Wes Clark on the Iraq War

September 5, 2006

The Neo Con: Five Years In

Filed under: 9.11, Afghanistan, Iran, Terrorism — faithinwes @ 1:52 pm

Neil Cavuto: Alright, six days to 9/11, five years since America was attacked by terrorists, proof that the nation is more secure? Depends on who you talk to. Democratic leaders out with a report called “The Neo Con”. It claims that Bush Republicans have failed in the War on Terror.
(video of Harry Reid)

Neil Cavuto: Alright, to General Wesley Clark, right now his thoughts on that, part of this report issued today. General, we haven’t been attacked almost five years. That’s not bad.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, I, I’m delighted that we haven’t, and I hope we’ll never be attacked. The attack on 9/11 occurred on the President’s watch. He took us into a war with Iraq we didn’t have to fight. It’s been used to incentivize recruiting in Al Qaeda. The number of people who are affiliated with Al Qaeda worldwide has more than doubled since 2001. Our Armed Forces are bogged down in Iraq. We haven’t been able to effectively engage with North Korea. We’re hearing the tom-toms beating for war with Iran. I think the American people can judge. This administration’s policy has been a mistake, and he’s not made us safer. He’s left us more vulnerable.

Neil Cavuto: Let me ask you, General, the folks we’re fighting in Iraq right now, if we weren’t fighting them in Iraq right now, where would they be?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well those, a lot of those folks who wouldn’t be fighting at all, because what we did is we incentivized a whole generation of young radical people to come and defend Islam against the United States. That’s the foreign terrorists that are there, anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 to 3,000. (more…)

June 9, 2006

“We had a full-court press on against Al Qaeda”

Filed under: 9.11, Intelligence, Interviews, Terrorism — faithinwes @ 9:29 pm

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: ‘This- Go back to our view.’ See, they, they, they didn’t want to learn. So, when they came to office- And here’s, here’s a point I want to leave you all with and, and focus on. Look, we knew Osama Bin Laden was a threat. I mean, my troops in Europe were on alert from August on, after those bombings in, in Tanzania and Kenya-

Ben Mankiewicz: Right.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: -in 1998. We knew that was coming from Al Qaeda. We had a full-court press on against Al Qaeda. Probably should have done more than we did, but we did send Tomahawk missiles in there. I wasn’t in on the planning of that. I don’t know what the considerations were. It wasn’t, you know, my responsibility, and I couldn’t get access to it, but that’s the way it works in the military chain of command. You can’t do everything, but we sure knew about Osama Bin Laden. And we talked to the administration.

My friend Richard Clarke talked very clearly to Condeleeza and others, so did Sandy Berger when there was a transition period and after the 25th of Januray of 2001. And they chose to ignore the advice, the information, and the plans they were given.

They chose to ignore it, because it came from an administration that they didn’t respect. And that ignorance, to my view, constitutes command negligence by the President of the United States for failing to organize our government to take action on the intelligence and warnings we received about a potential threat to the United States that resulted in 9/11.

Cen Uygur: See, I don’t-

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: That’s, that’s the flaw. The Iraq war is a coverup of the failure that lead to 9/11.

Young Turks radio show 6/9/06

March 5, 2006

Evidence of misuse of intelligence clear to Clark

Filed under: 9.11, Intelligence, Interviews, Investigations — faithinwes @ 3:05 pm

The site Patriots Question 9/11 lists General Clark  in its section, “Senior Military, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, and Government Critics of 9/11 Commission Report

General Wesley Clark, U.S. Army (ret) – Former Commanding General of U.S. European Command, which included all American military activities in the 89 countries and territories of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.  Additionally, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), which granted him overall command of NATO military forces in Europe 1997 – 2001.  Awarded Bronze Star, Silver Star, and Purple Heart for his service in Viet Nam and numerous subsequent medals and citations.  Graduated valedictorian of his class at West Point. 

  • Video interview ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos 3/5/06 (at 1:57 of the segment) : “We’ve never finished the investigation of 9/11 and whether the administration actually misused the intelligence information it had.  The evidence seems pretty clear to me.  I’ve seen that for a long time.” http://www.youtube.com
  • Bio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wesley_Clark

June 17, 2004

9/11 Panel Denies Al-Qaeda-Iraq Links

Filed under: 9.11, Project for a New American Century (PNAC) — faithinwes @ 9:05 pm

WASHINGTON – In a direct challenge to recent assertions by both President George W Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, the special bipartisan commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against New York and the Pentagon has found “no credible evidence” of any operational link between Iraq and al-Qaeda.-snip

The commission’s conclusion on the absence of ties between Hussein and al-Qaeda is also certain to further discredit the so-called neoconservatives both inside and outside the administration who led the march to war. Many of them were behind what appeared to be an orchestrated campaign to implicate Hussein in the 9/11 attacks themselves.

