September 26, 2006

"We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda."

Condoleezza Rice responds to the substance of Bill Clinton's FOX News Sunday remarks. That link is to the NY Post article. The NYT report is, by contrast, very minimal, but it does include a line about what she thought of his hot-headed style, as she diplomatically steps back from the invitation to come out and call Clinton a liar: ''No, I'm just saying that, look, there was a lot of passion in that interview.''

47 comments:

teddy_kgb said...

Would it matter if there was a strategy left behind? Not many administrations follow the foreign policy strategies of their predecessors. E.g. Six party talks /w North Korea.

Chris said...

She came out and called the Bubster a liar without so much as doing so publicly. Basically, in these interviews, she told the Toon: "Don't Go Here, I'm More than a Match For You". Notice how she commented on the passion of the Clinton interview without actually lopping off Clinton's manhood in the Public Square.

Clinton is a Rhodes Scholar. Condi can teach Rhodes Scholars. That's the difference.

Carville and Begala were on Today with Viera this morning. They were clearly surprised by the depth and totality of Condi's counterattack. They never expected the Republicans to roll out Condi and expected a clear field of fire to scare off any inquiries into Clinton's conduct prior to 9/11. Clinton's also been fact-checked by the blogosphere, something he never experienced in the 1992 and 1996 campaigns.

But Rice is shrewd enough to throw out the peace offering: she maintained that we need to remember that we need to stop blaming ourselves for the activities of Al Qaeda. You watch, she'll say this over and over again, and it will resonate.

WisJoe said...

Clinton admitted he could have done better and wanted his mistakes made public. He SHOULD be passionate about this while keeping his pants over his socks. If you read Richard Clarke's book, it is clear Clinton's team was more invested in this issue than was Bush's. I also do not think R. Clarke is some crazed party hack you can simply ignore. It was a good book. Personally, he gained my admiration forever when he apologized to the victims for their failures.

David said...

Bill Clinton is in total denial! He is not used to being held accountable for his actions and reacts like a child with his hand caught in the cookie jar. He embarassed himself, his wife, and his daughter all over again!

We are lucky to have people of the calibre of Condi Rice! There is no comparison between Condic Rice and Madeline Albright.

Interesting that Richard Clark stayed on with the Bush Administration after Clinton left the White House. Clinton sure glossed over that important bit of info!

Fenrisulven said...

I also do not think R. Clarke is some crazed party hack you can simply ignore.

Clarke is a little bitch trying to settle a personal grudge against Condi - he resigned because he was ticked his position was demoted. He wanted a bigger name plate on his door.

If you read Richard Clarke's book, it is clear Clinton's team was more invested in this issue than was Bush's.

His book, along with his 9-11 commission testimony, conflicts with the BS Clinton gave Wallace.

Ron Chusid said...

More evidence that Condi ls lying is posted at Liberal Values:

http://liberalvaluesblog.com/?p=362

She also told a similar lie in an op-ed in the Washington Post in 2004

Faeless said...

Clinton admitted he could have done better and wanted his mistakes made public.

And then he went on to attack the guy who came afterwards.
That's where the bastardry comes from.
He could have just stopped, but nope, he had to keep going and blaming the next guy.

dklittl said...

We are lucky to have people of the calibre of Condi Rice! There is no comparison between Condic Rice and Madeline Albright.

Your right there is no comparison, CONDIC couldn't hold Madeline's water as a Secretary State. I mean if we want to get into a superficial dialogue about looks Condi might win, but on substance Condi has accomplished very little. She has had zero progress in our situations with North Korea and Iran. She completely botched the Israel-Hezbollah conflict. Obviously Iraq is a cluster fuck. What has she accomplished other than dressing cool for conferences. I don't at all question her intelligence but she hasn't proven a thing at either NSA or as Secretary of State.

George said...

Fenrisulven--

You'll win no converts to your cause by calling the Secretary of State of the United States "a little xxxxx."

