At first, the High-Rise Safety Initiative sounds innocuous enough. Its stated mission: to "require the NYC Department of Buildings to investigate high-rise building collapses in NYC" that occurred on September 11, 2001 or after, excluding the World Trade Center Twin Towers.

OK! Safety is good, right?

But why? Exactly zero tall buildings have come tumbling down in the city since that fateful day — and that, it turns out, is exactly the point. Despite its broad-sounding name, the High-Rise Safety Initiative, which could appear on New York City ballots in November, is aimed squarely at one building: 7 World Trade Center, the lynchpin of every tin-hat's zany 9/11 conspiracy theory.

Crain's New York reports that the initiative, backed by a group called the NYC Coalition for Accountability Now, has raised $190,000 and collected 53,000 signatures on a petition, which it plans to present to City Council early next month. When the council ignores the proposal — and it will — the group can collect 30,000 more signatures and force its way onto the ballot. If New Yorkers vote the ballot initiative in, the city will have to comply and investigate 7WTC's collapse.

For the uninitiated: the day the Twin Towers fell, so did another, smaller World Trade Center building. Only this one wasn't hit with a plane. Both FEMA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted investigations into 7WTC, and both found that fire and debris from the Twin Towers were the root causes. Sounds pretty reasonable.

But! No other steel-frame building as tall as 7 World Trade Center has ever been known to collapse because of fire, something the NIST freely admitted in its report. That meddling federal government must have bombed it!

Ted Walter, executive director of the coalition, told Crain's he is "unsatisfied" with the NIST investigation, but stopped short of implicating the feds. He was more candid in an interview with The Faster Times, a website that appears to mostly cover the NFL:

TFT:What, if anything, do you personally think will be illuminated by a new impartial investigation?

TW:It depends entirely on who does the investigation and in what venue. A true investigation with full subpoena power would shatter the official story and lead to some accountability, though it will probably be impossible to identify everyone who was a part of the conspiracy.


TFT:Who do you think is primarily to blame for the inadequacy of the original investigation?

TW:Philip Zelikow. He was previously a member of the Bush Administration and he wrote the Preemptive War Doctrine, therefore it was a gross conflict of interest that he was in charge of the investigation.

TFT:Do you have friends that disagree with your beliefs about 9/11? Does this ever create tension in your social life, given the controversial nature of your work?

TW:None of my close friends or family disagree with my beliefs on 9/11. Some are more agnostic than I am, but they all believe the buildings were demolished.

Happy truthing, NYC. The coalition presents its proposal July 3.

[Image via Flickr]