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(2001 Thread) Plane just crashed into the world trade center - Page 8

post #211 of 331
[Somebody needs to give the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service a reality check.]


A British woman being threatened with deportation after losing her husband in the attack on the World Trade Centre has begged Tony Blair to help her.

Mother-of-two Deena Gilbey, 37, has been told she must leave the United States because her residency status was dependent on her husband Paul's work visa.

Just days after his death the US immigration service sent her a letter informing her that she no longer had a right to live in the country.

The couple, from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, moved to the US eight years ago when London stockbroker Mr Gilbey was transferred to Wall Street.

Their children Maxwell, seven, and Mason, three, were born in the US so are American citizens and have a right to stay, but Mrs Gilbey has none.

She told GMTV: "It was mine and Paul's dream to come here. We bought a home for us and our children.

"We feel he is still here with us and to leave that now would be a final blow."

Mr Gilbey, 39, was working on the 84th floor of the World Trade Centre's south tower, the second to be hit.

After witnessing the first attack on the north tower he telephoned his wife and told her that he was safe.

Mrs Gilbey said her husband died a hero, helping women and the disabled to get out instead of saving himself.

See this story on the web at http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_417848.html

post #212 of 331
Leave it to the bureaucrats...THIS is exactly why the terrorists come and go at will;stupidity. These dummies had better clean up their own act before they start complaining about Canada.
post #213 of 331

post #214 of 331
Hi, y'all. I agree about the naturalization service. They've always been the albatross around the neck of the image of the US government. I don't say to abolish them, but they sure need supervision! I think all the American citizens on this list should write letters to their congressmen about this one. Total nonsense.

In case you missed it, in addition to the attacks on Afghanistan, we had a milestone of sorts here in Israel yesterday. There was a Hamas demonstration and march in the Palestinian Authority after Arafat had told them the march was forbidden. When things got a little wild, the Palestinian police shot at the demonstrators -- not rubber bullets, but real ones! There were wounded and at least one dead. I say a milestone, because it is a declaration that the Palestinian Authority has finally grown disenchanted with Hamas and doesn't want to be seen to condone their terrorism anymore.

I really do believe good will come out of all this bad. Now, if only Pakistan's government can hold up in the face of their fundamentalists --

bin Laden said in his taped speech to the outside world last night that all of America was afraid now and he ended with "and thank God for it." I yelled at the TV, "YOU WISH!!"

A free people can learn to cope with almost anything. bin Laden doesn't understand people like those of us who live in democratic countries.

I really do appreciate the good news clips. No one of us has unlimited time to browse the news services, and it is really a nice thing to have them all gathered here together on one spot.

Peace and love,
post #215 of 331

Widow allowed to stay in US

A British widow threatened with deportation from the US after her husband died in the World Trade Centre attacks will be allowed to stay after all.

Deena Gilbey heard live on GMTV that US immigration authorities would now permit her and her two sons to remain in the country she has called home for eight years.

"That is fantastic, I can't believe it," Mrs Gilbey said after hearing the news.

She had been told initially by officials days after the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York that her visa would not be valid after her husband Paul's death.

Story filed: 09:01 Wednesday 10th October 2001

post #216 of 331

Trapped window cleaner used mop to escape WTC

A window cleaner escaped from a World Trade Centre lift by cutting through its wall with a mop.

Jan Demczur used the metal edges of his squeegee to cut through a synthetic partition when the lift stopped after the terror attacks.

Mr Demczur and four other occupants then punched and kicked the wall, gouging a hole which they crawled through. They then joined a queue of people on the fire escape of the North Tower.

When the five reached the 15th floor, they heard the South Tower collapsing, The New York Times reports.

Mr Demczur said: "We heard a thunderous metallic roar. I thought our lives had surely ended."

They escaped from the tower five minutes before it collapsed.

Fellow survivor Shivam Iyer said: "That man with the squeegee - he was like our guardian angel."

Story filed: 07:56 Wednesday 10th October 2001

post #217 of 331

Website to document world reaction to September 11

An internet project will document in minute detail how the world reacted to the September 11 attacks.

Researchers from several US universities are building a database of cached web pages from around the world.

They hope the Attack Archive initiative will stand as a historical record of the atrocities, shedding light on the true scale of the event.

"It's a valuable resource that will allow us to go back and analyse in much greater detail what this really was about," Professor Kirsten Foot, from the University of Washington, told BBC Online.

"The upsurge of civic engagement we see evidenced on the web is quite significant."

Millions of people logged on to the web for breaking news as events were unfolding in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Many more used email and instant messaging to trace relatives as US telephone systems broke down.

The Attack Archive, which is being created in collaboration with the Library of Congress, is due to be published on Wednesday - exactly a month after the attacks.

More information is available from the Web Archivist website.

Story filed: 10:56 Wednesday 10th October 2001

post #218 of 331
I received this in an email from someone else..... not sure this is a hoax or a chainletter, sorry if it long! I just get tired of getting these in my email, but this is kinda interesting I think!

"Hi All -
I think you all know that I don't send out hoaxes and don't
>>do the reactionary thing and send out anything that crosses my
>>path. This one, however, is a friend of a friend and I've given it enough credibility in my mind that I'm writing it up and sending it out to all of you. My friend's friend was dating a guy from Afghanistan up until a month ago. She had a date with him around 9/6 and was stood up. She was understandably upset and went to his home to find it completely emptied. On 9/10, she received a letter from her boyfriend explaining that he wished he could tell her why he had left and that he was sorry it had to be like that. The part worth mentioning is that he BEGGED her not to get on any commercial airlines on 9/11 and to not to go any malls on Halloween. As soon as everything happened on the 11th, she called the FBI and has since turned over the letter. This is not an email that I've received and decided to pass on. This came from a phone conversation with a long-time friend of mine ast night. I may be wrong, and I hope I am. However, with one of his warnings being correct and devastating, I'm not willing to take the chance on the second and wanted to make sure that people I cared about had the same information that I did."
post #219 of 331
Dear Tigger, anything is possible. But I think maybe this note should be passed along to the FBI again, in case the first author actually neglected to do so. It may, of course, have just been a way to dump a girlfriend by attaching the desertion to a dramatic tale.

