LOOKING OUT FOR THE PUBLIC INTEREST AT GROUND ZERO
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. -- Dr. Martin Luther King
Now that the Freedom Tower has opened, people wonder what we think. That's simple: We can't imagine how a building that was only built by lying to the public that paid for it could ever be considered a tribute to our country or to the citizens we lost on 9/11. We do not understand how a skyline that looks like the WTC after the first tower fell could ever be called a recovery. We take no pleasure in panning what some people regard as a triumph. But it does no good to pretend the deception never happened or the people weren't robbed...
The Twin Towers Alliance was formed at the end of 2005. At that time, it was still conceivable that officials could be persuaded to honor the popular will and heal our wounded nation by building state-of-the-art Twin Towers at Ground Zero. For many, it was inconceivable that they wouldn't. They chose not to. Instead, they used the power they were given by the people to lie and cheat the current, dispiriting, World Trade Center into existence. Since 2010, we have been doing our part, and more, as watchdogs over the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to expose the damage that unaccountable government can do and to demand that officials answer to the people for their choices.
We still regularly hear from people around the world who wonder when the Freedom Tower is going to get its twin. It won't. Even if officials wanted to build one, it would require massive demolition underground. But we can still build spectacular twin towers at Ground Zero that would be narrower and taller. A detailed proposal explaining how that option is feasible and why it is important will be posted asap. For now, click on the heading above for a rough rendering of what could still be accomplished by a leader with vision and resolve.
This site is a tribute to the Twin Towers and to the dogged battle to rebuild them that this organization and others before us waged year after year. If officials had respected the public's rightful role, they would have honored their obligation to RE-PAIR the twins, instead of replacing them. The new Twin Towers would have been better than ever. They would have inspired the world.
Cheating the people out of what would have been an epic recovery was a crime in every way. The world badly needs inspiring. If those with power were able to misuse it to rob us of the WTC most of us wanted, and to then escape having to answer for it, they can get away with anything. There is an epidemic in this country of being squeamish about holding people accountable for their actions. That is almost as corrupt as the wrongdoing. There is little incentive for officials to do the right thing, when there are never any unpleasant consequences for doing the wrong thing. The way Michael Bloomberg and George Pataki shortchanged the public at Ground Zero are prime examples of that.
If we want to know why our country is such a bipartisan, dysfunctional mess, we can just look at the World Trade Center and learn the lessons. We all have the same vital interest in showing that the people are driving this nation -- not the powerful few. If we couldn't make those sixteen acres reflect the popular will -- just minutes from where the government of-by-and-for the people began -- then we have a democracy in name only and will continue to lose all the battles that matter until we get to the bottom of what is defeating us.
Click on the image above to see what the people could have had, should have had, and would have had if only our democracy had been allowed to function. The rotten truth is that it was short-circuited instead. What the majority of the people wanted, both in our country and around the world, according to all the evidence, wasn't inadvertently defeated by misunderstanding and incompetence. It was deliberately sabotaged by connivance and deceit. The skyline is now a monument to contempt for what the people want. It doesn't have to be.
Even now, we can still build a better World Trade Center, if we learn from the past and look into our options. Every September, the media is full of uplifting stories related to September 11, 2001. This year the focus is on One World Trade Center. As long as it celebrates the dedication and idealism of the workers who built it and the engineering feats that went into the construction, that is fitting.
But what is not fitting is the misinformation that gives unwarranted credibility and traction to myths and half-truths that should have been discredited long ago. As far as we at the TTA can see, the lessons of the last thirteen years at Ground Zero are clear: (1) Officials cannot be relied upon to do what is in the public's best interests; and (2) The media cannot be relied upon to promote our best interests.
We want to determine the future, not relive the past. Americans need to show that we are not the lazy, distracted citizens officials think we are. This is the right place to start fighting the resignation that is crippling our country. It is the right place to stop the bickering and dissension that sap our national will, and show what we can do together. Because "United We Stand" is not just a slogan, it is a strategy.
We owe it to ourselves, those we lost, and all who are to come to make the World Trade Center as extraordinary and breathtaking as it can be. Only then will it be a real tribute. Just good enough is not good enough here and it never will be.
After 9/11, Queen Elizabeth was quoted as saying, "Grief is the price we pay for love." But what about the price we pay for greed, and arrogance, and the abuse of power? The public is still paying for 9/11 every day in ways that people would be shocked to learn. What we see at the WTC now is what thousands of courageous and dedicated workers have made of it. But what we can't see is what we were cheated out of by Michael Bloomberg, George Pataki, and a host of not-so-special interests. The workers' idealism can't undo the conniving and manipulation behind a plan that is an offense to the memory of those we lost and doesn't come close to measuring up to the world that vanished with them. Read more
The TTA mission has evolved over the years and we are revising the site to reflect that. We've added the word "is" to the header to spell out the connection between what the people want and America deserves. The missing tower tops will remain as a reminder of what happens when government goes rogue. Representative democracy only works when our representatives represent us. When they fail to do that, and the media fails to inform us, it is our duty to protest.
Going forward, this website will be a tribute to not only the Twin Towers, but particularly to the dedicated, tireless efforts of the many individuals and organizations who tried to convince officials to respect the will of the people. And, it will continue to provide the impetus and ideas for a better World Trade Center. But, the bulk of our efforts will go beyond the Twin Towers by challenging the wide-ranging abuses of power that continue to scar the World Trade Center, and consequently, our nation.
Click on the"Swindle" link at the top of the page for developments in our ongoing battle to direct attention to the Port Authority/Silverstein swindle at Ground Zero. Other abuses of the public trust that have developed during the last thirteen years, and ideas and opportunities for how citizens can constructively address them, will be posted on the twintowersalliance.org, which is under construction. Once it is launched, after the first of the year, it will be accessible by clicking on the "Foundation" tab above.
Navigation tabs to the left of center relate to the TTA.com, while those to the right of center to the TTA.org site and the Twin Towers Journal, where we put each week's WTC-related news into context. The three sites will provide a sturdy platform for anyone who wants to speak out against the corruption at Ground Zero. We trust that when the American people finally catch on there will be dramatic change.