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October 30, 2001

Suddenly, There's Work

Dave Aiello wrote, "Since beginning a new project at a major financial services firm in Morris County, NJ last week, I have been inundated with work. It's hard to go from 100 percent flexibility to no spare time in less than a week. The work schedule so far has reminded me of the kind of hours that my friend Sandeep Nandy was keeping at Verizon in the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster."

Scheduled Guests of NYC-based Talk Shows Cancelling in Droves

Tuesday's Wasington Post reported that entertainment-oriented talk shows based in New York are having a tough time booking celebrity guests. This is the result of the tendency by West Coast-based celebrities to change their travel schedules to avoid visiting New York City.

We wonder how long the public will put up with this sort of thing, considering the fact that President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium in World Series Game 3. America really must move on, and everyone has a role to play-- particularly celebrities.

October 27, 2001

Woodward: CIA and FBI Suspect Domestic Groups Are Spreading Anthrax

In a front page article in today's Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Dan Eggen report that top FBI and CIA officials believe that one or more U.S.-based extremists are likely to be the source of the anthrax attacks that have been discovered so far. The article also says that these terrorists are probably not connected Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.

If this is the case, we hope that the FBI and CIA will terminate these people with extreme prejudice, and not treat their actions as a "police matter".

October 26, 2001

UK Newspaper Says Death Toll in NYC May Be Overestimated

The Friday edition of The Guardian reports that a number of media outlets are speculating that the death toll in the destruction of the World Trade Center may be overestimated. Estimates of the number of dead provided by the City of New York continue to be in the neighborhood of 4,900, while those of three major U.S. media outlets are in the range of 2,600 to 3,000.

If this is the case, it would be a wonderful development, and yet another reason to praise the work of the police and firemen who sacrificed their lives to save others.

Friedman: We Are Alone

On today's Op-Ed page of The New York Times, Tom Friedman wrote an opinion piece called We Are Alone. In this article he says, "My fellow Americans, I hate to say this, but except for the good old Brits, we're all alone. And at the end of the day, it's U.S. and British troops who will have to go in, on the ground, and eliminate bin Laden." He comes to this conclusion after reciting a litany of conditions that different countries have placed on their participation in the alliance against terrorism.

Friedman also points out a situation that has not come to light in any news reports we've seen. He says : "... you know how much the Saudis respect sovereignty - like when the Saudi Embassy in Washington rushed all of Osama bin Laden's relatives out of America after Sept. 11 on a private Saudi jet, before they could be properly questioned by the F.B.I."

Unfortunately, Friedman has a history of holding Israel to a far higher standard of conduct than its enemies. We should all be glad that he has come around to telling things like they are, but it must be a painful adjustment for someone who looked the other way so many times in the past.

ABC Suspends Reporter for Comments on Anthrax

Yesterday, USA Today reported that ABC News suspended anchorwoman Carole Simpson for unauthorized comments about the anthrax outbreak at ABC News. In addition, she indicated that Cokie Roberts of This Week had received an anthrax tainted envelope, which was not true. ABC is right to do this. No one should be injecting themselves into the news in order to look more important than they are.

October 25, 2001

New Contract Finally a Reality

Dave Aiello wrote, "Some of you know that our business has been seriously affected by the cutbacks large businesses have made in the Metropolitan New York Area. These cutbacks began in earnest in mid-July and got progressively worse in August. The markets we serve were nearly devastated by the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center."

"I'm pleased to announce that yesterday I closed a deal to provide consulting services to a financial services company in Northern New Jersey. This is the first successful contract negotiation in six weeks, and will restore much of the revenue lost in contract cancellations in August and September."

"It will take a long time for us to build our business back to the level of the first half of 2001. But, I hope that this is the first step along the road to recovery. Thanks to my wife who has been very encouraging, to our family and friends, and to our business associates who tried to help us replace our lost contracts."

WSJ Editor in Hospital with Mysterious Ailment

The New York Daily News is reporting that the deputy national editor of the Wall Street Journal is in a Westchester County hospital suffering from kidney failure, a perforated colon, and sepsis. Rich Regis was at Dow Jones' World Financial Center office on September 11, and may have "inhaled or ingested" something that made him seriously ill, doctors are reported to have said.

Italy Nabs Egyptian Who May Have Been Planning New Hijackings

The Times of London reports that Italian police picked up an unusual stowaway in a container ship at the port of Gioia Tauro in Southern Italy. According to the article, Rizik Amid Farid was locked in a container that had its own bed and toilet. Although illegal immigrants often stow away on container ships, he possessed two mobile phones, a laptop, and a camera.

Farid also possessed a number of documents that lead the police to believe he may have been planning to participate in a hijacking. These include airport employee passes for airports in Canada, Thailand, and Egypt, maps of airports, and other documents identifying him as an airplane mechanic.

October 24, 2001

Media Ignores NYC-based Muslim Cleric's Anti-Semitic Statements

In an article posted today on OpinionJournal.com, Seth Lipsky points out that the imam of the Islamic Cultural Center in New York City reportedly made a number of anti-semetic remarks in connection with the terrorist attacks of September 11. Among other things the imam, Sheik Muhammad Al-Gamei'a, is reported to have said, "All the signs indicate that the Jews have the most to gain from an explosion like that. They are the only ones capable of planning such acts.... Jews control decision making in the airports and sensitive centers in the White House and the Pentagon. {America presented} no proof incriminating Osama bin Laden and Al-Qa'ida."

Comments of this nature are reported to have been made in Arabic newspapers and over Arabic broadcast outlets based in London and the Middle East. In this case, however, OpinionJournal.com and the New York Times are both reporting that the comments were made by a Muslim cleric, in Arabic, while he was in the United States. Lipsky's column essentially asks why this cleric's comments have not been reported everywhere?

Another interesting development in this story is that the New York Times reported yesterday that Sheik Al-Gamei'a suddenly resigned from the mosque and moved his family back to Cairo, citing threats made against him and his family.

Taliban Using Human Shields

The Washington Post reports that Taliban fighters are hiding in schools and mosques and storing their weapons to avoid being hit by Allied bombing runs. This is exactly what the Iraqi military did when they could effectively respond to Allied attacks during the Gulf War.

The American media should keep this in mind when they hear reports that Allied forces have struck targets that appear to have civilian purposes. This is war. Everyday people, like postal workers, have died here in America. As far as we are concerned, no facilities in Afghanistan should be sacrosanct.

New Jersey Issues Public Health Alert

As we mentioned in a previous article, the State of New Jersey issued a public health alert in an attempt to identify anthrax cases that occurred after September 11 and possible future anthrax cases. The health alert asks hospitals to immedicately begin:

  • Reviewing records of patients who had blood cultures or cerebrospinal fluid cultures performed at presentation and were admitted to an intensive care unit since September 11, 2001.
  • Reviewing the clinical findings of patients with microbiology laboratory results possibly indicating infection with Bacillus anthracis.
  • Reviewing records of emergency department visits for persons with unexplained respiratory failure.

Additional information of this nature may be found at http://www.state.nj.us/health/.

