The more things change . . .

When terrorists attacked the symbolic center of American economic power on September 11 it wasn't the first time:

On 16 September 1920, throngs of brokers, clerks, and office workers poured from the buildings lining New York City's Wall Street as a nearby church bell struck twelve o'clock. The narrow cobblestone street became a river of sputtering automobiles and scurrying pedestrians as the financial district employees set out to make the most of their mid-day break.

Traveling opposite the egressing crowds, an elderly bay horse plodded along Wall Street pulling a nondescript wagon and a driver. The cart came to a stop just around the corner from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), across the street from the imposing JP Morgan & Co. bank building. The wagon's driver cast the reins aside, leaped from his perch, and fled from the street with conspicuous haste. As the lunch-going men and women shuffled past the parked wooden cart and its patiently waiting horse, a timer within the cargo compartment quietly counted off its final few seconds.


At approximately one minute after twelve o'clock, the abandoned wagon's timer reached zero in the pleasant afternoon sun. A bomb consisting of one hundred pounds of dynamite packed with five hundred pounds of cast-iron slugs violently vomited red-hot shrapnel and destruction in every direction. A number of passers-by were instantly vaporized by the extreme heat and pressure. The blast sent a nearby automobile careening through the air as countless jagged iron fragments ripped through the crowd. The nearby structures trembled as the shock wave slammed into their outer walls with tremendous force, shattering windows and turning lobbies into lacerating hailstorms of glass. Many of the cloth awnings which overlooked the street burst into flames. Within a half-mile radius thousands of plate-glass windows burst in the city's tall buildings, peppering the streets of Lower Manhattan with razor-sharp glass shards. (Alan Bellows)

Forty dead, another 300 wounded. Gruesome scenes of slaughter and dismemberment. Panic. Choking smoke. Rumors of more bombs. Attention immediately turned to Italian immigrants. Everyone knew they were "out to destroy our way of life":

The Washington Post referred to the bombing as an "act of war," though no one could be certain who the enemy was. The newspaper also wrote, "The bomb outrage in New York emphasizes the extent to which the alien scum from the cesspools and sewers of the Old World has polluted the clear spring of American democracy." Though the anarchists had not been proven responsible, the US government's ongoing anti-radical Palmer Raids were increased in intensity as a consequence of the bombing. Immigrants were aggressively targeted, especially Italians, Russians, and Jews. Thousands of citizens were detained in the name of national security, though most of them clearly had nothing to do with the Wall Street terror plot. Ultimately, the orgy of misguided justice resulted in the deportation of about 10,000 such "radicals."

The stock exchange reopened the following day to emphasize the city would not be cowed and was conducting "business as usual." There ws an orgy of patriotic display. No arrests were ever made. To this day we don't know who did it but one leading theory says it was a botched robbery.

There is no plaque at the site of the biggest terrorist attack on US soil prior to September 11, 2001. Rudi Giuliani and Joe Lieberman now lead the lynch mob. The persecuted have become persecutors.

Italian terrorists still haunt us. Except now we call them Muslims.


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There may be no plaque at the site, but there is still visible damage on at least one nearby building.

But the response was to deport those that they thought had ANYTHING to do with it Revere. The response had a lead up to the explosion and the subsequent witch hunt reprisals. And the attacks stopped. Ethnic cleansing? Ok, I'll toss that term out there. But it was really ethnic deportation. The people who were responsible had roots in the city so they really had only three choices. Deportation, elimination or do nothing. The latter wouldnt have worked so they went with the least repressive and that was to throw them out. I would too, because if I ever got wound up for my pitch there wouldnt be any question of the outcome. There are consequences to anything you do in this world and that was one of them. With the ability to wipe out a city in a terrorist/anarchists hands what you suggest we do? When they attack the system, the system responds. Sometimes its a very harsh day when they do.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 10 Jul 2007 #permalink

Are you really suggesting that taking a guess at who might have done something then launching a massive attack on anyone who looks like them is a reasonable response?
How tall was the man who ran away from the horse? I am 510 ish if he was my height should I be deported?

According to the research of Mike Davis in his latest book, the man responsible for the 1920 bombing was an Italian anarchist Mario Buda.

