Create Free 28 Pages Publicity with Letters to the Editor

The movement to declassify the 28-page finding on foreign government support of the 9/11 hijackers depends on individual actions by concerned citizens. While we emphasize calls and letters to Congress and the White House, another powerful tool is a letter to the editor of a newspaper or magazine.

Today’s Austin American-Statesman features a letter that focuses on Congressman Lamar Smith:

Release Classified 9/11 Finding

If you were elected to Congress and your peers urged you to read a classified 28-page finding on foreign government support of the 9/11 hijackers because it was critical to understanding sources of terrorism, would you do it? Not if you’re Rep. Lamar Smith.

After months of sidestepping my questions posed via letters, emails and phone calls, the congressman’s staff finally acknowledged that Smith hasn’t done the homework that peers in both parties have urged him to do. Bottom line: Lamar Smith—a member of the House Homeland Security Committee—votes with an incomplete understanding of the terror threat.

After reading this material, Rep. Thomas Massie said: “I had to stop every two or three pages and rearrange my perception of history.” Every American should be able to read those 28 pages. Every member of Congress should support House Resolution 14, which urges our president to release them.

Public Political Pressure…and Praise

Rep. Lamar Smith
Rep. Lamar Smith

It’s been more than a year since Congressmen Walter Jones, Stephen Lynch and Thomas Massie began urging members to read the 28 pages. Letters like these provide a means of public accountability, alert other legislators to a potential vulnerability of their own and enlighten both readers and the newspaper’s staff about the issue.

Your letter doesn’t have to focus on your representative’s failure to read the 28 pages—something that staffs will take a long time to admit. Instead, you could simply express concern that they haven’t joined the list of cosponsors of House Resolution 14, which urges the president to declassify the 28 pages and give Americans information they need and deserve.

If your legislator is already on board, use a letter to the editor to praise them publicly while encouraging others to follow their leadership on the issue—the way districts are drawn, a given newspaper’s reach often spans multiple districts.

A More General Approach

As another alternative, you can take a broader approach to the issue. Here’s an example of a letter—published in the Northwest Herald in Woodstock, Illinois—that pressures Congress in general and the president specifically:

The day terrorists attacked the Charlie Hebdo office in France, Congressmen Walter Jones and Stephen Lynch – with former Senate Intelligence Chairman Bob Graham and Terry Strada, co-chair of the 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism – held a news conference to announce the introduction of House Resolution 14, which calls on the president to declassify 28 pages of the joint congressional inquiry into 9/11.

This news conference is the latest attempt to bring the truth to the public about who is financing terrorism.

Follow the money is a common phrase used when trying to disclose how things happen.

On two occasions, in the presence of 9/11 victims’ families, President Barack Obama has said he would declassify the 28 pages, but has so far refused.

There should be massive pressure placed upon the House to sign the resolution and pressure on the Senate to sponsor a corresponding resolution. These actions might give Obama a backbone to do the right thing.

As long as this cover-up continues, all counterterrorism plans are for naught.


Tips for Your Letter to the Editor

  • Keep it focused on just this topic
  • Keep it brief—no more than 150 words
  • Have a pal proofread it
  • Check the paper’s guidance for length and how to submit it; most have online forms
  • Increase your odds of success: Try more than one newspaper or magazine
  • If your letter is published, share it in a comment on our Facebook page, and spread it around using Facebook, Twitter and other social media
  • For inspiration on key points to hit, use the letters above and skim through this page and this one

REDACTED w91128 Ways You Can Build the 28 Pages Movement

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

What to Do When Politicians Duck Your 28-Pages Questions

Elected officials who read the classified 28-page finding on foreign government support of the 9/11 hijackers almost always become supporters of their release. That’s why we challenge and equip citizens to contact their representatives and senators and ask two simple, yes-or-no questions:

  • Have you read the 28 pages?
  • If not, have you asked permission from your intelligence committee to do so?

MEME CASEY 228-pages activists typically find the answer they receive isn’t really an answer at all. For example, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey recently replied to a constituent with a lengthy but canned reply clearly sent to anybody who even mentions 9/11. The senator spewed 407 words, but none of them were “yes” or “no.”

Florida Senator Bill Nelson, on the other hand, cut right to the non-bottom-line: He tersely thanked the writer for contacting him and said he’d keep her “views in mind if this issue is considered before the Senate.” Nelson’s reply also said the redacted pages were in the 9/11 Commission Report–they’re not. Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey’s non-answer to yet another citizen featured the very same error.

You’re a Customer—Act Like One

When you get your own non-answer, don’t get discouraged. Instead, adopt the mindset of a customer who is receiving terrible service.

Imagine you asked a simple yes-or-no question of your bank, cable company or cell phone provider and received a reply that deliberately and completely ignored the substance of your query—and maybe threw in some factual errors to boot. What would you do? We’re guessing you’d do one of these things, in whatever order you felt like:

Ask the question again. One of those Pennsylvania constituents replied to Senator Toomey by saying, “You did not answer the simple yes or no questions I asked in my previous email.” He restated the questions and closed by saying “I look forward to your answers.”

