Thursday, January 10, 2008

There's a Sucker Born Every Minute

And David Ray Griffin will be there to relieve him of his wallet. DRG is coming out with a new book (his sixth?) on 9-11 fruitcakery. Here's a sneak preview of the first chapter, which solely concerns Bush at Booker Elementary.

Griffin tries a new tack, one that I hadn't seen before. He claims that Bush and the media conspired to change the official story so that it seemed like only a matter of moments before he spoke to the nation and left the school:

On the first anniversary of 9/11, however, the White House, with Andrew Card taking the lead, started giving a radically different account. On September 9, 2002, Card told Brian Williams on NBC News: "I pulled away from the president, and not that many seconds later, the president excused himself from the classroom, and we gathered in the holding room and talked about the situation." In an article in the San Francisco Chronicle on September 11, Card said that, after he had informed Bush about the second attack, the president “looked up -- it was only a matter of seconds, but it seemed like minutes... And he just excused himself very politely to the teacher and to the students and he left.”

Now, of course, everybody knows that Bush actually sat there for something like seven minutes. This is easy to criticize, which is exactly why administration figures began to try to minimize the amount of time he sat there.

But not to Griffin, who sees a sinister motive. Bush's allies tried to minimize the amount of time he sat in the classroom because it was becoming obvious that the reason he sat there is because he knew he was safe:

This behaviour seemed especially reckless in light of reports, issued at the time, that as many as eleven planes had been hijacked. The Secret Service should have feared that one of those planes was bearing down on the school at that very moment. The Secret Service’s behaviour, however, suggested that it had no fear that the school would be attacked.

Griffin contrasts this with Cheney:

The Secret Service’s failure to hustle Bush away seemed even stranger in light of the reports that Vice President Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and several congressional leaders were quickly taken to safe locations. Should not protecting President Bush have been an even higher priority? As Susan Taylor Martin of the St. Petersburg Times put it on July 4, 2004: "One of the many unanswered questions about that day is why the Secret Service did not immediately hustle Bush to a secure location, as it apparently did with Vice President Dick Cheney."

But this raises an even more obvious question: If the Secret Service knew Bush was safe, how come they didn't know Cheney was safe? After all, no plane crashed into the White House that morning.

Of course, to a non-conspiracist there is very little difficulty explaining this. Cheney was hustled out of the White House because it was an obvious, recognizable target. Booker Elementary would have been much tougher to spot from the air; one elementary school looks pretty much like any other, and there are lots of elementary schools in Sarasota; Google lists 42 within the city limits. In addition, moving the President is not just a matter of hustling him into a waiting limousine; routes have to be cleared, police have to block side streets, etc.

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