Rudy Giuliani is a fraud using his false reputation as the hero of 9/11 to win his way to the presidency, according to a scathing documentary released yesterday by the International Association of Fire Fighters. The IAFF accuses the Mayor of mishandling the attack and being more concerned with his reputation than its victims. They hope the film will convince members of the union to vote for another candidate come election time. As IAFF President Harold Schaitberger explains in the film’s opening minutes: “Rudy Giuliani has used a horrible event, September 11th, 2001, to create a carefully crafted persona. But the fact is, what Rudy portrays is not a full picture of the decisions made that led, in our view, to the unnecessary deaths of our FDNY members and the attempt to stop the dignified recovery of those lost. The urban legend of America’s Mayor needs to be balanced by the truth.”
The 13-minute video, titled Rudy Giuliani: An Urban Legend, is both biting and emotional, interspersing footage of the attacks with interviews with firefighters and family members of those who were killed. According to the film, Giuliani knowingly equipped firefighters with defective radios, which prevented them from hearing orders to evacuate the North Tower and led to more than 100 deaths. It also accuses Giuliani of scaling back recovery efforts once $200 million in gold was recovered from bank vaults in the debris, and criticizes him for moving the city’s emergency command center to the World Trade Center after it was first attacked by terrorists in 1993. The $70,000 film was paid for by money raised by the union’s political action committee.
The Giuliani campaign has responded with press releases highlighting his support of the FDNY and accusing the IAFF of being nothing more than a pro-Democrat partisan organization. A Giuliani spokesman, Mike McKeon, criticized the union leaders, saying they make “Michael Moore look like Edward R. Murrow.” A retired city firefighter defended the former mayor: “It’s unfortunate but not surprising that the IAFF union bosses have once again taken the low road in a move clearly out of step with their membership…Fortunately, rank and file firefighters know the difference between politics and leadership.”