But for most of Giuliani’s career as a Department of Justice official, prosecutor and New York’s chief executive, terrorism was a narrow aspect of his broader crime-fighting agenda, which was dominated by drug dealers, white-collar criminals and the Mafia. Giuliani expressed confidence that Islamic extremism could be contained through vigorous investigation by law enforcement agencies and prosecution in the court system — the same approach he now condemns….
Giuliani often cites the 1993 attack as a motivation for his creation of an Office of Emergency Management, in 1996. But those present at the agency’s creation say it was intended to give the mayor oversight over more routine emergencies.
Jonathan Best interviewed for the job of leading the agency and said the subject of terrorism barely arose. “That wasn’t the focus of what they were looking at,” Best said. “They were interested in hurricanes. Hurricanes were big.”
In 1997, the city decided to place an emergency command center for the agency on the 23rd floor of 7 World Trade Center, across from the twin towers. Several top officials argued for a lower-profile site, such as an office complex across the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn.
But Giuliani was adamant about having a site within walking distance of City Hall, recalled Jerome Hauer, then the emergency management commissioner. Hauer left City Hall in 2000 and had a falling-out with Giuliani after Sept. 11 over Hauer’s endorsement of a Democrat to replace the mayor.
On Sept. 11, the $13 million center was quickly evacuated, and 7 World Trade Center collapsed later in the day.
Giuliani and his advisers have rejected criticism of the site selection, saying no one could have predicted the collapse of the towers. But Louis Anemone, a top-ranking police officer who has since retired, disagrees. The World Trade Center “was number one on our list of the most vulnerable and critical and symbolic locations in the city. The place had been attacked once before, and they had been threatening to bring those towers down again,” Anemone said. “For those of us who lived and breathed this stuff day in and day out, it boggled the imagination.”…
What ever could have possessed “America’s Mayor” to demand such a placement for the command center in a high profile target zone, eh? I feel another round of Love Shack coming on…I’d add in a laugh track if it weren’t so damned serious.
Digby and Kevin Drum have more. And the NYDailyNews chronicles the fact that the Judy call during Rudy’s NRA speech wasn’t the first time that he left his cell on to get calls from the little woman mid-speech, and the Chicago Tribune has a dispatch from the floor during the NRA speech. Can’t even learn a lesson about proper speech etiquette? Not trusting him to learn any other important lessons either, thank you very much.
(Photo via JolieNY.)