Friday, April 02, 2004

Why Mr. Bush (and the Rest of Us) Should be Thanking Richard Clarke

Lots of politicians and media stars have commented on Richard Clarke's book, "Against All Enemies." This blogger has actually read the whole book. Amazingly, not one of the blowhards from the Republican controlled sources of information, known as radio and TV, have said much of anything about how Clarke kept expert control of the White House Situation Room and the President's staff on 9/11 until the President was able to safely return to Washington DC the next day.

The first quarter of the book recounts those events from his perspective and contain no criticisms of either the Bush or Clinton administrations. Amidst the confusion that could have led to wrong and disastrous decisions, Richard Clarke coolly and professionally directed the White House staff, and established needed decision making connections across the government. Military professionals will recognize at once how well Mr. Clarke performed.

At one point as the twin towers fell, when it became known that over 4,000 aircraft were still in the air, and unknown others could be headed for DC with terrorists aboard (at least two others were), Clarke calmly made the decision to evacuate the White House except for himself and any of his people that chose to stay - several did so.

Since the book came out, not one of Mr. Clarke's attackers from the snarling, angry right have disputed a single fact from those events, or recognized how well Mr. Clarke performed under those circumstances. More on "Against all Enemies" next week, but for now as a thankful citizen, I for one would like to thank you personally Mr. Clarke for your professionalism, dedication, and expertise with which you handled an unspeakably stressful situation, the equivalent of which has not been seen in this country since Pearl Harbor.

Regardless of what else is discussed about Mr. Clarke and his book, you Mr. Bush, your administration, the media, and the people of this country should also be thanking him for his courageous actions at a time when it looked like the attacks would even be more devastating to this country.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link