Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Clinton's Record on Terrorism

There are frequently criticisms raised regarding the performance of the Clinton administration regarding the "War on Terror". Most of us have short memories, and what we do recall from those years is colored by the impeachment hearings. It's really a shame, because he did quite a bit of respectable work towards peace in Northern Ireland and in the Middle East. Significantly, he worked with Congress to change the yearly US budget from a deficit to a surplus. 
The following comments are from a posting by Bushwhacked_2 of Yahoo Discussion boards. Rather than letting it slip away, I'm posting it here for your appreciation. Many thanks to Bushwacked_2 for these reminders of the oft-overlooked contributions of President Clinton:

WHAT CLINTON REALLY DID -- sent legislation to Congress to TIGHTEN AIRPORT SECURITY. (Remember, this is before 911) The legislation was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the airlines. -- sent legislation to Congress to allow for BETTER TRACKING OF TERRORIST FUNDING. It was defeated by Republicans in the Senate because of opposition from banking interests. -- sent legislation to Congress to add tagents to explosives, to allow for BETTER TRACKING OF EXPLOSIVES USED BY TERRORISTS. It was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the NRA.

When Republicans couldn't prevent executive action, President Clinton: -- Developed the nation's first anti-terrorism policy, and appointed first national coordinator. -- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up 12 U.S. jetliners simultaneously. -- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up UN Headquarters. -- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up FBI Headquarters. -- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Washington. --Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up Boston airport. -- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up Lincoln and Holland Tunnels in NY. -- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the George Washington Bridge. -- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the US Embassy in Albania. -- Tried to kill Osama bin Laden and disrupt Al Qaeda through preemptive strikes (efforts denounced by the G.O.P.). -- Brought perpetrators of first World Trade Center bombing and CIA killings to justice. -- Did not blame Bush I administration for first World Trade Center bombing even though it occurred 38 days after they had left office. Instead, worked hard, even obsessively -- and successfully -- to stop future terrorist attacks.

Named the Hart-Rudman commission to report on nature of terrorist threats and major steps to be taken to combat terrorism. -- Tripled the budget of the FBI for counterterrorism and doubled overall funding for counterterrorism. -- Detected and destroyed cells of Al Qaeda in over 20 countries -- Created a national stockpile of drugs and vaccines including 40 million doses of smallpox vaccine. -- Robert Oakley, Reagan Counterterrorism Czar says of Clinton's efforts "Overall, I give them very high marks" and "The only major criticism I have is the obsession with Osama" -- Paul Bremer, Bush's Administrator of Iraq disagrees slightly with Robert Oakley saying he believed the Clinton Administration had "correctly focused on bin Laden. " -- Barton Gellman of the Washington Post put it best, "By any measure available, Clinton left office having given greater priority to terrorism than any president before him" and was the "first administration to undertake a systematic anti-terrorist effort."

Here, in stark contrast, is part of the Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism record before September 11, 2001: -- Backed off Clinton administration's anti-terrorism efforts. -- Shelved the Hart-Rudman report. -- Appointed new anti-terrorism task force under Dick Cheney. Group did not even meet before 9/11. -- Called for cuts in anti-terrorism efforts by the Department of Defense. -- Gave no priority to anti-terrorism efforts by Justice Department. -- Ignored warnings from Sandy Berger, Louis Freeh, George Tennant, Paul Bremer, and Richard Clarke about the urgency of terrorist threats. -- Halted Predator drone tracking of Osama bin Laden. -- Did nothing in wake of August 6 C.I.A. report to president saying Al Qaeda attack by hijack of an airliner almost certain. -- Bush - knowing about the terrorists' plans to attack in America, warned that terrorists were in flight schools in the US - took a four week vacation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If Democrats are so good at stopping terrorism, why did Democratic candidate and attorney Mike Sidley tell an American citizen he was going to "stick it up his ass" after he had for a year prior to 9-11 repeatedly warned to stop the most heinous terror plot ever unleased - the bojinka airliner plot?

Why did he prevent him from leaving his office? Why did his partner Anthony Bell rip the phone out of this American citizen's hands? Why would they resort to such barbaric incivilized behavior if they truly had protecting America's interests at heart?

Right under Clinton's nose, a negligent policy was born in 1998 by the Catastrophic Terror Study Group to ignore the REAL catastrophic threats to America in favor of fighting "CYBERATTACKERS" in cyberspace - not Islamic bojinka plotters lurking about our airports.

Among the Clinton team members swept by the growing momentum of CTSG's negligent vision were Sandy Berger, George Tenet and Norman Mineta. The key was an allegiance to secrecy regarding the most likely terror scenarios facing the public. But when would-be heroes Sullivan and Elson spilled the beans - the secrecy advocates retreated - leaving Elson and Sullivan holding the bag - and the American public exposed to risks they should NEVER IN THEIR LIFETIME have had to face.

Here is the story of one American citizen who tried to stop the attack: