The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Friday, April 02, 2004

They were warned

Clarke Watch

Well, the right-wing smearing of Richard Clarke has been both intense, as expected, and hysterical, as expected.

What's most frustrating about the Cheney Administration is the arrogance with which it insults our intelligence. First, it has the audacity to force, over both the popular and electoral votes, this incurious, shallow bumpkin on us and the rest of the world as a "leader". W is the worst excuse for a human being we've had in the oval office in a long time, and I include Nixon in that list - and it isn't only because he lets Cheney pull his strings. He is starting to have almost as much blood on his hands as LBJ.

Their latest insult to our collective intelligence is the smear of Clarke. They can't even think ahead to what their statements and actions mean. All they know is that Clarke isn't being "loyal", and like any other cosa nostra, they mean to destroy anybody who doesn't put loyalty to their junta above all else. But back to why this should insult anyone with half a brain and memory that goes back more than 2 years (this obviously excludes the vast majority of the media):

After 9/11 happened, there was only one way for the Cheney administration to spin it that was even remotely favorable to them: that they had dropped the ball. The Bushies all came out and said, "Gee, we are really surprised by this. Along with the rest of the American people, we weren't expecting it, and were caught with our pants down. We will now focus like a laser beam on the problem of Iraq, er, I mean, terrorism, because it is clear what a deadly serious issue it is. (Plus we can use terrorism to justify all of our harmful policies and accuse all of our political opponents of being, or supporting, 'terraists'. See how neat that works out?)"

So, in essence, they argued for their own incompetence. "Whoops", they said, (though of course they never apologized) "who would have guessed?" (I shouldn't have to remind readers of the Watch that in the summer of 2001, Bush attended an economic conference in Milan, where anti-aircraft guns were used to secure the summit, lest fanatics hijack a plane and crash it into them. I guess the members of his security team didn't know what those guns were for.)

Now Clarke comes along. His book has many important themes and analyses, including spreading blame between White Houses for not being able to roll up Al Qaeda. But he has three main points about this administration in particular that I think drive his urgency to communicate. 1. This White House was not unaware. They were warned, repeatedly and urgently, by him. 2. The administration was focused on Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, before and after the attack, and were happy to have an excuse to invade. 3. The invasion of Iraq was Osama Bin Laden's dream fantasy - a perfect tool for recruitment of new members to anti-US hate, and a rallying cry for Islamic fanaticism everywhere.

The lazy concubines in the press will ignore points 2 and 3 forever, if we let them, because they are complicit in shoving us into this horrible war. (By the way, somebody snaps a few pictures of some mercenaries getting killed in Iraq, and NOW it's a brutal war? NOW? What about all of the thousands of innocent Iraqi children and other civilians who we have maimed? Those "Shock and Awe" fireworks on CNN were pictures of real people, with real families, being burned and crushed to death in a city, with our weapons. We may not have dragged their bodies triumphantly through the streets (*cough cough Uday and Qusay cough*), but for people to suddenly wake up now and declare this a brutal war?! They need to be slapped. What about the hundreds of dead US soldiers, if they can't be bothered to consider Iraqis? What about all of the horrible maimings on both sides? Somebody had a camera to see how some Iraqis really feel about mercenaries occupying their country, and NOW people are outraged, shocked, and disgusted? What do they think the anti-war people were talking about all those months? Ignorant fools.) So, don't expect the press to ever acknowledge what Clarke is trying to say about Iraq, even though he resigned in protest as the war began.

Instead, as a smoke screen, both the White House and the press are focusing hysterically on point 1, that they were warned before 9/11. Clarke says they were warned and that they were asleep at the wheel. Now, I think it is easy to surmise that they were indeed warned. Part of their uncontrolled, uncoordinated response to Clarke has been the statement that, although Clarke was warning them about Al Qaeda, he was such a jerk that no one could work with him. So, they've pretty much admitted that Clarke was trying to warn them. And, apparently there was so much chatter in summer 2001 that the FBI and CIA were lit up like Christmas trees.

As Digby notes in this post, there have been a boatload of officials that have resigned and walked out of this administration in disgust over their handling of terrorism. Quoting Digby, this includes Richard Clarke and "Rand Beers and Donald Kerrick and Roger Cressey and Paul O'Neill and John Brady Kiesling and Joseph Wilson and John H. Brown and Don North and Anthony Zinni and Karen Kwiatkowski and Ray McGovern and Ray Mcmichael " I would add to this list John O'Neill, who Digby may have meant by Paul O'Neill. John resigned from the FBI in disgust that the Cheney administration was actually not just ignoring Al Qaeda, but had specifically ordered the FBI to back off any investigations involving the Bin Ladens. John quit, took a job at the World Trade Center, and died on 9/11. You can read more about him at

So, it's pretty clear that Clarke and others did warn them. As far as them being asleep at the wheel, I think the ends prove it. If they were really "on battlestations" and on point, and treating terrorism as an important subject, and all that other stuff that they are claiming now, would Bush have continued to read a goat story to grade school kids after Andrew Card told him that "America was under attack" that morning? Would our fighters which are supposed to be able to scramble to protect Washington DC in 5 minutes or some such short time have failed to shoot down the jet that slammed into the Pentagon, some 45 minutes after the first plane hit the WTC? Would NORAD have been so asleep?

Now, here is the really mind-blowing, intelligence-insulting part of it. Remember, that being "asleep at the wheel" is THEIR COVER STORY. It is their only defense for letting 9/11 happen. That they were well meaning, but incompetent bumblers is their original spin. In their knee jerk, fanatical, desperate need to smear Clarke because he isn't toeing the administration line (now that he is a private citizen), they are denouncing everything he says, including their prime excuse.

What that leaves us with is that they were warned, they knew terrorism was a major problem, and yet 9/11 unfolded in the way that it did. Conclusions? They are not only incompetent (their first story), but are criminally negligent. Or worse, they let it happen on purpose. Those are their only two choices, now that they are painting themselves as being so on top of the pre-9/11 situation. Those stupid fools.

By the way, as they continue to smear Clarke, even accusing him of perjury without actually accusing him of perjury, as the creepy Bill Frist was happy to do in the Senate last week, remember that on 9/11 itself, when they thought that the White House was the next target, Richard Clarke and about a dozen other stayed in the White House command room, running the response to the attacks. Chimpus unelectus flew to Louisiana, then Nebraska. Sneer Cheney was holed up in a bomb shelter. As everyone else fled the White House, including Condoleeza Rice, the people remaining behind were told to email out a list of names of the people in the Situation Room so they could identify the bodies later. Richard Clarke stayed behind, strongly suspecting it was the end of his life, to continue to fight the terrorists and protect this country. That's the kind of man they are painting as delusional, unreliable, and treasonous now.

But, I'm sure this will all come out. After all, Rice now has to testify in public and under oath to the whitewashing 9/11 committee, which is being run by people complicit in the Iraq planning coverup. And Cheney gets to hold Bush's hand as they testify "together". Ah, isn't that sweet?

As we note that Bush's poll numbers were rising after the Clarke stuff last week, and that Americans had better get their ignorant heads out of their asses lest evil really win a stunning victory this fall, I urge you all to look into get out the vote efforts for the summer. We've never faced a more important election. Democracies are not great at always choosing the best leaders. Our strength lies in being able to elect out bad leaders. Let's play to our strength.


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