Obermann Blasts Bush

September 12, 2006

Last night, MSNBC host Keith Obermann blasted Pres. Bush on his show with Ground Zero in the background. It is the most scathing attack on the current Administration that I’ve heard to date.

      “Five years later this space… is still empty.
Five years later there is no Memorial to the dead.
Five years later there is no building rising to show with proud defiance that we would not have our
America wrung from us, by cowards and criminals.
Five years later this country’s wound is still open.
Five years… later this country’s mass grave is still unmarked.

      Five years later… this is still… just a background for a photo-op.
It is beyond shameful.”


WTCfire After the 9/11 attack, several analysts made comparisons with Tom Clancey’s book ‘Debt of Honor.’ Here are excerpts from his book:

“The irony of the situation was something Sato would never learn. Though there were numerous fighter aircraft based at Andrews, at Langley Air Force Base, at Patuxent River Naval Air Test Center, and at Oceana NAS, all within a hundred miles of Washington, it had never occurred to anyone to have a fighter aircraft aloft over the capital on any other night like this one…
“Sato brought his aircraft around at a painfully slow rate to simulate a crippled jumbo…He advanced his throttles, accelerating his aircraft up from approach speed of one-hundred sixty knots, holding to his altitude of one thousand feet for the moment…

Sato had been to Washington often and done all the usual tourist things, including visiting the Capitol Building more than once…he adjusted his flight path so that he was now roaring right up Pennsylvania Avenue, crossing the Anacostia River…

His last voluntary act was to select the point of impact, two thirds of the way up the stone steps. That would be just about perfect, he knew…
“Nearly three hundred tons of aircraft and fuel struck the east face of the building at a speed of three hundred knots. The aircraft disintegrated on impact.

No less fragile than a bird, its speed and mass had already fragmented the columns outside the walls. Next came the building itself. As soon as the wings broke up, the engines, the only really solid objects on the aircraft, shot forward, one of the actually smashing into and beyond the House Chamber.

The Capitol has no structural steel within its stone walls…
“The entire east face of the building’s southern half was smashed to gravel, which shot westward – but the real damage took a second or two more, barely time for the roof to start falling down on the nine hundred people in the chamber…

A second later it ignited from some spark or other, and an immense fireball engulfed everything inside and outside of the building. The volcanic flames reached out, seeking air and corridors that held it, forcing a pressure wave throughout the building, even into the basement.”

323 IN editor Duwayne Escobedo wrote this article on the local military’s response to 9/11 for the 9/14/01 issue:

A terrorist seizes a jumbo jet and flies it into an American landmark.Thousands die, millions grieve and revenge is served up cold while the world helplessly looks on.
If the story sounded familiar this week as America’s national tragedy unfolded on TV, it is because Tom Clancy wrote the script for this week’s real-life horror tale in his 1994 bestseller “Debt of Honor.”
But the Hollywood story became a sickening reality, as millions saw America’s symbols of financial and military power go up in flames.
Three planes and three shocking explosions later, monstrous trade towers crumbled to the ground while thick black clouds of smoke swirled around the New York and Washington skylines.
As the magnitude of the terrorist assault settled in, former warriors and ordinary citizens in the military stronghold of Northwest Florida called for American leaders to respond with a swift, crushing military blow against terrorist groups and states.

