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Monday, March 29, 2004

Clarke, In His Own Words 

Salon has a very well-done Joe Conason interview with Richard Clarke, in which he responds to some of the charges being thrown his way by the Bush administration and its various flunkies in the press.

The whole thing is worth reading, and in an unusual step, Salon's offering it free of ads/charge.

Here's a taste:

"[Salon]: Did you speak up about the U.S. going into Iraq? Now, one of the more substantive criticisms of you by the White House is that you didn't say anything about it. You let that go, you kept your job and didn't resign in protest -- or according to them, do anything that suggested you were so strongly opposed to their plan for war.

[Clarke]: If they were listening, they would have heard me. I started saying on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12 that their idea of responding to the terrorist attacks by going to war with Iraq was not only misplaced but counterproductive.

Before Sept. 11, I was so frustrated with the way they were handling terrorism that I had asked to be reassigned to a different job. And the job I proposed was a job I helped to create -- a job to look at the nation's vulnerability to cyber-attack. So that job was supposed to be one that I went into on Oct. 1 [2001]; the actual transfer was delayed, of course, because Sept. 11 intervened. But it's important to realize that I asked for that transfer out of the counterterrorism job before Sept. 11, out of frustration with the Bush administration's handling of terrorism."

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