Giuliani during the 9/11 hearings; Photo: AP

Yelling during the 9/11 hearings; Photo: Reuters

The second day of hearings about the events of September 11, 2001 in New York brought former mayor Rudy Giuliani, current Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to testify. But Rudy was the star, in spite of heckling from audience members (one exchange: A woman whose firefighter son died, yelled, "My son was murdered!" amongst others' angry comments to have 9/11 Commissioner Thomas Kean say, "You're simply wasting time at this point." Which brought, "YOU'RE wasting time!"). The Post called Giuliani's testimony "passionate defense of the city's response to the World Trade Center attacks - and denounce[ment of] finger-pointing by members of the 9/11 commission." Of course, the reception for Giuliani was much warmer than the one for former police and fire commissioners on Tuesday. The Times' N.R. Kleinfeld posed this interesting thought: "The commission opted not to confront Mr. Giuliani directly with its critical findings. It is hard to say whether that was a retreat in the face of the Giuliani legend or whether the former mayor simply seized the day." Gothamist has been wondering about that too - suddenly Giuliani has become the expert on terrorism, consulting with countries or talking on talk shows...we admire Giuliani's leadership during September 11 (we operate under the basic belief that while things could have gone more smoothly that day, who knows how much worse they could have been), but the continuing transformation of Giuliani is pretty riveting.

Mayor Bloomberg testified that more federal money would need to be directed to NY and NYC. He also addressed criticism of the recently-unveiled NYPD-FDNY emergency respose plan, saying critics didn't really understand the plan. Secretary Ridge hedged his bets, saying the new plan "seemed like a step in the right direction."

A Daily News columnist criticizes 9/11 Commissioner John Lehman for his withering critique of former Police and Fire Commissioners Kerik and Von Essen: "[Lehman] should get down on his hands and knees and beg forgiveness of the public servants he insulted if he wants to preserve a scrap of his reputation. If he wants to be able to walk the streets of New York. If he wants the 9/11 commission ever to be taken seriously."

More information from the 9/11 Commission website.