On the campaign trail, Republican candidate Mitt Romney often touts his stewardship of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Utah, which he took over following a massive bribery scandal. In a series of new articles, longtime investigative reporter Wayne Barrett reveals Romney may have violated the new ethics rules he put in place. Today, Romney continues to accept campaign contributions from many key figures tied to the bribery scandal. Barrett, a Newsweek/Daily Beast contributor and a fellow at The Nation Institute, joins us to discuss his findings. [...]
AMY GOODMAN: Great to have you with us. So, tell us, who are Mitt Romney’s friends, and how do they relate to the Olympics, which is one of the few things on his résumé that he is really touting as his—to show why he would be qualified to be president?
WAYNE BARRETT: When your producer called me yesterday, I said, "Well, with all the gaffes, I think he’s going to give up even this part of his résumé." There are three pillars. He’s given up Massachusetts. Bain has been taken away from him. So the last thing on the résumé is the Salt Lake Olympics. And I thought he embarrassed himself. He got a gold for gaffes in London, and he embarrassed himself so badly, I didn’t think he’d be stressing this. And voilà, a few hours after I talked with your producer, they put up this ad. So, he’s got—he’s got a very weakened résumé.
And let’s give him full credit for what happened in Salt Lake. I think he was a managerial success. I think he overstates what he achieved there, but I think he was a managerial success. The problem is that he was brought in because of the worst Olympic scandal in history, and he befriended and awarded contracts to people deeply involved in the scandal that caused him to be recruited to this rescue operation. And he’s still collecting money from them.
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After watching the ever widening list of potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates, and hearing that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani may again consider throwing his hat into that ring, Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC's Last Word proceeded to shred Giuliani for his handling of the crisis on 9/11 and went after the BIG LIE on what happened that day.
Counter to our media's general narrative on the topic, Giuliani actually cost the lives of firefighters with his mismanagement of the disaster. O'Donnell noted Wayne Barrett's article on the topic and was pretty well reading from part of it. There's a whole lot more there, so go read the rest, but here's part of the article on BIG LIE number two that O'Donnell discussed during the segment in the video above.
2. 'I don't think there was anyplace in the country, including the federal government, that was as well prepared for that attack as New York City was in 2001.' This assertion flies in the face of all three studies of the city's response—the 9/11 Commission, the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), and McKinsey & Co., the consulting firm hired by the Bloomberg administration.
Actually, Giuliani didn't create the OEM until three years after the 1993 bombing, 27 months into his term. And he didn't open the OEM's new emergency command center until the end of 1999—nearly six years after he'd taken office. If he "assumed from the moment I came into office that NYC would be the subject of a terrorist attack," as he told Time when it made him "Person of the Year" in 2001, he sure took a long time to erect what he describes as the city's front line of defense.