Entries in 9/11 (34)


Marking 9/11 Anniversary, Romney Renews Call for Withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images(RENO, Nev.) -- Mitt Romney Tuesday renewed his call for American troops in Afghanistan to return to the United States by the end of 2014 during a speech in Reno, Nev. The Republican presidential nominee remarked on the withdrawal as he delivered a speech that paid tribute to the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.
“While the war in Iraq is over, nearly 70,000 American troops will still remain in Afghanistan at the end of the month,” said Romney, who spoke to the National Guard Association Conference. “Our goal should be to complete a successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014.  We should evaluate conditions on the ground and solicit the best advice of our military commanders.”
Romney’s statements about troops in Afghanistan came after criticism of the candidate for not mentioning them specifically during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.
Noting that the 9/11 anniversary is not an appropriate day to talk about the differences between his and President Obama’s “plans for military and for our national security,” Romney did make veiled references to former criticisms he’s had of President Obama’s handling of foreign policy, namely that he believes the president should have had more open communication with troops and the American public about the mission of our troops stationed overseas.
“We can all agree that our men and women in the field deserve a clear mission, that they deserve the resources and resolute leadership they need to complete that mission, and that they deserve a country that will provide for their needs when they come home,” said Romney, who never mentioned the president by name in his speech.
“Of course, the return of our troops cannot and must not be used as an excuse to hollow out our military through devastating defense budget cuts.  It is true that our armed forces have been stretched to the brink -- and that is all the more reason to repair and rebuild,” said Romney. “We can always find places to end waste.”
Romney said that Sept. 11 was a “day to express gratitude” to those who have fought and are still fighting, specifically thanking the SEAL team “who delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.”
Romney’s campaign, like Obama’s, suspended political ads for the day, and the bulk of Romney’s speech in Reno Tuesday was dedicated to remembering the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Romney recalled his own experience that day, telling the crowd of hundreds of guardsmen and women that he had been in Washington, D.C. for Olympic committee meetings when he heard the first tower was struck.
“These, then, were purposeful acts, these were terrorist acts, these were evil and cowardly and heinous acts,” Romney said of his thoughts at the time.

 Romney paid particular tribute to the Guardsman’s service in the U.S., specifically thanking them for their work following hurricanes in the U.S., and those who have fought in Afghanistan.
“Time and again, it has been the Guardsman's hand that has lifted a child from rising waters, that has rescued a family from a hurricane's fury, and that has fed and clothed a fellow American whose home and possessions have been lost to nature's devastation,” said Romney. “It is a Guardsman who took out Saddam Hussein's tanks from his A-10, and who fought to secure the villages of Afghanistan. Thank you for that service.”
“As you know too well, our world is a dangerous place. And the attack on our homeland and citizens on September 11, 2001 reminds us that the mission of the Guard is ever more critical, and ever more deserving of our support and honor,” he said.
“More than a decade has now passed since that day of tragedy. But the visions and events are seared in the memory of every American,” he said. “We remember those who died. We marvel at the courage of those who stormed the cockpit when they became aware of the malevolent purpose of the hijackers. We hold up in prayer the families and friends who have lived in a shadow cast by grief. We draw strength from the selflessness of the first responders. And we renew our resolve to protect America from the designs of evil men.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama: After 9/11, America 'Even Stronger'

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Eleven years after the 9/11 attacks, President Obama says the country has emerged stronger, safer and more resilient.

“As painful as this day is and always will be, it leaves us with a lesson: that no single event can ever destroy who we are, no act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for,” the president said Tuesday at a memorial ceremony at the Pentagon.  “Instead, we recommit ourselves to the values that we believe in, holding firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.”

Recalling a day “that began like so many others,” Obama said, “It is easy for those of us who lived through that day to close our eyes and to find ourselves back there and back here, back when grief crashed over us like an awful wave, when Americans everywhere held each other tight, seeking the reassurance that the world we knew wasn’t crumbling under our feet.”

