Thursday, November 26, 2020

Disappeared History

All you need to know are two things. The first is that The Washington Post's Robin Givhan realizes

To be clear, Rudy Giuliani was never America’s mayor. That nickname was a bit of media gloss that was spread so thickly and indiscriminately that Giuliani had no trouble dining out on it for years. Many Americans lapped it up, too.

The second is that, despite condemning Giuliani's antics of the past four years, criticizing his overall performance as mayor, and recognizing the "America's Mayor" thing was "more marketing than fact," she believes

....for months after 9/11, he kept firm, reassuring and empathetic control of a city that was in an unimaginable crisis — and his sure hand helped to contain the rippling circles of fear and uncertainty that were spreading across the country. Giuliani was tested in ways that few mayors have ever been. He rose to the challenge, and for that he was rightfully admired.

Unless "rose" is synonym for "plummeted," that would be grievously inaccurate. The late, great investigative reporter Wayne Barrett in 2007 laid out "Rudy Giuliani's Five Big Lies About 9/11."  Though Rudolph claimed New York City was better prepared for a terrorist attack than was the federal government or any other jurisdiction in the country

New York’s lack of unified command, as well as the breakdown of communications between the police and fire departments, fell far short of the efforts at the Pentagon that day, as later established by the 9/11 Commission and NIST reports. When the 280,000-member International Association of Fire Fighters recently released a powerful video assailing Giuliani for sticking firefighters with the same radios that “we knew didn’t work” in the 1993 attack, the presidential campaign attacked the union.....

The IAFF video reports that 121 firefighters in the north tower didn’t get out because they didn’t hear evacuation orders, rejecting Giuliani’s claim before the 9/11 Commission that the firefighters heard the orders and heroically decided to “stand their ground” and rescue civilians.

Even the 9/11 commission

concluded that the “technical failure of FDNY radios” was “a contributing factor,” though “not the primary cause,” of the “many firefighter fatalities in the North Tower.” The commission compared “the strength” of the NYPD and FDNY radios and said that the weaknesses of the FDNY radios “worked against successful communication”...

In addition, the commission concluded that fire chiefs failed to turn on the repeater correctly that morning—another indication of the lack of training and drills at the WTC between the attacks. In the end, firefighters had to rely exclusively on their radios, and the inability of the Giuliani administration to find a replacement for the radios that malfunctioned in 1993 left them unable to talk to each other, even about getting out of a tower on the verge of collapse.

The mayor had also done nothing to make the radios interoperable—which would have enabled the police and firefighters to communicate across departmental lines—despite having received a 1995 federal waiver granting the city the additional radio frequencies to make that possible. That meant the fire chiefs had no idea that police helicopters had anticipated the partial collapse of both towers long before they fell.

It’s not just the radios and the OEM: Giuliani never forced the police and fire departments to abide by clear command-and-control protocols that squarely put one service in charge of the other during specified emergencies. Though he collected $250 million in tax surcharges on phone use to improve the 911 system, he diverted this emergency funding for other uses, and the 911 dispatchers were an utter disaster that day, telling victims to stay where they were long after the fire chiefs had ordered an evacuation, which potentially sealed the fates of hundreds. And, despite the transparent lessons of 1993, Giuliani never established any protocols for rooftop or elevator rescues in high-rises, or even a strategy for bringing the impaired and injured out—all costly failings on 9/11.

Moreover, against expert advice Mayor Giuliani decided

to put his prized, $61 million emergency-command center in the World Trade Center, an obvious terrorist target. The 1997 decision had dire consequences on 9/11, when the city had to mobilize a response without any operational center.

No fooling- he decided to put the command center at ground zero for a likely terrorist attack because he could walk there. Ironically, that self-interested, tragic and deadly choice elevated Giuliani to the myth of "America's Mayor" because he was viewed across the country boldly walking through Manhattan and appearing to be in charge of a situation made dramatically worse because of his disastrous policy choices.

Rudy Giuliani is the Republican Party. His mayoralty was marked by racial insensitivity and an image elevated preposterously by smoke and mirrors. Now he is a buffoonish character, evidently a pathetic, lying thug.  The media response, predictably, is... how Rudy has changed! How sad that America's mayor has now become Donald Trump's henchman!

Similarly, we have to get ready for a resurrected image of the Republican Party. The mainstream media will promote the Joe Biden view of the GOP- fine men and women who, almost mesmerized, momentarily lost their head over Donald Trump.  It may forget that the Republican Party long ago adopted the values of Dixiecrats, plutocrats, and (more recently) theocrats.  We must remember that the GOP was fertile ground for Donald Trump, just as today's Rudy Giuliani is yesterday's Rudy Giuliani.


                                              HAPPY THANKSGIVING 

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