Michael Totten

The Clarke "Scandal"

I’m behind the curve on this one, but I suppose I should weigh in on the Richard Clarke “scandal.”
Clarke’s ability to undermine his own self with his own words is astonishing.
I’m sure he’s telling the truth in there somewhere. I don’t know when he is and when he isn’t. At this point, none of his blatantly contradictory statements are even worth quoting. This has been covered nearly to death elsewhere. Those interested in the details can follow the link.
Matthew Yglesias doesn’t think Clark has a credibility problem.

The “serious allegations” would turn on Clarke’s credibility if and only if administration figures would explain in a clear manner which of the allegations are not true and what is untrue about them. They have not done so.

He has a point. Administration officials do need to counter any claims by Clarke that aren’t true. Maybe they have and I missed it. Honestly, I don’t really know, partly because this story bores me, and partly because I have neither the time nor the energy to parse a series of “he said” and “she said” counter allegations by bickering politicians.
Even so, Matt is only half right. Clarke is perfectly capable of creating a credibility problem all by himself. That is independent of the fact that the Bush Administration may also have its own credibility problems.
I could be wrong, obviously, but I have feeling this guy is as ephemeral as a moth. He’ll be a footnote in two weeks and his book will be consigned to the remainder bins.
I’m sorry if this is a flip and lazy response. It is. I know it is. But the man hasn’t demonstrated he’s worth my time. He seems to me an arrogant self-aggrandizing phony. He isn’t even up to speed enough to know that his previous statements are all over the Internet, that those who are interested can compare and contrast what he’s saying now with what he has said in the past.
If you’re interested in some truly devastating criticism of pre-911 government failure, read what Bob Kerrey, the former Democratic senator from Nebraska, had to say. He’s a man worth taking seriously. If I were Bush I would be very afraid of facing an opponent like him. He is relentless, and he is right.