This testimony was unbelievable-- I could not turn off the TV while this was on. Every American, regardless of political affiliation, needs to listen to Dick Clarke's testimony. This is about as dramatic as insider as politics gets. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
That is how I have to describe Mr. Clarke . . . this kind of eloquence and candor is not something I ever expected to ever witness in politics.
And a HUGE thank you to audible for offering these selections for free. Instead of listening to the news media sound bites, it is so much better to listen to the real deal and judge for yourself.
Richard Clarke is not a hero; his testimony doesn't rise to the level of combat bravery, nor was his political career jeopardized by his statements (he retired from public service). But there should be a concept to fit him, I know not its name, between Noble American and Hero. That's where statesmen who do the right thing reside in the pages of history. Mainly, it is the background of corruption that is hallmark of the Bush administration which highlights Mr. Clarke, the latest, all-too-rare embodiment of the best in all of us.
Thank you, Audible, for this free service. I live overseas and really enjoy keeping up on public affairs.
Could you also offer election debates, State of the Union speeches, etc?
Besides making me happy, I think this kind of free service would be a good way to get people to try out Audible.
So many of the other reviews I have read are based on partisan bias... either for Clarke if you lean to the left or against Clarke if you lean to the right. But this testimony has nothing to do with partisan politics. Clarke has had his position since the Reagan administration and has served under both republican and democratic administrations. And his only agenda is to protect the citizens of the United States and to ensure that 9/11 doesn't happen again. Even he says that while there were things that could have been done to possibly help avoid what happened, to fully blame the Bush administration is hindsight.
My point is that you're missing the point if you let your own political bias affect what you hear in this testimony. This is about history and we should learn from the mistakes made. This can not happen when partisan views cloud everything you see.
Clarke?s testimony, along with that of the other witnesses, is every bit as gripping as a Tom Clancy narrative. Regardless of political affiliation it is every American's patriotic duty to listen to the testimony of the witnesses that appear before the 9-11 Commission. In this case it?s a very rewarding duty. Strip away political affiliations and these recordings provide a rare and comprehensive look at the inner workings of our government. This is a rare chance to hear some of the most powerful people in the world describe, under oath, how the U.S. government functions. It?s a chance to get an insiders view of the events that surrounded one of the greatest tragedies in American history, don?t miss it!
Dick Clarke's testimony was honest, credible, and consistent. I believe the people of the USA need to hear the truth about what was and was not done prior to 9-11. President Bush and his cabinet rode high on the glory for their activities after 9-11. When all along they should have taken responsibility for their inactivates prior to 9-11. The American people deserve better. Former President Clinton did not receive enough credit for his efforts. If you found Mr. Clarke's testimony interesting then do yourself a favor and purchase his book. It will explain much about the world and the growth of terrorism in the last 30 years.
I'd suggest you listen to the staff briefings first. That gives you the background to understand this and the other testimony better. They're dry, but important to the big picture. Clarke is arrogant and it comes shining through, but he also provides very specific answers to very specific questions, including in answer to a question as to whether a Condy Rice statement about an agressive master Bush plan was true. His complete answer is "No" (not much ambiguity there).
The book and these hearings are not about the same thing. The book takes Bush to task for being obsessed about Iraq from day one and therefore missing out on the threat of terror. This hearing deals just with 9/11 and largely with being able to get Bin Laden. Very informative and thanks Audible/CSPAN for providing it free.
It's not surprising that the White House and Republican leaders in Congress are furious over this testimony. Mr. Clarke, who is very believable, lays bare his feelings of frustration with the Bush administration's handling of the terrorist threat in the months leading up to 9-11. While Mr. Clarke has criticism of the Clinton administration as well on handling of terrorism, his strongest and most passionate condemnation goes to the invasion of Iraq, which he believes was unwarranted and drew resources away from fighting Al Qaeda.
Also highly recommend Terry Gross's interview on NPR's Fresh Aire with Mr. Clarke.
A widely respected career civil servant, Richard Clarke served as the chief anti-terrorism expert under the last four Presidents. Whether you agree with his criticisms of the Bush Administration or not, there can be no doubt that he was there, right in the thick of it.
Clarke's job put him at the center of action during the fist WTC attack, the Khobar Towers bombing, the U.S. African embassy bombings, the attack on the U.S.S. Cole, the aborted Millennium bombing plot, and finally the horrific events of 9-11. Clarke knows where the counter-terrorism bodies are buried since he buried many of them himself.
Clarke has strong, but informed, views regarding what was done right and what wasn't, and isn't shy about describing either. His credentials, combined with the timing of his book make his testimony central to the 9/11 Commission's efforts as well as a major factor in the 2004 Presidential election.
Clarke will either be remembered as the man that brought down Geore W. Bush or utterly discredited as the biggest liar in the history of ex-staffers.
Whatever your political views, you need to hear what Clarke has to say. I can't wait for Audible.com to make Clarke's new book "Against All Enemies" available.
Kudos to Audible.com for making Clarke's testimony an the rest of these historic proceedings available at no cost. It is a genuine public service.
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