Ground Zero

Debra Burlingame: ‘Those interrogators, CIA case officers are patriots’

Debra Burlingame was interviewed on WMAL radio this morning about her confronting Barack Obama during a meeting at Ground Zero. She explained her reasons for asking the President to express his opinion to Attorney General about dropping the investigation of CIA officers who conducted the enhanced interrogations of detainees:

Try as they might, the Obama administration can not deny the courier was first identified and determined to be a valuable person to find and follow in the hunt for Osama bin Laden during those enhanced interrogations.

Debra Burlingame on Ground Zero meeting with President Obama and CIA interrogations investigation

Debra Burlingame was one of fifty 9/11 family members who met in a closed-door meeting with President Barack Obama today near Ground Zero. She asked him, considering that by all reports the enhanced interrogations of high-value detainees was “part of the mosaic” of the intelligence that led to Osama bin Laden, if he would at least give his opinion to Attorney General Eric Holder about dropping the investigation of CIA interrorgators. President Obama replied, “No, I won’t.” Here is the video of her Fox News interview:

Mayor Bloomberg and a political ‘fix’ in for the Ground Zero mosque

The New York Post reports that ‘City Hall ghostwrote GZ mosque’s letter.’ There is more but let’s start there:

Dozens of e-mails between Mayor Bloomberg’s aides and developers of the proposed mosque near Ground Zero reveal a cordial, if not downright cozy, relationship and the length to which a top city staffer went to help the project — even drafting a letter for the group soliciting support from the community board, and providing the fax number to send it.

In one exchange, Community Affairs Commissioner Nazli Parvizi penned the draft of a letter to be sent by Daisy Khan, a key sponsor of the project known alternately as Cordoba House or Park51, to the chairperson of Community Board 1, Julie Menin, as the panel prepared to vote on its recommendation on the project.

The letter drafted by Parvizi thanked Menin for being open-minded about the plan for a mosque and cultural center — which by then had become a flashpoint issue around the nation.

Opponents of the plan were furious.

“The mayor was touting, ironically, government not being involved in religion, and here you have the mayor’s staffer assisting in a public-relations campaign on behalf of a mosque and Islamic center,” said Debra Burlingame, whose brother was a pilot of one of the hijacked planes on 9/11.

Ground Zero mosque Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf provided Nazli Parvizi a revised draft, In it, the Cordoba Initiative requested the Community Board 1 withdraw its resolution (later voted on and approved) to the Landmarks Preservation Commission that the Burlington Coat Factory be “de-designated” as an historical landmark.

Landmark preservation lawyer Shelly Friedman represents the Cordoba Initiative. Friedman (and Friedman and Gotbaum LLP) financially donates to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Robert B. Tierney chairs New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. Friedman emailed Rauf and remindied him of the game plan:

“withdrawing the resolution may affect [Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s and City Council Member Chin’s] thinking about how helpful they can be on June 22 [at the Landmarks Preservation Commission meeting]. That in itself may not be fatal to getting 45 PP de-designated, but I do know that Chairman Tierney was looking forward to the “political cover” their support would provide him.”

But Friedman holds a special disdain for the overwhelming majority of 9/11 family members and first responders who oppose a mosque and Islamic “cultural center” that would espouse the “merits” of discriminatory sharia law at Ground Zero.

As you read this next passage by him in that same email to Rauf, recall that in 2005, 9/11 family members and first responders successfully lobbied against the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation placing an ‘International Freedom Center’ touting “political discourse in the public square.” Mayor Bloomberg was all for a ‘hate America first’ cultural center being built at the entrance-way to the 9/11 memorial and museum on Ground Zero. Friedman wrote:

“Your local opponents have chosen their position against Islam as mere convenience. As I said earlier, these are the forces that have already buried two governors and fought to a standstill the current governor, the current mayor, the strongest economic development agency in America (the Port Authority), the NYC Real Estate Industry and at least two investment banks (Morgan and Goldman Sachs) which saw their plans for the WTC either destroyed of significantly reduced. [Bloomberg handed Goldman Sachs $130 million in Liberty bonds as a consolation prize.] They chased away every major NYC cultural institution off the site which interfered with or impinged upon their vision of the site as a memorial.”

Obviously, Mayor Bloomberg and his cronies put the political fix in for a ‘hate America always’ cultural center at Ground Zero.