Wesley Clark

Wesley Clark on 10/10/02: 'Let's Wait to Attack' Iraq
Wesley Clark

"Saddam Hussein is a cunning, stubborn and potentially irrational opponent of the United States... But there is a confusion and uncertainty among the American people about the need for war with Iraq, and especially about its urgency. This is understandable. The primary threat to American lives and interests around the world remains the terrorists of al-Qaeda... The answer to all these questions is yes, if we have the time. Well, we do. The key issue about Iraq has never been whether we should act if Saddam doesn't comply with U.N. resolutions and disarm. Rather, the problems are how we should act, and when. As for the how, the answer is clear--multilaterally, with friends and allies, with every possible effort to avoid the appearance of yet another Christian and Jewish stab at an Islamic country, with force as a last resort, and with a post-conflict plan in place to assure that the consequences of our action do not supercharge the al-Qaeda recruiting machine."

Clark Says Congress Should Determine Whether Bush's War Decisions Criminal
Wesley Clark

AP: "Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark said Thursday it was up to Congress to determine whether President Bush's march to war in Iraq amounted to a criminal offense. Asked if misleading the nation in going to war would be criminal, Clark told reporters, 'I think that's a question Congress needs to ask. I think this Congress needs to investigate precisely' how the United States wound up in a war 'that wasn't connected to the threat of al-Qaida.'"

Michael Moore Endorses Wesley Clark as the Candidate Who Will 'Cream' Bush
Wesley Clark

Michael Moore writes, "I have decided to cast my vote in the primary for Wesley Clark. That's right, a peacenik is voting for a general. What a country! I believe that Wesley Clark will end this war. He will make the rich pay their fair share of taxes. He will stand up for the rights of women, African Americans, and the working people of this country. And he will cream George W. Bush... This is not to say the other candidates won't be able to beat Bush, and I will work enthusiastically for any of the non-Lieberman 8 who might get the nomination. But I must tell you, after completing my recent 43-city tour of this country, I came to the conclusion that Clark has the best chance of beating Bush. He is going to inspire the independents and the undecided to come our way. The hard core (like us) already have their minds made up. It's the fence sitters who will decide this election."

Clark Says Bush's Iraq Obsession Caused Him to Neglect Al Qaeda Warnings
Wesley Clark

"Wesley Clark said the Bush administration, distracted by plans to invade Iraq, discounted intelligence on Al Qaeda handed over by outgoing Clinton administration officials in 2000, leaving security gaps that made it easier for Osama bin Laden's terrorist agents to strike on Sept. 11, 2001. Clark's charges follow public statements from Paul O'Neill, who, in a forthcoming book, says the Bush administration had been planning an invasion of Iraq since its first days in the White House. But Clark's accusation that Bush bears responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks has increasingly become the national security centerpiece of Clark's campaign, with Clark going beyond standard Democratic critiques of the Iraq war to confront Bush on the event that has come to define his presidency. 'They didn't do everything they could have before 9/11 to prevent the tragedy that was 9/11,' Clark said on board his campaign plane. 'This is a story that needs full investigation.'" Tom Kean, are you listening?

Clark or Dean? How About Both?
Wesley Clark

"Dean and Clark are the Democratic front-runners in the latest poll. How about putting both on the Democratic ticket, with Clark as the presidential candidate? Why Clark over the apparently more progressive Dean? In a race in which we should be practical and choose the candidate most likely to beat Bush this year - Kucinich would get the most support in an ideal country - the answer comes down to location," writes Jackson Thoreau. "If Clark can win back Arkansas this November, as well as the rest of the states Gore took in 2000, it doesn't matter how many dirty tricks Republicans play in Florida."

Clark Denounces Bush's 9-11 Lies and Perpetual Fear Campaign
Wesley Clark

Wesley Clark declared, "I think the two greatest lies that have been told in the last three years are: You couldn't have prevented 9/11 and there's another one that's bound to happen." "He said a Clark administration would protect America in the future. 'If I'm president of the United States, I'm going to take care of the American people,' Clark said in a meeting with the [Concord NH] Monitor editorial board. 'We are not going to have one of these incidents.' Clark, a retired Army general, envisioned a future in which Americans 'have more confidence in ourselves as a people.' He continued: 'Nothing is going to hurt this country - not bioweapons, not a nuclear weapon, not a terrorist strike - there is nothing that can hurt us if we stay united and move together and have a vision for moving to the future the right way.'" Clark is taking dead aim on Bush's central claim - that only he can protect American from terrorism - and turning it into the weakness that it is. You Go, Clark!

