The Guardian June 26, 2002


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."

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People's Weekly World paper of Communist Party, USA

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