March 24, 2004

Clarke V2.004
Posted by Jon Henke

I am going to try to have much more to say on this later, but for now I'll leave my Clarke comments at this:

1: If you are going to write a book in '04 saying the Bush administration was slacking off on terrorism, you probably shouldn't give interviews in '02 saying they were "vigorously" pursuing the existing policy

2: If you think you might write a book criticising the Administration's dedication to fighting terrorism in '04, you probably shouldn't give interviews praising it in '03.

3: If you do all of those, you should probably try to disable Google, before every blogger in America notices these things.

4: Question: if you seriously believe there is a dereliction of duty in government - one that puts national security at risk - why does Simon & Schuster get first dibs on that information?

As soon as I can get to it, I plan to address this Fred Kaplan authored Slate column. The short version of his story: "If you arrange the facts just so - no, not those facts...these facts - Richard Clarke looks like a credible guy."



yet this info is strangely lacking in the media...

Posted by: shark at March 24, 2004 04:57 PM

Clarke Lied, People Died!

Posted by: charles austin at March 24, 2004 05:02 PM

Fred Kaplan is the most disingenuous Slate writer... and that's saying something.

Posted by: HH at March 24, 2004 05:23 PM

Thanks for the most crystal clear summary of the problem with Clarke that I've read so far...

Posted by: marc at March 25, 2004 10:08 AM

Cheney: Clarke was out of the loop.

Rice: Clarke was in the loop.

If we are going to start talking about liars, this pair is the place to start. It's like two men saying they are Jesus - one of the must be wrong, or LYING?


Posted by: mkultra at March 25, 2004 12:19 PM

MKUltra - you'd have a good point, if you had their statements right. You didn't.

Rice said the President implemented many of Clarke's ideas. Cheney said he wasn't in the loop for everything.

Well, how is that contradictory?

Posted by: Jon Henke at March 25, 2004 12:29 PM

Not only that, part of his "loop" problems were self-inflicted.

"A senior official also said Rice twice complained directly to Clarke about his rare appearances at her senior staff meetings. In one e-mail, Clarke responded he was "too busy" and that after he missed another meeting Rice responded that he would have a "problem" if he did not start attending."

So both Cheney and Rice were correct. He was officially IN the loop, but apparently, by his own actions, removed himself from much of what was going on.

Couple that with this assessment by those who knew him in BOTH adminstrations ...

"In an assessment backed by several of Clarke's colleagues in the Clinton administration, he is described by some in the Bush White House as a "my-way-or-the-highway type," who can become irritable and difficult to work with if he does not believe his views are being heeded."

... and you can see where he's coming a little more clearly now.

If there's a liar in the crowd, based on his own words before his book, it would seem to be Clarke.

Posted by: McQ at March 25, 2004 12:44 PM

Gosh, was Cheney lying? Or is Rice?

McQ - better do a little research before you post. Rice is now saying that Clarke was at every single meeting. Hard to keep the lies straight, once they start, huh McQ?

Here is what Rice had to say on the subject, according to the NYT:

"I would not use the word `out of the loop,' " Ms. Rice told reporters in response to a question about whether she considered it a problem that the administration's counterterrorism chief was not deeply involved "in a lot of what was going on," as Mr. Cheney said on Monday in an interview on Rush Limbaugh's radio program.

"Ms. Rice painted a distinctly different picture of the involvement of Mr. Clarke, who has prompted furious responses since he asserted in a new book and in testimony on Capitol Hill that President Bush did not heed warnings before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"He was in every meeting that was held on terrorism," Ms. Rice said. "All the deputies' meetings, the principals' meeting that was held and so forth, the early meetings after Sept. 11."

Ok, McQ, time to start backtracking, renconciling, isn't it?

And as for you John Henke, methinks you owe your readers an apology. Rice is saying Cheney was wrong. When you say someone is wrong, you contradict them. You can do better than that, Henke.

Posted by: mkultra at March 25, 2004 01:00 PM

MK, methinks you're not reading what Cheney and Rice said. Cheney said Clarke wasn't in the loop "on a lot of this stuff". That doesn't mean he "wasn't in the loop". It means he was in the loop for some stuff....but not for everything.

