Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tucker Carlson, David Ray Griffin & Holocaust Denial

Facebook Under Fire for Allowing Holocaust Deniers
"Hate on the Internet is growing like wildfire," said Deborah Lautner, director of civil rights for the Anti-Defamation League. In the past year, she said ADL has seen a 100 percent increase in the number of complaints from the community about hate speech online.
"For us, Holocaust denial is fundamentally anti-Semitic and therefore it is hate and violates their terms of use," she said. "The fundamental core of Holocaust denial is that Jews are so powerful and have such control that they could make up this outrageous lie. At its core, not only is it offensive to the 6 million people who perished and those who survived, but at its core, it's an anti-Semitic theory of world control? And it does not deserve a forum on Facebook."

Tucker Carlson in The Situation Room on MSNBC, for August 9, 2006: An Interview with David Ray Griffin

CARLSON: Well, you did not get a word of that from the 9/11 Commission, nor did you get a word of it from National Public Radio, the “New York Times,” the “Washington Post,” ABC news, NBC news, MSNBC. You are suggesting...

GRIFFIN: Exactly, but we did in papers in other countries.

CARLSON: Right, but, I mean, as someone who has been in journalism his whole adult life and grown up in a family of journalists, I can tell you people who point to the journalism of Great Britain are almost always pointing to journalism with very low standards.

Here‘s my obvious point. You‘re alleging not simply a cover-up by the U.S. government but by the entire American media. It‘s totally implausible. We would report that if it were true..

GRIFFIN: Tucker, not quite entirely...



Subsequently, Tucker Carlson unintentionally reveals the relationship between the American press and the powerful they report on, during a discussion with Gerri Peev of The Scotsman, the reporter who wrote that Obama advisor Samantha Power had referred to Hillary Clinton as a "monster."
CARLSON: What -- she wanted it off the record. Typically, the arrangement is if someone you're interviewing wants a quote off the record, you give it to them off the record. Why didn't you do that?

PEEV: Are you really that acquiescent in the United States? In the United Kingdom, journalists believe that on or off the record is a principle that's decided ahead of the interview. If a figure in public life...


PEEV: Someone who's ostensibly going to be an advisor to the man who could be the most powerful politician in the world, if she makes a comment and decides it's a bit too controversial and wants to withdraw it immediately after, unfortunately if the interview is on the record, it has to go ahead.

CARLSON: Right. Well, it's a little...

PEEV: I didn't set out in any way, shape...

CARLSON: Right. But I mean, since journalistic standards in Great Britain are so much dramatically lower than they are here, it's a little much being lectured on journalistic ethics by a reporter from the "Scotsman," but I wonder if you could just explain what you think the effect is on the relationship between the press and the powerful. People don't talk to you when you go out of your way to hurt them as you did in this piece. Don't you think that hurts the rest of us in our effort to get to the truth from the principals in these campaigns?

PEEV: If this is the first time that candid remarks have been published about what one campaign team thinks of the other candidate, then I would argue that your journalists aren't doing a very good job of getting to the truth. Now I did not go out of my way in any way, shape or form to hurt Miss Power. I believe she's an intelligent and perfectly affable woman. In fact, she's -- she is incredibly intelligent so she -- who knows she may have known what she was doing. She regretted it. She probably acted with integrity. It's not for me to decide one way or the other whether she did the right thing. But I did not go out and try to end her career (March 7, 2008)


Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

It would seem to me that in the conspiracy to launch the astronomically sized lie of the false-flag attacks of September 11th by the United States, to its people and the world, that the utmost planning and preparation would have been undertaken in advance of the triggering event. And since the hawkish community at the heart of this big lie is long accustomed to simulating and modeling potential outcomes in reality---weighing the tactical risks to the strategic benefits, in various combinations of moves, as if on some grand chessboard...

That, then, somewhere in here, the great increase in the power of massive super-computers would factor in---but such a tool is only as good as the input data...

Before anyone would dare the hubris of attempting to manifest a concept like the story of 9/11, wouldn't there have to be existing models of a big lie---ones that had been successfully told and maintained? Some reference point, which would give rise to all the variables and factors and outcomes one would require to place under advanced computer-thrashed consideration?

Now, since we collectively understand that we were lied into the war in Iraq by our leaders, doesn't it also make sense that we could have been lied out of a war as well? That European Jews did not suffer under German rule disproportionately more then the other concentrated groups---the intellectuals and political prisoners, for instance; or the peoples collaterally damaged by the economic and political forces at play during the era---like the seven million Ukrainians who starved in induced famine in the 1930's? That the archetypal images of the starving stick figures who were left when the camps were liberated, came as the result of typhus or typhoid epidemics very late in the war, when American and British war crimes were impacting life for many? And doesn't "holocaust denial" make for the perfect bug bear to shield a subsequent deceit behind? What comes next pray tell?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Highlighting a Father Mychal Judge Update

An update to Father Mychal Judge: Icon in a Can and Who Gets The Last Laugh Now? about the disposition of Father Mychal Judge's body, which was abandoned in the gutter on Vesey Street after the hero rescuers who were photographed carrying his corpse in a chair dumped it there.

