Tue 23 Mar
These are the articles that I read this morning about former White House counter-terrorism chief Richard A. Clarke’s claims in his new book that President Bush had a fixation on invading Iraq and that he pressured his aides to produce connections between Saddam Hussein’s regime and Al Qaeda: an overview of the scenario in the Times, as well as that paper’s analysis of the accusations’ political impact: “At the worst possible moment, it undercuts Mr. Bush on the issue that he has made the unapologetic centerpiece of his administration and a linchpin of his re-election campaign: his handling of the global war on terror.”
In his regular column, Paul Krugman places this incident in the context of the Bush administration’s penchant for secrecy and obfuscation. Similarly, in the Washington Post, Richard Cohen examines the administration’s habit of casting aspersion on its critics: “ The White House has opened its guns on Clarke. He is being contradicted and soon, as with poor [former Treasury Secretary Paul] O’Neill, his sanity and probity will be questioned.”
That paper also gives some background on Clarke’s character, noting that he is a registered Republican. The L.A. Times takes a more detailed look at the White House’s coordinated and notably aggressive attack against Clarke, and includes notes from an interview that Clarke gave the paper on Monday.