Christie Whitman has her story and she’s sticking to it. Her story is that she’s proud of how she responded to 9/11 as Environmental Protection Agency chief. Her story is that she fully and truthfully informed New Yorkers about the health hazards generated by the collapse of the World Trade Center.
She has told this fable for almost six years now, and she amplified it yesterday before Rep. Jerry Nadler’s subcommittee. Whitman was the soul of indignant defiance, and her testimony – under oath, no less – was an insult to the truth, as well as to the rescue workers, residents and everyone else who believed her false assurances that the air was safe.
Officials who were called to duty in the aftermath of the terror attack are owed gratitude for service well done and leeway for errors committed under battlefield conditions. But Whitman has exhausted all understanding by insistently denying the reality that she allowed thousands of people to be exposed needlessly to airborne, lung-scarring toxins.
Central to Whitman’s story are two claims, one having to do with the air downtown, and one having to do with the air over Ground Zero, where the pulverized Trade Center dust was thickest.
Whitman says that in pronouncing the air breathable she was speaking only about the atmosphere in the surrounding neighborhood, not about the air over The Pile. She says she was clear about this distinction and that her assertions were based on valid testing data.
But the EPA inspector general concluded that Whitman lacked the scientific basis for declaring the air safe anywhere.…Continue reading
By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer
June 25, 2007
– Ex-EPA chief Christie Whitman was bombarded by boos and a host of accusations
Monday at a hearing into her assurances that it had been safe to breathe the
air around the fallen World Trade Center.
The confrontation between the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency
and her critics grew heated at times. Some members of the audience shouted in
anger, only to be gaveled down by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who chaired the
For three hours Whitman faced charges from Nadler and others that the Environmental
Protection Agency’s public statements after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks gave
people a false sense of safety.
Whitman maintained the government warned those working on the toxic debris
pile to use respirators, while elsewhere in lower Manhattan the air was safe
to the general public.
“There are indeed people to blame. They are the terrorists who attacked
the United States, not the men and women at all levels of government who worked
heroically to protect and defend this country,” Whitman said.
Since the attacks, independent government reviews have faulted the EPA’s handling
of the immediate aftermath and the agency’s long-term cleanup program for nearby
A study of more than 20,000 people by Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York
concluded that, since the attacks, 70 percent of ground zero workers have suffered
some sort of respiratory illness. A separate study released last month found
that rescue workers and firefighters contracted… Continue reading
First, a message from John Feal re. the upcoming 9/11 Responders Doo-Wop Rock ‘n Roll Benefit Concert on July 21 in New York City.
Dear all members of the truth movement…………Many of you know me by now, and I have formed a great close relationship with some real passionate Americans who seek the truth like I do for the sick and dying responders of 9/11. On July 21st we will be holding a great event to help ease the pain to some of these brave souls. This event will only be a success if everyone from all 9/11 organizations get involved. Please, I implore all of you to show your support, your passion, and your dedication to this cause. I have stood by your side, and now ask in return you stand by ours. I know many of you are not from New York, but spreading the word, or buying a T-shirtfor this event, will help so many sick and injured responders who desperately need your help. Please feel free to go to the web site or call me direct. Together we all can make a difference.As Americans we have extra money, food, or body parts. So if I can give a kidney, and help hundreds through my foundation, then maybe just maybe you all can help with some grass roots activism and spreading the word of a special date. I personally look forward to meeting many of you who have helped me help others in the past and hopefully in the future.…
Pivotal Moment in the Green Scare
Bill Rodgers died in a jail cell in Flagstaff, Arizona, fist raised above him, plastic bag over his head, of an apparent suicide, on the 2005 winter solstice. Two weeks before in Prescott, Bill’s baby, the Catalyst Infoshop had been raided by fifteen federal officers and he was taken away.
