By Peter Duveen

PETER'S NEW YORK, June 4, 2008--Can they awaken a sleeping American public? That's what a handful of critics who question the government's version of the events of September 11, 2001 are banking on. In fact, they believe they have already achieved a measure of success, and are looking to translate that into votes, not for politicians, but for the formation of a commission that will investigate 9-11 more thoroughly.

The 9-11 ballot initiative is a grass-roots movement supported by a sizable number of groups and individuals that have serious questions about the federal government's official 9-11 Commission report of four years ago. If successful, it will give New York City voters a chance to establish a new commission that will look into the events of that day in what many hope will be a more satisfactory, less politicized, manner than previous investigations.

Thirty thousand signatures of registered New York City voters are needed to put a proposition on the November ballot. An additional 15,000 signatures are required in the event the City Council rejects the initiative. Because city residents were so directly affected by the events of 9-11, there is a high likelihood that the proposition will be approved if put to a vote.

On September 11, 2001, two aircraft crashed into each of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan. The buildings, and a third nearby 44-story office tower, collapsed, or as some might have it, disintegrated, later that day. On the same morning, an explosion and fire at the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C., which the government attributed to a third aircraft collision, resulted in further loss of life, while a fourth airliner was said to have come down over rural Pennsylvania, resulting in the deaths of all on board. Shortly after the events, in which some 3,000 people lost their lives, the government came up with a scenario involving 19 hijackers of Middle East origin, who were said to have commandeered the aircraft and deliberately crashed them into their targets. It is the government's version that was chiefly reflected in the 9-11 Commission report, released in 2004.

A great number of unresolved issues in both the report and other government explanations of the events of September 11, 2001 have led to a public outcry for the formation of a new commission.

"It will allow us for the first time to have a real investigation" and "justice for those people who died on that day," said Frank Morales, pastor of St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, addressing a rally at his church last week to support the ballot initiative. "It appears that there are elements within our own government...who were at least complicit in what happened that day," Morales said. Morales's introductory address was followed by remarks from a long list of notables in the 9-11 Truth movement.

Frank Morales
Rev. Frank Morales: government "complicit" in 9-11.

The media has not accurately reflected the reality of the events of 9-11, said Jesse Richard, founder of TV News Lies (, a website that documents the inaccuracies and misrepresentations in mass media reporting.  The commissioners of the government's 9-11 Commission "weren't told to go and find out what happened; They were told what happened," Richard told his audience. Richard particularly questioned the failure of the nation's strategic defenses, which were unable to stop the World Trade Center attacks, even though fighter pilots have "standard operating procedures that they practice every single day." His main object of ridicule, however, was the mass media. "Treat them like the enemies that they are," he said. "Don't call them media." Richard had practical advice to volunteers who intend to help with the signature campaign. "Don't start with the 9-11 stuff; start with something you can touch their hearts with."

Jesse Richard and Chris Burke
Jesse Richard, media critic, speaks with Chris Burke, whose brother lost his life in the World Trade Center on 9-11, at a rally for the 9-11
ballot initiative at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, New York City.

Others stepped up to the podium, each giving their own unique perspective of why a new 9-11 investigation was important.

"I know that our government is lying to us," said Chris Burke, who lost a relative in the collapse of the twin towers. "People are not doing a good God-damned thing about it."

"There's nothing we can do today to bring (back) my brother, my friends," and the others that lost their lives, Burke said, "It's the people in this room," he said, who will make a new investigation possible by gathering the signatures to put a new investigation on the ballot.

Wayne Madsen (, an independent journalist and author of "Overthrow a fascist regime on $15 a day," noted that a formal reinvestigation of 9-11 would bring new witnesses out of the woodwork.  "There are so many things left uninvestigated," said Madsen, He said many in government "would be wiling to testify about what they saw happen on 9-11." These are patriots who do not fear government reprisals, Madsen said. "The only piece of paper they're concerned with is the United States constitution."

Wayne Madsen
Wayne Madsen: 9-11 was a "fascist coup."

Madsen said he had been told by sources that Flight 93, the commercial airliner that the government contends fell to the ground during a passenger revolt against hijackers, was 
actually shot down by fighter pilots.

A new investigation, Madsen said, is necessary to vindicate those who had lost their lives in pursuit of the truth. He related the story of John O'Neill, who was forced out of the FBI after losing a briefcase containing sensitive information. After he resigned from the FBI, O'Neill took a job as head of security at the World Trade Center, and died in the rubble of the towers while trying to rescue people.

