It's September 10th, 2001. Rudy Giuliani is so unpopular in New York that he couldn't be elected dogcatcher. Having raised middle class taxes/fees, presided over the continued decline of one of the worst public school systems in America, worsened the state of health care in NYC, and doled out corporate welfare to his fat cat buddies, Giuliani was mostly a failure as Mayor. (As have most mayors of both parties been.) Sure crime fell (but it did nationwide and NYC was still safer in the 1960s than it was in 2000 so Giuliani's statistics are misleading) and Manhattan was cleaner (I'll give him that) but this is the same imbecile mayor who tried to close down a museum over a picture he personally disliked and who encouraged the kind of behavior that resulted in tragedies like Amadou Diallo and Abner Louima. Oh and I haven't even mentioned his personal behavior because Giuliani actually makes Brittney Spears seem tolerable.
But Giuliani's biggest failures as mayor stems from 9/11, both prior to and afterward. I live here, was in Manhattan on that day, so if you're not from NY, take it from those of us who live here first.
GIULIANI'S 9/11 FAILURES
A. PRIOR TO 9/11
1. IGNORING THE FBI - When the WTC was attacked in 1993 and we had a President who actually captured and killed EVERY person responsible for those attacks, the FBI released a series of recommendations to NYC to follow in the mid 1990s. But Giuliani, by that point replacing a competent Bill Bratton with an incompetent Howard Safir (and later third grade detective and door holder Bernie Kerik) put his ego (Giuliani is an incompetent leader and only feels secure around people even more incompetent) ahead of security and snubbed his nose at the FBI. Had these recommendations been implemented, more American lives in NYC would have been saved on 9/11.
2. FIREFIGHTER EQUIPMENT - Part of those recommendations were to give the firefighters radio equipment to communicate from ground to air. Those on the ground knew that the WTC would collapse 15-20 minutes down the road. IF the firefighters had the proper radio equipment, they would have been told to get out. Instead, they climbed to their death.
3. The COMMAND CENTER IN THE SKY - Only an idiot builds a command center 23 stories in the sky next to a major target of terrorists AFTER being told by the FBI NOT TO. Had there been an operational command center on 9/11, more lives would have been saved.
4. COORDINATION OF DEPARTMENTS - Again Giuliani the incompetent ignored the FBI recommendations to coordinate police with fire and EMT. Instead, we had a bunch of people running around not knowing what to do. This indecisiveness and confusion cost lives on 9/11.
B. GIULIANI ON 9/11
1. INTRODUCTION - Of the 3 categories, Giuliani will get his highest marks here by default. What Giuliani does best is speak to the camera and he did that well. But giving press conferences as opposed to taking meaningful actions are two different things. And keep in mind that with Bush reading My Pet Goat, ANYBODY would have looked good compared to Bush.
2. RUNNING AROUND, DOING NOTHING - From 8:46 am to 10:00 am was the time for Giuliani to be a leader. And Giuliani failed. He spent the time wandering the streets of lower Manhattan aimlessly not knowing what to do. He was lost and clueless. (The press conferences came later.)
3. SCREWING THE FIREFIGHTERS - Giuliani and his brass had the opportunity to save lives but didn't. Instead they got word that the WTC might collapse. Instead of captains taking 2 extra minutes to help their sailors, Giuliani decided to jump ship without the thought of trying to send word to the firefighter to get out of the buildings.
C. AFTER 9/11
1. EPA CORRUPTION - Giuliani and the Bush administration concealed environmental hazards and air conditions at 9/11 basically sending rescue workers to their deaths down the road. This is shameful.
2. LAWSUITS - Instead of helping the victims of 9/11 recover, Giuliani and Bush have been preventing these plaintiffs from getting what they are entitled to. Hero my ass.
3. PROFITTING OFF 9/11 - It's been well documented how Giuliani has exploited this tragedy for personal profit. The thing is Giuliani didn't do anything.
4. STEALING 9/11 VICTIM FUND MONEY - This is the one that should destroy Giuliani. To have the chutzpah to take money meant for the widows of 9/11 and redirecting it to his cronies is unforgivable.
5. TRIED SUSPENDING DEMOCRACY - If the terrorists hate us for our freedom, they sure must love Giuliani for Rudy tried to extend his term as mayor for 3 extra months.
6. IGNORING BIN LADEN, PRAISING BUSH During the 2004 convention, Giuliani said "Thank God George W Bush is our president." (I'd love for Democrats to make a commercial out of that in 2008 if Giuliani did get the nomination.) But what pissed New Yorkers off most is how Giuliani didn't give a flying __ about capturing Bin Laden and instead being a cheerleader for unrelated policies. New Yorkers want Bin Laden dead and Giuliani gave us a big middle finger.
The record as a whole shows Giuliani to be a miserable failure on 9/11 and his status as some kind of hero is completely mythological and driven by the corporate media. Somewhere in a safe house in Afghanistan, Osama Bin Laden was probably saying to himself, "Thank Allah George W Bush is President, Thank Allah Rudy Giuliani is Mayor of New York City. The death toll would never have been as high without them."