Charles Krauthammer, in the Jewish World Review, demonstrates his OWN Chutzpah by giving a "Chutzpah Award" to - Richard Clarke (of all people). He says:
"It goes to Richard Clarke, now making himself famous by blaming the Bush administration for Sept. 11 - after Clarke had spent eight years in charge of counterterrorism for a Clinton administration that did nothing."
In the first place, Clarke never "blam[ed] the Bush administration for Sept 11." He claims that both the Bush AND Clinton administrations were too lackadaisical, including himself.
In the second place "the Clinton administration did nothing" is FALSE. In fact, while he was President the Republicans accused him of focusing TOO MUCH on terrorism.
And that's exactly why Clarke is being attacked so mercilessly by the Bushes.
Because the MYTH - that Clinton did nothing about terrorism, and Hero Bush is a Hands-On Commander In Chief Who Has Come To Save Us All - is being challenged. And Bush needs that myth for political reasons. Because it's all he has.
But it IS a myth - it's fake.
BEFORE September 11th, the Bush Administration pretty much ignored terrorism. And that's obvious to anyone who actually takes a look at the adminstration's actions before 9/11 instead of their rhetoric afterwards.
But blaming Clinton for 9/11 has been part of the GOP's political strategy, and it's crumbling. The facts have ALWAYS been known, but because of Clarke the facts are getting legs and are penetrating to the public at large for the first time. And the Bushes can't allow that.
The fact is, Clarke presented a counter-terrorism plan to Rice in January of 2001, and a meeting wasn't even held about it until September 4th. That's not news. That information appeared in the New York Times in December of 2001.
The fact is, George Tenet delivered a report to President Bush entitled, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S,” on August 6th, 2001, warning that al Qaeda might be planning to hijack airplanes. President Bush appears to have done nothing to follow up on the memo. In fact, he remained on vacation throughout the month of August.
The fact is, acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard, worried about reports on the mounting possibility of a terrorist attack met John Ashcroft and requested $58 million from the Justice Department to hire new field agents, translators and intelligence analysts to improve the bureaus’ capacity to fight terrorist threats. Ashcroft turned him down flat in an official letter dated September 10, 2001. And in a separate memo on the same day - September 10th, 2001 - Ashcroft also listed the Justice Departments top seven priorities. Terrorism wasn't one of them.
Chutzpah? You know what REAL Chutzpah is?
Proposing cutting anti-terrorism funding in favor of Star Wars;
Shelving the Hart-Rudman report on Terrorism, which Clinton commissioned;
Not MENTIONING Al Qaeda for 9 months;
And then trying to blame Bill Clinton for what happened 9 months after he left office, and 9 months after you took over from him.
Now - do the Bushes acutally have anything to say about the actual substance of Clarke's statement, or are they just going to keep smearing the man personally and hope that that's sufficient?
Bush like to TALK about "accountability."
When will we actually SEE some?