Rice to New York: "Suck it!"
From the New York Post!
By SUSAN EDELMAN, HEATHER GILMORE and BRAD HAMILTON
September 24, 2006 -- Condoleezza Rice's office gave final approval to the infamous Environmental Protection Agency press releases days after 9/11 claiming the air around Ground Zero was "safe to breathe," internal documents show.
Now Secretary of State, Rice was then head of the National Security Council - "the final decision maker" on EPA statements about lower Manhattan air quality, the documents say.
Scientists and lawmakers have since deemed the air rife with toxins.
Early tests known to the EPA at the time had already found high asbestos levels, the notes say. But those results were omitted from the press releases because of "competing priorities" such as national security and "opening Wall Street," according to a report by the EPA's inspector general.
The chief of staff for then-EPA head Christie Todd Whitman, Eileen McGinnis, told the inspector general of heated discussions, including "screaming telephone calls," about what to put in the press releases.
The notes come from a 2003 probe into public assurances made on Sept. 16, five days after the 9/11 attacks. They tell how a White House staffer "worked with Dr. Condoleezza Rice's press secretary" on reviewing the press releases for weeks.
Whitman said through a spokeswoman Friday that she never discussed her press releases directly with Rice. She also defended her collaboration with the White House.
Now-retired Inspector General Nikki Tinsley told The Post her auditors tried to question the head of President Bush's Environmental Quality Council, but "he would not talk to us."
Calls and e-mails to Rice were not returned.
When Whitman was asked about this the interviewer didn't push to the real question, "Who told you to lie in the press release about the quality of the air?"
Answer: Condi Rice
So now all the first responders and people with 9/11 lung disease, you know who to direct your ire to. Send those medical bills to Condoleezza Rice's office.
One person has died because of the toxic air. Now can we say, "Rice lied, people died?" or do we need to wait for a few more deaths?
I know how people parse words to the press. Now someone needs to ask Rice about this and please, please, please be prepared with a follow-up to her bullshit answer.
Oh and I had this before Atrios! But blogger failed me.