Friday, March 26, 2004

FOXNews.com - Politics - Transcript: Clarke Praises Bush Team in '02

I don't normally read Fox News, but they have the only source of the Clarke transcript. And lookee here, the Fox news spin has deliberately misrepresented a key piece of information.

The points are obviously being read from a set of prepared talking points. That is pretty crucial because it is completely clear that he is fronting the admin policy, not his own opinion.

Also look at "there was no plan on Al Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration.", (my emphasis) this has been reported as 'there was no plan'. Deliberate deception is going on here. Clark has made it abundantly clear that the Bushies rejected the Clinton plans.

The third point is, "And the third point is the Bush administration decided then, you know, in late January, to do two things. One, vigorously pursue the existing policy, including all of the lethal covert action findings, which we've now made public to some extent".

Clarke very carefully uses the word 'decided', not 'acted on'. The whole point Clarke has been making is that there was no action on the strategy.

The key question that never came up in the Q and A is that Clarke was never asked if there were strong recomendations made by the Clinton people that were not put into effect. Obviously Clinton had zero plans for dealing with Al Qaeda after his term of office expired.

Same on the claim that the policy changed from 'rollback to elimination'. What is unsaid here is the timescale. The Bushies may have wanted elimination within ten years, Clinton immediate 'rollback'. When you add what was said then and now it sounds to me like Bush was not interested in any action against Al Qaeda short of eliminating it completely. He did not want to take actions like bombing training camps or trying to eliminate Bin Laden that was 'swatting flies'.

In other words his idea to eliminate al Qaeda was probably to cut off support from Iraq.

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