The FBI's Role in Hiding Evidence at the Pentagon
by Christopher Bollyn
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.
COOKIE CUTTER THEORY
"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
"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
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
"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
"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
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.