March 25, 2004

"Osama bin Laden had been saying for years, 'America wants to invade an Arab country and occupy it, an oil-rich Arab country,'" Clarke said in a "60 Minutes" interview coinciding with the book's release. "We stepped right into bin Laden's propaganda."

2+2=4

Marie Cocco, Newsday: Clarke is an expert in terrorism
who worked for four presidents, dating to Ronald
Reagan. His new book, "Against all Enemies," indicts
Bush for propagating the two myths: That he did
everything possible to fight terrorism before 9/11.
And that Iraq is related to the war on terror.
"Osama bin Laden had been saying for years, 'America wants to invade an Arab country and occupy it, an oil-rich Arab country,'" Clarke said in a "60 Minutes" interview coinciding with the book's release. "We stepped right into bin Laden's propaganda."

Repudiate the 9/11 Cover-Up and the Iraq War Lies,
Show Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0323-02.htm

Published on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 by Newsday / Long
Island, New York
Bush's 9/11 Myths Endanger US
by Marie Cocco

This is the week the myths may disintegrate.

There are two great myths about 9/11, spun in a
seamless web that took form even as the flames shot
from the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and tiny
Shanksville wept.

The first myth - that there was no hint the American
homeland would be targeted by al-Qaida, and nothing
that could have prevented the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks -
was propagated that very morning. "No warnings,"
former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told
reporters aboard Air Force One.

To deconstruct this myth, you do not have to listen
this week to the testimony of former Clinton
administration officials before the independent
commission investigating the 9/11 attack. You can
dismiss them as self-serving partisans and ignore
their statements about the screeching alarms they
sounded for the incoming Bush administration.

But you can look at the record and know that of course
our cities and our transportation systems were
targets. The World Trade Center was attacked in 1993.
Through the 1990s, the government thwarted a series of
terrorist plots against the United States - plans to
blow up the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, to attack the
Los Angeles airport, to unleash mayhem in New York
City's subways. These are warnings of plots against
the homeland, are they not?

The second myth - that Iraq is, in the words of
President George W. Bush, "the central front in the
war on terror" - has led America to launch an
occupation of unspecified duration and incalculable
cost.

Bush continues to merge in his speeches - and so in
the public mind - the attacks of 9/11 with the war in
Iraq. Marking the first anniversary of the Iraq
invasion, he unabashedly tied the two. "The
establishment of a free Iraq is our fight," Bush told
assembled diplomats. "The success of a free
Afghanistan is our fight. The war on terror is our
fight."

No one else - not the Spaniards who voted out a
government that supported Bush on Iraq, not the rest
of Europe, not the FBI nor the CIA - believes the two
were one and the same.

"In the absence of any threatening terrorist movement
apart from al-Qaida, many eyes fastened on an old
intransigent evil entity - Saddam's Iraq," former
United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix writes in
his book, "Disarming Iraq." These are the eyes that
peer from the bunker of the Bush White House.

Though the U.S. administration portrayed him as a
feckless bureaucrat, Blix doesn't settle scores. He
lays out the inexorable march toward a war that was
going to take place, with or without inspections, with
or without many allies, with or without terrorists.
With or without weapons of mass destruction.

But Blix does not represent the threat to the White
House embodied in Richard Clarke.

Clarke is an expert in terrorism who worked for four
presidents, dating to Ronald Reagan. His new book,
"Against all Enemies," indicts Bush for propagating
the two myths: That he did everything possible to
fight terrorism before 9/11. And that Iraq is related
to the war on terror.

"Osama bin Laden had been saying for years, 'America
wants to invade an Arab country and occupy it, an
oil-rich Arab country,'" Clarke said in a "60 Minutes"
interview coinciding with the book's release. "We
stepped right into bin Laden's propaganda."

The White House answers with rhetorical roaring guns.
Condoleezza Rice - the national security adviser who
refuses to testify publicly before the 9/11
investigative commission - pressed her counter-spin in
The Washington Post. The administration claims a key
conversation Clarke says he had with the president
never took place. CBS News and The Washington Post
both report they've verified the conversation.

The public must choose between one who long served
presidents of both parties and an incumbent whose
claim to re-election rests on assertion of robust
leadership against terror.

The myths loom large. It is not unprecedented for a
people to be so fearful they are deluded. But it is
more dangerous than ever.

Copyright 2004, Newsday, Inc.

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Posted by richard at March 25, 2004 06:30 AM