Giuliani Spews False Claims AGAIN: ‘We Had no Domestic Attacks Under Bush,’ but ‘Had One Under Obama’
January 8, 2010
(ChattahBox)— Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and 9/11 “expert” took to the airwaves this week, joining Republicans in taking cheap political shots at President Obama in the wake of a failed Christmas-day plot to blow up a plane. But Giuliani has gone beyond partisan attacks and has entered a bizarro realm of outright lies and hackery. And worse, supposedly “real” journalists have allowed Giuliani to make his false statements on television completely unchallenged. He appeared on CNN this week, falsely claiming Richard Reid’s shoe-bomb attempt, which occurred on December 22, 2001, happened before the 9/11 terrorist attack. And just this morning, the former NY mayor was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America, falsely saying that “We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We’ve had one under Obama.” Did the former Clinton staffer correct Giuliani’s confusion? No.
One of the worst terrorist acts on American soil occurred during the Bush administration on September 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people. As pointed out by Media Matters, “the September 11, 2001, attacks occurred eight months into Bush’s presidency and more than a month after he had received a Presidential Daily Briefing titled, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” Not once did Bush nor any administration official at the time, claim responsibility for the intelligence failures leading up to the 9/11 attack.
Giuliani must have been referring to the oft-repeated Republican claim that Bush kept us safe after 9/11, right? Well, not so much. What about the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, who attempted to blow up an airline, by lighting the same explosive in his shoe, as the one used by the underwear bomber? According to Media Matters, then-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff described Reid’s December 2001 attempt “to blow up a trans-Atlantic plane with a shoe bomb” as an attempt to “carry out terrorist operations for Al-Qaeda.”
If Giuliani and other Republicans are trying to claim that the attempted shoe bombing incident wasn’t a terrorist act, then wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to the underwear bomber’s attempt, which was nearly identical? And what of the deadly Anthrax attacks that killed five people? Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft referred to the Anthrax attacks, as “a terrorist act.”
In Giuliani’s bizarro world no terrorist attacks occurred during the Bush years, but a thwarted attempt during Obama’s term somehow counts as a full-fledged attack. And worse, the former NY mayor and Mr. 9/11 spewed all of his nonsense and falsehoods, in between gleeful cackles:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS : But President Bush said he wanted to close [the detention center at Guantánamo Bay] as well.
RUDY GIULIANI: Well, he did because of the pressure. It isn’t that President Bush did everything right. This whole thing is like — they say, well, you know, President Bush sent people to Yemen. Well, he shouldn’t have. He shouldn’t have sent people to Yemen. Obviously, now, if he can do it again — one in five people that have been released from Guantánamo have gotten involved in terrorist activities. At least — that’s what we can measure. Obviously it was a mistake. What he should be doing is following the right things that Bush did — one of the right things he did was treat this as a war on terror. We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We’ve had one under Obama. Number two, he should correct the things that Bush didn’t do right. Sending people to Yemen was wrong. Not connecting — not getting this whole intelligence thing correct is both Bush’s responsibility and Obama’s.
As pointed out by Steve Benen of the Political Animal, the media does our country a disservice, by allowing obvious falsehoods to remain unchallenged:
“Americans want to know more about counter-terrorism. It’s up to producers, editors, and other journalists to provide forums to those who will help the public better understand the world around them. Repeatedly giving Giuliani a microphone does a disservice to the nation at an important time.”
(Update: George Stephanopoulos released a statement accepting responsibility for not challenging Giuliani on his falsehoods:
“Through his spokesman, Rudy Giuliani has clarified the remarks he made this morning on GMA regarding terrorist attacks on the United States under Presidents Bush and Obama.The Mayor’s spokesman says that the remark “didn’t come across as it was intended” and that Giuliani was “clearly talking post-9/11 with regards to Islamic terrorist attacks on our soil.”
“Whatever the Mayor meant, it’s not what he said. All of you who have pointed out that I should have pressed him on that misstatement in the moment are right. My mistake, my responsibility.”
(Further Update: Giuliani also appeared on CNN and spoke to Wolf Blitzer to clarify his remarks. Giuliani said that he neglected to say, that he was referring to “major Islamic” terrorist attacks occurring post 9/11. When asked what major terrorist attack took place during the Obama administration he responded, the Fort Hood shooting. Giuliani is either suffering from a severe memory lapse, or he hasn’t the slightest idea what he is talking about. If he wants to call the Fort Hood shooting a “major terrorist attack,” then by that reasoning, the 2002 DC-area sniper John Allen Muhammad, the 2002 attack against El Al ticket counter at LAX, by Hesham Mohamed Hadayet and the 2006 UNC SUV attack on March 2006, by University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill graduate Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, to “avenge the deaths or murders of Muslims around the world” should also be counted as major terrorist acts, all of which happened under the Bush administration.
Blitzer failed to challenge Giuliani on his assertion that the Fort Hood shooting was a major terrorist attack under the Obama administration, but similar shootings and attacks during the Bush years somehow don’t count. Pathetic.
See Media Matters for more.