Bad Tactics, Bad Strategy

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New at Reason: The campaign to discredit Richard Clarke has failed so far, and will fail even if it succeeds.

NEXT: Fetus Follies

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  1. Clarke is anti-war, hence he is 100000% correct and above reproach.

  2. Timbug,

    He is not anti-war; he is not particularly fond of GWII.

  3. Thanks, Tim. What a great piece!

  4. This is a better cross-section of the current polls:

    http://www.pollingreport.com/wh04gen.htm

  5. JB: I see. I suppose that makes him even more credible around here.

  6. That article rocks…Tim and Cathy Young have, today, written 2 great pieces.

  7. Just from the perspective of political strategy not responding to Clarke seems like a bad idea.

    Clarke is making an argument from authority. He is claiming special knowledge and expertise in the area of terrorism and the internal White House processes. Therefor, his previous statements, pronouncements and policy actions are fair game in deciding whether he really is the competent authority he presents himself to be. The more the Bush administration succeeds in raising doubts about Clarke’s competence and credibility the better.

    More generally, wouldn’t it be irresponsible on the part of the media and others in the know NOT to report Clarke’s previous stances? Why shouldn’t his consistency, effectiveness and veracity be challenged? We all best served when the political class bangs on each other unmercifully.

  8. Bush is a good poker player. He’s waited until the very end…when all the other players have revealed their hands, to show his.

    The problem with leftists who opposed the war, and most libertarians who did the same, is they didn’t think he had a strong hand. They ascribed motives to the war on terror that most voters didn’t buy into.
    Dean would be yelling and screaming all the way up and down and back and forth across the continent right now otherwise.

    Think Bush has a weak hand? Don’t bet on it.

  9. Shannon-

    As far as reporting Clarke’s previous stances, the problem is that there’s a difference between the statements made by Richard Clarke, White House Employee speaking on behalf of his employer, and statements made by Richard Clarke, private citizen, speaking on behalf of himself.

  10. “Clarke is just the representative for all the anti-terror people who thought invading Iraq was a bad idea. Clarke may be the biggest of them, but there are plenty more where he came from. If you honestly believe they were wrong, prove them wrong. ”

    People who thought invading Iraq was a bad idea are not “anti-terror” people. Whether Saddam’s Iraqi regime had anything to do with 9/11 or Al Queida directly or not, it certainly did have something to do with terrorism generically. Iraq used oil revenue to sponsor terrorism and it harbored terrorist training camps within it’s borders. Toppling Saddam’s regime certainly is part of fighting the war on terror – just as Bush said in a speech not long after 9/11. He didn’t say it was an exclusive war on Al Queida – he said it was a war on terror and so it is.

    As for “proving wrong” those who thought invading Iraq was a bad idea – the one’s who thought so haven’t “proven” that they were right!

  11. So Clarke can make pointless, even idiotic claims against the Bush Administration, and they can’t even point out he’s wrong and why he’s wrong. Cavanaugh, just because you oppose to war doesn’t mean the rules of logic have been reversed.

  12. Much of what Clarke is saying amounts to “Trust me, I knew what I was doing and the Bushies ignored me.” Noting that he has contradicted himself, that he’s a partisan, that he misrepresents what happened, that no one was omniscient enough to know what was happening on 9/12, that he’s got a chip on his shoulder and that whatever expertise he has does not extend to the war on Iraq is certainly relevant, even as Tim Cavanaugh wants to prevent us from finding out the truth.

  13. Shannon Love,

    “Just from the perspective of political strategy not responding to Clarke seems like a bad idea.”

    Well, that was not Tim’s argument; read more closely.

  14. ^The TRUTH, Tim! We want the truth!

    Anyway, Shannon, “The more the Bush administration succeeds in raising doubts about Clarke’s competence and credibility the better.”

    If I were Karl Rove, and the item at the top of my “To Do” list read, “Counter accusations that pre-9/11 counterterror efforts were half-hearted and wrongheaded,” I would not lead off with the argument “The guy we put in charge of counterterrorism is a flaming incompetant. We just didn’t notice.”

    The best the Bushies are going to get out of this is a he said/she said perception (except among those who are already determined to see Bush as a terror-smashing titan). Rice, Cheney, and Bush himself can argue facts and interpretations and demonstrate that just as good a case can be made refuting Clarke as Clarke himself has made. Anything beyond that, and they look like they’re either kicking a puppy, covering their own asses, or making stuff up again.

  15. Nobody wants a president who carries on like a bitch.

    That’s probably the single best piece of political commentary I’ve heard in months.

