Dog bites man. Clinton gets caught lying. Advance to approximately 8:30 to hear Slick Willie claim to have put a hit on Bin Laden.
Newsweek, after going through the newly released CIA report:
In September 2006, during a famous encounter with Fox News anchor Wallace, Clinton erupted in anger and waived his finger when asked about whether his administration had done enough to get bin Laden. â€œWhat did I do? What did I do?â€ Clinton said at one point. â€œI worked hard to try to kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since.â€
Clinton appeared to have been referring to a December 1999 Memorandum of Notification (MON) he signed that authorized the CIA to use lethal force to capture, not kill, bin Laden. But the inspector generalâ€™s report made it clear that the agency never viewed the order as a license to â€œkillâ€ bin Ladenâ€”one reason it never mounted more effective operations against him. â€œThe restrictions in the authorities given the CIA with respect to bin Laden, while arguably, although ambiguously, relaxed for a period of time in late 1998 and early 1999, limited the range of permissible operations,â€ the report stated. (Scheuer agreed with the inspector generalâ€™s findings on this issue, but said if anything the report was overly diplomatic. â€œThere was never any ambiguity,â€ he said. â€œNone of those authorities ever allowed us to kill anyone. At least thatâ€™s what the CIA lawyers told us.â€ A spokesman for the former president had no immediate comment.)
That’s not all. The CIA and NSA refused to share critical intelligence:
U.S. counter-terrorism efforts against Al Qaeda were damaged by a fierce turf battle between the CIA and the National Security Agency (then under Haydenâ€™s leadership) over access to transcripts of intercepted communications picked up by the governmentâ€™s spy satellites and listening posts. Throughout the late 1990s right up to 9/11, the two U.S. intelligence agencies appear to have sharply feuded over the issue. The NSA eavesdropped on the conversations of top Al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the globe. It then prepared verbatim written transcripts of this raw â€œsignals intelligenceâ€ (known as SIGINT in the intel world).
But Haydenâ€™s NSA apparently wouldnâ€™t share the transcripts with the CIA, which was responsible for tracking Al Qaeda operatives overseas. The NSAâ€™s â€œunwillingness to share raw SIGINT transcripts with CIAâ€¦made it more difficult for CTC [the Counter-Terrorism Center] to perform its mission against Al Qaeda,â€ the report stated. (The NSA also snubbed the FBI, whose job it was to hunt down terrorist operatives within the United States.)
If that happened under Bush, we’d be hearing all about his “incompetence.”