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  1. #41  
    (this is likely the last of these ... )


    Pt. 4 Prologue

    I was in amongst a group of journalists at some weird local event in Georgetown (exploding manhole covers), when I overheard some conversation about a young girl who had gone missing -- and a married congressman who was her boyfriend. It was May of 2001.

    It sounded like gossip -- juicy, silly, but potentially explosive gossip. Several days later the Washington Post broke the story, and so the summer of Chandra, the Chandra Levy missing intern nightmare, began.

    Congressman Gary Condit was her motorcycle riding boyfriend -- and his apartment was 2 blocks from mine.

    Soon cable “news” shows were programmed for wall to wall 24 hours a day saturation coverage and speculation about when Condit would be indicted, where he hid her body, who else might be part of the cover up. The worst of the worst, needless to say, was Faux news.

    The media circus decamped to Cong. Condit’s doorstep. Media vans, microphone stands, lights took up permanent residence on the narrow sidewalks and street near his apartment's front door.

    Condit was fully cooperative with investigators, consenting to lie detector tests, DNA examination, and an intrusive search by crime scene technicians of his apartment. His only failing was not being entirely candid regarding the depth of his relationship with Chandra -- particularly to her family. Shame about a consensual adult affair is apparently a capitol offense.

    In the weeks before she went missing I’d heard of several vicious attacks on women jogging in Rock Creek Park. I regularly bike in the Park and I was hyper attuned to any report of criminal violence there. Chandra was thought to have headed to the Park to go jogging when she went missing. It to me seemed obvious that these events, and Chandra’s disappearance, were likely related.

    About 2 months after she went missing, in early summer, an undocumented Salvadorian man was arrested for these attacks. (caught right after another of his assaults). Immediately I connected the circumstances of his attacks with Chandra’s disappearance. That pattern, and the proximity to where Chandra was thought to have jogged, made the connection unavoidable.

    Under relentless pressure from the media regarding Condit, the police made only a cursory investigation of the Salvadorian man, and instead persisted in focusing -- despite abundant evidence to the contrary -- on the Congressman. (in explaining why the Salvadorian, Ingmar Guandique, was not a suspect, the police explained that they had asked him if he was responsible for Chandra Levy’s disappearance, and that Guandique had denied it. !!)

    All summer long as my fury festered at the madness that had come to occupy america, I wondered what unforeseen horror lay ahead that finally would displace the Condit circus.

    On 9/11 I went past Congressman Condit’s apartment house -- the cameras had packed up, at long last the media circus had moved on...


    (Despite claims to have thoroughly searched the park, Chandra’s remains were not found until a year later -- 100 yards from the jogging path, by someone walking their dog.

    Her skeleton had been partially scattered by animals, but police overall did such a wretched examination of them and the crime scene that private investigators hired by the family found abundant uncollected evidence still present after the police detectives left. The embarrassment caused them to return and ostensibly do a more thorough job.

    Guandique, in prison for his original park attacks, was finally last spring indicted for Chandra Levy’s murder. He is scheduled to go to trial this October.)
    Last edited by BARYE; 08/01/2010 at 05:26 AM.
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  2. #42  
    I was a senior in high school. Over the PA system the principal ordered all the classrooms to have the televisions turned on, he just said that we all needed to see what was happening. I was in art class. I remember the second plane crashing into the tower on live television.

    Throughout every class we talked about what was going on and watched it. Senior seminar (basically a glorified study hall where we worked on a research paper for an entire semester) was where I was at when the first tower fell.

    The entire lunchroom was talking about the events, what was happening, who was joining the military as soon as possible, etc.

    Either way, it is a day that I doubt I will ever forget. It was truly bittersweet.
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  3.    #43  
    Bittersweet?
    What was sweet about it?

    Last edited by dbdoinit; 07/31/2010 at 06:19 AM.
  4. #44  
    Quote Originally Posted by dbdoinit View Post
    Bittersweet?
    What was sweet about it?

    The fact that people of my generation could now see that America wasn't truly invincible and the sense of patriotism that was lacking until such a vile act.
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  5.    #45  
    Quote Originally Posted by snotball007 View Post
    The fact that people of my generation could now see that America wasn't truly invincible and the sense of patriotism that was lacking until such a vile act.
    Oh, ok, i understand now.
  6. philbw's Avatar
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    #46  
    Again a great thread. It's nice to remember without all of the political garbage to go with it. For me I lived outside of Phoenix AZ at the time, pretty fresh out of HS. Was unemployed and stayed up way too late. Myself and a room mate had been up all night at our computers and always had the radio on. On the radio they had mentioned a plane hitting the tower but it didn't sound too serious. Finally it became obvious that it was indeed serious so we turned on the TV and watched the second tower crumble on live TV.

