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FORMER WHITE HOUSE TERRORISM ADVISOR: BUSH ADMIN WAS DISCUSSING BOMBING IRAQ FOR 9/11 DESPITE...
DRUDGE ^ | 3/19/04 | Drudge

Posted on 03/19/2004 3:13:02 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection

Edited on 03/19/2004 5:25:30 PM PST by Jim Robinson. [history]

Former White House terrorism advisor Richard Clarke tells Lesley Stahl that on September 11, 2001 and the day after - when it was clear Al Qaeda had carried out the terrorist attacks - the Bush administration was considering bombing Iraq in retaliation. Clarke's exclusive interview will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday March 21 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Clarke was surprised that the attention of administration officials was turning toward Iraq when he expected the focus to be on Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. "They were talking about Iraq on 9/11. They were talking about it on 9/12," says Clarke.

The top counter-terrorism advisor, Clarke was briefing the highest government officials, including President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in the aftermath of 9/11. "Rumsfeld was saying we needed to bomb Iraq....We all said, 'but no, no. Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan," recounts Clarke, "and Rumsfeld said, 'There aren't any good targets in Afghanistan and there are lots of good targets in Iraq.' I said, 'Well, there are lots of good targets in lots of places, but Iraq had nothing to do with [the 9/11 attacks],'" he tells Stahl.

Clarke goes on to explain what he believes was the reason for the focus on Iraq. "I think they wanted to believe that there was a connection [between Iraq and Al Qaeda] but the CIA was sitting there, the FBI was sitting there, I was sitting there, saying, 'We've looked at this issue for years. For years we've looked and there's just no connection,'" says Clarke.

Clarke, who advised four presidents, reveals more about the current administration's reaction to terrorism in his new book, "Against All Enemies."

Developing...


Moderator note: Be sure to read the related story on Richard Clarke:

FORMER WHITE HOUSE TERRORISM ADVISOR RICHARD CLARKE'S LEGACY OF MISCALCULATION


TOPICS: Breaking News
KEYWORDS: 911; richardclarke; terrorism; wmd
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1 posted on 03/19/2004 3:13:02 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
FORMER WHITE HOUSE TERRORISM ADVISOR: BUSH ADMIN WAS DISCUSSING BOMBING IRAQ FOR 9/11 DESPITE KNOWING AL QAEDA WAS TO BLAME
2 posted on 03/19/2004 3:14:44 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection (www.whatyoucrave.com)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11??? They trained the bad guys for YEARS! So, they had nothing to do with it? Why after over two years is this fool just now coming out with this tale?
3 posted on 03/19/2004 3:15:57 PM PST by RetiredArmy (We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American Way! Toby Keith)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
, I was sitting there, saying, 'We've looked at this issue for years. For years we've looked and there's just no connection,'" says Clarke.

The day after 9/11 he had been looking at the Iraq connection to 9/11 for years?

4 posted on 03/19/2004 3:16:02 PM PST by lasereye
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
There is no loyalty left in America.
5 posted on 03/19/2004 3:16:13 PM PST by Rutles4Ever
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To: lasereye
maybe he should have read Laurie Mylorie's books, or talked with James Woolsey.
6 posted on 03/19/2004 3:17:24 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Gotta sell a book!
7 posted on 03/19/2004 3:17:35 PM PST by Rightone
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Because Clarke also worked in the Klintoon White House, Begala was screaming about this upcoming 60 Minutes piece when he was on the Imus program this morning.

Clinton is behind this.
8 posted on 03/19/2004 3:17:37 PM PST by leadpenny
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
There are lots of targets in France too.
9 posted on 03/19/2004 3:17:48 PM PST by Stew Padasso (F Martha! There is rampant corruption and downright theft going on with government.)
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To: RetiredArmy
and let's not forget the anthrax.
10 posted on 03/19/2004 3:17:49 PM PST by oceanview
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To: lasereye
Did we even know that AQ was responsible the day after 9/11?
11 posted on 03/19/2004 3:18:10 PM PST by cwb (Kerry: The only person who could make Bill Clinton look like a moderate)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Well, My suspicion sensor goes up when someone leaves an administration and then writes a book with some stories and tales hostile to the administration and guaranteed to excite the lib press. It guarantees the author lots of publicity (and instant hero status) and it allows the writer to get even with the people who fired him.

That's not to say that his story MIGHT be true -- it's just to say that I start out very suspicious.

12 posted on 03/19/2004 3:19:11 PM PST by WL-law
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: RetiredArmy
because he himself is a terrorist.
he is the guy who sided with the muslims over the christian orthodox serbs in kosovo right?
14 posted on 03/19/2004 3:19:48 PM PST by Robert_Paulson2 (the madridification of our election is now officially underway.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
'We've looked at this issue for years. For years we've looked and there's just no connection,'" says Clarke.

Gee, I guess they missed this interview with an officer in the Iraqi Intelligence unit:

Interview of Mr. Khodada on Salmon Pak Training facility

15 posted on 03/19/2004 3:19:54 PM PST by Michael.SF. (One Clinton in politics is 'probably more then enough'- b. clinton" (for once, I agree with him))
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
OK, let's turn on the FACT o meter. Fact, we attacked Afghanistan first, not Iraq. Fact, Iraq was an enemy and it was already US policy to get rid of Sadaam Hussein. fact, this guy could not have known on September 12 that we knew "for years" that Sadaam had no connection to September 11. Final fact: The administration never justified the Iraq war on a direct connection with 9-11.

SoI ask again, should we give Iraq back to Sadaam?

16 posted on 03/19/2004 3:19:54 PM PST by Williams
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Let's see.

Did Iraq have anything to do with the bombing of the World Trade Center the first time?

Were some of the WTC bombing in 1993 Iraqis or traveled with Iraqi passports?

Did some of the WTC bombing in 1993 flee to Iraq and were protected by Hussein?

Would it not be reasonable to assume that Iraq had something to do with the second bombing of the World Trade Center in 2001?

17 posted on 03/19/2004 3:19:59 PM PST by george wythe
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To: cwb
no
18 posted on 03/19/2004 3:20:26 PM PST by buffyt (There won't be a domestic agenda to worry about unless we deal with this threat to our existence.RL)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection; marron
"They were talking about Iraq on 9/11. They were talking about it on 9/12," says Clarke.

So what? They were probably "talking" about a lot of places. More word games.

What's Clarke's history with the Iraq Liberation Act in the '90's?

19 posted on 03/19/2004 3:20:39 PM PST by Shermy
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To: leadpenny
What the -- this is what angers me about the White House -- not only do they have Mary Matalin running around (Hello -- she's MARRIED to Carville!), they absolutely failed to vet guys like O'Neil and Clarke before putting them into important positions. Grrrrr....

Give someone enough rope and this is what happens...
20 posted on 03/19/2004 3:20:43 PM PST by Rutles4Ever
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To: oceanview
no kidding.
21 posted on 03/19/2004 3:21:08 PM PST by Endeavor (Don't count your Hatch before it chickens)
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To: RetiredArmy
Why after over two years is this fool just now coming out with this tale?

The operative phrase: in his new book
22 posted on 03/19/2004 3:21:20 PM PST by TomGuy ('Jacques strap' Kerry is scarey.)
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To: lasereye
He was referring to the Iraq-Al Qaeda connection in general terms.
23 posted on 03/19/2004 3:21:34 PM PST by Michael.SF. (One Clinton in politics is 'probably more then enough'- b. clinton" (for once, I agree with him))
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To: Rutles4Ever
I recall the discussions were portrayed along the lines of:

BUSH: "Alright, what do you as my advisors suggest we do to get even here? I'm not going to wasting another million dollar missile on a tent in the desert and end up shooting a camel in the butt"
Special Forces Rep: "Mr. President, we can take these people out and, with time, we can even take out their eyeballs, if that's what you want"
TENET: "Mr. President, you know it does no good to go after the terrorists unless you're prepared to drain the swamp"
RUMMY: "Yes, but to drain the swamp, you have to take out Saddam because all terror roads lead through Baghdad"
BUSH: "You're both right. We'll have to take out the Taliban first. Then we'll deal with Saddam. Then we'll finish off whatever else is still left ... frankly I'm kinda partial to the 'taking out their eyeballs' guy"

24 posted on 03/19/2004 3:21:55 PM PST by Steven W.
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
A hit piece paid for by the Kerry's!
25 posted on 03/19/2004 3:21:57 PM PST by Lucky2 (Before I die, I want Bill and Hillary tried for treason and jailed (executed) for their crimess.)
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To: cwb
Someone posted, "Al Qaeda" as one of the first replies on one of the first Breaking News threads after the 2nd Tower was hit.
26 posted on 03/19/2004 3:22:13 PM PST by leadpenny
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Clarke goes on to explain what he believes was the reason for the focus on Iraq. "I think they wanted to believe that there was a connection [between Iraq and Al Qaeda] but the CIA was sitting there, the FBI was sitting there, I was sitting there, saying, 'We've looked at this issue for years. For years we've looked and there's just no connection,'" says Clarke

If he'd been looking at the issue for years then he should have seen September 11 coming. Given he didn't he has no right to be confident in his knowledge of the scope and depth of terrorism and its state sponsorship.

