Skip to comments.Gen. Anthony Zinni: USS Cole Blunder Is My Fault [Rumsfeld Critic a Clinton-Hack ]
Posted on 04/19/2006 6:55:34 AM PDT by Paul Ross
Gen. Anthony Zinni: USS Cole Blunder Is My Fault
Reprinted from NewsMax.com Tuesday, April 18, 2006 12:09 p.m. EDT
Gen. Anthony Zinni: USS Cole Blunder Is My Fault
Former CENTCOM Commander, Gen. Anthony Zinni - who has called for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign because of Rumsfeld's alleged incompetence in running the Iraq war - admitted six years ago that he made the disastrous decision to have the USS Cole use the port of Aden, Yemen for refueling, where the ship was blown up by al-Qaida terrorists.
Worse still, at least one report indicates that Gen. Zinni may have played a role in an August 1998 leak that tipped off Osama bin Laden to an impending U.S. cruise missile attack - allowing the top terrorist to escape.
Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee in October 2000, a week after the Cole attack, the then-recently retired Zinni said: "I pass that buck on to nobody."
The Rumsfeld critic explained that he personally signed off on berthing the Cole in Yemen even though "their coast is a sieve for terrorists."
"The threat conditions in Aden were better than elsewhere," he insisted, citing risk assessments for Sudan and Saudi Arabia.
Gen. Zinni said that cutbacks in the size of the Navy's fleet during the Clinton years made it necessary to use regional ports for refueling, noting: "Ten years ago, we did all refueling at sea" using Navy oilers.
Still, prior to the Cole attack, there's no record that Gen. Zinni ever complained about Clinton era defense cuts.
In what may be an even more troubling development, a report indicates that the leading Rumsfeld critic may have inadvertently played a role in tipping off Osama bin Laden to an impending U.S. cruise missile attack two years before the Cole episode.
Two days after President Clinton ordered the attack on bin Laden's encampment in Khost Afghanistan, the Associated Press reported:
"Kuwait's Al-Watan newspaper, quoting unidentified sources in London today, reported that Pakistan leaked to bin Laden news about an impending U.S. strike. The sources said the leak was aimed at limiting casualties, so that bin Laden would have less justification for a counterattack.
"A Pakistani government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Gen. Anthony Zinni, commander of the U.S. Central Command, was in Peshawar the day before the attack to meet with Pakistani officials.
"Other Pakistani sources said Zinni came with a team of U.S. intelligence experts whose task was to pinpoint the camps and determine bin Laden's exact whereabouts."
A huge 'bow wave' of pent-up, expensive fixes is now required...and still going largely unfunded because of the enormity of the neglect.
We will all rue the day.
We are a retired and active duty Navy family. You are exactly right that we will rue the day, and it is happening now.
There goes his credibility, flying out the window.
It is not permissible for an active duty officer to complain publicly about the CIC. To compare his silence to his criticism, is frankly using words to slant the debate.
Zinni is a pro-Arab anti-Israel creep. Maybe he was a good Marine, but he's anti-Israel.
Clinton most probaby told Zinni to let Osama know he's going to be bombed!!
You can't direct public and personal comments towards the CIC but Generals and Admirals can and do make policy statements about the status of their forces, although at some peril to their career. If Zinni had a problem with the drawdown of the fleet he certainly could have addressed that issue. These types of debate are usually carried out inside the military though, not in public.
And .. from what I understand about the incident - THERE WAS NO NEED FOR US TO PORT THERE - AS WE COULD HAVE REFUELED AT SEA.
We gave up so many of our military to the whims of the STINKING DEMOCRATS. When is the general public going to get a clue ..??
So what I'm reading here is Zinni says it was his fault because the USS Cole was attacked by terrorists, but it was sire-slime-clinton's fault because he cut back the military so bad they had to gas at a port, hence, they got blown-up???
What does this have to do with Rummie? He wasn't Secty. then????
This Zinni guy, in my opinion, is a loose cannon with a very big mouth and little brain....
He should have resigned in protest. And then spoken out.
Of course, he might have lost his pension, as Bill Clinton was abusing his authority to silence such opposition, with his supposedly "Republican" SecDef Bill Cohen. And note the MSM-complicity in effectuating the silencing back then to push their liberal censorship of uncomfortable realities [from Alamo-Girl's DSL]:
WorldNetDaiy 3/29/99 Geoff Metcalf From 1946 to 1991 the United States of America deployed military troops to eight foreign campaigns. From 1992 to the present (The Clinton reign), the United States of America has deployed military troops to 33 foreign places...
According to what I consider reliable sources, in 1997 24 -- count 'em, twenty-four -- generals retired early. I am still in the processing of confirming names, dates and replacements (if any). On July 7, 1997, in what is being called a mass protest over the conditions in the military (primarily because of administration policy) 24 generals quit. They reportedly had fought a losing battle to correct, modify, or mitigate the politically correct, operational tempo, and repeated "hey you" deployments. They tried to address the problems with readiness (or lack of) and pay. They tried, and they failed to compel the administration to fix what is wrong. Then, in a final act of courage and commitment (two concepts alien to this administration), they ALL went to see Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen, and RESIGNED. Twenty-four general officers representing 600 years of combined military experience tendered their resignations. THAT is a big deal. ... So why haven't we heard about it?
Zinni is one of the Democrat ex-Generals calling for the resignation or firing of Donald Rumsfeld.
Thanks for the ping and DSL ditto!
In early 2000, Former Clinton CENTCOM commander, Anthony Zinni told Congress "Iraq remains the most significant near-term threat to U.S. interests in the Arabian Gulf region," adding, "Iraq probably is continuing clandestine nuclear research, [and] retains stocks of chemical and biological munitions ...
Even if Baghdad reversed its course and surrendered all WMD capabilities, it retains scientific, technical, and industrial infrastructure to replace agents and munitions within weeks or months."
"If you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons, how many people is he going to kill with such weapons?
He's already demonstrated a willingness to use these weapons.
He poison-gassed his own people.
He used poison gas and other weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors.
This man has no compunction about killing lots and lots of people...."
-- Al Gore, Dec. 16, 1998
Isn't amazing how all of the Clintoon whores and pimps have forgotten what they said about WMDS and Saddam during the Clintoon raping of Americans.