But former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, who is also an ABCNEWS consultant, said he tried to warn the president of the imminent threat of al Qaeda. He testified during the Sept. 11 commission's public hearings that the Bush administration paid too much attention to Iraq and underestimated the threat from al Qaeda, before and after the Sept. 11 attacks.
After Rice's three-hour testimony concluded, ABCNEWS' Peter Jennings asked Clarke what he thought about Rice's testimony before the commission.
The following is an unedited, uncorrected transcript of Clarke's interview with ABCNEWS' Peter Jennings as it aired on Thursday, April 8, 2004:
Jennings: Now let's talk a little bit about Richard Clarke. Even if you heard only a little
of the testimony today, much of the testimony centered on the
testimony of Dr. Clarke. Dr. Rice, you heard comment on
it. She certainly contradicted it in
Mr. Clarke is an adviser to ABCNEWS on the subject of terrorism
and has been for many months.
I don't think we necessarily
expected that he was going to
make the kind of news that he
did when he appeared before this
commission, but we you will
recall that when he testified
before the commission, the Bush
administration took ample
opportunity to attack in a very
public, very widespread way what
he had said before the
So in trying to understand some
of the truth and the facts about
this commission today, we've
asked Dr. Clarke, who, as I
said, has been a paid consultant
to ABCNEWS over many months, to
come back and try to answer a
couple questions about what he
has heard today and he is in
Mr. Clarke, can you hear me?
Clarke: Yes, Peter, I can.
Jennings: I just want to ask you, you heard people using your testimony in a variety of