27 posted on 03/19/2004 3:22:55 PM PST by Dolphy
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Here's a link to a good article titled: Richard Clarke's Legacy of Miscalculation

It appears that Mr. Clarke is following the likes of Paul O'Neill. Both men appear bitter because they were dumped.

28 posted on 03/19/2004 3:23:15 PM PST by mass55th
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To: Michael.SF.
Quote "Clarke goes on to explain what he believes was the reason for the focus on Iraq. "I think they wanted to believe that there was a connection [between Iraq and Al Qaeda"

BS - Iraq and AQ are in bed together...

29 posted on 03/19/2004 3:23:19 PM PST by Cheetah1
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Say, you ever heard of Salmak Pak?
30 posted on 03/19/2004 3:23:27 PM PST by txhurl
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
This guy is an a**hole. Of course you discuss bombing Iraq. You discuss a lot of things during a time like this. But the question is what they *did*, not what they discussed.

A**hole. Period.
31 posted on 03/19/2004 3:23:38 PM PST by zook
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To: Rutles4Ever
Hillary probably has his FBI file.
32 posted on 03/19/2004 3:23:41 PM PST by leadpenny
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
For years we've looked and there's just no connection,'" says Clarke.

How do you spell Salmon Pak?

Do you suppose that Rumsfeld knew about Salmon Pak? You bet he did. Was it a resonable assumption at the time and even now that the Salmon Pak facility was used to train airplane hijackers? Is a stretch to think that some of the 9/11 hijackers were trained at Salmon Pak. I think so. I'm betting that Rumsfeld thinks so too.

33 posted on 03/19/2004 3:23:47 PM PST by InterceptPoint
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
I don't care why we took out Iraq/Saddam. We shoulda took out Syria and Iran also (still should). Taking out the Taliban and Saddam sent a strong message to other terror supporting countries.
34 posted on 03/19/2004 3:23:57 PM PST by umgud (speaking strictly as an infidel,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection


Richard Clarke is trying to sell his book....

Would you like some sour grapes with your whine and fromage, monsieur Clarke?
35 posted on 03/19/2004 3:24:10 PM PST by adam_az (Call your state Republican party office and VOLUNTEER FOR A CAMPAIGN!!!)
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To: Michael.SF.
Thank you ... REMEMBER SALMAN PAK!
36 posted on 03/19/2004 3:24:57 PM PST by Steven W.
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection; All
clarkie is a clintonite and a dem lapper

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1101540/posts
37 posted on 03/19/2004 3:25:09 PM PST by Donna Lee Nardo
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To: cwb; buffyt
Did we even know that AQ was responsible the day after 9/11?

Au Contraire....if it was common knowledge to FReepers minutes after the second plane went into WTC, it was common knowledge to the gubmint.

I'm not sure how to link it up, but check my profile page for links and see the "Second Plane" thread - you'll be amazed at some of the posting times.

38 posted on 03/19/2004 3:25:22 PM PST by ErnBatavia (Gay marriage is for suckers...)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection


Was he even a "terrorism" advisor? I thought he was CYBERSECURITY CZAR!!!


39 posted on 03/19/2004 3:26:07 PM PST by adam_az (Call your state Republican party office and VOLUNTEER FOR A CAMPAIGN!!!)
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To: george wythe
And as was just mentioned, the Bush administration never said that Saddam was directly responsible for 9/11. The media has continually made this leap...just as they did the "immenent" threat, which Bush never said. While WMDs may have been the main impotence for war in Iraq, there were several other reasons, including those countries that harbor and finance terrorism. For that alone, Saddam was quilty.
40 posted on 03/19/2004 3:27:12 PM PST by cwb (Kerry: The only person who could make Bill Clinton look like a moderate)
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To: cwb
It's my understanding that they actually considered several sources for the terrorist attack. Nevertheless, there are ample connections between AQ and Iraq--they trained AQ fer cryin' out loud.
41 posted on 03/19/2004 3:28:15 PM PST by MizSterious (First, the journalists, THEN the lawyers.)
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To: cwb; Catspaw
Check out post #8 by Catspaw on this thread:

SECOND PLANE FLIES INTO OTHER TOWER!

42 posted on 03/19/2004 3:28:32 PM PST by leadpenny
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To: Steven W.
you have to take out Saddam because all terror roads lead through Baghdad

I'd say that Iran had and still has that title.

