RealNews

Ex-Bush Aide Sets Off Debate as 9/11 Hearing Opens

As the White House opened an aggressive personal attack against its former counterterrorism chief, Richard A. Clarke, a furious debate broke out on Monday about the credibility of his assertion that President Bush pushed him the day after the Sept. 11 attacks to see if there was a link with Saddam Hussein. The White House dismissed the accusations, described in a new book by Mr. Clarke, by casting him as a disgruntled, politically motivated job seeker and a “best buddy” of a top adviser to Senator John Kerry. But Mr. Clarke defended his account, and several allies rallied to his defense. One ally, Mr. Clarke’s former deputy, Roger Cressey, backed the thrust of one of the most incendiary accusations in the book, about a conversation that Mr. Clarke said he had with Mr. Bush in the White House Situation Room on the night of Sept. 12, 2001. Mr. Clarke said Mr. Bush pressed him three times to find evidence that Iraq was behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The accusation is explosive because no such link has ever been proved. Full Story

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