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George W. Bush passes on ground zero visit; radio host asks when SEALs will drop in on him

May 4, 2011 |  6:06 pm

George W. Bush and Laura Bush place a wreath in a reflecting pool at ground zero in New York in 2006 Former President George W. Bush will not be joining Barack Obama on Thursday at ground zero to honor those tragically killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Obama plans to lay a wreath at the site of where the Twin Towers once stood.

"President Bush will not be in attendance on Thursday," his spokesman, David Sherzer, said Wednesday. "He appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight. He continues to celebrate with Americans this important victory in the war on terror."

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy did accept Obama's invitation and will represent the 152 people with Connecticut ties who died on that infamous day.

"Gov. Malloy is appreciative that President Obama invited him to the wreath-laying ceremony at ground zero, and he is going there to represent the people in Connecticut who died on 9/11, as well as their family members and loved ones," the Democratic governor's spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan said

A different Malloy, progressive radio host Mike Malloy, raised eyebrows Wednesday when he asked his radio audience if George W. Bush should also be visited by the heroic Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden.

"I have heard some commentators talk about the fact that, all the lives that have been lost in this war on terror, and now the summary execution of the person responsible," said Malloy, one of the original hosts on the now-defunct Air America.

"But as soon as I heard that, I thought, well, Bin Laden really didn’t have anything to do — did he? — with Iraq. And I think his only relationship with Afghanistan was geographical. But Iraq — all the death in Iraq was not caused by Bin Laden. The death in Iraq was caused by George W. Bush," continued Malloy, who describes himsef as "a traditional liberal Democrat doing his part to return the Democratic Party to its liberal roots." 

"Five thousand Americans, tens of thousands permanently damaged and shot to pieces, a million Iraqis dead — that wasn’t Bin Laden. That was George Bush. So when does Seal Unit 6, or whatever it’s called, drop in on George Bush? Bush was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than Bin Laden. Wasn’t he, or am I wrong here?" Malloy asked.

Soon after Obama learned that Bin Laden had been killed, he phoned Bush to tell him the news. Bush then released a statement of congratulations.

"Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the Al Qaeda network that attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001," Bush said in a statement. "I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude," he said.


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-- Tony Pierce

Photo: File photo of then-President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush lay a wreath in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. at Ground Zero, the site where the World Trade Center Tower 2 stood September 10, 2006 in New York, New York  Credit: Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images