Nadler’s shameful defense of Ilhan Omar’s comment shows he has forgotten 9/11

Nadler’s shameful defense of Ilhan Omar’s comment shows he has forgotten 9/11
A younger, wiser, and more corpulent Jerrold Nadler (Image: C-SPAN screen grab)

On Sunday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union,” where host Jake Tapper administered the latest litmus test to determine whether any living Democrat retains a shred of human dignity since the party’s sharp leftward turn. The test involved asking Nadler whether he had a problem with fellow representative Ilhan Omar’s trivialization of the 9/11 attacks as “someone doing something.”

Here is Nadler’s response (transcript follows):

No, I did not. She characterized it only in passing. She was talking about discrimination against Muslim Americans and she just said after that happened it was used as an excuse for lots of discrimination and with withdrawal of civil liberties.

In one respect this comment is business as usual for Nadler, who already tacked so far left that during the Occupy Wall Street protests his chief concern was not demonstrators urinating in the streets but whether the police who were monitoring them were encroaching on their constitutional rights.

But in another respect, this reaction is shameful. As a New Yorker who lived through the horrific events of that fateful day and the weeks and months following, has Nadler forgotten the black smoke that hung over the city or  the painful images of loved ones who went missing on 9/11 dolefully captioned “Have you seen this person?” Has he forgotten the gigantic makeshift morgue set up behind Bellevue Hospital or the difficulty of getting around Manhattan, which was closed to the public below 14th Street? Unless he has forgotten, Nadler should know better than to dismiss a callous remark like Omar’s as something said “in passing.”

In fact, at one time he did know better. Read the words that a younger and somewhat wiser Nadler spoke on the floor of the House on Sept. 14, 2001. A video can be found here.

Mr. Speaker, let me express my gratitude to everyone in this Chamber for their expressions of solidarity with the people of New York and the people of my district.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, like December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States was viciously and treacherously attacked. Thousands of our fellow citizens lie dead under the rubble. The World Trade Center, one of the most visible symbols of my home, New York City, is no more. Thousands of families even now frantically await word of the fates of their family members.

Our response must be swift and resolute. First, we must continue the rescue and recovery operation, we must do all we can to assist the families of the victims, and we must help New York to recover from the devastation visited upon her.

Second, we must prosecute the war that has been thrust upon us with resolve, with fortitude, with unity, until the evil terrorist groups that are waging war against our country are eradicated from the face of the Earth.

No, he didn’t mention the religious affiliation of the attackers and, yes, he said the words dispassionately. But (big but) he did compare the attack — aptly, I believe — to the one on Pearl Harbor and spoke of eradicating those responsible “from the face of the Earth.” How less than two decades later he can countenance some congressional upstart daring to dismiss 9/11 as “something someone did” is beyond comprehension.

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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