Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Evil Bank of America.

On April 23, 1993, the New York Times published an article reporting on the previous day's announcement by the Bank of America that it had signed a 15-year lease for 8 floors in the North Tower of the World Trade Center to house 1,100 bank employees, where they would transfer in "workers from at least 10 other buildings in Manhattan." Coming less than two months after the terrorist bombing of February 26, 1993, and before some large firms, such as Deloitte & Touche, who had 1,200 employees on seven floors in the South Tower, had even moved back into the refurbished building, the lease signing was touted by the principles "as a vote of confidence in the Twin Towers," while the article intimates as to the extraordinarily favorable terms the landlord had been forced to offer the bank.

Sometimes public announcements don't always jibe squarely with the private business agreements underlying them, but in this case, as it turns out, it was close.

On January 14, 2011, three researchers at the Let's Roll Forum, Dave Cole, Larry McWilliams and Phil Jayhan, issued their own press release, announcing the successful servicing of a Freedom of Information Act request submitted to the Port Authority of NY & NJ, which asked for a detailed history of the leasing agreements at the World Trade Center, specifying
1. A complete listing of all occupants of the world trade center, from the time they were finished to the time they went private, in 2001.
2. Listing of occupants by floor and by space.
3. Listing of occupants leases, with the start and end dates of those leases.
Characterizing their request as what "was in essence a surprise occupancy audit of the World Trade Center," they in turn appear almost surprised, but certainly delighted in the success of the maneuver. Lacking a budget for publicizing the material, the announcement was posted to a thread at their forum, which undertakes to analyze alternative views of the attacks of September 11, 2001. There was posted
The following link is to a spreadsheet that the Lets Roll Forums obtained through a FOIA request made by Dave Cole:
LETS ROLL PRESS RELEASE: World Trade Center Occupancy FOIA * 1972-2001
A quick rundown of the spreadsheet reveals it's certainly not a complete record of the total World Trade Center's occupancy over nearly three decades, which was what they'd asked for, and what their sometimes laughable conclusions are predicated on. A simple correlation with the voluminous newspaper record covering the major lease deals announced in the press would point out scores of companies whose names do not appear on the spreadsheet, thus invalidating most of their important findings. Nor did their F.O.I.A. request specifically ask for the names of all Port Authority approved sub-leases, and what you don't ask for in a F.O.I.A., you are not obligated to receive.

I seem to recall also, although I can't track the reference at this moment, that they stripped out from their published results the square footage allotments for each tenant, which were originally included in the Port Authority's return, and which represent the ultimate meaning of a request for "occupants by space," unless, of course, knowledge of suite numbers was more useful to them. If this is true, then such a manipulation would delegitimize the men as being truly open and transparent researchers, relegating them into the camps with, say, 95 percent of their research brethren.

But for the purposes of this study I think the data used is trustworthy. The damning conclusion I reached based on these figures is most likely due to an oversight of their potential meaning, one based on the arrogant world-view of those accustomed to the privilege of privacy, and blindsided by their shield of official secrecy. If these figures have been altered from the truthful to serve a purpose, it could only have been by someone with a vengeful vendetta against the Bank of America.

The following lease information is from a segment of the North Tower running from the 9th to the 18th floors. It shows Bank of America tenancy on the full floors 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, and 18; with a shared tenancy on the 11th floor.
BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 1WTC 9 901 ..........10/8/1993.... 6/30/2010
BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 1WTC 10 1001 ......12/5/1993.... 6/30/2010
TES (USA) CORPORATION 1WTC 11 1147 .......12/1/1999... 11/30/2004
TES (U.S.A.) CORPORATION 1WTC 11 1147...... 8/1/1994... 11/30/1999
ALLSTATE INSURANCE CO. 1WTC 11 1145 ......1/4/1996... 12/31/2000
CANDIA SHIPPING (USA) INC. 1WTC 11 1111 ..7/1/1998..... 2/28/1999
PORCELLA, VICINI & CO., INC. 1WTC 11 1151 5/1/1999..... 4/30/2004
BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 1WTC 11 1115.... 11/19/1993..... 6/30/2010
SYNS TECHNOLOGIES, INC 1WTC 11 103......... 8/1/1997 .....7/31/1999
JAMES R. TUCKER 1WTC 11 1153.................... 10/27/1997...10/26/2000
PRIMARK DECISION ECOS, 1WTC 11 1109..... 5/15/1999..... 5/14/2009
M.J. BRUDERMAN & CO. 1WTC 11 1155........... 5/16/1999..... 5/15/2002
BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 1WTC 12 1201 .......9/13/1993..... 6/30/2010
BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 1WTC 13 1301......... 4/8/1994..... 6/30/2010
BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 1WTC 14 1401....... 10/7/1994..... 6/30/2010
LANDMARK EDUCATION 1WTC 15 1501........ 11/23/1998..... 6/23/2013
ZIM-AMERICAN ISRAELI  1WTC 16 1601............. 3/1/1996..... 2/28/2006
EMPIRE BLUE CROSS BLUE S. 1WTC 17 1701..12/10/1997... 12/31/2018
BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 1WTC 18 1801........ 3/11/1994..... 6/30/2010
By announcing they had already signed 15-year leases, the Bank of America must have really meant post-dated lease agreements. Since every floor has a different lease start date, beginning from 5 to 18 months after the announcement was made:
Sept. 13, 1993
Oct. 8, 1993
Nov. 19, 1993
Dec. 5, 1993
March 11, 1994
April 8, 1994
Oct. 7, 1994
this could indicate a sequence of construction activity in which the floors would be outfitted for use, and since all the leases ran until June 30, 2010, even the latest to originate would still run longer than the 15-year term in the announcement.

However, at the time of the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, various official announcements from the Bank of America stated that the corporation only had 400 employees working in the North Tower. Given that Deloitte & Touche had 1,200 employees working in offices on seven floors, that standard would indicate the Bank of America really needed no more than two-and-a-half floors of office space, and that four full floors of their tenancy represented a mere phantom occupancy.

But the story doesn't end there. Bank of America signed on for additional space on the 81st floor with a lease date beginning August 1, 2000.
NETWORK PLUS INC. 1WTC 81 8121 1/24/1997 12/23/2007
NETWORK PLUS INC. 1WTC 81 122 1/27/1999 8/31/2008
BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 1WTC 81 8101 8/1/2000 6/30/2010
NEW CONTINENTAL ENTERPRISES (U 1WTC 81 8129 7/1/1997 6/30/2002
GIFTCERTIFICATES.COM 1WTC 81 8101 4/1/2000 10/31/2000
With so much redundant space already leased, what possible reason would the Bank of America have to take on a segment of additional space so far removed from their other offices, high up in the tower, and coincidentally, so soon before the attack of 9/11 was to level it? Even though the 81st floor was fully fourteen floors below the demarcation line that separated the death zone, above where the airplane struck, where nobody made it out alive that day, still three Bank of America employees were said to have died in an un-explainable fashion rather than making a successful descent and escape from the building along with their colleagues.

Crain’s N.Y., in their listing of World Trade Center Tenants, describes the Bank of America as having 200 employees working at the World Trade Center.

World Trade Center Aftermath, lists the Bank of America on floors 9-11, and 81, and occupying 132,586 s.f., which was information originally disseminated by the CoStar Group, Inc. in Building: 1 World Trade Center North Tower.Tenant Wise, in their Special Report: WTC Tenant Relocation Summary, lists these same floors and square footage, adding that BoA relocated to the former Korvettes department store site at 100 West 33rd Street by September 2003.
The New York Times' World Trade Center Vicinity Tenants Information and Hotlines also lists the Bank of America on floors 9-11, and 81, as do many others. None list more floors, while two list only floors 9-11.

The Guardian was one of the only newspapers to independently research and establish tenant information, assigning six reporters to the task. In their September 14, 2001, Grim roll call of the companies located in World Trade Centre, describes the Bank of America:
"A London-based spokeswoman for the bank said that "a vast majority" of all 400 employees in the building had been accounted for. The tower was not the bank's primary office in New York and is thought to have been involved in equity clearing operations."
The Wall Street Journal's A Look at Former World Trade Center Tenants, dated Sept. 13 2001, and first crawled on the web at 6:52:38 p.m. that evening, incorrectly places the Bank of America in the South Tower, on floors 9, 11, and 81, while numbering the company's trade center employees at 400, out of a worldwide total of 144,000. The Journal's report says the "Company still trying to account for all employees, but says some have been accounted for. Not releasing any other information."

With the 2:25 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 update, first crawled at 2:08:55 a..m. on Sept. 16, the media company Bloomberg L.P. first appears, with the report "Three employees attending a media conference at WTC are missing."

The 3:40 p.m. EDT, Monday, Sept. 17 update, crawled at 8:44:14 p.m, changes the Bank of America listing to "Company says three employees remain missing."

In the web update, 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, first crawled Nov. 30, 2001, the Bank of America's information stays the same, while the Bloomberg listing is altered to "Two employees attending a media conference at WTC are confirmed dead. A third is missing." Appearing for the first time on Nov. 14, is a new listing for the Bank of New York, with the report, "Two employees are confirmed dead." I think there ought to be a law against waiting eight weeks to announce fatalities.

With the final update, posted at 12 p.m. EDT, Friday, Jan. 18, and captured in a web crawl Feb 7, 2002, the Bank of America listing will change to "Two employees are confirmed dead;" the Bank of New York listing is changed to "Three employees are confirmed dead," while the Bloomberg L.P. listing remains static at "Two employees attending a media conference at WTC are confirmed dead. A third is missing."

