Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
The political drag queen
Earth to 27 percent of Republicans: Rudy Giuliani is lying to you. And I mean, like, daily...

He wants you to believe that he was the REAL hero of 9/11 ... single-handedly doing what no other mayor could: talking to the press! Walking around with a mask on! Brushing dust off his suit shoulders, and uniting a city ... and a nation... ! Cue the angelic choir...!!!

Ahem.

Aside from a belabored p.r. strategy, and continual boasts about his supposed sage foreknowledge of 9/11 (knowledge he apparently didn't feel compelled to share with anyone who could have done anything about it, including the Clinton administration with whom he was working so closely (and exchanging mushy-gushy letters) on things like the assault weapons ban and the COPS program ...) boasts that are at this stage, even more irritating than John Edwards' "son of a millworker" schtick, what is Rudy Giuliani, really? Who is he, to those of us who know him best -- namely, New Yorkers?

Let's review:

He's not the crime-fighting super sleuth whom the Gotti boys targeted for a rub-out. That's only interesting to Rudy's high-fiving, snarky little press aides. For the rest of us, it's "talk to me when you get something more interesting than Rudy nearly getting whacked. Hell, Curtis Sliwa got shot in the butt by a made guy. Want him to be your president, too?"

He's not the beloved mayor of Gotham City. New Yorkers hate his guts (and not just the firefighters. We civilians despise him, too.) Remember when he floated the idea of staying on past his lawful mayoral term in the wake of 9/11 to ... um ... keep the leadership coming ... possibly in a Hugo Chavez-like version of forever? Not! He got shot down like ... well ... Curtis Sliwa's butt... Ouch!

He's not the only man with the foresight to see 9/11 coming, as he likes to tell Republican voter-bots during his incipid "love me, I'm 9/11" speeches. In fact, sealed testimony to the 9/11 Commission -- an entity Rudy quit after just a few months because attending the meetings was cutting into his 9/11 profiteering time -- which wasn't supposed to see the light of day until after the 2008 election, but obtained by the Village Voice's Wayne Barrett reveals the following:
A 15-page "memorandum for the record," prepared by a commission counsel and dated April 20, 2004, quotes Giuliani conceding that it wasn't until "after 9/11" that "we brought in people to brief us on al Qaeda." According to the memorandum, Giuliani told two commission members and five staffers: "But we had nothing like this pre 9/11, which was a mistake, because if experts share a lot of info," there would be a "better chance of someone making heads and tails" of the "situation." (Such memoranda are not verbatim transcripts of the confidential commission interviews, but are described on the cover page as "100 percent accurate" notes taken by staffers, stamped "commission sensitive/unclassified" on the top of each page.)

Asked about the “flow of information about al Qaeda threats from 1998-2001,” Giuliani said: “At the time, I wasn’t told it was al Qaeda, but now that I look back at it, I think it was al Qaeda.” He also said that as part of one of his post-9/11 briefings, “we had in Bodansky, who had written a book on bin Laden.” Giuliani was referring to Yossef Bodanksy, the author of Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America, which was published in 1999 and predicted “spectacular terrorist strikes in Washington and/or New York.” Giuliani wrote in his own book, Leadership, that Judi Nathan got him a copy of Bodansky’s prophetic work “shortly after 9/11,” and that he covered it in “highlighter and notes,” citing his study of it as an example of how he “mastered a subject.” Apparently, he also invited Bodansky to address key members of his staff.

Giuliani attributed his pre-9/11 shortcomings in part to the FBI, which was run by his close friend (and current endorser) Louis Freeh, and to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, an FBI-directed partnership with the NYPD. "We already had JTTF, and got flow information no one else got," he explained. "But did we get the flow of information we wanted? No. We would be told about a threat, but not about the underlying nature of the threat. I wanted all the same information the FBI had, and we didn't get that until after 9/11. Immediately after 9/11, we were made a complete partner." He added: "Without 9/11, I never would have been able to send an adviser to FBI briefings."
The testimony reveals that, far from being an expert, Rudy was exactly what those of us who've lived under his regime knew him to be -- an itinerant mayor who spent more time trying to shut down raunchy art exhibits than examining possible threats to his city, or some other useful, mayoral-type passtime like ... oh, I don't know ... getting decent radios for his firefighters instead of handing out sweetheart, no-bid contracts to Motorola or NOT LOCATING THE CITY'S COUNTER-TERROSIM RESPONSE CENTER IN THE SAME WORLD TRADE CENTER THAT WAS HIT IN 1993!!!!!!

Ahem ...
Oh, and did I mention that he's a foreign policy novice under the sway of a claque of neoconservative advisors who are itching to go to war in the Middle East near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers? Sound familiar, guys? Huh???

In fact, the only good thing about Rudy is his original position on gun control, which is amply documented here. Of course, the new, flip-flopping Rudy is totally, and I mean totally, against gun control ... sort of ... depending on who he's talking to ... Bo-Sox, Yankees, my God, so much to decide...!

Anyhoo, I guess the bottom line is that Rudy Giuliani is whoever he thinks he has to be that day, in order to get to be your president. Here's hoping he's doing all that huffing and puffing in vain. At least some conservatives are finally growing suspicious of the slippery character who changes positions faster than he changes wives ... and dresses.

Wake up, the rest of you Rudyphiles. The last thing you want in the White House is somebody about whom the one true thing you can say, is that you're certain that you really don't know who he is. When that happens, you have two choices: lift up his skirt and see if there are any jumblies under there, or ask those of us who do.

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posted by JReid @ 8:57 PM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
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