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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #471
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    Jan 2005
    Now Can We Talk About 9/11

    Tue Feb 26, 10:50 AM ET

    The Nation -- While over its tenure, the Bush administration has increased baseline military spending by 30% to fight a global "war on terror," this month with the release of the President's last budget, Bush delivered a final, parting blow to 9/11 victims of terror at home.

    According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the cost of treating sick ground zero workers has reached $195 million a year, a cost likely to expand. Nevertheless, Bush's proposed budget cuts 2009 funding for 9/11 healthcare to $25 million--a 77% drop from the previous year's appropriations.

    Meanwhile this December, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt eliminated plans for the center that would treat the 10,000-plus First Responders suffering health problems as the result of their service after the attacks.

    First Responders are rallying today on the West Lawn for Congressional action.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #472
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    Jan 2005
    Thanks for the permission.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  3. #473
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    Jan 2005
    9/11 First Responders Rally In Washington D.C. - 2/26/2008

    Part I

    Click Here (GooTube)

    Part II
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    Part III
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    Part IV
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    Part V
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    Part VI
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    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  4. #474
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    Jan 2005
    The bell tolls for another hero of 9/11
    'I'd do it again,' said NYPD sergeant from West Brighton about his work at the pile

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- In this town, 9/11 never goes away.

    Not for long, anyway.

    This weekend's 9/11 story wasn't just that the "Survivors' Staircase" was moved from Ground Zero, to be returned someday as part of the memorial when the new buildings go up.

    There was another reminder closer to home.

    Staten Island lost NYPD Sgt. Ned Thompson at age 39 on Sunday morning, just hours before one of his favorite events, the St. Patrick's Parade, would step off a couple of blocks from his West Brighton home.

    The father of four young girls, a superstar cop in the West Village, lost his battle for life in Manhattan's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

    And we lost another Islander who did what he knew to be the right thing in the hours after the Sept. 11 attacks, and who paid a terrible price.

    Thompson was a first responder from the Sixth Precinct, just up West Street from the attack site. He worked the bucket brigades in the days following the building collapses, sifting the debris in hopes of finding survivors.

    He'd develop a hacking cough later on. Something unusual for a nonsmoker, the doctors said. Then, in December, he was finally diagnosed.


    It's a story that has become familiar in this town.

    And, after years of fumbling, the city has begun to accept responsibility for such illnesses.

    "I'd do it again," Thompson told people of his work at Ground Zero.

    And it makes you wonder how New Yorkers got so lucky as to deserve the Ned Thompsons of the world.

    Thompson would have never made it as a Hollywood version of what a New York City cop should be. Oh, he looked the part all right. Big and burly, with an open Irish face. But Thompson didn't go in much for blustery attitudes or loud talk.

    He was a quiet guy. Funny, in a clever, understated way. With humor befitting an English major out of Villanova University. But never crass.

    "It just wasn't his way," said Lt. Mike Casey, Thompson's boss at the Sixth Precinct. "He was always the consummate professional. But if something had to be done, you called Ned. It got done."

    He was the go-to guy the higher-ups asked to analyze crime stats. And to plan operations.

    "He had a real feel for the work," said Casey. "He was so smart."

    Thing was, because he was so cool under stress, Thompson was also the one the bosses would prefer to see leading a squad on the street, and going through the door on a search warrant.

    A while back, an NYPD supervisor told a story of being at a meeting at One Police Plaza when Police Commissioner Ray Kelly singled out Thompson for personal recognition after his squad broke a big Manhattan-wide case.

    In keeping with his personality, Thompson's family had never heard of his being so honored.

    The young sergeant operated the Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit for years in the West Village, supervising thousands of arrests and having a big hand in the latest round of drug clean-up chores at Washington Square Park.

    He was very good at that sort of police work, too, it would turn out.

    "If we had a few more guys with Ned's intelligence and drive, there wouldn't be any crime," Casey said, only half-jokingly.

    For all his success at gritty police work, Thompson had such a nice way about him, there was just about no one better at personal interaction.

    "You're the kind of person people want to emulate and be around," a friend wrote Thompson last week, in his final days. "The sight of you always evokes a smile."

    Thompson and his wife, Justine, were at a supermarket checkout counter at the Jersey Shore a few years back when a scruffy guy behind them nudged the off-duty cop 50 miles from home.

    "You're Big Nick from Washington Square Park, right?" the person said, using the handle the dealers in the West Village had hung on the cop from West Brighton.

    "That's me," Thompson acknowledged.

