No Jeb, Your Brother Did Not Keep Us ‘Safe’

Kay Steiger

Kay Steiger Senior Editor, Think Progress

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush doubled down on the idea that his brother “kept us safe” as president on Thursday — making an even more explicit connection to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center — the day after he made the claim during the second Republican presidential debate on CNN.

His camapaign tweeted a graphic with the phrase “he kept us safe” paired with the carnage after the attacks:

During the debate Bush seemed to indicate that George W. Bush ensured American safety after the terrorist attacks. But the photo in the tweet, with his brother standing on the ruins of the World Trade Center as president, is a explicit connection to his brother keeping “us safe” during Sept. 11. It’s a whitewashed version of history.

Much of the analysis following the World Trade Center attacks revealed that the Bush administration ignored warnings that such a plot could be in the works. Declassified documents indicate that Osama bin Laden had been planning the attacks for years. But rather than preparing for potential terrorist attacks, reports indicated that the Bush administration was more focused on missile defense.


Furthermore, even if Bush is trying to argue that it was his brother’s post-9/11 counterterrorism strategy that kept America “safe,” most evidence indicates that the war in Iraq was dangerously misguided. The Iraq war wasn’t linked to the attacks on U.S. soil, and a 2006 intelligence report indicated that the U.S. presence in Iraq actually worsened the threat of terrorism. Ultimately, nearly 5,000 American troops and other allied troops gave their lives during the war in Iraq.


This has been reposted from Think Progress.

Kay Steiger is a senior editor at ThinkProgress. She previously worked at Talking Points Memo, Raw Story, The American Prospect, and Washingtonian magazine. She has also contributed to The Atlantic, Jezebel, the Guardian, and Bitch magazine.