911- Hearings

Discussion in 'Politics' started by waggie945, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. I am well aware that it is not traditional protocol for a member of the President's cabinet to testify publicly under oath, because the National Security Advisor, Condoleeza Rice is not confirmed by the Senate like Rumsfield and other high ranking administration members, but I do find her reluctance to testify publicly rather disappointing.

  2. jstanton


    George Bush bungled the defense of America, then lied to justify invading Iraq; now all America is hearing the truth.
    By Regis T. Sabol

    Although trouble has been brewing for the Bush regime since the beginning of the year as former Bush aides, government insiders, and even Congressional Republicans have debunked most of its policies and alleged achievements, the latest bombshell has struck with the force of a smart bomb exploding on one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces.

    Richard Clarke Steps Forward

    What has rocked the Bush White House are allegations by former National Security Council counter-terrorism coordinator Richard A. Clarke that the Bush team might have prevented the catastrophic terrorist attacks of 9/11 and, worse yet, that Bush and his warlords decided the day after 9/11 to use the attacks as an excuse to invade Iraq despite abundant evidence that Saddam had nothing to do with them.

    Clarke made the charges in his just released book, Against All Enemies, and in a 30-minute interview with Leslie Stahl of CBS’s revered news program Sixty Minutes. According to the Washington Post, 16 million viewers watched the interview as Clarke, who served for ten years as a top White House official in four administrations, revealed how little Bush and his advisors did to prevent an attack by Al Qaeda and how they immediately jumped on the attack as the excuse they were waiting for to go after Iraq. When one considers the demographics of the program’s viewers--over 30, aware of current events, and active voters, that spells serious trouble for the Bush campaign.

    Clarke didn’t mince words.

    “Frankly,” he told Stahl, “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 to stop 9/11. Maybe We’ll never know. I think he’s done a terrible job on the war against terrorism.”


    These revelations are particularly damaging because they undercut the only category in which the public approves of Bush’s performance, his alleged leadership in the war on terrorism. According to all recent polls, almost 70 percent of the American public believes Bush is doing a good job in the war on terror. By contrast, most Americans don’t like his economic policies, believe he’s in bed with big business, and are now even questioning his handling of the ongoing war in Iraq.

    Clarke, a registered Republican who former Clinton Administration aides described as a “hawk,” claimed Bush and his team jumped all over him to come up with evidence that Saddam Hussein was connected to the attacks. When Clarke pointed out that the CIA, FBI, and White House staffs had already thoroughly investigated any potential link between Saddam and Al Qaeda and found none, Bush told him for a third time and in no uncertain terms, “Look into Iraq, Saddam.”

    In a moment worthy of Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, Clark described when the day after 9/11 he “realized with almost a sharp physical pain that … Rumsfeld and [Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul] Wolfowitz were going to try to take advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda about Iraq.” Rumsfeld recommended that we bomb Iraq. When Clarke pointed out that Al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan and protected by the Taliban, Rumsfeld countered that there were no decent targets in Afghanistan “and that we should consider bombing Iraq.”

    Even more damaging is Clarke’s assessment of how little the Bush team did to counter the threat posed by Al Qaeda, despite ample warnings even before they took office. Clinton’s National Security Advisor Sandy Berger told Rice in no uncertain terms that the number one threat to the security of the nation was Al Qaeda. Clinton aides provided the incoming administration with reams of documentation about the seriousness of the threat Al Qaeda posed.

    Clarke, himself, asked for an urgent Cabinet-level meeting on Al Qaeda during Bush’s first week in office. Not only was he turned down, he was denied permission to brief Bush for nearly eight months. It was all Saddam all the time. According to Clark, Rice had never heard of Al Qaeda before. And she was the new National Security Advisor! During a meeting in April, Wolfowitz demanded to know “why we are beginning by talking about this one man, bin Laden.” Duh?

