Tuesday, September 05, 2006

General Clark Talks Tough

CAVUTO: General, we haven't had an attack in almost five years. That's not bad is it?

CLARK: Well, I'm delighted that we haven't and I hope we will never be attacked. The attack on 9/11 occurred on the president's watch. He took us into a war that we didn't have to fight. It's been used to incentivize recruiting al-qaeda. The number of people that are affiliated with al-qaeda world wide 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.

CAVUTO: Let me ask you, General, the folk we're fighting in Iraq right now, if we weren't fighting them in Iraq right now, where would they be?

CLARK: A lot of those folks 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 the foreign terrorists that are there. Anywhere from a 1000 to 2000.

CAVUTO: So General, who incentivized the U.S.S. Cole attack? Who incentivized the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center?

CLARK: You changed the question... you changed the question. We did not have to attack Iraq. What we could have done is focused on Afghanistan and finished the job in Afghanistan but, Neil, we didn't do that. You realize, when we went into Afghanistan, we left Afghanistan again in a few months. We left 8000 combat troops there. We did none of the reconstruction. We didn't help the Afghan people recreate their economy. It had been devastated by the Soviets.

CAVUTO: Can I ask you, General. Wait a minute. We didn't respond to the U.S.S. Cole in any measurable way. We didn't respond to the '93 attacks on the World Trade Center in any way. So, is it just because this president is a Republican, that you're bashing him and prior one is not?

CLARK: No. It has nothing to do with that. In fact, the people who attacked us at The World Trade Center [in 1993], we arrested them. We broke up that ring. As far as the Cole attacks are concerned, a complete plan was worked up. By the time they had worked the plan up it was December of 2000. The administration was about to go out of office. A Republican was going to come in. I think, Richard Clarke has told the full story of passing along a 20 page plan along with all the details to the National Security Advisor, Condoleeza Rice. They never got a hearing. This president went on vacation in August of 2001 despite the warnings that al-qaeda was trying to attack us without ever summoning his cabinet offices together.

The clip is by far better, and includes a good amount of commentary beyond this transcript.

NEIL DOUCHEBAG: Would it have killed any of you at this pressert today to have at least acknowledged that [we have not been attacked in five years]?

CLARK: Well Senator Harry Reid did acknowledge the fact that we have not been attacked. But let me give you an example, Neil, in 1999 we got word and intercepted a terrorist group that was trying to attack Los Angeles airport - for new years of 2000 we broke that attack up. That's because we had an effective White House counter-terrorism strategy that was coordinating the agencies. That strategy fell apart in the early months of the Bush administraion - you can talk to the people, it's a matter of record. This administraion wanted to focus on weapons of mass destruction coming from North Korea, they wanted to focus on an ABM they did not focus on the problem of terrorism until it was too late. and then they took us to a war we didn't have to fight in Iraq, that has made the problem more difficult to come to terms with.

Bless you General, and bless Richard Clarke. You'd both be in my cabinet!