WASHINGTON, March 24 (UPI) -- Former counterterrorism official Richard A. Clarke said discrepancies between his 2002 press statement and his recent book stem from his 2002 responsibilities.
"I was asked to highlight the positive aspects of what the administration has done (in the press statement) and minimize the negative aspects of what the administration has done," Clarke told the Sept. 11 commission.
Pressed by commissioner James Thompson to explain differences between the less-critical press statement, and highly critical book, Clarke said he wrote the two documents in different capacities.
Clark said he was assigned to issue the press statement as a presidential adviser to explain administration anti-terror efforts after a critical story on the subject by Time magazine. The book came after Clarke had left the administration.
Clarke said the information provided in the statement was all true, but added that the statement was intended to make the administration's case to the press.
Asked if making such a statement is immoral, Clarke said, "I don't think it's a question of morality at all, I think it's a question of politics."
Clarke said he was never asked to say anything untrue.