The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania are already history, but they changed the world profoundly and will remain lasting stirring deeply in the hearts and minds of all of us.

This Memorial is installed to keep vivid these memories of the horrible seconds, minutes, hours and days, the victims whether surviving or dead. Everybody, whether artist or non-artist is invited to contribute an image, work or text coming from the heart.

11 September
>If anybody might have worried about me - it is much appreciated.
>I can only report that seeing people jump from 80 stories was a horrific
>I have left my studio after both buildings have collapsed. But could
>not resist taking some images which are now at this location. These
>were taken from my roof before the buildings collapsed and we were
>engulfed in temporary night. When the light came back and the dust
>cloud had settled it looked like Christmas... all white outside and
>not a single soul....
>Deeply saddened, Ingo
>Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 16:25:46 -0400
>From: Ingo Gunther <>
>Subject: I am well
>Dear Friends,

Liebe Liste,

Paul Garrin hat das Attentat auf das WTC überlebt. Man sollte jetzt auch vor
allem darüber nachdenken, Projekte wie Garrins Name.Space Projekt als
Kultur-Gut und als Plattform eines mündigen politischen Bewußtseins zu
erhalten. Nötigenfalls sollte man auch in Berlin darüber nachdenken, einen
Hilfsfond für New Yorker Internet Kultur, die mit dem Anschlag ebenfalls in
die Krise geraten ist zu begründen und entsprechende Hilfsmaßnahmen in die
Wege zu leiten.
Ich stehe gerne für weitere Vorschläge zur Verfügung. Da meine derzeitge
Internet Adresse bei in NY durch den Terroranschlag ebenfalls in
Mitleidenschaft gezogen wurde, bitte ich darum alle diesbezüglichen Anfragen
und Anregungen an meine andere Mail-Adresse zu schicken:

Vielen Dank,

Peter C. Krell

> Hallo Paul,

> I just watched the news after my sister had called me from Florida. I don´t
> watch TV normally. She told me the World Trade Center would have crashed. I
> laughed and I couldn´t believe it. Then I turned on the radio. It was true.
> The world has changed. Japanese style, if you ask me. Anyway. There is no
> time to joke. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
> Plus, I must say, I am more than happy to see your site is still up.
> If you need support of any kind, I am ready to help you where I can.
> Much respect and good luck.

> Peter 

Hi Peter,

thanks for your note. I'm ok...a bit in shock.
I felt and heard the explosion this morning from
my home--my whole building shook.

There are F16 aircraft flying over Manhattan, a
gigantic plume of smoke and dust is slowly rising
from the site where the WTC stood...although I live
'upwind' from the disaster, I could still smell and
taste the particles from the blast and destruction.

All the airports are closed and flights grounded in
the entire US...the tunnels and bridges are closed
in NY, and subways are only running OUT of NY. My
telephones are alive but it's nearly impossible to
get a circuit out of NY. Fortunately our power is
on at the lab, and our main internet line goes to
midtown, and not to the WTC!

Thank you for your words of support...we should
talk about how you may be able to help Name.Space!
We need to raise more capital, and increase sales,
etc...I hope we survive all of this crazyness so
we can progress beyond this insanity!




LokMail suffers from the 'Gigasecond' bug
in UNIX, whose 'epoch' begins on December 31, 1969,
and counts from 0....on September 9, 2001 the count
in seconds from 12-31-1969 was 1,000,000,000 ...the
software needs to compute the date another way. I
hope we can fix this soon....luckily, the timestamp
in the headers is correct, just not the way the system
sorts the actual message files.


12 September
At 08:41 12/09/2001 -0400, you wrote:
>At 05:10 AM 9/12/2001 -0700, Mark River wrote:
> >1. If anyone has gotten word from Kathy Brew or her
> >staff (... Thundergulch Lower Manhattan Cultural
> >Council 5 World Trade Center) please let the list
> >know...
>Got an email from kbrew yesterday evening from another list. She's okay,
>she was not at work yesterday. There was an artists residency program in
>Tower 1 though, and she doesn't know yet if any of the artists were there
>in the morning yesterday.

thats a relief. i tried to email kathy and scott patterson last night, and 
both got bounced. has anybody heard from scott?

its good to hear that mark and the team is ok. is rachel greene ok as well? 
anybody spoken to carol stenakas? my geography of new york is a bit rusty, 
but it'd be good to hear that they were all fine and weren't in the area 
for any reason...


Matt Locke
Creative Director
The Media Centre
site under construction -
old site -
current project -
direct line - +44 1484 483003

+ he meant to shine to the end of the line
-> post:
-> questions:
-> subscribe/unsubscribe:
-> give:
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 13:22:14 -0400
From: "Ivo Skoric" <>
Subject: It was supposed to be such a beautiful day

Yesterday, it was such a beautiful sunny September day in New York city
that the only cloud in the sky was the one raising from the rubble of the
World Trade Center.

I don't think we can be sure as of yet who did it. Osama bin Laden and his
group are obvious suspects - because they already attacked WTC, and maybe
they just came back to finish the job. Hezbollah on the other hand has
the history of trying to crash a hijacked passenger plane in a building.
And nobody even mentions the non-Arab, non-Palestine related options,
because they are simply to scary to contemplate: like what if this is
'domestic' terrorism?

Regardless, of who did it, however, this was an act of war. This was the
single largest atrocity committed against the U.S. on its soil since the
Declaration of Independence. It is also important to note that the DoD's
beloved Space Shield would do absolutely nothing to protect the U.S. from
such an attack that came from inside and was executed by the tools of
American corporate business (2 passenger jets owned by the American
Airlines and 2 passenger jets owned by the United Airlines), used against
the symbols of American economic and military might. Doesn't it look
improbable that Pentagon got a direct hit? That was sure enough to humble
American arrogance. Yet, that was not enough for the terrorists.

