No defense for former president
This letter is in response to the letter yesterday regarding air strikes on Pakistan. The author argues that "liberals refuse to acknowledge" former President George W. Bush's so-called success at preventing another terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11. What he and other defenders of the former president fail to realize is that the terrible attacks of Sept. 11 did in fact happen on President Bush's watch.
A presidential briefing dated Aug. 6, 2001 (while the president was on vacation in Crawford, Texas) that was declassified in 2004 at the request of the 9/11 Commission — that Bush was initially opposed to — clearly stated that Osama bin Laden was "determined" to strike the United States on its own soil. The memo specifically mentions potential hijacking attempts and that the FBI had 70 open investigations into possible acts of terrorism at the hands of bin Laden. As we all know, one of those potential acts succeeded, murdering nearly 3,000 innocent people less than 50 miles from the University.
I find it rather bizarre that defenders of Bush seem to forget that simple fact and instead kick and scream about how there haven't been any attacks since then. Bush failed to prevent the greatest act of terrorism ever on American soil: He does not deserve any credit whatsoever for preventing a terrorist attack since the most devastating act of terror on the United States of America.
More so, liberals "don't credit President Bush with protecting America" because of what Bush did with the mandate he gained in the aftermath of Sept. 11. When Americans were looking for strong, positive, uniting leadership, Bush and his administration used the occasion as an opportunity to trample our civil liberties by promoting disgusting policies such as the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping and torture and labeling anyone who opposed what they were doing as unpatriotic; they manipulated the American public into being so afraid that they would willingly give up what makes them Americans and what makes our country so great — our civil rights. It's even scarier now since former NSA officials have spoken out and said that they actually were spying on ordinary Americans and were specifically targeting journalists. I'm slightly unnerved that seemingly only people on the left are unnerved about that.
Dave Imbriaco is a Rutgers College junior majoring in history and religion.