They knew. They knew, and they approved it. The Crescent of Embrace is supposed to be a Memorial to the people who were murdered when Muslim fanatics crashed Flight 93. Instead, it salutes Mecca, and the park service knew?!??
The Park Service already knew about the Mecca orientation of the crescent
The Park Service's other Islamic scholar, Kevin Jaques ... admitted the similarity between the giant Mecca oriented crescent and a traditional Islamic mihrab, then concocted a blatantly dishonest excuse for why the Park Service shouldn't be concerned about it. Jaques assured the Park Service that there was no reason to worry because no one had ever seen a mihrab this big before:
Thirdly, most mihrabs are small, rarely larger than the figure of a man, although some of the more ornamental ones can be larger, but nothing as large at the crescent found in the site design. It is unlikely that most Muslims would walk into the area of the circle/crescent and see a mihrab because it is well beyond their limit of experience. Again, just because it is similar does not make it the same.
If Jaques and Rabbat were willing to engage in such blatantly dishonest excuse-making, why did they start out by admitting that the giant crescent was geometrically close to a perfect mihrab? Because the Park Service already knew that the giant crescent was oriented almost exactly on Mecca, and that a crescent that Muslims face into to face Mecca is the central feature around which every mosque is built.
Advisory Commission member Tim Baird would admit this explicitly in 2007, but it was obvious much earlier. What the Park Service wanted when it conducted its internal investigation in the spring and summer of 2006 was excuses not to be concerned about these damning facts, and that is what Jaques and Rabbat provided. Similarly for the egregious Daniel Griffith, the "professor of geospatial information," who told the newspapers that "anything can point to Mecca, because the earth is round."
The Park Service knew this was all fraudulent. Griffith's "anything can point to Mecca" and Rabbat's "it has to be exact" were complete contradictions of each other, but the Park Service gladly embraced both as excuses to pretend that there was nothing to worry about.