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Arretez Ces Enfants!
by Isaiah Z. Sterrett
01 April 2004

Richard Clarke is the only man in Washington who flip-flops more than John Kerry.


I guess you can’t expect much maturity from the party of Lyndon Johnson, who revealed his surgical scars to reporters, or Bill Clinton, who revealed his, well, Johnson, to half the girls between Little Rock and D.C.  Still, you’d think being at war would evoke some seriousness in Democrats.

The big story for the past few days has been the unfolding drama of Richard Clarke, the only man in Washington who flip-flops more than John Kerry.

Clarke wasn’t important enough to appear in the index of Sean Hannity’s first bestseller, Let Freedom Ring; Ann Coulter’s second bestseller, Treason; Bob Woodward’s 2002 book Bush At War; or Bill Sammon’s 2002 Fighting Back:  The War on Terrorism from Inside the Bush White House.  Dick Cheney told Time magazine, “I don’t know the guy that well.”

Indeed, hardly anybody knew him a month ago, but those who did were at least honest enough to call him what he was:  head of cybersecurity.  In this rather unimpressive capacity he did, for example, an interview with NPR about “improvements in computer security.”  That was the extent of his public existence.  He was the paranoid White House computer geek.

But now that he’s written a book—which must not be as hard as I once thought—the press has promoted him.  Now he’s Richard Clarke, “counterterrorism chief,” according to, ironically, NPR, the International Herald Tribune, the Miami Herald, Time, CBS’s 60 Minutes, and even Fox News Channel.  Also, needless to say, the Newspaper of Record has taken to lying about his former position.

And even now, after it has been fairly conclusively proven that Clarke is a liar, the mainstream media continues to talk about him as if he’s some sort of authority.  This week’s Time asked “How Credible Is Clark?”  The Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a detailed profile of Clarke’s life.  In the New York Times’ review of Clarke’s book, they treat everything as incontestable fact.

They called it “explosive,” “a rarity among Washington-insider memoirs,” and “ a thumping good read.”  Clarke, they said, is the “former counterterrorism czar,” and “the ultimate White House insider.” 

They also repeated the Democrats’ tired claim that Bush had an “obsession” with Iraq after September 11.  Never mind that regime-change had been the specific policy of the United States since 1998; never mind that we attacked Afghanistan over a year before Iraq; and never mind that everybody in the Administration who actually voted for Bush—Clarke, by his own admission, did not—says Bush was totally focused on defeating the Taliban and dismantling al-Qaeda.  Clearly, the demoted computer guy is the one with the answers.

Because of Clarke’s allegations, liberals are hopping with glee at the thought of Condoleezza Rice, the smartest, classiest woman in Washington, testifying publicly before the 9/11 Commission.  Like ditzy teenage girls fantasizing about dating Johnny Depp, Democrats know they’re not going to get anything out of her, but they have a fetishistic infatuation with discussing it ad nauseum.

Frankly, it’s kind of silly that they want Dr. Rice to speak at all.  She’s brighter than most people in Congress—especially the people with Ds next to their names—and, like Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush himself, she’s indomitable.  Unlike the opposition, you see, she’s a grownup.

Since approximately November 2001 Democrats have been acting like unruly children defying their parents.  We had just been attacked by fundamentalist Islamic terrorists.  They’d rammed airliners into two skyscrapers, the Pentagon, and attempted to crash a fourth jet into an additional Washington building.  In response to the bloodshed, Sen. Tom Daschle cautioned President Bush by noting that, “[w]ar is a powerful word.”  Everything went downhill from there.

Condoleezza Rice is a woman who spent decades of her life writing, thinking, teaching, and learning about the proper way to defeat the Soviet Union.  She wrote a book about the reunification of Germany.  She was the provost of Stanford University.  I think she can handle Dick Clarke.  Unfortunately for Democrats, I’m not sure they can handle her.

Isaiah Z. Sterrett, a resident of Aptos, California, is a Lifetime Member of the California Junior Scholarship Federation and a Sustaining Member of the Republican National Committee.

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