January 9, 2010

Lawrence O'Donnell whacks Rudy Giuliani for his history revisionism on terrorism and for his part in making the tragedy on 9-11 worse which the media and the GOP are doing their best to try to erase from everyone's memory banks. Susie sent all of us a joke about Rudy yesterday.

Q. What's the difference between a cow and 9/11?

A. Rudy Giuliani never learned to milk a cow.

That about sums it up.

Transcript via Nexis Lexis.

O`DONNELL: Good evening from New York. I`m Lawrence O`Donnell, in for Keith Olbermann.

The party that refused to let anyone forget about 9/11 when they thought it helped politically has now forgotten about 9/11, hoping it helps them politically. The latest lying exploiter of 9/11 is the man who will never let anyone forget he was New York`s mayor on 9/11, who could not say anything during his presidential campaign without using the formula: noun, verb, 9/11.

Less than two months after former Bush press secretary, Dana Perino, declared that America, quote, "did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush`s term," former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani, appeared on ABC and criticizing President Obama for not saying war on terror, said this is why America has been attacked under President Obama, but was not under President Bush.


GIULIANI: If he recognizes we`re at war with terror, a lot of things follow from that. They`re enemy combatants. They`re not just mere domestic criminals. Then we don`t close Guantanamo.

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

Number two, he should correct the things that Bush didn`t do right. Sending people to Yemen was wrong. Not connecting -- not getting this whole intelligence thing was Bush`s responsibility and Obama.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: So, bottom line, right now, the president has stepped up. He`s taken responsibility. He`s calling it a war. Are you satisfied now with his response?

GIULIANI: Now, I want to see what he does.


O`DONNELL: Online, George Stephanopoulos now writes, quote, "All of you who have pointed out that I should have pressed him on that misstatement in the moment are right. My mistake, my responsibility."

A Giuliani spokesman tells ABC he was, quote, "clearly talking about post-9/11 with regards to Islamic terrorist attacks on our soil."

ABC reporting that Giuliani`s reference to an attack under President Obama was not a reference to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who was arraigned today in Detroit and pleaded guilty on all six charges, but a reference to Major Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people at Fort Hood two months ago.

Of course, not counting the underwear bomber let`s Giuliani discount the shoe bomber, whose attack did occur under President Bush, although not as Mr. Giuliani idiotically claimed recently before 9/11. And limiting it to Islamic attacks lets Mr. Giuliani discount the anthrax mailings that killed five people and Jim David Adkisson, the Sean Hannity and Bill O`Reilly fan who shot two people dead because they attended a liberal church. And limiting it to attacks on our soil also lets Mr. Giuliani discount Sergeant Hasan Akbar who killed two soldiers and wounded 14 in a grenade attack in the Kuwait two days before the invasion in Iraq a direct precedent for the Fort Hood case that Giuliani now pretends is unprecedented.

Even limiting to Islamic attacks on our soil, Mr. Giuliani, who now makes a living on the blood of 9/11, by pretending to be an expert on terrorism is apparently unaware or just lying about the following: the Mohammad Atta fan who used his SUV to wound nine people in 2006 at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to avenge Muslims while George W. Bush was president.

The man who called himself a terrorist after killing one person and injuring 13 more in 2006 with his SUV in San Francisco while George W. Bush was president.

The Muslim shooter in 2006 who killed one and wounded five others in Seattle over his hatred for Israel while George W. Bush was president.

The 2002 terrorist attack on the El Al counter at Los Angeles International Airport that killed two and wounded four while George W. Bush was president.

D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad convicted of terrorism in the deaths of 10 people while George W. Bush was president.

And we must assume Mr. Giuliani does not count the 2008 attack on the U.S. embassy in Yemen -- technically, our soil -- because the 18-year-old American woman had not yet come inside when she was killed. And yes, George W. Bush was still president and in-charge of protecting our embassies in 2008.

Time now to bring in Chris Hayes, Washington editor of "The Nation" magazine.

