January 2004 Archives

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Courtesy of Jesse from Pandagon. The comments are good as well.

Things just get worse for the Bush administation

Remaining faint suggestions of competence and expertise fight a one-sided battle with the truth.

First up, a Slate article (via Pandagon) suggests very strongly that Richard Clarke is telling the truth

If Clarke is spewing nonsense—if the president and his national security adviser really did consider al-Qaida an urgent matter—Tenet is the man to say so. It’s hard to imagine that the White House hasn’t tried to recruit him to do so. Yet so far he hasn’t.


If Powell has any disputes with this account—of his role, his position, the positions of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, or the conversations he and Armitage had with Clarke in January, April, or September 2001—he could have noted them in response to several of Lehrer’s questions during the NewsHour interview. Powell, too, didn’t bark.

In other, fairly widely-reported news, Condoleeza Rice was due, on September 11th, to give a speech focusing anti-terrorism policy on, er, missile defence. Not a word on Al Qaeda, or asymmetric threats, or the changing nature of terrorism; instead, a continued belief that terrorism was still a tool of states, rather than a decentralised, ideological franchise.

To counter charges that they ignored terrorist threats, the best defence they can come up with is that they were working on a plan. Whereas Clarke can tell you that, under Clinton, they stopped Al Qaeda from bombing Los Angeles International airport, and kept them out of Bosnia (now that would have been messy; one of the great successes of the Bosnian war is that the Bosnian muslims stayed moderate and pro-West).

They’re just incapable of admitting that they were ever wrong - which is unfortunate, as it’s increasingly apparent that there’s a lot of admitting to be done.