Demographic, Environmental,
Security Issues Project

March 2005


WTC Building 7 – The 911 Smoking Gun?

by Ronald Bleier

Was 9/11 an inside job? Take 10 minutes to review video of the third building to collapse on 9/11, WTC Building 7; and a related slide show and then follow the logic: If Building 7 was destroyed through a controlled demolition so were the Twin Towers. If the Twin Towers were destroyed by demolition than Osama Bin Laden and his alleged conspirators didn’t do it.

One of the difficulties in determining whether or not to believe the official story about 9/11, is the enormous amount of information available on the Internet, in books, and perhaps a dozen videos dedicated to 9/11 inquiry. The very plethora of information (and disinformation) is daunting to many who can’t afford the time and energy to sift through the torrent of data and analysis in a timely manner.

One quick solution to help interested people decide whether 9/11 was an inside job is to recommend David Ray Griffin’s The New Pearl Harbor (2004).[1] Griffin’s book is a masterpiece of concise and coherent compilation of the available plausible evidence indicating that the official story -- that the attacks of 9/11 were planned and executed by al-Qaeda terrorists – cannot be accurate.

For those who are not yet ready to make the commitment to obtain and read a book on 9/11, but who wish to learn more, a ten-minute solution is available. It only takes a few minutes to view video on the Internet of the collapse of Building 7, the 47 story skyscraper located immediately north of the WTC complex about 300 feet from the North Tower. Viewers will note the almost vertical collapse of the building. Only controlled demolitions have achieved vertical collapses of upright steel structures.

After viewing the video, many will agree with Dan Rather who said on CBS News that very evening that the collapse of Building 7 was “reminiscent of those pictures we’ve all seen too much on television before when a building was destroyed by well placed dynamite to knock it down.” [2]

In addition, viewers may like to put the remaining time to good use by screening the 17 slides that make up Jim Hoffman’s slide show presentation regarding Building 7’s collapse.

For those ready to perform the experiment, this may be a good time to view video of the collapse at: http://www.wtc7.net/vdocs/wtc7_collapse2.mpg and/or http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/wtc7.html

Jim Hoffman’s 2003 slide show presentation can be found at http://911research.wtc7.net/talks/b7/index.html

How did it happen that the nearly instant collapse of Building 7 involving the simultaneous destruction of its 58 perimeter steel columns and 25 core steel columns, all fireproofed, could have been disappeared so efficiently down the memory hole. As Jim Hoffman noted, the collapse of Building 7 did not even require a NOVA/Discovery Channel - style public relations campaign as explanation. Building 7 became a footnote, largely ignored by the public as well as the 9/11 Commission.

The Connection between the collapse of Building 7 and the Twin Towers

Once viewers are satisfied that Building 7 came down as a result of a controlled demolition, they may well ask whether its destruction entails that the Twin Towers also came down through similar means, and not because of the impact of the planes and the resulting fires. The question is critical because as Jim Hoffman argues, if the destruction of the Twin Towers (plus Building 7) were caused by demolition, the official story collapses since Osama Bin Laden did not have the means to demolish the buildings from within. “Demolition is an all or nothing proposition: There is no plausible deniability.” [3]

Researcher Eric Hufschmid argues for a logical connection between the collapse of Building 7 and the Twin Towers and deduces that the only theory that makes sense is that the same group, which was responsible for bringing down Building 7, also brought down the Twin Towers. According to Hufschmid, anyone who suspects Building 7 was brought down by explosives “would have to come to the conclusion that explosives were used in the towers.”[4]

Such a connection is controversial, since it effectively indicts the U.S. government for responsibility for 9/11. That is one reason that Jim Hoffman theorizes that WTC owner Larry Silverstein went on TV to admit that he and the NYC Chief of Police together agreed to “pull the building” with “pull” being slang for bringing the building down by means of controlled demolition. He believes that Silverstein, in an attempt to confuse the issue and to quell suspicion, was implicitly arguing that the issue of Building 7 was separate and distinct and had nothing to do with the collapse of the Twin Towers.[5]

However that may be, David Ray Griffin believes that evidence points to the possibility that the 9/11 conspiracy involved U.S. government officials as well as outside parties, possibly WTC owner Larry Silverstein.[6]

Why was Building 7 destroyed?

