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Obama Advisor Clarke Jeopardizes American Security
January 10, 2008 - WND.com
by Jack Cashill
By all accounts an ambitious careerist, Clarke managed the transition from the Clinton White House to the George W. Bush White House as ably as he had the transition from Bush pere’s White House to Clinton’s.
There was, however, one critical difference. The Clinton White House elevated his status to cabinet level. The Bush White House downgraded it. He would not forget.
What is more, despite his many claims of being an independent, Clarke has long since blown even the cover of non-partisanship. Some 94 percent of his listed federal contributions have been given to Democrats.
Clarke’s growing anti-Bush animus tracked fully with that of the Howard Dean-led Democratic left. By 2004, when Against All Enemies was released, all power, perks and glory in the media and in the Democratic Party were reserved for White House critics, the shriller the better.
Still, as late as August 2002, Clarke was playing good soldier. With President Bush’s intent to invade Iraq clear to all, he publicly defended his boss before a handful of reporters.
Apparently, Clarke had not yet decided that the Bush White House had dropped the ball on al Qaeda. In fact, the president Clarke described in August 2002 was hell on al Qaeda.
Bush, said Clarke, had changed the counter-terrorist game plan from “roll back” to a “to a new strategy that called for the rapid elimination of Al Qaeda,” and he did so long before September 11.
As early as March 2001, added Clarke, President Bush had told him and others “to stop swatting at flies and just solve this problem.” To accomplish this, the White House increased CIA anti-al Qaeda resources five-fold.
As to whether the Bush administration ignored the work done by the Clinton White House out of spite, Clarke responded spontaneously and logically, “I think if there was a general animus that clouded their vision, they might not have kept the same guy dealing with (sic) terrorism issue.”
But they did keep the same guy, and they would quickly come to regret it. Just a year and a half later, media darling Richard Clarke would be denouncing President Bush for his all but criminal negligence in the War on Terror.
In the months before September 11, according to Clarke, Bush "never thought [al-Qaeda] was important enough for him to hold a meeting on the subject.”
After September 11, again according to Clarke, the merely misguided Bush turns increasingly Machiavellian. This new Bush persona comes to seem more sinister with each retelling.
On September 12, as related in Against All Enemies, a ruminative Bush tells Clark, "I know you have a lot to do and all, but I want you, as soon as you can, to go back over everything, everything. See if Saddam did this. See if he's linked in any way."
If Bush’s request seems reasonable at the time, Clarke’s is too cocksure by a half: "al-Qaeda did this.” Bush counters, "I know, I know, but see if Saddam was involved. Just look.”
When the TV-friendly Clarke appeared on 60 Minutes to promote the book, he turned George Bush into Richard Nixon. "The President dragged me into a room with a couple of other people,” he said of this same incident, “shut the door and said, 'I want you to find whether Iraq did this'.’”
Added Clarke, “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.'"
The next night on PBS's The NewsHour, Clarke trumped up the story still more. Now, a “very intimidating” president was wagging a finger in his face, saying, '”Iraq, a memo on Iraq and al-Qaeda, a memo on Iraq and the attacks.”
As to the motive for “the 2003 war on Iraq,” Clarke provides one in Against All Enemies. In a spiteful aside that he knows to be false, Clarke implies that the White House “manufactured” the so-called “crisis” to enhance Republican chances in 2004.
To back up his claim, the lowest and cheapest blow in his book, Clarke quotes political advisor Karl Rove as telling Republicans to “run on the war.”
Much later in Against All Enemies, however, Clarke quietly concedes that the Rove quote alluded to the 2002 election and the War on Terror, not the war in Iraq. Still, he adds maliciously, “They also had in mind another war that they would gin up.”
What makes this slander all the more unseemly is that despite Clarke’s quotation marks, despite the thousands of times the quote has been repeated, Rove never said, “Run on the war,” not in 2002, not in 2004.
Clarke may very well head America’s intelligence community if Obama prevails. He ought not. Beyond the relentless lying and scheming is a more fundamental flaw for an intelligence officer: tunnel vision.
There was a reason neither Clinton nor Bush shared his singular obsession with Osama bin Laden. Without state support, without access to WMDs, al Qaeda never presented an existential threat to the American way of life, not even on September 11, 2001.
That real threat can be found in the nexus of a rogue state with a promiscuous record on WMDs and a terrorist operation willing to use them. Year 2 of the TV Show 24 provides a fairly credible picture of what might happen should such an alliance come to fruition.
The al Shifa plant in the Sudan—given the intelligence--represented just such a threat. Clarke was not wrong to defend the attack. Similarly, given the facts on the ground, the toppling of Saddam makes perfect sense even in retrospect.
What cannot be justified is the traitorious retelling of recent history by Clarke and his fellow travelers. And we have yet to discuss Clarke’s most enduring and lethal lie.
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