Author Archives: Byron Belitsos

Why Lobbying Congress Is a Dead End

We've all been taught, and rightly so, that Congress is the constitutional forum in which solve national problems through democratic deliberation. And so, it is not surprising that some in our movement would advocate the idea of petitioning Congress and sending our activists to lobby the halls of Congress in person. Unfortunately, we believe this tactic to be intrinsically self-defeating. We understand, of course, that this approach is well-meaning. But we oppose, on grounds of common sense, the idea of dispatching people into the bowels of a political institution that we believe is literally built around denial of 9/11 truth. In sending our activists to Congress, we are putting them in the hands of two corrupt and corporatized political parties that are known countenance state repression, torture, crimes against democracy, illegal warfare—well, you know the list.

Further, we object on pragmatic grounds. In making pressure on Congress our political strategy, we are in effect endorsing this organization as an appropriate and just forum for redress of grievances about 9/11, which in our humble opinion is a political impossibility—in almost any imaginable scenario. And remember, is led and endorsed by a former distinguished U.S. Senator, the founder of our organization, and is endorsed by two other prominent Congresspeople, Representatives Dan Hamburg and Cynthia McKinney.

One more important point: If, somehow, enough citizens do swarm the halls of Congress with petitions or copies of peer-reviewed articles, that institution may—in theory—be moved to act by overwhelming pressure from below. But we can be near-certain that such a process will result in yet another grand deception. In such a scenario, Congress stages a “new, 9/11 investigation” that quells the grassroots, but is rigged yet again, perhaps this time less blatantly. They limit the scope of their new commission just as before, and stack it with insiders as before (maybe adding one or two token “truthers”or those capable of a "limited hang-out" with 9/11 truth). And, perhaps this time, they go a little further by sacrificing a few lower-level “conspirators” (for example, those behind the “Able Danger” scandal) in an effort to let off steam and thus deflate and ultimately delegitimize the truth movement.

You probably can infer by now where this argument is going. We at the Citizen 9/11 Commission Campaign believe that we have found a solution to the gridlock and corruption that pervade our federal system:  That solution is direct democracy and the state initiative process. That solution gives our activists a chance to mature politically by given them an effective vehicle in which to exercise their rights as citizens. It provides an outlet for passionate activism that is structured and reliable, one that leads to a legal process that has teeth and gets concrete results in the real, political world. And this solution has the potential to both heal and unify the 9/11 truth movement, redeeming our ten years of effort by providing a fulfilling and functional platform of political self-expression.

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The Importance of the Toronto Hearings

Nearly ten years after the crimes of 9/11, memories of the event are becoming dim, and key witnesses are at risk of disappearing. For the sake of obtaining justice in some future venue, there is no reason why a safe, open, and transparent judicial process cannot be created now, ahead of a legally constituted new investigation. Dozens of witness accounts, expert testimonies, and documents (textual, audio, or video)—much of it now simply posted on the internet—could be sworn in and filed as part of such a formal judicial process. Such an approach provides a reasonable answer to the following crucial question: Why leave this evidence in the realm of “hearsay” when much of it could be converted to evidence for the prosecution of a crime?

Answering this question is the intent of several groups active now in Canada whose work we applaud: The International Hearings and Inquest on the Events of September 11, 2001, also known as the Toronto Hearings. Founded by Canadian and American citizens, these activists have constituted an internationally recognized and respected process that will serve the juridical purposes explained above, with the goal of lending it a credibility and integrity that can withstand any test of legitimacy.They are working with some of the best legal minds in the United States and Canada.

The work of the Toronto Hearings is, in effect, an International Inquest. (In law, an inquest is an inquiry into the cause of an unexplained death, sometimes held by a coroner, and in certain cases with a jury present.) Thus, the objectives of the Project are as follows:

1. To compile and safeguard available evidence pertaining to the events of 9/11;

2. To have this evidence filed in a globally publicized and transparent judicial process especially created for this purpose;

3. To have this judicial process review all available evidence, including presentations by witnesses and independent experts, as well as review the key findings of the 9/11 Commission Report and the NIST WTC reports;

4. To have three internationally respected judges, one American, one Canadian and one from a third country, pass judgment on the case. Alternatively, to have a respected international citizen panel perform this task.

The initiators of the International Hearings Project have opted for a location outside of the United States for this work, because of the global ramifications of the events of 9/11. The city of Toronto, Canada has been chosen as this ideal “international” location because of its proximity to New York, Washington and Shanksville (the key crime scenes).

Sponsored by the International Center for 9/11 Studies, the first four days of these hearings will take place at Toronto’s Ryerson University between September 8 and 11, 2011. During these proceedings, which will be broadcasted live via the Internet, various expert witnesses will present evidence into the case.

Further hearings to present evidence in the case are intended for the Fall of 2011. The initiators of the Hearings are actively fundraising to pursue the work of the International Inquest following the initial September hearings, with the ultimate goal of finding the truth pertaining to the events of 9/11 and triggering the corresponding international and national legal recourses.

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