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Bush's Curious Behavior

Message from April M

The following is an email I sent to BC on 9/12.  I send this to you because your page is the second one I've seen that gets the 'somber' story wrong.....the part I want you to really read is the but then part further down this page.

<BartCop:

The very first article I read after the attack (an AP report) described Shrub's reaction to Andy Card's news:

"In Sarasota, Fla., President Bush was reading to children in a classroom at 9:05 a.m. when his chief of staff, Andrew Card, whispered into his ear. The president briefly turned somber before he resumed reading.

Asked what he knew about the planes, Bush replied, "I'll talk about it later."

About 15 minutes later, the story was slightly changed to:

"In Florida, Bush was reading to children in a classroom at 9:05 a.m. when his chief of staff, Andrew Card, whispered into his ear.

The president briefly turned somber before he resumed reading. He addressed the tragedy about a half-hour later."

Jake Tapper described this scene in his article in Salon, "Bush, challenged":

"At around 9:05 a.m. EDT, White House chief of staff Andrew Card came in and whispered in Bush's ear. The president's mood changed. He left the room. At around 9:30 a.m. he came out and gave a statement. "

Now, why do I find this significant BartCop?  Glad you asked.  Answer:  Is this the reaction we would expect from the President of the United States?  To continue reading as if nothing had happened?  He had already been informed by Rice about the first plane.  I can only assume that Card was informing him of the second plane or the third plane at the Pentagon.  I was taken aback by these reports. 

But then....

Last night on C-Span, the Canadian Broadcasting Company had film of that exact moment that Card whispered in Duhbya's ear.  I watched his reaction very closely and it simply cannot be described as "briefly turned somber".  It can only be described as acute terror that crossed Shrub's face.  Then the look changed to the 'caught in the headlight' look we've all come to know, and then as he looked  around the room, his expression changed to one I've seen on a child who had lost his parents - pleading with his eyes and searching for someone to rescue him.  BartCop, his reaction wasn't pretty, or brave, or manly, or a "We can handle this" look. >

I don't know if I read his look correctly, but because of the film clip, I was pretty decided that Shrub knew nothing about the attacks prior to 9/11 (you see, the very first thought that came to me after the attacks was that somehow, no matter how crazy it sounded, Shrub was in on the whole damned thing.  That's how much I distrust this administration).  But he could have known, and his reaction was one of surprise that the damage was so severe.  I don't know.  But I do know that Duhbya was anything but 'somber'.  Just another example of poor media whore reporting.  That CBC clip is probably available somewhere, but I've been unable to find it on the web.

My response

Thanks for the info.  I, too, saw a clip of Card telling Bush about the attack.  I thought the look on Bush's face was a "who cares" look.  Just shows ya how different perceptions can be.  I did feel that during his other appearances that day Bush looked scared.

April's Response

I'm going to find that clip.  There's a website that might do the trick.  But since I had already read the newspaper reports on his reaction, I really observed him closely.  I think you're right about a 'who cares' look at the very first.  But it was (to me) almost like the dim bulb went off in his pea brain and that's when the other reactions came to play that I described.  What the clip didn't show was him continuing to read to the children afterwards, as reported by the press.  I'd love to have that whole clip.

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Last changed: December 13, 2009