IBD on Bill Clinton’s failure to deal with Al Qaeda and to kill Osama when he had the chance/s.
…Michael Scheuer is a 22-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency who led the Osama bin Laden unit of the Counterterrorism Center from 1996 through 1999, and was Special Advisor to it from 2001 until he left the agency in 2004. He is the author of two books on the war on terror.
In a July 4, 2006, Op-Ed in the Washington Times, Scheuer dismisses former terrorism czar Richard Clarke’s memoir on the hunt for bin Laden.
Speaking of “Mr. Clinton’s failure to capture or kill bin Laden on any of the eight to 10 chances afforded by CIA reporting, Mr. Clarke never mentions that President Bush had no chances to kill bin Laden before Sept. 11 and leaves readers with the false impression that he, Mr. Clinton and Mr. Clinton’s national security adviser, Sandy Berger, did their best to end the bin Laden threat.”
That impression continued with Brian Williams’ fawning “Rock Center” report.
As Clinton guru Dick Morris relates, a first missed opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden came in February 1998, when “Clinton’s aides scuttled a CIA plot that had been eight months in the planning to kidnap Osama.”
The plan would have used Afghan tribesmen to capture the al-Qaida leader who would then have been brought to the U.S. for trial.
Another chance came on Aug. 20, 1998, in the famous “wag the dog” attack at the height of l’affaire Lewinsky, when cruise missiles were actually fired at a bin Laden encampment in Afghanistan.
Problem was, Clinton ordered that the Pakistanis be informed of the attack, lest they believed the cruise missile in their air space were fired by India, which didn’t have any cruise missiles.
The news, of course, was leaked and bin Laden fled.
Yet another missed opportunity came in May 1999 when the CIA reported that bin Laden would be in Kandahar, Afghanistan, for five days. As the 9/11 Commission report said: “If this intelligence was not ‘actionable,’ working-level officials said at the time and today, it was hard for them to imagine how any intelligence could meet that standard.”
It was the Clinton administration that could have put Osama bin Laden out of commission before 9/11. It was under the Clinton administration that Americans were killed by terrorists on three continents without a meaningful response.
It was under Bill Clinton that we left Somalia in disgrace after dead Americans were dragged through the streets, giving Osama all the encouragement and proof of our lack of will he needed.