Solstice has passed, and with it the deadline for 9/11 families to file their
claims with the "Feinberg Fund," as it has come to be known. Of an
official death toll of 2976, claims have been filed by for 2,851. The claim
involves signing off on any future litigation against the government, the airlines,
the airports or any security firms.
and twenty-five claims remain outstanding, but little has been written about
any of these families. Where is the coverage of those insisting on finding out
what really happened on that day before they sign away their "claims?"
stand up were five widows: Kristen Breitweiser, Patty Casazza, Mindy Kleinberg
and Lorie van Auken. Breitweiser’s husband was killed in his office at
Fiduciary Trust on the 94th floor of the South Tower, while Casazza, Kleinberg
and van Auken are Cantor-Fitzgerald widows. They began lobbying for answers
early in 2002, navigating the labyrinth of American bureaucracy and hammering
the bureaucrats for direct answers to direct questions. In September 2002, Breitweiser
testified at the first televised public hearing before the Joint Intelligence
Committee Inquiry (JICI) in DC.
others, she wanted to know why, on May 16, 2002, National Security Advisor Condoleezza
Rice stated that she didn’t "think anybody could have predicted that
these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center…
That they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as
knows the historical facts say otherwise. She noted the following points in
her statement. In her words:
1993, a $150,000 study was commissioned by the Pentagon to investigate the possibility
of an airplane being used to bomb national landmarks. A draft document of this
was circulated throughout the Pentagon, the Justice Department and to the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
1994, a disgruntled Fed Ex employee invaded the cockpit of a DC-10 with plans
to crash it into a company building in Memphis. That same year, a lone pilot
crashed a small plane into a tree on the White House grounds, and an Air France
flight was hijacked by members of the Armed Islamic Group with the intent to
crash the plane into the Eiffel Tower.
January 1995, Philippine authorities investigating Abdul Murad, an Islamic terrorist,
unearthed a plot to blow up 11 airliners over the Pacific, and in the alternative,
several planes were to be hijacked and flown into civilian targets in the U.S.
Among the targets mentioned were CIA headquarters, the World Trade Center, the
Sears Tower and the White House.
September 1999, a report, "The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism,"
was prepared for U.S. intelligence by the Federal Research Division, an arm
of the Library of Congress. It stated, "Suicide bombers belonging to al
Qaeda’s Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high
explosives (C-4 and Semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the CIA,
or the White House."
others, Breitweiser believes that American intelligence had long speculated
that terrorist organizations could and would utilize airplanes as weapons.
included a March 11, 2002 statement by the director of the CIA, George Tenet:
"[The United States] never had the texture–meaning enough information–to
stop what happened." She offered a similar statement by the director of
the FBI, Robert Mueller, from May 8, 2002: "[T]here was nothing the agency
could have done to anticipate and prevent the attacks."
Breitweiser argued that the facts indicated otherwise. As she said:
the spring and early summer of 2001, intelligence agencies flooded the government
with warnings of possible terrorist attacks against American targets, including
commercial aircraft, by al Qaeda and other groups. The warnings were vague but
sufficiently alarming to prompt the FAA to issue four information circulars,
or ICs, to the commercial airline industry between June 22 and July 31, warning
of possible terrorism.
June 22, the military’s Central and European Commands imposed "Force
Protection Condition Delta," the highest anti-terrorist alert.
June 28, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said, "It is highly
likely that a significant al Qaeda attack is in the near future, within several
of July 31, the FAA urged U.S. airlines to maintain a "high degree of alertness."
FAA circular from late July noted, according to Condoleezza Rice, that there
was "no specific target, no credible info of attack to U.S. civil aviation
interests, but terror groups are known to be planning and training for hijackings,
and we ask you therefore to use caution." Two counter-terrorism officials
described the alerts of the early and mid-summer 2001 as "the most urgent
is resolute in her assertions. Airport security officials, she believes, could
have done much more to prevent the hijackings. Beyond that, however, she wonders
what September 11 would have been like had the government made the public aware
of the threats. How many people, she asks, would have chosen to board planes
that morning? And how many of those in World Trade Center 2 would have remained
in their offices, watching the inferno of Tower 1, had they known of the possibility
of an air attack?
the more compelling passages in Breitweiser’s statement concerns a
July 5, 2001 White House gathering of the FAA, the Coast Guard, the FBI, Secret
Service and INS wherein a top counter-terrorism official, Richard Clarke, stated
that "[s]omething really spectacular is going to happen here, and it’s
going to happen soon." Despite being put on heightened alert, intelligence
agencies ignored–or at least dismissed–what is now widely known as
the "Phoenix Memo."
10, an FBI field agent in Phoenix, AZ, named Kenneth Williams reported suspicions
of a hijacking plot. He recommended that the FBI investigate the possibility
that al Qaeda operatives were training at U.S. flight schools, suggesting that
Osama bin Laden’s followers may have been securing jobs as security guards,
pilots and other personnel.
questions remain, and Breitweiser is very thorough in outlining the possible
failures of not only our government’s communication prior to the attack,
but its response. She wonders why, for instance, the NY/NJ Port Authority didn’t
evacuate the World Trade Center when they knew that a second plane was heading
in? And why weren’t the F-16s and Stealth bombers that tracked on radar
screens at approximately 8:05 a.m. used to prevent tragedy?
the attack on the Pentagon, Breitweiser notes that Washington Air Traffic Control
Center was aware of the first plane before it hit the World Trade Center. And
yet, the third plane–American Airlines Flight 77, soon to plunge
into the Pentagon–made a few "loop de loops" over DC one hour
and 45 minutes after Washington Center was made aware of the hijackings.
