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1_9169

 


 

Richard Clarke

Richard Clarke on 'Hardball' - 9/11 Attacks Could Probably Have Been Prevented
09-Apr-04
Richard Clarke

"MR. MATTHEWS: Sixty-seven percent of the American people, according to the latest Gallop poll, as of yesterday, said they believe that 9/11 could not have been stopped, could not have been prevented. Are you one of those 67 percent? MR. CLARKE: I don't know, I don't know if it could have been. I think it's very easy, and in, in some ways all too facile to say either yes or no.... Now CIA knew it for over a year. FBI learned it a month before the attack. If that information had bubbled up, if the system had worked in FBI, if the system had worked in CIA, I think we probably could have. I would like to think I would have gone on battle stations."

Clarke vs. the Corrupt Media: The White House Has the Last Laugh
05-Apr-04
Richard Clarke

Sidney Blumenthal writes: "Within hours of the testimony of Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism chief, before the 9/11 commission... Bush acknowledged that Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction - the rationale for the war - remained absent. Bush's admission took the form of a comic monologue before about 1,000 black-tied members of the Radio and TV Correspondents' Association gathered for its annual dinner. The lights dimmed and Bush presented a slide show of himself peering out of windows and looking under furniture in the Oval Office. 'Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere ... nope, no weapons over there ... maybe under here?'... [Earlier,] Republican members of the 9/11 commission waved the paper at [Clarke], and much time was taken up by his explanation of how, as a staffer, he had been acting properly, like a lawyer representing a client, and why his briefing was not at odds with his information now."

Busheviks Plan Gay-bashing Attack on 'Bachelor' Clarke
31-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

Mathew Gross writes, "Wonkette displays her DC connections: We have it on semi-reliable authority that the Bush administration's next attempt to discount Richard Clarke's credibility will consist of alleging that he's a big gay. The groundwork is already out there. This morning's Boston Globe paints Clarke as a young conservative but hints that he may be of the Log Cabin variety: 'Clarke, who is unmarried and lives in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., has long received plaudits as a diligent, highly effective bureaucrat with equal regard on both sides of the aisle....' A fatherless, unmarried bureaucrat who quotes Dante? Clearly we know which team he's batting for. But I suspect that any attempts to push the issue by the Bush administration will backfire. They've shown the American people in the past ten days how vicious they can be; they won't improve their case by grasping at the irrelevant, especially if it's done in a transparent manner."

Clarke Has 3 Corroborating Witnesses - Will Condi Trash Them Too?
31-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

Daniel Benjamin: "Brian Sheridan, President Clinton's outgoing assistant secretary of Defense for special operations and low intensity conflict, was astonished when his offers during the transition to bring the new Pentagon leadership up to speed on terrorism were brushed aside. 'I offered to brief anyone, any time on any topic. Never took it up.' ...A three-star general, [Donald] Kerrick had served at the end of the Clinton administration as deputy national security advisor, and he spent the final four months of his military career in the Bush White House. He sent a memo to the NSC's new leadership on 'things you need to pay attention to.' He wrote about Al Qaeda: 'We are going to be struck again.' But he never heard back... The most damaging remarks came from Gen. Henry Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until Oct. 1, 2001. Shelton told us that in the Bush administration terrorism had moved 'farther to the back burner... Is the White House going to vilify these men too?"

White House Unleashes Franklin Miller to Raise Utterly Meaningless Questions about Clarke
30-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

Daily Reality Check writes, "The White House has soiled its hands in the affair once again, as it 'suggested' that Franklin Miller, a bureaucratic rival of Clarke's, sit down for media interviews. Miller contends that many of the particular details of the 9/11 attacks happened differently than Clarke recounted in his book... The White House obviously went digging with a backhoe to uncover someone who could offer any type of testimony discrediting Clarke. The problem is that they only unearthed Miller, a senior aide to Condoleezza Rice, which amounts to a pretty substantial bias... More importantly, Miller's 'charges' amount to nitpicking. Disputes over minor dialogue exchanges do not even begin to mask the fact that the White House still has not been able to find any sort of evidence to counter Clarke's most significant charges: that the Bush team virtually ignored terrorism before 9/11, and then invaded Iraq with little evidence, which only impeded their antiterror efforts."

