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September 26, 2006

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Slartibartfast

I think it's pretty clear that "an American plan" speaks to that UNSCOM II was under UN command, and IIRC the US troops under UN command was an issue of concern at the time.

But of course that's not Greenwald's beef; just what his beef actually was has consumed a great deal of comment space.

Gary Maxwell

How do you know it was Glenn and not (1) his Brazilian boyfriend or (2) any number of his sock puppets come to life?

danking70

If only Clinton had the same backbone as Bush...

"As long as I am President..."

Slartibartfast

And we have a Glenn sighting. Well, his point appears to be that Chris Wallace is repeating an old right-wing Jedi mind trick to the effect that Clinton pulled the old cut-and-run.

And certainly it's not the case that no one has ever suggested that, so I guess there's a point in there somewhere. But the Chris Wallace quote wasn't where that point was, because Chris is just quoting bin Laden. Who doesn't mention Clinton.

Ranger

I seem to remember that Jack Murtha was tooting his horn about what a driving force he was behind convincing Bill to pull out of Somalia. But he wasn't in the Senate, so I guess he doesn't count for much.

bgates

In regards to your first 2 rhetorical questions, would it surprise you if Glenn did think Osama was a neocon?

A.S.

Why does the "Biden" comment begin "Mr. PRESSLER"?

clarice

I'd guess that Senator Pressler was chairing the Senate when those remarks were made.

Patton

Its pretty simple,

Clinton was offered Bin Laden, the papers reported he was offered Bin laden, and he admitted on tape he was offered Bin laden and turned him down.

Now its like semen on the dress, the lefties have to deny its existence.

You can tell when Clintons lying, he starts wagging his finger and gets in your face, the same as he got in Americas face when he told us I DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH THAT WOMEN.

Patton

Even the Village Voice reported Clinton turned down terminating Bin ladens terrorist career years ago:

A U.S. intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, this week called the Clinton administration's decision to pass up a chance to arrest Osama bin Laden in 1996 a "disgrace," saying "somebody didn't want this to happen."

A second intelligence official, also speaking anonymously, corroborated the charge that there was a deliberate effort to let bin Laden escape from the Sudan to Afghanistan, saying "somebody let this slip up."

The intelligence officials, both of whom were involved in secret negotiations between Washington and Khartoum to take bin Laden into custody, offered the damning accounts to New York's Village Voice.

The Voice's first source said the chance to arrest bin Laden should have been a no-brainer, despite FBI claims that it lacked the evidence to convict him in an American court. "We kidnap minor drug czars and bring them back in burlap bags," he told the paper.

The State Department may have blocked the wily terrorist's arrest to placate a part of the Saudi Arabian government that supported him, he speculated.

The second official lamented that the U.S. lost a treasure trove of intelligence on the elusive al Qaeda chief when it let him slip away. "It was not a matter of arresting bin Laden but of access to information," he told the Voice.

We could have dismantled his operations and put a cage on top..... That's the story, and that's what could have prevented September 11. I knew it would come back to haunt us."

Green Glenwald

I'll have you know, Glenn Greenwald's writing has appeared in the New York Times, he has written a best selling book, and has been quoted on the floor of the Senate.

And his Brazilian Cabana Boy describes him as "Super Cool."

002 - VRWC

That's only because the cabana boy gets paid to "fan" him....

Sue

I think the exact quote was "I did not have sexual relations with that woman...insert sneer...Ms. Lewinsky.

Clinton failed to mention that bin Laden was under federal indictment when the Cole incident occurred. He didn't need anything 'certified' to go after him. He did not have the courage to answer a declaration of war with war.

And all of this would be moot and not being discussed had Clinton answered the question posed to him in a dignified manner.

totopsecretk9

And all of this would be moot and not being discussed had Clinton answered the question posed to him in a dignified manner.

Yeah, what happened to the most brilliant man alive, you'd think he of all people could handle in a smooth manner one question form the fools at Fox news, no?

PeterUK

"Glenn Greenwald's writing has appeared in the New York Times, he has written a best selling book, and has been quoted on the floor of the Senate."

I can't quite work out whether this is praise or criticism of Mr Gangrene,it would seem good enough reason to run away to Brazil.

Pofarmer

And the wheels come a little further off.

My wife and I were talking earlier this afternoon. If you'd heard Clintoons comments even 5 or 7 years ago you would have to have taken them at face value, unless you wanted to go to the library all afternoon, and even then, you wouldn't have found half the stuff. Thank God for the internet.

When are these guys gonna figure out we can fact check their asses?

Specter

Pofarmer,

That's not it at all. The problem is a serious issue (grin) called selective amnesia. They only remember things the want - in the way they want to remember them. The facts? Who cares. Look at tic.....

maryrose

The blogs are tools for honesty and for fact-checking. Politicians can no longer talk out of both sides of their mouth. The truth is the ultimate goal and I'm afraid people like the Clintons have a distant relationship with the truth.