Postal Administrators and Public Health Officials in New Jersey Criticized

The New York Times reports that postal workers and union officials are criticizing the performance of officials in the handling of the Anthrax exposure at the Trenton regional mail facility. According to the article, "public health officials have issued a statewide alert, warning doctors and druggists to be on the watch for any flu symptoms that might mask a case of anthrax and to report them to the state immediately."

The postal union officials say that state and federal public health officials should not have allowed work to continue inside the regional mail facility while testing was taking place.

We located the public health alert issued by the NJ State Department of Health and Senior Services mentioned in the article. The state health department has issued a number of other press releases and advisories related to anthrax exposure.

October 23, 2001

Fire and Policemen Get Multiple Standing Ovations at Rangers-Sharks Game

Dave Aiello wrote, "Last night, my sister Julie and I attended the San Jose Sharks - New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. Although this was probably the third most popular game of the night in the New York Metro Area (behind the Yankee game and the Giants-Eagles game), a large number of New York City police and firemen turned out. Every time the public address announcer or the scoreboard announced the presence of a group of fire and policemen, they were recognized with a standing ovation."

"The repeated cheers for New York's Finest and Bravest were appropriate, considering that this was also the game where the Rangers welcomed Adam Graves back to the Garden. He is now a member of the San Jose Sharks."

Ashcroft Implicates Hamburg-based Terror Cell in September 11 Attacks

The Associated Press reports that Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that a terrorist cell in Hamburg, Germany was heavily involved the attacks on September 11. Ashcroft named three fugitives and said that they were being sought in connection with the planning of the attacks. German Interior Minister Otto Schily also participated in the press conference.

Washington Post Explains Mail Sorting Machines' Possible Roles in Anthrax Outbreak

An article on page A11 of today's Washington Post begins to explain how postal workers could have contracted pulmonary anthrax with minimal exposure to anthrax-tainted mail. According to this article, pulmonary anthrax can be contracted if the right kind of anthrax spores are suspended in the air. The spores may have been made airborne in the Washington DC postal facility by the routine cleaning of the sorting machinery.

This is a scenario that we thought was unlikely as late as last night. However, the Washington Post article points out: "Tests performed on monkeys between the 1940s and 1960s indicate that a person must inhale at least 8,000 to 10,000 spores to develop inhalational anthrax. The amount of material would weigh only eight thousandths of a millionth of a gram, and would not be visible to the naked eye...."

1997 Editorial Explains Saudi Internal Politics and Foreign Policy

A lot of people have questions about Saudi Arabia's reliability as an ally in the war on terrorism. We found an issue of the Jerusalem Letter that contained an article called Saudi Arabia in the 1990s: Stability and Foreign Policy. The article seems particularly useful in understanding the positions that the Saudi government is taking in the current conflict.

This article was written in 1997 by Mordechai Abir of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. It explains the personalities of the three leading figures of the Saudi royal family, and their attempt to respond to the political demands of the well-educated Saudi middle class while appeasing the more militant factions in their society. The article also points out parts of Wahhabi culture that make Saudi Arabia one of the most xenophobic countries in the world.

This article makes it clear that the Saudi leadership realized more than five years ago that they had a number of foreign relations problems that were primarily caused by side-effects of Saudi internal politics. But, many of these political problems have arisen because of half-steps toward liberalization taken by the Saudi royal family as far back as 1980. Westerners have not paid much attention to these problems, and are now reacting with surprise as they all appear to rise to the the surface simultaneously.

WSJ: Helicopters Might Have Saved WTC Victims

Normally, we do not point to articles in the Wall Street Journal because it is a paid subscription site. However, this front page story talks about the possibility that helicopters could have saved victims of the World Trade Center disaster.

Helicopters were used to evacuate a small number of people from the roof of the World Trade Center after the bombing in 1993. But the operation, executed by the NYPD Aviation Bureau, was severely criticized by the New York Fire Department who claimed it was unnecessary.

After 1993, the Port Autority and the New York Police and Fire Departments continued to discuss the possibility of helicopter rescues at the World Trade Center in the future. But, the Port Authority and the Fire Department sided with each other, forcing City Hall to create a compromise plan for use of the Police Aviation Bureau which made it very difficult to officially use the group to save trapped people.

The policy, combined with security procedures that absolutely prohibited access to the roof of the North Tower, contributed to the fact that no rooftop rescues were attempted, despite the obvious presence of the helicopters.

October 22, 2001

Two Postal Workers Apparently Die from Pulmonary Anthrax

Tuesday's New York Times has an article on the death of two Postal workers in the Washington, DC area, apparently from anthrax. Looking back at our article that began asking questions about anthrax, we have begun to wonder if the public is being told of the true scope of the attack on the U.S. Postal Service and certain customers.

It was hard to imagine that a number of people at the Capitol could be infected with anthrax through the one anthrax-tainted letter known to have been sent to Senator Daschle. It is even more difficult to believe that two postal workers could have died from simply being in the vicinity of this one letter as it passed through a major mail handling facility.

New York PBS Station Still Impared by Disaster

Dave Aiello wrote, "Earlier today, I heard a radio ad for WNET, the PBS affiliate in New York City, also known as Channel 13. The ad said that the station's transmitter had been destroyed in the destruction of the World Trade Center, and that it had not yet been replaced. Since I watch everything on cable or satellite, I had not realized that WNET had not been able to resume normal broadcast operations."

"The Channel 13 Web Site has an article describing what over-the-air viewers must do to receive their signal. The fact that they are attempting to broadcast from Alpine, NJ, and not from an antenna like the one on the Empire State Building indicates the scope of the difficulties that all broadcasters are facing in New York. But, the challenge must be that much greater for a non-profit like Channel 13."

Law Enforcement Probes Huge Candy Sales at Warehouse Clubs in NJ

Over the weekend, The Bergen Record reported that thousands of dollars of halloween candy were purchased in large transactions at warehouse clubs in North Jersey. In addition, a report on radio station WPHT in Philadelphia, indicates that a similar transaction took place at a Sam's Club in South Jersey, late last week.

Postal Worker in DC Comes Down With Pulmonary Anthrax

The Washington Post reports that a postal worker in Washinton, D.C. has contracted pulmonary anthrax and is seriously ill. This is the first confirmed case of pulmonary anthrax since the two cases in Florida were discovered.

It's hard to imagine how a postal worker at a sorting facility contracted pulmonary anthrax without opening tainted mail pieces unless spores were being forced out of them by automated mail handling machines.

October 21, 2001

CIA Given Free Reign in Dealing with Bin Laden

In the Sunday Washington Post, Bob Woodward reported that the CIA has been told to do "whatever is necessary" to kill Osama Bin Laden. According to the article, this directive is the "most sweeping and lethal covert action" that the CIA has undertaken since its founding in 1947. We agree that they should do whatever it takes, and not stop with Bin Laden.

Senator Clinton Booed Unmercifully at Tribute Concert

The Drudge Report says that Senator Hillary Clinton was booed and jeered by New York City police and firemen at a televised, fundraising concert that occurred Saturday. Drudge reports that one policemen standing near Senator Clinton was overheard on the cable channel VH1 shouting, "Get off the stage! We don't want you here!"