That's why I agree with Ruth Wedgwood, a Yale University law professor and
terrorism expert, that this is not only an act of war, but also a war
crime. Crashing a plane full of passengers in a busy city district at the
beginning of a workday should classify clearly as a war crime, on pair
with what people in former Yugoslavia or Rwanda did to each other. New
York yesterday and today feels like Sarajevo felt after shelling the
markeplace. Public transportation did not run, exits from the city were
closed down, schools are closed, markets are closed, all airports around
the country are shut down, 4000 daily flights are grounded, hospitals in
the city are overwhelmed with hundreds, thousands of injured, and we don't
even know yet the number of victims. People are eerily calm. Black
teenagers here on my corner are unusually quiet and still. It seems that
all passengers in subways got a few more wrinkles on their faces than they
had yesterday, and everybody is paying the fare, regardless of the service
doors being left wide open. The 'hyper- power' is on its knees. UN, World
Bank, Capitol, White House, Treasury, State Department and Pentagon are
evacuated. And New York will probably never be the same again. I feel the
same emptiness as I felt when Mostar lost the Old Bridge. Holy shit - UPS
just this moment delivered a package to me - functioning parcel service
suggests return to 'normalcy', that's encouraging.

About the perpetrators, there are several technical things that are kind
of clear: some of them had to be trained pilots capable of driving most
modern US passenger jets precisely (Iraqis?). The research of the US
flight schedules was done meticulously, as to get a couple of wide
fuselage planes, well filled with fuel (intended to fly accross the
continent), hitting the twin towers from various points of origins within
half an hour. Everything points to terrorists being well rehearsed and
well informed.

I don't see any other way but to have perpetrators and their supporters
brought to justice. Nobody quite expected such a massive, well
co-ordinated (4 airliners hijacked simultaneously at 4 different airports)
and, unfortunately, highly succesfull attack on the land of the law, such
as happened yesterday morning. September 11th will perhaps be remembered
in the world's history, because I can't imagine world ever be the same
after today in regards to fighting terrorism. I am obviously afraid that
citizens will have to put up with even more curtailing of their freedoms
to assure their safety. I am just thinking of what nightmare it is going
to be to fly inside the US now, with all the increased security that would
be put in place to prevent of this happening again - that's why,
obviously, I would prefer that the perpetrators are caught sonner than

As for the reasons - for quite a while we were all aware of how the rule
of American law may convey injustice to some people. It is this feeling of
injustice and the feeling of helplessness to prevent that injustice, that
breeds anger, rage and hate, and ultimately it breaks out in irreversible
acts of horrific terrorism. It is true that Palestinians were and still
are victims at the hands of the world. And the routes for them to obtain
redress are clogged on purpose for a long time. So, for a quite a while
they resort to terrorism, including suicidal terrorism. It is true that
during NATO's bombing campaign over Yugoslavia, many innocent Yugoslav
citizens died. And it is also true that during the Gulf War a much larger
number of innocent Iraqis died. Judging by the celebratory mood on streets
of Gaza (and even some e-mail messages that came from Belgrade), there are
people who do feel a sense of poetic justice in using American passenger
planes as cruise missiles to 'punish' the cruise missiles makers. There is
no doubt that in some people's minds the U.S. 'deserved' such a reckoning.
I hope the U.S. would take this into consideration in its search for the
perpetrators and in whatever action it choses to take against them.

>From Manhattan:
ivo skoric

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Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 10:16:24 -0500
From: Andrew Ross <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> New York City

As someone who's been moving around downtown New York yesterday and this
morning, I'm struck by how many paramilitary vehicles there are on the
streets. The National Guard is here, of course, but there are also all
sorts of very strange-looking vehicles (with unfamiliar acronyms on the
side, if they are identified at all) that you never see on civilian
streets, but which clearly belong to the relevant civil authorities. All
other things aside (which, I realize, is a large proviso), the atmosphere
is neo-martial, and reminds one of how quickly a dense First World metro
area can and could be commandeered under other circumstances that one is
only left to imagine.


Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 13:16:08 +0200
From: (folks)
Subject: WTC/Pentagon attac

Historically speaking, THIS is the beginning of the new century,

Those who believe in something like humanity, whether the word has been
misused or not, whether someone is fighting against US policy or not,
feels with the innocent people who died and those who now bitterly miss



Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 11:42:35 +0100
From: John Armitage <>
Subject: The Media: As an Attack Unfolds, a Struggle to Provide Vivid Imag es to Homes

SEP 12, 2001

The Media: As an Attack Unfolds, a Struggle to Provide Vivid Images to


Television's broadcast networks and many of its cable channels - both news
and entertainment - scrapped their regular schedules yesterday. Radio
stations took live television news feeds. Two dozen newspapers published
special editions and Web sites threw out their advertising and in some
cases stripped down to basic text and still images to help their overtaxed
computers handle a demand for news unlike any they had experienced.

Between the moment when perplexed morning news broadcasters began fielding
calls from Greenwich Village residents who saw a low- flying plane crash
into One World Trade Center and the moment more than an hour later when
New York's twin towers crumbled into Roman candles of smoky debris, the
country's media outlets geared up to become the public stage of a national

By noon, all four major television networks had agreed to share video
images. By midafternoon, almost all of AOL Time Warner's cable channels,
like TBS and TNT, were carrying CNN; Viacom's CBS News feed was being
carried by Viacom's music channels, VH1 and MTV; and Peter Jennings of ABC
News was appearing not just on his network, but on Disney's ESPN channel
and all ABC radio stations.

Most of the networks used variations of the title adopted by CNN: America
Under Attack.