    Not because it’s vulgar, but because it’s true.

    Great piece, Tim.

  16. “As far as reporting Clarke’s previous stances, the problem is that there’s a difference between the statements made by Richard Clarke, White House Employee speaking on behalf of his employer, and statements made by Richard Clarke, private citizen, speaking on behalf of himself.”

    So, thoreau, which is the credible source — Clarke the parroting toady under the thumb of an authoritarian administration, or Clarke the self-promoter hawking books during an election year?

  17. “As far as reporting Clarke’s previous stances, the problem is that there’s a difference between the statements made by Richard Clarke, White House Employee speaking on behalf of his employer, and statements made by Richard Clarke, private citizen, speaking on behalf of himself.”

    So, thoreau, which is the credible source — Clarke the parroting toady under the thumb of an authoritarian administration, or Clarke the self-promoter hawking books during an election year?

  18. Here’s what’s happened. Clarke said what Cavanaugh wants to hear. Cavanaugh tells Bush stop messing with my man.

    If you want to argue against the war on Iraq, do it. But the last thing the Bush people need is political advice from tone-deaf Tim.

  19. Jean Bart,

    I think Cavanaugh is arguing that having the administration itself publicly ignore Clarke and let proxies discredit him is a better strategy.

    I think he overlooks that Clarke holds a unique position to criticize Bush’s policy. He is not “just the representative of all the anti-terror people who though invading Iraq was a bad idea.” He was Clinton’s terror czar and remained near the center of the policy debates even after his demotion. He claims to be able to report the actual decision making process both before and after 9/11. Nobody else can claim that authority.

    I don’t think that responding to Clarke’s specific allegations and providing information on Clarke’s reversals will hurt in the long run. Moreover, I think everybody involved needs to hammer it out in the public eye. Its the only way we will ever hope to find out what happened.

  20. Here’s what happened. Clarke says what Cavanaugh wants to hear. So Cavanaugh tells Bush stop messing with my man.

    If you want to argue about Iraq, do it. But please, no more political advice to Bush from tone-deaf Tim.

  21. B.P.-

    I can play the same game of characterization. Which is more credible: Clarke the spokesman for our Bold Leader against terrorists, or Clarke the private citizen blowing the whistle on the government?

    I don’t claim to know for certain that Clarke was credible in either case. I take his book as food for thought, not as gospel truth, and I put them through a skepticism filter when comparing them with other information. And I take his statements 2 years ago as the statements of a government spokesman, and I subject them to the same rigorous skepticism filter that I put all government statements through.

    Where have I gone wrong?

  22. Shannon Love,

    I know what Tim’s arguments are. You simply mischaractized them earlier.

  23. “I don’t think that responding to Clarke’s specific allegations and providing information on Clarke’s reversals will hurt in the long run.”

    But that’s not what Tim’s saying! The attacks on Clarke haven’t been about “this fact was wrong, this interpretation ignores this factor” yadda yadda. They have been about “Clarke is a lying partisan, Clake has a bruised ego,” and the latest one, “Clarke is gay (but you didn’t hear it from me!)” It seems to me that T.C.’s column was about the familiar Republican attack machine, not the hammering out of facts and opinions in a good faith public debate.

  24. I have never wanted to “fault” the Clinton administration for 9/11…I think it was bin-Ladin’s fault. I have always thought that the best time to make an assessment would be a long time after anyone had something to gain of lose in a partisan way.

    I suppose one weakness of democracies faced with the terror-war is that we are able to “take out” our frustrating inability to respond immediately to a “spetacular” on actors in our owm system (in elective politics or public service)…whether or not that is either just or wise.

    I believe we should resist this temptation– it only helps the enemy.

    Generally, scapegoating and blame-mongering concerns me less.

  25. Great article Tim. You go girl.

  26. Andrew,

    Au contraire; I’ve seen you blame Clinton before in other threads. I’m glad that you are now putting down your sword though.

  27. If Bush was still a CEO, he would have been fired by now. However, since he is the only conservative in town for 2004, many apoligists have stepped forward on his behalf. This ship has gotten too rocky and some of the help is thinking of mutiny as the money is losing value in a few ports of call.

    Kerry may not be any better, but I know what Bush’s record is over the last 4 years and I can’t vote for that. We need our allies back in the fold and we need the religous nutz to go back to church. I’ll give the dems the next 4 so we can have a few choices among the next crop of conservatives.

  28. JB

    I am reasonably certain I have never blamed the Clinton administration for 9/11…because that is a promise I made myself on the afternoon of 9/11.