Since the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, the president said America has “dealt a crippling blow to the organization that brought evil to our shores.”

“Al Qaeda’s leadership has been devastated, and Osama bin Laden will never threaten us again,” said Obama, who also cited the end of the Iraq war and the transition in Afghanistan.

The president assured the victims’ families that “no matter how many years passed, no matter how many times we come together on this hallowed ground, know this, that you will never be alone.”

“Your loved ones will never be forgotten.  They will endure in the hearts of our nation because through their sacrifice, they helped us make the America we are today, an America that has emerged even stronger,” he said.

After his remarks, the president and first lady spent close to an hour greeting the families of those who lost their lives in the attacks.

On their way back to the White House, Mr. and Mrs. Obama stopped at Arlington National Cemetery, where they visited the graves of service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dick Cheney Says Romney Best Suited to Handle 9/11-Like Attack

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WILSON, Wyo.) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney sought to bolster Mitt Romney’s foreign policy credibility Thursday evening during a high-dollar fundraiser at which he said the presumptive GOP nominee would be best suited to handle a terrorist attack as severe as 9/11.

“There is one other credential that I care a lot about, and I have learned over the years in all those administrations that there is always, sooner or later, a crisis that’s totally unanticipated,” said Cheney.  “You can’t plan on it.  You don’t know what it’s going to be.  You go through the campaigns and study the history books and talk to the experts.  Sooner or later, there is going to be a big surprise -- usually a very unpleasant one.”

Cheney said that when he thinks about the kind of leader he wants to handle “life-and-death” decisions in that sort of situation, he thinks of Romney.

“Whether its 9/11 or the other kinds of difficulties or crises that arrive, they always do,” said Cheney.  “And that’s when you really find out what kind of leader your president is.  And I’m convinced that, in addition to all of these other qualifications that you all know about, when I think about the kind of individual I want in the Oval Office in that moment of crisis who has to make those key decisions, some of them life-and-death decisions, some of them decisions as the commander-in-chief who has the responsibility of sending our young men and women into harm’s way -- that man is Mitt Romney.”

The fundraiser, which was expected to raise more than $4 million, was co-hosted by Cheney and his wife, Lynne, who hosted a more exclusive dinner for the highest-dollar donors later in the evening at their nearby home.

Held at a country club in Wyoming where attendees were ushered between events in golf carts in the shadows of the Teton Mountains, Cheney’s remarks came just more than a week before Romney will set off on the first foreign trip of his candidacy.

This is the first event at which Cheney and Romney have appeared together, and it was closed to television cameras.

During the event, Romney did not mention Bain Capital on a day that political news was dominated by questions regarding when exactly he left the private equity firm and whether that date was accurately reported.  He instead mocked President Obama for saying that his biggest mistake during his presidency was not telling more stories about his vision for America.

“He was asked what his biggest mistake was in his three-and-a-half years.  I have a long list for him,” said Romney, referring to an interview Obama did on Thursday with CBS News’ Charlie Rose.  “I mean, I just went through a few related to his domestic policy, but his foreign policy mistakes may be even longer lasting in their negative impact on the country."

“What was his answer as to his biggest mistake?  Not telling stories to the American people about his vision,” said Romney.  “That was his biggest mistake.  Oh really?  Really?  Look, look, he’s out of touch, he’s out of excuses, he’s out of ideas and we’ve got to make sure in November we put him out of office.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama, Chris Christie to Tour World Trade Center Together

Pete Souza/The White House/Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie might be at the top of most veepstakes lists, but it won’t be Mitt Romney with whom he’s appearing on Thursday.  Instead, he will tour One World Trade Center Thursday afternoon with Romney’s rival, President Obama.

It might be quite an awkward meeting.  The tough-talking Republican governor last week railed against Obama at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Chicago.  Christie hit Obama for his comments on Friday that the “private sector is doing fine” and it’s local government hiring that’s slowing the economy.  The president later clarified his comments, explaining the economy is “not doing fine.”