    The eeriest part for me that made it all so real was when they shut down air travel. Our appartment was *directly* under the Sky Harbor Airport landing path. Day in and day out we heard jets landing and taking off. Then it was nothing but silence... when we did hear the occasional military jet it was actually frightening. For the first time the usually annoying jet noise was actually missed because we all knew why it had stopped.

    - Phil -
  7. #47  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    (this is likely the last of these ... )


    Pt. 4 Prologue

    I was in amongst a group of journalists at some weird local event in Georgetown (exploding manhole covers), when I overheard some conversation about a young girl who had gone missing -- and a married congressman who was her boyfriend. It was May of 2001.
    I remember the exploding manhole covers. I also remember Chandra Levy.

    I thought that I did a good job of keeping up with the local news, but I was not aware of the attacks in Rock Creek Park. Maybe because I lived in Arlington, I just didn't pay enough attention. I was really surprised when Chandra's body was found in the Park and the trail led to this (alleged) attacker. It appears that everyone dropped the ball on this one.
  8. #48  
    Warning: controversial political comments ahead -- If you easily take offense, do not read


    Quote Originally Posted by bevcraw View Post
    I remember the exploding manhole covers. I also remember Chandra Levy.

    I thought that I did a good job of keeping up with the local news, but I was not aware of the attacks in Rock Creek Park. Maybe because I lived in Arlington, I just didn't pay enough attention. I was really surprised when Chandra's body was found in the Park and the trail led to this (alleged) attacker. It appears that everyone dropped the ball on this one.

    Originally I had planned to entitle that 4th segment: “exploding man holes” -- an ironic but too obscure a reference for anyone but me, or, it turns out, you. (in brief, over several weeks during the spring of 2001, man holes in Washington's premier shopping district violently exploded like bombs at random -- terrifyingly blasting man hole covers hundreds of feet into the air.)

    Its not too surprising that you hadn’t heard about those Park attacks -- no one had yet been killed, so it was still a minor local story. I became aware of them because of warning/wanted posters the Park Police had put up in Rock Creek Park.

    The Condit / Levy “affair” was also very local to me -- Condit’s apartment was 2 blocks from mine, Levy lived 5 minutes away. Her remains were found near where I bike.

    All these events were a part of a strange, terrible year -- what the Queen once called an “annus horribilis”.

    Last Warning: controversial political comments ahead --


    This was a year that really began with junior bush improperly seizing power -- though the majority had voted for Gore. An election corrupted on its face by his brother controlling the vote counting machinery of the crucial state of Florida -- and by a Supreme court guided by political partisanship, not judicial neutrality.

    One of the reasons the Chandra Levy/Condit affair so obsessively gripped Faux and cable “news” that summer, was that it in part served as a proxy for talking about and criticizing Clinton.

    Congressman Condit, a married powerful man, had an affair with Chandra Levy, an intern. Clinton, a powerful married man, had relations with Monica Lewinsky, an intern. In speculating about Condit’s “murder” of Chandra, they could also discuss and speculate about rumours that the Clintons had “murdered” Vince Foster.

    The subtext of all this was how different and moral junior was compared to Clinton -- and how lucky the country therefore was.

    I’m also sadly unwilling to accept your “...appears that everyone dropped the ball on this one” explanation for what went wrong with the Chandra investigation. That’s too forgiving and non-accusatory for me.

    The mistakes were clear and obvious as they were happening-- as was the cause. That investigation was driven and derailed by that summer’s media circus. This is not my belief alone -- several books have been published with the same thesis.

    All of which brings me back to 9/11 --- a desperately awful tragedy that affected me far more deeply than I initially understood -- not just because of the terrible deaths that day, but because of all the deaths and misery that came from it.

    The salient image that captures the incompetency and ignorance that followed the horror of that day, was junior -- after he had been told of the second WTC tower being hit -- continuing to read “My Pet Goat” for five mindless minutes.

    He was improperly elected, unprepared for the position, and too lazy and unqualified to know what he could/should have done to prevent the 9/11 attack. His incompetency (along with his Faux news cheering squad) prompted him to invade Iraq before vanquishing Al Queda, the Taliban, and achieving peace in Afghanistan. His mismanagement and ideology inspired deregulation of the markets, lead to the worst economic crash since the Depression.

    An “annus horribilis” indeed ...



    (BTW -- I've written about some of this before, 5 years ago):


    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post

    11/30/05

    ...The Condit travesty was driven 24/7 by FAUX news and the others of their ilk. The police had tunnel vision toward Gary Condit because of the obsessive coverage that this story was getting. It was not handled in any fashion like a normal investigation of a missing women. It was given much more attention -- but the wrong kind of attention.

    The police "searched every inch of Rock Creek Park" but did not find that poor women's body 100 yards from a major jogging/biking trail. By the time she was found (more than a year after her death) her skeletal remains were dispersed by the park's wild animals.

