“This building—the last to fall on 9-11—is key to all controlled-demolition theories. Its sudden fall onto its own footprint, and developer Larry Silverstein's reference on TV to telling the FDNY to "pull it," are seen as evidence that WTC7 was rigged to fall.” –911truth.org Keep in mind that this misrepresentation comes from is one of the leading organizations of the 9/11 “Truth Movement.” (This is a national organization, not to be confused with ny911truth.org, already mentioned.)
Larry Silverstein was the owner of the 47-story WTC building 7, which collapsed on 9/11, and he owns the new 52-story building 7, which opened in May, 2006 on the site of the old building. He was the leaseholder on most of the other WTC buildings, including the Twin Towers (the property is owned by The Port of New York and New Jersey Authority). He won the right to the 99-year lease only six weeks before September 11, 2001, after a long public bidding process.
During an interview in 2002 for the PBS documentary America Rebuilds: A Year at Ground Zero, Mr. Silverstein said this about the fate of building 7 on 9/11:
"I remember getting a call from the fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, 'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.' And they made that decision to pull and then we watched the building collapse." –Larry Silverstein
The conspiracy theorists (hereafter referred to as “CTs”) believe that Silverstein was ordering the FDNY to demolish, or to allow to be demolished, building 7.
In my experience, the CTs are in such a hurry to get to the “pull it” phrase that they neglect to read the statement carefully. While I will provide much evidence in this paper that’s intended to convince the most hardcore CT, all that’s really necessary is to apply a bit of logic to the Silverstein statement, so I’ll start by doing that.
The setting: Larry Silverstein is being interviewed by a documentary crew from PBS. He calmly, clearly describes what happened. CTs would have us believe that Silverstein accidentally let it slip – twice, for a national TV audience – that he ordered his building to be demolished! Does that make any sense whatsoever? Can the CTs give an example of a similar “accidental confession” of a monumental crime in the history of the world? Keep in mind that if Silverstein thought he had said something wrong, he could simply have asked the crew to shoot that part again. Silverstein is a very smart guy who is in full possession of his mental faculties. He didn’t “slip up.”
"I remember getting a call from the fire department commander...”
That was 32-year-veteran FDNY Chief of Operations Daniel Nigro, who was in charge of the World Trade Center incident following Chief of Department Peter Ganci’s death in the collapse of the north tower. Silverstein was at home with his wife when he received the courtesy call from Chief Nigro in the afternoon.
"I am well aware of Mr. Silverstein's statement, but to the best of my recollection, I did not speak to him on that day and I do not recall anyone telling me that they did either. That doesn't mean he could not have spoken to someone from FDNY, it just means that I am not aware of it." Source
“...telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire...”
That’s correct, as we will see in great detail below.
“...and I said, 'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.'”
Let’s use some logic. Was Silverstein saying,
“We’ve had such terrible loss of life that it would be wise to blow up my building,”
or was he saying,
“We’ve had such terrible loss of life that it would be wise to withdraw firefighters to prevent further loss of life”?
Be honest, CTs. Which statement makes sense, and which is completely absurd?
Next, did Larry Silverstein, a real estate developer, have the world’s largest fire department at his beck and call? Of course not. Larry Silverstein had no say in how firefighting operations in New York City were conducted. He may have liked to think that Chief Nigro was calling him for a consultation, but that idea is laughable. It was a courtesy call.
“And they made that decision to pull and then we watched the building collapse."
Who made the decision to pull? They. The fire department. Not “Me,” not “We.” They. This is ridiculously obvious to anyone but a CT. Does the FDNY demolish buildings with explosives? No, they pull their people away from buildings that are too dangerous to be near. The “we” in “we watched the building collapse” is Silverstein and his wife. Silverstein was not at the WTC site.
Now that we’ve seen what Silverstein actually said, let’s see how his statement is represented by leaders of the “Truth Movement.”
James Fetzer, co-chairman of “Scholars for 9/11 Truth,” and long-time JFK assassination conspiracy theorist, interviewed on Alan Colmes’ radio show, June, 2006:
Fetzer: Larry Silverstein, in New York, actually directed the World Trade Center Number 7 be pulled, meaning brought down by controlled demolition.
Colmes: Wasn’t he the landlord? Why would he want that to happen?
Fetzer: Well, it’s recorded. He admitted it in an interview that he had it pulled. Now, just to make an obvious point, Alan, it can’t have been pulled unless there were pre-positioned explosives in World Trade Center 7—
Colmes: What would be Larry Silverstein’s interest in destroying his own building?
Fetzer: He had insured it for $3.5 billion against a terrorist attack six weeks previous.
Colmes: So he’s in on this?
Fetzer: Absolutely. Later in that interview: I can prove all of these things, it’s the only hy-pothesis that makes any sense and in many cases we have direct evidence, we have Silverstein’s admission that he directed that the building be pulled. That was at 5:20 in the afternoon, it had been hit by no aircraft, it had only very modest fires, that was an extremely robustly built building— Keep in mind that Jim Fetzer is one of the leaders of the 9/11 “Truth Movement.”
