Posts from September 2003

The new Holocaust deniers of 9/11

spiegel0903.jpgThe new Holocaust deniers of 9/11

: There’s a most disturbing trend in European media: giving attention — and thus credence — to the conspiracy crackpots, the moral equivalent of Holocaust deniers, who are trying to argue that 9/11 was not a terrorist attack but was, instead, some gigantic plot by the U.S. government, the Israeli government, the British government, and whoever else Europeans happen to dislike these days.

It’s sick enough that these people exist. It’s sicker still that they write books that get bought. It’s sick beyond tolerance that once-credible media outlets give them attention.

: The latest: Der Spiegel’s cover story this week puts the burning Twin Towers on their head with a cover story that asks: “Were the attacks on New York and Washington the biggest act of terrorism in history — or a gigantic plot by the secret services? Conspiracy theorists are writing bestsellers with their alleged evidence, and already a fifth of Germans believe their half-truths.”

As Eamonn Fitzgerald points out, this is a most cynical act: The editors of Der Spiegel cloak their story in doubt — but if there’s so much doubt, why is this a story, why is it a long story (14 pages of solid text on my printout), and why is it a cover story?

I couldn’t bear to translate the whole thing but from what I read, it’s enough to make me suggest that we all buy European tinfoil futures. Fitzgerald has more about the list of “authors” the magazine promotes:

And as Der Spiegel doesn’t want to be left behind in this race to the bottom, it joins a growing list of charlatans doing a steady business pawning their fabrications to a credulous public. Leading the field is Thierry Meyssan, the crackpot French author of The Horrifying Fraud, which posits that a missile fired by the military itself hit the Pentagon on 9/11. His horrifying, but successful, fraud was the inspiration for Mathias Br

Do you feel safe yet?

Do you feel safe yet?
: The Washington Post skewers the Department of Homeland Security:

Six months after it was established to protect the nation from terrorism, the Department of Homeland Security is hobbled by money woes, disorganization, turf battles and unsteady support from the White House, and has made only halting progress toward its goals, according to administration officials and independent experts.

The top two officials under Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge are stepping down amid criticism from some White House officials and elsewhere in the administration. So few people want to work at the department that more than 15 people declined requests to apply for the top post in its intelligence unit — and many others turned down offers to run several other key offices, government officials said….

Efforts to organize the government’s 10 or so disparate lists of potential terrorism suspects, secure airline cargo against terrorist plots and advise local police and firefighters on training and equipment have all foundered, the officials said.

“Not a lot is getting done at the top of the department, and nobody’s making them focus on it,” said a White House official who handles homeland security issues and who asked not to be identified. “Nobody’s got the fortitude to say, ‘Sit down and shut up.’ . . . It’s sad.”

WTC aftermath

WTC aftermath
: The World Trade Center Health Registry just opened and I signed up. Here‘s a story about it.

Learning from 9.11:

Learning from 9.11:
: Mario Cuomo, from an outake of Ric Burns’ show about the World Trade Center, to be on PBS Monday:

9/11, how can you possibly use it for good purpose? You think about it. You’d think, as was suggested before, you’d think about: Look, what this reminds you of is the importance of your own life, and making the most of it, because you can lose it in a flash. And if that’s all you learned from 9/11, if that’s all you remembered, that: My God, you could extinguish life so suddenly, so unexpectedly, and it could happen to me, and therefore I should think harder about the way I spend my life instead of just wasting it. Now, it’s not going to teach you what to do with your life, but it will teach you to do with your life, and to do it more and quicker and better. And that can be extremely valuable. It’s had that effect on me.

If only.

New World Trade Center images

New World Trade Center images
: A video has just surfaced showing the impact of each jet on the towers.