Anatomy of a truther poll question about WTC 7

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In August, 2007 Zogby International conducted a poll of about 1,000 Americans who said they were likely voters, to gauge their opinions about 9/11 conspiracy claims. That poll can be downloaded here (pdf).

Zogby: that's a reputable polling outfit, right?

Well, that depends. Anyone can hire Zogby to conduct a poll. You write the questions, Zogby makes the calls and compiles the answers. That's just what 911truth.org did with the poll in question. As we will see, Zogby does not screen the questions to determine if they're misleading, if they contain inaccuracies, or if they even make sense.

Here's question 404, which appears on page 12 of the August poll:
World Trade Center Building 7 was the 47-story skyscraper a block away from the Twin Towers that housed the mayor's emergency management center and offices of the SEC, SecretService and CIA. It was not hit by any airplanes during the September 11th attacks, but still collapsed nearly eight hours later that day. FEMA did not explain this collapse, the 911 Commission ignored it, and the promised official study is now 2 years overdue. Do you think that the 9/11 Commission was right to concentrate their investigation on the collapse of building which were directly hit by airplanes or should they have also investigated the collapse of Building 7?
Here's that statement/question broken down, with my comments in red:

World Trade Center Building 7 was the 47-story skyscraper a block away from the Twin Towers that housed the mayor's emergency management center and offices of the SEC, Secret Service and CIA.
It did house those offices, although the poll doesn't mention that 80% of the building was occupied by the Salomon Smith Barney investment banking firm.

It was not hit by any airplanes during the September 11th attacks,
The poll makes no mention of the fact that WTC 7 was hit by a large amount of structural debris from the collapse of the WTC 1, which caused massive structural damage and started fires that could not be fought.

but still collapsed nearly eight hours later that day.
The poll makes no mention of the fact that fires raged out of control for seven hours in WTC 7. Several FDNY companies and individuals inspected the building. Due to the severity of the fires and damage, the FDNY fully expected it to collapse, and Chief Nigro ordered a collapse zone to be cleared around the building. No experts who were on the scene have expressed surprise that the building collapsed. Demolitions experts who were nearby said there were no signs of explosives use, and that "Everyone there knew" it was going to collapse due to the severity of the fire.

FEMA did not explain this collapse,
NIST, not FEMA, was tasked with the full investigation into the collapse. NIST's final report is due for public comment in July, 2008. Its interim report on the collapse of WTC 7, which stated its working collapse hypothesis, was released in 2004. The WTC 7 collapse investigation was suspended while the investigation into the collapses of WTC 1&2 was completed.

the 911 Commission ignored it,
The 9/11 Commission was in no way an engineering board and was not tasked with investigating the building collapses. Saying they "ignored" it is like saying they ignored the collapse of the Marriott Vista hotel, which also had nothing to do with their investigation.

and the promised official study is now 2 years overdue.
False. There was never a due date for the report.

Do you think that the 911 Commission was right to concentrate their investigation on the collapse of buildings which were directly hit by airplanes
The Commission did not investigate any building collapses. They concentrated on the mission with which they were tasked: investigating why the attacks happened, what mistakes were made by intelligence, law enforcement, and military resources, and making recommendations to help prevent future attacks.

or should they have also investigated the collapse of Building 7?
See above. The question is blatantly dishonest.


This isn't the first time that the 9/11 truth movement asked a blatantly dishonest poll question about WTC 7. In August, 2004, on the eve of the Republican National Convention in New York City, the 9/11 truth movement commissioned another Zogby poll – of New Yorkers. I don't suppose the timing was accidental. One of the questions was about "the inexplicable and largely unreported collapse of the third WTC skyscraper on 9/11."

Again, a blatantly wrong and misleading question. 9/11 "truth" movement: you should reconsider your beliefs if you have to lie to support them.