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The Truth about Bill Clinton and Terrorism (FR Compilation Thread)
Free Republic ^ | September 8, 2006 | Various Sources

Posted on 09/08/2006 9:58:02 AM PDT by Howlin

Lopez: In sum, how many times did Bill Clinton lose bin Laden?

Miniter: Here's a rundown. The Clinton administration:

1. Did not follow-up on the attempted bombing of Aden marines in Yemen.

2. Shut the CIA out of the 1993 WTC bombing investigation, hamstringing their effort to capture bin Laden.

3. Had Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a key bin Laden lieutenant, slip through their fingers in Qatar.

4. Did not militarily react to the al Qaeda bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

5. Did not accept the Sudanese offer to turn bin Laden.

6. Did not follow-up on another offer from Sudan through a private back channel.

7. Objected to Northern Alliance efforts to assassinate bin Laden in Afghanistan.

8. Decided against using special forces to take down bin Laden in Afghanistan.

9. Did not take an opportunity to take into custody two al Qaeda operatives involved in the East African embassy bombings. In another little scoop, I am able to show that Sudan arrested these two terrorists and offered them to the FBI. The Clinton administration declined to pick them up and they were later allowed to return to Pakistan.

10. Ordered an ineffectual, token missile strike against a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory.

11. Clumsily tipped off Pakistani officials sympathetic to bin Laden before a planned missile strike against bin Laden on August 20, 1998. Bin Laden left the camp with only minutes to spare.

12-14. Three times, Clinton hesitated or deferred in ordering missile strikes against bin Laden in 1999 and 2000.

15. When they finally launched and armed the Predator spy drone plane, which captured amazing live video images of bin Laden, the Clinton administration no longer had military assets in place to strike the archterrorist.

16. Did not order a retaliatory strike on bin Laden for the murderous attack on the USS Cole.

From the article Q and A with Richard Miniter located in the article Clinton’s Loss? at National Review Online

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
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Please use this thread to add DOCUMENTED and SOURCED links and/or article concerning FACTS regarding Bill Clinton's legacy on terrorism.
1 posted on 09/08/2006 9:58:03 AM PDT by Howlin
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To: STARWISE; ravingnutter; kcvl; Mo1; Miss Marple; deport; onyx; A Citizen Reporter; McGavin999; ...

I figured we might as well have a thread to GATHER up all these links and stories we're posting on all these ABC threads!

2 posted on 09/08/2006 9:59:00 AM PDT by Howlin (Who in the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries? ~~NRO)
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To: Howlin

Here's an interesting one found by Txsleuth listening to BOR radio show this morning.

3 posted on 09/08/2006 10:01:00 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet-prayers for the kidnapped Israeli Soldiers)
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To: Howlin; Peach
Complete Richard Miniter interview:

September 11, 2003, 11:45 a.m.
Clinton’s Loss?
How the previous administration fumbled on bin Laden.

A Q&A by Kathryn Jean Lopez

ichard Miniter is a Brussels-based investigative journalist. His new book, Losing bin Laden: How Bill Clinton's Failures Unleashed Global Terror has just been released by Regnery. He spoke to NRO early today about the run-up to the war on terror.

Kathryn Jean Lopez: What did the Clinton administration know about Osama bin Laden and when did they know it?

Richard Miniter: One of the big myths about the Clinton years is that no one knew about bin Laden until Sept. 11, 2001. In fact, the bin Laden threat was recognized at the highest levels of the Clinton administration as early as 1993. What's more, bin Laden's attacks kept escalating throughout the Clinton administration; all told bin Laden was responsible for the deaths of 59 Americans on Clinton's watch.

President Clinton learned about bin Laden within months of being sworn into office. National Security Advisor Anthony Lake told me that he first heard the name Osama bin Laden in 1993 in relation to the World Trade Center attack. Lake briefed the president about bin Laden that same year.

In addition, starting in 1993, Rep. Bill McCollum (R., Fla.) repeatedly wrote to President Clinton and warned him and other administration officials about bin Laden and other Islamic terrorists. McCollum was the founder and chairman of the House Taskforce on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare and had developed a wealth of contacts among the mujihedeen in Afghanistan. Those sources, who regularly visited McCollum, informed him about bin Laden's training camps and evil ambitions.

Indeed, it is possible that Clinton and his national-security team learned of bin Laden even before the 1993 World Trade Center attack. My interviews and investigation revealed that bin Laden made his first attack on Americans was December 1992, a little more than a month after Clinton won the 1992 election. His target was 100 U.S. Marines housed in two towering Yemen hotels. Within hours, the CIA's counterterrorism center learned that the Yemen suspected a man named Osama bin Laden. (One of the arrested bombing suspects later escaped and was detained in a police sweep after al Qaeda attacked the USS Cole in 2000.) Lake says he doesn't remember briefing the president-elect about the attempted attack, but that he well might have.

So it is safe to conclude that Clinton knew about the threat posed by bin Laden since 1993, his first year in office.

Lopez: What exactly was U.S. reaction to the attack on the USS Cole?

Miniter: In October 2000, al Qaeda bombed the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen. Seventeen sailors were killed in the blast. The USS Cole was almost sunk. In any ordinary administration, this would have been considered an act of war. After all, America entered the Spanish-American war and World War I when our ships were attacked.

Counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke had ordered his staff to review existing intelligence in relation to the bombing of the USS Cole. After that review, he and Michael Sheehan, the State Department's counterterrorism coordinator, were convinced it was the work of Osama bin Laden. The Pentagon had on-the-shelf, regularly updated and detailed strike plans for bin Laden's training camps and strongholds in Afghanistan.

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. 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. Michael Sheehan was particularly surprised that the Pentagon did not want to act. He told Clarke: "What's it going to take to get them to hit al Qaeda in Afghanistan? Does al Qaeda have to attack the Pentagon?"

Instead of destroying bin Laden's terrorist infrastructure and capabilities, President Clinton phoned twice phoned the president of Yemen demanding better cooperation between the FBI and the Yemeni security services. If Clarke's plan had been implemented, al Qaeda's infrastructure would have been demolished and bin Laden might well have been killed. Sept. 11, 2001 might have been just another sunny day.

Lopez: When the World Trade Center was first bombed in '93, why was it treated at first as a criminal investigation?

Miniter: The Clinton administration was in the dark about the full extent of the bin Laden menace because the president's decision to treat the 1993 World Trade Center bombing as a crime. Once the FBI began a criminal investigation, it could not lawfully share its information with the CIA — without also having to share the same data with the accused terrorists. Woolsey told me about his frustration that he had less access to evidence from the World Trade Center bombing — the then-largest ever foreign terrorist attack on U.S soil — than any junior agent in the FBI's New York office.

Why did Clinton treat the attack as a law-enforcement matter? Several reasons. In the first few days, Clinton refused to believe that the towers had been bombed at all — even though the FBI made that determination within hours. He speculated a electrical transformer had exploded or a bank heist went bad.

More importantly, treating the bombing as a criminal matter was politically advantageous. A criminal matter is a relatively tidy process. It has the political benefit of insulating Clinton from consequences; after all, he was only following the law. He is not to blame if the terrorists were released on a "technicality" or if foreign nations refuse to honor our extradition requests. Oh well, he tried.

By contrast, if Clinton treated the bombing as the act of terrorism that it was, he would be assuming personal responsibility for a series of politically risky moves. Should he deploy the CIA or special forces to hunt down the perpetrators? What happens if the agents or soldiers die? What if they try to capture the terrorists and fail? One misstep and the media, Congress, and even the public might blame the president. So Clinton took the easy, safe way out, and called it a crime.

Lopez: Bill Clinton was actually offered bin Laden? Could you set the scene a little and clue us in on why, for heavens sakes, he would not take advantage of such opportunities?

Miniter: On March 3, 1996, U.S. ambassador to Sudan, Tim Carney, Director of East African Affairs at the State Department, David Shinn, and a member of the CIA's directorate of operations' Africa division met with Sudan's then-Minister of State for Defense Elfatih Erwa in a Rosslyn, Virginia hotel room. Item number two on the CIA's list of demands was to provide information about Osama bin Laden. Five days later, Erwa met with the CIA officer and offered more than information. He offered to arrest and turn over bin Laden himself. Two years earlier, the Sudan had turned over the infamous terrorist, Carlos the Jackal to the French. He now sits in a French prison. Sudan wanted to repeat that scenario with bin Laden in the starring role.

Clinton administration officials have offered various explanations for not taking the Sudanese offer. One argument is that an offer was never made. But the same officials are on the record as saying the offer was "not serious." Even a supposedly non-serious offer is an offer. Another argument is that the Sudanese had not come through on a prior request so this offer could not be trusted. But, as Ambassador Tim Carney had argued at the time, even if you believe that, why not call their bluff and ask for bin Laden?

The Clinton administration simply did not want the responsibility of taking Osama bin Laden into custody. Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger is on the record as saying: "The FBI did not believe we had enough evidence to indict bin Laden at that time and therefore opposed bringing him to the United States." Even if that was true — and it wasn't — the U.S. could have turned bin Laden over to Yemen or Libya, both of which had valid warrants for his arrest stemming from terrorist activities in those countries. Given the legal systems of those two countries, Osama would have soon ceased to be a threat to anyone.

After months of debating how to respond to the Sudanese offer, the Clinton administration simply asked Sudan to deport him. Where to? Ambassador Carney told me what he told the Sudanese: "Anywhere but Somalia."

In May 1996 bin Laden was welcomed into Afghanistan by the Taliban. It could not have been a better haven for Osama bin Laden.

Steven Simon, Clinton's counterterrorism director on the National Security Council thought that kicking bin Laden out of Sudan would benefit U.S. security since "It's going to take him a while to reconstitute, and that screws him up and buys time." Buys time? Oh yeah, 1996 was an election year and team Clinton did not want to deal with bin Laden until after it was safely reelected.

Lopez: This amazes me every time I hear it: You write, "When a small plane accidentally crashed into the White House lawn in 1994, West Wing staffers joked that it was [Jim] Woolsey trying to see the president..." How could the CIA director have that bad a relationship with his president? And this, after the first WTC attack. Did no one in the West Wing get it?

Miniter: Never once in his two-year tenure did CIA director James Woolsey ever have a one-on-one meeting with Clinton. Even semiprivate meetings were rare. They only happened twice. Woolsey told me: "It wasn't that I had a bad relationship with the president. It just didn't exist."

One of the little scoops in the book is the revelation that Clinton froze Woolsey out because the CIA director refused to put a friend of Bill on the agency's payroll. This account was confirmed by both Woolsey and the Clinton's consigliore Bruce Lindsey.

Considering the Justice Department's experience with Webster Hubbell, another Friend of Bill, Woolsey's decision may have done the CIA a great deal of good. But Clinton's pique did not make America any safer from bin Laden.

Another Clinton intelligence failure involved a refusal to help the CIA hire more Arabic language translators. In 1993, Woolsey learned that the agency was able to translate only 10 percent of its Arabic intercepts and badly wanted more translators. But Sen. Dennis DeConcini refused to approve the funds unless Clinton phoned him and said it was a presidential priority. Despite entreaties, Clinton never phoned the Democratic senator and the CIA didn't get those translators for years.

Lopez: In sum, how many times did Bill Clinton lose bin Laden?

Miniter: Here's a rundown. The Clinton administration:

1. Did not follow-up on the attempted bombing of Aden marines in Yemen.

2. Shut the CIA out of the 1993 WTC bombing investigation, hamstringing their effort to capture bin Laden.

3. Had Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a key bin Laden lieutenant, slip through their fingers in Qatar.

