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March 28, 2004

The Clarke Lovefest continues...

I just switched off NBC's Meet the Press. I simply got sick of watching Tim Russert gently serve up watermelon-sized softballs to a smirking Dick Clarke. Clarke's smarmy manner suggests that he knows full well he's among friends; no hard questions will be coming his way this morning. Russert let the obvious contradictions in Clarke's answers slide away like jello on a plate of grease. There's an election to win, after all, and we can't let the truth get in the way of a Kerry victory.

However, questions about Clarke's credibility are mounting in the real media, led by the Great Professor himself. Mark Steyn has a great column, written with the usual wry perspective, that makes a key point:

Just so. In the 1990s when al-Qa'eda blew up American targets abroad, the FBI would fly in and work it as a "crime scene" - like a liquor-store hold-up in Cleveland. It doesn't address the problem. Sure, there are millions of disaffected young Muslim men, but, if they get the urge to blow up infidels, they need training and organisation. Somehow all those British Taliban knew that if you wanted a quick course in jihad studies Afghanistan was the place to go. Bush got it right: go to where the terrorists are, overthrow their sponsoring regimes, destroy their camps, kill their leaders.

Instead, all the Islamists who went to Afghanistan in the 1990s graduated from Camp Osama and were dispersed throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, where they lurk to this day. That's the Clarke-Clinton legacy. And, if it were mine, I wouldn't be going around boasting about it.

Richard Clarke is simply a bitter ex-bureaucrat whose policies were so ineffective he got canned when the Bush team took over. After unsuccessfully trying to suck his way back up the ladder, he retired, found a publisher eager to smear the Bush administration, wrote a tell-all book and released it at the most politically-opportune time. The problem is, so much of what he has written contradicts what he said and wrote before (some of it under oath) that eventually even the liberal media will have to take notice.

Some have compared Dick Clarke with another failed Bush-basher, former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill. Actually, he is closer to the lying historian Michael Bellesiles, who wrote a book about guns in America so full of errors and misrepresentations that it was eventually yanked from print. But all the obvious problems didn't prevent the Left from fawning all over the book and the author. It took the efforts of everyday bloggers (notably Clayton Cramer) to finally get the mainstream media to take notice.

It will be the same with Dick Clarke; in the next few months his book will be exposed as the biased collection of falsehoods it truly is. But don't expect Meet the Press to participate in the expose.

UPDATE: Someone else has noticed how solicitous and gentle Tim Russert was towards Dick Clarke.

Posted by Captain Holly at March 28, 2004 11:41 AM | TrackBack
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