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Was George W. Bush
"With" God "Or Against" Him
on 9/11?

By Ted Kahl, Democrats.com Managing Editor

The other day, my brother and sister-in-law sent me a very touching internet card, "Angel's Rays - 9/11". It is worth a click, since it expresses some heartening sentiments.

The card says that God did many things to try to diminish the horror of the 9/11 attacks. It holds that without His intervention, literally tens of thousands more people would have died. And it also offers the hope that for the victims -- He gave them comfort in their last moments. The card gives encouragement to the belief that God was performing miracles on that day.

It seems to be a fine site -- I admire many of the organizations they link to under "Info." As to what the card claims, all I can say is - I don't know. I am still one who moves between doubt and belief -- in the concept of an intervening God. On the other hand, because I have experienced several synchronicities, or meaningful coincidences, in my life, I am open to the possibility of there being something of the miraculous in this World.

But what if, for the sake of argument, we assume the premises of the "Angel Rays" card, that God was trying to mitigate the horror of 9/11. What then does that say about George W. Bush?

Can we say that George W. Bush was doing God's work on September 11?

Let's take a look at his actions on that day.

"George W. Bush said on two occasions that he saw the first plane hit the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. on 911, and was told by [Chief of Staff] Andrew Card about the second plane hitting the World Trade Center at 9:05 a.m. - yet Bush did nothing but listen to a children's story until 9:30 a.m. instead of ordering fighter jets to intercept all hijacked planes immediately."

Why did he sit in that classroom and not even budge for at least 25 minutes? Why did he not order jets to be scrambled to intercept the other planes after the first strike on the World Trade Center at 8:46? Maybe he could have prevented the second plane from hitting the WTC at 9:03? And maybe he could also have prevented Flight 77 from striking the Pentagon at 9:43? Even if the chances were slim of stopping any of these attacks, couldn't Bush have at least tried?

Granted there is one thing Bush may have actually done to prevent a greater disaster. There is evidence that he ordered the shootdown of Flight 93 that crashed at 10:06 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. But then there remains the troubling question of why he and his administration chose to cover up this action -- if Flight 93 was indeed shot down?

But considering the devastation of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon, did Bush show enough initiative in handling this, his first major crisis?

And when we needed a leader that day, perhaps even to give us spiritual guidance in our darkest hour -- what did Bush do? He took to the skies on Air Force One, "to get out of harm's way", as he himself admitted in an interview with a German television crew. He said he was worried largely about his own personal safety, and that of his family.

Apart from his actions on September 11, what about his and his administration's conduct in the period prior to the terrorist attacks?

What about the many warnings that he and his team failed to heed? Indeed, "Bush ignored warnings from the CIA on August 6, 2001 that Al Qaeda planned to hijack US planes." (From "Democrats.com/911").

Instead, he stayed on vacation in Crawford, Texas. There were at least 8 measures Bush could have taken to help prevent such a hijacking after he was warned by the CIA: (1) Canvassing flight schools for suspicious students present and past; (2) Conducting a nation-wide manhunt for the two known terrorists who were already in the country; (3) Double-checking passenger lists against terrorist suspects; (4) Upgrading airport passenger screening, (5) Hardening cockpit doors, (6) Putting air marshals on more flights, (7) Giving pilots stun guns (8) Patrolling the skies with fighter jets.

But Bush instead chose to remain on vacation.

To add insult (literally) to injury, George W. Bush himself has repeatedly JOKED about the 9/11 attack.

"Lucky me. I hit the trifecta," George W. Bush, shortly after 9/11 - quoted by Bush Budget Director Mitch Daniels, 11/28/01

And Bush has repeated this sick joke several times at GOP fundraising events to much applause and laughter. Thanks to the Mike Malloy Show, I have actually heard a clip of Bush reciting his "Trifecta" line at a Republican fundraiser, followed by peals of laughter from the audience.

Bush has often asserted that, "You are either with us, or against us" in his War on Terrorism.

But for courageous people of faith, there is a deeper question to ponder.

Was George W. Bush "with" God "or against" Him on 9/11?