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9-11-01 Centers for Disease Control

9-14-01 Show Resolve

A note on methanol

The New York City World Trade Center, 9-11-01

NEWS ARTICLE from The Associated Press, 9-11-01, By JERRY SCHWARTZ

``World Trade Center collapses in terrorist attack; Washington hit by apparently coordinated attack

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mounting an audacious attack against the United States, terrorists crashed two hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center and brought down the twin 110-story towers Tuesday morning. A jetliner also slammed into the Pentagon as the seat of government itself came under attack ...

A fourth jetliner, also apparently hijacked, crashed in Pennsylvania ...

Authorities were still trying to evacuate those who work in the twin towers when the glass-and-steel skyscrapers came down in a thunderous roar within about 90 minutes after the attacks, which took place 18 minutes apart around 9 a.m. Many people were feared trapped. About 50,000 people work at the Trade Center and tens of thousands of others visit each day.

Officials said the Trade Center apparently was hit by two planes carrying a total of 157 people: United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767 bound from Boston to Los Angeles with 65 people on board, and American Airlines Flight 11, a Los Angeles-bound jet hijacked after takeoff from Boston with 92 people aboard.

Law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Pentagon was hit by American Flight 77, which was seized while carrying 64 people from Washington to Los Angeles.

And in Pennsylvania, United Flight 93, a Boeing 757 en route from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco, crashed about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh with 45 people aboard. A Virginia congressman, Rep. James Moran, said the intended target of that plane was apparently Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, 85 miles away.

Altogether, the four planes carried 266 people. There was no word on any survivors.

At the Trade Center, people on fire leaped from the windows to certain death, including a man and a woman holding hands. Some jumped from as high as the 80th floor as the planes exploded into fireballs.

People on the ground screamed and dived for cover as debris from the 1,250-foot towers rained down. Dazed office workers covered in gray ash wandered around like ghosts, weeping, trying to make sense of what happened.

Donald Burns, 34, who had been at a meeting on the 82nd floor, saw four severely burned people on the stairwell. "I tried to help them but they didn't want anyone to touch them. The fire had melted their skin. Their clothes were tattered," he said ...

Within the hour after the attack in New York, the Pentagon took a direct, devastating hit from a plane. The fiery crash collapsed one side of the five-sided structure.

Speculation about the attack quickly focused on terrorist fugitive Osama bin Laden ...

"This is perhaps the most audacious terrorist attack that's ever taken place in the world," said Chris Yates, an aviation expert at Jane's Transport in London. "It takes a logistics operation from the terror group involved that is second to none. Only a very small handful of terror groups is on that list. I would name at the top of the list Osama bin Laden." ...

The White House, the Pentagon and the Capitol were evacuated along with other federal buildings in Washington and New York. The president was taken to Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, headquarters for the Strategic Air Command, the nation's nuclear strike force, the White House said. Later, he headed back to Washington.

The U.S. and Canadian borders were sealed, security was tightened at naval installations and other strategic points, and all commercial air traffic across the country was halted until at least noon on Wednesday.

"This is the second Pearl Harbor. I don't think that I overstate it," said Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. The Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor killed nearly 2,400 people and drew the United States into World War II.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said: "These attacks clearly constitute an act of war."

In June, a U.S. judge had set Wednesday as the sentencing date for a bin Laden associate for his role in the 1998 bombing of a U.S. embassy in Tanzania that killed 213 people. The sentencing had been set for the federal courthouse near the World Trade Center. But the sentencing had been postponed some time ago without being rescheduled.

Afghanistan's hardline Taliban rulers condemned the attacks and rejected suggestions that bin Laden was behind them, saying he does not have the means to carry out such well-orchestrated attacks. Bin Laden has been given asylum in Afghanistan.

Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, said he received a warning from Islamic fundamentalists close to bin Laden, but did not take the threat seriously. "They said it would be a huge and unprecedented attack but they did not specify," Atwan said in a telephone interview in London.

