First no one in the Bush Administration, including Condi Rice, has any recollection that there even was the September 12 meeting with President Bush that former Counter-Terrorism Czar Richard Clarke describes.

Now Condi tells ’60 Minutes’ – with great assurance – that Richard Clarke’s recollection of what the President said at that meeting is wrong.

If neither she nor Bush remembers the meeting, how does she know what the President didn’t say to Clarke?

(If you were in a meeting with the President of the United States, might you not recall what he said?)

Is there not just the tiniest possibility that Clarke is telling it like it was . . . and that Condi is standing by her man?

The tiniest possibility that President Bush really did divert attention and resources to Iraq that should have remained focused on Al-Qaeda?

The remotest chance that Bush was lying when he promised a ‘humble foreign policy?’

(I ask this last question in light of the fact that as early as the very first National Security Council meeting, just 12 days after the Inauguration, virtually all attention was focused on Iraq. Take a look. Four of the five agenda items directly name Iraq, including: ‘Political-Military Plan for Post-Saddam Iraq Crisis.’ Meanwhile, not one of the five items concerns Osama, even though Bush had been told 24 days earlier that Osama represented a ‘tremendous’ and ‘immediate’ threat to the United States.)

Is there any chance Bush was not truthful when he told America that ‘by far, the vast majority of the help’ from the tax cuts he was proposing would go ‘to the people at the bottom end of the economic ladder?’ (In fact, by far the vast majority went to people at the top.)

Could he have been fibbing when he said that his S.E.C.-required insider-trading form had been ‘lost’ for eight months? (I ask because, as egregiously illegal as his insider trading would appear to have been – much worse than Martha Stewart’s – it is ‘obstruction of justice’ that seems to have Martha headed off to jail.)

Is it conceivable that the President – relentless in trying to associate Saddam Hussein with Al-Qaeda and 9/11 – knew better, as Clarke and others allege?

That he had been planning to get Saddam from the start? (A worthy plan, perhaps; but why not share it with the people who’d have to pay, and in some cases, die for it? Namely, average Americans. The only sacrifice wealthy Americans were asked to accept was a massive tax cut.)

Is it possible that the President and his folks knew they were ruthlessly assassinating John McCain’s character in the South Carolina primary to win power at any cost? Ruthlessly assassinating Al Gore’s character in the general election to win power at any cost?

If so, why is anyone surprised that they would attempt to ruthlessly assassinate Richard Clarke’s character, or former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill’s or Senator Max Cleland’s or Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s (outing his deep-undercover CIA operative wife in the process) – or, now, Senator John Kerry’s – to retain power at any cost?

I don’t mean to be harsh, but it’s almost as if there’s a pattern here.

FREE HEARINGS

If you haven’t been able to listen live, the 9/11 Commission Hearings are available free at audible.com.

THE COST OF THE WAR

This is just one way to look at it. But it’s pretty powerful nonetheless, and perhaps worth that look.

Tomorrow: Trackle! Democrats Are Wimps! The O’Franken Factor!

 

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