Like Ann Coulter …but without the testosterone…

Mark Steyn, the Conservative hobbit/go-to guy, doesn’t want to be taken seriously as a political commentator,which is why we get factless drippings like this:

The latest is a mid-level bureaucrat called Richard Clarke, and by the time you read this his 15 minutes should be just about up. Mr Clarke was Bill Clinton’s terrorism guy for eight years and George W Bush’s for a somewhat briefer period, and he has now written a book called If Only They’d Listened to Me – whoops, sorry, that should be Against All Enemies: Inside the White House’s War on Terror – What Really Happened (Because They Didn’t Listen to Me).

Having served both the 42nd and 43rd Presidents, Clarke was supposed to be the most authoritative proponent to advance the Democrats’ agreed timeline of the last decade – to whit, from January 1993 to January 2001, Bill Clinton focused like a laser on crafting a brilliant plan to destroy al-Qa’eda, but, alas, just as he had dotted every “i”, crossed every “t” and sent the intern to the photocopier, his eight years was up, so Bill gave it to the new guy as he was showing him the Oval Office – “That carpet under the desk could use replacing. Oh, and here’s my brilliant plan to destroy al-Qa’eda, which you guys really need to implement right away.”

When, in fact:

“I think al-Qaeda probably came into existence in 1988 or in 1989, and no one in the White House was ever informed by the intelligence community that there was an al-Qaeda until probably 1995,” he said.

Clarke’s testimony came in the wake of his controversial new book that slams Bush for ignoring the threat of terrorism and instead obsessing over attacking Iraq.

The commission also released a staff report saying that confusion over whether the CIA had permission to kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the 1990s prevented the agency from taking him out.

The report said White House officials believed Clinton had clearly given authorization to kill bin Laden but that CIA officials thought the carefully worded instructions gave authority only to capture him.

“To further cloud the picture, two senior CIA officers told us they would have been morally and practically opposed to getting CIA into what might look like an assassination,” the report states.

But CIA Director George Tenet and former National Security Adviser Samuel Berger disputed that account when they testified before the commission yesterday.

“There was never any question in my mind that if capture was not possible, kill was acceptable,” Berger said. “And I imagine a confrontation with bin Laden in which there would be a lot of guns fired, and chances are he’d be killed.”

But that’s not important to Steyn (although I enjoyed him calling Clarke a “mid-level bureaucrat“) because, you see, intern jokes are still pretty funny to guys like him…

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....