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Has Citizen Investigation Team (CIT) Been Invited to the Toronto Hearings?

September 6, 2011

As most readers will already know, “The International Hearings on the Events of September 11, 2001”, also known as “The Toronto Hearings”, will be taking place next week at Ryerson University.  This will be a four day event, running from Thursday September 8, 2011 through Sunday, September 11.  You can visit the official website here to read about The Toronto Hearings in the words of the organizers if you have not previously done so.

For weeks now, people have been asking us if we (Citizen Investigation Team) have been invited to make a presentation at the Toronto Hearings.  It has become increasingly apparent that we ought to address this question publicly, especially in light of our recent announcement that we will be co-presenting at The Royal cinema in Toronto on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 -- Sunday, September 11, 2011.

The short answer is no, we have not been invited to the Toronto Hearings.

Before elaborating, we want to make a couple things very clear right from the start:

1) The stated objectives on the front page of the site are admirable on their face:

(1) To present evidence that the U.S. government’s official investigation into the events of September 11, 2001, as pursued by various government and government-appointed agencies, is seriously flawed and has failed to describe and account for the 9/11 events.

(2) To single out the most weighty evidence of the inadequacy of the U.S. government’s investigation; to organize and classify that evidence; to preserve that evidence; to make that evidence widely known to the public and to governmental, non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations.

(3) To submit a record and a summary of the Hearings, together with signed Statutory Declarations by witnesses, to relevant governments, groups and international agencies with the request that a full and impartial investigation be launched into the events of September 11, 2001, which have been used to initiate military invasions and to restrict the rights of citizens.

(4) To engage the attention of the public, the international community and the media through witness testimony as well as through media events broadcasted via the Internet during the four day event.

2) We are confident that much of the evidence presented will be credible and important.

With that said, it was apparent to us from early on that there would be another, not-at-all-admirable major objective behind the Toronto Hearings, and that would be to, in some way or another, marginalize the evidence that we have uncovered for a north side approach and flyover.

What this means is that the Toronto Hearings is, in our view, a double-edge sword.  On one hand it may (and hopefully will) help draw attention to evidence that "the U.S. government’s official investigation into the events of September 11, 2001, as pursued by various government and government-appointed agencies, is seriously flawed and has failed to describe and account for the 9/11 events" (their wording).  But, on the other hand, it has been and will be used by certain individuals in their quest to marginalize what many feel is arguably the strongest, most irrefutable, easy-to-understand evidence proving a "MIHOP"-style, false flag, black operation.  The phrases "controlled opposition" and "limited hangout" are therefore entirely appropriate, we feel.

Let's pause again before proceeding to first make sure something else is clear from the outset: We do not feel that all, or even necessarily most, of the people involved with the Toronto Hearings are fully aware of this objective, or (would be) in agreement with it (if they truly and fully understood it).  In other words, this is an agenda of at least one of the Steering committee members and some of his close associates, and they are using the Toronto Hearings as an instrument to that end.

If you don't already know (and as noted here): There has for years now been a concerted campaign by a relatively small clique of individuals who purport to be members of the "9/11 truth movement" to marginalize and vilify Citizen Investigation Team (CIT) and dismiss our findings.  It seems that the more evidence we obtain and publish proving that the official story is a farce and that the Pentagon attack was a black operation the more aggressive and brazen their campaign becomes.

If you need to be brought up to speed on the nuts and bolts of this, the best place to start is probably our very thorough response to the attacks against our work and character by David Chandler earlier this year. A link to that document can be found here after a relatively brief introduction. Take the time to follow the many hyperlinks provided for much more fleshing-out and documentation of key points and history. This is necessary background information for what's to follow.

Some of the early tell-tale signs were:

1) The Toronto Hearings were, to our knowledge, first publicly announced at 911Blogger by Kevin Ryan, and it was immediately apparent that Kevin Ryan was a key player and progenitor behind this event, if not the key player.   Not only is he a “witness”, currently scheduled to testify on both the first and third days of the four day event, but he is also, more importantly, a member of the five person “Steering Committee” – essentially the controllers of the event.

The significance of his involvement, and why this was a tell-tale sign that the evidence for a north side approach and flyover would not be given a fair hearing -- if it was allowed to be presented at all -- is made clear here.  Please take the time to click that link and read it in full.

In short, as explained therein, he has played an active and important role in carrying out this agenda for at least two years, is closely allied with many of the other key players, and, as co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies (JO911S) has been (and may still be) preparing to publish two new articles in in the JO911S which purport to debunk our work.  We have read a draft copy of one, which is by veteran official-impact-story-supporting propagandists David Chandler and Ryan's co-editor Frank Legge, and it is loaded with brazen disinformation.  That piece has already now been published on the JO911's "sister site". 

