November 16, 2006, - 5:34 am

American Airlines Slaps Dead Flight Crew: How Corporate America Forgot 9/11

By Debbie Schlussel
Did American Airlines’ flight crew deserve to die on 9/11? Why is American Airlines honoring an actress who says exactly that?
On 9/11, American Airlines flight attendants Madeleine Amy Sweeney and Betty Ong were heroes.
Instead of calling their families to say good-bye, they called American Airlines’ ground crew and told them what was happening on their planes. Sweeney was on Mohammed Atta’s flight, and her identification of him is credited for alerting the government that the attack was an Al-Qaeda plot.
She never got to say good-bye to her two daughters or her husband, Michael Sweeney. The plane she was on, American Airlines Flight 11, hit the World Trade Center’s North Tower, and her life ended.


On 9/11, American Airlines lost two flights, 11 and 77. The airline lost 16 flight crew, including Sweeney, Ong, and pilot Charles “Chick” Burlingame.
But American Airlines seems to have forgotten them. The November 1st issue of its in-flight magazine, “American Way,” is a slap in the face of the American employees–and passengers–who gave their lives in the terrorist attacks.
In the back pocket of every seat on American flights, this month, “American Way’s” cover girl is smiling actress Maggie Gyllenhaal. Inside, a gushing article and fawning interview discuss Gyllenhaal’s life and her favorite spots to eat and do yoga. There’s nary a mention in the piece about Gyllenhaal’s most famous comment. On the 9/11 attacks, she said:

Because I think America has done reprehensible things and is responsible in some way.

Yes, according to Gyllenhaal, America and Americans–and, yes, American Airlines–deserved it. They deserved what happened on 9/11 because “America has done reprehensible things and is responsible.”
Apparently, this glaring slap in the face of Sweeney, Ong, and the other murdered American Airlines crew, didn’t occur to Sherri Gulczynski Burns, the magazine’s editor, or her boss, American Airlines Chairman and CEO Gerard J. Arpey. He has a full page article at the front of the magazine pushing contributions to UNICEF and thanking flight attendants for collecting donations from passengers.
Apparently, it’s more important to recognize the flight crews’ assistance to a questionable international charity than it is to give a thought to those who died in the name of his airline.
But American Airlines is not the only company that has forgotten the 9/11 attacks and gotten lazy in the continuing War on Terror.
Take Comerica bank, a chain headquartered in Michigan.
One of Comerica’s clients is LIFE for Relief and Development, America’s largest Islamic charity. It has seven accounts with the bank. In September, the Detroit-based charity was raided by the FBI because of its ties to terrorists.
For years, LIFE openly donated millions to HAMAS and is believed to be funding Al-Qaeda and Taliban insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. The charity has close ties to Al-Qaeda and is run by Saddam loyalists.
After the FBI raids, Comerica Bank officials informed LIFE that it would be terminating their banking relationship with the charity and closing its accounts.


But Comerica didn’t exactly get tough with LIFE. It was just before the start of Ramadan, when millions of Muslims give the bulk of their charity contributions for the year. And LIFE asked Comerica to delay any action until after Ramadan.
Under pressure from “former” terrorist Imad Hamad, his Muslim-dominated American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the Council on American Islamic Relations, spineless bank officials acquiesced. This allowed LIFE to continue to collect millions in monies that may ultimately go to terrorist activities.
Last week, LIFE delivered thousands of packages (containing who knows what) to refugee camp residents in Beit Hanoon and other Palestinian cities, where HAMAS runs the show. At the same time LIFE “packages” were delivered to LIFE’s HAMAS friends, HAMAS terrorists were busy attacking Israeli soldiers in Beit Hanoon and hundreds of Palestinian women served as human shields for the terrorists. They game the terrorists food and other aid, likely that which they received from LIFE.
By allowing LIFE, a charity that openly donates millions to terrorists, to keep its accounts open even a day after FBI raids, Comerica helped fund terror. The bank helped Islamic terrorists murder innocent people, all in the name of pandering to Islamic pressure groups who will never be fully appeased.
When, after the 9/11 attacks, did America fall asleep? And when will America’s airlines, banks and other corporations wake up?
Will it take 16 more dead American Airlines flight crew? Let’s hope not.
Send an e-mail message to “American Way” editor Sherri Gulczynski Burns, and let her know how you feel about her magazine gushing over Maggie Gyllenhaal.

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17 Responses

RE: Maggie Gyllenhaal–
Ugly is as ugly does.
Question–Whoever thought this homely freak should be a movie star?

Red Ryder on November 16, 2006 at 9:08 am

Maggie Gyllenhaal is the niece of leftwing Professor Eric Foner of Columbia University (who was the son of a Communist named Jack Foner – the apple not falling far from the tree). She seems as “intelligent” as the character she played in the movie “Secretary.”

Ripper on November 16, 2006 at 9:46 am

The higher ups at AMR the parent company of AAirlines forgot about losing an aircraft, flight crew and passengers the minute they were bailed out by the US government. Anyone who has actually worked on the scene of an aircraft crash will NEVER forget it. I have been at two- The Avianca crash that ran out of gas literally 1.5 miles from my former home on Long Island as a rescue worker witht he local ambulance and the Swissair 111 crash off of Nova Scotia as a airline special assitance team representative. I’d love to see ANY of the executives sit through having a mother hand you the dental records of her child. They just show up at memorial services for photo ops.

MarySJ on November 16, 2006 at 10:56 am

Debbie is one of our true gems of expose writing
here in the USA. She bravely steps forth every week and delivers intelligent accurate reports on the War On Terror especially as it is connected to us right here in our homeland.
There should be some site, some informal group started to insist on action against some of these VERY OBVIOUS dark connections as relates to Hamas and other terror organizations.
I’m thinking something along the lines of the Minute Men but more in keeping accurate records and locations of radical Muslim activists here in our own country.
I don’t have the details as to how exactly it would best work to our benefit.
Letters mailed to Private companies, letters mailed to law enforcement, letters mailed to those who are SUPPOSED to be representing us etc.
Again, I openly say thank you to our bright burning brave (beautiful) star….Debbie Schlussel.
And as a follow up note, I also learn a lot sometimes from the comment section here.
So accolades to this Post a comment section as well!!
12:12 pm

neilsthepoet on November 16, 2006 at 1:13 pm

The only ones responsible for the 9/11 murders are the Islamic Terrorists. Period.
But Debbie, you are being way to hard on Maggie, and many of the other patriotic Americans that share her feelings.
It is quite a normal reaction for the victim of a violent crime to think that perhaps they brought on the crime. They think their actions in some way may have contributed to the crime.
Rape victims are a classic example of this guilt complex. And, our culture has a history of agreeing that rape victims somehow brought on the crime themselves.
Women may dress provocatively (thank you God), and our County may have bone headed foreign policies, but that can never, ever, in the slightest most remote tiny aspect, justify or mitigate rape or murder of innocent human beings.
I happen to be in the group the sees the Iraq war and policy as an interactive recruiting poster for Islamic Terrorists. This current US Iraq policy is making the world less safe.
That does not mean that if the terrorists strike again that the US is to blame. The perpetrators are to blame, period.
Debbie you need to lighten up on innocents like Maggie. Direct your venom at the terrorists. Enlighten and reassure the victims like Maggie who have shame and guilt, that they have done nothing wrong. They and the US have done nothing to deserve this fate.

Johnny Two Dog on November 16, 2006 at 3:23 pm

    To compare 9/11 attacks to “a rape” or other traumatic crime is moronic. First, if a total stranger is raped do you believe they deserved it? That is what you are saying. Maggie Gyllenhaal is an idiot. Suggesting she was a victim of trauma is ridiculous.

