News Release

Lessons of 9/11

DAVID POTORTI, [in NYC] dpotort at gmail.com, ANDREA LeBLANC, aldvm at comcast.net, PAUL ARPAIA, paularpaia at mac.com
Potorti, LeBlanc and Arpaia (who is recently back from Afghanistan) are members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, a group whose family members were killed in the attacks. The group recently issued the following statement: “The members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows are grateful for the expressions of remembrance and concern being offered on the 10th anniversary of the events which took the lives of our loved ones. On this day we ask those who feel compassion for our loss to expand their compassion to include others who continue to experience loss ten years later: innocent families in Afghanistan and Iraq experiencing the loss of their loved ones and displacement from their communities as the result of war and political strife; Muslim-Americans subjected to bias and violence at home; those denied the protections of our Constitution and law, whether in Guantanamo or in our own country; those suffering from job loss and economic dislocation related to the cost of war and rising military budgets; and those who have seen their civil liberties and freedoms exchanged for the false promise of security.

“The lesson of 9/11 is that we live in a connected world. We rise or fall together. As Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ On this 10th anniversary, let us honor those we lost by recognizing our kinship with people all over the world, and affirming the values and principles that will guarantee peaceful tomorrows for everyone.”

MICHAEL RATNER, mratner at michaelratner.com
President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Ratner recently wrote the piece “The Loss of Liberty in the Wake of 9/11 Will Remain the Legacy We Have Left our Children,” published by the Guardian and available on his blog.

MARJORIE COHN, marjorielegal at gmail.com
Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, Cohn said today: “The 9/11 terrorist attacks have been used to justify the ‘war on terror’ — a misnomer since terrorism is a tactic, not an enemy, and one doesn’t declare war on a tactic. That has provided an excuse for two illegal wars, the illegal assassination of civilians in drone attacks, an illegal regime of torture and abuse, and the unconstitutional decimation of civil liberties. Unfortunately, President Obama has continued many of the Bush policies and even gone beyond them in some areas. Until we come to grips with why 19 men could hate America so much they would blow themselves up and take 3,000 innocents with them, we will be vulnerable to terrorism. The causes have to do with foreign invasion, occupation, and torture. Dick Cheney, the architect of many of Bush’s worst policies, continues to celebrate waterboarding, long considered torture. The Geneva Conventions and the U.S. War Crimes Act make torture a war crime, yet Cheney and other Bush officials and lawyers have been granted impunity for their war crimes.” Cohn is editor of “The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration and Abuse” and “Explaining Why ‘They Hate Us’.”

See IPA news releases from September 2001, which warned of disasters resulting from a militarized response.

See on  “Was There an Alternative? Looking Back on 9/11 a Decade Later” by Noam Chomsky and by Tom Engelhardt “Tear Down the Freedom Tower.