The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, August 10, 2007

Bizarroworld's Mayor

In the presidential race, Giuliani has already used several elections' worth of "I'm the hero of 9/11." But, shameless and cynical though it may be, it's now the official strategy of the GOP.

Speaking to reporters in Cincinnati, Giuliani said: "I was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. ... I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them."

New Yorkers have been getting angrier and angrier about this for the last six years, and have no problem pointing out that his whole 9/11 schtick is a pantsload.

Michael Palladino, head of the Detectives Endowment Association, the union of NYPD detectives, told the Associated Press that the mayor's record can't compare to those who spent 12 months sifting through toxic debris for evidence and human remains.

And we're only going to see more articles like this one as the primaries draw closer.

'I think the thing that distinguishes me on terrorism is, I have more experience dealing with it.' This pillar of the Giuliani campaign—asserted by pundits as often as it is by the man himself—is based on the idea that Rudy uniquely understands the terror threat because of his background as a prosecutor and as New York's mayor. In a July appearance at a Maryland synagogue, Giuliani sketched out his counterterrorism biography, a resume that happens to be rooted in falsehood.

"As United States Attorney, I investigated the Leon Klinghoffer murder by Yasir Arafat," he told the Jewish audience, referring to the infamous 1985 slaying of a wheelchair-bound, 69-year-old New York businessman aboard the Achille Lauro, an Italian ship hijacked off the coast of Egypt by Palestinian extremists. "It's honestly the reason why I knew so much about Arafat," says Giuliani. "I knew, in detail, the Americans he murdered. I went over their cases."

On the contrary, Victoria Toensing, the deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department in Washington who filed a criminal complaint in the Lauro investigation, says that no one in Giuliani's office "was involved at all." Jay Fischer, the Klinghoffer family attorney who spearheaded a 12-year lawsuit against the PLO, says he "never had any contact" with Giuliani or his office.

And that's only the opening volley. Recommended.