Politics and the 9/11 first responder

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg today joined the growing list of people urging Congress to pass legislation allowing more benefits to first responders on 9/11.

“It ‘s a vote on whether we should stand by those who stood by America in its hour of greatest need. It’s a vote on whether we should fulfill our obligations to the men and women in uniforms and hard hats whom we rightly call heroes,” he said.

Bloomberg’s comments mask the reality behind the politics of this bill. Even if Congress should pass legislation, good luck to some 9/11 workers trying to get help from it. It seems it’s always been that way with 9/11. An apparent end of a battle, is actually only the beginning of another.

The bill is named after a New York police officer who is believed to be the first to die post 9/11 of complications from working amid the debris of the World Trade Center. Shortly after James Zadroga’s death, Mayor Bloomberg didn’t support the conclusion that Zadroga died as a result of his work after 9/11.

“We wanted to have a hero, and there are plenty of heroes, it’s just in this case, science says this was not a hero” he said in 2007, later backing away from the remarks.

It got ugly in a typical New York City kind of way. The same medical examiner who publicly proclaimed Zadroga a 9/11 victim, reportedly privately blamed Zadroga’s misuse of prescription drugs for his death.

Getting help, even when it’s approved, can be an agonizingly long process.

It was only last month, for example, that the city reached a settlement to pay millions of dollars to ground zero workers, who said they were not properly outfitted for search-and-rescue efforts following the attack.

Nothing has come easy for the first responders of 9/11.

  • Justin

    This story makes me ill. As a former first responder/volunteer firefighter, it makes me sad to see that people who are true heroes are not being taken care of. Shame on anyone from either political party who doesn’t support this legislation. There is no justifiable reason for this to occur.

  • Tyler

    The Daily Show’s last episode of 2010 dealt almost exclusively with this issue. The Republicans can no longer claim 9/11 as “their issue” if they’re not going to take care of the people they constantly laud as heroes.

  • Bob Collins

    It’s true, this has been portrayed as a Republican vs. Democrat issue in Congress. One suspects that after the bill passes, if it passes, people will move on with their lives, confident that the responders will have gotten what is due them.

    The reality is, however, that may not be the case at all.

    See “Orange, Agent.”

  • Disco

    Of course, Republicans have absolutely no problem, ten years later, STILL using 9/11 for political purposes.

    The hypocrisy of those Republican members of congress is simply staggering. President Obama cannot possibly hammer them enough for their disgusting show of politics at its worst.

  • Rob

    After watching “9/11 press for truth” on link TV & Gov. Jesse Ventura’s “Conspiratcy Theory:9/11″ & “Conspiratcy Theory: the pentagon missle conspiracy” on TruTV, I have doubts as to the real culprits behind the 9/11 attacks. The US Gov owes the families of the fallen, the emergency responders, the people who died in the towers, the planes & the pentagon , 100% compensation, plus punitive damages.

    I’m very irratated with the mainstream media that it takes independant people like micheal moore and wikileaks to do the job of the press and hold our government acountable for its actions. I’m also irratated with the american people who seem to be stuck in a place where they seem to have completely lost their moral compass.