Friday, March 09, 2007

Rudy's Mask

I'm betting you weren't aware that next Wednesday, the first Presidential "debate" of the 2008 campaign cycle will be held. All the big names will be there: John Edwards, John McCain, Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, even Duncan Hunter, the California representative who makes George Bush look like an intellectual heavyweight.

Conspicuously absent from this line-up is one looming, overwhelming (some would say "overbearing") name: Rudy Giuliani.

More intriguing is who is holding this forum: the International Association of Firefighters. You know, first responders at tragedies like, say, September 11.

Huh? Wha?

Yes, you read that correctly: the very people responsible for the "America's Mayor" tag that was given to Rudy during the aftermath of that tragedy are refusing to invite him to a forum where potentially, they will make up their minds about whom to endorse during the 2008 campaign.


Well, to sum it up, and this is no secret to New Yorkers, but will start to become apparent to the rest of the nation as well, Rudy's a front-running, glory-stealing, cowardly little jerk.

And that's being polite.

I'll let the IAFF speak for themselves now:
Early on, the IAFF made a decision to invite all serious candidates from both political parties — except one: former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

We made this decision after considerable soul-searching and close consultation with our two New York City affiliates, the Uniformed Firefighters Association Local 94 and the Uniformed Fire Officers Association Local 854, as well as our former Local 94 President and current IAFF 1st District Vice President covering New York.

The IAFF recognizes that Mayor Giuliani generally enjoys a favorable reputation as a result of his actions immediately after the tragedy of 9/11. As such, we want our affiliates and every one of our members to clearly understand the reason and rationale behind this very serious and sober decision.

[...]His actions post 9/11 rise to such an offensive and personal attack on our brother and sisterhood — and directly on our union — that the IAFF does not feel Rudy Giuliani deserves an audience of IAFF leaders and members at our own Presidential Forum.

The disrespect that he exhibited to our 343 fallen FDNY brothers, their families and our New York City IAFF leadership in the wake of that tragic day has not been forgiven or forgotten.

In November 2001, our members were continuing the painful, but necessary, task of searching Ground Zero for the remains of our fallen brothers and the thousands of innocent citizens that were killed, because precious few of those who died in the terrorist attacks had been recovered at that point.

Prior to November 2001, 101 bodies or remains of fire fighters had been recovered. And those on the horrible pile at Ground Zero believed they had just found a spot in the rubble where they would find countless more that could be given proper burial.

Nevertheless, Giuliani, with the full support of his Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, decided on November 2, 2001, to sharply reduce the number of those who could search for remains at any one time. There had been as many as 300 fire fighters at a time involved in search and recovery, but Giuliani cut that number to no more than 25 who could be there at once.

In conjunction with the cut in fire fighters allowed to search, Giuliani also made a conscious decision to institute a "scoop-and-dump" operation to expedite the clean-up of Ground Zero in lieu of the more time-consuming, but respectful, process of removing debris piece by piece in hope of uncovering more remains.

[...]The fact is that the Mayor's switch to a scoop-and-dump coincided with the final removal of tens of millions of dollars of gold, silver and other assets of the Bank of Nova Scotia that were buried beneath what was once the towers. Once the money was out, Giuliani sided with the developers that opposed a lengthy recovery effort, and ordered the scoop-and-dump operation so they could proceed with redevelopment.

In the first few days immediately after the disaster, Giuliani had said he was committed to the recovery of those lost "right down to the last brick." We believed him at the time. But, what he proved with his actions is that he really meant the "last gold brick."
So it was OK to do a deliberate and thorough search so long as it was possible to salvage some few millions of (insured) wealth under the rubble, but once that was recovered, it was OK to start dumping bodies and body parts into a landfill like it was some massive mob hit?


it got so bad, in fact, that Rudy turned the cops against the firefighters, which led to a fairly large brawl in downtown Manhattan on November 2, 2001, which saw five police officers injured when the NYFD members were protesting the reduction in forces, and started pushing through barricades. At that time, Rudy said, "We were given very, very strong advice that this site was a disaster waiting to happen. Our concern has to be for the lives of the people who are working there now."

And the gold. don't think he thought the firefighters might steal a few million dollars in precious metals, do you?

This is just one more chink in the armor of America's Self-Styled Knight Mayor, Rudy Giuliani

(H/T to Mr. Doggitty for this tip...he really should have his own blog...)

UPDATE: CNN, Fox News cited Giuliani claims that firefighters union's criticisms are partisan -- but NYC affiliate endorsed Bush in 2004. Cuz, you know, you'll read that tomorrow about the "partisanship"...

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