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Archive for the ‘World Trade Center’ Category

The real truth is worse than a massive conspiracy/updated

Posted by Charles II on June 20, 2012

Our leaders are incompetent, venal, whose only skill is blaming others for their blunders.

And our media, including people who call themselves “liberal” or “lefties” are complicit in silencing those who demanded that the blunders be exposed.

Jordan Michael Smith, Salon, via Ritholtz:

Over 120 CIA documents concerning 9/11, Osama bin Laden and counterterrorism were published today for the first time, having been newly declassified and released to the National Security Archive.

Perhaps most damning are the documents showing that the CIA had bin Laden in its cross hairs a full year before 9/11 — but didn’t get the funding from the Bush administration White House to take him out or even continue monitoring him. The CIA materials directly contradict the many claims of Bush officials that it was aggressively pursuing al-Qaida prior to 9/11, and that nobody could have predicted the attacks.

Many of the documents publicize for the first time what was first made clear in the 9/11 Commission: The White House received a truly remarkable amount of warnings that al-Qaida was trying to attack the United States. From June to September 2001, a full seven CIA Senior Intelligence Briefs detailed that attacks were imminent, an incredible amount of information from one intelligence agency.

So, sure, maybe the PNAC planned it all and the CIA planted explosive charges everywhere. Or maybe instead of having competent, evil leaders, we have incompetent, morally-rotten leaders. Stupid or evil, you decide.
Update: Here’s the National Security Archive link. One fascinating quote:

According to a January 2000 Top Secret briefing to the Director of Central Intelligence, disruption operations against the Millennium plot “bought time… weeks… months… but no more than one year” before al-Qaeda would strike.

In fact, the Millennium plot disruption bought 20 months of time. Had Al Gore assumed the office of President…well, I guess we’ll never know.

Posted in Bush, BushCo malfeasance, World Trade Center | 14 Comments »

Remembering 9/11

Posted by Charles II on September 10, 2011

I refuse to participate in the remembrances of 9/11 that are going on. The only solace for the families of those who died on 9/11 is to trust in a just and loving God. It is something I would give them if I could, but it must arise from their own hearts.

I can do this one small thing. I can speak compassionate truth, not in anger or for personal gain, but because speaking truth with compassion is a living expression of my belief that somehow, beyond the horror toward which this civilization is directing itself is something so wonderful and beautiful that “every knee shall bow.”

Ten years ago, while the ashes of the World Trade Center and Pentagon and an airliner in the Pennsylvania countryside were cooling, I wrote two pieces (here and here) that I hoped would help my countrymen/women respond in a sensible manner. American Politics–may God bless them–published those pieces. It took fortitude to write those pieces and, I suspect, some courage to publish them. I could barely write through my shock and grief. Ten years on, though, they still hold up. I regret to say that very few seem to have heard anything that I said.

Here are a few excerpts (emphases added):

The greatest failures, however, have been in the pig-headed approach by US (and Israeli) foreign policy in addressing the very real problems that fester in the Muslim world. The Congress, under Republican control, steadfastly blocked US intervention in the Balkans and, after intervention, undermined US peacekeeping. A number of those nations have now been identified as havens for bin Laden’s terrorists. Republicans have committed evil deeds in preventing the resolution of the Palestinian crisis in Israel, perhaps the worst of which was George Bush advisor Richard Perle urging [the] Israeli delegation to walk out during the 2000 presidential election[…]. That act, so profoundly disloyal to the United States, was but one of many examples of collusion between the far right of this country and religiously intolerant, i.e., anti-Muslim elements in Israel. But the problem is far broader than the right-wing of this country. Both political parties have supported autocratic regimes, including Kuwait, rather than giving preference to nations willing to institute democratic reforms. If we are not a beacon of hope for the world, who will be?

There is a great push to have us surrender our freedoms as the price of stopping terrorism. We are told that we must become like the Taliban in order to defend ourselves from them. Not only is this view laughably false, but until we know for certain that this terrible deed was not planned from within those who govern this country, we should not even consider it.

