In his rant against Chris Wallace of Fox News on Friday, former president Bill Clinton claimed that (bold is mine):
I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke.
You would wait forever for someone in The 527 Media to do what blogger Patterico did earlier today. In the course of a longer entry dispelling other myths and falsehoods in the Clinton-Wallace interview, Patterico busted the Clinton claim about the anti-terror transition from his administration to the incoming Bush Adminstration. He located this interview of Richard Clarke in early 2002 that was cleared for distribution by the White House in 2004 and published at Fox News' web site in March of that year.
Answering the very first question in the interview, Clarke said exactly the opposite (bold is mine) of what Bill Clinton claimed on Friday:
Transcript: Clarke Praises Bush Team in '02
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
RICHARD CLARKE: Actually, I've got about seven points, let me just go through them quickly. Um, the first point, I think the overall point is, there was no plan on Al Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration.
One would think that a "comprehensive plan" would have included at least a little something something on Al Qaeda, no?
That statement to Chris Wallace about the transition was a lie, Mr. Clinton, and your own guy said so.
Maybe that "comprehensive plan" was on one of the laptops that was stolen by Clinton-Gore staffers, or in one of the vandalized desks that had to be thrown away, when they moved out of their offices in January 2001:
A public-interest law firm claims that Clinton-Gore staffers allegedly stole computer laptops from the White House when they left in January.
"I know based on sources who have proved credible in the past, that Bush officials – whether they be career staff or political staff – have knowledge that laptops were stolen," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
..... Fitton, citing Judicial Watch's same unnamed White House sources, says that "virtually every" desk in the vice president's suite of offices in the Eisenhower Building, or Old Executive Office Building, which is adjacent to the West Wing, had to be replaced because outgoing Clinton-Gore staffers had vandalized them.
The overall point, based on the behavior of outgoing administration's staff, is that there is very good reason to doubt if there was any kind of effective transition in any area from Clinton to Bush. I also see no good reason to believe that anti-terror strategy would have received a transition treatment any more mature than that seen in other matters.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.