January 31, 2011
TO: Citizens of the World Working for Peace
ACTION NEEDED: Protest the Condemnation of Professor Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.
WHY: Professor Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University, has demonstrated courage in saying that there are “gaps and contradictions” in the official account of 9/11. He has been “condemned” for such conservative statements about 9/11 by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US Ambassador Susan Rice, and Ambassador Rice has called for his removal from his unpaid post at the U.N.
Professor Falk has been devoted to world peace during his lifetime, and he is arguably the world’s most qualified legal scholar in the Palestine-Israel issue in the UN where he is very much needed.
Write as a citizen (not part of a movement) to both U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to let them know you disapprove of their censoring statements to Professor Richard Falk, and that you call for an apology to him.
Five sample letters follow. Please do this as soon as you are able. Time is of the essence. And please forward to your peace and justice contacts and those working for peace for Palestinians and Israelis.
Link to Richard Falk’s blog on this issue: http://richardfalk.wordpress.com/?s=9%2F11+gaps&submit=Search
ADDRESSES for Ambassador Susan Rice:
Hon. Susan Rice U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations U.S. Mission to the United Nations 799 United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017
Or use the form at this link (go to “Contact us”): http://www.usun.state.gov/
Or use this social media: facebook: www.facebook.ambassadorrice.com or twitter: “http://twitter.com/AmbassadorRice”@AmbassadorRice
Secretary Ban Ki-moon: Hon. Ban Ki-moon Secretary General, The United Nations Headquarters New York, NY 10017 Or email: SG@un.org
Five Sample Letters to Ambassador Rice and Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon
1) From Adnan Zuberi, student, University of Toronto Wed, Jan 26, 2011 To: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Princeton’s Dept. of Politics Chair Prof. Milner and US Senator Mark Dayton Mr. Ki-moon,
I am a student at the Univ. of Toronto and I have carefully examined your sudden reaction to Prof. Falk’s comments regarding 9/11. You were very quick in saying that his statement that 9/11 is a cover-up is offensive and he should be removed from the UN. However Sir, if you actually bother to read some of the statements by US officials such as Senator Dayton (provided below), you will see that Prof. Falk is just stating facts that are far from new.
I am confident that Princeton University will not be intimidated or pressured by your misinformed statements and I hope Princeton supports their own professor. True academics are concerned with facts and truths whereas you Sir are concerned about how “offensive” it appears.
Adnan Zuberi B. Ed Candidate, Univ. of Toronto
Senator Mark Dayton said: NORAD “lied to the American people, they lied to Congress and they lied to your 9/11 commission to create a false impression of competence, communication and protection of the American people.” Direct video reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nRoGNqiHBY
Senator Max Cleland, Former 9/11 Commissioner, said “One of these days we will have to get the full story because the 9/11 issue is so important to America. But this White House wants to cover it up.” Reference: http://www.democracynow.org/2004/3/23/the_white_house_has_played_cover
2) From David Ray Griffin, PhD., Professor Emeritus
January 27, 2011
Dear Ambassador Rice:
I have found your recent claims about Richard Falk, along with similar claims by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to be poorly supported.
Speaking through his Chef de Cabinet, Vijay Nambiar, on January 24, Ban Ki-moon described as “preposterous” Falk’s comments about 9/11, in which he described the official account as containing “gaps and contradictions.” Ambassador Rice, you declared Falk’s comments to be “despicable” and “noxious.”
But as the website Patriots Question 9/11 shows, questions about the official account have been expressed by over 3,000 notable persons, including architects, engineers, pilots, professors, medical professionals, artists, entertainers, government officials, law enforcement officers, military officers, and intelligence officers. Secretary Ban Ki-moon and Ambassador Rice, you have both “condemned” Falk’s comments. Do you really want to condemn all of these highly respected people for honestly stating their views.
Just as the Secretary-General claimed that Falk’s comments were “an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in the attack,” you, Ambassador Rice, called Falk’s comments “deeply offensive.” But the website of Patriots Question 9/11 contains a list of more than 300 9/11 survivors and family members. Do the two of you really wish to condemn all of these 9/11 survivors and family members for having stated, frankly, that they have questions about 9/11.
I hope that you apologize to Professor Falk and all the others you have insulted with your unfounded accusations.
Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology
Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University
3) Professor Tony Hall’s Comment on the UN Web page detailing Ban Ki-moon’s 9/11 attack on Dr. Falk, 25 January, 2011.
It is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who has discredited himself with his reactionary and ill-informed response to the interventions of Dr. Falk on the state of scholarly controversies concerning the contested events of 9/11.
Certainly Professor David Ray Griffin’s ten books on the subject are key works crucial to describing the scholarly landscape of the ongoing research concerning 9/11.
Until Mr. Ban Ki-moon has done his homework on the contested interpretations of what did or did not happen on 9/11 he should restrain himself from criticizing UN staff like Dr. Falk. Dr. Falk is a learned academic who demonstrates his determination to respect human rights by doing the necessary homework to make informed observations and conclusions about the contested events of 9/11.
By not keeping himself up-to-date on the scholarship of 9/11, Mr. Ban Ki-moon is unfortunately part of the constituency that denigrates all Arabs and Muslims who have been smeared collectively by those who disseminate an unsupported interpretation of what happened on the fateful day.
We expect much better from the figurehead of the UN, an institution cheapened and demeaned by the intervention of the Secretary-General into an area on which he obviously has not been properly briefed. Decency requires that the UN Secretary-General favor evidence over the propaganda effects of a toxic public mythology that perpetuates the ruthlessness of the illegal 9/11 Wars.