The 19 additional web captures up until August 2010, reveal a page with no further updates, and the Wall Street Journal never acknowledges a third Bank of America victim.

It is interesting that these three companies would ultimately claim three victims apiece, which perhaps is the magic number sufficing to bind their contractual agreement, between themselves and the other participants.

I am reminded of a quote attributed to Lyndon Johnson, who once said, "Loyalty? I don't want a man's loyalty! I want to be holding him by the balls in Macy's store window in the middle of lunch hour!"

The three Bank of America victims were Liam Colhoun, Susan Clancy Conlon and Robert "Bobby" Hughes.

In his New York Times "sketch" Bobby Hughes was described as a 23 year old who had attended Montclair State University, "but was so eager to begin working on Wall Street that he started at the Bank of America in the World Trade Center five months before graduation."

His father said Bobby had "started dreaming of a job on Wall Street when he was a freshman" in high school. "He loved the whole lifestyle," said his father, Robert Hughes Sr. "He loved the excitement of that business world, the money, the way they dress, everything. That's all he ever wanted to do."

Many young people just beginning careers would be equally as enthusiastic as Bobby Hughes was at such a prospect. What isn't explained is why the Bank of America would be as enthusiastic for Bobby in return. How many other young people land corporate career-track jobs in the financial service sector in Manhattan before they have their degree in hand, and typically take some time off for a renewal before beginning the hard slog of adulthood.

"The son of an electrician from Sayreville, N.J....[t]he night before Sept. 11, Bobby had been out until 4 a.m. with his friends, but he still got up in the morning and took the train to the city." But what was Bobby celebrating on his Monday night on the town? Being a margin clerk with a hang-over and a whole week ahead to stare at? It's not many working-class kids with third-rate college degrees who can land a job in banking in the city and can afford a brand-new Lexus as his first toy. Maybe I'm envious instead of incredulous, but how many people have 1,500 attendees at their funeral, (another article puts the attendance at 2,000,) unless the event has been planted with ringers to make some point?

But then, with these infamous words: "As fate would have it...the Bank of America had relocated to the twin towers from 57th Street and the Avenue of the Americas just months prior to the terrorist attacks." That must mean the lease the bank took out on August 1, 2000 for space on the 81st floor allowed the in-house decorators and corporate space planners nine months to whip the place in shape.

"He loved that job," Robert Hughes Sr. said. The son was working on 57th Street in Manhattan until about four months ago, when the company moved to the World Trade Center"---although, didn't the Times tell us "that he started at the Bank of America in the World Trade Center five months before graduation."

If Bobby Hughes is the antithesis of a vicsim, my having learned the names of three of his friends, three sisters, three grand parents, an aunt, an uncle, his car dealer and the funeral home operator "who takes care of business," than Liam Colhoun is the quintessential synthetic deal. There's only the flickering CNN candle to focus our devotionals on, but contradictorially, he is in the United States Social Security Death Index.

I could just let the title of this Staten Island Advance article speak for itself: Susan Clancy Conlon, 41, a supervisor at WTC for 3 months. I am so tired of newlyweds and new hires, and if I see another twin I think I'll split. But there are fascinating details in her story:
Mrs. Conlon was at her desk on the 81st floor when the first plane hit on Sept. 11. The 41-year-old supervisor in the Bank of America's fail-safe control division immediately called her mother, Vera Clancy, who was at work at the PS 36 annex in Annadale.
"She said a plane had hit the building and there was a lot of debris," Mrs. Clancy said. "She said her boss could see the plane and the elevators were not running. She was told to call us to let us know she was safe. Then she said she had to leave because they were calling her to evacuate."
At around 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 12, Mrs. Conlon's godmother listened to the piercing screams of a female voice on her answering machine. She was certain it was her goddaughter and the family clung to that one last glimmer of hope. But the hope soon dimmed.
Mrs. Conlon's brother, Neil Clancy, a city police sergeant, helped in investigating the call and determined it was one of several random prank calls made in the hours following the attack. The calls are still being investigated by the police, Clancy said.
By "random," does it mean the caller didn't realize she'd be mistaken for someone who was just then roasting to death, or about to fling themselves---slash---get crushed into a mass of disassociated atomic matter? And by "prank," would anyone really think this is funny?

In trying to determine the mechanism by which these three young, or relatively young, and healthy individuals lost their lives in a descent from the 81st floor is a near impossible undertaking, given the narrative shuts up around the issue of errant fatality, so really, all we have are the discrepancies left in the wake of the evolving tale. I might imagine when sensibly premeditated details were proffered like trial balloons, only to be greeted with blank stares or a pained grimace, the storytellers were quick to adapt.