    "You locked me up," the former miscreant said. "But you were a really cool guy about it. Thanks."

    Not many cops have the experience of being thanked by the people they put in cuffs. Thompson also had his priorities straight.

    As much as he loved his work, he wanted to spend time with Justine and the four little girls. And he did.

    Then there were his friends.

    Legions of them.

    Kids who grew up with Thompson in West Brighton, and shot hoops in his driveway. His college roomies from Villanova, where Thompson was one of the biggest sports fans on the pretty Lancaster Avenue campus.

    His pals on the NYPD, the men and women with whom he shared pizzas at John's on Bleecker Street, or knocked down a beer or two at Fiddlesticks after a 4-to-12 tour of chasing the dealers off West Eighth Street.

    They've all been revisited once more by 9/11.

    "Since Ned's been sick, they've been trying to find someone to take over his job," Casey said yesterday. "The people who know him don't want to do it. They know what it's going to be like trying to fill his shoes."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  5. #475
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    Jan 2005
    9-11 Responders Dying of Neglect


    The U.S. government's continued refusal is causing a whole new class of victims to acknowledge illnesses caused by the toxic dusts and wastes at the Ground Zero site-according to a new book.

    Steven Centore was one of the many who volunteered or were ordered to assist in the immediate aftermath of the attack on 9/11 and then during the eighteen-month long recovery efforts at Ground Zero.

    Since that time, the dangerously toxic and debilitating conditions that these "first responders" toiled under has come to light. As these people become gravely ill and in some cases die their names may be added to the official list of victims of the 9-11 attack.

    Mr. Centore has appeared at congressional hearings to fight for the rights of these thousands of first responders. In his new book, One of Them: A First Responder's Story, he details his own personal account.

    "This has become a political football in the coming election that the administration has fumbled," said Mr. Centore, a life long Republican who has had a distinguished career in the U.S. Military and clandestine services.

    "I've been a life-long republican, and for the first time in my history I'll probably be voting democratic."

    Mr. Centore has been appalled at the callous indifference, lack of support, and the meager financial resources provided by the U.S. government.

    "The attack didn't end on 9-11," said Mr. Centore. "The attack continues to this day as first responders suffer from the aftereffects. It's almost like radiation poisoning after a nuclear attack: first there are the initial victims and then there are those that are poisoned by the clouds of lethal dust."

    "I wanted to tell my story of how I became ill, what the government did and did not do for me, and what happened to me as a result," says Mr. Centore. "I'd like to shed some light on the cover-ups that the government has been perpetrating in the news."

    Steven talks with conviction of:
    • The growing number of people treated for illnesses due to toxic dust at Ground Zero
    • How the government helped municipal first responders following 9-11, but are in complete denial of anyone else
    • The deception, lies and cover-ups by the state, federal, and municipal governments.

    "Up to 70 percent of first responders are ill as a result of 9/11 contamination," says Steven. "If a similar rate of illness is true for those who lived and worked near the WTC, the number of seriously ill New Yorkers could climb to 300,000 in the near future."

    Steven Centore was a member of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). A nuclear physicist, Mr. Centore has also served in the U.S. Navy aboard nuclear attack submarines, and has worked at various nuclear facilities across the country.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  6. #476
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    Jan 2005
    Environmental Illnesses Haunt Some Who Covered 9/11
    Rescuers and construction workers aren't the only ones sickened by exposure to World Trade Center dust and smoke. Journalists, including photographers, are also reporting health problems.

    By Daryl Lang
    March 03, 2008

    New York Times staff photographer Keith Meyers loved to tackle rigorous assignments, like flying in military jets and scuba diving with astronauts in training.

    "He was almost hyper in terms of his energy level," says friend and fellow Times photographer Fred Conrad. "He could run circles around people."

    On September 11, 2001, Meyers cut short a vacation and raced to New York to help with coverage at Ground Zero. Four days later, Meyers climbed aboard a Coast Guard helicopter to shoot a series of historic pictures, the first aerial news photos of the still-burning World Trade Center site.

    As he leaned out of the helicopter, Meyers could feel the rising smoke.

    "It was like breathing fire, and I could feel my skin tingling and burning," he says. A doctor later told him he probably had been exposed to chemicals as caustic as Drano.

    Over the next two years, Meyers's health deteriorated. While covering the New York City blackout in 2003, he suffered several asthma attacks. His energy level diminished, and twice he nodded off behind the wheel while waiting at tollbooths.