Jane

I remember when Clinton was running for president in 1992 he gave a speech in the northeast in the morning, and another one in the south in the afternoon. In the two speeches he directly contradicted himself. He promised teachers in the south he would never do something, after promising business people in the northeast he would definately do the same thing. ON THE SAME DAY!

The media, of course, gave him a pass, and they have been doing the same thing ever since.

Neo

The worst of the Somalia incident is that while Clinton stood and smiled for the cameras with some returning troops on the White House lawn in May-93, by the next election in 96, it was was all Bush 41's fault.

totopsecretk9

Greenwald writes:

President Clinton's response was refreshingly aggressive because the premise of the question is so patently and outrageously false.

Which just illustrates how phony baloney all they unhinged ire at anything Bush is, well, unhinged. If a simple question can be deemed "patently outrageously false" out of hand then I happen to deem the last six years of leftist BS hurled at the current President as like, and therefore all their overblown and patently false charges to be ignored from here on out.

Neo

This Somalia chronology helps to fill in the memory lapses.

It's part of a PBS program "Ambush in Mogadishu" ..

...The program suggests that a legacy of Somalia, which one of tonight's critics calls "a failed political military operation," was the reluctance of Washington to be drawn into other danger spots like Bosnia and Rwanda. One critic says policy makers were left "actually not knowing what to do at all."

Note the May 4 entry ..
While Clinton supported this expansion of the UN's mandate, he simultaneously ordered the number of US troops in Somalia to be reduced and replaced by UN troops. By June, only 1,200 US combat soldiers remained in Somalia, with 3,000 support troops.

This explains the photo op that I remember of Clinton on the White House lawn at the end of May. The photo op that was all but forgotten by the 96 campaign.


Neo

Also not the October 7 entry:

Clinton's response: withdraw troops
President Clinton decides to cut his losses.

If this had come from FoxNews or the Washington Times, the left leaning political hemisphere could easily ignore it. But, this is from a 1995 PBS show .. a non-conservative media outlet during the Clinton administration.

Foo Bar

And I have a question - are any of the Senators on offer really "neocons", as per the Greenwald vision?

Did you read all the way to the end of Greenwald's blog post? He has a "bring them home" quote from McCain. Is McCain neocon enough for you?

If that's not enough, there is this from an October 14, '93 McCain speech on Somalia (I took your advice and searched the 103rd Congress at the Library of Congress site):

Mr. President, I want to talk for a minute about the upcoming situation in regard to an amendment involving our continued presence in Somalia .

As we all know, and gratefully so, the American fighting man who was being held prisoner, Warrant Officer Durant, was released this morning. It is my understanding that most, if not all, of our missing-in-action have been accounted for.

Mr. President, to me, and I believe to a majority of the American people, that removes the last impediment for the total, rapid, prompt, and safe withdrawal of American troops from Somalia .

There is no reason for the United States of America to remain in Somalia . The American people want them home, I believe the majority of Congress wants them home, and to set an artificial date of March 31 or even February 1, in my view, is not acceptable. The criteria should be to bring them home as rapidly and safely as possible, an evolution which I think could be completed in a matter of weeks.

Our continued military presence in Somalia allows another situation to arise which could then lead to the wounding, killing or capture of American fighting men and women. We should do all in our power to avoid that.

I listened carefully to the President's remarks at a news conference that he held earlier today. I heard nothing in his discussion of the issue that would persuade me that further U.S. military involvement in the area is necessary. In fact, his remarks have persuaded me more profoundly that we should leave and leave soon.

Even better, here's an amendment he offered that same day:

MCCAIN (AND OTHERS) AMENDMENT NO. 1043 (Senate - October 14, 1993)


[Page: S13516]Mr. McCAIN (for himself, Mr. Gramm, Mr. Gorton, Mr. Smith, Mr. D'Amato, Mr. Roth, Mrs. Hutchison, Mr. Wallop, Mr. Coats, Mr. Faircloth, Mr. Pressler, Mr. Craig, Mr. Mack, Mr. Brown, Mr. Hatch, Mr. Kempthorne, Mr. Nickles, Mr. Burns, and Mr. Murkowski) proposed an amendment to the bill H.R. 3116, supra; as follows:

At the appropriate place in the bill, insert the following new section:

SEC. . PROHIBITION ON THE USE OF FUNDS FOR UNITED STATES MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SOMALIA .

(a) Prohibition.--No funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this or any other Act to the Department of Defense may be obligated for support of operations of United States Armed Forces in Somalia except as provided for in subsection (b).

(b) Exceptions.--

(1) funds may be appropriated or otherwise made available for continued operations of United States Armed Forces in Somalia to support the prompt and orderly withdrawal of all United States Armed Forces from Somalia in a manner most consistent with the safety of United States personnel.

(2) funds may be appropriated or otherwise made available for continued operations of United States Armed Forces in Somalia in the event that American prisoners of war have not been returned to United States authorities and Americans missing in action have not been accounted for.

Rallph

This pattern has been with the Democrats for a LONG time. Remember that they concealed the fact that Roosevelt was dying when they ran him for a fourth term.