The incident took place during a concert called America: A Tribute to Heroes.

October 20, 2001

Modern Ventilation Systems Don't Transport Anthrax Well

The New York Times is reporting that bio-warfare and HVAC experts do not consider modern building ventilation systems a good transport media for anthrax spores. The article said, "finely ground, weapons-grade spores containing anthrax would
be quickly diluted in any ordinary office building and at least partly filtered by a standard
office ventilation system, as long as it was up to current standards..."

The misuse of a building ventilation system to spread anthrax was one of the things we questioned in our article What is "Weapons Grade Anthrax" Anyway?, earlier this week.

October 19, 2001

Suitcase Containing Explosives Found at Philadelphia Bus Terminal

The Drudge Report pointed out the Philadelphia Inquirer story that reports that The Philadelphia Bomb Squad removed a suitcase containing 1/3 of a pound of C-4 explosive from the Greyhound Bus Terminal in Center City. The suitcase had been placed in a locker on September 29, removed from the locker on October 3 and placed in the Lost and Found. The explosive was discovered today when the building staff went through the baggage that had remained unclaimed for 14 days.

Iraqi Dissident: Muslim World Cannot Blame US for All Its Ills

The Guardian published a powerful opinion piece by Kanan Makiya entitled Fighting Islam's Klu Klux Klan. Makiya is an Iraqi dissident currently teaching in the United States.

...grievances alone do not explain the apocalyptic act of fury that was unleashed upon New York and Washington. Arabs and Muslims need today to face up to the fact that their resentment at America has long since become unmoored from any rational underpinnings it might once have had; like the anti-Semitism of the interwar years, it is today steeped in deeply embedded conspiratorial patterns of thought rooted in profound ignorance of how a society and a polity like the United States, much less Israel, functions.

Noonan Calls Upon Americans to Profile Young Arab Men

In her regular weekly column on OpinionJournal.com, Peggy Noonan calls upon Americans to profile young Arab-looking men. She says:

No one likes "racial profiling," "ethnic profiling," "religious profiling." But I see it this way: If groups of terrorists took out two huge buildings and part of the Pentagon and killed 5,000 people and then decided to unleash anthrax and it emerged that those terrorists were all middle-aged American blond women who tend to dress in blue jeans and T-shirts and like to go by Catholic churches and light candles, I would be deeply upset not only because the terrorists had done what they'd done. I would also be upset because they were just like me! I fit their profile! I look like them! I act like them! Everywhere I went people would notice me and give me hard looks and watch what I was doing. I would feel terrible about this. But you know what else I'd do? I'd suck it up. I'd understand. I wouldn't like it, but I'd get it, and I'd accept it.

Profiling got a bad name because the NJ State Police were a little too aggressive in their investigations on The New Jersey Turnpike. But, there is nothing wrong with profiling as an anti-crime technique. If someone told you that a burglar was at large in your community, the first question you would ask is: What does he look like?

Open your eyes. If you see something that doesn't look normal, start asking questions. Point out such activity to law enforcement. No group and no activity is beyond suspicion at this point. Being a small part of the investigation is a lot more theraputic than watching MSNBC or CNN and worrying if you will be the next victim.

Doctors Say Anthrax Damage is Mainly Psychological

Reuters reports that "psychological damage to society" from biological and chemical attacks could well be greater and longer lasting than any physical impact. The article says, in part, "Judging by the anthrax scares around the globe, the persistent images of spacesuit clad medics on television screens, and cautious assurances uttered by shaken politicians to a jittery public, the psychological effects are already evident."

Refer back to what Senator McCain said in the New York Times yesterday: "More people have been struck by lightning in the last 10 days, I'll bet,
than have contracted anthrax. The country badly needs to settle down."

Special Forces on Ground in Afghanistan

The Washington Post reports that Special Forces has landed in southern Afghanistan. Since many of us cannot visualize what cities are in southern Afghanistan, here is a map of Afghanistan that was produced by the CIA.

Note that Kandahar or Qandahar is located in southern Afghanistan, up the road from the city of Quetta, Pakistan. This is where the Taliban stronghold was, at least prior to the beginning of hostilities.

Families of Victims Struggle for Financial Survival

Another article in USA Today explains the dilemma that faces families of people lost in the terrorist attack. In spite of the fact that over $1 billion has been raised for relief, and over $20 billion in combined aid is likely to be available from private entities and governments at all levels, many families have not received much money.

Now is not the time to blame the CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald or any other company whose offices were destroyed. We call upon the states and federal government to take decisive action to coordinate the relief efforts. Families need to know what they can expect to receive, so that they can make their plans for the future.

Franklin Park "Stunned" by Implication in Anthrax Case

The USA Today reports that residents of Franklin Park, NJ are stunned by the implication of their town in the anthrax cases. This article recounts the fact that the return address for the anthrax-tainted letter sent to Senator Daschle's office had a Franklin Park, NJ return address. It also points out that there were a number of obvious errors in that return address, as we noted in our analysis on October 17.

The USA Today article says, "People here immediately recognized two inconsistencies. There is no Greendale School in Franklin Park or anywhere else in the vicinity, and 08852 is not Franklin Park's ZIP code. But - and many found this chilling - there is a Greenbrook elementary school in nearby Kendall Park; 08852 is located in neighboring South Brunswick; and there is a grammar school in that ZIP code, Monmouth Junction Elementary."

October 18, 2001

Pennsylvania State Funds May Have Been Used to Finance Terrorism

The Philadelphia Daily News reports that the FBI is investigating the transfer of $210,000 in Pennsylvania state funds through a series of counterfeit checks. These funds were drawn through checks payable to people with Arabic names and cleared through banks in Florida and Texas. Once a pattern was identified, Pennsylvania auditors and their clearing banks reportedly stopped the theft of an additional $90,000.

Although attempted fraudulent use of state funds by passing bogus checks is a regular occurance across the United States, the article says that the "difference this time was the size of the checks, timing and links to Arabic names."

What is "Weapons Grade Anthrax" Anyway?

The Washington Post did its part to inform a nervous public by publishing an article which explains the terminology that public health officials use to describe an infectious agent's potential to cause disease. This is helpful, because many news accounts that were published yesterday, like The New York Times article Anthrax Mailed to Senate Is Found to Be Potent Form were loaded with unscientific but serious-sounding terminology.

Another question which has not been answered in print is how many people could be infected by the amount of anthrax that can be mailed in a Number 10 envelope? It's hard to believe that anyone is going to get pulmonary anthrax unless the anthrax is actually airborne. How much lighter could the anthrax sent to Senator Daschle be than confectioners' sugar? And, what is the likelyhood that confectioners' sugar sent in a business envelope would make it into a building's ventilation system?

John McCain has the threat in proper perspective, in our opinion. In the New York Times article Sense of Unease Grips Anthrax Preoccupied Washington, McCain said: "We have had one death from this stuff, and three other confirmed cases. Two of those three are a milder form of the disease. More people have been struck by lightning in the last 10 days, I'll bet, than have contracted anthrax. The country badly needs to settle down."

