Archive for the ‘September 11’ Category

Bagel Day

September 11, 2009

Tuesday was Bagel Day at the software development center. I favored Bagels & Baguettes near Stanton Park. There was a line when I got there, around 8:30 AM. The shop is near Senate office buildings and the Heritage Foundation, and the TV is tuned to CNN to keep news-obsessed customers occupied.

By the time I got my two dozen hot bagels, the damnedest thing was on the television. An airplane had crashed right into the middle of a World Trade Center tower in New York, and the building was on fire. It was September 11, 2001.

 I went to the office break room and put out the bagels, cream cheese, and smoked salmon. I guess I was making coffee when the second plane hit the other tower. I figured people still had to eat.

The developers were plugged into the web, and learned as much – or as little — as anyone that morning. We knew a third plane hit the Pentagon and heard the false report that a fourth had hit the White House. There was a rumor that a plane had hit the Capitol, but we were two blocks away and would have heard that.

I scanned the radio, but the news stations were clueless. I heard some good eyewitness reporting from New York over Pacifica, which I hadn’t expected. I put it on the telephone intercom and went through the office, turning intercoms on for some, off for people who had already heard enough.

I called the boss, got the word to send folks home, and surfed up reports on school systems and Metro. The Red Line at Union Station was shut down until early afternoon. Phones at schools were busy; cell phone systems overloaded. I negotiated some car-pool rides for those suburban commuters game enough to try the roads, shut the center down, and walked home.

It was a quiet walk. There wasn’t a plane in the sky. All civilian aircraft were grounded. I kept the radio off and waited for the Wednesday paper.

 

Versions of this item were posted on September 11, 2008 and September 10, 2007.

Bagel Day

September 11, 2008

Tuesday was Bagel Day at the software development center. I favored Bagels & Baguettes near Stanton Park. There was a line when I got there, around 8:30 AM, but the shop is near Senate office buildings and the Heritage Foundation, and the TV is tuned to CNN to keep news-obsessed customers occupied.

By the time I got my two dozen hot bagels, the damnedest thing was on the television. An airplane crashed right into the middle of a World Trade Center tower in New York, and the building was on fire. It was September 11, 2001.

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Never Green

June 23, 2008

Never Green

A trip to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport reminded us about the Homeland Security Advisory System or as we call it, “Color War.”

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CIA in Poland

June 21, 2008

CIA in Poland

A C.I.A. narcotics analyst with no interrogation experience or appropriate language skills was the key interviewer of high-level Al Qaeda prisoners at a secret Polish prison, according to Scott Shane of the New York Times.

Deuce Martinez, a James Madison University alumnus, spoke no Arabic and refused to take part in waterboarding or other “enhanced interrogation methods.” He had worked at the Counternarcotics Center, data-mining phone numbers and credit card records to track drug cartels. He was detailed to the hunt for Al Qaeda after 9/11, using tracking techniques from his counternarcotics repertoire, and stayed with the investigation after it resulted in the capture of Abu Zubaydah. Mr. Martinez interrogated Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (accused planner of the U.S.S. Cole bombing), and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

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Sorry, Wrong Number

February 16, 2008

Sorry, Wrong Number
“Secretary Chertoff: Can you hear me now?”

The House of Representatives astounded itself yesterday by actually considering existing U.S. laws before legislating new ones.

In contrast to an inattentive (or gutless) Senate and an obfuscating President, the People’s House refused to reauthorize a hastily-passed post-9/11 law that undermines the existing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court process for obtaining expedited legal wiretaps for national security cases.

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War is Over. We Won!

February 15, 2008

War is Over — We Won

War is Over. We Won! How do I know?

1. The United States Government is planning a trial at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

2. The defendants are accused of War Crimes (“murder in violation of the law of war, destruction of property in violation of the law of war,” “violation of the law of war by intentionally crashing four civilian aircraft”).

3. War Crimes Trials are held at the cessation of hostilities.

4. War Crimes Trials are conducted by the victors.

Q.E.D.

Image patriotically assembled by Mike Licht to commemorate this noble victory for Justice and Freedom.

Federal Water Sports Update

February 9, 2008

Federal Water Sports Update

Vice President Dick Cheney bragged to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday morning that the U.S. has been “waterboarding” detainees — submitting them to a drowning torture outlawed by the world and our own laws — and this has prevented more 9/11s.  For the record, I note that it has been equally effective in preventing asteroids from colliding with earth, Godzilla from stomping LA, and invasions from Mars.

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DOJ Probes CIA Tape Trashing

January 3, 2008

DOJ Probes CIA Tape Trashing

Please raise your hand if you are not investigating the destruction and disappearance of terror suspect interrogation tapes or if you have not recused yourself from the same.

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PATRIOT Word-Games

November 4, 2007

PATRIOT Word-Games 

How could anyone vote against a bill called the USA PATRIOT Act? Passed and signed 43 days after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Congressmen and Senators on both sides of the aisle and Administration officials feverishly worked on the legislation.

The Senate came up with a bill using the initialism USA to stand for “Uniting and Strengthening America.” It was the House Judiciary Committee that contributed PATRIOT — “Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.” Who devised the name?  Attempts have been made to present this as a collective effort but it seems to have been the work of a junior staffer one year out of college, Christopher S. Cylke.

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Mike’s Big Money Politics: The Smell of Success.

October 21, 2007

Donations accrue power through arcane Masonic ritual 

In today’s installment, Mike helps Rudy Giuliani.

Throughout the world, New York harbor’s Statue of Liberty symbolizes Freedom and opportunity, something tourists to this great national shrine ponder as they are searched by private Wackenhut security contractors. Millions of immigrants, fleeing poverty and foreign oppression, once gazed with awe upon this breathtaking sight, aware that soon they would be welcomed to their new land with open arms and a thorough delousing.

I am sure the immigrant grandparents of Rudolph William Louis “Rudy” Giuliani III, Knight of the British Empire, Esq., looked through their tears at the august figure of Lady Liberty and asked “Dove è l’infante santo?” They couldn’t have guessed that little Rudy, their grandson, would grow up to be a crime-busting DA, a Republican, “America’s Mayor,” a partner in dubious but highly remunerative corporations and a well-compensated speaker at sales meetings throughout this great land.

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