Clarke Says Bush Was AWOL on Al Qaeda - Unlike Clinton
29-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

On Meet the Press, Richard Clarke praised President Clinton's efforts to stop Al Qaeda - and said Bush was AWOL. "'We had Iraqi-sponsored terrorism against the United States; [Clinton] used military force, and they stopped. We had Iranian-sponsored terrorism against the United States; [Clinton] used covert action against them, and they stopped,' Clarke told Russert. 'We had al-Qaida attempts to blow up things in the United States during the millennium period, attempts to blow up embassies around the world, attempts to take over Bosnia during the jihad in Bosnia. And all of those attempts were thwarted.' 'Now, that doesn't mean that [Clinton] did everything he should have done, but the president of the United States was active on these issues in the Clinton administration. The president of the United States was not active on these issues prior to 9/11 in the Bush administration,' Clarke said."

Kerry Defends Clarke, Demands that Condi Rice Speak before 9/11 Panel
27-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

The Natchez Democrats reports: "John Kerry said the White House is committing character assassination with its treatment of former counterterror chief Richard Clarke to avoid responding to questions about national security. 'I don't think people want questions about character; I think they want questions about our security to be answered,' Kerry said Saturday. 'That's what this is about.' Kerry also said Condoleezza Rice should testify in public before the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. 'If Condoleezza Rice can find time to do `60 Minutes' on television before the American people, she ought to find 60 minutes to speak to the commission under oath,' Kerry told reporters. 'We're talking about the security of our country.'"

Clarke Witchhunt Continues
26-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

"In a highly unusual move, key Republicans in Congress are seeking to declassify testimony that former terrorism adviser Richard Clarke gave in 2002 about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Friday. Frist said the intent was to determine whether Clarke lied under oath - either in 2002 or this week - when he appeared before a bipartisan Sept. 11 commission and sharply criticized President Bush's handling of the war on terror... Frist disclosed the effort to declassify Clarke's testimony in remarks on the Senate floor, then talked with reporter. He said he personally didn't know whether there were any discrepancies between Clarke's two appearances."

Bush-Cheney Campaign Official Admits 'We're All on Clarke Patrol'
25-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

"President Bush's best campaign week of 2004 came to an abrupt end when explosive charges that he was snoozing at the wheel before 9/11 knocked the White House back on the defensive. 'This guy popped up at the wrong time for us,' one Bush counselor complained. 'We had [John] Kerry on the run, and now we have to deal with this distraction.' 'This guy' was former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke, whose charges disrupted Bush's momentum and put the President's handling of 9/11 onto the political table for the first time... Clarke's words will continue to haunt the President in new ads being readied by the liberal MoveOn Political Action Committee, the group said. The ads, to run next week, will show testimony from yesterday's 9/11 hearings and declare: "George Bush. A failure of leadership." At the White House, nailing Clarke is now Job 1. 'We're all on Clarke patrol,' said a senior Bush political strategist." They'll get around to al-Qaeda one of these days...

Did Bush Put Clarke in 'Box' in Anticipiation of 9/11 to Keep Him from Preventing the Disaster?
25-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

One question that screams out for an answer is why did Bush downgrade Clarke's position as counterterrorism coordinator to a toothless background role? It was, in fact one of the FIRST things Bush did on taking office. WHY? "By removing Clarke from the table, Bush put him in a box where he could speak only when spoken to," writes Sidney Blumenthal. "No longer would his memos go to the president; instead, they had to pass though a chain of command of national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and her deputy, Stephen Hadley, who bounced each of them back." In other words, Clarke was set up ahead of time to be "dismissable" (just deny he ever sent any memos) should he later try to speak out....which means Bush knew from day one that Clarke might later have a reason to speak out. Could this have anything to do with discussions of war against Iraq that also started as soon as Bush took office? Or with the fact that by 9/12 Bush was already laying plans to bomb Iraq?

Clarke Beats Busheviks in a Knockout
25-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

PentaPost reports: "There was good reason for the tension. If the critique presented by Clarke, who left the Bush White House after two years, is to be accepted, a key rationale for Bush's reelection has been lost. In Clarke's view, the Bush administration ignored his pleas to make terrorism a high priority before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, reacted inadequately to the attacks and then strengthened terrorists by persistently pursuing war in Iraq. Bush aides are not about to let that version stand. Shortly before the hearing, the White House violated its long-standing rules by authorizing Fox News to air remarks favorable to Bush that Clarke had made anonymously at an administration briefing in 2002... During a second round of questioning, Thompson returned to the subject, questioning Clarke's 'standard of candor and morality.' 'I don't think it's a question of morality at all; I think it's a question of politics,' Clarke snapped."

Bush's Attacks on Clarke Only Prove He's Right
25-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

Sidney Blumenthal writes, "One of the first official acts of the incoming Bush administration in Jan. 2001 was to demote the office of national coordinator for counterterrorism on the National Security Council, a position held by Richard Clarke... Under Clinton, signifying the importance the president attached to the issue, Clarke was elevated to Cabinet rank, which gave him a seat at the Principals Meeting, the decision-making group of the highest figures involved in national security. By demoting the office, Bush and his team sent a signal... about the salience they assigned to terrorism -- below issues they regarded as truly serious, like Star Wars and the military threat of China. By removing Clarke from the table, the Bush administration put him in a box where he could only speak when spoken to. No longer would his memos go to the president; instead they had to pass though a chain of command of Condoleezza Rice and her deputy Stephen Hadley, who bounced every one of them back."

Rewriting History to Discredit Clarke Backfires
24-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

Ryan Lizza writes, "When White House officials yesterday weren't ignoring the fact that Clarke worked for Bush or complaining about his attendance record at staff meetings, their final major argument was that his approach to terrorism was more timid than the new administration's. This is an odd statement since Clarke for several years had been calling unambiguously for the complete destruction of bin Laden's organization. It was the Bushies who flinched at the plan's aggressiveness. Several deputies thought the goal to 'eliminate al Qaeda' went too far. Why are the administration's attacks such a bundle of confusion? Probably because this White House has never been confronted with such a credible and nonpartisan critic on the issue of terrorism."

Interview: Richard Clarke
24-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

Guardian's Julian Borger in Washington talks to former White House insider Richard Clarke about US's vulnerability to al-Qaida before the September 11 attack. "RC: If you look at the so-called Vulcans group [Bush's pre-election foreign policy advisors] talked about publicly in seminars in Washington. They clearly wanted to go after Iraq and they clearly wanted to do this reshaping of the middle east and they used the tragedy of 9/11 as an excuse to test their theories. JB: Do you think President Bush was already on board when he came to office. RC: I think he was. He got his international education from the Vulcans group the previous year. They were people like Richard Perle, Jim Woolsey, Paul Wolfowitz. They were all espousing this stuff. So he probably had been persuaded. He certainly wasn't hearing any contrary view during this education process."

Documents Refute Condi's Claims of Addressing Al Qaeda Threat in 2001
22-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

Richard Clarke's charges "are fully substantiated by newly revealed internal FBI and Justice Department documents that were published today on the Center for American Progress website. As the documents and a companion American Progress backgrounder show, the Bush Administration received repeated warnings that an Al Qaeda attack was imminent, yet underfunded and subordinated counterterrorism in the months leading up to 9/11, and after. The Administration has defended itself by claiming it set up a counter-terrorism task force in May of 2001 - but the task force never actually met. Meanwhile, the Administration 'downgraded terrorism as a priority' and ended such key counterterrorism efforts as the 'highly classified program to monitor Al Qaeda suspects in the US.'"