The FBI is generally a reliably "cool" group of professionals who won't panic and won't put thumbscrews on people.

I am presently trying to finish some things to a deadline, but will be back on more frequently when they are finished.

Thanks, Mr. Cat, for your recent postings.

Love and Peace,
post #220 of 331
Tigger, I think you were the one to post about the message on the Nortradamus forums in Google, right? Well, I sent an email to the FBI about that and they were very efficient. Agent Bob called me back the next day and together we tracked the message and decided there wasn't anything real about it. However, he was very polite and thankful. They are following up all the leads.

I too think you should contact your local FBI office and let them know. If it's a general internet hoax they'd probably know about it anyway. Doesn't hurt to let them know though.
post #221 of 331
As you all know by now, there are many rumors and hoaxes circulating since Sept. 11. MOST of these are false! The one you are referrring to about the boyfriend from Afghanistan is apparently one of them also! There is a really great website which lists just about every story you'll ever hear about the WTC attacks (and just about every other topic under the sun!). It's called Snopes.com and it has been mentioned on various news websites. I have been using it for quite some time, and apparently they really do thorough research on these things. You can use it to look up just about anything, including the latest computer viruses. They describe in detail why they have determined whether something is true or not (yes, some of these things you hear are actually true!).

Just search for "World Trade Center" and it will bring up every story about it, even the ones you haven't heard yet! Pass this on to everyone you know so they can check out their stories BEFORE they pass them on to you. Hope this helps.
post #222 of 331
Here's another hoax site, although I think it deals mostly with virus hoaxes: http://www.f-secure.com/virus-info/hoax/

You can also check www.urbanlegends.com for other hoax info. It's a shame people use an event like this to get their ya-yas by scaring people.
post #223 of 331
The letter everyone is talking about is definelately a hoax. This site which checks out things like this has already checked it out. When you get to the homepage of this site click on the red,white,blue ribbon to go to the right page.


post #224 of 331
Here's another hoax site, although I think it deals mostly with virus hoaxes: http://www.f-secure.com/virus-info/hoax/

You can also check www.urbanlegends.com for other hoax info. It's a shame people use an event like this to get their ya-yas by scaring people.
post #225 of 331
Here's a Canadian News Magazine for you. Just a slightly different view of things that some of you might find interesting. http://www.macleans.ca/
post #226 of 331
Well the anthrax scare is here in the Maritime Provinces. Several cases of white powders or mysterious packages have popped up in the past couple of days. Thankfully nothing has come of it. The US embassy in Halifax was closed down for white powder...turned out to be gypsum dust fron the drywall being installed in renovations. The Federal Govt is going to prosecute any copy-cat or nutcase as a terrorist..15 years.

It's going to be a long war!!!!
post #227 of 331
I agree: It's going to be a long war — too long, as are all wars. Well, the longer the appeasement the longer the inevitable war: Militant Islam has been breeding terrorists for decades, yet the U.S.A. and other nations have been satisfied with the status quo ante — after all, it was somebody else's problem. I'm thinking they're not satisfied anymore!

post #228 of 331
Yes, it's going to be a long one. It's too bad we have to go an fight because some people haven't learned the concepts of tolerance and celebrating diversity. We all have something unique to add to the world perspective, and some people just don't want to let others add their opinions.

Living in the US, it's hard to understand this lack of freedom to express oneself.

I really hate the idea of war, but there really isn't a peaceful solution to this situation. Just look what appeasement did for Great Britain prior to WWII. And we were following the same pattern until September 11.
post #229 of 331
I agree with you both....Bren...I don't see it as not being allowd to express your opinion. People are still in shock and very afraid. They want it all to stop. Would you go up to a man who just lost his family to a drunk driver and start telling him he could have avoided the accident if he had left 5 minutes sooner or later or taken a different road?? Of course not;that would be cruel and arrogant.
You strike me as an intelligent young person,you realize we are talking about intense grief and it's aftereffects. Mr Cat will be more familiar with those feelings from Vietnam. You just want to strike at those who have hurt you and your friends..get even if you will. You certainly don't listen to words in favor of your "enemy". We have to learn to hold our tongue until the grief passes.

The main difference that I see between the citizens of USA/Canada and the vermin who have perpetrated this mad act,and the hope that I have for the future,is that we will eventually say Enough!!! These mad dogs will gorge their diseased minds on killing..there will never be enough blood for these lunatics until it is the last drop of their own. They are not Holy Warriors..they are rabid animals who lust to kill. They are the same breed as Ted Bundy and Tim Mcvey..killers.

Waste no tears over them.
post #230 of 331
Bren..Barbara pointed out that I seem to be on your case...not my intent atall. Sorry if I came across that way.

Today I listened to a "forum debate" on CBC radio in which a group of "lefties" were savaging a retired General and a member of the Govt.
Now,I have been a liberal for years,but this type of thing is arrogant and ridiculous. The people involved are as blind in their own way as the hawks on the other side. The peace groups are important to the future of the world; but there are people out there who view an open hand as an invitation to kill. These are the ones that the military and law enforcemen folks are needed for...to protect us from while we build that better world.

