Archive for September, 2001

jeff cohen

“Outrage is the natural and appropriate response to the mass murder of September 11. But media should not be glibly encouraging retaliatory violence without remembering that U.S. retaliation has killed innocent civilians abroad, violated international law and done little to make us safer.” Jeff Cohen at

robert jensen

“We should honor the ideals of this country by saying, in as clear a voice as we can manage: Not in our name will the United States seek vengeance or go forward to kill”. Robert Jensen at Counterpunch.

all too easy…

So the FBI check the passenger manifest on the four downed planes, and discover nineteen names of suspects all with alleged direct or indirect links to Osama Bin Laden. Isn’t this just a little too easy? To assume that the hijackers travelled under names well-known to the authorities, especially on internal flights without the need for passports… it just doesn’t seem logical when considering how every other aspect of the attack was carried out with such clinical and brutal efficiency. Stratfor has more possible red herrings.

michael moore

“Am I angry? You bet I am. I am an American citizen, and my leaders have taken my money to fund mass murder. And now my friends have paid the price with their lives.” Michael Moore at Alternet.

you what?

Enough is enough! has partnered with Iphonebill to help you save money on your long distance bill every month while assisting in putting Bin Laden Behind Bars.” Excuse me? You’re using this as a ploy to sell phone-call packages? This is fucking insane. Gung-ho right-wing religious and racist rhetoric is to be expected, but this is too much…

eye witness

I was one who wanted a better look. I wanted to get closer. And the price I paid was leaving my shoes in the middle of a pile of suffocating bodies.” Harrowing eye witness account from journalist Penelope Trunk.

People are talking

A message from Rich Pizor: We interrupt this blog to bring you the following message from a West-coast based American…

I’ve finally hit media saturation with the events of the moment, and have had some good quality time in front of the Playstation to let it all digest and percolate. Here are some observations, in no particular order, written about 18 hours after the event and edited later down the road for clarity.

• Peter Jennings is getting too old to be in front of a camera for more than about 8, maybe 9 hours.

• This is really an event that proved the power of the Internet — all day I was able to get rumors before the major media, and by monitoring an IRC channel was able to get simultaneous updates from no less than seven major news networks.

• I think the last time the attention of America was so totally focused on one event was the OJ Simpson verdict. :P

• This was, without question, a shining moment for amateur journalists — footage shot by daring bystanders with camcorders were popping up more frequently than the so-called professional footage, and was in many cases more interesting to watch.

• Macabre and callous though it may be, I have to admit to feeling a bit tickled, in a vengeful sense, upon learning that the American Express building near the WTC was on fire.

• I’ve seen more racism online in the past 24 hours than in the previous 10 years.

• I can’t help but wonder, through all of this, what the rest of the world must be thinking of our reaction to (and fixation upon) this tragedy. Not that I’m trying to trivialize it by any means — something that would, I know, be easy to do from my vantage in snugly San Francisco — for I know that this is one of the more spectacular terrorist acts in recent history. That said, I can’t help but think that we’re sort of behaving like a teenager the first time they have sex; terrorist activity is old hat to a lot of nations, and in some ways I can’t help but think our reactions have been fairly naive.

• I hate to say it, but…Off camera, Bush has got to be grinning from ear to ear. This is giving him the perfect excuse to do all sorts of things he’s wanted to do from day one — close borders, increase military spending, find an enemy and declare a popular war. How Bush reacts over the next 96 hours or so could very well set the tone for the next decade. Here’s hoping that sanity prevails.

nostradamus? nonsense.

So far today I’ve had fourteen emails all containing the same supposed prediction from Nostradamus.

“In the year of the new century and nine months, from the sky will come a great King of Terror… The sky will burn at forty-five degrees. Fire approaches the great new city… In the city of york there will be a great collapse, 2 twin brothers torn apart by chaos while the fortress falls the great leader will succumb third big war will begin when the big city is burning.”

Of course, it’s a hoax.

the day after

It’s difficult to say something appropriate in times like these — even the politicians have struggled — so I’m not going to try. There’s been many claims over the years as to the Internet’s ‘coming of age’, but only yesterday did I actually feel some truth in the theory. As the awful events unfolded like a nightmarish cocaine-fuelled Jerry Bruckheimer script, for the first time I can think of a major story was receiving more civilian coverage than that offered by the news agencies. All over my office people were sending and receiving mail from contacts in New York, checking that friends and relatives were OK, whilst the messageboards at Metafilter, Slate, Salon, even Popbitch, were filled with concerned users posting updates as they happened, the story unfolding throughout the day. Several times I was directed to amateur video footage of part of the drama on some obscure website, only to see the same footage later or the BBC or CNN hearaled with an “Exclusive! This Just In!” introduction. Of course the news as it appeared online was a mixture of rumour (“a plane has just been hijacked in Amsterdam and is heading West!”) and fact, but overall people kept their heads, posting responsibly, helping those in need of specific information or assistance. An extraordinary, awful, confusing, somehow exhilarating, terrible, terrible day.