-snip

A hint of a deliberate campaign to connect Iraq with 9/11 and al-Qaeda surfaced one year ago in a televised interview of General Wesley Clark on the popular public-affairs program, Meet the Press. In answer to a question, Clark asserted, “there was a concerted effort during the fall of 2001, starting immediately after 9/11, to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein.”

“It came from the White House, it came from other people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, ‘you got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.'”

AntiWar.com 6/17/04

June 15, 2004

Lack of decisive evidence tying Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda

Filed under: 9.11, Terrorism — faithinwes @ 11:06 pm

BLITZER: Despite that and the lack of decisive evidence tying Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda, polls have shown that a large number of Americans still believe Saddam Hussein was, in some way, connected to 9/11.

As the countdown continues to the June 30 handover in Iraq, the violence continuing as well. The Bush administration finding itself grappling with a growing terror threat also now in Saudi Arabia. Joining us now with his take on all these developments, the retired NATO supreme allied commander, General Wesley Clark. He is a former Democratic presidential candidate. He’s joining us from Little Rock. General Clark, thanks very much for joining us.

First of all, if you were president of the United States right now, what would you do if a videotape shows up showing this American being held, Paul Johnson, in Saudi Arabia and this demand from these terrorists saying you have 72 hours to start releasing prisoners in Saudi Arabia, otherwise, he’s dead. What do you do?

WESLEY CLARK (D), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We’ve been working for the last three years for Saudi Arabia to get a better grip on its own internal security. And I’m sure that there are people over there now from the FBI and from the Central Intelligence Agency trying to help the Saudis find the group. That’s the key. Find the group. No negotiations.

BLITZER: But you got 72 hours now. And clearly, finding that group in the next 72 hours or start to comply with the demands. That’s a very, very difficult conundrum.

CLARK: Well, I can’t imagine any American administration releasing terrorists in response to this kind of hostage taking.

BLITZER: So your policy would be you don’t negotiate with terrorists?

CLARK: Absolutely not.

BLITZER: That’s been the consistent U.S. policy. You would stick by it. What do you make of this other issue now before the president, handing over Saddam Hussein to the Iraqis after the June 30 of sovereignty?

CLARK: Well, frankly, I’m not sure I understand that issue. Saddam Hussein is going to be tried. He’s not going to be released. The government there has said they expect to bring him under trial. I’m not quite sure what we have here is a problem of physical security. In other words, how to keep Saddam Hussein from being assisted to escape, or whether it’s a problem that we don’t trust the interim Iraqi government to have the legal knowledge or the will to actually bring Saddam Hussein to trial. It’s not clear. This is a problem that suddenly has appeared that one would have thought it would have been discussed and covered long ago.

BLITZER: I think one of the problems is that, if you hand him over to the Iraqis, can you guarantee, let’s say, his safety? Maybe somebody will simply want to kill him before there is any trial.

CLARK: Well, you know, we’re handing the country back to the Iraqis. They’re supposed to have complete sovereignty. The securing of Saddam Hussein is far less difficult than trying to secure the country. Surely, in this vast country with all the people we’ve trained they can put together a team and find a location for Saddam Hussein, even if it involves asking a neighboring country to help secure Saddam Hussein.

BLITZER: The president and the vice president continue to insist there was a link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. You heard that in the piece we just had on the air. What do you say?

CLARK: Well, we know from the evidence that’s been released that there were communications back 10, 12 years ago. We know, as far as we can tell, those communications never went anywhere. They never established a linkage to 9/11. And they never established a linkage in which Saddam Hussein was giving orders or taking orders or providing material support to al Qaeda. It wouldn’t surprise me if lots of intelligence agencies from lots of countries around the Middle East have talked to people especially in the early ’90s who were associated with al Qaeda.

That’s what intelligence agencies do. They locate people sometimes on the other side of the issue and figure out who they are and what they stand for and they maintain relationships with them as a way of protecting themselves. So I don’t think that I could make too much and I could not agree with the position that President Bush and Vice President Cheney have taken.

And I particularly couldn’t use it as a pretext to justify the invasion of Iraq. I think the record shows that the invasion of Iraq was a distraction from the war on terror.

CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports 6/15/04

January 25, 2004

“Osama bin Laden still on the loose because we were distracted”

Filed under: 9.11, Terrorism — faithinwes @ 11:19 pm

MR. RUSSERT: You have talked extensively about leadership in your campaign as a former military general, and particularly on the issue of terrorism, this is how the Concord Monitor up here captured some of your comments: “Wesley Clark said the two greatest lies of the last three years are that Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks couldn’t have been prevented and that another attack is inevitable. He said a Clark administration would protect America in the future. `If I’m president of the United States,’ Clark said, `we are not going to have one of these incidents.'” How can you make an ironclad guarantee like that?

