Since Clarke et al oppose preemption, what exactly would they have had Bush do about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda? Clinton had several clear shots at taking out bin Laden, but refused. He treated the entire matter as one for law enforcement to handle. Bush never had a clear shot at bin Laden. And if he did, and was successful at taking him out, then what? Congressional investigations and books by Clinton holdovers condemning Bush for killing bin Laden?
And I don’t buy the premise that Bush was so occupied with Saddam Hussein that he failed to see al-Qaeda. Where’s the evidence other than some unsubstantiated comments by self-promoting authors who are hardly unencumbered by political taint?