9/11: The Bitter Lessons of Four Years

9/11: The Bitter Lessons of Four Years
By Joe Conason

Sunday 11 September 2005

Standing among the wreckage of two national disasters, it is no longer possible to deny the plain truth: Bush and his administration are unfit to wield power.
It would have been almost impossible to imagine, during the days and weeks that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that we might someday look back on that depressing time with a tinge of nostalgia. For Americans, and especially for those of us who live in New York City, those autumn memories are filled with rage and horror, fire and smoke, loss and death; but they are also filled with a spirit of courage, community and real patriotism. United we stood, even behind a government of dubious legitimacy, because we knew that there was no other way to defend what we valued.

9/11: The Media Still Does Not Get It

9/11: The Media Still Does Not Get It
by Armando
Sun Sep 11th, 2005 at 13:50:11 PDT

Today is the fourth anniversary of the day that, in an act of heinous barbarism, Osama bin Laden and his terror network, al Qaida, launched the most despicable and devastating attack against Americans on U.S. soil since the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. On this day, the Orlando Sentinel, a newspaper owned by the Tribune Company, chooses to publish a column by one John Hinderaker, yes AssRocket himself, on, get this -- Media Bias Against the Iraq Debacle:

It is clear that public support for the Iraq war is eroding. Some of the polls supporting this claim are faulty in various ways, but the basic point cannot be denied: Many Americans, possibly a majority, have turned against the war. This should hardly be a surprise. On the contrary, how could it be otherwise? News reporting on the war consists almost entirely of itemizing casualties.

Under-covered stories of 2004-05 brought to you by Project Censored

Project Censored at Sonoma State University announces the annual release of the most important under-covered stories of 2004-05.

#1 Bush Administration Moves to Eliminate Open Government

#2 Media Coverage Fails on Iraq: Fallujah and the Civilian Deathtoll

#3 Another Year of Distorted Election Coverage

#4 Surveillance Society Quietly Moves In

#5 U.S. Uses Tsunami to Military Advantage in Southeast Asia

#6 The Real Oil for Food Scam

#7 Journalists Face Unprecedented Dangers to Life and Livelihood

#8 Iraqi Farmers Threatened By Bremer’s Mandates

#9 Iran’s New Oil Trade System Challenges U.S. Currency

September 11 Revisited

September 11 Revisited
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Sunday 11 September 2005

... and the shock was subsonic
and the smoke was deafening
between the setup and the punch line
cuz we were all on time for work that day
we all boarded that plane for to fly
and then while the fires were raging
we all climbed up on the windowsill
and then we all held hands
and jumped into the sky ...

- Ani DiFranco, "Self Evident"

I have a small glass of whiskey sitting beside me on the desk as I write this. I have no intention of drinking it - it is not even noon yet, and despite the notoriously dissolute reputation writers carry around, I have no intention of getting sloshed before the sun crosses the yardarm - but I need it to be there for the smell. The smell, you see, is my memory trigger for September 11. I was teaching that day, and shepherded a building filled with children through their own terror while stuffing mine down into my stomach, and walked out of school with my brave face still on, and stopped on the way home for a bottle of Bushmills, and sat down in front of my television with a glass, and poured, and watched, and wept.

Contractors 'Run Loose' in Iraq

Contractors 'Run Loose' in Iraq
By Jonathan Finer
The Washington Post

Saturday 10 September 2005

Security firms scrutinized in series of shootings.
Irbil, Iraq - The pop of a single rifle shot broke the relative calm of Ali Ismael's morning commute here in one of Iraq's safest cities.

Ismael, his older brother Bayez and their driver had just pulled into traffic behind a convoy of four Chevrolet Suburbans, which police believe belonged to an American security contractor stationed nearby. The back door of the last vehicle swung open, the brothers said in interviews, and a man wearing sunglasses and a tan flak jacket leaned out and leveled his rifle.

PAW supports Cindy Sheehan

PAW supports Cindy Sheehan (Poets against War)

PAW supports Cindy Sheehan, whose son was slain in Iraq in 2004. She was mobilized by the recent deaths of 20 servicemen from Ohio, and Pres. Bush's statement that they died for “a noble cause.

Mississippi troops are refused leave to help families

September 11th, 2005 3:25 pm
Mississippi troops are refused leave to help families

By Ellen Knickmeyer / The Washington Post (Registration required)

Scores of Mississippi National Guard troops in Iraq who lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina have been refused even 15-day leaves to aid their displaced families, told by commanders that there were too few U.S. troops in Iraq to spare them, according to members of the Mississippi Guard.

About 600 members of the Mississippi Guard's 155th Brigade Combat Team, posted south of Baghdad in the area known as the "Triangle of Death" for the frequency of insurgent attacks, live in the parts of southern Mississippi and southeast Louisiana hit hardest by Katrina, Maj. Neil F. Murphy Jr., a spokesman with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, said by e-mail Saturday. The brigade is attached to the Expeditionary Force.

Pentagon's 9/11 march criticized as tying war in Iraq to terror

Pentagon's 9/11 march criticized as tying war in Iraq to terror attacks
Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON - On the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, in which nearly 3,000 people died, the nation's commemorations will be as varied as its geography.
In Oregon, a 9/11 Memorial Tapestry will be displayed at the Corvallis Arts Center and a song inspired by the images of that day will be performed. A national grass-roots nonprofit called One Day's Pay urges people to observe the day with acts of charity. New York City plans a ceremony where the victims' brothers and sisters, along with other relatives, will read the names of those who died, pausing four times for a moment of silence - to mark the impact of each hijacked jet into the north and south towers of World Trade Center and to mark when each tower fell.

Camp Casey to DC Update

September 11th, 2005
Camp Casey to DC Update

--A message from Cindy Sheehan

Today as we honor and memorialize our countrymen and women who were tragically killed on 9/11, we must also not just remember them, but honor their memories by working to hold this dangerously incompetent administration accountable and responsible for the continuing devastation of our country.

I jumped back on the tour this past Wednesday in Illinois, and I have been busy meeting with Congressional members ever since and speaking at rallies with hundreds and hundreds of people in attendance.

We had a rally in front of Denny Hastert's office in Batavia, Illinois, we didn't get a meeting. He will go on our "Meet with the Moms" Hall of Shame along with Tom Delay, whose aide at least spoke to us on the phone: even if it was a very non-productive conversation.

U. of Toledo Peace Display Vandalized

U. of Toledo Peace Display Vandalized
Markers Erected in Honor of Fallen Soldiers Damaged
Toledo Blade
September 9th, 2005

Janice Flahiff helps reset vandalized markers erected to honor U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Larry Coleman was supposed to be working yesterday morning.

Instead, the University of Toledo professor helped reset 1,800 to 1,900 white wooden tombstones, each representing a U.S. soldier who died in Iraq or Afghanistan, that were vandalized overnight at the UT campus.

“We think the people who knocked these down are dishonoring these people’s lives,

Today Is The Fourth Anniversary Of An Enormous Opportunity


I thought it would be nice to mark today, September 11, 2005, with a short test.

Here's the first question: what is this?

What did you guess? Did you say "That's the last moments of the lives of thousands of people"? Or "That's a hideous act of mass murder"? Or "That's the beginning of a lifetime of suffering for everyone who loved someone who died at the World Trade Center"?

Wrong! The right answer is: that is an ENORMOUS OPPORTUNITY:

Sheehan speaks at anti-war gathering in Stone Mountain


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hundreds of people packed a Stone Mountain church Saturday night to hear Cindy Sheehan, the woman who spent most of August in Crawford, Texas, trying speak to President Bush about her son's death.

Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed last year in Iraq, has been crisscrossing the country to advocate withdrawing U.S. troops from that nation. She spoke to more than 400 anti-war activists at Victory Church in Stone Mountain at a gathering organized by the Bring Them Home Now Tour, which is holding events like this one all over the country.

Some angered with event held at forest preserve

Some angered with event held at forest preserve
By Marni Pyke
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Thursday, September 08, 2005

The DuPage County Forest Preserve District distanced itself Wednesday from an event involving one of the most controversial figures in the anti-war movement held on its property.

“We do not support it,

Breakdowns Marked Path From Hurricane to Anarchy

September 11, 2005
Breakdowns Marked Path From Hurricane to Anarchy

The governor of Louisiana was "blistering mad." It was the third night after Hurricane Katrina drowned New Orleans, and Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco needed buses to rescue thousands of people from the fetid Superdome and convention center. But only a fraction of the 500 vehicles promised by federal authorities had arrived.

Ms. Blanco burst into the state's emergency center in Baton Rouge. "Does anybody in this building know anything about buses?" she recalled crying out.

"Reconstruction" of NOLA = "Reconstruction" of Iraq?

