Archive for the ‘9/11’ Category
WASHINGTON – The outgoing Bush administration appears to be working “covertly” on a contract that would strip the 9/11 health and treatment program from the FDNY and Mount Sinai Medical Center, sources told the Daily News.
The plan, which sources say is being batted around within the Department of Health and Human Services, would yank all Sept. 11-related monitoring and care from the city and put it in the hands of of one company – likely based outside the city.
A new contract could potentially force 9/11 patients pay up front for services, and then be reimbursed. Currently, the tab is covered.
More than 50,000 people are enrolled in the city-based health and monitoring program, open to those exposed to Ground Zero. About 16,000 participants are actively receiving treatment.
Some 4,000 people are enrolled in a national version.
“The department is not working on a solicitation of this type and this allegation is untrue,” HHS spokeswoman Christina Pearson insisted.
Nevertheless, a source told The News officials within the department “have not liked this program from the beginning.”
“They are ideologues, and they could stick the Obama administration with this contract. At best, it’s disruptive,” the source added.
A spokesman for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, which administers the 9/11 programs, said the contract for treating ill Americans outside of the tri-state area would end in the summer – but could not say if there were any plans for the city programs.
“What they want to do is broaden that national contract, and put everyone in there,” a source with New York ties said, adding that federal officials appear to be trying to bid out the new program before Barack Obama takes office.
The source said New York legislators learned of the impending move after a potential contractor called them, hoping to get help preparing a bid.
That prompted Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler (D- Manhattan) to fire off a angry letter Thursday demanding an explanation for the secret moves after officials had promised to keep them in the loop.
“Last week, we were dismayed to hear of a new solicitation about to be issued by your department that would apparently replace all current arrangements,” says the letter addressed to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt and obtained by the News.
“This information on the new solicitation concerned us not only with regard to the potential damage to the current program,” the letter went on, “but also regarding the apparent attempt to covertly announce this contract solicitation in the last days of the Bush administration.”
Maloney and Nadler gave the secretary three days to respond.
“We just received this letter today and immediately called their offices to say these allegations are unfounded,” Pearson said.
$700,000,000,000 to save the butts of people who intentionally cheated for profit – and a bill to provide long-term health care to 9/11 First Responders who are ill. These people tried to SAVE LIVES and are dying as a result. Priorities need to be reassessed.
BY OREN YANIV
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Congress Sunday shelved a $10.9 billion bill to provide health care and compensation for Ground Zero workers, at least in part due to opposition from Mayor Bloomberg.
The House of Representatives failed to vote on the bill after City Hall objected to a provision that would have required the city to pay 10% of the cost of a long-term Sept. 11 health program.
The total cost would have been $5.1 billion for a 10-year program that would have provided health care to those sick from working amid toxic World Trade Center debris. The city’s share was to be $500 million.
The bill also would have reopened the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund, adding an estimated $6 billion for those who became sick after working amid the debris.
John Feal, a 9/11 responder and founder of the FealGood Foundation, went to Washington in a failed push for the bill.
“The mayor pretty much squashed the bill on us,” a disappointed Feal said last night. “We should do right by these people who are sick and dying.”
Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan), Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan), Vito Fossella (R-S.I.) and Pete King (R-L.I.) said the New York delegation would reintroduce another bipartisan bill next year.
“We will work together to meet the sizable need to care for those who lived and worked in the immediate area around Ground Zero – not to mention those who helped in the immediate aftermath,” the lawmakers said in a statement.
Supporters had hoped the House would vote on the package over the weekend, but time and support ran out amid intense congressional negotiations over the $700 billion financial bailout package.
The Senate would likely not have had time to pass the bill anyway, but backers said House passage would have helped move the measure forward.
Bloomberg spokesman Jason Post said the Sept. 11 health bill was “a step backward” and said “it put an undue burden on city taxpayers.” He noted the bill would raise fivefold the city’s annual tab for 9/11 programs.
Other city officials said the feds should pay the full cost as a matter of principle because Sept. 11 was an attack on America.