No inconsistency.

Posted by: Jon Henke at March 25, 2004 01:05 PM

Why would I backtrack?

She said he missed her senior staff meetings. That doesn't mean he didn't make other meetings she called (unless you think she only held "senior staff meetings").

Missing senior staff meetings would definitely put you in jeopardy of being 'out of the loop', wouldn't it, Mkultra? In fact, if you're a member of the senior staff and you skip meetings your essentially putting yourself out of the loop voluntarily. And it isn't a stretch at all, then to figure you might miss some discussion of al-Queda or other topics topics concerning terrorism, huh?

Of course, in Clarke's case, that doesn't stop him from asserting (and that's all he's doing since he hasn't provided a lick of proof) that she wasn't aware of al-Queda, the threat of terrorism, etc., does it? Clarke's mostly given his opinion in terms of "urgency" and "priority" with precious little in terms of substance or proof to back his allegations.

However, his past statements have damned his present ones.

But be my guest ... continue, in your desparate need to believe anything negative about Bush and his administration, to believe in this boob.

The previous administration, of which Clarke was a part from day one, had 8 years to deal with the problem. Yet it is the administration that had been in for less than 8 months that he blames?

Sorry ... but I'm not buying.

The inconsistencies are just too great for anyone with the ability to reason to swallow his nonsense as presented (especially given his past statements).

Posted by: McQ at March 25, 2004 02:37 PM

Mr. Henke:

You have got to be kidding.

Rice said Clarke was there for "every meeting." That's 100%. I assume you know what "every" means.

Cheney said that Clarke was not involved in "a lot" of what was going on. Now, to be generous, let's just say that "a lot" is not even 50% - let's say it is only 40%.

That means that that Rice contradicts Cheney on at least 40% of what he is saying. In other words, if there were 10 meetings, Rice says Clarke attended all 10, whereas Cheney said he attended only 6 out of 10.

That, Mr. Henke, is inconsistent.

You, on the other hand, claim there is NO inconsistency. You have got to be kidding. I really can't believe that someone who spends so much time on his blog would be so flagrantly and so openly dishonest. It is really sad to see that you are apparently so blinded by your ideology that you would not admit to what is so blindingly obvious. 2 = 2 = 5.


So, I suppose 2 = 2 = 5.

Posted by: mkultra at March 25, 2004 04:09 PM


Let's see. To get Rice's take on this issue, you quote an unamed senior official who claimed he heard what Rice said.

I, by contrast, quote Rice herself. Rice herself said that Clarke was there for every meeting.

So - according to you - hearsay from an anonymous source is more credible than a direct statement from the witness herself? Have you lost your mind?

Do you believe Rice? If so, I'm right. If not, what are we arguing about?

It's a sad day for the right wing. I (almost) feel sorry for you wingnuts.

Posted by: mkultra at March 25, 2004 04:16 PM

I think the short response, MK, is that you are confusing "meetings" with being involved in policy decisions. The two are not necessarily the same thing.

For example: I could go to every meeting related to my job. Every single one. Yet, there would still be meetings I did not participate in, and I would still be "outside the loop" on some areas of decision making.

Of course, if I assume that "the loop" was restricted to those particular meetings, then yes....I'd have to agree that they contradicted each other. Since there are many levels and many "loops", as it were, I don't think you're making much of a point.

Posted by: Jon Henke at March 25, 2004 05:01 PM


Seems much more likely the Bushies are throwing up whatever they can to see what sticks. That the mud may be inconsistent probably matters little to them.

Posted by: mkultra at March 25, 2004 07:33 PM

You claim to quote Rice ... it'd be nice if you quoted her completly:

"But she acknowledged that Mr. Clarke did not regularly meet with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence.

"Perhaps Dick felt that he had, you know, less he didn't sit with Powell and Rumsfeld and so forth," Ms. Rice said. "It's just not the way we operate. I did sit with Powell and Rumsfeld and Tenet."

See the "loop" yet? ... I stand by what I've said.

Posted by: McQ at March 25, 2004 09:09 PM

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