An appeals court ruling could spell trouble for New Yorkers suing the Environmental Protection Agency and its former chief for saying that sooty Lower Manhattan air was safe to breathe after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.There it is, in black and white. It's better for government officials to lie, and endanger the lives of thousands or even millions of people with bogus information, than to remain silent.
A three judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared this week that EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and other agency officials can't be held constitutionally liable for making rosy declarations about air quality after the World Trade Center's destruction.
The opinion, written by the court's chief judge, Dennis Jacobs, said opening EPA workers up to lawsuits for giving out bad information during a crisis could have a catastrophic side effect.
'Officials might default to silence in the face of the public's urgent need for information,' Jacobs wrote.
Who has been threatening Dennis Jacobs?
EPA spokeswoman Mary Mears called the decision 'positive,' but said she could not comment on its potential influence on other cases until it had been reviewed by the agency and Justice Department lawyers."Positive.
It's positively treasonous, that's what's positive about it.
Positively emblematic of all the Bush administration stands for, and a great big "Screw You!" to all the people who helped dismantle the crime scene so the steel could be carted away and no investigation could take place and an endless limitless war on the rest of the world could be waged and the unelected criminal president and his unelected criminal vice president and lots of their friends could become even filthier richer while hundreds of thousands of people were killed and millions more suffered grievously.
The Crime of the Century is still unpunished. But the guillotines are waiting.
And we're gonna need them; because this is not a simple case of government officials speaking before the information was available, horrific as that would be. This is even worse:
In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, the White House instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to give the public misleading information, telling New Yorkers it was safe to breathe when reliable information on air quality was not available.And so on.
That finding is included in a report released Friday by the Office of the Inspector General of the EPA. It noted that some of the agency's news releases in the weeks after the attack were softened before being released to the public: Reassuring information was added, while cautionary information was deleted.
Bring on the buckets! Sharpen the blades! Let the heads roll!!
This nightmare is not going to end all by itself.