Check out the Salon article on Clarke’s reaction to Rice’s testimony. Or listen to it on All Things Considered.


The White House is scrambling to deny everything and make everyone else look bad. Clarke is trying to take responsibility and cast it off at the same time. Congress is trying to find a “smoking gun.” Everyone is running around trying to find the blame and pin it on someone. It’s pathetic.

In the end, it’s all Monday morning quarterbacking. NOTHING could have stopped 9/11. The very freedom we enjoyed (note past tense in recognition of the Patriot Act) enabled 9/11 to happen. The White House cheapens itself by discrediting Clarke, but given the environment surrounding the inquiry, they’re just playing the game as best they can.

Clarke is a mixed bag. He blames everyone and himself for 9/11, yet states that nothing he recommended would have stopped it. His testimony is a wash, and at this point it would probably have been better if he’d just kept his mouth shut.

The panel of inquiry is an exercise in futility. If a terrible, terrible accident happened to your loved ones, you would certainly spend agonizing time thinking about the ways in which you could have prevented your tragedy, but such thoughts are ultimately useless. Hindsight is meant to learn, not to assign blame to the guiderails of life for not being strong enough. I’m not sure what crystal ball we were supposed to have, but it probably would have shown a public relations witch hunt in the making.

Maybe this time would be better spent looking at the real perpetrators of 9/11 and understanding the tragic culture that made it their aim to kill Americans. Then perhaps we could address the cause of this horror instead of the symptom.

What a waste.