"Given a choice between protecting American civilians and protecting the client regimes that sponsor and coddle those who murder them, the Bush Administration has taken the second option every time. This seems to me impeachable in the profoundest sense of the term." So says Christopher Hitchens in this week's issue of The Nation, criticizing the catering to the Saudi princes* that occurred before and after the massive intelligence failure that was 9/11. I'm glad that Hitchens is finally waking up to how the Bushites put the interests of their business buddies ahead of the lives of Americans--he actually uses the "I"-word!--after he wasted energy the last couple of months bashing Chomsky, Sontag, et al. Now, if he could just extend his own logic to the War Against Afghanistan (which he supported) and see that it was also a case of Bush "taking the second option..."

Also, as long as we're being unpatriotic, isn't it interesting how Mayor Giuliani's "bold, humane leadership" post-9/11 (I wasn't watching TV, so to me he was the same authoritarian sonofabitch he was before the disaster) took attention away from his huge blunder in building a $15 million Emergency Command post inside the World Trade Center? Person of the Year indeed. He owed the city leadership, after that act of swell-headed hubris put us at risk of having no governance whatsoever.

*Even the Wall Street Journal thinks that "Riyadh is at the root of much evil."

- tom moody 1-06-2002 7:38 am

hitchens uses the "i" word alot as in "i think this" and "i like the sound of my own voice especially when its exercised." maybe next week he will find a way to blame clinton for his dog buddy's untimely demise. speaking of which, abc was kind enough in their week in review segment this morning to inform america that buddy had no progeny because the clintons had had him neutered. i cant imagine why they might bring that up?

as for guiliani, his aborted attempt to stretch out his mayoralty and his last minute effort to give billionaires an extra billion for baseball stadiums should tell you where his priorities lie. as for his busted bunker, i have a notion as to why he chose that location which at least has it make some sense, even if it ultimately was shortsighted. youll have to check out my premium content section for more info on that.

as an addendum, john mclaughlin in his year end roundup called guiliani the best mayor ever. anywhere, anytime. and for his new years resolution he said he would engage in 'less' clinton bashing in the future although he did so at least once during the show.
- dave 1-06-2002 3:17 pm

New York magazine just did a profile on John O'Neill, the ex-FBI, WTC security chief who died on 9/11. It's vintage NY, combining politics with obnoxious, high-end consumerism ("He'd invariably be dressed in dark blue pin-striped Burberry suits with white shirts and ties, his jet-black hair slicked back, his feet in size 9 1/2 Bruno Magli shoes, his ear to a cell phone, his hands fiddling with a BlackBerry with intelligence contacts organized by country--Saudi Arabia, Yemen, England, Spain, France--many of whom he'd escort to Elaine's when they came to town..."). In the article, O'Neill tells a friend, concerning Arab freedom fighters' intentions regarding the WTC: "They'll never stop trying to take down those two buildings."

So, don't you think Giuliani would have to have heard, or intuited, this bit of wisdom, at Elaine's or elsewhere? The point of building a "command center" was to get leaders out of City Hall, which was considered far too vulnerable during an emergency. Moving it to an even more vulnerable place seems like pure ego on the part of the ex-Mayor--daring the Arabs to knock the chip off his shoulder with an entire city at risk. I'd be curious to hear even a shortsighted rationale for the project, if you'd care to divulge (or repeat?) premium content over here.
- tom moody 1-06-2002 9:09 pm

Here's a complete guess:

It was a marketing move. Maybe some big tenant who is very important to NYC was making noises about the WTC being a terrorist target. Maybe they were threatening to move to Jersey City or something. So along with the tax cuts that this gambit seems to bring, maybe the mayor thought up this brilliant move as some sort of reassurance. "There's no danger - I have my fucking command center there!"

No, I don't really believe this is true but it's the only thing I could think of.
- jim 1-06-2002 9:42 pm

That makes sense. The WTC was 100 percent leased right before 9/11, for the first time in its history. Having the Mayor in the building may have given a sizeable number of tenants the confidence to lease and/or stay put. I guess we should do some research.
- tom moody 1-06-2002 9:54 pm

maybe new york magazine didnt read maureen dowd today. shame on them for their self indulgence. but its a bad time for me to dis new york because aka is featured in this weeks issue.

as for guiliani, lets just say he wanted to hang out with the cool kids in the neighborhood. dont get me wrong, im not saying the decision wasnt stupid but i might have an idea of why he wanted to be there.
- dave 1-06-2002 10:15 pm

a couple of points. I'm not certain the wtc was fully 100% leased out. When we left a couple of months prior, there were 3 spaces on my floor alone. They had been bragging about all the dot-coms and long distance telephone jobbers banging down their doors a few more months back. On the other hand, our rent had been practically doubled in the last two years (raised up to $53.00 per sq foot). Also, during his term as governor, Cuomo kept conventional (non bunkered) offices midlevel in number two.
- bill 1-07-2002 4:25 am

I think we can also blame our ex-Mayor for the destruction of 7 World Trade Center, although this Times article is ultimately too timid to spell it out. Inspectors now state conclusively what they only suspected 3 months ago--that huge diesel fuel tanks for the Mayor's Command Center's emergency generators caught fire on 9/11 and melted the steel truss-beams that held up the building.
- tom moody 3-05-2002 6:16 pm

why dont england havbillionaires?
- anonymous (guest) 5-14-2002 4:24 pm

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