Clarke Urges Terror Debate Richard Clarke, the former Bush adviser who has said the president's emphasis on Iraq undermined U.S. anti-terror efforts, says he welcomes a Republican suggestion to declassify documents from his days on the Bush team. Clarke says he wants to "stimulate the public debate" on how the U.S. government is doing in the war on terrorism. NPR's Libby Lewis reports.
NPR logo

Clarke Urges 'Debate' on Terror Preparations

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1794680/1796047" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Clarke Urges 'Debate' on Terror Preparations

Clarke Urges 'Debate' on Terror Preparations

Book, Battle with Bush Team Lift Ex-Adviser into Public Eye

Clarke Urges 'Debate' on Terror Preparations

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1794680/1796047" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Web Extra: Why U.S. Missed Al Qaeda

Only Available in Archive Formats.

Assessing Richard Clarke's Testimony

Only Available in Archive Formats.

Richard Clarke testifies at Sept. 11 hearings. Reuters hide caption

toggle caption
Reuters

Two days of public hearings by the Sept. 11 commission — and the timing of his new book — have thrust counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke into a highly publicized battle with the Bush administration.

Clarke tells NPR's Libby Lewis that he wants to stimulate public debate about the status of the war against terrorism.

Clarke served as an adviser to four presidents, starting with the Reagan administration, but left the Bush team after the Sept. 11 attacks. His assertion that President Bush undercut efforts to combat al Qaeda by focusing on Iraq has been rejected by the president and aggressively rebutted by Condoleezza Rice, Bush's national security adviser. But the debate rages on in the media and in political and academic circles.

Clarke's charges are detailed in the book Against All Enemies, which appeared days before his appearance at the hearings.

Web Extra: Clarke Urges Sept. 11 Debate

Listen On Bush, Sept. 11

Listen Events of Sept. 11

Listen Declassifying Documents

Those hearings, held March 23 and March 24, also produced testimony from a number of witnesses who served at the highest levels of government during the Clinton and Bush administrations. Those who appeared publicly before the full panel included former and current secretaries of state Albright and Powell, former and current secretaries of defense Cohen and Rumsfeld, and CIA Director George Tenet, who has served under both presidents.

The panel has yet to hear from President Bush, President Clinton or Vice President Cheney. All will be interviewed privately in coming weeks as the commission prepares a final report due in July.