Good evening, Chris.

CHRIS HAYES, THE NATION: Good evening, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Chris, this is an Orwellian test of our collective intelligence that Giuliani wants to give us. It is the equivalent of insisting that no American military base was attack during Franklin Roosevelt`s presidency.

I mean, is Rudy Giuliani right? Is his best bet right? Are Americans, or at least 51 percent of voting Americans, really as stupid as he thinks they are?

HAYES: Well, no. I mean, the short answer is no, right? And he`s going to be ridiculed. This spokesperson had to walk it back. I think this is going to be seen largely as a gaffe.

And, in fact, it`s an occasion to sort of recite the fact that all these small -- relatively small incidents of, whether you want to call them terrorism or domestic attacks, whatever, did happen during George W. Bush`s term.

I think the broader point, though, is that, you know, even if -- even if people aren`t going to buy the fact that 9/11 didn`t happen or things after didn`t happen, there is this creation mythology that the right-wing has really done a very good job of kind of sowing into the consciousness of Americans which is that everything was sort of sailing along, we were just sort of complacent nation and maybe it was Clinton, maybe it was Bush, who knows, 9/11 changed everything, and then after that, we haven`t been attacked. And that was because the president went on offense.

And you see, as soon as this attack happened, that narrative just reiterated over and over and over and I`ve actually been depressed by how persistent it seems.

O`DONNELL: Now, President Bush famously claimed that no one could have predicted 9/11. Condoleezza Rice claimed that. Rudy Giuliani claimed that, the expert on terrorism, Rudy Giuliani.

HAYES: Right.

O`DONNELL: . who, by the way, as we know, has been criticized by families of 9/11 victim, especially Fire Department families, who insist in as much fact to back this up, that he made them less safe by his command decisions before 9/11 and during the day of 9/11.


O`DONNELL: That these people want to pretend that 9/11 was not predictable when in fact we did have intelligence that was predicting this kind of assault. Not exactly the precise time and place. That intelligence was attempted to be pushed up the ladder to President Bush and never got there. This is lost in the mythology -- and it seems to me, this is part of the effort is to make sure.


O`DONNELL: . that gets lost in the mythology that liars, like Giuliani, are advancing, isn`t it?

HAYES: That`s exactly right. The intelligence failures that happened, around 9/11 (ph), and let`s just for a second -- I also think it`s really important.

One of the things that so insidious is we`ve created this concept, this category, in American public discourse called terrorism or terror, and you can put a bunch of things into that. So everything from a guy with an SUV on a campus and 19 hijackers who killed and murdered 3,000 people and essentially bring the nation to a halt are all in the same category. But there`s a huge difference between these things, right? So, that was the single biggest failure, right?

Another attack like 9/11 really is an awful, awful cataclysmic thing to consider and things have to be done bureaucratically and governmentally to make sure that never happens again. But we`re a long way from that when we are talking about, you know, the underwear bomber.

And so, one of things that Rudy Giuliani is accomplishing, I think, in some ways by bringing this forward is that you run all this stuff together and you end up with this sense that -- oh, terrorism is just sort of this ever-present thing out there. But no, there are different scales that this is happening on and different things we can do to prevent different kinds of attacks.

O`DONNELL: Now, there are some retired Republican office-holders who are willing to grant that, in fact, President Obama has not done anything wrong in this, that the processes aren`t different from one administration to the other in the way that they`re addressing these issues. Isn`t the news media at some point, reasonable here in booking liars like Giuliani over other Republicans who are willing to actually call it as they see it?

HAYES: Yes. I mean, it`s unbelievable how any Republican who wants to get up and demagogue is automatically everywhere on television the next day. I mean, you saw Peter King and Pete Hoekstra. I mean, why should anyone listen to these people? I don`t know, expect for the fact that they were going to criticize the president and so they were on giving their spiel.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes, Washington editor of "The Nation" magazine -- thanks for your time tonight.

HAYES: Thank you.

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