Tag Archives: 9/11

Activist Spotlight: 9/11 Researcher Jon Gold

Jon Gold engaged in civil disobedience at the White House, January 31st 2011

I first began following Jon Gold’s (@911JusticeNow) work in late 2003. The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the subsequent invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq galvanized me from apathy to a newfound political consciousness, and I soon discovered his work on one of the first websites questioning the official theory of 9/11. What impressed me about his research was that he was deeply committed to using verifiable facts found in mainstream news articles and reports. But perhaps what stands out most about his activism is his unwavering support for the first responders. He was made “Honorary Director” of the FealGood Foundation. He describes himself as “an American trying to make a difference.”

What was the first discrepancy, or discrepancies, that moved you to begin researching the hidden history of 9/11, and how long have you been involved with it ever since?

The first thing that caught my attention was the fact that Dick Cheney and George Bush went to Tom Daschle’s office, and asked him to “limit the scope” of the Congressional Inquiry into 9/11. At the time I thought, “why would the President and 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?” After 9/11, we were told repeatedly that there were no warnings, that no one had any idea that anything like that could happen. Then in May 2002, news of the August 6th, 2001 PDB entitled, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike In US” was reported on. That was a “warning.” Once I saw that we were being lied to, I was “off to the races.”

If there were just three facts that discredit the official theory that you feel people must know, what would be those facts?

There were a multitude of warnings, and a lot more known about the hijackers by our Government, prior to 9/11, than the public has been led to believe. The investigations we got into 9/11, in my view, were compromised and corrupt. Especially the 9/11 Commission, which was led by Philip Zelikow. We were told that the source of the funding was “ultimately of little practical significance.” There are indications that some of the money was connected to Prince Bandar’s [of Saudi Arabia] wife. That’s significant. There are indications that some of the money came from Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh at the behest of Lt. General Mahmood Ahmed of the Pakistani ISI. That is significant.

What have been some of the biggest or most intriguing revelations to surface within the past couple of years?

That the 9/11 Commission considered referring NORAD to the Department of Justice for a criminal investigation because of the lies they told to the 9/11 Commission. That 9/11 Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds said Osama Bin Laden had “intimate relations” with the U.S. up until 9/11. The multitude of whistleblowers that were ignored and censored by the 9/11 Commission. There were “Government Minders” that intimidated witnesses before the 9/11 Commission, and in some cases, answered questions for witnesses. That a complete outline of the final report of the 9/11 Commission was written by Ernest May and Philip Zelikow before the 9/11 Commission’s investigation even began. That Philip Zelikow may have been taking direction from Karl Rove. That’s really off the top of my head, but there is so much more.

We’ve both talked about our respect for the film 9/11: Press for Truth. Can you talk about why that film is such an important document about the hidden history of 9/11? Would you recommend it as an introduction to people just starting to question the official theory?

When Kyle Hence told me he was working on the film, I was extremely excited. It was going to tell the story of my heroes, the Jersey Girls, and it was going to be based on the work of someone that greatly influenced me, Paul Thompson. Nothing could be better in my opinion. When Kyle told me he needed money to finish the film, within a few minutes after he told me, I asked my father to loan me the money so they could finish the film. I didn’t hesitate for a second because I knew this was going to be an important documentary. The film is clearly one of the most important documentaries of our generation. It tells the story of the cover-up from the perspective of those who lost the most that day. It completely obliterates the legitimacy of the 9/11 Commission in the first 30 minutes. It shows the basic inconsistencies in the “official account.” I have always thought this documentary was the best tool for activists. In my opinion, 9/11 activists should show this film to people before anything else if they want to be taken seriously.

Will you talk about why (if you agree with this assertion, of course) the movement to question the official theory and uncover the truth hasn’t gained more traction in America, and why it seems to have made more headway in other parts of the world?

Well, the “9/11 Truth Movement” did gain some momentum in 2005-2006. But the “media” decided to focus on the fringiest of the fringe. As a result, we weren’t taken seriously. The “media” overall, has done its best over the years to paint us as conspiracy theorists, as crazy, as unpatriotic, as terrorist sympathizers, as terrorists, as holocaust denying murderers, etc… and so on. No one wants to associate with us. The media’s campaign to tarnish anyone that questions the official account of 9/11 has been extremely successful. People are dying in the Middle East, so it would make sense for people in the Middle East to question the official account of 9/11. As far as parts of the world outside the United States that question the official account, that aren’t directly affected by America’s occupations… they probably have better media than the U.S.

