Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Who's the liar?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Condi Rice, it seems, not Bill Clinton. And if not quite a liar, she's at the very least a misleader.

In response to Clinton's now-famous FOX interview with Chris Wallace, the one during which he passionately defended his record against right-wing charges that he didn't do enough to combat al Qaeda, Condi Rice claims that the White House was "not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda". "Big pieces were missing," she says, "like an approach to Pakistan that might work, because without Pakistan you weren't going to get Afghanistan".

Oh, really? The Raw Story is reporting that "just five days after President George W. Bush was sworn into office, a memo from counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke to Rice included the 2000 document, 'Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al-Qida: Status and Prospects.' This document devotes over 2 of its 13 pages of material to specifically addressing strategies for securing Pakistan's cooperation in airstrikes against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan."

Count on Clarke to tell it like it was. Bill Clinton was by no means a perfect president, and perhaps he could have done more, much more, to combat the rising tide of jihadist terrorism against the U.S. But he's right about this: He tried to do something long before terrorism was a priority. Bush, by contrast, did nothing during the months leading up to 9/11. Indeed, he did nothing until his hand was forced by 9/11. And then he quickly turned away from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the pursuit of al Qaeda to launch, as we all know by now, an ill-conceived war in Iraq that has since become a disaster.

Who's the liar? Not Clinton. Who's tough on terrorism? Not Bush and not the Republicans. The warnings were there along with the analysis and advice from experts like Clarke. Rice and her boss, the ostrich president, chose not to listen and chose not to care. And we all know what happened next.


For more, see Think Progress, The Carpetbagger Report, The Mahablog, The Agonist, Taylor Marsh, Angry Bear, NewsHog, Majikthise, Liberal Values, AMERICAblog, and Crooks and Liars.

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  • Did you see the beginning of the Daily Show last night? They show clips of Rice saying that the Clinton administration never left a plan, only descriptions of the specific threats and current situation, alongs with a list of "action points" (Or something to that effect. If only I could remember the exact wording). As Stewart points out, white Rice describes IS a plan, despite her denials that this is what it is.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:04 PM  

  • I missed the very beginning, but I'll try to catch it online later today. Of course, Stewart's right, and he does us all a great service by exposing the spin for what it is. Republicans may have attacked Clinton over the meaning of the word "is," but Republicans are the true masters of bullshit.

    By the way, did you catch Musharraf on the show last night. I suppose I've always been rather ambivalent towards him, but he was a good guest with a good sense of humour.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 4:52 PM  

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