September 16, 2011
September 16, 2011
Former Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney:
Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel:
Senator Mike Gravel, a native of Massachusetts, along with Massachusetts 9/11 Truth activists, launched its campaign for a 2012 ballot initiative which seeks the creation of a Citizens' 9/11 Commission, by holding a press conference held on September 13, 2011 on the steps of the Massachusetts State House in Boston. The ballot question was submitted in August and was certified by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley on September 7. According to the Massachusetts initiative law, supporters must collect a minimum of nearly 70,000 valid signatures from registered voters by early December of 2011.
Gravel will be working closely with the statewide alliance to create awareness of the initiative. The Senator will personally head the funding effort, which will be a worldwide campaign.
Senator Gravel will be supported in the state by a coalition of Massachusetts 9/11 advocacy groups and local concerned citizens led by Rich McCampbell, a Cambridge-based biotech engineer, and Rich Aucoin, former Libertarian candidate for lieutenant governor who has worked in senior positions in three previous initiative campaigns. The group's slogan is "9/11--Never Forget."
If the 9-11cc petition campaign succeeds in getting its measure on the Massachusetts ballot, and if it is approved by Massachusetts voters in November of 2012, the primary work of the "Citizens' 9/11 Investigation Commission," once it is funded and seated, will be to engage in a fair and impartial investigation of the circumstances of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The Commission, supported by its staff, will call or subpoena witnesses and hold evidentiary hearings under oath. It will also be empowered to inquire into events leading up to 9/11, as well as those occurring in its aftermath, and will re-examine the findings of any previous investigations.
The Commission established by the initiative law will consist of at least 15 members. Commissioners will be selected by the Citizens' 9/11 Commission Campaign steering committee from a screened list of nominations submitted by the public and also from among its own internally compiled list of distinguished citizens. The newly seated commissioners will then elect an executive director who will hire staff. The final report on the Commission's findings, due no later than January 1, 2015, can be used by a state or federal prosecutor to issue indictments if and when appropriate.
"The previous 9/11 Commission report," noted Aucoin, "did not hold any U.S. government officials responsible for possible negligence or for intended or unintended missteps that led to the events of 9/11. Well-established rules of evidence were never applied to the original Commission's finding, which alleged that Osama bin Laden and a list of co-conspirators committed the crimes. The intent of our approach, by contrast, is to hold all parties to this tragedy accountable under the criminal laws of the State of Massachusetts or the laws of any other state that joins our effort."
Notably, other states and even cities and towns may enter into a "joint-powers' agreement with Massachusetts if the initiative law passes. The authorized powers of the new commission can be extended to any state, city or town that enters into this agreement for cooperation. "The Citizens' 9/11 Investigation Commission created by the Massachusetts law may exercise all investigatory powers of each state that has entered into the joint powers agreement," explained Gravel, "including but not limited to the power of subpoena in that state and the power to take testimony under oath."
Using several different state initiative laws to create one citizens' commission, thereby creating a de facto national effort, is without precedent, but has already been legally accepted in principle by the offices of legislative counsel of the states of California and Oregon. "The law now submitted to Massachusetts," said Gravel, "was in fact drafted by me in cooperation with Oregon's State Office of Legislative Counsel. I then slightly altered it for introduction in Massachusetts. We will file the Oregon document shortly. Our intent is to keep the Oregon and Massachusetts texts -- and that of any other state initiative that we file -- as similar as possible."
Massachusetts Media Contact: Rich Aucoin, 781-956-6013, RichAucoin@comcast.net