Tuesday, September 12, 2006

911 Bookends

I was going to call this post "Criminal Negligence Causing Death," but I then I thought: I don't need to be that shrill. I think the evidence should speak for itself. What follows is as complete an itinerary as I could compile for the 43rd President of the United States of America from August 6 till September 10, 2001. Most of these entries were cribbed from the official Whitehouse.gov website:
  • August 6, 2001 [Crawford, TX]: Bush receives (what should have been) a particularly startling Presidential Daily Briefing, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US" (AP photo; yes, that is WH counsel Harriet Miers showing Bush the PDB)
  • August 7, 2001 [Ridgewood Country Club, Waco, TX]: Remarks to the WH press pool
Q Also today, apparently the Iraqis fired upon some allied planes in the no-fly zone and we bombed, apparently, some of the sites there. What do you have on that?
THE PRESIDENT: I've been briefed on it. As you know, our military can make decisions as they see fit to protect our pilots -- unless, of course, it's close to Baghdad, in which case it requires my approval. The missions that took place were fully in accordance with established allied war plans. As I said, Saddam Hussein is a menace, he's still a menace and we need to keep him in check, and will.
Q Are they ratcheting it up, though? We've had a lot of incidents lately.
THE PRESIDENT: No -- are they, the Iraqis? He's been a menace forever, and we will do -- he needs to open his country up for inspection, so we can see whether or not he's developing weapons of mass destruction.
  • August 8, 2001 [Habitat for Humanity Event, Waco, TX]: Lots of talk from the President about loving your neighbour and his proposals for "faith-based initiatives."
  • August 9, 2001 [Crawford, TX]: The President addresses the nation on Stem Cell Research and announces that public funding will not be made available for any new embryonic stem cell lines.
  • August 13, 2001 [Crawford, TX]: "Remarks by the President at Signing of Agriculture Supplemental Bill" Economic assistance to American farmers.
  • August 14, 2001 [Rocky Mountain National Park, CO]: The president addresses a YMCA picnic about the National Parks Service and the Dept. Interior. Again, lots of talk about faith-based initiatives.
  • August 15, 2001 [Albuquerque, NM]: President addresses the Hispanic Chamber of Congress (taxes, NAFTA, education, faith-based initiatives, etc.).
  • August 17, 2001: Bush issues "Executive Order on Export Control Regulations" {Among other things, this E.O. "require[s] individuals to obtain a license to transfer weapons-related products or information to a foreign person" p.11 of this doc}
  • August 21, 2001 [Menomonee Falls, WI]: President addresses a Harley Davidson factory lunch-room in Wisconsin.
  • August 21, 2001 [Kansas City, MS]: President talks about tax cuts at a Target Store snack-bar.
Q Are you going to talk to us -- you going to talk to us tomorrow? Play golf and maybe talk to us?
Q You're going to have the budget review tomorrow. Do you think you might talk to us from the golf course or someplace?
THE PRESIDENT: I won't be playing golf tomorrow. Probably -- I may -- just keep loose this week. I may have a discussion with you on some matters later on this week
Q Military matters, perhaps?
THE PRESIDENT: I ain't telling.
Q Buildings with five sides?
Q No more hints?
THE PRESIDENT: No, the last time we -- I'm trying to get a picnic organized so you all can come out to the ranch. Is this the -- are you the last shift?
  • August 22, 2001: President releases a statement of warm wishes to Jesse Helms. Helms announced his retirement from the senate.
  • August 23, 2001 [Crawford, TX]: President speaks with kids at a local elementary school about education and (get this!):
In order to go to college or realize your dreams, you have to make right choices in life. As you grow up, you've got to learn to say yes to the good things and no to the bad things, like saying no to drugs. That's going to be important in order to realize your dreams. No to alcohol, excessive alcohol. You've got to learn to make the right choices when you get older.
  • August 25, 2001 [Prarie Chapel Ranch, Crawford, TX]: President gives a tour of his Ranch to a bunch of reporters. Despite the length of the interview and the sheer number of reporters present, nobody discusses anything of import. Loads about trees, armadillos, Bush's dogs, BBQing, running, Bush's inappropriate use of axes & chainsaws, Condi, but still nothing about terrorism. Here's the only indication that Bush has done anything other than play ranch-hand:
