Thursday, March 25, 2010

Elicitation Techniques For The Intelligence Professional

Elicitation: "Acquisition of information from a person or group in a manner that does not disclose the intent of the interview or conversation. A technique of human source intelligence collection, generally overt, unless the collector is other than he or she purports to be."You don't hear much about elicitation. An element of intel operations tradecraft, many consider it the seedier side of HUMINT(or, as the business guys call it, "primary source") intelligence in the corporate world.

The best introduction to this world, in my opinion, is John Nolan's excellent book
Confidential (which you can now buy in paperback).

Another useful product came across my desk the other day, however. One of my students
(Thanks, Nimalan!) forwarded the very interesting slide presentation at the bottom of this post by Stephan Hernan who appears to be an independent analyst working health, science, and communications technology issues.

Whether you are curious about elicitation generally or are more interested in the counterintel implications of these techniques, I recommend the slide show:

John Nolan's excellent book Confidential Review

People say the darnedest things. They tell you how much money they make, how well their company did in the last quarter, what it'll take to undercut their latest bid on a government project or to undermine their marketing efforts. All you have to do is ask.

John Nolan, a 22-year veteran of international espionage who is currently involved in corporate intelligence-gathering, shows you how to ask, what to ask, when to ask, and whom to ask. The methods can be as simple as deliberately making a misstatement--"The toothpaste division sure missed its projections this quarter"--and getting someone who knows better to correct you, in the process supplying you with the information you want about his company's inner workings. Or they can be as complicated as patiently and doggedly piecing together tiny scraps of information from a number of sources. Whichever you resort to, Nolan shows a conversational method for ensuring that the person dispensing the information doesn't even remember he or she gave it out. No, it's not hypnotism; it's starting and ending a conversation with generalities, and discussing specifics only in the middle, the part of a chat that most people won't recall.

Confidential could be useful to anyone who needs information about a rival, or who needs to protect his or her own company's secrets. Nolan illustrates his points with examples from business (how Johnson & Johnson gathered intelligence that protected its Tylenol franchise from a rival product) as well as fiction (Appendix A is dedicated to the techniques used by Sherlock Holmes to elicit information). The result is an entertaining book that may take your business to a more intelligent level. --Lou Schuler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Confidential is must-reading for those who should be guarding shareholders' information assets." -- Lewis W. Lehr, former chariman of the board and chief executive officer, 3M

An easily understood and highly readable field manual that guides professionals in mastering the art of intelligence collecting. --
Tom Parker, principal, business intelligence, NIPSCO

Remarkably thorough, engagingly written and above all, useful the day one starts to read it. --
George A Dennis, Director of Competitor Intelligence, Bellcore

Product Description

Whether you know it or not, your business competes in an environment in which many Fortune 500 companies are recruiting ex--CIA officers--specialists with training in elicitation, intelligence collection and analysis, and counterintelligence. It is a world where small businesses are becoming increasingly more sophisticated at digging up information about their competitors--and are using it to beat the big players at their own game.

Welcome to the era of Business Intelligence, where staying one move ahead of the competition requires uncovering their secrets and using them to your advantage.

In Confidential, John Nolan, a former federal intelligence officer and a preeminent expert in the field of Business Intelligence, reveals how your company can gather the intelligence it needs to beat the competition, while keeping your own valuable secrets under wraps. Providing the basics of Business Intelligence, including such invaluable techniques as data elicitation and sourcing as well as higher-level intelligence gathering and counterintelligence tactics for more sophisticated corporate policy makers, Confidential reveals:

How a well-planned conversation can be your most valuable information gathering tool

Who will most likely tell you what you want to know--and who is supposedly unsusceptible

How to discover the people who know what you need to know, both inside your company and outside, inside your industry, and beyond

How studying your customers and the leaders and decision-makers in their industries can enhance your competitive intelligence in significant ways

Why trade shows present an unparalleled opportunity for intelligence--what to look for, how to obtain it

Which countermeasures will ensure that neither you nor your employees become the unwitting sources of leaks

How to translate information into action that will directly affect your company's profits

Whether you're looking to find out the design and price of a competitor's upcoming product line, or uncover the dangers of entering a new market, this comprehensive, practical handbook offers effective strategies that anyone from senior-level executives to middle managers can utilize to protect themselves and outwit the competition.