Bill was essentially accused of destroying corporate property. If he had been arrested for these crimes in, say, an EU country, I’m sure Bill would still be alive today. But the US is not the EU. The prisons of the US are full of nonviolent offenders, and there are special sentences for some of them. Bill knew that in America today, he could do like Jeffrey Luers and go to prison for a very long time. For Bill’s property destruction was politically — ecologically — motivated. Bill apparently chose to end his life rather than spend it in prison.
The last time I saw Bill was at the Catalyst, a few months before his death. We were sitting on (or more like enveloped by) some very old couches and someone was filming an interview for a local Cable Access program, I think. Bill was a couple years older than me, but with twice as much energy. He was small, intelligent, full of vitality, full of both good intentions and actions. He was an unassuming Prescott institution, along with the Catalyst Infoshop.
Bill was part of a sweep of arrests of activists around the US, and more broadly, part of the US government’s efforts to wipe out what it calls “ecoterrorism.” To impose decades-long sentences (Jeffrey Luers was sentenced to a breathtaking 22 years) on people who have harmed no one, people who have essentially committed expensive acts of vandalism — against the corporations that are destroying our world.…Continue reading
Apr 20, 2007
(CBS/AP) NEW YORK An appeals court ruling could spell trouble for New Yorkers
suing the Environmental Protection Agency and its former chief for saying that
sooty Lower Manhattan air was safe to breathe after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
A three judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared this
week that EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and other agency officials
can’t be held constitutionally liable for making rosy declarations about air
quality in the days following the World Trade Center’s destruction.
The opinion, written by the court’s chief judge, Dennis Jacobs, said opening
EPA workers up to lawsuits for giving out bad information during a crisis could
have a catastrophic side effect.
“Officials might default to silence in the face of the public’s urgent
need for information,” Jacobs wrote.
The ruling, filed Thursday, applied only to a suit brought by five government
employees who did rescue and cleanup work at ground zero, but it contained language
suggesting that similar legal claims could face trouble.
It specifically mentioned a class action lawsuit brought by lower Manhattan
residents who claim Whitman jeopardized their health by declaring that “the
air is safe to breathe” at a time when, according to the EPA inspector
general, a quarter of dust samples were recording unhealthy asbestos levels.
Last year, U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts, refused to dismiss that case,
calling Whitman’s statements “conscience-shocking.”
That decision is now on appeal and has yet to be argued before the 2nd… Continue reading
Outraged truth community demands answers
from Guy Smith, immediate retractions and apologies urged, savage
agenda driven yellow journalism an insult to the truth
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, February 19, 2007
The BBC’s Conspiracy Files documentary about 9/11 was a tissue
of lies, bias and emotional manipulation from beginning to
end. Producer Guy Smith should be ashamed of himself for inflicting
this travesty of yellow journalism upon the 9/11 truth movement
and he is assured to encounter a vociferous and outraged response
in its aftermath.
Separated into two categories below are a number of questions
intended to highlight Guy Smith’s production for what it was
– a deliberate hit piece on the 9/11 truth movement structured
around fallacy, lying by omission and overwhelming bias. We
invite Mr. Smith to respond to these questions and the hundreds
of others that are already being asked by furious and informed
community of people who were made sick to their stomachs by
Smith’s yellow journalism hatchet job.
GROSS FACTUAL INACCURACIES AND YELLOW JOURNALISM
1) Why did the BBC use a thoroughly debunked graphic animation
from PBS’ Nova show to illustrate the collapse of the twin
towers? This graphic portrays the tower collapsing at a rate
of ten floors every six seconds. For this to be accurate,
the tower’s 110 floors would have taken 66 seconds to completely
Note: The Mt. Sinai study, referred to by David Miller, can be found here, with other resources from Mt. Sinai for individuals affected by WTC toxins.
Report from NY911Truth.org:
“9/11 First Responders: Voices From The Pit”
Sunday, June 25th at Community Church
I’m not sure how David Miller found us, but he has been attending our Sunday events for at least 3 months. NY 911 Truth has been enriched by his presence. Between hearing of his experience as a first responder with his National Guard unit, reading the many recent articles about the plight of responders, and meeting several other responders at a conference sponsored by SUNY-New Paltz, we’ve had our eyes and hearts opened to a unique aspect of the 9/11 tragedy.
