Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Yet Another Thing That Won't Be On The Evening News, 08/17/05 Edition
This NY Times story, State Dept. Says It Warned About bin Laden in 1996 ends with this:Oh, yes: Wanna know where the whole "wag the dog" thing came from? It came from a movie called "Wag The Dog", which was made during the Clinton Era. But the story is from a book by Larry Beinhart called American Hero, which is all about how the FIRST Bush staged an overseas war (paging April Glaspie!) solely to boost his approval ratings. The GOP/Media Axis, of course, decided to spin the story 180 degrees, so it could be used to falsely attack Clinton."The thinking was that he was in Afghanistan, and he was dangerous, but because he was there, we had a better chance to kill him," Mr. Scheuer said. "But at the end of the day, we settled for the worst possibility - he was there and we didn't do anything."It accidently forgot to include this:Clinton strikes terrorist basesMore here,
THE United States launched cruise missile strikes in Afghanistan and Sudan yesterday against centres allegedly linked with the terrorist bombings of two American embassies.With about 75 missiles timed to explode simultaneously in unsuspecting countries on two continents, the operation was the most formidable U.S. military assault ever against a private sponsor of terrorism.Oops, the Times accidentally left that part out...
... Clinton and his national security team linked both sites to Osama bin Laden, the exiled Saudi millionaire tied by U.S. intelligence to the twin bombings on Aug. 7 in Kenya and Tanzania. The bombings killed 12 Americans and nearly 300 Africans.
... The president made no apologies for ordering the strikes without permission from Afghanistan or the Sudan, saying, "Countries that persistently host terrorists have no right to be safe havens."
... Clinton presented several reasons for the decision to act swiftly and forcefully, rather than to punish bin Laden through the means of diplomacy and law. Repeatedly he said bin Laden presented an imminent threat, quoting his pledge this week to wage a war in which Americans were "all targets."
Now, I understand there were political reasons for this decision. Prior to the embassy bombings, we could not have designated Al Qaida to be a terrorist group. They were responsible for the first WTC bombing and for the "Blackhawk Down" incident in Somalia, but we didn't know it at the time. Not long after the embassy bombings (August, 1998), Clinton ordered the missile strikes. But he was engulfed in the impeachment proceedings, testifying before the Grand Jury on August 17th and the vote for impeachment occurring on December 19, 1998. Therefore, whatever else one can say, it would have been politically impossible to declare war. Similarly, the Cole bombing occurred at the height of the Gore-Bush race.
But he needed to do it. He owed us the truth, that we were already at war, and did not give it to us. Had he done so, George Bush could not have escaped responsibility for 9/11.
And since too many of the American people at the time still gave the US "mainstream" media a trust it did not deserve, the press would have got away with hollering "wag the dog!"
This is one reason why we should have got Air America Radio going a lot sooner than we did.
More blogs about politics.