New York City activist

January 4, 2008

Statements by Lorie Van Auken, Mindy Kleinberg, and Donna Marsh O’Connor

Thanks to YT for calling our attention, in the Truth Action forum, to the following statements by 9/11 family members.

The first is a letter by two of the famed “Jersey Girls,” Lorie Van Auken and Mindy Kleinberg, who, in 2002, successfully pressured Congress to create the 9/11 Commission. According to YT, their letter, below, was published in the New York Times on December 26, 2007:

The CIA Tapes: Our Need to Know

To the Editor:

Our government’s official story regarding the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, tells us that 19 Arab hijackers successfully defeated the United States military by hijacking four commercial airliners within two hours on a budget of approximately $400,000. These men, armed only with small knives, box cutters and Mace, were able to knock down the World Trade Center towers in New York City and strike the Pentagon.

Because our loved ones were murdered on 9/11, we felt that the details of how the hijackers succeeded should be thoroughly investigated, so we fought for an independent 9/11 Commission. It seemed logical that our government would want to know what happened so as to prevent another attack.

When the legislation for the 9/11 Commission was passed, it gave the commissioners full subpoena power. Unfortunately, that subpoena power was rarely used.

You report that “the panel made repeated and detailed requests to the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 and 2004 for documents and other information about the interrogation of operatives of Al Qaeda.” But while the panel did make “document requests” to the C.I.A., it did not subpoena the C.I.A. for the documents and tapes.

A subpoena would have meant that the C.I.A. would have had to answer the commission as to whether the documents and tapes existed, and the agency would have had to explain its reasons for not turning these documents and tapes over to the panel. We would have had a paper trail about the evidence.

You also report, “In interviews this week, the two chairmen of the commission, Lee H. Hamilton and Thomas H. Kean, said their reading of the report had convinced them that the agency had made a conscious decision to impede the Sept. 11 commission’s inquiry.”

The question is: Are Americans satisfied with this?

The 9/11 Commission did not fulfill its mandate to thoroughly investigate the 9/11 attacks. A real investigation into the events of Sept. 11 that examines all of the evidence has never been done and is still needed.

Lorie Van Auken

Mindy Kleinberg

East Brunswick, N.J., Dec. 22, 2007

YT also relayed a statement by Donna Marsh O’Connor, Mother of Vanessa Lang Langer (who had worked in WTC Tower 2, 93rd floor), published on 911blogger:

Kean and Hamilton issued a statement today, January 2, 2008 (only six-plus years since 9/11/2001) that was “just-inned” on CNN. They published an editorial in the New York Times today. Their position: Their work was blocked, the investigation tainted. They repeatedly asked for tapes from the CIA that were never provided. They came just short of calling for a real investigation. They (as they have done since the beginning) left that work to the victims’ families.

Will you now cover 9/11 truth, not as a series of destructive conspiracy theories, but as a movement inhabited by sane citizens from all walks of life (scientists, CIA whistleblowers, theologians, professors, researchers, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and more) as well as family members of the victims who deserve as patriotic Americans the answers to the lingering questions of that day? Will you now take up the call first put together in mainstream media by the four heroic widows from New Jersey?

My daughter, Vanessa Lang Langer was pregnant and pulled from the pile whole and intact on 9/24/2001. She was found ten feet from an alley. Five minutes after the first plane hit Tower I, she was on the phone to the uptown office of Regus Business International, telling a colleague that those in Tower II were told they were safe. That five minutes and the seventeen minutes between those planes (yes, I do believe there were planes) were two lifetimes in my own world. She must have been running for her life, fully conscious of how much she had to protect and how endangered she came to be. If you can’t hear the reasonable request of one family, one mother, you don’t care about family at all. You believe the beginning and end of your moral existence reaches only to what is easy for you to do. You don’t consider those acts necessary to good citizenship, those acts that you leave out, to have any significance.

It is much easier to be a good person than it is to be a good people.

America does not need an investigation. It can easily bury the truth about 9/11 the way it buries and encodes all of its evils. It can easily be like Germany pre Hitler. It can meander its way to more violence, to more war, to growing hate. Or individuals with some powerful means of communication can change this horrible script. For once, for once in our history, can we examine our evil tendencies before they flourish into full example.

Good persons who craft of us a good people speak against established norms.

I am begging you to be more.

