The Richard Clarke interview

In case you missed it, Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes interviewed former head of counter-terrorism Richard Clarke tonight. Atrios and Josh Marshall have been all over this story all day, and have done far better analysis than I could, so I suggest you head over there for more indepth coverage.

I will say this much, though. If you've been following this story closely, there weren't any real surprises in what Clark had to say. What I mean is that nothing he said was even remotely out of the range of possibility. After all, the Hart-Rudman Report was virtually ignored in the months leading up to 9-11, and the constant stonewalling of the Kean Commission investigating the September 11 attacks has led to some interesting theories as to the US's state of preparedness in the months preceding it.

What was most interesting about the interview was the level of insider detail that Clarke provided, and the inability of Stephen Hadley to refute the most damning allegation that Bush had confronted Clarke directly asking for a connection between Hussein and al-Qaeda. That moment, combined with Rumsfeld's "hommina hommina hommina" moment last week on Face the Nation (warning: pdf file), makes me wonder if we would even be in Iraq if either the press or the Democratic party had actually done their jobs and questioned these clowns. Their misstatements are getting clumsier and clumsier every day.

And yet, I hesitate to say that any blow we deal them on the credibility front will be death-dealing, because there are still plenty of people like this. Tell me, how much evidence does it take for a true believer to admit that his or her president is really the one full of shit?

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