Obama Advisor Clarke Undermines Boss’s Credibility
December 27, 2007 - WND.com
by Jack Cashill
In his own retelling, Clarke did not ignore any possible link between Iraqi intelligence and the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. He would tell the 9-11 Commission that he too had initially focused on Iraq as the possible culprit at the time of the bombing.
As reason for his suspicions, Clarke cites “Iraqi involvement in the attempted assassination of President Bush in Kuwait in the same month."
Once again, however, Clarke’s narrative blurs the line between conscious deception and a pervasive disregard for facts. The problem is not with the Iraqi involvement in the assassination attempt but in the date.
As Clarke knew well, this attempt clearly could not have taken place the same month as the World Trade Center bombing. Throughout February 1991, Iraq occupied Kuwait. There were no functional Kuwaiti police.
The assassination attempt took place in April, two months after the World Trade Center bombing. Changing dates gave Clarke a reason to have suspected Iraq of the bombing other than the obvious evidence of the same.
As the FBI’s Jim Fox observed early in the investigation, "Although we are unable to say with certainty the Iraqis were behind the bombing, that is certainly the theory accepted by most of the veteran investigators.”
This claim of Iraqi terrorism raised no eyebrows at the time. After all, five months before the February 1993 bombing, vice presidential candidate Al Gore had blistered the incumbent Bush administration for its “blatant disregard” of Saddam’s “extensive terrorism activities.”
In June 1993, the Clinton administration retaliated for the attempt on Bush’s life with a cruise missile strike on Iraqi intelligence headquarters. Although executed on a Saturday night “to minimize casualties,” the strike, according to Clarke, “successfully deterred Saddam from ever again using terror against us.”
As Iraq expert Laurie Mylroie wryly observed, however, “If the 1991 Gulf War did not [end Iraqi terror plots], why should one cruise-missile strike achieve that goal?”
There is little Clarke will not say in an effort to discredit Mylroie’s research. In Against All Enemies, he charges her with the assertion that the real Ramzi Yousef was never captured by U.S. authorities, but could be found “lounging at the right hand of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.”
Mylroie, of course, never said or implied any such thing. "For Clarke to say something like that,” observed former CIA Director James Woolsey, “is like the 13th chime of the clock. Not only is it bizarre in and of itself, it calls into question . . . everything from the same source."
Unlike Mylroie, Clarke and the White House had a vested interest in denying an Iraqi connection to the World Trade Center bombing: Iraqi involvement would have meant something very much like war.
Still, Iraq would not go away. In February 1998, with Clarke serving as his counter-terrorism czar, President Clinton warned of “the very kind of threat Iraq poses now—a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists.”
Six days later, Osama bin Laden issued a fatwah against America, citing its “continuing aggression against the Iraqi people” as a principle reason for the call to “kill all Americans.”
In the spring of 1998 the Clinton Justice Department indicted bin Laden. Justice cited an understanding between bin Laden and Saddam “that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the government of Iraq.”
In January 1999, the Washington Post would cite Clarke as source “that intelligence exists linking bin Laden to El Shifa's current and past operators, the Iraqi nerve gas experts and the National Islamic Front in Sudan."
Clarke, in fact, was one of six Clinton officials to insist publicly on an al Qaeda-Iraqi tie to justify the destruction of al Shifa chemical plant in the Sudan, America’s retaliation for al Qaeda’s bombing of two American embassies in Africa in August 1998.
In Against All Enemies, Clarke continues to defend the bombing of the al Shifa plant. He acknowledges the involvement of Iraqi chemical weapons agents in Khartoum as well as the presence in Khartoum of al Qaeda operatives overseeing their plan “to develop chemical weapons.”
By 2004,however, he was refusing to make a direct connection between al Qaeda and Iraq or to acknowledge any threat from Iraqi-sponsored terrorism “since 1993.”
Even more reckless on television than in print, Clarke would tell CBS' 60 Minutes on March 21 of 2004, "There is absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda ever.”
As head of Obama’s CIA, Clarke would be in a position to subvert governments he did not much like. In 2004, he may have been practicing on his own.
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