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[] Anti-Terror Pioneer Turns In the Badge (Dick Clarke),

Eher eine etwas sentimentale Lobeshymne, aber dennoch interessant wegen
der Infos über die interministeriellen Grabenkämpfe. Ein paar nette
Zitate sind auch drin, etwa dies:
"I already don't miss it," he said of Washington. Asked to elaborate,
he replied: "You know that great feeling you get when you stop banging
your head against a wall?"

Anti-Terror Pioneer Turns In the Badge

By Barton Gellman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 13, 2003; Page A21 

On Feb. 21, the last day of an 11-year White House marathon, Richard
A. Clarke walked into his office and turned in a gear bag fit for a
Hollywood spook. From pockets and cases he shed an encrypted mobile
phone, a satellite phone, a "priority service" mobile phone, a secure
home phone and still another government cell phone.

Then came a .357 Magnum SIG-Sauer semiautomatic with jacketed
hollow-points, and the special deputy U.S. marshal's badge that went
with it.

Clarke was one of only three White House officials -- in any recent
administration -- known to have packed a pistol for protection. There
were times, friends joked, when he could have used it in interagency
combat. The Secret Service authorized the gun for another reason:  
Until last year, Clarke coordinated U.S. efforts to hunt and kill al
Qaeda's senior leaders, and there was evidence that al Qaeda preferred
to reverse the transaction. In 1999, in an episode not disclosed
before, Clarke abandoned his house for a month and acquired a
temporary Secret Service detail when Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
passed urgent (and ultimately uncorroborated) word that an al Qaeda
hit team had been dispatched for him.

Clarke's departure is a milestone of sorts in the war on terrorism --
not only the one that dates from Sept. 11, 2001, but the one that
began in earnest five years earlier. And it tells government-watchers
something about the decisionmaking style of the national security
cabinet under President Bush.

Clarke, 52, reached the peak of his influence under President Bill
Clinton, after serving presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush
as deputy assistant and assistant secretary of state. The present
commander-in-chief is said to like Clarke -- he sent him a warm,
handwritten note and invited him to the Oval Office on Feb. 19 for a
goodbye chat -- but Clarke's bulldozing style did not fit as well with
the quiet consensus that the White House looks for now.

He submitted his resignation two months after White House foes blocked
his selection as deputy secretary, under Tom Ridge, of the new
Homeland Security Department. Clarke had made it clear he would not
accept a lesser position.

According to available records and memories, no one has served longer
continuously on the senior White House staff. The average stint is
about two years. Clarke reached that mark in 1994.

In New York recently, he made the rounds of a new world of
opportunities -- at a brokerage house, a television network, two think
tanks and a publisher who wants to commission a pair of books.  
Stopping for coffee and cheesecake between meetings, a man long seen
as a lifer in the Senior Executive Service described himself as
relieved that he did not get the Homeland Security job.

"I already don't miss it," he said of Washington. Asked to elaborate,
he replied: "You know that great feeling you get when you stop banging
your head against a wall?"

Clarke was the government's first counterterrorism czar -- formally
from 1998 to 2002, but in practice beginning in 1995. Security
officials, friends and foes alike, said no one rivaled him as a spur
to action. He was the first to draw effective attention to the risk
that terrorists would acquire nuclear, biological and chemical
weapons, the first to force concrete steps to protect critical
information networks from cyberattack, and a dominant voice for
spending money and covert resources against terrorists at a time when
government was inclined to perceive them as a minor threat.

His style was seldom delicate.

"Clarke is a bully, but he has an absolute talent for making the
government move," said the chief of one U.S. intelligence agency, who
clashed with him in a previous post. "Dick wanted to see everybody put
their parochial interests aside, and people didn't always do that."

Widely respected, Clarke was also widely disliked. Some rivals
admitted privately, in interviews, to celebrating his departure.

