I was fortunate enough to be inside for last night’s 9/11 memorial dinner at Cipriani on Wall St in NYC. It’s strange where circumstances take you sometimes. Since it was a benefit dinner to raise money for the memorial there were of course the socialites, the glad-handers, the politicians, the news personalities. The food was top quality, the staff was coordinated, the security was tight, the presentation was superb. It had everything, even Billy Crystal as a host.
Mayor Bloomberg gave the keynote presentation and handed out some awards to donors and partners of the memorial. He mentioned all the politicians in attendance, even Christine Whitman, which surprised me. Readers may remember that she famously told all the WTC site workers that the air was safe the breathe in a desperate attempt to cover up the dangers and get Wall St. reopened. She was later surrounded by bitter controversy as thousands of first responders, now dying, became seriously ill with respiratory illnesses and were denied health care because the government didn’t believe that it was a work related injury. Even Larry Silverstein was there, the man who made billions of dollars in insurance payouts after the collapse of the buildings. Buildings which were full of asbestos and would cost a fortune to remodel.
One thing that struck me about the theme was that with all the emotion of the presentation, there was nothing that would put anyone in a bad mood by making them think about the dead and dying first responders who have been barred from the memorial event on September 11th this year. There were mentions of the names on the memorial and how important that will be for family members to be able to walk up and touch. There was a mention of the official memorial flag from the site and even a transplanted tree that’s been dubbed the “survivor’s tree” that was saved from the wreckage. But all of this emphasizes the desired emotional response that donors want to hear: “We’re New Yorkers, we can survive anything”. If you know something about propaganda and logic, this tact is called an appeal to vanity. It’s basically flattering your listener into agreeing with you so that they will accept the next thing you’re going to say. After this, the mayor went into a bit about how ten years later NYC has continued to thrive and that is evidence that the terrorists didn’t win. Well if barring prayer from the 9/11 memorial service, military on the streets, cameras on every corner, bomb dogs in the subway, the “See Something, Say Something” snitch campaign, no liquids on airplanes, body scanners, TSA groping, the Patriot Act, restrictions of the 1st amendment, 2nd amendment, 4th amendment, 6th amendment, 10th amendment, endless foreign wars, an economic depression, increased racial tension (the ground zero mosque?), illegal warrantless wiretapping and an increase in opium exports from Afghanistan isn’t a “win” for the terrorists then I don’t know what is.
What insults my intelligence is when people applaud for this bull when our freedoms are being eviscerated by a fraudulant war on terrorism that will bankrupt and drag down this country to 2nd world status. In just a few years we’ve fallen from 1st to 5th among most economically competitive nations. The only reason we’ve held onto the top spot for so long is because of the dollar’s status as a world reserve currency, meaning that other countries are forced to use it regardless of how much we inflate it.
People must not forget that Bin Laden, who according to FBI translator Sibil Edmunds, was working for the U.S. government up until the events of 9/11. Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, head of Able Danger, alerted the Pentagon numerous times leading up to 9/11 that a serious threat was imminent and even identified Mohamad Atta by name and picture. The enemies of the state are the ones who knowingly ignored the intelligence and spread the lies about terrorists on airplanes being solely responsible for the event. They then used it as an opportunity to set up an oppressive police state and are still running free and reaping the benefits of this tragedy. Remember former Dept. of Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff? He now sells body scanners to the government.
In the end, the memorial is a beautiful piece of art that will mean a lot to the families of the victims and anyone who was emotionally effected. It will serve as a permanent reminder of what took place, but I will not find solace in it until those responsible for allowing it to happen are brought to justice.