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Posts Tagged ‘World Trade Center’

Has the Balance Tipped?

FRONTLINE

September 7, 2011, 3:30 pm ET by Philip Bennett

On a rainy day in October 2005, Dana Priest was escorted across the immaculate marble lobby of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia along with a pair of her editors from The Washington Post (I was one of them). We crowded into a private, key-operated elevator that opened into a study that would have seemed almost cozy if not for the arresting artifact at the far end of the room: an American flag, scorched and battered, recovered from Ground Zero and now hanging behind the director’s desk.

The purpose of the meeting was to urge The Post not to publish Priest’s story about a global network of secret CIA prisons. The discussion was off the record, but senior officials in the room later made the same arguments in public. They said the story would disrupt the detention of highly prized prisoners. It could endanger American lives by interfering with efforts to stop another attack. And revealing this one secret might set off an invisible domino effect, ruining the government’s reputation for keeping others.

It was an icy and awkward encounter, but it could have been scripted by the Founders. Disputes over secrecy are as old as the republic. In this case, officials who had authority to order people’s deaths had no power to stop a newspaper article (which must have been infuriating). At The Post, we had no way of knowing if the benefits of running the story outweighed potential costs (which was humbling). Where was the boundary between our responsibility to inform the public and hold the government accountable, even in wartime, and harm to national security? Wrestling with this question, case by case, was how the contest between security and freedom worked.

 Telling it like it is

FRONTLINE goes inside The Washington Post’s major two-year examination into the massive, unwieldy, top secret world the U.S. government has created in response to 9/11.

A major examination by Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and William Arkin is the subject of an upcoming FRONTLINE documentary produced by veteran producer Michael Kirk. The Post’s two-year investigation looks at the top secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001—a world that has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that few know how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or how many agencies duplicate work being done elsewhere.

See the full documentory at  Top Secret America

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Bloomberg June 17, 2011, 4:45 PM EDT

By Patricia Hurtado and Chris Dolmetsch

 U.S. prosecutors in New York, the first to identify and charge Osama bin Laden three years before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, were granted their request to dismiss the case against him, more than a month after he was killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in New York today ordered that the entire case be voided against bin Laden, a Saudi who was killed May 1 at his Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs during a 40-minute raid.

Bin Laden was first charged secretly by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan in June 1998 for allegedly organizing a global conspiracy to attack U.S. facilities and citizens.

After the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya were hit by near-simultaneous bombings on Aug. 7, 1998, the U.S. filed an updated indictment against him in November 1998, charging him with directing those attacks and with the murders of 224 people, including 12 U.S. citizens.

The indictment was first filed by prosecutors working for then-U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, who had established the nation’s first terrorist prosecution unit after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center that killed six people and injured more than 1,000

However, one year ago, on June 19, 2010, according to Jurist.org, a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) dismissed 49 terrorism lawsuits, including five cases against relatives of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, citing lack of evidence. Judge George Daniels dismissed claims against four half-brothers and a nephew of bin Laden, holding that the prosecution lacked evidence to support the relatives’ involvement in al Qaeda operations surrounding the 9/11 attacks. The claims were brought seven years ago by the families of victims who died in the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001.

What happens when a defendant in a lawsuit dies?

Answer: according to answers .com

“When any party to a lawsuit dies, the estate of the deceased party is substituted for the person. The estate executor or administrator then becomes the party in interest to handle the lawsuit. In most states, the executor/administrator will handle the lawsuit without having to consult with the ultimate beneficiaries before taking any action, such as settling. In practice though it is wise to get some feeling from the beneficiaries, since they might make some objections about a settlement and try to hold the executor/administrator liable for making a bad settlement. But once the executor/administrator does sign on the settlement, the beneficiaries cannot re-open the case just because they dislike the result.”

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While it is said that it is standard procedure to dismiss the case of the deceased, Osama Bin Laden, I can’t help but wonder what options will be available to the 911 victims who believe that Bin Laden was responsible”, or for that matter, what options are available for the ones who believe the US Government is responsible?

