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8 House Members View Draft Bill on Independent Science/Tech Probe of WTC 1, 2, 7 Collapses

By       Message Barbara Ellis     Permalink
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International critics began speaking out. Former president of Italy Francesco Cossiga told a major Rome daily newspaper in late November 2007 that it was common knowledge among global intelligence agencies that the Central Intelligence Agency and Mossad, Israel’s counterpart, had done the attacks to get Western powers to control Iraq and Afghanistan. Japan’s minority party leader Yukihisa Fujita was televised nationally in the Diet in January 2008 demanding it conduct an investigation on behalf of the 24 nationals who died in the attacks. In Canada last June, the New Democratic Party Deputy House Leader, Libby Davies, presented a petition from 500 Canadians to launch its own investigation (24 dead Canadians), and to “pursue the guilty parties in the international courts.” That was the view also of an Italian member of the European Union’s Parliament, Giulietta Chiesa, who wants an international tribunal. [48]

In the U.S., the outcry for a second investigation is monumental set against a poll showing 84% doubt the Administration’s official story about 9/11. Manhattan canvassers from a 9/11 group have started the ball rolling by gathering 25,000 signatures toward the 30,000 needed to get a referendum measure for a 2009 special election in New York City establishing a privately funded, subpoena-powered independent 9/11 commission. [49]

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A tsunami of supporters for a substantive investigation has come from the Jersey Girls, both co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission, but a host of national figures: writer Gore Vidal, actor Ed Asner, former Senators Lincoln Chafee and Mike Gravel, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura (a onetime demolition expert in the Navy Seals), presidential candidates Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul, former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, U.S. House candidate Cindy Sheehan,  Daniel Ellsberg, MD (of Pentagon Papers fame), the Green party, and Arizona state senator Karen S. Johnson. And if elected president Nov. 4, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama vowed he would take action (“…if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in cover-ups of those crimes with knowledge forefront…”). [50]

The proposed new bill to investigate 14 possible causes of the WTC collapses provides  Congress and a new Administration a major avenue to stave off the embarrassment of international inquiries and tribunals. More importantly, however, it provides a second chance to rectify the heavily discredited, significantly limited studies of FEMA and NIST and the Administration’s  questionable concealing of most WTC data as a national security risk. If builders and owners cannot find out what caused the collapses of WTC 1, 2, and 7, what kind of construction codes can protect tenants and property against future attacks? Biased and implausible research combined with indefensible secrecy can only continue and intensify the current public and professional charges that “9/11 Was An Inside Job.” And cast doubt on the veracity of any research contracted to FEMA and/or NIST.

These are much the same conditions that have confronted juries or truth seekers for centuries. But ultimately as Galileo’s theory about the sun proved, truth has a way of slipping through the most suppressive and censorious hands. As the poet (and retired censor) John Milton observed nearly four centuries ago:

Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter. [51]

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Whatever the outcome in this proposed investigation, at least definitive information helpful for safety protection—other than fire—in high-rise buildings is likely to emerge. It may also lay to rest once and for all whether 9/11 was an inside job.

[1] “A bill to establish an independent committee of scientific and technical experts to investigate the structural failures causing the collapse on September 11, 2001 of New York City’s World Trade Center’s Buildings No. 1, 2, and 7, and to make recommendations for legislative action and federal regulatory changes to address such problems in present and future high-rise buildings.” July 16, 2008, 1.

[2] Ibid., 1.

[3] Barry Ball, Mdiv, facilitator, Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance; Barbara Ellis, Ph.D., former professor of technical journalism, Oregon State University; Joel S. Hirschhorn, Ph.D, former professor of engineering, University of Wisconsin/Madison and senior associate in the Congressional Office of Technical Assessment; Warren Pease, BA, writer and technical editor.

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[4] Personal observation.

[5] Patrick O’Driscoll, “High-rises remain vulnerable after 9/11.” USA TODAY, Sept. 25, 2002 ( [1-3]).

[6] NIST’s World Trade Center Investigation, Fact Sheets from NIST, Sept. 8, 2006 (click here [2]). No data is available yet from NIST specifying WTC 7 research costs, but the budget proposal for laboratory projects in FY2005, the year research on No. 7 began—considered by a House/Senate conference—was $373,372,000   (

[7] President George W. Bush, press conference, Sept. 15, 2006 ( l1-2].


[8] The three were Richard Gage, Steven Jones, Ph.D., and Kevin Ryan (Letter to Stephen Cauffman, NIST, from Richard Gage, Steven Jones, and Kevin Ryan, Sept. 15, 2008 ( [passim]).

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Dr. Ellis is the principal of Ellis & Associates, LLC, a writers group in Portland OR, a nominee for a Pulitzer Prize in history in 2004 (The Moving Appeal), and a former journalism professor at Louisiana's McNeese State University and Oregon State (more...)

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