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"She was actually not even in the United States on Sept. 11."

The Woman Who Wasn't There. Her husband died in the attacks. She barely escaped from the south tower. But a new book chronicles the (literally) unbelievable story of 9/11’s most famous ‘survivor.’ [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jul 8, 2014 - 75 comments

15 potential headquarters for the Illuminati: theories and conspiracies

The Complex City Guide has a bit of information on 15 possible headquarters for the Illuminati, but it's a slideshow with limited information, and there's a lot of information out there, so let's get into it. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 26, 2014 - 74 comments

“Where do left and right meet? At the truth.”

Politically Incorrect was an American late-night, half-hour political talk show hosted by Bill Maher that ran from 1993 to 2002, first on Comedy Central and then on ABC. Four guests (usually including at least one comedian) would debate topics across the political spectrum in what Maher once described as “The McLaughlin Group on acid.” Of the 1300+ episodes produced, 190 can be viewed on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 23, 2014 - 66 comments

The 9/11 Museium Is Open

"The exhibition starts with one shining, unfathomably terrible morning and winds up as all of our lives, as banal and constant as laundry, bottomless.. . . I think now of every war memorial I ever yawned through on a class trip, how someone else’s past horror was my vacant diversion and maybe I learned something but I didn’t feel anything. Everyone should have a museum dedicated to the worst day of their life and be forced to attend it with a bunch of tourists from Denmark." [more inside]
posted by schroedinger on May 19, 2014 - 97 comments

"Tell them to be careful - the police."

7 month old baby pulls tail of cat. Cat scratches baby. Father of baby kicks cat butt. Then things go rapidly downhill between the 22 pound house cat "with a history of violence" and the family... [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Mar 11, 2014 - 143 comments

Could Unlimited Phone Surveillance Have Prevented 9/11?

The FBI could have stopped 9/11. There was no need for a metadata-collection program. What was needed was cooperation with other federal agencies.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 12, 2014 - 57 comments

"Might as well have been."

Skeptics Gone Wild: Navigating America’s Conspiracy Theory Culture
But trying to explain away anyone’s specific conspiracy belief, or conspiratorial thinking in general, misses the point—the point being that there’s no longer anything especially irrational about believing that shadowy actors are subverting American democracy. Think of that CIA dispatch, advocating a propaganda campaign against the suspicious. Picture the president, slumped forward in the back seat of his limousine, a bullet through his neck. As he lays dying something new is being born, a creeping miasma of suspicion that will spread across Dallas, across Texas, across America.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 5, 2013 - 80 comments

After the rain....

"New Beginnings" (slyt) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 19, 2013 - 2 comments

Queen Elizabeth's nuclear war speech, and other undelivered speeches

"It would have been the Queen’s Speech to end them all. At midday on Friday 4 March 1983, the monarch was due to address the nation to announce that Britain was at war and – due to the “deadly power of abused technology” – a nuclear conflict was at hand." But it was only part of Wintex-Cimex 83, a large-scale annual NATO war game. This is just one example of speeches that were written in case of the worst, but never given. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 1, 2013 - 31 comments

Dunkirk in Manhattan: the 9/11 boat evacuations

The 12-minute 2011 documentary "Boat Lift: An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience", vividly depicts one of the lesser-known aspects of September 11th: the evacuation by water of over 500,000 people, and the largest evacuation by water in history.
posted by scrump on Apr 3, 2013 - 27 comments

"There will be plenty of time to edit and stylize it later."

His Horse Was Named Death: The Iraq War Diary of 1st LT Tim McLaughlin, USMC [more inside]
posted by timsteil on Mar 19, 2013 - 25 comments

Bush Knew More About Bin Laden's Plans Than We Realized

NYT Op/Ed on 9/11: 'The Deafness Before the Storm' "goes into teeth-grinding detail about how the Bush administration had even more advance notice about Osama Bin Laden's attack than we previously realized." Summary: significantly more negligence than has been disclosed.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 11, 2012 - 113 comments

"This is a museum without an ending."