In front of a cheering crowd, Christie said the statements show “the core difference between who we are and what he represents for America.”

“I remind my staff of this every day, and I want to remind you all today, the most powerful thing on our side is this: We’re right and they’re wrong,” Christie said.  “So let’s not make it any more complicated.”

Obama and Christie toured flood-ravaged parts of New Jersey together in September and if Christie, who has topped his personal favorability ratings in his state, is picked to be Romney’s running mate, Thursday’s video of their meeting will definitely be broadcast over and over again.

The attacks of Sept. 11 do transcend politics, but all eyes will be on how the two interact in this heated partisan atmosphere.  Christie does have a history of working with Democrats, at times.  He’s fighting with his Democratic state legislature right now, but he has a good relationship with Newark Mayor Democrat Cory Booker, as well as his state’s Senate president, also a Democrat. Christie and Booker filmed a spoof video together last month making fun of the possibility that Christie would join Romney’s ticket.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will also be on hand for the tour on Thursday.  Booker will actually be with the president Thursday evening for a fundraiser at the Plaza Hotel.

Obama will also be fundraising at the home of Sarah Jessica Parker Thursday evening.  This event was highly publicized and involved a sweepstakes for low-dollar donors to win a ticket to the pricey event.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul Talks 9/11, Iran on Last Tour Stop Before Christmas

Alex Wong/Getty Images(CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa) -- Ron Paul was greeted by large crowds throughout the day Thursday, and at his last event at a hotel he touched on one of his most controversial past comments, saying “people misinterpret what I say about what happened on 9/11.”

“But, very clearly -- it was so tragic -- but I just point out that a different foreign policy might have diminished the incentive,” Paul told the crowd of over 300, who mostly silently sat through his speech, but leapt to their feet when he finished.  “I don’t believe people are going to come over here and commit suicide to prove that we’re rich and free. They don’t do that. They come because they’re angry at us.”

Paul then said people ask him “where did you come up with this crazy, un-American idea?” He answered his own question with Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense under President George W. Bush.

“Paul Wolfowitz, right after 9-11, says this perfect statement that I could have written.  The 9-11 Commission confirmed this, Wolfowitz confirmed this, the CIA confirmed this, DOD has confirmed it,” Paul said.  “What Wolfowitz said was we can close that base down now in Saudi Arabia because the base in Saudi Arabia was a good recruiting tool for the al-Qaeda.  So this is the architect of the war saying this was one of the incentives.”

The candidate was linking it to Iran policy, saying the potential of America or Israel attacking Iran to prevent the country from getting a nuclear weapon “totally destroys anti-ayatollah movement within the country.”

“They say every time we threaten and they think they’re going to be attacked, the ayatollahs get stronger.  So if we start bombing, their whole effort to undermine the ayatollah and change their government would be undermined.  It’s maybe well intended.  I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.  But sometimes it seems out of control and unreasonable, because the other argument is maybe there’s people in our country that would like to get the oil. Could that possibly be it?  It seems like we go into countries more when they have oil,” Paul said.

Earlier in the day at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Manchester, Iowa, the Texas congressman was asked what he would do about Iran from an audience member who said, “There is something going on there and I’m of worried about it.”  Paul replied that it’s “not true” that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon.

“I’m worried about it too, but maybe not in the same way as some others worry about it.  I worry about us overreacting on Iran like we did in Iraq,” Paul said. “I think what’s going on now is not too dissimilar with Iran.  Iran is not a physical threat to us. They do not have capabilities. The stories you might hear about them being on the verge of a nuclear weapon is not true by our CIA and by the United Nations they are not on the verge of it."

