Sat 20 Mar, 2004 01:48 am
FORMER WHITE HOUSE TERRORISM ADVISOR: BUSH ADMIN WAS DISCUSSING BOMBING IRAQ FOR 9/11 DESPITE KNOWING AL QAEDA WAS TO BLAME
Fri Mar 19 2004 17:49:30 ET - Drudge Report
Former White House terrorism advisor Richard Clarke tells Lesley Stahl that on September 11, 2001 and the day after - when it was clear Al Qaeda had carried out the terrorist attacks - the Bush administration was considering bombing Iraq in retaliation. Clarke's exclusive interview will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday March 21 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Clarke was surprised that the attention of administration officials was turning toward Iraq when he expected the focus to be on Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. "They were talking about Iraq on 9/11. They were talking about it on 9/12," says Clarke.
The top counter-terrorism advisor, Clarke was briefing the highest government officials, including President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in the aftermath of 9/11. "Rumsfeld was saying we needed to bomb Iraq....We all said, 'but no, no. Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan," recounts Clarke, "and Rumsfeld said, 'There aren't any good targets in Afghanistan and there are lots of good targets in Iraq.' I said, 'Well, there are lots of good targets in lots of places, but Iraq had nothing to do with [the 9/11 attacks],'" he tells Stahl.
Clarke goes on to explain what he believes was the reason for the focus on Iraq. "I think they wanted to believe that there was a connection [between Iraq and Al Qaeda] but the CIA was sitting there, the FBI was sitting there, I was sitting there, saying, 'We've looked at this issue for years. For years we've looked and there's just no connection,'" says Clarke.
Clarke, who advised four presidents, reveals more about the current administration's reaction to terrorism in his new book, "Against All Enemies."
Bush "Ignored Terrorism for Months," Clarke Tells
Did Bush Press For Iraq-9/11 Link?
CBS's 60 Minutes 3/21/04
Advance Post March 20, 2004
In the aftermath of Sept. 11, President Bush ordered his then top anti-terrorism adviser to look for a link between Iraq and the attacks, despite being told there didn't seem to be one.
The charge comes from the advisor, Richard Clarke, in an interview airing Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT on 60 Minutes.
The administration maintains that it cannot find any evidence that the conversation about an Iraq-9/11 tie-in ever took place.
Clarke also tells CBS News Correspondent Lesley Stahl that White House officials were tepid in their response when he urged them months before Sept. 11 to meet to discuss what he saw as a severe threat from al Qaeda.
"Frankly," he said, "I find it outrageous that the President is running for re-election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it. He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11. Maybe. We'll never know."
Clarke went on to say, "I think he's done a terrible job on the war against terrorism."
The No. 2 man on the president's National Security Council, Stephen Hadley, vehemently disagrees. He says Mr. Bush has taken the fight to the terrorists, and is making the U.S. homeland safer.
Clarke says that as early as the day after the attacks, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was pushing for retaliatory strikes on Iraq, even though al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan.
Clarke suggests the idea took him so aback, he initally thought Rumsfeld was joking.
Clarke is due to testify next week before the special panel probing whether the attacks were preventable.
His allegations are also made in a book being published Monday, "Against All Enemies."
Clarke helped shape U.S. policy on terrorism under President Reagan and the first President Bush. He was held over by President Clinton to be his terrorrism czar, then held over again by the current President Bush.
In the 60 Minutes interview and the book, Clarke tells what happened behind the scenes at the White House before, during and after Sept. 11.
When the terrorists stuck, it was thought the White House would be the next target, so it was evacuated. Clarke was one of only a handful of people who stayed behind. He ran the government's response to the attacks from the Situation Room in the West Wing.
"I kept thinking of the words from 'Apocalypse Now,' the whispered words of Marlon Brando, when he thought about Vietnam. 'The horror. The horror.' Because we knew what was going on in New York. We knew about the bodies flying out of the windows. People falling through the air. We knew that Osama bin Laden had succeeded in bringing horror to the streets of America," he tells Stahl.
After the president returned to the White House on Sept. 11, he and his top advisers, including Clarke, began holding meetings about how to respond and retaliate. As Clarke writes in his book, he expected the administration to focus its military response on Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. He says he was surprised that the talk quickly turned to Iraq.
