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Old 03-20-2004, 08:50 PM   #1
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Ex-Aide Says Bush Doing 'Terrible Job'

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Ex-Aide Says Bush Doing 'Terrible Job'

By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Richard A. Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism coordinator, accuses the Bush administration of failing to recognize the al-Qaida threat before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and then manipulating America into war with Iraq with dangerous consequences.

He accuses Bush of doing "a terrible job on the war against terrorism."

Clarke, who is expected to testify Tuesday before a federal panel reviewing the attacks, writes in a new book going on sale Monday that Bush and his Cabinet were preoccupied during the early months of his presidency with some of the same Cold War issues that had faced his father's administration.

"It was as though they were preserved in amber from when they left office eight years earlier," Clarke told CBS for an interview Sunday on its "60 Minutes" program.

CBS' corporate parent, Viacom Inc., owns Simon & Schuster, publisher for Clarke's book, "Against All Enemies."

Clarke acknowledges that, "there's a lot of blame to go around, and I probably deserve some blame, too." He said he wrote to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on Jan. 24, 2001, asking "urgently" for a Cabinet-level meeting "to deal with the impending al-Qaida attack." Months later, in April, Clarke met with deputy cabinet secretaries, and the conversation turned to Iraq.

"I'm sure I'll be criticized for lots of things, and I'm sure they'll launch their dogs on me," Clarke said. "But frankly 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."

The Associated Press first reported in June 2002 that Bush's national security leadership met formally nearly 100 times in the months prior to the Sept. 11 attacks yet terrorism was the topic during only two of those sessions.

The last of those two meetings occurred Sept. 4 as the security council put finishing touches on a proposed national security policy review for the president. That review was finished Sept. 10 and was awaiting Bush's approval when the first plane struck the World Trade Center.

Almost immediately after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Clarke said the president asked him directly to find whether Iraq was involved in the suicide hijackings.

"Now he never said, 'Make it up.' But the entire conversation left me in absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me to come back with a report that said, 'Iraq did this,'" said Clarke, who told the president that U.S. intelligence agencies had never found a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida.

"He came back at me and said, 'Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there's a connection,' and in a very intimidating way," Clarke said.

CBS said it asked Stephen Hadley, Rice's deputy on the national security council, about the incident, and Hadley said: "We cannot find evidence that this conversation between Mr. Clarke and the president ever occurred."

CBS responded to Hadley that it found two people it did not identify who recounted the incident independently, and one of them witnessed the conversation.

"I stand on what I said," Hadley told CBS, "but the point I think we're missing in this is, of course the president wanted to know if there was any evidence linking Iraq to 9-11."

Clarke also harshly criticizes Bush over his decision to invade Iraq, saying it helped brew a new wave of anti-American sentiment among supporters of Osama bin Laden.

"Bin Laden had been saying for years, 'America wants to invade an Arab country and occupy it, an oil-rich Arab country.' This is part of his propaganda," Clarke said. "So what did we do after 9/11? We invade ... and occupy an oil-rich Arab country, which was doing nothing to threaten us."

Clarke retired early in 2003 after 30 years in government service. He was among the longest-serving White House staffers, transferred in from the State Department in 1992 to deal with threats from terrorism and narcotics.

Clarke previously led the government's secretive Counterterrorism and Security Group, made up of senior officials from the FBI, CIA, Justice Department and armed services, who met several times each week to discuss foreign threats.
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Old 03-21-2004, 10:08 PM   #2
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the 60 minutes interview was VERY interesting. It back s what I read in Bob Woodwards Book and Gertz's book.

I would say that it is damning coming from someone who has served for SO long. Through four administrations.
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Old 03-21-2004, 11:56 PM   #3
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Looks like fluff to me. Clarke ignores the obvious threat Saddam posed to perhaps the most vital region on the planet. His job was terrorism since 1992 and it seems his view of threats to the United States and its interest are boxed in by that.

"Clarke also harshly criticizes Bush over his decision to invade Iraq, saying it helped brew a new wave of anti-American sentiment among supporters of Osama bin Laden."