Low-level nukes
Former Navy Vice Adm. Jack Fetterman says the United States is a free society with open borders and should remain that way, despite calls for stepped up security at government buildings, airports, border crossings and other places.
“It’s very difficult to sit down at a table and figure out how to prevent this type of thing,” he says. “It’s frustrating. Dealing with religious fanatics is mind-boggling. They are going to the land of Allah feeling good about what they’ve done.”
Former Pensacola state attorney and Justice Department lawyer Mick Serrano heard “cannons” go off as he passed the Pentagon on a Northern Virginia highway after fleeing his Capitol office with thousands of others. The “cannons” he heard shook the Pentagon to its core. The Florida first congressional district office administrator and former Pensacola resident also called for military retaliation for the worst attack on the U.S. mainland in modern history.
“It was unbelievable,” Serrano says. “The thought crossed my mind that after the Pentagon the next target would be the Capitol or White House. The American people will definitely get behind the President to go out and annihilate the country or countries responsible. We have to send a clear signal that countries cannot harbor these kind of terrorists, or else they will pay a high cost.”
Former U.S. Air Force Col. George “Bud” Day says the “cowardly” attacks obviously cost millions of dollars and took several months of planning with four major airline cockpits apparently taken over.
“If they have the guts to strike at us right at our very heart, then we should strike back at their heart,” says the former Vietnam POW who resides in Fort Walton Beach.
“It should be so strong, they don’t ever want to try to do this again. A low-level nuke would not give me any heartburn.”
Hunt them down
Former Navy Adm. Maurice Weisner calls for the country to beef up its intelligence agencies to weed out any planned terrorist hits on American soil in the future.
“The targeting of 40,000 in New York, who have no association with the military, is a dastardly attack,” says Weisner, 83, of Pensacola. “This should be regarded just as seriously as Pearl Harbor. Our response should be swift, complete and not be a token act, but be severe and meaningful without question.”
President George W. Bush, who immediately vowed retribution and placed the U.S. military on its highest alert at home and abroad, echoed Admiral Weisner’s position.
“ Make no mistake, the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts,” Bush told reporters at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. Bush later told Americans that countries harboring terrorists would face the same fate as the terrorists themselves.
Meanwhile, bases in Northwest Florida from Pensacola Naval Air Station to Eglin Air Force Base were shut down to outsiders. Flights and other missions were suspended.
“Like the rest of the people in the United States, we are very shocked,” says Patrick Nichols, Pensacola NAS spokesman.
Adm. Robert Natter, commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet and a frequent visitor to friends in Northwest Florida, dispatched ships and aircraft for air defense, along with amphibious troops to the Washington and New York area.
“We have not seen an attack like this, certainly not since Pearl Harbor,” Natter says.

Act of war
Retired Navy Vice Adm. Tim Wright, former Chief of Naval Education and Training at Pensacola NAS, says watching the devastating scenes made his blood boil.
“It makes me very angry,” he says. “This kind of coordinated attack was perpetrated by a group of individuals and state or states. This isn’t some crazy with dynamite attached to his belt. We need an appropriate response. We cannot afford to let an attack of this enormous magnitude happen to our country without one.”
Local residents outside of the military shared Wright’s view.
James Brown, a 57-year-old Crestview resident, says Tom Clancy’s novel flashed through his mind.
“Terrorists apparently used that book as a guide,” said the electrical engineer, after learning all flights were canceled at the Pensacola Regional Airport. “Clancy gave them a roadmap on how to attack us. This is not an act of terrorism. It’s an act of war.”

Quotes in Aftermath of 9/11

September 11, 2006

14For our 9/14/01 issue, we called around the community for quotes. Here’s what we heard:
“Look what happens when we let our guard down. It’s time we showed our backbone.”
Elona Jouben, 25, legal secretary.
“There is a belief that we are invincible, but whoever did this has rocked us. It has created a spiritual stirring. Even the media on the air is saying this is a time to pray. But I believe our nation will get through this. Americans are a resilient people; Americans will work together and do what must be done. We have been through world wars and survived. We will survive this — we must.”
— The Rev. Ted Traylor,
47, pastor of Olive Baptist Church.
“We need to be more aware. So many people feel we are removed from the rest of the world, but we are not because of computers, planes and technology. All of us need to come together, look at each other and say this is what happens when hatred is the order of the day. I was a person who didn’t really think something like this could happen here. This is enlightening to me, and it’s disturbing.”
Eugene Brown,
63, executive director of the Escambia-Pensacola Human Relations Commission.
“There was a lot of sentiment that we (Americans) are immune. This proves we are not immune to terrorism. We are a lot more vulnerable than we thought.”
Nathan Kahn, 71, president of Ordon’s.
“I hope when they find out who did this that President Bush responds in kind. If they find out that Osama bin Laden was behind this, I hope we go over there and rip out his throat; I hope we nuke him till he glows. If the Taliban was responsible, we need to turn Afghanistan into a parking lot. As Americans, we’ve become way too complacent about these things. It’s happened everywhere but here. America is a reactionary country; we react to immediate problems then we become complacent again. We need to be precautionary rather than reactionary.”
James Brown, 57, Crestview electrical engineer.
“George W. Bush said during his campaign: ‘There is a new danger facing America – terrorism.’ We have not been prepared. This is a rallying cry to defend ideals. How can we, as free people, exist in a world where cultures despise and resent us?”
Ed Holt, 53, attorney.
“There has been a fear and unrest in this country, and this is the climax. While the masses did not know, America’s leaders were expecting this — they just didn’t know how or when it would happen. God is calling the country to return back to Him, and we will see this in the next decade. I call the city of Pensacola and the country to prayer.”
— The Rev. Larry Watson Sr.,
46, pastor of Englewood
Missionary Baptist Church.
“This is very tragic for this to happen now, to have it hit so close to home. We don’t know where they are going to strike next. With all the military around us, we could be a target. Florida is well known around the world. We’ve become too assured of ourselves, thinking that we have everything under control. We’ve learned that we are vulnerable.”
Shanana Robinson, 27, Pensacola Junior College student.
“The tragedy is a wakeup call to make sure every individual does what he can to build a society based on peace and justice, love and hope. Thank God, we live in a nation with leaders that share this vision. All we can do is encourage them.”
— The Rev. Henry Roberts, 58, pastor of First United Methodist Church of Pensacola.
“I was in class when this lady’s husband called her cell phone, and she announced that the U.S. was under attack. I was surprised — this came from nowhere. We have this security blanket around us, and we think we’re OK. But that was us being selfish.”
Elizabeth Swanson, 17, Pensacola Junior College freshman.
“This stuff always happens over the ocean; it never hits home. We’ve got to retaliate at some point. A lot of people around here are scared; it makes you want to go home and hold your kids for hours.”
Linda Colegrove, 43, SmartCop computer technician.
“We should find this person and go to war. This is personal.”
Rex Rains, 19, Pensacola Junior College freshman.
“All of my life, I’ve heard adults talking about the attack on Pearl Harbor, but to me it was just an historical event. Now, children will hear about Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. Boy, I really feel this one. I haven’t felt this spiritually empty since John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I’m absolutely decimated. You know what really bothers me? The terrorists who did this did it in the name of the Almighty. Our country has taken God for granted. People will be on their knees tonight praying, but I hope they are their knees tomorrow, the next day, the next, the next…”
— The Rev. Jack Gray, pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church on Saufley Field Road.

