Wednesday, September 28, 2005

International Freedom Center Out of Ground Zero

The plans of the "International Freedom Center" (IFC) to create a Blame America First exhibit at the site of the World Trade Center are officially off. The handwriting was on the wall when Sen. Hillary Clinton came out publicly against the project, and now Gov. Pataki has shown the IFC the door. The WaPo reports:
Museum Dropped From WTC Site for Now: "The decision followed months of acrimony, with some Sept. 11 families and politicians saying that such a museum would overshadow and take space from a separate memorial devoted to the 2,749 World Trade Center dead and would dishonor them by fostering debate about the attacks and other world events.

'Freedom should unify us. This center has not,' Pataki said. 'Today there remains too much opposition, too much controversy over the programming of the IFC. ... We must move forward with our first priority, the creation of an inspiring memorial to pay tribute to our lost loved ones and tell their stories to the world.'

Freedom Center officials said in a statement that they did not believe there was a viable location elsewhere at the site.

'We consider our work, therefore, to have been brought to an end,' they said.

The campaign by Sept. 11 families to oust the museum had grown to include four police and fire unions, an online petition with more than 40,000 signatures, and several politicians including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani."
Despite the headline, there's no indication in the WaPo story that the IFC has just been dropped "for now." In fact the statement above from the IFC sounds a note of finality. The story also makes no mention of Take Back the Memorial, the group that fought along with the 9/11 families against the IFC project.

Our only question is, if Pataki had the power to do this, why did it take so long? Is it too much to expect political "leaders" to lead rather than waiting for cover before acting? Apparently.

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