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UQ Wire: Bush Betrayed Consciousness Of 911 Guilt

Unanswered Questions: Thinking For Ourselves
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Bush Betrayed Consciousness Of Guilt On 9-11

by Francisco Gil-White and Jared Israel
From: * [Emperor's Clothes]
[Posted 11 September 2002]

The difficulty when investigating the possible criminal actions of powerful officials is that they can use their power to cover up involvement in criminal conspiracies. One of the ways around this problem is to examine a politician's behavior at the time of the crime. Did he or she carry out positive obligations of office? Or did they shirk such obligations in ways that aided the criminals and betrayed prior knowledge of criminal plans, that is, consciousness of guilt?

On the morning of 9-11, George W. Bush and his advisers were in Sarasota, Florida. As soon as President Bush was aware that a plane had been deliberately flown into the World Trade Center, he had two positive obligations.

** Bush's Positive Obligations: To Protect Himself and the Rest of us **

Bush's first obligation was to protect the government and military chains of command. Since Bush was both Head of State and Commander in Chief of the U.S. military, this meant protecting himself and his closest advisers.

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Bush's second obligation was to *protect the people* by immediately conferring with his top military commanders. This included Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense who is second in the military chain of command and also has special responsibilities in case of a hijacking, General Richard B Myers, who was acting chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and various officers at the Pentagon's National Military Command Center (NMCC), the military nerve center for dealing with hijackings.

Using media reports as well as an on-line video of Bush, filmed at the Booker School on 9-11, and analyzing subsequent statements made by Bush, by his press secretary, Ari Fleischer, and by Vice President Cheney, in the next several posts we will show that:

* Mr. Bush and his advisers had to have known that a commercial jet had deliberately hit the World Trade Center before they arrived at the Booker School on the morning of 9-11.

* Under these circumstances, the Booker School was the most dangerous place they could be. Nevertheless their party proceeded at a leisurely pace to the school and stayed there for over 30 minutes, thus shirking their primary duty, to protect President Bush, the top person in the government and military commands.

* According to his own statements, George W. Bush did not immediately contact Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, Gen. Myers and the National Military Command Center. Instead, following his drive to the Booker School he spent perhaps 20 minutes cheerfully observing a reading lesson. The video footage of this session shows Mr. Bush giving pep talks to teachers and children, smiling, cheering - doing everything except his duty. We will explain why Bush avoided the responsibilities of the Commander in Chief.

* The "Bush team" knew their avoidance of positive obligations of office pointed to criminal involvement in 9-11, so they attempted to cover up their actions. But their cover-ups were clumsy and provide further evidence of their consciousness of guilt.

* The incriminating behavior of Bush and Co. on 9-11 resulted from a fact whose implications nobody has yet discussed. Namely, the plans for American Flight 77, which we are told hit the Pentagon, clearly went wrong. This in turn rendered the plans of Bush, General Richard B. Myers and other conspirators obsolete. Forced to improvise, but confused as to how to handle multiple dangers, they made blunders which point to their guilt.

* Next: Bush's Cover-up Finds him Guilty for 9-11*


The President as Incompetent Liar: Bush's Claim that he Saw TV Footage of 1st Plane Hitting WTC

Comments by Jared Israel
From: * [Emperor's Clothes]
[Posted 12 September 2002]

[NOTE FROM EMPEROR'S CLOTHES On December 4, 2001, President Bush held what was billed as a Town Hall Meeting in Orlando Florida. During the meeting he took and answered questions from local people. A White House Briefing was published with a transcript of the meeting. The newsworthy part of the transcript is Bush's exchange with Jordan, whom we are told is a third grade student (about 8 years old), who asked Bush how he felt on 9-11.

We have posted the full transcript of the 'Town Hall' meeting at

Below is an exceprt from that transcript with the exchange between Bush and Jordan. The excerpt is unaltered from the full transcript except that there are two comments by Jared Israel, editor of Emperor's Clothes. The comments are clearly indicated.



Remarks By President George W. Bush At Town Hall Meeting (Excerpt) ...

Q Mr. President, I want to say they haven't won. I got in my car today, and I'm in the same building with you, speaking to you. They have not won.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you very much.

