Former Colin Powell Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz on Wednesday night that President George W. Bush wasn’t interested in bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. “I don’t think they really wanted to get bin Laden,” Wilkerson said.
One of the more staggering developments to emerge in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s elimination has been the attempt by many on the right to shoehorn George W. Bush into the narrative of how the terrorist mastermind behind 9/11 was successfully tracked down and ultimately killed. Soon after Obama’s announcement of Bin Laden’s death, House Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) attempted to spin the accomplishment as a continuance of Bush’s “vigilance,” Sarah Palin thanked the former president without even mentioning Obama, the news shows on the Sunday following the event featured no less than five former Bush administration officials (versus only two from the Obama administration), and Bush himself reportedly declined an invitation to a commemorative ceremony at the World Trade Center because he reportedly felt like he did not receive enough credit for Bin Laden’s death.
But attributing Bin laden’s death to “vigilance” on Bush’s part is a stretch (to put it kindly) as an analysis and a timeline by ThinkProgress demonstrate. Bush’s missteps included not focusing on Bin Laden prior to 9/11, undermining the search for Bin Laden by abandoning the fight in Tora Bora, and above all, by shifting resources away from a focus on al Qaeda and into the massive folly that was the invasion of Iraq. Watch a ThinkProgress video documenting Bush’s failures: