Do not build it. Not there.

Do not build it. Not there.

: There is the whiff of good sense and victory in the efforts to preserve the World Trade Center memorial as a memorial and find someplace else to build the International Freedom Center that does not belong there. The Post reports today:

Officials are searching for new locations ó some away from Ground Zero ó to house a pair of controversial cultural centers slated for construction next to the 9/11 memorial, it was revealed yesterday.

“We’re making one last look around the site to see where it is feasible,” said John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., referring to the hunt for homes for the International Freedom Center and the Drawing Center.

The officials are looking “within the 16 acres” of the World Trade Center “and beyond,” he said at an LMDC board meeting.

The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation has asked him to look for a different space for the two centers, Whitehead said.

But, he added, it’s doubtful they will be moved.

“It’s not likely that we would find another place, but we are making an effort,” he said.

Well, try a little harder, sir.

Like the families, I have never suggested that these centers should not be built. But they should not be built at the World Trade Center (not on its 16 acres) for they do not belong there. They distract and detract from the memorial. And any effort to make them inofffensive if they are built there will only be seen as censorship. So from the start, I called for them to be built elsewhere. Now it appears that process has begun.

Unfortunately, the sniping at the families who have brought this to our attention continues:

Whitehead, meanwhile, took aim yesterday at three directors on the foundation’s board who have publicly criticized the proposed cultural projects.

“The misrepresentations they have offered have done serious damage,” he said without naming names. “The public is confused about the elements of the site.”

Monika Iken, Debra Burlingame and Lee Ielpi ó each of whom lost a family member on 9/11 ó have opposed the cultural centers.

The public has “been told that the campaign is to ‘take back the memorial’ ó as if it ever went away,” Whitehead said in an apparent reference to the critics’ Take Back the Memorial campaign.

Last night, Burlingame accused Whitehead of having violated the memorial board’s code of conduct, unanimously adopted this week.

“It is regrettable that the ink is barely dry on the code . . . [yet] the chairman would slander three of the board members while at the same trying to muzzle us,” she said.

The board meeting was attended by several relatives of victims of the terror attacks who oppose the cultural projects.

“He’s already dismissed the idea that it could happen,” said Charles Wolf, whose wife was killed on 9/11.

The reference was to Whitehead’s unenthusiastic pledge to look elsewhere for the cultural centers.

In an edidtorial, the Post also calls Whitehead on his pouting, foot-dragging, apparently insincere effort to find new sites for the center.

the governor would do well to get Whitehead in sync with the new plan.

Or maybe it’s not a plan at all ó but rather a scheme to dupe those who object to politics at the 9/11 memorial.

For Whitehead immediately discounted the plan, saying “it’s not likely” another site will be found.

This means either Pataki’s folks are dissembling again (imagine that), or that Whitehead, arrogant as always, is thumbing his nose at the governor….

The IFC and the Drawing Center may or may not have something to add to the post-9/11 debate.

But not at Ground Zero.

Pataki and Whitehead (whoever is in charge today) need to move them offsite ó once and for all.Look harder, Mr. Whitehead.

: See also the letter writers taking out after the NY Times and its editlorial in favor of building these centers on sacred ground. Says one:

The International Freedom Center can be built in lots of other places in New York. Ground zero is the wrong place. The “small, vocal group of protesters” you speak of represents what most New Yorkers think. You are out of touch with the public.

: See also the Take Back the Memorial blog, where more than 33,000 people have signed the petition disagreeing with Whitehead and the Times editorialists.

  • Mike G

    This sure looks like a dodge. Keep up the heat.

  • John

    Put it on the landfill created from the original World Trade Center excavation in 1970. There’s still an area near the Stuyvesant High School site at Chambers Street that would be far enough away from the WTC site as to not impose on any memorial and close enough — along with being tied into the WTC by the ground it is built on — to be part of the immediate Ground Zero area.

  • Thomas

    “Like the families…”
    Why are the “9/11 families” always being invoked as if they all share the same opinions or are a homogeneous body? I’m sure some welcome the IFC.

  • Dmac

    Thomas –
    That’s a good point, but there was a large sampling of the surviving family members done by the NYT during the “Jersey Girls” many press conferences right after 9/11. What do you know, most didn’t approve of 4 people claiming to speak on behalf of literally thousands.
    Perhaps it’s time for another go – around on this survey, but I can’t imagine anyone really wanting another exhibit to distract from the memorial itself. Jeff is right – wrong time, wrong place.

  • Patricia

    “The public is confused…”
    Riiight. We’re always “confused” when we object to a grab by political types. With Joe Trippi and a Democratic PR “branding” expert on tap to run the place, how can the IFC dare to claim it’s part of a memorial?
    Why don’t they build it in a blighted neighborhood? That would make up for all the “sins” we committed to enforce poverty on people, and the many, many self-loathing visitors to the IFC would be spending money and revitalizing the place. Put your money where your mouth is, Whitehead.

  • Hey Jeff, it’s offtopic but: I understand it’s your birthday. I seem to remember that because it’s my birthday too.
    Happy birthday you bloodthirsty warblogger you! ;)

  • Del

    I hope its as far away from Ground Zero as possible, so it doesn’t mix up the message that should come from the site, which is a memorial for those that died that day and for freedom and reason, the exact opposite of what the Islamists stand for.

  • penny

    Basically, the Left would like to exhume Arlington cemetary and put the skeletons on display as war criminals. Their moral equivalencies yapping never stops, which is what this International Freedom Center is all about, even when it runs into the brick wall of reason and good taste.
    Face it, we are fighting fascists on many fronts. Islamic the obvious. Self-loathing idiotarians, the second.

  • Del

    And the religious right theocrats the third. I couldn’t agree with you more. All three are enemies of reason and good taste, and freedom. All three must be fought and defeated.

  • penny

    And the religious right theocrats the third
    Any evidence, Del, the “religious right”(?) has cost you a freedom? Please come forward with examples. But, maybe you were referring to the Islamofascists that don’t tolerate a secular existence.

  • Face it, we are fighting fascists on many fronts. Islamic the obvious. Self-loathing idiotarians, the second.
    And let’s not forget the foaming-at-the-mouth American Christofacists bringing up the rear!

  • Please come forward with examples.
    Please tell me that you’re not that naive:
    Republican Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle. As CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.
    Of course under the pretzel logic of the Christofascists, it is they who are somehow being oppressed for having mention of the “gay lifestyle” foisted upon them.
    I can go all day furnishing similar examples of the intolerance of the Christian Right…
    Fact of the matter is, if Christofacists had their druthers we’d be living in a nation that looked and acted a lot like Iran or Saudi Arabia, only with football.

  • Brenda

    How dare they take one inch of this land to stick something political on it? What in God’s good name are we coming to? Doesn’t anyone remember the horror of that sparkling morning when 19 totally crazy fanatics took the lives of almost 4000 human beings?
    If you were on one of those planes that horrific morning and knew you were going to hit the WTC building, would you be praying or designing a political ediface??? I think I know exactly what we all would be doing. Politics doesn’t belong on these 16 acres. Respect, honor, and rememberance of those who lost their lives there, does. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Why are so many blogs right leaning, conservative narrow minded utterings of what was previously said by nazi fascist talkshow hosts?