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Juliette Kayyem @juliettekayyem
, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Some history on our homeland security, borders and threats because this below is important point. Border closings have occurred in past. But even Pres Bush in the weeks after the real threat of 9/11 knew the impact of border closures. 1/
This story takes place in the Oval Office in early October 2001. Airports are open but the backlog at land border crossings with Mexico and Canada are extreme, impacting commerce particularly. Produce going bad. Auto parts delayed. All countries harmed. Etc etc. 2/
Bush calls Tom Ridge into his office. Ridge had just resigned as Gov of Pennsylvania and was the first homeland security advisor. There is no DHS at this time. Remember 3000 Americans are dead from attack by foreign terrorists. . 3/
Bush tells Ridge that he has been in calls with Mexico Pres and Canada PM. Border closures and delays are no longer sustainable. 4/
We have to "let go" a little, Bush tells Ridge. We can't be a successful nation, a strong nation, if we "close off" from the world. 5/
Bush was no softie and in those early days he was setting the narrative for war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Much to criticize about his policies, but he understood our southern border. Walls do no make a great, vibrant nation even in the wake of a real tragedy. 6/
Class dismissed. I'll be @cnn at 9 am. 7/7
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