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Friday, September 08, 2006

Clinton's Artless Equivocation on 'The Path to 9/11'

By Dennis Byrne

If the worst criticism of President Bush is that he lied to us about Iraq, then we just got a whopping reminder of Bill Clinton's extraordinary talents for deception.

In a letter to ABC's chief Bob Iger, Clinton's attorney, Bruce Lindsey, alleges that the network's program, The Path to 9/11 is "factually and incontrovertibly" inaccurate in suggesting that the Clinton administration let Osama Bin Laden slip through its fingers. Clinton's defenders, from their high horses, arrogantly have demand that the program be edited to their satisfaction, or be pulled entirely.

Bristling at evidence that Clinton and his administration were wavering and indecisive, the letter asserted that the president aggressively tried to "take a shot at Bin Laden." It cites the 9/11 Commission Report for supposedly giving credit to Clinton for approving "every request made of him by the CIA and the U.S. military involving using force against Bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

This is close enough to the truth to make the "I-didn't-inhale" and "I-didn't-have-sex-with-that-woman" Clinton think he can get away with it. But it is far enough away from the truth to be classified as, if not a bold lie, an artless equivocation.

As usual, Clinton figures that the rest of us are too stupid or lazy to look it up for ourselves. And having read the complete report when it came out more than two years ago, I think it is an inescapable fact that a vacillating, equivocating administration had more than one opportunity to take out terrorist mastermind Bin Laden, but blew it.

A good place to look is the report's "Chapter 4: Responses to Al Qaeda's initial assaults," Section 4.5, "Searching for Fresh Options." There you have details of how Bin Laden was ready to be plucked, but someone in the administration either ignored or nixed it. Or put it on an endless "you-decide, not-me" merry-go-round.

Read more at RealClear Politics


Anonymous said...

If you think "the worst criticism of President Bush is that he lied to us about Iraq...", what about the tens of thousands dead, hundreds of thousands wounded and the hundreds of billions of dollars wasted by a chief executive that didnt have the courage to seek the truth before turning on the killing machine. His "lying to us" is the least of his "indiscretions".

essayh said...

And if the Republican Congress had been more interested the country's future than in the Presidential zipper, maybe they could have helped keep the focus on the true threats.

They're both fulla crap. Only one side is still in power, and I can't abide their asinine blame games.

Anonymous said...


I find your comments generally irrelevant. As much pride as you take in "shocking" the minute few who read your articles, I take more in the fact that practically nobody pays any attention to you.

The irony is that your not shocking that many people. You're a cookie-cutter conservative. This is the same stuff we've heard frankly since Gingrich and 1994.

Oh... so shocking!!! taking shots at clinton and defending bush. we are all REAL impressed. No conservative has ever done that before.

The only reason I take the time to respond is cause you comically hold yourself out as some unbelievable revolutionary... Really, you're just boring.

TJ said...

...Clinton and the democrats are not the first to call for responsible television programming in respect to about the pulled biography of Ronald Reagan due to republican/conservative pressure. 9/11 was a horrible act of terror but the reality is that President Bush has managed to squander the temporary good feelings the rest of the world had for us with the worst foreign policy of any president in recent memory.

Anonymous said...

Here is a snippet from your website, that you should think about:
"As a Chicago newspaper columnist for almost 20 years, I have built a reputation for clear, pointed writing. As a newspaper reporter, editor and editorial board member, I have learned the value of agility, accuracy and speed"
Maybee you should practice what you preach, and stop perpetuating the roundabout of pointing fingers.

Stephen Schade said...

Mr. Byrne:

First of all, ABC admitted that the show was not completely factual. Secondly, they made changes because of that letter. Among other things, the claim that Berger nixed an opportunity to kill bin Laden is pure conjecture.

Finally, it should be remembered that outgoing Clinton officials informed incoming Bush staff members that bin Laden and al Qaeda were the biggest security threats to America. Instead of taking this message to heart, Bush focused his efforts on missile defense. Is it any wonder that we got caught with our pants down?

Anonymous said...

How many times did Clinton lie? What did he lie about?

How many times has Bush lied? What did he lie about?

There is a difference. . .

If you are truly a Christian - the most basic tenet of Christianity being charity - then you should realize the difference and immediately start supporting the political party that cares more about individuals than about corporations.

You are on the wrong side now.