Don't You Dare Politicize September 11, Unless...

The Bush/Cheney team came under heavy criticism recently for “politicizing” the September 11 terrorist attacks by using Ground Zero images in a campaign advertisement. The anti-Bush crowd cried loud and long that the use of September 11 for political gain is unconscionable.

How, exactly, is that an inappropriate action?

There is no bigger issue than national security in this “new era” as we all like to call it. September 11 and the War on Terror that followed are the ultimate leadership issues and ought to be central in the battle for the White House.

But, if John Kerry and the rest of the Left want to lambaste Bush for using 9/11 for political purposes, perhaps the Kerry campaign should first explain the many references to September 11 and the War on Terror on its official campaign website — — references like this:

    The safety of our people, the security of our country, the memory of our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, neighbors and heroes we lost on September 11th call on us to win this war we did not seek.

Either 9/11 should or should not be a part of Election 2004, but the President’s critics, including his Democratic opponent, need to make up their minds.

Just a few items from

  • From Creating a New Army of Patriots:
      On September 11th, 2001, America experienced the most terrible and deadly attack in its history. Yet, President Bush’s response was to call on Americans to wait in long lines at airports, go shopping, or wrap their windows in plastic.

      As President, John Kerry will have the courage to lead and call on all Americans to make our nation stronger.

  • From John Kerry Calls on Bush Administration to Address the Preparedness Gap:

      The only winners from President Bush stonewalling the bipartisan 9/11 Commission are the terrorists. Until we know what went wrong, we can’t fix it. President Bush needs to show some leadership and tell John Ashcroft and Tom Ridge to quit stalling and provide the Commission with the information they need. This is about people, not politics — policy, not partisanship.

      Until we know what went wrong before and on September 11, 2001, we won’t be able to fix it. That is why John Kerry and others in Congress listened to the 9/11 victims and survivors and forced President Bush to accept the bipartisan 9/11 Commission.

      The bipartisan leadership of the 9/11 Commission has recently reported that President Bush, his Attorney General and other senior officials are slow rolling requests for information required by the law. Without adequate information, the 9/11 Commission can’t do its job.

      Every day that goes by without the 9/11 Commission completing its investigation, is another day that all Americans are at increased risk.

      President Bush should immediately direct every member of his Administration to make it a priority to comply with every lawful request made by the 9/11 Commission and he should fire any member of his Administration who endangers America by not complying. […]


      673 days have now passed since 9/11, and we are just now learning how unprepared we are to prevent future acts of terrorism, how much rhetoric President Bush has devoted to combating terrorism and just how little President Bush has really done to prevent it.

  • From Plan to Restore American Security in Honor of Pearl Harbor Day:
      Roosevelt and Bush: Different Responses to Attacks On America. On December 7, 1941, America was shocked by the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. And we paid a terrible price, with 2,388 brave Americans killed in an attack that we had not adequately anticipated. President Roosevelt responded immediately: Within days he issued an Executive Order mandating a full inquiry into what had gone wrong in order to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. There were numerous subsequent governmental inquiries into the attack to protect our security for the future.

      On September 11, 2001, America was again struck by a surprise attack from a hidden enemy, and again we paid a terrible price. This time, however, the President’s response was very different. Where President Roosevelt sought answers, President Bush has sought to avoid blame, repeatedly stonewalling the 9/11 Commission and Congressional efforts to understand the intelligence mistakes that led up to September 11th. In fact, the Bush Administration has not even completed the National Intelligence Review mandated at the beginning of the Administration. Nor has the Bush Administration taken the necessary steps to improve homeland security by making our ports safer.

  • From “Fighting a Comprehensive War on Terrorism”:
      Like all Americans, I responded to President Bush’s reassuring words in the days after September 11th. But since then, his actions have fallen short.

      I do not fault George Bush for doing too much in the War on Terror; I believe he’s done too little. […]

      The safety of our people, the security of our country, the memory of our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, neighbors and heroes we lost on September 11th call on us to win this war we did not seek.

  • From John Kerry Raps George Bush’s ‘Preparedness Gap’:
      “Just as President Bush did not have a viable plan for Iraq after the capture of Baghdad, today he still does not have a real plan and enough resources for preparedness against a terrorist attack. Americans have a right to ask: Are we safer today than we were on September 11th? Are our nation’s firefighters and police officers better prepared to wage the war on terror?” […]

      It is time for a President who will face the truth and tell the truth. And that truth is that the Bush Administration has stalled the 9/11 investigations instead of speeding it, they went to war without a plan to win the peace in Iraq, and despite all its promises, the truth is that Administration has denied first defenders the equipment and support to defend America from danger.” […]

      Kerry also urged President Bush to move rapidly to internationalize the peacekeeping process in Iraq to take the target off the backs of American soldiers and share the burden, and to cooperate with the 9/11 Commission and help the country understand the intelligence failures of 9/11 and the apparent intelligence problems as the Administration approached the war in Iraq.

  • From John Kerry on the Report by the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force:
      The Task Force report makes the disturbing conclusion that our nation is barely more prepared for a terrorist attack than we were before September 11, 2001.
  • From Kerry Holds Town Hall Meeting on America’s Security — Discusses Plan to Fight the War on Terrorism and Protect the Homeland:
      And as we protect America from danger at home – we will protect this country from danger abroad. I do not believe George Bush has done too much in the war on terror. I believe he’s done too little. He has failed to maintain our post-9/11 global coalition, left our troops unprotected, and thought too little about the challenges we face. As President, I will use every tool at our disposal — not only a strong military, but renewed alliances, vigorous law enforcement, reliable intelligence, and unremitting effort to shut down the flow of terrorist funds — to fight the war on terror.
  • From Statement from John Kerry on President Bush’s Shift in Position on 9-11 Commission Meeting:
      It’s good to see that the President has finally found time in his schedule to spend more than an hour with the 9-11 Commission to investigate the greatest intelligence failure in our nation’s history. I think all Americans hope that his cooperation with the commission will lead to real answers instead of more stonewalling. We need change in America, and that means improving our intelligence so that we can keep America safe.