September 8, 2012
by Kevin Ryan and Graeme MacQueen, co-editors
Journal of 9/11 Studies
For the 11th anniversary of September 11, the Journal of 9/11 Studies would like to share a series of letters from thoughtful people who have reflected on the tragic events of that day. Five letters were published today, from the following individuals.
Lorie Van Auken is a founding member of the 9/11 Family Steering Committee. Without her dedication there would never have been a 9/11 Commission investigation.
Gregg Fishman is Secretary of the World Trade Center Rescuers Foundation. Like others he represents, Gregg risked his life and health in an attempt to rescue and recover victims following the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings.
Father Frank Morales is an Episcopal priest, activist, and author from New York City. He was present at Ground Zero shortly after the 9/11 events, offering prayers for the victims and support for the first responders.
David Johnson is Professor Emeritus of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Johnson served as a panelist at the Toronto Hearings on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has investigated the events of September 11, 2001 and his writings on that and other subjects have attracted a worldwide following.
A similar number of letters from other contributors will be published later this week. We hope that the words and… Continue reading
Hot Air Day is upon us. On July 4 hot air will spew forth all over the country as dignitaries deliver homilies to our “freedom and democracy” and praise “our brave troops” who are protecting our freedom by “killing them over there before they come over here.”
Not a single one of these speeches will contain one word of truth. No speaker will lament the death of the US Constitution or urge his audience to action to restore the only document that protects their liberty. No speaker will acknowledge that in the 21st century the Bush/Obama Regime, with the complicity of the Department of Justice, federal courts, Congress, presstitute media, law schools, bar associations, and an insouciant public have murdered the Constitution in the name of the “war on terror.”
As in medieval times, American citizens can be thrown into dungeons and never accounted for. No evidence or charges need be presented to a court. No trial is required, and no conviction.
As in tyrannies, US citizens can be executed at the sole discretion of the despot in the Oval Office, who sits there drawing up lists of people to be murdered.
Protestors exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association are attacked by armed police, beaten, tasered, tear-gassed, pepper sprayed, and arrested.
Whistleblowers who report the government’s crimes are prosecuted despite the statute that protects them.
US soldier Bradley Manning, who allegedly gave Wikileaks the documents… Continue reading
By Anemona Hartocollis
A federal health official’s ruling has cleared the way for 50 different types of cancer to be added to the list of sicknesses covered by a $4.3 billion fund set up to compensate and treat people exposed to the toxic smoke, dust and fumes in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The decision, released on Friday, came as a vindication for hundreds and perhaps thousands of people who have claimed — often in the face of resistance from public health officials — that their cancers were caused by their exposure to the dust cloud and debris thrown up by the attacks.
It will allow not only rescue workers but also volunteers, residents, schoolchildren and passers-by to apply for compensation and treatment for cancers developed in the aftermath of the attacks. The cancers will not be officially added to the list of covered illnesses until after a period of public comment and review that could last several months.
The decision, by Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, comes despite a current absence of evidence linking the attack to cancer, causing some skepticism among epidemiologists. It also reduces the amount of money for people suffering from ailments more conclusively linked to the Sept. 11 attacks, namely lung and other respiratory sicknesses.
And it poses a number of logistical challenges, since it will be difficult if not impossible to separate people who developed cancer as a result of ground… Continue reading
By Erica Chang
A recent study has revealed that 297 of the 12,000 police officers who first responded to the 9/11 attacks have been diagnosed with cancer, triple the rate before the tragedy according to the Huffington Post . The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) released figures that show that the cancer rate among NYPD officers has increased from six per year before the attacks to 16 per year after the attacks.
Furthermore, the average age at which officers were diagnosed with cancer is 44, with lung cancer being the most common diagnosis. The Fire Department of the City of New York released a similar study which revealed that firefighters who came into contact with Ground Zero toxins and dust were 19 percent more likely to develop cancer than those who did not.
The James Zadroga Act, which was passed in 2011, will provide healthcare screening and financial benefits to the officers who suffer from illnesses resulting from exposure at Ground Zero. However, because of the high costs of treatment, cancer will not be covered by the Zardoga Act.