Finally, there is the question of whether a “war” will defeat terrorism. Major General Julian Thompson notes the obvious difficulties of the terrain [25]. Legal analyst Jonathan Turley says, rightly, that war is something that states engage in and that declaring war on bin Laden merely magnifies him [26]. A declaration of war does not facilitate anything except the usurpation of Congressional powers by the president. This effort — to undo Constitutional protections and strip the American people of legal safeguards to their rights — is well underway. By so doing, they have poured the blood of sacrifice of American patriots from Nathan Hale to Martin Luther King, on the ground. It is a sorry truth that our elected officials would probably rather turn this nation into an armed camp than admit that they made mistakes.

The defeat that the terrorists cannot endure is a defeat in the court of Muslim public opinion. Terrorists should be treated as criminals, albeit criminals with massive firepower. If possible, they should be captured and tried for crimes against humanity. The United States should take steps to redress massive injustices in Muslim lands, including the slaughter in Indonesia, which we facilitated [27]. To reprise Raymond Close’s penetrating words: “[T]he most effective defenses we will have against the terrorist threat [are] a commitment to the rule of law, dedication to fairness and evenhandedness in settling international disputes and a reputation as the most humanitarian nation in the world.

As for Bush’s speech, it was Trent Lott rather than the sycophants in the media, who made the remark that genuinely capsulated the moment. In a remark sure to chill the blood of those who remember the depredations of the one-party states of the last century, Lott announced after the Bush speech that “There is no opposition party”. … It is difficult to say which is more ghoulish: the looting in the mall beneath the World Trade Center [5] or the looting above-ground in the Capitol. A number of Democrats, saying that silencing dissent is for the good of the country, publicly renounced their right to criticize the Administration. Some Democrats even began labeling as enemies those who demurred on the wisdom of the policies being adopted. One would have thought they would have learned from having been at the receiving end of a half century-long campaign to designate Democrats as enemies of the state. Using the tactics of scapegoating merely legitimates them for use against oneself.

Some sources are beginning to catch on to the very bad company the United States has drifted into. William Saletan wrote: “According to the U.S. State Department’s latest Human Rights Report, [Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan] restrict freedom of speech, the press, assembly, association, religion, and movement. Jordan is a monarchy propped up by security forces that have committed ‘extrajudicial killings.’ The Saudi royal family ‘prohibits the establishment of political parties’ and enforces ‘a rigorously conservative form of Islam’ through ‘religious police.’ Egyptians ‘do not have a meaningful ability to change their Government.’ Egyptian security forces ‘arbitrarily arrest’ and ‘torture’ people in the name of ‘combating terrorism.’ [18]

There’s much more wisdom in those pieces, wisdom that it deeply pains me was never adopted or adopted too late by the left.

There are also some errors. One of the errors was the inclusion of Iraq on the list of suspects for 9/11 (along with “angry Okinawans,” which I privately thought were equally unlikely suspects). This was, interestingly, the result of disinformation spread by the network of anti-Muslim activists funded by Richard Mellon Scaife et al. Specifically, as I recall it, this meme traveled from Laurie Mylroie to a journalist of impeccable credentials who people of the left blogosphere know and like, with good reason. When I asked for input on my article, he urged the inclusion of Iraq as a suspect, something that he later regretted.

Amy Goodman did an excellent segment on “the other 9/11s”. The major one was the assassination of Salvador Allende by a US-sponsored coup in Chile. The similarities are striking. The main point is that the “war on terror” has failed to reduce terror because it it is not based on doing justice in the Muslim world. Ironically, the “war on terror” weakened the US enough to facilitate the Arab Spring and–perhaps, one day–an American Winter, when those who Tom Paine called the Winter Soldiers will finally prevail against all of the crassness and stupidity of the policies of this age.

I grieve–deeply so–over the fall of American power. I fear the successors to that power. I cannot, however, conceive of a more just outcome to the deeply unjust policies which have led to our nation’s decline. None of this had to happen. The nation has willed destruction on itself.

