September 11, 2009
Peter Dale Scott, with Michael Berger and Janice Matthews
In the last few days Glenn Beck and the Washington Times have forced Van Jones to resign as environmentalist “green jobs” adviser to the White House. His principal offense: having allegedly signed a 2004 Statement from 911Truth.org calling for a new investigation of the events of 9/11.(Van Jones has subsequently denied ever signing or supporting the 2004 Statement and his name has been removed from the list of signatories.)
This is a moment of truth for all who want America to be an open society. As the Los Angeles Times reported on September 8, “Other conservatives, smelling blood in the water, are sharpening their knives.” Why should they not? The White House has just capitulated to a dishonest attack claiming that Jones “thinks the Bush administration blew up the World Trade Centers and covered it up.” You can check Beck”s capacity for accuracy by comparing this claim to the relevant call in the Statement itself: “for immediate public attention to unanswered questions that suggest that people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war.”
Supporting Beck are authors like Charles Krauthammer, arguing that “truthers” — those of us who signed the 911truth statement — are creating “a hallucinatory alternative reality in the service of a fathomless malice.”
In the wake of these attacks, three of the original hundred signers — including the environmentalist Paul Hawken and Jodie Evans of Code Pink — have asked that their signatures on the 911truth Statement be removed. I am hoping that numbers of other responsible community leaders will stem this flight from rational inquiry by coming forward to sign the statement at this time.
In fact, nine such individuals have done so already at Salon.com. In “Would you still sign the 9/11 Truth petition?”, reporter Vincent Rossmeier contacted 30 of the original signatories and asked, simply, “If you had to do it all over again, would you still sign the statement?” Of the responses published, all but two “expressed their full-fledged support for the petition.” Several of these people not only reaffirmed their endorsement of the statement, but went on to put forward clear arguments supported by overwhelming facts as to why they now do so.
I am one of the university professors who signed the Statement. One of the many reasons I did so was because of my awareness that Vice-President Cheney had given two conflicting accounts as to whether he was in the White House bunker in precisely the crucial minutes when the most important orders of that day (including the institution of so-called “Continuity of Government” measures which continue to this day) were issued from that place. I discuss this in my book The Road to 9/11 (University of California Press, 2007), pp. 200-03, 228-30, of which the following draft excerpt is available on the Internet:
Cheney himself told Tim Russert of “Meet the Press” on September 16, 2001, in an interview still available five years later on the White House website, that he arrived in the PEOC before the Pentagon was hit, i.e. before 9:37 AM.15 But the 9/11 Report follows a later and very different account in Newsweek, based on an interview with Cheney, which now had him leave his office at 9:35 and arrive in the PEOC “shortly before 10 a.m.” We shall see that new evidence, which only surfaced in 2006, corroborates Cheney”s first story, and makes his revised time-table extremely unlikely. Clearly one of Cheney”s two accounts of his arrival (before 9:37, and around 9:58) must be wrong. Moreover what is at stake is not trivial. Important orders were issued in this hour from the PEOC: one alleged order (whose content is uncertain) which Mineta claims to have heard about 9:30, a second order to ground all planes at about 9:45, and a third tripartite order (which according to Clarke included a shoot-down order) at about 9:50. By Mineta”s account, corroborated by Clarke, Cheney had arrived in the PEOC in time to give all three of these orders; by Cheney”s second account, he arrived after all three were given.
The case for a new investigation of 9/11 is now far stronger than it was in 2004, because even those responsible for the 9/11 Commission inquiry have since complained that it was flawed. The two co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, noted in their book, Without Precedent, that they were given insufficient time and “a dramatically insufficient [initial] budget of $3 million.” Later they wrote in the New York Times (January 2, 2008) that the CIA “failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot. [and] obstructed our investigation.”
The Washington Post (August 2, 2006) has reported that “Staff members and some commissioners thought that e-mails and other evidence provided enough probable cause to believe that military and aviation officials violated the law by making false statements to Congress and to the commission.”
Lee Hamilton has also said that “I don”t believe for a minute we got everything right”, that the Commission was set up to fail, that people should keep asking questions about 9/11, that the 9/11 debate should continue, and that the 9/11 Commission report was only “the first draft” of history.”
Louis Freeh, FBI Director at the time, has written that
“Even the most junior investigator would immediately know that the name and photo ID of [lead 9/11 hijacker Mohammed] Atta in 2000 is precisely the kind of tactical intelligence the FBI has many times employed to prevent attacks and arrest terrorists. Yet the 9/11 Commission inexplicably concluded that it ”was not historically significant.” This astounding conclusion–in combination with the failure to investigate Able Danger and incorporate it into its findings–raises serious challenges to the commission”s credibility and, if the facts prove out, might just render the commission historically insignificant itself. No wonder the 9/11 families were outraged by these revelations and called for a ”new” commission” (Wall Street Journal 11/17/05)
And Rutgers Law School-Newark Dean John Farmer, Senior Counsel and Team Leader to the 9/11 Commission states in his newly released book, The Ground Truth,
“At some level of government,at some point in time, a decision was made not to tell the truth about the national response to the attacks on the morning of 9/11. We owe the truth to the families of the victims of 9/11. We owe it to the American public as well, because only by understanding what has gone wrong in the past can we assure our nation”s safety in the future.”
In addition to these community leaders” signatures, 40 family members of 9/11 victims signed the 2004 Truth Statement. The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission submitted hundreds of questions to the 9/11 Commission as it began its investigation. Although Commissioner Jamie Gorelick told the family members their questions would be used as a “road map” for the investigation, the Family Steering Committee”s report, “FSC Questions to the 9/11 Commission with Ratings of its Performance in Providing Answers” found the overwhelming majority of questions were not only left unanswered but were not even addressed in the final 9/11 Commission Report.
I appeal to readers to help ensure that the doubters of the official 9/11 story will not be bullied into silence.
The real issue is to defeat the campaign of media hitmen to punish people who want to know the truth about their country. If you agree, please go to 911truth.org to read the 2009 Truth Statement and add your name to the voices of those who have signed the 2004 Statement.