4. Did not militarily react to the al Qaeda bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

5. Did not accept the Sudanese offer to turn bin Laden.

6. Did not follow-up on another offer from Sudan through a private back channel.

7. Objected to Northern Alliance efforts to assassinate bin Laden in Afghanistan.

8. Decided against using special forces to take down bin Laden in Afghanistan.

9. Did not take an opportunity to take into custody two al Qaeda operatives involved in the East African embassy bombings. In another little scoop, I am able to show that Sudan arrested these two terrorists and offered them to the FBI. The Clinton administration declined to pick them up and they were later allowed to return to Pakistan.

10. Ordered an ineffectual, token missile strike against a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory.

11. Clumsily tipped off Pakistani officials sympathetic to bin Laden before a planned missile strike against bin Laden on August 20, 1998. Bin Laden left the camp with only minutes to spare.

12-14. Three times, Clinton hesitated or deferred in ordering missile strikes against bin Laden in 1999 and 2000.

15. When they finally launched and armed the Predator spy drone plane, which captured amazing live video images of bin Laden, the Clinton administration no longer had military assets in place to strike the archterrorist.

16. Did not order a retaliatory strike on bin Laden for the murderous attack on the USS Cole.

Lopez: You sorta defend Clinton against "wag the dog" criticisms in regard to that infamous August 1998 (Monica times) bombing of a pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan and some bin Laden strongholds in Afghanistan. That wasn't the problem, was it — that we fired then?

Miniter: Certainly the timing is suspicious. The day before the East African-embassy bombings, Monica Lewinsky had recanted her prior affidavit denying a sexual relationship with Clinton. The sex scandals kicked into overdrive.

Still, the president wasn't doing too much in combating bin Laden because of his sex scandals — he was doing too little. He should have launched more missile strikes against bin Laden and the hell with the political timing. Besides, after the East African-embassy bombings, any president would have been negligent not to strike back. If he had not, it would be open season on Americans. He would have been as ineffectual as Carter was during the Tehran hostage crisis. Indeed, this was the mistake made following the attack on the USS Cole.

But Clinton was distracted by sex and campaign-finance scandals and his political support was already heavily leveraged to get him through those scandals. If he fought bin Laden more vigorously, the leftwing of the Democratic party might have deserted him — which could have cost him the White House.

Instead Clinton's token, ineffectual missile strikes that only emboldened bin Laden. He believed that America was too intimidated to fight back — and was free to plan one of the most-murderous terrorist attacks in history.

Lopez: How did George Tenet perform during the Clinton years vis-à-vis al Qaeda/bin Laden?

Miniter: Tenet seemed to take a too legalistic view of CIA operations. He was risk-averse, wanting almost absolute certainty before recommending action, focused on safeguards against error and unintended consequences. Tenet seemed more concerned with not getting in trouble rather than relentlessly pursuing results to safeguard Americans against terrorism, the focus of a warrior.

Each time U.S. intelligence pinpointed bin Laden, Tenet was against a missile strike on the grounds that the information was "single threaded" — a pet phrase of the director which means single source. The predator was armed and fitted with video cameras mostly to overcome Tenet's objections to taking out bin Laden.

Lopez: Madeline Albright — frequently called upon expert nowadays — what's her record vis-à-vis al Qaeda?

Miniter: Albright always insisted that diplomatic efforts would best yield results on bin Laden. Even after the Cole bombing, Albright urged continued diplomatic efforts with the Taliban to turn him over, even though that effort had been going on for two years with no progress. Two simple facts should have made Albright aware that the Taliban would never turn over bin Laden: Osama had married off one of his sons to Mullah Omar's daughter. The Taliban weren't about to surrender a member of the family — especially one that commanded thousands of armed fighters who helped maintain Omar's grip on power.

Lopez: What exactly is the Iraq-al Qaeda connection?

Miniter: Osama bin Laden's wealth is overestimated. He had been financially drained during his years in Sudan and financing terrorist operations in dozens of countries, including training camps, bribes, etc., requires a large, constant cash flow. Saddam Hussein was unquestionably a generous financier of terrorism. Baghdad had a long history of funding terrorist campaigns in the bin Laden-allied region that straddles Iran and Pakistan known as Beluchistan. Documents found in Baghdad in April 2003 showed that Saddam funded the Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan terror group led by an Islamist cleric linked to bin Laden since the 1990s. Saddam openly funded the Iraqi Kurdish Group and its leader, Melan Krekar, admitted that he met bin Laden in Afghanistan. George Tenet testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee that Iraq had provided training in forging documents and making bombs. Farouk Harazi, a senior officer in the Iraqi Mukhabarat reportedly offered bin Laden asylum in Iraq. Salah Suleiman, an Iraqi intelligence operative, was arrested in October 2000 near the Afghan border, apparently returning from a visit to bin Laden. One of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, Abdul Rahman Yasin, reportedly fled to Baghdad in 1994. Iraq ran an extensive intelligence hub in Khartoum; Sudanese intelligence officers told me about dozens of meeting between Iraqi Intel and bin Laden. Tellingly, reports that Mohamed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence agents in Prague several times in 2000 and 2001 have not been disproved. I have far more on this in Appendix A of Losing bin Laden.

Lopez: What most surprised you to learn about the Clinton years and terrorism?

Miniter: Three things:

1) That the Sept. 11 attacks were planned in May 1998 in the Khalden Camp in southeastern Afghanistan, according to American and British intelligence officers I interviewed. In other words, the 9/11 attacks were planned on Clinton's watch.

2) The sheer number of bin Laden's attacks on Americans during the Clinton years.

3) And how much senior Clinton-administration officials knew about bin Laden and how little they did about it.

Lopez: This sounds like this could all be right-wing propaganda. How can you convince readers otherwise?

Miniter: Most of my best sources were senior Clinton officials, including both of his national-security advisers, his first CIA director, Clinton's counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, Madeline Albright, and others. Plus, I interviewed scores of career federal officials. None of them are card-carrying members of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

And, while I shine the light on Clinton's shortcomings in dealing with bin Laden, I also give credit where it is due. Chapter nine is all about one of the greatest (and least-known) Clinton victories over bin Laden — the successful thwarting of a series of plots to murder thousands of Americans on Millennium night, 1999.

If anyone has any doubts about the credibility of this book, they should read the acknowledgements, which list many of my sources. Or peruse the more than 15,000 words of footnotes, that allow the reader to see exactly where information is coming from. Or examine the intelligence documents reproduced in Appendix B. Or pick a page at random and read it. Any fair-minded reader will see a carefully constructed and balanced account that attempts to lay out the history of Clinton and bin Laden.

4 posted on 09/08/2006 10:01:06 AM PDT by Howlin (Who in the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries? ~~NRO)
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To: SE Mom


Keep 'em coming!

5 posted on 09/08/2006 10:01:43 AM PDT by Howlin (Who in the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries? ~~NRO)
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To: Howlin

Great post; saved.

6 posted on 09/08/2006 10:02:52 AM PDT by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: Howlin

Berger’s Bonfire

Berger’s record of inattention and malfeasance--and, yes, "sloppiness"--is unshreddable.

"[Lindsey's] nicknames have run the gamut from "the Enforcer" to "the Consigliere," the Sicilian word for a trusted counsel to a Mafia chieftain." --Time Magazine, March 23 1998 [1]

The astonishing admission of Samuel “Sandy” Berger, Bill Clinton’s longtime National Security Advisor, that he stuffed “code-word”-class secret documents into his pants, sneaked them out of a secure review room at the National Archives and “inadvertently” destroyed them is highly disquieting to those familiar with Berger’s background and activities in the Clinton Administration.

In particular, the Washington Post reports [2] that Berger purloined all draft revisions of a key critique of the government's response to the millennium terrorism threat, a document that detailed Administration knowledge – and inaction – regarding al Qaeda presence in the U.S. in 1999 and 2000. Stolen were crucial notes in the margins of these drafts which reveal the thinking and agendas of the Clinton Administration relating to the mounting terrorist threat.

Cui bono? And when the losses were discovered, why did the Archives staff notify Bruce Lindsey? Lindsey, whom Time Magazine called Clinton’s consigliere, is the brilliant legal tactician both Clintons can thank for their continued freedom.

Berger has an impressive resume, but not one that obviously qualified him as NSA. He entered White House service a millionaire lawyer and lobbyist with a career centered on expanding trade with China [3]. Former FBI Director Louis Freeh opined that “he was a public-relations hack, interested in how something would play in the press” [4]. Indeed, Clinton’s brilliant poll-meister, Dick Morris, noted Berger “seemed to work overtime at opposing tough measures against terror” [5], advising vetoes of legislation aimed at crippling Iranian terror funding and working to block antiterror sanctions. It was Berger who repeatedly rebuffed Sudanese offers to hand Osama bin Laden to the United States in a deal brokered by a $900,000 contributor to Democrat campaigns [6,7]. It was Berger who allowed bin Laden and his top lieutenants to escape to Afghanistan [8]. It was Berger whose calls Bill Clinton ducked in 1998 when bin Laden was briefly vulnerable to missile attack [9]. It was Berger who was singled-out by former UN Inspector Scott Ritter for the collapse of UN inspections efforts in Iraq [10]. It was Berger who helped broker the farcical antinuclear treaty with North Korea. It was Berger who ultimately admitted that the Clinton Administration had failed to develop a war plan to fight al Qaeda [11].

At the same time, it was Berger who was the go-to man in the Administration on matters regarding China policy in the years when Communist Chinese money was being funneled into Democrat Party coffers in exchange for policy concessions and strategic nuclear technology. It was Berger whom DNC Chairman Don Fowler approached for favors for George Chao-chi Chu, a Chinagate-linked John Huang crony described as having "unusual access to high-ranking Communist officials in China" who, like the just-exited chief-foreign-policy-advisor Berger, has current ties to John Kerry [12]. And it was Berger who the Energy Department approached with warnings of Chinese spying in Los Alamos, and who stonewalled the matter for three years [13].

The list goes on and on [14]: Berger was not just the malfeasant, poll-driven, cowardly hack at the helm of our national security apparatus who enabled the global metastasis of bloodthirsty jihad; he was not just one of the key people who roadblocked cooperation between law enforcement and foreign intelligence, stacking “Gorelick’s Wall” ever higher. In fact, as bagman for the Communist Chinese, Sandy Berger was himself likely one of the key beneficiaries of Gorelick’s Wall.

Viewed against his record, Berger’s theft and destruction of “code-word”-level secret documents – and “The Consigliere’s” stealthy involvement – is all too readily understood.

Scott Jordan


[1] TIME, "The Ubiquitous Mr. Fix-It", Adam Cohen,

[2] Washington Post, "Berger Quits as Advisor to Kerry", Susan Schmidt,

[3] Tom Laughlin,

[4] Freeh quoted in The New Yorker, per

[5] Wall Street Journal, "While Clinton Fiddled", Dick Morris,

[6] National Review, "Clinton & Khobar", Rich Lowry,

[7] Washington Times, "Miniter Responds", Richard Miniter,

[8] NewsMax, "Aide: Clinton Unleashed bin Laden", Chuck Noe,

[9] US News & World Report, Paul Bedard, 15 Mar 2003

[10] "Endgame: Solving the Iraq Problem - Once and for All" by Scott Ritter, reviewed by Daniel Pipes,

[11] National Review, "Warning B.S.", Rich Lowry,

[12] The Hill, "Fundraiser resurfaces from 1996", Sam Dealey,

[13] Sen. James Inhofe,

[14] National Review, "The Clinton Intel Record", Mansoor Ijaz,

7 posted on 09/08/2006 10:03:44 AM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast
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To: Howlin

The Gorelick Rosetta Stone

Has 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick's famous memo provided the missing link between Chinagate and 9/11?

