While there was certainly more Bill Clinton could have done and should have done about Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and terrorism, the Republicans sure as hell weren’t very supportive of him for the anti-terror efforts he did make.
In 1998, in retaliation for the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania,…
Wait, there is more:
President Clinton led the fight against terrorism over strong opposition from Republicans in Congress and the pro-Republican Media. President Clinton:
President Clinton took the oath of office January 20, 1993. February, 26 – barely a month later – terrorists detonated more than 1,000 pounds of explosives under the World Trade Center, killing six and injuring about a thousand people. Bill Clinton and the Democrats never dreamed of trying to blame the outgoing George Herbert Walker Bush Administration. They just began working to keep us safe from terrorism.
What did Clinton do?
— Found and had arrested four of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman’s disciples
–Gave them a speedy trial where all were convicted them for the bombing
–Sentenced them to 240 years in prison
All by March 1994, only 13 months after the bombing.
Officials captured the prime suspect Ramzi Ahmed Yousef in 1995. A court convicted him in November 1997 and sentenced him to 240 years in prison as well.
CLINTON VS. TERROR
HERE’S A PARTIAL – YET INCREDIBLY LONG – LIST OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS AGAINST TERRORISM FOR WHICH THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION GETS ALMOST NO CREDIT OR EVEN RECOGNITION.
— sent legislation to congress to tighten airport security. (remember, this is before 911) the legislation was defeated by the republicans because of opposition from the airlines.
— sent legislation to Congress to allow for BETTER TRACKING OF TERRORIST FUNDING. It was defeated by Republicans in the Senate because of opposition from banking interests.
— sent legislation to Congress to add tagents to explosives, to allow for BETTER TRACKING OF EXPLOSIVES USED BY TERRORISTS. It was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the NRA.
When Republicans couldn’t prevent executive action, President Clinton:
— Developed the nation’s first anti-terrorism policy, and appointed first national coordinator.
— Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up 12 U.S. jetliners simultaneously.
— Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up UN Headquarters.
— Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up FBI Headquarters.
— Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
–Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up Boston airport.
— Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up Lincoln and Holland Tunnels in NY.
— Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the George Washington Bridge.
— Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the US Embassy in Albania.
— Tried to kill Osama bin Laden and disrupt Al Qaeda through preemptive strikes (efforts denounced by the G.O.P.).
— Brought perpetrators of first World Trade Center bombing and CIA killings to justice.
— Did not blame Bush I administration for first World Trade Center bombing even though it occurred 38 days after they had left office. Instead, worked hard, even obsessively — and successfully — to stop future terrorist attacks.
— Named the Hart-Rudman commission to report on nature of terrorist threats and major steps to be taken to combat terrorism.
— Tripled the budget of the FBI for counterterrorism and doubled overall funding for counterterrorism.
— Detected and destroyed cells of Al Qaeda in over 20 countries
— Created a national stockpile of drugs and vaccines including 40 million doses of smallpox vaccine.
— Robert Oakley, Reagan Counterterrorism Czar says of Clinton’s efforts “Overall, I give them very high marks” and “The only major criticism I have is the obsession with Osama”
— Paul Bremer, Bush’s Administrator of Iraq disagrees slightly with Robert Oakley saying he believed the Clinton Administration had “correctly focused on bin Laden.”
— Barton Gellman of the Washington Post put it best, “By any measure available, Clinton left office having given greater priority to terrorism than any president before him” and was the “first administration to undertake a systematic anti-terrorist effort.”
HERE, IN STARK CONTRAST, IS PART OF THE BUSH-CHENEY ANTI-TERRORISM RECORD BEFORE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001:
— Backed off Clinton administration’s anti-terrorism efforts.
— Shelved the Hart-Rudman report.
— Appointed new anti-terrorism task force under Dick Cheney. Group did not even meet before 9/11.
— Called for cuts in anti-terrorism efforts by the Department of Defense.
