Memeorandum


Powered by TypePad

« A Bold Kerry Initiative! | Main | We Can Still Smell Red Meat »

March 26, 2004

Comments

Nikki

So it's Clarke's fault that the FBI didn't do their job? The buck stops where?

boston

Boston Herald, not Boston Globe. Big difference!

Thanks, and noted - TM

Justin Slotman

And it's Clarke they don't seem to like, not Kerry.

Drive-by

"So it's Clarke's fault that the FBI didn't do their job? "

I think the point is that NOTHING is ever Clarke's fault, apparently. Clarke was in charge of anti-terrorism. The fact that 16 of the 19 hi-jackers got into the US while Clarke was in charge under Clinton raises no questions in your mind?

Here is a link to Rush Limbaugh, of all people, where he plays a tape of Condi Rice discussing Al Quaeda prior to 9-11.

"Get that cut ready to play again, because on page 229 of Richard Clarke's book, "Against All Enemies", he writes, "as I briefed Rice on Al-Qaeda, her facial expression gave me the impression she had never heard of the term before. So I added, 'Most people think of it as Osama bin Laden's group, but it is much more than that, it's a network of affiliated terrorist organizations with cells in over 50 countries, including the U.S.'" Right out of his book, page 229, Condoleezza Rice didn't even know who I was talking about, bin Laden's group, Al-Qaeda, she had no idea."

So, Clarke is not only a liar, but a bad one at that. There is a theory on the right that Clarke was planted by Karl Rove. Even Time Magazine is backing off of this guy. There are now limits on how partisanly Democrat the mainstream media can become.

Also notice that she was already considering breaking down the wall between the FBI and the CIA that was finally removed after 9-11.

I know you wont respond to this. But I can't let your ignorant whining to stand unchallanged.

Bastage

Drive-by wrote:

"I think the point is that NOTHING is ever Clarke's fault, apparently."

Clarke said in his testimony:

"I also welcome the hearings because it is finally a forum where I can apologize to the loved ones of the victims of 9/11.
To them who are here in the room, to those who are watching on television, your government failed you, those entrusted with protecting you failed you and I failed you. We tried hard, but that doesn't matter because we failed.
And for that failure, I would ask -- once all the facts are out -- for your understanding and for your forgiveness. "

Please direct me to a quote where the Bush or anyone in his Cabinet take responsibilty for one of their mistakes. Maybe one about where the WMD's are, given that Runsfeld knew exactly where they are.

If you want to believe that Clarke is a liar, fine, but don't be intellectually dishonest. You must look at the Bish administration's lies also.


monkeyboy

Clarkes apology was that he didn't try harder to impress his brilliance on the rest of the world. Its no more taking responsibility than Reno's "apology" for Waco.

The idea that Rice didn't know what Al-Quaida was is laughable, I'd like to know if Clarke had any meetings before this with Rice, and if so, didn't he bring up the group, wasn't that, like, his job?

Clarke thinks that there is a direct relationship between how an administration treats him and how an administration deals with terrorism. Of course my theory is that he was miffed because while he used to report directly to a white male president, he was now subordinate to a black female.

Brennan Stout

Richard Clarke makes judgement calls when he wants to. It's unclear why he didn't just personally deny the exit of the members of the Bin Laden family. Clarke knew the incompetency of the FBI before 9/11, he more than anyone else, so why would he just accept the FBI's word?

Answer: Saying no to the Saudis doesn't pad your bureaucratic resume. Uncle Sam's employee Richard Clarke is a completely different person from Private Civilian Richard Clarke.

Nikki

Whining? Oh my goodness, no.

I would be more predisposed to doubt Clarke's legitimacy if (1) Bushco hadn't fought against the formation of the 911 commission; (2) Bushco hadn't fought against giving the commission more time to finish the job; (3) Dr. Rice wasn't so hesitant about testifying under oath and in public before the entire commission; and (4) the President wasn't so hesitant to testify before the entire commission for more than 1 hour.

Though Bushco has found ample opportunity to smear Clarke, they still haven't been able to adequately defend their actions before or after 9/11, which is the main thrust of Clarke's remarks.

As to the Boston Herald article, the bottom line is the FBI made the final decision as to allowing the Saudis to leave the country, but because Clarke was "in the loop" for this decision, he is to blame; at least according to the Hearld. Weak argument which still in no way refutes Clarke's testimony.

Bastage

MonkeyBoy wrote:
"Clarkes apology was that he didn't try harder to impress his brilliance on the rest of the world. Its no more taking responsibility than Reno's "apology" for Waco."

Where's the relevance? I don't care what Reno "apologized" for. Waco ended up being a deplorable situation. While we're at it, Clinton never apologized for the bombing of the pharmecutical factory in Sudan when he ws going after bin Laden. That lead to the indirect death on thousands of Sudanese.

Credibility is the issue here. If you think Clarke is a liar, fine. Just stay consistent. Rumsfeld lied that "we know where they are" (speaking of WMD's). Bush and his administration are lying about never spinning a connection between 9/11 and Iraq. They're also lying about not selling us the idea that Iraq was an immediate threat. Tom Friedman "outed" Rumsfeld on that lie last Sunday on Meet the Press, yet the Bush administration still refuses to just say:

We were wrong. We're sorry, and we take responsibilty for it for our mistakes.

That alone would have me vote for him.

Brennan Stout

Nikki: Is Richard Clarke under oath the same Richard Clarke Not under oath?

Richard Clarke under oath is a Richard Clarke acting under opposite self interests than when he is not. What's the point in fluffing his own credentials if he's out of government and likely to go to jail if he lies to the commission which he may have done if we observe the change of heart regarding Condi Rice today.

HH

Clarke's testimony has already been refuted, now we're seeing what he's not saying.

Nikki

Richard Clarke under oath is a Richard Clarke acting under opposite self interests than when he is not.

Would Richard Clarke have said what he's been saying if he wasn't still working for Bushco? Obviously not. So what? Most political appointees don't speak up against their admin while still in office. Does this make Richard Clarke's testimony given while under oath a lie? No.

Watch the spin. The argument isn't about what the admin did or did not do, it's about Clarke's character. If the admin knows that it can effectively defend its actions, why the reluctance to testify under oath?

SamAm

I'd like to point out some choice bits from this Herald (laugh) piece.

There are problems in the consistency of the Herald's story.

First;

"It was Clarke who personally authorized"

In contrast to;

"Somebody brought to us for approval the decision."

Now, that's not a contradiciton, just something to keep in mind. And who was that somebody. My guess is someone who would be willing to go to bat for the Saudis. And there are plenty of those high up in DC and in the Administration. Left and right have pointed this out, and Richard Clarke, who got fired by Jim Baker for being too supportive of Israel, is not one of them.

``My role was to say that it can't happen unless the FBI approves it.

The FBI, under Mueller and Ashcroft is obviously an unsavory organization...

"So we said `Fine, let it happen."

The royal we? Perhaps in a limited sense, but it was almost certainly not Clarke alone giving teh go-ahead.

Clarke can't investigate individuals, so he asks the FBI, at the behest of some unamed third party who carries weight in the administration and Mueller's FBI says it can happen.

So even here, there's so much less than meets the eye.

drive-by

"Tom Friedman "outed" Rumsfeld on that lie last Sunday on Meet the Press"

Could you give me a link to this one, because I don't buy it.

As for taking responsibility, I agree with you Clarke is responsible for trusting the FBI, and Bush is responsible for trusting Clarke.

I agree with the other posters that that was no apology for Clarke's failures to do anything but, as an appointed official, change the overall policy of an elected official. As I recall from civics classes, elected officials make policy on the macro scale. Clarke was poaching out of his depth. He had no say on Iraq, which is his real beef with Bush. Clarke believes that terrorism is a law enforcement problem, and Bush beleives it is a military problem. I think if you think about the concept of "prior restraint", you will see that Bush is right.

Kerry believes that the threat of terrorism has been overblown by Republicans.

Audio of Kerry

I keep linking to Rush because he provides the audio that we cant seem to find anywhere else.

drive-by

"Clarke can't investigate individuals, so he asks the FBI, at the behest of some unamed third party who carries weight in the administration "

I can see it is easier for you to speculate, than to argue facts. Whatever. You are only preaching to the choir. If you actually listened to the pre-9-11 Condi Rice interview, you will see that she was already discussing how the then current FBI-CIA anti-terrorism setup was inadequate. But that would be a fact, and you are much more interested in speculation.

Eric Anondson

"1) Bushco hadn't fought against the formation of the 911 commission; "

Because it would be used for partisan political gamesmanship. Now proven true.

"(2) Bushco hadn't fought against giving the commission more time to finish the job; "

Because the partisan political gamesmanship about national security, during wartime no less!, would stretch into the campaign season. Never before has national security been a partisan election issue. But expectation that democrats would twist the comission to score political points during war has been proven true.

"(3) Dr. Rice wasn't so hesitant about testifying under oath and in public before the entire commission;"

Hesitant... Well, there is a *war* going on. And the bad guys are watching. How is it good for our war effort to drag our principal war minds in public to second-guess everything they do... *before* the war is finished? It doesn't. But then, when bad things happen to America's war on terror is good for Democratic election campaigns.


"and (4) the President wasn't so hesitant to testify before the entire commission for more than 1 hour."

Hesitant again. Is this a serious complaint? Anyway, like I said above, there are probably some pretty dang good reasons not to. Of course, he is wise to the fact that his political opponants had twisted the commission up for political gamesmanship. It lost its seriousness long ago.

Roger Sweeny

boston,

You're absolutely right. It's from the Boston Herald, not the Boston Globe. The Herald is considerably more conservative (The Herald will probably endorse Bush this November. There is no chance the Globe will).

However, the information is from Vanity Fair. VF would never be characterized as conservative or pro-Bush.

SamAm

I didn't even really notice, but perhaps the most key line is

"approval the decision."

Who's decision? That would be something to find out.

Smaack

Has anyone considered that Clark's REAL problem is that a black female college professor got the job of national security advisor instead of him?

SamAm

The REAL problem is a WH whose beat-back attempts make the aim of Iraqi triple-A look stellar in comparison.

Clarke's a racist!!!!!! (poom poom poom, thud crackle)

Hermit

Let's look at this a little more carefully...SOMEONE ELSE made the decision to let the Saudis fly; the decision needed Clarke's approval; Clarke wouldn't give it without assurances from the FBI that everyone on the flight was OK; he got those assurances and OK'd the decision...

So the real question is, who made the decision Clarke rubber stamped?

Brennan Stout

"Would Richard Clarke have said what he's been saying if he wasn't still working for Bushco? Obviously not. So what? Most political appointees don't speak up against their admin while still in office."

Nikki: So what? So what? Mr. Clarke's comments apparently only compounded the problem that he now says was the problem with fighting terrorism, the Bush Administration wasn't serious about it. So much so that Clarke would lie to the press to sugar coat the response? Please show me where I can find some websites that state "Richard Clarke killed 500 American soldiers", "Richard Clarke lied, people died".

I'm not even touching on what problems we will now have in future administrations. The Bush presidents already were inclined to nominate only their closest allies to the top positions in the Executive Branch. Future Presidents are now more likely to get rid of everyone for fear of disloyalty. Is that good for the country?

In addition, Clarke is a different kind of bureaucrat, the worst kind. The kind where the Congress has no congressional oversight in their appointments. Clarke walks around the White House for the last 15 years and not once has the Congress been able to review his record. Only after he's out of government does oversight review take place and even then it was VOLUNTARY on the part of Clarke. Was there even legal authority to subpoena Clarke if they had to?

Nikki

Because it would be used for partisan political gamesmanship. Now proven true.

3000 Americans died in perhaps the greatest national security diaster in US history and it shouldn't be investigated because of the possibility of political gamesmanship?!! Yet the White House has had no problems using 9/11 as its foremost campaign tool.

Because the partisan political gamesmanship about national security, during wartime no less!, would stretch into the campaign season. Never before has national security been a partisan election issue. But expectation that democrats would twist the comission to score political points during war has been proven true.

Shorter...Bushco places more importance on his re-election campaign than investigating the security failures that led to 9/11.

Hesitant... Well, there is a *war* going on. And the bad guys are watching. How is it good for our war effort to drag our principal war minds in public to second-guess everything they do... *before* the war is finished? It doesn't. But then, when bad things happen to America's war on terror is good for Democratic election campaigns.

Would be a good argument except that this country has never experienced anything like 9/11 and we NEED to know WHY it happened so that steps can be taken to prevent anything like that ever happening again.

Hesitant again. Is this a serious complaint?

Hesitant as euphemism. How about "dragging his/her feet," "determined not to," "ducking and dodging," "hiding like a great big ol' coward"? Better?

Of course, he is wise to the fact that his political opponants had twisted the commission up for political gamesmanship. It lost its seriousness long ago.

Yeah, which is why he'll only testify before the Chairman and Vice-chair, his political cronies. Obviously, no one wants to take the investigation seriously. Except Clarke, of course.

Nikki

The Bush presidents already were inclined to nominate only their closest allies to the top positions in the Executive Branch. Future Presidents are now more likely to get rid of everyone for fear of disloyalty. Is that good for the country?

So Watergate should have never been investigated because loyalty to the president is much more important than loyalty to the American people?