Does that mean I don’t care?  Yeah I care. I don’t want them to get a weapon," he added.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Coffee Blend Named After Rick Perry’s 9/11-Inspired Cowboy Boots

Toni Sandys/The Washington Post(CLEAR LAKE, Iowa) -- Rick Perry’s cowboy boots, which make an appearance on the campaign trail every now and then, have kicked their way into the coffee world. One coffee shop has created a coffee blend named after those famous Texas boots bearing the words “Freedom” and “Liberty.”

The Cabin Coffee Company in Clear Lake developed the “Freedom & Liberty Blend,” made of 100 percent Arabica Beans and described as being “Rich & smooth, medium bodied, sparkling acidity, with Smokey undertones.”

Brad Barber, the owner of Cabin Coffee Co., presented Perry with a bag of the coffee before the Texas governor’s event Saturday at the coffee shop.

Perry’s brown ostrich boots are custom made, date back to 2001, and were inspired by 9/11.

“They were a pair that were made in June, I think the summer of ’01, and they said, ‘What do you want on top of them?’ And I said ‘I’ll call you back. I was at a loss,’” Perry told ABC News. “And then on the 12th or 13th of September, I called them back and said, ‘I know what I want on my boots. I want an American flag on each one of them and on the left one, liberty and on the right one, freedom.”

Though they are not seen often on the campaign trail, Perry still wears the 10-year-old boots, admitting, “They have been re-soled a few times.”

The “Freedom & Liberty Blend” of coffee sells for $13.50 a pound and $8.00 for half a pound.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul Booed over 9/11 Remarks during GOP Debate

Win McNamee/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul was booed at Monday night’s CNN/Tea Party debate while explaining his view on why America was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.

During the debate, the Texas Congressman was asked if he planned to decrease defense spending to balance the budget.

Paul agreed that there is waste to cut, specifically dealing with outdated technology.  However, he said that a lot more money could be saved if America embraced a policy of non-intervention.  He added that the United States is in 130 countries and has 900 bases around the world, and added that “we’re broke.”

Paul then went a step forward, criticizing America’s global presence, especially in the Middle East, as being a catalyst for terrorism.

“We have to be honest with ourselves.  What would we do if another country, say, China, did to us what we do to all those countries over there?” Paul asked.

His view of foreign non-intervention received applause from the audience.  It was also the subject of his latest Texas Straight Talk column marking the anniversary of 9/11.  In it, Paul argues that foreign occupation is the “real motivation behind the September 11 attacks and the vast majority of other instances of suicide terrorism.”

Fellow GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum challenged Paul to explain that article, which he said blames America for 9/11.  However, when Paul began to cite U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia and America’s policy on Palestine as being the causes of the attacks, the audience booed him.  Undaunted, Paul continued to explain his view of why the attacks occurred.

At the end, Paul said, “Would you be annoyed?  If you’re not annoyed, then there’s some problem.”

Opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more generally to U.S. military activity abroad, has been a cornerstone of Paul’s candidacy and sets him apart from the rest of the Republican field.

Paul has a long record of voting against international intervention.  He voted against both Iraq wars.  He voted against the war in Kosovo and the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 which he called a “declaration of virtual war.”  Although he did vote for the use of force and emergency appropriations in Afghanistan after 9/11, he now says he regrets the votes and says the money was misused.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rumsfeld Cancels 'New York Times' Subscription Over 9/11 Blog Post

Paul Krugman. File Photo. Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg(WASHINGTON) -- Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has canceled his office subscription to The New York Times after an online blog item by columnist Paul Krugman described the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks as “an occasion for shame.”   

Earlier Monday, Rumsfeld tweeted, “After reading Krugman’s repugnant piece on 9/11, I canceled my subscription to the New York Times this AM.”

Rumsfeld’s Chief of Staff Keith Urbahn confirmed to ABC News that the tweet had come from Rumsfeld’s Twitter account. He says Rumsfeld normally tweets himself, but Rumsfeld and Urbahn had discussed Rumfeld’s decision beforehand and decided it should be tweeted out.