"Rumsfeld was saying that we needed to bomb Iraq," Clarke said to Stahl. "And we all said ... no, no. Al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan. We need to bomb Afghanistan. And Rumsfeld said there aren't any good targets in Afghanistan. And there are lots of good targets in Iraq. I said, 'Well, there are lots of good targets in lots of places, but Iraq had nothing to do with it.
"Initially, I thought when he said "There aren't enough targets in-- in Afghanistan" I thought he was joking.
"I think they wanted to believe that there was a connection but the CIA was sitting there, the FBI was sitting there, I was sitting there saying we've looked at this issue for years. For years we've looked and there's just no connection."
Clarke says he and CIA Director George Tenet told that to Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Clarke then tells Stahl of being pressured by Mr. Bush.
"The president dragged me into a room with a couple of other people, shut the door, and said, 'I want you to find whether Iraq did this.' Now he never said, 'Make it up.' But the entire conversation left me in absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me to come back with a report that said Iraq did this.
"I said, 'Mr. President. We've done this before. We have been looking at this. We looked at it with an open mind. There's no connection.'
"He came back at me and said, "Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there's a connection.' And in a very intimidating way. I mean that we should come back with that answer. We wrote a report."
Clarke continued, "It was a serious look. We got together all the FBI experts, all the CIA experts. We wrote the report. We sent the report out to CIA and found FBI and said, 'Will you sign this report?' They all cleared the report. And we sent it up to the president and it got bounced by the National Security Advisor or Deputy. It got bounced and sent back saying, 'Wrong answer. ... Do it again.'
"I have no idea, to this day, if the President saw it, because after we did it again, it came to the same conclusion. And frankly, I don't think the people around the president show him memos like that. I don't think he sees memos that he doesn't-- wouldn't like the answer."
Clarke was the president's chief adviser on terrorism, yet it wasn't until Sept. 11 that he ever got to brief Mr. Bush on the subject. Clarke says, prior to Sept. 11, the administration didn't take the threat seriously.
"We had a terrorist organization that was going after us! Al Qaeda. That should have been the first item on the agenda. And it was pushed back and back and back for months.
"There's a lot of blame to go around, and I probably deserve some blame too. But on January 24th, 2001, I wrote a memo to Condoleezza Rice asking for, urgently -- underlined urgently -- a Cabinet-level meeting to deal with the impending al Qaeda attack. And that urgent memo-- wasn't acted on.
"I blame the entire Bush leadership for continuing to work on Cold War issues when they back in power in 2001. It was as though they were preserved in amber from when they left office eight years earlier. They came back; they wanted to work on the same issues right away: Iraq, Star Wars. Not new issues, the new threats that had developed over the preceding eight years."
Clarke finally got his meeting about al Qaeda in April, three months after his urgent request. But it wasn't with the president or cabinet. It was with the second-in-command in each relevant department.
For the Pentagon, it was Paul Wolfowitz.
Clarke relates, "I began saying, 'We have to deal with bin Laden; we have to deal with al Qaeda.' Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, said, 'No, no, no. We don't have to deal with al Qaeda. Why are we talking about that little guy? We have to talk about Iraqi terrorism against the United States.'
"And I said, 'Paul, there hasn't been any Iraqi terrorism against the United States in eight years!' And I turned to the deputy director of the CIA and said, 'Isn't that right?' And he said, 'Yeah, that's right. There is no Iraqi terrorism against the United States."
Clarke went on to add, "There's absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda, ever."
When Stahl pointed out that some administration officials say it's still an open issue, Clarke responded, "Well, they'll say that until hell freezes over."
By June 2001, there still hadn't been a Cabinet-level meeting on terrorism, even though U.S. intelligence was picking up an unprecedented level of ominous chatter.
The CIA director warned the White House, Clarke points out. "George Tenet was saying to the White House, saying to the president - 'cause he briefed him every morning - a major al Qaeda attack is going to happen against the United States somewhere in the world in the weeks and months ahead. He said that in June, July, August.
Clarke says the last time the CIA had picked up a similar level of chatter was in December, 1999, when Clarke was the terrorism czar in the Clinton White House.
