Terrorist attacks tripled from 2003 to 2004

Earlier today I raised the question of whether our “War on Terror” had actually made us safer, and if perhaps it might be time to start discussing some other strategies. The response from some of my righty readers was that we should not discuss other strategies, and that they wouldn’t mind seeing me die in a terrorist attack, just for raising the issue.

Yeah… well screw you, too.

In addressing my questions, I thought it might be useful to point out that the number of major terrorist attacks worldwide have actually tripled between 2003 and 2004.

The number of “significant” international terrorist attacks rose to about 650 last year from about 175 in 2003, according to congressional aides briefed Monday on the numbers by U.S. State Department and intelligence officials.

650 is an awful lot of terrorist attacks, but according to the Financial Times, it’s not quite as large a number as 3,200.

In April the US State Department had said there were 651 “international” terrorism incidents last year. But using a broader definition to include attacks that “deliberately hit civilians or non-combatants” the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) on Tuesday raised that number to 3,192. The incidents resulted in the deaths, injury or kidnapping of almost 28,500 people.

Of course the number of terrorist attacks in the US was nearly zilch, a number the Bush administration claims represents the success of their anti-terrorism policies. But apart from the occasional abortion clinic bombing or animal rights nutcase (yes, the left has a few crazies of its own), terrorist attacks on US soil are exceedingly rare, and almost always of domestic origin. Eight years passed between the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the devastation of 9/11, and for the life of me, I can’t think of another attack on the homeland by foreign terrorists.

But the “War on Terrorism” is a world war… a war we are openly fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, and covertly fighting throughout the world. So the best measure of the war’s progress is the number of terrorist attacks worldwide. And the trends just don’t look so good for our current policies.

The War on Terror

The chart above was created by BTC News using the Terrorism Knowledge Base. And what it clearly shows is that the number of terrorist attacks declined throughout the Clinton years, and have increased year by year since Bush took office.

And so again, I think it is fair to ask: has the Iraq war made the world a safer place? And isn’t it time we have a reasonable discussion over whether military might alone is enough to defeat international terrorism?

Comments

  1. 2

    dj spews:

    Thanks for the post Goldy. I didn’t realize that terrorist attacks were declining so much during the Clinton presidency. But, it makes perfect sense. Clinton was deeply involved in brokering peace deals and attempting to resolve conflict without killing people. On the international scene, he did come off as a true ambassador.

  2. 3

    pbj spews:

    Terrorist attacks against America INCREASED under Clinton. Under Bush, they have DECREASED. Iraq is A WAR ZONE – doesn’t count Goldy. Now I know that liberals dance with joy when America is attacked and view attacks against others as our fault, but lying about it is shameless.

  3. 4

    pbj spews:

    Eight years passed between the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the devastation of 9/11, and for the life of me, I can’t think of another attack on the homeland by foreign terrorists.

    You forget to mention the African Embassies, Khobar Towers, USS Cole and Somalia – attackt against the US that occurred under Clinton.

  4. 5

    Janet S spews:

    Goldy,
    If you read the blogs that are coming from Iraq, you will learn that we are using more than just military means to fight the WOT. The troops that are there are doing as much humanitarian work as they are doing “war”. I realize that most on this site hate Halliburton, they are building infrastructure and trying to get things working again.

    At the heart of this is education. Until we can figure out a way to stop the Islamists from brainwashing their children that Western ideals and religion are evil, the terror will not end. Information about the rest of the world is what will change the hearts and minds of those who wish to murder everyone who does not agree with them.

    This is why the Taliban and other Islamic govts must censor, and remove all exposure to the West. The internet may be the savior of the world!

  5. 6

    pbj spews:

    And isn’t it time we have a reasonable discussion over whether military might alone is enough to defeat international terrorism?

    That is a redherring Goldy. The premise that all we have been using is military might is a false one. We have been investigating their funding sources and using domestic intelligence agencies to root out sleeper cells. A better topic might be how liberal interference of our demestic intelligence services under the guies of stifling them is retarding our effort to defeat the terrorists.

  6. 7

    pbj spews:

    One thing is for sure. The recent liberal calls for releasing the terrorist from Gitmo has once again been proven to be folly. Released terrorist have gone back out to fight against us. Imagine if we let the captured German troops go during WWII – we’d all be speaking German right now.

  7. 8

    spews:

    I wont support any of the hateful comments.

    I believe in dialogue.

    Yes the attacks have increased, but I personally believe they were heading that way already, though that is only my personal opinion and I cannot support it empirically.

    Karl

  8. 9

    pbj spews:

    Goldy –

    Your source is “Betty The Crow” blog where the slogan is “If it says ‘News’, it must be true.”? And you want us to take you seriously?

  9. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Bush and the Republicans have behaved irresponsibly. They delayed creating a Homeland Security Department for more than a year in order to get their anti-labor provisions into the bill. For the first 2 years after 9/11 they consistently voted against homeland security funding in Congress. Bush wants to delay replacing the Coast Guard’s dilapidated ships to save money — ships that don’t have working radar and can’t talk to each other on their antiquated radio equipment. Meanwhile, tax cuts for multimillionaires are sacrosanct … untouchable … far more important than the safety of our nation.

    The conclusion is inescapable: If you support Bush and the GOP, you hate America, are unpatriotic, and are aiding and abetting terrorists!

  10. 11

    dj spews:

    pbj @ 3

    Terrorist attacks against America INCREASED under Clinton. Under Bush, they have DECREASED.

    No, not really . . . it depends on what you call a terrorist attack (major versus minor) and what peroid you look over. For instance, if you look at http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001454.html , Reagan had 13 major terrorist attacks against Americans (at home or abroad). Bush Sr. wins the prize, as he had zero major attacks. Clinton does better than Reagan, with only 6 major attacks.

    Other web sites count terrorist attacks differently and in some cases Clinton does a little worse than Reagan, but not by much.

    The ironic thing about Clinton’s record is that bin Laden did not form Al Qaeda until 1988. The al Qaeda attacks under Clinton’s watch were motivated by Bush Sr. placing Americans in Saudi Arabia and establishing bases there as part of Gulf War I. Ultimately, those policies are what inspired the 9/11 attacks as well.

    ”Iraq is A WAR ZONE – doesn’t count Goldy.”

    This is only half true. First, there are genuine insurgents who are fighting invaders. I am happy to concede that they are not terrorists. But, there are foreign terrorists who have moved to Iraq because that is where it is easy to hit America. Also, since the turnover of power in Iraq, it is a little hard to say it is a war zone—it is just a disaster zone. Finally, Americans who are not part of the military (and are not mercenaries) are being killed too. Those really should count as terrorist attacks. It is disengenous to claim that we are fighting terrorists in Iraq to avoid battles at home and then turn around and claim the attacks in Iraq are not terrorist attacks, don’t you think?

    ”Now I know that liberals dance with joy when America is attacked and view attacks against others as our fault, but lying about it is shameless.”

    You think? If so, you are one fucked-up mother, pbj.

  11. 12

    dj spews:

    pbj @ 9

    ”Your source is “Betty The Crow” blog where the slogan is “If it says ‘News’, it must be true.”? And you want us to take you seriously? “

    Holy shit, pbj, you are not that stupid are you? There are plenty of links back to the CNN news story (http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/07/.....cnn_latest). Hell, I’ll bet if you spent 30 seconds, even you could find the original government reports.

    It is hard to take anything you say seriously when you display such an utter lack of common sense!

  12. 13

    thomas spews:

    Whats a matter Goldy, not liking the death wishes so much. Is it even possible that maybe talking isn’t going to fix it. Do you think the Wahabi’s of the world want to have nice calm Koombiyah conversations with the lowly infidels about getting along?

  13. 14

    pbj spews:

    Roger@10:

    They delayed creating a Homeland Security Department for more than a year in order to get their anti-labor provisions into the bill.

    No, it was delayed by Democrats who put giving rewards to their mob union bosses above homeland security. Homeland security needed the ability to fire incompetant people on the spot. Un der union rules that would have been impeded. So the Democrat traitors who put their rewards to their union mob bosses ahead of naitonal security are the unpatriotic traitors.

  14. 16

    pbj spews:

    No, not really . . . it depends on what you call a terrorist attack (major versus minor) and what peroid you look over. For instance, if you look at http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001454.html , Reagan had 13 major terrorist attacks against Americans (at home or abroad). Bush Sr. wins the prize, as he had zero major attacks. Clinton does better than Reagan, with only 6 major attacks.

    So, by your own admission, if we look at the period from Bush Sr to Clinton, the terror rate increased over 600%!

  15. 17

    pbj spews:

    The ironic thing about Clinton’s record is that bin Laden did not form Al Qaeda until 1988. The al Qaeda attacks under Clinton’s watch were motivated by Bush Sr. placing Americans in Saudi Arabia and establishing bases there as part of Gulf War I. Ultimately, those policies are what inspired the 9/11 attacks as well.

    No, what inspired the 9/11 attacks were Clinton’s feeble response to the previous attacks.

  16. 18

    marks spews:

    Goldy,

    So the best measure of the war’s progress is the number of terrorist attacks worldwide.

    Um, no. The best measure of the progress is “I am still alive in a nation as unfettered as ours.”

    It is no longer about the idea that the one with the most toys wins…though my neighbor would disagree…

  17. 19

    pbj spews:

    This is only half true. First, there are genuine insurgents who are fighting invaders. I am happy to concede that they are not terrorists. But, there are foreign terrorists who have moved to Iraq because that is where it is easy to hit America. Also, since the turnover of power in Iraq, it is a little hard to say it is a war zone—it is just a disaster zone. Finally, Americans who are not part of the military (and are not mercenaries) are being killed too. Those really should count as terrorist attacks. It is disengenous to claim that we are fighting terrorists in Iraq to avoid battles at home and then turn around and claim the attacks in Iraq are not terrorist attacks, don’t you think?

    No, Iraq is a war zone still. Granted there aren’t tanks fighting each other or “major combat” but there are skirmishes between the military and the enemy. Yes there are American civilians that get killed just as there are Irai civilians that get killed. That happens in a war zone. Would you rather the war zone exist in the streets of America with daily car bombers?

    Claiming that Bush’s policies have increased terrorist attacks is like claiming that the Japanese attack againsts us increased during WWII and that FDR was to blame. Not that there haven’t been people who have blamed Pearl Harbor on FDR – I do not count myself amongst those persons.

    Yes – when you fight back against an enemy who wants to kill you because you aren’t a muslim, they will attack you when you fight back. Should we have negotiated with the Japanese after Pearl Harbor? I think Neville Chamberlain tried that tactic already and we saw the result.

  18. 20

    Richard Pope spews:

    I would say the Iraq war has made the world a safer place. Certainly for Iraqis. Saddam killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, both for genocidal reasons (Kurds, Shiites) and for tyrannical reasons (perceived opponents, real or imagined). In addition, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died prematurely during Saddam’s reign from malnutrion and illness, due to Saddam’s decision to steal the nation’s wealth and spend on the military and security forces, instead of essential human needs.

    In the last two and a half years, somewhere around 2,000 foreign soldiers (mostly American) have died in Iraq, plus tens of thousands of Iraqis. This is very unfortunate. Hopefully, it will be reduced considerably in the future. (On the other hand, the Iraq death rate is not a lot higher than the murder rate in New Orleans or Washington DC.)

    Iraq today is a safer place than it was 30 months ago. And hopefully it will be much safer in the future. Countries surrounding Iraq also feel much safer, without Saddam in power.

    And Iraq is a victory against terrorism. A terrorist state regime has been defeated, just like we did to Nazi Germany sixty years ago. There are still a lot of underground terrorist bands, but that is a marked improvement over the entire national apparatus being controlled by a terrorist regime.

  19. 21

    Goldy spews:

    pbj @9,

    My source is BTC News’ source. And it is reputable. Follow the links for once, asshole.

    thomas @13,

    I’ve been getting death wishes (and the occasional threat) from right-wing fuckers for the since January of 2003. And it never ceases to disappoint me. And all of this hatred and anger comes at me because I choose to use my First Amendment right to speak my mind.

    prr @15,

    What an incredibly shallow view of patriotism.

    marks @18,

    I am still alive in a nation that is much more fettered than it was before 9/11. And in my opinion, I am no safer from foreign terrorists now, and less safe from domestic terrorists and my own government.

    And… if “still alive” is the highest measure of our foreign policy, than we’re in heaps of trouble.

  20. 22

    marks spews:

    Goldy,

    I am still alive in a nation that is much more fettered than it was before 9/11. And in my opinion, I am no safer from foreign terrorists now, and less safe from domestic terrorists and my own government.

    Fettered by what? That there is an “R” before the president’s name? How much more fettered would we be under Al Gore or John Kerry? I doubt there would be any difference, IMO of course…

  21. 23

    marks spews:

    BTW, Goldy,

    And all of this hatred and anger comes at me because I choose to use my First Amendment right to speak my mind

    Man, I have nothing but respect for you for swimming through this sh!t…mostly on your own dime. But you are an entertainer (what, no?), and while some may do well off it, I’m sure they would love doing this no matter what…

  22. 24

    Jon spews:

    Goldy: “And isn’t it time we have a reasonable discussion over whether military might alone is enough to defeat international terrorism?”

    Okay…I’m all for reasonable discussion (now to get some more people to agree)…

    I’ll, for the sake of argument, grant your point that you’re trying to make on our over-reliance on the military. Now what? What should we do in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel/Occupied Territories? Don’t forget Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, too.

