On this week’s episode of 9/11 Free Fall, British 9/11 family member Matt Campbell joins host Andy Steele to talk about his family’s campaign to open a new inquest into the death of his brother Geoff on 9/11.
We invite you to hear or read Matt’s story and to open your wallet to support his family’s courageous and costly effort to obtain justice for Geoff.
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Welcome to 9/11 Free Fall. I'm the host, Andy Steele. Today we're joined by Matt Campbell. He is the brother of Geoff Campbell, who died in the North tower on September 11th, 2001. He is working with AE911Truth on a new effort that we'll be talking about today. But first I just want to say, Matt, welcome back to 9/11 Free Fall.
We have an anniversary coming up. I know that you're going to be one of the speakers at this event, that is online on September 11th to September 13th. We talked about it last week. A large part of what you're going to be talking about that day is what you're going to be talking about today, this planned inquest. But I want you to tell our audience about it, because in the large part this is your initiative. So let's lay it out for our audience.
Okay. So, I don't think you have inquests over in the States. It's still under what you call normal English law. But it's something that's held when someone died in suspicious or, you know, questions about being murdered, whether it be in the UK or overseas. And in the case of my brother, obviously, it was overseas. And because his remains were identified, he was one of 10 British victims who had their remains identified, the repatriation of those remains back to the UK triggered an inquest, which initially was penciled in for 2004 but was actually adjourned until 2013.
So he's had an inquest. So what I'm trying to do is reopen my brother's inquest on the basis that there is a lot of evidence that wasn't considered when he had his first inquest. And certainly I didn't have it to hand in a way that could be easily presented at a coroner's court. But also the lack of investigation by, primarily, the British authorities. But that's essentially because the investigations were carried out in the U.S., which, to a certain extent, is outside of the jurisdiction of the British police, etc.
But that doesn't mean anything in terms of my brother was still entitled to a proper investigation into his death. So, in the UK we have a mechanism which allows us to challenge a death, where you can see wrongdoing's been done, like obviously in this case, murder. And [inaudible] simple because it isn't simple, but it's a process whereby you petition the Attorney General, which is a position that's held, in this country at the moment, by a female MP, Member of Parliament. And you, in that petition or that application, you present your case and new evidence as to why a new inquest needs to be held.
And basically, it's quite clear, it's a process that a lot of people follow. So it might be for example, someone dying in suspicious circumstances in a police cell, and the family isn't happy about it. And it's to be weeks, days, months, years after the event. If you've got sufficient evidence to show that it wasn't considered at the first inquest.
And yeah, I mean, for a long time, I've always felt that this could be, potentially, one of the quickest routes to actually get evidence that was never considered as part of the various investigations that were held in the U.S. But also, some of that official narrative. And so, yeah, I'm really pleased that I've got this opportunity to do it.
It's [inaudible] go into it, it's not a cheap process by any means. It's expensive to get the right level of expertise, to get the right people to help you to petition the Attorney General. But I'm very hopeful that we will get this into court. I guess in a nutshell, what I'm trying to do... I mean, I can go into what I'm challenging in the inquest. Is that something that would be useful to go over?
Absolutely. We do want to talk about that. I just want to highlight also, that this is not just Matt Campbell but your whole family is signing onto this inquest. Isn't that correct?
Yes. For a long time, my mum has always supported my efforts, but my brother, Rob, and my dad, Malcolm, are now supporting me and will actually be signing the petition, which I'm really pleased about. I think, in part it is, once this has become real, I've talked about it for a long time, but now that I've engaged with this, I'm very happy with the barrister that I've got. And he's putting the case together, with AE’s help, it's encouraged them, I think [inaudible], this is our chance to try and get some justice and shed some more light on the truth of what happened to Geoff.
My brother, Rob, and my dad, have never really wanted to look back, just like anyone who's had someone killed, you can't bring them back, but they've not really been that interested in some of my efforts — not compared to myself and my mum — but they have, and it really is down to, I think, the case that we're putting together and the barrister that we've engaged, it gives it that level of gravitas that you need to convince anyone that this is not 9/11 Truth conspiracy stuff, this is real. There's a lot of evidence that's out there that needs its day in court. And this is for me, the best way of doing it.
The actual inquest itself is... Sorry, you did say we'd go into this. I was thinking about the scope of the inquest. Do you want me to go over that now?