"Such are the exquisite sensitivities that surround every detail in the creation of the National September 11 Memorial Museum, which is being built on land that many revere as hallowed ground. During eight years of planning, every step has been muddied with contention. There have been bitter fights over the museum’s financing, which have delayed its opening until at least next year, as well as continuing arguments over its location, seven stories below ground; which relics should be exhibited; and where unidentified human remains should rest. Even the souvenir key chains to be sold in the gift shop have become a focus of rancor. But nothing has been more fraught than figuring out how to tell the story."
posted by davidjmcgee on Jun 3, 2012 - 120 comments

Ever upward

Today, the World Trade Center once again became the tallest building in New York City. (Previously.)
posted by twoleftfeet on Apr 30, 2012 - 68 comments

[LOUD MALE SCREAMING]

@Sheboyganscan attempts to transcribe everything that comes over the Sheboygan, Wisconsin police scanner. The fine folks at Something Awful have cherry picked a few gems.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 30, 2012 - 55 comments

Security theatre theatre.

In the latest (ongoing) Economist debate (run Oxford-style), security expert Bruce Schneier and architect of the TSA Kip Hawley are facing off to respectively defend and attack the motion "This house believes that changes made to airport security since 9/11 have done more harm than good." Overview. Opening statements. Rebuttals. (Surprisingly cogent) comments from the floor.
posted by unSane on Mar 23, 2012 - 32 comments

Mohammed el Gorani

Mohammed el Gorani, the youngest prisoner held at Guantánamo, has written a memoir of his time there, the lead up to his imprisonment, and subsequent release years later.
posted by gman on Dec 14, 2011 - 65 comments

Tear of Grief: massive. ignored.

You probably don't know about a giant 10-story tall Russian memorial to war dead on American soil. It's not a trick statement, like on the contested Commander Islands in the Bering Sea. No, real America. New Jersey. It's called To the Struggle Against World Terrorism (or "Tear of Grief") and was installed in 2006 on the end of a working pier, facing the Statue of Liberty, prime real estate. Snopes created a page after incredulous queries. You can see it on Google Maps, Wikipedia. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Nov 19, 2011 - 66 comments

We Have Graphs

The FBI is teaching its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”
While the FBI's monitoring of Muslims and infiltration of mosques in the United States is nothing new, this is the first time I've seen any of documents they use to train some of their agents. [more inside]
posted by gman on Sep 15, 2011 - 81 comments

Laughin' and Cryin'

Coverage ten years ago by the only two news sources that matter: The Onion: Holy Fucking Shit, Attack on America and The Daily Show (though in hindsight Jon Stewart was rather overly optimistic). A headline in this week's Onion is rather trenchant as well: Nation Would Rather Think About 9/11 Than Anything From Subsequent 10 Years.
posted by kmz on Sep 10, 2011 - 40 comments

Teaching 9/11

The Challenge of Teaching 9/11 "The events of September 11th are being discussed, taught, and commemorated in high school classrooms throughout the nation this week. And in many of those classrooms, the students are increasingly too young to have many actual memories of their own of that day’s events. I visited two high school classes in the San Francisco Bay Area to see how teachers are approaching the topic, what the students know and don’t know, and how they feel about the events surrounding that day."

‘Who’s Osama bin Laden?’: Teaching 9/11 to Muslim youth "In the ten years since Sept. 11, many Muslim Americans feel they’ve had to deal with rising discrimination. Those who remember 9/11 at least understand how this started. But there’s a new generation of Muslim Americans who don’t. They were too young in 2001, or they weren’t yet born. But these children aren’t too young to perceive discrimination. At least one local Islamic school is still working through how, exactly, to teach its young students about 9/11."
posted by nooneyouknow on Sep 9, 2011 - 84 comments

"Mom.. this is Welles. I... I want you to know I'm OK."