Again...I am not putting down anyones beliefs or affiliations.
post #231 of 331
Oh, I don't think that Bren was "wasting tears" over the terrorists. I read her/his? note and felt the regret about the war. I'd much rather know reluctant heros than the gung ho "Yea, we're gonna have a war, whoopee..." types. Because, in the end, I think the reluctant fighters are the ones who will first find the good reasons for a fight before they feel they have to march off to war. And those reasons will sustain them better over the long haul when the more gung ho types won't see it to the end..

What is sad is that the British and Israelis, and many of the Arab and African leaders who wish the US well and wish they had a way of getting some democracy in their own countries, have been warning about international terrorism for a number of years. bin Laden didn't spring newly born from sea foam. But so much of the terrorist needs -- laundering money, finding reliable weapons dealers, buying false documents, establishing networks of sleepers and cutouts and intelligence gatherers, etc. -- are identicle to the needs of global crime organizations. And a lot of people all over the world have accepted bribes from people running drugs and other illegal commodities. Whole governments have turned a blind eye to the incredible business of money laundering and currency scams just so they could have a percentage, and look at the total inability of governments to kill the drug trade...

In a few short weeks, however, it has become clear that global crime and global terrorism have intertwining links at those points where their needs are mutual. Because now suddenly it is really life-or-death to know how terrorists move their money around, and some of the intermediary links they use are crime networks.

I keep saying that good comes out of bad, and I think it will be true this time as well. Because of what Al Queda has done, governments are recognizing that they cannot lie in bed with mad dogs without rising with fleas. If all the banks and financial institutes are seriously leaned on by their governments, all suspect money worldwide will be traced, followed, accounted for. And while looking at terrorist money, they will fall over the crime money. And that will make global criminals less able to hide.

Anyway, the war in Afghanistan runs its course -- the major problem is keeping Pakistan and India from each other's throat while things are sorted out there. And of course here in the Middle East everything is going to hell while the bigger armies are occupied. We've had some minor anthrax worries here. I should get on the internet and find out how much. Can't be major, or the women in the little family grocery shop next door would be fussing about it -- the shop is my major source of local information.

Of course, that also was a foregone result of the apathy with which the western world has viewed all the miseries and aggressions of the so-called Third World. The US entered the war with Saddam Hussein just in the nick of time -- he was poised to shoot his medium-range scud missiles at Israel with both chemical and biological warheads and he was developing nuclear capacity. So we have lived with the full knowledge that he, or perhaps Syria or Iran, would manage a way to do it sometime. That's why every Israeli keeps tape and plastic sheeting (for sealing windows and rooms) and a personal gas mask kit for every member of the famly -- and most of us go and exchange them when the army sends out the notice that our particular gas mask kit has expired. The filters degrade and the rubber can begin to crack after long storage, so it is important to exchange them every year or two. Every citizen of Israel (Arabs and Beduin as well as Jews) is issued personal gas masks, with special ones for the babies and children, asthmatics, and the elderly. When Iraq was bombing us, I could get into my gas mask within a matter of a few seconds. But for chemicals and for most biological agents, you really need a "space suit" affair, and I suppose one day it will come to that...

Anthrax is really not so frightening, unless you are not aware of how to deal with possible exposure. There are other things in the germ cupboard that are far more frightening. But, like watching for unattended packages that could possibly be bombs, or being aware of what people in the crowded street are actually doing, getting early diagnoses is the main thing. And remember that if you take unecessary antibiotics if you are not ill, you risk becoming immune -- or even worse, allergic -- to the antibiotics you will need if you really do get exposed to something nasty.

Life is certainly never dull in our particular moment of history. But humans are resillient and adaptable.

I am very sorry that civilians are getting killed in this mini-war. But a war without casualties -- both military and civilian -- and inadvertant property damage is not possible at our level of technology. Someday we will be able to blast everyone with a stun-ray, and go in and pick up the villains and sling them in a hospital where they will be brainwashed into becoming gentle, law-abiding citizens. But that day isn't here. There is no perfectly humane way to fight a war. I hate to see a war of any sort, and I pray this one will run its course in a shorter, rather than a longer, time. But we can't stop it before the bulk of the world's terrorists are under the ground supping with the Devil. Or we will never have any safety, and we will condemn our grandchildren to a disastrous future.

Love and Peace
post #232 of 331
As always a thoughtful and reasoned post. Let me say again,I was not "targeting" Bren or anyone in particular. i have heard others "complaining" about nobody wants to listen to peaceful means. Just thinking out loud how this will kick in to American/Canadian sensibilities before long. We are basically a peaceful people,but we have to get our grief resolved first.
post #233 of 331
I did not take offense at anything anyone said regarding my post. I am a middle school teacher in an urban school. It takes a lot to offend me.

I have been suffering the effects of a severe cold, which has clouded my ability to express my thoughts properly. I kind of went off on a tangent and should have explained myself better.

I was talking about the lack of freedom in places such as Afghanistan, not in the US. Those of us in the US may have our issues with our government, but we are incredibly lucky to have the freedom we have.

Kittyfoot, you are right about the peaceful side being blind, too. I have to agree that we must take some sort of stand. Look at how things have been escalating, the embassy bombings, the USS Cole. We can't appease these people, they view it as weakness. I am just sad that now it is necessary to risk the lives of Americans, Canadians, Brits, etc, to stop the insanity.

The peace message will undoubtedly get louder as the war drags on. The question is, will we know when to listen?
post #234 of 331
Is anybody else sick and tired of the panicky way the journalistic media are covering this anthrax business? They're running around like chickens with their heads cut off! Notice how none of them produce any articles/stories titled, "Why Someone Would Want to Harm the News Media." We wouldn't want that debate made part of the public discourse, would we?

