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View Diary: Reframing Bush's national security record (115 comments)

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  •  Attacking Bush on initial response ... (none)
    ... to Sept. 11 is just bad tactics.  

    Everyone remembers two things about his initial response:  the comment at the WTC site ("and the people who did this are about to hear from all of us ...") and the speech before Congress.  Those images are fixed in voters' minds.  And, 90% of voters (myself included) give Bush credit for strong leadership in the first couple weeks after Sept. 11.  

    If we want Bush out of office, and I take a back seat to noone on that, its just silly to attack him for his initial response.  If you do that, no one will even hear the rest of what you say (or worse, will automatically discredit it).

    Yes, Bush has done an awful job in the war on terrorism.  Yes, it is CRITICAL to make that argument (and make it NOW).  But, let's be effective:  stay away from his initial response.

    •  I disagree, but you're right: we can't use it. (none)
      I still think staying on the run all day was cowardly and a huge error, but I do agree that we can't use it, but for a couple of reasons...
      1. The initial "hesitation" in the Kindergarden class -- no one really knew what was happening yet. I was in the car, and Howard Stern said something about a plane hitting the WTC (which I was about 25 miles from at that point) -- I switched to news radio, and I heard the second plane hit -- but like a lot of other people, I thought it was a replay of the sounds of the FIRST impact. People thought it was a Cesna, they thought the second hit was just a replay of the first one -- there was a lot of confusion. You can't blame him for staying put while his handlers tried to figure out what was actually happening, and whether this was, as it initially appeared, a general aviation accident.
      2. Bush and his people can make a strong, and hard-to-counter arguement, that at a moment like that, you listen to the secret service. It's their JOB to be paranoid and to over-react on the side of safety. Just like the President isn't really "allowed" to get in his pre-presidential car and, sans secret service, drive over to McDonald's to pick up lunch from the value menu, he likely didn't have much choice about where he was for those hours.
      He's still a coward, though.
      •  Not sure (none)
        I agree with your reasons, though I do with your conclusion.

        First, the "no one really knew" applies to you and me, but not to the White House: not only did they have access to the second-by-second intelligence the rest of us weren't privy to, we now know they had forehand warning that something like this was going to happen.  Those surrounding Bush had a much better idea than people on the street of what was going on.

        And second, yes, the SS is supposed to be paranoid about security--but that means they should have hustled him out of there, not stayed at the school.  His appearance there was listed on his public schedule for the day; anyone who wanted to know where he was at that moment could have found out.  So every moment he spent there once they got the word, he was a sitting duck.

        Rumors of more hijacked planes in the air?  How did they know one of them wasn't going to dive right into that school?  They didn't know that--or they shouldn't have, tinfoil hats aside.  In fact, An Interesting Day (linked in someone's comments above) makes the point that the SS did in fact try to remove Bush from the school as soon as they heard about the attacks--but "someone" who has never been identified overruled them.

        You're right that we can't use it--but his actions that day were neither "reasonable" nor admirable.  

        "The truth which makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear." -- Herbert Agar

        by Leslie in CA on Sat Mar 13, 2004 at 04:01:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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