Wednesday, March 24, 2004

U.S.: One commissioner has balls

9/11 Commission member, former Navy Secretary John Lehman ripped ex-terrorism czar Richard Clarke Wednesday afternoon for cashing in on this week's public hearings into America's worst disaster by using the forum to peddle his book.
"But now we have the book," Lehman noted. "I've published books before and I must must say that I am green with envy at the promotion department of your publisher."

Continued Lehman: "I never got [Commission member] Jim Thompson to stand before 50 photographers reading your book. And I certainly never got '60 Minutes' to coordinate the showing of its interview with you with 15 network news broadcasts, the selling of the movie rights and your appearance here today."

Clarke has 'Credibility Problem'

Lehman said that when he started to read press accounts of Clarke's book, "I said to myself, this can't be the same Dick Clarke that testified before us, because all of the promotional material and all of the spin in the networks was that this is a roundly, devastating attack - this book - on President Bush.

"That's not what I heard in the [private Commission] interviews.

"And I hope you're going to tell me, as you apologize to all the families for all of us who were involved in national security, that this tremendous difference - and not just in nuance but in the stories you choose to tell - is really the result of your editors and your promoters rather than your studied judgment."

Lehman then blasted:

[Your book] is so different from the whole thrust of your testimony to us. And similarly, when you add to it, the inconsistencies between what your promoters are putting out and what you yourself said as late as [last] August 5, you've got a real credibility problem."

Lehman concluded:

"Because of my real, genuine, longtime admiration for you, I hope you'll resolve that credibility problem because I'd hate to see you become totally shoved to one side during the presidential campaign as an active partisan selling a book."
Looks like he kicked Clarke in his.


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