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On the Tenants at the WTC

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  • Graham Brownstein
    A LETTER RECEIVED AND OUR ANSWER: To Whom It May Concern: And many thousands of normal, innocent, good people worked for these corporations. What exactly was
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 12, 2001

      To Whom It May Concern:

      And many thousands of normal, innocent, good people worked for these
      corporations. What exactly was the purpose of posting this listing? Are
      you blinded by your own need to cast the people who worked for these
      corporations as the "other" so that us liberal activists can feel superior?
      Are you trying to help us feel as if the bombing was not without some
      small amount of merit? I look to Frontlines as a rare source of
      non-corporate controlled information but I am very troubled by this posting.

      We can not let ourselves fall into the US versus THEM mentality that is
      driving humanity into oblivion. This is not the time to be pushing an
      agenda; we've got enough of that happening in the regular press and in
      policy circles and in the general public. I understand emotions are
      running high and that some of you at Frontlines may have felt that this
      posting provided important or relevant information. It did not.

      I am still trying to confirm that I have not lost friends or family who
      worked in these buildings and I am saddened because I feel that your
      posting of this list had some sort of agenda to give those of us who fight
      corporate power a bit of a lift in knowing that "the enemy" (the "THEM")
      has somehow been wounded. It is so much easier to point fingers than to
      look inside ourselves for our share of the responsibility. After
      yesterday's violence, it is clearer to me than ever that there is no US and
      THEM--that there is no "enemy"--except, of course, ourselves.

      Graham Brownstein
      Director, Community Organizing and Outreach, TURN


      Dear Reader:

      As we wrote in the introduction when we published the list of tenants at the WTC "It is not doubt that the act of heinous terrorism against the World Trade
      Center caused the life of thousands of people."

      From our news and commentary that we published is very clear that Frontlines condemned the terrorist attacks against innocent civilians and people, most of them workers at the WTC. It is also clear our stand that most people killed are innocent bystanders and civilians. It is not a hint of justification in our reporting of these heinous acts. Our full support goes to the families and friends of all those killed.

      The publication of the list of firms which are tenants at the WTC is a ligitimate news item and information related to the scope of the damage not only to corporate businesses, but also - as we stated in the introduction of the list -to government agencies, civil service offices and communications and media outlets.

      Our reporting is not about "us" against "them" as you said, but a necessary information the media should be covering. The terrorist attacks also destroyed commercial, banking, government and financial operations that will have a great impact in the economy of New York, and all its citizens and to a certain degree in the economy of the country - already in the grips of a recession. Only now, economists are starting to estimate the economic losses that could be as high as $50-Billion.

      Of course that piece of news is not as important as the loss of thousands of lives, but it is also part of reality and need to be covered.

      By the same token, Frontlines will cover as much as possible how the rulers of this country will try to use the pain and grief and the devastating effects of the terrorist attacks to curtail our freedoms and limit the ability of political expression under the disguise of "fighting terrorism."

      We do not believe that we should be looking inside ourselves to find a shade of responsbility for what happened, as you said in your letter. We definitely believe we share no responsibility whatsoever with the terrorists who caused such a massacre nor with those who will try to use their actions to try to justify their own terrorist activities elsewhere.

      The best way to honor friends and relatives who were so heinously killed by terrorists is not to allow their memories to be the justification of terrorist retaliatiory attacks against other countries to cause death against civilians and innocent bystanders as the thousanbds of killed in the US were. This is not time to unite with the right and Bush, but to confront them and their attempts to use our grief to their advantage. Part of that is to report what is going on.


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