Thursday, June 07, 2007

People's News Network


Laurie said...


I'd like to talk with you more about your views toward Giuliani and his performance after 9/11, including what you think Clinton failed to do.

beakerkin said...

I am more than happy do discuss whatever you wish.

Do note that Hillary was booed by the firefighters. Hillary also concocted a story about Chelsea jogging in front of the WTC that has proven false.

According to Stephen Brill she did not attend a single funeral for any 9-11 victims. Moreover, her efforts paled in any comparison to Charles Schumer. Brill is no right winger and is not easily discounted.

Most visitors use the Beak Speaks but you may use this blog or direct me to a post on your own.

I also want to point out that as we
look back on things at a distance we forget the panic and mood of the city. If you want to critcize Rudy's positions this is okay. However, even his harshest critics including Lynne Sammuels, Ron Kuby and yes even Hillary Clinton praised his leadership and effort.

Laurie said...

I don't disagree with you at all regarding his performance the day of and several days after the attacks. Giuliani showed more capability, eloquence, sensitivity, and general know-how than our own president, in my opinion. I applauded his reaction, in fact. It's these latest declarations of his regarding his preparedness for the attacks, when it because clear soon after that the firefighters and policemen were poorly equipped to handle such a crisis.

(Actually, the Fire Fighters Union has just released a new video citing Giuliani's specific failures before and after 9/11. See it here. I know you said "those who were there" didn't see it my way, but that's a difficult argument to make with the kind of negative press he's getting from the people who were most definitely there.

You also mentioned that Clinton did nothing after the '93 bombing. Yet, all of the terrorists found responsible for the attack have been tried, convicted, and are serving life sentences in prison. Meanwhile, the financier behind 9/11 is still at large and making threats against our country almost 6 years later. The latest government report says that al Qaeda is at its strongest since 9/11.

Richard Clarke said in his book Against All Enemies that both he and Clinton attempted to stress the importance of catching bin Laden and his al Qaeda associates to Bush when he first began his term as president. Bush and the big wigs, instead, were more focused on Iraq, a country that was not a threat to us until we invaded preemptively.

Regarding the missed opportunity Clinton had to catch bin Laden, I've seen the interview in which he admits to it. I'd ask you to read about a similarly missed opportunity, this time by the Bush administration. For me, it's difficult to maintain that Clinton is solely responsible for what happened on 9/11 when there was another man in office.

beakerkin said...


Bill Clinton never visited the WTC in 1993. The mere fact was that treating the matter as a typical crime ignored the larger problem. Ramzi Youssef was caught and tried but the investigation did not examine who his superiors were. In essence it stopped at Al Queda middle management.

The fire union has forgotten that at the time the sole thing on anyones mind was to find their fellow firefighters. Moreover, the notion that Rudy Guliani has a crystal ball and could prepare to have ample respirators for such a contingency is folly. Rudy is not a fortune teller. Moreover, even Hillary Clinton hailed his performance.

Rudy calmed and led a city that was beset with wild rumors an in Chaos. Any examination of his role
shows leadership and skilled organizational abilities.

The vast majority of NYC residents know and appreciate the job Rudy did on 9-11 and after. In fact when Andrew Cuomo questioned his performance in a campaign for another office his candidacy sunk like a rock.

Richard Clarke at various times says various things. Who knows what Richard Clarke will state tommorow. I do not blame Bill Clinton entirely for 9-11. However, those that blame George Bush are off base as he was in office mere months.

The sad part is that government tends to drag its feet and this goes beyond Clinton or Bush. It is just the nature of government.

Rudy did as well as anyone could have under the circumstances.

Laurie said...

"Bill Clinton never visited the WTC in 1993."

I'm sorry--do you mean to imply that all would be well in your mind had Clinton visited the site? (I personally can't recall whether or not he did. Too young and caught up in the drama of school to have been bothered with politics at that time in my life.) I agree that the president's presence at the site of a national disaster is crucial, not only out of respect for victims, but also for morale of the country. However, I don't think mere presence in and of itself is deserving of accolades, or of absolution from missteps and failings. Clinton most certainly should have been at the site of the '93 WTC bombing, but the fact that Bush and Giuliani were there for the '01 disaster doesn't give them a free hall pass.

"Moreover, the notion that Rudy Guliani has a crystal ball and could prepare to have ample respirators for such a contingency is folly. Rudy is not a fortune teller."

I agree with you 100%. It is Giuliani who claims these abilities, not I:

"I thought it was pretty clear at the time, but a lot of people didn't see it, couldn't see it."

If it was so clear to Rudy at the time, how does he explain the following:

"The New York City Fire Department issued a report on communication devices after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing showed that the department's hand-held radio devices were wholly inadequate....when the FDNY responded to the 9/11 attacks, it was using the analog radios that "performed poorly" during the 1993 bombings. As a result, more than 200 firefighters in the north tower did not receive an evacuation call on their radios. 'We're saying he had eight years to solve that problem,' says Steadman.... [F]irefighters working at the World Trade Center did not receive respirators as they should have according to state labor law, leaving them exposed to serious and sometimes fatal pathogens."

What happened to all of that clarity Giuliani said he felt after the '93 bombing? He said it was clear this was al Qaeda's declaration of war, but doesn't someone so sure of eminent war prepare his warriors?

"I do not blame Bill Clinton entirely for 9-11. However, those that blame George Bush are off base as he was in office mere months."

Clinton was inaugurated on January 20 of '93. Does this mean you lay the blame for the February '93 WTC bombing at Bush 41's feet? Bush 43 took office 9 months before the '01 disaster.

Please read the following from Against All Enemies:

"When Clinton left office many people, including the incoming Bush administration leadership, thought that he and his administration were overly obsessed with al Qaeda."--p. 225

"As I briefed [Condi] Rice on al Qaeda, her facial expression gave me the impression that she had never heard the term before, so I added, 'Most people think of it as Usama bin Laden's group, but it's much more than that. It's a network of affiliated terrorist organizations with cells in over fifty countries, including the U.S.' Rice looked skeptical."--p. 229

"Within a week of the inauguration I wrote to Rice and Hadley asking 'urgently' for a Principals, or Cabinet-level, meeting to review the imminent al Qaeda threat. Rice told me that the Principals Committee, which had been the first venue for terrorism policy discussions in the Clinton administration, would not address the issue until it had been 'framed' by the Deputies. I assumed that meant an opportunity for the Deputies to review the agenda. Instead, it meant months of delay."--p. 231

"On September 4, 2001, the Principals Committee meeting on al Qaeda that I had called for 'urgently' on January 25 finally met."--p.237

Michael Scheuer, Richard Clarke, George Tenet, and Paul O'Neill have all come forward (some belatedly, of course) about this administration's drive for a war with Iraq, despite the intelligence regarding the imminent al Qaeda threat, which no one seemed interested in. How is that excusable? Dubya had 9 months to listen to and appropriately respond to the al Qaeda threat, and he did nothing. This is why I lay at least SOME of the blame at his feet.

"The sad part is that government tends to drag its feet and this goes beyond Clinton or Bush. It is just the nature of government."

After Katrina, I never became more convinced of this fact. We agree 100% here.

beakerkin said...

The Clinton Administration is directly to blame for the failure to look beyond Al Queda middle management in 93. The notion that this was part of something larger was not considered. Terrorism is assymetrical warfare and needs to be treated as such. Clinton was so hard on terrorism he pardoned FALN members to get votes for his wife.

We can take any emergency and pick out a single flaw or two like the radios. These are part of many choices that go into and out of budgets A terror strike unlike earthquakes and huricanes are just part of the new reality we deal with every day.

As far as Katrina the problem goes to local government. The Big Dig in MA and bridges to nowhere took a greater priority than protecting NO. I was one of many workers who volunteered to go into NO.

Richard Clarke blows with whatever direction the wind blows. Moreover it is folly for those who blame Bush for 9-11.

Rudy's performance was hailed world wide. The team Rudy assembled was skilled and professional, despite Kerik's legal problems. The entire world including far left NYC natives like Ron Kuby, Lynne Samuels praised his efforts. Hillary Clinton also praised Rudy's leadership.

He did the best he could with the cards dealt to him. If a career critic like Ron Kuby praised his leadership at the time rest assured there was good reason.

Hillary is not as popular in NYC as you presume. I was in attendance at Shea Stadium in a Yankee met game and an ad came on the scoreboard for Hillary's book.
The boos were so loud the ad was pulled before it was over. Hillary
is never seen at any sporting event except tennis. She is affraid of the headlines another booing will cause. Charles Schumer somehow manages not to get booed.

I do not blame Clinton specifically for 9-11. However, far more of the blame lies at his feet than at GWB's. Moreover, his cabinet was a joke with the exception of Richardson and Reich.
Janet Reno was a disaster and her appointment was more tied to Hillary than Bill.

Terrorism was not Bill Clinton's priority He was more interested in self promotion than actually doing anything. All politicians self promote, but Bill Clinton was far and away the worst A person that takes a poll as to where to vacation is not my idea of a leader. Clinton marketed himself like a consumer product.

Laurie said...

I'm not in any way purporting that Clinton did all he could to thwart future al Qaeda attacks, but suggesting he did nothing is equally as erroneous, in my opinion. He failed to get bin Laden. The current administration has been just as successful.

"We can take any emergency and pick out a single flaw or two like the radios."

But this flaw, present 9 years before it was repeated, was never remedied, and cost the lives of firefighters and civilians. That's some flaw.

"As far as Katrina the problem goes to local government. The Big Dig in MA and bridges to nowhere took a greater priority than protecting NO. I was one of many workers who volunteered to go into NO."

I took care of countless patients who came to our hospital, about 50 miles southeast of New Orleans. They literally arrived in bus loads, and we heard stories too horrific for any person to have endured. When it became clear that this disaster was beyond the scope of local and even state government, our federal government should have quickly enacted to restore order and needed supplies to N.O. That didn't happen. If the president claims that his job is to protect American citizens, he should start at home.

"Richard Clarke blows with whatever direction the wind blows. Moreover it is folly for those who blame Bush for 9-11."

I've never heard Clarke veer from his initial stance on the war in Iraq and pre-9/11 intelligence. Could you provide some quotes of his, maybe, that contradict the ones I listed? Also, does Bush get a free pass for 9/11 because he's a Republican? I'm still trying to ascertain why you lay the majority of blame for 9/11 at Clinton's feet, but none at Bush 41's for the '93 bombing.

"Hillary is not as popular in NYC as you presume."

I never once mentioned Hillary, mostly because I don't like her. I also never presumed she was popular in NYC. As a matter of fact, I liken Hillary's popularity in NYC to Celine Dion's in Canada--neither wants anything to do with them.

beakerkin said...

Lets start off with the radios. The problems with the radios were largely specific to the WTC. All of the papers ran the folly of the
93 blast. The papers ran stories in the aftermath how it would take an atomic bomb to bring down the WTC. This image of cartoon terorist was bolstered by the comedic way in that the case was broken. A man tried to reclaim a 500 dollar deposit on the van used to carry the explosives. The next image we saw was the incoherent Sheik Rahman commonly known as Sheik Santa Claus.

The notion that the buildings would or could fall on that day was largely absent from my mind as I rubbernecked. The second plane hit and I was thrown to the floor and dazed. A woman crashed and exploded like a water balloon and that caused me to join the human stampede. It was not the notion that the buildings could fall that caused me to run. I had plenty of company, but that is to be expected.

In the years between 1993 and 2001 the radios were not a priority. Moreover, nobody on the City Council that is almost entirely Democratic brought the subject up.
The priorities were contracts for city employees and crime,

Remember Rudy came into the city on the wake of a three day riot in Crown Heights. Crime was going through the roof, companies were leaving and there were sections of NYC that really were war zones.

Rudy came into NYC with a can do attitude and fixed things. The Crown Heights riots swept him in.
With all the genuine problems and there were very serious problems the radios did not even rate a mention. This is largely a manufactured issue brought up by people who do not comprehend how NYC works and lived through the event. Nobody could have planned for that day.

I will looke for some articles of the many versions of Richard Clarke. Do note Clarke also has a vested interest in changing his accounts.

The main problem was the 93 blast should have never been treated as a crime. The investigation stopped with Ramzi Youseff and did not look for anything larger. The only connection to GW Bush is that key doccuments used by the FBI in the assasination of Meir Kahane were untranslated until after the 1993 blast. The notion that that was part of a larger crime also went unexplored. You can read about that part in the book by Laurie Mylroie who worked for Bill Clinton. I am not convinced of the
rest of her theories.

I do not blame Clinton for 9-11. However, if any President does get the blame it would have to be Bill Clinton.

beakerkin said...

If you look under the criticism section under Richarde Clarke it refers to a Time Magazine interview
that states there was no plan to Capture Osama handed down by the Clinton administration. Moreover at the time he was in the Clinton Administration he was pushing the Saddam Al Queda link like Mylroie.

