Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Kaplan on Clarke: it's as bad as it looks

Dick Clarke Is Telling the Truth - Why he's right about Bush's negligence on terrorism. By Fred Kaplan

Interesting tidbit from Kaplan. After Clarke came another exit, this one voluntary.:
Most pertinent, Rand Beers, the official who succeeded Clarke after he left the White House in February 2003, resigned in protest just one month later—five days before the Iraqi war started—for precisely the same reason that Clarke quit. In June, he told the Washington Post, "The administration wasn't matching its deeds to its words in the war on terror. They're making us less secure, not more." And: "The difficult, long-term issues both at home and abroad have been avoided, neglected or shortchanged, and generally underfunded."
Kaplan's review is dead-on and devastating. I hadn't imagined the Bush situation was this bad. He concludes:
The Principals meeting, which Clarke urgently requested during Bush's first week in office, did not take place until one week before 9/11. In his 60 Minutes interview, Clarke spelled out the significance of this delay. He contrasted July 2001 with December 1999, when the Clinton White House got word of an impending al-Qaida attack on Los Angeles International Airport and Principals meetings were called instantly and repeatedly:

In December '99, every day or every other day, the head of the FBI, the head of the CIA, the Attorney General had to go to the White House and sit in a meeting and report on all the things that they personally had done to stop the al Qaeda attack, so they were going back every night to their departments and shaking the trees personally and finding out all the information. If that had happened in July of 2001, we might have found out in the White House, the Attorney General might have found out that there were al Qaeda operatives in the United States. FBI, at lower levels, knew [but] never told me, never told the highest levels in the FBI. ... We could have caught those guys and then we might have been able to pull that thread and get more of the conspiracy. I'm not saying we could have stopped 9/11, but we could have at least had a chance.
The consistent pattern is that Bush is confident in his own vision. He sees the world not as it is, but as he thinks it is.

Psychotic schizophrenics have similar attributes -- delusions are all about confidence and decisiveness. Bush is more mystical than rational, more intuitive than logical, and maybe even a bit delusional. These are good traits in a religious leader, bad traits in a modern president. Bush should have been an evangelist.

No comments: