Must-read. Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles F. “Chic” Burlingame III, pilot of American Airlines fight 77, which terrorists crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, has blown the whistle on George Soros and other human rights zealots who are trying to turn Ground Zero into a blame-America monument. Her piece is up at the WSJ.com site (subscription required…also try here). Here are a few blood-boiling excerpts:
The World Trade Center Memorial Cultural Complex will be an imposing edifice wedged in the place where the Twin Towers once stood. It will serve as the primary “gateway” to the underground area where the names of the lost are chiseled into concrete. The organizers of its principal tenant, the International Freedom Center (IFC), have stated that they intend to take us on “a journey through the history of freedom…”
…While the IFC is getting 300,000 square feet of space to teach us how to think about liberty, the actual Memorial Center on the opposite corner of the site will get a meager 50,000 square feet to exhibit its 9/11 artifacts, all out of sight and underground.
Meanwhile, generous space will be allotted to the International Freedom Center for exhibits on Chinese dissidents and Chilean refugees.
Burlingame reports further:
More disturbing, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. is handing over millions of federal dollars and the keys to that building to some of the very same people who consider the post-9/11 provisions of the Patriot Act more dangerous than the terrorists that they were enacted to apprehend — people whose inflammatory claims of a deliberate torture policy at Guantanamo Bay are undermining this country’s efforts to foster freedom elsewhere in the world.
Who’s behind this sacrilege at Ground Zero? Burlingame continues:
The driving force behind the IFC is Tom Bernstein, the dynamic co-founder of the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex who made a fortune financing Hollywood movies. But his capital ventures appear to have funded his true calling, the pro bono work he has done his entire adult life — as an activist lawyer in the human rights movement. He has been a proud member of Human Rights First since it was founded — as the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights — 27 years ago, and has served as its president for the last 12.
The public has a right to know that it was Mr. Bernstein’s organization, joined by the American Civil Liberties Union, that filed a lawsuit three months ago against Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was Human Rights First that filed an amicus brief on behalf of alleged “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla, an American citizen who the Justice Department believes is an al Qaeda recruit. It was Human Rights First that has called for a 9/11-style commission to investigate the alleged torture of detainees, complete with budget authority, subpoena power and the ability to demand that witnesses testify under oath.
In fact, the IFC’s list of those who are shaping or influencing the content and programming for their Ground Zero exhibit includes a Who’s Who of the human rights, Guantanamo-obsessed world:
• Michael Posner, executive director at Human Rights First who is leading the world-wide “Stop Torture Now” campaign focused entirely on the U.S. military. He has stated that Mr. Rumsfeld’s refusal to resign in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal is “irresponsible and dishonorable.”
• Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, who is pushing IFC organizers for exhibits that showcase how civil liberties in this country have been curtailed since September 11.
• Eric Foner, radical-left history professor at Columbia University who, even as the bodies were being pulled out of a smoldering Ground Zero, wrote, “I’m not sure which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House.” This is the same man who participated in a “teach-in” at Columbia to protest the Iraq war, during which a colleague exhorted students with, “The only true heroes are those who find ways to defeat the U.S. military,” and called for “a million Mogadishus.” The IFC website has posted Mr. Foner’s statement warning that future discussions should not be “overwhelmed” by the IFC’s location at the World Trade Center site itself.
• George Soros, billionaire founder of Open Society Institute, the nonprofit foundation that helps fund Human Rights First and is an early contributor to the IFC. Mr. Soros has stated that the pictures of Abu Ghraib “hit us the same way as the terrorist attack itself.”
Concludes Burlingame: “Ground Zero has been stolen, right from under our noses. How do we get it back?”
Start by contacting NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Then Gov. George Pataki.
Learn more about Human Rights First here.
This abomination needs to be nipped in the bud. Now.
Winfield Myers urges, “Let’s see to it that the memories of those who died are not buried on the very ground their deaths hallowed.”
Update III: No guilt complex at Ground Zero.