Richard Clarke: Success is failure

From the man who apologized for missing the signs before 9-11-01:

Clarke said the near miss of an attack potentially more lethal than those of Sept. 11, 2001, “reminds us of the failure of the Bush administration to improve our homeland security, including aviation security.”

It wasn’t exactly a near-miss, at least not in the usual meaning of that term. The suspects had been under watch for months. They were rounded up now because they were about to go within a few days. Had they gotten the trigger word two weeks ago, they would have been rounded up two weeks ago. If it had been a month from now, a month from now we would be hearing about it. The UK had a mole on the inside, good intel from the US and the ability to stop the plot even though it had connections far outside the UK. And the bottom line is, the planned attack was foiled. That’s a pretty good failure if you ask me. And it does suggest that some security policies are indeed working, as is the transatlantic alliance.

What Clarke is suggesting is that even in stopping terrorism, we fail. You stop it, you’ve failed. You don’t stop it, you’ve failed. It’s literally a no-win situation he’s setting up. And he used to be the country’s go-to guy on anti-terrorism.

What Clarke is now, is one more argument to keep every Democrat as far from the levers of national security power as possible. The Republicans aren’t perfect, but at least they’re not–literally–defeatocrats.

(h/t bwb)