Friday, October 29, 2004

Great Minds Think Alike

It never occurred to us that the commander in chief of the American forces would leave 50,000 citizens in the two towers to face those horrors alone at a time when they most needed him because he thought listening to a child discussing her goat and its ramming was more important than the planes and their ramming of the skyscrapers. This gave us three times the time needed to carry out the operations, thanks be to God. . . .

When the plane hit the first World Trade Center tower a lot of people thought it was an accident. People didn't automatically think terrorism. But if you're the president of the United States, wouldn't your mind immediately go, Hmm, a plane has run into the only building in America ever attacked by foreigners in an act of terrorism. This could well be another attack. Maybe I had better get on this. Bush didn't. He continued to sit for another 10 minutes reading My Pet Goat to the kids in some classroom before he and his people decided this was an attack.

Had I been reading to children and had my top aide whisper in my ear that America is under attack, I would have told those kids very nicely and politely that the president of the United States has something that he needs to attend to.

Oops... except...

I was in the Capitol. We'd just had a meeting -- we'd just come into a leadership meeting in Tom Daschle's office, looking out at the Capitol. And as I came in, Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid were standing there, and we watched the second plane come in to the building. And we shortly thereafter sat down at the table and then we just realized nobody could think, and then boom, right behind us, we saw the cloud of explosion at the Pentagon. And then word came from the White House, they were evacuating, and we were to evacuate, and so we immediately began the evacuation.


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