Recall, too, that during the time of Ms. Gorelick's 1995 memo, the issue causing the most tension between the Reno-Gorelick Justice Department and Director Freeh's FBI was not counterterrorism but widely reported allegations of contributions to the Clinton-Gore campaign from foreign sources, involving the likes of John Huang and Charlie Trie. -- The Wall Street Journal, Thursday, April 15, 2004
Hats off to the Wall Street Journal for a spectacular observation, perhaps the Rosetta Stone of postmillennial national security.

Let its boiled-down essence not escape your attention: the ongoing dividends of Chinagate may well have included 9/11.

And history may be repeating itself. Let me explain.

To set the stage, recall that Bill Clinton ensured his loyal minions populated the US Attorneys' offices nationwide when he fired every last US Attorney at the dawn of his Administration, then appointed his own. Next, as we have seen through Jamie Gorelick's startling memo[1], he saw to it that domestic law enforcement was blinded to foreign intelligence information. He then methodically offered up White House access and key strategic technologies to the highest bidder: China, and Indonesian/Chinese billionaire donors with close ties to China's dictatorial regime. Intriguingly, Clinton's Department of Justice's signature assault on Microsoft also appears to have been to the benefit of Indonesian/Chinese billionaires, who just happened to be the originating funders of the private venture fund which was the largest shareholder in lead plaintiff Netscape at the time[2]

With the declassification of former Deputy Attorney General Gorelick's memo, the picture comes into sharp focus: the Clinton Administration was not just:

o Inattentive towards terrorism;

o Impotent in its response to bin Laden's challenges;

o Burdened by petty bureaucratic squabbles and a thong-distracted Chief Executive, blocking urgently-needed intel initiatives[3];

...but also:

o Purposefully malfeasant in hamstringing the intelligence community even beyond Carter-era Church Commission strictures. "Gorelick's Wall" was not just a monument to political correctness and lawyer-think run amok, it was a strategic keystone of the Clinton Administration's wholesale auction of America's security, sovereignty and economy.

Yes, the economy, Clinton's vaunted economy, with its skyrocketing stock-market and spectacular 5.6% 1996 unemployment rate (which of course puts George W. Bush’s dismal 2004 5.6% unemployment rate to shame). This unstoppable economy screeched to an ignominious halt in the second half of 2000 as the tech sector imploded[4] - a multi-trillion-dollar evaporation of shareholder wealth driven in significant part by the DOJ's pursuit of tech bellwether Microsoft, which put a measurable damper on enthusiasm for big-cap technology stocks and funding for new tech ventures alike.

Follow the money. The legacy of that Administration is not just one of incompetence and inattention culminating in an innocence-crushing September morning once it was safely out of office. It is one of malevolent, calculated wholesaling of loyalty for political gain, with Gorelick's Wall providing cover by blinding law enforcement efforts that might have made a difference.

Still, Chinagate was exposed, and in a sane world it would have hit the political world like one of the Chinese ICBMs it facilitated. But Clinton was untouchable - immunized! - after the Lewinsky obstruction-of-justice mess fizzled like the captivating but comparatively feeble bottle-rocket it was. Today the damage extends far beyond the smoldering pits of lower Manhattan and the Pentagon. The world now stands on the cusp of decades of global turmoil in the face of emboldened and metastasized radical Islamism, most recently including al Qaeda’s successful gambit towards reestablishing Moorish dispensation in Andalusia[5].

Is Chinagate old news? Water under the bridge? Something for the 9/11 Commission's Democrat partisans to pooh-pooh and ignore as they recklessly paint their anti-Bush pastiche?

Not if you continue to mourn the thousands dead on that grim September morning. And not if you consider what other reflexively anti-Defense politician currently angling for the Presidency has financial ties to some of the same scandalous campaign donors as Bill Clinton: John Kerry is today's victorious campaign-donation choice of Chinagate's Huang-linked George Chao-Chi Chu, described as having "unusual access to high-ranking Communist officials in China" [6]. And that is old news, in a way: for in 1996 John Kerry received cash from Johnny Chung and Liu Chaoying, daughter of a powerful Chinese military official, for providing high-level access to Federal securities regulators. Kerry's cash came from transfers sent to Chung on orders from the chief of Chinese military intelligence[7].

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana

Scott Jordan


1 A web-accessible transcription of the Gorelick "Wall" memo is at

2 At the time of the DOJ's action against Microsoft was initiated, lead plaintiff Netscape's largest shareholder was the private venture fund of Amerindo Investment Advisors. "The name Amerindo came from the fund's first investors, a group of Indonesian Chinese who wanted [the founder, Cuban expatriate Alberto] Vilar to call the firm American Indonesian Singaporean Investment Co. but settled for an abbreviation." -- Fortune, October 25, 1999

3 Caspar Weinberger, Washington Times, Sept. 2, 2003, reviewing Miniter: "The president never supported Mr. Woolsey's urgent request for Arabic-language translators for the CIA in 1994. A separate feud between Mr. Woolsey and Sen. Dennis DeConcini, Arizona Democrat, was allowed to run its course without direction by the Clinton White House, which further set back the CIA director's appeal for Arabic translators." So, as the author concludes, "a bureaucratic feud and President Clinton's indifference kept America blind and deaf as bin Laden plotted."

4 For a graphical econometric analysis of the recession's onset, see

5 London Telegraph, "Bin Laden makes an offer that he cannot deliver",

6 The Hill, "Fundraiser resurfaces from 1996", Sam Dealey,

7 NewsMax, "Kerry Took Cash From Chinese Military Intelligence",

8 posted on 09/08/2006 10:05:56 AM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast
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To: Peach

I received this in email this morning; I am including the emailer's comments (bracketed)

[In response to the claims that Clinton didn't have an opportunity to get bin Laden and the Berger scene from "The Path to 9/11", scroll down (about halfway) and it's under the heading "No Actionable Intelligence" but the content tells a different story. Note especially the May 1999 episode which itself notes 3 opportunities squashed and the "hang alone" notation, I'm guessing the miniseries scene relied heavily on that (I decided to separate that part out of the paragraph it's in to highlight it, down a ways):]

National Security Adviser Berger said that there was never a circumstance where the policymakers thought they had good intelligence but declined to launch a missile at UBL-linked targets for fear of possible collateral damage. He told us the deciding factor was whether there was actionable intelligence. If the shot missed Bin Ladin, the United States would look weak, and Bin Ladin would look strong.

There were frequent reports about Bin Ladin’s whereabouts and activities. The daily reports regularly described where he was, what he was doing, and where he might be going. But usually, by the time these descriptions were landing on the desks of DCI Tenet or National Security Adviser Berger, Bin Ladin had already moved. Nevertheless, on occasion, intelligence was deemed credible enough to warrant planning for possible strikes to kill Usama Bin Ladin.

Kandahar, December 1998
The first instance was in December 1998, in Kandahar. There was intelligence that Bin Ladin was staying at a particular location. Strikes were readied against this and plausible alternative locations. The principal advisers to the President agreed not to recommend a strike. Returning from one of their meetings, DCI Tenet told staff that the military, supported by everyone else in the room, had not wanted to launch a strike because no one had seen Bin Ladin in a couple of hours. DCI Tenet told us that there were concerns about the veracity of the source and about the risk of collateral damage to a nearby mosque. A few weeks later, Clarke described the calculus as one that had weighed 50 percent confidence in the intelligence against collateral damage estimated at, perhaps, 300 casualties.

After this episode Pentagon planners intensified efforts to find a more precise alternative to cruise missiles, such as using precision strike aircraft. This option would greatly reduce the collateral damage. Not only would it have to operate at long ranges from
home bases and overcome significant logistical obstacles, but the aircraft might be shot down by the Taliban. At the time, Clarke complained that General Zinni was opposed to the forward deployment of these aircraft. General Zinni does not recall blocking such an option. The aircraft apparently were not deployed for this purpose.

The Desert Camp, February 1999
During the winter of 1998-99, intelligence reported that Bin Ladin frequently visited a camp in the desert adjacent to a larger hunting camp in Helmand province of Afghanistan, used by visitors from a Gulf state. Public sources have stated that these visitors were from the United Arab Emirates. At the beginning of February, Bin Ladin was reportedly located there, and apparently remained for more than a week. This was not in an urban area, so the risk of collateral damage was minimal. Intelligence provided a detailed description of the camps. National technical intelligence confirmed the description of the larger camp and showed the nearby presence of an official aircraft of the UAE. The CIA received reports that Bin Ladin regularly went from his adjacent camp to the larger camp where he visited with Emiratis. The location of this larger camp was confirmed by February 9, but the location of Bin Ladin’s quarters could not be pinned down so precisely. Preparations were made for a possible strike at least against the larger camp, perhaps to target Bin Ladin during one of his visits. No strike was launched.

According to CIA officials, policymakers were concerned about the danger that a strike might kill an Emirati prince or other senior officials who might be with Bin Ladin or close by. The lead CIA official in the field felt the intelligence reporting in this case was very reliable; the UBL unit chief at the time agrees. The field official believes today that this was a lost opportunity to kill Bin Ladin before 9/11.

Clarke told us the strike was called off because the intelligence was dubious, and it seemed to him as if the CIA was presenting an option to attack America’s best counterterrorism ally in the Gulf. Documentary evidence at the time shows that on February 10 Clarke detailed to Deputy National Security Adviser Donald Kerrick the intelligence placing UBL in the camp, informed him that DOD might be in position to fire the next morning, and added that General Shelton was looking at other options that might be ready the following week.

Clarke had just returned from a visit to the UAE, working on counterterrorism cooperation and following up on a May 1998 UAE agreement to buy F-16 aircraft from the United States. On February 10, Clarke reported that a top UAE official had vehemently denied that high-level UAE officials were in Afghanistan. Evidence subsequently confirmed that high-level UAE officials had been hunting there.

By February 12 Bin Ladin had apparently moved on and the immediate strike plans became moot. In March the entire camp complex was hurriedly disassembled. We are still examining several aspects of this episode.

Kandahar, May 1999
In this case sources reported on the whereabouts of Bin Ladin over the course of five nights. The reporting was very detailed. At the time CIA working-level officials were told that strikes were not ordered because the military was concerned about the precision of the source’s reporting and the risk of collateral damage.

Replying to a frustrated colleague in the field, the UBL unit chief wrote that “having a chance to get UBL three times in 36 hours and foregoing the chance each time has made me a bit angry. …the DCI finds himself alone at the table, with the other princip[als] basically saying ‘we’ll go along with your decision Mr. Director,’ and implicitly saying that the Agency will hang alone if the attack doesn’t get Bin Ladin.” These are working-level perspectives.

According to DCI Tenet the same circumstances prevented a strike in each of the cases described above: the intelligence was based on a single uncorroborated source, and there was a risk of collateral damage. In the first and third cases, the cruise missile option was rejected outright, and in the case of the second, never came to a clear decision point.

According to National Security Adviser Berger, the cases were “really DCI Tenet’s call.” In his view, in none of the cases did policymakers have the reliable intelligence that was needed. In Berger’s opinion, this did not reflect risk aversion or a lack of desire to act on DCI Tenet’s part. The DCI was just as stoked up as he was, said Berger. Each of these times, Berger told us, “George would call and say, ‘We just don’t have it.’” There was a fourth episode involving a location in Ghazni, Afghanistan, in July 1999. We are still investigating the circumstances.

There were no occasions after July 1999 when cruise missiles were actively readied for a possible strike against Bin Ladin. The challenge of providing actionable intelligence could not be overcome before 9/11.

9 posted on 09/08/2006 10:06:35 AM PDT by Howlin (Who in the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries? ~~NRO)
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To: Howlin

Again, from an email:

From the 9/11 Report itself, scroll down:

Kandahar, May 1999
It was in Kandahar that perhaps the last, and most likely the best, opportunity arose for targeting Bin Ladin with cruise missiles before 9/11. In May 1999, CIA assets in Afghanistan reported on Bin Ladin's location in and around Kandahar over the course of five days and nights. The reporting was very detailed and came from several sources. If this intelligence was not "actionable," working-level officials said at the time and today, it was hard for them to imagine how any intelligence on Bin Ladin in Afghanistan would meet the standard. Communications were good, and the cruise missiles were ready. "This was in our strike zone," a senior military officer said. "It was a fat pitch, a home run." He expected the missiles to fly. When the decision came back that they should stand down, not shoot, the officer said, "we all just slumped." He told us he knew of no one at the Pentagon or the CIA who thought it was a bad gamble. Bin Ladin "should have been a dead man" that night, he said.173

Working-level CIA officials agreed. While there was a conflicting intelligence report about Bin Ladin's whereabouts, the experts discounted it. At the time, CIA working-level officials were told by their managers that the strikes were not ordered because the military doubted the intelligence and worried about collateral damage. Replying to a frustrated colleague in the field, the Bin Ladin unit chief wrote: "having a chance to get [Bin Ladin] three times in 36 hours and foregoing the chance each time has made me a bit angry.... [T]he DCI finds himself alone at the table, with the other princip[als] basically saying 'we'll go along with your decision Mr. Director,' and implicitly saying that the Agency will hang alone if the attack doesn't get Bin Ladin."174

10 posted on 09/08/2006 10:07:30 AM PDT by Howlin (Who in the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries? ~~NRO)
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast

Oh, thank you!!!

11 posted on 09/08/2006 10:07:59 AM PDT by Howlin (Who in the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries? ~~NRO)
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To: Howlin


BTW..I just called Santorum and Frist and made them aware that if you type in your browser it takes you to the DNC. Frists office was PISSED! Santorums had me call my local Philly office so they are now aware of it too.

12 posted on 09/08/2006 10:09:29 AM PDT by hipaatwo (Vote for your life. Every vote for a Democrat is a vote against victory.)
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To: Howlin

Who published that? Color me disgusted with the whole lot of them. And the media which cowers in fear.

And now a report is coming out that Senate Intelligence Committee is saying there never was a relationship between Iraq/AQ.

If the Bush administration doesn't counter all this and realize what it will do to them, Republicans and support for our military, then I'm so disgusted I almost don't have words for it.

It's going to be a bad week next week. Very bad.

I'm going back in the pool and forgetting I ever read any of this whitewash.

13 posted on 09/08/2006 10:10:01 AM PDT by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: hipaatwo

Former Head of CIA's Bin Laden Unit: Clinton Admin Played Role in Nixing Osama Op

Posted by Noel Sheppard on September 7, 2006 - 00:22.

In response to an article published at NewsBusters and The American Thinker, I have received two e-mail messages from Michael Scheuer, a 22-year veteran of the CIA that used to head up “Alec Station,” the Counterterrorist Center’s Osama bin Laden unit. (Update: Scheuer is the individual regularly referred to in the 9/11 Commission report as "Mike".) His name might ring a bell as the previously anonymous author of the books Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror and Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America. In his writing as well as his interviews, Scheuer is an outspoken critic of the current Administration’s prosecution of the war on terror, as well as an opponent of the war in Iraq. As such, he is not considered to be a friend of the president’s.

That said, after reading my piece about the smear campaign against ABC’s “The Path to 9/11,” Scheuer apprised me of an op-ed he had written for the Washington Times on July 5 of this year. Given its context to this issue, I wanted to share it with our readers, and will do so in its entirety in a moment.

However, before I do, let me first share a more recent opinion offered by Scheuer as answers to some questions I asked of him in response to his first e-mail message: “Is the scene in question as depicted by Rush an accurate account of the plan to capture or kill bin Laden in Afghanistan. If so, who do you believe gave the order to halt it?” Scheuer responded:

Regarding the scene, it was never clear to my officers or myself who canceled the operation. It is true that Clarke was bad-mouthing it. What I don't think people know, however, is that the Agency had thoroughly reviewed the plan and had approved its execution at the highest level -- that is, at the level of DCI Tenet and his immediate subordinates. (NB: At Tenet's direction, JSOC commanders at Fort Bragg also reviewed the plan. They approved it, said they could not do better, and built two sand-table mock-ups of the bin Laden's compound for us to use in preparing the operation.) My officers and I were told that the plan had been sent to Clarke and the NSC for approval. The next thing we knew, the Chief of CT at CIA told us that the plan had been canceled because civilians might get killed, there was not a hundred percent chance that we would get bin Laden, and that if bin Laden was killed in the capture effort the CIA might get accused of assassination. The implication to us at the time was that the NSC canceled the operation, but Tenet later claimed he did it himself. I don't know what the full truth is on this issue. Interestingly, after our east Africa embassies were bombed on 7 August 98, Clarke ordered us to immediately revive the capture plan, but of course by then the chance had been well and truly lost.

Hat tip, Newsbusters:

14 posted on 09/08/2006 10:10:44 AM PDT by Howlin (Who in the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries? ~~NRO)
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To: Howlin; Grampa Dave

How about a video with Tom Brokaw and how Clinton missed Bin Laden. Link thanks to Grampa Dave

15 posted on 09/08/2006 10:11:44 AM PDT by hipaatwo (Vote for your life. Every vote for a Democrat is a vote against victory.)
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To: Peach

It was on MSNBC.

16 posted on 09/08/2006 10:11:49 AM PDT by Howlin (Who in the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries? ~~NRO)
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To: Howlin

We need a national debate about what Clinton did or didnt do

17 posted on 09/08/2006 10:14:03 AM PDT by woofie
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To: Howlin
Dick Morris, noted Berger “seemed to work overtime at opposing tough measures against terror” ...
All that, plus he does his "Sandy Burglar" thing and he's still walking free?????
18 posted on 09/08/2006 10:17:16 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Howlin; All
A searchable database -9/11 Commission.

There's a better one I used during the hearings, but I can't locate it right now


"As evidence of al Qaeda’s responsibility for the Cole attack came in during November 2000, National Security Advisor Samuel Berger asked the Pentagon to develop a plan for a sustained air campaign against the Taliban.

Clarke developed a paper laying out a formal, specific ultimatum. But Clarke’s plan apparently did not advance to formal consideration by the Small Group of principals.

We have found no indication that the idea was briefed to the new administration or that Clarke passed his paper to them, although the same team of career officials spanned both administrations."

19 posted on 09/08/2006 10:17:51 AM PDT by STARWISE (They (Rats) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war-RichardMiniter, respected OBL author)
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To: Howlin
I'm still amazed how everyone's forgotten how he sold state secrets to the Chinese for campaign money.
20 posted on 09/08/2006 10:21:57 AM PDT by Lancer_N3502A
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To: Howlin
Presidential Daily Brief to Clinton warned of Hijackings

Just for a trip down memory lane. We are all familiar with the left throwing up the August 6th, 2001 PDB, but did you know?

“The following is the text of an item from the Presidential Daily Brief received by President William J. Clinton on December 4, 1998. Redacted material is indicated in brackets.

SUBJECT: Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks

1. Reporting [-] suggests Bin Ladin and his allies are preparing for attacks in the US, including an aircraft hijacking to obtain the release of Shaykh ‘Umar ‘Abd al-Rahman, Ramzi Yousef, and Muhammad Sadiq ‘Awda. One source quoted a senior member of the Gama’at al-Islamiyya (IG) saying that, as of late October, the IG had completed planning for an operation in the US on behalf of Bin Ladin, but that the operation was on hold.A senior Bin Ladin operative from Saudi Arabia was to visit IG counterparts in the US soon thereafter to discuss options-perhaps including an aircraft hijacking.

IG leader Islambuli in late September was planning to hijack a US airliner during the “next couple of weeks” to free ‘Abd al-Rahman and the other prisoners, according to what may be a different source.

The same source late last month said that Bin Ladin might implement plans to hijack US aircraft before the beginning of Ramadan on 20 December and that two members of the operational team had evaded security checks during a recent trial run at an unidentified New York airport. [-]

2. Some members of the Bin Ladin network have received hijack training, according to various sources, but no group directly tied to Bin Ladin’s al-Qa’ida organization has ever carried out an aircraft hijacking.Bin Ladin could be weighing other types of operations against US aircraft.Accord-ing to [-] the IG in October obtained SA-7 missiles and intended to move them from Yemen into Saudi Arabia to shoot down an Egyptian plane or, if unsuccessful, a US military or civilian aircraft.

A [-] in October told us that unspecified “extremist elements” in Yemen had acquired SA-7s. [-]

3. [-] indicate the Bin Ladin organization or its allies are moving closer to implementing anti-US attacks at unspecified locations, but we do not know whether they are related to attacks on aircraft. A Bin Ladin associate in Sudan late last month told a colleague in Kandahar that he had shipped a group of containers to Afghanistan. Bin Ladin associates also talked about the movement of containers to Afghanistan before the East Africa bombings.

In other [-] Bin Ladin associates last month discussed picking up a package in Malaysia. One told his colleague in Malaysia that “they” were in the “ninth month [of pregnancy].”

An alleged Bin Ladin supporter in Yemen late last month remarked to his mother that he planned to work in “commerce” from abroad and said his impending “marriage,” which would take place soon, would be a “surprise.”"Commerce” and “marriage” often are codewords for terrorist attacks. [-]

So what did this mean. Well from the 911 Commission Report we know that there was a small effort to tighten security at airport, especially JFK and others. But the report goes on to tell us what happened in the days afterward.

