Senator Mike Gravel
July 1, 2011
Former Senator Gravel is the Founder and Chair of http://9-11cc.org/
As each anniversary of 9/11 rolls by, the import of this tragedy looms ever larger in our history. Especially looming like storm clouds on the horizon of American politics are the unanswered questions about these events. And as new evidence and new whistleblowers come forward seemingly every week, the import of the 9/11 truth movement multiplies in historic significance. All of this points to the urgent need for a new, independent investigation with subpoena and other grand jury powers — a citizen’s commission that is truly free of partisan political interference.
Photo: Jim Watson.As we approach 9/11’s tenth anniversary, we are reminded — each time we pick up a newspaper — that the government’s “official 9/11 story” resulted in three interminable wars: Afghanistan, Iraq, and the War on Terror. The official line also conveniently set the stage for the Patriot Act that abridged so many of our liberties and civil rights, plus a long list of other abuses such as egregious torture of “terror suspects” in the name of national security. Our dilemma ten years later reminds me of a prescient statement made by James Madison: “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
The U.S. government’s investigations that culminated in the 911 Commission Report purported to set the record straight about the perpetrators of terrorism on our soil and the mistakes made by those whose sacred task is to defend our shores. But this 2004 report has since been called into question by a very long list of credible voices, not only within the United States, but throughout the world. Even the co-chair of the Commission, Governor Thomas Kean, admitted failure: “We think the Commission, in many ways, was set up to fail. Because we had not enough money, we didn’t have enough time, and we [were] appointed by the most partisan people in Washington.”
Thousands of civic volunteers calling themselves the 9/11 truth movement have gone on to parse the events of that fateful day, offering scientific and rational arguments for why the government’s official account is inaccurate, incomplete, implausible, and in fact constitutes a flimsy conspiracy theory. This body of new evidence and argumentation, combined with the refusal of our political leaders to even countenance a new investigation — along with the systematic marginalization of 9/11 truthers by mainstream media — adds to our suspicions that something profound is amiss.
Direct Democracy: The Way Forward
Presently, our heroic 9/11 truth activists can continue to educate Americans and the world’s people with the hope of pressing the government to act; however, it is evident to me that the federal government simply won’t act to change the 9/11 equation — and the American people simply can’t act, other than to continue to educate and agitate. That’s because of one obvious reality: the way to meaningful change is blocked by the elites now in control of the mainstream media and of Washington (regardless of party), and by the fact that citizens lack any other recourse. We lack access to the legislative procedures needed to implement the central power of government — lawmaking — at the federal level. Indeed, this is true as well in most governmental jurisdictions of the United States. But fortunately there are 24 states that have some form of initiative lawmaking process.
A new activist organization I founded, the citizen’s 9/11 Commission Campaign, has been exploring the feasibility of utilizing the state initiative process by filing state ballot propositions that would create an independent 9/11 commission funded by the citizens themselves. This effort launches on July 4 because of its extreme patriotic import.
As my team and I begin this work, we are heartened by one unassailable fact: the 9/11 truth movement has grown and prospered for nearly a decade, gaining millions of supporters through outreach and education in one of the most remarkable grassroots movements in American history. Our effort builds upon the movement’s innumerable breakthroughs and hard-won lessons. We believe these lessons point to a new approach to our common goals based on citizen power.
Of this I am certain: the 9/11 truth movement is grassroots; that sovereign power lies with the people; and that our fellow citizens are now awakened to 9/11 truth in vast numbers. It is time for a winning approach to change: the method of direct democracy — the state ballot initiative.