Bush Had Eight Months, Clinton Had Eight Years, Yet Bush Is To Blame For 9/11

MSNBC – Creative writing enlivens Clarke’s controversial book: Potshots for Bush, praise for Clinton.
This Clarke guy is really starting to get on my nerves. I’ve already made clear elsewhere that I don’t blame Clinton or any other President for 9/11. The U.S. has a habit of waiting until problems become catastrophes before acting. Our history with terrorism dates back to the Iranian hostage crisis which Reagan ended with a threat of war, but when the Marines were killed in Beirut Reagan’s response was nothing. He did hit Libya over the Achille Lauro and that worked for a while, but it wasn’t enough to stop the bombing of the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland.

In short, it took a 9/11 for us to really approach terrorism with the intent of destroying it. Clarke’s suggestions that Bush should have taken a January 25th and turned it into a plan on the spot is ridiculous. Why didn’t he give that memo to Clinton? What the hell did Clinton do with it? Sure, there were discussions on how to deal with al Qaeda but little action. It’s not Clinton’s fault, either, because of the reasons I mentioned above: we never face problems properly until they become catastrophes.

Clarke should be viewed as nothing but a partisan hack from now on. He had eight years working under Clinton to do something about al Qaeda and didn’t. He’s a hack and he’s selling books.

Anyone picking up Richard Clarke’s book “Against All Enemies” who hopes for a strict, dry bureaucratic tome on counter-terror policy will be disappointed. Yes, the book has its share of cumbersome phrases like Critical Infrastructure Protection Group and Strategic Information and Operations Center.

But Clarke talks beyond the wonks. He heads straight for the politicos. He gets real juicy — liberally taking potshots at President Bush while heaping praise on President Clinton. And he makes pop political references, which some might find odd for a counterterrorism czar.

In short, Clarke’s book is a Clinton defenders’ delight.

[….]

Well, then. (For those who might dispute Clarke’s reading of history, here’s what Tom DeLay said March 23: “What’s interesting about this whole story is that six Americans died at the first World Trade Center bombing, 19 peacemakers at the Khobar Towers, 224 at the African Embassy bombings, and 17 sailors aboard the USS Cole. For eight years under Richard Clarke as the terrorism czar, Americans were murdered by terrorism and nothing was done. And now we are to believe that the Bush Administration has a legacy of failure because in seven months they didn’t turn around eight years of doing nothing.”)

I usually don’t go for Tom DeLay and his tactics (he’s usually too intemperate for me), but he’s on the money here. This is turning into a partisan mud-slinging event and I hope Clarke is dragged through the streets, figuratively speaking.

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