The family of young Bobby Hughes gave several interviews to New Jersey newspapers where they touch on the circumstance of his failing to make it out of the building safely. The family had been in contact with a number of Bobby's former colleagues, whose "stories" of that morning shed some light on what would appear to be a gratuitous disappearance.

In apparently the earliest interview the family gave, which coincided with plans for an upcoming October 9, memorial service. His father is blunt, saying
"Only three from his office didn't get out. Bobby and another guy were helping an old woman. They were the only three," said Mr. Hughes' father, Robert Hughes Sr.
This unequivocal view places the three bank employees, Liam Colhoun, Susan Conlon and Robert Hughes, in a mutually dependent destruction, although, at 41, and someone who lists as a hobby "participating in fund-raising walks" it's hard to put the onus on her. In fact, the stories the co-workers tell are a little hard to believe:
People who worked with the younger Mr. Hughes at the Bank of America office called the family in the days following the attack, saying they saw their son as he was reaching the bottom floor of the tower.

Co-workers asked Mr. Hughes if he needed help, but he said "I'm all right," the father recalled. "Then they said they saw all this debris coming down, and that was the last he was seen," Robert Sr. said.
What sort of help did Bobby appear to offer? Was he physically assisting Conlon in making her exit? We assume that Colhoun is still a part of the trio. Apparently, the three made it down to the first floor simultaneously with their other---plural---co-workers. Where were all the firemen and Port Authority cops whose job was to assist civilians? The quoted remark that debris then started to fall, which obscured their view, separating the witnesses out from the witless is patently absurd, as exits were made under the plaza, towards the exit by Sam Goody's on Church Street. A number of references describe uniformed officers stationed every 30 feet or so along the long passageway.

The reason such accounts are hushed up is because they don't hold together.

I recently rediscovered some notes I took while reading a document whose origin or link I've now lost. It's titled: WTC ORIGINAL MEMO Compilation of civilian information so far; Ma, WTC Civilians memo prepared on March 28, 2004, and it appears to me to be a draft version of a 9/11 Commission report. Reading it I was struck with how open and fulsome it was presented, a tone which has since been eradicated for one more shallow and obtuse.
All civilians on upper floors died. Most civilians below the impact survived; those who did not were trapped in either elevators or rooms, physically incapable of descending, or advised to remain in place.
That has been basically my understanding too, like the sixteen Port Authority employees who were told to remain at a station on the 64th floor, irrational as that may be. But I'm starting to gather a number of other reports like these, stories which have slipped between the cracks, probably by a concerted effort to suppress narratives which don't fit into the larger picture.

So, anyway, in trying to find a link to the original material, I put blocks of text in quotation marks into Google, which is a technique that often works, but what I got back was so strange it seemed deranged, or at least probable evidence of suppression. The record as it is collecting is being sanitized, so it seems odd to see an official document discuss, for instance, the situation by which James Gartenberg of Julien J. Studley died. Which leads me to believe he might have actually died that day, contrary to the theories of the total confabulists, that everything is lies and videotape and no sex.

By the time of a June, 2002 interview things have been moving backward:
...what happened after they hung up is not completely known. Apparently, Bobby and a co-worker stopped to help a woman find her purse. From stories told to the Hughes family by other Bank of America employees, Bobby and the co-worker helped the woman because of her distressed state.
Several Bank of America employees have told Louise [Hughes] that as the company was evacuating the burning north tower, Bobby and a co-worker stopped to assist a woman who had become disoriented
But if people were making it down from the 91st floor above them, surely that gave them at least a ten-minute leeway to deal with her distress and also stick with the program of evacuation. Besides, other company employees said they were together down on the first floor.

The next viewpoint expressed in a timeline was that of Kenneth D. Lewis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, of Bank of America, during remarks he made at a press conference announcing a gift of three fire trucks to the New York City Fire Department on July 18, 2002. He has already pissed me off during this announcement by squandering the chance to produce narrative effect, through failing to name the three pieces of apparatus after the three victims coincidentally being honored---like the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Quotes Lewis:
The last associates to see Liam and Bobby reported that they were in a stairwell helping an elderly woman down the stairs, and Susan was last seen guiding associates to an exit.
Here somebody has recognized that Susan Conlon cannot serve in the role previously supplied her, but not only has she not been given much in the way of a new role, we now must consider the fact that they have encountered separate and equally unknown obstacles to a safe exit. And since everybody working for Bank of America on the 81st floor had only been there a few months, where does Conlon suddenly get her expertise as a guide for associates? She seems like a simple Staten Island girl, one who follows directions when ordered to call her mother and tell her she's safe, when she isn't. Again, where are the uniformed services in this scenario?!

By the time of a September 12, 2002, Sentinel article , A year later: World Trade Center victims, by Sue M. Morgan, no progress is evident beyond the silencing of the father's loose cannon, leaving only the mother to emote honestly, and that would be considered progress for the perpetrators.
Several Bank of America employees have told Louise that as the company was evacuating the burning north tower, Bobby and a co-worker stopped to assist a woman who had become disoriented. Despite the risk, Bobby would not have left anyone behind, his mother said.
"He was such a good kid," Louise said.
When all else fails a mother, try heroism; the men are happy in their cupidity.

