Richard Clarke

Richard Clarke, a former adviser on security to four presidents and author of the book "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror," was Monday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On how he interprets the lack of a follow-up terrorist attack on the US:

"The fact there hasn't been an attack here is great news. But it is beginning to have a negative aspect to it, which is complacency. It is very hard to get the appropriations that we need ... for reducing our vulnerabilities here at home under these circumstances. We have not done a very good job of reducing our vulnerabilities here at home."

On the so-called insurgency in Iraq:

"Our presence is a large source of the problem - not the complete source. If we were to leave in the appropriate way ... most of the motivation for the civil war, the insurgency, would disappear. What we ought to be doing, while we are continuing to train up the Iraqi battalions, is structuring a withdrawal beginning perhaps in January, lasting perhaps 18 months, that may end up with some sort of residual rapid- reaction force ... based in Kuwait, perhaps."

On the indictment last Friday of vice presidential aide Lewis Libby in the Valerie Plame case:

"We should have some other mechanism for investigating these scandals. We tend to have only the blunt instrument of the special prosecutors. And I wonder if we should not think about some kind of truth-and- reconciliation process to have in reserve so that we don't only use this instrument of criminal prosecution."

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