In the West Bank city of Nablus, thousands of Palestinians celebrated the attacks, chanting "God is Great" and handing out candy.

In New York, the downtown area was cordoned off and a rescue effort was under way. Hundreds of volunteers and medical workers converged on triage centers ...

Paramedics waiting to be sent into the rubble were told that "once the smoke clears, it's going to be massive bodies," said Brian Stark, a former Navy paramedic who volunteered to help.

He said the paramedics had been told that hundreds of police and firefighters were missing from the ranks of those sent in to respond to the first crash ...

By evening, huge clouds of smoke still billowed from the ruins, obscuring much of the skyline. Also, fire raged at an adjoining 47-story part of the World Trade Center complex, and the evacuated building was in danger of collapse, the Fire Department said.

The two planes blasted fiery, gaping holes in the upper floors of one of New York's most famous landmarks and rained debris on the streets. About an hour later, the southern tower collapsed with a roar and a huge cloud of smoke; the other tower fell about a half-hour after that, covering lower Manhattan in heaps of gray rubble and broken glass.

On the street, a crowd mobbed a man at a pay phone, screaming at him to get off the phone so that they could call relatives. Dust and dirt flew everywhere. Ash was 2 to 3 inches deep in places.

John Axisa, who was getting off a commuter train to the World Trade Center, said he saw "bodies falling out" of the building. He said he ran outside, and watched people jump out of the first building. Then there was a second explosion, and he felt heat on the back of neck ...

People ran down the stairs in panic and fled the building. Thousands of pieces of what appeared to be office paper drifted over Brooklyn, about three miles away.

Several subway lines were immediately shut down. Trading on Wall Street was suspended. New York's mayoral primary election Tuesday was postponed. All bridges and tunnels into Manhattan were closed.

The death toll on the crashed planes alone could surpass that of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, which claimed 168 lives in what was the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil.

Twin Towers
A secomd plane heads toward the World Trade Center

"Today we've had a national tragedy," Bush said in Sarasota, Fla. "Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country." He said he would be returning immediately to Washington.

Evacuations were ordered at the United Nations in New York and at the Sears Tower in Chicago. Los Angeles mobilized its anti-terrorism division. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., was evacuated, and Hoover Dam on the Arizona-Nevada line was closed to visitors.

Terrorists blew up a truck bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center in February 1993, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others.

"It's just sick. It just shows how vulnerable we really are," Keith Meyers, 39, said in Columbus, Ohio. "It kind of makes you want to go home and spend time with your family. It puts everything in perspective," Meyers said. He said he called to check in with his wife. They have two young children.

In 1945, an Army Air Corps B-25, a twin-engine bomber, crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building in dense fog ...

Twin Towers
The Assassins Hit

Before the crash in Pennsylvania, an emergency dispatcher in Westmoreland County, Pa., received a cell phone call at 9:58 a.m. from a man who said he was a passenger locked in the bathroom of United Flight 93, said dispatch supervisor Glenn Cramer.

"We are being hijacked, we are being hijacked!" Cramer quoted the man as saying. The man told dispatchers the plane "was going down. He heard some sort of explosion and saw white smoke coming from the plane and we lost contact with him," Cramer said.''

NEWS ARTICLE from THE FREE TIMES, 9-12-01 by Daniel Gray-Kontar

`` "You can tell me more about the situation than what I know," says one Cleveland police officer, stationed at the front stairs of the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building. "All I know is I got a phone call this morning [9-11-01] to be here, and not to let anyone beyond these stairs. That's about all I know."

The time is approximately 11:30 am [9-11-01] -- a full hour after many of the office buildings and government offices in downtown Cleveland have been evacuated. According to the officer, no civilians were to be allowed on the premises of the building.

Yet, as this reporter walks to the rear of the building, not a single officer prevents me from being in such close proximity to a potentially dangerous site.

Contrast this scene with the two security officers on the north side of the building, who are carefully checking the bright flowers, well-manicured bushes and debris-filled garbage cans for possible explosives with their nightsticks. Such contradictions encompass the surrealistic scene of Cleveland's government and private office buildings ...

Even though the RTA reportedly shut down their rail service in the bowels of Tower City, by 12 noon, approximately 150 people waiting for their buses are allowed to stand directly beside Tower City, and they have to wait longer than usual.

Even though the RTA decided to increase the frequency of their midday bus/rail service to a rush-hour schedule, local loops and buses are running slowly.

The downtown loops, which normally take about 12 minutes to circle downtown between Tower City and East 30th St., are taking 50 minutes, according to one RTA driver.

Another driver reports that it took him nearly an hour to get from East 55th Street into downtown -- more evidence of the traffic nightmare engulfing the downtown area.

Others, along the East 9th Street-St. Clair Avenue-Lakeshore Boulevard corridor, indicate that the relatively brief journey from parking garage to freeway is problematic as well.

Particularly alarming is the plight of some City of Cleveland employees.

Though Mayor Michael R. White issued an evacuation notice early on, many employees experience a difficult time getting out of the city's underground parking facility, due to a lack of traffic officers on the streets and in the immediate vicinity.

"They were telling everybody to move along as we were on our way to our cars," says one City Hall employee, "but when we got to the parking lot they had only one exit open, leading to East 9th Street. It took us at least 10-15 minutes to get out [of the parking garage], before they opened another exit leading to West 3rd."

And even when the West 3rd exit from City Hall is opened, there are no officers guiding the traffic leading to the freeway.

In fact, according to one employee of Cleveland Browns Stadium, he waited for 20 minutes trying to get onto I-90, just across the street from the stadium.

Still, by 12:45 pm, downtown looks as empty as it does on a Sunday when the Indians, Browns or Cavaliers aren't playing a home game ...

The few people walking to their buses and parked cars have few words to describe their feelings.

"I don't know," says one woman. "I just don't know," she says again, her eyes revealing an inability to grasp even her own emotions ...

There is an eerie feeling in downtown Cleveland. A feeling that could perhaps be best summed up by Marianne DiBlasi. While waiting for nearly an hour for a bus out of the city to her West Side home, she says, "This is something that they go through in the Middle East and Ireland all the time. We never see this. Our country has been a little apathetic in the past. Now, maybe this is a wake-up call." ''

NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 9-13-01

``Hijackers identified, linked to bin Laden

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal authorities have identified more than a dozen hijackers of Middle Eastern descent in Tuesday's bombings and gathered evidence linking them to Osama bin Laden and other terrorist networks, law enforcement officials said.

The massive investigation stretched from the Canadian border, where officials suspect some of the hijackers entered the country, to Florida, where some of the participants are believed to have learned how to fly commercial jetliners before the attacks. Locations in Massachusetts and Florida were searched for evidence.

Twin Towers
The Twin Towers Crumble

The names of two men being sought by authorities emerged in Florida. There, the FBI interviewed a family that gave them temporary shelter a year ago ...

The identities of more than a dozen of the men who hijacked four planes with knives and threats of bombs has been ascertained, the officials said. Several hijackers had pilot's licenses.

Authorities detained at least a half dozen people in Massachusetts and Florida on unrelated local warrants and immigration charges and were questioning them about their possible ties to the hijackers. No charges related to the attacks, though, had been filed.

Search warrants were executed in Florida, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Sealed warrants went out in several other states, officials said.

''We're attempting to recreate the travels of each of the hijackers on the planes -- either the hijackers themselves or their associates,'' FBI Director Robert Mueller said.

For some of the suspected accomplices, ''we have information as to involvement with individual terrorist groups,'' Mueller added. He declined to say which groups or whether they were connected to bin Laden ...