Clarke says Mr. Clinton ordered his Cabinet to go to battle stations-- meaning, they went on high alert, holding meetings nearly every day.
That, Clarke says, helped thwart a major attack on Los Angeles International Airport, when an al Qaeda operative was stopped at the border with Canada, driving a car full of explosives.
Clarke harshly criticizes President Bush for not going to battle stations when the CIA warned him of a comparable threat in the months before Sept. 11.
"He never thought it was important enough for him to hold a meeting on the subject, or for him to order his National Security Adviser to hold a Cabinet-level meeting on the subject."
Finally, says Clarke, "The cabinet meeting I asked for right after the inauguration took place-- one week prior to 9/11."
In that meeting, Clarke proposed a plan to bomb al Qaeda's sanctuary in Afghanistan, and to kill bin Laden.
Hadley staunchly defended the president to Stahl.
"The president heard those warnings. The president met daily with ... George Tenet and his staff. They kept him fully informed and at one point the president became somewhat impatient with us and said, 'I'm tired of swatting flies. Where's my new strategy to eliminate al Qaeda?'"
Hadley says that, contrary to Clarke's assertion, Mr. Bush didn't ignore the ominous intelligence chatter in the summer of 2001.
"All the chatter was of an attack, a potential al Qaeda attack overseas. But interestingly enough, the president got concerned about whether there was the possibility of an attack on the homeland. He asked the intelligence community: 'Look hard. See if we're missing something about a threat to the homeland.'
"And at that point various alerts went out from the Federal Aviation Administration to the FBI saying the intelligence suggests a threat overseas. We don't want to be caught unprepared. We don't want to rule out the possibility of a threat to the homeland. And therefore preparatory steps need to be made. So the president put us on battle stations."
Hadley asserts Clarke is "just wrong" in saying the administration didn't go to battle stations.
As for the alleged pressure from Mr. Bush to find an Iraq-9/11 link, Hadley says, "We cannot find evidence that this conversation between Mr. Clarke and the president ever occurred."
When told by Stahl that 60 Minutes has two sources who tell us independently of Clarke that the encounter happened, including "an actual witness," Hadley responded, "Look, I stand on what I said."
Hadley maintained, "Iraq, as the president has said, is at the center of the war on terror. We have narrowed the ground available to al Qaeda and to the terrorists. Their sanctuary in Afghanistan is gone; their sanctuary in Iraq is gone. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are now allies on the war on terror. So Iraq has contributed in that way in narrowing the sanctuaries available to terrorists."
When Clarke worked for Mr. Clinton, he was known as the terrorism czar. When Mr. Bush came into office, though remaining at the White House, Clarke was stripped of his Cabinet-level rank.
Stahl said to Clarke, "They demoted you. Aren't you open to charges that this is all sour grapes, because they demoted you and reduced your leverage, your power in the White House?"
Clarke's answer: "Frankly, if I had been so upset that the National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism had been downgraded from a Cabinet level position to a staff level position, if that had bothered me enough, I would have quit. I didn't quit."
Until two years later, after 30 years in government service.
A senior White House official told 60 Minutes he thinks the Clarke book is an audition for a job in the Kerry campaign.
Clarke was assistant secretary of state in the administration of Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush, and served as President Bill Clinton's coordinator for counterterrorism and the current president's adviser for cybersecurity.
Cabinet - Fmr Secretary of Treasury
State Dept - Fmr Ambassador Joe Wilson [whose CIA wife's identity was outed in retribution]
Military - Fmr 4 Star General Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark
Intelligence - Fmr Terrorism Czar Richard Clarke
How many different people from various organizations have to come forward and say Iraq was a Sham before the fog clears?
I really wonder if the general public cares?
Panem et circensis
seems to be in effect, in the form of Burger King and cable.
The American public is by and large non-political, apathetic and not interested in politics. It's the undecideds that usually pivot an election. This time the election will be a bit more fierce because the Dems and Repubs are more fired up. Their are real issues. Whether the Bush Regime lied or mislead the public into two wars will be the lesser of the issues. Most of the American public are used to politicians lying and breaking promises. They shrug and their attitudes are, "Oh, well."
