Written by Congressional Outreach Team
Thursday, 16 June 2011 17:01
Meet with your Member(s) of Congress in your Community
Central to the mission [OK] of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth is a call for Congress to authorize a new, independent investigation, with subpoena power, into the destruction of the THREE World Trade Center skyscrapers. Our goal is to interact with Members of Congress as we continue building support for a “standard bearer” to come forward. As an important next step we are asking you to meet with your Member of Congress and/or their staffers to present them with the evidence.
To ensure continued dialogue, we will not ask them to take a position. Instead we will present them with information and ask them to do a simple task, such as requesting a technical conference to answer questions related to the World Trade Center Building 7, forwarding a letter to NIST or another Federal agency. They should be willing to do this as a constituent service.
In visits and letter writing to Members of Congress, as with any other written communication, you are not always writing solely to the Member of Congress and his/her staff, but to all that may read the correspondence along the way. This effort is to raise the issue of the events of 9/11 and point out the flaws in the NIST analysis in a professional, sound and reasoned way. The letters that we present and the responses received may be circulated and posted on the web or handed out at other political gatherings to illustrate the flaws.
We do not actually expect that these visits and letters will, by themselves, lead to NIST admitting that they made a mistake. Rather they are intended to embarrass NIST and show the Members of Congress and their staff that NIST is not credible. As we chip away at NIST’s veneer of respectability, it is these mounting embarrassments that will help a champion emerge from the ranks of the Representatives and Senators.
Members of Congress who refuse to relay a letter to NIST might find that this failure to provide a normal, accepted constituent service will raise a lot of eyebrows. Conversely, those members who forward our letters should be praised for providing this basic constituent service. We believe that the following steps will lead to a successful visit and either of the two prototype letters will make an excellent impression on our intended audiences.
Due to the limited resources of the Congressional Outreach Team, we ask you to stick to one of the prototype letters provided below that you will ask your Member of Congress to forward to NIST. These letters are each designed to ask a single question, which are both simple enough and insightful enough to illustrate the glaring problems with NIST investigation.
Letters that contain many points and complexities will allow NIST to cherry pick what they want to respond to and evade the hard questions by referring vaguely to their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) webpage. Alternatively, they might mix up and misrepresent your concerns. Keeping the message simple, with only limited “flavors,” will help us maintain a powerful focus for this public outreach effort. If you would like to work on a different letter that focuses on a different topic, please contact us.
You should be able to find an online form on your Senator’s or Representative’s webpage.
In the online form, include the following:
In addition to submitting the form information, call the Member’s office, identify yourself as a constituent and state your intention to schedule a meeting. Ask for contact information for the Member’s schedule. Be persistent. If you don’t receive a reply within a few working days, call again. Ask the scheduler for an appointment with the Member and his/her “science advisor.” You can expect this to be easier to obtain than a meeting with the actual member of Congress. Request a 30-minute meeting, but be willing to accept a 20-minute meeting in the next two weeks rather than waiting longer than that.
Plan ahead: If you cannot meet with the other members of your citizen delegation locally, schedule a teleconference. Setting up a teleconference is fairly easy with a free conference call service. Here’s one to try: freeconferencecall.com
Organize your citizen delegation team: If there is more than one person, there are various roles that each can play to make the meeting go smoother and be more professional.
Having Trouble Getting an Appointment?
We expect outright refusal for a meeting to be a rare exception if you follow these guidelines. The office of your Member of Congress may have previously encountered 9/11 activists whose passion exceeded their understanding of diplomacy. If you encounter difficulties that cannot be overcome, please complete the Report Back form so we can be apprised of the situation.
While still unlikely, it is more probable that a U.S. Senator will decline your request. Senators deal with more constituent requests, since there are only two senators for the entire population of a state. Even in this case, an appointment with the Senator's staffer should be expected.
If you receive a rejection from your Member of Congress, did you follow the guideline about how to ask for an appointment? How many times did you ask? Did his/her staff fail to respond to your call or email? Just keep calling and each time you contact them and, tell them how many times you've called or e-mailed. Be polite and patient.
If you are ignored after 3-5 attempts, then go your Member of Congress’s office in person (dress for success). Tell the receptionist how many times you have tried to schedule an appointment. Respectfully and politely tell the receptionist that you have important information to share with your Congressperson, and that you expect them to schedule an appointment for your group. It tends to be harder for a staff person to say "no" in person to a respectful and polite constituent who is calmly insisting on a meeting.
If still you don't get a meeting, then we would recommend bird-dogging the Member of Congress when his appearances are announced to the public. Have somebody at each event. Approach his/her staff and let them know that you will be publicly asking for a meeting and asking why his/her staff won’t schedule a meeting with a constituent. If this is not enough to get an appointment set-up on the spot, speak out loudly enough for people around you to hear how many times you've requested and been turned down for a meeting. It might sound like, "We've called your office six times, and we've visited your office in person twice, and still we haven't been able to schedule a meeting with our group which includes professional engineers to talk about public safety and the integrity and technical accuracy of government produced engineering reports." Do not do this as a verbal attack on the Representative or his/her staff, but with respect for the value of the information you have to share. This will stimulate interest and curiosity in the people around you and generate a reasonable amount of discomfort for the Member of Congress.
