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Richard Clarke Flashback: Clinton Dropped Ball on Bin Laden
NewsMax.com ^ | 3/20/04 | Carl Limbacher and NewsMax.com Staff

Posted on 03/20/2004 9:33:41 PM PST by kattracks

Former Clinton White House terrorism czar Richard Clarke is preparing to tell the Independent Commission Investigating the Sept. 11 Attacks this week that the Bush administration failed to act on a Clinton administration plan to attack Osama bin Laden.

And in a "60 Minutes" interview set to air Sunday night, Clarke blasts Bush for doing "a terrible job on the war against terrorism."

But just a year ago Clarke was singing a different tune, telling reporter Richard Miniter, author of the book "Losing bin Laden," that it was the Clinton administration - not team Bush - that had dropped the ball on bin Laden.

Clarke, who was a primary source for Miniter's book, detailed a meeting of top Clinton officials in the wake of al Qaeda's attack on the USS Cole in Yemen.

He urged them to take immediate military action. But his advice found no takers.

Reporting on Miniter's book, the National Review summarized the episode:

"At a meeting with Secretary of Defense William Cohen, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Attorney General Janet Reno, and other staffers, Clarke was the only one in favor of retaliation against bin Laden."

The list of excuses seemed endless:

"Reno thought retaliation might violate international law and was therefore against it.

"Tenet wanted to more definitive proof that bin Laden was behind the attack, although he personally thought he was.

"Albright was concerned about the reaction of world opinion to a retaliation against Muslims, and the impact it would have in the final days of the Clinton Middle East peace process.

"Cohen, according to Clarke, did not consider the Cole attack 'sufficient provocation' for a military retaliation."

And what about President Clinton? According to what Clarke told Miniter, he rejected the attack plan. Instead Clinton twice phoned the president of Yemen demanding better cooperation between the FBI and the Yemeni security services.

Clarke offered a chillingly prescient quote from one aide who agreed with him about Clinton administration inaction. "What's it going to take to get them to hit al Qaeda in Afghanistan? Does al Qaeda have to attack the Pentagon?" said the dismayed Clintonista.

Clarke's testimony before the 9/11 commission will surely boost sales for his new book, "Against All Enemies," which his publisher is releasing on the eve of his appearance before the panel.

The book's bombshell news hook is Clarke's claim that after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush wanted him to look for evidence of Iraqi involvement.

But it's not clear how much politics has tempered his recollections. Clarke certainly sounded partisan on the morning of December 15, when, as the nation was celebrating Saddam Hussein's capture, he was complaining that the brutal dictator's apprehension was actually bad news.

"I don't think it's going to have a near-term positive effect on security," Clarke told ABC's "This Week."

"In the short term, we may have actually a worse problem," he insisted.



TOPICS: News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: binladen; clintonlegacy; flashback; missedopportunity; obl; prequel; richardclarke; x42

1 posted on 03/20/2004 9:33:41 PM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks
good article, but the term "Clintonista" is suspect ... cant put conservative bias in those newsmax articles, people might think they are biased just like the new york times.
2 posted on 03/20/2004 9:44:56 PM PST by WOSG (http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com - Disturb, manipulate, demonstrate for the right thing)
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To: WOSG
Yeah, but they do. Too chatty.
3 posted on 03/20/2004 9:47:08 PM PST by Howlin
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To: kattracks
Richard has no honor, no friends, no country, I think.
4 posted on 03/20/2004 9:49:02 PM PST by dasboot ("We don't take crop!")
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To: homemom; mystery-ak; TruthNtegrity
Looky here what I found!!
5 posted on 03/20/2004 10:06:18 PM PST by The Final Harvest (The 2004 Election is for the SOUL of AMERICA)
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To: Howlin; kattracks; CyberAnt
You need to see this:

Tohir Yuldash knew of Sept 11!

6 posted on 03/20/2004 10:30:32 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: kattracks
Clarke is trying to salvage his own legacy and make a buck -pure and simple..

the real question here is - what had he donw on the issue of terrorism during the Klinton's term. Trying to lay the blame on a new president with just 8 months into the office while ignoring the 8 years worth of glaring mismanagement is what the Republicans too timid to ask.

