Former prez Bill Clinton was quoted in an interview with New York magazine as saying he “wished” he could have been president long enough to find out that OBL was behind the USS Cole bombing so he, rather than GWB, could have attacked Afghanistan:
“I also wish” he continues, “I desperately wish, that I had been president when the FBI and CIA finally confirmed, officially, that bin Laden was responsible for the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. Then we could have launched an attack on Afghanistan early. I don’t know if it would have prevented 9/11, but it certainly would have complicated it.”
Besides, why did it take you until the Cole bombing to figure out that handling OBL and his terrorist band of thugs was more than a law enforcement issue? How about the first WTC attack? Or the embassy bombings? Remember those?
Besides, take a second look at the wording used by the consummate lawyer in his assertion to Jennifer Senior. He would have “launched an attack”. That is what he did after the embassy bombings; in the words of his successor, Clinton launched a two-million dollar missile at a ten-dollar tent and hit a camel in the butt. Did it disrupt anything else that al-Qaeda had planned? Not at all.
The long record of gross ineffectiveness based on the faulty premise that terrorism required indictments and civil trials created the Clinton legacy on al-Qaeda, not a lack of opportunities. Clinton’s whine about “proof” demonstrates that very clearly. He had all the “proof” he needed to order military action in November 2000 to retaliate against bin Laden and the Taliban for sheltering him and chose not to do so. His attempt now to recast himself as a terrorism hawk who had the misfortune of bad timing makes him even more pathetic than ever.
If you want to read a book that really exposes the Clinton administration’s less than stellar efforts against OBL, I once again recommend Richard Miniter’s Losing Bin Laden : How Bill Clinton’s Failures Unleashed Global Terror. Don’t let Clinton’s revisionist tactics (along with those of many of his supporters) fool you.
Hat tip: Outside the Beltway