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Richard Clarke resigns

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  • Richard Clarke resigns

    Pretty interesting piece published last year when Clarke originally resigned.

    calpundit.com snips the relevant pieces:

    ***
    Clarke, 52, reached the peak of his influence under President Bill Clinton, after serving presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush as deputy assistant and assistant secretary of state. The present commander-in-chief is said to like Clarke -- he sent him a warm, handwritten note and invited him to the Oval Office on Feb. 19 for a goodbye chat -- but Clarke's bulldozing style did not fit as well with the quiet consensus that the Whte House looks for now.

    He submitted his resignation two months after White House foes blocked his selection as deputy secretary, under Tom Ridge, of the new Homeland Security Department. Clarke had made it clear he would not accept a lesser position.

    ....Clarke was the government's first counterterrorism czar -- formally from 1998 to 2002, but in practice beginning in 1995. Security officials, friends and foes alike, said no one rivaled him as a spur to action. He was the first to draw effective attention to the risk that terrorists would acquire nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, the first to force concrete steps to protect critical information networks from cyberattack, and a dominant voice for spending money and covert resources against terrorists at a time when government was inclined to perceive them as a minor threat.

    ....Under Clinton, Clarke had carte blanche from national security advisers Anthony Lake and Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger to blow past bureaucratic turf lines and assume operating and budgetary powers that were nowhere specified by statute or executive order. Berger said he regularly turned down demands that he fire Clarke.

    Clarke had the political cover to roll two Treasury secretaries on funding for a terrorist-asset tracking center -- Robert E. Rubin and Lawrence H. Summers both opposed it, but Clarke pushed the money through Congress and the Office of Management and Budget. When the FBI and State Department clashed in Yemen after the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, it was Clarke who brought together the secretary of state and the attorney general to decide lines of command.

    His biggest loss came when a technology he championed, the armed Predator drone, proved five months before the Sept. 11 attacks that it could find and kill individuals. Clarke wanted to set it loose on Osama bin Laden. "Usually the CIA supported him, but on this one the directorate of operations resisted," said Michael Sheehan, State's former counterterrorism coordinator.

    ....The Bush White House works differently, valuing consensus and rewarding longtime loyalists. Clarke earned the confidence of Ridge and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, but neither encouraged him to break crockery if his proposals stalled. Some Bush partisans suspected him as a Clinton holdover. And Clarke had uneven relationships with Bush Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr., White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and Lawrence B. Lindsey, Bush's former top economic adviser.

    ....Among friends, Clarke is skeptical that the coming war with Iraq is integral to the war on terrorism, as the White House maintains. He describes it as a diversion of scarce resources and a wedge between Washington and critical allies in destroying al Qaeda. Until late last year, he has said, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein would not have been among the top suspects should al Qaeda manage to acquire a weapon of mass destruction. Now, with Hussein's regime on the brink of falling, he will.

    The full story
    Dude. Can. Fly.

  • #2
    This is an attention-grabber:

    In 1999, in an episode not disclosed before, Clarke abandoned his house for a month and acquired a temporary Secret Service detail when Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat passed urgent (and ultimately uncorroborated) word that an al Qaeda hit team had been dispatched for him.

    Dude. Can. Fly.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow dvy. Great article.
      2005 Mandatory Loyalty Oath: I love America, our troops, baseball, Moms, and certain pies. I want no harm to come to any of those institutions, nor do I take any glee in their demise.

      Comment


      • #4
        It must be frustrating that the White House can't make any of the mud it's slinging, stick to Clarke.

        That, in itself, says a lot about Richard Clarke.
        Norman Chad, syndicated columnist: “Sports radio, reflecting our sinking culture, spends entire days advising managers and coaches, berating managers and coaches, firing managers and coaches and searching the countryside for better middle relievers. If they just redirected their energy toward, say, crosswalk-signal maintenance, America would be 2 percent more livable.”

        "The best argument against democracy," someone (Churchill?) said, "is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by nick2@Mar 31 2004, 12:46 PM
          It must be frustrating that the White House can't make any of the mud it's slinging, stick to Clarke.

          That, in itself, says a lot about Richard Clarke.
          Just because you say it's not sticking doesn't mean it's not sticking.
          "Need some wood?" -- George W. Bush, October 8, 2004

          "Historians will judge if this war is just, not your punk ass." -- Dave Glover, December 8, 2004

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by phantom+Mar 31 2004, 12:47 PM-->
            QUOTE (phantom @ Mar 31 2004, 12:47 PM)

          • #7
            I've followed this for days and still do not understand why Clarke's testimony is seen as so damaging.

            Clarke says Bush didn't take al-Qaeda as seriously as Clinton did. That Iraq was unnecessary and possibly counter-productive to the war on terror.

            Both opinions, surely with some factual merit. But still opinions. One guy talking.

            Clinton didn't take down al-Qaeda. Neither did Bush. Iraq is showing itself to be a detour in the path to al-Qaeda. If that hurts Bush politically, so be it.

            But why has the testimony of one guy, Richard Clarke, become the tempest it's become? I still really don't get it.

            There are arguments on both sides. Clarke is presenting his argument. Others in the administration have presented theirs. Clarke has an axe of some sort to grind. So do others.

            I just don't get why it's caused such a fury.

            In fact, I suspect the "fury" is rather meaningless to the average voter.

            Comment


            • #8
              Sounds to me like the dude had a lot of pull. And was focused on OBL. And didn't get him.
              I'm always right.

              Comment


              • #9
                his testimony is not the issue. It was his interview.


                Much different angles in each.

                His understanding of the threat seems to be the only accurate assement to date.
                Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by dvyyyyyy+Mar 31 2004, 12:49 PM-->
                  QUOTE (dvyyyyyy @ Mar 31 2004, 12:49 PM)
                  Originally posted by [email protected] 31 2004, 12:47 PM

                • #11
                  Originally posted by andyfin@Mar 31 2004, 12:52 PM
                  I've followed this for days and still do not understand why Clarke's testimony is seen as so damaging.
                  It wouldn't be except Bush, having no other achievements to trumphet, had to go with his handling of the war on terrorism. And just as this campaign plank is launched, Clarke comes along and says Bush ignored terrorism and then went into Iraq, thereby continuing to ignore it if not exacerbating it.

                  Debatable opinions that could fade to black IF Bush weren't basing his whole campaign on the opposite.

                  I mean, it's not like Bush can run on the economy.
                  Dude. Can. Fly.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by dvyyyyyy+Mar 31 2004, 01:01 PM-->
                    QUOTE (dvyyyyyy @ Mar 31 2004, 01:01 PM)

                  • #13
                    Originally posted by phantom+Mar 31 2004, 12:58 PM-->
                    QUOTE (phantom @ Mar 31 2004, 12:58 PM)
                    Originally posted by [email protected] 31 2004, 12:49 PM
                    Originally posted by [email protected] 31 2004, 12:47 PM

                  • #14
                    Originally posted by dvyyyyyy@Mar 31 2004, 01:01 PM

                    It wouldn't be except Bush, having no other achievements to trumphet, had to go with his handling of the war on terrorism. And just as this campaign plank is launched, Clarke comes along and says Bush ignored terrorism and then went into Iraq, thereby continuing to ignore it if not exacerbating it.

                    Debatable opinions that could fade to black IF Bush weren't basing his whole campaign on the opposite.

                    I mean, it's not like Bush can run on the economy.
                    I agree with this. Bush made it a much bigger issue than it needed to be. I kind of liked Eric Mink's take on it in today's PD, regarding the basic arrogance of the Bush response.

                    Obviously the Dems are trying to pile on and make political hay. But I do believe Bush gave them their opening.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Originally posted by andyfin@Mar 31 2004, 01:04 PM

                      I agree with this. Bush made it a much bigger issue than it needed to be. I kind of liked Eric Mink's take on it in today's PD, regarding the basic arrogance of the Bush response.

                      Link me.
                      Dude. Can. Fly.

                      Comment

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