The city of New York has refused to release the figures for cancer rates among NYPD numerous times. In response to their lack of cooperation, PBA research director Frank Tramontano said, “It is our sincere opinion that the City of New York has done nothing to facilitate any cancer study and has been actively working to prevent a comprehensive examination of the issue.”
by Michelle Chen
In These Times
This weekend, the public will mourn a site of loss, recasting the painful memories and haunting fears that still hover over the aftermath at Ground Zero. But the people who worked and breathed that tragedy in the days and months following September 11 won’t be at the primary commemoration ceremony for the families of victims. The Mayor’s decision to limit the attendees by excluding the 9/11 first responders is an unnerving metaphor for an unhealed scar of 9/11. Many of the rescue and recovery workers who labored at Ground Zero have been plagued by a metastasizing medical crisis, aggravated by chronic political failure.
This week, 9/11 firefighters and police chiefs rallied to demand changes to the rules governing compensation for health problems tied to poisonous air and debris at Ground Zero. They want federal funds to support treatment for cancer, which is currently omitted from the primary legislation covering Ground Zero-related medical needs. For years, researchers have been uncovering fresh evidence of widespread and devastating illnesses afflicting a large portion of people exposed to the aftermath; ongoing health issues range from crippling lung and breathing problems to post-traumatic stress disorder. But adequate funding for 9/11 workers has often been ensnared in political gridlock, not to mention the general incompetence of the healthcare system.
The UK Guardian reports that new research could trump politicians’ concerns over potential cancer liabilities:
Cancer treatment has… Continue reading
By Jeff Stein
August 30, 2011
New York (CNN) — When debris rained from the sky in lower Manhattan on September
11, 2001, the first responders to the terrorist attack did not turn away. They
rushed to the World Trade Center buildings while the world around them crumbled.
Yet now, after all the wreckage has been cleared and the rebuilding has begun,
their path is again blocked — not by flying chunks of smoldering rubble, but
by space constraints.
The first responders are not invited to this year’s September 11 memorial ceremony
at ground zero, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office confirmed Monday.
It’s a painful insult for many of the approximately 3,000 men and women who
risked their lives, limbs and lungs on that monumental day, puncturing another
hole in a still searing wound.
In a statement, Bloomberg spokesman Andrew Brent said the commemoration ceremony
is for the victims’ families.
"While we are again focused on accommodating victims’ family members,
given the space constraints, we’re working to find ways to recognize and honor
first responders, and other groups, at different places and times," Brent
But first responder John Feal, founder of an advocacy group for the police
officers, firefighters, civilian volunteers and others who worked at ground
zero, assailed Brent’s response, saying Bloomberg "lives in his own world."
"The best of the best that this country offered 10 years ago are being
neglected and denied their rightful place," Feal said.
Denise Villamia, a first responder who… Continue reading
August 13th 2011
By Alison Gendar
NYDaily News Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON – The cops, firefighters and rescue workers who toiled at Ground
Zero will not be invited to take part in the 10th anniversary ceremony, a city
official told the Daily News Friday.
First responders will instead be asked back to the site at another day for
a separate commemorative ceremony, city officials said.
Space and security logistics were at the heart of the decision, those involved
Family of the nearly 3,000 killed receive first priority at an event with maximum
President Obama’s appearance will make the day even more of a security concern.
For many first responders, though, the news was a bitter pill.
[Photo, right: A select few gathered at the relecting pool honoring 9/11
victims at Ground Zero last year for the ninth anniversary of the attacks on
the World Trade Center. Credit: Don Emmert/Pool]
“To have a separate service on another day has no significance, no meaning,”
said David Jacobs of Queens, who volunteered at the site sifting debris and
who lost a childhood friend, a city firefighter, in the attacks.
“For many of us, we gave a lot at that site,” he said.
As many as 91,000 people took part in the initial search and rescue and subsequent
10-month cleanup, according to estimates taken for the city.
