Giuliani's 9/11 Problems Continue

Looking at the preliminary polling on the race for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani secures fairly strong support from the party base -- perhaps enough so to overcome Senator John McCain, the perceived frontrunner. But as I noted about a month ago, there are still some things standing between Giuliani and the full backing of his party, let alone election to the White House. In particular, more and more questions are emerging about his real record before, during and after the 9/11 attacks, questions that have not gone nor will go away any time soon. For instance, Marcia Kramer of WCBS-TV has a report that shine a particularly good light on "America's mayor."

CBS 2 News has obtained documents revealing that Lower Manhattan was reopened a few weeks following the attack even though the air was not safe.

The two devastating memos, written by the U.S. and local governments, show they knew. They knew the toxic soup created at Ground Zero was a deadly health hazard. Yet they sent workers into the pit and people back into their homes.

One of the memos, from the New York City health department, dated Oct. 6, 2001, noted: "The mayor's office is under pressure from building owners ... in the Red Zone to open more of the city." The memo said the Department of Environmental Protection was "uncomfortable" with opening the areas but, "The mayor's office was directing the Office of Emergency Management to open the target areas next week."

"Not only did they know it was unsafe, they didn't heed the words of more experienced people that worked for the city and E.P.A.," said Joel Kupferman, with the group Environmental Justice Project.

[...]

The city health department refused to comment on the memo, but inside sources told CBS 2 News the memo is real. And its veracity is not questioned by the Environmental Justice Project's Kupferman.

He calls it "a smoking gun." [emphasis added]

I don't think people will begin to question the resolve of Rudy Giuliani in the days following the attacks on the World Trade Center. And I'm not even certain that his determination to see New York City get back to business will be questioned. Nevertheless, if it is true that Rudy Giuliani knowingly sent not only countless aid workers but also thousands, nay millions of New Yorkers into a "toxic soup" without warning them of the clear danger to their health -- and these documents appear to indicate that it is true -- then his record on 9/11, which form the basis of his candidacy for the White House, will be seriously undermined.

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Gore makes gains against McCain and Giuliani

In head-to-head matchups, Gore has pulled to within 7 points of McCain and 4 points of Giuliani in a FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll released yesterday, improving his standings from May when he trailed both McCain and Giuliani by double digits. Gore now matches Hillary's poll numbers versus Giuliani and marginally improves upon her versus McCain.

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Republican Caucus poll in Iowa

An early poll out of Iowa done by a Davenport, Iowa-based firm called Victory Enterprises, has Giuliani up on top in Iowa:
Giuliani  30 
McCain    17.3
Frist      6.5
Romney     4.5
Allen      3.5
Pataki     3.3
Huckabee   2.5
Brownback  2.5
There's still about 30% undecided, and who knows where they might go. PEW's national poll finds Giuliani and McCain also stacked at the top. That's name ID, but who is going to break-out of the pack? Allen seemed likely, but Macaca has got to question his turn at the bend, and it's interesting that James Gilmore, who left a $3 Billion deficit after his 4 years as Governor of Virginia, is now being mentioned as "another slightly-better than mediocre candidate" for the Republicans. But my question on this poll is, where the heck is Newt Gingrich? He just won a straw poll in Minnesota’s state Republican convention with 39 percent, and is usually next in line after Giuliani/McCain/Rice in the national '08 Republican polls.

I keep thinking that we are going to see an evangelical candidate pop in Iowa on the Republican side next year (probably with national netroots evangelical funding as well). Who? Well, Allen would probably have fit the bill, perhaps Romney can crossover, and Huckabee seems a natural for the role, but I'd probably bet on Brownback at this point.

Update [2006-8-22 21:42:54 by Jerome Armstrong]:Looks like the team I root for (Warner) got first in the blind-bio Zogby 2008 poll, edging out Clark; and Gingrich won on the GOP side.

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Giuliani Criticized Over 9/11

A new book coming out about Rudy Giuliani apparently has pretty harsh and valid criticism of Rudy's preparation for and handling of 9/11.  One of the biggest observations made by Ray Kelly, NY Police Commissioner for both Mayors Dinkins and Bloomberg, is the ill fated decision to locate the Emergency Command Center in 7 World Trade Center, right across from the mainly WTC site.  Considering the 1993 attack, that was an extremely  dumb decision and had an impact in dealing with the events of that day.  

Kelly also thinks Bernard Kerik should have been at a command center that day not following Rudy around.

Below is the link the NY Daily News article.

http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/4 42237p-372477c.html

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Giuliani's 9/11 Problem?

Even though Rudy Giuliani doesn't conform to the Republican base on issues of choice, gay rights and gun control, the Chris Matthews of the world believe that the former New York City mayor will nonetheless be able to win over conservatives' support in 2008 because of his strong response to the September 11 attacks. But as Hope Yen of the Associated Press reports, those with the most intimate knowledge of the attacks -- the two leaders of the 9/11 Commission -- are publicly questioning just how well Giuliani responded..

Republican Thomas Kean and Democrat Lee Hamilton also say in "Without Precedent" that their panel was too soft in questioning former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani - and that the 20-month investigation may have suffered for it.

[...]

The questioning of Giuliani was considered by Kean and Hamilton "a low point" in the commission's examination of witnesses during public hearings. "We did not ask tough questions, nor did we get all of the information we needed to put on the public record," they wrote.

The more Americans take look at Rudy Giuliani the more quickly they will realize that he is not the homeland security hero so many believe he is. To take just one example, it was on Giuliani's advice that President Bush nominated Bernie Kerik -- who has since come under intense scrutiny for possible corruption -- to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security.

But as this AP article indicates, questions about Giuliani's homeland security prowess are not limited to his relationship with Kerik. Serious questions remain about Giuliani's preparation -- or lack of preparation -- for a possible terrorist attack in New York City before September 2001, questions that if unanswered in the next two years could trump Americans' positive impressions of him. And anyone who believes Giuliani will be able to march towards the GOP nomination and the White House with outstanding questions about his preparation and response to 9/11 is just plain wrong.

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