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truthdig Posted on May 1, 2011

Chris Hedges, speaking at a Truthdig fundraising event in Los Angeles on Sunday evening, made these remarks about Osama bin Laden’s death.

I know that because of this announcement, that reportedly Osama bin Laden was killed, Bob [Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer] wanted me to say a few words about it … about al-Qaida. I spent a year of my life covering al-Qaida for The New York Times. It was the work in which I, and other investigative reporters, won the Pulitzer Prize. And I spent seven years of my life in the Middle East. I was the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. I’m an Arabic speaker. And when someone came over and told … me the news, my stomach sank. I’m not in any way naive about what al-Qaida is. It’s an organization that terrifies me. I know it intimately.

But I’m also intimately familiar with the collective humiliation that we have imposed on the Muslim world. The expansion of military occupation that took place throughout, in particular the Arab world, following 9/11—and that this presence of American imperial bases, dotted, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Doha—is one that has done more to engender hatred and acts of terror than anything ever orchestrated by Osama bin Laden.

Listen or read the transcript on truthdig.com

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C-SPAN

For a second time former British Prime Minister Tony Blair testified before the Committee of Inquiry on the Iraq War. January 2010, Mr. Blair testified before the five-member group on his role during the lead up to the war, military preparedness, and his relationship with President George W. Bush.

Chilcot Inquiry: Tony Blair heckled as he expresses regret for this loss of life in the Iraq war

The Telegraph

By Rosa Prince, Political Correspondent
2:31PM GMT 21 Jan 2011
Relatives of those killed in the conflict shouted out “It’s too late,” as an emotional Mr Blair told of his sorrow at the bloodshed, while two female witnesses walked out and another turned her face away.

Video & More

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9/11 Families Ask: What Happened to the Third Building That Collapsed in the WTC Attacks?

A new ad campaign featuring the family members of 9/11 victims, which does not focus on conspiracy theories, is getting serious treatment in the mainstream media.
Via:  AlterNet–  November 15, 2010 |

A new television ad campaign featuring the family members of 9/11 victims has succeeded in garnering what 9/11 activists have lacked for years: serious treatment in the mainstream media.

Granted, that media was Fox News host Geraldo Rivera, who in a former iteration ran a Jerry Springer-like daytime talk show. That and, the last time Rupert Murdoch’s conservative-tilted television channel seriously talked about issues pertaining to 9/11, they were calling for a public official’s resignation over a signature on one of the “9/11 truth” petitions.

Still, at the end of his serious-yet-brief treatment of questions surrounding the collapse of World Trade Center 7 (WTC 7, pictured), Rivera admitted that the activists had made him “much more open minded” about questions surrounding 9/11.

Rivera spoke in response to an ad playing in 30-second bytes on screens all around New York City, which does not focus on conspiracy theories. It does not feature hip-hop beats in the background or winded, red-faced protesters dressed in black shouting at reporters. It doesn’t even mention President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney or the systemic failures in America’s air defenses.

Instead, it puts the spotlight on people who lost family members in the 2001 attacks. Patriotic background music plays as viewers are gently reminded that not two, but three buildings collapsed on 9/11.

“Although the official explanation is that fire brought down building seven, over 1,200 architects and engineers have looked into the evidence and believe there’s more to the story,” they say.

Then they implore viewers to help them seek justice, for their families, simply by visiting a web site: buildingwhat.org.

Their campaign’s name, “Building What?” was allegedly taken from the response offered by New York Supreme Court Justice Edward H. Lehner, when asked if he knew about WTC 7.

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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September 11 Anniversary Stained By Politics And Prejudice

Huff Post-  First Posted: 09-11-10 09:23 AM   |   Updated: 09-11-10 09:23 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Politics threatened to overshadow a day of mourning Saturday for nearly 3,000 Sept. 11 victims amid a polarizing national debate over a planned mosque blocks from the site where Islamic extremists attacked America.

