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Thread: Why Donald Trump’s 9/11 heresy won’t cost him any primary votes

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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Why Donald Trump’s 9/11 heresy won’t cost him any primary votes

    Why Donald Trump’s 9/11 heresy won’t cost him any primary votes
    By Paul Waldman February 15 at 1:05 PM

    When Donald Trump said a few weeks ago, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters,” he was probably right (depending on whom he shot, I suppose). Everything that was supposed to derail his candidacy has failed to do so, and if he wins Saturday’s South Carolina primary (where polls show him with a comfortable lead), there could be no stopping him. But in last Saturday’s debate, Trump said some shocking things, at least to Republican ears: Not only did he criticize George W. Bush for launching the Iraq War, he also said that Sept. 11 was Bush’s fault. And he did it at a time when the former president himself is finally emerging to campaign for his brother; W will be speaking at a rally for Jeb tonight.

    Surely, Republicans might want to believe, this will not stand. There are some things you simply cannot say and retain the support of the Republican electorate. But don’t bet on it. In fact, I’m guessing this isn’t going to hurt Trump at all, because Republican voters’ feelings about Bush are, shall we saw, complicated.

    If you missed the debate, the extended bickering about Iraq and 9/11 was truly remarkable. First Trump said that Bush lied to the public about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction, then he noted that Sept. 11 happened on Bush’s watch. First Jeb Bush and then Marco Rubio chimed in to say indignantly that Bush “kept us safe.” To which Trump replied, “I lost hundreds of friends. The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush. He kept us safe? That is not safe.”

    I would interject here that while 3,000 Americans were in fact killed here at home by jihadi terrorists during Bush’s time in office — you can look it up! — the total for Barack Obama’s presidency is 42, or an average of six per year. I expect that in the next debate, the Republican candidates will take the time to praise Obama for the extraordinary job he’s done in keeping us safe.

    In any case, it’s important to remember that Republican dogma on this question is clear: Bush had zero, repeat, zero responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks. There was nothing he could have done at all. When they talk about it, you’d think Bush took the oath of office on Sept. 10, 2001. The only thing that’s even worth discussing on that topic is how heroic he was afterward, and there’s no question that “he kept us safe.”

    But that’s only part of the story. First, on Iraq, the consensus even within the Republican Party has become that the war was indeed a mistake. You’ll recall what a difficult time Jeb Bush had when he was asked whether he agreed with that, and by the time he finally said yes, most of the other candidates had said the same thing. Even if none of them would go as far as Trump to say that Bush lied about WMDs, criticizing the war is not going to get Trump in too much trouble with Republican voters.

    And then there’s the fact that on the broader subject of George W. Bush, Republicans are torn. Something curious happened after Bush left office with approval ratings in the low 30s: The Republicans who had remained so loyal to him throughout his presidency began saying that they never really liked him anyway, and that he wasn’t a real conservative because he increased the deficit (despite their lack of concern for the deficit while they were applauding the tax cuts and wars that made it balloon). Even though Bush’s approval ratings among Republicans have come back up over time, he’s no Ronald Reagan when it comes to universal Republican esteem.

    Donald Trump also has a latitude for ideological heresy that none of the other candidates are granted. That’s not only because his appeal has nothing to do with fealty to conservative ideology, but also because Trump’s voters have already been through this kind of controversy before and stuck with him. They’re used to performing a certain kind of rationalization, which goes like this: Sure, I didn’t really like that one thing he said — maybe it was his criticism of Megyn Kelly, or maybe it was the one about John McCain not being a real hero — but I love that he says whatever he wants without caring who he offends. That’s at the core of Trump’s brand, and it inoculates him from being punished too harshly for any particular statement.

    Furthermore, Trump has some room to maneuver on questions like this because he’s positioned himself as the most butt-kickin’-est candidate when it comes to terrorism and the Middle East. It’s one thing for some wimpy liberal to say that Bush should have done more to stop 9/11, but it sounds different coming from a guy whose approach to the Islamic State is to bomb ’em all to hell and take their oil. It sounds like Trump is being iconoclastic and bold, just like always, even if you don’t agree with him about this. And let’s not forget that Trump still doesn’t need to hold a majority of Republican voters, just a plurality, which he’s doing with room to spare.

    All of that means that, once again, some Republicans will say, “This time he’s gone too far!” And the people supporting Trump will keep cheering.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...primary-votes/
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    MW
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    I do not believe Bush was responsible for 9/11. However, I do believe Bill Clinton should have taken Bin Laden out when he had the opportunity.