We knew we had to have an event dedicated to calling attention to the cause of responders, survivors, and also downtown residents who were all told by the EPA, the air was safe to breath. However, 14 rescue dogs died and nearly 5 years later many responders have died, thousands are very sick, can’t work, and are in dire straits financially. Adding insult to injury, 1 billion dollars of federal funds are sitting in an offshore bank account and many have had to fight to get workers comp due to incredibly slick maneuvering by government agencies. Our event began with comments from Father Frank Morales who served as chaplain at Ground Zero in the early weeks after the attacks. He shared an essay about his experience which was deeply moving.…Continue reading
by Kristen Lombardi
November 28th, 2006 5:22 PM
Believe 9-11 is causing cancer?
An open thread in Power Plays
It was October 6, 2004, three years after Ernie Vallebuona’s three-month stint as a rescue and recovery worker at ground zero in the wake of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, and he was hunched over and trembling, racked by a pain like nothing he had experienced in his 40 years of sound health. He had just returned to his Rockland County home after finishing the midnight-to-8 a.m. shift in the NYPD vice unit, where he’d reported to work for the last six years. Vallebuona had bought some fish from a street vendor near his office, on the Lower East Side. And as he drove the 35 miles from Manhattan to New City, he chalked up a searing stomachache to food poisoning. Maybe the vendor had filleted that fish with a dirty machete?
Photo: To date, 75 recovery workers at ground zero have been diagnosed with blood cell cancers that a half-dozen top doctors and epidemiologists have confirmed as having been likely caused by that exposure. Ernie Vallabuona (left) is one of them. photo: Scott McDermott
By the time he pulled into his driveway, the pain had grown excruciating, too horrible for him to even lie in bed that day. The chills swept over his body; so did the shakes. He called his doctor, who suggested ulcer medication. His mother advised him to forget that diagnosis and consult a… Continue reading
By SUSAN EDELMAN, HEATHER GILMORE and BRAD HAMILTON
September 24, 2006 — Condoleezza Rice’s office gave final approval to the infamous Environmental Protection Agency press releases days after 9/11 claiming the air around Ground Zero was “safe to breathe,” internal documents show.
Now Secretary of State, Rice was then head of the National Security Council – “the final decision maker” on EPA statements about lower Manhattan air quality, the documents say.
Scientists and lawmakers have since deemed the air rife with toxins.
This has not been a good couple of weeks for Condoleeza Rice. In addition to the story below, another appeared in the NY Post which, if accurate, makes her complicit in releasing “the air is safe to breathe” statements through EPA’s then-Director, Christie Todd Whitman. Whitman is currently co-defendant, with Michael Leavitt, administrator of EPA, in “a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of residents, students, and workers in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn”.
Some 70,000 people are sick as a result of the toxic air after 9/11. The actions of EPA head Christie Todd Whitman in declaring the air safe to breath have already been called “conscience-shocking” by a Federal Judge. Thousands of people are sick, and some have died–the first responders, the cleanup crews, those who went back to work and kids who went back to school, based on the government’s safety assurances. Again we must ask… if members of this government were willing to knowingly cast aside the wellbeing of tens… Continue reading
By Anthony DePalma
The New York Times
September 6, 2006
The largest health study yet of the thousands of workers who labored at ground zero shows that the impact of the rescue and recovery effort on their health has been more widespread and persistent than previously thought, and is likely to linger far into the future.
The study, released yesterday by doctors at Mount Sinai Medical Center, is expected to erase any lingering doubts about the connection between dust from the trade center and numerous diseases that the workers have reported suffering. It is also expected to increase pressure on the federal government to provide health care for sick workers who do not have health insurance.
Roughly 70 percent of nearly 10,000 workers tested at Mount Sinai from 2002 to 2004 reported that they had new or substantially worsened respiratory problems while or after working at ground zero.
