This gets more disturbing by the day:
What will Clinton’s lawyers do if P2911 is not pulled?
I am so beside myself with rage over the fascist-like demands that have occured in the last couple of days by Democrats that I find myself unable to write about the issue today in a way that wouldn’t make even a sailor blush. Thankfully, Jules Crittenden (have you noticed I’ve become a big fan of his?) has taken aim at the Democrats’ rank hypocrisy on the issue of ‘being concerned about accuracy in the name of the public interest’ and has demanded that they practice what they preach. It’s a three pager, but well worth the read.
ABC Stands By Its 9/11 Story — Almost
After minor edits in response to Democratic critics, the miniseries will air as scheduled. It’s already set off a bitter election-year dispute.
Update III: Rick Moran writes:
The overwhelming number of people who reviewed this film have said that it does NOT blame Bill Clinton for 9/11. My point has always been that the left is opposing the showing of this film because 1) Clinton actions are criticized and 2) Bush’s actions aren’t criticized enough. The latter being the main point of anger for liberals in that it goes against everything they have tried to lie about for the past 5 years. They want the enduring image of 9/11 to be George Bush sitting in a classroom reading a children’s book not the towers collapsing or people jumping out of buildings. Anything that goes against The Narrative is a threat to expose the entire tissue of lies, exaggerations, misrepresentations, conspiracy fantasies, and deliberate falsehoods perpetrated over the last 5 years with the help of an all too willing media and a vast network of former government officials always willing to shift blame for their own inadequacies in the face of Islamic terrorism.
Something else I just thought about: If this film were to go line item for line item in terms of how many times the Clinton admin let Binnie get away, the film would have had to have been much longer than two parts.
Update IV: Here are clips of the disputed scene (Hat tip: ST reader DS)
Update V: Allah has linked up to the clips as well, and also points to a link to an interview with the CIA operative mentioned in the 9-11 Commission’s report (named “Mike” in the report, but his actual name is Michael Scheuer) whose story was the basis for the scene in question.
Update VI: Scheuer minces no words. Here’s what he said in the last part of the interview:
“His [OBL’s] innards, sir, should be splattered all over the desert of southern Afghanistan. There’s no reason why Osama bin Laden is alive today except President Clinton and his national security advisors refused to press the button.”
Related/Flashback: Mansour Ijaz 12/5/2001 – Clinton Let Bin Laden Slip Away and Metastasize. From that article (emphasis added):
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.
Among those in the networks were the two hijackers who piloted commercial airliners into the World Trade Center.
The silence of the Clinton administration in responding to these offers was deafening.
As an American Muslim and a political supporter of Clinton, I feel now, as I argued with Clinton and Berger then, that their counter-terrorism policies fueled the rise of Bin Laden from an ordinary man to a Hydra-like monster.
Realizing the growing problem with Bin Laden, Bashir sent key intelligence officials to the U.S. in February 1996.
The Sudanese offered to arrest Bin Laden and extradite him to Saudi Arabia or, barring that, to “baby-sit” him–monitoring all his activities and associates.
But Saudi officials didn’t want their home-grown terrorist back where he might plot to overthrow them.
In May 1996, the Sudanese capitulated to U.S. pressure and asked Bin Laden to leave, despite their feeling that he could be monitored better in Sudan than elsewhere.
Bin Laden left for Afghanistan, taking with him Ayman Zawahiri, considered by the U.S. to be the chief planner of the Sept. 11 attacks; Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, who traveled frequently to Germany to obtain electronic equipment for Al Qaeda; Wadih El-Hage, Bin Laden’s personal secretary and roving emissary, now serving a life sentence in the U.S. for his role in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya; and Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and Saif Adel, also accused of carrying out the embassy attacks.
Some of these men are now among the FBI’s 22 most-wanted terrorists.
The two men who allegedly piloted the planes into the twin towers, Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, prayed in the same Hamburg mosque as did Salim and Mamoun Darkazanli, a Syrian trader who managed Salim’s bank accounts and whose assets are frozen.
Important data on each had been compiled by the Sudanese.
