Clarke admits his proposals wouldn't have prevented 9/11

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Mar 31, 2004.

  1. From the Washington Times:

    Inside Politics

    By Greg Pierce

    Clarke's admission
    "If President Bush had followed every last letter of Richard Clarke's recommendations starting Inauguration Day, it still would not have prevented 9/11," the Wall Street Journal says.
    "How do we know this? Richard Clarke says so," the newspaper said in an editorial.
    "Here's how the disgruntled National Security Council adviser put it last week in an exchange with Slade Gorton, a member of the 9/11 Commission and former Washington senator:
    "Mr. Gorton: 'Assuming that the recommendations that you made on January 25 of 2001 ... including aid to the Northern Alliance, which had been an agenda item at this point for 2½ years without any action, assuming that there had been more Predator reconnaissance missions, assuming that that had all been adopted, say, on January 26, year 2001, is there the remotest chance that it would have prevented 9/11?
    "Mr. Clarke: 'No.'
    "Mr. Gorton: 'It just would have allowed our response after 9/11 to be perhaps a little bit faster?'
    "Mr. Clarke: 'Well, the response would have begun before 9/11.'
    "Mr. Gorton: 'But — yes, but we weren't going to — there was no recommendation on your part or anyone else's part that we declare war and attempt to invade Afghanistan prior to 9/11?'
    "Mr. Clarke: 'That's right.'
    "This startling exchange got almost no media attention last week. Mr. Clarke has rocketed to national fame over the past 10 days by alleging the Bush administration was negligently inattentive to the al Qaeda threat. He took it upon himself to 'apologize' on behalf of 'your government' to the families of 9/11 victims, as if there had been policy options on the table — perhaps offered by him — that might have prevented their deaths.
    "But when pressed on that point under oath, Mr. Clarke was forced to concede that the impression he'd created, the very reason anyone was paying any attention to him, was false. As long as Mr. Clarke is in the apology business, can we have one for wasting a week of the administration's precious antiterror time?"


    Let me see if I got this right? After nonstop media appearances and theatrical testimony, including his infamous "apology", Clarke admits that if Bush had immediately adopted every single one of his proposals, including ones that the Clinton administration never adopted, that it would not have stopped 9/11? Did I miss something or was that not the whole point of all his finger-pointing and attacks on Rice and Bush? And what was with the apology? Wasn't that intended to send a message that the administration bore responsibility for 9/11? Responsibility that he, Clarke, had tried manfully toget them to shoulder, only to be cast aside ungratefully by the confused black woman?

    So it turns out that 60 Minutes and Larry King were just part of a big infomercial for his book. That he was exactly what Mav and I said he was, a real POS trying to cash in on 9/11 and settle a few grudges along the way. That his real complaint had nothing to do with 9/11, but was over the POLICY choice of invading Iraq, something that was way "above his pay grade."
  2. I don't think that the general perception is that Clarke's advice would have promoted policy and operations that would have prevented 9/11, but that Bush was fixated on a Iraq role, perhaps due to his animosity to Hussein (a quite rational bias) and his top tier advisors and cabinets officials who had Hussein in thier sights.

    Clearly, the negligence over the Islamic threat was a matter deep within not only our government but our culture. There were a scarce few sounding the alarm on the potential of Al Queda and pan Islamic militants.

    Politicizing the the matter is ritual fault finding and finger pointing. Let's hope we can heal and respond and prevail, within and without.

    Did you read George Schultz' op-ed in the WSJ the other day?
  3. Clarke never ever said, that 9/11 could have been prevented. He made three different points:

    1. If the current administration did due diligence on terrorism prior to 9/11, there would have been a very small chance that 9/11 could have been prevented. But the administration did not do due diligence prior to 9/11...

    2. The administration was fixated on going into Iraq prior to 9/11

    3. Iraq war undermined the war on terror as opposed to being part of it.
  4. slamma,

    No I haven't seen the Schultz piece.
  5. But the whole tenor of his many appearances, particularly in apologizing to the families, was that the Bush administration was culpable in not preventing 9/11. Why apologize otherwise?

