The REAL Rudy
COMMAND CENTER: FACT SHEET
"Onetime Giuliani Insider Is Now A Critic"
New York Times - 5/22/07
"One of Mr. Hauer's first tasks was to find a home for an emergency command center to replace the inadequate facilities at police headquarters. Mr. Hauer suggested an office complex in downtown Brooklyn as a "good alternative" in a memorandum.
But Mr. Hauer said the mayor insisted instead on a site within walking distance of City Hall. Given that concern and others, Mr. Hauer said he decided that offices on the 23rd floor of 7 World Trade Center, next to the twin towers and just a few blocks from City Hall, seemed the best choice.
The site was immediately controversial because it was part of the trade center, which had already been the location of a truck bomb attack in 1993. City officials, though, including Mr. Hauer, have long defended their decision, even after the command center had to be evacuated during the 2001 terror attack."
NEW YORK CITY'S ANTI-TERRORISM EFFORTS GO HIGH-TECH
CNN.com -- 6/7/99
"On Monday, New York opened a $13 million Emergency Operations Center. The 50,000-square-foot facility is in lower Manhattan, in a building right across the street from the World Trade Center, which Islamic militants bombed in February 1993."
WITH CRISIS IN MIND, CENTER OPENS
New York Times - 6/8/99
"The complex, which takes up 50,000 square feet on the 23d floor of one of the smaller buildings in the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan."
"The New York command center is intended to coordinate the city's response to emergencies ranging from blackouts and severe storms to terrorist attacks with conventional and unconventional weapons."
"The crisis center still has its critics. Councilwoman Kathryn E. Freed, whose district houses the new center, reiterated earlier concerns about whether the investment was prudent, given the city's vast needs. She also challenged its location in a building not owned by the city and for which it will pay $1.4 million a year in rent a year under its 20-year lease."
"Asked about the center's location in the World Trade Center, in a building across the street from the site of the 1993 terrorist bombing that killed six people, Mr. Hauer, who is director of the city's Office of Emergency Management, said the location was chosen after a study of some 50 alternative sites."
THE REAL RUDY
The American Prospect - 9/11/06
"The 9-11 Commission's senior counsel, John Farmer, cited a number of ways that an operating command center might have saved lives. If the center had been located elsewhere and thus able to remain operational that day, he says, "I really think it would have made a difference. Maybe the failure to communicate among the agencies doesn't happen that day because that thing is functioning. That's the point of it. I've never been convinced that they could have done that much better with civilians, but I think the number of responder deaths could have been greatly reduced."
"Farmer says there was a legion of ways that a functional command center might have helped spare lives that day. To start with, the towers were "configured in such a way that the fire chiefs told us they had no idea about the conditions on the upper floors," while the command center "would've had video to relay directly to the lobby." With every departmental radio frequency available and OEM, police, and fire brass with the mayor, Farmer says that "they would have had access to ongoing reports" from police helicopters, including a pilot's warning that the South Tower looked like it would partially collapse nine minutes before it did. The 9-11 Commission, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and a McKinsey & Company report all found that this "potentially important information," as McKinsey put it, "never reached the Incident Commander ... or the senior FDNY chiefs in the lobbies."
"When Giuliani first asked him to find a location for the EOC, Hauer had examined only one site -- the sprawling Metrotech complex of office towers just across the bridge in Brooklyn. Since it was already the home of the city's new $55 million Technology Center, he decided it "could meet our needs."
"Hauer said the Metrotech building was secure and, he added prophetically, "not as visible a target as buildings in Lower Manhattan." With 911 and fire/EMS communications scheduled to move there, he concluded that the complex would serve "as a focal point for public safety activity."
"The Port Authority owned the land underneath all the Trade Center structures. But in the early 1980s, the authority had given developer Larry Silverstein a 99-year lease to build the 7 WTC tower."
"Finally, in July 1999, just a month after the command center opened, Silverstein hosted another yacht fund-raiser for Giuliani, raising $100,000 for his prospective U.S. Senate race against Hillary Clinton."
9-11 COMMISSION REPORT
From Chapter 9, Section 9.1:
"Some questioned locating it both so close to a previous terrorist target and on the 23rd floor of a building (difficult to access should elevators become inoperable). There was no backup site."
From Chapter 9, Section 9.2:
"After the South Tower was hit, OEM senior leadership decided to remain in its "bunker" and continue operations, even though all civilians had been evacuated from 7 WTC. At approximately 9:30, a senior OEM official ordered the evacuation of the facility."
"First responders assisted thousands of civilians in evacuating the towers, even as incident commanders from responding agencies lacked knowledge of what other agencies and, in some cases, their own responders were doing."
"With better understanding of the resources already available, additional units might not have been dispatched to the South Tower at 9:37."
GRAND ILLUSION: THE UNTOLD STORY OF RUDY GIULIANI AND 9/11 (Amazon)
By Wayne Barrett & Dan Collins
Chapter 6, RUDY'S BUNKER, an exhaustively researched account of the planning, construction, destruction and consequences of the OEM Emergency Command Center in WTC-7.