May the Spirit of Truth redeem us.
Added: There was someone else who was spot on in the aftermath of 9/11, namely Paul Krugman (crossposted from Eschaton).

Krugman was right then, as well as now. On September 14, 2001 he said:

“I didn’t want to mention this, but now is the time to draw the line. This tragedy will only be magnified if it is exploited for political gain. Politicians who wrap themselves in the flag while relentlessly pursuing their usual partisan agenda are not true patriots, and history will not forgive them. ”

How few the voices of reason were back then.

Posted in terrorism, World Trade Center, wrong way to go about it | 4 Comments »

Maybe we need a 9/11 Commission

Posted by Charles II on August 11, 2011

Jason Leopold, Truthout:

in a stunning new interview made available to Truthout that is scheduled to air on a local PBS affiliate in Colorado tonight, former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, for the first time, levels explosive allegations against three former top CIA officials – George Tenet, Cofer Black and Richard Blee – accusing them of knowingly withholding intelligence from the Bush and Clinton White House, the FBI, Immigration and the State and Defense Departments about two of the 9/11 hijackers who had entered the United States more than a year before the attacks. Moreover, Clarke says the former CIA officials likely engaged in a cover-up by withholding key details about two of the hijackers from the 9/11 Commission.

“It’s not as I originally thought, which was that one lonely CIA analyst got this information and didn’t somehow recognize the significance of it,” Clarke said during the interview. “No, fifty, 5-0, CIA personnel knew about this. Among the fifty people in CIA who knew these guys were in the country was the CIA director.”

That’s an allegation that surfaced in Lawrence Wright’s groundbreaking book, “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and The Road to 9/11.” Wright, who interviewed Clarke for his book, said a team of FBI investigators and federal prosecutors known as Squad I-49 came to believe that the CIA “was shielding Mihdhar and Hazmi because it hoped to recruit them”

No, this doesn’t mean that George Bush authorized 9/11. It means that CIA management was negligent to the point of incompetence. But this is why it was such a mistake to have a presidential commission led by whitewashers like Lee Hamilton and infiltrated by White House staff, Philip Zelikow, serving as commission counsel.

For the record, the CIA denies that Tenet knew about these guys ahead of time.

Posted in CIA, FBI, terrorism, World Trade Center | 8 Comments »

Promises to keep

Posted by Charles II on September 11, 2008

The World Trade Center as of May of this year

[Image: derek7272 via flickr, in Eliot Brown, New York Observer]

Posted in Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, World Trade Center | Comments Off on Promises to keep

I Am Officially Appalled

Posted by MEC on September 5, 2008

I have never watched a video of the attack on the World Trade Center. I avert my eyes from photographs, too.

I have two reasons for avoiding those images. One, I know that experiencing merely the images of horrific events can be traumatizing, and I don’t believe that traumatizing myself will give me any better appreciation of the events or greater sympathy for the victims. Two, I have too much respect for the people who really did experience the attack to pretend that watching a recording means I am sharing their experience and understand what it did to them.

No, wait. I have three reasons. The third is that I know there are people out there for whom replaying the attack isn’t a way to learn more about it and try to understand what happened, or a way to empathize with the victims. For those people it’s tragedy porn, and the way they get excited about the ghastly details is really, really creepy.

So you can probably guess my reaction when I learned that last night’s festivities at the Republican National Convention included slow-motion videos of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Not just videos, but slow-motion videos, the better to burn the horror into the viewers’ brains, or maybe to savor the thrilll of seeing violent death, or maybe to stir up mass rage in order to direct it at more accessible targets than the people who planned and carried out the attacks. If there’s a good reason for showing that video to the delegates and to the TV audience, I for damn sure don’t know what it is.

Those people have no concept of decency.

