Giuliani Criticized for Handling of 9/11


Rudy Giuliani is front runner primarily due to the reputation he gained after 9/11. Not everyone approves of the way he handled the response to the attack. AP reports:

While the former mayor of the nation’s largest city was widely lionized for his post-9/11 leadership — “Churchillian” was one adjective, “America’s mayor” Oprah Winfrey’s assessment — city firefighters and their families are renewing their attacks on him for his performance before and after the terrorist attack.

“If Rudolph Giuliani was running on anything but 9/11, I would not speak out,” said Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son was among the 343 FDNY members killed in the terrorist attack. “If he ran on cleaning up Times Square, getting rid of squeegee men, lowering crime — that’s indisputable.

“But when he runs on 9/11, I want the American people to know he was part of the problem.

I’ve previously noted the criticism Giuliani has received from fire fighters. Today’s report lists two major sources of criticism of Giuliani’s handling of the 9/11 attack:

His administration’s failure to provide the World Trade Center’s first responders with adequate radios, a long-standing complaint from relatives of the firefighters killed when the twin towers collapsed. The Sept. 11 Commission noted the firefighters at the World Trade Center were using the same ineffective radios employed by the first responders to the 1993 terrorist attack on the trade center.

Regenhard, at a 2004 commission hearing in Manhattan, screamed at Giuliani, “My son was murdered because of your incompetence!” The hearing was a perfect example of the 9/11 duality: Commission members universally praised Giuliani at the same event.

A November 2001 decision to step up removal of the massive rubble pile at ground zero. The firefighters were angered when the then-mayor reduced their numbers among the group searching for remains of their lost “brothers,” focusing instead on what they derided as a “scoop and dump” approach. Giuliani agreed to increase the number of firefighters at ground zero just days after ordering the cutback.

More than 5 1/2 years later, body parts are still turning up in the trade center site.

“We want America to know what this guy meant to New York City firefighters,” said Peter Gorman, head of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. “In our experiences with this man, he disrespected us in the most horrific way.”

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