    What evidence could have been discovered was mishandled to an unbelievable degree by incompetent police detectives.

    Private forensic investigators hired by the family of Chandra Levy looked at the death site after the police finished their examination. They discovered potentially important evidence unobserved by the police (including bones). Embarrassed, the police returned to redo the examination.

    The DC police had a strong motive for not acknowledging that the Salvadoran convicted of rape and attempted murder was the primary suspect in the case. He had I believe at least couple of other [rape] victims after Chandra Levy was killed -- and if he really was the killer all the considerable attention (to the point of harassment) devoted on Condit was destructively idiotic.

    That Salvadoran's MO was consistent with what happened to Chandra. He attacked nearly all of his victims either in or around the park. His usual method was by surprising women joggers or walkers from behind.

    Condit took and passed a polygraph early on -- his only faux pas in the scandal was in attempting to not publicly reveal the depth of his relationship with Chandra. He cooperated fully with the police in the investigation.

    It was another of these media driven public "scandals" where an alleged illicit sexual affair -- Hart, Clinton, Condit -- are the subject of obsessive mindless pursuit.

    One of the most delicious quotes I remember the police chief saying about the investigation and the Salvadoran:" we asked him, and he said he didn't do it..."
    Last edited by BARYE; 08/01/2010 at 12:28 PM.
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  9. #49  
    Something cathartic and meaningful was ruined. Starting it with a disclaimer was meaningless and disrespectful. I have removed my post. I am disappointed.
  10.    #50  
    BARYE, i have to agree with workerb33; this isn't the thread for that stuff.

    It's going to derail it.
  11. mfaye9's Avatar
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    #51  
    I was very young at the time and some might say I still am but I was deeply affected by the attacks on 9/11. It was one of my first days of kindergarten and my mom was walking me in we saw people walking out. We were of course driving and we missed both of the planes and when I was 5 I don't think we listened to the radio in the car. So anyway, we stopped and asked one of my mom best friends what happened and she told us everything she knew. My Mom brought me back to the car and we went to pick up my brother who was in third grade at the time. We went home and I dont really remember much after that.

    So how has this affected a now 14 year old kid? Dont call me anti-american or crazy because I love america and as far as I know i'm not crazy. I was fascinated by the whole thing. I really find it interesting how the terrorist were able to pull that thing off! I still occasionally take a day when I have some time and study the events try to figure out what really happened.
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  12. #52  
    I was in 10th grade working on my HTML website when my teacher put on the TV.


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  13. #53  
    I was hungover and woken up by a phone call. I woke up long enough to see the second plane hit. I then went back to sleep. Other then the hassels whenever I fly I can't say it affects me at all.
  14. #54  
    Quote Originally Posted by dbdoinit View Post
    BARYE, i have to agree with workerb33; this isn't the thread for that stuff.

    It's going to derail it.
    dbd I understand and respect where you and workerb33 are coming from.

    I wrote what I did because it was a part of a memory that continues to be a raw wound for me. A memory that encompasses that entire year.

    It wasn't to have a political discussion in this thread.
    Last edited by BARYE; 08/01/2010 at 01:20 PM.
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  15. #55  
    I was working a contract in the newport area of NJ (right on the river) my hotel was basically right across the river from the TT's. I actually had a meeting that morning at Tower 5.

    I was supposed to get some xrays and an MRI on my knee the friday before but due to the swelling the view wasn't what they had hoped and asked me to return monday for another set of xrays. I had a flights scheduled Tuesday morning to newark. That flight didn't happen instead I spent the day watching as everything unfolded. I lost two coworkers that day, both on planes.

    How has my life changed, most immediately within a couple weeks I had to quit the contract I was on as my wife was too scared of me working where I was (we lived in Iowa at the time). Most of my stock holdings were wiped out and my planned retirement around 40 has been significantly delayed. I still fly weekly, still work anywhere but where I live, and still shiver everytime that day is mentioned.
  16.    #56  
    Due to the heated discussion in the latest 9/11 thread, i thought i should provide some balance by bringing back this one.

    Remember, please, no politics here.
    Just what you were doing that day, and how has it affected you since then.

    Thank you.
  17. jeffmcc's Avatar
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    #57  
    i was asleep ....then my dad woke me up.....

    NOT "HP webOS"!!!
  18.    #58  
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffmcc View Post
    i was asleep ....then my dad woke me up.....
    Care to elaborate?
  19. #59  
    I was in 4th grade and now I expect the government to do/plan/stage whatever it has to do to get what they want.
  20.    #60  
    Good morning.

    Let's take a moment to reflect on the friends, neighbors and family that we so violently, needlessly lost on this day.

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    Thank you.
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