7,037. 4/25/2007

In an interview with author Elisabeth Bumiller on April 25, 2007, former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke said, regarding then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice: ” ‘I think basically she didn’t want to be bothered with homeland security or terrorism… She was hired to do grand strategy and worry about China and Russia.’ When Clarke first briefed Rice during the 2000 presidential transition, he recalled that she did not understand the fundamentals about terrorism. ‘She had heard about bin Laden, but she thought of bin Laden as a guy with a few camp followers,’ Clarke said. ‘When I said *Al Qaeda,* she said, *Stop, what’s that?* When I said it was an organization of tens of thousands of followers and millions of dollars in scores of countries, she said she didn’t know that. And moreover, why should she? She was a Soviet Union specialist.’ ”

 – Elisabeth Bumiller, Condoleezza Rice: An American Life, Page 143

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