How is Clarke “playing in Peoria?”

Not that well, according to this piece by Evan Thomas and Michael Isikoff in Newsweek. They say that a Newsweek poll shows 25 percent of Americans viewing Clarke as “a dedicated public servant,” while 50 percent say he was “motivated by personal and political reasons.” Of course, Newsweek helps make, as well as report, public opinion. In this regard, Thomas and Isikoff give Clarke mixed reviews at best. Early on, they stipulate that Clarke’s charge that Condoleezza Rice had never heard of al Qaeda is “a stretch,” by which they seem to mean demonstrably false given the evidence to the contrary they cite. Indeed, they conclude that “Clarke’s animus against Rice is transparent.” So too are the sources of the animus. Thomas and Isikoff note that “the Bush administration brought an end to Clarke’s access [to the president]. And Clarke was ordered to vacant “his warren of offices overlooking the Ellipse in order to make room for the NSC communications and speechwriting staff. He responded by threatening to sue and engaging “in passive-aggressive warfare with his new boss, Condi Rice.”
The Newswwek piece concludes with a portion of Clarke’s testimony that hasn’t received much attention — his testimony that the CIA shied away from drastic covert assassinations, such as the assassination of bin Laden, because “for many years [it was] roundly criticized by Congress and the media for various covert actions that [it] carried out at the request of people like me in the White House, not me, but people like me.” Wasn’t John Kerry at the forefront of much of this criticism?


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