Since no serious investigation was permitted, researchers have been forced to speculate about the motives for including WTC 7 in the 9/11 destruction. Sufficient shock and awe had already been generated by the day’s events so it wasn’t necessary to add the destruction of Building 7 to the mayhem. On the contrary, its destruction through an all too evident controlled demolition would only prove to be an inexplicable embarrassment since a plane didn’t hit the building. Two motivations that seem the most promising to explore are a. destruction of evidence and b. insurance payouts to owner Larry Silverstein.

WTC 7 housed an emergency command center on the 23rd floor built in 1998 during Mayor Giuliani’s tenure at a cost of $15 million. I join many in the 9/11 inquiry movement who find it plausible that this fire and wind resistant unit housed the command center for the destruction of the Twin Towers as well as a homing device bringing the planes to their targets.[7] Many think that the building was brought down to destroy the equipment and the computers involved in the conspiracy. Others have noted that Building 7 also contained offices of the Securities and Exchange Commission including files for approximately three to four thousand cases, including one that may have demonstrated the relationship between Citigroup and the WorldCom bankruptcy.

While destruction of the evidence has a strong appeal, I suspect that it was not the primary motive. For one thing, if the conspirators required that evidence needed to be destroyed in this way, I suspect they would have planned to bring the building down well before 5:20 PM.

Much more interesting as a line of investigation, it seems to me, is the insurance payout to Larry Silverstein. According to author Don Paul, Silverstein Properties won an $861 million award from Industrial Risk Insurers to rebuild on the site of WTC 7. Silverstein Properties’ estimated investment in WTC 7 was $386 million, netting a profit of about $500 million.[8]

David Ray Griffin also suggests that Silverstein’s insurance considerations should be investigated as a motive in the destruction of the WTC buildings. Griffin points out that on April 26, 2001 Silverstein had taken out a lease on the WTC and wound up with a multibillion-dollar settlement when a federal jury ruled in December 2004 that the attacks constituted two occurrences.

More important perhaps, is that according to court filings, Silverstein had a plan to seek a huge profit from a small and brief investment in the World Trade Center apart from his claim for a double payment for the destruction of the Twin Towers. Griffin quotes court documents to the effect that Silverstein had only $14 million invested in the insurance deal for the Twin Towers (compared to 50 times as much by his lenders) through limited liability investment vehicles. The deal was structured to enable Silverstein to “walk away” from the lease if the buildings were destroyed, ending up with a balance of $1 billion. Griffin surmises that if the allegations are confirmed, “then it provides circumstantial support for those who believe that Silverstein took out the insurance with the knowledge that the buildings would be destroyed.” (Emphasis in original) Griffin believes that consideration of the “destruction of the WTC as an inside job cannot be ruled out a priori on the grounds that there would have been no conceivable motive.”[9]

The logical connection

What is the logical connection between the collapses of the Twin Towers on the morning of 9/11 and the 5:20 PM collapse of Building 7? Eric Hufschmid begins by pointing to two possibilities: either the conspirators decided to bring down Building 7 after they saw the Twin Towers collapse or they prepared a demolition scenario beforehand. [10]

Hufschmid first dispenses with the possibility that the conspirators took measures to bring down Building 7 after they saw the Twin Towers collapse. Such a scenario would require that several people quickly come together and arrange to bring explosives into the area, plan and place the charges, a process that usually takes several days or more. They would have to manage countless details, including the removal of all Building 7 personnel and the control of access to the crime scene. All this would have had to be undertaken spontaneously in the hectic time between 10 AM and 5:20 PM.

Hufschmid concludes that it is most likely that plans for the demolition of WTC –7 were prepared before 9/11. He theorizes that explosives were set in place in good time and similarly the mechanics of setting off the demolition were arranged beforehand. In this case, Hufschmid argues, logic and/or common sense suggest that the same group of conspirators organized the destruction of all three towers.

