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Thursday, April 27, 2006

2006 NYS Attorney General Candidates' 9/11/01 Questions

2006 is an election year for the Office of NYS Attorney General.

I'm quite disappointed that our current AG, Eliot Spitzer, has been stonewalling an investigation of the attacks on 9/11/01 and how they affected NYS. I was a big Spitzer fan, but I'm not voting for him, unless in the waning days of his tenure he opens up an investigation with subpoena powers. Not likely, word has it that a major staffer in his office has some links with folks that would rather not open up this can of worms.

Then there's AG candidate Mark Green, another old advocacy favorite of mine. He's the author of 'Reagan's Reign of Error,' written over twenty years ago at the height of Reagan's popularity, and Green is a former 'Nader Raider,' who was Mayor Giuliani's nemesis for years in his role as NYC Public Advocate. Giuliani so hated Green that he attempted to amend the NYC Charter so that, in the case of the Mayor's vacating of that office, the Public Advocate couldn't step in as acting-Mayor through the next Mayoral election. Giuliani further put it to Green when he pretty much drafted Michael Bloomberg to run as his successor, necessitating a party switch for the lifelong Democrat (since he would have lost in that party's primary), and the limousine liberal putting up tens of millions of his own dollars to finance his campaign.

Interestingly, in the aftermath of the 9/11/01 attacks on the WTC, during the campaign between Bloomberg and Green, Giuliani attempted to extend his term beyond his charter mandated two-term term limit. Giuliani, and many people in the wake of the shocked aftermath of the terror attacks, believed that only Giuliani could possibly govern NYC. The courts didn't agree, and neither did Bloomberg, his hand-picked successor, who said that he could govern the city in 2002, or during any emergency, just fine.

Green, however, abandoned his good-government and rule-of-law principles and said that he'd step aside for Giuliani to continue his term throughout the duration of the emergency! This waffling or pandering showed Green to be perceived as a wimpy opportunist. Perhaps he thought he was being magnamimous, or he doubted his abilities. It was an awful posture for Green to assume, since Giuliani supporters weren't won over, since Giuliani hated Green even more than Green hated him, and Green's supporters hated Giuliani even more than they loved Green!

This, and a bruising Democratic primary battle with Ferrer (who ran in 2001 as a conservative Democrat), enabled Bloomberg, a newly converted Republican in a town with 5x as many Democrats to squeak past Green, who had previously served as a two term Public Advocate garnering the highest percentage of votes in those elections. Bloomberg did a pretty good job, balancing the budget, creating a promising 311 NYC information line, keeping crime rates low, and getting smoking banned in bars. His major flaw being the brutal clampdown on protestors and passers-by during the Republican National Convention in which people were swept of the streets and put into pre-emptive detention for days, which is illegal, to prevent lawful protests in Manhattan during the convention. Bloomberg ruled the table, and he handily beat Ferrer in the last election in which Baghdad's voter turnout in their last elections exceed NYC's by more than two-to-one.

Green sat the last election cycle out, but some of us New Yorkers and former Green fans still remember his cave-in to post-9/11/01 government fear mongering, personnified by Giuliani's ghoulish power-grab attempt. Mark Green as NYS Attorney General candidate needs to pledge that he'll investigate the 9/11/01 attacks on NYC, the failure to prevent the attacks, the mysterious circumstances during the attacks, and the failures afterward. At the very least, there are many unanswered questions and many flaws in protecting the public that are either flagrantly negligent or even criminal.

The Village Voice recently raised some questions and issues about the attacks.

But there are things that the NY State AG should specifically investigate including:

Air Defenses of our city failing on 9/11/01:

Why wasn't NYC protected from attacks by the Air Force, especially since the WTC was a previous target, and there was plenty of notice after the first hijacking when the FAA heard early on that they 'had several planes'?

Why did the Air Force send fighters from Cape Cod when there are closer bases?

Did the multiple Air Force war games that day, some of which drilled for multiple hijackings and a plane crashing into a building affect their defense of NYC?

What is being done to prevent this complete defense failure from happening again?

We spend billions on air defenses, why is Tokya and Taipei getting better protection from our Air Force than NYC? Shouldn't NYC have Air Force protection a few minutes away at all times?

Generally, planes that go off course or turn off their transponders are immediately confronted by Air Force planes. Why were none of the hijacked planes intercepted by fighter planes? Has the Air Force corrected this breach of security?

