Bloggers transform the squabbles over a Ground Zero memorial into a national political controversy. They also discuss a report on the FBI's missed opportunities to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks and rip into Howard Dean for a series of public faux pas.
The fight for Ground Zero: Complaining that a planned World Trade Center memorial is too politically correct, a Wall Street Journal column has spurred debate across the blogosphere by calling the project "a slanted history lesson, a didactic lecture on the meaning of liberty in a post-9/11 world." Until now, the fight for Ground Zero has been underreported nationally, writes conservative columnist Michelle Malkin at Townhall.com. "But it's not just New Yorkers and developers and 9/11 families who should care," she says.
At BuzzMachine, critic Jeff Jarvis is apoplectic. "We should be ashamed of ourselves," he writes. "The great tragedy of 9/11 is almost three years [sic] gone and still the hole stares at us because we are too political and incompetent to fill it and, worse, we are allowing the innocents and heroes of that day to be used to fulfill political agenda"—an agenda, he writes, that threatens to turn the project "into what Bill Maher has wanted: a Why They Hate Us Pavillion." Novelist-cum-blog entrepreneur Roger L. Simon cheekily suggests the developers go further and "turn Ground Zero into something that would really make you proud—A Memorial to the Victims of the American Gulag in Guantanamo."
Chris, a blue-stater from Two Babes and a Brain, agrees that Ground Zero has been subject to partisan wrangling, but she calls the recent backlash a case of pot-and-kettle. "You don't get to decide what a national event means to everyone and you shouldn't use it to further divide our country," she scolds Malkin. "There's nothing wrong with a museum dedicated to the history of freedom and oppression," says Alan Stewart Carl, the liberal half of The Yellow Line, a blog of two disenchanted partisans. "But there is something terribly wrong with putting it on the World Trade Center site."
Read more about the fight for Ground Zero.
Yet more blame to go around:According to an internal Department of Justice review made public Thursday, "The F.B.I. missed at least five chances in the months before Sept. 11, 2001, to find two hijackers as they prepared for the attacks," the New York Times reports.
The report occasions a predictable partisan scrabble over political responsibility for the attacks. "Any idea out there why Robert Mueller still has a job?" asks Holden, an Illinois-based liberal writing at First Draft. "Yeah, I know, no one has ever been held accountable for the attacks of September 11th as the Bush assministration views those events as an opportunity rather than a great tragedy." Conservative SoCalPundit Kevin D. Korenthal is also pointing fingers. "For Those Who Need Someone (other than the terrorists) To Blame For 9/11," he writes,"I present your Federal Bureau of Investigation."
"[T]he most disturbing aspect about the report is the effect that multicultural political correctness played in intimidating the FBI into being less aggressive …," says conservative favorite Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters. "While the entire law-enforcement and intelligence communities knew of a brewing threat from radical Islamists to attack the United States, at home and abroad, the FBI was more concerned with possibly offending Arabs instead of protecting US assets and American citizens."
Read more about the FBI and Sept. 11.
What's the plural of faux pas?: The Washington Post reports that the media have started piling on Howard Dean, pressing the DNC chairman on his recent ill-advised comments. "Among other things," the paper summarized, "Dean has said that he hates 'Republicans and everything they stand for,' that many of them 'have never made an honest living in their lives,' that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay 'ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence' and—most recently—that Republicans are 'pretty much a white Christian party.' "
"The gift that keeps on giving, this Dr. Dean," writes syndicated columnist James Lileks. "It must rankle the moderates to hear him fling this nonsense on a daily basis; after all, it's like having Pat Buchanan run the GOP." At InstaPundit libertarian linchpin Glenn Reynolds quotes Joe Biden's rebuke of Dean—"He doesn't speak for me with that kind of rhetoric and I don't think he speaks for the majority of Democrats"—then wonders, "Er, so what's he doing as party Chair, then?"
At least one Democrat is less worried by Dean than the party's response to his remarks. "Karl Rove, Ken Mehlman, and Tom DeLay don't even have to bother attacking Howard Dean anymore; their work is being done for them by the stalwarts of what's left of the Democratic Party establishment," writesRolling Stone editor Jann Wenner at celebrity experiment The Huffington Post. "Dean may not be the slickest and most media savvy speaker, but when did we agree that Democrats are the only ones required to play nice?"
Read more blog posts about Howard Dean.
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