Saturday, August 11, 2007

All About Rudy!

What New Yorkers know about Rudy Giuliani that Coloradans should

When Rudolph Giuliani awoke on the morning of September 11, 2001, his political career was in the toilet. Nearing the end of his second term as mayor of New York City, a tenure marred by conflict and personal scandal, his approval rating was in the dismal 30th percentile, and he was term-limited from running again. He dropped out of a 2000 Senate race against Hillary Rodham Clinton after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Besides, no New York City mayor had gone on to higher office since 1868. Newsweek referred to pre-9/11 Rudy as “unpopular” and “irrelevant.”

New York magazine reported that on the morning of September 11, while breakfasting with Bill Simon, who was considering a 2002 gubernatorial bid in California, Giuliani told him, “I could endorse your opponent. That might help you more.”

What a difference a day can make.

Later that day, the American public was introduced to Giuliani, covered in soot, addressing his city with a strength and poise not lacking the emotional weight of the tragedy. He was on the scene, not holed up in a bunker, and he commanded from the streets, just as at-risk as the people he was charged to serve. Holding impromptu press conferences amongst falling buildings and chaos, he displayed the valor of a true leader. That day, even New Yorkers who had long called their mayor a “fascist” and “Adolph Giuliani” loved Rudy.

By the end of the day, when Giuliani retired to a friend’s apartment where he’d been staying since separating from his second wife, he had transformed, in image at least, into “Rudy the Rock” and “America’s Mayor.” One has to wonder if his presidential hopes were rekindled as he read Winston Churchill before falling asleep.

Today, Giuliani is the front-runner of the GOP’s presidential primaries. In a recent CNN poll, Arizona Senator John McCain trails Giuliani by more than 10 points. As improbable as it may seem that Republicans would nominate a pro-choice, anti-gun, pro-gay-rights divorcee from the Northeast, they just might. Those hot-button social issues are not as hot with the conservative base in a post-9/11 world; all of the GOP’s front-runners — including McCain and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney — are perceived as moderate on social issues. America’s Mayor may very well be America’s next president.

That concept is very difficult for many New Yorkers to grasp. After living under Giuliani’s tyranny for eight years, many are concerned that America doesn’t know the real Rudy, the “9/10 Rudy,” as he’s been dubbed.

“Giuliani was a frustrated and not very popular mayor on September 10, 2001,” Slate editor Jacob Weisberg writes. “Today, most New Yorkers do see him as a hero, but also a self-sabotaging, thin-skinned bully. To put it more bluntly, we know he’s a bit of a dictator.”

Before we march America’s Mayor into the highest office in the land, perhaps blinded by the shimmer of 9/11 heroism, it’s a good idea to know the 9/10 Rudy as New Yorkers do, because as president, he could do for Colorado, and the rest of the country, what he did for New York City — for better or worse.


To suggest that Rudy Giuliani in any way caused the events of 9/11 would be a ridiculous implication. Even suspicions that he had prior knowledge of the terrorist plots are paranoiac conspiracy theories at best. But the fact remains that, as mayor, Giuliani made decisions and ignored issues that tragically complicated the city’s ability to respond to the attacks.

Giuliani told Time magazine in its 2001 “Person of the Year” profile that he “assumed from the time I came into office that New York City would be the subject of a terrorist attack,” largely because the World Trade Center was attacked in 1993. So in 1996 he established the Office of Emergency Management to coordinate rescue efforts, especially to “ease the long-standing disaster-scene turf battle between police and fire.” He even built a $13 million emergency command center for OEM and ran drills. But, stubbornly ignoring overwhelming advice against it, he built the command center on the 23rd floor of 7 World Trade Center, which fell.

The image of a heroic Rudy leading from the debris-covered streets that’s been ingrained in minds all over the world is a result of that short-sightedness: The command center, or “Rudy’s Bunker,” as New Yorkers called it, was never used on September 11.

Without a command center, and with shoddy communication equipment, the fire department and police could not adequately coordinate with each other or with other rescue units. Plus, Giuliani lead the top brass away from their makeshift command center. Police knew the towers were going to fall as firemen rushed in, resulting in the deaths of 343 firefighters.

9/11 Commission member John F. Lehman called the city’s “command and control and communications…not worthy of the Boy Scouts, let alone this great city.” Still, in his book Leadership, Giuliani calls the OEM “one of the most important decisions I made.”


To a congressional panel in late June, former Environmental Protection Agency head Christine Todd Whitman addressed accusations that she withheld information from city workers and volunteers on the dangers of the dust at Ground Zero and Lower Manhattan for political reasons: to get the New York Stock Exchange up and running, as mandated by the White House.

Since 9/11, an ever-increasing number of people have suffered from chronic respiratory disease and rare forms of cancer believed to be the result of exposure to the toxic dust at Ground Zero. Mount Sinai Medical Center released a study last September showing 70 percent of the 9,500 World Trade Center responders who were studied had a new or worsened respiratory symptom. Additionally, tens of thousands of people are thought to be affected.

Since cleanup was a city-run operation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, had no jurisdiction that allowed them to require workers to wear respirators, as it did at the Pentagon cleanup. Whitman could have wrangled control of the scene, but Giuliani was directly in charge of mandating respirator use. He didn’t.

In the weeks following 9/11, Giuliani quickly turned coat from mourning to moving on. After an October memorial, he removed from the site 75 percent of the firefighters still searching for human remains at Ground Zero, and installed a “scoop and dump” operation using heavy equipment, moving everything to a Staten Island landfill. Firefighters rose in anger. Bodies were found in the landfill. In response to the firefighters’ protest, Giuliani sent in the cops, who physically fought and arrested firemen. Giuliani then ordered the arrest of two fire-union leaders, one of whom called Giuliani a “fascist.”

“The mayor fails to realize that New York is not a dictatorship,” a Uniformed Firefighters Association statement read. “The message being sent from City Hall is that if you don’t agree with this administration, we will get you.”

A federal lawsuit brought by a group of families charges “that the city negligently dumped body parts and other human remains from Ground Zero in Fresh Kills garbage facility on Staten Island.”

The International Association of Fire Fighters plans to take aim at Giuliani’s presidential campaign. Harold A. Schaitberger, the union’s president has said, “Our disdain for him is not about issues or a disputed contract, it is about a visceral, personal affront to the fallen.”


By 9/11, New York City mayoral primaries were in full swing, but the primary election was delayed as a result of the attacks. Drawing further comparisons to a banana-republic dictator, Giuliani lobbied to circumvent the New York Constitution in order to reign a third term. His argument: New York needed him more than ever, although just one percent of New Yorkers were displaced by the attacks and the city never truly “shut down.” When the third term didn’t fly, Giuliani sought an additional three months. No dice.

Meanwhile, he was organizing Giuliani Partners, a security consulting company. In the spirit of the true cronyism he is known for, Giuliani enlisted his close associates. One of them was Bernard Kerik. Starting out as a driver for Giuliani before advancing to commissioner of police — replacing a commissioner who was allegedly fired for taking too much credit for the decrease in crime rates — Kerik was recommended by Giuliani to serve as head of Homeland Security. But during the vetting process for that position, Kerik’s shady dealings became apparent. Kerik later pled guilty to accepting bribes and loans from developers with mob ties. Many speculate Kerik is “mobbed up,” an interesting associate for Giuliani, a man who built his reputation prosecuting mob leaders, Wall Street swindlers and corrupt cops.

Along with Kerik, Alan Placa, a former Catholic priest excommunicated from the church for accusations of sexual abuse as well as covering up the abuse of other priests, is a partner at Giuliani Partners.  Recently, Giuliani stated that Placa will not be fired as a result of the coverups. Petty in comparison but still worth noting is Pasquale J. D’Amuro, a former FBI administrator and Giuliani Partners partner who has admitted to stealing artifacts from Ground Zero.

While Giuliani refuses to talk about his clients, the work he does for them, or the cash he’s made with Giuliani Partners, a Washington Post exposé details how Giuliani has collected millions using his connections and 9/11 reputation to attract shady clientele, such as the makers of OxyContin, who he personally represented, and a client who has admitted to smuggling kilos of cocaine from Columbia to Florida on a private jet.

As mayor, Giuliani was a well-off public servant. As globetrotting consultant and famed 9/11 hero, he’s worth tens of millions of dollars.


“Freedom” is so closely connected with 9/11that the new towers being erected are named after the principle. Here is how America’s Mayor views freedom:

“Freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.”

If Americans west of the Hudson River know anything about Giuliani beyond 9/11 heroism, it’s that he “cleaned up New York,” which he genuinely did. New York feels, and is, significantly safer since Giuliani’s reign. What New Yorkers know is that cleanup came at a cost: Times Square became Disneyland. Homeless were arrested and children taken from parents. Jaywalkers were strip-searched. Ferrets were banned. The list is long.

Giuliani’s approach to crime, which lowered the rate by 60 percent, is known as the “broken window” concept: One broken window in a building leads to more. So, if a neighborhood is willing to tolerate graffiti, jaywalking, beer drinking on stoops, turnstile jumpers, etc., then murder, crack dealing, robbery and other, more serious crimes will ensue. But what followed was an extreme zero-tolerance policy, resulting in almost 70,000 people suing the city for police abuses, like strip-searching jaywalkers.

“If I had to sum it up in a few minutes, I would say he’s a control freak, and the control is over your life,” says Ed Koch, former U.S. congressman and two-term mayor of New York. Koch supported Giuliani during his two mayoral campaigns, but the two had a notorious falling out over policy. Koch has since authored Giuliani: Nasty Man.

During Giuliani’s term, police wore T-shirts with intimidating statements, such as the Hemmingway quote, “There is no hunting like the hunting of man.”