Urbahn says Rumsfeld canceled his personal subscription to the Times years ago, but after reading Krugman’s column this weekend, decided, “We would no longer have an office subscription, so he canceled it.”

Krugman’s short blog post titled “The Years of Shame" appeared Sunday -- on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks -- on, decrying how 9/11 had become a “wedge issue.”

Krugman wrote, “What happened after 9/11 -- and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not -- was deeply shameful.”  He continued, “The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.

"The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue,” Krugman continued. “Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.”

Urbahn said Rumsfeld described Krugman’s column "as being beyond the pale.”

Asked how his office would do without a subscription to the paper of record, Urbahn said, “I think we’re going to do just fine.  We’re not going to be missing much.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


McCain Admits Americans Won't Allow Another Middle East War

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Americans suffering from war fatigue won't permit more U.S. military involvement in the Middle East, according to Sen. John McCain.

The Arizona Republican told Fox News Sunday that he still supports the decisions made by the previous Bush administration to invade Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks and remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from power.

However, McCain admitted, "I also think we learned a lot of lessons, and frankly, I don't think you're going to see the United States of America in another war in that part of the world."

"I don't think American public opinion would stand for it," the 2008 GOP presidential nominee conceded.

McCain believes that the U.S. had no choice but to go after al Qaeda and its Taliban allies in Afghanistan when America was attacked 10 years ago.

Yet, "whether it's mismanaged and whether we underestimated the enormity of the challenge we faced, I think historians will judge," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


9/11 Flashback: Biden Called for Resilience as Country Braced for Attacks

Then Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senate Armed Services ranking Republican John Warner, R-Va., talk to media outside U.S. Capitol Police Headquarters in the early afternoon of September 11, 2001. Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- On the afternoon of 9/11 as the country reeled from the terrorist attacks and the anxiety about what might be coming next, then Sen. Joe Biden said America was too resilient to crumble even after the horror of seeing the World Trade Center towers crumble to dust.

In an interview with ABC News just hours after the attacks, Biden praised President Bush for returning to Washington and warned about not curbing civil liberties in the war America had been thrown into.

“I think we should be meeting tomorrow morning, let the American people understand that these thugs that have done this incredible thing to the United States have not, in any fundamental way, altered our ability to do business,” Biden said.

“We have to show that we’re up, we’re ready, we’re ready to move. We are, in fact -- nothing has fundamentally altered this government,” he said.  “And the tragedy that occurred to these thousands of people is one that we must, in fact, follow through and find out who is responsible for. But in the meantime … we should be calm and cool and collected about going about our business as a nation. Terrorism wins when, in fact, they alter our civil liberties or shut down our institutions. We have to demonstrate neither of those things have happened.”

Discussing how the attacks had transformed our county into a war-zone and his concern about the future and civil liberties Biden said, “We’ve come face to face with a new reality, a reality that we knew existed and knew was possible, a reality that has happened in varying degrees to other countries. But if, in fact, in order to respond to that reality we have to alter our civil liberties, change the way we function, then we’ve truly lost the war.”

Douglass, who earlier in the day had been rapidly evacuated from the Capitol, later saw Biden, who was then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and led him to the top of a building at 400 North Capitol Street where ABC News had a camera position established in case the Capitol was attacked. Douglass and Biden climbed a ladder to the roof of the building where he was interviewed.

Biden said that government officials needed remain calm as they figured out how to respond to the tragedy and how to move forward. Biden also praised Bush for his determination to return to Washington.

“The first thing is what the president is doing. He called for calm. He’s getting in the airplane, he’s coming back to Washington, D.C., and I applaud him for that,” he said.

While acknowledging the devastation caused by the attacks, Biden said the nation’s resilience would come through.

“This nation is too big, too strong, too united, too much a power in terms of our cohesion and our values to let this break us apart,” he said. “And it won’t happen.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio