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Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Out of the loop?

Out of the loop?

Dick Cheney ran to slander Dick Clarke on the pigboy racist junkie Limbaugh's show yesterday. Not that he had any choice, given the seriousness of the charges.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, he wasn't -- he wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff. And I saw part of his interview last night, and he wasn't --

Does Cheney realize the implications of ths? That the head of counterterrorism had no idea of our post-9/11 counterterrorism strategy? That's an amazing statement pigboy missed. How could he not be in the loop? As someone said "he was the loop". What was the White House doing? Going behind his back?

Q He was demoted.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: It was as though he clearly missed a lot of what was going on. For example, just three weeks after the -- after we got here, there was communication, for example, with the President of Pakistan, laying out our concerns about Afghanistan and al Qaeda, and the importance of going after the Taliban and getting them to end their support for the al Qaeda. This was, say, within three weeks of our arrival here.

But what was done? Nothing.

So I guess, the other thing I would say about Dick Clarke is that he was here throughout those eight years, going back to 1993, and the first attack on the World Trade Center; and '98, when the embassies were hit in East Africa; in 2000, when the USS Cole was hit. And the question that ought to be asked is, what were they doing in those days when he was in charge of counterterrorism efforts?

Arresting terrorists and planning strikes against Al Qaeda. Or did he miss all those trials in Manhattan? Did he forget 1998?

Q Well, the media finally has what it wants -- I'm talking about the partisan media has what it wants. It's got an independent contractor, a man whose worked for both administrations, now launching full barrels at the President. And one of the claims that Clarke is making is that -- and you just countered it -- he said the President didn't treat al Qaeda as a serious threat before September 11th. He keeps harping on the fact that even before your administration assumed office, you guys wanted to go in and level Iraq.

Because they published the PNAC manifesto in 1996 while working for Likud and Dick Cheney was a charter member.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, that's -- again, that's just not the case. The fact is, what the President did not want to do is to have an ineffective response with respect to al Qaeda. And we felt that up until that point that much of what had been done vis-a-vis al Qaeda had been totally ineffective: some cruise missiles fired at some training camps in Afghanistan that basically didn't hit anything. And it made the U.S. look weak and ineffective. And he wanted a far more effective policy for trying to deal with that. And that process was in motion throughout the spring.

Didn't the GOP accuse Clinton of wagging the dog while the bombers were in the air? Didn't they claim it was a distraction? So do you think they would have supported more robust action, like a special ops raid?

Q Why do you think -- and he's not the first, Clarke is not the first -- why do you think so many opponents of the President -- and what do they hope to achieve by continually attacking Condoleezza Rice?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well -- (laughter) -- it's short-sighted. Condi, is well able to defend herself. She's done a superb job for us, and is extremely knowledgeable National Security Advisor.

Because she's amazingly incompetant at her job? That's my answer. It certainly isn't because she's a black woman like pigboy is hinting at.

Q Well, I guess what I'm getting at --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I've worked with a lot of them over the years. I suppose he may have a grudge to bear there since he probably wanted a more prominent position than she was prepared to give him.

Oh yeah, after 30 years of highly praised government service and a position teaching at Harvard, Dick Clarke has every reason to be bitter

Q Well, I guess what I'm getting at is that whenever it comes to the counterterrorism efforts, foreign policy in general, it seems that elements of the Democratic Party today and their allies attack Condoleezza Rice, which is a matter of real curiosity to me. And, of course, she can defend herself -- as she did today in The Washington Post. But it's just part of the -- what to me appears now to be an obvious attack machine at full throttle. You have this book coming out while John Kerry is on vacation so he doesn't have to say this stuff. The author of this book is associated with Kerry's foreign policy advisor, up at the Kennedy School. You have a Bob Woodward book that's coming in a few weeks from the same publisher. Despite all of these attacks, and by the way, I actually think, Mr. Vice President, if you'll permit me an editorial comment here, you have the Clinton administration -- if they had defended the country as eagerly and with as much fervor as they are attempting to defend themselves in all this, we might have -- and I don't expect you comment, I just -- we might have escaped some of the attacks that we've had.

Pigboy racist junkie lies again. The GOP ran Congress during the latter years of Clinton, they objected to action against Osama to undermine Clinton. Clarke is a registered Republican and an intelligence official who served Reagan, Bush 41 and Clinton in important jobs. Now he's Paul Begala? I don't think so. He's not stumping for Kerry, he's not running for office. He's just saying something pigboy doesn't want to hear

But with this frontal assault, the President's poll numbers remain up. The administration remains focused. They haven't taken you off your game. What effect -- both in a governing sense and in a political sense -- is this full frontal assault having on all of you in the White House?

His poll numbers are what? Please. For an incumbent president, his ass is in trouble.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, we've got to get on with our business. There's plenty of work to be done. The terrorist threat is very real. It continues out there every day. The President and I and Condi Rice, Andy Card begin our day six days a week meeting with the Director of the CIA and the Director of the FBI and reviewing intelligence, and working these problems. And you've got to be able to continue to do that, even if there is a campaign underway out there.

And I think we've done that fairly well. We can't let our guard down. We've got to remain vigilant. We've still got major issues, obviously, in the sense that terrorists have launched many attacks around the world since 9/11 in places like Madrid, most recently -- but Casablanca, Riyadh, Bali, Jakarta, Mombasa. It's a worldwide global problem, and it's got to be dealt with, I think, very aggressively -- just the way the President's dealt with it.

As Dick Clarke said, terrorism is worse now than before 9/11. Iraq is a terrorist paradise. Who created that mess? Yeah, aggresively. Eight months to capture Saddam, two years to ineffectively hunt Osama. Yeah, color me impressed.

posted by Steve @ 1:36:00 PM

1:36:00 PM

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