Robert Novak makes Dick Clarke sound even more petty:
Clarke was not only the hero but also obviously a prime source of “Losing Bin Laden.” Miniter for the first time revealed, directly quoting Clarke, the meeting of “principals” (Cabinet-level officials) on Oct. 12, 2000, after the terrorist attack on the USS Cole. The vote was 7 to 1 against an attack on Osama bin Laden. Only Clarke wanted action.
In his own book, Clarke quickly brushes off the Cole meeting that he described in detail to Miniter. Instead of complaining about Clinton’s failure to come to grips with al Qaeda and bin Laden, Clarke recites what sounds like Democratic talking points. He even interprets U.S. intervention in Bosnia as having “defeated al Qaeda,” adding that Clinton “had seen earlier than anyone that terrorism would be the major new threat facing America.”
Clarke’s experience with the Bush administration appeared to heighten his appreciation of Clinton. Whereas he had briefed Clinton, Bush was briefed by CIA Director George Tenet. Clarke found himself at “deputies” rather than “principals” meetings. The final indignity was his rejection by Secretary Tom Ridge for a high-ranking Homeland Security post.