"We start with the fact that large quantities of molten steel were observed in basement areas under rubble piles in all three building: the Twin Towers and WTC7. ...The photographs ...by Frank Silecchia show chunks of the hotel metal being removed from the North Tower on September 27, 2001 (according to the photographer's aid). Notice the color of the lower portion of the extracted metal --this tells us much about the temperature of the metal and provides important clues regarding its composition, as we shall see." ..."On the basis of photographic and video evidence as well as related data and analyses, I have provide thirteen reasons for rejecting the official hypothesis, according to which fire and impact damage caused the collapse of the Twin Tower and WTC7, in favor of the controlled-demolition hypothesis. The goal of this paper is to promote further scrutiny of the official government-sponsored reports as well as serious investigation of the controlled-demotion hypothesis. (No rebuttal of my arguments for an in-depth investigation can be complete, of course, unless it addresses all of these points.)"
Shermer's "rebuttal" of Jones consists of quoting Jones and contradicting him. But Shermer's practiced fallacies are not confined to Jones. For those who believe that Building 7 fell due to controlled demolition, some of the most powerful "evidence" seemingly comes from WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein's alleged "confession" that he authorized the tower's destruction. The quote in question comes from a September, 2002 PBS Special called America Rebuilds, in which Silverstein says:
--Dr, Steven E. Jones, Physicist and Archeometrist. [Prof. Jones' peer-reviewed paper is available as a PDF file here.]
- I remember getting a call from the, er, fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, "We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it." And they made that decision to pull and we watched the building collapse.
--Larry Silverstein, 911 Quotes [my link, LH]
To conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones at prisonplanet.com, this quote seems to be a "smoking gun" because they interpret the phrase "pull it" tobe "industry jargon for taking a building down with explosives."15 Silverstein seems to be saying that he and the firefighters decided to pull (destroy) Building 7, and watched it fall after authorizing the demolition. No building could be controllably demolished so quickly, the conspiracy theorists go onto argue, so WTC 7 must have been prepared for demolition long in advance.
On closer inspection, this supposedly devastating evidence does not seem to mean what the 9/11 Truth Movement thinks it means. There is far from unanimous industry agreement that the phrase "pull it" always signifies a controlled demolition with explosives - more specific phrases such as "pull away" would be used to designate the specific operation to be performed.16 And of course, "pull" has many common language uses quite separate from demolition lingo. But if Silverstein wasn't describing a decision to destroy WTC 7, what could the words "pull it" mean?
"I remember getting a call from the Fire Department commander, telling me they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, you know, 'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is just pull it.' And they made that decision to pull and then we watched the building collapse."If Silverstein had been referring to the "firefighters" themselves, he might have said "pull them" or "pull them out! But he didn't! He said "pull it" and, in the jargon of the trade "it" was Building 7. Since when do even callous people begin referring to other people (plural) as "it"? Not even Silverstein would have done that! People are a "them". A building is an "it"!
--Larry Silverstein, 911 Quotes
"In the afternoon of September 11, Mr. Silverstein spoke to the Fire Department Commander on site at Seven World Trade Center. The Commander told Mr. Silverstein that there were several firefighters in the building working to contain the fires. Mr. Silverstein expressed his view that the most important thing was to protect the safety of those firefighters, including, if necessary, to have them withdraw from the building."Compare the "clarification" with Silverstin's actual words! The "clarification" hardly supports either the Debunking site or Shermer. It is the work of a PR flack. In other respects, Shermer's argument in this respect is not really Shermer's. It belongs to 911 Research.net, what Shermer would fallaciously "label" a conspiracy site, who plays a better "devil's advocate" than Shermer plays the devil himself. (In other words, Michael, we've heard all your stuff before and are even less than impressed with them now)
However, there are several problems with this explanation.Shermer's conclusion sounds remarkably similar:
Of course there are even greater problems with the implication that Silverstein and the FDNY decided to demolish the building only after the attack on the Twin Towers.
- According to Chapter 5 of FEMA's Building Performance Study , firefighters were never in the building: "Preliminary indications were that, due to lack of water, no manual firefighting actions were taken by FDNY."
- Silverstein's statement implies a close temporal proximity between "that decision to pull" and "watch[ing] the building collapse," giving no time for the fires to become more severe and do what fires have never before done: cause the total collapse of a steel-frame high-rise.
However, if we imagine that the "decision to pull" had been made before 9/11/01, Silverstein's comment makes more sense as an admission that there had been a deliberate decision to demolish the building.
- Rigging a building for controlled demolition normally takes weeks of preparation -- far longer than the at most a few hours between the determination that "they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire," and the 5:20 PM collapse of the building.
- The building had several areas of fire -- hardly conditions under which a demolitions team could be expected to lay high explosives.
There's also the problem that, as even the 9/11 Truth Movement admits, prepping a building for demolition takes considerable time and effort. Usually a building targeted for demolition has been abandoned for considerable time and partially gutted to allow explosives intimate contact with the structure of the building. But since all of the WTC buildings were occupied right up to 9/11, how did the government gain access to wire 3 towers for complete demolition without anyone noticing? Imagine trying to sneak wires and bombs into buildings while thousands of people are working in offices, riding the elevators and milling about in the halls - that scenario is unlikely in the extreme.The fact is: someone did do the "wiring" and getting in and out was not a problem. There numerous witnesses to the comings and goings. Had this crime been investigated all that testimony might have made its way into an official record. But --not! Bush has covered this crime up! Unless, of course, you subscribe to the "theory" that concrete-coated steel girders can be melted in minutes with cool burning kerosene fires! Absurd! If one wishes to be logical, one simply must be prepared to follow facts to logical conclusions --even if you don't like the consequences, even if the conclusions run counter to your prejudices and pre-conceived notions. No one wanted to believe what the evidence points to. No one wanted to accept the logical consequences of the facts, the multitudinous Bush lies, the laws of physics. The Twin Towers were largely "un-occupied" at the time of the attacks. Access prior to the attacks was not the problem. Entire floors were unoccupied and were the "site" of extensive and even "mysterious" renovations. A recently published chart proves that the offending airliners "targeted" precisely those floors where "renovations" were known to have been going on in the months preceding 911.
NIST report NCSTAR1-6A, page xxxvii (Via 911 Blogger): in WTC 1, floors 92 through 100 and 102 were upgraded; and in WTC 2, floors 77, 78, 88, 89, 92, 96 and 97 were upgraded. [See: Chart I, Chari II, Chart III, ] a number of the floors affected by the fires on September 11, 2001. Specifically, In the years between 1995 and 2001, thermal protection was upgraded in These renovations covered the almost exact same floors as where the "planes" hit-- particularly they spanned the "plane-hit" floors perfectly for WTC1 (94-98), and covered the lowest floor of the "plane-hit" floors (78-84) for WTC2.At 610 feet, 47 stories, Building 7 would have been the tallest building in 33 states. It was not hit by an airplane and there is absolutely no mention of it in the report of the 911 Commission, lately disowned by the committe co-chairs. Watch the collapse video here. Six years on, our government has not seen fit to publish a complete explanation of its fall. Conan Doyle's creation, Sherlock Holmes, said:
Simply put, this is too much of a coincidence to be mere chance: that the same regions of both towers where the demolition started following the "plane hits" were the same regions that were recently "upgraded".
"When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." -Sherlock Holmes.When the "official conspiracy theory" is, thus, eliminated, that leaves the only logical and scientific explanation that makes sense and explains the observable facts consistent with the laws of science and logic.