9/11 Families Ask: What Happened to the Third Building That Collapsed in the WTC Attacks?
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A new television ad campaign featuring the family members of 9/11 victims has succeeded in garnering what 9/11 activists have lacked for years: serious treatment in the mainstream media.
Granted, that media was Fox News host Geraldo Rivera, who in a former iteration ran a Jerry Springer-like daytime talk show. That and, the last time Rupert Murdoch's conservative-tilted television channel seriously talked about issues pertaining to 9/11, they were calling for a public official's resignation over a signature on one of the "9/11 truth" petitions.
Still, at the end of his serious-yet-brief treatment of questions surrounding the collapse of World Trade Center 7 (WTC 7, pictured), Rivera admitted that the activists had made him "much more open minded" about questions surrounding 9/11.
Rivera spoke in response to an ad playing in 30-second bytes on screens all around New York City, which does not focus on conspiracy theories. It does not feature hip-hop beats in the background or winded, red-faced protesters dressed in black shouting at reporters. It doesn't even mention President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney or the systemic failures in America's air defenses.
Instead, it puts the spotlight on people who lost family members in the 2001 attacks. Patriotic background music plays as viewers are gently reminded that not two, but three buildings collapsed on 9/11.
"Although the official explanation is that fire brought down building seven, over 1,200 architects and engineers have looked into the evidence and believe there's more to the story," they say.
Then they implore viewers to help them seek justice, for their families, simply by visiting a web site: buildingwhat.org.
Their campaign's name, "Building What?" was allegedly taken from the response offered by New York Supreme Court Justice Edward H. Lehner, when asked if he knew about WTC 7.
"Up until now, only those considered nutjobs questioned the official conclusion, that office fires caused by the nearby catastrophe of the towers collapsing brought down building number seven," Geraldo said before introducing his guests.
"If explosives were involved," he continued, "that would mean the most obnoxious protesters in recent years ... were right."
Geraldo called the new television ad "not so easy to dismiss as those demonstrators were."
The ad is being sponsored by donations to the groups New York City Coalition for Accountability Now (NYC CAN), Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911) and others. They're calling for the New York City council to launch an investigation into the collapse of building seven.
NYC CAN, a nonpartisan association of over 100 9/11 family members, is the same group behind a 2009 ballot initiative requesting a new 9/11 investigation. It secured more than enough support to qualify for the ballot but the city ultimately blocked it from going before the voters, citing improperly collected signatures.
At time of this writing, AE911 said it had among its members, "1,346 verified architectural and engineering professionals who have put their professional reputations on the line to publicly voice their disagreement with NIST’s findings."
One of Geraldo's guests, Bob McIlvaine, whose son was killed on 9/11, also appeared in a longer, web-exclusive ad released in March after the delivery of a petition and information packets to members of the New York City council.
"What caught my eye," Rivera explained, "was their claim that 1,300 architects and engineers examined the evidence about building seven's collapse and disagree with the official report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)."