stood directly between WTC 7 and the South Tower creating a nine storey, debris proof barrier (fig. 4). Even if wreckage could have made it as far as Building 7, it clearly would have been stopped short before doing any harm. This amazing fact provides even more evidence of the BBC’s duplicity and astonishing lack of investigative integrity.
Since physical and photographic evidence conclusively proves that no wreckage of any kind struck Building 7 from the collapse of the South Tower, we can then state with certainty that the shattered glass doors and windows in WTC 7’s lobby could only have been caused by the collapse of the North Tower, which occurred twenty nine minutes later. But this remarkable revelation raises yet another round of disturbing questions.
The NIST study has famously claimed that catastrophic damage was inflicted on WTC 7 by the North Tower’s debris. As much as 25% of the total depth of the bottom third of Building 7 was allegedly “scooped out” by the avalanche of debris that TCF’s narrator claims made “a direct hit” on the side of the building. But photos shown in TCF clearly indicate that the entire four storey glass face of WTC 7’s south lobby is intact and survived the onslaught in fairly good condition. Some of the glass doors and windows are shattered but for the most part, it is noticeably not “scooped out” at all, especially not to 25% of its total depth.
They also play “snip the clip” again in this segment, much like they did with the Silverstein video. The footage that shows debris seemingly raining down on WTC 7 (taken from exactly the wrong angle to shed light on the matter) is cut off just before any impact, or lack thereof, might be seen.
The incomprehensibly transparent fairy tale that the BBC (not to mention civil authorities) present us with—that debris from either the North or the South Tower heavily damaged WTC 7—insults our intelligence beyond all bearing. That such an august crew of well funded, well connected filmmakers could have cooked up such a desperate scheme to dismiss 9/11 ’truthers’ allegations should tell us all we need to know about the breadth and dimensions of their duplicity.
The Office of Emergency Management’s headquarters on the 23rd floor of WTC 7 was only briefly mentioned in TCF and there is no mystery why. This command retreat, built by Rudy Giuliani in 1999, had its own air and water supply, emergency generators and was armored and reinforced to withstand any conditions that might arise in a terrorist attack or natural disaster—well, almost any.
An article in the NY Daily News printed shortly after 9/11described the OEM shelter as “the first ever aerie-style [emergency] bunker,” implying, of course, that not some but all of other similar command retreats in the past were built underground and well removed from high-risk areas. This is meant to reduce the chances that the facilities might be damaged and rendered inoperable should such an emergency arise—just like it did on 9/11. Naturally, the emergency command post in Building 7 wouldn’t be very useful if it was, you know, destroyed by the very event it was designed to withstand—just like it was on 9/11.
The decision to locate the OEM bunker in a building that stood in the midst of the number one terrorist target in the western hemisphere, the WTC complex, was not made without criticism. Richard Sheirer, the Police Commissioner’s Chief of Staff warned Giuliani and Co. that this plan was surely an act of lunacy. Even the 9/11 Commission addressed the issue, though half heartedly, after the fact.
The bizarre choice of locations for the OEM bunker and the coincidental timing of it’s construction have lead many theorists to speculate that it may not have been just an emergency command center after all. Although it’s never been proven conclusively, some ‘truthers’ believe that the OEM bunker was a command center for the conspirators instead. An “ops” center unlike any other built in the past; located at the WTC, the most likely terrorist target in the U.S.; with a bird’s eye view of what was obviously a conspiratorial operation; positioned on the upper floors of a building that was virtually a nexus for intelligence agencies that many have tied into the conspiracy; that was conveniently destroyed when it was no longer needed—well, you can see the dilemma.
We’ve been told repeatedly by the authorities that debris from the collapse of the North Tower struck Building 7 on 9/11 causing structural damage and fires that ultimately made it collapse seven hours later. If this were true, it would have made history for the simple fact that no such fire has ever caused the total failure of a steel framed skyscraper before. Not once.
TCF accompanies this segment with several videos of intense high-rise fires and many more are available on the web. These fires are always, without exception, the very definition of infernos (fig. 5) and entirely engulf the buildings in which they burn. Bright waves of orange flames roar out of windows, roiling clouds of thick black smoke rise from the buildings.
