Richard Clarke, the counter—terror official on whose watch Able Danger warnings were ignored, has apparently taken his reported 7 figure book advance and founded a consultancy. That might explain why he makes some downright peculiar comments in an interview with Walter Pincus of the Washington Post. Severe terror threats, or at least the perception of severe terror threats, builds the market for these services, after all.

Another factor that so far may have prevented an al Qaeda attack here, Clarke said, is that bin Laden's group has traditionally relied on support from the indigenous population —— and, unlike Europe, the United States "has no internal, large, alienated Arab population."

I had no idea that Arabs were indigenous to Europe. Who knew?

Clarke took sharp issue with President Bush's repeated statements that by fighting terrorists abroad, the administration is preventing attacks in this country. "That is illogical on its face," Clarke said. Citing bombings in Madrid and London, Clarke said that "absolutely nothing prevents them from coming here."

I suppose this is where the business card gets passed—out.

Ed Lasky   8 31 05