The pivotal issues will be jobs, medicare and gay marriage. BushInc. has a horrible record regarding jobs, 3 Mill lost, the most since Hoover. The seniors have caught on that the Medicare Bill which was touted as a great thing, is a sham and that the Drug attachment is an outright fraud on them. Gays, even the Repubs mostly will not vote or they will vote for Kerry.
The American public is mostly simple minded about politics, as well. The perception of the candidate will resonate more than any complicated facts about issues.
The base of both parties are fixed and fired up. It's the marginal voters that will decide the election. That percentage and how they will vote is highly unpredictable
If Iraq is still in turmoil around election time it may play as a factor.If the situation is in relative calm there, it won't.
Bush will declare a victory in Iraq and be out just before the election. Between that and the capture of Bin Laden about a month before the election Bush will be a shoein. I watched 60 minutes tonight and he said just what you said he would. Miz Stall let him make his statements and then had a administration lacky rebut his statements. No rerebutal by Clark. The democratic controlled television is at it again.
Is it just me, or was the Administration respondent not even bothering to try and sound credible?
Hobitbob, the adm. official got caught at least twice denying something Clarke said happened that 60 Minutes was already able to prove it did on its own.
I thought Clarke was credible and prepared to take the heat the Bushes will aim at him if it will help bring the truth to the public. I applaud him.
Against All Enemies: Inside the White House's War on Terror--What Really Happened
by Richard Clarke (Author)
Amazon.com availability: This title will be released on March 22, 2004. You may order it now and we will ship it to you when it arrives.
Yup. Its sort of hard to counter witnesses who will attest to the conversations. His stylish red glasses were beginning to fog a bit!
What I found particularly interesting was his comment about Bush and the cards. It sort of confirms what others have implied, that he is profoundly ignorant and pleased to remain that way.
The Followup on al-Zawhari was even more interesting. How much do you wish to bet that he will mysteriously "slip away" from the Pakistani military forces?
al-Zawhari was probably not in Wana and the level of resistance as an indicator of the value of the target is a western concept and probably meaningless in this context. As a military commentator on NPR noted this morning. The people are fanatics, willing to accept martyrdom and have no place else to go, they are wanted men everywhere. These guys would fight to the death to protect a roast beef sandwich.
If its an Arby's Beef'n'Cheddar, I don't blame them!
Is it just me, or was the Administration respondent not even bothering to try and sound credible?
They send their #2 lackey with unbelievably lame responses. Their arrogance knows no bounds. It's like they don't even care that they orchestrated the greatest bait and switch known to mankind. Props to Clarke for calling a spade a spade. Clarke said plain as day that Bush puts Americans in harm's way by his reckless lack of appropriate prioritization and lack of due diligence against our real enemy --- Osama, not Iraq. Bush disgusts me beyond words.
Condi Rice responds for Bush to Clarke's charges
9/11: For The Record
By Condoleezza Rice
Monday, March 22, 2004; Page A21
The al Qaeda terrorist network posed a threat to the United States for almost a decade before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Throughout that period -- during the eight years of the Clinton administration and the first eight months of the Bush administration prior to Sept. 11 -- the U.S. government worked hard to counter the al Qaeda threat.
During the transition, President-elect Bush's national security team was briefed on the Clinton administration's efforts to deal with al Qaeda. The seriousness of the threat was well understood by the president and his national security principals. In response to my request for a presidential initiative, the counterterrorism team, which we had held over from the Clinton administration, suggested several ideas, some of which had been around since 1998 but had not been adopted. No al Qaeda plan was turned over to the new administration.
We adopted several of these ideas. We committed more funding to counterterrorism and intelligence efforts. We increased efforts to go after al Qaeda's finances. We increased American support for anti-terror activities in Uzbekistan.
We pushed hard to arm the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle so we could target terrorists with greater precision. But the Predator was designed to conduct surveillance, not carry weapons. Arming it presented many technical challenges and required extensive testing. Military and intelligence officials agreed that the armed Predator was simply not ready for deployment before the fall of 2001. In any case, the Predator was not a silver bullet that could have destroyed al Qaeda or stopped Sept. 11.
We also considered a modest spring 2001 increase in funding for the Northern Alliance. At that time, the Northern Alliance was clearly not going to sweep across Afghanistan and dispose of al Qaeda. It had been battered by defeat and held less than 10 percent of the country. Only the addition of American air power, with U.S. special forces and intelligence officers on the ground, allowed the Northern Alliance its historic military advances in late 2001. We folded this idea into our broader strategy of arming tribes throughout Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban.