He has also been critcized by Michael Schuer noted anti-semite from the left.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

C'mon Laurie.

Osama Bin Laden would have been sooooo busted in the 1990s and run up a pole by the Clinton Administration if only he had been downloading Metallica songs from Napster.

But, the Clinton administration was saavy enough to understand the intelligence gathered on Al Qaeda to include this...

3. Al Qaeda has functioned both on its own and through some of the
terrorist organizations that have operated under its umbrella,
including: the Islamic Group (also known as "al Gamaa Islamia" or
simply "Gamaa't"), led by co-conspirator Sheik Oxar Abdal Rahman; the
al Jihad group based in Egypt; the "Talah e Fatah" ("Vanguards of
conquest") faction of al Jibad, which was also based in Egypt, Which
faction was led by co-conspirator Ayman al Zawahiri ("al Jibad");
Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a number of Jihad groups in other
countries, including Egypt, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia,
Eritrea, Kenya, Pakistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon,
the Philippines, Tajikistan, Chechnya, Bangladesh, Kashmir and
Azerbaijan. In February 1998, Al Qaeda joined forces with Gamaa't, Al
Jihad, the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh and the "Jamaat ul Ulema e
Pakistan" to issue a fatwah (an Islamic religious ruling) declaring
war against American civilians worldwide under the banner of the
"International Islamic Front for Jibad on the Jews and Crusaders."

4. Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in
the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist
group Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their
perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States.
In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of
Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on
particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al
Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq. Osama Bin Laden's 1998 federal grand jury indictment.

Laurie said...

"The problems with the radios were largely specific to the WTC."

If that's the case, and the '93 bombing took place in the WTC, why wasn't the acquisition of new radios a top priority, especially when the fire fighters made it known to state and local government officials that the old ones were unfit for their purposes?

"The notion that the buildings would or could fall on that day was largely absent from my mind as I rubbernecked."

Even those of us watching from our televisions never imagined they'd fall. Nevertheless, given that this group of terrorists had managed to fly two commercial airliners into the two tallest buildings in the world, no one should have put beyond their capability bringing them down, if through no other means, with secondary explosives.

"The second plane hit and I was thrown to the floor and dazed. A woman crashed and exploded like a water balloon and that caused me to join the human stampede."

I can't even imagine what it was like to be there on that horrific day.

"The investigation stopped with Ramzi Youseff and did not look for anything larger."

The Clinton administration knew far more about al Qaeda than did the Bush administration when it was coming in. In fact, Clinton was the first president in several decades to fund a major program for homeland defense. You repeatedly say that blaming Bush at all for 9/11 is folly, but you don't quite say how.

I'm going to look into the Clarke interview you cited. Thanks.

beakerkin said...

The most comprehensive book on the subject of the WTC 93 blast is the book by Laurie Mylroie. While one need not endorse her claim that Ramzi Youseff was an Iraqi Intelligence Officer, it is clear that the investigation stopped at Yousef.

The claim that the Clinton administration knew more than the Bush administration about Al Queda is dubious as the sole action taken by Bill Clinton was in the midst of impeachment. There was some talk that bombing an asprin factory and a mosque and a tent was Wag the dog at the time.

Most people do not comprehend the size and complexity of NYC. The problems with the radios were not an every day problem. Those problems were confined to the WTC.
Moreover, no member of the overwhelmingly Democratic City Council Championed the project. The budget comes from the Council and includes the boro Presidents.

In a city as large as NYC with as many major problems as Rudy inherited this was not a top priority nor did the Firefighters Union itself or the Policeman's Union make a huge deal. I listened to their representatives on Talk Radio and the subject was never brought up. The head of the PBA was a regular on local talk radio. The Firemens Union was on talk radi many times.

This is not something that was considered a priority. Items for the emergency services that served the city as a whole took greater priority. As stated before the death toll in the 93 blast was fairly low.

The 93 event was largely forgottenwithin two years save those of us who were there. The comparitively low death toll combined with the cartoon like Jihadis lulled everyone into complacency. However, to single out Rudy on this issue given the enormity of his job is just wrong.

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mynameismax said...


Ducky's here said...

Notice how Beakerdope thinks he's an expert on the intelligence gathering after the first WTC bomb. It would be nice if he explained his credentials.

Now go give Governor Squeegee Man a big kiss, Beak.