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David Corn Headshot

Where Was George?

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Read this paragraph from today's Washington Post article on the evacuation of the White House and Congress that was triggered yesterday by an errant pilot who strayed into restricted air space:

First lady Laura Bush and former first lady Nancy Reagan, who was visiting, were ushered to a bunker beneath the White House for safety, and Vice President Cheney was taken to a secure location, officials said. The president, who was riding his bicycle at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in suburban Maryland, was alerted by his security detail after the drama was over.

The White House is cleared, Congress is emptied, the Veep is rushed to safety, the defense secretary is contacted so he is available to carry out a shoot-down order. What's missing? Telling the president. This episode went on for almost half an hour. Planes were scrambled at 11:47 am and the civilian pilot did not respond. At 12:06, fighter jets fired warning flares, and then the trouble-making Cessna turned around and headed toward an airport in Maryland, where it landed at 12:37.

Is anyone else puzzled why George W. Bush's bicycle ride was not immediately interrupted? Or why he was out of the office having so much fun in the middle of a work day? Didn't Laura Bush say that if he wants to end tyranny in the world he has to put in more hours? But seriously, imagine if that plane had started spraying a biological agent or was loaded with a dirty or nuclear bomb. Shouldn't Bush have been out of the (bike) saddle and ready to deal with the potential crisis as soon as possible? Conspiracy theorists, have fun with this.

By the way, has Mike McCurry answered my two questions yet?

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