(See: Father Mike: What Really Happened by Neil Graves, Courtesy The New York Post, reposted at on 9/9/02, where it is still available.[On edit: Fuck For now, find it at])

In the World Trade Center Task Force Interview of Assistant Commissioner Stephen Gregory linked to in the New York Times, Gregory informs us the what happened next:
"As we were passing St. Peter's Church, the captain of Ladder 102 and the lieutenant from Ladder 102 were coming out of the church and they informed me that they had Father Judge's body inside the church. They had brought it from wherever they recovered it into St. Peter's Church. At that point in time Tom McGonigle from the Field Com and myself went into the church. We went up to the altar. They had Father Judge on the altar. He was wrapped in sheets, some type of white sheeting, and they had him laying on the altar. We knelt down. We said a prayer."
The New York Times published a link to the transcript of the World Trade Center Task Force interview with a Lieutenant Frank Nolan of Ladder 102---he mentions finding two civilian bodies, but says nothing about Father Judge. Nolan mentions a Lieutenant Ciaravino who responded to the scene with him, but Ciaravino is not interviewed. The captain of Ladder 102 isn't mentioned, but he may be John P. O'Connell.

After a 26-year career with the New York City Fire Department, O'Connell went to work for Collapse Rescue Systems, Inc., as an instructor. His page at CRS Inc.'s web site says he "served in Engine 257 Canarsie, Brooklyn for one year and Hook & Ladder 102 in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn for 7 years," without specifying where he was stationed on 9/11/01. But it says he was "in charge of all underground and confined space penetrations at the 9-11 WTC incident," and was "the technical advisor to the incident commander at the World Trade Center collapse," so that may rank as Captain of Ladder 102.

So many of the fire fighters associated with Father Judge did not give testimony to the World Trade Center Task Force project: Zachary Vause of Engine Co. 21 , Christian Waugh of Ladder Co. 5, Lieutenant Ciaravino of Ladder 102, Captain John P. O'Connell of Ladder 102.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Birddog and Cowboy: David Pheall and Carl Mahinken

Faux Pentagon heroics. I'll let the videotape and the transcript do the talking, except to say, operatives should learn not to sound like the Energizer Bunny---David. And grim. The emotional reality should be grim. This is not your big moment. The nics are simply beneath contempt.

Just wanted to get the names into the tribunal slot.


America Under Attack: Interview with Two Survivors of Pentagon Attack
Aired September 13, 2001 - 09:13 ET

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's turn it back now to the Pentagon.

CNN's Bob Franken has been standing outside in the wake of the devastation there. We've been talking an awful lot about those who are missing. We haven't talked about as much of those who have survived the carnage of the other day. Bob is going to tell us a little bit more about that -- Bob.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Miles, we've been hearing so much about the tragedy of this, but also stories of heroism, and we have two examples of that with me right now. We have a David Pheall, who is standing right next to me, and Carl Mahinken.

Both of you were working in an office maybe about a hundred feet or so from where the actual airplane actually collided. Tell me what happened.

DAVID PHEALL, PENTAGON ATTACK SURVIVOR: We did indeed. We were indeed fact working about 100 feet from what I call ground zero. We were talking to a major friend of mine in the Army, who was calling me up to hear if I had heard of what happened to the World Trade Center, and of course I did; everyone in Pentagon did. The whole Pentagon was abuzz that morning with the video footage of that, and jokingly told me, you know, the Pentagon is probably next, you ought to get out of there, and we sort of chucked about that, and she said, again, I'm serious, David, you really ought to get out of there, and it was at that moment that I described it as the gates of hell opening up. The wall that was aside me just simply crumbled, much the way that you would crumple a piece of loose-leaf paper.

And you have a moment there to realize what is happening. And probably because she had planted the seed in my mind, I knew instantaneously what had happened, and I thought, we were under attack, and there was a brilliant flash of light which came from the corners of the wall which had given away, and immediately, I was thrown about 25 feet back into the office next door, still had the phone in my hand. And my response was immediate, and again, because she had planted the seed I am sure, I immediately started making my way toward Karl. who that was about 25 feet away from me in the office.

FRANKEN: What was going on with you?

CARL MAHINKEN, PENTAGON ATTACK SURVIVOR: I was sitting there working on my desk. I just came from downstairs, watching the terrible scene of the World Trade Center. I sat down, and my PC just comes and hits me in my face, but it was more than that. It was this instantaneous force. In the my mind, I closed my eyes, and I can hear the ripping of the metal, the tearings down of the walls, and just this force that knocks me I don't know how far back, but when I looked up, I saw nothing but just confusion. The walls were down. We were calling over, our studio where we work, and we went to the next room. We found some people.

I call him "Bird Dog," because he was looking for a way out, and he said, cowboy, let get out of here, so we did, and we went to the room, and said, where are we. I said, we're in the delta 535, and I said OK, let's keep moving, and we knew that where we had to go. And on the way, we heard people that were crying, that were upset, but it still not a sense of chaos, even we were there where there was and hardly any light, except for the fire and for the emergency lights.

PHEALL: When I came too, the walls around me were on fire. One of the wall had collapsed on top of me, and I will believe until the day they I think that that deflected the fireball that injured so many people in offices near us.

FRANKEN: Well, your offices are on the first floor, right.

PHEALL: That is correct.

FRANKEN: And so of course the damage is overhead. The fireball, as you found out, literally went over your head.

PHEALL: It did indeed. I mean, there was obviously a fire force when I stopped, and when I finally landed, everything around me was on fire, and the smoke was just incredible. The smoke was just billowing into our little corridor at just an incredible rate, and frankly, there is a vacuum that happens on impact, and the lungs -- and the air in my lungs were just sucked out, and the first breath that I took was just this intensely hot, thick smoke?

FRANKEN: So you were knocked out, and you were almost knocked out.

PHEALL: I wasn't knocked out actually. I was spring-loaded. Immediately I was up and over the wall and calling for Carl.

FRANKEN: As I understand, it once you found out that you were safe, you were trying to get people out.

PHEALL: We did. And we started climbing over the rubble. And it was a matter of, there were no floors left, I mean, there was rubble on the floor that we were walking on top off, twisted desks, and filing cabinets and portions of walls. So much so that you can lean on the ceiling at certain points, and I was in fact grabbing rebarb that was hanging on the ceiling. I was amazed at the destruction. It was total. It was complete. Just as far as you could see, it was nothing but rubble, and we got scared at one point, when we came up to where I thought that the hallway should have been, there was a cement blockade in our way.

And I really got scared at that point, because the smoke was so bad that I thought that we were entombed in it, but we were and able to pull some cement away and vent some rebarb back, and only upon reflection and hearing other stories that I truly believe that it was the floor that fell down, and it simply fell down like a garage door and continue to block the sections of the hallway.

FRANKEN: Were people following you? You have the nickname "Bird Dog" now.

PHEALL: When we crawled through, I was -- I refused to die. I remember making a conscience decision, I am not going to die here in the Pentagon today. And when we got to that first cement blockade, it was just a matter of running my hands along the wall, pulled some cement down, bent the rebarb back, and Carl was hot on my tail, and we crawled through that and into another section, and we were crawled into the other section. There was this eerie, white dust on everybody's face, and I think that one of the emergency lights had strangely illuminated the entire area, and a few people whose names I don't know, but whose faces I recognize would pass me everyday in the hallway.

Everyone just had this look on this face like, did this really just happen? And I buzzed right by them, asking if everybody was OK. Carl was checking on other people and you can hear people calling for other people, you can hear people making an accountability, an immediate accountability there for the people there in the area, and we continued our movement on out of the Pentagon. I knew where there was a door, and I continued my movement toward that area.

FRANKEN: As I understand it, one of the first people who you saw when you got outside was Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

PHEALL: It was about a minute or half or so after we had gotten outside, because as soon as we got outside and we made a run down the E-ring, we were from D-ring, of course which is one hallway back from E-ring, which is the outside ring, and we ran down E-ring, calling for people before we had actually left the Pentagon, but E-ring, thankfully so, was vacated, in preparation for the renovation of the Pentagon, E-ring was vacated, and there wasn't much left to it frankly. And at that moment we saw some emergency people running into the building, and without respirators, we knew that we had to get out, because the smoke was so bad, and as soon as we got out of Pentagon, there were people who had simply had collapsed outside of, and gasping for fresh air, and we simply picked them up, and it was just amazing to watch how the military just sort of naturally fell into line.

There are certain skills that are simply instinctive to you, and it's drilled into you. As a former soldier, I didn't have to think about what happened, as a reserve officer, neither did Karl. And there were others on the spot.

FRANKEN: As I understand it, the three-star general automatically started in fact organizing things out there?

MAHNKEN: That's correct.

PHEALL: We saw a lieutenant colonel out there who was a doctor. She was the first. And I asked her what she need me to do, and she said make an IV. I told her I'm not a medic, and she said stretch the IV and said, make it look just like this.

MAHNKEN: They were improvising.

FRANKEN: So, as I understand it, at about that moment you saw the secretary?

PHEALL: Yes, there was a secondary explosion, there was some confusion, some screaming, somebody yelled out that it's probably a fuel tank. I remembering thinking that makes sense, and we went back to work.

And it was probably, I would say 15, 20 minutes or so after the explosion when we were triaging these people, and we had medivaced one lady away who was burned, and we just sort of made our way as these people came out. They would just be laid further down the line.

And there was a point there, about 15, 20 seconds, where I wasn't engaged, Carl was holding an IV bag, and I looked up and there's the Secretary of Defense. And I remember thinking, good for you, this makes sense.

And I stood up and just started briefing the Secretary of Defense as to the injuries that we had sustained in this area, describing some of the injuries, describing that one lady had been medevaced away and some of the other injuries that we saw.

FRANKEN: So we want to report now that the Dover Delaware facility, which is designed to handle casualties, that type of thing, we've seen it so many times used when there have been overseas disasters. It has been activated. It will be receiving those who did not make it.

But, we just heard the story, the heroic story, of somebody who in fact was able to survive. Miles?

O'BRIEN: CNN's Bob Franken reporting live from the Pentagon. To say that was a harrowing tale is a bit of an understatement.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Unnatural Photographic Angles in 9/11 Imagery

Where were the photographers standing when they took the following two images at "Ground Zero" on September 11, 2001? It would appear, given the great height of the point-of-view that they were on the second or third story of some building, shooting out a window or balcony.

The problem, however---there is no building on the North-West corner of Vesey Street and West Street. The first image is attributed to the New York City Fire Department, while the second is credited to Shannon Stapleton, a photographer working for Reuters who was very active in this quadrant of Ground Zero.

Finding images that depict the conditions at this north-west corner are rare in the record---not surprisingly so, given the action taking place on the cater-corner. But we are given some oblique views in a few high-resolution aerial shots, where it is clear, the corner holds only a parking lot:

One photographer active in this area was Anthony Correia, and his work allowed for shots with views of the north-west-corner of Vesey and West Street taken in several different directions---but at street level.

These images make clear that there was no structure that provided an elevated perch from which photographers could take such pictures. In fact, Google Maps shows us that even a block further north was only playing fields.

