The Parade of Disgrunted Former Employees
First, there was former CIA weapons inspector David Kay. He had the audacity to say"that Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction before the war and that U.S. intelligence agencies missed the signs that would have told them as much."
Then came Paul O'Neill, former Bush administration Treasury Secretary, who had the colossal gall to claim that the"administration was planning to invade Iraq long before the Sept. 11 attacks and used questionable intelligence to justify the war."
Now comes the President's former counter-terrorism czar, Richard Clarke, who shows utter disloyalty in claiming that President Bush himself pressured advisers to come up with a link between Iraq and the 9/11 attack. Clarke tells us that the administration was hell-bent on attacking Iraq, despite the fact that Al Qaeda was the gathering threat in the months prior to 9/11. On 60 Minutes, Clarke charged that Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz rejected any need"to deal with bin Laden ... to deal with al Qaeda." Wolfowitz went ballistic over the suggestion:"No, no, no. We don't have to deal with al Qaeda. Why are we talking about that little guy? We have to talk about Iraqi terrorism against the United States." Clarke responded:"Paul, there hasn't been any Iraqi terrorism against the United States in eight years!" And the deputy director of the CIA agreed:"There is no Iraqi terrorism against the United States." Clarke added:"There's absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda, ever."
Needless to say, Clarke's book, Against All Enemies, is now being attacked mercilessly in a concerted White House spin campaign of Shock and Awe. Dick Cheney targeted Clarke on Rush Limbaugh's show and Condi Rice said simply that Clarke just doesn't"know what he's talking about." They're now all savaging Clarke as a"disgruntled former employee."
Kay, O'Neill, Clarke... how many more"disgruntled former employees" will there be?
Perhaps more of them will surface as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States begins high-level hearings on the failure of US intelligence in the days before 9/11. Over 2 million pages of documents have already been examined and over 1000 interviews have already been conducted. Today, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Powell will be on the hot seat, along with the Clinton administration's Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, and Secretary of Defense William Cohen. Stay tuned!