Could Building 7 stand-alone as a case of solo collapse?

What would happen, Hufschmid asks, if, on 9/11, airplanes hit the towers but they didn’t collapse? Wouldn’t it be suspicious if Building 7 had collapsed from fires smaller than those in the Towers? Might not the firemen “respond that fires do not cause steel buildings to collapse? … Scientists and engineers would want to analyze the steel beams to see how fire did what no fire had done before.” Hufschmid argues that it would not be safe to destroy Building 7 unless the towers collapse first. “After the towers collapse, the collapse of Building 7 would appear to be just another weird event of that day’s bizarre disasters.” (Italics in original)

Hufschmid goes on to argue that there is likely to have been coordination between the people who set the explosives and the alleged hijackers;[11] or that the conspirators had some kind of control over the hijackers since it wouldn’t make sense to prepare the explosives and then depend on the hijackers to follow through on their own. “What if the hijackers decide to switch from hitting the World Trade Center to hitting the U.S. Capitol… or they miss the towers and hit some other building?”

“An even more likely problem is that the hijackers get control of the aircraft…and then the FAA realizes that something is seriously wrong. The FAA contacts the military, and the military sends up a plane to investigate…” As David Ray Griffin and others have pointed out, military jet interceptions of wayward passenger jets is a routine occurrence. In the year before 9/11, from September 2000 through June 2001, there were 67 such interceptions,[12] but there were none on 9/11/01. (If the major media had chosen to make public this information about these routine military interceptions, and their absence on 9/11, suspicion of U.S. government involvement would undoubtedly be more widespread.)

Hufschmid concludes that the plot to destroy Building 7 required the cooperation of the FAA and/or the military. In addition, the conspirators would need to have control of the investigations and to do so they would have to destroy the evidence that remained in the ruins of the buildings and the rubble, a crime. Thus, the conspirators would have to have “influence over our government.” In the event, U.S. government control over Ground Zero led to the hasty destruction of the rubble and the removal of most of the remaining steel to be destroyed in Indian and Chinese blast furnaces. In addition, FEMA investigators were prevented from free access to Ground Zero and to the evidence.

Once we conclude that Building 7 was brought down by a controlled demolition, it follows that the same group of conspirators also caused the collapse of the Twin Towers. It is also clear that such a conspiracy could not have been undertaken had it not been intimately connected to the highest levels of the U.S. military, in other words, the U.S. government.

The End

[1] The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11 by David Ray Griffin Published by Interlink, March 1, 2004. If this link is used to purchase the book from Amazon.com, the DESIP website is afforded a small commission.

[2] Quoted in Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor, p. 177.


[4] Eric Hufschmid, Painful Questions: An Analysis of the September 11th Attack (California, End Point Software, 2002), p. 82. See www.erichufschmid.net/PainfulQuestionsbook.html

[5] Larry Silverstein’s comment about “pulling” Building 7 was made in a September 2002 PBS documentary, “America Rebuilds.” See http://www.rense.com/Datapages/WTC7.htm for more information and discussion of this and related WTC 7 issues.

[6] See Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor, p. 185.

[7] Eric Hufschmid is particularly good on this aspect of the 9/11 attacks. His description of how the homing device may have operated to crash two aircraft into the Twin Towers provides an explanation of why the plane that hit the South Tower, took a circular route and hit the building from the south instead of flying directly into the Tower from its northerly origin. See Painful Questions, pp. 90-92.

[8]http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/background/owners.html According to Don Paul Larry Silverstein already controlled more than 8 million square feet of New York City Real Estate. He also owned Runway 69, a nightclub in Queens that was alleged to be laundering money made through sales of Laotian heroin.

[9] Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor, pp. 183-84.

[10] Hufschmid’s discussion of this theory will be found on Painful Questions, pp. 82-84.

[11] Those in the 9/11 Truth movement point out that the use of the word hijacker concedes a part of the U.S. government’s official story, one for which no evidence has been presented.

[12] William Thomas, Stand Down: Why America’s Air Defenses Failed on Sept 11


Demographic, Environmental,
Security Issues Project