    Now 59, Meyers suffers from serious breathing problems. Treatment keeps many of his symptoms in check, but he can no longer do his job. He went on indefinite medical leave from The Times last year.

    His diagnoses are like a catalogue of the illnesses that afflict 9/11 workers: asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, paradoxical voice box disorder. On top of all that is a feeling of lost identity now that he has given up photojournalism.

    "Not working is harder than being sick," he says. "And that's the battle I've got to fight, because I've got to be sure not to do anything to make myself sicker."

    Meyers is not alone. Five other journalists have told PDN they suffer persistent health effects after working at the World Trade Center site, and a sixth has died of cancer. Two of them were unwilling to be named in this article, one for privacy reasons and another because of an ongoing lawsuit.

    David Handschuh, a photographer for the New York Daily News, has been working with The New York Press Photographers Association (NYPPA) to make sure these journalists aren't forgotten.

    Handschuh, 48, broke his leg covering the World Trade Center attack and was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. "It's not a New York problem. It's a nationwide problem," Handschuh says when discussing 9/11 health concerns, emphasizing that many out-of-town journalists were part of the coverage.

    First responders and construction workers who toiled in the toxic aftermath of 9/11 have been the subject of news reports, political speeches and prize-winning newspaper editorials. But little has been said about the journalists who were exposed to the same conditions.

    Handschuh and the NYPPA are advocating for legislation in New York State to extend the deadline for journalists to file 9/11-related workers compensation claims. Last year state lawmakers extended the filing deadline for rescue and recovery workers to August 14, but there is no similar extension for journalists.

    For environmental illnesses like asthma and cancer, proving a direct link between cause and effect is difficult. Certain cancers might not appear for decades.

    But right now, some journalists are convinced their health problems are the result of their work at Ground Zero.

    Keith Silverman, 49, a freelance camera operator who arrived at the World Trade Center the morning of September 11 and spent the next two weeks there for ABC, says he can no longer work in TV. He suffers from chronic sinus issues and is in remission from Hodgkin's lymphoma, problems he believes come from exposure to dust and smoke at Ground Zero. "They don't know what we breathed in because there were so many carcinogens in the air," he says.

    Philippe Gassot, 52, a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent for French TV and radio; Jim Purcell, 42, publisher of a weekly newspaper in Middletown, New Jersey; and another photo- journalist all say they suffer from worsening breathing problems after covering Ground Zero.

    A producer for a Canadian TV network spent a week at Ground Zero after 9/11. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in June 2002 and died of lung failure in 2004. His wife (who requested that his name not be published) says she believes the World Trade Center dust acted as a trigger for this rare form of cancer.

    It is likely that there are more. Between 2002 and 2004, The World Trade Center Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program surveyed 9,442 workers, including 81 who worked for news agencies. The survey found that this group was five times as likely as the general population to suffer from reduced breathing capacity.

    The NYPPA has been encouraging 9/11 journalists to fill out an anonymous online survey. By early February, the survey had logged 161 responses. Respondents reported a variety of breathing problems like asthma and persistent coughing, and symptoms of depression and PTSD. Thirty-six of them said post-9/11 health problems have affected their careers.

    When the Twin Towers collapsed, they kicked up a cloud of pulverized cement, glass, lead, asbestos, PCBs, pesticides and other chemicals. Some of the journalists now suffering from health problems feel angry that the government did little to warn people about these dangers. They now scoff at the early assurances that the air was safe.

    In a Sept. 13, 2001 press release, Christie Whitman, then head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said, "EPA is greatly relieved to have learned that there appears to be no significant levels of asbestos dust in the air in New York City."

    On Sept. 18, even as the EPA cautioned rescue workers to wash their dust-laden clothes separately from other laundry, Whitman asserted, "The public in these areas is not being exposed to excessive levels of asbestos or other harmful substances."

    The EPA did not have enough information to make such judgments, but they were pressured by the Bush administration to sound reassuring, according to a 2003 EPA Inspector General report. The White House Council on Environmental Quality "convinced the EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones," according to the report.

    Even knowing what they know now, journalists say they would have covered the story anyway. "The adrenaline was running, it was an important news story, I charged in and did it, I'd probably do it again," Meyers says. "But if I did it again I would be a hell of a lot more careful."

    In a sad bit of irony, the helicopter ride that exposed Meyers to the smoke also earned him a share of a Pulitzer Prize, awarded to the photo staff of The Times in 2002 for its 9/11 portfolio.