43 posted on 03/19/2004 3:29:12 PM PST by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: Michael.SF.
Thank you for bringing up Salman Pak--I believe there were threads on that on FR at one time, too, some even including the airplane they were using for training terrorists to hijack airplanes.
44 posted on 03/19/2004 3:30:09 PM PST by MizSterious (First, the journalists, THEN the lawyers.)
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To: ErnBatavia
Second plane flies into towers!
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/520265/posts

45 posted on 03/19/2004 3:30:17 PM PST by TomGuy ('Jacques strap' Kerry is scarey.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
He's the putz who had Clinton bomb the aspirin factory and embarassed Reagan with his stupid sonic boom and empty raft idea.

His magnum opus was to eviscerate FOIA.

Thanks a lot, CLYMER!


http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/143

In 1986, as a State Department bureaucrat with pull, he came up with a plan to battle terrorism and subvert Muammar Qaddafi by having SR-71s produce sonic booms over Libya. This was to be accompanied by rafts washing onto the sands of Tripoli, the aim of which was to create the illusion of a coming attack. When this nonsense was revealed, it created embarrassment for the Reagan administration and was buried.

In 1998, according to the New Republic, Clarke "played a key role in the Clinton administration's misguided retaliation for the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which targeted bin Laden's terrorist camps in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan." The pharmaceutical factory was, apparently, just a pharmaceutical factory, and we now know how impressed bin Laden was by cruise missiles that miss.

Trying his hand in cyberspace, Clarke's most lasting contribution is probably the new corporate exemption in the Freedom of Information Act. Originally designed to immunize companies against the theoretical malicious use of FOIA by competitors, journalists and other so-called miscreants interested in ferreting out cyber-vulnerabilities, it was suggested well before the war on terror as a measure that would increase corporate cooperation with Uncle Sam. Clarke labored and lobbied diligently from the NSC for this amendment to existing law, law which he frequently referred to as an "impediment" to information sharing.

While the exemption would inexplicably not pass during the Clinton administration, Clarke and other like-minded souls kept pushing for it. Finally, the national nervous breakdown that resulted from the collapse of the World Trade Center reframed the exemption as a grand idea, and it was embraced by legislators, who even expanded it to give a get-out-of-FOIA-free card to all of corporate America, not just those involved with the cyber-infrastructure. It passed into law as part of the legislation forming the Department of Homeland Security.

However, as with many allegedly bright ideas originally pushed by Richard Clarke, it came with thorns no one had anticipated.

In a January 17 confirmation hearing for Clarke's boss, Tom Ridge, Senator Carl Levin protested that the exemption's language needed to be clarified. "We are denying the public unclassified information in the current law which should not be denied to the public," he said as reported in the Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy News.

"That means that you could get information that, for instance, a company is leaking material into a river that you could not turn over to the EPA," Levin continued. "If that company was the source of the information, you could not even turn it over to another agency."

"It certainly wasn't the intent, I'm sure, of those who advocated the Freedom of Information Act exemption to give wrongdoers protection or to protect illegal activity," replied Ridge while adding he would work to remedy the problem.

Thanks for everything, Mr. Clarke.

46 posted on 03/19/2004 3:30:44 PM PST by adam_az (Call your state Republican party office and VOLUNTEER FOR A CAMPAIGN!!!)
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To: TomGuy
Muchas Gracias! I just went there for a quick scroll; still just as chilling as 9/11...
47 posted on 03/19/2004 3:31:28 PM PST by ErnBatavia (Gay marriage is for suckers...)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Another poster here commented the following: (I paraphrase)

The clifton administration had our highly paid intel experts zeroed in on osmama binLaden and the el-kida's back in the late 90's.

The clifton administration did nothing to solve the problem.

Beginning in January 2001, president bush was commander in chief.

Based on the intel gathered by the CIA, NSA, etc, there was the same clear danger, yet no action was taken to weaken or eliminate the el-kida terrorist group.

I don't understand this.

Someone please help me out here, this isn't true is it?
48 posted on 03/19/2004 3:31:42 PM PST by WhiteGuy (Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...)
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To: RetiredArmy
60 Minutes/Minutes II has had an anti-Bush Admin hit piece almost every week since the beginning of the year. No election year bias, I'm sure......

I don't think we've seen the rage yet, this is going to get louder and louder as we approach November. They hate Bush's guts, plain and simple.

I had 8 stinking years with Rapist Philanderer Liar Clown as my Commander in Chief. They want Kerry, a man cut from the same cloth. THAT'S who THEY ARE.

49 posted on 03/19/2004 3:32:06 PM PST by FlyVet
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To: Rutles4Ever
Before you blow a gasket, you might want to look at this:http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/143

The Bush admin moved this guy to a place he couldn't hurt anybody with his brilliant ideas. No suprise he's dissing them now.
50 posted on 03/19/2004 3:32:48 PM PST by Endeavor (Don't count your Hatch before it chickens)
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