The message is clear, according to Steve Romine. A large percentage of Americans feel that their government is lying to them. At a time voters are watching the percentages their candidates register in election primaries, many are measuring a level of general dissatisfaction in the status quo. This, to Romine, is a good sign. It suggests a higher turnout to an important event he is organizing at the Woodstock Town Hall at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14.
Host of “Truth Squad” programs on local public access TV channel 23 and noncommercial, non-profit radio station WIOF 104.1 FM, Romine has arranged for an internationally known peace activist, Ken O’Keefe, and a retired NYC fire marshal, Rudy Dent, to speak about the 9/11 attacks and the ongoing “War on Terror.” Dent was a guest on his radio show on April 4 and O’Keefe is scheduled to be interviewed on the air at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 11. In Romine’s view, these events will contribute much to a local understanding of how current national policies are tied to that tragic day in 2001.
It may come as a surprise to some that Romine, a frequent contributor to the ‘Letters’ section of this paper, was a strong supporter of the official government story of 9/11 until about a decade ago. “My son confronted me with 9/11 Truth when I was thinking the opposite,” Romine recalls. “We had a lot of arguments. I stood up for the government and I was steamed that my son, who was about 20, would think they could be involved. How dare he? I bought into it without examining the details,” he says, now chagrined by his attitude. “Once he turned me on to (the 9/11 documentary) Loose Change and I saw facts that couldn’t be denied, that was the end of the old me.”
Earlier this year, Romine arranged for Richard Gage, AIA, president of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a nonprofit organization of 2,492 professionals and 20,919 other members, to speak in Woodstock, as well a Chris Bollyn, a Chicago journalist who covered events from the first day and who has since moved to Sweden but is conducting a ‘Solving 9/11 Ends the War’ U.S. tour to promote his new book. Romine credits a multitude of independent researchers and groups like Pilots for 9/11 Truth, Firefighters for 9/11 Truth and others for awakening the public to what they see as many scientific impossibilities in the official version to such a point that recent national polls show 47% of the public disbelieve it.
“In Woodstock, I think we’re in the majority,” says Romine of his own informal poll. In 2009, a premiere of a later edition of Loose Change filled the Tinker Street Cinema to near capacity. Romine is hoping this event will also draw a crowd. “It was one of the most important days in the history of our country. People need to know what really happened.”
Speaking will be ‘Humanitarian Activist’ Ken O’Keefe, who spoke at the two day Open Mind Conference in Copenhagen last May. O’Keefe grew up fatherless in San Diego, where he surfed and played football and, he says, may have been seeking the discipline of a father figure when he joined the U.S. Marines at 19 after seeing the movie Full Metal Jacket. The ideals of honor and dignity and distaste for hypocrisy which prompted the decision were soon challenged by what he found himself ordered to do in the ‘Gulf War’ along with his appreciation of the “Military Code of Justice.” When he became uncooperative, the Corps tried to “drum him out” on a narcotics charge but the only drugs he was using were steroids, which were encouraged, he points out. Moving to Hawaii after the Marines, O’Keefe opened a successful SCUBA diving business and set about freeing sea life from drifting fishermen’s “ghost nets” in the ocean.
Confounded by the prospect of a re-invasion of Iraq to supposedly protect the world from weapons they acquired from us, O’Keefe volunteered to return to Iraq to act as a “human shield” to “protect human life.”
In a similiar spirit, O’Keefe was with international teams seeking to deliver humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza in recent years, including aboard the well-publicized MV Mavi Marmara mission. On one voyage he spent six months in Gaza and received a Palestinian passport he still cherishes.
FDNY Vet to speak
The other speaker will be a trained Fire Marshal who witnessed the horrors of 9/11 up close, who could not speak out before retirement but is now devoted to exposing the truth about what he saw and dedicating his efforts to the memory of his fellow 343 firefighters who died that day. A 32 year veteran of the FDNY, Rudy Dent is loudly declaring that the 9/11 Commission lied and that the real conspirators “need to go to prison for treason” and he’s anxious to explain why to Woodstockers and the rest of the world.
“Take it from someone who knows firsthand,” comments Romine, who also shares a ray of light with O’Keefe. “He’s a provocative, controversial speaker who holds back no punches but he’s optimistic because the villains behind the veil used the same strategies that got us into Iraq with the Syrian situation and this time it didn’t work because people are learning what’s been going on and informing themselves. We still have some rights besides those they took from us because of all of this and we need to use them now.”
The presentations by activist Ken O’Keefe and former Fire Marshal Rudy Dent begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14 at Woodstock Town Hall, 76 Tinker Street.