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The Breaking of the Dam: Rally to the Jersey Girls NOW

Joseph Murtagh

The Breaking of the Dam: Rally to the Jersey Girls NOW


December 31, 2006 -- Recently I had an e-mail exchange with Noam Chomsky.  The subject was the Jersey Girls, the group of women activists who lost their husbands in 9/11 and who have been fighting the federal government ever since 9/12.  They are the ones responsible for bringing us the 9/11 Commission, and they are the ones responsible for letting us know that the 9/11 Commission was a total farce that barely answered any of their questions.  Here is a copy of one of my e-mails to Chomsky:


“Dear Noam,


Let me just say that first off, from my perspective at least, this correspondence with you has been amazing.  I never expected you to return my first e-mail, and the fact that we’ve gone back and forth eight or nine times now when I know how busy you must be is fantastic.  Really, it’s a great honor.


But I’m getting the impression with this last e-mail that you’re not quite processing the point I’m trying to make, which is that, when it comes to the interests of protecting the American people, the Jersey Girls aren’t “people doing precisely nothing,” but the people who have done precisely everything.  The government doesn’t give a damn about the American people, but these women do.  They don’t want to see any of us get hurt.  I mean, like you said, this is a bipartisan issue: two of these women voted for Gore, two for Bush.  Really their petition is about a lot more than 9/11.  It’s about the right of the people to be safe, to be strong, to be smart, to make wise decisions, to not have to live in a world where the only option is to think of the bigger picture in terms of some conspiracy or other, whether it’s the one of the Arabs or the Neo-cons or the Zionists or the supremely powerful reptilian humanoids.  It’s really about the people against power, about their dignity, their safety, their clarity of mind.  It’s no different from what you’ve been fighting for so passionately and courageously for the past forty years.


Let me make you a proposal.  Say you were to sign this petition, and say the news that you had endorsed the Jersey Girls was to be made public in a story that I was to write, but only on the condition that it be made incredibly, incredibly clear that you in no way endorse the 9/11 truth movement.  In other words, that all you really support is the right of these four housewives from New Jersey to find out exactly why their husbands had to die and as a protest against the fact that the government has turned the American people into a bunch of paranoid second-class citizens.  And that you are opposed to everything else, all the speculating that isn’t grounded in fact.  I’m willing to phrase this story any way you like, just as long as we share the basic common understanding that you feel sympathy for the Jersey Girls and their plight.  This decision of yours could be an incredibly important step towards the necessary goal of ending the truth movement and replacing all of these destructive paranoid fantasies with real knowledge.


Look, there’s a place you want to go, but there’s a wall there.  It’s totally, totally irrational, like a psychological block.  All you need to do to punch through that wall is put your signature down on this petition.  Afterwards it’s the same world, the same trees, the same faces, and the same cities.  But just a little bit brighter, with a little bit more hope, a world that you’ve made more sensible through your actions.


So what do you say?  Are you with me?  Will you support the Jersey Girls?




Here is Chomsky’s reply.  He’s repeatedly said such things in public, so I see no problem with making them public here:


“To repeat: “’I don't join people who are doing precisely nothing with regard to the serious problems I mentioned, and in fact are drawing vast amounts of energy away from efforts to prevent the crimes of the administration, against Americans as well -- one reason, I suppose, why they are treated so tolerantly, quite different from the experience of activists over the years.’”


Look, I have loads of respect for Chomsky, but we all know there’s something kind of wrong with this answer.  The idea that the Jersey Girls aren’t really activists, or that the U.S. government has treated them tolerantly is absurd.  There is no good reason why Chomsky, or anyone else for that matter, shouldn’t sign this petition, since all it’s really asking is that the government be open and honest with the public about 9/11.           


So here’s the thing: getting angry with Chomsky over this is a total waste of time.  Instead, what I think you ought to do is channel the frustration you naturally feel at his reply and do what he is clearly incapable of doing and step it up and become the change you want to see in this world by helping out the Jersey Girls in their epic, legendary, Lord-of-the-Rings-scale, stuff-of-bardic-folk-songs, six year battle against an insane and immoral federal government.  And all you need to do is sign this petition.  What is being asked in the petition?  Here’s the text.


To:  U.S Congress; Press / Media


We, the undersigned, demand the immediate declassification and release of all transcripts and documents relating to the July 10, 2001 meeting that took place between former CIA Director George Tenet and then National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice. It has been alleged that this urgent and out-of-the-ordinary meeting was called to discuss the increasingly dire warnings of an imminent al Qaeda attack within the U.S.

Given that much of the July 10, 2001 meeting has already been made public in Bob Woodward’s newly released book, “State of Denial”, it is unacceptable to continue to keep these documents and transcripts hidden from the American public’s view.

In addition, we again call for the declassification and release of both the redacted 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry Into The Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (JICI) and the CIA Inspector General’s report, “CIA Accountability With Respect To The 9/11 Attacks”.

The disastrous nature of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks warrant the release of all of this information so that the American public may learn what its government did or did not do to protect them. Had this nation been properly warned of the looming and imminent terrorist threat, life saving choices could have been made that day.