The Man in The Red Bandana, a short video from ESPN about one of the 911 heroes.
posted by lobstah on Sep 6, 2011 - 13 comments

9/11: The Winners

9/11: The Winners, an account of the people, companies, charities, and agencies, that have profited from September 11 attacks.
posted by Bulgaroktonos on Sep 1, 2011 - 113 comments

The Rebuilding

The Memorial. "People talk a lot about the "healing process." Well, this is New York. In the aftermath of a tragedy of monumental proportions, the healing process has been noisy and rude, with elbows out, redolent of greed, power, and the darker forces that drive human existence. And most of the shouting has been about how to make a fitting monument to what happened here. But in a hundred years, all the shouting and all the politics will be forgotten. What will be remembered is what is built here, now, on these sixteen acres." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 19, 2011 - 37 comments

"I decided that forgiveness was not enough."

"I decided I had to do something to save this person’s life. That killing someone in Dallas is not an answer for what happened on Sept. 11." Rais Bhuiyan petitions the state of Texas to stay the execution of a white supremacist who shot him and murdered two others in a hate-motivated crime.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 18, 2011 - 87 comments

“meaningful adjacencies”

“It was a computer-science problem, but it was also a big, crazy typography problem,” An algorithm for the names at the 9/11 memorial.
posted by troika on May 9, 2011 - 39 comments

I mentally seceded from the US in 2004

Cartoonist Tim Kreider (previously, previously) of The Pain talks about the last decade, our "disastrous decline" and his latest book of cartoons and essays, Twilight Of The Assholes. Part 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
posted by The Whelk on Mar 5, 2011 - 6 comments

Still temporary. Still PATRIOTic.

USA PATRIOT is up for renewal again. Tim Nichols of the Independent Examiner reports that "nobody notices" as Mike Rogers (R-MI) floats the renewal. As we noted last year during another quiet renewal, this is not the first time the Obama administration has been confronted with the idea. While groups as disparate as the Cato Institute and the Randolph Bourne Institute's antiwar.com speak out against the possibility, mainstream media sources seem uninterested.
posted by anarch on Jan 14, 2011 - 31 comments

Profile of a Young Somali

The Washington Post profiles a patriotic and radicalized 22 year old Somali man, Abdul Qadir Mohammed. (Single link Washington Post)
posted by bearwife on Nov 29, 2010 - 16 comments

No birds were (physically) harmed in the making of these dramatic videos.

An estimated 10,000 migratory birds whose flight path took them through Manhattan earlier this month became (temporarily) disoriented and trapped in the 88-searchlight glare of the 9/11 Tribute in Light memorial.
posted by oinopaponton on Sep 17, 2010 - 45 comments

the United States has blundered into the 9/11 snare with one overreaction after another.

Ted Koppel: Nine years after 9/11, let's stop playing into bin Laden's hands
posted by blue_beetle on Sep 12, 2010 - 43 comments

No Book Burning Here. Just Pulping.

"In most cases, when a book that deals with potentially classified military information is due to be published, one of the United States's many government divisions inspect it, redact sensitive parts, and either let publication continue or stop it entirely. But a clash in opinion between the U.S. Army and the Defense Intelligence Agency may lead to the DIA buying up all 10,000 copies of [a] new memoir's first printing -- and promptly pulping the books." "The publication of Operation Dark Heart, by Anthony A. Shaffer, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, has divided military security reviewers and highlighted the uncertainty about what information poses a genuine threat to security."* [more inside]
posted by ericb on Sep 10, 2010 - 43 comments

Wikileaks Emotional Diary of September 11th

In an attempt to make sense of the 6.4 million words that comprise the more than 573.000 paged lines in the wikileaks 9/11 pager intercept data, researchers Mitja Back, Albrecht Kuefner, and Boris Egloff from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, have now conducted a statistical analysis of the emotional content of these pages.
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 3, 2010 - 7 comments

Mr Controversial

Mr Controversial (video, transcript): an in-depth report by Dateline (SBS One, Australia) on Geert Wilders, and the most comprehensive English-language profile of him I have seen to date.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 29, 2010 - 35 comments

Mayor Bloomberg: "I hope [Wilders] spends a lot of money. We need the sales tax revenue."