    I know it’s a lot, but all these countries need answers and all I’m hearing is how Bush is wrong. Ok, then let’s hear some viable alternatives, heck, one specific plan for, say, Iraq. Why didn’t John Kerry articulate a coherent Iraqi plan in the campaign when he had the chance to make a difference? Why don’t more on the ‘D’ side of the aisle do it today?

    It’s easy to say we should use more diplomacy, aid, etc., but what does that actually translate to day to day?

    You wanted reasonable discussion, so let’s have one!

  23. 25

    Donnageddon spews:

    Goldy, to read the hateful nonsense from your pet TROLLS is just mind numbing. A more unpatriotic bunch of psychopaths I have never ran across.

    “Terrorist attacks against America INCREASED under Clinton. Under Bush, they have DECREASED.” Shameless. Dear God, what shameless bullshit.

    “The troops that are there are doing as much humanitarian work as they are doing “war”. I realize that most on this site hate Halliburton, they are building infrastructure and trying to get things working again.” Kool Aid drinking crap. Our great fighting men and women against great odds, and a dispicable greed motivated infrastructure I trying to stay alive during a major civil war in Iraq. Haliburton is building permanent military bases. War without end.

    “A better topic might be how liberal interference of our demestic intelligence services under the guies of stifling them is retarding our effort to defeat the terrorists.” Give me liberty or give me death – Patrick Henry, American Patriot who would piss on any of the Neo-Con asshole trolls who post on this blog.

    “Whats a matter Goldy, not liking the death wishes so much.” You are a dangerous Thug. LOL! No really you have a 3 inch penis and wear Nazi regalia to get off. Asshole.

    “I would say the Iraq war has made the world a safer place.” tell it to the Mothers, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in the City of London. Fuck faced Moron.

  24. 27

    pbj spews:

    My source is BTC News’ source. And it is reputable. Follow the links for once, asshole.

    You are the one making the claims Goldy. It isn';t up to me to prove your wild claims.

  25. 28

    Thomas spews:

    Speakaway man….its still a free country for now. Doesn’t mean it will be popular or tolerated, at the very least pretend your a neo-nazi and your in a largely jewish neighborhood, yeah your speech is protected, but don’t be suprised when the jewish throw rocks as well if not better than the palestinians. But seriously, can you see a dedicated Wahabist, thats willing to talk and live and coexist with anyone infidel?

  26. 29

    zip spews:

    Goldy

    Keep plugging away. Preaching to the choir seems to excite your usual cheerleaders here.

    Your question: “has the Iraq war made the world a safer place?” can not be answered because the war is not over yet. The context of your entire post seems pretty bizarrely biased to me: take the terrorist attacks that occur DURING the war in Iraq and compare them to the ignorance is bliss years of Clinton. Not a fair comparison at all. Are you seriously advocating that we cut and run? or are you taking the more vague but still solidly anti-Bush stance that we should “start discussing some other strategies”?

    Donnageddon why don’t you take a lude or something.

  27. 30

    Donnageddon spews:

    Wahhabism (sometimes spelled Wahabbism or Wahabism) is a movement of Islam named after Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab (1703–1792). It has become an object of increased interest because it is the major sect of the government and society of Saudi Arabia.

    You were saying something?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabi

  28. 31

    Donnageddon spews:

    Zip @ 29 “Your question: “has the Iraq war made the world a safer place?” can not be answered because the war is not over yet.

    And pray tell how this war will ever be “over”.

  29. 32

    dj spews:

    pbj @ 27

    “You are the one making the claims Goldy. It isn’;t up to me to prove your wild claims.”

    Hey, dolt, Goldy shows the raw numbers and cites the source of the numbers. What do you mean, “wild claims”? Do you have difficulty reading or something? Do you not accept the numbers? If not, why? Do you reject Goldy’s interpertation of the numbers? If so, why? This isn’t nuclear physics, here, pbj!

    Sheeesh!

  30. 33

    Dr Quest spews:

    Wouldn’t the terrorists have gained from attacking Britain BEFORE the elections rather than after? “Won’t Get Fooled Again”……..I sure hope so.

    But I doubt it.

  31. 34

    dj spews:

    zip @ 29

    “Keep plugging away. Preaching to the choir seems to excite your usual cheerleaders here.”

    Geez, it seems to me that it whipped up the the neocons into a lynch mob!

    “Your question: “has the Iraq war made the world a safer place?” can not be answered because the war is not over yet.”

    I don’t understand. This question seems perfectly meaningful to me. Are we supposed to all stick our heads in the sand and hold our breath while waiting for this “war without end” to end?

    “Are you seriously advocating that we cut and run? or are you taking the more vague but still solidly anti-Bush stance that we should “start discussing some other strategies”?”

    Ummm. . . .are you seriously asking that question? What does “cut and run” in Iraq have to do with discussing other strategies in the “war” on terrorism? Given Bush’s twin disasters of making no progress against terrorism (inadvertently promoting it, really) and the quagmire in Iraq, is it really anti-Bush to start thinking about some new and additional strategies? It seems like common sense to me.

  32. 35

    zip spews:

    dj

    How’s this for a rephrase: If your favorite lefty was in the White House right now, what would you have him do about Iraq, “start discussing some other strategies”? What is the other strategy you’ve got in mind here? Bush at least has a goal for the war to be “over”: for Iraqis to be in a position to protect their democracy. What goal would your President McDermott have? I hate this war as much as you seem to, but I have become convinced that it is necessary. Of course “other strategies” should be discussed, but when was the last time somebody came up with a better one than Bush’s goal?

    As for the lynch mob, check out Donnageddon and Roger up there and tell me again the neo cons are the loons. Those two need to get laid or meditate.

  33. 36

    Elvis is the King County spews:

    Fight fire with fire. Put a hood on a terrorist at Gitmo. Photo them, send tape to Al Zazera TV and demand an end to terrorism. If another car bomb explodes, slice and dice Gitmo puke and drop him from 5,000 feet onto Iraqi soil. Western citizens don’t survive so why should we coddle their ilk?

    Let’s start with 40 of ‘em right now to show solidarity with our British allies.

  34. 37

    spews:

    Increasing terrorism against americans is never good news. I guess my question is who is getting terrorized. If some of the increased terrorism is in places like Spain or France then this isnt all that bad. Those countries deserve it. If it is Muslim against Muslim then this also could be for the better. It can force a divide in the religion which would further isolate the terrorists from the decent muslims. In short causing the terrorist to go after people who refuse to defend themselvess, will in the long run, make us safer. How couldnt it! I do feel bad for the Brits…poor bastards have been ravaged for decades by their liberal, socialist government that encouraged openess to immigrants. Now they have millions of Muslims roaming around wanting to take over.

  35. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I’m not a loon, I’m a cute fluffy little bunny, as an idiot with eyes can plainly see! A loon is a bird, dolt!

  36. 39

    Donnageddon spews:

    zip @ 35 “As for the lynch mob, check out Donnageddon and Roger up there and tell me again the neo cons are the loons.”

    I don’t see myself or Roger threatening any other blogger. But then you are a Neo-Con so you only see what you want to see.

    How is that working out for you?

  37. 40

    Donnageddon spews:

    RUFUS @ 37 “Those countries deserve it.”

    You fucking OBL-Loving bastard!!! May the ghosts of 911 haunt you for ever!

  38. 41

    Donnageddon spews:

    Every time these Trolls post they show how much they hate America… go away you numbnut bastards! Go to Idaho at least.

  39. 43

    spews:

    RUFUS @ 37 “Those countries deserve it.”

    You fucking OBL-Loving bastard!!! May the ghosts of 911 haunt you for ever!

    Don– What the hell… Hey if OBL doesnt take over France some other tyrant will. All I said is if you dont defend yourself you deserve to die. Thats the problem with you liberal “the world is in it together” type people. You look at foriegn countries in the wrong light. Liberals look at their neighbors and for some reason see greener grass. Europe and the rest of the world should be looked at as failed relics of the past. Examples of how NOT to do things.

  40. 44

    Richard Pope spews:

    We need to build monorails in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan in order to win the hearts and minds of the locals, and prevent them from turning into Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. And if that doesn’t work, add a few light rail systems to boot.

  41. 45

    Donnageddon spews:

    RUFUS @ 43 “Europe and the rest of the world should be looked at as failed relics of the past.”

    Keep talking. You are one of the more interesting trolls. Tell us all about your struggle with the failed relics, or as the German’s say “Mein Kampf”

  42. 46

    GeoCrackr spews:

    You want another strategy? Try this on for size.

    But we already know you’re not going to like it. Why? Because it’s about somebody in the shit (unlike you ignorant clowns), dealing with people every day who used to be ordinary civilians trying to raise their kids and get by until ShrubCo bombed the fuck out of their houses and water supplies and electric plants, then sent in a bunch of duped kids with guns to kill their families and torture them into becoming pissed-off radicals. And his answer, what he finds that fucking works, is to treat them like human beings, like criminals where necessary, just like the people back home.

    And what he found is that all your shit-for-brains posturing and ranting about killing all the ragheads and bombing them back to the stone age — that makes it impossible to win!

    And here’s the part that’s really going to piss you off about it. We told you so! We’ve been telling you all along! We told you that invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and killing more innocent civilians than Saddam could’ve dreamed of killing at the height of his Reagan butt-buddy days would only radicalize them. We told you that planting our soldiers as bait based on some half-assed flypaper theory (c’mon, tell me again how “fighting them in Iraq is better than fighting them in London or New York,” jack-ass) was idiotic, on top of being obscenely disrespectful of our armed forces. We told you that all of the ginned-up intel on WMDs was just a front and that BushCo was not only not interested in “promoting democracy”, but that their self-serving avarice and incompetence and bullshit “us or them” posturing was actually going to make things worse!

    And what’s really, really going to piss you off, is that deep down in that locked room in the blackest corner of your black little heart, where you’re just too damn piss-running-down-your-leg scared to admit it — you know we’re right.

  43. 47

    dj spews:

    Richard Pope at 44

    “We need to build monorails in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan in order to win the hearts and minds of the locals, and prevent them from turning into Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. And if that doesn’t work, add a few light rail systems to boot.”

    Now there’s an idea! Think of all the happy (if hungry) Middle East commuters we could have for $200 billion dollars!

  44. 49

    dj spews:

    pbj @ 16

    “So, by your own admission, if we look at the period from Bush Sr to Clinton, the terror rate increased over 600%! “

    From 0 to 6 is 600%????? Ummmm. . . I take it you didn’t really do to well in math, huh?

    More seriously, it is true that terrorist attacks on Americans increased from Bush I to Clinton, but Shrub Sr. was a short-termer. If you accept the raw counts, terrorist attacks on Americans decreased from Reagan to Clinton.

  45. 50

    dj spews:

    pbj @ 17

    “No, what inspired the 9/11 attacks were Clinton’s feeble response to the previous attacks.”

    Nope, there is no evidence for that whatsoever. The evidence (admission by bin Laden himself) is that bin Laden was still pissed off about the U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia, established during the first Golf War.

    Bullshit ain’t gonna cut it.

  46. 51

    pbj spews:

    dj@32,

    If it was CNN Goldy meant to quote then he should have quoted the primary source – not some lefty hate America blogger who quoted it.

  47. 52

    pbj spews:

    Geo@46,

    And his answer, what he finds that fucking works, is to treat them like human beings, like criminals where necessary, just like the people back home.

    You are just NOW finding out that is how we have been winning the hearts and minds?

  48. 53

    pbj spews:

    dj@50,

    Nope, there is no evidence for that whatsoever. The evidence (admission by bin Laden himself) is that bin Laden was still pissed off about the U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia, established during the first Golf War.

    Bullshit ain’t gonna cut it.

    There is plenty of evidence for it. They knew that Clinton was weak and figured the same thing about Bush. Weak responses convince the enemy that you are a pussy. They then become emboldened to attack more aggressively.

    Had Clinton actually picked up Bin Laden when Sudna offered him on a silver platter, 911 would never have happened.

  49. 55

    pbj spews:

    dj@49,

    You cannot deny that under Clinton, terrorism increased compared to his predecessor. Try to spin it any way you want, but that is the fact. Using your own source ZERO attacks under Bush Sr, 6 under Clinton. So therefore, by liberal logic, Clinton bred that terrorism through his policies.

  50. 57

    pbj spews:

    Donna@54,

    There are also plenty of historical examples where this has been proven true. Hitler’s march through Europe is a textbook example of how an enemy is emboldened by weak military responses to their attacks. I am sorry you weren’t taught that history in school Donna. You must be a grad of the Seattle School District.

  51. 58

    GeoCrackr spews:

    pbj: Haha — it seems like you’re speaking English, but you make no sense whatsoever. Yes, I know it’s hard for you to admit I’m right. Go ahead and cry yourself to sleep and you’ll feel better in the morning.

  52. 59

    pbj spews:

    So, now all the liberals who are advocating that terrorism is a law enforcement matter and that therapy is needed, please apologize to kar Rove for accurately reporting your post 911 response to terrorism.

  53. 60

    dj spews:

    pbj @ 19

    ”No, Iraq is a war zone still. Granted there aren’t tanks fighting each other or “major combat” but there are skirmishes between the military and the enemy. Yes there are American civilians that get killed just as there are Irai civilians that get killed. That happens in a war zone.”

    Technically it is not a war zone. There are rebels in many countries and murderous criminals in all countries, but that does not make them a war zone. In any case, I am happy to call it a civil war in Iraq, even though the simple phrase “disaster zone” works even better.

    But you seem to have missed my original point. There are real (foreign) terrorists who are not part of the civil war. They are there solely to harm Americans. There are also insurgents trying to take control of the government. And then there are Iraqis who hate Americans for killing a family member or destroying property. Attacks by the first group are genuine terrorist attacks. The last group is more of a criminal element and the middle group is a rebellion. I would count attacks by the first group as bona fide terrorist attacks.

