Here's the latest exchange from www.whitehouse.gov
Q What was the first thing that went through your head when you heard that a plane crashed into the first building?
THE PRESIDENT Yes. Well, I was sitting in a schoolhouse in Florida. I had gone down to tell my little brother what to do, and -- just kidding, Jeb. (Laughter.) And -- it's the mother in me. (Laughter.) Anyway, I was in the midst of learning about a reading program that works. I'm a big believer in basic education, and it starts with making sure every child learns to read. And therefore, we need to focus on the science of reading, not what may feel good or sound good when it comes to teaching children to read. (Applause.) I'm just getting a plug in for my reading initiative.
Anyway, I was sitting there, and my Chief of Staff -- well, first of all, when we walked into the classroom, I had seen this plane fly into the first building. There was a TV set on. And you know, I thought it was pilot error and I was amazed that anybody could make such a terrible mistake. And something was wrong with the plane, or -- anyway, I'm sitting there, listening to the briefing, and Andy Card came and said, "America is under attack."
And in the meantime, this teacher was going on about the curriculum, and I was thinking about what it meant for America to be under attack. It was an amazing thought. But I made up my mind that if America was under attack, we'd get them. (Applause.) I wasn't interested in lawyers, I wasn't interested in a bunch of debate. I was interested in finding out who did it and bringing them to justice. I also knew that they would try to hide, and anybody who provided haven, help, food, would be held accountable by the United States of America. (Applause.)
Anyway, it was an interesting day.
Yes, I know, there's another possibility. He saw the TV coverage of the smoke coming from the building and heard the reporter say that it had been struck by an airliner and made the mental leap to "remembering" seeing the plane hit the building. Just the sort of mistake a guy as dumb as Dubya might make, you say.
Once, maybe, but twice?
Let's try to put the best face on it. Surely, after the first instance, Bush's assistants told him that he had misspoken. He had either given away that they planned the attack and were keeping him abreast of developments with closed circuit TV, or he had misremembered as noted above.
But now he goes and says it again. That might mean that he is such a frightening autocrat that his aides were afraid to tell him how he misspoke. That, in itself, would be pretty frightening. If he is such a person, what other horrible errors might he be capable of in the future? Doesn't this tell us that beneath his "amiable cowboy" exterior is the personality of a despot? So, at best, I appear to have hit the nail on the head with my analysis of Bush's dangerous personality in "Power-lust and President Bush."
Another possiblity is that he has been apprised of how bad this version of events sounds and he doesn't care. He is so confident of his power and control at this point that he can say whatever he pleases, no matter how incriminating it might be, either of his intelligence or of his fealty to his oath of office. He just doesn't give a damn. The 9-11 operation has so effectively isolated that tiny minority of the population with any gumption --"You're either with us or you're intelligent."--, and the levers of power, including the press, are so completely in his grip that he can say anything he jolly well pleases and get by with it...and he knows it.
He always hated those people at Yale who lorded it over him because they had brains and he didn't. Now he's enjoying lording it over them because he has power and they don't. Lucy, of Peanuts fame, is now our president. Prepare for him to describe his "war against terrorism" as a "crusade" again soon.
January 6, 2002
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