Photo: Richard Drew/AP
"One of the jumpers worked construction at the WTC and violated the spirit of respect and reverence for this sacred site that almost all connected with the WTC project feel."
-- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in a statement responding to the arrest of four men who took part in a late-night BASE jump off the top of the new World Trade Center last September
Here's the breathtaking video clip they shot from the top of One World Trade and on the way down to the street below:
Now, about that quote -- oh, bullshit. If you want to charge these guys with trespassing and endangering the public, fine. They did break the law and there shouldn't be any argument about that. But if you're really trying to play the defiling-sacred-ground card, for God's sake save your sanctimony.
The rebuilding of the World Trade Center has been mired in petty politics and grotesque self-interest for more than a decade, starting with Pataki's cronyism and influence-peddling, and moving on to architect Daniel Libeskind getting screwed, developer Larry Silverstein essentially holding the entire site hostage, and the World Trade Center Association, as of 2013, still trying to extort free office space in exchange for the use of the name.
Rebuilding should've begun in earnest almost immediately after the rubble of the old towers was cleared and the site was deemed safe; it should've been priority one for the city and state. Instead a ceremonial cornerstone was laid three years after the attack and the tower didn't really begin getting off the ground until almost four years later because of an endless series of disputes over money and rights.
Don't give me that bullshit about how these guys dishonored and disgraced the site of the worst terrorist attack in American history. That's been done in ways far more pronounced and creative for years now.