Update: James Fetzer has split with “Scholars” co-chairman Steven E. Jones, and has been promoting the claim that “high-energy beams” destroyed the WTC buildings. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
Kevin Barett, who is on the Board of Directors of Fetzer’s “Scholars for 9/11 Truth,” starts his website with the words “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” But within that site, Barrett repeatedly bears false witness against Larry Silverstein, and he has refused to correct his errors. Following is a summary of communications I’ve had with Barett:
From: Mark Roberts firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Oct 12, 2006
Subject: Serious errors on your website.
In reviewing your website mujca.com, I noticed a particularly baffling passage on the first page (now this page):
"9/11 insurance-fraudster Larry Silverstein, like the Poe narrator, was apparently confounded by the noise of his own lying heartbeat when he confessed on national TV to making "a decision to pull (WTC-7)...and we made that decision to pull, and we watched the building col-lapse." Silverstein's inability to get anything built on the site during the past five years, leaving a gigantic bomb crater screaming silently to the world that the WTC was destroyed by bombs, not by planes, is another, far more eloquent confession. To borrow a phrase from the Loose Change logo, Larry's bomb crater is "louder than words." Perhaps the best possible memorial would be to leave the site exactly the way it is, and hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Larry Silverstein Memorial Bomb Crater."
Several corrections need to be made here:
1) "Insurance-fraudster." I am not aware of Silverstein having done anything illegal involving WTC insurance, and apparently neither are the insurance companies. If you have evidence of such wrongdoing, which would be front page news in New York, please present it. If not, you should retract the accusation.
2) "We made that decision to pull." Kevin, this is a particularly egregious error. I shouldn't have to remind you that the quote is "And they made that decision to pull." Here is the exact quote:
"I remember getting a call from the fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, 'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.' And they made that decision to pull and then we watched the building collapse."
With the sentence 'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it," Silverstein is obviously referring to saving lives, not blowing up buildings.
"They," of course, was the Fire Department of New York, and particularly Chief Daniel Nigro, who was in charge of operations on 9/11 after Chief Peter Ganci was killed. Nigro:
"The biggest decision we had to make was to clear the area and create a collapse zone around the severely damaged [WTC 7] building. A number of fire officers and companies assessed the damage to the building. The appraisals indicated that the building's integrity was in serious doubt." [Fire Engineering magazine, 10/2002]
3) "Silverstein's inability to get anything built on the site during the past five years, leaving a gigantic bomb crater screaming silently to the world that the WTC was destroyed by bombs, not by planes, is another, far more eloquent confession."
I'll avoid the "bomb" comment for now. My paper will disabuse you of that notion. As I'm sure you know, Silverstein's new, 52-story WTC 7 has been open since May, 2006. To state that he has built nothing on the site is to ignore one of the largest skyscrapers in New York City. Delays in building the rest of the site have been due primarily to problems with design and planning that are not Silverstein's province.
I look forward to hearing from you that your site will be corrected of these errors as soon as possible. I am revising my WTC 7 paper that's linked above and would prefer not to include your name amongst those who have chosen politics above honesty and so badly misrepresented this part of the tragic story.
I received no reply to that email, so I sent another in December:
In October I sent you the email below, which refers to this page on your website: http://www.mujca.com/anniversaries.htm
Why have you not corrected your egregious errors? Please do so now.
This time I did hear from Barrett (well, he replied as "Khidria," but I assume it's
him). In a two-sentence email, he said that he would be saving my email
as evidence against me, and that I would be standing on the gallows
beside the traitor, mass murderer, and insurance fraudster Larry
First, please identify yourself. Are you Kevin Barrett?
Next, please provide evidence of Larry Silverstein's
2) Mass murdering
3) Insurance fraud
You have not done so on your website or anywhere else that I've seen.
I received another two-sentence reply, which said that the information I seek is publicly available and that I should figure it out for myself.
Since the information I seek is in your imagination only, I have turned to you for clarification. Most people understand that serious accusations, such as yours against Larry Silverstein, require proof. Since there is no evidence that Larry Silverstein has done anything wrong, much less murdered people or committed treason or insurance fraud, you should retract your accusations. Beyond the legal issue of libel, it's simply the right thing to do.
Do you really want to live in a world in which an accuser's baseless, hateful ranting is an acceptable standard of evidence? Please think about that, Mr. Barrett. Do the responsible and adult thing and withdraw your accusations against Larry Silverstein. The truth demands it.
Keep in mind that Kevin Barrett is one of the leaders of the 9/11 “Truth Movement.”
In his March, 2006 presentation “9/11 - A
Closer Look,” Ryan misrepresents Silverstein’s statement “And I said,
'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do
is pull it. And they made that decision to pull and then we watched the
Ryan changed “They” to “He,” and then to “We.” He is blatantly lying to try to support his claim.
Keep in mind that Kevin Ryan is one of the leaders of the 9/11 “Truth Movement.”
Kevin Ryan has twice declined my challenge to a public debate, despite my offer that he could choose the time, the place, the moderators, and the debate topics.