Mike Bloomberg on Homeland Security

Mayor of New York City (Independent)


Supported building mosque near Ground Zero

Selective evocation of religious tolerance continues today when Americans are lectured about who can exercise their freedom of religion, and under what circumstances. The plan to build a mosque just steps from Ground Zero in NYC is a good example.

NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg and other supporters of the initiative have argued that not allowing a mosque to be built at a sacred site where nearly 3000 people lost their lives in the name of Islam would somehow violate American principles of tolerance and openness.

Many Americans, me included, feel it would be an intolerable & tragic mistake to allow such a project to go forward on such hallowed ground. Of course the supporters of this project have a constitutional right to build a mosque on private land. But just because they can do something doesn't mean they necessarily should. This is nothing close to "religious intolerance"; it's what our Founders called "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind"--or in this case, their fellow Americans.

Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p.221-222 , Nov 23, 2010

1960s: Rejected as "1Y" when volunteering for Vietnam

When he was completing Harvard Business School, as his student draft deferment expired, he applied to the army's officer training program--assuming that a 2nd lieutenant would be a safer rank than infantry private--but he was rejected for having flat feet.

He was still subject to call-up by his hometown draft board, whose recruiting quota had tripled. Yet the board also invoked the flat feet and classified him as "1Y"--draftable only in a national emergency. How the board learned about the flat feet without ordering its own medical exam remains a mystery. Bloomberg insists he was not the source, and the officer training program would not normally be.

Asked a few more questions about his draft board's decision, he suddenly tore off his loafers and stood in stocking feet. "Look, those are my feet," he said, his voice rising. "Do you see an arch?" Indeed he has no arches.

Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by J.Purnick, p.113-114 , Sep 28, 2010

New York was 49th lowest per-capita in post-9-11 DHS grants

[Post 9-11, the Dept. of Homeland Security] gave a ton of money to New York City, though no matter what the amount, Mayor Bloomberg argued it wasn't enough and once said DHS grants were "pork barrel of the worst kind." He added, "NYC has already been targeted by terrorists six times since 1993. Yet inexplicably, today New York State ranks 49th among the 50 states in per capita Homeland Security funding." During a televised hearing, he said, "During fiscal year 2004, New York State received $5.47 per capita in Homeland Security grants. Nebraska got $14.33 per capita."

The per capita comparison was misleading. If you look at the numbers, New York and Washington got the bulk of the money. In the second round of grants, we got the FBI to assess the threats and tied grants to them. The political reality is you're not going to get representatives and senators from smaller states to vote in favor of a program that sends funds to only a few larger states, and nothing to anyone else.

Source: The Test of our Times, by Tom Ridge, p.179-180 , Sep 1, 2009

9/11 FYPD were heroes because they chose to stay behind

Giuliani basically said, "These guys [the firefighters who died on 9/11] were heroes; they chose to stay behind." Bloomberg said the same thing in a letter he sent to the 9/11 Commission, and that is what the commissioners put in their report because after going to great pains to describe--in chapter 9--the communications problems, the commissioners concluded in a footnote that all on-duty members of 15 to 20 fire companies knew there was an order to evacuate, but, for whatever reason, didn't get out. What Giuliani, Bloomberg, and the 9/11 commissioners are basically saying is that these firefighters chose to die in the building. That drives the families nuts.
Source: Giuliani: Flawed or Flawless, by D. & G. Strober, p.291 , Jan 16, 2007

Use DNA and fingerprint technology for worker ID database

Bloomberg thrust himself into the national immigration debate, advocating a plan that would establish a DNA or fingerprint database to track and verify all legal US workers. Bloomberg compared his proposed federal identification database to the Social Security card, insisting that such a system would not violate citizens’ privacy and was not a civil liberties issue. “You don’t have to work--but if you want to work for a company you have to have a Social Security card,” he said. “The difference is, in the day and age when everybody’s got a PC on their desk with Photoshop that can replicate anything, it’s become a joke.“

The mayor said DNA and fingerprint technology could be used to create a worker ID database that will ”uniquely identify the person“ applying for a job, ensuring that cards are not illegally transferred or forged. The New York Civil Liberties Union said a DNA or fingerprint database ”doesn’t sound like the free society we think we’re living in.“

Source: Sara Kugler, Associated Press , May 24, 2006

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Page last updated: Mar 15, 2019