Yesterday's Perjuries Today


Remember back in March, when Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist called for the declassification of Richard Clarke's secret June 2002 testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, in order to determine whether the former counter-terrorism chief committed perjury when he slammed the Bush Administration in his nationally televised testimony to the 9/11 Commission? The oft-parroted idea being that, behind closed doors, Clarke actually heaped praise upon the president.

Well, after some delays, the testimony has finally been made public (PDF). What does it show? According to the Associated Press,

The declassified version neither criticizes nor strongly praises the Bush administration. It focuses instead primarily on the Clinton administration.

"I believed it was important to recognize that Mr. Clarke's character was unfairly attacked for political purposes," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who worked with the Senate Intelligence Committee to have the testimony released. "A detailed review shows that his testimony is not inconsistent with his testimony before the 9/11 Commission."

NEXT: The Messenger

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Maybe now they can look into the inconsistent testimony of Richard “Clarke is a hero except when he picks on Bush” Miniter.

  2. Gee I’m shocked.

    It wouldn’t be so bad if I weren’t forking over tens of thousands of dollars in income to these fuckers, while I continue to downgrade my health insurance, just to keep it from busting my budget.

    Why do we have to pay for this shit?

  3. I’m not registered with the Chicago Tribune, but if Hooters had a case, this upstart outfit wouldn’t be WingHouse would it?
    BreastHouse, WhitemeatHouse, HeadlightHouse, ‘Nockers??

  4. Wait… was this on the wrong thread?

  5. Decidedly different take on Clarke’s June 2002 testimony at Powerline:

  6. Decidedly.

    Does anyone else recall Richard Clark’s credibility being “in tatters?”

    Does anyone else recall Clark launching “a viscious personal attack upon the president?”

    I recall a full court press by Republicans (I should say, “other Republicans,” as Clark himself was a Republican) to discredit him, but not much coming of it.

  7. Joe: Clarke is most definitely NOT a Republican. He has stated that he voted in a Republican primary in Virginia, which explains one of his statement to the effect that “the last time I was asked to declare a party prefence, it was for the Republicans.” You can look it up if you want.

    “Vicious personal attack” may be a bit hyperbolic, but he’s certainly been an uncompromising critic of the president’s handling of security issues.

    A “full-court press” that was absolutely not aided and abetted by “the press,” which even up to today seems pretty satisfied accepting whatever Clarke says as truth without bothering to check alternative sources.

    Follow the other links provided in the Powerline link and learn something; if not, try these:

  8. Joey,

    Maybe you should actually read Clarke’s testimony instead. I did and I found nothing connoting perjury in his statements.

  9. See, this is problem with right-wingers:

    “”Vicious personal attack” may be a bit hyperbolic, but he’s certainly been an uncompromising critic of the president’s handling of security issues.”

    The way this sentence, and the thinking behind it, are constructed, there is no effort to distinguish between criticism based on professional understanding of real policy failures, and criticism based on personal/partisan grudges. Hell, there’s not even a nod made towards the issue of whether the criticism is valid or not. Or even truthful.

    No, the only thing that seems to be important enough to bring up is that Richard Clark criticized the president’s policies and management. Because of this, we are supposed to write Clark off as a credible source for analysis of security issues, and as a responsible and knowledgeable person.

  10. As a matter of fact, I recall a number of H&R righty regulars denouncing the 9/11 Commission itself as a partisan witch hunt, because it committed the crime of allowing people to say unflattering things about the president and his appointees.

    I am sick and tired of support for George Bush being the criteria by which the truth and fairness of a statement is measured.

  11. I am sick and tired of support for George Bush being the criteria by which the truth and fairness of a statement is measured.

    Goose, gander?

  12. “I am sick and tired of support for George Bush being the criteria by which the truth and fairness of a statement is measured.”

    Hey, can you say that in a piercing scream like Hillary did in her famous “I’m sick and tired” speech?

    I think when people in politics are “sick and tired” it probably just means their party is getting whumped at the polls lately.

  13. “I am sick and tired of support for George Bush being the criteria by which the truth and fairness of a statement is measured.

    Goose, gander?”

    You see, RC, I’m in a bad spot, intellectually. For the past three years, assuming that whatever President Bush says about important matters is a lie has turned out to be a very effective method of discerning the truth. Does Iraq have drone aircraft that could reach American and spray us with bioweapons? Were there any warning that Al Qaeda was going to stage large attacks in the United States? Is the insurgency going to abate one we turn over sovereignty on June 30? Does Iraq pose a serious and immediate enough threat that we can’t wait until Blix’s team of inspectors finish before deciding whether to invade? Are the alumininum tubes usable for uranium enrichment? Are those truck trailers biological weapons labs? Is the Hussein regime an ally of Bin Laden? Will American troops be welcomed as liberators? Will Ahmed Chalabi quickly come to power and establish security, and a liberal order? Were the explosives removed from Al Qaqaa before the war? Do the generals in Iraq believe they have enough troops? And on and on and on – whatever answer Bush or his people give, it soon comes out that exactly the opposite is true.

    Now, I know about the ad homenim fallacy, and the problems with basing your judgement on your feelings about the speaker. But as a student of liberalism and city planning, I’ve had opportunity to learn that you can’t let pointy headed theories get in the way of understanding the established realities you’re dealing with. You can’t just wish them away.

    And to top things off, I’ve been burned a number of times when I’ve tried to keep an open mind and giving Bush the benefit of the doubt. I wrote to a girl I knew in college that Colin Powell had hit a triple at the UN, because the administration wouldn’t put out such a large quantity of false information and sacrifice their credibility like that. But then they did.

    Which leaves me to wonder, do I go with my intellectual principles and give the opposition a fair hearing until the facts or in, or do I believe my own lyin’ eyes? Just assuming that whatever an administration source has to say is a lie isn’t good for one’s mental hygeine, but it’s proven to be a highly effective tool for understanding what’s going on in the world. So you can see how I’m in a tough spot.

  14. I believed it was important to recognize that Mr. Clarke’s character was unfairly attacked for political purposes

    In other news, G. Gordon Liddy complains that his office was burglarized. And our top story this hour: The New York Times and Fox News trade accusations of bias.

  15. I’m in the unusual position of supporting joe on this one. Clarke is an interesting figure, his career having spanned multiple administrations and torturous political turns. What I think it boils down to is the current crop of Republicans taste for simple, clear, black/white answers to everything. When answers or opinions are at all nuanced, complex, dependent upon context or situation, or worst of all contrary to prevailing neocon doctrine, they treat it suspiciously, or with contempt. When those answers fail to glorify the purveyors of that doctrine, they attack.

  16. It was more than that White Anglo, etc.,

    Dr. “Fist” Frist plainly showed himself to be a sleazeball here.

  17. Frist’s heart was obviously not in it when he gave that speech. He looked like he was making a hostage tape. He’d manage to work up some passion for a moment, and then just slump at the podium.

    “Someday, I may ask you for a favor…”

  18. Anglos Saxon dude,
    You had better watch it. Today you agree with Joe, tommorrow you oppose private property. It is a slippery slope dude, be careful!

  19. The enemy of my enemy isn’t necessarily my friend, the friend of my enemy is not necessarily my enemy. I’ll give joe his props when I think he’s right. Just a little thing I like to call civilized behavior.

  20. Yeah, I was just kidding.

  21. I respect private property.

    I’ve got my eye on this guy’s building on the corner…

    Ha ha ha

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.