But U.S. authorities repeatedly turned the data away, first in February 1996; then again that August, when at my suggestion Sudan’s religious ideologue, Hassan Turabi, wrote directly to Clinton; then again in April 1997, when I persuaded Bashir to invite the FBI to come to Sudan and view the data; and finally in February 1998, when Sudan’s intelligence chief, Gutbi al-Mahdi, wrote directly to the FBI.
Gutbi had shown me some of Sudan’s data during a three-hour meeting in Khartoum in October 1996. When I returned to Washington, I told Berger and his specialist for East Africa, Susan Rice, about the data available. They said they’d get back to me. They never did. Neither did they respond when Bashir made the offer directly. I believe they never had any intention to engage Muslim countries–ally or not. Radical Islam, for the administration, was a convenient national security threat.
And that was not the end of it. In July 2000–three months before the deadly attack on the destroyer Cole in Yemen–I brought the White House another plausible offer to deal with Bin Laden, by then known to be involved in the embassy bombings. A senior counter-terrorism official from one of the United States’ closest Arab allies–an ally whose name I am not free to divulge–approached me with the proposal after telling me he was fed up with the antics and arrogance of U.S. counter-terrorism officials.
The offer, which would have brought Bin Laden to the Arab country as the first step of an extradition process that would eventually deliver him to the U.S., required only that Clinton make a state visit there to personally request Bin Laden’s extradition. But senior Clinton officials sabotaged the offer, letting it get caught up in internal politics within the ruling family–Clintonian diplomacy at its best.
Clinton’s failure to grasp the opportunity to unravel increasingly organized extremists, coupled with Berger’s assessments of their potential to directly threaten the U.S., represents one of the most serious foreign policy failures in American history.
Col. Buzz Patterson, USAF Retired, and carrier of the ‘nuclear football’ during the Clinton admin from 1996-1998, from his book Dereliction of Duty – Chapter 7 (Hat tip: Flopping Aces – emphasis added)):
The White House Situation Room was buzzing. It was fall 1998 and the National Security Council (NSC) and the “intelligence community” were tracking the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, the shadowy mastermind of terrorist attacks on American targets overseas. “They’ve successfully triangulated his location” yelled a “sit Room” watch stander. We’ve got him.”
Beneath the West Wing of the White House, behind a vaulted steel door, the Sit Room staff sprang into action. The watch officer notified National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, “Sir, we’ve located bin Laden. We have a two-hour window to strike.”
Characteristic of the Clinton Administration, the weapons of choice would be Tomahawk missiles. No penetrating bombers or high-speed fighter aircraft flown by our Air Force and Navy forces. No risk of losing American lives.
Berger ambled down the stairwell and entered the Sit Room. He picked up the phone at one of the busy controller consoles and called the President. Amazingly, President Clinton was not available. Berger tried again and again. Bin Laden was within striking distance. The window of opportunity was closing fast. The plan of attack was set and the Tomahawk crews were ready. For about an hour Berger couldn’t get the commander-in-chief on the line. Though the President was always accompanied by military aides and the Secret Service, he was shomehow unavailable. Berger stalked the Sit Room, anxious and impatient.
Finally, the President accepted Berger’s call. There was discussion, there were pauses- and no decision. The President wanted to talk with his secretaries of defense and state. He wanted to study the issue further. Berger was forced to wait. The clock was ticking. The president evenutally called back. He was still indecisive. He wanted more discussion. Berger alternated between phone calls and watching the clock.
The NSC watch officer was convinced we had the right target. The intelligence sources were conclusive. The President, however, wanted a guaranteed hit or nothing at all.
This time, it was nothing at all. We didn’t pull the trigger. We “studied” the issue until it was too late- the window of opportunity closed. Al-Qaeda’s spiritual andorganizational leader slipped through the noose.
This lost bin Laden hit typified the Clinton Administration’s ambivalent, indecisive way of dealing with terrorism. Ideologically, the Clinton Administration was committed to the idea that most terrorists were misunderstood, had legitimate grievances, and could be appeased, which is why such military action as the Administration authorized was so halfhearted, and ineffective, and designed more for “show” than for honestly eliminating a threat.
Update VII: Quotes from Richard Miniter, author of Losing bin Laden: How Bill Clinton’s Failures Unleashed Global Terror (emphasis added):
[K-LO]: 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.
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