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VT. SEN. Pat Leahy KO'S 9/11 HERO MEDALS
New York Post ^
| Vincent Morris
Posted on 04/12/2002 12:43:30 PM PDT by Cacique
VT. POL KOS 9/11 HERO MEDALS
By VINCENT MORRIS
| SEN. LEAHY
April 12, 2002 -- WASHINGTON - A Vermont senator has single-handedly killed a plan to honor the cops and firefighters who gave their lives on 9/11 with special presidential medals, The Post has learned.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Judiciary Committee, pulled the plug on legislation to bestow the "Presidential Medal of Valor" on public-safety workers who perished in the terror attacks.
The new medal, which is the nation's highest public-safety award, was created about a year ago, and the 9/11 heroes were set to become its first recipients.
Leahy's decision sinks the honor, which was approved by the House on Oct. 30 - by a 409-0 margin.
The bill was then sent to Leahy's committee in the Democratic-run Senate. As chairman, Leahy has decided not to bring the measure to a committee vote, effectively killing it, aides said.
In a statement to The Post, Leahy noted that an "independent advisory panel" of ex-cops and former firefighters is supposed to nominate and review medal candidates - a process that was not being followed in this case.
"It is fitting that public-safety officers themselves play a role in selecting the honorees," the statement said.
Leahy's aides said he opposed medals for the 9/11 heroes because Congress - not the advisory panel - had determined the recipients.
The 11-member panel has met only once, and didn't discuss the 9/11 medals.
The senator's aides also said that under the legislation creating the medal, a maximum of only five per year are supposed to be doled out.
Nearly 400 NYPD and Port Authority cops, firefighters and other emergency personnel lost their lives in the collapse of the Twin Towers.
Leahy's move has New York lawmakers fuming.
"This is really frustrating," said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens), whose firefighter cousin died on 9/11.
"This is a no-brainer. Those guys knew what was facing them, and still they put that frickin' gear on and raced up the stairwells. If that's not heroism, I don't know what is," Crowley told The Post.
When Crowley's bill reached the Senate, New York Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer vowed to make sure that the first medals went to the heroes who died saving others on Sept. 11.
Clinton and Schumer said yesterday that they still support the bill.
The medals were intended to show gratitude toward the firefighters, cops and EMS workers who rushed into the doomed towers to rescue people.
The authority to give the medals dates back to last May, when they were OK'd by President Bush.
Proponents even talked of melting scrap metal from the trade center to create the medals.
The Pentagon recently awarded its own valor medal to employees who responded to the hijacking crash there, after creating a special category of recognition for civilian workers. Military workers were given Purple Hearts.
TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; US: Vermont
KEYWORDS: 911; democrats; patleahy; vermont
Well, I can see where some of these nihilist self hating liberals stand on some issues.
posted on 04/12/2002 12:43:30 PM PDT
Leahy's a dick.
posted on 04/12/2002 12:48:02 PM PDT
Oh, well, I did a search on Leahy and didn't find it. The search function onm the site needs to be updated so we can also scan the body of an article instead of just titles.
posted on 04/12/2002 12:53:32 PM PDT
I agree. Sometimes you have to scroll down pretty far in the search before you see the article that you want to post.
Sen. Lahey will get away witrh this. The stupid folks of Vermont will simply re-elect him next time around.
I would say that if 9/11 happened in Vermont Lahey might have allowed this to go through.
Hate to say this, but I agree with Leahy on this one. Let the fire fighters and emergency workers themselves pick the medal recipients. If this medal is truly supposed to be as prestegious as the Congressional Medal of Honor, it shouldn't just be given to 400 people all at once. As an 8-year military veteran, I was disgusted by the medal "inflation" that came out of the Gulf war. Staff weenies that never even fired a weapon were given Silver Stars. You shouldn't get such a prestegious medal just because you knew you were probably going to be killed. In that case, every member of the US 8th Airforce that died in WWII should have earned the CMH. That unit sufered over 10% of all US casualties in WWII. When they took off for a day raid over Berlin, those pilotd and crew members knew they had a very good chance of dying. I'm sure out of all the emergency workers that died on 9/11 some of them exhibited extraordinary heroism and should be recognized for that by their fellow workers that survived. But lastly, I agree that for the most part, Leahy is a dick
posted on 04/12/2002 1:05:26 PM PDT
Yes, I agree with your argument about "medal inflation." But, perhaps, since this is the first time they are to be awarded and the circumstances are quite extraordinary, I can go along with it.
Oh and yeah, Leahy's still a dick. :o)
posted on 04/12/2002 1:08:34 PM PDT
It's a tough call, that's for sure. I'm not saying they don't deserve recognition, and if they get the medals, I won't complain. I guess I'm just a little biased towards the military. Look at all the money the victims of 9-11 are getting. Shouldn't active duty soldiers that die in Afghanistan and anywhere else in support of our operations to erradicate terrorists get compensated too? (in addition to their life insurance policies that they pay premiums out of their own pockets for). I applaud the largesse of the American people with regard to all the money raised after 9-11. I applaud Bill O'Reilly for making a ton of noise about the money not getting out. I am all for recognition. I just lament the fact that in years past so many heroes were ignored, especially soldiers. And Leahy will always be a dick.
I agree with all your comments.
Leahy has been and always will be a dick.
posted on 04/12/2002 1:23:29 PM PDT
He even looks like one. If he put on a hard hat and a raincoat, he could be an ad for safe sex.
posted on 04/12/2002 1:29:26 PM PDT
As an 8-year military veteran, I was disgusted by the medal "inflation" that came out of the Gulf war.
As a 20 year veteran, I can tell you that medal inflation has been going on longer than that. During Grenada, hundreds of Pentagon officers managed to find their way down there so they could sew on a patch, stick a ribbon on their chest, and check a block on their personnel records. It sickens me. Medals mean nothing to me anymore. I was just awarded two silly medals for spending a few months in the Balkans. They will go in the trash.
posted on 04/12/2002 1:55:15 PM PDT
*** 303 Signatures so far.... ** We can do much better than this.. this is a matter of National Security.. Please sign this petition and ask Sen Leahy to do the right thing and step down...
Click here to sign petition..
...also please e-mail this link to EVERYONE on your list...
Petiton post bump
posted on 06/10/2002 6:06:04 PM PDT
*** 354 Signatures so far.... ** We can do much better than this.. this is a matter of National Security.. Please sign this petition and ask Sen Leahy to do the right thing and step down...
Click here to sign petition..
...also please e-mail the Petition link to EVERYONE on your list...
David C. Osborne
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