Sunday, March 28, 2004

Richard Clarke is a Republican who has no faith in the Bush Administration

Paul Harris' Guardian article of Sunday March 28, 2004 is titled:

Terror Backlash Begins to hit Bush's Votes
The damning testimony of former terrorism adviser Richard Clarke has left the President's team in disarray as their approval ratings begin to fall

Harris goes on to say that Bush's approval rating is at an all time low according to Zogby.

I read an AP article in the NY Times that Richard Clarke considers himself a political independent but is registered Republican.

Clarke, who is single, is known as a voracious reader, from science fiction to history to the latest tutorial on al-Qaida, and as someone who enjoys relaxing with friends over dinner. The native New Englander loves seafood, follows the Boston Red Sox and the Washington Capitals, enjoys jazz and has a room in his Sears catalogue home packed with duck decoys and prints. He describes himself as a political independent registered as a Republican.

Information Week has a background piece on Clarke's resignation from Jan. 29, 2003, stating Clarke is the one who made the call to ground all airliners on September 11th, 2001. That was a good call.

Selected quote:
Clarke is known for his aggressive--sometimes abrasive--personality and for his willingness to bypass bureaucratic channels. Under Clinton, he was known to contact Special Forces and other military commanders in the field directly, irritating the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon.

Clarke was "a bulldog of a bureaucrat," wrote former national security adviser Anthony Lake in a book two years ago. He said Clarke has "a bluntness toward those at his level that has not earned him universal affection."

Some senior CIA officials under Clinton complained that Clarke pressed them to launch covert programs without adequate preparation or study, said Vincent Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief.

"He gave the impression he was somewhat of a cowboy," Cannistraro said. "There was no love lost between Clarke and the CIA."

Clarke managed largely to avoid Washington's finger-pointing over failures to anticipate the Sept. 11 attacks, even though he was the top counterterrorism adviser and he was replaced by the White House in that role less than one month later.

"Dick in both the Clinton and Bush administrations was the voice pushing this forward, calling out about the dangers," said William Wechsler, a former director for transnational threats on the National Security Council.

"There's an easy reason why no one is pointing the finger at him."

The security council's director for counterterrorism under Clinton, Daniel Benjamin, described Clarke as "a visionary in terms of pushing hard to recognize the dangers of al Qaeda; certainly the new administration should have attended to his thoughts a little more."

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