This is Professor Althouse's courtroom-lecture hall-tea shoppe-photo gallery, not a biker bar at 3 a.m.

Fenrisulven said...

More evidence that Condi ls lying is posted at Liberal Values

Thats not a comperhensive strategy, its the "laundry list" Rice was referring to:

In the same article, Rice belittled Clarke's proposals by writing: "The president wanted more than a laundry list of ideas simply to contain al Qaeda or 'roll back' the threat. Once in office, we quickly began crafting a comprehensive new strategy to 'eliminate' the al Qaeda network." Rice asserted that while Clarke and others provided ideas, "No al Qaeda plan was turned over to the new administration." That same day, she said most of Clarke's ideas "had been already tried or rejected in the Clinton administration."

And George, sorry, but I call them like I see them - a disgruntled former employee using national security issues to settle a personal score is a little bitch

Jeremy said...

dklittl-
Why would you say that Condi botched the Israel-Hezbollah conflict? Seems like we got what we wanted out that.

And really, "clusterfuck"? That's so three-decades-ago.

Fenrisulven said...

via Powerline

"Clarke testified reasonably candidly in June 2002. But a year later, he had broken with the Bush administration over Iraq, and, like a number of other former bureaucrats, he turned his policy disagreement with the President into a personal attack. Clarke fabricated the story that he had delivered some kind of warning or secret plan to Condoleezza Rice, which she ostensibly failed to understand or to act upon. Clarke's tale briefly caused problems for the administration, until Clarke's credibility collapsed when it was revealed that his story was contradicted by his own contemporaneous words, as, for example, in a briefing that he gave to reporters in August 2002.

The Intelligence Committee's release of the complete transcript of Clarke's June 2002 appearance should be the last nail in the coffin of the Democrats' plan to use him to discredit Rice."

Also note the other links on that thread:

Richard Clarke, Fraud

"Richard Clarke is a bitter, discredited bureaucrat who was an integral part of the Clinton administration's failed approach to terrorism, was demoted by President Bush, and is now an adjunct to John Kerry's presidential campaign."

Clarke Takes A Beating

"Compare that to Clarke in August 2002:

CLARKE: There was never a plan, Andrea. What there was was these two things: One, a description of the existing strategy, which included a description of the threat. And two, those things which had been looked at over the course of two years, and which were still on the table.

QUESTION: So there was nothing that developed, no documents or no new plan of any sort?

CLARKE: There was no new plan.

QUESTION: No new strategy — I mean, I don't want to get into a semantics ...

CLARKE: Plan, strategy — there was no, nothing new.

Richard Clarke, Liar

"The transcript of Richard Clarke's background briefing of Fox News White House reporter Jim Angle and other correspondents in August 2002 rebuts point by point the lurid charges now made by Richard Clarke in his public testimony, his book, and his 60 Minutes appearance flogging his book before a prostrate Lesley Stahl:

RICHARD CLARKE: Actually, I've got about seven points, let me just go through them quickly. Um, the first point, I think the overall point is, there was no plan on Al Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration"

Chris said...

dklittl:
Your right there is no comparison, CONDIC couldn't hold Madeline's water as a Secretary State. I mean if we want to get into a superficial dialogue about looks Condi might win, but on substance Condi has accomplished very little. She has had zero progress in our situations with North Korea and Iran. She completely botched the Israel-Hezbollah conflict.

Are you sure you want to go around singing the praises of Madeliene Albright, she of the "Agreed Framework" and Little Kim's Atomic Weapons Program?

Please try again.

Seven Machos said...

Teddy -- American foreign (and very often domestic policy) have been remarkably consistent and unfluid, really since 1776. I really fail to see how anyone could not observe this.

