Originally published at The NY Post by Isabel Vincent, Melissa Klein and Susan Edelman on 11/16/14
In a greedy grab for blood money, a law firm representing sick and dying Ground Zero workers overbilled its legal partner by $36 million in expenses, newly released court papers allege.
The shocking charges call into question the estimated $50 million in additional legal expenses billed to 10,000 firefighters, police officers, construction workers and others who received more than $700 million in settlements for 9/11-related ailments.
An advocate for ill responders — John Feal, a Ground Zero demolition supervisor — demanded Napoli Bern be investigated by authorities.
“It’s outrageous and disgusting,” said Feal, claiming the majority of complaints he hears about legal representation relate to Napoli Bern.
The once-prestigious personal-injury law firm has been rocked by infighting over allegations of sexual improprieties and financial misconduct.
Napoli Bern has also been battling its partner law firm, Worby Groner, since 2012 over legal fees they shared in the 9/11 litigation. The two firms teamed up in 2004 to represent Ground Zero workers afflicted with cancer and other ailments.
The total settlements with the city and other defendants came to about $725 million. Before the 9/11 workers got their checks, though, various costs were deducted. The law firms then got a 25 percent cut of the remainder.
Napoli Bern and Worby Groner… Continue reading
Originally published at Dig Within by Kevin Ryan on 6/4/14
Both before and after 9/11, one private company had a greater impact on counterterrorism programs in the United States than any other. That company, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), also profited more from the events of 9/11 than any other. Its chief operating officer (COO), Duane Andrews, was a man who had expertise-level knowledge of the vulnerabilities that were exploited on 9/11. He also just happened to be a long-time, close colleague of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.
SAIC feeds on terrorism, having won many of its record number of government contracts through the national security state that has arisen via the War on Terror. Through its numerous contracts and employee security clearances, it has become a private business that cannot be distinguished from a permanent form of government. In short, SAIC is “the fraternal twin of the intelligence establishment.”
With regard to 9/11, SAIC’s impact cannot be overstated as the company:
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
THE PROJECT CENSORED SHOW ON PACIFICA RADIO – Friday, September 9, 2011 – 8-9am Pacific time
Hosts Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff welcome Tony Hall and Kathy McGrade and will discuss the history of the 9/11 truth movement, among other topics.
Friday, September 9, 2011 –
Related from Project Censored:
Release of Censored 2012 in September Celebrates 35 Years of Project Censored.
Unanswered Questions of 9/11: 911 Prewarnings, Building 7 Collapse, Flight 77 and the Pentagon, Israeli Involvement, United Airlines Put-options, War games, Atta and the $100,000, 9/11 Terrorists Still Alive
911 Footprint 10 Years Later – Special Broadcast, September 11, 2011
Pacifica Radio’s Memorial Broadcast Explores the Human Story of 911’s Impact
Produced by Verna Avery-Brown in cooperation with Pacifica Radio Archives, Democracy Now! KPFA, KPFK, KPFT, WBAI and WPFW. (Berkeley, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington DC, New York )
Listen on your local Pacifica station and streamed here on Pacifica.org from:
12:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST
11:00 AM CT to 8:00 PM CT
9:00 AM PT to 6:00 PM PT
* * * * *
When terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon on Sept.…Continue reading
by Sophie Elmhirst
8 September 2011
The New Statesman
“I can’t believe I haven’t seen my daughter in ten years.”
You lost your daughter in the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Does the tenth anniversary feel particularly painful?
You want people to remember the date for the right reason – that hate engenders hideous things. Time heals in some ways, but I can’t believe I haven’t seen her in ten years. I did an interview in New York City recently and came home on the plane, and when the lights dimmed in the cabin, I lost it. I didn’t want to be on my own on a plane sobbing. I just kept thinking about the day of her birth.
Do you remember 11 September 2001 clearly?
Of course. To be honest, I don’t want to remember. It was absolutely exquisite: the crispest, clearest, sunniest morning on the East Coast, warm and beautiful, and sad because it was getting near the end of summer – but it was almost so beautiful that it made you OK with that.
How did 9/11 transform the US?
From that moment, there was a decision on the part of the Bush administration to give up the American way of life. In so many significant ways – the constitution, the Patriot Act, Guantánamo Bay, military tribunals, torture, water- boarding, Halliburton [oilfields], endless war.
Has your perception of your country changed?
I was raised on this heady idea that America had an ethical… Continue reading
By Will Bunch
Philadelphia Daily News
IF YOU THINK that on the 10th anniversary you know the whole story of 9/11 – and here I’m addressing conspiracy-minded “truthers” and the 13 percent who approved of the job Dick Cheney did as vice president – actually, you don’t.
Time has upheld the broad story line of how hijackers loyal to Osama bin Laden hijacked four planes and killed nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001 – claims about holograms being used to attack buildings instead of jetliners notwithstanding. At the same time, the dictum of famed investigative reporter I.F. Stone about all governments – i.e., they lie – is no less true about 9/11 than any other event.
Here are 10 questions about 9/11 that remain unanswered.
Richard Clarke, the national counterterrorism czar on 9/11, thinks so. In an interview for an upcoming radio documentary, Clarke claimed that top-level CIA officials deliberately withheld from the White House and the FBI knowledge as early as 2000 that two al Qaeda members – Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar – were living in San Diego.