View Larger Map
It is conceivable that the Stapleton image was taken from the building at 250 Vesey Street, but I don't think so, given the unusual angle and geometry of the structure. The fire department picture looks as though it were taken from nearly dead center on the median of the extremely wide thoroughfare of West Street. If so, did they use an extension ladder truck to accomplish this feat? Is this normal in an emergency?

View Larger Map

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Anthony Correia: 9/11 Image Maker

A completely new resource for me is a six-year-old effort at professional recognition honoring journals and newspapers (and in some cases individual photographers,) for pictures taken on September 11, 2001, and its aftermath, called The Best of Photojournalism 2002: Attack on America Picture Story. The Internet Archive has never heard of these pages before, so I don't know when they went up online. Many of the images are unfamiliar to me (and where they are familiar, they tend to be grouped together in the same entry,) which leads me to wonder if they are of more recent public vintage.

I've reposted several hundred of these images over at my sister blog, StevenWarRan Backstage, without much editorial comment, but this photographer's entry brings up a couple of interesting anomalies.

Independent of this BoP2002 "entry," Anthony Correia's work enters the public record in an online web essay in the September 2006 issue of The Digital Journalist, called "Recalling September 11th," a page which, quite appropriately, first appears at on October 1, 2006. There we learn that Correia worked at the time as an archivist for Reuters, as well as a staff photographer for the community newspaper, the weekly Queens Chronicle.

Six images were also posted to his personal web site, Anthony Correia Photography, first recorded on June 23, 2007, by the Internet Archive web crawler. Two of the six are unique to the record.

Of the eight images in the 2006 Digital Journalist essay, four were numbered amongst the thirteen images that made up the earlier Best of Photojournalism 2002 entry, and four were new to the record. Since we have no evidence for when the BoP2002 pages actually were posted online ( having no record of them,) cynicism makes me consider if these pages might not be back dated.

But that's the least of the problem, in that the "best of photojournalism" implies the thirteen images had been previously published journalistic work. I'm not holding out much hope that these shots first appeared in the weekly "Queens Chronicle," or elsewhere, as the BoP2002 entry is oddly titled with just his name "Anthony Correia," and in that way it breaks the usual BoP2002 form of neglecting the photographer's name in favor of the journal or newspaper's name.

In any event, the first four images below are from The Digital Journalist, the last two are from Correia Photography, and the intermediate thirteen are the BoP2002 entry. All captions are from the respective publications---which brings up one final point: When the caption writers describe an image as being, "New York City firefighters and a volunteer," manning a hose, or, "an unidentified civilian" doing the same, how did Correia make that determination? Did he ask them, "excuse me sir, I see you are out of uniform, are you a civilian, or perhaps an off-duty professional?" In the context of almost no information or identification being given in any of the thousands of photographs from 9/11, suddenly here it feels like we are being given Too Much Information. And even if that ID is legitimate, what in the hell were "civilians" doing manning fire hoses that day? Weren't there enough firemen to do the job?

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: New York City firefighters and other emergency personnel stand near the area known as Ground Zero after the collapse of the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York City.
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: An unidentified civilian waters down the area with a firehose near the area known as Ground Zero after the collapse of the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York City.
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: Pedestrians walk along a dust and debris covered West Side Highway (Joe DiMaggio Highway) near the area known as Ground Zero after the collapse of the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York City.
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: A New York City Fire Department (FDNY) vehicle lies covered with dust and ash near the area known as Ground Zero after the collapse of the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York City.

Best of Photojournalism 2002 'Anthony Correia' entry

A New York City firefighter walks away from the World Trade Center disaster area September 11, 2001 in New York City. The 'white snow' falling all around was actually paper and other debris strewn all about by the force of the Twin Towers collapse. Humbling image that I decided to capture.

New York City firefighters and a volunteer a fire hose to try and put out fire near the World Trade Center disaster area September 11, 2001 in New York City. The 'white snow' falling all around was actually paper and other debris strewn all about by the force of the Twin Towers collapse. Humbling image that I decided to capture.

A Port Authority police vehicle is damaged near the World Trade Center disaster area September 11, 2001 in New York City. The 'white snow' falling all around was actually paper and other debris strewn all about by the force of the Twin Towers collapse. Humbling image that I decided to capture.

Paper and other debris are strewn all around the World Trade Center disaster area September 11, 2001 in New York City. Humbling image that I decided to capture.

New York City firefighters work near the World Trade Center disaster area September 11, 2001 in New York City. The 'white snow' falling all around was actually paper and other debris strewn all about by the force of the Twin Towers collapse. Humbling image that I decided to capture.

A New York City firefighter carries equipment near the World Trade Center disaster area September 11, 2001 in New York City. The 'white snow' falling all around was actually paper and other debris strewn all about by the force of the Twin Towers collapse. Humbling image that I decided to capture.

Emergency service workers work near the World Trade Center disaster area September 11, 2001 in New York City. The 'white snow' falling all around was actually paper and other debris strewn all about by the force of the Twin Towers collapse. Humbling image that I decided to capture.

Emergency service workers work near the World Trade Center disaster area September 11, 2001 in New York City. The 'white snow' falling all around was actually paper and other debris strewn all about by the force of the Twin Towers collapse. Humbling image that I decided to capture.

Emergency service workers walk near World Trade Center disaster area September 9, 2001 in New York City. Face masks were in high demand as the air was difficult to breath.

