New Film Exposes How Rudy Failed Firefighters On 9/11

Sam Stein

Filmmaker Robert Greenwald has released another explosive short documentary film about Rudy Giuliani, this time highlighting the former New York City mayor’s controversial handling of radios used by the city’s fire department on Sept. 11. Greenwald is also petitioning the New York City Council to launch an investigation into the matter.

The web video, released Monday by Brave New Films, alleges that during his administration Giuliani failed to equip the FDNY with adequate, let alone functioning, communication equipment. That in turn created massive problems on 9/11 and may have contributed to the unnecessary deaths of dozens of servicemen.

“What did Mr. Giuliani do [about faulty radios]?” Al Santora, the retired Chief of Safety for FDNY whose son died on 9/11, asks in one of the film’s most poignant moments. “He had eight years. He did nothing to correct that situation… We got people dead as a result.”

As Greenwald documents, the radios used by the FDNY on 9/11 were precisely the same ones that malfunctioned during the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. Eight years after that attack, Giuliani did replace the defective equipment. But the new radios he bought under a no-bid, $14 million contract from Motorola (the previous contract was $1.4 million) were never field-tested. The “upgrade” proved disastrous. Within a week, the just-purchased radios were recalled after a firefighter’s mayday went un-heard. Giuliani was forced to reissue the old, faulty batch. And on 9/11 when a police helicopter warned that the North Tower could collapse, more than 120 firefighters remained inside.

“The radios failed them and that was Giuliani failing them,” says Roseleen Tallon, whose brother Sean was an FDNY member killed in 9/11.

In addition to releasing the film on, Greenwald is petitioning New York City Councilman Eric Gioia to initiate a public investigation into Giulaini’s handling of the FDNY radios.

“No investigation has ever taken place,” Greenwald told the Huffington Post. “People were killed because he screwed up… and family members want questions answered.”

Giuliani’s office did not return calls requesting comment.

This is the second Giuliani film made by Greenwald. The first explored the former mayor’s decision to ignore the advise of his own security experts and locate New York’s terrorist command center at the World Trade Center, despite its centrality as a potential terrorist target.