Since the terrorist attacks five years ago, what has remained unchallenged is the leadership of New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. As national commemorations die down and Rudy’s presidential hopes light up, the American Prospect rethinks the Rudy myth.
1. Rudy lied. In positioning himself as a terror expert, Giuliani told a whopper of a lie. One of the things that made him so expert was his investigation of the Achille Lauro matter. (This was the Italian ship hijacked by terrorists.) All involved with the case, however, including Rudy’s own mentor, insist Rudy never had anything to do with that investigation.
2. Rudy’s blinders. Despite a major terrorist plot the year he was elected, not to mention the first WTC bombing, Giuliani never made terrorism a priority, never discussed it vigorously with his staff, never upped the number of terror Task Force officers–and was strangely oblivious to terror concerns.
3. Bunker busted. ‘The 9-11 Commission’s senior counsel, John Farmer, cited a number of ways that an operating command center might have saved lives. If the center had been located elsewhere and thus able to remain operational that day, he says, “I really think it would have made a difference. Maybe the failure to communicate among the agencies doesn’t happen that day because that thing is functioning. That’s the point of it. I’ve never been convinced that they could have done that much better with civilians, but I think the number of responder deaths could have been greatly reduced.”’
‘It was at once the dumbest decision he ever made, and the one that made him a legend. If the center had been elsewhere, all the dramatic visuals that turned Giuliani into a nomad warrior would instead have been tense but tame footage from its barren press conference room, where reporters had been corralled prior to 9-11 for snowstorms and the Millennium celebration. The closest any cameras would’ve gotten to Giuliani-in-action would have been shots of him with 100 officials, working over monitors, maps, mikes, and phones.’
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