    ”Would you rather the war zone exist in the streets of America with daily car bombers?”

    No, I don’t want terrorist activities, criminal activity, or rebellions happening in the U.S. or anywhere. But, I would have preferred that the U.S. hadn’t invaded Iraq. The world would be a much safer place (as judged by Iraq’s lack of any WMD, WMD production facilities, or delivery systems to threaten anyone with and the drastic increase in new terrorists as a result of our actions in Iraq).

    ”Claiming that Bush’s policies have increased terrorist attacks is like claiming that the Japanese attack againsts us increased during WWII and that FDR was to blame. Not that there haven’t been people who have blamed Pearl Harbor on FDR – I do not count myself amongst those persons.”

    I don’t blame FDR either. But, I blame you for a really bad analogy—I don’t see any resemblance whatsoever to the situation in Iraq. First, because Japan attacked us, not the other way around. Secondly, Japan never occupied the U.S. (if they had, I hope we both agree in wishing for a strong insurgent uprising!).

    I seems undeniable that the number of terrorists have exploded (not literally) as a result of our invading and occupying Iraq. We make easy targets there. They will certainly attempt attacks on U.S. soil soon enough.

    ”Yes – when you fight back against an enemy who wants to kill you because you aren’t a muslim, they will attack you when you fight back.”

    I think you have been deceived. Iraqis were not attacking the U.S. The U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq.

    ”Should we have negotiated with the Japanese after Pearl Harbor?”

    No, but again, your analogy is completely inappropriate.

  54. 61

    pbj spews:

    Geo –

    Well you can think that if you want. But if you had actually been actually listening to people who are over in the “shit” as you so eloquently put it, you’d have know it long ago.

    Try listneing to Lt Brian Suits (you know – someone who was actually IN THE SHIT instead of sitting at home burning flags) on KVI 570 AM 6 -9 PM. Call him up and ask him if that isn’t what we have been doing all along you traitorous shit! You have been eating the turds the MSM has crapped out for so long, you wouldn’t know truth if it bit you on the ass!

  55. 62

    dj spews:

    pbj @ 55

    You cannot deny that under Clinton, terrorism increased compared to his predecessor.”

    I cannot. I was straightforward about this and provided the raw numbers. Are you drunk or something?

    “Try to spin it any way you want, but that is the fact. Using your own source ZERO attacks under Bush Sr, 6 under Clinton. So therefore, by liberal logic, Clinton bred that terrorism through his policies.”

    It is not spin with the raw numbers, you fucking moron—you seem to have real problems with posts containing raw numbers.

    The fact remains that terrorist attacks on Americans (including overseas and domestic) declined from Reagan to Clinton and have massively increased under Bush II. Three cheers to Bush I for having no attacks (and having the good sense to retire after one term).

  56. 63

    dj spews:

    pbj @ 53

    There is plenty of evidence for it. They knew that Clinton was weak and figured the same thing about Bush.

    Yeah. . . in your dreams, bozo. Is there some real evidence for this assertion, or am I supposed to accept your ESP as evidence?

    “Had Clinton actually picked up Bin Laden when Sudna offered him on a silver platter, 911 would never have happened. “

    In fact, had Bush continued with the anti-terrorism plan that was developed under Clinton, it is probable that bin Laden would have been eliminated before 9/11. Don’t beleive me? Read what Richard Clarke had to say about it! The fact is, Bush was obsessed with state threats, star wars and taking long vacations. He completely dropped the ball on terrorism because it was a “Clinton thing.”

  57. 64

    dj spews:

    pbj @ 51

    “If it was CNN Goldy meant to quote then he should have quoted the primary source – not some lefty hate America blogger who quoted it.”

    What’s the matter, pbj, having trouble keeping up with the crowd? It seems like you are the only idiot who is incapable of clicking through to the sources. Maybe you should surf your ass over to http://www.ThinkinRealSlowLike.org/ for more suitable material.

  58. 65

    Chazz spews:

    The point that everyone seems to be missing, is the lessons from history. I’ve been watching the international terrorists get bolder year after year, since 1972 in Munich. I was disappointed in Reagan and Bush Sr. for not doing more about the problem, but it was our state dept. and the ‘progressives’ that actually stood in the way. Carter and Clinton were impotent, tax-raising policy wonks, and had no idea how to effectively use our military to combat the terror issue. I’ve watched literally everyone, republican and democrat, complain about what a threat Saddam was, since before Gulf War I. Only when our current president started actually making plans to deal with him, did I hear any of our ‘leaders’ begin to whine about not having any proof. Don’t believe this? Check all the archives. What is causing the rise in attacks isn’t President Bush, his policies, or the ‘quagmire’ in Iraq. What is causing the problem to get worse, is every ‘progressive’ throwing verbal bombs at the Bush doctrine, and emboldening the murderers.
    And all this was said without curse words, or personal attacks against you or your beliefs. I am former Navy, and mostly conservative, but not a ‘Neo-con’. I’ve felt this way since watching innocent Isrealis being slaughtered in the name of Allah, at a gathering of athletes to promote world solidarity. I respect that your opinion differs from mine, but we’re never going to get along, if you armchair quarterbacks don’t stop calling each other nasty names, or attacking our President for shock value. I’m not asking for everyone to agree with each other; I know that’s impossible. But the scourge of international terrorism MUST be stamped out. We should be able to at least agree on that. The next attack could be here, and the blame will be laid at the feet of all those who stand in the way of the mission.
    Also, if some of your posting buddies want to call someone a Nazi, they should have the courage to do so to their faces. It is very easy for some of them to use hyper-inflammatory rhetoric, while at the computer.

  59. 66

    pbj spews:

    dj@60,

    But you seem to have missed my original point. There are real (foreign) terrorists who are not part of the civil war. They are there solely to harm Americans. There are also insurgents trying to take control of the government. And then there are Iraqis who hate Americans for killing a family member or destroying property. Attacks by the first group are genuine terrorist attacks. The last group is more of a criminal element and the middle group is a rebellion. I would count attacks by the first group as bona fide terrorist attacks.

    Funny how liberals will always bring up the mission accomplished sign [note: That sign referred to the carrier Lincoln’s mission, which was indeed accomplished] in referring to the war but now you are trying to argue that the war must be over and it is not a war zone. Yes it is a war zone. When the day comes that it isn’t, then we will leave.

    The foreign terrorist are there to make the Iraqi people knuckle under as they had knuckled under to Saddam. They have been targetting mostly Iraqis and foreign diplomats lately.

    No, I don’t want terrorist activities, criminal activity, or rebellions happening in the U.S. or anywhere. But, I would have preferred that the U.S. hadn’t invaded Iraq. The world would be a much safer place (as judged by Iraq’s lack of any WMD, WMD production facilities, or delivery systems to threaten anyone with and the drastic increase in new terrorists as a result of our actions in Iraq).

    No, in fact the world would not have been a much safer place. After the first Gulf War, when the IAEA was about to declare Iraq had no nuclear program, Saddam’s step brother stepped forward and pointed out that there indeed was a program in place. The IAEA officials were shocked at how far along that program was.

    Just because we didn’t find any WMD’s doesn’t mean they haven’t been carted off to Syria or Iran. You want to make the leap of faith that after having lost the Gulf War and having his first nuclear weapons program destroyed, that Saddam was OK with that and didn’t bear a grudge and would never ever restart a nuclear program. But then how would we ever have know anyway after Clinton pulled out the inspectors?

    You need to read the history of the Iraqi nuclear programs:
    http://www.nti.org/e_research/....._3293.html

    I don’t blame FDR either. But, I blame you for a really bad analogy—I don’t see any resemblance whatsoever to the situation in Iraq. First, because Japan attacked us, not the other way around. Secondly, Japan never occupied the U.S. (if they had, I hope we both agree in wishing for a strong insurgent uprising!).

    I seems undeniable that the number of terrorists have exploded (not literally) as a result of our invading and occupying Iraq. We make easy targets there. They will certainly attempt attacks on U.S. soil soon enough.

    It is a perfectly good analogy because just as when FDR denied Japan oil as appeasement (which is why some think FDR is to blame for them attacking us), you liberals blame Bush for not knuckling under to terrorists. And if it is the being attacked first that you do not like, then use Germany or perhaps Kosovo. When did we ever get attacked by the people of Kosovo? Yet Bill Clinton bombed them.

    As for attacks on US soil, it would be very naive to beleive that they haven’t already been attempting to attack us on our own soil. The only conclusion one can come to is that our defenses have so far succeded. Does that mean they will never succeed in an attack? No. They only need to get lucky once. We have to be lucky all the time.

    I think you have been deceived. Iraqis were not attacking the U.S. The U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq.

    Yes we did invade Iraq. Because it has been shown that the government of Iraq was supporting terrorist with their 25K to hamas bombers who killed Israeli’s and the terrorist hotel for people like Abbu Abbas (remember him? He killed wheelchair bound Leon Klinghoffer and threw his body overboard the Achilli Lauro) and other terrorists. Even Zarcawi was giving medical treatment after being injured fighing Americans in Afghanistan.

    Now if it brings the previously hiding terrorists out of hiding in a fit of rage so we can kill them, then all the better for us.

  60. 67

    pbj spews:

    dj@63,

    In fact, had Bush continued with the anti-terrorism plan that was developed under Clinton, it is probable that bin Laden would have been eliminated before 9/11. Don’t beleive me? Read what Richard Clarke had to say about it! The fact is, Bush was obsessed with state threats, star wars and taking long vacations. He completely dropped the ball on terrorism because it was a “Clinton thing.”

    Richard Clarke was the Clinton guy Bush kept in charge. He had no plan other than some “cyber” threat. He thought we would all be hacked into submission! The thing Bush can be faulted for is keeping Richard Clarke around after his documented failure of policy at getting Bin Laden during the Clinton administration.

  61. 68

    dj spews:

    pbj @ 67

    “The thing Bush can be faulted for is keeping Richard Clarke around. . . .”

    In fact, Bush largely ignored Clarke. That was possibly the worse mistake Bush ever made (with the possible exception of invading Iraq). Bush refused to believe that terrorist groups could pose a threat unless they were state-sponsored. Of course, he was completely wrong. That is the first of several tragedies that Bush will likely be remembered for.

  62. 69

    Chazz spews:

    Sadly, the finger pointing continues. One side blames Bush and the ‘Neo-cons’, the other blames the ‘lefties’. Neither side is indestructible, and both sides are to blame for ‘dropping the ball’, over the last 40 years. Let us agree on that, and get on with finding the terrorists. Otherwise, we’re ALL screwed.

  63. 70

    dj spews:

    Pbj @ 66

    ”Funny how liberals will always bring up the mission accomplished sign [note: That sign referred to the carrier Lincoln’s mission, which was indeed accomplished] in referring to the war but now you are trying to argue that the war must be over and it is not a war zone. Yes it is a war zone. When the day comes that it isn’t, then we will leave.”

    What the fuck are you talking about, I did not mention the mission accomplished sign? I said it could be considered a civil war zone, even though it doesn’t really meet a proper definition of a war zone. Does it matter, or are you just lost in argument and forgetting the real point?

    ”The foreign terrorist are there to make the Iraqi people knuckle under as they had knuckled under to Saddam. They have been targetting mostly Iraqis and foreign diplomats lately.”

    Ummm. . . there may be a few of them, but by and large the foreign terrorists are not targeting the Iraqi’s. The Iraqi insurgents are targeting Iraqi’s, especially the police force and political figures.

    ”No, in fact the world would not have been a much safer place. After the first Gulf War, when the IAEA was about to declare Iraq had no nuclear program”

    That was the bullshit line that Powell gave to the Press to discredit ElBaradei’s report to the Security Council just prior to the invasion. This story is not correct IAEA (it ignores the fact that inspections were massively complicated by Bush I’s resistance to letting IAEA do its work in Iraq after Golf I).

    More importantly, it is completely irrelevant what happened in 1991. In 2003, IAEA knew with certainty that Iraq had no weapons, no weapon production capabilities, and no delivery systems. Even the Administration downplayed their suggestions of nuclear weapons after they failed to find weapons.

    ”Just because we didn’t find any WMD’s doesn’t mean they haven’t been carted off to Syria or Iran.”

    Bullshit. We knew in the late 90s that only 5-10% of the Biological and Chemical weapons we unaccounted for because Iraq destroyed them without U.N. supervision. The accounting problem does not translate into actual weapons, it just means that UNSCOM (and later UNMOVIC) was pushing for any documentation whatsoever about the destruction. In fact, the biological weapons, which were developed in the 1980s were way past any “shelf life.” In other words, even if they existed they were worthless.

    ”You want to make the leap of faith that after having lost the Gulf War and having his first nuclear weapons program destroyed, that Saddam was OK with that and didn’t bear a grudge and would never ever restart a nuclear program. But then how would we ever have know anyway after Clinton pulled out the inspectors?”

    I know that the IAEA certified that Iraq had no capabilities to produce (let alone the materials). Assertions otherwise are counterfactual and complete bullshit. When IAEA (and UNMOVIC) went back in in 2003, they reported good progress and cooperation. There was no justification to go to war (unless it was timing for political reasons).

    ”You need to read the history of the Iraqi nuclear programs:
    http://www.nti.org/e_research/.....93.html”

    And you need to read the reports of the Weapon inspectors!

    ”Yes we did invade Iraq. Because it has been shown that the government of Iraq was supporting terrorist with their 25K to hamas bombers who killed Israeli’s.”

    Ohhhh. . . a whole 25K???? That makes the U.S. look pretty damn stupid with the Millions they sent to Afganistan and Iraq in the 1980s!

