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FORD
03-22-2004, 12:42 PM
NEWSWEEK: In the Months Before 9/11, Justice Department Curtailed Highly Classified Program to Monitor Al Qaeda Suspects in the U.S.
Sunday March 21, 10:51 am ET
'They Came in There With Their Agenda and [Al Qaeda] was not on it,' Says Former Counterterrorism Chief Clarke of Bush Administration

# NEW YORK, March 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Newsweek has learned that in the months before 9/11, the U.S. Justice Department curtailed a highly classified program called "Catcher's Mitt" to monitor Al Qaeda suspects in the United States, after a federal judge severely chastised the FBI for improperly seeking permission to wiretap terrorists. During the Bush administration's first few months in office, Attorney General John Ashcroft downgraded terrorism as a priority, choosing to place more emphasis on drug trafficking and gun violence, report Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff and Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas in the March 29 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, March 22).

Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism chief of the national-security staff, tells Newsweek that at an April 2001 top-level meeting to discuss terrorism, his effort to focus on Al Qaeda was rebuffed by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. According to Clarke, Wolfowitz said, "Who cares about a little terrorist in Afghanistan?" The real threat, Wolfowitz insisted, was state-sponsored terrorism orchestrated by Saddam Hussein.

In the meeting, says Clarke, Wolfowitz cited the writings of Laurie Mylroie, a controversial academic who had written a book advancing an elaborate conspiracy theory that Saddam was behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Clarke says he tried to refute Wolfowitz. "We've investigated that five ways to Friday, and nobody believes that," Clarke recalls saying. "It was Al Qaeda. It wasn't Saddam." A spokesman for Wolfowitz describes Clarke's account as a "fabrication." Wolfowitz always regarded Al Qaeda as "a major threat," says this official.

[i]yeah right... funny how Al Qaeda is never mentioned in the PNAC manifesto, but the invasion of Iraq certainly is! :mad:

Clarke tells Newsweek that the day after 9/11, President Bush wanted the FBI and CIA to hunt for any evidence that pointed to Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein. Clarke recalls that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was also looking for a justification to bomb Iraq. Soon after the 9/11 attacks, Rumsfeld was arguing at a cabinet meeting that Afghanistan, home of Osama bin Laden's terrorist camps, did not offer "enough good targets." "We should do Iraq," Rumsfeld urged.

Six days after the president's request, Clarke says, he turned in a classified memo concluding that there was no evidence of Iraqi complicity in 9/11-nor any relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda. The memo, says Clarke, was buried by an administration that was determined to get Iraq, sooner or later. In his new book, "Against All Enemies," Clarke portrays the Bush White House as indifferent to the Qaeda threat before 9/11, then obsessed with punishing Iraq, regardless of the what the evidence showed about Saddam's Qaeda ties, or lack of them.

The Bush administration is already pushing back. A White House official tells Newsweek that Bush has "no specific recollection" of the post 9/11 conversation described by Clarke, and that records show the president was not in the Situation Room at the time Clarke recalls. "His book might be called 'If Only They Had Listened to Dick Clarke,'" says an administration official.

As soon as Clarke's charges began appearing in print, Sen. John Kerry, the Democrats' presumptive nominee, put them on his campaign Web site. But for Kerry and the Democrats, the catch is that President Bill Clinton did no better to tame the terrorist threat during his last years in office. As Washington Post managing editor Steve Coll recently showed in his new book "Ghost Wars," those in the national-security bureaucracy under Clinton spent more time wringing their hands and squabbling with each other than going after Osama bin Laden.

Clarke was the White House counterterror chief during the late '90s and through 9/11. A career civil servant, Clarke was known for pounding the table to urge his counterparts at the CIA, FBI and Pentagon to do more about Al Qaeda. But he did not have much luck, in part because in both the Clinton and early Bush administrations, the top leadership did not back up Clarke and demand results.

In his new book, Clarke recounts how on Jan. 24, 2001, he recommended that the new president's national-security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, convene the president's top advisers to discuss the Qaeda threat. One week later, Bush did. But according to Clarke, the meeting had nothing to do with bin Laden. The topic was how to get rid of Saddam Hussein. "What does that tell you?" Clarke remarked to Newsweek. "They thought there was something more urgent. It was Iraq. They came in there with their agenda, and [Al Qaeda] was not on it."

Cathedral
03-22-2004, 12:46 PM
Need More Input before i can agree with that word "Official"...

This an interesting bit of info though if your not looking through wool eyeglasses.
Just gave me some stuff to think about while i finish my rounds....

FORD
03-22-2004, 12:49 PM
Did Bush Press For Iraq-9/11 Link?

March 21, 2004



War Of Words Over Al Qaeda

"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." - Richard Clarke


(CBS) In the aftermath of Sept. 11, President Bush ordered his then top anti-terrorism adviser to look for a link between Iraq and the attacks, despite being told there didn't seem to be one.

The charge comes from the adviser, Richard Clarke, in an exclusive interview on 60 Minutes.

The administration maintains that it cannot find any evidence that the conversation about an Iraq-9/11 tie-in ever took place.

Clarke also tells CBS News Correspondent Lesley Stahl that White House officials were tepid in their response when he urged them months before Sept. 11 to meet to discuss what he saw as a severe threat from al Qaeda.

"Frankly," he said, "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."

Clarke went on to say, "I think he's done a terrible job on the war against terrorism."

The No. 2 man on the president's National Security Council, Stephen Hadley, vehemently disagrees. He says Mr. Bush has taken the fight to the terrorists, and is making the U.S. homeland safer. Clarke says that as early as the day after the attacks, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was pushing for retaliatory strikes on Iraq, even though al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan.

Clarke suggests the idea took him so aback, he initally thought Rumsfeld was joking.

Clarke is due to testify this week before the special panel probing whether the attacks were preventable.

