This is page three in the Twin Towers section of my series on the September 11th terrorist attacks. If you were linked here by mistake, please refer to page one in this section.
The Commission also did not mention that the CEO of the company that was in charge of security for the World Trade Center was Wirt Walker III, the president's cousin, or that Marvin Bush, the president's brother, had been one of this company's directors.
Foreign terrorists could not have obtained access to the buildings for the hours needed to plant the explosives. Terrorists working for the Bush-Cheney administration, by contrast, could have gotten such access, given the fact that Marvin Bush and Wirt Walker III---the president's brother and cousin, respectively---were principals of the company in charge of security for the World Trade Center.
Both are quotes from Dr David R Griffin
While it is true that Marvin Bush and Wirt Walker III both worked for a company called Securacom (later Stratesec), and that company did do some security work for the WTC, they were not "in charge of security". But even without researching this, you might wonder about such a claim. After all, the WTC had its own security head, John O'Neill, who took up the job on August 23rd, 2001 and died when the towers collapsed. And at least some of the security was provided by the Port Authority: David Lim, a Port Authority police officer, was stationed at the WTC with his bomb-sniffing dog Sirius. In fact Lim told the 9/11 Commission that the Port Authority police were responsible for the safety of those at the complex:
Statement of David Lim to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
March 31, 2003
I am a Police Officer in the employ of the Port Authority of NY & NJ. I have been such for the greater part of the last 23 years. On Sept. 11th, 2001, our Police Department suffered the greatest single day loss in Law Enforcement history @ the World Trade Center. 37 Officers from every rank (Superintendent to Police Officer) as well as my partner, explosive detector K-9 Sirius were killed in the attack. Many would ask what the PAPD was doing in the World Trade Center. A little known fact was that we were always there. Since the Port Authority owned the buildings, we (the Police) were responsible for the public safety therein...
It is fairly obvious that the security arrangements at the World Trade Center are not as simple as Mr. Griffin would have you believe. What is the real story about Securacom, though? For that we must go back in time to 1996:
A terrorist bomb exploded underneath the World Trade Center on Feb. 26, 1993, ripping out a three-story high crater, shutting down most of the electrical power and causing $500 million in structural damage.
The bombing, the first international terrorist attack on U.S. soil, claimed the lives of six people, injured more than 1,000 and forever changed the level of security at the landmark complex.
"Because of the bombing, they were looking for something that had the security of a nuclear facility," said E-J President Tony Mann. "But it's also a commercial office building that needs to be responsive to its tenants. The system provides an operating office building with the highest level of security."
E-J Electric Installation Co., the country's oldest independent electrical contractor, won a $28 million contract in 1996 to tighten security at the World Trade Center. The Long Island City, N.Y.-based contractor installed 2 million feet of fiber-optic cable, hundreds of security cameras, access control and 110 turnstiles, including systems integration. The parking garage also became restricted after a terrorist drove a van, containing a bomb, into the underground parking garage in 1993.
The Port Authority naturally wanted to improve World Trade Center security after the 1993 bombing. Though it took a while they finally began to spend money in 1996, and E J Electric were the major contractor. Securacom, got a share as well, but not for very long:
Securacom got the $8.3 million World Trade Center security contract in October 1996 and received about $9.2 million from the WTC job from 1996 (a quarter of its revenues that year) to 1998. But in 1998, the company was "excused from the project" because it could not fulfill the work, according to former manager Al Weinstein, and the electronic security work at the WTC was taken over by EJ Electric, a larger contractor.
If this is correct, then Securacom's interest in the World Trade Center ended in 1998, which you might have expected Mr. Griffin to tell you. But is that true? There is one article that suggests otherwise:
According to its present CEO, Barry McDaniel, the company had an ongoing contract to handle security at the World Trade Center "up to the day the buildings fell down."...
Barry McDaniel, CEO of the company since January 2002, declines on security grounds to give specific details about work the company did at the World Trade Center. According to McDaniel, the contract was ongoing (a "completion contract"), and "not quite completed when the Center went down." The company designed a system, but -- as he points out -- obviously that "didn't have anything to do with planes flying into buildings."..
The first line of the quote talks about "handling security" and the second about "designing a system". The "not quite completed" suggests they were working on a particular project, rather than "running security".
Incidentally, the "up to the day the buildings fell down" line is sometimes used as a basis for saying that "the contract ran out on September 11th", but I think that's a real stretch. Having major contracts end on a Tuesday in the middle of the month sounds odd to me, and it seems much more likely that McDaniel meant the contract was active at the time, and only ceased because the towers collapsed. In the same way that a doctor saying "I treated him from the day he was born up to the day he died" doesn't necessarily mean the patient in question was about to be transferred somewhere else.
We can speculate about this completion contract, but that's never going to provide any solid leads. A better approach might be to look at the SEC filings for Securacom, and see what they tell us about the company's revenue and clients.
Here's what the annual report for 1997 tells us:
Revenues increased by 108.6% from $5.8 million in 1996 to $12.1 million in 1997. The increase was due to work completed for new clients and an increase in work completed on existing projects. Revenues from the World Trade Center project, which commenced in October 1996, increased from $1.6 million in 1996 to $6.6 million in 1997.
Revenues decreased by 45% from $12.1 million in 1997 to $6.6 million in 1998. The decrease was due to the closeout of the World Trade Center Project.