Dutch MP and vehement Islam critic Geert Wilders will travel to New York to speak at a Sept. 11 protest against Park51, the so-called "Ground Zero mosque", sparking controversy in the Netherlands where he is currently taking part in negotiations to form a new government. Dutch diplomats are worried. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 12, 2010 - 160 comments

"This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions, or favor one over another."

"On September 11, 2001, thousands of first responders heroically rushed to the scene and saved tens of thousands of lives. More than 400 of those first responders did not make it out alive. In rushing into those burning buildings, not one of them asked 'What God do you pray to?' 'What beliefs do you hold?'"
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has recently defended the planned Cordoba Initiative Islamic Community Center and Mosque to be built near Ground Zero against critics. Yesterday, after the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to allow the demolition of a building that would be replaced by the center, Mr. Bloomberg gave a speech on Governor's Island (the location seems to have been deliberately chosen) in which he eloquently defended religious freedom. (YT: Video) (Previously on MeFi)
posted by zarq on Aug 4, 2010 - 315 comments

"Democracy is stronger than this."

The Anti-Defamation League has been tracking religious extremism for several decades, including anti-Islamic violence in the United States after 9/11. Nonetheless, the organization joined right-wing opposition earlier this week to the construction of Cordoba House, a 13-story Muslim community center and mosque that may be built two blocks away from the site of the former World Trade Center. The ADL's alignment with calls for "refudiation" by Republican celebrities Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, along with other members of the GOP who are ramping up angry sentiments in voters during an election year, have puzzled and angered religious, political and cultural figures of various stripes, particularly within New York City itself. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 1, 2010 - 446 comments

the view from above

Some of the only known aerial photos, taken by a police helicopter, the only aircraft allowed in the Manhattan airspace during the attacks, of September the 11th have been released. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Feb 10, 2010 - 95 comments

No Military Commission For You

Guantanamo Bay detainee Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, along with four others, now faces trial in federal court in New York. The United States is seeking he death penalty. "This is definitely a seismic shift in how we're approaching the war on al-Qaida," said Glenn Sulmasy, a law professor at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Mohammed was water boarded over 180 times: it is unclear if his confession will be admissible.
posted by bearwife on Nov 13, 2009 - 94 comments

The Other Architect of 9/11

While newly released images of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed have brought "the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks" back into the public eye just before their anniversary, it was his skyscraper-hating lieutenant Mohamed Atta who had trained to be an architect before becoming an airborne suicide terrorist. Slate's Daniel Brook goes on a three-part expedition in search of Atta's architectural education, from despised tourist projects in Cairo's dilapidated Islamic Quarter to utopian urban planning for an idealized "Islamic-Oriental City" like Aleppo. [more inside]
posted by Doktor Zed on Sep 11, 2009 - 56 comments

Advertising in the public interest

"What if America wasn't America?" That was the question posed by a series of ads broadcast in the wake of the September 11th attacks, ads which depicted a dystopian America bereft of liberty: Library - Diner - Church. Together with more positive ads like Remember Freedom and I Am an American, they encouraged frightened viewers to cherish their freedoms and defend against division and prejudice in the face of terrorism (seven years previously). The campaign was the work of the Ad Council, a non-profit agency that employs the creative muscle of volunteer advertisers to raise awareness for social issues of national importance. Founded during WWII as the War Advertising Council, the organization has been behind some of the most memorable public service campaigns in American history, including Rosie the Riveter, Smokey the Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog, and the Crash Test Dummies. And the Council is still at it today, producing striking, funny, and above all effective PSAs on everything from student invention to global warming to arts education to community service.

