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Giuliani Claims It Would Have Been ‘Impossible’ To Give 9/11 Firefighters Working Radios

By Amanda Terkel on December 23, 2007 at 11:22 am

"Giuliani Claims It Would Have Been ‘Impossible’ To Give 9/11 Firefighters Working Radios"

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Today on ABC’s This Week, host George Stephanopoulos pushed former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani on why the radios for the 9/11 firefighters didn’t work. Giuliani dodged the question, claiming that it would have been “impossible” to have given them working radios:

STEPHANOPOULOS: They make two main charges. Number one, that those firefighters in the north tower, many of them lost their lives because their radios didn’t work. They also say you ended the recovery efforts too soon.

GIULIANI: Well, the radios that you’re talking about weren’t put online for three, four, five years after. So, it would have been impossible for me to have those radios ready. It took the city two or three more years…

STEPHANOPOULOS: But they had malfunctioned in 1993.

GIULIANI: But even with the new equipment, it took another two or three years for those radios to be put online. So it would have been impossible for us to have gotten them online before that, given the fact that it took so long afterwards.

Watch it:

As Stephanopoulos pointed out, the firefighters on 9/11 were forced to use old equipment that had malfunctioned eight years earlier, during the 1993 attacks on the World Trade Center.

But it wasn’t “impossible” to get new radios to these firefighters, as Giuliani tried to claim. After the 1993 incident, Giuliani gave Motorola a $14-million no-bid contract. Despite this exorbitant sum, the radios were faulty and had to be taken out of service in March 2001, after a “distress call from a firefighter trapped in a burning house” went unheard. A New York City Council report on the fire department’s radio procurement process concluded:

Thus, despite its acknowledgment two years earlier that several manufacturers were developing technology that might meet FDNY’s CAI specifications, and in apparent disregard of its pledge to evaluate new technologies and products, the FDNY appears to have elected to accept a radio representing an entirely new communications technology from Motorola rather than conduct a competitive review of products and prices.

Brave New Films has put together a video on Giuliani’s record on the 9/11 radios HERE.

Transcript:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve also talked a lot about your record after 9/11.

There’s a group of pretty determined firefighters, who want to defeat you on this issue. They’re led by the deputy fire chief, James Riches, whose son died — also a firefighter — on 9/11.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES RICHES, DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF, FDNY: He’s the guy on the top. He’s the guy to yell at. He takes the hit. And my son is dead because of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: He blames you.

GIULIANI: I feel very bad about that. And I feel very bad at the whole situation. I feel these people — all these people, myself and all the people that were involved in this — have been very hurt by this. And it creates a lot of pain. It creates a lot of suffering. And if they’re angry at me, so be it.

I did everything I — I did everything I could think of doing in that situation to help. I think I made mostly the right decisions. Probably didn’t make all the right decisions, but I tried very hard to alleviate the problem as much as I could, and to lift the spirits of the city.

And in most cases, I think I made the right decisions. In some cases I may not. And then maybe just some people that are angry at me for it, and I’m not going to argue with them. My gosh. They’ve gone through too much for anybody to be arguing with them.

STEPHANOPOULOS: They make two main charges. Number one, that those firefighters in the north tower, many of them lost their lives because their radios didn’t work. They also say you ended the recovery efforts too soon.

GIULIANI: Well, the radios that you’re talking about weren’t put online for three, four, five years after. So, it would have been impossible for me to have those radios ready. It took the city two or three more years…

STEPHANOPOULOS: But they had malfunctioned in 1993.

GIULIANI: But even with the new equipment, it took another two or three years for those radios to be put online. So it would have been impossible for us to have gotten them online before that, given the fact that it took so long afterwards.

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