BY Michael Mcauliff
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
July 28, 2010
WASHINGTON – The House votes Wednesday or Thursday for the first time ever on a bill to care for the heroes and victims of Sept. 11, 2001 – and it’s likely to fail.
That’s because Democratic House leaders decided Tuesday to push ahead with the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act under a rule that requires two-thirds approval to pass.
Many Republicans are concerned about the $10.5 billion price tag, and many don’t like the way it’s paid for.
News of the scheme immediately alarmed 9/11 responders.
“Whoever votes ‘No’ tomorrow should go to jail for manslaughter,” said John Feal, who lost half his foot at Ground Zero in the cleanup.
Feal thinks House leaders should have found a way to move the bill in the regular way, needing just a simple majority.
“They’ll all go home and lick their wounds after the vote, but 9/11 responders are the ones who are going to suffer without health care after nine years,” Feal said.
Sources told the Daily News that Democrats feared Republicans would attach toxic changes in a simple majority vote. No such tinkering is allowed under the two-thirds rule.
New York’s legislators were still holding out hope they would prevail.
“Every time we had a vote on this, we did much better than people thought,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn/Queens).
And Republicans who oppose the bill can be cast in a politically poisonous light, Democrats said, noting the… Continue reading
August 17, 2010
Donna Marsh O’Connor
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
In February of 2002 a group of family members of 9/11 victims formed September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows in order to challenge the ever inflating sentiment and hysteria that led our nation into (eventually) two wars; that led to the death of thousands of U.S. servicemen and women, countless civilian casualties, and an era of perpetual fear-mongering perpetrated by politicians that today places us squarely in the viral debate over a place of worship near Ground Zero.
Despite the fact that PT (as we often like to call ourselves) has been around from almost the beginning, it is this acrimonious debate, fueled by the mainstream media’s voracious appetite for angry controversy that our voices are sought after.
When we asked for an end to the sentiments of retribution and hostility. Did anyone hear?
We asked for an end to war. More wars followed.
We try to hold Barack Obama true to his promise to close Guantánamo Bay, to follow the rule of law and the American Constitution. This is still a work in progress.
Each and every day, in one way or on one issue or another, we fight to have our voices count in the seemingly monolithic deployment of “9/11 families believe, think, say…”, but we rarely hear our words echo above a whisper.
But now as our nation is engaged in the primal battle over what constitutes racism, religious freedom, and religious persecution, we are… 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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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 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
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 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
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 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
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 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