About the Author

John Nolan, founder of Phoenix Consulting Group, a Business Intelligence solutions firm, spent twenty-two years in intelligence collection and counterintelligence special operations in the United States, Asia, and Europe. He is well known in the mainstream business community for his development of integrated solutions to industrial and economic espionage, trade secrets, and other information issues. He is frequently featured in national and international media such as Forbes, George, and CNN. He can be reached via email at jnolan

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

If people listened to themselves more often, they would talk a lot less.
--Courtois' Rule

For over thirty years, I've been collecting information for intelligence consumers--both federal as well as commercial. For the past ten years, I've run a company that specializes in collecting hard-to-find information that can be turned into competitive intelligence and then to competitive advantage. For much of that time, we've also provided courses in intelligence skills and techniques to business professionals who work for most of the largest--and many of the medium-sized--companies in the world.

How do we do this? We do it legally and ethically. We don't steal information, bribe people, bug their conference rooms and executive suites, or hack into their computers. We don't misrepresent ourselves, conduct ruse interviews, or have specially molded masks to impersonate others. We really don't need to. In America, where a great deal of our work is done--working for one firm against another irrespective of national pedigree or ownership--we encounter what we call a "target-rich environment."

This target-rich environment gets its name from the comments of a former adversary, a former Soviet intelligence officer who defected to the United States in the late 1980s. We became acquainted a year or so later and have maintained a fairly cordial relationship now that we no longer have professional constraints. He worked against the United States while I worked against his former homeland. Every once in a while, he and I get together to tell each other lies about how successful we were.

On one of these evenings a few years ago, he told me that he'd just finished a great book that really captured the essence of the East-West intelligence competition. Oddly, he said that it was written by a former U.S. Navy pilot. I had no clue what a pilot could have known about our old business. My colleague went on to tell me that the pilot recounted some of his experiences over North Vietnam. The U.S. pilots would take off for missions over the North, and large numbers of North Vietnamese aircraft would rise to meet them. The navy pilot described the aircraft as inferior Soviet export models, flown by inexperienced and undertrained North Vietnamese pilots. Rather than viewing the environment as hostile and threatening, the navy pilot commented that he and his colleagues viewed it as a "target-rich environment."
My former Soviet adversary then said that that really captured the essence of how we competed, he and I. While I worked against a xenophobic and suspicious people who were extremely hard to meet, he had free rein in the United States against an open, trusting people that never really met a stranger. For him, the United States was--and remains--a target-rich environment.
I must admit that our experience bears that out.

In our efforts on behalf of clients to collect useful information that helps them make decisions that impact their financial and technical performance, we follow a standard that requires us to identify ourselves by our true names, and by our company. We do that in every contact with a source or potential source of information.

It maybe be helpful to share a statistic with you--one that we began compiling in 1992 and that has remained fairly consistent since that time. Each time our researchers, our diggers as we call them, contact a source--whether a new one or an old one--they fill out a form that describes the person, their information, and their reactions to the approach. It's their reactions that I'd like to share with you.

Let's say we call one hundred people. We say exactly the same thing to each of them. For example, "Hello, my name is John Nolan, from Phoenix Consulting Group, in Huntsville, Alabama. I'm working on a project involving X, Y, and Z and wonder if this is a good time to speak with you." Depending on how cynical you are, you may or may not be surprised that fifty people out of that one hundred will say, "Sure, this is as good a time as any" or "Could you call back in an hour after I've had a chance to clear my desk?"

The other fifty are somewhat less cooperative. Most of these remaining fifty will ask at least one, but usually two, questions. The first usually is "Before I talk to you, what's this about?" Our answer is fairly standard as well: "We're a research firm in Huntsville, Alabama, and we're working on a project on behalf of a client." The second question is a little more focused: "Well, who's your client." Our response is consistent as well: "Sorry, I can't tell you. You see, we have confidentiality agreements in place with every one of our clients and they prevent us from being able to disclose the name of our client."