Well, if someone already supports Bin Ladin then there already anti-American, so how it would it brew a new wave of Anti-American sentiment among supporters is beyond me.

Perhaps he meant it brought new supporters to Bin Ladin. But does he have any numbers to verify that claim?

He seems to focused clearly on one type of threat to the United States and seems to ignore the threats the USA faces from rogue states.

As far as what Bush did or did not do in the 7 months they had before 9/11, can he demonstrate that they were any worse than what the Clinton administration did in combating terrorism in any 7 month period over the 8 years Clinton was president?

Fact is, The Bush administration has now done more to combat and defeat terrorism worldwide than any country or leader in the history of the planet.

Lots of claims are made from unamed and named sources about who said what or did this and that behind closed doors. I treat books by Bob Woodward with a grain of salt. There may be somethings that are true, but there is probably a lot that is not as well.

I must say, its an interesting time for Clarke to becoming out with his accusations.
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Old 03-22-2004, 12:16 AM   #4
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When Woodwards writings are backed up by two other books....I tend to think he is on the money.

Just my opinion.

I will be buying the book tomorrow.
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Old 03-22-2004, 12:25 AM   #5
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When people like Colin Powell dispute Woodwards claims, I tend to think he is not on the money.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:04 AM   #6
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Originally posted by STING2
When people like Colin Powell dispute Woodwards claims, I tend to think he is not on the money.
You mean people who, in front of the Security Council of the UN, are saying that this small dot on a blurry photograph is a WMD? And then are unable to find it?

Sure...



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Old 03-22-2004, 07:25 AM   #7
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Originally posted by STING2
When people like Colin Powell dispute Woodwards claims, I tend to think he is not on the money.
I think Powell has lost all credibility in the last year or so.
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Old 03-22-2004, 07:36 AM   #8
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Originally posted by STING2
When people like Colin Powell dispute Woodwards claims, I tend to think he is not on the money.
All three are telling lies. Gertz is practically a Republican....Clarke was appointed by Reagan and has served through four presidents.LOL
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Old 03-22-2004, 12:11 PM   #9
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Originally posted by STING2
Well, if someone already supports Bin Ladin then there already anti-American, so how it would it brew a new wave of Anti-American sentiment among supporters is beyond me.
I think there might be a lot of grey area between being anti american and being willing to blow yourself up to murder a couple of thousand innocent citizens
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Old 03-22-2004, 12:34 PM   #10
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Popmartijn,

"You mean people who, in front of the Security Council of the UN, are saying that this small dot on a blurry photograph is a WMD? And then are unable to find it?"

"Sure..."

Do you have any intelligence which shows that Saddam had verifiably disarmed of all WMD?

Yes, lets give mass murder's the benefit of the doubt. That would be a wonderful approach to a new security strategy.


Dreadsox,

Clarke spent most of his time serving Clinton. His job was terrorism. We know what the Clinton administrations record over 8 years on terrorism was.

Clarke has said that the invasion of Iraq was "unprovoked". He seems to know very little about the situation with Iraq over the past 10 years. Then again, it was not his area of expertise either.


BonoVoxSupastar,

"I think Powell has lost all credibility in the last year or so."

For those that believe the world is not safer with Saddam in prison, that might be true.




What does Joe Lieberman have to say:



"Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said Sunday he doesn't believe Clarke's charge that the Bush administration - which defeated him and former Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 election - was focused more on Iraq than al-Qaida during the days after the terror attacks."

"I see no basis for it," Lieberman said on Fox News Sunday. "I think we've got to be careful to speak facts and not rhetoric."
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Old 03-22-2004, 12:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Popmartijn,

"You mean people who, in front of the Security Council of the UN, are saying that this small dot on a blurry photograph is a WMD? And then are unable to find it?"

"Sure..."

Do you have any intelligence which shows that Saddam had verifiably disarmed of all WMD?
Why is it that you always skirt this issue with these questions? Maybe they should have approached the UN and said no one has any evidence that Saddam has verifably disarmed therefore we have the right to go in, BUT THEY DIDN'T DO THIS! Instead they went in and said we have evidence that they do exist...and their evidence was a joke. You can argue your point until you're blue in the face, but that's not what this administraion did.





