Laura Bush opens National Book Festival with passage on 9/11


By Jordy Yager - 09/25/10 12:46 PM ET

Former First Lady Laura Bush launched the 10th annual National Book Festival on the National Mall on Saturday by reading a passage about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks from her new book.

Bush, a former librarian, pioneered the first National Book Festival with the Library of Congress in 2001 just three days before the attacks. And Librarian of Congress James Billington introduced Bush on Saturday as the “reader in chief of the United States of America.”

With Secret Service agents lining the perimeter and the aisles of the large open-flapped tent, Bush received standing ovations from a crowd of more than 500 people as she entered and exited to read from her book “Spoken From the Heart,” released in May.

In the months before President George W. Bush’s administration came to a close, his wife said she began to get calls from publishers asking when she was going to write her memoirs.

“I realized there was in fact a lot I wanted to say,” she said. “Our years in Washington, the first decade of the new century were as consequential as almost any other time in our history. We lived through the most vicious attack on our homeland in the history of our nation.”

Reading from her book, Bush recalled the morning of September 11, 2001. She was headed to Capitol Hill to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on early childhood development.

The planes struck the World Trade Center while she was en route and as she arrived at the Russell Senate Office Building the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) greeted her. As the news footage of the smoking buildings shone on the television in his office, Kennedy gave Bush a tour of the workplace he had inhabited for years, she said.

“My skin was starting to crawl,” Bush read. “I wanted to leave to find out what was going on, to process what I was seeing. But I felt trapped in an endless cycle of pleasantries. It did not occur to me to say, ‘Senator Kennedy, what about the towers?’ I simply followed his lead.”

“And he may have feared that if we actually began to contemplate what had happened in New York I might dissolve into tears.”

After the third plane hit the Pentagon, Bush was whisked to the Secret Service’s headquarters where she would stay until reuniting with President Bush in Washington D.C. later that evening.

Bush also spoke of meeting female political candidates in Kuwait, women who had their fingernails pulled out by the Taliban in Afghanistan for wearing nail polish, and heroic aid workers in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

“In my book I wanted to give voice to all of these remarkable people,” she said.

Bush said she’s reading the novel “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese released last year, and that she just finished reading “My Name is Mary Sutter,” a work of historical fiction by Robin Oliveira.

She said President George W. Bush is reading “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” by Eric Metaxas, a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor who was a leader in the German Resistance movement against the Nazis.

That mostly unreported "weaponized tularemia" incident....

This reply is "oblique topic", but an interesting story nonetheless... and most relevant re. 9/11 etc

Exactly 5 years ago, the National Book Festival was taking place at the Mall, alongside a huge anti-war rally, with some 250,000+ people in attendance, in September 2005. Oddly, on this occasion, another former First Lady Barbara Bush was to have given a Book Festival presentation and speech, but for undisclosed reasons, her appearance was cancelled. I am just speculating, but her no-show might have been on the advice of certain (unknown) people who knew about what was going to happen later that day:

To quote from an article:

"In September, 2005, not long after the London train bombings of 7/7, there was a suspicious incident in Washington DC, which had all the hallmarks of a biological weapons attack on US soil, but which, contrary to the obsession of the US media to terrorist incidents, received very scant coverage. All coverage of this potentially lethal incident was dropped shortly afterwards. The biological agent involved was Fransisella Tularensis, the bacterium responsible for tularemia, a disease which if untreated can have serious, even fatal consequences.

Outbreaks of this disease in the US are *extremely rare*. Outside of the Washington DC incident, the only two documented instances in recent years were at Martha's Vineyard in 2000, and in a lab accident in Boston in 2004. Both these cases occurred within a very small area, and in both cases, the cause was *quickly determined*.

The Washington DC case was VERY different. First, no less than 6 (six!) sensors scattered throughout a wide area on the Mall (several miles) picked up positive readings for Fransisella Tularensis, the bacterium responsible for the disease tularemia. It is possible that this outbreak could have been caused by natural events, with no malicious intent. For example, it has been suggested that the presence of some 250,000 people attending an antiwar march and rally might have disturbed tularensis bacteria already present in the grass, thus setting off the sensors. This is not impossible, but given the extreme rarity of FT outbreaks, especially in the US, compared with the commonality of large gatherings of people in outdoor settings without any problems of this nature, renders this solution most unlikely; even in the case of triggering one sensor, let alone six separate ones. The weather in Washington DC on the day of the march and rally was fair, with a light wind; this would make the triggering of the sensors via windborne bacteria unlikely as well.

Perhaps one (or more) of those participating in the march and rally might have inadvertently brought in the bacteria on his or her clothing, and by moving around the crowd, brushing up against people and objects (perhaps even the sensors in question) might have loosed bacteria enough to trigger the sensors? This is a possibility of course, but is it a likely one? IMHO, hardly; it does seem most unlikely that the triggering of six separate sensors came about by "accident" or benign means.

If "accidental" or "natural" causes are an "unlikelihood", based on past history of outbreaks of that disease, it follows that what remains must fall into the "deliberate" or "malicious" category. Many people, at this point, will take leave of their common sense or rationality, fearing that to acknowledge such possibilities will be seized upon by their peers, as well as mainstream writers and purveyors of news, as the "realm of conspiracy theorists", depending, of course, towards which party the blame is assigned. It goes without explanation that those who would point the finger towards an official, government, military, intelligence, security, or corporate source will be subject to such accusation, whereas those who would connect such an incident with "Muslims" or "environmentalists" or other parties unconnected to officialdom get the thumbs up. Here lies an extremely powerful weapon in corralling the masses into accepting officially sanctioned dogma without question, while marginalizing those whose research or writings points to malfeasance by authority. This approach is now used as the first tool off the shelf to brand skeptics as "unpatriotic, treasonous, or even plain crazy".

So, looking at the case in that light, we have to take extra care when evaluating possibilities or probabilities. Speculating on causes is a dangerous game, given the unequal treatment from the media, regardless of the facts, the past history, and the likelihoods. Looking at past history, agencies within the US Government have on a number of known occasions experimented on groups of people with biological or chemical agents, sometimes with appalling results. What we don't know about might be even more frightening, but that is conjecture. Examples include the Tuskegee Airmen, who shortly after WWII were deliberately infected with the potentially lethal syphilis virus without their knowledge and then observed, without getting treatment. ..............(continued)".

For those who missed this incident, some links here:

The Tuskegee airmen weren't infected with syphilis

I think you might be confusing the Tuskegee airmen with the Tuskegee experiment which was a study from 1932 to 1972 on subjects who had been naturally infected with syphilis prior to penicillin. It can be considered unethical and a conspiracy because a secretive decision was made not to treat the subjects with penicillin, after it became widely available in the late 1940s, to see what effects leaving the disease untreated would have over the long term.

The individuals who weren't treated for syphilis in the Tuskegee experiment were black as were the Tuskegee airmen, but other than the race of the individuals and being affiliated with the city of Tuskegee, AL there is no connection between the two.

Correction acknowledged,

Correction acknowledged, thanks. It is really important to get all the facts straight, especially on such controversial subjects where the mainstream will pounce and make a meal of any inaccuracy. It's a shame those rules don't apply inversely.... we would have a field day!