(We have invited both Chandler and Ryan to have a civil, thorough, on-camera debate/discussion with us on while we are all in Toronto.)

2) Not only was the announcement allowed to be made on 911Blogger, but it was made a front page news headline by the moderators.  Those moderators include: Justin Keogh, Erik Larson, Victoria Ashley (wife of Jim Hoffman). These are all key players in the concerted campaign by a relatively small clique of individuals who purport to be members of the "9/11 truth movement" to marginalize and vilify Citizen Investigation Team (CIT) and dismiss our findings. (If you don't already know about this, see the provided links for starters, and, again, read our full Chandler and Cole response for much more info. See also this article, which includes an important section entitledThe history of 911blogger and CIT.)

Furthermore, Victoria herself quickly chimed in: “Excellent! So glad to see such an important anniversary event that is grounded with the involvement our strongest researchers, located at a university, and without the glitz of typical entertainment based events. Please donate everyone!”

As the days and weeks went by and more and more posts related to the Toronto Hearings were posted to the front page of 911Blogger, it became increasingly clear that this even had the full support of its primary owner(s) and controllers. It should be beyond obvious by now to anyone paying attention -- or even anyone who reads the links we just provided -- that any big event that was planning on inviting Citizen Investigation Team and giving the evidence for the north side approach and flyover a fair hearing, or even considering doing this, simply would not get this kind of support on that site.

3) The event was (and still is) sponsored by the International Center for 9/11 Studies (IC911S), which is headed by James Gourley, and it was also announced that Gourley will be the editor of the final report.  The "Chief Technical Officer" in Gourley's organization is Justin Keogh (source), the owner of 911Blogger.com who has allowed attacks against us and our work to be published non-stop on the website while denying us our "right of reply" for no reason for no reason except controlling the discussion and assuring that we aren't permitted to rebut the bogus attacks.

There are four papers featured on the website of Gourley's IC911S, which were all authored or co-authored by Gourley.  Except for the one written by Gourley alone, he co-authored the other three were with Kevin Ryan, and two of those were also co-authored by Frank Legge. (Click the last two links if you don't understand the significance of these connections.)

It was very obvious to us that all of these individuals would not be so closely allied with Gourley (and vice versa) if he did not support their agenda of (fraudulently) marginalizing and discrediting CIT while supporting the official Pentagon impact narrative.  And, as explain later in this article, he has recently confirmed as much.

Gourley is also now on the all-powerful five-person Steering Committee for the Toronto Hearings, along with Kevin Ryan.

4) When the Toronto Hearings event was announced by Kevin Ryan on 911Blogger, the official website for the event already included a preliminary list of participants. CIT was not among them, and we had not been contacted by the organizers in any way, despite the fact that the event was four days long, and their website (orignally) said that it "will involve the serious, careful and informed consideration of the best evidence that has been discovered in the ten years since the 9/11 events occurred".  (The language has only been changed slightly since then, to say "various expert witnesses will present the best available evidence into the case, discovered in the ten years since the 9/11 events occurred.")

The website indicated that other presenters may still be invited, but then -- in addition to the previously mentioned points -- we also had...

5) The "best evidence" claim vs. the stated "criteria" upon which evidence (and corresponding presenters) were selected

The front page of the website for the Toronto Hearings originally stated that:
Evidence presented at the Hearings will be chosen according to the following criteria: high degree of certainty; importance; and consensus. High degree of certainty means that the Hearings will concentrate not on speculation but on facts that can firmly be established. Importance means that the Hearings will concentrate on elements of the governmental explanation that are crucial to that explanation. Consensus means that evidence chosen will be that which is least controversial within the movement of dissent that is critical of the official explanation.

This revealing paragraph was subsequently removed from the front page of the site, which now simply (and quite falsely in our view) says that "the best available evidence into the case" will be presented.

This is just scratching the surface regarding the first two (subjective) "criteria", but, for example:

"High degree of certainty": Kevin Ryan had already published and promoted a paper by Frank Legge which claims, "There is no scientific proof that a Boeing 757 did not  hit the Pentagon"; "The official flight path cannot be scientifically refuted by the available evidence"; "it cannot be conclusively proved that no 757 hit the Pentagon"; and so on.

"Importance": Ryan had already published an article publicly labeling the question of whether or not a large plane hit the Pentagon (which is to say, the large plane -- he also frames the issue incorrectly as "what hit") "the favorite subject of intentional disruptors and official story supporters", "a minor and nearly useless issue", a "diversion" (in his accompanying graphic), etc.

