Clarke, the Bush Haters, Bin Laden Family, and 9/11

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Annie, May 26, 2004.

  1. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Can any pro-Dems explain this, from the darling of the left?

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/commentary.html#5_26_04_0803

    Wednesday, May 26 2004
    FLIGHT RIDDLE SOLVED OR NOT?: In an interview with The Hill yesterday, Richard Clarke claimed sole responsibility for authorizing the post-9/11 flight that allowed many of Osama bin Laden's relatives to leave the country.

    The mystery of who authorized the flight has been a staple of the Michael Moore left for some time now, especially since 9/11 Commission Chairman Lee Hamilton mentioned publicly that the commissioners had asked the question at least "50 times" but had never gotten an answer. They have one now. Or do they?

    In the interview Clarke said:

    “I take responsibility for it. I don’t think it was a mistake, and I’d do it again...”

    "It [authorization of the flight] didn’t get any higher than me. On 9-11, 9-12 and 9-13, many things didn’t get any higher than me. I decided it in consultation with the FBI.”

    But Clarke's response seems to contradict his public testimony before the 9/11 Commission:

    “The request came to me, and I refused to approve it,” Clarke testified. “I suggested that it be routed to the FBI and that the FBI look at the names of the individuals who were going to be on the passenger manifest and that they approve it or not. I spoke with the — at the time — No. 2 person in the FBI, Dale Watson, and asked him to deal with this issue. The FBI then approved … the flight.”

    “That’s a little different than saying, ‘I claim sole responsibility for it now,’” Roemer said yesterday.

    However, the FBI has denied approving the flight.

    FBI spokeswoman Donna Spiser said, “We haven’t had anything to do with arranging and clearing the flights.”

    “We did know who was on the flights and interviewed anyone we thought we needed to,” she said. “We didn’t interview 100 percent of the [passengers on the] flight. We didn’t think anyone on the flight was of investigative interest.”

    When Roemer asked Clarke during the commission’s March hearing, “Who gave the final approval, then, to say, ‘Yes, you’re clear to go, it’s all right with the United States government,’” Clarke seemed to suggest it came from the White House.

    “I believe after the FBI came back and said it was all right with them, we ran it through the decision process for all these decisions that we were making in those hours, which was the interagency Crisis Management Group on the video conference,” Clarke testified. “I was making or coordinating a lot of the decisions on 9-11 in the days immediately after. And I would love to be able to tell you who did it, who brought this proposal to me, but I don’t know. The two — since you press me, the two possibilities that are most likely are either the Department of State or the White House chief of staff’s office.”

    Instead of putting the issue to rest, Clarke’s testimony fueled speculation among Democrats that someone higher up in the administration, perhaps White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, approved the flights.

    “It couldn’t have come from Clarke. It should have come from someone further up the chain,” said a Democratic Senate aide who watched Clarke’s testimony.

    Clarke’s testimony did not settle the issue for Roemer, either.

    “It doesn’t seem that Richard Clarke had enough information to clear it,” Roemer said Monday.

    “I just don’t think that the questions are resolved, and we need to dig deeper,” Roemer added. “Clarke sure didn’t seem to say that he was the final decisionmaker. I believe we need to continue to look for some more answers.”


    Clarke says the issue of the flight is a "tempest in a teapot", but Chairman Hamilton warned that it is "a story that could shift" and it still "under review."

    So what gives? On one hand, it looks pretty simple: Clarke was the person responsible for authorizing the flight. If so, then his testimony before the Commission was at best misleading and the fact he's kept silent about it knowing the Commission has been desperately seeking the answer shreds whatever is left of his credibility (which isn't much, if you ask me).

    But if Clarke really was responsible for authorizing the flight for bin Laden's relatives it begs the obvious question: wouldn't someone from the White House have testified to that effect or leaked the information to the press?

    On the other hand the article still seems to suggest, as do the quotes from Commissioner Roemer, that Clarke simply could not have been responsible for authorizing the flight on his own and had to have received direction from someone higher up in the White House. In other words, Clarke is taking the fall.

    Why on earth would he do that? It makes absolutely no sense that Clarke would step up and fall on his sword to do the Bush administration any favors.

    Nevertheless, Clarke is now on record saying he was the guy responsible for the flight. Watch how the left deals with this fact.

    Will Al Franken apologize to President Bush on Air America? Will he even acknowledge the story at all? Will Michael Moore edit his award-winning film (which I believe contains references to Bush being directly responsible for spiriting bin Laden's relatives out of the country)?

    Warning to my fellow Americans: do not hold your breath.

    Or will the left turn on a person they've just spent months fawning over as a courageous, truth-telling whistleblower and now call Richard Clarke a liar? At least that would be a little more realistic, because Clarke was either lying before or he's lying now. - T. Bevan 8:03 am Link | Email | Send to a
     
  2. Lefty Wilbury
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    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

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    i was just about to post a similiar article:


    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38669

    Clarke claims responsibility for bin Ladens' flight
    Contradicts 9-11 panel testimony about depature of Osama's relatives

    Posted: May 26, 2004
    5:00 p.m. Eastern



    © 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

    Former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke says he is solely responsible for allowing members of Osama bin Laden's family to flee the United States immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

    "I take responsibility for it. I don't think it was a mistake, and I'd do it again," Clarke told The Hill newspaper yesterday.

    The Hill said a political controversy has been brewing over who approved the six controversial flights that carried 140 Saudi citizens.

    At the time the members of the Saudi elite were allowed to leave, the Bush administration was preparing to detain Muslims in the U.S. as material witnesses to the attacks.

    Democrat leaders, including Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, had been pressing members of the 9-11 Commission to find out, "Who authorized the flight and why?"

    A Democrat who attended a May 6 closed-door meeting of the panel quoted a panel member, former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., as saying: "We don’t know who authorized it. We've asked that question 50 times."

    Most of the 26 passengers aboard a Sept. 20, 2001, fight were relatives of Osama bin Laden, whom intelligence officials blamed for the attacks almost immediately after they happened, The Hill said.

    Clarke told the paper responsibility for the Saudis' departure "didn't get any higher than me."

    "On 9-11, 9-12 and 9-13, many things didn't get any higher than me," he said. "I decided it in consultation with the FBI."

    But this new account of the events seemed to contradict Clarke's sworn testimony before the Sept. 11 commission at the end of March, The Hill said.

    "The request came to me, and I refused to approve it," Clarke testified. "I suggested that it be routed to the FBI and that the FBI look at the names of the individuals who were going to be on the passenger manifest and that they approve it or not. I spoke with the – at the time – No. 2 person in the FBI, Dale Watson, and asked him to deal with this issue. The FBI then approved … the flight."

    Panel member Tim Roemer said yesterday in response: "That's a little different than saying, 'I claim sole responsibility for it now.'"

    Moreover, the FBI has denied approving the flight, according to the Capitol Hill paper.

    FBI spokeswoman Donna Spiser said, "We haven't had anything to do with arranging and clearing the flights."

    "We did know who was on the flights and interviewed anyone we thought we needed to," she said. "We didn’t interview 100 percent of the [passengers on the] flight. We didn't think anyone on the flight was of investigative interest."

    The Hill said when Roemer asked Clarke during the commission's March hearing, "Who gave the final approval, then, to say, 'Yes, you’re clear to go, it's all right with the United States government,'" Clarke seemed to suggest it came from the White House.

    "I believe after the FBI came back and said it was all right with them, we ran it through the decision process for all these decisions that we were making in those hours, which was the interagency Crisis Management Group on the video conference," Clarke testified. "I was making or coordinating a lot of the decisions on 9-11 in the days immediately after. And I would love to be able to tell you who did it, who brought this proposal to me, but I don't know. The two – since you press me, the two possibilities that are most likely are either the Department of State or the White House chief of staff's office."

    Clarke told the Washington newspaper yesterday the furor over the flights is a "tempest in a teapot," arguing that since the attacks the FBI has never said any of the passengers should not have left.

    "It's very funny that people on the Hill are now trying to second-guess the FBI investigation," Clarke said.

    The 9-11 commission released a statement last month declaring the chartered flights were handled properly by the Bush administration, the Hill reported.
     
  3. Palestinian Jew
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    Palestinian Jew Member

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    It'll be interesting to see who Moore puts the blame on, but I think he will link the bush's and bin ladens through many other ways so being wrong on this point won't screw over his argument entirely.
     
  4. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    I can't wait to see this on every TV news broadcast, and in the headline of every major newspaper.

    Oh, wait...


    I'm sure he'll just ignore it.
     

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