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Tape Shows General Clark Linking Iraq and Al Qaeda
NY Times ^ | Jan. 12, 2004 | EDWARD WYATT

Posted on 01/12/2004 12:26:57 AM PST by FairOpinion

MANCHESTER, N.H., Jan. 11 — Less than a year before he entered the race for the Democratic nomination for president, Gen. Wesley K. Clark said that he believed there was a connection between the Iraqi government and Al Qaeda.

The statement by General Clark in October 2002 as he endorsed a New Hampshire candidate for Congress is a sign of how the general's position on Iraq seems to have changed over time, though he insists his position has been consistent.

"Certainly there's a connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda," he said in 2002. "It doesn't surprise me at all that they would be talking to Al Qaeda, that there would be some Al Qaeda there or that Saddam Hussein might even be, you know, discussing gee, I wonder since I don't have any scuds and since the Americans are coming at me, I wonder if I could take advantage of Al Qaeda? How would I do it? Is it worth the risk? What could they do for me?"

At numerous campaign events in the past three months and in a book published last year, General Clark has asserted that there was no evidence linking Iraq and Al Qaeda. He has also accused the Bush administration of executing "a world-class bait-and-switch," by using the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as an excuse to invade Iraq.

At a town hall meeting here on Jan. 4, for example, General Clark said, "There was no imminent threat from Iraq, nor was Iraq connected with Al Qaeda."

"If Iraq had been there as the base of Al Qaeda to organize and train everybody, then maybe we could have justified the attack on Iraq," he added.

In an interview, General Clark said his more recent remarks were not inconsistent with what he said in 2002. In those remarks, he said, he was trying to explain that based on his knowledge of how the intelligence community works, low-level contacts almost certainly existed between Iraq and Al Qaeda, But, he said, that does not mean that Iraq had anything to do with the Sept. 11 attacks.

The 2002 comments, he said, were based in part on a letter to Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida and chairman of the Intelligence Committee, from George J. Tenet, director of central intelligence, which said that the C.I.A. had credible reporting that Al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire weapons of mass destruction. The content of the letter was reported in a front-page article in The New York Times on Oct. 9, 2002, the day that General Clark made the comments at the New Hampshire endorsement.

"I never thought there would be any evidence linking Sept. 11 and Saddam Hussein," General Clark said. "Everything I had learned about Saddam Hussein told me that he would be the last person Al Qaeda would trust or that he would trust them."

"All I was saying is that it would be naïve to say that there weren't any contacts," he said. "But that's a far cry from saying there was any connection between the events of 9/11 and Saddam Hussein."

In his most recent book, "Winning Modern Wars," (Public Affairs, 2003), General Clark states, "No evidence thus far suggests any link between Saddam Hussein and the terrorists of Al Qaeda."

On Thursday, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said that despite his assertions to the United Nations last year, he had no concrete evidence of a link between the terrorist organization and Iraq.

The general's 2002 comments appeared on a home video of the press conference in Nashua at which he endorsed Katrina Swett for New Hampshire's Second Congressional District. A copy of the videotape was made available by a rival presidential candidate's campaign.

General Clark's appearance with Ms. Swett has come up before in the presidential race. He advised her at the time that if she were in Congress, she should vote for the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut used that statement to accuse General Clark of inconsistency on Iraq. General Clark subsequently said that at the time he did not understand exactly what was in the resolution and would have voted against it.

Similarly, on the first day of his campaign, General Clark said that he probably would have voted for the resolution on Iraq. He later said he "bobbled" the question and has asserted that he made clear well before the start of the war his belief that Iraq was not an imminent danger to the United States and, therefore, that an attack was not justified at that time.

General Clark had known Ms. Swett and her husband, Richard N. Swett, a former congressman and ambassador to Denmark, when they lived in Denmark and General Clark lived in Belgium as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.

In an interview, Ms. Swett, who is a national co-chairwoman of Mr. Lieberman's campaign, said she recalled General Clark as "saying pretty unequivocally" that a link existed between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

Within days of the endorsement, General Clark was reported to be considering a run for the Democratic nomination. He had come to New Hampshire as a guest of George Bruno, a former ambassador to Belize who is now a co-chairman of General Clark's campaign in that state.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2004; alqaeda; alqaedaandiraq; clark; iraq; iraqalqaeda; terror; wesleyclark; whataweasel
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Well, well, well -- it does make it harder for him to criticize Bush, doesn't it?
1 posted on 01/12/2004 12:26:57 AM PST by FairOpinion
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2 posted on 01/12/2004 12:27:35 AM PST by Support Free Republic (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!)
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To: FairOpinion
A copy of the videotape was made available by a rival presidential candidate's campaign.

