Wednesday, October 24, 2007


By Carl

I love Wayne Barrett, and his writing style, so let me punch this right up:

A 15-page "memorandum for the record," prepared by a commission counsel and dated April 20, 2004, quotes Giuliani conceding that it wasn't until "after 9/11" that "we brought in people to brief us on al Qaeda." According to the memorandum, Giuliani told two commission members and five staffers: "But we had nothing like this pre 9/11, which was a mistake, because if experts share a lot of info," there would be a "better chance of someone making heads and tails" of the "situation." (Such memoranda are not verbatim transcripts of the confidential commission interviews, but are described on the cover page as "100 percent accurate" notes taken by staffers, stamped "commission sensitive/unclassified" on the top of each page.)

Asked about the “flow of information about al Qaeda threats from 1998-2001,” Giuliani said: “At the time, I wasn’t told it was al Qaeda, but now that I look back at it, I think it was al Qaeda.” He also said that as part of one of his post-9/11 briefings, “we had in Bodansky, who had written a book on bin Laden.” Giuliani was referring to Yossef Bodanksy, the author of Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America, which was published in 1999 and predicted “spectacular terrorist strikes in Washington and/or New York.” Giuliani wrote in his own book, Leadership, that Judi Nathan got him a copy of Bodansky’s prophetic work “shortly after 9/11,” and that he covered it in “highlighter and notes,” citing his study of it as an example of how he “mastered a subject.” Apparently, he also invited Bodansky to address key members of his staff.

Giuliani attributed his pre-9/11 shortcomings in part to the FBI, which was run by his close friend (and current endorser) Louis Freeh, and to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, an FBI-directed partnership with the NYPD. "We already had JTTF, and got flow information no one else got," he explained. "But did we get the flow of information we wanted? No. We would be told about a threat, but not about the underlying nature of the threat. I wanted all the same information the FBI had, and we didn't get that until after 9/11. Immediately after 9/11, we were made a complete partner." He added: "Without 9/11, I never would have been able to send an adviser to FBI briefings."

Why is this important?

Well, because you might have heard in his stump speech... wait, let Barrett tell it...

Rudy Giuliani told an audience at Pat Robertson's Regent University: "Bin Laden declared war on us. We didn't hear it. I thought it was pretty clear at the time, but a lot of people didn't see it, couldn't see it." Other tenets of his standard stump speech include the assertion that he's been "studying terrorism" for more than 30 years, and that "the thing that distinguishes me on terrorism is that I have more experience in dealing with it" than the other presidential candidates.

"Clear at the time"? What "time," Rudy? September 12th, when the rest of us had been sitting with that knowledge for 24 hours? Was this before or after you asked for the briefing on al Qaeda, Rudy?

Turns out, his secret testimony was corroborated by then-fire chief Thomas van Essen and disgraced then-police commissioner Bernard Kerik: NO BRIEFINGS ON AL QAEDA PRIOR TO 9/11!

(Cross-posted at Simply Left Behind.)

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  • So is this why Giuliani's membership on the Iraq Study Panel came to an abrupt end last spring? Because the self avowed expert failed to show up for a single official meeting? Is this why the panel's top Republican give him a stark choice: either attend the meetings or quit? Are we talking about the same Giuliani here?

    Giuliani left the Iraq Study Group last May after just two months, walking away from a chance to make up for his lack of foreign policy credentials on the top issue in the 2008 race, the Iraq war.

    He cited "previous time commitments" in a letter explaining his decision to quit. A look at his schedule suggests why -- the sessions at times conflicted with Giuliani's lucrative speaking tour that garnered him $11.4 million in 14 months.

    That's the kind of story that ends a campaign, especially one like Rudy's claim of standing up to terrorism and hanging tough in Iraq.

    Not to mention the 3 state campaign managers who were forced to resign for criminal misconduct, plus his aborted mafia-tied recommendation to head Homeland Security. Can you imagine what his hypothetical presidential cabinet might look like? (Think bar scene from Star Wars.)

    Guiliani has surrounded himself with a gaggle of neo-con advisors. Bottom line: No end to preemptive wars in our lifetime.

    No thank you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:39 PM  

  • Hey Carl. Welcome aboard.

    By Blogger Libby Spencer, at 9:34 PM  

  • Hi, libby, and thanks!

    By Blogger Carl, at 8:38 AM  

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