16 June 2011

Graham promises thinly veiled new info on Saudi involvement in 9/11 in his new novel

Former Sen. Bob Graham was a keen observer of intelligence and national security matters during and after his tenure on the Hill. (He was the powerful and influential chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.) After leaving the Senate, Graham chaired the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. Beverly Eckert and other 9/11 family members, in fact, were working with Graham to support the commission's work, which was concluded in February 2010, a year after Beverly's death.

Today comes news of Graham's new novel, Keys to the Kingdom on the gossip page of the Washington Post, with a titillating tease from the author. Graham told the Post that he decided to write the book because in a novel he could talk about the politically sensitive issue of Saudi Arabia's role in the Sept. 11 attacks. “There was some things I wanted to say that I didn’t think I could do in nonfiction,” he told the Post. He added that the report on the congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks was “heavily censored," and that his book provides “some slightly closeted real information that I think will be educational.”

The congressional report's title is "Join Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001," and represents the work of the House and Senate intelligence committees. It was the first official examination of 9/11, and the report was released in December 2002, with a section dealing with possible foreign financing of the hijackers heavily redacted. There was a controversy at the time over releasing this censored portion, which was widely acknowledge to deal with Saudi Arabia. It will be interesting to see what tidbits Graham has chosen to reveal, and whether these revelations will make a splash.

03 June 2011

Voices of September 11th holds gala in NYC

One of the first things that Beverly Eckert did after 9/11 was to establish a group to share information with other family members, and to provide them with support. She was joined in the endeavor by Mary Fetchet, of New Canaan, Connecticut, who had lost her son, Brad, in the World Trade Center. Thus was born Voices of September 11th. On June 1, the group held a gala reception and silent auction to raise money for its 9/11 Living Memorial Project.

Held at Pier Sixty, the event was emceed by NBC's Brian Williams, who is a neighbor of Fetchet's. The keynote speaker was Rudolph Guiliani, the city's mayor on that horrific day ten years ago. Some details of the evening appear in an article by Kate King of the Stamford Advocate.