So, an inquest, its purpose is not to assign blame. So again, that example of someone dying in a police cell, it's not trying to establish that a policemen killed someone who died in a cell. That's not the purpose. It's to basically ascertain, how did that person die? And then, to some extent, the broader circumstances around that.
So, for my brother at the moment, the inquest summary basically said that AA11 caused the North Tower to collapse, which ultimately led the unlawful killing of him overseas, in an act of terrorism. Two things that I'm specifically asking the Attorney General to do. Number one, is quash the initial inquest, because it didn't consider lots of evidence. It was insufficient in the level of inquiry that it had. But also, to reopen a new request to consider all this new evidence.
And so this scope we're focusing on is purely the claim, which is obviously very much focused on the work that A&E have done over the years, is focus on the official narrative, which says that AA11 was the cause of the North Tower's collapse, which ultimately led to my brother's death. What we are putting forward as a case is that explosives with incendiaries, either directly or indirectly... So directly obviously, would mean he was killed outright when the explosion went off, or indirectly, through the tower's collapse, which was caused by explosives and incendiaries.
So, it's narrow in scope, but it's in some respects, if we can actually get that into court and prove that that was the case, it blows open a lot about 9/11 way more than just that limited scope of what I'm looking at. So it's not fringing things like it was a coordinated attack by Al-Qaeda, it's not challenging other aspects that the coroner summarized in the inquisition form.
That's great, because this is more focused, as narrow as the space is, given the strength of evidence that we have, greater the chance that we're going to get this into court.
So I can talk to your listeners a little bit about the process of what the petition involves.
Yeah. And that was very fascinating, because I'm not very familiar with this process and I would suspect many members of our audience are not either. So please tell us, how is this going to go? What do we look for, as we move forward?
Okay. So you essentially lay out your case on paper. So, the petition will have lots of — I think you guys call them assertions — it will have lots of witness statements, which are basically affidavits, I think, and stuff like that. And every point that we make is backed up by either evidence or expert testimony. And that petition is depicted to the Attorney General. And the Attorney General, it’s the same law that our barrister, who happens to be preparing the case, so the barrister will only put forward our petition if he has a very high confidence level, I guess, that we are going to convince the Attorney General to the reopen the inquest.
But what the role of the Attorney General is, they look at the evidence, they have their own team of people, specialists, etc. And they look at the law, they look at what's being presented and if they agree that there is new evidence that needs to be heard or there was an insufficiency of inquiry in the first place, they can issue, or give authority, or issue a fiat to the High Court. Which is not the highest, but a High Court is one below the Supreme Court in the UK. But have the job then, to again, using the same laws, as barristers looked at the same laws the Attorney General's looked at, will then consider the evidence and all the arguments made. And if they agree with the Attorney General, which in theory, you would hope they would, because they're looking at the same law, would then instruct another coroner's court to quash the initial inquest and reopen the new one. Because they would get the coroner's court to appoint a coroner to start the process again.
And obviously at that point, we would then have, as well as being able to call witnesses and all the rest of it, we'd have legal representation, which I didn't have at the inquest that was first held back in 2013.
So the initial hurdle, if you want to call it that, for me, is I think [inaudible] should be, the bar that you have to jump over to convince the Attorney General that there needs to be a new inquest isn't actually that high, in terms of, have we got enough to amply demonstrate that? I believe we have and the barrister certainly believes that.
So that for us, should just be a formality. In theory, the Attorney General, even though they're a member of the Conservative Party, is supposed to be acting completely politically neutral, as well judicially neutral. We've looked through lots of cases, where the government has done wrong doing and Attorney Generals still open inquests on behalf of family members. I can give you a couple of examples. One would be Hillsborough disaster, which was a soccer disaster, where maybe a hundred people died and it took a long time for the families to eventually get their justice in court in the second inquest. But also Bloody Sunday, which I have spoken about before, was a similar process whereby clearly the government had done wrong and indeed covered up stuff. But again, that was held and was reopened and they quashed the initial inquest. And more importantly, cleared just the names of the family members.
So, it's not impossible to fight something the size of 9/11. You think it's impossible, but I do believe that we have a good, if not better chance, of achieving some sort of degree of truth and justice in this country, more so at this moment in time than maybe in the States. And so, yeah, I'm very positive that this is going to have a good outcome. But that's an idea of the process that's involved.
The stage we're at right now, and A&E are fundraising and all your listeners [inaudible], is actually getting the petition, this laying out the case on paper, into a format that will slam dunk convince the Attorney General to give the authority to the High Court. And then after that, we see where it goes. But that's absolutely critical what we're working on right now.
