Skip to comments.Book finds plenty to rip Rudy for on 9/11
Posted on 08/10/2006 12:40:24 PM PDT by slowhand520
Chapter & worse
Book finds plenty to rip Rudy for on 9/11
BY DAVID SALTONSTALL DAILY NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani is taking a lot of hits in a new book about 9/11.
Rudy Giuliani's image as America's Mayor is harshly questioned in a new book that takes to task the city's preparedness on 9/11 - with some of the most pointed criticism coming from current Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Kelly, who was dismissed from the post by Giuliani in 1993 and later reappointed by Mayor Bloomberg, offers several dramatic and remarkable observations in "Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11," by authors Dan Collins and well-known Giuliani critic Wayne Barrett.
Many of the topics Kelly zeroes in on have been documented in the past: Giuliani's decision to locate the city's command center next to Ground Zero, the site of a terror bombing in 1993, archaic radios that kept the NYPD and FDNY from communicating, and the general chaos of the tragic day.
But Kelly is unsparing in his critique, saying of Giuliani's decision to place its Office of Emergency Management Command Center at 7 World Trade Center, "It was just unwise."
"If Giuliani had any sense of the threat, he would have gotten out of the City Hall area," Kelly told Barrett. "He put it right next to a target."
Kelly also expresses shock that Giuliani and his underlings never established a unified command post with top brass from the NYPD, the FDNY and Office of Emergency Management - a step that could have dramatically increased the flow of information between agencies.
"The radios would have been no problem if they had been at the same command post, if they'd been face-to-face," Kelly said. "Giuliani had the power to direct that to happen."
As for then-Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who spent much of 9/11 at Giuliani's side, Kelly says he's still unsure who was actually marshalling the NYPD's response that day.
"I don't know who was directing," said Kelly. "I literally don't."
Giuliani spokeswoman Sunny Mindel declined to comment yesterday on the substance of the book, saying only of a faxed press release from the publisher, "We haven't even read it."
Kelly also declined to comment yesterday.
The book makes extensive use of never-before-published interviews that Giuliani and other key staffers gave privately to the 9/11 commission - interviews that were supposed to remain confidential until 2009.
Last week, in their own book, the chairs of the commission conceded they failed to ask the "tough questions" of Giuliani, given the aura that surrounded his handling of the day.
The authors of "Grand Illusion" also offer passing praise for Giuliani, calling him "a leader and comforter" who "united the city while helping it to imagine a better, stronger future."
But the bulk of the 390-page tome is a dissection of what happened on 9/11, often with years of history woven in.
They note, for instance, that as early as 1990, the FDNY was describing its radios in agency memos as "obsolete" and "totally inadequate" - but the same radios were still in use in 2001.
The effect was tragic, many believe. Scores of firefighters - equipped with radios that couldn't communicate with NYPD brass - were unable to heed warnings the second tower was about to collapse.
"The question of why nothing was done about the radios came up in multiple interviews," said 9/11 commission lawyer Sam Caspersen. "And we never got a good response."
The book notes that, in private testimony before the 9/11 commission, Giuliani said, "In my first few years as mayor I thought there was a definite terrorist threat."
But Kelly suggests terrorism was far from a top concern of Giuliani's when he was elected mayor in 1993, nearly nine months after the World Trade Center bombing.
He recalled being interviewed by Giuliani for the police commissioner post.
"There was no discussion about terrorism or February 26," Kelly said.
How can anyone "rip" Rudy? Rudy's perfect, IMO.
The author has had five years to pick apart how one human being handled the biggest terrorist strike in American history.
I say Rudy did just fine, under the circumstances. But I'm sure the author would have done much better.
I also hear that Rudy's mother wore Army boots.
The book reminds me of what Richard Clarke did to Bush after he didn't get the job he wanted in the Bush Administration. I think Rudy did just fine. I like his leadership. He produces results.
Looks like the liberals are afraid of a Guiliani run in 2008. The smear campaign seems to have started.
I bet this will be a best seller.
And so enlightening from a 20/20 hindsight perspective.
Man! That is a career-ending mistake if ever I heard one. /sarc
What would have been differnt had NYC "been prepared"?
The towers would have still fallen, people would have still been trapped, the firefighters would have fought the blaze until the towers collapsed upon them, and people would have still been told to stay in the tower and wait for rescuers.
I think the results whould have been much the same "prepared" or not...
This sounds like a lot of sour grapes to me...
Hey,how about writing a book about a mayor that REALLY deserves criticism,like maybe Ray Nagin mayor of New Orleans !!!
That's exactly what I was thinking!
Ray Kelly, meet Richard Clarke.
Does anyone know if LA, San Fran, Chicago, Detroit, or Houston were prepared in 2001?
I have no doubt that Rudy would have done some things differently in retrospect, but for every one thing that was questionable, he did 10 or 20 things extremely well. Primary among those was his overall ability to lead and pull together a city in a crisis.
A more important question is what was Kelly doing from 1993 to 2001 to personally make NYC a safer place? If he had this amazing ability of precognition that the city was unsafe because of Rudy's leadership, why wasn't he shouting it from the rooftops? What grass-roots efforts was he leading? Did he ever lift a finger to try to fix the alleged problems?
Thanks, Rudy. Screw you, Kelly.
Precisely. This guy had the goods on Rudy's "incompetence" back even before 9/11, and it's taken him five years to "tell-all"? I question the timing of this.
Where would 20/20 vision be without that hingsight?
In addition, she also wore sweat sox and smoked cigars.
I like her.
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