I came across an article titled An Interesting Day: President Bush’s Movements and Actions on 9/11 over at a site called the Center For Cooperative Research which I came to learn about from a reprint of the same article at Dangerous Citizen which I got from a mention by Scott on a different topic. (*Whew* Amazing where a little curiosity will take you.)
The article is an attempt to piece together a timeline of just what Bush knew and what he did during the course of events that unfolded on September 11th, 2001. It raises a lot of troubling questions that have yet to be answered and probably never will be because the media isn’t asking them.
The Reaction – Or Lack of One
Descriptions vary greatly as to how Bush responded to the news. It is said he “blanched” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/1/02], “the color drained from the president’s face” [AP, 9/12/01 (D)], he “wore a bemused smile” [Orlando Sentinel, 9/12/01], “because visibly tense and serious” [Time, 9/12/01], and so on. Watch the video and draw your own conclusions (the 11-minute video can be viewed at the Center for Cooperative Research, Buzzflash, Global Free Press, The Emperor’s New Clothes, or Liberty DYNU). Bush later recalled his own reaction: “I am very aware of the cameras. I’m trying to absorb that knowledge. I have nobody to talk to. I’m sitting in the midst of a classroom with little kids, listening to a children’s story and I realize I’m the Commander in Chief and the country has just come under attack.” [Telegraph, 12/16/01, CBS, 11/1/02] Asked again what he thought after he heard the news, Bush said, “We’re at war and somebody has dared attack us and we’re going to do something about it. I realized I was in a unique setting to receive a message that somebody attacked us [I]t became evident that we were, you know, that the world had changed.” [CBS, 9/11/02]
So what did the Commander in Chief do with the knowledge that the United States was under attack?
He did nothing.
Bush did not say one word. He did not ask Card any questions. He did not give any orders. He did not know who (or which country) was attacking, whether there would be more attacks, what military plans had been taken, what military actions should be taken – indeed, he knew virtually nothing about what was going on outside the room. He just sat there. Bush later recalled: “There was no time for discussion or anything.” [Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism – From Inside the Bush White House, by Bill Sammon, 10/02, pp. 83-84] Even stranger, as one newspaper put it, although the nation was under terrorist attack, “for some reason, Secret Service agents [did] not bustle him away.” [Globe and Mail, 9/12/01]
Military pilots must have “permission from the White House because only the president has the authority to order a civilian aircraft shot down.” [CNN, 10/26/99] But if retaliatory strikes needed to the authorized, Bush was not available. If one of the planes had to be shot down to save more lives on the ground, Bush was not available. Although several fighters had been dispatched to defend New York City, the pilot of one of the planes flying to catch Flight 175 later noted that it wouldn’t have mattered if he caught up with it, because only Bush could order a shootdown, and Bush could not be reached in the classroom. [Cape Cod Times, 8/21/02]
It’s one hell of an article and it leaves you with a bad feeling in your stomach because it makes good use of a lot of cited sources with links to verify the statements yourself. It certainly doesn’t do anything to raise my opinion of the current administration. Go read it.