This report is issued from the International Hearings on the Events of September 11, 2001, which were held in Toronto, Canada over the Tenth Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. We present it, and the recommendations that flow from it, to the President of the United States, the United States Congress, the American People, and any other domestic or international interested parties for their consideration.
The Toronto Hearings, held at Ryerson University, constituted a four-day event that ran from September 8-11, 2011. The mandate of the Toronto Hearings was to bring to light the most substantial evidence which has accumulated over the past ten years — evidence that the 9/11 Commission Report and the various reports issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology failed to adequately address — demonstrating that there is the need for a new, independent and international investigation into the events of 9/11. The Hearings were not a new investigation in themselves, but provided a succinct summary of the strongest evidence that a new investigation is immediately warranted and that the international community cannot abdicate this responsibility any longer.
The format and conduct of the Hearings was analogous to — though not exactly the same as — a legal proceeding that is known in the United States as a grand jury hearing. Other legal jurisdictions have similar mechanisms known as preliminary hearings or committal procedures. One common thread among all of these proceedings is that, after a crime has been investigated, a prosecutor presents his best evidence that the defendant or suspect committed the crime in question. Typically, the suspect or defendant does not have the opportunity to present counter-evidence to a grand jury, but sometimes is invited by the prosecutor to do so.
Indeed, neither the National Institute of Standards and Technology nor the 9/11 Commission — the U.S. government bodies that have promulgated what are referred to as the official government version of 9/11 — testified at the Toronto Hearings. These parties were invited several times to participate in the Hearings, but declined to do so. We cannot help but conclude that these entities will continue to hide behind their reports until a body with subpoena power, or sufficient political clout, forces them to appear and defend their work.
In a grand jury proceeding, the grand jury simply decides whether there is a prima facie case that can be made against the defendant. A prima facie case has been made when evidence has been presented that — unless rebutted — would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact. If the grand jury does find that a prima facie case has been made, then, at a separate proceeding known as a trial, which the defendant is required to attend, the case is presented to an adjudicator, usually a judge or jury. At the trial, the defendant has the opportunity to rebut the case with counter-evidence.
Again, the analogy between the Toronto Hearings and a grand jury proceeding is not perfect, because there are some differences in format and product of the Toronto Hearings.
The Hearings were not conducted according to any specific laws or legal procedures, and the outcome does not have the force of law. Also, unlike a grand jury, the evidence was not presented to citizens chosen at random, due to obvious logistical problems. Governments can force citizens to show up for jury duty, but the organizers of the Toronto Hearings did not have that ability.
Instead of convening a traditional jury panel, we decided to gather together an international panel of prominent individuals, who agreed to do what governments and major media outlets around the world have so far refused to do: look at the evidence objectively and decide whether it deserves wider consideration. In selecting panelists, we looked for two qualifications in an individual: someone who is (1) highly credible and (2) open to objectively assessing the evidence. We certainly found four such individuals, and we are grateful to have had such distinguished gentlemen participating in their important role in these Hearings.
Ferdinando Imposimato is the Honorary President of the Supreme Court of Italy. As a former Senior Investigative Judge, he presided over several major terrorism-related cases, including cases involving the kidnapping and assassination of President Aldo Moro, the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, and the Mafia assassination of Carabinieri General Carlo Alberto Della Chiesa. In 1984 the French journal Le Point named him “Man of the Year: Courageous Judge,” and in 1985 the London Times devoted a full page to his work as “scourge of the Mafia,” while a book published by the United Nations described him as “the symbol of Justice.” Ferdinando Imposimato is also a former Senator who served on the Anti-Mafia Commission in three administrations, a former legal consultant to the United Nations on drug trafficking, the author or co-author of seven books on international terrorism, state corruption, and related matters, and a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy.
Herbert Jenkins is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at McMaster University. Educated at Oberlin College and Harvard University, he held positions at the Lincoln Laboratories in Massachusetts, at MIT, and at the Bell Telephone Laboratories before coming to McMaster in 1963. Herbert Jenkins helped create McMaster’s interdisciplinary Arts and Science Program and its Engineering and Society Program, and served as Director of both. In 2009 Professor Jenkins was awarded an honorary doctorate by McMaster University in recognition of his influential contributions to the psychology of learning and judgment, as well as his leadership in developing models of inquiry-based, interdisciplinary, and socially responsible undergraduate education that have had a significant impact on current thinking about curriculum development in Canadian universities.
Richard B. Lee is University Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. Internationally recognized for his ethnographic studies, he has held academic appointments at Harvard, Rutgers, and Columbia University. The author of books that have had a major influence in the discipline, and of more than a hundred articles and book chapters, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Lee has served as President of the Canadian Anthropological Society, and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Guelph. The journal American Scientist has listed his 1979 book on the !Kung San people as standing among the hundred greatest scientific works of the twentieth century.
