Here is the speech I wrote for my talk tonight that is sponsored by Peace Fresno.
Hello. My name is Jon Gold. I recently wrote a book entitled, "9/11 Truther: The Fight for Peace, Justice and Accountability." It is basically the story of my life, and the story of my life over the last decade since the 9/11 attacks happened. Cindy Sheehan, a woman who lost her son in the Iraq Occupation, and someone that has been an inspiration to me for many years, was kind enough to write the foreword for my book. She is in attendance tonight, and I would like everyone to please give her a round of applause.
Before I begin, I would like to thank Malcolm Chaddock who put me in touch with Peace Fresno, Sam Chaney and everyone else at Peace Fresno for giving me the opportunity to speak. I am grateful for any opportunity to do so. If I had known that writing a book would give me more opportunities to speak, I probably would have written one a long time ago.
I always envisioned writing a book about the fight for 9/11 Justice, but I expected that it would happen after everything was said and done. However, that didn't look like it was going to happen anytime soon, so I decided it was too important not to write now. I believe people needed to know the story of this fight. It wasn't my fight alone. In fact, I wasn't even a participant in this fight early on. I participated in what Dr. Michael Parenti refers to as the "Patriotic Binge." I wanted revenge for what happened just like most other Americans. I wanted to bomb the shit out of the Middle East. I wanted the "terrorists" (which in my mind at the time, included all Arabs) to pay for what they had done.
I was as ignorant, if not moreso than most Americans at the time of the 9/11 attacks. I was terrified about it happening again, and I became addicted to the TV News. I had to know what was going to happen next. Unfortunately, I picked Fox News as my news channel of choice because they were the Red, Whitest, and Bluest. I was never political before 9/11. I had never cared about politicians, or the policies of the U.S. Government prior to the 9/11 atrocities.
As I said, this wasn't always my fight. Very early on, people in New York City gathered in churches to be with people who experienced loss on that day. Like anything as bad as 9/11, you would expect that people eventually started to ask questions about how and why the attacks occurred. People who lost someone that day started asking questions, and had every right to do so. There were also others who questioned things early on. Political activists who have been following the actions of the U.S. Government for very many years. It is the people of New York, the family members who lost someone that day, and the veteran political activists that started this cause early on.
On the day of 9/11, I did have one question about what happened, and that question was… after the Pentagon was struck, I asked my friend at work, "where the hell is our military?" I didn't really think about it much after the attacks. It wasn't until January 2002 when I started to pay closer attention to the news regarding 9/11. In January 2002, George Bush and Dick Cheney went to Tom Dachle's office, and asked him to "limit the scope" of the investigations into 9/11. That was according to CNN. According to Tom Daschle, when asked by Tim Russert:
MR. RUSSERT: So both the president and the vice president requested, urged you, not to have an investigation of the events of September 11?
SEN. DASCHLE: Correct.
MR. RUSSERT: You’re absolutely convinced of that?
SEN. DASCHLE: I can give you the dates. I have.
MR. RUSSERT: What words did they use?
SEN. DASCHLE: Well, I think—I don’t recall the exact words, but the motivation was that they didn’t want to take people off of the effort to try to win the war on terror. They were concerned about the diversion of resources, the diversion of manpower, in particular, and that was the reason given to me by both the president and the vice president about their concerns involving an investigation of any kind.
MR. RUSSERT: It wasn’t “Let’s not have a national commission, but let’s have the intelligence committees look into this,” it was “No investigation by anyone, period”?
SEN. DASCHLE: That’s correct."
In my mind I thought, "Why would the President, and the Vice President, OF ALL PEOPLE, not want to know exactly how and why this happened, so as to make sure it could never happen again?"
However, even though I heard this news, I was still pretty much involved in the "Patriotic Binge." I started a job at a new company in 2002, and I made sure to post an American flag on their website when I got to the company. My friend Mike Jackman spoke to Tom Daschle, and he confirmed what Daschle told Russert.
It wasn't until May of 2002 when news of the August 6th, PDB came out and I saw how the families had to fight for an investigation that I really started to become interested, and involved.
If you remember after 9/11, we were told repeatedly that the Government had no warnings that the attacks would take place. We were told repeatedly that the Government had "no idea" that anything like that could occur.