In past years, first responders were welcomed to the annual commemoration because
little or no construction had begun at the site and space was not… Continue reading
By Jonathan Lemire
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU
Wednesday, July 27th 2011
New York Daily News
Image: Retired Firefighter Kenneth Specht said the exclusion of cancer as a disease covered by the Zadroga health act was “absolutely unacceptable”. (Photo credit: Elisa Miller for News)
They sacrificed their bodies – and in some cases, their lives – for their noble
work at Ground Zero, and now they and their loved ones feel abandoned.
Scores of first responders believe they contracted cancer due to the time they
spent at the toxic World Trade Center site and are outraged the disease is being
excluded from the new James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
“Every time we bury a New York City firefighter: Cancer. Cancer. Cancer,”
said retired Firefighter Kenneth Specht, who is battling thyroid cancer.
“How can that not be included? It’s absolutely unacceptable.”
Specht, 43, retired in 2008 after 13 years with the FDNY, too sick to keep
working. He spent two months at Ground Zero after the terror attacks, desperately
searching for the remains of his fallen colleagues and unaware that he was breathing
in apparently dangerous chemicals.
“How can they not say, ‘You were in a bad position and we’re going to
try and rectify this?’” said Specht who, because of the cancer and gastroesophageal
reflux disease, is a prisoner in his Nassau County home.
“It’s not about money – we’re looking for some decency,” he said.
Margaret Stroehlein was driving from her Long Island home to… Continue reading
By ALEX KATZ
It took years of lobbying and partisan bickering, but the 9/11 Zadroga Act to help ailing Ground Zero responders finally took effect today.
The law provides $4.3 billion in guaranteed federal funding to cover health costs and financial compensation for emergency responders, recovery workers, volunteers, and residents who were affected by the attacks almost 10 years ago.
Advocates celebrated with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting against a backdrop of Star Spangled Banners at Mount Sinai’s 9/11 health clinic this morning.
National and city pols were also on hand, including Mayor Bloomberg, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Charlie Rangel, and Carolyn Maloney.
“This is an historic milestone, not only for the more than 36,000 Americans who lost their health as a result of 9/11 and are in the program, but also for our moral obligation to care for those who rise to the defense of our nation in a time of war,” Maloney said.
The Manhattan Democrat — who was introduced at the event as the “bulldog of the Upper East Side” — helped write the landmark legislation along with Nadler and Rep. Peter King (R-L.I.), spearheading the fight for its approval in the House and ultimately the Senate.
The original bill’s price tag was scaled back from $7.4 billion as part of a compromise with conservatives in both parties, which allowed the legislation to pass through Congress and get President Obama’s signature in early January.
“As you all know, nothing… Continue reading
Shame on Representative Cliff Stearns and shame on each and every one of the representatives who voted to make compensation for 9/11 first responders reliant upon a check for “terrorist” activities. Shame is a concept that blankets American actions as it responded to that grave day. I won’t belabor the many instances where this nation either killed or maimed others either in retribution or in the pretense at keeping the rest of us “safe” but I will say that this last act of betrayal by elected officials places all of us in greater danger. Frankly, if we don’t counter this betrayal, we deserve what we get.
What has come over us? Have we completely lost the ability to function as compassionate adults in an imperfect world? Think for one minute about the ramifications of such an act:
On 9/11/2001 when many people fled the horror of the scene at Ground Zero, countless firefighters, police officers, and brave civilian volunteers rushed to the scene to help. I believe that my own daughter who was on that day four or five months pregnant was almost home free precisely because others helped her almost, almost to safety. How many others walked away because they were provided help? We can only guess at the numbers. How many families of first responders are like my own — ten years out still suffering the effects… Continue reading
WASHINGTON – The ill and dying Americans who answered the call after 9/11 received a “Christmas Miracle” on Wednesday – help is finally on the way.
More than nine years after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, the Senate voted unanimously to pass the $4.3 billion James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
The House quickly gave the measure its final stamp of approval. President Obama will sign the bill law soon.
The bill provides medical care and financial relief to tens of thousands of responders.
Many Capitol Hill insiders never believed the measure would pass, and some Republicans came within hours of killing it.
But a dramatic night of negotiations by New York lawmakers and the bill’s foes Tuesday night and into early Wednesday won an eleventh-hour compromise.
