Skip to comments.Clinton: I warned Bush about bin Laden threat [I really, really, really did!]
Posted on 10/17/2003 12:22:09 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
Former President Bill Clinton is taking the proverbial "I told you so" stance with regards to terror chief Osama bin Laden.
Speaking at a luncheon sponsored by the History Channel yesterday, Clinton said he warned incoming President George W. Bush before he left office in 2001 that the founder of al-Qaida was the biggest security threat the United States faced.
"In his campaign, Bush had said he thought the biggest security issue was Iraq and a national missile defense," Clinton said, according to Reuters. "I told him that in my opinion, the biggest security problem was Osama bin Laden."
Clinton told the audience his inability to convince Bush of the danger posed by al-Qaida represented "one of the two or three of the biggest disappointments that I had."
While he may have warned his successor, various reports suggest Clinton dropped the ball, himself.
A former FBI agent claims former Attorney General Janet Reno scrubbed a clandestine plan to capture the terror mastermind in 1998. Jack Cloonan told ABC News a secret team of federal investigators he was a part of even practiced the daring operation in the Texas desert. The scheme was to have a plane from Uzbekistan swoop into the area of Kandahar, Afghanistan, where bin Laden was operating at the time and execute an arrest warrant.
"A U.S. plane was to fly in," Cloonan said. "And he [bin Laden] would have been greeted by an FBI agent, who would have said, 'Sheik bin Laden, there is a warrant for your arrest,'" he said.
But when the details of the operation went up the chain of command for approval, according to Cloonan, Reno killed it.
"They came to the decision that this plan was probably too dangerous, that the loss of life on the ground would have been significant," Cloonan told the news network. There was concern that people around the bin Laden compound would be killed."
WorldNetDaily reported the Clinton administration "de-emphasized" fighting Arab international terrorism to focus on domestic terrorism namely, white "right-wing" militia groups. Veteran FBI agents told WND this led to the FBI ignoring Arab nationals flocking to U.S. flight schools, namely the 19 hijackers who claimed nearly 3,000 lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
Even though Islamic terrorist groups like al-Qaida had been responsible for a pattern of attacks from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing to the 1996 bombing of U.S. military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, to the bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, FBI Director Louis Freeh told a Senate subcommittee in 1999 "a growing number (while still small) of 'lone offender' and extremist splinter elements of right-wing groups have been identified as possessing or attempting to develop/use chemical, biological or radiological materials."
Under Reno's direction, Freeh and his deputy Robert B. "Bear" Bryant made "right-wing" terrorism the centerpiece of their strategy to combat Y2K security threats. The strategy, called "Project Megiddo," zeroed in on white supremacists, militias and Christian "extremists." The project was outlined in a 32-page report the FBI had posted on its website until last fall.
FBI veterans say the shift was so dramatic at the agency that some 40 boxes of evidence that agents gathered in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case were never analyzed until it was too late. The evidence held valuable clues to al-Qaida's network and operations, they say.
Other federal law-enforcement branches during the Clinton era also focused on the domestic threat from militia groups over the foreign threat from Islamic groups. The head of security at the Commerce Department, for one, sanitized a Y2K counterterrorism report distributed to the Census Bureau by removing Islamic threats. Only threats from white "right-wing" groups were included in the report, Commerce security officials told WorldNetDaily.
In his comments yesterday, Clinton said that after bin Laden, the next security priority would have been the absence of a Middle East peace agreement, followed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
"I would have started with India and Pakistan, then North Korea, and then Iraq after that," Reuters quotes him as saying. "I thought Iraq was a lower order problem than al-Qaida."
In his book "The High Cost of Peace" terrorism expert Yossef Bodansky makes the case that Clinton's foreign policies, specifically his zeal to strike a Mideast Peace accord, set the stage for the devastating terrorist attacks that have happened around the world in this century, including Sept. 11.
