Firemen douse Rudy’s image as 9/11 hero


From The Sunday Times

March 18, 2007

Firemen douse Rudy’s image as 9/11 hero
Union bid to halt White House run

Sarah Baxter, New York

FIRE battalion chief Jim Riches brought up his son to be one of New York’s “bravest”, like him. The young Jim followed his father into the New York fire department and died at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

What followed turned his heartbroken father into a relentless opponent of Rudy Giuliani, then mayor of New York. With other families of 9/11 victims, Riches has vowed to torpedo Giuliani’s prospects of winning the White House by attacking his greatest source of strength, his reputation as a hero that day.

“We’re going to follow him around the country,” said Riches. “We want all of America to know he is not the man he says he is.”

Helped by the firefighters’ union, Riches and his friends are preparing to “swiftboat” Giuliani, borrowing the tactics of the Vietnam veterans, under the title Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who pierced the Democratic nominee John Kerry’s seemingly armour-plated credentials as a decorated war hero during the 2004 presidential campaign.

Republican activists have expressed reservations about whether Giuliani is truly one of them on issues such as abortion, gun control and gay rights, but they have never doubted his extraordinary standing as “America’s mayor” on 9/11. Covered in dust, issuing calm bulletins and talking reverentially about the dead and missing, Giuliani was the epitome of leadership.

If the firefighters can dent his reputation, it could be devastating for Giuliani who led John McCain, his nearest rival for the 2008 Republican nomination, by 21 points last week.

Douglas Brinkley, a biographer of Kerry, said: “Pitting the two heroes of 9/11 - Giuliani and the firefighters - against each other will be the Swift Boat campaign all over again. Giuliani has marketed himself brilliantly as the leader of 9/11 but this will damage him. Most Americans respect the firemen more than they respect him.”

Several American news organisations are preparing exposés of the “untold story” of 9/11 after Giuliani’s dispute with the firefighters became embarrassingly public last week. He was the only leading presidential candidate not to appear at a Washington gathering of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which accused him of showing a “disgraceful lack of respect for the fallen” after the September 11 attacks.

Behind the union’s attack lies the grief and anger of families who believe their loved ones need not have died that day and their conviction that some bodies would never have been recovered had Giuliani had his way.

Jim Riches, 29, had been helping to rescue office workers in the north tower when it collapsed. In the dust and debris, his fellow firefighters did not realise that the south tower had already crashed to the ground. Despite the terrifying noise, survivors say they thought only the top storeys had toppled. They never heard the order to evacuate. “My son could have had 30 minutes to escape,” Riches Sr said.

The firefighters were still using the antiquated “handie-talkie” radios that failed to work during the 1993 bombing of the twin towers, when Giuliani was also mayor. He not only failed to replace them, but also located the city’s new emergency command centre at the World Trade Center against the advice of key officials. It proved useless when it was most needed.

Lack of communication also meant that warnings from police helicopters about an imminent collapse failed to get through.

Riches was one of 343 firefighters who died. His father spent every day sifting through the wreckage for bodies, eager for some sign of his son. In November, Giuliani ordered a halt to the work after the remains of 91 firefighters had been recovered.

“Giuliani told everybody the bodies were pulverised, but I was digging them up every day. It was grisly stuff, limbs, little bones - people were blown to bits - but the bodies were there,” said Riches, 55.

The searchers refused to stop. An ugly clash between the firefighters and the New York police left 18 officers injured. Eventually Giuliani backed down and allowed the work to continue, but not before branding the firefighters’ actions as “sinful”.

As late as March, clumps of victims - 13 here, five there, a couple more scattered around - were being found. One of them was Riches’ son.

Riches Sr had taken a rare day off from ground zero to attend his grandmother’s burial when he got the call on his mobile. He raced back to help bring what remained of his son out on a stretcher draped with the American flag. If Giuliani had succeeded in closing down the operation, “I would never have got to carry little Jimmy’s body out”, Riches said. “I would never have had a cemetery to visit.”

Sally Regenhard of the Skyscraper Safety Campaign lost her firefighter son Christian, 28. She has been dogging Giuliani and the New York authorities in the courts and at public hearings, and last week was protesting outside the New York Sheraton hotel, where Giuliani was holding a fundraiser. She, too, will be hitting the campaign trail.

The firefighters’ union, which backed Kerry in the last election, will be lending its considerable resources to the fight. Well organised local chapters intend to mount their campaigns against Giuliani wherever he appears.

The threat to Giuliani comes as his position in the polls has soared, even though knowledge about his three marriages, his estrangement from his children and his liberal stance on abortion rights and gun control has spread.

He faced new challenges last week with the disclosure that his law firm, Bracewell & Giuliani, is receiving six-figure sums for lobbying Congress on behalf of Citgo Petroleum, a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, despite criticism of Hugo Chavez’s regime as president.

Brinkley predicts that Giuliani will lose if he tries to face down the firefighters and their families. The answer, Brinkley believes, is to cut off the threat by apologising for some of his decisions. “He should say, ‘I just wanted to get New York moving again. I’m sorry I was insensitive’, and start talking about helping with equipment and resources,” he said.

It remains to be seen if “sorry” is in Giuliani’s vocabulary.

Fact check...

"The firefighters were still using the antiquated “handie-talkie” radios that failed to work during the 1993 bombing of the twin towers, when Giuliani was also mayor. "

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't David Dinkins mayor of New York during the 1993 WTC bombings?

