As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, April 26, 2004

Forgotten Clarke Stuff

After a snafu with Amazon, I finally got my copy of the Richard Clarke book. I know, that's a whole ONE BOOK behind the news cycle. But something I read on page 98 struck me...

"I sought the new legal ban on fund-raising for terrorist groups because several people in the [Clinton] administration had thwarted the CSG's attempts to go after terrorist money... FBI Director Louis Freeh and Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin objected. Freeh was concerned with alienating Arabs in America and claimed the use of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act might be challenged in court. Rubin claimed that he feared the law might not hold up under a challenge. He had also been reluctant to support any moves against money laundering for fear that it would cause capital flight from the US..."

Yeah, we wouldn't want to alienate the terrorists. The real issue here, I think, is Robert Rubin's continual nods to big business and multinational capital uber alles. In case you're unaware, Kerry's economic team proudly boasts that they are "consulting literally daily with Bob Rubin," and as recently as last month he was mentioned as a possible VP candidate.

Then there's this gem on p.99:

"Incredibly, the legal authorities we sought were not approved by the Congress in 1995. I had thought these issues were bipartisan, but the distrust and animosity between the Democratic White House and Republicans in the Congress was strong and boiled over into counter-terrorism policy. The World Trade Center attack had happened [in 1993], the New York landmarks and Pacific 747 attacks had almost happened, sarin had been sprayed in the Tokyo subway, buses were blown up on Israeli streets, a federal building in downtown Oklahoma City had been smashed to bits, but many in the Congress opposed the counter-terrorism bill. Republicans in the Senate, such as Orrin Hatch, opposed expanding criminal wiretap provisions to terrorists. Tom DeLay and other Republicans in the House agreed with the National Rifle Association that the proposed restrictions on bomb making infringed on the right to bear arms."

Why do Orrin Hatch and Tom DeLay hate freedom? Incidentally, the wiretap law is part of the PATRIOT Act, but the problem is how it has been implemented, covering not only terrorists, but pretty much anyone the DoJ wants to bug. Like protest organizations, anti-Bush lobbies, etc.

Another similar revelation in the book, on page 103, talks about when Clinton by Executive Order imposed a ban on all trade with Iran for sponsoring Hezbollah in '95 and '96. The biggest critic of the policy? Head of Halliburton. You might've heard of him. Guy named Cheney. Not that he had a vested financial interest in Iran or anything, it's not like they're in the Middle East and have large oil revenues...