RealNews

Ex-Adviser: Terrorism Not Urgent for Bush

The Bush White House scaled back the struggle against al-Qaida after taking office in 2001 and spurned suggestions that it retaliate for the bombing of a U.S. warship because “it happened on the Clinton administration’s watch,” a former top terrorism adviser testified Wednesday. The Clinton administration had “no higher priority” than combatting terrorists while the Bush administration made it “an important issue but not an urgent issue” in the months before Sept. 11, 2001, said Richard Clarke, who advised both presidents. He testified before the commission investigating the worst terrorist attacks in U.S. history. Clarke’s turn in the witness chair transformed what has been a painstaking, bipartisan probe of pre-Sept. 11 intelligence failures and bureaucratic missteps into a nationally televised criticism of President Bush on the terrorism issue at the core of his campaign for re-election. Full Story

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