The following first appeared in the Rock Creek Free Press, June 2009 Edition:
BY FRANK MORALES
It’s spring 2009 in New York City and an unannounced US government plane streaks across town. Recollecting the horrors of 9/11, the incident scares the he-be-gee-bees out of the citizenry. Meanwhile, US Senator Charles E. Schumer, recently attending an April 18th “Tour of the Battenkill” annual bicycle race in Cambridge, New York, responds to a question regarding efforts here to establish a new 9/11 investigation. Lending his qualified support to such an inquiry, he says that he’s positively disposed toward a new investigation into the events of 9/11, though his support for such a probe would depend on the form it would take. “I think it’s not a bad idea,” he said. “You know, you’ve got to do it in a good way, but yes, I’d be for it.”
Schumer is not the first to call for a new (real) investigation into the crimes on 9/11. The list is long and it’s growing. A small sampling of some of the more notable adherents to this call include former president Jimmy Carter, who, when asked if he’d support family members who want a new investigation into 9/11, stated that, “Yeah, I don’t have anything to do with it, but I certainly would. It would be nice.” Former Senator Mike Gravel, who long ago brought the Pentagon Papers to the US Congress, supports the call as well. As does his friend Daniel Ellsberg, the original recipient of said document. Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee wants to see a new investigation, as does former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. He and other members of Political Leaders for 9/11 Truth (including Curt Weldon and Cynthia McKinney) are “calling for a new, independent investigation of 9/11 that takes account of evidence that has been documented by independent researchers but thus far ignored by governments and the mainstream media.”
On the international front, former Italian President Francesco Cossiga, UK MP Michael Meacher, Japanese MP Fujita Yukihisa, and former German Defense Secretary Andreas von Bulow have all expressed support for a new inquiry into the September 2001 attacks. So has British MP George Galloway who put it this way: “The failure of the Bush Administration to properly investigate, maybe for self-serving reasons, because it would have shown them to be monumentally incompetent, or something more sinister than that, is another argument that is beginning to be established.” “We don’t know everything,” and because “there are lots of questions,” there is “definitely the need for more investigation.”
Noted historian and author Gore Vidal, prior to the last elections, stated that, “I think one advantage of having a Democratic House of Representatives after the coming election will be that we can have a new commission investigate 9/11 and the events leading up to our attacks on two innocent countries, Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s about time that we begin to clean up our own house before we find that an international tribunal has summoned our leaders to The Hague in chains to put them on trial.”
Recently, when responding to calls for a federal torture commission to look into the criminal methods of the Bush junta, constitutional lawyer and professor Jonathan Turley offered some very disparaging remarks concerning the 9/11 Commission when he stated, with some disdain, that, “God help us if the only thing we get out of this is a commission modeled on 9/11.” “That was a commission,” he said, “that was really made for Washington — a commission composed of political appointees of both parties that ran interference for those parties — a commission that insisted at the beginning it would not impose blame on individuals. So it’s the ideal Washington commission — a commission that would investigate without any repercussions.”
Why, even Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, ostensible heads of the federal Commission, the body tasked with getting to the truth of what happened, which many now feel was set up only to concoct and rationalize the official story in the first place; even they admitted that their own commission was “set up to fail.”
Hollywood has been far from silent on this matter as well. Scores of actors, directors, performers and entertainers have publicly expressed their disavowal of the official story and are calling for a fresh look at the events of 9/11, including Charlie and Martin Sheen, Christine Ebersol, Michael Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Rosie O’Donnell, James Brolin, David Lynch, Daniel Sunjata, Ed Asner, Willie Nelson and Richard Linklater.
Finally, let’s not forget, as Ralph Nader has reminded us, that the Bush “government didn’t even want to have an inquiry” at all, and that the inquiry the 9/11 Commission did eventually carry out, with ground rules set up by its executive director Philip Zelikow, a Condi Rice confidant, insured, according to Nader, that “they weren’t going to name names, or hold anybody responsible.” “So right from the get,” says Nader, the government sponsored investigation of 9/11 “was flawed” and consequently, “there needs to be another one, and the best place to have it is New York City.”
Well, apparently there are many who live and work here in NYC who think the same thing. In fact, 40,000 of them and counting! Going by the name of NYC CAN or the New York City Coalition for Accountability Now (nyccan.org), the organization has gathered more than 40,000 signatures toward a ballot initiative for this coming November 2009 which will allow the voters of NYC to sanction a new investigation of 9/11, an investigation with teeth, with subpoena power, and with a scope of inquiry that promises to leave no stone unturned.
