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Profile: Richard Clarke

 
  

Positions that Richard Clarke has held:

  • White House counterterrorism advisor


 

Quotes

 
  

Quote, September 12, 2001

   “There aren't any good targets in Afghanistan and there are lots of good targets in Iraq.” [Clarke, Richard. Against All Enemies. Free Press, 2004., Associated Press, 3/20/04, Reuters, 3/19/04]

Associated Events

Quote, 2004

   “I realized with almost a sharp physical pain that (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were going to try to take advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda about Iraq.” [Washington Post, 3/22/2004]

Associated Events

Quote, March 2004

   “The White House carefully manipulated public opinion, never quite lied, but gave the very strong impression that Iraq did it. They did know better. We told them. The CIA told them. The FBI told them. They did know better. And the tragedy here is that Americans went to their death in Iraq thinking that they were avenging Sept. 11, when Iraq had nothing to do with Sept. 11. I think for a commander in chief and a vice president to allow that to happen is unconscionable.” [New York Times, 3/23/04]

Associated Events

Quote, March 23, 2004

   “The people in Rumsfeld's office and in Wolfowitz's operation cherry-picked intelligence to select the intelligence to support their views. They never did the due diligence on the intelligence that professional intelligence analysts are trained to do. [The OSP] would go through the intelligence reports including the ones that the CIA was throwing out. They stitched it together they would send it out, send it over to Cheney. All the stuff that a professional would have thrown out. As soon as 9/11 happened people like Rumsfeld saw it was opportunity. During that first week after September 11, the decision was made.” [The Guardian, 3/23/04]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

No related entities for this entity.


 

Richard Clarke actively participated in the following events:

 
  

April 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       During a National Security Council deputy principals meeting, Paul Wolfowitz is challenged by White House counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke after asserting that Iraq is involved in terrorism. Recalling the meeting, Clarke tells The Guardian in a March 2004 interview: “April was an initial discussion of terrorism policy writ large and at that meeting I said we had to talk about al-Qaeda. And because it was terrorism policy writ large [Paul] Wolfowitz said we have to talk about Iraqi terrorism and I said that's interesting because there hasn't been any Iraqi terrorism against the United States. There hasn't been any for 8 years. And he said something derisive about how I shouldn't believe the CIA and FBI, that they've been wrong. And I said if you know more than I know tell me what it is, because I've been doing this for 8 years and I don't know about any Iraqi-sponsored terrorism against the US since 1993. When I said let's start talking about bin Laden, he said bin Laden couldn't possibly have attacked the World Trade Center in '93. One little terrorist group like that couldn't possibly have staged that operation. It must have been Iraq.” [The Guardian, 3/23/04]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Clarke
          

Shortly after September 11, 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       According to White House counterterrorism advisor, Richard Clarke, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, asks during a meeting, “Why we are [sic] beginning by talking about this one man, bin Laden?” Clarke responds with an explaination that only al-Qaeda “poses an immediate and serious threat to the United States.” Wolfowitz then claims that Iraqi terrorism poses “at least as much” a danger. According to Clarke, FBI and CIA representatives who are present at the meeting agree that there is no evidence to support Wolfowitz's assertion. [Washington Post, 3/22/2004 Sources: Richard Clarke]
People and organizations involved: Richard Clarke, Paul Wolfowitz
          

September 12, 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       White House counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke meets with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush. During the briefing Rumsfeld suggests that the US should bomb Iraq in retaliation for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. “Rumsfeld was saying we needed to bomb Iraq,” Clarke will later recall in his book, Against All Enemies. “... We all said, ‘but no, no. Al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan’ and Rumsfeld said, ‘There aren't any good targets in Afghanistan and there are lots of good targets in Iraq.’ ” [Clarke, Richard. Against All Enemies. Free Press, 2004.; Associated Press, 3/20/04; Reuters, 3/19/04; Washington Post, 3/22/2004 Sources: Richard Clarke] Rumsfeld's view is said to be closely aligned with that of his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, who believes Saddam, not Osama bin Laden or al-Qaeda, should be the principal target of the “war on terrorism.” [Woodward, Bob. Bush at War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002. Pg. 49] Commenting on his feelings after the meeting, Clarke will later write, “I realized with almost a sharp physical pain that (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were going to try to take advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda about Iraq.” [Washington Post, 3/22/2004] Bush administration officials will contest the accusations Clarke—who was a registered Republican in 2000—makes in his book, dismissing them as politically motivated comments made during an election year. [Associated Press, 3/22/04] But another source had provided a similar account a year earlier. In his book, Bush at War, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward stated that during a White House meeting, Rumsfeld had suggested that the US should attack Iraq. (Note: It is not clear whether or not this meeting is the same one referred to by Clarke.) [Woodward, Bob. Bush at War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002. Pg. 49] Clarke also says in his book, referring to unspecified administration officials, “They were talking about Iraq on 9/11. They were talking about it on 9/12.” [Clarke, Richard. Against All Enemies. Free Press, 2004.; Associated Press, 3/20/04; Reuters, 3/19/04 Sources: Richard Clarke]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz, George W. Bush, Richard Clarke, Donald Rumsfeld  Additional Info 
          

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