Monday, September 25, 2006

Clinton Ducks Blame for September 11 in Interview with Chris Wallace

In an interview this weekend with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, former President Clinton responded angrily when he was asked why he didn't prevent the September 11 attacks. Clinton admitted that he "tried" to get Osama Bin Laden and "failed," and then tried to deflect attention from his failure by pointing fingers at the Bush Administration. Although the ABC/Disney movie Path to 9/11 was very unfair to President Bush, it has sparked discussion about all of the mistakes Clinton made, which was why Wallace asked the question. Many conservatives are objectively reassessing what Clinton did while in office and coming to the reluctant conclusion that he bears most of the blame for September 11. Although some conservatives, such as Ed Morissey and Britt Hume, say that "there's more than enough blame to go around," that just makes it seem as if Clinton and Bush share equal responsibility for what happened on September 11, which is simply not the case. And I don't think we should just focus on Clinton's failures before 9/11. His record on fighting terrorism since he has been out of office is also blameworthy.

Clinton's failure to fight the War on Terror effectively began early in his administration. On February 26, 1993, a little more than a month after he was inaugurated President, terrorists detonated bombs in the parking garage underneath the World Trade Center. Why didn't Clinton do anything to stop this terrorist attack? What was he doing during those 37 days that was more important than stopping the terrorists? These are questions that historians are going to ask when they look at the legacy of the Clinton Administration.

Clinton's response after the bombing was sluggish. It took six whole days before Mohammad Salameh, the first conspirator arrested in the bombings was apprehended. Other FBI raids that day led to the apartment of the mastermind of the attack, Ramzi Yousef, but he wasn't arrested until February 7, 1995, almost two years after the bombings. Meanwhile, Clinton took his eye off the ball and failed to stop the growing terrorist threat. On September 13 of that year Clinton welcomed PLO leader Yasir Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to the White House to sign a peace accord. This obsession with making peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis would occupy President Clinton right up until his last days in office and would take away his focus from the War on Terror. More than 13 years later there would still be no peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians so we can see that all of this effort was a big waste of time. In hindsight it is clear that President Bush had the right idea when he decided to do nothing at all about the Israeli-Palestinian problem as soon as he took office.

In October, a month after hosting the signing of the Middle East accord, American forces were attacked in Mogadishu, Somalia, an event that would later be known as "Black Hawk Down" and six months later Clinton withdrew forces from the country and turned it over to U.N. peacekeepers. Although the first President Bush sent American troops to Somalia, Clinton had almost a year to pull them out and he should have foreseen that, as Chris Wallace pointed out in his interview, this incident would lead inexorably to the September 11 attacks eight years later. In 1998 the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by Al Qaeda. Clinton ordered cruise missile attacks on Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and on a chemical plant in the Sudan and signed an executive order authorizing Bin Laden's arrest or assassination. At the time most people saw these inadequate actions for what they were, an attempt to distract the American people from the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Instead of resigning, Clinton insisted on fighting and goaded Congress into impeaching him, which took the country's energy and attention away from the hunt for Bin Laden. Then on October 12, 2000, Al Qaeda bombed the USS Cole. Although President Clinton still had three months left in office he once again failed to get Bin Laden or retaliate for the attacks and failed to adequately make the case to President Bush that he should do something about it.

The mistakes Clinton made are still having reverberations years after he made them. A new report by Bush's intelligence experts says that the invasion of Iraq has worsened the terrorist threat. Of course, we wouldn't have had to invade Iraq in the first place if Clinton hadn't left Hussein in power, which allowed Hussein to trick us into invading Iraq by making us think he had weapons of mass destruction by denying that he had weapons of mass destruction when he knew that we knew he was a liar. So if indeed it is true that the invasion of Iraq has made terrorism worse, then Clinton has a lot to answer for.

You might think that in the more than six years since Clinton left office he would have tried to correct some of his mistakes. But, in fact, his record on terrorism has only gotten worse since he became a private citizen. Although he now has plenty of free time, he apparently hasn't done anything to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice. Clinton promised to get Osama Bin Laden back in 1998 but seems to have made no progress in the eight years that have passed since then. By contrast, President Bush has only had a little more than six years to get Bin Laden.

Instead of focusing on fighting Islamofascism, Clinton has been pursuing pie-in-the-sky projects to spread democracy around the world and take care of less pressing problems like AIDS, poverty and global warming (which doesn't even exist!) with his Clinton Global Initiative. One of the reasons he was so angry at Chris Wallace for bringing up his responsibility for September 11 is that he wants people to focus on this project instead of his failures in the War on Terror. By distracting us with Utopian projects and playing on our fears about AIDS or global warming, he hopes we will forget about his failure to get Bin Laden or fight the War on Terror effectively since he has been out of office. Hopefully, when voters go to the polls this November, they will remember who is really responsible for making us less safe and hold his party accountable.

