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Kristol: 9/11 Is Bill Clinton’s Legacy

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Bill Kristol writes that Bill Clinton “inherited a hard-won peace, failed to lead, and part of his legacy is 9/11.” 9/11 is, of course, shorthand for the events of September 11, 2001 at which point Clinton hadn’t been in office for months. Condoleezza Rice, writing for the Bush campaign in the January/February issue of Foreign Affairs said a lack of prioritization was a problem with the Clinton administration’s foreign policy and that “a Republican administration should refocus the country on key priorities: building a military ready to ensure American power, coping with rogue regimes, and managing Beijing and Moscow.”

In other words, Bush came into office determined to reduce the level of attention given to al-Qaeda. And boy did they! Richard Clarke’s strategy for stepped-up efforts against al-Qaeda, developed in the waning days of the Clinton administration, was put on the back burner in favor of this approach:

The book’s opening anecdote tells of an unnamed CIA briefer who flew to Bush’s Texas ranch during the scary summer of 2001, amid a flurry of reports of a pending al-Qaeda attack, to call the president’s attention personally to the now-famous Aug. 6, 2001, memo titled “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US.” Bush reportedly heard the briefer out and replied: “All right. You’ve covered your ###, now.”

Clearly inattention to the problem is Clinton’s fault. Or, you might want to look in the direction of neoconservatism. Robert Kagan published an edited volume called Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy in November 2000. It contains fifteen chapters, none of which are about al-Qaeda. Indeed, the term “al-Qaeda” doesn’t appear in the book on the list of threats. One chapter does refer to “Usama bin Laden” in order to suggest that the Clinton administration was over-hyping bin Laden in order to downplay the threat from Iran. Terrorism is discussed in the book as a tool of Iranian or Chinese (?) policy, but not at all as a non-state phenomenon or in relationship to Afghanistan. Needless to say, there’s lots about Iraq, a whole chapter on “Will and Power,” and several invocations of the evils of appeasement.

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives...tons_legacy.php

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So we're to blame the last 8 years of a bad administration on Clinton?! Am I hearing this right? Come on. I'd accept that if the first year or two, heck let's say the first 4 years were bad because of the Clinton administration. But EIGHT years???? Nah! This homey don't play dat. :no:

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Nutty neocons, cant take responsibility for their own mistakes.

While the seeds for Islamic fundamentalism go back centuries, they are empowered by American uni polarity. The rallying cry of the neocon.


keTiiDCjGVo

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So we're to blame the last 8 years of a bad administration on Clinton?! Am I hearing this right? Come on. I'd accept that if the first year or two, heck let's say the first 4 years were bad because of the Clinton administration. But EIGHT years???? Nah! This homey don't play dat. :no:

Diana

8 years? I thought 9/11 was more like 8 months into Bush's Administration.


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8 years? I thought 9/11 was more like 8 months into Bush's Administration.

Bingo and the left is still trying decide what Bush did to provoke the attack.

While the seeds for Islamic fundamentalism go back centuries, they are empowered by American uni polarity.

Partially true but the Arabs have been blaming others for centuries of decline from their glory days. It's far easier to scapegoat a foreign power for all of your ills than is to have real reforms. They are stuck with jihad vs. McWorld.


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8 years? I thought 9/11 was more like 8 months into Bush's Administration.

Bingo and the left is still trying decide what Bush did to provoke the attack.

So you dismiss Richard Clarke assertions that President Bush ignored his warnings?

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8 years? I thought 9/11 was more like 8 months into Bush's Administration.

Bingo and the left is still trying decide what Bush did to provoke the attack.

While the seeds for Islamic fundamentalism go back centuries, they are empowered by American uni polarity.

Partially true but the Arabs have been blaming others for centuries of decline from their glory days. It's far easier to scapegoat a foreign power for all of your ills than is to have real reforms. They are stuck with jihad vs. McWorld.

