Archive for October, 2006

Richard Clarke calls the kettle black

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

In the New York Times of October 1, 2006, “Week in Review” page 10, Richard Clarke’s guest op-ed complains that we lack national unity to fight terrorists. He blames this on (1) the Iraq idiocy, (2) “the administration’s willingness to use 9/11 as an excuse to strengthen presidential power and erode fundamental American civil liberties”, and (3) scaring the voters by yelling about terrorism. Since he’s personally done two out of the three, he should know.

In Mr. Clarke’s own book “Against All Enemies”, he admits how he and Cathal “Irish” Flynn stayed up all night inventing new airport regulations after TWA 800 disintegrated due to a spark in a gas tank (page 122). These new airport regs were secret, and remain secret today. Mr. Clarke seems to see a difference between “erod[ing] fundamental American civil liberties” and “demanding ID from citizens before allowing them to travel”. He doesn’t seem to see any civil liberties problem with creating secret laws, either.

Now that the Supreme Court is considering answering my question about whether Mr. Clarke’s secret law is constitutional, perhaps Mr. Clarke would like to comment on whether the ability to read the law, and the right of citizens to assemble and travel even if they have no ID cards, are “fundamental American civil liberties” that he eroded.