We now know from various news reports that the U.S. security state has turned its attention inward to spy on American activists as well as potential foreign enemies living in the country. Homeland Security was seen monitoring a peaceful BART protest in San Francisco the other night, and they’re also likely monitoring organizers and participants involved with US Day of Rage’s upcoming occupation of Wall Street, based on a bulletin released recently. Can you talk about how 9/11 has eroded the freedoms America used to cherish, and do you think we’ve allowed the 9/11 tragedy to get the best of us? Is there hope of beating the security state and regaining our civil liberties?

Expose the 9/11 Cover-Up, and I believe that everything that happened as a result of that day, will stop, or be reversed. The occupations will end, and the majority of legislation written that takes away our civil liberties will be reversed. Peace of the Action, the group Cindy Sheehan founded that I am apart of, was spied on by the Institute Of Terrorism Research And Response. I was spied on before I committed civil disobedience at the White House for 9/11 Justice. I assume I was spied on because when I got there, a cop asked me “are you Jon Gold? Are you still planning on chaining yourself to the White House fence?” There are many examples of liberties lost since 9/11. Look at the TSA, look at the wiretapping of phones, look at free speech zones, etc… Again, expose the damn 9/11 Cover-Up.

Would you care to offer any sort of narrative regarding what you think happened on 9/11, based on the extensive research you’ve conducted over all these years?

I don’t know what happened on 9/11, or who was ultimately responsible. That’s the problem. I have an idea, but I don’t know. Everyone has theories about what happened that day. Some are ridiculous and far-fetched, and others aren’t. However, without a real criminal investigation, we just don’t know. I believe 9/11 was a crime as opposed to an act of war, and as with every crime, there are suspects for that crime. In my opinion, elements within our Government and others have MORE THAN EARNED the title of suspect for the crime of 9/11.

How do you suggest people get involved in the struggle for 9/11 accountability?

By telling the next person until we have a majority of people. We can’t do shit with the system we have.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Since today is 9/11, I’d just like to say that I hope the families that lost someone that day have the easiest day possible. I hope the responders that were down there are honored, and that the James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act is made to include cancer for the coverage it gives.

Jon Gold (@911JusticeNow) is a prolific contributor to sites such as 9/11 Truth News, History Commons, Peace of the Action, Secrecy Kills and helped fund the film 9/11: Press for Truth.



No Missiles, Holograms or Demolitions: “9/11: Press for Truth” Asks Legitimate Questions

New York, 11 September 2001. Photograph: Hubert Michael Boesl/EPA

“This is a scandal of tremendous proportions. It makes Watergate look small. There’s a strange lack of interest from people both on the left, and the right. Nobody seems to want to uncover leads and follow them where ever they may go, because I think it goes to a lot of very damaging places.”Paul Thompson, author of The Terror Timeline

People who question the official narrative of September 11th, 2001 are often chastised as being “Bush-bashers” or utter lunatics. I’ve suffered all of these accusations at one time or another while spending nearly six years pursuing my own line of inquiry. And while I haven’t arrived at many, if any, answers, I do know that the official line is simply not possible, and is insulting. I hasten to add that blaming Bush for orchestrating the attacks is incredibly shortsighted and naive, because it fails to take into account the vast military-industrial-intelligence complex that has built up rapidly since the days of President Eisenhower. I doubt I’ll know the full story within my lifetime. But with each year that passes, more and more comes to light. And as far as lunacy, there is certainly plenty of unfounded and downright ridiculous theories out there regarding what happened that fateful September morning. What is sadly (and dangerously) overlooked are very real and very substantiated facts that have been overlooked and never tied together.

Ray Nowosielski’s documentary 9/11: Press for Truth helps people who have always had lingering doubts about America’s greatest tragedy consider an alternate story, one that encourages the thinker to truly question why our government has lied to us and led us into bloody, tragic wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and created an increasingly alarming security state that, ostensibly, was for protecting Americans from terrorists but now monitors activists involved in Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) protests and nonviolent demonstrations planned on Wall Street for September 17th. It’s not about red herrings like controlled demolitions, a missile hitting the Pentagon, or holograms. It’s about actual documented evidence from mainstream news sources that have often been overlooked or ignored altogether.

