.Your friends and neighbors no doubt believe that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani— often described by the mass media as “America’s Mayor”—is a big “hero” in the minds of New York city’s firemen and policemen, the front-line protectors who lost many of their brothers during the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. And if your friends and neighbors doubt that, then they need to read Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9-11.
Now in an updated edition, this blockbuster exposé by veteran New York-based journalists Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins, bares the shocking truth about the much-touted former NewYork mayor and demonstrates that, if anything, Giuliani is responsible, at least in part, for the deaths of those Big Apple firemen and policemen who gave their lives on that terrible day.
“This book is going to shatter forever the claim
that Giuliani deserves the gratitude of the people
for what he did on that fateful day and in the
weeks and months that followed. This book could
put an end to Giuliani’s presidential ambitions.”
Let’s address what the firemen and the policemen do say about Giuliani, widespread public misperception notwithstanding. Following the release of the official U.S. government commission report on 9-11, Pat Lynch and Steve Cassidy, heads of the New York City police and fire unions, respectively, were asked by reporter Dominic Carter of NY1 (the local 24-hour news station) if Giuliani deserved to be called “America’s Mayor.”
Cassidy’s response would shock Giuliani admirers across America, had they heard what he said. Cassidy, the chief of the firemen’s union, said, “Absolutely not. Absolutely not. That’s a myth, that is a myth, that is a myth. ‘America’s Mayor’ is a media concept, and I don’t think it’s appropriate.” And Cassidy’s police union counterpart, Lynch, added: “There’s no doubt about it, I agree. New York City police officers and firefighters are the ones that did the real work there.”
In the pages of Grand Illusion, the authors show precisely why the real heroes of 9/11 don’t hold Giuliani in as much esteem as most Americans incorrectly believe. The heretofore untold stories that explain why Giuliani is so reviled by the heroes of 9/11 (and by other 9-11 survivors and the families of 9-11 victims) are outlined in careful detail. This is an extraordinary account of massive corruption and political spin-making of a volume that will make the heads of the average American spin.
The truth is that on the morning of September 11, Giuliani was a lame-duck mayor who was not quite as popular as most Americans now believe. Far from it. However, after the events of 9-11—and the subsequent devoted effort by the mass media to promoting the idea of “Rudy the Hero”—Giuliani’s performance proved to be quite the opposite of what most people believe. Although the NewYork mayor put on a big show for the cameras, what was going on behind the scenes was another story altogether.
As Barrett and Collins prove beyond doubt, not only was New York under Giuliani hardly prepared to deal with the 9-11 tragedy (contrary to legend) but when the disaster itself came upon the city, New York’s finest— firefighters and policemen—lacked the necessary radio equipment that would have helped them respond more effectively. Such equipment was fully available and operational and had they had it on 9-11, far fewer people would have died. The story of the internal bickering surrounding the awarding of the contracts for the radio equipment by the corrupt Giuliani administration is an ugly tale that the authors dissect with accuracy and documentation.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s much, much more in the 402 pages of this staggering work. The list of misdeeds by Giuliani and his regime of cronies, crooks and collaborators is staggering.
Although the mass media generally still pumps up Giuliani’s post 9-11 image, a variety of mainstream reviews acknowledge the value of Grand Illusion as a devastating demonstration that the Giuliani legend is just that: a legend. The Los Angeles Times said that Grand Illusion “punctures a hole in the myth of Giuliani as a praiseworthy terror czar who prepared his city for tragedy.” And even New York’s Daily News praised the book as “an exhaustively researched and unsentimental peek behind the mythology.” For its part, Long Island’s Newsday said that the book “will forever alter how the world sees Rudy Giuliani’s place in America’s deadliest terror attacks.”
While the authors accept the official— and much-disputed—U.S. government version that a small group of boxcutter- wielding Muslim fanatics (inspired by Osama bin Laden) carried out the terrorist attacks, they lay absolute waste to the grand illusion: that Giuliani was the White Knight of 9/11. And what they have to say is going to shatter forever— at least for those who are prepared to swallow the bitter pill—the claim that Giuliani deserves the gratitude of the people for what he did on that fateful day and in the weeks and months that followed. This book could put an end to Giuliani’s presidential ambitions— and that’s good.
(Issue #40, October 1, 2007, AMERICAN