Updated: April 18, 2014
The mess at Ground Zero was not preordained. The Mutt and Jeff skyline, the extravagant transit “hub”, the insane toll hikes, the lack of commercial interest, and the likelihood that the site will be under construction for another decade or more – or may never be completed – would not be an issue today if those in authority had simply responded forthrightly to the public’s questions and concerns.
But that would have meant recognizing that there was a feasible alternative to their vain, headstrong plans, which they obviously were not prepared to do. We can only speculate as to the reason why. But one thing is very clear, Ken Gardner’s years of devotion to fully designing Twin Towers II meant that officials couldn’t hide behind the smokescreen that new Twin Towers would require going back to the beginning and wasting the groundwork that was done.
The marvelous “Belton-Gardner” plan actually could have delivered on the claim that a transition in 2008, or even 2009, would have saved many billions of dollars and years of time. And it is beyond measure how much wonder and inspiration it would have brought to not just the country, but the world — talk about a swindle!
In most cases, they didn’t even acknowledge, let alone attempt to address, obviously credible concerns. That was odd enough when it came to officials who were put in office to serve the public good, but odder still when it came to the media, whose only purpose is to inform and protect the people.
The continuing machinations and problems surrounding the project made it wise to wait for the picture to fully develop before releasing our comprehensive account of what has taken place. We were well aware that the entrenched interests behind the official project — and their apologists in the press — would resist any effort to question their agenda and could easily deflect a garden-variety scandal. But they cannot ignore misconduct that is there for all to see.
Their entire strategy was to ignore questions, raise steel, and keep picking the public’s pocket until people got sick of being out-maneuvered and moved on — and then, they assumed, eveything would work out their way. But last summer’s toll hikes changed all that forever. Officials are still in denial, trying to get the genie to go back in the bottle. But even the most determined diehards must be starting to realize that that is not going to happen.
The Achilles’ Heel of self-serving cynics is that they have no concept of how dedicated people can be in the service of something great. The purpose of the letters which we will be posting below is to give the individuals at the center of this emerging scandal an opportunity to respond directly to the public’s concerns and assumptions.
If there are misunderstandings that need clarification, it is wholly due to the lack of any dialogue with the public. So this is a good way to set the record straight. The answers are already long overdue…
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