What a World--Thoughts on 911: Like so many others, I spent most of Sunday viewing countless documentaries and news programs of 9/11 re-living that antithetical crystal clear day to its malevolence which became seared into memory for our eternity and passed on to each generation which follows so they know the face of evil and what evil men can do. It was almost too much to take. Yet, I believe, as I do about the Nazi Holocaust that these man-made cruelties of inconceivable violence and proportion should never be forgotten lest the memory of those who so innocently perished at the hands of its despotic evil never receive the justice only our collective memory can now bestow. I watched as much as possible during an entire day the retelling of 911 from different perspectives as I try to see every documentary available about the Holocaust. It is the least I can do being one of the privileged never to have experienced what I easily could have.
The two unfathomable tragedies of 911 and the Holocaust of Europe’s Jews are never far from a synaptic connection in my brain. Every day I breathe I remember. Every sunny day, every freezing cold day, every blistering hot day I remember my people from the very young to the very old, both men and women alike suffering what no one ever should or even could imagine. Likewise, every day I ride a train, drive where I choose, walk where I want and enter any building I feel secure in the fact that the nation is doing the best it can to technologically protect knowing full well life offers no ultimate absolute security.
The 9/11 memorial day was a day of unity as it quite rightly should be. September 12th, can, however, speak truth power does not want to hear. We can still indict those who in glowing hypocrisy were, through their dereliction of duty and negligence most responsible, besides the terrorists themselves, for the fulfilling of this monstrous act. The government says one thing on 9/11 but on 9/12 reality must be acknowledged by us to those who have had dominion OVER us. Some government high officialdom takes honor and credit where no honor and credit should be bestowed.
Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and 2008 Republican candidate for president, by walking as fast as a freight train and giving a great photo op on that perilous day seemed to take full credit for protecting his city and was omnipresent, saying so and crowing that he was fully committed to the protection of the 911 responders. If you listened to him you might believe he, like Superman, singularly rescued the city.
The reality and truth, as I see it, were quite different. Giuliani besides the Bush administration was responsible for many egregious wrongs and for a sad tug of war between the first responders and others who worked tirelessly on "the pile" and those in the local, state and federal government that try to keep them from receiving the health and mental health care they so desperately need. Many are ill and more are becoming ill slowly every day ultimately dying from breathing at Ground Zero the toxic brew of the most carcinogenic chemicals known to man without the government -- federal, state or local -- providing them necessary protection. They are still fighting for what should be rightfully theirs – medical treatment and a chance to live out their natural life.
Giuliani in concert with the Bush administration's EPA official Christine Todd Whitman utterly FAILED to tell the truth about the toxicity of the air at Ground Zero directly after the attack and long into the clean up of it. Breathing the toxic brew by the 9/11 responders without proper protective gear and communicative equipment was tantamount to manslaughter by those whose duty it was to purchase those protections. Worse the powers that be under Mayor Giuliani located the emergency department of the twin towers right IN the World Trade Center itself which had suffered its first terrorist attack in 1993. Did he not once think those buildings might be struck again?
Bush's failure to heed his PDB (presidential daily briefing) warning which said “Bin Laden Determined to Attack inside the United States” just weeks before the September 11 attacks is perhaps the single most egregious and unconscionable Bush negligence which led up to the attack. Bush listened to the briefing. The Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, author and documentarian Ron Suskind says, “then told the CIA briefer”: ‘All right. You've covered your ass, now.’ Bush then went on a fishing vacation in Texas.
George Bush is given the honor to speak at the 10th remembrance of 9/11. WHAT did that man and his administration do that was so magnanimous – fail to heed warnings, not provide body armor for our troops, invade a nation which did nothing to us so that he could preemptively perpetrate an illegal and immoral war which killed thousands of our troops, hundreds of thousands Iraqis, destabilized a region, displaced millions, tortured, implemented rendition, lied about causalities and failed to get the real perpetrator, bin Laden when he could have? This man who was AWOL in his own time is NO hero in ours.
Bush and many others from his administration I have always believed should be prosecuted for treason and war crimes. Instead, he gets the distinguished honor to preside at the sanctity of 9/11 memorials and be gushed over by Bill Clinton, Joe Biden and a lame-stream media when effective action by him was lost after the first moments of the 9/11 attack. Where is the justice in that? As the wicked witch says in the “Wizard of Oz” at the end when she is melting away: “What a world, what a world.” What a world, indeed!