Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cruel and Shameless Rudy

Today is Sunday, 19 August 2007.

On this date in 1936, the greatest Spanish poet and playwright of the 20th century, Federico Garcia Lorca, was murdered by Spanish fascists for the crimes of sympathy for the working class and being a homosexual.

Speaking recently in Cincinnati, Rudy Giuliani said, “I was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers.”

However, as an article in the 17 August issue of The New York Times shows, Rudy’s own mayoral records put the lie to that claim.

From 17 September to 16 December 2001, Rudy spent a grand total of 29 hours at ground zero. Meanwhile, many workers served 12-hour shifts.

Most of Giuliani’s visits had nothing to do with directing work efforts; they involved press interviews and guided tours/photo ops for VIPs.

In this context, it is interesting to reflect on the myth of Rudy’s “strong leadership” on 9/11. Supposedly, Rudy was in charge of rescue efforts at the Twin Towers. In fact, he spent only a short time at the command post on the street near the Towers. He and his entourage then left, seeking a place of refuge. They were unable to go to his emergency command center, known to New Yorkers as the “bunker in the sky”, since he had located it on top of a skyscraper in the World Trade Center complex, which building was afire and would soon collapse.

(Details may be found in Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11, by Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins.)

Rudy and company first took cover in a restaurant, then a school, then a fire station, before ending up at the Police Academy. The famous footage of Rudy striding boldly around Lower Manhattan actually shows a man looking for a place to hide.

(Incidentally, recent news reports suggest the only use ever made of the “bunker in the sky” was for late night assignations between Rudy and Judith Nathan, then the woman with whom he was conducting an adulterous relationship, and now Wife # 3.)

Rudy’s attempts to spin personal political gold from the dead of 9/11 began, of course, almost immediately after the tragedy. He lobbied the New York legislature to repeal term limits so he could run again for mayor, and was rebuffed. He then proposed his term be extended, which was also denied.

Giuliani’s attempt to ascend to the White House by trampling the bodies of the 9/11 victims and the rescue workers is despicable, but characteristic of the man.


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