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Rebooting our Campaign
As you may know, the Citizens’ 9/11 Commission Campaign has gone through some significant changes in the last few months. We are back online now, and reorganizing to continue our prime mission – creating a real investigation into the events of 9/11 through state ballot initiatives.
Our major changes began late last November when Senator Mike Gravel first announced his departure from our group’s mission so as to return to his long time mission of creating a national initiative. While we wish him well with his mission, we chose not to join Mike in that effort, but rather decided to continue pursuing the state ballot goals as outlined by our revised strategic plan.
Gravel’s departure in December was not without difficulties, as you may have heard. While our primary focus is on moving forward and rebuilding on our existing foundation so as to advance our mission, we do address the ongoing dispute with Gravel in a separate post below.
As we have learned, it typically takes at least two years to mount successful state ballot initiatives. Since we only formally launched our current website less than five months before Mike’s departure, our efforts are no more than well started. The 2014 election cycle is more in line with the two-year period typical for implementing state ballot initiatives.
Our recent rushed attempt in Massachusetts to organize and raise sufficient funds for signature gathering in that state not surprisingly fell short for the 2012 election cycle, yet yielded a number of successes and established that state as a strong prospect for 2014. We are also still considering ballot initiatives in a handful of other prime initiative friendly states, including Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Maine and DC, and will be further evaluating those and other states, such as California in the coming months. California remains the best option in most ways except one, it is by far the most expensive. So it will remain an elusive dream, unless a few funding angels decide to change that.
One of the main qualifying criteria in evaluating the optimum state(s) for our purpose is the presence of enough local resident 9/11 truth activists in the state who are willing to help lead their state campaign. It will be up to you, our fellow 9/11 truth activists, to make possible a ballot initiative your own state, by contacting us so we can work together to make it happen.
Part of our new direction includes wanting to engage more effectively with the 9/11 truth movement than we did in the frantic months last summer and fall. We want to better gather advice, support, and more fully address your concerns, so that you will feel more a part of this effort. We look forward to many of you working more actively with us in our mission.
We are looking to partner with fellow 9/11 truth activists who, like us, also believe that state ballot initiatives are our best approach to our long sought after goal of a real, independent investigation into the events of 9/11. We currently need a few web savvy individuals to help us with our revised website, and to coordinate our outreach via social networks. Until then, hang in with us as we continue to rebuild our website to be more interactive and up to date.
In the mean time we are setting up a G-mail list serve to allow us to reopen lines of communication. Send email to [email protected] to sign up for that.
The success of this project depends on you, our fellow 9/11 truth activists. If you share our belief that the state ballot initiative is the best approach to a real and independent investigation, please contact us to let us know how you would like to help this effort succeed.
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, 911cc.org 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.
10 Facts about the 9-11cc – Gravel dispute
The Citizens 9/11 Commission Campaign team (9-11cc) vs. Mike Gravel
1. Mike Gravel started taking unannounced and unapproved withdrawals from the 9-11cc bank account weeks before this current dispute surfaced. In fact, it was precisely when the rest of the board discovered and questioned these unauthorized withdrawals that Gravel withdrew from the team – he stopped attending our regular meetings, and refused to negotiate with us.
2. While Gravel tries to take most of the credit for the funds that were raised, it is a fact that our donor funds came from supporters of the 9/11 truth movement, and not from any people that Gravel knew prior to working with our movement, or from anyone that he independently brought to us from outside the 9/11 truth movement.
3. Although the rest of the 9-11cc team erred by not insisting on two signatories on our bank checking account, it is a fact that Gravel opportunistically took advantage of that mistake last December when he removed most of the funds from the organization’s bank account, established in the organization's name and with the organization's EIN tax ID #.
4. Except for Gravel, the rest of the 9-11cc board and the general manager strongly and repeatedly opposed Gravel’s unilateral removing our donor funds for his personal project.
5. Other than Gravel, the rest of the 9-11cc team (with some minor personal variations) did not hold 2012 as the optimum goal for raising the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to mount a successful ballot initiative campaign. Those experienced with ballot initiatives generally agree that it takes a minimum of two years of preparation to mount a successful state initiative. Thus 9-11cc was, in a very real sense, “set up to fail” by Gravel’s unrealistic goals and brief timeline.
6. When an effort was made to freeze our bank account until a mutually acceptable agreement could be reached, Mike Gravel apparently advised our accountant to quit, and the next day, Dec. 20, 2011, withdrew another $25,000 in donated funds. Some days later, after our inquiry, Gravel informed us officially that he had resigned from our Board.