“The intelligence community could learn little about the source of the information. Later in December and again in early January 1999, more information arrived from the same source, reporting that the planned hijacking had been stalled because two of the operatives, who were sketchily described, had been arrested near Washington, D.C. or New York. After investigation, the FBI could find no information to support the hijack threat; nor could it verify any arrests like those described in the report. The FAA alert at the New York area airports ended on January 31, 1999.113

On December 17, the day after the United States and Britain began their Desert Fox bombing campaign against Iraq, the Small Group convened to discuss intelligence suggesting imminent Bin Ladin attacks on the U.S. embassies in Qatar and Ethiopia. The next day, Director Tenet sent a memo to the President, the cabinet, and senior officials throughout the government describing reports that Bin Ladin planned to attack U.S. targets very soon, possibly over the next few days, before Ramadan celebrations began. Tenet said he was “greatly concerned.”114

With alarms sounding, members of the Small Group considered ideas about how to respond to or prevent such attacks. Generals Shelton and Zinni came up with military options. Special Operations Forces were later told that they might be ordered to attempt very high-risk in-and-out raids either in Khartoum, to capture a senior Bin Ladin operative known as Abu Hafs the Mauritanian-who appeared to be engineering some of the plots-or in Kandahar, to capture Bin Ladin himself. Shelton told us that such operations are not risk free, invoking the memory of the 1993 “Black Hawk down” fiasco in Mogadishu.115

The CIA reported on December 18 that Bin Ladin might be traveling to Kandahar and could be targeted there with cruise missiles. Vessels with Tomahawk cruise missiles were on station in the Arabian Sea, and could fire within a few hours of receiving target data.116

On December 20, intelligence indicated Bin Ladin would be spending the night at the Haji Habash house, part of the governor’s residence in Kandahar. The chief of the Bin Ladin unit, “Mike,” told us that he promptly briefed Tenet and his deputy, John Gordon. From the field, the CIA’s Gary Schroen advised: “Hit him tonight-we may not get another chance.” An urgent teleconference of principals was arranged.117

The principals considered a cruise missile strike to try to kill Bin Ladin. One issue they discussed was the potential collateral damage-the number of innocent bystanders who would be killed or wounded. General Zinni predicted a number well over 200 and was concerned about damage to a nearby mosque. The senior intelligence officer on the Joint Staff apparently made a different calculation, estimating half as much collateral damage and not predicting damage to the mosque. By the end of the meeting, the principals decided against recommending to the President that he order a strike. A few weeks later, in January 1999, Clarke wrote that the principals had thought the intelligence only half reliable and had worried about killing or injuring perhaps 300 people. Tenet said he remembered doubts about the reliability of the source and concern about hitting the nearby mosque. “Mike” remembered Tenet telling him that the military was concerned that a few hours had passed since the last sighting of Bin Ladin and that this persuaded everyone that the chance of failure was too great.118

Some lower-level officials were angry. “Mike” reported to Schroen that he had been unable to sleep after this decision. “I’m sure we’ll regret not acting last night,” he wrote, criticizing the principals for “worrying that some stray shrapnel might hit the Habash mosque and ‘offend’ Muslims.” He commented that they had not shown comparable sensitivity when deciding to bomb Muslims in Iraq. The principals, he said, were “obsessed” with trying to get others-Saudis, Pakistanis, Afghan tribals-to “do what we won’t do.” Schroen was disappointed too. “We should have done it last night,” he wrote. “We may well come to regret the decision not to go ahead.”119 The Joint Staff’s deputy director for operations agreed, even though he told us that later intelligence appeared to show that Bin Ladin had left his quarters before the strike would have occurred. Missing Bin Ladin, he said, “would have caused us a hell of a problem, but it was a shot we should have taken, and we would have had to pay the price.”

Schroen was right, they should have taken the shot, and this is the composit that the film protrayed with Sandy Berger slamming the phone down after informing them he didn’t have the authority. Yet, even with the “artistic license” we can see that - such as when the Predator had Bin Laden in it’s sites there was hemming and hawing and indecision abounding under Clinton.

In the military as in all dangerous work you learn one lesson - hesitation will get you killed. We learned that all too well on 9/11.

21 posted on 09/08/2006 10:23:38 AM PDT by hipaatwo (Vote for your life. Every vote for a Democrat is a vote against victory.)
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To: Howlin

* January 25, 1993: Mir Aimal Kansi, a Pakistani, fired an AK-47 into cars waiting at a stoplight in front of the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Virginia, killing two CIA employees.

* February 26, 1993: Islamic terrorists try to bring down the World Trade Center with car bombs. They failed to destroy the buildings, but killed 6 and injured over 1000 people.

* March 12, 1993: Car bombings in Mumbai, India leave 257 dead and 1,400 others injured.

* July 18, 1994: Bombing of Jewish Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, kills 86 and wounds 300. The bombing is generally attributed to Hezbollah acting on behalf of Iran.

* July 19, 1994: Alas Chiricanas Flight 00901 is bombed, killing 21. Generally attributed to Hezbollah.

* July 26, 1994: The Israeli Embassy is attacked in London, and a Jewish charity is also car-bombed, wounding 20. The attacks are attributed to Hezbollah.

* December 11, 1994: A bomb explodes on board Philippine Airlines Flight 434, killing a Japanese businessman. It develops that Ramzi Yousef planted the bomb to test it for the larger terrorist attack he is planning.

* December 24, 1994: In a preview of September 11, Air France Flight 8969 is hijacked by Islamic terrorists who planned to crash the plane in Paris.

* January 6, 1995: Operation Bojinka, an Islamist plot to bomb 11 U.S. airliners over the Pacific Ocean, is discovered on a laptop computer in a Manila, Philippines apartment by authorities after a fire occurred in the apartment. Noted terrorists including Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed are involved in the plot.

* June 14—June 19, 1995: The Budyonnovsk hospital hostage crisis, in which 105 civilians and 25 Russian troops were killed following an attack by Chechan Islamists.

* July—October, 1995: Bombings in France by Islamic terrorists led by Khaled Kelkal kill eight and injure more than 100.

* November 13, 1995: Bombing of OPM-SANG building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia kills 7

* November 19, 1995: Bombing of Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan kills 19.

* January 1996: In Kizlyar, 350 Chechen Islamists took 3,000 hostages in a hospital. The attempt to free them killed 65 civilians and soldiers.

* February 25 - March 4, 1996: A series of four suicide bombings in Israel leave 60 dead and 284 wounded within 10 days.

* June 11, 1996: A bomb explodes on a train traveling on the Serpukhovsko-Timiryazevskaya Line of the Moscow Metro, killing four and unjuring at least 12.

* June 25, 1996: The Khobar Towers bombing, carried out by Hezbollah with Iranian support. Nineteen U.S. servicemen were killed and 372 wounded.

* February 24, 1997: An armed man opens fire on tourists at an observation deck atop the Empire State Building in New York City, United States, killing a Danish national and wounding visitors from several countries. A handwritten note carried by the gunman claims this was a punishment attack against the "enemies of Palestine".

* November 17, 1997: Massacre in Luxor, Egypt, in which Islamist gunmen attack tourists, killing 62 people.

* January 1998: Wandhama Massacre - 24 Kashmiri Pandits are massacred by Pakistan-backed Islamists in the city of Wandhama in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

* February 14, 1998: Bombings by Islamic Jihadi groups at an election rally in the Indian city of Coimbatore kill about 60 people.

* August 7, 1998: Al Qaeda bombs U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya, killing 225 people and injuring more than 4,000.

* August 31 – September 22, 1998: Russian apartment bombings kill about 300 people, leading Russia into Second Chechen War.

* December 1998: Jordanian authorities foil a plot to bomb American and Israeli tourists in Jordan, and arrest 28 suspects as part of the 2000 millennium attack plots.

* December 14, 1998: Ahmed Ressam is arrested on the United States–Canada border in Port Angeles, Washington; he confessed to planning to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport as part of the 2000 millennium attack plots.

* December 24, 1998: Indian Airlines Flight 814 from Kathmandu, Nepal to Delhi, India is hijacked by Islamic terrorists. One passenger is killed and some hostages are released. After negotiations between the Taliban and the Indian government, the last of the remaining hostages on board Flight 814 are released in exchange for release of 4 terrorists.

* January 2000: The last of the 2000 millennium attack plots fails, as the boat meant to bomb USS The Sullivans sinks.

* August 8, 2000: A bomb exploded at an underpass in Pushkin Square in Moscow, killing 11 people and wounding more than 90.

* August 17, 2000: Two bombs exploded in a shopping center in Riga, Latvia, injuring 35 people.

* October 12, 2000: AL Qaeda bombs USS Cole with explosive-laden speedboat, killing 17 US sailors and wounding 40, off the port coast of Aden, Yemen.

22 posted on 09/08/2006 10:25:06 AM PDT by onyx (1 Billion Muslims -- "if" 10% are fundamentalists, that's still 100 Million who want to kill us.)
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To: Howlin
And, while I shine the light on Clinton's shortcomings in dealing with bin Laden, I also give credit where it is due. Chapter nine is all about one of the greatest (and least-known) Clinton victories over bin Laden — the successful thwarting of a series of plots to murder thousands of Americans on Millennium night, 1999.

..a sharp Border crossing guard who detected explosives at the Canadian border. In the United States in 1999, remember the first WTC Bombing took place in 1993. Since she was doing her job as a Border Agent and the discovery made headlines after the threats we all endure FOR MONTHS leading up to Y2K......if this incident was reported to Jamie Corelick before the press, does anyone seriously think it would have world news?


23 posted on 09/08/2006 10:25:49 AM PDT by Doogle (USAF 69-73...."never store a threat you should have eliminated")
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To: Howlin

Khobar Towers
The Clinton administration left many stones unturned.

Sunday, June 25, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT

Ten years ago today, acting under direct orders from senior Iranian government leaders, the Saudi Hezbollah detonated a 25,000-pound TNT bomb that killed 19 U.S. airmen in their dormitory at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The blast wave destroyed Building 131 and grievously wounded hundreds of additional Air Force personnel. It also killed an unknown number of Saudi civilians in a nearby park.

The 19 Americans murdered were members of the 4,404th Wing, who were risking their lives to enforce the no-fly zone over southern Iraq. This was a U.N.-mandated mission after the 1991 Gulf War to stop Saddam Hussein from killing his Shiite people. The Khobar victims, along with the courageous families and friends who mourn them this weekend in Washington, deserve our respect and honor. More importantly, they must be remembered, because American justice has still been denied.

Although a federal grand jury handed up indictments in June 2001--days before I left as FBI director and a week before some of the charges against 14 of the terrorists would have lapsed because of the statute of limitations--two of the primary leaders of the attack, Ahmed Ibrahim al-Mughassil and Abdel Hussein Mohamed al-Nasser, are living comfortably in Iran with about as much to fear from America as Osama bin Laden had prior to Sept. 11 (to wit, U.S. marshals showing up to serve warrants for their arrests).

24 posted on 09/08/2006 10:27:17 AM PDT by hipaatwo (Vote for your life. Every vote for a Democrat is a vote against victory.)
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To: Howlin

An Unheeded Warning

When al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center in 1993, Bill Clinton shrugged.

From "Losing bin Laden"

Can be found on Opinion Journal (Wall Street Journal) at this link below:

Previous Chapters...

The White House:
On a Saturday morning, a day after the World Trade Center explosion, there was no sense of crisis in the White House. The bombers of the Twin Towers had changed little in the routine of President Clinton. The sheer scale of the blast had not sunk in. The few presidential aides in the West Wing were casually dressed and focused on the president's economic policy. The few reporters hanging around the briefing room were there to cover the president's radio address, which would focus on his economic stimulus package. Later that day, Chelsea's friends would arrive from Little Rock to celebrate her 13th birthday; Hillary had planned a party on the second floor of the White House residence.
President Clinton sat in the Oval Office scribbling. He was preparing for his weekly radio address and, as usual, making last-minute revisions.

It was the 39th day of his presidency, and so far it wasn't going well. The president's military salute--a few fingers sheepishly and momentarily touching his forehead--was faulted. National Security Adviser Tony Lake went to see the president about the "salute issue" and they had practiced for a few minutes in the Oval Office. Now his military salute photographed well as he walked across the South Lawn to board Marine One, the presidential helicopter.

Yet few press complaints were so easily resolved.

Mr. Clinton had lost his second attorney-general nominee, Kimba Wood, when nanny-payment problems raised a red flag. The president's offhand remarks about Iraq and his subsequent "don't ask, don't tell" fudge on his controversial plan to integrate homosexuals into the military had also touched off rounds of critical newspaper stories. The Clinton administration--the first Democrats in the White House since 1981--seemed to be crumbling.

Now Mr. Clinton was trying to regain the initiative. He was finally ready to announce the details of his economic stimulus package, the centerpiece of his 1992 campaign. Then the World Trade Center was attacked. Should he depart from his plans and his script and say something about the headline-making attack on New York's tallest towers? At first, he couldn't decide.

New York's Gov. Mario Cuomo telephoned the president while the Twin Towers were still being evacuated. Messrs. Clinton and Cuomo had a difficult relationship. Mr. Clinton had spent much of 1991 wondering if the New York governor was going to challenge him in the Democratic presidential primaries, and much of 1992 trying to get Mr. Cuomo's full-throated support.

