|After the Toronto Hearings: Taking Giant Steps Toward Justice|
|Sunday, 16 October 2011 00:25|
Nearly two weeks after the close of the Toronto Hearings on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, a small group gathered for a lunch meeting at Al Madina Egyptian restaurant across the street from the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It is the favorite meeting place of our 9/11 activist host, Egyptian-born Dr. Mohamed Elmasry, as well as a favorite among students and employees at local high-technology companies, which include nearby Blackberry-maker Research In Motion, whose co-CEO Mike Lazaridis once worked as Elmasry’s research assistant.
In attendance at the meeting along with Dr. Elmasry and myself, were steering committee members Adnan Zuberi, Laurie Manwell, and Dr. Graeme MacQueen. The topic of discussion: “Where do we go from here, now that the Toronto Hearings have taken place?” During the afternoon’s round-table discussion that lasted several hours, many ideas were proposed, including outreach initiatives to academia, educational institutions, and the general public.
From my perspective, the most important thing to come out of that meeting was Dr. Elmasry’s suggestion that perhaps the best place to start any discussion about 9/11 is with the question “Should we care about justice?” The question has an obvious answer to any reasonable person, but the search for justice is ultimately the central motivation behind the Toronto Hearings, and indeed the 9/11 Truth movement itself.
At the heart of that search for justice is the overwhelming body of evidence presented during the four-day hearings which, point-by-point, definitively shreds the very foundations of the official 9/11 account. A comprehensive list of the witnesses and their presentations can be found at torontohearings.org. The panel is ultimately responsible for the creation of the Final Report on the hearings, which will provide a permanent record of the evidence presented.
During the hearings, I helped to make streaming video available to Internet viewers and moderated the online discussion, so that those who could not attend in person would be able to watch and interact with the events live, including the opportunity to participate in audience Q&A. During those four days, thousands of people watched from around the world, and many actively participated in lively discussion which kept me busy throughout the proceedings.
In addition to the online video, at least 3 cameras were operating at all times, so that despite any technical ‘glitches’ in the online feed, the high-quality DVD version remains unscathed. The DVD is currently in production, and we are working on making all of the presentations available on YouTube as soon as possible.
In his article entitled “Does 9/11 Truth Have a Chance?” written the night of September 11, 2011, Dr. Roberts states:
“Here are some of the important things I learned from the Toronto Hearings.
The NIST reports on the twin towers and building 7 are fraudulent. Witnesses at the Toronto Hearings proved that Building 7 was a standard controlled demolition and that incendiaries and explosives brought down the twin towers. There is no doubt whatsoever about this. Anyone who declares the contrary has no scientific basis upon which to stand. Those who defend the official story believe in miracles that defy the laws of physics.
In another article, written two days after the close of the hearings and entitled “The Critics of 9/11 Truth. Do They Have a Case?,” Dr. Roberts begins simply “The short answer to the question in the title is a resounding “No!”o. The 9/11 Truth critics have nothing but ad hominem arguments.”
After describing the vast credentials and experience of those involved in the truth movement, Roberts says “It is not a conspiracy theory to examine the evidence and to state that the evidence does not support the explanation that has been given. That is the position of the 9/11 Truth movement.”
Mainstream media attention to the Toronto Hearings has not been quite as generous. One of the objectives of the steering committee was to ensure that the media would pay serious attention to what was taking place at the Toronto Hearings, and Laurie Manwell made note of the fact that this goal had been met by proudly displaying articles in the National Post, and Globe and Mail newspapers. However, in the print version of the National Post coverage of the hearings, the article was entitled “The Truth is Out There”, while later the online title was changed to “The Truthers Are Out There.” Although not surprising, this not-so-subtle ad hominem attack on the 9/11 truth movement by the National Post did not go un-noticed by the organizers and supporters of the Toronto Hearings.
Even the coverage in the Ryerson University student newspaper, The Eyeopener, left room for improvement. In the article “Quest for 9/11 Truth Comes to Rye”, Ryerson President Sheldon Levy is quoted as saying “If I had my choice, I wish it wasn’t here.” The article later says, “Levy has no doubts there will be criticism.”
Although one might naturally tend to assume that the organization of such citizen hearings would be universally welcomed by all of the 9/11 truth community, the Toronto Hearings have not been without some degree of controversy. Some of this controversy seems to stem from a belief that the hearing organizers sought to exclude discussion of certain theories, such as those relating to the events that took place at the Pentagon. As online moderator, I observed that many of our viewers expressed that they would have liked to hear more about the Pentagon from Barbara Honegger, who had a shorter time-slot than most of the other witnesses. Many other potential witnesses were left out altogether. Clearly, the vast list of possible topics that might have been or should have been covered at the hearings would far exceed the scope of what could reasonably fit into the four-day timeframe available. Thus, it is doubtless that some difficult choices had to be made by the steering committee about what evidence would be presented.