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On a Limb

He followed a long line of distinguished officials from both the Clinton and Bush administrations, but Richard Clarke commanded the most attention during hearings held last week by the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The former Clinton and Bush counterterrorism official got high marks from victims’ family members for apologizing for failing the country. But he faced criticism from Bush officials outraged about his book, “Against All Enemies,” which disparages the Bush administration for not doing enough about terrorism.

When the firestorm that engulfed him this week was mentioned at the hearing, Clarke said he was prepared.

“Senator, I think I knew what the price would be,” he told former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), a member of the commission.

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