22 March 2004


NoRightTurn has a link to this story about discussions straight after September 11:

'Rumsfeld was saying that we needed to bomb Iraq,' [former White House terrorism advisor Richard] Clarke said. 'And we all said ... no, no. Al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan. We need to bomb Afghanistan. And Rumsfeld said there aren't any good targets in Afghanistan. And there are lots of good targets in Iraq. I said, "Well, there are lots of good targets in lots of places, but Iraq had nothing to do with it."

'Initially, I thought when he said, "There aren't enough targets in - in Afghanistan," I thought he was joking.'

Well, you would, wouldn't you?

In another part he says:

'The president dragged me into a room with a couple of other people, shut the door, and said, "I want you to find whether Iraq did this." Now he never said, "Make it up." But the entire conversation left me in absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me to come back with a report that said Iraq did this.

'I said, "Mr. President. We've done this before. We have been looking at this. We looked at it with an open mind. There's no connection."

'He came back at me and said, "Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there's a connection." And in a very intimidating way. I mean that we should come back with that answer. We wrote a report.'

Clarke continued, 'It was a serious look. We got together all the FBI experts, all the CIA experts. We wrote the report. We sent the report out to CIA and found FBI and said, "Will you sign this report?" They all cleared the report. And we sent it up to the president and it got bounced by the National Security Advisor [Condoleeza Rice] or Deputy. It got bounced and sent back saying, "Wrong answer. ... Do it again." '

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