Just Four Moms from New Jersey
Just Four Moms from New Jersey are Kristen Breitweiser, Patty Casazza, Mindy Kleinberg and Lorie van Auken. They are often referred to as the "9/11 widows" and more formally as the September 11th Advocates group. 
Calling themselves just the girls, the "Moms" are four housewives "who lost their husbands in the attack on the World Trade Center [and] started out knowing virtually nothing about how their government worked. [For] months they have clipped and Googled, rallied and lobbied, charmed and intimidated top officials all the way to the White House. In the process, they have made themselves arguably the most effective force in dancing around the obstacle course by which the administration continues to block a transparent investigation of what went wrong with the country's defenses on Sept. 11 and what we should be doing about it. They have no political clout, no money, no powerful husbands--no husbands at all since Sept. 11--and they are up against a White House, an Attorney General, a Defense Secretary, a National Security Advisor and an F.B.I. director who have worked out an ingenious bait-and-switch game to thwart their efforts and those of any investigative body." 
According to Gail Sheehy, who has been documenting their crusade, the "Moms" "use tactics more like those of a leaderless cell. They have learned how to deposit their assorted seven children with select grandmothers before dawn and rocket down the Garden State Parkway to Washington. They have become experts at changing out of pedal-pushers and into proper pantsuits while their S.U.V. is stopped in traffic, so they can hit the Capitol rotunda running. They have talked strategy with Senator John McCain and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. They once caught Congressman Porter Goss hiding behind his office door to avoid them. And they maintain an open line of communication with the White House." 
Breaking the "News"
In a live televised broadcast on August 13, 2002, Phil Donahue is credited with breaking the story of the Mom's call for an independent 9/11 investigation. When asked by Donahue -- "Tell me what September 11th Advocates is all about. What do you want to happen?" -- Kristen Breitweiser responded: 
- "At this point we are fighting for an independent investigation...investigation removed from the political process... We don't feel comfortable with Congress investigating itself, basically. We have congressional committees that have oversight duties with the FBI and the CIA. We want politics removed. We want pure accountability, and we feel that independent investigation is required to have that. We've had independent investigations with regard to Pearl Harbor...we've had investigations with regard to the shuttle accident... If there's a car accident you have an investigation. We have waited 11 months, and I think it is deplorable that these women and myself have to leave our children, our homes, and go down to Washington and beg for answers. To have the right to have answers we have to beg, and it's...it's disgusting."
- "Kristen Breitweiser told Phil Donahue: 'It was clear that we were under attack. Why didn't the Secret Service whisk [Bush] out of that school? ... [H]e is the commander-in-chief of the United States of America, our country was clearly under attack, it was after the second building was hit. I want to know why he sat there for 25 minutes.'" 
- "It is understandable that so little time is actually devoted to the president's true actions on the morning of 9/11. Because to show the entire 23 minutes from 9:03 to 9:25 a.m., when President Bush, in reality, remained seated and listening to 'second grade story-hour' while people like my husband were burning alive inside the World Trade Center towers, would run counter to Karl Rove's art direction and grand vision." --Kristen Breitweiser's Salon review of Showtime's film "DC 9/11: Time of Crisis" (9/8/2003). 
- On May 16, 2002, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said: "I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile." 
- To which Kristen Breitweiser responds:
- "How is it possible we have a national security advisor coming out and saying we had no idea they could use planes as weapons when we had FBI records from 1991 stating that this is a possibility?" 
- "Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al Qaeda's Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House."
- Commenting on Peter Lance's "1000 Years for Revenge. International Terrorism and the FBI. The Untold Story," Kristen Breitweiser said:
- "An astounding investigation. The Senate-House Joint Inquiry report said there were no 'smoking guns' on how the FBI missed 9/11. Peter Lance's book is a 500 page 'smoking gun'." 
Letter to the Editor, NYT
In an October 10, 2002, Letter to the Editor of New York Times, Kristen Breitweiser wrote:
To the Editor:
Re "2 Senators Say White House Is Thwarting 9/11 Inquiry":
As a Sept. 11 widow involved in the negotiations with the White House and Congress for an independent commission to investigate the attacks, I note a comment by Ari Fleischer, the White House press secretary. Mr. Fleischer sets out an administration demand for the commission and then says that doing otherwise is a formula for "paralysis and politics."
In fact, to limit the scope and duration of a commission so that it cannot thoroughly examine fault, to limit its subpoena power so that information and answers are not forthcoming, and to insist upon having the president nominate the chairman, who will control the commission's agenda, smacks of "paralysis and politics."
The Sept. 11 families and this country deserve nothing less than the unfettered truth. After Sept. 11, the preservation of life should supplant politics.
KRISTEN BREITWEISER Middletown, N.J., Oct. 12, 2002
- Kristen Breitweiser, "Wake-Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow," to be released September 2006. ISBN 0446579327.
- Gail Sheehy, "Middletown, America. One Town's Passage From Trauma to Hope", Random House, 2003.
