Richard Clarke's dramatic statement to the grieving families during the 9/11 Commission hearings touched a raw nerve across America. Not only had our government failed to prevent the 2001 terrorist attacks but it has proven itself, time and again, incapable of handling the majority of our most crucial national-security issues, from Iraq to Katrina and beyond. This is not just a temporary failure of any one administration, Mr. Clarke insists, but rather an endemic problem, the result of a pattern of incompetence that must be understood, confronted, and prevented.
In Your Government Failed You, Clarke goes far beyond terrorism to examine the inexcusable chain of recurring U.S. government disasters and strategic blunders in recent years. Drawing on his thirty years in the White House, Pentagon, State Department, and intelligence community, Clarke gives us a privileged, if gravely troubling, look into the debacle of government policies, discovering patterns in the failures and offering ways to halt the catastrophic cycle once and for all.
With more than 30 years of government experience, Clarke knows what he's talking about when he says government is failing American citizens. He spends a tremendous amount of time exploring how and where specific areas of the government are failing the public. Listeners will be reeling at Clarke's words; he doesn't hesitate to assign blame to specific individuals, including himself and others who are still in power. What is missing from his book is legitimate ways of fixing and mending the long-term problems of government in an election-driven political environment. Clarke attempts to address this, but fails to fully comprehend the numerous powers needed to generate some of the transitions that he wants. Clarke has a decent voice, though often his staggered speech reminds one of William Shatner. Like many nonprofessional narrators, the production abounds with body shifting, throat noises and other distracting sounds. A HarperCollins hardcover.