As the Beatles once sang, "oh I’ll get by with a little help with my friends/yes I’ll get high with a little help from my friends.” In this case I received some illuminating help from my friend, journalist, researcher and activist, Barbara Honegger, on my last article The making of 9/11 activists.
As I wrote in it, Manny Badillo had related to me that he was a conservative in 2009, even attending a Tea Party in Boston for 9/11 Truth. I assumed and wrote: "Ironically, it was the conservative 9/11 Tea Party given in Boston in 2007 that put him on the path to 9/11 Truth.” The use of conservative was his, but the assumption that the Tea Party was a conservative property was mine.
The truth is quite au contraire, as Barbara points out to me. And she should know, having initiated the vision for that very Boston Tea Party for 9/11 Truth.
In fact, Manny’s awakening came at the Tea Party for 9/11 Truth in Boston on December 15 and 16 in 2007. That 2007 event and the original one-day Tea Party for 9/11 Truth held on the cobblestones outside historic Faneuil Hall on December 15, 2006, were conceived originally by Barbara Honegger and carried out with the help of her fellow progressives. But it was the larger 2007 event that opened Manny’s eyes and mind wide to the counter theories of what 9/11 really represented: a false flag operation to kick off the march to world hegemony executed by the Bush administration and its minions.
This is no small point, no scholarly nit-picking. It is major. After all, it was the Progressives who had organized the first Boston Tea Party for 9/11 Truth on the anniversary of the original Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773. The second annual Boston Tea Party took place in 2007, on Saturday December 15-16. In this clip, we have Vietnam Veteran fighter pilot and former director of the Star Wars Program Lt. Col. Robert Bowman giving his impassioned speech.
What is ironic -- and which enabled what Honegger calls the theft of the originally-progressive Boston Tea Party vision by "the counterfeit Palin-Murdoch-Fox ‘Tea Party’ movement’” -- is that the venue of the 2007 Boston Tea Party for 9/11 Truth -- historic Faneuil Hall -- that had been reserved by the progressive organizers for both weekend days, Dec. 15 and 16, was used by Libertarian Ron Paul for a fundraising event for his then presidential campaign on the 16th. When one of Paul’s Boston activists called the Hall to try to reserve it and was told that both days had already been taken by the Boston Tea Party for 9/11 Truth, he called one of the organizers and begged to be able to have the Hall for one of the two days. The organizer relented and allowed Ron Paul to use the hall on Sunday, Dec, 16.
As a result, just the first of the two days of the 2007 Boston Tea Party for 9/11 Truth took place in historic Faneuil Hall, and then moved to Boston Commons for speeches on Sunday the 16th. Following the Commons’ speeches, activists marched to Moakley Bridge, where they tossed a huge foam replica of the 9/11 Commission Report stamped ‘REJECTED’ and dozens of faux cases of the Report into Boston Harbor (see Boston Globe’s photo coverage of the 2006 event.). Both days’ events gathered crowds of supporters -- among them future 9/11 activist Manny Badillo -- and shed a light across America as brilliant as the white Boston snow that lit up the Boston Tea Party Truth for 9/11.
Ron Paul and his supporters thus were able to use Faneuil Hall on Sunday, December 16, 2007, for a "money bomb” campaign fund raiser. There, they found leftover posters and flyers created by the progressives for the previous day’s Boston Tea Party for 9/11 Truth here, and somehow the progressives’ Tea Party concept found its way into Libertarian Ron Paul’s campaign. See, CNN’s coverage linked above.
So it was the progressive movement for 9/11 Truth that graciously lent independent Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul and his supporters the use of Faneuil Hall on Sunday, December 16, 2007. But -- let it be duly noted -- the 9/11 events’ lead organizers, Jason King and Rich McCampbell, agreed only to let Ron Paul use the hall and certainly not the original spirit of a Boston Tea Party for 9/11 Truth or anything else that day -- or at any other time.
This history is the key to understanding where the original Tea Party idea came from -- it came from Barbara Honegger and her passionately independent Progressive allies. It is the true tale of how that original Boston Tea Party for 9/11 Truth, which was Honegger’s vision -- a vision for a politically independent and progressive ‘Second American Revolution’ -- happened to be co-opted by the right wing, which Honegger says is "the antithesis of everything our original Tea Parties stood for.” It was first lifted by Ron Paul’s Libertarians then fatefully stolen from him by the Palin/Fox/Koch Brothers/radical right-wing corporatist Republicans. Seeing how Paul and Palin are now candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the corporatists would love to weaken, if not stop, the so-called Libertarian "Tea Party” influence on the future direction of the Republican Party.
Barbara generously shared this history with me in phone interviews and corroborating documents. She modestly added that she happily preferred being called the ‘Patricia Henry’ of the Tea Party for 9/11 Truth, as activists often do, rather than the movement’s ‘mother,’ perhaps because Ron Paul has somehow claimed putative fatherhood for it -- and then Palin became its wicked stepmother.
Bottom line: trust in the progressives to lead, both today as yesterday.
The Third Beam of light
Barbara appreciated the focus on Manny Badillo in my article. She credits both Manny and Willy Rodriquez as the true heroes, being "the most articulate, informed and passionate spokespersons of the whole Movement.” This said, they had some real help from the third articulate hero, Richard Gage, with whom Honegger worked closely on a major surprise event sponsored by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth on Sept. 11 this year in New York City. It was Honegger who originally thought of putting a Third Beam of light into the New York City skyline on the 9th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks to represent the truth about the controlled demolition destruction of WTC 7, at Gage’s February 19th 1,000 signatures press conference and activists’ strategy session in San Francisco. Gage immediately got totally behind the idea, with Architects and Engineers covering half the expenses. Honegger generously covered the other half.
