Clark’s testimony shows fault with system, consequences to be paid

by Vista Kalipa

In his book, which spurred another political debate last month,former White House insider accused the Bush administration of beingnegligent to the forewarnings of the Sept. 11 attacks. Theseaccusations have now put the Bush administration underinvestigative scrutiny.

This debate (hysteria) has been caused by the fact that theWhite House did not place high priority on the possibility ofterrorist attacks against the United States, and how the Bushadministration manipulated the country into entering the war withIraq.

In CBS’ 60-Minutes interview, Clarke argues that he wrote toNational Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice, in 2001, asking”urgently” for a Cabinet-level meeting “to deal with the impendingal-Qaida attack.”

He also mentioned that Bush’s national security leadership metnumerous times before the Sept. 11 attacks and that terrorism wasonly mentioned two times during those sessions, with the last oneoccurring Sept. 4, 2001, where national security policy was beingreviewed before being handed over to the president forapproval.

Now does this support the claim that the president and hisadministration paid no attention to the imminent terrorist threatsAmerica received from al-Qaida?

Soon after the terrorist attacks, Clark also mentioned he wasimmediately instructed by the president to find out whether or notthere was a connection with Iraq in those attacks and whetherSaddam Hussein had some connection with al-Qaida.

He describes this move as a desperate attempt to place a blameon Iraq, which would then reinforce the statements Osama bin Ladenhad been saying for years that, “America wants to invade an Arabcountry and occupy it, an oil-rich Arab country.”

Clark says, “So what did we do after 9-11? We invade … andoccupy an oil-rich Arab country.” With accusations of thismagnitude, Americans did the only honorable thing to do by decidingto investigate further on this issue, putting yet another presidentunder scrutiny.

Since these accusations have direct relations with CondoleezaRice, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have been askedto let the independent commission investigating the 9-11 attacks tocross-examine Rice and let her testify in public and underoath.

This, of course, ruffled-up the two gentlemen’s feathers andcreated a lot of debate as to why they didn’t want Rice to testifybefore the commission. Obviously, if they didn’t have anything toworry about then they’d be okay with anyone of their memberstestifying.

It wasn’t until recently that the president decided to let Ricetestify, claiming that he’s only doing so because of “theexceptional nature of the inquiry.”

Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Frist expressed his ownsatisfaction with the president’s decision to let Rice testify.

In an interview with reporters on Capitol Hill, he said, “I amdelighted that the legal hurdles have now been addressed by theWhite House and that she will have the opportunity to come forwardwith what I know will be a very powerful testimony and one thatwill set the record straight.”

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg did not share the samesentiments as Frist. Taking his Democratic stance on the issue hesaid that the White House’s refusal until now to let Rice testifyis typical of the administration. “They are always playing hide andseek, and if you can find the information, it’s over theircorpses,” he said.

There have been a few discussions held over whether or not theDemocrats should be getting excited over these new developments.Some claim that, if anything, this could help tip this politicalboat toward the Republican side, especially if it turns out thatthe charges are false.

Given all this, the main focus should be that the fact that aterrible wrong has been done by America in the name of Americansand that very crucial warnings have allegedly been ignoredregarding the Sept. 11 attacks and that a certain pretext was usedto enter the war with Iraq.

If President Bush’s true concern was or is the safety of theAmerican people, then he should have made it his duty to pay extraattention to anything regarding safety before, not after thefact.