The Corner

Apologies

This is what “The Week” in the April 19 issue of NRODT says on Clarke’s 9/11 Commission apology:

Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism expert for Presidents Clinton and Bush, began his testimony before the 9/11 commission with an apology: “Your government failed you. Those entrusted with protecting you failed you. And I failed you. We tried hard. But that doesn’t matter, because we failed. And for that failure, I would ask, once all the facts are out, for your understanding and for your forgiveness.” Moralists warn against the spurious sorrow that afflicts the first-person plural of so many collective apologies: We erred, says the penitent, though he clearly intends to shift blame and odium to his fellows. Clarke has now developed a first-person singular that apes this dubious plural: I ask for understanding and forgiveness for our misdeeds–meaning that Bush, Rice, and the other bums don’t deserve it. Clarke’s supposed honesty was moral preening. Did we mention he has a book out?

And don’t forget: You can read the whole “Week” in the new issue, just going to bed now, just as soon as it is available–this Friday–online if you subscribe.

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