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    Senior Member southBronx's Avatar
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    well I do i don't like Bush or Clinton at all I still say trump is 100 % right in every word he said
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    Quote Originally Posted by MW View Post
    I do not believe Bush was responsible for 9/11. However, I do believe Bill Clinton should have taken Bin Laden out when he had the opportunity.
    You are certainly right that he is not responsible for 9/11, Al-Quada is. What Bush is responsible for is ignoring multiple C.I.A. warnings prior to the attack.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/op...ings.html?_r=0

    On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.

    On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified that daily brief — and only that daily brief in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack. Administration officials dismissed the document’s significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.

    That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it.

    The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.Could the 9/11 attack have been stopped, had the Bush team reacted with urgency to the warnings contained in all of those daily briefs? We can’t ever know. And that may be the most agonizing reality of all.
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    AUGUST '01 BRIEF IS SAID TO WARN OF ATTACK PLANS

    By ERIC LICHTBLAU and DAVID E. SANGERAPRIL 10, 2004

    President Bush was told more than a month before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that supporters of Osama bin Laden planned an attack within the United States with explosives and wanted to hijack airplanes, a government official said Friday.

    The warning came in a secret briefing that Mr. Bush received at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., on Aug. 6, 2001. A report by a joint Congressional committee last year alluded to a ''closely held intelligence report'' that month about the threat of an attack by Al Qaeda, and the official confirmed an account by The Associated Press on Friday saying that the report was in fact part of the president's briefing in Crawford.

    The disclosure appears to contradict the White House's repeated assertions that the briefing the president received about the Qaeda threat was ''historical'' in nature and that the White House had little reason to suspect a Qaeda attack within American borders.

    Members of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks have asked the White House to make the Aug. 6 briefing memorandum public. The A.P. account of it was attributed to ''several people who have seen the memo.'' The White House has said that nothing in it pointed specifically to the kind of attacks that actually took place a month later.

    The Congressional report last year, citing efforts by Al Qaeda operatives beginning in 1997 to attack American soil, said that operatives appeared to have a support structure in the United States and that intelligence officials had ''uncorroborated information'' that Mr. bin Laden ''wanted to hijack airplanes'' to gain the release of imprisoned extremists. It also said that intelligence officials received information in May 2001, three months earlier, that indicated ''a group of bin Laden supporters was planning attacks in the United States with explosives.''

    Also on Friday, the White House offered evidence that the Federal Bureau of Investigation received instructions more than two months before the Sept. 11 attacks to increase its scrutiny of terrorist suspects inside the United States. But it is unclear what action, if any, the bureau took in response.

    The disclosure appeared to signal an effort by the White House to distance itself from the F.B.I. in the debate over whether the Bush administration did enough in the summer of 2001 to deter a possible terrorist attack in the United States in the face of increased warnings.

    A classified memorandum, sent around July 4, 2001, to Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security adviser, from the counterterrorism group run by Richard A. Clarke, described a series of steps it said the White House had taken to put the nation on heightened terrorist alert. Among the steps, the memorandum said, ''all 56 F.B.I. field offices were also tasked in late June to go to increased surveillance and contact with informants related to known or suspected terrorists in the United States.''

    Parts of the White House memorandum were provided to The New York Times on Friday by a White House official seeking to bolster the public account provided a day before by Ms. Rice, who portrayed an administration aggressively working to deter a domestic terror attack.

    But law enforcement officials said Friday that they believed that Ms. Rice's testimony before the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks -- including her account of scores of F.B.I. investigations under way that summer into suspected Qaeda cells operating in the United States -- overstated the scope, thrust and intensity of activities by the F.B.I. within American borders.

    Agents at that time were focused mainly on the threat of overseas attacks, law enforcement officials said. The F.B.I. was investigating numerous cases that involved international terrorism and may have had tangential connections to Al Qaeda, but one official said that despite Ms. Rice's account, the investigations were focused more overseas and ''were not sleeper cell investigations.''

    The finger-pointing will probably increase next week when numerous current and former senior law enforcement officials, including Attorney General John Ashcroft, testify before the Sept. 11 commission. In an unusual pre-emptive strike, Mr. Ashcroft's chief spokesman on Friday accused some Democrats on the commission of having ''political axes to grind'' in attacking the attorney general, who oversees the F.B.I., and unfairly blaming him for law enforcement failures.

    A similar accusation against the commission was also leveled by Senator Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican with ties to the White House, in a speech on the Senate floor Thursday.

