View Full Version : Bush explains slow reaction to September 11 attacks

07-30-2011, 08:34 PM
I know that some people have their opinions of Bush's role in the 9/11 attacks and no amount of evidence is going to sway that. :rolleyes: However, this is really just a teaser of a much longer interview that will air on National Geographic Channel in August as part of the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. There is a short video to watch when you click on the link:


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former President George W. Bush says his apparent lack of reaction to the first news of the September 11 2001 attacks was a conscious decision to project an aura of calm in a crisis.

In a rare interview with the National Geographic Channel, Bush reflects on what was going through his mind at the most dramatic moment of his presidency when he was informed that a second passenger jet had hit New York's World Trade Center.

Bush was visiting a Florida classroom and the incident, which was caught on TV film, and has often been used by critics to ridicule his apparently blank face.

"My first reaction was anger. Who the hell would do that to America? Then I immediately focused on the children, and the contrast between the attack and the innocence of children," Bush says in an excerpt of the interview shown to television writers on Thursday.

Bush said he could see the news media at the back of the classroom getting the news on their own cellphones "and it was like watching a silent movie."

Bush said he quickly realized that a lot of people beyond the classroom would be watching for his reaction.

"So I made the decision not to jump up immediately and leave the classroom. I didn't want to rattle the kids. I wanted to project a sense of calm," he said of his decision to remain seated and silent.

"I had been in enough crises to know that the first thing a leader has to do is to project calm," he added.

The National Geographic Channel will broadcast the hour-long interview on August 28 as part of a week of programs on the cable network called "Remembering 9/11" that mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

The interview was recorded over two days in May, without any questions being submitted in advance, the channel said.

National Geographic said Bush gives "intimate details" of his thoughts and feelings in a way never seen before. Most of the interview is about the first minutes and hours of the day that Islamic militants hijacked four planes and crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Executive producer and director Peter Schnall said Bush, who has adopted a low public profile since leaving office in January 2009, brought no notes to the interview.

"What you hear is the personal story of a man who also happened to be our president. Listening to him describe how he grappled with a sense of anger and frustration coupled with his personal mandate to lead our country through this devastating attack was incredibly powerful," Schnall said.

U.S. television networks are planning a slew of specials to mark the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 attacks. Those on National Geographic also include a documentary on the continuing U.S. war on terror, and stories of ordinary people on Sept, 11 2001 called "Where Were You?"


Regardless of how he is portrayed in the media, I still have a tremendous amount of respect for George W. Bush. Since this is a historical topic, not a political one, it belongs in the Woodshed, not the Politics section. So, no idiotic conspiracy theories allowed.

07-30-2011, 09:31 PM
Regardless of how he is portrayed in the media, I still have a tremendous amount of respect for George W. Bush.
I do too, Nate. I disagreed with his spending and his (non) policies re: our border problems but he was a leader.

I never had a problem with how he handled the news of the terrorist attack. There was nothing else to be done but get him and the veep into a secure area.

Hard to believe it's been a decade since the attacks. Watching the videos brings it all back.

