Skip to comments.Jeb Bush gives thank-you call to Eunice Stone
Posted on 09/17/2002 12:30:47 PM PDT by GeneD
ARCADIA, Fla. -- Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday he telephoned the Georgia woman who alerted authorities of last week's possible terror threat to thank her for the warning.
Eunice Stone said she overheard three men possibly discussing terrorist plans at a Calhoun, Ga., restaurant on Thursday.
Ayman Gheith, Kambiz Butt and Omar Choudhary were pulled over early Friday in southwest Florida and, as the nation watched on live television, were detained for 17 hours as their vehicles and possessions were searched.
They were released after no evidence of terrorism was found. As recently as live interviews on Tuesday morning television news shows, they denied the allegations.
Some Muslim groups have called Stone a racist, saying she acted on her prejudice against the men, who are of Middle Eastern descent and in the United States legally.
"I was really surprised at how critical people were of her actions," Bush said. "So I called her up on Saturday morning and said, 'You did exactly what the President of the United States has asked people to do."'
Bush brought up the telephone conversation while meeting with Oscar Garner, a southwest Florida area coordinator for the state Bureau of Preparedness and Response.
Meanwhile, Stone's lawyers have reversed their position of trying to let the story die, talking to the media while she wishes to remain in the background.
Stone was hospitalized Monday with chest pains, which one of her lawyers, Mike Prieto of Cartersville, said might have been brought on by the stress of the weekend's developments.
On Sunday, Stone and her lawyers said at a news conference that the story was over and she would have nothing to add to the debate over whether or not she did the right thing.
But Prieto appeared on "Larry King Live" Monday night on CNN from the network's Atlanta office. The three men involved also appeared on the show, joining King in the Washington, D.C., studio.
Prieto was to board a plane to New York and appear on national news shows Tuesday morning, said Prieto's partner, Anthony Perrotta.
"We've been told they're getting ready to sue her, so we have to do a 180-degree turnaround," Perrotta said. He said if the three men "are going to start going on all the talk shows, we have no choice but to get down in there with them and tell our side of the story."
Stone was not expected to make any more appearances in front of the media, Perrotta said.
"She absolutely does not want to go on any more talk shows," Perrotta said. "She complained about the stress of the whole thing, but she hadn't complained about anything else to me."
Jennifer Wiggins, a spokesman for Emory Cartersville Medical Center, acknowledged Stone, 44, was a patient at the hospital.
Prieto, on "Larry King Live," said Stone was released from the hospital Monday night.
The three men, Kambiz Butt, 25, Ayman Gheith, 27, and Omar Choudhary, 23, said they want to continue their education in the United States. Officials of a Miami hospital where they were supposed to train said they could not study there because their presence might be too disruptive -- or dangerous -- to patients.
The three denied saying anything about Sept. 11 or about bomb threats, even in a joking manner.
Prieto defended Stone's actions on the CNN show.
"Unfortunately, they failed to do the most important thing and that is to take responsibility for their actions," Prieto told King. "She said they were laughing about Sept. 11 and talking about Sept. 13, there is no mistake whatsoever. She did exactly what we would ask all citizens to do but today she's being penalized for it. We have no reason to believe they are terrorists, but they need to take responsibility of their actions."
Exact same thing with discussing a bomb while onboard an aircraft.
What concerns me is the groups these men participate in, as well as the fact that they can joke about 9-11. Anyone who does that has some real issues and should not be taken lightly.
Jeb doesn't really have to worry about losing the Arab vote - what little there is, is certainly going to vote Dem.
The good ol' boy (and girl) vote is crucial however! 8-)
Indeed. This will help her should she face any type of lawsuit from these characters.
My kitten read your post and she agrees. /tin foil hat kitty sarcasm off
BTW - In the Bush family jeb is called "the smart one". He would not be doing this if it would be a political gamble. This makes things more interesting.
Good on Jeb. He's a class act. Now I just wish his brother would do the same.
Has a legal defense fund been set up?
"And I oughtta know, Eunice - he's my brother!"
YAY JEB! clapclapclap
If these students were innocent, I'm sure they will be offered a residency at a hospital somewhere. I worked in residency programs at two of the finest teaching hospitals in the nation years ago, and I know how they stand behind docs. These guys will be given EVERY consideration if they play their cards right and shut up. If not, they will only doom their careers and their hopes for the future.
Please let her employer, Shoneys know we appreciate Eunice and ask them to pass along our best wishes for her.
And, Ping a Friend!
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