But this phone call was surprisingly simple: Mr. Cuomo simply wanted to brief the president and get his assurance that New York State would enjoy the full support of the federal government. Mr. Clinton must have quickly realized that this was a common kind of phone call that governors made after disasters. He had made a few of these calls himself. Perhaps this was the reason Mr. Clinton didn't seem to fully grasp that this disaster was not natural, but man-made. That it was terrorism.

Mr. Cuomo told Mr. Clinton that a bomb had most likely caused the World Trade Center blast--a conclusion that the Clinton White House still chose to consider "speculation." After conferring with his aides, the president asked his press secretary, Dee Dee Myers, to put out the cautious line that the New York authorities "have reason to believe it was a bomb but are not definite." This was a grudging admission of the obvious, but it gave Mr. Clinton time to decide whether to act.

Why was Mr. Clinton so anxious to discount the idea that the Twin Towers had been bombed? A bomb suggested a terrorist act. A terrorist act of this magnitude required a strong response. And strong action was politically dangerous if it misfired. So, from the day of the World Trade Center bombing until the last day of the Clinton administration, the president demanded absolute proof before acting against terrorists. Ambiguity suited his purposes.
To preserve that ambiguity, either Mr. Clinton ignored the overwhelming evidence that the towers were bombed or the White House staff failed to keep him fully informed. Perhaps the president had not yet been told that the FBI's top bomb expert believed that the World Trade Center was bombed or that the New York FBI investigation was proceeding on that basis. Or perhaps the president had not been told that the bomb was planted by terrorists, although the FBI had made that determination within hours.

The president knew that he would have to add something about the World Trade Center explosion to his Saturday radio address. But what? His staff had spent much of Friday working on the speech. Now, on Saturday morning, Mr. Clinton was doing some reworking of his own. Strangely, despite the mounting evidence, Mr. Clinton still wasn't willing to say that New York's tallest towers had been bombed.

While he worked on his speech, the president was told that FBI Director William Sessions was on the line. The president didn't relish this call either. Sessions, a Bush appointee, was plagued by petty scandals, and Mr. Clinton planned to replace him.

Mr. Clinton picked up the receiver. The director told the president that the FBI's New York office now felt confident that a bomb had caused the blast at the World Trade Center. The president probably wasn't listening very closely; he had come to see Mr. Sessions as a political time bomb, not a source of information about an actual bomb.

After a few minutes, Mr. Clinton hung up and went back to scribbling. He kept crossing out words and writing new ones--but "bomb" was not one of them. Mr. Clinton's radio address reflected his beliefs about the World Trade Center attack. He treated it like a disaster, a humanitarian crisis, like a twister in Arkansas, but not as an attack. Indeed, the bombing was a sideshow, a distraction from what the president really wanted to discuss--his economic agenda.

This would be Mr. Clinton's first and last extended speech on the plot to topple the Twin Towers. Frankly, this is surprising. How does a president shrug away a major terror attack with a few words in a radio address heard by a fraction of the American people? The president's speech clearly demonstrated that he did not sense the importance of the 1993 bombing. Because they reveal so much, Mr. Clinton's remarks on the attack follow in full:
"Good morning. Before I talk with you about our economic program this morning, I want to say a word to the good people of New York City and to all Americans who've been so deeply affected by the tragedy that struck Manhattan yesterday." This opening suggests that Mr. Clinton didn't want to shift away from his campaign-winning "it's the economy, stupid" theme, referring to the attack as a "tragedy," a sad event, not an aggressive act requiring a strong response.

Mr. Clinton continued: "A number of innocent people lost their lives. Hundreds were injured, and thousands were struck with fear in their hearts when an explosion rocked the basement of the World Trade Center. To their families, you're in the thoughts and prayers of my family and in the synagogues and churches last night; today and tomorrow, you will be remembered and thought of again and again." This is an admirable attempt at reassurance, reminiscent of President Bush's consoling words following the Sept. 11 attacks. But again, it misses the mark: these people were murdered, not struck by lightning.

The young president hammered away at his compassionate theme, anxious to leave no one out. "My thoughts are also with the police, the firefighters, the emergency response teams and the citizens whose countless acts of bravery averted even more bloodshed. Their reaction and their valor reminds us of how often Americans are at their best when we face the worst."

Next, Mr. Clinton came to the place where he had to report on his administration's actions and plans. These amounted to phone calls--and only phone calls. "I thank all the people who reached out to the injured and the frightened amid the tumult that shook lower Manhattan. Following the explosion, I spoke with New York's Governor Mario Cuomo and New York City Mayor David Dinkins to assure them that the full measure of federal law-enforcement resources will be brought to bear on this investigation." This was a pivotal decision, though Mr. Clinton did not seem to realize its full implications at the time. The terror attack would be treated as a criminal matter, not a threat to national security. This approach would hobble Clinton's war on terror for years.

Mr. Clinton expanded on the law-enforcement theme, signaling that terrorists need not fear an armed response. "Just this morning I spoke with FBI Director Sessions, who assured me that the FBI and the Treasury Department are working closely with the New York City police and fire departments. Working together we'll find out who was involved and why this happened. Americans should know we'll do everything in our power to keep them safe in their streets, their offices and their homes. Feeling safe is an essential part of being secure. And that's important to all of us."

Then, Mr. Clinton suddenly shifted the subject. "I also want to take this opportunity this morning to talk about another crucial aspect of our security, our economic security . . ."

As the president shifted to discuss his economic package, which consumed the bulk of his speech, his voice warmed up and slowed down. It was clear to listeners, certainly those in the press, where the president's real interests lay. Almost every contemporary press account of President Clinton's Saturday radio speech leads with the details of the president's economic package and the support that he was garnering around the country. And, of course, the bulk of the radio address was on Mr. Clinton's economic plan.

But note that his remarks on the bombing were limited to reassuring the public and thanking the rescuers, the kind of things governors say after floods or tornadoes. Significantly, President Clinton said nothing about hunting down or punishing the perpetrators. Not even a ritualistic denunciation of "these cowardly acts" or a mention of the shock value of an attack on a skyscraping symbol of America.

Why were his words so thin? President Clinton believed that he had a historic opportunity to restore American prosperity and reposition the Democrats as the party of growth and hope. This was partly achieved over the next eight years, ironically with the help of a Republican-led Congress. Mr. Clinton also had an opportunity to transform his party on national-security issues--to overcome its 1960s-era hesitancy to use force and to remake it as a strong defender of freedom, justice and security. Instead, Mr. Clinton shrank back. He had an opportunity to stop an escalating wave of terror attacks, guided by Osama bin Laden, in the first weeks of his administration. But tragically for the nation, he didn't see it.
Of course, presidents are not clairvoyant. Yet at the time, the president's political opponents may have seen more clearly the pivotal role the World Trade Center bombing would play in American history. On the day after the bombing, the minority whip of the House, Newt Gingrich, said that the president should be "cautious" in cutting the defense budget, as Mr. Clinton planned to do. Citing the Twin Towers bombing, Mr. Gingrich said, "There's a very real requirement for human intelligence and military strength. Every time we have any display of weakness, any display of timidity . . . here are people on the planet eager to take advantage of us." These would prove to be prescient words--words, unfortunately, that Mr. Clinton did not heed.

Mr. Clinton's first historic opportunity to wage war on terrorism did not quickly drift away like a plume of smoke after the World Trade Center bombing. It lingered for days and weeks. Within days, evidence quickly accumulated that an Islamic terror cell, supported from abroad, had carried out the attack. There were front-page newspaper stories about the arrest of Mohammed Salameh and the presence of a network of dangerous Islamic radicals, with a hub in Jersey City. Yet the president appeared uninterested.

President Clinton did not visit the World Trade Center in 1993. Perhaps if he had, he might have understood the enormity of the damage. What might have happened if Mr. Clinton had seen the immense crater or talked to the family of Monica Smith?
Four days after the attack, Mr. Clinton was across the Hudson River in New Brunswick, N.J., discussing job-training programs. There, he urged the public not to "overreact" to the World Trade Center bombing. But he didn't cross the river and see the damage for himself.

It would have taken a few minutes, but Mr. Clinton did not bother.

Why didn't he go? One implausible rationale offered by Clinton officials is that unnamed New York officials urged the president to avoid the site. One senior Clinton official--through an anonymous quote in the Boston Globe--noted that "Clinton had a full schedule in New Jersey, with no opening for a visit to the site in Manhattan." Full schedule. The site in Manhattan. The sheer clinical distance of those words, days after the attack, speaks volumes.

Dick Morris, a former Clinton adviser, offers two more-likely explanations. Mr. Clinton saw himself as a comforter who needed to reassure an anxious public (in New Jersey, he urged Americans to "keep your courage up and go about your lives"), and he saw the attack as a criminal matter, not a terror strike. "In what is likely, in retrospect, to be judged the single greatest omission of his presidency, Clinton chose to treat the Trade Center attack as an isolated criminal act, devoid of serious foreign policy or military implications," writes Mr. Morris. President Clinton just didn't get it.

Over the next month, the president made four fateful decisions. He did not keep the bombing before the public with speeches and actions. He left the case in the hands of the FBI, which was headed by a man he did not trust and was waiting to fire. He treated the bombing as a law-enforcement matter, not a counterintelligence investigation, thus cutting the CIA out of the fight against terrorism. And he did not even meet with his handpicked CIA director to consider alternative approaches to combating international terrorism aimed at Americans. This ensured future victories for bin Laden.

Langley, Va.:
Frustration was growing at CIA headquarters. The Counter-Terrorism Center was kept away from the World Trade Center investigation--even though the CTC was designed to be the center of information on terrorist threats. The State Department, the FBI and the Secret Service had detailed personnel to the CTC to make sure that important information was shared, not hidden behind bureaucratic bulwarks. Indeed, one of the reasons that the deputy director of the CTC was an FBI official was to guarantee that information was shared among the institutions.
If the Clinton administration wanted to conduct a joint counterterrorism operation to discover the full breadth of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing conspiracy and to take action against the perpetrators overseas, the CTC would have been the perfect vehicle. That is what it was designed to do. It also had a secret presidential "finding," written by President Reagan and still in force, that specifically authorized covert operations to smash terrorist cells.

But the FBI, with the president's tacit acceptance, was treating the World Trade Center attack as a law-enforcement matter. That meant that everything the FBI gathered, every lab-test result, every scrap of paper, every interview, every lead, every clue from overseas was theirs alone. No one outside of the FBI's New York office would see it for years.

How could the FBI keep the evidence from other terror-fighting agencies? This was actually standard procedure when the FBI conducted criminal cases, as opposed to strictly counterterrorism investigations. The bureau invoked rule 6E of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. If the FBI shared the information with other federal agencies, then a judge could rule the evidence inadmissible in a court or require the government to share it with the accused terrorists, so that they could mount an effective legal defense. That would provide the accused terrorists with vital information about what the federal government knew and what it didn't. So Rule 6E was designed to prevent information sharing--and preserve the government's evidence for trial. "It is not that they [the FBI and CIA] don't get along--it's that they can't share information by legal statute" in criminal cases, said Christopher Whitcomb, an FBI veteran who worked on the 1993 World Trade Center bombing investigation.

Jim Woolsey, the director of central intelligence, fumed. Any 24-year-old junior agent in the FBI's New York office knew more about the largest-ever terrorist attack on American soil than he did. "It was frustrating," Mr. Woolsey told me. "Nobody outside the prosecutorial team and maybe the FBI had access" to information about the case.
The CIA's Counter-Terrorism Center itself could only follow a few scattered scraps of intelligence. And even though the agency passed information on to the FBI, the CIA had no way of knowing if it was supplying the FBI with redundant data or vital clues.