Play The Man
07-30-2011, 11:46 PM
There has rarely been a starker juxtaposition of evil and innocence than the moment President George W. Bush received the news about 9/11 while reading The Pet Goat with second-graders in Sarasota, Fla.
Seven-year-olds can't understand what Islamic terrorism is all about. But they know when an adult's face is telling them something is wrong and none of the students sitting in Sandra Kay Daniels' class at Emma E. Booker Elementary School that morning can forget the devastating change in Bush's expression when White House chief of staff Andrew Card whispered the terrible news of the al-Qaeda attack. Lazaro Dubrocq's heart started racing because he assumed they were all in trouble with no less than the Commander in Chief but he wasn't sure why. "In a heartbeat, he leaned back and he looked flabbergasted, shocked, horrified," recalls Dubrocq, now 17. "I was baffled. I mean, did we read something wrong? Was he mad or disappointed in us?"
Similar fears started running through Mariah Williams' head. "I don't remember the story we were reading was it about pigs?" says Williams, 16. "But I'll always remember watching his face turn red. He got really serious all of a sudden. But I was clueless. I was just 7. I'm just glad he didn't get up and leave, because then I would have been more scared and confused." Chantal Guerrero, 16, agrees. Even today, she's grateful that Bush regained his composure and stayed with the students until The Pet Goat was finished. "I think the President was trying to keep us from finding out," says Guerrero, "so we all wouldn't freak out."
Even if that didn't happen, it's apparent that the sharing of that terrifying Tuesday with Bush has affected those students in the decade since and, they say, it made the news of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's killing by U.S. commandos on May 1 all the more meaningful. Dubrocq, now a junior at Riverview High School in Sarasota, doubts that he would be a student in the rigorous international-baccalaureate program if he hadn't been with the President as one of history's most infamous global events unfolded. "Because of that," he says, "I came to realize as I grew up that the world is a much bigger place and that there are differing opinions about us out there, not all of them good."
Guerrero, today a junior at the Sarasota Military Academy, believes the experience "has since given us all a better understanding of the situation, sort of made us take it all more seriously. At that age, I couldn't understand how anyone could take innocent lives that way. And I still of course can't. But today I can problem-solve it all a lot better, maybe better than other kids because I was kind of part of it." Williams, also a junior at the military academy, says those moments spent with Bush conferred on the kids a sort of historical authority as they grew up. "Today, when we talk about 9/11 in class and you hear kids make mistakes about what happened with the President that day, I can tell them they're wrong," she says, "because I was there."
One thing the students would like to tell Bush's critics like liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, whose 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 911 disparaged Bush for lingering almost 10 minutes with the students after getting word that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center is that they think the President did the right thing. "I think he was trying to keep everybody calm, starting with us," says Guerrero. Dubrocq agrees: "I think he was trying to protect us." Booker Principal Gwendolyn Tose-Rigell, who died in 2007, later insisted, "I don't think anyone could have handled it better. What would it have served if [Bush] had jumped out of his chair and ran out of the room?"

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2069582,00.html#ixzz1TdBZ5R19
When the children's story was done, Bush left for the school's library, where he discussed the New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania nightmare with aides, reporters and another group of students waiting for him. Back in the classroom, Daniels brought in a television and turned on the first bewildering images of the Twin Towers in flames and smoke. At that point, the kids started connecting the dots. "It was pretty scary," says Williams, "and I remember thinking, So that's why the President looked so mad."
Dubrocq got mad himself. "But I had to wait a few years before I could digest what had really happened and why they attacked us," he says. "I, of course, grew up to have nothing but contempt for Osama bin Laden." Yet he adds the episode "motivated me to get a better handle on the world and to want to help improve the world." It also made Dubrocq, who wants to study international business, more aware of his multinational roots he's French and Cuban on his father's side and Spanish and Mexican on his mother's. Not surprisingly, he also wants to learn other languages, like Chinese and, in an echo of his 9/11 memories, perhaps even Arabic.
Williams says she also hated bin Laden more as she grew up and gained a better appreciation of how fanatics had changed her world on 9/11. "All that just because he wanted to control everybody in the world, control how we think and what we do," she says. Williams doesn't plan to pursue a military career she wants to be a veterinarian but the military-academy student was impressed by the Navy Seal raid in Pakistan that killed bin Laden: "I was shocked. I thought after 10 years, they'd never find him. But what the SEALs did, it, like, gives me even more respect for that kind of training."
Guerrero, in fact, may as well be part of that training. She also plans a civilian life she hopes to study art and musical theater but she's a Junior ROTC member and part of her school's state champion Raiders team, which competes against other academies in contests like rope-bridge races, map navigation and marksmanship. In other words, the same sort of skills the Seal commandos have to master. She admits to feeling an added rush when she woke up to Monday morning's news: the Seals' operation, she says, "was very, very cool."
More than cool, Guerrero adds, it was also "so reassuring, after a whole decade of being scared about these things." Most of all, it "brought back a flood of memories" of their tragic morning with a President memories that prove kids can carry a lot heavier stuff in those plastic backpacks than adults often realize.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2069582,00.html#ixzz1TdBicFIL

From TIME magazine shortly after OBL killed.

07-31-2011, 07:04 AM
I had nothing but respect by the way Bush responded to the attacks. His approval rating was through the roof. I think (of his term) he had not great rating than immediately after 9/11/01

08-04-2011, 04:19 PM
I had nothing but respect by the way Bush responded to the attacks. His approval rating was through the roof. I think (of his term) he had not great rating than immediately after 9/11/01

i remember his reaction too .. he handled it well ... yes, his rating was highest weeks after the event ... what did people expect him to do, jump in a fighter plane and patrol for other planes?

08-19-2011, 09:48 PM
I enjoyed the fear he inspired in our enemies.

Bush had one of the better "Don't F*** with Us" speeches I've ever heard.

08-19-2011, 10:37 PM