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9/11 "Jersey" Widows need 4,000 more signatures to head back to Washington


Joseph Murtagh

 

9/11 “Jersey” Widows need 4,000 more signatures to head back to Washington

 

May 3, 2007 -- Last February, I wrote an article published on the Muckraker Report titled, 9/11 Widows Keep on Asking the Tough Questions, which featured interviews with four of the famous “Jersey Girls,” the 9/11 widows who spearheaded the drive to form the 9/11 Commission and who are still seeking government accountability on 9/11.  In the article, I drew attention to a petition the widows have set up online, demanding the release of some important documents relating to the 9/11 attacks.  As widow Lorie van Auken says in the article, “If we were to get to 15,000 names on this petition, we’d take it to Washington.”  

 

In the two months since the Muckraker Report published that article, nearly 6,000 people have signed the petition, including some heavy-hitters on the left, like Noam Chomsky and the British columnist George Monbiot, bringing the total number of names to over 11,000.  As the controversy surrounding Rosie O’Donnell has shown, 9/11-truth-finding can be a sensitive issue, but one thing almost everyone can agree on is government transparency.

 

The right to petition the government is a fundamental right guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the first Amendment to the Constitution, which in addition to protecting free speech, prohibits Congress from passing any law abridging “the right of the people…to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”  Far from being seditious or “anti-American,” by petitioning the government in this way, the Jersey widows, and anyone else who signs their petition, are exercising the bedrock political freedoms granted to them by the founders of the Republic.         

 

That said, in the interest of broadening the public’s knowledge of 9/11, The Jersey widows are calling for three sets of documents to be released: transcripts relating to the July 10, 2001 meeting between Condaleeza Rice and George Tenet, 28 redacted pages from 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.”

 

It goes without saying that the release of any of these documents could potentially cause major political hassles for the Bush administration.  As Sen. Bob Graham indicated in his 2004 book Intelligence Matters, details of Saudi Arabian financial support for two of the 9/11 hijackers were included in the 28 redacted pages of the JICI report.  The information would draw “a direct line between the terrorists and the government of Saudi Arabia and trigger an attempted cover-up by the Bush administration,” Graham wrote.

 

Nor are the Jersey widows the only public figures calling for the release of these documents.  As Newsweek reported last January, three panel members – Intelligence Committee chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller, ranking Republican Christopher Bond, and Oregon’s Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden – are asking that an executive summary of the CIA report be declassified “without delay” and released to the public.  “I’m going to bulldog this until it gets out,” Wyden told reporters.  “The bottom line is that this is an extraordinary important perspective on one of the defining events of the country’s history. I do not believe there is a national-security case for keeping this under wraps.”

 

With only 4,000 signatures to go on their petition, the Jersey widows’ goal is within reach.  As Patti Casazza said in my article from two months ago, “We’ll go back to Washington, if we have to, because we know it’s the right thing to do.  We’re not going away.”   

 

Please sign the widows’ petition today by clicking on this link.

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