RUDY FEELS RELEVANT AGAIN…. Following up on an earlier item, there is one disappointing downside to the Justice Department’s decision to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in federal court. It has nothing to do with national security or the rule of law, and everything to do with Rudy Giuliani pretending to know what he’s talking about.
It’s as predictable as the sunrise — if there’s a news story that relates to 9/11, Giuliani takes up residence in television green rooms. That Giuliani’s 9/11 record is a rather painful and humiliating embarrassment is largely, if not entirely, overlooked.
But now that KSM is headed for a New York courtroom, Giuliani is everywhere again. Tomorrow, Americans will find him on ABC, CNN, and Fox News. Why? Because a few too many network producers are lazy and prefer to maintain the fiction that the former mayor has something worthwhile to say.
Watching Giuliani on Fox News yesterday, Josh Marshall noted, “[I]t’s amazing the utter contempt this man has for the American justice system.” That’s plainly true — Giuliani issued a statement yesterday with tired cliches (“a pre-9/11 mentality”) and banal canards (the administration is “unable to identify and properly define its enemies”). The same statement added, “This is the same mistake we made with the 1993 terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center. We treated them like domestic criminals, when in fact they were terrorists.”
Alex Koppelman explained the gall it took for this clown to make such a statement.
First of all, Giuliani himself celebrated the plotters’ conviction in criminal court back in 1994, saying the verdict “demonstrates that New Yorkers won’t meet violence with violence, but with a far greater weapon — the law.”
Moreover, as mayor, Giuliani was in a unique position to learn from the 1993 bombing and prepare his city for the next terrorist attack. He failed on both counts, with the most obvious evidence of his failure coming in the decision about where to place the city’s emergency command center: He ultimately chose the World Trade Center, which had been bombed only a few years earlier. Giuliani has since tried to put the blame for this on his emergency management director, Jerome Hauer, but Hauer had fought for a site in Brooklyn before caving in to his boss.
Last year, the New York Times revealed a memo prepared by the New York Police Department that revealed the NYPD’s strenuous objections to the choice. They had good reason to be concerned: On 9/11, the command center was useless, and — despite what Giuliani says now — it took hours for him to find a spot that could serve as a backup, Hauer’s previous requests to build a secondary facility having been turned down.
If recent history and common sense had a more relevant role in our public discourse, Giuliani would be a laughingstock. Instead, the media enables him, perpetuating myths news outlets were responsible for creating in the first place.