His allegations are also made in a book, "Against All Enemies," which is being published Monday by Free Press, a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster. Both CBSNews.com and Simon & Schuster are units of Viacom.

Clarke helped shape U.S. policy on terrorism under President Reagan and the first President Bush. He was held over by President Clinton to be his terrorism czar, then held over again by the current President Bush.

In the 60 Minutes interview and the book, Clarke tells what happened behind the scenes at the White House before, during and after Sept. 11.

When the terrorists struck, it was thought the White House would be the next target, so it was evacuated. Clarke was one of only a handful of people who stayed behind. He ran the government's response to the attacks from the Situation Room in the West Wing.

"I kept thinking of the words from 'Apocalypse Now,' the whispered words of Marlon Brando, when he thought about Vietnam. 'The horror. The horror.' Because we knew what was going on in New York. We knew about the bodies flying out of the windows. People falling through the air. We knew that Osama bin Laden had succeeded in bringing horror to the streets of America," he tells Stahl. After the president returned to the White House on Sept. 11, he and his top advisers, including Clarke, began holding meetings about how to respond and retaliate. As Clarke writes in his book, he expected the administration to focus its military response on Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. He says he was surprised that the talk quickly turned to Iraq.

"Rumsfeld was saying that we needed to bomb Iraq," Clarke said to Stahl. "And we all said ... no, no. Al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan. We need to bomb Afghanistan. And Rumsfeld said there aren't any good targets in Afghanistan. And there are lots of good targets in Iraq. I said, 'Well, there are lots of good targets in lots of places, but Iraq had nothing to do with it.

"Initially, I thought when he said, 'There aren't enough targets in-- in Afghanistan,' I thought he was joking.

"I think they wanted to believe that there was a connection, but the CIA was sitting there, the FBI was sitting there, I was sitting there saying we've looked at this issue for years. For years we've looked and there's just no connection."

Clarke says he and CIA Director George Tenet told that to Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Clarke then tells Stahl of being pressured by Mr. Bush.

"The president dragged me into a room with a couple of other people, shut the door, and said, 'I want you to find whether Iraq did this.' Now he never said, 'Make it up.' But the entire conversation left me in absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me to come back with a report that said Iraq did this.

"I said, 'Mr. President. We've done this before. We have been looking at this. We looked at it with an open mind. There's no connection.'

"He came back at me and said, "Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there's a connection.' And in a very intimidating way. I mean that we should come back with that answer. We wrote a report."

Clarke continued, "It was a serious look. We got together all the FBI experts, all the CIA experts. We wrote the report. We sent the report out to CIA and found FBI and said, 'Will you sign this report?' They all cleared the report. And we sent it up to the president and it got bounced by the National Security Advisor or Deputy. It got bounced and sent back saying, 'Wrong answer. ... Do it again.'

"I have no idea, to this day, if the president saw it, because after we did it again, it came to the same conclusion. And frankly, I don't think the people around the president show him memos like that. I don't think he sees memos that he doesn't-- wouldn't like the answer." Clarke was the president's chief adviser on terrorism, yet it wasn't until Sept. 11 that he ever got to brief Mr. Bush on the subject. Clarke says that prior to Sept. 11, the administration didn't take the threat seriously.

"We had a terrorist organization that was going after us! Al Qaeda. That should have been the first item on the agenda. And it was pushed back and back and back for months.

"There's a lot of blame to go around, and I probably deserve some blame, too. But on January 24th, 2001, I wrote a memo to Condoleezza Rice asking for, urgently -- underlined urgently -- a Cabinet-level meeting to deal with the impending al Qaeda attack. And that urgent memo-- wasn't acted on.

"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."

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.'

"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."

Clarke went on to add, "There's absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda, ever."

When Stahl pointed out that some administration officials say it's still an open issue, Clarke responded, "Well, they'll say that until hell freezes over." 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 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."

Finally, says Clarke, "The cabinet meeting I asked for right after the inauguration took place-- one week prior to 9/11."

In that meeting, Clarke proposed a plan to bomb al Qaeda's sanctuary in Afghanistan, and to kill bin Laden. The president's new campaign ads highlight his handling of Sept. 11 -- which has become the centerpiece of his bid for re-election.

Does a person who works for the White House owe the president his loyalty? "Yes ... Up to a point. When the president starts doing things that risk American lives, then loyalty to him has to be put aside," says Clarke. "I think the way he has responded to al Qaeda, both before 9/11 by doing nothing, and by what he's done after 9/11 has made us less safe. Absolutely."

Hadley staunchly defended the president to Stahl: "The president heard those warnings. The president met daily with ... George Tenet and his staff. They kept him fully informed and at one point the president became somewhat impatient with us and said, 'I'm tired of swatting flies. Where's my new strategy to eliminate al Qaeda?'"

Hadley says that, contrary to Clarke's assertion, Mr. Bush didn't ignore the ominous intelligence chatter in the summer of 2001.

"All the chatter was of an attack, a potential al Qaeda attack overseas. But interestingly enough, the president got concerned about whether there was the possibility of an attack on the homeland. He asked the intelligence community: 'Look hard. See if we're missing something about a threat to the homeland.'

"And at that point various alerts went out from the Federal Aviation Administration to the FBI saying the intelligence suggests a threat overseas. We don't want to be caught unprepared. We don't want to rule out the possibility of a threat to the homeland. And therefore preparatory steps need to be made. So the president put us on battle stations."

Hadley asserts Clarke is "just wrong" in saying the administration didn't go to battle stations.

As for the alleged pressure from Mr. Bush to find an Iraq-9/11 link, Hadley says, "We cannot find evidence that this conversation between Mr. Clarke and the president ever occurred."

When told by Stahl that 60 Minutes has two sources who tell us independently of Clarke that the encounter happened, including "an actual witness," Hadley responded, "Look, I stand on what I said."

