Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Richard Clarke to Stump for Obama in Mass.

Metrowest Daily News (Framingham, MA): Former Bush counter-terrorism adviser to stump for Obama in Sudbury


A past presidential adviser and longtime critic of the Bush administration will speak at a local fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama later this month.

Richard A. Clarke, former counter-terrorism adviser to both former President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush, is scheduled to appear at an Obama fundraiser on Sept. 26 in Sudbury.
Clarke has spent the last several years criticizing Bush's handling of Al Qaeda before Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the administration's rationale for invading Iraq in 2003.

Clarke is on the faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he teaches a course called "Terrorism and the American Response" as an adjunct lecturer in public policy. Sudbury resident Doug Barth, who attended the Kennedy School, got in touch with Clarke through a mutual friend and sent Clarke an e-mail invitation.

"He responded in 30 seconds: 'I'll be there,' " said Barth.


Clarke, who served as counter-terrorism chief for Bush until March 2003, has charged that the Bush administration ignored al Qaeda up until Sept. 11, 2001, then reacted poorly. From the beginning, Bush's focus was on Iraq, not terrorism, he has argued.

In June, the Senate released a report that reportedly concluded the Bush administration exaggerated available intelligence and ignored disagreements between intelligence agencies about Iraq's weapons programs and ties to al Qaeda. In response to the report, Clarke ripped into the administration during an interview with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.

"These weren't close calls; they made things up," Clarke said about the White House's case leading up to the war.

Later in the interview, he said decision-makers involved with the war should ask forgiveness from Americans in a forum like a "truth and reconciliation" commission used in some countries.

"Someone should have to pay in some way for the decisions they made to mislead the American people,"
Clarke told Olbermann.

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