'Sure, IFC bosses now say they'll exercise restraint. But it's hard to believe a facility headed by Tom Bernstein, whose group, Human Rights First, is suing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld personally for imagined Gitmo offenses.
Besides, Bernstein & Co. Claim to be taking guidance from the new-agey think-tank Aspen Institute Â never mind that its board of trustees includes the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar. (Maybe Bernstein thinks Bandar has some special insight on 9/11, since 15 of the hijackers came from his country.)
The IFC and the Drawing Center may or may not have something to add to the post-9/11 debate.
But not at Ground Zero.
Pataki and Whitehead (whoever is in charge today) need to move them offsite Â once and for all.'
Vito Fossella, Peter King and John Sweeney have weighed in with their opinions as well.
'To date, the IFC's apparent message has ranged from a muddled hodge-podge to possibly even blaming America for the 9/11 attacks. This is not what we envisioned when we secured hundreds of millions of federal taxpayer dollars to help rebuild Ground Zero. Nor did we anticipate that the planning process would be hijacked by some to construct some long-desired pet project to showcase anti-American propaganda.
The IFC has responded recently to the mounting criticism, but it is still not enough. We believe that, if the museum is to proceed, clear criteria must be established limiting all its programming to 9/11.
We unequivocally reject the notion that America is to blame for the terrorist attacks. Indeed, we believe that the story of freedom's march over the past two centuries has happened because of the United States of America, not in spite of it!
Throughout the 20th century, America responded time and again to freedom's call. When Europe burned, it was the American GI who extinguished the flame. When Hitler's army marched through the streets of Paris, bombed Britain and slaughtered millions, it was America's sons and daughters who laid their lives down. When the Soviet Union's communist arsenal threatened individual liberties throughout the world, it was America's principled determination that forced its demise.
Today, at the dawn of the 21st century, terrorism has emerged as the latest incarnation of evil and it is America that is leading the global war to eradicate it. That war began on 9/11. The IFC must consider only that when designing its museum.'
Then there is the New York Times. They have been busted by Cox & Forkum as supporters of this planned travesty.
'A New York Times editorial yesterday villainized the Take Back The Memorial campaign against the International Freedom Center as the work of a "sharply political" "handful of angry family members" out to impose "censorship" at the WTC memorial site. If you are one of the over 32,000 33,000 people who have signed the "Take Back The Memorial" petition (including over 1,600 1,700 9/11 family members), you might take exception to that charge.
The Times' criticisms are based on the false assumption that the WTC site was somehow destined to be a publicly-built venue for the arts and political discourse. Operating from that premise, the attempts by Take Back The Memorial to ensure that the WTC memorial site deals exclusively with 9/11 are characterized as "abrogating the rights of everyone else."
One particular passage reveals the Times blindness to the real issue. They write that if Governor Pataki attempts to "appease one small, vocal group of protesters," "he runs the risk of turning ground zero into a place where we bury the freedoms that define this nation."
"Bury"? The Times has the gall to use the word "bury"? There are actual Americans buried at Ground Zero, murdered because they lived in a free county, and the Times' main concern is not the victims but that Ground Zero have an art gallery able to exhibit "controversial images of 9/11 and America's role in the world," all in the name of "free speech."
The real issues are how to properly use the hallowed ground of the WTC site to memorialize 9/11 victims and to historically document the attacks, and whether or not the IFC "freedom museum" and "arts center" are distractions from (and potentially even desecrations of) that memorial. As currently planned, the WTC memorial is already buried beneath the International Freedom Center building. With left-leaning individuals deeply involved in the IFC, it's not difficult to imagine how much worse it can get.'
I urge each and every one of you to visit the Take Back the Memorial web site and sign the petition. - Sailor