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  • November 2007
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9/11 Firefighters and Families Say Giuliani is No Hero

It’s good to see that this story is finally getting more mainstream media attention.

Appearing on MSNBC’s Live with Dan Abrams, FDNY Deputy Fire Chief Jim Riches and his group, 9/11 Firefighters and Families, are challenging Giuliani’s 9/11 credibility. Riches said: “We are going to follow him around and tell the true story of what happened on 9/11.” … “and get the message out to all of America and every state to let them know that Rudy Giuliani is not Mr 9/11. He’s not a hero. He ran that day.”

Read more and watch the interview: www.crooksandliars.com

An article in the New York Post also quotes Jim Riches:

“Giuliani is running on 9/11 and portraying himself as a hero. It’s disgusting. It’s horrible,” FDNY Deputy Fire Chief Jim Riches said.

“This guy will do anything to get elected.”

“He’s misleading voters and distorting the truth. He didn’t prepare the first responders for a terrorist attack. The Office of Emergency Management was a joke that day. There was a lack of communication. People died unnecessarily.”

Read the full story: www.nypost.com

Jim Riches also appeared on CNN with Wolf Blitzer and was asked if he was trying to “swift boat” Giuliani:

“Let’s get right to the issue,” Blitzer said. “Are you trying to ‘swiftboat’ Rudy Giuliani?”

“No, we’re going to set the record straight on 9/11 and we don’t think he’s the hero he says he was or the leader,” Riches said.

Riches, who lost his son when the Towers collapsed, faults Giuliani for the Fire Department’s faulty radios, a lack of training at the World Trade Center, an inept Office of Emergency Management, and “incompetent and cowardly” police and fire commissioners.

“I take it that you’re thinking of starting what’s called a 527, a committee that would raise money to go after a specific candidate without being involved in any another candidate, is that right?” Blizter asked.

“We’re all from different-, we’re conservatives, we’re Democrats and I voted for Bush and I voted for Giuliani three times,” Riches said, “This is not political, this is strictly about his leadership.”

Riches also rejected claims by the Giuliani campaign that his group was politicizing 9/11.

“Well, that’s a lie because they’ve politicized it from day one and if he wants to run on his record of failure and everything else then let him run on it, but we’re going to set the truth out,” Riches said.

Read more and watch the interviews: rawstory.com

Yet another interesting article compares the rhetoric in Giuliani’s “look at me I’m a great 9/11 hero”ad campaign claims with the realities and it doesn’t look good for “America’s Mayor”:

Read the full story: http://news.yahoo.com

View the short video made by the International Association of Firefighters regarding Giuliani and their view of his 9/11 politicizing and profiteering.

Here’s a link to a video about how the Emergency Management command center ended up in WTC 7 and the role Giuliani played in getting it there:



17 Responses

  1. I am a fireman and a member of the IAFF, but I don’t necessarily agree with the IAFF message.

    True, the buck stops at the mayor’s desk. However, issues like radios aren’t neccessarily handled by the mayor.

    I am no scientist, but I know our department has issues in highrise structures like the WTC, too. Our radios do wierd things like FDNY’s every now and then, also. Radio waves and building materials like concrete do not mix. Nothing is completely safe or perfect in the fire service, and while this is not an excuse for officers and elected officials, you know what you are signing up for when you are hired.

    Will my wife sue the mayor or get involved politically if I die in an incident because the radio wouldn’t transmit in an area where we knew beforehand that it wouldn’t transmit? I told her to use common sense. I don’t necessarilly point blame at Mayor Giuliani in this case. He is not responsible for fire department training and radios.

    If members of my fire department were told to evacuate a structure with hundreds of lives at stake, I guarantee you that many of us would make the sacrifice that many FDNY firemen made on 9/11.

    If Mayor Giuliani did in fact commit a crime or do something untoward following 9/11 then let’s put him on trial. I am all for it. If he did not do these things, then let it be. We must remeber that Rudy Giuliani did not attack us on 9/11, 19 militant Islamists did. This is just my opinion, and the IAFF is entitled to theirs, but I keep in mind that the International Association of Fire Fighters does stand to benefit financially from elections.

  2. Whatever you may say about Giuliani – and this sounds a bit like a swift boats-style smear. I suspect he may be a better choice than an isolationist like Paul.


  3. Thanks for your comments crushnik.

    My question is this: Why did the NYPD radios work and all of the policeman got out of the building safely when the evacuation order came, but the FDNY radios did not work, and all the firefighters in the building didn’t make it out, obviously not hearing the evacuation order? They obviously could have had better, more functional radios but they didn’t. I don’t completely understand how all the bureaucracy works but it seems like the mayor could and should have done something there.

    Also, why did Giuliani lie after 9/11 and say that the 121 firefighters in the WTC got the order to evacuate but they all decided to stay in the building as an act of heroism? Like the video at the end of the post says, most of the firefighters would have left if they got an evacuation order. I don’t think any of them had a death wish, some may may have stayed, but not all 121 — remember, all of the policeman made it out.

    Crushnik, what is your opinion of the 9/11 politicizing coming from Giuliani? He really has ridden his hype as “America’s mayor” straight to the top of presidential campaigning.

    Its also important to realize that these FDNY members are also pointing to lack of effective respirators, Rudy’s “scoop and dump” policy with the firefighters remains, and the fact that Giuliani pulled them off the pile after the gold was found, leaving their fallen brothers’ remains to be “scooped and dumped.”

    I am with you however, this deserves a proper, independent investigation.

  4. yummymummy, Ron Paul is not advocating isolationism, you simply don’t understand the difference between isolationism and noninterventionism.

    It is the foreign policy of candidates like Giuliani, who support pre-emptive wars, that will isolate us as a nation and create more enemies.

  5. Withdrawing from the UN is isolationism Chris. Even I understand that 😉


  6. The UN is not our friend. It is an international governing body that is using the power it has to eliminate the national sovereignty of our country. We do need to withdraw from the UN while we still have some say in our nation’s international policies, and before the UN dissolves our liberties completely.

    The charity, the goodwill, and kindness of the American people has for many years been felt in other countries without the intervention of un-American organizations like the UN. In a perfect world, a global government would be desirable, but we don’t live in a perfect world. Because of this reality, there will always be international forces who are seeking to undermine our nation’s sovereignty, freedom, and peace. We don’t need to be a member of the UN for the US to participate in healthy relations with other countries.

    I, like Ron Paul believe in being heavily involved in international trading, travel, diplomacy, and charitable giving to other countries. We should NOT be involved in international policing, unnecessary wars, and nation-building. This is called non-interventionism, and is the best way to ensure that the US is not isolated from other nations in any way.

    I made a previous post about this kind of non-interventionist foreign policy that Paul supports. It can be found here.

    “The best way to keep the peace [internationally]. . . is for each one to mind his own business, to respect each other’s right to be different (even to act in a way that seems foolish or improper, if he wishes), and to have compassion for each other’s troubles and hardships–but not to force each other to do something! And, to make sure that the others hold to their end of the bargain, each should keep physically strong enough to make any violation of this code unprofitable.”

    The UN is an agent that attempts to FORCE its policies on nations (many of the policies being anti-American), and that is why it will always create more problems than it solves. Neither people, nor nations should be forced to get along, they have to want to do it on their own and be motivated by their own good intentions, otherwise it will be unsuccessful.

  7. Honestly, Chris Anderson, I haven’t researched much into it. What I am careful of (and I am not saying you or anyone else is guilty of doing this) is considering the source. Many of my union brothers are very critical of Giuliani, but I highly doubt that they have done much critical thinking or listened to anything else than IAFF sources.

    I am not carrying anyone’s water here, but this is something I would like to hear both sides of the story on. Whether you buy it or not, I see heavy spin coming from the media with an attempt to marginalize Republicans. (Like about 5 minutes of making fun of Giuliani’s lisp on CBS morning show the other day)

    I will look into this a little further before I stick my neck too far out. I have not seen Giuliani promoting his 9/11 actions directly, but I have been wrong before. The thing about the police radios – I wonder if there may be more to the story. I just draw from our own experience with high-rise structures and our radio – we have problems getting out too. I don’t blame the mayor, I don’t blame the fire chief, it’s physics.

    About the scoop and dump, I wonder what the alternative is – has someone provided an economically realistic solution? Or just criticism?

  8. I agree with you Crushnik, the media hits about Giuliani’s lisp are really uncalled for and pointless.

    This goes for any similar hits on other candidates like how they try to use anti-mormon tactics against Romney or how they try to create racial or gender issues among democratic candidates to create divisiveness.

    These tactics are usually applied somewhat to every candidate and is ridiculous as far as I’m concerned, I want to know the truth about where they stand on the issues and what their track record is. Thats why I feel the truth about the Giuliani situation needs to come out.

    I’m surprised you haven’t seen Giuliani continually bringing up his 9/11 anti-terror stance. I’ve watched most of the GOP debates and he seems to make some kind of connection to 9/11 with everything he says.

