The former senator from Nebraska is on the 9/11 Commission (search) and attacked the Fox News Channel for allowing you, the viewer, to hear Richard Clarke praise President Bush and criticize President Clinton's approach to terrorism. Now that was done in August of 2002.
But now Clarke is saying exactly the opposite in his new book. Talking Points would like to know the truth. Is Richard Clarke playing politics here? I mean, come on. First he says Bush is doing better than Clinton on terrorism. Then he says that's not true. I'm confused.
Let's take another listen to Clarke's statement about the Bush administration's terrorist strategy 19 months ago.
(BEGIN AUDIO TAPE)
RICHARD CLARKE: In the first week in February, uh, decided in principle, uh, in the spring to add to the existing Clinton strategy, and to increase CIA resources, for example for covert action, five-fold, to go after Al Qaeda.
And then changed the strategy from one of rollback with Al Qaeda over the course of five years which it had been, to a new strategy that called for the rapid elimination of Al Qaeda.
(END AUDIO TAPE)
All right, now when he made that statement, he was talking about Mr. Bush being in office for just one month. OK, just keep that in mind. Now Fox News correspondent Jim Angle cleared the tape of Clarke with the feds. So everything was above board. Nevertheless, Bob Kerrey was
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BOB KERREY, D-NEB.: Let me also say this document of Fox News earlier, this transcript that they had, this is a background briefing. And all of us that had provided background briefings for the press before should beware. I mean, Fox should say "occasionally fair and balanced" after putting something like this out because they violated a serious trust. All of us -- all of us that come into this kind of an environment and provide background briefings for the press, I think, will always have this as a reminder that sometimes it isn't going to happen. That is background.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
All right, well that's just nonsense, all right. Just B.S. Fox News is completely in the right here. And all Americans, including Kerrey, should want to know if Richard Clarke is running some kind of game.
Talking Points will tell you once again that both President Bush and President Clinton were not proactive enough in confronting Al Qaeda. Both administrations are at fault.
As for Clarke, well he clearly contradicted himself. And that diminishes his credibility, no matter what his excuse is. And that's the no-spin truth.
And that's the Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Alan Burns was trying to get a little R&R at a resort near Orlando, Florida, when he looked up from his book and noticed a baby hanging from a third floor railing. Michael Jackson, nowhere in sight. Burns moved quickly, saw the child fall, and caught her.
The two-year-old escaped with a bump and some scratches, but, obviously, she could have been killed. Now authorities have arrested the little girl's mother, charging her with child neglect, and we want to congratulate Alan Burns for his heroism.
And the kicker to the story is, according to the St. Petersburg Times, the book he was reading when he saw the little girl was "Who's Looking Out for You?" (search)
Way to look out for that little girl, Alan. Nothing ridiculous about that.