Consider just three of the many points that this film raises (via 911Truth.org):

Pakistani Connection – Congressional Connection
a. The Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, creator of the Taliban and close ally to both the CIA and “al-Qaeda,” allegedly wired $100,000 to Mohamed Atta [the alleged lead hijacker] just prior to September 11th, reportedly through the ISI asset Omar Saeed Sheikh (later arrested for the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was investigating ISI connections to “al-Qaeda.”)
b. This was ignored by the congressional 9/11 investigation, although the senator and congressman who ran the probe (Bob Graham and Porter Goss) were meeting with the ISI chief, Mahmud Ahmed, on Capitol Hill on the morning of September 11th.
c. About 25 percent of the report of the Congressional Joint Inquiry was redacted, including long passages regarding how the attack (or the network allegedly behind it) was financed. Graham later said foreign allies were involved in financing the alleged terror network, but that this would only come out in 30 years.

What did officials know? How did they know it?
a. Multiple allied foreign agencies informed the US government of a coming attack in detail, including the manner and likely targets of the attack, the name of the operation (the “Big Wedding”), and the names of certain men later identified as being among the perpetrators.
b. Various individuals came into possession of specific advance knowledge, and some of them tried to warn the US prior to September 11th.
c. Certain prominent persons received warnings not to fly on the week or on the day of September 11th.

Obstruction of FBI Investigations prior to 9/11
A group of FBI officials in New York systematically suppressed field investigations of potential terrorists that might have uncovered the alleged hijackers – as the Moussaoui case once again showed. The stories of Sibel Edmonds, Robert Wright, Coleen Rowley and Harry Samit, the “Phoenix Memo,” David Schippers, the 199i orders restricting investigations, the Bush administration”s order to back off the Bin Ladin family, the reaction to the “Bojinka” plot, and John O”Neil do not, when considered in sum, indicate mere incompetence, but high-level corruption and protection of criminal networks, including the network of the alleged 9/11 conspirators. (Nearly all of these examples were omitted from or relegated to fleeting footnotes in The 9/11 Commission Report.)

The film’s heroines are “The Jersey Girls“, who spearheaded the call for an investigation into 9/11. Had it not been for their persistence and irreverent attitude towards those in power, the 9/11 Commission would never have been formed.

From Michael Collins’ review of 9/11: Press for Truth:

Their demands for a thorough investigation, the many unanswered questions, and the resistance of the information gatekeepers form the narrative that carries the film forward. The twists and turns offer a fascinating and compelling collection of major stories (or dots) that have never been connected.

As the reputable and comprehensive website 9/11 Truth News, an editor (Jon Gold) from which I will be publishing an interview with this coming week, astutely notes:

“…this movement, at it’s most basic, is about people learning for themselves about very solid facts and developing their own curiosity and skepticism.”

And now, the Project is proud to present 9/11: Press for Truth:

Jersey Girls Who Emerged After 9/11 Stay Activists (AP)

In this Aug. 11, 2011, photograph, Lorie Van Auken poses for The Associated Press in her home in East New Brunswick, N.J. Van Auken, who lost her husband Kenneth Warren Van Auken during the Sept. 11 attacks, became an activist as a result of the tragedy. She is one of four New Jersey widows, known as the Jersey Girls, who pressed the government to do deeper digging into the causes of the attacks. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

by Geoff Mulvihill

Note: This Associated Press report was published on August 23, 2011.

“The Jersey Girls were, in my opinion, the reason the [9/11] commission came into being,” Smith said.

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 turned them into widows and the four Jersey Girls, as they became known, turned themselves into activists.

A decade after the attacks, at least two of them are still trying to make change in public policy. In doing so, they’ve broadened their focus from post-attack truth-finding, the cause that brought them together nearly 10 years ago.

Lorie Van Auken is now a beekeeper who is pressing the federal Environmental Protection Agency to ban a pesticide that some blame for Colony Collapse Disorder, which has been killing honeybees.

Kristen Breitweiser blogs on politics and national security. Though those are issues tied to 9/11, she doesn’t write just about the attacks.

“I think a lot of times when people suffer tragedy or go through something in their own life, they feel compelled to turn it into something better,” Breitweiser said.

Many of the spouses, parents and children of those killed in the terrorist attacks did that.
They set up foundations to honor the best traits of their lost loved ones. They lobbied for tax breaks for the victims, fair deals from the Victims’ Compensation Fund and a burial site at ground zero.

The four stay-at-home moms who lived relatively carefree lives in suburban Monmouth County became some of the most visible faces of the families of the dead and their main cause at the time: pushing the federal government to study the attacks — whether there was intelligence that could have prevented them, and whether the response once they began was adequate. They were subjects of scores of articles, multiple books — including a memoir Breitweiser published in 2006 — and a documentary film, “9/11: Press for Truth.”

