Saturday, September 30, 2006

Analysis of the NIST 9/11 Study

1.) A $16-million, three-year National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) study is often cited by detractors of 9/11 "conspiracy theories" for the report's conclusions on controlled demolition of the WTC:

9/11 Revealed?

New book repeats false conspiracy theories

9/11 Revealed, published in August 2005, is the latest book putting forth bizarre conspiracy theories about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.  Its two British authors, Ian Henshall and Rowland Morgan, give credence to a hodgepodge of sinister, unfounded allegations...

The book claims the World Trade Center (WTC) twin towers collapsed because they were pre-rigged with explosives but ignores an extraordinarily thorough, three-year investigation by the U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST concluded the towers collapsed because the impact of the plane crashes severed and damaged support columns and dislodged fireproofing insulation from the steel floor trusses and support columns, which allowed the fires to weaken them to the point where they bowed, buckled, and failed.  It recently stated, in the WTC Towers Report (p. 12) on its Web site, that it found “no corroborating evidence for alternative hypotheses suggesting that the WTC towers were brought down by controlled demolition… .” 
2.) Pronounced flaws in the NIST study:

... NIST's investigation would not even start until virtually all of the steel had been removed from Ground Zero and recycled...

NIST's website that its investigation was conducted strictly within the confines of the official story -- that the collapses of the Twin Towers and Building 7 resulted from the jetliner impacts. A presentation about NIST's response to the disaster claims there is a "critical and urgent national need" to "establish the probable technical causes of the collapses and derive lessons to be learned", but, prior to the publication of their Final Report on Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers in late 2005, none of the materials on the NIST site even mentioned the possibility that the collapses were caused by controlled demolition.

NIST's web page for the April 5 presentation, whose subtitle proclaims "Probable Collapse Sequences for Both Towers Finalized," makes it clear that modeling the aircraft crashes was a higher priority than examining the collapses. It includes computer simulations of Boeing 767s hitting each tower, but no simulations of the collapses themselves.

It is noteworthy that NIST is a non-regulatory agency, and therefore the recommendations of its report do not have the strength of law. Since the key event in its "probable collapse sequence" (a misnomer for its scenario of impact damage and fire progression) is the dislodging of fireproofing by the jetliner impacts, it avoids faulting the tower's construction.
Payoff # 1 - Major NIST Budget Increase Since 2001:

U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)

... As head of NIST, he [Director Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr.] oversaw an agency with an annual budget of about $773 MILLION ...

... NIST has an operating budget for fiscal year 2006 (October 1, 2005-September 30, 2006) of about $930 MILLION...
4.) What is the NIST? Like FEMA, it has been turned to the "war on terror":

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, formerly known as The National Bureau of Standards) is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce’s Technology Administration.

... In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks, NIST is playing a key role in enhancing the nation’s homeland security. Through projects spanning a wide range of research areas, NIST is helping the millions of individuals in law enforcement, the military, emergency services, information technology, airport and building security, and other areas protect the American public from terrorist threats. For example, NIST is currently developing government-wide identification card standards for federal employees and contractors to prevent terrorists, criminals and other unauthorized people from getting into government buildings and computer systems....
5.) Payoff #2 – Who ran the NIST at the time of its famed $26-million study?"

Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr.
NIST Director, 2001-2004

Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr.
National Science Foundation

... Bement came to the position as NIST director having previously served as head of that agency's Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology, the agency's primary private-sector policy adviser; as head of the advisory committee for NIST's Advanced Technology Program... [He] was a member of the Space Station Utilization Advisory Subcommittee and the Commercialization and Technology Advisory Committee for NASA; and consulted for the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory... positions included: vice president of technical resources and of science and technology for TRW Inc. (1980-1992); deputy under secretary of defense for research and engineering (1979-1980); director, Office of Materials Science, DARPA (1976-1979); professor of nuclear materials, MIT (1970-1976); manager, Fuels and Materials Department and the Metallurgy Research Department, Battelle Northwest Laboratories (1965-1970); and senior research associate, General Electric Co. (1954-1965).

He has been a director of Keithley Instruments Inc. and the Lord Corp. and was a member of the Science and Technology Advisory Committee for the Howmet Corp. (a division of ALCOA).
6.) Dr. Bement left the NIST in 2005, and currently directs the National Science Foundation (NSF). It has also received a whopping budget increase - at at time of severe fiscal constraints - and this has not passed unnoticed in the District of Columbia:

2/18/2005 Senators Lay Into Bush's Proposed
Budget for National Science Foundation

...staff workers - possessed enough independence, authority, and money to do the job. Mr. Bond called on the NSF's director, Arden L. Bement Jr., to beef up the office. "I don't want any more excuses," Mr. Bond said. "This is not rocket ...