Hadley maintained, "Iraq, as the president has said, is at the center of the war on terror. We have narrowed the ground available to al Qaeda and to the terrorists. Their sanctuary in Afghanistan is gone; their sanctuary in Iraq is gone. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are now allies on the war on terror. So Iraq has contributed in that way in narrowing the sanctuaries available to terrorists."Does Clarke think that Iraq, the Middle East and the world is better off with Saddam Hussein out of power?

"I think the world would be better off if a number of leaders around the world were out of power. The question is what price should the United States pay," says Clarke. "The price we paid was very, very high, and we're still paying that price for doing it."

"Osama bin Laden had been saying for years, 'America wants to invade an Arab country and occupy it, an oil-rich Arab country. He had been saying this. This is part of his propaganda. So what did we do after 9/11? ... We stepped right into bin Laden's propaganda," adds Clarke. "And the result of that is that al Qaeda and organizations like it, offshoots of it, second-generation al Qaeda have been greatly strengthened."

When Clarke worked for Mr. Clinton, he was known as the terrorism czar. When Mr. Bush came into office, though remaining at the White House, Clarke was stripped of his Cabinet-level rank.

Stahl said to Clarke, "They demoted you. Aren't you open to charges that this is all sour grapes, because they demoted you and reduced your leverage, your power in the White House?"

Clarke's answer: "Frankly, if I had been so upset that the National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism had been downgraded from a Cabinet level position to a staff level position, if that had bothered me enough, I would have quit. I didn't quit."

Until two years later, after 30 years in government service.

A senior White House official told 60 Minutes he thinks the Clarke book is an audition for a job in the Kerry campaign.

"I'm an independent. I'm not working for the Kerry campaign," says Clarke. "I have worked for Ronald Reagan. I have worked for George Bush the first, I have worked for George Bush the second. I'm not participating in this campaign, but I am putting facts out that I think people ought to know."

60 Minutes received a note from the Pentagon saying: "Any suggestion that the president did anything other than act aggressively, quickly and effectively to address the al Qaeda and Taliban threat in Afghanistan is absurd."


© MMIV, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

BigBadBrian
03-22-2004, 01:11 PM
Non-issue.

FORD
03-22-2004, 01:19 PM
Non-issue??

I don't fucking think so!

Not when you have the PNAC manifesto openly calling for "another Pearl Harbor" as justification for implementing their agenda of global fascism, the first item on that agenda being THE INVASION OF IRAQ.

And let's not forget that Clarke is going under oath before the 9-11 commission this week. Not that I have much faith in the commission itself, but this is not going away.

Sarge
03-22-2004, 02:11 PM
this just completely angers me

lucky wilbury
03-22-2004, 02:12 PM
you relize no one takes you seriously any more ford. your rants contradict each other and to say you don't get facts straight is an understatement. here you are bitching and moaning about an tracking plan yet for YEARS now you've complained about the patriot act and any similiar programs that happen post 9-11. lets not forget your complaining about Richard Clarke over the past few months and years when he put the blame on clinton. and as far as the iraq link one would want any responsable leasder to look into all the suspects and iraq was always at the top of the list for anything.

lucky wilbury
03-22-2004, 02:26 PM
i forgot to add your right ford the 9-11 commision will be interesting. it'll be interesting to find out from the clinotnistas why they turned down offers for obl all throughout the 90's. it'll be interesting to hear why the clinton ins didn't kick out the highjackers after their visas expired. it'll be interesting to see how the clintonista react when democrat bob kerry demands an answer why they treated terrorism as a law enforcement issuse. etc etc etc

lucky wilbury
03-22-2004, 02:33 PM
one last thing: the idea of going after iraq ever on the table was put to rest by Hugh Shelton

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/01/13/oneill.bush/index.html

Retired Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he saw nothing to indicate the United States was close to attacking Iraq early in Bush's term.

Shelton, who retired shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, said the brass reviewed "on the shelf" plans to respond to crises with the incoming Bush administration.

But in the administration's first six months, "I saw nothing that would lead me to believe that we were any closer to attacking Iraq than we had been during the previous administration," Shelton told CNN.

FORD
03-22-2004, 02:39 PM
Is that the best you can do, or has the official Langley spin not been constructed yet?

lucky wilbury
03-22-2004, 02:45 PM
http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2003/09/01/20030901_152003_flash3.htm

BOOK: FAILURES LED TO BIN LADEN'S RISE TO POWER
Sun Aug 31 2003 17:46:00 ET

**Exclusive**

President Bill Clinton had the opportunity to stop, catch, or kill bin Laden more than twelve times during his presidency, a new book set for release this week claims.

And on at least two occasions through Drones and Global Positioning Systems the Clinton Administration knew exactly where bin Laden was -- and refused to take him out well after knowing he was as a national security threat.

MORE

Former WALL STREET JOURNAL editorial writer Richard Miniter and REGNERY Publishing are set for lift-off on LOSING BIN LADEN [ranked #52,682 on Amazon's hit parade Sunday evening].

A Novak column on the book is set for Monday, and the WASHINGTON TIMES will serialize later in the week, according to sources, but only the DRUDGE REPORT can present an exclusive first look:

LOSING alleges and details:

* Osama bin Ladenís rise to power and the September 11 attacks were due to the inactions and failures of former President Bill Clinton and key members of his administration who followed a law enforcement approach to fighting global terrorism as opposed to engaging a war on terrorism on national security grounds.

* How each failure by Clinton to retaliate made bin Laden look invincible in the Arab world, allowing bin Laden to attract new recruits and money.

* The 1993 World Trade Center attack --- documents how Clinton refused to believe it was a terrorist attack and viewed the bombing as an FBI investigation therefore blocking the CIA from entering the investigation on matters of national security.