It's not that I think that Republicans are necessarily inherently more honest, but for years that had to be since the national media has long had a left/liberal slant, and it would "fact check" Republicans. That's probably why they tried to always appear "reasonable."


The Democrats (and the Republicans for that matter) have not awakened to the fact that the "major" media no longer completely defines the debate.

clarice

McCain is not a "neo-con".

cfw

Your titles are beginning to routinely overstate your text.

What was wrong with the way C handled Somalia after Black Hawk down? It was done wrong how? If no one has some better way that should have been followed, put a sock in it.

totopsecretk9

I just heard Chris Wallace on Gallager. He said he did not think this was staged and the Clinton's people had told producers they needed to stop the interview now. If he was smirking it was because he was stunned at how Clinton reacted. Wallace, simply did not think is was that explosive of a question. Clinton did read his people the riot act after and to Howard Dean's response, Chris said Dean was on a few weeks ago after Wallace grilled Condi, and Dean told Wallace he couldn't believe how tough Wallace was to her ...Dean then signed Wallace's guest book, Wallce "tough but fair"

Foo Bar

McCain is not a "neo-con".

Who did Bill Kristol support in the 2000 primary?

McCain has chosen to put this article on his own website, in which Ron Brownstein writes:


McCain has become the champion for the hard-line, neoconservative thinkers who want to move quickly against Iraq, no matter how many countries agree.

clarice

Champion for the neo-cons does not make him a neo-con.

Here's another article indicating the neo-cons don't like him (they don't,with the possible exception of Kristol):

"You want to be on board with the neocon crowd, you’ve got to help row George W. Bush’s boat full time, no breaks. Take your hands off the oars for a second or pause to utter a discouraging word and you’re dog meat.

Anyone who doubts this should ponder the contempt neocons hold for Sen. John McCain.

That would be the same McCain who ran against Bush for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, earning himself a chance to experience the pain of Bush and his “brain,” Karl Rove’s anything-to-win dirty tricks. It’s also the same McCain who on occasion has waxed less than enthusiastic about some of Bush’s many foul-ups and fiascoes(more)"http://wpblog.ohpinion.com/?p=84

Neo

The biggest irony in the whole Somali thing comes from June 5, 1993.
During an inspection of a Somali arms weapons storage site, 24 Pakistani soldiers are ambushed and massacred. The next day, the UN Security Council issues an emergency resolution calling for the apprehension of "those responsible" for the massacre.

With "24 Pakistani soldiers" at the beginning, leading to BlackHawk Down (and bin Laden at the end).

Tom Maguire

Re the "Pressler" question - I am starting to think that I have found a statement by Sen. Pressler - Biden is mentioned at the bottom of the text, which may be why the search took me there. Baffling, at least for the non-mavens of this search engine.

Tom Maguire

Did you read all the way to the end of Greenwald's blog post? He has a "bring them home" quote from McCain. Is McCain neocon enough for you?

Ditto the "McCain's a neocon?" query above. That said (or asked), per Drezner there are "McCain neocons" and "Bush neocons". But were there any neocons in 1993?

FWIW (and I am quite sure Green Glenwald does not know this), "neocon", "conservative" and "war supporter" are not synonyms.

What was wrong with the way C handled Somalia after Black Hawk down? It was done wrong how?

Ahh, is it OK to suggest that maybe Somalia could have been handled better *before* the dark matter impacted the whirling cooling system?

Just for starters, Clinton should have defined the new mission and built public and Congressional support for it.

He might have then considered matching troop levels and equipment to the mission.

Just thinking out loud here...

Foo Bar

But were there any neocons in 1993?

Does Greenwald allege that there were? I don't think he does. That's why he calls it "mythology"- he's saying it's a story told today about what happened in '93.

The term has been around since the 70s, by the way.

In any case, perhaps you could have asked "were there any neocons in 1993?" in your post, instead of noting that the conservatives in question could include the isolationist wing. It appears to me you were wondering whether anyone Greenwald cited was of the school of thought that values aggressive, unilateral use of the military to achieve idealistic goals not limited to narrow interpretations of U.S interests. McCain is a prime example.

Foo Bar

While we're on the subject of lessons Bin Laden may or may not have learned, let's go to a recent WaPo chat with Dana Priest (who TM loves to cite):

Chicago, Ill.: One of Bin Laden's complaints was the presence of the U.S. military in Saudi Arabia. After the invasion of Iraq, sure enough, we withdrew most of our military from Saudi Arabia. Do you think this could have sent a message to him that he can achieve his goals via attacks like 9/11?

Dana Priest: yes, possibly.


clarice

It could also mean that the Saudis wanted us to move our troops and we now had a beter place to put them.

clarice

Our troops were in S.A. to protect that country and Kuwait FROM IRAQ.