You would think that anyone with an IQ above room temperature would respond, "Hey, if you can't tell me who your client is, there's no way I'm going to talk to you." Indeed, fifteen out of that remaining fifty hang up at that point. Fifteen. The remaining thirty-five people say something like "Oh, yeah. I've gotta put up with confidentiality agreements at my place too. I understand. So, what can I do for you?" That means eighty-five people out of a hundred agree to talk to us. That's just the starting point. It's what they say afterward, knowing what they've just learned about us and our reasons for calling, that sometimes amazes us.

We'll be spending the first part of this book showing you the ways we keep those conversations going--and enjoy repeat calls to the same people in subsequent projects as well. As you adopt these methods, you'll be joining the thousands of intelligence professionals--government and nongovernment alike--whose approaches to information collection have changed radically and for the better because of the way they've added elicitation to their tool kit.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cheneyism with a CRUEL Face: Obama's New Imperial Presidency

Call me a cynic, but I was hardly surprised to learn that the "change" regime is threatening to veto the 2010 intelligence authorization bill "over a provision that would force the administration to widen the circle of lawmakers who are informed about covert operations and other sensitive activities," The Washington Post reported.

Never mind that churlish congressional Democrats, like their corporatist Republican colleagues across the aisle, would crush each other in a stampede to see who'd be first in handing the Executive Branch whatever it wants.

Under the proposed bills (S. 1494 and H.R. 2701), the White House would have to inform all members of both House and Senate intelligence committees of the "main features" of covert operations disclosed to the all-too-pliable "Gang of Eight." Whether this would include specific disclosure to Congress of CIA or Pentagon "black programs," identified in budget authorizations only by code words or cryptonyms, is unknown.

Comprised of the Speaker and minority leader of the House, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, and the chairman and ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, this "Gang"--torture and aggressive war enablers all--have earned a place in the dock alongside Executive Branch criminals--for their facilitation of every law-breaking, constitution-shredding practice of the Bush and now, Obama governments.

According to the Post and other published reports, in a letter sent to "senior members" of the intelligence panels March 15, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter R. Orszag affirmed that "Gang of Eight notifications are made in only 'the most limited of circumstances' affecting 'vital interests' of the United States, arguing that the new requirement would 'undermine the president's authority and responsibility to protect sensitive national security information'."

"Sensitive" as in criminal operations designed to advance the geopolitical agenda of America's multinational corporations, particularly the giant energy, weapons and financial conglomerates who rule the roost.

Orszag is a close confidant of Robert Rubin, the former Treasury Secretary and CEO at the criminal financial enterprise known as Citigroup. In a series of extraordinary reports, Narco News investigative journalist Al Giordano described how Citigroup "has been caught time and time again in narco-money laundering trails in our América and across the globe."

In December 2008, Reuters reported that a group of investors filed a lawsuit against the firm, charging Citigroup executives, including Rubin, with selling shares at inflated prices whilst concealing the firm's risks. Both Orszag and Rubin were "senior fellows" at the neoliberal Brookings Institution where Orszag directed The Hamilton Project before joining the "change" regime as OMB Director.

The deal killer according to Orszag comprise several items "of serious concern to the Intelligence Community (IC)." If implemented by Congress "the President's senior advisors" would then recommend the bill be vetoed. These include: "the Congressional notification provisions, GAO provisions, and provisions regarding the amounts authorized for the National Intelligence Program."

According to Secrecy News security analyst Steven Aftergood, the "dispute over an increased role for GAO in intelligence oversight is particularly illustrative of the disparate and conflicting interests of the legislative and executive branches."

The answer to Aftergood's rhetorical question, whether the "status quo is good enough?" when it comes to increased oversight, given Executive Branch malfeasance in crafting make believe intelligence during the run-up to the 2003 U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, would inevitably be "no."

Recall the oft-quoted statement by the former Director of the British intelligence agency MI6, Richard Dearlove, who infamously told the Blair regime in the leaked Downing Street Memo that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed (by the U.S.) around the policy."

A million dead Iraqis later, Dearlove's grim assessment still stands.

