ok draginol...i wrote on this subject well over 2 years ago,,,,here's what i said...
Richard Clarke Is Credible, Here's Why...
Pundits already said (pre 9/11) what he is saying now
By Sean Conners, a.k.a. SConn1
Posted Monday, March 29, 2004 on Thoughts, Views, Opinions and Rants
About a week ago, Richard Clarke testified before the 9/11 commission under oath, in public. He also offered a heartfelt apology, something that he was the 1st and still the only to do. Since his testimony, he has been the victim of a massive charachter assasination. Clarke has handled it all in stride, backing up his words, giving context to situations and even finding some unusual allies in his calls for Dr Rice to publicly testify. Guys like Richard Pearle and republican commission members have echoed the demands set forth by Clarke, the victim's families and the American people.
All they have been met with is hostility and attempts to discredit a man that everyone knows, including the President, is an honest servant of his country for over 30 years. And everyone knows he is not alone in many of his assertions. Even if someone tries to play the now played-out "gotcha" game with Clarke, nitpicking his syntax doesn't do anything to the facts that many others, including President bush himself have echoed Clarkes charges and assertions.
Outside of the gotcha games and usual partisan rhetoric is the issue of the Bush administrations understanding and actions of the al qaeda threat before the tragic day. Administration officials have been adamant to even go beyond defending their record on al qaeda by charging that the Clinton's are really the folks who were asleep at the wheel.
Before I go on, let me state, outside of the rhetoric, that I don't believe that either administration was "asleep at the wheel" or any other derrogatory comment one can make to imply that al qaeda was totally ignored. I do believe that the Clinton administration was very aware of al qaeda, and hadn't it been for a whitchunt over a blowjob, and accusations of "wagging the dog" when the administration attempted actions against al qaeda, maybe things would be different. I also believe that the administration currently occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have since day 1 put a priority in taking down Iraq over not only al qaeda, but many other foreign policy concerns, including the situation in Isreal.
Talk of taking down Iraq has been around since we ceased fire and came home from Kuwait in "41's" tenure. There were many who wanted to go back and "finish the job." I don't think that anything outside of Saddam dying or being exiled, that Iraq could have done anything that would have changed this attitude. Do I believe Saddam was defiant? Yes. But I think part of his defiance stemmed from the knowledge that nothing would satisfy the people who just wanted him out of Iraq or dead. For those people, the departure from Iraq in leiu of marching into Baghdad was in a sense a defeat that needed to be avenged.
With that being said, let me add that despite this attitude, al qaeda was never ignored by the Bush team. But It is becoming increasingly obvious that they were being put on the back burner, for lack of a better term. Where Clarke may be a bit hyperbolic in some statements, perhaps necessary to get the message thru to some who have decided to bury their head in the sand and give the administration a license of infallibility.
Let me also state that I expect the Bush team to "stick to their story." After all, George Bush himself has stated as much to Bob Woodward in the past year...
President Bush: "A president has got to be the calcium in the backbone. — If I weaken, the whole team weakens. — If I'm doubtful, I can assure you there will be a lot of doubt." (1)
He also stated that he agrees with the people who are willing to give him a license with no accountability to the people who own this country,,,that being all of us citizens...
President Bush: "I do not need to explain why I say things. — That's the interesting thing about being the President. — Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation." (2)
And this attitude has overtaken our basic principles of accountability and transparency of our goverment. Is it any wonder that the administration has maintained a tight lipped "company line" that is only rivaled by guys who claim "there is no mafia, it doesn't exist."
What is amazing is that people, who already know that an administration in goverment, like any corporate administration demands that all officers put aside their differences, at least publicly, and maintain and support the President's position. Yet they don't realize this is a s much of a "spin" as anyone claims in confronting any other source of information.
Fortunately for Clarke, he hasn't been alone in his assertion. Also notable is that while people who can't see the testimony given by Clarke in 2002, they assert they KNOW that he his contradicting himself. Yet, the people who have full access have not made that charge, and if they did, it would be in the form of a formal perjury charge and seperate charges for lying to Congress. does anyone believe that the republican sympathizers on the commission and the administration with all it's power would let Richard Clarke walk free one day if they actually had a real claim that he lied. At the very least, they would demand him back again to explain such percieved inconsistancies. Of course, when he did that on the testimonial soap box last week he was able to satisfy the commission members, the last of which being reminded that resignation letters are almost always polite (my mother taught me that too) and some things are "just politics."
Clarke was also able to present the handwritten letter that Bush wrote Clarke when he resigned, which was equally as complimentary in his Meet The Press hour with Tim Russert. In addition to that, Clarke was able to show just how consistant his words were and called for his testimony along with Rice's testimony and their exchanged emails to be de-classified to prove his case.
A full transcript of Clarke answering his critics can be found here...
But even if Clarke had never charged that Bush was not treating the terrorism situation pre 9/11 with the urgency that he and Dr Rice have claimed over and over in interviews and press conferences, Bush himself admitted his lax on the subject in his interview with Bob Woodward when he is quoted as "not having a sense of urgency"(3) and admitting it was a back burner issue before the attacks.
In addition, conservative columnists, including the highly regarded (in all conservative circles) Frank Gaffney have openly commented on the Bush team being made up of a bunch of "pro-iraq invasion" people like Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz who tried to pursuade "41" into finishing the job.
In Feb., 2001, Gaffney wrote this...almost 9 months BEFORE the attacks...
Any further thought of resuscitating this treaty should now be moot. Finally, these revelations -- taken together with other evidence that Saddam is back in the weapons of mass destruction business -- oblige Mr. Bush to make good his threat that there will be "consequences." Fortunately, many of his senior advisors (including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary of Defense-designate Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of State-designate Richard Armitage, Under Secretary of State-designate John Bolton, Under Secretary of Defense-designate Dov Zakheim and a number of others said to be under consideration for top posts [notably, Zalmay Khalilzad, Jeffrey Gedmin and Douglas Feith]) have developed a blue-print for such consequences. (4)
he goes on to write ...
For, as a practical matter, the only hope for effectively addressing Saddam's determination to stay in the WMD business is to put him and his ruling clique permanently out of business. Mr. Bush is putting into place the team with a plan to do it. There isn't a moment to lose in effecting these "consequences." (5)
It is clear that before 9/11, these guys were already on planning to invade Iraq, and had the support of conservatives. This was written just as the team was coming into office. It is obvious from day 1 that they were planning on invading Iraq, whether 9/11 happened or not.
Also, in reviewing and researching Gaffney and other highly regarded conservative columnists, I found a definite pattern. The "Bush Doctrine" as they called it, reminiscent of the "Reagan Doctrine" was Bush's foreign policy mantra. These writers were going on and on about how the Clinton's were caught up with these silly terrorists and such while the real threat was all about ABM treaties with Russia and China. As a 2nd priority, they would suggest that 3rd world countries were the next biggest threat, and terrorists were essentially an afterthought at best. They didn't only write about it, they bragged about it. They trumpeted that Bush and his team was going back to making missles to stop threats from Russia and China.
So it is really no wonder that the neoconseravatives who pushed this war are now throwing up as many smokescreens in "gotcha" political rhetoric as humanly possible.
Gaffney even wrote this, which kind of sums things up, 7 months before 9/11....
More to the point, Chinese leaders have powerfully, if unintentionally, made the case for a U.S. anti-missile system by repeatedly threatening this nation with nuclear attack in the event we interfered with Beijing's efforts to bring Taiwan to heel.
As long as the United States remains absolutely vulnerable to such threats, they are sure to be the shape of things to come -- not only from China and Russia (assuming Putin continues his efforts to reconstitute a hostile authoritarian regime in Moscow), but from their rogue state clients. After all, under such circumstances, long-range ballistic missiles enable even poor Third World states to demand First World treatment just by having them.
The same cannot be said of terrorism utilizing ship-, truck- or plane-borne weapons of mass destruction; to have maximum political and strategic effect, they must be used. While the threat posed by such weapons is severe and must be dealt with as effectively as we can, the reality is that the U.S. government is already doing a lot to counter such dangers. Yet, we are currently doing nothing to deploy defenses against another identified, existing and growing danger, namely, that from ballistic missiles. This is all the more outrageous insofar as the law of the land -- the Missile Defense Act of 1999, signed by President Bill Clinton in July of that year -- requires the government to take such a step "as soon as technologically possible."
The Bush-Cheney Administration is to be applauded for rejecting the misconceptions that kept its predecessor from building and deploying effective, global missile defenses.(6)
Is it really any wonder that they are trying desperately to cover their ass now? The problem with the Bush team's rhetoric and charachter assasination is that the facts are simply not on their side. The fact is that they were going to find a way to invade Iraq come hell or high water, 9/11 had nothing to do with that. Another fact that seems to be more evident day by day is that many administration officials wanted to go into Iraq despite having nothing to do with 9/11 right after the attacks instead of going into Afghanastan. Their ideology ruled over the reality then,,,and possibly now.
One last thing that is amazingly apparant if someone goes and looks at conservative writing and White House statements before the attacks on 9/11, is that no one ever even mentions "al qaeda" by name. The only Afghanastan references are to them thwarting the USSR in the 80's as an assertion that we should help the oppressed overcome the oppressor. There is no mention that the leader of the Afghan rebels, whom we bankrolled, was their leader and had declared war on us. There is no mention that he was an enemy of the United States. Instead, they use him to promote the 'Bush Doctrine." There is absolutely no mention of al qaeda anywhere in any of these columns. And if I missed one, I am sure that is the exception.
On the other hand, you can't swing a dead cat without hearing about Russia and China and the threats they pose and the urgent need to build missles and defense systems against them instead of pissing around with "terrorism" which was almost a 4 letter word to them when it concerned policy.
Now, when also considering the fact that Condoleeza Rice, who only had 2 years of any govermental experience with the Bush 41 team, was brought in as NSA. What was her specialty? The USSR and US policies. Her lack of any backround in terrorism, combined with the intentional will to change the direction from any pursuit of these low level thugs to focussing on Missle Defense Systems against the russians and chinese as happily and boldly reported by their own pundits before 9/11. The other ideology that is dominant is the desire to take out Saddam.
With all this clear evidence provided by people who are not only impartial, but biased towards speaking well of the Bush team, it amazes me how people won't just wake up and smell the coffee. They need to get off trying to charachter assasinate Richard Clarke, Joe Wilson, David Kay, Paul ONeill and Hans Blix amongst others and look at some facts. When they do, they will realize that Clarke's testimony, like the words of others who have spoken up, are true.
how's that? don't ever accuse me of "not doing my own research" pal....
and as far as being discredited, i totally 100% disagree
maybe ya need to do a little fact checking on your own...and i do expect you to take that statement about me not doing my own research back, as it is a blatant lie.
as far as keith goes,,,hardly crap, despite what bill o reilly thinks,,,don't be his parrot and then accuse me of stuff in the same breath. i've shown i am hardly a far left winger or a partisan pundit for anybody time and time again. what you said to me was plain rude and wrong.