Why, she asks, was our Air Force so late in its response?
2002, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States–now
known popularly as the "9/11 Commission"–was reluctantly created,
in large part due to the efforts of the widow Breitweiser. The commission’s
object is not so much to get the facts straight, but to assign blame for "shortcomings"
and "failures" in the bureaucracy. It’s what is known in intelligence
circles as a "limited hang-out."
12, 2003, the widow Ellen Mariani filed a civil RICO suit in the U.S. District
Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania naming George W. Bush, Richard Cheney,
John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Norman Mineta, Peter G. Peterson,
Condoleezza Rice, George H.W. Bush and Kenneth Feinberg, in addition to "Other
unnamed past, present, officials, representatives, agents, and private consultants
of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" as defendants. She is demanding a jury
fired off an open letter to President Bush in which she claims that he "intentionally
allowed 9/11 to happen to gather public support for a ‘war on terrorism.’"
She accuses him of being "fully aware of the unfolding events" yet
"[choosing] to continue on to the Emma E. Booker Elementary School to proceed
with a scheduled event and ‘photo op.’" With America under attack,
she writes, our president "did not appear to blink an eye or shed a tear
[but] continued on as if everything was ‘business as usual.’"
for the families of the victims, she poses the following questions to President
29 pages of the 9/11 committee report personally censored at your request?
the "black boxes" from Flight 11 and Flight 175?
the "voice recorders" from Flight 11 and Flight 175?
we gain access to the complete air traffic control records for Flight 11 and
the airport surveillance tapes that show the passengers boarding the doomed
complete passenger lists for all of the flights be released?
your brother, Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida, personally go to the offices
of the Hoffman Aviation School and order that flight records and files be removed?
These files were then put on a C130 government cargo plane and flown out of
the country. Where were they taken and who ordered it done?
ends ominously: "I will prove this in a court of law!"
many questions. Why did World Trade Center 7 collapse? No airplane hit that
building, and before September 11, no steel skyscraper had ever collapsed because
of a fire. Yet three fell–very neatly and virtually into their own footprints.
one allows the engineers their claims that WTC1 and WTC2 were designed to collapse
in on themselves, what of the perfect collapse of WTC7?)
who were in the two towers were not in the least concerned about a collapse,
as demonstrated in the fire department’s transcript of their radio traffic.
In fact, they stated that the fires were dying out and could be extinguished
with just a couple of lines of hose. Jet fuel burns like kerosene or charcoal
fluid–quickly and completely–yet Ground Zero burned for 100 days.
of rigging the buildings for a controlled demolition was dismissed as unrealistic
by even the most suspicious types. How to gain access? Well, President Bush’s
other brother, Marvin, had a security company covering the World Trade
Center, Dulles International Airport and United Airlines.
American Reporter (Jan. 20, 2003), Margie Burns raises the question of Marvin
Bush’s role in September 11. She notes that two of the planes involved
that day were United, and another took off from Dulles airport. The firm that
handled security, formerly named Securacom, "listed [Marvin] Bush on its
board of directors and as a significant shareholder. The firm, now named Stratesec,
Inc., is located in Sterling, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C., and emphasizes
Burns writes, was never investigated. Rather, it has benefited from increased
security measures instituted in the wake of the attacks.
altogether that a plane hit the Pentagon. On Sept. 12, Arlington County Fire
Chief Ed Plaugher made some revealing statements. When asked about aircraft
wreckage, he responded that "there are some small pieces of aircraft visible
from the interior during this fire-fighting operation…but not large sections.
In other words, there’s no fuselage sections and that sort of thing."
When asked about jet fuel, he referred to a "puddle."
pictures, however, and it’s hard to believe that a Boeing 757 flew into
the Pentagon. The damage is not in proportion to the claim, especially when
one considers that two Boeing 757s are said to have taken down three skyscrapers.
The Pentagon was dented, the plane evaporated.
that has been reported as truth escapes examination. Even the 19 men at the
controls, now infamously known as the 9/11 hijackers, cannot be tied with real
evidence to the event itself. This, according to FBI Director Robert Mueller.
"Mohammed Atta" appears to have been a stolen identity, as per the
real Atta’s father and his passport, which went missing in 1999, and on
Sept. 23, 2001, the BBC reported that at least four other of the 19 men identified
as the hijackers were alive and well–and considerably unsettled.
seismographs in the NYC area register two tiny quakes at Ground Zero at the
commencement of the collapse of each tower?
the planes up in the air for so long? And why did they fly over so many military
bases? Was America’s defense team on a crack break, or was it a National
Reconnaissance Office exercise, a wargame that involved hijacked aircraft being
splashed into buildings in New York and DC? The two that took the towers flew
within spitting distance of the Indian Point nuclear reactor facility.
Rice’s preposterous May 16, 2002, statement that no one could have foreseen
this scenario was particularly ironic given that Pacifica Radio identified her
that day as the source of San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown’s "airport
security" call warning him not to fly on Black Tuesday.
is boiling with analyses of the 9/11 event. In Europe, a fair number of people
believe the American government was complicit in the attacks. According to recent
polls, one-third of young Germans believe this. Print and broadcast media here
ignore the questions, but it can’t be kept from public view forever. It’s
all out there. It’s been two years, and we still have nothing but questions
and Grassy Knoll theories. The answers lay scattered in shreds and pieces, waiting
to be assembled.
the widows, asking the right questions. Mariani’s lawyer, Phil Berg, makes
a point to remind people that he is not in the least bit suicidal, or given
to playing with loaded guns. They may not be able to reassemble or reanimate
their loved ones in a literal sense, but these families who are choosing the
hard road, the Narrow Way, will get to the truth.