RNC Attacking Clark as He Rises in the Polls
Wesley Clark

First they attacked Dean, now Clark -- since his poll numbers are rising. USA Today writes in a follow-up to its new poll showing Clark closing in on Dean: "After a late start that was so rocky it led many pundits to write off NATO's former supreme allied commander as a hapless political rookie, Clark has emerged as the 2004 campaign's January surprise. His poll numbers, nationally and in New Hampshire, have spiked sharply upward. From October through December, he raised more money than any rival but Dean. He's drawing impressive crowds. Perhaps most indicative of Clark's improved status: The Republican National Committee has begun issuing press releases attacking his record."

Clark Calls for Renewable Energy Standard
Wesley Clark

Democratic Presidential Candidate General Wesley Clark expressed support for a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) during a Town Hall meeting in Petersborough, New Hampshire (the home base of SolarAccess.com): "Clark criticized George W. Bush for having the audacity to claim that his current administration stands for family values while the President largely ignores viable renewable energy technology in favor of continuing to support polluting energy industries that are harming the air and water. 'You can't talk about family values if you're going to wreck our environment,' said Clark. The candidate cited scientific studies that support theoretical estimations that the Bush Administration's policies that disregard environmental concerns, if left unchecked, would eventually kill over 100,000 American citizens from pollution-related illnesses."

Clark Calls Out Rove with Bold Tax Reform Plan
Wesley Clark

L.A. Times: "Retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark on Monday unveiled the most sweeping tax-reform plan of any of the Democratic presidential hopefuls ... Under Clark's proposal, a family of four making up to $50,000 a year would pay no federal income tax at all, and all families with children making up to $100,000 would see a reduction in their tax bill. The retired four-star general says he would offset the loss in tax revenue by asking millionaires to pay more.... Mindful that conservatives might criticize his plan as that of a tax-and-spend Democrat, Clark took them on directly, specifically Bush political advisor Karl Rove. 'Karl, I want you to hear me loud and clear,' Clark said. 'I am going to provide tax cuts to ease the burdens for 31 million American families, ... If that makes me an old-style Democrat, then I accept that label with pride and dare you to come after me for it.'"

Clark Denounces Bush's 'Bait and Switch' on Osama
Wesley Clark

"Wesley Clark said Wednesday that Bush has shown a lack of will in pursuing Osama bin Laden. In a blistering critique of the commander in chief, Clark said that 'capturing Saddam Hussein doesn't change the fact that Osama bin Laden is still on the loose.' 'If I'd been president, I would have had Osama bin Laden by this time,' Clark said in New Hampshire. 'I would have followed through on the original sentiment that the president gave us - Osama bin Laden, dead or alive. 'Instead, he executed a bait-and-switch. He took the priority off Osama bin Laden. He shifted the spotlight onto Saddam Hussein.' The retired Army four-star general also said that if Bush questions the patriotism and national security credentials of Democrats in the coming campaign, he would not hesitate to match his record against the president's. 'I'll put my 34 years of defending the USA, and the results that I and my teammates in the US armed forces achieved, against his three years of failed policies any day.'"

Wesley Clark Rips Bush for 9-11 Intel Failures and Demands CIA's 8-6-01 Briefing
Wesley Clark

"Wesley Clark blamed Bush for the intelligence failures that contributed to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. 'There is no way this administration can walk away from its responsibility for 9-11,' Clark said. 'You can't blame something like this on lower level intelligence officers, however badly they communicated memos with each other. ... The buck rests with the commander in chief, right on George W. Bush's desk.' Later Tuesday, Clark called on Bush to release the details of an intelligence briefing he received from CIA Director George Tenet in August 2001... Clark argued that Bush has manipulated facts, stifled dissent, retaliated against detractors, shown disdain for allies and started a war without just cause. He said Bush put Americans at risk by pursuing war in Iraq instead of hunting for Osama bin Laden and other terrorists, pulling a 'bait-and-switch' by going after Saddam Hussein instead of al Qaeda terrorists." You GO, Wesley!

Wesley Clark Demands Investigation of Bush's Manipulation of Intelligence
Wesley Clark

"Wesley Clark called on Friday for an independent probe of the Bush administration's use of intelligence before the Iraq war, calling it 'twisted' and possibly criminal... [Clark] said the American public needed to know if it was 'intentionally deceived.' In his harshest indictment yet of Bush , Clark said the administration's 'irresponsible' Iraq policy had put Americans in danger and the US in crisis mode at home and abroad. Going further than his nine rivals for the Democratic nomination, most of whom have called for a special counsel to probe the leak of an undercover CIA officer's name, Clark also demanded an independent commission investigate the'possible manipulation' of intelligence leading to the war in Iraq.'Nothing could be a more serious violation of public trust than to consciously make a war based on false claims,' he told a conference of military reporters and editors. 'Its handling of intelligence and its retaliation against its critics may have been criminal.'"

