Families of Sept 11 victims demand answers
by Tim Wheeler In two separate events last week, family members of victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks demanded answers to a host of questions about the death of their loved ones. More than 400 family members rallied in New York to demand that the Senate and House approve the Lieberman-McCain Bill to establish an independent commission to investigate the terrorist attacks. The Bush administration opposes creation of the independent commission. Senator Joe Lieberman (Democrat) was among the 11 lawmakers who addressed the crowd. Among the speakers was Mary Fetchet, whose 24-year-old son Brad died in the World Trade Centre. "A much broader inquiry is needed," Ms Fetchet told the People's Weekly World. "Think about the complexity of this terrorist attack. Four planes were hijacked simultaneously. Yet they are not looking at the Federal Aviation Administration. The government granted visas to these terrorists yet they are not probing the INS. It is important to know the answers to these questions and do what is needed to insure it never happens again." A day earlier, four September 11 family members spoke at a news conference initiated by the just-launched online organisation, unansweredquestions.org. Julie Sweeney, wife of Brian Sweeney, who was aboard United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into the World Trade Centre, told reporters that she has refused to accept $2 million in government compensation in the face of evidence that the federal government had received advance warning that terrorists were plotting to hijack airliners. "I can't accept money from our government under the facade that they are doing the right thing", Ms Sweeney said. "I want everything out, everything disclosed, someone to connect the dots. When we put our trust in a business that is backed by the government, we deserve accountability. Nothing will ever bring Brian back. I hope this lawsuit will help so that no-one has to go through what I went through." Derrill Bodley, a founder of Peaceful Tomorrows, whose daughter Deora died on Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania, demanded, "Did my 20-year-old daughter have to die Sept. 11?" He told the crowd he had found his daughter's diary under her bed. The final word was "peace". Mary Schiavo, lawyer for 32 September 11 families, former Inspector General of the US Department of Transportation, debunked Bush administration claims that the September 11 attack was a "bolt from the blue". She distributed a chart revealing that 682 airliners have been hijacked since 1972. "There are those who say 'no one could have foreseen this'. Those statements are absolutely false." The warnings received by Bush in the still secret August 6 CIA briefing "were pretty darn specific", Ms Schiavo said. "I do believe the government knew a terrorist hijacking was possible. We haven't even been able to get access to the documents in the files of the airlines." Stephen Alderman, father of Peter Alderman who died in the World Trade Centre, said, "We're preaching to the choir. Fewer than four percent of the families are present here. How do we reach out?" His wife, Elizabeth Alderman, added, "My son was murdered at the World Trade Centre. My question is: how do we get answers? How do we begin to get accountability from our government?" The moderator of the news conference, Catherine Austin Fitts, former Assistant Secretary of Housing in the administration of George Bush (senior), replied, "This is an election year. People should go to town hall meetings and really start to grill their Congress members." Michael Ruppert, editor of the online magazine, From the Wilderness, charged that the motive force in the Bush administration's war in Afghanistan is control of huge oil reserves in the Caspian basin in Central Asia. Speaking by telephone from British Columbia, Mr Ruppert told the news conference, "No tangible action will be taken without political action including street demonstrations. It took demonstrations of half a million in Washington, DC, to get civil rights law enacted and an end to the Vietnam War."
* * *People's Weekly World paper of Communist Party, USA