Who Wants to Trust Richard Clarke?
For two long days last week, Lorie Van Auken sat in a stiff, armless chair in the 9/11 commission hearing room, right behind the witness table, listening as one government official after another tried to explain how things had gone so wrong. As the hours wore on, Auken, whose husband, Kenneth, was killed in the World Trade Center, was becoming irritated. “We had been sitting here listening to all these people tell us what a great job they had done,” she says. Then, on Wednesday afternoon, Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism chief, pulled up to the microphone. Turning around to face the family members who had died, Clarke issued a blunt apology. “Those entrusted with protecting you failed you,” he said. “And I failed you.” Clarke asked their forgiveness. Van Auken, like many of the family members in the gallery, began to cry. “I cried hysterically, and I couldn’t stop. Here was somebody, at last, telling the truth.”
_Bonds of Steel_
April 5, 2004
Go ahead, Bush administration, rebut Clarke’s accusations by going after his credibility. I watched his hour-long “Meet the Press” interview Sunday, and I was really impressed with the guy. I trust him more in the White House than Bush, Kerry, or Clinton. It is reassuring to know that he has been there as a public servant so long, and it is sad to see him chased out by the Iraq-obsessed ideologues in the White House.
Errr, what I mean to say, is Bravo, Pat Wingert, for writing such a gripping lead paragraph. It rocked!