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March 25, 2004
Rich Lowry Dissects Richard Clarke

Rich Lowry, in today's New York Post, takes apart Richard Clarke and outlines why Clarke has sacrificed his credibility for thirty pieces of silver (via Instapundit):

DEAN Acheson famously titled his memoir of his years as secretary of state after World War II "Present at the Creation." Anyone close to Richard Clarke these last few days could write a memoir called "Present at the Self-Immolation." Rarely has a former public servant with such a sterling reputation shot it all away so quickly. ...

For evidence of this, look no further than Clarke's August 2002 briefing for reporters while he was still at the National Security Council. ... In his 2002 briefing, Clarke said that the Bush administration decided in "mid-January" 2001 to continue with existing Clinton policy while deciding whether or not to pursue more aggressive ideas that had been rejected throughout the Clinton administration. Nowhere does this appear in his book. He said in 2002 that the Bush administration had decided in principle in the spring of 2001 "to increase CIA resources . . . for covert action, five-fold, to go after al Qaeda." Nowhere is this mentioned in his book.

In 2002, Clarke emphasized that the Bush team "changed the strategy from one of rollback with al Qaeda over the course [of] five years, which it had been, to a new strategy that called for the rapid elimination of al Qaeda." This is mentioned in his book, but - amazingly - as an afterthought.

Lowry continues with several more examples of Clarke's contradictory public record, so be sure to read the entire article. This merely confirms what I wrote earlier: that the 9/11 Commission and the various players around it are only interested in garnering as much publicity as possible. Clarke is only the crassest and most transparently greedy example. If you doubt that, ask yourself this: why did Clarke wait until 2004 and his book publication date to go public with his concerns, when Bush's supposed "terrible job" on terrorism would put all of us at risk? If you take Clarke's accusations at face value, then the answer must be that our safety is secondary to his potential publishing royalties.

I suspect -- I hope -- that Clarke's 15 minutes is just about over.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 25, 2004 8:10 AM

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» Krauthammer on Clarke from Patterico's Pontifications
Charles Krauthammer has more reasons to doubt Dick "Dick" Clarke's credibility. (Via Prestopundit.) According to Krauthammer, in 2002, an interviewer asked Clarke whether failing to blow up the camps and take out the Afghan sanctuary was a "pretty basi... [Read More]

Tracked on March 26, 2004 11:22 PM

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