After a summer of furious and steadily rising criticism, Gov. George E. Pataki evicted the proposed International Freedom Center museum yesterday from its place next to the World Trade Center memorial site. With that, the museum declared itself to be out of business. . .The critics were correct--the IFC was poised to turn Manhattan's Ground Zero into an anti-imperalist-running-dog re-education camp. Kudos to Debra Burlingame, sister of of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, pilot of American Airlines fight 77, which was crashed into the Pentagon on September 11th [two friends were passengers--ed.]. Her June 8th Wall Street Journal article was the first to blow the whistle on what Jeff Jarvis called "constructing a 'Why They Hate Us Pavilion.'" Burlingame and others started the "Take Back the Memorial" group; job well done!
"The I.F.C. cannot be located on the memorial quadrant," Mr. Pataki said in a statement. That quadrant, at the southwest corner of the trade center site, contains the footprints of the twin towers.
Critics said the sacred precinct of the memorial was no place for a lesson in geopolitics or social history, particularly when a separate memorial museum devoted solely to 9/11 was being planned entirely underground, within the trade center foundations. . .
On Aug. 11, John C. Whitehead, the chairman of the corporation, instructed the Freedom Center to submit a report on its plans and programs, saying that its tenancy in the Snohetta building was at risk.
That report, issued last Thursday, did not assuage opponents, including three Republican congressmen, the police officers' and firefighters' unions and, as of last weekend, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York.
Former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who is identified strongly with the events of 9/11 and it immediate aftermath, supported Mr. Pataki's decision yesterday. "The governor has made the right decision," he said.
Noting the IFC's decision to disband, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs supplies the coda:
This seems to be a clear admission that their goal was to exploit Ground Zero; if not, why couldn’t they simply relocate?More:
Back in May, the New York Times questioned IFC's content and design:
By echoing the ramps down into the memorial pools, the downward spiral implies a direct connection between the cataclysm of 9/11 and a global struggle for "freedom" -- a bit of simplistic propaganda. (An early rendering of the Freedom Center that was circulated at the development corporation's offices included an image of a woman flashing a victory sign after voting in the recent Iraqi elections; that image has been replaced by a photo of Lyndon B. Johnson and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)But because the memorial became a conservative cause célèbre, the Times shifts into mourning:
At the root of that vitriolic protest was one question: "Why here?" Why imagine creating an institution that would celebrate freedom and foster discussion of its meaning, and the meaning of 9/11, within the memorial quadrant of ground zero? Wouldn't that dishonor the dead? We have never thought so. We believe that the site is sacred to more than death. It is sacred to life and to the principles - as well as the people - attacked there on Sept. 11, 2001. We believe that this country can be made stronger only by free speech. We believe that the power of that site should be used to consider what happened that day and to see what lessons we can derive from it, not only to mourn the dead.Earth to planet Times: the Center's mission statement isn't an Ollie Ollie Ox In Free for "simplistic propaganda."
Kevin at Wizbang agrees with LGF. And Law Hawk rounds up other media reactions.
1 The current, faux Republican, Mayor of New York City was "disappointed that we were not able to find a way to reconcile the freedoms we hold so dear with the sanctity of the site." Translation: Bloomberg's a terrorist apologist.