Officials said some of the hijackers may have crossed the border from Canada en route to Boston. Authorities in Maine and Nova Scotia searched vehicles for possible ties to the suspects. A third car found at the airport in Boston, where one flights was hijacked, also was searched and an Arabic-language flight manual was discovered, officials said.

''This could have been the result of several terrorist kingpins working together. We're investigating that possibility,'' one law enforcement official said, speaking on condition of anonymity ...

A Venice, Fla., man said FBI agents told him that two men who stayed in his home while training at a local flight school were involved in the attacks ...

The FBI in Miami issued a national bulletin for law enforcement agencies to look out for two cars. Records with the Florida Division of Motor Vehicles show that one of the vehicles the FBI was pursuing -- a 1989 red Pontiac -- was registered to Atta, who previously had a driver's license in Egypt.

Attorney General John Ashcroft said ... authorities were conducting interviews and reviewing airline manifests, rental car records and pay phone records.

He said between three and six hijackers, armed with knives and box cutters, seized control of the four commercial jets. Two hit New York's World Trade Center, a third smashed into the Pentagon and a fourth crashed in Pennsylvania.

Some 4,000 special agents and 3,000 support personnel are assisting in the investigation, and 400 FBI laboratory specialists are at the crime scenes in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Evidence has been collected at the Pentagon and Pennsylvania site, but investigators have not yet been able to start work at the World Trade Center, where the search for survivors continued.

Law enforcement officials said that the FBI yesterday afternoon searched two hotel rooms in the Boston area believed to have been used by the hijackers. The officials found information linked to a name on the manifest of one of the hijacked flights. They declined to identify the man.

Agents served search warrants on major Internet service providers in order to get information about an e-mail address that may be connected to the attacks.

Information also emerged suggesting a United Airlines flight from New Jersey that was hijacked and crashed in Pennsylvania may have been stopped from hitting its intended target by passengers who tried to overpower the terrorists.

Jeremy Glick, one of the passengers on United Flight 93, called his wife, Liz, after terrorists started to take over the plane, Glick's uncle Tom Crowley said. Crowley said Liz conferenced the call to a 9-1-1 dispatcher, who told Glick about the New York attacks just hours before.

''Jeremy and the people around them found out about the flights into the World Trade Center and decided that if their fate was to die, they should fight,'' Crowley said.

Glick used the airphone in the seat in front of him to call his wife, Crowley said.

''At some point, Jeremy put the phone down and simply went and did what he could do'' with the help of an unspecified number of other passengers, Crowley said. ''

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Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

``This is an official CDC HEALTH ALERT

DATE: 11 Sep 2001, 13:25

COMMUNICATIONS TOPIC: Initial Health Alert Notice to States and Local Public Health Agencies

SUBJECT: ALERT: Terrorist Activity Response

Due to current events, CDC is on heightened alert status to monitor for any possible unusual disease patterns associated with today's events, including chemical and biological agents.

CDC recommends that you initiate heightened surveillance for any unusual disease occurrence or increased numbers of illnesses that might be associated with today's events.

Please notify all segments of your emergency response system (including epidemiologists, laboratories, all local public health units, hospital emergency departments, and 911 dispatch centers) to make them aware of this situation.

If you require any assistance or become aware of any unusual occurrence, CDC is available at our emergency number of (770) 488-7100, 24-hours per day, or (770) 488-4819.

You may also contact us by e-mail at healthalert@cdc.gov or access our website for further information at www.bt.cdc.gov .''

NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 9-18-01, from wire reports

``Feds probe whether terrorists profited from market

WASHINGTON -- Federal officials said ... that they have launched an investigation into whether Osama bin Laden or groups associated with him developed a secret financial network that intended to profit from ... [the] attacks via strategic selling in the stock market.

An official of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said the SEC is examining whether associates of the terrorists recently sold stocks short, betting that their price would decline precipitously.

