Liberalism is a Mental Disorder (AKA Politics Suck)

A blog dedicated to holding our politicians accountable to We The People.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

9/11 Blamemorial debate simmers longer

From the AZ Daily Star

9/11 Memorial controversy simmers
By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX — The state's controversial 9/11 Memorial is going to remain as is for at least another two months.

A meeting of the Governmental Mall Commission called for Wednesday to discuss removing the parts some find offensive was postponed when not enough members of the panel showed up. That left Chairman Tom Smith, a vocal critic of the monument, unable to do anything more than complain.

The delay gives the separate 9/11 Commission, which approved the original design, more time to decide whether changes are appropriate.

At a meeting last week there were some suggestions to alter some of the 54 phrases cut into the ring-shaped steel memorial across from the state Capitol commemorating the events surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Even Billy Shields, who chairs that panel, said language about an erroneous bombing of an Afghan village by U.S. forces may need to be removed because of questions about its accuracy.

And Shields said there may also need to be some sort of explanatory kiosk set up to put the display in context: While the memorial makes mention of planes flying into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, there is no mention that the planes were hijacked in the first place by terrorists.

But Shields, in a memo to Smith, said the 9/11 Commission won't meet again until February. Shields said it is then up to Smith's panel to review the proposed changes.

"Assuming the two commissions could then agree, we could go forward to raise the money necessary to complete the changes," Shields wrote.

Smith, however, doesn't believe his commission has to agree with the other panel at all. In fact, he said the Governmental Mall Commission can order the changes, regardless of whether the 9/11 Commission likes it or not.

"We have the authority to approve everything that goes in the Capitol mall area," he said.

A move in that direction, though, might provoke a court battle.

The 9/11 Commission raised the funds privately for construction with plans to deed it over to the state. But Bill Bell, director of the state Department of Administration, which controls all state property, has yet to formally accept the deed.

Smith said that is legally irrelevant. He said the fact the monument is on the mall makes both its presence — and its content — subject to review and alteration by his commission.

And Smith said even if that's not the case, the 9/11 Commission risks a far greater threat if it does not remove offensive phrases: The Legislature could approve a law mandating the changes.

Critics have said the changes must go beyond the statement about the Afghan village.
"Nothing there says this is a memorial to those who died by terrorists on 9/11," said Sen. Jake Flake, R-Snowflake, who also is a member of the Governmental Mall Commission.

"Some of the statements on there are anti-American," he said. Among the more controversial statements are a quote that "You don't win battles of terrorism with more battles" and a statement "Middle East violence motivates attacks in U.S.," which some have interpreted as suggesting American foreign policy precipitated the events of 9/11.

Some points:

Shields is a firefighter, not a lawyer, so what the hell does he know?

The mall commission failed Arizona Wednesday.

The 9/11 commission had better get their butts on the ball

If they arent careful, this could lead to other pressure being applied, such as boycotts and protests from conservatives (I Know...a novel concept, but it will happen, the people involved in wanting to change this are quite comfortable with social activism -- ack, I just sounded like a liberal there..sorry)

This monstrosity has to be changed...NOW

And a commenter on the article summed it up nicely:

1. Comment by Eric H. (ericharris) — December 21,2006 @ 4:08AM
Rating: 0 Thumbs Up

This committee should realize it has undertaken a task that is flawed in its foundation. You'll not have to look far to find people who think the US brought 9/11 on itself (the UN, or any humanities faculty would be a good start.) When one invites commentary and sets up no parameters, one gets all manner of "opinion" and then reaps the whirlwind as now we see.

A tribute to the victims of 9/11 is a noble concept. Adhereing to that concept would have avoided all this.

Thats exactly how I feel

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