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March 24, 2004


No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by it, and made fit for God by that affliction. -- John Dunne

Richard Clarke is making me want to look closer, the more heat he takes from the Bush White House, the deeper hole they dig themselves into. It's as if they have forgotten that history is recorded and will be reviewed. As I take in the broad sweep of his allegations, he makes perfect sense. That the White House is already on the defensive nauseates me. They can't even co-opt his expertise. This is crummy, and I am now getting accustomed to a White House that won't come clean.

When I think about all the overblown rhetoric that surrounded missile defense, how absolutely wrong the Bush White House was about that it really makes me sympathetic to Clarke's case. Not only that, but in the hearings, he admitted failure. That's courage, and it is a clear showing of character, yes I said character, that George W. Bush singularly lacks. Bush is too small to apologize. Somewhere inside of him is a little Richard Nixon but he's very clever in hiding it from the cameras.

When nine-eleven hit, the first guy I thought might have had some answers was actually killed in the WTC. His name was. John O'Neill, who had asked for more focus on the bombers of the USS Cole. I expect that his name will come up in Clarke's book, but even if it doesn't, he's the man for whom a great deal is owed. Clarke said that has CT not been reduced from a cabinet post, and had the top agency directors been directly accountable to the president, the AQ operatives in the USA, who were already identified by the FBI, more traps could have been set and sprung.

It truly amazed me when the Bush Administration allowed missle parts to be shipped from North Korea to Yemen. It was like spitting on the grave of O'Neill who proved right on the AQ-Yemeni connection. But now I have entered the realm of history, which of course is nuanced. Reading history right about now would be a lot more interesting than the press conferences I am hearing.

UPDATE: Drezner is reading. History twists.

Posted by mbowen at March 24, 2004 09:09 PM

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