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January 15, 2004
Clark Testified For Iraq War Before Congress

Despite basing his campaign on his anti-war stance, General Wesley Clark told Congress in 2002 that the war was justified while they debated the resolution that gave Bush authority for armed action:

Less than 18 months ago, Wesley Clark offered his testimony before the Committee On Armed Services at the U.S. House Of Representatives. ... "And, I want to underscore that I think the United States should not categorize this action as preemptive. Preemptive and that doctrine has nothing whatsoever to do with this problem. As Richard Perle so eloquently pointed out, this is a problem that's longstanding. It's been a decade in the making. It needs to be dealt with and the clock is ticking on this."

Clark explained: "I think there's no question that, even though we may not have the evidence as Richard [Perle] says, that there have been such contacts [between Iraq and al Qaeda]. It' s normal. It's natural. These are a lot of bad actors in the same region together. They are going to bump into each other. They are going to exchange information. They're going to feel each other out and see whether there are opportunities to cooperate. That's inevitable in this region, and I think it's clear that regardless of whether or not such evidence is produced of these connections that Saddam Hussein is a threat."

Now compare that to what Clark has been saying on the campaign trail, as recently as November:

"I've been very consistent... I've been against this war from the beginning," the former general said in Detroit on October 26. "I was against it last summer, I was against it in the fall, I was against it in the winter, I was against it in the spring. And I'm against it now."

Or even yesterday, in a speech at the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, NH:

But instead of ferreting out Al Qaeda, the Bush Administration militarized the war on terror. He pulled a world class bait and switch, and turned America's attention, energy and resources to Iraq. In fact, it's been months since Mr. Bush has even mentioned Osama bin Laden. The only name we hear is Saddam Hussein, and the only country we hear about is Iraq.

General Clark, if this was a bait-and-switch sale, then perhaps you can explain why it was you were on the sales team. The more that Clark goes along, the closer to Dean he gets. (via Blogs for Bush)

UPDATE: Polipundit had this story earlier, and also has an excerpt of Clark's testimony that Drudge didn't use, for some reason:

Our President has emphasized the urgency of eliminating these weapons and weapons programs. I strongly support his efforts to encourage the United Nations to act on this problem. And in taking this to the United Nations, the President’s clear determination to act if the United Nations can’t provides strong leverage undergirding further diplomatic efforts.
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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 15, 2004 12:20 PM

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» QUIZ: WHO SAID IT? from Patterico's Pontifications
Who said this? (Via the Captain.) Saddam Hussein . . . is not only malevolent and violent, but also unpredictable. He retains his chemical and biological warfare capabilities and is actively pursuing nuclear capabilities. Were he to acquire such capabi... [Read More]

Tracked on January 15, 2004 10:55 PM

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