One sign of how afraid the Bush fan club is of the Wesley Clark candidacy is the extent to which his statements are being subjected to what Orwell called “abusive misrepresentation.”
For example, David Adesnik of Oxblog here and here takes a speech in which Gen. Clark says that President Bush, rather than the intelligence community, bears the final responsibility for the intelligence failures that made 9-11 possible and spins it as Clark having blamed Bush, rather than Osama bin Laden, for the attack.
Here’s what Clark said, according to the New York Times article Adesnik links to:
In a blistering review of President Bush’s national security policy, Gen. Wesley K. Clark said on Tuesday that the administration could not “walk away from its responsibilities for 9/11.”
“You can’t blame something like this on lower-level intelligence officers, however badly they communicated in memos with each other,” said the retired general, the latest entrant in the Democratic presidential field. “It goes back to what our great president Harry Truman said with the sign on his desk: ‘The buck stops here.’ And it sure is clear to me that when it comes to our nation’s national security, the buck rests with the commander in chief, right on George W. Bush’s desk.”
And here’s Adesnik’s spin:
“Did Wes Clark actually accuse Bush of letting 9/11 happen? … if a Democratic candidate is going to attack Bush on this front, he will need nothing short of a smoking gun in order to persuade the American public that Osama bin Laden deserves anything less than 100% of the blame for the September 2001 attacks.
Note that the idea of Bush’s “letting 9-11 happen” is entirely Adesnik’s fantasy, and that Adesnik converts Clark’s well-reasoned rebuke of Bush — for trying to blame the failure to notice that al-Qaeda had plans to use jetliners as missiles on lower-level intelligence personnel — into the absurd assertion that Bush, rather than bin Laden was responsible for the crime. Having put absurd words into Clark’s mouth, Adesnik is then stunned by their absurdity: Did he really say that?
Are there any other questions?