"On August 6, the United Nations Security Council voted 13-0 to set up a trade and financial boycott of Iraq and of occupied Kuwait. Cuba and Yemen abstained (Resolution 661). At the same time, Iraq sharply reduced the flow of oil it normally exported to tanker ports at Yumurtalik, Turkey, and Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. The next day (August 7), U.S. troops began deployment to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of King Fahd to help defend his country against a possible Iraqi attack, the opening phase of what Bush administration officials began referring to as "Operation Desert Shield." (In the late nineties and early years of the new millennium, it was the ongoing presence of U.S. "infidel" troops on Saudi soil and so near the holiest sites in Islam that extremists like Osama bin Laden pointed to as justification for attacks on American attacks anywhere in the world.)"


Tom Maguire

I admire Dana Priest for not laughing out loud, but really - US troops were in Saudi Arabia because of Saddam. We did not put them there specifically to annoy Osama.

Foo Bar

Yes, I understand that's why the troops were there in the first place, but the issue is how their removal may have been perceived by Bin Laden and others in Al Qaeda.

What happened to the idea that we never give in to terrorists' demands and never reward terrorism?

Here was Deputy SecDef Wolfowitz a few weeks before the Iraq invasion:

... the stationing of U.S. forces "in the holy land of Saudi Arabia," were "part of the containment policy that has been Osama bin Laden's principal recruiting device, even more than the other grievances he cites," Wolfowitz said.

Implying that a takeover in Iraq would eliminate the need for U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia, and thus reduce the appeal of terrorist groups for new members, Wolfowitz said: "I can't imagine anyone here wanting to spend another $30 billion to be there for another 12 years to continue helping recruit terrorists."

What an appeasing pansy wimp!

I thought the idea was that there's no point in worrying about who our actions might anger, since "the terrorists" will always hates us and always did.

Patrick Wells

One of Bin Laden's complaints was the presence of the U.S. military in Saudi Arabia. After the invasion of Iraq, sure enough, we withdrew most of our military from Saudi Arabia.

Interesting. After WWII we withdrew most of our forces from Europe. I never stopped to consider that the Germans and Italians may have thought to themselves, "Hey, we've got them on the run!"

clarice

Well, Patrick, that's cause you lack nuance..or because you're not nuts.

Foo Bar

We did not put them there specifically to annoy Osama.

We didn't put them in Somalia specifically to annoy Osama, either.

MayBee

We didn't put them in Somalia specifically to annoy Osama, either.

What did we accomplish in Somalia before we pulled the troops?

Isn't Clinton really trying to say about all of this, "You shouldn't listen to your opponents. They don't always have the answer and will turn on you when it's convenient."

Cause if that's what he meant to say, hear hear.

Foo Bar

After WWII we withdrew most of our forces from Europe. I never stopped to consider that the Germans and Italians may have thought to themselves, "Hey, we've got them on the run!"

Interesting analogy. Am I to infer that you consider us today to have won the war on Islamofascism to the same degree that we had won WWII as of late 1945?

From TM:

I admire Dana Priest for not laughing out loud

Yes, I'm sure that while she acknowledges failing to answer a lot of the chat questions and tells other questioners they are dead wrong, in this instance she answered "yes, possibly" solely out of concern for the questioner's self-esteem.

Patrick Wells

No, Foo Bar, you are not to infer that.

For one thing, we still have large numbers of forces active in the region.

However, after GW1, our drawdown of forces was a natural followup to a victory. OBL is a fairly intelligent man, so I'm pretty confident that he did not actually imagine that this redeployment was in response to his wishes.

That is a marked contrast to Somalia, where we did exit as a direct result of a military setback. Since you are also a fairly intelligent man, I'm sure you can see the difference.

JM Hanes

TM:

The ellipsis in the quote from Tom Friedman is revealing as well! Here's the way Greenwald presented it:

As hundreds of additional United States troops with special weapons and aircraft began heading to Somalia, a wave of hostility toward the widening operation swept Congress. . . . But Mr. Aspin and Mr. Christopher were besieged by skeptical lawmakers, who scorched them with demands for a clear road map for an exit from Somalia, coupled with bitter complaints that the policy goals were unclear or unrealistic.

Now here's the original with the deleted material in bold:

As hundreds of additional United States troops with special weapons and aircraft began heading to Somalia, a wave of hostility toward the widening operation swept Congress. The opposition led the White House to send Secretary of Defense Les Aspin and Secretary of State Warren Christopher to Capitol Hill to try to calm critics from the left and right of both parties and to beg lawmakers for additional time to draw up a new policy.

Angry Legislators

But Mr. Aspin and Mr. Christopher were besieged by skeptical lawmakers, who scorched them with demands for a clear road map for an exit from Somalia, coupled with bitter complaints that the policy goals were unclear or unrealistic.

Greenwald has always relied on folks not taking time to follow his links or check his quotes. It's also worth noting that while Clinton dispatched additional troops, it was primarily to protect our own withdrawal.

When it comes to the Sudan, of course, the infamous Wag the Dog phenom got traction because going after bin Laden was so entirely out of character.

Foo Bar

so I'm pretty confident that he did not actually imagine that this redeployment was in response to his wishes.

