Flashback: Bush National Security Strategy Said We Must Be ‘Able To Absorb The Impact’ Of A Terrorist Attack

In an interview with Bob Woodward earlier this year, President Obama said, “We can absorb a terrorist attack. We’ll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever. … We absorbed it and we are stronger.” That confident portrayal of American resilience has been seized upon by right wing pundits. As Ken Gude notes on the Wonk Room, “conservative critics won’t tolerate this kind of reasoned leadership” from Obama. For instance, consider the following statement Liz Cheney released today:

This comment suggests an alarming fatalism on the part of President Obama and his administration. Once again the President seems either unwilling or unable to do what it takes to keep this nation safe. The President owes the American people an explanation.

Recall, Cheney’s father — the former vice president of the United States — told Meet the Press’s Tim Russert in 2002 that another terrorist attack was “almost a certainty.” He added it that it was only a matter of time before the U.S. got hit again:

VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: The prospect of another attack against the United States is very, very real. It’s just as real, in my opinion, as it was September 12.


TIM RUSSERT, NBC News: Not a matter of if, but when?

VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: Not a matter of if, but when.

Is Liz Cheney outraged that her father stated that another terrorist attack on the homeland is a certain eventuality? She’s probably unaware that the Bush White House put out the following national security document that laid out a strategy of being “better able to absorb the impact” of a terrorist attack:

For each CI/KR [critical infrastructure and key resources] sector, we must collectively work to ensure the ability of power, communications, and other life sustaining systems to survive an attack by terrorists, a natural disaster, and other assessed risks or hazards. In the past, investments in redundant and duplicative infrastructure were used to achieve this objective. We must now focus on the resilience of the system as a whole — an approach that centers on investments that make the system better able to absorb the impact of an event without losing the capacity to function.

Perhaps Liz Cheney should demand an explanation from her father.[featuredcomment]katy says: “sounds like President Obama actually reads the national security documents…”[/featuredcomment]