Skip to comments.Was Bush fixated on 'getting Saddam'? [Schorr Gets In On Media Attack]
Posted on 03/25/2004 3:28:30 PM PST by johnny7
WASHINGTON A Texas Democratic fundraiser, speaking not for attribution, told me about the lunch he recently had at the home of former President Clinton in the New York suburbs. Clinton recounted his last meeting with President Bush over coffee, just before the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2001. The outgoing president counseled his successor that he would face five challenges in the international arena - the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Al Qaeda terrorist threat, a nuclear-armed North Korea, the India-Pakistan confrontation, and the Saddam Hussein dictatorship in Iraq.
Clinton was surprised at Bush's response. He said he disagreed with Clinton's order - that he considered Saddam Hussein to be the primary threat that he would have to deal with. The story casts a light - as it probably was intended to do - on the current controversy over whether President Bush allegedly neglected the war on terrorism in his single-minded preoccupation with bringing down Saddam Hussein, the man who plotted the assassination of his father.
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said in his memoir that from the first meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) 10 days after the inauguration, the White House seemed obsessed with Saddam Hussein as "a bad person who needed to go." The White House dismissed O'Neill as a disgruntled employee. But now we have the dramatic account of Richard Clarke, who served as antiterrorism coordinator for 10 years under four presidents. In his newly published memoir, Clarke says that ousting Hussein was "Topic A" from the first NSC meeting, just as O'Neill had said, and there was little discussion of why the Iraqi dictator was being targeted. Clarke wrote that the day after Sept. 11, 2001, the president pulled him and a small group of aides into the Situation Room, closed the door and said, "Go back over everything, everything. See if Saddam did this." Clarke said he replied, "But Mr. President, Al Qaeda did this." "I know, I know," Mr. Bush is quoted. "But see if Saddam is involved. Just look. I want to know any shred."
The Bush administration has been saturating the airwaves with denials of Clarke's charges. But they seem to fit with the public statements of the president and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, seeking to link Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda. The great concern in the White House is that the Saddam fixation to the neglect of the terrorist threat may end up as a campaign issue. And it well may.
Daniel Schorr is a senior news analyst at National Public Radio.
With the news media in the back pocket of the DNC, I fear greatly for this country.
Support for Hamas (terrorist group dedicated to the elimination of Israel) has dropped substantially as a result of the fall of the Iraq funding. Hamas and other Middle East terrorist groups are feeling the pinch. We also see that Libya's own leader's son is quoted in AL JAZEERA saying Libya now sees the merit in Middle East democracy, and that the Arabs need to stop the fighting. How's THAT for justification, morons?
We are supposed to take the word of a Socialist schill, who name-drops the perjured perverted former Oval Office tenant, in the company of ANOTHER Socialist pawn who happens to be an NPR flack?
Can anyone loan me a powerful enough microscope to see the credibility of all this?
It's as if Shorr is running to print with a rumor. Hmmmmmm . . .
Wait just a minute, here. Hadn't clinton and carter(?) gotten an agreement that North Korea shut its nuclear programs down? Wasn't the agreement any good, billie-boy?
Daniel Schorr is a senile Socialist. Daniel Schorr is living off of subsidies from the taxpayers. Daniel Schorr is irrelevant.
the Kerry talking point is successful, framing Iraq as an "obsession", yet Kerry voted for Clinton's ILA and Bush's Iraq plans too.
Why doesn't Schorr ask Clinton? Not get the answer he would want?
I heard Mr. Limbaugh say NBS, ABS, and CBS today and thought he had erred. Guess it was a joke. That's a real forehead-slapper!
Not sure why Clinton would be "surprised"; it could be a simple matter of different compartmentalization. Even if the two men operate from similar assessments of all these "challenges", if items 2 and 5 on Clinton's list are two heads of the same larger hydra then they would easily overtake item 1, presumably in Clinton's eyes as well as Bush's. Of course, Clinton would probably challenge the notion that 2 and 5 are related, indeed a big part of his foreign policy was founded upon the axiom of their disjointness.
But all evidence indicates that this is what Bush believes. That 2 and 5 are artificial subcategories of the real item #1.
...the current controversy over whether President Bush allegedly neglected the war on terrorism in his single-minded preoccupation with bringing down Saddam Hussein,
So "single-minded" that he invaded Iraq a mere 19 months after 9/11/2001. And in the meantime he launched and concluded some other war, against some other country. Clearly the man was OBSESSED!
the man who plotted the assassination of his father.
Among other things, which I suppose are all not important.
The "Bush was obsessed with Saddam cuz he tried to kill his father" conspiracy theory is exceedingly bizarre to me. A President's son, surely, knows that his father is the President, and that people will try to kill him for that reason. Especially if that son is 40+ years old when it happens. This risk comes with the territory of being President, so I just don't buy the idea at all that this would call for "revenge". People who say this, and assume that other people (like Bush) think this way, are betraying something very strange about their own thought process.
the White House seemed obsessed with Saddam Hussein as "a bad person who needed to go."
And... he wasn't?
Clarke says that ousting Hussein was "Topic A" from the first NSC meeting
there was little discussion of why the Iraqi dictator was being targeted.
Perhaps because it was already settled national policy. Was Clarke also surprised that there was little discussion over why we have a standing armed forces? Clearly that needs to be justified and discussed to Clarke's satisfaction?
Clarke wrote that the day after Sept. 11, 2001, the president pulled him and a small group of aides into the Situation Room, closed the door and said, "Go back over everything, everything. See if Saddam did this." Clarke said he replied, "But Mr. President, Al Qaeda did this."
Read this closely because THIS RIGHT HERE IS THE REAL SCANDAL.
On September 12th, 2001, Richard Clarke, assistant counterterrorism national security whatever, told our President "Al Qaeda did this" and that it needed no further investigation. When the President ordered him to look into possible Iraq fingerprints, he protested!
Where the hell does he get off??
3000 people were murdered the day before and he's ready to STOP INVESTIGATING and just say "Al Qaeda did this"??? The more I think about it, the more pissed off I get. This is the kind of guy we had in charge of fighting terrorism? An attack occurs, he places it neatly into his mental "Al Qaeda" category, and closes the door on further inquiry? Incompetent, negligent, simple-minded, bumbling, obstinate, insubordinate bureaucratic boob. These are some of the words that come to mind.
Think back to what you were doing, and thinking, on September 12, 2001? We didn't know exactly who did it, we didn't know if the number of dead was less than or more than 20,000, theories were flying around. But Richard Clarke was saying "AL QAEDA, CASE CLOSED, NO FURTHER INVESTIGATION PLEASE". If at that time I'd have known there was a guy in government saying flippantly to the President "we know Al Qaeda was behind this and nobody else so there's no need to investigate anything" I'd have had the inclination to go on over to Washington and kick that man's ass.
"I know, I know," Mr. Bush is quoted. "But see if Saddam is involved. Just look. I want to know any shred."
This is precisely what I would have wanted from a President on September 12, 2001. Why the hell is this all considered a scandal on Bush and not on Clarke?
The great concern in the White House is that the Saddam fixation to the neglect of the terrorist threat
The evidence that the terrorist threat has been "neglected" being __________...?
Man, I'm still ticked about these Clarke revelations.
Ticked at Clarke.
Essentially, the man's gleefully telling the country that he's a shamefully incompetent boob incapable of thinking outside the tiny box he had lovingly crafted for himself. "Al Qaeda did this, why investigate anything"???? My. God.
Schorr is just playing out his string, delivering red meat to NPR leftists.
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