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Fighting Chance said...

You is so dang right about Clinton! You is the smartest person I have enountered on the internet web...Besides GW of course...I is addin you right ta my webpage as a patriot...

Anonymous said...

Well said, sir. It's about time someone held Mr. William Jefferson "Terrorists? Huh?" Clinton responsible for his shocking and inexcusable lapses of ... something.

Anonymous said...

Jon - Stick to humor! Neoconservatism
does not become you.
I saw part of the interview with Clinton and was impressed by his
ability to speak in connected sentences. This, I thought, showed
a great advance over our current President.
Clinton made mistakes. But compared
to what we have now, he looks like
a statesman.

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

Mr. Swift:

As you correctly point out

we wouldn't have had to invade Iraq in the first place if Clinton hadn't left Hussein in power, which allowed Hussein to trick us into invading Iraq by making us think he had weapons of mass destruction by denying that he had weapons of mass destruction when he knew that we knew he was a liar.

Although this is true, I think you're being a little hard on Clinton. For one thing, it's hard to know what a known liar is doing, based on what he says. There's the old (pre-Russian Revolution) story of the two business competitors who meet in the Moscow train session. One says, "I'm going to Pinsk." The other replies, "You say you're going to Pinsk because you want me to think you're going to Minsk. However, I happen to know already that you really ARE going to Pinsk, you liar!"

Secondly, although it's true that Clinton left Saddam Hussein in power, it's also true that George H.W. Bush previously left him in power before Clinton was even elected. In this case I have to agree with Fox News personality Brit Hume, that "there's more than enough blame to go around."

Fortunately, our current President Bush takes advice from his Higher Father, not his earthly parental unit.

Mark Prime (tpm/Confession Zero) said...

Wow! That, my friend. was one of the most sardonic posts I have ever read! The irony was palpable... Anyone that did not catch your overwhelming yet subtle droll are lost of your mind.

Parody is certainly your cup of tea.

Thank you. I needed a good guffaw.


Miss Cellania said...

I am so glad you around to explain this to everyone, since Fox News called copyright foul and YouTube pulled the video.

Anonymous said...

I've emailed a few links of your work to people, citing you as an example that americans really DO get irony. Wish I could say the same for a fair chunk of your commenters. ;¬)
Keep up the good work; not read any good books lately?

benmerc said...

"What was he doing during those 37 days that was more important than stopping the terrorists?"

This once I must agree with you Jon. In considering all the miserable failures of the Clinton administration (did you leave any out?), this too is the one that keeps me up nights wondering...What if?

Patricia said...

This one was brilliant, but way subtle. Don't be surprised if you find yourself quoted on some RW sites as an example of a blogger who really "gets it".

Thank you, as usual, for helping us find something to laugh about, even if it is a bitter kind of laughter.

ecthompson said...

Clinton ducks blame? In the interview that I saw, it seemed like Clinton took his share of the blame. He said that he did not get bin Laden. On the other hand, he did defend his administration for trying to get bin Laden. He correctly pointed out that the Bush administration did nothing until 9/11 about terrorism or bin Laden.

There's ample evidence to support President Clinton's claim. Besides Richard Clarke's book, there's a 9/11 Commission report. There's also Ron Suskind's book, The Price of Loyalty, the biography of Paul O'Neill (Treasury Secretary).

The best example of the Bush administration's lack of focus on terrorism, is the fact that they have nothing to point to. They have no meetings. They have no documents. They have no speeches about Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda or terrorism prior to 9/11.

Interestingly, what was the Bush administration focused on during those first nine months in office? Missile defense -- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was pushing through a missile defense plan. Also, remember that held multiple meetings at the White House and held a prime time press conference on stem cell research. He spent months on the topic.

Where's the Outrage?

benmerc said...

"The best example of the Bush administration's lack of focus on terrorism, is the fact that they have nothing to point to. They have no meetings"

I'm not so sure about that statement Ecthompson...I believe it misrepresents the subtle, yet valiant efforts of the Bush administration concerning their part in keeping America safe. To begin with, what about all the military contractors and war profiteers that were waiting in line who required several private meetings and secret documents, in order to sign deals to keep America safe…it is all written...some where.