Honegger gives real meaning to the word "activist.” She played a major role in the planning and physical execution of the Third Beam project. This included researching and locating the uniquely small but incredibly bright spotlights called a.d. Lights, of which there are only four rentable on the entire Eastern seaboard with two that had to be driven up from Florida to New York City. She also handled contracts with the spotlight rental companies, interacted constantly with their owners and rented the truck that she and activist Steve White -- who has gathered at least three of the dust samples near Ground Zero containing the red-gray thermite chips analyzed by Steven Jones -- drove two of the four lights to their final location. And she and Steve also found just the right Honda EU-3000 generators that could power two lights at a time. And in a money-pressed movement, Barbara also paid for the generators’ rental.
The final location for the spotlights that produced the two-billion-candlepower Third Beam that burst into the New York City skyline at exactly 9:11 p.m. on Sept. 11 was picked by Manny Badillo -- the corner of Church and Worth Streets. (Hey, there’s a parking space over here, guys!)
Seconds before 9/11 p.m., Barbara pressed the four ‘on’ buttons on the spotlights (what a thrill that must have been) and whoosh, up it soared. She also orchestrated getting telephone numbers for the NYC press and television newsrooms into the hands of attendees at the INN World Report conference on "How the World Changed After 9/11” which was still meeting near Walker and Church Streets a few blocks away. PR Newswire put out the release to all the 500 mainstream NYC media in their Metro distribution at exactly 9:11 p.m. The next morning, Barbara and Steve White returned the Vestal spotlights and -- hopefully -- were able to take a long deep breath.
Phil Restino, an activist friend of Les Jamieson’s from Florida, drove the two Florida lights from there to New York City and back. And Manny and Richard were on all of the Third Beam planning calls with A&E members backing up the project.
The historic Third Beam that finally shot high into the New York skyline at 9:11 p.m. on September 11 made an instantaneous and deep impression on everyone who saw it [see it here], but perhaps deepest of all for Manny who may have seen the soul of his lost uncle rekindled in that shining moment, as many others all over the area saw their lost ones rise again in this tribute to 9/11 Truth.
The Third Beam was an incredible boost to the dean of the 9/11 Truth Movement, Prof. David Ray Griffin, who was unable to attend 9th anniversary events due to a convalescence. News of the plans for the two-billion-candle-power Third Beam over New York City’s sky on the night of 9/11 -- representing WTC 7, whose focus Griffin had called for between now and next year’s 10th anniversary-- so lifted his spirits, Barbara was told, that he took a turn for the better. Like the beam, he began to regain energy. And the moment that it went up –- 9:11 -- Honegger yelled from the bed of the truck where the spotlights burst forth to the 200 placard-bearing activists that the Third Beam was "dedicated to the success of the 9/11 Truth Movement and to David Ray Griffin.” (Here! Here! And to a speedy recovery.)
Lastly, the Third Beam was not "a minor miracle” as I understated it originally. Given all the facts, it was a major miracle -- thanks to Barbara and all the activists involved in this historic happening.
The activist journalists at work
Besides their passionate activism for the truth about what happened on Sept. 11 th., Manny Badillo and Barbara Honegger share something else important in common. Manny Badillo was a journalist for the Air Force some five years, and Barbara has been a Navy journalist for 15. She is the Senior Military Affairs Journalist for DoD’s premiere defense science, technology, national security and homeland security university. As an example, here is one of her recent articles, on 9/11 counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke: Former Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke Calls for New National Cyber Defense Policy to Prevent a Cyber 9/11. Given that Clarke vetted and approved the entire text before publication, note especially the paragraph that begins "Regarding 9/11 itself . . .”
Because of contributions like these and many other achievements, Professor David Ray Griffin recently wrote to Barbara: "If we are successful and someone writes an objective history of our Movement, you will be given a prominent role. Although your official position places limits on what you can do, it also provides you with unique opportunities, of which you have taken good advantage.”
A historian of the 911 Truth Movement, and more
In addition to conceiving and helping to implement the first 9/11 Boston Tea Party in 2006, and the second in 2007 that put Manny on the path to 9/11 Truth, Barbara was the first committed progressive and political independent whose resignation of conscience from the Reagan-Bush White House brought ten days of national and international publicity. She was also the author of the pioneering book October Surprise (Tudor, May 1989) that documents the high treason of the 1980 Reagan-Bush presidential campaign’s secret hostage-release-delay negotiations with the then-new Islamic fundamentalist regime in Iran.
As the initiator of those first Boston Tea Parties for 9/11 Truth, she was a keynote speaker at both, introduced by Bob Bowman from the podium as "The Mother of the Boston Tea Party for 9/11 Truth.” Barbara commented, "I didn’t know Manny then, and didn’t know he was in the audience, but I am grateful he was and that he saw the light there.”
For all these reasons, Barbara adds, "the original 9/11 Tea Parties were and are anything but ‘conservative.’ They were radically independent and non-partisan -- the proof being that "The Declaration of Independents” [that she wrote] was read aloud there.
Amen. As today’s inclusive progressives, we will all profit "with a little help from our friends.”
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer and life-long resident of New York City. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book, "State Of Shock: Poems from 9/11 on” is available at www.jerrymazza.com, Amazon or Barnesandnoble.com. He has also written hundreds of articles on American and world politics as an Associate Editor of Online Journal.