Good catch

Yes, you're right, Dinkins was still mayor in Feb. '93, lost the election to Giuliani that November, and Giuliani was sworn in on New Years' '94.

I don't know who was mayor

in 1993 but I do know Giuliani is vile scum. It is also obvious to me that he was 'in on' the government 9/11 conspiracy. That makes him traitorous vile scum.

There is no point in asking for him to say he was 'sorry' because it is clear he is not capable of remorse.

god, I cried reading about Riches finding his son.

Bu Bye Rudy

“We will export death and violence to the four corners of the earth”
~ George W. Bush

Everytime I see his name it's Ghouliani now

A question RR about your signature: is that an actual Bush malaphorism or just a quote you're sardonically attributing to him?

If it's an actual quote--I'll continue to goggle at the fact he's STILL president...


Impeachment. Accountability. A better world.


Invokes 9/11 and fear mongers the most in this video?

Call me crazy, but doesn't it seem that 9/11 was created specifically to further the agendas of fascists?

"So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies."

Richard Cheney - Chief Executive Of Halliburton

Christ, that was

Christ, that was horrible.

Honestly, watching that and you almost don't need ANY evidence at all to prove our case.

Very well made short video and to the point...

Thanks JG... Watched this quite a while back and forgot about it...

Well worth watching if you haven't seen it before.


Thanks and best wishes

Mr Riches

......I am sorry for your loss,and i want to say thank you to all the firemen. The way you stick together like a family defiines honor ,and integrity.
Please look at everything us truthers have, and pass it on. United we stand.
Put me down for one vote for Giuiliani
GUILTY ! For treason & murder

Rita Giuliani

Sometimes they need to shove their perversion in our faces, it seems.

Trumph bashes Bush and endorses Ghouliannni

all in the game

"Trump: Bush Is Probably The Worst President In The History Of The United States

Huffington Post
Saturday, March 17, 2007

In an appearance on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, real estate executive and reality television personality Donald Trump called U.S. President George W. Bush "probably the worst president in the history of the United States."

A transcript of the exchange follows:

TRUMP: Well, I think Bush is probably the worst president in the history of the United States, and I just don't understand how they could have lost that election.

BLITZER: Let's get back to that in a moment.

Let's talk about Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York.

TRUMP: Very, very talented, smart, tough, very formidable in every way. And I think, if it's him and Hillary, it's going to be a hell of a tough race. "


Ladies and gentleman, the next President of the United States of America!

I feel like there are Lady Macbeth-style spots on my eyes now, thanks alot.

Rudi the anthrax cleaner

Rudi is the set up man the fast tuff talkin former DA

moves from 911 to 7/7/05
and he is the clean-up man ..covering the clues .

who better than to cover up a crime than a currupt insider like the Ghoul

Whomever helped perpetrate the 911 crimes
the crimes of our lifetimes
gets to be the pResident of the USA

Blackmail extortion assasinations ..
loot and pilfer any vulnerable nation and marching the sleepers so cleverly to their police state finale

Clintons... Kerry Heinz

all are in on 911.

Its their badge of honor..its membership in their exclusive societys

WHOM is more better placed to ruin a nation or corporation than the chief executives????

Ghoulianni and Hugo


Hugo should know better than to hang with this guy.

I guess we all have our preferred devils.

"Giuliani hit with questions over law firm's Citgo contract
Houston firm has a deal valued at up to $100,000 with company controlled by Hugo Chavez

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

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WASHINGTON — Republican presidential prospect Rudy Giuliani's campaign was hit by questions Wednesday over his law firm's lobbying contract with Citgo Petroleum Corp., which is controlled by Bush administration foe Hugo Chavez.

Bracewell & Giuliani, the Houston law and lobbying firm Giuliani joined as a partner in 2005, has a contract valued between $50,000 and $100,000 this year to represent the Venezuela-owned Citgo's interests in Austin, according to lobbying reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission.

The lobbying deal provoked a mini-boomlet of attention after a Bloomberg News story which disclosed the contract's existence was posted online by the Drudge Report and cited by other Web sites.

The former New York mayor's exploratory committee refused to discuss details of the contract with Houston-based Citgo.

The campaign confined itself to the greater problem for Giuliani: the appearance he could be, however tangentially, linked to Chavez, the Venezuelan president who revels in taunting President Bush. Chavez, who has called Bush "the devil," staged an anti-U.S. rally during Bush's weeklong trip to Latin America, which concluded Wednesday.

"Mayor Giuliani believes Hugo Chavez is not a friend of the United States, and his influence continues to grow because of our increasing reliance on foreign sources of oil," deputy communications director Maria Comella said.

In a statement, the law firm said Giuliani had nothing to do with the Citgo contract, signed weeks after he joined the firm, to track the refiner's tax, environmental and permitting issues in Austin.

"Rudy Giuliani has never had any involvement in this representation," the statement said. "Our efforts on behalf of Citgo do not involve the company's political profile in the United States or elsewhere."

The law firm has represented Citgo since mid-2003 and began representing Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the refiner's parent company, about a decade ago, said Citgo spokesman David McCollum.

"We've retained that firm for better than 10 years to represent us in Austin," McCollum said, and Giuliani "has absolutely no dealings with the contract."

"He probably was not aware of a contract with Citgo until he saw the story," he added.

Political experts said the episode is a precursor to what's sure to be more in-depth examination of the financial success Giuliani has enjoyed since leaving the mayor's office at the end of 2001


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"So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies."

Richard Cheney - Chief Executive Of Halliburton