Observations on the world today.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Dick Clarke Does Not Stand Alone 

Somehow, Richard Clarke has become a sort of figurehead for internal opposition to Bush's invasion of Iraq and Bush's disinterest in concentrating on the real objective of squashing al Qaeda. In the brouhaha, it almost begins to seem that Clarke stands alone; that he and no other insiders have spoken out to make exactly the same criticisms. But this is not the case. There are others. Many others. All saying basically the same thing. Most notably is Paul O'Neill, but there are more who have not garnered the spotlight quite so brilliantly, but perhaps only because they have not also penned books.

Some of them are democrats, some - like Clarke - are republicans, and some are of indeterminate political affiliation; but they all share the same common denominator of having served this administration in some capacity or other. Last week, I mentioned one of these people; Sibel Edmonds, who worked as a translator and saw the transcripts of evidence that the white house either never got from DoJ or which they chose to ignore. Another such person was FBI agent John O'Neill, who features heavily in my timeline, What They Should Have Known. As it says about O'Neill on a website dedicated to his memory:
In August 2001, FBI Deputy Director John O'Neill resigned from his post over George W. Bush's policy on terrorism and Osama bin Laden. Specifically, O'Neill's department was told to "back off" their bin Laden and Al Queda investigations while the Bush administration negotiated with the Taliban. O'Neill became the security chief of the World Trade Center - where he died during the events of 9/11.
But there were still more. Several are discussed in a TomPaine.com essay entitled Conscientious Objectors. Among them Ann Wright, John Brown, and John Brady Kiesling, who in an eloquent letter of resignation wrote:
The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests. Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America’s most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security.
Others who have nobly sacrificed their careers - or at least put their careers at risk - to protest this foolhardy administration are heralded in a recent editorial by William Rivers Pitt. These modern-day heroes include, Tom Maertens, Roger Cressey, Donald Kerrick, Joseph Wilson, Greg Thielmann, Karen Kwiatkowski and Rand Beers in addition to Richard Clarke and Paul O'Neill.

There is a final name that I feel belongs on this list. Wesley Clarke was one of the first to burn his bridges with this administration and put his neck on the chopping-block lorded over by the modern day Praetorian Guard. And let us not forget David Kay and John McCain who have also been at least politically bold if not downright brave in asserting their disapproval of some of the policies of these little Napoleons masquerading as a democratically elected administration. Our nation owes them all a debt of gratitude, and perhaps under the Kerry administration, the national sentiment will see it's way clear to acknowledge that debt with tribute rather than scorn.

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