Sounds like Mr. Clarke will fit right in with the Kerry campaign.
He says he agreed with the president’s policy before he disagreed with it, and that he thought there was a Clinton plan after he thought there wasn’t. And that he implemented the Bush policy at the time, before he didn’t.
Which Dick Clarke are we supposed to believe? The one who’s just got a new book out in an election year, after not getting the plumb administration job he wanted, or the one who was the administration spokesman at the time? I’m so confused.
[Update on Thursday]
David Reinhard has some good questions:
He’s worked under four presidents — three Republicans, one Democrat — at the highest levels. He was a counterterrorism official when the war on terror began. He’s making grave charges. What he says should be taken seriously. Except the disgraceful Clarke has made that impossible.
Consider the timing and context of his charges. If they’re true, why did he wait so long to make them? Why didn’t he make them the day he resigned his post in the Bush administration? A presidential dereliction of duty so vast would have required no less.
If he wanted his allegations treated seriously, why did Clarke make them in a book published in the middle of a presidential campaign in which his pal, Rand Beers, happens to be the top foreign policy adviser to John Kerry? If Clarke didn’t see the need to make his charges right after he left the administration, why didn’t he make them in an interview or think-tank seminars after the election? That way Clarke couldn’t be accused of having a financial or political motive. This offended official’s charges could be examined solely on their merits.
[One more follow up]
This one is a little surprising due to the source–Time magazine. Mr. Clarke does indeed seem to be at war with himself.
Lileks has some thoughts on this, and the media coverage of it.