|Some 9/11 Victims'
.c The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - While some relatives of
Sept. 11 victims refused to cast blame,
many others were outraged as they learned
that President Bush had received advance
warning Osama bin Laden's terror network
might hijack U.S. planes.
``I believe our whole government let
people down,'' said Bill Doyle of New
York, whose son, Joseph, was killed in the
World Trade Center. ``It's shocking, every
time you turn on the TV, to see what's
coming out in the wash.''
Doyle said Thursday he has received
numerous phone calls from other victims'
relatives, all distraught over revelations
that Bush was told in August about
potential hijackings. Officials said the
president and U.S. intelligence did not
know that suicide hijackers were plotting
to use jetliners to slam into buildings.
``If our president was told in August,
someone had to drop the ball at the
airports,'' Doyle said. ``Were they
alerted by the FBI or the CIA?''
Stephen Push, whose wife of 21 years, Lisa
Raines, was killed aboard the hijacked
plane that hit the Pentagon, said she
would not have taken that flight - for
what he called an ``optional business
trip'' - if she had known of terrorist
``It's shameful that they know as much as
they did and didn't warn anyone,'' said
Push, of Great Falls, Va. ``They put the
business interests of the airlines above
the lives of the citizens.''
Yet some relatives refused to blame Bush
for any security lapses.
``The groundwork for us winding up with a
weak CIA and FBI, the weakening of our
defense systems based on political
correctness and expediency, happened long
before Bush took office,'' said Sally
Regenhard, whose son, Christian, was among
the firefighters killed in New York.
She strongly endorsed the push for a
``It's too late now for my son,'' she
said. ``But I do want to make the country
safe. Right now, we're not there.''
Several relatives expressed hope that the
revelations would intensify pressure for a
high-powered investigation into possible
intelligence and security failures
preceding the attacks.
``We want an investigation to make sure
something like Sept. 11 never, ever
happens again,'' said Kristin Breitweiser,
whose husband, Ronald, died at the World
She is part of group of Sept. 11 widows
from New Jersey who are organizing a rally
for victims' families and friends on June
11 at the U.S. Capitol. The purpose is to
support a bill introduced by Sens. Joseph
Lieberman, D-Conn., and John McCain,
R-Ariz., that would establish a national
commission to investigate the attacks.
``I want accountability,'' Breitweiser
Breitweiser said she became convinced
shortly after the attacks that U.S.
authorities mishandled clues that could
have helped avert the carnage. She also
contended that Bush, if he had received
private advance warnings, should have
acted more decisively at the first signs
of trouble on Sept. 11.
``They said they couldn't connect the
dots, but once the dots were connected and
the picture was drawn on the morning of
9/11, why did they do nothing?'' she
asked. ``Why was the president allowed to
sit for 35 minutes with a group of second
graders when this country was under
Donn Marshall of Marbury, Md., whose wife,
Shelley, died at the Pentagon, also
questioned Bush' actions.
``It sort of makes you wonder where the
get-tough president was when he was
getting all this information, why they
didn't react act more vigorously,''
Marshall said. ``The notion that American
planes might be hijacked, that should have
caused more concern, even if we didn't
think that they might be flown into
Marshall was also upset that Republican
fund-raisers were selling pictures of Bush
on Sept. 11.
``I don't appreciate that,'' said
Marshall, a Democrat. ``After Sept. 11 he
showed leadership and I salute him for it.
But now he's getting to the point of
invoking it to buttress his popularity.''
Craig Sincock of Dale City, Va., who lost
his wife, Cheryle, in the Pentagon attack,
empathized with officials who received a
flurry of intelligence information.
``They had an awareness of it but they did
everything they could have possibly done,
in my estimation,'' he said. I don't want
to look back and start pointing a finger
of blame ... I'd rather say what are we
going to do now how are we going to go
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