But most of the crime reduction was achieved during his first term, when the economy was fairing well. By the second term, Giuliani’s agenda became bizarre. He outlawed ferrets and banned squeegee men, panhandlers who move through stopped or slowed traffic soliciting to wash car windows for change. He built massive networks to track graffiti artists. He lined streets with formidable barricades to prevent jaywalking.

“For Rudy, governing New York was conquering New York,” Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban planning at New York University, told Newsweek. “He thrived on confrontation.”

Giuliani’s zero-tolerance “quality-of-life crackdown,” which allowed for anyone to be stopped and patted down, raised the ire of even the police.

James Savage, then-president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, told Daily News, “If we don’t strike a balance between aggressive enforcement and common sense, it becomes a blueprint for a police state and tyranny.”


Rudy Giuliani’s temperament is well known in New York. He’s quick to anger, an egomaniac, very stubborn, throws tantrums and is generally, well, mean.

Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter: “His ridiculously thin skin and mile-wide mean streak were not allegations made by whiners and political opponents. They were traits widely known to his supporters.”

Giuliani was on a talk show when a man called to contest his ban on ferrets. He told the woman, among other things, that her love of ferrets meant there was “something deranged” about her. “The excessive concern you have for ferrets is something you should examine with a therapist.” He also told her she has a “sickness” and is “very, very sad.” All because she wanted a ferret.

When protestors took to the streets after 23-year-old Guinea immigrant Amadou Diallo was shot by police 40 times while, unarmed, he reached for his wallet, Giuliani claimed the protestors were upset because of “their own personal inadequacies.” He also illegally opened police-shot immigrant Patrick Dorismond's sealed police record and declared the victim “no altar boy.” Dorismond's mother produced proof that he once was, in fact, an altar boy — at Giuliani’s church.

Giuliani also refused to meet with people he didn’t agree with, like civil rights groups, the ACLU and others.

“He wasn’t a great mayor because he didn’t like people,” Koch told The New York Post. “He wouldn’t meet with people he didn’t agree with. That’s pretty crazy.”

Giuliani once tangled the city in an expensive legal battle after ordering the removal of bus advertisements for New York magazine that read, “Possibly the only good thing in New York Rudy hasn’t taken credit for.” (Remember how he fired the police commissioner for receiving too much credit for crime reduction?)


Giuliani left his second wife, Donna Hanover, to be with Judy Nathan, the nurse who cared for him while he had cancer. Hanover heard the news at the same time as the rest of the world: during a press conference Giuliani held to announce the couple’s separation. Later that day, Hanover called a conference of her own, outing Giuliani as a liar and saying he’d been sleeping with a staff member, his communications director, as well as Nathan. His response: that the impotency he suffered as a result of cancer treatment ruined his marriage.

Giuliani’s first wife was also his second cousin, and he has stated that he thinks a marriage works better when a mistress is involved. Should he be elected, he has said that Nathan will be a close advisor and can sit in on cabinet meetings if she wishes.

Giuliani’s 21-year-old son, Andrew, currently won’t talk to him.

Bush’s misspeaks and idiocy, though frightening, have been a source of entertainment, but a Rudy administration would be downright bizarre. He’s prone to speak off the cuff, making inappropriate statements, and he’s not reserved in sharing his personal life, which if it continues along the same historical path, will surely become tabloid fodder.

Rudy Giuliani with Donald Trump
Then there’s the drag: America’s Mayor has dressed as Marilyn Monroe for a press dinner, donned fishnets with the Rockettes and allowed Donald Trump to nuzzle his neck while in drag.

There’s never a dull moment with Giuliani.


New Yorker contributor Hendrik Kertzberg commented in the weeks following 9/11 that “in cheering Rudy, we have also been cheering our city, and our firefighters and our cops and our rescue workers. … Because [Rudy] was a lame duck, he was a soaring eagle.”

Capitalizing on his 9/11 fame, referencing it in every speech and at every stop on his campaign, Giuliani claimed every cheer for himself. It’s more likely that Americans declared Giuliani the “9/11 hero” because President Bush was AWOL and Dick Cheney was hiding in a bunker when the country was looking for a leader. Giuliani filled a void, and, arguably, no other American heroes of his proportion have emerged since 9/11. He hopes to ride that reputation all the way into the White House.

“Colorado is a state that can vote either way,” he not-so-perceptively told the Denver Post in June. As of April, Coloradans had contributed $102,101 dollars to Rudy’s campaign. They gave about $200,000 more to Mitt Romney but less to John McCain. As of March, Giuliani had raised $18 million nationally, $3 million less than Romney, but $4 million more than McCain.

If Rudy wins the GOP nomination, as many early polls are predicting, he stands a good chance of winning the presidency, and he’s already stated that his plan for Iraq would double the number of troops that Bush has dedicated to his “surge.”

America’s Mayor as America’s President could be much more dangerous than George W. Bush.


Below are a list of sources used in researching this article. What you've just read is the tip of the iceberg. Those interested in learning more about Giuliani's bungling of 9/11 rescue efforts are encouraged to read The Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11 by Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins.


ABC News Transcripts of “20/20,” “The Next First Lady?; Rudy Giuliani wants Judith in cabinet meetings,” reported by Barbara Walters, March 30, 2007.

ArtVoice, “Getting a Grip: Giuliani, Altar Boys & Weasels,” by Michael I Niman, Volume 6, Number 25. Link to article

CNN, “Paula Zahn Now,” transcripts from March 30, 2007

Daily News (New York), “Cop Rebellion Against Safir,” by John Marzulli and William K. Rashbaum, April 14, 1999

The Denver Post, “Obama Tops in Colorado Cash,” by Karen E. Crummy, April 17, 2007 Link to article

The Houston Chronicle, “A Wish Upon Times Square; Disney’s Move Brought Life back to Famed District,” by Harry Berkowitz, October 3, 2004, “Giuliani’s Legacy: taking Credit for things He Didn’t Do,” by Wayne Barrett Link to article

The Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11 by Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins, HarperCollins

Los Angeles Times, “Giuliani foes plan to use 9/11 against him; Critics want to mar his hero image and hobble his candidacy by questioning his moves,” by Peter Wallsten, April 8, 2007.

Mother Jones, “A Message to You, Rudy Giuliani,” by JoAnn Wypijewski, May/June 2007 Link to article

The New Republic, “Character Flaw,” by Jonathan Chait, May 7, 2007 Link to article

The New Republic, “Party Boy: Why the GOP’s Future Belongs to Rudy,” by Thomas B. Edsall, May 21, 2007 Link to article

The New Yorker, “Rudy’s Rules,” by Hendrik Hertzberg, October 8, 2001 Link to article

New York magazine, “Rudy Tuesday: It’s a long way from 9/11/01 to 11/04/08. New Yorkers may be surpriaed by how far Rudy Giuliani has come already. But that’s only because we know him,” by Stephen Rodrick, March 5, 2007. Link to article

The New York Post, “Rudy Turns Up Heat; In Hitler Flap,” by Tom Topousis, October 19, 1998

The New York Post, “Railing at Rudy; Koch Vows to Wreck Ex-Ally’s Prez Run,” by David Seifman, May 13, 2007

The New York Times, “A Nation Challenged: The Firefighters; Second Union Leader Is Charged with Trespassing in a Demonstration at Ground Zero,” by Robert McFadden, November 5, 2001

The New York Times, “Big Part of OxyContin Profit Was Consumed by Penalties,” by Barry Meier, June 19, 2007 Link to article

New York Times, “Buildings Rise from Rubble while Health Crumbles,” by Anita gates, September 11, 2006

Newsweek, “Master of Disaster,” by Jonathan Darman, March 12, 2007 Link to article

PR Newswire US, “DNC: Under Rudy’s Watch, Culture of Spending and Fiscal Recklessness Thrived,” June 20

Rolling Stone, “Guiliani: Worse Than Bush,” June 2007 Link to article

Time Magazine, “Person of the Year,” by various, December 31, 2001 Link to article

USA Today, “Conflicts Roil New York Firefighters,” by Rick Hampson, November 8, 2001

Washington Post, “In Private Sector, Giuliani Parlayed Fame Into Wealth,” by John Solomon and Matthew Mosk, May 13, 2007 Link to article

Vanity Fair, “Crazy for Rudy,” by Michael Wolf, June 2007. Link to article

The Washington Post, “Looking Back to ‘9/10 Rudy,’ and ahead to 11/08,” by Howard Kurtz, March 5, 2007 Link to article

And here's one of the linked articles, by my long-beloved Wyp:
A Message To You, Rudy Giuliani
How the zero-tolerance policies of "America's Mayor" set us up for the Patriot Act and Guantanamo.

JoAnn Wypijewski
May/June 2007 Issue

in miami last fall, amid news that corrupt housing authorities and developers had deprived thousands of poor people of promised homes, Ivan Martinez began projecting immense images against the walls of the luxury towers that have sprouted with wanton ambition in the footprint of demolished low-income housing. No one commissioned these images; Martinez is a guerrilla artist, an outlaw. As governments across America have imposed increasingly harsh penalties against postering, graffiti, and their requisite tools (New York has made graffiti-writing a felony in some instances, as has Ohio, convicting a man for spraying "Troops Out Now" on a highway overpass; Richmond, Virginia, threatens its citizens from the backs of buses, "Use a spray can, go to jail"), wall-size projections have developed as a fleet-footed alternative. One of Martinez's ephemera featured a running silhouette crying, "Gentrification!!!!" Another showed a man saying, "I love downtown's revitalization, but where are the poor people?" One night as Martinez and two friends were projecting from a moving car, police pulled them over and pointed guns at their heads. He hasn't done a projection since.

Martinez broke no window, destroyed no property. Except through the play of evanescent light, he didn't even "aesthetically alter" property, as some graffiti artists describe their work. No reasonable person would call him a vandal, one of those punks who elicit curses for their indecipherable scrawl. Like them, though, he made an unsanctioned claim on public space, which was enough to get a gun to his head, and shut him up.