Let us be clear. Even their most ardent advocates did not contend that these ideas, even taken together, would have destroyed al Qaeda. We judged that the collection of ideas presented to us were insufficient for the strategy President Bush sought. The president wanted more than a laundry list of ideas simply to contain al Qaeda or "roll back" the threat. Once in office, we quickly began crafting a comprehensive new strategy to "eliminate" the al Qaeda network. The president wanted more than occasional, retaliatory cruise missile strikes. He told me he was "tired of swatting flies."
Through the spring and summer of 2001, the national security team developed a strategy to eliminate al Qaeda -- which was expected to take years. Our strategy marshaled all elements of national power to take down the network, not just respond to individual attacks with law enforcement measures. Our plan called for military options to attack al Qaeda and Taliban leadership, ground forces and other targets -- taking the fight to the enemy where he lived. It focused on the crucial link between al Qaeda and the Taliban. We would attempt to compel the Taliban to stop giving al Qaeda sanctuary -- and if it refused, we would have sufficient military options to remove the Taliban regime. The strategy focused on the key role of Pakistan in this effort and the need to get Pakistan to drop its support of the Taliban. This became the first major foreign-policy strategy document of the Bush administration -- not Iraq, not the ABM Treaty, but eliminating al Qaeda.
Before Sept. 11, we closely monitored threats to our nation. President Bush revived the practice of meeting with the director of the CIA every day -- meetings that I attended. And I personally met with George Tenet regularly and frequently reviewed aspects of the counterterror effort.
Through the summer increasing intelligence "chatter" focused almost exclusively on potential attacks overseas. Nonetheless, we asked for any indication of domestic threats and directed our counterterrorism team to coordinate with domestic agencies to adopt protective measures. The FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration alerted airlines, airports and local authorities, warning of potential attacks on Americans.
Despite what some have suggested, we received no intelligence that terrorists were preparing to attack the homeland using airplanes as missiles, though some analysts speculated that terrorists might hijack airplanes to try to free U.S.-held terrorists. The FAA even issued a warning to airlines and aviation security personnel that "the potential for a terrorist operation, such as an airline hijacking to free terrorists incarcerated in the United States, remains a concern."
We now know that the real threat had been in the United States since at least 1999. The plot to attack New York and Washington had been hatching for nearly two years. According to the FBI, by June 2001 16 of the 19 hijackers were already here. Even if we had known exactly where Osama bin Laden was, and the armed Predator had been available to strike him, the Sept. 11 hijackers almost certainly would have carried out their plan. So, too, if the Northern Alliance had somehow managed to topple the Taliban, the Sept. 11 hijackers were here in America -- not in Afghanistan.
President Bush has acted swiftly to unify and streamline our efforts to secure the American homeland. He has transformed the FBI into an agency dedicated to catching terrorists and preventing future attacks. The president and Congress, through the USA Patriot Act, have broken down the legal and bureaucratic walls that prior to Sept. 11 hampered intelligence and law enforcement agencies from collecting and sharing vital threat information. Those who now argue for rolling back the Patriot Act's changes invite us to forget the important lesson we learned on Sept. 11.
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the president, like all Americans, wanted to know who was responsible. It would have been irresponsible not to ask a question about all possible links, including to Iraq -- a nation that had supported terrorism and had tried to kill a former president. Once advised that there was no evidence that Iraq was responsible for Sept. 11, the president told his National Security Council on Sept. 17 that Iraq was not on the agenda and that the initial U.S. response to Sept. 11 would be to target al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Because of President Bush's vision and leadership, our nation is safer. We have won battles in the war on terror, but the war is far from over. However long it takes, this great nation will prevail.
The writer is the national security adviser.
Move on folks
Bush Wants Us to "Move On" --
So Why Not Take Him Up On It?
As Bush himself has suggested, whether his Administration gave true or false reasons for going to war is not the issue -- he blithely said "What's the difference?" The supposed biological and chemical weapons ready to be used on U.S. troops and delivered by drone planes to the U.S. mainland, the supposed nuclear bombs that could be detonated over American cities, the supposed close links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden -- all these constantly-repeated charges are, according to Bush, no longer worth discussing. "What's the difference?"