Try another channel. If you started with a request through the official’s website, try a phone call. If you called first, try a letter. Show up at a town hall or election event and put them on the spot. Whatever your change-up, make sure they know this is your second (or third, or fourth, or…) inquiry and that the previous reply wasn’t satisfactory.

Ask to speak to a supervisor. Call the politician’s office. When the front-line staffer answers, politely but firmly say you need to talk to the legislative assistant who handles intelligence and national security matters because you’ve received poor service from the office on an issue relating to those areas. When you speak to that legislative assistant, tell them you’ve asked a simple yes-or-no question of fact and that, as a constituent, you deserve a yes-or-no answer.

Tell other people about your experience. Public criticism is to politicians what garlic is to vampires. Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper telling them about your experience and asking aloud why a public servant would dodge such a simple question. Call in to a local talk radio show and do the same—you may intrigue the newspaper or radio station enough that they ask the politician the question too.

MEME NELSONExpose their evasiveness on social media. Call them out using their Twitter handle or post a comment on their Facebook page. Post a copy of your question and their non-answer. Use a meme generator to add visual flair and encourage people to pass it on.

Don’t give up. It doesn’t take a lot of energy to keep following up, so make it a hobby. Keep a sense of humor about it and let each round of pathetic unresponsiveness compound your determination get a straight answer.

Before long, the time and energy staffers have to spend in creatively dodging your inquiry will inevitably have them asking the same question you are: “Why doesn’t our boss just read the 28 pages already?!”

Help end Congress’s mass dereliction of duty. Contact your representative and senators today. We’ll show you how.

Activism Made Easy: Print-and-Send Letters in Action

When it comes to pressuring Congress and the president to declassify the 28-page finding on foreign government support of the 9/11 terrorists, letters carry even more weight than a phone call—and we’ve already done most of the work for you.

With our Ready-to-Print Letters, you can rattle four federal cages in 15 minutes flat. Twitter user @wwyork recently did just that and made our day by tweeting us a photo of his handiwork—and his testimonial about just how simple it was.

REDACTED w911Use our Ready-to-Print Letters to ramp up the pressure on Congress and the president today.

Proof: 28 Pages Activism Works is determined to bring about the release of a 28-page finding on foreign government support of the 9/11 hijackers. The current focus of our activism is on getting members of Congress to read the 28 pages themselves. Why? Because we’ve observed that doing so tends to instantly transform legislators into cosponsors of House Resolution 14, which urges the president to declassify the 28 pages.

To that end, we’re asking concerned Americans to write or call their House representatives to urge them to cosponsor H.Res.14 and ask if they’ve read the 28 pages or asked permission to do so.

If you’re wondering if it’s worth your time, one look at this letter should convince you it is. commends North Carolina Congressman Howard Coble for reading the 28 pages, for his responsiveness to his constituent, and for his intention to join the growing, bipartisan list of cosponsors.

Rep Howard Coble Reply to ConstituentCall or write your House representative today—and please share this post on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

28 Ways You Can Build the 28 Pages Movement

Whether you’re taking your first step toward helping declassify the 28-page finding on foreign government assistance to the 9/11 hijackers, or you’re looking for more ways to help, here are 28 ways you build the 28 pages movement.

1 & 2. Write to each of your two senators or call 202-224-3121 to ask them to cosponsor Senate Bill 1471. Here’s what to say.

3. Write to your representative or call 202-225-3121 to ask them to cosponsor House Resolution 14.

4. Write to the president or call the White House at 202-456-1111 and ask the president to keep his pledge to 9/11 families.

5. Like on Facebook.

6. Follow @28Pages on Twitter.

7. Contact your favorite reporter, columnist, TV host, blogger or podcaster and ask them to give attention to the issue.

8. Write a letter to the editor.

9. Call in to a radio or TV talk show.

10. Email your friends a link to a video of Rep. Thomas Massie’s memorable remarks on his experience of reading the 28 pages.

11. Bring up the 28 pages using the “comments” feature found under articles on many news and other websites and include a link to an informative page about the 28 pages.

12. Start a discussion thread about the 28 pages on any message board.

13. Post a comment on an elected official’s Facebook page urging them to help declassify the 28 pages and include a link to an article or video on the topic.

14. Explain the issue to friends or family.

15. Invite some friends to like on Facebook.

16. Subscribe to the blog by clicking the button on the right side of this page.

17. Make a 28 pages bumper sticker or t-shirt (extra points for showing us your final product via social media).

18. Make and then share a YouTube video like this or this…or, if you want to get your groove on, maybe even this.

19. Share a Facebook post.

20. Tweet a link to or other educational content.

21. See if you can get a politically-oriented Twitter user with a large following to retweet you on the topic.

22. Visit your Congressional representative’s local office in person.

23 and 24. Visit each of your senators’ local offices in person.

25. Use #declassify when discussing the subject in social media.

26. Call any member of the Senate Intelligence Committee or House Intelligence Committee and ask them to use special rules to declassify the 28 pages without the president’s approval.

27. Choose any H.Res. 14 cosponsor and call to thank them for their stand.

28. Help us out—add your own activism idea in the comments below!