Never Enough from Condi

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by jimnyc, Apr 10, 2004.

  1. jimnyc
    Offline

    jimnyc ...

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Messages:
    10,113
    Thanks Received:
    244
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    New York
    Ratings:
    +246
    This was prior to her public testimony

    Al Rantel
    Wednesday, Mar. 31, 2004

    Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that an empty stomach is not a good time to have a political discussion. Nor is a divisive presidential election year a good time to have a commission charged with finding out what may have gone wrong with our preparedness prior to September 11 and figuring out what we might learn to protect our homeland.

    Strengthening America is not going to be the result of these partisan Commission hearings on Capitol Hill. Even the timing is clearly suspect from the scheduling of Richard Clarke’s self-serving book release to coincide with his bitter testimony, to the Commission’s report due at the start of the Democratic National Convention this summer.

    All of this is exacerbated by the controversy about the testimony of National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleeza Rice who has been pummeled by the establishment media and the Democrats as if she has not testified at all. It’s the old story about if a tree falls and no one is there, does it make a noise? Of course Dr. Rice has testified in private for hours and by all accounts has been cooperative. The public has seen Dr. Rice perform brilliantly in public including last weekend on 60 Minutes.

    This does not satisfy the vicious Bush haters who want to catch Dr. Rice or anyone else in the administration because to them it’s a game of “gotcha’. Throughout its questioning, this Commission has behaved as if what happened in the first eight months of the Bush Presidency regarding our efforts against terrorism is more important than what happened in the eight years of President Clinton. The eight years in which we were attacked half a dozen times by Al Qaeda.

    I agree with the only Democrat in the Senate who makes any sense, and that is Zell Miller of Georgia. He has stated that the bitter partisanship and rancor being displayed by this Commission and the Democrats out on the campaign trail are demoralizing the troops fighting the war on terror and demoralizing the American people as a whole. He is quite right.

    Many Democrats have been behaving as though President Bush is a greater enemy of American than Al Qaeda or Saddam Hussein. They certainly save most of their vitriol for Bush and the rest of the Administration from issues of homeland security to the war in Iraq to the late Howard Dean campaign suggesting Bush knew about the impending attack on America.

    Imagine if in the days after Pearl Harbor was attacked, Republicans or other detractors of President Roosevelt had demanded an investigation and hearings into whether the President had done all he could have to protect America against such an attack? No, instead the leaders at that time got right to work on uniting the country to win a war against Nazism and Japanese Imperialism because our very freedom and way of life were at stake.

    Our freedom and way of life are at stake now. But you would never know that by the way these nabobs are continuously carping. Senator John Kerry blasted Dr. Rice for having the time to go on 60 Minutes but not 60 minutes to go before the commission. Rice has spent hours with the Commission, as have other Administration officials whose cooperation has been described as unprecedented. It is never enough. As with the election of 2000 in Florida, the Democrats figure if you torture something long enough it will eventually give you the answers you want.

    As for Dr. Rice she will no doubt respond brilliantly and convincingly to the questions and set the record straight, mangled by the angry, partisan, and bitter performance of the terminal bureaucrat Richard Clarke.

    Fortunately for all those who have relished beating up on Dr. Rice, she is a black female conservative. Were she a black Democrat appointed in a liberal administration, the media would not dare participate in the feeding frenzy against her. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters would be drawing up the hate crime charges against all who dared.

    Americans can only hope that President Bush and his Administration keep their eye on the real enemy of America that dreams of killing us each day. The other side is far more focused on the politics of personal destruction and can only see as far as the coming election. How sad for us all.

    http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/3/31/92901.shtml
     
  2. jimnyc
    Offline

    jimnyc ...

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Messages:
    10,113
    Thanks Received:
    244
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    New York
    Ratings:
    +246
    Setting the Record Straight: Condoleezza Rice and the 9/11 Commission

    National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice’s strong performance in her appearance before the September 11 Commission should put to rest any notion that the Bush administration was complacent or inattentive to the terrorist threat facing the United States before September 11. Rice capably defended the Bush White House against the storm of controversy created by former National Security Council staffer Richard Clarke’s book Against All Enemies, as well as against Mr. Clarke’s testimony before the Commission. Dr. Rice was convincing, composed, and eloquent in her opening statement and in her answers to the Commission’s pointed—and sometimes partisan—questioning.

