Although the book amounts to a chronicle of what many in the present Bush administration did wrong (and what Clarke and Clinton did right), it is neither shrill nor overly self-congratulatory. Unlike some of the books Slate has diced and julienned in this space, this one's worth reading, mostly for Clarke's informed account of al-Qaida's rise and the U.S. government's awareness of the threat. But since you may not have time to read the whole thing, Slate presents Clarke's most salient pieces of criticism and praise.
Bottom line, the Clinton administration did a good job and they'd have done an even better job if the hell-hounds of the Republican party had not been striving to destroy Clinton.
It's not so much that the Bush cronies did a bad job. Yes, they were arrogant and stupidly dismissive of the Clinton administration. Yes, they had severe misconceptions that caused critical delays. Yes, they were obsessed with Iraq and missed the bigger picture. Yes, Bush is not a strong thinker. BUT, despite their myriad failings, they were heading in the right direction. They're arrogant, foolish, irrational and often wrong -- but they're not dumb.
No, what really enrages Bush et al is how well the Clinton administration comes across. They are left with two terrible, unthinkable and thus far unspoken conclusions:
1. Gore might well have done better than Bush at preventing 9/11.
2. If Clinton had not been impeached, 9/11 might have been stopped.
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