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jjohn (22)

jjohn
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Journal of jjohn (22)

Sunday April 18, 2004
08:30 AM

the scariest book you'll ever read

[ #18377 ]

I just finished Richard Clarke's Against All Enemies, which is an insider's look at America's reaction to Islamic terrorism since the Reagan years. Many will recall that Richard Clarke was a top manager in the Counterterrorism Security Group in both the Clinton and W. administration, as well as being a perennial foreign policy bureaucrat since the Reagan years.

The book opens like a Tom Clancy novel: the White House has been evacuated, the Vice President has been removed to the East Wing bunker and a small group of weathered staffers attempt to manage the worst terrorist attack perpetrated on American soil. Clarke is recalling his day at the office on September 11, 2001. All too often, I had to remind myself that this was a non-fiction book; it seemed like a novelization of a Jerry Bruckheimer film.

The author and the book have been much assailed by the supporters of W., which is a loss for the country. Other books attack Bush in a clearly partisan way (I'm looking at you, Al Franken and Michael Moore). This book is different. Clarke is no bleeding heart liberal. He's most certainly not a pacifist. Clarke is a reasonable intelligent man that's spent a good deal of his life studying and reacting to terrorism. He was fighting the war on terror before it became the War on Terror. In short, he's a very credible source of information. He outlines many, many failures of the bureaucracy and the American intelligence community over the past decade. Many of those still go unaddressed. At the end of the book, Clarke presents his cogent argument of why the Bush administration's anemic invasion of Afghanistan and its baffling invasion of Iraq has critically damaged the effort to destroy al Queda.

Supporters and detractors of W. must read this book. Bush is campaigning on his record fighting Terror. Clarke suggests giving W. a failing grade. And so do I.

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  • Clarke is clearly a partisan Democrat [insightmag.com]. It's pretty clear that the timing and content of this book, coinciding with the beginning of the 9/11 commission hearings, is aimed at damaging George Bush. If there were any objectivity in the media at all, there'd be an investigation of the "great left wing conspiracy" that pushes this book without revealing their financial interest in it [209.157.64.200].

    If Clarke were the patriot he claims, why didn't he get this out as soon as possible? Even quitting the Bush administration BE

    • Maybe you should read some things like "Losing Bin Laden". I haven't read either book, but I'm just guessing that Miniter, a Fox news commentator and Op-ed columnist for the Wall Street Journal, is far more likely to produce an uninformed "partisan hatchet job" than is Clark, a career bureaucrat with direct experience of his subject matter.

      But I certainly agree with your last point, that if jjohn doesn't already agree with you, you have very little chance of convincing him ;).

        • I haven't read either book, but I'm just guessing that Miniter, a Fox news commentator and Op-ed columnist for the Wall Street Journal...

        What is it about being a Fox news commentator or being published in the Wall Street Journal that destroys your credibility?

        Susan Estridge is a Fox News Contributor. Mara Liasson is a Fox News Contributor. Juan Williams is a Fox News Contributor. Ceci Connolly is a Fox News Contributor. Have these people lost all credibility because they comment on Fox?

        Miniter has a

    • Citing Ann Coulter, in whose writing a bit of partisanship may be detected, isn't likely to sway my thinking. Should I counter with Al Franken quotes from Lying Liars?

      Clark in April 2001, asked to be transfered to working on cyber security because of his frustration with the Bushies. That transfer would have happened in October 2001. Because of the events in September, Clarke had to stay on in the CSG longer than he had planned.

      Bush did not make terrorism the priority. From what I recall of early 2001

      • My biggest beef about Clarke is that it took him a whole year to come out with this and it happens to coincide with #1 a book release and #2 a presidential campaign.

        I have watched the 9/11 hearings and there is just too much stuff that doesn't jive with what Clarke said. That may be on both sides. This is politics. But Clarke's timing makes him super suspicious in my view.

        • Well, it takes a period of time to write a book and he is a first time author. He also had to have the book screened by the White House, national security and all. He submitted the book to the White House around September last year ( maybe November ). The White House sat on it for something like 3 months.

          Also, I doubt he has much say when the book is actually released, the publisher does. I think I saw somewhere the published was intending on have it out some time in April. I think the published saw an opp
          • He should have been talking about this right out of the gate. Yet it takes him a year to make it known? That has nothing to do with "writing" the book.
          • The White House sat on it for something like 3 months.

            Most people know that I abhor the current administration, but in all fairness to the White House, doing book reviews is probably not a high priority. Further, for intelligence agencies to vet the book and ensure that Clarke was not illegally revealing classified information probably takes some time.

            Also, though I again reiterate how much I despise the current administration, I don't hold Bush and Co. responsible for intelligence failings regarding te
        • Citing Ann Coulter, in whose writing a bit of partisanship may be detected, isn't likely to sway my thinking.

        Good deflection technique there. But, what's wrong with being a partisan? Are we all supposed to have nuanced positions somewhere in the middle? I don't have a problem with partisanship, I have a problem with people like Clarke claiming they are not partisan to give their arguments more weight when they are, in fact, quite partisan.

        Why don't you address the point, though? Clarke is being absu

      • The author and the book have been much assailed by the supporters of W., which is a loss for the country.

        It's a loss for the country that his assault against Bush's Iraq war had to be intertwined with his analysis of the events leading up to 9/11. Clearly, his emphasis on Bush's failures pre-9/11 is tainted by his anger with Bush over his Iraq policy. Even some of the Democratic members of the 9/11 Commission essentially conceded this.

        Look at most of the egregious claims made by Clarke. They are mostl
    • Thanks, jjohn. Your message worked wonderfully to bring out from the woodwork the kind of people I can populate my use.perl dont-want-to-see-because-my-blood-pressure-skyrockets list with :-)