We need an investigation into the events of 9/11/2001 in order to be sure that culpability is assigned, that all subpoena powers are used, that all of those who helped to grow the events of that cataclysmic day, or those who were negligent or criminally negligent, or those who perpetrated crimes before during and after that day are prevented from using their powers in such a way ever again. Ever again.

To those who perished on 9/11, justice here on earth is not necessary. You cannot help them.

You can help the remaining citizens of this country and the world. When will you say its time?

Donna Marsh O’Connor
Mother of Vanessa Lang Langer, WTC Tower II, 93rd floor

In response to YT’s posting of the above, Hocus Locus relayed a transcript (from video) of an earlier televised statemnt by Donna Marsh O’Connor, said to have been broadcast on C-SPAN on 9/11/2006. The following transcript is taken from Orleans’s Journal:

“this is my motivation (she holds up picture of her daughter). george w. bush says “god bless america”. he already did. blessed us over and over and over again. and on that day–on that day–it was men who cursed us. not god. and it has been in the hands of men ever since, to investigate everything; the events leading up to, during, and the events post 9/11.

“i know, on a daily basis, the press covers the event post-9/11 but i feel, frankly, abandoned. if i question anything about the official story i’m called a conspiracy theorist. my daughter was on the 93rd floor of tower two and five minutes after the first plane hit she was on the phone to the park avenue office of regis business international where she worked, in the trade center offices. four or five months pregnant, depending on if you listen to the family myth or what the medical examiner told me when he looked at the fetal bones.

“she was at her desk, telling the park avenue office that the port authority police and those in the building were told they were safe, that they should stay at their desks.

“they were not safe. but she was almost saved. my daughter’s body was one of only about 283 whole and intact bodies. the funeral director–they pulled her out of the rubble on september 24th–the funeral director told me, when they notified us on july 6th and he picked up her body, that she looked exactly as i would have expected her to look. so i asked to see her.

“and i did get support from hillary clinton’s office, but my son-in-law wouldn’t let me see her without him seeing her. and i couldn’t put him through that.

“it took me four years for the courage to see those final pictures. this is a picture of my daughter without make-up. she would have been appalled to have been shown without make-up. she was stunning. and i always feared that her beauty would put her in danger.

“she went to work that day; in the glove compartment of her ford explorer–at that point in time the most dangerous car in america–i lectured her about that–was the positive pregnancy test kit. all she ever wanted was that child. all she ever wanted was the child who would be walking with me, five years old, today.

“roughly, about the time my daughter was on the phone to her park avenue office, thanks to paul thompson i know that is roughly the time that george w. bush–the president of this country–walked into a school to lecture to children. he didn’t rush to command central. he didn’t order evacuations of any of our major skyscrapers, including and especially tower two.

“my daughter was found ten feet from an alley, whole and intact. she wasn’t crushed, she didn’t fall. she had injuries–blunt trauma to her head, her neck, her femur. her autopsy report is public record.

“i have two sons; one of them, at the time, was her best friend–he was fourteen years old. and he spent september 12th researching all of the phone numbers of all of the emergency rooms in new york city because this was an impossibility–my daughter would have run for her life. my daughter would have run not to make her brothers the saddest human beings on the face of the planet.

“and all i asked for, when the first news reporter from my local area in upstate new york came to tell me she was going to allow me to tell a beautiful story of my daughter–all i asked that day was why could i not fly home from toronto but osama bin laden’s family and some saudi nationals whose names i still don’t know were flown out of the country in our airspace. i was grounded. they were not. i asked her that day: where was norad? where were our defense systems? and instead, she told the two minutes of the beautiful story i told about my fierce and loving daughter.

“and that’s what it’s been like for five years. the first thing members of the press always ask me and sometimes individual family members will ask me: where are the rest of the family members? why aren’t you all questioning? and i will tell you that for five years, in my small community in upstate new york, i’ve been posing questions. and my kids have been loved by some and shunned by others because their mother is a “conspiracy theorist”.

“i am not a theorist. i was a theorist at syracuse university for twenty two years when i taught writing and rhetoric and american public discourse and i can’t do that anymore. i haven’t seen my daughter in five years. except that she is the screen saver in my mind.

“and this government has made me a victim of conspiracy theories because they haven’t answered fully, or allowed anyone to ask the true questions of september 11th.

“and that’s what i’m asking from you today. for exposure.