* Drawn from secret Sudanese intelligence files, the full story of bin Laden's role in shooting down America's Black Hawk helicopters in Mogadishu, Somalia. This is the story that "Black Hawk Down" missed.

* President Clinton and a Democratic Senator Dennis DeConcini prevented the CIA from hiring Arabic translators-while bin Laden and Arabic-speaking terrorists killed Americans across the Near East.

* The story of Saudi Arabia's attempt to assassinate bin Laden in 1994.

* One of the FBI's most-trusted informants, Ali Mohammed, an Egyptian soldier, was given a military security clearance but was actually a double agent working for bin Laden.

* How the Administration engaged a policy to get Bin Laden removed from the Sudan back to Pakistan and Afghanistan only to get him closer to training camps and his recruits making him even more dangerous and embolden future terrorist acts.

* How Assistant Secretary of State for East Africa Affairs Susan Rice blocked opportunities to work with the Sudanese government looking to turn over bin Laden to the United States.

* Documents numerous Sudanese attempts to work with the United States to capture bin Laden only to be rejected by the US State Department.

* How the Monica Lewinsky and fundraising scandals, as well as a consuming desire to be re-elected, prevented Clinton from waging a war on terror and bin Laden and prevent 9/11.

* For more than two years Miniter interviewed soldiers, diplomats and intelligence operatives in Middle East, Africa, and Europe but found his best sources were, to his surprise, top level Clinton administration officials including former National Security Advisor Tony Lake, former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Clintonís counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke, and former Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey.

Developing...


-----------------

this guy was singing a different tune before

FORD
03-22-2004, 02:51 PM
Clinton's "failures" in this area can be traced to one thing: Hostility toward him from a CIA still loyal to the BCE who founded them in the first place.

When you send in airstrikes to take out Bin Laden and miss him by a matter of minutes, that's the fault of the intelligence.

lucky wilbury
03-22-2004, 02:55 PM
actually it was a few hours. hours that were spent asking permission from pakistan. the best thing that should have been done was fire them and when they said wtf was that you could just call it a ufo. odd thing about that whole incident was clinton bombed the same camp that the first wtc attack plan was hatached. odd isn't it? still its odd that here you have the guy changing his story right when his book comes out. i suspect you'll see him working for kerry in the next few months.

Seshmeister
03-22-2004, 03:03 PM
So the line is Clinton was just as useless?

Non-issue??

Jesus you would be as well living in a totalitarian state if you don't mind this.

Clarke is a Republican who was at the centre of the decision making process and you're all still shouting "NANANA I'm not listening" with your hands over your ears...:)

I hope you guys aren't representative of the US electorate.

Bush should resign.

Cheers!

:gulp:

lucky wilbury
03-22-2004, 03:57 PM
he wasent a republican. plus he's changed his story so many times its not funny.

FORD
03-22-2004, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by lucky wilbury
he wasent a republican. plus he's changed his story so many times its not funny.

He wasn't a Republican? Well, he had no problem working for Reagan or Poppy, so he obviously wasn't a liberal.

John Ashcroft
03-22-2004, 04:41 PM
Uh fellas, this clown is a Clinton left-over hack who was demoted (to network security) as soon as the current administration took office. He's got an axe to grind, and he's at it. In fact, the VEEP just discredited this clown on Limbaugh this morning.

Here's the interveiw:

RUSH LIMBAUGH: We are always happy to be able to talk to Vice President Dick Cheney who joins us now on the phone. Vice President Cheney, thank you for making time. It's great to have you with us once again.

VICE PRESIDENT RICHARD B. CHENEY: Well, thanks, Rush, good to talk to you.

RUSH: All right, let's get straight to what the news is all about now before we branch out to things. Why did the administration keep Richard Clarke on the counterterrorism team when you all assumed office in January of 2001?

CHENEY: Well, I wasn't directly involved in that decision. He was moved out of the counterterrorism business over to the cybersecurity side of things. That is, he was given the new assignment at some point there. I don't recall the exact time frame.

RUSH: Cybersecurity? Meaning Internet security?

CHENEY: Yeah, worried about attacks on computer systems and, you know, sophisticated information technology systems we have these days and that an adversary would use or try --

RUSH: Well, now, that explains a lot, that answer right there.

CHENEY: Well, he wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff, and I saw part of his interview last night, and --

RUSH: He was demoted.

CHENEY: It was still -- he clearly missed a lot of what was going on. For example, just three weeks after the -- after we got here, there was communication, for example with the president of Pakistan laying out our concerns about Afghanistan and al-Qaeda and the importance of the -- going after the Taliban and getting them to end their support for the al-Qaeda. This is say within three weeks of our arrival here. So the only thing I can say about Dick Clarke is he was here throughout those eight years going back to 1993, and the first attack on the World Trade Center in '98 when the embassies were hit in east Africa, in 2000 when the USS Cole was hit, and the question that out to be asked is, what were they doing in those days when they -- when he was in charge of counterterrorism efforts?

RUSH: Well, you know, the media finally has what it wants, I'm talking the partisan media has what it wants, it's got an independent contractor, man who's worked for both administrations now launching full barrels at the president, and one of the claims that -- that Clark is making is that -- and you just countered it, he said the president didn't treat al-Qaeda as a serious threat before September 11th, keeps harping on the fact that even before your administration assumed office you guys wanted to go in and level Iraq.

CHENEY: Yeah, that's just not the case. The fact is what the president did not want to do is to have an ineffective response with respect to al-Qaeda and we felt up to '90 that much of what had been done vis-ŗ-vis al-Qaeda had been totally ineffective, some cruise missiles fired at some training camps in Afghanistan, basically didn't hit anything, and it made the U.S. look weak and ineffective and he wanted a far more effective policy for trying to deal with that, and that process was in motion throughout the spring.

