After more than 30 years of dedicated service, including stints as the National Security Council’s counterterrorism chief under President Clinton and Bush, Richard A. Clarke has delivered a scathing assessment of Bush administration policy and personnel in his new memoir, « Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror. »

Clarke portrays the president and his top aides as arrogant, insular and uninformed about the changed world they faced when they entered the White House in January 2001. They did little about the growing peril from al-Qaida, despite urgent briefings from the outgoing Clinton national security team, and remained willfully ignorant despite repeated, even obsessive warnings from Clarke and CIA director George Tenet.

Since Clarke’s debut on CBS’s « 60 Minutes » on Sunday, administration officials have been bombarding him with personal calumny and abuse. During an interview with Salon on Tuesday, Clarke blasted Cheney as an « attack dog » and described the administration’s attacks on his credibility as another example of the « big lie » strategy it has pursued since winning the White House.

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