These were lies, and the August 6th, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing that George Bush received in Crawford Texas while on vacation is only one example of this.
I'm not going to go through the massive archives of warnings the Bush Administration received before 9/11. I'm not going to go through the massive archives of people telling us that there were no warnings, and that nobody in Government had any idea that this was going to happen.
Instead, I'm going to read a quote to you from 9/11 Family Member Patty Casazza. Before I do that though, I'm going to give you a brief history of the Jersey Girls, of which Patty was a part of. As I said, after the 9/11 attacks, the family members started asking questions about what happened. 4 of those family members, Kristen Breitweiser, Lorie Van Auken, Mindy Kleinberg, and Patty Casazza, were the most outspoken with regards to these questions. They all lost their husbands on 9/11, and they were greatly responsible for making sure the questions of the family members were heard. They became known informally as the "Jersey Girls," but their group is known as the "September Eleventh Advocates." 9/11 Family Member Monica Gabrielle is also among their group. When the 9/11 Commission started their work, these family members, along with others, started what was called the "9/11 Family Steering Committee." They provided 100's of well researched questions for the 9/11 Commission to answer. They worked alongside the staffers of the 9/11 Commission. They attended every hearing of the 9/11 Commission. The Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean, said "They monitor us, they follow our progress, they've supplied us with some of the best questions we've asked. I doubt very much if we would be in existence without them."
In November 2007, there was a conference held in West Hartford Connecticut. At that conference, 9/11 Family Member Patty Casazza surprised us by attending. She, along with 9/11 Family Member Bob McIlvaine were kind enough to tell us about their experiences with the 9/11 Commission. Patty told us about 9/11 Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, and other whistleblowers that were either ignored or censored by the 9/11 Commission. Here is the quote I wanted to read from Patty:
"we met other whistle-blowers on the side of the road in Maryland, ya know, to hear what they could tell us. None of them revealed state secrets to us by the way (laughs)… um, but, they had information… and basically, the Government knew… ya know, other than the exact moment… they knew the date, and the method of which the attacks were supposed to come."
This brings me to one of my favorite subjects. The 9/11 Commission. But before I talk about the 9/11 Commission, I want to talk a little bit about the families that lost someone that day. In September 2004, I heard Bob McIlvaine cry on a stage in NYC, talking about why he is involved in this fight. That broke my heart. Ever since then, I vowed to make sure the family members got the justice they so richly deserve. I have said very often that I understand the anger that I feel when I read about 9/11, and see the different lies, but I can't possibly imagine what it's like to be someone that knows what I do, ON TOP of having lost someone that day. To see the names of their loved ones used to do horrific things around this country, and the world, all the while not knowing what happened to their loved ones or who was ultimately responsible. It is unimaginable to me, and it is part of what drives me. They deserve better than what they got. We all do.
Now, the 9/11 Commission. The 9/11 Commission was mandated "to provide a “full and complete accounting” of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and recommendations as to how to prevent such attacks in the future."
Everything they omitted from their report, like the previously mentioned whistleblowers that were ignored and censored, shows that they failed with their mandate, and believe me, they omitted MANY things from their report. The 9/11 Commission had many conflicts of interest with its Commissioners. My favorite is the fact that Lee Hamilton, the Co-Chair of the 9/11 Commission, was greatly responsible for previous cover-ups having to do with the Iran/Contra Affair, and the October Surprise. Also, he is good friends with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. He shouldn't have been anywhere near the 9/11 Commission. The biggest conflict of interest had to do with the 9/11 Commission's Executive Director, Philip Zelikow.
Paul Sperry explained, “though he has no vote, (Zelikow) arguably has more sway than any member, including the chairman. Zelikow picks the areas of investigation, the briefing materials, the topics for hearings, the witnesses, and the lines of questioning for witnesses… In effect, he sets the agenda and runs the investigation.”
In 1995, Zelikow wrote a book with Condoleezza Rice called, “Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft.”
In 1997, Zelikow and Ernest May wrote a report about John F. Kennedy that is “riddled” with errors.
Zelikow wrote the pre-emptive war strategy for the Bush Administration.
Zelikow tried to prevent the 9/11 Commission staffers from talking to the Commissioners.
