Prelude 9/11 morning Flight 11 hijacked Flight 175 hijacked WTC 1 hit Flight 77 hijacked WTC 2 hit Flight 93 hijacked Pentagon hit WTC 2 collapses Flight 93 crashes WTC 1 collapses WTC 7 collapses Epilogue

Claim

“George Bush claims he saw the first plane hit the towers on his way to a school event on 9/11 but the video from the first plane was only showed on 9/12.”

“George Bush påstår, at han så første fly flyve ind i tårnene på vej ind til et skolearrangement den 11/9, men videoen fra første fly blev først vist 12/9.”0

The claim is made on a flyer from the Danish Truth Movement, i11time.dk (“in the 11th hour”).

Background

The claim refers to the following quote from Bush:

”I was sitting outside the class room waiting to go in and I saw an aeroplane hit the tower, you know the tv was obviously on, and I used to fly myself and I said: Well, there’s one terrible pilot. And they said: It must have been a horrible accident.”1

This is interpreted by the conspiracy theorists as if Bush had knowledge of something that the rest of the world did not, given that the video of the first plane hitting World Trade Center 1 was not published until the day after.

Facts

George W. Bush described what happened in his book, “Decision Points”2:

On the short walk from the motorcade to the classroom, Karl Rove mentioned that an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center. That sounded strange. I envisioned a little propeller plane horribly lost. Then Condi called. I spoke to her from a secure phone in a classroom that had been converted into a communications center for the traveling White House staff. She told me the plane that had just struck the Trade Center tower was not a light aircraft. It was a commercial jetliner.

I was stunned. That plane must have had the worst pilot in the world. How could he possibly have flown into a skyscraper on a clear day? Maybe he’d had a heart attack. I told Condi to stay on top of the situation and asked my communications director, Dan Bartlett, to work on a statement promising the full support of federal emergency management services.

I greeted Booker’s principal, a friendly woman named Gwen Rigell. She introduced me to the teacher, Sandra Kay Daniels, and her roomful of second-graders. Mrs. Daniels led the class through a reading drill. After a few minutes, she told the students to pick up their lesson books. I sensed a presence behind me. Andy Card pressed his head next to mine and whispered in my ear. ‘A second plane hit the second tower,’ he said, pronouncing each word deliberately in his Massachusetts accent. ‘America is under attack.’

George W. Bush is known as a notoriously poor public speaker who often mangles his words. His lack of abilities in the fields of language and communication has even spawned a term, Bushisms3. A couple of his more humorous malapropisms:

“They misunderestimated me.”
— Bentonville, Arkansas; November 6, 2000

“I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.”
— Saginaw, Michigan; September 29, 2000

“Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”
— Florence, South Carolina; January 11, 2000

“Afghanistan is the most daring and ambition mission in the history of NATO.”
—Bucharest, Romania, April 2, 2008

“I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office.” –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., June 26, 2008

Many other politicians and public speakers have throughout time misspoken or made mistakes, without the rest of us having to take them literally.

Bush has never said that his statement should be interpreted as the conspiracy theorists understand it, repeated his statement, or even said anything like it.

Witness accounts are commonly marred by memory loss, misremembering, or mixing up the order of events. Many people would answer in the affirmative when asked if they saw the landing of Apollo 11 even though the landing was never filmed.

Likewise, Bush’s statement makes sense that when he saw the images of the smoking tower and had been told that a plane had just hit it, he can imagine it in his head.

Logic

The claim is manipulative because the conspiracy theorists choose to understand Bush’s statement quite literally. Ironically, the claim becomes self-contradicting because if the statement is really taken literally, it was on television he saw the plane hit the first tower:

”…and I saw an aeroplane hit the tower, you know the tv was obviously on.”1

But that is impossible since the video was only released the next day. It is also self-contradicting in the sense that if he really had seen it on television, the rest of the world would also have seen it.

The only way he could have watched it live is if he watched a private secret channel but then it is self-contradicting that he tells about it, in public, to a lot of people.

If the claim from the flyer from the Danish Truth Movement, i11time.dk, should be taken just as literally, it is actually claimed that Bush saw a video from the first plane, i.e. a video that was recorded on board the plane and that he saw a plane hit both towers:

“George Bush claims he saw the first plane hit the towers, on his way to a school event on 9/11, but the video from the first plane was only showed on 9/12.”

If George W. Bush really had had prior knowledge that the terror attack on September 11, 2001 would happen, his statement would have meant that he was an accomplice in the murder of thousands of people. It does not sound very plausible or logical. Nobody from the Truth Movement has reported George W. Bush to the police for these horrid crimes.

Conclusion

The claim is therefore:

  • False
  • Manipulating
  • Self-contradicting
  • Illogical

Sources

  1. Løbeseddel, i11time.dk
  2. Bush Caught Lying About September 11th, YouTube
  3. George W. Bush, Decision Points, kapitel 5.
  4. Bushism, Wikipedia

Q & A