Richard Clarke

Richard Clarke, former counter-terrorism coordinator in the White House and author of Against all Enemies, spoke at Berkeley last night to a packed auditorium.

He came across as civilized, well-informed, thoughtful; and genuinely contrite that he and his colleagues had failed to convince the Bush administration of the importance of pre-empting an attack by Al Queda.

I disagreed, however, with his notion that it is desirable to create competing intelligence institutions, in order to promote diversity of opinion. If a challenge function is needed, it can be created within the institution.

Published by Owen Barder

Owen is Senior Fellow and Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development and a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics. Owen was a civil servant for a quarter of a century, working in Number 10, the Treasury and the Department for International Development. Owen hosts the Development Drums podcast, and is the author Running for Fitness, the book and website. Owen is on Twitter and

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