October 17, 2001

Postal Service Provides Mail Handling Safety Tips

The US Postal Service has posted a document called What To Do If You Receive An Anthrax Threat on their Web Site. It takes the form of a Frequently Asked Questions document, and includes criteria that can be used to identify suspicious letters or parcels.

Among the criteria: "{articles} have no return address, or have one that can't be verified as legitimate", and "show a city or state in the postmark that doesn't match the return address". As we stated in our analysis of the appearance of the anthrax-tainted envelopes, the envelopes sent to Tom Brokaw and Senator Daschle both fail these two criteria.

Justice Department Releases Photo of Anthrax-Tainted Letters

The Associated Press published a photo of the envelopes from two anthrax-tainted letters. A couple of issues with these envelopes obviously stand out:

  1. Return address errors on letter to Senator Daschle. There is no Greendale School in Franklin Park, NJ. The Franklin Park zip code is 08823, not 08852.
  2. Envelopes bought at a Post Office. The envelopes in the picture are on sale a Post Offices throughout the United States. Many post offices have cameras in the customer service counter areas. According to other news accounts, between 40 and 50 post offices feed their outgoing mail through the Trenton Regional Postal Service Center. So, any video tapes at those post offices ought to be reviewed.
  3. Handwriting looks the same on both envelopes. Handwriting analysts ought to have a field day with these envelopes. There are attributes of the handwriting that look unique (address printed in block and small block letters, strange angle to the lines of text, etc.).

You may say that the address errors would be difficult to catch in places like a Senator's office, due to mail volume. But, the zip code error is easy to spot, if you are matching 5 digit zip codes to cities. If CTDATA was likely to be targetted by terrorists, we'd perform checks like this.

Conservative Israeli Cabinet Member Assassinated

The New York Times reports that Rehavam Ze'evi was assassinated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine at the Hyatt Regency Jerusalem. Ze'evi was the Minister of Tourism, and was reportedly the first member of the Israeli cabinet ever assassinated by a Palestinian group.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said that Ze'evi was assassinated in retaliation for the assassination of Abu Ali Mustafa, the PFLP's former leader. Ze'evi was also one of the most strident opponents of compromise with the Palestinian Authority.

Were All Hijackers in on Suicide Pact?

An article in The Washington Post asks the question that has been floating around Talk Radio for days: Were all the September 11 hijackers aware of the fact that they were on a suicide mission?

There are many good arguments supporting the notion that a large number of the terrorists did not know the full details of their dastardly plan. One is that only a few of the terrorists left suicide notes, and the terrorists that did leave suicide notes were trained as pilots or were otherwise readily identified as leaders of hijacker groups.

October 16, 2001

Congresswoman McKinney Injects Herself in Saudi Donation Dispute

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on the continuing controversy over Representative Cynthia McKinney's letter to Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. The article tries to indicate that the Atlanta community is divided over the issue, with Arab-Americans supporting her stance, and Jews opposing it. Yet the on-line poll, appearing on the same Web Page as the article, is running 91 percent to 9 percent in favor of Rudolph Giuliani's rejection of the donation.

[ Text of the McKinney letter to Prince Alwaleed ]

Few Articles Focus on Trenton Post Office Role in Anthrax Cases

We are surprised at the limited number of articles that have run in major newspapers after the revelation that two of the letters involved in anthrax cases were postmarked in Trenton, NJ. Among the articles that were written, the Philly Daily News published the first article that included interviews of people in the Trenton area. According to the article, called More Caution, No Panic in Trenton, "...the people of Trenton say they're too battle-scarred from last month's terrorist attacks to let a little local biohazard scare them."

The Star-Ledger, New Jersey's best newspaper, Trenton mail hub becomes a center of disease fears: "... envelopes they handle might be carrying deadly bacteria such as anthrax. That concern was particularly on the minds of the 900 employees of the Trenton Processing Center in Hamilton Township, which on Sept. 18 postmarked the anthrax- laced letters that infected an NBC News employee and were sent to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.)".

The Trentonian, one of the two daily newspaper in Trenton, is running slightly modified wire service copy. It's primary value add is a locally-written headline.

The Washington Post headline Investigators Scour Post Offices in Fla., NJ for Clues to Deadly Mail's Source only has first hand accounts from the Florida postal distribution center, where the mail intended for American Media was handled. Although seven Washinton Post reporters contributed to the article, none of them filed their report from Trenton.

How PA Workers Saved 250-pound Quadriplegic Co-Worker from WTC

The Star-Ledger reports that nine Port Authority employees teamed up to save a quadriplegic co-worker from the 69th floor of Tower 1 by carrying him down on a special evacuation wheelchair. The group made it out of the World Trade Center with 10 minutes to spare.

Senator Clinton's Motorcade Runs Security Road Block, Injuring Policeman

On Sunday, Cablevision News 12 reported that New York Senator Hillary Clinton's motorcade injured a Westchester County police officer when it attempted to bypass a manditory security checkpoint at the Westchester County Airport. This story was publicized on a few New York City radio stations yesterday, but it took a little while for us to locate, due to the fact that it was reported by a regional cable news outlet that we do not receive in Central New Jersey.

NY Times Tom Friedman: Saudi Royalty in Denial

Dave Aiello wrote, "It's a little hard to believe how much I agree with New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, considering his dovish support of the Palestinian Authority in the past. But, in his column on the Op-Ed page of the Times today, Friedman is absolutely right to point out the huge inconsistencies in the policies of the Saudi royal family toward the current war on terrorism."

"Friedman points out the Saudi's act as if many of the leaders of al Qaeda were not originally from their kingdom. They have not owned up to the fact that they continued to fund the Taliban regime in Afghanistan after it became clear that the country had become a terrorism factory."

"Friedman calls upon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to rechannel the $10 million he tried to give to World Trade Center relief to change the political climate in the Middle East:"

So if you want to do something useful with your $10 million, then endow an anti-corruption
campaign in Saudi Arabia, or endow American Studies departments in all Saudi universities,
or endow a center of Islamic learning in Saudi Arabia that would focus on the teachings of
reformist Islamic scholars. Or give the money to Seeds of Peace, which brings Arab and
Israeli youth together, or invest in development inside Saudi Arabia or Palestine, so young
Saudis and Palestinians can find fulfilling jobs. Or persuade King Fahd to say publicly that
if Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders, Saudi Arabia would lead the Muslim world into
diplomatic relations with Israel.

October 15, 2001

Article Exposes Limitations of Verizon's Lower Manhattan Network

Today, The New York Times published an about the vulnerability of the Verizon infrastructure in Lower Manhattan and the problems that resulted from the World Trade Center attack. The article provides a detailed (non-technical) explanation of the vulnerability of the Verizon facility at 140 West Street. This building is so close to the World Trade Center that falling rubble and steel girders hit it, damaging switching gear dedicated to J.P. Morgan Chase.

It appears that the financial services companies that supposedly have technology risk assessment programs were caught with their pants down. According to the article, "Only after Sept. 11 did executives from the financial services industry in Lower Manhattan come to realize just how many of its eggs were in that one 75-year-old building."

