Richard Gage, the founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, made an appearance on C-SPAN in a major media breakthrough.
The host seems to have done his homework to prepare for the interview by going to the FAQ page of the collapse of World Trade Center 7 (WTC 7) at the website of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The first one is an attempt to debunk claims that thermite was used in the controlled demolition of the building.
I’ve addressed that very FAQ item in an as yet unpublished paper:
NIST concludes that it would be “unlikely” that such a large amount of thermite as would supposedly be required “could have been carried into WTC 7 and placed around columns without being detected, either prior to Sept. 11 or during that day.” NIST adds that:
Analysis of the WTC steel for the elements in thermite/thermite would not necessarily have been conclusive. The metal compounds also would have been present in the construction materials making up the WTC buildings, and sulfur is present in the gypsum wallboard used for interior partitions.
There are numerous fallacies with this argument. First, NIST calculates how much thermite would be needed to melt 1,000 lbs. of steel, an entire foot-long section of column. This is a prima facie nonsensical assumption, and a strawman fallacy. Just as with RDX explosive linear shaped cutter charges used in conventional controlled demolitions, all that would be required is to “cut” the column. Using NIST’s own figures and applying their own logic, therefore, one could just as easily calculate that to make a half-inch penetration through the web and flanges of a steel column would require melting 41.67 lbs. of steel (1000 lbs. of steel per foot divided by 24 half-inches per foot), which would require just 5.42 lbs. of thermite (41.67 lbs. of steel multiplied by .13 lbs. of thermite per pound of steel).
Second, this argument assumes the use of ordinary thermite, when evidence of the presence of more energetic nano-thermite has been found in the dust (its more efficient reaction means less of it would be required to do the same job).
Third, this argument ignores the possibility that thermite could have been used in a more limited fashion, such as to cut connection bolts and welds, and in conjunction with other more conventional linear shaped demolition charges.
Fourth, the assertion that no conclusive determination could have been made by actually examining the steel known to have survived the destruction of evidence (see further discussion below) is a petitio principii fallacy. It is begging the question because the proposition to be proven is assumed in the premise. The only way NIST could possibly know what conclusions might be drawn from an examination of the steel would be to actually examine the steel, which they acknowledge they did not do (see further discussion of recovered steel below). Thus, NIST implicitly rejects the scientific method in its reply.
Finally, refusing to test for evidence of thermitic material because it is “unlikely” to have been used is a tacit acknowledgment that it is possible it could have been used (which is more than one can say for the fire-induced collapse hypothesis, which violates the laws of physics, as already discussed). In assuming it was not used on that basis, NIST is employing further circular reasoning: NIST assumed no evidence for thermitic material exists, so it didn’t look for it, and it didn’t look for it because it assumed it did not to exist.
This glaring fallacy was exemplified in a conversation between Michael Newman, the news media contact at NIST, and Jennifer Abel, who was writing a story for the Connecticut daily Hartford Advocate:
The first thing we mentioned was Jones’s claims of finding explosive residue in the debris.
“We examined over 200 pieces of steel and found no evidence of explosives,” Neuman [sic] said.
We know, we said … but what about that letter where NIST said it didn’t look for evidence of explosives?
“Right, because there was no evidence of that.”
But how can you know there’s no evidence if you don’t look for it first?
“If you’re looking for something that isn’t there, you’re wasting your time … and the taxpayers’ money.”
 NIST Q&A. See fn 34.
 Jennifer Abel, “Theories of 9/11,” Hartford Advocate, January 29, 2008. The article is available online at the author’s website: http://jenniferabel.typepad.com/jennifer_abel/2008/12/theories-of-911.html.