“It’s a good Christmas present for everybody,” said Joseph Zadroga, the father of NYPD Detective James Zadroga who died from his ruined lungs and became the face of the legislation.
Jennifer McNamara, whose firefighter husband, John, died of cancer blamed on 9/11, wept when she heard the news. She recalled how much her husband wanted his government to act for people who sacrificed. “Working for this day was such a part of my husband’s existence, and mine,” an emotional McNamara said.
“This is something that will help take care of people, and that’s something John would be proud of,” she said. “My Christmas… Continue reading
By David Edwards
The Senate passed a bill by unanimous consent Wednesday that will provide health care benefits to first responders and survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Original report follows…
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) earned himself a visit from some 9/11 first responders after he threatened to block a bill that would provide them health benefits.
A group of former Ground Zero workers visited the senator’s office Tuesday to give him a piece of their mind but Coburn refused the meeting.
“Mr. Coburn should be ashamed of himself,” John Feal, the leader of the group, told Think Progress. “Because I think before he was a senator he was a doctor and he took an oath to help people that are sick. He’s going against his oath as a doctor. He can vote any way he wants as a senator, but as a doctor, he just embarrassed the medical profession.”
“What about going office to office? Have their staff and the senators been very receptive to the group?” Think Progress asked.
“Once in a while we’ll run into some resistance and some arrogance and some rude people. Listen, we busted our asses since 9/11. We’ve fought and advocated for ourselves so others wouldn’t. So to be insulted by the staff of the United States Senate and Congress — most of them were 12 years old when 9/11 happened — doesn’t bother me,” Feal said.
All but one of the 42 Republican senators stood together last week… Continue reading
By The Associated Press
Thursday, December 9th, 2010
911workernycsept11 Dems outraged as GOP blocks 9/11 responders health bill
May be end of the road for $7-billion aid package to heroes of 9/11
Senate Republicans on Thursday derailed a bill to aid people who got sick after
exposure to dust from the World Trade Center’s collapse in the Sept. 11 attack.
Supporters were three votes short of the 60 needed to proceed to debate and
a final vote on the bill that would have provided as much as $7.4 billion in
health care and compensation to 9/11 responders and survivors. The bill failed
on a test vote, 57-42.
Fifty-seven Democrats voted for the bill and 41 Republicans opposed it. Sen.
Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, switched his vote to ‘no’ at the last moment,
a parliamentary move that allows him to bring the measure up again for a vote.
The New York Times reports:
Republicans have been raising concerns about how to pay for the $7.4 billion
measure, while Democrats, led by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York,
have argued that the nation had a moral obligation to assist those who put their
lives at risk during rescue operations at ground zero….
In a statement, [New York City Mayor Michael] Bloomberg chastised Senate Republicans
for their “wrong-headed political strategy” and called on them to
allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote. “The attacks of 9/11 were
attacks on America,” he said, “and we have a… Continue reading
October 1, 2010
Retired NFL great George Martin, who walked from New York to San Diego in 2007-08 to help thousands of 9/11 rescue and recovery workers with serious medical conditions, is hitting the road once again. On Sunday, October 17, 2010, Martin will lead an assembly of former New York Giants and other NFL alumni, 9/11 first responders and others in the 2nd Annual “Giant Steps for 9/11″ Walk and Family Fun Day to raise funds for thousands of Ground Zero first responders.
“The care of our 9/11 first responders is a national problem and an American responsibility,” said Martin, co-captain of the Super Bowl XXI Champion New York Giants (1986), who formed a Journey for 9/11 Foundation at the completion of his cross-country trek. “Government funding and insurance policies do not adequately cover the substantial cost of the care these people desperately need. As Americans, we must do more. We cannot turn our backs on those who answered the call and now suffer with serious medical conditions.”
Beginning at 9 a.m., the 2nd Annual Giant Steps for 9/11 Walk is a family friendly, 10-mile walk from the George Washington Bridge to Fairleigh Dickinson University’s (“FDU”) Hackensack’s campus. For less adventurous walkers, a shorter four-mile walk will start at approximately 10:45 a.m. at Hackensack University Medical Center and end at FDU. Following the walk event, a Family Fun Day for all registrants will commence on the FDU campus.
