Richard Clarke: 'Government Failed You' on Security

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Richard A.. Clarke

Richard A. Clarke's new book argues that mediocrity and entropy are "endemic" in America's national-security apparatus — and proposes a way forward. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke worked for the government for 30 years under several presidents, including Ronald Reagan, both George Bushes and Bill Clinton. And in a new book, he's charging that the nation is unacceptably vulnerable to cyber-terrorism — a result of what he says is a culture of mediocrity in U.S. national-security programs.

Under George W. Bush, Clarke served as Special Adviser to the President for Cyberspace Security. During the 9/11 Commission hearings, Clarke offered apologies to the families of those killed in the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, stating that both he and the government failed the country.

Clarke now heads a security consulting firm in Virginia. He is also a contributor to ABC News and teaches at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. His 2004 memoir about his years in government is called Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror. His new book is called Your Government Failed You: Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters.

Books Featured In This Story

Your Government Failed You

Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters

by Richard A. Clarke

Hardcover, 408 pages |


Purchase Featured Book

Your Government Failed You
Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters
Richard A. Clarke

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from