    ”and the terrorist hotel for people like Abbu Abbas (remember him? He killed wheelchair bound Leon Klinghoffer and threw his body overboard the Achilli Lauro) and other terrorists.”

    Of course, this means we should really bomb the shit out of Idaho because we know there are some terrorists living there, too. The damn Governor of Idaho is giving aid and comfort to domestic terrorists!

    ”Even Zarcawi was giving medical treatment after being injured fighing Americans in Afghanistan.”

    And, I suppose you support flattening the state housing the hospital that Timothy McVeigh was last treated in? You fucking moron, these people travel to countries and use medical facilities. They don’t wear a fucking smiley-face button saying “I be a terrorist”. If that is the best shit we have on Iraq, then we have a LOT of house cleaning to here. These “links to terrorism” are completely superficial—this is the kind of bullshit Bush had to pass off as evidence? Pathetic!

    ”Now if it brings the previously hiding terrorists out of hiding in a fit of rage so we can kill them, then all the better for us. “

    Yeah. . . I’ll bet you let your dog shit in the neighbor’s yard because it is more convenient for you, too, huh?

  64. 71

    prr spews:

    I have to say, you liberals are just pathetic cowardly scum,

    I am ashamed ta have you in the same city as my family.

  65. 72

    Marty spews:

    **I am ashamed ta have you in the same city as my family**

    Back at you dipshit
    You guys are nothing but cockroaches.

  66. 73

    prr spews:

    Marty,

    Shouldn’t you be concocting a story on how the bombing yesterday was Bush’s fault?

  67. 74

    Marty spews:

    **Shouldn’t you be concocting a story on how the bombing yesterday was Bush’s fault?**

    Would that be before or after you clowns start blaming the Democrats for the bombing?

  68. 76

    prr spews:

    Marty @ 74,

    I think we “clowns ” are united in te theory that this was done by islamc Fundamentalists.

    We’ll leave the halluciantions to you.

  69. 78

    Marty spews:

    **I think we “clowns ” are united in te theory that this was done by islamc Fundamentalists.**

    No shit?
    yer a fucking genius

    Now what promotes Islamic fundamentalism?

    I’ll make it easy for you special ed.

    A. Dirty abortion giving, homo loving Liberals

    B. US political hegemony

    C. Saudi funding of Madrassa’s globally with US oil money

    D. “Your with us or against us” Bush policy

    E. Funding of puppet governments (Like the Saudi’s)

    F. “America! FUCK YEAH!”

    You can use a calculator if you need to…
    take your time.

  70. 79

    prr spews:

    Marty, I’ll translate for you…

    I hate America, We suck, we should abandon Iraq, Afhanistan, apologize to Al Qaeda, realease Sadam, end world poverty, destrroy all SUV’s, Legalize dope, restirct movements of all white males, burn down all the churches and all earn a living making clay pots…. Just like the original native Americans.

    Am I close?

  71. 80

    Marty spews:

    You forgot to add

    “Kill all homos, intern all brown people, replace sesame street with religious programming, rerun Dobson 24 hrs a day, replace all adult novelty’s with rubber replicas of handguns, turn Afghanistan into a lake, pave over Africa, kick Iraq’s ass and take their gas, & Legislate a mandatory “Ann Coulter Living” section at all retail outlets approved by the Walmart religious overlords.

    I think we are starting to come together on the same page :)

  72. 81

    ControlFreak spews:

    Dear prr, pbj, RUFUS, Janet S.:

    It’s obvious that you all care deeply about America and the continuation of the democracy and freedoms that all of us enjoy. And I thank for that.

    But if you are, as you profess, ardent supporters of President Bush’s policies and strategy toward militant Islamic fundamentalism, it would seem that you could be doing more to help, beyond mere lip service.

    Right now, our military is strained by the demands of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, compounded by the drop in volunteers signing up to fight. If you are indeed a supporter of the military, shouldn’t YOU be signing up, right now? And protestations of having done previous service or having flat feet won’t go far — right now, I think the Army would take just about anybody.

    So, if you ARE a patriotic, freedom-loving supporter of President Bush, you should enlist NOW!

    If you don’t, well …

  73. 83

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I noticed this time President Deer In Headlights left his meeting and pretended to make a phone call, instead of sitting there with a 1000-yard-stare or reading from “My Pet Goat.” Apparently his handlers are trainable.

  74. 84

    Baynative spews:

    Some people contend that because Clinton was intimidated by terrorists and afraid to confront them the acts were declining. Actually, the terrorists had their way with Bill Clinton and built up power and financial reserves significantly during his years of reluctance to stand up.

  75. 85

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    DJ@11: I recently learned through news that OBL was a Carter administration creation. He went to Afghanistan in 1979 timeframe to fight the Soviets. He was given military assistance by us back then. I concede that Reagan used him against the Soviets more and more in the 80’s. So we helped him. So what does that prove. So where was Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi or other Dems condemning the London attack?

    PJB@14: They forget that small factoid. Waaaah the unions will lose more power. Less union power means less people to sell crack to buy votes!!!

    PJB@19: Neville Chamberlain comes back with a peace accord, claims that Hitler signed it so wBritain will have peace. Next the buzz bombs start raining in on London. Yes, appeasement really works wonders.

    Don@25: You back to the Nazi mantra? If someone disagrees with you they are a Nazi? Wow, such a thoughful response. I thought headless loocy owned that ground. Did Loocy pass that hill to you?

    Thomas@28: Wahhabist thought is supported by the ACLU. So they could open an office at ACLU Headquaters. They hate Christian thought.

    Dr._Quest@33: Nightline 7-7-2005, Al Qaeda was casing the London tubes from the mid 90’s.

    DJ@34: If you continue to call Iraq a quagmire, maybe it will become true? NOT!

    Geocrakr@46: So if Saddam was Reagan’s butt buddy, was Ayatollah Khomeini Carter’s butt buddy? Uhhh, No! We used Saddam to attack Iran for the failed Iranian hostage crisis. Thanks Carter. Also Iran was supporting Hezbollah and Hamas and Arafat’s Fatah. But you forgot that small factiod. Reagan supported Israel and those groups were spouting the extinction of Israel. Saddam was helping us until we left him. Saddam was doing our proxy stuff as we were trying to keep him from the Soviet axis. Also, where did Saddam get those RPGs and AK-47s from? Soviet satellite countries?

    PJB@56: I forgot that book. Unfortunately I don’t own it but I heard excerpts from it. Don you can get it used for ~$2.00

    DJ@63: I’ll repeat it again since you continue to bring up Rchard Clarke and what he forgot to mention. On this and another thread you mention that if Bush followed what Richard Clarke said. So I started looking into Clarke’s book. Did you all realize that Clarke on his 60 Minute interview said that Bush ignored him in August 6th memo. The book said Bush wanted to stop swatting flies regarding Al Qaeda and Osama by telling Dr. Rice to devise a strategy in April 2001. So I guess Tricky Dicky Clarke is “Sexing up his information?” Hmmm…? Oh yeah, I forgot, when confronted, Clarke finally admitted that Clinton had no plan for fighting Al Qaeda. Now that’s curious!

    Chazz@65: HERE HERE!!! You wrote it perfectly!! I wait to see what the lefties say in response to your words.

    DJ@70: Zarqawi went to Iraq because he KNEW he was safe to get treatment there. He KNEW we could not get him, as Abu Abbas was safe there. Damn man, you are off your game today too! You totally miss the point about Saddam supporting terrorism, but then again you miss many points in a cogent discussion lately! I olve you you pick and choose your attack points when PJB gives multiple evidentiary points for his argument. We sent the money to IraqYou should talk to GBS who has that expired security clearance. Maybe he can get you some pictures of all those trucks going to Syria before the war. Then Syria announces it has a weapons program. Did you forget that factiod? Saddam tells his brother-in-law for ratting his nuclear program out to come back to Iraq all is forgiven, then has them killed. Did you forget that factoid? Regarding the Mission Accomplished sign, maybe it wasn’t you but some other HA lefties have used it in their arguments against Bush. DJ you did talk about the banner along with DamnageD and Patrick on May 31st. DJ you are a forgetful liar. Did you forget your own typing factoid?

    BayNative@84: Where in the Bay did you live? I live near San Jose. That’s all I will say.

  76. 86

    windie spews:

    @82

    He covered that, prr..

    also is this another puddybud ‘I was nrotc for a semester in college but then stopped, but never wore a uniform, but that still means i served!’ kinda served?

  77. 87

    dj spews:

    Baynative @ 84

    “Some people contend that because Clinton was intimidated by terrorists and afraid to confront them the acts were declining.”

    Really? Who is contending this? This statement seems like pure bullshit to me. Clinton (unlike Bush Jr.) avoided a strategy that would lead to greater terrorism recruitment.

    In fact, Bush thought he would try cowboy tactics and he is getting his ass kicked by terrorists. The reactions of many of the right wing assholes posting here, who declare their willingness to hand over their fundamental American principles and rights, shows that the terrorists are winning at what they are best at–psychological damage. Wake up, you lame-ass cowards, freedom is tough love!

    “Actually, the terrorists had their way with Bill Clinton>

    They did? I dare say that 6 major acts in eight years hardly compares to the hundreds of major attacks in 4 years of Shrub. Of course, Shrub set up a terrorist sandbox where Americans are sitting ducks. . . .

    “and built up power and financial reserves significantly during his years of reluctance to stand up.”

    Have any evidence for this? Or is this just you “feelings?” I claim that monetary contributions to terrorism have gone up 100-fold since Bush invaded Iraq.

    (That doesn’t make my statement true–indeed, I have no evidence for it whatsoever–but then you don’t either for your statement).

  78. 89

    chew_2 spews:

    Goldy,

    You are missing a big point here. The US is now defining terrorism to include purely domestic targets as well as international targets, while in the past the term only included international targets. Why? So that you cannot compare the 2004 count with the 2003 count of 651. Previous news reports have mentioned that, using the old criteria of international targets only, the 2004 terrorist count was going to be substantially higher than the 2003 651 count. This was too embarrassing for the Bush administration, so they changed the methodology of the count.

  79. 91

    dj spews:

    PacMan @ 85

    “I recently learned through news that OBL was a Carter administration creation.”

    I made no claims about which president was responsible for supporting bin Laden–my point was that the U.S. was providing arms and training to bin Laden. Does it make a differece whose administration provided the funding?

    Unfortunately, your facts are wrong, anyway. bin Laden graduated from college, and used some of his family wealth to support the mujahideen. It was Reagan who authorized funding for arms and CIA training to assist the mujahideen in fighting Soviets.

    “So where was Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi or other Dems condemning the London attack?”

    What’s this got to do with the topic? Is your ADHD acting up again?

  80. 92

    windie spews:

    wow puddy’s still there.

    I didn’t serve… but then again, I’m not advocating endless war either.

    I also never lied about it, tho.

    People who haven’t served (or haven’t served in reality) advocating other people dying in a war of choice is a big problem~

    I don’t think its coincidence that GHWB was a vet, and had a very good idea of what would happen if we tried to occupy Iraq. His son, in comparison, isn’t a vet (again, not really), and went blithely in ignoring all the advice, *including his own fathers*. People that have really served seem to be less likely to throw lives away meaninglessly in wars of choice and lost causes.

    I haven’t served, so its not my place to tell ANYONE what to do.

    also re: terrorism counts, how many of the 6 major attacks in clintons presidency were attributable to Al Qaeda, and thus the US presence in Saudi Arabia?

  81. 93

    dj spews:

    Pacman @ 85

    “If you continue to call Iraq a quagmire, maybe it will become true? NOT!”

    . . . you’d better go look up the definition of quagmire. On the other hand perhaps some more descriptive terms like “disaster area” or “slaughter zone” are appropriate?

  82. 95

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    DJ: My facts not wrong. Bin Laden did go there around 1979. It was a liberal news station who fessed it up. Also, you are the one needing Ritilin. Your ramblings are messed up. I was addressing your rants. You need therapy man!!! Peace

  83. 97

    ControlFreak spews:

    PRR @ 82:

    Sorry, but plenty of reservists ALSO have already served and yet find themselves in Iraq. If you are indeed a supporter of our military and President Bush’s policies, then you should sign up immediately. In fact, your previous service would be a boon. You already know the military rigamarole and training and should be able to be much more effective that some raw recruit. So sign up now, and give some relief to some poor stop-loss Marine on his third tour in Fallujah.

    Of course, if you don’t REALLY support President Bush, but would rather just bluster and whine, then …

  84. 98

    dj spews:

    Pacman @ 85

    “I’ll repeat it again since you continue to bring up Rchard Clarke and what he forgot to mention. On this and another thread you mention that if Bush followed what Richard Clarke said. So I started looking into Clarke’s book. Did you all realize that Clarke on his 60 Minute interview said that Bush ignored him in August 6th memo. The book said Bush wanted to stop swatting flies regarding Al Qaeda and Osama by telling Dr. Rice to devise a strategy in April 2001. So I guess Tricky Dicky Clarke is “Sexing up his information?” Hmmm…? Oh yeah, I forgot, when confronted, Clarke finally admitted that Clinton had no plan for fighting Al Qaeda. Now that’s curious!”

    Sorry, I am having a hard time following your point. Indeed Clarke had criticisms about Clinton (don’t we all?). I don’t recall Clark saying that Clinton had no plan for al Qaeda. This would be remarkable considering that Clinton froze the assets and imposed economic sanctions on bin Laden and al Qaeda, asked Shelton and Clark to develop a commando attack, authorized the CIA to assasinate bin Laden, and killed and arrested some top al Qaeda officials.

    It seems to me the person with no real plan is George Bush, who hasn’t been able to suppress al Qeada or capture bin Laden using FAR more resources and at much greater cost in lives and dollars. Bush had the luxury of “owning” Afghanistan and he still fucked it up! Clinton, using hindsight, should have been more aggressive. Nevertheless, Shrub has shown himself to be incompetent in fighting al Qaeda and capturing bin Laden.

  85. 99

    dj spews:

    Pacman @ 85

    “Regarding the Mission Accomplished sign, maybe it wasn’t you but some other HA lefties have used it in their arguments against Bush. DJ you did talk about the banner along with DamnageD and Patrick on May 31st. DJ you are a forgetful liar. Did you forget your own typing factoid?”

    You fucking moron, Pacman, pbj suggested that I brought up the “mission accomplished” sign in a particular post, and I pointed out I did not do so. I did not claim that I have never discussed the topic. You need to go beyond READING and try to UNDERSTAND what you are reading, jackass!

  86. 100

    prr spews:

    Control Freak,

    “but plenty of reservists ALSO have already served and yet find themselves in Iraq.”

    Yes, that is what being a reservist is all about.

    What I see in this conversation ois that the Active Duty Military and teh resrvists have contributed, yet someone such as yourself just ridicules troops from the states.

    Whatever happened to that liberal BS about “support the troops but not the war”?

    Just say what you mean, you don’t give a shit about these kids and their dying justifies whatever argument you are proposing this week.

  87. 101

    dj spews:

    Pacman @ 85

    “Zarqawi went to Iraq because he KNEW he was safe to get treatment there. . . . [blah, blah, blah]”

    Think about it Pacman (I know that is tough for you, but just try). People have been able to scrape up these most tenuous links between Iraq and terrorism. Yet, in almost every country in the world you can find far stronger links to terrorism.

    Try the U.S., from which millions of dollars have been funneled to terrorist orginizations from both governmental sources and private sources. We harbored terrorists, and we, no doubt, still do. Does this mean we should start bombing the shit out of ourselves?

    How about Pakistan? Let’s see, General Musharraf took the country in a coup in 1999, essentially turning the country into a military dictatorship until elections in 2004. Pakistan has detonated nuclear weapons. They have rockets that can deliver the weapons at great distances. They have systematically supported Kashmiri terrorists. The Pakistanis have admitted selling nuclear materials and information to Lybia. Finally, al Qaeda and bin Laden are being “harbored” by Pakistan. If there was ever a case for a country to invade, Pakistan must be it.

    And, no, I am not claiming we should invade Pakistan; I am pointing out how tenuous and superficial links to “terrorism” in Iraq compare to the rather substantive links to terrorism in the U.S. and Pakistan, and ultimately many, many other countries of the world.

    There was no “terrorism” justification for invading Iraq that wasn’t many times more compelling for dozens of other countries. Calling those things a “substantive” link to terrorism is absurd and makes a farce of the real problem. Invading a country under that pretext and killing 100,000 people over it is, quite frankly, genocide!

    But, don’t get me wrong, I do want a FAIR trial in The Hague for Bush and his cronies . . . . And, you can bet your ass I will be working to help make that happen!

  88. 104

    dj spews:

    Pacman @

    “My facts not wrong. Bin Laden did go there around 1979.”

    Let me try to be clearer. Your claim that bin Laden “is a Carter administration creation” is incorrect. He was not supported by the Carter administration. He did not receive financial aid from the U.S. in 1979 (he used his own wealth to support the fighting). It was not until Reagan that heavy arms and CIA training were provided to bin Laden.

    Of course, it is completely irrelevant to my original point whether he was supported by the Carter administration or Reagan administration, but I though I would set the record straight.

  89. 105

    windie spews:

    Prr: I’m not advocating war, now am I?

    Hows this: I *am* putting my money where my mouth is. I’ll gladly say this war is a horrible idea, and I’m not serving in it.

    Were you in Viet Nam, prr? Or korea, or WW2? Gulf 1 maybe? Fill us in on what you’ve sacrificed for your country.

  90. 106

    Donnageddon spews:

    Prr here
    http://www.horsesass.org/index.....ment-46273

    compares our brave soldiers who died in this senseless war to overdosed drug addicts

    And NOW he has the gall to say @ 100

    “Just say what you mean, you don’t give a shit about these kids and their dying justifies whatever argument you are proposing this week.”

    You are a pathetic monster, prr. A traitorous anti-American monster.

  91. 107

    prr spews:

    Donna, what a load of Bullshit.

    I never compared the two.

    what I said was that when touting these statistics of numbers of losses.

    Alcohol related deaths, Deaths by obesity, and drug overdoses far surpass the numbers of fatalities in this war.

    If you are going to quote me, keep it on the level

  92. 111

    prr spews:

    Windie,

    Listen if you have a question. I will answer it.

    You seem to be on the level and i’ll deal with you respectfully, as for donnageddon?

    That’s another story.

  93. 112

    Donnageddon spews:

    “Alcohol related deaths, Deaths by obesity, and drug overdoses far surpass the numbers of fatalities in this war.”

    There you go again!! 1,750 DEAD SOLDIERS not enough for you blood lust prr? These are not drunks, junkies and glutonous pigs, you asshole!! These are the finest, most honerable, and brave people on the planet and you scoff and compare their deaths to scum.

    You are worse than an animal, you fucking piss bag! Take you fucking Troop-Hating trash talk somewhere else, shithead!

  94. 113

    Donnageddon spews:

    And as for your ugly statistics, the drug overdoses, alcohol related deaths and obesity comes from a population of 300,000,000! The 1750 comes from a population of 150,000 brave soldiers.

    Big difference asshole, so you can stuff your bullshit back up your ass.

  95. 114

    prr spews:

    Trafiic fatalities are scum?

    Your just a vile woman whose gone off the deep end.

    and no, it’s not out of a 150,000 soldiers.

    150,000 volunteers out of 300,000,000 is the actual number.

    If you want to talk about troop hating scum, you need to look at the rest of military age US citizens who have not volunteered.

    Don’t try and spin this on me.

  96. 115

    prr spews:

    On a side note Donnageddon,

    Seriously, what have you done for the soliders?

    My wife and I send care packages, & christmas gifts to the troops.

    Wave pitched in on buying body armor for a friend who went over (he’s returnd safe and sound thank god). While he was away, we helped babsit his kids and contribute to his household bills.

    I’ve served my country honorably and proudly and don’t need to take this crap from the likes of you.

  97. 116

    prr spews:

    Donnageddon,

    I am serious, please tell me what you have personally done to support even one of our milirtary members since 9/11/01?

    Besides protest agaist the war, and rant on Horsesass.org

  98. 117

    Donnageddon spews:

    prr, you need some remedial work on statistics. “150,000 volunteers out of 300,000,000 is the actual number.” What in gods name are you talking about. The 1750 deaths come from the brave soldiers serving in Iraq, you lying bastard. The number of alcohol, drug and obesity deaths you so shamelessly compare these soldiers deaths with are from the 3 million population of the US. So stick a fork in it jerk, you ain’t winning any prizes with that red herring.

    And since you ask, prr, I give quarterly to several organizations servicing the troops in Iraq and at home. I have done enumeral things for friends and family who are now serving in Iraq.

    And I have given money for armour that the Bush administration hasn’t seen fit to give our brave troops.

    And I have worked constantly with several organizations (like Operation Truth) to get the word out on what is really going on in this senseless war.

    So suck it up little man, you ain’t no hero and neither am I. But I aion’t the one supporting the Bush administrations disasterous policies regarding the WOT.

    So you, therefore, can kiss my ass.

  99. 118

    prr spews:

    Donnageddon,

    you know what.

    I calling it straight out.

    You are full of shit.

    I’m not calling myself a hero, I’m calling myself an american and I am calling you a traitor.

  100. 120

    Donnageddon spews:

    Oh, prriss, about that bullshit of you being in Panama, and the first gulf war. No soldier would refer to his fallen comrades and compare their 1750 deaths to overdose and alcohol deaths. You are a lying traiterous scumbag.

  101. 121

    prr spews:

    save it old man.

    Like I said, you are a lying fraud.

    You’ve never even served.

    Just another lying Liberal…

    You have zero credibility.

    I’m done with you, go pretend somewhere else

  102. 122

    prr spews:

    let me guess, next thing you’ll be coimg out under another alias (DON).

    No one believes you were in Vietnam… How dare you dishonor veterans by being an imposter.

  103. 123

    Donnageddon spews:

    priss @ 122 “No one believes you were in Vietnam… How dare you dishonor veterans by being an imposter.”

    You need help, little boy. I never said I was in Vietnam. You like the walking wounded, hearing voices in your head. So you can pretty much wrap your credibility up, put it in a bag, place a stone in it and throw it off the dock.

    You are living in your own dream world.

  104. 124

    Donnageddon spews:

    Or better yet, just don’t post until you find anywhere That I posted I was in Vietnam. Have some dignity little boy. Find that quote or just quit polluting HA with your lies.

  105. 125

    prr spews:

    Donnageddon?

    How many aliases have you had?

    Don?
    Dubyasux?
    Donnageddon?

    Yes, we;ve had conversations when you told me all about your being a Vietnam vet.

    I think you need some help pal.

  106. 126

    Donnageddon spews:

    prriss, I have one name, and it is the only name I have ever used on HA.

    You are hallucinating, or again just lying.

  107. 127

    Donnageddon spews:

    Or do you think any nickname that begins with a D must be the same person?

    Are you pbj??

  108. 129

    pbj spews:

    Try the U.S., from which millions of dollars have been funneled to terrorist orginizations from both governmental sources and private sources. We harbored terrorists, and we, no doubt, still do. Does this mean we should start bombing the shit out of ourselves?

    No it means that we should continue with efforts like tracking the finances and enhancing the powers of the Patriot Act. But all we get from liberals is whining about the Patriots Act. If there weren’t so many liberal organizations lobbying to grant citizenship to anyone that asks, maybe we wouldn’t have so many sleeper cells in the US.

  109. 130

    Donnageddon spews:

    Ok, prriss, but I think you will find that everyone will see through your crap wherever you go.

  110. 131

    pbj spews:

    dj@87,

    They did? I dare say that 6 major acts in eight years hardly compares to the hundreds of major attacks in 4 years of Shrub.

    Hundreds of attacks against Americans? You are full of SHIT! And don’t give me crap about Iraq not being a war zone.

  111. 132

    Donnageddon spews:

    I love the way the Neo-Con mind works. prriss accuses me of being a Vietnam Vet imposter because my nickname starts with a D

    Beautiful logic, prriss, It explains a lot about how you guys think, or don’t.

  112. 133

    prr spews:

    Really Dubya?

    Or it could be that the same dribble was speweded from your other alias’s.

    Your background changes as much as your screen name.

    For the record, I am not a neo-con

  113. 134

    prr spews:

    wanna bet he changes his screen name and suddenly Don or Dubya sux shows up saying, I am not Donnageddon?

  114. 135

    pbj spews:

    That was the bullshit line that Powell gave to the Press to discredit ElBaradei’s report to the Security Council just prior to the invasion. This story is not correct IAEA (it ignores the fact that inspections were massively complicated by Bush I’s resistance to letting IAEA do its work in Iraq after Golf I).

    More importantly, it is completely irrelevant what happened in 1991. In 2003, IAEA knew with certainty that Iraq had no weapons, no weapon production capabilities, and no delivery systems. Even the Administration downplayed their suggestions of nuclear weapons after they failed to find weapons.

    It is not irrelevant. A sworn enemy who had a nuclear program that was found out because Saddam’s step brother tattled (Saddam later lured him back to Ira and had him killed) and we are to beleive that with the corrupt UN runing the “Oil for food’ program and Kojo Anan running a front company to skim money off the top for himself – we are to place our national security in the hope that Saddam wasn’t able to get any weapons material? When Libya (which GW disarmed of a nuke program BTW) got one? You sure would be reckless with national security!

    Ohhhh. . . a whole 25K???? That makes the U.S. look pretty damn stupid with the Millions they sent to Afganistan and Iraq in the 1980s!

    That is for EACH FUCKING KILLER you idiotic liberal traitor scumfuck! That is a life’s worth of earnings to a Palestinian.

    Ummm. . . there may be a few of them, but by and large the foreign terrorists are not targeting the Iraqi’s. The Iraqi insurgents are targeting Iraqi’s, especially the police force and political figures.

    They are targeting Iraqi piolice and civilians. Even your MSM reports that.

    That was the bullshit line that Powell gave to the Press to discredit ElBaradei’s report to the Security Council just prior to the invasion. This story is not correct IAEA (it ignores the fact that inspections were massively complicated by Bush I’s resistance to letting IAEA do its work in Iraq after Golf I).

    No that was the truth. Sorry it doesn’t fit your hate America kneejerk tendencies, but it is the truth. And it was the Iraqi’s under Sadam that were hampering the inspections, but as usual you blame America first.

    Of course, this means we should really bomb the shit out of Idaho because we know there are some terrorists living there, too. The damn Governor of Idaho is giving aid and comfort to domestic terrorists!

    You are foaming at the mouth now with an attempt at a straw man that isn’t even factual. We could bomb Seattle or California though because we KNOW James Ujama is a terrorist and so was John Walker Lindh.

    And, I suppose you support flattening the state housing the hospital that Timothy McVeigh was last treated in? You fucking moron, these people travel to countries and use medical facilities. They don’t wear a fucking smiley-face button saying “I be a terrorist”. If that is the best shit we have on Iraq, then we have a LOT of house cleaning to here. These “links to terrorism” are completely superficial—this is the kind of bullshit Bush had to pass off as evidence? Pathetic!

