RUDY - A Former Giuliani Pal Begins to Talk . . . Future Whistleblower of Sorts?

What might he know, if this is for real?

Why and why now? Good questions.

I spent four years in federal prison. During that time I received dozens of requests for information and interviews on the subjects of Rudy Giuliani and the Giuliani Administration. Most were from news outlets: magazines, newspapers and television. Some came from people wanting to write about Rudy and wanting new information or to confirm existing facts. A few were from average Joes and Janes wanting some question answered. How they got my name or why they were writing me, I have no idea.

With one exception, and that was just days before I left prison, I never responded to a single request. Sure there were probably hundreds of times that I read an article, heard a newscast or saw a commentator pontificate on some point relating to Rudy Giuliani with which I wanted to respond, elaborate or correct. But I never did.

Why given his high profile and controversial past has no one close to him come out to give behind the scenes details of life in the Administration? To answer that question you have to know Rudy's love of "The Godfather" and the belief that you never speak ill of the family with outsiders. Some would say loyalty others would say fear. No, there's no threat of death. But it simply isn't done. Giuliani people, and I would include myself - at least back then - were a vengeful lot. We payed back and we never forgot.

Of course in the books and articles that have been written you have seen a few former members of the Administration criticize Rudy. But when I read those pieces I always looked to what they weren't saying rather than to what they were. I knew what they could have said and didn't. There is earning the wrath of his team and then there is lifetime war and destruction. No former member of his Administration has gone so far as to deserve the latter.

While I was ignoring those interview requests I always felt an intense sense of pride and loyalty for and towards Rudy Giuliani. He was a hero of mine: insufferable, difficult, petulant, selfish at times, but a hero. Most great men are usually flawed. But great men usually have an unshakable core. A foundation so deeply rooted that for all their flaws they can lead people to great causes.

I was at a cocktail party once during the time I worked in the U.S. Senate. Reagan was in the White House. I was chatting with an Assistant Secretary of State. He was telling me stories of his encounters with the President. He said that although Reagan didn't give much specific policy direction, his core beliefs were so well known and reasoned that he could tell you where Reagan's head was on an issue without speaking to him simply because the man's philosophy was so clear. I have heard Peggy Noonan make a similar point. In the main, that was Rudy Giuliani before September 11, 2001.

First came Judith Nathan. Then came 9/11. Next was his firm, Giuliani Partners and all the money that brought. Then came the presidential run. These four factors taken together transformed him into the Rudy you see today. It bears no resemblance to the man I knew. Can anyone say - with the exception of the drum beating on terrorism - that they could tell you instinctively where Rudy would stand on a particular issue today? There's a reason he won not a single delegate. He no longer has an inner core or a message.

My father always said when advising potential candidates who sought his endorsement, "Message beats resume." Even candidates running for re-election were told this. To lead you have to stand for something. You need to have a vision of where you want to take people in order for them to follow. Or in his case, cast a vote for you. This was the reason he could not endorse Mike Bloomberg. In a private meeting in my father's office Bloomberg told him he wanted to be a great manager as mayor and promised him an extraordinary amount of things in return for an endorsement. Ray Harding told him he needed to get a message and a vision and then endorsed somebody else. Thirty years from now no one will remember Mike Bloomberg's tenure as mayor. Great managers - and I do not believe Bloomberg is one - don't get monuments, great leaders do. The hole at ground zero that remains at the twilight of his mayoralty is testament to that.

I heard Ray say it hundreds of times and over the years I've seen it borne out in nearly every case, "Message beats resume." During the years since Rudy first met Judith, taken with the intervening events, I have seen him lose all that once inspired. The 'Message", Ray spoke of, no longer mattered or even seemed to exist.

As he reversed himself on policy after policy in order to appeal to Karl Rove's army of hidden religious conservatives, I kept wondering, "Is this Rudy someone I could no longer support? Is this Rudy someone I would actively work against?" The answer slowly became yes. He now stood for nothing. His motivation for wanting to be president was glory. Caesar-like glory. A final capstone to 9/11.

But still I kept my tongue. I was grateful to him for the opportunities he had given me and I had all my friends in his inner and outer circles.

Months before I was to leave prison I wrote to Tony Carbonetti. He was Rudy's last Chief of Staff and my closest friend for a number of years. He was now a principal in Giuliani Partners. I wrote to tell him I was soon leaving, returning to New York reluctantly (I had requested that the Bureau of Prisons let me relocate to Idaho - a long story I'll go into another time) and was in need of whatever assistance he could provide. It was a humbling letter but he was a friend so it didn't hurt as much to ask. I never received a response.

I was damaged goods. I knew that part already. I didn't know however that he had written me off. If he had, then everyone had. I was on my own. But I still kept my tongue.

