Video: Clarke offers apology

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updated 3/24/2004 4:39:46 PM ET 2004-03-24T21:39:46

There’s a big difference between analyzing and assessing what he is saying happened pre-9/11 versus post-9/11, and turning 9/11 into a political battleground.

Former terror czar Richard Clarke’s new book alleges that the Bush administration ignored the al Qaida threat before 9/11 and wasted precious resources after 9/11 by focusing so much on Iraq instead of al Qaida. The administration says the allegations are “myths.” 

The post-9/11 allegations are important political and policy issues that must be examined by everyone to determine whether they are true.  But when it comes to pre-9/11, let’s leave the public rhetoric and analysis to the bipartisan 9/11 Commission hearing testimony. Clarke says he was clamoring for meetings with the President throughout the summer to warn of a possible al Qaida attack. I think almost everyone would now agree our intelligence agencies dropped the ball. The bottom line is, there were few people like Clarke and terrorism expert Steve Emerson screaming for years that “al Qaida’s coming.”

Clarke also claims the Clinton White House was more concerned about al Qaida than was the Bush administration.  Well, whether that’s true or not, neither administration put out any sort of all-points alert about an upcoming attack, even though the attack was planned and executed during both administrations. Those who say that one party or the other would have, should have prevented 9/11, I think are taking political cheap shots. 

'The Closing Argument' is a regular segment on 'The Abrams Report.' 'The Abrams Report' airs weeknights, 6 p.m. ET.

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