9/11 Photos

September 11, 2006

612 We ran a special issue after the 9/11 tragedy. Here are few of the photos from the New York Times News Services that were in that issue.

Here are the photos:IN 9/11

9/11 – Picking up the pieces

September 11, 2006

911Our A&E Editor Sam Baltrusis was in New York City when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center. A year later, he wrote for us his recollections of that week.

The article is saved over several PDFs:

Pick up the pieces -Pg 10

Pick up the pieces -Pg 11

Pick up the pieces -Pg 12

Pick up the pieces -Pg 13

Pick up the pieces -Pg 14

9/11: Where were you?

September 11, 2006

WTCfireOn 9/11/01: I was in the Independent offices on Cervantes St.(next to Jerry’s Drive In) holding our daily sales staff meeting, when a staffer came saying there was a plane crash in NYC. At first, I shrugged it off – what’s news about a plane crash-, but she said it was into the World Trade Center.

We turned on the TV and watched one tower burning. Then we saw the second plant hit. It was surreal…no one wanted to believe it was happening. And just as we thought maybe the people in the towers would be rescued, the buildings started to collapsed. I had a feeling of complete helplessness.

Then we got news of the Pentagon being hit and the plane crash in Pennslyvania. It was clear the nation was under attack.

We immediately went into “newspaper mode”, scrapped the paper we had intended for that week and began gathering info for a new edition..All the while we knew our country would never be the same.


Where were you? What do you remember?

lensThis is cool. Click here to read The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón, which sets text from The 9/11 Commission Report to images—with striking results.

Rev. Fred Phelps attacks Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in this TV broadcasts.

Rev. Fred Phelps is the pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church, based out of Topeka, Kansas. He was in the news this year for protesting at military funerals because he says those deaths are inevitable due to the American government’s percieved support of homosexuality. He also believes 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina were caused by the Christian God because of that god’s hatred of homosexuals and America’s tolerance of them.

President Bush signed the Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act in response to Phelps’ protests at military funerals. Watch the video – but don’t think you have to sit through all of it.


911There is a local grassroot campaign being mounted against WEAR airing the ABC docudrama “Path to 9/11”.

Here is one email being sent out among Democratic circles (which I admit is a small one):

“If you will remember, Pensacola’s local ABC affiliate WEAR, which is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, chose not to air the episode of Nightline in which the names of soldiers killed in Iraq were read during the program back in 2005. Please contact them and request they give equal treatment to the 9/11 GOP Propaganda Series because it is fraught with factual errors and fabrications.