Zelikow tried to insert a false connection between Iraq and 9/11 into the 9/11 Report, but the families, and the staffers fought against it. Select staffers of the 9/11 Commission dispute this account, though Zelikow ultimately had to approve Laurie Mylroie’s testimony before the 9/11 Commission. She was the one pushing the Iraq link.
It has been alleged that he took direction from Karl Rove who, according to Philip Shenon, was concerned about the 9/11 Commission because “in the wrong hands… [it] could cost President Bush a second term.”
In early 2003, Philip Zelikow and Ernest May wrote a complete outline of the final 9/11 Report. Zelikow, Kean, and Hamilton decided to keep this outline a secret from the commission staffers. When “it was later disclosed that Zelikow had prepared a detailed outline of the commission’s final report at the very start of the investigation, many of the staff’s investigators were alarmed.”
He rewrote the 9/11 Report to be more favorable to Condoleezza Rice.
Zelikow refused to approve half of the interview requests for “Saudi Connection” investigations. He blocked investigators from accessing the 28 redacted pages of the Joint Congressional Inquiry, and then fired investigator Dana Leseman after she tried to get the pages through a back channel.
In June 2004, Philip Zelikow and Dieter Snell took part in a “late-night editing session” to delete passages of the 9/11 Report having to do with Saudi support for the hijackers.
During the time of the 9/11 Commission, the families called for the resignation of Philip Zelikow, but were denied that request.
After the 9/11 Commission was finished, Philip Zelikow was given a job with Condoleezza Rice at the State Department.
On October 9th, 2010, during “Freedom Watch” with Judge Napolitano, 9/11 Whistleblower Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer alleged that during a lunch in Philadelphia, a 9/11 Commissioner told him that, “everybody on the commission was covering for someone.” The following week, Judge Napolitano asked Philip Zelikow to appear on the show to talk about this. He REFUSED.
On 9/7/2011, it was reported that “President Obama appointed Philip Zelikow to serve on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board.”
The 9/11 Commission was underfunded, it had a very limited amount of time, and even Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton admitted in their book that they were "set up to fail."
The 9/11 Commission was a farce, and yet, was sold to the world as the definitive account of 9/11. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Now, some may ask why hasn't the media reported on any of the discrepancies regarding 9/11 and the 9/11 Commission. Very simply, the media in this country does not work for the people. It sometimes reports on the news, but it never puts the pieces together, and it never asks the tough questions. It doesn't give certain things the attention that Anna Nicole Smith, Michael Jackson's Death, The Ground Zero Mosque, and other things get. With regards to the cover-up of 9/11, it seems that the media's job has been to slander and attack anyone that questions the official account of 9/11. For years, the media ignored our efforts. Around 2005/2006, they finally started to give us coverage, but for the most part, they focused on the fringe of the 9/11 Truth Movement in an effort to paint the whole as such. They did anything and everything within their power to make a "9/11 Truther" the equivalent of a baby killer, or a dog torturer.
Because of this, many "progressives" that you would think would be very vocal about 9/11, have been made silent. They want to maintain their pulpits, and don't want to be painted with the "9/11 Truth" brush. Personally, I think it is very sad when a so called "progressive" lets the media dictate what they will or won't talk about.
When I say the media doesn't give certain things the attention it deserves, I'm going to give you two examples.
On September 11th, 2006, 9/11 Family Members Donna Marsh O'Connor, Christina Kminek, and Michele Little got together at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. to call for a new investigation. Only one news outlet in this country covered it.
In February 2008, the "Jersey Girls" called for an entirely new investigation after the allegations regarding Karl Rove and Philip Zelikow surfaced. Only one news outlet in this country covered it.
Do you think these are things you should have known about? Do you think these are things that are considered "newsworthy?" The media used to say that people like me were "dishonoring" the family members. I can't think of anything more dishonoring than ignoring their pleas for real justice.
If we had a media in this country that did its job, I wouldn't have to do what I do. Shame on them. Shame, shame, shame.
