Nation Building.

Why the lack of progress at ground zero should worry America

Rebuilding ground zero was going to be a great show of American defiance, a Knute Rockne speech to the nation. Seven years on, though, this grand statement is barely a stammer. In an unsparing new progress report, the site's landlord admitted that every part of the project is over budget and behind schedule. It will take several months just to map out a new timeline.

The 16-acre site is a tangle of more than 100 contractors and subcontractors answering to 19 public agencies--a sorry pageant of feuding bureaucrats, shady contractors, litigious developers and overzealous regulators. Even 9/11 advocacy groups share the...

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