    You are being stupid again. That terrorist get free medical care in Saddam’s Iraq is a piece of the puzzle. It is funny how all you leftists argue in one breath that Iraq had nothing to do with 911 but in another breath argue that we were attacked on 911 because of some perceived injustice in Iraq!

    Yeah. . . I’ll bet you let your dog shit in the neighbor’s yard because it is more convenient for you, too, huh?

    No I don’t even own a dog, but the liberal accross the street does and he sends his dog over to crap on my lawn.

    “We can either fight them over there, or over here. I choose to fight them over there” – Gen Tommy Franks

  115. 136

    pbj spews:

    Freak@81,

    So, if you ARE a patriotic, freedom-loving supporter of President Bush, you should enlist NOW!

    I already have you coward! I am too old to serve now or I sure as hell would. Where in the HELL did your pantywaist ass serve?

    You like to drink from the fountain of liberty and piss in its pool but when it comes time to defend it, you ar nowhere to be found!

  116. 138

    pbj spews:

    I noticed this time President Deer In Headlights left his meeting and pretended to make a phone call, instead of sitting there with a 1000-yard-stare or reading from “My Pet Goat.” Apparently his handlers are trainable.

    As opposed to lurch who sat there in shock for 30 minutes saying nothing!

  117. 139

    pbj spews:

    Marty@80,

    “Ann Coulter Living” section at all retail outlets approved by the Walmart religious overlords.

    Ann Coulter Living ? Oooh . When did that one come out? Gotta get an issue!

  118. 141

    Dr Quest spews:

    If you’re healthy and want to serve, I’m sure age will be no problem’ pbj. They have doctors in thir 70’s serving in Afghanistan. What a great opportunity this war is to prove that you still have what it takes! Then again, we here stateside will feel that much LESS safe without you here patroling in your “Rascal” at the local Safeway.

  119. 142

    spews:

    As opposed to lurch who sat there in shock for 30 minutes saying nothing!

    You have to give him credit though… he voted to do something before he voted to sit there in shock for 30 minutes saying nothing. Story has it he ran out and fell down some stairs when he finally did decide to do something. Yep.. he received a purple heart too.

  120. 143

    prr spews:

    Donnageddon,

    speaking of lies.

    Coincidentally enough, there is absoluetly no mention of you AT ALL on the Operation truth website.

    Not even on the blog section.

    Weird huh?

    Donnageddon can be found posting on many political sites throughout the area, yet the one that you are, by your own admission, so firmly finacially linked, there is absolutely nothing on it.

    It would seem to me that after buying the “Armour” that Bush & Co. did not supply the troops, you would at least go on there to ensure it was received.

    I have to say, you may have just won the biggest loser to date on Horses Ass.

    Listen man, stand against the war, but don’t lie about things like this. It’s just…………Pathetic.

  121. 144

    Chazz spews:

    prr@115&116

    Kudos for the efforts towards our troops, guy. I have to wonder what’s wrong with some of the folks on this blog. I’m former Reagan era Navy, 9 years. I’ve seen and heard some trash talk in my time, but Donna takes the cake. Give a lib a cogent argument, it usually leads to hate-filled diatribe, with plenty of cursing and spitting on top. You and I know what it is. Hopefully, common sense and a bit of deceny may break out, but on this site, I ain’t holding my breath.

  122. 146

    Chazz spews:

    To All;
    Regardless of ‘whose fault it was’, or ‘which administration is most directly responsible’, we all face the scourge of international terrorism. I don’t care how you slice it, or which side of the argument you are on; we should all agree that this is a tactic most foul, and should be universally condemned by those who believe and profess to be ‘enlightened’.
    Question the mission, certainly. That is your right. But when you devolve into hate speech and exaggeration, your credibility goes down the crapper, and only emboldens the terrorists. They are paying attention to our self-examination, and laughing as we fall away from our national unity.

  123. 147

    prr spews:

    Chazz @ 144,

    Thanks,

    I appreciate the supprt from another Vet., and thanks for 9 years of being “Haze Gray and Underway”, shipmate.

  124. 148

    Baynative spews:

    PacMan@84-
    Grew up in the EastBay, then lived 14 years in Tahoe (near Emerald Bay). Worked a long time in Monterey and now ret. out in the islands.

  125. 149

    Baynative spews:

    DJ @ 87 – in case you can handle the truth…

    Clinton Has No Clothes
    What 9/11 revealed about the ex-president.

    By Byron York, NR White House Correspondent
    From the December 17, 2001, issue of National Review

    n June 25, 1996, a powerful truck bomb exploded outside the Khobar Towers barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, tearing the front from the building, blasting a crater 35 feet deep, and killing 19 American soldiers. Hundreds more were injured. When news reached Washington, President Bill Clinton vowed to bring the killers to justice. “The cowards who committed this murderous act must not go unpunished,” he said angrily. “Let me say again: We will pursue this. America takes care of our own. Those who did it must not go unpunished.” The next day, leaving the White House to attend an economic summit in France, Clinton had more tough words for the attackers. “Let me be very clear: We will not resist” — the president corrected himself — “we will not rest in our efforts to find who is responsible for this outrage, to pursue them and to punish them.”

    As Clinton spoke, his top political strategist, Dick Morris, was hard at work conducting polls to gauge the public’s reaction to the bombing. “Whenever there was a crisis, I ordered an immediate poll,” Morris recalls. “I was concerned about how Clinton looked in the face of [the attack] and whether people blamed him.” The bombing happened in the midst of the president’s re-election campaign, and even though Clinton enjoyed a substantial lead over Republican Bob Dole, Morris worried that public dissatisfaction with Clinton on the terrorism issue might benefit Dole.

    Indeed, Morris’s first poll showed less support for Clinton than he had hoped. But by the time Morris presented his findings to the president and top staffers at a political-strategy meeting a few days later, public approval of Clinton’s response had climbed — something Morris noted in his written agenda for the session:

    SAUDI BOMBING — recovered from Friday and looking great
    Approve Clinton handling 73-20
    Big gain from 63-20 on Friday
    Security was adequate 52-40
    It’s not Clinton’s fault 76-18

    The numbers were a relief for the re-election team. But soon there was another crisis when, on July 17, TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on its way from New York to Paris. There was widespread suspicion that the crash was the result of terrorism (it was later ruled to be an accident), and Morris’s polling found the public growing uneasy not only about air safety but also about Clinton’s performance in the Khobar investigation. Morris found that the number of people who believed Clinton was “doing all he can to investigate the Saudi bombing and punish those responsible” was just 54 percent, while 32 percent believed he could do more. Morris feared that White House inaction would allow Dole to portray Clinton as soft on national security.

    “We tested two alternative defenses to this attack: Peace maker or Toughness,” Morris wrote in a memo for the president. In the “Peacemaker” defense, Morris asked voters to respond to the statement, “Clinton is peacemaker. Brought together Arabs and Israelis. Ireland. Bosnia cease fire. Uses strength to bring about peace.” The other defense, “Tough ness,” asked voters to respond to “Clinton tough. Stands up for American interests. Against foreign companies doing business in Cuba. Sanctions against Iran. Anti-terrorist legislation held up by Republicans. Prosecuted World Trade Center bombers.” Morris found that the public greatly preferred “Toughness.”

    So Clinton talked tough. But he did not act tough. Indeed, a review of his years in office shows that each time the president was confronted with a major terrorist attack — the February 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center, the Khobar Towers attack, the August 7, 1998, bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the October 12, 2000, attack on the USS Cole — Clinton was preoccupied with his own political fortunes to an extent that precluded his giving serious and sustained attention to fighting terrorism.

    At the time of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, his administration was just beginning, and he was embroiled in controversies over gays in the military, an economic stimulus plan, and the beginnings of Hillary Clinton’s health-care task force. Khobar Towers happened not only in the midst of the president’s re-election campaign but also at the end of a month in which there were new and damaging developments in the Whitewater and Filegate scandals. The African embassy attacks occurred as the Monica Lewinsky affair was at fever pitch, in the month that Clinton appeared before independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s grand jury. And when the Cole was rammed, Clinton had little time left in office and was desperately hoping to build his legacy with a breakthrough in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Whenever a serious terrorist attack occurred, it seemed Bill Clinton was always busy with something else.

    The First WTC Attack
    Clinton had been in office just 38 days when terrorists bombed the World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000. Although it was later learned that the bombing was the work of terrorists who hoped to topple one of the towers into the other and kill as many as 250,000 people, at first it was not clear that the explosion was the result of terrorism. The new president’s reaction seemed almost disengaged. He warned Americans against “overreacting” and, in an interview on MTV, described the bombing as the work of someone who “did something really stupid.”

    From the start, Clinton approached the investigation as a law-enforcement issue. In doing so, he effectively cut out some of the government’s most important intelligence agencies. For example, the evidence gathered by FBI agents and prosecutors came under the protection of laws mandating grand-jury secrecy — which meant that the law-enforcement side of the investigation could not tell the intelligence side of the investigation what was going on. “Nobody outside the prosecutorial team and maybe the FBI had access,” says James Woolsey, who was CIA director at the time. “It was all under grand-jury secrecy.”

    Another problem with Clinton’s decision to assign the investigation exclusively to law enforcement was that law enforcement in the new administration was in turmoil. When the bomb went off, Clinton did not have a confirmed attorney general; Janet Reno, who was nominated after the Zoë Baird fiasco, was awaiting Senate approval. The Justice Department, meanwhile, was headed by a Bush holdover who had no real power in the new administration. The bombing barely came up at Reno’s Senate hearings, and when she was finally sworn in on March 12, neither she nor Clinton mentioned the case. (Instead, Clinton praised Reno for “sharing with us the life-shaping stories of your family and career that formed your deep sense of fairness and your unwavering drive to help others to do better.”) In addition, at the time the bombing investigation began, the FBI was headed by William Sessions, who would soon leave after a messy forcing-out by Clinton. A new director, Louis Freeh, was not confirmed by the Senate until August 6.

    Amid all the turmoil at the top, the investigation missed some tantalizing clues pointing toward a far-reaching conspiracy. In April 1995, for example, terrorism expert Steven Emerson told the House International Relations Committee that there was information that “strongly suggests . . . a Sudanese role in the World Trade Center bombing. There are also leads pointing to the involvement of Osama bin Laden, the ex-Afghan Saudi mujahideen supporter now taking refuge in Sudan.” Two years later, Emerson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the same thing. In recent years, according to an exhaustive New York Times report, “American intelligence officials have come to believe that [ringleader Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman] and the World Trade Center bombers had ties to al-Qaeda.”

    But the Clinton administration stuck with its theory that the bombing was the work of a loose network of terrorists working apart from any government sponsorship. Intelligence officials who might have thought otherwise were left out in the cold — “I made repeated attempts to see Clinton privately to take up a whole range of issues and was unsuccessful,” Woolsey recalls — and some of the nation’s most critical intelligence capabilities went unused. In the end, the U.S. tried six suspects in the attack. All were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Another key suspect, Abdul Rahman Yasin, was released after being held by the FBI in New Jersey and fled to Baghdad, where he is living under the protection of the Iraqi government. Today, with many leads gone cold, intelligence officials concede they will probably never know who was behind the attack.

    Khobar Towers
    “In June of 1996, it felt like an entire herd was converging on the White House,” wrote Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos in his memoir, All Too Human. A herd of scandals, that is: In late May, independent counsel Kenneth Starr had convicted Jim and Susan McDougal and Jim Guy Tucker in the first big Whitewater trial; in June, the Filegate story first broke into public view, and Sen. Alphonse D’Amato issued his committee’s Whitewater report recommending that several administration officials be investigated for perjury. It was also in June that the White House went into full battle mode against a variety of allegations contained in Unlimited Access, a book by former FBI agent Gary Aldrich.

    All these developments were heavy on the minds of Clinton, Dick Morris, and the other members of the re-election strategy team when the bomb went off at Khobar Towers on June 25. As it had after the World Trade Center bombing, a distracted White House gave the case to law enforcement. But there is significant evidence to suggest that the White House was even less interested in finding answers than it had been in the World Trade Center case. In the Khobar investigation, the Clinton administration not only failed to follow potentially productive leads but in some instances actively made the investigators’ job more difficult.

    From the beginning, the administration ran into significant Saudi resistance (the Saudis quickly identified a few low-level suspects and beheaded them, hoping to end the matter there). According to a long account of the case by Elsa Walsh published earlier this year in The New Yorker, FBI director Louis Freeh on several occasions urged the White House to pressure the Saudis for more cooperation. More than once, Walsh reports, Freeh was frustrated to learn that the president barely mentioned the case in meetings with Saudi leaders.

    Freeh — whose own relations with the White House had deteriorated badly in the wake of the Filegate and campaign-finance scandals — became convinced that the White House didn’t really want to push the Saudis for more information, which Freeh believed would confirm strong suspicions of extensive Iranian involvement in the attack. Walsh reports that in September 1998, Freeh, angry and losing hope, took the extraordinary step of secretly asking former president George H. W. Bush to intercede with the Saudi royal family. Acting without Clinton’s knowledge, Bush made the request, and the Saudis began to provide new information, which indeed pointed to Iran.

    In late 1998, Walsh reports, Freeh went to national security adviser Sandy Berger to tell him that it appeared the FBI had enough evidence to indict several suspects. “Who else knows this?” Berger asked Freeh, demanding to know if it had been leaked to the press. Freeh said it was a closely held secret. Then Berger challenged some of the evidence of Iranian involvement. “That’s just hearsay,” Berger said. “No, Sandy,” Freeh responded. “It’s testimony of a co-conspirator . . .” According to Walsh’s account, Freeh thought that “Berger . . . was not a national security adviser; he was a public-relations hack, interested in how something would play in the press. After more than two years, Freeh had concluded that the administration did not really want to resolve the Khobar bombing.”