    I agree with you that a lot of what Clarke wrote and said focus on points 2 and 3 above. But he has no special expertise in those matters. His mandate was counter-terrorism, where it can only be concluded he was a colossal failure. He strongly implied on 60 Minutes that it was Condi Rice's fault for not implementing his directives, and that this failure led to 9/11. Now he admits that is total BS. We can debate invading Iraq all day, but that was not something he had any responsibility or input for, other than the ancillary question of how it affects terrorism. He can only speculate about that however, and others with equal credibility have come to the opposite conclusion.
  6. Very good article on the international state system and how the terrorists are a reaction and threat to it. Further, the states have to neutralize the threat.

    Try and read it. Just a few days ago.
  7. Found notes may show Bush plan on Clarke

    By Pamela Hess
    UPI Pentagon Ccorrespondent

    WASHINGTON, March 31 (UPI) -- The White House was worried about the damaging testimony of a former counter-terrorism chief to a commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks last week but was trying to let the issue die on its own, according to Pentagon briefing notes found at a Washington coffee shop.

    "Stay inside the lines. We don't need to puff this (up). We need (to) be careful as hell about it," the handwritten notes say. "This thing will go away soon and what will keep it alive will be one of us going over the line."

    The notes were written by Pentagon political appointee Eric Ruff who left them in a Starbucks coffee shop in Dupont Circle, not far from U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's home.

    The notes are genuine, a Pentagon official said. They were compiled for an early morning briefing for Rumsfeld before the Sunday morning talk shows, during which administration officials conducted a flurry of interviews to counter the testimony of Richard Clarke, President George W. Bush's former terrorism czar who left the post in 2003. Rumsfeld appeared on Fox and ABC.

    The Starbucks customer who found them gave them to the liberal advocacy group the Center for American Progress, which published them on its Web site Wednesday. Included in the notes was a hand-drawn map to Rumsfeld's house, which is largely blacked out on the Web site for security reasons.

    Clarke told the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks that the White House was obsessed with Iraq and ignored warning from him and others that al-Qaida was the real threat to the United States. Bush signed an order Sept. 17 directing the Pentagon to begin planning military options for an invasion of Iraq, the commission staff reported.

    The Starbucks notes, printed on paper titled "Eric's Telephone Log" with a notation indicating the points came from a conference call, counseled to "rise above Clark" and "emphasize importance of 9-11 commission and come back to what we have done."

    Since the notes were found, however, the White House has decided to allow national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify before the committee under oath. She will provide a direct answer to Clarke's account.

    Rice answered Clarke's allegations in media appearances last week but declined to provide sworn public testimony to the panel, saying it set a dangerous precedent for the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government.

    One of Clarke's most damaging allegations is that he crafted an anti-terrorism plan -- a National Security Presidential Directive -- to take on al-Qaida in January 2001. The NSPD was not approved until Sept. 4, and neither was it substantially changed in the intervening months, according to Clarke. He has challenged the White House to release both documents to allow for a side-by-side comparison.

    The notes address this matter, saying the plan to attack the Taliban existed before Sept. 4.

    "The NSPD wasn't signed till Sept. 4 but had an annex going back to July (with) contingency plans to attack Taliban," the notes say.

    That point is related to another in the notes. The briefing says commission member Jamie Gorelick, a former general counsel of the Defense Department under President Clinton, was pitting Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage against Rice. Under sworn testimony, Armitage contradicted Rice's claim the White House had a strategy before Sept. 11 that called for military operations against al-Qaida and the Taliban.
  8. His whole point is that the Administration was focused and obsessed with a regime change in Iraq, rather than al-Qaida.

    The President was repeatedly briefed on terrorsim and al-Qaida on a daily basis during 2001. In May of 2001, Bush asked for a "strategy" to be developed on al-Qaida. In September, by his own admission, Bush did not know where or what that "strategy" was.

    General Henry Shelton, Chairman of the Joint-Chiefs of Staff has already commented that terrorism was put on the "back-burner" by President Bush and that Iraq was the priority. Thus, it's not like Clarke is the only one that has this story . . .

    By the way, Clarke doesn't blame Rice.
    This is not a "He said, She said" kind of situation like the Press has been trying to make it out to be.

    Oh, and for all of the morons on ET who think that Clarke is just blaming the President for being asleep at the wheel and is doing this for his book and THE money . . . think again. All significant profits from his book ( or from any future movie for that matter ) will go to victims of 911, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
  9. #10     Apr 1, 2004