The former anti-terror chief said he believes that the CIA kept the info under wraps because it wanted to recruit the two Saudis to serve as double agents within bin Laden’s organization. Instead, the two terrorists ended up hijackers on American Flight 77. George Tenet, who was CIA director, claims that Clarke… 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
June 14, 2011
By Brian Truitt
It has been nearly 10 years since 9/11, and the tragedy is still on the minds of many Americans. One of those, writer and artist Rick Veitch, is convinced we haven’t been told the complete truth about it.
Veitch structured the story similarly to the 1963 Twilight Zone episode “No Time Like the Past,” in which a man uses a time machine to try to “fix” three events: warning a Hiroshima policeman about the atomic bomb, assassinating Hitler before World War II and stopping the sinking of the Lusitania.
In The Big Lie, the heroine is a woman named Sandra, who lost her husband, Carl, during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. A particle physicist working at the Large Hadron Collider, she figures out a practical way to travel back in time, so she ventures from present day to Manhattan an hour before the first plane hits the towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
She rushes to his office at a risk-management consulting agency, but since she has aged 10 years, Carl can’t quite accept that it’s her. And even though she brings evidence on her iPad, neither her spouse nor his co-workers believe her warnings.
“The… 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
May 10, 2011
Dr. Steven Jones
Blog at 911blogger.com
Here I field questions that come to me fairly often, to help get the facts out and to counter misrepresentations and misunderstandings. I expect to make edits for a while and welcome comments.
1. Can nanothermites (also called superthermites) be explosive?
The definition of “explosive” can lead to endless debates. Is a flash of light required? Is a loud sound required? How loud? What rate of energy generation is required for a material to be called an explosive? Where is the line between low explosives and high explosives? Rather than getting mired into ad nauseum debates, I will use the term “explosive” in conjunction with superthermites/nanothermites IF the national defense laboratories which developed these materials use the term. Here we go.
“Researchers can greatly increase the power of weapons by adding materials known as superthermites that combine nanometals such as nanoaluminum with metal oxides such as iron oxide, according to Steven Son, a project leader in the Explosives Science and Technology group at Los Alamos. “The advantage (of using nanometals) is in how fast you can get their energy out,” Son says. Son says that the chemical reactions of superthermites are faster and therefore release greater amounts of energy more rapidly… Son, who has been working on nanoenergetics for more than three years, says that scientists can engineer nanoaluminum powders with different particle sizes to vary the energy release rates. This enables the material to be used in many applications, including underwater explosive devices… However, researchers aren’t permitted to discuss what practical military applications may come from this research.” (Gartner, John (2005).…Continue reading
by Rady Ananda
April 29, 2011
Rather than judicially review significant evidence in the events of September
11, 2001, on April 27, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s
dismissal of an Army Specialist’s complaint against former Vice President
Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers.
One of Plaintiff April Gallop’s attorneys, William Veale, didn’t
know whether to relate the decision to “Kafka, Orwell, Carroll, or Huxley,”
referring to the absurdity and dearth of reason emanating from the court regarding
the deadliest attack on U.S. soil the nation has ever faced.
“The Court’s decision, analogous to reviewing an Indictment in
a liquor store hold-up without mentioning the guy walking in with a gun, refuses
to acknowledge even the existence of the three defendants much less what they
were doing that morning or saying about it afterwards,” Veale added.
Of the three judges on the panel, John Mercer Walker, Jr. is first cousin of
former President George H.W. Bush and first cousin once removed of George W.
Bush, who used 9/11 to manipulate public emotion to support passage of the unconstitutional
PATRIOT Acts and waging illegal wars of aggression in the Middle East. According
to Wikipedia, Walker shares a grandfather with the 41st president, George Herbert
Walker, whose daughter married Prescott Bush. A motion to force Judge Walker’s
removal from the case was denied, despite a clear conflict of interest.
The lawsuit, prepared by… 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
Published: Thursday, 7 Apr 2011 | 7:30 AM ET
NEW YORK, April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Confounding lawyers and legal scholars all over the world, Judge John Walker, first cousin of former President George W. Bush, was one of three judges of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to hear argument Tuesday in Gallop v. Cheney, Rumsfeld and Myers.
The lawsuit was brought by a soldier injured during the attack on the Pentagon and accuses former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers, of conspiring to facilitate the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
The attacks killed 3000 Americans, plus many who have died from the toxic clean-up conditions at Ground Zero.
Attorney William Veale, acting for April Gallop, learned of the assignment the usual 5 days before the argument, and filed a motion to disqualify Judge Walker.
There was no prior decision regarding the motion, and when Veale asked about it in court the motion was denied by Judge Winter. Veale then requested a continuance to seek appellate review of the court’s ruling but that was denied as well.
Argument followed but Walker, and fellow judges Cabranes and Winter diverted attention to whether Veale, former Chief Assistant Public Defender, and lecturer in Criminal Trial Practice at the University of California, Boalt Hall, was properly licensed to practice before the court.
The Tuesday appeal followed a ruling by then District Court Judge Denny Chin, dismissing… 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