"Reconstruction" of NOLA = "Reconstruction" of Iraq?
By Murshed Zaheed
Posted on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 12:21:08 PM EST

So the "Shaw Group" lands two $100 million contracts for NOLA reconstruction. Apparently this company is client of Allbaugh (according to TPM). The contract is same as controversial Halliburton contract in Iraq (Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity) whereby company just bills govt as it goes with profit determined as percentage of costs (gives company incentive to increases costs):

BATON ROUGE, La., Sep 08, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Shaw Group Inc. (SGR) today that is has been awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to aid in the recovery and rebuilding efforts. Shaw will provide supervision, equipment, materials, labor, logistics, and all means necessary to provide the Corps of Engineers an immediate response for construction contract capability. The contract will provide construction and related services including program planning, scheduling, design, engineering, transportation, construction management, and quality control. Under this contract, Shaw has received its first task of pumping floodwater from the city of New Orleans out and over the levees. Shaw is using temporary pumps and is repairing and restarting the existing pump stations. The $100 million contract has a base period of one-year, with an additional one-year option. Shaw announced earlier today a $100 million ID/IQ contract award by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide support services in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, including housing assistance for displaced residents.

'This Is a National Disgrace'

'This Is a National Disgrace'
Opinion: A civil-rights leader mourns an African-American population left behind.
By John Lewis

Sept. 12, 2005 issue - I was headed to New Orleans as a Freedom Rider in May of 1961. It would've been my first visit, but we were arrested in Jackson, Miss., and never made it. In happier times, though, I have been able to visit New Orleans over the years. It's one of my favorite cities, one of the great Southern cities. The people are friendly, warm, helpful. In the old part of the city, there's so much history when you walk down Canal Street or Royal. One of my favorite places is a shop on Royal, where they have lots of art posters by African-American artists. After Katrina, there's a loss of the music, the restaurants and the character in addition to the unbelievable loss of lives. Maybe we will never know the number of people who have been lost.

Bring them Home Now Tour--Savannah, GA Sept 12- Sept. 13

Savannah, GA
Mon, Sep. 12th - Tue, Sep. 13th
Event Description:

Monday, September 12th
7:30 PM
Candlelight Vigil
Forsyth Park

more events being planned, check back for updates and email contact if you would like to help

Local Event Contact:

Kathy Bush, MFSO, 912-713-3075 kathy@sysconn.com
Murem Sharpe 912 247 4255 msharpe@muremsharpe.com

Ann, 808-741-1141
Lisa, 213-840-1972

Local Press Contact:

Katya: 703-304-5075


Bring them Home Now Tour--Pittsburgh, PA, Sep. 11- Sep. 14

Pittsburgh, PA
Sun, Sep. 11th - Wed, Sep. 14th
Event Description:

Sunday, September 11th
4:30 PM
CAMP NEIL Speak Out/Pot-Luck Picnic with Musical Perfomances
Flagstaff Hill (Schenely Park, Oakland)

7:00 PM
Candlelight Vigil and MARCH
From Flagstaff Hill (Schenely Park, Oakland) to Soldiers & Sailors Memorial

Monday, September 12th
11:45 AM
Truth in Recruiting Press Conference/Protest
Oakland Military Recruiting Station (3712 Forbes Ave., Oakland)

Truth in Recruiting
Friends Meeting House (4836 Ellsworth Ave, Oakland)

Tuesday, September 13th

National Guard, the Gulf Coast and the War in Iraq

National Guard, the Gulf Coast and the War in Iraq

by Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson, Military Families Speak Out
by Nancy Lessin, Military Families Speak Out

"Stay at home and serve your country" was the slogan used to attract men and women into service to their communities and their country in the National Guard. The promise to the men and women of the Guard was also a promise to citizens of the various states that they would have a force available to them in time of emergency.

One weekend a month, two weeks each year, those who signed up to serve in the state militia known as the National Guard trained to protect Country and Constitution and to provide aid in times of local emergencies such as forest fires, floods, hurricanes, blizzards, and civil unrest. National Guard soldiers have specifically been trained to assist in emergencies such as the one that Hurricane Katrina brought to the Gulf Coast on August 28-29, 2005.

War critic Cindy Sheehan to appear in Albany

War critic Cindy Sheehan to appear in Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan is making a pit stop in the Capital Region next week.

Supporters are setting up a symbolic Camp Casey in Capitol Park West in honor of those who have died in Iraq. The camp is named for Sheehan's son, Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, who was killed last year.

Sheehan began a cross-country bus tour late last month after several weeks of a vigil near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.

The tour will culminate with a peace rally in Washington, D-C on Sept. 24.