Quote:
Originally posted by STING2

BonoVoxSupastar,

"I think Powell has lost all credibility in the last year or so."

For those that believe the world is not safer with Saddam in prison, that might be true.
Once again has nothing to do with my point. No one's arguing that Saddam in prison is a bad thing. But it doesn't make Powell a credible person. His stunt at the UN, his backing every lie told to the American public by this admin, and his stating that he sees nothing wrong with the way innocent people at Gitmo were being treated is what made him lose credibilty in my eyes. Saddam has nothing to do with his credibility.

Personally I'm getting sick of your twisting of people's words in here. I'm getting tired of you implying somehow that people who didn't believe in the way this administration handled the war want Saddam free. Your implications have become so grossly abundant and obvious that now you aren't even waiting for the proper subject to come up. You could have at least waited till I brought up the war.
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Old 03-22-2004, 01:50 PM   #12
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BonoVoxSupastar





I am with you on Powell.



I have to compartmentalize my feelings / opinions of him.


Much like R. Nixion or B. Clinton there are aspects of their lives, intellects, and service to this country to be admired.


Then there are actions or behaviors that are huge disappointments to their legacies.


Powell biography makes him one to be admired, his service in Viet Nam, all his accomplishments are his own. There were doors that were not allowed to be closed to him because of affirmative action. He has said this and still supports affirmative action. Unlike Clarence Thomas who got the benefits but he does not openly acknowledge it.

Powell's early service in this Administration seemed to be one where stood his ground on principles. It seems to me that he told the Admin. he could use diplomacy to get a UN vote for action in Iraq. Then it appeared that this would not happen, after the president got on Prime Time T V and promised the American people and the World that there would be a vote in the UN. He said, something like "There will be a vote in the UN, We will let the chips fall where they will".

Oddly enough they withdrew the resolution. We now have learned that the US and UK was bugging the UN and embassies, they had the tally and Bush did not have the guts to let the chips fall.


Because of that I believe Powell loss face and clout. He has been carrying the water for Rumsfield, Wolferwitz, and the like ever since.


His credibility with world leaders and many from both sides in this country is now suspect.


This is a sad chapter in Powells life.
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Old 03-22-2004, 02:04 PM   #13
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"Why is it that you always skirt this issue with these questions? Maybe they should have approached the UN and said no one has any evidence that Saddam has verifably disarmed therefore we have the right to go in, BUT THEY DIDN'T DO THIS! Instead they went in and said we have evidence that they do exist...and their evidence was a joke. You can argue your point until you're blue in the face, but that's not what this administraion did."

The question is not skirting the issue, the question is the ISSUE! The administration did go before the UN and listed Iraq's failure to comply with 17 UN resolutions with the most important issues in them being Iraq's failure to verifiably disarm of all WMD. That has been front in center in the administrations case for military action the whole time.

Powell in his speach listed Iraq's failure to account for WMD stocks of thousands of liters of Anthrax, hundreds of pounds of Mustard Gas, thousands of Bio/Chem capable shells and other items as reported by United Nations Inspectors.

If you choose to ingnore these facts and cherry pick various statements from speeches in an attempt to construct a view that the president misled the nation or lied, oh well.

The fact that certain WMD has yet to be found is not evidence that intelligence about their existence was wrong. Saddam has yet to account for a large volume of WMD as required by the resolutions.

According to the UN resolutions, it was not incumbent upon any member state of the UN to prove that Saddam had WMD a or b. It was incumbent upon Saddam to prove that he did not have any WMD. Verifiable Disarmament was the requirement and Saddam failed to meet it.


"Once again has nothing to do with my point. No one's arguing that Saddam in prison is a bad thing. But it doesn't make Powell a credible person. His stunt at the UN, his backing every lie told to the American public by this admin, and his stating that he sees nothing wrong with the way innocent people at Gitmo were being treated is what made him lose credibilty in my eyes. Saddam has nothing to do with his credibility."

The Majority of Americans support the detention of terrorist in Gitmo and so do I. Powell gave an excellant speech at the UN based on the best intelligence from the United Nations inspectors and the CIA and other intelligence agency's around the world in regards to Saddam's WMD.

If you think Powell or any member of this administration has lied about something, please prove it. Your going to have to prove that someone knowingly knew something was false yet presented it as the truth.

The fact that intelligence about factory x or building b proved incorrect is not a lie, but the nature of intelligence. Every day in Iraq, the military deals with intelligence about people and locations that turn out not to be true. The same with every police force in every local community in the world. Thats the nature of intelligence.

Intelligence prior to the 1991 Gulf War showed that Saddam was over a decade away from having a Nuclear Weapon. Intelligence after the Gulf War revealed that he was as little as 6 months away from a Nuclear Weapon.

Because of the difficulty of covert and other types of intelligence of establishing the facts on the ground, Saddam was required to verifiably disarm through an extensive inspections process. Saddam did not do this though which is why military action to remove him became necessary.

In my opinion, Powell's credibility has never been better, and I'm sure the majority of the country feels the same way.


"Personally I'm getting sick of your twisting of people's words in here. I'm getting tired of you implying somehow that people who didn't believe in the way this administration handled the war want Saddam free. Your implications have become so grossly abundant and obvious that now you aren't even waiting for the proper subject to come up. You could have at least waited till I brought up the war."

There are people who believe that the world is no safer with Saddam in prison. Its not a stretch to say that a high percentage of them believe that Powell has lost all credibility.
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Old 03-22-2004, 02:30 PM   #14
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Deep,

"Powell's early service in this Administration seemed to be one where stood his ground on principles. It seems to me that he told the Admin. he could use diplomacy to get a UN vote for action in Iraq. Then it appeared that this would not happen, after the president got on Prime Time T V and promised the American people and the World that there would be a vote in the UN. He said, something like "There will be a vote in the UN, We will let the chips fall where they will"."

Powell did get a vote for military action in Iraq. It was resolution 1441 which was passed in November of 2002. The resolution itself was not required as member states already had the right to respond to Saddam's violations with military force through resolutions 678 and 687. Resolution 1441 was a way though to get more global support for the effort to disarm Saddam and in fact, give Saddam one last chance to come clean. Powell over and over mentioned the fact that resolution 1441 was Saddam's last chance to come clean.

1441 was approved by 15-0. In March there was talk of another resolution because certain countries wanted further endorsment of military action. Fact is, there were already 3 different resolutions that authorized military action, 678, 687 and 1441. The Bush administration flirted with the idea, but backed off of it because there was simply no need for a further resolution to authorize military action and the benefits politically for Allies would be minimal. There of course was a new movement by France to block passage. Russia was in fact against a new resolution. The vote never happened for a variety of reasons and people can argue forever about how the vote would have come down. Syria was not supposed to have voted for 1441, but they did at the last minute.

At the end of the day, there are 3 UN resolutions authorizing the use of military force against Iraq. There are now 3 UN resolutions authorizing the current occupation of Iraq.

There are no UN resolutions saying that the action was wrong or illegal like there was when Saddam invaded Kuwait. No one even attempted to pass such a resolution as a form of protest.

Even if one were to dispute the 3 resolutions authorizing military action, the 3 resolutions authorizing the current occupation throws that to the wind. If one really believes an action is illegal, than one could not approve the condition that action produces.

Powell has every reason to proud of his record with the Bush administration because he has successfully helped in defeating the Taliban/Al Quada in Afghanistan liberating 25 million people there and crushing a threat to US and Global security as well as finally ensuring the disarmament of Saddam who had invaded and attacked four different countries, used WMD's more times than any other leader in history, threatened global energy supplies and the global economy, and murdered 1.7 million people. Iraq has been liberated and has a wonderful opportunity for a democracy and a prosperous future. A prosperous democratic Iraq will enhance the stability and future of the entire Middle East.

The Bush administration has accomplished more in its 3 years in fighting terrorism and combating Saddam's Iraq than any other administration in history.

Powell was a key in all of this, and that indeed is something to be proud of.
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Old 03-22-2004, 02:39 PM   #15
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This is a sad chapter in Powells life.
I agree, this was the only guy I respected in this administration and now he's joined the likes of them.
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