Stephen Webster's "Building What?" article at Alternet

9/11 Families Ask: What Happened to the Third Building That Collapsed in the WTC Attacks?
A new ad campaign featuring the family members of 9/11 victims, which does not focus on conspiracy theories, is getting serious treatment in the mainstream media.
November 15, 2010 |

A new television ad campaign featuring the family members of 9/11 victims has succeeded in garnering what 9/11 activists have lacked for years: serious treatment in the mainstream media.

Granted, that media was Fox News host Geraldo Rivera, who in a former iteration ran a Jerry Springer-like daytime talk show. That and, the last time Rupert Murdoch's conservative-tilted television channel seriously talked about issues pertaining to 9/11, they were calling for a public official's resignation over a signature on one of the "9/11 truth" petitions.

Still, at the end of his serious-yet-brief treatment of questions surrounding the collapse of World Trade Center 7 (WTC 7, pictured), Rivera admitted that the activists had made him "much more open minded" about questions surrounding 9/11.

Rivera spoke in response to an ad playing in 30-second bytes on screens all around New York City, which does not focus on conspiracy theories. It does not feature hip-hop beats in the background or winded, red-faced protesters dressed in black shouting at reporters. It doesn't even mention President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney or the systemic failures in America's air defenses.

Instead, it puts the spotlight on people who lost family members in the 2001 attacks. Patriotic background music plays as viewers are gently reminded that not two, but three buildings collapsed on 9/11.

"Although the official explanation is that fire brought down building seven, over 1,200 architects and engineers have looked into the evidence and believe there's more to the story," they say.

Then they implore viewers to help them seek justice, for their families, simply by visiting a web site:

Their campaign's name, "Building What?" was allegedly taken from the response offered by New York Supreme Court Justice Edward H. Lehner, when asked if he knew about WTC 7.


"Up until now, only those considered nutjobs questioned the official conclusion, that office fires caused by the nearby catastrophe of the towers collapsing brought down building number seven," Geraldo said before introducing his guests.

Cue a clip of Rosie O'Donnell.

"If explosives were involved," he continued, "that would mean the most obnoxious protesters in recent years ... were right."

Geraldo called the new television ad "not so easy to dismiss as those demonstrators were."

The ad is being sponsored by donations to the groups New York City Coalition for Accountability Now (NYC CAN), Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911) and others. They're calling for the New York City council to launch an investigation into the collapse of building seven.

NYC CAN, a nonpartisan association of over 100 9/11 family members, is the same group behind a 2009 ballot initiative requesting a new 9/11 investigation. It secured more than enough support to qualify for the ballot but the city ultimately blocked it from going before the voters, citing improperly collected signatures.

At time of this writing, AE911 said it had among its members, "1,346 verified architectural and engineering professionals who have put their professional reputations on the line to publicly voice their disagreement with NIST’s findings."

One of Geraldo's guests, Bob McIlvaine, whose son was killed on 9/11, also appeared in a longer, web-exclusive ad released in March after the delivery of a petition and information packets to members of the New York City council.

"What caught my eye," Rivera explained, "was their claim that 1,300 architects and engineers examined the evidence about building seven's collapse and disagree with the official report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)."

NIST's report, released years after the 9/11 Commission Report, argued that the "new phenomenon" of thermal expansion could bring down a steel frame structure. The scientists added that their findings made them worry numerous other structures could be prone to the same style of collapse.

In spite of their conclusions, only three skyscrapers are known to have officially collapsed from hydrocarbon fires weakening steel supports, and all of them fell on Sept. 11, 2001.

Oddly enough, that same day the BBC reported that building seven had fallen some 23 minutes before it went down and featured a reporter speaking about the third dose of tragedy even as the tower remained standing behind her. Discovery of the mistaken and ill-timed reportage has since fueled talk of an international conspiracy, but the network insists it was simply mistaken and has adamantly denied allegations that it received advance notice of the collapse.

"Building seven came down, went into a sudden collapse across the full width and length of the building, for 2.25 seconds, which amounted to 105 feet or eight stories, eight 13-foot-tall stories -- it was in full free-fall acceleration, " explained Tony Szamboti, a mechanical engineer who appeared on Fox News with McIlvaine.

"That is impossible because, in a natural collapse, columns would have to buckle," he said. "When columns buckle, there is a minimum resistance. ... It would slow down."

"What are you suggesting brought it down?" Geraldo asked.