Thank you, rival presidential candidate's campaign.

3 posted on 01/12/2004 12:31:38 AM PST by HAL9000
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To: FairOpinion
Ugh, constant imploding by the RATs, and the blogs are starting to notice that perhaps that there's not a winner among the nine dwarfs. Why can't these people wait until someone sews up the nomination to tear each other apart?

The only good news is that so many primaries are so early in the season that it would be VERY difficult for someone to hop in at this point. Barely.

Let us just hope that the RAT blindness stays that way until the end of March.
4 posted on 01/12/2004 12:35:22 AM PST by kingu (Remember: Politicians and members of the press are going to read what you write today.)
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To: HAL9000
Gosh, I wonder which presidential campaign has access to home videos of obscure press functions in New Hampshire. Sheila Jackson Lee's? Dennis Kucinich's? Whose? Whose? The suspense is killing me!
5 posted on 01/12/2004 12:37:18 AM PST by Fabozz (</sarcasm>)
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To: FairOpinion
Flippity flop flop flop

It looks like General Confusion over at Ashley Wilkes' campaign.
6 posted on 01/12/2004 12:38:05 AM PST by RWR8189
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Fabozz
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, as they say. ;)

It's fun to watch the Dems self destruct.
8 posted on 01/12/2004 12:45:59 AM PST by FairOpinion
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To: HAL9000
Thank you, rival presidential candidate's campaign.

This man says;



You are welcome you evil Republican you.

-- I love Democrat cat fighting and hair pulling.
9 posted on 01/12/2004 12:47:35 AM PST by swilhelm73
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To: FairOpinion
Gen. Clarkansas continues to flip/flop in the wind...
10 posted on 01/12/2004 12:54:33 AM PST by Skybird
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To: FairOpinion
Well, well, well -- it does make it harder for him to criticize Bush, doesn't it?

LOL, that won't stop him though.

11 posted on 01/12/2004 1:50:10 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: Skybird
Wesley Clark is Chauncey Gardner with ambition
12 posted on 01/12/2004 2:52:16 AM PST by FlameThrower
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To: FairOpinion
This is the guy who's going to protect us all. I feel safer already.
13 posted on 01/12/2004 5:54:18 AM PST by samtheman
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To: FairOpinion
The general's 2002 comments appeared on a home video of the press conference in Nashua at which he endorsed Katrina Swett for New Hampshire's Second Congressional District

For those who do not know, Katrina is the daughter of Cong. Tom Lantos.

14 posted on 01/12/2004 6:23:39 AM PST by RJCogburn ("Hooray for the man from Texas!"........Mattie Ross of near Dardenelle in Yell County)
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To: FairOpinion
bump
15 posted on 01/12/2004 6:26:03 AM PST by VOA
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To: Fabozz
In an interview, Ms. Swett, who is a national co-chairwoman of Mr. Lieberman's campaign, said she recalled General Clark as "saying pretty unequivocally" that a link existed between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

End your suspense now. It's right there in the article.

16 posted on 01/12/2004 6:29:28 AM PST by petitfour
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To: FairOpinion
I'm beginning to consider the behavior of many of the Democratic candidates for president as treasonous---and I have my own doubts about the wisdom of the war with Iraq.
17 posted on 01/12/2004 6:39:47 AM PST by independentmind
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To: FairOpinion
General Coconut seems to have a lot of problems. He isn't made for leadership and is caught in lie after lie and he really is too funny and yet the Demonrats think they've got a great one. Bring him on!
18 posted on 01/12/2004 7:11:15 AM PST by bushfamfan
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To: FlameThrower
>>Wesley Clark is Chauncey Gardner with ambition

LOL! Brutally succinct and accurate assessment.
19 posted on 01/12/2004 7:13:10 AM PST by FreedomPoster (this space intentionally blank)
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To: FairOpinion
this guy is such a fraud
20 posted on 01/12/2004 7:14:52 AM PST by petercooper (DEAN = Democrats Experiencing Another Nightmare)
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To: Peach
Less than a year before he entered the race for the Democratic nomination for president, Gen. Wesley K. Clark said that he believed there was a connection between the Iraqi government and Al Qaeda.

