Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Dick Clarke’s self-immolation

Rich Lowry is hard on Clarke. He thinks that the fellow collapsed and that no one can take him seriously. I agree. Here is the transcript of Clarke’s interview in August 2002 wherein he said the opposite of what he has been saying the last few days. Dana Milbank, writing for the Washington Post, tries to put a pro-Clarke spin on the story, just to prove (again) that the establishment press is not objective. The Post reprints the full transcript of the hearings. Note (among other things) Jamie Gorelick’s self-serving and often silly comments (she was, as I recall Reno’s deputy). This is an article wriiten by Clarke for Time in which, at the end of the piece, he asks the ever-so-deep question: "Whatever we do to the original members of al-Qaeda, a new generation of terrorists similar to them is growing. So, in addition to placing more cameras on our subway platforms, maybe we should be asking why the terrorists hate us. If we do not focus on the reasons for terrorism as well as the terrorists, the body searches we accept at airports may be only the beginning of life in the new fortress America." This is beyond silly, at this point. This is not a policy question, these guys have made clear why they had us, it is because of who we are. We stand for something they despise, and they are ready and willing to kill us because of who we are: we think freedom is good, we think self-government is good; we are not cave-dwellers. They think our purposes and our democratic means are degenerate, base, and against their sharia. But they also now know that we are willing to fight to keep our freedom, and indeed, we also have a hymn to battle, and it has something to do with making men free. The rest is a sideshow.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Why haven’t any of the major news outlets reported this key passage from Clarke’s testimony?

GORTON: Now, since my yellow light is on, at this point my final question will be this: Assuming that the recommendations that you made on January 25th of 2001, based on Delenda, based on Blue Sky, including aid to the Northern Alliance, which had been an agenda item at this point for two and a half years without any action, assuming that there had been more Predator reconnaissance missions, assuming that that had all been adopted say on January 26th, year 2001, is there the remotest chance that it would have prevented 9/11?


You’ve sucker-punched Clarke here, methinks. If you wanted to be sympathetic, you could note that the whole "democratize the Middle East" strategy is an attempt to "focus on the reasons for terrorism as well as the terrorists." What is so wrong about asking why people hate us? Do they just spring from the womb with a hatred of "who we are"? What are the causal factors that create that hate? This is a serious question.

It may be a serious question but there is also an appropriate time for the question. In addition, there is also the element of whether or not the question is relevant and if it really matters. If someone want to destroy and kill you, there are more pressing things then asking why they hate us so much that they want to do this. The more pressing thing is to stop them from trying to destroy and kill you.

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