    ''Sadly, the commission's public hearings have allowed those with political axes to grind, like Richard Clarke, to play shamelessly to the partisan gallery of liberal special interests seeking to bring down the president,'' Mr. McConnell said.

    The charges and countercharges underscored the political challenge that the investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks has become for President Bush as he mounts his re-election bid. The White House sought this week to defuse the situation by allowing Ms. Rice to testify before the Sept. 11 commission after months of resistance. But her appearance served to raise new questions about the administration's efforts to deter an attack.

    The White House on Friday put off a decision on declassifying the document at the center of the debate -- the Aug. 6 briefing, titled ''Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.'' But the administration appeared ready to release at least portions of the document publicly in the coming days.

    The memo from Mr. Clarke's group in July 2001 about F.B.I. activities adds another piece of evidence to the document trail, but it is unlikely to resolve the questions over whether the administration did enough to deter an attack.

    White House officials, who spent several weeks attacking Mr. Clarke's credibility, said Friday that they believed the memo from his counterterrorism group was an accurate reflection of steps the White House took to deter an attack. But they questioned whether the F.B.I. executed the instructions to intensify its scrutiny of terrorist suspects and contacts in the United States.

    In April 2001, the F.B.I. did send out a classified memo to its field offices directing agents to ''check with their sources on any information they had relative to terrorism,'' said a senior law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity. But with the level of threat warnings increasing markedly over the next several months, there is no indication that any directive went out in the late June period that was described in the memo from Mr. Clarke's office.

    That summer saw a string of alerts by the F.B.I. and other government agencies about the heightened possibility of a terrorist attack, but most counterterrorism officials believed an attack would come in Saudi Arabia, Israel or elsewhere. Many also were worried about a July 4 attack and were relieved when that date passed uneventfully.

    For months, the F.B.I. had been consumed by internal problems of its own, including the arrest of an agent, Robert P. Hanssen, on espionage charges, the disappearance of documents in the Oklahoma City bombing case and the fallout over the Wen Ho Lee spy case. Moreover, the bureau was going through a transition in leadership, with its longtime director, Louis J. Freeh, retiring in June 2001. He was replaced by an acting director, Thomas J. Pickard, until the current director, Robert S. Mueller III, took over in September, just days before the deadly hijackings. All three men will testify at next week's commission hearings and are expected to face sharp questioning about whether the F.B.I. did enough to prevent an attack in the weeks and months before Sept. 11.

    At this week's appearance by Ms. Rice, several commissioners sharply questioned whether the F.B.I. and the Justice Department had done enough to act on intelligence warnings about an attack.

    ''We have done thousands of interviews here at the 9/11 commission,'' said Timothy J. Roemer, a Democratic member of the panel. ''We have gone through literally millions of pieces of paper. To date, we have found nobody -- nobody at the F.B.I. who knows anything about a tasking of field offices'' to identify the domestic threat.

    The apparent miscommunication will probably be a central focus of the commission's hearing next week. Scrutiny is expected to focus in part on communication breakdowns between the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. that allowed two of the 19 hijackers to live openly in San Diego despite intelligence about their terrorist ties.

    Another Democratic panel member, Jamie S. Gorelick, said at Thursday's hearing that Mr. Ashcroft was briefed in the summer of 2001 about terrorist threats ''but there is no evidence of any activity by him.''
    Such criticism led Mark Corallo, Mr. Ashcroft's chief spokesman at the Justice Department, to say Friday that ''some people on the commission are seeking to score political points'' by unfairly attacking Mr. Ashcroft's actions before Sept. 11.

    ''Some have political axes to grind'' against Mr. Ashcroft, Mr. Corallo said in an interview, naming Ms. Gorelick, who was the deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration; Mr. Roemer, a former congressman from Indiana, and Richard Ben-Veniste, the former Watergate prosecutor.

    While insisting that he was not speaking personally for Mr. Ashcroft, Mr. Corallo said he was offended by Ms. Gorelick's remarks in particular. Offering a detailed preview of Mr. Ashcroft's testimony next week, he said the attorney general was briefed repeatedly by the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. on threats posed by Al Qaeda and was told that the threats were directed at targets overseas. ''He was not briefed that there was any threat to the United States,'' Mr. Corallo said. ''He kept asking if there was any action he needed to take, and he was constantly told no, you're doing everything you need to do.''

    Several commission officials denied in interviews that there was any attempt to treat Mr. Ashcroft unfairly. Al Felzenberg, a spokesman for panel, said that Mr. Ashcroft would be warmly received.
    Ms. Gorelick said she was surprised by Mr. Corallo's comments and puzzled by assertions that the attorney general had no knowledge of a domestic terrorist threat in 2001.

