Clarke – Stahl – 60 Minutes interview

I haven’t seen the tape yet, but this is the transcript of the phenomenal 60 Minutes interview that Leslie Stahl did with Richard Clarke. I wanted to select a few choice quotes for you but there are so many powerful indictments of the Bush White House, that I do not know where to start. Here are a few:

STAHL: Now what was your reaction to all this Iraq talk? What did you tell everybody?
CLARKE: What I said was, you know, invading Iraq or bombing Iraq after we’re attacked by somebody else, it’s akin to, what if Franklin Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor instead of going to war with Japan said, “Let’s invade Mexico.” It’s very analagous.


CLARKE: … there’s absolutely no evidence of Iraqi terrorism since that day [the 1993 assassination attempt on George H. W. Bush in Kuwait] until we invaded them. Now there’s Iraqi terrorism against the United States.
STAHL: Was there any connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda?
CLARKE: Were they cooperating? No.
STAHL: Was Iraq supporting al Qaeda?
CLARKE: No. There’s absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda. Ever.


CLARKE: They [the current administration] did know better. They did know better. We told them. The FBI told them. The CIA told them. They did know better. And the tragedy here is that Americans went to their deaths in Iraq thinking that they were avenging September 11 when Iraq had nothing to do with September 11. I think for a Commander in Chief and a Vice President to allow that to happen is unconscionable.


CLARKE: Osama bin Laden had been saying for years, ‘America wants to invade an Arab country and occupy it — an oil rich Arab country.’ He’d been saying this. This was part of his propaganda. So what do we do after 9/11? We invade an oil rich, and occupy and oil rich Arab country which was doing nothing to threaten us. In other words, we stepped right into bin Laden’s propaganda and the result of that is that al Qaeda and organizations like it, offshoots of it, second generation al Qaeda, have greatly strengthened.

The cognitive dissonance must be so strong these days for the side that supports Bush and the war. I cannot imagine how a rational American, after hearing everything that has been revealed, could have anything but the least amount of faith in this administration.
I hope and pray with all my might that Bush is gone in November. Another 4 years of his regime would completely destroy whatever goodwill we have left in the world.
CBS Sixty Minutes
March 21, 2004
Leslie Stahl interviews Richard Clark, Steven Hadley

2 replies on “Clarke – Stahl – 60 Minutes interview”

there are a lot of americans who think we should reshape the arab world. there are a lot of americans who think saddam was evil and needed to be removed. clarke’s revelations mean nothing to these people.
btw, many think that roosevelt and wilson did exactly the same thing in wwi and wwii. roosevelt wanted to fight germany, and many think he let the japanese bomb pearl harbor and did the whole lend-lease thing to make it happen. wilson campaigned on an anti-war slogan but after a few merchant ships, many/some(?) carrying war supplies to the british, were sunk by german u-boats, he entered us into the war. don’t forget gulf of tonkin. the list is long. this is nothing new. don’t be shocked if he is re-elected.

Argh. Okay, first, it may be useful to regard the other view on Clarke, if only to gain some perspective: there are some pretty sharp contradictions between his words now and his words a few years ago. He’s beating on straw men in this interview, and the interview was decidedly softball.
Second, It’s not the Roosevelt “let” Japan bomb Pearl Harbour. The US at the time was formally neutral, but Roosevelt campaigned hard and long and used his political capital and bully pulpit to exert every possible leverage against the Axis powers: oil embargoes, “lend-lease” to the Brits, and so on. He was under no illusions about the danger Japan and Germany (and let us not forget Italy, the Mini-Me of mid-century evil).
BTW, if Bush is destroying the goodwill America has left in the world, why the USS Cole, the attempted assassination of GHW Bush, and even 9/11 itself?
There’s a real cognitive dissonance on this issue in parts of the US which can be summed up quite succinctly: the al Qaedas and fellow-travelling terrorists of the world hate virtually all of America, even the Democrats. Even Ralph Nader.
But more importantly, Howareyadoing, Gen? Have you Escaped from LA, yet?

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