Skip to comments.Gen. Clark Weighs Presidential Bid; Accuses Bush of inaction before 9/11
Posted on 09/14/2003 6:35:27 PM PDT by nwrep
The Associated Press
|KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Sept. 13
Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, sensing growing support for a Democratic presidential bid, said Saturday he is days away from announcing a decision and launched into an attack on President Bush.
In a half-hour speech to 1,000 cheering Democrats in heavily Republican East Tennessee, Clark said Bush has failed the country on health care, education and foreign policy.
"The No. 1 responsibility of the commander in chief is what? The safety and security of the United States of America," Clark said, questioning the administration's efforts to avoid the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"What happened on 9-11, Mr. President? Why is it that eight months into your administration, why is it that there was no plan to deal with the number one threat that Bill Clinton's national security team warned you about when you took office?"
Clark charged the Bush administration with "obfuscation and slow investigations and memos and shenanigans and creating departments" in response to Sept. 11.
"Let's have some accountability, here," he said, recalling Harry Truman's credo that "The buck stops here."
Clark also challenged the president to explain the administration's strategy on the war in Iraq. "What is the intent, what is the plan, Mr. President? Because the commander in chief better have a plan and we haven't heard it yet."
Clark, 58, who headed the U.S. Southern Command and was NATO commander during the 1999 campaign in Kosovo, said his 34 years in the military taught him, "The highest calling of the armed forces is not to wage war, but to prevent war."
Supporters chanted "Draft, General Clark. Draft, General Clark."
"Now I haven't made up my mind whether I am going to run," Clark, in shirt sleeves, told the crowd. "But I have my jacket off. And you can figure this out."
In an interview earlier with The Associated Press on the front porch of actor David Keith's home, Clark said there was only one decision before him. "And that decision is, do you run for the office of president or do you stay in the private sector?"
Sounding like a candidate, he said without hesitation, "I think I have a tremendous amount to offer this country, a lifetime of public service and leadership."
He said a vice presidential slot is not on his mind, though he won't rule it out.
Clark, whose calendar includes a speech in Iowa Sept. 19, said he will announce his intentions within "the next few days probably," most likely in his home state of Arkansas.
"It just seemed to me if I was going to go to Iowa I probably ought to know what I was doing before I went there," he said.
Al Sharpton, one of nine Democrats already in the race, received a warm greeting in a speech to the Democrat dinner, but it seemed a warm-up to Clark.
Clark's candidacy "would only expand the field" and help the party, Sharpton said later. Clark said he would support Sharpton if the minister wins the nomination and Sharpton said he would do the same for Clark.
"If you can bring the Wesley Clark wing and the Al Sharpton wing of the party out, George Bush doesn't stand a chance," Sharpton said.
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) Howard Dean's campaign is expanding its much-touted Internet organizing as it heads toward the all-important end of the third quarter fund-raising period.
Campaign manager Joe Trippi outlined the steps Friday that range from the now-familiar Internet-organized monthly meetings via meetup.com to such newer ones as DeanTV and an expanding wireless network.
It has a goal of signing up 450,000 supporters via its Web site by the end of September, 900,000 by December and 2 million by the Democratic National Convention next August.
As of midday Friday, 390,111 people had signed up. Campaign staff said nearly all of them contribute in some form, nearly 40 percent financially and thousands more by organizing events, handing out fliers or gaining more visibility for Dean.
Trippi, while leading reporters through a demonstration of the campaign's redoubled online efforts, told of a group of 80 from Philadelphia who attended a Phillies baseball game wearing their Dean T-shirts. They were welcomed to the game with an announcement on the ballpark's scoreboard. He showed a picture of a similar group in Florida who had done the same thing.
Trippi said the goal is to develop a campaign consisting of concentric circles. The headquarters staff is at the center and networks of loosely organized volunteers across the country are in circles linking with the national team.
The tools include such things as DeanTV, where the candidate gives a pep talk each month to be shown to supporters who meet via the Web site MeetUp.com.
That is a lie. The more and more I hear about Wesley Clark the more I don't like him.
If it was the number one threat, why didn't your drinking buddy Billy Clinton do anything about, Wesley?
If Bill Clinton recognized Osama Bin Laden as the "number one threat" to our nation, why did he turn down multiple chances to kill him or take him into custody, general?
Oh, and why are you such an asshole?
He really said that? Un-f-ing-believable!!! I'm...I'm....speechless. (If you knew me, you'd realize how truly incredible that is!)
General Clarkes war record is something less than stellar...
General Wesley Clark is riding high on what is universally considered his prescience about the current Iraq war. Going unremarked is his utter lack of prescience about his own war, in Kosovo in 1999.
Back then, Clark thought he had Slobodan Milosevic figured out, and that the mere threat of NATO bombing and perhaps a day or two of the real thing would bring him to the negotiating table and force him to be reasonable. When this turned out not to be the case, Clark had no Plan B, because President Clinton had ruled out ground troops from the outset.
Wesley Clark: The Guy Who Almost Started World War III
"I'm not going to start the third world war for you," General Sir Mike Jackson, commander of the international KFOR peacekeeping force, is reported to have told Gen. Clark when he refused to accept an order to send assault troops to prevent Russian troops from taking over the airfield of Kosovo's provincial capital.
This guy is going to try to ride his stars up the ladder, but his opponents are the same anti-war people who oppose Bush. My guess is that you had better dig up all your dirt quick on this guy, because they are going to be cleaning out their websites soon!
I'm left speechless by this one, and it just begs to be turned into the eight years the Dims used to bamboozle us with multilateral BS while nothing real was done to protect the security of the US.