2008-02-08 / Letters

Mirsky Way Off Base

Dear Editor,

Many thanks to your "Rockaway Irregular" columnist Stu Mirsky. His extraordinary column mentioning ...'the sharpest of the current crop of presidential contenders', Rudy Giuliani, was a real eye-opener. I learned so much.

For the past six years, I personally thought of our former mayor as a dancontinued gerous man who, stubbornly refused to

listen to his advisors,

single-handedly determining that his command and control center should be in the very building terrorists threatened to destroy. Furthermore, I thought, as mayor in 1993, he ignored the terrorist's verbal warning at their trial about wanting to take down the towers - toppling one into the other. Yet, your 'Irregular' wrote, 'he did more, despite cavils to the contrary, than any other mayor in history to prepare this town against disaster.' He further writes of [Giuliani's] 'proactive desktop and field exercises for managers and staffers.' Uh, huh, now see. I just didn't understand.

"Neither Rudy nor anyone else anticipated the form or nature of the attacks.....," he writes. He didn't? Has he ever read the 911 report? How about the one titled, "Bin Laden determined to attack in U.S.," a paper widely distributed prior to the attack? Did Giuliani not think that someone trying to blow up the towers on his watch in 1993 might be tempted again?

Did he not read the available reports on using planes as missiles; the reports we now know were read by all the security agencies? Do you think they kept him in the dark? Do you think he could never imagine that scenario? How's that possible for someone with such ' a prodigious intelligence', characterized as such by your columnist. Uh, huh. I just didn't understand.

"Rudy Giuliani," he says, "is the kind of guy you can depend on." Hmm, I wonder, did Bill Bratton feel that way after Giuliani decided not to share the limelight with his 'best police chief' (a Giuliani quote) and let him go? Maybe Mirsky meant that we could depend on Giuliani's judgment, in choosing, as Bratton's replacement, Bernie Kerik, currently under indictment for..., oh, never mind. I just didn't understand.

Did Rudy really 'revive a great American city', as he writes? I do know Giuliani stoically hurried down the street with that montage of devastated twin towers behind him. We all saw it on television. Yet, had he not placed the command and control center inside, isn't it just possible he might not have even been there? How many others ran down the street along with the mayor? We saw them. Same path, same speed, same direction, but no similar kudos. He becomes America's Mayor; the others, nearly exhausted, wend their way home to cook dinner and bathe the kids. I guess I just didn't understand.

"Mayor Giuliani had prepared us," he writes. Was that look on Giuliani's face, fleeing down the street, one of preparedness? Prepared us, indeed.

This column was so informative that I went to the dictionary to look up the word 'Irregular', which, of course, has several meanings. One is a patriot militia volunteer. Nice. Another is merchandise, produced so poorly, that it can only be sold at a discount. Hmmm. Perhaps a good metaphor for this column?

I know columnists are employed to write opinions rather than fact-based stories. As a staunch first amendment advocate I would never wish to censor one, not ever. Yet, why can't the Wave also find a columnist able to argue a conservative point of view, but one based on facts?

IRA FELDMAN

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