RUSH: Why -- why do you think -- and he's not the first, Clarke is not the first -- why do you think so many opponents of the president, what do they hope to achieve by continually attacking Condoleezza Rice?

CHENEY: Well, I think Condie is well able to defend herself, she's done a superb job for us and extremely knowledgeable --

RUSH: Well I guess --

CHENEY: -- supervisor. I've worked with a lot of them over the years. I suppose he may have a grudge to bear there since he probably wanted a more prominent position than she was prepared to give him.

RUSH: I guess what I'm getting at is whenever it comes to the counterterrorism efforts, foreign policy in general, it seems that elements of the Democratic Party today and their allies attack Condoleezza Rice, which is a matter of real curiosity to me, and of course she can defend herself, as she did today in the Washington Post, but it's just part of the -- what to me appears now to be an obvious attack machine at full throttle. You have this book coming out while John Kerry is on vacation, so he doesn't have to say this stuff.

The author of this book is associated with Kerry's foreign policy advisor up at the Kennedy school. You've got a Bob Woodward book that's coming in a few weeks from the same publisher. Despite all of these attacks -- actually I think Mr. Vice President if you'll permit me an editorial comment here, you have the Clinton administration if they defended the country as eagerly and with as much fervor as they are attempting to defend themselves in all this, we might have -- I don't expect you to comment, I just -- we might have escaped some of the attacks that we've had. But with this frontal assault, the president's poll numbers remain up, the administration remains focused, they haven't taken you off your game. What effect, both in a governing cense in a political sense, is this full frontal assault having on all of you in the White House?

CHENEY: Well, we've got to get on to other business. There's plenty work to be done. The terrorist threat is very real. It continues out there every day. The president and I and Condie Rice, Andy Card, begin our day six days a week meeting with the director of the CIA and the director of the FBI and reviewing intelligence and working these problems, and you've got to be able to continue to do that even if there is a campaign underway out there.

And I think we've done that fairly well. We can't let our guard down, we've got to remain vigilant, we've still got major issues, obviously, in the sense that terrorists have launched many attacks around the world since 9/11 in places like Madrid most recently, but Casablanca, Riyadh, Bali, Jakarta, Mombassa, it's a worldwide problem and it's got to be dealt with I think very aggressive just the way the president's dealt with it.

RUSH: Do you believe that this policy of dealing with them aggressively has led to more terrorism?

CHENEY: I don't. The fact of the matter is I think we're operating obviously with a very different policy, tending to treat these matters primarily as law enforcement problems prior to 9/11, that in no way slowed down the terrorists. They still launched against us on 9/11 and killed some 3,000 of our people that morning.

This has less to do with what we do than it does with what we stand for. I think the extremists out there in al-Qaeda are bound and determined to do everything we can to try to change U.S. policy and to kill Americans including innocent civilians, men, women, and children, and the only way to deal with the threat, because you can't negotiate with them, there's no treaty at the end of the day here, you can't deter them, there's nothing they want to defend, the only way to deal with it is to destroy the terrorists before they can launch further attacks against it United States, and that's what we're about.

RUSH: Mr. Clarke, to get back to him for a moment, is saying actually if we would just take some more time and talk to these people, understand why they hate us, we might be able to forge some kind of peace with them.

CHENEY: I think that's totally unrealistic. You know, I fundamentally agree with his assessment both of recent history, but also in terms of how to deal with the problem. As I say, he was head of counterterrorism for several years there in the nineties, and I didn't notice that they had any great success dealing with the terrorist threat. I think what we've done since going into Afghanistan, taking down the Taliban, closing the camps, killing al-Qaeda, wrapping up a certain percentage of the total leadership of al-Qaeda, that's an effective policy.

RUSH: Now, what would you say to people, though, who maybe casual or a bit more than casually interested in this because it does appear to the average observer watching the news that terrorist attacks are up around the world and yet the administration keeps claiming success in the fight against conveyed as evidenced by more of them dead, more of their leaders imprisoned, al-Qaeda on the run. How are you defining this success against them?

CHENEY: Well, we've been defining it in terms of specifically al-Qaeda, in terms of our ability to -- to wrap up major parts of the organization to prevent further attacks against the obviously United States. I think all of that -- all of those are hallmarks of success. You've also got to measure it in terms of the fact that we're changing circumstances on the ground in key parts of the world, both in Afghanistan and Iraq. Afghanistan was basically a failed state, then with the Taliban in charge, it provided sanctuary, a home base, if you will, for al-Qaeda to launch attacks not only against us, but wherever they chose. Afghanistan can no longer be used for that purpose because of what our forces did there.

In Iraq, similar proposition, that we were concerned not only about the fact that Saddam had hosted terrorists in the past, he'd stimulated and encouraged them by providing financial rewards for suicide bombers who hit Israel, as well as his past involvement with weapons of mass destruction and all of that put us in a position where we think now with a process begun both in Afghanistan and Iraq, where we're standing up new governments, we've got constitutions written where we're going to have governments put in place here hopefully in the not-too-distant future, where those areas will no longer be threats to the United States or anybody else. In fact they'll be able to serve we hope as models for responsible states in that part of the world.

RUSH: Mr. Vice President, one quick one before we go to the break. The Clinton administration officials who are now on television again attempting to defend themselves in all of this hubbub are trying to create the impression that this whole al-Qaeda and modern-era terrorist problem began on January 22nd of 2001. What exactly was it you inherited?

CHENEY: Well, I go back to the first attack on the World Trade Center in '93, when the man named Ramzi Yousef, together with others, tried to bomb the World Trade Center then. Remember, they took a truckload of explosives and set it off in the parking garage underneath the World Trade Center and didn't do what they hoped it would do, he eventually was captured, he's now doing 240 years in the federal pen. But what we now know I think looking back at that, nobody realized that at the time, looking back at that was that was perhaps the first al-Qaeda attack on the U.S. homeland. Ramzi Yousef turned out to be Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's nephew. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is the guy who came up with the idea of using airliners to strike the World Trade Center in about 1996, we believe, when he first suggested, and who later supervised the attacks of 9/11.