New York City firefighter equipment lies amidst the rubble of the World Trade Center disaster area September 11, 2001 in New York City. Humbling image that I decided to capture.

New York City firefighters walk towards the World Trade Center disaster area September 11, 2001 in New York City. This group of firefighters arrived just ont he scene tor eplace any that needed to rest.

A New York City firefighter walks away from the World Trade Center disaster area September 11, 2001 in New York City. The 'white snow' falling all around was actually paper and other debris strewn all about by the force of the Twin Towers collapse. Humbling image that I decided to capture.

A pedestrian walks with a face mask near the area known as Ground Zero after the collapse of the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York City

An unidentified NYC firefighter walks away from the area known as Ground Zero after the collapse of the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York City

An unidentified NYC firefighter walks away from the area known as Ground Zero after the collapse of the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York City.

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Fillies for My Study Carrel

Over at StevenWarRan Backstage I've reposted several hundred photographs relevant to September 11 that I downloaded from a web site, The Best of Photojournalism: 2002, where I found over 800 images that were mainly new to my eyes. The Internet Archive has never heard of these BOP2002 pages before, so I don't know when they went up online---although I suspect, it was only recently.

These aren't of very high resolution, but I'm not complaining. I mean, it's a red-letter day when you get a new photograph of Father Stephen McGraw isn't it?

Why is it Christians always look like they're in so much pain all the time?

Here are some of my other favorites, in no particular order:

Wearing her pride, on her backside.

Viewing Ground Zero

The Four Horsemen of the Shanksville Apocalypse

Finally---a use for the Gothic.

He's looking the wrong way! Up, for planes dude!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cass Gilbert's 90 West Street Ablaze

One of my private rants against the photographers of the attacks of September 11, 2001, are the omissions in the record of several notable episodes and views. For instance, given a seven-hour window of opportunity, one might think somebody could have captured a high-resolution shot of the south face of Building 7 without the tight quilting of smoke we see adhering to the facade after the two towers had fallen. Implausibly, we are asked to believe that a dozen or so professionals all choose to take shots during the exact same heavy smoke conditions. It is inexplicable---barring tight control and release of the work product---that such a dominant narrative element could go unrecorded. And since no steel was saved for study from Building 7, a photograph would have gone far in the engineering studies.

Another lacuna in the record is any shot of 90 West Street on fire. That is the historic tower designed by Cass Gilbert in 1906, built of ornate masonry with a copper roof, that sat on the southern edge of the World Trade Center site. Battalion Chief John Norman said, "90 West Street would have been a big problem, would have probably been a borough call by itself during normal times." Since several of the tabloid photographers were fire junkies, I'm surprised they weren't mesmerized by the flames and clicked their shutters once or twice.

But in a sign that the record may be opening up a bit, an image of the Cass Gilbert tower on fire has entered the public record--however that is done in these modern days. This unattributed image was found on the web, but little birds ate all the breadcrumbs I'd left as my trail back to the original hosting site---so, me bad researcher.

Not only does the image give us a dramatic view of a floor fully engulfed in flames in 90 West Street, we also get a stupendous bonus prize--finally, we can orient the famous Iwo-Jima flag pole with its risen Old Glory, as shot by iconographer Thomas Franklin. I swear, I didn't think it possible given the views I was familiar with, but my skepticism has been trounced.

Of course, the backwards bend to the pole doesn't position the banner in a very stirring display. I might think amidst all the hubbub the gesture would have come across as puny---but certainly not at dusk when a search light is shined directly at it! Ouch! The light is hurting my eyes! And why is this the only image in the entire record taken with a fish-eye lens? Is it because there is absolutely no way Franklin could have captured the scene showing a view of towering WTC debris behind it?

Then there are the pictures you've seen a thousand times, but suddenly, some new, important element just pops out at you. Like in these two overview shots of West Street taken at a particular time in the morning, after the first responders arrived, and before the first collapse happened. Attributed to the New York City Police and Fire Departments, the view south down West Street must have been taken by a very, very tall man---like 30 feet, or so.

But it is in a second view, looking east down Liberty Street, which shows ambulances diagonally parked, along with the dark Impalas of the federal gendarmerie parked more willy-nilly, that my sensibilities are violated. What is that large volume of smoke doing coming out of the ground floor of the south tower? This is at odds with my understanding of the narrative. Could fires sixty or more stories up get vented somehow in a downdraft and be sucked violently out this one window? Or is this more like the physics of the blown-out elevator doors in Tower One that we are told about, but never actually see (cameramen?) That, we are asked to believe, was due to the effects of a jet fuel fire, which traveled down past two sky lobbies to explode in scores of shafts at the ground floor.

I've always hated that South Bridge in any case. It looks like its dangling at one end---or cork-screwing, like a pig's tail. I'm sorry that it was the one thing to survive. God can be so perverse that way.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New York Daily News Photographers David Handschuh & Todd Maisel, plus New York City Firefighter Kevin Shea from Ladder Company 35

The two images, above and below, downloaded off of David Handschuh's personal web site, make up the entirety of his known work at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

(Isn't that an uniformed policeman, turned around and facing the building exit, who is modeling for the escapees a behavior he is encouraging---"Cover your heads!" "Cover your heads with your hands the way I'm doing!" Do you think he might be doing that for the benefit of David's picture? There doesn't seem to be much fallen debris lying about.)

From the digitaljournalist:
"New York Daily News staff photographer David Handschuh was photographing the World Trade Centers while they were under attack. He was badly injured from falling debris. Fortunately, he survived, with some of his pictures being published in the Daily News. In this interview by Susan Markisz and Dirck Halstead, David gives a vivid account of his experience."