And the really sinister element here follows:
Funeral director Carmen Spezzi of Sayreville's Parlin section, who arranged Bobby's funeral, has remained in continuous contact with the family, Louise said.
Beware those who handle the dead! Like Wallace Miller a few poor counties away, they have been co-opted into the service of the cabal!

If Robert T. "Bobby" Hughes' employment is questionable, the hiring by Bank of America just one month prior to 9/11 of Marcy Borders is certifiably outrageous. Borders was the figure seen in what became one of the most iconic images from 9/11---that of an urbane African-American professional coated in dust and lurching through the lobby of a nearby office building where she'd gone to seek shelter.

This "pooled" image, unattributed as to photographer or agency, and with its anonymous subject left unidentified, was published in multiple media outlets in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, after which it began to take on a life of its own.

In the November 6, 2001, National Enquirer, which was on newsstands by October 31, appeared a two-page exclusive exposé, identifying Marcy Borders for the first time as the "World Trade Center's Famous 'Dust Lady'," recounting her dramatic first-person experience in "Breaks Her Silence at Last! My Miracle Escape From the Depths of Hell."

In an interview for an article published in late October by The Jersey Journal, "'Dust lady' sells story: Bayonne WTC survivor in National Enquirer," staff writer Steven Kalcanides reports the author of the Enquirer piece, Tom Dinardo as saying he
...first became interested in the story when he saw Borders in the photo, which appeared in a special magazine, "The Day That Changed America," which was published by Florida-based American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer. Borders, who was not identified at the time, was pictured on page 85.
The photo, said DiNardo, was taken by AFP, a news agency, and its photographer was not identified either.
The Agence France Presse photographer was eventually identified as Stan Honda. DiNardo went on to say he was inspired to tell Border's story because
"To me, her terrified image is a haunting reminder of the tragic velocity of Sept. 11," he said. "She was a working class professional emerging from this inferno."
However, the image of a professional working woman whose sophisticated knit suit, boots and pearls were encrusted with dust from the debris storm which followed the collapse of a trade tower, is far from the reality of Marcy Borders' life. The then 28-year-old, who was a resident of the "Bergen Point Gardens public housing complex on Avenue C," had a long history of unemployment prior to the time she was hired by the Bank of America four weeks before the terrorist attacks, and she has remained consistently unemployed for the intervening ten years, as she announced in media appearances at the 10th anniversary mark in 2011.

Kalcanides reported that
Borders, who is supporting her 8-year-old daughter, Noelle, told the Enquirer she has been too traumatized to go back into Manhattan and has lost her job at the Bank of America. Bank officials yesterday could not give her present status with the firm.
However, a September 15, 2001 article in The Charlotte Observer, by business writer Rick Rothacker, Bank of America May Plan New High-Rise for New York City, reports that
Following the terrorist attack, Bank of America's trade center employees have been working from a back-up office in Secaucus, N.J. Its operations elsewhere in the city have continued.
so Borders has fabricated this specific detail in her history.

The same Florida-based publisher of the National Enquirer, American Media Inc, which published the "special magazine" shortly after 9/11 that included the unattributed image of the "dust lady," also put out a "Special Commemorative Edition," called "9/11: One Year Later." Now declaring "her nightmare over," the after-picture shows Borders done up in high-ghetto, dress-for-success style, but with her yard-long hair weaves, a skirt slit up to her thigh, and no job, it isn't clear what point the art director was trying to get across.

During her ordeal on the 81st floor her mind screamed at her, "I've got to get out of this building!" Caught on "the ground floor" during the first building collapse, she told herself, "I'm dead!" Then at the one-year anniversary mark, an editor tells us "[n]ow she'll never go back to work in New York City, preferring to get a job on the New Jersey side of the river." When the delayed post-traumatic syndrome was expected to kick in isn't clear.

In a second Jersey Journal article by Steven Kalcanides, 'Dust lady' named champ at her party, Borders and the Enquirer are co-hosts for a Halloween party for Bayonne neighborhood children. Not only do we get a rare glimpse into a New Jersey demimonde (the article was preserved for posterity on the vanity web site of boxing champ Danny Musico,) we're also privy to some odd family dynamics:
Borders' mom, Ruby, thought the party would help lift her daughter's spirits.
"I'm really happy about what she's doing today. It's really making her feel better, because she's been depressed lately. She comes to my house and looks at my mail before I can touch it," she explained.
Kalcanides captures the unique care the Enquirer took in Borders' image management:
Borders was given $1,000 by the publication to guarantee the exclusivity of her story and did not ask for payment, according to a representative of the Enquirer who were concerned yesterday that people might mistakenly believe she was cashing in on the national tragedy.
Since $1,000 doesn't go far for a single mother supporting an eight-year-old, maybe she wanted first dibs on her mother's Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes entry.

