One line of adminstration

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One line of adminstration attack against Richard Clarke is that he appears to be a friend of Rand Beers, John Kerry’s chief foriegn policy advisor. They even teach (or taught, I’m not sure) a course together at the Kennedy School.

On the surface this sounds like decent evidence of Clarke’s political ties and possible political motivations.

But pressing this line of attack mostly shows that President Bush is running to be president of the amnesiacs.

Here’s why.

Who is Rand Beers exactly? He’s a career government national security expert specializing in intelligence and counter-terrorism. He’s a registered Democrat. But his profile is that of an apolitical civil servant — enough so that he was asked to work for Reagan, Bush, Clinton and the current President Bush in various capacities.

In August 2002 Condi Rice hired him to be the special assistant to the president for combating terrorism at the NSC. In a sense that was the job that Clarke had before 9/11, although by that point the chairs had been shuffled around so much that no direct comparison is really possible.

In any case, he came in in August 2002 and he resigned about seven months later, a few days before the beginning of the war. Eight weeks after that he signed up to work for John Kerry. A good summary of Beers’ story can be found here in this June 16th, 2003 article in the Washington Post.

When you look at it, Beers’ and Clarke’s stories sound quite similar.

And the pattern suggests two possible theories.

The first is that President Bush has the odd misfortune of repeatedly hiring Democratic party stooges for key counter-terrorism assignments who stab him in the back as soon as they leave his employ.

The second is that anyone the president hires in a key counter-terrorism role who is not either a hidebound ideologue or a Bush loyalist gets so disgusted with the mismanagement and/or dishonesty that they eventually quit and then devote themselves to driving the president from office.

Which sounds more likely?

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