A Bitter Anniversary

September 11, 2005
A Bitter Anniversary
There's a ceremony taking place this morning at Ground Zero: a commemoration of the fallen of September 11th. For the families of the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center, the arrival of this day will always be the cause of profound anguish. I wonder, however, if it’s possible that there will come a time for the rest of us, both here in New York and across America, when this day will become less an occasion of grief and anger, and more a day of thoughtful reflection?

So long as Osama Bin Laden and his lieutenants remain free, this day must remind us of our unfinished business. Treachery cannot be allowed to go unpunished. We owe it to our dead to see that justice is done. In a very real sense, by focusing United States' efforts on occupying Iraq, rather than dismantling al Qaeda, President Bush has only exacerbated the pain and suffering of New Yorkers.

9/11 and Manipulation of the USA

By Norman Solomon

Traveling from New York City in late September 2001, on a pre-scheduled
book tour, author Joan Didion spoke with audiences in several cities on the
West Coast. In the wake of 9/11, she later wrote, "these people to whom I
was listening -- in San Francisco and Los Angeles and Portland and
Seattle -- were making connections I had not yet in my numbed condition
thought to make: connections between [the American] political process and
what had happened on September 11, connections between our political life
and the shape our reaction would take and was in fact already taking. These

Holding Bush accountable

Editorial: Holding Bush accountable
The Capital Times (Madison, WI)
An editorial
September 9, 2005

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, appropriate attention is being given to the question of whether President Bush and his aides will be held accountable for his plodding and disengaged response to an enormous natural disaster and the chaos that followed.

But as members of Congress return to Washington next week, they must remain conscious that the immediate disaster is not the only one that demands an accounting from this administration.

U.S. Rep. John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, understands better than most the necessity of maintaining a dual focus on hurricane-related issues and the lingering questions raised by presidential statements and actions before the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Detroit Free Press Acknowledges Conyers' Work, Pretends Majority Positions Are "Fringe"

Conyers rises to take on Bush
September 10, 2005

WASHINGTON -- At age 76, U.S. Rep. John Conyers -- long a hero to civil rights activists -- has grabbed a new torch: darling of the antiwar, anti-Bush far left.

Conyers, arguably President George W. Bush's harshest congressional critic on Iraq policy, openly proclaims that his goal is nothing short of impeaching the president.

That kind of rhetoric is fueled by his embrace of the Downing Street memos -- the eight British intelligence reports that activists from Rochester Hills to London believe are the smoking gun that proves Bush misled Congress about the case for war against Iraq.


By Mel Goodman
U.S. Tour of Duty
September 10, 2005

Mel Goodman, co-author of "Bush League Diplomacy: How the Neoconservatives Are Putting the World at Risk," is senior fellow at the Center for International Policy.


Over the past three years, we have been watching the gradual unraveling of the integrity and credibility of President Bush and his entire administration. In the winter of 2002-2003, there was the calculated misuse of intelligence collection and analysis to justify the invasion of Iraq, the first preemptive war in the history of the United State. Then, there was the war itself with President Bush donning a flight suit on the USS Abraham Lincoln to make a premature declaration of ³mission accomplished.² The post-war period revealed the absence of any coherent plan, let alone strategy, for U.S. forces in Iraq. Finally, we have the tragic events of the past two weeks on America¹s Gulf Coast, marked by the loss of a great American city and thousands of lives in the poorest and most powerless reaches of New Orleans. The president actually defended the government¹s response to Hurricane Katrina, and his mother declared it a success for the evacuees who ³were underprivileged anyway, so this is working well for them.²

Publications of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

40. MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
October 2, 2016

39. MEMORANDUM FOR: Secretary of State Kerry & Foreign Minister Lavrov
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: A Call for Proof on Syria-Sarin Attack
December 22, 2015

38. U.S. Intel Vets Decry CIA's Use of Torture
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Sept. 19, 2015

37. MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Releasing an Intelligence Report on Shoot-Down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Blackwater Mercenaries Deploy in New Orleans

By Jeremy Scahill and Daniela Crespo
t r u t h o u t | Report
Saturday 10 September 2005

New Orleans - Heavily armed paramilitary mercenaries from the Blackwater private security firm, infamous for their work in Iraq, are openly patrolling the streets of New Orleans. Some of the mercenaries say they have been "deputized" by the Louisiana governor; indeed some are wearing gold Louisiana state law enforcement badges on their chests and Blackwater photo identification cards on their arms. They say they are on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and have been given the authority to use lethal force. Several mercenaries we spoke with said they had served in Iraq on the personal security details of the former head of the US occupation, L. Paul Bremer and the former US ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte.

Speaking Events

David Swanson in Fairbanks, Alaska, October 22, 2016.


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