What I really liked (so much to like!) about Clinton’s evisceration of Chris Wallace and, by extension, Fox News and their cronies, was his use of Richard Clarke’s book Against All Enemies as a guide, something which I have been doing for some time here on this very site. And it’s not that Clarke’s book is so pro-Clinton (it’s not), it is more the obvious detail and insight into what went on during his time with these administrations, and the way they dealt with these situations. I’ve never doubted his accounts because he doesn’t come across as a partisan or someone looking to settle a score. And as far as I can tell, no one has challenged the veracity of Clarke’s book.
As Clinton forcefully put it “all you have to do is read Richard Clarkeâ€™s book to look at what we did in a comprehensive, systematic way to try to protect the country against terror.” He’s right.
But the underlying point of Clinton’s outburst, or, the reason it was necessary, is captured in this exchange, with my italics added:
WALLACE: And all I can say is, Iâ€™m asking you this in good faith because itâ€™s on peopleâ€™s minds, sir. And I wasnâ€™tâ€¦
CLINTON: Well, thereâ€™s a reason itâ€™s on peopleâ€™s minds. Thatâ€™s the point Iâ€™m trying to make. Thereâ€™s a reason itâ€™s on peopleâ€™s minds: Because thereâ€™s been a serious disinformation campaign to create that impression.
This country only has one person whoâ€™s worked on this terror. From the terrorist incidents under Reagan to the terrorist incidents from 9/11, only one: Richard Clarke.
And all I can say to anybody is, you want to know what we did wrong or right, or anybody else did? Read his book.
A serious disinformation campaign. There is reality and then there is right-wing spin. Take this latest piece of news:
A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.
Over at the Loyalist Corner (National Review) this information is interpreted for the ignorant:
Attacking your enemies can be expected to make them angrier. Hitting the beaches at Normandy is going to increase your casualties. Those are things you’ll see on your way to victory.
I wouldn’t believe this if it were in a movie. The disinformation campaign continues on, unabated. Cheers to Clinton, a real American President, for letting them have it.