I have to admit, the timing of the 60 Minutes interview, coming right before Clarke is set to speak to the 9/11 commission, is clearly a marketing decision: Viacom owns both CBS and the publisher of Clarke's book.
Realizing that fact does nothing to discredit Clarke, however. Anyone who listened to Rumsfeld & Co. lay the groundwork for the war in Iraq knows how single-minded they were in asserting that Saddam Hussein was a grave danger to world peace. Nothing Clarke has said seems inconsistent with the ideological slant of the White House. And the fact that Dick Cheney seems to think that the best means of refuting Clarke's charges is to mock him for being "out of the loop" indicates that the Administration's fervor has not abated.
What interests me most, however, is the fact that a major transnational corporation found it worthwhile to make the President look really, really bad.
Last night Kim said to me, "Bush will steal the election anyway."
I responded that it's certainly a possibility, but noted that there could be major civil unrest if people perceived a coup d'etat.
Then I added that the best hope for ousting Bush may lie with the very transnational corporations that the anti-globalization movement rightly rails against. You see, we're rapidly approaching the point where the Bush doctrine becomes a liability for the masters of capitalism. War is only profitable up to a point. And the profits from Iraq have been narrowly channeled into the hands of Bush's backers.
There's also the prospect, as Viacom's moves suggest, that transnational corporations will aggressively pursue the profits to be had by exploiting a groundswell of international hatred towards the Bush Administration.
If you make enough enemies, you create a market for culture targeted against you. Ask anyone who remembers the Watergate era.