What are the Toronto Hearings?
The International Hearings on the Events of September 11, 2001, also referred to as the Toronto Hearings, will take place at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada over the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, from Thursday, September 8th to Sunday, September 11, inclusive. They are being sponsored by the International Center for 9/11 Studies, a non-profit organization.
The objectives of the Toronto Hearings as follows:
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 and media through witness testimony as well as through public talks and media events during the four day event.
The Steering Committee for the Toronto Hearings is working to finalize the list of expert witnesses who will testify at the Hearings and the Panelists who will hear the testimony, and we will publish more information on these topics in the very near future. In the meantime, we would like to address some questions and concerns that have been brought to our attention regarding the purpose, format and outcome of the Hearings.
In general, the Hearings are intended to bring attention to the most substantial evidence which has accumulated over the past ten years – and that the 9/11 Commission Report and the various NIST reports failed to adequately address – demonstrating that there is the need for a new, independent and international investigation. The Hearings are not a new investigation in themselves. The Hearings are 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 will be 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 a prosecutor presents his best evidence that the defendant committed the crime in question to a person or group of people. Typically, the suspect or defendant does not have the opportunity to present counter-evidence to a grand jury, but is sometimes invited by the prosecutor to do so. The grand jury simply decides whether there is a prima facie case that can be made against the defendant. Then, at trial, the case is presented to an adjudicator, usually a judge or jury, and at this stage the defendant has the opportunity to rebut the case with counter-evidence. Again, the analogy between the Toronto Hearings and these legal proceedings is not perfect, because there are some differences format and product of the Toronto Hearings.
At the Toronto Hearings, a Panel of 3 to 5 highly credible and eminent individuals will listen to the best evidence that has been collected over the last 10 years that contradicts the official government story, and make a decision on which aspects, if any, of the evidence presented deserves further investigation by governments with subpoena power. The evidence that will be presented to the Panel at the Hearings is being chosen by the Steering Committee. We are also extending an invitation to NIST and the 9/11 Commission to present the government's side of the story at the Hearings, but we are doubtful that the invitations will be accepted. It should be noted that NIST has been invited to debate these issues in public a number of times, and has consistently refused.
The Hearings are not analogous to a trial, where there will be an innocent or guilty verdict issued at the end. The Hearings are also not a forum to present every side of every issue that has been raised within the 9/11 Truth Movement, and decide which is correct or which is the best. The Steering Committee is playing a role similar to that of a grand jury prosecutor in these Hearings, and we are deciding which evidence we think is the strongest and most persuasive against the official story. We are interested in the Panelists’ opinions on the merits of the evidence we choose to present as against the official version of events promulgated by NIST and the 9/11 Commission. We do not claim to be an authoritative or representative voice of the 9/11 Truth Movement, and the content of the Hearings will in no way restrict the scope of any future investigation, whether government sponsored or not.
The Hearings are not being conducted according to any specific laws or legal procedures. Also, unlike a grand jury, the evidence will not be presented to citizens chosen at random, due to obvious logistical problems. Governments can force citizens to show up for jury duty, but we don’t have that ability. As the next best alternative, we decided to gather together an international Panel of prominent individuals, who will do what governments around the world have so far refused to do: look at the evidence objectively and publish a report detailing the evidence presented, along with conclusions and recommendations on how to proceed. In selecting Panelists, we are looking for two qualifications in an individual: someone who is (1) highly credible and (2) open to objectively assessing the evidence. We are very excited about the Panelists from whom we have commitments, and with whom we are currently in discussions. The final report of the Hearings will not have the force of law, but the hope is that it can be used to persuade citizens, academics, law makers, journalists and other people of influence to look seriously at the evidence that merits further investigation, and push for such an investigation with subpoena power and the force of law behind it.
The Toronto Hearings promise to be meaningful and historic. We are putting an enormous amount of work into this event. Please offer us your support. You can support the Hearings financially by making a U.S. tax-deductible donation in any amount, and you can attend the Hearings for all four days by making a donation of $200.