Today's Question From My Jeopardy! Desk Calendar -
Category: Change the Vowel for $1000... Hostess product or Avon signal... Uh, I guess Ding Dong
Answer: What is Ding Dong? I have to say this is the stupidest category I've ever seen... plus $1800 for the week.
Song Lyric For Today
They say that breakin' up is hard to do
Now I know, I know that it's true
Don't say that this is the end
Instead of breakin' up I wish that we were makin' up again
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do - The Carpenters
(dedicated to W. and Mr. Clarke... C'mon you can put it all behind you)
I don't really have an update regarding law school, except to say that I will be visiting my final two schools tomorrow and Friday, and I'll have updates for you then. So today's post is dedicated to the feudin' and a fussin'
going on between the Bush administration and former counter-terrorism coordinator Richard Clarke. As you may have gathered from earlier posts, I am not a fan of President Bush, nor nearly every official in his administration. Not only do they never, EVER
admit that they have ever, EVER
, been wrong about anything they've ever done (which to me is a sure sign that you are doing stupid shit all the time, because people make mistakes, and adults own up to them)... but they attempt to steamroll through any criticism, even if it intelligent and, dare I say, necessary criticism.
Case in point, Mr. Richard Clarke (not to be confused with the ageless Dick Clark, host of American Bandstand
and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve
) was Bush's counter-terrorism coordinator, which as far as I can tell means he was the head person in charge of just terrorism (he reported to Condi Rice, who is in charge of all of our security, be it from wars we started, or terrorism resulting from wars we started). Clarke has also been working in the government for 30 years, 11 in the White House. In case you've been living under a rock, Mr. Clarke wrote a book saying that immediately after Sept. 11 (like Sept. 12, 2001) President Bush was demanding a connecting be found between 9/11 and Iraq (which as we all know, or at least should know, DOESN'T EXIST) so that we could go to war with Iraq sooner. There is a lot of hinting at this in Bob Woodward's great book Bush At War
, which was published last year (or maybe the year before). Clarke was insistent on the connection with al Queda, and that we go into Afghanistan to get al Queda.
OK, now the fun begins. After airing this all out, the Bush administration sent out the heavy hitters to discredit Clarke. Some of what they have charging:
1) Veep Dick Cheney on the always credible Rush Limbaugh radio show - "Well, he wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff" meaning Clarke didn't have the right information to make an informed judgment about the whole picture (see Talking Points Memo
for a good analysis of the whole deal).
2) Condi Rice and White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said (this is paraphrasing from memory) that Clarke was in charge of counter-terrorism during the embassy bombings in 1998 and during the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in 2000 (all attributed to al Queda), basically saying that Clarke was incompetent then and could have prevented those attacks, and that he is incompetent now.
OK, so here are the logic problems I see with both of these arguments. For Dick Cheney's, if it's true that Clarke wasn't "in the loop," then WHY WASN'T HE IN THE LOOP? It seems to me that your head of counter-terrorism should be kept "in the loop" about all information related to a terrorist activity... and if he wasn't kept in the loop, it wasn't Clarke's fault this happened, it was the Bush administration's fault. For argument number 2... assuming Clarke is incompetent, how did he serve for 30 years in the highest levels of government, and more importantly, if the Bush administration thought Clarke's incompetence was at least partially responsible for the earlier attacks, WHY DID THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION KEEP HIM ON AS COUNTER-TERRORISM CHIEF WHEN THEY TOOK OFFICE? Aren't you at least equally incompetent for allowing an incompetent person to have such an important position.
Or, is it more likely that Clarke is right about everything, and this is the best you can come up with to discredit him... Hmmm, maybe. I'll update you about my visits. Later.