Saturday, November 24, 2001

It may be time for the September 11 charity relief fund police to begin Phase 2 of their oversight campaign. If you haven’t already heard about it, you’re not going to believe this.

You’ve probably read that some of the September 11 relief money was granted to an organization defending people suspected of involvement in the very crimes that made these charitable efforts necessary. The offending organization, the September 11th Fund (the Fund), was established by the United Way and the New York Community Trust to receive and distribute donations to help victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

We’re not talking about pocket change here. The Fund gave $171,000 to the Legal Aid Society, which is assisting in the legal defense of eight terror suspects now detained in Brooklyn, N.Y. That’s like the Heart Association donating to the Society of Sedentary Butter Eaters. Actually, it’s worse, because sedentary butter-eaters harm themselves; they don’t murder innocent people.

Are you outraged yet? If not, there’s more. The Fund, far from chastened by criticism from those outraged at the above, is up to further mischief. now tells us that the Fund has made more than a million dollars worth of grants to various left-wing political groups CNSNews’ characterization not mine, but it is undeniably correct.

Here’s a partial list of the groups hogging up some of the funds designated for the terror victims: The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), The Asian American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (AALDEF), the Arab-American Family Support Center (AAFSC), the Independent Press Association (IPA), The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) and get ready for this one the Olive Leaf Wholeness Center (OLWC).

The euphemistic (and sometimes misleading) names of these groups alone should alert you to the types of causes they promote, if you don’t know already. But for the rest of you, I’ll share additional incriminating facts.

The Children’s Defense Fund received $31,000 “to get out information about subsidized health insurance expanded in response to September 11.” The CDF, one of Hillary Clinton’s long-held objects of passion, is a notorious advocate of liberal causes, such as gun control, in the name of protecting children. The late Barbara Olson (a victim of the attacks) in her book “Hell to Pay” revealed that the CDF used kids as props. In describing its founder, Marian Wright Edelman, she said, “Edelman’s great insight was to put children squarely in the front of almost every domestic policy debate. This is central to the CDF’s mission and a marvelous marketing tool.” Mrs. Edelman betrayed her own mindset when she said, “We need to talk about the poverty of values of a country that lets its children die because we don’t provide [national] health insurance.”

The $30,000 grant to the AALDEF was even more suspect. CNS reports that it was “to hire community organizers to assist in providing information and legal assistance to victims of hate violence, especially in the South Asian community here in New York City” and to fight “workplace discrimination.” Doesn’t that warm your heart? I’m sure the victims’ families would appreciate it.

The AAFSC received $60,000 “to provide emergency assistance” and combat “attacks on Arab-Americans.” The IPA got $81,150 “to use community and ethnic newspapers to distribute information about victim assistance to immigrants and non-English speaking people and to prevent bias-related violence.” The IPA’s Web site, by the way, prominently displays an article condemning American media coverage of the terrorist attacks and military campaign in Afghanistan for being too pro-American. Imagine that.

The last two in this non-exhaustive list are the most amazing. The NYIC received $450,000 to help “access relief assistance to immigrants harmed by the disaster.” The group’s stated purpose is to secure “immigrant rights.” And, the OLWC got $100,000 to provide “massage therapy to rescue workers, medical examiners, staff and victims’ family members at various relief locations.” No comment.

Jeanine Moss, a spokeswoman for the September 11th Fund, defended the grants, saying they should not be criticized because of the ideological bent of the recipients. Nice try, Miss Moss, but this deflection won’t work.

The ideology of the grantees would be irrelevant, except for the inappropriate uses they are making of these funds. And it certainly looks as though their ideology helped them to get the grants.

At best, the Fund’s decision-makers casually doled out these moneys as if they had so much they were entitled to waste it. At worst, the funds were cynically allocated to their pet political causes. It’s obvious that government is not the only institution adept at waste and favoritism.

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