As a result, both the CIA and the FBI missed several key connections between Ramzi Yousef and Osama bin Laden. Yousef had stayed in bin Laden-owned guesthouses in Pakistan, both before and after the World Trade Center attack. When he was finally arrested in 1995, Yousef had several pictures of Osama bin Laden (posing with machine guns) in his baggage and a business card from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a relative of bin Laden's, in his wallet.

The CIA would not learn the full details of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing until the FBI made its evidence public--at the end of the first trial in 1996. And even then, the critical evidence was supplied to the CIA by an independent investigator, Laurie Mylroie, who told the author that she photocopied it and handed it to the agency.

New York:
The FBI worked quickly. On the same day as Mr. Clinton's speech, investigators found the differential housing from the bomb van. A vehicle identification number stamped on it allowed them to trace it to the leasing agency in New Jersey. The manager said one Arab man had stopped in to collect his $400 deposit. That man turned out to be Mohammed Salameh, who desperately needed the money to pay for a plane ticket. The few dollars Yousef had given him was for an infant's plane fare; without the money to upgrade the ticket he would be trapped. That was what Yousef wanted. This is how "expendables" are used.
The FBI arrested Salameh in a sting operation at the leasing office. His phone records and storage-unit keys connected the rest of the dots. But Yousef escaped, and the quick initial successes of the investigation masked missed clues of a wider conspiracy, including intriguing connections between bin Laden and the World Trade Center bombing.

For years, the New York FBI office knew about a growing network of Islamic extremists in the New York area, but until the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the agents couldn't even open a full investigation. Again, bureaucracy got in the way. To begin an investigation--according to both the official Justice Department guidelines and various statutes passed by Congress--required that agents have evidence that a crime had been committed or was under way. Sometimes, supervisors would not approve an investigation even if there was evidence of criminal activity, if the crime seemed insignificant. In practical terms, that meant that the FBI could investigate terrorists after Americans were dead, but not before.

And in 1993, the idea of punishing small, seemingly insignificant crimes as a way of preventing larger ones had not yet taken hold. The FBI was aware that many Islamic radicals were training with weapons at Connecticut and Pennsylvania gun ranges. Indeed, one of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, Mohammed Salameh, was identified as one of those participants. But arresting these men on weapons charges or investigating the wider purposes behind such "training" was shrugged off as a minor affair. Target shooting is not a crime, while owning a gun without a proper permit is a minor one. The FBI was also barred from monitoring the mosque in Jersey City where the World Trade Center bombers met, on the grounds of religious freedom. All of these internal, bureaucratic restrictions made life easier for bin Laden's cells, both inside and outside the United States.

Still, individual FBI agents valiantly tried to make a difference. A number of special agents knew that some Brooklyn and Jersey City residents--many from the same two mosques that were frequented by Salameh and other bombers--were taking their "vacations" in Afghanistan to wage jihad, even years after the Soviet Union had retreated. Some New York agents considered investigating these men for violating the Neutrality Act, which makes it a crime for an American citizen to fight in another nation's war. But, the agents soon discovered, most of the suspects were legal residents or illegal aliens, not citizens. The Neutrality Act did not apply to them. So, in most terrorism cases before the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the FBI could do little to counter the growing network of militants training and arming themselves in its midst.

And no one at the FBI--at headquarters or in the New York office--realized that one of the FBI's most-trusted informants was a "double agent," working for both the Feds and Osama bin Laden.
An Egyptian soldier named Ali Mohammed received a U.S. visa in 1985. He later became a U.S. citizen and obtained a military security clearance. He seemed to have an encyclopedic knowledge of violent Islamic radicals and had been a very helpful source for both the CIA and the FBI. At the time, those agencies did not know why Mohammed was so well informed.

By 1987, Mohammed was working at the U.S. Army's warfare planning center at Fort Bragg, N.C. Part of his job was to lecture American soldiers about Muslim terrorists. He certainly knew his subject.

Mohammed did not mention that he was still an active member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. That terrorist group was run by Ayman al-Zawahiri, who soon became a top bin Laden deputy. Nor did Mohammed mention that he had played host and tour guide to Zawahiri on his two visits to America. Mohammed had also met Osama bin Laden many times in Khartoum and had trained bin Laden's bodyguards, according to his own admissions in court documents.

Concedes Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer and a counterterrorism official at the State Department, "He was an active source for the FBI, a double agent."

The FBI had good reason to be suspicious of Mohammed--if its agents had been paying attention.

When Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defense League, was gunned down by El Sayyid Nosair in 1990, the murder was treated as a hate crime, not terrorism. The New York City Police Department eventually uncovered enough evidence to indict Nosair. The FBI monitored the case but did not intervene. "I was in charge of bureau operations at the time," Buck Revell explained, "and I never received any information that the assassin of Meir Kahane was connected with any sort of organization that might have a terrorist agenda."

The FBI was in the dark because, tragically, the NYPD and the FBI's own special agents missed several important clues. In the course of the investigation of the Kahane murder, documents were seized from Nosair's apartment that, when finally translated years later, proved to be U.S. Army manuals--some marked "top secret"--that had been translated into Arabic by Mohammed. Since the police and the FBI had not yet translated the documents, they did not investigate exactly how Nosair came into possession of them. If they had, they would have learned that Nosair was introduced to Mohammed by a man named Khalid Ibrahim, who had run a fundraising operation for Osama bin Laden's various organizations since 1989. They also would have learned that Mohammed had conducted weapons training--sometimes using semiautomatic rifles--for Nosair, Ibrahim and Abouhalima. (Abouhalima drove the getaway car for the 1993 World Trade Center attack.)

Abouhalima was also tied to Ibrahim's Alkifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn, where money for bin Laden was raised. Finally, Abouhalima was a part-time driver for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric who was later convicted of "seditious conspiracy" in a wide-ranging plot to blow up the Holland Tunnel--when it was packed with rush-hour traffic--and other plans to destroy New York landmarks.

Indeed many of the World Trade Center bombers met each other though the blind cleric's mosque, a dark, dirty series of rooms located over a cheap Chinese restaurant in Jersey City. The mosque where the bombers met was called Masjid al-Salaam, the "mosque of peace."

But all of these connections eluded the FBI, in large part because the bureau did not translate Nosair's mysterious documents for several years and because of the bureaucratic barriers on their proposed investigations. Nor did the FBI fully investigate phone calls to Iraq and other Middle Eastern nations made by the World Trade Center bombers. So the terrorist conspiracy continued--under the nose of the FBI.

Meanwhile, Mohammed continued to work for bin Laden. He flew to Sudan to train bin Laden's personal bodyguard. According to U.S. District Court documents, he also taught small-unit tactics and helped survey several U.S. embassies in East Africa in late 1993, which would be bombed five years later. Those blasts would kill hundreds in a few fiery minutes.

Khartoum, Sudan:
Osama bin Laden, safe and unsuspected, heard the news of the World Trade Center bombing at his palatial house in the Riyadh section of Khartoum. He was thrilled and ordered that special prayer services of thanksgiving be held that night.
In some subsequent interviews, bin Laden claimed he didn't know Yousef. "Ramzi Yousef, after the World Trade Center bombing, became a well-known Muslim personality, and all Muslims know him. Unfortunately, I did not know him before the incident," bin Laden told ABC News in 1998. "America will see many youths who will follow Ramzi Yousef."

Bin Laden's claim that he didn't know of Yousef before the 1993 World Trade Center bombing is probably another expedient lie. Certainly, Yousef traveled in circles of people who knew bin Laden before the bombing and worked alongside al Qaeda operatives after the bombing. And bin Laden does not appear to have personally known the Sept. 11 hijackers either. Today federal court indictments and an array of publicly available FBI documents list bin Laden's attacks on America. Nearly every such list includes the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Meanwhile, bin Laden was planning another attack, one far closer to home. As he celebrated the first World Trade Center bombing, bin Laden was waiting for a report from Abu Hafs, the commander of his military wing. Hafs had just returned from Mogadishu, Somalia.

Mr. Miniter is a senior fellow at the Center for the New Europe and author of "Losing bin Laden: How Bill Clinton's Failures Unleashed Global Terror" (Regnery, 2003), from which this is excerpted. You can buy it from the OpinionJournal bookstore.


The Attack on Bin Laden and al-Qaeda:

A Personal Account by the CIA's Key Field Commander
By Gary Berntsen and Ralph Pezzullo

"In 2000, Berntsen had led a promising effort to work with the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance "to capture a bin Laden lieutenant." But the operation was called off, for which he blasts CIA Director George Tenet and President Clinton for lacking "the will to wage a real fight against terrorists who were killing U.S. citizens." Berntsen was withdrawn and sent to a comfortable position as CIA station chief in a country in Latin America. After 9/11, Berntsen immediately began jostling to get to the center of the strike against al Qaeda. He got his wish and was one of the first senior CIA officials inserted into Afghanistan."

25 posted on 09/08/2006 10:28:22 AM PDT by WmShirerAdmirer
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To: Howlin

Yes, and if we get Hillary! in the White House in 2008 (shuddering at the thought...) then we get Co-President Bill back! This track record of his is EXACTLY the kind of "ammo" we need against the Democrats in 2008.

26 posted on 09/08/2006 10:28:38 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: Howlin
Thanks, I'm leaving for a few hours, but want to read this when I get back.

Somebody needs to get a copy of the letter that the Clinton Ambassador to Yeman wrote about what "didn't happen"---that Rush was reading earlier----and post it here.

27 posted on 09/08/2006 10:29:05 AM PDT by A Citizen Reporter
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To: Howlin

With the imminent return of the degenerate democrats to power, we might ought to be making CD copies of the data, before the revisionist leftists make it impossible to endanger the degenerate lefts' worship of a lying, rapist-in-chief SinkEmperor.

28 posted on 09/08/2006 10:29:15 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: Howlin

BTW, Howlin, what are the chances I could get ahold of a CD copy of this movie via snailmail since I don't have a means to record it at my house this weekend while I'm on the road?

29 posted on 09/08/2006 10:30:32 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: Howlin

Clinton Let Bin Laden Slip Away and Metastasize

Sudan offered up the terrorist and data on his network. The then-president and his advisors didn't respond.

President Clinton and his national security team ignored several opportunities to capture Osama bin Laden and his terrorist associates, including one as late as last year.

I know because I negotiated more than one of the opportunities.

From 1996 to 1998, I opened unofficial channels between Sudan and the Clinton administration. I met with officials in both countries, including Clinton, U.S. National Security Advisor Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger and Sudan's president and intelligence chief. President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, who wanted terrorism sanctions against Sudan lifted, offered the arrest and extradition of Bin Laden and detailed intelligence data about the global networks constructed by Egypt's Islamic Jihad, Iran's Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas.

30 posted on 09/08/2006 10:32:37 AM PDT by hipaatwo (Vote for your life. Every vote for a Democrat is a vote against victory.)
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To: Howlin

9/11 Hijackers Wanted To Avenge… Bosnia!

The video also showed two of the 19 Islamists who took part in the attacks, Saudi nationals Hamza al-Ramdi and Wael el-Shemari. The men said that their actions were inspired by an urge to avenge the suffering of Muslims in Bosnia and Chechnya.

31 posted on 09/08/2006 10:33:00 AM PDT by Velveeta
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To: Howlin


32 posted on 09/08/2006 10:34:26 AM PDT by petercooper (Is this where I get me a huntin' license?)
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To: hipaatwo

Good find!

