“You think this stuff isn’t distracting?”
It wasn't just the follow-up legal maneuvers that were distracting. It must have been difficult for even the World's Smartest Man to keep his, um, head in a telephone discussion of military deployments while an intern serviced him.
"Others have noted that a preoccupied White House treated al-Qaeda’s rise as of minor interest."
That probably had nothing to do with the Lewinsky affair. Clinton had no problem bombing Serbia or firing cruise missiles at brown people; he just thought Al Qaeda was a joke. He was preoccupied instead with keeping intelligence and law-enforcement agencies from comparing notes on his illegal foreign dealings. Jamie Gorelick's wall of separation led directly to 9/11.