NRO defends Clarke
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By etrigan - Last updated: Monday, March 29, 2004 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

“here”:http://nationalreview.com/lowry/lowry200403290950.asp (it’s Rich Lowry, he of fistfight with Al Franken fame)

– Clarke agrees with the assessment of the Bush team that his proposals for action in Afghanistan aiding the Northern Alliance, flying the Predator, etc. would not have prevented 9/11. …

– Clarke agrees with the argument made repeatedly by conservatives over the years that the CIA had been beaten into a defensive crouch by its critics. …

– Clarke seems to agree with a point often made by Clinton critics: that it was foolish in the 1990s to make the FBI the lead agency in the fight against terrorism since, as an after-the-fact domestic law enforcement agency, it was manifestly not up to the task. …

– Clarke emphasizes the need for preemption. He explained, “One of the things I would hope comes out of your commission report is a change a recommendation for a change in the attitude of government about threats; that we be able to act on threats that we foresee, even if acting requires boldness and requires money and requires changing the way we do business, that we act on threats in the future before they happen.” …

– Clarke apparently sees the need for more domestic surveillance in the U.S., advocating doing the Patriot Act one better and creating a domestic intelligence agency. …

– Clarke apparently agrees that law enforcement is an inappropriate paradigm for fighting. … He was, for instance, frustrated when the Clinton administration called in the FBI to confirm Iraqi involvement in the attempted assassination of the first President Bush in early 1993, creating an unnecessary delay. …

– Clarke defends the idea of acting even when the intelligence is uncertain, especially when WMDs are potentially involved.

So his beefs with the Bush Administration boil down to: 1) GWB cutting him out of the loop in favor of daily briefings by the Director of Central Intelligence (which WJC had stopped getting early in his terms), and 2) GWB asked him to double check if Iraq might have been involved in 9/11.

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