So what is a "9/11 Truther?" I am the one that coined that phrase, so I get to decide its meaning, and not the media. In an article I wrote entitled, "What Is A 9/11 Truther?" that was cited by the New York Times, I wrote that in my mind a "9/11 Truther" is someone who fights alongside the family members seeking truth and accountability for the 9/11 attacks. In my mind, a "9/11 Truther" is someone who fights for the sick and dying 9/11 first responders who need health care desperately. In my mind, a "9/11 Truther" is someone who does not like how the day of 9/11 is being used to inflict pain and suffering around the world, and is trying to stop it. Stop it by using the truth. Something we have been denied by our government regarding the 9/11 attacks."
The bottom line is, if you wince at the phrase "9/11 Truther," or hate "9/11 Truthers" it's because you've been watching too much TV.
The 9/11 Truth Movement does have many problems. For instance, years ago, our signs used to say "support the 9/11 Families, ask questions/demand answers." Eventually, people in what I call the "Conspiracy Theory Industry" started to get their mitts into the movement, and our signs would say things like, "NEW WORLD ORDER," and "FALSE FLAG ATTACK," and "9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB!!!" When you're trying to reach a majority of people, it is best to use information that doesn't sound "crazy" to the masses. There are many in the 9/11 Truth Movement who push theory as fact. There are many who create litmus tests for any given theory, and if you don't believe this theory, you are a this or a that. There has also been been what appears to be legitimate infiltrations of the movement. As Thomas Pychon said, "if they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers." Infiltration is something Peace Fresno can relate to. Go watch Fahrenheit 9/11.
With regards to theories, when you're not being given answers to your questions, it is human nature to theorize as to the reasons why. However, theories are not fact. I think the real facts speak for themselves, and don't require any theories. That is why I wrote an article entitled, "The Facts Speak For Themselves" which is available in my book.
Other problems we've faced have come in the form of death threats, slanders, accusations, crank phone calls, and agenda driven "debunkers." Suffice it to say, it has not been easy.
Now, why is it important to get the story right about 9/11? Raise your hand if you can tell me some of the changes that have occurred because of 9/11. (examples, occupations, loss of civil liberties, expansion of Executive Power, no accountability in Washington D.C., National Security Letters, Torture, wiretapping, kill lists, bankrupting this country, etc…)
If the event of 9/11 was not what we were led to believe, and I can guarantee you that it wasn't, then there is absolutely no justification for the "Post-9/11 World," and everything that entails.
One of the problems that has happened because of 9/11 is a hatred towards Muslims and Arabs in general. As I said earlier, I wanted to see them bombed after 9/11. I have since learned otherwise. They are people no different than you or I. They have families that they care about, they have jobs that they work at, they have hobbies, etc… and so on. I see 9/11 as a crime. Not an act of war, but a crime. I don't see it as an American, Pakistani, Saudi, Israeli, Catholic, or even a Episcopalian crime… I see it as a crime. Muslims may have been involved in the attacks, but that doesn't mean it was a Muslim crime. You don't blame an entire religion, nationality, or ideology for the actions of a few. Otherwise, you will end up murdering 1000's of people that had absolutely nothing to do with that crime. Like we've seen in the Middle East.
In my opinion, the myth of 9/11 is dangerous to everyone on the planet. The truth about 9/11 is dangerous only to a few.
Again, I see 9/11 as a crime, and as with every crime, there are suspects for that crime. I believe elements within our Government and other Governments, along with people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, have MORE THAN EARNED the title of suspect for that crime. When you look at the actions of the Bush Administration prior to 9/11… planning for the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations, the convenience of 9/11, and how they used it to further their agendas, and when you look at the lengths they went to, to make sure a real investigation never transpired, in my opinion, they have more than earned the title of suspect.
I have been doing this a very long time. I probably know more about 9/11 than most people on the planet. However, I don't know what happened that day or who was ultimately responsible. I wish I did. I wish the families were able to go through a 9/11 anniversary remembering their loved ones, without remembering the unanswered questions as well. I wish the people of this country stood up and did the right thing. That is ultimately why I wrote my book, and that is why I am here speaking to you today.
After 9/11, we came together like never before. We were told to go shopping, but we did come together. It's time for us to come together again, but this time, to do the right thing, and direct our energies into finding out what happened that day, and who was responsible, so that that day can NEVER AGAIN be used again as it has been.
I hope you take the time to read my book. If you can't afford one, send me your email address, and I will take care of it. I wrote it to help this country, and the world. It can only do that if you tell people about it.
Thank you for your time today, and I will now take questions...