A ninja and little S.W.A.T. guy boogie down with Marcy the Witch.

But it is in her September 7, 2011, appearance on ABC's The View, that Borders' poor education and Ebonics grammar makes the pretense of a Manhattan employment by the Bank of America patently absurd. The devastation apparent from her year's of alcoholism and crack addiction (she admits that she had only begun to clean up 145 days before the appearance,) now becomes part of her new narrative---where a fear of Osama bin Laden had kept her in the clutch of addiction until his death allowed her to start freeing herself.
Having "lost custody" at some point of her two children, she attributes a desire to no longer inflict on them the "mess" of her life as the catalyst for getting clean and sober, although it's a bit late for her eighteen-year-old. A more obvious rational for the timing would be the need for a presentable trot around the numerous 10th-anniversary media appearances. However, for anyone who has ever pulled themselves up from a disadvantaged background, the inadequacy of casting her in any role as a New York professional is fully on display. After a decade of drug and alcohol abuse, and with a sketchy---"um, I'm going to say a hundred and forty-five days"---of clean time under her belt, her "triumph over terror," as Barbara Walters intoned, symbolized by a regaining of custody of her three-year-old, seems frighteningly premature.

September 7, 2011, ABC The View, Marcy Borders aka The Dust Lady, stops by to discuss her life post 9/11!
BARBARA WALTERS: Well, the tenth anniversary of 9/11 is this Sunday, as we know, and one of the most iconic images of that day is of a survivor named Marcy Borders. She was in the North Tower when the plane hit and the carnage and destruction that she witnessed while escaping, left her devastated, and over the years she numbed her fears with alcohol and drugs, but today she is hear to tell us how she finally triumphed over terror. We're very happy to welcome Marcy Borders.


WALTERS: So Marcy, you had just started working at a bank in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. When did you first realize that something was terribly wrong?

[Chyron: The View Marcy Borders Became Addicted to Drugs After Surviving 9/11]

MARCY BORDERS: Um, I was at the copy machine, and then you just heard this, like, loud bang, and then a whoosh sound, and then the building started shaking back and forth, so I knew, this is not everyday activity. So, um, that's when I thought immediately, like, we were at war.

ELISABETH HASSELBACK: Your boss actually told everyone to remain at their desks and stay calm, correct, but you decided---no. Your instincts told you otherwise.

BORDERS: Yes, um, because, only being there a month, I'd never experienced the fire drill, or terrorist drill, so, you know, the idea is to go around to the bank vault and wait for fire marshals to show up, make sure everything is OK, but me never experiencing that, whoosh, you know---gotta go...

JOY BEHAR: So you went against the boss.


BEHAR: So, I'm curious, what went on in your head at that moment?

BORDERS: Um, I just thought we are at war

BEHAR: You knew it?


BEHAR: So, yeah. But others did not move, right?

BORDERS: Well, they experienced it in 96, so I guess they just figured it was.

BEHAR: 93, yeah.

BORDERS: Oh, 93? yeah..

WALTERS: Describe that picture. What were you doing?

BORDERS: I was asking God, what do I do? You know and I remember it clearly, I just don't remember it being taken, but I remember God what do I do? I remember asking Him what...

SHERRI SHEPARD: Did you get an answer?

BORDERS: Um, run, very fast.

SHEPARD: Ah! OK. and so minutes after you left that building, um, one of the towers had fallen. So when you finally, when you made it to the street, what did you see?

BORDERS: Um, it was, oh, it was worse off out there because it was like, um, bombs went off the ground, fallen debris, you know, in the stairwells, all I saw was little cracks, you know. So it was worse off out there.

BARBARA WALTERS: Let's talk about what happened to you afterwards, and that is that, your life got out of control. This was such a terrifying experience. You started to use alcohol, you started to use crack, you lost custody of your daughter and son. How did you turn it around? And, by the way, do you have custody of them now?

SHEPARD: They're beautiful...they're beautiful..

BORDERS: Yes, um, first and foremost, I want to give honor to God who's head of my life, because, um, without Him this thing would have been impossible. Um, you know, me never experiencing a situation like this, I was never prepped or prepared, so you know, um, my drinking led from days, and that led to weeks, and that led to months and then that still wasn't allowing me to sleep at night, so I resorted to using drugs, I mean, the last year and a half, I mean, I basically was just...trying to end this thing the easiest way possible, and, um,

BEHAR: But you didn't work for ten years. How did you support yourself?

BORDERS: Um, the grace of God, um, you know, my family, my mom, she's...

WALTERS: So then, what, what, you've now been clean for how long?