Q And would you say hello to my son, Jordan, and my daughter, Patricia?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Jordan and who?

Q Patricia.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Hi, Patricia. How are you?

How old is Patricia?

Q Five, and Jordan's in third grade. And Jordan has the question, if I could give him the microphone.

PRESIDENT BUSH: You bet. That's -- your mother's relaying the mike to you, Jordan.

Q One thing, Mr. President, is that you have no idea how much you've done for this country. And another thing is that -- how did you feel when you heard about the terrorist attack?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well -- (applause) -- thank you, Jordan.

Well, Jordan, you're not going to believe where -- what state I was in when I heard about the terrorist attack. I was in Florida. And my chief of staff, Andy Card -- well, actually I was in a classroom, talking about a reading program that works. And it -- I was sitting outside the -- the classroom, waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower of a -- of a -- you know, the TV was obviously on, and I -- I used to fly myself, and I said, "Well, there's one terrible pilot." And I said it must have been a horrible accident.

*** START Note from Jared Israel ***

[First, at 9am on September 11th, when Bush was at the Booker School, there was no TV footage of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center for the very good reason that the TV news people didn't know it was going to happen. As Peter Jennings said on ABC *after* the second plane hit the World Trade Center, that is, after the time when Bush claims he saw TV footage of the first crash:

"JENNINGS:... No, nobody who saw--watching "Good Morning America" today, for example, saw, at least those of us working on television, saw a first plane crash into the building. Much of the country watching television this morning will have seen the second plane crash into the other tower, and we have, as you can see from a distance there, until we get our cameras on the ground producing material which we can put on the air, a pretty limited view."

Video footage did surface later. But at 9 AM on September 11, 2001 Mr. Bush *could not have seen* the first plane hitting the World Trade Center on TV. Period.

This in itself does not prove Mr. Bush was consciously lying.

It is theoretically possible that Mr. Bush's memory played a trick on him. There might have been a TV in the hallway of the Booker, and it might have been tuned to the News, and Bush might therefore have heard about the WTC crash and seen footage of the building burning and later he might have thought he remembered seeing footage of the plane hitting the building. Theoretically, this might be the case.

However, based on the testimony of Gwen Tose Rigell, Principal of the Booker School, where Bush was that morning, in fact this was *not* the case.

Principal Rigell is quoted by MSNBC reporter Ashleigh Banfield as saying:

"'I actually heard the first plane had hit from the president, and he said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and that it was a commercial plane,' says Rigell. 'He said but we're going to go on, and in my mind I had created this picture of a plane knocking off some bricks on the corner of the World Trade Center.'" (1) {End quote from Rigell}

Obviously if Principal Rigell's school had had a TV in the hallway tuned to news of the World Trade Center burning, everyone would have flocked around it and Rigell would have seen it too. She would not have formed a false impression "in my mind". She and everyone else in the school would have known the attack was *very* serious.

In that case Principal Rigell would not have told MSNBC, "I actually heard the first plane had hit from the president," and she would not have said, "I had created this picture of a plane knocking off some bricks in the corner of the World Trade Center," meaning it was a minor incident. Instead she would have said, "I watched the gruesome news on TV." (1)

So Bush lied.

Note also that Bush's cute interaction with Jordan appears to have been rehearsed with the Bush people. Jordan's mother virtually says as much when she asks Bush for permission to give Jason the microphone: "Jordan has *the* question, if I could give him the microphone." Note the use of the word, *the*. If English is not your primary language, you may not know that by using *the* Jordan's mother indicates she believes Bush already knows about the question, though he may not be aware which child is supposed to ask it.

In any case, the child's question affords Bush the opportunity to lie about what he did at the Booker School, using the child as a disarming prop.

*** END Note from Jared Israel ***

[BUSH:] But I was whisked off there; I didn't have much time to think about it. And I was sitting in the classroom, and Andy Card, my chief of staff, who is sitting over here, walked in and said, "A second plane has hit the tower. America's under attack."

And Jordan, I wasn't sure what to think at first. You know, I grew up in a -- a period of time where the idea of America being under attack never entered my mind, just like your daddy and mother's mind, probably.

