Initially, Jones said that he hadn't fully reviewed the statement before he signed. But that didn't stop the onslaught of bad publicity that ultimately led to his exit.
The statement was released in October 2004 and has been signed by nearly 200 people, including many relatives of those who lost someone in the attacks. It called for an investigation into 9/11 but also directly questioned the government's conclusions about the plane crashes.
In the wake of Jones' departure, Politico's Ben Smith contacted two other signatories of the statement, Rabbi Michael Lerner and historian Howard Zinn. Smith found that both men felt they had signed a petition of more limited scope than the one that appears at the 9/11 Truth Web site, one that asked only for an investigation into the attacks and not one questioning President Bush's prior knowledge of 9/11.
Salon contacted nearly 30 of the petition's signatories to see if they felt, as did Lerner, Zinn and Jones, that the document didn't reflect their views on 9/11. We asked a simple question: If you had to do it all over again, would you still sign the statement?
Salon has not heard back from two of the statement's most famous signatories: actor Ed Asner and comedian Janeane Garofalo. (Updated: We have received and added Asner's response to the list below.) But many did respond and most -- though not all -- expressed their full-fledged support for the petition. Their responses are below:
There were more than a handful of reactions posted in that Salon piece but one in particular asks a very good question that also could have helped Van Jones.
Have you contacted the widows and other family members who lost loved ones on that terrible day and asked them if they recant wondering why, for example, New York City and the Pentagon -- the fucking Pentagon! -- were defenseless on that morning more than a month after the would-be president was informed that Osama bin Laden was determined to attack the United States? Have you asked them if they are as disloyal, or as nuts, as Van Jones for signing that petition?
One of the strongest moves liberals and progressives could have made in defending Jones would have been to note that there were also victims' family members who signed on to the statement as well. So whatever they were saying about Van Jones had to apply to those sympathetic figures as well.
But nope, liberals and progressives heard "truther" and simply pissed their pants and ran for the hills.
How sad and pathetic.