CBS is flogging a book by former Clinton Administration official Richard Clarke that supposedly shows the incoming Bush Administration didn’t care about al-Qaeda before September 11 and tried to pin it on Iraq afterwards. Except Clarke’s claims don’t make sense, and are clearly politically motivated. Deacon at Power Line has an excellent evisceration of Clarke and his claims and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice sets the record straight on the pre-September 11 antiterrorist activities of the Bush Administration.
If Clinton thought that al-Qaeda was such a threat, he did scarce little to do anything about it. From the Khobar Towers to the USS Cole the Clinton Administration’s reaction to terrorism was to sit on its hands and do nothing more than lob a few cruise missiles at a series of empty camps.
Attacking a US warship and killing members of its crew is an act of war – yet Clinton did nothing. Attacking US diplomatic personnel in Africa is an act of war – yet Clinton did nothing. Attacking military servicemen and women overseas is an act of war – yet Clinton did nothing.
And Clarke has the pure unadulterated audacity to argue that Bush is the one who was negligent in fighting terrorism. If that is not an idiotic argument on a prima facie basis, I fail to see what is.
The Clinton legacy? 3,000 dead from a terrorist threat that was allowed to gather for years. The Bush legacy? 50 million living in freedom. al-Qaeda on the run. Saddam Hussein in jail, his sons in Hell. Threats that could have killed 30,000 or 3 million will never have the chance.
That’s how you fight terrorism – not through the kind of Clintonian appeasement that Clarke offers.