The Voice of the Prophet.
September 12, 2002 10:56 AM   Subscribe

The Voice of the Prophet. Rick Rescorla was Head of Security for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in New York. A vet of three wars and a survivor of the 1993 WTC bombing. He saved many lives that day, but lost his own on Nine Eleven, no doubt again attempting to save lives as he had eight years before. If this is what Shrub means by a Patriot, he should listen to patriots instead of try to name Nine Eleven after them. Rescorla's words echo now in a startling matter-of-fact yet poignant way. I'll copypaste a partial transcript into the body of the thread for those who can't stream video.
posted by ZachsMind (3 comments total)
I found no previous threads in MeFi where this has been mentioned, but if someone else finds one feel free to post it below. The following is not a complete transcript. I was only able to transcribe portions of it, but you get the main gist of what he's saying below. Rick Rescorla began by summarizing his credentials as a combat veteran, so the viewer knows he's someone who knows of what he speaks. He's got a lot of experience under his belt. As he talks to the camera, discussion of his past leads him to offer his opinion about the strategic landscape of our planet's military and cultural future. It's a powerful read, but the below is pale substitute for actually seeing this soft-spoken man talk with such finality and conviction.

The following are the words of Rick Rescorla.

"...The weapons of dead men helped us that night. Those individuals who took the first brunt of the attack. We used their weapons and fought through the night... Retrieval of bodies was number one. Our American bodies first. The smell was horrific and Colonel Moore came forward and he called us all around and he said, 'Look. These are American boys and I'm gonna send them home to their parents.' Tears in his eyes. ...We promised him we wouldn't leave one individual.. not one American would be left on the battlefield."

"If you publically declare what you're about... you're going to be held to it."

"The American fighting man can do it. It's just that he will take an easy way out if he can because we're an easy culture. That's the way we teach our culture. We don't teach them to run against the wall. We teach them to use ingenuity and everything. Well Sometimes in war you got nowhere to go except straight into the machine gun and that's what you should do."

"We shouldn't have been employed in Vietnam... Thinking we could take puppet generals and back them up with our own American force was the utmost of conceit."

"When you're talking about the future wars, we're talking about engaging in Los Angeles. We're talking about terrorist action. Terrorist forces can tie up conventional forces, they can bring them to their knees...

"We're talking about no specific groups. No specific religions. For example, the Muslims. People blame the muslims. The Muslims are honorable people. It's just small segments of fanatics and terrorists...

"Hunting down terrorists. This will be the nature of war in the future. Not great battle fields. Not great tanks rolling. Military power is completely secondary to national will and national morality. The whole of the world will get behind the idea in the end that individual freedoms are important but the social contract between an indivdual and his government is a two way street but they will not get behind actions like Nicauragua where we're backing the wrong people often. Where we're supporting dictators for the thought of economic stability so that our foreign and domestic corporations can do business.

"And finally I would say that the residue of hatred this is creating in these foreign countries where we're doing these things and we don't think there are any repercussions. Those people should think about the [1993] World Trade Center bombing and things of this nature. Things will come home to roost, and they may be twenty years later, of cavalier actions that we're taking now out there. And who is directing these cavalier actions? People in command and control who have never seen a shot fired in anger in their life, except hearing a round fired near the white house where somebody's mugging a tourist outside. We can't even straighten up our capitol in terms of crime, and we think we can go out there and be the world's top cop? It's impossible."
posted by ZachsMind at 11:01 AM on September 12, 2002

A real hero. Here's the James B. Stewart book coming out about Rescorla next month. Here's a photo of Rescorla directing people out of the WTC minutes before it collapsed. And the cover of the book "We Were Young Once...And Soldiers" happens to be a great 1965 shot of Rescorla (by CNN's Peter Arnett!)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:40 AM on September 12, 2002

Rescorla was also the subject of a lengthy profile in the Washington Post (as well as one in the New Yorker, but which isn't online).
posted by mattpfeff at 12:17 PM on September 12, 2002

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