Market regulators in Germany, Italy and Japan also began investigations to determine whether terrorist organizations profited financially there from short-selling or futures trading ... ''

NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 9-14-01, By Martin Stolz, Plain Dealer Reporter

``Tight watch, more work as flying resumes

Editor's note: One of the first regularly scheduled flights to leave Northeast Ohio after Tuesday's terrorist attacks shut down the nation's airports was AirTran Airways Flight 959, which departed last night from Akron-Canton Regional Airport to Atlanta.

Plain Dealer Reporter Martin Stolz bought a ticket for the flight to learn first-hand how the new security measures put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration will affect air travelers.

GREEN -- As ticketed passengers headed down the concourse, a woman dressed in jogging pants and a sweatshirt lingered near the security checkpoint.

She gazed down the corridor. When she was asked if she was seeing a loved one off, her eyes welled with tears.

"I can't. I just can't talk right now," she said, declining to give her name.

A few days ago, this woman would have been able to accompany a departing passenger past the security checkpoint. But the Federal Aviation Administration's new security requirements put an end to tender embraces at the flight gate.

Many of the other changes are noticeable almost immediately upon arrival at this regional airport in Summit County.

A concrete barrier has been erected between the passenger pickup area and the short-term parking lot, which is closed.

Everyone must park in the long-term lot, a few extra minutes of walking away.

Drivers aren't allowed to wait in the pickup area. They must either park in the long-term lot or keep circling until the passenger arrives.

Before Tuesday, only two Summit County sheriff's deputies were on duty at the airport at any time. Yesterday, it appeared as if as many as a dozen deputies were on patrol.

[ When will sky marshalls be brought back?]

Machine-dispensed boarding passes and curbside baggage check-in are no longer permitted under the new standard. Passengers carried their luggage inside, and each bag underwent close scrutiny.

For a reporter departing with just a backpack, the inspection at the security gate was at least 10 minutes.

"OK, you're ready to roll," said Ralph Nolan of ITS, the airport's security firm, after he finished waving his hand-held metal detector all around.

For passengers with luggage, the wait was much longer. Their bags were opened, and almost every item was inspected. Even their socks were unrolled ... ''

Contact Martin Stolz at: mstolz@plaind.com

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NEW ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 9-14-01, By Brian E. Albrecht, Plain Dealer Reporter

``Grass-roots Pride Day' shows resolve

There has been a time for shock and outrage. There will be a time for mourning and retribution.

But today, it's time to do something -- something in the same way that given enough pebbles you'll make a mountain; enough drops, you'll fill an ocean.

A groundswell of grass-roots organizing has swept the country as Americans used the Internet and phones to call for ways to show resolve on a day President Bush has designated for "prayer and remembrance."

What has been informally dubbed "Operation Resolve" or "National Pride Day" will feature such hoped-for activities as a massive display of the Stars and Stripes, wearing the colors of the flag in clothing and ribbons, a mass singing of "God Bless America" at 1 p.m., and a candle-lighting at 7 p.m.

Northeast Ohioans have been flying the red, white and blue since Tuesday's deadly terrorist attack.

Yesterday, the U.S. House unanimously passed a resolution calling on Americans to fly Old Glory from homes and businesses for the next 30 days. The Senate has not yet acted on the resolution ...

Students at Summit Academy School in Akron will be attaching patriotic ribbons to police cars and firetrucks today to honor the officers and firefighters killed or injured in New York and Washington ...

Many of the chain e-mails circulating yesterday asked Americans to step outside at 7 p.m. today and light a candle to "show the world that Americans are strong and united against terrorism."

One of the more unusual e-mails called for people to invest in America.

"Many of those who died in the World Trade Center made their living financing the American dream. . . . If you buy stock when the markets reopen, you will show the terrorists that their attack failed to destroy America, you will help our economy spring back to life, and you will honor the profession of many who died."

Several local schools planned to join the display of patriotism today. Perry High School will present a program of patriotic songs during half-time of its football game against Kirtland tonight. Red, white, and blue glow sticks will be distributed to the crowd for a modest, but heartfelt, light show.

