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Sunday, January 30, 2005

A History of Clinton, Bush, and Terrorism

Wherein a long list is given to provide supporting evidence for the proposition that the Clinton administration was effective and competent, and that the Bush administration is evil, short-sighted, destructively reactionary, and a bunch of nasty poo-poo heads.




  1. A mere 38 days after taking office, the World Trade Center is attacked for the first time. Clinton captures and imprisons Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Hakim Murad, and Wali Khan Amin Shah.

  2. January 1994: Clinton's first crime bill provides for stringent anti-terrorism measures, as does the more specifically targetted Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Clinton also requested and received funding for sponsoring simulated terrorist attacks to test the effectiveness of municpal response teams.

  3. July 1996: Congressional Republicans object to Clinton's proposed expansion of the intelligence agencies wiretap authority. Newt Gingrich tells Fox News Sunday: "When you have an agency that turns 900 personnel files over to people like Craig Livingstone... it's very hard to justify giving the agency more power."

  4. September 1996: Republicans in Congress refuse all of Clinton's requested counterterrorism spending. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): "The administration would be wise to utilize the resources Congress has already provided before it requests additional funding."

  5. Summer 1998: Clinton issues series of top secret directives to the CIA authorizing the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and several of his top lieutenants.

  6. August 1998: Alleged chemical weapons factories in Sudan are bombed. The bombings are met with bipartisan approval: "The President did exactly the right thing. By doing this we're sending the signal there are no sancturies for terrorists." -Newt Gingrich. Richard Clarke, counterterrorism expert under both Bush and Clinton, testifying before the 9-11 commission, on the bombing: "To this day, there are a lot of people who believe that it was not related to a terrorist group, not related to chemical weapons. They're wrong, by the way. But the President had decided in PDD-39 that there should be a low threshold of evidence when it comes to the possibility of terrorists getting their access -- getting their hands on chemical weapons. And he acted on that basis."

  7. Paul Bremer to the Washington Post on Clinton: "he correctly focused on bin Laden". "Overall, I give him very high remarks" - Robert Oakley, Reagan counterterrorism czar.

  8. Economy prospers, crime is down, abortions are down, and teenage pregnencies are down. Clinton, however, very concerned about the "growing threat of terrorism".

  9. August 2000: Bush says "If called on by the commander in chief today, two entire divisions of the Army would have to report, 'Not ready for duty, sir.'" Proceed to kick the crap out of Afghanistan the following September.

  10. October 2000: USS Cole is attacked by suicide bombers, killing seventeen sailors and wounding 39 others. Clinton decides to leave any response to the incoming Bush administration.

  11. Winter 2000: Sandy Berger briefs Condolezza Rice on al Qaeda. Later NSA Rice denies then confirms that this meeting took place.

  12. Richard Clarke lays out the whole Clinton al Qaeda plan; NSA Rice likes him so much she decides he should stay.1

  13. January 2001: Outgoing Clinton officials say "The Bush team thinks we're obsessed with terrorism".

  14. February 15: Former US Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman issue a report that warns "mass casualty terrorism directed against the US homeland is of serious and growing concern". Recommends the creation of a National Homeland Security Agency.

  15. April 30: Clarke presents plan to fight al Qaeda and to start a National Homeland Security Agency. Gets floated around the office, but is more or less ignored.1

  16. May: The Bush administration gives $43 million to the Taliban in an attempt to convince them to quit growing and exporting opium.

  17. July 10: FBI agent sends headquarters a memo concerning some middle eastern students learning to fly who have no interest in taking off or landing.

  18. July: Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet warns NSA Rice that a major attack on American soil is probably imminent.

  19. August 6: George Tenet delivers to the vacationing Bush a memo entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.", saying al Qaeda is planning on hijacking planes and possibly attacking New York. No action is taken. The next day Bush tells the press pool "I've got a lot of national secuirty concerns that we're working on - Iraq, Macedonia, very worrisome right now."

  20. August 16: INS arrests Moussaoui, saying he's "the type of person who could fly something into the World Trade Center".

  21. August 25th: Bush still on vacation. Clarke's memo of fighting terrorism still sitting around, waiting for his attention. Bush tells press "Spot's a good runner. You know, Barney-terriers are bred to go into holes and pull out varmint. And Spotty chases birds. Spotty's a great water dog. I'll go fly fishing this afternoon on my lake." Later builds a nature trail.

  22. Feeling the heat in August about an "imminent terrorist attack", acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard requests an additional $58 million in anti-terrorism funding from the Department of Justice.

  23. September 5: Eight months after Rice had been briefed, and 11 months after Clinton suggested Bush create it, Clarke's plan finally reaches the principals comittee. Bush is back from his month-long August vacation. Cheney, Rice, Powell, and Rumsfeld decide to advise Bush to adopt Clarke's plan with a phased in approach. They wait several days before they put it on his desk.1

  24. September 9: The Senate Armed Services Committe recommends shifting $814 million from missile defense to anti-terrorism funding. Secretary Rumsfeld informs the Senate that he will recommend the President veto this.

  25. September 10: Ashcroft sends his budget request to Bush. Includes spending increases in 68 different programs, none of which deal with terrorism. Ashcroft passes around a memo to his department of his seven top priorities, again terrorism isn't on the list. Acting FBI Director Pickard receives Ashcroft's official denial for Pickard's request for more anti-terrorism funding.

  26. September 11: Using hijacked airliners, Saudi and Egyptian members of al Qaeda attack the World Trade Center and Pentagon, killing thousands. Another hijacked airline crashes to earth in eastern Pennsylvania, apparently brought down as part of a battle between the hijackers and the passengers. Military moves to DefCon 3, all domestic flights are grounded.

  27. September 11-15: Some 142 Saudi nationals, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, are allowed to fly out of the country.

  28. November: Clinton's "defunct, cut, non-battle ready military" kicks the crap out of Afghanistan.

  29. Military is so dismantled it prompts Lawrence J. Korb, director of national secuirty studies at the Council of Foreign Relations, to say after the Iraq invasion "[t]he fact of the matter is that most of the credit for the successful military operation should go to the Clinton Admnistration."



There will, of course, always be those who close their eyes to inconvenient facts, but even for these unfortunate people a day will come when the evidence becomes to much of a burden for their conscience to ignore. For the good of us all let us hope their desire to act upon the truth outweighs their desire to defend those whom they believe are their allies.



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1Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies (New York: Free Press, 2004)

9 Comments:

  • This is perhaps the most thorough and brilliant post I've ever seen concerning the lies that continue to be spread about Mr. Clinton's response to global terrorism. Bravo, bravo.

    Would you mind if I linked to your post from my blog, http://thehueandcry.com/ ? I'd be honored to share this important bit of fact-finding with as many Americans as possible.

    Great work!

    By Blogger Bob P, at 9:24 AM  

  • It really is a great presentation. You've done your homework. Hope you don't mind, I posted the link in the Random Conversation Group at Google Groups. Thanks.

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