And how about this anthrax scare at the U.S.A. capitol? Thirty-one people in the Senate test positive for anthrax, yet the Senate stays in session and the House of Representatives takes off! What's that all about?

Okay, that's that from me. And now for something completely different.


C.D.C. Team Tackles Anthrax

October 16, 2001


Fifty years ago, the federal government set up an elite corps of medical detectives to counter a threat it hoped never to face. Now, with the emergence of anthrax, that corps, the Epidemic Intelligence Service, is facing the challenge of that mission: tracing the cause and stemming the spread of a disease that that may have been deliberately introduced - in other words, a biological attack.

Summoned to action immediately after the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, the Epidemic Intelligence Service has been working with the F.B.I. and state and local health departments to conduct its effort on two fronts.

One is directed at detecting any communicable agent that might have been released. After anthrax was detected in Florida, the epidemic service, which is based at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, set out to determine how the patient contracted the disease. The information is crucial in assessing the potential harm to other people.

The second front is informing the public of the anthrax cases, the steps the C.D.C. is taking to combat the threat to public health, and what people can do.

Much of the detection effort went well, though there were disturbing glitches like a power failure at the C.D.C. that delayed the detection of anthrax in an NBC employee in Manhattan. (The failure was caused by a short in a cable that was awaiting repairs.)

But there is ample evidence of distressing lapses in communication with the public that, if the illness had been more widespread, could have made the bad situation even worse.

The lapses were not entirely the fault of the C.D.C., which is the federal agency charged with controlling communicable diseases in this country and coordinating an early warning system for bioterrorism. The lapses underscore the need for the government to heed the advice of the epidemic service's first director, Dr. Alexander D. Langmuir. He advocated a system to monitor disease and rapidly disseminate information, as a prime defense against biological warfare.

But many experts have criticized the C.D.C. for remaining largely silent about the anthrax threat instead of providing more detailed information sooner to people who may have been exposed as well as to doctors and the public.

C.D.C. spokesmen have said they were restricted in disclosing information because of provisions of the Federal Emergency Response Act and because the F.B.I. was conducting a criminal investigation.

That was so, said the C.D.C. director, Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan, even though the centers and the F.B.I. are conducting parallel public health and criminal investigations, and the centers are not under the bureau's direction. "If anything, we are under the direction of the Florida state health department, with whom we are there assisting," Dr. Koplan said in an interview.

The only other known bioterrorism act the epidemic service ever investigated was in 1984 in Oregon, where followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh deliberately contaminated restaurant salad bars, leading to 751 cases of salmonella poisoning. That case was hardly a model of timely communication of health threats to the public. The C.D.C. delayed publishing a scientific report of the outbreak for 13 years, saying it did not want to aid in creating copycat episodes.

On Oct. 4, when Tommy G. Thompson, the secretary of health and human services (the C.D.C.'s parent agency), disclosed the first anthrax case, he said it appeared to be an isolated case in Florida, possibly linked to natural exposure to anthrax in the environment.

Last week, when the most pressing health problem was the degree to which the country was vulnerable to anthrax, the C.D.C.'s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the bulletin that doctors and health workers look to for information about communicable diseases, devoted only two paragraphs to the anthrax situation, providing only sketchy details of the first two cases and a description of anthrax symptoms.

As a former editor of the report, I know that it can quickly transmit needed health information. But this time, its current editor, Dr. John W. Ward, said the report "was out of the loop." Even the little that the bulletin was able to publish "was an achievement," he said.

At times, C.D.C. spokesmen have issued puzzling statements and have said they did not have access to information about developments in New York and Florida. In response to my questions, they have asked me to explain the science, saying they did not understand it or had not been informed.

Underlying the silence is a mind- set that has developed in recent years among scientists who have become accustomed to obeying embargoes imposed by journals that prohibit public discussion about scientific findings until publication. Even though journals waive embargoes for information of an urgent public health nature, some researchers still hesitate to discuss their work, for fear that the journals will then refuse to publish it.

In this vacuum, journalists and the outside experts they consulted could only speculate about what might be going on. The resulting news reports were often conflicting and occasionally inaccurate.

Communication from the C.D.C. is particularly important because anthrax in humans is rare in this country, with just 236 cases of all types reported between 1955 and 1999. Most doctors have never seen a case, and look to the C.D.C. for guidance.

Anthrax is one of the most difficult infections to trace and has often challenged the ingenuity of medical detectives in past generations who sought the source of cases.

For instance, anthrax cases among World War I aviators were traced to a natural source, helmets lined with wool from infected sheep. And when a man developed cutaneous anthrax in Philadelphia years ago, epidemiologists learned its source only after they tore apart his newly purchased wool coat and found Bacillus anthracis in one sleeve.

When Florida health officials called the C.D.C. to report that Robert Stevens, 63, had apparently developed inhalation anthrax, the centers deployed 15 epidemiologists and other scientists. In confirming the case and seeking its source, the Epidemic Intelligence Service has relied on traditional Sherlock Holmes-style sleuthing and the skills of colleagues in the laboratory, who use the latest genetic and other laboratory tests, Dr. Koplan said.

Mr. Stevens had traveled with his wife to visit a daughter and go hiking in North Carolina, but became ill on the drive back to Florida.

So while some epidemiologists examined Mr. Stevens and talked with his doctors about the evolution of his symptoms, others fanned across Florida and North Carolina, joining colleagues from those states seeking clues to where he might have acquired the illness.

In the investigation's initial stages, the epidemiologists could assume nothing, and the patient himself was unable to communicate - he was in a coma when he arrived at the hospital in Atlantis, Fla., and died without regaining consciousness. So health workers had to interview his wife and family to reconstruct what he did during the preceding two weeks. Where did the Stevenses stop, eat and sleep on the trip? Was he exposed to a sick animal? Goat hair?

