The odd argument that George W. Bush kept America safe — except, of course, for the attacks of 9/11
THIS is like saying that a certain fertilizer plant in West, Texas, has a pretty good safety record — if you don’t count that big explosion the other day:
An odd argument that President George W. Bush kept America safe from terrorism “except for 9/11” made its way to the House floor Wednesday, coming from Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).
The claim resurfaced on the right immediately after the Boston bombings, and made its way back into conservative punditry in the days that followed, Steve Benen reported.
As Benen and others have noted, it’s hard to ignore the nearly 3,000 people who died on 9/11 and the hundreds who have been killed since in tallying Bush’s terrorism record. But the “since 9/11” count also leaves out the 2002 shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport, the anthrax attacks after 9/11, the recent ricin letters, the Richard Reid shoe bombing, and the D.C.-area snipers.
Cotton tried to narrow the parameters to make his case accurate, specifying “jihadists” who “reached their targets.”
By that accounting, the Bush record on terror attacks was perfect. Obama, meanwhile, has racked up five terror attacks, notwithstanding that two of the plots Cotton cited — the Times Square bombing and the underwear bombing — failed.
And then there’s THIS:
I’m not sure Republican pundits have fully thought through the wisdom of the “other than 9/11” argument.Bush received an intelligence briefing on Aug. 6, 2001, at which he was handed a memo with an important headline: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”
Bush, however, was on a month-long vacation at the time. He heard the briefer out and replied, “All right. You’ve covered your ass, now.” A month later, al Qaeda killed 3,000 people.