Giuliani to be Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

The Telegraph reports that New York Mayor Giuliani is to be given an honorary knighthood for leadership in the World Trade Center attacks. The announcement was made by Buckingham Palace, on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.

Thomas Von Essen and Bernard Kerik, representing the Fire and Police Departments, will also receive honors.

Infectious Disease Specialists Serving as Seninels in Bio Threat

The Philadelphia Inquirer has a front-page story about doctors specializing in infectious diseases and their role in quickly identifying biological warfare attacks. The doctors interviewed work at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Center City.

Although they spend most of their time consulting on the care of patients with troublesome post-surgical infections and AIDS, they are keeping up to date on developments in biological warfare agents that could be employed by terrorists against targets in the United States.

Hani Hanjour Said to Have Been A Study in Paradoxes

The Washington Post has an interesting article on Hani Hanjour, the terrorist who is believed to have crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

The article provides descriptive information that can be used to profile potential members of al Qaeda: "Hanjour's meek and introverted manner fits a recurrent pattern in the al Qaeda network of unsophisticated young men being recruited as helpers in terrorist attacks. FBI agents have told people that they have interviewed about Hanjour that he 'fit the personality to be manipulated and brainwashed.'"

700 Arrested in Terrorist Sweep of United States

The New York Times reports that 700 people have been arrested in conjunction with the investigation on terrorism. Federal officials believe that these arrests "had broken up several active Al Qaeda cells in the United States."

Yes, but Americans want to know how many of these people were in the United States illegally? And, when will those people and any similarly-situated family members be deported?

Ex-Kuwait Government Official Denounces Kuwait as "Hesitant and Timid"

Judith Miller reports in the New York Times: "In a stunning denunciation of what he called a 'shameful' betrayal of the United States, a former Kuwaiti government minister and member of the ruling family has scorned what he called his country's 'hesitant and timid' support for America's war against terrorism."

Sheik Saud Nasser al-Sabah is further quoted in the Times: "I say that this country of ours is kidnapped, hijacked by groups that call themselves Islamic but in truth use Islam as a cover and a garb for political goals." The New York Times article quotes extensively from an article in Asharq al-Awset, a popular Saudi-owned newspaper published in London.

Al Qaeda May Have "Radiological" Weapons

Bill Gertz reports in the Washington Times that al Qaeda may have created radiological weapons, which are primarily designed to deliver large amounts of radiation as opposed to a nuclear blast. Such weapons would attempt to maximize death in a relatively confined area.

The article also refers to possibility that al Qaeda may have built simple chemical weapons that require limited technological expertise. These weapons would contain chemicals like chlorene and phosgene as their payloads.

Al Qaeda Tells Muslims to Avoid Planes and Skyskrapers

The BBC has reported that Al Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith warned Muslims in the US and UK not to travel by plane or live in skyscrapers. The warning was broadcast over the Al Jazeera news network.

Abu Ghaith added another demand to the litany he has previously recited: now Al Qaeda wants the Western countries to stop supporting the Hindus against the Muslims in Kashmir. Kashmir is an area which India and Pakistan have been struggling to control.

Diatribes like these are losing their impact. It was important to see and understand these statements early in the crisis, so that the threats could be better understood. But, Westerners who believe in God are not infidels, and no harangue for extremists like Sulaiman Abu Ghaith will change that.

We are re-evaluating our approach to reporting on Al Qaeda's communiques because they have more value to their own members and friends as propaganda than they do to us as insight into what they are planning.

October 12, 2001

Strong Anti-Terrorism Bill Passes Senate

The Senate passed a very strong anti-terrorism bill last night 96-1. Many of the provisions of this bill have been sought by law enforcement officials for some time. Passage of this bill was not hailed in all quarters: Slashdot thought passage of this bill was tantamount to the destruction of freedom.

Airport Security Firm Hired Felons

The Washington Post reports that Argenbright Security, the company that provides security at Philadelphia International Airport hired employees with criminal records, even after being fined for doing so.

A quick Google search for "Argenbright Security" indicates that this company has had plenty of trouble in the past, including problems at O'Hare with the FAA and problems with labor law violations at LAX.

FBI Issues Most Wanted Terrorist List, Warning About Potential Attacks

In the last 48 hours, The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a Most Wanted List of Suspected Terrorists and a warning of the potential for new terrorist attacks in the next few days. We are posting links to this information in order to help the FBI spread the word.

Further details on the circumstances surrounding the FBI attack warning can be found in an article in today's Washington Post.

Press Conference Seeks to Explain Limbaugh's Hearing Loss

Yesterday, a press conference to explain Rush Limbaugh's sudden hearing loss was held in Los Angeles. RushLimbaugh.com posted a partial transcript of the press conference for people who did not hear it live. Apparently, it was carried live on many of the radio stations that also carry The Rush Limbaugh Program.

NY Times Says Bush Has "New Gravitas"

Don Imus pointed out that The New York Times Editorial Board completed its 180-degree change of perspective on the George W. Bush presidency today. According to their editorial, "The George W. Bush who addressed the nation at a prime-time news conference yesterday appeared to be a different man from the one who was just barely elected president last year, or even the man who led the country a month ago. He seemed more confident, determined, and sure of his purpose and was in full command of the complex array of political and military challenges that he faces in the wake of the terrible terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. It was for the most part a reassuring performance that gave comfort to an uneasy nation."

Small Businesses Feel Neglected by Recovery Effort

The New York Times reports that small businesses in Lower Manhattan see themselves benefitting less from recovery efforts than large businesses. For some reason, newspapers and magazines focus on restaurants and newsstands when they want to illustrate small business problems. But, there are hundreds of businesses in Lower Manhattan and elsewhere in the region that have been terribly hurt by the disaster. CTDATA is one of them.

October 11, 2001

Giuliani Rejects $10 Million Gift from Saudi Prince

In a remarkable demonstration of political courage, NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani rejected a $10 million donation from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal for the Twin Towers Fund, citing a political statement in a press release that accompanied the donation.

The press release included the following statement, attributed to Prince Alwaleed: "However, at times like this one, we must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack. I believe the government of the United States of America should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance towards the Palestinian cause. Our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of Israelis while the world turns the other cheek."

Giuliani, who was not aware of Alwaleed's statement when he initially accepted the check, said upon being informed of the statement: "I entirely reject that statement. That's totally contrary to what I said at the United Nations {referring to his speech last Monday}. There is no moral equivalent for this act. There is no justification for it. The people who did it lost any right to ask for justification for it when they slaughtered 4,000 or 5,000 innocent people. And to suggest that there's a justification for it only invites this happening in the future. It is highly irresponsible and very, very dangerous."

NJ Families Struggle to Cope, One Month Later

Today's Star-Legder describes the plight of support groups in Northern New Jersey trying to help survivors and families of people lost in the World Trade Center deal with their grief. The article discusses the situations at Family Services of Morris County, St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Chatham, and a newly-created group called The United Fund in Westfield.

