Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bush to New Yorkers: Drop Dead

George W. Bush has officially told the people of New York City that as far as he’s concerned, they can drop dead. And thanks to his lies, many of them will.

With his latest attack on the Clean Air Act he’s said the same to millions more.

Bush has used the 9/11 “trifecta” to build his popularity, fund the military and tear up the Bill of Rights. But the GOP’s cynical uses of the tragedy have gone to a new level.

The White House directly interfered with planned Environmental Protection Agency warnings about the toxic fallout from the World Trade Center explosions. It had “competing considerations” that came before protecting the health of the people of New York. Among them were re-opening the stock exchange as quickly as possible, and limiting clean-up costs and liability claims.

Because of Bush’s lies, thousands of Americans will suffer cancers, emphysema, heart attack, stroke, birth defects, stillbirths, sterility, eye/ear/nose/throat disease and much more.

There have been few toxic events to match the explosions that pulverized the two World Trade Center towers. The short-term deaths of three thousand people will be dwarfed over the long term by the lethal fallout.

These were two of the last big buildings constructed with asbestos, whose health effects are infamous. Once ingested, the fibers can and do make cells cancerous. Thousands of miners and others exposed to asbestos have filed lawsuits against Johns-Manville and others.

The EPA knew that spewing all that asbestos into New York’s air was a horrific event, and that lives could be saved by taking certain public precautions. Bush stopped that from happening.

The WTC also contained countless computer screens, light fixtures, calculators, telephones, network servers, paging systems, copy machines and much more high-tech office equipment laden with mercury and other toxic metals. The concrete, flooring, plastics, chemical cleaners, furniture, metal struts, window glass—all that was also pulverized into a horrific brew of murderous dioxins, furans and lethal powders with hideous killing power.

Where did it all come down? Who has breathed it? How many were elderly? Who might be uniquely sensitive? How many were pregnant, with vulnerable embryos? How far did their lethal powder spread through the region? Where is it now? How long will those poisons kill again and again and yet again? What could be done to prevent further sickness and death?

As the EPA knew, those living nearby were owed detailed information denied them by Bush. So were those working in the ruins for days, weeks and months. And those who have innocently proceeded with lives downwind.

At very least, people working on or near the site should have been wearing respirators. All downwind buildings should have been intensely monitored. Many should have been fitted with advanced filtration units. All carpeting, furniture, walls and fixtures should have been repeatedly measured and cleaned. And then cleaned again. And then cleaned yet again.

But such things cost money. And some buildings might never have reopened. And the stock market might have stayed shut longer.

Lives would have been saved, but Bush decided they were less valuable than those competing considerations.

Now he’s decimated the Clean Air Act, allowing more power plant emissions in yet another give-away to the rich corporations that fund the GOP. So more Americans will die. But Bush will have more money to spend on his 2004 re-election campaign.

This man has horribly wronged the people of New York, whose terrible tragedies he continues to exploit. He puts us all at risk in exchange for campaign contributions.

New Yorkers—all Americans—suffer and die as a result. It’s a debt that can never be repaid.

HARVEY WASSERMAN is author of THE LAST ENERGY WAR and senior editor of www.freepress.org. He is co-author with Bob Fitrakis of THE SUPERPOWER OF PEACE, available from freepress.org in September. He can be reached at: NonukesHW@aol.com

 

More articles by:

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm

October 17, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
When Saudi Arabia’s Credibility is Damaged, So is America’s
John Steppling
Before the Law
Frank Stricker
Wages Rising? 
James McEnteer
Larry Summers Trips Out
Muhammad Othman
What You Can Do About the Saudi Atrocities in Yemen
Binoy Kampmark
Agents of Chaos: Trump, the Federal Reserve and Andrew Jackson
David N. Smith
George Orwell’s Message in a Bottle
Karen J. Greenberg
Justice Derailed: From Gitmo to Kavanaugh
John Feffer
Why is the Radical Right Still Winning?
Dan Corjescu
Green Tsunami in Bavaria?
Rohullah Naderi
Why Afghan Girls Are Out of School?
George Ochenski
You Have to Give Respect to Get Any, Mr. Trump
Cesar Chelala
Is China Winning the War for Africa?
Mel Gurtov
Getting Away with Murder
W. T. Whitney
Colombian Lawyer Diego Martinez Needs Solidarity Now
Dean Baker
Nothing to Brag About: Scott Walker’s Economic Record in Wisconsin:
October 16, 2018
Gregory Elich
Diplomatic Deadlock: Can U.S.-North Korea Diplomacy Survive Maximum Pressure?
Rob Seimetz
Talking About Death While In Decadence
Kent Paterson
Fifty Years of Mexican October
Robert Fantina
Trump, Iran and Sanctions
Greg Macdougall
Indigenous Suicide in Canada
Kenneth Surin
On Reading the Diaries of Tony Benn, Britain’s Greatest Labour Politician
Andrew Bacevich
Unsolicited Advice for an Undeclared Presidential Candidate: a Letter to Elizabeth Warren
Thomas Knapp
Facebook Meddles in the 2018 Midterm Elections
Muhammad Othman
Khashoggi and Demetracopoulos
Gerry Brown
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics: How the US Weaponizes Them to Accuse  China of Debt Trap Diplomacy
Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker – Peter Lehman
The Brazilian Presidential Elections and “The Rules of The Game”
Robert Fisk
What a Forgotten Shipwreck in the Irish Sea Can Tell Us About Brexit
Martin Billheimer
Here Cochise Everywhere
David Swanson
Humanitarian Bombs
Dean Baker
The Federal Reserve is Not a Church
October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
Conn Hallinan
Syria’s Chessboard
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Atrocities in Yemen are a Worse Story Than the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Sheldon Richman
Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist
Justin T. McPhee
Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage
Tom Gill
Spain’s Left Turn?
Jeff Cohen
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
Dean Baker
Corporate Debt Scares
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Affair and and the Anti-Iran Axis
Russell Mokhiber
Sarah Chayes Calls on West Virginians to Write In No More Manchins
Clark T. Scott
Acclimated Behaviorisms
Kary Love
Evolution of Religion
Colin Todhunter
From GM Potatoes to Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency and Toxic Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
Evacuating Nauru: Médecins Sans Frontières and Australia’s Refugee Dilemma
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail