Blogging Like I've Never Blogged Before

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Pardon me while I get into politics for a moment. Feel free to skip ahead if you don't really care.

Here are some quotes from relatives of Sept. 11 victims, published in an article on*:

-- "I sat and listened to the State of the Union speech [last January] when Bush mentioned 9/11 12 or 13 times," recalls Kristin Breitweiser, whose husband, Ronald, was killed when United Flight 175 slammed into Tower 1. "At the same time, we were having trouble getting funding for the independent commission."

-- "We've been fighting for nearly 21 months -- fighting the administration, the White House," says Monica Gabrielle. Her husband, Richard, an insurance broker who worked for Aon Corp. on the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center's Tower 2, died during the attacks. "As soon as we started looking for answers we were blocked, put off and ignored at every stop of the way. We were shocked. The White House is just blocking everything."

-- Also Gabrielle: "Bush has never personally met with the [9/11] families to discuss any of this, so for him to use Sept. 11 and its victims to justify his agenda, I myself am disgusted."

-- "It was upsetting to find out the White House was trying to block the independent commission's access to the joint inquiry information, when we all know the mandate that created the independent commission states clearly that the commission is to use the joint inquiry as a starting-off point," notes Breitweiser, who also voted for Bush in 2000. "So why would they be blocking access to that?"

-- "Bush begrudgingly signed [the commission] into law," complains one family advocate. "Since it was created, he's done everything to take the teeth out of it. His fingerprints and Karl Rove's are all over this."

-- Given that perspective, there's a growing sense among some 9/11 advocates that the news media have let them -- and the nation -- down. "I'm very disappointed in the press," says Breitweiser. "I think it's disgusting the independent commission is doing the most important work for this nation and it's not even reported in the New York Times or on the nightly news. I've been scheduled to go on 'Meet the Press' and 'Hardball' so many times and I'm always canceled. Frankly I'd like nothing better than to go head to head with Dick Cheney on 'Meet the Press.' Because somebody needs to ask the questions and I don't understand why nobody is."

OK, it's me again. This really makes me sick to my stomach. Here you have the most devastating event in the history of our country, yet the White House wants to put it behind them and just use it as an excuse to blow up the rest of the world. So while they hide behind waving flags and memorial after memorial, the truth is they don't want the public to know how seriously they fucked up. What other conclusion is there? The Intelligence let us down. And now most of us don't give a shit. It's been cleaned up and it's time to move on.

I love the excuse they first gave, "Hey, no one ever imagined this could ever happen. This is crazy!" Then we see FBI reports that were disregarded that had pondered the good possibility of this happening. There is also a Soul Coughing song from 1994 with the lyrics, "A man flies a plane into the Chrysler Building." So apparently it was imagined.

As the public, we should be demanding answers. Knocking down the walls of the White House asking who fucked up and what is going to be done about it. But we're not. We just want to be in our comfortable Code Yellow living rooms and watch local news that really doesn't matter. Some lady ran over her husband in a car? Some guy shot another guy? Sad, yes, but it means nothing to me. It has no bearing on how I live my day to day life. The government hiding stuff from us, that matters. But where's the outrage?

I don't know. I'm certainly not doing anything about it. I'm writing on a silly little web site that not that many people read, so I know I'm not making a difference. Where is a leader? Where is someone in the media to stand up and ask the questions that matter, like, "Mr. President, what the fuck is going on?"

By the way, this is not a Conservative vs. Liberal issue. This is about what the government keeps from us. I understand if there is something that might threaten national security, but it's painfully obvious that the administration is just trying to make themselves not look stupid (as far as not looking stupid goes, learning how to pronounce "nuclear" would be a start -- you went to Yale, for Christ's sake).

No one has forgotten about 9/11, and barring Alzheimer's, we never will. But that bewilderment that swirled in our heads and made us nauseous for the two weeks after has subsided. How did this happen and why? How did our comfortable little country get so royally fucked by 19 guys (mostly from Saudi Arabia. Not an Iraqi in the bunch.) with box cutters and a year's worth of flying lessons? We never got the answers. The solution brought forth on how to deal with this by the Bush administrations was, "Let's start a war in Iraq." (By the way, I was for the war in Afghanistan, lest you question my patriotism, because we all know your willingness to go to war is a barometer of your patriotism.)

The new Radiohead album contains the lyric, "You have not been paying attention."

'Tis true.

I apologize for going off track. From now on I will go back to writing about things like the Labatt's Bear, shit eating, and anal rape. The stuff I really care about.

* To view the article on Salon, you will have to watch a 15 second commercial to get a "Free Day Pass".
All material © Mike Toole; 2003 - 2006