FAIR Reports: Wesley Clark Cheered Iraq War As 'Right Call'
Wesley Clark

"[W]hile recent coverage of [Wesley] Clark often claims that he opposed the war with Iraq, various opinions he has expressed on the issue suggest the media's 'anti-war' label is inaccurate. A review of his statements before, during and after the war reveals that Clark has taken a range of positions--from expressing doubts about diplomatic and military strategies to celebrating the U.S. 'victory' in a [London Times 4/10/03] column declaring that George W. Bush and Tony Blair 'should be proud of their resolve in the face of so much doubt... Their opponents, those who questioned the necessity or wisdom of the operation, are temporarily silent, but probably unconvinced'... Clark closed the piece with visions of victory celebrations at home. 'Let's have those parades on the Mall and down Constitution Avenue'... To label a candidate with such views 'anti-war' is to render the term meaningless."

In 2001 Wesley Clark Praised Bush at a GOP Fundraiser--And Also Supported Nixon and Reagan
Wesley Clark

"On the day after a 10-way Democratic presidential debate, [Joe] Lieberman took issue with [Wesley] Clark expressing support for the Bush administration's policies in a May 2001 address to the Arkansas GOP. Bush was pushing his tax-cut package at the time. 'I was fighting that reckless economic strategy while Wes Clark was working to forward the Republican agenda by raising money for the Republican Party,' the Connecticut senator said. [A] Clark spokesman....fired back: 'I think Senator Lieberman is an increasingly desperate candidate...' The debate Thursday opened with a question to Clark about the May 11, 2001, address in which he praised Resident Bush... Clark also has acknowledged supporting Republican Presidents Nixon and Reagan. Clark replied that he has taken 'an incredible journey' since 2001 and is now a strong Democrat.'"

Clark Declares 'I Would Never Have Voted For This War, Never'
Wesley Clark

"Wesley Clark reversed an earlier opinion that he likely would have voted for war in Iraq, telling a cheering college-town crowd the invasion was 'a major blunder' he never would have supported. Clark said his Army career taught him that'the use of force is only a last resort' that wasn't justified in Iraq. 'I'm a soldier,' he said. 'I've laid on the battlefield bleeding.' While the use of force can occasionally be justified, he said, 'It's not a way to solve problems and resolve disputes. It's very difficult to change people's minds when you are bombing them and killing them.'... Many of his backers expressed surprise when Clark told reporters he probably would have voted to authorize the use of force [saying] 'On balance, I probably would have voted for it.' In a speech Friday to more than 1,000 people... and in interviews, Clark underscored his opposition to the war, explaining: 'There may be times when you may have to use force, but only as a last resort." You go, Wesley!

Lying about Clark in Paranoid Style
Wesley Clark

Scoobie Davis writes: "Pimpled-ass draft-dodger Rush Limbaugh is smearing Wesley Clark and denigrating his service in the military with the help of FrontPage Magazine, which is run by an admitted violator of the Espionage Act. On Tuesday , I mentioned on my weblog Scoobie Davis Online that Sean Hannity was spreading rumors about Wesley Clark (scroll down to read them). Counterspin Central listed some possible points of sliming that the GOP and Bush campaign will take against Wesley Clark. The following were touched upon by Rush Limbaugh in just the first ten minutes of his radio show yesterday: 1) He's an unstable hothead who 'almost started World War III.' (Really? This analysis at Antidotal puts the lie to this talking point.) 2) He was involved in the Waco disaster. (See below.) 3) He's just a front for Hillary and Bill Clinton; Limbaugh referred to Clark as 'Hillary's sock puppet.' (See below.)"

Clark 'Probably' Would Have Backed War Resolution
Wesley Clark

WashPost: "Retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark said today that he 'probably' would have voted for the congressional resolution last fall authorizing war... Clark said his views on the war resemble those of Democratic Sens. Joseph Lieberman and John Kerry, both of whom voted for the war but now question Bush's stewardship of the Iraqi occupation. 'That having been said, I was against the war as it emerged because there was no reason to start it when we did. We could have waited'... Clark said that if he were in Congress, he would vote against Bush's request for $87 billion for operations and reconstruction in Iraq unless the president details a specific strategy to eventually withdraw U.S. troops. Clark said he wants more troops in Iraq, but was unsure who best can provide them - the United States, Iraqis or other countries.... He would consider cutting defense spending if elected, he said."