At least the media trying to play all these baseless crap from people with a reputation to salvage now instead of Sept or Oct. The public has made up the mind on the Iraq issue, it is all old news, at least I for one is getting sicking tire of it.

Hey, the least the Republicans can sneer at is - at least we act upon the threats when we see one, unless somebody who saw Bin Laden on tape and DID NOTHING.
7 posted on 03/20/2004 10:31:30 PM PST by FRgal4u
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To: endthematrix
ping!
8 posted on 03/20/2004 10:43:01 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: FRgal4u
Hey, the least the Republicans can sneer at is - at least we act upon the threats when we see one, unless somebody who saw Bin Laden on tape and DID NOTHING.

Well you need to look at the link in post #6 just above before you say that.

9 posted on 03/20/2004 10:49:43 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: kattracks
BUMP
10 posted on 03/21/2004 5:38:06 AM PST by truthandlife ("Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God." (Ps 20:7))
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To: FRgal4u
Clarke is on the "Clinton Legacy Protection" patrol it seems.

11 posted on 03/21/2004 7:57:33 AM PST by WOSG (http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com - Disturb, manipulate, demonstrate for the right thing)
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To: CyberAnt
Very intersting. Hope it gets the publicity it deserves!
12 posted on 03/21/2004 2:41:26 PM PST by homemom (Proudly voting for President George W. Bush)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; CyberAnt
Earlier today on FOX News, I saw Laurie Dhue interviewing YET ANOTHER former wacko NSC employer who served under both Clinton and Bush and who is eager to blame the latter for failing to prevent 9/11 (sorry, can't remember the name).

As this guy was bashing Bush, propping up Clinton, and defending Richard Clarke's assertions, he stated that the BUSH TEAM failed to respond to the attack on the USS Cole with military action.

How was the Bush team supposed to undertake military action in October 2000 considering they didn't taken office until January 20, 2001? I know Clinton was busy lining up his pardons and last minute executive orders, but couldn't he have taken some time to follow up on the Cole thing.
13 posted on 03/21/2004 3:11:27 PM PST by Spotsy (Bush-Cheney '04)
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To: Spotsy
"the USS Cole"

I saw that too, and when he said that statement about the USS Cole, I just switched the channel. I can't stand it when these people lie like a rug and NOBODY CHALLENGES THEM. Did Laurie say anything about the reference to the USS Cole ??
14 posted on 03/21/2004 3:19:23 PM PST by The Final Harvest (The 2004 Election is for the SOUL of AMERICA)
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To: Spotsy
They are coming out of the woodwork!
15 posted on 03/21/2004 3:23:05 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: CyberAnt
Brian Wilson should have been there ,. he would have.
16 posted on 03/21/2004 3:24:12 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Yes, Brian would have - and so would a couple of the others. Did you email Laurie and complain. If not, send the message to Brit Hume with a cc: to Laurie and ask why the guy was allowed to get away with such a blatant lie as that. If the guy wants to lie that's fine .. but it should be challenged. Unless, of course, Laruie didn't even know herself .. and if she didn't .. SHAME ON HER!!
17 posted on 03/21/2004 3:35:37 PM PST by The Final Harvest (The 2004 Election is for the SOUL of AMERICA)
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To: CyberAnt
Unfortunately, Laurie Dhue was not quick enough to point out the error in this clown's ridiculous statement regarding Bush's "failure to respond" to the bombing of the USS Cole.

Laurie framed her follow-up question in general terms, something like, "Doesn't President Clinton share some responsibility?"

Anyway, I'm glad I wasn't the only one who saw this outrageous interview this afternoon. I was starting to doubt myself and my ears.

Now I'm seething about 60 Minutes' biased piece featuring loony Richard Clarke. How do these people reach the highest levels of government? How did this guy obtain a security clearance?
18 posted on 03/21/2004 5:30:14 PM PST by Spotsy (Bush-Cheney '04)
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