I was asked by a friend earlier exactly why I don't like one Mr. Richard Clarke. Power Line has summed it up neatly (some of these are long, but everything is worth reading):
Starting back on the 21st - "Richard Clarke, Fraud"
Jumping ahead to the 23rd - "Dick Clarke's American Grandstand"
As a side note on the same day - "Sure To Be Overlooked..."
Later, a comparison - "Clarke Then And Now"
On the 24th - "Sinking Faster Than Paul O'Neill"
After that - "Clarke Takes A Beating"
The next day (25th), PowerLine comes out with - "Richard Clarke, Liar"
Same day, a little bit of clarification - "Shay's Rebellion"
Ending off the evening of the 25th, a reference to Ann Coulter - "Coulter Rips Clarke"
Early on the morning of the 26th - "Chutzpah Of The Year Award"
Later, we had - "A Question For Mr. Clarke"
And finally (bringing us up to date, at least) this afternoon - "The Duplicitous Mr. Clarke"
I told ya - lots of reading. And that's just one source. If you want more, I've got quite a few other pieces left over.
I don't know how good Clarke was at counter-terrorism, but as a media performer he is a total dummy. He seemed to think that he could claim the lucrative star role of Lead Bush Basher without anybody noticing the huge paper trail of statements he has left contradicting the argument in his book.
The reality is that there is a Richard Clarke for everyone. If you are like me and reckon there was an Islamist angle to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, then Clarke's your guy: he supports the theory that al-Qa'eda operatives in the Philippines "taught Terry Nichols how to blow up the Oklahoma Federal Building".
On the other hand, if you're one of those Michael Moore-type conspirazoids who wants to know why Bush let his cronies in the House of Saud and the bin Laden family sneak out of America on September 11, then Clarke's also your guy: he is the official who gave the go-ahead for the bigshot Saudis with the embarrassing surnames to be hustled out of the country before they could be questioned.
Does this mean Clarke is Enron - an equal-opportunity scandal whose explicitly political aspects are too ambiguous to offer crude party advantage? Not quite. Although his book sets out to praise Clinton and bury Bush, he can't quite pull it off. Except for his suggestion to send in a team of "ninjas" to take out Osama, Clinton had virtually no interest in the subject.
In the 1990s when al-Qa'eda blew up American targets abroad, the FBI would fly in and work it as a "crime scene" - like a liquor-store hold-up in Cleveland. It doesn't address the problem. Sure, there are millions of disaffected young Muslim men, but, if they get the urge to blow up infidels, they need training and organisation. Somehow all those British Taliban knew that if you wanted a quick course in jihad studies Afghanistan was the place to go. Bush got it right: go to where the terrorists are, overthrow their sponsoring regimes, destroy their camps, kill their leaders.
Instead, all the Islamists who went to Afghanistan in the 1990s graduated from Camp Osama and were dispersed throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, where they lurk to this day. That's the Clarke-Clinton legacy. And, if it were mine, I wouldn't be going around boasting about it.
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