And much more.  (This isn't just limited to Kevin Ryan either, but also many of those who work alongside him to marginalize the "no impact" evidence.)

The third criteria, "consensus", was perhaps the most revealing, especially in light of the fact that the page also stated that the event "will involve the serious, careful and informed consideration of the best evidence that has been discovered in the ten years since the 9/11 events occurred." (bold added)

So, if "evidence chosen will be that which is least controversial within the movement", yet this evidence would be represented as "the best evidence that has been discovered in the ten years since the 9/11 events occured", they were in essence saying that if something is "controversial" it cannot be "the best evidence".

But what if the "controversy" is manufactured in order to suppress and marginalize "the best evidence"?  In a "movement" of this nature, would one not expect "the best evidence" to be attacked from "within"?  In fact, is that not EXACTLY what Cass Sunstein talked about in his infamous paper -- "cognitive infiltration" of the "9/11 truth movement", introducing "diverse viewpoints", "planting doubts about the theories and stylized facts that circulate within such groups, thereby introducing beneficial cognitive diversity", and so on ?  Yes, it is.

So who, then, would propose that just because *some* people who purport to be 9/11 skeptics (let alone a relatively small clique working in concert in support of a key facet of the official story) simply "dissent" about a particular evidence set (especially one that is widely supported), that this makes it "controversial", which is grounds for labeling it inferior to evidence which is not being attacked?  "Cui Bono"?

(There is much more that could be discussed here, such as the selective enforcement and double standards applied, but in the interest of space, let's move on.)

This all ties in with the following, which all came into view piece by piece as the weeks went by after the initial announcement...

6) The Steering Committee's dominance and "consensus" operating principle, and the impotence of the Advisory Committee. We will go into the most detail about these interrelated points, starting with some background information about the organizational structure and governance of the Toronto Hearings.

Barrie Zwicker -- a strong CIT supporter, Toronto resident, and arguably the most prominent 9/11 skeptic in Canada -- was only invited to be part of the roughly-ten-person "Advisory Committee" for the Toronto Hearings.  This is more or less a ceremonial role with no real decision-making power.  It is so unimportant that the "members"  are not even listed anywhere on the website for the Toronto Hearings.  The Steering Committee has the final say on everything.  The Advisory Committee is just allowed to offer advice, which the Steering Committee is free to reject.

In fact, the Steering Committee as a whole would not typically even have to disapprove of any particular recommendation for it to be ultimately rejected.  A key feature of the way this body operates is that it does so by "consensus", meaning that if ALL of the members do not approve of a given motion (such as introducing certain evidence or extending a particular invitation), it does not carry.  So, in essence, each member of the Steering Committee has the power of veto.  This meant that either Ryan and/or Gourley could blackball us (or anyone else) and the evidence we have uncovered (or any other evidence), regardless of whether or not the other members agreed.

Furthermore, Zwicker (who by the way has a relationship of mutual respect and friendship with Steering Committee member Graeme MacQueen going back well over a decade), has explained:
The AC [Advisory Committee] has never been consulted about anything substantial, not the governance, processes, selection of witnesses, moderators, panelists, topics, criteria for evidence, etc. We have been asked to help raise funds and try to find "societal change agents" who could be invited to the hearings for free. ... Someone, not me, said the TH invited me to be a member of this (window dressing) committee to avoid inviting me to be a witness, since the fix was in against CIT and I'm known as a CIT supporter. I must admit that this could be true.
We (CIT) feel that it is clear that the Advisory Committee was and is only "window dressing" which, when beneficial, can be used to convey the convenient impression of widely diffused power and influence and thus inspires trust amongst the "rank and file" 9/11 skeptics, while masking the reality, which is that the event is controlled by only five individuals, each with effective veto power.

The accuracy of this assessment is further illustrated by the following:

Zwicker, as an "member" of the so-called Advisory Committee, attempted to have us invited to make a presentation, and this advice was rejected (thus prompting Zwicker to go on to sponsor an independent event centered around our work.)  As it turns out, Zwicker's recommendation was apparently never even considered.  As we knew, the "fix was in" well before he was even brought "on board" (in a token role with no real decision-making power.) In a recent e-mail (Aug 29), Gourley confirmed that the decision to exclude us and the widely-supported evidence we have uncovered (conclusively proving that the Pentagon attack was a false flag operation) was made from the outset.  He wrote:
Speaking on behalf of the Steering Committee of the Toronto Hearings, I can tell you that we have never, once, been interested in including any presentations that focus on the issue of 'what hit the Pentagon.' [...] We have received "pressure" from all corners of the 9/11 truth movement to include presentations that address specific subjects, and we have never altered the schedule in response to any of it. This includes vociferous pressure from CIT supporters to include them in the Hearings. The Steering Committee has not wavered from its early decision to refrain from focusing on the question of what hit the Pentagon.
As a side note, as we explicitly wrote in response to David Chandler seven months ago, and as Gourley surely knows if he has any familiarity with our work at all:
"[W]hat hit" is not a question that CIT has ever focused on or promoted. We have only found evidence for a single low-flying craft on the scene at the moment of the explosion: a large commercial-looking aircraft that was banking to its right on the north side of the gas station and therefore could not have hit the light poles or the building. The very question of "what hit" the Pentagon assumes that something did, while it is well known that we are convinced from our investigation that nothing (i.e. no airborne object/craft including the one seen by the witnesses) "hit" at all, and that the damage was caused by pre-planted explosives. We have been very explicit about this for years.
We continued:
In fact, we feel that the Department of Defense purposely tried to lead 9/11 skeptics who were already correctly questioning the damage to the building down this incorrect "what hit" path. For example, we do not think that the alleged "leak" of the dubious five frames video was a real "leak" at all, but rather a deliberate disinformation campaign to get people to focus on missile and drone theories of "what hit". Likewise for Donald Rumsfeld's supposed slip of the tongue during an interview with Parade Magazine shortly after 9/11, where he is quoted as mentioning "the missile" which "damaged this building" (the Pentagon). The DoD itself mirrored a copy of this interview where Rumsfeld made this supposed gaff on their own website, and they have kept it online there for years, even to this day, helping to fuel the proliferation of missile theories.

We therefore find it telling that Gourley would falsely frame the issue in that way even while talking about us, especially given the fact that his associates Legge and Ryan are conspicuously fond of doing the same thing.

(Note: We have offered to have a civil, thorough, on-camera debate/discussion with Gourley in Toronto, so if he thinks anything we are saying here or elsewhere is unfair he is welcome to take it up with us directly.)

Returning to the main topic of discussion, there are a few more things we want to note here.

Toward the beginning we explained that: "it was apparent to us from early on that there would be another, not-at-all-admirable major objective behind the Toronto Hearings, and that would be to, in some way or another, marginalize the evidence that we have uncovered for a north side approach and flyover."

The reason we said "in some way or another" is because we didn't know from the beginning exactly how this would play out.  The most likely scenario seemed to be that they would simply not invite us and omit the evidence, all while claiming that the "best evidence" was represented.  And indeed, this is what happened.

However, although we saw it as a less likely scenario, we felt early on that there was also the possibility that they would end up inviting us.  We appreciate the sentiment of those who decided to lobby for us to be invited, but feel that it was misguided to think that this was necessarily going to make the situation okay (not that everyone who did this necessarily assumed that it would).


We have, for years, invited our most outspoken detractors from the anti-CIT cadre to debate us publicly on the subject.  They have almost universally refused (the only one to accept conceded pretty much every major point and ultimately defeat), yet they have continued to launch dishonest attacks on websites where they know that we cannot respond directly.

Given this well-established history of our opposition's avoidance of honest, fair, unrestricted, direct debate, why, then, would anyone settle for a situation where our opponents can control every facet -- who participates, when they speak, how long they speak for, what they will talk about, what the "rules of engagement" are for any permitted "debate" will be, etc.?  History and logic dictate that the only way they would invite us to an event like this would be if they were confident that they could sufficiently control the debate.  (However, if they tried that, it may have ended up being too obvious, and thus could have backfired.  Also, frankly, we don't think they want to debate us even with our arms tied behind our backs.  The plane was on the north side, and most of them know it.  The cat is out of the bag.)

Furthermore, remember that one of the primary stated objectives of the hearings all along has been to "single out the most weighty evidence".  Remember also that, since day one, it was announced that the "final report" would be edited by James Gourley.  So, even if we hypothetically were permitted to come and make a presentation, our dishonest opponents still had their close associate in there, making it easier for them to assure that, no matter what, the final judgment would be that it was not credible, or at least inferior.  Then they could claim: "The evidence CIT presents was thoroughly evaluated at the most thorough, distinguished, objective, formal hearings to ever take place, which brought together some of the most well respected 9/11 researchers in all of the world, and it was determined to be fundamentally flawed, and certainly not even close to 'the most weighty' evidence the truth movement has.".

With that said, obviously they still stuck with Plan A.

See you in Toronto.

(Related article: "The Toronto Invitations")