Posted in Republican National Convention, Republicans as cancer, World Trade Center | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

If One Wants To Make A 9/11-Related Statement…

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 11, 2008

…this is one of the better ways to do it — using fuel cells supplied with clean energy to run the new World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower, in New York City (h/t Renewable Energy World):

NEW YORK CITY: Fuel Cells to Supply Rebuilt Trade Center— The redeveloped World Trade Center will contain one of the largest fuel cell installations in the world under a $10.6 million agreement between the Power Authority and UTC Power, a Connecticut manufacturer. The fuel cells, totaling 4.8 megawatts of generating capacity, will provide heat and power as an on-site supplement to the renewable power and other clean energy supplied to the rebuilt World Trade Center from off-site sources. Along with design measures to minimize energy use, the “green” power arrangements will make the Freedom Tower, and three other towers that will be part of the Trade Center, a model for environmentally friendly energy and energy efficiency. Fuel cells generate electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen in a chemical reaction. With few moving parts, they are a quiet, reliable and safe source of power. UTC Power was the successful bidder in a Request for Proposals issued by NYPA last October for four fuel cells. The first fuel cell is scheduled for delivery to the Freedom Tower in January 2009, with financial help from NYPA’s energy services program.

More about this here.

Posted in energy, environment, Good Things, World Trade Center | Comments Off on If One Wants To Make A 9/11-Related Statement…

Stormie, They’re Calling Your Name!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 19, 2008

Well, just about. Thers over at Whiskey Fire tipped me off to this gem from NRO’s The Corner:

In other movie news, MGM is thinking about remaking Red Dawn. Um, how can you improve upon cinematic perfection? (Hat tip: Dirty Harry.)

Who is “Dirty Harry”, you ask? A guy who could type this with a straight face:

As with any remake we could spend days talking about how they will screw this up (and they will), but think about how great it could be – it won’t be great because that might help Bush — but having an army of Iranian backed Islamo-Nazis occupy a part of the United States would not only be a rip-roaring action yarn but also an important reminder of the evil ideology we’re fighting.

The whole movie should be an allegory about the hell Obama has promised to unleash on the Iraqi people should he win the election. Great stories ask and answer what if…? What if we abandoned millions of innocents to Iranian backed jihadists? What if we abandoned them because it was just too hard to liberate them? What if, thanks to weak-kneed liberal politicians, those millions of innocents fed into a meat grinder were Americans?

In my hands it would be set in Manhattan because an island’s easier for the terrorists to defend

and chock-full of appeasers in desperate need of a wake-up call. The scene with a herd of Greenwich Village liberals being shoved into burqas writes itself.

Is war the answer now, punk? Oh, it is? Good. Then why isn’t it when the people are brown-skinned foreigners?

As Thers says:

Mr. Harry seems more than a little confused as to just who’s shouting “Wolverines!” or the local equivalent over there in Iraq nowadays.

Apart from that, you have to enjoy how Mr. Harry singles out Manhattan as a place where the inhabitants just don’t get terrorism. Now that’s being an asshole!

Yupper. I mean gee, just because three thousand people died when some planes took out the World Trade Center and all. But of course, they didn’t go into a bed-wetting fear frenzy and vote for Bush in 2004, so they must not “get” terrorism.

Posted in anti-Muslim, eedjits, Iraq war, racism, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, World Trade Center, WTF? | Comments Off on Stormie, They’re Calling Your Name!

That Mysterious Kick In The Head, Darrell?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 3, 2008

It came from the ghosts of a few thousand dead New Yorkers, in direct response to this:

The California congressman who called the Sept. 11 attacks “simply” a plane crash ran for cover Wednesday under a barrage of ridicule from fellow Republicans, first responders and victims’ families.San Diego GOP Rep. Darrell Issa was under siege for suggesting the federal government had already done enough to help New York cope with “a fire” that “simply was an aircraft” hitting the World Trade Center.

“That is a pretty distorted view of things,” said Frank Fraone, a Menlo Park, Calif., fire chief who led a 67-man crew at Ground Zero. “Whether they’re a couple of planes or a couple of missiles, they still did the same damage.”

