OPINION by CODY LYON
In an April 2007 open letter that was published in the “Huffington Post”, former Colorado Democratic Senator Gary Hart ask former Mayor Rudy Giuliani where he was “on terrorism between
The letter, clearly retribution for a string of attacks on Democratic leadership in the years before 9/11 by Giuliani prompted Senator Hart to ask what specific steps the former Mayor had taken to protect the city from terrorism or the effects of such an attack.
“Until you do,” wrote Hart “then I strongly suggest you keep your mouth shut about Democrats and terrorism.”
But a quick stroll down
There were times when Giuliani did go to great lengths in order to quiet down his critics as he did in 1997 when he tried to get the MTA to remove magazine ads from city buses that lampooned his style. Or when he went after the
More importantly, it would appear that much of
For example, more cops had been hired before Giuliani came on the job, the contract with Disney was already in the works, crime was dropping in all American cities and those missing homeless were simply moved away from
But, then, there was 9/11.
No one can deny the important leadership role that Mayor Gilliani played in the days after September 11. The sense of calm provided by his strong words of comfort and calm were seen as a beacon of hope by many New Yorkers during what proved to be some of the city’s most challenging days. But, soon, as the city moved on, and the former mayor began to show inklings of entering what is proving to be a highly contentious national political campaign, an opening has arisen allowing greater scrutiny and criticism. And, when the former Mayor brings his self righteous style of attack onto the national stage, he should be ready for a volley. The election of a President, is, after all, a decision not to be based on simple rhetoric, or timing.
Like a number of politicians, Rudy Giuliani, has capitalized from 9/11. Most New Yorker’s can’t forget the shameless exploitation of tragedy by the GOP when it brought its convention to a city where most estimates show only 1 in 5 to be declared Republican. And, most will not forget his claim before the cheering throes and a television audience of millions, that as he looked at the burning towers, he said to Bernie Kerik, “thank God George Bush is our President”
But, although Giuliani is Republican, he is a New Yorker not a Texan and his socially moderate ideology often doesn’t square with the Republican ideology of the more conservative elements in his party. So now, it appears his best weapon will be his ‘I was there’ claim of superiority, which he has used to shut down critics of Bush policy, like fellow Republican candidate Ron Paul, who pointed out America’s role in inciting anti-American sentiment while debating Giuliani in a campaign debate.
The 9/11 claim to fame has reportedly benefited Giuliani financially as well, thanks to paid speaking engagements where he is said to often speak of those dark days in Gotham. In fact there was a period where he was so busy making money speaking, that he eventually had to resign from the Iraq Study Group according to reports from “Newsday”. He eventually found plenty of time to criticize the group’s conclusions.
And, as far as the Mayor adhering to Gary Hart’s request to silence his critiques of Democrats and their policies concerning terrorism, fugetaboutit.
During a June 27 speech, Rudy Giuliani told a Virginia Beach Va., audience that President Bill Clinton made a big mistake when he didn’t see the 1993 World Trade Center bombing as an “act of terror” versus a mere crime.
Reportedly, Giuliani said “the U.S. Government and then President Clinton did not respond,” and after naming off other terrorist attacks added that “Osama Bin Laden declared war on us and we didn’t hear it”.
If the former Mayor wishes to take this kind of ugly and accusatory rhetoric to the national playing field, he should expect tit for tat.
Mayor Giuliani made a big mistake when he did not insist, and see through to full implementation, in the years before 9/11, that all emergency response personnel be equipped with interoperable radios so that the fire and police departments could communicate with each other during emergency situations, like raging infernos inside tall buildings. According to information documented by “Media Matters” the failings of Giuliani regarding terrorism preparation are clear, as reported by Wayne Barret and Dan Collins in their book “Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11”.
As the book reports, on 9/11, the New York City Fire Department was using outdated VHF radios that were not compatible with the Police Department’s UHF radios. Author’s Barret and Collins said these were the same radios the fire department used back in 1993, when the first attack on the
The book says that as a result, as many as eight Fire Department companies in the
Perhaps this go round, instead of pointing fingers, and shooting down one’s critics, the former Prosecutor and Mayor should come down from his mountaintop, and begin to offer a vision for the future, not an indictment of the past.