    "I'm just a guy who did his job and got sick. And I'm in great shape compared to a lot of other people," he says. "I am scared to death that a lot of our colleagues who were there are going to get sick soon or in five or ten years."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  7. #477
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    Jan 2005
    Court Allows 9/11 Cleanup Crew Lawsuits To Proceed

    Web Editor: John Blunda, Associate Producer

    Created: 3/26/2008 1:19:26 PM

    NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal appeals court says lawsuits can proceed on behalf of thousands of Sept. 11 workers who claim they were not properly protected as they cleaned up the World Trade Center site.

    Lawyers for New York City and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had asked the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to give them immunity from nearly 8,000 workers' claims.

    The appeals court said it is too early to decide whether immunity protected the defendants from these sorts of lawsuits.

    The ruling means the city and the Port Authority must continue to defend the workers' claims of respiratory and other personal injuries.

    Lawyers have said the lawsuits would not be ready for trial for several years.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  8. #478
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    Jan 2005
    Court Clears Way for 9/11 Illness Lawsuit


    A federal appeals court has refused to give New York City immunity from the lawsuits of thousands of city workers and construction laborers who say they now suffer from respiratory illnesses after they helped clean up ground zero in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

    The lawsuits claim that the city failed to ensure that ground zero was a safe work place. High among the claims is the assertion that the city failed to enforce rules requiring workers to wear respirators while working amid the toxins and rubble.

    Citing the unprecedented nature of the disaster, New York City and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, both defendants in the suits, have argued that they are entitled to immunity from the claims. The defendants say they cannot be required to pay out to the workers what could amount to billions of dollars in damages.

    The first significant ruling in the case came in 2006, when a federal district judge in Manhattan, Alvin Hellerstein, found that the city was only entitled to immunity for its conduct in the days immediately after the terrorist attacks. The lawsuits could go forward against the city's wishes, Judge Hellerstein ruled, to give workers the chance to prove their claims that ground zero remained an unsafe work environment even weeks and months after September 11, 2001.

    The city and port authority appealed. In a victory for the ailing workers, today?s decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that appeal and largely affirmed Judge Hellerstein?s decision.

    The appeal was decided by Judges Jon Newman, Sonia Sotomayor, and Richard Wesley.

    Lawyers for either side could not be reached for comment.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  9. #479
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    Jan 2005
    Second Circuit Rejects City And Contractors’ Immunity Arguments In World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigation

    WEBWIRE – Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    New York, New York, March 26, 2008: The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today released its 58-page decision holding that the City of New York and its contractors are not immune from suit in the World Trade Center Disaster Site litigation. In the decision, In re: World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigation, Second Circuit Docket Number 06-5324, the Second Circuit dismissed the defendants’ immunity claims arising from New York State Law, holding that it had no jurisdiction over these state-law issues, and held that insofar as the City contended it should not be forced to take part in the litigation at all, those claims of immunity from suit were meritless. The Second Circuit thus affirmed the District Court’s denial of the defendants’ motions for summary judgment on immunity grounds.

    In its decision, the Court said that “what Defendants seek is an unprecedented extension of derivative discretionary immunity as a matter of law – an extension that, as a policy matter, would not only insulate them from liability but also bar Plaintiffs from seeking compensation for injuries they received while working at the World Trade Center disaster site and at the Fresh Kills Landfill.” Responding to the Contractors’ arguments that a finding in favor of the plaintiffs would make contractors less likely in the event of future disasters, to respond to the government’s needs, the Court wrote: “we observe that private contractors, unlike volunteers or conscripts, are paid for their services and able to pass along the cost of liability protection to the government, either by including the cost of liability insurance in their contract or by seeking indemnification from the government.” The Court cited with approval the District Court’s finding that “we must strike a ‘delicate balance’ between the needs of Defendants, who insist that immunity is necessary to encourage companies to volunteer their efforts, and Plaintiffs, who were ‘the very individuals who, without thought of self, rushed to the aid of the City and their fallen comrades.’”

    Asked about today’s decision, Plaintiffs’ Co-Liaison Counsel Paul Napoli said: “Obviously, we are elated about today’s decision that soundly upholds the District Court’s denial of the defendants’ claims of immunity from suit. We hope that this strong message from the Court of Appeals will convince the City of New York and its Contractors that the time for foot-dragging and excuses has ended and the time to step up to the plate and offer these heroic Ground Zero workers some relief has begun.” Continuing, Mr. Napoli said “we hope that the defendants will forego further attempts to avoid their obligations and will swiftly move forward with us to a fair and equitable resolution of these claims.”

