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Giuliani Scrubs Facts To Defend His Risky Placement Of NYC’s Emergency Command Center

On CNN’s American Morning today, host John Roberts asked former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani about recent revelations by the New York Times that said as mayor he ignored a “1998 police department memo” saying that it would be a bad idea to place the New York City emergency command center at Seven World Trade Center. The memo called the location — which collapsed on 9/11 — “a poor choice” with “significant points of vulnerability.”

Giuliani defended himself, saying he made the “choice,” but adding that “there were pros and cons for all of the sites”:

Each site had a series of pros, a series of cons. And the reality is, 7 World Trade Center was also the home of the CIA, the Secret Service, it was a logical place to put it for the transfer of information.

Watch it:

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[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2008/01/GiulianiWTC.320.240.flv]

Giuliani’s invocation of the CIA and the Secret Service is cynically misleading. In fact, as the New York Times article cited by Roberts makes clear, the 1998 police memo explicitly pointed out that the “presence” of those other agencies “made the building a more likely target”:

Mr. Giuliani has said in the past that one of the reasons for choosing the location was that several federal agencies with which city officials needed to be in contact during emergencies, including the Secret Service, had their offices there. Other federal agencies in the building included the Defense Department and the C.I.A.

But the Police Department took the opposite position in the memo, saying the presence of those agencies made the building a more likely target.

As Media Matters has pointed out, “Giuliani ‘overruled’ warnings from former police commissioner Howard Safir and NYPD chief operating officer Lou Anemone not to locate” the command center at Seven World Trade Center because he wanted it “within walking distance of City Hall.”