Reflections on 9/11 Anniversary: ACCF Board of Advisors Member Andrew Card


Hon. Andrew Card
former Secretary of Transportation and Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush

Andrew Card was the White House chief of staff on 9/11. He famously whispered into President Bush’s ear during an appearance at a Florida elementary school to inform him that a plane had hit the second World Trade Center tower. Card, 74, who served as president of Franklin Pierce University from 2014 to 2016, is now mostly retired and sits on various corporate boards, including Union Pacific railroad and Draganfly, which manufactures drones.

“There were mistakes made on faulty intelligence and intelligence that was not as robust as it might have been with regard to Iraq and not only going in the way that we did. But some of the decisions that were made as you had to meet the challenges of helping create a climate where they could have a government.”

“What we did about the Baathists and the bureaucracies, and we had [Defense Intelligence Agency] intelligence that was flawed that said that when we came in, some in the Iraqi army would wave the white flag and follow behind us and help direct traffic and keep the bureaucracies working and that didn’t happen. We learned that we didn’t have good human intelligence. We had relatively good intelligence from the technology sector but with regard to the expats from Iraq, many of them were spinning tales and we didn’t know that they were spinning tales. … Ahmed Chalabi [the Iraqi exile who provided much of the since discredited intelligence to U.S. officials] probably wasn’t as truthful as the intelligence was giving him credit for at the time.”

“I think it was good to remove Saddam Hussein and good that the U.N. acknowledged that there had to be consequences if you weren’t going to comply with U.N. resolutions, but I don’t think that we created the right kind of climate to build a government of the people, by the people and for the people of Iraq.”