Letters

Readers respond to "Bush's 9/11 Coverup?" by Eric Boehlert, and "Shocking Silence," by Andrew Sullivan.


Salon Staff
June 20, 2003 2:45AM (UTC)

[Read "Bush's 9/11 Coverup?"]

In addition to the examples given in the article about how quick and well-funded governmental investigations have been in the past, don't forget the more than $24 million spent by the Republicans to have President Clinton answer one question that should never have been asked.

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It is disgusting how this "compassionate" administration has thwarted at every turn the inquiry into the largest security breach in U.S. history. It is insulting, not merely to all American citizens, but especially to the victims of 9/11, who paid the highest price for this administration's ineptitude. How the press, the Congress and the American people can be so nonchalant on this issue is unfathomable.

-- Elaine Benken

I have been a voracious fan and supporter of Salon for years, so I say this as a friend. I am a clinical social worker here in New York who works every day with people still suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome around the WTC attacks. One of the first steps I have my clients take is to have them limit -- ideally to nothing -- their exposure to the infamous images of that awful day. Those images are an immediate trigger for moderate to severe traumatization and often set people back in their recovery.

Limiting the use of those images also just makes sense -- promiscuous use of them feels just plain reckless and disrespectful. When I opened Salon this morning, I felt like I got hit in the face. It's just an article -- and an important one -- but I felt used and angry by seeing that photo.

-- Jill Cerino

Thank you, Salon, for the fascinating yet very sad piece on the stonewalling of the 9/11 investigation. Comparing and contrasting previous investigations of tragic events in the past really put things in perspective. Even hardcore conservatives may believe this! (you know, the ones who won't read the New York Times, or basically any paper that isn't from the extreme right). I am appalled at the mainstream media's refusal to report anything even close to this. They are helping to ruin our democracy by their silence. It is very scary. This article is one of the finest I have read on Salon. Please keep up the honest and fair reporting -- no one else will!

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-- April Manns

This is very disturbing. I propose that some 9/11 widows make a television commercial that gets the idea of this article across. Arianna Huffington got lots of press for her SUV commercials -- I think that this would be even more effective. I volunteer to donate $100 to the cause.

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-- David Moss

This is what I do not understand: Four years ago the U.S. media thought that the Monica Lewinsky affair was its Watergate and tried to elevate it to that level. A blow job in the Oval Office and the fib about it that followed led to the impeachment of a president. Journalists lined up to be the next Woodward and Bernstein. Careers were to be made on this "scandal of the century."

But now we have perhaps one of the biggest coverups in U.S. history as the Bush administration prevaricates and stonewalls investigations into its conduct prior, during and after one of the worst disasters in American history. Remember, we are talking about a blow job vs. 3,000 dead. Surely this has the potential to be a true Watergate-type scandal. But the U.S. media, preoccupied with Iraq or even just "American Idol," seems bored, indifferent, mendacious and even complicit.

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Why aren't there a Woodward and Bernstein working for a mainstream news outlet out there, exposing all this stuff? Maybe this story can do for Salon what Watergate did for the Washington Post.

-- Kevin Hill

[Read "Shocking Silence."]

Liberation of the oppressed! When the left cried out for such a thing in the '70s and '80s, they were called radical hippie freaks. Now Andrew Sullivan wants the left to care about every group of people fighting against oppression. Well, the left has to set its priorities. We have a government right here in the United States that wants to operate in the shadows. We have a president lying to us to grease the wheels of war. We have an administration that won't investigate one of the most horrific crimes committed on American soil.

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I am not a spokesman for the left, yet I would think the left had better organize against Bush first, clean the muck out of the White House, and then refocus on creating the world of peace that Clinton had started to create before the warmongers took over.

-- Sean Francis

To answer Andrew Sullivan's question, maybe the left has used up its resources trying to build "a grass-roots, student-run, anti-theocracy movement" against the GOP and therefore has no time for Iran. He is right, though: Their silence on Iran is deafening and inexcusable.

-- Ziad Al-Duaij

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The reason the American left is less than preoccupied with the fight for freedom in Iran is because it's too busy being concerned about the fight for freedom here in the United States.

The fledgling Iranian democracy movement was doing rather well until it was severely hampered by the "axis of evil" formulation over a year ago. It's just now beginning to recover. To suggest Bush's Middle East policy is somehow responsible for the once again growing student movement in Iran shows an incredible lack of knowledge of recent Iranian history.

-- Matt Runquist

This recent column by Andrew Sullivan does have some merit. I would like to see the U.S. more vigorously support resistance from inside Iran, and I have been a little surprised by the lack of coverage.

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However, I have a simple answer to his question of why the dwindling left-wing media has not given much coverage to this issue: We have to clean up our own backyard first.

This administration is doing more to harm Americans and the American way of life than any previous administration. Iranian politics should come second to coverage of administration failures and misdeeds, especially since the mainstream media continues to play lap dog and report the government-issued viewpoint without question. The progressive media outlets have an obligation to illuminate these issues so that the public can snap out of its ignorant stupor and vote out the current aristocracy.

The right-wing media continues to blindly support the president and his destructive policies, seemingly without the moral compass that Sullivan accuses the left wing of losing. Yes, there are issues that the left-wing media mistakenly ignores, but they pale in comparison to the right wing's abdication of all journalistic integrity in favor of blind loyalty.

-- Sean O'Brien

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Thanks for having the guts to carry Andrew Sullivan as one of your regular opinion columnists.

I think his "Shocking Silence" article makes a good point, and I applaud you for carrying pieces like this, which criticize parts of your own leftist stance.

Salon's willingness to print criticism of itself and the left in general is why I continue to turn to you for my daily dose of news reality. No other print or Web publication gets my attention every day.

-- Manni Wood

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Andrew Sullivan has a good point, even if it is a little one-sided. I would imagine the left is ignoring the grass-roots movement in Iran for the same reasons the right is ignoring the mess our military made in neglecting to truly clean up in Afghanistan and Iraq.

These two items are examples of the continued agenda setting of both the media and our politicians, regardless of political affiliation. As Americans, as journalists, as politicians, as human beings, we should absolutely be peacefully supporting the dissidents in Iran just as we should without question continue to support the rebuilding of countries we attacked when our government felt that a peaceful solution was not possible.

Unfortunately, in the run up to the 2004 presidential election, it seems unlikely anyone in Washington or in our traditional media (is there much of a difference?) will be brave enough or apolitical enough to talk about the real issues facing the world and our country.

-- Julie Artz


Salon Staff

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