View Full Version : But Clarke said Clinton was focused on AlQaeda

04-06-2004, 10:32 PM
Clarke that lying SOB

Al Qaeda absent from final Clinton report

By James G. Lakely

The final policy paper on national security that President Clinton submitted to Congress -- 45,000 words long -- makes no mention of al Qaeda and refers to Osama bin Laden by name just four times.
The scarce references to bin Laden and his terror network undercut claims by former White House terrorism analyst Richard A. Clarke that the Clinton administration considered al Qaeda an "urgent" threat, while President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, "ignored" it.
The Clinton document, titled "A National Security Strategy for a Global Age," is dated December 2000 and is the final official assessment of national security policy and strategy by the Clinton team. The document is publicly available, though no U.S. media outlets have examined it in the context of Mr. Clarke's testimony and new book.
Miss Rice, who will testify publicly Thursday before the commission investigating the Bush and Clinton administrations' actions before the September 11 attacks, was criticized last week for planning a speech for September 11, 2001, that called a national missile-defense system a leading security priority.
President Bush yesterday denied the accusation that his administration had made dealing with al Qaeda a low priority.
"Let me just be very clear about this: Had we had the information that was necessary to stop an attack, I'd have stopped the attack," Mr. Bush said, adding that after September 11, "the stakes had changed."
"This country immediately went on war footing, and we went to war against al Qaeda. It took me very little time to make up my mind," he said. "Once I determined al Qaeda [did] it, [I said], 'We're going to go get them.' And we have, and we're going to keep after them until they're brought to justice and America is secure."
Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney will meet with the commission in the coming weeks behind closed doors, but a date has not been set. Meanwhile, the president said he looks forward to hearing Miss Rice defend the administration in a public forum.
"She'll be great," Mr. Bush said. "She's a very smart, capable person who knows exactly what took place and will lay out the facts."
The Clinton administration's final national-security report stated that its reaction to terrorist strikes was to "neither forget the crime, nor ever give up on bringing the perpetrators to justice."
The document boasted of "a dozen terrorist fugitives" who had been captured abroad and handed over to the United States "to answer for their crimes."
Those perpetrators included the men responsible for the first attack on the World Trade Center, which the intelligence community largely thought by late 2000 to be the work of operatives with links to al Qaeda. Listed among those brought to justice was a man who killed two persons outside CIA headquarters in 1993, and "an attack on a Pan Am flight more than 18 years ago."
Several high-ranking Bush administration officials, and the president himself, have faulted the Clinton administration for treating global terrorism as a law enforcement issue and not recognizing that bin Laden declared war on the United States in 1998.
Mr. Bush often notes that about two-thirds of al Qaeda's thousands of members -- including many key leaders -- have been either captured or killed since the attacks, and that 44 of the 55 top Iraqi officials under Saddam Hussein in a deck of cards have been "taken care of."
The liberal Center for American Progress yesterday echoed Mr. Clarke's criticism of the Bush administration by publishing a timeline of statements that it says proves the current White House national security team did not make fighting al Qaeda a priority before the attacks.
"If they were developing some big strategy of fighting terrorism, it's not reflected in their words," said John Halpin, director of research for the center.
"We wanted to go back and document all the public statements, given some of the discrepancies of what happened before 9/11 and some of the recent news from Richard Clarke," Mr. Halpin said.
In Mr. Clarke's best-selling book "Against All Enemies," he writes that during a transitional briefing in January 2001, Miss Rice's "facial expression gave me the impression that she'd never heard the term [al Qaeda] before."
But the Clinton administration's final national security document, written while Mr. Clarke was a high-level national security adviser, never mentions al Qaeda.
"Clarke was on the job as terrorism czar at that point," said a senior Bush administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "He played a significant role. His concerns should have been well-known."
High-ranking Bush administration officials, including Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, have testified that Mr. Bush wanted to stop "swatting at flies" and take a more aggressive approach to terror.
The Bush administration official noted that the planning of the September 11 attacks happened while Mr. Clinton was in power, and said the commission's probe has turned into a search for blame.
"It's a shame we are not focused more on moving forward, instead of about who was concerned more," he said.
The official said he found the lack of bin Laden and al Qaeda references in the final Clinton terror assessment interesting, but downplayed such "word-counting games."
"We don't measure progress or response [to terrorism] by how many speeches, words, utterances or meetings were held on a particular issue, but by action taken," he said.

04-07-2004, 12:00 AM
Maybe this should be in the sorry Mr. Clarke thread. So what is it clarke??? Was terrorism the NUMBER 1 thing on clintons mind or was it monica?

If you want to read it.

NSR (http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/nss/nss_dec2000_contents.htm)

04-07-2004, 12:08 AM
I am thinking that Clinton was thinking of terrorism when he made the money shot. i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

04-07-2004, 12:28 AM
Do you think he was on the phone with bin laden???

04-07-2004, 12:43 AM
Definitely Kerry will take a page out of the clinton page book if he is elected, no doubt in my mind.

Laser-Like Focus, Part III

Day before yesterday, reader Daniel Aronstein pointed out an article by Clinton's National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger, in the Nov./Dec. issue of Foreign Affairs. As we quoted Daniel:
[The article] thoroughly reviews so-called Clinton Administration successes (like North Korea!) and outlines what Clinton's National Security Advisor - on behalf of the Clinton Administration - saw as the emerging chief global security issues.
The title of the article was, appropriately, "A Foreign Policy for the Global Age".
In this article, Berger mentions terrorism ONCE, in passing - in a single paragraph, three pages from the end. Islamo-terrorism gets equal billing with all others on every continent, and he did not specifically mention either al Qaeda or UBL.
Daniel has now written to add that, while failing to mention al Qaeda, Berger did talk about Iraq:
Berger specifically wrote that the USA should "intensify both our planning for a post Saddam Iraq, and our efforts to speed its arrival."
Daniel wonders how Richard Clarke can blame the Bush administration for doing "exactly what Berger and the Clinton administration recommended vis a vis Iraq."

Well, to be fair to the Clinton administration, I think it's clear that they only intended to talk about liberating Iraq, and wouldn't have dreamed of actually doing it. Still, when Berger, in the last days of the Clinton administration, writes what poses as a definitive paper on "A Foreign Policy for the Global Age," and talks about Iraq but not al Qaeda, it does make one wonder where, exactly, Clarke saw evidence of the Clintonites' focus on bin Laden.