Skip to comments.Clarke’s Golden Ticket
Posted on 03/24/2004 9:33:18 PM PST by kattracks
In a CBS 60 Minutes exclusive interview, Richard Clarke, a 30-year professional and White House insider on terrorism policy, lambasted the Bush Administration for inadequately preventing and properly handling the 9/11 crisis.
A few short years ago, another White House insider, also a 30-year professional and expert on national security matters, quit his job and wrote a book about the failures he witnessed while on the job.
Thats where the similarities between Richard Clarke and me end.
In 1996, Unlimited Access An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House, hit every major bookstore, causing a firestorm of protest from the Clinton Administration.
This was expected. My book was highly critical of Clintons track record on national security, and very unsympathetic to Clintons staff, who I found to be a crude, classless bunch of hippy leftovers from the Sixties.
President Clinton and Hillary made on-the-record comments attacking my claims, and George Stephanopoulos, then Clintons top advisor, labeled me a pathological liar. The Clinton White House meant to play hardball, and my publisher and I could only brace ourselves for their blows. They had a track record of destroying their critics credibility, and they set out to destroy mine.
As soon as the Clinton White House protested to major media outlets that my book should not be believed, television networks dropped me like a hot potato.
Stephanopoulos then went back to the White House and bragged, We killed it, meaning that if I could not promote my book on TV, the game was over.
Although the book became #1 on every bestsellers list, the real audience I was trying to reach the millions of Americans who receive most of their opinion-forming information from television news was closed to me. I was never able to re-establish my credibility with these millions, because the networks prevented me any airtime to do so.
To this day, I have never appeared on any CBS programming, even after my book was largely vindicated by sworn congressional testimony, legions of witnesses, and Bill Clintons 1998 impeachment. As far as CBS is concerned, I am dead.
Contrast my experience with how the television networks treat Richard Clarke. In spite of glaring contradictions about his various positions on terrorism matters, and in spite of the fact that Vice President Cheney and Condoleezza Rice, among others, refute the more spectacular claims in Clarkes book as simply untrue, he continues to obtain remarkable television access. Thus he can hawk his book and promote his obviously biased message that President Bushs handling of the war on terror was seriously flawed.
When my book came out, I was falsely aligned with the Dole campaign and Big Tobacco, the convenient boogie man of that time. Both claims were ridiculous fabrications. But Richard Clarke and Rand Beers are openly described as best buddies, while Beers, who worked with Clarke at the White House, now has a lead position in Senator John Kerrys presidential campaign. Yet, no television talking head asks the obvious questions about Clarkes political associations or motivations besides selling a book.
A clue to Clarkes attitude and credibility can be found in a sentence from his major revelations about President Bushs obsession with making war with Iraq. Clarke states that two days after September 11, 2001, Bush dragged him into the White House Situation Room to grill him about connections between Iraq and the attack. My first reaction to this claim is to doubt that two days after 9/11, any red-blooded American patriot would have to be dragged in to see the president about how to respond to the attacks.
Instead, I imagine every person working in the White House was eager to make a contribution to protect this nation. Clarkes suggestion that the president of the United States dragged him anywhere is a good indication of the size of the ego of this man. Its also a classic tail-wagging-the-dog mentality often found in career bureaucrats.
But Clarkes biggest fudge is obvious. He worked in the Clinton White House for eight years, closely monitoring each attack made on U.S. interests by Osama bin Laden. He was also privy to intelligence connecting Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda, long before 9/11. President Bushs question about a connection between the two was logical, and based on prior intelligence Clarke would have reviewed.
Clarkes convenient blindness to these facts is clear evidence of his political motivations. The television networks blindness to Clarkes purposeful memory loss is nothing more than classic media bias.
Gary Aldrich is president and founder of The Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty, a Townhall.com member group.
©2004 Gary W. Aldrich
Contact Gary Aldrich | Read Aldrich's biography
The Clarke affair is much worse than "classic" media bias.
This is an all-out, very undemocratic assault on the Bush Administration.
I saw that .. Chrissy acted like he never rec'd talking points from the DNC
Perpetrated by the Propagandist Press.
Bob Kerrey was slamming Fox news for having th gull to actually report the truth
aha! their greatest fear realized...exposure of the truth for all to see.
Well the way Kerrey and some other liberals totally freaked out about this
I'd say they are scared to death
It's also a major breach of journalistic ethics by CBS. Viacom owns CBS and also owns Simon & Schuster which is the publisher of Clarke's book. The Clarke interviews were not just Kerry campaign contributions in kind, they were advertisements for a product the parent company will be directly profitting from. At no time, did CBS level with its viewers about this glaring conflict of interest.