Group promoting vote on new 9-11 probe will switch to PR effort

by Peter Duveen

PETER'S NEW YORK, Friday, October 16, 2009--Political activists promoting a ballot initiative to establish a new investigation into the events of September 11, 2001 have abandoned that effort in favor of a public relations push, according to an email sent out by the group today.

NYC CAN, which mounted a petition drive among New York City voters for a ballot initiative to establish a commission to reinvestigate 9-11, had gathered 80,000 signatures of registered New York City voters in support of the measure. A judge recently shot the petition down, meaning that the measure will not appear on the New York City ballot this November.

Instead of mounting a new petition drive, the organization has chosen to pursue other avenues to broaden public acceptance for the need for a new 9-11 investigation, according to a statement emailed to supporters.  

"Our best and current expert legal advice indicates that no petition of this kind, however framed, can ever be assured success in New York City," the statement said. "Hence, no more time, energy, or money will be spent on this court action or a new petition effort."

The group instead intends to mount a massive public relations effort directed, not at public officials, who it has decided do not have the best interests of the public at heart, but at the public itself.

"Those who wield political power will be swayed neither by rational dialogue nor the best interests of those they are meant to serve, as their motivation to act is based upon that which it always has – an insulating propagation of self-interest," the statement said. "Only by winning the hearts and minds of the people will our voice be heard in the halls of power that govern this country. "

The statement said NYC CAN would rely on prominent individuals who have embraced the need for a new investigation, and pare its message down to focus on facts, not theories, that demonstrate a need for such an investigation.

"Men and women of unassailable integrity – military commanders, CIA, FBI and military intelligence agents, aviation experts and senior-level administration officials – have already spoken out, putting name and reputations on the line," the email said. "These men and women, viewed by the American public as real American heroes, offer the promise of revitalizing our movement and engaging the general public on a level that today lies beyond our reach."

As far as the tone of the message to be delivered, it will be nonconfrontational, and steer away from particular theories on exactly what took place on 9-11.

"Too much information, too many details and too many story lines muddy the waters for those too confused to digest the overload of information," the statement said. "In addition, rampant rhetoric and conjecture (for which there is no place) leave our target demographic wary and unconvinced, making it that much easier for our detractors to continue to marginalize our movement."

NYC CAN's website at lists four members of a steering committee, among whom are those who lost loved ones in the 9-11 attacks, and one who survived the collapses of the World Trade Center towers. Ted Walters is listed as the organization's executive director.

The organization's decision to back away from another try at a ballot initiative will undoubtedly be a surprise to many who believed that a refined effort could have brought results in 2010. Others, however, contend that the attempt to put a measure on the ballot was doomed from the start in terms of obtaining its original objective. Still others say the additional public exposure has benefited the 9-11 Truth movement--the name generally assigned to a worldwide effort to resolve what are thought to be contradictions embodied in the official explanation for the events of that day.

On September 11, 2001, according to official accounts, four commercial airliners were hijacked by teams of Moslems from the Middle East. Two of the airliners were flown into each of the twin towers of New York City's World Trade Center, reducing both buildings to piles of rubble. A third airliner was flown into the Pentagon building in Arlington, Va., while a fourth crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania, allegedly on its way to another target before being forced down by passengers.

Critics of the government's version of events focus on a host of issues and questions, including:

1. why U.S.Air Force jets failed to intercept the hijacked airliners;

2. why the World Trade Center towers, and a third 47-story office tower in the World Trade Center complex, collapsed vertically in seconds into relatively compact piles of rubble--a  result critics charge was out of proportion to the damage inflicted by the airliners;

3. a lack of airliner wreckage at the Pentagon crash site;

4. anomalies at the crash site of the fourth airliner which was said to have been brought down by passengers who overpowered the hijackers;

5. Contradictions and fallacious statements contained in the 9-11 Commission Report--the government's last word on what happened on 9-11.

A number of notables have pushed for a new 9-11 investigation, a short list of which would include former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, show business icons Rosie O'Donnell, Daniel  Sunjata and Charlie Sheen, and former Reagan Administration Treasury official and columnist Paul Craig Roberts.

Only days after 9-11, two prominent columnists, Robert Novak and William Safire, hinted that insiders in government or elsewhere may have played a role in orchestrating the events of that day. The mainstream press has since marginalized such views, although alternative news sources, upon which the public increasingly relies, continue to give them a voice.  NYC CAN indicated that it would steer clear of such conclusions, preferring to focus on the facts.

"A haphazard dissemination of everything under the 9/11 sun, from credible evidence to amateur analysis, and from half-baked theory to full-blown truth, is not the way to convert the pervasive skepticism we face today," the email said.