NYT writer: History will view 9/11 as 'a fluke'
Nick Juliano
Published: Tuesday December 16, 2008

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New York Times scribe James Risen has been at the forefront of uncovering President Bush's most cavalier redefinitions of executive power.

Bush likes to tout the fact that there has not been another domestic terror attack since Sept. 11, 2001, as justification for his extreme and perhaps illegal policies, like the warrantless eavesdropping on Americans that Risen and Times colleague Eric Lichtblau first revealed.

Risen scoffed at this excuse, comparing it to a joke about a man who puts a "No Elephants" sign in his backyard and credits it with keeping the creatures away.

"I think the basic storyline is going to be in the long run that 9/11 was a fluke," Risen said in an interview with the American News Project. "They got lucky. We weren't really ready or prepared to deal with an operation like that; it was really a failure of imagination."

Risen said he was skeptical that Bush would pursue a war with Iraq -- another decision the president credits with avoiding another attack -- if he knew in 2003 everything that is known today.

"I think today if Bush was being honest, you kind of forced him to be truly honest and say, 'OK if you knew there was no weapons of mass destruction, if you knew there was no connection to al Qaeda, and if you knew that this war would cost as much as it has in lives and money, and if you knew how damaging this war would be to your presidency, would you still invade Iraq?'" Risen posited. "I just cannot believe he really would have done it."