    Kevin on August 30, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Anybody who thinks this is OK, really is a liability to this country. The elections just proved that at least half the people in this country really, really don’t get it. They might suspect something after the next major attack. But some still won’t. Maybe after we wake up some morning and Cleveland is missing, maybe some of the in”duh”viduals in this country will begin to realize what happened on 9/11.

dches on November 16, 2006 at 5:21 pm

Johnny 2D
I thought I could hear the violins playing while reading your post. To have you feel anything but disgust for MS. Gyllenhaal and any other of these demented so-called patriots makes me question your own patriotism. You can’t leave these cretins any wiggle room at all for their remarks about any responsibility for 9/11 being on our shoulders. People of that nature should be shunned (Yes, just like the Amish did in the old days) until they either atone for their remarks or they are run out of this country.

Richard on November 16, 2006 at 6:43 pm

“It is quite a normal reaction for the victim of a violent crime to think that perhaps they brought on the crime”…this may be true on an individual level, particularly when the crime is committed by someone they know, but is it really true at the national level? I doubt that many Americans reacted this way after Pearl Harbor, and I doubt that many Russians reacted this way after the German invasion of the Soviet Union. on November 16, 2006 at 10:27 pm

Richard, I am all for running you out of my country. This is not Amishca it’s America. America, Love it or leave it. You should leave it. Here is my violin serenading your departure.
Photocourier, I agree, Many Americans did not feel this way after Pearl Harbor, and Many Russians did not feel this way after the Germains invaded. But SOME did. It is a normal reaction.
SOME Americans faulted Franklin Roosevelt, and SOME Americans think FDR knew in advance of the Pearl Harbor attack, and did nothing to prevent it.
Does that make these Americans less patriotic? NO. It just makes them wrong. The US was not at fault for Pearl Harbor or 9/11.

Johnny Two Dog on November 17, 2006 at 1:49 am

Johnny Two Dog,
It is so chivalrous of you to defend Ms. Gyllenhaal’s statements. She is obviously feeling very guilty for being a rich, lilly-white person of European descent. She must believe that she is automatically guilty if someone attacks her. But she is guilty of anti-Americanism, not of doing something worthy of foreign invasion.
As for the rest of you, lighten up on Ms. Gyllenhaal. She is obviously feeling very guilty and too stupid to know how wrong she is. She likely cannot list the “reprehensible things” that America has done to deserve the attacks. And she is probably too stupid to realize that whatever our nation has done wrong, the other nations have likely done many and more evil things than we. She is also likely unable to forgive us because she holds us to an ideal standard and the more evile nations to no standard at all. And what’s most interesting, she probably thinks that she is being entirely consistent.

Loser on November 18, 2006 at 1:03 am

Meanwhile the Muslim Crusaders march around the world, innocent blood fills the streets and as in days of old the powers that be again wrongly crucify and laud the Gyllenhaal idiots.

Diego on November 19, 2006 at 3:15 pm

I am always puzzled when actors & such are asked any question beyond their grasp of reality. Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal’s comment to American Way Magazine on the 9/11 attacks, “Because I think America has done reprehensible things and is responsible in some way” is so stupid I wonder if perhaps the editors do not agree with her. What gives Maggie a soap box that is not available to the millions of us who disagree with her?
In case ya’ll ain’t paying attention, the Muslim Crusade is marching throughout the earth and leaving bloody, mutilated and dead bodies in their wake. Ask Maggie who deserves this??

Diego on November 19, 2006 at 3:35 pm

Most actors are good at just one thing: acting! When asked a question not related to their career they should shut up.

arius on May 28, 2008 at 6:41 pm

I recently inadvertently rented one of MG’s movies. Had I known about this, I would not have. Today MG has gone onto my celebrity sh**list of people to boycott.

Dave on August 31, 2009 at 1:43 pm

She did NOT say they DESERVED it, she said they were RESPONSIBLE in SOME way. Do not twist her words.

Amy on March 8, 2010 at 11:25 am

Just as a little FYI, Maggie Gyllenhaal is not related to any of the Foner clan. Their mother simply kept her first husband’s surname instead of reverting to her birth name of Achs. Eric Foner is not Maggie Gyllenhaal’s uncle, he’s the ex of her mother.

That being said, if your term JINO makes common vernacular, it should have a photo of Maggie Gyllenhaal next to it.

Mika on November 2, 2010 at 5:19 am

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