7. Gravel admitted early on that a motivating interest for him in our 9/11 cause was that it could help him promote his National Initiative for Democracy effort. In October of 2011 when we weren’t able to meet his personally set timeline goal for getting on the MA ballot during the 2012 election cycle, and after we all chose to not join him in his personal project, (and knowing that he had our funds effectively under his control), our movement’s usefulness to him seemed to end. His cooperation with most of the 9/11 activists he had worked closely with for many months on the 9-11cc project abruptly ended shortly thereafter.
8. As the end of the 2011 tax year approached, we discovered that Gravel had unilaterally, in October, suspended the long planned establishing of our 501c-4 status we needed so that we could transfer our remaining CA Recipient Committee funds. Other possibilities were discussed as to where our money could be temporarily “parked”. Mike proposed his own nonprofit organization, under his sole control. When it was suggested that a more neutral place to “park” our funds would be with A & E, Mike became outraged and insisted the money be put into his organization. Later he changed the concept that we were temporarily “parking” the funds with him to the notion that, upon his unilateral decision, the funds would be permanently "donated" to his organization, ignoring the fact that he knew we were by then completing, before year’s end, the establishing of our 501c-4 organization, and setting up a credit union account specifically to receive the transferred funds.
9. When our largest donor was told about what Gravel had done with our funds, he wrote Gravel “I feel robbed”. Both he and our second biggest donor, along with other donors, said that they donated their money only for the stated purpose – the mission – of 9-11cc, i.e., the sponsoring of state ballot initiatives for a 9/11 investigation.
10. Despite repeated requests, Gravel has refused to date to engage in any standard accepted methods, such as mediation, to resolve this current dispute.
No shortcuts to 9/11 justice — a 9-11cc editorial
An email promotion of a petition to the White House for a new investigation of the events of 9/11 has been making the rounds of the 9/11 truth movement this week. (For those interested, its details follow below our editorial.)
Long story short: the petition appeals to the Obama Administration to appoint and fund and independent prosecutor and empanel a federal grand jury to investigate the crimes of 9/11. Such online petitions to the White House work as follows: garner 25,000 signatures inside of a month — get a guaranteed response by the Obama administration. So what harm could that do, eh?
Here's our thinking: The chances of Obama Administration support for any truly independent look at 9/11 are even more remote than for the Congressional support which for over a decade has proven to be virtually non-existent (the honorable Cynthia McKinney's heroically conscientious example notwithstanding). When previously urged to investigate members of the Bush Administration for various war crimes, crimes against humanity and/or abrogations of the US Constitution, Obama's droll response was: “We need to look forwards, not backwards.” This evasive approach is hardly that of a votary of Justice. Justice is focused on looking backwards, in order to clear the future from the residue of past injustice. Obama has demonstrated opposition to this obligation, and has shown no sign since of changing his mind.
So, the counterargument runs, why not put him on record as opposing this independent investigation –isn’t there some value in that? There may be some minor benefit to “outing” Obama's position on that question, though we consider his position easily inferrable from his past utterances.
The real danger of this petition is that it could excite some of its signatories into believing that the end they justly seek might actually be accomplished by this futile means. To this danger we raise a red flag: the last decade of futile efforts by 9/11 truthers has demonstrated conclusively that petitioning the government for 9/11 justice is a dead end, and it makes no difference whether we are talking about the legislative, executive or judicial branch of that government. The official 9/11 narrative is a shibboleth of established power and policy, and if this were not so, the harder work of organizing, funding and implementing the Citizens 9/11 Commission Campaign would not be necessary. But it is necessary: if we want true justice for 9/11 victims, for their families and for the casualties of foreign and domestic policies that have proceeded from the convenient cover story provided by our government, we are going to have to do it ourselves.
There is no shortcut to 9/11 justice. Only our direct-democracy Campaign, by relying on state ballot initiatives and joint powers agreements between the states quite outside of government decision-making, offers a realistic approach to an independent investigation of 9/11.
We applaud the honorable motives of the White House petition's author, and can only agree with its stated purposes. It is only our abiding recognition of the unsuitability of the political means it relies on — the Obama Administration with its abominable track record — that qualifies our support.
Our appeal to people of conscience
Please join us in the important work of creating an independent Citizens' 9/11 Commission to reopen the 9/11 investigation!
We need your help to create a real investigation that is:
- free of governmental interference
- fully funded by we, the people
- vested with subpoena power
This objective can reached through the exercise of direct democracy. This means placing a ballot initiative before voters in states that have an initiative law. Our initial goal is to qualify in at least one state during the election year of 2014. After that, our task will be to wage an historic campaign to pass each initiative into law.
Once we begin seating the new commission in one of the winning states, then any other state, county and city will be able to legally and financially support the effort. soon, the entire country could be on record at the grassroots level for supporting a new commission – at which point nothing can stop us!