The rate is similar to that found among a smaller sample of 1,100 such workers released by Mount Sinai in 2004, but the scale of the current study gives it far more weight; it also indicates significant problems not reflected in the original study.
For example, one-third of the patients in the new study showed diminished lung capacity in tests designed to measure the amount of air a person can exhale. Among nonsmokers, 28 percent were found to have some breathing impairment, more than double the rate for nonsmokers in the general population.
The study is among the first to show that many of the respiratory ailments – like sinusitis and asthma, and gastrointestinal problems related to them – initially reported by ground zero workers persisted or grew worse in the years after 9/11.…Continue reading
By Bernard Weiner, Co-Editor The Crisis Papers
August 29, 2006
The imminent fifth anniversary of 9/11 provides the proper moment for a good, ol’-fashioned sum-up of the past half-decade under CheneyBush, especially because so much has happened in the past 12-months:
The Bush Administration’s Katrina debacle, Iraq being sucked deeper into the civil-war vortex, Afghanistan turning once again into a major war theater, more and more military leaders speaking out about the disaster that is CheneyBush foreign policy, the defection of so many moderate conservatives from their GOP home, the plummeting of Bush’s popularity to not much more than his fundamentalist base, the revelation that Bush&Co. have been spying on citizens’ phone calls and emails without court warrants, the indictment of CheneyBush’s chief aide Scooter Libby for obstruction of justice in the case of the White House’s outing of a covert CIA agent, the “rendering” of detainees abroad for extreme torturing, etc. etc.
I’ll get to the annual list in a moment. But first let’s step back and take a deeper overview. Buckle your seat belts, here we go.
WHAT 9/11 PERMITTED BUSH TO DO
Whatever you may think of 9/11, and the extent of involvement of Bush&Co., it’s crystal-clear that the events of that tragic day were and continue to be used as an excuse for a wide variety of immoral and illegal actions by the CheneyBush Administration. The radical agenda that was barely on the public’s horizon five years ago has since become all too evident, both domestically and in terms of foreign/military policy, which is why so many traditional conservatives are abandoning the extremism of the Republican Party.…Continue reading
Problems mount from 9/11 fallout
By David Shukman
BBC News science correspondent
April 12, 2006
See the dust clouds
The number of people with medical problems linked to the 9/11 attacks
on New York has risen to at least 15,000.
The figure, put together for the BBC, counts those receiving treatment for
problems related to breathing in dust.
Many of the victims say the government offered false reassurances that the
Manhattan air was safe and are now pursuing a class-action lawsuit.
On Tuesday, a coroner said the death of a policeman who developed a respiratory
disease was “directly linked” to 9/11.
James Zadroga – who worked at Ground Zero – died in January. The New Jersey
coroner’s ruling was the first of its kind.
Jeff Endean used to be the macho leader of a police Swat firearms team. Now,
he has trouble breathing and survives on the cocktail of drugs he takes every
Kelly Colangelo, an IT specialist, used to have good health but now endures
a range of problems including asthma and sinus pain.
“It worried me that I’ve been damaging my health just being in my home,” she told the BBC News website. “It also worries me that I see the health
impact on the [the emergency crews at the scene]. We were also exposed and I
wonder if in 10-15 years from now, am I going to be another victim?”
Both are victims of what used to be called “World Trade Center… Continue reading
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility News Release (www.peer.org)
For Immediate Release: February 10, 2006
Contact: Chas Offutt (202) 265-7337
BUSH AXING LIBRARIES WHILE PUSHING FOR MORE RESEARCH — EPA Set to Close Library Network and Electronic Catalog
Washington, DC — Under President Bush’s proposed budget, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is slated to shut down its network of libraries that serve its own scientists as well as the public, according to internal agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In addition to the libraries, the agency will pull the plug on its electronic catalog which tracks tens of thousands of unique documents and research studies that are available nowhere else.
Under Bush’s plan, $2 million of a total agency library budget of $2.5 million will be lost, including the entire $500,000 budget for the EPA Headquarters library and its electronic catalog that makes it possible to search for documents through the entire EPA library network. These reductions are just a small portion of the $300 million in cuts the administration has proposed for EPA operations.
