This is the second place recently I’ve read that Richard Clarke claimed in an interview to have been the one to okay the flight of Saudi nationals, including some members of Osama bin Laden’s family, following 9/11. Michael Moore, among other prominent
idiots personalities, has spent a lot of time blaming President Bush and claiming that the event proves Bush has got something going on with the Saudis or the Jews or someone. Snopes has a good page on the subject.
One thing that confuses me, and confused me when Clarke testified before the 9/11 Commission that he refused to approve the flights, is that he had previously been on record saying that he HAD approved them. Last September, EdinburghNews.com wrote this:
Former White House counter-terrorism tsar Richard Clarke said the Bush administration sanctioned the repatriation of about 140 high-ranking Saudi Arabians, including relatives of the al-Qaida chief.
“Somebody brought to us for approval the decision to let an aeroplane filled with Saudis, including members of the Bin Laden family, leave the country,” he said.
Mr Clarke said he checked with FBI officials, who gave the go ahead. “So I said: ‘Fine, let it happen.’” [emphasis mine]
Why didn’t this get more attention when Clarke testified before the 9/11 Commission? His testimony flat-out contradicted what he had said last fall. Now, a more recent interview also contradicts the testimony. The CNSNews.com story linked above writes
Clarke, the former White House counter-terrorism official and author of a recent book blasting the Bush administration’s handling of intelligence leading up to the terrorist attacks, told The Hill newspaper last week that he gave the go-ahead for two members of the bin Laden family and other Saudi nationals to leave the U.S.
“It didn’t get any higher than me,” Clarke told The Hill . “I take responsibility for it. I don’t think it was a mistake, and I’d do it again.” [emphasis again mine]
Why no media discussion in March when Clarke, under oath, contradicted his earlier statements? Why no media discussion now when Clarke has apparently done it again?
This is a Yes/No question. Should be simple, shouldn’t it? (via USS Clueless)