Among a thousand political lies, one of the most durable, and lulling, is the assertion, central to a "quality of life" or "broken windows" theory of policing, that graffiti is the first link in a criminal chain that ends in murder. Hammer petty flouting of the law, the theory holds, and violent crime will decline. New York was the pioneer in this. Mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins cracked down on graffiti writers in the 1980s and early '90s, but it was Rudolph Giuliani who redefined quality of life in terms of a theory and practice of brute force that has since been adopted by city administrations and police departments across the land. Now the graffiti-murder continuum is widely accepted as fact. New York is officially the safest big city in the country unless one is unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of 50 shots, or 41, or a toilet plunger, from the police. It is also a strangely passive city, its political atmosphere inert. Like the midnight wheat-paster, whose posters about displacement or aids death distinguished the urban vista until the early '90s, the dissenting slogan, the broadsheet alert to action from corner mailboxes, has largely vanished. Giuliani is running for president, and no handicapper counts his easy sacrifice of liberty to security as a political liability. He compares President Bush's escalation of the war in Iraq to his own big-fist approach to New York, and suffers no harm for the implication of that admission: that he pursued a war on part of the city's population while the rest of us became inured to punishment, to brakes on free expression and policing as a way of life.

Many New Yorkers readily embraced Giuliani's zero-tolerance politics more than a dozen years ago. Graffiti can be ugly, after all, or menacing, a gang tag, artless and political only in the sense that any act of rebellion is. Its practitioners were called riffraff, like the beggars and junkies, the sex peddlers and small-time dealers, who could be exiled to the city's far corners, locked up on Rikers Island, or sent upriver to a penitentiary. To sit on a grand jury during those years was to witness a stream of black and brown teenagers arrested for tagging and having a joint in their pocket, wearing "gang colors" and having a Philly blunt, scamming MetroCards, or dealing small amounts of drugs to cops who arranged the sale. Called for such a jury, I told the prosecutor that on principle I wouldn't vote for indictment on any quality-of-life or drug charge. "Don't worry about it," he said, "I'll always get a majority," and he always did.

This was before New York made selling spray-paint to those under 18 a crime and created a database of graffiti writers' tags for surveillance. It was before the city criminalized affixing, "by whatever means," posters, stickers, painted slogans, and postings to almost any surface, and raised the graffiti penalty to as much as $1,000 per hit and/or a year of jail time; before it started rewarding snitches and allowed the sanitation commissioner to subpoena telephone records of numbers that appeared on offending posts. It was before corporate tags and ads impinged everywhere on empty space, and surveillance cameras (3,160 in public housing, approximately 15,000 in Manhattan alone) put privacy in the past tense.

As in New York, communities across the country gave police more reasons to stop and frisk people, hence more opportunity to find drugs as drug laws tightened to put more people away for a longer time. America's prison population nearly doubled in the 1990s, and no one much complained. Prisoners were stripped of legal rights to challenge their conditions, and no one much beyond the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta intervened. State after state restricted the rights of journalists to interview prisoners, and punished prisoner whistleblowers. In the speed of a decade, this self-declared free country had denied more of its people liberty than any country in the world, with stunningly little protest. Having gradually resigned ourselves to the trade-off of liberty for a promise of safety during the supposed good times of the Clinton years, is it surprising that after 9/11 Americans would acquiesce to secret prisons, kangaroo courts, torture as policy, the shredding of habeas corpus and due process, the invasion of our mail and private conversations?

One might retort, Absurd to think graffiti has anything to do with this catalog of restraints! Besides, a city has a right to regulate public space. True, but by such regulation it defines itself. There isn't a great city without vice. The trick has always been to arrange society so that virtue tolerably outweighs it, so life is supple enough to accommodate the floating world where the two overlap, and sanctions are proportionate. Civil libertarians used to joke darkly that under Giuliani, New York became "a First Amendment-free zone." His policing fetish didn't just purge gang tags and porn houses; it closed public spaces to protest and led to a host of other efforts to quash dissent. Most of the latter were reversed in court, but the chill was on. "For the collective impact of such an unprecedented—and unprincipled—assault upon First Amendment values," the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression gave Giuliani its first Lifetime Muzzle Award.

More than print, more than blogs or mass marches, outlaw art and political sloganeering are implicating acts, public but intimate, instant messaging for a culture of internal debate, ideological commerce on the cheap. Now in a time of cascading crises, people are cowed. Artists who've produced dissident works mostly show in galleries or huddle their images, "bombing" discreet buildings that like shrines to the dead, like the protest pens into which police herd demonstrators, manage anger into a curiosity. Activists tell my friends at the Public Works Project, which has produced striking graphics for organizations in hope of invigorating the culture of visual dissent, that it's too risky to slap up posters. Last year Public Works made stickers of a bloody handprint labeled "Stop the War!" Protesters wore them on a march but refrained from pasting them on city walls as an after-echo. Later a similar handprint, not bloody, appeared in my neighborhood on multiple panels of a Levi's ad. I bought a fat red marker and drafted a series of lines to run like a chant against indifference along the 18 panels, then asked a friend to act as lookout. "Are you insane?!" she said. Her friend's teenage son had recently been arrested trying this kind of thing a couple of blocks away. Ironically, the crude tags of petty vandals have lately made a comeback. Fear, like polite restraint or getting caught, is for amateurs.

What does it take these days not to be polite, politically speaking? Up to 650,000 Iraqi dead, our government stalking Iran, arrogating to itself the right to pick anyone off the street anywhere in the world, declare him an enemy, put him in prison, scramble his brains—that's not enough? Oh, settle down; ranting is juvenile. And the culture shrivels with our maturity. When anarchist kids spray-painted the Capitol terrace during an antiwar protest in January, liberals scorned the disrespectful "morons." If police had cracked the graffitists' heads or followed conservatives' urgings to hunt them down and imprison them for violence against property, I doubt there'd have been a lament from the throng that marched in pens chanting, "This is what democracy looks like!" Actually, the anarchist tags were not big enough in their disrespect. Two years ago an artist, Jean-Christian Bourcart, projected giant images of Iraq's dead and suffering people onto houses and markets, parked cars, churches in a small New York town at night. "A desperate gesture," he said. I can think of none better. Imagine legions of imitators bathing the Capitol with the light-figures of those disappeared into prison or war or terrible want; disturbing the sheltering vistas of our cities and suburbs, so that we might live with what we pay for and allow until we refuse to live with it.


Now for Something Completely Different Yet Wonderful

Link (via BoingBoing)

The Future of Iraq, Courtesy of Our Leaders?

Surely, the Iraqi man on the street also says "Thank God George W. Bush is president of the United States!".
Beyond Disaster
Posted on Aug 6, 2007
By Chris Hedges

The war in Iraq is about to get worse—much worse. The Democrats’ decision to let the war run its course, while they frantically wash their hands of responsibility, means that it will sputter and stagger forward until the mission collapses. This will be sudden. The security of the Green Zone, our imperial city, will be increasingly breached. Command and control will disintegrate. And we will back out of Iraq humiliated and defeated. But this will not be the end of the conflict. It will, in fact, signal a phase of the war far deadlier and more dangerous to American interests.

Iraq no longer exists as a unified country. The experiment that was Iraq, the cobbling together of disparate and antagonistic patches of the Ottoman Empire by the victorious powers in the wake of World War I, belongs to the history books. It will never come back. The Kurds have set up a de facto state in the north, the Shiites control most of the south and the center of the country is a battleground. There are 2 million Iraqis who have fled their homes and are internally displaced. Another 2 million have left the country, most to Syria and Jordan, which now has the largest number of refugees per capita of any country on Earth. An Oxfam report estimates that one in three Iraqis are in need of emergency aid, but the chaos and violence is so widespread that assistance is impossible. Iraq is in a state of anarchy. The American occupation forces are one more source of terror tossed into the caldron of suicide bombings, mercenary armies, militias, massive explosions, ambushes, kidnappings and mass executions. But wait until we leave.

It was not supposed to turn out like this. Remember all those visions of a democratic Iraq, visions peddled by the White House and fatuous pundits like Thomas Friedman and the gravel-voiced morons who pollute our airwaves on CNN and Fox News? They assured us that the war would be a cakewalk. We would be greeted as liberators. Democracy would seep out over the borders of Iraq to usher in a new Middle East. Now, struggling to salvage their own credibility, they blame the debacle on poor planning and mismanagement.

There are probably about 10,000 Arabists in the United States—people who have lived for prolonged periods in the Middle East and speak Arabic. At the inception of the war you could not have rounded up more than about a dozen who thought this was a good idea. And I include all the Arabists in the State Department, the Pentagon and the intelligence community. Anyone who had spent significant time in Iraq knew this would not work. The war was not doomed because Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz did not do sufficient planning for the occupation. The war was doomed, period. It never had a chance. And even a cursory knowledge of Iraqi history and politics made this apparent.

This is not to deny the stupidity of the occupation. The disbanding of the Iraqi army; the ham-fisted attempt to install the crook and, it now turns out, Iranian spy Ahmed Chalabi in power; the firing of all Baathist public officials, including university professors, primary school teachers, nurses and doctors; the failure to secure Baghdad and the vast weapons depots from looters; allowing heavily armed American units to blast their way through densely populated neighborhoods, giving the insurgency its most potent recruiting tool—all ensured a swift descent into chaos. But Iraq would not have held together even if we had been spared the gross incompetence of the Bush administration. Saddam Hussein, like the more benign dictator Josip Broz Tito in the former Yugoslavia, understood that the glue that held the country together was the secret police.

