RUSH: This is also the anniversary of September 11th — 9/11 — 2001, and, as happens each September 11th, there are massive ceremonies in New York, at the Pentagon, and out in Pennsylvania, where the three hijacked aircraft plowed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field. The president went to Pennsylvania. We’ll have audio sound bites of his speech in mere moments. I remember the first 9/11. I was talking to America’s Mayor, Rudolph “Rudy” Giuliani.
I said, “Mr. Mayor, don’t misunderstand me on this. But are we gonna do this every year? Are we gonna have ceremonies where we spend the whole day reciting the names of the dead and having a day-long remembrance?” “Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. We have to, we have to, we have to.” And I said, “Well, okay.” I understand it. Again, I have some friends who lost children, family members, in the World Trade Center on 9/11. I fully understand the emotion. I just… We watch it, and, for me, it brings back a wide array of memories.
I was on my way to the last ever Warren Buffett charity fundraising golf tournament in Nebraska. We were… I forget where we were. We weren’t there yet, and, all of a sudden, the pilots came back and said, “We gotta turn around and get down as soon as we can. We gotta get down within a certain time frame. We’re not gonna be able to get back home. The closest we’re gonna be able to get is probably an hour out of home, the nearest airport.”
Air traffic control was shutting everything down. Now, back then we didn’t have television on airplanes. I had no idea. We’re just getting reports from phone calls and so forth — and even those were rudimentary — that the World Trade Center had fallen down. I didn’t see any video of what actually happened until three hours later, after getting home. I was also in the midst of losing my hearing, and so I wasn’t able to understand 80% of what people were telling me. It wasn’t ’til I got back here about 15 minutes before 3 Eastern that I first saw video of what had happened.
And, you know, my reaction I’m sure was the same as everybody else. I was shocked, stunned, disbelief. How? I found out who the culprits were and understood the “why.” I’ll never forget the next morning for some reason. I’m driving in to work, and it’s at dawn — and it’s just a gorgeous dawn. I’m driving in. The Atlantic Ocean is right outside my left window. The sun had been up for a very few minutes. It was peaceful, idyllic. It was gorgeous.
I couldn’t help but think, “Why would anybody want to do what they did. Why would…?” It didn’t compute. Intellectually? Politically, yeah, of course, it made all kinds of sense. Intellectually, it didn’t make any sense. Emotionally, it didn’t make any sense. And then, all of a sudden, reality began to settle in for a lot of people the next days and the days following. Now, where are we 17 years later? Where we are is, among other things, Joe Scarborough on PMSNBC today — and I very rarely mention this network because I feel myself partly to blame for them having an audience.
We used to play audio sound bites of them all the time, and I think I helped create curiosity about ’em; so I banned ’em. I banned all audio sound bites and a bunch of other things. And we occasionally lift the ban. But did you hear what Scarborough said today? Scarborough said today that Donald Trump represents a greater threat than the 9/11 hijackers and terrorists. Now, how are you supposed to process that? What in the world are you supposed to do with that?
What has happened to people?
What has happened to Scarborough?
Scarborough used to be suck-up No. 1 to Donald Trump after he was elected president. You couldn’t keep him out of Mar-a-Lago. He’d show up wanting to be admitted, having a party with Trump. I don’t know what happened here. But how in the…? His theory is (summarized), “Well, the 9/11 hijackers united America, and Trump is dividing America; so therefore Trump poses a greater threat than the 9/11 hijackers.” Seriously? By the way, how long did the unity after 9/11 last, do you think?
What is your memory of how long the unity lasted? It didn’t even last a week. It was inside of a week that the Democrat Party began to openly criticize George W. Bush for not doing anything in retaliation. Then they started making fun of him for remaining in the classroom in Florida where he was at the time of the attacks. He was reading about goats to a bunch of 8-year-olds or some such thing. It’s a goat book. I don’t know what it was. Then they started making fun of him for not leaving immediately after he’d been told.
And then they made fun of him for being a coward for not flying straight back to Washington because he didn’t want to be in the line of fire. And then Peter Jennings got on ABC and started lamenting, “You know,” after Bush’s first remarks, “some presidents are just good at this, and some aren’t.” Of course, Peter Jennings was suggesting that what we really needed was Bill Clinton to calm and unite the nation after 9/11, that George W. Bush was just totally inept and incompetent. So where was all this unity that supposedly happened after 9/11?
What unity did the 9/11 hijackers promote? For crying out loud!
RUSH: 9/11. I’m wondering, ladies and gentlemen, if there’ll be any NFL players or other celebrities today kneeling anywhere to…? (interruption) You hope not? But what a day to speak up for social justice. 9/11, New York, reading the names of those who died — Pentagon ditto — to protest the flag. Who is it that died in many cases? It was policemen and firemen of all races, sexes, creeds, religions, planets, you name it. I don’t know if Nike has a special commercial to hit today. We probably would have heard about it by now if they did.
As I mentioned, President Trump went to Shanksville, Pennsylvania. This is where Flight 93 was commandeered by the passengers and flown into the ground. It was due to head back to Washington. The believed target was either the White House or Capitol Hill. But the passengers bravely took control of the plane, got in a fight with the terrorists aboard, and successfully crashed it into a field in western Pennsylvania, which is where Trump was today. I have to tell you, his speech has been getting rave reviews from across the spectrum. We have two sound bites. Here they are…
THE PRESIDENT: A piece of America’s heart is buried on these grounds, but in its place has grown a new resolve to live our lives with the same grace and courage as the heroes of Flight 93. This field is now a monument to American defiance. This memorial is now a message to the world: America will never, ever submit to tyranny.
RUSH: Right on. Cookie left the applause in there. Good. I understand why. Next bite. Trump says that he will always do everything he can to prevent terrorists from striking, from succeeding.
THE PRESIDENT: Since September 11th, nearly 5.5 million young Americans have enlisted in the United States Armed Forces. Nearly 7,000 service members have died facing down the menace of radical Islamic terrorism.
THE PRESIDENT: Today we also think of the more than 200,000 service members now serving overseas, and we think of every citizen who protects our nation at home, including our state, local, and federal law enforcement. These are great Americans. These are great heroes. We honor and thank them all.
THE PRESIDENT: As commander-in-chief, I will always do everything in my power to prevent terrorists from striking American soil.
RUSH: So those are two sound bites from President Trump’s remarks today at the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. By the way, the president has canceled… The Trump campaign has canceled the rally for Thursday night in Cape Girardeau, Missouri — my hometown — because of the forecast of the hurricane to make landfall about that time. I don’t know if they’re gonna reschedule it or not, but if you’re planning on going and you haven’t heard, it’s been… I don’t know if it’s canceled or postponed, but it’s not gonna happen on Thursday.
Now, let’s go to CNN. David “Rodham” Gergen said that this speech that Trump gave in Shanksville today one of his best. You could “almost forget …the acrimony, the poison.” Almost. Here’s what he said…
GERGEN: Very thoughtful speech by the president. I think easily one of his best speeches. For a moment, Poppy, one could almost forget the chaos around us — the acrimony, the poison — and come together. And you can only hope that the president will navigate that course again, that he’ll understand that the kind of speech he gave today brings us back together and helps in that regard, and if he will take — lead the way, maybe we can find our way to a better place as a nation.
RUSH: Well, isn’t that just peaches and cream? So what were they expecting Trump to do? Would they expect him to say something like he wishes different people had been on the plane? What did they expect him to say? They were expecting Trump to be divisive? You know what this all is? This is David “Rodham” Gergan saying, “If we could just come together. If the president could just, you know, navigate that course again…” What they’re saying is, “If Trump could stop attacking us — if Trump could stop criticizing us, if Trump could stop criticizing the media, if Trump would stop criticizing the Washington establishment — why, then everything would be fine.”
Why, of course it would, ’cause if Trump stops doing that, that would mean they’ve neutered him. Of course, that’s what they would like. They would like a Trump who gives up the fight. That’s what they like about every Republican that caves — a Republican that gives up the fight, gives up the battle — all in the name of unity and crossing the aisle and showing cooperation, proving that Washington can work. Of course David “Rodham” Gergen would celebrate that. But what is inherent in that?
