By John Briggs
Free Press Staff Writer
January 9, 2007
Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day will be the first in the country to vote
‘yes’ or ‘no’ on reopening the investigation into what happened Sept. 11, 2001.
As of Jan. 4, a local group had gathered 1,240 of the approximately 1,350 signatures
(5 percent of registered voters) required to put the question on the ballot,
and a member of the group, Burlington attorney Frank Haddleton, expressed confidence
Monday that they now have more than enough signatures.
The question would ask the Vermont congressional delegation to “demand
a new, thorough, and truly independent forensic investigation” to answer
“the many questions” the group says remain about what happened the
day planes commandeered by terrorists smashed into the World Trade Center and
In September, the council unanimously passed a resolution promising they would
honor the Vermont tradition of allowing such questions if they garner enough
signatures, “whether or not they like the questions or agree with the petitioners.”
Monday, the council agreed unanimously that they wouldn’t vote on putting the
9/11 question on the March ballot after City Attorney Joe McNeil said the September
resolution had put the council views on record and that the question would be
on the ballot if the signatures were submitted by Jan. 25.
The group said in a letter to the council that it doesn’t “advance any
particular alternative theory” about what happened Sept. 11, 2001, but
thinks the day’s aftermath, including wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, are so serious
that a new investigation is warranted “to get answers to hundreds of questions
raised by independent researchers, members of the intelligence community and
family members of 9/11 victims.”
The attacks, the letter said, have been cited as justifications for the wars,
“wiretapping, the USA PATRIOT Act, torture, indefinite detentions without
charges, and the recently passed Military Commission Act that suspends the writ
of habeas corpus. We maintain that until the serious, credible questions about
9/11 are addressed, the government has no right to ask us to compromise the
Constitution or engage in any new wars again terrorism.”
The group’s spokesman, local author and musician Marc Estrin, said the ballot
item would be the first of its sort in the United States.
“We’re all very pleased that the council voted not to interfere and let
it go forward if we come up with the signatures,” Haddleton said.
Contact John Briggs at 660-1863 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ONLINE POLL: 9-11 Report
A Burlington group has gathered nearly enough signatures on a petition to put
a ballot question before voters on Town Meeting Day urging a new investigation
of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Do
you think there should be a new investigation?
Yes — No — Not Sure