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    Update on Arizona Events Print E-mail
    Monday, 18 August 2008 00:00

    Blair Gadsby's hunger strike lasted for 17 days. 

    Senator John McCain was able to tough it out, and did not succumb to the urge to meet with a constituent.

    Blair Gadsby, a religious history professor who has been involved in 9/11 truth for about a year, decided to do something about his frustrations in trying to approach U.S. Senator John McCain. McCain, the leading Republican presidential hopeful is also the author of the preface to the Popular Mechanics book "Debunking 9/11 Myths", which ignores most of the evidence for controlled demolition at the WTC.

    Richard Gage of AE911Truth offered his immediate availability should McCain have been persuaded to meet with truthers.

    In spite of the odds, Gadsby had hopes. "McCain has a reputation as a maverick," he said. "I thought that, if there's a maverick in there, maybe I could reach it."

    So Gadsby showed up daily from 6 am to 6:30 pm outside McCain's Phoenix office, fasting around the clock except for drinking water. His "Hungry for Truth" strike went on for 17 days, and his weight went from 155 to 124. He is 5 foot 11 in height.

    Gadsby had consulted with a doctor and began winding down on food ahead of time, losing five pounds before his fasting began. "You don't go into a fast by gorging yourself for three days. I had a checkup on Day 11 and again when it was over. We really thought this through—we didn't want to come across as crackpots here."

    The fasting was difficult, resulting in some pain in the ribs. His doctor has advised that he may have incurred some permanent damage to certain internal organs, but when we talked to him a few weeks afterward he said he's feeling fine and his weight is back to normal. He even had a period of euphoria: "About Day 7, 8, 9, I was feeling particularly good—it was a weird feeling. I guess we must ingest a lot of nonsense in our diets."

    Gadsby cites Mahatma Gandhi, a subject of the classes he teaches, as his major inspiration, and Gandhi's injunction against violence includes violence to oneself. "Gandhi was never one to fast unto death. He was about nonviolence—fasting unto death would be violence against oneself. I was concerned about some of the comments against 9/11 truth groups. I wanted us to go on record as being a nonviolent group."

    Although McCain would not meet with him ("I did not meet with him because I don't take well to threats," he was reported to say), Gadsby managed to meet with Paul Hickman, manager of McCain's Phoenix office. "We went and talked to him on about Day 9. We bent his ear for some time. We had him go to his computer and watch Building 7 go down."

    Hickman took Gadsby's truth materials and made a report to McCain. Gadsby's strike continued. The weekend of the Day 13 and 14, in consultation with his Phoenix 911 truth group, he decided not to continue much longer.

    Gadsby ended his fast on Wednesday, June 13. The following Saturday, he received a "respectful" letter from McCain who nevertheless affirmed his confidence in the 9/11 Commission report.

    Text of McCain's letter:

    Dear Mr. Gadsby:

    I understand you are seeking a meeting with me for a minimum of two hours with yourself, Mr. Richard Gage, and other individuals who share your view that the tragedies of September 11, 2001 were the product of a comprehensive federal government-led conspiracy. Additionally, I understand that you are requesting this meeting to be open to the press. Finally, I understand that you are engaging in a public hunger strike until I acquiesce to this meeting request.

    I must respectfully decline your request. Unfortunately my schedule does not allow for such a meeting to take place.

    My Arizona State Director, Paul Hickman, has advised me that you and several of your supporters in this endeavor met with him on Friday, June 6, 2008 for over an hour to explain your views regarding the events that brought down the World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001. Paul has briefed me on your theories and has forwarded to me, and my Hill staff, the materials you have dropped off in my Phoenix office. I appreciate your willingness to present your arguments to my staff, and I will be happy to review additional arguments and materials presented to me in this fashion.

    I have spent a great deal of time studying and examining the events that led up to that tragic day. I have been involved in, and an active observer of, hearings and briefings on aspects of the tragedies. Additionally, please know I was instrumental in urging the Administration to sanction an independent commission to examine in depth the cause, both institutional and physical, of the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001. I have also actively encouraged experts from academia, lw enforcement and national security experts, and the private sector in further examination of the events of that day.