If I recall correctly, "the Jews" were also blamed for the attack that took place during 9/11. Apparently, "the Jews" are the cause for all the ills of society. After all, the U.S. government (and Hollywood) are all puppets of some massive "Jewish conspiracy" as I've heard it. :wacko:

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8 years? I thought 9/11 was more like 8 months into Bush's Administration.

Bingo and the left is still trying decide what Bush did to provoke the attack.

While the seeds for Islamic fundamentalism go back centuries, they are empowered by American uni polarity.

Partially true but the Arabs have been blaming others for centuries of decline from their glory days. It's far easier to scapegoat a foreign power for all of your ills than is to have real reforms. They are stuck with jihad vs. McWorld.

If I recall correctly, "the Jews" were also blamed for the attack that took place during 9/11. Apparently, "the Jews" are the cause for all the ills of society. After all, the U.S. government (and Hollywood) are all puppets of some massive "Jewish conspiracy" as I've heard it. :wacko:

Times change. It used to be N-word loving Commie Jews not too long ago.


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So you dismiss Richard Clarke assertions that President Bush ignored his warnings?

I saw the warnings on 2001, too. The warnings were for an attack on U.S. targets in East Asia. I know that because I read the State Dept. warnings when I lived in Taiwan. Nobody had a place, date and method of attack so the intelligence value is nil.

The American government is not all seeing and all knowing. Uncle Sam was caught flat-footed by the Russian invasion of Georgia as the most recent example.

Edited by alienlovechild

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9/11, if we're blaming on the concept of incompetence as part of the role to play, was the fault of Clinton, Bush, and the CIA.

Bill Clinton's legacy to me is bullshit war, tech boom, #######, and free market sham.

Bush has his own, like a planned, pre-2000 election attack on Iraq which he tried to use 9/11 to justify, annihilation of civil liberties, pissing off a good amount of countries across the world, inflating the national deficit to staggering numbers, taking from SS to use for the war (also in attempt to #### up SS and "privatize" it, as yet another agenda), abuse of separation of powers, abuse of signing statements to line item veto fashion (more on this) further making the executive branch far above the others in power to limit their ability of oversight, extraordinary renditions to transfer prisoners of war to countries where they can be tortured outside of the scope of the U.S. oversight, and I could go on all ###### day.

Here's George Bush on his signing statement for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (remember, Congress WRITES laws, Presidents either reject them altogether or accept them in entirety.. since line item veto was rendered unconstitutional during Clinton's years):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...8013001912.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defe...gning_statement

"No funds appropriated pursuant to an authorization of appropriations in this Act may be obligated or expended for a purpose as follows:

* Section 841: May reduce oversight of contractual abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan.

* Section 846: Possibly limits protection to contractor employees when disclosing improper actions of the employer.

* Section 1079: Could limit how much intelligence information Congress can demand from intelligence officials.

* Section 1222: May limit Congressional oversight in the permanent establishment of U.S. military bases or the use of government funds to control oil resources in Iraq.

If this sort of #### continues, we are in way over our heads here.

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So you dismiss Richard Clarke assertions that President Bush ignored his warnings?

I saw the warnings on 2001, too. The warnings were for an attack on U.S. targets in East Asia. I know that because I read the State Dept. warnings when I lived in Taiwan. Nobody had a place, date and method of attack so the intelligence value is nil.

The American government is not all seeing and all knowing. Uncle Sam was caught flat-footed by the Russian invasion of Georgia as the most recent example.

You didn't answer my question...

Tell me what does this mean to you:

The White House's former top anti-terrorism adviser says President Bush ignored warnings about al-Qaeda and ordered him to find a link between the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and Iraq.

....

Clarke says that within a week of Bush's inauguration, he sought a meeting with senior Cabinet officials to discuss the threat from al-Qaeda. He says he met with Cabinet deputies months later.

Stephen Hadley, the No. 2 official on the National Security Council, denied that warnings were ignored. He said Bush met daily with CIA Director George Tenet and in the weeks before Sept. 11 "put us on battle stations."