    I have said America under-reacted to al-Qaida during the 90’s…but I well remember that that was EVERYBODY, and I have no reason to doubt the President’s political judgement that no consensus existed at the time for a more committal course of action.

    Furthermore, I have mixed feelings about that under-reaction. Generally, democratic republics are peacable, and have less to say about the timing of conflicts than tyrannies. I have always been uncomfortable of popular cliches about “appeasement” during the 1930’s.

    The comparative disadvantages of the democratic order (in some respects) with tyranny is a price I am willing to pay…although I don’t think the democratic order requires us to wallow in self-inflicted weaknesses.

    Meanwhile, I have always maintained the quasi-fiction that a President Gore (or Clinton in a third term) would have acted the same as Bush– quasi-fiction because I can’t know that…but it is what I would prefer to believe.

  29. “we need the religous nutz to go back to church.”
    The “nutz” you speak of tend to go to a MOSQUE.
    If you want to bash religon, why don’t you take a few swipes at the Islamonazis?

  30. “we need the religous nutz to go back to church.”
    The “nutz” you speak of tend to go to a MOSQUE.
    If you want to bash religon, why don’t you take a few swipes at the Islamonazis?

  31. Kerry may not be any better, but I know what Bush’s record is over the last 4 years and I can’t vote for that.

    fair enough.

    We need our allies back in the fold and we need the religous nutz to go back to church.

    uhh, which allies are these:
    the UN? http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50710FA3D540C708EDDAA0894DC404482

    France? Russia?
    http://www.iht.com/articles/512409.html

    could you please be specific as to which “allies” we need back in the fold? that aren’t already?

    I’ll give the dems the next 4 so we can have a few choices among the next crop of conservatives.

    12 years and we got Clinton. 8 years and we got Bush. You think we’ll get a better crop after 4 years?

    better to argue for divided government.

  32. thoreau,

    Clarke’s credibility is not merely a function of “statements when a White house employee” vs “statements as a free citizen”. If he had said we are doing great (when in office) and now said “we screwed up” – then things are wide open.

    BUT, back then he was more specific about the positives (” Bush increased funding for covert ops by 5 times (i.e. a 500% increase!)

    Now he is vague – “Bush hardly did anything; Clinton gave it a top priority, Bush didn’t”.

    Do you see what I mean?

    If he had not refuted his own statements, he would have been more credible (I think he could have made a case for how the US govt. didn’t do enough before 9-11). But when he tells me that Clinton was much better than Bush, it is tough to agree with him. Clinton (or Bush) couldn’t have been too aggressive in the Sept 10 world (since there was no ‘smoking gun’)

  33. =================================
    =================================

    What I read in Tim’s piece was an apparent supposition that most of the cynicism of Clarke is based on someone “out to get him”, rather than people just reading what Clarke says, comparing it to other things Clarke says, then comparing it with what others have said and what you can see, and so on.

    Tim, you can do better. If you’ve got a point, just get to it.

    =================================
    =================================

  34. Andrew,

    “I am reasonably certain I have never blamed the Clinton administration for 9/11…because that is a promise I made myself on the afternoon of 9/11.”

    I am reasonably certain that you are a liar.

  35. It’s pretty self indulgent for both parties to spend capital comparing Clinton to Bush. Why are we not comparing Bush to, I dunno, the bearded nutjobs who’d like to rudder more planes into our citizens? Oh, that’s right. MOVEon has already convince many that Bush is worse than our friends of Allah-he’s up there with A. Hitler!!!

    One thing is irrefutable: Richard Clark is doing much better than Vince Foster and Saddam’s son-in-laws at this stage of the game…

  36. I think I need to read Clarke’s book. Fortunately, my wife works at Barnes & Noble.

    (That fact came in handy several months ago when a particularly, um, interesting poster insisted that B&N is a hotbed of militant leftism. And not just his own particular local B&N outlet, but all of them.)

  37. Before somebody accuses me of wasting my time, the reason I need to read is that I’m hearing so much contradictory stuff about the contents of the book. I’m going to refrain from further commentary on Clarke until I’ve read his book.

  38. Ah JB

    I see, more with regret than anything else, that you have defaulted to your previous fashion of boorish and insulting provocations. That so, I will resume my previous practice of ignoring your unworthy and degrading interpolations.

    Meantime, fond hopes that you may yet someday grow to be a much larger man than you are yet able to aspire to.

    Andrew

  39. thoreau,

    After you read his book, you might want to also read what he said before the book AND after the book (on TV, etc.)

    I have not read the book yet; but looking at what he is saying now and comparing it with the transcripts of what he said before, I am not convinced of his cred.

  40. Andrew,

    You can deny it all you want; but you have on occassion made snide remarks about the Clinton administration regarding 9/11. Its not a provocation, its the truth.

    And if it was boorish for me in the past to point out that you are a paternalistic bigot who perfers fascist notions about people procreating for the health of the state over individual liberty, well it was boorish of me.

    As to who is the man here, well that’s obvious; I am. If it bothers you that I do not suffer fools, nor coddle bigots like yourself, well, all I can say is that I am not troubled by it.

  41. zorel,

    What he said before was the “spin” that the Bush administration commanded that he say.

    thoreau,

    Don’t expect Kant or de Tocqueville. 🙂

  42. Just now coming in on this thread.
    To Tim: my sentiments perzacktly.
    It would have taken me a solid month to write something half as cute.

    Only thing I’d quibble about is the part where four more years of Dubya would be equal to five minutes of Kerry. I wouldn’t go nearly so far. In fact I’m betting now that two thirds of Amurikuns will be totally turned off by the both of them by November.
    Here it is still March and it’s gonna be one of them until 2009? Pardon me, but I’m on the slippery slope of deep denial.

  43. Jean Bart,

    It is easy enough to verify (the fact about a 5 fold increase …) since it is very specific. If that was a fact, it is not ‘spin’. Then how does his current (‘true’) statement that Bush did ‘virtually nothing’ holdup?

    We have established that Clarke ‘lied’ when he was ‘commanded’ by his boss. Is is wrong to wonder if he has a boss (motive) now?

    To clarify – I am not saying Clarke is a liar. Frankly I don’t care about all the whys and wherefores of Sept 10th. My support is for what Bush he did AFTER Sept 11. It is interesting to see the US media make such a big deal out of this. IF Bush (or Clinton) had done something to prevent Sept 11 (such as throw out Taliban, screen the Arabs in the US) based on the intel, there would have been outrage all over.

    Even now no one is telling us what should have been done; just blaming Bush that he didn’t do whatever he was supposed to.

  44. RE which is the real Clarke:

    Which is the real Popeye?
    The one submissively wooing Olive Oyl, or the one taunted by Bluto ’til he can’t stands no more; then poppin’ a can o’ spinich?

  45. Has ANYBODY read the book? Please do and then come back and act as if you know what the hell you’re talking about.

  46. Keep pimping that blast fax point, fellas. It’s not transparent bullshit at all.

    Because, as all conservatives know, anyone who has a dispute with a black person is motivated by racism.

  47. Why do people keep bringing up the book. This has nothing to do with the book.

    By the way, Cavanaugh? If you want to become a political consultant, all I can say it don’t quite your day job.

  48. “As far as reporting Clarke’s previous stances, the problem is that there’s a difference between the statements made by Richard Clarke, White House Employee speaking on behalf of his employer, and statements made by Richard Clarke, private citizen, speaking on behalf of himself.”

    You missed the other Clarke – the one who wrote the book. The statements he’s making now contradict his own book.

    For example, in the book he says that after 9/11 Bush asked people to check if Iraq may have been responsible. Clark himself said that this was a reasonable line of inquiry, given that Saddam had tried to assassinate Bush I and had all kinds of motive.

    The Clarke of today says that he was incredulous at that, and that when he raised objections the President became intimidating and inexplicitly forceful about it. Other people in the room that day contradict Clarke’s testimony on this point. As does Clarke’s own book.

    In Clarke’s book, he is reasonably critical of the Clinton administration. The Clarke of today is effusive in his praise of Clinton.

    My take on this is that the book represents what Clarke really believed, but that the Clarke of today has turned into a partisan who is playing cards for the Democrats. Hence his unwillingness now to criticise Clinton, and his over-the-top characterizations of the Bush administration.

    The most telling quote of all from the book is where Clarke declares that Condi Rice was ignorant of al-Qaida (a very serious charge against the National Security Advisor), and he bases this charge on nothing more than his perception of her expression during a discussion. That is an unreasonable position to take, and an irresponsible claim to make in print. That he felt compelled to do so casts serious doubt on his motivation and credibility.

  49. On the issue of Libertarians and war in general, I think this is one area where Ayn Rand had it right. Dictators who enslave their own people forfeit any claim to sovereignity. Freeing the people living under dictatorship is an intrinsic good, but not a moral obligation.

    Therefore, the decision to invade a dictatorship becomes purely pragmatic. Can it be done? Will the results be worse than the cure? Will the world community stand for it? Is it in our national interest to do it?

    Iraq is the one case where most of these questions can be answered in the affirmative. Violations of U.N. sanctions and repeated aggression against neighbors gave the U.S. the arguable legal justification. The convergence of terrorists and rogue nations gave the U.S. a vested interest in seeing Saddam gone, as did the continual shitstorm he was serving up in the Middle east through incitement against Israel, funding of Hamas and the families of suicide bombers, etc.

    Getting rid of Saddam was a moral good. That Libertarians cannot see past their ‘non-initiation of violence’ principle and recognize that a man who has enlaved millions and slaughtered hundreds of thousands deserves no such consideration is just sad. I am a libertarian, but one who sees freedom as the ultimate goal for all of humanity, and not just the little enclave I happen to live in. Dictatorships are a boil on the face of the planet. If we can dispatch them while maintaining our own national interests, we should take the opportunity.

  50. zorel,

    BTW, Clarke is fairly specific in his criticism (of Bush and Clinton) in his book; this was also true before the 9/11 commission. Indeed, he was very specific about the Jan. 24 memo; the administration’s unwillingness to allow him to talk to Bush about terrorism; how few meetings they had on terrorism; etc. So that charge doesn’t meet the reality test.

  51. Lt. Col Karen Kwiatkowski has an interesting piece on Clarke as well:

    http://militaryweek.com/kk032904.shtml

  52. Dan,

    Your final comments sound alot like what Robert Taft would have said about war and foreign policy.

    I agree with your assesment too.

  53. “The most telling quote of all from the book is where Clarke declares that Condi Rice was ignorant of al-Qaida (a very serious charge against the National Security Advisor), and he bases this charge on nothing more than his perception of her expression during a discussion.”

    A strange charge indeed, because she discussed al Qaida publicly PRIOR to the meeting with Clark where he gained this impression. But it seems to be typical Clark . . .

  54. I’ve been reading Reason for over fifteen years. This is the single weakest article I’ve ever seen associated with it.

    The Iraq War seems to send libertarians off the deep end faster than any other issue. As others have explained, it is part and parcel of our anti-terror strategy. It was successful in initial implementation. We had more than enough cause. The post-war strategy is playing out as well as could be expected, compared to historical equivalents such as Japan and Germany.

    But, no, libertarians tell us we should just shut up and take it. Don’t search for a long term solution, oh, no, that might violate some dictator’s rights. Better instead, they apparently believe, to just continue to suffer attacks and further intrusions into our liberties into the indefinite future.

    And this article shows exactly the same preposterous attitude. Clarke tells a story that has more holes than Swiss cheese, with an obvious ax to grind, but Bush is just supposed to shut up and take it. Let the national, anti-Bush media spin it any way they want, but the administration is just supposed to hang their heads and sigh.

    Look, I don’t care much for George Bush. His domestic policies, absent his tax cuts, are Democrat-lite, and sometimes, Democrat-heavy. He can’t even get into conservative positions on the growth of the government, much less libertarian ones.

    Nevertheless, he is at least serious about the most obvious short-term danger to our freedom. And claiming that he should have prevented 9/11 with eight months of tenure, when Clinton did exactly squat in eight years, is beyond the pale. Clarke deserves to be ridiculed by the national news media, but since those leftists will never do it, how in the world can anyone blame Bush for doing it?

  55. Everybody is avoiding the real story here. A career civil servant who thought he should have been appointed National Security Advisor instead had to work for the black woman who got HIS job.
    He is getting away with it.

  56. Walter,

    Good point. Isn’t it amazing how statements that could be interpreted as racist ARE when they are uttered by unsympathetic conservative or Republican characters. Yet when a sympathetic figure (to the major media) like a Charles Barkley makes a fairly clearly racist comment it is literally unremarkable.
    Why isn’t Clarke’s comment about Rice even being CONSIDERED racist OR sexist by the media? Heck, its a twofer!
    Why doesn’t an obviously wrong, possibly racist, possibly sexist statement by an ANGRY WHITE MALE not evoke liberal media outrage and totally discredit the speaker in this instance?
    Because this manipulative opportunist is singing the RIGHT TUNE and that’s all that really matters.

  57. > Call me an old softy, but I too was moved by the spectacle of somebody from the government finally issuing a straightforward apology for September 11

  58. None,

    Nothing makes the UN look so foolish as them leaving town because of violence.

    Oh, yeah. Then there is the corruption.

    Then there is the toleration of genocide.

    Other than that and the fact that the organization is most representative of dictatorships.

    The UN is the answer. Now all you have to do is to get Americans to believe that.

    Best wishes.

  59. JB says:

    Saddam Hussein was not creating or inciting the shitstorm between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

    That may be true in the most narrow technical sense. OTOH he was paying death benefits to suicide bombers and encouraging them.

    His little way of getting into the proxy war against America game so beloved by the EU and documented by European Union Parliament member Ilka Schroeder.

    You would think that after the cowboy in chief has done Iraq and threated every one in the neighborhhod the EU might see that it is unwise to piss off the Americans.

  60. Dan,

    Saddam Hussein was not creating or inciting the shitstorm between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

    “I am a libertarian, but one who sees freedom as the ultimate goal for all of humanity, and not just the little enclave I happen to live in.”

    Well, you’ve yet to prove that this is indeed the position of people opposed to that particular war. I mean, your statement makes for fine, fiery rhetoric; but at best, its merely a statement tailored to insult.

  61. LOL! A predominantly Libertarian discussion area has more than a few members who support the idea that Clark has a racist agenda. Unbelievable!

    Really, what does Bush have to do to get the ire of the Libertarian party? I’m baffled.

    You guys are so afraid of the liberal bogeyman that you come out defending, to an irrational, and often comical degree, a man who has come nowhere near appeasing your wishes. Well, with the exception of insisting on a large tax cut.

    Seriously, civil liberties mean much more to me than tax cuts. I wish I could say the same for many on here.

    Sometimes I wonder if the criticism of Libertarian minds as being those who are primarily concerned with tax relief, is accurate afterall.

  62. “Getting rid of Saddam was a moral good. That Libertarians cannot see past their ‘non-initiation of violence’ principle and recognize that a man who has enlaved millions and slaughtered hundreds of thousands deserves no such consideration is just sad.”

    Well, then let’s extend that “moral good” to the rest of the Middle East, and to Africa. Why single out Saddam Hussein, when there are equally as bad regimes throughout the area? This line of logic is often used, but it rings hollow every single time it is used, and for obvious reasons.

    I find it shocking that so called rational Libertarian minds are naive enough to assume that Bush invaded Iraq out of humanitarian concern.

    In the end the equation is simple: Iraq posed no threat to the United States. The sanctions issue made the U.N. look foolish, and it should have been their issue to contend with.

    Alienating allies, and placing the burden of war and reconstruction primarily on our back, not only intensifies universal hatred for us, and creates safety concerns, but allows the U.N. a get out of jail free card on their own policies.

    It should have not been our burden to bear. Leaving Saddam alone until we could either build a broader coalition (which would could have, and imo, would have happened) or allowing the U.N, to manage the mess that made their policies appear impotent, was a much more practical approach.

    Suddenly Libertarians and Conservatives are concerned about the U.S. being heroes. Again, it strikes me as intellectually dishonest, and outright comical.

    More importantly, there was no reason to rush into the matter, and act as cavalier about it as GWB did.

  63. On Sept. 11, 2001, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to outline a Bush administration policy that would address “the threats and problems of today and the day after, not the world of yesterday” — but the focus was largely on missile defense, not terrorism from Islamic radicals.

    The speech provides telling insight into the administration’s thinking on the very day that the United States suffered the most devastating attack since the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. The address was designed to promote missile defense as the cornerstone of a new national security strategy, and contained no mention of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or Islamic extremist groups, according to former U.S. officials who have seen the text.

    The speech was postponed in the chaos of the day, part of which Rice spent in a bunker. It mentioned terrorism, but did so in the context used in other Bush administration speeches in early 2001: as one of the dangers from rogue nations, such as Iraq, that might use weapons of terror, rather than from the cells of extremists now considered the main security threat to the United States.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4641494/
    ____________________________

    This of course adds credibility to Clarke’s claim that Rice was asleep at the wheel.

  64. None,

    Nothing makes the UN look so foolish as them leaving town because of violence.

    Oh, yeah. Then there is the corruption.

    Then there is the toleration of genocide.

    Other than that and the fact that the organization is most representative of dictatorships.

    The UN is the answer. Now all you have to do is to get Americans to believe that.

    Best wishes.

  65. YOU might think that, M. Some of us assume that other people have the same “go fuck yourself” reaction to threats and bullying that we have.

  66. If ANYONE thinks bush is a good leader, they are a stupid cock sucking, pussy licking dumbass

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