33 posted on 09/08/2006 10:36:40 AM PDT by Howlin (Who in the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries? ~~NRO)
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To: Doogle

I agree with that 100 percent. It was a freak accident that that guy was caught; it wasn't any sort of a concerted effort on the Clinton administration's part.

34 posted on 09/08/2006 10:38:04 AM PDT by Howlin (Who in the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries? ~~NRO)
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That's what this thread is for, I hope!

35 posted on 09/08/2006 10:39:33 AM PDT by Howlin (Who in the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries? ~~NRO)
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I am desperately trying, with the help of Vinnie, to get my DVD recorder hooked up; if I can get it done, I'll be glad to send you one.

And if I can't, I'm sure somebody else will!

36 posted on 09/08/2006 10:40:14 AM PDT by Howlin (Who in the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries? ~~NRO)
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To: Velveeta

Bosnia, Mr. Clinton's "war?"

Now that is interesting!

Do they know yet when that video was made?

37 posted on 09/08/2006 10:41:17 AM PDT by Howlin (Who in the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries? ~~NRO)
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To: Howlin

I will gladly reimburse for any and all expenses incurred. Thanks so much.

38 posted on 09/08/2006 10:41:51 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: Howlin

FACTS regarding Bill Clinton's legacy on terrorism.

This thread will get Hugh!

39 posted on 09/08/2006 10:44:19 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families --
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To: Howlin
Do they know yet when that video was made?

I haven't seen a precise date yet. I'll ping you if it comes to light.

40 posted on 09/08/2006 10:44:56 AM PDT by Velveeta
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To: Howlin

August 17, 2005
State Dept. Says It Warned About bin Laden in 1996

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 - State Department analysts warned the Clinton administration in July 1996 that Osama bin Laden's move to Afghanistan would give him an even more dangerous haven as he sought to expand radical Islam "well beyond the Middle East," but the government chose not to deter the move, newly declassified documents show.

In what would prove a prescient warning, the State Department intelligence analysts said in a top-secret assessment on Mr. bin Laden that summer that "his prolonged stay in Afghanistan - where hundreds of 'Arab mujahedeen' receive terrorist training and key extremist leaders often congregate - could prove more dangerous to U.S. interests in the long run than his three-year liaison with Khartoum," in Sudan.

The declassified documents, obtained by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act request and provided to The New York Times, shed light on a murky and controversial chapter in Mr. bin Laden's history: his relocation from Sudan to Afghanistan as the Clinton administration was striving to understand the threat he posed and explore ways of confronting him.

Before 1996, Mr. bin Laden was regarded more as a financier of terrorism than a mastermind. But the State Department assessment, which came a year before he publicly urged Muslims to attack the United States, indicated that officials suspected he was taking a more active role, including in the bombings in June 1996 that killed 19 members American soldiers at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Two years after the State Department's warning, with Mr. bin Laden firmly entrenched in Afghanistan and overseeing terrorist training and financing operations, Al Qaeda struck two American embassies in East Africa, leading to failed military attempts by the Clinton administration to capture or kill him in Afghanistan. Three years later, on Sept. 11, 2001, Al Qaeda struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in an operation overseen from the base in Afghanistan.

Critics of the Clinton administration have accused it of ignoring the threat posed by Mr. bin Laden in the mid-1990's while he was still in Sudan, and they point to claims by some Sudanese officials that they offered to turn him over to the Americans before ultimately expelling him in 1996 under international pressure. But Clinton administration diplomats have adamantly denied that they received such an offer, and the Sept. 11 commission concluded in one of its staff reports that it had "not found any reliable evidence to support the Sudanese claim."

The newly declassified documents do not directly address the question of whether Sudan ever offered to turn over Mr. bin Laden. But the documents go well beyond previous news and historical accounts in detailing the Clinton administration's active monitoring of Mr. bin Laden's movements and the realization that his move to Afghanistan could make him an even greater national security threat.

Several former senior officials in the Clinton administration did not return phone calls this week seeking comment on the newly declassified documents.

41 posted on 09/08/2006 10:48:10 AM PDT by hipaatwo (Vote for your life. Every vote for a Democrat is a vote against victory.)
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To: Howlin

Video flashback: U.S. drone had Osama onscreen — in 2000 (Clinton missed Osama!)

Youtube link

42 posted on 09/08/2006 10:49:58 AM PDT by Mo1 (Think about it .. A Speaker Nancy Pelosi could be 2 seats away from being President)
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To: Howlin

Great stuff but sadly my friends on the left won't read it..too many words, too long and too many big words.

43 posted on 09/08/2006 10:50:18 AM PDT by engrpat
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To: WmShirerAdmirer

Simply amazing. Thanks for posting that. I need to order that book.

44 posted on 09/08/2006 10:51:34 AM PDT by Howlin (Who in the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries? ~~NRO)
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To: Howlin
Here's a very good doccumentation, complete with letters from the Clintoon admin.

The Osama files by David Rose


Bin Laden was expelled in May 1996. Despite this evidence of Sudan's willingness to cooperate, the U.S. appeared to have no interest in seeing what it could learn from Sudan. Mahdi Ibrahim Mohamed, now the information minister, went to Washington as Sudan's ambassador in February 1996. A long-standing Americophile, he had been educated in Michigan and California: "I like the country, I like the people. I went as ambassador for three years, with a positive view that America was open, free, open for dialogue.

What I found was a major surprise and disappointment." Mohammed spent three years trying to get a meeting with the State Department's assistant secretary for Africa, Susan Rice, only to find himself fobbed off on junior officials. He was no more successful in his efforts to see the National Security Council's Tony Lake, or his successor, Sandy Berger. The N.S.C. staff continued to accuse Sudan of harboring terrorists. Mohamed begged the officials to make a specific allegation, but they refused. "I said, 'Give me any information about any terrorists, any camps, as you believe it to be, and we will take it very seriously.' The response was 'Your government knows. You must know. We don't like to expose our sources."'

Ambassador Mohamed conveyed an open offer: the C.I.A. and F.B.I. could send a joint investigative team, which could travel freely throughout the country. "I used to say, 'Go anywhere, take a plane from Khartoum and say where you want to go once we're in the air."' It was not taken up. In February 1997, the offer was repeated in a letter from Presidental-Bashir to Clinton. Al-Bashir suggested "a mission tasked to investigate allegations that the government of Sudan trains or shelters terrorists," with "freedom of movement and contact and unrestricted choice of suspected terrorist sites." Clinton never replied.

It began to dawn on the Sudanese that one way of convincing America that they were serious about fighting terrorists was to offer U.S. investigators access to the Mukhabarat files on bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

Frustrated in their efforts to invite America in through the front door, they resolved to try a back channel-the multimillionaire Pakistani-American businessman and fund manager Mansoor Ijaz. Then a big donor to the Democratic Party, Ijaz was on personal terms with Clinton, Berger, and A1 Gore. He was also fearful of the likely result of U.S. refusal to engage with Islamic regimes, such as Sudan: "As an American Muslim, I had a terrifying vision of what could go wrong. I wanted to do whatever I could to stop that happening."

As an investor, Ijaz was interested in Sudan's oil, but he also shared "a fundamental sense of injustice" at the way the country was being treated. From July 1996 until August 1997, he made six trips to Khartoum, meeting Dr. al-Turabi, President al-Bashir, the Mukhabarat chief, Gutbi al-Mahdi, and other officials. He suceeded in convincing them that it was worth making a further effort to persuade the U.S. of Sudan's sincerity-partly by drawing America's attention to the intelligence on al-Qaeda.

His initiative produced its most dramatic result in a letter dated April 5, 1997, from President al-Bashir to Lee H. Hamilton, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

It stated, "We extend an offer to the F.B.I's Counter-terrorism units and any other official delegations which your government may deem appropriate, to come to the Sudan and work with our External Intelligence Department in order to assess the data in our possession and help us counter the forces your government, and ours. seek to contain." (My italics.) According to Ijaz, Hamilton took the letter to both Madeleine Albright and Sandy Beger, neither of whom replied.

Ijaz also wrote memorandums on his mission for Sandy Berger, and in a series of conversations he spelled out exactly what the Sudanese offer meant. He told Berger, "That phrase [in the letter to Hamilton], 'to assess the data in our possession,' was an explicit reference to the data on bin Laden. The reference to 'the forces we seek to contain' was an explicit reference to the attempt to stop al-Qaeda spreading." Ijaz and his family had shared their Christmas dinner in the White House with the ain- tons. However good his access, he could not budge U.S. policy on Sudan.

The Sudanese did not give up. Beginning in the autumn of 1997, they made use of another private go-between, Janet McElligott, a lobbyist who had worked at the White House under George H. W Bush.

Like Ijaz before her, she assumed that rational statecraft would, in the end, prevail. In this she was mistaken. On February 5, 1998, her efforts helped produce perhaps the smokiest of all the smoking guns in this story: a letter direct from Gutbi al-Mahdi of the Mukhabarat to David Williams, chief of the F.B.I.'s Middle East and Africa desk. It read, "I would like to express my sincere desire to start contacts and cooperation between our service and the F.B.I. I would like to take this opportunity with pleasure to invite you to visit our country. Otherwise, we could meet somewhere else. Till then I remain, yours truly."

Eighteen days later, on February 23, 1998, Osama bin Laden issued his blood- curdling fatwa from his hideout in Afghanistan, calling on all Muslims to kill Americans and Jews, adding that civilians were now to be regarded as targets. McElligott followed up the letter with a personal appeal: "I told them, 'You do realize bin Laden lived there and they have files on his main people?' There is simply no doubt the F.B.I. knew what was available. The guy I dealt with said, 'I'd give any- thing to go in there, but they'-meaning the State Department-'won't let us."' David Williams did not reply to al-Mahdi's letter for another four months.

"Unfortunately," he wrote on June 24, "I am not currently in a position to accept your kind invitation." He hoped "future circumstances" might allow it, but for now the offer had to be rejected. Six. Weeks after that, Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network succeeded in exploding two pick- up trucks at the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. They were reduced to piles of bloody rubble in which 224 people lay dead or dying.


Very long, but worth keeping.

45 posted on 09/08/2006 10:52:23 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: hipaatwo
"The newly declassified documents do not directly address the question of whether Sudan ever offered to turn over Mr. bin Laden."

Oh yes they do. See the copies of letters in "the Osama files"

46 posted on 09/08/2006 10:55:02 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: hipaatwo

Thanks for the ping. The pro Islamofascists of the Clintoon Administration allowed Ben Laden to survive to kill 3000 innocent Americans on 9/11.

The link below documents that reality.

47 posted on 09/08/2006 10:55:29 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist Homosexual Lunatic lies/wet dreams posing as news.)
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To: Howlin
I am willing to bet that Clinton is still in shock (and is enjoying every minute of it) over how little blame he gets for 9/11. No one knows better than Slick how little he did to protect our country, and how his reckless disregard for the military and our national defense has gone relatively unnoticed thus far!!!

I bet that he is just amazed at the FREE PASS he has gotten on this issue. That's a big reason why Slick and his apologists are just livid over ANYTHING that could refocus the public on the responsibility that Slick and his psychophants have for leaving President Bush the national security MESS (that President Bush inherited).

Maybe, just maybe, this ABC documentary (even if edited big time) will return the focus of Clinton's willful neglect of our national security needs to the public eye.

48 posted on 09/08/2006 10:59:53 AM PDT by stockstrader
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To: Mo1

Clinton: I Wanted to Bomb Khandahar

49 posted on 09/08/2006 11:04:46 AM PDT by Mo1 (Think about it .. A Speaker Nancy Pelosi could be 2 seats away from being President)
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To: Howlin



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