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Saturday, April 3

It Wasn't A Secret Pact 

But it looks like one:

"President George Bush first asked Tony Blair to support the removal of Saddam Hussein from power at a private White House dinner nine days after the terror attacks of 11 September, 2001. "


Just so you can keep your timetables straight, now. Those dinners are so much fun. What do you do at your dinners with friends?

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Friday, April 2

New Zealand Says Goodbye 

Nice Coalition. Good Coalition. Sit. Stay. Please.

New Zealand is planning an exit strategy:

"Prime Minister Helen Clark made the announcement as she met with the visiting leader of the Labor Party in neighboring Australia, Mark Latham, who is at the center of political storm over his position on withdrawing Australian troops from Iraq.

Clark said that after pulling out its troops -- which are working with British forces in southeastern Iraq -- New Zealand may investigate other ways of helping Iraq to return to full sovereignty.

'With the commitments we have made to the international effort against terrorism and the reconstruction of Iraq, we have tended to take ... decisions which have a time period on them,' she said. 'But we may then come back and do the same thing again at another point when we have force regeneration.'"


You know, force regeneration.

.......

Isn't it gleeful to see the Democrats spend time, money, and energy working against Ralph Nader, as they did against Dean? It really shows where Randi's priorities are to attack one of their own. Start your liberal network by bashing those more liberal than you. Her performance below could have been Ann Coulter, or Rush Limbaugh, but no. It was glorious Air America spending part of its first day being mad at Ralph Nader and third parties. How liberal of them!

Phew! She could have been spening that time attacking Rove, or Bush, or Rumsfeld, or Ashcroft, or Powell, or the other Powell, or Rice, or Wolfowitz, or Cheney, or 9-11, or the Iraq war, or rising oil prices, or corporate crime, or pollution, or Greenspan, or job loss, or...

I hope next week she rips apart Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Dean, Gephardt, Mosely-Braun, Sharpton, Carter, Kucinich, and Stephen Colbert.

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Hot Air 

Randi/Nader Transcript.

The following is a transcript from the first day of Air America, an interview with Nader on liberal talk show hosted by Randi Rhodes:

Randi: Now they are because you know why, the states are starving, that this -- we have a president that literally stole the treasury. And that's why we can't afford you. I wish we could, Ralph Nader! I wish we could.

Nader: Wait, wait. Why -- why don't the Democrats stop the things they don't like from the Republicans like the tax cut for the wealthy --

Randi: [exasperated] They're in the minority! They're in the minority in the Cong -- oh, Ralph, come on, you like to spew this stuff, but you're smarter than that --

Nader: -- wait, wait -- the war resolution, the patriot act --

Randi: Ralph, Ralph, how many, how many --

Nader: -- do you have listeners now? Do you have listeners? --

Randi: -- Ralph. how -- I've --

Nader: -- votenader.org is the web site for people who want a more deliberate and detailed --

Randi: Ralph, let me tell you something. I have probably, you know, millions and millions of listeners. I've been on for years and years and years. Which you may not know because you didn't do your homework. But the truth of the matter is, they don't want you to run either! Even your, your Green party supporters, they can't afford you! That's why the Green party is not endorsing your candidacy and you've become an independent! We can't afford you Ralph! Now, if you want to do a little horse trading, that would be smart politics. And if you wanted to be a kingmaker, meaning, you ran for a while and then you turned over your voters and you endorsed Kerry, and said to Kerry, ``you know you need a guy like me. You neeed a guy like me on [name your policy that you're most passionate about]'', and go fix it, and then, four years from now, you'll find out what the Democrats have know for -- for ten years, and that is: they're in the minority in Congress, and they can't vote out appropriations bills because they don't have line-item veto outta a Democratic president's hand. They can't vote out these pork projects; they can't vote out the stealing of the treasury, the underfunding of education, the underfunding of medicare. C'mon, you know this!

Nader: Welll, since you're filibustering, you should've mentioned that the Senate and the Democrats could've filibustered a lot of these things and blocked them. Filibustering is a tool that the Republicans know how to use better than the Democrats. They --

Randi: They filibustered a couple of judges and looked what happened.

