Cheney's, Rice's 9/11 Excuse

"Unless you were there, in a position of responsibility after September 11, you cannot possibly imagine the dilemmas that you faced in trying to protect Americans," Condoleezza Rice said last month. Well, Richard Clarke was there, and he still disapproves of Rice’s and Dick Cheney’s tactics, as he makes clear in an op-ed in today’s Washington Post. The national coordinator for security and counterterrorism for presidents Clinton and Bush, Clarke writes, “Listening to Cheney and Rice, it seems that they want to be excused for the measures they authorized after the attacks on the grounds that 9/11 was traumatic.” He goes on, “Yes, we went for days with little sleep, and we all assumed that more attacks were coming. But the decisions that Bush officials made in the following months and years—on Iraq, on detentions, on interrogations, on wiretapping—were not appropriate. Careful analysis could have replaced the impulse to break all the rules, even more so because the Sept. 11 attacks, though horrifying, should not have surprised senior officials.”