Mr. Stevens worked as a photo editor for The Sun, a tabloid sold in supermarkets and published by American Media Inc. in Boca Raton, Fla. Epidemiologists went there and to his home in nearby Lantana, where they asked what Mr. Stevens did in his spare time. Did he garden? Did he spent a lot of time outdoors? If so, where? With whom? They also collected samples of dust, soil and vents seeking a possible source of anthrax-contaminated materials.

While these investigators focused on possible natural causes, others looked at the more ominous possibility: that Mr. Stevens was the victim of an organized anthrax attack. They visited all hospitals in the area to talk with infection-control workers and other doctors, reviewing medical, microbiology and X-ray records of patients treated for meningitis, severe respiratory failure, septicemia, unexplained fevers and diseases like tularemia that can produce symptoms similar to those of anthrax. Might any have been been anthrax, but misidentified as something else?

Inhalation anthrax produces swollen lymph nodes in the mediastinum, an area between the back of the lungs and the spine. The swelling can show up on an X-ray. Did a radiologist miss the finding?

In all their work, the epidemiologists "found nothing that was suspicious," said Dr. James M. Hughes, a top C.D.C. expert who oversaw the investigation from Atlanta.

Mr. Stevens's co-workers were given a phone number to call if they developed any symptoms. Epidemiologists also set up a system to monitor any unexplained pulmonary illness in hospitals serving the area.

Meanwhile, C.D.C. workers sought advice from Dr. Philip S. Brachman, an expert in anthrax epidemiology and a former director of the Epidemic Intelligence Service who now works at the Emory School of Public Health, next to the centers' campus.

Dr. Brachman said he reviewed his records from his days as an officer with the epidemic service in the late 1950's and early 1960's, when he investigated anthrax cases that developed among workers exposed to contaminated goat hair and wool at three mills in North Carolina and one in South Carolina.

The mills are now closed, but given how long anthrax spores can live in the environment, Dr. Brachman wondered if Mr. Stevens could have contracted the disease in one of the cities where the mills had been. Had the mills been renovated for a new use? Was one a motel? If so, had Mr. Stevens stayed there?

But when Dr. Brachman asked the epidemic service officers these questions, he was frustrated. "They say, `We cannot say,' Dr. Brachman said. "They have strict orders."

Dr. Brachman is among the health leaders who have criticized the C.D.C. for not making an investigator regularly available to reporters. He said: "The media is an extremely important part of the public health team in providing education. If you turn them off, what is the media going to do?"

On Oct. 7, the investigation took a new twist when anthrax was identified in a swab of Mr. Stevens's co- worker Ernesto Blanco, 73. Because anthrax is not contagious, the finding immediately heightened suspicions of a bioterrorist attack.

Mr. Blanco developed a fever, severe pneumonia involving at least two lobes of his lungs, and bloody fluid in the pleural lining. He needed a mechanical respirator to help him breathe. B. anthracis has not been identified in cultures of the fluid and sputum. His symptoms are atypical for inhalation anthrax, and there may be no way of knowing if his symptoms were caused by anthrax, Dr. Hughes said. Blood tests taken over the next few weeks to detect antibodies to anthrax and other infectious agents may help clarify the diagnosis. Meanwhile, Mr. Blanco is recovering.

Epidemiologists talked to Mr. Blanco to learn everything he did for the preceding two to three weeks. Was he an avid gardener like Mr. Stevens? Did they share a garden plot? Had they bought fertilizer or bone meal from the same distributor? What, if anything, did Mr. Blanco and Mr. Stevens do together outside work?

Because Mr. Stevens and Mr. Blanco were co-workers, epidemiologists asked about recent construction or renovation at American Media. Could someone have dug up soil that contained spores from a cow that died of anthrax many years ago?

They swabbed dust in cracks, under the desks and from ventilation ducts and filters. Anthrax spores were found on Mr. Stevens's keyboard. Spores also were detected in samples from work surfaces in the mailroom at American Media, the C.D.C. said.

The exercise was repeated several times, after anthrax was identified in other people.

Anthrax was cultured from the nose of Stephanie Dailey, 36, who worked with Mr. Blanco in the mailroom. Then attention turned to New York City when Erin M. O'Connor, an assistant to Tom Brokaw at NBC headquarters, developed cutaneous anthrax after opening two envelopes, one containing powder and the other a granular substance.

The initial skin lesions from anthrax can resemble an insect bite, and a doctor who examined Ms. O'Connor initially thought she might have been bitten by a brown recluse spider, Dr. Hughes said. Luckily, however, an infectious disease specialist who had worked in areas of the world where anthrax is endemic suspected it was the cause of the sore on her skin and a dermatologist then took a biopsy of the lesions and sent a sample to the C.D.C.

Special staining and immunologic tests performed at the centers identified anthrax as the cause of the skin lesion, but the organisms have not grown in the laboratory, presumably because the antibiotics Ms. O'Connor had already been taking destroyed them, Dr. Hughes said.

Tests on Ms. O'Connor's biopsy were among thousands of others that C.D.C. and state and local health laboratories have performed in the search for the source of the anthrax.

Cultures from swabs of noses and environmental sources may grow several microbes. So scientists may have to repeat the tests before they can confirm anthrax. Newer laboratory techniques based on DNA, like the polymerase chain reaction, have allowed more rapid detection of microbes. But such successes have also created overly optimistic expectations. When it is necessary to grow microbes in the laboratory, the process cannot be speeded up, Dr. Koplan said.

