This week’s show takes a look at the people most affected by the events of 9/11/2001 – the victims and the families of the victims of the attack, and some of the people who have been most directly affected by the US government ‘response’ to 9/11.
Our first guests are Andrea LeBlanc and Paul Arpaia (who is recently back from Afghanistan). They are members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, a group whose family members were killed in the attacks.
Andrea LeBlanc is a steering committee member of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. Her husband, Robert LeBlanc, was killed aboard Flight 175.
Paul Arpaia is an award-winning associate professor of history at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches modern Italian and German history.
On Sept. 11, 2011, Paul’s cousin, Kathy Mazza was a captain for the New York Port Authority police force. She died at the World Trade Center carrying a person on a stretcher down a flight of stairs in the North Tower. Paul is one of 200 members of Peaceful Tomorrow from 31 states and seven foreign countries. The organization founded by family members of those killed on September 11th who have united to turn our grief into action for peace.
The group recently issued the following statement: “The members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows are grateful for the expressions of remembrance and concern being offered on the 10th anniversary of the events which took the lives of our loved ones. On this day we ask those who feel compassion for our loss to expand their compassion to include others who continue to experience loss ten years later: innocent families in Afghanistan and Iraq experiencing the loss of their loved ones and displacement from their communities as the result of war and political strife; Muslim-Americans subjected to bias and violence at home; those denied the protections of our Constitution and law, whether in Guantanamo or in our own country; those suffering from job loss and economic dislocation related to the cost of war and rising military budgets; and those who have seen their civil liberties and freedoms exchanged for the false promise of security.”
“The lesson of 9/11 is that we live in a connected world. We rise or fall together. As Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ On this 10th anniversary, let us honor those we lost by recognizing our kinship with people all over the world, and affirming the values and principles that will guarantee peaceful tomorrows for everyone.”
Our last segment is spent with Andy Worthington.
Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, author and filmmaker, specializing in Guantánamo and the “War on Terror,” but also covering revolutionary movements in the Middle East, and UK politics. He writes regularly for newspapers and websites including the Guardian, Truthout, Cageprisoners, and the Future of Freedom Foundation. He also writes occasionally for the Daily Star, Lebanon, the Huffington Post, Antiwar.com, CounterPunch, AlterNet, and ZNet, and his work is regularly cross-posted across the Internet.
His website is one of the top 100 world politics blogs, was archived by the British Library in January 2011, and receives around 300,000 page views every month. In the five years he has spent working full-time on Guantánamo and related issues, he has worked for two NGOs (Reprieve and Cageprisoners), and has also been involved with a third NGO, Amnesty International, primarily in promoting, to student audiences, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” the film he co-directed with Polly Nash. In addition, he has worked as a consultant for the United Nations, and has also worked as a media partner with WikiLeaks.