Clarke said Sunday on CBS' 60 Minutes that soon after the attacks, Bush demanded to know whether Iraq was behind them. When Clarke told him intelligence found no link, "He came back at me and said: 'Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there's a connection.' And in a very intimidating way."

After experts concluded again that Saddam Hussein played no role, Clarke said, his memo "got bounced and sent back saying, 'Wrong answer. Do it again.' "

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/20...20-clarke_x.htm

.....

That's pretty harsh criticism coming from the President's anti-terror advisor, wouldn't you say?

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Clarke says that within a week of Bush's inauguration, he sought a meeting with senior Cabinet officials to discuss the threat from al-Qaeda. He says he met with Cabinet deputies months later.

Stephen Hadley, the No. 2 official on the National Security Council, denied that warnings were ignored. He said Bush met daily with CIA Director George Tenet and in the weeks before Sept. 11 "put us on battle stations."

Clarke said Sunday on CBS' 60 Minutes that soon after the attacks, Bush demanded to know whether Iraq was behind them. When Clarke told him intelligence found no link, "He came back at me and said: 'Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there's a connection.' And in a very intimidating way."

After experts concluded again that Saddam Hussein played no role, Clarke said, his memo "got bounced and sent back saying, 'Wrong answer. Do it again.' "

You changed the subject from warnings to what happened after the attack. I read the warning BEFORE the attacks and I wasn't working for the government at the time and you never addressed the fact the intelligence was way off on the wrong side of the world.

Both Bush and Clinton claimed Al Qaeda was a priority but neither really dealt with them. Remember the U.S. had been attacked by Middle Eastern terrorists for almost 20 years but not in the U.S. until the first attack on WTC in 1993. That one wasn't big enough to get the White House's sustained attention.

Clarke was a computer expert focusing on Y2K as the big threat. The military was training for a chemical or biological threat throughout the 90s so nobody got that right. Also the Clintons were more worried about right wing militias with 12 guys after OK City bombing.

I don't doubt Bush was looking for tie in for Al Qaeda and Iraq since he was looking for a target and most of terrorist group don't advertise their location. Bush to my knowledge never publicly said "Saddam caused 9/11". Remember the key was the WMDs, 9 years of games with UN inspectors and the coming collapse of the anti-Iraq policies.


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Clarke says that within a week of Bush's inauguration, he sought a meeting with senior Cabinet officials to discuss the threat from al-Qaeda. He says he met with Cabinet deputies months later.

Stephen Hadley, the No. 2 official on the National Security Council, denied that warnings were ignored. He said Bush met daily with CIA Director George Tenet and in the weeks before Sept. 11 "put us on battle stations."

Clarke said Sunday on CBS' 60 Minutes that soon after the attacks, Bush demanded to know whether Iraq was behind them. When Clarke told him intelligence found no link, "He came back at me and said: 'Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there's a connection.' And in a very intimidating way."

After experts concluded again that Saddam Hussein played no role, Clarke said, his memo "got bounced and sent back saying, 'Wrong answer. Do it again.' "

You changed the subject from warnings to what happened after the attack. I read the warning BEFORE the attacks and I wasn't working for the government at the time and you never addressed the fact the intelligence was way off on the wrong side of the world.

My point is - here you have the top advisor to President Bush on anti-terrorism giving scathing criticism of the Bush Administration on how they handled his advice....and he's not the only one.

So getting back to Bill Krytal essentially blaming Clinton for letting 9/11 happen, which implies that Clinton had the intelligence to thwart such an attack but ignored it, meanwhile, all the counter-intelligence on Al-Qaeda that Clinton had was handed over to the Bush Administration which is why Richard Clarke continued his post...so that the Bush Administration would be up to speed on what we knew at that time about OBL and Al-Qaeda.

It's funny how the finger pointing goes because it stands to reason, if Clinton had any responsibility in ignoring intelligence which led up to 9/11 then why didn't Bush act on it? You can't have it both ways.

Edited by Jabberwocky

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