Thursday, April 25, 2013


You may have seen this yesterday:
An odd argument that President George W. Bush kept America safe from terrorism "except for 9/11" made its way to the House floor Wednesday, coming from Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).

The claim resurfaced on the right immediately after the Boston bombings, and made its way back into conservative punditry in the days that followed, Steve Benen reported.

As Benen and others have noted, it's hard to ignore the nearly 3,000 people who died on 9/11 and the hundreds who have been killed since in tallying Bush's terrorism record. But the "since 9/11" count also leaves out the 2002 shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport [and] the anthrax attacks after 9/11....
It also leaves out a 2006 incident in North Carolina:
In March 2006, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill graduate Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar drove an SUV into an area of campus, striking nine pedestrians. According to reports, Taheri-azar said he acted because he wanted to "avenge the deaths or murders of Muslims around the world." Taheri-azar also reportedly stated in a letter: "I was aiming to follow in the footsteps of one of my role models, Mohammad Atta, one of the 9/11/01 hijackers, who obtained a doctorate degree."
But that didn't stop The Weekly Standard and Fox Nation from pushing this meme from Representative Cotton's speech:

"I rise today to express grave doubts about the Obama Administration's counterterrorism policies and programs," said the freshman congressman from Arkansas. "Counterterrorism is often shrouded in secrecy, as it should be, so let us judge by the results. In barely four years in office, five jihadists have reached their targets in the United States under Barack Obama: the Boston Marathon bomber, the underwear bomber, the Times Square Bomber, the Fort Hood shooter, and in my own state -- the Little Rock recruiting office shooter. In the over seven years after 9/11 under George W. Bush, how many terrorists reached their target in the United States? Zero! We need to ask, 'Why is the Obama Administration failing in its mission to stop terrorism before it reaches its targets in the United States?'"
So no terrorists "reached their targets" after 9/11 under Bush. The underwear bomber was on a plane with a bomb under Obama, and that counts as "reaching the target" -- but the shoe bomber, who was also on a plane with a bomb under Bush, didn't "reach the target." And the folks who actually committed terrorist acts post-9/11 under Bush didn't "reach their targets." And under Obama, "reaching the target" counts as actually hurting people. Close counts in horseshoes and Democratic administrations.

And today we have this brief allusion to Cotton's speech on Rush Limbaugh's show:
I've got a sound bite here from somebody, five successful bombers during the Obama regime.
Limbaugh goes to a different sound bite and never elaborates on this -- but notice the wording: "five successful bombers." You'll hear that on Fox again. You'll see that on right-wing Web sites. You'll probably hear it on the floors of Congress: five who "reached their targets" will become five who succeeded in committing terrorist acts under Obama. As opposed to the terrorism-free Bush administration.


tonycpsu said...

Excellent post, but:

And under Obama, "reaching the target" counts as actually hurting people.

Don't you mean "under Bush" there?

Steve M. said...

I just meant that, under Obama, the Times Square bomber and the underwear bomber count as successful terrorists to Rep. Cotton, even though they failed.

Victor said...

"Except for 9/11" no terrorists...

"Well, except for that unfortunate incident, Mrs. Kennedy, how was the rest of your visit to our beautiful city of Dallas?"

Shorter said...

9/11 wasn't a terrorist attack, it was Amurrica-Day.

Ten Bears said...

No, it was Love the Jews Day. Fucking Little Eichmenn.

Your chicken-shit has come to roost.

No fear.