Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

The Richard Clarke affair. there’s perhaps one thing more explosive than the damning revelations of former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke, and that is the White House’s response to him. With venom barely distinguishable from their attacks launched a year ago against the Saddam regime. The White House has tried mightily to paint the 30-year government bureaucrat as a knave, a traitor, an incompetent, or a fool. I may be off the mark, but the last time I saw something faintly similar to this was during the Nixon regime, when a presidential assistant named John D gave up the tapes on his boss. Is this Watergate? Hardly. Yet it is a dangerous attack on the inner workings of the White House on an issue that just weeks ago, seemed like a surefire vote getter for President George W. Bush, his handling of the so called War on Terrorism. If Clarke does anything, he shows that the White House at the highest levels was fixated, obsessed, even on the eradication of the Iraqi regime. An event that Clarke says, is bound to make the war harder in the long run by playing into the hands of the Jihadis like al Qaeda, who have long preached that the Americans would do anything to conquer the oil rich Arab states to get their hands on the black gold beneath. White House attacks on Clarke have come with a vehemence that is breathtaking. He is derided as a partisan, who they suggest is a closet supporter, the Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry, or he wants to get rich with a juicy book deal. And as usual, the media, ever hungry for the latest scandal, is eating it up, lapping it up like a kitten on a saucer of milk. Lost in the sauce is logic. If Clarke is anything he is and seems to have ever been a right wing hawk. He advocated the bombing of Afghanistani bases, all of them. Long before 911. He advocated the Israeli practice of preemptive killings (they call them assassinations in other places in the world) of suspected Jihadi, all around the world. This guy at base is a right wing nationalist who has advocated actions that several administrations, including it seems the first Bush presidency have declined to do. The idea that he is somehow sweet on Kerry seems on its face ludicrous. And book deals are hardly the way to make big bucks. The average royalty covers little more than 10% of the cost. And there’s a slump in the industry largely driven by the larger slump in the nation’s economy. Iraq was never the problem. And as its feeble resistance proved, it was never a threat to the US. A year before the war, California’s right wing Democrat House member Tom Lantos told members of the Israeli Knesset quote, “we’ll be rid of the bastard”, referring to Saddam, “soon enough, and in his place will install a pro Western dictator who will be good for us and for you”, unquote. You still think this war is in defense of democracy? Hardly, it never was. It never will be. Armies don’t bring democracies, they smother them. From death row, this is Mumia Abu Jamal.

These commentaries are produced by Noelle Hanrahan for Prison Radio.