On September 12, 2015, activists, researchers, and others interested in an alternative to the U.S. government's official narrative on 9/11 united in New York City for the 14th anniversary 9/11 symposium, "Declassify the Truth – 9/11 Transparency On The Rise." The symposium featured experts pursuing different areas of research into the 9/11 attacks and was attended by over 150 people.
In keeping with recent articles in the media that have questioned the openness and transparency of the official U.S. government's explanation as to what happened on 9/11, the symposium addressed the controversy around the redacted 28 pages from the 2002 "Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001". Those 28 pages were redacted by President George W. Bush shortly before the 838-page report was released in 2002.
Former and current government officials who have seen the document have stated that the information relates to the financing of the alleged 9/11 terrorists, reportedly by members of the Saudi government and possibly Saudi royalty. The 9/11 money trail was the focus of FBI agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley's investigation into alleged Al Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui, the classified military intelligence operation known as Able Danger, and other leads.
Keynote – Professor Lance deHaven-Smith
deHaven-Smith explained how the "conspiracy theory" label was weaponized as a pejorative putdown by the CIA in a global propaganda campaign to attack critics of the Warren Commission. deHaven-Smith connected patterns of actual conspiracies over several decades to those that occurred on 9/11 and since.
Panel 1 – The Anthrax Attacks: Golden Door to 9/11 Accountability
Speaker: Barbara Honegger, M.S.
Honegger described the evidence linking the anthrax attacks to government insiders and to the events of 9/11 itself. With the recent whistleblowing action by the lead FBI anthrax investigator, this presentation was a call to action to use this material and expose the significance of the anthrax attacks to the 9/11 events.
Panel 2 – The Secret 28 Pages – Push to Declassify
Speakers: Wayne Madsen, Jeff Steinberg, Les Jamieson
The panelists noted that after 14 years we now have legislation created to unveil secret and important evidence on 9/11 events. Both House resolution HR14 and Senate bill SB1471 call for the declassification and release of the 28 censored pages of the Joint House-Senate Intelligence Committee Report on 9/11.
Since 2003, many politicians, including 46 senators, have been advocating for the pages to be released. The panelists noted that house members who've read the 28 pages have been strongly affected by what they learned. Many activists see this development as an unprecedented opportunity to evolve into a true political constituency recognized as a force for openness and transparency. The sponsors' success at publicizing the 28 pages without falling prey to denunciation as "conspiracy theorists" has opened a space in which contradictions within the 9/11 official version can be discussed publicly, if not endorsed by mainstream politicians for the first time. A portion of Madsen's talk and interview comments can be seen on YouTube.
McIlvaine described his activism since his son, Robert Jr., was killed as he approached the North Tower to attend a banking conference on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center North Tower. His analysis of the wounds his son's body received point to the impact of explosives. His compelling desire is to know who placed the explosives in the Towers that killed his son. While he supports the release of the 28 pages, uncovering the explosives issue takes precedence over exposing what's in the report.
McIlvaine shared his journey of travelling throughout the U.S. and abroad as he dedicates his life to obtaining truth and justice for his son and all who perished that day. He revealed that former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee admitted off-camera that the Towers came down due to controlled demolition. According to McIlvaine, neither Huckabee nor any other politician would ever say as much in public, inferring that this is the corrupt state of today's political system.
Panel 3 – Prosecuting 9/11: Acknowledging the Legal Reality, Creating the Legal Ideal
Speakers: Mick Harrison, Mustapha Ndanusa, Dave Meiswinkle, Vance Green
The panelists described the challenge of prosecuting a crime of the magnitude of 9/11. As legal professionals, they analyzed the pros and cons of past and ongoing litigation related to 9/11, as well as future legal options. They noted that there are promising possibilities for progress. One of the panel highlights was Green's recounting of his efforts to obtain information using FOIA requests.
Panel 4 – Psychologists Speak Out: Empowering Ourselves and Others as We Move Forward
Speakers: Frances Shure, William Woodward, Robert Griffin, Marti Hopper
The panelists explained how the truth of 9/11 can be a shock to the psyche, and that people at every level of experience, education, and intellect go through their own process of grappling with its implications. Concrete examples were given about how people can transcend their own emotional responses, such as despondency, so that they can be energized by the call to activism, including how to talk about 9/11 so that others will listen. The speakers presented specific tools to help activists learn to communicate constructively so that they can more effectively create a society that values transparency, truth, accountability and peace.
Keynote – John Perkins: 9/11 as Catalyst for 14 Years of U.S. and Global Domination
Perkins is well-known for his best-selling book, Confessions of an Economic Hitman. In his transition from a willing servant of empire to impassioned advocate for the rights of oppressed people in a world ravaged by war, his appearance at a 9/11 truth symposium is especially significant. Perkins stated he never believed the official 9/11 story. He then spoke about alarming trends in government, military, and economic policies which are traceable to the 9/11 attacks and the false narrative, pointing out the winners and losers in the 14 years following 9/11.
From his travels in recent years, Perkins believes people are awakening everywhere as part of a "revolution of consciousness." Through this emerging paradigm, he claims we have the power to transition from an "economy of death" to an "economy of life." He also clearly stated that an integral part of this process will be to identify who actually orchestrated 9/11 and "bring them to task." Perkins declared:
"People are waking up. I believe that we are perhaps in the biggest revolution that history has ever known. A consciousness revolution. It is a bigger revolution than the agricultural or industrial revolution. We are waking up. I think perhaps the United States has been one of the slowest countries in the world to wake up. As I travel around, I find many more things happening in other places. But it is happening here now. It is totally happening here."
Guest Speaker – Henry Pavlak, 9/11 Survivor
As a survivor of the North Tower attack, Pavlak spoke for the first time at a 9/11 event about the unimaginable horror he underwent that day close-up and personal. By chance, five years later he saw a book on 9/11 in a bookstore, which began his journey to learn all he could about the alternative research. He wrote a novel called One-Way Elevator about his experience that fateful September 11th day. He also discussed his attempts to urge elected officials to conduct a thorough, comprehensive investigation using ALL of the evidence.
Panel 5 – Evolving Into A Real Movement – The Next Stage in Grassroots Organizing
Speakers: William Jacoby, Sander Hicks, Les Jamieson, Dave Meiswinkle, Pamela Senzee
The panel acknowledged that over the last 14 years researchers have compiled volumes of evidence that refute the government's account of 9/11. With the move now in Congress to declassify the secret 28 pages coupled with the mainstream media coverage it has attracted, the activist community has an unprecedented opportunity to rise to the next level: to organize into a full-fledged movement.
The panel agreed that now is the time for action, and urged each of those present to sign up to organize action groups in their own congressional districts. This effort would be part of a national drive currently underway to build a democratic grassroots organization for 9/11 truth using the 28 pages as a pressure point to open up a wider discussion about the withheld, erroneous information about 9/11.
Guest Speaker – Rick DeSantis, 9/11 Survivor
DeSantis first spoke publicly in 2014 at the 13th 9/11 anniversary in New York City, and has been speaking out ever since. He gave an enthusiastic appeal for launching a new investigation, supported the call for releasing the 28 pages, and indicated that he has received private assurances of support for 9/11 truth from political figures and potential whistleblowers from within the defense and intelligence services.
A comprehensive video of the Symposium is forthcoming.