GOP Senator Jon Kyl (Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security and of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, issued the following statement regarding former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke’s comments attributing blame for the September attacks to the Bush administration:
“Dick Clarke appeared before my subcommittee during both the Clinton and Bush years, and I know that his concerns about the government’s response to terrorism long preceded the current administration. Indeed, if we’re going to start assessing blame for 9/11, then one must consider that the Clinton administration had eight years to confront the al-Qaeda threat, and the Bush administration less than eight months.
“So imagine my surprise to learn that, in the course of his book tour, Dick Clarke has chosen to save his sharpest rebukes for the Bush administration, rather than the Clinton team. That may help him with book sales, but it’s not a full or fair assessment of the views I know he held. As I learn more about Clarke’s connections to people on the Kerry presidential campaign, it’s become quite clear that his attacks have more to do with politics than public service. That’s disappointing, to say the least.
“Until Dick Clarke produces his detailed strategy memo that would have have toppled the Taliban government in record time, captured or killed 2/3 of known al-Qaeda leaders, bolstered dramatically intelligence-sharing here at home, and assembled one of the greatest global coalitions in history to go after terrorists all over the world, I’ll find it hard to believe he had a better plan for fighting terrorism than George W. Bush.”