The Digital Journalist hosts video interviews with Handschuh and 6 other photographers who worked at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Unfortunately for him, Handschuh gets tripped up in an obvious lie, and with the snow ball effect he takes a couple of other people down with him. The following link to the clips of Handschuh's 18-or-so minutes of interview: (If I've done this right, it should be Realplayer if you click the title, and Quicktime if you click the counter.)

"Smoke was coming from lower Manhattan..." 2:40

"It was eerily quiet..." 2:03

"Not just building parts but body parts..." 3:38

"A voice said 'RUN, RUN, RUN'..." 2:44

"Like being hit by a tornado..."2:30

"The second tower comes down..." 3:37

"Father Mike was a dear friend..." 2:58

Before we begin, I'll cull out for you the actionable lie---when Handschuh, who is out on West Street when the first tower begins to collapse, says,
"Father Mike Judge, the fire department chaplain was probably fifty or sixty feet away from me when he was killed by falling debris."
We know for a certainty that Father Judge was murdered in the lobby of the North Tower---we have it on videotape---then carried north across the plaza---um, again, MSNBC videotape and the famous Stapleton still photographs---then back down to street level to rest in the gutter on Vesey Street. Eventually he was relocated by others to St. Paul's chapel further east on Broadway, for a more dignified, temporary catafalque. Now, read the untruth in its context:

"A voice said 'RUN, RUN, RUN'": (2:44)
"I don't even recall making the picture that wound up in the paper the next day. After we saw the flames and smoke blow out of the South Tower, I instinctively pulled the camera up and started shooting. I, I don't remember making the picture.

"Time, time stood still. I have no idea how long after the second tower was hit that it fell down. The South Tower fell down first---the second tower to get hit, it fell down first. Um, I'd just run into a friend of min, Glenn Petite, and um, he was amazed, he was excited, he said he had some unbelievable video of the second plane hitting the building. And we just gave each other a hug and said be careful and I went straight, I went north on West Street, and he went right, he went east on, um...he went east. And, I don't know how long after, after that we heard, I was just walking by myself and heard this---another loud noise, like, that kind of echoed the, echoed the first noise, looked up, figuring OK, it's another aircraft, and the whole building was just disintegrating. The building was, it was, starting to come down, my initial reaction was to grab my camera and to hold it up, ah, my initial reaction was to start taking pictures, but somewhere in the back of my mind, um, came a voice that just said run. Run, run, run. And in doing this for more than twenty years, I have never run from anything, but there is no doubt in my mind that if I had not listened to the voice inside my head that said run, if I had stopped and just taken the pictures that I would not have been here today. Um, Glenn Petite is among the list of the missing, I was assume he is among the list of the dead. Father Mike Judge, the fire department chaplain was probably fifty or sixty feet away from me when he was killed by falling debris. I don't know how I'm still alive today.
There are only two images in the record attributed to Handschuh at the World Trade Center that day. His famously published shot was taken in the shadow of the Marriott Hotel and the South Tower just after "the plane" strikes the second tower, although Handschuh languages that as "after we saw the flames and smoke blow out of the South Tower." This would place him just north of the South Bridge overpass. Handschuh then moves north on West Street, while his friend went east on Liberty Street.

We don't know how far up West Street Handschuh got before the first collapse, but we can assume he had made it pass the World Financial Center buildings, and into the residential section north of there, which he calls "Battery Park City." I'll skip transcribing an intermediate segment, where during the collapse he takes cover under a car or truck, gets his leg broken somehow, and then gets rescued by three firemen. We'll pick his narration back up in the next segment:

"The second tower comes down..." (3:37)
"We all wound up in a delicatessen, I guess about a block away in Battery Park City. A lot of people were seeking shelter there. Of course, there was still a ton of debris coming down and out of nowhere comes Todd Maisel, one of my co-workers and I don't know if he recognized me at first, I guess he---I'm laying on the floor, the place is packed like an A train. I'm trying not to get my leg stepped on, um, all of a sudden the second tower comes down, and debris just starts flying again and I guess the facade, or some part of the building that we were in came down. Turned to, turned to dark again outside and, um, a bunch of grown men inside holding on to each other for dear life. Um, some were calm and some were screaming. Somebody says we have to get out of here. So using hand tools and just sheer strength and the desire to live, they pushed their way out, out of the debris and opened the front door, and somebody says, “we're getting you out of here. Um, they weren't leaving me there. They just---like we're all in this together. We'll make sure that, we'll make sure that you're OK. And I knew that they would."

So, I wound up with three guys carrying me---a cop, a firefighter and a paramedic. And my arms around their shoulders, their hands are under my thigh, my leg is dangling in front of me, and every, every bump is like, um, white light, you know, the pain is just amazing. Um, they carried me down to um, down to the Hudson, down to the river, there is a harbor launch there, a police boat there. Somehow, somebody grabs a back board, and they put me on the back board and they put me on the deck of the police, police boat. A police department lieutenant there with a concussion, with a head injury, and she's bleeding from the head. Um, the firefighter that's injured, we must have been some sight laying on the front of the, on the front of the boat, um. And I can't see anything, because I don't have my glasses, but I remember looking up and seeing this beautiful blue sky and the sun feels great on my face, and um, the humidity's low, ah, it'd be a real nice day to, you know, take a cruise in New York harbor, Um, but this bizarre blurry scene in front of me. Smoke drifting off into the horizon and a big hole where the twin towers were. Um, unbelievable.
Having completely blown his credibility with his gratuitous mention of being a witness to Father Mychal Judge's death (It's not his fault. The script writers had several draft versions of his demise making the rounds.) you might think Handschuh would stop mentioning other people. I don't know anything about his friend Glenn Petite, other than he's useful dead to still carry water for jet airplanes, but Todd Maisel has his own story to tell, and by placing Maisel in a particular place at a particular time, Handschuh introduces a conflict in the storyline.

In the American Media, Inc. special commemorative edition 9/11 One Year Later: A Nation Remembers Maisel's story is deserving of two full pages---but alas! It implicates another player in the drama. Who is to become compromised after that, I wonder?
"When New York City firefighter Kevin Shea raced to the World Trade Center on September 11th, he arrived with 12 of his comrades from Ladder Company 35.

"Two days later when he woke up in St. Vincent's Hospital, he was the only one of them alive.

"Shea has been wracked with guilt the past year, fighting each day to move on with his life.

“'Kevin doesn't really remember what exactly happened,' photographer Todd Maisel said.

"The shutterbug, however, was there to witness the entire ordeal.

“'All of the firefighters raced into the lobby of the South Tower. When the building started to crumble, Kevin raced back outside and was hit on the head with falling debris. The implosion tossed him 30 feet into the street. He crawled another 200 feet and then collapsed.' Maisel said.

"Semiconscious and severely injured, Shea started to scream for help, and that's when Maisel along with rescue workers began to dig him out of the rubble.

“'I thought he was dead at first,' Maisel said. “Then I heard his screams and did what I could to get him out of there. I was lucky to make it out alive myself.”

"According to Maisel, Shea has had a difficult time dealing with the tragedy over the past year.

"'He's had a real tough time of it,' Maisel said. “He deals with guilt every day. He was the sole survivor of his brigade and he can't help but wonder why it was that he lived. It's a lot of weight to carry around."
Complicating this story are several references to Kevin Shea found in the firemen's testimonies published in the New York Times. A conflict with the visual evidence seen above comes from that of Captain Paul Conlon

"So we go to pick him up. He's big guy. Other firemen stopped to help us pick him up. I didn't know who at that time. I've heard who since. I think all of 205 Engine stopped to help us pick him up and think two members of 217 stopped to help us. I don't know who helped actually pick him up or who helped do other stuff. We were taking his coat off. We were picking him up. Someone picked up his helmet and things like that.

"Called Engine 216 to command post Mayday. I have member with life-threatening injury. One of the guys says he still has a pulse. They took his pulse right on the ground there. We got him under the scaffolding.

"When I called the Mayday I also called for an ambulance at West and Liberty because they couldn't have gotten an ambulance any closer to us. I didn't realize where Liberty was really. I thought I was at Liberty. I guess was at Albany. I called for the ambulance. I called the Mayday. We get him under the scaffolding, two guys come running up with a long board, two firemen came running up with an orange long board. They must have gotten it off their rig. Think they were from 217.

"We put the long board down. We put him on the long board. We take off his coat, and his mask, whatever wasn't off already. The guys were doing CPR. The ambulance came up pretty quickly. They came running down the bloc, two medics, or they might have been EMTs. They were medics."
Although consistently purposefully vague throughout his testimony, Conlon is more than explicit when he says Suhr was moved to under the scaffolding on the north side of 90 West Street before firemen "came running up with an orange long board. They must have gotten it off their rig. Think they were from 217. We put the long board down. We put him on the long board."

In that of Firefighter Dean Beltrami, speaking about a definable moment 15 or 20 minutes before the first collapse, he says,
"So then we proceeded down West Street and when I heard a Handi-Talkie report of Firefighter Kevin Shea, I knew Kevin Shea from another company that I worked at. Kevin Shea is missing. Immediately after I heard that Kevin Shea was safe. He's in an ambulance."
Firefighter Richard Boeri said,
"Dr. Kelly said, "Come with me. We'll
wash you up. You're hurt." So I told the officer I'm going with him, which we proceeded to go to Albany Street, I guess, half a block to a parking garage, which is in the Hudson View West, in the Hudson Tower here. In there they had a guy on the back board, Kevin Shea, who I guess he was hurt before the collapse because there was something---they had him on a back board and everything.
I love it when these men leave hints in their truncated grammar---as they abandon thoughts for being too informative dot, dot, dot. Both of these references support Shea's being attended to prior to the first collapse, and since the photo of him lying amid debris is a bad fake, his having broken away early from his team's efforts seems significant.

I might surmise, given his unit was "wiped out," that Kevin Shea was also part of a group contract, to be "disappeared"---into an extended Thai sex vacation, with a seven-figure annuity, is the best I can come up with. But he got cold feet at the last moment, maybe at the thought of abandoning a family. If true, his decision would constitute the first morally righteous act I've encountered since I began studying the 9/11 record, and its about time. If he has suffered a shunning by his band of brothers for breaking the unbreakable, so much the better. He earned a penance, and this represents that a tide has turned.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So, Todd Maisel is seriously occupied, at a point far removed from Handschuh, near Liberty Street, and east of West Street. When Handschuh says of his friend, Glenn Petite,
"and I went straight, I went north on West Street, and he went right, he went east on, um...he went east."
he was describing Maisel's position relative to him during the period between the collapses.

Whatever is going on with Kevin Shea , it would appear he had to go outside the family for help from Maisel, to concoct this little confection of a cover story. Handschuh's gratuitous name dropping only spreads his own guilt and shame around---for lying and co-conspiring to murder and arson as the rest---like peanut butter on a sandwich---but spread too thin for his New York Daily News co-worker, Todd Maisel. And the beleaguered firefighter, Kevin Shea's story was never going to come together anyway.

Handschuh's web page lists this image as his third shot taken on 9/11. Of it, he says, "Rescue Company 1 heads towards the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11th, 2001. All 11 firefighters lost their lives that morning." Very moving if true---but ballsy of him to be following the fire apparatus going the wrong way against traffic. But it brings up a point that all of the images from 9/11 are interchangeable amongst the participants, with the media stars getting to claim credit for the winning shots. He might have only taken three pictures, but they are so narratively rich they make my teeth ache. I'd like to see a few of his unpublished "selects" by way of context.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!

Better late than never. I just found the following image hosted by The Digital Journalist, naturally, where it is captioned:
"New York Daily News staff photographer David Handschuh lies in pain after his leg was shattered by falling debris while he was photographing the terrorist attack on, and ensuing collapse of, the World Trade Center on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Photo by Todd Maisel / New York Daily News"
More narrative juice, this time David is in front of the camera! Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, be gone! But why is Maisel's lens all screwed up in his big moment?

(Read spook's comment appended below about the unnatural position of Handschuh's legs.)

Oh, by the way David--you are an incredibly good photographer! Truth and reconciliation commission, amnesty, restitution, catharsis, reward. A piece of cake dude!

I found another one, and now I get it, sorry to be so slow---you are a scripted element. This isn't accidental narrative, it is synthetic. Does this mean you let somebody whack your leg? Dude. That shit's cold. I hope for your sake the pic ran somewhere. But now, I can't see the Digital Journalist© as being anything more than Rovian hagiography. In fact, this organization may be a central Nexis between power and portrayer. All those years in Vietnam couldn't have been very healthy for the guys upstairs.

Anyway, hocus-pocus...I got my focus. And I'll keep plugging away guys. Two more down, I'd say.

"Father Mike was a dear friend..." 2:58
"Father Mike was a dear friend. Father Mike was the um, absolute embodiment of what good is. There's this Franciscan friar in his sandals and his long brown robe. And he'd be hugging you and blessing you at a fire in Harlem at four o'clock in the morning. And, and he would put his hands on you and you would feel just right and he did that for everybody who he met. So, ah, realizing that I was---they wanted to do a surgery on my leg, and ah, there will have been many, many more friends who have been lost, I didn't think that I'd have another opportunity to pay my respects to anybody whose life has been lost. So, it was really important to me to go down to Father Mike's funeral, and I thank our local volunteer ambulance corps who came and grabbed me. Came in their dress uniform and drove into the city, took time away from their own families, their own Saturday afternoon pursuits at home to, ah, to help me say goodbye to a friend, and um, they wheeled me right up to the front of the church, which had a pretty steep steps, and I think somebody yelled, "We need to get a brother into the church,"and then all of a sudden there's eight firemen there, carrying me up the steps of the church. Um, it was good to be there. He'll be missed, there are many people who will be missed. I looked through the list, I looked through the list of the missing---rescue workers the other day, and all of a sudden it kinda hit home: the names of friends, the names of people guy was a teacher who traded an eight to three job with summers off, to become an emergency service cop. Another guy whose father was a long-time firefighter who rescue company and he was an emergency service cop you know fathers and sons and just good, good people who aren't coming back. I feel pretty lucky, for some reason I feel...I don't know how I'm here."
Well, apparently Maisel doesn't feel there's any problem reconciling these two elements of his story. In Running toward danger: stories behind the breaking news of 9/11Rowman & Littlefield, 2002
Todd Maisel Photographer (New York) Daily News

New York: I dived into a building lobby, rolling and striking a wall as I came to rest in a fetal position. Walls and ceilings exploded. Debris rained from everywhere. The lobby fell dark and I could barely breathe. Was this going to be my tomb? I began crawling out (of the building lobby) backward the same way I believed I came from. The street was littered with over-turned ambulances, emergency vehicles burning.

A firefighter stood among the burning trucks, a water can in his hand, gazing up at the sky blankly. I began going from ambulance to firetruck looking for injured. I could hear a voice calling for help. I came upon a medic with a partially covered firefighter. We pushed the semi-conscious firefighter on to a backboard and carried him with rescuers at least two blocks, where we found the fire surgeon (although injured, he survived.)

Then I found fellow photographer David Handschuh of the (New York) Daily News, his leg broken in three places. A cop and two firefighters carried him, and I took his cameras.

New York Daily News photographer Todd Maisel (in red helmet) and fire...
It would seem to me to be logistically impossible to have been in both places---south of the South Tower and north of the North Tower---given a window of opportunity of only 29 minutes, between the first collapse at 9:59 a.m. and the second collapse at 10:28 a.m.

National Press Photographers Association

"In 2000, [sic] Maisel was honored by the National Press Photographers Association at their national convention in Minneapolis with the Humanitarian Award for saving the life of a firefighter trapped in the debris after the collapse of one of the two World Trade Center towers and for his work during rescue operations, raising money for widows and orphans and saving the images of photographer David Handschuh who was injured in the 9-11 attack. The Uniform Firefighters Association honored him for his photos and rescue work."
Maisel's interesting embeddment at the start of the Iraq war.

Todd Maisel's "The Hand"