“we are not crazy. we have questions. we demand answers. i don’t want to be paternalized by my government. i am a parent. and i want to be able to raise the rest of my children to go to work, to live their lives, to do as rudy giuliani told us shortly after september 11th to save the economy…to go shopping. i want to tell them this is their land, this is their country.

“we are never again are going to be safe. we never were safe. there isn’t a man or woman, politician, on this globe who can save us. but we can make ourselves safer by refusing to continue to cover up. don’t look for stars to tell you the answers.

“we’re asking for a new investigation into the events of september 11th and this time a truly bipartisan, global–with families invested from the beginning, middle and though out the end.

“god blessed america. and look what we did with it.”

P.S., 2/10/2008: There is now a link to this post from a thread in The 911oz Public Forum — Australian Research on 9/11.


  1. What exactly are the questions people want answered?

    Comment by ref1 — January 7, 2008 @ 5:03 pm | Reply

  2. Oodles and oodles of questions which can be found on the websites Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Commission and # Justice for 9/11. The “Jersey Girls,” who led the movement that succeeded in pressuring Congress to create the 9/11 Commission, wrote up thousands of questionf for the 9/11 Commission. Only a minority of their questions were answered.

    Comment by Diane — January 8, 2008 @ 1:24 am | Reply

  3. Oh no. The Afghan Pipeline immediately struck my eye. We just went through this once again at JREF. The pipeline has never even been built due to the restless conditions in the area.

    See this article:

    Most of the profits wouldn’t even have gone to US, if the pipeline was built. That’s one of the critical mistakes the truthers make. From the above link: “most of the oil and gas from the Caspian is destined for markets in Russia, Europe and Central Asia itself”

    And in addition:

    “In addition, if peace and stability were to return to Afghanistan, and a new pipeline to Central Asia was to be built, the principal beneficiaries would undoubtedly be the Afghans, as well as Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and the other Central Asians.

    In brief, then, considerations of economic and political influence will undoubtedly play a part in western strategies in Afghanistan.
    It would be strange if they did not. But the argument that these are the main motivations behind US actions, not the desire to stamp out international terrorism, will probably find support mainly among those who already have a fondness for conspiracy theories.”


    “There was discussion of the pipeline to carry gas to Pakistan, but it was abandoned way before current events because of political, economic and stability problems,” said Paul Stevens, professor of petroleum policy and economics at Dundee University.

    “So the idea that oil is now driving this war is totally unrealistic. It would be more sensible to be considering a pipeline on the moon.

    Comment by ref1 — January 8, 2008 @ 1:14 pm | Reply

  4. Some of the questions seem to be very outdated and have already been answered even officially. Like this one:

    “Please explain how the passports of Mohammed Atta and Satam al-Sugam, both on Flight 11, survived the inferno to be found on the street near the World Trade Center.

    •Who found the passports and what time where they found?
    •Please describe the condition of each passport.
    •Please explain how the passports of two hijackers survived the explosion and inferno.”

    Comment by ref1 — January 8, 2008 @ 1:46 pm | Reply

  5. ref1 wrote:

    Some of the questions seem to be very outdated and have already been answered even officially.

    Some of the questions, yes. But not all or even most of them. These were the questions that the “Family Steering Committee” presented to the 9/11 Commission, which indeed dealt with some of them but only a minority of them.

    The specific issue of the hijacker passport is not one I’ve dug into yet.

    As for oil yes I know there are people who deny that oil has anything to do with American foreign policy. Such claims seem to me highly unlikely. See, for example, the following:

    CNN Interview with Richard Butler, January 8, 2002

    The French Connection:
    Paris Reporters Say Bush Threatened War Last Summer
    by James Ridgeway, Village Voice, January 2 – 8, 2002 (but see also Jared Israel’s comments on a particularly notorious quote which is of dubious origin)

    A Timeline of Oil and Violence – Afghanistan

    The Richard Butler interview is especially interesting.

    Comment by Diane — January 9, 2008 @ 4:35 am | Reply

  6. Well, the Trans-Afghan pipeline was supposed to be a natural gas pipeline.

    Second, the timeline fails to mention that the pipeline to this day has never even been built.

    The pipeline would end in India. Prfots going largely to the Asian countries, and the gas mostly to countries other than U.S.

    I don’t see any justification for war here.

