As it should be, fault goes to both clinton AND bush

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by DKSuddeth, Mar 23, 2004.

  1. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040323/D81G56900.html

    9/11 Panel Cites Bush, Clinton Inaction

    Mar 23, 10:09 AM (ET)

    By HOPE YEN

    (AP) U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld waits to host an honor cordon for Colombian President...

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Clinton and Bush administrations' decision to use diplomatic rather than military options against al-Qaida allowed the Sept. 11 terrorists to elude capture years before the attacks, a federal panel said Tuesday.

    The Clinton administration had early indications of terrorist links to Osama bin Laden and future Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as early as 1995, but let years pass as it pursued criminal indictments and diplomatic solutions to subduing them abroad, it found.

    Bush officials, meanwhile, failed to act immediately on increasing intelligence chatter and urgent warnings in early 2001 by its counterterrorism adviser, Richard A. Clarke, to take out al-Qaida targets, according to preliminary findings by the commission reviewing the attacks.

    "We found that the CIA and the FBI tended to be careful in discussing the attribution for terrorist attacks," the bipartisan report said. "The time lag between terrorist act and any definitive attribution grew to months, then years, as the evidence was compiled."

    Former Rep. Lee Hamilton, appearing on CBS's "The Early Show" Tuesday, said, however, the commission will not make any final judgments about the Clarke allegations or other assertions until it has reviewed all the evidence.

    Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told the commission that "President Clinton and his team did everything we could, everything we could think of, based on the knowledge we had, to protect our people and disrupt and defeat al-Qaida."

    The preliminary report said the U.S. government had determined bin Laden was a key terrorist financier as early as 1995, but that efforts to expel him from Sudan stalled after Clinton officials determined he couldn't be brought to the United States without an indictment. A year later, bin Laden left Sudan and set up his base in Afghanistan without resistance.

    In spring 1998, the commission found, the Saudi government successfully thwarted a bin Laden-backed effort to launch attacks on U.S. forces in that country.

    The Clinton administration turned to the Saudis for help. Clinton designated CIA Director George Tenet as his representative to work with the Saudis, who agreed to make an "all-out secret effort" to persuade Afghanistan's Taliban rulers to expel Bin Laden.

    Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal, using "a mixture of possible bribes and threats," received a commitment from Taliban leader Mullah Omar that bin Laden would be handed over.

    But Omar reneged on the agreement during a September 1998 meeting with Turki and Pakistan's intelligence chief.

    "When Turki angrily confronted him Omar lost his temper and denounced the Saudi government. The Saudis and Pakistanis walked out," the report said.

    In conclusion, the report said "from the spring of 1997 to September 2001, the U.S. government tried to persuade the Taliban to expel bin Laden to a country where he could face justice," the report said. "The efforts employed inducements, warnings and sanctions. All these efforts failed."

    The report was part of the commission's two-day hearing focusing on the two administration's failed responses to the threat from al-Qaida.

    Scheduled to testify Tuesday were Secretary of State Colin Powell and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, as well as their counterparts in the Clinton administration, William Cohen and Albright. They were appearing as part of the panel's review of failures in diplomatic and military strategy.

    The hearing comes following explosive allegations in a book released Monday by Clarke, Bush's former counterterrorism coordinator and a holdover from the Clinton administration, who is expected to testify Wednesday.

    He said that he warned Bush officials in a January 2001 memo about the growing al-Qaida threat after the Cole attack but was put off by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, who "gave me the impression she had never heard the term (al-Qaida) before."

    The commission's report Tuesday said Clarke pushed for immediate and secret military aid to the Taliban's foe, the Northern Alliance. But Rice and her deputy, Stephen Hadley, proposed a broader review of the al Qaida response that would take more time. The proposal wasn't approved for Bush's review until just weeks before Sept. 11.

    The 10-member commission had invited Rice to testify, but she has declined on the advice of the White House, which cited separation of power concerns involving its staff appearing before a legislative body.

    Other potential diplomatic failures cited by the commission:

    - The United States in 1995 located Mohammed in Qatar. He was then a suspect in a 1995 plot to plant bombs on American airliners in Asia. FBI and CIA officials worked on his capture, but first sought a legal indictment and then help from the Qatari government, who they feared might tip Mohammed off. In 1996, Qatari officials reported Mohammed had suddenly disappeared.

    - The U.S. government pressed two successive Pakistani governments from the mid 1990s to pressure the Taliban by threatening to cut off support. But "before 9-11, the United States could not find a mix of incentives or pressure that would persuade Pakistan to reconsider its fundamental relationship."

    - From 1999 through early 2001, the United States pressed the United Arab Emirates, the Taliban's only travel and financial outlets to the outside world, to break off ties, with little success.

    Scheduled to testify Wednesday are CIA director George Tenet; Rice's predecessor, Clinton national security adviser Sandy Berger; and a new witness added Tuesday to fill Rice's slot, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. On that day, the panel will review intelligence and national policy coordination.
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Very interesting... though I still think that Clinton and his administration should shoulder the lion's share of the blame, as they had years, not months, to take care of al-Qaeda.
     
  3. OCA
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    OCA Senior Member

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    Was it Sudan or Algeria who offered to hand OBL to Clinton on a silver platter and he screwed the deal up?
     
  4. Palestinian Jew
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    No one really knows if the Sudanese were serious or not b/c the Clinton admin didn't follow up the offer, which to my knowledge by a citizen of a terroristic country. And I doubt that the Sudanese were serious because OBL was building roads, schools, and creating work in the country.

    Another thing I think people lose sight of is that OBL is really the #2 guy, with Zawahiri as the brains and #1 man. Most experts speculate he was the mastermind of 9/11, so capturing OBL might not have stopped 9/11.

    I'm glad that people are finally accepting that Clinton and Bush would did nothing and would have continued to do nothing against terrorism.
     
  5. nbdysfu
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    nbdysfu Member

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    :laugh: That's funny, Hope Yen reporting on something related to clinton. Almost like Reuters' Opheera McDoom who occasionally reports on terrorism.

    Here's Rice's rebuttal to this from an interview on CNN:

    O’BRIEN: In addition to that urgent memo, he talks about requesting cabinet-level meetings over eight months, denied each and every time until a week before 9/11. Are those charges true?

    RICE: Dick Clarke in that memo responded to my request for initiatives that we ought to be undertaking. And what he did was after we had all been briefed on the al Qaeda threat and understood what the Clinton administration had been doing, he wanted another meeting. I didn’t think another meeting was necessary. The principals knew what the threat was. What we needed was a strategy.

    And what Dick Clarke gave me in that memorandum was a series of ideas, a series of steps, most of which, by the way, we did within a matter of months — steps like trying to accelerate the arming of the Predator, steps like increasing counterterrorism funding, increasing counterterrorism support to Uzbekistan. These were steps that he said would bring — would roll back al Qaeda over a three to five-year period. This was not going to address the — quote — “urgent threat” of September 11.

    We did ask Dick Clarke for a more comprehensive strategy, one that would not just seek to roll back al Qaeda, but would seek to eliminate al Qaeda that would have real military options, not just options of pinprick strikes against training camps that had already been abandoned. We asked for a strategy that could be effectively funded. We increased intelligence activities by a factor of three in the strategy that was developed.

    So, that’s what Dick Clarke was supposed to be doing. At the same time, he was to continue the Clinton administration strategy until we got a new strategy in place.

    But what’s very interesting is that, of course, Dick Clarke was the counterterrorism czar in 1998 when the embassies were bombed. He was the counterterrorism czar in 2000 when the Cole was bombed. He was the counterterrorism czar for a period of the ‘90s when al Qaeda was strengthening and when the plots that ended up in September 11 were being hatched.

    The fact is, we needed a new strategy, and that’s what we asked Dick Clarke to give us.

    O'BRIEN: He...

    RICE: Dick Clarke, by the way, Soledad, did ask to brief the president once, to my recollection, and that was...

    O'BRIEN: And he...

    RICE: That was in June of 2001. It was during a high spike period of threats. And he asked to brief the president on cyber security.

    found it here:lgf

    full trancript: cnn



    Rice seems to be saying Clarke is completely off base. So that means one of them is going to get toasted in the upcoming hearing.
     
  6. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    Bullshit, if she/they knew what the threat was then there would have been something done about it, right?. I call this SPIN

    uzbekistan?? :wtf:

    and STILL came up short of 'flying airplanes into buildings' despite NIE briefs prior to 9/11

    was that before or after you made him cyber security czar?

    Rice, I think you're trying to CYA :banana:
     
  7. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    Uzbekistan.
     
  8. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    did we have anti terrorist units in uzbekistan?

    P.S. I knew where it was, its just the first time I've heard of it having to do with pre or post war on terror declaration.
     
  9. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    At the time? I'm not sure, I think we participated in exercises with them. Certainly the word 'increasing' implies there were already some there.

    I think the point was we wanted some to help us deal with the Northern Alliance to combat Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The pre-9/11 doctrine was to involve action in Afghanistan, but on a smaller scale. Cementing relations with the Uzbeks was part of that plan.

    During the war in Afghanistan we flew sorties from there, and we dropped special forces from helicopters coming out of Uzbekistan.
     
  10. Lefty Wilbury
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    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

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    operations for running the predator and globel hawk as well as getting "boots on the ground" weather they were cia or speical ops were down through both uzbekistan and tajikistan. some stuff was also down out of turkmenistan as well. the pakistanis in the 90's wanted nothing to do with have cia people even transit through their country.
     

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