The ‘George Bush kept us safe’ deception

In fear-driven US, there seems to be a pathetic need to see the president as some kind of god-like figure who will keep watch over us and keep us from coming to harm. The Republican debate on Wednesday was, as expected, largely fact-free and full of hyperbole and distortions but the one jaw-dropping moment for me was when Jeb! Bush! defended his brother’s record by saying that whatever else he might be accused of, “he kept us safe”. This line got applause from the audience. It was incredible that not a single person on the stage or the moderator pointed out that 9/11 happened when GW was president.

While Jeb! might like to think that his brother’s presidency began on September 12, 2001, the families of the victims on that day remember all too well who was in charge and are angry about his brother’s false claim.

Critics flooded Twitter with reminders that the 2001 terrorist attacks that took nearly 3,00 lives occurred on his brother’s watch.

“Jeb Bush’s revised version of history is pure fiction,” said Nancy Meyer, a member of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, in an email to International Business Times. “If we were so safe during the GW Bush administration, why did 9/11 happen at all? Richard A. Clarke of the Clinton White House tried to warn the incoming Bush administration months before the attacks, and he was turned away. The NSA [National Security Agency] briefing warning of imminent attacks that GW Bush refused to read was entitled, ‘Terrorists Determined to Strike in US.’ ”

Jim Fyfe, who lost his 31-year-old son on 9/11, said he considered Bush’s remarks Wednesday evening to be “warped.” His son, Karleton Douglas Beye Fyfe, died aboard American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center after being hijacked.

Fyfe criticized Bush for invading Iraq in 2003 and pointed to the casualties suffered during the war. “Safe? Only if one ignores the hugh toll on our military personnel and the costs to programs that would make our lives safer against hunger, lack of education and joblessness, programs to make our infrastructure sound, and if one ignores long-term generation of hatred for the U.S. in the Middle East,” he wrote in an email to IBT.

Jeb! might get away with this whopper with other Republicans but he deserves to be ridiculed by the rest of us.

Chris Hayes discusses with Michelle Goldberg about this and two other big lies spoken during the debate.

Appearing on Stephen Colbert’s show, incoming Daily Show host Trevor Noah accurately captures the spirit of the debate.


  1. busterggi says

    Yes 9/11 happened on Dubya’s watch and thousands of men & women were killed and/or maimed in the wars his administration lied us into and millions lost their homes and/or savings during the economic collapse he allowed to happen but if you were in the tiny minority of people unaffected during his term then you weren’t harmed at all.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    Pls recall that at the time of the crashes, GW Bush was focused like a laser on the pet goat crisis -- and we haven’t, even temporarily, lost a city to a goat ever since!

  3. StevoR says

    @ ^ Pierce R. Butler : I’m not sure “focused like a laser” are quite the right words there.

    For Bush II like ever,

    Pretty staggering miss on Jeb! Bush!es part here. I mean forgetting 9-11 da hell? Really?

    I can see why he’d want to do so and has maybe repressed the memory but .. Its undeniable as Global Overheating really.

  4. StevoR says

    In fear-driven US, there seems to be a pathetic need to see the president as some kind of god-like figure ..

    Godlike? Or for Obama for too many anti-Christ like?

    … who will keep watch over us and keep us from coming to harm.

    Um, isn’t protecting Americans from enemies including Jihadists part of the POTUS job description though?

  5. StevoR says

    PS. Fear is a major motivator everywhere for humans generally.*

    So is hope.

    Among other things.

    * All leaders of all groups pretty much everywhere need to keep their people safe and well guarded from their enemies don’t they? Skinner. Fear vs reward basic drives of all life really. Be safe, grow, reproduce.

  6. StevoR says

    Not that I’m saying Bush II was good or a success at it mind you -- and exploiting fears for evil ends is unethical as anything.

    The Iraq war was wrong and shouldn’t have happened.

    Bush Jr was a lousy POTUS,not saying otherwise. Obama is better -- and I hope Hillary Clinton will be better yet.

  7. raven says

    John Ellis Bush = Dumb. Dumber than his idiot brother.
    This equation has vast explanatory power.

    JE has made a lot of major mistakes in a very short period of time, war mongering, abolishing Medicare, confused about what women are and what they do and so on.

    It’s obvious he has a low IQ and was born into vast wealth. He’s never had to do anything for himself or by himself in his life.

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    StevoR @ # 4: I’m not sure “focused like a laser” are quite the right words there.

    For Bush II like ever…

    Consider the actual optical mechanisms of lasers. Hint: they synchronize, entrain, & collimate; they do not focus.

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    Reginald Selkirk @ # 10 -- Damn, another beautiful metaphor brutally slain by an ugly little fact!

  10. Mano Singham says

    But Pierce @#9 is correct, no? A lasers emit an intense beam but that is not because it is focused but for other reasons. A laser beam wavefront is almost a plane wave and you can increase the intensity by focusing the beam so that it is no longer a plane wave but hits a target with a smaller cross-sectional area and thus even greater intensity.

    That is not contradicted but actually supported by the Newport statement provided by Reginald @#10 where they say they are focusing a laser beam.

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    Mano Singham @ # 9: … Pierce @#9 is correct…

    An anomaly of historic proportions.

    Taking a chance: am I further correct in taking from all this that lasering per se does not entail focusing, but that, by lenses or otherwise, laser light can be focused?

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