In recent years, many public health leaders have warned that the country was ill prepared to detect anthrax and other diseases that only a few American doctors have seen. Yet the quick detection of anthrax in New York and Florida suggests that doctors may be better prepared than expected to respond to the threat, Dr. Koplan said.

Dr. Martin E. Hugh-Jones, an anthrax expert at Louisiana State University, said: "Official agencies have learned they must talk to each other. We've for years been trying to get doctors to understand what to look for. Now everyone knows."


Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company

post #235 of 331
That NYTime article is really very good< and displays the real dedication and common sense approach of the biodisaster guardians. Thanks, Mr. Cat. Such detailed and open news stories just reminds me that the US has the freest and most open press in the world. As to irritation with the press in general, people don't have to read the tabloids. It is their choice to do so, or the newspapers and magazines wouldn't sell. There is an enduring human appitite for scandal, rumor, and baseless "news" -- the readers create the crappy news services or they wouldn't be in business. People could, if they wanted, take the New York Times or any of the other less wordy or comparably honest and thoughtful newspapers instead of news services that emphasis the lurid and the profane.

Anyway, we still have enough ready sources to pretty much know what is going on under the table.

There are a lot of the people in the world who see democracy as a kind of anarchy -- a headless, hedonistic conglomeration of people who are only interested in amassing wealth and ignoring the suffering of countries and peoples less fortunate. They imagine that an anarchistic society should be easy to bring to its knees -- and there is all that wealth just sitting there in the hands of a temptingly weak people -- just begging to be redistributed. They see the diversity of thinking and activity as a lack of strong ideals and the will to defend anything...moral decadence and a short attention span.

They have no concept of the enormous strength of consensual democracies or the strong hold that individual responsibility has on societies that live by laws instead of force. Nor of how aroused democracies can become if they think their freedoms are threatened. In the fight to come, my money is on the western world, no matter how long it takes.

Meanwhile, my Puritan work ethic calls, and I have a hard days work ahead of me.

Love and peace,
post #236 of 331
Here in Hong Kong they've been SELLING T-SHIRTS with images of the exploding buildings, Bin Laden and Bush, etc. The shirts are imported from Thailand. There's nothing some people here won't stoop to in pursuit of $$$$$!

post #237 of 331
There's always somebody whose god is money, who is bereft of ethics and morals. And those who purchase such products as you describe aren't any better than those who manufacture and sell them.

It reminds me of when U.S.A. president John F. Kennedy was murdered: In the aftermath of the murder print-media advertisements appeared for a license plate (to be mounted on the front of vehicles in states which issue only one plate) depicting Kennedy and his statement "Ask not what you can do for your country. . . ." Well, I was watching The Tonight Show with Jack Paar on N.B.C.; and Paar slammed the license plate, adding "Enough is enough." The advertisements vanished shortly thereafter.

post #238 of 331
Yes I am sick of hearing SOOOOO much about the anthrax thing. It would be wonderful if they (the news media) could just simply give us the facts several times a day and call it quits. But no, they have to talk with and print articles from heavens knows how many people all day...over and over!!! And CNN had a poll a few days ago asking if the public thought the media was covering the anthrax thing too much. Well the vast majority of the poll takers said yes. But have they listened....NOT.

post #239 of 331
But there was one good thing I saw on CNN yesterday (or perhaps it was BBC, because when the commercials come on CNN I usually switch for a few minutes to BBC, which doesn't have commercials)...

A health official who was interviewed about fear and contagion and all the rest said --

That there were far more diseases that could and did kill people by the thousands every year and that very many of them were resistent to antibiotics now, so that there was no cure except sometimes for good nursing and the basic health of the patient. That anthrax was a completely understood and curable disease and that the important point was to begin antibiotics as soon as a doctor suspects the ailment is more than the flue or a very bad cold or some allergic skin reaction. So far, even with fairly late diagnoses on the first victims, only one person died, while the prognosis for the others is very good. That people are used to their friends and relatives dying of cancer, AIDs and other catastrophic ailments and accidents, however grief-stricken they might be, but they are not generally afraid enough to stop smoking, stop having unprotected sex, stop drinking excessively, or stop driving while drunk or doing drugs. He went on with the usual kinds of things, like he wasn't mitigating the fear, and he wasn't saying that every health official in the world wasn't extremely dedicated to dealing with the problem...etc., etc. But his final line was that the fear people felt at this point was fear of the unknown and the terrible shock from Sept. 11, but that if it persisted, people should seek counseling .

He was a little less flat than what I have recalled, and much more charming, but that was the gist, and I think it is important to state.

In Israel, the entire nation is grieved over one or two terrorist killings or a soldier killed in the line of duty, but week after week more people die on the roads in car accidents than have ever died from the hand of terrorists. Why is one death more serious than another? Why should we be afraid of threats that normally don't face us as often as car accidents or preventable, but incurable, diseases? We should grieve for every death that we can do something about, because it is sad to see someone die from something that could have been prevented (like water pollution, polluted air, poorly lit crosswalks, corrupt building inspectors, more safety features on cars, giving up our little pleasures like tobacco, excessive alcohol intake, drugs).

Like the guy on CNN, I don't mean to denigrate the fear and grief associated with the events of this past month -- these are both honest and expected, and if I didn't share in the fear -- perhaps because we went through that for a while here with the Gulf War -- I certainly shared in the grief. Like everyone else, I don't think I stopped crying or wanting to cry the first several weeks, and it still gets me emotional to think about it. But now is the time to think about what we might have done better, individually and as countries, to put out the tiny fires when we first saw their smoke -- all the little terrorist bombings and killings that, like our familiar diseases, we have learned to shrug off.

