One Veteran's Voice

08 January 2006

7 Minutes

All the conservative apologists and all the king's men aren't going to put this president back together again.

Yeah, forget all the documented acts of duplicity that led us into our current holy crusade for democracy in Iraq. Forget the spy scandal. Forget abuses of executive authority, including authorizing prisoners to be extradited for torture at black camps in Europe and elsewhere. Forget Abu Ghraib, and the lack of accountability at a strategic level for that scandal. Forget Valerie Plame.

Remember 9-11? The day that everything changed?

On the morning of September 11, 2001, the President was reading to school children. After he was notified that "the nation is under attack," he continued reading to school children for 7 minutes.

In modern war, 7 minutes is an eternity, at both the macro and micro levels. If a surprise nuclear attack had been launched, the strategic capabilities of America (not to mention tens of millions of lives), could have been lost. That day could have been the end. Thankfully, brave American citizens who were more informed, aware, and willing to act than the president caused one of the planes to crash before the terrorists were able to reach their target.

7 minutes people. 7 minutes of complete inaction. In the words of Bill Maher, "What, did he think he was getting punked?"

The crazy thing is that there's video footage of it. It appeared in a movie. The movie was successful. Where's the outrage?

In my opinion, 7 minutes is negligent. It's impeachable. President Bush didn't act to "protect and defend the constitution" when it really mattered-- when we were under attack. Instead, his handlers had to escort him away from the schoolhouse when it became horribly apparent that he had frozen up. He choked. He sat there for 7 minutes while our country was under attack, and he did absolutely nothing.

If a commander in Iraq reacted to a sneak attack as President Bush did on September, 11, 2001, he would probably be relieved of his command, and rightly so. Bush is the commander of all the commanders. Let's relieve him of that burden; it's become horribly obvious that he can't hack it.

Next time someone tries to engage in "Bush apologetics", remind them of the 7 minutes.

20 Other Voices:

TBone65 said...


From the standpoint of reaction time to any incident that could have happened, the 7 minutes were well spent in my opinion. The CinC has hundreds of others processing the threat who are absolutely capable and prepared to act. I think the prez might have fucked up worse if he would have freaked out because he needed to set the example. Calm and cool is how we always need to play the game. If he would have got up and started acting, his opponents would have made fun of him for being a chimp. They do anyway :0 He couldn't have won in either situation, so finishing the photo op' and not acting preciptously (is that a word?) might have been the most prudent option. The reality is that he let the National Military Command Center earn their money, showing he trusted his subordinates. The CinC shouldn't be a micro-manager. When politicians start playing Generals they end up fucking things up.

PS Thanks for blogrollin''re up on my site now.

1/09/2006 01:27:04 AM  
Branedy said...

Didn't matter? Maybe, but any reaction other than 'Duh' on his face would have been better.

As for the folks on the plane. I think they did start something. But the plane was shot down.

1/09/2006 04:56:03 AM  
Joe Visionary said...

Calm and cool is how we always need to play the game.

Couldn't he calmly excused himself in light of a national emergency?

Even if the machinery was in motion without his intervention, wouldn't he be obliged to learn as much about the situation as possible so that when required to make an executive decision, he is as informed as possible?

Having seen the clip on Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, dubya looked like he had no idea what to do.

If someone ran up to you and told you some important relation to you had just been harmed, would you continue to sit through the photo-op, even if you had rock solid confidence in your police?

1/09/2006 07:34:42 AM  
The Un-Apologetic Atheist said...

I don't quite hold Bush to fault for the 7 mins, but I am curious to know: in the video you see the guy say to him "the nation is under attack" and Bush kinda nods, and goes back to what he was doing.

I of course would have gone aside with the guy and asked, "Nuclear attack? Chemical? Alaska invaded? What?"

TBone is right, however, the Pres only needs to act decisively in case of nuclear attack. I'm pretty sure the aide would have said, "Sir, we are at DEFCON 1!" if there were nukes inbound, rather than the lighter weight warning.

I do wonder why he kept reading after that, though, despite having a fully functioning NMCC. The CinC shouldn't be a micro-manager, but considering huge strategic forces we have on five-minute alert, seven minutes seems about seven minutes too long for the CinC to be out of the loop, reading to children.

