It’s hard to write something original with respect to Richard Clarke’s testimony before the 9-11 commission. There are simply too many fish in the pond analysing it.
But since I did watch a significant part of his testimony on CNN last night, I would nonetheless like to share my principal impression:
Far more than previous dissenters like Paul O’Neill this may very well turn out to be the disaster the Bush administration was praying would not happen. It’s certainly no accident he was accused of being a part of the Kerry campaign. He is. Well, he may not technically work for Kerry, yet he certainly does in any political sense imaginable.
And his personal history and character are likely to actually have a tangible effect on those who do intend to vote for Bush in November – let me quote the Daily Kos:
“Richard Clarke is a hawk, appears to have been a Republican, and most balanced summaries of his career show him to have been a bit of a loose cannon too smitten by covert actions and insufficiently respectful of civil liberties. But he’s the type of knowledgeable, dogged, and passionate analyst on whom every successful administration must rely for honest and non-ideological appraisals and advice.”
When he stated that the Bush administration’s actions in Iraq have greatly undermined the war against terror, none of the interrogators were able to reply anything useful. A bomb had just exploded, live and on tv, for all the world to see. In other words, he’s the kind of patriot the Bush administration has every reason to fear.