The fame and the civic engagement, born of tragedy, came fast.
“I had a very complacent life: we voted, we paid taxes, we volunteered. That was it,” Breitweiser said. “That was the extent of our contribution.”

Two of the Jersey Girls, Patty Casazza and Mindy Kleinberg, did not respond to requests for interviews for this article and have not granted any interviews for the last few years.

All four had husbands working in the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

After 9/11, they united over their mounting frustration that the whole story wasn’t being told.
For more than a year, they parked their children with family and drove to Washington in Breitweiser’s SUV — dubbed the “widowmobile.”

Armed with thick binders of documents, they met with members of Congress and held rallies asking for a full government inquiry. They gave interviews by the score. They recognized that journalists were hungry for stories about the real people affected by the attacks. They could offer that, but they also talked about their policy agenda.

Finally, in November 2002 — 14 months after their husbands and nearly 3,000 other people were killed — President George W. Bush signed the law to create the commission.

One of their champions in Congress was U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey. He said they did their research and came prepared in small ways. They knew he had a sweet tooth and were sure to bring him candy when they stopped by.

“The Jersey Girls were, in my opinion, the reason the commission came into being,” Smith said.

For Breitweiser and Van Auken, the result of the main government inquiry and another on intelligence before the attacks were disappointing, leaving them with many unanswered questions.

For one, a section of a report that appeared to deal with al-Qaeda funding was redacted from one government report.

They’re also not satisfied that the planes involved in the attack could not have been intercepted after the first one crashed into the World Trade Center.

“You want to say the first attack was a surprise? OK, the first attack was a surprise,” Van Auken said. “If we have a group of people that are in charge of our defense and they can’t manage to intercept an airplane for two hours?”

Breitweiser, a former Republican who campaigned for John Kerry during his 2004 run for president, said she’s not satisfied that the country is safe enough now. “I wish the billions of dollars we spent on wars overseas could have been used at home,” she said.

The women triggered a backlash from those who thought they were too partisan as they bashed Bush and supported Kerry. The apex came in 2006 when conservative commenter Ann Coulter, in a book, dubbed them the “Witches of East Brunswick.” ”I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much,” Coulter wrote.

Hillary Clinton, then a U.S. senator, was among those who came to their defense.

Smith said the criticism was hard for him to accept. They were grassroots activists, he said, doing what they thought was right.

Both Breitweiser and Van Auken say their activism was the right thing to do, though they’re not happy with the results.

“I only have regrets about the outcome,” Van Auken said. “I have regrets that nobody was held accountable.”

Van Auken, now 56, is in the same home where she lived with her children — now in their 20s — and husband, Kenneth, before he was killed.

Since 9/11 Van Auken has taken up beekeeping. As colonies have died off mysteriously, she’s tried to rally other beekeepers to fight for a federal ban of the pesticide clothianidin.
Unlike a decade ago, she’s now savvy about how government works.

So far, the EPA has not been willing to ban the pesticide. Van Auken says she’s not surprised, “We know from 9/11 that the EPA is not above bending to political will when they said the air was safe to breathe and all those people got sick,” she said.

Breitweiser, now 40 and living in New York, is the Jersey Girl with the highest profile.

A lawyer by training, though she never practiced, she was often the spokeswoman, and she was the one who campaigned extensively for Kerry, wrote a memoir focusing on her political education and now blogs occasionally for the Huffington Post.

She still writes about 9/11 but also about other national security issues. She is particularly concerned that chemical plants are not safe enough.

Her main job, she said, is raising her daughter, Caroline.

Caroline is 12 now and was a toddler when her father, Ron, died. Caroline, she says, doesn’t have a memory of a dad. Breitweiser said that makes raising her alone easier but also sadder. Breitweiser says she knows that her husband would have continued to be a great father.

Breitweiser has been trying to expose Caroline to Muslim people and their beliefs. They’ve traveled to Morocco and are planning to go to Turkey and Egypt in the next year.

It’s all part of a lesson she didn’t imagine needing to teach her daughter 10 years ago. “It’s OK if women have a veil over their face. It doesn’t mean that they’re bad people,” she said. “I don’t want her growing up with any sort of hatred or rage inside of her.”

On Sept. 11, she intends to do what she always does on the anniversary: take a walk with her daughter and their dogs — currently three undisciplined Golden Retrievers — on a beach or in the woods.

She wants to stay far away from the solemn commemorations in New York City and elsewhere.
Van Auken will be in New York, but not at the ground zero ceremony. She’ll be there to see her daughter Sarah, now 22, act in a play.