Anthony J. Hall
Professor of Globalization Studies
University of Letbridge, Alberta, Canada
4) From Frances Shure, Licensed Professional Counselor
Dear Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Ambassador Rice,
Because of your condemnations of Professor Richard Falk, I cannot help thinking that you are completely uninformed, or misinformed, on the issue of 9/11. You are also displaying behavior inappropriate for officials of the UN, an organization whose mission is to promote world peace. Dr. Falk, a Jewish American, is one of the world’s preeminent scholars devoted to world peace, and currently, peace in the Palestine-Israel conflict.
According to scientific polls, Dr. Falk’s comments conservatively reflect the opinion of a major portion of the US population and populations of other countries. As an example, please note that a 2006 Time Magazine article reported:
“A Scripps-Howard poll of 1,010 adults last month found that 36% of Americans consider it “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that government officials either allowed the attacks to be carried out or carried out the attacks themselves. Thirty-six percent adds up to a lot of people. This is not a fringe phenomenon. It is a mainstream political reality.”
In another example, a 2008 World Public Opinion poll of 17 nations outside the US found that majorities in only nine of the countries believe Al Qaeda carried out the attacks.
There are also many professional organizations researching and reporting on the events of 9/11, such as Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (www.ae911truth.org), and Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice (www.stj911.org).
In addition, the national Green Party of the US calls for a truly independent investigation, as does the Colorado Democratic Party. Here is the statement from this party’s 2010 Platform:
“WHEREAS many disturbing facts were consciously ignored by the 9/11 Commission; Be it resolved, therefore, that the CDP calls for the establishment of a truly independent Grand Jury and public investigation into these and other anomalies in order to find the truth of the September 11, 2001 attacks, so that we have a greater probability of preventing attacks of this nature in the future.”
Therefore, not only are descriptions such as “noxious” and “despicable” unbecoming of officials in your positions, but they are insulting, not only to Professor Falk, but to millions of people around the world.
Professor Falk is sorely needed as a voice for peace in the UN. I hope you will do the research needed to inform yourselves of the reasons Professor Falk made his blog statements, and make a public apology to him.
I look forward to your response,
Frances Shure, Licensed Professional Counselor Denver, CO, USA
5) From Earl Staelin, Attorney
Dear Ambassador Rice,
This is to express my strong disapproval of your attack on Richard Falk for expressing his opinions about the events of 9/11. Mr. Falk is a distinguished international legal scholar whose knowledge of and respect for international law puts him in a unique position to promote a just and lasting peace in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine, in line with President Obama’s goals and statements, and based upon international law.
The events of 9/11 were used to justify the war in Afghanistan and the Iraq War despite the fact that the U.S. never provided any of its promised evidence to Afghanistan that bin Laden and al-Qaeda had caused the 9/11 attacks; the FBI has stated it has no evidence proving that bin Laden caused the 9/11 attacks, and it has been well established that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11.
Many prominent and respected individuals have also raised serious questions about the credibility of the Bush administration’s claim that 19 Arab hijackers caused 9/11 and call for a new independent investigation. These include:
Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan, and a former editor of the Wall Street Journal; Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst who provided the daily intelligence briefing to several presidents including George H.W. Bush; Robert Baer, former CIA officer and subject of the acclaimed movie Syriana; Robert Bowman, Ph.D., former jet fighter pilot, original director of the “Star Wars” program under Presidents Ford and Carter, and former head of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering at the US Air Force Institute of Technology; Dwain Deets, former Director for Research Engineering and Aerospace Projects at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, where he received the NASA Exceptional Service Award; Steve Jones, Ph.D., retired professor of physics at Brigham Young University and internationally distinguished physicist; Lynn Margulis, world-renowned biologi st; Richard Gage, A.I.A., architect who has designed tall steel buildings and founded Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, which now has over 1,400 architects and engineers who call for a new investigation; Dr. Niels Harrit, professor of chemistry at the University of Copenhagen, and expert in nanotechnology; David Ray Griffin, who has written nine books on 9/11, one of which was a Publisher’s Weekly “Pick of the Week”; former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel who served in military intelligence in the 1950s and in 1971 entered over 4,000 pages of the (until then secret) Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record.
There are many more distinguished scholars and leaders in numerous fields who question the official story and believe there should be a new investigation, which this time would include any evidence that leads to various U.S. government entities.
It is of particular concern that the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, had undisclosed conflicts of interest, including his key role in writing the Bush administration’s illegal preemptive war doctrine which was also used to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is has also been shown that the 9/11 Commission only investigated and reported information that supported their predetermined position that al-Qaeda masterminded 9/11, and failed to investigate or report any of the large volume of information that undermined the 9/11 Commission’s position.
The primary purpose of the United Nations has been to promote and establish peace under international law. It is a misuse of your position as Ambassador to attack a public official such as Mr. Falk for his responsible exercise of the right of free speech, particularly when the evidence strongly suggests his position calling for a new investigation has been widely supported by so many prominent scholars and authorities and is backed by a large body of credible evidence. As Ambassador you should be strongly defending Mr. Falk and his right to speak out without calling into question his position in the U.N.’s Middle East effort to achieve a lasting peace.
We strongly urge you to retract your comment and to stand firmly behind Mr. Falk’s continuation in his present position.
Thank you for your consideration.
Earl Staelin Attorney at Law Denver, Colorado