I couldn't stomach watching the 9/11 Panel rake over the dead
bodies of the 2,749 victims of September 11, 2001, in an attempt to
fault find rather than fact find answers that may help the City of New
York better prepare for the next attack or disaster. But
when I did, the next day, pick up the New York Post, I was reminded of
how the Beast of Terror loves to eat the flesh of the dead, and how
politicians will stuff their heads into the decaying bodies of the
innocent to acquire recognition, however ugly that recognition might
be. Find out what I think. For I was there that day.
I know who saved my life.
Thursday, May 20,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 981
Why I Couldn't Watch
The 9/11 Inquisition
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--May 20, 2004 -- Last night I
dialed up the video clip of Nick Berg's beheading.
It was a horrible mistake.
I felt like puking. It was the most
horrid thing I'd seen in recent years, if not ranking with the most
horrible memories I have.
Nick Berg with
his captors prior to his beheading
It was pornographic, to say the least--the ugly
exhibition of human depravity, of the twisted nature of those who seek
power at all expense.
The 9/11 hearings ranked in the same category.
Power hungry politicians seeking sound bites
attacked the past, smearing the brave and courageous of a unfathomable
sneak attack by a most unlikely enemy with fecal diatribes of
incompetence, creating a fog that suggested they might be in
collaboration with the terrorists because "they" caused the deaths of
many due to their mistakes, their unpreparedness for the most bizarre
incident in recent American history.
The fact that 25,000 people escaped the
wrath of death didn't flag the headlines of their comments.
McArtheyistic blowhearts like John Lehman, a commission member, called
the event a "scandal" and "not worthy of the boy scouts, let alone
this great city." He and others fed on the carrion of the
victims, like vultures bobbing their naked heads up and down to rip
the last vestiges of flesh from the bleaching bones of the memories of
those 2,749 recorded deaths caused by the September 11, 2001 terrorist
influenced by the Beast of Terror sounded out at the panel
I thought about the panel in the same light
I thought about the terrorists who lined up in a photo op behind
kneeling Nick Berg, basking in the glory of their evisceration of his
There was little difference between my feelings
for the panel and my feelings toward the terrorists slicing off Nick's
head as his body writhed and jerked, his hands and arms bound,
helpless as they sawed off his head and then held it gloriously up to
Unable to watch the hearings on television,
I was compelled to pick up a copy of the Daily News yesterday.
It's headlines screamed out about the 25,000 who were saved that day.
That was the bigger news.
I wondered why the 9/11 commission didn't
boast about the nearly 20,000 killed each year by drunk drivers, a far
worse degree of negligence than 2,749 pulverized to death by a bizarre
unpredictable terrorist attack.
Of course, these same political vultures feeding
off the bodies of the dead for their own notoriety, would be the first
to claim that everyone knew or should have known that terrorists were
about to hijack a fleet of planes and fly them into American icons of
power and strength. That is the mode today, to carve up
the body of American confidence and expose its diseases to the world,
without fair and just balance.
I have a special interest in these
comments. I was there that day, at Ground Zero. And the
police and firefighters helped save my life and the lives of hundreds
of others who were witnessing the horror of the burning buildings.
I was there
I was standing a few blocks from the
burning South Tower, craning my neck up in stunned horror watching
people leaping from the burning icon that spired up nearly a quarter
mile into Heavens underbelly.
The police were holding us back.
Suddenly, they shouted at us to run. They drove us like
cattle up a narrow street. We stumbled back, our eyes magnetized
to the unfolding black and orange flames shooting out, swirling in a
vortex around the building like a great demonic halo.
Then, the earth heaved. I lost
my balance as a great roar, unlike anything I had known, ravaged the
bowels of earth. It was as though some beast was erupting from
the subways and sewers, bursting out of a embryo of bilious amniotic
fluids, a final gestation of hate of ugliness birthing from the
recesses of the primordial ooze from which we all came.
Suddenly debris shot everywhere.
Chunks of steel and concrete hurled through the air. A giant
fist of pulverized ash slammed toward us. I peered down
the street and saw a policeman running as though the Grim Reaper was
on his heels. His arms pumped and his feet were barely touching
the ground as he hurled himself as fast as humanely possible to escape
the wrath of the Beast bearing down on him.
I grabbed three women next to me and shoved
them against the wall, holding them so they would be protected by the
bricks of the building. Then the cloud of blackened
ash choked us. We gagged and coughed. I waited for
some biochemical agent to end my life, assured that some creature had
exploded some deadly poison, and prayed that my death would come fast,
that I wouldn't writhe and convulse as the life was driven out of me.
I thought of my wife, children, grandchildren.
"Try to think of something beautiful," I gasped to the women next to
me who were sobbing: "We're all gonna die! We're all gonna
die!" I repeated, if not for their sake, then for
mine: "Think of something beautiful."
offered a tough defense to the 9/11 Panel and beseeched the
members extend compassion rather than pin blame
Maybe that's part of the reason I felt the
revulsion about the 9/11 hearings. The beautiful part of
that day was the saving of lives, 25,000 of them!
That message was overshadowed by the political,
critical lambasting of the 9/11 panel who, seeking headlines,
castigated the glory of those who fought to keep others alive that
day, many of whom died in the process.
Then I thought of my daughter, a federal special
agent who works undercover for one of the nation's most aggressive law
enforcement agencies. After work, she went down
nightly and dug through the debris in search of bodies, hoping to find
trapped victims. She found human body parts. One,
scalp of a victim. I thought of her and all her friends and
comrades who prayed and dug and prayed and dug in hopes that they
might save someone.
But the Beast of Terror was thorough that
day. He now chortles that his mission was successful even
in the aftermath, for the Beast lives in the critics' words.
Despite my revulsion at the hearings, I am glad I
live in a free and democratic society where men and women can make
fools of themselves in an attempt to seem like Sentinels of Vigilance.
I trust the public to recognize those
self-serving Voices that try desperately to fault-find rather than
fact-find, whose primary mission is to foul the soil and souls of those
who bravely and courageously died at Ground Zero to save tens of
thousands of others.
Members were in the armchair of Complacency seduced by the Beast
The pain of the hearings goes far beyond myself.
For the 2,749 Sentinels of Vigilance who hover over Ground Zero, they
shield their eyes in shame that the living would castigate the efforts
of those who saved so many. Instead of speaking of
our faults alone, the commission should be pointing fingers at itself.
Vigilance starts with the individual, not the government.
When bold men and women accept the duty first of
being a Sentinel of Vigilance, they will find it hard to throw rocks
at those whom they hope will deflect their own negligence as public
Where was John Lehman ringing the bells of
warning prior to 9/11? He was sitting in
the armchair of Complacency, waiting to leap up and point fingers.
But he forgot that when he points one finger,
three others point back at him.
Will he look in his own mirror?
Perhaps not, for the reflection he sees won't be
a Sentinel of Vigilance, it will be a vulture, a Beast of Terror's
19--Conversation With God Re: Torture, Maiming et al