Wednesday, September 12, 2001

NASA said today that the smoke from the destruction of the buildings in the WTC complex could be seen from space...an intelligence satellite spotted it. What the hell...? I look at the images of the streets of New York over and over, and it looks like images from some foreign country, scenes from some war-torn place like Boznia or Gaza or whatever...but not America! God, is that what they wanted to do, in their jealousy? Turn our streets into replicas of their own...damn...
NATO Says U.S. Can Count on Support

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - America's NATO allies declared Tuesday that the United States can count on their support in an intensified war against terrorism - a battle ``all civilized nations must win.''

The alliance issued the declaration during an emergency meeting called after airborne attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

``Our deepest sympathy lies with the victims, their families and all Americans,'' the alliance's governing North Atlantic Council said. ``The NATO nations unanimously condemn these barbaric acts committed against a NATO member state.''

It said the ``mindless slaughter of so many innocent civilians is an unacceptable act of violence without precedent in the modern era.''

The attacks, NATO said, ``underscored the urgency of intensifying the battle against terrorism, a battle that the NATO countries - indeed all civilized nations - must win.''

The statement added: ``At this critical moment, the United States can rely on its 18 allies in NATO and Europe for assistance and support...Our message to the people of the United States is that we are with you.''

Of the attackers, NATO said: ``Our message to those who perpetrated these unspeakable crimes is equally clear: you will not get away with it.''

We damn well better get support from the rest of the world. How about a little help in OUR time of need? We help everyone else, after all...
Bin Laden a Prime Suspect in Attacks
By GEORGE GEDDA, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - From the outset, the culprit seemed obvious. Who else but Osama bin Laden had the means, the organization and the fanaticism required to pull off the terrorist acts at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon?

And indeed, by late afternoon Tuesday, the Bush administration confirmed that bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organization were prime suspects.

He is widely regarded as the world's most dangerous man. He is thought to have been behind the twin bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998 that claimed the lives of 224 people, including 12 Americans.

Those numbers pale alongside the anticipated toll from Tuesday's attacks on symbols of American commercial and military might.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said FBI and intelligence officials told him the attacks were ``well-planned over a number of years, planned by real pros and experts. ... Their belief is, at least initially, that this looks like Osama bin Laden's signature.''

Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., asked whether bin Laden's group is the likely perpetrator, said, ``I don't know if there's any other organization that had the capability to carry out such a coordinated series of attacks.''

Bin Laden's obsessive anti-Americanism has never been in doubt. ``I'm fighting so I can die a martyr and go to heaven to meet God. Our fight now is against the Americans,'' bin Laden was once quoted as saying.

He has declared all U.S. citizens to be legitimate targets of attack. CIA Director George Tenet has said bin Laden has demonstrated a capability to plan ``multiple attacks with little or no warning.''

His road to international pariah status has been helped along by his strong organizational skills and a warchest inherited from the family construction company.

Born in Saudi Arabia in 1957, bin Laden drew inspiration from Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979. He had dreams of similar revolts in other Muslim countries.

Less than a year later, the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan provided another turning point. He despised the notion of people he considered to be infidels controlling a Muslim country and joined forces with the Afghan resistance.

Ironically, this commitment put him on the same side as the United States, which shared bin Laden's contempt for the Soviets and spent millions trying to liberate Afghanistan from them.

The Afghanistan experience enabled bin Laden and the many followers he recruited to hone the skills they needed for future struggles once the Soviets were evicted in early 1989.

His disdain for the monarchy in his Saudi homeland turned into outright opposition in 1990 when the kingdom invited hundreds of thousands of American and other foreign troops into the country after the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq.

Saudi Arabia was betraying the faith by accepting help from western infidels, bin Laden believed, and he set about to drive the United States from the Middle East.

He lived a nomadic existence for several years, having been deported by a number of Islamic countries before finding a haven in Afghanistan. President Bush said Tuesday the United States ``will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.''

Operating from damp caves infested with scorpions and rats, he plotted against the world's only superpower. Aside from the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa, he also is believed by U.S. officials to be responsible for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and last year's bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.

He has proved to be an elusive target. President Clinton was so eager to liquidate bin Laden that he ordered more than 70 sea-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles at his hideaway in Afghanistan in 1998. All fell wide of the mark. A $5 million FBI bounty on his head has yet to produce results. And despite two rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions, the Taliban rulers in Afghanistan refuse to turn him in.

We helped Afghanistan oust the Soviets, and look how we are repaid. Nice countries get the shaft as usual.
Powell Says U.S. to Respond as if 'This Is War'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Wednesday the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were an act of war and promised the United States would respond ``as if it is a war.''

Interviewed on ABC's ``Good Morning America,'' Powell said: ``The American people have a clear understanding that this is a war. That's the way they see it. You can't see it any other way, whether legally that is correct or not.''

Asked if he personally regarded it that way, Powell responded, ``I do.

``We've got to respond as if it is a war. We've got to respond with the sense that it isn't going to be resolved with a single counterattack against one individual. It's going to be a long-term conflict.''

