Monday, September 22, 2003

Goddammit! Revisited

The lying liars are still at it. Robert Novak wrote today that:

Clark attributed one comment to a Middle East "think tank" in Canada, although there appears to be no such organization.

They keep trumpeting the same, disproven lies, which leads me to believe that they're having a hard time finding any real dirt on the man.

Novak also tries to paint him as a buddy to evil shits by pointing out that Clark met with Ratko Mladic, the Serbian general who is considered responsible for the Srebrenica massacre. Look at what Novak says:

Clark was a three-star (lieutenant general) who directed strategic plans and policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington. On Aug. 26, 1994, in the northern Bosnian city of Banja Luka, he met and exchanged gifts with the notorious Bosnian Serb commander and indicted war criminal, Gen. Ratko Mladic. The meeting took place against the State Department's wishes and may have contributed to Clark's failure to be promoted until political pressure intervened. The shocking photo of Mladic and Clark wearing each other's military caps was distributed throughout Europe.

Wow. I guess we just have to forget about Clark, huh? I mean, he met with an indicted war criminal, right?

Not exactly. Novak makes it sound as if Mladic had already been indicted by the time Clark met with him, but Mladic wasn't indicted until more than a year after their meeting. Even more telling is that the event for which Mladic was indicted -- the Srebrenica massacre -- didn't happen until eleven months after Clark met with him!

So, at the time Clark met with the man, Mladic wasn't a war criminal and, as someone who worked in strategic plans and policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Clark would have been remiss if he hadn't taken an opportunity to get to know an influential commander in an army our nation might have soon faced in battle.

But I would give Novak some credit if he would chastise some people who dealt with evil bastards and knew it.

Rick Francona, an ex-army intelligence lieutenant-colonel who served in the US embassy in Baghdad in 1987 and 1988, told the Guardian: "We believed the Iraqis were using mustard gas all through the war, but that was not as sinister as nerve gas.

"They started using tabun [a nerve gas] as early as '83 or '84, but in a very limited way. They were probably figuring out how to use it. And in '88, they developed sarin."

On November 1 1983, the secretary of state, George Shultz, was passed intelligence reports of "almost daily use of CW [chemical weapons]" by Iraq.

However, 25 days later, Ronald Reagan signed a secret order instructing the administration to do "whatever was necessary and legal" to prevent Iraq losing the war.

In December Mr Rumsfeld, hired by President Reagan to serve as a Middle East troubleshooter, met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad and passed on the US willingness to help his regime and restore full diplomatic relations.

Mr Rumsfeld has said that he "cautioned" the Iraqi leader against using banned weapons. But there was no mention of such a warning in state department notes of the meeting.

Update: Still more here.


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