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Entries in George W. Bush (17)

Sunday
Jun162013

Plane Carrying George W. Bush Diverted

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages(DALLAS) -- A plane carrying President George W. Bush was diverted from Philadelphia to Louisville, Ky.  Saturday night after the pilots reported smelling smoke on board, officials said.

“The flight President Bush was on was diverted to Louisville, and after a brief stop there we made it home safely to Dallas late last night,” Bush spokesman Freddy Ford said in a short statement.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov092011

'Delusional' Terror Suspect to Use Insanity Defense

Lubbock County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images(LUBBOCK, Texas) -- A Saudi student facing terrorism charges in Texas intends to use an insanity defense at his January trial, his lawyers said in a court filing Wednesday.

Khalid Aldawsari was arrested in February by the FBI for allegedly preparing to undertake bomb attacks against dams, nuclear plants, and the Dallas residence of former President George W. Bush.

Aldawsari had been studying in the United States since 2008 and operated below the radar of law enforcement and counterterrorism officials until he purchased concentrated chemicals needed to make an improvised explosive device.

According to a court filing Wednesday, Aldawsari’s defense attorneys noted in a Monday filing with the court asking for a mental evaluation: “Upon interview, Aldawsari, seems to be suffering from severe mental disability, including delusional visions and beliefs. Due to this and other recent developments, defense counsel, at this stage, anticipates relying on the defense of insanity at the time of the offense charged in the indictment."

As the FBI began to monitor him in the days before his arrest, the FBI obtained secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants to enter Aldawsari’s home on Feb. 14 and Feb. 17 to conduct searches of his computers and belongings. According to an FBI affidavit in the case, journal entries that were photographed by FBI agents and translated allegedly revealed Aldawsari’s intentions.

Aldawsari’s defense team has filed a motion seeking to suppress the FISA-related evidence and disclose what the evidence reveals. A motion filed in the case notes the defense team must review the legality of the searches.

Attorney General Eric Holder filed a declaration in court seeking to bar the FISA-related evidence from being disclosed.

U.S. District Court’s Sam Cummings will rule on the defense request to suppress the FISA evidence. The judge has instituted a gag order in the case barring the parties from commenting to the media.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep112011

America Marks 10th Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks at Ground Zero

Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The flag that survived the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center and was raised at ground zero in the days after Sept. 11, 2001, returned to the site Sunday, unfurled by New York police officers and firefighters at the start of the 10-year anniversary memorial ceremony.

President Obama and former President George W. Bush, seated with their wives behind a glass shield at the site, watched as bagpipers led the first responders and families of victims into the site and a chorus sang the national anthem.

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg opened the ceremony with the first city-wide moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. to commemorate the moment when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the north tower.  Obama then read from Psalm 46, which starts, "God is our refuge and strength."

The ceremony will be punctuated by six moments of silence in all, one for each of the moments when the four planes crashed, and one for the moments when each of the towers fell.

Family members of the more than 3,000 people killed in the attacks stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the crowded memorial plaza, wearing T-shirts emblazoned with loved ones' faces and names, after making their way back Sunday morning to the site where the twin towers once stood.

They joined firefighters, police officers and emergency workers at the 9/11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan on Sunday for the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.  The annual ceremony, in which the names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks are read aloud, took place for the first time at the newly completed memorial plaza, with two fountains in place of where the two towers once stood.

Six moments of silence were held in all, one for each of the moments when the four planes crashed, and one for the moments when each of the towers fell.

The moment of silence recognizing when the second plane -- United Flight 175 -- hit the south tower was followed by cheers erupting for Bush as he read from a letter Abraham Lincoln wrote, quoting, "The solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."

The ceremony also included performances by Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor and Paul Simon.

Police and security presence at the memorial and throughout Lower Manhattan remained significant; police dogs and armed guards were present throughout the ceremony.  New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told ABC News that there was no new information on a terror plot, but "no reason to lessen our alert status."

Sunday's ceremony will conclude at around 1 p.m. with three trumpeters, one each from the New York Police Department, the Fire Department of New York, and the Port Authority Police Department, playing taps.

After the ceremony, Obama will attend memorials in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon in Washington.  He will also attend a Concert for Hope at the Kennedy Center in D.C. Sunday night, where he will deliver a 15-minute speech on the attacks.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep112011

40 Victims of Flight 93 Remembered in Memorial Dedication

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(SHANKSVILLE, Pa.) -- As guests entered the Flight 93 memorial dedication ceremony in Shanksville, Pennsylvania Saturday, a brass quintet dressed in white Navy uniforms performed solemn songs on stage around a basket of white roses.

No one was sitting outside the memorial selling T-shirts or snacks.  Instead, the town is in quiet remembrance, paying their respects to the 40 people who died on Sept. 11, 2001, when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a field in Stonycreek Township, just north of Shanksville.  The hijackers intended to crash the plane into the Capitol building or the White House in Washington, D.C., but passengers fought back and caused the plane to crash early, thwarting the attack.

The flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 11, 2001 was brought to Shanksville shortly thereafter to fly over the site of the Flight 93 crash, while workers looked for survivors in the wreckage.  On Saturday, that flag was raised once again at the dedication ceremony as a female soldier sang the Star Spangled Banner.

The memorial features a stone wall with the names of the 40 victims standing next to a field of grass and yellow wildflowers.  Trees line the walkway next to the wall.

As each name was read, two bells were rung.  A bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace" followed the reading of the names.  Grammy-award winning singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan sang "I Will Remember You."

"In the distance of a decade, 9/11 can feel like part of a different era," said former President George W. Bush.  But for the families, "that day will never feel like history.  The memory of that morning was fresh, and so is the pain."

"One of the lessons of 9/11 is that evil is real, and so is courage," Bush added.  "Americans are alive today because the passengers and crew chose to act, and America is forever grateful."

"There has always been a special place in the common memory for people who deliberately, knowingly, certainly laid down their lives for other people to live," said former President Bill Clinton.  "Ordinary people, given no time to decide, did the right thing...I hope and pray to God that people will remember this."

Vice President Joe Biden said passionately that the American spirit cannot be defeated, no matter what tragedy or hardship we face.

"And so we stand where it began," Biden said.  "We think of them.  We think of our nation.  We think of our history.  We think of the future.  And we think of it, because of them, with a confidence, knowing that ordinary citizens will continue to stare down fear, overwhelm evil, and bring forth hope where there seems to be none...that heroism is who we are, and that courage lies deepest and beats loudest in the heart of this nation."

President Obama and the first lady will visit the site on Sunday for the second phase of the dedication ceremony.

On Monday, three coffins filled with unidentified human remains from the crash will be buried at the memorial site in a private funeral service for family members.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep082011

Florida Students Witnessed the Moment Bush Learned of 9/11 Terror Attacks

Ely Brown/ABC News(SARASOTA, Fla.) -- Sept. 11, 2001, started out as a morning of innocence and excitement for the boys and girls of Sandra Kay Daniels' second-grade class at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla.

"Everyone had their hair done and new bows and everything," recalled Natalia Jones-Pinkney, one of Daniels' former students.

The president of the United States, George W. Bush, was coming to visit.

"The kids had worked so hard," Daniels said. "He was coming to congratulate them for the success and achievements they had made in their reading."

"Everything was so relaxed," according to Ann Compton, the ABC News White House correspondent traveling with the president that day. "This was not a big pressure event. The kids were kind of bewildered by it all, the fuss around them. But they were sitting in their chairs, looking forward and were kind of giggling and glad to see the president."

The day's lesson focused around the story, "The Pet Goat." But while the teacher took her students through reading drills, few in the room knew what the president knew -- that a plane had apparently crashed in New York.

"I had been notified that a plane had hit the World Trade Center," President Bush told National Geographic. "My reaction was, man, either the weather was bad or something extraordinary happened to the pilot."

While the kids were picking up their books to begin reading "The Pet Goat," Andrew Card, the president's chief of staff, entered the room, walked to the president, and whispered in his ear.

"The minute that I saw Andy Card walk into that classroom, lean over and whisper to the president, I knew something was direly wrong," Compton said. "Nobody interrupts the president. Not even in front of a classroom of second-graders."

The students, now seniors in high school but just 7 years old at the time, knew then that something had happened. They could see it in the president's face.

"He looked disconcerted, anxious," recalled Lazaro Dubrocq, another former student. "He was looking at the cameras, the walls."

Daniels, the teacher, was also aware of a change in the room. "He left the room. Mentally he was gone."

Just what had Card whispered in the president's ear? "A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack."

For approximately seven minutes the president stayed in the classroom while the students proudly read "The Pet Goat" to him. He was later criticized for not leaving immediately, but to the young people in that classroom, he made the right decision.

"I think if he would have panicked that was the tone he was setting for the whole country," said Chantal Guerrero. "If he wanted the country to stay calm, he needed to show that he was calm."

After the president left the room to be briefed and address the nation, Daniels was informed by a member of the Secret Service of the attacks on the World Trade Center. Then she had to explain it to her young students.

"I told them something terrible had happened and President Bush needs to go," she said. "Remember they were in second grade. They were only 7 years old so I wasn't going to give them every piece of information."

Daniels also had to teach them some unexpected lessons. "I had to teach them really early about terrorists and about mean people in the world. So I would tell them choose good over evil. Do right when it's in your hand and in your power to do so."

Those lessons and that infamous day have left a lasting impact on the students. "It opened my eyes really fast," Guerrero said. "I wanted to know what was going on and so I guess it kind of matured all of us a little bit faster."

Although he felt proud to be in the classroom that day, Lazaro Dubrocq also felt sad. "You feel sorrow for the thousands of families who were destroyed that day," he said.

Now a decade later, the teacher and students from that second-grade classroom continue to share a special bond from being together on 9/11 in such a public way.

"What happened to us made us part of history," Daniels said. "And no matter where they go in life they will always be my babies."

