As the world marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, we go back 10 years and revisit a remarkable conversation between two New Yorkers: Rita Lasar and Masuda Sultan. Rita Lasar lost her brother, Abe Zelmanowitz, on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center. He worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield. He refused to leave until emergency workers came to help rescue his best friend, Ed, a paraplegic. They died along with so many others. A few days later, President George W. Bush invoked Abe’s story in his speech at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., calling him a hero. His sister Rita promptly wrote a letter to the New York Times urging Bush not to bomb Afghanistan. "It is in my brother’s name and mine that I pray that we, this country that has been so deeply hurt, not do something that will unleash forces we will not have the power to call back." That is, of course, exactly what the United States did several weeks later. Untold thousands have died in the decade since then, among them the family of Masuda Sultan, an Afghan woman living in New York at the time of the 9/11 attack. She soon got word that 19 members of her family had been killed in a U.S. bomb attack in Afghanistan. They had moved to a farmhouse outside Kandahar to escape the attacks. It was there that they were bombed. When Masuda Sultan and Rita Lasar met in our studio in 2002, she had just returned from her native Afghanistan where she met with surviving members of her family. We begin with a report she did for Democracy Now! as she made her way to Afghanistan from Pakistan while investigating the bombing. [includes rush transcript]moreless
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