Thursday, September 07, 2006

...And Distinction Says, "What the Hell happened to My Difference?"

If the masochist in you hasn't caused you to surf over to a lefty blog or two, then you're probably unaware that the coming ABC movie "The Path to 9/11" has them - all of them - shrieking and throwing poo like a the gaggle of monkeys that they are. But hey- that's what they do when they get their e-mailed marching orders from the DNC. Bubba hissself is outraged at some of the fictionalized scenes.

The main beef is with a scene in which some CIA agents and some Afghan Northern Alliance dudes are just outside a compound in which Osama bin Laden is holed up. They call in for authorization to strike, but Sandy Burger - no doubt distracted by the discomfort caused by all the classified documents stuffed into various articles of clothing - is unable to get authorization from the president and refuses to give the order.

The Clintonistas and the rest of the Fiction-Passed-Off-as-Fact-Is-OK-So-Long-As-It's-In-A-Michael-Moore-Movie-based community are actually correct here. As far as we know, there were no CIA guys in country poised to strike at OBL.

However like a negligent transplant surgeon, the lefties skillfully remove the diseased organ, but refused to replace it with a healthy, factual one. Indeed, they curiously failed to mention this account, from a guy who was in the White House Situation Room when a call came in...

THE WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM was buzzing. It was fall 1998 and the National
Security Council (NSC) and the "intelligence community" were tracking the whereabouts of
Osama bin Laden, the shadowy mastermind of terrorist attacks on American targets overseas.

"They've successfully triangulated his location," yelled a "Sit Room" watch stander. "We've got him."

Beneath the West Wing of the White House, behind a vaulted steel door, the Sit Room
staff sprang into action. The watch officer notified National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, "Sir, we've located bin Laden. We have a two-hour window to strike."

Characteristic of the Clinton administration, the weapons of choice would be Tomahawk
missiles. No clandestine "snatch" by our Special Operations Forces. No penetrating bombers or high-speed fighter aircraft flown by our Air Force and Navy forces. No risk of losing American lives.

Berger ambled down the stairwell and entered the Sit Room. He picked up the phone at
one of the busy controller consoles and called the president. Amazingly, President Clinton was
not available. Berger tried again and again. Bin Laden was within striking distance. The window of opportunity was closing fast. The plan of attack was set and the Tomahawk crews were ready.

For about an hour Berger couldn't get the commander in chief on the line. Though the president was always accompanied by military aides and the Secret Service, he was somehow unavailable. Berger stalked the Sit Room, anxious and impatient.

Finally, the president accepted Berger's call. There was discussion, there were
pauses - and no decision. The president wanted to talk with his secretaries of defense and state.

He wanted to study the issue further. Berger was forced to wait. The clock was ticking. The
president eventually called back. He was still indecisive. He wanted more discussion. Berger
alternated between phone calls and watching the clock.

The NSC watch officer was convinced we had the right target. The intelligence sources
were conclusive. The president, however, wanted a guaranteed hit or nothing at all.
This time, it was nothing at all. We didn't pull the trigger. We "studied" the issue until it was too late - the window of opportunity closed. Al-Qaeda's spiritual and organizational leader slipped through the noose

That was written by a guy who carried the nuclear football for Bill Clinton. That passage was from a book he wrote about the experience. Perhaps you've heard of it.

And then there's this:

On March 3, 1996, U.S. ambassador to Sudan, Tim Carney, Director of East African Affairs at the State Department, David Shinn, and a member of the CIA's directorate of operations' Africa division met with Sudan's then-Minister of State for Defense Elfatih Erwa in a Rosslyn, Virginia hotel room. Item number two on the CIA's list of demands was to provide information about Osama bin Laden. Five days later, Erwa met with the CIA officer and offered more than information. He offered to arrest and turn over bin Laden himself. Two years earlier, the Sudan had turned over the infamous terrorist, Carlos the Jackal to the French. He now sits in a French prison. Sudan wanted to repeat that scenario with bin Laden in the starring role.

Clinton administration officials have offered various explanations for not taking the Sudanese offer. One argument is that an offer was never made. But the same officials are on the record as saying the offer was "not serious." Even a supposedly non-serious offer is an offer. Another argument is that the Sudanese had not come through on a prior request so this offer could not be trusted. But, as Ambassador Tim Carney had argued at the time, even if you believe that, why not call their bluff and ask for bin Laden?

The Clinton administration simply did not want the responsibility of taking Osama bin Laden into custody. Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger is on the record as saying: "The FBI did not believe we had enough evidence to indict bin Laden at that time and therefore opposed bringing him to the United States." Even if that was true - and it wasn't - the U.S. could have turned bin Laden over to Yemen or Libya, both of which had valid warrants for his arrest stemming from terrorist activities in those countries. Given the legal systems of those two countries, Osama would have soon ceased to be a threat to anyone.

After months of debating how to respond to the Sudanese offer, the Clinton administration simply asked Sudan to deport him. Where to? Ambassador Carney told me what he told the Sudanese: "Anywhere but Somalia."

In May 1996 bin Laden was welcomed into Afghanistan by the Taliban. It could not have been a better haven for Osama bin Laden.

Steven Simon, Clinton's counterterrorism director on the National Security Council thought that kicking bin Laden out of Sudan would benefit U.S. security since "It's going to take him a while to reconstitute, and that screws him up and buys time." Buys time? Oh yeah, 1996 was an election year and team Clinton did not want to deal with bin Laden until after it was safely reelected.

But to hear the lefties tell it, you'd think that Bubba strapped on parachute and jumped into Kabul all by himself to take out OBL. No, his administration was grossly negligent. Just not in the way ABC - or the so-called "Reality-Based Community" (let's all pause to laugh at that phrase again) - portrayed it.


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