Additional resources: A-to-Z index of Ad Council campaigns - Campaigns organized by category - Award-winning campaigns - PSA Central: A free download directory of TV, radio, and print PSAs (registration req'd) - An exhaustive history of the Ad Council [46-page PDF] - YouTube channel - Vimeo channel - Twitter feed
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 11, 2009 - 69 comments

Controversial WWF September 11 Advertisment Causes Outrage, Goes Viral

Brazil-based agency DDB BRASIL, contracted by the WWF to make an ad which would drive a "Respect the Planet" theme home, thought that making a 9/11 themed ad would be a good idea. After the video somehow makes it to the internet (some say it was leaked by the agency itself to win an award at Cannes), outrage predictably ensues. DDB Brasil insists the commercial was nothing but a rough draft and the WWF has not endorsed the ad made in their name, although evidence exists suggesting WWF Brazil endorsed a similar print ad a while back. Stupid, bad ad and a comedy of errors? Or the latest viral ad strategy?
posted by Effigy2000 on Sep 3, 2009 - 55 comments

9/11 Commission ordered torture

The 9/11 Commission suspected that critical information it used in its landmark report was the product of harsh interrogations of al-Qaida operatives - interrogations that many critics have labeled torture. Yet, commission staffers never questioned the agency about the interrogation techniques and in fact ordered a second round of interrogations specifically to ask additional questions of the same operative... [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on May 14, 2009 - 317 comments

Osama bin Elvis

What is the logical consequence of noting the fact that the terrorist groups that make a difference on planet Earth—such as Hamas and Hezbollah, the PLO, Colombia's FARC—are extensions of, respectively, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and Venezuela? It is the negation of the U.S. government's favorite axiom. It means that when George W. Bush spoke, and when Barack Obama speaks, of America being "at war" against "extremism" or "extremists" they are either being stupid or acting stupid to avoid dealing with the nasty fact that many governments wage indirect warfare.
International relations professor Angelo M. Codevilla argues that Osama bin Laden is not quite influential, not quite relevant, and probably dead. (multipage version)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 27, 2009 - 33 comments

We've Seen This Before

Just Like The Movies. Michal Kosakowski reconstructs the morning of 9/11/01 completely through clips from Hollywood movies released before 9/11. More of Kosakowski's short films are available here. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Dec 11, 2008 - 40 comments

"I'd like the Department of Missing Babies..."

An 81-year-old man walked out of his house in suburban Boston yesterday and found a baby left on his doorstep. John Tuckerman was going outside to check the temperature before running an errand, and discovered a very newborn baby in a tote bag with a note. It's standard local news stuff, but I'm sharing it with you because the Newton, MA police released the 911 call that Tuckerman made and it's worth a listen.
posted by Mayor Curley on Sep 11, 2008 - 110 comments

Uncle Sam & 911

Uncle Sam & 911: "Listen man, I think I have to move on…" (cartoon)
posted by Surfin' Bird on Sep 11, 2008 - 68 comments

Disaster Capitalism

"Like the dotcom bubble, the disaster bubble is inflating in an ad-hoc and chaotic fashion." Journalist Naomi Klein discusses how corporations and governments are working together more closely than ever, using the mandate of catastrophe — whether natural or man-made — to further concentrate power in fewer hands, with less oversight: from illegal sales of American police technology to China to avert hypothetical tragedies during the Beijing Olympics, to the privatization of water supplies in post-tsunami Sri Lanka.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 17, 2008 - 50 comments

I feel safer.

Not only will SAFEE ensure 9/11 never happens again, but it will also catch unruly passengers.
posted by gman on May 30, 2008 - 28 comments

Tu es Petrus

After breaking the ice with his video message to all Americans, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Washington, D.C. this afternoon for the initial part of his first Papal visit to the United States of America. Watch it all live. [more inside]
posted by resurrexit on Apr 15, 2008 - 36 comments

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