Nader: yes. and by the way you're ---

Randi: Look what happened! During the recess they put 'em in --

Nader: -- are you interviewing? are you a show host? are you interviewing? or are you filibustering? Do you want to give me a chance to --

Randi: -- no, I'm angry at you! --

Nader: -- wait wait! Is this the way --

Randi: -- I'm angry at you! I'm a genuine person who's really mad at your candidacy!

Nader: Well, why are you denying millions of people the opportunity to vote for my candidacy --

Randi: Because. We. Can't. Afford. It.

Nader: -- how arrogant, how arrogant can you be? --

Randi: I'm not arrogant, I'm a patriot! I -- we can't afford you, and real patriots have to stand up and question your candidacy!

Nader: Wait a minute! wait a minute. Why are you denying millions of Americans an opportunity to have more choice --

Randi: Because.... how many ways to Sunday do I have to tell you. We can't afford you.

Nader: I'm sorry, Can you afford freedom? Can you afford choice? Can you afford civil liberties? --

Randi: Gimmie a Democrat President!

Nader: -- can you -- is this the way you want to start Air America? You want it to be Hot Air America?

Randi: Oh, no, you see --

Nader: -- Log on to the web site votenader.org --

Randi: -- Ralph, let me tell you something. If you did get to be president, tell me who you would caucus with. Tell me who you could get to vote for your ... views and visions, and your, your bills! Who is an independent other than Bernie Sanders and Jim Jeffords? Who are you gonna count on? You -- let's say you win. Okay?

Nader: You can't win without a huge mobilization of voters --

Randi: -- let's say ya do --

Nader: -- that would replace many members of Congress.

Randi: -- let's say it's seventy years old, from your house in Connecticut, your little house --

Nader: -- now waitaminute. now wait wait wait. you're --

Randi: -- you are, you are ready to do this.

Nader: -- listen, listen. now you're getting nasty.

Randi: I'm not!

Nader: You are ruining the first day --

Randi: I'm not ruining anything.

Nader: -- the first day of Air America.

Randi: This is Air America.

Nader: -- you're not letting your, you're not letting your guest be, have a chance to speak. You're --

Randi: I asked you a question. --

Nader: -- you're not letting your guest have a chance to speak.

Randi: -- So you get there, ya make president, right? Ya make president. Who are you caucusing with? --

Nader: How about Ed Markie? --

Randi: -- Democrats or Republicans? --

Nader: -- how bout Ed Markie? How about, eyuh, Waxman --

Randi: -- Democrats or Republicans? That's your choice! Your choice is Democrats or Republicans --

Nader: -- how about Pelosi?

Randi: Pelosi is a Dem-o-crat. --

Nader: -- what are you talking about? that would be the Democrat --

Randi: Pelosi is the Democrat minority leader.

Nader: -- listen, listen. If I win the presidency, that means the Democrats would win the Congress --

Randi: [flabbergasted] What?

Nader: -- And a lot of my friends are in the Congress. And by the way. --

Randi: [mind blown] Wow...

Nader: -- you've got a very bad interviewing technique --

Randi: -- uh uh uh. I am not --

Nader: -- and you're not going to get an audience by overtalking --

Randi: -- interviewing you --

Nader: Do not overtalk!

Randi: I am not ... interviewing you!

Nader: Do not overtalk!

Randi: I mad at you! Don't you understand the difference?

Nader: Fine, just close up and start screaming to your audience.

Randi: [laughs] Look. Don't tell me how to do radio; I've done it for twenty years. You screwed up the last election, and now you want to screw up this one, and I'm pissed!

Nader: (pause; speechless) You know, you ought to be ashamed of yourself because you --

Randi: But I'm not! You know you should --

Nader: -- you agree with me --

Randi: -- be ashamed of yourself! --

Nader: -- you agree with me on so many issues. You really ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Randi: I'm not ashamed of myself. I can't afford you!

Nader: (struggling for words) Nobody stands, nobody for stands, for workers and, and, and the poor people the way I do.

Randi: Ralph, sometimes I look at something, sometimes I look at a really fabulous, fabulous pair of shoes, but I can't afford em. I can't afford you! I'm not saying you're not fabulous. I can't afford you! Why you don't get this I don't know.

