Yesterday, New York Gov. Pataki declared that The International Freedom Center would not be included as part of the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero:
Gov. George Pataki on Wednesday removed a proposed freedom center from the space reserved for it near the planned World Trade Center memorial, saying the museum project had aroused “too much opposition, too much controversy.”
Pataki initially said the state would help the International Freedom Center find another home, but center officials said they weren’t interested and considered the project dead.
Pataki said a planned cultural building meant for the freedom center would now tell only the story of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who gave conflicting statements in recent days about the museum’s future, said Wednesday: “Although I understand Governor Pataki’s decision, I am disappointed that we were not able to find a way to reconcile the freedoms we hold so dear with the sanctity of the site.”
Thanks to the efforts of those who opposed it, the International Freedom Center, whose objectives became public only after Debra Burlingame exposed them in her article, The Great Ground Zero Heist, is no longer a threat to the sanctity of the hallowed Ground Zero. As Burlingame pointed out
The public will have come to see 9/11 but will be given a high-tech, multimedia tutorial about man’s inhumanity to man, from Native American genocide to the lynchings and cross-burnings of the Jim Crow South, from the Third Reich’s Final Solution to the Soviet gulags and beyond. This is a history all should know and learn, but dispensing it over the ashes of Ground Zero is like creating a Museum of Tolerance over the sunken graves of the USS Arizona.
The public will be confused at first, and then feel hoodwinked and betrayed. Where, they will ask, do we go to see the September 11 Memorial? The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation will have erected a building whose only connection to September 11 is a strained, intellectual one. 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.
Most of the cherished objects which were salvaged from Ground Zero in those first traumatic months will never return to the site. There is simply no room. But the International Freedom Center will have ample space to present us with exhibits about Chinese dissidents and Chilean refugees. These are important subjects, but for somewhere–anywhere–else, not the site of the worst attack on American soil in the history of the republic.
So what has been achieved, and what does it mean?
Let’s first look at the backers of the International Freedom Center.
1) Michael Posner,Executive Director of Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights). Human Rights First promotes its activities on its web site as
In 2004, Human Rights First launched its End Torture Campaign, a public education and advocacy effort that challenges the framework of U.S. policy and practice that allows coercive interrogation techniques and unlimited, secret detention of those in U.S. custody in violation of U.S. and international law. As part of the campaign, Human Rights First, retired military leaders, and other human rights advocates sued U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for the torture of eight former prisoners who were held by the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq. Human Rights First also organized a group of retired admirals and generals to speak out publicly against U.S. interrogation and detention policies.
2) Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. Mr. Romero’s biography indicates that he
has worked tirelessly to protect civil liberties through its Safe and Free campaign and its efforts to hold government officials accountable for the treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and in Afghanistan. Other new ACLU initiatives developed under Romero’s leadership have focused on racial justice, religious freedom, gay rights, reproductive freedom and privacy.
3) Eric Foner, Professor at Columbia University. Mr. Foner’s biography indicates
Beloved by undergraduates and reviled by right-wing ideologues, Columbia University’s Eric Foner is arguably the world’s foremost authority on the tumultuous period of American Reconstruction (1865-1877). […]…Foner’s writing is animated by a deep and abiding passion for America’s promise, a passion made all the more potent because it is tempered by an honest and critical appraisal of the times our nation has fallen short of our founding ideals.
David Horowitz writes of Mr. Foner as
Eric Foner, Columbia professor and president-elect of the American Historical Association, is indeed the scion of a family of well-known American Communists, a supporter of the Rosenbergs, a sponsor of CP stalwarts Angela Davis and Herbert Aptheker, a lifelong member of the radical left and, recently, an organizer of the secretaries union at Columbia and a would-be architect of an alliance between intellectuals and the working class.
4) George Soros, the billionaire leftist who supports MoveOn.org and other left-leaning organizations.
As you can see, the supporters were all people of the left, whose objectives are more to point out the failings of America than the good of America.
The significance of what has happened is this.
In the past, these very influential leftists, who have much clout in New York, particularly in Manhattan, would have worked out a deal with the Governor, the Lower Manhattan Commission, the Mayor, etc. Debra Burlingame and other 9/11 families might have objected, and Debra might even have gotten her article published in the Wall Street Journal Opinion section. But it would have ended there. The IFC would have been built.
The reason the Left has made the inroads it has in America to date is because things happened and no one knew about it until it was too late. In this instance a new factor was introduced. The internet. A web site, Take Back the Memorial, was set up which contained facts about the IFC, and provided an online petition for opponents to sign. Bloggers, like Michelle Malkin, Captain’s Quarters and many smaller bloggers picked up the ball and ran with it. They brought knowledge to the public. Once the public was informed, they could act, and did. Finally, even Hillary Clinton, seeing that nearly 50,000 people had signed the petition decided that the IFC should not be there, as did Rudy Giuliani.
This never would have happened without the blogosphere. The world is changing. No longer will the leftists and anti-American forces be able to surprise the American public with institutions they do not approve of. The internet is anathema to the political left. It is much easier now to find out who backers are, and to what socialist or communist organization they may belong to, or support.
Those of us who love America, and who believe that the Memorial at Ground Zero should solely exist to memorialize those who lost their lives in that great attack on America, and to honor those brave heroes who risked their lives in attempts to rescue the survivors, are pleased.
An informed and educated people is a free people.
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Update: Kevin Alyward at Wizbang makes a good point about the IFC’s sudden lack of interest in promoting “freedom” at some other location.
All it was ever about for the IFC crew was ramming their world view down the throats of unsuspecting ground zero visitors. If they’re not front and center they’re not interested.
If the IFC was in such demand they’d be looking to build it somewhere else. They’re not…