Since even the most intense of these fires has never caused a collapse, the fire in building 7 must have been particularly severe. And the fact that it occurred at Ground Zero towards the end of the most infamous day in American history must mean that hours of footage and hundreds of photographs of this conflagration must exist. The entire planet’s attention was focused on this small patch of ground all day long and for days to come. 9/11 was the single most dramatic television spectacle in human history.
So, all we need to do to settle the controversy about what debris did or did not do to WTC 7 and how much fire did or did not burn in the building is go to the photos and video. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. But, unbelievably, this is simply not possible. Why? Because it is one of the most disturbing facts of all about 9/11 that almost no video or photos of Building 7’s south face—the part allegedly hit by debris—have ever been made available to the public.
Don’t take my word for it, our narrator said it too: “This is some of the only footage of the south face of [WTC 7]…” The video in question is an excerpt from the newly discovered ABC News video taken from several miles away with a powerful telephoto lens. But I disagree with our narrator. This isn’t some of the only video of WTC 7’s south face, it’s the only video or photographic evidence of any kind ever seen by the public that actually shows what happened to WTC 7 when the North Tower collapsed. I’ve been looking for years trying to find any glimpse of Building 7’s south face that could support or refute doubts that WTC 7 ever suffered any significant structural damage at all from debris or fire, and this is all there is.
The only footage that we have seen of actual flames in Building 7 is a short video clip showing fire along a row of windows on the east side of the building (figs. 7-9). Up close, it looks fairly intense, but as we draw back from the scene, this fire begins to look less and less intimidating. But when we step way back and see how tiny the section of the enormous building where these fires occurred really is, it’s hard to take this silly row of flames very seriously.
You’d think that quality documentary filmmakers wouldn’t either, but that’s not the case. The people at TCF found the video of this impotent outbreak of fire so intriguing they showed it six times in their 59 minute documentary. They couldn’t show videos of fires anywhere else in the building because there aren’t any videos of fire anywhere else in the building. Bright yellow flames licking out of shattered windows occurred nowhere else in the enormous expanse of WTC 7’s outer skin.
The ABC News video was originally narrated by Peter Jennings (no relation to Barry). I first found this video, ironically enough, on a 9/11 debunking website this spring and have been writing about it ever since. Make absolutely sure to watch the short clip as many times as you need to decide for yourself (there’s a link below), but when you do, ask yourself this; Do you see any fire of any kind in WTC 7? All we see is smoke swirling around in front of WTC 7. Thin wispy smoke that theorists, including Architect Richard Gage, believe is not coming from Building 7 at all but is instead rising up from the low-rise building WTC 6 standing at the base of WTC 7 (fig. 10). WTC 6’s dramatic fires created enormous quantities of smoke that just got more intense as the day wore on.
Our narrator finishes the sentence she began above; “…and [the ABC News video] shows the whole side engulfed in smoke.” Smoke! Not engulfed in flames, engulfed in smoke! Even the Twin Towers showed us more flames and those were some truly disappointing fires. Of course, we’ve always had those photos of weak, barely visible flames looking lost and confused behind unbroken windows on the north side of the building (fig. 6), but that’s all, folks. Not a single other video clip or snapshot of orange flames anywhere else in WTC 7.
And don’t give me that nonsense about Lower Manhattan being in lockdown. NYC is the media capitol of the world. Are you honestly telling me that hundreds of people with handycams in buildings all around the area, not to mention surveillance cameras and high powered telephoto lenses on state-of-the-art video cameras mounted in helicopters and airplanes, weren’t overheating trying to capture as much of this spectacle as possible? Please.
Know what I think happened? I think that the 9/11 conspirators originally pushed the button on WTC 7 just after the collapse of the North Tower when it was completely hidden by the enormous debris cloud that smothered lower Manhattan. But, when the smoke cleared, Building 7 was still there; the demo system had failed. So they suppressed every bit of proof that WTC 7 wasn’t heavily impacted by debris or being overcome by fire and spent the years since 9/11 floating in the media the utter falsehood that it was. They had to. How else would they explain its absolutely inexplicable and unprecedented collapse?
Rotanz, Barnett, Spak and Papalia
OEM man Richard Rotanz was tasked with assessing the damage to WTC 7 after the collapse of the North Tower and recounts it with the exact same lisp Rudy Giuliani has: “We’re looking at the upper floors of Tower 7. You could see columns gone, floors collapsed, heavy smoke coming out and fire. The upper floors were an inferno.” An inferno, Mr. Rotanz? Are you sure you want to stick to that story?
The ABC News video was clearly shot after the enormous debris cloud from the collapse of the North Tower had dissipated. This means that what we’re seeing happened well after WTC 7 was hit with what we’ve proven could only have been negligible quantities of debris. Again, do you see even the suggestion of an inferno in Building 7’s “upper” floors? Use my handy color guide; fire is bright yellow/orange, smoke is dark grey to black.
This is what the ABC News video is all about. It shows no fire at all in a building that, by that time, should have been at least partially involved. Our narrator agrees: “The main fires were concentrated on floors six through to thirteen…There were fires initially on some of the upper floors.” Initially? Does this sound like an inferno to you? If it was, Mr. Rotanz, where are the photos and video to prove it? It just doesn’t seem like that much to ask for.
Fire Protection Engineer, Jonathan Barnett, will test our patience even further. Besides having an unhealthy fixation on an absurd twisted bit of metal that he found in a salvage yard, Barnett walks us through the 9 storey WTC 5 and dramatically recounts being “stunned” when he discovered “a major collapse” inside the building that he says was “simply due to fire.” But look at the photos in TCF. Do these interior scenes look blackened and burnt out to you? Is a short, nine storey, steel-framed structure really likely to suffer a catastrophic collapse from fire?
An aerial photo of WTC 5 (fig. 11) clearly shows that its west end was decimated by debris from the collapse of the North Tower. The “burnt out” sections of WTC 5 in TCF show enormous beams sheared off; damage that hundreds of tons of steel and concrete superheated by high explosives—not office fires—were more likely to have caused. With stakes this high, are we really going to just take the word of yet another “expert,” especially when there’s been so much chicanery elsewhere in the program?
Shortly following a brief segment featuring video that we’re told shows “much more clearly the extent of the damage” to WTC 7 from the collapse of the North Tower, “Honorary Deputy Chief” Steve Spak talks us through some photos he took of the scene—both of them. One shows (no kidding) a damaged bit of the southeast corner of WTC 7 no bigger than maybe 20’ by 20’ peeking through some smoke. “To me, that’s major structural damage” says Spak. He then turns the page to show us his other photo, just an image of the small pocket of fire on the east side that TCF shows a video of repeatedly. What made the producers of TCF think that the eloquent “Chief” Spak was going to help their cause is a total mystery.
Also, the brief “extent of the damage” video mentioned above shows us just generic scenes of wreckage and absolutely nothing recognizable as WTC 7. These scenes could have been anywhere. The doubtful pedigree of TCF’s photographic evidence is a big issue and, under the circum-stances, I see no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt.
“I think [9/11 skeptics] have no respect for…all the people that died that day. It’s like a slap in their face.” FDNY lieutenant Frank Papalia seems like an earnest man as he recounts his experiences at Ground Zero; “I’ve heard people talk about it that come from Cincinnati and California…I was here, you weren’t.” I feel for Mr. Papalia, but the simple fact is that the greatest gains made by 9/11 ‘truthers’ have been spearheaded by the families of victims, those most concerned with honoring their dead. It was they who lobbied congress and pushed for the convening of the so-called “independent” 9/11 Commission, an effort bitterly opposed by the Bush administration.
Towards the end of TCF, we encounter a trio who air a regular program on community TV called Hardfire, Liberty Issues in Focus that is “aimed at debunking conspiracy theories.” Really? Well, they have their work cut out for them. Good thing they weren’t on the air during Watergate.
