Giuliani claims that US had no homeland terror attacks in Bush administration

posted at 1:36 pm on January 8, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Rudy Giuliani has come under some criticism for remarks he made to George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America today regarding the Obama administration’s response to terrorism and approach to terrorists. Some of what Rudy says in this interview is entirely supportable, but can he really claim that there were no domestic terrorist attacks in the Bush administration? Er …

It isn’t that President Bush did everything right. This whole thing is like, well, they say, you know, “President Bush sent people to Yemen.” Well, he shouldn’t have! [Laughs] He shouldn’t have sent people to Yemen! Obviously, now, if he could do it again — one in five people that have been released from Guantanamo have gotten involved in terrorist activities. At least! That’s what we can measure. Obviously, it was a mistake.

What he should be doing is following the right things that Bush did. One of the right things he did was treat this as a war on terror. We had no domestic attacks under Bush — we’ve had one under Obama. Number two, he should correct the things that Bush didn’t do right. Sending people to Yemen was wrong. Not connecting — not getting this whole intelligence thing correct was both Bush’s responsibility and Obama [crosstalk].

Well, the obvious miss here is 9/11, which Giuliani should have understood still reflected on Bush the way the EunuchBomber reflected on Obama.  One has to assume Rudy meant after 9/11, when everyone finally began to take AQ seriously.  Even that leaves eight months of the Bush term, compared to eleven months of the Obama term before the EunuchBomber, in which to come to speed on an organization that had already conducted a string of terrorist attacks on American assets abroad.  That’s a losing argument no matter how one slices it.

That’s also not the only terrorist plot that came to fruition in the Bush administration. Richard Reid attempted to blow up an airplane headed to the US from Paris in almost the exact same manner that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab did coming from Amsterdam. In both cases, the plane was only saved by the quick action of the passengers and a certain amount of incompetence by the terrorist.

Jake Tapper points out on Twitter that the DC sniper John Muhammad was convicted by a jury of terrorism in the ten murders he committed. We never did get a clear declaration of jihad from Muhammad before his arrest, but he did offer strong hints as to his jihadist motivations while in prison — along with a number of other psychotic ramblings.  And for that matter, we still have yet to determine whether the anthrax attacks in 2002 were terrorist attacks of a domestic or foreign nature.

Rudy has some important points to offer here, but they get obscured by the poor attempt at point-scoring.  We had our intel failures in the Bush administration, too, and Bush eventually signed off on the creation of DHS and DNI, which has been a big part of the problems we have seen in the last couple of months.  We should drop the notion that everything ran perfectly before January 2009 (a point Rudy started to make as well), and focus on pushing for more rational reforms and better performance instead.

Update: Jake Tapper recalls another 2002 attack that has largely been forgotten:

Some might argue, however, that even with this quite significant clarification, Giuliani is ignoring some other acts of terrorism:

• Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, an Egyptian national who on July 4, 2002 shot and killed two Israelis and wounded four others at the El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport. The FBI would later say Hadayet was motivated by opposition to Israel and US policy in the Middle East and the shootings fit the definition of terrorism.


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Comment pages: 1 2

I’m a supporter of truth, facts and goodness. All foreign concepts to you, apparently.

KittyLowrey on January 8, 2010 at 6:08 PM

a supporter indeed

The Race Card on January 8, 2010 at 6:34 PM

Just curious-how would you have had Bush prevent the 9/11 attacks?

Del Dolemonte on January 8, 2010 at 5:02 PM
———

You don’t hold Bush accountable at all for 9/11?

WOW

Dave Rywall on January 8, 2010 at 5:04 PM
Got an answer to Del’s questions, Big Guy?

KittyLowrey on January 8, 2010 at 6:15 PM

I can.

He could have listened to the intelligence. Clinton warned him that Terrorism was a huge issue and he ignored that. Upon hearing the plane suspect memo I think his reponse was:

“You’ve covered your butt”

He filled his cabinet with people who were skillled in cold war theory and ignored trained veteran terror experts (Richard Clarke).

You can’t assign 100% blame to him, but you can’t not blame him at all.

harry on January 8, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Bush inherited 9/11 from Clinton.

Maquis on January 8, 2010 at 6:53 PM

harry on January 8, 2010 at 6:38 PM

I already posted the action Bush had taken over the spring and summer of 2001 to get a plan to eliminate al Qaeda rather than try and just contain it. Follow the link and read more (you won’t). The plan was prepared and delivered in early September. Bush took terrorism very seriously. Since the left wants to compare, he took it more seriously than Clinton and clearly more seriously than Obama. What specifically should and could he have done to prevent 9/11.

You did not answer the question. Rather, you engaged in the endless false liberal narrative.

KittyLowrey on January 8, 2010 at 7:08 PM

I already posted the action Bush had taken over the spring and summer of 2001 to get a plan to eliminate al Qaeda rather than try and just contain it. Follow the link and read more (you won’t). The plan was prepared and delivered in early September. Bush took terrorism very seriously. Since the left wants to compare, he took it more seriously than Clinton and clearly more seriously than Obama. What specifically should and could he have done to prevent 9/11.

You did not answer the question. Rather, you engaged in the endless false liberal narrative.

KittyLowrey on January 8, 2010 at 7:08 PM

But he didn’t prevent 9/11? So what, it happened, I don’t think it would have mattered even if Gore where preident.

Why do you want or need to fight this again.

I already said it wasn’t 100% his fault but as President at the time, the buck has to stop somewhere.

harry on January 8, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Ed — correction — the anthrax attacks were in September 2001, right after the 9/11 attacks.
————————————————————–

I would buy the Reid comparison to the underwear guy if Reid’s father had told the Bush administration that he was a terrorist who was in Yemen getting ready to attack.

LifeTrek on January 8, 2010 at 7:58 PM

Bush inherited 9/11 from Clinton.

Maquis on January 8, 2010 at 6:53 PM

And Obama inherited a shaky economy.

Oh wait, I forgot, we can only play the blame game when the target isn’t someone we like.

Dark-Star on January 8, 2010 at 8:00 PM

I can.

He could have listened to the intelligence. Clinton warned him that Terrorism was a huge issue and he ignored that. Upon hearing the plane suspect memo I think his reponse was:

“You’ve covered your butt”

He filled his cabinet with people who were skillled in cold war theory and ignored trained veteran terror experts (Richard Clarke).

You can’t assign 100% blame to him, but you can’t not blame him at all.

harry on January 8, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Translation:

“I can’t answer the question, either. So I will repeat the anti-Bush 9/11 talking points that come straight out of Central Casting. That ‘cover your butt’ one always works!”

Answer the question-how could Bush have actually prevented the attacks?

You and I both know the answer, but you’re the one afraid to admit it.

Del Dolemonte on January 8, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Translation:

“I can’t answer the question, either. So I will repeat the anti-Bush 9/11 talking points that come straight out of Central Casting. That ‘cover your butt’ one always works!”

Answer the question-how could Bush have actually prevented the attacks?

You and I both know the answer, but you’re the one afraid to admit it.

Del Dolemonte on January 8, 2010 at 8:18 PM

No Del, I’m tired of trying to blame anything that Republican do on Democrats or Democrats on Republicans.

Grow up. Yes Del, Republican sh*t does stink.

harry on January 8, 2010 at 8:33 PM

And Obama inherited a shaky economy.

Oh wait, I forgot, we can only play the blame game when the target isn’t someone we like.

Dark-Star on January 8, 2010 at 8:00 PM

:)

Yup. An economy Zero and friends in the Senate created via forced affirmative action loans, against the objections of Bush.

Maquis on January 8, 2010 at 8:55 PM

Ed Morrissey you FUCK, why not go get yourself a show on MSNBC?

Eyas on January 8, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Yup. An economy Zero and friends in the Senate created via forced affirmative action loans, against the objections of Bush.

Maquis on January 8, 2010 at 8:55 PM

LOL, wow is nothing Republican’s fault. Is this how one wins elections?

harry on January 8, 2010 at 9:10 PM

Grow up. Yes Del, Republican sh*t does stink.

harry on January 8, 2010 at 8:33 PM

Translation:

“I can’t answer Del’s question”.

‘Round and round

Del Dolemonte on January 8, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Translation:

“I can’t answer Del’s question”.

‘Round and round

Del Dolemonte on January 8, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Del you are truly a special person. Oh what time does the short bus pick you up?

harry on January 8, 2010 at 10:32 PM

Ed Morrissey you FUCK, why not go get yourself a show on MSNBC?

Eyas on January 8, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Wow. This one has been drinking the strong version of the Fox News Kool-Aid.

Decider on January 9, 2010 at 12:31 AM

The Democrats had Congressional majority for two years to prepare the crappy economy for Obama to inherit.
Good job too, don’t you think?

Cybergeezer on January 9, 2010 at 12:59 PM

I apologize for offending anyone with the facts.

Cybergeezer on January 9, 2010 at 1:01 PM

As I recall reading somewhere the intelligence community was on to the proposed 9/11 attacks but had no clear picture of how planes would be used as weapons as the tactic had not been employed to that time. The other point I would like to make is: How do you blame one man for all of the PC that led to foreigners being trained to fly but not land? As for the anthrax threat, nobody ever established the causal relation.

LarryG on January 9, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Comment pages: 1 2