Saturday, February 24, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: stubborn and authoritarian?

C Stanley commenting at the Moderate Voice wonders why others dislike Rudy Giuliani:
I presume that your objections to Guiliani relate to the comparisons with Bush: stubbornness, authoritarianism, etc.

But what specifically in Guiliani’s history lead you to believe this?
Here's a little background from the Wikipedia site:
During [the post 9/11] period, Giuliani sought an unprecedented three-month emergency extension of his term, from its scheduled expiration on January 1 to April 1, due to the circumstances of the emergency besetting the city. He threatened to challenge the law imposing term limits on elected New York City officials and run for another full four-year term, if the primary candidates did not consent to permit the extension of his mayoralty.
Rudy thought he was the only person capable of seeing New York through the post 9/11 crisis. He threatened candidates during the campaign to that effect. That demonstrates a huge amount of arrogance and stubbornness.

Here's some more on Rudy's pre-9/11 term as Mayor:
[A] number of tragic cases of abuse of authority took place, and numerous allegations of civil rights abuses were leveled. Giuliani's own Deputy Mayor, Rudy Washington, alleged that he had been harassed by police on several occasions. More controversial still were several police shootings of unarmed suspects, and the scandals surrounding the brutalization of Abner Louima and the killing of Amadou Diallo. In a case less nationally-publicized than those of Louima and Diallo, unarmed bar patron Patrick Dorismond was killed shortly after declining the overtures of what turned out to be an undercover officer soliciting illegal drugs. Even while hundreds of outraged New Yorkers protested, Giuliani staunchly supported the New York City Police Department, going so far as to take the unprecedented step of releasing Dorismond's "extensive criminal record" to the public.
For Giuliani, the police could do no wrong. Even when innocent me were killed, he showed no sorrow for the deaths, instead he villified the victims. He never condemned "a few bad apples" or mourned tragic mistakes. He celebrated the acquittal after the Diallo trial. To him, that was a complete vindication. There was no need for better police training or a change in his crime policy. In fact, he worries that suspects have too many rights. That's authoritarianism.

Apparently, a documentary has been made to highlight the less well know side of Rudy's character:

'Giuliani Time' Recalls Ex-Mayor's Less Heroic Deeds

The film tarries at that unfortunate pass in Giuliani's mayoralty: Hizzoner's tone-deaf reaction to a growing outcry about police brutality and thousands of questionable arrests. In 2000, undercover officers shot to death Patrick Dorismond, a black security guard, during a drug crackdown. (Dorismond, as it turns out, had no involvement with drugs. He thought the undercover cops were robbers, and was shot while resisting arrest.) Afterward, Giuliani directed his officials to unseal the man's juvenile record and opined that Dorismond was "no altar boy."

The film also shines a light on Giuliani's record as associate attorney general in Ronald Reagan's Justice Department, where he led efforts to deport Haitian boat people.

"Repression," Giuliani announces after returning from a meeting with President Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, "simply does not exist now" in Haiti.
That's the Rudy Giuliani I remember. The pre-9/11 mayor of New York city. Completely dismissive of civil liberties worries or government excesses.

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