In January 2002, the Enron story broke and the media turned their attention to the critical question: how can we pin this on Bush? As I wrote in this space that weekend: “Short answer: You can’t.”
So Enron retreated to the business pages, and, after a while, the media and the Democrats came up with an even better wheeze: how can we pin September 11 on Bush? Same answer: you can’t. But that doesn’t stop them every month or so from taking a wild ride on defective vehicles for their crazy scheme.
The latest is a mid-level bureaucrat called Richard Clarke, and by the time you read this his 15 minutes should be just about up. Mr Clarke was Bill Clinton’s terrorism guy for eight years and George W Bush’s for a somewhat briefer period, and he has now written a book called If Only They’d Listened to Me – whoops, sorry, that should be Against All Enemies: Inside the White House’s War on Terror – What Really Happened (Because They Didn’t Listen to Me).
Having served both the 42nd and 43rd Presidents, Clarke was supposed to be the most authoritative proponent to advance the Democrats’ agreed timeline of the last decade – to whit, from January 1993 to January 2001, Bill Clinton focused like a laser on crafting a brilliant plan to destroy al-Qa’eda, but, alas, just as he had dotted every “i”, crossed every “t” and sent the intern to the photocopier, his eight years was up, so Bill gave it to the new guy as he was showing him the Oval Office – “That carpet under the desk could use replacing. Oh, and here’s my brilliant plan to destroy al-Qa’eda, which you guys really need to implement right away.”
The details of the brilliant plan need not concern us, which is just as well, as there aren’t any. But the broader point, as The New York Times noted, is that “there was at least no question about the Clinton administration’s commitment to combat terrorism”.
Yessir, for eight years the Clinton administration was relentless in its commitment: no sooner did al-Qa’eda bomb the World Trade Center first time round, or blow up an American embassy, or a barracks, or a warship, or turn an entire nation into a terrorist training camp, than the Clinton team would redouble their determination to sit down and talk through the options for a couple more years. Then Bush took over and suddenly the superbly successful fight against terror all went to hell.nservative writers strike back! First the Kraut, now Steyn. I love it!