"Not only is the real Middle East in the early 21st century still the most volatile and dangerous region in the world, but, in addition, the enduring legacy of the Clinton administration's 'humanitarian aggression' (as European officials call it) has been to make the Arab world even more virulently radicalized and uncompromisingly hostile to the U.S.-led West," writes Bodansky.
So blinded was Clinton to achieving a Palestinian state as part of his enduring legacy that he completely overlooked the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, says Bodansky.
His "imposition of the peace process" whereby he boosted the election of Ehud Barak and then pushed the new Israeli prime minister to make "once-in-a-lifetime concessions" to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, according to Bodansky, helped embolden Muslim ire toward the United States.
"What the Clinton administration accomplished with its Middle East policy was to create in the Muslim eyes the image of a weak and subservient Israel, vulnerable to political pressure from the United States and military onslaught by its neighbors, while at the same time arousing frustration and wrath toward the United States because of its failure to 'deliver' Israel," writes Bodansky.
ARMED SERVICES.house.gov: "Testimony of Gary Milhollin Professor, University of Wisconsin Law School and | Director, Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control Before the Committees on International Relations and National Security United States House of Representatives June 17, 1998" (TESTIMONY SNIPPET: "When we look at the history of U.S. sanctions policy, we see a willingness to sanction China for missile proliferation in both the Bush Administration, which applied sanctions in 1991, and in the Clinton Administration, which applied sanctions in 1993. But in 1995, the Clinton Administration policy changes. China supplied the C-802s to Iran in 1995; China supplied other missile components to Iran and Pakistan in 1995 and has continued to supply up to the present time. And in 1996, the Administration refused to act on explicit findings by the intelligence community that the transfers occurred. Also in 1996, the Administration started transferring control over satellites exports from the State to the Commerce Department, insulating them from the application of missile sanction laws in the future. For some reason, the Administration decided in either 1995 or 1996 that missile sanctions would no longer be part of U.S. policy in dealing with China. Why did U.S. policy change? I don't know the answer to that question, but I urge the Committees to look into it. We do know the result of the policy change. It gave China a green light to proliferate. Our government's policy on sanctions has enabled Chinese satellite launch companies to sell missiles and missile components to Iran and Pakistan without fear of punishment. Thus, it may be that we are asking the wrong question about how our satellite export policy affects missile proliferation. Whether or not our satellite exports caused U.S. missile technology to go to China, they have made it easier for Chinese missile technology to go to Pakistan.")
TOWNHALL.com: "CLINTON SCANDALS CONTINUE TO SURFACE" -Column by Phyllis Schlafly (COLUMN SNIPPET: "...The GAO discovered that those pilots departed because the Clinton administration ordered them to receive the anthrax vaccine, and 86 percent of those who did take the shots reported adverse side effects. Now, after scores of resignations and hundreds of careers destroyed by court-martial, we discover that our brave servicemen and women were right to resist the anthrax orders, and the government was fatally and corruptly wrong. A lawsuit filed by two Connecticut Air Force Reserve pilots asserted that the vaccine used on the military was never properly tested, and the Food and Drug Administration's recent response was to halt use of existing stocks of the vaccine...") (110502)
Or maybe Bush thought Slick's flattening of a Sudan pharmaceutical plant rang the death knell for Bin Laden.
Denial is one way of assuaging guilt I suppose.
"Hey Dubya, I stuck my hand in this hornet's nest, and, by golly, those little buggers are flyin' around mad as hell, I think you better do something about 'em fella."
That "clinton legacy" has been forged...
by sordid link....
|Liars-- and Sleaze, Incorporated... ( my files on the clintons and friends )
CLINTON'S ROGUES GALLERY:
Lest Americans ever forget why the clintons, and all their enablers need to be hectored, hounded, and harried into silence, until "clintonese is only spoken in Hell," look here:
Hillary! and Arafat's wife-
Voters already know. Clinton is a daily reminder of what a pathetic joke Clinton was as 'president.'
I guess it depends on what his definition of I did is, huh?.
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