Karl Rove's Nightmare Gets Worse: Wesley Clark Announces
Wesley Clark

Joe Conason writes: "What do we do now, boy genius? No matter what anyone thinks of Wesley Clark's chances to win the Democratic presidential nomination, his decision to run will decisively change this race -- at a moment when some were about to award the laurels, a bit prematurely, to Howard Dean. For the other Democrats, this is an ominous moment. Yet while Clark may momentarily discombobulate the Democrats, his ambitions will scarcely be pleasing to the president and Karl Rove. The estimable analysts at Donkey Rising note today that Bush has fallen below 50 percent approval in a Republican poll. Those numbers warn of serious danger for the incumbent. At this point, Rove must worry about any of the Democrats who could plausibly win the nomination. And perhaps he should be most worried about this general who isn't afraid to say that he's a liberal."

Wesley Clark to Enter Presidential Race
Wesley Clark

AP reports: "Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who boasts a four-star military record but concedes he has gaps to fill on domestic policy, told political advisers Tuesday he will join the presidential race as the 10th Democratic candidate. The Arkansan immediately displayed his potential to shake up the nomination fight, gathering an impressive lineup of party activists for a strategy session that overshadowed Sen. John Edwards ' long-standing plans to formally launch his months-old candidacy. Senior officials close to Clark said he plans to announce his intentions Wednesday in Little Rock, Ark., at a boys and girls club. He enters the race late, against long odds."

Wesley Clark Says that the White House (Karl Rove?) Pushed CNN to Fire Him
Wesley Clark

From Fox News: "The White House pressured CNN to fire former military analyst Gen. Wesley Clark, the retired Army chief told a Phoenix radio station on Monday. 'The White House actually back in February apparently tried to get me knocked off CNN and they wanted to do this because they were afraid that I would raise issues with their conduct of the war,' Clark told Newsradio 620 KTAR. 'Apparently they called CNN. I don't have all the proof on this because they didn't call me. I've only heard rumors about it.'... Previously, Clark claimed publicly that after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, he was pressured by the Bush administration to link the attacks directly to Iraq. When pressed on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes show, Clark refused to name White House names and instead fingered a public policy think tank in Canada. 'I personally got a call from a fellow in Canada who is part of a Middle Eastern think tank who gets inside intelligence information. He called me on 9/11,' Clark said."

Wesley Clark Blasts Bush and DeLay
Wesley Clark

Former NATO Commander "Wesley Clark... attacked the Bush administration Sunday for launching a war with Iraq on 'false pretenses' and spreading the military too thin amid the global war on terrorism. 'You'd be taking them to the Better Business Bureau if you bought a washing machine the way we went into the war in Iraq,' Clark said on CNN's 'Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer.'... Clark has called on Congress to investigate allegations that the Bush administration overstated intelligence about Iraq's weapons programs. Clark also lashed out at House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican... 'When our airmen were flying over Kosovo, Tom DeLay led House Republicans to vote not to support their activities -- when American troops were in combat,' Clark said. 'To me, that's a real indicator of a man who's motivated not by patriotism or support for the troops but by partisan political purposes.'... Clark said Sunday that he will decide whether to run for president in two to three weeks."

Rumors Swirl about Wesley Clark Campaign
Wesley Clark

The National Journal (and expensive Beltway publication) writes, "Wesley Clark appears to be getting close to throwing his stars into the 2004 Democratic presidential nominating contest. Clark recently phoned one close adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity, and said, 'Crank it up.' The Clark adviser said that the former NATO chief is smart to stay out of the race until after Labor Day, but not much longer after that. He pointed to the number of debates and forums that the Democratic hopefuls have on tap and the chance that these encounters will do little to clarify the race -- as was the case in the recent AFL-CIO forum in Chicago. The Clark adviser speculated that the general will be better positioned for a run if he has a message that seems fresher for not having been part of the clutter."

Wesley Clark: Condi 'Believed American Troops Shouldn't Be Keeping the Peace' - Their Focus Should Be to 'Kill People and Conquer Countries'
Wesley Clark

Wesley Clark says in a Newsweek interview: "I've never really addressed that issue. I'm considering this candidacy because a lot of people have confidence in me and have asked me to consider it. To me, it's really about the issues. I saw it starting to go wrong before the [2000] election. I met with Condi Rice. She told me she believed that American troops shouldn't be keeping the peace-- they were the only ones who could kill people and conquer countries, and that's what they should be focused on doing. What she was telling me [was] that she, as a potential Republican national-security adviser, didn't support our engagement in Europe. So I saw it going wrong from there."

Clinton: Wesley Clark Would Make Good President
Wesley Clark

AP reports: "While he's making no endorsements, former President Clinton says fellow Arkansan Wesley Clark would make a good president if he should decide to run. Clinton says he has been impressed by the retired Army general's career from its inception, as a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy, where Clark finished first in his class. 'He has always exceeded in every endeavor,' Clinton told The Associated Press on Friday, noting in particular Clark's major role as NATO commander, when he ran the 1999 Kosovo air war that drove Serb forces out of the embattled Serbian province."