    I believe these investigations have been conducted in good faith by qualified experts who have approached this daunting task honestly and objectively. My staff and I are always open to new, scientifically substantiated information that helps explain how and why the tragedies of September 11th occurred. I welcome any additional new information you may wish to present on the subject and will make my staff available to listen to your concerns.

    Again, while I appreciate your passion and interest in the issue, I must respectfully decline your meeting request.


    John McCain

    It might be noted that Thomas Keane and Lee Hamilton, co-chairmen of the 9/11 commission, have written a book, "Without Precedent," in which they complain about the constraints placed on their investigation. In that book, Hamilton makes the statement, "We were set up to fail. The thought occurred to both of us as we prepared to meet for the first time …"

    Keane and Hamilton have also written in the New York Times about stonewalling and denial of evidence on the part of the CIA.

    McCain or no McCain, Gadsby feels the hunger strike made an impact on Phoenix, most of it very positive. Feedback from passers-by ran around 15-to-1 positive to negative, and many people stopped on the sidewalk to talk to him. He watched gas prices climb dramatically while on the sidewalk, and one driver memorably yelled, "Yea, you're right, buddy, and the proof is at the pump."

    Gadsby also thinks he drew out many who were holding back, who have since joined their 9/11 truth group.

    Media response was another story. A couple of television reports made fun of him. There was one "fair" report in the Arizona Republic, and another he considers "yellow".

    State Senator Karen Johnson

    Concurrently with Gadsby's efforts, another Arizona voice was being raised by Republican State Senator Karen Johnson, who had begun questioning the official 9/11 story earlier this year. Johnson visited Gadsby during his strike, and the day before it ended, introduced Gadsby to fellow legislators in the state house. He stood in the gallery, helped from his wheelchair by supporters.

    Text of Arizona State Senator Karen Johnson's speech:

    Members — I would like to introduce a very special guest who has been joined today by several of his closest friends. Up in the gallery, we have many of the members of the Phoenix 9/11 Truth group – people who are asking for a new, independent investigation of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In particular, I would like to introduce to you a VERY courageous man named Blair Gadsby. I'm going to ask the folks with Blair to help him to stand as I tell you a little about him. Blair is very weak because he has been fasting for more than two weeks to try to bring attention to the cause of 9/11 Truth. This is the 16th day that Blair has gone without food and spent his day outside the office of U.S. Senator John McCain pleading with the senator to take a look at new evidence in the 9/11 crimes. We have one man who is sacrificing his own personal needs and desires to stand boldly pleading for the world to take notice, to question, to research and not place their lives into the hands of media sound-bites--to think for themselves, consciously and critically. Blair is an educator and to me this is what the great educators do. Thousands of people all over the country and actually around the world have been watching on the Internet as this hunger strike progresses here in Phoenix. I want Blair to know that I am his biggest fan and that good people everywhere admire him for his courage and determine. Please give a warm welcome to Blair Gadsby and the Phoenix 9/11 Truth movement.

    Last month, I started speaking publicly regarding my concerns about the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which brought down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, as well as Building 7. If you've watched the media coverage since I first began to speak out, you know how vicious and irrational it has been toward me. The media have worked hard to try to make it seem silly to even question the 9/11 Commission Report, even though some of its own authors have done so, including both of the commission co-chairmen – Mr. Hamilton and Keane.

    Actually, the 9/11 Commission Report represents just one theory–the theory that fire and the damage from the airplane impacts brought down the three buildings. This theory explains none of the features of the destruction that we all witnessed that day and which we can still observe on hundreds of videos. It explains nothing about how in four out of four cases no hijacking code was transmitted by the hijacked airliners, and in four of four cases no fighter jets managed to get alongside any of the hijacked airliners. The military officers who lied to Congress about their failure to protect America would have been referred for prosecution by some of the 9/11 Commissioners, but those Commissioners were told that they did not have that authority. The events of that day were a heinous crime against our nation and our citizens, and the sense of justice that exists in each one of us demands to know what really happened and how all the perpetrators will be caught and punished. The speculation and theorizing won't end until a thorough, transparent investigation, free of conflicts of interest, takes place.

    Among the many theories that you can find on the Internet is one that rises above all the rest. It is rock-solid, confirmed by hard evidence, and supported by hundreds of scholars, architects, engineers and other professionals who have the education, training, and expertise to know what they're talking about. This is the theory that explosive demolitions brought down the Twin Towers and Building 7. I've placed a handout on each of your desks which has a photo of one of the towers as it begins to collapse. I'd like you to take a look at that photo, if you will. Notice in the picture that you see steel beams being flung outward from the building, and great huge clouds of dust that is actually pulverized concrete. A building that falls down doesn't pulverize itself into dust as it drops. Imagine dropping a chunk of concrete 30 feet or more. Is it going to fall apart into dust? No. Yet, the concrete in the towers was blasted into powder that covered all of Manhattan. You can see that powder already being formed long before that upper section has fallen more than a few floors. As you look at that photo, ask yourself, "Is this a picture of a building collapsing or is this a picture of a building exploding?" Does a building that collapses have the ability to fling its own steel beams sideways up to 600 feet? Does a building that is just starting to collapse blast its contents outwards in a massive cloud of dust? What do you see in that photo? I see an explosion. And so do millions of other people who are demanding a real investigation.

    More important than simply looking at a photo, engineers, architects, and scientists have evaluated the rubble at Ground Zero and other aspects of the buildings, and they have found evidence of at least 15 different characteristics of explosion. These 15 characteristics are listed on the handout as well.

    Despite the media's outrageous attacks on my sanity, intelligence and patriotism, the e-mails and phone calls to my office have been 95 percent supportive of my request for a new investigation. I've been amazed, really, to see just how overwhelmingly the public rejects the official reports, not only of the 9/11 Commission but also those by FEMA and NIST (National Institute of Science and Technology). I assumed that expressing skepticism about the official story of 9/11 would be a punishing issue for an elected official, but I'm finding that it's quite the opposite. The public wants its leaders to stand up and be counted when it appears that something is wrong. "The truth will set you free." Blair Gadsby and my guests today want the truth about 9/11. The American PEOPLE want the truth about 9/11–they want a new investigation, and so do I.

    I have provided each of you with a DVD entitled, "Improbable Collapse." I'm hopeful that you will watch it with an open mind and that you'll also study some of the wonderful, well-researched articles on the Internet. I've included a list of the most credible websites with your handout.

    You don't have to embrace every theory about 9/11. Indeed, there are some that should be soundly rejected. But if you believe, as these scientists, architects and engineers do, that the buildings were brought down by explosive demolition–then you must also agree that we need a new investigation. I have no preconceived notions about who did it and I am not pointing the finger of blame at anyone. But I do think that the worst attack on U.S. soil in American history deserves the best investigation possible, AND THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN UNTIL PEOPLE LIKE US BEGIN TO SPEAK OUT. The families of the nearly three thousand people who died on Sept. 11–and the families of those who have been poisoned and died from the toxic residue that hung in the air for weeks afterward during the clean-up operation--deserve to know what killed their loved ones. If anyone else was involved in the planning and implementation of the attacks, then they need to be brought to justice. I ask you to study the material I have given you and then join me in the call for a new investigation.

    Senator Johnson also rounded up a group of fellow conservative Republicans to hear Richard Gage, who visited Arizona shortly after Gadsby's strike. He addressed a group of about 40, known as the Arizona Republican Assembly, with three state legislators among them.

    Gage took a poll before and after his presentation, "Re-examining the Three WTC High-Rise Building Collapses". It seems Senator Johnson had already made inroads--a majority were already convinced that controlled demolition was the cause of the WTC destruction. Of the remaining, seven believed the official story and 15 were unsure. Afterwards, the tally was a single holdout for the official story, and all of the rest convinced.

    "I got a lot of comments like, 'Now I know what Senator Johnson is talking about,'" Gage said. "I think a resolution for a new investigation would have succeeded in the legislature if I had been able to talk to them beforehand."

    For a full day-by-day report on Blair Gadsby's action and his followup meeting with Richard Gage, go to www.hungry4truth.com.