2,548. 9/12/2001

Former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke was interviewed by Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes on March 21, 2004. “Speaking of White House meetings after the 9/11 attacks [on September 12, 2001], Clarke said that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda were all but lost in the shuffle: ‘[Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld was saying that we needed to bomb Iraq, and we all said, but no, no. Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan. We need to bomb Afghanistan. And Rumsfeld said there aren’t any good targets in Afghanistan, and there are lots of good targets in lots of places, but Iraq had nothing to do with it. …Invading Iraq or bombing Iraq after we’re attacked by somebody else, you know, it’s akin to what if [President] Franklin Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor, instead of going to war with Japan, said, let’s invade Mexico.’ ”

 – Frank Rich, The Greatest Story Ever Sold, Page 115

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