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