RUSH: You mean that idea didn't come in February of 2001, the terrorists had that idea in 1996?

CHENEY: No, there's some evidence that he first briefed Osama bin Laden on that in 1996.

RUSH: Richard Clarke aware of that by any chance?

CHENEY: I have no idea.

RUSH: We'll take a break and be back in just a second. Vice president Dick Cheney is with us for the remainder of the half hour. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK 1:20 PM EST)


RUSH: Welcome back, Rush Limbaugh, it's the EIB Network. We continue our conversation with the vice president, Dick Cheney. Mr. Cheney, let's go to the campaign. Last week, after your appearance in Simi Valley at the Reagan Library, the New York Times and other media outlets the next day immediately posted stories decrying all of the new negativity and partisanship in the campaign. After your appearance, no mention of what the Democrats have assaulted this administration with for three years, it was your appearance and things like it. Now, I realize that this is part of the game but how does this affect you and your strategy as you go forward toward the election?

CHENEY: Well, we've got a -- obviously very important election, Russia the most importantly presidential election in many years because of the issues that are going to be decided here, especially with respect to how we defend the country in this war on terror and it's very important we get our side of the story out, people talk about, you know, negative campaign starting early. The fact of the matter is, you know, we just recently got started, the Democrats have been out there since last September roughly launching attacks against the president and me and it's been a good part of what they spent the money has been primary negative as opposed to what we've been trying to do.

RUSH: You ran -- your first series of ads were patriotically themed with the 9-11 images, which were designed to cast the election about America's future and those ads were even said to be attack ads when you criticized senator Kerry's record says said that you're attacking him and going negative in this sort of thing. I see it's not deterring you and so forth. But how do you -- how do you plan a campaign against an opponent who will claim to have said or not said anything he's accused of having said or not said?

CHENEY: Well, you've got him on tape saying things like I actually voted before it before I voted against it, talking about the supplemental for the war in Iraq. You know, that's not anything we dreamed up, that's John Kerry himself captured on film, and so in fact basically what we've been talking about is his own record. He's got 19 years of votes in the Senate. You know, all of us will be judged by our performance in office, certainly the president will be with respect to his four years, and John Kerry should expect to be evaluated as well by the voters based on how he's performed as a senator and what that tells us about his capacity for the leadership position he aspires to.

RUSH: Does it frustrate you when you see Senators Hagel and McCain, Republicans, sort of attack the administration's attack on Kerry's voting record and defend it saying, hey, he's been here 19 years, we all are going to have a lot of votes that we couldn't explain because they're cast in a strange way, does it bother you what some people regard as Republican defections?

CHENEY: I guess I wouldn't go that far as far as how you characterize it. John Kerry has been I think I don't have any criticism to offer at this stage, we've got personal relationships involved there as well too and I don't think we'd be critical of that.

RUSH: I understand. I understand, I just, you know, you see these things in the paper irritates supporters of the president who may not understand, in a time like this where the administration is involved in a struggle for the future of the country to see some Republicans not totally on board that struggle, they don't understand it. It just befuddles them, and they don't quite understand why people would do things that might appear on the surface to undercut the president's efforts. Such as Senator McCain toying publicly with being Senator Kerry's vice president.

CHENEY: Well, I saw that interview, and I didn't take it that way. I think John Kerry was asked if he would entertain such a notion and he said, well, he'd entertain it, but anything was likely, and he went through all the reasons why, he's made it very clear he doesn't want to be vice president and that he's not about to leave the Republican Party, so I'm -- you know, it's early in the campaign and again as I say it's a big party, there's room in it for everybody, and we don't have any complaints at this stage about Senator McCain's actions. On occasion they disagree, and he expresses his disagreements.

RUSH: What about your health, sir, how are you doing?

CHENEY: Well, I'm doing well. I'm getting older year by year, I guess, but I don't have any complaints, Rush, they've been taking good care of me.

RUSH: And we have about 45 seconds. Are you planning to stay on the ticket in this election?

CHENEY: As long as the president wants me, that's where I'll be, and he's indicated he wants me to run again, so that's what I plan to do.

RUSH: All right, Mr. Vice President, I know that you're extremely busy. You've got many things going on. We always appreciate your time here. It's always an honor to speak with you. It's inspirational for a lot of people, and I always say this to you at the close of every conversation we have, just to affirm it, because I know you know it, but you really -- you really need to be remind how much love there is and appreciation for you and the president and the whole administration for what you're trying to do against these long odds, and I speak for all these people out there, love you and appreciate it and wish you continued success.

CHENEY: Well, thank you very much, Rush. That means a lot.

John Ashcroft
03-22-2004, 04:48 PM
Want some more? OK then, here it go:

White House Rebuts Ex-Bush Adviser Claim


WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is disputing assertions by President Bush's former counterterrorism coordinator that the administration failed to recognize the risk of an attack by al-Qaida in the months leading up to Sept. 11, 2001.

National security deputies worked diligently between March and September 2001 to develop a strategy to attack the terror network, one that was completed and ready for Bush's approval a week before the suicide airliner hijackings, the White House said in a statement Sunday.

It said the president told national security adviser Condoleezza Rice early in his administration he was "'tired of swatting flies' and wanted to go on the offense against al-Qaida, rather than simply waiting to respond."

The point-by-point rebuttal confronts claims by Richard A. Clarke in a new book, "Against All Enemies," that is scathingly critical of administration actions.

Clarke wrote that Rice appeared never to have heard of al-Qaida until she was warned early in 2001 about the terrorist organization and that she "looked skeptical" about his warnings.

"Her facial expression gave me the impression that she had never heard the term before," Clarke said in the book, going on sale Monday.

Clarke said Rice appeared not to recognize post-Cold War security issues and effectively demoted him within the National Security Council staff. He retired last year after 30 years in government.

That right there explains alot...

Rice echoed the administration's rebuttal in a guest column in Monday's Washington Post and addressed Clarke's characterization of her obliquely.

"Before Sept. 11, we closely monitored threats to our nation," she wrote. "President Bush revived the practice of meeting with the director of the CIA every day - meetings that I attended. And I personally met with (director) George Tenet regularly and frequently reviewed aspects of the counterterrorism effort."

Clarke, who is expected to testify Tuesday before a federal panel investigating the attacks, recounted his early meeting with Rice as support for his contention the administration failed to recognize the risk of an attack by al-Qaida.

He said that within one week of Bush's inauguration he "urgently" sought a meeting of senior Cabinet leaders to discuss "the imminent al-Qaida threat."

So imminent that he didn't bother his former boss with his concerns

Three months later, in April 2001, Clarke met with deputy secretaries. During that meeting, he wrote, the Defense Department's Paul Wolfowitz told Clarke, "You give bin Laden too much credit," and he said Wolfowitz sought to steer the discussion to Iraq.

A spokesman for Wolfowitz, Charley Cooper, said Monday in a statement that the allegation that Wolfowitz dismissed the threat from al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden is false.

"He regarded al-Qaida as a major threat to U.S. security, the more so because of the state support it received from the Taliban and because of its possible links to Iraq, including Iraq's harboring of one of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, Abdul Rahman Yasin, for nearly a decade," Cooper said.

The White House responded that the Bush administration kept Clarke as a holdover from the Clinton era because of its concerns over al-Qaida.

"He makes the charge that we were not focused enough on efforts to root out terrorism," Bush communications director Dan Bartlett said Sunday. "That's just categorically false."

Bartlett said Clarke's memo to Rice in January 2001 discussed recommendations to improve security at U.S. sites overseas, not inside the United States. "Each one of these, while important, wouldn't have impacted 9/11," he said.

Clarke harshly criticizes Bush personally in his book, saying his decision to invade Iraq generated broad anti-American sentiment among Arabs. He recounts that the president asked him directly almost immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks to find whether Iraq was involved in the suicide hijackings.

"Nothing America could have done would have provided al-Qaida and its new generation of cloned groups a better recruitment device than our unprovoked invasion of an oil-rich Arab country," Clarke wrote.

He added: "One shudders to think what additional errors (Bush) will make in the next four years to strengthen the al-Qaida follow-ons: attacking Syria or Iran, undermining the Saudi regime without a plan for a successor state?"

And here's the source of it all, isn't it?.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said Sunday he doesn't believe Clarke's charge that Bush - who defeated him and former Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 election - was focused more on Iraq than al-Qaida during the days after the terror attacks.

"I see no basis for it," Lieberman said on "Fox News Sunday.""I think we've got to be careful to speak facts and not rhetoric."

And Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., told ABC's "This Week" that while he has been critical of Bush policies on Iraq, "I think it's unfair to blame the president for the spread of terror and the diffuseness of it. Even if he had followed the advice of me and many other people, I still think the same thing would have happened."

Presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry said Sunday he asked for copies of Clarke's book to review. Kerry is vacationing at his Idaho home through Wednesday before returning to the campaign trail.

"I would like to read them before I make any comment at all," Kerry told reporters. "I have asked for them."

Kerry's adviser on national security, Rand Beers, is a close associate of Clarke and held the job as anti-terrorism adviser under Bush during part of 2002. Clarke quotes Beers in the book as asking his advice when Beers considered quitting because "they're using the war on terror politically."

The White House's Bartlett noted Clarke's friendship with Beers and the upcoming presidential election.

"We believe the timing is questionable," he said. "When (Clarke) left office, he had every opportunity" to make any grievances known.

Link: Better luck next time (http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040322/D81FEO3O0.html)

John Ashcroft
03-22-2004, 04:53 PM
And some mo:

Richard Clarke's Legacy of Miscalculation

The outgoing cybersecurity czar will be remembered for his steadfast belief in the danger of Internet attacks, even while genuine threats developed elsewhere.
By George Smith Feb 17 2003 01:38AM PT

The retirement of Richard Clarke is appropriate to the reality of the war on terror. Years ago, Clarke bet his national security career on the idea that electronic war was going to be real war. He lost, because as al Qaeda and Iraq have shown, real action is still of the blood and guts kind.

In happier times prior to 9/11, Clarke -- as Bill Clinton's counter-terror point man in the National Security Council -- devoted great effort to convincing national movers and shakers that cyberattack was the coming thing. While ostensibly involved in preparations for bioterrorism and trying to sound alarms about Osama bin Laden, Clarke was most often seen in the news predicting ways in which electronic attacks were going to change everything and rewrite the calculus of conflict.

September 11 spoiled the fun, though, and electronic attack was shoved onto the back-burner in favor of special operations men calling in B-52 precision air strikes on Taliban losers. One-hundred fifty-thousand U.S. soldiers on station outside Iraq make it perfectly clear that cyberspace is only a trivial distraction.

Clarke's career in subsequent presidential administrations was a barometer of the recession of the belief that cyberspace would be a front effector in national security affairs. After being part of the NSC, Clarke was dismissed to Special Advisor for Cyberspace Security on October 9th in a ceremony led by National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice and new homeland security guru Tom Ridge. If it was an advance, it was one to the rear -- a pure demotion.
Saddam will not be brought down by people stealing his e-mail or his generals being spammed with exhortations to surrender.
Instead of combating terrorists, Clarke would be left to wrestle with corporate America over computer security, a match he would lose by pinfall. Ridding the world of bad guys and ensuring homeland safety was a job for CIA wet affairsmen, the FBI, the heavy bomb wing out of Whiteman Air Force Base -- anyone but marshals in cyberspace.

Information "Sharing" and Cruise Missiles

The Slammer virus gave Clarke one last mild hurrah with the media. But nationally, Slammer was a minor inconvenience compared to relentless cold weather in the east and the call up of the reserves.

But with his retirement, Clarke's career accomplishments should be noted.

In 1986, as a State Department bureaucrat with pull, he came up with a plan to battle terrorism and subvert Muammar Qaddafi by having SR-71s produce sonic booms over Libya. This was to be accompanied by rafts washing onto the sands of Tripoli, the aim of which was to create the illusion of a coming attack. When this nonsense was revealed, it created embarrassment for the Reagan administration and was buried.

In 1998, according to the New Republic, Clarke "played a key role in the Clinton administration's misguided retaliation for the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which targeted bin Laden's terrorist camps in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan." The pharmaceutical factory was, apparently, just a pharmaceutical factory, and we now know how impressed bin Laden was by cruise missiles that miss.

Trying his hand in cyberspace, Clarke's most lasting contribution is probably the new corporate exemption in the Freedom of Information Act. Originally designed to immunize companies against the theoretical malicious use of FOIA by competitors, journalists and other so-called miscreants interested in ferreting out cyber-vulnerabilities, it was suggested well before the war on terror as a measure that would increase corporate cooperation with Uncle Sam. Clarke labored and lobbied diligently from the NSC for this amendment to existing law, law which he frequently referred to as an "impediment" to information sharing.

While the exemption would inexplicably not pass during the Clinton administration, Clarke and other like-minded souls kept pushing for it. Finally, the national nervous breakdown that resulted from the collapse of the World Trade Center reframed the exemption as a grand idea, and it was embraced by legislators, who even expanded it to give a get-out-of-FOIA-free card to all of corporate America, not just those involved with the cyber-infrastructure. It passed into law as part of the legislation forming the Department of Homeland Security.

However, as with many allegedly bright ideas originally pushed by Richard Clarke, it came with thorns no one had anticipated.

In a January 17 confirmation hearing for Clarke's boss, Tom Ridge, Senator Carl Levin protested that the exemption's language needed to be clarified. "We are denying the public unclassified information in the current law which should not be denied to the public," he said as reported in the Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy News.

"That means that you could get information that, for instance, a company is leaking material into a river that you could not turn over to the EPA," Levin continued. "If that company was the source of the information, you could not even turn it over to another agency."

"It certainly wasn't the intent, I'm sure, of those who advocated the Freedom of Information Act exemption to give wrongdoers protection or to protect illegal activity," replied Ridge while adding he would work to remedy the problem.

Thanks for everything, Mr. Clarke.

Link: Ah, you suck again! (http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/143)

FORD
03-22-2004, 05:03 PM
Spin spin spin spin it like a spinning top.....

John Ashcroft
03-22-2004, 05:06 PM
And there's no way you read all of it that fast.

Remember, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)...

ELVIS
03-22-2004, 06:33 PM
Well.. I read It and It's not spin!

Seshmeister
03-22-2004, 06:58 PM
I think it's pretty pathetic that you have to rely on obvious supporters of the regime to interview the government.

Are the administration too scared to be interviewed by impartial commentators?

From what I've seen of Bush and Ashcroft in interviews I'm not surprised...

Cathedral
03-22-2004, 08:31 PM
Well, all of this pushed me back into Bush's corner.....for today. But as with yesterday and the day before....What will come streaking out of an Ex-Clinton dude tomorrow?

I can't find any other source claiming foul besides Clark....

That is mighty curious to me, and in an election year who'd of thunk it?

Dude just wants a job with a hopeful Democratic Admin. with a start date in '05....

Proof people, I need proof and not someone trying to sell a book here.

FORD
03-22-2004, 08:56 PM
Originally posted by Cathedral
Well, all of this pushed me back into Bush's corner.....for today. But as with yesterday and the day before....What will come streaking out of an Ex-Clinton dude tomorrow?

I can't find any other source claiming foul besides Clark....

That is mighty curious to me, and in an election year who'd of thunk it?

Dude just wants a job with a hopeful Democratic Admin. with a start date in '05....

Proof people, I need proof and not someone trying to sell a book here.



Corroborating evidence. Clarke and Paul O'Neill (ex BCE treasury secretary) are telling the same story about the BCE coming into the White House with an existing agenda against Iraq, while ignoring the threat of Al Qaeda.

Furthermore, you have the stated goals of the PNAC manifesto which require the invasion of Iraq to kick off their move to global fascism, and the call for "another Pearl Harbor" in order to manipulate public support for their agenda.

This document is freely available on their own website and it very clearly mentions Iraq, Iran, and North Korea (the so called "Axis" of Evil comprised of three countries with no official ties to one another) in a scenario that was written before George Jr was ever selected pResident.

What more proof do you need? Junior's confession signed in the blood of an Iraqi child??

lucky wilbury
03-22-2004, 09:08 PM
no ford there aren't two accounttelling the same story that bush was going after iraq. their are two accounts saying he wasent:

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/01/13/oneill.bush/index.html

"People are trying to make a case that I said the president was planning war in Iraq early in the administration," O'Neill said.

"Actually, there was a continuation of work that had been going on in the Clinton administration with the notion that there needed to be regime change in Iraq."


Retired Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he saw nothing to indicate the United States was close to attacking Iraq early in Bush's term.

Shelton, who retired shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, said the brass reviewed "on the shelf" plans to respond to crises with the incoming Bush administration.

But in the administration's first six months, "I saw nothing that would lead me to believe that we were any closer to attacking Iraq than we had been during the previous administration," Shelton told CNN.

John Ashcroft
03-23-2004, 05:13 PM
No facts please.