BORDERS: Um, I'm going to say a hundred and forty-five days, and they have...

WALTERS: What made the difference...and do you have your children now?

BORDERS: The difference...Yes. And the difference that's made in my life was because, it was one thing, when this mess in my life was on me, but when my mess started spilling over into my children's lives, that's when I knew, you know...

HASSELBACK:And you now have it Zey-den your three-year-old son, and also Noelle, your daughter, who just graduated from high-school, who is here with us today.


SHEPARD: It's an honor to have you here

WALTERS: When Osama bin Laden was killed, was that the turning point for you? This is what we heard.

BORDERS: Well, ah, I was away in treatment, so not only was God fixing me up, He was also taking care of my biggest fear, so, you know---two stones, you know, one stone-.

SHEPARD: What is your biggest fear?

BORDERS: Osama bin Laden. So, he was taken care of while I..

BEHAR: That he was coming back? Was that your fear?


BEHAR: That it was going to happen again?

BORDERS: Um...just never catching him, so, um, you just didn't know.

Judging by the furtive, millisecond glance [at the 1:43 mark] Borders gives out in the audience's direction after her simple mistake in saying 1996 instead of 1993 for the year of the first trade center bombing, indicates to me that she is far more afraid of her real-world handler's reaction than any existential angst caused by Osama bin Laden---although, I must say, Borders didn't flick her tongue out like a lizard as Lauren Ashburn did subsequent to her similar, on-camera gaff.

Of course, the real mistake here is that the Bank of America hadn't moved into the lower floors of the trade center until after the February, 1993 bombing, while all her coworkers occupying the 81st floor had maybe 60 extra days to develop their sang-froid, and account for the differing reactions---which is a pointless distinction, for survivors, in any case.

It's highly unlikely BoA had installed a "vault" on the 81st floor, given the unique system of truss construction supporting them, so the explanation that "the idea is to go around to the bank vault and wait for fire marshals to show up," can't represent any actual training or protocol, even if it sounds noble, like a captain going down on the Titanic, for the copy-machine girl to protect (or share?) the bank's assets.

In what legitimate business would a worker say, "I was never prepped or prepared," to mean a new hire's orientation and training?

And if you're having trouble sleeping, crack cocaine is definitely a drug you would want to stay away from, especially if you carry the moniker "dust lady."

April 23, 1993, New York Times, "BankAmerica Signs A Lease for 8 Floors At the Trade Center," by Thomas J. Lueck,
September 14, 2001,The Guardian, Grim roll call of the companies located in World Trade Centre, Some firms have suffered terrible losses, but thousands of employees had miraculous escapes, Reporting team: Geoff Gibbs, Richard Adams, Nick Pandya, Simon Bowers, Tania Branigan, Sarah Hall,
September 25, 2001, Staten Island Advance, Susan Clancy Conlon, 41, a supervisor at WTC for 3 months,
October 3, 2001, The Star-Ledger, Robert Hughes, 23, Put Others' Lives First, Profile by Tom Haydon,
October 9, 2001, PRNewswire, Bank of America to Give Three New Fire Trucks To New York City Fire Department.
[circa.] November 1, 2001, The Jersey Journal, 'Dust lady' sells story, Bayonne WTC survivor in National Enquirer, by Steven Kalcanides, journal staff writer, [First web crawl January 28, 2002].
[circa.] November 1, 2001, The Jersey Journal, 'Dust lady' named champ at her party, by Steven Kalcanides, journal staff writer,
February 16, 2002, The Observer, Heroes of Ground Zero, Dee O'Connell,
March 11, 2002, CNN Newsnighy, Aaron Brown, America Remembers 9/11; Twin Beams of Light Memorialize the World Trade Center,
March 24, 2002, New York Times, Robert T. "Bobby" Hughes, A Bob For All Seasons,
June 20, 2002, Suburban [Middlesex and Monmouth Counties] Family recalls 23-year-old brother, son as a hero, by Jennifer Dome,
July 18, 2002, Bank of America Press Conference, Remarks at press conference announcing gift of fire trucks to N.Y.C. Fire Department,
July 18, 2002, PRNewswire, Trucks are Donated in Memory of Three Bank of America Associates Lost on Sept. 11,
July 22, 2002, Investment News, B of A donation salutes its 9/11 victims, by David Hoffman,
September 10, 2002, New York Times, Liam Joseph Colhoun: Always a Free Spirit,
September 12, 2002, Sentinel, [Brunswick, NJ] A year later: World Trade Center victims, by Sue M. Morgan,
Winter, 2002, Montclair State U., Alumni Life, In Memorium, Robert (Bobby) Hughes '01,
September 7th, 2011, Queens Courier, In Memorium 9/11 Victims From Queens,
September 8, 2011, Xinhuanet, Grateful Hearts - 9/11 survivors redefine their lives, by Christine Schiffner,
September 2011, Public Relations, Ten Years After 9/11 Xaverian Remembers Its 23 Lost Alumni,
September 11, 2012,, Book Review, Jean Potter: By the Grace of God, by Corine Gatti,
September 2011, Remember 911 Tribute Blogspot, In Memory of Liam Joseph Colhoun,, Susan Clancy Conlon Guest Book: sign their guest book, Specials, Liam Joseph Colhoun,
Borders, Marcy Danielle Victims Compensation Fund