You can participate in the Citizens 9/11 Commission's campaign by becoming a sponsor, by making a financial donation, by forming an affiliated action group, and in other ways! First, please click on the “JOIN THIS CAMPAIGN” button to enlist as a campaigner, then click on the tabs underneath our banner to learn more about the other ways you can help the Citizens 9/11 Commission Campaign succeed.
“When in the Course of Human Events…"
Thus begins the Declaration of Independence. It asserts that we the people, given a choice, will not stand for ever-increasing tyrannical measures being imposed on us by our government. Our forebears saw it as their mission to provide this choice: They devised a strategy, executed a tactical plan, and launched a revolutionary new approach to government that sought to constrain state power and keep it answerable to we the people.
On the eleventh of September 2001, our nation was brutally traumatized by murderous attacks that occurred on American soil. In light of the available evidence and testimonies which have been extensively reviewed by discerning, independent investigators, it appears that the bulk of the official story about how these attacks were carried out is, in all probability, one big lie. If the attacks of 9/11 had been treated as the crimes that they were, if all of the forensic evidence had been reviewed by court of law, it would surely have come to light that the Bush Administration and certain military officers were not forthcoming in their versions of what actually occurred on that fateful day. Indeed, the official conspiracy theory advanced by the government has so many holes in it that no grand jury in the country would have handed down an indictment of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda on such a flimsy premise. Yet well over a million innocent Afghans and Iraqis have already lost their lives in the military prosecution of this kangaroo-court case. Deep down inside, we all know what was really high-jacked on 9/11: Our national integrity—justice, civility and our country’s claim to carry the torch of righteousness for the rest of the world. The time is past due for the public to stand up to our government, just as our revolutionary founders stood up to theirs, and to demand a real investigation of the events of 9/11 and its aftermath as the vital step to restoring justice and the rule of law. Just as our founding fathers opposed a tyrannical government that usurped the will of the people to pursue imperial expansion, so must we. And just as our forebears did, we need an actionable plan to accomplish our mission.
Although there is no avenue for a national Initiative in the U.S. at this time, 24 states have ballot initiative laws which enable the people to pass laws directly through elections—laws of the people, by the people and for the people. We see this as the best available option to achieve a real 9/11 investigation, because the U.S. Congress (along with our slavish mass media) has entrenched itself in the obviously flawed 9/11 Commission Report as the final word on the matter (recall that some members of the 9/11 Commission themselves have admitted that they were routinely misled and "doomed to fail”). Our Campaign is actively involved in filing initiatives in states that have initiative laws in place and is committed to seeing the passage of at least one such initiative in the 2012 (presidential) election cycle. Each initiative will empower an independent 9/11 Commission — free of governmental interference yet having full subpoena power — and will contain language that allows each state to link up with other states in a unifying, joint-powers arrangement that supports a single, national commission.
OUR FUNDING GOALS
Typically, a state initiative campaign goes through four phases: filing, certification, the signature-gathering campaign, and the electoral campaign. We will pursue these four steps in as many states as proves practical. The success of a signature-gathering effort in a state gives us the option to pursue an electoral campaign in that state if we believe we can succeed. Of course, to the extent that activists voluntarily assume responsibility for signature collection, the costs to the Campaign can be correspondingly reduced, but even under the best of circumstances, volunteers are normally able to collect only ¼ to â…“ of the total number of signatures required.
MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER
It won't be cheap, it won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight, but the support of enough caring citizens will assure our ultimate success. The Citizens’ 9/11 Commission Campaign has at its helm a steering committee of committed individuals. Last year, with the expert assistance of California’s Office of Legal Council, we drafted an initiative measure to serve as a foundation to be used in state referendums nationwide to legislate an independent 9/11 investigation and that includes provisions for “joint powers” that will enable collaboration between different states. Last Fall, a 9-11cc initiative campaign was certified and launched in Massachusetts, however the Campaign was unable to attract the financial resources needed to fund a full-fledged professional campaign in that state in time for the 2012 election cycle. So now we are regrouping for a 2014 effort.
No one should be above the law, yet the real perpetrators of 9/11 are most likely still at large, protected by government lies and cover-ups. We know what our revolutionary forefathers did when faced with an intransigent, imperialistic government. They wrote: “We pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” They developed a plan of action and saw it through. The price of “liberty and justice for all” is the same as ever. The CItizens’ 9/11 Commission Campaign is pledged to rescue our national honor from those who have disgraced it through an enormous miscarriage of justice called the “global war on terror.”
Our Campaign needs feedback, moral support, publicity, local actions in support of the campaign, statewide organizational efforts in initiative-law states, and most importantly at this juncture, financial donations. Please contribute in whatever way you can.
(Stuart DeUsoz, Byron Belitsos, George Ripley, and Ken Jenkins contributed to this article.)