Chants of thousands of sign-waving protesters both for and against the planned Islamic center were expected after — and perhaps during — a ceremony normally known for somber church bells ringing and a sad litany of families reading their lost loved ones’ names.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were to attend separate services in Washington and Shanksville, Pa., for the victims of hijacked jetliners that hit the Pentagon and a rural field in 2001.

But the rallies planned in New York embroiled victims’ family members in a feud over whether to play politics on the ninth anniversary of the attacks.

Nancy Nee, whose firefighter brother was killed at the World Trade Center, is bitterly opposed to the Park51 proposed mosque and Islamic community center near ground zero. But she didn’t plan to join other family members at an anti-mosque rally hours after the anniversary ceremony.

“I just wanted to be as at peace with everything that’s going on as I possibly can,” Nee said. Even nine years later, she said, her brother George Cain’s death “is still very raw. … And I just don’t have it in me to be protesting and arguing, with anger in my heart and in my head.”

Jim Riches planned to pay respects at ground zero to his firefighter son, Jimmy, then rally.
“My son can’t speak anymore. He’s been murdered by Muslims. I intend to voice my opinion against the location of this mosque,” Riches said. “If someone wants to go home, that’s their right. I have the right to go there.”

MORE HERE
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9/11 and Compassion: We Need It Now More Than Ever

Huff Post- Karen Armstrong
Former Roman Catholic nun; Author, ‘Through the Narrow Gate’

Posted: September 10, 2010 08:24 PM

The anniversary of 9/11 reminds us why we need the Charter for Compassion. It should be an annual summons to compassionate action. The need is especially apparent this year. In the United States, we have witnessed an upsurge of anti-Muslim feeling that violates the core values of that nation. The controversy surrounding the community centre near Ground Zero, planned by our dear friends Imam Feisal Rauf and Daisy Khan (who were among the earliest supporters and partners of the Charter) has inspired rhetoric that shames us all. And now we have the prospect of the Quran burning proposed by a Christian pastor, who seems to have forgotten that Jesus taught his followers to love those they regard as enemies, to respond to evil with good, and to turn the other cheek when attacked, and who died forgiving his executioners.

If we want to preserve our humanity, we must make the compassionate voice of religion and morality a vibrant and dynamic force in our polarised world. We can no longer afford the barbarism of hatred, contempt and disgust. At the same time as we are so perilously divided, we are drawn together electronically, economically and politically more closely than ever before. A Quran burning, whenever it is held (it appears to have been delayed for questionable reasons by the pastor behind it), would endanger American troops in Afghanistan and send shock waves of distress throughout the Muslim world. In an age when, increasingly, small groups will have powers of destruction that were previously the preserve only of the nation-state, respect and compassion are now crucial for our very survival. We have to learn to make a place for the other in our minds and hearts; any ideology that inspires hatred, exclusion and division is failing the test of our time. Hatred breeds more hatred, violence more violence. It is time to break this vicious cycle.

MORE HERE

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Forensic experts to reexamine WTC rubble

By Raw Story
Thursday, April 1st, 2010 — 7:30 pm

New York forensic experts will start a major new search Monday through debris from the World Trade Center for remains of people killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack, officials said.

About 844 cubic yards (645 cubic meters) of material recovered from the reconstruction site at Ground Zero will be combed for bones and other remains of the 2,752 people killed when hijacked airliners slammed into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.

“That material is going to be sifted to see if there are any human remains,” said Jason Post, a spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “We’re taking every step we can to recover the remains of 9/11 victims.”

Experts, including anthropologists, will hand check the material in the 1.4-million-dollar operation, which could go on as long as three months at a closed location at a landfill on Staten Island.

Previous searches through the mountain of rubble from the World Trade Center, which collapsed as a result of the aircraft strikes, have already turned up 1,772 pieces of potential human remains, according to the mayor’s office.

MORE HERE

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