Brennan Stout

"So Watergate should have never been investigated because loyalty to the president is much more important than loyalty to the American people?"

I don't know enough about the events of Watergate, how the investigative commissions were created and who testified to comment on this. Lacking in this, I do not understand the comparison.

Neil

It's disappointing that right-wing attack dogs have diverted the attention of the meat of what clarke is saying to credibility issues and partisan rambling. People say that he essentially says that nothing's his fault, yet he begins his testimony with a heartfelt apology, which is unprecedented. People say it's his fault that certain Saudis were allowed to leave the country after 9/11, even though it was the FBI's call. People say it's due to his negligence that two of the nineteen hijackers entered the country without him knowing, when these facts were not relayed to him by other governmental agencies. People now say that he was ineffective on terrorism since he presided over the embassy bombings and the USS Cole, however, by this logic President Bush would be responsible for 9/11 (which I am not claiming at all).
No one seems to recognize the fact that while he was considered the terrorism czar, he had none of the czarist authority that comes with such an unofficial title, such as the drug czar. No one cares to acknowledge that the man is undoubtedly an expert in his field that has served the country under four presidents over the course of thirty years. I'll leave it at that

Nikki

I don't know enough about the events of Watergate, how the investigative commissions were created and who testified to comment on this. Lacking in this, I do not understand the comparison.

What, they don't teach history in high school anymore?

By your logic, loyalty to the president takes precedence over loyalty to the American public. By your logic, the president can engage in whatever activities, legal or illegal, he so desires and his administration should be willing to look the other way because loyalty to the president takes precedence over loyalty to the American public.

By your logic, this country should be a dictatorship instead of a democracy.

JorgXMcKie

Nikki, I'd be infinitely more impressed by the 9/11 commission if they appeared to be trying to fix the obvious problems as opposed to playing "gotcha." I think honest viewers could say that a great mamy people made a great many mistakes. I will be perfectly ready to hand "bushco" mistakes around the administration during this election the minute J. F'n Kerry embraces the mistakes made by ClintonInc and promises to dig into those and investigate and punish those who didn't get it right prior to Jan 20, 2001. I will not hold my breath waiting, however.

I would just like to fix the mistakes. Is that too much to ask, or does your emotional response to "bushco" blind you to the need?

drive-by

"attention of the meat of what clarke is saying to credibility "

Clarke's credibility is the basis for this whole Bash Bush party. I have only linked to facts that prove he is a liar, a point he admitted himself on Larry King when asked to explain his background briefing. He said he was lying then, but not now. If he was that convinced of his position he should have made a stink then, resigned in protest, forced the issue. But he didn't, he waited until he could make a pile of money off a book. And he may call himself a Republican, but his name only appears on lists of Democrat donors. So yeah, it is about his credibility, and if you aren't interested in the facts on that issue, what does that say about your intellectual honesty?

"People say it's due to his negligence that two of the nineteen hijackers entered the country without him knowing"

16 of the 19 hijackers dahlink.

Tom Bowler

"...yet he begins his testimony with a heartfelt apology..."

Oh, please. What he's apologizing for is that (according to him) people should have listened to him but they didn't. Oh, if only he could have been more persuasive. If only those evil people in the administration hadn't already made up their minds. What I find stunning is how the revelation of his prior statements of 2002, which he made as statements of fact and which directly contradict what he is saying now, are characterized as an attack by the right wing. Well, I guess the simplest thing to do with facts that contradict your preconceived notions is just ignore them.

Eric Anondson

3000 Americans died in perhaps the greatest national security diaster in US history and it shouldn't be investigated because of the possibility of political gamesmanship?!!

No, it shouldn't be investigated by partisans whose foremost intention is to use 9/11 to score points against the Administration. It should be investigated in a serious manner.

If it were serious, the entire thing would be out of the public glare, the commission releases its findings, and then the transcripts released years later.


Yet the White House has had no problems using 9/11 as its foremost campaign tool.

It defines everything that has happened in his term. Its terribly silly to think his campaign must not use it.


Because the partisan political gamesmanship about national security, during wartime no less!, would stretch into the campaign season. Never before has national security been a partisan election issue. But expectation that democrats would twist the comission to score political points during war has been proven true.

Shorter...Bushco places more importance on his re-election campaign than investigating the security failures that led to 9/11.

You think the Bush administration hasn't already investigated the security failures? For heavens sake. Rightly so, the administration knows that this is not a serious investigation. It's a show. The grieving of the country is being exploited by a non-serious investigation that is out to blame, not fix problems.


Hesitant... Well, there is a *war* going on. And the bad guys are watching. How is it good for our war effort to drag our principal war minds in public to second-guess everything they do... *before* the war is finished?

Would be a good argument except that this country has never experienced anything like 9/11 and we NEED to know WHY it happened so that steps can be taken to prevent anything like that ever happening again.

And we NEED to know it NOW! RIGHT NOW! We know that the Bush Administration has not done a thing about preventing another 9/11, right? That Homeland Security Department doesn't really exist. Those new procedures to enter an airplane are really just meant to anger 80 year old grandmothers from the Midwest. All those folks in Gitmo are just there on vacation. The Patriot Act was a ruse meant to just upset civil libertarians. Nothing has been done by the administration to prevent another 9/11, but THIS investigation will come up with what should be done, right? And we need to air all our laundry so that the bad guys can see what we know, and prepare for what we do next, right?


Hesitant as euphemism. How about "dragging his/her feet," "determined not to," "ducking and dodging," "hiding like a great big ol' coward"? Better?

It's still not a serious complaint. Who wouldn't be hesitant about this non-serious commission. The only reason they are showing up is because political points are being scored over them not wanting to appear in this show trial.


Of course, he is wise to the fact that his political opponants had twisted the commission up for political gamesmanship. It lost its seriousness long ago.

Yeah, which is why he'll only testify before the Chairman and Vice-chair, his political cronies. Obviously, no one wants to take the investigation seriously. Except Clarke, of course.

Clarke takes it seriously because it's the best promotional tool to sell his book he could have ever imagined. Its too bad Clarke didn't take his job as Counter Terrorism Czar as seriously as his book promotion.

adaplant

Clarke covered this event in some considerable detail in his sworn testimony before the 9/11 commission.

Nikki

I would just like to fix the mistakes. Is that too much to ask, or does your emotional response to "bushco" blind you to the need?

Trust me I am neither a Bush or a Clinton fan. I believe they are both monumental f**kups. I do, however, believe Clarke is tellling the truth. And the more Bushco spends time spinning his character instead of addressing the 9/11 issues, the more I am convinced that he is tellling the truth.

To fix the mistakes, we need to identify them. ALL of them. The Clinton AND the Bush administrations need to tell us what they knew about 9/11, when they knew it, and what they did in its aftermath. I believe that if these guys are serious about serving the best interests of the American public, then they should immediately stop trying to cover their asses and tell the truth. Lives are at stake. This country's future is at stake.

Brennan Stout

"By your logic, loyalty to the president takes precedence over loyalty to the American public."

For some positions in the White House, absolutely. Condi Rice isn't a public servant. She's a privelaged servant of the President. I don't make that up. That Democratic thing called the Congress makes that up.

"By your logic, the president can engage in whatever activities, legal or illegal, he so desires and his administration should be willing to look the other way because loyalty to the president takes precedence over loyalty to the American public."

That's not what I am saying at all. The President can engage in whatever activities he or she wishes. Who says no to the President? Some do. They usually resign in protest or they get fired and replaced with someone that will follow the order. Our system provides the means for this protest and so no matter how much we love Democracy or hate Democracy we still rely on the individual to fire discharge their First Admendment weapon when they have to.

"By your logic, this country should be a dictatorship instead of a democracy."

By my logic, this country can't be a Democracy if people don't participate by using what rights they have.

HH

"right-wing attack dogs"

Spoken like the non-partisan, disinterested, Dem donor Dick Clarke.

Jon H

Eric Anondson writes :"No, it shouldn't be investigated by partisans whose foremost intention is to use 9/11 to score points against the Administration."

The problem is that the Administration declares that ANYONE who criticizes it is a partisan trying to score points against it.

Criticism is not allowed. They only want to hear from sycophants.

Nikki

If it were serious, the entire thing would be out of the public glare, the commission releases its findings, and then the transcripts released years later.

I beg to differ, but as has been stated, we are at war. We do not have the time to wait for years later.

And we NEED to know it NOW! RIGHT NOW! We know that the Bush Administration has not done a thing about preventing another 9/11, right? That Homeland Security Department doesn't really exist. Those new procedures to enter an airplane are really just meant to anger 80 year old grandmothers from the Midwest. All those folks in Gitmo are just there on vacation. The Patriot Act was a ruse meant to just upset civil libertarians. Nothing has been done by the administration to prevent another 9/11, but THIS investigation will come up with what should be done, right? And we need to air all our laundry so that the bad guys can see what we know, and prepare for what we do next, right?

Ah, so your problem seems to be that no administration should be under scrutiny at this point because steps have been taken to prevent another 9/11. The ports are still wide open and security around the nuclear plants is a joke, the Patriot Act has done more to trash civil liberty than prevent terrorism, NO ONE HAS BEEN BROUGHT SUCCESSFULLY CONVICTED FOR 9/11, but so much has already been done, we don't need an investigation at this point.

max power

Give up Nikki, drive-by has been running rings around you

Nikki

But he didn't, he waited until he could make a pile of money off a book. Ah, capitalism. Ain't it a beautiful thing?

Nikki

By my logic, this country can't be a Democracy if people don't participate by using what rights they have.

Which is what Richard Clarke did.

avgourmet

Sitting here with my 20-20 hindsite glasses, I note the following:

"Bushco" (to use a shorthand term I like but don't really agrees with) probably should have been swatting a few flys as they were working on the big picture solution. The flys bit before the spray cans were filled. However, Clinton never bothered to swat any of the flies at all and only let the swarm grow.

The backgrounder points that Clark now calls spin for his bosses points to a comprehensive strategy and funding plan that was new policy even if you conceed "Clinton had no plan" as spin, this is more accentuating the positive. For the record, I don't think Clinton's plan extended beyond arrest them if we can really prove it.

Clark both takes credit for being the point man for the saudi flight and ducks the responsibility for letting it leave. If he was the lone voice screaming Osama and not Saddam why would he defer the approval to the FBI. The saudi flight was clearly a mistake.

If Clark could have fingered Bushco with another "I told them but they just wouldn't listen" does anyone doubt that he would have. Instead, we get a lame "the FBI said they could"

Nikki

Give up Nikki, drive-by has been running rings around you

Hardly. Only my second post was in response to drive-by. The rest have been to others. Go back and check.

Nikki

People, it's been fun, but I need to get back to work.

Ciao!!

Mahatma

Nikki:

Remove your head from your ass the lack of oxygen is killing you.

Jumping in and blindly defending anyone who criticizes Bush is going to kill you and your candidate. Clarke has one of the worst records of any person you could choose to defend.

He either lied in 2002 or he is lying today. You can try and ignore his long history, but most of it is public record. Today he is peddling a book, making me and most alert citizens believe that it is likely that he is lying today.

His testomy yesterday disagrees with his book. His interviews about his testimony and about his book are inconsistent.

If you did not know this guy has a track record of being chicken little and imploding after his allegations get more and more exagerated. Do yourself a favor, shut up and wait for the other shoe to drop. There is way too many contrary facts swirling around that rebutt most of what Clarke has been saying. With him, that is typical though.

Greg

How many people actually know how much the Patriot Act has helped? Nikki I can only assume that you have Security Clearance and are involved in Counter Terrorism since you know that "the Patriot Act has done more to trash civil liberty than prevent terrorism."

Brennan Stout

"Which is what Richard Clarke did."

True, but...

Did he do it after inaction with the Pakistanis in 1998? NO!

Did he do it after obstruction from the US Embassy in Yemen investigating the USS Cole? NO!

Did he do it after the UAV stalling? NO!

Did he do it after John Oneill was constantly overlooked for heading Counterterrorism? NO!

Did he do it after he thought the Bush Administration was losing focus? NO!

Did he do it after 9/11? NO!

Did he do it after resources were allegedly removed from the hunt for Bin Ladin? NO!

Did he do it after it was apparent a war in Iraq was inevitable? NO!

Did he do it after it was increasingly clear that WMD may not be found in Iraq? NO!

Did he do it after he was skipped over for #2 at Homeland Secrity? NO!

Did he do it after he resigned? NO!

Did he do it after his book was finished and the White House took their time reviewing it? NO!

Did he do it after Don Hewitt promised him 60 minutes on a Sunday the day before he was scheduled to testify before the 9/11 Commission? Yes, finally.

I can't imagine where in the world one would draw such labels as "political opportunist" from. Where oh where does the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy manufacture their goods?

Mahatma

The most critical thing in the Patriot Act was the elimination of the wiretap restrictions for national security issues. Criminal cases had one path and national security had a different path.

Another change is the elimination of jurisdictional boundaries. Tracking a criminal in a city does not involve multiple legal jurisdictions, terrorist can roam around anywhere. Having to get approval to wiretap terrorists in each jurisdiction is absurd.

There are many more provisions but those are the foundation of the act.

