The Political Werewolf
If you know me, then you know I'm a big political nut. So, I've decided to add my own personal flavor to the realm of political discussion. We'll be talking about various issues - some of them having to do with current events, others perhaps more on a philosophical level. But in any case, you're free to respond to whatever you read here, either by E-mail or on the message board.
All righty, here we go.
Dick Clarke hosts American Grandstand
9/11 is by far the single most devastating attack on our soil this country has ever seen. In a span of mere minutes, thousands of people had been killed, two monuments were brought down, and a nation was totally paralyzed. As the adage says, it's important that we learn what mistakes were made that caused 9/11 to happen, so that we can prevent it from ever happening again. It's just a shame, then, that the 9/11 Commission has been used in an attempt by the left to attack Bush at every opportunity.
This tactic had been telegraphed several months ago. Late last year, a memo that had been sent to the Democratic members of Congress' Intelligence Committee was leaked to the public, and its contents were clear: exploit the good faith of the terrorism and intelligence investigations to score some political points against Bush. That it's going on should come as no surprise; what's surprising is just how brazen the left is becoming about making George W. Bush and his administration look like they were simultaneously inept and corrupt. According to the various black helicopter theories out there, either Bush and his administration had no clue about the terrorist threats that caused 9/11, or they knew fully well about it and let it happen anyway.
The moment former National Security Advisor Richard Clarke got up in front of the commission - fresh off the release of his Cassandra-esque new book which had just been whored out by 60 Minutes (whose parent company, Viacom, had a stake in the book's success) - sat down in front of the commission and begins with, "Your government failed you," one's BS-ometer should go right up. And when the same person lists terrorism as a "top priority" for the Clinton administration and barely an afterthought with Bush, you're likely to replace the needle.
How quickly we forget. During Clinton's eight years in office, there were no less than three instantly recognizable acts of terrorism by Muslim extremists against the United States. The first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. The bombing of two US embassies in Africa in 1998. The bombing of the USS Cole in 2000. If terrorism was such a top priority, one would assume that Clinton would've taken a proactive stance to combat terrorism, root it out and defeat it. So what did he do? Well, he didn't do nothing - he lobbed a few missiles at Afghanistan and the Sudan. Did that solve anything, though? If anything, it served to embolden the terrorist groups even further, since they knew that the US wasn't going to put up much of a fight against them.
Hell, Clinton was given no less than three separate opportunities to decaptitate Al Qaeda, and passed each time. As I've explained before, the Sudanese government offered to extradite Osama bin Laden to the United States three times. Each time, Clinton couldn't come up with any legal charges to hold him on, so declined. This allowed bin Laden to slip away into the mountains of Afghanistan. (Some have called the credibility of the negotiator, Mansoor Ijaz, into question, but Ijaz' background was never given as a reason for the refusal. Sound transcripts have Clinton saying in his own words that he was offered Osama and passed him up.)
Would the capture of Osama bin Laden have prevented 9/11? Hard to say. As we all know, Al Qaida is more like a franchise of Burger Kings than it is a concentrated army - eliminating the CEO doesn't prevent the business from running. However, the pussyfooting around that the Clinton administration practiced in response to the threat of terrorism makes it plainly obvious that terrorism was in no way a priority with him.
The claims get even more outrageous when Clarke somehow accuses the Bush administration of not listening to him with regards to the threat of Al Qaeda, and not doing enough to root them out. OK, so let me see here - Bill Clinton has eight years to do something about terrorism, and does almost nothing. Bush is eight months into his term, and somehow 9/11 is his fault because he didn't immediately invade Kabul. Even if you forgive the timeframes - which is laughable in and of itself - has anyone actually stepped back and thought about what would've happened if Bush tried to go after the terrorists? Need I remind you - this is a president who had to practically drag the Democratic party kicking and screaming into eliminating Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. And this was after 9/11. I can only imagine the anti-war protests that would've erupted had Bush even hinted at going after Osama.
Richard Clarke's sanctimonious testimony to the 9/11 Commission is a perfect example at how the left will say and do anything if they think it'll help defeat George W. Bush in this election. (And although Clarke has served under multiple presidents, he's hardly nonpartisan. One need only look at his current occupation - a co-professor of a class at Harvard with John Kerry's foreign advisor - to see which side of the fence he's on.) The only problem is, they picked someone who, two years ago, was praising Bush for his anti-terrorism efforts and chastising Clinton for sleeping at the wheel. When he resigned from his post in 2002, he again showed appreciation for Bush's work against terrorism. But I guess none of that matters when you're trying to sell a book.
And now, the tactic has backfired - current NSA, Dr. Condoleeza Rice, will now testify publicly in front of the entire commission. This is an unprecendented move, and a bit of a gamble given the ramifications this has on the Separation of Powers Act, but it's clear why Dr. Rice chose to do this; she now has the perfect opportunity to tell the whole story and blow more holes in Clarke's credibility than a pasta strainer.
Learning about what caused 9/11 and how to prevent future attacks should be an apolitical issue. Neither side ought to be using this as some way to score points in the election. But if the left wants to use it to besmirch the administration, then they're going to be regretting it in the future.
3/17/04: Terrorism Won
3/1/04: Why I'm Not Voting for Bush
2/22/04: The Natives Are Restless
12/17/03: Catching the Rat
12/9/03: Thank God for Freedom of Religion
10/8/03: We're Not Gonna Take It
8/27/03: Getting Rid of Splinters
7/14/03: Where's the Utopia?
6/30/03: Minority Reports
6/9/03: With a Capital T and that Rhymes With D and that Stands for Democrats
5/26/03: Where's the Harm?
5/12/03: The Ten Questions a Liberal Will Never Answer
5/5/03: Let The Fun Begin
4/21/03: It's My Money, Not TheIRS
4/14/03: Bush Won - Get Over It
4/7/03: Conservative Business 101
3/31/03: I'm a Celebrity - No War in Iraq!
3/24/03: Patriotism vs. Nationalism