Are President George W. Bush, Rudy Giuliani "Fake Heroes" Who "Cashed in on the Horror" of 9/11? Paul Krugman Takes Heat for NY Times Op-Ed
Americans across the country spent Sunday pausing to reflect on the 10 years that passed since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. However, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman decided to mark the occasion with a New York Times op-ed titled "The Years of Shame," calling Rudy Giuliani and George W. Bush "fake heroes."
In it, Krugman writes of 9/11:
"The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons." He goes on to say that "the memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame."
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On Monday's America Live, pundits from both sides of the aisle reacted. Brad Blakeman, former deputy assistant to George W. Bush, called Krugman a coward and a "hack" for his remarks, saying that the journalist has "absolutely no regard for any members who suffered that day."
"He should be fired," Blakeman said. "He doesn't speak for 9/11 victims ... I lost a nephew on that day - a first responder who was killed saving people. He certainly doesn't speak for me; 9/11 is not a phony event for me."
Blakeman called out his own service to the country in government, asking where Paul Krugman was in the years after 9/11.
"What the hell did he ever do except spew hate without any basis in fact? I saw what President George W. Bush did for this country - I was there; I observed it," he said. "I also saw what Rudy Giuliani did. He was a mayor at the time - not only for America, but for New York city - when they needed him the most."
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, came out in defense of Krugman, saying she agrees with his categorization of the years after September 11 as "years of shame." Benjamin said 9/11 was used to justify two "unjust wars," bloat the Pentagon budget and fatten the pockets of defense contractors, and condone torture - all of which have sullied the reputation of the United States around the globe.
And as if that wasn't heated enough for you, it only escalated from there. Watch parts one and two of the debate. PLUS - leave a comment below and let us know what you think about the controversial column, including whether or not you believe Krugman should be shown the door for his remarks.