Monday, September 11, 2006
9/11 2006: Remembering 9//11/2001
"I blame the entire Bush leadership for continuing to work on Cold War issues when they back in power in 2001. It was as though they were preserved in amber from when they left office eight years earlier. They came back. They wanted to work on the same issues right away: Iraq, Star Wars. Not new issues, the new threats that had developed over the preceding eight years"
"And I said, 'Paul, there hasn't been any Iraqi terrorism against the United States in eight years!' And I turned to the deputy director of the CIA and said, 'Isn't that right?' and he said, 'Yeah, that's right. There is no Iraqi terrorism against the United States."
By June 2001, there still hadn't been a Cabinet-level meeting on terrorism, even though U.S. intelligence was picking up an unprecedented level of ominous chatter. The CIA director warned the White House, Clarke points out.
"George Tenet was saying to the White House, saying to the president -- because he briefed him every morning - a major al Qaeda attack is going to happen against the United States somewhere in the world in the weeks and months ahead. He said that in June, July, August.
Clarke finally got his meeting about al Qaeda in April, three months after his urgent request. But it wasn't with the president or cabinet. It was with the second-in-command in each relevant department. For the Pentagon, it was Paul Wolfowitz. Clarke relates, "I began saying, 'We have to deal with bin Laden; we have to deal with al Qaeda.'
Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, said, 'No, no, no. We don't have to deal with al Qaeda. Why are we talking about that little guy? We have to talk about Iraqi terrorism against the United States.'
Clarke went on to add, "There's absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda, ever." When the interviewer pointed out that some administration officials say it's still an open issue, Clarke responded, "Well, they'll say that until hell freezes over."Clarke says the last time the CIA had picked up a similar level of chatter was in December, 1999, when Clarke was the terrorism czar in the Clinton White House. Clarke says Mr. Clinton ordered his Cabinet to go to battle stations -- meaning, they went on high alert, holding meetings nearly every day. That, Clarke says, helped thwart a major attack on Los Angeles International Airport, when an al Qaeda operative was stopped at the border with Canada, driving a car full of explosives.
Clarke harshly criticizes President Bush for not going to battle stations when the CIA warned him of a comparable threat in the months before Sept. 11: "He never thought it was important enough for him to hold a meeting on the subject, or for him to order his National Security Adviser to hold a Cabinet-level meeting on the subject."
Bush never thought it was important enough?
Stupid is as stupid does, is it not?
(Media whore media story, here. More, here.)
Iraq War lies