Known as Buda's Wagon, this was arguably the first ever car bomb, predecessor to what Davis now calls the 'hot rod of the apocalypse.'

It's an interesting book, more historical perspective than opinion on current affairs. If you are interested I've reviewed it here (not intended to be a shameless plug for my own site) -

No JJ, I am saying that they did what they could do back then and that was deport, detention camp or ultimately had it continued as anarchy took over, kill them. Guilt by association.

The Catholics did the same thing to women in France looking for the supposed decendants of Mary Magdalene. The difference was that they were required to confess and then they just outright hauled them off and killed them. Neat the way history repeats itself. We could do it here under order of martial law, same in the UK I think. Oh they would file their lawsuits and etc. but if it got down to whether to deport someone or not even in the face of law it goes out the window in martial law. Trust me here on this.

Now Revere asserts this is happening now with the Tail Gunner Joes in Rudy G. and J. Lieberman. I disagree. No, they are calling into question the policies of this government in throwing open the doors and arms as it has in times past to receive everything inscribed on the S. of Liberty. I dont remember

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of the best bomb makers, terrorists yearning for a world Islamic order.

Those they are wanting to turn the US, UK and EU into wretched refuse from what was a teeming shore.

Send me these, the tempest terrorists tost, to me. I lift my lamp to touch off the primacord, so that the US, UK and EU exist nevermore"

Yeah, I think thats inscribed somewhere......

Would you knowingly let a murderer into YOUR house? I think not. I would if I knew the kids were ready for him/her. It would be the last thing on this planet they ever did knowing those two. Hell they might not even find the body with those two taking care of business. My kids are as thoughtful and kind as they come, but dont ever cross them because I trained them to always be ever vigilant. E.g. My military daughter will NOT sit in the middle of a restaurant, only near an exit and with her back to the wall. Good.

JJ also I believe that if you were 5'10" and of Italian descent at that time you were a suspect. If you were all of the above and had ties via family to those gentlemen described then you were likely detained. If they had one iota of information linking you to them and the incident, you were deported. I like it.

Couldnt get away with it now, but its something they could do. Remember the Clinton Court and the Roosevelt courts ruled that internment (concentration) camps in WWII were LEGAL. Let things start going south here from multiple attacks or something like it, then the wall will go up and damned fast, illegals will be rounded up and papers or not over the border they go. Canada is quick to rag on us about our attitude about illegal, Muslims, Italians(?)and what they might be doing. I think we ought to just drop them off in Windsor Ontario and let them deal with say 30,000 a day for about a year. They'll get the picture when their UHC collapses and the schools fold. Kind of like what is happening now. The media includes 13 million illegals in the population without healthcare....

Revere, I think it was Muslims who blew up the embassies right? It was Muslims who attacked the WTC's on Clintons watch, right? It was Muslims who hijacked the airplanes all thru the sixties and seventies, right? It was Muslims who blew the living fuck out of a 747 over Locherbie, right? It was Muslims who did the attacks in Bali, right? It was Muslims who attacked the US compounds in Saudi Arabia, right? It was Muslims who tried to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb right? It was Muslims who blew up the subway in Madrid, right? It was Muslims who drove two planes thru the WTC's and tried to kill GWB in the White House with other planes, right? It was Muslims who were going to spray atomized anthrax over a major US city with a crop duster, right?

I could go on, but its redundant. Italian terrorists are not with us. They are called the Mafia now and they are businessmen. Terrorists are with us and yes we call them what they are, Muslims. Plain, simple fact. Its not racial or anything like that. We are putting the label on the can of worms as to what it is, not what we would like it to be. There are hundreds of E. and W. African Muslims that work everyday here in Tennessee and Mississippi and they go to prayers. They are not though radicals and they send their kids to school with my son. They have been to my house, they play together, they come and pick up their kids after school. They are in the Speech and Debate team. They are Americans of Muslim descent. They are Joe the Muslim who only want the best for their children. Just like us Joe Christians. God help them because they bear the brunt of racism and its like our criminal faction in the US. Maybe 3% of the population is criminal, but the rest of the hood gets a bad name because of it. Racial profiling. But you cant live with your head in the sand because of the name, you have to know who to trust and who not. Thats the reason for the blurring of the lines because we JUST DONT KNOW anymore.