Cheney Lies to Rush About Clarke
22-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

Clarke's charges are so explosive that Cheney went on Rush Limbaugh to lie and deny. Rush asked Dick: "Why did the administration keep Richard Clarke on the counterterrorism team when you all assumed office in January of 2001?" CHENEY: "Well, I wasn't directly involved in that decision. He was moved out of the counterterrorism business over to the cybersecurity side of things. That is, he was given the new assignment at some point there. I don't recall the exact time frame." Josh Marshall writes, "There are two or three levels of dishonesty involved in this response. The key one is timing. It's convenient that Cheney doesn't 'recall the exact time frame' since the time frame puts the lie to his entire point. Clarke was put in charge of cyberterrorism (a pet interest of his); but that was AFTER 9/11." Cheney also said Clarke "wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff" - when Clarke was HEAD of counter-terrorism! Was Cheney keeping Clarke OUT of the loop? Impeach Cheney Now!

Clarke v. Condi - Who's Lying?
22-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

Josh Marshall writes, "There's no question that one of these two people - Rice or Clarke - is misleading us. Rice was (and is) the president's National Security Advisor. Clarke was in charge of counter-terrorism policy at the NSC. Nothing discussed by either on this issue should be a mystery to the other. It's possible that neither is lying in a narrow factual sense. But, at a minimum, one must be giving us a deeply partial and misleading account. (Clarke is yet to get the 'treatment' from the press. So we'll see how his statements hold up. But on this issue - what happened pre-9/11 - and the related yellowcake matter, Rice has already developed a track record of inaccurate, misleading, contradictory and contradicted statements - which we'll be reviewing.) This is why we have a press whose job it is not simply to frame this as a potent he-said/she-said but to dig into the details and find out who isn't leveling with us." Let's start with Bush's alleged "swatting flies" remark...

The Remarkable Story of Clarke Kent
22-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

Billmon writes, "He's no mild-mannered reporter - more like a human bulldozer - but Richard Clarke also appears to have ducked into a phone both and come out a changed man. The former career securocrat has ripped off his suit and tie and put on his tights and cape. And he's going after Shrub like Superman going after one of his many imposters: 'I find it outrageous that the President is running for re-election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it. He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11. Maybe. We'll never know.' That's what's [went] out on 60 Minutes Sunday night. What effect it will have on Bush's entirely undeserved public reputation as an anti-terrorism gunslinger is anybody's guess. Ditto for Clarke's book, due for release on Monday. But there's no question Clarke is giving the White House the Lex Luthor treatment. Now maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I find this rather remarkable."

Clarke Says Osama Controls Bush's Simian Brain
22-Mar-04
Richard Clarke

PentaPost reports, "In his experience, Clarke writes, Bush's description by critics as 'a dumb, lazy rich kid' is 'somewhat off the mark.' Bush has 'a results-oriented mind, but he looked for the simple solution, the bumper sticker description of the problem.' 'Any leader whom one can imagine as president on September 11 would have declared a 'war on terrorism' and would have ended the Afghan sanctuary [for al Qaeda] by invading,' Clarke writes. 'What was unique about George Bush's reaction' was the additional choice to invade 'not a country that had been engaging in anti-U.S. terrorism but one that had not been, Iraq.' In so doing, he estranged allies, enraged potential friends in the Arab and Islamic worlds, and produced 'more terrorists than we jail or shoot.' 'It was as if Osama bin Laden, hidden in some high mountain redoubt, were engaging in long-range mind control of George Bush, chanting 'invade Iraq, you must invade Iraq,' ' Clarke writes."

What Will Richard Clarke's Book Reveal?
06-Feb-04
Richard Clarke

From Hullabaloo's blog: "Richard Clarke, the former NSC counterterrorism expert from Bush I, Clinton and 2 years plus of Bush II is publishing his insider book [hits shelves next month] that takes no prisoners. Word is that Rove is very afraid of what Clarke has to say -- particularly because Clarke was the August 6 2001 briefer of Bush, and there is a good deal about how he got told never to raise such matters again with Bush. Book will get big play. Richard Clarke knows where all the bodies are buried. The close collaborator with Richard Clarke -- going back to Bush I at NSC was Rand Beers -- who quit last summer in disgust, and walked down the street and volunteered his services to Kerry, where he has been ever since. Beers eventually drew Joe Wilson into the Kerry camp... To put it mildly, Kerry is not going into battle unarmed and with pacifist intents. If Bin Laden's been warehoused for use in October -- these are the guys who know it, and know who else knows."

 


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