When conservatives correctly point out that one disastrous terrorist attack and another catastrophic but thwarted attack both happened during President Obama’s first term in office, because his agencies either overlooked the perpetrators’ jihadist intentions or failed to act on relevant intelligence, liberals respond with an argument that was discredited nearly a decade ago: “But 9/11 happened on George Bush’s watch!”
Obama supporters mocked Rudy Giuliani’s recent claim to George Stephanopolous “We had no domestic attacks under Bush,” stubbornly avoiding Giuliani’s obvious implication that he was speaking post-9/11. Until last week, Democrats loved to excoriate Giuliani for making endless references to the terrorist attack that occurred while he was mayor of New York; now they claim he forgets it happened. Which is it?
Conservatives’ point is that Obama has forgotten the lessons of 9/11, which Bush did not have available to him until, surprisingly—9/11. The Ft. Hood and Flight 253 attacks happened in the first year of Obama’s administration, and 9/11 happened in the first year of Bush’s administration, but Obama had the example of 9/11 to learn from, and Bush did not. (Even if you count the thwarted attack by the shoe bomber in December 2001, that bomber tried to strike just months after 9/11, when fully revamped security procedures were not running as smoothly as they are now; also, the bomber used the novel, unprecedented technique of wearing the bomb on his person so that it would not be detected by luggage screeners.) read more »