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August 23, 2007
Shocka of the Day: Did Clinton Lie about Targeting Bin Laden?
If there is one thing that the Inspector General's report on CIA accountability regarding 9/11 has highlighted, it is the utter failure of the Clinton Administration to come up with a strategic plan to deal with Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
Despite all the testimony from Richard Clarke and others - including the President himself - that they agressively went after Bin Laden and the terrorists, it turns out that the IG at the CIA didn't think very much of their efforts. In fact, the report seems to make a liar out of President Clinton, who said in the notorious interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News that:
“I worked hard to try to kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since.” This statement is contradicted by the IG who saw it differently:
But the inspector general’s report made it clear that the agency never viewed the order as a license to “kill” bin Laden—one reason it never mounted more effective operations against him. “The restrictions in the authorities given the CIA with respect to bin Laden, while arguably, although ambiguously, relaxed for a period of time in late 1998 and early 1999, limited the range of permissible operations,” the report stated. (Scheuer agreed with the inspector general’s findings on this issue, but said if anything the report was overly diplomatic. “There was never any ambiguity,” he said. “None of those authorities ever allowed us to kill anyone."Clinton's elevated opinion of his own efforts to get Bin Laden and deal with al-Qaeda don't stand up to the facts.
What are the chances that the press will pick up on that fact - or any of the implied criticisms of Clinton in the IG report - and run them?
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky and Ed Morrissey