Images of billowing smoke from lower Manhattan and the low, smoldering
profile of the Pentagon, hit, like the Trade Center towers, by a hijacked
commercial jetliner, were dominant on all networks. Referring to the
unusual agreement to share images among the bitterly competitive news
divisions of the networks and CNN, the Fox News president, Roger Ailes,
said: "All the networks decided that this is a national emergency. We're
not keeping score today." Nor were they making much money, as they largely
scrapped commercial advertising.

In Washington, where the downtown had become a ghost town after the
federal government was shut down, delivery trucks for The Washington Post
headed for suburban 7- Eleven stores carrying a special edition dominated
by a two-inch headline, "Terror Hits Pentagon, World Trade Center," with a
lead editorial headlined "War." Special editions were also published by
The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Newark Star-Ledger, The
Charlotte Observer in North Carolina, The Austin American-Statesman in
Texas, not to mention small dailies like The LaCrosse Tribune in

Traffic at news Web sites soared, with 10 times or more the usual number
of users trying to log on, clogging the Internet and slowing response

Because New York was not just ground zero of the opening attack but also
the heartland of the media industry, some of the most dramatic early
accounts were from correspondents working at or near their homes. Don
Dahler, an ABC News correspondent who covered recent civil wars in Africa,
was getting dressed for work in his third-floor apartment in Tribeca,
perhaps half a mile from the World Trade Center, when he heard the first
plane hit.

"I heard what is a very familiar sound anywhere else in the world, in war
zones," Mr. Dahler said. "It sounded to me like a missile, a high- pitched
scream and a roar followed by an explosion, my mind was telling me it's a
missile. Then I saw this gaping wound in the World Trade Center. I called
into `Good Morning' immediately and started reporting," standing on his
sixth-floor rooftop with a cellular telephone.

Mr. Dahler, just one of the network's sources, was not on the air when he
felt the first of the two towers collapse. "When it collapsed I could feel
a rumble, and I tried to interrupt to say that something was happening
right before my eyes," he said. "The building collapsed. I was telling
them it looks like its coming down, it looks like it's coming down. They
switched to me right after it had fallen."

If there were a few stutter-steps like that, it was not surprising. It was
one of the rare instances when television brought disaster into American
homes in real time.

The radical changes in the technology of news delivery, however, along
with the quality of video imagery gave most of the day's news broadcasts
the feeling of an epic disaster movie.

The only genuinely grainy imagery came from the most advanced and portable
equipment: CNN's satellite video phones, which allowed that network alone
to televise a news conference with the spiritual leader of the Taliban
government in Afghanistan, the country that harbors the headquarters of
the accused terrorist, Osama Bin Laden. By evening, the same equipment was
showing tracer fire and explosions in Kabul.

Beyond the vivid pictures, the reporting included a number of mistakes
borne of rumors that sprang up throughout the day. CNN reported that
another plane was headed for the Pentagon. Fox News reported that the
State Department was on fire. CBS News reported that a second airplane
tried to attack the Pentagon. All the reports were later corrected.

The closest major news organization to the scene was The Wall Street
Journal, whose main offices nearby were evacuated at 9:15 a.m. Reporters
and editors worked from home or other Dow Jones offices from New Jersey to
Hong Kong to prepare a Wednesday issue.

Talk radio shows, which sometimes feed on inflammatory commentary, were
unusually low key yesterday, with hosts sympathizing or eliciting
information from eyewitnesses rather than goading.

On the New York radio dial, reporters at news stations struggled to
describe the breadth of the destruction. And talk radio hosts - sometimes
after ominous music played in the background - covered subjects from
airport security to retaliation.

The radio reports played a larger role than usual in bringing news to the
city, since the antennas that broadcast the signals of WABC and WNBC were
destroyed along with the twin towers. New Yorkers without cable television
- about 30 percent to 35 percent of the city's viewers - could only get
WCBS, whose antenna is on the Empire State Building.

The radio journalists reverted to the techniques of Edward R. Murrow's
wartime broadcasts from London to make the story visual. On WCBS-AM, the
journalist Peter Haskell reported that ambulances were lined up "as far as
the eye can see on both sides of the West Side Highway." On WINS, the
reporter Steve Kastenbaum said: "It looks like the entire city is just
walking home. The Brooklyn Bridge is a sea of people coming off the F.D.R.
Drive, walking down from Midtown, walking across the East River to their

Elsewhere in the country, some stations used the event to set up a
dialogue with listeners. A Christian radio station in Los Angeles, KFSG-
FM, canceled commercial advertising yesterday until 6 p.m. and used its
afternoon hours to take calls from listeners who wanted to talk about the

The United States of America

In Miami Herald by Leonard Pitts, Jr.:

We'll go forward from this moment; It's my job to have something to say.

They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles
American soul.

But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving
the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must
addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.

You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.
What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our
Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn?
Whatever it was, please know that you failed.
Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.
Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.
Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a

family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a
nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous
energy on pop cultural minutiae -- a singer's revealing dress, a ball
misfortune, a cartoon mouse.

We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and
material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a
certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though
peace-loving and compassionate.

We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the
overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and

Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all of this makes us
You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that
be measured by arsenals.

Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're
grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working
make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some
Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy
Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable
death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of
terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history
the world. You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.

But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us
fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last
anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and

monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible
our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any
suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you,
think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble
dread of the future. In the days to come, there will be recrimination
accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to
happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There
be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll
forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too.
Unimaginably determined.

You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of
character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On this

day, the family's bickering is put on hold.

As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans,
will rise in defense of all that we cherish.

So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that
maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's
case, consider the message received.
And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't
what we're capable of. You don't know what you just started.

But you're about to learn.

Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 21:37:08 -0500
Subject: NASDAQ Physically Collapsing
From: Bruce Sterling <>

*Okay, granted, it's merely a staff headquarters of some kind rather than
an actual, physical Bourse, but it's a very Black September '01 moment
to have the ailing NASDAQ physically collapsing. -- bruces

Wednesday September 12, 7:26 pm Eastern Time

Nasdaq headquarters on verge of collapse

NEW YORK, Sept 12 (Reuters) - The headquarters of Nasdaq is on the verge of
destruction on Wednesday evening as the building that houses the No. 2 U.S.
stock market was collapsing after an attack laid waste to the nearby World
Trade Center.

