Lest the occasion go without notice, yesterday was 12th years to the day of then-President George W. Bush ignoring the Presidential Daily Briefing given to him that was titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the U.S."
I know that Mr. Bush is fond of saying we should "Let history judge" -- in fact, he still said it yet again just three months ago, right before his "Presidential Library" (sic) opened, the start of the "Let's Whitewash George Bush's Reputation Tour."
Yeah, history. It’s a funny thing about history, y’know. Imagine that, 12 years ago yesterday, ignoring the worst attack on U.S. soil ever. How’s that for history, Mr. Bush?
And he’s still doing it. He’s still trying to burnish his tarnished legacy. Still ignoring the reality of the damage he caused while hiding behind history. Well, we’re in “history” now. And it isn’t pretty.
I know that there are far-right conservatives who want to ignore all that, claim it's just living in the past. Except -- y'see, that's what history is. And George Bush has asked us (repeatedly) to let that very history judge. But more than that, it isn't just "history." The result of Mr. Bush's disastrous actions are living with us still today, in profound ways. It's what the Edward Snowden affair is centered on. It's what the Benghazi tragedy was centered on. It's what evacuating the embassies in the Middle East, right now, is centered on. And so much more.
But to anyone who'd like to downplay what George Bush did 12 years ago yesterday (or more accurately, didn't do) and whitewash it all away, I only ask one question: what would your reaction be if had been Barack Obama sitting in the Oval Office.
(Well, okay, a faux-Barack Obama. I feel confident that the real Barack Obama would have read, studied and acted on that PDB. But for the sake of argument, we're talking about a George Bush-like Barack Obama who would have ignored the report and read My Pet Goat instead.)
I think we all have a pretty good idea what the reaction would have been by the far right.
They would have called the President a traitor, a Muslim terrorist, a man who intentionally perpetrated a deadly act on America because he hated the country and white people, and they would have been calling for his impeachment and probably arrest. And it would have been loud, vociferous, outraged, in tears and unending.
And I challenge anyone on the far right who denies that to explain what they would have said instead. "Well, gee, these things happen. But he kept us safe after that, and the 3,000 deaths."
So, spare us all your dismissal of the anniversary of George Bush ignoring the PDB, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside U.S." I don't have the patience.
George W. Bush. The gift that keeps on giving.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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