GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush is defending his brother, former President George W. Bush, against GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s reminder that 9-11 occurred under George W. Bush’s watch.
But the International Business Times (IBT) reports a number of the hijackers on 9-11 actually obtained Florida drivers licenses – or I.D. cards – while Jeb Bush was governor, which allowed them to blend into society.
On Friday, Trump noted 9-11 occurred while President George W. Bush was president, which led Jeb Bush to defend his brother, saying he kept America safe and calling Trump’s statement “pathetic.”
“Despite evidence that his brother’s White House was warned of imminent al Qaeda terrorist plots before 9/11, the candidate doubled down, tweeting a photo of his brother at Ground Zero at the World Trade Center in New York with the caption: ‘He kept us safe.’ The move drew criticism from families of some of the victims of the attacks,” IBT reported.
The report continued:
While Jeb Bush has called Trump’s criticism “pathetic,” the immigration policies of Bush’s gubernatorial administration were under the microscope in 2001 when law enforcement officials acknowledged that Florida had issued driver’s licenses or state identification cards to 12 of the hijackers, all of whom had come to the United States on visas. The St. Petersburg Times reported that at the time of the attack there was a warrant in Florida to apprehend one of the lead hijackers, Mohammed Atta, but “the warrant for Atta’s arrest was ignored.” A national conservative organization pushing tougher immigration laws soon criticized Bush for his unwillingness to support what the group said was legislation necessary to stop terrorism.
According to the IBT, Bush’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Newspaper reports following 9-11 showed a dozen of the hijackers carried Florida drivers licenses, lived in Florida and trained at the Flight Safety International located in Vero Beach, Florida.
The St. Petersburg Times reported the terrorists made more than a dozen trips to drivers license offices in Florida, “That’s how often the terrorists willingly called themselves to the attention of the state, either to acquire a license or to update their address, both of which might have helped them rent cars or board planes without arousing suspicion.”
After news broke about the link to Florida I.D. cards, “Bush signed an executive order in October 2001 for foreigners to receive only 30-day temporary driving permits while police investigate their identification, and he called for the regulation of flight schools to be reviewed,” IBT noted.
Despite an attempt to address the news that some of the hijackers obtained the Florida I.D. cards, IBT pointed out, “Bush in 2004 endorsed a Florida bill to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for the very same identification cards carried by many of the September 11 hijackers.”
Breitbart News’ Julia Hahn reported that Jeb Bush’s own writings—reveal that even the Bushes admit that “leaky” immigration enforcement was a major driving factor in leading to the terrorist attacks.