2003-08-27 23:48:52 UTC
(from The Nation) "When the World Trade Center towers collapsed, the
air was filled with particulate matter -- including asbestos, lead,
glass fibers and concrete dust -- and gases from jet fuel-fed fires,
including PCBs, dioxin and various evaporated metals.
At the time, the Environmental Protection Agency insisted the air was
still safe. Now it turns out EPA had no basis for saying that, and
what's more, wanted to warn New Yorkers about things to do to keep
themselves safe. But the EPA allowed itself to be meekly overruled by
the White House. That's according to the EPA's own Inspector General's
office, which issued a report last Friday criticizing EPA's work. The
White House, the report says, "convinced EPA to add reassuring
statements and delete cautionary ones," and insisted on having
Condoleeza Rice's National Security Council vet all EPA announcements
on the matter.
"When EPA made a Sept. 18 announcement that the air was 'safe' to
breathe, the agency did not have sufficient data and analyses to make
the statement," the report says. In other words, it lied. And because
of that, many people got sick. New Yorkers are enraged, and rightly
so, and calling for a Congressional investigation.
So we have a White House conspiracy to cover up a clear health threat
and let the American people get sick (with Condoleeza Rice "massaging"
the intelligence). It's the sort of thing people should go to jail
over. Adding insult to injury, American taxpayers will no doubt soon
be shouldering the costs of enormous court-ordered punitive damages
against the Bush Administration. Think of it as yet another of those
hidden Bush tax hikes.
* * *
Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin is one of those who got sick after
9/11 from breathing all that foul air.
"I did not feel well for two months," Breslin writes. "I never said
anything because I was too embarrassed. A couple of thousand had died.
So many others were scorched and broken and maimed. I had no right to
open my mouth, I thought. Besides, from the first day, the
government's Environmental Protection Agency had announced that air
was remarkably clean. Work on. Breathe on. You're fine. ...
"This lying with the lives of the people of the nation is not solely
the habit of Bush and his crew, although it is more widespread and
being done in so many cases by so many of their people that it looks
like a generation of liars.
"This war with Iraq started with the full government standing right up
and looking you in the eye and openly lying about why we had to invade
Iraq immediately. Bush said the Iraqis had weapons of mass
destruction. Why, they were starting to make nuclear bombs. He had a
statement about this in his State of the Union speech. When it was
shown to be a lie, Bush had people like Condoleezza Rice say, Why are
you so worried about 26 words in a speech? That the 26 words were
about nuclear weapons seemed beyond her. Out in the streets, you can
scare people with only three words: 'Stick 'em up.'
"I sit here in New York and I don't believe one single solitary word
of what the government says. Can you believe anything Bush says? Only
if you're a rank sucker."