Jones might have disclosed he had signed up to a petition which called for an investigation into the Bush administration’s complicity in the 9/11 attacks.
During the annual American Labor Day holiday the White House quietly announced the resignation of the Obama adminiistration’s “green jobs czar”. The post, as an adviser to the president, carries considerable influence but is not subject to Congressional confirmation or other scrutiny. Most U.S. administration political appointees have to complete a seven-page questionnaire listing 83 queries intended to prevent a candidate from embarrassing his employer, but Van Jones did not.
If Jones, a controversial black activist, had been required to complete the questionnaire he might have disclosed that in 2004 he had signed up to a petition circulated by the 9/11 Truth organisation which called for an investigation into the Bush administration’s complicity in the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The 9/11 Truth supporters believe that there was a major conspiracy perpetrated by the U.S. government which was intended to supply an excuse for the Coalition’s military intervention in Iraq. This is the bunch who hold meetings to assert that the three buildings that collapsed in Manhattan had been primed with explosives by unidentified plotters that detonated just as the two hijacked planes hit the twin towers.
These conspiracy theorists variously blame the CIA and other U.S. secret agencies of bearing responsibility for the atrocity, and are on the lunatic fringe of society. In England the cause has been supported by, among others, the ex-MI5 officers David Shayler and Annie Machon who both espouse the view that many architects and engineers have analysed the events of that terrible day and concluded there must have been official complicity.
The current issue concerns the 9/11 Truth statement which was circulated in 2004, and whether Van Jones signed up to it. The Statement itself consists of twelve topics that supposedly demand investigation, such as the assertion that the hijacker’s leader, Mohammed Atta, was given $100,000 by the Pakistani ISI a week before the attack.
Listed are ninety-nine supporters, and number forty-six is Van Jones, then accurately described as “executive director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights”, a radical group based in Oakland, San Francisco that campaigned against police brutality directed towards black men.
The Statement’s organisers insist Jones did sign up, and that his signature was verified by email or telephone. However, when challenged, Van Jones denied having done so, and now has resigned insisting that he never supported any of the 9/11 Truth objectives. So the two remaining questions are, did Van Jones really sign up, and did he then lie?
The right wing of American politics has focused on Jones because he is perceived to be a manifestation of a not very covert radicalization of Washington by the Obama administration. By drawing attention to his past links with extremists the right has sought to characterize the Obama White House.
However, the White House reaction has been very curious. If, as he now says, Jones never supported the 9/11 Truth objectives, why was his name on the list for nearly five years? And was his denial a lie? Curiously, his name remains on the 9/11 website.