By Kevin Ryan
When Underwriters Laboratories fired me for challenging the World Trade Center (WTC) report that it helped create with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), it said “there is no evidence” that any firm performed the required fire resistance testing of the materials used to build the Twin Towers. Of course, that was a lie.
With this experience in mind, I checked to see how many times the 9/11 Commission Report used the phrase “no evidence,” and noted in particular the times the Commission claimed to have “found no evidence” or that “no evidence was uncovered.” I discovered that the phrase “no evidence” appears an amazing 63 times. An example is the dubious statement — “There is no evidence to indicate that the FAA recognized Flight 77 as a hijacking until it crashed into the Pentagon (p 455).”
Of these 63 instances, some variation of “we found no evidence” appears three dozen times. This seems to be an unusually high number of disclaimers begging ignorance, given that the Commission claims to have done “exacting research” in the production of a report that was the “fullest possible accounting of the events of September 11, 2001.”
The number of times these “no evidence” disclaimers appear in the report is doubly amazing considering how infrequently some of the most critical witnesses and evidence are referenced. For example, the FAA’s national operations manager, Benedict Sliney, who was coordinating the FAA’s response that day, appears only once in the narrative (and twice in the notes). And the FAA’s hijack coordinator, Michael Canavan, appears only twice in the narrative, with neither of those citations having anything to do with Canavan’s assigned role as the key link between the military and the FAA, a role whose failure the Commission says caused the attacks to succeed. Similarly, the testimony of FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, who says Bin Laden worked with the U.S. government up until the day of the attacks, is mentioned only once in the notes. William Rodriguez, the WTC janitor who has publicly testified to basement level explosions, is not mentioned at all despite having given testimony to the Commission.