I haven't been paying attention to this latest example of a former Bush employee-turned critic, but it seems to be the most important issue is not his supposed credibility or lack thereof, or imagined motivations or lack thereof, or love affair with Bill Clinton or lack thereof, but rather, and simply, whether he can shed any light on the intelligence & comportment failures that enabled the Sept. 11 massacre.
Right on. It's painfully obvious that a lot of people are looking desperately for excuses not to take Clarke seriously, as though they have no interest in new data that might contradict their ideas about Bush, Iraq, and the war on terror. They appear to have the same disease that many leftists suffered from in the fall of 2001: an inability to revise their worldview in the face of new evidence.
Note: "take Clarke seriously" does not mean "like Clarke personally" or "agree with all of Clarke's analysis" or even "believe everything Clarke says." It does mean weighing the evidence with an open mind, which would require -- for example -- paying at least as much attention to the credibility of Condi Rice, Dick Cheney, et al as you pay to the credibility of the man who's criticizing them.
I'm really pissed off about this. Perhaps too pissed to write about it as coherently as I'd like. For now this will have to do.