Sunday, September 25, 2005


WASHINGTON - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday dealt a crushing
blow to the International Freedom Center planned for Ground Zero,
saying she wants the project canned for failing to listen to the 9/11
families. "I cannot support the IFC," Clinton declared last night in a
strongly worded statement in response to an inquiry from The Post. Her
tough comments are Clinton's first significant remarks about the
controversy raging at Ground Zero over the Freedom Center, which 9/11
families and other critics fear will become a center of
anti-Americanism. "While I want to ensure that development and
rebuilding in lower Manhattan move forward expeditiously, I am
troubled by the serious concerns family members and first responders
have expressed to me," Clinton said. "The LMDC [Lower Manhattan
Development Corp.] has authority over the site and I do not believe
we can move forward until it heeds and addresses their concerns." The
family members of victims, as well as unions representing the city's
cops and firefighters, want nothing less than the Freedom Center
being booted from Ground Zero. Given her influence, Clinton's hard
line could spell doom for the Freedom Center's hopes of remaining at
the World Trade Center site. Clinton spoke out the day after the IFC
released a plan intended to save its spot at the site, but it was met
with immediate opposition from 9/11 families. Clinton won't support
any plan unless the families and first responders back it, said her
spokesman, Philippe Reines. Many relatives of 9/11 victims denounced
the Freedom Center plan as an insult to the 2,749 people who diedat
the Twin Towers because it would paint them as a little more than a
footnote to the world's march toward freedom. The families, cops and
firefighters say the IFC's plan to use hallowed land at Ground Zero
to highlight poverty as a barrier to freedom diminishes the tragedy
of 9/11. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also voiced concern yesterday
and called for a compromise — although he didn't state flat-out
opposition to the Freedom Center. "There's got to be a way to meet
the families' sincere and real needs and build a center that honors
the freedom that the victims died for. We hope that the LMDC will
find some common ground quickly," Schumer said. Gov. Pataki — who
wields strong influence over the LMDC, which will soon decide the
Freedom Center's fate — is traveling abroad and has yet to take a
stand on the Freedom Center's latest proposal. Pataki has said thathe
won't support any plan that offers a forum for anti-Americanism.
Clinton's opposition means that the anti-IFC push is now a bipartisan
cause. Three New York Republicans — Reps. John Sweeney (Saratoga),
Peter King (L.I.) and Vito Fossella (S.I.) — are already challenging
it as a "blame America first" project. Yesterday, the trio of
Republicans formally requested a congressional oversight hearing as a
step toward blocking the IFC from getting any of the $2.7 billion in
federal funds allocated for Ground Zero. "The whole thing was
hijacked. If you asked people on the street what they wanted at
Ground Zero, this would be the last thing that they wanted," Sweeney


Blogger roger said...

Now please fire the corrupt and incompetent LMDC and WTC Foundation and go back to Ground Zero to give us a memorial that fits the occasion.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 7:31:00 AM  
Blogger wild bill said...

that would be a good thing. Unfortunately, actually firing people is probably not going to happen.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 10:11:00 AM  

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