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September 29, 2006

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Comments

Paul

Isn't it always "stupid day" in the media?

Sue

knows the first thing the Bush team did was reflexively throw out anything that had Clinton's scent

Oh really? He should have thrown out Tenet then. For starters.

clarice

And Clarke and Beers.

section9

Part of the problem with the left blogosphere as well as the MSM is that it is such a profoundly accurate reflection of its parent Party, the Dems. They are focused on the past. Democrats are not quite ready to tackle the future and don't quite know what to do with Al Qaeda, other than fear it.

The party doesn't exude optimism. If you go to base Democrats and ask them what they really want to do, you get a thousand different answers and one big thing: impeach Bush. They do hate Bush, and that hatred is starting to seep into the conciousness of the body politic. It will do Dems no good in the long run.

They do fear Al Qaeda. Behind all the bluster and the anger and the hatred of Bush is fear. That's the one thing that liberals have shown me since 9/11. This ain't Harry Truman's party anymore. Peter Beinart's attempt to play Lazarus will do no good.

topsecretk9

I just heard Monkey, I mean Chris Wallace on Mike Gallagher and he said they were filing suit (pretty sure he said suit, but charges?) against a Clinton aide who was poking and shoving (in heated manner) a producer during and after the Clinton interview - now I don't think he was kidding because MG immediately said good so there you have it --because Wallace just kept talking and said this Sunday they were going to take up the topic of the interview with Newt and JHarman and then they were going to have a fact check segment because as Wallace said, Mr. Clinton said a lot of things and assertions...and there you have that update.

Neo

background briefing in early August 2002 by President Bush's former counterterrorism coordinator Richard A. Clarke to a handful of reporters

QUESTIONS: Had those issues evolved at all from October of '98 'til December of 2000?

CLARKE: Had they evolved? Um, not appreciably.

ANGLE: What was the problem? Why was it so difficult for the Clinton administration to make decisions on those issues?

CLARKE: Because they were tough issues. You know, take, for example, aiding the Northern Alliance. Um, people in the Northern Alliance had a, sort of bad track record. There were questions about the government, there were questions about drug-running, there was questions about whether or not in fact they would use the additional aid to go after Al Qaeda or not. Uh, and how would you stage a major new push in Uzbekistan or somebody else or Pakistan to cooperate?

One of the big problems was that Pakistan at the time was aiding the other side, was aiding the Taliban. And so, this would put, if we started aiding the Northern Alliance against the Taliban, this would have put us directly in opposition to the Pakistani government. These are not easy decisions.

ANGLE: And none of that really changed until we were attacked and then it was ...

CLARKE: No, that's not true. In the spring, the Bush administration changed — began to change Pakistani policy, um, by a dialogue that said we would be willing to lift sanctions. So we began to offer carrots, which made it possible for the Pakistanis, I think, to begin to realize that they could go down another path, which was to join us and to break away from the Taliban. So that's really how it started.

QUESTION: Had the Clinton administration in any of its work on this issue, in any of the findings or anything else, prepared for a call for the use of ground forces, special operations forces in any way? What did the Bush administration do with that if they had?

CLARKE: There was never a plan in the Clinton administration to use ground forces. The military was asked at a couple of points in the Clinton administration to think about it. Um, and they always came back and said it was not a good idea. There was never a plan to do that.

clarice

Goof for Wallace. It's not the 90's any more and Clinton shouldn't be allowed to pull that off again.

OTOH if that means more Lanny David, Carville and Begala on TV----------urgh

clarice

Ooops****gooD for Wallace***I mean.

topsecretk9

Well Clarice, he could have been kidding, however he and MG kid around alot - which they did today about Redskins and Dallas - But when that was discussed I did not detect a HINT of kid...CW was discussing the situation and how Clinton was steamed and I am pretty sure he said assault and battery -- MG just good and without a beat CW just kept talking, so.

narciso

You, know there's actually a December 1998
PDB which was much more specific, where
very little action, was carried out, except
for the subsequent Kosovo war, where our
allies, the KLA had ties to Al Queda, through the likes of Zawahiri and Abu Zubeydah; The suggested hijack/ransom in
plot to free Sheik Omar Abdul Rachman is mentioned in greater detail in that report.

Pofarmer

I think it's stupid day all over.

"There is no question that many of our policies have inflamed our enemies' hatred toward the U.S. and allowed violence to flourish. But, it is the mistakes we made in Iraq — the lack of planning, the mismanagement and the complete incompetence of our leadership — that has done the most damage to our security," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"Rather than reducing the number of terrorists worldwide and lessening the motivation of terrorists to attack the United States, the war in Iraq is having precisely the opposite effect," Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement. "We did not invade Iraq to fight terrorism as the president would now have us believe, but we're less safe today because the war in Iraq has hindered our ability to make progress in combating terrorism."

I also saw Pelosi commenting on Bush saying "Mission Accomplished aboard that aircraft carrier."

Of course, never bother that he never said it.


Pofarmer

except
for the subsequent Kosovo war, where our
allies, the KLA had ties to Al Queda,

Most-stupid-military-move-ever.

MayBee

I liked Michael Schuerer (sp?)'s observation that Clinton is able to assert with impugnity. The same is apparently true of Hillary.

I first really noticed it during Katrina, when the old Clintonites said James Lee Witt had always been spectacular, and no press person bothered to ask for specifics before repeating it.

I is ridiculous for Hillary to pretend that one PDB would have been the one that got Clinton to act. Surely he'd seen hundreds that were similar.

And for the press to discuss Clarke on the one hand while saying Bush threw out everything from the Clintons is willful blindness. Unless they mean literally, Clarke did not smell like Clinton.

topsecretk9

Narcisco

Yes there is

1998 Memo Cited Suspected Hijack Plot by Bin Laden By Susan Schmidt Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, July 18, 2004; Page A17


A secret intelligence document prepared for President Bill Clinton in December 1998 reported on a suspected plot by Osama bin Laden to hijack a U.S. airliner in an effort to force the United States to release imprisoned conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center attacks.

The one-page declassified version of the President's Daily Brief dated Dec. 4, 1998, contains chilling information -- gleaned by the CIA from several sources -- indicating that al Qaeda was working with U.S.-based operatives of its deadly ally, the Egyptian group Gama at al-Islamiyya, in the purported hijacking plot.

...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58615-2004Jul17.html

MaidMarion

Neo,

In the text you quoted, was Clarke talking about the Spring of "2001" or "2002", because if was in early 2001 then it shows a deliberate diplomatic effort on the part of the Bush Administration...one which apparently the Clinton Administration had failed to try:

CLARKE: No, that's not true. In the spring, the Bush administration changed — began to change Pakistani policy, um, by a dialogue that said we would be willing to lift sanctions. So we began to offer carrots, which made it possible for the Pakistanis, I think, to begin to realize that they could go down another path, which was to join us and to break away from the Taliban. So that's really how it started.

Clarke doesn't say that the Clinton Administration had tried the diplomacy route with Pakistan. Maybe it had tried, but failed? Anyone know? This causes me to wonder: just what WERE Clinton's diplomacy successes during his 8 years?

ed

Hmmm.

What I find curious is that very few people take into account the massive antagonism that existed in the Democrat controlled Senate against President Bush and his selected cabinet appointees. By my recollection it took the better part of 6 *months*, i.e. July, before his cabinet was fully established and even then he had to go with keeping on Clintonites in certain positions, such as the Director of the CIA, in order to get his cabinet established.

This frankly is one of the biggest Democrat Achilles Heels in any debate or discussion concerning what should or would have been done in the 8 months of the Bush Presidency leading up to the attack on 9/11. At some point the Democrats will have to account for their intransigence on confirming appointees and the effect their obstinancy had on the readiness of the administration.

It's one thing to claim that Clinton was distracted from pursuing OBL because of Lewinsky. It's a completely different, and far more effective, argument to assert that Bush was hamstrung by Senate Democrats because they refused to actually allow him to form an effective Executive Branch.

