Rudy's 9/11 Radio Problem, Investigation Urged

Rudy Giuliani, who's running for President primarily on his record as Mayor of New York City during the 9/11 attacks, takes another hit today from The Real Rudy and Brave New Films.

Watch the new video. The firefighters on 9/11 were carrying the same piss-poor radios that malfunctioned during the 1993 WTC attacks. That's why the firefighters didn't get the call to get out of the buildings. More than 100 firefighters died. As Digby explains:

Giuliani came into office in 1994, shortly after the first WTC attack. He knew then that the radios didn't work properly and yet it took him seven years to deal with the problem. And when he finally got around to it, he gave Motorola a sweetheart, no-bid contract for radios that were never tested in advance. When the NYFD got them, they didn't work and they had to be reissued the same radios that had proved inadequate in 1993.

That's why, on September 11th, the firefighters didn't hear the warnings to get out of the buildings. The cops heard them. They mostly got out. Their radios could get the right frequency. The firefighters' old radios couldn't.

Rudy's history as a Mayor who failed to provide adequate emergency preparedness needs investigation. It also needs exposure. Who needs a leader of the United States who couldn't even provide for his city's first responders as Mayor?


Sign the Petition. It seeks an investigation of:

  • Why was nothing done to improve FDNY radio performance for seven years after a clear need was demonstrated in the 1993 World Trade Center attack?
  • When new radios were finally ordered, why did the city block other companies besides Motorola from bidding on the contract?
  • Once Motorola was given the contract, why did its cost jump from $1.4 million to $14 million?
    Why were these new radios never tested?

Eric Goia is the New York City councilman with authority to call for the investigation being requested by firefighters and others. Sign the petition.

There's more background on Rudy's five 9/11 lies here. And it's not just the radios.

Giuliani never forced the police and fire departments to abide by clear command-and-control protocols that squarely put one service in charge of the other during specified emergencies. Though he collected $250 million in tax surcharges on phone use to improve the 911 system, he diverted this emergency funding for other uses, and the 911 dispatchers were an utter disaster that day, telling victims to stay where they were long after the fire chiefs had ordered an evacuation, which potentially sealed the fates of hundreds. And, despite the transparent lessons of 1993, Giuliani never established any protocols for rooftop or elevator rescues in high-rises, or even a strategy for bringing the impaired and injured out—all costly failings on 9/11.

Update: Here's the NIST report on emergency response operations (pdf).

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  • Display: Sort:
    He Is A Fake (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by squeaky on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 05:23:02 PM EST
    NYC would have ridden him out on a rail were everyone not so traumatized.  The poor treatment was all about contracts for his private army: the NYC police. During the cleanup he froze out firefighters wanting to dig up their dead colleagues in order to pass on overtime perks to the police who only saw it as financial gain.

    Squeaky - they didn't have to (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by scribe on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 05:35:36 PM EST
    his term was set to expire on 1/1/02, so he only had a couple months to go.  What really set New Yorkers off was, during the night of 9/11 (after cancelling the elections which were to have been held that day - either a primary or a school board election, I forget which), how his people floated the idea of his staying on in office as Mayor, to "help out" with transition during this difficult time.

    That trial balloon fell with about as much force as both towers, showing as it did exactly what he was about.


    I was there (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 05:55:27 PM EST
    I know the blow by blow. My point was that NYers were ready to ride the MFer out on rail, with tar and feathers. After his term was up, or before.

    I was shocked by his his attempt to suspend elections and was worried that NYers would in their PTSD stupor let the fascist have his way. Everyone woke up quickly and immediately saw through his con and said bye bye to the Ghoul.


    Fair enough - (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by scribe on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 06:04:31 PM EST
    as of 9/10/01 the NYers I know were livid at his continuing to hold office in the face of Amadou Diallo's bullet-riddled corpse, Abner Louima's sodomized insides, and all the rest of the atrocities (those 2 come to mind quickest) his administration foisted on NYC, and nothing in the next couple days did anything to really change that.  We're talking on the same page, you and I, but I opine it is important to not omit the details - they give a lot more substance to the discussion.

    tourettes (none / 0) (#6)
    by manys on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 06:11:58 PM EST
    That's why all he says is "9-11" all the time, if there was a spotlight shone on his tenure as mayor the rats would come keriking out.

    Yes (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 11:02:03 PM EST
    Guiliani Time; false arrests aka 'let the judge figure it out'; quality of life crimes,  In 1992 742 marijuana possession arrests; by 2000 more than 52,000 mj arrests; racist
    .....the list goes on. It is a game for GUiliani and winning is all that matters. Worse than BUsh, which is hard to imagine.

    Today's NYT, front page, below the fold. (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 05:58:39 PM EST
    Rudy is still the hero mayor on the stump.

    Hey... Don't pick on Rudy. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 06:19:41 PM EST
    Rudy is part of history. Where he belongs...

    I doubt that he is a POS (none / 0) (#8)
    by Michael Gass on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 10:45:58 PM EST
    would be debated by anyone who has been awake for the past 6 years.

    While there are many things (five? six? from above alone) that we can discuss, the one that jumps out to me quite quickly is the lack of providing adequate radios to the fire department.

    After 9/11, many agencies saw they need to communicate with each other, but, some were doing it before 9/11.  But, the fire fighters couldn't even communicate between themselves!    

    Now, it COULD be debated whose fault that is; Giuliani's or Motorola's... or even the fire fighting commander.  What cannot be debated is that this is unacceptable.

    I was on the road when 9/11 happened, and, after 9/11, I was the liaison between my department and other agencies bomb technicians/K-9 bomb units.  I spent little time on the road after 9/11 and lots of time doing bomb duties.  There were many in my department, including me and my entire shift, who begged our department commander to send us to New York so we could help.

    But, this is clearly a failure of EVERYONE... the fire fighter supervisors, the fire fighter commanders, Giuliani, AND Motorola!  There is enough blame here to go around to everyone.

    • The supervisors should have been aware the radios were inadequate, and, they should have pushed harder to get good radios.

    • The FF commander should have been aware his fire fighters had bad equipment and should have been pushing to get the right equipment.

    • Giuliani should have pushed Motorola to provide the right equipment, or, have gone with another company ASAP.

    • Motorola should have had the problem fixed ASAP.

    Yes, there is much blame to go around... but... getting the equipment you need as a department falls TO the department.  I can only guess that this issue wasn't pushed harder for the same reason those in power don't push these issues; political reasons.

    I can't help but wonder (none / 0) (#10)
    by A DC Wonk on Tue Oct 16, 2007 at 01:51:11 PM EST
    ... whether radios weren't ordered for the same reason that lots of infrastructure doesn't get fixed, leading to bridges evenutally collapsing, and etc . . .