The planning and plotting by the hijackers was done on Bill Clinton's watch and executed eight months into the Bush administration, which refused to heed warning signs that an attack was imminent. A wealth of information and evidence about the laxness of the Clinton administration can be found by Googling "Clinton failures to catch terrorists and bin Laden." Some postings are from what might be regarded as "right-wing" Web sites, but others are from such left-wing sources as The Los Angeles Times.
In a Dec. 5, 2001 op-ed for that newspaper, Mansoor Ijaz, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and chairman of an investment company in New York, wrote, "President Clinton and his national security team ignored several opportunities to capture Osama bin Laden and his terrorist associates. Š I know because I negotiated more than one of the opportunities."
Ijaz says that from 1996 to 1998 he opened unofficial channels between Sudan and the Clinton administration, including National Security Adviser Sandy Berger and Sudan's president and national intelligence chief, "President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, who wanted terrorism sanctions against Sudan lifted, offered the arrest and extradition of bin Laden and detailed intelligence data about the global networks constructed by Egypt's Islamic Jihad, Iran's Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas.
"Among those in the networks were the two hijackers who piloted commercial airliners into the World Trade Center. The silence of the Clinton administration in responding to these offers was defeaning."
When considering whether to take Bill Clinton's outrage seriously, it is helpful to revisit his notorious finger wagging when he forcefully denied having had sex with Monica Lewinsky. The Web site YouTube.com has juxtaposed the latest finger wagging with the previous one. Viewers can judge for themselves whether Clinton's latest claim and blame should be believed anymore than his previous denial of extramarital sex with an intern.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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