    While the White House had resisted her public testimony on principle, in the end it was the right decision to allow Dr. Rice to make the case as only she could. In the process, she pressed home the case for the Department of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act. As Dr. Rice testified, without these two elements, the United States would be as vulnerable to intelligence failures as it was prior to September 11.
    .....

    The charges Mr. Clarke has laid at the Bush administration’s door are threefold: First, that an unheeded August 6, 2001, intelligence memorandum contained specific information that airlines would be used by terrorists as missiles against targets in the United States; second, that President Bush was uninterested in the topic of terrorism and so obsessed with the problem of Saddam Hussein that he neglected Al Qaeda; and third, that the Bush administration did a worse job than the Clinton administration on terrorism and failed to take advantage of plans produced under Mr. Clinton to fight Al Qaeda.

    In her testimony, Dr. Rice spoke to these charges, countering them effectively. Under heated questioning from Democrats on the Commission, she stressed that the August 6 memo was “historic” and “analytical” in nature and did not contain any “actionable” intelligence. This memo has been declassified for the Committee’s use, and members will be able to judge themselves. Had the memo contained a more specific warning about what would happen, she said, “the White House would have moved heaven and earth to prevent it.” As it was, heightened security alerts during the summer of 2001 pointed to attacks outside the United States—in Geneva, in Israel, and elsewhere in the Middle East—but not within the United States.
    .....

    Furthermore, Dr. Rice made it very clear that there had been no effective plan to eradicate Al Qaeda prior to September 11—that there was no silver bullet bequeathed by the Clinton National Security team that the Bush administration had somehow overlooked. What proposals there were from the prior administration did not amount to the kind of strategic plan against terrorist networks and their state sponsors that the Bush administration concluded was needed. President Bush was tired of “swatting mosquitoes” (i.e., individual terrorists), which had been the Clinton administration’s practice, and wanted to develop a plan that focused more broadly on undermining the radical Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which had gaven bin Laden sanctuary and allowed him to train thousands of terrorists. Such a strategic plan was in the works by the summer of 2001.
    .....

    And finally, Dr. Rice convincingly disputed the claim that some have made, as part of the argument that President Bush was initially lax on terrorism, that the Clinton White House managed to foil a Millennium attack on the United States. It has been Mr. Clarke's contention that by gathering a high-level working group at the White House, National Security Adviser Sandy Berger succeeded in “shaking the trees” so that credible intelligence came to light and contributed to the foiling of a plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport in 1999. As Dr. Rice testified, however, it was an enterprising customs agent on the Canadian border who saved the day when she sensed something deeply suspicious about Ahmed Ressam—who was attempting to cross the U.S. border with a van full of explosive materials and a map of Los Angeles—and gave chase.
    .....

    The Bottom Line

    The point Dr. Rice hammered home is worth repeating here: Before September 11, there was no political will to reinvent the way intelligence was collected and shared between agencies within and without the United States. “The problem was that for a country that had not been attacked on its territory in a major way in almost 200 years," she said, "there were lots of structural impediments to those [changes].... Those changes should have been made over a long period of time.”

    The creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the passage of the Patriot Act have given those who lead U.S. counterterrorism efforts important tools that were missing prior to September 11. But even today, the Patriot Act remains deeply controversial, especially among those who now blame the Bush administration for not “connecting the dots” of intelligence before the 2001 attacks (just as some critics of preemption blame the administration for not attacking Afghanistan before September 11). Dr. Rice’s testimony to the September 11 Commission is a good reminder of how far we have come since September 11 and will be a powerful part of the argument why the Patriot Act remains essential in the war against terrorism.

    Helle Dale is Director of Foreign Policy and Defense Studies, and James Phillips is Research Fellow in the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation.

    http://www.heritage.org/Research/HomelandDefense/wm471.cfm
     

Share This Page