Richard Clarke recently insisted on CBS’s 60 Minutes that there never “ever” was a link between al Qaeda and Iraq, only to have a 1999 article surface in which he is quoted making that very assertion.
Its sudden appearance has Roving reporter written all over it, especially with Clarke and Clinton up to testify. Damn fine entertainment.
Does the 1999 bombing of the El Shifa Pharmaceutical plant in Sudan ring a bell?
It probably won’t, because it didn’t get a lot of press five years ago. Of course, back then we lived in a pre-September 11 world. Things were different then, only because we didn’t know what we know today, which is that we’ve been targets all along.
Something else we know now too. US espionage is a joke.
Let’s take another look at the bullet hole in Clarke’s chest. On January 23, 1999, Richard Clarke, who occupied the newly created post of national coordinator of counterterrorism and computer security programs under President Clinton, was interviewed by the Washington Post. The excerpt: “Clarke said U.S. intelligence does not know how much of the substance (nerve gas) was produced at El Shifa or what happened to it. But he said that intelligence exists linking bin Laden to El Shifa’s current and past operators, the Iraqi nerve gas experts and the National Islamic Front in Sudan.”
What’s funny is the irony. Clarke spinning the way the Bushies are spinning right now, for the same reasons. He got caught playing Espionage, International Game of Deceit and Subterfuge. The Clintonites put it on the Iraqis, same as the US had done for years.
Bill Clinton, in retaliation for several bin Laden-sponsored acts of terror, launched his own series of terrorist attacks, missile style, under the premise that a bomb’s a bomb.
One of his seven targets was the El Shifa Pharmaceutical plant, which, US intelligence asserted, was producing nerve gas. Their evidence: the presence of the chemical Empta on the grounds surrounding the plant. Empta, when mixed with water and bleach, becomes V-X nerve gas, according to a 1999 article posted by web logger Scott Loughrey citing a pair of articles in Covert Action Quarterly (CAQ, Winter, 99).
How could Clinton know the parking lot was rife with powdered nerve gas, but not know the facility produced half of Sudan’s medicine and 90% of the most critically needed drugs?
Turned out, he didn’t. Well, their information might have been wrong. Well, the Empta turned out to be roundup. Roundup.
Roundup is a weed killer that weekend warriors use too much of.
This one, El Shifa, was Clinton’s baby. El Shifa was what he should have been impeached for.
As to Mr. Clarke, I would say his testimony is about as impugned as everybody else’s. His impunity is just a lot more irrelevant now that he’s retired.
The truth will squeeze out the sides.
One thing is becoming clear as a bigger picture puts itself together: this problem is bigger than George Bush. Unlike our Justice Department, our Intelligence is blind. Deaf and dumb too. We’re in big trouble when our presidents — note the plural — are empowered to use American military power at their discretion and without the approval of Congress based on faulty or imagined intelligence.
I was thinking it ought to be illegal when it hit me: it is.
There appears to be enough dereliction of duty to go around.