Denis Hughes, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, countered that the bill was doomed by “shortsighted” thinking at City Hall.
“What really sunk this was the mayor’s opposition,” Hughes said. “I think they miscalculated.”
9/11 First Responder and star of “SAVE THE BRAVE” Greg Quibell lost his fight with the illness he contracted while trying to save lives at Ground Zero nearly 7 years ago.
On 9/11/01, as many as 100,000 brave men and women like Mr. Quibell were exposed to a toxic mixture of pulverized glass and concrete, asbestos, lead, and burning jet fuel. The exposure was made that much worse by the EPA’s announcement that the environment was safe. Doctors at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City estimate that 70% of the firefighters, police officers, emergency medical crews, construction workers, utility workers and volunteers suffered lung and other serious health problems.
Nearly 7 years later, most of us have moved on with our lives. These men and women, however, are reminded every day. Not only is there no guaranteed long term comprehensive medical treatment program but the Bush administration consistently has delayed and cold-heartedly blocked efforts and cut funding for Sept. 11-related health care.
Please join us by holding Mr. Quibell’s family and friends in your hearts – and take just a few moments of your time to let the people who represent YOU in Washington know that you haven’t forgotten the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for their fellow Americans. Tell them that something needs to be done by them, in YOUR NAME, to help the 9/11 First Responders NOW.
From The Fealgood Foundation –
*****UPDATE 8/28/08***** We learned late last night that Greg Quibell, star of SAVE THE BRAVE lost his heroic battle. Please see our post “First Responder Greg Quibell Dies of 9/11 Illness”.
RESPONDERS DOCUMENTARY SHOWS AFFECTS OF 9/11 SEVEN YEARS LATER
“SAVE THE BRAVE” TELLS STORY OF DIGNITY, COURAGE, SUFFERING
SON SALUTES SICK DAD WITH GRAND SLAM TO WIN BALLGAME
August 4, 2008, New York City- The Fealgood Foundation is producing SAVE THE BRAVE a documentary made and produced by 911 responders to inform the nation of the intense suffering 911 responders and their families are experiencing. The single focus of the documentary is passage of the 911 Health & Compensation Bill named for James Zadroga, the police officer who perished as the result of his illness contracted from service at Ground Zero. Hundreds of 911 Responders have died of illness contracted from Ground Zero.
John Feal, founder of the Fealgood Foundation comments, “If all of America understood what the men and women who rushed to save lives and retrieve remains for grieving family members are going through on a daily basis they would be shocked. As New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler says in SAVE THE BRAVE, “it’s a moral outrage”.
The Fealgood Foundation is reaching out to Americans urging them to see that the 911 Health & Compensation Bill is passed in Congress so that Responders have access to much needed medical care, medicines and disability compensation to allow their families to thrive.
The Fealgood Foundation assigned the production of SAVE THE BRAVE to another 911 Responder, Reverend Bill Minson. Minson served as a Red Cross and Salvation Army chaplain, he has continued to provide spiritual care through his TUDAY Ministries, his all voluntary service began Sept. 13, 2001. Rev. Minson also narrates the documentary with noted artist and videographer Robert Agriopoulos directing.
John Feal continues, “With Responders across the country suffering we don’t want one to be without support. We’re praying that Jim Ritchie, John McNamara, Greg Quibell and Charlie Giles, the subjects of our documentary, will all be with us when our documentary debuts later this month. Please let me share a touching email with you from Greg Quibell’s family yesterday as he fights for his life at North Shore University hospital”.
“Today Theresa’s son Nick came up to the plate with 3 men on base in his little league game. With that his coach approached him and said Nick a hit brings home 2 runs, they were trailing by 1. Nick replied to the coach in front of everyone in the stands to hear, hey coach how about one hit brings home 4 runs. The coach laughed and then Nick said, ‘this one is for my dad in the hospital’. Well Nick hit a grand slam over the 220 ft. fence and cleared it by 30 feet. Everyone who heard him say that and then do it started to cry. Nick then went to the hospital and brought Greg the home run ball. You just cant make that up, and if it doesn’t make you cry or feel the love and pain this family is going through, then your not human. Theresa thank you for this story and for a good cry”, concludes 911 Responder, John Feal.
