Friday, January 8, 2010

Rudy Giuliani: We Had No Domestic Attacks Under Bush

I think that this example could be revisionist history at its worst.

Rudy Giuliani, yes the same Rudy Giuliani who was mayor of New York City on 9/11/01, stated this morning on Good Morning America that: "We had no domestic attacks under Bush; we've had one under Obama."


As is pointed out by Rachel Weiner at the Huffington Post, even if Giuliani meant POST 9/11, he still completely "forgot" about the shoe-bomber and the anthrax attacks. Curious considering Giuliani has previously been very quick to bring up the 2001 terrorist attacks in the past:

UPDATE: Giuliani's spokesman claims that Giuliani was “clearly talking post-9/11 with regards to Islamic terrorist attacks on our soil.” So, he left out not only the "post-9/11" part but also the "Islamic" part of his statement? Nice, but still factually wrong as he is still forgetting about the anthrax attacks and the D.C. sniper shootings.

Credit where credit is due however, George Stephanopolous has accepted responsibility for not pushing Giuliani on this claim during the interview.


trey said...

I'm not saying that the 'no terrorism since 9-11 under Bush' observation neccesarily speaks to any substantive accomplishment by the Bush administration but your rebuttal argument is simply silly semantics. Both the shoe bombing and the anthrax attacks occurred in late 2001 (before any fair observer could expect any major post-9/11 changes in the nation's security systems to be even half-way implemented). Chris, you often complain that political debate in this country too rarely rises above the knee-jerk 'gotcha' variety but I think you fell into that trap this time.

trey said...

I just reread your post and I missed the DC sniper part. That, I believe, did occur in 2002 (enough time after 9/11 to have expected the post 9/11 security changes to be implemented)but that was such an unexpected way of attack and so nearly impossible to counteract that I think the Bushies can be excused. But the Christmas Day failed plane bombing had been tried before and Maj. Nassan gave off so many danger signs, I think its appropriate to ask if Obama's security team is as tough-minded as Bush's post-9/11 team. (Also, I have also not gotten the chance to needle you about your misplaced panic last summer about how the real security danger in the country is all those white nationalists coming out of the closet to terrorize the country.)

Chris Johnson said...

My post in no way is "blaming" one Administration versus another. This post was merely one that highlights the revisionist history that has been on display by Dana Perino, Rudy Giuliani, and others that continue to push the meme that Bush "kept us safe" and that post-9/11 we had no terror attacks. These claims are not accurate. Regardless of how you categorize the terrorist attacks (anthrax, shoe bomber, DC sniper), they did happen correct? So it is not accurate to claim that no other terror attacks happened under Bush after 9/11.

As for my "misplaced panic", it was the Department of Homeland Security that issued the report about the rise in right-wing extremism. Conservatives went nuts over this report saying that all Conservatives were being labeled as extreme and DHS withdrew the report. Then, Dr. Tiller was shot and killed and there was the DC shooting at the Holocaust museum both by right-wing extremists.

Given these incidents and given all of the hysteria that surrounded some of the tea-party/health care town hall meetings over the summer, it was (and is) certainly worthy of discussion. What I didn't say was that the threat of right-wing extremism somehow diminishes any threat from Al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations.

trey said...

'What I didn't say was that the threat somehow of right-wing extremism somehow diminishes any threat from Al Queda'. Come on Chris, you know people who want to influence political debate never explicitly state things in an alienating fashion like the statement above. They simply ignore issues they don't want action on and emphasize things they do. And as I pointed out when it occurred, you wrote a series of posts on an act of terror that had some connection to right-wing politics (abortion doctor murder) but completely ignored a terror act with some connection to left-wing politics (the shooting at the Army recruitment center)even though they occurred virtually on the same day. This revealed an agenda-driven mindset, one that is not only unfair but seems to be misplaced. Right-wing extremism is somewhat dangerous and shouldn't be ignored but I think it pales in comparison to the Islamic kind. (They are willing to kill themselves in order to kill you.)

I am at a computer without sound so I haven't listened to Rudy's statement. Admittedly, he often has a confrontational style and maybe that is what you are objecting to but I still think if you disagree with his statement of 'no post 9/11 attacks under Bush', you should do better than a simple semantic rebuttal (arguing that anthrax/shoe bombing actually occurred a few weeks after 9/11). Bush had nearly 7 years of virtually terror-free years and I think you would be better served by asking if this was merely coincidence or if it has some meaning. {The general public has (for some time) had more trust with Repubs on national security issues and thus I think the left will need to address issues like these in a more substantive manner or risk losing on a significant issue with the voters]