Whitman in the frame to take the fall for Guiliani, Rice and The White House
The former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, who knowingly lied and signed off on falsified scientific research on the toxicity of the air in the aftermath of 9/11, has refused a request by Rep. Jerrold Nadler that she testify before a congressional hearing on the federal government's response to be tabled later this month.
The New York Sun today reported:
Christine Todd Whitman, the EPA administrator at the time, has declined an invitation to appear before a House subcommittee that Mr. Nadler chairs, an aide to the congressman said yesterday. Mr. Nadler, whose district includes ground zero, is expected to ask Ms. Whitman again before considering whether to seek to compel her testimony with a subpoena, the aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.
Yesterday we reported on the fact that Hillary Clinton had announced, along with New York Congressman Jerry Nadler, D-NY, that she will chair the probe looking into the federal government's response and environmental clean-up efforts in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The Clinton/ Nadler press release stated that one intention of the probe was to take a close look at the EPA's inadequate program to test and clean residential areas in Manhattan.
Part of the press release stated:
In a recent decision, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found that former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman's falsely reassuring and misleading statements of safety after the September 11, 2001 attacks were "without question conscience-shocking." The court also found the facts "support an allegation of a violation of the substantive due process right to be free from official government policies that increase the risk of bodily harm" by Whitman's misstatements regarding the air quality of the affected area. An EPA Inspector General review reached similar conclusions.
An AP report last month on these legal findings was posted last month and can be read here.
We have postulated that the left arm of the Washington power elite will be unlikely to fully expose the reality of the monumental criminal culpability of the Bush Administration on this particular issue, but will instead seek to once again close off the issue. Indeed it seems that Whitman is in the frame to take the fall and once cover the behinds of the ever increasingly unaccountable Neocon crime syndicate in the White House.
In August 2003 it was revealed that the Government ordered the EPA to give the public misleading information, telling New Yorkers on September 12 it was safe to breathe when reliable information on air quality was not available and Asbestos levels were known to be three times higher than national standards.
Further documents were obtained by CBS news last September, revealing that Lower Manhattan was reopened a few weeks following the attack even though the air was not safe.
The two devastating memos, written by the U.S. and local governments, show they knew. They knew the toxic soup created at Ground Zero was a deadly health hazard. Yet they sent workers into the pit and people back into their homes.
"Not only did they know it was unsafe, they didn't heed the words of more experienced people that worked for the city and E.P.A.," said Joel Kupferman, with the group Environmental Justice Project.
An EPA whistleblower, Dr. Cate Jenkins then wrote a letter to Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and other members of the New York congressional delegation blasting the EPA for hiding dangerous toxins from Ground Zero workers in the aftermath of 9/11.
The Letter claimed that EPA-funded research on the toxicity of breathable alkaline dust at the site “falsified pH results” to make the substance appear benign, when it was, in reality, corrosive enough to cause first responders and other workers in lower Manhattan to later lose pulmonary functions and, in some cases, to die.
In an even more shocking development it was revealed that Whitman apparently had financial interests in reassuring the public that all was well and that lower Manhattan could safely be reoccupied.
In a New York Post piece which has since been memory holed, but that was reported on here, these facts became clearly evident:
Meanwhile, Whitman's newly released financial-disclosure forms show that she said seven months before 9/11 that she would not get involved in any issue related to the finances of the Port Authority - which owns the WTC site - because she or her family owned PA bonds. Its finances could be impacted by lawsuits growing of the cleanup.
"I understand the following interests that belong to me, my spouse or my children present a conflict of interest," Whitman wrote at the time. She then listed various investments, including the bistate agency.
But Whitman was involved at Ground Zero despite that refusal, although she or her family also owned shares of Citigroup, whose insurance-company subsidiary, The Travelers, paid out hundred of millions of dollars in claims to downtown residents displaced by the attacks.
Not surprising then that Whitman does not want to testify. She is totally compromised and clearly in very deep trouble. Congressman Nadler himself blasted Whitman when this was revealed stating:
"She conspired [with the White House] to convince people to go into an unsafe environment . . . For that, she ought to be prosecuted," Nadler said. "People are dead because of her."
However, it must be remembered that Whitman and the EPA are accountable to the White House and act under the direct authority of the Bush Administration.
It was the 2003 EPA Inspector General's investigation that revealed that it was the White House that had pressured EPA into changing its press releases to add more "reassuring" language.
The further memos revealed that Whitman conspired with the White House to falsely reassure New Yorkers that the air was safe.
The New York Post also reported on the fact that the internal documents show it was Condoleezza Rice's office that gave final approval to the infamous Environmental Protection Agency press releases days after 9/11 claiming the air around Ground Zero was "safe to breathe,".
Now Secretary of State, Rice was then head of the National Security Council - "the final decision maker" on EPA statements about lower Manhattan air quality, the documents say.
And it cannot be forgotten that Rudolph Guiliani, who was mayor at the time, also said repeatedly that the air was safe.
Furthermore it has been the Bush Administration that has PURPOSEFULLY blocked millions in health compensation programs for ground zero workers and continuously attempted to stonewall the issue because to do otherwise would be an admission of responsibility for exposure to harmful substances after the government had already given the all clear. It has been the Bush administration that has allowed 9/11 heroes to die while at the same time disgracefully using the event as a cart blanche excuse for their own criminal actions at home and abroad.
It seems Whitman knew immediately that she was being fingered as the ultimate scapegoat. When the new information broke last September, she was quick to blame the city for not forcing Ground Zero workers to wear respirators.
In a "60 Minutes" interview, Whitman maintained that the nation's leading environmental agency did not have authority to enforce rules at the site, though the agency did warn the city about dangers in the air at Ground Zero.
"We didn't have the authority to do that enforcement, but we communicated to the people who did," Whitman stressed.
A 2004 report by the Sierra Club however detailed gross malfeasance by EPA, FEMA, and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and then suggested a cover-up of the public health hazards of Ground Zero ensued.
The report found that the EPA and FEMA, in concert with New York City's own health department, told families that they could clean up the contaminated dust themselves with wet rags. In fact, they actually discouraged area residents from wearing safety masks.
Some preliminary scientific studies have indicated that as many as 400,000 people were exposed to toxic ground zero dust. Hundreds and perhaps thousands of people have fallen ill, and several have died from lung ailments blamed on inhaled Trade Center ash.
Any probe into this issue that cannot establish these basic conclusions and pinpoint those at fault AT ALL LEVELS WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT will be highly suspicious. It is blatantly clear that not only Whitman and her EPA counterparts were complicit in a conspiracy and cover up the environmental hazards at ground zero, but also that high ranking officials with the Bush administration are also complicit.
It is also apparent from reports that Whitman had significant financial interests in the ground zero site, which should also be investigated in addition to the financial interests other officials complicit in this diabolical case also had before and after 9/11.
The Nadler's hearing is scheduled for May 22, Clinton's is set for June 20.
Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck
Wednesday, May 16th 2007, 7:30 PM
Christie Whitman is a coward. No other word will suffice. Rather than clearing the air (pun intended) over her post-9/11 performance as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, she is hiding behind her lawyer's briefs instead of answering a call to testify before Congress.
Whitman was invited to appear next week before Rep. Jerry Nadler's House judiciary subcommittee, which is investigating the federal "handling of air quality issues" after the terrorist attacks and possible violation of "due process rights" of people living and working downtown. She has demurred, through her attorney, who said it would be "inappropriate" if Whitman testified since there is 9/11-related litigation pending against her. Also because: "Gov. Whitman is not a lawyer and would be unlikely to assist the subcommittee on this subject."
And the dog ate her homework. And she stepped on a crack and broke her mother's back. And she suffers from the heartbreak of psoriasis.
In his column yesterday, Juan Gonzalez called attention to this dodging by Whitman, who should be thankful for the opportunity to defend herself and her agency. Unless, of course, their behavior was indefensible. She owes an awful lot of explaining to an awful lot of people, particularly first-responders who were sickened by Ground Zero air - and the families of other first-responders whose lung ailments proved fatal.
On Sept. 18, 2001, Whitman declared: "I'm glad to reassure the people of New York that their air is safe to breathe." She insists she distinguished between the ambient air downtown and the miasma at the pile, where workers were told to wear respirators. But not required.
In any case, that reassurance came before final air quality test results were in. So why was she reassuring? There's also the matter of EPA press releases fixed, fudged or cooked to add positive statements and delete cautionary advice - such fixing, fudging or cooking having been ferreted out by the EPA's inspector general. But this is just the tip of the airberg.
If Whitman has nothing to hide, she shouldn't be hiding.
Slap her with a subpoena.