Well, it certainly didn't help for Wolfowitz to go before Congress before we invaded and say "gee, having our troops in Saudi Arabia is really making Bin Laden mad, and if we went into Iraq that would probably calm him down and take away one of his prime recruiting tools".

The Iraq invasion and hence the withdrawal from Saudi Arabia was ultimately set in motion by 9/11 (an attack by Bin Laden), was it not? Does anybody here think we end up invading Iraq if 9/11 had not occurred (Saddam's lack of involvement notwithstanding)?


antimedia

Calling McCain a neo-con is about the same as calling Hillary a moderate. Both claims reveal a profound ignorance of reality.

antimedia

Foo Bar, I'm still not certain if you're truly serious or if you putting us all on. Because even an idiot can see the difference between leaving Somalia after suffering minor losses and leaving Saudi Arabia to pursue the enemy.

What does that make you?

If Bin Laden is still alive, I'll bet he's thinking, "Boy did I f**k up this time. Hope I can recover from this." 9/11 was his Yamamoto moment.

Rick Ballard

"Does anybody here think we end up invading Iraq if 9/11 had not occurred (Saddam's lack of involvement notwithstanding)?"

You mean Bubba was lieing in '98 when he signed the regime change legislation? He was just posturing? He had absolutlely no intention of taking the steps necessary to effect the change?

I'm shocked and sadly disillusioned.

Tom Maguire

Russ Feingold, Oct 5, 1993:

I join several of my colleagues who have spoken today to say that we should leave Somalia now: we should not increase the American troop level or increase our involvement. Our continued presence risks not only more American lives but also the possibility that the worldwide broadcasting of the mistreatment of U.S. prisoners will so inflame our national pride that it will be increasingly difficult to leave.

We should get out now, Madam President, before we are in so deeply that we cannot get out at all. M

Yes, I understand that's why the troops were there in the first place, but the issue is how their removal may have been perceived by Bin Laden and others in Al Qaeda.

What happened to the idea that we never give in to terrorists' demands and never reward terrorism?

I worry for the day when Osama issues a fatwa demanding that all Americans inhale and exhale regularly. Unless we turn blue with defiance, the terrorists win!

Patrick Wells

Ok, Foo Bar, you win. We invaded Iraq because OBL wanted us to. The US is simply a puppet and he holds all the strings. We moved our forces out of SA and into Iraq in an effort to appease him, but he outsmarted us again. It's clear now that we should have remained in SA forever, just to spite him. He obviously saw our invasion of Iraq as running away, just like Somalia all over again. An understandable mistake: leaving Somalia for the US, leaving SA for Iraq - hey, no major difference there. And that sentence fragment from Wolfowitz, thats the clincher. Once Al Queda intelligence saw that, they said to themselves, "See, the cowardly Americans are afraid of us."

I guess thats what I get for trying to talk to you as if you are not a fool.


JM Hanes

We can argue about who qualifies as neo-cons (although nobody in his right mind could call Jesse Helms a neo-con!), but Clinton wasn't referring to just any old neo-cons, and frankly, I don't think he had John McCain (who had just finished running against Bush) in mind:

And I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans, who now say I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was too obsessed with bin Laden. All of President Bush’s neo-cons thought I was too obsessed with bin Laden. They had no meetings on bin Laden for nine months after I left office. All the right-wingers who now say I didn’t do enough said I did too much — same people.

Of course, his whole tirade was a veritable stew of conflation.

Tom Maguire

Well, it certainly didn't help for Wolfowitz to go before Congress before we invaded and say "gee, having our troops in Saudi Arabia is really making Bin Laden mad, and if we went into Iraq that would probably calm him down and take away one of his prime recruiting tools".

Now we are truly into weird territory - setting Wolfowitz aside for a moment, I too offered that argument, as did (I have no doubt) many others. Relatedly, others also suggested that if Clinton/Bush could resolve the Palestinian question, the Mid East would calm and terror abate.

Per Foo Bar, that too would be giving in to terrorists? Our real policy should be to keep on doing the things that annoy them whether it makes sense for us or not?

Bob

When are these guys gonna figure out we can fact check their asses?

Your exactly right PO!

What Clinton is suffering from today is the fact that he never anticipated the Internet", and Gore forgot to put an off switch on it. During the 90's, when Al was inventing the Internet, they were able to lie and make shit up on a daily basis... always knowing the MSM would give them complete cover. But as with Rather-gate and the Swifties episodes, the Internet will keep this going until the MSM picks it up... let's at least hope!

This blog is just one of many examples were the facts can be compiled, without waiting for some newspaper reporter to print it for us.

So Thank You Al Gore... if you had to lie about anything, inventing the Internet was your finest hour! Ask your buddy Bill about how Inconvenient the Truth is!

And I came across http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101020812/story.html>this

After the U.S.S. Cole was bombed, the secretive Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., drew up plans to have Delta Force members swoop into Afghanistan and grab bin Laden. But the warriors were never given the go-ahead; the Clinton Administration did not order an American retaliation for the attack. "We didn't do diddly," gripes a counterterrorism official. "We didn't even blow up a baby-milk factory." In fact, despite strong suspicion that bin Laden was behind the attack in Yemen, the CIA and FBI had not officially concluded that he was, and would be unable to do so before Clinton left office. That made it politically impossible for Clinton to strike—especially given the upcoming election and his own lack of credibility on national security. "If we had done anything, say, two weeks before the election," says a former senior Clinton aide, "we'd be accused of helping Al Gore."