But I guess it's easy to Monday-morning QB.

1/09/2006 10:49:51 AM  
dannyinwisconsin said...

t-bone has some good points, but I would offer that Bush could have simply said to the little kids-
"Kids, something very important has just come up, and my job as president means I have to...blah blah". Then promise to come back and finish the story aobut the fucking goat.
That woulda worked, eh?
I got a pair of good kids, and trust me kids are pretty savvy, and very forgiving, so his story about not wanting to scare the little kids just don't wash, with me.
The man froze up.

1/09/2006 12:35:14 PM  
Roger The Okcitykid said...

9/11 was the best thing that could have happened to Bush who's polls were sliding - he wasn't going to screw up a good thing.

Did Mr. Bush know that 9/11 would occure and allowed it to happen, we may never know, but then we might.

Mr. Bush is a war criminal - he should go to jail, but we might only be able to impeach him.

I like your blog. Keep plugging.

1/09/2006 01:06:12 PM  
OneVeteran'sVoice said...

"When politicians start playing Generals they end up fucking things up."

Couldn't agree with you more, Tbone.

That's why I have such a problem with Gen. Shinseki getting forced out- he gave his honest opinion about force levels neccesary to occupy Iraq (500,000), and Rumsfeld forced him into retirement for it, and tried the invasion anyway.

"The CinC has hundreds of others processing the threat who are absolutely capable and prepared to act."

Also agree with you on this point, and again, thank god it is true. But why not make some excuse, calmly get up, and find out what the hell is going on? He was at a preplanned photo-op, not exactly the safest place in the event of a coordinated "decapitation" strike.

1/09/2006 02:17:36 PM  
CutterJohn said...

That's why I have such a problem with Gen. Shinseki getting forced out- he gave his honest opinion about force levels neccesary to occupy Iraq (500,000), and Rumsfeld forced him into retirement for it, and tried the invasion anyway.

But, OVV, what Shinseki was actually saying was that we didn't have the manpower to control Iraq without a draft. Since this admin had made up it's mind about invading Iraq at least a decade before they got elected, and they knew the American people wouldn't support it if a draft was involved, they weren't interested.

As far as the 7 minutes go: the CinC of the US armed forces hears that his country is under direct attack for the first time since Pearl Harbor and he continues reading a book to a roomful of schoolchildren?

"Freaking out" and "playing general" (and subsequently being "made fun of" by "his opponents") vs. sitting there looking dazed and hemorroidal weren't his only options.

Immediately getting up, walking out, and getting fully briefed on the circumstances would've been appropriate. He is the CinC of the military after all, and in the real world, every second counts.

Why even have a CinC if the president is supposed to leave his generals to handle, entirely on their own, the immediate response to an historic attack against Americans on American soil?

In short I don't buy it. Like danny said, the man froze up.

1/09/2006 03:28:07 PM  
Anonymous said...

Maybe he didn't freeze. Think about that for a second...

1/09/2006 06:10:43 PM  
KG said...

There is no excuse in the world for the President of the United States to sit on his ass for 7 LONG MINUTES when a senior advisor alerts him that the nation is under attack. At the very least, he should have said "excuse me kids" -- stood up, and walked over to get fully briefed. "Calm and cool" can be accomplished while actually "acting" in some leadership capacity rather than sitting there dumbfounded.

No excuse. None. No defense for it. Did you see the firefighters that morning? The National Guardsmen? The Police officers...did they wait 7 minutes to collect themselves? No, by all accounts they rushed in to do what they were supposed to do...protect and save. The President is supposed to lead. Instead, he sat there with the children... That says everything about this man.

1/10/2006 03:22:28 PM  
Sarah said...

He sat there calmly and coolly for 7 minutes because he already knew the attack was going to happen.

1/10/2006 03:32:47 PM  
Anonymous said...

Sarah sez what I was scared to say.

It took him a few minutes to ponder all the opportunties.

1/10/2006 03:52:17 PM  
OneVeteran'sVoice said...

