Journalist Wayne Barrett discusses Giuliani's 9/11 performance on Democracy Now!
Journalist Wayne Barrett discussed Rudy Giuliani's run for president and his performance on 9/11, on+Democracy+Now+yesterday. From the transcript:
"I can tell you, having just written the book, about Giuliani's performance on 9/11, that there’s a lot of 9/11 families who are outraged by his performance. You don't have to rely on me. Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, in their own book, which came out simultaneous with mine, reported that the biggest failing of the 9/11 Commission was how they treated Giuliani at that May 2004 hearing, where they gave him a pass on every question, let him tell the same anecdotal speech he usually gets paid $100,000 to tell. And so, they said that because the families were so outraged at the pass that he was given -- and they wrote this in their own book -- they cancelled the buses to the final hearing in July or June in 2004 down in Washington. Hundreds of families that were expected to go cancelled, because they were so offended by the way in which the 9/11 Commission treated the families.
Rudy has, I’m sure, some families he can turn to that will support him for president. But there are many families who I’ve talked to in the course of reporting this book who were outraged by his performance. I mean, the city was about as prepared for that attack, despite the 1993 bombing, as apparently the Giuliani campaign was prepared for some sort of a security leak from their campaign."
If you want self-induced vomiting, check out this passage from Giuliani's speech to the 2004 RNC:
AMY GOODMAN: Well, let's go to an excerpt of the documentary, Giuliani Time. In this part of the film, Giuliani is speaking at the 2004 Republican National Convention.
INDRODUCER: Ladies and gentlemen, a man who embodies the courage, strength and heart of New York City, the Honorable Rudolph Giuliani.
RUDOLPH GIULIANI: Welcome to the capital of the world. These are times when leadership is the most important. On September 11, I looked up, and seeing the flames of hell emanating from those buildings and realizing that what I was actually seeing was a human being that was jumping out of the building, and I was stunned. Without really thinking, I grabbed the arm of then-police commissioner Bernard Kerik, and I said to him, “Bernie, thank God George Bush is our president.” Thank you.
Barrett also discloses that Giuliani was warned against putting the OEM bunker in the WTC:
WAYNE BARRETT: Right. The firefighters were using the same radios that they used at the ’93 bombing, even though we found a report that was written in 1990 that said that they were already obsolete and that they were a danger to the life of firefighters. And the firefighters are still carrying those same radios eight years after the 1993 bombing.
But what we focus on -- I mean, just take the bunker, for example. It turns out we discovered memos where his top security advisors say you can't put it in the World Trade Center complex. We discovered a five-page memo from Jerry Hauer, who was the head of Emergency Management under Giuliani, that wanted it to be located in Brooklyn in the Metrotech complex. That happens to be roughly where Mike Bloomberg has since put it. It's a block away from Metrotech in downtown Brooklyn. Giuliani said, “No, I want it within walking distance of City Hall.” No one could figure out the security rationale for that. But once he said it had to be within walking distance, Jerry Hauer then said, “You can't go underground, because it’s all below the flood plane within walking distance, so you’ve got to go to a tower.” The nearest tower was the World Trade Center complex.
The 23rd floor of 7 World Trade had never been rented. It was built for an investment banking firm as a trade floor. It had extremely high ceilings. It had been laying vacant for more than ten years. The private landlord who owned that became a gigantic donor to Rudy Giuliani, threw two big fundraising events on his yacht for it. They move into that floor, and it is a disaster on that day. We quote people from John Farmer, who was the staff attorney who wrote the chapter that deals with the city's response for the 9/11 Commission, as saying that if they had had a functioning command center that day, it would have saved the lives of many firefighters and police officers and rescuers. They had no functioning command center. They had no functioning command center, because of terrible decisions that were made.
Even Howard Safer, who was the police commissioner appointed by Giuliani, who goes way back with Giuliani to his federal days as a prosecutor, even Howard Safer warned him. We quote from a meeting of the cabinet, in which he called it in 1997. He said, “You can't put it in ground zero.” He called it “ground zero” then because it had already been bombed. Rudy just brushed aside all of this advice, was determined to put it there, put it there, and it had dire, even deadly, consequences that day. So that's just one example of many that we raise in the book.