At the same time, President Bush is proposing to significantly increase EPA research funding for topics such as nanotechnology, air pollution and drinking water system security as part of his “American Competitive Initiative.”
“How are EPA scientists supposed to engage in cutting edge research when they cannot find what the agency has already done?” asked PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson is moving to implement the… Continue reading
Written By Jon Gold
In February 2005 , “Speakers at the national meeting of the American Association for Advancement of Science expressed concern Sunday that some scientists in key federal agencies are being ignored or even pressured to change study conclusions that don’t support policy positions.” Their concerns are well-founded. In June 2005, The New York Times reported that Philip A. Cooney, “removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved” so as to play down emissions’ links to Global Warming. Mr. Cooney served as chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Now, however, he serves Exxon . In July 2005, the EPA purposefully held back incriminating reports about our fuel economy so an Energy Bill that served not the people, but the corporations, would pass. As quoted by CBS News , the energy bill “sends billions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies to energy companies, but is expected to do little to reduce U.S. oil consumption or dampen high energy prices.” The EPA’s report stated, “loopholes in American fuel economy regulations have allowed automakers to produce cars and trucks that are significantly less fuel-efficient, on average than they were in the late 1980′s.” No wonder they didn’t want it to be known. We’ve done nothing to become more fuel-efficient, and in fact, have gone backwards. Now, as a result, we’ve passed an energy bill that helps us not at all.
A program to monitor the health of thousands of federal workers who answered the call of 9/11 has “been lost for more than two years,” the New York Daily News reports. It “vanished during the bureaucratic shuffle creating the Department of Homeland Security” …
(Aug. 26, 2005)
The forgotten and yet most numerous direct physical victims of September 11th are those who were exposed to the air contaminated by the dust clouds formed when the buildings fell. These contained large quantities of asbestos, pulverized glass and concrete, radioactive material from smoke alarms, silicone from computers. Especially hard-hit were first responders and Ground Zero clean-up workers. Underground fires at the disaster site continued for six weeks, further poisoning the air.
Yet in the days immediately after 9/11, the Environmental Protection Agency under Christie Todd Whitman knowingly gave the public absurd assurances that the air was safe to breathe, that no special precautions were necessary, that local residents could just clean up the dust with water. Two years later, we learned that the White House had forced the EPA to change its initial assessment of the danger to falsely reassure New Yorkers; presumably so that business could go on as usual and Wall Street could re-open for trading. By encouraging people not to take preventive measures, this choice in the end may have shortened more lives than the 3,000 lost at the World Trade Center. (For more on this subject, see World Trade Center Environmental Organization .)
September 11 was a tragedy that has changed the course of history and the way we live. It was also an environmental disaster of epic proportions. Hundreds of tons of asbestos were pulverized and dispersed around Lower Manhattan and beyond. The tens of thousands of fluorescent lightbulbs each contained enough mercury to contaminate a quarter of a city block. The Trade Center’s 50,000 computers were each made with four to twelve pounds of lead. The smoke detectors contained radioactive americium 241. The alkalinity of the air was equivalent to that of Draino. A month after the disaster, Dr. Thomas Cahill of the University of California at Davis found levels of very-fine and ultra-fine particulates that were the highest he’d ever recorded in the course of taking 7000 samples around the world, including at the burning Kuwaiti oil fields.1 In addition there were record levels of dioxin, PCBs, and all the other contaminants one might expect to find when a modern city – which is what the World Trade Center was – burns for several months. In the words of Dr. Marjorie Clarke, 9/11 was “equivalent to dozens of asbestos factories, incinerators and crematoria – as well as a volcano.” 2
Nevertheless, beginning on September 13, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued reassurances about the air quality downtown.
A report by the EPA Inspector General released in August, 2003, found that these pronouncements came about because of interference from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ.) “[B]ased on CEQ’s… Continue reading