    ''This appears to be a debate within the administration,'' she said. ''On the one hand, you have Dr. Rice saying that the domestic threat was being handled by the Justice Department and F.B.I., and on the other hand, you have the Justice Department saying that there did not appear to be a domestic threat to address. And that is a difference in view that we have to continue to explore.''

    The commission also heard testimony Friday morning behind closed doors from former Vice President Al Gore.

    Former President Bill Clinton appeared before the panel in closed session on Thursday, but a Democratic commission member took issue Friday with Mr. Clinton's assertion that that there was not enough intelligence linking Al Qaeda to the 2000 bombing of the Navy destroyer Cole to justify a military attack on the terrorist organization.

    ''I think he did have enough proof to take action,'' Bob Kerrey, the former senator from Nebraska, said on ABC's 'Good Morning America.'


    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/10/us/august-01-brief-is-said-to-warn-of-attack-plans.html


    Also remember Condoleeza Rice stating she contacted the ranch where bush was prior to 9/11 several times about intel reports of discussions re crashing airplanes into buildings and he did not respond.
    Last edited by artist; 02-15-2016 at 09:05 PM.
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    MW
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    There's a lot of road between knowing the possibility of an attack and actually being able to prevent it from happening. The United States is 3,794,101 square miles.in size and at that time had a population of around 311 million people. I don't think anyone would suggest the country go into a complete lockdown and alter our liberties and freedom on the possibility of an attack. If we were to do this, how many years would we be forced to live under such conditions .. one ....two ....six years? Could security have been enhanced in airports and on aircraft? Sure, but even that would have been unlikely to prevent a determined terrorist from carrying out a plot of destruction. To my knowledge no information has been provided that would suggest the technique and target was known.

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    We had 4 hijacked planes in US Air Space and not one of them was intercepted by NORAD. The failure wasn't a "lock down" of the United States. The failure was to manage the CIA, the FBI, the DOJ, the FAA, the USCIS, NORAD and the White House. Every agency and system we had to prevent such an attack failed not once but four times. The Commander In Chief wasn't even on the job that day, he was down in Florida reading My Pet Goat to 3rd graders to promote Jeb Bush's education program in Florida instead of being at his desk in the White House protecting the United States.

    The day of excuses is over. Jeb Bush is the candidate who wants to claim he's ready to be Commander In Chief on "day one" when his own brother wasn't ready to be Commander In Chief on Day 230 or thereabouts, due in part because he wasn't even in town, let alone at his desk primed to respond.

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    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    We had 4 hijacked planes in US Air Space and not one of them was intercepted by NORAD. The failure wasn't a "lock down" of the United States. The failure was to manage the CIA, the FBI, the DOJ, the FAA, the USCIS, NORAD and the White House. Every agency and system we had to prevent such an attack failed not once but four times. The Commander In Chief wasn't even on the job that day, he was down in Florida reading My Pet Goat to 3rd graders to promote Jeb Bush's education program in Florida instead of being at his desk in the White House protecting the United States.

    The day of excuses is over. Jeb Bush is the candidate who wants to claim he's ready to be Commander In Chief on "day one" when his own brother wasn't ready to be Commander In Chief on Day 230 or thereabouts, due in part because he wasn't even in town, let alone at his desk primed to respond.

    No more Bushes. We're done with being Bushwhacked with lies, incompetence, silliness and dereliction.
    Perhaps this will give you a better understanding of what happened:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._m...ber_11_attacks

    Furthermore, I've yet to hear of any President sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office 24/7. Regardless of where he was sitting, the attack was in motion and there wasn't anything he could do about it.

    I seriously doubt anything would have been different, regardless of who was in office.
    Last edited by MW; 02-16-2016 at 12:07 AM.

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    I guess that's where we are now, spending $700 billion on a Defense Department that can't do anything about 4 hijacked airplanes in US Air Space before they hit their targets.

    A sad and dangerous time for our country that is just a big 3,794,101 square mile sitting duck.
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    The time to prevent the attack on 9-11-2001 was before the first attack on 2-26-1993. Recall again that there was a truck bomb planned in Afghanistan that was supposed to do the job that was finally done on 9/11. There was also a plan after the '93 attack that was uncovered. The conspirators in all cases depended on illegal immigrants. In all cases we could see it coming.

    We gave them three chances to finish the job. This covered two presidents and I don't think the presidents can be held accountable alone. Trump is right to point out that somebody was falling down on the job, but you have to forget that 9/11 was not the first attempt to blame Bush.
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