Tom Bowler
"I'm certain that if my husband and his national security team had been shown a classified report entitled 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the U.S.,' he would have taken it more seriously than history suggests it was taken by our current president and his national security team," Hillary Clinton charged.

But according to Thomas Joscelyn's Weekly Standard article:

The warning signs collected during the Clinton administration are outlined in the bipartisan "Report of the Joint Inquiry into the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001," which was jointly published by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in December 2002.

The Joint Inquiry outlines a number of U.S. government failures in the years leading up to September 11, 2001. Among the report's findings, the committees concluded that prior to September 11, 2001: The "U.S. Intelligence Community was involved in fighting a 'war' against Bin Laden largely without the benefit of what some would call its most potent weapon in that effort: an alert and committed American public."

The report goes on to list three examples of "information that was shared with senior U.S. Government officials, but was not made available to the American public because of its national security classification." This information was "explicit about the gravity and immediacy of the threat posed by Bin Laden" and included "a classified document" signed by President Clinton in December 1998, which read in part:

"The Intelligence Community has strong indications that Bin Laden intends to conduct or sponsor attacks inside the United States."

No matter what history really suggests, Hillary will be sticking to her story, and the mainstream press will be helping her out as best they can.

narciso

I know it's there, but it has still gone down the memory hole. On another point,
one recalls the summer of 2001, was when
Jeffords, had turned over the Senate to
the Democrats, where according to one
example, the chief Senate intelligence
project was turning up old documents
on the CIA and the Gehlen org, recruiting
of German 'intelligence specialists; (ironically one not listed was Georg Fischer
aka Alois Brunner, Eichmann's deputy, later
seconded to running Nasser's WMD program
in the late 50s, and the godfather of the
Syrian Mukharabat

Patrick R. Sullivan

In answer to MaidMarion, it's 2001 he was talking about. One of the first foreign policy initiatives taken by Bush was to send a message to Pakistan that there was a new sheriff in town and he expected them to change their policy in regards the Taliban.

Iirc, it was February 2001.

maryrose

We just need to make sure that enough republicans write accurate history books so all students learn how the Clintons fighting for their legacy will stoop to lies in order to cover up their obvious inadequacies. Clinton totally dropped the ball because he was bored and distracted by Lewinsky. Because of traitor Jeffords-dems with Daschle in the lead delayed confirmation of appointments. Gore in a hissy fit would not concede defeat until we had to endure 4 or 5 recounts. Everytime I think of them throwing out military ballots and whining to partisan courts I want to be sick. They the dems obviously don't care about a stable functioning government. They want revenge and power.Disgusting!

Pofarmer

just what WERE Clinton's diplomacy successes during his 8 years?

Arafat's nobel prize?

Does anybody have the dates that Bush's cabinet nominees were confirmed? For instance, I looked up Ashcroft on Wikipedia, and it mentioned he was nominated in July. But it didn't mention he wasn't confirmed till may. What about Condi? Rummy?

Tom Maguire

1998 Memo Cited Suspected Hijack Plot by Bin Laden

Lots of detail about that memo and the Clinton response in Ch. 4 of the 9/11 Commission report (which, BTW, I had linked to in the post.)

FWIW, the Dec 1998 PDB in question seemed to have about 5 pargarpahs specifically devoted to a live hijack threat:

SUBJECT: Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks

1. Reporting [-] suggests Bin Ladin and his allies are preparing for attacks in the US, including an aircraft hijacking to obtain the release of Shaykh 'Umar 'Abd al-Rahman, Ramzi Yousef, and Muhammad Sadiq 'Awda. One source quoted a senior member of the Gama'at al-Islamiyya (IG) saying that, as of late October, the IG had completed planning for an operation in the US on behalf of Bin Ladin,

By comparison, the 2001 memo to Bush mentioned hijacking in the context of an "everything including the kitchen sink" warning (Yes, the Intel Community had unconfirmwed reports that Al Qaeda meant to hijack kitchen sinks...).