September 3, 2006, CBS / 60 Minutes, Return to Ground Zero, by Liz Hayes,
September 2009,Visual Culture Blog, The Dust Lady of 9/11,
May 10, 2011: Book Publication Date, By the Grace of God: "A 9/11 Survivor's Story of Love, Hope, and Healing, By Jean Potter, Rob Kaplan,
June 15, 2011, New York Post, Survivor rises from the ashes, 9/11 gal clean & sober, By Jeff Maysh, Perry Chiaramonte and Dan Mangan,
June 30, 2011, The Mail, The 'dust lady' of 9/11 reveals her battle with crack addiction, the loss of her children - and how Bin Laden's death has given her a second chance, By Jeff Maysh,
August 21, 2011, The [Irish] Independent, 9/11: Pain and scars a decade later, By Donal Lynch,
September 5, 2011, The Telegraph, How Marcy Borders shook off the dust, By Philip Sherwell,
September 6, 2011, The Upshot, Woman from iconic 9/11 photo overcomes decade of hardship, By Mike Krumboltz,
September 7, 2011,, Marcy Borders Remebers 9/11 and How it Destroyed Her Life,
September 7, 2011, ABC News, ICONS OF 9/11, By Christina Caron,
September 7, 2011, ABC The View, Marcy Borders aka The Dust Lady, stops by to discuss her life post 9/11!
September 7, 2012, The Sun, I’m so afraid coming back...I can still smell smoke, By Kate Jackson and Pete Samson,
September 8, 2011,, POWERFUL: Woman dubbed "Dust Lady" from iconic 9/11 photo overcomes decade of hardship
September 8, 2011,, The ‘Dust Lady’ Finally Gets Her Life Back, By David Wright,
September 9, 2011, Agence France-Presse, AFP photographers recount 9/11: 'The Dust Lady' and the man in the lucky suit, by Stan Honda,
September 9, 2011, The Telegraph, 9/11, 10 years on: the heroes of Ground Zero, By Jon Swaine, and Neil Tweedie,
September 10, 2011,, by Lauri Apple, 12:18 PM,
September 9, 2012, The Fix, Alcoholism, Addiction & September 11th, By Jed Bickman and Walter Armstrong,

January 20, 1998, The Beacon News - Aurora (IL) Neighbors All Seemed to Know Alleged World Trade Center Robbers,
September 13, 2001, The Record, Hackensack, N.J. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, World Trade Center Tenants Struggle to Account for Every Employee, by Hugh R. Morley,
September 17, 2001, National Mortgage News, NY Firms Scramble to Regroup, by Ted Cornwall and Bonnie Sinnock,
September 18, 2001, American Banker, In Brief: 7 B of A, Wachovia Employees Missing,
September 24, 2001, National Mortgage News, Stunned Housing Finance Firms Carry On: First industry casualties from attack are confirmed, by Ted Cornwell,
February 11, 2002, NY Daily News, Mounds Of Money At Ground Zero, by Greg Gittrich,
February 11, 2002, AP Worldstream, Police discover Bank of America money at Ground Zero, by Tara Burghart, Associated Press Writer,
February 12, 2002, Associated Press / Houston Chronicle, 60 garbage bags of cash found / Bank of America claims WTC stash,
February 12, 2002, Los Angeles Times, Huge Cash Sum Found at Trade Center Site,
February 12, 2002, Deseret News / Associated Press, Cache of cash found at ground zero; is it bank's?
February 12, 2002, Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland) Ground Zero is Giving Up Its Treasure; Millions in cash under rubble,
March 1, 2002, Northwestern Financial Review, Missing cash found in World Trade Center rubble,
April 3, 2002, NPR All Things Considered, Interview: Bill Flynn discusses items from the World Trade Center site that are at the NYPD's Support Services Bureau, by Robert Siegel,
June 22, 2002, The Charlotte Observer, N.C. / Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, Wealth Surrounds Bank of America's Offices in Manhattan, by Sarah Lunday,
November 2003, Daily Hampshire Gazette, "Meyerowitz goes big to capture Ground Zero", by Larry Parnass,
Phaidon Aftermath, Joel Meyerowitz, The night they found eleven million dollars,
May 3, 2006, Tampa Bay Creative Loafing, Looking Into The Abyss: Joel M
eyerowitz's Ground Zero photos show 9/11's aftermath in amazing detail
, by Megan Voeller,

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