Rush Limbaugh: "The White House is politicizing 9-11!"
Rich Gardner | 01.18.2010
The Obama Administration "politicizing 9-11?" Isn't that kind of like the old phrase "Bringing coals to Newcastle"? 9-11 was ALREADY very politicized.
Rush Limbaugh claimed on his radio show that the White House, by calling for the date of September 11th to be observed as a day or service to the community, was "politicizing 9-11." Erm, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said:
With the intelligence all pointing toward bin Laden, Rumsfeld ordered the military to begin working on strike plans. And at 2:40 p.m., the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying he wanted "best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H." – meaning Saddam Hussein – "at same time. Not only UBL" – the initials used to identify Osama bin Laden.
People in Washington DC first started hearing about the four hijacked aircraft at around 8:30am on the morning of September 11th. Apparently, Rumsfeld first became aware of Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37am. Rumsfeld was fitfully in and out of touch with the chain of command starting at around 10:00am (He had gone outside to view the crash scene). "Rumsfeld later claims that he only started to gain a situational awareness of what was happening after arriving at the NMCC" at 10:30am. The military was put on high alert at around 10:45am. At 1:02pm, Rumsfeld "tells Bush, 'This is not a criminal action. This is war.'"
So let's keep in mind when Limbaugh tells his listeners that President Obama is "politicizing 9-11," that it was politicized by a high-ranking member of the Bush Administration long before the fires were out and before President Bush had even made it back to Washington DC upon that date. The Bush Administration suggested to the public so many times, both directly and indirectly, that the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, had something to do with 9-11 that:
In his prime-time press conference last week, which focused almost solely on Iraq, President Bush mentioned Sept. 11 eight times. He referred to Saddam Hussein many more times than that, often in the same breath with Sept. 11.
Bush never pinned blame for the attacks directly on the Iraqi president. Still, the overall effect was to reinforce an impression that persists among much of the American public: that the Iraqi dictator did play a direct role in the attacks.
So strongly was the case made that Saddam Hussein and 9-11 were linked that two years later, 70% of the American public was convinced there was some sort of link.
Finally, former Vice President Cheney said in July 2009 that:
"I do not believe and have never seen any evidence to confirm that [Hussein] was involved in 9/11. We had that reporting for a while, [but] eventually it turned out not to be true," Cheney conceded.
So to say that the Obama Administration is "politicizing 9-11" is sorta like saying that a porn star is "sexing up" an adult movie or that an actor who plays a warrior is making a war movie violent. It's kind of a ludicrous charge. Personally, I think the idea of making September 11th into a day of community service is an absolutely wonderful idea.