"If you don't have enemies in the interagency, then you're not doing
the job," said Roger Cressey, Clarke's deputy at the National Security
Council and chief of staff more recently at the President's Critical
Infrastructure Protection Board. "There are a lot of people in
government who believe a consensus-based approach is the only way to
get things done. There are some issues on which consensus is never
going to happen. Dick was a master at rejecting the
least-common-denominator approach and demanding more."

Under Clinton, Clarke had carte blanche from national security
advisers Anthony Lake and Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger to blow past
bureaucratic turf lines and assume operating and budgetary powers that
were nowhere specified by statute or executive order. Berger said he
regularly turned down demands that he fire Clarke.

Clarke had the political cover to roll two Treasury secretaries on
funding for a terrorist-asset tracking center -- Robert E. Rubin and
Lawrence H. Summers both opposed it, but Clarke pushed the money
through Congress and the Office of Management and Budget. When the FBI
and State Department clashed in Yemen after the 2000 bombing of the
USS Cole, it was Clarke who brought together the secretary of state
and the attorney general to decide lines of command.

His biggest loss came when a technology he championed, the armed
Predator drone, proved five months before the Sept. 11 attacks that it
could find and kill individuals. Clarke wanted to set it loose on
Osama bin Laden. "Usually the CIA supported him, but on this one the
directorate of operations resisted," said Michael Sheehan, State's
former counterterrorism coordinator.

"Probably no one before or no one after is likely to exert such
influence over these agencies that traditionally resist White House
interference," Sheehan said. "They had a symbiotic relationship. Dick
got them money from OMB . . . and political clearance for sensitive
issues. In return, they worked with him . . . sometimes begrudgingly."

One close friend in government said, "Dick would just get into a foul
mood sometimes and say things that made enemies of people forever,
because he belittled them publicly," the friend said. "That used to be
one of my jobs: to close the doors and go and yell at him." In the
end, though, Lake and Berger "were prepared to clean up after him
because he got things done."

The Bush White House works differently, valuing consensus and
rewarding longtime loyalists. Clarke earned the confidence of Ridge
and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, but neither encouraged
him to break crockery if his proposals stalled. Some Bush partisans
suspected him as a Clinton holdover. And Clarke had uneven
relationships with Bush Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr., White House
Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and Lawrence Lindsey, Bush's former top
economic adviser.

Clarke consented to a goodbye party at the Army and Navy Club. "Only
my friends -- it was a small group," he said. He delivered the line
ironically, but not altogether in jest. Ridge turned up, but no other
Bush appointee outside the career security establishment.

Attrition diminished Clarke's closest cohort of allies. They included
Charles E. Allen, the CIA's assistant director for collection, and
Cofer Black, its former counterterrorism chief; Dale Watson and the
late John O'Neill, who ran the FBI's counterterrorism operations; and
Sheehan at the State Department. More recently he relied on Cressey,
FBI cyberwarrior Ronald Dick and John Tritak, chief of the Commerce
Department's Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office. All but Allen
and Black are gone now.

Some of them have said privately the White House gutted the central
project of Clarke's final year, a strategy to protect cyberspace from
terrorists. He wanted, for example, a presidential call to Internet
service providers to integrate security measures into every account,
but was rebuffed by opponents hostile to any hint of regulation.

Clarke, in the interview, maintained that the core of his strategy
remained intact. "I'm enormously proud of it, and want to be
associated with it," he said.

Among friends, Clarke is skeptical that the coming war with Iraq is
integral to the war on terrorism, as the White House maintains. He
describes it as a diversion of scarce resources and a wedge between
Washington and critical allies in destroying al Qaeda. Until late last
year, he has said, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein would not have been
among the top suspects should al Qaeda manage to acquire a weapon of
mass destruction. Now, with Hussein's regime on the brink of falling,
he will.

If and when the next attack comes, somebody else will get to cancel
his plans and sleep on an office couch. No one schedules Clarke's
travels now but Clarke. His first trip after he resigned was to the
British Virgin Islands.

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