Bush Exploited, Shamed 9/11
September 10, 2006
Editor's Note: Rarely has history witnessed the contrast between how a united people rallied in the face of tragedy as occurred on 9/11 and how that country's leadership then exploited that unity for ideological and partisan goals. In this heartfelt guest essay on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, political analyst Brent Budowsky looks back at that tragic day and its equally tragic exploitation by President George W. Bush and his political followers:
Never in the history of our Republic has an event been ordained by our Maker to unite our Nation and our people in the rightness of the American cause, the goodness of the American idea, and the decency and courage of the American people.
With fires burning from lower Manhattan to Northern Virginia, with the blood of heroes lifting the honor of our Nation, the American people stood united as one, friends of freedom everywhere stood with us.
Who was not moved by the courage of our police and fire fighters rushing into burning buildings to save our fellow Americans? Who wasn't inspired by the courage and valor of Pentagon workers who rushed out of the building when the attack first struck and then, realizing their colleagues and friends were in grave danger, turned around and rushed right back in, to save them?
The infamy of the crime was met with the united will and the united spirit of a United America, backed by the decent opinion of men and women in every corner of the world.
Never before in our history have our people been more hurt by a single act that struck on our shores.
Never before in our history have our people reacted to such infamy, to such hurt, with a greater and more powerful proof of our courage and nobility.
Never before in our history has the patriotism and honor of our people inspired such respect and admiration throughout the free world.
And never before in our history has any leader of our Nation exploited such an event with such smallness, such partisanship, such disunity, such contempt and such vindictiveness.
Never before in our history, has any leader of this country exploited a crisis by deliberately creating anger and hatred of some Americans against other Americans.
Never before in our history, has any leader of our country surrendered in the challenge of inspiring our people to bravery and valor, and tried to make our people act like a timid and fearful nation.
Never before in our history, never, has any President of the United States so aggressively surrendered his moral authority as leader of free world to create such worldwide anger, antipathy and fear directed not towards our enemy, but towards our President.
These words are not partisan.
The national leaders and national security establishment of the Democratic Party failed to serve our nation in October of 2002. They marched in lockstep with ideologues, extremists and the partisans of the Republican Party to support a war that should never have been fought, at great cost to our country.
The national leaders of our media failed our Nation by treating propaganda as
news, by treating falsehood as truth, by abandoning the traditions of a free
press to act like cronies and courtiers, in search of corporate profits,
political convenience, book deals and cable contracts in their new creed of
The Congress turned its constitutional role of oversight and war powers into a legislative farce that shed great blood of heroes for the safety and convenience of politicians.
The American people are disillusioned and angry at all of them, and for good reason.
But in our system of government there is one President and Commander in Chief with unique responsibilities and duties. And historians will judge that the greatest lie ever told by any man who ever held that post was this:
The man who campaigned as the Great Uniter, and declared himself the Great Decider, will burn in history as the Great Divider with all of the catastrophic consequences that are escalating every hour, of every day.
How pathetic that as the sun begins to set on his failed Presidency, he
blames the people of our Nation, saying we have some psychological trauma rather
than learning the lessons of his enormous mistakes. He will never understand
that a grateful nation would rise with relief, if he only had the wisdom to
learn and change, and a grateful world world will rise with relief, when his
office are done.
George W. Bush will be impeached by the court of history for using 9/11 to create fear throughout the land, rather than bravery, courage and valor.
George W. Bush will be impeached by the court of history for using 9/11 to launch partisan and dishonest attacks on genuine American war heroes because they happen to be members of the other political party.
George W. Bush will be impeached by the court of history for using 9/11 as a reason to become the only President in our history to become a world-wide advocate for torture and detention practices that every leader, of every democratic nation, everywhere in the world, has publicly or privately pleaded with him to abandon.
George W. Bush will be impeached by the court of history for showing contempt for the advice of our military commanders by allowing the man he compares to Hitler, to escape from Tora Bora, to pursue an obsessive war in Iraq, that many of those same commanders warned him about, while he publicly claimed he always follows their advice.
George W. Bush will be impeached by the court of history for treating the Chief of Staff of the Army with ridicule and contempt, when General Shinseki so honorably tried to warn him.
George W. Bush will be impeached by the court of history, for putting his hand on the Bible and pledging to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution while using 9-11 to claim the unilateral power to break it.
George W. Bush will be impeached by the court of history by accepting the sacred duty to faithfully execute the laws of the land, while using 9/11 to create fears to claim the unilateral powers to violate them.
George W. Bush will be impeached by the court of history for dishonoring a spirit that had Democrats and Republicans singing God Bless America at the doors of our Capitol, to personally promote a politics so venomous, vile and vindictive that he fills the air with talk of treason and enemies lists compiled by hate-filled supporters.
Even when one of his media partisans slanders the Army that landed at Normandy and the Marines who took Iwo Jima with preposterous falsehoods that they committed war crimes, the self-styled war president lacks the moral integrity to speak out, for fear of offending what he proudly regards as his base.
Even when the trash of American politics slanders and demeans some widows of 9/11, this partisan who promised to bring honor and integrity to Washington lacks the moral stature to speak out, even against that.
George W. Bush will be morally impeached by the court of history for trying to frighten our people into war with Iraq, with tall tales of Saddam Hussein working with Osama Bin Laden to create mushroom clouds of nuclear extermination that would kill the people of New York.
George W. Bush will be impeached by the court of history for using 9/11 to fan the flames of fear so violently, that at one point, the Capital City of the land of the free and the home of the brave was turned into a panicked hutch of rabbits running to the stores for duct tape, gas masks, bottled water, and bullet proof vests while the Vice-President of the United States fled to hiding spots at undisclosed locations.
How ironic, how pathetic, and how fitting that as America prepares to honor the heroes of 9/11 the Senate Intelligence Committee issues a report detailing fraudulent exploitation of false intelligence, one of America's national networks exploits 9/11 with a docu-fraud of falsehoods, while our "wartime" President exploits 9/11 one more time, with one more taxpayer financed tour of fear, desperately trying to win one more national election.
Five years ago some of the finest Americans who God ever put on this earth gave their lives for their brothers and sisters, for their neighbors and families, for the country that they and we love so much, so deeply and so passionately.
No one ever took a poll to determine whether these American heroes were Democrats or Republicans, because it does not matter.
Who they were, what they did, and the legacy they left us, is transcendent and timeless. God Bless each and every one of them, and God give us the wisdom and strength to honor the torch they handed to us.
From the day of those dark hours, those they loved, their husbands, wives, daughters, sons, neighbors and lovers have scattered from the ashes to the far corners, sharing a common love, faith and desire to get the strength from that tragedy to make our country a better place, each in their own individual way.
God Bless each and every one of you, no matter what path you have chosen. As you love those you lost, we love you. Our hopes and our prayers are with you, always.
To our President, who has so dangerously lost his way, and in so many ways led our country so far astray, we can only hope and pray that he will rejoin the legacy of those leaders who came before him, from whom he can learn so much, before more damage is done.
As we honor the great heroes who left us, on that dastardly day, five years ago, we might all rededicate ourselves to what they stood for so valiantly.
At our best, America can be a nation of heroes, inspired by those who came before us, lifted by the example of those who were with us, dedicated to a nation in which we are truly in this together.
We are brave, not fearful.
Fellow patriots, not domestic enemies.
Offering respect, not contempt, for each other, whatever our differences.
Valuing truth, not propaganda.
Honoring valor in defense of freedom, not fear to take freedom away.
Acting in a manner befitting the leader of the free world, the legatees of Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln, not King George III, Richard Milhous Nixon or Joe McCarthy.
Hopefully with our President, but if necessary without him: some things have gone terribly wrong and we are in this together, to set them right.
America is a good and great and glorious land we love.
We take this moment to honor those who have a timeless place in the American heart, who gave their lives for the greatest nation and the truest idea that has ever graced the earth.
Together, we put our hands on our hearts and salute their bravery, their heroism, their Americanism and their example.
Brent Budowsky was an aide to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen on intelligence issues, and served as Legislative Director to Rep. Bill Alexander when he was Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Leadership. Budowsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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