Registration for the walk event is $35 per person.… Continue reading
by Scott Ford
September 30, 2010
The following names are the people in Congress that voted AGAINST helping the 9/11 1st Responders with health care. There are about 900 dead responders since the attacks 9 years ago, and tens of thousands more sick and dying. When everybody was running away from Ground Zero, these people were running in to save as many people as they can. The people on this list feel that we should not help them. Please adjust your voter ballots accordingly in November.
No Votes (160)
Member, Party, District
Robert B. Aderholt, R, AL-4
Todd Akin, R, MO-2
Rodney Alexander, R, LA-5
Steve Austria, R, OH-7
Michele Bachmann, R, MN-6
Spencer Bachus, R, AL-6
J. Gresham Barrett, R, SC-3
Roscoe G. Bartlett, R, MD-6
Joe L. Barton, R, TX-6
Marion Berry, D, AR-1
Judy Biggert, R, IL-13
Brian P. Bilbray, R, CA-50
Gus Bilirakis, R, FL-9
Rob Bishop, R, UT-1
Marsha Blackburn, R, TN-7
John A. Boehner, R, OH-8
Jo Bonner, R, AL-1
Mary Bono Mack, R, CA-45
John Boozman, R, AR-3
Charles Boustany Jr., R, LA-7
Kevin Brady, R, TX-8
Bobby Bright, D, AL-2
Paul Broun, R, GA-10
Henry E. Brown Jr., R, SC-1
Ginny Brown-Waite, R, FL-5
Vern Buchanan, R, FL-13
Michael C. Burgess, R, TX-26
Dan Burton, R,… Continue reading
9/11 Health and Compensation Bill Passes House
September 29, 2010 — Legislation to establish health treatment and monitoring
programs for World Trade Center responders was overwhelmingly approved by a
bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives.
H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, was approved
by a vote of 268-160. The vote to pass the bill followed an attempt by Representative
Christopher Lee (R-NY) and House Republican Leadership to amend H.R. 847 by
adding unrelated legislation to repeal a portion of the health care reform law
and reform the medical malpractice system. The motion failed by a vote of 185-244.
Had the motion succeeded, it would have effectively killed the bill.
“I am pleased that the 9/11 Act passed the House by an overwhelming and bipartisan
majority,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “World Trade Center
responders know they are finally one step closer to receiving the care and benefits
they need and deserve.”
The September 29 vote follows a previous attempt to pass H.R. 847 in the House
earlier this year under rules requiring a two-thirds majority for passage. That
attempt fell 21 votes short of a two-thirds majority.
Following that setback, the IAFF lobbied extensively to bring the bill back
up under regular order, supplementing the efforts of New York Local 94 and Local
“Our two New York City affiliates, their leadership and their members lobbied
tirelessly to move the 9/11 Act forward,” says Schaitberger. “Today’s vote is… Continue reading
September 21, 2010
By John Feal
Dear Friends, Supporters and Fellow First Responders:
As most of you are aware, the past twenty-four hours have been extremely chaotic
in regards to the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. I, along with
fellow FealGood Foundation board members, have worked with various union leaders
to keep the pressure on our elected officials. As of approximately 5:30 today
our bill was moved into the “Rules Committee” of the United States
House of Representatives and prepared for full House vote. While a modest victory,
this should be considered a step forward to our ultimate goal. However, to our
great displeasure, a date for such a vote has not yet been announced. This is
unacceptable and over the next twenty-four hours we will continue to place additional
pressure on leadership to give us the date we have waited nine years for.
Make no mistake, all involved in this struggle consider it an insult of the
highest degree that we are forced to continue to lobby House leaders to merely
place this bill on calendar. Despite this, we have been advised that the bill
will be given a date for vote tomorrow, September 22, 2010. While promises to
this fragile community have been made and broken so many times that I do not
expect you to believe this one, we must respect the leadership our New York
Congressional Delegation has provided and rely on them to ensure that this promise
is kept. Tomorrow, the… Continue reading