Friday, March 26, 2004

The Clarke circus

Richard Clarke's hit a nerve, cause the Bushies are hitting back hard, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the former "terrorism czar" in order to impugn his credibility. This political circus is pretty amusing to witness, since I really don't think Clarke has added much to our understanding of how this administration has functioned during its time in office.

Of course, considering his position of authority, I suppose you can say Clarke adds credibility to the charges that the Bushies have never handled the threat of terrorism properly, or that Iraq was a distraction and part of an ideological crusade that has nothing to do with terrorism, and which actually puts the United States at greater risk of terrorist reprisal by inflaming sentiment around the world and creating a groundswell of support for Islamist causes. But these allegedly controversial charges have been uncontroversial for quite some time, I think.

Condi Rice's performance throughout this charade has been pretty funny, too, as she incessantly lobs comments that dispute Clarke's testimony and book, all the while trying to avoid being held accountable -- under oath, that is -- for anything she's said or done.

Lastly, Josh Marshall has been keeping on top of the efforts to smear Clarke. It's dirty work, but someone has to do it. Thus far, media figures on the right have sunk so low as to suggest Clarke might be a racist, and Bill Frist, the Senate Majority leader, is floating charges that Clarke maybe -- just maybe -- perjured himself.