If You Liked John Kerry, You’ll Love Wesley Clark

Apparently Wesley Clark is running for president because the country needs a politician willing to change his positions even more frequently than John Kerry. Here’s Clark on Sept. 18 on whether or not he would have voted to go to war with Iraq,

I don’t know if I would have nor not. I’ve said it both ways because when you get into this, what happens is you have to put yourself in a position — on balance, I probably would have voted for it.

And on Sept. 19,

Let’s make one thing real clear, I would never have voted for this war.

This is consistent with Clark’s claims about that call he supposedly received on 9/11 telling him to connect Saddam Hussein to the attacks. Here’s Clark on NBC on June 15,

CLARK: There was a concerted effort during the fall of 2001, starting immediately after 9/11, to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein.”

RUSSERT: “By who? Who did that?”

CLARK: “Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, ‘You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.’ I said, ‘But–I’m willing to say it, but what’s your evidence?’ And I never got any evidence.”

Then a slightly different version on Hannity & Colmes, responding to a question about who specifically told him to connect 9/11 and Hussein,

CLARK: It came from many different sources, Sean.

HANNITY: Who? Who?

CLARK : And I personally got a call from a fellow in Canada who is part of a Middle Eastern think tank who gets inside intelligence information. He called me on 9/11.

HANNITY: That’s not the answer. Who in the White House?

CLARK: I’m not going to go into those sources.

Clark waited until July 18 to send a letter to the New York Times acknowledging that no one from the White House had called him,

I would like to correct any possible misunderstanding of my remarks on ‘Meet the Press’ quoted in Paul Krugman’s July 15 column, about ‘people around the White House’ seeking to link Sept. 11 to Saddam Hussein. I received a call from a Middle East think tank outside the country, asking me to link 9/11 to Saddam Hussein. No one from the White House asked me to link Saddam Hussein to Sept. 11. Subsequently, I learned that there was much discussion inside the administration in the days immediately after Sept. 11 trying to use 9/11 to go after Saddam Hussein. In other words, there were many people, inside and outside the government, who tried to link Saddam Hussein to Sept. 11.

Finally the Toronto Star has an article including quotes from the mysterious person from the Middle East think tank who made that call to Clark,

[Thomas] Hecht said he called Clark either Sept. 12 or Sept. 13 — not the morning of the attacks, as the former general said — but he merely passed on information he had received from Israel which drew a purported link. Hecht said Clark called him in Montreal Sept. 7 this year to clarify the conversation the two men had, perhaps in anticipation of the question being raised again as part of his campaign. “I told him the Begin-Sadat Centre is a center for strategic studies in Israel and has made various studies on the Iraqi threat to the state of Israel and therefore we have carried out analyses of what connection there could be between Saddam Hussein and other militant Islamic groups,” Hecht said. “I don’t know why I would be confused with the White House. I don’t even have white paint on my house,” he added. “I saw those comments he made and I just chuckled.”

In an appearance in Iowa, the New York Times reported that Clark seemed ready to run an Arnold Schwarzenegger-style campaign,

“I don’t know enough to give you a comprehensive answer at this point,” he said in response to a voter’s question about universal health insurance. What he did say, over and over, was how happy he was to be in Iowa. He exulted over the egg-white omelette a waitress put in front of him — “Now this is an Iowa breakfast!” — and complimented a woman’s overalls — “That’s a real Iowa outfit!” — and said, literally, “some of my best friends from the military are from Iowa.”

That’s his story, and he’s sticking to it. At least for the next few days.

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