Former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson (R.) who sits on the panel, held up a copy of the 2002 background briefing Clarke had given reporters. “Mr. Clarke,” he said, “as we sit here this afternoon, we have your book and we have your press briefing of August 2002. Which is true?”
“I was asked to make the case to the press,” Clarke eventually answered. “I was a special assistant to the President, and I made the case I was asked to make.” Said Thompson: “Are you saying . . . you were asked to make an untrue case to the press and the public, and that you want ahead and did it?” After this question, Thompson made Clarke confirm the points he had made in the background briefing, point by point.