Iraq, however, is different from Yugoslavia. Iraq has oil—lots of it. It also has water in a part of the world that is running out of water. And the dismemberment of Iraq will unleash a mad scramble for dwindling resources that will include the involvement of neighboring states. The Kurds, like the Shiites and the Sunnis, know that if they do not get their hands on water resources and oil they cannot survive. But Turkey, Syria and Iran have no intention of allowing the Kurds to create a viable enclave. A functioning Kurdistan in northern Iraq means rebellion by the repressed Kurdish minorities in these countries. The Kurds, orphans of the 20th century who have been repeatedly sold out by every ally they ever had, including the United States, will be crushed. The possibility that Iraq will become a Shiite state, run by clerics allied with Iran, terrifies the Arab world. Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia, the United States and Israel, would most likely keep the conflict going by arming Sunni militias. This anarchy could end with foreign forces, including Iran and Turkey, carving up the battered carcass of Iraq. No matter what happens, many, many Iraqis are going to die. And it is our fault.

The neoconservatives—and the liberal interventionists, who still serve as the neocons’ useful idiots when it comes to Iran—have learned nothing. They talk about hitting Iran and maybe even Pakistan with airstrikes. Strikes on Iran would ensure a regional conflict. Such an action has the potential of drawing Israel into war—especially if Iran retaliates for any airstrikes by hitting Israel, as I would expect Tehran to do. There are still many in the U.S. who cling to the doctrine of pre-emptive war, a doctrine that the post-World War II Nuremberg laws define as a criminal “war of aggression.”

The occupation of Iraq, along with the Afghanistan occupation, has only furthered the spread of failed states and increased authoritarianism, savage violence, instability and anarchy. It has swelled the ranks of our real enemies—the Islamic terrorists—and opened up voids of lawlessness where they can operate and plot against us. It has scuttled the art of diplomacy. It has left us an outlaw state intent on creating more outlaw states. It has empowered Iran, as well as Russia and China, which sit on the sidelines gleefully watching our self-immolation. This is what George W. Bush and all those “reluctant hawks” who supported him have bequeathed us.

What is terrifying is not that the architects and numerous apologists of the Iraq war have learned nothing, but that they may not yet be finished.

Chris Hedges, the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times, spent seven years in the Middle East. He was part of the paper’s team of reporters who won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of global terrorism. He is the author of “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.” His latest book is “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.”

Rudy Continues to Make Himself Look Good by Dissing First Responders (Whose Blood is on His Hands)....

GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani is now equating his role in the aftermath of 9/11 to that performed by the firefighters, police officers and construction workers who spent months digging through the toxic rubble there.

"I was at Ground Zero as often [as], if not more than, most of the workers," Giuliani told reporters in Ohio Thursday. "I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them."

The response from one NYPD union official: No, you're not.

This is whatchamacall not just a lie but a damn lie (actually a damnable lie in a faith-based world, if there was justice in one).

And what about that NYPD response?
Michael Palladino, head of the Detectives Endowment Association, the union of NYPD detectives, told the Associated Press that the mayor's record can't compare to those who spent 12 months sifting through toxic debris for evidence and human remains.

"As a result of their hard work, many are sick and injured. The mayor, although he did a fine job with 9/11, I don't think he rises to the level of being an equal with those men and women who were involved in the rescue, recovery and cleanup," Palladino said.

The former New York City mayor has already faced a large wave of criticism from first responders and relatives of those killed at the World Trade Center, who have contended that Giuliani was woefully unprepared for 9/11.

Just last month, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) released a 13 minute video on the internet urging its members to oppose Giuliani’s bid for the presidency, questioning his leadership both before and in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks. At the time of the video’s release, the Giuliani campaign denounced what they called a 'clearly partisan' video and cited the IAFF's history of endorsing and supporting Democratic candidates.

Watch the IAFF video HERE [while you can].

Mitt in Action on the Iowa Front

While Romney was shaking hands, an Iraq war veteran started calling out Romney's name. Ron Devoll Jr. is a 26-year-old from Cedar Falls, Iowa, who was wounded in Iraq by a mortar round. He was wearing a Red Sox baseball cap. Here's the transcript of what happened next:

DEVOLL: I'm an Iraq veteran. (Romney reached out to shake his hand.)

ROMNEY: Thank you for your service, and go Red Sox.

DEVOLL: If you were elected when would you pull the troops out?

ROMNEY: When the job is done, and hopefully that gets done soon, and the surge is successful. I sure hope it is going to be successful.

DEVOLL: Don't you think this is compared to the Vietnam War?

ROMNEY: It is by a lot of people. But I think it is different in a lot of respects, and the key respect is this: And that is that if this becomes, if we leave in the wrong way there, this could become a conflict that could engulf the entire region and potentially draw us back again into a worse situation. And so I believe the surge, I hope the surge will be successful. We're going to give it a shot. We are going to hear what Petraeus has to say in a month, and hopefully it will be successful. We can start bringing our troops home. That's what I would like to see.

DEVOLL: But why aren't we...

Devoll never got to finish asking his third question. Romney's traveling press secretary, Eric Fehrnstrom, announced to everyone that Romney had to go somewhere else to be. "Thank you very much," Fehrnstrom said.

But Devoll, who said he once voted Republican, was just getting started. "I think that Romney was disrespectful," Devoll told reporters after the candidate had left. "I tried to ask him questions. You know I am an Iraq vet who served my country and he can't give me a few minutes of his time, and he wants to walk off. I think that's really disrespectful," he said.

"I was wounded over there," he added. "I lost a lot of friends over there."

Friday, August 10, 2007

More Lies from Rudy, but Not About 9/11

Levitating Numbers
May 7, 2007
How Giuliani made falling adoptions seem to rise using cherry-picked statistics.
In an earlier article we criticized Rudy Giuliani for saying adoptions went up 65 to 70 percent when he was mayor, when in fact adoptions at the end of his tenure were only 17 percent higher than at the start, and falling. His campaign still insists his claim is justified and offers its own interpretation of the statistical record.
In this article we offer the former mayor's rationale, along with why we believe it is a classic case of how candidates and public officials sometimes use data selectively to create a false impression.
There is no dispute about the figures — only about how Giuliani portrays them. We work from the same official figures on adoption he does, which are shown in this graph. We also agree that the proper figures to use are those covering fiscal years, as shown here, rather than calendar years. And we agree that for purposes of this discussion the "Giuliani years" (shown in red) started with fiscal 1995, which began six months after the mayor took office but coincided with the first city budget for which he was responsible. By the same token we agree the Giuliani years ended with fiscal 2002, which began six months before he left office.

Sources: Fiscal years 1989 - 2005: The New York City Administration for Children's Services
Fiscal year 2006: NYC Mayor's Office of Management: Preliminary Mayor's Management Report, February 2007; p. 35

Based on these figures, Giuliani at the Republican debate of May 3 made the statement that adoptions went up 65 to 70 percent "when I was mayor."
Giuliani: When I was mayor of New York City, I encouraged adoptions. Adoptions went up 65 to 70 percent; abortions went down 16 percent.
This raises the question, "Up, compared with what?"
It's true that yearly figures for adoptions peaked at 73 percent over his predecessor's best year, but he's not resting his claim on that. His campaign insists the 65 to 70 percent figure is a valid reflection of the record of his entire tenure — if the figures are viewed in the proper way. But viewed just about any other way, Giuliani's overall record on adoption numbers isn't as good.
A campaign official notes, quite correctly, that the total number of adoptions was 66.5 percent higher when comparing Giuliani's last six fiscal years (1996 - 2002) with the six fiscal years preceding. Why those years? The reason given to us is that the former mayor was referring to his creation of the Administration for Children's Services, an agency to protect children and encourage adoption, in 1996. The official said it is "a much more responsible statistical measurement" to compare the six years following creation of ACS with the six years that went before.

Other True Statements

That, however, doesn't give an accurate impression of what happened. It is true that there were 66.5 percent more adoptions in his last six years than there were in the preceding six, but consider this: The following statements also are true, based on the official figures that both we and the Giuliani camp accept:
Adoptions more than doubled in the five years prior to Giuliani.
Adoptions had already increased by 257 percent in the seven years
prior to creation of ACS, the agency Giuliani credits with increasing adoptions.
Adoptions initially peaked, then declined by 26 percent between
the time ACS was created and the end of Giuliani's tenure.
Adoptions declined in five of the mayor's last six years.
Adoptions have continued to decline thereafter, and in the most recent fiscal year were half what they were when ACS was created.
We take no position on whether Giuliani or ACS had one iota of influence on adoptions, for good or bad. All sorts of influences come into play that have nothing to do with government. However, the very figures Giuliani is using show that adoptions were increasing long before ACS was created, and they also show adoptions started going downhill soon after. Giuliani's cherry-picked time periods turn that fact on its head.
Official Puffery

He could have been even more misleading. We give the mayor credit for not repeating the official puffery that the ACS itself had peddled.
The agency once claimed that adoptions had "almost doubled" in the same period to which Giuliani refers. Even if the choice of time spans wasn't itself misleading, claiming that a 66.5 percent increase is "almost" 100 percent is the sort of careless exaggeration that would get a reporter reprimanded, or worse, from any responsible news organization.
We don't mean to pick exclusively on Giuliani. It's a common fault of candidates and elected officials to make grand statistical pronouncements based on figures that, when more closely examined, reveal a different picture. We dissect this bit of spin to present a case study in how this is done. Our intent is to arm our readers against what is to come.
We also want to make clear that for all we know the ACS is doing an exemplary job aiding the children of New York. We made no judgment about that. All we're saying is that in this case it exaggerated and tried to create the impression that adoptions were going up when in fact they had been going down for years.
— by Brooks Jackson
Link with more.

Who's Killing Our Troops in Iraq? Our Allies, the Saudis

Love them Saudis! Always did, just not like the GOPers historically have....

At least they're keeping oil prices under control, maybe, while they do all sorts of other horrible things....
Studies: Suicide bombers in Iraq are mostly foreigners
By Jessica Bernstein-Wax, McClatchy Newspapers
Wed Aug 8, 2:36 PM ET
WASHINGTON — Suicide bombers in Iraq are overwhelmingly foreigners bent on destabilizing the government and undermining American interests there, two independent studies have concluded.

The studies report that the number of suicide bombings in Iraq has now surpassed those conducted worldwide since the early 1980s. The findings suggest that extremists from throughout the region and around the world are fueling Iraq's violence.

"The war on terrorism— and certainly the war in Iraq — has failed in decreasing the number of suicide attacks and has really radicalized the Muslim world to create this concept of martyrs without borders," said Mohammed Hafez , a visiting professor at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and the author of one of the two studies.

Hafez, whose new book is "Suicide Bombers in Iraq ," has identified the nationalities of 124 bombers who attacked in Iraq . Of those, the largest number— 53— were Saudis. Eight apiece came from Italy and Syria , seven from Kuwait , four from Jordan and two each from Belgium , France and Spain . Others came from North and East Africa , South Asia and various Middle Eastern and European countries. Only 18— 15 percent— were Iraqis.

In the second study, Robert Pape , a University of Chicago professor who runs the Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism, identified the nationalities of 55 suicide bombers in Iraq . Sixteen were Saudis, seven were Syrians and five were Algerians. Kuwait , Morocco and Tunisia each supplied three bombers. Thirteen— 24 percent— were Iraqi Sunni Muslims.

Hafez and Pape said Iraqi Shiite Muslims hadn't carried out suicide attacks so far and instead had restricted their role in the sectarian violence to militia activity.

Pinning down the nationalities of suicide bombers can be tricky because they leave few physical remains, and extremist groups often don't claim the attacks until much later. The U.S. military says it does some DNA testing to investigate the bombers' identities.

Both researchers relied on extremist Web sites, "martyr" videos, news reports and statements to compile the data on nationalities. Hafez also gathered some information from online chats and discussion forums.

U.S. intelligence estimates based on interviews with detainees and captured documents indicate that most suicide bombers in Iraq are non-Iraqi, said a senior defense official who can't be named because of departmental rules

Suicide attacks more than doubled each year from the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to 2005, Pape said. In 2006, he said, they jumped just under a third. The American military has reported more than 1,400 since January 2004 . Before the U.S.-led invasion, there had been no suicide bombings in Iraq .

Pape attributed the attacks to the presence of some 150,000 American troops in the region.

The notion that most of the suicide bombers are foreigners engaged in a global movement is exaggerated, he said, since about 75 percent come from the Arabian Peninsula, which is close to the U.S. forces in Iraq .

"The Arabian Peninsula isn't that big: It's somewhat bigger than Texas ," Pape said. "The Americans have all the capability and are right there. That's what allows terrorist leaders to build a sense of urgency."

After losing safe havens in Afghanistan , Pakistan and Europe , militant organizations needed a new base for their operations, Hafez said. U.S. intelligence analysts, however, have concluded that al Qaida has built new training camps along the Afghan-Pakistani border, and that the group al Qaida in Iraq operates for the most part independently.

According to Hafez, extremist groups in Iraq conduct suicide bombings against fellow Muslims rather than U.S. troops to destabilize the fledgling government and spark sectarian warfare.

The groups' objectives in Iraq are different from "other places like in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict or in Lebanon ," he said.

In Lebanon , Shiite suicide bombers helped drive U.S., British, French, Italian and Israeli troops out of the country with a series of attacks. Sunni Palestinian suicide bombers have attacked in Israel and the Palestinian territories in an effort to loosen Israel's grip on what they say are Arab lands.

There's widespread agreement that Saudis are represented more heavily than any other nationality among the bombers, said Assaf Moghadem, a research fellow at Harvard University who studies suicide bombers' motivations. Insurgent groups sometimes recruit Saudis because of their relative prosperity, he said.

The ultra-conservative brand of Sunni Islam that's prevalent in Saudi Arabia also accounts for the large number of Saudis who participate in suicide bombings and the insurgency in Iraq , said Mike Davis , a University of California at Irvine professor who wrote a recent history of car bombs.

"The religious current in modern Islam that encourages this kind of sectarian attitude toward the Shiites is the religious orthodoxy enshrined in Saudi Arabia ," Davis said.

Most experts say that while the American presence in Iraq has radicalized Muslims, withdrawing the troops may not stem the number of suicide attacks, at least not right away.

Extremist groups in Iraq have a common goal of expelling foreign occupiers and destabilizing what they see as a U.S.-controlled government, Pape said. But if the U.S. withdraws, insurgent organizations probably will engage in a bloody power struggle, he added.

"If we stay, that tends to encourage people to flock to Iraq ," Hafez said. "Leaving will mean genocidal violence for the Iraqi people. It will mean a failed Iraqi state. The jihadists will declare, `We drove out America.' "


The Fools who are Our Leaders' Enablers

Glenn Murphy Jr., chairman of the Clark County Republican Party and president elect of the Young Republican National Federation resigned after news leaked that he is under investigation by the the Clark County Sheriff’s Department for "criminal deviate conduct," a felony. Basically, he is accused of giving a blowjob to a sleeping man who woke up and did not approve of what was taking place. Mr. Murphy insists the blowjob that he provided to the unnamed man was "consensual."

[A] 22-year-old man who claimed that on July 31, Murphy performed an unwanted sex act on him while the man slept in a relative’s Jeffersonville home.
Murphy, a 33-year-old Utica resident, has not been arrested nor has he been charged with a crime. A copy of the police report has been posted on an politically focused Internet site and another was provided to a reporter with The Evening News and The Tribune on Tuesday evening.

Larry Wilder, Murphy’s attorney, said Murphy is cooperating with police and Prosecutor Steve Stewart. Wilder said Murphy contends the sex act was consensual.

In 1998, a 21-year-old male filed a similar report with Clarksville police claiming Murphy attempted to perform a sex act on him while he was sleeping. Charges were never filed in that case.

Yet more details are here

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Another Poster


Big Lie Rudy

Only five....
Rudy Giuliani's Five Big Lies About 9/11
On the stump, Rudy can't help spreading smoke and ashes about his lousy record
by Wayne Barrett
with special research assistance by Alexandra Kahan
August 7th, 2007 9:44 PM

Nearly six years after 9/11, Rudy Giuliani is still walking through the canyons of lower Manhattan, covered in soot, pointing north, and leading the nation out of danger's way. The Republican frontrunner is campaigning for president by evoking that visual at every campaign stop, and he apparently believes it's a picture worth thousands of nights in the White House.

Giuliani has been leading the Republican pack for seven months, and predictions that the party's evangelicals would turn on him have so far proven hollow. The religious right appears as gripped by the Giuliani story as the rest of the country.

Giuliani isn't shy about reminding audiences of those heady days. In fact he hyperventilates about them on the stump, making his credentials in the so-called war on terror the centerpiece of his campaign. His claims, meanwhile, have been met with a media deference so total that he's taken to complimenting "the good job it is doing covering the campaign." Opponents, too, haven't dared to question his terror credentials, as if doing so would be an unpatriotic bow to Osama bin Laden.

Here, then, is a less deferential look at the illusory cloud emanating from the former mayor's campaign . . .

1. 'I think the thing that distinguishes me on terrorism is, I have more experience dealing with it.' This pillar of the Giuliani campaign—asserted by pundits as often as it is by the man himself—is based on the idea that Rudy uniquely understands the terror threat because of his background as a prosecutor and as New York's mayor. In a July appearance at a Maryland synagogue, Giuliani sketched out his counterterrorism biography, a resume that happens to be rooted in falsehood.

"As United States Attorney, I investigated the Leon Klinghoffer murder by Yasir Arafat," he told the Jewish audience, referring to the infamous 1985 slaying of a wheelchair-bound, 69-year-old New York businessman aboard the Achille Lauro, an Italian ship hijacked off the coast of Egypt by Palestinian extremists. "It's honestly the reason why I knew so much about Arafat," says Giuliani. "I knew, in detail, the Americans he murdered. I went over their cases."

On the contrary, Victoria Toensing, the deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department in Washington who filed a criminal complaint in the Lauro investigation, says that no one in Giuliani's office "was involved at all." Jay Fischer, the Klinghoffer family attorney who spearheaded a 12-year lawsuit against the PLO, says he "never had any contact" with Giuliani or his office. "It would boggle my mind if anyone in 1985, 1986, 1987, or thereafter conducted an investigation of this case and didn't call me," he adds. Fischer says he did have a private dinner with Giuliani in 1992: "It was the first time we talked, and we didn't even talk about the Klinghoffer case then."

The dinner was arranged by Arnold Burns, a close friend of Fischer and Giuliani who also represented the Klinghoffer family. Burns, who was also the finance chair of Giuliani's mayoral campaign, was the deputy U.S. attorney general in 1985 and oversaw the probe. "I know of nothing Rudy did in any shape or form on the Klinghoffer case," he says.

Though Giuliani told the Conservative Political Action conference in March that he "prosecuted a lot of crime—a little bit of terrorism, but mostly organized crime," he actually worked only one major terrorism case as U.S. Attorney, indicting 10 arms dealers for selling $2.5 billion worth of anti-tank missiles, bombs, and fighter jets to Iran in 1986. The judge in the case ruled that a sale to Iran violated terrorist statutes because its government had been tied to 87 terrorist incidents. Giuliani has never mentioned the case, perhaps because he personally filed papers terminating it in his last month as U.S. Attorney: A critical witness had died, and a judge tossed out 46 of the 55 counts because of errors by Giuliani's office.

"Then, as mayor of New York," Giuliani's July speech continued, "I got elected right after the 1993 Islamic terrorist attack . . . I set up emergency plans for all the different possible attacks we could have. We had drills and exercises preparing us for sarin gas and anthrax, dirty bombs."

In fact, Giuliani was oblivious to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing throughout his mayoralty. A month after the attack, candidate Giuliani met for the first time with Bill Bratton, who would ultimately become his police commissioner. The lengthy taped meeting was one of several policy sessions he had with unofficial advisers. The bombing never came up; neither did terrorism. When Giuliani was elected a few months later, he immediately launched a search for a new police commissioner. Three members of the screening panel that Giuliani named to conduct the search, and four of the candidates interviewed for the job, said later that the bombing and terrorism were never mentioned—even when the new mayor got involved with the interviews himself. When Giuliani needed an emergency management director a couple of years later, two candidates for the job and the city official who spearheaded that search said that the bombing and future terrorist threats weren't on Giuliani's radar. The only time Giuliani invoked the 1993 bombing publicly was at his inauguration in 1994, when he referred to the way the building's occupants evacuated themselves as a metaphor for personal responsibility, ignoring the bombing itself as a terrorist harbinger.

U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White and the four assistants who prosecuted the 1993 bombing said they were never asked to brief Giuliani about terrorism, though all of the assistants knew Giuliani personally and had actually been hired by him when he was the U.S. Attorney. White's office, located just a couple hundred yards from City Hall, indicted bin Laden three years before 9/11, but Giuliani recounted in his own book, Leadership, that "shortly after 9/11, Judith [Nathan] got me a copy of Yossef Bodansky's Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America," which had warned of "spectacular terrorist strikes in Washington and/or New York" in 1999. As an example of how he "mastered a subject," Giuliani wrote that he soon "covered" Bodansky's prophetic work "in highlighter and notes."

The 1995 sarin-gas drill that Giuliani cited in his July speech was also prophetic, anticipating many of the breakdowns that hampered the city's 9/11 response. The drill was such a disaster that a follow-up exercise was cancelled to avoid embarrassment. More than a hundred of the first responders rushed in so recklessly that they were "killed" by exposure to the gas. Radio communications were described in the city's own report as "abysmal," with police and fire "operating on different frequencies." The command posts were located much too close to the incident. All three failings would be identified years later in official reviews of the 9/11 response.

Giuliani went on, in this stump speech, to list other examples of his mayoral experience confronting terrorism. There was the time, he says, "we had what we thought was a sarin gas attack." And there were also the 50th anniversary commemoration of the United Nations and the 2000 millennium celebration to contend with, times, he said, "when we had a lot of warnings and had to do a tremendous amount to prepare." And let's not forget, he pointed out, the 1997 NYPD arrest of two terrorists who "were going to blow up a subway station." Giuliani used this thwarted attack as proof of the city's readiness: "A very, very alert young police officer saw those guys," he said. "They looked suspicious, [so he] reported them to the desk sergeant. The police department executed a warrant and shot one of the men as he was about to hit a toggle switch."

Each of the claims in Giuliani's self-serving account is inaccurate. The supposed "sarin attack" was simply the discovery of an empty canister marked "sarin" in the home of a harmless Queens recluse. It was sitting next to an identical container labeled "compressed air" with a smiley-face logo. Jerry Hauer, the city's emergency management director at the time, was in London, on the phone with Giuliani constantly. Hauer finds it ironic that Giuliani is still talking about the incident, since they both thought it was "comically" mishandled then. "The police went there without any suits on and touched all the containers without proper clothing. They turned it into a major crime scene, with a hundred cops lining the street. Rudy at one point said to me, 'Here we have the mayor, the fire commissioner, the chief of the police department, and one of my deputy mayors standing on the front lawn of this house. Shouldn't we be across the street in case this stuff ignites?'" This overhyped emergency led to a misdemeanor arrest subsequently dismissed by the district attorney.

Similarly, the security concerns during the 1995 U.N. anniversary focused on Cuba and China and didn't involve Arab terrorist threats. The millennium target, well established at subsequent trials, was the Los Angeles International Airport, not New York. While there's no doubt the Clinton administration did put the country and city on terrorist alert for Y2K and other reasons, it was an arrest on the Washington/Canadian border that busted up a West Coast plot.

The subway bombing, meanwhile, wasn't stymied by the NYPD. An Egyptian friend of the bomber—living with him in the apartment where the pipe bomb was being built—told two Long Island Rail Road police officers about it. When the NYPD subsequently raided the apartment, they shot two Palestinians who were there—one of whom, hit five times and gravely wounded, was later acquitted at trial. No one had tried to set off the bomb at the time of the arrest, though news stories reported that; the bomber had reached for an officer's gun, according to the trial testimony. The news stories also initially suggested a link to Hamas, though the lone bomber was actually an amateur fanatic with no money and no network. As conservative a source as Bill Gertz of The Washington Times wrote that FBI counterterrorism investigators were "concerned that the initial alarmist statements about the case made by Mayor Rudy Giuliani"—apparently a reference to leaks about Hamas and the toggle switch—"will prove embarrassing."

Giuliani's terrorism biography is bunk. As mayor, his laser-beam focus was street thugs, and as a prosecutor, it was the mob, Wall Street, and crooked politicians. He can't reach back to those years and rewrite such well-known chapters of his life.


2. 'I don't think there was anyplace in the country, including the federal government, that was as well prepared for that attack as New York City was in 2001.' This assertion flies in the face of all three studies of the city's response—the 9/11 Commission, the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), and McKinsey & Co., the consulting firm hired by the Bloomberg administration.

Actually, Giuliani didn't create the OEM until three years after the 1993 bombing, 27 months into his term. And he didn't open the OEM's new emergency command center until the end of 1999—nearly six years after he'd taken office. If he "assumed from the moment I came into office that NYC would be the subject of a terrorist attack," as he told Time when it made him "Person of the Year" in 2001, he sure took a long time to erect what he describes as the city's front line of defense.

The OEM was established so long after the bombing because, contrary to Giuliani's revisionism, the decision to create it had nothing to do with the bombing. Several memos, unearthed from the Giuliani archive and going on at great length, reveal that the initial rationale for the agency was "non-law enforcement events," particularly the handling of a Brooklyn water-main break shortly after he took office that the mayor thought had been botched. Before that, in December 1994, when an unemployed computer programmer carried a bomb onto a subway in an extortion plot against the Transit Authority, Giuliani was upset that he couldn't even get a count of patients from the responding services for his press conference.

Jerry Hauer, who was handpicked by Giuliani to head the OEM, testified before the 9/11 Commission that Giuliani was "unable to get the full story" at the firebombing and "heard about the huge street collapse" that followed the water-main break "on TV," adding: "That's what led the mayor to set up OEM." Hauer went through five interviews for the job, and the only time terrorism came up was when Giuliani briefly discussed the failed sarin-gas drill. He even met with Giuliani's wife, Donna Hanover; no one said a word about the 1993 bombing. Hauer's own memos at the time the OEM was launched in 1996 emphasize "the visibility of the mayor" during emergencies (rather than the police commissioner) as a major objective of the agency. The now- ballyhooed new office was, however, so underfunded from the start that Hauer could only hire staffers whose salaries would be paid for by other agencies like the NYPD.

With that kind of history, it's hardly surprising that the OEM was anything but "invaluable" on 9/11. Sam Caspersen, one of the principal authors of the 9/11 Commission's chapter on the city's response, says that "nothing was happening at OEM" during the 102 minutes of the attack that had any direct impact on the city's "rescue/evacuation operation." A commission staff statement found that, even prior to the evacuation of the OEM command center at 7 World Trade an hour after the first plane hit, the agency "did not play an integral role" in the response. Despite Giuliani's claim today that he and the OEM were "constantly planning for different kinds" of attacks, none of the OEM exercises replicated the 1993 bombing. No drill occurred at the World Trade Center, and none involved the response to a high-rise fire anywhere. In fact, the OEM had no high-rise plan—its emergency-management trainers weren't even assigned to prepare for the one attack that had already occurred, and the one most likely to recur. Kevin Culley, a Fire Department captain who worked as a field responder at OEM, said the agency had "plans for minor emergencies," but he couldn't recall "anybody anticipating another attack like the '93 bombing."

Instead of being the best-prepared city, New York's lack of unified command, as well as the breakdown of communications between the police and fire departments, fell far short of the efforts at the Pentagon that day, as later established by the 9/11 Commission and NIST reports. When the 280,000-member International Association of Fire Fighters recently released a powerful video assailing Giuliani for sticking firefighters with the same radios that "we knew didn't work" in the 1993 attack, the presidential campaign attacked the union. "This is an organization that supported John Kerry for president in 2004," Giuliani aide Tony Carbonetti said. "So it's no shock that they're out there going after a credible Republican." While the IAFF did endorse Kerry, the Uniformed Firefighters of Greater New York, whose president starred in the video, endorsed Bush. Its former president, Tom Von Essen—currently a member of Giuliani Partners—was the fire commissioner on 9/11 precisely because the union had played such a pivotal role in initially electing Giuliani.

The IAFF video reports that 121 firefighters in the north tower didn't get out because they didn't hear evacuation orders, rejecting Giuliani's claim before the 9/11 Commission that the firefighters heard the orders and heroically decided to "stand their ground" and rescue civilians. Having abandoned that 2004 contention, the Giuliani campaign is now trying to blame the deadly communications lapse on the repeaters, which were installed to boost radio signals in the towers. But the commission concluded that the "technical failure of FDNY radios" was "a contributing factor," though "not the primary cause," of the "many firefighter fatalities in the North Tower." The commission compared "the strength" of the NYPD and FDNY radios and said that the weaknesses of the FDNY radios "worked against successful communication."

The commission report also found that "it's impossible to know what difference it made that units in the North Tower weren't using the repeater channel," because no one knows if it "remained operational" after the collapse of the south tower, which fell on the trade-center facilities where the repeater and its console were located. The collapse also drove everyone out of the north tower lobby, leaving no one to operate the repeater console. In addition, the commission concluded that fire chiefs failed to turn on the repeater correctly that morning—another indication of the lack of training and drills at the WTC between the attacks. In the end, firefighters had to rely exclusively on their radios, and the inability of the Giuliani administration to find a replacement for the radios that malfunctioned in 1993 left them unable to talk to each other, even about getting out of a tower on the verge of collapse.

The mayor had also done nothing to make the radios interoperable—which would have enabled the police and firefighters to communicate across departmental lines—despite having received a 1995 federal waiver granting the city the additional radio frequencies to make that possible. That meant the fire chiefs had no idea that police helicopters had anticipated the partial collapse of both towers long before they fell.

It's not just the radios and the OEM: Giuliani never forced the police and fire departments to abide by clear command-and-control protocols that squarely put one service in charge of the other during specified emergencies. Though he collected $250 million in tax surcharges on phone use to improve the 911 system, he diverted this emergency funding for other uses, and the 911 dispatchers were an utter disaster that day, telling victims to stay where they were long after the fire chiefs had ordered an evacuation, which potentially sealed the fates of hundreds. And, despite the transparent lessons of 1993, Giuliani never established any protocols for rooftop or elevator rescues in high-rises, or even a strategy for bringing the impaired and injured out—all costly failings on 9/11.

But perhaps the best evidence of the Giuliani administration's lack of readiness was that no one at its top levels had a top-secret security clearance on 9/11. Hauer, who had left the OEM in 2000 to become a top biochemical adviser at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was invited to Gracie Mansion within days of 9/11 for a strategy session with Giuliani and a half-dozen of his top advisers, including Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, Tom Von Essen, and Richie Sheirer, who succeeded Hauer at the OEM. Hauer, who had the highest-level clearance, says that "no one else in the room had one at all." He was told that the FBI "was trying to get them expedited clearances."

Hauer had previously taken Sheirer down to the White House to meet with top counterterrorism brass and learned on his way into the meeting that Sheirer hadn't "filled out the questionnaire." When Kerik's nomination as homeland security secretary blew up in 2004, news accounts also indicated that he'd never filled it out. Von Essen was so out of the loop that he said that prior to 9/11, he was told "nothing at all," and that he started hearing "talk of an organization called al Qaeda and a man named Osama bin Laden" a few hours after the attack. "It meant nothing to me," he wrote in his own book.

"I was reading the daily intelligence in Washington," Hauer recalled, "and I didn't feel comfortable talking about things that people weren't cleared for. Talking in general with Rudy one-on-one was one thing, but talking to Richie and Bernie and Tommy violated my security clearances." Though Giuliani's top team had failed to seek the clearances they needed prior to 9/11, Kerik and Giuliani attacked the FBI for not sharing information with local law enforcement officials when they testified a month after the attack at a House subcommittee hearing.


3. Don't blame me for 7 WTC, Rudy says. In response to his critics' most damning sound bite, Giuliani is attempting to blame a once-valued aide for the decision to put his prized, $61 million emergency-command center in the World Trade Center, an obvious terrorist target. The 1997 decision had dire consequences on 9/11, when the city had to mobilize a response without any operational center.

"My director of emergency management recommended 7 WTC" as "the site that would make the most sense," Giuliani told Chris Wallace's Fox News Channel show in May, pinpointing Jerry Hauer as the culprit.

Wallace confronted Giuliani, however, with a 1996 Hauer memo recommending that the bunker be sited at MetroTech in Brooklyn, close to where the Bloomberg administration eventually built one. The mayor brushed the memo aside, continuing to insist that Hauer had picked it as "the prime site." The campaign then put out statements from a former deputy mayor who said that Hauer had supported the trade-center location at a high-level meeting with the mayor in 1997.

Hauer doesn't dispute that he eventually backed the 7 WTC location, but he clearly favored MetroTech. His memo said that MetroTech "could be available in six months," while it took four and a half more years to get the bunker up and running at 7 WTC. He said that MetroTech was secure and "not as visible a target as buildings in Lower Manhattan"— a prophetic comparison. Listing eight positives about MetroTech, the memo also mentioned negatives, but said they weren't insurmountable. "The real issue," Hauer concluded, "is whether or not the mayor wants to go across the river to manage an incident. If he is willing to do this, MetroTech is a good alternative." Notes from meetings indicate that Hauer continued to push MetroTech in the discussions with the mayor and his top deputy.

But Hauer says Denny Young, the mayor's alter ego, who has worked at his side for nearly three decades, eventually "made it very clear" that Giuliani wanted "to be able to walk to this facility quickly." That meant the bunker had to be in lower Manhattan. Since the City Hall area is below the floodplain, the command center—which was built with a hurricane-curtain wall—had to be above ground. The formal city document approving the site said that it "was selected due to its proximity to City Hall," a standard set by Giuliani and Giuliani alone.

The 7 WTC site was the brainchild of Bill Diamond, a prominent Manhattan Republican that Giuliani had installed at the city agency handling rentals. When Diamond held a similar post in the Reagan administration a few years earlier, his office had selected the same building to house nine federal agencies. Diamond's GOP-wired broker steered Hauer to the building, which was owned by a major Giuliani donor and fundraiser. When Hauer signed onto it, he was locked in by the limitations Giuliani had imposed on the search and the sites Diamond offered him. The mayor was so personally focused on the siting and construction of the bunker that the city administrator who oversaw it testified in a subsequent lawsuit that "very senior officials," specifically including Giuliani, "were involved," which he said was a major difference between this and other projects. Giuliani's office had a humidor for cigars and mementos from City Hall, including a fire horn, police hats and fire hats, as well as monogrammed towels in his bathroom. His suite was bulletproofed and he visited it often, even on weekends, bringing his girlfriend Judi Nathan there long before the relationship surfaced. He had his own elevator. Great concern was expressed in writing that the platform in the press room had to be high enough to make sure his head was above the cameras. It's inconceivable that the hands-on mayor's fantasy command center was shaped—or sited—by anyone other than him.

Of course, the consequences of putting the center there were predictable. The terrorist who engineered the 1993 bombing told the FBI they were coming back to the trade center. Opposing the site at a meeting with the mayor, Police Commissioner Howard Safir called it "Ground Zero" because of the earlier attack. Lou Anemone, the highest-ranking uniformed officer in the NYPD, wrote memos slamming the site. "I've never seen in my life 'walking distance' as some kind of a standard for crisis management," Anemone said later. "But you don't want to confuse Giuliani with the facts." Anemone had done a detailed vulnerability study of the city for Giuliani, pinpointing terrorist targets. "In terms of targets, the WTC was number one," he says. "I guess you had to be there in 1993 to know how strongly we felt it was the wrong place."

Bizarrely, Giuliani even tried in the Wallace interview to deny that the early evacuation of the bunker left him searching for a new site, contrary to the account of that frantic morning he's given hundreds of times, often for honoraria reaching six figures. "The way you're interpreting it," he told Wallace, "it was as if that was the one fixed command center. It was not. There were backup command centers." To minimize the effect of the loss of the bunker, Giuliani said that, "within a half hour" of the shutdown of the bunker, "we were able to move immediately to another command center."

In fact, as Giuliani himself has told the dramatic tale, he and his entourage were briefly trapped in a Merrill Lynch office, "jimmied the lock" of a firehouse, and took over a deluxe hotel until they realized it was "sheathed in windows." They considered going to City Hall, but learned it was covered in debris. The only backup center that existed was the small one at police headquarters that had been put out of business when the WTC bunker opened; but Giuliani said its phones weren't working. "We're going to have to find someplace," Giuliani said, according to his Time account, which described it as a "long and harrowing" search. "Our government no longer had a place to work," he wrote in Leadership.

They wound up at the police academy uptown and, according to the account Giuliani and company gave Time, "we are up and operating by 4 p.m."—seven hours, not a half-hour, after the attack. But Giuliani told the 9/11 Commission that they quickly decided the academy "was too small" and "were able to establish a command center" at Pier 92 "within three days," virtually building it from scratch. Hauer said he'd asked for a backup command center years before 9/11, "but they told me there was no money for it." After Hauer left, and shortly before 9/11, the city announced plans to build a backup center near police headquarters—a site quickly jettisoned by the Bloomberg administration. Police officials told reporters that they were looking for space outside Manhattan and underground, citing the lessons of 9/11.


4. 'Democrats do not understand the full nature and scope of the terrorist war against us.' Giuliani blames what he calls Bill Clinton's "decade of denial" for the mess we're in, and uses it to tarnish the rest of Clinton's party. "Don't react, kind of let things go, kind of act the way Clinton did in the '90s" is his favorite way of characterizing the Democratic response to the threat of terrorism. "We were attacked at Khobar Towers, Kenya, Tanzania, 17 of our sailors were killed on the USS Cole, and the United States government, under then-president Clinton, did not respond," Giuliani told the rabidly anti-Clinton audience at Pat Robertson's Regent University. "It was a big mistake to not recognize that the 1993 bombing was a terrorist act and an act of war," he added. "Bin Laden declared war on us. We didn't hear it. I thought it was pretty clear at the time, but a lot of people didn't see it, couldn't see it."

This is naked revisionism—and not just because of his own well established, head-in-the-sand indifference to the 1993 bombing. It's as unambiguously partisan as his claim that on 9/11, he looked to the sky, saw the first fighter jets flying over the city well after the attack, and thanked God that George W. Bush was president. Bob Kerrey, the former Democratic senator who sat on the 9/11 Commission, put it fairly: "Prior to 9/11, no elected official did enough to reduce the threat of Al Qaeda. Neither political party covered itself in glory."

Giuliani's lifelong friend Louis Freeh, the former FBI head who has endorsed him for president, wrote in his 2005 autobiography that "the nation's fundamental approach to Osama bin Laden and his ilk was no different after the inauguration of January 21, 2001, than it had been before." As Bob Kerrey noted, the five Democrats and five Republicans on the 9/11 Commission said much the same thing. Freeh added that both administrations "were fighting criminals, not an enemy force" before 9/11, and Giuliani is now making precisely the same policy point, but limiting his critique to Clinton. Even the fiercely anti-Clinton Freeh credited the former president with "one exception," saying his administration did go after bin Laden "with a salvo of Tomahawk missiles in 1998 in retaliation for the embassy bombings in East Africa."

The best example of Giuliani's partisan twist is the USS Cole, which was attacked on October 12, 2000, three weeks before the 2000 election. The 9/11 Commission report found that in the final Clinton months, neither the FBI, then headed by Freeh, nor the CIA had a "definitive answer on the crucial question of outside direction of the attack," which Clinton said he needed to go to war against bin Laden or the Taliban. All Clinton got was a December 21 "preliminary judgment" from the CIA that Al Qaeda "supported the attack." A month later, when the Bush team took office, the CIA delivered the same "preliminary" findings to the new president. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice told the commission "there was never a formal, recorded decision not to retaliate for the Cole" by the Bush administration, just "a consensus that 'tit-for-tat' responses were likely to be counterproductive." Rice thought that was the case "with the cruise missile strikes of 1998," meaning that the new administration was deriding the one response that Freeh praised. Bush himself told the commission that he was concerned "lest an ineffective air strike just serve to give bin Laden a propaganda advantage." With all of this evidence of bipartisan paralysis, Giuliani has nonetheless limited his Cole attack to Clinton.

It is all part of a devoutly partisan exploitation of his 9/11 legend. Though Giuliani volunteered to execute bin Laden himself after 9/11, he's never criticized Bush for the administration's failure to capture him or the other two top culprits in the attack, Mullah Omar and Ayman al-Zawahiri, a silence more revealing than anything he actually says about terrorism. The old evidence that Bush relied on Afghan proxies to capture bin Laden at Tora Bora, and the new evidence that he outsourced him to Pakistani proxies in Waziristan, evokes no Giuliani bark. Imagine if a Democratic president had done that—or had said, as Bush did, that "I just don't spend that much time" on bin Laden.

At the Republican National Convention in 2004, Giuliani began his celebrated speech by fusing 9/11 and the Iraq War as only he could do, reminding everyone of Bush's bullhorn declaration at Ground Zero that the people who brought down these towers "will hear from us," and declaring that they "heard from us in Iraq"—a far more invidious connection on this question than Dick Cheney has ever made. Giuliani even went so far, in his 2004 testimony before the 9/11 Commission, to claim that if he'd been told about the presidential daily briefing headlined "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.," which mentioned New York three times, "I can't honestly tell you we would have done anything differently." Pressed about whether the city would have benefited from knowing about a spike in warnings so vivid that the CIA director's "hair was on fire," Giuliani just shrugged. He'd seen many close friends buried after 9/11, but his answer had more to do with the November election than the September attack that took their lives.

"They don't see the threat," he derides the Democrats wherever he goes, ridiculing even their adjectives. "During the Democratic debates, I couldn't find one of them that ever mentioned the words 'Islamic terrorist'—none of them," he contends. "If you can't say the words 'Islamic terrorists,' then you have a hard time figuring out who is our biggest enemy in the world."

In fact, during the three Democratic debates, the candidates referred to "terrorism," "terrorists," or "terror" 24 times—only the modifier was missing, though John Edwards did warn in June that "radical Islam" could take over in Pakistan. By focusing on "radical Islam" as opposed to "Islamic terrorism," the Democrats may actually be avoiding any suggestion that America is engaged in a war against Islam—and even Giuliani would concede that Osama bin Laden is a perversion of Islam. Indeed, though Giuliani is claiming that he's been "studying" Islamic terrorism since 1975, a search of Giuliani news stories and databases reveals that the first time he was cited using the term was in his May 2004 testimony before the 9/11 Commission: He made a passing reference to the sarin-gas drill and said it simulated an "Islamic terrorist attack." If the use of this term is a measure of a leader's understanding of the threat, what does it say about Giuliani's own decade of denial that he never used it in the '90s, when he was the mayor of the only American city to have experienced one?


5. 'Every effort was made by Mayor Giuliani and his staff to ensure the safety of all workers at Ground Zero.' So read a Giuliani campaign statement in June, responding to a chorus of questions about the mayor's responsibility for the respiratory plague that threatens the health of tens of thousands of workers at the World Trade Center site, apparently already having killed some.

The statement pointed a finger at then-EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman, issuing a list of the many times that "Whitman assured New Yorkers the air was safe." Instead of also detailing the many times Giuliani echoed Whitman—for example, "the air is safe and acceptable," he said on September 28—the campaign cited several Fire Department "briefings" about "incident action plans" for the use of respirators, suggesting that the city had tried to get responders to protect themselves from the toxins at Ground Zero. The press release did not make a case that any of these "plans" had ever resulted in any real "action"; nor did it dispute the fact that as late as the end of October, only 29 percent of the workers at the site were wearing respirators. Of course, the workers might have noticed that the photo-op mayor never put one on himself. Instead, the other 9/11 visual we all remember is Giuliani leading at Ground Zero by macho example: The most in the way of protective gear he was ever seen wearing was a dust mask on his mouth.

When the cleanup effort was widely hailed as under-budget and ahead of schedule, there was no doubt about who was in charge. "By Day 4," the New York Times reported in a salute to the "Quick Job" at Ground Zero, "Mr. Giuliani, the Department of Design and Construction (D.D.C.), the Office of Emergency Management, contractors and union officials decided it was time to bring order to the chaos." Giuliani controlled access to the site as if it were his backyard. Yet, when the scope of the health disaster was clear on the fifth anniversary in 2006, he told ABC: "Everybody's responsible." Throwing federal, state, and city agencies into the mix, he diffused the blame. On the Today show the same morning, however, he was more accusatory: "EPA put out statements very, very prominent that you have on tape, that the air was safe, and kept repeating that and kept repeating that."

The city had its own test results, of course, and when 17 of 87 outdoor tests showed hazardous levels of asbestos up to seven blocks away, they decided not to make the results public. An EPA chief, Bruce Sprague, sent an October 5 letter to the city complaining about "very inconsistent compliance" with respiratory protection. Sprague, who wrote the letter only after unsuccessful conversations with Giuliani aides, likened the indifference in a subsequent court deposition to sticking one's head "over a barbecue grill for hours" and expecting no consequences. An internal legal memo to a deputy mayor estimated early in the cleanup that there could be 35,000 potential plaintiffs against the city, partly because rescue workers were "provided with faulty or no equipment (i.e. respirators)." Bechtel, the major construction firm retained by the city as its health and safety consultant, urged it to cut the exit-entry points from 20 to two so they could enforce the use of respirators and other precautions, just as was done at the Pentagon, but the recommendation was ignored.

A Times editorial concluded in May that the Giuliani administration "failed in its duty to protect the workers at Ground Zero," faulting its "emphasis on a speedy cleanup" and its unwillingness "to insist that all emergency personnel and construction workers wear respirators." John Odermatt, a former OEM director working at the campaign, couldn't tell the Times whether Giuliani had lobbied Congress on behalf of sick workers, nor could anyone at the campaign offer any evidence that Giuliani had ever, while earning millions at his new 9/11 consulting business in recent years, tried to secure federal funds for responders.

Should the current presidential frontrunners square off in 2008, Giuliani's culpability and subsequent indifference at Ground Zero will, no doubt, be sharply contrasted to Hillary Clinton's singular role in funding the Mount Sinai programs that have been aiding rescue workers for years. And the public price tag for the mismanagement at the pile (as the site was known among recovery and rescue workers) will run into the billions. Ken Feinberg, who ran the federally funded Victims Compensation Board, has already paid out $1 billion to the injured, concluding after individual hearings that hundreds "were diagnosed with demonstrable and documented respiratory injuries directly related to their rescue service." Anthony DePalma, whose extraordinary Times stories have lifted the lid on Giuliani's role, recently reported that the health-care costs for rescue workers could soar to as much as $712 million a year. And the city is administering a billion-dollar liability fund to satisfy the thousands of lawsuits.

Giuliani's fellow Republican and former EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman did tell WNBC a couple of months ago that there were "telephone calls, telephone meetings, and meetings in person with the city" every day, with the EPA repeating "the message" and emphasizing the "necessity of wearing the respirators." Whitman said she "would call my people at midnight after watching the 11 o'clock news and say, 'I'm still seeing them without the respirators.' " The EPA, she said, "was very frustrated." She also said "the better thing would've been to put out the fire sooner," certainly a function of the city's Fire Department, adding that it had "burned until January"—a continuous flame held to a smoking, toxic brew. Asked about the mayor himself, Whitman sputtered: "He was clearly in control and doing a good job. Everyone was applauding what was going on. EPA, we had some disagreements with things that were occurring on the pile, like not having people wear respirators—we wanted more emphasis on that. But overall, you know, it's hard. Those are emotional times."

The firefighters' union pointed out that the respiratory debacle was, like the malfunctioning radios and so many other things, another symbol of the city's failure to prepare for a major terrorist event. Fire Department memos after the 1993 bombing had urged better protective gear, just as they'd screamed for better radios. The UFA's leaders pointed out that the department had "ignored many issues related to respiratory protection" for years. The union's health-and-safety officer, Phil McArdle, likened the long-term effects of working at Ground Zero to Agent Orange in Vietnam. "We've done a good job of taking care of the dead," he said, referring to the hunt for remains, "but such a terrible job of taking care of the living."

Wayne Barrett is the co-author, with Dan Collins, of Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11, which was just published in paperback by HarperCollins [a Murdock company!].