It may disturb some, but you go to bed a lot of nights these days wondering what the news will bring. Oh, yeaks. The 11th is here and that Muslim Court is going to rule in the a.m. about those Christians and Muslims who were trying to help them. Lets see if they get bought off.

Paying tribute money for passage.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 10 Jul 2007 #permalink


Ah, I see you think like the jihadis. It was the Americans who backed the Israelis, it was the Americans who invaded Afghanistan, it was the Americans who invaded Iraq, it was the Americans I could go on - but therefore all Americans are fair game. I had never thought of myself as taking up arms against my own government but if they start deporting large numbers of British citizens just because they are Muslim I will have to reconsider that position. At the moment I am more concerned about their paranoid overreaction swelling the ranks of the fanatics and alienating support and cooperation within the largely law abiding Muslim community. The number of active terrorists in the UK is small lets keep it that way. If they can build a viable case against anyone fine put them in goal indefinitely but do not go around shooting innocent Brazilians because everyone has been whipped up into a state of paranoia.

I am more of the school of thought embodied in the poem.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

With sincere apologies to the author.

When Woodrow Wilson came for the Italians,
I remained silent;
I was not a Italian.

When McCarthy locked up the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they came for the Muslims,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Muslim.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

JJ-So I guess we just sit back and wait for them to exercise the system and watch it happen, again.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 11 Jul 2007 #permalink

Randy: I am with JJ on this. It depends what kind of society you want to live in. If you want "law and order" you have many better than this one to choose from. You could move to Singapore. As you folks are always say, "Freedom isn't free." We are just arguing about who pays the cost. Your version is too expensive for me, and I'm not talking dollars.

No, don't sit back, change our forign policies so we don't give anyone cause to want to kill us in the first place.

IMO, the installation of plaques at sites of accidental or deliberate deaths is a recent development, I wouldn't necessarily expect one there. Botched robbery? Maybe, but would anyone use shrapnel effect? It's also the best way to attract the most people in town to the scene of the crime, how would one make a getaway? Not to mention the massive police presence at the site.

What's the point of the post? Is there a parallel between the current government deportation policies and those of the 1920s? I don't see a roundup of Muslims going on here. I have to point out that the majority of the suicide bombings and terrorist acts have (at least from what I can tell) been committed by Muslims, it would then follow that one would logically subject them to more scrutiny than say, Methodists. This is not the same as saying all Muslims are terrorists. If I was head of some law enforcement anti-terror team, I'd focus on the demographics most likely to commit that type of crime, just because it has the best chance of catching them. Doesn't matter what race, ethnicity, income, etc etc. If 97.7% (just making that number up) of known terrorists share a certain religion, what do you do with that information?

stu: What was the point? You might want to watch Fox News (unless you already do) or read the comments on the Responsible Investing post.

Stu, you are miming exactly what the Supreme Court said about this issue and they cautioned law enforcement in their opinions. The left side of the High Court was more of a Hillary C. read which of course will get us killed. The right side by one vote ruled that in particular junctures of time in the US it is necessary to give more scrutiny because of the "profile" exhibited by members of the population. Immigrants in 1920 and immigrants in 2007, legal and illegal both presented a problem. The assertion almost here is that these people who were deported didnt have a day in court. Nope, they were in with basically visa's and they were deported in 1920. They were awaiting citizenship. As best I have been able to determine no legal US citizen was ever deported during the 20's or now. I think you have to have either the courts or the Congress to strip someone of citizenship.

The assertion is also that we are jackbooting and that is far, far from the case and that we have "given up our freedoms." Only via the elected officials of this land would that ever happen unless there was a coup. Neither is or has happened.

The Muslims for the better part are peaceful group of people and wouldnt blow up anything or kill a soul. There are those that woud do that to us and with the weapons that are out there now, it doesnt matter what Revere's world is that he wants to live in. It doesnt exist, nor will it likely. We could work towards it but its tough to work when a one trillion pound building has crushed you into so much slowly drying human matter that only DNA would identify you.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 11 Jul 2007 #permalink

There is no plaque at the site of the biggest terrorist attack on US soil prior to September 11, 2001.

What about Oklahoma City?