A group of New York families of 9/11 victims came out swinging against Richard Clarke
Monday, March 29 2004 @ 01:25 AM GMT
Contributed by: Admin | Views: 59
March 28, 2004 -- A group of New York families of 9/11 victims came out swinging against Richard Clarke yesterday, accusing the former White House anti-terror chief of cashing in on the tragedy with his explosive book.
In a scathing open letter, the furious families also ripped Clarke for releasing the controversial tome to coincide with his appearance before the 9/11 commission on Wednesday.
"It was very disturbing to learn that Mr. Clarke would be releasing his book immediately before his scheduled public testimony before the 9/11 commission," they said in their emotional "Open Letter to America."
"The notion of [Clarke] profiteering from anything associated with 9/11 is particularly offensive to all of us."
In "Against All Enemies," Clarke accuses President Bush of not doing enough to thwart the terror strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The fuming families said Clarke's motivations are also political and called the book - which has become an overnight best seller - divisive and mean-spirited.
"We find Mr. Clarke's actions all the more offensive especially considering the fact that there was always a high possibility that the 9/11 commission could be used for political gain . . . with the presidential election less than eight months away," they wrote.
"Surely, Mr. Clarke knew this. Yet, he decided to risk the actual and perceived impartiality of this important process to maximize book sales," they added.
"We believe it inappropriate for [him] to profit from and politicize 9/11 and further divide America by his testimony before the 9/11 commission."
Retired FDNY firefighter Jim Boyle, who lent his name to the letter, ripped into Clarke, who served as a counterterrorism adviser to the past four presidents.
"Richard Clarke is doing all of this to sell his book," said Boyle, whose Bravest son, Michael Boyle, died in the WTC. "What he's doing isn't right. He's trying to make money off our pain. This was all orchestrated to benefit him," Boyle told The Post.
Retired FDNY Capt. John Vigiano Sr. said he's "incensed" with Clarke.
"He's all about promoting his book, plain and simple," said Vigiano Sr., whose sons John, a firefighter, and Joseph, a police officer, died in the WTC attacks.
"It's all about greed. He shouldn't be doing this. He's showing a lack of loyalty to the president. It's awful."
The blistering letter, signed by more than 36 people who lost loved ones in the WTC, came a day after the Senate's top Republican, Bill Frist, accused Clark of an "appalling act of profiteering."
Meanwhile, a Newsweek poll released yesterday found that 65 percent of Americans say Clarke's testimony hasn't affected their opinion of the president.
Fifty percent of those polled said they believe Clarke is motivated by personal and political reasons.
Clarke, who retired early last year after 30 years in government service, has said he provided dire warnings to the Bush White House in the months leading up to 9/11 but that little was done.