Also, what is it about the Left and "lies"? It is eerily similar to calling someone a heretic for not subscribing to the orthodoxy.

dklittl -- Yes. North Korea, the Middle East, Iran -- all of these problems started after Albright was secretary. Because she certainly did not solve them.

knoxgirl said...

dklittl, you've already been called on this, but the fact that you even bring up North Korea in a discussion where you're supposed to be defending Madeline Albright's record... well, it's obvious that you either don't know the history of Albright's disastrous dealings with NK, or you're purposely ignoring it.

Freder Frederson said...

Yeah, I believe everything Condi "These aluminum tubes are only suitable for centrifuges" Rice every time. Condi Rice, like the rest of the current administration is a demonstrated liar. She will say anything to make the current administration look good.

Remember she called the infamous August 6 PDB an "historical document" and when pressed to provide its title, had to stutter out "I believe it was Bin Laden Determined to Strike the U.S." That had to be one of the most embarassing sequences of events in the history of congressional testimony. That fact that she didn't leave that testimony and begin packing up her office just demonstrates the level of incompetence tolerated in this administration.

Freder Frederson said...

Are you sure you want to go around singing the praises of Madeliene Albright, she of the "Agreed Framework" and Little Kim's Atomic Weapons Program?

Okay smartass, tell us how many nukes the North Koreans built while we were engaging them during the Clinton years and tell us how many they have built during the brilliant diplomacy of the Bush years.

Freder Frederson said...

Once in office, we quickly began crafting a comprehensive new strategy to 'eliminate' the al Qaeda network.

Whether or not Clinton handed over a plan as Clarke now claims (and I am not judging that claim), this statement is almost certainly a lie. There is ample evidence contradicting this. Prior to 9/11, the Bush administration did practically nothing about the threat of Al Qaeda.

Seven Machos said...

Fred --

12 September 1999. The United States and North Korea reach an agreement in which North Korea pledges that no new missile flight tests will take place in the near future in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

By your own remedial logic, Albright and the Clinton administration "are "demonstrated liar" because this agreement was reached, then breached.

Stop being such a partisan hack. Stop being such a fool. Look at the world for what it is, not through some goofy prism in which there are good guys, who try really hard to do right, and bad guys, who lie.

Seven Machos said...

Okay smartass, tell us how many nukes the North Koreans built while we were engaging them during the Clinton years and tell us how many they have built during the brilliant diplomacy of the Bush years.

The same number, because North Korea was developing a nuclear program the entire time, and continues to do so. Dumbass. How long do you think it takes to build a working nuclear weapon? Is it like making a pot pie?

Fenrisulven said...

Hey Fred:

RICHARD CLARKE: "there was no plan on Al Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration"

Bruce Hayden said...

Yeah, I believe everything Condi "These aluminum tubes are only suitable for centrifuges" Rice every time. Condi Rice, like the rest of the current administration is a demonstrated liar. She will say anything to make the current administration look good.

I am not quite sure if I remember how this alleged lie by Rice was exposed. Could you point at the article that definitively showed that the tubes were not for centrafuges?

tjl said...

Seven and Fen:

You will never get anywhere attempting to reason with Freder when he goes off on his "Bush lied!!!" hobbyhorse. If you parse his comments, it's clear that Fred gives words a special personal meaning that deflects argument. To Fred, "lie" means any statement that he disagrees with or does not understand.

Freder Frederson said...

There you go. The DOE and others warned the administration all along that the tubes could be used for other purposes and were probably not for centrifuges. Yet Condi insisted they were only suited for centrifuges.

Freder Frederson said...

If you parse his comments, it's clear that Fred gives words a special personal meaning that deflects argument.

I save my accusations of lies for very specific comments (unlike some of you who claim every statement of Clinton is a lie). Now, I also find misstatements of fact by the administration where they have the responsibility to know the truth (e.g., it doesn't matter to me whether or not the levee statement was a lie or just incredible ignorance on the President's part--either option shows him in a negative light) just as bad as a lie, so arguing whether or not it is a lie is rather pointless.

