Monumental incompetence

March 23rd, 2004 – 8:45 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

Long story short, Richard Clarke, who served under Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and then, for a time, Bush II, was on 60 Minutes this past Sunday, telling a tale of the glorious incompetence that took place at the Bush II White House before 9/11 (while he was the anti-terror czar).

As you might imagine, the people in the Bush administration, who like to portray their guy as the world’s only hope against terrorism, aren’t at all happy about this.

So far the White House has responded by both just calling Clarke a liar and saying that he can’t know about these things because he wasn’t kept in the loop.

Huh? They were keeping their own anti-terror czar out of the loop?

As Moe Blues over on Bad Attitude says:

So Dick Cheney is making the rounds claiming that Clarke was “out of the loop” in the administration’s counter-terror efforts. Therefore, Clarke doesn’t know what he’s talking about and anything he says should be instantly discounted.

It’s amazing that Cheney does not seem to realize what he is actually saying: That the Bush administration’s top expert on terrorism was not consulted about their counter-terrorism efforts. This presents several unpalatable choices:

1. Cheney is lying for political gain. If the public picks up on this, the backlash could be out of all proportion to the damage Cheney is trying to control.

2. The administration deliberately ignored its in-house expert, with September 11 being the result. This eliminates one more scapegoat, since the White House cannot simultaneously blame Clarke for failing to stop 9/11 while claiming he was “out of the loop” on counter-terrorism.

3. Assuming Cheney speaks the truth, it actually bolsters Clarke’s claim to Cassandra-hood. Cut out of the loop, his warnings went nowhere and were ignored. That, too, is pretty damning of the administration.

This one is turning into a well-deserved firestorm, mainly because the media loves this sort of revelation. Hopefully it’ll be enough to change some people’s minds about Bush’s competence, but, unfortunately, sometimes nothing can make the blind see.

[via Atrios and Sisyphus Shrugged]

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