But I must say one thing, and I know A&E's been going for a long time now, and everything else has contributed to this aspect of stuff. Did Richard start in 2006, 2007? I can't remember. But all the people that have helped work on this, the lawyer says, I hope I can say this, but the way that stuff has been put together is almost tailor-made for the case that he's trying to put forward for the Attorney General. It's been done in such a professional way.
And that's really helping us, because it's a lengthy, time-consuming process. This barrister which, as I say, is very different to, I guess, what you'd think of as a lawyer, or what we think of a lawyer rather, in this country. And a lawyer in this country might deal with things like wills and conveying some purchases of a house and stuff like that, whereas a barrister is very much geared towards doing stuff in court. However, in this case, the barrister we've got also works in Coroner's Courts. So he really does have the expertise and he’s examined lots of what you'd call controversial cases, so he really is good value for, let's say $500 an hour, whatever it costs.
But that's a critical part of the effort that we're doing. We need that level of expertise. Because you've got that one chance of laying out your case on paper and it's got to be perfect.
So that's the process that we've begun, but in order to get that all wrapped up and to try and submit on, or before the 11th of September, we still have a chunk of work to be done in the three weeks. Four weeks, are we coming up to Friday? Of work still to be done. So you can do the math on that, it's not cheap. But very hopeful that, A, we can raise the money and B, we can get this in and like I said, the Attorney General issues the authority to reopen the inquest.
That's right. It's a very important effort that's going on and something that has a chance of really going far, but it is not cheap, that’s why we are raising funds right now. So if you can spare a little bit, towards getting justice for Geoff, and by extension all the other people that died at the World Trade Center on September 11th, please consider doing so, because this is going to have major ramifications if it goes forward and they find that there was reason to question the official story on that day and re-look at how Geoff died and so many other people.
Now, after the application is submitted, you and AE911Truth will be working to get other family members on board. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Yeah, sure. Again, I'm not too sure about exactly what I can say or not say, but in general, I guess two levels of family members in the UK, probably the most important group is the other nine families, or victims who had a joint inquest. So, although they have their own individual inquisitions, it was held as a joint inquest. Nothing prevents me and my family from doing what we're doing, but obviously if we could get some of those family members on board, to either reopen their own loved one's inquest or support what I'm doing with Geoff's, would be massive.
I know, from talking to quite a few over the years, that some do have viewpoints that they don't believe everything about the official narrative, or one chap relayed that he had spoken to some firefighters for 9/11 Truth at Ground Zero and was becoming a little bit more interested, if not completely convinced, but on the way of questioning stuff.
I don't know, it's early days. And there is a process around that, of which I don't really understand how we need to get through to family members on board, but the barrister's helping with that, alongside obviously A&E. But that's been [inaudible], so the group are obviously those who have had loved ones die but haven't had an inquest. And that normally means, in the UK, that they haven't had any remains identified. Like so many people who died at World Trade Center haven't had any remains returned or identified. It's still kicking around the 40% mark, isn't it? The 1,100 people with no trace left at all. [inaudible].
So yes, that's something that we actually work on, both throughout this phase of doing the petition, but also once the petition is submitted. If there's more family members we can have at the inquest, the stronger our case. Even though in theory, you don't need it. It could just be ourselves, but obviously these things, it does help when you've got a group of families that you look at. I cited two examples earlier of Hillsborough and obviously, Bloody Sunday. Their efforts succeeded, in part, purely because they wouldn't give up. The evidence was strong, but also it definitely helped having more than one family trying to get justice for their loved one.
But I remain hopeful. Like I said, once you actually engage a lawyer or a barrister and you actually make this turn into something real, I've noticed in my own extended family, that they take you a lot more seriously. Yes, I've talked about this until the cows come home, for the last God knows how many years, but it's that level of seriousness that, if other family members were either, just not convinced or just dismissed it as conspiracy theory, once they actually realize this is going on, and I did actually start that process a couple days ago, sending out letters and stuff. I'm hoping that they realize that their loved one hasn't had a fair... I would say trial, but none of us have had trials, but not had a fair inquest.
Like I said from the outset, that we have, I when I say we, the UK authorities, have had to rely solely on what was done in the U.S., be it the 9/11 Commission Report and other reports, like NIST reports, etc. They've had to rely on that.
