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« Why was testifying under oath such a big deal? | Main | Fox's "American Idol" »

March 31, 2004

Comments

sarah

I really like your reasoned, reasonable, rational approach to issues and personalities in the midst of a firestorm such as the one around Clarke. You always manage to see the whys and wherefores and possibilities. Thanks.

Jason Steffens

Has Clarke really said anything earth-shattering? Essentially, we (both under Clinton and Bush) weren't sufficiently addressing the dangers of terrorism before 9/11. That's fairly self-evident in hindsight, no? Fine, let's admit that and get on with the business of fighting terror.

adaplant

"That Clarke would make such an assertion - The idea that National Security Adviser Condi Rice had never heard of Al Qaeda before 9/11"

Except Clarke never made such an assertion. He wrote about his impression of the expression on Dr. Rice's face. Hardly "an assertion."

Brian

There was a tape, played on the Sean Hannity radio show, where Rice discussed al-Qaeda on WJR in Detriot 3 months before this Clarke-Rice meeting. So much for that.

Clarke has been hung with his own rope. He has been exposed as a fraud simply by using his old statements against him. He can try to nuance his way of it all he wants. (Read this column by Richard Miniter in today's Opinion Journal)

Professor, you are a smart man. See Clarke for what he is, a "if everyone had only listened to me" opportunist, much like that Brett Favre Mastercard commercial. He has been in Government for 30 years, and has never really held a visibile position. Bush-bashing pays, and this is his one shot at glory. Who can blame him for taking it? But, to give him credibility, you must be willing to disregard just too many facts, contradictions, and logic.

Plus, you must admit this hypocrisy: The same people who are bashing Bush for pre-emptively eliminating Saddam are the same who are ripping him for not doing the same to al-Qaeda. Plus, if you read the indictment of bin Laden from 1998, you will see that one of the charges aginst him was working with Iraq on chemcial weapons in Sudan. Now, these same people expect us to just accept their claim that Iraq and al-Qaeda had nothing to do with each other.

Professor, you are indeed a fair man. I just cannot be as generous as you are to Clarke.

Tung Yin

Brian, Clarke may indeed be a fraud. Or he might be legitimate. Not having read his book, I'm not prepared to decide either way. And with the first draft of my seminar papers to provide feedback on, and then the exam to write/debug, I probably won't be getting around to reading it any time soon.

Brian

Professor, don't be concerned. You aren't missing much by not reading his book. I got it from my local library, as I wouldn't spend a dime. The book is pure comedy.

Ann

You don't need to read Clarke's book to find out if he's a fraud. Just look at his testimony and 60 Minutes appearance, and at a transcript of the briefing he gave earlier to Fox's Jim Angle and others. In the Clarke vs. Clarke match-up, it's hard to tell which version is true, but it's very easy to see that he hasn't been consistently honest.

You might want to read the book for other reasons, but it's quite unnecessary to go to that extreme to find out if Clarke can be trusted.

SamG

Richard Clarke was among this country's top counterterrorism people for more than a decade. He served under Reagan as well as Bush41 and Clinton.

This is a solid career man.

What Clarke has to say about Bush and Rice is straightforward. They got to office as an undereducated Texas pol and a Soviet-oriented academic. Both have high-level oil industry credentials.

Bush wins votes by getting conservatives to vote against "Liberals." It's not clear what a "Liberal" is.

Betsy Burgin

Continuing to be disturbed/distressed about terrorism, fear mongering, and complacency I am re-reading a pleathora of books related to 911 including
Richard Clarke's "Against All Enemies", I have found the comments here interesting and balanced representing a variety of opinions on Clarke. Personally, I always question memory of events unless they cite having kept a journal, however Clarke's descriptions of policies, government actions, and missed opportunities are thought provoking and citizens and voters should be aware of them, the ineptitude of CIA and FBI and the obvioius agengas and paradigms of thought that lead/led government officials in questionable directions is alarming and we the people need to be aware of these rabbit trails.

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