[Mb-civic] Graydon Carter's September Editorial

Michael Butler michael at michaelbutler.com
Sun Sep 19 12:43:52 PDT 2004

------ Forwarded Message
From: "Peter Fleming" <peterfleming at earthlink.net>
Date: Sat, 18 Sep 2004 16:18:23 -0700
To: "'Peter Fleming'" <peterfleming at earthlink.net>

I don't have a scanner, dammit, and could not simply forward this
editorial in VANITY FAIR, so I  typed it for you.    Graydon's editorial
does not get 
to the causal factors of 9-11, as does Catherine Austin Fitts and her
researchers, but it
does lay bare government malfeasance and censorship with simple research
and truth.
Encouraging in a popular magazine.

Vanity Fair Editor, GRAYDON CARTER, is a person I have found to be
outspoken, gutsy and honest to the news.   Especially when you consider
that he oversees the most elegant, almost decadently fashionable,
focused magazine on market.

Pass this on, and look to Vanity Fair for more articles and Graydon's
editorials !

THE AIR AT GROUND ZERO   Editor's Letter   by Graydon  Carter
                     VANITY  FAIR    September issue   2004

As someone who lives 34 blocks from where the World Trade Center towers
once stood, and watched them come down from the corner of Seventh Avenue

and 11th Street, I will say this: It didn't take a scientist to know
that the air 
downtown was foul and that it was going to have serious health effects
on the 
tens of thousands of rescue workers and volunteers from all over the
who spent months undoing that mountain of deformed, smoldering steel and
As the third anniversary of September 1 approaches, this is as good a
as any to review how the Bush administration and the Environmental
Agency handled the issue of air quality at Ground Zero:
**  September 12.   The day after the attacks,  the office of the EPA's
administrator told senior EPA officials that "all statements to the
media should 
be cleared through the [National Security Council, headed by Condoleeza
before they are released."
**  September 13.  EPA head Christie Whitman issued a press release
"EPA is greatly relieved to have learned that there appears to be no
levels of asbestos dust in the air in New York City."  A section in the
draft of the release had stated that "even at low levels, EPA considers
hazardous in this situation."   It was deleted by the White House and
the NSC.
**  September 16.  The agency issued a further notice, saying, "The new
confirm previous reports that ambient air quality meets [Occupational
and Health Administration] standards and consequently is not a cause for

public concern."  The White House and the NSC removed the following
from the original draft of the statement: "Recent samples of dust
by OSHA on Water Street [almost a half-mile from the Trade Center]
show higher levels of asbestos in EPA tests."
** September 18.  Whitman pronounced that the air at Ground Zero was
"safe to breathe."

And on it went.  The White House was eager to reassure Wall Street
employees that the air around them was safe, so that the New York Stock
Exchange could be reopened quickly.  The EPA followed along by
repeatedly delivering deceptively upbeat news.

In reality, the air quality was toxic and extremely dangerous.  As the
110 story buildings fell, millions of tons of pulverized material
into the sky, carrying all manner of toxins.   Some details:
**  When they were built, between 1968 and 1973, both towers
were fireproofed with materials manufactured by W R Grace.
The fireproofing, like most installations in those days, contained
 It's not dangerous in its installed state, but airborne asbestos is
even in small amounts.   A memorandum written by Cate Jenkins,
while she was a senior chemist with the EPA, states that with the level
of asbestos in the apartments near Ground Zero was "comparable to or
 higher" than that in the home of Libby, Montana, where the W R Grace
mine had, over 30 years, produced what is possibly the worst Superfund
disaster in American history.  Jenkins found that dust collected from a
windowsill four blocks from Ground Zero contained 79,000 fibers per
square centimeter, 22 times higher than the levels found in Libby.
**  Also in that enormous cloud were fumes from 150,000 gallons
of generator fuels and 30,000 gallons of fluid from the buildings'
huge electrical transformers, containing PCBs, one of the most
toxic industrial chemicals.
**  The thousands of shattered windows sent billions of microscopic
glass particles into the air.
**  The explosion of thousands of laptop computers and fluorescent
lights released dangerous amounts of mercury.
**  The air was filled with tens of thousands of tons of concrete
as well as dioxin, another chemical that can cause neurological
and birth defects.
**  The St Louis Dispatch reported that the USA Geological Survey
had a team testing the particulate dust covering the immediate area
and "found that some of the dust was as caustic as liquid drain cleaner
and alerted all government agencies involved in the emergency response."
On December 27, 2002, the Friday between Christmas and New Year's -
with the site cleared, the stock market fully operational, and the
around Ground Zero filling back up with tenants - the EPA at last came
issuing a report that said the buildings' collapse likely produced the
highest concentrations of dioxin ever recorded.

THE EPILOGUE is both predictable and tragic.  According to testimony
given before a congressional hearing, as many as 50 percent of workers
at the sight who were screened now suffer from long term health problems
and 40 percent of those don't have health insurance.    A report
by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that 78 percent of the
at Ground Zero were suffering from respiratory or lung ailments and
88 percent had experienced ear, nose or throat problems.   By late 2003,

2,400 members of the New York Fire Department were on disability leave.

Many of the workers at the site have been unable to collect workers'
compensation.    - GRAYDON CARTER

Vanity Fair  Editors Letter     Sep200

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