So, let's say that this goes completely our way, that the result of this inquest is that the death of Geoff and so many others was the result of controlled demolition that day, not the progressive collapse that the world has thought it was since day one. What are the implications of this? What happens as a result of that? And in your view, where do we go from there, as the Truth Movement?
Ooh, that's a big question. I mean, it's going to, I would have thought, strain relations between Britain and U.S., we hope. But I don't know. For me, probably, the biggest effect I can think of, is probably outside of the 9/11 Truth Movement and that is actually other family members. Because if they get wind of it and they hear about it, and they may have dismissed stuff before, "Oh it's conspiracy this," and not paid any attention, that's where I would like to see that kind of tsunami of truth ripple out and hit family members, who... And don't get me wrong, I know it's hard and just bury stuff and don't want to look at stuff. And my dad and my brother, they don't want to [inaudible], but that for me, is probably the biggest ripple.
In terms of actually what that means legally and what can be done in the States and how that will strengthen any ongoing legal action in the States, I wouldn't be able to comment, because I don't know. But I would hope, like I said, it's that level of seriousness and reality that that would spread quickly amongst family members all across the world and they in turn would then do whatever they could do, in joint action or otherwise, to prize open the whole 9/11 case, more than, I guess, what we're trying to achieve in the UK. And obviously give a lot more ammo to those fighting on the front lines, of trying to spread 9/11 Truth obviously, because as the court in the UK has basically said that explosives brought the towers down and not planes and jet fuel, which would obviously be massive.
Absolutely. I mean, just imagine it folks, if the results come out the way that we think it should come out, if you just look at the evidence rationally and logically, without any predisposed agenda, I mean, this is something that the system, the powers that be, would have to throw everything they have at, in order to get the public to ignore it. But I don't think they would be successful. I don't think there's enough celebrity scandals and cute cat videos to throw on the news to make people look away from the fact that an inquest in the UK came to the conclusion that these people died as a result of controlled demolition. Think about the power behind such an outcome, that we could take to members of Congress and say, "Hey, this is what they studied and this is a conclusion they came to over there. Maybe we should look at this ourselves as well."
Be pretty tough to call the UK government a conspiracy theorist. You said it might strain relations between the UK and the U.S.A., but I think you and me will still get along just fine. I think it will actually bring us all closer together. The regular citizens anyway.
Matt, I am totally just in awe of your effort over these years, in keeping this going and what you're trying to do now. Of course, I'm very supportive. And I want to end this today, in our last couple of minutes, just take a few minutes to tell us about Geoff — what kind of person he was, what it was like growing up with him — so that our audience can focus on why this all matters.
It matters because he was murdered. He was only 31. He got engaged three weeks beforehand. He was very intelligent. So he was very good looking, a huge hit with the girls, but anyone actually, he'd always have an ear to help and listen to people's problems and stuff. And I mourn the fact that, okay, my brother isn't alive anymore, but he's never had his own family, he's not seen my kids growing up, he's not seen my brother's, Rob's, kids grow up. And just huge chunks of shared experiences which we would have had going forwards just haven't happened.
Only yesterday, I was talking with my wife about my brother's fiancee, ex fiancee, Caroline, and just how her life just put on hold and just all her plans that she had were just destroyed that day. And all of us, and I do include Caroline in that as well, have just had to deal with grief the best you can and we all deal with it in different ways. But it's also knowing that he's never had his day in court to try and establish truth. That typical justice process that we expect.
You see it on telly when there's been a murder, it just never happened. And so in the background, there's always been that feeling of unfinished business. And it's not going to bring him back, it's not going to bring anyone back who's died, but 9/11 is way bigger than that and the War on Terror and all the other people's lives have been affected, whether you're serving in the military, whether you've been on the receiving end of stuff, it's not right to not have a chance to... Again, it won't undo those people that have been affected or died from the War on Terror and all the rest of it, but I just think that everyone should have their chance of justice and getting to the truth of how someone died.
And even though my brother, I think he'd find it almost ridiculous that I've become this kind of truth and justice activist, because it really wasn't how I was in my early days, it's something that I feel really strongly about and I won't give up, I guess. I need to see this through. I need to do right by Geoff and I think that's what's driving me.
And hopefully with this initiative, you and our supporters can bring that justice to him and so many others that died on that terrible day. Matt, thank you for what you're doing and thank you for coming on 9/11 Free Fall today.
Pleasure. Thanks, Andy. Cheers.