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What’s behind the CNN and the BBC’s premature announcement of the WTC7’s collapse?

Al Jazeera | March 13, 2007
Adam Robertson

There are two theories regarding how did WTC 7 collapse, part of September 11 attacks that hit the United Sates six years ago and changed the political map of the entire world and the U.S. foreign policies in the Middle East.

Some analysts attributed the collapse to structural failure due to prior debris impact and ongoing fire damage. The other theory suggests the building collapsed as a result of controlled demolition- many support the second theory given the lack of precedent of total collapses of steel framed structures during fires.

But the controversy over the collapse of Building 7 that the Bush administration has so far failed to explain is being brought up again in 2007 with more shocking revelations.

Websites and blog pages began in recent weeks circulating commentaries about the shocking BBC News reporting of the collapse of WTC7 before the incident actually took place.

Opinion articles and political commentaries all over the net pages are accompanied with a live shot of Ground Zero, with the 47-story high-rise clearly standing, reviving memories of conspiracy theories that had been questioning the American government's involvement in the horrendous attack that shook the world stability ever since.

The vast majority of political analysis that have been trying to explain what happened on September 11 2001 challenged the official story that the total collapse of smoking skyscrapers is a natural and even predictable occurrence.

Recent articles about the BBC and the CNN’s premature reporting of the Building 7 collapse added to the analysts' doubts over reasons and secrets behind the collapse and the whole 9/11 attacks.

How can a building collapse be predictable?

Why did officials, who controlled the streets around WTC 7, began evacuating the area in the hour before the 5:20 PM collapse. Why did they began forwarding verbal warnings that the WTC7 will imminently collapse?

The BBC reported the incident at least 23 minutes before the actual collapse time of 5:20 PM.

* BBC denies

Richard Porter denied suggestions that the BBC reported the WTC7 collapse before it happened.

He wrote:

“1. We're not part of a conspiracy. Nobody told us what to say or do on September 11th. We didn't get told in advance that buildings were going to fall down. We didn't receive press releases or scripts in advance of events happening.

“2. In the chaos and confusion of the day, I'm quite sure we said things which turned out to be untrue or inaccurate - but at the time were based on the best information we had. We did what we always did - sourced our reports, used qualifying words like "apparently" or "it's reported" or "we're hearing" and constantly tried to check and double check the information we were receiving.

“3. Our reporter Jane Standley was in New York on the day of the attacks, and like everyone who was there, has the events seared on her mind. I've spoken to her today and unsurprisingly, she doesn't remember minute-by-minute what she said or did - like everybody else that day she was trying to make sense of what she was seeing; what she was being told; and what was being told to her by colleagues in London who were monitoring feeds and wires services.

“4. We no longer have the original tapes of our 9/11 coverage (for reasons of cock-up, not conspiracy). So if someone has got a recording of our output, I'd love to get hold of it. We do have the tapes for our sister channel News 24, but they don't help clear up the issue one way or another.

“5. If we reported the building had collapsed before it had done so, it would have been an error - no more than that. As one of the comments on You Tube says today "so the guy in the studio didn't quite know what was going on? Woah, that totally proves conspiracy... "

On the other hand, the CNN announced that the WTC 7 "has either collapsed or is collapsing" about an hour before the event.

You Tube aired a video showing excerpt from the CNN's live television broadcast on 9/11/2001. According to the video, at 01:58 in the clip, anchor Aaron Brown appears saying that it's about 4:14 eastern daylight time, meaning that when he makes the announcement at the beginning of the clip, it is about 4:12.

Here are excerpts from the video:

“We are getting information now that one of other buildings, building 7, in the world trade center complex is on fire and has either collapsed or is collapsing.

“I .. I .. You to be honest can see these pictures just a little bit more clearly than I, but Building number 7 one of the other buildings in this very large complex of buildings that is the Trade Center ... there were -- there were -- and that is the right way to put it -- there were the two towers, but then there are a number of support buildings around it -- retail spaces, restaurants, office space, garages, the trains come in from New Jersey bringing commuters taking commuters back, come into the complex that is the World Trade Center, and now we are told there is a fire there and that building may collapse as well, as you can see.

“We can see as we now look back down town, we can see the billowing smoke.

“It is extraordinary to us how long this scene has gone on. The smoke has not cleared at all. It has not lightened at all. It was that horrific moment when the Towers collapsed, and then we've been in this sort of situation ever since, as the fires continue to burn. Rose Arsie, one of our producers who has been slowly and diligently making her way to the building described the fires she saw in the areas of the Towers themselves and clearly those fires continue to burn at about 4:15 eastern daylight time today, in an unbelievable and awful scene in New York.

These excerpts were taken from a 41-minute mpeg recording discovered in a vast archive of broadcast footage publicized last month.

What does that prove?

The BBC video including the reporting of the collapse, some 23 minutes before WTC7 collapsed was first published and then deleted by Google. Later on it was republished and again deleted by YouTube this week.

 
 

 

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