Contact WEAR at: http://weartv.com/feedback/feedback.htm”

P.O. Box 12278
Pensacola, FL 32581
Toll Free: 866-856-9327
FAX: 850-455-8972

Here is the NY Times article on the show

The New York Times

September 7, 2006
Three From Clinton Administration Urge Disney to Cancel or Revise 9/11 Mini-Series


Three members of the Clinton administration have written the chief executive of the Walt Disney Company, ABC’s parent, to complain that the network’s coming two-part miniseries “The Path to 9/11” is fraught with factual errors and fabrications.

The letters ask that the five-hour movie, scheduled for broadcast Sunday and Monday, be either edited for accuracy or canceled, and ABC gave a small indication yesterday that some changes might be made.

One of the officials, former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, said in her letter to the Disney executive, Robert A. Iger, that although she had requested a copy of the film, ABC had not given her one. But, Ms. Albright said, she has been told by people who have seen it that it “depicts scenes that never happened, events that never took place, decisions that were never made and conversations that never occurred.”

“It asserts as fact things that are not fact,” she wrote.

The concerns of Ms. Albright, as well as those expressed in letters from Samuel R. Berger, former national security adviser, and Bruce R. Lindsey, a Clinton White House aide now with the Clinton Foundation, were echoed yesterday by several Democratic members of Congress.

ABC, meanwhile, continued to explain that the mini-series, though largely drawn from the report of the Sept. 11 commission, was a dramatization, not a documentary.

But the network appeared to be leaving the door open to last-minute changes in the film.

“It is common practice to continue to make edits to strengthen a project right up to the broadcast date,” said Hope Hartman, an ABC spokeswoman.

The series, which cost almost $40 million, is to be broadcast without commercials, but Ms. Hartman said this had been planned, as a public service, and had nothing to do with any pressure that might have been brought on prospective advertisers.

Ms. Hartman said she could not confirm that Ms. Albright, Mr. Berger or the Clinton Foundation had requested any advance copies of the movie. She said such copies had been provided to “accredited media and educational institutions,” including talk shows.

In their letters, dated Tuesday, both Mr. Berger and Ms. Albright object to scenes in which they are shown adding obstacles to efforts to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. In particular, Ms. Albright said a scene in which she refuses to support a cruise missile strike against Mr. bin Laden without first alerting the Pakistani government was untrue. Ms. Albright (played by Shirley Douglas) also said the suggestion that she had alerted the Pakistani military to an imminent strike was “false and defamatory.”

“Sept. 11 is not ‘entertainment,’ it is reality,” Ms. Albright wrote Mr. Iger. “Before you air your broadcast, I trust you will ensure you have the facts right.”

Mr. Berger (played by Kevin Dunn) said a scene in which he is shown refusing to authorize a strike to kill Mr. bin Laden in Afghanistan “flagrantly misrepresents my personal actions” and will serve “only to grossly misinform the American people.”

Mr. Berger’s character is also seen abruptly hanging up during a conversation with a C.I.A. officer at a critical moment of a military operation. In an interview yesterday with KRLA-AM in Los Angeles, Cyrus Nowrasteh, the mini-series’ screenwriter and one of its producers, said that moment had been improvised.

“Sandy Berger did not slam down the phone,” Mr. Nowrasteh said. “That is not in the report. That was not scripted. But you know when you’re making a movie, a lot of things happen on set that are unscripted. Accidents occur, spontaneous reactions of actors performing a role take place. It’s the job of the filmmaker to say, ‘You know, maybe we can use that.’ ”

The producers and writers of the movie have said the script was based not only on the commission report but also on two books — “The Cell,” by the former ABC newsman John Miller and Michael Stone, and “The Relentless Pursuit,” by Samuel M. Katz — as well as personal interviews. They also say the script was vetted by lawyers, terrorism experts and former Gov. Thomas H. Kean of New Jersey, the commission’s chairman, who is credited as a senior consultant to the mini-series.

Mr. Kean, whose report criticized both the Bush and Clinton administrations, said Tuesday that the miniseries, like the report, was balanced. “People in both administrations are not going to be happy if it’s portrayed accurately,” he said.

Political pressure against a television drama is not unprecedented. In 2003, CBS dropped a four-hour miniseries about Ronald and Nancy Reagan after a concerted campaign by Republican and conservative groups. That series, “The Reagans,” was later televised on the cable channel Showtime.

Marc Platt, the executive producer of “The Path to 9/11,” said he had known that turning a 600-page report into a five-hour drama would ruffle some feathers. “The challenge in any adaptation,” he said, “is how do you render it as dramatic as you can without exceeding the boundaries of what’s fair and accurate.”