The Richard Clarke Show
In March of this year, a hitherto unheralded book threatened (or, depending on your point of view, promised) to turn the 2004 presidential election on its head. The author was Richard Clarke, a career government official who had served as chief of counterterrorism under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The book, Against All Enemies,1 accused Bush of having failed the nation grievously on the very issue on which the President’s case for a second term would inevitably rest—namely, his response to the threat to the nation’s security that manifested itself so terrifyingly in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
The book’s release date had been pushed forward to coincide with public hearings held by the government commission appointed to probe the 9/11 catastrophe. Stoked by Clarke’s appearance as a witness, which he opened with a dramatic apology to the victims’ kin for the government’s failure to forestall the attack, Against All Enemies became overnight the publishing event of the season. Predictably, Clarke’s agent soon announced that he was fielding bids for movie rights.
About the Author
Joshua Muravchik, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is working on a book about Arab and Muslim democrats.