Dwain Deets LTE: Protecting the public from information
Letter to Editor, North County Times, published August 3, 2010
We have a federal agency showing disdain for the Freedom of Information Act. Dr. Patrick Gallagher, Director of National Institute for Standards and Technology, denied a request from structural engineer Ronald Brookman, who sought detailed structural analysis information gathered by NIST when they determined the cause of the World Trade Center Building 7 collapse. Gallagher's stated reason for denial was that releasing it "might jeopardize public safety."
What might jeopardize public safety is "not" allowing professionals in the building industry such as Mr. Brookman to independently study the NIST analysis of the highly anomalous building failure. A 47-story high-rise suddenly collapses straight down into its own footprint — highly anomalous.
President Obama embraced transparency and openness in government on day one of his new administration. Gallagher issued this determination on July 9, 2009, more than five months later — the exact opposite of openness in government. What is the public to make of this?
And where is our Congress? Not one member of Congress has raised a single word of concern. Does Congress no longer have oversight responsibility? Are you OK with the authorities thumbing their noses at you?