Clinton's "Tom Cruise" Crack-Up
As usual, the MSM are missing the big story of Clinton's appearance on Fox News, focusing on Chris Wallace's performance instead of the former president.
As the author of CLINTON & ME: How Eight Years of a Pants-Free President Changed My Nation, My Family and My Life, I found the president's performance bizarre even by Clintonian standards. He had all the usual features--whining about the right-wing conspiracy, defending himself by blaming others, mishandling the facts to the point of outright lying--but it was the emotional reaction that stunned me (and, obviously, Mike Wallace).
Three words: Hit A Nerve.
As I've said a thousand times before, blaming Clinton for 9/11 is as dumb as blaming Bush. America as a society just didn't get it when it came to terrorism until it came to New York, DC, and our TV sets in September 2001. Having said that, if you want an honest, neutral take on just how truly "didn't get it" we were on Clinton's watch, read Steve Coll's Ghost Wars.
And as for Clinton's argument that "nobody connected Osama to Somalia and Black Hawk Down," Jim Geraghty gives that bogus bloviating the smackdown:
The Clinton Justice Department's indictment of Osama bin Laden reads in part:
"The Attacks on the United States Forces in Somalia. On October 3 and 4, 1993, in Mogadishu, Somalia, persons who had been trained by al Qaeda (and by trainers trained by al Qaeda)participated in an attack on United States military personnel serving in Somalia as part of Operation Restore Hope, which attack resulted in the killing of 18 United States Army personnel..."
As for Clinton's insistence that Richard Clarke has exonerated the former president's performance, once again may I interject with the facts:
On page 223, Clarke describes a meeting, in late 2000, of the National Security Council “principals” — among them, the heads of the CIA, the FBI, the Attorney General, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the secretaries of State, Defense. It was just after al Qaeda’s attack on the USS Cole. But neither the FBI nor the CIA would say that al Qaeda was behind the bombing, and there was little support for a retaliatory strike. Clarke quotes Mike Sheehan, a State Department official, saying in frustration, “What’s it going to take, Dick? Who the shit do they think attacked the Cole, fuckin’ Martians? The Pentagon brass won’t let Delta go get bin Laden. Hell they won’t even let the Air Force carpet bomb the place. Does al Qaeda have to attack the Pentagon to get their attention?”
That came later. But in October 2000, what would it have taken? A decisive presidential order — which never came.
Once again, I'm not blaming Bill Clinton for 9/11. But if I had his record, I'd keep my mouth shut.