Unusual Stock Trading leading up to the day of the attacks:

Were there unusually high put-option trades (bets that stocks would fall in value) on UA, AA, the insurers of WTC, and some of the major tenants? Who placed these trades? Is there a pattern? What is the outcome of the investigations done so far?

Doesn't the SEC and the CIA monitor unusual trading volumes, sometimes in real time? Did this happen the week before 9/11/01?

Why did WTC 7 fall when it wasn't hit by a plane? Why did WTC 1 & 2 fall?

The WTC 7 collapse has never been determined nor investigated fully. If a fire took a steel framed building (constructed in the 1980s) down for the first time in history, then this needs to be determined. Or if the PA was scrimping somehow on construction and maintenance, then this needs to be determined before they rebuild the WTC.

Why would three skyscrapers fall from fires when this has never happened before in history?

Some reporters and firefighters report hearing explosions before and after the planes hit. Why did some building employees report explosions in the basement?

Were Columbia University's Lahmont Doherty Geological Observatory (which measures local earthquakes) measurements coinciding with the timing of the building collapses, or did they register shocks before the collpses?

Did the EPA do anything illegal or irresponsible in declaring downtown safe so soon after the attacks?

Why was the evidence after the attacks removed so quickly and sold off overseas so quickly?

This was evidence at a crime scene. Was it scrutinized fully? If not, who made this decision and why?

Also, if the towers did fall because of the planes' fuel, then examining the evidence would make it safer for all buildings that might get hit by a plane. The Empire State Building was hit by a bomber, for example.

Why did the first responders have such failing communications equipment? Wasn't this problem identified after the first WTC attack in 1993? We had the entire Giuliani era to address this problem. What steps were taken during his era?

Has there been progress in the nearly five years since the second attacks?

Why were the exits to the WTC not all working in 2001?

Wasn't this problem identified after the first WTC attack in 1993? Is the PA liable for this repeated failure?

Should the PA have NYS oversight in developing and inspecting the new WTC's emergency systems? Is the PA qualified to be in the real estate development and ownership business?

Is the PA exempt from any building rules that most landlords and developers must comply with? If so, are other PA projects that the public uses, including airports, dangerous or safe? Should the PA's building safety exemptions be modified?

Perhaps the PA should be sticking to developing the ports and the economy with regard to shipping? NYC's economic heritage was based on its shipping, and since the PA took over the port we've lost a great deal of shipping in NYC, while trucks spew gasses and waste that contributes to our population's high asthma rate.

Why did the Port Authority security tell the office workers in WTC 2 not to evacuate and to return to their offices after WTC 1 was hit, especially in light of the previous attack in 1993?

Is the PA liable for this deadly move?

Was the PA putting the perceived needs of their tenants, employers, ahead of their tenants' employees' safety? Can they be trusted again as a safe landlord.

Were there flight recorders/black boxes recovered?

Flight recorders are designed to withstand more intense fires and impacts and few have ever been lost. Some rescue workers reported that the FBI took them. Were they recovered and taken? What information was recovered?

The NTSB is a highly respected authority on air catastrophes. Have they been able to review any of the planes' evidence and make an authoritative report?

Is it true that John Ashcroft and the US military stopped flying on domestic commercial flights before 9/11/01? Were NY'ers given these warnings?

Is it true that members of the Executive Branch took Cipro anti-biotic before 9/11/01 and the ensuing Anthrax attacks in October 2001 which affected NY'ers?

What is the status of the Anthrax Attacker investigation?

We last heard that the strain of the weapon was only found in US labs. Are these labs more secure? Isn't manufacturing biological weapons illegal according to treaties that the US signed?

Is there anything to the 'squibs' or 'puffs of smoke' on video tapes that indicate explosions preceding below the three WTC buildings' collapses?

Is there any evidence that terrorists put explosives in these buildings? Some demolition experts say that the smoke, heat and duration of the fires indicate explosives. Were the planes or the buildings rigged with explosives?

If so, then other attacks might be able to be prevented, and perhaps we can gather more evidence about these attacks so we can find who supplied the attackers.

When you look at this time line of events culled from mainstream articles before and after the attacks, it is clear that there are many patterns and unanswered questions that need investigation, especially from a NYS perspective.


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