John Bursill, a leading member of the Australian 9-11 truth movement, notes that the the outspoken Australian trade unionist Kevin Bracken (currently President of the Victorian Trades Hall Council) is not a newcomer to the issue of 9-11.
Mr Bursill posted an article about this yesterday on the Visibility 9-11 website – Visibility 9-11 Welcomes Australian Union President, Kevin Bracken – A True Working Class Hero!. He explains:
To many the name Kevin Bracken is a new one in regards 9/11 Truth. The reality is that Kevin has been a champion of the 9/11 Truth cause since 2006 by disseminating information throughout the Victorian Union Movement and the Maritime Workers Union of Australia. He has distributed DVD’s, shown films and shared information regularly with his associates and the people of Melbourne and he achieved motions calling for a new investigation from both the Victorian Trades Hall Council where he is the President and the Victorian branch of the Maritime Union of Australia of which he heads as Secretary. Kevin has also attended numerous conferences on 9/11 and has been the facilitator of such in Melbourne, Australia. Over the years Kevin and I have developed a close working relationship, both striving for the truth 9/11 to come out to bring end to the wars and to get our rights back that have been eroded since 9/11!
Mr Bursill’s article continues:
This is the motion passed on the 28th of March of 2008 at the VTHC;
“That this meeting of VTHC Executive Council calls for a thorough, independent enquiry into the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11.
The events of that day have been used to start pre-emptive wars “that will not end in our lifetime”. They have been used to attack civil liberties and legal principles that have been the cornerstone of civilized communities.
There is an urgent need to reassess the way we view the world after September 11 and we call for proper investigation into the events around that day.
Having followed last week’s Australian mass media coverage of Kevin Bracken’s widely-publicised remarks about 9-11 – and reported the story here and here – Bursill’s article struck me as quite a bombshell.
So… the Victorian Trades Hall Council Executive Council has standing policy in favour of re-investigating 9-11?
I didn’t know that!
All the media coverage I’ve noticed has implied Kevin Bracken is out on a limb – speaking only for himself – and not in line at all with the policy of union organisations he represents in his official capacity.
That impression was established in Jon Faine’s initial recorded interview with Bracken, which was reproduced for the public by the ABC spliced together with a recording of an interview Faine conducted shortly afterwards with the rather nervous Secretary of the VTHC, Brian Boyd.
Here’s the transcript of the ABC’s report on the follow-up interview with Mr Boyd (emphasis added):
SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Brian Boyd, the secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council rang the show shortly afterwards to control the damage.
BRIAN BOYD: I totally disagree with his conspiracy theory but look can I tell you, putting that one aside, 99 per cent of the time Kevin’s a very good Trades Hall official in terms of the President because we look after a lot of issues.
JON FAINE: You don’t doubt his judgement and credibility after that?
BRIAN BOYD: No, we’ve had big debates with Kevin about this. This is his personal view on this particular issue.
JON FAINE: He’s wrong.
BRIAN BOYD: He’s welcome to them but he’s dead wrong.
JON FAINE: No he’s not welcome to views that are so wrong on such an important issue and it reflects poorly on Trades Hall that he’s your President.
BRIAN BOYD: Well that’s why I’m ringing Jon. He can’t express them as President of Trades Hall because…
JON FAINE: Well he did.
BRIAN BOYD: I understand that, that’s why I’m ringing you Jon; and we don’t endorse them. It was a terrorist attack; we condemn the terrorist attack.
SAMANTHA DONOVAN: But Brian Boyd was reluctant to declare Kevin Bracken “an embarrassment”.
BRIAN BOYD: Look I am embarrassed in this sense that he used his position as President of Trades Hall in his conversation with you and that’s why I’m calling to correct the record.
Yet if Bursill’s facts are accurate, it seems to me Brian Boyd - not Kevin Bracken – is more out of line with organisational policy and protocol in this case.
About the Victorian Trades Hall Council
In most organisations the President is the primary spoksesperson – not the Secretary. As President of the VTHC, Kevin Bracken was surely within his rights to speak on behalf of the organisation consistent with policy resolved by his Executive Council?
It’s understandable that Secretary Boyd may have felt panicked into disowning Executive Council policy if he was caught on the hop by Jon Faine’s hostile line of questioning. But unless there’s yet more to this story, it seems to me Boyd was not entitled to rebuke his President on-air for doing no more than re-stating organisational policy. The Secretary’s job was to back up his President – not undermine him because of pressure from a shock-jock.
Not surprisingly, the Australian mass media doesn’t seem interested in explaining this story properly to the public. It may be more inclined to report the scared-rabbit statement issued by MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin: 9/11 terrorist attack condemned:
The MUA’s policy on the attacks of September 11, 2001 is unambiguous. The 9/11 tragedy was a result of a terrorist attack by international terrorists who claimed responsibility…
Quite so Mr Crumlin. Whatever gets you through the day
As of today, I can’t see a retraction or apology concerning Kevin Bracken’s 9-11 remarks on the Victorian Trades Hall Council website. Nor should there be. Neither the VTHC nor Mr Bracken have any reason to apologise.
The media has tryied to portray Kevin Bracken as a ‘lone nut’.
Facts suggest otherwise.
UPDATE (26th October 2010): John Bursill recorded an extended radio interview with Kevin Bracken last Friday, which was posted online yesterday (right click and download here). In this interview, Bracken relates his concerns about 9-11 to the unecessary wars and increasing militarisation of western society. He discusses draconian anti-civil liberties measures ushered in after 9-11 that he regards as a serious threat to working people. Well worth a listen!