Nader: Oh! You can't afford a living wage in this country? Why don't the Democrats ask for a ten dollar living wage?

Randi: What I'm saying is, when you get there, let's say you're president, let's do this.

Nader: Yeah.

Randi: Who are you caucusing with?

Nader: Oh, all kinds of people in Congress, I'm very persuasive!

Randi: Name them! Besides for Ed Markie, Jim Jeffords, and I'll give you, um I --

Nader: Kennedy, Feingold --

Randi: Kennedy?!?

Nader: Kennedy, Feingold, all kinds. Boxer from California, on and on.

Randi: Oh, y'see, then Ralph, you really don't know politics if you think the Democrats are gonna vote with an independent president --

Nader: -- you're not, you're not doing your homework. Listen. Listen --

Randi: -- you're outta your mind. They've got a national party.

Nader: -- you're reducing yourself to (apathis?). I don't deal with someone who doesn't allow me to talk, and if you want your guests to close up on you on the first day of Air America --

Randi: -- you just keep telling me --

Nader: -- because you're overtalking, you're fillibustering, good day! (hangs up)

Randi: They've heard you say that a thousand times but you won't answer the question. Say he does, see, this is the problem, and I am pissed, and I don't, y'know, I'm not interviewing Ralph Nader. I'm mad at Ralph Nader. I've been mad at Ralph Nader since 2000, and I've got news for you: If Ralph Nader became the President of the United States, where does he go to get his bills passed? Does he go to the Republicans? Does he go to the Democrats that he just beat? You know, this is why there's no ... prospects for Ralph, other than what Ralph is really doing. And what Ralph, I think is really doing -- if he's smart enough, and Ralph's pretty smart -- is, he's gonna run, and then he's gonna endorse Kerry and turn over those those voters which might be, what, three million maybe, who could make the difference, in exchange for trade commissioner, EPA, something that he wants to do. But he won't tell you that. 5:33.


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Wednesday, March 31

Air America 

The Daily Kos says:

"If you have a blog, googlebomb 'air america'. Right now the top Google result is some paintball gun site. We need to make it easy for people to find the site. "



Now why would we want to draw attention to Air America and their new liberal radio programming. Air America should not be promoted. They have people like Al Franken and Chuck D. Why would anyone want to listen to them on Air America?

C'mon, people, we're dominionist, not liberal! Don't support Air America. Please.

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Tuesday, March 30

Maine to provide universal health care 

If Vermont Sort of Did it, Maine Can Do It Too.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Other states have tried — and failed — to create universal health care. Now, Maine intends to show them how it's done.

This summer, the state will begin enrolling people in its health care program, called Dirigo — the state motto and Latin for "I lead." It is aimed at ensuring health care access for all 1.3 million residents.

[Read the full AP story carried by the Washington Times.]

"No other state currently has as far-reaching a plan as Maine," said Howard Berliner, a health policy professor at New School University in New York City.

The plan was championed by Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat who made universal coverage a cornerstone of his campaign.

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Federal Judge Tells Large American Corporation: Go Ahead And Hire Scabs! 


March 29, 2004 - A federal judge has ruled Caterpillar can use temporary replacement workers if there is a work stoppage. Chief U.S. District Judge Joe McDade found that parts of a state law would cause irreparable harm to employers like Caterpillar undergoing labor negotiations.

The law bars the use of temporary replacement workers in the case of a work stoppage.

Ah, irreparable harm! That old ploy. I guess Judge McDade isn't aware that the whole purpose of a strike is to 'harm' the employer into paying attention to its employees and bargaining in good faith to get the operation working again. I guess Judge McDade thinks Caterpillar is above the law. Caterpillar workers voted to authorize a strike if they can't get a new contract by the time the old contract expires on April 1, 2004.

The news brief is here: WEEK.com: Replacement Workers Okayed

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The Complete Failure of the 9-11 Commission 

Condi (National Security Advisor) and Rummy (US Secretary of Defense) have both said that they had no idea that planes could be used as missiles. Global Research would like to know how that is possible in light of the following:

#1 – On the morning of September 11, 2001, NORAD was running war games involving hijacked airliners while the National Reconnaissance Offices (NRO) was running a drill for the scenario of an errant aircraft crashing into a government building at the exact same time as an identical scenario was perpetrated. The Air Force was in day two of annual drills testing all of its systems to respond to various threats.
 
What role, if any, did Secretary Rumsfeld, Under Secretary Wolfowitz, and acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers play in any war game scenario on the morning of September 11, 2001? What briefings did they receive about these war games before, during, and after the morning in question?
 
#2 – On October 24 through 26 of 2000 a mass emergency drill was conducted in response to an airliner being crashed into the Pentagon.
 
What did Defense Secretary Cohen tell Secretary Rumsfeld about this drill during the transition process from the Clinton to Bush administration?

Read it here: The Complete Failure of the 9-11 Commission

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Ralph Nader To Appear on CNN's Crossfire On March 30 

Today March 30 Ralph Nader appears on CNN's "Crossfire". Turn on CNN from 4:30 and 5:00 PM EST for an always doggedly sharp Ralph Nader as he rebuts stupid and pointless remarks from Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala. Watch and record which host, on the left or the right, is the most flagrantly critical and how spiteful their comments are towards their invited guest. Here's the finale of the historical transcript of Ralph Nader's August 2000 appearance on Crossfire when he ran as the Green Party candidate.


RALPH NADER: This is a rich person's economy graced by the Democrats and Republicans, who increasingly are morphing into one corporate party with two heads wearing different makeup.

CORN: Bob, always takes his political cues from Tom Daschle.

(LAUGHTER)

Ralph, you spoke at the American Psychological Association a few days ago, and you said that corporate America suffers from institutional insanity. To some people that might seem a little wacky and far-out. What do you mean by that?

NADER: I mean auto companies for decades have refused to be toilet-trained: that is control their pollution that gives people cancer and respiratory ailments. Drug prices -- drug industries that can be considered kleptomaniacs. Massive drug price gouging of elderly people, for example.

I mean, what do you -- what do you call this kind of mass behavior? And time and time again, "The Wall Street Journal," "The New York Times," "The Washington Post" expose these guys, and nothing happens.

NOVAK: Can I -- can I get in for one second?

CORN: No, no.

The Supreme Court, liberals and conservatives both say it's a big enchilada of the coming election. Do you not care about Bush getting in there and appointing more Scalias and Thomases.

NADER: I care that Senator Hatch and Republicans are going to have a veto over anything that a possible Gore nominee would be sent to the Senate.

People -- people check our Web site to get the answer to these questions about Gore, VoteNader.com or VoteNader.org. Remember, the Republicans won the Senate because the Democrats lost their identity and their historic mission, and they also couldn't save the country from Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay and Dick Armey.

NOVAK: Well, will we see you at the Democratic convention as we saw you at the Republican convention?

NADER: I don't know whether they'll let me in.

(LAUGHTER)

The Republican convention, they let me in. I was right by the Florida delegation.

NOVAK: They're just -- they're just...

CORN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

NOVAK: They're just too soft.

Thank you very much, Ralph Nader.


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How To Become President 

Once again, it's the AP. This time they tell us the entire Bush campaign strategy:

"'The point is to have a photo in the next day's paper and a short story about him unveiling something or calling on Congress to do 'X',' said Michael Franc, Heritage Foundation vice president for government relations.

'Then he's defined himself as being an action-oriented president with an agenda, purpose and mission.'"


Unveil something or call on Congress to do X. That's all that is needed to erase the image of a corporate stooge out for personal gain while blundering the reduction of terrorism, destroying the environment, poisoning the food supply, and damaging the Constitution and Bill of Rights at every juncture while bringing religion into the government. Yup.

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In Case You Didn't Hear Us the First Time 

Outsourcing is still good for us. This time, Snow says it.

"Treasury Secretary John Snow says outsourcing of American jobs, a hot issue in the presidential campaign, can help make the economy stronger.

'It's part of trade,' Snow said. 'It's one aspect of trade, and there can't be any doubt about the fact that trade makes the economy stronger.'