A few weeks ago I saw Tony in Grand Central Station. It was the first time I had seen him in five years. He looked good. Lots of gray hair but he looked trim and very dapper in a blue blazer and grey slacks. As we passed he realized it was me. His step quickened and his eyes averted . It did not anger me. But it did make me supremely sad. I have seen many old friends from those days since I returned from prison. Every one averts his eyes when we pass. But I never thought Tony would or could do that.

I realized shortly after my encounter with Tony that the information, the history, I was sitting on should be shared. What had held me back was love of Rudy, what he stood for and personal ties. All that was now gone.

In the past I've wanted to defend Rudy against unwarranted criticism or speak out in opposition to the new Rudy. This is my chance to do both.

As for any charge of disloyalty, make no mistake I spent a considerable amount of extra time in prison because Rudy and his staff would not confirm even the smallest details of my refutation of some charges. Confirmations that would have cost nothing politically and saved me at least a year in prison. But I bore no grudge. They could not be seen as doing anything other than distancing themselves from me. I understood. I was raised in this environment. Additionally, I spent extra time in prison because although the prosecutor made repeated overtures for my cooperation in exploring possible illegalities in the administration, I instructed my lawyers to tell her to "fuck off".

I can't promise much as the weeks go forward except this: I will speak the 100% unvarnished truth. While you have no reason to accept this now, every word written on these pages is and will be totally accurate. If there is any unforeseen error it is only because some of the events are many years past and therefore perhaps a month will be wrong in my remembering or a name is misspelled from a long ago staffer. I've taken extra pains to use quotes only when I am sure the speaker spoke those words. If not, I give their or my sense of what was conveyed without quotation marks.

Some of the pieces I will post will be of interest mainly to New Yorkers. Some will be blockbusters. Knowing the tabloid press, a few in particular. Others may just be of historical interest because they shed more light on the eight years of Rudy Giuliani's Administration and of the mindset of the man. One piece offers some new history on a foreign policy matter.

I do not claim to be a good writer. In fact, you may think me a lousy one. But I am not out to win a Pulitzer. I will be trying merely to convey historical events accurately.

Also over the next many weeks I will be writing about my legal case. It is a bizarre, scary and tragic story. Much of it will seem unbelievable. But it will all be true. The events surrounding my case and incarceration may be of interest only to me. But I'd like to think that after I describe in detail the system of justice that exists, that people, if not moved to action, will at least be better informed.

I will also lay out in detail, finally, how one of the great journalistic frauds ever perpetrated on the reading public came to be. How it started, how it worked and how it came undone.

I am new at all this. Although I created two websites from scratch, EDC's & HDC's, I had outside consultants to do the technical work. Forgive the rudimentary look and feel of this site. I chose a blog type format so people could leave their thoughts and impressions of what's said. I am a big believer in the free flow of ideas. Yea, I'm sure there's going to be a lot of name calling directed towards me. All I can say is that you can't write anything that my prosecutor doesn't say or call me routinely in her responses to my motions in court. So to paraphrase Winston Churchill, "Let them do their worst and I will do my best."

But I hope that after people get it out of their system they will tell me what they think. I don't mind criticism. I just hope it's thoughtful and leads to a dialogue.

As for my bona fides - I am uniquely qualified to know of what I speak. I've worked on every RWG mayoral campaign since 1989. I held a senior position at City Hall for the first two and half years of the administration. I held two other senior positions following that. I am Ray Harding's son and as such knew, if not everything, then almost everything he did. I was Tony Carbonetti's closest friend, sounding board and confidant/confessor for ten years. No one can claim those credentials.

Yes, I expect the Giuliani people to come at me hammer and tong. Yes, I am a convicted felon. I was convicted of embezzlement and possessing 11 pictures of child pornography found on a disk in my home. Yes, I went to prison for four years. But none of that makes anything I write less true. I expect them to say I met Rudy once at a fundraiser 12 years ago and he doesn't remember me. I'm exaggerating, of course. But something along those lines. Let them do their worst and I will do my best.

My politics and ideology are simple. I am and always have been an enrolled Republican. Although I had liberal parents, I was always very conservative. Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan were my heroes. I am from the libertarian wing of the party and there are very few of us left. I believe in low taxes and a small, contained federal government. I read the 10th Amendment frequently and am befuddled why no one else does. Like Alan Greenspan, I was taken with Ayn Rand's writings at a young age and they have helped shape my views.

George W. Bush has soured me on my party although I will never become a Democrat. I believe that the FISA end-run and the deception on Iraq are probably impeachable offenses. I think Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Tenet and a whole host of Justice, CIA and White House officials could very easily be indicted for criminal acts relating to torture and rendition. Unlike many, my party affiliation did not suddenly make me stupid or blind.

Readers, have a little faith in me until such time as I don't deserve it. Whatever I have or haven't done in my life I promise you, as I've said, to be 100% truthful. Veritas was not chosen lightly as the name of this site. I will write things that are personally painful and incredibly embarrassing, but they will be whole and accurate. That is all I can promise you.

R.A. Harding