And I started thinking hard, in that very brief period of time, about what it meant to be under attack. I knew that when I got all the facts, if we were under attack, there would be hell to pay for attacking America. (Applause, cheers.)

I tried to get as many facts as I could, Jordan, to make sure I knew, as I was making decisions, there were -- that I knew exactly what I was basing my decisions on. I've got a fabulous team. A president can't possibly be president without a good team. Starts with having a great wife, by the way. (Applause.)

And so I got on the phone from Air Force One asking to find out the facts. You've got to understand, Jordan, during this period of time, there were all kinds of rumors floating around. Some of them were erroneous.

Obviously, we -- for example, there was a news report saying that the State Department had been attacked. I needed to know what the facts were. But I knew I needed to act. I knew that if the nation's under attack, the role of the commander-in-chief is to respond forcefully to prevent other attacks from happening. And so I talked to the secretary of Defense, and one of the first acts I did was put our military on alert.

*** START note from Jared Israel ***

[This is 100% double-talk. First, consider Bush's assertion that "I was whisked off there; I didn't have much time to think about it."

What does he mean, "I was whisked off"? Who whisked him? Is Bush saying he doesn't control his own locomotion? Is he telling us he was *forced* to sit in a classroom laughing and even cheering as kids practiced reading a story about goats - because that is where he went and what he did - instead of conferring with his military command, which is the positive obligation of the Commander in Chief during a national emergency. (4)

According to the MSNBC article on Bush's visit to the Booker, quoted above, Bush wasn't whisked anywhere. Quite the contrary, it was he who informed the school Principal, Ms. Rigell, that despite the crash, he would continue as planned and sit in on the reading class. As noted earlier, the Booker Principal, Ms. Rigell, said, according to MSNBC:

"I actually heard the first plane had hit from the president, and he said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and that it was a commercial plane,' says Rigell. 'He said but we're going to go on..."(1)

[END Rigell quote]

"We're going to go on" means, "I will be observing the reading class." Note that he was not asking permission nor was he being told what to do. There was no "whisking."

Bush says "I was whisked off" because he wants to create the impression that he was moved around by his overly-efficient staff too quickly to have time to absorb what he had, supposedly, just seen on TV. Of course, if Bush had actually seen TV footage of the World Trade Center crash he would have heard what everyone else watching the TV was hearing after 9AM - that this was a terrorist attack. The biggest terrorist attack in U.S. history.

And while we're noting, note also that Bush claims he *first* learned of the attack just before he went into the classroom. But according to the article on MSNBC:

“'The limousine stops and the president comes out,' says [Booker School Principal] Rigell. 'He walks towards me. I’m standing here in a lineup; there are about five people. He walks over and says he has to make a phone call, and he’ll be right back.'

[MSNBC comments:] "That phone call was to National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. It was the first inkling the president would get about what was to unfold." -

So if Bush first heard about the World Trade Center crash from the TV, what was he talking to Condoleezza about? And if he spoke to Condollezza, why didn't she tell him that the FAA knew it was a *hijacked plane* that hit the World Trade Center?

Let us return to Bush's claim that he was "whisked" into the reading class at the Booker. He describes a similar inability to control his movements in recounting his supposed response after Andrew Card came into the classroom and whispered something in his ear. This was about 9:06.

We are told that Card whispered that the second World Trade Center tower had been hit and "America is under attack," but of course we don't know that that is what Card really said. We only know that he whispered something.

Anyway, Bush told the meeting in Florida that he had the following reaction: "I started thinking hard, in that very brief period of time, about what it meant to be under attack. I knew that when I got all the facts, if we were under attack, there would be hell to pay for attacking America."

Now really, what is this man saying? "I started thinking hard...about what it meant to be under attack"? This guy is the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces and planes are flying into buildings and he is having an existential moment? Why doesn't he get up and get out of there and do his job? And if indeed Card did tell him that a second *hijacked* plane - because the Federal Aviation Administration knew these planes were hijacked (3) - had hit the World Trade Center, how could he doubt that "America is under attack"?

In this quote Bush is attempting to accomplish three somewhat contradictory things.

One thing is to picture himself as only having learned the full truth at 9:06, when Andrew Card whispered something in his ear. The goal here is to explain away his *failure to do his job* before 9:06.