Greg

Mahatma it is nice to actually hear someone discuss the points of the Patriot Act versus blindly calling it an attack on Civil Liberties. Whenever I ask people for specifics on why they hate it, they rarely even know what it says.

Mahatma

Brennan Stout:

Umm...it might also be because he is a lying weasel trying to point blame at everyone else for the stupid oversights he committed.

Like recommending that Clinton bomb the Sudanese factory...

Like harping on cyber terrorism while 9/11 was being planned...

You know stuff he screwed up on.

Blindly jumping to the defense of anyone who criticizes Bush is going to get you burned. This guy needed to appologize to the families...he pretty much screwed up about as badly as it is possible to screw up.

Dave J.

Bush/Cheney 2004: Again, not our fault.

Pat Curley

I'm amused at the comments that we should stop attacking Clarke's credibility; surely the credibility of any witness is crucial to analyzing his testimony. Clarke gains credibility by virtue of his years of experience, and loses it when contradictions can be found between what he said in the past and what he says now.

Overall, it's pretty obvious that Clarke's testimony has changed very few minds; those who were inclined to believe the worst of the Bush administration find him very believable, those who were inclined in the opposite direction find his comments not credible.

Here's a quote for the former group:

"Clarke’s testimony to our committee is 180 degrees out of line with what he is saying in his book. He’s either lying in his book or he lied to our committee. It’s one or the other."--Porter Goss, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which investigated the intelligence failures leading to 9-11 in 2002.

narciso

This is ironic, considering that according to Gerald Posner's account in Why America slept, regarding the interrogation of Abu Zubeyda, the Palestinian Al Queda Gulf region commander;
one of those collaborated with them was Ahmed Abdul bin Azziz,the owner of the horse War Emblem, and one of the Sept 16 Flight; whoreportedly had prior knowledge of
the 9-11: Ironically,he died abruptly after the results ofinterrogation were relayed to the
Saudi's

Posted by narciso @ 03/26/2004 10:02

Brennan Stout

narciso: It's a little more elaborate than that where as it is far more damning account against the Saudis and Pakistanis.

Time Magazine Report

Sung Kim

"It's disappointing that right-wing attack dogs have diverted the attention of the meat of what clarke is saying to credibility issues and partisan rambling."

Clarke's credibility is absolutely crucial here. He has made some extraordinary claims, and our only way to gauge those claims are (1) the facts, and (2) his credibility. Sadly, Clarke is pretty short on both. It's not really rational to believe him because (3) he's negative on Bushco.

As to the hearings, I would be more enthusiastic about them if they were focussed on trying to identify breakdowns in the system pre-9/11, instead of pointing fingers because we didn't initiate a full-scale invasion of Afghanistan in October 2000 or March 2001. Half of the "failures" are due to the fact that there simply was no political will to do the kinds of things that would taken down AQ pre-9/11.

drive-by

I pronounce this debate over. I am more and more convinced that Clarke was a Karl Rove plant. Please, run with it Dems, we need Bush back in the WH. This reminds me of the complaints from you guys at toppling the statue of Saddam.

Colorado Conservative

How much do you think Clarke is actually being paid by the Kerry campaign and the DNC? A lot.

Bastage

For Drive-by:

here's the transcript:
http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/face_031404.pdf

Here's the part of the exchange:

SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just ask you this. If they did not have these weapons of mass destruction, though, granted all of that is true, why then did they pose an immediate threat to us, to this country?

Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, you're the--you and a few other critics are the only people I've heard use the phrase `immediate threat.' I didn't. The president didn't. And it's become kind of folklore that that's--that's what's happened. The president went...

SCHIEFFER: You're saying that nobody in the administration said that.

Sec. RUMSFELD: I--I can't speak for nobody--everybody in the administration and say nobody said that.

SCHIEFFER: Vice president didn't say that? The...

Sec. RUMSFELD: Not--if--if you have any citations, I'd like to see 'em.

Mr. FRIEDMAN: We have one here. It says `some have argued that the nu'--this is you speaking--`that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent, that Saddam is at least five to seven years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain.'

Sec. RUMSFELD: And--and...

Mr. FRIEDMAN: It was close to imminent.

Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, I've--I've tried to be precise, and I've tried to be accurate. I'm s--suppose I've...

Mr. FRIEDMAN: `No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world and the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.'

Sec. RUMSFELD: Mm-hmm. It--my view of--of the situation was that he--he had--we--we believe, the best intelligence that we had and other countries had and that--that we believed and we still do not know--we will know.

Bastage

Sorry it was "Face the Nation", not "Meet the Press".