    When Clarke’s allegations became the big news story of the week, the White House went into denial before launching into its now familiar smear campaign against the wicked messenger. No sense going into the ugly details since all of the charges have been proved false by independent witnesses who support Clarke’s version of events.

    9/11 Commission Speaks

    Starting yesterday, things have gotten even more ugly for Bush & Co with top officials from both the Clinton and Bush administrations, and Richard Clarke himself, testifying in public before the independent panel investigating the war on terrorism and 9/11 in particular. They are laying out what the Bush Administration did do, what it did not do, and most important, what it should have done.

    Conspicuous in their absence will be key advisors to the president, particularly Rice, who has refused to testify. Bush, himself, grudgingly agreed to “talk with” the co-chairs of the investigation commission, but he, too, has refused to testify under oath.

    The obvious question arises: Why does Rice refuse to testify in public about what the administration knew about impending attacks by Al Qaeda and when the administration knew it? Moreover, why will she not reveal what the White House did in the immediate wake of the attacks? This is information the American public deserves to know.

    The White House’s defense for barring Rice’s testimony is “executive privilege” that might compromise national security. That’s the same excuse Dick Cheney is using for refusing to tell us for three years just who was on that energy policy committee he established. That case is now going before the Supreme Court, one of whose justices, Antonin Scalia, went on a duck hunting trip with Cheney a month ago but refuses to recuse himself from the case. Scalia’s response was, “Quack! Quack!” Profound words from an august member of the highest court in the land. Richard Nixon also used the claim of executive privilege to hide the high crimes and misdemeanor that toppled his presidency. So did Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush when Congress investigated the Iran-Contra scandal.

    Whether or not Rice testifies, the Bush regime is now damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t. Should Rice and others testify, the American public will find out just how badly they have bungled the war on terror and the bogus invasion of Iraq. If they continue to stonewall the commission, more and more Americans are going to want to know why.

    If they don’t get an answer, they’ll provide their own in November.
  3. jstanton


    High level Bush Administration officials appear before 9/11 Commission, why is Condoleezza Rice refusing? What is she hiding?
    By John Greeley

    For months now, Condoleezza Rice has negotiated fiercely over the details of her appearance before the commission investigating the tragedy of 9/11, formally called the Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States. She agreed to appear in private session but relied on Executive Privilege to avoid appearing in public. This is curious; if for no other reason than so many highly placed officials have agreed to do so. Even this afternoon’s appearance by the Secretary of Defense was informative, civil and a perfect demonstration of how investigative hearings should be run. The people deserve nothing less.

    It is possible that she is simply avoiding the public embarrassment certain questions are sure to bring her. For example, on May 16, 2002 our national security advisor said: “I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.” True, her expertise does lie elsewhere. While a professor of Political Science at Stanford she specialized in Eastern European studies and her first job at the White House was Director, and then Senior Director, of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council. Perhaps her focus was too narrow to include other areas of the world. But as national security advisor she at least ought to have widened her horizons and made herself more open to what else was going on in the world.

    For example, Kristen Breitweiser, one of four New Jersey widows of the 9/11 disaster who also lobbied Congress and the president to appoint this commission made this simple observation: “How is it possible we have a national security advisor coming out and saying we had no idea they could use planes as weapons when we had FBI records from 1991 stating that this is a possibility.”

    Ms. Rice has been the national security advisor to President Bush since January 2001. She is acutely aware of just how important her testimony is in this instance, and has been highly visible touting it on various television shows these days desperately and acerbically defending the Bush Administration’s actions, or the lack thereof. This is especially true in the light of the damning assertions made by Richard Clarke in his new book, “Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror.” Mr. Clark accuses Ms. Rice of being unaware, among other things, of the existence of al Qaeda when he first briefed her on the subject. This may, in point of fact, be true, but now is her chance to defend whatever she did know and how she acted based on it.