GEN. CLARK: I didn’t make a guarantee. What I said is, “We’re going to do a lot better.” What’s happened is this administration did not do everything it could have before 9/11 to prevent the terrorist strikes. And after 9/11, President Bush has taken us into a war that we didn’t have to fight, a war in Iraq, and we were still at threat condition orange over the holiday period because Osama bin Laden still on the loose because we were distracted. We’re going to really put the emphasis on going after Osama bin Laden, strengthening homeland security and making America safe. We’re the strongest nation in the world and we don’t have to live in fear.

MR. RUSSERT: Much of the planning about September 11 by the hijackers probably occurred during the Clinton administration. Isn’t that fair?

GEN. CLARK: Well, it goes back a long way, but here’s what’s striking about this. When the Bush administration came to office, they were warned that the biggest threat to the United States was the threat of terrorism and Osama bin Laden. And yet on the 10th of September there was still no U.S. government plan as to how to deal with it. Yet, a lot of effort had been invested in things like national missile defense. All of the experts on the outside and the inside kept telling this administration, “Don’t get sucked into national missile defense. Your biggest threat is terrorism.” And, yet, they didn’t want to listen. For them, it was a political issue. It was ideological. It was national missile defense rather than terrorism.

MR. RUSSERT: Well, General, when you say we are not going to have one of these incidents, are you giving false assurances to people that you can prevent another terrorist attack?

GEN. CLARK: I think when the administration says that another attack is inevitable, what they’re saying is, “We don’t want to be blamed,” and what I believe is that leadership has to stand up and be made accountable. This administration should be held accountable for not doing everything it could to protect America before 9/11. And I will do everything I can to protect America.

MR. RUSSERT: But if you became president, there could be another attack?

GEN. CLARK: No one can guarantee that there can’t be another attack. But what I can guarantee is that we’ll do everything possible to keep this country safe from terrorism, and we won’t use fear as a–in a political agenda.

Meet the Press 1/25/04

Clark accuses Cheney of putting politics before security

Filed under: 9.11, Intelligence, Investigations, Terrorism — faithinwes @ 7:19 pm

Clark, former supreme allied commander of NATO, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” that by endorsing the Weekly Standard article, Cheney was essentially confirming the contents of leaked classified documents.

“Now, the standard rule on anything like this is, never to confirm it because if you confirm something like this, you’re giving away maybe sources and methods,” Clark said.

“The vice president said that that was the best explanation for the connection between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. So he’s essentially using a leaked memo to confirm his predisposition to believe that Saddam had something to do with 9/11. That’s playing politics with national security. It risks our intelligence community, our sources and methods; it’s wrong.”

Clark’s senior foreign policy adviser, James Rubin, a former assistant secretary of state in the Clinton administration, said Clark was calling for an investigation by the White House legal counsel into Cheney’s statements to the Rocky Mountain News.

“The president should call the vice president on the carpet and ask him why he was confirming a highly classified document in public and ask his legal department to see if any damage was done and what the appropriate response for government should be,” Rubin said.

-snip

Source: Scripps Howard News Service 1/25/04

July 15, 2003

“Pattern of Corruption”

Filed under: 9.11, Project for a New American Century (PNAC), WMD — faithinwes @ 10:03 pm

By PAUL KRUGMAN

More than half of the U.S. Army’s combat strength is now bogged down in Iraq, which didn’t have significant weapons of mass destruction and wasn’t supporting Al Qaeda. We have lost all credibility with allies who might have provided meaningful support; Tony Blair is still with us, but has lost the trust of his public. All this puts us in a very weak position for dealing with real threats. Did I mention that North Korea has been extracting fissionable material from its fuel rods?

How did we get into this mess? The case of the bogus uranium purchases wasn’t an isolated instance. It was part of a broad pattern of politicized, corrupted intelligence.

Literally before the dust had settled, Bush administration officials began trying to use 9/11 to justify an attack on Iraq. Gen. Wesley Clark says that he received calls on Sept. 11 from ”people around the White House” urging him to link that assault to Saddam Hussein. His account seems to back up a CBS.com report last September, headlined ”Plans for Iraq Attack Began on 9/11,” which quoted notes taken by aides to Donald Rumsfeld on the day of the attack: ”Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

But an honest intelligence assessment would have raised questions about why we were going after a country that hadn’t attacked us. It would also have suggested the strong possibility that an invasion of Iraq would hurt, not help, U.S. security.