Related SourceWatch Resources
- 9-11 Truth Movement
- National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9-11 Commission)
- National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: Testimony
- Richard A. Clarke
- September 11, 2001
- weapons of mass destruction
- weapons of mass destruction investigation
- The Joint Select Committee On Intelligence Investigating 9-11, Public Hearings. Numerous links for hearings and participant information.
- Mary Jo Patterson, Families of Terror Victims Anxiously Await Unveiling of Federal Aid, Newhouse News Service, c2001.
- David Crary, Relatives demand answers for 9-11, Associated Press, May 17, 2002.
- Ledyard King, Families urge 9/11 inquiry, Home News Tribune, June 12, 2002.
- Phil Donahue, Donahue Interviews 9/11 Widow Kristen Breitweiser. Gutsy and incisive performance from a woman with a mission, Gulu Future, August 13, 2002.
- Middletown: Seeking Relief From Action, 48 Hours/CBS, August 23, 2002.
- Andrea Alexander, Anger, anguish driving their activism, Asbury Park Press, September 8, 2002.
- Ledyard King, Independent investigation into 9/11 security lapses demanded, Asbury Park Press, September 10, 2002.
- Gail Sheehy, "September Widows" -- 9/11 One Year Later ... A Suburban Town with an Unparalleled Loss, New York Observer, September 11, 2002.
- Kin Address Joint Panel: Relatives cite the failures of intelligence community. Numerous warnings no surprise, they tell probers, Detroit Free Press, September 12, 2002.
- Kissinger Assures 9/11 Families on Ethics Disclosures, WHDH/Boston, September 12, 2002.
- Statement of Kristen Breitweiser, Co-Chairperson September 11 Advocates, Concerning the Joint 9/11 Inquiry, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, September 18, 2002. Also here.
- Laurie Kellman, Families testify to anger, grief caused by intelligence failures, Associated Press, September 18, 2002.
- Connie Chung, Interview with Kristen Breitweiser (transcript), CNN, September 18, 2002.
- Mary Jacoby, Attack clues ignored, panel says. In a one-two punch, one woman releases a report detailing intelligence lapses, while another describes the pain that resulted from them, St. Petersburg Times, September 19, 2002.
- Christopher Lee, The Ring and the Quest for Answers. A Widow Turns Her Sept. 11 Loss Into a Crusade for an Independent Commission, Washington Post, September 23, 2002.
- Michelle Mittelstadt, Outside inquiry into 9-11 is stalled. Victims' families lobbying vigorously for bipartisan commission, Dallas Morning News, October 22, 2002.
- Carl Hulse, How a Deal Creating an Independent Commission on Sept. 11 Came Undone (pdf), New York Times, November 2, 2002.
- Maggie Haberman and Kenneth R. Bazinet, Widows demand answers, New York Daily News, November 14, 2002.
- David Firestone, Domestic Security Bill Riles 9/11 Families, New York Times, November 28, 2002.
- Garland Favorito, How the 9/11 investigations have been sabotaged, December 15, 2002.
- Ken Guggenheim, Sept. 11 Chief Promises Accountability, Associated Press, December 17, 2002.
- John T. Ward, Widows' Walk. In the depths of their grief, four World Trade Center widows get the political education of a lifetime, New Jersey Monthly, March 2003.
- Statement of Mindy Kleinberg to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, March 31, 2003.
- Lilo H. Stainton, 9/11 widows bonded by tragedy, South Jersey News, April 14, 2003.
- On Moussaoui, Bush, and September 11, Cosmos Left, May 3-7, 2003. Scroll down to letter by Breitweiser to New York Times regarding 9-11 Commission delays.
- FAA Delay in Reporting 9/11 Hijackings Probed, Newsday, May 23, 2003. Scroll down to entry. (Newsday link does not connect with article.)
- Kurt Anderson, FBI's Mueller Meets Sept. 11 Relatives, AP, June 10, 2003.
- James Rosen, Sept. 11 commission finds administration uncooperative, McClatchy Newspapers, July 8, 2003.
- Walls put up in front of 9/11 probe, Voices of September 11th, July 10, 2003.
- Rebecca Carr, Sept. 11 commission hits snags, Cox News Service, July 9, 2003.
- Commission Investigating What Went Wrong Before September 11 (transcript), CNN, July 10, 2003.
- Marie Cocco, Perspective: Protecting the rights of citizens and terrorists, St. Augustine Record, July 22, 2003.
- 9/11 Families: Tell Us Full Story, CBS, July 24, 2003.
- Sept. 11 Report Says U.S. Spy Agencies `Missed Opportunities', Bloomberg News, July 24, 2003.
- John J. Lumpkin, San Diego offered agencies best chance to stop Sept. 11, Associated Press, July 25, 2003.
- Ledyard King and John Yaukey, N.J. widows angry over censoring of 9/11 report, South Jersey News, July 25, 2003.
- Kathy Kiely, 9/11 widows win support for commission, USA Today, August 2, 2002.
- Gail Sheehy, Four 9/11 Moms Battle Bush, New York Observer, August 20, 2003.
- Brian Montopoli, Schlep to Judgment. If anything merited an independent inquiry, it was the attacks on 9/11. But not in Bush's Washington, Washington Monthly, September 2003.
- Heller McAlpin, United in grief. Gail Sheehy examines how one town coped with loss after Sept. 11 (book review), San Francisco Chronicle, September 4, 2003.
- Seth Ackerman, Who Knew?, In These Times, September 4, 2003.
- Michael Gannon, 9/11 widows launch charity, The Journal News, September 5, 2003.
- Rebecca Carr, Sept. 11 families still ask why. Many want responsibility assigned, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 7, 2003 (?).
- Kristen Breitweiser, A "mind-numbingly boring" propaganda film. A 9/11 widow reviews last night's Showtime film about President Bush's actions on and after that fateful morning, Salon, September 8, 2003. Also here.
- Andrea Alexander, Why no answers yet? 9/11 widows persist in posing questions, Asbury Park Press, September 9, 2003.
- Andrew Jacobs, A Town's Veil of Grief Lifts, Slowly, New York Times, September 10, 2003.
- Kurt Kurowski, The Power of Remembrance, Democratic Underground, September 11, 2003.
- NOW With Bill Moyers: "9/11 Widows Speak", PBS, September 12, 2003.
- Eric Boehlert, Is the 9/11 commission too soft?, Voices of September 11th, October 10, 2003.
- James Rosen, White House Stonewalls Relatives of 9-11 Victims, Capitol Hill Blue, October 30, 2003.
- Shaun Waterman, 9/11 panel subpoenas NORAD, not CIA, UPI, November 8, 2003.
- Soledad O'Brien, Interview with Kristen Breitweiser (transcript), CNN/American Morning, November 17, 2003.
- Kelly Patricia O'Meara, A Historical Whitewash?, November 24, 2003.
- 9/11 Chair: Attack Was Preventable, CBS, December 17, 2003.
- Kristen Breitweiser On MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Mathews (transcript), Scoop, December 18, 2003.
- Missing the Warnings, Tom Paine, December 18, 2003.
- W. David Kubiak, Daschle PNACkles 'Commission Incredible'. Top Dem Mis-Kerrey's National 9/11 Probe, Houston Indymedia, December 20, 2003: "December 9th, two days after the 52nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the National 9/11 Commission itself was hit without warning by Tom Daschle's bombshell appointment of Iraq hawk Bob Kerrey to replace Max Cleland."
- Robert Cohen, Conspiracy Theories Abound in 9/11 Probe, New Jersey Star-Ledger, December 29, 2003.
- The question that won't go away: Could 9/11 have been Prevented?, The Local Planet, January 1, 2004. Scroll down to "The New Jersey Four".
- William Rivers Pitt, Two Loud Words, TruthOut, January 5, 2004.
- Joe Conason, Shutting down the 9/11 investigation, Salon, January 19, 2004: "The Bush administration continues to do whatever it can to hinder a thorough independent report on the 9/11 attacks."
- Gail Sheehy, Whistleblower Coming In Cold From the F.B.I. (cache file), New York Observer, January 26, 2004.
- Jonathan Curiel, Who's to blame for 9/11? Bush and Clinton administrations could be faulted for failing to protect the nation against the 2001 assaults, SFGate, February 8, 2004.
- Gail Sheehy, Bob Kerrey Says 9/11 Group Meets with Condoleezza, New York Observer, February 9, 2004.
- Rove's worst nightmare: Outspoken 9/11 widows, Columbia-Union, February 11, 2004.
- The Widows of 9-11 (2-hour special; audio), The Connection, February 17, 2004: "Guests: Kristen Breitweiser, widow of Ronald Breitweiser; Patty Casazza, widow of John Casazza; Lorie van Auken, widow of Kenneth van Auken; Mindy Kleinberg, widow of Alan Kleinberg; Dan Eggen, Washington Post reporter; Bob Monetti, former President of Victims of Pan Am Flight 103."
- 9/11 Widows, Letter to Editors, 911 Citizen Watch, February 24, 2004.
- Alan Cabal, Nine Hundred and Eleven Missing Pieces. What don't we know, and why don't we know it?, New York Press, February 25-March 2, 2004.
- Maureen Dowd, Sorry, Right Number, New York Times, January 29, 2004. archive 
- Maggie Haberman, Furor over Bush's 9/11 ad, New York Daily News, March 4, 2004: "The Bush reelection campaign yesterday unveiled its first three campaign commercials showcasing Ground Zero images, angering some 9/11 families who accused President Bush of exploiting the tragedy for political advantage."
- Gail Sheehy, Four 9/11 Moms Watch Rumsfeld And Grumble, New York Observer, March 24, 2004. Also extracts.
- Joe Conason, "The Widows are watching," Salon, April 2, 2004: "Four outspoken World Trade Center widows claim the 9/11 commission director's ties to the White House undermine the commission's credibility."
- Pat Wingert, "Bonds of Steel. Keeping faith: The families of 9/11 victims are a mighty force. Ask the White House, the commission--or anyone else in their way," Newsweek, April 5, 2004 (Edition).
- Dorothy Rabinowitz, "The 9/11 Widows. Americans are beginning to tire of them," Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal, April 14, 2004.
- Joan Milinaro, "9/11 mom's questions for Bush," New York Daily News, April 24, 2004.