"I'm suggesting there was some form of demolition devices in that building," he replied. "... I'm not saying I know what it is. I'm saying that it was at freefall acceleration and the NIST admitted to that."

Geraldo agreed that it looked like a structure "being demolished by the professionals who can actually collapse a building right into its own footprint".

"Why do you think they're lying about it?" he asked, inviting his guest to speculate.

Szamboti didn't take the bait.

"I don't really know all the details of why they're lying about it," he said, affirming his position without dipping into the conspiratorial nature of the various 9/11 theories. "I can't read their minds. All I can say is, scientifically, it's impossible for fire to have done what we say."

Geraldo said the new NYC CAN campaign and the serious individuals behind it had made him "much more open minded" about 9/11 activism.

This video was broadcast by Fox News on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010.

Key points

"not so easy to dismiss as those demonstrators were."
Obnoxious is counterproductive. It just gives them a reason to reject the Truth Movement as a bunch of raving lunatics.

Geraldo agreed that it looked like a structure "being demolished by the professionals who can actually collapse a building right into its own footprint".
The videos of WTC 7 are the mother of all smoking guns. This is something most people, including Geraldo, can recognize.

"I don't really know all the details of why they're lying about it,"
Szamboti didn't take the bait.
This is critical. As long as we concentrate on the videos of WTC 7 imploding and falling at free fall acceleration we eliminate the "conspiracy nut-job" label and it becomes irrelevant.

* * * * *

Thanks to Richard Gage AIA for creating Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth.
This the credibility factor.

Thanks to Dr.David Ray Griffin for the brilliant idea of the "Building What?" campaign. This was pure genius.

Thanks to Bob McIlvaine and the family members who bring further credibility and the all important emotional factor.

Thanks to Tony Szamboti for staying on point and presenting the case for CD in a very professional manner.

And finally, thanks to Geraldo for the first fair look at 9/11 on MSM TV.

This is the tipping point. Now is the time to focus our energy and money to keep this campaign going. I will give all that I can to this effort and I suggest everyone do the same.

Money talks.


Talked to Bob McIlvaine, and he's getting so much praise, I'm incredibly happy for him. I heard a level of satisfaction in his voice, and that was an amazing thing to hear. Good job NYCCAN.

Good job NYCCAN

Thanks for giving credit to NYCCAN. I had left them out.

Charles Krauthammer vs. Geraldo Rivera

I wonder what fellow Fox News employee Charles Krauthammer thinks about Geraldo's open mindedness towards 9/11? He wrote this about green-jobs czar Van Jones,

"You can't sign a petition demanding not one but four investigations of the charge that the Bush administration deliberately allowed Sept. 11, 2001 -- i.e., collaborated in the worst massacre ever perpetrated on American soil -- and be permitted in polite society, let alone have a high-level job in the White House....It's beyond radicalism, beyond partisanship. It takes us into the realm of political psychosis, a malignant paranoia that, unlike the Marxist posturing, is not amusing. It's dangerous...You can no more have a truther in the White House than you can have a Holocaust denier -- a person who creates a hallucinatory alternative reality in the service of a fathomless malice."


is a rabid, might-makes-right neocon. To be identified as 'dangerous' by such a standard-bearer of the existing order is a great honor and as strong an affirmation as we could hope for that we are indeed on the right track.

'...hallucinatory alternative reality'--he'd be hilarious if he weren't completely serious.

I know this pained the editors at Alternet horribly............ have to present this article.
Joshua Holland is about the most anti-9/11 truther there is, having horribly insulted the movement in his articles in the past.
Now, to have to put this up on horrible for him.
I feel his pain.
Nine years and barely a mention of the massive evidence of lying by our own government about 9/11. Not even a mention of nanothermite on the pages of Alternet.
I tried like hell to get them to recognize the unarguable evidence for the fraud of the official story and the coverup, but to no avail. And I got banned from being able to comment for my efforts. Guitar Bill was allowed to stay. Interesting.
That was a few years ago.
Now, they are shamed into breaking their censorship by such obvious stories like this.
And yet still, no real story from them besides just a copy paste from another site, Raw Story.
Will they lose their funding from Corporate/special interest foundational financial support that they get?
We'll have to see.

There's the ingenuity of the Big Lie

I feel your pain; I've been there. But now is not the time to give up. It's a pleasure to see how a vast majority of comments on Alternet come from informed truthers.

Very true.

And the comments opposing those comments do not seem to be well thought out or informative..........sort of desperately defensive.
And not convincing.