That would sort of explain why Clinton took the warning seriously and Bush did not, and why Bush reportedly remarked to his briefer, OK, you've covered your ass".

bbtl

Clinton's final days in DC - ensuring the rare, smooth transition of power provided by the US Constitution to preserve the Union - knowing the enemy's history; knowing the enemy was listening - knowing the enemy's goals:

Sunday, Jan. 21, 2001- Time Magazine

"One morning at the nub end of Bill Clinton's presidency, Clinton chief of staff John Podesta walked into a senior staff meeting in the Roosevelt Room waving a copy of USA Today. Holding the paper aloft, Podesta read the headline out loud: ''Clinton actions annoy Bush.'' The article detailed the new rules and executive orders the outgoing President was issuing in his final days... ''What's Bush so annoyed about?'' Podesta asked with a devilish smile. ''He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done.'' ... The former president's aides had mischief in mind when they conjured up some of these actions, especially the designation of more than 5.6 million acres of federal land as national monuments. If Bush wants to reverse those orders, he will face howls of protests from environmental groups. ''We laid a few traps,'' chirps a happy Clinton aide.'''

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,96140,00.html

Move ON, Bill and Hill. Those of us who blindly piss and moan from high upon the shoulders of generations of Americans who sacrificed to build, keep, cherish, preserve, defend and pass on the precious legacy of liberty we inherited soil ourselves, shame our ancestors, betray all.

ajacksonian

Such fun to see what President Clinton had to say to Mr. Wallace... and I could not believe the President's attempt to re-write history, which he should have some memory of since he was there. It has been some five years for him out of office and he has *yet* to come up with any summation of his time in office. Even when asked, 'why didn't you do more to connect the dots?' he has long winded misdirections, impugining character, and generally doing anything but to answer the question. Most Presidents seem to get the basics of their time down to a short soundbite or three and leave it at that. Bill Clinton could not leave well enough alone...the litany of attacks on the US before 2001 is rather lengthy, and includes attacks on diplomatic compounds which, as it happens, are sovereign territory of the US, military personnel, and actually striking the Continental United States. All of those are Casus Belli: a cause to go to war to seek redress against such actions.

The year 1995, all by its lonesome, was one of chilling dots that al Qaeda connected and soon put to use, multiple times. President Clinton attempts to digress to Somalia and putting forth a brave face *there* after the CIA employee killings, the WTC bombing and the attempted NYC Landmarks bombing plot. Each of those indicators of terrorism aimed *at* the US and *within* the US. President Clinton attempts to claim that al Qaeda was an 'unknown'... save for their involvement in the WTC bombing, I guess. So perhaps that 'brave face' in Somalia, which required a special operation to evacuate everyone from there once the UN failed in its mission, was one to distract the People of the US from the growing threat at home...

Perhaps he thought that the US would *always* be lucky, after the chance discovery of the Millenium bombing plot and the uncovering of the plot to bomb USN DDG The Sullivans. The USS Cole would *not* get that luck and paid for the lack of security and going after al Qaeda.

Considering the long months that President Bush had to wait to get his Cabinet through the Senate, complaining about an Administrative team that was not even fully-stood up and functioning properly is a strange thing to spotlight. Considering that it was the Democrats in the Senate holding up the works they have *zero* cause to complain as they had placed the Nation in danger due to partisan politics.

Mr. Clinton has the right to his own opinions. He does not, however, get his own *facts* to work from. And he *still* has not stood up to explain why he did *not* work harder to defend the Nation against this gathering and lethal threat which had already reached the US in 1993.

Neo
The Woodward excerpt describes how, on July 10, 2001, CIA Director George J. Tenet met with his counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, at CIA headquarters "to review the latest on Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorist organization. Black laid out the case, consisting of communications intercepts and other top-secret intelligence showing the increasing likelihood that al-Qaeda would soon attack the United States. The mass of fragments made a compelling case, so compelling to Tenet that he decided he and Black should go to the White House immediately."

If Tenet had "intercepted messages among al-Qaeda operatives" on or before July 10, 2001, why is there no mention of an "imminent threat" on August 6, 2001 ?

Clearly either Tenet was holding back or Woodward did grasp something, perhaps reality.

Neo

I guess we should be happy that Armitage didn't "leak" to just Woodward.

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