neljapäev, märts 25, 2004


Something that's bothering me significantly right now is the way so many Republicans and Bush supporters have so readily discarded Richard Clarke's complaints. I can understand why the White House and Republican politicians would fight so hard to discredit Clarke and pretend his comments don't matter. What I don't get is the blindness of people who buy in to it that spin easily. The man is a highly respected career civil servant who votes Republican. Why is he so clearly untrustworthy? So far, the Bush administration has made very few legitimate complaints about Clarke. The only one that comes to mind, if this is even true, is that he allegedly jumbled the sequence of events between the first WTC bombing and the attempt to kill the first Bush. If that's the case, then yes, he got a fact wrong. That doesn't invalidate his argument.

From what I've seen, these are the basic points the White House is making:
1. Clarke was out of the loop
2. Clarke was in charge of everything and screwed up
3. He wrote a really polite resignation letter
4. We sent him to brief the press once and he didn't criticize us
5. His book is coming out only seven months before an election
6. He was angry that we demoted him when he suggested that his position should be demoted
7. He knows Rand Beers
8. He wrote a book

Setting aside the internal contradictions of some of these arguments, how is this case convincing to anyone? I mean, really, there's nothing they've said that actually challenges any of his facts. And yet, these people buy into it. Shouldn't it bother you that what he said might be true? Has it occurred to you that the White House has no answer for his actual allegations accept to accuse him of contradictions where there obviously are none? I really can't accept that someone who's running around screaming "Look at the Fox News transcript! He's lying!" seriously believes it proves anything. And I have to think these people know their arguments are dishonest.

This all goes back to that idea of intellectual honesty I mentioned way back like 5 days ago in my first post. These people who say "He's friends with a Kerry advisor so I don't trust him" have to know that's not good enough. They have to know that doesn't actually refute his facts in any way. But they still say it and more importantly, they pretend it resolves the issue. Now, there is an incredibly serious question being raised by Clarke about the president's honesty and his competence. Shouldn't it concern you in some way that no real evidence has been presented to refute him? I know you like Bush, but if Clarke's right, Bush's poor judgement could endanger all of our lives. Shouldn't we all want to get to the truth of this, no matter who we support? It concerns me when people let their love of Bush get in the way of seriously considering the very serious criticism surrounding him. I get that political operatives can be more interested in winning than being right, but what the hell is wrong with regular citizens who think the same way?

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