January 9, 2010

Rudy Giuliani came on The Situation Room to attempt to clarify his remarks on Good Morning America and still has his facts wrong. John's right. The media needs to give this liar a time out. Rudy now wants us to believe that he meant to say we weren't attacked since Sept. 11th on George Bush's watch. When asked about the anthrax attacks, Giuliani claims that wasn't a terrorist attack because the FBI didn't ever figure out who did it, and it "was not done in the name of Islamic terrorism".

Of course Blitzer didn't point out how utterly ridiculous that statement is, or some of the other domestic terrorist attacks that happened on Bush's watch as well, so he didn't do much better than George Stephanopoulos' bit of stenography on Good Morning America.

Media Matters reminds us of some of the terrorist attacks that happened on George Bush's watch. It seems Rudy Giuliani has joined the ranks of Dana Perino and Mary Matalin with hoping that Americans have very short memory spans, and don't know how to use the Google.

For more go check out this most excellent set of graphs put together by Bob Cesca--Terrorist Attacks and Presidents. He pretty well blows out of the water this latest Republican talking point that George Bush kept us safe from terrorists. Nice work Bob.

RUDY GIULIANI: Wolf, you want to know if I forget about September 11th?

BLITZER: I'm sure you didn't.


BLITZER: But you did say this on...


BLITZER: ..."Good Morning America." I'll play the little clip and then you'll explain what you had in mind.

GIULIANI: Yes. I know. This is so silly. But go ahead.


GIULIANI: What he should be doing is following the right things that Bush did. One of the right things he did was treat it was a war on terror. We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We've had one under Obama.


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: I know you do.

And then you said this, though, and it needs some clarification. "We've had one under Obama," meaning a terrorist attack.

What -- what specific -- which specifically are you...

GIULIANI: I would...

BLITZER: ...which attack are you referring to?

GIULIANI: I would consider the one -- well, I mean the -- the -- the attack on Christmas Day was an attempted attack. I was talking about Fort Hood. Fort Hood was clearly an Islamic terrorist attack. The man who was shooting off the guns and killing those people was yelling out ara -- Islamic phrases when he was doing it -- Allah Akbar and things like that. He was clearly under the influence of Islamic terrorism.

And I think one of the problems here is that the president defines the war on terror -- which he finally called the war on terror yesterday. But he defines it too narrowly, because he talks about it as a war on Al Qaeda.

Unfortunately, there's a lot more than al Qaeda that's at war with us. There are other Islamic terrorist groups, loosely aligned, and then there are -- there are people here in the United States that are influenced by Islamic terrorists who -- who attack us in the name of Islamic terrorism.

And I would say the one -- the Fort Hood attack was probably the clearest example of that, although, you know, there might be others that we just don't know about.

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.

BLITZER: And you -- you don't have any inside information on who was responsible?

Who do you believe was responsible -- because I know it happened in New York. We remembered what happened...

GIULIANI: Gee, Wolf, it not only happened, there was -- there was anthrax found in the office right next to mine. There was attack on city hall as well as on the major networks and Governor Pataki's office. I mean, I as directly involved in that.

At the time -- at the time, I thought it was probably all connected to -- to the terrorism that was attacking us. In retrospect, it seems to me, from what I know of it, that it wasn't. But, again, that's unresolved and it was be irresponsible to come to a conclusion about it.

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.

For example, what's going on right now in Detroit is a perfect example of the administration not recognizing we're at war. If we were at war, this man would be in a military tribunal.

BLITZER: All right...

GIULIANI: In fact, we would still be questioning him. The administration cut his question off after 30 hours. I think one of the spokespersons for the administration -- maybe it was Gibbs, maybe someone else -- said that they were actually getting actionable intelligence from him.

Well, why in God's name would you cut up an interview when you're getting actionable intelligence from a man who was just about ready to blow up an airplane when you don't have to?

You could be questioning this guy for three weeks, four weeks, five weeks, which is usually what you have to do with one of these people to really get at the truth and to really get all the information out of them about possible other attacks.

BLITZER: Because you -- yes, I was going to say...

GIULIANI: ...the president described it...

BLITZER: ...just to be precise on this war on terror phrase, because it's a sensitive issue, I know sensitive with you -- what I heard him say yesterday, that the U.S. Is in a war against al Qaeda. I didn't specifically hear him say...


BLITZER: ...the U.S. It at war against terrorism.

GIULIANI: He did. He described it as a war against al Qaeda, which is much too narrow a way to describe it, because a lot more than al Qaeda is at war with us. There are many terrorist groups that are not connected to al Qaeda or are loosely connected to it that believe they're at war with us. Then we have individuals who are inspired by Islamic terrorism to attack us.

Abdulmutallab, who was arraigned today, wasn't even charged, I don't believe, with terrorism. But most importantly, he was -- they -- they prematurely interrupted his being interviewed in order to try him in a civilian court. If we are at war with al Qaeda and this guy apparently seems to have been influenced by al Qaeda, why would we try him as if he committed a domestic crime? BLITZER: All right, well, you know the...

GIULIANI: It doesn't make sense to me.

BLITZER: But there -- so you basically would agree that the Bush administration, in going after Richard Reed, the shoe bomber, in a civilian court, they made a blunder at that time, as well, because basically the same procedures they used against Richard Reed, they're using against Abdulmutallab right now.

GIULIANI: I don't -- I don't believe the Bush administration made all the right decisions. I don't think they do. I'll give you another example. I think the Bush administration made mistakes by returning people to Yemen. The -- the Obama administration would be well advised not to follow that precedent. I mean, returning people to Yemen, I believe it's something like one out of five people that we've sent from Guantanamo has returned to terrorist acts.

Whatever your position was on Guantanamo before, fact -- history now tells us that's terribly a irresponsible...

BLITZER: All right...

GIULIANI: ...thing to do. But the Obama administration seems to want to send these people, instead of to Yemen, to Illinois. Now, that doesn't make sense either. Maybe he's wrong about Guantanamo and he should reverse himself on it.

BLITZER: All right. We'll -- we'll talk about that. We have a lot more to pick up.

And Mr. -- Mr. Mayor, if you have a few moments, stick around.


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