Rich Lowry devotes his column today to a review of Richard Clarke’s Against All Enemies: “Richard Clarke’s misfire.” If we use the old Dick Clark American Bandstand Rate-A-Record scale running from 35 to 98, I think it’s fair to say that Lowry gives this book a 35:
Clarke’s book reads like a typical just-out-of-government memoir, a genre usually premised on the idea that if only the author’s advice had been heeded, the world would be better off. Clarke adds a dash of tendentious partisanship in insisting that President Clinton was an anti-terror stalwart even though he rejected Clarke’s most important ideas, and that Bush was too soft even though he took Clarke’s ideas a step further.
The book joins a drumbeat and you can groan to it. And as John Podhoretz observes in “Dick’s tall tale,” in Clarke’s homage to the first song ever played on the national edition of Bandstand, there’s a whole lotta lyin’ goin’ on.