In a Wall Street Journal op-ed today on homeland security, Rudy Giuliani references September 11 nine separate times. In one of those instances, he claims he prepared New York City well to “withstand the 9/11 attack“:
One reason New York City was able to withstand the 9/11 attack was that we were prepared to meet 21st-century security threats. … And while we didn’t anticipate the specific scenario of 9/11, the constant practice, and the relentless follow-up from actual emergencies, certainly helped in its aftermath.
Jim Riches, a deputy New York City fire chief who lost a son at the Trade Center, has a very different perspective:
“Lives were lost because of the lack of preparation and (Giuliani’s) lack of leadership,” said Riches, who spent 16 days in a coma after the attacks due to respiratory failure. “All he did was run that day, and get on TV and provide a calming influence for the United States of America. And they made him a hero.”
Because of Giuliani’s failures, first responders were forced to use old radio equipment on 9/11 that prevented them from hearing evacuation orders when the World Trade Center buildings were about to collapse. The radios had malfunctioned eight years earlier, during the 1993 attacks on the WTC.
Giuliani claimed last month, “It would have been impossible for me to have those radios ready.” It would not have been impossible. After the 1993 incident, Giuliani gave Motorola a $14-million no-bid contract to produce faulty radios that had to be taken out of service in March 2001. Brave New Films released this web video detailing the negative impact Giuliani’s no-bid decision had on firefighters on 9/11. Watch it:
9/11 first responders have not only criticized Giuliani for failing to provide them with proper radios, but also for ditching body-recovery efforts only 24 hours after recovering tens of millions of dollars in gold and for misleading them about the air quality at Ground Zero.
UPDATE: Watch the latest from Brave New Films on Giuliani abandoning 9/11 rescue workers: