Thursday, September 13, 2001  [!]

WTC — WTF?!?! I heard a radio interview with Leahy of Vermont who said that congress began their deliberations today with posturing. Before they even voted any appropriations for aid to the victims, they passed a wiretapping bill. Let's talk about protecting our freedoms!! The posturing about our American way of life. and this is the first thing our congress does?!?!

The first casualty in war is the truth.

I've been glued to this computer, to the weblogs with personal accounts (there's an excellent set of links from Kottke), to web and radio news stories telling of individual people, of those who managed to get out. Certain patterns become clear—the long, long trek down the emergency stairways of the towers, of water pouring down the stairs toward the bottom, of being on the streets and running when one or the other building gave way.

There are isolated stories, though, of people who know that these are their last moments, reaching out. The call from someone trapped high in the tower. I'm not gonna get out. I love you. Take care of our children. We're on a plane. It's been hijacked. What do I tell the pilot? We're on a hijacked plane. We're gonna try to take over. We won't make it out alive. I love you.

After nearly two days, though, it dawned on me that the only stories I'm ever going to hear are of those who managed to get away. Of those who managed to stay away, of those who were late for work, or decided to stop off at one place first before making that visit to one of the towers. And . . . and the very isolated stories of those who knew they were doomed and called to say the final goodbye.

I keep waiting for a story, though. There are those who didn't call to say goodbye because they thought they were going to make it. Stories that have the same sequence of events, of going down the stairs, but they were higher when the water started pouring down. "I was almost to the bottom, almost out of the building, when there was this incredible rumble. It got louder, and then—" The story of "I got out of the tower, went outside and was heading away, when the building rained down from the sky, and—" The story —oh God, the story— of looking out the window and seeing death in the form of the nose of a 767 one moment, and nothing the next.

I keep waiting for those stories. But the only stories I will hear are from those who live to tell about it.

More before n after A QTVR Pano taken looking at NYC from the Brooklyn Bridge on September 8, and an "after" skyline pano. (plus still shots of the towers during the burning, and after they fell)

Escape from the 78th floor: Maybe this is as close to that story I'm waiting for as it's gonna get.

Countering Xenophobia with information: Detroit Free Press— 100 questions about Arab Americans

World Trade Center Tenant list

Google has a list of news sources covering the attacks. What are they saying in Russia, on Pravda? My oh my, there's an article by Harry Browne, the Libertarian presidential candidate. (a daypop search reveals that this essay has run elsewhere, too)

It is well known that in war, the first casualty is truth – that during any war truth is forsaken for propaganda. But sanity was a prior casualty: it was the loss of sanity that led to war in the first place.