When I say that the administration lied about in the leadup to the war, I think they do believe they honestly believed that Saddam did have WMD. What they lied about was the strength of the evidence and what they knew about his programs. They inserted certainty where there simply was none and ignored or discounted evidence that contradicted the case for war.

Harkonnendog said...

Federson, Albright basically paid North Korea to develop nukes. Wake up, lol.

tjl said...

"When I say that the administration lied about in the leadup to the war, I think they do believe they honestly believed that Saddam did have WMD."

Thanks, Freder, for providing such a perfect illustration of my point.

Seven Machos said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Seven Machos said...

Inside the mind of Freder Frederson:

1. "Bush lied." Or Secretary Rice. Or whoever.

2. Actually, Bush did not lie. Because what he said was either true, or he was wrong but had no mendacious intent.

3. However, arguing whether or not it is a lie is rather pointless.

4. Therefore, I, Freder Frederson, am the one who is lying. Because I am not telling the truth. And that's what lying means: not telling the truth. And I am not telling the truth because I am calling someone a liar who I know did not lie.

5. However, once again, arguing whether or not it is a lie is rather pointless. Because, for me, the truth doesn't really matter. Only my hatred of conservatives and my lust to take power from them. Policies? They don't matter so much.

Mike said...

Norman, coordinate.

Shanna said...

Now, I also find misstatements of fact by the administration where they have the responsibility to know the truth...just as bad as a lie, so arguing whether or not it is a lie is rather pointless.

It's a matter of precision. If you think they did something you find "just as bad as a lie", why don't you say that?

I'm so sick of people just yelling "liar" when someone disagrees with them, or makes a misstatement, or tells you what they think to be true and then new evidence shows that it's not.

It's such an imprecise way of speaking and it makes me tune people out whenever I hear the word "lie".

teddy_kgb said...

Seven -

I'm sure you can say the themes of American foreign policy has been relatively consistent since 1776 (I'm not as big a history buff as I was before law school). But there is a difference between overarching foreign policy and tactics/strategy. I really fail to see how anyone could not observe this.

Fenrisulven said...

Freder: Now, I also find misstatements of fact by the administration where they have the responsibility to know the truth just as bad as a lie, so arguing whether or not it is a lie is rather pointless.

Glad you feel that way...

"Saddam's goal ... is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed." -- Madeline Albright, 1998

"The community of nations may see more and more 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. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow." -- Bill Clinton in 1998

"(Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983" -- National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Feb 18, 1998

"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." -- Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998

"Even today, Iraq is not nearly disarmed. Based on highly credible intelligence, UNSCOM [the U.N. weapons inspectors] suspects that Iraq still has biological agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, and clostridium perfringens in sufficient quantity to fill several dozen bombs and ballistic missile warheads, as well as the means to continue manufacturing these deadly agents. Iraq probably retains several tons of the highly toxic VX substance, as well as sarin nerve gas and mustard gas. This agent is stored in artillery shells, bombs, and ballistic missile warheads. And Iraq retains significant dual-use industrial infrastructure that can be used to rapidly reconstitute large-scale chemical weapons production." -- Ex-Un Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter in 1998

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandates of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." -- Carl Levin, Sept 19, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." -- Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002

"The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last 4 years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons. He has had a free hand for 4 years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation." -- John Kerry, October 9, 2002

Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal." -- John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability." -- Robert Byrd, October 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security." -- Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

"I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons...I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out." -- Clinton's Secretary of Defense William Cohen in April of 2003

There's more at

http://www.rightwingnews.com/quotes/demsonwmds.php

F15C said...

Fenrisulven - great citations. Interestingly, I'd bet money you won't find those quotes on left-wing sites.

The narrow-minded, one-issue (blame-Bush-hate-Bush) Democrats also have at telling case of chronic selective amnesia when it comes to their own positions just a few short years ago.

Freder Frederson said...

When I say that the administration lied about in the leadup to the war, I think they do believe they honestly believed that Saddam did have WMD.

But they did lie when they said that there was "no doubt" Saddam had reconstituted his WMD programs, including his nuclear programs, that they "knew exactly" where the WMD stockpiles were. That it was "well-established" Mahomed Atta had met with Saddam's intelligence operatives in Prague and that the links between Saddam and Al Qaeda were based on solid intelligence (not a single source named codenamed "Curveball" who U.S. intelligence never even got to interview). That the aluminum tubes were "only" suitable for uranium centrifuges (when in fact they were unsuited for that use).

Now if these weren't lies, what are they? Honest mistakes? Hardly, they are unequivocal statements where the facts supporting the statements simply didn't support the certainty the statements were delivered with.

Then you get to statements like "Nobody anticipated the breach of the levees". Now, the President may not have been technically lying when he made that statement. He may have honestly believed what he was saying. But his statement was an absolutely a demonstrably false statement. Furthermore, as president, it was his duty to know that the statement was false. So, in relaying information to the public, whether it was a lie or just a statement of utter and complete ignorance and incomptence, the end result was that the public was ill-served by his statement. So which is worse, being a liar or being so incompetent you don't even know the most basic facts about the most important story of the week and the proximate cause of the death of nearly 1000 U.S. citizens? I'll let you decide.

Freder Frederson said...

I'll be the last one to defend the statements of the Democrats in the lead up to the war. They caved to the war fever and mostly accepted, without question, the intelligence the administration fed them.

Scott Ritter's tune, did however change as the war loomed. He was viciously smeared for his change of heart.

Fenrisulven said...

Thanks, but I didn't credit that very well [dead link]. To clarify - those quotes were put together by John Hawkins over at RightWingNews All I did was harvest a few.

Fenrisulven said...

Freder:I'll be the last one to defend the statements of the Democrats in the lead up to the war

You'll also be the last one to attack them for their "lies". I guess Albright Lied! Troops Died! doesn't roll off the toungue as well?

Daryl Herbert said...

Okay smartass, tell us how many nukes the North Koreans built while we were engaging them during the Clinton years and tell us how many they have built during the brilliant diplomacy of the Bush years.

I think Fred and I can both agree that it's really a shame that Nancy Pelosi won't come right out and say this.

Snicker.

downtownlad said...

All I know is that there is a big hole in the ground about 2000 feet from where I live.

And Bush was President when that hole was created. And he did nothing to prevent it. Despite the fact that he received a report one month earlier that said "Bin Laden determined to attack U.S.". He did nada, zippo, nothing, in that intervening month.

And Bush doesn't give a damn about that big hole in the ground, except that he sees it as a way a huge opportunity to get votes. Votes from people who don't live anywhere near that hole in the ground and who are in zero danger of being hurt by terrorists.

dave said...

Just for the record, here's that non-existent plan that lying bitch Condi never heard of before.

Fuck you, brownshirts.

Seven Machos said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Seven Machos said...

Dave -- Enjoy your time in the political wilderness.

Revenant said...

Interesting factoid about that Clarke memo Mr. Brownshirts-on-the-Brain quoted -- it encourages the use of extraordinary rendition of terror suspects and notes that the technique has already been repeatedly used under Clinton.

Food for thought, for those in the "how dare Bush discard our constitutional liberties" camp. :)

Freder Frederson said...

Interesting factoid about that Clarke memo Mr. Brownshirts-on-the-Brain quoted

You mean the memo you all were claiming didn't exist because Condi said it didn't exist and she never lies? That memo?

tjl said...

Freder asks,
"Condi said it didn't exist and she never lies?"

By "lie" do you mean the dictionary definition or the special Freder definition, in which "lie" means "a political statement that F. dislikes?"

Revenant said...

You mean the memo you all were claiming didn't exist because Condi said it didn't exist and she never lies?

I said that? News to me.

For a man obsessed with "lies", Freder, you certainly have a casual attitude towards the truth. :)