In the Administration's efforts to discredit Richard Clarke's accusations about terrorism pre-September 11, they say some odd stuff. Cheney on Limbaugh today:
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I wasn't directly involved in that decision. He was moved out of the counterterrorism business over to the cyber security side of things, that is he was given a new assignment at some point here. I don't recall the exact time frame.
Q Cyber security, meaning Internet security?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, worried about attacks on the computer systems and the sophisticated information technology systems we have these days that an adversary would use or try to the system against us.
Q Well, now that explains a lot, that answer right there explains -- (Laughter.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, he wasn't -- he wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff. And I saw part of his interview last night, and he wasn't --
The guy who's in charge of counterterrorism at NSA wasn't in the loop? Then I would accuse you and your boss, Mr. Cheney, of absolute incompetence, except that that's a damned lie anyway. As Josh Marshall points out, Clarke wasn't assigned to cybersecurity until after 9/11. In fact,
"On October 16, 2002, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and Director of Homeland Security Governor Ridge announced the appointment of Richard A. Clarke as Special Advisor to the President for Cyberspace Security."(PDF)Now the way I read a calendar, Oct. 16, 2002 is 13 months after Sept. 11, 2001, so Clarke was still in charge of counterterrorism, and thus was indeed nominally "in the loop."
Cheney is a liar or a fool or both. Personally, I lean towards liar; I don't think he's quite a fool.Posted by Linkmeister at March 22, 2004 04:38 PM