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Clarke The VRWC smear machine takes a crippling blow
by Bryan Zepp Jamieson
Zepp's Commentaries
March 23, 2004

The Putsch campaign was in a shambles today as the allegations made by Richard Clarke about Putsch's anti-terrorism efforts formed a big mushroom cloud over the White House. Of course, the right wing spin doctors, who never sleep, were frantically cranking out excuses and rationalizations and smears as fast as they could.

My personal favorite was a quote from Richard Clarke's letter of resignation, dated January 20, 2003: "It has been an enormous privilege to serve you these last 24 months. I will always remember the courage, determination, calm, and leadership you demonstrated on September 11th."

I guess the idea was to say that Clarke was expressing admiration for Putsch then, and stabbing him in the back now.

The trouble is, many of us remember the courage, determination, calm and leadership Putsch demonstrated on September 11th. He spent the first 45 minutes -- after being told that an attack on America bigger than Pearl Harbor was taking place -- reading children's stories, while his aides figured out what to do with him to make him look Presidential. Then they spent the rest of the day in a weird panicked flight around the country.

I have to wonder if Clarke had his tongue stuck so firmly in his cheek as he was writing that he dislocated the poor thing. I don't know if you can dislocate a tongue, but trying to say something nice about Putsch's deportment on that day without making it a direct insult is pretty difficult.

Second place is "Clinton holdover,""Clinton man,"and even "Clinton lackey." Clarke served 30 years in government, and was appointed to the anti-terrorism post under Reagan. I guess those eight years -- 26% of his career -- tainted him or something. Now, it is true that he did like Clinton better than Reagan, Bush or the Whelp, but he had a fairly straightforward reason for doing so. As head of the anti-terrorism group, he found that Clinton was more effective than any of the other three Presidents in fighting terrorism. Indeed, he noted in his book that under Reagan, over 250 Americans died in terrorist attacks (mostly the blowing up of the Marine barracks in Lebanon), 300 died under Bush (mostly the Pan-Am/Locherbie bombing) and several thousand died under Putsch.

During Clinton's eight years, less than 50 Americans died from terrorist acts. Clinton also had a much better record than either of his predecessors in tracking down and bringing to trial the perpetrators of WTC93, the embassy bombings, and the USS Cole.

Compare with Putsch, who just had another "Hogan's Heroes" moment in the hills of our good buddy, Pakistan (aka, "Nukes R Us!), when, like in Afghanistan, suspected al-Qaida members got clean away because it never occurred to anyone that people who operated underground might build . . . you know . . . tunnels? Hell, the only reason we "found" Saddam was because the Kurds who were holding him got tired of feeding his scraggly ass.

Oh, yeah, and Putsch pissed off the world and left the US bereft of meaningful allies even while he FUBARed the whole "war on terror" bit.

Another part of the spin is that Clarke was angry, embittered, and looking to cash in. Astute readers will recall that right wingers accused Paul O'Neill of trying to "cash in" and maybe have reflected that O'Neill, a billionaire, probably found the several hundred grand he got from book sales mighty useful.

Clarke, of course, is no billionaire, but if you want to get rich writing a book about Putsch while not having to worry about finding that someone has torched your lawn flamingoes during the night, write a pro-Putsch book. Get Murdoch or Moon to buy up a couple of hundred thousand copies to distribute free to the droolers on NewsMax and Free Republic, and you have an instant and effortless best seller, like Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly. And like those guys, you don't have to bother fact checking because there aren't going to be any facts that need checking. Writing for the idiots is more lucrative, safer, and MUCH easier. Just remember not to use too many big words.

It doesn't take much imagination to realize that Clarke is going to be subject to a gigantic smear campaign for some time to come. Somehow, I don't think he did it for a piddling couple of hundred grand.

The middle east, never a paradise to begin with, is now on the verge of complete chaos, and the terrorists in al Qaida and the hundreds of other such groups (many of which didn't exist in 2001) must be delighted.

There is a lot said on the net about someone staging a terrorist attack sometime between now and the election. Left wing paranoids claim that Putsch is going to allow or even stage such an attack in order to get votes from a frightened populace. Right wing paranoids claim it's because they hate American freedom and American wealth, two American attributes that most Americans enjoy in much lesser amounts since 9/11.

If the terrorists are smart (and the smart terrorists are the ones who convince OTHER PEOPLE to go become suicide bombs), they will stage such an attack, both to hurt America and to get Putsch reelected.

The idea of terrorism is to make the target look vulnerable and even beatable, and hopefully, to goad the government into adopting ever more repressive and vicious counter-measures, which are both ineffective against the terrorists and which tend to alienate the subject population.

Putsch is the best thing that ever happened to terrorists. They would LOVE to see him in office for another four years!

But as I read about Clarke's book, and saw the impact it had on the Putsch campaign (the well-oiled smear machine was busily making fun of Kerry's ski park vacation, and suddenly went silent for 24 hours), I couldn't help but think that the situation was analogous to that point in the Watergate scandal when Nixon fired the special prosecutor and his deputy, the infamous "Friday Night Massacre." It was at that point that the Nixon administration lost control of the Watergate process, and Nixon's presidency was doomed.

At long last, the media is asking question. More importantly, the public is beginning to wonder.

Clarke may have destroyed the Putsch junta.

If he has, it will be remembered as his greatest blow of many against terrorism.

Posted: March 31, 2004


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