Not another car bomb in Spain...well, you know the Catholics and the Protestants in Ireland have always been killing each other for 2 hundred years...Israelis and Palestinians? -- the Kashmir problems? -- well, the bombings of American buildings have been a bit much, but they don't happen all that often -- one million dead in Ruwanda? Africa is just a mess in general... -- Chechin terrorists? Well, they are being oppressed by the Russians (oops, forgot. The Cold War is over...)... The whole thing is boring, really. Anyway, we had the Oklahoma thing, but that was an abberration. The guy was nuts....

It behooves us to go deeper and learn what we might do, or what we might try to persuade our governments to do, to recognize that all terrorists are outside the pale of humanity.

And deal with them accordingly.

We SHALL overcome...

post #240 of 331
[Here is an item I received from a former comrade (Dave) in the military. — Mr. Cat]

The following was written by someone who knows the Afghan people and situation better than the politicians. However, he is also an Academy graduate. It may give you some insight and talking points, with which to argue with your friends (over a drink). I received this from one of my air-force circle of "old farts" and I found it rather enlightening. — Don

Don and I served together on occasions in the air force and were advisors to Iranian air-force intelligence. I certainly found this very interesting. — Dave

Written by Richard Kidd, West Point '86

Many of you are probably not aware that I was one of the last American citizens to have spent a great deal of time in Afghanistan. I was first there in 1993, providing relief and assistance to refugees along the Tajik border; and in this capacity have traveled all along the border region between the two countries. In 1998 and 1999 I was the Deputy Program Manager for the United Nations' mine-action program in Afghanistan. This program is the largest civilian employer in the country, with more than 5,000 persons clearing mines and UXO [unexploded ordinance]. In this latter capacity I was somewhat ironically engaged in a "Holy War" as decreed by the Taliban, against the evil of landmines; and by a special proclamation of Mullah Omar all those who might have died in this effort were considered to be "martyrs," even an "infidel" like myself. The mine-action program is the most respected relief effort in the country; and because of this I had the opportunity to travel extensively, without too much interference or restriction. I still have extensive contacts in the area and among the Afghan community — and read a great deal on the subject.

I had wanted to write earlier and share some of my perspectives, but quite frankly I have been a bit too popular in the District of Columbia this past week and have not had time. Dr. Tony Kern's comments were excellent and I would like to use them as a basis for sharing some observations.

First, he is absolutely correct. This war is about will, resolve and character. I want to touch on that later, but first I want to share some comments about our "enemy."

Our enemy is not the people of Afghanistan. The country is devastated beyond what most of us can imagine. The vast majority of the people live day to day, hand to mouth — in abject conditions of poverty, misery and deprivation. Less than 30 percent of the men are literate, the women even less. The country is exhausted and desperately wants something like peace. They know very little of the world at large and have no access to information or knowledge which would counter what they are being told by the Taliban. They have nothing left: nothing, that is, except for their pride.

Who is our enemy? Well, our enemy is a group of non-Afghans — often referred to by the Afghans as "Arabs" — and a fanatical group of religious leaders and their military cohort, the Taliban. The non-Afghan contingent came from all over the Islamic world to fight in the war against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Many came using a covert network created with assistance by our own government. OBL (as Osama bin Laden was referred to by us in the country at the time) restored this network to bring in more fighters, this time to support the Taliban in their civil war against the former Mujahedeen. Over time this military support along with financial support has allowed OBL and his "Arabs" to co-opt significant government activities and leaders

OBL is the "inspector general" of Taliban armed forces; his bodyguards protect senior Talib leaders; and he has built a system of deep bunkers for the Taliban, which were designed to withstand cruise missile strikes (Umm, where did he learn to do that?). His forces basically rule the southern city of Kandahar. This high-profile presence of OBL and his "Arabs" has, in the last two years or so, started to generate a great deal of resentment on the part of the local Afghans. At the same time the legitimacy of the Taliban regime has started to decrease as it has failed to end the war, as local humanitarian conditions have worsened and as "cultural" restrictions have become even harsher

It is my assessment that most Afghans no longer support the Taliban. Indeed the Taliban have recently had a very difficult time getting recruits for their forces and have had to rely more and more on non-Afghans — either from Pushtun tribes in Pakistan or from OBL. OBL and the Taliban, absent any United States of America action, were probably on their way to sharing the same fate that all other outsiders and outside doctrines have experienced in Afghanistan — defeat and dismemberment.

During the Afghan war with the Soviets, much attention was paid to the martial prowess of the Afghans. We were all at West Point at the time and most of us had high-minded idealistic thoughts about how we would all want to go help the brave "freedom fighters" in their struggle against the Soviets. Those concepts were naive to the extreme. The Afghans, while never conquered as a nation, are not invincible in battle. A "good" Afghan battle is one that makes a lot of noise and light. Basic military skills are rudimentary and clouded by cultural constraints that no matter what, a warrior should never lose his honor. Indeed, firing from the prone position is considered distasteful (but still done).

Traditionally, the Afghan order of battle is very feudal in nature, with fighters owing allegiance to a "commander" and that person owing allegiance upwards; and so on and so on. Often such allegiance is secured by payment. And while the Taliban forces have changed this somewhat, many of the units in the Taliban army are there because they are being paid to be there. All such groups have very strong loyalties along ethnic and tribal lines. Again, the concept of having a place of "honor" and "respect" is of paramount importance; and blood feuds between families and tribes can last for generations, over a perceived or actual slight. That is one reason why there were seven groups of Mujahedeen fighting the Soviets.