Second, he is also trying to get us to sympathize with him - make us feel that he was, like most of us, stunned by the news. So how can we blame him if, like us, he didn't immediately know what to do? That's why his script writers gave him the following lines: "The idea of America being under attack never entered my mind, just like your daddy and mother's mind, probably..."

Previously Bush said that he saw a TV News report on the first plane hitting the World Trade Center. And yet the possibility that "America was under attack" never crossed his mind? Is he comatose?

Then comes the line, "I started thinking hard, in that very brief period of time, about what it meant to be under attack." So, never having conceived the possibility of his country being attacked, he was stunned, just like Jordan's mother and daddy who, he suggests, are also as dumb as a post.

The problem with Bush's "You-Were-Stunned, I-Was Stunned" line of defense is that the Secret Service had open lines to the FAA starting at around 8:45 AM, according to Vice President Cheney. (2)

Now, the FAA knew that Flight 11 had been hijacked at 8:20, or so they say. And it was Flight 11 that hit the World Trade Center. One would assume that the FAA imparted this information to the Secret Service when they took the emergency measure of setting up open lines. Therefore the Secret Service knew that "America is under attack" around 8:45, well before Mr. Bush and his staff, including the Secret Service, arrived at the Booker School. And this was about 21 minutes before Andrew Card whispered whatever he whispered in Mr. Bush's ear.

And while the Secret Service does not talk to Jordan's "daddy and mother", presumably they do talk to President Bush.

Bush is also trying to accomplish a third thing here, which is to give people the impression that he's tough and competent, that he quickly recovered, rolled up his sleeves and did his job. The idea is, we Americans may be remarkably obtuse, but once we get riled, we get mean.

So he says that he remained frozen with shock for only a "very brief period of time" - and then he vowed revenge ("there would be hell to pay") and got down to the hard work of gathering those all-important but elusive facts because, "the role of the commander-in-chief is to respond forcefully to prevent other attacks from happening." And therefore he "got on the phone from Air Force One asking to find out the facts." In order, you understand, to prevent other attacks from happening.

Here Bush fails to mention one thing: he couldn't have been "on the phone from Air Force One" until around 10:00 AM Eastern time because that's approximately when Air Force One taxied down the runway to depart Sarasota-Brandenton Int'l Airport.

Which was almost an hour after Andrew Card whispered whatever he whispered in Bush's ear.

Which was also almost an hour after the FAA took the very extreme measure of closing the air corridor between Cleveland and New York. (3)

And which was an hour and 15 minutes after the Secret Service went on emergency open lines with the Federal Aviation Administration (according to VP Cheney). (2)

Not to mention that it was one hour and 40 minutes after the FAA says they knew Flight 11 had been hijacked out of Boston. (3)

And by that time the other attacks had happened.

Hail to the Chief!

Is "Coverup" one word? Or does it have a hyphen, you know, as in "Cover-up"?]

*** END Note from Jared Israel ***



For the unabridged text of Bush's December 'Town Hall' meeting in Florida, please go to:

Articles on 9-11' lists Emperor's Clothes articles on what happened on 9-11 and why. Can be read at:


1) The quotes from Principal Rigell were published in the MSNBC article, "Sarasota, Fla.: Small school, big lessons," by Ashleigh Banfield. The article can be read at:

Jared Israel's analysis of the article, entitled "MSNBC's Attempt to Cover-up for Mr. Bush Backfires," can be read at:

2) "Guilty for 9-11 Section 3: Bush in the Open" includes the excerpt from Cheney's appearance on MEET THE PRESS, where he spoke of the Secret Service having open lines with the Federal Aviation Administration at around 8:45 in the morning on 9-11. It can be read at

3) Newsday 23 September 2001, 'Air Attack on Pentagon Indicates Weaknesses' by Sylvia Adcock, Brian Donovan and Craig Gordon For what the FAA says it knew when, go to either url below and scroll down the page a bit.

Or read the original at:

4) There is a video of Bush's visit to the Booker School. It shows that even after Andrew Card whispered in his ear, Bush laughed and even cheered the kids having a reading lesson.

Instructions for accessing the video and downloading it are at
*PLEASE* read the instructions!



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