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.

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