We have received three messages from bloggers on the subject of Richard Clarke, two of which advise us of posts on Clarke’s appearance on Meet the Press yesterday. Setting the tone, Joe’s Blog provides a photographic analysis of Clarke’s testimony last week under the heading “Clinton & Clarke.”
Bernard Moon of the Blah Blah Bernard Blah Blah blog carefully scrutinizes the transcript of Clarke’s appearance in “Richard Clarke on Meet the Press.” Bernard prefaces his analysis as follows:
Last night I watched Richard Clarke on “Meet The Press” and was impressed by Richard Clarke’s even-tempered, stale responses as he avoided answering some of Tim Russert’s questions and lied to America on national TV. Does he really believe that Americans are that stupid? Especially about how he had nothing to do with timing of the book release during the 9/11 hearings and how money wasn’t a motive.
Clay Ranck is the proprietor of the RanckandFile blog. Clay writes us:
I know you guys have been analyzing many of Clarke’s statements recently, but I’ve found an aspect of Richard Clarke’s testimony, as well as his appearance on Meet the Press today, that I think is not getting any attention from the major media or the blogosphere. In his testimony, he was asked one question by John Lehman, the former Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan Admin. Lehman asked Clarke why he was accusing the Bush administration as being so lax, when he had not “pulled punches in either direction” during his public testimony.
Clarke responded that “the reason I am strident in my criticism of the president of the United States is because by invading Iraq — something I was not asked about by the commission, but something I chose to write about a lot in the book — by invading Iraq, the president of the United States has greatly undermined the war on terrorism.”
Clarke is as much as admitting that the reason he is attacking the Bush administration now over what they did in 2001 is because he opposes their actions in 2002 and 2003 in removing Saddam Hussein from power. I blogged the statement in Clarke’s Commission testimony here.
One might argue that Clarke didn’t mean what he was saying, but there he was on Meet the Press this morning saying the same thing. From his appearance today: “After 9/11–I say by going into Iraq, he has really hurt the war on terrorism. Now, because I say that, the administration doesn’t want to talk on the merits of that. They don’t want to talk about the effect on the war on terrorism of our invasion of Iraq.” Clarke hasn’t been talking about that in the first place; he’s talking about whether Bush took greater action than the Clinton administration. My comments on his appearance on Meet the Press are here.
UPDATE: Reader J. Panzarella forwards us this link to the transcript of Clarke’s interview by the Cuomo aide and points out this exchange:
MR. RUSSERT: But Saddam is gone and that’s a good thing?
MR. CLARKE: Saddam is gone is a good thing. If Fidel were gone, it would be a good thing. If Kim Il Sung were gone, it would be a good thing. And let’s just make clear, our military performed admirably and they are heroes, but what price are we paying for this war on Iraq?
Panzarella notes: “Kim Il Sung DIED in 1994. Shouldn