Mark Roberts, head of something called WTC 7 Lies (not mistakes or ill-proven points; lies) complains that “[truthers] had a big head start. When I got involved in this in April of 2006, there were already over a million pages on the internet devoted to 9/11 conspiracy theories.” There it is again, that “we’re the underdogs/victims” thing. 9/11 ‘truthers’ had a big head start? Are you kidding? Against whom? The entire world’s media that hammered into our heads the fairy tale of Osama Bin Laden and his 19 turbaned henchmen? Who are these guys trying to fool? Worse still, who’s listening to them?
“There is nothing that could falsify their beliefs” says lead anchor Ronald Wieck. What this means I have no idea. “There is simply no evidence that you could show them [that they’re wrong].” Mr. Wieck and I are in complete agreement here. Roberts follows up; “The entire game…with them is picking little anomalies out…but not connecting them in any coherent way.” If, by little, he means 47 storeys and, by anomaly, he means obvious implosion then yes, we’re still on the same page.
“There’s no coherent hypothesis and we keep asking for one.” Now I’m getting irritated. Think of how much time, energy and money and how many pages of dense, technical jargon a team of government specialists would need to prove that these guys aren’t jerks. I prefer to use the same simple method that I used to determine that WTC 7 was destroyed with explosives; I just look at the video. And when I do, my findings differ; Misters Wieck and Roberts are jerks. Big ones. You can tell just by looking.
Bush’s Chief Counter Terrorism expert on 9/11 was the famous Richard Clarke of “I failed you, we all failed you” fame. Pulling out a gun this big is just the kind of thing that the BBC does because it can. The fact that Clarke was apparently “with Dick Cheney at the Whitehouse that morning” is a little like the fact that Bonnie was with Clyde during the heist in Oklahoma.
“[9/11 skeptics] don’t understand government and clearly have never worked in government,” Clarke begins. His assertion, that beltway insiders “will tell you two things; the government doesn’t have the competence for a large scale conspiracy…and, number two, it can’t maintain secrecy,” is proven untrue by countless historical examples of just that; quite successful shadow government crimes and cover ups.
When these little schemes are blown, it’s not usually because of whistleblowers and blabbermouths, it’s most often because of relentless pressure from investigative journalists or committed activists—and, of course, royal “cock ups” like 9/11. Naturally, we only hear about the botched “ops.” The CIA is enjoying record recruitment and funding.
Would this be the case if their schemes were being routinely exposed? The fact that intel agencies are more ubiquitous than ever is proof that for every “op” that does get blown there are presumably many more that went off without a hitch. How could they stay in business otherwise?
Clarke recounts visiting Building 7 on several occasions and describes it as just another office building in downtown New York; “You could’ve rented an office or floor, anybody could’ve.” According to Barry Jennings, all you had to do was make it past security; “[WTC 7] had a lot of security. There was always police officers and undercover cops out front. It was very, very heavily guarded.” Do you really think for a moment that the DoD, Secret Service, SEC, IRS, the OEM and the largest secret domestic CIA station—all tenants of WTC 7 and Larry Silverstein—would be indifferent to who rented the floors or offices right next door?
“Could one use a controlled demolition on any building? Sure. Did it happen to WTC 7 on 9/11? No, it did not.” I’d love to respond but I think I’ll defer to Loose Change’s eloquent Avery; “I don’t care what kind of fucking experience he has, man…You honestly think Richard Clarke is going to come out and say ‘Oh yeah, of course the government was a part of it. Oh yeah, of course there was a cover up.’ No, he’s going to toe the fucking party line…he’s going to defend his ex-bosses. C’mon man.”
There are many other points contained within the BBC’s The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 – The Third Tower that call out for examination—large pools of molten steel found under the wreckage of all three WTC towers, a fact made famous by Controlled Demolition’s Mark Loizeaux himself; the fire alarm system in WTC 7 just happening to have been disabled on the one day in history when a skyscraper burnt to death like no other skyscraper had before; the fact that NIST diagrams displayed in a Powerpoint presentation in TCF show little if any real damage to Building 7’s south face (and a straight, clean, narrow gash running up its entire face)—but surely the point is made. When just the discrepancies detailed above lead to the obvious conclusion that this television program is just a slick and sleazy con job, how much further do we really need to go with the BBC and its “investigation”?