Whatever you do, treat people well, with respect and kindness. Act as if you win supporters everywhere you go, because this is what you (we) need to do. We need to win supporters everywhere we go. Volunteers at AE911Truth report this is how they open doors - a combination of firmness with respect and kindness for others, and unwavering self-respect and determination to convey a message.
Prepared statement / prepared Letter: Use the introductory letter in the VIP Package (or download it from http://www2.ae911truth.org/downloads/AE911Truth-Intro.doc [Link to an old document See above needs to be updated] ) as a written statement to give to the staffers/Member at the meeting – include the purpose of the meeting, key points of information, and whatever actions you intend to request.
State that the purpose of this meeting is to convey basic information about the destruction of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers and to ask the staffers/Member to convey a question to NIST. Think ahead about your Member’s perspective and concerns, and about what you can realistically request of him/her. It is impractical to ask the Member of Congress to take a stand with Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth until we have built a stronger foundation of support and credibility throughout Congress and among the general public.
Always keep in mind: trust is built on respect. Offer respect even when you do not receive respect in return. Maintain the firm intention to convey the most important information, and monitor your own body language so that you do not betray excessive anxiety (some anxiety is fine and expected).
Be respectful. As representatives of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, we want to sound like the "grown-up" in the room. In dialogues where there is conflict, the calm, dispassionate person is viewed as the more credible of the participants. If you find yourself getting angry during the visit, do your best to remain calm. When a point of disagreement, or disbelief, arises ask the staffer/Member if a question can be formulated so that you may get back to them with an answer
Remember every additional topic you raise during a visit will distract (or put more forcefully ... will detract) from your target message.
Day of the meeting: On the day of the meeting, get together about at least 10-15 minutes before the meeting for a quick review of your roles and agenda. Also plan to debrief with one another for about 30 minutes after the meeting (in the hallway, or at a local coffee shop) – in our experience, everyone will want a chance to talk about what just happened. Make notes about what worked and what did not go so smoothly. Your reports back to us are very useful in refining our strategies in this effort.
Letters can be sent via mail to the Member of Congress's offices and the ones to local offices are more quickly processed. If you make an initial contact with a local staff member, it will be easier to follow-up on the progress of the response. Additionally, it gives you an opportunity to interact with someone on a personal level and if a dismissive response results from the Member of Congress, this person will be aware of the inappropriateness of the response even though they can’t say anything. Currently, here are two prototype letters: One deals with nanothermite and the second deals with NIST’s decision to withhold substantial portions of the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) computer model from the public, allegedly because of public safety concerns.
Mailing address for your Members of Congress (local and Washington, DC offices) can be obtained from their web sites. We recommend sending letters to local district offices.
Most often, any response to a constituent request for a new investigation, clarification or hearing into the destruction of the World Trade Center skyscrapers will be dismissive, hostile or the response will talk about something else after acknowledging your letter. This dismissive response now becomes your springboard for the next letter that the Congressional Outreach Team will be happy to help you with. For example, NIST has responded in a dismissive manner about not looking for thermite because aluminum and iron oxide are everywhere and looking for them is pointless because they are, of course present:
NIST Statement: "[ ... ] Thermite is a combination of powders such as aluminum and iron oxide and because these common elements in the vicinity, it is not surprising to find such materials. Therefore, the presence of these particles is of no consequence."
Possible response: NIST makes it sound as though they think that thermite – pulverized aluminum and iron oxide, used for more than a century in welding and in the demolition of heavy steel equipment – is no more dangerous than a pile of Budweiser cans and rusty pipes. Many high-ranking people at NIST were involved in the development of nanothermite and other energetic materials. Please take that into account as you decide who is making more sense on these issues.
If the staffer or Member presents NIST’s position as if it seems plausible, you could try this approach:
“So help me out here ... I am a little confused ...
Which of the following two objects would get me in more trouble if I were to toss them in front of a public building:
1) A shopping bag full of Hostess
Twinkies and some sand, or
Both objects consist of little more than carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and silicon. Even if the wick were “lit” (or not) it would not matter because the wick is nothing more that hydrogen and carbon ("lit" or not), right?
Optional second example: “We have all heard of grain elevator explosions, but have we ever heard of any “loaf of bread” explosions?”
So ... actually the question is: does the way elements are combined in a material make a difference? Or are the entire fields of physics and chemistry irrelevant?
We understand that there are many who believe that an acknowledgment that the official story of 9/11 is false would help undermine the original rationales for going into Afghanistan and later Iraq. The AE911Truth Congressional Outreach position is that we do not address those highly politicized ongoing events. Bringing up those issues will make it very simple for your audience to dismiss you as simply having a political ax to grind. It is the hypothesis and supporting evidence of the “Controlled Demolition” message that AE911Truth is attempting to bring into the public discussion. We believe that any reference to Iraq and Afghanistan carries to greater risk of adding a layer of emotion that will only serve as a distraction from anything else you say. If this happens, it makes it much harder to communicate the logic and physics of the AE911Truth message.
If your Member of Congress is well known to be opposed to the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations, and you feel it is important and helpful to tie that opposition to doubts about the official story that can be engendered by an honest look at the World Trade Center, it would perhaps not be as risky to include references to those wars. But, the Congressional Outreach Team strongly urges you to make the wars the subject of a separate correspondence.
[I think we need to add a new letter specifically asking for a clear the air conference. Currently it is a request buried in the letter to a member of Congress.]
by Wayne Coste