Giuliani still in denial about Bush-era terror attacks

››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

After falsely claiming on Good Morning America that "[w]e had no domestic attacks under Bush," Rudy Giuliani stated during CNN's The Situation Room, "I did omit the words 'since September 11th.' I apologize for that. I should have put it in." However, Giuliani continued to ignore several domestic attacks that took place under Bush after 9/11 -- including the 2002 attack at the Los Angeles International Airport, the 2002 DC-area sniper shootings, and the 2006 SUV attack at the University of North Carolina - and dismissed the 2001 anthrax attacks, which were characterized by John Ashcroft as "a terrorist act," because, Giuliani said, "as far as we know, that was not done in the name of Islamic terrorism."

Giuliani now claiming "no major domestic attack under President Bush since September 11th"

Giuliani: "I usually say we had no domestic attacks, no major domestic attack under President Bush since September 11th." After falsely claiming on the January 8 edition of Good Morning America that "[w]e had no domestic attacks under Bush. We've had one under Obama," Giuliani stated during The Situation Room, "I did omit the words 'since September 11th.' I apologize for that. I should have put it in." Giuliani later agreed with Wolf Blitzer's statement that "you're saying in terms of terror attacks since 9/11, there have been no -- no terror attacks since 9/11 under President Bush, but one terror attack, Fort Hood, under President Obama," provided that only "Islamic terror attacks" are counted.

From the January 8 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

BLITZER: All right. As you know, the blogosphere is going crazy with that, the comment, we had no domestic attacks under Bush.

All right, you remember at least one, don't you?

GIULIANI: No, here -- here's what I usually say when I said that -- and I did not put that -- those words in. I said -- I usually say we had no domestic attacks, no major domestic attack under President Bush since September 11th. And the reason I say it is, on September 11th and the days after September 11th, I received many briefings, many warnings, as the mayor of New York, that we were going to be attacked again, that we were going to be attacked frequently.

And I think many people are surprised, even those people who hate President Bush -- I think many people were surprised that we didn't have those major attacks and that at least some of the things that President Bush was warning was helping in making certain that we didn't have any kind of major terrorist attack.

I did omit the words "since September 11th." I apologize for that. I should have put it in. I do remember September 11th. In fact, Wolf, I remember it every single day and usually frequently during the day.

[...]

BLITZER: So at -- at this point, given what you're -- what you're saying in terms of terror attacks since 9/11, there have been no -- no terror attacks since 9/11 under President Bush, but one terror attack, Fort Hood, under President Obama...

GIULIANI: Islamic...

BLITZER: ...President Obama. Islamic terror attacks...

GIULIANI: Islamic terror attacks.

BLITZER: Is that what you're saying, zero to one, in effect?

GIULIANI: Correct. And the o -- the only reason I point that out is that the -- the president himself has finally now come to the conclusion that he can say war on terror. I wish he would also describe it as Islamic terrorism so that we clearly define our enemy. And I wish he would follow through on our being at war with -- with Islamic terrorism.

Giuliani doesn't count anthrax attacks, but State Department listed attacks among "Significant Terrorist Incidents"

Giuliani: "There's no -- no proof" that anthrax attacks were "terrorist attack." From the January 8 edition of The Situation Room:

BLITZER: There -- there was at least one terror attack on U.S. Soil that happened after 9/11. I'm referring to the anthrax attacks in New York and in elsewhere. What that a terror attack, do you believe?

GIULIANI: Well, as far as I know, the FBI has never been able to figure out who did it and has never designated it as a terror attack. I mean, I lived through that. I -- there was...

BLITZER: But whoever was trying to do it was trying to terrorize a lot of people.

GIULIANI: Yes, but that was not done in the name -- as far as we know, that was not done in the name of Islamic terrorism any more than, you know, serial killers who...

BLITZER: Right. It could have been a domestic terror attack, too, and we don't know, as you correctly point out, who was responsible...

GIULIANI: That's right. So you're -- so...

BLITZER: ...for that anthrax attack.

GIULIANI: ...so you can't -- you can't describe something as a terrorist attack if it hasn't been investigated and there's no -- no proof. And the best thinking on the part of the FBI is that it wasn't involved with Islamic terrorism.

But, again, that's pretty -- we're on pretty shaky grounds there because they've never been able to solve that.

Ashcroft said of anthrax mailings: "[I]t's a terrorist act." A March 2004 State Department report on "Significant Terrorist Incidents, 1961-2003" quotes then-Attorney General John Ashcroft saying of the letters containing anthrax mailed to various targets: "When people send anthrax through the mail to hurt people and invoke terror, it's a terrorist act." Five people were killed as a result of those letters in the autumn of 2001.

FBI: Anthrax attacks were "worst act of bioterrorism in U.S. history." On August 6, 2008, the FBI held a press conference about its investigation into the anthrax attacks, which U.S. Attorney Jeff Taylor characterized as "the worst act of bioterrorism in U.S. history."

Other domestic attacks took place under Bush

2002 attack against El Al ticket counter at LAX. In July 2002, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet opened fire at an El Al Airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport killing two people and wounding four others before being shot dead. A 2004 Justice Department report stated that Hadayet's case had been "officially designated as an act of international terrorism."

2002 DC-area sniper. The state of Virginia indicted Washington, D.C.-area sniper John Allen Muhammad -- along with his accomplice, a minor at the time -- on "an act of terrorism" for one of the murders he committed during a three-week shooting spree across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Muhammad was convicted, sentenced to death, and subsequently executed for the crime. Muhammad's accomplice, Lee Malvo, reportedly testified that Muhammad had plans to "set up a camp to train children how to terrorize cities."

2006 UNC SUV attack. In March 2006, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill graduate Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar drove an SUV into an area of campus, striking nine pedestrians. According to reports, Taheri-azar said he acted because he wanted to "avenge the deaths or murders of Muslims around the world." Taheri-azar also reportedly stated in a letter: "I was aiming to follow in the footsteps of one of my role models, Mohammad Atta, one of the 9/11/01 hijackers, who obtained a doctorate degree."

Other conservatives have downplayed terrorist attacks under Bush

Frederick: All domestic terrorist attacks since 9-11 took place "on Obama's watch." As Media Matters for America documented, Las Vegas Review-Journal publisher Sherman Frederick wrote in a January 3 column that "the two cases of domestic terrorism since 9/11" were "both on Obama's watch."

Matalin downplays attacks under Bush, falsely claiming "Bush inherited" 9-11 attacks. On the December 27 edition of CNN's State of the Union, Republican strategist Mary Matalin falsely claimed that Bush "inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation's history." In fact, the September 11, 2001, attacks occurred eight months into Bush's presidency and more than a month after he had received a Presidential Daily Briefing titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S."

Perino: "We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term." Bush White House Press Secretary Dana Perino falsely claimed on the November 24, 2009, edition of Fox News' Hannity that "[w]e did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term."

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Terrorism
Network/Outlet
CNN
Show/Publication
The Situation Room
Stories/Interests
Rudy Giuliani
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.