SAVE THE BRAVE http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=franniebird&p=r
For additional information please contact Anne Marie Baumen at the Fealgood Foundation
Anne Marie Baumen
516.551.0986 / 631.724.3320
Current U.S. strategy against the terrorist group al Qaida has not been successful in significantly undermining the group’s capabilities, according to a new RAND Corporation study issued today.
Al Qaida has been involved in more terrorist attacks since Sept. 11, 2001, than it was during its prior history and the group’s attacks since then have spanned an increasingly broader range of targets in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, according to researchers.
In looking at how other terrorist groups have ended, the RAND study found that most terrorist groups end either because they join the political process, or because local police and intelligence efforts arrest or kill key members. Police and intelligence agencies, rather than the military, should be the tip of the spear against al Qaida in most of the world, and the United States should abandon the use of the phrase “war on terrorism,” researchers concluded.
“The United States cannot conduct an effective long-term counterterrorism campaign against al Qaida or other terrorist groups without understanding how terrorist groups end,” said Seth Jones, the study’s lead author and a political scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “In most cases, military force isn’t the best instrument.”
The comprehensive study analyzes 648 terrorist groups that existed between 1968 and 2006, drawing from a terrorism database maintained by RAND and the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. The most common way that terrorist groups end — 43 percent — was via a transition to the political process. However, the possibility of a political solution is more likely if the group has narrow goals, rather than a broad, sweeping agenda like al Qaida possesses.
The second most common way that terrorist groups end — 40 percent — was through police and intelligence services either apprehending or killing the key leaders of these groups. Policing is especially effective in dealing with terrorists because police have a permanent presence in cities that enables them to efficiently gather information, Jones said.
Military force was effective in only 7 percent of the cases examined; in most instances, military force is too blunt an instrument to be successful against terrorist groups, although it can be useful for quelling insurgencies in which the terrorist groups are large, well-armed and well-organized, according to researchers. In a number of cases, the groups end because they become splintered, with members joining other groups or forming new factions. Terrorist groups achieved victory in only 10 percent of the cases studied.
Jones says the study has crucial implications for U.S. strategy in dealing with al Qaida and other terrorist groups. Since al Qaida’s goal is the establishment of a pan-Islamic caliphate, a political solution or negotiated settlement with governments in the Middle East is highly unlikely. The terrorist organization also has made numerous enemies and does not enjoy the kind of mass support received by other organizations such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, largely because al Qaida has not engaged in sponsoring any welfare services, medical clinics, or hospitals.
The study recommends the United States should adopt a two-front strategy: rely on policing and intelligence work to root out the terrorist leaders in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East, and involve military force — though not necessarily the U.S. military — when insurgencies are involved.
The United States also should avoid the use of the term, “war on terror,” and replace it with the term “counterterrorism.” Nearly every U.S. ally, including the United Kingdom and Australia, has stopped using “war on terror,” and Jones said it’s more than a mere matter of semantics.
“The term we use to describe our strategy toward terrorists is important, because it affects what kinds of forces you use,” Jones said. “Terrorists should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors, and our analysis suggests that there is no battlefield solution to terrorism.”
Among the other findings, the study notes:
- Religious terrorist groups take longer to eliminate than other groups. Since 1968, approximately 62 percent of all terrorist groups have ended, while only 32 percent of religious terrorist groups have done so.
- No religious terrorist group has achieved victory since 1968.
- Size is an important predictor of a groups’ fate. Large groups of more than 10,000 members have been victorious more than 25 percent of the time, while victory is rare when groups are smaller than 1,000 members.
- There is no statistical correlation between the duration of a terrorist group and ideological motivation, economic conditions, regime type or the breadth of terrorist goals.
- Terrorist groups that become involved in an insurgency do not end easily. Nearly 50 percent of the time they end with a negotiated settlement with the government, 25 percent of the time they achieved victory and 19 percent of the time, military groups defeated them.
- Terrorist groups from upper-income countries are much more likely to be left-wing or nationalistic, and much less likely to be motivated by religion.
“The United States has the necessary instruments to defeat al Qaida, it just needs to shift its strategy and keep in mind that terrorist groups are not eradicated overnight,” Jones said.
The study, “How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al Qaida,” can be found at http://www.rand.org.
The report was prepared by the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center that does research for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the unified commands and other defense agencies.
Read the excellent commentary at The Existentialist Cowboy – one of our FAVORITES!
Keith Olbermann – ‘Countdown’
President Bush has resorted anew to the sleaziest fear-mongering and mass manipulation of an administration and public life dedicated to realizing the lowest of our expectations. And he has now applied these poisons to the 2008 presidential election, on behalf of the party at whose center he and John McCain lurk.
Mr. Bush has predicted that the election of a Democratic president could “eventually lead to another attack on the United States.” This ludicrous, infuriating, holier-than-thou and most importantly bone-headedly wrong statement came during a May 13 interview with Politico.com and online users of Yahoo.
The question was phrased as follows: “If we were to pull out of Iraq next year, what’s the worst that could happen, what’s the doomsday scenario?”
The president replied: “Doomsday scenario of course is that extremists throughout the Middle East would be emboldened, which would eventually lead to another attack on the United States. The biggest issue we face is, it’s bigger than Iraq, it’s this ideological struggle against cold-blooded killers who will kill people to achieve their political objectives.”
Mr. Bush, at long last, has it not dawned on you that the America you have now created, includes “cold-blooded killers who will kill people to achieve their political objectives?” They are those in — or formerly in — your employ, who may yet be charged some day with war crimes.
Through your haze of self-congratulation and self-pity, do you still have no earthly clue that this nation has laid waste to Iraq to achieve your political objectives? “This ideological struggle,” Mr. Bush, is taking place within this country.
It is a struggle between Americans who cherish freedom, ours and everybody else’s, and Americans like you, sir, to whom freedom is just a brand name, just like “Patriot Act” is a brand name or “Protect America” is a brand name.
But wait, there’s more: You also said “Iraq is the place where al-Qaida and other extremists have made their stand and they will be defeated.” They made no “stand” in Iraq, sir, you allowed them to assemble there!
As certainly as if that were the plan, the borders were left wide open by your government’s farcical post-invasion strategy of “they’ll greet us as liberators.” And as certainly as if that were the plan, the inspiration for another generation of terrorists in another country was provided by your government’s farcical post-invasion strategy of letting the societal infra-structure of Iraq dissolve, to be replaced by an American viceroy, enforced by merciless mercenaries who shoot unarmed Iraqis and then evade prosecution in any country by hiding behind your skirts, sir.
Terrorism inside Iraq is your creation, Mr. Bush!
It was a Yahoo user who brought up the second topic upon whose introduction Mr. Bush should have passed, or punted, or gotten up and left the room claiming he heard Dick Cheney calling him.
“Do you feel,” asked an ordinary American, “that you were misled on Iraq?”
“I feel like — I felt like, there were weapons of mass destruction,” the president said. “You know, ‘mislead’ is a strong word, it almost connotes some kind of intentional — I don’t think so, I think there was a — not only our intelligence community, but intelligence communities all across the world shared the same assessment. And so I was disappointed to see how flawed our intelligence was.”
You, Mr. Bush, and your tragically know-it-all minions, threw out every piece of intelligence that suggested there were no such weapons.
You, Mr. Bush, threw out every person who suggested that the sober, contradictory, reality-based intelligence needed to be listened to, fast.
You, Mr. Bush, are responsible for how “intelligence communities all across the world shared the same assessment.”
You and the sycophants you dredged up and put behind the most important steering wheel in the world propagated palpable nonsense and shoved it down the throat of every intelligence community across the world and punished anybody who didn’t agree it was really chicken salad.
And you, Mr. Bush, threw under the bus, all of the subsequent critics who bravely stepped forward later to point out just how much of a self-fulfilling prophecy you had embraced, and adopted as this country’s policy in lieu of, say, common sense.
