Richard A. Clarke said Wednesday that when he praised the White House for its steadfast attention to the Al Qaeda threat during a 2002 briefing for reporters, he was merely putting spin on Bush administration operations.
Clarke, who appeared before the commission investigating pre-Sept. 11 intelligence, said he was an employee of the White House at the time and he accentuated the positive when he described how the Bush administration had taken action early in its term to find a more aggressive approach to combating Al Qaeda.
“I was asked to make that case to the press, I was a special assistant to the president and I made the case,” Clarke told the commission about the August 2002 briefing. “I was asked to highlight the positive aspects of what the administration had done and to minimize the negative aspects of what the administration had done.”
Clarke added that it was his duty to “put the best face forward on the facts.”
“No one in the White House asked me to say things untruthful and I would not have,” Clarke told the 10-member National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. *snip article*
“So you believed that your conference with the press in August of 2002 is consistent with what you’ve said in your book and what you’ve said in press interviews the last five days about your book?” Thompson asked.
“I do,” Clarke replied. “I think the thing that’s obviously bothering you is the tenor and the tone. And I’ve tried to explain to you, sir, that when you’re on the staff of the president of the United States, you try to make his policies look as good as possible.”*snip article*
Mr. Clarke, the fat lady is singing, sir.