Rudy Giuliani Claims New 9/11 Attack if Democrats Win

Some believe that John McCain lost his reputation (never really deserved) as a straight talker and moderate when he became too closely associated with George Bush’s policies on Iraq. If voters no longer like McCain, they should not be too happy with Rudy Giuliani. Politico quotes Giuliani as sounding as out of touch with reality as Bush and Cheney on terrorism and the war.

Giuliani claims that there will be a new 9/11 attack if the Democrats take over as, “The Democrats do not understand the full nature and scope of the terrorist war against us.” That’s strange considering that it was the Democrats who supported action against terrorism before 9/11 and the Republicans who opposed it.

Bill Clinton attempted action against al Qaeda, while the Republican Congress blocked him. The Clinton administration passed on the warnings about al Qaeda, with recommendations for fighting them, but the Bush administration ignored them, and Rice was even was caught lying about receiving the plans. Bush ignored many other warnings and recommendations to take action, including the August 6, 2001 daily presidential briefing warning of “patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.” When the attacks came, Bush was unable to act, with former Bush supporter Lee Iacocca saying he “was paralyzed” afterwards.

Even after Bush overcame his paralysis he responded to the attack inappropriately, including attacking the wrong country and allowing bin Laden to escape at Tora Bora. While the Iraq war has led to increased recruitment for al Qaeda and radicalization of moderate Muslims, placing us at greater risk, Giuliani supports George Bush’s decision to attack the wrong country.

Giuliani, once again proving he is no libertarian, complains that if the Democrats are elected, “We will cut back on the Patriot Act, electronic surveillance, interrogation and we will be back to our pre-Sept. 11 attitude of defense.” Moving beyond the fact that our pre-Sept. 11 “attitude of defense” was inadequate due to the failure of Republicans to take the threat seriously, Giuliani’s statement is ironic in light of another statement he made. Giuliani echoed Bush in claiming the terrorists “hate us for the freedoms we have and the freedoms we want to share with the world.”

This is a simplistic explanation, and a commander in chief who shows this little understanding of terrorism could not be expected to be able to take actions to diffuse the threat and prevent future attacks. Such an attitude will only result in a perpetual state of warfare, which I suspect is what the Republicans really want as long as they believe they gain politically. Even if we accept the Bush/Giuliani logic that the terrorists “hate us for the freedoms,” it hardly makes sense to respond by limiting freedom at home as Giuliani advocates.

Update: Further discussion at Political Animal, The Daily Dish, The Carpetbagger Report, The Caucus and Taylor Marsh

On further update, there’s even conservative blogs linking here who try to defend Giuliani by pretending he didn’t say what he said, failing to understand that the title was never claimed to be an exact quote of what Guiliani said but a summary of his statement. Specific quotes are both here and in the original article reporting his speech. It makes me wonder if they bothered to read beyond the titles.

The video and transcript of Keith Olbermann’s reply to Guiliani’s speech has also been posted.

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