Chapter & worse
Book finds plenty to rip Rudy for on 9/11
Daily News Exclusive
BY DAVID SALTONSTALL
DAILY NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani is taking a lot of hits in a new book about 9/11.
Rudy Giuliani's image as America's Mayor is harshly questioned in a new book that takes to task the city's preparedness on 9/11 - with some of the most pointed criticism coming from current Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
Kelly, who was dismissed from the post by Giuliani in 1993 and later reappointed by Mayor Bloomberg, offers several dramatic and remarkable observations in "Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11," by authors Dan Collins and well-known Giuliani critic Wayne Barrett.
Many of the topics Kelly zeroes in on have been documented in the past: Giuliani's decision to locate the city's command center next to Ground Zero, the site of a terror bombing in 1993, archaic radios that kept the NYPD and FDNY from communicating, and the general chaos of the tragic day.
But Kelly is unsparing in his critique, saying of Giuliani's decision to place its Office of Emergency Management Command Center at 7 World Trade Center, "It was just unwise."
"If Giuliani had any sense of the threat, he would have gotten out of the City Hall area," Kelly told Barrett. "He put it right next to a target."
Kelly also expresses shock that Giuliani and his underlings never established a unified command post with top brass from the NYPD, the FDNY and Office of Emergency Management - a step that could have dramatically increased the flow of information between agencies.
"The radios would have been no problem if they had been at the same command post, if they'd been face-to-face," Kelly said. "Giuliani had the power to direct that to happen."
As for then-Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who spent much of 9/11 at Giuliani's side, Kelly says he's still unsure who was actually marshalling the NYPD's response that day.
"I don't know who was directing," said Kelly. "I literally don't."
Giuliani spokeswoman Sunny Mindel declined to comment yesterday on the substance of the book, saying only of a faxed press release from the publisher, "We haven't even read it."
Kelly also declined to comment yesterday.
The book makes extensive use of never-before-published interviews that Giuliani and other key staffers gave privately to the 9/11 commission - interviews that were supposed to remain confidential until 2009.
Last week, in their own book, the chairs of the commission conceded they failed to ask the "tough questions" of Giuliani, given the aura that surrounded his handling of the day.
The authors of "Grand Illusion" also offer passing praise for Giuliani, calling him "a leader and comforter" who "united the city while helping it to imagine a better, stronger future."
posted by Steve @ 12:24:00 AM