'You can outsource a lot of activities and get them done just as well at a lower cost,' Snow said after being asked about the issue during a stop here Monday. 'If we can keep the American economy strong and growing and expanding, we'll create lots of jobs.'"


Yes, many said it was an insane statement made by people out of touch. Yes, it makes no logical sense that sending all of our jobs overseas helps US jobs. Yes, the last person to say it had to apologize and backtrack.

But we'll keep saying it.

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Rice Dragged Kicking and Screaming to Panel 

The AP says:

" National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice will be allowed to testify in public under oath before the commission investigating the failure to prevent the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, an administration official said Tuesday.

The official said the decision is conditioned on the Bush administration receiving assurances in writing from the commission that such a step does not set a precedent, said the official speaking on condition of anonymity. It appeared the administration already had such assurances verbally in private and is confident it will get them in writing."


This was done to prevent NSA Condi from melting down on Barbara Walter's couch and revealling that "yes, it is all a bunch of lies and we knew it was coming." Good thing she's now under the threat of perjury.

Actually, the behind the scenes work over the weekend was to make sure Condi gets tossed softballs at the public hearing. Questions like "You did everything you could, right, dear?"

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Germany Agrees to Cut Greenhouse Gas Output 

One of the most industrialized nations of Europe agreed today to cut industry emissions of greenhouse gases while at the same time, "taking the competitiveness of German industry into account". Economics and Labor Minister Wolfgang Clement, a member of Schroeder's Social Democrats, who initially resisted any cuts, admitted that the plan works well and would send a signal on fighting greenhouse gases.

The Associated Press in Berlin reports, "EU countries are to start trading carbon emission certificates in January 2005 in a joint effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions, which scientists blame for global warming."

Yet the deal to cut emissions was reached in a compromise which Environmentalist groups Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) sharply criticised. Under the national plan for emission quotas called for by the European Union, it was decided to cut German industry's emissions of carbon dioxide to 503 million tons a year by 2007 and to 495 million tons by 2012. Environment Minister Juergen Trittin originally wanted to lower emissions by substantially more, but Clement, supported by industrial companies such as Thyssen-Krupp and BASF, wanted less.

The governing coalition "has bid farewell to climate protection with this compromise," Greenpeace said in a statement. "The compromise ... has nothing to do with Green Party politics."

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Monday, March 29

Ooops 

The NY Times reports that:

"The chairman and vice chairman of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks said on Monday that they would ask Condoleezza Rice to testify under oath in any future questioning because of discrepancies between her statements and those made in sworn testimony by President Bush's former counterterrorism chief.

'I would like to have her testimony under the penalty of perjury,' said the commission's chairman, Thomas H. Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, in comments that reflected the panel's exasperation with the White House and Ms. Rice, the president's national security adviser."


My friends in the White House worked hard for this compromise all weekend. They are so good at what they do.

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Bush Concerned About 9-11 Truths 

Bush cares deeply about getting to the bottom of 9-11

"Bush, who was spending this weekend at his Texas ranch, is lavishing attention on these mega-fund-raisers as he closes out the fund-raising drive.

Friday's festivities in Georgia begin at a private home in Greensboro.

Three-and-a-half hours later, they move to the Ritz-Carlton golf resort at Reynolds Plantation, the site of Bush's first re-election fund raiser outside Washington.

The complex 75 miles east of Atlanta was developed by the family of Reynolds, who was once a partner with Bush in the Texas Rangers baseball team.

Both appearances are closed to the news media, unlike most of Bush's fund-raisers.

On Thursday night, Bush is the star attraction at a Washington fund-raiser expected to bring in $5 million for the National Republican Congressional Committee."


See, he cares so much about finding the truth that he can't be bothered with it at all. To do a great job would require the dedication of a a staff person, like Condi Rice, to go out and help figure out the big mess they are in. To bad he doesn't have anyone like that around to help him out here.

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Nader Plans to Meet With Kerry 

The guy who was robbed of votes by Gore in 2000 would like to meet with Kerry:

"ATLANTA (AP) - Ralph Nader said he will meet with John Kerry next month to discuss the effort to defeat President Bush in the November election.

