Clinton's Real Legacy

Bill Clinton’s legacy is destined to become a terrible litany:

  • In 1993, terrorists detonated a bomb in the parking garage of the World Trade Center killing six Americans and injuring 1,042. Vital information could have been gathered to thwart future attacks. But President Clinton did nothing.
  • In 1996, terrorists blew up a truck outside the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia killing 19 U.S. servicemen. Clinton did nothing.
  • In 2000, terrorists attacked the U.S.S. Cole killing 17 Navy seamen. Clinton, amazingly, opted to play it safe while the Bin Ladens of the world continued devising their murderous schemes.
  • In 1998, terrorists bombed U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224. Clinton responded by bombing Sudan and Afghanistan, blowing up an aspirin factory in the former and a few Pakistani intelligence officers who were equipping Kashmiri guerillas in the latter.

    Clinton claimed victory. So did Bin Laden. It wasn’t the first or the last time Clinton misled the American people.

    Americans want to know why we were caught sleeping on September 11, and rightfully so. But government commissions and our media can’t seem to get beyond the partisan maneuvering that would somehow lay blame equally on Bush and Clinton, even though one had eight years to do something about terrorism and the other eight months. And the facts are being obscured for a reason.

    Thankfully, David Bossie has produced a work of research that will undoubtedly serve as an indictment of Clinton for years to come. In Intelligence Failure: How Clinton’s National Security Policy Set The Stage For 9/11 (WND Books, 2004, $24.99, 272 pp.), Bossie documents the eight years Clinton spent slashing our military and intelligence budgets, and worrying more about protecting his name from scandals than he did protecting us from terror attacks. Bossie shows that this wasn’t just a miscalculation by Clinton in a confusing post-Cold War world. He knew that the threat of terror was real but had other priorities.

    In 1994, in the wake of the World Trade Center bombing, the Pentagon conducted a study termed “Terror 2000,” which warned of the possibility that hijackers would use an airliner as a missile against the Pentagon and possibly the World Trade Center. Clinton refused to let the public hear of it and when distributed to Congress or government agencies, details like the possible use of planes as missiles were omitted. Clinton had a different agenda. That agenda included promoting diversity in the military, FBI and CIA while drastically cutting back the budget for each.

    In other words, he was playing politics with our safety.

    Clinton’s interminable political correctness demoralized the ranks of soldiers, counterterrorism officers and intelligence agents charged with fighting a deadly ring of terror, which had dire consequences. While its budget was cut and its director James Woolsey ostracized, two outside companies were hired to assist in ensuring and celebrating diversity in the CIA. CIA operatives were forced to take sensitivity training and welcome homosexual operatives under The Agency Network of Gay and Lesbian Employees.

    The House and Senate intelligence committees reported that the FBI in Phoenix never acted on a memo that mentioned foreigners taking flying lessons at American schools. FBI agent Oliver “Buck” Revell told Bossie: “The agents . . . didn’t open a case because of political correctness. They had explicit orders not to racially profile, and if they had opened a case because a bunch of ‘Arab students’ were taking flying lessons, they would have been shut down immediately and their careers would have been hurt.” In fact, agents “didn’t have a good atmosphere to work on terrorism cases. The feeling was that no risk was good.”

    The Clinton Administration shifted antiterrorist responsibilities to the FBI and then refused to secure the necessary funds for the upgrades in equipment and staff the agency desperately needed. Louis Freeh was left without support for the FBI Counterterrorism Division he took the initiative to create.

    As someone who was in Manhattan when the Twin Towers went down, watching Rudy Giuliani recently in front of the 9/11 commission seemed strange, if not suspicious. Are these people really trying to get to the bottom of what went wrong? If they are, they ought to pick up a copy of Bossie’s book. The evidence all points to one man.

    Bill Clinton spent his presidency concerned about leaving a legacy. Unfortunately, he succeeded.