Q So how many hours a day are you out here?
THE PRESIDENT: About three. But I've had the full day already. I got up at 5:45 a.m., read all the stuff I needed to read, and then took off at about 7 a.m. with a little run, got back to the house about 7:45 a.m. and we had a CIA briefing for an hour, and a national security briefing. Both of them took an hour. Then we came down here and started working. And this will be it. Probably finish about 12:15 p.m. or so.
Q So you're so in your element here. Are you dreading going back to Washington?
THE PRESIDENT: No. Life is a series of contrasts. And I like it here a lot, I really do. And I am in my element here. We really like it. But I also like -- I wouldn't have run for President if I didn't like the challenge and the give and take and the sense of accomplishment. Plus, we like living in the White House. It's a nice place to live, as they say in Crawford.
Q I know, but I think when people see you out here, who haven't been to the ranch before -- a lot of us haven't -- now we sort of get it.
[...] Q When you have those business meetings, like the Joint Chiefs briefing, do you like to keep it separate from the living quarters on the ranch?
THE PRESIDENT: Actually, you know, what we call the governor's house, the place where you all came out during the -- that's where we went. Condi and Karen Hughes stayed there. And right across the street from that is a -- it's a nice looking government doublewide. (Laughter.) And that's where the mil aide, the nurse, the WHCA head, the doc, they stay.
The CIA briefings, I have on our porch, the end of our porch looking out over the lake. When Tenet came up, that's where we visited, out there.
You know, everybody wants to see the ranch, which I'm proud to show it off. So George Tenet and I -- yesterday, we piled in the new nominees for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Vice Chairman and their wives and went right up the canyon.
  • August 26, 2001 [Williamsport, PA]: Bush speaks at the Little League World Series
  • August 27, 2001: Bush orders federal aid for Ohio (storm and flood victims).
  • August 28, 2001 [San Antonio, TX]: Bush addresses the American Legion. He discussed his "Defense Priorities":
This budget I submitted to Congress makes national defense a priority. I've asked Congress to provide the largest increase in military spending since Ronald Reagan was the President and Commander-in-Chief of the United States. (Applause.) And to meet any dangers, our administration will begin building the military of the future. We must and we will make major investments in research and development. And we are committed to defending America and our allies against ballistic missile attacks, against weapons of mass destruction held by rogue leaders in rogue nations that hate America, hate our values and hate what we stand for.
  • August 31, 2001 [Washington, D.C.]: Launch of WH website at the Eisenhower Executive office Bldg.
  • September 3, 2001 [Detroit, MI]: President discusses the economy (=tax cuts and more "faith-based initiatives") with Teamsters at their BBQ.
  • September 4, 2001 [Washington, D.C.]: President meets with Sen. Majority leader, Trent Lott, about their agenda for the fall of 2001: education, the budget, tax rebate-checks, immigration, etc. Also on Sept. 4, the President releases a statement regarding China and missile defense:
We believe missile defense can contribute to stability in Asia. Moreover, missile defense is an important element of our broader strategy to combat proliferation of missiles and weapons of mass destruction. The export of Chinese missile technology continues to be a concern (which is why we imposed sanctions on a Chinese company on Saturday) as does the Chinese buildup of short-range ballistic missiles.
  • September 5, 2001 [Washington, D.C]: President Bush meets with Vincente Fox.
  • September 6, 2001 [Toledo, OH]: Bush & Fox conclude their 2-day visit at The University of Toledo.
  • September 7, 2001 [Washington, D.C.]: Pres. Bush makes a speech about the state of the U.S. economy (=taxes, tax cuts, tax "relief" etc, etc)
  • September 10, 2001 [Jacksonville, FL]: Bush visits an elementary school in Jacksonville to discuss his proposals for education reform.
September 11, 2001: "Reading makes a country great!"


Blogger Mike said...

Very interesting...leaves no doubt that he was gunning for Iraq before 9\11 and unscropulously used the tragedy for his own political ends.

9/13/2006 10:40 AM  

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