HISTORY & BACKGROUND
9/11 Truth Alliance - Working towards a citizen's truth commission 

History

People have been questioning the events of Sept. 11th since the day the tragedy occurred. Thousands of researchers and journalists have engaged in these efforts, effectively demonstrating the deficiencies of the official story and keeping the issue alive. This has been a huge, informal effort with many writers making important contributions. It belongs to no one person or group. (Please see the Community page for a sampling of the countless sites and forums dedicated to this pursuit.)

In the two years since Sept. 11, a dialogue has developed whereby researchers share information as they investigate the many avenues of inquiry. In the course of these discussions, it became clear to many that a more formal, organized strategy was required: 
- to develop the research material, by engaging in more primary research and by bringing together activists and researchers in seminars and public appearances.
- to present the vast scope and detail of the 9/11 evidence in ways that are factually and logically airtight, while also accessible to the public. 
- to sensitize the public to the continuing importance of the 9/11 investigations and of attaining disclosure. 

Within the loose networks of 9/11 researchers, several such efforts began, of which only a few examples are mentioned below. These initiatives have concentrated on consolidating the oft-chaotic mass of 9/11 research into a usable archive; reaching out to the public, media and institutions; and monitoring the government-backed investigations.

ARCHIVE. An obvious and primary task is to systematically gather all of the available evidence and reports on what happened, how and why - to create a single, comprehensive archive that upholds scholarly standards of sourcing, using confirmable facts. A basis for this has been achieved by Paul Thompson, the editor and main author of the 9/11 Timeline sponsored by the Center for Cooperative Research. But much work remains to be done. 

OUTREACH. The Unanswered Questions coalition, launched in 2002, has focused on creating a gathering place for researchers, investigative journalists and concerned citizens to pose thoughtful questions about the pressing issues of 9/11, with a view towards effective political action that can not be marginalized or dismissed by the mainstream media. UQ achieved an important breakthrough with the June 10, 2002 "Unanswered Questions" press conference in Washington, DC. This was an unprecedented presentation and press conference, featuring some of the leading 9/11 investigative journalists, law firms representing families of victims of September 11th, and several 9/11 family members themselves. For an overview of other efforts in this regard, including other budding chapters of the 9/11 Truth Alliance in New York and elsewhere, see the network links.

OVERSIGHT. An offshoot of UQ, 9/11 Citizens' Watch has specifically taken up the task of monitoring and constructively engaging the U.S. government-sanctioned National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, also known as the Kean Commission - in an effort to keep that investigation honest, despite the various handicaps under which it has been placed.

Though we can always hope, it seems unlikely that full disclosure about 9/11 will be forthcoming solely through the means of private research, or by relying on representatives of the government and its commissions. Logically the next step would seem to be:

PROTEST. So far many of the 9/11 victims' families themselves have been most active in both lobbying and marching on behalf of an investigation, and it was there efforts that finally forced the Bush administration to appoint the Kean Commission. A new initiative, unrelated to any of the other efforts to date, recently proposed mobilizing a "911 Thousand Man March" in Washington to demand a "more vigorous and completely transparent investigation - with open hearings and cross-examination - and that all findings be subject to the fullest possible  public disclosure." It will be interesting to see where this idea goes. 

Even as the above and other efforts continue, there is a need to coordinate the political pressure - to create a broad coalition that raises the demand for disclosure effectively, in a way that cannot be ignored.

This is where the idea of a 9/11 Truth Alliance comes in.

9/11 Truth Alliance came into embryonic form with a meeting held in New York City, in September of 2002. This initiated a series of planning sessions among activists across the United States via conference calls. The effort is dedicated to coalition-building among all who recognize the importance of the 9/11 disclosure issue, with the goals of
- building a growing and united movement for disclosure;
- popularizing the issue by promoting events and creating accessible resources; and
- gaining support for an independent, high profile and credible citizens' truth commission, one that can convene within the next year.

Towards a truth commission... the "ad hoc committee"

The core of 9/11 Truth Alliance so far has been the "ad hoc organizing committee," which has communicated in informal meetings, conference calls and e-mail. This group wrote the Statement calling for an independent citizens' commission, and gathered the first endorsements. Members of the ad hoc committee have continued working on a variety of research projects, and in helping to organize events in the United States and elsewhere. Various actions have been or are being staged under the name of 9/11 Truth Alliance in New York and San Francisco, and now in Berlin - see the events section of the homepage.

Some among us may have already come to their own, varying conclusions on "what really happened." But as a group, we do not follow a single line and we do not claim to know which of the various viewpoints and explanations will ultimately prove closest to the truth. We firmly believe in a rigorous adherence to an unbiased, objective approach. Conclusions must be suspended until an effective and open, confirmable process of fact-finding is complete.

The ad hoc committee is a transitional body: a necessary catalyst in the creation of a formal body with fully-defined policies and procedures - wherein disciplined and democratic principles must prevail.

The discussions of the ad hoc committee to date may be summarized as follows:

1) We plan to hold a FOUNDING CONFERENCE in New York, sometime in the spring of 2004. By the close of this conference, we intend to have set up a formal framework for a citizens' truth commission on 9/11 - outlining the date of its completion, procedural principles, how to make the process national in scope, and so on.

2) To this end, we need to define the relevant tasks. In the course of our discussions, we agreed that these include the following - each of which might require a separate committee to see it through:

Evidentiary gathering
- establishing criteria for sourcing, scholarship, confirmability
- research of facts
- establishing procedure and structure for the hearings to be held by a independent citizens' commission

Resources for researchers and activists 
- collating and making available as many written, audio/visual, musical resources as possible... to organizers and the general public... including a "how to kit" for starting local organizations, helping people hold meetings, etc.

Outreach and public relations

Logistics and event management

Fundraising and organization

Liaisons to:
- Government
- Victim families
- International
- Legal

These tasks culminate with the founding conference in New York, the process of choosing members of a citizens' commission on 9/11 (under whatever name it will be known), and the convening of that commission.

Perhaps you may like to get involved. Once you've established that for yourself, you may want to subscribe to separate lists, specifically set up to discuss the work of the different committees. The ad-hoc organizing committee list can be joined here: 9-11 Truth Alliance.

If you are not sure where you would like to get involved, and would simply like to be kept informed about new developments, please send an e-mail to the following address: 9-11 Truth Alliance News.

To add your event to the listings on this site's homepage, contact the editor.


To help visualize the expected process of collaboration, Kyle Hence prepared the following flow chart :