Thursday, March 25, 2004
A Victorious Effort?

Jessica's Well has declared victory for the blogosphere in the Richard Clarke fiasco:

The total collapse of Richard Clarke.

Would it have happened without the blogosphere? Seriously, would the mainstream media have done any of the footwork necessary to find out about this guy and come up with instance after instance after instance of outright self-contradictions? I say no.

What is the past the mainstream media thought they could ignore blogs. Now I think they read them and heed them as a now very necessary self defense.
Indeed, it does appear so. Just take a look at the latest article from TIME.
Nowhere do we see the President pointing fingers at or even sounding particularly "vigorous" toward Clarke and his deputies. Despite Clarke's contention that Bush wanted proof of Iraqi involvement at any cost, it's just as possible that Bush wanted Clark to find disculpatory evidence in order to discredit the idea peddled by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that Baghdad had a hand in 9/11. In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush rejected Wolfowitz's attempts to make Iraq the first front in the war on terror. And if the President of the United States spoke "testily " 24 hours after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, well, can you blame him?

Clarke's liberties with the text don't stop there. On 60 Minutes he said that after submitting to the White House a joint-agency report discounting the possibility of Iraqi complicity in 9/11, the memo "got bounced and sent back saying, 'Wrong answer.'" The actual response from Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, shown later in the program, read "Please update and resubmit." On 60 Minutes, Clarke went further, saying that Bush's deputies never showed the President the joint-agency review, because "I don't think he sees memos that he wouldn't like the answer." This is pure, reckless speculation. Contrast that with the more straightforward account in Against All Enemies: after his team found no evidence of Iraqi involvement, Clarke writes that "a memorandum to that effect was sent up to the President, and there was never any indication that it reached him."

In a few other instances, Clarke's televised comments seem designed to disparage the President and his aides at all cost, omitting any of the inconvenient details - some of which appear in the pages of his book - that might suggest the White House took al-Qaeda seriously before Sept. 11.
To echo InstaPundit: is Karl Rove paying these guys?

More from the mainstream media on the collapse of Richard Clarke may be found here.

[A Great Many HatTips to the BlogFather.]
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