News Release

“Not in Our Names”


Some family members of the victims killed in the September 11 attacks are speaking out in opposition to the administration’s apparent military plans. Judy Keane, who lost her husband Richard, said: “Bombing Afghanistan is just going to create more widows, more homeless, fatherless children.” [CNN, 9/25] Jill Gartenberg, whose husband Jim was killed, said that “we don’t win by killing other people.” [Fox, 9/24] Amber Amundson lost her husband, Craig, in the Pentagon. She wrote in the Chicago Tribune [9/25] “If you choose to respond to this incomprehensible brutality by perpetuating violence against other innocent human beings, you may not do so in the name of justice for my husband.” Gavin Cushny’s brother Rupert Eales-White stated, “If military action results in the deaths of innocent Afghans then 100 more Bin Ladens will rise from the grave.” [The Independent, 9/22] The parents of Deora Bodley have spoken out. Her mother Deborah Borza said: “Let this passing be the start of a new conversation … that provides a future for all mankind to live in harmony and respect.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/22]

They said: “Our son Greg is among the many missing from the World Trade Center attack. We cannot pay attention to the daily flow of news about this disaster. But we read enough of the news to sense that our government is heading in the direction of violent revenge, with the prospect of sons, daughters, parents, friends in distant lands dying, suffering, and nursing further grievances against us. It is not the way to go. It will not avenge our son’s death. Not in our son’s name. Our son died a victim of an inhuman ideology. Our actions should not serve the same purpose. Let us grieve. Let us reflect and pray. Let us think about a rational response that brings real peace and justice to our world.”

In his speech at the National Cathedral memorial service, President Bush praised an unnamed man “who could have saved himself” but instead “stayed until the end and at the side of his quadriplegic friend.” Lasar said today: “That man was my uncle, Abe Zelmanowitz. When the first airplane struck, Abe could not bear to abandon his wheelchair-using colleague, and called his family to say so. Despite their pleading, he insisted that he would stay. They have been missing ever since. My mother, who lives 20 minutes from the WTC, is in a state of shock. I mourn the death of my uncle, and I want his murderers brought to justice. But I am not making this statement to demand bloody vengeance. A senator from my state, Dianne Feinstein, said: ‘U.S. must spare no effort to uncover, ferret out and destroy those: who commit acts of terrorism; who provide training camps; who shelter; who finance; and who support terrorists. Whether that entity is a state or an organization, those who harbor them, arm them, train them and permit them must, in my view, be destroyed.’ How does one destroy states? Through the covert subversion of their societies? Through carpet bombing? Afghanistan has more than a million homeless refugees. A U.S. military intervention could result in the starvation of tens of thousands of people. What I see coming are actions and policies that will cost many more innocent lives, and breed more terrorism, not less. I do not feel that my uncle’s compassionate, heroic sacrifice will be honored by what the U.S. appears poised to do.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167