At least they could have thanked Al for the Internet!

Syl

I thought the idea was that there's no point in worrying about who our actions might anger, since "the terrorists" will always hates us and always did.

Being aggressive in any way, shape, or form angers them. Withdrawing from perceived weakness emboldens them.

Either way, they recruit.

davod

This is out of left field but has anyone considered that Clinton was trying to avoid probing questions about where all the money he is getting is going. What controls are in place to ensure it is not used for political instead of humanitarian purposes.

MayBee

You know davod, you raise an interesting point. The money is one thing, but his Global Summit is also of interest to me.
CNN produced 3 1-hour long specials from this summit, all starring Bill Clinton. There have been 10 airings within a week, showing internationally.
How can they now cover him in an unbiased fashion?
What does that do for a Hillary campaign, to have her husband get such fabulous, uncritical, and highly-touted airtime.
A sitting President can't get that.
A sitting Senator can't get that.

noah

Exactly Syl. Which sort of proves we are in a war!

Gary Maxwell

Ok if we magically make McCain a neocon and pretend that we pulled our troops out of Saudi Arabia as a sop to Bin Laden, then the lefties will get to do a victory lap? Sould I laugh or cry. Can we have an adult conversation here, please. I feel like I am back in Economics class where the professor just magically says "First off assume..." Sheesh

Gary Maxwell

Just heard Bush announce that Negroponte has been instructed to declassify the NIE that was selectively leaked. Anyone want to bet me that it does not support the notion that we are creating terrorists by being in Iraq. Come on I could use some easy money, put your money where your yapper is.

TexasToast

Cut and Run? From Somalia?

Somalia is a place where tribesmen have been known to tear down power and telephone lines for the copper. It makes Afghanistan look positively avant garde.

The is no way on God’s green earth that this country would have supported more that the pittance we did in Somalia – much less any thing approaching an invasion to go after “terrorists” anywhere in the world prior to 9/11 – especially some place like Somalia. As a comparison, how much support is there today for operations in, say, Darfur?

Its interesting that this attack on Clinton for Somalia arises at the same time as another NIE is leaked that purports to prove that military and intelligence insiders have concluded that the War in Iraq has heightened the terrorist threat. So maybe “cutting and running “ form Somalia vs. invading the place to disrupt the wire stripping was a good idea?

It almost as interesting as gas prices falling just in time – so to speak .


clarice

Oh, TT--you're late to the game. The Dems just swallowed the bait..The NIE will certainly support the Administration and the leakers, the press and the Hill Dems who demanded an investigation have been trapped.

JM Hanes

Gary:

I suppose it's too much to hope for the possibility that they planted a fake NIE story to roust out the leaker, but at least it looks like they learned something about responding.

clarice

At a minimum, JMH.

At a maximum, they knew who was doing this, made sure those rats saw the NIE, recognized what they'd do with the NIE and were well-aware from the outset what was coming down and so were prepared for a rapid response.*clink*

topsecretk9

NIE...if the leaks are selective, agenda driven will the NYT's admit they just suck and swallow ever bad thing they can without objectively seeking more to the story?

JM Hanes

TT

Nice try. The reason we're talking about Somalia is because Clinton went nuts about it on nationwide tv.

Gary Maxwell

TT

Come on take me up on the challenge. You can make some easy money, and no that is not PT Barnum you hear in the distance. Come on.

clarice

Karzai and Bush held a joint press conference today. When a reporter asked Karzai about the leaked tidbit from the NIE he responded:

Karzai, whose country is facing an increase in terror after the Taliban were defeated in late 2001, interjected to offer a similar plea. "Terrorism was hurting us way before Iraq or September 11 ... These extremist forces were killing people in Afghanistan for years, closing schools, burning mosques, killing children, uprooting vineyards," Karzai said. "They came to America on September 11, but they were attacking you before September 11 in other parts of the world. We are a witness in Afghanistan. "Do you forget people jumping off the 80th floor or 70th floor when the planes hit them? Can you imagine what it will be for a man or woman to jump from that high?" Karzai asked recalling some of the more shocking scenes from the World Trade Center bombing. "How do we get rid of them ... should we wait for them to come and kill us again?"


Oh, boy did the Demmedia step in it this time.

Gary Maxwell

Rove has been really busy. How make gas stations in the US are there? 100,000? that is only 2000 a state, seems very low. How in the world is he manipulating all those stations at the same time. Of course if he had the benefit of the Democrats magic socialist control of everything in the economy, it would be a lot easier. But the guy is an evil genius ( and Bush's brain ) so I will believe it. Just wish TT would explain the mechanics of it. And while you are at it, Diebold voting machines too in Democrat controlled counties ).

clarice

Diebold fashioned a gas price lever for him but I've already said too much.......*shots ring out*

owl

Oh, boy did the Demmedia step in it this time.

