Wednesday, March 24, 2004

On Clarke 

DHinMI, a regular poster at DKos, has this bit on Clarke which I think hits the nail on the head...

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. However, this administration doesn't value analysts, it values acolytes. Thus, it's not surprising this outraged insider has so effectively exposed the rank incompetence and rotten dishonesty at the center of the Bush administration. Furthermore, this administration doesn't respect people who aren't cynical idolaters of power like themselves; it's to be expected that they wouldn't heed the advice of someone whose character and motivations are so different from their own. The leaders of the Bush administration wouldn't listen to Richard Clarke because, as he proved today, he is fundamentally what they will never be. Richard Clarke is a mensch , and Richard Clarke is a patriot.

This guy was not some peacenik or incompetent loon. He entered with a Republican president and served under 3 of them (and only one Dem). He's written a book, true, but what politician hasn't, and at what time could he have released it to keep it from appearing political? After the election? The whole point is that he feels there are things the American public needs to know as it goes into the booth to pull levers.

Clarke apologized for the failure of the government, which to my knowledge nobody else has had the balls to do (even Madeleine Albright, whom I admire, and shame on her). [correct me if I'm wrong on this, and by apologize, I mean admit some fault and apologize, not just commiserate or extend condolences]


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