Cecil Turner

The phrase "imminent threat" is the standard for justifying a war in self-defense (under most interpretations of Article 51 of the UN Charter). "Immediate" isn't the same thing. In any event, the plain words of the State of the Union address would supersede any informal statement (or anything said by anyone other than the President):

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

Captain Dave

I heard the Clarke apology. It seemed to be heartfelt, and at some level, I believe it was. He is human after all, and as the guy who had the longest, specific responsibility for countering these terrorists, he must have felt like shit on 9/11. However, a personal apology that does not actually say what the apology is for, personally, can easily come across as an indirect accusation. It is not remotely honorable, no matter what the idiots at NPR imply. What exactly is he saying when he says your government failed you? Who made him point-man for apologies for the entire government? How do you think it sounded to hard-working, terrorist-chasing FBI agents, or Delta Force operators in Afghanistan? Was he speaking for them? Did he have the authority, morally or otherwise, to do this? Is it possible the heavy artillery from the public relations staff at his book publisher suggested he open with an apology to inoculate him from even more pointed questioning? To hear Linda Wertheimer at NPR, you would think he qualified for a Nobel Prize in his opening statement, which colors the entire tone of the coverage that followed. Given the willingness of NPR commentators to speculate freely about the real motivations and underlying psychology of others, you would think it might occur to somebody that Clarke is carrying around an immense psychic burden post-9/11, and perhaps this contributes to his obsession with pinning the blame on Bush, who demoted him and refuted his law-enforcement mentality in favor of direct military action. Whatever. Still, this is truly inspired PR, my hat is off to the people who helped him gear up for this over the last year. The basic strategy: apologize for others, to others, look wise and then drive your messages through a willing mass media. This will be a case study someday.

jcrue

Would it surprise anyone that Simon & Schuster is part of the Viacom family that also includes MTV and CBS.

[source]

CBS is who brings you 60 Minutes who brought the story to the national stage Sunday night.

Talk about marketing a product.

I wonder how long it will take Clarke to end up on TRL with Carson Daily. . . Rock the Book!

Dave

To: Captain Dave
Re: Failure

It doesn't seem that mysterious to me. I'm sure if you had the time and a patient audience, you could develop a system of describing subtle gradations of success. But it seems pretty clear to me that

'success' -> you thwart the terrorist plot
'failure' -> you do not

In a pithy statement like Clarke's opener, I assume he's using this simple criterion. As a citizen, it's pretty clear to me that the antiterrorism apparatus of our govt. failed. You don't need an official spokesman to say that.

I'm reading Clarke's book now. While he is critical of the Bush administration, it is not a screed; it's really a history (from his perspective) of terrorism and counterterrorism in the U.S. from the '80 up until now. I'm halfway through, but reading through some of the comments here, I get the impression that many people haven't read any of it.

john marzan

Nikki said:3000 Americans died in perhaps the greatest national security diaster in US history and it shouldn't be investigated because of the possibility of political gamesmanship?!!

I believe the administration and the CIA have already done their own internal investigations into the matter. If the Dems want an "independent" investigation, they should wait UNTIL the elections are over so that the 9/11 investigations won't be politicized.

If only the Dems were sincerely after the truth and not grandstand, I would have to agree with you Nikki.

But I won't risk politicizing intelligence just to satisfy dems' craving for any political advantage before the elections.

May I remind you, we are still AT WAR. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO START PLAYING POLITICS WITH THIS.

Yet the White House has had no problems using 9/11 as its foremost campaign tool.

There's nothing wrong with telling the public where you stand on the War on Terror issue. We know where Dubya stands on that issue. We are not sure where the flip-flopper stands.

But what the dems are doing to politicize the 9/11 investigation is just WRONG WRONG WRONG!!! I'm very disappointed the the whole investigation has turned into a partisan bush-bashing affair and americans are seeing lots of partisanship instead of real information that is useful.

One other info, the 9/11 commission's final report is now due on July 26, two months after its original deadline and the same day that the Democratic Party convention begins in Boston.

I don't think it's a coincidence, Nikki.


Roland

This Richard Clarke...s/b very ashamed of himself!
He is a pathetic sub-human being to release this book of lies! Just to sell books! It is the american way to voice your opinion. But come on!
How can this man live with himself after publishing a pile of crap!

the Dems are really looking at their own mortality....and they are doing everything they can to keep their pathetic party alive!!

End socialism! NOW!!! Bye bye DEMS!!!!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Amazon





Traffic

Wilson/Plame