Damn straight, Colin. Now you need to convince the President to feel the same way AND to act on those feelings. And we don't need any infantry to go in, just launch some missles and add our strength to the anti-Taliban forces that are attacking Kabul. We should be supporting them anyway. I'm all for us supporting political destabilization in countries that harbor terrorists, how about you guys? Let's send in some bombers and drop enough firepower to turn the ground in Afghanistan to glass.
U.S. Searches for Perpetrators, Survivors
World Leaders React to Attack

By Alan Elsner, National Correspondent

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans awoke in a state of controlled fury on Wednesday, as emergency workers dug desperately for survivors in New York and intelligence agencies searched for those behind the worst attack on the nation since Pearl Harbor.
Five Suspects Identified in NYC Attack

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Authorities in Massachusetts have identified five Arab men as suspects in Tuesday's attack on New York City and have seized a rental car containing Arabic-language flight training manuals at Logan International Airport, a source told the Boston Herald newspaper.

Two of the men were brothers whose passports were traced to the United Arab Emirates, the unidentified source told the Herald. One of the men was a trained pilot, the paper reported on its Web site on Wednesday.

The paper said investigators suspect the two brothers were aboard hijacked United Airlines flight 175, which pilot union officials said was one of the aircraft that crashed into the World Trade Center.

Flight UA 175 left from Boston en route to Los Angeles with 56 passengers on board. American Airlines flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles crashed into the other World Trade Center tower. Another aircraft hit the Pentagon (news - web sites) and a fourth aircraft crashed in Pennsylvania.

At least two other suspects flew to Logan on Tuesday from Portland, Maine, where authorities believe they had traveled after crossing over from Canada recently, the Herald reported.

Authorities were informed about the rental car by a civilian who got into a fight with several Arab men as they were parking their car, the paper reported.

That's it, pick up the trail, guys...and lead us right to the source so we know where to drop the bombs.
Taliban Foes Claim Attack Against Kabul

ISTANBUL, Sept. 12 (Wednesday) -- When explosions reverberated across the capital of Afghanistan early today, the obvious conclusion was that the United States was making good on President Bush's vow to hold accountable the people responsible for Tuesday's devastating terrorist attacks in the United States.

But despite the apparent logic, the Pentagon quickly denied that the United States was behind any explosions in Kabul -- especially a missile strike, as initially suggested by CNN. Later in the day, however, the anti-Taliban opposition claimed responsibility for the blasts.

"Two of our helicopter gunships took part in this operation," Bismillah Khan, a top commander of the anti-Taliban force, told the Reuters news agency.

He said opposition forces also fired medium-range Russian-built missiles at the airport. Explosions, punctuated by Taliban anti-aircraft fire, lasted for almost 10 minutes.

"We had to do something to stop their attacks and that was the only way," Khan said on a satellite phone from a location north of Kabul.

Is anyone else thinking what I'm thinking? That we should be recruiting these guys to help us strike back? These guys can be our inside people in this whole mess. Go here, here, and here for some information on the Taliban. The Taliban supposedly has its own Web site at www.afghan-ie.com, but I can't get to it right now. The site is down. This site is the closest I can get to it.

In the meantime, Blogger is getting harder and harder to post on, so I think that I'll try again later...for now I'll be reading the papers I picked up and trying to get a handle on all the information out there today. Talk to you later...

ACS

For those that want to help out in the face of the terrorist attacks yesterday, go here and here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

The Pearl Harbor of my generation happened today. I had the chance to watch some of it on the television, and I felt like I was watching a movie instead of the news. Maybe a Jerry Bruckheimer flick or the sequel to Independance Day, but certainly not reality. But we are taught in this country to feel as though we are impervious, invincible. It's shocking to have the truth displayed to us in such a terrible way. We were no more ready for this attack as we were for the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Two hijacked planes smash into the World Trade Center towers and cause them to collapse. There is footage of people running from a huge cloud of dust that roils around corners and turns everything black. Footage from a man that was just on the news showed him only a few blocks away from one of the towers as it fell.

Another plane crashed into the Pentagon. Still another plane crashed near Pittsburgh, with people claiming everything from another attempted kamikaze attack to a rumor that the plane would not identify itself and was shot down by us. Why don't we know the whole story? How can things be this confused? Are we that unprepared?

A car bomb exploded near the Capitol building. What the hell is going on here?

I watched the second tower collapse live, in front of my eyes. People here at work were wailing and crying or staring in shocked silence. Again, there were comments on how surreal it all was...or rather, how movie-like the images were...like I said, we're taught that things like that don't happen here.

There is talk of returning to the Cold War practice of constant patrolling of our airspace by jets and bombers...but how can they protect us from threats within airliners?

Osama bin Laden and the Taliban? Why have then been allowed to linger as long as they have on this planet? How can they waltz into airports with the means to hijack planes? Ceramic guns like Glocks? Whoever it is means business, coordinating an attack aimed at our political and economic hearts.

I hear the people around me calling for blood, for vengeance...I hear them talking about bomb shelters and conventional warfare versus "that other kind of warfare"...the big one...will we be having air raid drills next?

Disjointed mentally and emotionally today, as is the rest of the country...where do we go from here? Talk to you soon...