Indeed, following a script written by Bushist war and torture enablers John Yoo, Jay Bybee and David Addington, Orszag alleges that "allowing GAO to conduct intelligence oversight ... would fundamentally change the statutory framework for oversight of the IC through the intelligence oversight committees and alter the long-standing relationship and information flow between the IC and intelligence committee members and staff."

In other words, despite fundamentally restrictive and opaque methods deployed by the Executive Branch to conceal covert operations, including blatantly illegal programs barred by U.S. and international law, Salon's Glenn Greenwald notes that so-called "Gang of Eight" briefings are a "sham process."

According to Greenwald, the current rigged game "allowed the administration to claim that it 'briefed' select Congressional leaders on illegal conduct, but did so in a way that ensured there could be no meaningful action or oversight, because those individuals were barred from taking notes or even consulting their staff and, worse, because the full Intelligence Committees were kept in the dark and thus could do nothing even in the face of clear abuses."

As readily apparent, particularly where Bush's torture and warrantless wiretapping programs were concerned, the former, and now current, administration can claim they had "informed" congressional leaders of secret administration policies. Never mind that the allegedly "co-equal" branch of government, Congress, can do nothing to stop these dubious programs; not to worry, our "representatives" are "in the loop"!

Regardless of whether or not these programs violated the law--under international treaty obligations and U.S. law in the case of torture or the protection of Americans' First and Fourth Amendment rights with respect to illegal spying--the administration has simply declared that abiding by any statutory requirements vis-à-vis Congress's lawful oversight of the Executive Branch are simply null and void.

"Team B" Nation

The Obama administration, like their Bushist predecessors, have also declared that Federal Courts are also off-limits when it comes to reeling in abuses by the "unitary executive," a novel constitutional theory promulgated by the ultrarightist Federalist Society and wholly embraced by the current government.

In the wake of 1970s revelations of widespread spying and other abuses against the American people by successive administrations--COINTELPRO (FBI), Operation CHAOS (CIA), Project MINARET (NSA)--Congress briefly asserted its prerogatives to rein-in the Executive Branch by creating the FISA court (a rubber-stamp to be sure) that on paper at least if not in practice, would oversee the surveillance activities of the secret state.

Push-back wasn't long in coming, however. With the rise of the Reagan administration, neoconservative corporate toadies such as Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and others asserted that the hypermilitarized American capitalist state was "under siege" by a "resurgent" Soviet Union (already in the throes of collapse) and that the intelligence agencies had been "gutted" by "overzealous" civil liberties "extremists."

As investigative journalist Robert Parry has pointed out, under former CIA Director and future President George H.W. Bush, the "Team B" concept for ginning-up intelligence gained favor in the corridors of power.

Scary assessments of Soviet power and U.S. weakness also fueled Ronald Reagan's campaign in 1980, and after his election, the Team B hard-liners had the keys to power. As Reagan and his vice presidential running mate, George H.W. Bush, prepared to take office, the hard-liners wrote Reagan's transition team report, which suggested that the CIA analytical division was not simply obtuse in its supposed failure to perceive Soviet ascendancy, but treasonous. (Robert Parry, "Why U.S. Intelligence Failed," Consortium News, October 22, 2003)

Gone were the secret, though brutally frank assessments, made by security and intelligence analysts across government as revealed by Daniel Ellsberg's 1971 leaking of the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times. Such appraisals as Parry averred were now considered "treasonous," indeed, were grounds for witchhunts and purges of intelligence officials who didn't toe the neocon party line during the run-up to the Iraq invasion.

With the lies of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations exposed by Ellsberg and his colleagues, and the basis for the American invasion of Southeast Asia revealed for what it was, a monumental fraud, elite managers were thrown into crisis.

As a transcript of President Nixon's June 14, 1971 Oval Office tape disclosed, White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman described the situation thusly: "To the ordinary guy, all this is a bunch of gobbledygook. But out of the gobbledygook comes a very clear thing: You can't trust the government; you can't believe what they say; and you can't rely on their judgment; and the implicit infallibility of presidents, which has been an accepted thing in America, is badly hurt by this, because it shows that people do things the President wants to do even though it's wrong, and the President can be wrong."

