ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I Give Clinton a (conditional) Pass

Paul @ Wizbang has this great post on the early warnings that were given to Clinton in 1996 regarding Osama Bin Laden and the threat of Al Qaeda.

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.

Now, I have to say that in general, I am not going to pin the blame on Clinton or Bush for 9/11. I think too much ink (and film) has been spent in a war over who failed the victims in New York, D.C. and Pennsylvania. Yes, the 1990s saw the opening gambits of the War on Terror and they were largely ignored, except for when they were responded to with the badge of an FBI agent or a Tomahawk up a camel's butt.

So, I'll give Clinton a pass on this one. He clearly didn't understand the implications of OBL in Afghanistan or the true motives of Al Qaeda and Islamofascists the world over (despite being explicitly told it's a big deal by the State Dept). In this regard, the entire population of the US was in the same boat - from the news media to the major politicians to the citizens that voted the tools into power.

HOWEVER (and this is a BIG however), if Clinton CONTINUES to lie about how his administration took terrorism more seriously than the Bush administration, I will not give him the benefit of the doubt. This is primarily because his false assertions in this regard are not only intended to cover his own rear, but to place the blame for 9/11 squarely at the feet of the Bush administration.

So, to all those Lefty Loons out there (and you know who you are), this is called being objective and recognizing that it was unlikely that 9/11 could have been averted, given the haze that the entire country was in before that tragic day. I am willing to give Clinton a pass for his inability to predict the future. Will you extend that same courtesy to Bush?

*Begin Whackjob Moonbat Illiberal Liberal Response*
Dude, Clinton may not have been able to predict it, but BUSH and the J-E-W-S were the ones who planned and executed 9/11, so they could move the US to the fascist state that it is today!!! US and Israel out of Palestine!!!
*End Whackjob Moonbat Response*

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler