Sunday, March 28, 2004

Washington Post
"There's a very good reason for that," Clarke replied. "In the 15 hours of testimony, no one asked me what I thought about the president's invasion of Iraq. And the reason I am strident in my criticism of the president of the United States is because by invading Iraq ... the president of the United States has greatly undermined the war on terrorism."

Flynt Leverett, a former CIA analyst and Middle East specialist who left Bush's National Security Council staff a year ago, also agrees.
"Clarke's critique of administration decision-making and how it did not balance the imperative of finishing the job against al Qaeda versus what they wanted to do in Iraq is absolutely on the money," Leverett said.

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, in his public testimony before the commission Tuesday, confirmed that Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz -- a forceful advocate of attacking Iraq -- "raised the issue of whether or not Iraq should be considered for action during this time."

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, in an interview with network correspondents Wednesday, said, "The president asked if Iraq was complicit. Anybody should have asked whether Iraq was complicit given our history with Iraq." But, she added, Bush was told by CIA Director George J. Tenet before they went to Camp David the weekend after the attacks "there was no evidence of that."

Rice defended Bush -- and pointed the finger of blame at the Clinton administration

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