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Why Did Foreign Companies Manage the 9/11 Debris Removal?

New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the site of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 attack.

By Christoper Bollyn | 12 June 2019

JOURNALISTE SANS FRONTIERESDid they throw away the locked doors from the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire? Did they throw away the gas can used at the Happyland Social Club Fire? Did they cast aside the pressure-regulating valves at the Meridian Plaza Fire? Of course not. But essentially, that’s what they’re doing at the World Trade Center.

For more than three months, structural steel from the World Trade Center has been and continues to be cut up and sold for scrap. Crucial evidence that could answer many questions about high-rise building design practices and performance under fire conditions is on the slow boat to China, perhaps never to be seen again in America until you buy your next car.

Such destruction of evidence shows the astounding ignorance of government officials to the value of a thorough, scientific investigation of the largest fire-induced collapse in world history. I have combed through our national standard for fire investigation, NFPA 921, but nowhere in it does one find an exemption allowing the destruction of evidence for buildings over 10 stories tall.

– “Selling out the Investigation,” Bill Manning, editor, Fire Engineering, Jan. 1, 2002


Imagine there is a terrible fire and explosion in a crowded high-rise in the middle of a large American city in which thousands of people are thought to have perished.  Before the dead can be even be pulled from the rubble or the cause of the destruction investigated, the city calls in a privately owned foreign company to remove the debris.  Would it not seem a bit odd – even criminal – to see a foreign company removing the evidence from the scene before an investigation had even begun?

As Bill Manning, the editor of Fire Engineering wrote at the end of 2001, “I have combed through our national standard for fire investigation, NFPA 921, but nowhere in it does one find an exemption allowing the destruction of evidence for buildings over 10 stories tall.”

“Such destruction of evidence,” Manning said, “shows the astounding ignorance of government officials to the value of a thorough, scientific investigation of the largest fire-induced collapse in world history.”

But was it really “astounding ignorance” that was obstructing “a thorough, scientific investigation of the largest fire-induced collapse in world history” – or was it something even worse?  Was the obstruction of an investigation planned and intentional – because an investigation would have revealed that it was explosive demolitions and not fire-induced collapses that destroyed the World Trade Center? […]

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