    Thousands of men and women who worked in the clean up and recovery efforts at the site of the World Trade Center in the weeks following the 9/11 attacks have become seriously ill, and many have died of those illnesses, as a result of their exposure to toxic smoke, dust, particulate matter and chemicals at the worksite. Plaintiffs contend that the City and the Contractors failed to provide adequate protective equipment in the form of respirators and hazardous material coveralls, as well as failed to provide adequate safety training and supervision at and around the work site. Initial reports of a so-called “World Trade Center cough” and other respiratory problems have given way to life-threatening illnesses such as pulmonary fibrosis, severe asthma, leukemia and other cancers in a large percentage of the people who worked at and around the site.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  10. #480
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    Jan 2005

    March 30, 2008. Today, we are disappointed, but realistically with the tens of thousands that have been adversely affected by 9/11, there are bound to be one or a few of those that are not providing accurate and genuine reports of that day.

    However, over the past few years, we have become accustomed to disappointments as we have been made to sit idly by and watch those we care about pass away anonymously. While events like this make our struggle that much more difficult, we will not lose our resolve or purpose. - FGF

    Ground Zero 'hero' arrested at fund-raiser actually a fraud, officials say


    Sunday, March 30th 2008, 4:00 AM

    Fred Parisi at a rally for 9/11 first responders on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on February 26.

    A self-styled 9/11 hero who brags he helped "rescue thousands" as a New York City cop is a fraud who never set foot near the World Trade Center that day and quit the force before graduating from the academy, law enforcement sources told the Daily News.

    The allegation came after Fred Parisi was arrested in Carlstadt, N.J., last night while entering a fund-raiser for the 9/11 Rescue Workers Foundation that he founded.

    The actual theft charges against the 40-year-old father of three from Jefferson Township, N.J., are unrelated to Sept. 11. Local cops said he looted at least $235,000 from Berkshire Valley Custom Wood Designs, a woodworking company that he also founded.

    Just last month, he joined a delegation of legitimate 9/11 rescue workers at the Capitol in Washington to lobby for better health care. He appeared in news photos holding an American flag and standing next to an FDNY deputy chief who lost a son at the World Trade Center.

    Parisi touts himself as director and founder of the 9/11 Rescue Workers Foundation. His phone number is (866) WTC-HERO.

    A foundation press release states, "Fred was there as the second plane hit. But what haunts him is the memory of what the firefighters said on the way up: 'Stay here, Fred. We'll be right back.' "

    A flyer to raise money to send his 10-year-old son to a baseball program in Holland adds that Parisi "was a New York City Police Officer and staged dramatic rescues to save thousands of New Yorkers."

    Parisi had said he suffers from a "rare lung disease attributed to the rescue and recovery efforts from Ground Zero on Sept. 11."

    But law enforcement sources said Parisi and the rest of Police Academy Company 01-16 were on Floyd Bennett Field for driving training during the terrorist attacks and never got close to the Trade Center.

    Sources added that on Sept. 12 and 13, 2001, Parisi was assigned to traffic duty at E. 34th St. and Madison Ave., far away from Ground Zero.

    Records show he joined the NYPD on July 1, 2001, and quit on Nov. 1, 2001, without graduating from the academy.

    Parisi lied on his application, failing to list disciplinary problems in the military and resignations from two other police departments, as well as an arrest for impersonating an officer, sources said.

    His impersonation of a 9/11 hero persuaded a public relations executive and a Web site designer to donate their services to assist his foundation.

    The public relations executive, Lori Widmer, said she eventually began to suspect that Parisi was not the hero he made himself out to be and asked him if he was trying to cheat people.

    He responded with a "veiled threat," she said.

    Cops have not determined if Parisi pocketed any of the money raised for his foundation or for his son's baseball trip.

    Last night, Parisi arrived at the Waterfront Café dressed for his fund-raiser in a green button-down shirt and khakis. He seemed stunned by his arrest, and in an emotional outburst threatened to kill the investigator who developed the case, Jefferson Township Police Detective Joseph Kratzel.

    "Surprised is not even the word," Kratzel said of Parisi. "Dumbfounded."

    Parisi was held on $107,500 bail on charges he looted the woodworking company he started up with a woodworker he originally hired and then presented with a "business opportunity" rather than pay him, police said.

    Cops said that the uncommonly talented woodworker, Roy Jensen, did all the work and Parisi took all the money, including cash for materials that were never purchased.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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