Larry Silverstein’s Statement on PBS

In the 2002 PBS documentary America Rebuilds, the World Trade Center (WTC) leaseholder and owner of WTC Building 7, Larry Silverstein, appears to have made the admission that he himself suggested intentionally demolishing Building 7 on 9/11, after which point others went ahead with the decision to demolish the building. Specifically, during the PBS program, while discussing events leading up to the collapse of Building 7, Silverstein said:

I remember getting a call from the, er, fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, ‘We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.’ And they made that decision to pull and we watched the building collapse.”

Because “pull” is a term used in the building demolition industry, [i] Silverstein’s “pull it” statement generated much controversy as it implied foreknowledge on the part of Silverstein and others that Building 7 was going to be brought down intentionally, and that the collapse did in fact result from a controlled demolition. This contradicted the prevailing official explanation that fire caused the collapse of Building 7.

Subsequently, Silverstein Properties issued a statement claiming that when Silverstein advised the fire commander that “the smartest thing to do is pull it,” what he meant was that it would be wise to pull a contingent of firefighters out of the building. [ii]

Silverstein Properties’ explanation is unavailing for at least two reasons. A natural reading of this phrase indicates that when he said pull “it,” Silverstein was talking about pulling Building 7 itself, not the firefighters who were supposedly still inside the building. Second, there were no firefighters inside building when Silverstein advised the fire department commander to “pull it.” The absence of firefighters in Building 7 is verified by the fact that Silverstein has admitted that he made his “pull it” statements “at around 3:30 or 4:00PM,” [iii] while the official National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) report indicates that Building 7 had already been fully evacuated between 12:30PM and 2:00PM. [iv] Thus, “at around 3:30 or 4:00PM,” when Silverstein and the fire department commander were supposedly discussing evacuation of the firefighters, everyone, including firefighters, had already been evacuated from Building 7.

Additional evidence of Silverstein’s intent to demolish Building 7 emerged in a 2010 Fox News article written by journalist Jeffrey Scott Shapiro. [v] In that article, Shapiro reports that on September 11, 2001, Silverstein had a discussion with his insurance carrier about demolishing Building 7. Specifically, Shapiro states:

Shortly before the building [Building 7] collapsed, several NYPD officers and Con-Edison workers told me that Larry Silverstein…was on the phone with his insurance carrier to see if they would authorize the controlled demolition of the building – since its foundation was already unstable and expected to fall.

A controlled demolition would have minimized the damage caused by the building’s imminent collapse and potentially save lives. Many law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other journalists were aware of this possible option.”

Shapiro’s statement should be given extra weight because it goes against his own interest. The goal of his article (entitled “Shame On Jesse Ventura!”) was to discredit those, including Governor Ventura, who are skeptical of the official account of 9/11. Shapiro’s report that Silverstein had been seeking authorization to demolish Building 7 prior to its destruction runs counter to the author’s goal, because the report indicates that Silverstein wanted to have the building brought down in a controlled demolition—just as those who challenge the official account of 9/11 argue is what happened to Building 7. Therefore, Shapiro’s article, if accurate, strongly supports the view that Building 7 was brought down by controlled demolition.

As part of a new investigation, Mr. Silverstein should be questioned under oath about the conversation he had with the fire department commander, who should also be called to testify.


[i] That “pull” is a demolition term is verified in that same 2002 PBS documentary, America Rebuilds, where a Ground Zero worker clearly says, “We’re getting ready to pull Building 6” just prior to it’s demolition. The statement is made during a filming of the WTC cleanup operation. See http://video.google.pl/videoplay?docid=6227966981786417824#

[ii] NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, Draft for Public Comment, August 2008, pages 301-302. See http://wtc.nist.gov/media/nist_ncstar_1-9_vol1_for_public_comment.pdf

[iii] See “WeAreCHANGE confronts Larry Silverstein 3/13/08,” http://911blogger.com/node/14361, at the 1:45 mark

[iv] NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, Draft for Public Comment, August 2008, page 302. See http://wtc.nist.gov/media/nist_ncstar_1-9_vol1_for_public_comment.pdf

[v] http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/04/22/jeffrey-scott-shapiro-jesse-venture-book-lies-truthers-ground-zero-sept-shame/