Sunday Thoughts

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Really, the only thing that happened last week worth talking is Richard Clarke. But I don't want to really talk about it. It's becoming so annoying. It's not that I am tired of it because Clarke is proving Bush did all of these horrible things before 9/11. Look, the guy lacks a lot of credibility:

He says Rumsfeld "looked distracted" in a meeting on September 4; but actually, Rumsfeld wasn't even there.

He says Rice's "facial expression gave me the impression she had never heard the term before", but she gave an interview in late 2000 where she mentioned them by name.

He says Bush was intimidatingly ordering him to fabricate a link between al Qaeda and Iraq on September 12, but Bush flatly refused Wolfowitz's urgings to attack Iraq a mere three days later, on September 15. I suppose what Clarke said about it is possibly true, but what is absolutely clear is that Bush was not as gung-ho about attacking Iraq in September 2001 as Clarke wishes us to believe, because Bush didn't attack Iraq, and shot down those in his administration who wished him to.

Clarke has a lot of interesting things to say about what happened before 9/11, but his insistence that Bush failed where Clinton did succeed, or would have succeeded, seems to be colored by his hatred of what Bush has done with Iraq.

I really don't want to get into a point-by-point discussion of who said what and when. The three points I made above are designed not to say everything Clarke said is a lie, or even that his main points are wrong, but just to show why I have doubts about the unverifiable parts of his stories, and his conclusions: that is, to show you faithful believers of Clarke that he isn't the Ultimate Purveyor of Truth. I am far more interested in what the bipartisan 9/11 commission has to say than I am in what Richard Clarke has to say, because he is a man with a grudge, an axe to grind, and isn't being objective.

What seems clear to me is that Clinton and Bush both failed to take the threat seriously enough. What is also clear is that both took it very seriously. Clinton tried many times to kill or capture Bin Laden, and Bush's people had a plan ready for implementation in early September 2001 that would have aimed to eliminate al Qaeda altogether. Surely mistakes were made, but the reason Clarke is so angry with Bush about 9/11, and so conciliatory toward Clinton, has little to do with the leadup to 9/11 itself, and has mostly to do with Clarke's feelings about Iraq.

Please feel free to vent for and against Clarke in the space below. Get it out of your system. :-)

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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