April 1, 2004

Why didn't he say so at the time?

Gregg Easterbrook in The New Republic Online:

Richard Clarke's headline-making volume of self-praise might as well be titled, I've Suddenly Remembered I Knew It All Along. As yours truly noted yesterday (just scroll down), Clarke now claims he knew after September 11 it would be a colossal mistake to pursue Al Qaeda and attack Iraq simultaneously. I asked, Why didn't he say so at the time?...

...But maybe in the month before the Iraq war, Clarke had decided to hold his tongue and say nothing about his former job? Um, not exactly. As New Republic super-intern Anne O'Donnell points out, on resigning from the National Security Council in February 2003, one month prior to the attack on Iraq, Clarke quickly signed as an on-air consultant to ABC News. During the month before the war, Clarke made several appearances on national television. He spoke in great detail regarding Iraq, Saddam, terrorism intelligence, military tactics, even discussing by name individual Republican Guard divisions and U.S. plans for those divisions. So Clarke certainly wasn't holding his tongue, he was yakking nonstop. And yet by the most amazing and astonishing coincidence, Clarke apparently didn't mention any of the strongly-held antiwar views he has now suddenly remembered!...

Posted by John Weidner at April 1, 2004 7:24 AM
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