David Johnson is a Professor Emeritus of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Tennessee. He holds BA and Master’s degrees in architecture and planning from Yale University, and a PhD in regional planning from Cornell University. A Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, he served with the US Army Corps of Engineers, and was a planner on the staffs of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the Washington National Capital Planning Commission and the Regional Plan Association of New York. David Johnson has been a Fulbright Scholar in India, Thailand, the Soviet Union, and Cyprus, and has served as Professor and Chair of the Planning Departments at Syracuse University and at Ball State University. A Past President of the Fulbright Association of the United States, he has directed educational projects in Brazil and Portugal, and helped to found the Fulbright Prize, whose recipients include Nelson Mandela and Jimmy Carter.
There is no question that the opinions of these four gentlemen on the evidence will carry significant influence in many quarters, as well they should.
Over the course of four days, these panelists listened to the best evidence that has been collected over the last 10 years that contradicts the official government version of events for 9/11. Each witness presented an opening statement, and then answered questions posed by the panel. The panel was given considerable latitude in the subject and nature of the questions they may ask, and witnesses answered every question to the best of their knowledge. After the Hearings adjourned on the fourth day, the panel reconvened over the following weeks and months, and made a decision on which aspects, if any, of the evidence presented deserves further investigation by governments with subpoena and political power. The panelists’ conclusions and recommendations can be found in their respective contributions to this report.
The witnesses who testified at the Toronto Hearings included the following:
- Lance DeHaven-Smith — Professor in the Reubin O’D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University
- Peter Dale Scott — Former English professor at the University of California, Berkeley; former diplomat and a poet; author of numerous books, including “The Road to 9/11”
- David Ray Griffin — retired professor of philosophy of religion and theology; co-founder of the Center for Process Studies, a research center of Claremont School of Theology which seeks to promote the common good by means of the relational approach found in process thought; author of a number of books on the subject of the September 11 attacks
- Paul Zarembka — Professor of Economics at the State University of New York at Buffalo
- Jonathan Cole — Professional Engineer licensed in New Hampshire and Florida, with 28 years of experience
- David Chandler — physics instructor; graduate of Harvey Mudd College, Claremont Graduate University, and Cal Poly in Pomona
- Laurie Manwell — PhD candidate in Behavioral Neuroscience and Toxicology at the University of Guelph
- Niels Harrit — retired professor of Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen; lead author of peer-reviewed scientific paper titled “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 WTC Catastrophe”
- Richard Gage, AIA — San Francisco Bay Area architect and a member of the American Institute of Architects
- Graeme MacQueen — doctor of philosophy in Comparative Religion from Harvard University; professor in the Religious Studies department of McMaster University for 30 years; founding Director of the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster University
- Kevin Ryan — former scientist at Underwriters Laboratories (UL) who certified the steel used in the World Trade Center; fired by UL in 2004 for publicly asking questions about the WTC investigation being conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
- Barbara Honegger — former White House Policy Analyst and Special Assistant to the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy; former Senior Military Affairs Journalist at the Naval Postgraduate School, the science, technology and national security affairs graduate research university of the U.S. Department of Defense
- Jay Kolar — freelance writer; film studies instructor
- Michel Chossudovsky — Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Ottawa; Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization
- Mike Gravel — former U.S. Senator; 2008 Presidential Candidate
- Cynthia McKinney — former U.S. Congresswoman; Green Party Presidential Candidate in 2008
All of the substantive chapters in this final report of the Toronto Hearings were prepared by the experts listed above, though not all were able to contribute to the report. All of the witness testimony presented at the Toronto Hearings is available on DVD at www.pressfortruth.ca. The panel considered the evidence presented at the hearings, and read pre-publication drafts of all of the chapters these experts wrote in preparing their own chapters. The panel’s conclusions and recommendations follow the experts’ chapters.
The Toronto Hearings were also supported by 9/11 family members Lorie Van Auken and Bob McIlvaine. That day, Lorie lost her husband and Bob lost his son. Both testified at the Hearings by video submission. The text of Lorie’s and Bob’s remarks to the Toronto Hearings is presented following this introduction.
September 11, 2001, was a horrific event, and we still mourn for those who lost their lives and those who lost loved ones. Our hope is that these Hearings will take us one step closer to achieving real justice and accountability for the damage that was caused. We certainly believe, and all of the panelists have agreed, that the evidence presented at the Toronto Hearings, if objectively evaluated, presents a prima facie case that the official government version of events is wrong and deserves further investigation.