Molesting the Dead

For some reason, I thought Jimmy Breslin was dead. Or at least long retired. Regardless, his byline appears on a Newsday column in which he makes bizarre statements about both Presidents Bush and Rudy Giuliani.

In his first campaign commercial, George Bush reached down and molested the dead.

But this only in keeping with both Bushes. George Bush, Sr., had the badge of officer Eddie Byrne, who was gunned down in South Jamaica, and he stood up at Christ the King High School in Middle Village and held it up and said he would have this badge on him forever. Some chance. Bush then led high school girls into insane cheers for the death penalty.

Now, right off, this second George Bush came up with the badge of a Port Authority cop, George Howard, who died. He was from Hicksville. His mother gave Bush the son’s badge. When Bush came back to the trade center a year later, he reached into his pocket and whipped out that badge and he had a tear in his eye. What makes it worse is that this George W. Bush acts like he’s entitled to treat the remains of a dead man like a souvenir. Now he shows a commercial with dead bodies, or body parts, covered with an American flag being taken through the smoke and flames of the world trade center attack. It caused people who had lost family members in the attack to complain about using the dead or parts thereof being used for a politician’s gain.

“Bush is afraid to let us see the dead being brought back from Iraq,” one fire fighter said yesterday.

The ad is nothing more than another George W. Bush fraud. First, arriving at the trade center, he was led by a flunkey to a retired fire fighter, Bob Beckwith, who had come down three days after the attack to take a look. Bush’s flacks had Beckwith stand on a destroyed fire engine and Bush came up next to him and Bush put an arm around him and, two heroes, Bush called out “we’re tough” to the television cameras.

He had all he wanted out of the place. A picture.

Does anyone other than Breslin actually think 9/11 was nothing but a photo op for this president? Or that the previous President Bush didn’t actually care about cops getting gunned down in the line of duty?

This is all about the ad which shows a split second of 9/11 imagery as part of the rationale for re-electing the man whose presidency has been almost entirely in the aftermath of that event.

Right away, Rudolph Giuliani came out to defend him to the death. He said the commercial was true and right to put on because it was “appropriate.” He was a nobody as a mayor and in one day he became a hero. This sudden career, this door opening to a room of gold, all started for Rudolph Giuliani when his indestructible bunker in World Trade Center building blew up. He had personally selected it, high in the sky, and with tons of diesel fuel to give emergency power.

And Guiliani walks on. He walks from his bunker, up Barclay Street and went on television. Went on and announced his heroism and then came back every hour or so until he became a star, a great figure, a national hero, the mayor who saved New York.


Giuliani then showed appropriate behavior by walking in a parade on Fifth Avenue with his girl friend and all the while his children could sit and watch him on television.

How marvelous! It was appropriate to humiliate his children, and now it is appropriate to molest the dead.

Huh?! Giuliani got elected to two terms as mayor of New York and was sufficiently popular that he was the favorite to replace Daniel Patrick Moynihan in the Senate. The combination of a flap over his failing marriage and the onset of prostate cancer made him drop out. Certainly, his national status was elevated by his leadership after 9/11. And Guiliani and Hanover had been separated since May 2000; why would walking with his new girlfriend humiliate his children, let alone offend the dead?!

FILED UNDER: 2004 Election, , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul says:

    Of course the DNC having widows practice talking points for months only to whip them out after the advertisements aired could NEVER be considered using 9/11 for political reasons. Right? Right?

    Like almost everything else since Florida, the Democrats are either liars or delusion. I really can’t figure out which one.

  2. bryan says:

    Clearly, Breslin isn’t dead, but his mind is. Guiliani was a popular mayor before 9/11 – even I knew it living in Texas, mainly because he cleaned up Times Square and brought tourists back.

    Breslin is an idiot.

  3. trey says:

    Interesting that those widows aren’t considered molesting the dead – given that they are using their lost loved ones to feed the political grist mill on behalf of the Dems… and financed by Theresa Kerry, too!

    (per Tim Graham)
    According to their own contribution page, “Peaceful Tomorrows is a project of the Tides Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.”

    According to an article in the Pittsburgh Review, “Between 1995 and 2001, $4.3 million of that money came from the Howard Heinz Endowment. In 2002, it and the Vira Heinz Endowment blessed The Tides Center, a San Francisco spin-off of the Tides Foundation, with another $190,000 while the two endowments gave $1.6 million to the new Tides Center for Western Pennsylvania.” (The Heinz Endowments have teamed up with a secretive left-wing group)

    One founder is pounding at Bush on the front page of the Washington Post this morning, but she’s not identified with the group. “The idea that President Bush would rally support around his campaign by using our loved one in a way that is so shameful is hard for me to believe,” says Rita Lasar. You’ll find her routinely on the group’s speaking calendar. The Peaceful Tomorrows clan is noted and Colleen Kelly of the group is quoted on A4, but it is described softly as a “nonpartisan group.”

    Then note that this group also plans to get in the GOP’s faces during the convention this fall. From the August 10, 2003 NY Times: “The unifying theme about the Republican convention next year is keep your hands off ground zero,” said Rita Lasar, a founder of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, a group of about 80 relatives of attack victims. “Do not make a political football out of this. This is a place where very close, dear relatives died. It’s not the backdrop for a political campaign.”

    “Peaceful Tomorrows” is being portrayed as an independent group of relatives of victims of the 911 attacks. They are getting a lot of press claiming to be outraged over the new Bush ads.

    And the fireman union head has been campaigning for Kerry.

    Sure glad they aren’t molesting the dead…..