The FBI’s Role in Hiding Evidence at the Pentagon

May 13, 2005

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), under Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and Michael Chertoff, confiscated and blocked access to crucial evidence from the crime scenes of 9-11. At the Pentagon the FBI confiscated videos and prevented engineers from inspecting the area where a missile-like object left an unexplained 12-foot hole.
On September 11, 2001, Robert S. Mueller, III, the brand-new director of the FBI, had only been in his position for a week. Director Mueller reported to Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and Michael Chertoff, then Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.
The report from the engineers who inspected the damaged Pentagon, the Pentagon Building Performance Report (BPR), indicates that these officials and agencies are responsible for hiding crucial evidence – and concealing the truth of what really happened on 9-11.
In an interview with Brig. Gen. Benton K. Partin (USAF, retired), former director of the U.S. Air Force Armaments Technology Laboratory, Partin told me that the Boeing 757-200 aircraft was traveling “one and a half times the speed of a bullet – a pistol bullet,” as it pierced the limestone clad exterior and bored through nine feet of reinforced concrete walls and many columns in three rings of the Pentagon, ending at the charred 12-foot hole in the wall of Ring C. Partin’s estimation of the speed originated with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which informed engineers that the 757 had been traveling 460 knots, of 530 mph, supposedly based on data from the black box found at the crash site.
“Like a cookie cutter cutting through dough,” is how Partin explained what he says the aluminum fuselage did to the structure of the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the ground floor of the Pentagon at 530 mph. ”If you look at the frontal mass cross-section of the plane, you see a cylinder of aluminum skin with stringers,” Partin says. “When it impacts with the exterior wall at 700-800 feet per second, much of the kinetic energy of the plane converts to thermal energy, and much of the aluminum converts to vapor, burning to aluminum oxide.
“The aluminum cylinder – the plane fuselage – is acting like a shaped charge penetrating a steel plate. It keeps penetrating until it is consumed,” Partin said. “The Boeing 757 is over 150 feet long, so it’s going to penetrate quite a ways before it’s spent.”
According to the BPR, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), something bored a narrow path through 310 feet of the Pentagon before leaving the 12-foot hole in the wall of Ring C. The report, however, does not explain how and the engineers disagree on what caused the hole. “There was a hole in the east wall of Ring C, emerging into AE Drive, between column lines 5 and 7 in Wedge 2,” is all the BPR says. “The wall failure was approximately 310 ft from where the fuselage of the aircraft entered the west wall of the building. The path of the aircraft debris passed approximately 225 ft diagonally through Wedge 1 and approximately 85 ft diagonally through a portion of Ring C in Wedge 2.
“Columns and beams along the path of the debris and within the fire area were damaged to varying degrees. Some columns and beams were missing entirely, while others nearby sometimes appeared unscathed,” the report says. “Impact damage to the structure above the second-floor slab did not extend more than approximately 50 ft into the building. This shows that the aircraft slid between the first-floor slab on grade and the second-floor slab for most of its distance of travel after striking the building.”
Paul F. Mlakar, the lead engineer of the BPR, told me that he was “skeptical” of the cookie cutter theory. “An avalanche of debris” is what he thinks punched out the heavily charred hole in Ring C.
“I cannot subscribe to this cookie cutter theory,” BPR engineer Mete A. Sozen of Purdue University said, “the skin of the aircraft is like the skin of a sausage. My hypothesis is that the hole was caused by the landing gear.” Sozen and Mlakar both participated in a similar assessment of the bomb damage at the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
One problem with the “cookie cutter” theory is that there are relatively undamaged columns that suffered “no significant impairment in function,” which remained standing despite being in the path of the fuselage, according to the BPR. Obviously, these columns should have been destroyed. This is clearly seen in Ring C, where a force or object left the 12-foot hole at ground level. If the “cookie cutter” fuselage passed through Ring C, it did so without hitting at least 2 columns that stood directly in its path. Along the path from its entry at Column 14 AA to its exit in Ring C, the force demolished the first 5 columns, which are missing, knocked down the next two, but apparently left the last two intact. Several columns along the path are severely bowed outwards.
How do the engineers explain this? They don’t. The BRP, which examined the damaged columns, has very little data about the columns near the hole in Ring C of Wedge 2. All data on these columns was provided by the FBI. Furthermore, these are the only columns which were not photographed for the report. Clearly the engineers were not allowed to inspect this part of Ring C.
A BPR engineer, Donald Dusenberry, told me that the entire inspection of the Pentagon site consisted of one 4-hour visit by eight engineers on October 4, 2001. All debris had all been removed, he said. “The site had been cleaned up.” Dusenberry inspected part of Ring C with another engineer. “We rapidly walked around in teams of two,” he said. “We took a bunch of photos.” Asked about the lack of data or photos from the area where the hole was, Dusenberry said, “There was a plywood barrier there with a separate entrance.”
“It could be that we didn’t go into Wedge 2,” Dusenberry said. “Apparently we did not take photos.”
“There were areas that were not accessible,” Mlakar said. “The plywood barriers were because of the progress of the demolition and reconstruction.”
“The fuselage did not stay whole,” Dusenberry said about Partin’s theory. “I cannot envision it staying whole 300 feet into the building. There is no way a fuselage could have gotten through there.”
“We would have wanted to have more time,” Dusenberry said. “We had a limited window because they wanted to get on to the renovation.” Asked who set the time limit, Dusenberry said, “I don’t know. Whoever was in control set our time limit.” The 9-11 Commission Report says, “Since it was a terrorist attack, the Department of Justice was the lead federal agency in charge with authority delegated to the FBI for operational response.”
Asked about the chain of command at the Pentagon site, FBI spokesman Edwin Cogswell said Mueller reported to Attorney General John Ashcroft. Asked if Chertoff had directed FBI operations, Cogswell said, “He was involved in it.” One of the first things the FBI did was confiscate video recordings from cameras that overlooked the crash site. This included footage from security cameras at a nearby gas station and hotel. This footage has never been seen by the public.
Were the engineers prevented from examining the columns of Ring C because the evidence would reveal that a 757 had not made the hole? Even the BPR photograph of the exit hole was provided by the FBI. There is no photograph from the inside of the hole. Why didn’t the ASCE investigators poke around inside of the hole and show us what the inside of ring “C” looks like? Evidently the authorities at the site did not allow them.
An appendix to the BPR has photographs of all of the columns in the impact zone, except the eight from Ring C, Wedge 2. The only photo said to be from this area incorrectly shows a similarly numbered column from Wedge 1.
The BPR says the aircraft traveled at ground level, banked slightly to the left, as it impacted the Pentagon “at column line 14 at or slightly below the second-story slab.” The first floor height was 14 feet, one inch. Photos from the crash site taken immediately after impact, and shown in the BPR, reveal several large spools of cable that should have been directly impacted by the aircraft.
The BPR engineers, however, cannot explain the 7-foot spools standing in the path of the ground-hugging 757. ”I don’t know about those spools,” Dusenberry said. “Perhaps the plane scooped them up and moved them there.”
“Maybe the plane hit them and spread them all over place,” Sozen said.
“Eyewitness accounts and photographs taken by a security camera suggest that the aircraft was flying on nearly a level path essentially at grade level for several hundred feet immediately prior to impact,” the Pentagon study says [page 35]. The study, however, does not explain how the plane, a Boeing 757, could fly along “for several hundred feet” at ground level but completely miss hitting these 7 ft. cable spools standing in the path the “plane” would have flown “at grade level.” This photo disproves the claim that a 757 flying at ground level hit the Pentagon.

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