FLASHBACK: Bush Used to Oppose Letting Bin Laden Set National Security Priorities

Yesterday, Think Progress posted a video compilation of members of the Bush administration arguing America should outsource its national security policy to bin Laden. (As Dan Bartlett said, “So, it doesn’t matter what we say. We should be taking the — the words of the enemy seriously. They think it’s the fight of — of the war on terror, so, we must as well.”)

A Think Progress reader pointed us to an exchange from the first 2004 Presidential debate:

KERRY: You know – Osama bin Laden uses the invasion of Iraq in order to go out to people and say that America has declared war on Islam. We need to be smarter about now we wage a war on terror. […]

BUSH: My opponent just said something amazing. He said Osama bin Laden uses the invasion of Iraq as an excuse to spread hatred for America. Osama bin Laden isn’t going to determine how we defend ourselves. Osama bin Laden doesn’t get to decide. The American people decide.

If Bush were serious about letting the American people “determine how we defend ourselves,” he would support a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.