Lee P Butler

* Richard Clarke And The 9-11 Commission Fiasco
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April 6, 2004

If John Kerry has been paying attention to the news in America lately, hed find the perfect candidate to be his running mate this election year. Richard Clarke is probably the only man in Washington to have changed his story more times than Kerry has. Its a match made in heaven!

These two have taken liberal spin to a new height. Just as John Kerry became the poster boy for double agents with his outrageous, 'I actually did vote for the 87 billion before I voted against it' statement, a new candidate, Richard Clarke, comes into the picture.

In 2002 Clarke said that by the spring of 2001 the Bush administration planned, "to increase CIA resourcesfor covert action, five-fold, to go after al Qaeda," and they were going to change the existing strategy, " from one of rollback with al Qaeda over the course [of] five years, which it had been, to a new strategy that called for the rapid elimination of al Qaeda." Yet now he claims in interviews, his book and even testified in front of the 9-11 commission that the Clinton administration had no higher priority than fighting terror, while the Bush administration was an abject failure.

Would the real Richard Clarke please step forward? He claims in his book that Donald Rumsfled looked distracted in a particular high-level meeting, yet Rumsfeld said, "I wasnt in the meeting." He must have been very distracted!

Clarke also claims when he briefed National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice on al Qaeda in early 2001, "her facial expression gave me the impression that she had never heard the term before." His unsubstantiated hyperbole has since been debunked with the discovery of an interview Dr. Rice gave on Detroit radio station WJR during the 2000 election where she warned: "You really have to get the intelligence agencies better organized to deal with the terrorist threat to the United States itself. One of the problems that we have is a kind of split responsibility, of course, between the CIA and foreign intelligence and the FBI and domestic intelligence." Referring emphatically to the destruction of our intelligence communities by the Clinton administration, then she added, "There needs to be better cooperation because we dont want to wake up one day and find out that Osama bin Laden has been successful on our own territory."

That would be the same Osama bin Laden that headed al Qaeda and was responsible for the attack on our marines in Yemen in 1992, the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, the bombing of a US military compound at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, the bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. Why didnt Bill Clinton or Richard Clarke, who was the terrorism czar during this time, think that any of these events were bad enough to take a more pro-active stance in the fight against terrorism?

Clarke claims he became frustrated with the Clinton administration because of their failure to act as they viewed the fight against terrorism to be a law enforcement issue. That is the very rationalization they used when advising President Clinton not to accept three different offers from the Sudanese to hand over Osama bin Laden. Even more scary than the tragedy that took place on 9-11 is the fact that this is the same policy to handle terrorism in the future thats endorsed by John Kerry!

Weeding through the pomposity and personal attacks on President Bush and Dr. Rice in Clarkes testimony before the 9-11 panel, you find several salient points directly related to helping bolster the future fight against terrorism. The CIA, which had been soundly criticized by Congress and the media during the 90s, has to take a more pro-active role in heading off terrorist attacks instead of the law enforcement method of letting the FBI lead the fight where they investigate after an incident takes place. Clarke pointed out there is an absolute need for more domestic surveillance in the US, i.e. the Patriot Act, to suppress terrorists and their ability to act in the US. He also defended taking action even with uncertain intelligence, especially when WMDs are brought into question. Sound familiar?

Cumulatively, all these things point to one thingpreemption. Which is the basic tenant of the Bush Doctrine, and is the only sure way to prevent terrorists from attacking us, stop them before they can attack. Clarke said, "One of the things I would hope comes out of your commission report is a change - a recommendation for a change in the attitude of government about threats; that we be able to act on threats that we foresee, even if acting requires boldness and requires money and requires changing the way we do business, that we act on threats in the future before they happen." Folks, that is preemption.

So what does John Kerry think about the threat of terrorism? In Greenville, SC he said, "I think there has been an exaggeration," and added that, "They [the Bush administration] are misleading all Americans in a profound way." Tell that to the Spanish and the British who just thwarted a terrorist attack.

Not to mention one of the most poignant events in defeating terrorism in global history has transpired with little promotion from the mainstream media and is directly attributable to George W. Bushs actions in the war on terror. Both the UN and the IAEA asserted that infamous terrorist Muammar AL Ghadafi had no WMDs, yet at the behest of America, using the example of Iraq, he opened Libya to inspectors who discovered that he not only had WMDs, but was on the verge of nuclear capability. That threat was extinguished by the decisive leadership of President Bush!

As for the 9-11 commission findings related directly to the possible prevention of the 9-11 tagedy, Clarke was asked, "assuming that [his proposals] had all been adopted, say on, January 26, year 2001, is there the remotest chance that it would have prevented 9-11?" Clarke's answer was chilling: "No."

But we can do something in the future, and President Bush is on the forefront of the battle. The terrorists know America is on their heels and they know as long as there is a President Bush, there won't be another Somalia.

Lee P Butler

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