It has been revealed that Mr. Richard Clarke is yet another political opportunist, saying whatever he thinks will best benefit his personal aspirations. Check him out in an interview with FoxNews in 2002 [emphasis added]:
RICHARD CLARKE: Actually, I've got about seven points, let me just go through them quickly. Um, the first point, I think the overall point is, there was no plan on Al Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration.Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the destruction of Richard Clarke's credibility.
Second point is that the Clinton administration had a strategy in place, effectively dating from 1998. And there were a number of issues on the table since 1998...in January 2001, the incoming Bush administration was briefed on the existing strategy. They were also briefed on these series of issues that had not been decided on in a couple of years.
And the third point is the Bush administration decided then, you know, mid-January, to do two things. One, vigorously pursue the existing policy, including all of the lethal covert action findings, which we've now made public to some extent. And the point is, while this big review was going on, [they] were still in effect, the lethal findings were still in effect.
The second thing the administration decided to do is to initiate a process to look at those issues which had been on the table for a couple of years and get them decided.
So, point five, that process which was initiated in the first week in February, uh, decided in principle, uh in the spring to add to the existing Clinton strategy and to increase CIA resources, for example, for covert action, five-fold, to go after Al Qaeda...
JIM ANGLE [of FoxNews]: You're saying that the Bush administration did not stop anything that the Clinton administration was doing while it was making these decisions, and by the end of the summer had increased money for covert action five-fold. Is that correct?
CLARKE: All of that's correct.
ANGLE: So, just to finish up if we could then, so what you're saying is that there was no ? one, there was no [Clinton] plan; two, there was no delay; and that actually the first changes since October of '98 were made in the spring months just after the [Bush] administration came into office?
CLARKE: You got it. That's right.
[During his testimony today,] Clarke apparently couldn't deny that what he says in his book is completely different from what he had previously testified to. Clarke attributed his changing story to his outrage over the Iraq war.Indeed it will - let's see if we can get the truth out.
The Richard Clarke saga will be an interesting test of the power of the blogosphere and talk radio. Sophisticated news consumers know that Clarke is a fraud and a shill for the Kerry campaign. The mainstream press will try to keep this fact a secret from the vast majority of the population that relies on newspapers and television for their information. It will be interesting to see whether the blackout can succeed.
This guy's working for Rove. By the time he's done imploding, Bush will have discredited the media and all his critics. It's the only thing that makes sense....and links to a Reason article by Michael Young that is well worth the read.
The other possibility is that Clarke held an important national security job for years while being dumb as a post, so dumb that he would write a book making explosive accusations against the White House while knowing -- or forgetting? -- that all sorts of contradictory evidence was on the record and bound to come out. Otherwise, wouldn't he at least have tried to explain this stuff up front?
As I've said before, I think there's a lot to complain about regarding pre-9/11 antiterror policy, by both Clinton and Bush...And a lot of people probably should have been fired. But Clarke is now saying that his real problem is with the invasion of Iraq, even as he focuses on pre-9/11 events.
A useful critique would be nice, but Clarke seems to be producing incoherent grandstanding.
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