    Ultimately, Freeh never got the support he wanted from the White House. Walsh writes that “by the end of the Clinton era, Freeh had become so mistrustful of Clinton that, although he believed he had developed enough evidence to seek indictments against the masterminds behind the attack, not just the front-line suspects, he decided to wait for a new administration.” Just before Freeh left office, Walsh reports, he met with new president George W. Bush and gave him a list of suspects in the bombing. In June, attorney general John Ashcroft announced the indictment of 14 suspects: 13 Saudis and one Lebanese. It is not clear whether any of them are the “masterminds” of Khobar; none is in American custody and no Iranian officials were named in the indictment.

    Both the Khobar investigation and the World Trade Center bombing presented Clinton with daunting challenges; there were sensitive political issues involved, and in each case it was not immediately clear who was behind the violence. But in neither instance did Clinton press hard for answers and demand action; Berger would not have taken the position he did if the president fully supported a vigorous investigation. In the coming years, Clinton would be faced with clear acts of terrorism carried out by an organization with undeniable state support. But again, busy with other things, he did little.

    The Embassies
    On August 7, 1998, bombs exploded at U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. More than 200 people were killed, including 12 Americans. The morning of the attacks, Clinton said, “We will use all the means at our disposal to bring those responsible to justice, no matter what or how long it takes. . . . We are determined to get answers and justice.”

    Investigators quickly discovered that bin Laden was behind the attacks. On August 20, Clinton ordered cruise-missile strikes on a bin Laden camp in Afghanistan and the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan. But the strikes were at best ineffectual. There was little convincing evidence that the pharmaceutical factory, which admin istration officials believed was involved in the production of material for chemical weapons, actually was part of a weapons-making operation, and the cruise missiles in Afghanistan missed bin Laden and his deputies.

    Instead of striking a strong blow against terrorism, the action set off a howling debate about Clinton’s motives. The president ordered the action three days after appearing before the grand jury investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair, and Clinton’s critics accused him of using military action to change the subject from the sex-and-perjury scandal — the so-called “wag the dog” strategy. Some of Clinton’s allies, suspecting the same thing, remained silent. Even some of those who, after briefings by administration officials, publicly defended the strikes privately questioned Clinton’s decision.

    The accusations came as no surprise to the White House. “Everyone knew the ‘wag the dog’ charge was going to be made,” recalls Daniel Benjamin, a terrorism expert on the National Security Council. But Benjamin and others believed — mistakenly, as it turned out — that they could convince the skeptics the attacks were fully justified. “I remember being shocked and deeply depressed over the fact that no one would take seriously what I considered a grave national-security problem,” says Benjamin. “Not only were they not buying it, they were accusing the administration of essentially playing the most shallow and foolish kind of game to deflect attention from other issues. It was astonishing.”

    In particular, reporters and some members of Congress were not convinced by the administration’s evidence that the al-Shifa plant was involved in chemical-weapons production. The attack came to be viewed, by consensus, as a screw-up. In a new article in The New York Review of Books, Benjamin suggests that that skepticism, particularly on the part of reporters, scared Clinton away from any more tough action against bin Laden. “The dismissal of the al-Shifa attack as a blunder had serious consequences, including the failure of the public to comprehend the nature of the al-Qaeda threat,” Benjamin writes. “That in turn meant there was no support for decisive measures in Afghanistan — including, possibly, the use of U.S. ground forces — to hunt down the terrorists; and thus no national leader of either party publicly suggested such action.”

    After the cruise-missile raids, the administration restricted its work to covert actions breaking up terrorist cells. Benjamin and others say a significant number of terrorist plots were short-circuited, preventing several acts of violence. “I see no reason to doubt their word on that,” says James Woolsey. “They may have been doing a lot of stuff behind the scenes.” But breaking up individual cells while avoiding larger-scale action probably had the effect of postponing terrorist acts rather than stopping them. Woolsey believes that such an approach was part of what he calls Clinton’s “PR-driven” approach to terrorism, an approach that left the fundamental problem unsolved: “Do something to show you’re concerned. Launch a few missiles in the desert, bop them on the head, arrest a few people. But just keep kicking the ball down the field.”

    The Cole
    The last act of terrorism during the Clinton administration came on October 12, 2000, when bin Laden operatives bombed the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen. Seventeen American sailors were killed, 39 others were wounded, and one of the U.S.’s most sophisticated warships was nearly sunk.

    Clinton’s reaction to the Cole terrorism was more muted than his response to the previous attacks. While he called the bombing “a despicable and cowardly act” and said, “We will find out who was responsible and hold them accountable,” he seemed more concerned that the attack might threaten the administration’s work in the Middle East (the bombing came at the same time as a new spate of violence between Israelis and Palestinians). “If [the terrorists’] intention was to deter us from our mission of promoting peace and security in the Middle East, they will fail utterly,” Clinton said on the morning of the attack. The next day, the Washington Post’s John Harris, who had good connections inside the administration, wrote, “While the apparent suicide bombing of the USS Cole may have been the more dramatic episode for the American public, the escalation between Israelis and Palestinians took the edge in preoccupying senior administration officials yesterday. This was regarded as the more fluid of the two problems, and it presented the broader threat to Clinton’s foreign policy aims.”

    As in 1998, U.S. investigators quickly linked the bombing to bin Laden and his sponsors in Afghanistan’s Taliban regime. Together with the embassy bombings, the Cole blast established a clear pattern of attacks on American interests carried out by bin Laden’s organization. Clinton had a solid rationale, and would most likely have had solid public support, for strong military action. Yet he did nothing. Perhaps he didn’t want to endanger the cherished goal of Middle East peace. Perhaps he didn’t want to disrupt the 2000 presidential campaign, then in its last days. Perhaps he didn’t know quite what to do. But in the end, the ball was kicked a bit farther down the field.

    In early August 1996, a few weeks after the Khobar Towers bombing, Clinton had a long conversation with Dick Morris about his place in history. Morris divided presidents into four categories: first tier, second tier, third tier, and the rest. Twenty-two presidents who presided over uneventful administrations fell into the last category. Just five — Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt — made Morris’s first tier.

    Clinton asked Morris where he stood. “I said that at the moment he was at the top of the unrated category,” Morris recalls. Morris says he told the president that one surprising thing about the ratings was that a president’s standing had little to do with the performance of the economy during his time in office. “Yeah,” Clinton responded, “It has so much to do with whether you get re-elected or not, but history kind of forgets it.”

    Clinton then asked, “What do I need to do to be first tier?” “I said, ‘You can’t,'” Morris remembers. “‘You have to win a war.'” Clinton then asked what he needed to do to make the second or third tier, and Morris outlined three goals. The first was successful welfare reform. The second was balancing the budget. And the third was an effective battle against terrorism. “I said the only one of the major goals he had not achieved was a war on terrorism,” Morris says. (This is not a recent recollection; Morris also described the conversation in his 1997 book, Behind the Oval Office.)

    But Clinton never began, much less finished, a war on terrorism. Even though Morris’s polling showed the poll-sensitive president that the American people supported tough action, Clinton demurred. Why?

    “He had almost an allergy to using people in uniform,” Morris explains. “He was terrified of incurring casualties; the lessons of Vietnam were ingrained far too deeply in him. He lacked a faith that it would work, and I think he was constantly fearful of reprisals.” But there was more to it than that. “On another level, I just don’t think it was his thing,” Morris says. “You could talk to him about income redistribution and he would talk to you for hours and hours. Talk to him about terrorism, and all you’d get was a series of grunts.”

    And that is the key to understanding Bill Clinton’s handling of the terrorist threat that grew throughout his two terms in the White House: It just wasn’t his thing. Clinton was right when he said history might care little about the prosperity of his era. Now, as he tries to defend his record on terrorism, he appears to sense that he will be judged harshly on an issue that is far more important than the Nasdaq or 401(k) balances. He’s right about that, too.

  126. 150

    Baynative spews:

    dj @87: Re your misguided assumption that Clinton worried babout anything beyond his own political safety…

    Clinton Has No Clothes
    What 9/11 revealed about the ex-president.

    By Byron York, NR White House Correspondent
    From the December 17, 2001, issue of National Review

    n June 25, 1996, a powerful truck bomb exploded outside the Khobar Towers barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, tearing the front from the building, blasting a crater 35 feet deep, and killing 19 American soldiers. Hundreds more were injured. When news reached Washington, President Bill Clinton vowed to bring the killers to justice. “The cowards who committed this murderous act must not go unpunished,” he said angrily. “Let me say again: We will pursue this. America takes care of our own. Those who did it must not go unpunished.” The next day, leaving the White House to attend an economic summit in France, Clinton had more tough words for the attackers. “Let me be very clear: We will not resist” — the president corrected himself — “we will not rest in our efforts to find who is responsible for this outrage, to pursue them and to punish them.”

    As Clinton spoke, his top political strategist, Dick Morris, was hard at work conducting polls to gauge the public’s reaction to the bombing. “Whenever there was a crisis, I ordered an immediate poll,” Morris recalls. “I was concerned about how Clinton looked in the face of [the attack] and whether people blamed him.” The bombing happened in the midst of the president’s re-election campaign, and even though Clinton enjoyed a substantial lead over Republican Bob Dole, Morris worried that public dissatisfaction with Clinton on the terrorism issue might benefit Dole.

    Indeed, Morris’s first poll showed less support for Clinton than he had hoped. But by the time Morris presented his findings to the president and top staffers at a political-strategy meeting a few days later, public approval of Clinton’s response had climbed — something Morris noted in his written agenda for the session:

    SAUDI BOMBING — recovered from Friday and looking great
    Approve Clinton handling 73-20
    Big gain from 63-20 on Friday
    Security was adequate 52-40
    It’s not Clinton’s fault 76-18

  127. 151

    Baynative spews:

    dj @87 – still, there’s more:

    The numbers were a relief for the re-election team. But soon there was another crisis when, on July 17, TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on its way from New York to Paris. There was widespread suspicion that the crash was the result of terrorism (it was later ruled to be an accident), and Morris’s polling found the public growing uneasy not only about air safety but also about Clinton’s performance in the Khobar investigation. Morris found that the number of people who believed Clinton was “doing all he can to investigate the Saudi bombing and punish those responsible” was just 54 percent, while 32 percent believed he could do more. Morris feared that White House inaction would allow Dole to portray Clinton as soft on national security.

    “We tested two alternative defenses to this attack: Peace maker or Toughness,” Morris wrote in a memo for the president. In the “Peacemaker” defense, Morris asked voters to respond to the statement, “Clinton is peacemaker. Brought together Arabs and Israelis. Ireland. Bosnia cease fire. Uses strength to bring about peace.” The other defense, “Tough ness,” asked voters to respond to “Clinton tough. Stands up for American interests. Against foreign companies doing business in Cuba. Sanctions against Iran. Anti-terrorist legislation held up by Republicans. Prosecuted World Trade Center bombers.” Morris found that the public greatly preferred “Toughness.”

    So Clinton talked tough. But he did not act tough. Indeed, a review of his years in office shows that each time the president was confronted with a major terrorist attack — the February 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center, the Khobar Towers attack, the August 7, 1998, bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the October 12, 2000, attack on the USS Cole — Clinton was preoccupied with his own political fortunes to an extent that precluded his giving serious and sustained attention to fighting terrorism.

    At the time of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, his administration was just beginning, and he was embroiled in controversies over gays in the military, an economic stimulus plan, and the beginnings of Hillary Clinton’s health-care task force. Khobar Towers happened not only in the midst of the president’s re-election campaign but also at the end of a month in which there were new and damaging developments in the Whitewater and Filegate scandals. The African embassy attacks occurred as the Monica Lewinsky affair was at fever pitch, in the month that Clinton appeared before independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s grand jury. And when the Cole was rammed, Clinton had little time left in office and was desperately hoping to build his legacy with a breakthrough in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Whenever a serious terrorist attack occurred, it seemed Bill Clinton was always busy with something else.

  128. 152

    Baynative spews:

    dj @ 87 – don’t go away yet…

    The First WTC Attack
    Clinton had been in office just 38 days when terrorists bombed the World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000. Although it was later learned that the bombing was the work of terrorists who hoped to topple one of the towers into the other and kill as many as 250,000 people, at first it was not clear that the explosion was the result of terrorism. The new president’s reaction seemed almost disengaged. He warned Americans against “overreacting” and, in an interview on MTV, described the bombing as the work of someone who “did something really stupid.”

    From the start, Clinton approached the investigation as a law-enforcement issue. In doing so, he effectively cut out some of the government’s most important intelligence agencies. For example, the evidence gathered by FBI agents and prosecutors came under the protection of laws mandating grand-jury secrecy — which meant that the law-enforcement side of the investigation could not tell the intelligence side of the investigation what was going on. “Nobody outside the prosecutorial team and maybe the FBI had access,” says James Woolsey, who was CIA director at the time. “It was all under grand-jury secrecy.”

    Another problem with Clinton’s decision to assign the investigation exclusively to law enforcement was that law enforcement in the new administration was in turmoil. When the bomb went off, Clinton did not have a confirmed attorney general; Janet Reno, who was nominated after the Zoë Baird fiasco, was awaiting Senate approval. The Justice Department, meanwhile, was headed by a Bush holdover who had no real power in the new administration. The bombing barely came up at Reno’s Senate hearings, and when she was finally sworn in on March 12, neither she nor Clinton mentioned the case. (Instead, Clinton praised Reno for “sharing with us the life-shaping stories of your family and career that formed your deep sense of fairness and your unwavering drive to help others to do better.”) In addition, at the time the bombing investigation began, the FBI was headed by William Sessions, who would soon leave after a messy forcing-out by Clinton. A new director, Louis Freeh, was not confirmed by the Senate until August 6.

