Save the Trauma Excuses: You Failed on 9/11

Cheney, Rice too often resorted to the extreme without doing their homework
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2009 11:36 AM CDT
Condoleezza Rice, left, and Dick Cheney put their hands on their hearts during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Ironically, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice have defended their post-9/11 decisions by appealing for empathy, arguing that only those in charge on that bleak day could understand. “I have little sympathy for this argument,” Richard Clarke, who was there, retorts in a withering piece for the Washington Post, blaming them for ignoring pre-9/11 intel warning of an imminent al-Qaeda attack.

On interrogation techniques, terror suspect detention, and wiretapping, the Bush administration feared new attacks, so they “authorized the most extreme measures available” and prioritized winning a second term above exposing the truth, says Clarke, a counter-terrorism official under Presidents Clinton and Bush. Cheney and Rice “may have been surprised by the attacks, but it was because they had not listened.”