    Comment by ref1 — January 9, 2008 @ 7:14 am | Reply

  7. It has occurred to me to wonder what the Council on Foreign Relations has to say about oil, gas, etc. Here’s a collection of pages about “Energy Security” on the CFR website.

    One article here is National Security Consequences of U.S. Oil Dependency, which says:

    Through most of the 1990s energy supplies were plentiful and prices were low. The Economist speculated about the political consequences of a world in which oil declined to $5 per barrel. U.S. foreign policy generally accorded little attention to energy, except in special circumstances such as the location of strategic pipelines in Central Asia.

    Note the mention of “strategic pipelines in Central Asia” as an issue that has been of great concern.

    Another aritcle here is Why We’re in the Gulf, which admits that oil does play an important role in U.S. foreign policy, but says that that role has been exaggerated and oversimplified by some people:

    True, the security of America’s oil supply has been an element in national strategic thinking at least since Franklin Roosevelt met with King Abdul Aziz in the waning days of World War II. And true, the U.S. government has never been indifferent to the concerns of the major oil concerns. But the security of our domestic energy supplies plays a relatively small role in America’s Persian Gulf policy, and the purely commercial interests of American companies do not drive American grand strategy.

    A more important issue, according to this article, is the following – which, as we will see, does involve oil at least indirectly:

    For the past few centuries, a global economic and political system has been slowly taking shape under first British and then American leadership. As a vital element of that system, the leading global power—with help from allies and other parties—maintains the security of world trade over the seas and air while also ensuring that international economic transactions take place in an orderly way. Thanks to the American umbrella, Germany, Japan, China, Korea and India do not need to maintain the military strength to project forces into the Middle East to defend their access to energy. Nor must each country’s navy protect the supertankers carrying oil and liquefied national gas (LNG).

    For this system to work, the Americans must prevent any power from dominating the Persian Gulf while retaining the ability to protect the safe passage of ships through its waters. The Soviets had to be kept out during the Cold War, and the security and independence of the oil sheikdoms had to be protected from ambitious Arab leaders like Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. During the Cold War Americans forged alliances with Turkey, Israel and (until 1979) Iran, three non-Arab states that had their own reasons for opposing both the Soviets and any pan-Arab state.

    When the fall of the shah of Iran turned a key regional ally into an implacable foe, the U.S. responded by tightening its relations with both Israel and Turkey—while developing a deeper relationship with Egypt, which had given up on Nasser’s goal of unifying all the Arabs under its flag.

    Today the U.S. is building a coalition against Iran’s drive for power in the Gulf. Israel, a country which has its own reasons for opposing Iran, remains an important component in the American strategy, but the U.S. must also manage the political costs of this relationship as it works with the Sunni Arab states. American opposition to Iran’s nuclear program not only reflects concerns about Israeli security and the possibility that Iran might supply terrorist groups with nuclear materials. It also reflects the U.S. interest in protecting its ability to project conventional forces into the Gulf.

    The end of America’s ability to safeguard the Gulf and the trade routes around it would be enormously damaging—and not just to us. Defense budgets would grow dramatically in every major power center, and Middle Eastern politics would be further destabilized, as every country sought political influence in Middle Eastern countries to ensure access to oil in the resulting free for all.

    Yep, “access to oil.” Most likely there would be similar concerns about access to natural gas too.

    There’s also a link to a page on the Department of Energy website, World Oil Transit Chokepoints, 2007.

    P.S.: I do not buy into Alex Jones-style hype about the CFR. I do consider the CFR to be a credible source of at least partial truths about U.S. foreign policy and at least some of the actual (as opposed to propagandistic) reasons for same. I consider the CFR ro be a more credible source than, say, Bush’s speeches.

    Comment by Diane — January 9, 2008 @ 8:41 am | Reply

  8. ref1 wrote:

    Second, the timeline fails to mention that the pipeline to this day has never even been built.

    This doesn’t prove that the pipeline had nothing to do with Bush’s motives for invading Afghanistan. Bush may well have underestimated the difficulty of stabilizing Afghanistan.

    The pipeline would end in India. Prfots going largely to the Asian countries, and the gas mostly to countries other than U.S.

    This doesn’t disprove its relevance to U.S. geostrategy in terms of “access to oil” (and natural gas). See the above-quoted articles on the CFR website.

    Comment by Diane — January 9, 2008 @ 8:54 am | Reply

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