Skip to comments.The real Clinton emerges
Posted on 09/26/2006 5:07:03 AM PDT by RKV
From behind the benign façade and the tranquilizing smile, the real Bill Clinton emerged Sunday during Chris Wallaces interview on Fox News Channel. There he was on live television, the man those who have worked for him have come to know the angry, sarcastic, snarling, self-righteous, bombastic bully, roused to a fever pitch. The truer the accusation, the greater the feigned indignation. Clinton jabbed his finger in Wallaces face, poking his knee, and invading the commentators space.
But beyond noting the ex-presidents non-presidential style, it is important to answer his distortions and misrepresentations. His self-justifications constitute a mangling of the truth which only someone who once quibbled about what the definition of is is could perform.
Clinton told Wallace, There is not a living soul in the world who thought that Osama bin Laden had anything to do with Black Hawk Down. Nobody said there was. The point of citing Somalia in the run up to 9-11 is that bin Laden told Fortune Magazine in a 1999 interview that the precipitous American pullout after Black Hawk Down convinced him that Americans would not stand up to armed resistance.
Clinton said conservatives were all trying to get me to withdraw from Somalia in 1993 the next day after the attack which killed American soldiers. But the real question was whether Clinton would honor the militarys request to be allowed to stay and avenge the attack, a request he denied. The debate was not between immediate withdrawal and a six-month delay. (Then-first lady, now-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) favored the first option, by the way). The fight was over whether to attack or pull out eventually without any major offensive operations.
The president told Wallace, I authorized the CIA to get groups together to try to kill bin Laden. But actually, the 9-11 Commission was clear that the plan to kidnap Osama was derailed by Sandy Berger and George Tenet because Clinton had not yet made a finding authorizing his assassination. They were fearful that Osama would die in the kidnapping and the U.S. would be blamed for using assassination as an instrument of policy.
Clinton claims the CIA and the FBI refused to certify that bin Laden was responsible [for the Cole bombing] while I was there. But he could replace or direct his employees as he felt. His helplessness was, as usual, self-imposed.
Why didnt the CIA and FBI realize the extent of bin Ladens involvement in terrorism? Because Clinton never took the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center sufficiently seriously. He never visited the site and his only public comment was to caution against over-reaction. In his pre-9/11 memoirs, George Stephanopoulos confirms that he and others on the staff saw it as a failed bombing and noted that it was far from topic A at the White House. Rather than the full-court press that the first terror attack on American soil deserved, Clinton let the investigation be handled by the FBI on location in New York without making it the national emergency it actually was.
In my frequent phone and personal conversations with both Clintons in 1993, there was never a mention, not one, of the World Trade Center attack. It was never a subject of presidential focus.
Failure to grasp the import of the 1993 attack led to a delay in fingering bin Laden and understanding his danger. This, in turn, led to our failure to seize him when Sudan evicted him and also to our failure to carry through with the plot to kidnap him. And, it was responsible for the failure to certify him as the culprit until very late in the Clinton administration.
The former president says, I worked hard to try to kill him. If so, why did he notify Pakistan of our cruise-missile strike in time for them to warn Osama and allow him to escape? Why did he refuse to allow us to fire cruise missiles to kill bin Laden when we had the best chance, by far, in 1999? The answer to the first question incompetence; to the second he was paralyzed by fear of civilian casualties and by accusations that he was wagging the dog. The 9/11 Commission report also attributes the 1999 failure to the fear that we would be labeled trigger-happy having just bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade by mistake.
President Clinton assumes that criticism of his failure to kill bin Laden is a nice little conservative hit job on me. But he has it backwards. It is not because people are right-wingers that they criticize him over the failure to prevent 9/11. It was his failure to catch bin Laden that drove them to the right wing.
The ex-president is fully justified in laying eight months of the blame for the failure to kill or catch bin Laden at the doorstep of George W. Bush [RKV: 96:8, I don't think there is a comparison]. But he should candidly acknowledge that eight years of blame fall on him.
One also has to wonder when the volcanic rage beneath the surface of this would-be statesman will cool. When will the chip on his shoulder finally disappear? When will he feel sufficiently secure in his own legacy and his own skin not to boil over repeatedly in private and occasionally even in public? [RKV: Never]
Fantastic read, bookmarked for future Liberals
I wonder how much bullying Bubba Clinton would do if his Secret Service guard werent there?
Come on down my way some night and stick your finger in the face of some of my hometown boys bubba ,and get the dog snot knocked out of you.
The fact is that Bubba is laying off his failures on his sycophants who wouldnt allow him to make a decision.
Thank God we dont have a man like Bubba in the white House now. George Bush makes his own decisions.Then he takes responsibility for them.
But he's got nice hair.
Clinton was on cocaine. Purple faced, agitated, aggressive, bold and very paranoid.
Would never have guessed that is who wrote this.
LOL -- I think he knows better.
I was still on active duty in the Navy when that happened, and I was furious that he left our men nearly defensless in a dangerous area and refused to reinforce them with the equipment needed to complete the mission safely. Then he made the American Armed Forces retreat from a fight. I had not felt that way since the sixth grade, when Carter was president and the "great hostage rescue" ended with our helicopters burning in the desert. I don't remember any conservatives calling on a retreat, that was all him.
Perhaps, but I suspect "speed", one of the amphetamines. He sure has lost a lot of weight.
I'm not a big Morris fan but when he talks about Bill Clinton's "personality" I buy what he's saying.
Bill Clinton has the mentality of a dictator but the United States of America has a Constitution to stop people like him from turning their evil dreams into reality.
It worked with Congress and even the Supreme Court at times
counterbalancing Clinton. We have three branches of government, not a monarchy.
We can't let a person like this back in the White House again with Hillary as president. They will make more mischief and God forbid find ways to tear down the Constitution to take away our freedoms.
I doubt that...
Probably just too much Crown in the Green Room...
Dick, the real Clinton emerges every time he steps up to a urinal (or an intern).
My question to BillyJeff would be, "If you could off your friends, Vince and Ron, why could'nt you bring yourself to whack Osama?"
Thank you for your service to our country.