What’s inherent in it is we can never be unified if the left is being criticized. We can never be unified if the media is being criticized. Not attacked, just criticized! We can never be unified if our government is criticized, and this is what they’re after. It’s remarkable. You know well as I do how successful they have been in taming a whole bunch of Republicans throughout the years. ‘Cause, man, you know, having that kind of stuff said about you on TV or in the Washington Post, New York Times? That’s seductive if you are a Republican.
So Trump gives the speech. David “Rodham” Gergen says, “Attaboy! Attaboy! Keep doing it like that and who knows. We might even delay impeachment. We’re still gonna get rid of you but we might tone it down a little bit.” Let’s look at some of the news headlines here from the Associated Press. “Trump to Mark 17 Years Since September 11th at Pennsylvania Field.” What do you think the focus of this story is? The focus of this story is how Trump lied when he said he saw Muslims celebrating on 9/11. You remember that kerfuffle and controversy during the presidential campaign and even prior to it?
Trump was famous for saying that in New Jersey he had seen a bunch of people celebrating after 9/11. In fact, this is how they write it: “But Trump, who was in his Trump Tower penthouse four miles from the World Trade Center on the date in 2001, has a mixed history with [9/11]. He praised New Yorkers, but also made unsubstantiated claims about what he did and saw that day. Trump, talking about Muslims, said that ‘thousands of people were cheering’ in Jersey City, New Jersey, as the towers collapsed. There is no evidence of mass celebrations there by Muslims.”
But of course there is (chuckles), and it’s, interestingly, from the New Jersey Star-Ledger, which hates Trump. December 22, 2015, archives: “Exclusive: Some Jersey City Muslims Did Celebrate 9/11, Cops and Residents Say.” So this story’s from 2015. That’s six months after Trump announced, and they’re savaging Trump for making it up. “He didn’t see it! This is an example of Trump racism, bigotry, and bias against our Muslim friends.” And then they decided to look into it at the New Jersey Star-Ledger, and they found evidence that Trump was not lying about it.
Yet the story today is how Trump continues to lie and make it up. That’s the AP’s version of the Trump story on 9/11. Now, there’s this too: “Why 9/11 Hijackers Still Haven’t Faced a Trial — They say the wheels of justice turn slowly — but now they’ve ground to a virtual halt. Seventeen years after they helped murder 2,977 innocents in the worst terrorist attack on US soil, five 9/11 suspects — including self-avowed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — have not faced trial.
“Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for all five men and have attempted for years to try the case, but a constantly shifting venue, questions over coerced evidence and the limitations of holding trials at [Club Gitmo] have slowed the case to a crawl.” What do you mean trials? Well, I’m just gonna shoot you straight here. The people to blame for this are Barack Hussein O and Eric Holder. If you recall, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is the guy we waterboarded a bunch of times and got the truth out of him. He came out with everything — the planning, the stages, who did it, how they did it, everything — after he was waterboarded.
Obama wanted a show trial in Manhattan. Obama and Eric Holder insisted on putting these confessions, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, aside so that there could be a show trial — and they wanted that trial to be in Manhattan. I don’t know how many remember this, but I was livid when I heard this ’cause I knew what this was gonna be. You start a trial where these people are on trial, and you’re giving them — ’cause they have a right to mount a defense. You’re giving them a United States federal courtroom to continue their diatribe against the United States.
I was asking myself, “Why in the world does the president of the United States and the attorney general want to afford these people that opportunity?” Some people said, “Well, Rush, it’s the best thing America could do to show how special we are. To even the most vicious of people, we offer the attempt at justice. We are fair. We are strong enough, we are big enough to allow them into a courtroom and let them rip us to shreds. That’s who we are!” Well, maybe with no context that might make sense.
But within the context of everything going on at the time, it was a disastrous thing to do, and it was stopped. Holder wanted it to do and Obama, too, in the worst way. But the bottom line is it’s 17 years later, and five of the masterminds have not been brought to trial, not been punished other than they are incarcerated. It’s kind of shocking for a lot of people. You talk to people who’ve lost family at the World Trade Center. To this day, many of them… It’s more than perplexed. They can’t figure out why in the world, and when they hear…
When they hear anybody in our government talk about how we must be open-minded and we must not be critical of our militant Islamist friends and so forth, it drives ’em nuts.
It drives ’em nuts.
It still does.