Lawyers Journal

MBA Gala Dinner keynote speaker Clarke weighs in on CIA report, Pakistani prisoner's release

Richard A. Clarke, the nation's former counterterrorism chief and the MBA's Gala Dinner keynote speaker, has been quoted recently in ABC News reports on national security issues.

Finding fault with CIA report

Clarke, a terrorism commentator for ABC News after serving as an advisor to the last four U.S. presidents, took issue with the 2005 CIA's inspector general report made public Aug. 21 that claims former CIA Director George Tenet "bears ultimate responsibility" for failing to prevent Sept. 11. The report notes there were "failures to implement and manage important processes, to follow through with operations, and to properly share and analyze critical data" and says that Tenet "did not use all his authorities in leading the (intelligence community's) strategic effort' against Osama bin Laden.

"That's not fair," Clarke was quoted in ABC News reports online regarding Tenet's actions. "Of course there was a strategic effort, and he did raise the issue at the highest levels of government."

Clarke, who will be the keynote speaker at the MBA's Gala Dinner on Nov. 1, is the best-selling author of Against All Enemies, in which he discusses the government's failure to adequately address the terrorist threat. He is currently chairman of Arlington, VA-based Good Harbor Consulting LLC, which provides security risk consulting to businesses operating internationally.

Analyzing Pakistani prisoner's release

Clarke was also quoted in an Aug. 21 ABC News report analyzing Pakistan's release of Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, a man whose arrest led to an increased terror alert in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. U.S. officials have said they believed he played a role in collecting surveillance information on potential financial targets in the United States.

"Khan apparently had agreed to cooperate with Pakistani officials and was engaged in a sting operation against al Qaeda when his name showed up in the U.S. press as part of a story about planned attacks in the U.S., which appeared during the U.S. presidential election," Clarke said in the ABC News report. "Khan may have bargained for an early release because he cooperated."

As a former government official, Clarke specialized in intelligence, cyber security and counter-terrorism for more than three decades. He is best known for his work as the chief counter-terrorism advisor on the U.S. National Security Council preceding and following Sept. 11.

Gala Dinner, Signature Events details

The MBA's Gala Dinner event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 1 at the new InterContinental Hotel on Boston's waterfront. The dinner will take place in the luxury hotel's 10,500-square-foot Rose Kennedy Ballroom.

The MBA's three other Signature Events will be the second annual Bench-Bar Symposium, which will be held on Thursday, Oct. 11, at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston; the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon on Thursday, March 6, at the JFK Library Museum in Boston; and the MBA CLE Conference on Monday, April 28, at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.

To sponsor a table or purchase a ticket for the November dinner, visit www.massbar.org.

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association