In essence, NYC CAN represents the global 9/11 Truth Movement come home. Having spread its critical spirit and zeal for an honest rendering of this most heinous crime, its truth has comes marching home, home to New York City, to the scene of the crime, come home in the form of a serious movement for a new investigation. Given the energy and support behind their efforts, they just may succeed in putting the matter of an authentic investigation of 9/11 on this November’s ballot and, in the process, open up the mother of all cans of worms.
How do we account for the success thus far of the NYC CAN campaign? In part, it’s due to the massive national and international groundswell of inquiry and questioning of the official version of events of 9/11, a “truth movement” which emerged soon after the crimes of that day which has shown no sign of letting up, all the while effectively having demonstrated its central claim that the official story of 9/11 is a fraud, a fraud which has for some assumed the stature of a religious myth, albeit a misguided “patriotic faith” which has blinded many to the obvious flaws and contradictions in the official story.
Over the last few years, this Truth Movement, championed by websites like Patriotsquestion911.com has grown more extensive, more insistent, more committed and, critically, more professionally based. No longer simply a discrete coterie of computer based researchers and such, the movement now includes hundreds of architects, scientists, scholars, religious leaders, engineers, pilots, politicians, military and intelligence officials and other expert medical and legal professionals who are demanding a fresh inquiry, and are backing up their call with profound and convincing argumentation, often scientifically-based argumentation.
Though habitually ignored if not smeared by the corporate, as well as the so-called left media, it nonetheless continues to grow, along with its insistence on accountability, its insistence that there is more to the picture of 9/11 than 19 evil Muslims hell bent on our destruction, its insistence that the facts may in fact point to an “inside job,” its insistence that the best way to honor the fallen is through the acquisition of justice.
Hence, NYC CAN, which for its part, avoids taking positions as to the veracity of this or that aspect of the crime, has begun to flower in the heart of the Big Apple. Its simple focus on a new and authentic investigation has engendered solid and growing support both within and without the truth movement. Recently, its executive council, composed of family members, first responders and survivors, released a call to the public (available on their website) seeking support and donations for the effort, funds which are used to pay the scores of NYC CAN petitioners who daily hit the streets gathering signatures at the rate of “a buck a signature,” according to Ted Walter, the young and able executive director of NYC CAN.
Let us recall that in the months after September 11, a handful of the victims’ families joined together to demand an independent investigation into the government’s failure to defend its citizens on that tragic morning, leading to the formation of the 9/11 Commission and signed into existence, despite the foot dragging on the part of the powers that be, on November 27, 2002. Having thoroughly researched every aspect of the attacks, the Family Steering Committee provided the Commission with 400 questions that would need to be answered for the Commission to fulfill its mandate.
Long story short, after 18 months of proceedings and the release of the Commission’s Final Report on July 22, 2004, the Family Steering Committee determined that only a small percentage of its questions had been answered, leaving many, many questions still unanswered. In short, they never attained what they deserved. The validity of the federal Commission’s findings were further undermined by several factors, including contradictory accounts from the Federal Aviation Administration and the military, stonewalling from the Bush Administration, conflicts of interest among key personnel in the Commission, and the Commission’s failure to hold a single individual accountable for the numerous failures leading up to, on, and after September 11.
Now, following the release of the 9/11 Commission Report in 2004, a Zogby poll revealed that 66% of New Yorkers are in favor of another investigation to address the “still unanswered questions.” Hence, NYC CAN, has come together to deliver to the 9/11 Families, ailing First Responders, New Yorkers and the world what they deserve: a real investigation of 9/11.
How? New York City voters have the power to mandate legally the formation of a new investigation with subpoena power by petitioning to place a referendum on the ballot in the November 2009 General Election. With the passage of this referendum, New York City will take the first giant step toward truth and justice. Contact NYC CAN if you know in your head that the truth of 9/11 remains hidden, if you know in your heart that it’s the right thing to do, if you know in your soul that the victims and their families cry out for justice. Sign the petition now, volunteer, join NYC CAN as a member, and let’s bring the truth of 9/11 home where it belongs, right here in New York City.
Frank Morales is an Episcopal priest, a squatter and author of Police State America [Arm the Spirit, 2003] and a participant in the New York City Ballot Initiative Campaign, nyc911initiative.org