The Right Coast

March 31, 2004
Will on Clarke
By Mike Rappaport

George Will chimes in with his criticisms of Clarke. Here is an excerpt:
    Too much of the controversy about Clarke's book -- and testimony and interviews -- concerns adjectives. Combating terrorism was only "important" to the Bush administration (by the eighth day Clarke was calling the Bush administration "lackadaisical" about terrorism), whereas for the Clinton administration it was "urgent" -- "no higher a priority." Except when it wasn't. When Clarke recommended "a series of rolling attacks" against al Qaeda's "infrastructure in Afghanistan," his recommendation was rejected. But Clarke says "to be fair" we should understand that the Clinton administration decided it had higher priorities -- the Balkans, the Middle East peace process.

    By the eighth day Clarke was telling Tim Russert that the difference is that Clinton did "something" whereas Bush did "nothing." Nothing except, among other things, authorizing a quadrupling of spending for covert action against al Qaeda.