Official Response to the September 11th Attack
Officials' handling of the evidence of the September 11th attack has followed a clear pattern. The physical evidence most important to forensic analysis of the crime was destroyed or removed from the crime scene never to be seen again. Types of evidence not under the direct control of those officials were suppressed through a variety of means. These include photographs, video footage, and various once-public documents.
Destruction of Evidence: WTC Steel
The pattern of destruction of physical evidence is nowhere more apparent than in the rapid removal and recycling of the steel from Ground Zero. The structural steel was the most important evidence regarding the mass murder of September 11th. No amount of indulgence of forelorn hopes of finding survivors in the rubble, nor urgency of uncovering human remains for speedy identification, can justify the destruction of the evidence.
- If it was necessary to remove steel to another location to accommodate rescue and recovery efforts, the steel easily could have been preserved.
- Any steel pieces to be removed should first have been meticulously documented through the use of coordinate grids and photographs. This is standard practice in archeological excavations.
- Building 7 was evacuated long before it collapsed, and it fell into a tidy rubble pile that did not even block adjacent roadways. There was no urgency in removing its rubble, and certainly not in destroying it.
The remains of the Twin Towers should have been afforded at least the same level of respect as the artifacts in an archeological dig, or remnants of an aviation disaster. Instead they were treated as garbage to be disposed of as quickly as possible. That the authorities hid their crime behind talk of rescue and recovery is exploitation of the most reprehensible kind. In fact, families and friends of the victims vocally protested the destruction of the Ground Zero evidence.
Destruction of Evidence: Records
On May 6, 2004, an FAA quality-assurance manager destroyed a cassette tape recording of statements by at least six air traffic controllers who handled hijackings on 9/11/01. According to the Transportation Department the tape was destroyed, "without anyone making a transcript or even listening to it."
Removal of Evidence From the Crime Scenes
There is abundant evidence that there were concerted programs to remove evidence from the three known sites of carnage on September 11th: Ground Zero in Manhattan, the west wing and lawn of the Pentagon, and the debris fields of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. This is particularly true of the Pentagon, where a mop-up operation by officials commenced immediately after the attack. It is not clear what evidence was removed from Ground Zero before the steel removal operation started, given that the scene was sealed off and under the control of persons hostile to a genuine investigation.
Removal of evidence from a crime scene by other than legitimate investigators and without proper documentation of the locations of artifacts is evidence of involvement in the crime.
Suppression of Evidence
The destruction and removal of evidence, so zealously undertaken by authorities overseeing the crime scenes, was not possible with various forms of documentary evidence gathered by people not invested in covering up facts of the attack. Authorities employed a variety of methods to suppress such evidence.
- Images of the WTC collapses, once abundant on the web, apparently have been purged from web history archive sites. Extensive image databases, such as Google's, are missing images of the collapses.
- A 78-minute audiotape of communications of firefighters in the South Tower was suppressed for over a year by the Port Authority and the Department of Justice.
- Detailed engineering drawings of the Twin Towers and Building 7 have remained unavailable to the public.
- New York City firefighters have reportedly been ordered to not to share what they witnessed on September 11th, and feared doing so would jeopardize their jobs.
- Officials have refused to release video footage of the Pentagon attack beyond the five frames released in early 2002. There must be dozens of cameras on the Pentagon grounds that recorded the attack.
- The FBI confiscated and refused to release footage of the Pentagon attack by security cameras owned by private businesses.
- Air traffic controllers have been ordered by the FBI not to discuss what they know about the attack.
Destruction of Evidence is Evidence of Criminality
The rapid destruction by authorities of the WTC steel, and their efforts to seize and bottle up other forms of evidence relating to the attack, are, if not themselves criminal acts, strong evidence of their involvement in crimes.