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The Daily Mislead
March 27, 2004

President Bush has told America many times that he wants to "usher in an era of personal responsibility" (1). Yet instead of following former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke's lead and admitting some responsibility for overseeing the worst national security failure in American history, the White House has pushed its allies to unleash a vicious attack on Clarke. Instead of apologizing to the families as Clarke did (2), Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) said Clarke's apology "was not his right, his privilege or his responsibility" (3). Meanwhile, a Bush official said Clarke's apology was "bull" (4).

Similarly, the President has told America he wants a "society in which people take responsibility for the decisions they make" (5) instead of "blaming somebody else." Yet the President still refuses to own up to specific decisions he and his Administration made before 9/11 to "de-emphasize terrorism" (6) as a priority, terminate a key program to track Al Qaeda suspects in the United States (7), and "veto a request" (8) to put more money into counterterrorism after the Bush White House tried to slash the FBI's counterterrorism budget.

The Administration also refused to take responsibility for rejecting January 2001 recommendations (9) from the U.S. Government's bipartisan Commission on National Security (10) and instead waited five months to create a counterterrorism task force (11), which it then never once convened (12). When asked about this on CBS' Face the Nation, Secretary of State Colin Powell said only "I--I--I can't answer the specific question" (13).

Sources: 1. "President Bush Discusses Progress in Education in St. Louis", 01/05/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=25354.
2. "Clarke's apology", Newsday, 03/25/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=25355 9286.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-headlines.
3. "Frist's Comments on Clarke's Testimony", New York Times, 03/26/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=25356 position=.
4. "The Truth of the Matter", Time, 03/28/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=25357.
5. "Remarks by the President at Bush-Cheney 2004 Reception", 01/29/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=25358.
6. Freedom of Information Center, 05/27/2002, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=25359.
7. "In the Months Before 9/11, Justice Department Curtailed Highly Classified Program to Monitor Al Qaeda Suspects in the U.S.", Yahoo!, 03/21/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=25360.
8. Freedom of Information Center, 05/27/2002, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=25359.
9. "We predicted it", Salon, 09/12/2001, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=25361.
10. US Commission on National Security, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=25362.
11. Statement by the President, 05/08/2001, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=25363.
12. Washington Post, 01/19/2002, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=25364.
13. Face the Nation, 03/28/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=25365.

Posted: March 31, 2004


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