But to members of Congress and to us ordinary American citizens in the run-up to the war, those reasons -- delivered as proven facts by the likes of Cheney, Bush, Rice, Powell and Rumsfeld -- were accepted as genuine. Not only did it turn out that those assertions that took us to war were untrue, but now we're told that they don't really matter, anyway. According to Bush and his cronies, the war happened, Iraq is occupied, and it's time to "move on," nothing to see here, folks.
You see how the magic trick is performed. First, you make the war "inevitable," then you make the United Nations and other protesting agencies and allies "irrelevant" because, you see, the war is "inevitable." And then, once you've launched the war and got lots of people killed and maimed, then -- according to this non-logic -- it doesn't make any sense to keep debating the rightness or wrongness or morality or practicality of what you did. It's a done deal, and the U.S. citizenry needs to "move on."
This is the same Bush&Co. that, in true conservative fashion, talk endlessly about the need for folks to assume personal accountability and responsibility for their actions. (They're even pushing a "Personal Responsibility" bill right now, with regard to food-consumption.) But personal responsibility is for the other people, the little people. Bush never assumes responsibility for anything that goes wrong on his watch. If he's forced to admit that "mistakes were made" -- notice the intransitive language -- he'll find a scapegoat to take the hit.
As a matter of fact, as many have noted, the mantra of Bush's election campaign in 2004 appears to be: "It's not my fault." The economy is lagging, the Occupation is a deadly mess, millions of jobs have disappeared, the treasury is beset by humongous deficits -- all those may be in a terrible state, but, in Bush's view, I inherited the awfulness, you won't find my fingerprints on any of the murder weapons, let's just "move on."
*Bushco want the American public to have ADD. If these scum get re-selected I don't think the Dems or any of the Left will simply take the coup begrudgengly like they did the last time. There might be a rukus.
There might be a rukus
I hope it is a peaceful ruckus, like protest in the streets and other measures.
Personally I don't think there would be a ruckus if he actually gets elected this time because surely he would not be able to use the Supreme Court twice and that was what was so objectionable about the last "election."
As for the Clark interview and book, I hope it is taken seriously and people have to come to testify before congress and the public. Clinton and Gore both have said that they are willing to come in and answer any question put to them by the 9/11 investigation. Boy, wouldn't that a news day similar to the day michael Jackson went to his court thing and stood on his car? (talking about Clinton actually going before congress on TV)
Thanks kindly for these pieces. I tuned in late and caught only the last three or four minutes.
Note that the hearings begin tomorrow. I'm not sure which day Clark is scheduled to testitfy, and of course, many other individuals will be testifying as well.
Note that the hearings begin tomorrow. I'm not sure which day Clark is scheduled to testitfy, and of course, many other individuals will be testifying as well.
Those hearings are 'must see TV' for sure. C-SPAN will cover them from beginning to end no doubt. I hope CNN or MSNBC carry them (at least to some degree). I expect FAUX to run from it like the plague.
It was fun watching Condi Rice on the CBS Morning Show trying to look cool when she was clearly pissed off as she was responding to clips of Clarke's interview from 60 Minutes last night.
Blatham, in Clarke's 60 Minutes interview, he confirmed what I and a lot of people have said is the basis of the Bush foreign policy problem. Bush surrounded himself with a lot of left over Cold Warriors who were stuck in that era's time warp.
Condi Rice's entire career and study was of the Cold War and the former USSR. She continues to this day to frame current issues as if the Cold War was still going on. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et al all were/are using out of date Cold War thinking. None of them seemed to have evolved to understand the new world since the collapse of the old Soviet Union.
Even poppie Bush's people have been warning the Boy Emperor of the error of his and his advisors's thinking privately and some publicly. None of them listen to wiser minds.
When you add their out of date approach to foreign policy to their pathetic lack of understanding of the new world changing global economy, you have a disaster building for the US and for the world.
Bush's supposed strong, determined leadership is, instead, a symptom of his life-long propensity to arrogant stubbornness. Bush truly is the worst president in US history, even worse than Hoover.