Thursday, May 03, 2007

Giuliani like Bush, is a Failed Terrorism Fighter

In n the book Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11 (HarperCollins, 2006) Village Voice senior editor Wayne Barrett and senior producer Dan Collins cited several of what they presented as Giuliani's terrorism-related failures before, during, and after September 11.

Barrett and Collins wrote that when Giuliani heard about the disaster on 9-11, his "original destination" was the "much-ballyhooed command center he had built in the shadow of the Twin Towers," in the 7 World Trade Center (7 WTC) building (Page 6). However, when Giuliani arrived, then-New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik "decided it was too dangerous to bring the mayor up to the command center he had so carefully and expensively built" (Page 340). In settling on the downtown location, Giuliani "overruled" warnings from Howard Safir, a previous police commissioner, and Lou Anemone, chief operating officer of the New York police department, not to put the command center at 7 WTC and rejected "an already secure, technologically advanced city facility across the Brooklyn Bridge" (Page 41). Later on 9-11, the 7 WTC building collapsed.

HBO host Bill Maher told Matthews that "the reason why [Giuliani] was on the streets that day is because his office was blown up," and said, "All of the experts told him to move the command-and-control center out of the World Trade Center. He put it in the World Trade Center." Maher added: "He's not a terrorism fighter. He has no credentials in this. In fact, he failed the one time he had an opportunity, just like [President] Bush."

With a political career sinking under the weight of marital scandal and health concerns, Giuliani saw his personal fortunes rise when he showed leadership after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. But journalists Barrett and Collins take issue with the new heroic image of the former New York mayor and possible presidential candidate. This absorbing and detailed investigation examines the day of the attack (when the fire and police departments were in their usual contentious mode), the lessons that were not learned from the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, and the political aftermath of 9/11 for New York and Giuliani. Despite his much-vaunted leadership and talk of his prescience to develop a response team after the 1993 attack, Barrett and Collins maintain that Giuliani failed New Yorkers in myriad ways, including an ill-advised attempt to lobby to change city election laws to leave him in place as mayor and concealing environmental reports on Ground Zero. Given the status Giuliani has attained since 9/11, this controversial book will be in demand. Vanessa Bush
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