The musical portion of today's homemade patriotic campaign also includes hopes that radio and TV stations will play "God Bless America" at 1 pm ... ''

Contact Brian E. Albrecht at: balbrecht@plaind.com

NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 9-14-01, By Stephen Koff, Washington Bureau Chief

``New York disaster stuns, saddens Ohio rescuers

NEW YORK -- Frank Bardonaro stood on the mound from hell, the twisted steel and rubble rising more than 60 feet at places. What he saw tested him in ways he might not fully realize for a very long time.

"Everything we've seen so far is just pieces of people," the suburban Cincinnatian said with a mix of anger and horror, hours after viewing for the first time the dusty slag heap that was the World Trade Center. "There's arms and legs ...

Bardonaro, 37, who on an ordinary day would be wearing his hard hat as Midwest operations manager for Maxim Crane Works, will work in New York for about the next 10 days as a heavy equipment specialist.

He is one of 74 people who came here at the behest of the federal government as part of the Montgomery County-based Ohio Task Force One Urban Search and Rescue Team.

Gene Thomas, a technical search specialist with the Ohio team, witnessed the acreage of devastation from a different angle - through the small screen of the telescoping camera that he maneuvers to snake through the mass of debris in search of bodies.

Wednesday night and yesterday morning, he searched alongside New York firefighters, poking the camera into the rubble for voids that might contain stairwells, hallways or other enclosures where victims could be trapped ...

The condition of the bodies reflected the scale of damage wreaked by two hijacked airliners that crashed into and collapsed the twin towers of the World Trade Center Tuesday. "It's pretty bad," said Thomas, choosing his words carefully. "Not everything is together."

He was trying to rest yesterday afternoon before leaving the Jacob Javits Center for his next all-night shift at Ground Zero, which is about three miles away. The Javits Center, normally home to trade shows and conventions, has been turned into a staging base for rescue teams from Ohio and two dozen other states ...

A sport-utility vehicle from the Kettering Fire Department was parked nearby, caked with a layer of the gray-white dust that has enveloped the rescue site.

"The best way to describe it is, after a volcano, there's all that volcanic dust," said Joe McNeil, 51, the team's planning manager for the operation. "It's just a dusty mess down there." ...

This is the first trip to New York City for David Martin, 33, a Miamisburg firefighter.

"It's not exactly the way you want to come," he said.

Team members were horrified when they arrived at the site and saw the New York firetrucks and vehicles that had been crushed and mangled by the falling buildings, evidence of what must have befallen the rescuers themselves ...

"It was worse than I imagined," said Joyce Bachmann, 41, a technical information specialist from Englewood, just north of Dayton. She and others on the team responded in September 2000 when a tornado struck Xenia, and team members have witnessed the destruction of other tornadoes, fires and car crashes.

Xenia, said Bachmann, "was only on a tiny scale compared to this." ...

Contact Stephen Koff at: skoff@plaind.com

COLUMN from THE MIAMI HERALD, 9-13-01, By Leonard Pitts Jr.

``It's my job to have something to say ...

But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.

You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard. What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us?

What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.

Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.

Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.

Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together ...

Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did ...

You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before. But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall.

This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain.

When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force.

When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.

As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.

Still, I keep wondering what it was you hoped to teach us. It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're about. You don't know what you just started.

But you're about to learn. ''

Leonard Pitts may be contacted at leonardpitts@mindspring.com

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[ Why are we pouring billions of dollars into the pockets of those who may be funding the Osama bin Ladens of the world?

The United States should switch from gasoline to methanol (also known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol) for its liquid fuel.

Methanol can be made by well-known processes from methane (natural gas) and coal. Why should we put money for oil into the hands of assassins while the United States has large reserves of methane and coal?

For clarification: methanol is not used in gas-o-hol, which is burned in engines that are designed to use gasoline. Gas-o-hol is made by mixing gasoline with ethanol (also know as ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol).

