April 13, 2004

Richard Clarke, Incompetent Bureaucrat

Richard Clarke is always trumpeted as THE expert on counter terrorism, especially by his supporters in Big Media. (I suppose the first clue that he should be extremely knowledgeable about counter-terrorism was probably the fact that his title included the word "counter-terrorism.") I've also read that Richard Clarke was the consummate bureaucratic player, or as the Washington Post liked to put it, an alpha-bureaucrat, and if anyone can recognize a top-notch bureaucratic player in Washington, D.C., it would be the Washington Post. So, if there was anyone who could turn good information into effective policy it would be Richard Clarke, right?

Au contraire.

As someone who has served in middle management for several years, what I have found is that it is up to me to make a concise, compelling and convincing case to my management for whatever I want to do. The time of those above me in the food chain is limited and precious. The higher up you go the more this truism holds, and you don't get any higher than the President of the United States. Given Richard Clarke's inability, by his own admission, to convince anyone above him (in either the Clinton or Bush administrations) of the need to take truly extraordinary actions to prevent terrorism within the US by Al Qaeda, I can only conclude that he either didn't believe in what he had to sell or he did a piss-poor job of selling it. Either way, Richard Clarke does not merit the trust or respect he has been accorded as a big time player through the release of his book and his testimony before the 9/11 Commission.

I'll give Dick Clarke and Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror
a 4. I don't like his tune and I can't dance to it. Talk about a one hit wonder...

Posted by Charles Austin at April 13, 2004 03:03 PM