September 14, 2006

Exploding The Myth Of "Bush's Greatest Moment"

Mahablog has an interesting series called "Ten Days After":
When I reviewed news stories of September 11 and the ten days after I was surprised to find copious foreshadowing of the mess Bush would make. It was all there, from delayed reactions to Iraq to bullying and bluster, and all in the public record. Yet few of us noticed at the time. President Bush’s performance after September 11 is remembered — by the general public and MSM, anyway — as strong and purposeful, yet hindsight reveals many of the same traits that caused him to bleep New Orleans...
From Day One:
The President himself later said he saw the first crash on television before he entered the classroom, but the first crash wasn’t shown on television that soon...
The first media reports of Flight 11’s crash into the World Trade Center began around 8:48, two minutes after the crash happened. [New York Times, 9/15/01] CNN broke into its regular programming at that time [CNN, 9/11/01], though other networks, such as ABC, took a few more minutes to begin reporting. [ABC, 9/14/02] So within minutes, millions were aware of the story, yet Bush supposedly remained unaware for about another ten minutes.
This detail is important because, as we now know, the crisis unfolded for some time with no centralized direction from the President or anyone else in the Administration. NORAD, the FAA, various air traffic control towers, and other governmental agencies were on their own to figure out what was happening and how to work together to manage the emergency. As this timeline makes clear, the result was chaos. Initial news stories to the contrary, the President was mostly out of touch all day. Vice President Cheney presumed to take charge without the constitutional authority to do so, yet he was unable to orchestrate anything resembling a coordinated response. His order to shoot down hijacked planes was issued ten minutes after the last hijacked plane had crashed.
I will be watching this story closely. In fact, I think this sort of "myth-busting" information could be critical to defeating Bush's GOP in the coming elections.


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