As is always the case with these more elaborate attempts to discredit 9/11 truth, the producers make the “inside job” case for 9/11 ‘truthers’ despite themselves and prove yet again that these big money hit pieces have always been one thing in particular for committed truth seekers; opportunity. When it’s this easy to discount even well funded counter attacks from media leviathans like the BBC, ‘truthers’ should look forward anxiously to the next time these guys take aim.
The video of WTC 7 collapsing in a perfect vertical implosion, so long suppressed in America, is shown over and over again in TCF. Anyone who sees it can’t help but be moved (whether they admit it or not). They even show a side by side shot—WTC 7 on one side and a similar building being imploded on the other. They resemble each other perfectly as they fall.
When our narrator tells the world that all the wreckage from the most suspicious and unprecedented building failure in history was carted off without examination, even fence sitters are likely to go “huh?” And the fact that the OEM bunker, specifically designed and built for just such an emergency, was destroyed in the attack because Rudy Giuliani had the bright idea to locate it in a target area will not be lost on the observant either.
Isn’t it true that the myriad outrageous obfuscations and sleight of hand contained in debunking efforts like TCF, not to mention Popular Mechanics and The History Channel, prove beyond a reasonable doubt that even the most paranoid fantasies we have about media manipu-lation are a reality? When various beholden cliques control the mainstream news media at the highest levels, is it any wonder that key issues are framed in ways that reflect the loyalties of their cronies? When our colleges and universities have become proficient in the fine art of advancing like minded individuals from certain families and backgrounds to arenas where they can hob-nob and network with those who can be relied upon to “toe the fucking party line,” can we really discount the idea that it’s not just quite possible but entirely likely that every day of our lives we’re being played as fools by what is essentially a country club, frat boy, secret sub-culture mentality?
When did we evolve to a point when we trust lengthy, technical treatises over what we can see with our own eyes? If the media has fallen into the hands of what are obviously propagandists of the highest order, can we really trust that the technical departments of university and government, and the extensive studies they produce, are immune to this kind of influence?
The most effective evidentiary elements put forth by 9/11 researchers and activists have always been the simple ones. No one ever needed a masters in engineering or architecture to understand the significance of the photos and video in the 9/11 data base and what they tell us. Did anyone need to be a civics major to determine for themselves that the government’s response to hurricane Katrina was a national disgrace? Did any of us need a degree in poli-sci or, for that matter, photographic analysis to see that when JFK’s head gets blown back and to the left just before a crowd of onlookers rushes the grassy knoll pointing and shouting, that there must have been something terribly, terribly wrong with the findings of the voluminous Warren Commission Report?
What does it tell us when leftist gods like Noam Chomsky, famous for his critiques of Camelot, not only dismisses 9/11 truth seekers (thus causing his hoards of loyal followers to do the same) but is also apparently a big fan of Earl Warren and his magic bullet? Chomsky takes us almost all the way to the promised land, but just when we need him the most, he jumps out of the car. In his books he recounts one sleazy government covert “op” after another—CIA coups and assassinations; lies to provoke wars, etc.—and yet his attack on 9/11 truth uses the same reasoning as Richard Clarke’s; there’s no way that an operation so big could ever be kept covert. If anyone should know that just the opposite is true, it’s Noam Chomsky.
At a time when information, more than any other single commodity, shapes and contorts history itself, has it ever been more important to carefully scrutinize those who traffic in it? We put more discernment into who we buy auto insurance from than into the quality of our news sources and whether or not they can be trusted to deliver unbiased, untainted fare. When doctors are guilty of gross negligence they can be sued and lose their licenses. How often are mainstream news people, whose actions can and often do result in far greater bloodshed and misery, answer for their malpractice? The BBC and their people at The Conspiracy Files have just this kind of iniquity to answer for, and it’s a good bet that they never will.
The ABC News video can be seen at:
For a video of Larry Silverstein’s antenna comments, go to:
Copyright Darkprints, July, 2008
Source URL: Jeremy Baker’s Darkprints