The fiasco of pre-war intelligence, sir, is your fiasco.
You should build a great statue of yourself turning a deaf ear to the warnings of realists, while you are shown embracing the three-card monte dealers like Richard Perle and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.
That would be a far more fitting tribute to your legacy, Mr. Bush, than this presidential library you are constructing as a giant fable about your presidency, an edifice you might as claim was built from “Iraqi weapons of mass destruction” because there will be just as many of those inside your presidential library as there were inside Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
Of course if there is one overriding theme to this president’s administration it is the utter, always-failing, inability to know when to quit when it is behind. And so Mr. Bush answered yet another question about this layered, nuanced, wheels-within-wheels garbage heap that constituted his excuse for war.
“And so you feel that you didn’t have all the information you should have or the right spin on that information?”
“No, no,” replied the President. “I was told by people, that they had weapons of mass destruction …”
People? What people? The insane informant “Curveball?” The Iraqi snake-oil salesman Ahmed Chalabi? The American snake-oil salesman Dick Cheney?
“I was told by people that they had weapons of mass destruction, as were members of Congress, who voted for the resolution to get rid of Saddam Hussein.
“And of course, the political heat gets on and they start to run and try to hide from their votes.”
Mr. Bush, you destroyed the evidence that contradicted the resolution you jammed down the Congress’s throat, the way you jammed it down the nation’s throat. When required by law to verify that your evidence was accurate, you simply resubmitted it, with phrases amounting to “See, I done proved it,” virtually written in the margins in crayon.
You defied patriotic Americans to say “The Emperor Has No Clothes,” only with the stakes — as you and the mental dwarves in your employ put it — being a “mushroom cloud over an American city.”
And as a final crash of self-indulgent nonsense, when the incontrovertible truth of your panoramic and murderous deceit has even begun to cost your political party seemingly perpetual congressional seats in places like North Carolina and Mississippi, you can actually say with a straight face, sir, that for members of Congress “the political heat gets on and they start to run and try to hide from their votes” — while you greet the political heat and try to run and hide from your presidency, and your legacy — 4,000 of the Americans you were supposed to protect — dead in Iraq, with your only feeble, pathetic answer being, “I was told by people that they had weapons of mass destruction.”
Then came Mr. Bush’s final blow to our nation’s solar plexus, his last reopening of our common wounds, his last remark that makes the rest of us question not merely his leadership or his judgment but his very suitably to remain in office.
“Mr. President,” he was asked, “you haven’t been golfing in recent years. Is that related to Iraq?
“Yes,” began perhaps the most startling reply of this nightmarish blight on our lives as Americans on our history. “It really is. I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died, to see the Commander in Chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be as — to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”
Golf, sir? Golf sends the wrong signal to the grieving families of our men and women butchered in Iraq? Do you think these families, Mr. Bush, their lives blighted forever, care about you playing golf? Do you think, sir, they care about you?
You, Mr. Bush, let their sons and daughters be killed. Sir, to show your solidarity with them you gave up golf? Sir, to show your solidarity with them you didn’t give up your pursuit of this insurance-scam, profiteering, morally and financially bankrupting war.
Sir, to show your solidarity with them you didn’t even give up talking about Iraq a subject about which you have incessantly proved without pause or backwards glance, that you may literally be the least informed person in the world?
Sir, to show your solidarity with them, you didn’t give up your presidency? In your own words “solidarity as best as I can” is to stop a game? That is the “best” you can do?
Four thousand Americans give up their lives and your sacrifice was to give up golf! Golf. Not “Gulf” — golf.
And still it gets worse. Because it proves that the president’s unendurable sacrifice, his unbearable pain, the suspension of getting to hit a stick with a ball, was not even his own damned idea.
“Mr. President, was there a particular moment or incident that brought you to that decision, or how did you come to that?”
“I remember when [diplomat Sergio Vieira] de Mello, who was at the U.N., got killed in Baghdad as a result of these murderers taking this good man’s life. And I was playing golf, I think I was in central Texas, and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, it’s just not worth it any more to do.”
