Wednesday, August 23, 2006

9/11 'hero' image undone

It's the unexamined question of 9/11: What if Rudy Giuliani wasn't quite the hero everybody thought?

For nearly five years now, we've all lived in the glow of "America's mayor," that soot-covered father figure who rose to meet the greatest challenge of all. Rudy standing firm in the terror aftermath. Rudy guiding a rattled city back to its feet.

There was no denying this much in those early days of confusion: New York's grim-faced mayor looked a whole lot more in charge than America's deer-in-the-headlights president.

But what if Rudy's take-charge image was mostly a load of bravado and PR? What if the actual decisions he made - before, during and after the terror attacks - were directly responsible for the city's inability to deal effectively with crucial aspects of the crisis?

Well, it's about time someone opened that impolite inquiry.

Hold on tight, now! One of the most carefully guarded myths of 9/11 is about to be shattered for good.

"Grand Illusion," the book is called. "The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11." It is written by Wayne Barrett of the Village Voice and Dan Collins of, two of New York's shrewdest investigative reporters. Published this week by HarperCollins, "Grand Illusion" will forever alter how the world sees Rudy Giuliani's place in America's deadliest terror attacks. You can bet national political reporters will be combing though these chapters as the 2008 presidential campaign season revs up.



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