    Hiding behind executive privilege in times like these is not a good idea. The American people have a right to know why their elected representatives and those they appoint to protect and defend them do what they do. All her refusal to step out into the light of day to openly discuss her actions does is to create suspicions. And I think it is safe to say that those suspicions will translate into unfavorable votes against President Bush in the Fall.

    John Greeley is a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam, a graduate of St. John's University Law School and a contributing editor at Intervention. You can email your comments to John at john@interventionmag.com
  4. This guy Clarke is sounding stranger and stranger. First off, he "advised" the Clinton administration for 8 years, when Al Qaeda prospered even as they attacked US targets wherever they could find them. WTC I, Khobar Towers, Somalia, USS Cole. The sum total of our response? A few cruise missiles lobbed in the general direction of Afghanistan to distract the press from the unfolding Monica scandal. Yet Clarke claims improbably that fighting terrorism was Clinton's biggest priority. If so, one would have to judge that administration, and Clarke, a total failure.

    By contrast Bush invaded Afghanistan, routed Al Qaeda there, deposed the Taliban, threw thousands of terrorists in prison in Guantanamo Bay where they remain, removed the Saddam threat, and has managed to protect the US so well we have not had a single coordinated terror attack here. Are there still vulnerablilities? Of course, but we are far safer now.

    Clarke apparently briefed the media a couple of years ago and seemed to think the administration was doing A-OK in fighting terrorism. Perhaps he hadn't landed the book deal yet, or his buddy was not on the Kerry staff. Or maybe Condi Rice had not sidelined him yet.

    His resignation letter to Bush was effusive in praising Bush personally for his diligence in the fight against terrorism. Perhaps that can be explained by the fact that Paul O'Neiil's backstabbing book had not been published yet and Clarke didn't realize how much celebrity status a conservative turncoat gets.

    There is more. I just heard about some peculiar testimony he submitted to Congress, where he denied the need for a plan to fight terrorism. Just leave it all to him , I guess.

    The picture one gets is that of an embittered, somewhat unstable bureaucrat who finally has his 15 minutes. Too bad he had to sell his integrity to get it.
  5. You mean the guy, who's testifying to the whole world, under oath... Taking blame, appologizing for mistakes and failures....

    As opposed to... you know... Condi Rice, Cheney, Bush, who either refuse to testify, or refuse to provide sufficient time, or refuse to take the oath, or refuse to testify publicly or even in front of all members of the commission. Oh, yeah, they do not refuse to use 9/11 in their re-election campaign though.
  6. there was 1 event on us mainland during clinton and 1 during bush

    almost daily there are terrorist activities in Iraq - hell even Bush claims they are terrorist hits with perps from alqaeda/foreigners (of iraq) yet for some reason those dont count as terrorist hits against US targets when US soldiers are killed?

    so Bush - im guessing around a hundred terrorist incidents in Iraq
    Clinton - Khobar Towers, Somalia, USS Cole, some embassies in africa
  7. Turok


    >His resignation letter to Bush was effusive in
    >praising Bush personally for his diligence in the
    >fight against terrorism.

    Your above statement is VERY misleading and simply NOT TRUE.

    He was generous with his praise of how Bush responded on THE DAY OF 9/11 (and I agree) but other than a minor referrence to Bush's "intuitive understanding'' of the importance of cybersecurity, I challenge you to come up with any praise AT ALL in the letter for Bush's anti-terror positions or actions before or after that particular day.

    Prove me wrong AAA and I'll say just that.

  8. besides fleeing to an "undisclosed location" and reading a staff-prepared statement, what exactly was that "response"?
  9. they are way too busy doing important things, like fundraisers, duck hunting trips, censoring the media, and taking vacations at the ranch to waste their precious time explaining things to the proles.
  10. Turok


    His primary responsibilities on that day (IMO) were to balance the need for a public face to keep the nation calm and the need to remain distant and safe in the face of the many unknowns.

    I did not vote for the man, but I feel he was quite presidential and served the country well on that day.

    #10     Mar 24, 2004