Over in The Daily Record, Matthew Katz interviews survivors of the World Trade Center. Patrick Farnan, a 25 year-old survivor from Parsippany, is quoted as saying, "You know when it rains, you see rain flowing into the gutter? Well, just imagine blood. It was the sickest thing you can imagine."

Taliban: a Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of bin Laden

On the front page of today's Washington Post Bob Woodward reports that Osama bin Laden has given over $100 million to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
Woodward says, "government sources said, the CIA has concluded that bin Laden 'owns and operates' the Taliban, highlighting the pervasive influence that bin Laden and his al Qaeda forces exert within Afghanistan."

White House Asks TV Networks Not to Air bin Laden Statements Live

Yesterday, the Bush Administration asked TV Networks to limit the use of video tapes provided by al Qaeda. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice held a conference call at 9:00am to warn that "long, prerecorded statements issued by bin Laden and his spokesmen to frighten Americans and inspire supporters, and could even included coded messages that could result in new attacks."

CTDATA has published links to translations of bin Laden and al Qaeda statements. We do not consider these translations to be a vehicle for coded messages because the translation into English is done by a third party (in most cases, the BBC). Also, by separating the text from the video, abuse by techniques like steganography, coded eye blinks, etc., is not possible.

Al Qaeda Launders Money Through Honey Trading

The New York Times reports that Osama bin Laden uses a network of shops that sell honey to generate income for and provide logistical support to al Qaeda, the terrorist network that he created. Apparently, honey is an important part of people's diets throughout the Middle East and other predominantly Muslim countries like Pakistan.

Included in this article is a diagram of the al Qaeda Organization, including a list of five companies that are reportedly fronts for the terrorist network.

Excite@Home Stops Accepting New Customers

CNET News.com reports that Excite@Home has stopped accepting new broadband customers in order to conserve cash. It is not clear exactly how this impacts @Home partners such as Comcast and Cox Communications, although Cox released an explicit statement last week reiterating its commitment to uninterrupted high speed internet service.

CTDATA does business with Comcast for broadband access at our Lawrenceville, NJ office. Our service is, however, provided by their business communications unit. We have not noticed any affect on our service since Excite@Home declared bankruptcy, although the routing of our Internet traffic goes over @Home facilities quite often. We will keep an eye on the situation and provide updates as the situation warrants.

Update: We have now done several stories on the impact of various aspects of Excite's bankruptcy on cable companies and their customers. To see other stories, search CTDATA for Comcast Excite.

October 10, 2001

Limbaugh's Hearing Loss Result of Auto-Immune Disorder

Matt Drudge has learned that Rush Limbaugh's hearing loss is probably the result of an auto-immune disorder. Reportedly, the condition is called auto-immune inner ear disease (AIED). It is extremely rare, causing less than one percent of all hearing and equilibrium loss.

Mini Network Monitor Version 0.1

Dave Aiello wrote, "Some of you know that I have been working for the last couple of weeks to develop some more significant experience with the Java programming language. Now that I have successfully built an application and figured out how to make a JAR file out of it, I am releasing it for comment, at least to friends and relatives."

"The program is called Mini Network Monitor, or mnm. It monitors a list of web servers by DNS name and reports on the application's ability to connect to them. It is not a full featured application, and it is being released without any warranty whatsoever. You can download it from the following link:"

[ mnm 0.1 in JAR format ]

"If you want to see the source code, please send me an email, and I will consider releasing it to you. Read on for system requirements and instructions for running the application...."

Dave Aiello continued:

This application runs under JDK 1.3 on Windows NT 4.0 and the Java 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition, Version 1.3.1 on Windows NT 4.0. I expect that it will operate on any version of the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition, Version 1.3 or later.

If you do not develop with Java on your personal computer, you probably need to download the Java 2 Runtime Environment. This can be found at the following location on Sun's Java Web Site:

[ Java 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition ]

Installation Instructions

  1. Download and install J2RE, if necessary.
  2. Download mnm.jar from CTDATA.com.
  3. Save to your local disk drive.
  4. Bring up a shell / command window on your computer.
  5. Change to the directory where you saved mnm.jar.
  6. Issue the following command:

    java -jar mnm.jar

Special thanks to Jen Colangelo and Ed Anuff for their technical suggestions and encouragement.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Boston Globe: Hijackers Sought Prostitutes on Night Before

The Boston Globe is reporting that the hijackers of United Flight 175 and American Flight 11 contacted escort services with the idea of using them on the night of September 10. This is a great article because it calls into question the terrorist's belief in their supposed reward in heaven. It also illustrates the scope of the FBI investigations that are taking place in Boston, such as questioning cab drivers and escort service workers.

Recalling the article that Bob Woodward wrote for the Washington Post two weeks ago, you have to ask if all of the hijackers were on the same religious wavelength as Mohammed Atta? If they were, then what were the hijackers who stayed the previous night in Boston doing trying to hire prostitutes?

ESpeed and TradeSpark May Be Only Viable Businesses for Cantor Fitzgerald

Forbes.com is reporting that eSpeed and TradeSpark are the only viable businesses left for Cantor Fitzgerald unless it hires a completely new traditional brokerage staff in the United States. For those who do not know, eSpeed is an electronic bond trading marketplace, while TradeSpark is an electronic energy trading marketplace.

In other developments related to Cantor Fitzgerald, callers to NYC talk radio stations have complained that the families of lost Cantor employees do not expect to receive bonus payments due to their loved ones and other forms of deferred compensation. The company attempts to address many of these issues on the Benefits Page of its Emergency Information Web Site.

Special Forces May Be Featured in Next Phase of Attack

Today's New York Times lead story indicates that The Pentagon is planning to use helicopter gunships to attack bin Laden's forces in ways that high altitude bombing cannot. Special forces based just outside Afghanistan are likely to make these attacks.

Al Qaeda Exhorts Muslims to Join Jihad

The BBC published the text of a new statement from al Qaeda calling upon Muslims to wage war on the Allies. This statement was read by Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, one of Osama bin Laden's leading lieutenants.

The text of the statement is full of apparent quotations from the Koran. Abu Gaith begins with a particularly sensitive passage instructing Muslims to avoid associating with Christians and Jews.

The rhetoric in this statement is among the most inflamatory used since the beginning of hostilities. Al Qaeda is apparently not interested in encouraging a peace movement in the United States or other Western nations. Any educated person who reads this statement would come to the conclusion that al Qaeda hates anyone who does not adhere to their religious and social views.

Blair, Visiting Troops in Middle East, Receives Death Threats

The BBC reports that Scotland Yard is investigating a statement allegedly made by a Pakistani spokesman for a British-based Islamic group. Agence France Press claims that the spokesman for Al Muhajiroun said that British Prime Minister Tony Blair is a "legitimate target" for Muslims.

Blair is travelling in the Middle East, visiting troops and political leaders who are part of the military alliance. He indicated that such threats are just part of his job.

Taliban: Bin Laden Free to Wage Holy War Against U.S.