“New York was attacked by Al Qaeda. It doesn’t have to be attacked by Congress,” added Long Island Rep. Pete King, a Republican.

Darrell the Car Thief is still smarting from being used by the national GOP. He spent all those millions of his on the recall referendum to boot Gray Davis just so he could be governor, but the national party made him step aside for Arnold the Austrian.

Posted in eedjits, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples, Silly Republicans, World Trade Center, WTF? | 2 Comments »

The NYT, delivering ancient history as news

Posted by Charles II on March 8, 2008

The NYT has long been famous for producing excellent news reports on events… a decade or so after it would have mattered. Now Philip Shenon of the NYT has produced a book that tells us the critical information that would surely have kept Bush to one term… and, since we have a free press, you can read about it– in the Sydney Morning Herald (via Raw Story)

  • ” “more than 40 presidential briefings presented to Bush from January 2001 through to September 10, 2001, included references to bin Laden….”
  • ” [911 Commission Chief of Staff] Zelikow made it clear to the team’s investigators that Clarke should not be believed, that his testimony would be suspect.”
  • ” Repeatedly in 2001, Clarke had gone to Rice and others in the White House and pressed them to move… The threat, Clarke was arguing, was as dire as anything that he or the CIA had ever seen.”
  • “[Commission historian Warren] Bass told colleagues that he gasped when he found a memo written by Clarke to Rice on September 4, 2001… in which Clarke seemed to predict what was just about to happen. … The note was terrifying in its prescience.”
  • “Bass made it clear to colleagues that he believed Zelikow was interfering in his work for reasons that were overtly political – intended to shield the White House, and Rice in particular…”
  • ” Much as the staff felt beaten down by Zelikow, so did the other Democratic commissioners. By the end, they had given up the fight to document the more serious failures of Bush, Rice, and others in the Administration in the months before September. Zelikow would never have permitted it. Nor, they realised, would Kean and Hamilton. “

Although the SMH is not specific on when Warren Bass discovered the Clarke memo and threatened to resign over Zelikow’s politically-motivated suppression of key facts, we know it was before July 22, 2004, when the Commission released its report… plenty of time for the American people to be informed that one of the candidates for president was a complete incompetent who was gifted only at suppressing facts that would have cost him the election. And the American people owe special thanks to Lee Hamilton– and the New York Times– for having helped him in that.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, Media machine, mediawhores, September 11, World Trade Center | 1 Comment »

Safety last

Posted by Charles II on January 14, 2008

It happened in the first attack on the World Trade Center.

It happened in the second attack on the World Trade Center.

It happened during Katrina.

It has happened countless times, and will now apparently happen countless times again: first responders such as police and firemen will be unable to talk to one another because their communications equipment is not interoperable.

Corey Boles, Dow Jones:

With the collapse of telecommunications venture Frontline Wireless, analysts are questioning whether a plan for a national wireless broadband network for police and firefighters is still viable.

Frontline, backed by former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt, was to compete against giants AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Wireless in a major FCC auction of airwaves set to begin later this month.

Frontline announced last week it was no longer in business. The company had advocated an unusual partnership between the wireless industry and local police, firefighters and emergency responders.

If successful in bidding for the communications airwaves, Frontline said it planned to piece together other sections of communications spectrum to create an advanced wireless broadband network for use by fire, police and emergency service workers.

The aim was to solve the problems that disasters like Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, so glaringly revealed: the inability of the nation’s various law enforcement and public safety workers to communicate effectively in times of crisis.

I don’t think it’s political. Reed Hundt is Democratic juice, but Frontline also had GHWB Republican Janice Obuchowski in a top slot. Money is tight, and big, rich companies like ATT, Vodafone, and Verizon can use their balance sheets to squeeze out competition.

Maybe the big companies will use the spectrum for the public good. But I’m guessing that if they do, we’ll pay in blood for it.

As if we hadn’t paid enough.

Posted in capitalism as cancer, New Orleans, World Trade Center | 7 Comments »