Haldeman's bleak assessment has now become the basis for the capitalist state's descent into presidential dictatorship; after all, as the "democratically elected" leader of the "free world," one must enforce, by all means necessary "the implicit infallibility of presidents."

A decade after Pentagon Papers' revelations, the ascendance of Reagan regime neocons laid the ideological foundations for the assault on America's republican form of governance, by many of the same players who are now permanent embeds, in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations.

Presidential Dictatorship

Subverting the long-standing notion of "judicial supremacy" articulated by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall in 1803, that the Court is the "final arbiter" of what is and what is not the law, Bushist doctrine (firmly embraced by Obama "change" mavens) asserts that the "unitary executive" has full license to overrule, indeed bypass Congress and the Courts, based on the thinnest of reeds: that the President can interpret the Constitution and even violate long-established laws and treaties in his role as "Commander-in-Chief."

This was made clear most recently when the Federal District Court in San Francisco dismissed the Electronic Frontier Foundation's landmark Hepting v. AT&T and Jewel v. NSA lawsuits.

Currently, the Obama administration is challenging the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals April 2009 ruling that the ACLU's lawsuit against the CIA's illegal torture flights, facilitated by a Boeing Corporation subsidiary, in Mohamed et. al. v. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. can go forward. Like Bush's Justice Department, the Obama administration is arguing that the suit cannot go to court, thereby denying CIA torture victims a measure of justice, on grounds that privileged "state secrets" would be disclosed.

EFF filed an appeal with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco March 19, citing the dangerous precedent set by U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled in January that "that because so many people have been impacted by the widespread surveillance, no individual person has a 'particularized injury'."

In other words, precisely because illegal driftnet spying, data mining and national security indexing of "U.S. persons" are so pervasive, mere background noise as the secret state's noose tightens around all our necks, citizens and legal residents alike will no longer be afforded a legal remedy to challenge specious national security claims made by Executive Branch repressors.

EFF's Legal Director Cindy Cohn writes: "This ruling is not only wrong--the NSA's interception of your private emails with your doctor, spouse or child is an individual harm to you regardless of whether it also happened to other people too--but also extremely dangerous because it would have the courts blind themselves to massive violations of the law and the Constitution on the grounds that they impact too many people."

Not that congressional grifters in either capitalist political party, "liberal" Democrats or "conservative" Republicans give a damn about our rights, as they amply demonstrated when they passed the scurrilous FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA).

That onerous piece of legislative flotsam legalized Bush regime warrantless wiretapping whilst providing the giant telecommunications firms and Internet service providers with retroactive immunity for their profitable role as partners alongside America's secret state.

Recall that feckless Senator and now President, Barack Obama, who might have said he "opposed FAA before he supported it," has embraced, indeed expanded every single illegal maneuver--from aggressive war to wholesale spying--as his Bushist counterparts. One might even say, if "only Nixon could go to China," then only an Obama (covered by his "progressive" acolytes) could enlarge the repressive writ of the intelligence agencies!

As Federal Computer Week reported March 17, the public-private enterprise fueling domestic repression known as "fusion centers" are expanding rapidly as a result of cold, hard cash pumped into the system by the federal government.

According to FCW journalist Patrick Marshall, "DHS and the Justice Department have driven the development of fusion centers." Both departments have provided a "variety of resources, including personnel and grants" that have seen such data mining centers balloon from 38 in 2006 to some 72 currently in operation nationwide, with more on the horizon.

But as the ACLU revealed in two incisive reports in 2007 and 2008, the "types of information they seek for analysis has also broadened over time to include not just criminal intelligence, but public and private sector data, and participation in these centers has grown to include not just law enforcement, but other government entities, the military and even select members of the private sector."

According to the civil liberties' watchdog, their proliferation "raise very serious privacy issues at a time when new technology, government powers and zeal in the 'war on terrorism' are combining to threaten Americans' privacy at an unprecedented level." Indeed, the ACLU reported in September 2009 that fusion centers have been caught spying on antiwar, environmental and religious groups and will, under Obama, now receive access to classified military intelligence.

That Congress will roll-over and accede to administration demands over the issue of intelligence oversight is a foregone conclusion. One would expect nothing less from the best Congress money can buy! But these legislative vampires are now planning to take things a step further.