Your one, tone-deaf, arrogant, pathetic, embarrassing gesture, and you didn’t even think of it yourself? The great Bushian sacrifice — an Army private loses a leg, a Marine loses half his skull, 4,000 of their brothers and sisters lose their lives — and you lose golf, and they have to pull you off the golf course to get you to just do that?
If it’s even true.
Apart from your medical files, which dutifully record your torn calf muscle and the knee pain which forced you to give up running at the same time — coincidence, no doubt — the bombing in Baghdad which killed Sergio Vieira de Mello of the U.N. and interrupted your round of golf was on Aug. 19, 2003.
Yet CBS News has records of you playing golf as late as Oct. 13 of that year, nearly two months later.
Mr. Bush, I hate to break it to you 6 1/2 years after you yoked this nation and your place in history to the wrong war, in the wrong place, against the wrong people, but the war in Iraq is not about you.
It is not, Mr. Bush, about your grief when American after American comes home in a box.
It is not, Mr. Bush, about what your addled brain has produced in the way of paranoid delusions of risks that do not exist, ready to be activated if some Democrat, and not your twin Mr. McCain, succeeds you.
The war in Iraq, your war, Mr. Bush, is about how you accomplished the derangement of two nations, and how you helped funnel billions of taxpayer dollars to lascivious and perennially thirsty corporations like Halliburton and Blackwater, and how you sent 4,000 Americans to their deaths for nothing.
It is not, Mr. Bush, about your golf game! And, sir, if you have any hopes that next Jan. 20 will not be celebrated as a day of soul-wrenching, heart-felt thanksgiving, because your faithless stewardship of this presidency will have finally come to a merciful end, this last piece of advice:
When somebody asks you, sir, about Democrats who must now pull this country back from the abyss you have placed us at …
When somebody asks you, sir, about the cooked books and faked threats you foisted on a sincere and frightened nation …
When somebody asks you, sir, about your gallant, noble, self-abdicating sacrifice of your golf game so as to soothe the families of the war dead.
This advice, Mr. Bush: Shut the hell up!
Please take the time to watch these videos – it’s what’s necessary for all of this to change.
November 24, 2007 — Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the federal government had warnings about 9/11 but decided to ignore them, a national survey found.
And that’s not the only conspiracy theory with a huge number of true believers in the United States.
The poll found that more than one out of three Americans believe Washington is concealing the truth about UFOs and the Kennedy assassination – and most everyone is sure the rise in gas prices is one vast oil-industry conspiracy.
Sixty-two percent of those polled thought it was “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that federal officials turned a blind eye to specific warnings of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Only 30 percent said the 9/11 theory was “not likely,” according to the Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll.
The findings followed a 2006 poll by the same researchers, who found that 36 percent of Americans believe federal government officials “either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action” because they wanted “to go to war in the Middle East.”
In that poll, 16 percent said the Twin Towers might have collapsed because of secretly planted explosives – not hijacked passenger jets flown into them.
And what hit the Pentagon? Twelve percent figured it was a US cruise missile.
Anger at the federal government and skepticism in general by younger Americans is fueling the popularity of crackpot conspiracy theories.
Only 12 percent of Americans expressed anger at the government following the 2001 terrorist attack, but that grew steadily and reached 54 percent last year.
Most young adults give some credence to a conspiracy theory, while seniors are the least likely to believe in one, pollsters found.
In the latest Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll, 811 US adults were interviewed Sept. 24 to Oct. 10. Among the findings:
* 42 percent believe the federal government knew in advance of the plot to assassinate John F. Kennedy, compared with 40 percent who call that theory “not likely.”
* 37 percent believe UFOs are real and that the feds have been hiding the truth about them.
The 2006 poll found 36 percent believed the government was also hiding proof that intelligent life exists on other planets.
* Eight out of 10 Americans suspect oil companies are conspiring to keep fuel prices high and 50 percent said a conspiracy is “very likely.” Only 14 percent felt it was unlikely.