The invisible diseases of 9/11

We have money for wars but not for heroes. Today is 9/11, the anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history. On that fateful day, nearly 3,000 people lost their lives at the World Trade Center, on the hijacked planes, and at the Pentagon. But 9/11 is still claiming lives, some thirteen years later.

Often lost in talk about 9/11 is the story of the brave men and women who rushed to the World Trade Center, to help rescue victims and save lives. These first responders dug through piles of rubble, inhaled countless asbestos particles and other toxic chemicals, and risked their own lives to save others. And on that terrible day, a total of 411 first responders lost their lives.

Today, those first responders who managed to survive 9/11 are dying off, and our government is doing very little about it. According to the latest figures, more than 2,500 New York City police officers, firefighters, and EMT’s reported they had cancer as of last year – twice as many as was reported in 2013.

Similarly, the New York Fire Department has said that at least 863 current or former firefighters and EMT’s have cancers directly related to their work on September 11th, 2001. And, the World Trade Center Health Program, which provides healthcare treatment for police officers, construction workers and others who had a role in rescue efforts on 9/11, reports that it has 1,655 patients with cancer – up from 1,140 cancer patients in 2013.

Additionally, according to 9/11 Health Watch, at least 30,000 first responders have some sort of injury or illness from 9/11. And, at least 70 firefighters and 60 NYPD officers have already died from 9/11-related illnesses, like cancer.

One of those 9/11 first responders who has since passed away was John Devlin, who I had the opportunity to speak with on multiple occasions on The Big Picture. John was a healthy and athletic engineer, who arrived on September 12th, 2001 as part of the wreckage-removal process. He worked at Ground Zero twelve hours a day, seven days a week, for nine-and-a-half months.

For nine-and-a-half-months, John dug through rubble and wreckage that was filled with toxic chemicals while the Bush Administration assured him and the rest of the first responders that everything was safe.

In 2009, John was diagnosed with throat cancer, which, since he wasn’t a smoker, almost certainly developed because of his exposure to the toxic chemicals at Ground Zero. Unfortunately, John’s throat cancer progressed, and he lost his battle with that dreadful disease six months ago today.

So, with dozens already dead, and more and more first responders developing cancer and other deadly illnesses from their life-saving work on 9/11, you would think that our politicians would be doing everything in their power to make sure these men and women, these heroes, have access to the healthcare they need and deserve. Right?

You would be wrong.

You might remember that it wasn’t until 2010, NINE YEARS after 9/11, that some form of comprehensive legislation was passed by Congress to help first responders, and even that was a struggle.

That’s because, as part of their Obama presidency sabotage efforts, back in December of 2010, Republicans in the Senate initially filibustered and blocked the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

That’s right; Republicans put politics ahead of the lives of the thousands of men and women who sprang into action on 9/11. Scoring cheap political points was more important than saving lives.

Two weeks later, thanks to Republican sabotage, a drastically trimmed-down version of the bill with much less funding was passed by the Senate and signed into law. Today, there are still thousands of people, first responders and others, waiting to get healthcare compensation under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), which was re-booted under the Zadroga Act.

Meanwhile, the VCF reported this week that a staggering 44% of its cases are still pending. The VCF is set to run out of money in 2016, meaning that Congress will once again have to pass legislation to fund and extend it. Lawmakers are rolling out a bill this week that would do just that, but given the current levels of Republican obstructionism in Washington, and what happened the first time around, that’s far from a certainty.

Speaking about the need to extend the VCF and Zadroga Act, Republican Congressman Peter King of New York said this week that, “This is not a Republican issue. This is not a Democratic issue. This is an American issue. We have an obligation as Americans to provide them with the health care that they need, the families the compensation that they need. And again, we all say we'll never forget 9/11 but if we forget the victims of 9/11, we have forgotten 9/11.”

Congressman King is right. But he's one of the few Republicans talking like this, and he's probably only talking like this because he represents New York.

Helping the men and women who risked their lives to save others on 9/11 shouldn't be treated as a political issue. It’s a moral one.

We have an obligation to help these men and women and their families. Along with the victims of 9/11, the first responders bore the brunt of that deadly day, and now, they’re basically getting screwed by Republicans in Congress, and they're starting to die off.

It’s ridiculous that we’re off fighting wars and about to spend billions on more military operations against ISIS, when we can’t even take care of America’s real heroes. It’s time for America’s heroes to get the help and support they deserve, and to prevent the diseases of 9/11 from claiming any more lives.