    Here’s a short video compilation of his 9/11 references:

    He has definitely politicized his connection to 9/11.

    I will continue to look into this, if you find out anything from other reputable sources, I would love to hear about it.

    As far as finding a more economical alternative to “scoop and dump” I don’t know. It’s just very shady when the operation (the search for survivors/remains) is called off immediately following the recovery of the gold. I’m sure there would have been many volunteers eager and willing to continue the search.

    Again, as one of the contributors here at the blog, I appreciate your unique perspective as a firefighter. You have a very valid point about the fact that firefighters take a risk just doing the job. Your points about the inconsistent nature of radios are well taken.

  9. The U.N. is anti-American, and strongly anti-Semitic. I don’t think that the best way to get the U.N. back on track is to withdraw. If only the Senate would have confirmed John Bolton.

    If we value our culture, then we must maintain our borders. Globalization will strip us of the very things that make America different and great.

    I am for reforming our foreign policy. I like the “international trading, travel, diplomacy, and charitable giving to other countries” you mentioned above. I don’t pretend to wrap my simple mind around something so complex as foreign policy, but my limited experience with Uncle Sam tells me that we need a more common sense approach to our foreign policy. Perhaps somewhere between our current system and non-intervention.

  10. With hindsight, it is easy to say that having the command post in WTC is a bad idea. But I am going to use the “pre 9/11 mentality” here – it was designed to take a 727 impact, we just didn’t see it coming.

    Did he leave the CP? Sure, I don’t see why the mayor needed to stay in there, do you? I wouldn’t.

    All I can do really is post devil’s advocate comments. I watched the MSNBC video with the Chief and Pat Buchanan – I really don’t see anything other than his opponents throwing this out to see if the message sticks. What exactly is the message?

    I will add that I am not a Giuliani hack. I am just a dumb old fireman trying to get to the truth. I see clips of him saying “9/11” without the context, a chief that attacks him for leaving the collapse zone, nothing really tells me what this guy did. It seems like ‘swiftboating’ without a message. If you can set me straight on what I am missing, I would appreciate it.

  11. Radios this, radios that…the point is, the guy gets all this cheap popularity because he happened to be the Mayor of NYC on 9/11. Now all of a sudden he’s this great hero because he was in the right place at the wrong time. Or I guess the right time for him since it has propelled him to stardom.

    It angers me that this two-bit neocon is now touring the country, trying to take credit for what the real heroes of those days did, when — if I remember correctly — he was the one itching to pull the plug on the whole search and rescue operation prematurely.

  12. We do need a foreign policy change. Again, I would direct anyone interested in this to Ron Paul’s website where he discusses his noninterventionist foreign policy, as a transcript of a speech given by Ezra T. Benson about foreign policy.

    As far as the message they’re giving about Giuliani, Crushnik, I think its pretty apparent that they are saying he isn’t the great leader that he claims to be. These were people directly affected by his leadership, or lack thereof. And since he has greatly profited off his 911 speeches all over the country, I am definitely, like Jjack, very bothered by Giuliani using 9/11 to propel him to where he is. But there are many other reasons to dislike Giuliani.

  13. For example, Giuliani has refused to denounce waterboarding as torture:

    When Guiliani was recently asked whether waterboarding is torture he said that it “depends on how it’s done.” Is there a right way to practice simulated drowning on an individual?

    Giuliani recently talked about how he had used similar “intensive questioning” to prosecute the mafia in New York. McCain openly denounced Giuliani’s comments and said: “When someone says waterboarding is similar to harsh interrogation techniques used against the mafia in New York City, they do not have enough experience to lead our military.”

    (This was taken from one of my previous posts, that can be read here in its entirety, there are also links to all the sources of the info)

  14. Giuliani has a much baggage as Senator Clinton does and this is a result of being in politics for more than 2 years…you’re going to upset folks no matter what you do.

  15. I agree, Giuliani does have as much baggage as Hillary Clinton. It is not the automatic result of being in politics for more than 2 years though, it is the result of being a bad leader and doing a lot of dumb, selfish and corrupt things.

  16. […] 9/11 Firefighters and Families Say Giuliani is No Hero Posted November 23, 2007 Appearing on MSNBC�s Live with Dan Abrams, FDNY Deputy Fire Chief Jim Riches and his group, 9/11 Firefighters and Families, are challenging Giuliani�s 9/11 credibility. […]

  17. Here’s an article that says: “Giuliani billed obscure agencies for trips”


    If its true (right now it appears to be based on NY documents obtained by Politico.com) it should be a definite reason for concern, its not exactly legal.

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