While stressing that he is still a competitor in the race, the independent presidential hopeful said Sunday he views his candidacy as a 'second front against Bush, however small.'

Following a speech on the environment at Georgia State University, Nader stepped up his attacks on Bush, describing the Republican incumbent as 'a giant corporation residing in the White House camouflaging as a human being.'

'George W. Bush's values are corporate values,' Nader told reporters. And he said the administration 'should spend more time waging peace ... than waging a military conflict.'

At the same time, Nader prodded Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, to push traditional Democratic values of helping working families. He said the Democrats in general need to be reminded of that.

He did not elaborate on the meeting he plans with the Massachusetts senator and there was no immediate response from the Kerry campaign."


Our pal Rove can't wait for his eloquent Bush to debate these lame public speakers, by the way.

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Socialists Win Big 

The elections results are in, and it's another day of victory for Socialists in Europe. It was a night of celebration for the left in France.

The BBC reports:

The socialists and their allies won 50% of the second-round votes, leaving Mr Chirac's centre-right governing UMP party trailing on 36.9%.

Meanwhile, the far-right National Front confirmed its position as the country's third political force, with nearly 13%....

The discontent with Chirac's privatization of the government, or as one Frenchwoman put, the sabotage of the public sector, was seen as one of the main reasons for such a strong showing by the left over the weekend.

With the Socialists having managed to oust Spain's Aznar earlier this month, and now their taking the majority in France's parliament, Bush and Republican-led Congress face the prospect of a Socialist-bloc Europe.

Gerhard Schroeder recently stepped down as the leader of the Social Democrat Party (SPD) in Germany due to anger within the party over welfare cuts, a freeze on pensions and the introduction of fees to visit the doctor, although he will remain chancellor. TheSPD barely holds a majority in the parliament due to the strong showing of the Greens which fought back against the Conservative Party and beat out their holding onto a majority. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer is one of few Greens in power.

In June, the European Union will have its elections, and a total of 32 Green parties from across the continent have joined forces to found the European Green Party in an attempt to find common ground.


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Sunday, March 28

Clarke vs Condi - It's  

Clarke was onNBC News' Meet the Press and has a lot more to talk about:


MR. RUSSERT:  Is there any inconsistency between your sworn testimony before the September 11 Commission last week and two years ago before the congressional committee?

MR. CLARKE:  No, there isn't.  And I would welcome it being declassified, but not just a little line here or there.  Let's declassify all six hours of my testimony.

MR. RUSSERT:  You would request this morning that it all be declassified?

MR. CLARKE:  And I want more declassified.  I want Dr. Rice's testimony before the 9-11 Commission declassified, and I want the thing that the 9-11 Commission talked about in its staff report this week declassified, because there's been an issue about whether or not a strategy or a plan or something useful was given to Dr. Rice in early January.  And she says it wasn't.  So we now have the staff report of the 9-11 Commission, and it says, "On January 25th, Clarke forwarded his December strategy paper to the new national security adviser, and it proposed covert action to the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, significantly increasing CIA funding, retaliating for the USS Cole, arming the Predator aircraft, going after terrorist fund raising."

Now, Dr. Rice has characterized this as not a plan, not a strategy, not a series of decisions which could be made right away, but warmed-over Clinton material.  Let's declassify that memo I sent on January 25th and let's declassify the national security directive that Dr. Rice's committee approved nine months later on September 4th, and let's see if there's any difference between those two, because there isn't.  And what we'll see when we declassify what they were given on January 25th and what they finally agreed to on September 4th, is that they're basically the same thing and they wasted months when we could have had some action.


and

I asked in June of 01 to be transferred from the terrorism job, I did and my chief of staff, Roger Cressey, did, because in June 2001, we were so frustrated with the administration's lackadaisical attitude toward terrorism that we no longer wanted to work on the issue.  As obsessed as I was with going after al-Qaeda, I felt I had to get out of the terrorism business because I couldn't work for an administration that was treating it in such an unimportant way. 


Defintely don't go read the entire transcript ,whatever you do. There is nothing there of interest. Please, oh, please, don't pay attention to Mr. Clarke or buy his book.

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