Pingarooni.

21 posted on 01/12/2004 7:15:16 AM PST by cyncooper ("We call evil by its name")
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To: FairOpinion
it does make it harder for him to criticize Bush, doesn't it?

Rational people would think so.......but the 9 simpletons running for the gimmies operate in wonderland and whatever they say today means whatever they said yesterday or whatever they say tomorrow. Their constituents don't care they just hate GW and the GOP.

22 posted on 01/12/2004 7:15:46 AM PST by PISANO (God Bless our Troops........They will not TIRE - They will not FALTER - They will not FAIL!!!!!)
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To: FairOpinion
bump
23 posted on 01/12/2004 7:16:45 AM PST by RippleFire
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To: Fabozz
"Sheila Jackson Lee's?"

I think you mean Carol Mosley Braun's. There's a big difference between the two: Carol doesn't believe that man has landed on mars.
24 posted on 01/12/2004 7:52:26 AM PST by Buck W.
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To: FairOpinion
Oh Clark will just say the right wing NYT is out to get him
25 posted on 01/12/2004 9:38:26 AM PST by Mo1 (Join the dollar a day crowd now!)
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To: prairiebreeze
FYI
26 posted on 01/12/2004 9:40:13 AM PST by Mo1 (Join the dollar a day crowd now!)
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To: FairOpinion; GraniteStateConservative
General Clark had known Ms. Swett and her husband, Richard N. Swett, a former congressman and ambassador to Denmark

Richard N. Swett -- ROFL! I've never seen anyone use his full name before.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, "Richard N." is generally known as "Dick".

27 posted on 01/12/2004 9:40:36 AM PST by JohnnyZ (I pity the fool who thinks Bush's proposal is the same as amnesty!)
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To: FairOpinion
Well, well, well -- it does make it harder for him to criticize Bush, doesn't it?

No it doesn't. He's a hypocrite. Hypocrites don't worry about the truth...and they have no shame.

28 posted on 01/12/2004 9:41:06 AM PST by highlander_UW
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To: FlameThrower
Wesley Clark is Chauncey Gardner with ambition

Or General George B. McClellan...

29 posted on 01/12/2004 9:42:27 AM PST by Diddle E. Squat (www.firethebcs.com, www.weneedaplayoff.com, www.firemackbrown.com)
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To: FairOpinion

30 posted on 01/12/2004 9:43:09 AM PST by OXENinFLA
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To: Mo1
There might be more to this than we all think. NYTimes would never have information on a leading Dem candidate unless they had the "Godfather" (Clinton) of the Dem party's permission.

Clinton is trying to build up Clark right now but Clinton will destroy every Dem candidate before the election.
31 posted on 01/12/2004 9:43:51 AM PST by truthandlife ("Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God." (Ps 20:7))
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To: FairOpinion
More drival from one of the Dem dwarfs...

You couldn't MAKE this stuff up if you TRIED!
32 posted on 01/12/2004 9:44:00 AM PST by Skywarner (Freedom isn't Free. Remember our WWII vets!)
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To: FairOpinion
her husband, Richard N. Swett, bwahahahahaha
33 posted on 01/12/2004 9:45:28 AM PST by Homer1
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To: kingu
I like your metaphor -- nine dwarves. Who is Snow White -- Hillary?
34 posted on 01/12/2004 9:45:51 AM PST by dhs12345
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To: FairOpinion
Obviously he changed his mind. /sarcasm
35 posted on 01/12/2004 9:46:31 AM PST by rintense
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To: RWR8189

36 posted on 01/12/2004 9:52:50 AM PST by StriperSniper (Mine the borders)
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To: FairOpinion
"Certainly there's a connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda," he said in 2002.

In those remarks, he said, he was trying to explain that based on his knowledge of how the intelligence community works, low-level contacts almost certainly existed between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

"I never thought there would be any evidence linking Sept. 11 and Saddam Hussein," General Clark said. "Everything I had learned about Saddam Hussein told me that he would be the last person Al Qaeda would trust or that he would trust them."

Sorry, Weasley. The backpedalling doesn't work. You're a liar.

