Rudy and the Terrorists

RUDY AND THE TERRORISTS….Via Jon Chait, Wayne Barrett has a piece in this week’s Village Voice that just rips into Rudy Giuliani’s ceaseless and self-promoting claims that he’s been immersed in terrorism issues practically from the day he entered public service. Here’s a snippet:

In a July appearance at a Maryland synagogue, Giuliani sketched out his counterterrorism biography, a resume that happens to be rooted in falsehood.

“As United States Attorney, I investigated the Leon Klinghoffer murder by Yasir Arafat,” he told the Jewish audience, referring to the infamous 1985 slaying of a wheelchair-bound, 69-year-old New York businessman aboard the Achille Lauro, an Italian ship hijacked off the coast of Egypt by Palestinian extremists. “It’s honestly the reason why I knew so much about Arafat,” says Giuliani. “I knew, in detail, the Americans he murdered. I went over their cases.”

On the contrary, Victoria Toensing, the deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department in Washington who filed a criminal complaint in the Lauro investigation, says that no one in Giuliani’s office “was involved at all.” Jay Fischer, the Klinghoffer family attorney who spearheaded a 12-year lawsuit against the PLO, says he “never had any contact” with Giuliani or his office. “It would boggle my mind if anyone in 1985, 1986, 1987, or thereafter conducted an investigation of this case and didn’t call me,” he adds. Fischer says he did have a private dinner with Giuliani in 1992: “It was the first time we talked, and we didn’t even talk about the Klinghoffer case then.”

The dinner was arranged by Arnold Burns, a close friend of Fischer and Giuliani who also represented the Klinghoffer family. Burns, who was also the finance chair of Giuliani’s mayoral campaign, was the deputy U.S. attorney general in 1985 and oversaw the probe. “I know of nothing Rudy did in any shape or form on the Klinghoffer case,” he says.

The rest of the piece is long, but well worth it if you want chapter and verse on the extent of Rudy’s actual involvement with terrorism prior, during, and after 9/11. Short answer: even if you squint, there’s no there there.

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