Call your Republican members of Congress and tell them for once, put politics aside, and do the right thing: Support an extension of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.


RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 9 years 40 weeks ago

9/11 could have taught the American population so much about the causality of American interventionism around the world, instead it has given credence to an already self-justifying system of the constant war economy based on mindless jingoistic consent from the population; given to a savage inhuman profit driven constant war economy that is leading to insane foreign policy decisions that are not sustainable. The American democratic façade is starting to crumble, and the Corporate Military Fascist state with those thousand points of light shining down revealing its true intent. While they use the tragedy of 9/11, to legitimize the destruction of already limited democratic process, to perpetuate the horrible economic doctrine of manufacturing conflict for war profit.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 9 years 40 weeks ago

Isn't it curious that we call the new "terrorist" CIA created monster 'ISIS'? Ya know how, the corporations' US government always touts the opposite of what is actually true? How Repugs blame Dems for the policies of Repugs and how Dems seem all too willing to take the blame? Who is Isis? She is the Goddess of the people, the ancient Egyptian Goddess of social justice and equality. Interesting huh? Isis is a construct of the private corporations that now control our military and government. Their intent is to completely destabilize the planet in order to seize whats left of Mother Earth's resources and to let runaway climate change and pollution take care of the rest.

Pissed off that Putin recked our chances to bomb Syria, they created a monster and made it possible to finally, ultimately control the region. Don't take my word for it..

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 40 weeks ago

Even my mom and her liberal friends took exception to my comment that 9-11-01 was the best day in "President" Bush's career. It gave him the perfect excuse to get the war machine's gears grinding once again. Never mind that his "excuse" was under entirely false pretense. He'd been wanting to invade Iraq for years anyway. Never mind that all but one or two of those 9-11 orchestrators was Saudi, not Iraqi! There wasn't a single Iraqi participant in that entire operation. But hey, the warmongers could always count on an ignorant, gullible American electorate to fall in lockstep behind their unholy agenda. I could see through the facade right away, but folks like me were vastly outnumbered.

Did any of you happen to see the video of Bush Junior reading aloud to a classroom full of kiddies on 9-11-01, when he first received news about the attack? It is so bloody creepy, it makes my skin crawl. What creeps me out is Bush's body language. He doesn't even look surprised. Quite the contrary, he looks more like he'd expected it to happen; almost as if he was in on the plot. Instead of excusing himself from what he'd been doing, he went right back to reading aloud to those kids as if nothing had happened.

Would I go so far as to accuse Bush of being behind the terrorist attacks? Hell no. But I wouldn't put it past him either. The guy is a fucking war criminal. He wanted his little war with Saddam, and 9-11 certainly put the American public in the mood for it. Out came the war drums! The haste with which Bush shuttled the Bin Laden family out of the U.S., rather than interrogating them as was appropriate, is significant as well. And let's not forget the cozy friendship between the Bush family and the Bin Ladens.

There's another video clip of Baby Bush holding hands with the Saudi prince. Gag me. Who needs soap operas?

What goes around comes around. Long as the U.S. government functions as the biggest terrorist organization on the planet, we can expect blowback such as 9-11 from time to time. Frankly, it amazes me that another such incident hasn't already occurred since 2001. We can thank our government for setting us up as targets for the justifiable rage our war mongers have ignited with their murderous, kleptofascist rampages. - AIW

delster's picture
delster 9 years 40 weeks ago

9 / 11 ! Our brand new holiday. Every Year we as citizens of the New World Order have something to celebrate. Careful what you say about the events cause it might just get you fired or laid off without a chance in hell of ever getting employed again. Social engineering and management at its finest. Most everyone is compliant if they know whats good for them.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 40 weeks ago

Here is a story about how Bahrain is committing human rights crimes, and in particular against one family, whose members have been repeatedly beaten and tortured in their prison cells. The father of two daughters, all of whom are in Bahrain prisons, was beaten so badly that he had to have 30 plates put into his skull to keep his face together. They are up for a peace prize...but may not live long enough to receive them. The US won't say a word about it...for one thing, they have a US Naval base in Bahrain. And the close ties between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain keeps the US at bay. Most of the population of Bahrain live in slums...while the wealthy few liver very well indeed. You should see the artificial islands they built at the southern part of Bahrain. The area is off limits to everyone but the wealthy few who can afford to live there. The 5 mini islands are in the shape of a fish and there are 6 hook-shaped islands outside of the fish islands. Every house location has it's own swimming pool and boat dock. Enter these coordinates in Google Earth: 25°49'59.53"N 50°36'11.30"E