Arizona Senator and failed presidential candidate, John McCain, introduced the Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010 (S. 3081) in the Senate on March 4.

McCain, and co-sponsors Scott Brown (R-MA), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), James Inhofe (R-OK), George LeMieux (R-FL), Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), John Thune (R-SD), David Vitter (R-LA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) are crafting legislation that Glenn Greenwald has described as "the single most extremist, tyrannical and dangerous bill introduced in the Senate in the last several decades, far beyond the horrific, habeas-abolishing Military Commissions Act."

Greenwald writes that the bill literally "empowers the President to imprison anyone he wants in his sole discretion by simply decreeing them a Terrorist suspect--including American citizens arrested on U.S. soil."

The bill mandates that all such individuals "be placed in military custody," and explicitly states that they "may be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners."

As The Atlantic's national security correspondent Marc Ambinder writes, although the bill is being treated by the "national security community" as a "standard proposal" and a simple response "to the administration's choices in the aftermath of the Christmas Day bombing attempt," a closer reading reveals that it would allow the U.S. military to detain U.S. citizens without trial indefinitely in the U.S. based on "suspected activity."

Welcome to the Orwellian world of permanent crime.... It can't happen here? It already has.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Le Renseignement de théâtre israélien se réorganise

Renseignement de théâtre

La semaine dernière, l’état-major israélien organisait une cérémonie à l’occasion de l’entrée en service du nouveau Combat Collection Corps (CCC) qui vient succéder au Field Intelligence Corps (Haman). Commandée par le Brigadier-Genéral Eli Polak, cette unité qui dependant organiquement du renseignement militaire israélien (Aman) au même titre que le Sayeret Matkal ou l’unité 8200, est chargée des opérations de renseignement de théâtre, de la désignation d’objectifs et de missions « ISR» (Intelligence, Surveillance Reconnaissance) aux frontières du pays. Le Combat Collection Corps s’appuie sur trois bataillons (Shachaf, Nitzan, Nesher), ainsi que sur la Field Intelligence School. La nouvelle organisation doit permettre à l’unité de développement ses moyens de collecte de renseignement et d’accroitre ses capacités opérationnelles.

Le CCC va ainsi élargir son périmètre d’action avec l’acquisition de renseignements notamment au profit des unités du Génie qui jusqu’à présent n’étaient pas du domaine du Field Intelligence Corps. Le Bataillon Shahaf est en charge de la zone de commandement Nord (frontière syrienne et libanaise) tandis que le bataillon Nitzan dépend du commandement central , surveille la frontière jordanienne et appuie les opérations en Cisjordanie. Enfin, le bataillon Nesher affecté au commandement Sud est chargé de la bande de Gaza etde la frontière égyptienne. Depuis l’opération Plomb durci, ce bataillon met en œuvre des tourelles téléopérées baptisées Roeh Yoreh. En décembre, dernier, l’un de ces systèmes a été employé pour stopper une tentative d’infiltration dans le nord de la bande de Gaza.

La Field Intelligence School, a elle récemment été transférée sur la base militaire de Sayarim afin de disposer notamment d’un champ de tir et d’accroitre le nombre de session de formations à la mise en œuvre des systèmes téléopéréz. Un mouvement qui s’inscrit dans le plan de l’état-major, de grouper autour de Shizafon/Sayarim les principaux centres de formation.

Friday, March 5, 2010

NW corner of Building 7 of the World Trade Center on 9/11

Hesiod, "Works and Days....."

~ ~ ~

WTC7 in Freefall: No Longer Controversial

This video tracks the motion of the NW corner of Building 7 of the World Trade Center on 9/11 2001. For a period of ~2.5 seconds. This means it was falling through itself for over 100 feet with zero resistance, an impossibility in any natural scenario. This period of freefall is solid evidence that explosives had to be used to bring the building down.

In the final draft for public comment (August 2008) NIST denied that WTC7 fell at freefall. In the final report in Nov 2008 they reversed themselves and admitted freefall, but denied its obvious significance.

WTC7 Measurement FAQ [PDF]