Also, could you even begin to imagine all the details Rummy had to wade through in getting an inept missile defense system together in such a short time that looked like it worked? And Cheney…remember all of those secret meetings he had with the energy industry that were closed to the public? They were more then likely talking about how to PROTECT our ENERGY from TERRORISTS…it all makes sense now, doesn’t it…as your knee jerk “liberalism” appears rather pathetic.

And then there's President Bush’s famous “If we fight them over there” speech, how could you have forgotten that? He was right on the money...Just look at all the terrorist now! The man was correct, good thing we found them terrorists out “over there”. Indeed, sir just a few examples of the patriotic efforts our president and his able cabinet have made during their shot tenure. And by the way, exactly what kind of name is “Ecthompson” anyhow? Sounds like some kind of Islamo-anglification effort if you ask me, I will be monitoring your posts closely.

Anonymous said...

Time to look at some numbers:

Clinton ignored terrorists for 8 years
Bush ignored them for 8 months and 8 minutes

Clinton ignored 10 acts of
Bush ignored 0

Clinton ignored the USS Cole for 5 months
Bush was looking for the furniture that Clinton stole and was selecting a Presidental Cabinet

Clinton had 2 ridiculous attacks in response to acts of war
Bush won 2 wars and counting

Clinton had 9 attacks after his first attack
Bush had none after 5 years and counting

Cinton warned the enemy of attacks
New York Times warned the enemy of Bush attacks

Make love, let Hawks make war!

benmerc said...

Well, yes let us look at the REAL events and reveal the “Numbers” involved:

Executive Order 12947 of January 23, 1995, Federal Register, Vol. 60, No. 16,

"On January 23, 1995, in light of the threat posed by grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists that disrupt the Middle East peace process, using my authority under, inter alia, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ... I declared a national emergency and issued Executive Order 12947.

LATER, Clinton tried to EXPAND the order (Which was stalled by House Republicans)

"I hereby report to the Congress that I have exercised my statutory authority to issue an Executive Order that amends Executive Order 12947 in order more effectively to respond to the worldwide threat posed by foreign terrorists [to add] Usama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Ladin (a.k.a. Usama bin Ladin), Islamic Army, Abu Hafs al-Masri, and Rifa'i Ahmad Taha Musa to the list of terrorists that are subject to the prohibitions contained in the Executive Order."

See: "Clinton's Letter to Congress on Freezing of bin Ladin Assets," August 22, 1998

“Because such terrorist activities continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, I have renewed the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12947 annually, most recently on January 21, 1998."

ALL of this was stalled and then DENIED by REPUBLICAN leadership.
Of course this is just the FACTS, or what was once known as the TRUTH...It's all in the NATIONAL RECORD.

Anonymous is as anonymous says...

Anonymous said...

everything after the fact...

and would we believe that catching Osama during Clinton's administration isnt anything but criminal? come on...

okay, so bush isnt making any headway either, so the two of them are both ducks hehe

Anonymous said...

1 Former President sends Executive Orders to nowhere

1 President sends tons of artillery to the terrorists

Make love, let Hawks make war!

Anonymous said...

OK Anonymous, so tell us,
You remember... the guy who actually DID attack us? You MUST remember.
And BTW, your boi Bush is the 0NLY president in American history to L0SE TW0 --and if you count this nebulous 'War on Terra, THREE-- WARS AT THE SAME TIME.
You must be S0 proud!

Anonymous said...

Dear cherchezlafemme,

Bin Laden was reduced to a DNA stain on a cave wall years ago, we can't announce it because the Doves will think the War on Terror is over.

Yes I am proud that we have won both of the wars and will continue to win the War on Terror.

Jaesoreal said...

I believe Clinton is to blame for the Amish school shooting since he did not give them the security they needed knowing something like that could happen. Airtight logic. Hindsight is 20-20.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jae,

There is no need to blame former President Clinton for recent school shootings, there is plenty to blame him for when was relevant.

Anonymous said...

This is the most rediculous tripe I've ever read "what was he doing for those 37 days?". 37DAYS!!You're kidding right? What was George Bush Sr doing for the previous 4 years. Bill Clinton could have blaimed this along with Somalia on George Bush sr but then he's not not a spoiled little frat boy weasel like our current President.

Bill Clinton tried to pass an anti terror bill with some teeth but the republican congress watered it down to the point where it was almost meaningless. The republican congress whined about his presidential order to attack funding for terrorism. They also complained that Clinton was wagging the dog every time he attacked terrorists with missles.

Do you know what facts are and how to find them on the internet. Do you guys ever include or even refer to facts when write this stuff?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (11/04/06),

FACT: Countless thousands of terrorists have been killed under the "W" terms.

FACT: NONE under the Clinton terms.

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