Bush Denigrates ‘War on Terror’ Veterans 

On September 11, 2001, Flight 93 reportedly was headed for Washington, D.C. when Americans attempted but failed to overcome Islamic terrorists who planned to use the hijacked plane as a missile against the U.S. Capitol building. The plane crashed in a field outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Twenty years later, George W. Bush stood on that same ground and compared patriotic Americans at the U.S. Capitol protesting a hijacked presidential election to the Islamic terrorists who murdered nearly 3,000 innocent people on 9/11. Bush’s “War on Terror” came full circle, realizing the worst fears of his legion of haters from the time—the same people now praising his “courage” in confronting imaginary domestic terrorists.

“[W]e have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders but from violence that gathers within,” Bush said Saturday. “There’s little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard of human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit, and it is our continuing duty to confront them.” 

Now, one might reasonably assume Bush was addressing leftist protesters who burned down cities, tore down monuments, and brutally attacked innocents in the summer of 2020. Perhaps Bush’s condemnation of those who “disregard . . . human life” was meant for the thugs who murdered retired police captain David Dorn last summer?  

Nope. The former president wasn’t talking about Antifa or Black Lives Matter. Bush, in fact, attempted to justify the summer 2020 riots: “Looting is not liberation, and destruction is not progress,” he said in a June 2, 2020 statement. “But we also know that lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system. And achieving justice for all is the duty of all.”

The term Bush used on 9/11—“violent extremist”—applies to Americans who were in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021. Don’t take my word for it. Take the word of Avril Haines, Joe Biden’s director of national intelligence.

In March, Haines issued an urgent bulletin warning “domestic violent extremists” pose a heightened threat to the homeland. “Newer sociopolitical developments—such as narratives of fraud in the recent general election, the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the US Capitol, conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and conspiracy theories promoting violence—will almost certainly spur some DVEs to try to engage in violence this year.”

A sketch of the U.S. Capitol building was included in the document.

“Domestic violent extremist” is code for Donald Trump and his supporters, particularly those who were involved in the January 6 protest on Capitol Hill. It is the official position of the Biden regime. In addition to Haines’ missive, FBI Director Christopher Wray designated January 6 as an act of “domestic terror” and Attorney General Merrick Garland compared January 6 to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Bush has echoed the Democrats’ carefully-constructed narrative about the events of January 6 from the start. “The violent assault on the Capitol—and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress—was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes,” George and Laura Bush wrote in a statement released around 6:00 p.m. on January 6. “Insurrection could do grave damage to our Nation and reputation.”

Who exactly does George W. Bush consider a “domestic terrorist”? At least 50 veterans so far have been charged in the Justice Department’s Capitol breach investigation; it’s impossible to know how many veterans of the two major wars launched by George W. Bush attended the rallies on January 6.

Maybe Bush was referring to Ashli Babbitt, the unarmed Air Force veteran shot and killed in the Capitol building by a Capitol police officer? Babbitt heeded Bush’s call to protect and defend the country after the 9/11 attacks; her mother had to sign a waiver to enroll Ashli in the military at age 17. “September 11 strengthened her conviction to serve,” Mikki Witthoeft told me in July.

Babbitt graduated from high school in 2003, served in the Air Force for 14 years with four tours overseas, including stints in Iraq and Afghanistan. A devoted soldier in Bush’s “War on Terror,” Ashli was awarded the Iraq Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.

And on the 20-year anniversary of 9/11, her former commander-in-chief compared her to an Islamic terrorist.

Perhaps Bush meant Robert Morss, an Army Ranger with three tours in Afghanistan? Morss sustained severe back injuries from enduring extensive combat training and jumping out of planes in the war-torn country. “My boy entered the U.S. Army at 17 and came home four years later, almost broken,” his mother, Angela, wrote in a plea to help defray his legal costs. He also suffers from PTSD and night terrors, she said.

Morss returned home from Bush’s war, graduated from Penn State University, and was teaching high school history classes when the FBI raided his home and arrested him for his involvement in the Capitol protest.

Morss has been denied bail and is incarcerated in a D.C. jail set aside for January 6 defendants. “At a recent hearing, the Judge stated that one reason Robert should not be released on bond is because of his military training,” Angela wrote. (This is true; I reported on his hearing.) “The U.S. Government recruited and trained Robert only to now hold it against him.” He has been fired from his job.

And the president who launched the war in which Robert Morss admirably served—a war that inflicted physical and emotional injuries he will suffer forever—just called him a “violent extremist.”

At least a dozen veterans of Bush’s wars are currently held in the Deplorable Jail, including Jeffery McKellop, a retired Green Beret with deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here’s how his defense attorneys described McKellop in a motion requesting his release. “Mr. McKellop served a total of nearly twenty-two and a half years of active-duty service. Mr. McKellop spent 9 years of his service in the Special Forces. During Mr. McKellop’s twenty-two and a half years of active service, Mr. McKellop received numerous Decorations, Medals, Badges, Citations and Campaign Ribbons, including the 3 Bronze Stars and a Meritorious Service Award.”

McKellop has been in jail since March. He has no trial date.

So if, as Bush claims, these honorable veterans suddenly became domestic terrorists on January 6, the question is, why? Could it be that George W. Bush himself shares some if not most of the blame?

His two wars cost the lives of more than 7,000 U.S. servicemen and women and grievously wounded tens of thousands more. American taxpayers spent trillions to fight the “War on Terror” and now have very little to show for it. While Bush was on his reckless “nation-building” mission in the Middle East, towns and communities in the Midwest were decimated by his open-borders brand of “compassionate conservatism.”

Now, Bush’s compassion only exists for illegal immigrants, Afghan refugees, and George Floyd rioters. He has offered no apology for the destruction he’s inflicted both here and overseas. Infuriatingly, Bush delivered no official statement to mourn the murder of 13 U.S. servicemen killed in Kabul on August 26 by bona fide violent extremists.

Bush, the Cheney family, the McCain family, and other backers of America’s costly “War on Terror” seek the approbation of their one-time enemies at the expense of those who heeded their calls to defend the country. These masters of deflection, desperate to memoryhole their own failures, crassly join the Democrats in weaponizing the events of January 6.

Just more collateral damage.

About Julie Kelly

Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. She is the co-host of ‘Happy Hour podcast with Julie and Liz.’ She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and two daughters.

Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

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