So the Iraq hawks set out to corrupt the process of intelligence assessment. On one side, nobody was held accountable for the failure to predict or prevent 9/11; on the other side, top intelligence officials were expected to support the case for an Iraq war.

New York Times,  July 15, 2003

October 29, 2001

“A struggle for the heart and soul of Islam”

Filed under: 9.11, Afghanistan, Military Commentator, Strategy, Terrorism — faithinwes @ 6:57 pm

CNN,

BLITZER: All right. General Clark, very briefly before we take a break, what is your strategy right now? You suggested in the past that the U.S. may be investing too much energy on the military front and not enough on the diplomatic front.

CLARK: That is exactly right. We have got to understand what Osama bin Laden really wants. What he wants is the United States to strike very powerfully to mobilize Muslim opinion against United States for excessive use of force. He wants to be able to destabilize the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Ultimately he wants Mecca, Medina and the Mantle of Mohammed. And this is really a struggle for the heart and soul of Islam. So as we wage the military battle on the ground in Afghanistan, we have got to be aware of the broader context of this strategic struggle. We have got to, at one time, fight the war in Afghanistan and at the same time build a coalition, the Pakistanis and the other regimes in cooperation with us and they have to take measures to cut off the fundamentalists funding and support that is coming out of their own countries.

CNN, 10/29/01

September 15, 2001

“I think you take them out, face by face”

Filed under: 9.11, Interviews, Military Commentator, Strategy, Terrorism — faithinwes @ 6:50 pm

CNN, 9/15/01

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Gen. Clark, we’ve been speaking about NATO invoking this clause. Can you explain to us exactly and precisely what that means and what action NATO took tonight that’s so important?

Gen. Wesley Clark, CNN military analyst
Gen. Wesley Clark, former NATO commander and now a CNN military analyst: “A very clear signal to those around the world that the United States is supported completely by its NATO allies.”

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: This is essential political action taken by the NATO members acting together to say that they stand with — and will stand with — the United States in taking whatever actions might become necessary to deal with this attack on the United States. So it’s the precondition that will make everything else possible.

AMANPOUR: Is this important in the speed with which it was done? — You remember from building the coalition for Kosovo that it took a long time, relatively, to do so. Is this an important timeline that we see here?

CLARK: I think the timeline is highly significant. Of course this is in response to an attack on a NATO member state. It’s the first time, to my knowledge, that Article 5 (of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization charter) has ever been invoked. It’s the first time we’ve had an attack on a NATO member state. And I think that NATO scholars and diplomats from previous eras would never have suspected that the state to be attacked first would be the United States. So I think this is a very clear signal to those around the world that the United States is supported completely by its NATO allies. And I think that’s a very powerful weapon to have in our arsenal.

AMANPOUR: This is an unprecedented attack not just against U.S. interests and territory but against any interests that we’ve seen in recorded memory. There has not been this kind of act of terrorism that anybody I’ve talked to can remember. Does the United States have to take military action? Not in revenge but to deter any further terrorism such as this?

CLARK: The first thing the United States has to do is determine precisely what its objectives are. And, as we’ve heard the president articulate over the last couple of days, it seems pretty clear that the objectives are beyond revenge. They’re certainly beyond retaliation. He wants, and has directed, it seems, that we’re going to go after and destroy these terrorist organizations and that we’re going to hold any states that support them equally responsible.

This is, thus far, the most sweeping interpretation of the objectives. What it means is that we’re in for a relatively long campaign. We’ve seen some of the opening moves by the United States.

Today, we’ve seen the FBI extraordinarily active and very, very effective, by first reports — we’ve had the word from Attorney General (John) Ashcroft and the FBI director (Robert Mueller) about their activities and what they’ve found in the Boston area, for example, and they’re following up leads in Florida. And, presumably, other nations are taking, right now, the same or similar activities — either in response to this or other chains of evidence that might be available.

So the first step was to gather the information and then to follow it through — and take this organization and people out.

And Christiane, if I may just say, there may well be a military strike associated with this. But let’s remember that the targets here aren’t buildings — these are the people who masterminded this, and all their supporters. Striking in revenge at an isolated training camp or whatever, that’s not likely to be the objective here. Not now.

AMANPOUR: So what is, Gen. Clark? We’re talking about a faceless, maybe nameless terrorist organization, potentially — if they decide that it is Osama bin Laden, this is an organization apparently that has successfully morphed into semi-autonomous operating cells around the world. Can you tell us how you take these people out?

CLARK: I think we’re seeing the first evidence of that right now by the FBI and the local police in Boston. I think you take them out, face by face. It is an organization of faces, and they can be identified and removed.

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.