What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The Art of Falling Upward, Pt. II

First up: my new column is up at CounterBias. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush was in Sarasota, Florida, scheduled to appear at the Emma E. Booker elementary school, where he'd observe students practicing their reading skills.

At 8:46 a.m., the first plane struck the north tower of the Twin Trade Center. Bush is en route to Booker elementary school.

At 9:03 a.m., Bush was listening to the students reading when he was approached by his chief of staff, Andrew Card. Card whispered in Bush's ear: "America is under attack."

Bush did nothing.

Not having been programmed for such an event, Bush sat in the classroom for several minutes, a grimace on his face, taking glances at a book called My Pet Goat.

At an April 11, 2004, press conference, Bush was asked about the Presidential Daily Briefing memo of August 6, 2001, the memo titlted "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US," and what his reaction would have been if he had known that terrorists would attack the United States. Bush said, "Had I known there was going to be an attack on America, I would have moved mountains to stop the attack. I would have done everything I can. My job is to protect the American people..."

Except, when he did know, he did nothing.

Bush's handlers finally got about the task of making Bush presidential, and sent him off to ground zero on Sept. 14, where he spoke with the firefighters and other rescue personnel.

It wasn't long before we knew who was the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attack: Osama Bin Laden.

Initially, Bin Laden was public enemy #1, and Bush vowed to capture him. Evoking the Old West, Bush responded to a question at a press conference on Sept. 17:

Q: Do you want bin Laden dead?
THE PRESIDENT: I want justice. There's an old poster out west, as I recall, that said, "Wanted: Dead or Alive."

By 2002, Bush was no longer concerned with capturing Osama Bin Laden. At a March 13, 2002 press conference, Bush was asked about the hunt for Bin Laden:

Q But don't you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won't truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban.

Meanwhile, members of Bush's cabinet were busy preparing for a war against Iraq. Saddam Hussein would be our target, not Osama Bin Laden.

Tomorrow, Pt. III: Scandals? We don't have any stinkin' scandals!


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