37 posted on 01/12/2004 9:53:41 AM PST by BlessedBeGod
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To: FairOpinion
The DUmmies are in denial over this. Fuel for major Dean-Clark flame wars.
38 posted on 01/12/2004 9:55:16 AM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: finnman69
This is absolutely fascinating.
39 posted on 01/12/2004 10:02:37 AM PST by Miss Marple
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To: FairOpinion
Well, well, well -- it does make it harder for him to criticize Bush, doesn't it?

Nah..
It just shows him for the hypocrite that he is but that's no problem for a RAT.

And this article from the belly of the beast NY Times...interesting.

40 posted on 01/12/2004 10:07:43 AM PST by evad (Welcome back Joe Gibbs...we've been waitin')
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To: FairOpinion
Well, well, well -- it does make it harder for him to criticize Bush, doesn't it?

You'd think. It hasn't stopped them up to now, not even John F*ing Kerry who has been wetting his pants every time someone mentions his war vote.

41 posted on 01/12/2004 10:07:54 AM PST by SquirrelKing
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To: JohnnyZ
Richard N. Swett -- ROFL! I've never seen anyone use his full name before.
Yes, ladies and gentleman, "Richard N." is generally known as "Dick".

You mean that people can say Dick Swett without laughing? I can't.

42 posted on 01/12/2004 10:08:40 AM PST by NeoCaveman (McNaab is still over rated)
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To: FairOpinion
Rush is referring to this now as we speak.
43 posted on 01/12/2004 10:09:08 AM PST by evad (Welcome back Joe Gibbs...we've been waitin')
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To: dhs12345
Who is Snow White -- Hillary?

Aw come on..you know she's the evil witch.

The other 9 better check for poisoned apples.

44 posted on 01/12/2004 10:12:28 AM PST by evad (Welcome back Joe Gibbs...we've been waitin')
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To: Miss Marple
The more I see of political candidates, the more I'm convinced that Plato's Republic was right on target when it came to leadership qualifications: Anyone who wants to serve as a leader should immediately be disqualified from ever doing so. The best leader would be one who has to be abducted and forced to serve.

As far as Wesley Clark is concerned, I'll harken back to the immortal words of a truck driver on the Ohio Turnpike a few years ago (talking about someone in politics or law enforcement who had done some wrong to him back then): Don't you pay no mind to him -- he's nothing but an anus with teeth in it.

45 posted on 01/12/2004 10:13:33 AM PST by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE North strong and free.)
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To: Miss Marple
Fox just said that Jean Shaheen held a press conference in New Hampshire this morning where she played this very tape and said Clark was unfit to serve.......LOL......OMG, we couldn't make this stuff up!
46 posted on 01/12/2004 10:15:48 AM PST by Howlin (Bush has stolen two things which Democrats believe they own by right: the presidency & the future)
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To: FairOpinion
There is more info to be released. Perhaps the drunken, lightweight, stupid, incompetent, nitwit, frat boy president who lost in Florida is going to outfox them again. Come on, RATS, keep giving him the rope to hang you.
47 posted on 01/12/2004 10:15:57 AM PST by doug from upland (Don't wait until it is too late to stop Hillary -- do something today!)
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To: FlameThrower
Wesley Clark is Chauncey Gardner with ambition

LOL!

Ron Steigler: Mr. Gardner, uh, my editors and I have been wondering if you would consider writing a book for us, something about your um, political philosophy, what do you say?
Chance the Gardener: I can't write.
Ron Steigler: Heh, heh, of course not, who can nowadays? Listen, I have trouble writing a postcard to my children. Look uhh, we can give you a six figure advance, I've provide you with the very best ghost-writer, proof-readers...
Chance the Gardener: I can't read.
Ron Steigler: Of course you can't! No one has the time! We, we glance at things, we watch television...
Chance the Gardener: I like to watch TV.

Memorable Quotes from Being There (1979)

48 posted on 01/12/2004 10:16:09 AM PST by kennedy
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To: evad
LOL!

Thanks for the laugh!
49 posted on 01/12/2004 10:16:13 AM PST by dhs12345
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To: Fabozz
Gosh, I wonder which presidential campaign has access to home videos of obscure press functions in New Hampshire.

John Edwards?

50 posted on 01/12/2004 10:16:42 AM PST by Howlin (Bush has stolen two things which Democrats believe they own by right: the presidency & the future)
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