If you would like to view the 34 min full length version, email me here. (Your email will never be abused or shared in any way.)
About this film…
In the 1990s, the late FBI counter-terrorism chief, John P. O’Neill, had blasted through a wall of resistance inside the government to uncover the global nature of the al-Qaeda network. In this film, O’Neill’s allies recount their trail to the doorstep of the September 11 plot using their traditional security methods, only to be derailed from preventing the attacks. Their devastating account holds the promise of public trust for a wiser approach to counter-terrorism. Here you will meet key counter-terrorism officials, some featured in Hulu’s 2018 dramatization of John O’Neill’s career, “The Looming Tower.” To this day, their voices remain under heard.
A note of heartfelt thanks to Warren Flagg and others who restored my faith, and whose supportive feedback countered my doubts by insisting that my status as an average unknown American citizen was precisely the reason I should contribute my voice. As big budget documentaries on 9/11 were being produced, my modestly made independent film seemed less urgent in comparison, and life called me to other things. When UNCHECKED won the NYWIFT award in 2021, I realized that viewers were connecting emotionally to grasp the tragic magnitude of questions that remain unanswered after more than twenty years, as evidenced by the recent September 11 Transparency Act.
Much has happened since I began working on this story… I have recently posted many videos in the blog section of this site for easy access to important voices shedding penetrating light on connections between September 11 and January 6. I invite you to visit the blog page and those videos, as I’m sure that you, like me, are grappling with our historical moment.
UNCHECKED won First Place in the Documentary category in the NEW YORK WOMEN IN FILM 2021 ONLINE SHORTS FEST!
I’m so pleased to share the message of this film with you….
I lived for twenty years in Brooklyn, blocks away from the first major al-Qaeda cell in America. I began following the al-Qaeda story after the East African Embassy bombings in 1998. After the September 11th attacks, I ran across an in-depth article about FBI chief John P. O’Neill, eloquently written by New Yorker author Lawrence Wright. I found O’Neill’s story particularly moving. Years later, like many fellow Americans, I was aghast at the Iraq War; the extreme new security methods; the NDAA detention powers signed by President Obama, and more. When I met retired FBI agent Warren Flagg, the “mayor” of our block, I learned he’d been a very close friend of John O’Neill, the man in the article of 2002, who gave his life to warn America, who died trying to save people in the North Tower. Warren and his colleagues were utterly devastated by his loss. Their lives, like the 9/11 families, will never be the same. America, and our world, will never be the same.
Warren, “W” as I call him, was deeply worried about American citizens like me losing faith in our institutions. Here we are, twenty-two years since 9/11. With some 30 percent of our country seemingly content to take a wrecking ball to the entire democratic edifice. Something is amiss in the America we love. I am terrified, and hope we are all terrified. But in a positive way, motivated to discern not only what we are against, but also what we are for. My mom’s ancestor signed the Declaration of Independence. I believe we have a duty to fulfill and protect our inheritance by insisting on the truth. Conspiracy and untruth grow in the soil of omission, deeply dangerous, as recent years have shown. Each September 11th, the men in my film relive not only the agony of that day, but the added grief of confronting deceitful narratives still circulating in the bloodstream of America. Let’s help them fight for truth grounded in reality based fact, the lifeblood of our democracy.
This film will be accessible for a few days around September 11. If you would like to view the 34 min full length version, Email me here. (Your email will never be abused or shared in any way.)
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