Reuters reports that the Taliban regime in Afghanistan has lifted its curbs on Osama bin Laden and indicated that he is free to "wage holy war on the United States". This is a reversal of the Taliban's stated policy of three days ago. On Sunday, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef offered to detain bin Laden and try him under Islamic law if the United States made a formal request.

It is now obvious why the Taliban regime was never recognized by the international community as a legitimate government: its policies are subject to change without notice.

From our perspective, there is little difference between the policies of the Taliban and the so-called War Lords who have controlled Somalia since before the U.S. military intervened there in 1993. Recent reports in the BBC indicate that the situation in Somalia has not changed much recently and Somalia may be another base of terrorist activity against the industrialized nations. It will be interesting to see if the Allies take action in this country in the coming months.

October 9, 2001

What is al Jazeera?

The Guardian has an interesting article on al Jazeera, the 24 hour Arabic-language satellite TV station. Many of the staff come from an ill-fated Arabic BBC TV service, which failed because a Saudi company responsible for transmitting it was pressured by its government into pulling it off the air.

As the article says: "That would have been the end of it had the Emir of Qatar not offered $100 {million}, spread over five years, to fund a new and independent-minded TV station. Ready-trained staff from the BBC channel joined it en masse, bringing - as they see it - BBC values with them."

Bush Orders Enhanced Protection of Classified Information

President Bush ordered members of his cabinet to limit the amount of information shared with Congressional rank and file. According to the article, the Attorney General, the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Treasury, and the Directors of the CIA and FBI, have been ordered to brief only the senior leadership of Congress.

Some reports have indicated that this policy was undertaken in response to a leak of information from a confidential intelligence briefing given to members of Congress.

Breaking Out of a WTC Elevator

The New York Times tells the story of six men who escaped from an express elevator in the World Trade Center by breaking through a sheetrock and tile wall, and walking down an escape stairwell from the 50th floor. One of the men in the elevator was a window washer, so they used the edge of his squeegee to dig through the sheetrock.

Apparently, the wall between the elevator shaft and the bathroom consisted of three one-inch thick layers of sheetrock and tile. The men were able to dig through two layers of sheetrock with the aid of the squeegee edge. This is an amazing story of survival and well worth reading.

NY Times Publishes Excellent Article on State of WTC Subfloors

Today's New York Times "Science Times" section publishes another excellent article about the exploration of the basements of the World Trade Center. We have followed this aspect of the recovery effort closely. Information about the state of the Concourse and the basements have been found in articles about the 1-9 Subway Reconstruction, the difficulty in initially reaching the debris field of the towers, and the early exploration of the WTC Concourse.

This information is important to putting the devastation in context. Many of us who have worked in Lower Manhattan are very familiar with the layout of the Concourse and the basements. Therefore, diagrams like the one included in today's article make it much easier to visualize the damage. Also, the PATH station for Lower Manhattan is in the basement of the World Trade Center, and full recovery of the area is impossible without restoration PATH service to the former World Trade Center or to a new station.

The diagram of the WTC basements included in this article is the best we've seen in any Web-based newspaper article. By looking at the layer of the cut-away called "Basement 6", you can see the route that the PATH tracks through WTC basements. The rails passed directly under 2 World Trade Center. This is probably the reason that three of the seven cars of an empty PATH train left in the World Trade Center station were crushed.

October 8, 2001

Times of London: Anthrax Might be "Inept" Attack on Newspaper Office

A New York-based reporter for The Times of London wrote an article for Tuesday publication which suggests that the anthrax outbreak in Florida may be a deliberate attempt to kill employees of a newspaper. The outbreak is known to have killed one employee of the Sun supermarket tabloid, and the bacteria has been found on at least one other man who works for the company.

A retired US Army biological weapons expert is reported as saying, "I cannot conceive of any way that it could be natural. What it does suggest is a somewhat inept person may have released it intentionally into the building and had a mixed bag of small and large particles and did not know what he was doing."

Rush Limbaugh Affected by Profound Hearing Loss

Earlier today, Rush Limbaugh told his audience that he has lost virtually all of his hearing in the past 3 months. Last week when he was supposedly on vacation, he was rehearsing ways that he could continue hosting his show without hearing the callers.

The Drudge Report has a story repeating the announcement and providing a transcript of Rush Limbaugh's statement to his audience. The Associated Press also ran a story summarizing the situation late this afternoon.

Update: The Washington Post ran a story about Rush Limbaugh in its Entertainment section. In it Al Franken is quoted as saying, "If I had my druthers, his show wouldn't be on the air and it wouldn't be as popular as it is. But, no one wishes anything like this on him." Who cares if you hate what Rush Limbaugh stands for, Al? Can't you give it a rest in a situation like this?

Text of Bin Laden Speech Published by BBC

The BBC posted a transcript of a message recorded by Osama Bin Laden and broadcast initially by the al Jazeera television channel, based in Qatar.

We point to the text of his message because we feel that it is important for people living in democratic countries to read his words. We post these links without comment.

WSJ Describes Its Recovery from the Disaster

Robert Bartley, the editor of the Wall Street Journal wrote an article on OpinionJournal.com that describes the process of putting their paper together on September 12. This is a good article, because it explains the logistics and technology involved in this effort, in layman's terms.

October 5, 2001

20 Foot High Piece of WTC Deemed a Cross, Blessed by Priest

A 20 foot section of one of the buildings of the World Trade Center which was discovered two days after the terrorist attack, has been referred to by the rescue workers in the area as a cross. Many of the workers consider it a symbol of God's presence amid the rubble.

On Thursday, a Franciscan priest blessed the cross after it was hoisted into position atop one of the piers of a destroyed pedestrian walkway. [ Photo ]

How Google Handled The Terrorist Attacks

Richard Wiggins has written an interesting summary of Google's user interface adaptations as it attempted to help people find information about the terrorist attacks. This article appears on a Web Site called First Monday, a project of the University of Chicago Library.

Technologists generally agree that Google is the best search engine, in terms of its clean user interface and broad coverage of the Internet. But, it also demonstrated common sense in this case by deviating from its traditional look and feel. Furthermore, it continuously adapted its UI modifications as relevant content became more available.

October 4, 2001

British Government Summarizes Evidence Against Bin Laden

In a 70-point document that reads like an indictment, the British Government provides the world with ample evidence that Osama bin Laden and his associates in the al Qaeda Organization committed the atrocities that took place on September 11 in New York, Washington, and Western Pennsylvania. We salute British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his government once again for their courage in laying out the case.

Clinton Didn't Do Enough to Stop al Qaeda

Rush Limbaugh writing on OpinionJournal.com has concluded that Bill Clinton did not do enough to attack Osama bin Laden or stop the development of al Qaeda, late in his presidency. He provides information from the Associated Press and Jane's Intelligence Digest to support his conclusion.

In his piece, Limbaugh quotes Jane's, saying:

...the failure to deal with al Qaeda was due "to a political reluctance to take decisive action during the
Clinton era, mainly because of a fear that it might derail the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. This was "combined with a general
complacency in Washington towards warnings that the U.S. itself (as opposed to U.S. facilities and personnel abroad) might be

Federal Agencies Pull Web Content for Security Reasons

Tomalak's Realm pointed out this St. Petersburg Times article, which provides details on some information that has been removed from Federal Agency Web Sites. The information removed includes everything from chemical plant disaster plans on the EPA Web Site to pipelines at the Department of Transportation.