It would be difficult to use gasoline in engines that are designed to burn methanol since, at least, the valves and fuel injection would have to be changed. We should invest in this retooling to break free from our dependence on oil.

If the United States switches from gasoline to methanol, those wishing to sell automobiles in the US market would have to make them able to use methanol. Given the size of the American market, it is likely that most of the world would adopt methanol as the liquid fuel.

This would be a severe financial blow to those who are using oil dollars in an attempt to enslave or exterminate us.

If "exterminate" sounds extreme, consider germ warfare: given that AIDS on the average does not appear until ten years after infection with HIV, what are the long-term effects of infection with West Nile virus or the Lyme spirochete?

For those who prefer a reduction in the production of CO2, see Oilgae

What are the obstacles standing in the way of switching to methanol? One possible obstacle is described in the following article:]

ARTICLE from AlterNet, 10-11-01, By Ted Rall

search.barnesandnoble.com/Gas-War/Ted-Rall/e/9780595261758

chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/pol/wtc/rallnewgtgame.html

``The New Great Game: Oil Politics in Central Asia

Nursultan Nazarbayev has a terrible problem. He's the president and former Communist Party boss of Kazakhstan, the second- largest republic of the former Soviet Union. A few years ago, the giant country struck oil in the eastern portion of the Caspian Sea.

Geologists estimate that sitting beneath the wind-blown steppes of Kazakhstan are 50 billion barrels of oil -- by far the biggest untapped reserves in the world. (Saudi Arabia, currently the world's largest oil producer, is believed to have about 30 billion barrels remaining.)

Kazakhstan's Soviet-subsidized economy collapsed immediately after independence in 1991. When I visited the then-capital, Almaty, in 1997, I was struck by the utter absence of elderly people. One after another, people confided that their parents had died of malnutrition during the brutal winters of 1993 and 1994.

Middle-class residents of a superpower had been reduced to abject poverty virtually overnight; thirtysomething women who appeared sixtysomething hocked their wedding silver in underpasses next to reps for the Kazakh state art museum trying to move enough socialist realist paintings for a dollar each to keep the lights on.

The average Kazakh earned $20 a month; those unwilling or unable to steal died of gangrene adjacent to long- winded tales of woe written on cardboard ...

Nazarbayev ... has spent most of the last decade trying to get his land-locked oil out to sea. Once the oil starts flowing, it won't take long before Kazakhstan replaces Kuwait as the land of Benzes and ugly gold jewelry. But the longer the pipeline, the more expensive and vulnerable to sabotage it is.

The shortest route runs through Iran, but Kazakhstan is too closely aligned with the U.S. to offend it by cutting a deal with Teheran.

Russia has helpfully offered to build a line connecting Kazakh oil rigs to the Black Sea, but neighboring Turkmenistan has experienced trouble with the Russians: they tend to divert the oil for their own uses without paying for it ...

The logical alternative, then, is Unocal's plan, which is to extend Turkmenistan's existing system west to the Kazakh field on the Caspian and southeast to the Pakistani port of Karachi on the Arabian Sea. That project runs through Afghanistan. [Does Unocal still have a contract? Or is this potentially lucrative project up for grabs?]

As Central Asian expert Ahmed Rashid describes in his 2000 book "Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia," the U.S. and Pakistan decided to install a stable regime in Afghanistan around 1994 -- a regime that would end the country's civil war and thus ensure the safety of the Unocal pipeline project.

Impressed by the ruthlessness and willingness of the then-emerging Taliban to cut a pipeline deal, the U.S. State Department and Pakistan's ISI intelligence service agreed to funnel arms and funding to the Taliban in their war against the ethnically Tajik Northern Alliance.

It has been reported that as recently as 1999, U.S. taxpayers paid the entire annual salary of every single Taliban government official ...

Pakistan, naturally, would pick up revenues from a Karachi oil port facility.