    Amid all the turmoil at the top, the investigation missed some tantalizing clues pointing toward a far-reaching conspiracy. In April 1995, for example, terrorism expert Steven Emerson told the House International Relations Committee that there was information that “strongly suggests . . . a Sudanese role in the World Trade Center bombing. There are also leads pointing to the involvement of Osama bin Laden, the ex-Afghan Saudi mujahideen supporter now taking refuge in Sudan.” Two years later, Emerson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the same thing. In recent years, according to an exhaustive New York Times report, “American intelligence officials have come to believe that [ringleader Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman] and the World Trade Center bombers had ties to al-Qaeda.”

    But the Clinton administration stuck with its theory that the bombing was the work of a loose network of terrorists working apart from any government sponsorship. Intelligence officials who might have thought otherwise were left out in the cold — “I made repeated attempts to see Clinton privately to take up a whole range of issues and was unsuccessful,” Woolsey recalls — and some of the nation’s most critical intelligence capabilities went unused. In the end, the U.S. tried six suspects in the attack. All were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Another key suspect, Abdul Rahman Yasin, was released after being held by the FBI in New Jersey and fled to Baghdad, where he is living under the protection of the Iraqi government. Today, with many leads gone cold, intelligence officials concede they will probably never know who was behind the attack.

  129. 153

    Baynative spews:

    dj @87 – It gets better…

    Khobar Towers
    “In June of 1996, it felt like an entire herd was converging on the White House,” wrote Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos in his memoir, All Too Human. A herd of scandals, that is: In late May, independent counsel Kenneth Starr had convicted Jim and Susan McDougal and Jim Guy Tucker in the first big Whitewater trial; in June, the Filegate story first broke into public view, and Sen. Alphonse D’Amato issued his committee’s Whitewater report recommending that several administration officials be investigated for perjury. It was also in June that the White House went into full battle mode against a variety of allegations contained in Unlimited Access, a book by former FBI agent Gary Aldrich.

    All these developments were heavy on the minds of Clinton, Dick Morris, and the other members of the re-election strategy team when the bomb went off at Khobar Towers on June 25. As it had after the World Trade Center bombing, a distracted White House gave the case to law enforcement. But there is significant evidence to suggest that the White House was even less interested in finding answers than it had been in the World Trade Center case. In the Khobar investigation, the Clinton administration not only failed to follow potentially productive leads but in some instances actively made the investigators’ job more difficult.

    From the beginning, the administration ran into significant Saudi resistance (the Saudis quickly identified a few low-level suspects and beheaded them, hoping to end the matter there). According to a long account of the case by Elsa Walsh published earlier this year in The New Yorker, FBI director Louis Freeh on several occasions urged the White House to pressure the Saudis for more cooperation. More than once, Walsh reports, Freeh was frustrated to learn that the president barely mentioned the case in meetings with Saudi leaders.

    Freeh — whose own relations with the White House had deteriorated badly in the wake of the Filegate and campaign-finance scandals — became convinced that the White House didn’t really want to push the Saudis for more information, which Freeh believed would confirm strong suspicions of extensive Iranian involvement in the attack. Walsh reports that in September 1998, Freeh, angry and losing hope, took the extraordinary step of secretly asking former president George H. W. Bush to intercede with the Saudi royal family. Acting without Clinton’s knowledge, Bush made the request, and the Saudis began to provide new information, which indeed pointed to Iran.

    In late 1998, Walsh reports, Freeh went to national security adviser Sandy Berger to tell him that it appeared the FBI had enough evidence to indict several suspects. “Who else knows this?” Berger asked Freeh, demanding to know if it had been leaked to the press. Freeh said it was a closely held secret. Then Berger challenged some of the evidence of Iranian involvement. “That’s just hearsay,” Berger said. “No, Sandy,” Freeh responded. “It’s testimony of a co-conspirator . . .” According to Walsh’s account, Freeh thought that “Berger . . . was not a national security adviser; he was a public-relations hack, interested in how something would play in the press. After more than two years, Freeh had concluded that the administration did not really want to resolve the Khobar bombing.”

    Ultimately, Freeh never got the support he wanted from the White House. Walsh writes that “by the end of the Clinton era, Freeh had become so mistrustful of Clinton that, although he believed he had developed enough evidence to seek indictments against the masterminds behind the attack, not just the front-line suspects, he decided to wait for a new administration.” Just before Freeh left office, Walsh reports, he met with new president George W. Bush and gave him a list of suspects in the bombing. In June, attorney general John Ashcroft announced the indictment of 14 suspects: 13 Saudis and one Lebanese. It is not clear whether any of them are the “masterminds” of Khobar; none is in American custody and no Iranian officials were named in the indictment.

    Both the Khobar investigation and the World Trade Center bombing presented Clinton with daunting challenges; there were sensitive political issues involved, and in each case it was not immediately clear who was behind the violence. But in neither instance did Clinton press hard for answers and demand action; Berger would not have taken the position he did if the president fully supported a vigorous investigation. In the coming years, Clinton would be faced with clear acts of terrorism carried out by an organization with undeniable state support. But again, busy with other things, he did little.

  130. 154

    Baynative spews:

    dj @ 87 – and then…

    The Embassies
    On August 7, 1998, bombs exploded at U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. More than 200 people were killed, including 12 Americans. The morning of the attacks, Clinton said, “We will use all the means at our disposal to bring those responsible to justice, no matter what or how long it takes. . . . We are determined to get answers and justice.”

    Investigators quickly discovered that bin Laden was behind the attacks. On August 20, Clinton ordered cruise-missile strikes on a bin Laden camp in Afghanistan and the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan. But the strikes were at best ineffectual. There was little convincing evidence that the pharmaceutical factory, which admin istration officials believed was involved in the production of material for chemical weapons, actually was part of a weapons-making operation, and the cruise missiles in Afghanistan missed bin Laden and his deputies.

    Instead of striking a strong blow against terrorism, the action set off a howling debate about Clinton’s motives. The president ordered the action three days after appearing before the grand jury investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair, and Clinton’s critics accused him of using military action to change the subject from the sex-and-perjury scandal — the so-called “wag the dog” strategy. Some of Clinton’s allies, suspecting the same thing, remained silent. Even some of those who, after briefings by administration officials, publicly defended the strikes privately questioned Clinton’s decision.

    The accusations came as no surprise to the White House. “Everyone knew the ‘wag the dog’ charge was going to be made,” recalls Daniel Benjamin, a terrorism expert on the National Security Council. But Benjamin and others believed — mistakenly, as it turned out — that they could convince the skeptics the attacks were fully justified. “I remember being shocked and deeply depressed over the fact that no one would take seriously what I considered a grave national-security problem,” says Benjamin. “Not only were they not buying it, they were accusing the administration of essentially playing the most shallow and foolish kind of game to deflect attention from other issues. It was astonishing.”

    In particular, reporters and some members of Congress were not convinced by the administration’s evidence that the al-Shifa plant was involved in chemical-weapons production. The attack came to be viewed, by consensus, as a screw-up. In a new article in The New York Review of Books, Benjamin suggests that that skepticism, particularly on the part of reporters, scared Clinton away from any more tough action against bin Laden. “The dismissal of the al-Shifa attack as a blunder had serious consequences, including the failure of the public to comprehend the nature of the al-Qaeda threat,” Benjamin writes. “That in turn meant there was no support for decisive measures in Afghanistan — including, possibly, the use of U.S. ground forces — to hunt down the terrorists; and thus no national leader of either party publicly suggested such action.”

    After the cruise-missile raids, the administration restricted its work to covert actions breaking up terrorist cells. Benjamin and others say a significant number of terrorist plots were short-circuited, preventing several acts of violence. “I see no reason to doubt their word on that,” says James Woolsey. “They may have been doing a lot of stuff behind the scenes.” But breaking up individual cells while avoiding larger-scale action probably had the effect of postponing terrorist acts rather than stopping them. Woolsey believes that such an approach was part of what he calls Clinton’s “PR-driven” approach to terrorism, an approach that left the fundamental problem unsolved: “Do something to show you’re concerned. Launch a few missiles in the desert, bop them on the head, arrest a few people. But just keep kicking the ball down the field.”

  131. 155

    Baynative spews:

    dj – just a bit more for you…

    The Cole
    The last act of terrorism during the Clinton administration came on October 12, 2000, when bin Laden operatives bombed the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen. Seventeen American sailors were killed, 39 others were wounded, and one of the U.S.’s most sophisticated warships was nearly sunk.

    Clinton’s reaction to the Cole terrorism was more muted than his response to the previous attacks. While he called the bombing “a despicable and cowardly act” and said, “We will find out who was responsible and hold them accountable,” he seemed more concerned that the attack might threaten the administration’s work in the Middle East (the bombing came at the same time as a new spate of violence between Israelis and Palestinians). “If [the terrorists’] intention was to deter us from our mission of promoting peace and security in the Middle East, they will fail utterly,” Clinton said on the morning of the attack. The next day, the Washington Post’s John Harris, who had good connections inside the administration, wrote, “While the apparent suicide bombing of the USS Cole may have been the more dramatic episode for the American public, the escalation between Israelis and Palestinians took the edge in preoccupying senior administration officials yesterday. This was regarded as the more fluid of the two problems, and it presented the broader threat to Clinton’s foreign policy aims.”

    As in 1998, U.S. investigators quickly linked the bombing to bin Laden and his sponsors in Afghanistan’s Taliban regime. Together with the embassy bombings, the Cole blast established a clear pattern of attacks on American interests carried out by bin Laden’s organization. Clinton had a solid rationale, and would most likely have had solid public support, for strong military action. Yet he did nothing. Perhaps he didn’t want to endanger the cherished goal of Middle East peace. Perhaps he didn’t want to disrupt the 2000 presidential campaign, then in its last days. Perhaps he didn’t know quite what to do. But in the end, the ball was kicked a bit farther down the field.

  132. 156

    Baynative spews:

    dj – and finally…

    In early August 1996, a few weeks after the Khobar Towers bombing, Clinton had a long conversation with Dick Morris about his place in history. Morris divided presidents into four categories: first tier, second tier, third tier, and the rest. Twenty-two presidents who presided over uneventful administrations fell into the last category. Just five — Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt — made Morris’s first tier.

    Clinton asked Morris where he stood. “I said that at the moment he was at the top of the unrated category,” Morris recalls. Morris says he told the president that one surprising thing about the ratings was that a president’s standing had little to do with the performance of the economy during his time in office. “Yeah,” Clinton responded, “It has so much to do with whether you get re-elected or not, but history kind of forgets it.”

    Clinton then asked, “What do I need to do to be first tier?” “I said, ‘You can’t,'” Morris remembers. “‘You have to win a war.'” Clinton then asked what he needed to do to make the second or third tier, and Morris outlined three goals. The first was successful welfare reform. The second was balancing the budget. And the third was an effective battle against terrorism. “I said the only one of the major goals he had not achieved was a war on terrorism,” Morris says. (This is not a recent recollection; Morris also described the conversation in his 1997 book, Behind the Oval Office.)

    But Clinton never began, much less finished, a war on terrorism. Even though Morris’s polling showed the poll-sensitive president that the American people supported tough action, Clinton demurred. Why?

    “He had almost an allergy to using people in uniform,” Morris explains. “He was terrified of incurring casualties; the lessons of Vietnam were ingrained far too deeply in him. He lacked a faith that it would work, and I think he was constantly fearful of reprisals.” But there was more to it than that. “On another level, I just don’t think it was his thing,” Morris says. “You could talk to him about income redistribution and he would talk to you for hours and hours. Talk to him about terrorism, and all you’d get was a series of grunts.”

    And that is the key to understanding Bill Clinton’s handling of the terrorist threat that grew throughout his two terms in the White House: It just wasn’t his thing. Clinton was right when he said history might care little about the prosperity of his era. Now, as he tries to defend his record on terrorism, he appears to sense that he will be judged harshly on an issue that is far more important than the Nasdaq or 401(k) balances. He’s right about that, too.

  133. 157

    Puddybud spews:

    Baynative: I suppose DJ is searching the Internet globe looking for one retort. When you quote Dick Morris, Clinton’s personal confidant, DJ can’t be quick to trigger Tricky Dick Clarke and his “personal warnings” on OSAMA! It doesn’t jibe with other book exposés on the Clinton Whitehouse. Clinton didn’t do jack on terrorism.

  134. 158

    Baynative spews:

    Puddybud @ 157

    Funny you mentioned Richard Clarke. I remember distinctly how the terrorist was caught with a carload of explosives in Port Angeles, just down the road from where I live. A customs agent on the ferry noticed the guy sweating and suspected drugs. When the guy fled and they captured his car they didn’t know it was packed with explosives until tests were done.

    It was several days before they traced the guy back to an apartment in Seattle and figured out that he was planning to bomb LAX.

    Richard Clarke spun a Clintonesque tale in his book about their upgraded security at the borders and how they were watching for terrorists. It was pure BS. He repeated it on Tim Russert’s show and never got called on it or questioned about it even though it had been thorougly detailed as while the trial was unfolding. Russert had to have known the truth, but his job is to promote the liberal agenda, so he never uttered a peep as Clarke sat there lying through his teeth.

  135. 159

    Puddybud spews:

    Baynative: I guess DJ gave up on this thread. He became embarassed with factual posts.