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Joshuah Bearman Headshot

New Slogan: Clinton Tried; Bush Lied

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Let's play another round of Condi: Liar or Stupid or Both?

Here's Rice on Hannity still trying to tar Clinton for Bush's mistakes: "What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years...The notion that somehow for eight months the Bush administration sat there and didn't do that is just flatly false."

Well, the 9/11 Commission Report says otherwise. Now, I'm not one to give Clinton a free pass. He had his weaknesses. Although I think all rational people can agree that philandering is preferable to a destabilizing war under false pretenses and violating the basic tradition of due process and rule of law by selectively suspending habeas corpus. I'm not sure Clinton was as dedicated to fighting Bin Laden as was necessary in retrospect. But hey -- those are the breaks when you're being hounded by the high horsemen of the moral apocalypse. When Clinton bombed Bin Laden's camps, he was accused of wagging the dog. He probably was, to some extent. But at least he did something. Unlike Bush, who never had a passport before becoming President and leaves details to incompetent (but loyal!) subordinates, Clinton was actually interested in the nitty gritty of solving problems around the world. He engaged the terrorist threat rather than pretending to clear woods on his ranch for photo-ops during a month-long vacation.

Remember, that's where Bush was on August 6, 2001, when received the President's Daily Brief entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S." According to the 9/11 Commission Report, here's how the Bush administration reacted:

"[President Bush] did not recall discussing the August 6 report with the Attorney General or whether Rice had done so." [p. 260]

And:

"We have found no indication of any further discussion before September 11 among the President and his top advisers of the possibility of a threat of an al Qaeda attack in the United States. DCI Tenet visited President Bush in Crawford, Texas, on August 17 and participated in the PDB briefings of the President between August 31 (after the President had returned to Washington) and September 10. But Tenet does not recall any discussions with the President of the domestic threat during this period." [p. 262]

Now here how Clinton responded when he received a President's Daily Brief in December 1998 entitled "Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks," according to the 9/11 Commission report:

"The same day, [Counterterrorism Czar Richard] Clarke convened a meeting of his CSG [Counterterrorism Security Group] to discuss both the hijacking concern and the antiaircraft missile threat. To address the hijacking warning, the group agreed that New York airports should go to maximum security starting that weekend. They agreed to boost security at other East coast airports. The CIA agreed to distribute versions of the report to the FBI and FAA to pass to the New York Police Department and the airlines. The FAA issued a security directive on December 8, with specific requirements for more intensive air carrier screening of passengers and more oversight of the screening process, at all three New York area airports." [pg. 128-30]

How about a new slogan? Maybe:

CLINTON TRIED / BUSH LIED