Just Four Moms from New Jersey

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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. [1]

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." [2]

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." [3]

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: [4]

"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.'" [5]
  • "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). [6]
  • 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." [7]
  • 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?" [8]
  • "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'." [9]

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.

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