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20Aug/07Off

A must read book for all Americans: Wake-Up Call by Kristen Breitweiser

If a government accountable to the people who elect it means something to you then prepared to be horrified and read "Wake-Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow" by Kristen Breitweiser.

Why did this book scare me? We all shrug and agree, "Yes, the government is corrupt." But do we know how corrupt? Do we know what this means when it comes time for something to get done? Mrs. Breitweiser encountered appalling stupidity and callousness as she pressed for what should have been already in motion: a committee to investigate the causes of 9/11 with a view toward learning from mistakes and making the nation safer.

Even as a detached reader, the frustration and sadness that Mrs. B communicates stomps on your heart, drains your drive to continue the book. How she raised her child and endured the loss of her husband, all while trying to force a bureaucracy to examine its own shortcomings is a feat of Olympian accomplishment.

The cover-your-ass politicians were bad enough. Then there were those who personally attacked her. I found myself wondering, "How much can this woman deal with before going on a shooting spree?" I wanted to set the book down, walk away, do something fun. As much as I could, I fought that urge. She had no choice but to endure her fate. It seemed weak to treat myself to the luxury of turning away, putting it out of my mind. It was my futile attempt at solidarity: from one American to another, disgusted at a government so arrogant and insecure all at once it can't examine its own faults.

I was pleased she spoke about what should be obvious to any honest person: The Bush-Cheney Death-Profiteering Cartel has no respect for human life or for America’s laws. They will kill anyone (or let them die) and make money from it. That includes those who support them and those who voted for them. Mrs. B talks openly about how her husband enthusiastically supported Cheney in particular. Stack that tragedy on top of the others. I’ll never understand how otherwise smart people voted for Bush-Cheney. What was it about these two obvious criminals that they didn’t see?

America owes thanks to Mrs. B. and her fellow 9/11 widows. Without them, Bush-Cheney Death-Profiteering Inc. would have shrugged its collective bat-wing-endowed shoulders and never looked into how to make America safer. The book, now a few years old, still encourages outrage on a page-by-page basis. Some examples:

(1.) She talks of trying to get assistance from the United Way, but was told she would have to talk with a Catholic Charities nun first. (2.) She discusses trying to get assistance from the Red Cross, but since they have a rotating volunteer staff, her paperwork (with all her private information) was lost three times. (3.) She raises this point: Fifty million dollars were allotted immediately to investigate the space shuttle explosion, but less than half that had to be fought for to investigate the whole of 9/11. (4.) Henry Kissinger, Bush's first choice to lead the 9/11 commission, quit when the families of 9/11 victims asked him if he was working for anyone in the bin Laden family. (5.) One of the many still-unanswered questions of 9/11: Why were herds of Saudis to simply leave the country? (Rhetorical. We all know it's because of the incestuous Bush-Saudi connection.)

Mrs. B's story still was difficult to simply read about. How she survived, actually living it, I'll never know. Mrs. Breitweiser - thank you, on behalf of an American who values freedom and safety.

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Larry Nocella is the award-winning author of the novel Where Did This Come From? available at Amazon and Xlibris and other fine online book stores. Where Did This Come From? is also available as an eBook. For more info, visit Larry Nocella's website at www.LarryNocella.com.

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