All 127 of the Nasdaq's staff were safely evacuated from One Liberty Plaza
after a second hijacked commercial plane crashed into the World Trade
Center, a company spokesman said. Witnesses told Reuters the building is
near collapse.

Nasdaq, which moved into One Liberty less than 6 months ago, is suffering
through a prolonged bear market that is cutting into revenues.

Equity trading on Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange, the world's
largest stock market, was shut down on Wednesday for the second straight day
after lower Manhattan was rocked by a pair of hijacked commercial planes
slamming into the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

But Nasdaq is not a physical stock exchange like the NYSE, which is also
located near the World Trade Center. Nasdaq matches buy and sell orders from
various share dealers throughout the world.

Its New York staff -- which represents 10 percent of the company's work
force -- is being relocated to offices elsewhere in the U.S., a spokesman
said. Its other locations include offices in suburban Connecticut,
Washington, Menlo Park, California and Chicago, he said.
To: <>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 15:25:07 -0500
Subject: The View From Chamnbers Street


Since I have neighborhood ID, the authorities let me go downtown, at 
noon, as far as Chambers Street, which is where the troops hold a tight 
line, only three or four blocks north of ground zero. After the first 
barrier on Houston St., Soho is totally closed for business, and 
deserted. Too bad for Dolce and Gabbano! I take some perverse pleasure 
in walking down the center of West Broadway in broad daylight, something 
I'm unlikely to be able to do ever again. A stray cop actually does 
mutter something about jaywalking. And I actually do say ,"You gotta be 
kidding." He smiles, a little reluctantly. So do I. 

Past the checkpoint on Canal St there are some bizarre sights, like the 
crushed cars piled on top of one another that have been dumped outside 
one of Tribeca's fanciest restaurants. The local bourgeoisie is nowhere 
to be seen, and the folks on the streets are artsy, indie types-the kind 
of folks who used to live here. I run into some people I haven't seen in 
ten years. Everyone else on the streets is wearing some kind of uniform 
or official ID. The thick white dust thickens as you get near to 
Chambers Street, which is where it begins to look like an urban 
battleground. I've been struck in moving around downtown over the last 
24 hours how many weird paramilitary vehicles are on the streets-very 
strange-looking vehicles (with unfamiliar acronyms on the side, if they 
are at all identified) of the sort we don't see on civilian streets but 
which are clearly the property of civil authorities. Down at Chambers 
Street, all of the marks of authority--city, county, state, and 
federal--begin to merge, alongside fringe, paramilitary organizations 
like the Salvation Army and the Guardian Angels (New York City's version 
of vigilanteism, circa 1980). 

It's an intensely active scene, with crews of relief workers and firemen 
marching back and forth, and trucks of all shapes and sizes weaving in 
and out of the convoys of official vehicles parked on Hudson and 
Greenwich St. To the south, when the smoke and fumes momentarily 
clears, I can see the mangled wreck of the towers, and every so often, 
the sunlight catches what looks like a flame. South of Hudson Street, 
the pile is about fifty or sixty feet high, much less to the south of 
Greenwich where the tower leaned when it fell. Even so, it's a 
surprisingly well-contained area of damage. Hoses are trained 
everywhere. I manage to get access to the bridge over the highway that 
links BMCC to the Stuyvesant school. For as far as you can see north, 
the West Side Highway is crammed full of heavy trucks of all shapes and 
sizes, waiting to cart off the shrapnel. The yachts off the piers are 
bobbing merrily. The trees in Washington Market Park and snow-white with 
dust. Someone has traced out graffiti in the dust on the bridge: "Fuck 
Woodstock! Time to Fight!" A sentiment to which the decent New Yorker 
can only say, Oy! 

The wind starts to shift the fumes towards us, and since I don't have a 
mask, this sorry dude beats a retreat. Why did I go down there? I 
wanted to test out my right to the streets in my own neighborhood. What 
does it feel like to be a member of the public under such circumstances? 
What does the "official city" look like, under such circumstances? What 
I found, other than the carnage, was a loosely coordinated overlap of 
authorities, and a veritable army of working class folks in one uniform 
or another (the city's public workers for the most part) putting their 
guts into a horribly grim job. Sound familiar? This loose coalition, 
with its lumpen workforce, was making the most of a bad scene, and their 
labor is a study in contrast to the unhinged sabre-rattling of the 
nation's policy establishment. (At the other end of yesterday's chain 
of events were the workers paid a measly minimum wage by the airline 
companies to guarantee our safety at airports). Yet I have to shiver 
when I think of how this same coalition, under different circumstances, 
might conceivably be, and sometimes is, turned against the citizenry. 
On the subway this morning, the vibe was dead mute--a mood I could only 
compare to another NYC subway ride I took the morning after the Rodney 
King-inspired insurgency. As for the air billowing out from DC, that's 
a nasty whiff. If you find that smell disagreeable, you're likely to 
find the city streets even less hospitable in the months to come.

I'd once spent a long time researching the Twin Towers for a book 
chapter, "Bombing the Big Apple," that I wrote several years ago. As it 
happens, I'd recently done a word search through all of those digital 
files. I was looking for any mention of Osama bin Laden. from media 
reporting of the 1993 bombing and the immediate aftermath. For what it's 
worth, the search came up negative. 

Andrew Ross
Professor and Director
Graduate Program in American Studies
New York University
285 Mercer St. 8th Floor
NY, NY 10003
tel 212-998-8538
fax 212-995-4803
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 15:40:59 -0400
Subject: Life Below 14th Street
From: Douglas Rushkoff <>

Tuesday morning: 

Thanks for all the concern and well wishes. Yes, I'm fine. Thousands have
perished, no doubt, and many of them, I'm sure, were friends.

I live high up, on 9th Street, and watched the whole World Trade Center
disaster unfold from my windows. Excruciating to witness. More on that in
the coming days.

I don't think it's the adrenaline of the moment leading me to believe the
world is a different place, now. This is an event beyond the scale and scope
of Pearl Harbor -- and one that changes everything.

Most likely, it will lead to some startling escalations, particularly now
that the White House is characterized more by demonstrative action than
effectiveness. The dancing in the streets of Palestine isn't a particularly
good public relations move, either.

Brace yourselves. America is at war, and the world is a smaller place.

Love and condolences to all.

Tuesday evening:

Things are strange here in lower Manhattan. Word has it the
neighborhood (south of 14th street) will be sealed off by
morning. I assume this means we can get out, but not in.

Media reports have been sketchy, and I can't help but conclude
we're not being told much. One building I know of, far from the
WTC, was evacuated, and the drivers of a truck presumably
carrying explosives were arrested. It hasn't been reported. No
news, either, confirming earlier reports that the Pennsylvania
plane that crashed had been shot down by our own missiles
before it reached its target. Even denials would be nice, but no
one is asking such questions.

Perhaps this 'cooperation' by the media is for our own good,
calculated to maintain morale. Time will tell.

I'm also disturbed by the reactions of many friends to the
prospect of going to work tomorrow. Some of them work at
AOL/TimeWarner magazines - recently budget-slashed and
overly corporatized. There's no impulse to 'hang in there,' show
up at work and get the news out. I don't blame them; they've been
mistreated, and the souls of these periodicals have been slowly
killed over the past months. Crises like these tend (and are
intended) to expose the stresses in our relationships to
institutions. So far, they're not pretty.

The images of the exploding and crumbling buildings, as well as
the screams of onlookers on rooves, still resonate. Some
neighbors who made it back describe Private-Ryan-level
carnage -- falling limbs and torsos, burning bodies, people
leaping out of 70-story windows.

People are quite calm, but they're also in shock. I'll be doing
some NPR (national public radio interviews) tonight, but I'm not really sure
what I can add of value. I'll answer their questions.

I received a widely-broadcast letter from John Barlow, who is very
concerned that this tragedy could lead to a willful disintegration
of American freedoms. He believes we will surrender precious
rights that were hard-won. I hope not; nor do I believe so.

I think we'll value the freedom we have all the more, now that we
have a taste of how tenuous such freedoms are in a truly global
reality. And what a terrible demonstration of remote high
leverage points in a networked system. Sometimes people learn the hard way.

It's one for all and all for one, at this point.


From: John Armitage <>
Subject: Delirious New York
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 20:29:09 +0100

"With the New York bomb [in the World Trade centre, 1993], we thus findourselves faced with the latest escalation in the kind of military-political
action that is based simultaneously on a limited number of actors and
guaranteed media coverage. It has reached the point where soon, if we don't
look out, a single man may well be able to bring about disasters that were
once, not long ago, the province of a naval or air force squadron."

"Indeed, for some time the miniaturisation of charges and advances in the
chemistry of detonation have been promoting a previously unimaginable
equation: One man = Total war."

Paul Virilio, "Delirious New York", 30 March 1993.


September 12, 2001

Your Excellency,

I am deeply shocked by the terrorist attacks that took place involving
four apparently hijacked aircrafts and the immense devastation these
caused. It is a terrible tragedy that so many innocent lives have been
lost and it seems unbelievable that anyone would choose to target the
World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. We are
deeply saddened. On behalf of the Tibetan people I would like to convey
our deepest condolence and solidarity with the American people during this
painful time. Our prayers go out to the many who have lost their lives,
those who have been injured and the many more who have been traumatized by
this senseless act of violence. I am attending a special prayer for the
United States and its people at our main temple today.

I am confident that the United States as a great and powerful nation will
be able to overcome this present tragedy. The American people have shown
their resilience, courage and determination when faced with such difficult
and sad situations.

It may seem presumptuous on my part, but I personally believe we need to
think seriously whether a violent reaction is the right thing to do and in
the greater interest of the nation and the people in the long run. I
believe violence will only increase the cycle of violence. But how do we
deal with hatred and anger which are often the root causes of such
senseless violence? This is a very difficult question, especially when it
concerns a nation and we have certain fixed conceptions of how to deal
with such attacks. I am sure you will make the right decision.

With my prayers and good wishes,

Yours sincerely,

The Dalai Lama

13 September
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 01:53:42 +0100
From: Harsh Kapoor <>
Subject: Laura Flanders - Live reports from Manhattan

Laura Flanders Filed 1:05 p.m. EST Wed.

Live reports from Manhattan -- A WEB LOG

The headlines roar war.

"This battle will take time and resolve, but make no mistake about it we
will win,said George W. Bush a few hours ago. By that time, Senator Joseph
Lieberman, loyal opposition Democrat, had already chimed in: "An act of
war was committed against us. It's more than a crime. It's certainly at
least a war crime. And I think Congress has to effectively declare war
against terrorism." On ABC's Good Morning America, the Secretary of State,
Colin Powell said, "The American people have a clear understanding that
this is a war. That's the way they see it." Does he see it that way? He
was asked. "I do."

I beg to differ. In Manhattan, we aren't in a state of war, we're in a
state of mourning. And for the whole country to join us right now would be
a really good idea.

They're calling it "The Pit" where the World Trade Towers were. "You don't
want to get too close," Pvt. Maldonado of the National Guard told
downtown-dwellers as we maneuvered through the multiple checkpoints in our
neighborhood. "1,400 National Guardsmen are down there," said Maldonado.

On Lafayette Street, at the neighborhood firehouse, the Stars and Stripes
flies at half mast. The local crew, among the first to go to The Towers,
is missing six members. A rack of dusty coats and rubber knee-highs hangs
by the station door.

The Washington politicians' talk about war is helping some people to vent,
to rage, to rally to kill more innocent civilians -- is that what we're
going to do -- kill them back? And the revenge talk is reaping a harvest
of hate.

An Iranian-American friend received an email yesterday, from a volunteer
at a Moslem Mosque in Los Angeles, with disclaimer that "these are the
letters of hate my dad's mosque in LA got just in the past few hrs...


"Go back to the middle east before you get burned at the Stake, who the
fuck do you think you guys are coming to our communities and bringing your
dirt with you? Muslims and their hate are not wanted in LA"

"Fuck you all for bringing your mud dirt people to our country and after
that bringing your evil uncivilized ways here to harm and hurt our people.
Watch out because we know who you are and we know where you live and we
will make sure that you pay for all those American lives lost"

"Fuck Muslims and fuck you, you will die for doing this"

"You middle eastern mud people need to die and pay for what you did."

This is a time to think about death and rage. To think about it for once,
and to pause. Will we too be burned at the stake or something similar if
we say that "terrorists" are people made by their circumstances, not born
hankering to kill or to kill themselves. And most of them believe they
have a cause -- political or religious. Will we too, the immigrants among
us, be banished for saying that the source of that belief is worth
thinking about? Do we risk becoming "harborers" of terrorists -- or
terrorist thoughts -- if we murmur anything about the U.S. bombing of
major cities: Hiroshima, Hanoi, Tripoli, Beirut, Panama City, Baghdad,
Khartoum, Belgrade? I wonder.

Meanwhile, in New York, we the people inhale the dust, gather at blockaded
streets and watch, and I've heard no hate. Not yet.


President or Priest?

Some New Yorkers gathered around a television two hours ago, to hear words
from the only president we've got. Around the set were three people who
make movies who had a friend on the hijacked Boston-Los Angeles flight; a
painter and a poet whose home, a few blocks from ground zero, has no
electricity and no gas. Rumors of underground gas explosions swirl like
the dust-clouds.

A civil rights attorney was on her morning bicycle ride when she saw the
first plane hit the first Trade Tower. People have started calling them
"our towers" now. "It was so huge, so low." Many of us saw "our towers"
drop out of our sky before our eyes. A writer believes she saw a city
school bus pass her, filled ceiling-to-floor with body bags. So when the
only president we have talked to us about "terrible sadness" New Yorkers
weren't impressed. When he gave us cliches about the day's events many of
us were furious. "We know what happened, we weren't in a bunker," one
shouted at the set. As for the government functioning and the economy
continuing... "Who's he kidding? Wall Street is under dust." He asked us
to pray: "What is he," we said. "A president or a priest?"

In lower Manhattan at least, it's clear that this president has no idea
what happened today. "That's the scariest part of all," some people said.
There was no leadership coming from politicians tonight. Nor pundits, try
as they might. And no light of freedom shining 'round here except the
headlights of a thousand emergency vehicles and the reflective vests on
several thousand workers, heading back into the smoke-filled streets.


Where do we turn in a crisis? To public workers, the ones we have left. I
just spoke to two dozen of them at an emergency staging area on
Manhattan's Avenue of the Americas. Bused in from as far away as Far
Rockaway, Queens they are massed here: the men and women of the New York
City Housing Authority with their blue suits, hard hats, city-issue
respirators and their 52 flatbed trucks lined up, awaiting the call to
head downtown to start the ghastly clean up.

Usually these people -- almost exclusively Black and Latino, mostly men
with a couple of women -- manage Manhattan's housing projects. Today,
they're coming to the World Financial Center's aid. Where are the
sanitation workers? Standard garbage crushers are poorly suited to the
delicate clean-up operation downtown. That's part of the story. Besides,
as one NYCHA worker put it, "The city's been getting out of the trash
business." It's true. More and more city garbage is picked up these days
by private contractors. These city workers, members of the Teamsters local
127, have been without a contract for a year.

"It's always police and hospital workers who get the credit, but we're
here when you need us," said union member Ray Garcia. It's true. Dark
skinned, blue collared, hot and waiting, these are emergency workers.
Workers we depend on in an emergency. Cut public spending on social
services? Think about it. Right now, chances are, I'd be looking at an
empty street.



It's the date. It is also the situation. At St. Vincent's hospital, where
there are some 180 casualties and two at last count dead, about 500 people
are waiting to give blood. Civilian cars are driving casualties to the
door. New Yorkers are turning out to help. That's the good news.

The bad news: on televison, reporters are fanning flames with
irresponsible reports. Just an hour ago, CBS Channel 2 in New York
interview with a transit employee who, with no evidence and no data, was
broadcast live, telling the already terrified public that biological
agents might be entering people's lungs.

Tom Brokaw on NBC can't get enough of State Department officials. For
hours this morning, NBC "reported" that the Democratic Front for the
Liberation of Palestine had "claimed responsibility" for the attack on the
World Financial Center. Brokaw's source, it turns out, was an anonymous
caller to Abu Dhabi television. By 9.58 EST, the Reuters newswire was
reporting that a senior official from the Democratic Front had denied any
connection to the attack:

"I emphasize that the story released on Abu Dhabi TV by an anonymous
person is totally incorrect," Tayseer Khaled, a senior official from the
DFLP politburo in the Palestinian territories, told Reuters. "The DFLP is
against hijacking planes and against endangering the lives of civilians
who are not connected with the struggle of this region," he said.

FILED 12:27 P.M. EST

It looks like nuclear winter out there. Police are trying their best to
close off all streets from my block south (Canal St.) I think of Baghdad,
Belgrade. Speculation on tv runs rampant. I am going now to St. Vincent's
hospital in Greenwich Village to give blood.

FILED 10:33 A.M. EST

The smoke is heading my way in lower Manhattan. I can see it. And I can no
longer see either of the World Trade Towers that were clearly visible from
my block as I walked home last night.

That's about all I can tell you about this morning's attack in New York.
In CNN's News Center in Atlanta, they know even less, but that isn't
stopping their talk.

Two hours after attacks on two U.S. cities, it's not clear how the
coverage will develop. There's no question, however, that TV speakers will
be filling the rest of the day with talk about an event that none of them
can explain. As the hours progress, "experts" will no doubt be
interviewed. Greta Van Sustern was already asked for her analysis. CNN's
legal expert talked from her vantage point at Washington's National

We can't predict the coverage, but we can recall the past. Here, thanks to
our friends at FAIR, from 1995:

"Seldom have so many been so wrong -- so quickly. In the wake of the
explosion that destroyed the Murrah Federal Office Building, the media
rushed -- almost en masse -- to the assumption that the bombing was the
work of Muslim extremists. "The betting here is on Middle East
terrorists," declared CBS News' Jim Stewart just hours after the blast
(4/19/95). "The fact that it was such a powerful bomb in Oklahoma City
immediately drew investigators to consider deadly parallels that all have
roots in the Middle East," ABC's John McQuethy proclaimed the same day.

"It has every single earmark of the Islamic car-bombers of the Middle
East,' wrote syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer (Chicago Tribune,
4/21/95). "Whatever we are doing to destroy Mideast terrorism, the chief
terrorist threat against Americans, has not been working," declared the
New York Times' A.M. Rosenthal (4/21/95). The Geyer and Rosenthal columns
were filed after the FBI released sketches of two suspects who looked more
like Midwestern frat boys than mujahideen." There's been a tragedy. May
all of us in the media not add to it today.


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Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 01:16:03 +0100
From: Phil Duncan <>
Subject: On Retaliation

I am an American watching the attack from Scotland.
Willa Cather saw WWI end with the world split in two.
The assassination of JFK was the end of Camelot.
Innocent notions of sovereignty, security, and supremacy
died coterminously in twin implosions.
Castration of global economic colonization.

I was paralyzed as I watched the live television images.
I am devastated by the violent change in my skyline, and the
destruction of icons of the economic and political tyranny I have
had the freedom to openly criticize. I am devastated by the
extreme obscenity of the destruction of innocent civilians by an
overt war crime. The willingness to send a human payload,
as a weapon, to a fiery and vicious death, causing the deaths of
more humans is an atrocity that is reprehensible.
I feel a frustrated rage against an unseen, unknown enemy.

After feeling these emotions, reading the commentary from sources
like the Washington Post, and hearing rumors of near riotous,
fever pitched bloodlust for revenge, I feel quite wary about any
retaliatory actions of the Bush administration setting off a blood feud:
a new (order) crusade.

Out of my anger and frustration I would like to offer these thoughts:

On Retaliation:

Now is a time to seriously lay to heart
the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions;
to look with compassion on the whole human family,
to take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts,
to break down the walls that separate us,
and work through our struggle, fear, and confusion.

How can the nations of the world find guidance
into the way of social justice,
and establish peace from the fruits of love,
which are stronger than hate?

We were once asked to love our enemies.
We search for the strength to lead them and ourselves
from hatred, cruelty, prejudice and revenge
to find a way to peacefully coexist
in the new world order initiated 11Sept2001.

Excerpted from a prayer by Fr. Sam Portaro,
Episcopal Chaplain of Brent House at the Univ. of Chicago,
and edited by me for theologic neutrality.

If you are interested in receiving the full text by
Fr. Portaro, please reply with your request.
I live 8 blocks north of the world trade center. My 
view is south facing the towers. I saw and 
videtaped the whole thing. Its a video I'd rather not 
have. The Friday previous to the attack I was at 
the Trade center changing airplane tickets. One 
month ago I went up to the top with my 
brother-in-law, his teenage daughter and his wife. 
My Street Harrison Street is being used as a 
major staging area for the clean-up and rescue 
operations. Yesterday they were cleaning 
asbestos off emergency vehicles. The police 
have barricaded the cross street in lower 
Manhattan. You have show a photon identification 
to go back to your home. Twice when I tried to go 
through a barricade to get to my home I was 
turned away by a cop even though I had proper ID. 
We have no subway service. The grocery stores & 
restaurants are all closed. My car is parked on a 
pier below 14th street on the river. I don't know 
whether they'll let me get it. We are all in shock 
here. I walked my wife up to a working subway 
station in the village at 6th ave & Bleecker. The 
whole of 6th ave was lined with hundreds of dump 
trucks coming from New Jersey. They were 
pointed downtown ready to clear the debris. The 
street was lined with people who applauded and 
cheered on the men driving the trucks. 

14 September

Islamic fundamentalism is best explained by the following deceptively
simple anecdote. Back in 1996, as the Taliban gained control of Kabul,
finally banishing the Mujahideen government, Burhanuddin Rabbani, to the
northern citadel of Faizabad, a group of young Taliban soldiers went down
to Kabul Zoo to take an inventory of its inhabitants.

The Afghan-Russian war of nearly 20 years had, of course, reduced the
previously famed zoo, once a hallmark of south east Asia, to rubble. Its
exhibits had either been killed in the wars, or even eaten by Kabul's
aid-starved residents. And as the young Talibscrossed a path through the
crumbling and long abandoned facility, they took a grim total of the zoo's
remaining creatures: a goat, a monkey and one emaciated and sorrowful lion.

One young Taliban soldier, originally hailing from the Panjsher valley,
stared into the lion enclosure - his face blushed with rage. "This is not a
real lion," he pronounced. "The lions of Panjsher valley are ten times
fiercer than this beast." And with a cry, he unhooked a grenade from his
belt and threw it into the den. He then watched in disbelief as the
explosive device rolled away from the King of the Jungle detonating only to
leave the beast with slight cosmetic facial injuries.

Outraged, the Talib leapt over the fence to wrestle the lion. His death was
swift and neat and locals watched horrified as the lion walked back to its
cave. So seemed the end of the tale, until the Talib's brother heard of his
family's latest loss. The younger brother sped to the zoo and, staring the
lion down, announced his revenge: "You have taken my blood. Now I will take
yours." And failing to glean any erudition from his brother's example, this
young soldier too leapt over the fence and was immediately spoiled. The
lion survives to this day.

It's perhaps the best example of indefatigable Islamic rage, as told to me
earlier this year, when I spent one week among the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Having spent the previous week in Faizabad with the near-liberal (by
Taliban standards only) opposition forces of the Northern Alliance, I found
the young Taliban soldiers unflinching in their interpretation of Islam,
and many spoke of wreaking Islamic revenge on America 'the sponsor of
terrorism across the Muslim world'.

Almost identitkit, as if from the same mould, all dressed in foreboding
black shalwaar kameez and equally unfriendly head coverings, the young
Talibs had all been instilled with a unique set of religious principals.
"We do not expect the West to understand people like us or Osama Bin
Laden," said my guide from the Ministry Of Tourism And Cultural Affairs. He
continued proudly: "So why should we hand him over? We see him as a kind of
saviour. He has done so much to make Islam popular and known throughout the
world." Throughout the Middle East, as in Afghanistan, as on the killing
fields of Gaza and Jerusalem, Islamic fundamentalism has its roots in the
failure of Arab leadership. Young Arabs, disillusioned with a 20 year
history of failing peace processes, are to be found denouncing Yasser
Arafat just as easily as they condemn the United States.

Less we judge events too quickly, let us not forget the huge swathes of
American society that also harbour grievances against the state. Last
night, close to the site of yesterday's bombings in New York, young African
American men in Brooklyn took to the streets and chanted a phrase
previously employed by Malcolm X on the assassination of JFK in 1963: 'The
chickens have come home to roost'. (Burhan Wazir)
September 14, 2001


Smoking or Non-Smoking?


JERUSALEM -- If this attack on
America by an extensive terrorist cell is
the equivalent of World War III, it's not too
early to begin thinking about what could be
its long-term geopolitical consequences. Just as World Wars
I and II
produced new orders and divisions, so too might this war.
What might it
look like?

Israel's foreign minister, Shimon Peres, offers the
following possibility:
Several decades ago, he notes, they discovered that smoking
causes cancer.
Soon after that, people started to demand smoking and
sections. "Well, terrorism is the cancer of our age," says
Mr. Peres. "For the
past decade, a lot of countries wanted to deny that, or make
excuses for
why they could go on dealing with terrorists. But after
what's happened in
New York and Washington, now everyone knows. This is a
cancer. It's a
danger to us all. So every country must now decide whether
it wants to be a
smoking or non-smoking country, a country that supports
terrorism or one
that doesn't."

Mr. Peres is on to something this sort of division is going
to emerge
but we must be very, very careful about how it is done, and
whom we, the
U.S., assign to the smoking and non-smoking worlds.

As Mr. Peres himself notes, this is not a clash of
civilizations the Muslim
world versus the Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish
worlds. The real
clash today is actually not between civilizations, but
within them between
those Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Jews with a
modern and
progressive outlook and those with a medieval one. We make a
mistake if we simply write off the Muslim world and fail to
understand how
many Muslims feel themselves trapped in failing states and
look to America
as a model and inspiration.

"President Lincoln said of the South after the Civil War:
'Remember, they
pray to the same God,'" remarked the Middle East analyst
Stephen P.
Cohen. "The same is true of many, many Muslims. We must
fight those
among them who pray only to the God of Hate, but we do not
want to go to
war with Islam, with all the millions of Muslims who pray to
the same God
we do."

The terrorists who hit the U.S. this week are people who
pray to the God of
Hate. Their terrorism is not aimed at reversing any specific
U.S. policy.
Indeed, they made no demands. Their terrorism is driven by
pure hatred and
nihilism, and its targets are the institutions that
undergird America's way of
life, from our markets to our military.

These terrorists must be rooted out and destroyed. But it
must be done in a
way that doesn't make us Osama bin Laden's chief recruiter.
Because these
Muslim terrorists did not just want to kill Americans. That
is not the totality
of their mission. These people think strategically. They
also want to trigger
the sort of massive U.S. retaliation that makes no
distinction between them
and other Muslims. That would be their ultimate victory
because they do
see the world as a clash of civilizations, and they want
every Muslim to see it
that way as well and to join their jihad.

Americans were really only able to defeat Big Tobacco when
within the tobacco industry went public and took on their
own industry, and
their own bosses, as peddlers of cancer. Similarly, the only
chance to really
defeat these nihilistic terrorists is not just by bombing
them. That is
necessary, but not sufficient, because another generation
will sprout up
behind them. Only their own religious communities and
societies can really
restrain and delegitimize them. And that will happen only
when the Muslim
majority recognizes that what the Osama bin Ladens are
leading to is the
destruction and denigration of their own religion and

This civil war within Islam, between the modernists and the
medievalists, has
actually been going on for years particularly in Egypt,
Algeria, Saudi
Arabia, Jordan and Pakistan. We need to strengthen the good
guys in this
civil war. And that requires a social, political and
economic strategy, as
sophisticated, and generous, as our military one.

To not retaliate ferociously for this attack on our people
is only to invite a
worse attack tomorrow and an endless war with terrorists.
But to retaliate in
a way that doesn't distinguish between those who pray to a
God of Hate and
those who pray to the same God we do is to invite an endless
war between
civilizations a war that will land us all in the smoking
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