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Wasserman writes: "Soon after the 9/11 terror attacks 15 years ago today, then-US EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman assured New Yorkers the air was safe to breathe. Today she has issued a 'heartfelt' apology, admitting that her misleading advice caused people to die. But will she also apologize for pushing lethal atomic reactor technologies that could kill far more people than 9/11?"

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. (photo: Aristide Economopoulos)
The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. (photo: Aristide Economopoulos)


Will Christie Whitman Follow Her 9/11 Apology With One for Her Nuke Shill Game?

By Harvey Wasserman, Reader Supported News

11 September 16

 

oon after the 9/11 terror attacks 15 years ago today, then-US EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman assured New Yorkers the air was safe to breathe.

Today she has issued a “heartfelt” apology, admitting that her misleading advice caused people to die. But will she also apologize for pushing lethal atomic reactor technologies that could kill far more people than 9/11?

Back in 2001, Whitman went public to “reassure the people of New York and Washington D.C. that their air is safe to breathe and their water is safe to drink.” She also said, “The concentrations are such that they don’t pose a health hazard….”

The Environmental Protection Agency itself later said there was insufficient data to offer such assurances.

The 9/11/2001 collapse of the World Trade Towers and the nearby Building 7, along with the attack on the Pentagon, coated lower Manhattan and other downwind areas with huge quantities of toxic dust. Among the components of the deadly cloud were asbestos, mercury, lead, glass, heavy metals, concrete, and countless other poisons from vaporized windows, computers, carpets, structural steel, and much much more. Clearly anyone breathing the dust that spread throughout the region was at risk.

But the Bush administration had other interests. Among them was reopening Wall Street and the stock exchange. Bush himself showed up at the site without a respirator, as did then-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. School children were brought back into the area far sooner than was safe, as were thousands of residents and workers.

To unofficial observers, the administration’s assurances were cavalier and irresponsible. “Bush, Rudy & Whitman to New Yorkers: Drop Dead,” read one angry blog in the Huffington Post.

Since then, numerous first responder and area residents have been sickened and died from 9/11-related sicknesses that were both predictable and avoidable. “I’m very sorry that people are dying, and if the EPA and I in any way contributed to that, I’m sorry,” Whitman said. “We did the very best we could at the time with the knowledge we had.”

Whitman’s apology has not been met with universal applause.

I don’t believe her for one second,” said John Feal to the NY Daily News. As executive director of the FealGood Foundation, a first responders’ advocacy group, Feal is pushing the Zadroga Bill, meant to ensure health coverage for Ground Zero sufferers.

“If she was sincere she would have walked the halls of Congress with me,” Feal said. “If she was sincere, she could have gone to one of the 154 funerals with me. She was reckless and careless because of her words, and believe it or not, words have consequences. God’s going to be her judge.”

“I knew the air was no good but as a first responder that’s what I signed up for,” said Rich Alles, formerly a chief with the NY Fire Department. “But what she did jeopardized the health of every school child who returned to school in Lower Manhattan, every educator who went back to school to teach them and every person who lived in that area who returned home to breathe in toxic dust.”

A former GOP governor of New Jersey, Whitman has since signed on as a paid advocate for atomic energy. This June, she co-wrote an op ed asking for massive subsidies to keep money-losing nukes in Illinois online.

Whitman has co-chaired the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy), funded by the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry PR front. Apparently her deceptions after 9/11 have not yet caught up with her at the dying reactors whose increasingly dangerous operations she advocates.

The nuke industry’s primary focus now is to get public handouts to keep open the 100 decrepit, money-losing reactors still operating in the US. The ones backed by Whitman in Illinois were designed in the 1960s, and are dangerously embrittled. The entire US fleet is aging and increasingly subject to catastrophe. A new reactor recently opened in Tennessee has already suffered two shutdowns.

All reactors emit massive quantities of wastewater and steam, which heat the planet. They generate thousands of tons of spent fuel that cannot be managed. And they regularly emit radiation that kills and maims entire downwind populations, as did 9/11.

It’s only a matter of time before another commercial nuke explodes, like the one Soviet reactor at Chernobyl and the four US-designed GE reactors at Fukushima.

The question for Christine Todd Whitman is this: when the next reactor blows up, will you again apologize for your inexcusable role in it, as you’ve now done for your inexcusable cover-up of the health impacts at 9/11?

And if you do, who will care?



Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH and edits www.nukefree.org. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+21 # Capn Canard 2016-09-11 17:52
NO. She will absolutely not.

She has limits... and her limits will tell her to STFU. The USAian government hates disclosure of the truth. People get killed for such crap.
 
 
+27 # grandlakeguy 2016-09-11 18:07
Until lying public officials like Christine Todd Whitman are prosecuted and imprisoned for lies that cause major harm to those who believe them this will continue.
She should stand trial for each and every injury and death caused by her lies.

She belongs in the worst hell hole of a prison we have (one of the ones run by for-profit prison companies) for the rest of her life.
 