Just as mentioned earlier, the company left the WTC project in 1998, and no more revenues from that time can be found, suggesting that McDaniel's contract was comparatively recent. It could still be argued that the company were involved in some very sensitive areas, however, even if they only spent two or three years at the WTC:
Stratesec installed the initial security-description plan—the layout of the electronic security system—at the World Trade Center.
The contractors for the permanent security system are E.J. Electric and Electronic Systems Associates, both of New York. Securacom, Woodcliff Lakes, N.J., is responsible for system integration.
Access Control & Security Systems Integration
SECTION: Editor's Letter; ISSN: 1084-6425
LENGTH: 3516 words
HEADLINE: World Trade Center
BYLINE: By CAROL CAREY
If there was still some contact with the WTC through McDaniel's "completion contract", however minor, then maybe it's significant that Marvin Bush worked there? Possibly not, as he left his directors job in the fiscal year 2000.
Marvin Bush was reelected annually to Securacom's board of directors from 1993 through 1999. His final reelection was on May 25, 1999, for July 1999 to June 2000. Throughout, he also served on the company's Audit Committee and Compensation Committee, and his stock holdings grew during the period. Directors had options to purchase 25,000 shares of stock annually. In 1996, Bush acquired 53,000 shares at 52 cents per share. Shares in the 1997 IPO sold at $8.50. Records since 2000 no longer list Bush as a shareholder.
As you can see, Bush had little interest in the World Trade Center by this point. Others point the finger to Wirt D Walker, President of the company through this time, and say he was related to Bush as well. These claims are sometimes made in a very definitive way:
The chairman of the board of Stratesec is Wirt D. Walker III, a cousin of Marvin and George W. Bush.
However, they all appeared to be sourced from a single Margie Burns article:
Stratesec and Aviation General shared top executives, including Wirt D. Walker III, a distant relative "in the Walker branch of the Bush family," according to a former colleague...
Here he's a "distant relative", not a cousin, and even this is only an unsourced comment from a "former colleague". I can find no supporting references for any Bush - Wirt D Walker III family relationship outside of this story, and looking at the Bush family tree reveals no obvious links. What's more, even Margie Burns now appears to downplay the link:
A former colleague of the head of the company, Wirt Dexter Walker III, suggested to me that Walker is a distant relative of the Bush family. While any blood relationship to the Bush Walkers would have to be remote (the first Wirt D. Walker, two generations ago, was based in Chicago; the second in McLean, Virginia, in the DIA), there is no doubt that the company, Kuwait's Al Sabahs, and Bush financial interests were closely linked for years. Management and control at Wirt Walker's other companies, a small airplane company named Commander Aircraft (also bankrupt) and a private investment firm named KuwAm (short for Kuwait-American Corporation), were inextricably linked to management and control at Securacom.
We have gone from he "is a cousin", to being a "distant relative", to it just being "suggested" that he is a distant relative, and there is still not the slightest verifiable evidence to support any of that. Until someone can get in touch with Walker to get a comment, or some definitive evidence appears, we might as well view this as "not proven".
What is the story, then? There is no evidence that Stratesec/Securacom "ran" or "were in charge of" security at the WTC. They were just a contractor, who did have a major role once, but were replaced by another company in 1998. The only evidence of further contact after that time is a couple of quotes from Barry McDaniel in one article, where he seems to be talking about designing a system that wasn't yet finished, and nothing as major as managing the security of the complex.
Even if McDaniel's contract was significant, there's no obvious connection to Marvin Bush, as he left the company in June 2000. No-one has yet presented any proof to support the assertion that Wirt Walker is Bush's cousin, either. And before we get too deep into family trees, how does being related to Bush act in any way as evidence of your willingness to conspire to commit mass murder, anyway?
Once again, an apparently significant point becomes much weaker once you look at the details. And in no way can this be regarded as even beginning to provide an explanation for how the WTC could have been prepared for demolition.
Bomb sniffing dogs were removed just days before the attacks on the Twin Towers.
The conspiracy theorists seem to be suggesting that the World Trade Center was running at below normal security levels just before the attacks, but I cannot find direct proof of this. There is, however, a story from newsday.com that is the probable basis for this theory:
The World Trade Center was destroyed just days after a heightened security alert was lifted at the landmark 110-story towers, security personnel said yesterday.
Daria Coard, 37, a guard at Tower One, said the security detail had been working 12-hour shifts for the past two weeks because of numerous phone threats. But on Thursday, bomb-sniffing dogs were abruptly removed.
"Today was the first day there was not the extra security," Coard said. "We were protecting below. We had the ground covered. We didn't figure they would do it with planes. There is no way anyone could have stopped that."
Note that the story talks about a "heightened security alert" being lifted, and "extra security" being taken away. So the security was not weakened at all, instead they were normal as usual after being heightened for whatever reason. Regardless, the assumption is completely incorrect, the bomb-sniffing dogs were in fact at their posts that entire time and even on September 11th.
Police K9 Sirius... ...was an Explosive Detection Dog with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department. Sirius, along with his partner, Police Officer David Lim, were assigned to the World Trade Center in New York, where their primary duty was to check vehicles entering the Complex, clear unattended bags and sweep areas for VIP safety... On the morning of September 11, 2001, Sirius and Officer Lim were at their Station located in the basement of Tower Two...
As you can see, this theory holds no water. If the security was higher than usual, but is reduced back to usual, that does not mean that security was "weakened", and as per the dogs, clearly at least one was there, more were probably on different shifts.