Originally, I was looking forward to this post, as I figured it would allow me the opportunity to make fun of people who honestly believe that the terror attacks were orchestrated by secret lizard people controlling the simple mind of George W. Bush.
Instead I’m writing about a group out of California with the sadly-shortsighted goal of establishing a civilian-led investigatory commission to re-examine the events of Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the circumstance preceding that date, which contributed to the terror attacks taking place, as well as the events that followed the attack, such as the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Without a proper investigation into the events surrounding 9/11, there is no way to be certain whether the defense failures that day were the result of incompetence or something else,” said Rich Aucoin, spokesperson for the coalition, via e-mail. “The reason why there are so many wild theories about 9/11 is precisely because the facts are being withheld and the American people can only speculate.”
Last week, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office announced that a petition for a ballot initiative that would establish a commission in the Commonwealth had been among 23 petitions certified to collect signatures.
Each petition will now require the gathering of 68,911 signatures before the end of the year in order to proceed towards the 2012 ballot. If enough signatures of voters are gathered, the matter will then go before the state legislature, which will determine whether or not the initiative should be enacted, opposed or allowed to continue on to the 2012 ballot. It will then need more 11,485 additional signatures before July to finally make it to the ballot box.
To give you an idea of the scope of the filtering process, in 2009, 30 initiative petitions made it to the Attorney General’s office. Of those, three actually made it to the ballot.
Even if the 9/11 Commission initiative does make to the ballot, and does get the votes it needs, who knows if it will actually have the teeth to get anything done.
The Citizens 9/11 Commission Campaign (911CC) was founded by former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel. You might have remembered him as the guy you never heard of among the 2008 Presidential Democratic Nominee Candidates.
“I personally initiated this effort to create a new 9/11 commission,” said Gravel in a released statement, “in response to the unending outpouring of calls for a new investigation—in the light of new evidence—from Americans across the political spectrum. Because our gridlocked Congress is obviously incapable of taking up this issue, I believe that state initiatives are our best alternative approach. Massachusetts is an optimal state in which to begin this work.”
The campaign is hoping for full subpoena power – in Massachusetts.
As part of the proposed initiative, if approved, the commission would be able to share resources and powers with commissions established in other states. There are currently efforts to establish commissions in Oregon and California, so if those get passed, maybe they’ll be able to subpoena the local patchouli merchant.
The campaign could have all intention in the world to put George W. Bush and others in his administration but unless they’re get a commission in Virginia or Texas I can’t imagine that they’ll have much luck.
“Our commission will be equipped with grand jury powers which will provide Americans access to evidence that will help to dispel incorrect theories and hone in on what really happened,” wrote Aucoin.
The only problem that I can imagine such a commission would run into is only being recognized on a state level, when its intention is to force testimony from those who will likely live in Virginia, or Texas in the case of George W .Bush.
As the entire country mourns the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I can’t help but view those events and the subsequent war against terror as proof that as insidiously evil as the actions of the Bush administration may be, we are unfortunately stuck with a government that will never have the testicular fortitude to ever bring those to justice responsible for allowing the attacks to happen and then capitalizing on the attacks to bring about more death and destruction in the Middle East.
There’s no shame in hoping to get to the bottom of the intelligence failures that allowed the attacks to happen. It’s just difficult to assume that it can ever happen considering how long it’s already been since the events and our government’s unwillingness to ever to take substantial action to ensure that justice is served.
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