Online Journal
Front Page 
 Special Reports
 News Media
 Elections & Voting
 Social Security
 Editors' Blog
 Reclaiming America
 The Splendid Failure of Occupation
 The Lighter Side
 The Mailbag
 Online Journal Stores
 Official Merchandise
 Join Mailing List

Commentary Last Updated: Jul 17th, 2007 - 01:03:40

Firefighters slam Rudy for 9/11 failures
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor

Jul 17, 2007, 01:01

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

Steve Cassidy, the flinty president of the United Firemen�s Association, UFA local 94, appeared July 11 on NYI TV to express the will of his constituency with the stinging precision of a sharp right jab: �We could never support Rudy for president.� The left hook follows . . .

Cassidy�s appearance coincided with the showing of an International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) video called Rudy Giuliani � Urban Legend. It states, along with many damning facts, that �The Urban Legend of �America�s Mayor� needs to be balanced by the truth.� Please take the time to view the 13-minute video and hear firefighters and victims' family members speak out.

The truths they speak, a number of which I have previously reported, are that the location of Giuliani�s Emergency Control Center was mistakenly put on the 23rd floor of Tower 7, directly next the World Trade Center, the world�s number one target. Giuliani refused the advice of his top advisers to locate it in nearby Brooklyn where it now resides.

As a result, at 9:15 AM on 9/11/01 Rudy was out on the street, telling us he�d heard that Tower 7 was going down. Huh? Who told him? He consequently was frantically looking for a new bunker. Ironically, Tower 7 was �pulled� eight hours later at the request of its owner Larry Silverstein, who made a killing of $500 million on insurance for that building alone. Silverstein decided to take Tower 7 down by internal demolition, something that needed months to be planned, not eight hours.

Moreover, Giuliani�s depriving the FDNY, NYPD and EMS of a clear central command post created additional confusion and casualties in what was already a catastrophe. Even more damning, is that the firefighters were using the same radios that were non-functional in the first World Trade Center attack in 1993. The order for new ones was on Rudy�s desk from day one of his tenure, shortly after the first attack.

Eight years later, after ordering Motorola radios that were non-functioning, and were not functional until well past 9/11/01, 141 firefighters perished in the North Tower. They could not be reached and be told to evacuate. They were among the 343 fallen firefighters on that unholy day.

The report warned that the radios didn�t function in high buildings or down in the subways. Yet, Giuliani claimed to the 9/11 Commission that some �firefighters were killed because they ignored the order to evacuate.� NYPD Detective Sergeant Al Regenhard (ret.), who spoke in the video, called that �despicable.� There were no orders to follow. The radios didn�t work.

Also, Jack McDonnell, president of UFOA Local 854, FDNY, said that with Giuliani �effective leadership never existed.� Eddie Brown, trustee of 854 said, �It makes me upset to hear him [Rudy]) called a hero.� Rosaleen Tallon, sister of Sean Patrick Tallon, lost with Ladder 10, FDNY, commented that, �he [Rudy] didn�t do what was needed.� Pete Gorman, also of local 854, summed it up by saying �Rudy Giuliani is no friend of firefighters.�

Secondly, prior to November 2001, 101 bodies or remains of firefighters had been recovered, less than a third of the fallen. Those firefighters working on �the pile� at Ground Zero continued the painful task of looking for their lost brothers as well as thousands of innocent citizens who had been killed. Few of those had been recovered at that point.

Nevertheless, when some $200 million in gold, silver and other assets of the Bank of Nova Scotia had been discovered and removed, Giuliani, with the full support of his fire commissioner, Thomas Von Essen, swiftly decided to switch to a �scoop and dump� operation, siding with the developers who opposed a lengthy recovery search. This so that redevelopment could proceed quickly. It was met with loud protests from firefighters and the public.

This in essence denied the opportunity and hope for many victims� families of uncovering remains in a more respectful process. It seems that Rudy was easily willing to accept those remains remaining buried at Ground Zero forever -- with no closure for families. Also, he could accept that the remains would be removed like garbage in a �scoop and dump� and deposited at Fresh Kills landfill for the seagulls to scavenge. When local residents tried to meet with Giuliani, he refused to face them. The scoop-and-dump went on.

When hundreds of family members of the fallen joined with affiliate leadership and FDNY members to publicly protest Hizzoner�s decision, he ordered senior officers of the NYPD to arrest 15 of the New York firefighters, including a number of local elected IAFF leaders. Imagine that, pitting heroes against heroes in a disgraceful show of authority and woeful lack of conscience.

When public outcry rose again, Giuliani modified his position, but only somewhat.

He put firefighters back on the pile, but he went from a 300-member crew to a 25-member crew, in spite of the fact that more bodies had been recovered and those families were given a chance for respectful burial. Cynically, Giuliani said he had removed those men for their own safety. Yet they had been there from minutes after the attacks and for several months, with little encouragement to wear protective gear.

What�s more, in a mere eight months, the recovery and cleanup operation that was scheduled to take 30 months was over. So the protection argument rings hollow considering the frantic Giuliani push to get it done. That injudicious effort has left thousands of first responders now facing serious respiratory and other illnesses, even death. It was also criminal to remove all evidence from the site before sufficient investigation and testing of materials could be performed.

The one positive thing that issues from Rudy�s errors and the victims' families� pain is this united effort of the firefighters to speak up in order to warn not just New York, but America that this is not a man fit to be president. Let me repeat, not a man fit to be president.

Giuliani has failed us now as he failed us then, claiming bragging rights for the heroism of others, collecting six figure fees for speaking all over the country, building up his private fortune and campaign fund to run for the presidency. This callous money fest was gathered at the cost of the dead heroes and firefighter survivors, intact or wounded.

In fact, 9/11 firefighter families and others were so irate that they followed Giuliani to Bay Ridge Manor in Brooklyn where Hizzoner was toasting his birthday with a bit of bubbly and slices of birthday cake. The linked article from the Kings Courier describes the confrontation. Please read it to get the full flavor of the story.

For instance �it was a vastly different scene outside [the birthday party]. Penned beyond metal barricades, across the street from the catering hall, which is located at 476 76th Street, protesters holding signs were making it crystal clear that they had little truck with �Hizzoner,� who currently is running for the Republican presidential nomination and whose fundraiser was in full swing beyond the building�s brick fa�ade.�

No doubt if Rudy had it his way, the protestors would have been penned out of sight.

In fact, a signal of Giuliani�s own guilt is that when he was invited by the IAFF to appear on the first-partisan presidential forum of the 2008 election cycle, held on March 14, 2007, he initially accepted the invitation. He canceled five days later, after many schedules had been changed to accommodate his presence. Perhaps, he still can�t look those families in the eye, or face their questions. One wonders how he faces himself in the mirror.

Just make sure you look at the video and get the truth behind this Urban Legend.

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York. Reach him at

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
Living on borrowed time in a stolen land
An open letter to Israel
The only exit from Gaza is death
Are propagandists reading from the same script?
Bush, as he prepares to leave, adds Israel�s massacre in Gaza to his awful legacy
Should Israel talk to Hamas?
No such thing as the United Nations
In support of war or how the antiwar community came to love war
Israel�s slaughter of innocent Palestinians is morally outrageous
The American puppet state
Top 5 lies about Israel�s assault on Gaza
Rome�s Jewish chairman inadvertently exposes Zionist trick!
Israel and the Palestinian Territories
What became of Western morality?
Gaza and the world: Will things ever change?
Making �Duck Soup� out of 2009
Race to the finish in Afghanistan
The truth about those Hamas rockets
Gaza cries for united Arab action
Israel is America�s hands