Oh yeah and if the Repubs do not immediately make a thousand campaign ads from this one news conference.....they are fools. This is one of those things that needs to be viewed in living color. Not just the part about the NIE. When he is good....he is very, verrry good.

TexasToast

Gary

There was a "wink" in my comment about gas prices that apparently didn't come through - probably because I put it inside of carats.

It will be interesting to see the entire NIE if it is to be declassified - I'm sure we will all see exactly what we want to see. Since you guys were able to convince yourselves that the officers writing the army field manual who found that "clarifying" Common Article 3 was unnecessary and counter-productive were wrong, I'm sure we will be able to find that the military and intellignece officers (like Batiste) who are purportedly the source for the NIE are wrong as well.

Gary Maxwell

TT

You may think I am not serious here, but I am releived at least that one ( no make that two ) sensible Democrats still exist. We dont agree much, but at least you dont expect to see the evil Bush jump out from every tree along the path. Mickey Kaus is always a breath of fresh air too. Too bad for you that not many in the Democrat Party seem to share the view.

Gary Maxwell

OK Senator Cornyn who has already read the NIE is calling for its release to the fullest extent possible. I would feel very badly about taking your money TT without this disclosure. Its a slam dunk. No fair reading of it will support any NYT fantasy storyline. Period. I will be happy to take Cleo's money, even if its French Francs.

Urinated State of America

"I think it is clear to say from the meeting we had earlier with--I do not know how many Members were there--45, 50 Senators and half the House of Representatives, that the administration is going to be under great pressure to bring the actions in Somalia to a close."

Don't see how this discounts Glenn's point, Tom. Dole's saying that within the Republican caucus, there was great pressure to withdraw from Somalia. Dole's own views on the intervention (IIRC, he was a champion of intervention in Former Yugoslavia) don't change that.

Rick Ballard

Wow, a commenter from Massachusetts.

JM Hanes

TT:

"It almost as interesting as gas prices falling just in time – so to speak."

Just like Somalia, this is a bed of the Democrats' own making. If you're successful at blaming the Prez when gas goes up, he's going to reap the benefits when the price comes down. Seems to me they'd have learned by now that elections always take place in the little sweet spot after summer demand has tapered off and before the complaints about winter heating oil rev up.

As long Democrats refuse to base their campaigns on proposals for action, their political future will remain at the mercy of events on the ground beyond their control. Even if the President could really manage to manipulate the market to such advantage, it wouldn't matter if the opposition actually had a platform to run on.

There's a reason the Dem's serial New, Newer, Newest New Directions press releases are a source of derision not discussion. Such token efforts at camouflage don't disguise either the lack of substantive initiatives or the real nature of their current and continuing political strategy. It's the same hostile, obstructive, backward looking, event based strategy that has lost them the last two elections, and may very well lose them yet another. The magnitude and complexity of the conspiracy theories required to shift the blame for those losses are simply testatment to the Democrats' perverse unwillingness to take a long hard look at themselves.

JM Hanes

TT:

Looks like maybe I should have winked more broadly over an NIE based conspriacy to out a leaker myself. :)

TexasToast

JMH

I would suspect that a good part of the "reactive" politics that you describe comes from the fact that the Democrats are not in a position to drive events. They control nothing/nada/zilch/rien. When they do make proposals, they don't make the "news" - they never get out of committee.

Examples

They had to practically shut down the Senate to get the second half of the SSCI report on the Iraq War.

Murtha's "proposal" for withdrawal was amemded into a meaningless "support the troops" bill.

I understand you criticism, but serving up softballs to the RNC spin machine hasn't worked in the past - and I doubt it would work now.

Fool me once.....

boris

And you're a fool forever.

Jane

They control nothing/nada/zilch/rien.

Well except the media which is a wholly owned subsidiary.

Tell me, is "lack of control" as synonym for "having no ideas" in moonbat speak?

Gary Maxwell

Some might argue that the Supreme Court is still firmly in liberal control. But I do think that every time Stevens burps or coughs that Howie Dean blanches.

maryrose

I give Stevens a year, two at max and then all hell breaks loose in the confirmation process where the nuclear option is employed.

Ryan Ellissonbergerwald

Jealous, much?

Good DAY, sir!

RichatUF

from clarice

...Iraq sharply reduced the flow of oil it normally exported to tanker ports at Yumurtalik, Turkey, and Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. The next day (August 7), U.S. troops began deployment to Saudi Arabia...

Wow, US forces deployed to Saudi Arabia for GWI on August 7, 1990. The EA Embassy Bombings were August 7, 1998. I think I am switching to decafe (and that I always learn something new at JOM).

from foo-bar

Does anybody here think we end up invading Iraq if 9/11 had not occurred (Saddam's lack of involvement notwithstanding)?

