I don’t know if you, like me, are following all the grisly details of the vicious battle between the Bush administration and its supporters and Richard Clarke, but on Friday things hit a low when Senate majority leader Bill Frist accused Clarke of perjuring himself either in his public testimony last week or in his earlier classified testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying that there were inconsistencies between them that would certainly support such allegations. I assumed that no perjury charges would ever materialize and that indeed the testimony would never be declassified, rather that rather this was just a particularly vicious attempt to discredit him. I already knew that Clarke’s enemies had underestimated him, what I didn’t realize is that I had underestimated him as well. Yesterday on TV he said that he supported declassifying not only his testimony before Congress, but also all of the emails he sent to Condoleeze Rice while he worked for the White House.
In the meantime, Condoleeza Rice told 60 Minutes that while nothing would please her more than testifying before the 9/11 commission, no sitting National Security Advisor had ever testified before Congress. She ignores the fact that her immediate predecessor, Sandy Berger, did testify before Congress while serving in that role. I’m not sure why the big media rarely points this out.
Oh, and as for Clarke’s treasonous claim that the Bush administration felt that taking down al-Qaeda was important, but not urgent, prior to 9/11, let’s see what President Bush himself had to say about it, “”I was not on point, I have no hesitancy about going after him. But I didn’t feel that sense of urgency, and my blood was not nearly as boiling.” (That’s Bush being quoted in Bob Woodward’s fawning Bush at War.)