Since that fateful day of 9/11 when the US came under a co-ordinated terrorist attack, questions have been raised over the reaction of the then President of the USA, George W Bush, in hearing the news whilst attending a school reading class.

For those that have not seen it or want to take another look see the video of him after being told of the event with his own commentary.

Later George W Bush said that just prior to going into the classroom he had seen the plane hit the first tower and thought it was pilot error. Then his Chief of Staff came in and told him that America was under attack.


The President then sat there for many minutes without reacting. This has been a fertile breeding ground for conspiracy theorists.

For the first time George W Bush has said why he reacted (or not) as he did.

He told the National Geographic Channel that he was at first angry and then struck at the contrast between terrorism and the innocence of the children in front of him.

Then seeing that reporters at the rear of the room were getting news updates on the attacks and that he was being watched potentially by millions of people, he said that he knew that he needed to project calm in the face of a crisis.

My first reaction was anger. Who the hell would do that to America? Then I immediately focused on the children, and the contrast between the attack and the innocence of children,” he said “and it was like watching a silent movie.

So I made the decision not to jump up immediately and leave the classroom. I didn’t want to rattle the kids. I wanted to project a sense of calm, I had been in enough crises to know that the first thing a leader has to do is to project calm,”

One doubts though that this insight into the President’s mind on the day will do anything to quell the conspiracy theories.

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