And it's also an experience they shared with the president of the United States, as he wrote in a letter to former student Natalia Jones-Pinkney.

"You and I will never forget Sept. 11, '01," the president wrote. "But remember out of the evil done to America will come good."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun032011

Bush, Cheney Named Among 'Worst People of All Time' in Yearbook

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.) -- Someone appears to have forgotten to read the rules about what's appropriate for the school yearbook at Arkansas' Russellville Middle School.

One of the categories that somehow slipped the attention of editors was "Top 5 worst people of all time."  Those making the dubious list in order were Adolph Hitler, Osama bin Laden, Charles Manson, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Some parents discovered the list, which Russellville School Superintendent Randall Williams called "an oversight."  Since it was too late to republish the books, the school put permanent tape over the list, although it wasn't so permanent since the tape can easily be removed.

As it turned out, the list originated from a website called Ranker.com, although the former president and vice president were ranked at numbers 22 and 26 respectively on that list, meaning someone had to have modified the list that appeared in the yearbook.

Williams says he's questioned the adult sponsor of the yearbook, who admits not scanning that particular page before it went to print.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May242011

President Bush Nearly Hit by Foul Ball

File photo. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- Former president George W. Bush narrowly missed being hit by a foul ball at Monday night's Texas Rangers-Chicago White Sox baseball game.

It was the sixth inning when Rangers infielder Adrian Beltre popped one toward the on-deck circle and the former first couple. As the ball dropped into the owner's box, former First Lady Laura Bush dodged out of its trajectory while her husband and White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski both attempted -- and missed -- the catch.

"I just told him just because he was the president doesn't mean I won't jump on top of him," Pierzynski joked, according to ESPN. "Him and his wife got a good chuckle out of that one."

President Bush's Rangers beat the White Sox 4-0.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May052011

George W. Bush, True to His Word, Lies Low After Osama Bin Laden Killing

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- George W. Bush declined President Obama's invitation to join him at Ground Zero Thursday to meet with firefighters, police, first responders and families who lost loved ones during the 9/11 attacks, an event that defined his presidency.

With news that Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden Sunday, the former president was suddenly thrust back onto the stage as the world looked back at the Sept 11th attacks and the nearly decade-long hunt to find the world's most notorious terrorist.

But several top officials from the Bush administration said they were not at all surprised that Bush declined the invitation, in keeping with his pledge to stay out of the spotlight and let Obama be the president.

As Bush's second term wound down in January 2009, he did not mince words when it came to his plans for life after the White House.

"When I get out of here, I'm getting off the stage," he told reporters a week before Obama's inauguration. "I believe there ought to be, you know, one person in the Klieg lights at a time. And I've had my time in the Klieg lights."

Exit stage left; that was Bush's plan, so he remained in Dallas Thursday.

And for nearly 2½ years, the former president has kept his word, declining interview requests and keeping a low-profile in Dallas as he wrote his memoir and developed his presidential library.

On Sunday evening, before addressing the nation, Obama called Bush to inform him that bin Laden had been killed by U.S. forces.

Later in the week, the president extended an invitation to his predecessor to join him at Ground Zero Thursday, but Bush declined.

Bush will attend the ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May022011

Coincidence? Bin Laden News Comes Amid Significant Anniversaries

CNN via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Timing is everything.  But what about coincidences of timing?

May 1, 2011 will be noted in the history books as the date President Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden had been killed.

It is eight years to the day from another significant date in the United States’ so-called war on terror.  It was on this date in 2003 that former President George W. Bush delivered a speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, with a large banner announcing “Mission Accomplished” hung over the aircraft carrier.

Bush was announcing what he then called the end of combat operations in Iraq.  But the speech was soon followed by an increase in violence from the Iraqi insurgency, and many thousands more casualties followed the speech, which was quickly considered a major political misstep.

The coincidences of timing do not end there.  History notes that Adolf Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945, but the news was not announced until May 1 and newspaper headlines did not report his death until May 2 -- 66 years ago to this day.

And finally, Monday is Holocaust Remembrance Day.  In Israel it is also a federal holiday to commemorate the memories of the six million Jews and six million others killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust.  That date was selected to honor the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, where Jews unsuccessfully fought against their Nazi oppressors in Poland.

As Israel follows the Hebrew, or lunar, calendar, the holiday falls on a different date every year.  This year, Holocaust Remembrance Day is Monday, May 2.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr282011

Former President Bush Leads War Vets on Long Bike Trip

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images(BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas) -- Former President George W. Bush completed a 62-mile mountain bike ride on the desert trails of Big Bend National Park in southwestern Texas Wednesday.

What made the three-day trip particularly special was that Bush was accompanied by 15 veterans who either lost limbs or were seriously wounded while serving time in Iraq or Afghanistan.  They're part of the nonprofit Wounded Warrior project.

The 43rd U.S. president also had a special guest along for the ride during the last leg of the journey: seven-time Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong, who has ridden with Bush before, in 2005.

Elated by the bike journey made with the veterans and Armstrong, Bush called the trip "real cool, unbelievable."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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