I personally don't quite buy the "he knew about it in advance" conspiracy theory. If Bush knew about that specific attack, and was THAT devious and sociopathic a person to let it happen for political gain, he probably would have acted shocked, and then gone into a scripted action plan that would make him look incredible. He is a pretty good liar, but I just don't buy that particular conspiracy theory. I think it's much more likely that what you see is what you get with Bush, and I believe he just kind of froze up under the stress, knowing that it was a terrorist attack but not having any idea what to do, and most of all, not wanting to look like a fool. Result-- inaction over action.

1/10/2006 10:40:34 PM  
TBone65 said...

I agree with Sarah. I think Bush and Halliburton contrived the 9/11 attacks in order for the Bush administration to make money off the war they planned in Iraq. I believe Bush sat down with Osama in Texas and worked out a deal with him to attack New York in exchange for oil. Once Bush had control of the oil, he would quickly move to turn the USA into a fascist police state and abolish the constitution. Then he would install listening devices in every home and public place in order to identify enemies of the state, and subsequently round them up and send them to work camps.

Bush planned all this, trust me ;)

1/11/2006 02:28:37 AM  
Sarah said...

"If Bush knew about that specific attack, and was THAT devious and sociopathic a person to let it happen for political gain, he probably would have acted shocked, and then gone into a scripted action plan that would make him look incredible."

That is exactly what happened. He acted shocked and then went into a scripted action plan that made him look incredible.
This wasn't just Bush. This was a group of people involved; Bush didn't have to be sociopathic. All he had to be was apathetic and allow himself to be used. This was a long time in planning: decades. TBone's description of Osama visiting Texas isn't as far-fetched as he thinks it is.

1/11/2006 08:43:10 AM  
KG said...

Bush is primarily incompetent, and apathetic about the damange he has caused...its not sociopathic.

1/11/2006 10:37:37 AM  
Anonymous said...

BFD. This is so old. We all saw or heard about Fahrenheit 9-1-1 and all the other B-S, and guess what, we collectively decided it was a WEAK CASE.

Its time for you to MOVE ON to something that matters.

1/12/2006 12:03:50 AM  
OneVeteran'sVoice said...

Unfortunately for all the dead people, it's not just a Michael Moore movie, it's real life.

Who collectively decided it's a weak case?

Damn, I must have missed that meeting.

1/12/2006 01:54:53 AM  
Sarah said...

Farenheit 9/11 did nothing more than skim the surface, and really all it did was hype the situation and ended up creating discredit for the folks who have been painstakingly laying out some very disturbing facts and investigation that a thinking person cannot ignore.
There are many sites and publications regarding this issue. Some of them are full of wild predictions and conjecture, like many other ridiculous sites on the Internet. But it would be a mistake to think that that's all there is.

Read, investigate, and use your own judgment. I did not ask you to believe the same things I believe. I am only saying that you might want to see what credible people are saying, so that you can decide for yourself.

1/12/2006 09:13:29 AM  
The Un-Apologetic Atheist said...

I definitely don't think Bush or his crew planned any of the 9/11 events, per se, but they certainly were happy to take advantage of it once it did.

It's not rocket science: over 3/4ths of his cabinet and major staff were in the oil or defense contract fields, and now the oil and defense contractors are making record profits. It doesn't mean they planned to get us attacked, it just means their "response" was slightly predetermined by their obvious POVs. All you have to do is spend a little time at the PNAC website, reading about policy, to grasp this.

As for Bush's freeze, I wholeheartedly agree with OV about it: he simply froze. No guile, no pre-plan, he simply was waiting for more information to come in from his trusted advisors about whether or not he needed to flee or start making major decisions. So in lieu of that, not being the hard-charging leader type, he simply kept doing what he was doing, while hurting inside at the knowledge that the country it was his duty to protect was under attack.

I'd have liked to see him jump up and charge off like John Wayne to protect me, but it really wasn't necessary, and they'd have told him if it was. I'm really more concerned now with the way in which we were distracted from our real targets: Afghanistan, Sudan, and perhaps Pakistan (early on), toward Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11. We need to stay focused on the real issues, rather than risking sounding like conspiracy theorist crazies.

1/12/2006 09:42:21 AM  

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