— Gave no priority to anti-terrorism efforts by Justice Department.
— Ignored warnings from Sandy Berger, Louis Freeh, George Tennant, Paul Bremer, and Richard Clarke about the urgency of terrorist threats.
— Halted Predator drone tracking of Osama bin Laden.
— Did nothing in wake of August 6 C.I.A. report to president saying Al Qaeda attack by hijack of an airliner almost certain.
— Bush – knowing about the terrorists’ plans to attack in America, warned that terrorists were in flight schools in the US – took a four week vacation.
— By failing to order any coordination of intelligence data, missed opportunity to stop the 9/11 plot as Clinton-Gore had stopped the millennium plots.
And, of course, blamed President Clinton for 9/11.
Daniel L –
That is absolutely untrue. When Bib-laden was kicked out of Sudan he wanted to go Saudi Arabia. Clinton pressured the Saudis to allow Bin-laden into the country so we could arrest him there. The Saudis refused because they did not want the headache Bib-laden would cause them if he returned. As a result, Bin-laden went to Afghanistan and the rest, as they say, is history.
Daniel L –
Opportunities may have been missed, and Clinton probably owns fair blame for some things. I don’t much care about Clinton one way or another (other than I think he messed up what could have been a decent Presidency); however, it is not only unreasonable, but insane, to blame him for every ill in the world – particularly when we are nearly two full terms beyond 2000.
Did Clinton do enough – probably not; did he do nothing – absolutely not (especially compared to his successor).
Thanks for the civil exchange. Cheers.
Depending on who you read, Clinton took either 15 or 17 shots at Bin Ladin.
The last shot almost got him. In response the republicans diverted attention away from the Bin Ladin with the Lewinsky consensual sex “scandal.”
How many shots has Bush taken at Bin Laden? None.
The fact is, 9-11 happened on Bush’s watch. His administration was given complete intel with regard to the threat from Bin Ladin and was told it was serious and needed ongoing attention. Bush chose to do nothing.
Blame Clinton for 9-11? Why not blame him for the attack on Pearl Harbor too? It makes about as much sense.
Actually, for most responses the Republican did support him. Clinton however was handed Bin Laden on a silver plate a few times and he refused to take action because a Middle Eastern Prince might have been traveling with Bin Laden at the time, or he was affraid of offending those in the Middle East. That’s why many blame him for 9/11.
edit: Gary, Actually it’s very true, just saw it on History Channel monday. A few anti Al Qaeda forces in Pakistan scouted him out and told spies where to strike. That’s when the suspected Prince was traveling with Bin Laden. We also had golden opportunities to nail him when he used a satelite phone, but someone in the Liberal media leaked it and now Bin Laden no longer uses a phone.
here’s a link. I did a quick glance on the internet, was the first one I found. I’ll keep looking to find another to corborate this. http://www.prisonplanet.com/us_missed_th…
another one http://www.trackpads.com/forum/point-cou…
And another, and to show I’m not a Clinton bashing nutjob here’s a link with info about how both Clinton and Bush missed opportunities.
sage and scholar: I have proof to back me up, just as Gary has. You however believe by denying what I say will somehow make it untrue. Don’t try to accuse me of what you’re doing. Thanks.
edit: Gary, I don’t blame Clinton for 9/11. I blame Bin Laden and his followers. However, I do feel that 9/11 might have been avoided had he taken more action. I hold Bush accountable for this also. I don’t dislike Clinton, I bash him a bit, sure. But, I don’t believe 9/11 happened soley because of Clinton or Bush. And Cheers back.
Daniel L – you must know that it is a lie – why do you do yourself the discredit you do by repeating it?
Same reason Liberals haven’t supported President Bush. is that not just turning the tables on each other??
The greedy right wing crooks aren’t interested in doing what’s right unless they can make a buck off it for their cronies and themselves.
Dam good question. I would like to see some answer Republicans!!!