Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Coulter on the Clarke affair 

At the risk of tarnishing TigerHawk's sterling reputation for moderation, I refer you to Ann Coulter's column on the Clarke affair. Acid pen notwithstanding, she does make a couple of interesting points I haven't seen elsewhere:

As long as we're investigating everything, how about investigating why some loser no one has ever heard of is getting so much press coverage for yet another "tell-all" book attacking the Bush administration?

When an FBI agent with close, regular contact with President Clinton wrote his book, he was virtually blacklisted from the mainstream media. Upon the release of Gary Aldrich's book "Unlimited Access" in 1996, White House adviser George Stephanopoulos immediately called TV producers demanding that they give Aldrich no airtime. In terms of TV exposure, Aldrich's book might well have been titled "No Access Whatsoever."

"Larry King Live" and NBC's "Dateline" abruptly canceled their scheduled interviews with Aldrich. Aldrich was mentioned on fewer than a dozen TV shows during the entire year of his book's release -- many with headlines like this one on CNN: "Even Conservatives Back Away From Aldrich's Book." That's almost as much TV as Lewinsky mouthpiece William Ginsburg did before breakfast on an average day. (Let's take a moment here to imagine the indignity of being known as "Monica Lewinsky's mouthpiece.")

But a "tell-all" book that attacks the Bush administration gets the author interviewed on CBS' "60 Minutes" (two segments), CNN's "American Morning" and ABC's "Good Morning America" -– with an "analysis" by George Stephanopoulos, no less. In the first few days of its release, Clarke's book was hyped on more than 200 TV shows.

Oh. That liberal media.

Ann also skewers Clarke's "impression" that Condaleeza Rice had never heard of Al-Qaeda before:

Sean Hannity has been playing a radio interview that Dr. Rice gave to David Newman on WJR in Detroit back in October 2000, in which she discusses al-Qaida in great detail. This was months before chair-warmer Clarke claims her "facial expression" indicated she had never heard of the terrorist organization.

But in deference to our liberal friends, let's leave aside the facts for now. A few months before Clarke was interpreting Dr. Rice's "facial expression," al-Qaida had bombed the USS Cole. Two years before that, al-Qaida bombed U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In fact, al-Qaida or their allies had been responsible for a half dozen attacks on U.S. interests since Clinton had become president. (Paper-pusher Clarke was doing one heck of a job, wasn't he?) In the year 2000 alone, Lexis-Nexis lists 280 items mentioning al-Qaida.

By the end of 2000, anyone who read the paper had heard of al-Qaida. It is literally insane to imagine that Condoleezza Rice had not. For Pete's sake, even The New York Times knew about al-Qaida.

Rice had been a political science professor at Stanford University, a member of the Center for International Security and Arms Control, and a senior fellow of the Institute for International Studies. She had written three books and numerous articles on foreign policy. She worked for the first Bush administration in a variety of national security positions.

All this was while Clarke was presiding over six unanswered al-Qaida attacks on American interests and fretting about the looming Y2K emergency. But chair-warmer Clarke claims that on the basis of Rice's "facial expression" he could tell she was not familiar with the term "al-Qaida."

And one final "thought experiment":

Isn't that just like a liberal? The chair-warmer describes Bush as a cowboy and Rumsfeld as his gunslinger -- but the black chick is a dummy. Maybe even as dumb as Clarence Thomas! Perhaps someday liberals could map out the relative intelligence of various black government officials for us.

Did Clarke have the vaguest notion of Rice's background and education? Or did he think Dr. Rice was cleaning the Old Executive Office Building at night before the president chose her -- not him -- to be national security adviser? If a Republican ever claimed the "facial expression" on Maxine Waters -- a woman whose face is no stranger to confusion or befuddlement -- left the "impression" that she didn't understand quantum physics, he'd be in prison for committing a hate crime.



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