IMO, regardless of 9-11 (and even in a Gore administration), S Hussein would have been taken out...yes laugh in derision

I think part of anger is that the Clinton narritive is that the US didn't shepherd the resolution to nitro-charge the UN mission. The Black Hawk Down business lead to Rawanda. The Rawanda resolution was argued on 5 Oct 1993. The US (State and WH) were actively obstructing the UN resolution (not that the UN could have done much). In all, B. Clinton's reaction to the question is just baffling. I don't see the political upside and it opens up a debate that was closed when Aspin (Clinton's SD at the time) resigned. The OBL angle too. Really, what is the upside for B. Clinton, baffling

RichatUF

Extraneus

So why did Clinton bring up Black Hawk Down, anyway? Was that a comfortable place for him to park while getting his answer to the actual question together in his mind? Seems amazing that he didn't already have a more logical reply to what Wallace really asked, but I didn't follow how Somalia helped get to whatever that reply was originally supposed to be.

RichatUF

And the sources for the OBL-Somalia business. See The Cell, 160-163
see also, Jamal al-Fadl and this item contains his bio. The transcript for his testimony is linked here about 7/8ths down the page. Type in to the find text function "U.S. Embassy Bombing Transcript Day 1" and go up. Looks useful.

RichatUF

boris

why did Clinton bring up Black Hawk Down, anyway?

I don't get it. The main problem was how badly it was handled not whether we stay or bug out. Make a bloody mess then run away was probably the worst of the 4 alternatives.

If Republicans were saying cut and run, shame on them, they were wrong. If they were saying "unless you're going to back them and win, don't waste their lives", not so bad.

Sue

Boris,

If I remember correctly, republicans were pissed we were under UN control.

sad

why did Clinton bring up Black Hawk Down, anyway

A movie was made of it starring a cute guy and heroics on the part of the US military evoking good feelings in the viewer which Clinton hopes will transfer to him. A cynical yet possible explanation...

maryrose

sad:
Unfortunately this cynical view is correct. Because don't you know the main purpose is to make Clinton look good all the time. The creed of the narcissist-no matter what it is-it's all about me.

boris

Sue,

  1. "unless you're going to back them and win, don't waste their lives"
  2. If I remember correctly, republicans were pissed we were under UN control.

Think those are fairly equivalent, in result anyway.

antimedia

TT wrote "Somalia is a place where tribesmen have been known to tear down power and telephone lines for the copper. It makes Afghanistan look positively avant garde."

And I started laughing so hard I couldn't respond right away. Here in Dallas (that's in Texas, TT) thieves are stealing copper left and right. They're ripping the copper drain spouts off of churches and mansions, stealing copper tubing from construction sites, even stripping copper wires from the electrical grid.

Dalls makes Afghanistan look positively avant garde, I guess.

(I swear the output from the left these days is positively priceless.)

Extraneus

Good theory, sad. I didn't see the movie, so all it said to me was that it wasn't a logical place from which to answer the question, especially if you're going to say Al Qiada had nothing to do with Somalia. But we really haven't had a good leading man yet for the Clinton movie. Who'll play him, anyway? Dan Akroyd?

Extraneus

(I swear the output from the left these days is positively priceless.)

And I just got around to checking out Keith Olberman's comments on the Clinton interview. Priceless">http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15004160/&fg=&">Priceless is right!

sad

But we really haven't had a good leading man yet for the Clinton movie.

John Travolta gave it a try once. Was it "Primary Colors" or something like that?

Foo Bar

Hmmm... I seem to have elicited more than my usual quota of annoyance, so let's balance it out with an olive branch or two:

I agree that TM (and JM Hanes) have several legitimate criticisms of Greenwald here. Our departure from Somalia (even if it wasn't as fast as McCain and others would have liked) does indeed seem to have emboldened Bin Laden. Whether Clinton should have known at the time that it would is another question, but certainly in retrospect it did have an emboldening effect.

Also, that is pretty shady of Greenwald to remove the sentence saying that Aspin and Christopher were dealing with critics from both the left and right.

Foo Bar

antimedia:

Because even an idiot can see the difference between leaving Somalia after suffering minor losses and leaving Saudi Arabia to pursue the enemy.

What does that make you?

Let's stipulate my sub-idiocy and see if we can find any others whose stance on the issue puts them in the same category. What shall we make of conservative columnist John Fund, who is on leave from a position on the illustrious WSJ editorial board? He went on Hardball and said that removing our troops from Saudi Arabia "would have been" a big win for Al Qaeda, while incorrectly claiming that we had not withdrawn our troops:

So they presumed that maybe, if we had a cataclysmic terrorist attack,

we might just pull our horns out of Middle East. And that was ultimately -

or Saudi Arabia, at least. Getting our troops out of Saudi Arabia would have been a signal victory for them. I don‘t think they anticipated the extent of the attack because our previous responses were so weak.

GREEN: We are out of Saudi Arabia.

FUND: No, we have troops there.

GREEN: We have largely pulled out the way bin Laden wanted, and I don‘t disagree with that.

FUND: We have the same—we have almost the same number of troops there that we had five years ago, about 16,000. Look it up.

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