Thursday, April 08, 2004

Clarke smacks down White House charges

Salon's generally both predictable and pain in the ass, but their Richard Clarke interview is quite compelling:

[Salon:] The vice president commented that there was "no great success in dealing with terrorists" during the 1990s, when you were serving under President Clinton. He asked, "What were they doing?"

[Clarke:] It's possible that the vice president has spent so little time studying the terrorist phenomenon that he doesn't know about the successes in the 1990s. There were many. The Clinton administration stopped Iraqi terrorism against the United States, through military intervention. It stopped Iranian terrorism against the United States, through covert action. It stopped the al-Qaida attempt to have a dominant influence in Bosnia. It stopped the terrorist attacks at the millennium. It stopped many other terrorist attacks, including on the U.S. embassy in Albania. And it began a lethal covert action program against al-Qaida; it also launched military strikes against al-Qaida. Maybe the vice president was so busy running Halliburton at the time that he didn't notice.

[Salon:] Did Cheney ever ask you a question of that kind when you were in the White House with him?

[Clarke:] No.


[Salon:] Dr. Rice now says that your plans to "roll back" al-Qaida were not aggressive enough for the Bush administration. How do you answer that, in light of what we know about what they did and didn't do?

I just think it's funny that they can engage in this sort of "big lie" approach to things. The plan that they adopted after Sept. 11 was the plan that I had proposed in January [2001]. If my plan wasn't aggressive enough, I suppose theirs wasn't either.

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