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 40 weeks ago

Nobody does it better than Jesse Ventura!!! Thanks for the link!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 40 weeks ago

You're most welcome! Thanks for the cool avatar!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 40 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: Your welcome, my pleasure. By the way, Karolina over on the Community blog has posted a very interesting subject about 9/11:

FBI Whistleblower: Pentagon, CIA, NATO And MI6 Were Masterminds Behind 9/11

Looks like Sibel Edmonds has a new book out...because she is prevented by her previous employers...the FBI...from releasing explosive and incriminating information...she has written a "Novel" know, the kind where they don't use real names but you can easily tell who they are talking about. Her book, "The Lone Gladio(Volume 1)" is now out. So far, the Customer Reviews on Amazon give it a solid 5 stars.

N Z Sarah's picture
N Z Sarah 9 years 40 weeks ago

So why are fairly new builings ceated from toxic chemicals? Or was the wreckage contaminated wth nuclear devices. Wake up America! The whole world can see you are being conned by your own government.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 9 years 40 weeks ago

I have grave missgivings about who is responsible or culpable in the 9/11 attacks. With my logical mind, I watched as the Twin Towers fell with demolition expert precision. I watched as Building 7 went down the same way--the same morning and was NOT hit by a plane--planned demolitions take take WEEKS of planning. I know that Bush's cousin was head of security, the "white elephant" was leased by a very wealthy man and insured around six weeks before the collapse. I've heard radio calls from firemen fighting the fires in the towers reporting that they had the fire under control. I've heard interviews by tennents of the building who report that there was "construction" going on and dust falling into their workspace from in the floor above, but when it was finished, they went to check and nothing was there. I've read a scientific peer-reviewed paper on the possibility that thermite was used.... If I were an investigative journalist, that would be my life's work--to find out the TRUTH.

And of course 935 lies were told by Bush & co to get us into Iraq for the oil and war profits for campaign supporters and staff--so why wouldn't they "wag the dog" and sacrifice innocent Americans for their cause? They didn't think twice about sacrificing our sons and daughters and fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters and cousins for that LIE.

The bigger the lie, the more people believe it.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 40 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland ~ Have you checked you eMail lately?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 40 weeks ago

Very well said, Ellioflight! I certainly agree!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 40 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ Thanks for that link! I never heard of Gladio before. That Sibel Edmonds is one brave lady! The public knowledge of Operation Gladio and Operation Northwoods forces us to question the official story in any provocative terrorist attack. After all, these groups were both formed for the purpose of creating terrorist attacks to kill innocent civilians for political reasons long before Al Qaeda ever existed. Only a fool would dismiss the notion that 9/11 could have been an inside job!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 40 weeks ago

Totally agree, DAnneMarc!!!

catman306's picture
catman306 9 years 40 weeks ago

Thom writes about toxic chemicals causing causing cancers to the first responders at ground zero. Others comment that this was an inside job demolition using nano-thermite.

Just Google "nano-thermite cancer" and more than a million hits will indicate some causative connection. The high incidence of cancers will prove the use of thermite which indicates INSIDE JOB.

I think that the incident of cancer among first responders to 911 in New York could easily be much higher than for those who work in asbestos mines and similar dangerous lines of work. Those statistics would be proof that the nano-thermite is far deadlier than asbestos mining is for mine workers. Here is your smoking gun for those who need proof that 911 was an inside job.

This is why some people in the government want us to forget about the plight of those who responded to the attacks on the world trade center. Thorough cancer screening for those living and working near ground zero would generate conclusive statistics. That statistical base will probably never be developed.

God bless the first responders.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 40 weeks ago

If the specter of ISIS cutting off heads and shooting civilians laying on the ground does not eventually lead to the US, once again, to send in troops to Iraq and Syria, the US will once again create yet another false flag operation in the US...more "terrorists" attacks! Operation Northwoods is still alive and thriving in the US. It'll happen again, just wait!!! And once again, the sheeple will shake in their boots and submit, like gutless cowardly toadies, to our jack booted fascist Neocon pigs.

Here's good video of an interview of Jim Fetzer's views on 9/11 and other subjects:

Lodyzhenshy 9 years 39 weeks ago

3000 US lives lost in 9/11. Was that an excuse to kill millions elsewhere?

3200 lives lost in Donbass and the US just applauds Kiev and rearms them. Russia sends in humanitarian aid and is accused of invasion.

Something wrong somewhere

With regard to ISIL, this is the overthrow of Assad by the back door.

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