Harkening to 19th century power politics between Russia and British India, Rashid dubbed the struggle for control of post- Soviet Central Asia "the new Great Game."

Predictably, the Taliban Frankenstein got out of control. The regime's unholy alliance with Osama bin Laden's terror network, their penchant for invading their neighbors and their production of 50 percent of the world's opium made them unlikely partners for the desired oil deal ...

When an Egyptian group whose members had trained in Afghanistan hijacked four airplanes and used them to kill more than 6,000 Americans on September 11 [2001], Washington's patience with its former client finally expired ...

[This was the] perfect excuse to do what the U.S. had wanted all along: invade and/or install an old-school puppet regime in Kabul. Realpolitik no more cares about the 6,000 dead than it concerns itself with oppressed women in Afghanistan; this ersatz war ... is solely about getting the Unocal deal done without interference from annoying local middlemen.

Central Asian politics, however, is a house of cards: every time you remove one element, the whole thing comes crashing down. Muslim extremists in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, for instance, will support additional terror attacks on the U.S. to avenge the elimination of the Taliban.

A U.S. -installed Northern Alliance can't hold Kabul without an army of occupation because Afghan legitimacy hinges on capturing the capital on your own. And even if we do this the right way by funding and training the Northern Alliance so that they can seize power themselves, Pakistan's ethnic Pashtun government will never tolerate the replacement of their Pashtun brothers in the Taliban by Northern Alliance Tajiks. [Does this explain Secretary of State Colin Powell's bizarre remark that members of the Taliban should be included in a new Afghan government with members of the Northern Alliance?]

Without Pakistani cooperation, there's no getting the oil out and there's no chance for stability in Afghanistan ... ''

Ted Rall, a syndicated cartoonist for Universal Press Syndicate, has traveled extensively throughout Central Asia. Most recently, in 2000, he went to Turkmenistan as a guest of the U.S. State Department

[Switching to methanol would allow us to concentrate on eliminating the assassins, without the risk of probable failure in a gamble with the lives of our veterans to win the "new Great Game."

Trying to build and defend an oil pipeline from Kazakhstan through Afghanistan to Karachi in Pakistan could, within twenty years, result in an "end war" more bitter and divisive than Viet Nam.

In this day of anti-terrorist measures, it is worthwhile to keep some things in mind:]

A Commentator wrote:

``The essence of the wisdom of the Age of Pericles is clearly presented by Thucydides in the speech of the Athenian ambassador to the Melians: "Our opinion of the gods and our knowledge of men lead us to conclude that it is a necessary and general law of nature that men must rule wherever they can ... The strong will do what they have the power to do, and the weak will accept what they have to."

In antithesis to this theory of empire, the foundation of American justice is our commitment to resist arbitrary and oppressive government at any cost. When we forget this, the corrupt fascists among us and the fanatic mullahs of whatever dogma will have won.''

[The flip side of the current situation is well presented in "The Handmaid's Tale." Twenty years of `business as usual' in Afghanistan could find us living it here in the United States.]

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 2-6-02, By Andrew Selsky, Associated Press

``Bush officials want U.S. to widen role in Colombia

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA -- A top-level Bush administration delegation unveiled plans yesterday to widen U.S. involvement in Colombia's civil war, including training, arming and providing air support to Colombian troops to protect a pipeline carrying U.S. oil ...

The projected U.S. military involvement in Colombia falls short of the American role in Central America's wars during the 1980s - when the United States trained and equipped Salvadoran counterinsurgency troops and aided Contra rebels who battled Nicaragua's Sandinista government. But critics see mission creep in the evolving U.S. aid program here.

The plan faces potential opposition in Congress, some of whose members fear U.S. troops could be involved in combat.

The plan calls for $98 million to train and equip a Colombian army brigade to protect the oil pipeline, which ferries oil belonging to Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum from the country's second-biggest oil field, in Colombia's humid eastern plains, to the Caribbean coast.''

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