Roland Carnaby was another person in the know who died mysteriously in April after an alleged altercation with police. "They shot him to death" while he was retrieving his Blackberry, Madsen said.

Still another person who may have had important information on the 9-11 attacks was found stabbed to death 36 times "with his own pen knife." His death was ruled a suicide.

"We owe it to John O'Neill" and other individuals who have recently lost their lives to have a new 9-11 investigation, which he said. "could open up the necessary mechanisms" put George Bush and Dick Cheney "in prison where they belong." Madsen said he believes the perpetrators of 9-11 had planned to stage a fascist coup. "And that is exactly what they did."

Sander Hicks
Sander Hicks: "The coverup has grown violent."

Sander Hicks (, who owns the Vox Pop coffee coffee bars in Brooklyn and Manhattan and has written and spoken extensively on 9-11, expanded on a similar theme: the deaths' of 9-11 activists. "The coverup has grown violent; the coverup has slain one of our own," Hicks said, referring to David Graham, an activist who claimed to have met with two of the alleged 9-11 hijackers in 2000. Graham's death was ruled a suicide, but many in the 9-11 Truth community believed it was a government rub-out. Hicks said he would use his coffee bars as "a locus for people power" in promoting the 9-11 ballot initiative.

William Rodriguez (, who is believed to have been the last person out of the north tower before it collapsed, and who was a member of the World Trade Center maintenance crew on the day the planes hit the buildings, had just arrived from Italy, where Rodriguez said he addressed an international group of neurosurgeons on the health effects of 9-11. "Seven years of lies, seven years of manipulation," he cried, referring to the government's attitude toward 9-11.

Rodriguez had kind words to say about his friend Madsen, with whom he worked to uncover some of the truths about 9-11. "I was homeless, living under a bridge," Rodriguez said. "He (Madsen) took me to dinner." The two discussed various facets of 9-11, and Rodriguez told Madsen that a video store owner in New Jersey had informed the FBI that two of the hijackers and some Israelis found cheering in the aftermath of the attacks were among his customers. Days later, the FBI confiscated the hard drive that contained the proprietor's customer list, Rodriguez said. "When he (Madsen) tried to get this information out, they stopped him."

William Rodriguez
William Rodriguez: his new movie "Last Man Out" will have a celebrity co-producer.

Rodriguez said officialdom feels increasingly threatened by the 9-11 truth movement. ""They're afraid; They don't want this information to come out," he said. He encouraged 9-11 activists to work to make the 9-11 ballot initiative a reality. Referring to many in the 9-11 movement as "the couch potato activists," he urged people to "go outside and make a change."

Rodriguez also announced that an upcoming film that he is in the process of producing on 9-11, "Last Man Out," will have a co-producer who is a major figure in the entertainment field.

A surprise speaker, albeit by amplified cell phone, was Arizona State Senator Karen Johnson, who recently made waves by publicly announcing her skepticism of the official explanation of 9-11. "To me, the 9-11 Commission was a white-wash," she told the audience as Les Jamieson, a 9-11 activist who played the role of master of ceremonies for the rally, held a cell phone to the microphone. "We really haven't had a truly independent 9-11 investigation, and I think it's high time that we did," she said. It is crucial, she said, "just to make the time in the next few weeks" to gather 30,000 or more signatures needed to put a new 9-11 investigation on the ballot. "We've got to have the answers to the many questions that surround the attacks on 9-11," she said.

Les Jamison
Les Jamieson patches Arizona State Senator Karen Johnson into the sound system at St. Mark's.
Johnson said it was "high time" for a new 9-11 investigation.

Jamieson patched two other speakers into the sound system so that the audience could hear their remarks. Lt. Col. Robert Bowman (retired), who was a career military man and an experienced pilot, said:."What we do know is that the official story is hogwash." He noted that there was no good explanation for why fighter pilots were unable to intercept the allegedly hijacked flights. If the government had done nothing, he said, "the twin towers would still be standing. That is not interference; it is treason."

Jamieson then phoned up West Coast activist Mike Marino, who said he believed the 9-11 truth movement would triumph "because the truth is more powerful that the deception," adding, "We got the truth on our side."

David Ray Griffin, author of several books on the government's role in the events of 9-11, issued a statement supporting the ballot initiative. "The evidence that 9-11 was an inside job is overwhelming," Griffin said. For those who volunteer for the signature drive, Griffin said, "your name will surely be included in the universe's list of heroes."

[More information on the 9-11 ballot initiative, including information on how to participate in the volunteer signature campaign, can be found at]


Changes, additions, corrections
7/8/2008: "Jamison" corrected to read "Jamieson" throughout.