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What's the Frequency, Rudy?

The next installment of The Real Rudy is out and it is even more damning than the first. For it highlights the failure of the Giuliani administration to address an issue that had persisted for nearly a decade: inadequate radios for first responders.

Ever since the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, Giuliani knew that the radios used by police and firemen were not up to the task of responding to large scale emergencies. It wasn't until 2001 that they finally got around to correcting the problem. Unfortunately, the natural Republican inclination toward cheap fixes and cronyism resulted in a sweetheart no-bid contract deal that provided untested equipment that later had to be recalled. First responders were forced to go back to using the old radios which again failed them on 9/11.

You can view the video here. For me, the most telling part is the scene in which Giuliani, testifying before Congress, praised the police and firemen who died that day for "standing their ground." Of course the "ground" to which he alluded was the tons of steel and concrete which eventually collapsed beneath their feet. Not surprisingly such a callous remark elicited howls from the audience, many of whom were loved ones of said responders.

The moment is telling because it shows that even back then, Giuliani's authoritarian complex was evident. Throughout his bid for the presidency, Rudy has sought to position himself as the only one capable of responding to the terrorist threat, as the only one with true leadership abilities. He envisions himself a general in this "war" and thus the first responders who died on 9/11 were merely the first casualties in the "terrorist's war on us" as he likes to call it.

But these were not a brigade of Marines or Army troops. They were not trained to kill but save lives and they did so admirably that day. That more of them may have died because Rudy failed to properly provide them with adequate equipment only makes his words all the more egregious because to a true general, the welfare of those he commands is paramount. That Rudy would not see the blatantly obvious is only evidence of how out of touch he really is.

In other words, he's perfect to carry on the Bush legacy.

More from Digby and Jane Hamsher.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

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