It is a very difficult task to form and keep united a large bunch of Afghans into a military formation. The "real" stories that have come out of the war against the Soviets are very enlightening and a lot different from our fantastic visions as cadets. When the first batch of Stingers [missiles] came in and were given to one Mujahedeen group, another group supposedly on the same side attacked the first group and stole the Stingers — not so much because they wanted to use them, but because having them was a matter of prestige. Many larger coordinated attacks which advisers tried to conduct failed, when all the various Afghan fighting groups would give up their assigned tasks (such as blocking or overwatch) and instead would join the assault group in order to seek glory. In comparison to the Viet Nam War, the intensity of combat and the rate of fatalities were lower for all involved.

As you can tell from above, it is my assessment that these guys are not that good in a purely military sense; and the "Arabs" probably even less so than the Afghans. So why is it that they have never been conquered? It goes back to Dr. Kern's point about will. During their history, the only events which have managed to form any semblance of unity among the Afghans appealed to their desire to fight foreign invaders. And in doing this, the Afghans have been fanatical. The Afghans' greatest military strength is the ability to endure hardships that would, in all probability, kill most Americans and enervate the resolve of all but the most elite military units.

The physical difficulties of fighting in Afghanistan — the terrain, the weather and the harshness — are all weapons that our enemies will use to their advantage and use well. (Note: For you military-planner types and armchair generals, around November 1st most road movement becomes impossible; in part because all the roads used by the Soviets have been destroyed and air movement will be problematic at best.) Also, those fighting us are not afraid to fight. OBL and others do not think the U.S. has the will or the stomach for a fight. Indeed, after the absolutely inane missile strikes of 1998, the overwhelming consensus was that we were cowards who would not risk one life in face to face combat. Rather than demonstrating our might and acting as a deterrent, that action — and others of the not so recent past — have reinforced the perception that the U.S. does not have any "will" and that we are are morally and spiritually corrupt.

Our challenge is to play to the weaknesses of our enemy: notably, their propensity for internal struggles; the distrust between the extremists/"Arabs" and the majority of Afghans; their limited ability to fight coordinated battles; and their lack of external support. More importantly, though, is that we have to take steps not to play to their strengths — which would be to unite the entire population against us by increasing their suffering or killing innocents; to get bogged down trying to hold terrain; or to get into a battle of attrition, chasing up and down mountain valleys.

I have been asked how I would fight the war. This is a big question and well beyond my pay grade or expertise. And, while I do not want to second-guess current plans or start an academic debate, I would share the following from what I know about Afghanistan and the Afghans.

First, I would give the Northern Alliance a big wad of cash so that they can buy off a chunk of the Taliban army before winter.

Second, also with this cash, I would pay some guys to kill some of the Taliban leadership — making it look like an inside job, to spread distrust and build on existing discord.

Third: I would support the Northern alliance with military assets, but not take it over or adopt so high a profile as to undermine its legitimacy in the eyes of most Afghans.

Fourth would be to give massive amounts of humanitarian aid and assistance to the Afghans in Pakistan, in order to demonstrate our goodwill and to give those guys a reason to live rather than merely a choice between dying of starvation or dying fighting the "infidel."

Fifth: Start a series of public works projects in areas of the country not under Taliban control (these areas are much more numerous than the press reports), again to demonstrate goodwill and to emphasize improvements come with peace.

Sixth, I would consider vary carefully putting any female service-members into Afghanistan proper. "Sorry" to the females of our class, but within that culture a man who allows a women to fight for him has zero respect; and we will need respect to gain the cooperation of Afghan allies. No Afghan will work with a man who fights with women.

Seventh, I would hold off from doing anything too dramatic in the near term — keeping a low level of covert action and pressure up over the winter, allowing this pressure to force open the fissures around the Taliban which were already developing. I expect that they will quickly turn on themselves and on OBL. We can pick up the pieces next summer, or the summer after. When we do "pick up" the pieces, I would make sure that we do so on the ground — "man to man." While I would never want to advocate American causalities, it is essential that we communicate to OBL and all others watching that we can and will "engage and destroy the enemy in close combat."

Finally, as mentioned above, we should not try to gain or hold terrain — but infantry operations against the enemy are essential. There can be no excuses after the defeat, or lingering doubts in the minds of our enemies, regarding American resolve; and nothing, nothing will communicate this except for ground combat. And once this is all over, unlike in 1989, the U.S. must provide continued long-term economic assistance to rebuild the country.

While I have written too much already, I think it is also important to share a few things on the subject of brutality. Our opponents will not abide by the Geneva Convention. There will be no prisoners, unless there is a chance they can be ransomed or made part of a local prisoner exchange. During the war with the Soviets, videotapes were made of communist prisoners having their throats slit. Indeed, there did exist a "trade" in prisoners so that souvenir videos could be made by outsiders to take home with them. This practice has spread to the Philippines, Bosnia and Chechnya — where similar videos are being made today and can be found on the web for those so inclined. We can expect our soldiers to be treated the same way.

Sometime during this war I expect that we will see videos of U.S. prisoners having their heads cut off. Our enemies will do this not only to demonstrate their "strength" to their followers, but also to cause us to overreact: to seek wholesale revenge against civilian populations and to turn this into the world-wide religious war they desperately want. This will be a test of our will and of our character. (For further collaboration of this type of activity, please read Kipling.)

This will not be a pretty war. It will be a war of wills, of resolve and — somewhat conversely — of compassion and of character. Towards our enemies, we must show a level of ruthlessness that has not been part of our military character for a long time. But to those who are not our enemies, we must show a level of compassion probably unheard of during war. We should do this not for humanitarian reasons, even though there are many, but for shrewd military logic. For anyone who is still reading this way-too-long note, thanks for your patience. I will try to answer any questions that may arise in a more concise manner.

Thanks, Richard Kidd

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