 
+15 # solartopia 2016-09-11 21:44
yes, she should go to prison. she should more importantly denounce nuke power. lets hope she comes to understand that if she wants to avoid her soul being even more permanently soiled than it has been by 9/11 she's got to remove herself from this satanic technology.
 
 
+18 # chemtex2611 2016-09-11 22:05
As the head of the EPA, she had the staff that knew. She could have known and should have known. This is WAY too little Way too late. The fact is that she endangered first responders' health and that of the public. There is no amount of politics that can justify endangering peoples health.

Those explosions blew asbestos to kingdom come. Anyone in the environmental business knows that asbestos was used until 1971, the era in which the Trade Towers were built. Asbestos is forever, when it gets down into your lungs.
 
 
+2 # Glen 2016-09-12 08:16
That asbestos is why the Towers had been condemned and were unable to be sold. Amazing amounts of insurance were taken out on the place just prior to the "attack".

Anyone giving the OK to breathe that air should feel the shame and as a number of people have in the past, Christie Whitman should commit suicide.
 
 
+4 # Tigre1 2016-09-11 22:13
Ask yourselves: why are you surprised at any of this? Didn't you get ANY political science in your high schools? civics, even?
No world history?

Don't know your history, and doomed to repeat it. like your electronic pacifiers and fun toys? nice to be distracted from the importances of life, isn't it?

Told from the womb that you are life's rulers, and couldn't rule your way out of a Boy Scout troop...culture of jerkoffs.
 
 
-22 # stevb 2016-09-11 22:34
Wasserman is a complete idiot. Nuclear energy is absolutely essential to save civilization from the climate catastrophe. Nuclear energy has the lowest mortality of all our power generations technologies, and that includes the three accidents. Wasserman needs to educate himself and read the science.
 
 
+13 # tedrey 2016-09-12 03:29
US nuclear energy also has the most decrepit and least adequately regulated equipment and the highest mortality and pollution potential of all our power generation technologies.
 
 
+1 # lfeuille 2016-09-12 17:22
Bullshit.
 
 
+1 # grandlakeguy 2016-09-14 15:15
stevb:
Tell that to the people of Japan and those near Fukishima!

You must work in the nuclear power industry to spew such nonsense…when you are not spewing radioactivity!
 
 
+10 # kbro2 2016-09-11 23:10
and a heads up to juan gonzalez who used his daily news column to expose whitman's lies.
 
 
+8 # PeacefulGarden 2016-09-12 00:04
The EPA is a completely ineffective blob.
 
 
+8 # janie1893 2016-09-12 00:13
People like Ms. Whitman make me wish there really was a heaven and a hell.
 
 
+12 # AJNorth 2016-09-12 00:21
It requires great intelligence to design and build nuclear fission power plants. Though "wisdom" and "intelligence" are often used as synonyms, they are manifestly not.

Simply put, a future generation will look back on this era and regard nuclear fission power plants for what they are: Monuments to Man's Stupidity.
 
 
-1 # Mr. Know-it-all 2016-09-12 09:14
The reactors that are referenced here are high temperature/low pressure design and were approved specifically because they produced a lot of waste. That waste could be processed into weapon-grade material. Thorium liquid-salt reactors, on the other hand, are walk-away safe, produce no waste, use abundant Thorium, can be mass-produced in components, and be right-sized for any application. Check out YouTube videos on this subject. .
 
 
+1 # ahollman 2016-09-14 19:49
Quoting Mr. Know-it-all:
The reactors that are referenced here are high temperature/low pressure design and were approved specifically because they produced a lot of waste. That waste could be processed into weapon-grade material. Thorium liquid-salt reactors, on the other hand, are walk-away safe, produce no waste, use abundant Thorium, can be mass-produced in components, and be right-sized for any application. Check out YouTube videos on this subject. .


Mr. Know-it-all fails to disclose all that he knows about thorium reactors. Thorium's radioactive decay rate is insufficient to sustain a nuclear reaction. Thus, it needs another neutron source to keep that reaction going. That source? Plutonium! The deadly byproduct of current uranium reactors! In fact, after over 50 years of research, thorium reactors are still not yet commercially viable, in part because their operation requires reprocessed plutonium from conventional uranium reactors.

That plutonium must be extracted from spent uranium fuel rods. That process required is physically and environmentally hazardous and presents the risk that the plutonium may be diverted to bomb-making.

Exchanging the risk of global warming from fossil fuel CO2 for the risk of radioactive contamination is a lousy exchange. These two bad choices are not acceptable substitutes for each other. We must get rid of both.

JFK said, "We go to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard." Same here. And we must.
 
 
+2 # Robbee 2016-09-12 10:58
she sounds like a typical repug low-life
 
 
+2 # BlueMorpho 2016-09-12 11:08
There is no penance that would suffice for this. This is far beyond "damage done." When her soul departs her body, it will rot in the only appropriate place for it. It's just so unfair that she is alive when other, decent people are dead. It should have been her, not one of them.
 

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