Although he’s been absent from the public eye for the last few months, Rudy Giuliani’s 9/11 schtick hasn’t rusted.
The former New York mayor with zero foreign policy experience has emerged this week as Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s leading terrorism surrogate, viciously attacking Barack Obama’s ability to lead the nation in a time of crisis.
Obama’s campaign and the Democratic Party are not taking the attacks lying down. After a 2004 campaign that saw the GOP machine undercut the service of a war veteran and scare voters into believe Democrats would surrender to al Qaeda, they are hitting back with a vengeance.
“Democrats are not going to be lectured to on security by the mayor who failed to learn the lessons of the 1993 attacks, refused to prepare his own city’s first responders for the next attack, urged President Bush to put his corrupt crony in charge of our homeland security, and was too busy lobbying for his foreign clients to join the Iraq Study Group,” Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen Finney said in a statement. “Rudy Giuliani, can echo the McCain campaign’s false and misleading attacks, but he can’t change the fact that John McCain is promising four more years of President Bush’s flawed and failed policies on everything from energy security and the economy to the war in Iraq.”
In an Obama campaign conference call, foreign policy adviser Susan Rice accused the McCain campaign of peddling “a series of dishonest distortions straight out of Karl Rove’s playbook,” to divert attention from a foreign policies “that has left us dramatically less safe.
“They don’t want to talk about the fact that we had [al Qaeda leader Osama] bin Laden and a number of his lieutenants … at Tora Bora and they escaped,” Rice said, referring to a botched mission early in the war on terror.
Giuliani unveiled his first salvo against Obama Tuesday with an e-mail sent on McCain’s behalf accusing Democrats of wanting to “take a step back” to treating terrorism solely as a law enforcement matter. He reiterated the argument on a McCain campaign conference call Wednesday.
McCain’s campaign is making an issue of their disagreement with a Supreme Court decision granting detainees held at Guantanamo Bay the right to challenge their detention in the legal system. Obama has praised the decision, and his campaign notes that the US has lawfully prosecuted scores of terrorists, such as those now serving time for plotting the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
A former federal prosecutor, Giuliani’s position as lead McCain attack dog essentially puts him in the position of arguing against the effectiveness of his previous job. The Obama campaign was happy to point out this contradiction in an e-mail to reporters after the call Wednesday, with the subject line Giuliani v Giuliani: 1993 World Trade Center Bombing Case:Giuliani: Most Experts on Terrorism Would Say the Way 1993 World Trade Center Bombing Case Was Handled Was a “Terrible Mistake.” Giuliani: “The real problem is [Obama] having said that in essence, the 1993 situation was really correctly handled by it’s being a criminal prosecution, and these people were incapacitated. The reality is that I think most experts on terrorism who are non-partisan would tell you that that was a terrible mistake in not recognizing the full dimension of what we were involved with.” [McCain campaign conference call, 6/19/08]“I guess he was for the law before he was against it,” Rice quipped.
Giuliani: Convictions In 1993 World Trade Center Bombing Case “Demonstrates That New Yorkers Won’t Meet Violence With Violence, But With A Far Greater Weapon — The Law.” “The convictions in the World Trade Center bombing trial elicited jubilation and relief throughout New York City yesterday, though there was also righteous anger among some Arabs. But many who were bruised by the traumatic event were certain that no verdict by a jury or punishment by a judge will exorcise the pain and terror that remain. … Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani declared that the verdict ‘demonstrates that New Yorkers won’t meet violence with violence, but with a far greater weapon — the law.’ [The New York Times, 3/5/94]
Also on Wednesday, the Obama campaign named members to a senior working group on national security issues. The working group includes: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Senator David Boren; former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; Secretary of State Warren Christopher; Greg Craig, former director of the State Department Office of Policy Planning; Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig; Former Rep. Lee Hamilton, former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder; Dr. Tony Lake, former National Security Advisor; Former Sen. Sam Nunn, former Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; Secretary of Defense William Perry; Dr. Susan Rice, former Assistant Secretary of State; Former Rep. Tim Roemer, 9/11 Commissioner; and Jim Steinberg, former Deputy National Security Advisor.
Giuliani tested out some of his lines of attack earlier Wednesday during an appearance on MSBNC’s Morning Joe. He tried to resurrect an attack launched by Hillary Clinton during the primary campaign, but he misstated the former first lady’s words.
“She used the words naive and irresponsible in describing the way in which he would like to react to terrorism,” Giuliani stated, wrongly. Clinton’s attack actually was based on Obama’s willingness to talk to leaders of rogue countries.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
He's Back, Crazier Than Ever! Ruuuuuuuuuuudy!!!!