Families Breaking New Ground with Memorial Services

Mary Jo Patterson wrote an article in today's Star-Legder that illustrates the different ways people are choosing to remember their lost friends and family members. If you compare this article to the one we pointed out last week which discussed hesitance to hold any sort of memorial services, it appears that many more relatives of those lost in the World Trade Center are progressing through the grieving process, with or without the recovery of remains.

The main point of the Star-Legder article, however, is that memorial services for those lost in the World Trade Center are quite vaired. Many are not involving funeral homes, opting instead for prayer services.

The thing that this article does not point out is that non-relatives who want to participate in memorial services for friends and neighbors are scrambling to keep up with arrangements that are often announced shortly before services take place. In the search for information about Jack Eichler's memorial service we discovered that NJ.com's obituaries are running 24 hours behind print editions of the newspapers in at least some cases.

NY Times Describes Difficulty Strengthening Canadian Border

Today's New York Times talks about the difficulty of increasing supervision over the longest undefended border in the world. There is a solution: militarization. America ought to deploy the military across the U.S.-Canadian border, if only to see who and what is attempting to cross the border without passing through customs.

Obviously, this goes double for the U.S.-Mexican border.

Can anyone believe that the U.S. Border Patrol has only 8,000 men and that they are only planning to increase staff by 2,000? After all, there are over 39,000 uniformed officers in the New York Police Department alone.

October 3, 2001

Star-Ledger Tells Story of Stockbroker Statue in Liberty Plaza Park

The Star-Ledger is reporting that a statue called "Double Check" has remained intact across the street from One Liberty Plaza, near Ground Zero. The statue by J. Seward Johnson, Jr., heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, was a small landmark in Lower Manhattan prior to the disaster. However, from the sound of this story, it has become a symbol of the disaster and the recovery.

For readers familiar with the disaster site, "Double Check" is a life-sized sculpture of a stockbroker seated on a bench in the park, looking inside his briefcase.

Greyhound Bus Crash in Tennessee Kills 6

Update: The Associated Press reports that a Greyhound Bus en route to Atlanta crashed in Tennessee, killing at least 6 and injuring about 30. A passenger initially claimed that a fellow passenger killed the driver by slitting his throat seconds before the crash.

According to the FBI, the perpetrator attacked the driver with a knife, but the driver survived. The attacker died, apparently as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. The attacker was traveling with a Croatian passport.

Tony Blair Makes Case for Attack on Terrorist Network

At the Labor Party Conference in Brighton, England yesterday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair gave a speech that will go down in history as one of the greatest speeches of the Twenty-First Century. In making the case for action against terrorism, he said:

...So what do we do?

Don't overreact some say. We aren't.

We haven't lashed out. No missiles on the first night just for effect.

Don't kill innocent people. We are not the ones who waged war on the innocent. We seek the guilty.

Look for a diplomatic solution. There is no diplomacy with Bin Laden or the Taliban regime.

State an ultimatum and get their response. We stated the ultimatum; they haven't responded.

Understand the causes of terror. Yes, we should try, but let there be no moral ambiguity about this: nothing could ever justify the events of 11 September, and it is to turn justice on its head to pretend it could....

In Memory of Jack Eichler, Retired Executive

Dave Aiello wrote, "It is with great sadness that I point out Jack Eichler's obituary on NJ.com. According to my father, this obituary appeared in the print editions of The Star-Ledger yesterday."

"Jack Eichler was my aunt Joan Aiello's brother, and I saw him fairly often at family get togethers. Yet, my most vivid memories of Jack is running into him in the World Trade Center or the World Financial Center on my way to work at my consulting client J.P. Morgan Chase."

Dave Aiello continued:

Until I read the Star-Ledger obituary, I did not know that he had retired back in 1994. Jack was the kind of person who obviously came into Lower Manhattan because he enjoyed it. I would have guessed that Jack was in his late 60s because I know how old my family members of his generation are. But, he never looked close to his age.

I know I saw Jack once or twice at the WFAN Radiothon for Tomorrow's Childrens' Fund over the past few years, when it was held at the Wintergarden of the World Financial Center. He must have listened to Imus in the Morning as do I and many people in my family.

Tomorrow afternoon, there will be a memorial service for Jack in Cedar Grove, NJ. I will be there to comfort my aunt Joan, her sisters-in-law Peggy Eichler and Lois Churchill, and Peggy's son Rod, whom I also saw downtown a number of times over the years. But I'd be there just for Jack, if he didn't have anyone else. Of the four people I know who died in the World Trade Center, I felt closest to him. I will miss him.

October 2, 2001

NATO Says U.S. Proved Terrorist Attacks Directed from Overseas

The Associated Press reported that NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson has said that the U.S. has provided "clear and compelling evidence" that Osama bin Laden was involved in the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington. Robertson said, "It is clear that all roads lead to al-Qaida and pinpoint Osama bin Laden as having been involved in it."

According to the article, the evidence presented was sufficient to fully invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which is the joint response to attack provision of the NATO charter.

Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Transition Begins

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is taking the first steps in the transition of power that will take place when Governor Tom Ridge resigns to take the job as director of the federal Office of Homeland Security. Ironically, the first visible step is to change the governor's name on "Welcome to Pennsylvania" highway signs. Only people from the Northeastern United States can really appreciate the humor in this.

Restaurants to Create "Windows of Hope" Event on October 11

A number of restauranteurs have created a fund raising program to benefit the food service workers who were injured or killed in the World Trade Center disaster. Participants in this program, called Windows of Hope, will contribute at least 10 percent of their sales on Thursday, October 11 to the relief fund.

The Windows of Hope Web Site, http://www.windowsofhope.org/, includes a directory of participating restaurants from coast to coast. CTDATA encourages all of its friends to find a participating restaurant, go out to dinner on October 11, and support the victims families and the restaurant industry.

Memorial Service for Cantor Fitzgerald Workers Held at Central Park

In dreary conditions yesterday, a memorial service was held for the deceased Cantor Fitzgerald and eSpeed employees at Central Park. Over 2,500 people including Mayor Rudolph Giuliani attended the service.

According to the article, Giuliani proceeded to a memorial service for the workers at Windows on the World. Senators Schumer and Clinton are reported to have attended the service as well, which was held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side.

October 1, 2001

In Memory of Vito DeLeo, Heating and Air Conditioning Engineer at WTC

Dave Aiello wrote, "Anothony Crowdell told me that Vito DeLeo died in the World Trade Center disaster. Vito was a member of the Metropolitan NY-NJ Chapter of the National Ice Hockey Officials Association, a group that I joined over 10 years ago. Vito is the second person I knew through the sport of ice hockey to have died in the World Trade Center."

"I wanted to take this opportunity to say that Vito and his family are in our thoughts and prayers. I hope that one day someone in his family sees this rememberance and is comforted by it."