The Undersigned




I know signing this petition may not seem like a big deal, but in the long term it actually could serve as a major rallying point for impeachment.  The last time these women were given the national spotlight the result was the 9/11 Commission, so who knows what could happen this time.  At the very least, just think of this as your own little message of “screw you” to the Bush administration.  It’s even better than a vote, because it’s so wonderfully, satisfyingly personal.  The goal now should be to bear these women up out of the darkness of their suffering into the light of day so they can air the stuff we’ve all been thinking about up to now only in isolation. 


Which means all those people in the “9/11 truth movement” need to quit the speculating.  It only provides noisy ammo to the critics, which in turn distracts attention from the Jersey Girls.  At this point, the best way to deal with your opponents is simply to ignore them.  Don’t debate.  Just walk away.  The numbers are on your side.  Cool it.  Go have a beer or something, take a bike ride.  Whether it was a missile that hit the pentagon, whether it was controlled demolitions in the buildings, none of this stuff can be answered right now because the atmosphere is way too conspiratorial and crazy.  We need serious hearings before we can even begin to talk about facts. 


So in the meantime, just get behind the Jersey Girls and sign their petition.   The focus from now on ought to be the documentary 9/11 Press for Truth, not Loose Change.  Dylan Avery’s statement to this effect recently is a tribute to his maturity, good sense, and nobility of character.  Move closer in.  Think with the heart.  What we need to focus on now is not “what really happened,” but “who got hurt.”  It’s a moral thing, Alexander Cockburn.


Okay, so here’s where we are:             


We got the Jersey Girls out in front, leading the way.  Marching right behind them are the libertarians.  With their guns, in case there’s any monkey business.  Alex Jones is up there.  Ed Haas is up there.  Bill O’Reilly, if he’ll grow a human heart and quit being such a stupid jackass, can be there too.  Charles Goyette is up there.  Devvy Kidd, Pat Buchanan, Joe Scarborough, Pastor Chuck Baldwin, they’re all up there.  Lou Dobbs is up there. My buddy Benny Gould with his thirty rifles, and all the guys from that junkyard he and I were hanging out in the other night, they’re up there too.


Behind them come the rest of us.  I want to see my man Wolf Blitzer sign this petition.  I want to see Charlie Sheen and Jon Stewart and Harold Bloom and Al Gore sign this petition.  I want to see my mom and my dad and my brothers and all my aunts and uncles and my grandmother and the various extensions of their families sign this petition.  I want to see Francis Fukuyama sign this petition.  I want to see Flavor Flav to sign this petition.  I want to see anyone who teaches in the English department at Cornell University sign this petition (and Tulane too).  I want to see anyone who’s ever sat outside on the bench in front of the Gimmee Coffee in Trumansburg, NY sign this petition.  I want to see Matt Damon and Jimmy Carter and Thomas Pynchon and Tiger Woods and Keith Secola and anyone who’s related to Carl Sagan sign this petition. 




I want to see the Creole Cowboy, Keith Frank, sign this petition, and his whole damn family too.  I want to see all the rebels in Cork City, Ireland sign this petition.  I want to see the bar staff at the Rongo sign this petition.  I want to see the St. Patrick’s Day Four and family sign this petition.  I want to see Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan and Neil Young sign this petition.  I want to see anyone who’s been to the Grassroots Festival in Trumansburg NY sign this petition.  I want to see the best bartender on the planet, Becky at the Chanticleer in Ithaca, sign this petition.  I want to see the chain mail guy who’s always hanging out in the Chanticleer to sign this petition too.   I want to see all the members of the Old Crow Medicine Show sign this petition, and I want to see every one of their fans sign this petition too.  I want Leah and Amelia at Felicia’s Atomic Lounge in Ithaca to sign this petition, and then I want Amelia to send out this petition to everyone on the Felicia’s Atomic Lounge e-mail list-serve.  I want to see Donna the Buffalo and Jim Lauderdale and the Buvas and Gillian Welch and Dirk Powell and the Dixie Chicks and Ralph Stanley and David Gura and all the members of the VFW in Mount Airy, North Carolina sign this petition.




I want to see all of Ithaca sign this petition.  I want to see all of Charleston sign this petition.  I want to see all of Pittsburgh sign this petition.  I want to see the great cities of Nashville, New Orleans, Chicago, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Miami, San Francisco, Austin, Denver, Portland, and the entire great state of Alabama sign this petition.




I want to see this petition explode.  I want to see names drop like silver apples from heaven.  I want to see on this petition the signatures of extraordinary and interesting beings.  Bono is going to sign this petition.  The Pope is going to sign this petition.  The German art-house director Werner Herzog is going to sign this petition.  Frankie Comerford, the girl I hitchhiked nine hundred miles to Maine for when I was sixteen, wherever she is, is going to sign this petition.  We’re all going to sign this petition together until the attention of the entire world is focused on these four women from New Jersey.




Oh yeah, and hey Barack Obama, you better sign this petition too if you want to win the White House in 2008.     




Tell your mother.  Tell your mailman.  Tell your hairdresser.  Spread the news about this petition as far and wide as possible.  Step it up.  Each person has a job to do.  Rally to the Jersey Girls, sign their petition, and let’s just see where this thing takes us. 




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