Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Location: Staten Island
|Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 7:30 pm Post subject: 2 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
From Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:00 am to Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:59 am (included)
|The Record - Letter to the Editor - July 6. 2007
Whitman and the facts
As the chairman of the panel that heard testimony from former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, I must object to some statements made in "Bashing Whitman" (Editorial, June 27) and Steve Lonegan's column "Stop the witch hunt against Whitman" (Other Views, June 28).
Lonegan said the hearing was "nothing short of [a] partisan witch hunt designed to destroy the Republican leaders," and your editorial said that "bashing Whitman is easy and politically advantageous for Democratic members of Congress." This is nonsense.
Several facts are now undeniable. In the days and weeks after 9/11, Whitman and other EPA officials repeatedly assured the public the air in lower Manhattan was safe and people should return to their homes and workplaces. The White House edited draft EPA press releases to remove cautionary statements and replace them with reassuring ones. Scientific data attesting to the hazardous nature of the air was hidden from the public for months or years. The air was, in fact, highly toxic. Seventy percent of first responders and thousands of area residents and workers now suffer from respiratory illnesses.
All these facts are verified by reports of the EPA's own inspector general and the Government Accountability Office.
We must now find out why government officials ignored the scientific data and urged people to take actions resulting in thousands of preventable serious illnesses, so that we can prevent similar unnecessary worsening of the consequences of future catastrophes. And we must provide long-term monitoring and medical treatment for the victims of the terrorists and the victims of the government's incompetence or malfeasance following 9/11.
Washington, D.C., June 29
The writer, a Democratic congressman from New York, is chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
Star Ledger - Letter to the Editor - July 7, 2007
Failure of leadership
It is right to question Christie Whitman about the quality of the air in New York City after 9/11. However, it is absurd to think the Environmental Protection Agency acted alone, without the advice of the White House or the inner circle. The country now knows the extent of their political nature and their dismissive attitude toward scientific proof.
Millions of pounds of every material known to man, including tons of carcinogens, collapsed in that tragedy. Common sense dic tates that the air, water and ground weren't safe. It was a no- brainer that safety should have been the paramount concern after the rescue operation.
Finally, where were New York's Republican governor, the mayor of New York, the Port Authority director and New Jersey's governor? They controlled or had ac cess to environmental, land-use, water and air quality agencies and had responsibility for safety. Rudy Giuliani calls himself America's mayor and is running for president. Neither he nor any of the others should get a free pass. Neither "I didn't know" nor "The federal government assumed total control" is sufficient. Leadership is about accepting responsibility and doing what's right.
-- Donald Raymar,
Lincoln Park, NJ